Friday, October 16, 2020

Iran’s “Breakout” Ability More Dangerous than Before - Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser

 

​ by Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser

The amount of enriched uranium in Iran’s possession and its current enrichment capacity will allow it to enrich the uranium to military grade and produce fissile material for two nuclear explosive devices.

Iran’s “Breakout” Ability More Dangerous than Before

Natanz nuclear facility (Tasnim News-Iran)

Institute for Contemporary Affairs

Founded jointly with the Wechsler Family Foundation

Vol. 20,   No. 23

  • Iran keeps breaching its JCPOA commitments, attempting to secure the capability to produce enough enriched uranium for a nuclear device within a very short time, while Europe, Russia, and China do nothing, and the United States intensifies economic pressure.
  • News reports based on a restricted IAEA document extensively describe Iran’s experimentation and development of advanced centrifuges of various types for uranium enrichment. One news account refers to Iran’s intention to install, for the first time, advanced centrifuges that are now operating in the Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant (PFEP) in Natanz, in underground enrichment Hall B.
  • The Chairman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran declared on September 13, 2020, that his organization “activated an enrichment wing in the Fordow nuclear facility … in line with steps to reduce its commitments [emphasis added] to the nuclear deal … We will also store the enriched materials.”
  • The amount of enriched uranium in Iran’s possession and its current enrichment capacity will allow it to enrich the uranium to military grade and produce fissile material for two nuclear explosive devices.
  • All this is happening as Iran continues to develop long-range missiles that will allow it to launch nuclear weapons not only against Israel but also against targets in Europe.

Iran keeps seeking ways to secure the capability to produce a sufficient quantity (SQ) for two nuclear devices within a short time, in defiance of growing American economic pressure. Today, Iran needs about three months to secure 1SQ, compared to a year that the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was supposed to provide. On the other hand, the Iranians’ guaranteed and “safe” pathway to having the capability to produce a large arsenal of nuclear weapons in 10 years, as detailed in the JCPOA, has been severely disrupted.

The embargo on arms sales to and from Iran that was included in the JCPOA expires on October 18, 2020, in the view of the participants of the Iran deal. The United States disagrees, insisting that all UN sanctions on Iran were reimposed on September 20, 2020, due to its “snapback” application to the UN Security Council. At the same time, the U.S. administration also introduced unprecedentedly harsh economic sanctions on Iran, but the Ayatollah regime keeps moving forward with its nuclear program and blatantly violates all its commitments in the JCPOA, despite the growing economic hardships and other setbacks it has suffered.

Damage to the Natanz Nuclear Research Center
A photograph of the damage to the Natanz Nuclear Research Center after the July 2, 2020 explosion. (Iranian Diplomacy)

Following the explosion at the advanced centrifuges production and assembly facility at the Natanz nuclear enrichment site on July 2, 2020, on September 8, 2020, Ali Akbar Salehi, the chairman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), announced that Iran had begun constructing a new facility for the same purpose in the mountains near the Natanz enrichment site. However, unlike the Natanz facility that was hit by a mysterious explosion and was built on the surface, the new facility is underground. Meanwhile, the AEOI’s spokesman reiterated that Iran had managed to unravel most of the details related to the mysterious explosion.

Following the construction of the new facility, the Iranians might try to expedite the production of the advanced centrifuges.

The IAEA’s periodic report published in September 2020 did not include any reference to the explosion at Natanz or to Iran’s intention to build a new facility for the production and assembly of advanced centrifuges.1 As a general rule, Iran is obliged to notify the Agency in advance about the establishment of nuclear facilities and allow the Agency’s inspectors access to all enrichment-related facilities at its nuclear sites. Still, by implication, it does not do so when it comes to centrifuge production (this is one of the many holes in the JCPOA).

However, news reports in August 2020 based on a restricted IAEA document2 extensively describe Iran’s activities in experimenting and developing advanced centrifuges of various types for uranium enrichment. (A summary of that report was included in the agency’s September 2, 2020, periodic report on Iran.) One news account refers to Iran’s intention to install, for the first time, advanced centrifuges that are now operating in the Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant (PFEP) in Natanz, in the underground enrichment Hall B of Natanz. According to the report, this step was supposed to have been carried out but was postponed at the last minute. In any case, the preparations for assembling cascades of advanced centrifuges at the site are already in progress. It should be emphasized that such a development would be another significant violation of the nuclear agreement, which allows the Iranians to operate only 5,060 basic centrifuges for enriching uranium at Natanz. It is not clear if the delay is related to the damage to the facility for the centrifuge assembly.

At the pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant, Iran is enriching uranium in advanced experimental centrifuges, developing a wide variety of advanced centrifuges, and violating the timetable for R&D that is included in the JCPOA.

The Iranians are also violating their obligations by enriching uranium with 1,044 centrifuges in the deep underground Fordow facility near Qom. Defiantly, the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, declared on September 13, 2020, that his organization “activated an enrichment wing in the Fordow nuclear facility.” The use of these 1,044 centrifuges at the Fordow uranium enrichment plant for enriching uranium was in line with steps to reduce its commitments [emphasis added] to the nuclear deal, according to Salehi. “We had promised not to enrich using these 1,044 centrifuges, but according to the reduction of commitments, enrichment will be done as needed, and we will also store the enriched materials.”3

It should be pointed out that in the last year Iran is enriching uranium to the level of 4.5% instead of 3.67% allowed by the 2015 nuclear agreement. Iran has already accumulated an amount of uranium enriched to that level ten times greater than what it is permitted according to the agreement (about 2,100 kg instead of the 202 kg that is allowed).

