Archive for the ‘Russia’ category

FULL MEASURE: January 08, 2017 – Russia Watching

January 11, 2017

FULL MEASURE: January 08, 2017 – Russia Watching via YouTube, January 11, 2017

 

Trump’s team is on point

December 14, 2016

Trump’s team is on point, Israel Hayom, Boaz Bismuth, December 14, 2016

(Please see also, Trump picked Tillerson for tough new Iran policy. — DM)

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, comes from outside the State Department, just like Colin Powell did under former U.S. President George W. Bush. There is one thing that should be noted, however: starting Jan. 20, both the U.S. president and the secretary of state will be outsiders, without political or diplomatic backgrounds. Get ready for changes and Washington-style inventions, like moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

Tillerson comes to the State Department with 40 years’ experience in a multinational company, ExxonMobil. For the past decade, Tillerson, who knows the world, has served as head of the company. It’s hard to say that an inexperienced person has been appointed secretary of state. Even Henry Kissinger had less international experience than Tillerson when he was appointed to the role, unless you count the number of foreign students he taught at Harvard.

Some will say that the appointment of Tillerson is problematic, especially for Israel: first of all, because of his close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin; secondly, because of his close ties with the Gulf states; and third, because the former candidates for Trump’s secretary of state (former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, John Bolton, and even former Governor Mitt Romney) are considered more pro-Israel.

Let’s start with Russia: Tillerson might be a Putin favorite, but we can also assume this means he will always find a sympathetic ear at the Kremlin. What’s bad about that? The Obama administration sought to improve ties with Russia and was even responsible for a reboot in relations between Washington and Moscow. That reboot was so “successful” that at times we thought that Russia had resurrected the Soviet Union. We can assume that when Tillerson is in charge at the State Department, things will change. We can also assume that the president-elect and Tillerson will support the removal of sanctions currently in place against the Russians. Offered honey that sweet, the Russian bear will become much less irritable, and might continue strengthening ties with Israel.

Moving on to the Gulf states: Tillerson has worked for oil giants, so it’s obvious that he was in close contact with the Sunni Arab producers. The Gulf states, which like Iran about as much as Israel does, will explain to him that Tehran is a danger, not an opportunity. He’ll hear exactly the same thing in Jerusalem.

What tipped the scales in his favor, for Trump, was the fact that Tillerson knows how to close deals. Unlike former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he won’t fly around the world just to try to move things along; he will get on a plane to solve problems. And possibly even help the movers get the embassy equipment from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. A new president, a new team, a new age.

Trump picked Tillerson for tough new Iran policy

December 14, 2016

Trump picked Tillerson for tough new Iran policy, DEBKAfile, December 14, 2016

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Rex Tillerson, Chairman an CEO of Exxon Mobil, was named this week as the next administration’s Secretary of State to execute the tough foreign policies charted by president-elect Donald Trump, including his decision to stiffen the nuclear accord signed with Iran as soon as he moves into the White House on Jan. 20.

DEBKAfile reports this exclusively from New York and its intelligence sources.

While campaigning for the presidency, Trump called the accord “the worst deal” ever.

According to our sources, a special team is already working on revisions of the accord which the US and five other global powers concluded with Iran in 2015 in the hope of retarding Iran’s nuclear weapons program by a decade.

As new president, Trump will issue Tehran with a unilateral demand to accept those revisions as pre-condition for the continuation of relations between the US and Iran. He does not intend consulting America’s co-signers, Russia, China, Germany, Britain and France, or asking them for their endorsement of the revamped accord.

The teams preparing the Trump administration’s Iran policy were put in place last week by Tillerson and designated national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

No members of the incumbent NSC, State Department, Pentagon or Treasury, who managed the Obama administration’s Iran policy, was invited to take part. The teams were instead chosen from among scientists, military leaders and intelligence officials who opposed the nuclear accord with Iran.

