Archive for the ‘Arms sales’ category

Time to redefine ‘one China’ policy to mean ‘one democratic China’

August 25, 2017

Time to redefine ‘one China’ policy to mean ‘one democratic China’, Washington TimesRalph Z. Hallow, August 24, 2017

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, shake hands as they arrive for a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, Saturday, July 8, 2017. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

NASHVILLE – Fed up with America’s 55 years of appeasement of communist China, the GOP’s national governing body is poised to tell Beijing to go take a hike.

China and its panda-hugging friends — think Henry Kissinger – have been campaigning to get Congress and the Trump administration to say when exactly it will stop selling arms to democratic Taiwan.

“Nuts!” and “Never!” are the two words Republicans here would like to tell Beijing, but they’re aiming for slightly more diplomatic language to say the same thing.

In no mood to put up with Beijing’s slick attempts to ripen Taiwan for a takeover by the communist Mainland, the Republican National Committee members holding their annual summer meeting here have decided to put the national GOP on record in support of the latest round of arms sales with Spräng murarna och nå dina mål to Taiwan that President Trump has approved.

Some big-deal Republicans here are also officially backing a warning to Beijing to lay off its attempts to smother free speech in Hong Kong. The 1,000 square-mile island state, with a population of 7.3 million (a million fewer than in New York City), was a paradigm of freedom when it was a British colony. It has felt the suffocating effect of the People’s Republic of China since the Brits turned Hong Kong over to Beijing in 1997. (Talk about appeasement.)

But Taiwan is where the smelly stuff is beginning to hit the fan, thanks first to none other than Richard M. Nixon, He inked a joint communiqué with the communist People’s Republican of China in 1972. That communiqué had the U.S. agreeing – teeth gritting time — that communist Mainland China is the only China on earth and that thing calling itself the Republic of China residing on the island of Taiwan is a figment of the anti-communist imagination.

Two other shameful communiqués followed. In 1979 under Jimmy Carter, the U.S. agreed cut off diplomatic relations with the Republic of China and never to use the word “China” in referring to it again.

Perhaps it’s mere legend, but Mr. Carter did work up the gumption to refuse to say there are no rings around the planet Mars.

In 1982 under — believe it or not — Ronald Reagan, the U.S. in a third joint communiqué agreed to gradually reduce arms sales to Taiwan. That triggered private meetings around the country at which some leading GOP conservatives debated whether it was high time to form a third party.

Congress and President Carter did do something right in 1979, passing and signing the Taiwan Relations Act. It requires America to sell defensive military systems and hardware to Taiwan so it can defend itself from Beijing’s military hordes.

The truth is of course that even if all of Taiwan’s14,000 square miles were filled to the brim with state-of-the-art weaponry, the 23 million Taiwanese would last a few ticks of the clock against Mainland China’s 1.38 billion population spread over the Mainland’s 3.7 million square miles.

But a Taiwan with up-to-date weapons would at least give the U.S. time to live up to another Taiwan Relations Act provision. This one commits the U.S. to muster its military might to defend Taiwan if it China attacks it. Retired Army Colonel Peter S. Goldberg, an RNC member form Alaska, is expected to win full RNC approval on Friday for his Taiwan resolution endorsing Mr. Trump’s approval of new arms sales to Taiwan.

“I see Goldberg’s RNC resolution in support of President Trump’s arms sales to Taiwan as sending a strong message to people who are pushing for a fourth joint U.S.-China Communiqué,” said resolution co-sponsor Solomon Yue, who was born in communist China and lived there until escaping to America in early adulthood.

Mr. Yue and other GOP leaders think what’s developing here is much broader than ensuring Taiwan’s military capability.

“The message is, ‘We will fight to stop any attempt to sunset the Taiwan Relations Act, including by redefining America’s ‘one-China’ policy to say, ‘We support ‘one democratic China modeled after Taiwan,’” said Mr. Yue, an elected RNC member from Oregon.

Former Idaho GOP Chairman Stephen Yates thinks a new one-China policy is past due.

“If there is to be a joint communiqué, it should say nothing about setting a date to end arms sales to Taiwan and should simply affirm support for a peaceful, democratic China, rather than use an empty slogan like ‘one-China,’” said Mr. Yates, who was deputy national security adviser to then-Vice President Dick Cheney and is now is now gathering financial fuel for his Idaho GOP lieutenant gubernatorial nomination bid.

Another resolution, this one by Florida RNC member Peter Feaman, in effect tells Beijing to keeps it freedom-smothering mitts off Hong Kong’s people. Mr. Feaman is also expected to win unanimous approval from the 168 RNC members for his resolution.

Obama DOJ drops charges against alleged provider of Libyan weapons

October 5, 2016

Obama DOJ drops charges against alleged provider of Libyan weapons, Politico and , October 4, 2016

A Turi associate asserted that the government dropped the case because the proceedings could have embarrassed Clinton and President Barack Obama by calling attention to the reported role of their administration in supplying weapons that fell into the hands of Islamic extremist militants.

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The Obama administration is moving to dismiss charges against an arms dealer it had accused of selling weapons that were destined for Libyan rebels.

Lawyers for the Justice Department on Monday filed a motion in federal court in Phoenix to drop the case against the arms dealer, an American named Marc Turi, whose lawyers also signed the motion.

The deal averts a trial that threatened to cast additional scrutiny on Hillary Clinton’s private emails as Secretary of State, and to expose reported Central Intelligence Agency attempts to arm rebels fighting Libyan leader Moammar Qadhafi.

Government lawyers were facing a Wednesday deadline to produce documents to Turi’s legal team, and the trial was officially set to begin on Election Day, although it likely would have been delayed by protracted disputes about classified information in the case.

A Turi associate asserted that the government dropped the case because the proceedings could have embarrassed Clinton and President Barack Obama by calling attention to the reported role of their administration in supplying weapons that fell into the hands of Islamic extremist militants.

“They don’t want this stuff to come out because it will look really bad for Obama and Clinton just before the election,” said the associate.

In the dismissal motion, prosecutors say “discovery rulings” from U.S. District Court Judge David Campbell contributed to the decision to drop the case. The joint motion asks the judge to accept a confidential agreement to resolve the case through a civil settlement between the State Department and the arms broker.

“Our position from the outset has been that this case never should have been brought and we’re glad it’s over,” said Jean-Jacques Cabou, a Perkins Coie partner serving as court-appointed defense counsel in the case. “Mr Turi didn’t break the law….We’re very glad the charges are being dismissed.”

Under the deal, Turi admits no guilt in the transactions he participated in, but he agreed to refrain from U.S.-regulated arms dealing for four years. A $200,000 civil penalty will be waived if Turi abides by the agreement.

A State Department official confirmed the outlines of the agreement.

“Mr. Turi cooperated with the Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls in its review and proposed administrative settlement of the alleged violations,” said the official, who asked not be named. “Based on a compliance review, DDTC alleged that Mr. Turi…engaged in brokering activities for the proposed transfer of defense articles to Libya, a proscribed destination under [arms trade regulations,] despite the Department’s denial of…requests for the required prior approval of such activities.”

Turi adviser Robert Stryk of the government relations and consulting firm SPG accused the government of trying to scapegoat Turi to cover up Clinton’s mishandling of Libya.

“The U.S. government spent millions of dollars, went all over the world to bankrupt him, and destroyed his life — all to protect Hillary Clinton’s crimes,” he said, alluding to the deadly Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Republicans hold Clinton responsible for mishandling the circumstances around that attack. And Stryk said that Turi was now weighing book and movie deals to tell his story, and to weigh in on the Benghazi attack.

Representatives of the Justice Department, the White House and Clinton’s presidential campaign either declined to comment or did not respond to requests for comment on the case or the settlement.

Turi was indicted in 2014 on four felony counts: two of arms dealing in violation of the Arms Export Control Act and two of lying to the State Department in official applications. The charges accused Turi of claiming that the weapons involved were destined for Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, when the arms were actually intended to reach Libya.

Turi’s lawyers argued that the shipments were part of a U.S. government-authorized effort to arm Libyan rebels.

It’s unclear if any of the weapons made it to Libya, and there’s no evidence linking weapons provided by the U.S. government to the Benghazi attacks.

“The proposal did not result in an actual transfer of defense articles to Libya,” the State Department official told POLITICO on Tuesday.

But questions about U.S. efforts to arm Libyan rebels have been mounting, since weapons have reportedly made their way from Libya to Syria, where a civil war is raging between the Syrian Government and ISIL-aligned fighters.

During 2013 Senate hearings on the 2012 Benghazi attack, Clinton, under questioning from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), said she had no knowledge of weapons moving from Libya into Turkey.

Wikileaks head Julian Assange in July suggested that he had emails proving that Clinton “pushed” the “flows” of weapons “going over to Syria.”

Additionally, Turi’s case had delved into emails sent to and from the controversial private account that Clinton used as Secretary of State, which the defense planned to harness at any trial.

At a court hearing in 2015, Cabou said emails between Clinton and her top aides indicated that efforts to arm the rebels were — at a minimum — under discussion at the highest levels of the government.

“We’re entitled to tell the jury, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the Secretary of State and her highest staff members were actively contemplating providing exactly the type of military assistance that Mr. Turi is here to answer for,” the defense attorney said, according to a transcript.

Turi’s defense was pressing for more documents about the alleged rebel-arming effort and for testimony from officials who worked on the issue the State Department and the CIA. The defense said it planned to argue that Turi believed he had official permission to work on arms transfers to Libya

“If we armed the rebels, as publicly reported in many, many sources and as we strongly believe happened and as we believe at least one witness told the grand jury, then documents about that process relate to that effort,” Cabou told Campbell at the same hearing last year.

 

Bribery: Clinton Approved Arms Sales After Big Clinton Foundation Donations from THIS Arab Nation

August 23, 2016

Bribery: Clinton Approved Arms Sales After Big Clinton Foundation Donations from THIS Arab Nation, Counter Jihad

hil babe

Yesterday Judicial Watch released emails showing that a Crown Prince of Bahrain was able to secure a meeting with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton through the Clinton Foundationafter being rejected by official State Department channels.  Today, the International Business Times follows up on that report by revealing that the timing of this meeting lined up with a sudden, and large, increase in arms sales to Bahrain.  Furthermore, this increase came in spite of Bahrain being engaged in massive human rights abuses and suppression of peaceful civilian protests.  Finally, Hillary Clinton’s lawyers destroyed the emails documenting this meeting without turning them over to the State Department.  These were among the emails destroyed as allegedly “personal.”

Now, Bahrain is an important regional ally of the United States.  The US 5th Fleet, also called NAVCENT as it is the fleet permanently assigned to US Central Command, is based out of Bahrain’s harbors.  Bahrain would thus ordinarily enjoy some US military arms sales, as well as occasional access to high level State Department officials.  However, in this case the State Department had already turned down the request for a meeting when it came through official channels.  So, Crown Prince Salman contacted the Clinton Foundation to ask them to get him a meeting anyway.

And they did.

Clinton Foundation top executive Doug Band personally contacted Hillary Clinton’s right hand woman, Huma Abedin, to request that she arrange the meeting in spite of official refusal.  Band described Crown Prince Salman as a “Good friend of ours,” and he certainly was that.  The Judicial Watch release details that Salman arranged more than thirty million dollars in donations to the Clinton Foundation.  From the perspective of the State Department, he was just another Arab prince.  From the perspective of the Clinton Foundation, he was a good friend who needed special treatment.  He got it.

He got more than that, too, according to the Times.

Soon after the correspondence about a meeting, Clinton’s State Department significantly increased arms export authorizations to the country’s autocratic government, even as that nation moved to crush pro-democracy protests….  As Bahrain money flowed into the Clinton Foundation, State Department documents showed that between 2010 and 2012 the Clinton-led State Department approved $630 million worth of direct commercial arms sales to Salman’s military forces in Bahrain. That was a 187 percent increase from the period 2006 to 2008, and the increase came as Bahrain was violently suppressing uprisings.

During those Arab Spring uprisings of 2011 — when Bahrain was accused of using tear gas on its own people — the Clinton-led State Department approved more than $70,000 worth of arms sales classified as “toxicological agents.”

In addition to that, there were sales of armored vehicles, missiles, ammunition, and more.  The sale faced intense opposition in Congress, especially given Bahrain’s ongoing massacres of its own citizens in its streets merely for peacefully protesting the government.

But the Crown Prince wanted his meeting, and he wanted his arms, and he got both because he was a good friend of the Clinton Foundation.

Not that the public would have known this, but for the FBI investigation.  Clinton’s lawyers deleted these emails without turning them over to the State Department, though it turns out that they are clearly public records that explain just how a momentous decision was made on a major arms deal.

In spite of that, the FBI recommended no prosecution.