Satellite photo of the Natanz enrichment facilities
The Natanz enrichment facilities, photographed in September 2019 (Goggle Earth). Annotations were added by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) on July 3, 2020. 4

It is clear that Iran is determined to continue rapidly expanding its capacity to produce nuclear weapons in a short period. The amount of enriched uranium in its possession and the current enrichment capacity already would allow it, if it wishes so, to enrich the uranium to a military level and produce fissile material for two nuclear explosive devices. Whereas a sufficient amount for the first nuclear explosive device can be produced in a little more than three months, within two months afterward, Iran would have the required quantity for the production of the second explosive device. Installing the advanced centrifuges at the enrichment site could shorten by a few weeks the time required for military-level enrichment. (Under the 2015 Iran agreement, Iran was supposed to be a year away from obtaining sufficient fissile material for one explosive device.)

All this is happening as Iran continues to develop long-range missiles that will allow it to launch nuclear weapons not only against Israel but also against targets in Europe. At the same time, Europe, China, and Russia ignore the U.S. attempts to renew international sanctions against Iran. They are determined to allow the Iranian regime to continue violating the nuclear deal.

It is, therefore, no wonder that as the U.S. Election Day approaches, tensions between Washington and Tehran increase, with implications for Israel’s security.

Three Worrisome Statements

Three recent expressions regarding Iran’s nuclear program deserve clarification and context:

First, Rafael Grossi, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), declared in an interview with the Austrian newspaper Die Presse said that Iran does not have at the moment the significant quantity of enriched uranium needed to produce a nuclear bomb. This is true and untrue at the same time. The truth is that they are about three months away from having this amount if they decide to produce it. Grossi admitted that Iran accumulates uranium enriched to a higher level than what it committed to but avoided referring to the question of the time required for having 1SQ by claiming the IAEA does not deal with breakout scenarios.5

Second, Brigadier General Dror Shalom, the outgoing head of the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate’s Research Division, said in an interview with Yediot Aharonot that Iran needs about two years to produce a nuclear bomb from the day they decide to do so.6 This may be a bit misleading as the critical part of this period is the enrichment of the low-enriched uranium to high-enriched uranium, and, as noted above, this requires about three months. Since Iran has already acquired considerable know-how to weaponize enriched uranium (as seen in the captured Iran nuclear archives) and has already made significant progress in producing delivery systems, it is hard to assess how long the other stages are going to take.

Third, Shalom and others also refer to the post-American elections possibilities and claim that there is not much difference between the two candidates as both are interested in reaching an agreement with Iran regarding its nuclear program. In fact, there is a considerable difference between the two. Republican Trump seeks a deal based on Iran’s readiness to accept his demands to give up the nuclear project and its regional hegemony aspirations, whereas Democrat Biden looks for a formula that will bring Iran back to a slightly improved version of the JCPOA and enable it to keep promoting its regional policy.

By now, the entire context in which the struggle over the future of the Iran nuclear program is conducted has changed. The JCPOA has put the focus on the questions of whether Iran is going to have a big arsenal of nuclear weapons by 2030 or not and whether the parties to the JCPOA are comfortable in the way the acquisition of this arsenal is going to be. After the withdrawal of the United States from the deal, the question became again, as it was until 2015, whether Iran will have enough fissile material for one or two nuclear devices, and how is it going to overcome the threshold that separates it from reaching this goal under economic pressure and military threats. This has been the case since President Trump withdrew from the JCPOA. Iran and everybody else, including Israel, are waiting anxiously to see what the U.S. elections portend.

* * *

Notes

1 https://cnpp.iaea.org/countryprofiles/IranIslamicRepublicof/IranIslamicRepublicof.htm

2 https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-08-13/iran-enhances-blast-hit-nuclear-plant-as-top-inspector-in-tehran. “Iranian engineers have already installed piping needed to accumulate higher volumes of material that will be generated by three new centrifuge cascades, each equipped with 164 machines spinning at supersonic speeds to separate uranium isotopes, according to the document circulated to diplomats late last month.”

3 https://parstoday.com/en/news/iran-i126652-over_1_000_centrifuges_doing_enrichment_work_at_fordow_facility_salehi and https://caspiannews.com/news-detail/iran-says-it-will-not-comply-with-all-nuclear-deal-obligations-without-benefits-2020-9-17-16/

4 https://isis-online.org/isis-reports/detail/fire-and-explosion-in-the-new-natanz-centrifuge-assembly

5 https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-iran-nuclear-iaea/iran-short-of-significant-quantity-of-potential-bomb-material-iaea-boss-idUSKBN26V0TN

6 https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/israeli-intel-community-battle-continues-on-iran-nuke-threat-analysis-644945

 

Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser  

Source: https://jcpa.org/article/the-convergence-of-the-u-s-elections-and-irans-first-nuclear-bomb/ 

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

A Radical Shift - Walid Phares

 

​ by Walid Phares

The nightmare Obama brought to U.S. foreign policy.