Also attached were former administration officials hired by Exxon for their extensive knowledge of Iran’s oil trade and their close ties with oil circles in the Gulf Emirates, which like Israel, fought hard to pre-empt the nuclear deal with Iran.

Our sources have also learned that if Iran rejects the revised accord, the president elect has a list of new economic sanctions drawn up which are a lot tougher than the sanctions regime imposed by the Bush and Obama administrations.

The incoming president will have a fight on his hands to get the Tillerson appointment through the Senate in the face of objections raised by Republican lawmakers over his ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin. However, Trump hopes to turn those ties to his advantage. He trusts that Tillerson is just the man to sell the new administration’s Iran policies to the Russian president.

Read more about Trump’s plans for his secretary of state in the coming issue of DEBKA Weekly (for subscribers) out on Friday. Dec. 16, 2016.

Trying to overturn a free and fair election

December 13, 2016

Trying to overturn a free and fair election, Washington Times,

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The world has turned itself upside down. Only yesterday the liberals and the left (the “progressives,” as they want to be called) regarded the CIA as the locus of evil, the gang that couldn’t shoot straight, forever poisoning gentle minds with a diet of conspiracy and tall tale.

In those gloomy days of the Cold War, where every day was seasoned with a sharp wind and a cold rain, it was the Democratic intellectuals who were forever chiding the rest of us that the Soviet Union was not so bad, the Russians just wanted to be understood and maybe deserved an occasional cuddle. It was the Republicans and other conservatives who were mindless rubes who imagined there was a mad Russian under everybody’s bed.

Now the CIA, in the liberal/left’s fevered dreams, is the last bulwark of the republic, the last remaining hope to turn the 2016 election result on its head and deprive Donald Trump of the victory he won. The Russians, it now turns out, are just as bad as the conservatives said they were.

President Obama, who mocked Mitt Romney four years ago for suggesting that Russia and Vladimir Putin was America’s No. 1 enemy, now says it was Mr. Romney who was smart and got it right four years ago. The president himself, in his telling, is the man dumber than a cypress stump.

The president, at last awake and paying attention to Russian cyber warfare, wants answers, and by noon on Jan. 20. He can then only dine out on the answers, because he won’t have any more authority to do anything about them than the cat.

Desperation pursues despair, and the Democrats are stumbling from inanity to insanity in search of a way to block Donald Trump’s path to the White House. Hilary Clinton’s remnant of a campaign has endorsed an attempt by a handful of members of the Electoral College — 9 Democrats and a rogue Republican — to get the “intelligence briefing” they think might derail next Monday’s scheduled day for the members of the Electoral College to vote for president, 306 of whom are honor bound to vote for the Donald. That’s 36 votes more than he needs.

“The bipartisan electors’ letter raises very grave issues involving our national security,” John Podesta said Monday. “Electors have a solemn responsibility under the Constitution and we support their efforts to have their questions addressed.

“Each day our campaign decried the interference of Russia in our campaign and its evident goal of hurting our campaign to aid Donald Trump. Despite our protestations this matter did not receive the attention it deserved by the media in our campaign. We now know that the CIA has determined Russia’s interference in our elections was for the purpose of electing Donald Trump. This should distress every American.”

What should distress every American is the way the left, the liberals, the progressives and their handmaidens in the press have discarded reasonable conversation to try out every absurd alarm, one after the other, to see whether one could stick, to undermine and undercut the results of what everyone agrees was a free and fair election on Nov. 8. None has worked. More than a month later, the republic stands.

Hysteria now threatens to become insanity. Rep. Jim Hines of Connecticut, a Democrat, says it came to him in the night, as if Marley’s ghost was rattling his chains at the bedside, “that this man is not only unqualified to be president, he’s a danger to the republic. I do think the Electoral College should choose someone other than Donald Trump to be president. That will lead to a fascinating legal issue, but I would rather have a legal issue, a complicated legal problem, than to find out the White House was now the Kremlin’s chief ally.”

Accusing a president-elect of treason, of plotting with the enemy against his country, and with no evidence at all, is something that even a congressman from Connecticut should understand is beyond the limits of rational and decent political debate. Alas, it’s par for the course on the left this season.

The sudden deep concern by President Obama and the Democrats about Russia and cyber warfare, is a bit rich. The Washington Post, which continues so deep in denial that its side lost the election that it may never find the way to the next stage of grief, hangs its survival on the conclusion of the intelligence agencies — which, to put it charitably, have a dismal record of finding out what’s going on anywhere.

A competent president and a responsible “intelligence community” would have done something about the Russians and their hackers a long time ago. Whining doesn’t work.

Making Sense of the Mess in Syria

December 6, 2016

Making Sense of the Mess in Syria, Front Page MagazineAri Lieberman, December 6, 2016

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The vacillating and pusillanimous policies pursued by the Obama administration have enabled the Russians and Iranians to fill the void. Meanwhile, as Syria’s death toll nears 500,000 and its migrants – some with radical Islamic connections – continue to stream into Europe, it is clear that the nation state of Syria, Balkanized after five years of brutal conflict, is no more.

***********************

On July 30, 1970 a squadron of Israeli air force F-4E Phantoms and Mirages laden with bombs and missiles took off from their airbase in Sinai and flew westward toward Egypt. Their target was an Egyptian radar station.

The action occurred during the height of the War of Attrition between Israel and Egypt. The Egyptians were faring badly and their armed forces had suffered a series of public humiliations at the hands of the Israel Defense Forces. As a consequence, the Soviets stepped into the fray to save their client state and deployed 10,000 military personal and technical experts to the theater. The Soviets also assumed full control of Egypt’s air defenses. Surface-to-air missile batteries were manned by Soviet personnel and Soviet piloted MiG 21Js – the Soviet Union’s latest MiG-21 variant – patrolled Egyptian airspace. A direct clash between the Soviet Union and Israel was inevitable.

As the Israeli fighters zeroed in on their target, 16 Soviet MiGs moved in to intercept. In the melee that followed, five MiGs were shot down for no Israeli losses. The remaining 11 MiGs beat a hasty retreat. The Soviets were simply no match for the seasoned Israeli pilots.

The clash brought regional tensions – already heightened after one year of near constant border clashes – to a boiling point but neither side wanted an escalation. A ceasefire was eventually brokered by the superpowers and tensions deescalated.

Russia’s present military deployment in Syria is not dissimilar to its deployment in Egypt 46 years ago but the chances of an Israeli-Russian aerial clash today is virtually nil. There are some salient differences between the two circumstances. Israel and Russia are no longer bitter enemies and currently maintain cordial relations. Lines of communications between the two nations are good. Potential misunderstandings – to the extent that any exist – are channeled through liaisons to prevent accidental confrontations.

But war can best be summed up as organized chaos and given the clutter over the skies of Syria, with Russian, Israeli, Turkish and Coalition aircraft all operating within the confines of a limited space, mishaps are certainly possible. The Russians maintain formidable air defenses in Syria and Israel views them warily.

Underscoring this, last week IAF fighter jets launched two strikes in Syria, one targeting ISIS, in which four ISIS terrorists were killed and the second, targeting a Hezbollah weapons convoy and a Syrian military compound just outside Damascus. Though the Israelis have understandably remained moot on the specifics of the latter attack, according to published sources, Israeli fighters launched a number of Israeli made Popeye air-to-surface missiles from Lebanese airspace at a facility housing elements of Syria’s 4th Armored Division as well as a Hezbollah-bound weapons convoy traveling along the Beirut-Damascus highway.

