Friday, January 8, 2021

Why did the Capitol Police fail to protect the Capitol? - Thomas Lifson

 

​ by Thomas Lifson

Shocking video shows Capitol Police allowing intruders into the Capitol grounds.

January 6th's events are being seized on as a game-changer, leading to calls to invoke the 25th Amendment; calls to impeach and remove President Trump; and efforts to discredit Trump, his supporters, and conservatism.  It has distracted attention from issues around the legitimacy of voting procedures in several key states and guaranteed the Electoral College vote just before 4 A.M. that ratified Joe Biden's and Kamala Harris's inauguration as president and vice president.

Applying the classic legal question "cui bono?" ("who benefits?"), it is clear that Democrats, anti-Trump establishment Republicans, the leftist media, and TDS-sufferers all are victorious.

Disturbing video available (for now) on Twitter shows Capitol Police allowing demonstrators to enter the Capitol grounds.


Twitter video (cropped).

 

Elsewhere at the Capitol, the police sent out to hold a perimeter were unable to hold off mobs.  

Why was the United States Capitol left so vulnerable?

Even NBC News reported on law enforcement officials shocked at the abject failure:

Law enforcement officials across the country are in shock over the chaos at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, with some saying police were "entirely unprepared" and others calling the response "embarrassing."

The majority said it was the failure of the Capitol Police to prevent the physical invasion of the building by pro-Trump rioters that concerned them most.

Carmen Best, who was chief of the Seattle police from 2018 to September and is now an NBC News contributor, said that, like many other Americans, she watched the events at the Capitol unfold on television.

"I was wondering, where were the cops? If they don't get there soon, what else could transpire? It felt like a very long time, and I'm sure millions of people were also watching and thinking the same thing," Best said.

While she said she did not want to be overly critical of the Capitol Police, given that facts were still coming to light, she said the response "took way too long."

District of Columbia mayor Muriel Bowser was not anxious to see law enforcement deployed in strength.  Jordan Davidson wrote in The Federalist:

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser told federal law enforcement to stand down just one day before a mob of Trump supporters breached the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, smashing windows, entering the chambers, and forcing lawmakers and congressional staff inside into lockdown.

"To be clear, the District of Columbia is not requesting other federal law enforcement personnel and discourages any additional deployment without immediate notification to, and consultation with, MPD if such plans are underway," Bowser wrote in a letter to acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller, and Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy.

According to Bowser, D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department in coordination with the U.S. Park Police, Capitol Police, and Secret Sevice [sic] were well-equipped to handle whatever problems could come up during the Trump rallies planned for Wednesday.

"The District of Columbia Government has not requested personnel from any other federal law enforcement agencies," she continued. "To avoid confusion, we ask that any request for additional assistance be coordinated using the same process and procedures."

I wish that I could have faith in the investigatory bodies that no doubt will be examining the fiasco.  But after seeing the behavior of senior FBI personnel in the Russia Hoax, it is reasonable to worry about the inquiries that will be coming.

It should be remembered that individual members of the Capitol Police were heroic in protecting members of the GOP Caucus when a Bernie Sanders fanatic supporter attempted mass murder on a softball diamond.  The issue is the orders that they were given and the failure of other forces to be deployed sufficient to protect the Capitol.

 

Thomas Lifson  

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2021/01/why_did_the_capitol_police_fail_to_protect_the_capitol.html 

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Twitter, Facebook muzzle Trump amid Capitol violence - AP and ILH Staff

 

​ by AP and ILH Staff

Social media platforms suspend Trump's account for 12 hours, warn future violations by Trump could result in a permanent suspension.

In an unprecedented step, Facebook and Twitter suspended President Donald Trump from posting to their platforms Wednesday following the storming of the US Capitol by his supporters.

Twitter locked Trump out of his account for 12 hours and said that future violations by Trump could result in a permanent suspension. The company required the removal of three of Trump's tweets, including a short video in which he urged those supporters to "go home" while also repeating falsehoods about the integrity of the presidential election. Trump's account deleted those posts, Twitter said; had they remained, Twitter had threatened to extend his suspension.

Facebook and Instagram, which Facebook owns, followed up in the evening, announcing that Trump wouldn't be able to post for 24 hours following two violations of its policies. The White House did not immediately offer a response to the actions.


Trump's Twitter account, Wednesday (Screenshot)

While some cheered the platforms' actions, experts noted that the companies' actions follow years of hemming and hawing on Trump and his supporters spreading dangerous misinformation and encouraging violence that have contributed to Wednesday's violence.

Jennifer Grygiel, a Syracuse University communications professor and an expert on social media, said Wednesday's events in Washington, DC are a direct result of Trump's use of social media to spread propaganda and disinformation, and that the platforms should bear some responsibility for their inaction.

"This is what happens," said Grygiel. "We didn't just see a breach at the Capitol. Social media platforms have been breached by the president repeatedly. This is disinformation. This was a coup attempt in the United States."

Grygiel said the platform's decision to remove the video — and Twitter's suspension — are too little, too late.

"They're creeping along towards firmer action," Grygiel said, calling Trump "Exhibit A" for the need for greater regulation of social media. "Social media is complicit in this because he has repeatedly used social media to incite violence. It's a culmination of years of propaganda and abuse of media by the president of the United States."

Trump posted that video more than two hours after protesters entered the Capitol, interrupting lawmakers meeting in an extraordinary joint session to confirm the Electoral College results and President-elect Joe Biden's victory.

So far, YouTube has not taken similar action to muzzle Trump, although it said it also removed Trump's video. But that video remained available as of Wednesday afternoon.

Guy Rosen, Facebook's vice president of integrity, said on Twitter Wednesday that the video was removed because it "contributes to rather than diminishes the risk of ongoing violence."

"This is an emergency situation and we are taking appropriate emergency measures, including removing President Trump's video," Rosen said on Twitter.

Twitter initially left the video up but blocked people from being able to retweet it or comment on it. Only later in the day did the platform delete it entirely.

Trump opened his video saying, "I know your pain. I know your hurt. But you have to go home now."

After repeating false claims about voter fraud affecting the election, Trump went on to say: "We can't play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home. We love you. You're very special."

Republican lawmakers and previous administration officials had begged Trump to give a statement to his supporters to quell the violence. He posted his video as authorities struggled to take control of a chaotic situation at the Capitol that led to the evacuation of lawmakers and the death of at least one person.

Trump has harnessed social media — especially Twitter — as a potent tool for spreading misinformation about the election. Wednesday's riot only increased calls to ban Trump from the platform.

"The President has promoted sedition and incited violence," Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive officer of the Anti-Defamation League said in a statement. "More than anything, what is happening right now at the Capitol is a direct result of the fear and disinformation that has been spewed consistently from the Oval Office."

 

AP and ILH Staff  

Source: https://www.israelhayom.com/2021/01/07/twitter-facebook-muzzle-trump-amid-capitol-violence/ 

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Vice President Pence Declines to Stop the Steal - Lloyd Billingsley

 

​ by Lloyd Billingsley

As chaos dims prospects for rejection of fraudulently chosen electors - and hopes for election reform.

 


“The Vice President has the power to reject fraudulently chosen electors,” President Trump tweeted on Tuesday, and on Wednesday told supporters, “I hope Mike is doing the right thing.” Before the joint session of Congress to certify the electoral vote, the vice president weighed in on the subject.

It was his “considered judgment,” Pence wrote in a letter, “that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not.” Objections would be registered and evidence heard, but “elected representatives of the American people will make their decision.”

Before the elected representatives could make that decision, protesters stormed the Capitol, evacuated amid scenes of violence. Author Paul Sperry, formerly with Investor’s Business Daily, tweeted, “Former FBI agent on the ground at U.S. Capitol just texted me and confirmed that at least 1 ‘bus load’ of Antifa thugs infiltrated peaceful Trump demonstrators as part of a false Trump flag ops.” That sparked little interest from media and representatives, particularly Democrats, who blamed Trump supporters, and by implication the president.

“The president incited the mob,” proclaimed Rep. Liz Cheney. “This is what America is not.” For Sen. Mitt Romney, “What happened here today was an insurrection, incited by the President of the United States.” Out on the west coast, the Sacramento Bee editorialized that “Republican leaders failed in their coup attempt. Now they and their supporters must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.” Seventeen Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee urged Trump’s immediate removal.

During the chaos at the capitol, police shot an unarmed female Trump supporter in the chest and she later died. The victim was identified as Ashli Babbitt, a 14-year veteran who served four tours with the U.S. Air Force.

The mayor of Washington declared a 6 pm curfew and Trump called for “peace” and for protesters to “go home.” Twitter then locked out the president’s account, threatening permanent suspension, after removing a series of Tweets for violating their policies on “civic integrity.”

In early evening Congress reconvened and resumed the session.  About a dozen Republican senators and some 140 representatives planned to object to certification, but at this writing the deliberations are still in progress.

The peaceful protesters who did not storm the Capitol, and millions across the country, had no prospects for an investigation of voter fraud. Earlier in the day, President Trump was holding steady on that theme.

“We won this election. We won by a landslide,” Trump said Wednesday. The president exposed blatant ballot fraud in several key states, leaving out California, where Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered mail ballots sent to all registered voters. That includes at least one million illegal aliens automatically registered to vote by the DMV when they get their driver’s license under the state’s “motor voter” program.

“Third World elections are more honest,” Trump said, and in many places there were “more votes than voters.” The “radical left Democrats” had “exploited the pandemic to as a way of defrauding the people.” Trump said he could go on for another hour but the election steal, has been well documented. Wayne Allyn Root cites a convicted horse-race fixer that the steal was obvious to all but the willfully blind. Root also provides evidence that the 2020 steal is a direct legacy of the 2008 election.

At Columbia University in 1983, Root and Barack Obama were in the same political science, pre-law class, and graduated on the same day. Yet Root “never met him in my life, don’t know anyone who ever met him.” The elusive student came up in Hawaii as Barry Soetoro, stepson of Lolo Soetoro, the Indonesian student his mother Ann Dunham married in 1965. As David Garrow explained in Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama, the author’s 1995 Dreams from My Father was a novel, not an autobiography, and the author was a “composite character.”

In 2008, Root was the Libertarian candidate for vice president and the composite character was the Democrat candidate for president, proclaiming “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” The composite character won the election and was reelected in 2012.

In eight years he transformed the United States into a nation where the outgoing president picks his successor and deploys the FBI and DOJ to support her and harass the opponent, Donald Trump, even after he won the 2016 election. In 2020, the results of the fundamental transformation were on full display in the sulfuric hostility to Trump, Antifa-BLM violence, and “the most extensive and inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics,” according to Joe Biden his own self. 

As he indicated in A Promised Land, the composite character intends to rule on through the addled Joe Biden, a pathetic puppet of the far left. Trump charged that the leftist agenda would “destroy this country,” and as David Horowitz explains, we face “a reactionary left that has learned nothing from the past and is intent on destroying the most tolerant, inclusive, egalitarian society ever created.”

According to Horowitz, “the good news is that a patriotic movement has risen, rededicated to the propositions that all men are created equal and endowed with God-given rights to life and liberty, and is prepared to defend them.”

Recall the left’s unrelenting hatred for Trump from day one. Recall “strongly anti-Trump” James Hodgkinson gunning down Republicans in 2017. Recall the show trials, the covert operations, and the pre-dawn FBI raids on Trump supporters. “In reality,” President Trump said in 2019, “they’re not after me they’re after you. I’m just in the way.

 

Lloyd Billingsley  

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2021/01/vice-president-pence-declines-stop-steal-lloyd-billingsley/ 

 Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Dems Take Control of the Senate as Georgia Flips - Joseph Klein

 

​ by Joseph Klein

Checks and balances are out the window.

