Archive for the ‘Deep state’ category

Judicial Watch Presents: ‘Exposing the Deep State’

September 16, 2017

Judicial Watch Presents: ‘Exposing the Deep State’ via YouTube, September 15, 2017

The blurb beneath the video states,

Judicial Watch hosted a special educational panel on Friday, September 15, 2017, discussing “Exposing the Deep State.” The expert panelists include: Dr. Sebastian Gorka Former Deputy Assistant to the President Author of New York Times best seller Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War Diana West Journalist and Author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character Todd Shepherd Investigative Reporter Washington Examiner James Peterson Senior Attorney Judicial Watch Moderated by Christopher J. Farrell Director of Investigations and Research Judicial Watch.

Security Contractors: Clinton State Department Silenced Us on Benghazi Lapses

September 13, 2017

Security Contractors: Clinton State Department Silenced Us on Benghazi Lapses, Washington Free Beacon , September 13, 2017

 

Two security contractors on Tuesday blew the whistle during an exclusive interview with Fox News’ chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge about Hillary Clinton’s State Department silencing them on Benghazi lapses.

Four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, were killed on September 11, 2012 in a terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

“Was the State Department contract officer trying to silence you?” Herridge asked.

“Oh absolutely,” longtime special forces soldier and security contractor executive Joe Torres said. “The U.S. ambassador is dead and nobody is held accountable for it.”

Brad Owens, a former Army intelligence officer echoed Torres, saying that those “who made the poor choices that actually, I would say, were more responsible for the Benghazi attacks than anyone else, they’re still in the same positions, making security choices for our embassies overseas now.”

Torres went on to say that this terrorist attack could happen again and ‘nothing [has] changed” in making the security safer.

“In the spring of 2012, Torres bid on the security contract for the State Department compound in Benghazi, but the nearly $700,000 deal, handled by State Department contracting officer Jan Visintainer, went to a mysterious foreign company Blue Mount Group,” Herridge said. “The guards were local hires through another company and not armed.”

Owens said that Blue Mountain Group was “a teeny tiny little security company registered in Wales that had never had a diplomatic security contract, had never done any high-threat contracts anywhere else in the world that we’ve been able to find.”

Herridge said Fox News received a classified cable in October 2012 after the attack that showed Libya ambassador Chris Stevens and his team knew they were in trouble in mid-August and that they had warned the State Department that radical Islamist groups were everywhere.

“They were sending these cables back to the contracting guys and the decision makers back here and they weren’t responding,” Owens. “It’s gross incompetence or negligence, one of the two.”

Herridge said that Visintainer summoned Torres to visit the State Department building in Arlington, Va., to discuss Benghazi.

“She said that I and people from Torres should not speak to the media, should not speak to any officials with respect to the Benghazi program,” Torres said.

Herridge asked Torres whether he felt guilty for not speaking out sooner, prompting him to respond, “absolutely.”

“We had about 8,000 employees at the time and we just didn’t need that level of damage because these guys–their livelihood rely on the company,” he said.

Herridge said that the State Department declined a request to make Visintainer available and that the two contractors alleged that repercussions have continued against their company.

Gorka speaks!

August 29, 2017

Gorka speaks! American ThinkerPeter Barry Chowka, August 29, 2017

(I seem to recall that we elected Donald Trump to be our president, not McMaster, Kelly, Tillerson et al. I hope President Trump remembers. — DM)

Gorka said he has not yet returned to work as an editor at Breitbart.com, where he contributed articles and served as an editor between 2014 and 2016.  With Bannon having returned to his prior role there as executive chairman, it is assumed that Gorka will follow him.  Gorka said he is still negotiating that.  He noted he is involved with working on “several initiatives” – “new organizations” that will be formed to help advance Trump’s original MAGA agenda from the outside.

Donald Trump, Gorka said, is an “insurgent.”  His inauguration on January 20, 2017 represented a “hostile takeover” – he probably should have said attempted takeover – of the Deep State government.  At this point, Gorka said, “only four real believers” (in Trump’s MAGA agenda) remain in senior levels at the White House.  He did not name them.  Meanwhile, “we have lots of people in the White House who would have been comfortable working with Hillary Clinton.”

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Recently departed deputy assistant to President Trump Dr. Sebastian Gorka appeared on Brian Kilmeade’s Fox News Radio program on Monday morning, August 28.  Free to speak his mind now, he had a lot to say about his seven-month tenure working on foreign policy at the White House, what’s going on there now, and his plans for the future.

After former White House chief strategist Steven K. Bannon left his job on August 18, it was just a matter of time before Gorka, who reported to Bannon, followed suit.  As a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser and prominent surrogate during the 2016 race, and during his tenure at the White House, Gorka stood out as a fierce and articulate defender of Donald J. Trump, regularly appearing on TV and challenging hostile hosts at CNN and MSNBC.

Gorka was born in London in 1970 to Hungarian parents and began his career as a foreign policy and anti-terrorism analyst in Hungary from 1992-2008.  He has been an adviser on foreign policy, terrorism, and Islam to various U.S. academic and defense institutions, and he became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2012.  He is the author of Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War (2016).  His archived website from 2016 is here.

Gorka has been targeted by the Deep State media for his strong views that run counter to the Obama administration’s, and he has been labeled as a far-right ideologue and even a Nazi sympathizer.  However, as the left’s slings and arrows continued even after he left the White House, a detailed defense of Gorka, “The political lynching of Sebastian Gorka,” written by Michael Rubin, a self-admitted “NeverTrump,” was published on August 27 in the Washington Examiner and is recommended reading.

On Monday afternoon (August 28), Fox News emailed a news release with some of Gorka’s quotes from the interview that morning with Kilmeade.  Commenting on his resignation (others insist he was fired), Gorka said:

The fact is I knew after the Afghan speech [by President Trump on August 21] that the anti-MAGA (Make America Great Again) forces were in ascendance. Not one mention of radical Islam in that speech that was written from the president. So last week I emailed General Kelly [White House Chief of Staff], I said I wanted to meet with him today on Monday because I will be resigning effective Friday, last Friday. I spoke to him on the telephone on Friday and said that I am resigning today and I reinforced that with an email. That’s how it happened because I realized I work for Steve Bannon, he’s gone and the wrong people are at the helm of policy issues. We will right that ship from the outside but for the time being the best I can do is to be effective as a private citizen.

Kilmeade asked Gorka what he thought of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s comments on Sunday that were interpreted as critical of or distancing himself from President Trump:

I’m a bit puzzled. I don’t expect counter terrorism expertise from a former oil industry mogul, but to say that the President speech on Afghanistan shouldn’t be about radical Islamic terrorism, it should be about all forms of terrorism. Brian, I would like to hear the Secretary tell me about all the animal rights terrorists or the White Supremacists terrorists that are coming out of the Hindu Kush or Tora Bora. I’m a little bit confused by what he said because it doesn’t make any sense.

As the Fox release put it, Gorka also commented “on reports of insubordination within the White House”:

There is a broader issue here a really serious one. The GOP thinks they won the election on November 8th and they are very, very mistaken in that. Donald Trump may have been the formal Republican candidate but he wasn’t the establishment’s candidate. He wiped the floor with all the establishment candidates who never took him seriously. You know who won the election, a real-estate mogul from New York called Donald J Trump. If the GOP thinks they won the election they will be sorely disappointed and they will pay the price come the next election. So, they need to wake up and smell the coffee grinds. It’s the anti-establishment movement the people in America including the “Blue Collar” Democrats who said enough is enough; left and right have not served us well for at least 16 years. We are going to shake this town up and that is what the President is, he’s a fabulous disruptor and God bless him but the GOP needs to wake up to what happened in America on November 8th  because it’s not going to change, it’s going to get stronger.

That was it for the quotes provided by Fox News.  When I listened to the 16-minute-long recording of the interview, which is available here for streaming or downloading as an mp3 audio file, I noted some additional comments of interest.

Gorka said he has not yet returned to work as an editor at Breitbart.com, where he contributed articles and served as an editor between 2014 and 2016.  With Bannon having returned to his prior role there as executive chairman, it is assumed that Gorka will follow him.  Gorka said he is still negotiating that.  He noted he is involved with working on “several initiatives” – “new organizations” that will be formed to help advance Trump’s original MAGA agenda from the outside.

Donald Trump, Gorka said, is an “insurgent.”  His inauguration on January 20, 2017 represented a “hostile takeover” – he probably should have said attempted takeover – of the Deep State government.  At this point, Gorka said, “only four real believers” (in Trump’s MAGA agenda) remain in senior levels at the White House.  He did not name them.  Meanwhile, “we have lots of people in the White House who would have been comfortable working with Hillary Clinton.”

This comment deserves further exploration: “The Obama administration played dirty and tried to sabotage” the incoming administration.  Dr. Gorka’s final comment: “The ‘Fake News Industrial Complex’ is out of control.”

On Saturday, August 26, Gorka gave a 17-minute interview to Breitbart News Saturday on SiriusXM Patriot Channel 125.  The interview can be streamed from this URL.  Part of Gorka’s conversation with Breitbart Washington editor Matt Boyle was marred by a poor cell phone connection.  Dr. Gorka managed to say, “We are winning and we will continue to do so.  With Steve [Bannon] back at the helm [of Breitbart News], it’s like the last scene from Star Wars.  Do you remember what Obi-Wan Kenobi said to Darth [Vader]?  ‘If you strike me down, I will be more powerful than you can ever imagine.’  The left thinks they’re winning.  They have no idea what’s coming around the corner, and it’s going to be fun.”

CIA Keeping a Watchful Eye on. . .its Director!

August 27, 2017

CIA Keeping a Watchful Eye on. . .its Director! Power Line, Paul Mirengoff, August 26, 2017

Pompeo works closely with President Trump, as one should want a CIA to do. But does this mean he is going to compromise the investigation into the 2016 election in order to help Trump politically?

There is no reason to think so. The anti-Trump, anti-Pompeo leakers at the CIA acknowledge that Pompeo has not impeded the investigation. However, they express concern “about what he might do if the CIA uncovered new information potentially damaging to Trump and Pompeo were forced to choose between protecting the agency or the president.” The fear, as one of them put it, is “that if you were passing on something too dicey [to Pompeo] he would go to the White House with it.”

The fear is absurd. If the Trump’s enemies in the CIA, the FBI, or the Mueller dream team ever come up with anything damaging to Trump, the president will read about it in the Washington Post and the New York Times before anyone has time to “go to the White House with it.”

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This Washington Post story is called “At CIA, a watchful eye on Mike Pompeo, the president’s ardent ally.” It sounds like the CIA is spying on its own director. If there is such a thing as the “deep state,” I think we have sighted it.

According to Post reporter Greg Miller, “Mike Pompeo has taken a special interest in an agency unit that is closely tied to the investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, requiring the Counterintelligence Mission Center to report directly to him.” That’s one way of putting it. A more honest way would be to acknowledge that the investigation in question is actually a broad counterintelligence probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The media and its Democratic allies would have us believe that Russian interference in that election is the greatest, most ominous intelligence caper of all time. Even if it falls somewhat short of that billing, as it almost certainly does, why shouldn’t the head of the CIA take a “special interest” in the matter?

The Post and the Democrats can’t have it both ways. Russian interference in the 2016 election can’t be both an unprecedented assault on our democracy by a hostile foreign power’s intelligence operatives and a matter as to which the CIA director should take little interest.

I’m sure the Post, as well as Trump’s enemies in the CIA, would like Pompeo to recuse himself from the investigation, as Jeff Sessions recused himself at the Justice Department. But there’s no reason why he should.

Sessions recused himself because of testimony he gave regarding the Russian ambassador and, perhaps, because he was part of the Trump campaign team. Pompeo has given no problematic testimony about Russia and was not part of the Trump campaign.

Unlike Sessions, he did not even provide Trump an early endorsement. Even when Trump became the presumptive nominee, Pompeo would say only that he would “support the nominee of the Republican Party because Hillary Clinton cannot be president of the United States.”

That was then. Now, Pompeo works closely with President Trump, as one should want a CIA to do. But does this mean he is going to compromise the investigation into the 2016 election in order to help Trump politically?

There is no reason to think so. The anti-Trump, anti-Pompeo leakers at the CIA acknowledge that Pompeo has not impeded the investigation. However, they express concern “about what he might do if the CIA uncovered new information potentially damaging to Trump and Pompeo were forced to choose between protecting the agency or the president.” The fear, as one of them put it, is “that if you were passing on something too dicey [to Pompeo] he would go to the White House with it.”

The fear is absurd. If the Trump’s enemies in the CIA, the FBI, or the Mueller dream team ever come up with anything damaging to Trump, the president will read about it in the Washington Post and the New York Times before anyone has time to “go to the White House with it.”

Moreover, executive-order guidelines prohibit the CIA from passing information to the White House “for the purpose of affecting the political process in the United States.” Neither the Post nor its sources offers any reason to believe that Pompeo would violate this order. In lieu of such evidence or analysis, the Post’s Miller ends up whining about Pompeo’s social conservatism, as if it is somehow relevant.

Miller’s piece contains this bit of unintended irony: In addition to the importance of the Russia investigation, the other reason the CIA has given for Pompeo’s active participation in the matter is concern about leaks. The fact that CIA officials are smearing the director in the pages of the Washington Post, going so far as to say he can’t be trusted to follow executive-order guidelines, strongly suggests that Pompeo’s concern about leaks is well-founded.

If CIA employees are going to keep a “watchful eye” on their director, they shouldn’t object if their director keeps a watchful eye on them.

The Administrative State Declares Independence

August 2, 2017

The Administrative State Declares Independence, Power LineJohn Hinderaker, August 1, 2017

Yates argues for a permanent bureaucracy in Washington that is impervious to the wishes of the voters, who may occasionally be so imprudent as to elect a Republican president. In Yates’s view, that must not be an obstacle to the liberal policies of the Justice Department or, by analogy, any of the dozens of other federal agencies that are manned nearly exclusively by liberal Democrats.

The administrative state is by far the greatest contemporary threat to the liberty of Americans. The appalling Sally Yates urges that the Constitution be left in the dust, and that unelected bureaucrats be elevated above the president whom they ostensibly serve. It is hard to imagine a theory more at odds with our Constitution or our political traditions.

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Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, an Obama holdover, recently authored one of the most pernicious columns within memory in the New York Times. Her column was titled, “Protect the Justice Department From President Trump.” Yates argued, in essence, that there exists an Executive Branch that is independent of, and superior to, the President–at least as long as that Executive Branch is staffed pretty much exclusively by Democrats. This is, of course, a boldly unconstitutional theory.

The invaluable Manhattan Contrarian deconstructed Yates’s novel theory:

As I have pointed out multiple times, there is nothing complicated about the constitutional law on presidential control of the Justice Department. Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution places all of the executive power of the federal government in the President: “The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.” The Justice Department is an executive agency, and therefore reports to the President in every respect. That of course does not mean that it is a good idea for the President to get personally involved in day-to-day prosecutorial decisions; but he is perfectly entitled to do so if he wants. And he certainly has final say on all policies of the Department.

Yates has a different view. Here are a few key quotes from her op-ed:

The president is attempting to dismantle the rule of law, destroy the time-honored independence of the Justice Department, and undermine the career men and women who are devoted to seeking justice day in and day out, regardless of which political party is in power. . . . [Ed.: When liberals refer to the “rule of law,” they nearly always mean rule by liberal lawyers, having no reference to any actual laws.]

The Justice Department is not just another federal agency. It is charged with fulfilling our country’s promise of equal and impartial justice for all. As an agency with the authority to deprive citizens of their liberty, its investigations and prosecutions must be conducted free from any political interference or influence, and decisions must be made based solely on the facts and the law. To fulfill this weighty responsibility, past administrations, both Democratic and Republican, have jealously guarded a strict separation between the Justice Department and the White House when it comes to investigations and prosecutions. While there may be interaction on broad policies, any White House involvement in cases or investigations, including whom or what to investigate, has been flatly forbidden.

Yates doesn’t trouble herself to give us a citation of something in the Constitution that supports her position. Nor does Yates inform us of the origin of what she calls the “time honored” “strict separation between the Justice Department and the White House” that has supposedly been followed by “past administrations, both Democratic and Republican.” … If we’re going to talk about “dismantl[ing] the rule of law,” how about the rule that says that every four years the people get to elect a new guy, with policies different from the prior guy, and the new guy gets to implement his policies?

This is the heart of the matter, of course. Yates argues for a permanent bureaucracy in Washington that is impervious to the wishes of the voters, who may occasionally be so imprudent as to elect a Republican president. In Yates’s view, that must not be an obstacle to the liberal policies of the Justice Department or, by analogy, any of the dozens of other federal agencies that are manned nearly exclusively by liberal Democrats.

The permanent staff of the Department of Justice, which Yates wants to be independent of, and superior to, any president who is actually elected by American voters, is relentlessly left-wing. The Contrarian documents this in great detail at the link; this is just a sample:

Just in case you have the exceedingly naive impression that the lawyers at the Department of Justice really are neutral and apolitical, and just “seeking justice,” perhaps it is time for a brief history lesson focusing on the years of the Obama administration. Here goes:

* First, Jonathan Swan at The Hill on October 26, 2016, helpfully did a comprehensive analysis of political contributions made by bureaucrats in the various federal agencies in the 2016 election cycle. Here’s the result for the Justice Department: “Employees of the Department of Justice, which investigated Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of State, gave Clinton 97 percent of their donations. Trump received $8,756 from DOJ employees compared with $286,797 for Clinton.”

The administrative state is by far the greatest contemporary threat to the liberty of Americans. The appalling Sally Yates urges that the Constitution be left in the dust, and that unelected bureaucrats be elevated above the president whom they ostensibly serve. It is hard to imagine a theory more at odds with our Constitution or our political traditions.

Break out the champagne: State Department officials quitting over “complete and utter disdain for our expertise”

July 31, 2017

Break out the champagne: State Department officials quitting over “complete and utter disdain for our expertise” Jihad Watch

(It’s a good start, but there are many more who need to quit or be fired. — DM)

The swamp needs draining indeed. This news from the State Department, and the New York Times’ grief over it, are good signs that the U.S. is on its way back on dry land.

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We can only hope that with the departure of these failed State Department officials, their failed policies will be swept out along with them. Chief among these is the almost universally held idea that poverty causes terrorism. The United States has wasted uncounted (literally, because a great deal of it was in untraceable bags full of cash) billions of dollars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Egypt, and other countries in the wrongheaded assumption that Muslims turn to jihad because they lack economic opportunities and education. American officials built schools and hospitals, thinking that they were winning over the hearts and minds of the locals.

Fifteen years, thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars later, no significant number of hearts and minds have been won. This is partly because the premise is wrong. The New York Times reported in March that “not long after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001…Alan B. Krueger, the Princeton economist, tested the widespread assumption that poverty was a key factor in the making of a terrorist. Mr. Krueger’s analysis of economic figures, polls, and data on suicide bombers and hate groups found no link between economic distress and terrorism.”

CNS News noted in September 2013 that “according to a Rand Corporation report on counterterrorism, prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense in 2009, ‘Terrorists are not particularly impoverished, uneducated, or afflicted by mental disease. Demographically, their most important characteristic is normalcy (within their environment). Terrorist leaders actually tend to come from relatively privileged backgrounds.’ One of the authors of the RAND report, Darcy Noricks, also found that according to a number of academic studies, ‘Terrorists turn out to be more rather than less educated than the general population.’”

Yet the analysis that poverty causes terrorism has been applied and reapplied and reapplied again. The swamp is in dire need of draining, and in other ways as well. From 2011 on, it was official Obama administration policy to deny any connection between Islam and terrorism. This came as a result of an October 19, 2011 letter from Farhana Khera of Muslim Advocates to John Brennan, who was then the Assistant to the President on National Security for Homeland Security and Counter Terrorism, and later served in the Obama administration as head of the CIA. The letter was signed not just by Khera, but by the leaders of virtually all the significant Islamic groups in the United States: 57 Muslim, Arab, and South Asian organizations, many with ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Muslim American Society (MAS), the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Islamic Relief USA; and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).

The letter denounced what it characterized as U.S. government agencies’ “use of biased, false and highly offensive training materials about Muslims and Islam.” Despite the factual accuracy of the material about which they were complaining, the Muslim groups demanded that the task force “purge all federal government training materials of biased materials”; “implement a mandatory re-training program for FBI agents, U.S. Army officers, and all federal, state and local law enforcement who have been subjected to biased training”; and moreto ensure that all that law enforcement officials would learn about Islam and jihad would be what the signatories wanted them to learn.

Numerous books and presentations that gave a perfectly accurate view of Islam and jihad were removed from coounterterror training. Today, even with Trump as President, this entrenched policy of the U.S. government remains, and ensures that all too many jihadists simply cannot be identified as risks, since the officials are bound as a matter of policy to ignore what in saner times would be taken as warning signs. Trump and Tillerson must reverse this. Trump has spoken often about the threat from “radical Islamic terrorism”; he must follow through and remove the prohibitions on allowing agents to study and understand the motivating ideology behind the jihad threat.

The swamp needs draining indeed. This news from the State Department, and the New York Times’ grief over it, are good signs that the U.S. is on its way back on dry land.

“The Desperation of Our Diplomats,” by Roger Cohen, New York Times, July 28, 2017:

WASHINGTON — On the first Friday in May, Foreign Affairs Day, the staff gathers in the flag-bedecked C Street lobby of the State Department beside the memorial plaques for the 248 members of foreign affairs agencies who have lost their lives in the line of duty. A moment of silence is observed. As president of the American Foreign Service Association, Barbara Stephenson helps organize the annual event. This year, she was set to enter a delegates’ lounge to brief Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on its choreography before appearing alongside him. Instead, she told me, she was shoved out of the room.

Stephenson, a former ambassador to Panama, is not used to being manhandled at the State Department she has served with distinction for more than three decades. She had been inclined to give Tillerson the benefit of the doubt. Transitions between administrations are seldom smooth, and Tillerson is a Washington neophyte, unversed in diplomacy, an oilman trying to build a relationship with an erratic boss, President Trump.

Still, that shove captured the rudeness and remoteness that have undermined trust at Foggy Bottom. Stephenson began to understand the many distressed people coming to her “asking if their service is still valued.” The lack of communication between the secretary and the rest of the building has been deeply disturbing.

An exodus is underway. Those who have departed include Nancy McEldowney, the director of the Foreign Service Institute until she retired last month, who described to me “a toxic, troubled environment and organization”; Dana Shell Smith, the former ambassador to Qatar, who said what was most striking was the “complete and utter disdain for our expertise”; and Jake Walles, a former ambassador to Tunisia with some 35 years of experience. “There’s just a slow unraveling of the institution,” he told me….

The Deep State War on Trump’s Foreign Policy Agenda

July 28, 2017

The Deep State War on Trump’s Foreign Policy Agenda, Front Page MagazineJoseph Klein, July 28, 2017

(Please see also, State Dept. in ‘Open War’ With White HouseA State Department Gone Rogue on Iran and Feds Spends Millions on Failed Program to Combat Extremism in America. — DM)

The State Department’s own “deep state” is trying to sabotage President Trump’s foreign policy agenda. From the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to Iran, Qatar and climate change, the State Department, under Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, is reported to be in “open war” with the White House. Key high level positions remain vacant as Obama holdovers “continue running the show and formulating policy, where they have increasingly clashed with the White House’s own agenda,” according to the Free Beacon. Secretary Tillerson has reportedly run interference to protect the Obama holdovers from being removed, allowing resistance to President Trump’s foreign policy agenda to flourish within the State Department.

The first casualty of this internal coup by the State Department’s deep state is Israel. The shadow of the Obama administration’s anti-Israel bias was reflected in a report the State Department released on July 17, 2017 entitled Country Reports on Terrorism 2016. It praised Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for reiterating “his commitment to nonviolence, recognition of the State of Israel, and pursuit of an independent Palestinian state through peaceful means.” The report referred to what it called “significant steps during President Abbas’ tenure (2005 to date) to ensure that official institutions in the West Bank under its control do not create or disseminate content that incites violence.”

The State Department report brushed aside clear evidence of a continuing barrage of incendiary rhetoric appearing on official Palestinian Authority and Fatah social media outlets and of inflammatory statements by Palestinian officials, including Abbas himself. Instead, it claimed that the Palestinian Authority “has made progress in reducing official rhetoric that could be considered incitement to violence.”

The State Department report conveniently skipped over the fact that Abbas remains committed to paying regular salaries to Palestinian terrorists imprisoned for killing Jews and to terrorists’ families. Their perfidiously named “Martyrs Fund” has a treasure chest of about $300 million dollars. That blood money comes in part from foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority, some of which is contributed by American taxpayers. President Trump has spoken out against the ‘pay to slay Jews’ terrorist payments, but the State Department has turned a blind eye. Obama holdover Stuart Jones, the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs, is reported to have steered Secretary Tillerson into making the erroneous claim that the Palestinian Authority had ceased spending U.S. taxpayer funds to pay terrorists, according to the Free Beacon’s sources.

After reciting the litany of Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israelis, the State Department report held Israel largely responsible:

“Continued drivers of violence included a lack of hope in achieving Palestinian statehood, Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank, settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, the perception that the Israeli government was changing the status quo on the Haram Al Sharif/Temple Mount, and IDF tactics that the Palestinians considered overly aggressive.”

Just a few hours after three members of an Israeli family were massacred by a Palestinian terrorist, a State Department official tried to defend the report’s conclusions on the drivers of Palestinian violence. The official sounded like a clinical psychologist or a social worker, declaring that there is “no one single pathway to violence—each individual’s path to terrorism is personalized, with certain commonalities.” This is the same type of irresponsible rhetoric used by the Obama administration in discussing the supposed root causes of what it called “violent extremism.”

The State Department has also carried over the Obama administration’s soft pedaling on Iran. Instead of presenting options to President Trump supporting a refusal to re-certify that Iran has complied with all of its obligations under the disastrous Obama nuclear deal with Iran, the State Department took Iran’s side. It recommended twice that President Trump sign certifications of Iran’s compliance. Deprived by the State Department of any analysis to the contrary, as he had requested, the president reluctantly signed the certifications in April and July. However, he has reportedly decided to sidestep the State Department going forward and rely instead on a White House team to prepare the way for refusing to sign the certification the next time it is presented to him. CIA Director Mike Pompeo, senior strategist Steve Bannon, and deputy assistant to the president Sebastian Gorka opposed the State Department’s recommendation.

“The president assigned White House staffers with the task of preparing for the possibility of decertification for the 90-day review period that ends in October — a task he had previously given to Secretary Tillerson and the State Department,” a source close to the White House told Foreign Policy.

Foreign Policy quoted one senior State Department, speaking on condition of anonymity, as saying, “The White House, they see the State Department as ‘the swamp.’”

The State Department is a swamp infested with Obama holdovers such as Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, the former Iran director for Obama’s National Security Council, who helped push through the Iran deal. When she moved over to the State Department during the waning months of the Obama administration, she was assigned to oversee the Persian Gulf region policy planning portfolio, which included issues related to Iran. She continued in that high-level advisory position until April of this year, when she was re-assigned to the Office of Iranian Affairs. In other words, a strong supporter of the Iranian nuclear deal with a vested interest in its continuation was on Secretary of State Tillerson’s policy planning team. Secretary Tillerson no doubt relied on this tainted team for input into his decision to recommend the first certification signing last April. Ms. Nowrouzzadeh is still working on Iranian-related issues for the State Department where she can do some damage. However, at least she is no longer part of the Secretary of State’s brain trust.

The State Department has also sought to undercut President Trump’s sharp criticism of Qatar, a major state sponsor of Islamic terrorism. The president had tweeted that Qatar funds radical Islamists, which is demonstrably true. Nevertheless, the State Department contradicted President Trump’s observation.

“We recognize that Qatar has made some great efforts to stop financing of terror groups,” said State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert at the June 6, 2017 briefing. “Our relationship with Qatar is strong.”

Dana Shell Smith, ambassador to Qatar until she left in late June, who believes that Qatar is a “great country,” was another Obama holdover. She was still the ambassador when the row over Qatar erupted. The day before Heather Nauert’s news briefing extolling Qatar’s supposed “great efforts to stop financing of terror groups,” the U.S. embassy in Qatar, still led by Dan Shell Smith, retweeted the following, which was originally tweeted during the Obama administration: “U.S. supports #Qatar’s efforts in combating terrorism financing & appreciates its role in coalition against ISIL.”

These sentiments are in direct contradiction to the views expressed by President Trump. Indeed, Smith had little use for President Trump and was not shy about saying so. Stationed in an autocratic country ruled by sharia law, she tweeted in May while still ambassador: “Increasingly difficult to wake up overseas to news from home, knowing I will spend today explaining our democracy and institutions.” Did this Trump-hater ever once think that the very idea of democracy, religious tolerance and equal rights for women are alien concepts to begin with in a country like Qatar that she called “great”?

After Smith’s departure, the State Department continued its praise of Qatar for supposedly being a partner in the fight against terrorism. In the same Country Reports on Terrorism 2016, which praised Abbas and blamed Israel for creating the conditions that fostered Palestinian terrorism, the State Department lauded Qatar for collaborating “to foster closer regional and international cooperation on counterterrorism, law enforcement, and rule of law activities.”

Finally, there is the issue of climate change. President Trump decided to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change because it disadvantaged America economically. However, the Paris Agreement was the pride and joy of Secretary of State John Kerry’s State Department. Obama holdovers have remained at the State Department, in a position to do mischief to President Trump’s plans to extricate the United States from the bad climate change deal.

Within the bowels of the State Department, for example, is the Office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change, which, according to its website, is responsible for developing, implementing, and overseeing U.S. international policy on climate change. Its website still boasts how it led the way “in the negotiations in Paris at the 21st Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC (COP21).” The website goes on to praise the Paris Agreement as the “most ambitious climate accord ever negotiated.”  This website remains operational even though President Trump has reportedly decided not to name a special envoy for climate change. The United States deputy special envoy for climate change, Trigg Talley, who served as head of the U.S. delegation for negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, remains in office, however. The opportunity for the State Department to conduct a deep state war against the president’s climate change policies is a real threat unless the Office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change is completely shut down.

There are other potential pockets of resistance to President Trump’s climate change policies inside the State Department, such as the Office of Global Change. It too should be shut down or sharply curtailed.

President Trump, not State Department bureaucrats, was elected by the American people. He should have the final say on policy matters within his scope of executive authority, which includes the setting of foreign policy priorities. Deep state saboteurs within the State Department and other government agencies need to be rooted out at once and removed from positions of influence where they can do harm to the president’s agenda.