Israel cognizant of Russia’s S-400 and S-300 air defense platforms in Syria opted to circumvent the possibility of an accidental confrontation by launching its attack from Lebanese airspace. It should be noted that the S-400s were deployed by the Russians last year following the downing of a Russian Su-24 by a Turkish F-16. The move was meant to serve as a deterrent to Turkey and no hostile intent was directed at Israel. Additionally, the term “Lebanese airspace” is a rather generous term that implies that Lebanon is a fully sovereign nation. In reality, Lebanon is sovereign in name only, having been swallowed whole by Hezbollah, Iran’s genocidal Shia proxy.

Israel’s interest in Syria is limited to ensuring that game-changing weapons of strategic import don’t fall into the hands of Hezbollah. Thus, on several occasions, Israeli fighter jets have launched successful interdicting operations aimed at destroying sophisticated weaponry – including SA-22 anti-aircraft missiles, Scud D ballistic missiles and Yakhont cruise missiles – clandestinely shipped from Iran via Syria.

A secondary goal is to ensure that border areas remain free of Hezbollah, Iranian and ISIS influence. In January 2015, an Israeli airstrike liquidated 12 senior Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps operatives, including an IRGC general, who were reconnoitering the border near Israel’s Golan Heights for future operations against the Jewish State.

Russia, which has a much broader interest in Syria, understands Israel’s concerns and has no interest in needlessly antagonizing the Israelis. Syria has been under Soviet and now Russia’s sphere of influence since the early 1950s and Russia is intent on maintaining its air and naval bases in Syria. To that end, it is keen on maintaining Assad’s hold on power, or for that matter, any Assad replacement that commits to friendly relations with Moscow and continued Russian military presence.

Russia is also looking to project military power and reassert its role as a superpower. The high profile deployment of a sizable Russian fleet in the Eastern Mediterranean, which includes the Russian aircraft carrier and Cold War relic, Admiral Kuznetsov, represents part of this strategy. However, it appears that the Kuznetsov has been a bit of an embarrassment for Putin.

On November 14, a carrier-based MiG-29K crashed while attempting a failed landing on the Kuznetsov. The carrier was encountering problems with its arrestor cables and the MiG crashed while circling and waiting for repairs. Just three weeks later, a Russian Navy Su-33 encountered a similar fate while attempting a landing on the Kuznetsov. Recent Satellite imagery taken of the Russian air base at Khmeimim, near Latakia, shows rows of Su-33 and MiG-29K carrier-based aircraft parked alongside Russian land-based fighter jets indicating that the Russians have given up on the notion of launching strikes from the Kuznetsov.

While the Israelis and Russians maintain clear strategies and objectives for Syria, under Obama, the U.S. strategy in Syria can best be described as befuddled and lacking any clear direction. The U.S. had initially called for Assad’s unconditional departure but seems to have backed away from that position and now calls for an orderly transition of power, seemingly giving Assad some wiggle room.

Obama had threatened to use military force if Assad employed poison gas against his own people but back peddled on that position as well. In late 2015 it was revealed that the Obama administration spent an astonishing $500 million to train four or five Free Syrian Army rebels, clearly demonstrating that Obama’s policy on Syria represents nothing short of a farcical tragic comedy.

The Obama administration had initially ignored the ISIS menace and its current pinprick military campaign against the terror group is utilizing but a fraction of America’s military strength. Finally, while the Obama administration has publicly sought to end Syria’s civil war peacefully, its transfer of billions in cash to the Islamic Republic has only served to fuel the fire. There is no doubt that this cash has been utilized to pay the salaries of Iran’s mercenary forces in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq.

The vacillating and pusillanimous policies pursued by the Obama administration have enabled the Russians and Iranians to fill the void. Meanwhile, as Syria’s death toll nears 500,000 and its migrants – some with radical Islamic connections – continue to stream into Europe, it is clear that the nation state of Syria, Balkanized after five years of brutal conflict, is no more.

The Russian Connection (Iran and Syria, Too)

October 28, 2016

The Russian Connection (Iran and Syria, Too), Counter Jihad, October 27, 2016

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According to a blockbuster new report by Christine Brim, Clinton crony Thomas Pickering profited to the tune of half a million dollars while arranging shady deals with Russia, Syria, and Iran.

Some of these deals were outright illegal, the report says:

[Hillary Clinton’s] Foreign Affairs Policy Advisor Thomas Pickering was a paid director for the Russian company Trubnaya Metallurgicheskaya Kompaniya (TMK) from June 30, 2009 to June 26, 2012. TMK is majority-owned by Russian billionaire oligarch Dmitry Pumpyansky, a close Putin ally.

I discovered extensive proof of TMK’s business dealings in Iran and Syria while Pickering was on its board, including TMK sales of oil and gas pipelines to Iran that were specifically prohibited under U.S. laws and executive orders.

Emphasis added.

The Brim report notes that this Clinton crony had a similar relationship with Boeing during the Iran negotiations, one that resulted in a $25 billion contract between Boeing and Iran.  When the stakes are that high, corporations are willing to work with tyrants and human rights abusers like the mullahs.  Pickering served as a lobbyist encouraging ratification of the Iran deal while on Boeing’s payroll — a fact he kept secret from those he was lobbying, according to news reports.

We have learned about Pickering’s dealings thanks in part to emails recovered from Hillary Clinton’s illegal secret server.  These emails show him engaged in pay for play negotiations between the Clintons and foreign governments, according to the Brim report.

Emails released from Clinton’s private server show that Pickering was emailing, meeting, and coordinating foreign travel with Clinton and her staff from the beginning of her time as secretary of State and arguing for an end to economic sanctions on Iran all during the same years he was on TMK’s board of directors. Starting in December 2011, he also served in official capacity on Clinton’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board. Clinton appointed Pickering chairman for the Benghazi Accountability Review Board three months after he left TMK.

Unsurprisingly, in that role he found that Hillary Clinton was in no way blameworthy for the disaster at Benghazi.  Indeed, in a parallel role he ensured that she received a “Pursuit of Peace” trophy from the International Crisis Group in 2014, the day before the House Select Committee on Benghazi launched its work.

These stories are of course deeply familiar to anyone who has followed the tales of the Clinton State Department.  It’s not a very different story from the story about her taking big money donations from Bahrain to her foundation, and then approving a major arms deal sought by that country.  Official State Department channels had rejected the deal previously, but just like the laws forbidding sales of pipeline technology to Iran, neither the law nor the ordinary standards of diplomatic practice matter for Clinton “friends” who are willing to come across with plenty of cash.

Nor is it very different from the story about how Clinton rubber-stamped a vastly increased number of visas from Saudi Arabia following tens of millions of dollars in donations to her family foundation.  She did this in spite of having herself sent a cable in 2009 stating that “Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaida.”

So this story is one we know all too well.  Is this kind of shameless corruption the future of the American government?  The next few weeks will tell.

The Incestuous Left and Those Who Provide Cover for them

October 23, 2016

The Incestuous Left and Those Who Provide Cover for them, American Thinker, Clarice Feldman, October 23, 2016

As the election nears, the media hype, designed to affect the results, demoralize and demonize Trump and his supporters and confirm the bias of its elite coastal consumers, continues. Saturday’s opinion-posing-as-news lead in the Washington Post says the end is near for Trump — the polls have him down everywhere and he was booed for crass attacks at the Al Smith dinner in New York. What do you expect from media whose reporters are literally in bed with the administration?

Not only are reporters feeding debate questions to the Clinton campaign, we have a video of one of them, Andrea Mitchell, seemingly being fed what to ask by Hillary’s traveling press secretary.

Extensive evidence from Wikileaks, FOIA responses, and “human sources” of the incestuous and improper coordination between the media and the Democrats have been detailed by Sharyl Attkisson. She concludes:

It can be argued that some individual accounts can be rationalized and are not serious breaches of ethics. But taken as a whole, it’s easy to see how we as journalists have done a poor job protecting ourselves from being co-opted by organized interests, often ones that are paid and politically-motivated. Whether we realize it or not, they’ve figured out how to exploit the media and use us to publish their propaganda. It implies a broad and growing trend that has seriously undermined the credibility of the news industry.

Opinion reporters and those who work for obviously ideological news groups are entitled to publish party propaganda. It’s one matter to provide viewpoint journalism. But it’s quite another for us to act as a tool of any interest, publishing narratives or talking points upon suggestion or demand, without disclosing we’ve done just that.

Wikileaks promises to unleash even more insider accounts of the Clinton campaign and DNC shenanigans this coming week and has said it has even more current information — material respecting serious wrongdoing by the DNC head Donna Brazile and Clinton’s vice-presidential running mate Timothy Kaine coming up next. James O’Keefe of Project Veritas says that on Monday he is releasing a video of Robert Creamer, shown as a vote fixer in previous videos, coordinating with Clinton and Brazile. “Anything happens to me, there’s a deadman’s switch on Part III, which will be released Monday. @HillaryClinton and @donnabrazile implicated.”

The media has hardly reported these disclosures and when it has it has downplayed them, but it is no longer a gatekeeper deciding what we are allowed to know, although it tries hard to hide Hillary’s obvious physical disabilities from the public eye.

As for the polls, Democrat pollster Pat Caddell says we may be in for a shock election night:

“All of the tracking polls keep holding at Trump being ahead,” he continued. “And then all of these other polls that are one-off polls, or whatever… I don’t know how they’re doing some of these university polls. You just put the name of some university and apparently it becomes credible, whether they know what they’re doing, or not.

Caddell was pointing out the discrepancy between the different types of polls. “But in any event, polling is all over the place…. Something isn’t adding up,” said Caddell.

“Something is going to happen here, I just sense it,” he concluded. Either “Hillary will glide into the White House, or we’re headed for one of the greatest shocks in American politics. I think it’s a very close call. I think the shock potential is enormous.”

Our own Jared E. Peterson fleshes out Caddell‘s point:

Here are some of the numbers available Friday, October 21, 2016:

Goebbels/Pravda: (with NBC and CBS as reported by RCP on the afternoon of Friday, October 21, 2016):

ABC/Washington Post: 47-43, Clinton

NBC: 51-43, Clinton

CBS:  51-40, Clinton

Non-Propaganda Machine-affiliated: (as reported on the afternoon of Friday October 21, 2016):

IBT/TIPP: 41-40, Trump

LA Times/USC Tracking: 44.5-43.8, Trump

Rasmussen: 43-41, Trump

To say there’s a huge difference between the current state of the race as depicted by Goebbels/Pravda versus that shown by major independent polling organizations, would be risible understatement.

The propaganda arm of the Democratic Party is showing a runaway race, while the independents present an extremely tight one, with Trump frequently leading by a nose.

We know that at least one — the NBC/WSJ poll which early showed Clinton with an improbable 11-point lead — was a barely disguised effort intended to manipulate public opinion using a small pool of voters, improbably weighted and produced by a firm with extensive ties to the Clinton camp.

As for the media account of the Al Smith dinner, it seems like the fake accounts of Trump encouraging violence at his rallies, it’s not a true account. Joe Concha reports that you weren’t being told that Hillary got just as mean and personal as Trump did and also received some boos even from such an elite Democrat supporting party — and Concha who quotes from their remarks is joined in this assessment by Piers Morgan.

It’s hard to disagree with Concha’s conclusion:

“Who would think the 2016 Al Smith Dinner would encapsulate the prism our media sees this campaign in so perfectly?

A prism where only one candidate exists.

Because as we’re seeing on television and in print today, it just somehow did.”

The dinner itself reflects how even the Catholic Archdiocese, which sponsors this dinner for the benefit of Catholic Charities, has been coopted by the left and vast sums of federal money. It looks as if it has lost its way. Catholic Charities receives hundreds of millions of dollars from the federal treasury as a refugee resettlement contractor. They accept thousands of unvetted Syrian Moslems and place them in communities already struggling to provide basic services, get them signed up for welfare benefits for which taxpayers then have to foot the bill and then lobby Congress for more funds to repeat this operation.

Catholic Charities/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: These nominally Catholic organizations are the largest VOLAGs [voluntary organizations], with hundreds of offices spread throughout the country. They are prominent members of the open borders/amnesty movement. The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is “the domestic anti-poverty program of the U.S. Catholic Bishops” and a grant-making vehicle of the USCCB. It was founded in Chicago in 1969 with the help of radical organizer Saul Alinsky, specifically to fund Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation. CCHD has been a radical leftist funding vehicle ever since, giving millions to ACORN, the radical training school Midwest Academy, and others. The Industrial Areas Foundation, where a young Barack Obama was trained in “community organizing” with financial support from the Chicago Archdiocese, receives the largest percentage of CCHD grants of any CCHD grantee.

President Obama had this to say about CCHD:

I got my start as a community organizer working with mostly Catholic parishes on the Southside of Chicago that were struggling because the steel plants had closed. The Campaign for Human Development helped fund the project and so, very early on, my career was intertwined with the belief in social justice that is so strong in the Church.

USCCB founded the Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., a $7 million subsidiary which assists illegal aliens based on “the Gospel value of welcoming the stranger.” It aggressively promotes amnesty, believing that “all goods of the earth belong to all people. When persons cannot find employment in their country of origin to support themselves and their families, they have a right to find work elsewhere in order to survive. Sovereign nations should provide ways to accommodate this right.” USCCB has 270 field offices in 47 states. Board members include Donald D. Taylor, president of the extreme-left union UNITE HERE!

Catholics are not alone in this three-card Monte game — there are nine other such nominally faith-based organization receiving vast sums to bring refugees here, pushing for amnesty and more money for their operations which are disrupting American communities and transforming them.

Most if not all started out as private charitable institutions providing financial and other aid out of their own funds for this work. Iowahawk describes the transformation of so many of our once fine institutions as these:

“Take a respected institution.

Kill it.

Gut it.

Wear its carcass as a skin suit.

And demand respect.”

I don’t recall Catholic Charities or any of the voluntary resettlement contractors lobbying on the hill for better vetting of refugees or for a change in the UN processing of them abroad to include truly persecuted groups like Christian refugees. (They may have; I just haven’t seen it.) It’s a scandal — your money funds these nominally Christian and Jewish groups to bring in ever more inassimilable, low educated, unskilled, and sometimes very ill and dangerous hordes to transform us from a Christian-Judeo nation which believes in religious tolerance into one in which a growing minority of immigrants which a supremacist fantasy encourages demands for special privileges and the right to live off our bounty as they undermine what has created it.

The more refugee cases a volag is assigned, the more money the federal government hands over to the private agency. In some ways, the model resembles those charities that spend inordinately on fund raising and administration instead of on actually helping needy people.

Clearly, refugee resettlement policy and programs, from top to bottom, are overdue for congressional scrutiny and reform. Those organizations, including religious ones, receiving federal monies deserve close assessment. It is morally incumbent on religious refugee bureaus to examine their own hearts. As Christ said, it is impossible to serve both God and money (Luke 16:13). Their efforts would be a lot more honest and effective and a lot less harmful to their fellow countrymen and communities if they returned to reliance on private funding alone.

Hundreds of Catholic institutions are involved, including Catholic Charities of NY. The $177.2 million in federal grants to Catholic charities in 2015 are from a single charity organization. — the Catholic Charities of Chicago. So it’s fair to assume that the NY branch (for whom the Al Smith dinner is the beneficiary) itself garnered at least that much that year.

But the Al Smith dinner reflects more than its being a cover for leftist money-grubbing at our expense — it reveals a shocking disregard for Catholic sensibilities to curry favor with New York’s leftist elites and Hillary.

Recent history reveals the shift. Writing in the NC Register, Thomas Mcardle questions whether this dinner for the glitterati has passed its expiration date.

The overall message the Al Smith Dinner now sends to Americans, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, is that Catholic teachings on human life and marriage can’t be allowed to muss relations between the Church and an increasingly anti-Catholic state. But in both 1996 and 2004, the abortion-friendly position of first Bill Clinton and then Catholic Democrat nominee John Kerry led to both parties’ candidates not being invited by the Archdiocese of New York.

The decision to invite Hillary is even more inexplicable when the Archbishop had the same week demanded an apology from Hillary for the anti-Catholic material within her campaign disclosed by Wikileaks, and hasn’t received one.

Emails released last week by WikiLeaks showed Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta and Director of Communications Jennifer Palmieri, both Catholics, in conversations with activists from two left-wing organizations. In the emails, Catholics were debased, with their beliefs being called “severely backwards.” Conservative Catholics also were accused of “an amazing bastardization of the faith,” and Rupert Murdoch was mocked for baptizing his children as Catholics in the River Jordan.

The U.S. Church’s bishops were slammed in the emails as well, referred to as “a middle ages dictatorship.”

Palmieri said in one of the emails she thought conservatives that had come to Catholicism did so because “they think it is the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion,” and that “their rich friends wouldn’t understand if they became evangelicals.”

Podesta admitted to helping launch a “progressive” infiltration of the Church in another email, and he took an active role in attempting to incite a liberal Catholic revolt against the U.S. bishops.

“We created Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good to organize for a moment like this,” Podesta wrote. “But I think it lacks the leadership to do so now. Likewise Catholics United. Like most Spring movements, I think this one will have to be bottom up.”

The “Catholic Spring” Podesta referred to had been broached in the email by Center for Progress president Sandy Newman, who had pondered how one would “plant the seeds of the revolution,” or “who would plant them.”

With even more damaging Wikileaks and Project Veritas disclosures coming, the Clinton camp is now trying to question their credibility, source, and organizer. So far, the claims seem unpersuasive. Donna Brazile whose head seems to be moving next under the Wikileakd guillotine has suggested the emails were tampered with.  (You might remember that in 1988 she was fired from the DNC and Dukakis apologized for her conduct when she spread a lie that George H.W. Bush had a mistress.) Cryptographers debunk that.

Hillary has claimed that U.S. Security agencies told her the hacks were Russian, suggesting Putin is trying to influence our election. Like everything else she says, this, too, is false.  Rumors smearing Assange as a pedophile have been spread — doubtless by the trolls within the Clinton network.  Reddit sleuths trace them to the address of an intelligence agency that seems to share an address with an outfit on whose board sit Larry Summers and Neera Tanden, both major players in the Clinton shadow government Center for American Progress.

Whether this will pan out on further investigation, remains to be seen, but given what we know of how the Clintons operate I’d consider it a distinct possibility.

Former UK foreign minister Craig Murray hints the Wikileaks come from inside the Clinton camp itself.

“I can tell you with 100% certainty that it is not any Russian state actor or proxy that gave the Democratic National Committee and Podesta material to WikiLeaks. The claim is nonsense. Journalists are also publishing that these were obtained by “hacking” with no evidence that this was the method used to obtain them. [snip]

But the key point is that WikiLeaks is a publisher. It is a vehicle for publishing leaks, and is much more of a vehicle for whistleblowers than for hackers. It does not originate the material. I have often seen comments such as “Why has WikiLeaks not published material on Israel/Putin/Trump?” The answer is that they have not been given any. They publish good, verifiable material that they are given by whistleblowers.”

It would warm my cold heart to think there is an honest person or two somewhere on the vast Clinton payroll.