 


Frontpagemag Editors' note: Walid Phares has a new book out on the difference in foreign policy between Obama and Trump titled: The Choice: Trump vs. Obama-Biden in US Foreign Policy. Below is an exclusive excerpt - Chapter 3 - which illustrates the nightmare that Obama brought to U.S. foreign policy.

Soon after landing in the White House, President Obama initiated two major moves, which by the end of May or early June 2009 indicated where his administration was going in terms of national security and foreign policy. It was obvious to me at the time that the country was veering away from the post-9/11 posture and the so-called War on Terror and heading in the opposite direction of demobilization of America on the one hand and the activation of an apologist policy on the other in order to engage with future partners who were actually at the core of terrorism and extremism.

Most Americans in the early years of the Obama administration focused on the domestic agenda and therefore did not see or understand the much wider change of direction that the new team at the White House was implementing: the eventual dismantling of the War on Terror and with it the war of ideas. In other words, the Obama doctrine was telling Americans that our conflict with the radicals overseas was in error because the conflict was caused by us—and therefore we need not only to cease our efforts of resistance against the jihadists, Iran, and the other radicals but jump on a train going in the other direction, one that would lead us to engaging the foes and finding agreement with each of them in order to transform American policy overseas.

The first major benchmark that indicated a massive Obama-Biden change in foreign policy with implications on national security was Obama’s trip to Egypt in spring 2009 and his address at Cairo University. The main idea of President Obama on the political philosophy level was to inform the American public that the United States has been seen as an aggressor against Arabs and Muslims since 9/11—maybe even decades before that. This perception prevailed on U.S. campuses for decades among leftist academics and intellectuals. It was explained as the American branch of Western colonialism. But the urgency behind this U-turn made by the administration in foreign policy perception was in fact linked to how the United States reacted to the 9/11 attacks.

In my own experiences after the 2001 jihadist strikes against New York, D.C., and elsewhere, the immediate reaction after al-Qaeda suicide missions on American soil was explained by a combination of Far Left and neo-Marxist circles actually accusing the United States of provoking the attacks. During the seven years of the Bush administration, both the Islamist lobbies and their Red allies in America were organizing to oppose any form of American self-defense and thus did oppose both the war in Afghanistan and the one in Iraq while also framing them as neocolonialist conquests.

It was imperative for the Obama team to change the national security doctrine that had been approved by a unanimous and bipartisan 9/11 Commission to align with their own narrative. The reality was that for years, before the Obama victory in 2008, a new alliance was being forged between the Islamists in general (the Muslim Brotherhood and the Khomeinist Iranians in particular) and the core left-wing neo-Marxists within the West in general (and the United States in particular). The Obama group belonged to that core—a subset found mostly on campuses but also in parts of the media.

With the alliance already in place, it made sense for the new administration to unleash its plans as early as possible. Hence, Obama’s 2009 address in Cairo was essentially an open invitation through public acknowledgment of his desire for a partnership between his administration and the Muslim Brotherhood. Though Egypt was ruled by authoritarian President Mubarak, Obama’s visit and his praise of the Ikhwan talking points were the opening salvo of a campaign designed to crumble the Egyptian regime and, later, other Arab governments—and replace them with the Brotherhood. The genesis of the Islamization of the Arab Spring of 2011 thus started in 2009. 

The Obama speech at Cairo University, in fact, officialized a partnership between the United States and the Muslim Brotherhood, and in general terms with the Islamist movements in the MENA region. One might think that such a move would be checked by the mainstream Republican Party in D.C., but it was not—due to the equal impact of the Qatar and Islamist lobbies on the Republican institution. It did, however, unnerve the conservative sectors of the Republicans both in Congress and in the grassroots while also putting pressure on the traditional liberals in the Democratic Party after the ilk of Joe Lieberman and others.

The major shift towards engaging the Islamists worldwide also opened the door for partnerships with their lobbies and NGOs inside the United States. This led to an unstoppable rise of influence of militant groups such as CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), which in turn became the spearhead of a campaign to silence the critics against Obama’s new policies in Congress and in the media.

But a shift to align with the Muslim Brotherhood was not the only onslaught of the Obama administration in foreign policy; it was simply the first one. Indeed, in the same month of June 2009, President Obama engaged in a second track that would change another U.S. national security policy, one that was established in the early 1980s: the containment of the Islamic Republic of Iran. 

In early June 2009, President Barack Obama addressed a letter to the Grand Ayatollah of Iran, Imam Ali Khamenei, calling on him to begin a new era of cooperation between Tehran and Washington. That letter, which was as apologist as the speech to the Muslim Brotherhood weeks earlier in Cairo, signaled the beginning of a long process that would lead to the negotiation and signing of the Iran nuclear deal in 2015. But June 2009 had one more surprise that revealed a third shocking policy shift, one that would divert the country from its longstanding tradition of helping nations facing oppression and seeking freedom.

Indeed, America, in one century—between the First World War, the Second World War, and the collapse of the Soviet Union—had demonstrated its commitment, through blood and treasure, to stand by peoples on many continents as they had been brutalized and oppressed—from Europe and the Middle East to Asia and Latin America. But the events in Iran at the end of June 2009 signaled a drastic third policy change. Millions of Iranians, including many women, took to the streets to protest the suppression by the regime. Many of these protesters held signs in English—one of which called on President Obama by name to help them. Yet to reaffirm that the U.S. would not “meddle” in Iranian politics or stand with the democratic revolution in Iran, a second letter was sent to Khamenei on September 3.

The abandonment by the Obama administration of the Green Revolution in Iran was the benchmark that told me that the American policy of supporting freedom fighters and people’s uprisings against totalitarian governments, the praise for dissidents, and the backing of free societies around the world had ended.

2009 was the year that broke the backbone of post-Cold War U.S. foreign policy and rebuilt it into a radical approach inconsistent with the feelings and perceptions of the majority of Americans. Yet most Americans were not informed and educated enough, particularly by their academia and media, to correct such radicalization of policy via their members of Congress—or to elect a new president who would change directions one more time to align policy to once again be consistent with U.S. national security and traditional American liberty principles.

Fears for the Future

Both the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon in 2005 and the Green Revolution in Iran in 2009 provided indications that peoples in the region had reached critical mass in regard to their tolerance for authoritarians and would eventually protest and demand change. Social media has also evolved and has become much more accessible by ordinary people. In my book The Coming Revolution, I predicted that most countries in the Arab world were going to witness social and political unrests, results I had been waiting for, for many years, to push back against the extremists.

I briefed many members of Congress during that same period of time and convinced them that there were authentic forces of change in the region, including seculars, women, and minorities, and that the United States should immediately partner with them as the authoritarian leaders were going down—and fighting a lost battle to support ailing dictators would not be the right battle for the United States.

My concern was that the moment would be squandered as the Obama administration was racing to connect with the Islamists and the Iranians in the region and thus diverting the resources of the U.S. government to the wrong factions instead of helping civil society forces. I observed how the lobbies of our traditional foes were moving with great speed at all levels within the bureaucracies and the administration. I was also receiving many complaints from Middle East human rights and minorities groups that officials and governments were no longer engaging them like the Bush administration had tried to do. In addition, members of Congress in the Republican opposition (who won the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010) were sharing their fears that the administration had abandoned our allies in the region, not just allies among Middle East minorities, but also Israel. So by the end of 2009, early 2010, I could see the whole picture, and it was a dark and dire one.

 

Professor Walid Phares served as a Foreign Policy Advisor to Presidential candidate Donald Trump in 2016. He also served as a National Security Advisor to Presidential Advisor Mitt Romney in 2011-2012. Professor Phares has been an advisor to the US House of Representatives Caucus on Counter Terrorism since 2007 and is the Co-Secretary General of the Trans-Atlantic Legislative Group on Counter Terrorism since 2008. He is also a Fox News National Security and Foreign Affairs expert.

 Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2020/10/radical-shift-frontpagemagcom/ 

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Big Tech goes full Pravda on New York Post's Hunter Biden sleaze scoop - Dex Bahr

 

​ by Dex Bahr

And just like that … light is shone on another corrupt entity during the era of Trump.

Big Tech has gone full Pravda in censoring a huge New York Post scoop that exposed incriminating emails from Hunter Biden, revealing his own and Joe Biden’s dealings with Ukraine.

Facebook and Twitter on Wednesday limited users from sharing links to this story on social media, claiming the story was unverified and “potentially harmful.  

Jack Dorsey of Twitter later released this statement:

“Our communication around our actions on the [New York Post] article was not great,” admitted Dorsey. “And blocking URL sharing via tweet or DM with zero context as to why we’re blocking: unacceptable.”

“Not great” is an understatement. Twitter (and Facebook) engaged in bona fide censorship in an attempt to limit the exposure of the Post story. Did you get that?  Big Tech carried out censorship of a major news story that could have huge consequences for the 2020 election. (Update: Twitter is still suppressing the tweet- ed)

What is this, China? Is this the old Soviet Union?

Only Fox News and conservative websites are carrying stories of this revelation.  I checked the websites of CBS and ABC while writing this piece to see if their reporters were on the story. Zilch point nothing. NBC tried to twist the story into Trump desperation with this headline:

“Trump hits Biden over unverified report on his son Hunter”

Big Tech began this election season using various types of censorship like shadow-banning and selective shutdowns of "influencers' to limit the amount of information unfavorable to Democrats and Joe Biden and favorable to President Trump. Social media users grumbled and the media, ignored these instances of censorship, so long as it hurt Trump. There can be no doubt by anyone paying attention of an alliance between the honchos of social media and the news media. Both entities form what I like to call the ministry of disinformation.  They are united propagandists for the advancement of the leftist agenda.

This is scary stuff folks. What were once benign social media platforms have turned into hyper-partisan gatekeepers whose only goals are to dumb down what the American public can read and keep them in the dark politically.  There’s an old saying: If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make it sound? Let’s apply this to our modern culture: If a major event occurs and the media refuses to cover it, is it still news? What will be answered over the next couple of days is whether this story will gain legs despite the efforts of the ministry of disinformation either to repress it or ignore it.

What can you do? You can forward the New York Post story by text message or email.  Send the story to as many like-minded friends, on-the-fence friends and those friends who are voting Democrat because they dislike Trump’s demeanor.  You can also starve the beast by making the decision to stop watching the so-called news and frequenting social media. Both halves of the ministry of disinformation have become harmful to Americans.  It is this writer’s hope that after Trump’s landslide victory that one of his first orders of business will be spearheading the charge to break up these social media monopolies.

 

Dex Bahr  is the author of the book, No Christian Man is an Island. He is a freelance writer.

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2020/10/big_tech_goes_full_pravda_on_new_york_posts_hunter_biden_sleaze_scoop.html 

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Biden campaign, MSM, and social media oligarchs all are signaling voters that Joe Biden's pay-for-play scandal with Hunter as bagman is a BFD - Thomas Lifson

 

​ by Thomas Lifson

Twitter has gone full Pravda, censoring distribution of yesterday's story, adding a "banned in cyberspace" label to a tale of a Ukrainian official of Bursima thanking Hunter for arranging a meeting his father

The surest way to convince people that they ought to pay attention to something is to tell them they shouldn't be allowed to see it. About a century ago, when Boston had a municipal movie censor, producers vied to be "banned in Boston" as a way of convincing the public to flock to their flicks.  This century's version of the same lesson is called "the Streisand effect," after the singer drew attention to her lavish seaside estate in California by attempting to suppress aerial pictures taken of it.

Nobody ever said Joe Biden was a quick learner.


Caricature by Donkey Hotey.

The Biden campaign has already badly blundered in its handling of the scandal unearthed when a computer repair store took legal ownership of a MacBook left with it more than 90 days and discovered thousands of emails as well as images and videos, some of them pornographic, showing Hunter Biden.  The store owner turned the laptop over to the FBI late last year, which has taken no public action and, out of frustration with the story being buried, released a copy of the hard drive to Rudy Giuliani, through an intermediary.

From Rudy to the New York Post, the story is finally becoming public through stories yesterday and today in the Gotham tabloid with a national following online.  Twitter has gone full Pravda, censoring distribution of yesterday's story, adding a "banned in cyberspace" label to a tale of a Ukrainian official of Bursima thanking Hunter for arranging a meeting his father, the vice president.  Joe Biden had previously adamantly denied that he knew anything about his son's business dealings.  Today's Post story is just breaking but cannot be distributed via Twitter because the Post's account is suspended, as well as that of the White House press secretary.  Its revelations are very damaging to the Bidens:

Hunter Biden pursued lucrative deals involving China's largest private energy company — including one that he said would be "interesting for me and my family," emails obtained by The Post show.

One email sent to Biden on May 13, 2017, with the subject line "Expectations," included details of "remuneration packages" for six people involved in an unspecified business venture.

Biden was identified as "Chair / Vice Chair depending on agreement with CEFC," an apparent reference to the former Shanghai-based conglomerate CEFC China Energy Co.

His pay was pegged at "850" and the email also noted that "Hunter has some office expectations he will elaborate."

In addition, the email outlined a "provisional agreement" under which 80 percent of the "equity," or shares in the new company, would be split equally among four people whose initials correspond to the sender and three recipients, with "H" apparently referring to Biden.

The deal also listed "10 Jim" and "10 held by H for the big guy?"

Neither Jim nor the "big guy" was identified further.

Who, other than the V.P., could be the "big guy"?

The campaign has not contested the authenticity of the emails. Given the claim that there are pictures of Hunter smoking crack and having sex with an unidentified female (apparently not his baby mama former stripper), contesting the authenticity could well lead to release of those pictures.  But the campaign stupidly tried to get tricky with a "non-denial denial," claiming that the meeting with the Burisma official was not on Biden's official schedule.  As if shady meetings on a pay-for-play basis would ever be officially noted.

And as Peter Schweizer's investigation showed, on the dates when the meeting could have taken place, there was ample time for other meetings.  Moreover, there are other instances of Biden's meetings not being noted on his official schedule. Mark Levin aptly drew comparison to the most damning feature of President Nixon's handling of his own Watergate scandal:



 

The Alphabet networks followed the lead of Twitter and had not one second of coverage of the scandal on their evening newscasts yesterday.  Facebook has taken a slightly less thorough approach to censorship by allowing posts but limiting their distribution, what was called during the Watergate scandal the "modified limited hangout" strategy.  (It backfired then.)

Tonight, ABC will host a town hall discussion with ex-V.P. Biden that will serve as a test of its integrity.  Will it try to pretend that the scandal is a non-event?  George Stephanopoulos, a former Clinton administration official, has his reputation on the line.  Meanwhile, on NBC, President Trump is certain to hammer the scandal in a town hall broadcast at the same time.   

Last night in Des Moines, President Trump was adamant on the scandal:

 

Perhaps the most explosive element of the scandal is yet to break wide open.  Via RedState:

Rudy Giuliani took to YouTube to lay out the case for a new accusation:

That Joe Biden was receiving half of Hunter's contracts.

Guiliani presents a text message, allegedly from Hunter Biden to Naomi Biden, his daughter.   In the text, Hunter says that he has been paying for everything for 30 years and it has been tough, but that he won't take 50% of her salary as "Pop" did.

"I love you all but I don't receive any respect and that's fine I guess. Works for you apparently. I hope you all can do what I did, and pay for everything for this entire family for 30 years.  It's really hard but don't worry, unlike Pop,  I won't make you give me half your salary."

Also in the video, Biden describes contracts that his brother James, who was woefully unqualified, received simply because of his association with Biden as Vice President. Biden also allegedly used his influence to help James' wife, Sara.

If these texts are accurate and mean what they seem to mean at first look, then Hunter was acting as a bagman for bribes paid to his father.

It doesn't get any more scandalous than a drug-addicted, skank-banging adult child acting a bagman for a vice president who is his father.

Unless, that is, the president of the United States is also involved.


Thomas Lifson 

 Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2020/10/biden_campaign_msm_and_social_media_oligarchs_all_are_signaling_voters_that_joe_bidens_payforplay_scandal_with_hunter_as_bagman_is_a_bfd.html 

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

The FBI, Militias, Truth and Comey's Legacy - Chris Farrell

 

​ by Chris Farrell

We used to give due credence to sworn Special Agents of the FBI. No more.

  • Is it possible that the militia story [about planning to kidnap the governor of Michigan] is another contrived, anti-Trump, smear job by elements within the FBI?

  • Current FBI Director Christopher Wray hardly engenders confidence as a strong leader bent on cleaning house and reforming a corrupt agency that attempted a soft coup against the presidency. Wray is all about damage control and institutional preservation. When it comes to honesty, Wray does not have a tough act to follow.

  • The FBI's reputation has been destroyed through blatant politicization. Here are the corrupt political police: Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Clinesmith, Pientka, Brower, Baker, et al. That is a collection of various dirty cops, oath-breakers, coup-plotters, and persons "lacking candor" in FBI parlance.

  • Of course, the presumption of innocence is foundational to our system of justice. Comey's living legacy, and the permanent institutional stain on the FBI more generally, is that we cannot take the Bureau's claims as truthful. We used to give due credence to sworn Special Agents of the FBI. No more.

James Comey's living legacy, and the permanent institutional stain on the FBI more generally, is that we cannot take the Bureau's claims as truthful. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

In the past few days, news reports have alerted us to an FBI claim that a militia group was planning to kidnap the governor of Michigan. The Detroit Free Press wrote:

"Thirteen members of an anti-government group bent on igniting a civil war are charged in a plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who the group targeted in a possible commando raid on the state capitol, according to newly unsealed court records.

"Authorities said Thursday that the Wolverine Watchmen group planned on storming either the capitol or Whitmer's vacation home as part of a broader mission to instigate a civil war."

Half of the country does not believe the FBI. Is it possible that the militia story is another contrived, anti-Trump, smear job by elements within the FBI? If the FBI headquarters can run a coup against the president, can Michigan FBI agents phony-up some charges against fringe characters with sketchy criminal information?

It would not be the first time. Back on March 29, 2010, the Department of Justice announced the following:

"Michigan residents, along with two residents of Ohio and a resident of Indiana, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Detroit on charges of seditious conspiracy, attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, teaching the use of explosive materials, and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence, Attorney General Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara L. McQuade and FBI Special Agent in Charge Andrew Arena announced today."

The 2010 Michigan militia group called themselves the "Hutarees." The case did not end well for the FBI. Charges were dropped. Others from the Hutarees faced lesser charges. Some of the Hutarees ended up suing the government over the investigation and prosecution. It seems the FBI went too far on too little.

"Militia" is a news media certified code-word for Trump-supporter. FBI-doubters know the bureau launched a sophisticated operation against the Trump campaign, Trump transition, and finally the Trump administration. Even the New York Times admits it. It was a soft coup. The entire criminal conspiracy is being documented now in movies.

The FBI's reputation has been destroyed through blatant politicization. Here are the corrupt political police: Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Clinesmith, Pientka, Brower, Baker, et al. That is a collection of various dirty cops, oath-breakers, coup-plotters, and persons "lacking candor" in FBI parlance. Those are just some of the FBI "headliners" -- no Justice Department names on that list.

Current FBI Director Christopher Wray hardly engenders confidence as a strong leader bent on cleaning house and reforming a corrupt agency that attempted a soft coup against the presidency. Wray is all about damage control and institutional preservation. When it comes to honesty, Wray does not have a tough act to follow. That is why he is comfortable making the demonstrably false claim that Antifa is more of an ideology than a group.

Now we are dealing with reports of the "Wolverine Watchmen." Here is the interesting part of one of the news reports where we should pay close attention. (It is also the operational part of the FBI's activities wherein things have a tendency to legally fall apart):

"Members of the group bought weapons, conducted surveillance and held training and planning meetings, but they were foiled in part because the FBI infiltrated the group with informants, according to a criminal complaint. Six were charged with federal kidnapping offenses, and at least seven others face state charges." [Emphasis added]

Also pay attention to this excerpt from the news report:

"The FBI used confidential informants as part of the investigation and has paid one of them more than $14,000 and paid $8,600 to another, according to the affidavit."

While the anti-Trump media codeword "militia" is used to describe the alleged plotters -- video evidence from Twitter and YouTube reveals that one of the leaders is an anarchist, certainly not a "right wing Trumpster."

 

 

Likewise, more questions are raised about the plotters, their affiliations, and motives with this news report:

"One of alleged plotters, 23-year-old Daniel Harris, attended a Black Lives Matter protest in June, telling the Oakland County Times he was upset about the killing of George Floyd and police violence."

Perhaps the FBI's case is 100% true? Perhaps the kidnapping story is legitimate? Perhaps this is not a piece of agitation propaganda? Would a governor cooperate or be complicit in the phony smear? Would the news media blow the anti-Trump dog whistle and blame the president for a kidnapping that never actually happened?

Of course, the presumption of innocence is foundational to our system of justice. Comey's living legacy, and the permanent institutional stain on the FBI more generally, is that we cannot take the Bureau's claims as truthful. We used to give due credence to sworn Special Agents of the FBI. No more.


Chris Farrell is a former counterintelligence case officer. For the past 20 years, he has served as the Director of Investigations & Research for Judicial Watch. The views expressed are the author's alone, and not necessarily those of Judicial Watch.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/16644/fbi-militias-comey 

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Watson Video: The Truth About Trump Getting Corona - Paul Joseph Watson

 

​ by Paul Joseph Watson

Meet the morally decrepit leftists who wanted the U.S. president to die.

 


In this new video, Paul Watson discusses deranged Progressives who were perched on their moral high ground in demanding the COVID-19 shutdown to save lives, but yet chanted for Trump's death when he was infected -- some even outside his hospital. Don't miss it! 


Paul Joseph Watson  

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2020/10/paul-joseph-watson-video-truth-about-trump-getting-paul-joseph-watson/ 

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Jordan and Saudis tighten screws on PLO and Hamas - David Singer

 

​ by David Singer

Reconciling their differences is the price the PLO and Hamas have to pay for future Saudi help, but their enmity runs too deep.

 

Dry Bones: Hamas and PLO continue their dogfight

Dry Bones: Hamas and PLO continue their dogfight
Y. KIrschen

Saudi Arabia and Jordan have engaged in a twin-pronged attack on the PLO and Hamas seemingly intended to get them to bury the hatchet and begin negotiations with Israel on allocating sovereignty in Gaza and Judea and Samaria ('West Bank') under President Trump’s 2020 Peace Plan.

Prince Bandar bin Sultan Al-Saud – Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States 1983 - 2005, secretary general of the National Security Council 2005-2019 and director general of the Saudi Intelligence Agency 2012 - 2014 - provides a fascinating insight into the many failures of the Palestinian Arab leadership he witnessed from 1978 to 2015 in an Arab News article headlined “Setting the record straight”.

Arnab Neil Sengupta (@arnabnsg) | Twitter

Bandar is particularly critical of the PLO and Hamas - after Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah brought PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal to Mecca for crisis talks in February 2007 to end the deadly PLO-Hamas violence that had followed the January 2005 presidential election won by Abbas and the January 2006 legislative election won by Hamas:

“After (King Abdullah) checked what they had written and read it in front of everyone and asked them to vow before God and in front of everyone that they agree to this deal, he asked them to shake hands and congratulated them, saying, ‘God is our witness, and we are in his holy land. (Prince) Saud (bin Faisal), take the brothers to the Kaaba and let them pledge their word before God and before the Palestinian people.’ Only a few days after they left Saudi Arabia, we received news they had already gone back on their word and started conspiring and plotting against each other once again.”

No elections since 2006 and no reconciliation between the PLO and Hamas continues.

Bandar recalls the many times the Palestinian Arab leadership asked Saudi Arabia for advice and help – took the help but ignored the advice:

“Then they would fail and turn back to us again, and we would support them again, regardless of their mistakes,” he said. This nature of the relationship, he felt, might have convinced the Palestinian Arab leadership that “there is no price to pay for any mistakes they commit towards the Saudi leadership or the Saudi state, or the Gulf leaderships and states.”

Reconciling their differences is the price the PLO and Hamas have to pay for future Saudi help - following peace treaties signed by Israel with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain whilst Saudi Arabia has granted Israel’s commercial airlines the right to fly in Saudi Arabian air space.

Commercial airlines will now be able to fly faster and cheaper through the Israel-Jordan corridor from the Gulf States and Asia to destinations in Europe and North America after Israel signed a historic aviation agreement with Jordan on 8 October following many years of negotiations.

If Israel and Jordan can negotiate an agreement for flights over the West Bank and Gaza - then Israel and Jordan can determine West Bank/Gaza’s final status pursuant to Article 3 (2) of the 1994 Jordan - Israel Peace Treaty:

“The boundary, as set out in Annex I (a), is the permanent, secure and recognized international boundary between Jordan and Israel, without prejudice to the status of any territories that came under Israeli military government control in 1967.” (Territories)

Jordan’s message to the PLO is clear: Negotiate with Israel on the final status of Gaza and 70% of the West Bank designated in Trump’s Peace Plan - or risk being replaced by Jordan instead.

Saudi Arabia and Jordan are tightening the screws on the PLO and Hamas threatening to reduce them to footnotes in history.

Author’s note: The cartoon – commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators – whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog

 

David Singer is an Australian lawyer who is active in Zionist community organizations in that country. He founded the "Jordan is Palestine" Committee in 1979.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/289144 

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Obama kiss of death? Ex-president set to campaign for Joe Biden - Monica Showalter

 

​ by Monica Showalter

Biden should be careful what he wishes for...

In another sign of Democrats acting as if maybe they aren't cruising to victory as polls claim, they're wheeling out former president Obama in a bid to put Biden over the top. 

According to the New York Post:

Former President Barack Obama reportedly is poised to hit the campaign trail for Joe Biden, his former vice president, as the 2020 presidential race enters its crucial final stretch.

"President Obama plans to hit the trail soon, in addition to all the other activities he's undertaken all year in support of electing VP Biden — as he's said, we all have to do everything we can to win on November 3," an aide to Obama told ABC News.

That would be the same Obama who thus far has been absent from the campaign trail all these months, including even the past couple of weeks when Joe Biden has ventured out from his basement hideaway to zero crowds.  Unlike Biden, Obama can draw a crowd, even if it's done with scrupulous social distancing, which is likely to be what they present for the fawning press cameras.

The guilt here is pretty obvious, too — note how that aide in the quote above made sure he slipped in that clause about "in addition to all the other activities he's undertaken all year in support of electing VP Joe Biden" as if Obama had done anything more than an occasional Zoom meeting.  The Post continues:

"He's doing enough for our campaign," Biden told reporters on Tuesday, according to Fox News. "He'll be out on the trail and he's doing well."

This rather sounds as though Biden's been getting a few questions about this as he turns up for zero-crowd rallies at this late date within the campaign.

Recall also that Obama took a long time to endorse Biden for president, despite working with him at close quarters for eight long years.  He endorsed Biden only when all the other candidates had bailed out and then he had to.

It calls to mind that Obama's contempt for Biden is very well known.

"Don't underestimate Joe's ability to f--- things up," Obama reportedly told another Democrat, as per Politico.

"You don't have to do this, Joe, you really don't," the New York Times reported Obama telling Biden ahead of his campaign announcement.  The Daily Beast, writing in August 2019, put it this way:

According to the Times, "Mr. Biden — who thinks he could have defeated Donald Trump four years ago — responded by telling Mr. Obama he could never forgive himself if he turned down a second shot at Mr. Trump."

The Times also reported that Obama met with top Biden advisers in March and, according to the sources, requested that the ex-veep's team do what they can so that Biden does not "embarrass himself" or "damage his legacy."

There are countless other examples.

Besides that contempt, Joe Biden should be careful what he wishes for — Obama in fact has endorsed very few candidates who came up winners.

When Obama endorses some poor schmoe, the other guy tends to win.

According to Patriot Post, Obama campaigned for the following losing candidates:

Obama has a miserable record when it comes to electing anyone but himself. Whether he was trying to help some Democrat win a governorship or a Senate seat, Obama's record has been abominable. By now, he must be something like 0-40.

Heck, even campaigning with Michelle in Georgia, a state that is 31% black, the two of them couldn't get Stacey Abrams into the governor's mansion. Democrats would insist, as the Obamas and Ms. Abrams have been doing for the past two years, that she lost because of voter suppression. It's a tough argument to make because in a state with a population of 10,500,000 — 3,150,000 of whom are black — she received nearly two million votes. Her problem was that Brian Kemp received 55,000 more than her. It hardly seems like voter suppression when 74% of all registered voters, including blacks, cast votes in that election.

Charlie Spiering tweeted that actually, the list was pretty extended:

And it's far from all of them.  Think of the various special elections where Obama's endorsed lost, too.

It's so bad that there are many Democratic candidates who don't want his endorsement at all.

And even Obama knows this, according to this 2018 piece in the Washington Examiner, holding off his endorsements of Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Joe Donnelly of Indiana for this very reason. 

Biden should be careful what he wishes for.  Not only will Obama's capacity to draw a crowd stand in stark contrast to his own miserable efforts, but Obama's presence will remind many of how little regard he had for Biden, too.  But worst of all, Biden's gotten himself the great anti-Midas of the Democrats' campaign trail, given that everything he touches turns to something that isn't gold. 

As the Obamatons say, let's hope.

Image credit: Eric Drost, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0

 

Monica Showalter  

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2020/10/obama_kiss_of_death_expresident_set_to_campaign_for_joe_biden.html 

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Peace Now furious at 'record construction' in Judea and Samaria - Arutz Sheva Staff

 

​ by Arutz Sheva Staff

Left-wing organization criticizes current unity government for approving 'dangerous' construction in Judea and Samaria.

 

Construction in Gush Etzion (archive)

Construction in Gush Etzion (archive)
Flash90

The Peace Now organization claimed Thursday that after the approval of 4,948 new housing units in the Judea and Samaria yesterday and today in the Supreme Planning Council, 2020 has becoming a 'record' year in 'settlement construction.'

A report by the movement's settlement monitoring team shows that the number of housing units advanced so far in Judea and Samaria in 2020 is 12,159.

The report also showed that 91.2% of the units approved for promotion, 11,091 units in number, are in "isolated settlements," as defined by the far-left movement, where Peace Now states "Israel will have to evacuate under a future permanent agreement."

Only 8.8% of the approved units, 1,068 units, are in settlements that, according to the model agreement of the Geneva Initiative, Israel will be able to annex as part of an exchange of territories.

The Geneva Initiative is a peace plan which was proposed in 2003 by former Israeli and Arab negotiators without the input of either the Israeli government or the Palestinian Authority.

According to Peace Now, the new approvals make 2020 "the highest year on record in units in settlement plans promoted since Peace Now began recording in 2012" and it may be the highest number of promotions of new units in two decades.

"It is inconceivable that a unity government set up to address the coronavirus has signed a record for dangerous and irresponsible construction in the depths of the West Bank," the organization stated.

Peace Now also noted that "many plans approved this year are particularly problematic in terms of the possibility of future Palestinian development and the prospect of a two-state solution. Almost all of the approved housing units, if built, will have to be evacuated and housing solutions found for those living there."

 

Arutz Sheva Staff  

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/289163  

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter