Archive for September 6, 2017

House Intel Committee Subpoenas FBI, DOJ Over Trump Dossier

September 6, 2017

House Intel Committee Subpoenas FBI, DOJ Over Trump Dossier, PJ MediaDebra Heine, September 6, 2017

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., . (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

The House Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed the FBI and the Justice Department for documents relating to the Trump “dodgy dossier,” the Washington Examiner reported Tuesday evening. The committee is seeking information regarding the FBI’s relationship with dossier author Christopher Steele and its possible role in funding what started out as an opposition research project by shady lefty research firm Fusion GPS.

While it has been widely reported that “a wealthy GOP donor” originally funded the anti-Trump dossier, the managers of the Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and John Kasich campaigns have all told the Examiner’s Byron York that they knew nothing about a GOP-funded oppo-research project on Trump. Meanwhile, Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson has refused to answer the question about who bankrolled the dossier.

The House Intel Committee is one of several congressional committees looking into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Additionally, Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller is leading a separate investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The subpoenas to the FBI and DOJ are a sign of the GOP’s frustration with the lack of cooperation they are getting from even the Trump Justice Department.

“I’m sure you’re noting with the same irony I’m noting the difficulty that a Republican Congress is having getting information from a Department of Justice run by Jeff Sessions,” Gowdy told York.

The committee issued the subpoenas — one to the FBI, an identical one to the Justice Department — on August 24, giving both until last Friday, September 1, to turn over the information.

Neither FBI nor Justice turned over the documents, and now the committee has given them an extension until September 14 to comply.

Illustrating the seriousness with which investigators view the situation, late Tuesday the committee issued two more subpoenas, specifically to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, directing them to appear before the committee to explain why they have not provided the subpoenaed information.

The subpoenas are the result of a months-long process of committee investigators requesting information from the FBI and Justice Department. Beginning in May, the committee sent multiple letters to the FBI and Justice requesting information concerning the Trump-Russia affair.

“We got nothing,” said committee member Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., who is taking a leading role in the Russia investigation. “The witnesses have not been produced and the documents have not been produced.”

In a telephone interview Tuesday, Gowdy said the FBI has said it needed more time to comply, and also that complying might interfere with the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller. Whatever the reason, the documents haven’t been produced.

“A subpoena is a tool of last resort in Congress,” Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, said.

Like investigators with the Senate Judiciary Committee, who are also pursuing information about the dossier, the House committee wants to know the origin of the FBI’s involvement in the creation of the document. They are particularly interested to know whether the FBI or Justice Department ever presented information from the dossier — unverified, possibly from paid informants — to a court as a basis for obtaining a surveillance warrant in the Russia investigation.

“I want to know the extent to which it was relied upon, if at all, by any of our intelligence agencies or federal law enforcement agencies,” Gowdy said, “and to the extent it was relied upon, how did they vet, or either corroborate or contradict, the information in it?”

The House intelligence panel, like the Senate Judiciary Committee, has had so-called “de-confliction” discussions with Mueller’s office and believes the special counsel does not object to the House seeking information on the dossier.

The committee believes that seeking information on the origin of the FBI’s role in the dossier, and the bureau’s relationship with dossier compiler Steele, a former British spy, will lead to a better understanding of the FBI’s entire counter-intelligence probe on the question of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign.

“Several of our lines of questions centered on the dossier, or, if you don’t like the word ‘dossier,’ just insert ‘the origin of the Russia investigation,'” said Gowdy.

The former prosecutor seems determined to get to the bottom of the Trump dossier mystery.

“Congress created the FBI, we created the Department of Justice, we’re the ones who passed the laws that set the boundaries of their jurisdiction, and and we’re the ones that fund them,” he said. “It is not illegitimate for us to ask what prompted this investigation, and it is certainly not illegitimate for us to test and probe the reliability of that underlying information, particularly if, in theory, there are either charging decisions and/or court filings that relied upon that information.”

According to CNN, the reason the Justice Department has been been refusing compliance with the subpoenas is because they don’t want to interfere with the Mueller investigation.

 

FDR’s ‘Rattlesnake’ Rule and the North Korean Threat

September 6, 2017

FDR’s ‘Rattlesnake’ Rule and the North Korean Threat, Gatestone Institute, John R. Bolton, September 6, 2017

(FDR may have honored his “Rattlesnake Rule” vis a vis Germany. He did not do so vis a vis Japan. We should honor it vis a vis North Korea and its enablers. –DM)

“When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck before you crush him.” By these words in a Sept. 11, 1941, fireside chat, Franklin Roosevelt authorized US warships to fire first against Nazi naval vessels, which he called “the rattlesnakes of the Atlantic.”

Roosevelt’s order applied whenever German or Italian ships entered “waters of self-defense” necessary to protect the US, including those surrounding US outposts on Greenland and Iceland.

Franklin D. Roosevelt. (Image source: National Archives and Records Administration/Wikimedia Commons)

Uttered 60 years to the day before 9/11, and less than three months before Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt’s words still resonate. North Korea’s sixth nuclear test last weekend, along with its significantly increased ballistic-missile testing, establishes that Pyongyang is perilously close to being able to hit targets across the continental United States with nuclear warheads, perhaps thermonuclear ones.

The Nazi threat to US shipping, both normal commercial traffic and war supplies destined for Great Britain, was undeniably significant, and the Axis powers’ broader totalitarian threat was existential. Nonetheless, right up to Dec. 7, 1941, many American leaders urged caution to avoid provoking the Axis and thereby risking broader conflict. Pearl Harbor followed.

In his chat, Roosevelt observed that others had “refused to look the Nazi danger squarely in the eye until it actually had them by the throat.” We shouldn’t commit that mistake today. North Korea’s behavior, and its lasting desire to conquer the South, have created the present crisis.

Letting Kim Jong-un’s bizarre regime “have America by the throat,” subjecting us and our allies to perpetual nuclear extortion, is not an acceptable outcome.

We have endured 25 years of US diplomatic failure, with endless rounds of negotiations, presenting North Korea with the choice between economic incentives or sanctions. During this time, which certainly constitutes “not looking the danger squarely in the eye,” North Korea has repeatedly breached commitments to abandon its nuclear-weapons program, often made in return for handsome compensation.

Nonetheless, we hear echoes from Roosevelt’s day that “there is no acceptable military option” when it comes to Pyongyang. This means, as Susan Rice said recently, “we can, if we must, tolerate nuclear weapons in North Korea,” as we did with the Soviets in Cold War days. The US should not accept such counsels of despair, based on dangerously facile and wildly inaccurate historical analogies.

Why accept a future of unending nuclear blackmail by Pyongyang, whose governing logic is hardly that of Cold War Moscow, and which would entail not that era’s essentially bipolar standoff, but a far-more-dangerous world of nuclear multipolarity?

If Washington lets Kim retain his nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, his regime will happily sell these materials and technologies to Iran, other rogue states or terrorist groups for the right price. This is another key difference from the Cold War; Moscow was substantially more worried about nuclear proliferation than Pyongyang now is.

It would be, as Roosevelt understood, “inexcusable folly” to ignore North Korea’s pattern of behavior over the last quarter century: “We Americans are now face to face not with abstract theories but with cruel, relentless facts.” For America in 1941, hope of sheltering behind the oceans was fast disappearing, forcing Roosevelt to extend our maritime defense perimeter effectively across the Atlantic to Europe.

In the age of ICBMs, there’s no “perimeter”; we are at risk in agonizingly short time frames of a missile’s flight launched anywhere, whether from North Korea or Iran. It is completely unacceptable to say we must await a first strike by Pyongyang before we will resort to military force. Roosevelt dismissed such arguments peremptorily: “Let us not say: ‘We will only defend ourselves if the torpedo succeeds in getting home, or if the crew and passengers are drowned.’ ”

The remaining diplomatic options are few, and the time to exercise them dwindling fast. Convincing China that its national interests would be enhanced by reunifying the two Koreas, thus ending what Beijing itself believes is a threat to peace and security in northeast Asia, remains possible. Unfortunately, this is increasingly hard to accomplish before North Korea becomes a fully mature nuclear-weapons state.

We’re moving rapidly to the point where Roosevelt said squarely, “It is the time for prevention of attack.” George W. Bush spoke equally directly in 2002: “Our security will require all Americans to be . . . ready for preemptive action when necessary to defend our liberty and to defend our lives.” The alternative is potentially global proliferation of nuclear weapons, with the attendant risks lasting beyond our power to calculate.

John R. Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is Chairman of Gatestone Institute, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and author of “Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad”.

This article first appeared in The New York Post and is reprinted here with the kind permission of the author.

Two Major ANTIFA Groups Spout North Korean Propaganda

September 6, 2017

Two Major ANTIFA Groups Spout North Korean Propaganda, Front Page Magazine, Matthew Vadum, September 6, 2017

WWP’s magazine, Workers World, ran an editorial with the headline “Korea won’t be intimidated.” The editorial posited that the U.S., not North Korea, is the obstacle to peace on the Korean Peninsula, and cribbed nine paragraphs’ worth of direct quotations from the North Korean regime. Less than a week later, the magazine ran an editorial, “Self-defense and the DPRK” that portrayed the United States as “oppressor” of North Korea.

Holmes had no problem parroting the North Koreans’ lies about their monstrous utopian experiment. “The level of society, the cultural level, what they put into making sure that everyone is healthy, that everybody is fed, that the children have schools, that every generation is taken care of, whether in Pyongyang or outside the city, is just incredible.”

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Two leading anti-Trump resistance groups, Refuse Fascism and the Workers World Party, are siding with the gulag-filled Stalinist hermit state of North Korea that has threatened to incinerate the American homeland with nuclear weapons, evidence suggests.

Both of these extreme-left organizations have organized demonstrations against the Trump administration that have turned violent, including those around Inauguration Day. Both groups are also part of the violent “Antifa” coalition of leftist groups that portray themselves as anti-fascist but embrace fascistic tactics like beating up political adversaries to intimidate them into silence.

Both groups are also spouting pro-North Korean propaganda talking points, and in at least one case, copying and pasting official North Korean statements into communiques.

Last month, masked Antifa thugs in Berkeley, California, called for the destruction of the United States. “No Trump, no wall, no USA at all!” the large gathering of black bloc-attired protesters chanted at a conservative “No to Marxism” rally. The same weekend Antifa worked with San Francisco officials to prevent the innocuous conservative group Patriot Prayer from holding a small rally at a federal park. As this writer previously observed, thanks to Antifa, the Left now has the power to dictate what is and is not acceptable speech in California and many parts of the country.

After the UN Security Council unanimously resolved August 5 to slap North Korea with more sanctions, both groups stoutly defended the nightmarish Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Daily Caller reports.

Leaders of Refuse Fascism indicated at a recent conference that the group hopes to deprive U.S. leaders of “international legitimacy” as a means of driving President Trump from office, an objective that would no doubt please North Korea.

Refuse Fascism has announced plans to try to overthrow the U.S. government through occupations and crippling strikes. The Trump-resistance organization plans to organize demonstrations in urban centers across the nation later this year, according to Politico.

Leftist currency speculator George Soros has ties to Refuse Fascism. He funds the Alliance for Global Justice (AfGJ), a group that took in donations on behalf of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The AfGJ now serves as a fiscal sponsor for Refuse Fascism, accepting donations on behalf of unincorporated or small groups and deducting a modest administrative fee so that donors can deduct the donations from their taxes.

Soros’s friends in the Democracy Alliance, a donors’ collaborative of wealthy left-wing one-percenters, may also be funding Trump-resistance groups like Refuse Fascism.

Refuse Fascism has characterized the situation between the U.S. and North Korea as “the largest military power in the world bullying a small, isolated country and terrorizing the people of that entire region.”

The month before, the group accused the U.S. of acting based on a “playbook of demonization” against dictator Kim Jong-un. Sounding like the seditious peaceniks of the pro-Soviet unilateral disarmament movement in the U.S. and the U.K. in the 1980s, Refuse Fascism appealed to Americans to forget about their country’s interests and “act in the interests of humanity instead.”

“Stop thinking like an American,” the group said. “Start thinking about humanity.”

Refuse Fascism asked Americans to resist what it called the U.S. media’s “lies and distortion” that put the DPRK — the most oppressive, totalitarian state in the world — in a negative light.

“No, we should not be comfortable with the disgusting media frenzy, full of lies and distortion, that marches us toward not just another invasion of a small country but a nuclear attack that can wipe out millions of people in one day and threaten the future of life on earth,” the group said.

The WWP has organized many of the anti-Trump demonstrations, including the violent “DisruptJ20” protests in the nation’s capital that sought to prevent Donald Trump from being sworn in as president. The communist group also organized many other demonstrations that have taken place in the United States since the election last November and was featured prominently in the documentary, America Under Siege: Civil War 2017. (I am an executive producer of the film series.)

WWP’s magazine, Workers World, ran an editorial with the headline “Korea won’t be intimidated.” The editorial posited that the U.S., not North Korea, is the obstacle to peace on the Korean Peninsula, and cribbed nine paragraphs’ worth of direct quotations from the North Korean regime. Less than a week later, the magazine ran an editorial, “Self-defense and the DPRK” that portrayed the United States as “oppressor” of North Korea.

Both Refuse Fascism and Workers World Party operatives attended the misnamed “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, at which an alleged neo-Nazi murdered a counter-protester and injured others by driving his car into a crowd. At the abortive rally, Antifa supporters physically assaulted reporters and others and set off on a statue-toppling spree targeting monuments commemorating Confederate figures from the Civil War.

Among WWP’s stated objectives are giving birth to a worldwide socialist revolution and “the shutdown of the Pentagon and the use of the war budget” — meaning the resources of the Department of Defense — “to improve the lives of the working class and especially the oppressed peoples.”

Founded in 1959, the WWP “is one of the most hardcore Marxist organizations of any consequence in the U.S.,” according to Trevor Loudon’s online encyclopedia of politics, KeyWiki. The party incorporates elements of Stalin, Mao, and Trotsky into its revolutionary philosophy.

The party’s first secretary, Larry Holmes, led an official delegation to North Korea in July 2013 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the armistice that provisionally ended hostilities in the Korean War. At the time he acknowledged the WWP has “been developing a relationship with the DPRK for more than 40 years.”

“The purpose of our trip was simple — it was an important occasion for the DPRK and an opportune time to reaffirm our unwavering solidarity with them,” he said.

Holmes had no problem parroting the North Koreans’ lies about their monstrous utopian experiment. “The level of society, the cultural level, what they put into making sure that everyone is healthy, that everybody is fed, that the children have schools, that every generation is taken care of, whether in Pyongyang or outside the city, is just incredible.”

Anyone who up till now doubted Antifa was a seditious, anti-American movement, may now shed all doubt.

But there are still Democrats and left-wingers who romanticize Antifa because its hooded thugs supposedly stood up to neo-Nazis in Charlottesville. And some prominent Democrats are actually part of Antifa. For example, Refuse Fascism lists Ivy League academic and DNC platform member Cornel West as one of its “initiators.”

Many Democrats who aren’t part of Antifa aren’t exactly strangers to its goals and tactics.

Remember that the Democratic Party, by way of a DNC resolution supporting Black Lives Matter, officially endorses black-on-white violence and the murder of police officers. Condemning vicious radical left-wing hooligans hurts Democrat office-holders’ reelection chances as they risk being ridiculed by Michael Moore and others for being soft on “fascism.”

President Obama allowed Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter to run wild in recent years. Obama even rewarded riot-inciters and those who support killing police by hosting them at the White House. Instead of protecting citizens and their property, some politicians even admit pro-rioting policies openly, as when then-Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (D), at the time a DNC executive, acknowledged in 2015 that authorities “gave those who wished to destroy space to do that.”

Don’t expect Democrats, or the handful of Republicans like Paul Ryan, who have endorsed Antifa to abandon the movement anytime soon no matter how rabid its support for North Korea becomes.

Democratic IT staffer who fled the country strikes deal to return, face charges

September 6, 2017

Democratic IT staffer who fled the country strikes deal to return, face charges, Washinton ExaminerTodd Shepherd, September  6, 2017

(Will the charges be expanded to include the Awan family’s computer-related activities, or would that be too damaging to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and her Democrat allies? — DM)

Despite the computer-related interests, Awan and Alvi are facing charges in which federal officials claim that they used false information to obtain home equity lines of credit, and intended to send the money overseas. (AP Photo/Paul Holston)

A former House Democrat tech staffer who fled the country to Pakistan after facing criminal charges has struck a deal with federal officials to return to the U.S. and appear at an arraignment, according to court documents.

Hina Alvi is the wife of Imran Awan, and both face charges of conspiracy and bank fraud. Both worked for Democrats for several years, and Awan worked directly for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., when she was chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.

A document filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia indicates that federal prosecutors have struck a deal with Alvi that would allow her to return to the U.S., but would also require her to surrender her passport and afterwards not book any international travel. The deal only surrounds how Alvi will turn herself in, and is structured so that she can avoid being arrested in front of her children when she returns to the U.S., “during the last week of September 2017.”

Alvi, and Awan in particular, are the focus of investigations by the FBI and Capitol Police regarding irregularities for purchases of some computers and other equipment which was later discovered to be missing. The pair, and their associates, could have had access to sensitive government information over the years.

In July, the Daily Caller reported that the FBI seized smashed hard drives from Awan’s home.

Despite the computer-related interests, Awan and Alvi are facing charges in which federal officials claim that they used false information to obtain home equity lines of credit, and intended to send the money overseas.

China demands “immediate stop” to THAAD deployment

September 6, 2017

China demands “immediate stop” to THAAD deployment, Xinhua Net, September 6, 2017

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang (Photo source: fmprc.gov.cn)

BEIJING, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) — China on Wednesday demanded an immediate stop to deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in the Republic of Korea (ROK).

“China is seriously concerned,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a regular news briefing, reiterating China’s opposition to the deployment of THAAD by the U.S. and the ROK.

ROK has announced its intention to deploy four more THAAD on Thursday.

THAAD will not help resolve security concerns. Rather, it will undermine the regional strategic balance, harm regional security interests, including China’s, and increase tensions on the Korean Peninsula, Geng said.

“China demands that the U.S. and the ROK respect the security interests and concerns of China and other regional countries, with an immediate stop to the deployment process and removal of the equipment,” the spokesperson said.

SKorea to deploy more THAAD launchers Thursday

September 6, 2017

SKorea to deploy more THAAD launchers Thursday, DEBKAfile, September 6, 2017

South Korea will add four more launchers to its advanced missile defense system on Thursday amid heightening tensions with North Korea, the South’s Defense Ministry said. The step came after Pyongyang conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sunday. Two launchers from the US-made Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system were deployed in April to counter rising threats from the North.

Meanwhile, South Korean President Moon Jae-in met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday in Vladivostok to discuss the North Korea nuclear issue.

CNN throws in the towel on fake Russian news

September 6, 2017

CNN throws in the towel on fake Russian news, American ThinkerMonica Showalter, September 6, 2017

CNN has dismantled its vaunted Trump-colluded-with-the-Russians investigative unit in a wretched concession to reality.  The only thing the unit found was an empty well for stories, surrounded by a crust of fake news.  The whole caper damaged the network’s credibility, and the public just wasn’t buying it anymore.  So the whole unit had to go.

What a shabby end to what the network had put so much stock in in the heady days of trying to oust President Trump just as he had taken office.

The New York Times attributes the unit’s sorry end to confusion in the fact-checking process – which is baloney for anyone who has ever worked in a newsroom – claiming that on one bad story, a lawyer’s concerns were ignored.  That’s not the way it works in most newsrooms – normally, the lawyer has the loudest voice about what goes to press, given the potential for lawsuits, much to the resentment of the reporters.  Well, the CNN editors ignored it and paid for it with their jobs when it came back to bite them.

Another problem the Times mentions but doesn’t dwell on is the issue of single-source reporting – from political partisans.  Of course a single-source report from a political partisan is going to yield a bad result.  This is why reporters are supposed to add value and put out something different from press releases.  Well, CNN opted to go for single sources, which is testimony in the Times’ mind to the pressure the network was under to produce something.

The only reason the people at CNN were unable to produce is that there was no there there.  And that’s the real reason for the unit’s ignominious end.  The news project was not premised on finding the truth, as real journalism is supposed to, but on confirming the left’s deepest rage, resentment, and fear – that the election was stolen from them by the hated Russians.  That was the root of all the fake news that came of the unit, such as claims that certain Trump administration officials were under investigation when they were not and errant reporting about James Comey.

Setting up a unit to confirm an ideological bias from an embittered losing party is no way to get bang for the news buck, which is the cash and resources that go into investigative reporting.  There has to be a there there, and there wasn’t any there there on the Russia story.  There wasn’t even an audience.

Maybe if CNN can learn to curb its ideological biases and refocus on reporting the news without fear or favor, it might just return to what it used to be.  As it is now, its reputation lies in ruins.