 


The midnight train to Georgia has derailed. Republicans’ long winning streak in Georgia’s Senate elections ended abruptly. Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock, the first black Democrat to be elected to the Senate from the South, beat the Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler in one of two January 5th run-off Senate races, 50.7 percent to 49.3 percent. “Welcome to the new Georgia,” Warnock told NPR on Wednesday morning. The “new Georgia” elected a rabble rouser who has said that you can’t serve God and the military, that the police are thugs and gangsters, and that “the Marxist Critique has much to teach the black church.”

Democrat Jon Ossoff defeated Republican incumbent David Perdue in the second run-off race by a closer margin of 50.3 percent to 49.6 percent. Ossoff, aged 33, has no government experience. Ossoff does have the distinction of being the highest-funded candidate in the history of Senate elections, with the bulk of his funding coming from out-of-state. Big Tech was a big source of contributions. Alphabet Inc. alone (the parent of Google) contributed over $900,000 to the Ossoff Senate campaign, more than seven times the amount contributed to Purdue by his largest corporate donor.

With a 50-50 split in the Senate, Democrat Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will have the tie-breaking vote, which means that the Democrats will effectively control the Senate once Harris takes office on January 20th. Chuck Schumer will then become the Senate Majority Leader. Last November, Schumer declared his intentions if that should happen: “Now we take Georgia, then we change America!”

Progressive Democrat Senator Ed Markey summed up what to expect with Democrats in charge of the White House and both chambers of Congress when he tweeted, “The age of incrementalism is over.” Progressive “Squad” members in the House of Representatives exulted over the prospect of "transformative change across America." Joe Biden will be able to pursue his legislative agenda without having to worry about negotiating with Mitch McConnell, especially if the Democrats get rid of the legislative filibuster.

Checks and balances will be out the window. The Senate Democrats will have free rein to confirm whomever Biden nominates, no matter how radical. Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders will likely chair the all-important Senate Budget Committee, which spearheads the Senate’s spending priorities. If the Democrats in the Senate all stick together, they will be able to end the legislative filibuster. Then, working with the Democrat-controlled House, they will be in a position to pass legislation to pack the Supreme Court, seizing control of the one remaining bulwark against a leftist progressive agenda. They will be able to establish new statehoods for Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, which will solidify their hold on the Senate. They will likely enact much higher taxes, impose a regulatory stranglehold on the economy, and move ahead with some version of the Green New Deal and socialized healthcare.

West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin may provide a brake on the Democrats’ worst excesses if he follows through on his promise to oppose getting rid of the legislative filibuster. But he has not shown much courage previously in standing up to pressure exerted by Schumer and the Democrat caucus.

How did the once reliably red state of Georgia flip to blue? The coronavirus pandemic was the Republican senators’ implacable opponent. Big government thrives in times of crisis. Georgian voters were lured by the argument that the only thing standing in their way of receiving a $2000 government COVID-19 relief check was Senator Mitch McConnell and a Republican-controlled Senate.

Moreover, as in the presidential race, the pandemic served as a handy justification for rolling out unprecedented widespread mail-in voting, which is fraught with the potential for fraud. In Georgia, no photo ID for mail-in voting was required, while voters casting their ballots in person had to show a photo ID.

Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger bears some of the blame. He agreed to a consent decree with the Democrats last March, which made it easier for defective mail-in ballots, which had been originally rejected, to be fixed after the fact and be counted anyway. Moreover, Raffensperger agreed to laxer signature matching procedures.

More importantly, Democrats managed to turn out their base. Republicans did not. As Tuesday night wore on, it was becoming apparent that both Warnock and Ossoff were performing better in county after county than Joe Biden performed in November. Eight in ten voters of color cast ballots for Ossoff and Warnock. A majority of women and of college-educated voters supported the Democrats, as did about 60 percent of voters ages 18 to 44.

President Trump’s relentless attacks on the integrity of the presidential election in Georgia and on Georgia’s Republican leaders, whether merited or not, did Purdue and Loeffler no favors. Trump held two rallies on their behalf but spent valuable time at each rally airing his own grievances. This had the effect of discouraging some Trump supporters from voting in the Senate run-off elections because they were led to distrust the system.

Democrat activist Stacey Abrams, who ran for governor and lost to Brian Kemp in 2018, is today's hero of the left. “We should not stop at denouncing the lack of smarts on the Republican side,” Van Jones wrote. “We must also praise the real genius of Georgia's activists and organizers. This is not just a story about the final failure of Trump. It is a story of the success of Stacey Abrams.”

Abrams used her New Georgia Project and Fair Fight organization to mobilize a massive turnout for the Democratic Senate run-off candidates. Her groups focused their attention on registering people of color, those 18 to 29 years of age, unmarried women, lower income people, and newly arrived residents from blue states, and then getting them out to vote. “Across our state, we roared,” Abrams tweeted. She said that the Senate races were “just the beginning. We are in the next phase, and this is the phase that everyone knows it’s possible, and now we have to get to the place where it’s permanent.”

The Democratic Party’s presidential and Senate victories in Georgia continue a major political realignment that has been going on for some time in parts of the South and Southwest. Virginia has turned blue. So have Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada. North Carolina is in flux. Texas is still red but taking on a purple tinge.

There is an increasing push to make universal mail-in voting the norm. Democrats, including Joe Biden, also support granting a path to citizenship to the millions of illegal immigrants already in the country who will likely vote for the Democratic ticket. If these efforts succeed, we may be well on the way to permanent one-party rule in Washington D.C. 

 

Joseph Klein  

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2021/01/dems-take-control-senate-georgia-flips-joseph-klein/ 

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Discouraged Americans Should Take Heart from Brexit - T. R. Clancy

 

​ by T. R. Clancy

For the United Kingdom, Brexit is a victory in a war for democracy that has only just begun.

If things don't change between now and Inauguration Day, the 2020 election will go down as a historic loss for democracy.

But on New Year's Eve, across the Atlantic, democracy just had a historic win.  That's the day Great Britain, four tortuous years after the British people overwhelmingly demanded their liberty from the European Union in a national referendum, finally regained her sovereignty.  "The war is over," exulted Brexit champion Nigel Farage as soon as the U.K. struck its last-minute trade deal with the E.U. on December 31.  Brendan O'Neill, editor at Spiked, also hails the victory, but he believes that the war for democracy "has only just begun":

Brexit is best seen as the first battle in the war; as the first stand-off in a far broader struggle to take back control, not merely from Brussels but from our own elites. The war for democracy must continue, and with vigour.

The unexpected election of Donald Trump in 2016 was the start of a political revolution in the United States.  For the first time in memory, traditional working-class and middle-class Americans found themselves with a ferocious advocate in the White House, who was also unapologetically pro-America, and determined to restore her standing on the world stage.  The war of annihilation unleashed by progressives on Trump quickly revealed itself as a war to eradicate his supporters as well.  By giving as good as he got — or usually better — Trump forever unmasked the Deep State and the creeping tyranny of a bipartisan cabal of elites.

But just as our revolution was taking off, the U.K.'s revolution was being strangled in its crib.  The largest majority in British history, 17.4 million voters, had turned out in 2016 to demand their country back from faceless, unaccountable technocrats in Brussels.  Yet instead of marking the departure of the U.K. from the E.U., the referendum triggered, as O'Neill describes it, "that heady, deranged moment when the political, media and cultural establishments looked with horror upon the vote for Brexit and started to plan its overthrow."  Only the day after the referendum, members of Parliament, "seething about the temerity of the dimwitted public in voting for Brexit," were plotting its demise.  "In the words of that arch anti-democrat David Lammy," O'Neill writes, "the Labour MP who furiously devoted himself to thwarting the most important democratic vote ever cast in this country, 'we can stop this madness and bring this nightmare to an end.'"  Thus began "the long, scandalous two years of the Remainer Parliament," when recalcitrant M.P.s "did everything within their power to stop Brexit and to silence the democratic roar of the British people."

But as much of a menace as the European Union is to democracy, O'Neill explains that, in reality, the assault on Brexit was "not a dastardly plot by Germany."  The battle against Brexit was a civil war, waged by

British politicians and British campaigners and members of the British media and cultural elites. It was they who openly raged against the 'low-information' electorate. It was they who spread conspiracy theories about the co-option of British plebs' minds by nefarious Big Tech and evil Russians[.] ... It was the British liberal elite who gathered in the streets in their tens of thousands explicitly to demand the revocation of the votes of millions of working-class people[.] ... To these people, to these political, media and cultural players who devoted so much energy, time and money to trying to keep Britain in the EU, the importance of the EU lies in the insulation it provides between politics and people; between the making of laws and the citizens expected to live by those laws; between us and them.

Britain's them were their dimwitted public, the "low-information electorate" whose American counterparts are known as "deplorables" — and like the British them, we're also too unintelligent to govern ourselves.  Just ask Sarah Smarsh at The Guardian.  She believes that if you're a white American with access to NPR or CNN, and yet still "believe the current president is a good man," it's because you're "irrational ... perhaps even disturbed," or else you're "moved not by facts but by the feelings [your] outrageous leader incites."  Two days after the 2016 presidential election, Foreign Policy magazine declared "Trump Won Because Voters Are Ignorant, Literally."  F.P. lectured its readers that "Democracy is the rule of the people, but the people are in many ways unfit to rule."

That's what they think.  Literally.

The fanaticism for the E.U. of Britain's "political and chattering classes" — impelling mass, furious gatherings of Remainers in their "EU-themed clothing" and "blue-painted faces" — is "directly proportionate to these people's antagonism towards the idea of the wisdom of the crowd."  You'll observe the sinister resemblance to their like-minded American cousins on this side of the Atlantic.  The maxim that "technocracy is preferable to democracy" is also embraced by America's chatterers and cognoscenti, because "experts know better than ordinary voters; [and] some issues are too big to be dealt with by mere citizens."  In 2009, Thomas Friedman, downcast over how Barack Obama's mission to "usher in a new way of being on the planet" was being blocked by a Republican Congress, ruminated over the "great advantages" available to a "one-party autocracy" — provided, naturellement, that "a reasonably enlightened group of people" are in charge, Friedman having in mind enlightened people like the Democrats — or the people who run China.  Why waste time educating the Bible-clinging dolts on the calamities of climate change when "one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century"?

Friedman's wish of a dozen years ago is now the theme of the 2021 Democrat playbook.

That means that these are dark days, indeed.  But it took scrapping through five years of defeats before Britain, at last, saw the fulfillment of "the people's will over the alleged expertise of [their] elected representatives."  Parliament voted for the trade deal only "with gritted teeth," stresses O'Neill, because "they had no option.  We made them do this[.] ... If the elites had their way ... Brexit would simply have been stopped."

Could it be that this generation of Britons — people I've often written off as decent, if bendy, consumers of socialized benefits, continental vice, and tabloid gossip about the Royal Family (basically, spongier versions of their Hun-defying ancestors) — has more pluck than we give it credit for?  America clearly is not the only place the war for democracy rages, and at the moment, in our country, democracy is losing.  But just as the Battle of Brexit is only one, early victory in the larger war, the defeats American democracy is suffering now can't be the whole war, either.  The Brexit win followed five dark years of reverses and scorn for the Leavers who first roared for it — while being abused as "ignorant losers, white, old, xenophobic and stupid, 'gammon' who would be better dead or disfranchised."  In those same years, the United States was enjoying the advances under Trump.  Now it may be our turn.  The Establishment Puppet-Elect has even promised us darkness!

Our cousins' hard fought slog to liberate themselves from the E.U. could be a lesson for us Yanks.  Considering the present state of the American republic, we should be humble enough to learn it.

T.R. Clancy looks at the world from Dearborn, Michigan.  You can email him at trclancy@yahoo.com.

Image: Alexas_Fotos via Pixabay, Pixabay License.

 

T. R. Clancy 

 Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2021/01/discouraged_americans_should_take_heart_from_brexit.html

  Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Troubling signs from US require firm stand on Iran - Ariel Kahana

 

​ by Ariel Kahana

The Biden administration's future policymakers are known for their soft stance on Iran, which does not bode well.

 

Troubling signs from US require firm stand on Iran
US President-elect Joe Biden | File photo: AFP

 

Many may consider Israel the 51st state, but the truth is, domestic American policy is none of our concern.  Americans have voted and we, as Israelis, have no business opining on whether they are right or wrong. Israeli officials, however, are duty-bound to consider the ramifications to future US policies.

The reality is that Senator-elect Jon Ossoff of Georgia, routinely shares anti-Israeli articles from websites that promote the boycott of Israel. Senator-elect Raphael Warnock, for his part, has in the past compares the security fence to the Berlin Wall, and Israeli policy in Judea and Samaria to apartheid and Nazism.

US President-elect Joe Biden's series of White House nominations are equally troubling.

Choosing Antony Blinken as secretary of state may portray Biden as opting for a moderate line, but many future administration officials have a history of making troubling statements.

Take for example, National Security Adviser-designate Jack Sullivan, who thinks Iran should be appeased and is as critical of Tehran's human rights violations as he is of Saudi Arabia's.

Sullivan played a key role in the unfortunate nuclear deal with Iran in 2015, as did Wendy Sherman, who headed the US team for talks five years ago and was recently appointed undersecretary of state.

Germany, Britain, and France condemned the Iranian provocation of raising uranium enrichment levels to 20% and the use of advanced centuries, but no future Biden administration official did that, including Blinken and Sherman, who are both Jewish.

This type of silence before Biden takes office on Jan. 20 does not necessarily imply tacit consent in the future, but it is clear that the Iranians see Biden's team as soft. This is also why it is already trying to intimidate them – so that Biden goes easy on the ayatollahs when he takes office.

The overall trend does not bode well. It is not for nothing that the Institute for National Security Studies recommended Wednesday that Israel "maintain a viable offensive option vis-à-vis Iran and reach understandings with the United States on the criteria for military action seeing to thwart Iran's road to a nuclear weapon."

With such dark clouds on the horizon, it is unclear why the Left is so giddy about the Democrats' victory in the Georgia runoff for the US Senate. Israel, after all, is not the 51st state.

 

Ariel Kahana  

Source: https://www.israelhayom.com/2021/01/07/troubling-signs-from-us-require-firm-stand-on-iran/ 

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

California’s Internet Censorship Office is Watching What You Say - Daniel Greenfield

 

​ by Daniel Greenfield

They’re classifying your “threat level,” taking screenshots of your posts, and censoring you.

 


"Report misinformation," a flier from California's Office of Election Cybersecurity blares. Social media users are urged to report "misleading" materials to the Secretary of State's office.

A government office created by California Democrats is monitoring hashtags, classifying political speech it opposes by “threat level”, taking screenshots of posts, and then storing the information indefinitely, before reporting the offending speech to social media companies for censorship.

“Election Security is our number one priority,” the Office claims. But its focus isn’t securing elections by fighting hackers or voter fraud. Instead it’s fighting “the spread of mis- and disinformation”. That’s an Orwellian way of saying that it’s fighting and censoring online speech.

“We created the CA Office of Election Cybersecurity to keep your vote safe - so you don’t have to worry! The Office is a non-partisan government arm dedicated to ensuring your vote is safe,” Secretary of State's office unconvincingly tweeted.

What sort of speech is a government office run by Democrats trying to censor? One example of political speech successfully censored by the Office of Election Cybersecurity is a tweet that “alleged thousands of 2020 ballots were tossed out".

There's nothing that reassures voters that their elections are safe like a government office spying on anyone who says that they're not, and taking immediate steps to silence them.

The Office of Election Cybersecurity isn’t securing the technology of elections, instead it’s monitoring online speech and flagging views that the government office disagrees with to be taken down by its political allies in California’s Big Tech monopolies that dominate social media.

Jenna Dresner, the senior public information officer for the Office of Election Cybersecurity, boasted that the government office maintains an internal database of online speech coded by threat level, and that its censorship calls had resulted in removals 77% of the time.

Desner is a member of the Los Angeles County Young Democrats, who had formerly worked for Rep. Karen Bass, Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and other Democrat figures. The Office of Election Cybersecurity operates under Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who was chosen by Governor Newsom to replace Senator Kamala Harris. And the bill creating California’s own office of internet censorship was sponsored by two Democrats.

The internet censorship office was promoted in Padilla’s Vote Safe California campaign run by a consulting firm featuring the “mastermind” of Biden’s campaign, which developed Biden's vote-by-mail programs in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

The Office of Election Cybersecurity isn’t non-partisan and it isn’t keeping anyone’s votes safe. It’s in a position to use government power to censor questions about election fraud by its party, while working with a consulting firm involved in one of the most contentious elements of the election, whose results the office’s boss expects will put him in the United States Senate.

Corruption is one thing. Government censorship of complaints about corruption is another.

70 years after George Orwell wrote 1984, California Democrats had created their own Ministry of Information inside the government in a blatant violation of the First Amendment. The Democrat operatives running the government censorship office claim that they aren’t engaging in censorship because they’re not the ones directly censoring online speech. Yet.

“We don’t take down posts, that is not our role to play,” Dresner insisted. “We alert potential sources of misinformation to the social media companies."

That’s the difference between the government sending in jackbooted thugs to smash up a printing press and putting in a call to the editor warning him not to print a particular article.

Freedom of Speech doesn’t just refer to the former, but also to the chilling effect of the latter.

"The Bill of Rights was designed to keep agents of government and official eavesdroppers away from assemblies of people. The aim was to allow men to be free and independent and to assert their rights against government," Justice Douglas once wrote. "When an intelligence officer looks over every nonconformist's shoulder in the library... the America once extolled as the voice of liberty heard around the world no longer is cast in the image which Jefferson and Madison designed, but more in the Russian image."

That’s exactly what California Democrats have in mind by creating databases of political enemies, ranking them by “threat level”, and pressuring their allied monopolies to silence them.

Democrats had previously claimed that they were not engaging in censorship because they were pressuring Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and others to remove general categories of speech in hearings and statements. That was enough of a chilling effect and an assault on the First Amendment. But in California, an actual government office is monitoring speech, treating it as a threat, and directing social media companies to remove specific speech by individuals.

These days the former liberals who once upheld the “chilling effect” in Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Committee, and who denounced McCarthyism, are assembling lists, and censoring their political opponents to fight the dreaded scourge of “misinformation”.

"It is a fine line between opinion and misinformation," Dresner admitted. It’s a fine line because misinformation is a political category invented by the Left to justify its censorship campaign. One of the two employees of California’s internet censorship office can’t actually explain the difference between an opinion and misinformation. That means her office is censoring opinions.

“We aren’t worried about what people are saying in the privacy of their own homes, we are worried about what they are putting out there for the world to see,” Dresner insists.

For now. How long until the same Democrat operatives who claimed that public speech poses a threat to “election security” start making the same claims about private speech? As public speech is censored and goes underground, the push will be on to monitor private speech.

If Aunt Mary saying on Facebook that thousands of ballots were thrown out is a threat to “election integrity”, won’t it still be a threat when she whispers it to Grandma Sue?

A government office telling the citizenry that it only monitors what they say in public, not what they say in private, is not reassuring. The First Amendment was meant to protect public speech, not merely private speech. American political freedom was built on people putting their speech “out there for the world to see”. Democrats used to embrace that. Now they view it as a threat.

California's Office of Election Cybersecurity is the latest attempt by Democrats to use a fake crisis of disinformation that they invented as a pretext for political censorship. And the use of a government office to monitor, record, and track speech for censorship makes it impossible to classify internet censorship as anything but an unconstitutional assault on the Bill of Rights.

We’re no longer just dealing with legislators pressuring Facebook indirectly. A government office is now specifically tracking political speech and boasting of a 77% censorship rate.

Democrat administrations refuse to implement basic election security protocols such as voter ID, claiming it’s too onerous, and deny that election fraud is a problem, but insist that political speech is an urgent threat and must be met with relentless censorship and surveillance.

To paraphrase Yakov Smirnoff, "In America, people secure elections. In California, elections secure people."

That is how totalitarian regimes behave and it’s a threat to elections and to the Bill of Rights.

California's Office of Election Cybersecurity is one of the best possible test cases for fighting political censorship. It’s not an issue of private companies controlling their own platforms, but of a government office monitoring speech and classifying the views it wants to see eliminated.

The First Amendment threat of internet censorship is no longer something that might happen.

It’s here. Now. Republicans just have to decide if it’s a battle they’re willing to fight. But if they don’t act soon, their own speech might find its way into a government political threat database.

 

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.  

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2021/01/californias-internet-censorship-office-watching-daniel-greenfield/ 

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

CAIR Domestic Violence and Terror - Joe Kaufman

 

​ by Joe Kaufman

Accusations of physical and mental abuse from the wife of Muslim leader Hassan Shibly.

 


According to his bio on CAIR-Florida’s website, Hassan Shibly “is blissfully married,” but that all depends on which wife CAIR is talking about. On December 29th, Imane Sadrati, the legal wife of CAIR representative Hassan Shibly – as opposed to his new Islamically-sanctioned wife Vanessa – created a GoFundMe page asking for financial assistance, claiming that she suffered both physical and mental abuse at the hands of Shibly and that Shibly had cut off funds from her. The allegations appear to have been taken seriously, as Shibly has secured “a leave of absence” from CAIR, while an “independent assessment” ensues and investigates the matter.

Sadrati’s GoFundMe page contains both a video and a written statement, part of which has been removed under advisement of her lawyers. She says she stands by everything mentioned previously, though, including the following: “[W]hen I was 9 months pregnant with my first born, my marriage became volatile and abusive. What I assumed was ‘just a disagreement’ turned into screams. What would have been annoying remarks suddenly became violent blows… My husband hurt me mentally, emotionally and physically behind closed doors and openly in front of my children… I need your support to put an end to domestic violence in my home!”

For this to be said about Shibly is huge, as he is a very important figure in CAIR, a group that speaks, in large part, for the Muslim-American community and which has documented ties to Hamas. Shibly is the Executive Director of CAIR’s Florida chapter, a position he has held since 2014, and he has been highly visible in his pursuits as CAIR-Florida leader (and lawyer), from attempting to regain the American citizenship of ISIS bride Hoda Muthana to trying to convince the courts that the federal ‘terrorism watch list’ is unconstitutional. For years, Shibly’s own name was found on the list, and given CAIR’s relationship to overseas terror, that makes sense.

Shibly posted onto Facebook long responses to his wife’s allegations, making allegations of his own. Much of the texts read like legal documents, and Shibly, who is a practicing attorney, was careful with his wording. Originally, he acknowledged some “mutual pushing” but, later, denied any physical abuse against Sadrati. In fact, he said that it was she that abused him, at one point “losing her temper” and punching him repeatedly in the face. He did admit, though, that he does not “claim to be sinless or without error in this marriage.” Rumors have surfaced of Shibly’s potential infidelity, during his marriage to Sadrati, and his words may be alluding to such.

According to Shibly, he and Sadrati have been legally separated and she sought to take up residence in Morocco, leaving their three children under the care of Shibly and his mother. Sadrati is a travel consultant and curator of Moroccan tours. It has been posed online, via Feminist Islamic Troublemakers of North America (FITNA) – a site that supports her – that Sadrati has been working in Morocco to raise money, readying herself for a child custody battle. And while it is hard to understand how a mother can leave her children with an alleged abuser for long periods of time, there are aspects of Shibly’s life that must be taken into account.

As stated, Shibly works for CAIR, which has strong links to overseas terror, and Shibly, himself, was placed on a terrorism watch list. Shibly, who is vehemently anti-Israel, has stated that his group relies on the Islamic Community of Tampa (ICT), a mosque founded by persons related to Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), for “programs” and “fundraising,” and only in 2019, Shibly met with convicted PIJ member, Hatem Fariz, at CAIR’s Tampa headquarters. As well, Shibly owns firearms, and provided his radical background along with his alleged history of domestic violence, trusting Shibly’s words could be a big mistake, especially when children are involved.

Throughout Shibly’s response to Sadrati’s charges, he has made it a point to repeatedly state that they are divorced, albeit Islamically. He wrote, “Imane and I have been separated for two years and divorced since Ramadan” and “Imane and I separated after Ramadan 2019 and completed our Islamic divorce, per her insistence, in Ramadan of 2020” and “Imane and I have been separated or divorced for nearly two years before I met Vanessa.” Yet, a warranty deed both Shibly and Sadrati showed up together to sign in July 2020, which was after Ramadan, explicitly describes them as “Hassan Shibly, a married man, joined by his wife, Imane Sadrati.”

Former CAIR-Florida Communications and Outreach Director, Samantha Bowden, has been highly critical of Shibly, posting on her Facebook page a graphic labeling Shibly a “pervert,” “abuser,” manipulator” and “monster,” declaring “I STAND AS A WITNESS TO ALL OF THIS BEHAVIOR.” In another post, Bowden stated, “I heard him yell at his wife and talk down to her… It is well known Shibley has chased many women to be [in his] haram of wives.” She said an NPR reporter interviewed “many women about Hassan” and will be issuing a piece on it. She too claimed that former CAIR leader Ahmed Bedier was suspended from his radio job at WMNF Tampa, in 2018, labeling him a “WELL KNOWN sexual harasser” of a “dozen plus women.”

And what of Shibly’s new wife, Vanessa, who is not legally married to Shibly but wed via Islam (nikkah)? According to her YouTube page, MiscellaneousVee, Vanessa suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). She has made videos about being addicted to drugs, being in abusive relationships, and “fear of abandonment.” If what is alleged about Shibly is true, these issues make her easy prey. And as FITNA Facebook moderator Imani Rodriguez stated about the type of marriage Vanessa is in – one without legal rights – “Seeing as Hassan did a nikkah with Vanessa, it’s safe to assume Vanessa can potentially be Hassan’s next victim.”

This is not the only instance that a CAIR official has been accused of such abuse. In December 2015, Rasha Mubarak, who like Shibly despises Israel, held the position of CAIR Central Florida Regional Director. That same month, while separated from her husband, Mohammad Amori, her husband petitioned the court to produce an injunction for protection against domestic violence from Mubarak. Amori described for the court a series of disturbing incidents allegedly carried out by Mubarak, which included stalking; trespassing; showing up uninvited to his job, parents’ house and dentist’s office; disturbing the peace; and jumping on him and the hood of his car.

CAIR-Florida’s letter, announcing its independent review of the claims against Shibly, fails to mention Shibly by name and repeats Shibly’s false line from his response to the accusations against him that Sadrati is a “prior marriage.” This, while others are accusing Shibly of bigamy. CAIR National has yet to respond; although, the photo atop its Facebook page, prominently displaying Shibly and his smiling face in the center of what seems to be the country-wide officials and representatives of CAIR, may be a response in itself.

Regardless of CAIR’s initial reticence in the matter, the case versus Hassan Shibly is far from over, as many, including the women of FITNA, have been relentless in support of Sadrati and against Shibly and do not appear to be letting up any time soon. The Shibly domestic abuse saga is hitting CAIR in its core and threatens to expose other potential misconduct by its officials, leaving one to wonder if Shibly will be the only casualty once the dust settles.

Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.

 

Joe Kaufman  is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center; a writer for the Counter-Islamist Grid, a project of the Middle East Forum; and the Chairman of the Joe Kaufman Security Initiative. He was the 2014, 2016 and 2018 Republican Nominee for U.S. House of Representatives (Florida-CD23).

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2021/01/cair-domestic-violence-and-terror-joe-kaufman/ 

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Egypt: The European Union Should Stop Lying - Khaled Abu Toameh

 

​ by Khaled Abu Toameh

[Prominent Egyptian media personality, Ahmed] Diab accused the Europeans of turning a blind eye to human rights violations in Turkey.... "All the enemies of the Egyptian state were happy with this unacceptable resolution." he said.

  • Earlier this month, Egypt's military killed 15 Islamist terrorists in Sinai. The army said that since July 22, it has eliminated 77 terrorists as part of Egypt's efforts to combat terrorism at all of the country's strategic borders.

  • [Egyptian political analyst Dr. Abdel Azim] Ramadan said that the European Parliament's anti-Egypt resolution indicates the presence and remarkable activity of the Muslim Brotherhood lobby inside European Union bodies, including the European Parliament.

  • "Why does the European Parliament give itself the right to evaluate others? The resolution, aiming to put pressure on Egypt, is in itself opportunism and a clear violation of human rights." — Egypt's Coordination of Youth for Parties and Politicians, Youm7.com, December 19, 2020.

  • [Prominent Egyptian media personality, Ahmed] Diab accused the Europeans of turning a blind eye to human rights violations in Turkey.... "All the enemies of the Egyptian state were happy with this unacceptable resolution." he said.

  • Egyptians fear that the jihadi terrorists will interpret the European Parliament's resolution as a green light to continue their terror campaign to overthrow the Sisi government and bring the Muslim Brotherhood back to power. What is certain, meanwhile, is that the resolution is being celebrated by Egypt's enemies -- not a good sign for the future of the war on terrorism.

Egyptians from across the political spectrum have expressed outrage over a "politicized" European Parliament resolution that they say is a blatant intervention in Egypt's internal affairs, which serves the interests of terrorists presently opposing the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Pictured: Sisi addresses a press conference at a joint EU-Arab League summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt on February 25, 2019. (Photo by Mohamd el-Shahed via Getty Images)

Egyptians from across the political spectrum have expressed outrage over the European Parliament's December 18 resolution calling for restrictive measures against Egypt for its "human rights violations."

The Egyptians said that the European Parliament's "politicized" resolution is a blatant intervention in Egypt's internal affairs and serves the interests of Muslim terrorists presently opposing the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The resolution adopted by the European Parliament "deplores, once again and in the strongest possible terms, the continued and intensifying crackdown on fundamental rights and, among others, the persecution of human rights defenders, lawyers and civil society in Egypt."

According to many Egyptians, the resolution contains countless fallacies and serves as a propaganda platform for the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood organization. The Egyptians are particularly enraged because the European resolution came at a time when Egypt is continuing its fight against the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist terror groups.

Earlier this month, Egypt's military killed 15 Islamist terrorists in Sinai. The army said that since July 22, it has eliminated 77 terrorists as part of Egypt's efforts to combat terrorism at all of the country's strategic borders.

Egyptian Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal said the European Parliament's resolution was "unacceptable, unbalanced and inappropriate."

Accusing the European Parliament of double standards, Aal called on the Europeans to "not install themselves as guardians over Egypt and to stop politicizing human rights issues."

Aal and other Egyptian officials pointed out that the European Parliament did not take into consideration Egypt's efforts to combat Islamist terrorism and maintain security and stability.

The head of Egypt's Senate, Abdel Wahab Abdel Razeq, rejected the allegations made by the European Parliament and said that the charges contradicted the truth about human rights in Egypt. Abdel Razeq accused the European Parliament of exploiting the human rights issue as a pretext to interfere in the internal affairs of Egypt. The anti-Egypt resolution was based on "evil sources working against Egypt," he added, an apparent reference to the Muslim Brotherhood and other jihadist groups.

The General Federation of Egyptian Trade Unions, which represents 25 million workers, said that the resolution ignores Egypt's "pivotal role in pursuing the war on -- and eliminating -- terrorism and terrorists."

"European Parliament did not address Egyptian state's efforts to maintain security and stability and combat terrorism," the Federation noted.

Egypt's Coordination of Youth for Parties and Politicians announced in a statement that it rejects all the fallacies contained in the European Parliament's resolution, asking:

"Why does the European Parliament give itself the right to evaluate others? The resolution, aiming to put pressure on Egypt, is in itself opportunism and a clear violation of human rights."

Senate member Tayseer Matar, said that the resolution "serves the goals of terrorist organizations and is not in line with the existing partnership between Egypt and the European Union countries."

Nashat al-Dihi, a member of Egypt's Supreme Council For Media Regulation, denounced the resolution as worthless. "We will not accept private lessons from anyone," he said, "and the members of the European Parliament should follow the human rights situation in their own countries first."

Egyptian political analyst Dr. Abdel Azim Ramadan, writing in Egypt's Al-Gomhuria newspaper, said that the European resolution "came as a duplicate of other statements by foreign organizations hostile to Egypt and adopts the viewpoint of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood organization and its supporters."

Ramadan said that the European Parliament's endorsement of the anti-Egypt resolution indicates the presence and remarkable activity of the Muslim Brotherhood lobby inside European Union bodies, including the European Parliament.

Explaining widespread Egyptian anger and condemnation of the resolution, Ramadan pointed out that it came in the aftermath of great efforts that Egypt has made since 2014 to protect Europeans, especially in the field of curbing illegal immigration to European countries and combating terrorism:

"Egypt cooperated strongly with the Europeans and the United Nations on the issue of refugees, who posed a serious social and economic challenge to European countries... This is an astonishing, ridiculous and blatant interference in the internal affairs of Egypt. The response to the European Parliament must be decisive and strong."

Ahmed Diab, a prominent Egyptian media personality, responded to the European Parliament resolution by saying: "We do not allow anyone to interfere in the internal affairs of Egypt."

Diab accused the Europeans of turning a blind eye to human rights violations in Turkey and said that the Qatari Al-Jazeera channel celebrated the resolution. "All the enemies of the Egyptian state were happy with this unacceptable resolution," he said.

Several Egyptians, meanwhile, took to social media to express their anger and disgust over the European resolution. A hashtag trending on Twitter under the title "European Union Stop Lying" condemns the "hypocrisy" of the Europeans in dealing with Egypt and human rights issues.

"The European Parliament is a group of mercenary personalities politicized against Egypt," commented Ehab al-Jammal, an Egyptian social media user.

Addressing the European Union, Asma Hassan, another Egyptian social media user, wrote on Twitter: "Egypt is not Syria; Egypt is not Yemen; Egypt is not Iraq. Egypt is a great country and you will never beat us. Long live Egypt."

Clearly, the Egyptians feel betrayed by the European Union, whose representatives choose to ignore the threat that the Muslim Brotherhood poses to Egypt's security and stability. Egyptians fear that the jihadi terrorists will interpret the European Parliament's resolution as a green light to continue their terror campaign to overthrow the Sisi government and bring the Muslim Brotherhood back to power. What is certain, meanwhile, is that the resolution is being celebrated by Egypt's enemies -- not a good sign for the future of the war on terrorism.

  • Follow Khaled Abu Toameh on Twitter

 

Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist based in Jerusalem, is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at Gatestone Institute.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/16881/egypt-european-union 

Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter