Saturday, June 22, 2024

Expert group refutes claims of famine in Gaza - Mike Wagenheim


by Mike Wagenheim

The Famine Review Committee found reports, including those put forward by the United Nations, that Israel is starving Gazans to be implausible.


United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres addresses the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 17, 2024. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres addresses the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 17, 2024. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images.

For months, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification—a multi-partner initiative that includes the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization—has issued assessments of current and imminent famine in parts of Gaza. The IPC has done so, in part, using information from the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, which the U.S. Agency for International Development backs.

But claims, which have been widely reported in the international news media and which have been cited in cases in The Hague against the Jewish state, that rely on data from the IPC and from the warning systems are inaccurate, according to a recent analysis by the Famine Review Committee.

The committee, a panel of experts in nutrition and food security that is part of the IPC, recently released a June 4 analysis, which it published in May, that documents significant flaws in the IPC’s methodologies, assumptions, calculations and conclusions. 

The Famine Review Committee doesn’t find the Famine Early Warning Systems Network’s “analysis plausible given the uncertainty and lack of convergence of the supporting evidence employed in the analysis,” per the report. “Therefore, the FRC is unable to make a determination as to whether or not famine thresholds have been passed during April.”

Two members of the Famine Review Committee referred questions from JNS to the IPC. JNS sought comment from the IPC. The Famine Early Warning Systems Network declined to comment.

JNS asked Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman to U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres about the Famine Review Committee report at a press briefing on Thursday.

The committee is “one set of experts,” Haq said. He added that the United Nations is “waiting for” an updated IPC report, which he expects next week. He added that Guterres “has faith in the professionalism of the IPC, including their process of revising their estimates to account for new information coming in.”

From one to five

The U.S.A.I.D.-backed Famine Early Warning Systems Network uses a scale from one to five, with phase five indicating famine—the most catastrophic of food insecurity situations.

At least 20% of households in a given area must face extreme lack of food, 30% of children in that area must suffer from acute malnutrition and at least two people out of every 10,000 have to be dying daily for phase five to kick in, according to the IPC.

Claims by the IPC that there was a phase five situation in Gaza led to international condemnation of Israel, with repeated accusations that Jerusalem was using food as a weapon of war by blocking entry of aid into Gaza. 

The Jewish state has long said that the United Nations and its partners are responsible for a consistent and lengthy backup of aid trucks, which Israel and Egypt have cleared and that have already entered Gaza. Hamas and other armed Gazan gangs have also been documented stealing humanitarian aid and other goods—which the White House, U.S. State Department and Pentagon have noted at times.

South Africa’s case against the Jewish state at the International Court of Justice, the principal U.N. judicial arm which is located in The Hague, also cited the famine assessment, and Karim Khan, prosecutor of the International Criminal Court—another U.N. judicial body—said he was seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in part due to what he said were alleged intentional efforts to starve Gazans.

Math that doesn’t add up

In its study, the Famine Review Committee noted several apparent mistakes in the IPC reporting, including the latter’s decision, left unexplained, not to include delivered food from commercial and private contractors in Gaza. The IPC also left out goods that the World Food Programme, a U.N. agency, delivered to bakeries in northern Gaza.

When the committee added those deliveries into the calculation, it turned out that Gazans surpassed internationally-recommended daily kilo-caloric intakes in April—even when using the most conservative estimates of the data.

The committee also questioned whether the mortality rates in Gaza had met the threshold required to declare a phase four or five classification.

For there to be a phase five classification—which would suggest two deaths per 10,000 people from starvation, there would have to have been between 15,000 and 23,000 people who died from starvation or malnutrition combined with disease over the course of the war, depending on how the IPC’s assessments were interpreted. (There were fewer people in northern Gaza in December when the IPC first made its assessment, but many people had evacuated by the time it reassessed in February.)

The Famine Review Committee noted that food insecurity was cited in reference to some 30 deaths in March and a single death in April, which is collectively about 500 times less than the threshold for phase five.

JNS asked the U.N. secretary-general’s office about the IPC’s data prior to the release of the Famine Review Committee’s study. (Days before, the World Food Programme had released another famine alert.)

Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman to Guterres, told JNS at a June 10 press briefing that the U.N. secretary-general and the United Nations “have full faith in the work of the IPC, the work that our colleagues at the World Food Programme are doing.”

“These are scientific reviews that we do for hunger hotspots, whether now in Gaza or in Syria or in Sudan, wherever they are,” Dujarric said.

JNS asked if that confidence applies even as the math on starvation deaths did not appear to add up, Dujarric said that Guterres “has full faith in the work and their methodology.”

Mike Wagenheim


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Netanyahu is right to reject vassal-state etiquette - Jonathan S. Tobin


by Jonathan S. Tobin

The prime minister broke protocol by calling out the Biden administration for slow-walking arms shipments. Washington’s real goal, however, is appeasing Iran and toppling him.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a ceremony at Nachalat Yitzhak cemetery in Tel Aviv for victims of the 1948 “Altalena” ship incident on June 18, 2024. Photo by Shaul Golan/POOL.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a ceremony at Nachalat Yitzhak cemetery in Tel Aviv for victims of the 1948 “Altalena” ship incident on June 18, 2024. Photo by Shaul Golan/POOL.

As far as the White House and Democrats are concerned, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is doing it again. Similar to multiple occasions during the presidency of Barack Obama, Netanyahu is not playing by the rules Washington and the foreign-policy establishment believe are laid down to govern the behavior of client states.

Rather than assume the role of the loyal and pliant vassal to his nation’s superpower ally, there have been several times when Netanyahu has talked back in public to Obama and now President Joe Biden. Washington’s angry response to the video the prime minister released this week in which he spoke of the way the administration has been slow-walking arms deliveries made it clear that—assurances of goodwill from both sides notwithstanding—U.S.-Israel relations have reached a crisis point.

In the 49-second video posted on the YouTube page of the prime minister’s office on June 18, Netanyahu said the following:

“When Secretary Blinken was recently here in Israel, we had a candid conversation. I said I deeply appreciated the support the U.S. has given Israel from the beginning of the war. But I also said something else. I said it’s inconceivable that in the past few months, the administration has been withholding weapons and ammunition to Israel. Israel, America’s closest ally, fighting for its life, fighting against Iran and our other common enemies. Secretary Blinken assured me that the administration is working day and night to remove these bottlenecks. I certainly hope that’s the case. It should be the case. During World War II, Churchill told the United States, ‘Give us the tools, we’ll do the job.’ And I say, give us the tools and we’ll finish the job a lot faster.”

Washington’s anger

In reaction, Washington expressed shock and anger. According to U.S. officials, Netanyahu’s claims were both fictional and a sign of ingratitude after all that Biden had done for him and Israel since Oct. 7, and throughout the war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Their story is that despite Biden’s talk of potentially refusing to continue to send arms and ammunition to Israel if it doesn’t obey him and not attack the last Hamas strongholds in Rafah, there have been no such cutoffs. The only exception, they assert, is a review of whether the United States should send a special kind of 2,000-pound bomb that might cause too many civilian casualties in urban areas.

Beyond the details of the dispute, in which the administration claims it is guiltless, this has resurrected the charge that Netanyahu doesn’t know his proper place.

That’s the line we’re hearing from the American foreign-policy establishment and its leading media spokesman, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who has recently accused Netanyahu of being the moral equivalent to Hamas senior leader Yahya Sinwar. He’s also called Netanyahu an extremist who is trying to destroy the alliance as well as an open supporter of former President Donald Trump (a point on which Trump doesn’t concur because Netanyahu congratulated Biden for winning the 2020 presidential election). It’s also echoed by the Israeli opposition, such as Haaretz columnist Alon Pinkas, whose latest anti-Bibi diatribe in that far-left newspaper bluntly described the prime minister as hostile to the United States.

Unlike other Israelis, like President Isaac Herzog, who has stuck to continual praise of Biden’s post-Oct. 7 aid with no mention of Washington’s unhelpful actions, Netanyahu differs. He has come to believe that while it remains crucial for any Israeli premier to stay as close to the Americans as possible, there are times when it’s necessary to break protocol and state the truth. Given the enormous help that the United States has given Israel over the past few decades, those who characterize the relationship as one between a great power and a client state aren’t wrong. That’s why the diplomats at the Israeli foreign ministry and those who share its mindset think that there is virtually no circumstance in which Jerusalem should openly challenge Washington.

Given the power imbalance between these two countries, there is a strong argument for this point of view. There’s also the danger that open opposition to the last two Democratic presidents is hastening the process by which support for Israel is rapidly becoming a partisan dispute between America’s two major parties. Although the Republicans have become a lockstep pro-Israel party and the Democrats are now, at best, deeply divided on the issue, that’s not a development any friend of the Jewish state should welcome.

Aid dies via the bureaucracy

As with Netanyahu’s past challenges to Obama, the prime minister is right to believe that those concerns must be set aside. Indeed, just as he was right to refuse to go along with Obama’s commitment to pushing Israel back to the 1967 borders and the appeasement of Iran, Biden’s arms shipment slowdown at a time when the Jewish state is fighting an existential conflict with Hamas, as well as facing the prospect of an even more frightful war with Hezbollah and its Iranian allies on its northern border, constitutes a fundamental breach in the alliance that cannot be allowed to go unchallenged.

The point here is that Washington is flatly lying about there being no slow-walking of arms to Israel or holdups.

As Michael Doran recently wrote in Tablet magazine, the Israelis have been aware since January that something has gone wrong in the pipeline by which arms and ammunition are sent to Israel. While Biden, Blinken and others in the administration are correct to claim that there has been no absolute cutoff, what they are doing is using the federal bureaucracy to slow down the flow to a standstill. Under normal circumstances, the bureaucratic logjam involved with shipments can involve the departments of State and Defense, the U.S. House and Senate, as well as arms manufacturers. However, when Washington deems it necessary to send arms expeditiously, the impediments can magically disappear just as quickly as they arise when the powers that be want to send a message to those waiting for American supplies.

Ukraine treated differently

Indeed, there is no better example of how an administration can manipulate this process than the contrast between the way Ukraine and Israel are currently being handled.

Ukraine has received more aid from the United States in the last two years than Israel has in decades. Their funding is less accountable, and unlike Israel, not all of it is spent in the United States. But Kyiv continues to publicly complain about not getting everything it wants from American taxpayers, who have sent them hundreds of billions of dollars. They’re also unhappy that Washington has placed some limits on their use. Biden is aware that it is madness to allow Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a blank check to fire them into Russia since doing so could start a nuclear war.

In spite of that, Ukraine gets priority over every other American ally, including Israel, and due to Biden’s insistence, there have been no bureaucratic logjams to slow the shipments down.

That’s not the case with Israel. Not only have American officials done everything to slow down and second-guess the effort to eradicate Hamas, but they are also openly pushing to end the war before the terrorists are completely defeated. As Doran also wrote, they’re equally concerned to prevent Israel from doing something to silence the nonstop firing on northern Israel from Hezbollah in Lebanon. Biden is determined at all costs to prevent a war that might involve Iran coming to the defense of its Lebanese auxiliaries, even if that means up to 200,000 Israelis continue to be refugees in their own country because they were forced to flee their homes. In other words, Biden is not only willing to let Hamas remain a genocidal threat to Israel but seems perfectly willing to allow parts of the Jewish state to be effectively depopulated in the north as well as the south.

Given the stakes of the current conflict, Netanyahu is not only right to speak out in an effort to shame the Americans to stop slow-walking arms deliveries. He is obligated to do so.

Pushing back pays dividends

The claim that Netanyahu’s outspokenness is damaging the alliance misses the point. Israel may be an American client state, but given the existential nature of the conflict that was reignited by the Hamas attacks of Oct. 7, it simply cannot afford to behave like a docile vassal.

Indeed, if there is anything that Netanyahu has learned in his long tenure as prime minister it is that those who always counsel caution and silence in the face of American betrayal don’t succeed. It is only by speaking up and making Israel’s case to the world, and most specifically, the American people, that it can maintain the alliance.

Obama seethed when in 2011—with him sitting right there—Netanyahu lectured him about the unacceptability of a forced Israeli retreat to the 1967 borders at a public White House media availability a day after that was the substance of a presidential speech. Later, the Obama White House depicted Netanyahu’s 2015 address to a joint meeting of Congress in which he urged Americans to reject the Iran nuclear deal as an unprecedented insult to the United States, the presidency and Obama personally. In both cases, Netanyahu’s behavior was denounced as destructive to the relationship and beyond the pale.

But he was right to understand that talking back to Obama strengthened dissent against policies aimed at undermining Israel and strengthening Iran, both in the United States and abroad.

By demonstrating a willingness to defend Israel’s vital strategic interests, even at the cost of being depicted as an extremist or the dispute being a function of his own partisan interests and personal animus for Obama, Netanyahu achieved real results. Given Obama’s determination to make it his signature foreign-policy accomplishment, he couldn’t stop the Iran deal from being adopted. But his speech emboldened the GOP to move further towards Israel. It also showed the Arab world that while Obama was leaving them to the tender mercies of the terror-funding Shi’ite tyrants of Tehran, they could count on a strong Israel as an ally against it. In retrospect, Netanyahu’s speech must be seen as the first step in developing the 2020 Abraham Accords.

Who is playing politics?

Biden came into office claiming that he would be different from Obama and keep disputes with Israel private. That changed once Netanyahu won the November 2022 Israeli elections and returned to the prime minister’s office. Since then, the hostility that Biden and the rest of the Obama alumni running American foreign policy have for Netanyahu has not been kept under wraps. The administration has not merely undermined the Jewish state but has openly conspired with the Israeli opposition, and even members of the military and intelligence establishment, in an effort to topple Netanyahu’s government both before and after Oct. 7.

At this point, Netanyahu has nothing to lose by not allowing Biden to get away with slowing down the flow of arms to pressure Israel to stand down at its borders on the north and south.

There are plenty of cogent criticisms to be made about Netanyahu, including those involving Oct. 7 happening on his watch and the dysfunctional nature of his governmental coalition. Regardless of how long Netanyahu lasts in office—and right now, it is not the prime minister but Biden who, in appeasing the anti-Israel intersectional left wing of the Democratic Party, is playing politics over the war—or what you think of his character, policies or tactics, he needs to use every form of leverage to counter U.S. pressure that could ensure victories for Hamas and Iran. With so many lives at stake, client-state etiquette should be the last of his concerns.

Jonathan S. Tobin is editor-in-chief of JNS (Jewish News Syndicate). Follow him @jonathans_tobin.


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Israeli foreign minister decries ‘grossly erroneous’ UN data on Hamas war - Mike Wagenhiem


by Mike Wagenhiem

“Disseminating misleading or false information … raises serious questions” about the world body’s neutrality, Israel Katz writes to António Guterres.


U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres listens during a Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, at U.N. headquarters in New York, April 18, 2024. Photo by Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres listens during a Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, at U.N. headquarters in New York, April 18, 2024. Photo by Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images.

Israel’s foreign minister chided the head of the United Nations, expressing “extreme concern” over the global body’s “ongoing misreporting” of Israel’s war against Hamas.

Israel Katz, Jerusalem’s top diplomat, sent the letter, which was viewed by JNS, on Wednesday. Secretary-General António Guterres’s office confirmed receipt of it.

Katz said that the online informational humanitarian-aid delivery dashboard published by UNRWA—the scandal-plagued Palestinian-only aid and social services agency overseen by the United Nations—was “grossly erroneous” due to an underreporting of some 8,000 trucks since the start of the war, including 4,800 in May alone.

Katz complained that the dashboard did not include deliveries from the Erez Crossing or the U.S.-constructed Gaza floating pier, and included only partial data from the Kerem Shalom Crossing.

In addition, at some point this week, the dashboard Katz referred to ceased to function, with no immediate explanation from the United Nations. Critics have pointed out significant flaws with the dashboard, including labeling food as non-food items and vice versa.

In recent days, the dashboard indicated that a large percentage of trucks entering Gaza had been looted in transit.

Katz also referenced the controversial revisions last month by the U.N. Office of the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs of the fatality tolls in Gaza. The newer numbers, taken from Hamas’s reporting, showed an eye-popping decrease in the number of women and children killed.

Responding to an inquiry from JNS, a spokesman for Guterres blamed the “fog of war” for the inaccurate data, which had been used to castigate Israel in international courts of justice and public opinion.

It was later explained that the revisions were made to split the death tolls between “identified” and “unidentified” bodies; however, the new data, like the earlier set, proved a mathematical impossibility.

Katz referred to that incident as “the most egregious example” of the United Nations “disseminating misleading or false information,” which, he said, “raises serious questions about its neutrality” and “exacerbates the extreme distrust of Israel and its public towards the United Nations.”

Katz demanded the figures be corrected and an apology issued.

Farhan Haq, a spokesman for Guterres, responded to a question from JNS on the letter during a Thursday press briefing, saying that the secretary-general feels there are “a number of inaccuracies” in the allegations.

Haq said Guterres “had some information on that” and that his office “would be sharing that with our interlocutors.”

Katz visited the United Nations on March 11 to address an informal meeting of the Security Council, dealing with Hamas’s sexual crimes during the Oct. 7 massacre. Katz did not request a meeting with Guterres or any U.N. officials, according to Guterres’s office.

The foreign minister ripped Guterres in a March 23 tweet after Guterres, during a visit to the Egypt-Gaza border, publicly blamed Israel for a backlog of aid trucks.

Katz responded that Guterres held Jerusalem responsible “without condemning in any way the Hamas-ISIS terrorists who plunder humanitarian aid, without condemning UNRWA that cooperates with terrorists—and without calling for the immediate, unconditional release of all Israeli hostages.”

Under Guterres’s leadership, the United Nations “has become an antisemitic and anti-Israeli body that shelters and emboldens terror,” Katz said.

Mike Wagenhiem


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Hunter Biden Was Courted by Top China Influence Operation Boss - Daniel Greenfield


by Daniel Greenfield

Chinese Communist official behind targeting of US wanted to do business with Biden.


[Order David Horowitz’s new book, America Betrayed, HERE.]

The latest development in the Biden crime family story broke with a line in an email.

“Do you know former Governor of Hong Kong- C.H. Troung (sp?),” Hunter Biden allegedly wrote. “He wants me to come to HK to visit to discuss business opportunities. He sat next to Dad at lunch w/ Premiere and implied we knew each other- but I don’t remember him.”

The email was dispatched to Jonathan Li, the CEO of BHR, a business partner of Hunter’s who would later provide Hunter with significant payments. But even more interesting was the man who had previously sat next to Joe Biden and who now wanted to take a meeting with Hunter.

Next year, James Bulger, the nephew of mobster Whitey Bulger, sent an email in which Li urged Hunter to reach out and make the connection for him, and Hunter authorized drafting an email.

Five years later, Jonathan Li wired $250,000 to Joe Biden’s address.

While there is no former Governor ‘Troung”, there was a former Governor Tung. And a FOX News story identifies them as the same man. But Tung was much more than a former governor. He was the founder of the China–United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF) which tries to influence American government officials to support Chinese Communist interests.

CUSEF, known in China as Zhong-Mei Jiaoliu Jijinhui, targeted American universities, American military personnel and American elected officials. CUSEF has been described as being coordinated by the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Work Department which seeks to spy on and manipulate foreigners. CUSEF hires PR firms and pays lobbyists to do its work for it.

The lobbyists have to register as foreign agents under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, but the Vice President of the United States and his son were not subject to such requirements.

It was not a coincidence that Tung was seated next to Joe and Hunter at Xi’s dinner.

Such seating arrangements are not accidental at state dinners in the United States and they are certainly not accidental in a totalitarian Communist regime that views influential foreigners as targets. The CCP would have seated Tung next to the Bidens to advance the CUSEF agenda.

In the second email, Li conveyed profuse thanks for the introduction. Did Li and Hunter’s BHR company form any kind of financial relationship with Tung’s businesses? Was any part of the $250,000 wire from Li to Hunter Biden produced as a result of a financial relationship with China’s top man for influence operations aimed at America? Could this relationship have allowed a Chinese influence operation to funnel money to Biden by potentially laundering it through BHR?

The year that Tung invited Hunter to meet with him, CUSEF had spent almost half a million on lobbyists including at Covington & Burling which has close ties to the Biden administration. Including Biden’s future White House counsel. CUSEF also paid sizable amounts to the Podesta Group under the brother of Hillary’s campaign chair and Biden’s climate czar.

Tung was seen as the embodiment of China’s influence operations. The son of a wealthy Hong Kong businessman, his family business had allegedly been bailed out by a Chinese Communist sympathizer, and then became a key element in the CCP’s takeover of Hong Kong. The CCP insinuated itself into Hong Kong, promising to protect democracy and human rights, only to institute a brutal tyrannical rule that betrayed every promise and assurance it ever made.

CUSEF was the next wave aimed at a much bigger target: the United States of America.

The Chinese Communist operation has sponsored trips for members of Congress and former Sen. Max Baucus, a Biden ally, has been accused of ties to the group. Other alleged CUSEF pals include Biden’s current climate czar John Podesta as well as the Center for American Progress, an influential leftist group with a strong footing in the Biden administration, which took part in a CUSEF trip. As did Biden’s Ambassador Nina Hachigian, a CAP veteran, and other politically active leftist figures. CUSEF has also worked with the Brookings Institute which has supplied multiple personnel to the Obama and the Biden administrations.

While the email did not reveal whether Hunter Biden ever did meet with Tung, it is a worrying indicator that the Biden scion may have been seen as a weak point by elements of the CCP.

Four years after Tung sat next to Joe Biden and reached out to Hunter Biden, Foreign Policy Magazine described Tung as a “Beijing-linked Billionaire” who was “funding policy research at Washington’s most influential institutions.” It noted that “Tung currently serves as the vice chairman of one of the united front’s most important entities — the so-called Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, which is one of China’s two rubber-stamp assemblies. The body is one of Beijing’s most crucial tentacles for extending influence.”

We do not know whether Tung was ever able to ‘influence’ Hunter Biden, but the email highlights the reality that Communist China was likely trying. And that the CCP would have had larger aspirations than to just reach one dysfunctional and corrupt lawyer, but would have been angling to hook the guy at the top of the Biden crime family. Known in code as ‘The Big Guy’.

What did Joe Biden and Tung talk about when they sat next to each other? We don’t know.

And the release of the latest emails is a reminder of just how much more there is still to learn about Biden’s ties to Communist China and its operatives.

It’s associations like these that led the David Horowitz Freedom Center to organize and publish a collection of some of our best work on the Biden family and China in our latest pamphlet,

‘Beijing Biden: The Secret Relationship With China That Threatens America’.

And because there are new revelations about Biden’s corruption coming out every day, Freedom Center Investigates is staying on top of this administration and its ties to foreign influence and enemy nations. Communist China never sleeps and we don’t sleep either.

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


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Biden DHS docs suggested Trump supporters, military and religious people are likely violent terror threats - Kyle Morris


by Kyle Morris

Internal documents show that the board suggested 'most of the Domestic Terrorism threat' in the U.S. comes from Trump supporters


A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) advisory board suggested that supporters of former President Donald Trump – as well as those who served in the military or are religious – have a greater possibility of posing domestic terrorism risks, according to internal files obtained by America First Legal (AFL).

Named the "Homeland Intelligence Experts Group," the now-disbanded board was created in September 2023 to provide DHS with "expert" analysis on subjects like terrorism and the trafficking of certain controlled substances like fentanyl.

The panel, according to the conservative legal nonprofit's findings, included former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan, both of whom signed onto an October 2020 letter falsely dismissing Hunter Biden's infamous laptop as Russian disinformation.

The documents revealed that the board suggested "supporters of the former president" accounted for "most of the Domestic Terrorism threat" in the U.S.


James Clapper, President Biden, John Brennan

From left, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, President Biden and former CIA Director John Brennan (Getty Images)

"There is a political backdrop to all of this. It seems that most of the Domestic Terrorism threat now comes from supporters of the former president. It is not like you want a political advantage, but people have attacked the government and its institutions for the last six years," meeting notes from the board stated.

Citing unnamed "researchers," the board also claimed that specific traits – like those who served "in the military" or are "religious" – are "indicators of extremists and terrorism" that the U.S. should be "more worried" about.

"If you ask researchers to dive into indicators of extremists and terrorism, they might indicate being in the military or religious," the board said. "This being identified as an indicator suggests we should be more worried about those. We need the space to talk about it honestly."

The files were released Friday as the second installment of AFL's "#DeepStateDiaries," which was described by the organization as a "multi-part series of releases including newly obtained documents."


"These shocking records reveal apparent unabashed partisanship on this Deep State committee," AFL Executive Director Gene Hamilton told Fox News Digital. "All efforts to weaponize the federal government against political opponents of the ruling regime should be stopped. We look forward to exposing more records in the coming days."

Echoing Hamilton in a statement shared on social media, AFL President Stephen Miller said the documents "reveal a shocking Biden plan to mobilize government power against Trump supporters ahead of the election."

On Thursday, AFL released documents pertaining to how the board discussed efforts to "get into local communities in a non-threatening way."


Certain efforts outlined in the files released Thursday showed how the board hoped to enhance its ability to collect information about Americans.

The group of "experts" said the "See Something, Say Something" campaign following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City fell short because "Americans have an ambivalent feeling of telling on each other."

Stephen Miller

Stephen Miller, president of America First Legal, said the documents "reveal a shocking Biden plan to mobilize government power against Trump supporters ahead of the election." (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc )

"We see people who go off the rails. We need people to say something. We need a nationwide campaign to push it to the locals," the meeting notes stated.

"To get a mother or teacher to come forward, it needs to be a public health catcher's mitt," one board member noted.

Following its successful lawsuit on behalf of former Acting Director of the United States National Intelligence Ric Grenell, AFL announced last month that the Biden administration had decided to "disband" the group.

The Homeland Intelligence Experts Group was announced by DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas last year. The group was a collection of figures from the private sector to provide perspectives on the government’s intelligence and national security efforts.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies before House Homeland Security Committee on Capitol Hill

The Homeland Intelligence Experts Group was announced by DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas last year. (Reuters/Sarah Silbiger)

"The security of the American people depends on our capacity to collect, generate, and disseminate actionable intelligence to our federal, state, local, territorial, tribal, campus, and private sector partners," Mayorkas said in a statement at the time.

DHS did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment.


Kyle Morris covers politics for Fox News. Story tips can be sent via email and on X: @RealKyleMorris.


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Feds report more than 241,000 illegal entries in May, 2.2 million in fiscal year - Bethany Blankley


by Bethany Blankley

Last month, the majority of illegal entries occurred at the southwest border of 170,723.


(The Center Square) -

More than 241,000 people were apprehended after illegally entering the U.S. in May, according to newly released data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

May’s numbers push the total number of apprehensions and encounters of illegal border crossers to more than 2.2 million in the first eight months of fiscal 2024.

Last month, the majority of illegal entries occurred at the southwest border of 170,723.

At the northern border, they totaled a record-breaking 18,644, the highest for the month in recorded history. The northern border has seen the highest number of illegal entries in U.S. history under the Biden administration, The Center Square has reported.

As is the case every month, the majority of apprehensions of illegal border crossers were of single adults. Last month, 148,944 single adults were apprehended, while 1.35 million were apprehended in the first eight months of fiscal 2024, according to the data.

The next greatest number of apprehensions were of individuals claiming to be in a family unit. They totaled 82,833 last month and 785,631 in fiscal 2024 through May.

Last month, CBP continued to advance parole programs created by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas designed to process and release foreign nationals into the country, surpassing records every month.

In May, more than 44,500 foreign nationals were processed using the CBP One app. Since DHS launched the app in January 2023, through May 2024, more than 636,600 foreign nationals “successfully scheduled appointments to present at ports of entry,” CBP said.

CBP also processed and released an unprecedented number of Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans through Mayorkas’ newly created CHNV parole program. It prioritizes releasing into the country citizens from these four countries who are considered inadmissibles under current law and would otherwise be prohibited entry.

“Through the end of May 2024, about 462,100 Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans arrived lawfully on commercial flights and were granted parole under these processes,” CBP said.

Among them, approximately 100,500 Cubans, 193,400 Haitians, 87,800 Nicaraguans, and 113,400 Venezuelans “were vetted and authorized for travel.” Of those, 98,200 Cubans, 177,100 Haitians, 80,700 Nicaraguans, and 106,100 Venezuelans were granted parole and released into the country, CBP said.

Multiple states have sued to stop Mayorkas’ parole programs, arguing they are illegal. The U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security also identified them as illegal and included them in the charges brought against Mayorkas for which he was impeached in February.

The committee’s chairman, U.S. Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., argues the May numbers are as high as they are because the “illegal” parole programs are being used.

Apprehensions and encounters at ports of entry “remain at historic levels, because Biden and Mayorkas have implemented unlawful policies like the CBP One and CHNV mass-parole schemes,” he said. “Encouraging inadmissible aliens to show up at the ports of entry instead of between them might be better optics for the Biden administration, but the outcome is the same – hundreds of thousands being processed and released into our country at unprecedented rates.”

“Meanwhile, CBP continues to be directed to release individuals into our communities, only to later learn of terrorist connections missed in the vetting process,” he said.

DHS Inspector General audits have found that Border Patrol, CBP, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other agencies aren’t properly vetting illegal border crossers at ports of entry and at airports and are releasing known or suspected terrorists into the country.

Green also took aim at the president’s latest so-called amnesty plan, which The Center Square reported would usher in another two million illegal border crossers.

Biden’s plan will “doing nothing to stem the tide,” Green said. “There’s no end in sight to this disaster under the current administration and its policies.”

When releasing the CBP data, Troy Miller, a senior CBP official, said, “In close coordination with U.S. and foreign partners, CBP continues to take strong enforcement efforts against transnational criminal organizations at our borders and beyond. Our enforcement efforts are continuing to reduce southwest border encounters. But the fact remains that our immigration system is not resourced for what we are seeing.”

Green and others in the House have pushed back against this argument, pointing out that the Biden administration cut funding for detention and removal programs and staffing. Congress increased CBP funding by $2.98 billion since fiscal 2021, The Center Square reported.

Bethany Blankley


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Republican senators accuse Biden admin of slow-rolling Israel aid - Andrew Bernard


by Andrew Bernard

“I am willing to absorb personal attacks if that is what it takes for Israel to get the arms and ammunition it needs in its war for survival,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


U.S. President Joe Biden meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Oct. 18, 2023. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.
U.S. President Joe Biden meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Oct. 18, 2023. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.

A pair of Republican senators have accused the Biden administration of slow-rolling military aid to Israel, as the public spat between the allies over arms sales continues to escalate.

“The White House is mad because Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is telling the truth,” Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) wrote on Wednesday.

Hagerty noted that the Biden administration “has refused to send Congress formal notifications to finalize a host of arms sales to Israel,” including F-15s, smart bomb kits and munitions even after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee “informally cleared these sales.”

“The norm is for the executive branch to submit formal notifications to Congress roughly 48 to 72 hours after committees informally cleared proposed arms sales,” Hagerty added. “But the Biden administration is violating this norm amid Israel’s multi-front war.”

Netanyahu released a video on social media on Tuesday saying that “in the past few months, the administration has been withholding weapons and ammunitions to Israel.”

The White House has insisted that it only paused a single shipment of 2,000-pound bombs over concerns that they could cause civilian casualties. It has been said that all other arms sales and military aid to Israel are flowing normally.

“We genuinely do not know what he’s talking about,” Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, said on Tuesday. “We just don’t.”

John Kirby, the White House national security communications advisor, repeated to reporters at a briefing on Thursday that the White House does not understand what Netanyahu is saying.

“It was perplexing to say the least, certainly disappointing, especially given that no other country is doing more to help Israel defend itself against the threat by Hamas and, quite frankly, other threats that they’re facing in the region, than the United States,” Kirby said.

“It was vexing and disappointing to us as much as it was incorrect, so difficult to know exactly what was on his mind,” Kirby added.

Although Kirby announced that Washington is prioritizing surface-to-air missile sales to Ukraine above other countries, he told reporters on Thursday that Israel would be unaffected by the move.

Following an Axios report on Tuesday that Biden canceled a meeting with Netanyahu scheduled for the latter’s upcoming trip to Washington in July, Kirby was asked during the call with reporters on Thursday whether the two would meet. Kirby said he had nothing to say about the president’s schedule.

National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby holds a daily briefing on March 5, 2024 at the White House alongside Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary. Credit: Oliver Contreras/White House.


Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) wrote to U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday accusing him and his administration of engaging in “sleight-of-hand” in response to the White House’s insistence that only one arms delivery to Israel has been paused.

The senator repeated Hagerty’s charge that Washington is slow-rolling the munitions.

“As you are aware, the Arms Export Control Act requires the administration to notify Congress before sending weapons to a foreign country,” Cotton wrote. “Your administration has manipulated this requirement by withholding this formal notification to Congress of approved weapons sales, including F-15s, tactical vehicles, 120-mm mortars, 120-mm tank rounds, joint direct attack munitions and small diameter bombs.”

“Your administration can then claim that the weapons are ‘in process’ while never delivering them,” he wrote. “You’re playing politics with the nation’s honor and our ally’s security.” 

“Worse still, your administration lacks the honesty to communicate its true policy to the American people, instead preferring to hide behind weasel words and bureaucratic process,” he added.

JNS sought comment from the National Security Council of the White House about the allegations that the administration had taken more than 72 hours to deliver formal notification to Congress of Israeli munitions deliveries after their approval by the relevant House and Senate committees.

Netanyahu said on Thursday that he understands the potential cost of his statements.

“I am willing to absorb personal attacks if that is what it takes for Israel to get the arms and ammunition it needs in its war for survival,” the Israeli prime minister said.

Andrew Bernard


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Law schools suddenly respect the Constitution! - Matthew G. Andersson


by Matthew G. Andersson

Why are law school deans suddenly claiming group solidarity with the Constitution?


A recent story in major media reported how over 100 law school deans have recently signed a group letter that encourages law students in America to suddenly respect the law: “The group of educators who are responsible for training the nation’s lawyers, reestablishes their commitment to getting the next generation of legal advocates ready to uphold democracy and the rule of law.” 

Why are law school deans suddenly claiming group solidarity with the Constitution?  

Because the 2024 election must be seen, despite what will certainly be systematic irregularities, as nonetheless subject to constitutional law.  The political left and its law school members are setting the stage of public discourse by claiming a sudden higher legal ground by a false appeal to constitutional authority. 

This letter of solidarity from law school deans should strike any reasonable person as purely symbolic, and as a “day late and a dollar short,” as far as the rule of law is concerned.  More than that, it is an unfortunate sign of how our nation’s law schools view the law itself: as a flexible convenience, subject to circumstances and opportunity, rather than facts and principles.

It was only a few years ago that law professors from our “elite” schools were fully behind, or indifferent to, illegal state voting changes that bypassed public disclosure, deliberation, and legislation: they stood by passively while DNC lawyers privately lobbied state courts, using COVID as a pretext to relax nearly all traditional voting rules.  There wasn't a peep of protest from law schools over the denial of habeas corpus for January 6 detainees — nor over the First Amendment and Establishment Clause concerning medical privacy rights (University of Chicago Law lecturer Judge Frank Easterbrook, of the 7th Appellate Circuit, casually denied students at Indiana University such vital rights by merely referring to an outdated Massachusetts case from 1905, and also refused an injunction subject to further appeal).  The First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause didn’t seem to concern law schools, either, when New York City sought to permanently close churches.

And of course, law school deans and professors made no noise or principled protest when it came to the “Summer of 2020” riots that created billions of dollars in private and public property damage, threatened the lives of police officers, and resulted in few if any arrests or convictions.  (Indeed, most of those arrested were simply released.)  The left-aligned law schools across the country view the Constitution as not only subject to open interpretation or even to revision without a constitutional convention, but as antiquated, and subject to simply being “thrown out.”

So why the change of heart, or change of position?  Part of the reason is simple obedience to the American Bar Association (ABA)’s Task Force for American Democracy.  That task force is disingenuous, as the ABA is as politically infiltrated as its 200 ABA-certified law schools, and so a sudden gesture toward “American democracy” is institutionally convenient. 

But part of the motivation is also somewhat clever if not mendacious: the 2024 election must be seen, despite what will certainly be systematic irregularities, as nonetheless subject to constitutional law, including how electors are managed, or even if the Electoral College itself is set aside.  The DNC’s position is that no questions should be asked about any election procedures, even if irregular or outright illegal, because they are still creating an outcome that should be accepted as “constitutional.”  So by taking a stand now by appealing to a “rule of law” and a symbolic deference to the Constitution, a misleading precedent is established — one where the illegal can still be claimed legal, and even protected, by simply falsely invoking a constitutional source.  In logic, this is called a fallacy of proof by assertion, and too many law professors and their students use it in place of honest thinking and careful reasoning.  When law is believed to be politics, such a fallacy itself becomes the law of the land, and the law of our law schools.

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Image via Picryl.

Matthew G. Andersson is the author of the upcoming book Legally Blind concerning law education.  He has testified to the U.S. Senate and the Connecticut General Assembly, and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and the Chronicle of Higher Education and received the Silver Anvil Award from the Public Relations Society of America.  He is a graduate of the University of Chicago.


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Bragg declines to charge dozens of anti-Israel protesters at Columbia - JNS


by JNS

The Manhattan district attorney “who charged President Trump with 34 felonies over an internal business record is letting violent, pro-Hamas rioters go free,” said Sen. Tom Cotton.


Manhattan District Attorney-Elect Alvin Bragg attends a meeting with activists against gun violence at the SAVE office in East Harlem, N.Y., on Nov. 19, 2021. Credit: Lev Radin/Shutterstock.
Manhattan District Attorney-Elect Alvin Bragg attends a meeting with activists against gun violence at the SAVE office in East Harlem, N.Y., on Nov. 19, 2021. Credit: Lev Radin/Shutterstock.

Despite dramatic video footage showing the New York City Police Department entering a building on the Columbia University campus on the Upper West Side to arrest anti-Israel protesters who had barricaded themselves within, Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, is declining to press charges against many of the alleged offenders.

A Manhattan prosecutor “argued that the defendants should not face criminal penalties, citing their lack of criminal histories and arguing that the protesters will face internal discipline at Columbia,” The Washington Free Beacon reported from within the courthouse on Thursday.

“The prosecutor also argued that Bragg’s office lacked evidence to land convictions in the cases, given those who occupied Hamilton Hall wore masks and covered up surveillance cameras,” the paper added. “New York City police arrested the occupiers while they were inside Hamilton Hall.”

The Free Beacon reported that Bragg’s office dismissed charges against 30 of the 46 people arrested for allegedly entering the building illegally. After the charges were dismissed, one protester, “whose entire head was covered with a ski mask,” said at a press conference that “the protesters ‘resist the pigs, the police in the U.S.’”

“This is standing with Palestinian resistance,” the protester said, per the Free Beacon. “This is an interlinking of our struggles—struggles against carceral violence, against colonialism, against racism, against genocide.” The person also said that the protesters “refuse to condemn the Palestinian resistance.”

JNS sought comment from the Manhattan D.A.’s office.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) wrote that Bragg, “who charged President Trump with 34 felonies over an internal business record is letting violent, pro-Hamas rioters go free.”

Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) called the Manhattan prosecutor’s decision “gutless.” The watchdog group StopAntisemitism commented that it was “flabbergasted” at Bragg’s decision.

Gerard Filitti, senior counsel at the Lawfare Project, wrote that Bragg dropped the charges “for lack of evidence that they were trespassing in a building they barricaded themselves in.”

“It’s time for the Justice Department to step in and protect our civil rights,” he added.



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California Legalized Drugs. Cartels Took It Over - Daniel Greenfield


by Daniel Greenfield

[D]espite all the efforts, illegal marijuana has won and legal marijuana has lost.


Six years after California legalized marijuana, the bodies keep piling up. Drug legalization has failed on every level. The legal drug business is collapsing. Cartels and gang members dominate the business. And open borders allowed them to bring massive numbers of laborers to boost their ranks. Pictured: San Bernardino County Sheriff's deputies and other law enforcement agents cut down cannabis plants during a raid on an illegal cannabis farm in Newberry Springs, in the western Mojave Desert of California on March 29, 2024. (Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)


Six years after California legalized marijuana, the bodies keep piling up. Earlier this year, six men were murdered in the Mojave Desert. Four of the men had been burned after being shot with rifles. In 2020, seven people were killed at an illegal pot operation in Riverside County.

Violence like this was supposed to disappear after legalization. Legalization advocates argued that making the drug trade legal would end the grip of the cartels. Instead, the legal market has failed, and the cartels are taking over sizable parts of California and the rest of the country.

California's legal drug revenues have fallen consistently, as have those in other legal drug states including Colorado, whose model helped sell the idea that drug money would fix everything.

Despite falling revenues, Colorado legislators brag about $282 million in drug revenue. That number may sound high, but it's a drop in the bucket considering the money that the state and cities like Denver are spending on homelessness, drug overdoses and law enforcement.

While the legal drug business is also collapsing in California, the state is spending a fortune fighting marijuana even as it tries to tax it. Gov. Gavin Newsom paradoxically promised to close the budget deficit with $100 million in drug revenue, meant to be used to fund law enforcement and fight substance abuse. The state seized over $300 million in illegal pot this year and uses satellite imagery and heavily-armed raids to fight untaxed marijuana.

But despite all those efforts, illegal marijuana has won and legal marijuana has lost.

The Los Angeles Times warned two years ago:

"Proposition 64, California's 2016 landmark cannabis initiative, sold voters on the promise a legal market would cripple the drug's outlaw trade, with its associated violence and environmental wreckage.

"Instead, a Los Angeles Times investigation finds, the law triggered a surge in illegal cannabis on a scale California has never before witnessed.

"Rogue cultivation centers like Mount Shasta Vista now engulf rural communities scattered across the state, as far afield as the Mojave Desert, the steep mountains on the North Coast, and the high desert and timberlands of the Sierra Nevada.

"Residents in these places describe living in fear next to heavily armed camps..."

Some of the growers are private citizens, but they aren't likely to remain in business for long.

Cartels and gang members dominate the business. And open borders allowed them to bring massive numbers of laborers to boost their ranks. Not only California, but places as far afield as Maine that have large open areas and limited law enforcement resources, have been overrun by drug operations that more closely resemble parts of Latin America and Asia than the USA.

The coasts, from Southern California up to Oregon, are controlled by Mexican cartels which have expanded so much that they're running short of workers even during the Biden open borders boom. Some have taken to brazenly advertising for illegal workers in Europe.

A local California DA described "Mexican cartel groups coming up to grow pot, and people from Bulgaria, France and Russia." The vast exodus across the border has made it possible for cartels to freely bring in any workers they want, even as drug legalization and open borders effectively ended any real penalties for either illegal migration or marijuana.

Asian organized crime may be less on the radar, but it is no less ruthless or violent.

A few years ago, four Chinese people were murdered at an Oklahoma illegal pot farm. Chinese organized crime had "taken over marijuana in Oklahoma and the United States," the head of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs revealed.

Once again, "the mafias set their sights on Oklahoma when the state's voters approved a ballot measure that legalized the cultivation and sale of marijuana for medicinal purposes." Now the Triads run their own compounds "ringed by fences, surveillance cameras and guards with guns and machetes" with 3,000 illegal grows having a value estimated at as high as $44 billion a year.

The Triads are not just in the illegal marijuana business, they traffic in everything from heroin to fentanyl. Legalizing marijuana, however, provided them with a profitable and semi-legal market that gives them a base to expand their efforts trafficking in even more lethal drugs.

Drug legalization has failed on every level. The legal drug business is collapsing. MedMen, which once promised to be the Apple of weed, fell from a $3 billion valuation to a bankruptcy with $411 million in liabilities. Despite the green crosses and online apps, 80% of Californian's pot is still the old-fashioned illegal kind. Politicians may be boasting about hundreds of millions in revenue, but the cartels are making tens of billions and they're taking over entire forests.

The future isn't pot shops, weed apps or MedMen: it's Mexican and Chinese organized crime compounds that are spreading across the West and parts of New England like a plague.

Legalization advocates still argue that if the government lowered the high taxes on legal pot, the business model could turn around again, but even without a single penny in taxes, no amount of legal labor is going to be able to compete with illegal aliens smuggled across the border and forced to work for free by gunmen. Legal businesses can't compete with organized crime.

Drug legalization increased homelessness and drug abuse. It boosted illegal migration and organized crime. It made life worse in every state and city where it's been tried without delivering tangible benefits to anyone (including weed users who still get theirs the old-fashioned way) except for a few politicians who temporarily have a few million more to pass around to special interests, donors and lobbyists.

And all they had to do was hand over half the country to organized crime.

This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.


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