Archive for the ‘Swamp creatures’ category

Time to Drain the Swamp – Also in Europe

November 26, 2017

Time to Drain the Swamp – Also in Europe, Gatestone InstituteGeert Wilders, November 26, 2017

(Please see also, US State Department puts $700,000 into Hungarian media, demands “programming” against Orban, patriots. — DM)

Our democracies in the Western half of Europe have been subverted. Their goal is no longer to do what the people want. On the contrary, our political elites often do exactly the opposite. Our parliaments promote open-door policies that the majority of the people reject. Our governments sell out sovereignty to the EU against the will of the people. Our rulers welcome ever more Islam, although the majority of the people oppose it.

Our democracies have become fake democracies. They are multi-party dictatorships, ruled by groups of establishment parties…. The establishment parties control everything, not just the politicians in their pay, but also the top brass of the civil service, the mainstream media, even the courts…. They call us “populists” because we stand for what the people want. They even drag us to court.

We need to show that Europe’s streets are our streets, that we want to stay who and what we are, and do not want to be colonized by Islam. Europe belongs to us!

Next month, I will be visiting Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. I have been invited to speak to a group of Czech patriots. The Czechs are a freedom loving people. In 2011, on the occasion of the 100th birthday of Ronald Reagan, they named a street in Prague after this great American president and freedom fighter.

This fact reminded me of a shameful event in my home town of The Hague, the seat of the Dutch Parliament and the government of the Netherlands. Look for a Ronald Reagan Street in The Hague and you will find none. A proposal in 2011 to name a street in The Hague after Reagan ran into fierce political opposition. Leftist parties, such as Labor, the Greens and the liberal D66 party, argued that naming a street in honor of Reagan would “do the image of the city no good.” The whole affair ended in a disgraceful political compromise. Last year, a short stretch of a local bicycle path was named the “Reagan and Gorbachev Lane”.

This anecdote is indicative of the difference between East and West in Europe. We can see the same difference in the attitude of their ruling elites towards Islam, the new totalitarianism that is threatening Europe today. In the East, political leaders oppose Islam; in the West, they surrender.

Islam has already gained a strong foothold in Western Europe. Its streets have come to resemble the Middle East, with headscarves everywhere. Parts of Western Europe, such as the Schilderswijk district in The Hague, the Molenbeek borough in Brussels, the banlieues [suburbs] of Paris, Birmingham in Britain, the Rosengård area in Malmö, Sweden, and many other neighborhoods, have become hotbeds of Islamic subversion.

Islam’s totalitarian nature cannot be denied. The command to murder and terrorize non-Muslims is in the Koran. Islam’s prophet Muhammad was a mass murderer and a pedophile. Those who leave Islam supposedly deserve death. And everyone who criticizes Islam and exposes what it actually says, ends up like me: on an Islamic death list.

In the past decades, Islam has entered Western Europe with the millions of immigrants from Islamic countries. Now, the European Union wants to distribute third-world immigrants over all the 28 EU member states. The nations in Central and Eastern Europe reject the EU plans to impose permanent and mandatory relocation quotas for all EU member states. They warn about the dilution of their identity, which is not Islamic, but Judeo-Christian and humanist — rooted in the legacy of Jerusalem, Athens and Rome; not Mecca.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has denounced the EU’s pro-immigration agenda as a means to eradicate the culture and Christian identity of Hungary. Czech President Miloš Zeman is an outspoken opponent of immigration and the Islamification of the Czech Republic. Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has said that “Islam has no place in Slovakia” and warns that “migrants change the character of our country.” Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło staunchly defendsPoland’s refusal to accept the EU-imposed immigration quotas. “We are not going to take part in this madness,” she says. In the Eastern part of Europe, anti-Islamification and anti-mass migration parties see a surge in popular support.

Resistance is growing in the West, as well. This year, we have seen my party, the Party for Freedom (PVV), become the second-largest party in the Netherlands. This is a great achievement in a country with 13 parties in Parliament. In France, Marine Le Pen made it to the second round in the French presidential elections and her party, the Front National, got more votes than ever. In Austria, the FPÖ became the second biggest party. In Germany, the patriots of the AfD forced their way into the Bundestag.

Geert Wilders, leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV), casts his vote in The Hague during the Dutch general election that made his the second-largest party in the Netherlands, on March 15, 2017. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

However, the political elites in the West do all they can to keep the winners of the elections from power. Last month, in my country, the Netherlands, a new government coalition consisting of no less than four parties was formed. Because they stubbornly refused to talk to PVV, it took the political elites a record seven months to put together a coalition. They preferred to take in D66, the party which had denied Ronald Reagan his street in The Hague, and still they were only able to form a government with a majority of just one single seat in Parliament.

Our democracies in the Western half of Europe have been subverted. Their goal is no longer to do what the people want. On the contrary, our political elites often do exactly the opposite. Our parliaments promote open-door policies that the majority of the people reject. Our governments sell out sovereignty to the EU against the will of the people. Our rulers welcome ever more Islam, although the majority of the people oppose it.

Our democracies have become fake democracies. They are multi-party dictatorships, ruled by groups of establishment parties. They wheel and deal, often selling away the principles for which they have been elected. The establishment parties control everything, not just the politicians in their pay, but also the top brass of the civil service, the mainstream media, even the courts. Parties such as mine are excluded from coalition talks. They call us “populists” because we stand for what the people want. They even drag us to court.

Three decades ago, the countries in Central Europe witnessed a Velvet Revolution: Democratic, political and peaceful. They took to the streets. They decided that enough was enough. Thanks to their Velvet Revolution, they have leaders today who truly represent the people and who are not afraid to stand up for their nation and its identity.

We, in Western Europe, can learn lessons from the Velvet Revolution in the East. We, too, urgently need to make clear that enough is enough. In Western Europe, too, it is time to drain the swamp and to drive the elites from power. Peaceful and democratic, but thorough. We have to make our so-called democratic systems truly democratic again. The political actors should no longer be the professional politicians alone. The crisis is existential. It is time for every man and woman to do his and her duty. Because the survival of our nations itself is at stake.

We, too, have to make it very clear that we no longer want to take part in the madness of leaders, who sell out their country to the EU institutions in Brussels, and the madness of the EU elites, who sell out our continent to mass-immigration and Islam. That is why the PVV will demonstrate in the streets of Rotterdam on January 20th. We need to show that Europe’s streets are our streets, that we want to stay who and what we are, and do not want to be colonized by Islam. Europe belongs to us!

Geert Wilders is a member of the Dutch Parliament and leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV) in the Netherlands.

Permanent Investigation: How the Media Uses the Anti-Netanyahu Playbook Against Trump

November 7, 2017

Permanent Investigation: How the Media Uses the Anti-Netanyahu Playbook Against Trump, FrontPageMagazine, Daniel Greenfield, November 7, 2017

Taking out Flynn left Trump with few options except McMaster. And that allowed the swamp to reclaim the National Security Council and protect the eavesdropping operation against Trump. The likely Flynn charges have little to do with the reason he was forced to resign or any accusations against Trump.

But that doesn’t matter. The real goal was to remove Flynn. The details don’t matter.

Thinning out a target’s inner circle makes it harder for him to find competent and loyal replacements. And that makes it all too easy for the swamp to plant its own people in his inner circle. And even if the staffers and allies stay loyal, the investigations make it harder for them to get anything done.

In free countries, the left operates on two tracks: the democratic and the undemocratic. When it loses democratically, it redoubles its undemocratic efforts to retain power. Scandals and investigations are the tools of an undemocratic establishment. But they can’t overthrow the will of the people.

When conservative leaders stay strong, the scandals and investigations blow away like the wind

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The latest news from Israel’s left-wing media outlets is that Ratan Tata, an Indian billionaire, testified to the Israeli police about Prime Minister Netanyahu. The story turned out to be fake news. And that’s true of most of their anti-Netanyahu hit pieces along with the police investigations that accompany them.

But that doesn’t matter.

Americans are just now being introduced to the permanent investigation and its scandal rolodex. Israelis have been living with this Deep State assault against their democracy for much longer. Over eight long years, leftists in the judicial system and the media have manufactured a non-stop campaign of scandals and investigations against Netanyahu. The investigations and the scandals fall apart, but it doesn’t matter because there are usually several being rotated in and out from the scandal rolodex.

The scandals and investigations fall into two categories that should be familiar to Trump supporters.

Category one scandals link some random billionaire to Netanyahu through a chain of connections. The random billionaire in this case is Indian. Then there’s an Australian billionaire in Mexico, German shipbuilders and whatever part of the globe the media-judicial alliance throws a dart at next.

The fake news media in this country is following the same game plan. The latest media hit pieces target Wilbur Ross, Trump’s Secretary of Commerce, in much the same way. Indeed the Russia scandal developed out of media hit pieces that used Trump’s international network of businesses to build up very similar conspiracy theories about foreign interests and influences.

These types of scandals constantly imply corruption without ever actually proving it. But by generating a whole lot of them, they create the sense that Netanyahu or Trump must have done something wrong.

Though no one can say what, because no one can keep track of all the fake scandals.

Category two scandals are character attacks. “He’s a bad person.” Typical examples are Trump’s condolence call controversy and accusations that Netanyahu’s wife is mean to employees.

These types of scandals are straightforward gossip. But lefties have tried to transform them into legal cases. Just about anyone who has ever worked for the Netanyahu family can walk out of the door and have a standing offer to file a lawsuit and do a tour of the media alleging horrible treatment. And the left is trying to advance similar lawsuits against President Trump.

There are lessons to be learned for Trump and Trump supporters from Netanyahu’s experiences.

First, permanent investigations don’t resolve. Trying to wait them out doesn’t work. They never go away until the left wins. An investigation that doesn’t pan out gets swapped out for another one. There are three investigations targeting Netanyahu. If none of them get results, there will be three others.

Everyone knows that.

Second, the purpose of a permanent investigation isn’t to get results. The left would love it if their investigations finally brought down Trump or Netanyahu, but they know that’s a long shot.

The permanent investigation’s real goals are to inflict electoral and policy damage: tying down a targeted politician in scandals so that the public loses confidence in him and preventing him from focusing on his policies. What the left wants is to win elections and stop conservative policies.

The scandals and investigations are political sabotage. And should be treated that way. They’re not about Trump or Netanyahu. They’re about protecting illegal immigration and Islamic terrorists.

Third, the investigations isolate their target by harassing staffers, friends, donors and political allies.

The investigations are a political operation. And so their targets are political. The purpose of the attack is to take out loyal staffers and force allies to keep their distance out of fear that they’ll be next.

Taking out Flynn left Trump with few options except McMaster. And that allowed the swamp to reclaim the National Security Council and protect the eavesdropping operation against Trump. The likely Flynn charges have little to do with the reason he was forced to resign or any accusations against Trump.

But that doesn’t matter. The real goal was to remove Flynn. The details don’t matter.

Thinning out a target’s inner circle makes it harder for him to find competent and loyal replacements. And that makes it all too easy for the swamp to plant its own people in his inner circle. And even if the staffers and allies stay loyal, the investigations make it harder for them to get anything done.

And that too is the point.

This may seem like a grim picture of what the next term or two will look like. But it’s not all grim.

Netanyahu made it through eight years by not letting the scandals drag him down. Even when the attacks against him and his family were as vicious, nasty and personal as the left could get.

He even turned the constant scandals and investigations into a hilarious campaign ad.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has accepted them as a fact of life in a political system where the left’s anti-Israel extremism has made it toxic to voters even while it still controls much of the establishment.

The permanent scandal has been met with permanent scandal fatigue by the public. Israelis have been living through years of hysterical headlines about Netanyahu’s ice cream eating (CNN did its own version of a Trump ice cream scandal with “Trump gets 2 scoops of ice cream, everyone else gets 1”), his wife’s bottle deposits, their children’s misbehavior, their nannies and his bed.

Hardly anyone outside the media bubble cares. Netanyahu’s reputation has been damaged with the media’s low information voters, but he’s still Israel’s longest serving consecutive prime minister.

The Israeli lefty media reacted to its narrative failures the same way that its American counterparts did.

After Trump’s win, the media launched a crusade against “fake news” enlisting Google and Facebook to censor results based on the opinions of the media’s “fact check” operations. Their Israeli counterparts were even more brazen. After a previous Netanyahu victory, they rolled out the “Law for the Advancement and Protection of Written Journalism in Israel”.

The law “advanced and protected” written journalism by banning the distribution of successful free newspapers. The real purpose of the law was to ban the pro-Netanyahu paper, Israel Hayom.

But the media’s censorship crusade didn’t accomplish anything.

The media has an exaggerated sense of its own power and of the gullibility of the public. The two fallacies are interrelated. When people don’t listen to it, the media assumes that since they’re too stupid to have their own ideas, they must be getting all their ideas from some other source. Stamp out this other source, online or offline, and the people will go back to believing what they’re told.

It doesn’t work so well when the media has a worldview and interests that are at odds with the people.

Netanyahu is still around because he represents the public better than the establishment does. The same is true of Trump. And the establishment can’t look in the mirror long enough to understand that.

In free countries, the left operates on two tracks: the democratic and the undemocratic. When it loses democratically, it redoubles its undemocratic efforts to retain power. Scandals and investigations are the tools of an undemocratic establishment. But they can’t overthrow the will of the people.

When conservative leaders stay strong, the scandals and investigations blow away like the wind.

The nuclear blast of Russian collusion

October 29, 2017

The nuclear blast of Russian collusion, Israel National News, Barry Shaw, October 27, 2017

Democrats unleashed a nuclear storm when they went after Trump on trumped up charges of Russian collusion.  Now they are about to reap the storm they created. It is likely to burn and destroy several Establishment figures.  

Watch out for the names Comey, Rosenstein, Wiseman, Mueller, Lynch, maybe Holder, two Clintons, and Obama.

If this is part of draining the swamp, so be it. 

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When President Donald Trump tweeted “Firm involved with discredited and Fake Dossier takes the 5th. Who paid for it, Russia, FBI, the Dems, or all?” people assumed it was one of Trump’s midnight rants. But, he exposed what looks likely to become the greatest political scandal in America’s history.

For a year, the Democrats, aided and abetted by a Hillary Clinton supporting media and a Deep State Establishment which includes Obama hangovers in the new Trump Administration as well as ‘Never Trump’ Republicans, have been searching under every rock and stone for evidence of a Trump collusion with the Russians.

Before leaving office, FBI head, James Comey contrived to appoint his friend, Robert Mueller, to be the Special Counsel to investigate links between the incoming president and the Russians, portrayed as the greatest evil on the face of the planet.

Now, it seems, the nuclear storm they unleashed of Russian collusion has suddenly changed direction and is blasting the Democrats and the Establishment fully in their own faces. In a two-pronged attack their demons have turned against them in what Trump calls “the Washington swamp.”

Christopher Steele, a British intelligence agent, offered the anti-Trump opposition information that could sink the Trump Campaign. The information came out of the Kremlin. This fake Russian intel was offered through a Russian-infected NGO named Fusion GPS. It was designed to help the Clinton Campaign defeat Donald Trump.

There was a price to be paid for this dossier. James Comey, the head of the FBI considered paying for it but, despite recent denials, it was revealed that the price was paid to Fusion GPS by the Hillary Clinton Campaign and the DNC. Millions of dollars were paid in several payments to Fusion GPS through law firms as cut-outs to cloak where the money was ending up. The dossier was shared with the FBI who sat on it rather than bringing it, as they should, to the attention of Congress.

An FBI informer wanted to bring the details of the dossier and name those involved in the scandal to Congress, but he was threatened by the FBI and by Loretta Lynch’s Depart of Justice with criminal, not civil, charges including serving jail time. The whistle-blower’s lawyer has been campaigning that it was the FBI and the Attorney-General’s duty to bring this matter to Congress, and that they had no jurisdiction to threaten this employee with criminal charges and incarceration.

Congress Oversight and Government Reform Committee member, Ron DeSantis, pressed the current Attorney-General, Jeff Sessions, to release this FBI agent and allow him to testify before Congress. The Attorney-General has now authorized this agent to speak with Congress. DeSantis said on the Lou Dobbs Show on Fox News TV that he is confident that the agent will not only give them details and names, but also offer supporting documents.

The affair is likely to include the breaking news of a huge multi-million-dollar scandal involving the Obama Administration, the FBI, the Department of Justice under the Obama presidency, Hillary and Bill Clinton and their Clinton Foundation.

Democrat Adam Schiff once said of a fake Trump collusion, without one iota of evidence, that it was “one of the most shocking betrayals in history.” Now he is going to witness what will truly be the most shocking betrayals in American history but, to his dismay, it will be Democrat-induced betrayals.

Under Obama and the Clintons, the United States sold 20% of its vital uranium reserves to America’s most evil enemy, Putin in the Kremlin.  Uranium is the prime ingredient for a nuclear bomb. Today, the United States has to import uranium to power its nuclear power plants – from Russia.  Part of the agreement stated that none of this uranium could leave the United States but there is evidence that much of it has left America for Europe and, almost certainly to Russia. Russia also supplies Iran with much of their uranium for their nuclear projects. That is why this issue has important security connotations for Israel.

And, in a pay to play quid pro quo, $145 million made its way from the Russian actors in this deal (acting for the Kremlin) into the coffers of the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was acting Secretary of State. Her husband, Bill, travelled to Moscow to give a $500,000 speech before having a private chat with Putin himself in his Moscow mansion. This, after Obama was recorded on an open mic in 2012 telling Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, “tell Vladimir that after my election I have more flexibility.”  This was matched by Hillary Clinton pantomiming with Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, that they could press a plastic ‘Reset’ button.

This was the jovial atmosphere that accompanied the Obama Administration’s collusion with Russia which is now being revealed to have sold off one of America’s most vital strategic and security assets to “the greatest threat to any nation” according to FBI’s James Comey, or “Russia is at the top of America’s threat list,” according to Obama’s Defense secretary, Ash Carter, in 2016, or to a country that “engages in hostile acts,” according to Hillary Clinton.

Either way, the Democrats unleashed a nuclear storm when they went after Trump on trumped up charges of Russian collusion.  Now they are about to reap the storm they created. It is likely to burn and destroy several Establishment figures.

Watch out for the names Comey, Rosenstein, Wiseman, Mueller, Lynch, maybe Holder, two Clintons, and Obama.

If this is part of draining the swamp, so be it.

Barry Shaw is a Senior Associate at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. 

Trump Court Nominee Upheld Rights of Police Against Holder DOJ Misconduct

September 29, 2017

Trump Court Nominee Upheld Rights of Police Against Holder DOJ Misconduct, PJ MediaJ. Christian Adams, September 29, 2017

(The excerpt from an article identifying Tom Perez as the Secretary of Labor was written before Mr. Perez, an Obama appointee, was replaced by President Trump’s appointee R. Alexander Acosta, who was sworn in on April 28, 2017. — DM)

Bernstein is still employed at the Civil Rights Division.

Ironically, Bernstein’s boss is now one Tamara Kessler, an ideological partisan and law enforcement foe in her own right, whom the Obama Civil Rights Division politicos burrowed into a career civil service position at the end of the administration. (Hans von Spakovsky and I have each chronicled Ms. Kessler’s lengthy swamp pedigree before.)

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President Trump has nominated a slate of solid picks for the federal bench, including a new list of nominees this week. Among them is Kurt D. Engelhardt.

Trump nominated Engelhardt to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, a district that covers the area from Alabama to the Rio Grande. Engelhardt already serves as a United States District Court judge in New Orleans.

Engelhardt will be familiar to PJ Media readers.

He is the judge who wrote a scathing 129-page order blistering the misconduct of lawyers at the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the local New Orleans U.S. Attorney’s Office in a prosecution of New Orleans police officers. His order offers a look behind the curtain of some of the worst ideological misconduct that occurred at the Obama DOJ.

Misconduct may be an inadequate word to describe the behavior of DOJ lawyers, and Engelhardt saw it all up close. See PJ Media’s “Justice Dept. Lawyer Karla Dobinski’s Misconduct Sends Cops to Prison,” or Hans von Spakovsky writing at National Review: “Grotesque DOJ Misconduct“.

Here’s von Spakovsky on the Holder DOJ’s skullduggery and Engelhardt’s opinion:

Trying to figure out what the prosecutors had done sent the court “on a legal odyssey unlike any other.” But that legal odyssey led the judge on September 17 to grant a new trial to the New Orleans police officers. It is the first time, according to Judge Engelhardt, that federal “prosecutors acting with anonymity used social media to circumvent ethical obligations, professional responsibilities, and even to commit violations of the Code of Federal Regulations.”

The 129-page order, which details the misbehavior of the Louisiana DOJ lawyers and the Civil Rights Division’s Dobinski, is appalling reading. And it isn’t just that Dobinski was a high-level Justice Department lawyer who was posting anonymous blogs about the trial. She also encouraged other anonymous bloggers, who “repeatedly posted vigorous pro-prosecution statements strongly condemning the defendants, their witnesses, and their entire defense.”

If you want to see the corrupt depths that ideological lawyers in the Holder Justice Department would plumb to convict cops, read Engelhardt’s entire order.

It is a tale of deliberate and deceptive violation of the constitutional rights of police officers in order to get a conviction at any price, and of lying to the court. It is a cautionary tale of civil rights enforcement run amok from ideologically driven hatred of police — an issue that even this week continues to resonate in America.

As I wrote at PJ Media, one of the lawyers, Barbara “Bobbi” Bernstein, was criticized by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for misleading Englehardt. Did her behavior hurt her career?

Quite the contrary:

Bernstein even received an award from Attorney General Eric Holder and now-Labor Secretary Tom Perez for her work after the New Orleans police trial where she made statements to the federal judge later proved to be false.

Not only did the DOJ lawyers engage in an anonymous internet campaign against the police, the Justice Department engaged in a broader abuse of power in the prosecution. Again, the federal appeals court:

[A]t least one cooperating defendant felt coerced into pleading guilty, that the sentences meted out to defendants were shockingly disparate, that FBI Agent William Bezak had used coercive tactics against a defense witness, and that the defense was deprived of live testimony by at least three witnesses who refused to testify at trial when DOJ targeted them for possible perjury charges.

Eric Holder and Tom Perez award Bobby Bernstein for New Orleans police case.

Bernstein is still employed at the Civil Rights Division.

Ironically, Bernstein’s boss is now one Tamara Kessler, an ideological partisan and law enforcement foe in her own right, whom the Obama Civil Rights Division politicos burrowed into a career civil service position at the end of the administration. (Hans von Spakovsky and I have each chronicled Ms. Kessler’s lengthy swamp pedigree before.)

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals also got a taste of the Justice Department misconduct and upheld Engelhardt’s dismissal of charges against the police. Upholding Engelhardt, the Fifth Circuit wrote:

These prosecutors created an air of bullying against the defendants whose rights they, especially Dobinski, were sworn to respect.

Just as a mob protesting outside the courthouse has the potential to intimidate parties and witnesses, so do streams of adverse online comments. The impact is felt not only by the defendants but by codefendants pressed to plead guilty or defense witnesses dissuaded from testifying. Preventing mob justice is precisely the goal of prosecutorial ethical constraints.

Of course, mob justice is not so out of fashion as it once was.

Police groups should take note, and thank the president for the Engelhardt nomination. So should regular Americans who appreciate the men and women who serve as a thin blue line between civilization and anarchy.

McMaster’s much-hyped strategic acumen called into question by high-level military sources

August 30, 2017

McMaster’s much-hyped strategic acumen called into question by high-level military sources, Jihad Watch

And not only that: “When reflexively anti-American, anti-military outlets like Mother Jones, Slate and the Washington Post offer fawning praise for a Republican military commander, the reasons underlying those plaudits deserve further investigation. When anti-American, anti-military, George Soros-funded, extreme leftist smear operations like Media Matters go to war to defend a Trump political appointee, it casts a shadow on everything about the man. When the anti-American, terrorism-supporting, Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated CAIR defends an American general, the alarm bells drown out all other sound.”

Indeed.

It’s probably useless to call upon Trump to fire McMaster at this point. McMaster and the swamp have triumphed over those who came to drain it. But maybe someday Trump will remember the principles and promises that got him elected, and the ringing declarations of his Inaugural Address of giving the government back to the people, and on that day, McMaster will finally be packing.

“BOMBTHROWERS EXCLUSIVE: National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster: A legend or a lie?,” by James Simpson, Bombthrowers, August 29, 2017 (thanks to John):

Fresh on the heels of a successful offensive in Mosul, Iraq, the Iraqi military is now poised to retake Tal Afar, long a hotbed of ISIS and other insurgent activity. Before we pulled out of Iraq, Tal Afar, like Fallujah, had been the focal point of multiple large-scale, costly offensives to eject entrenched insurgents. In 2005, then-Colonel H.R. McMaster led the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (3rd ACR) in the largest of these offensives, Operation Restoring Rights. His reputation as a brilliant military strategist rests largely on the results of that one battle. Given the widespread support for McMaster in the media and Washington establishment, it is ironic that current reporting largely fails to mention this battle or McMaster’s central role in it.

McMaster’s widely-hyped strategic acumen has been called into question by high-level military sources with personal knowledge of his conduct in the field. These sources spoke with me on condition of anonymity.

McMaster rests his laurels on the counter-insurgency strategy he claims won the Battle of Tal Afar, Iraq. But sources say McMaster ignored counter-insurgency experts and that his reckless leadership killed hundreds of Americans and almost lost the battle. The battle, the sources say, was won only through a valiant rescue mission that also suffered high casualties.

Until today this information has been suppressed.

Today, National Security Advisor McMaster is facing sustained criticism for his seemingly relentless opposition to Trump policies, his purging of many competent, conservative Trump loyalists from the National Security Council staff, and “protecting and coddling” 40 Obama holdovers — almost one-sixth of the NSC staff — who are plainly out to sabotage the Trump agenda.

Yet he continues to enjoy President Trump’s support. Is President Trump reluctant to fire McMaster for fear of criticism? Has he decided that McMaster’s reputed military genius is worth the cost? Or has he been thoroughly misinformed about McMaster’s character and competence? Who is H.R. McMaster really?

Lieutenant General (three-star) Herbert Raymond McMaster is a career Army officer still on active duty. He came to the Trump administration as a quick replacement for Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (Ret.), who resigned over controversies regarding his contacts with Russian officials. Whatever Flynn may have done wrong, his true sin was bucking the D.C. establishment, including many military leaders. And as frequently happens in Washington, when a strong conservative political appointee faces widespread (often manufactured) controversy, the knee-jerk reaction is to find a replacement the establishment likes. McMaster fits the bill.

On the surface, he appears to have the right resume. He has been awarded the Silver Star, Purple Heart, Bronze Star, the Legion of Merit and other medals, although John Kerry and many others have proved there are ways to get these medals without earning them. Most of this acclaim comes out of his service at the Battle of 73 Easting(1991), where in 23 minutes, McMaster’s nine M1A1 Abrams tanks and 12 Bradley Fighting Vehicles destroyed 30 Iraqi tanks and 14 armored vehicles. McMaster has been given credit for quick thinking and aggressive action, but his unit faced off against obsolete Iraqi T-55 and T-72 tanks operated by troops with inferior training. His unit was part of a larger operation that experienced similar success, ultimately destroying 85 tanks, 40 personnel carriers, and over 30 other vehicles. As George Dvorsky observes: “the [Republican Guard] didn’t have a chance.”

As the author of the 1997 book, Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, The Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that Led to Vietnam, McMaster enjoys a reputation as something of a maverick, a fact which perhaps found favor in the unorthodox Trump administration. The book has been described as “the seminal work on military’s responsibility during Vietnam to confront their civilian bosses when strategy was not working.”

But McMaster’s reputation rests largely on the counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy applied at Tal Afar. It was later hailed by President George W. Bush, who said it, “gives me confidence in our strategy because in this city we see the outlines of the Iraq that we and the Iraqi people have been fighting for…” For once, the media agreed with Bush, published glowing reports on McMaster’s feats. Mother Jones and the Washington Post called him the “Hero of Tal Afar.” The left-leaning Slate.com calls him“the Army’s smartest officer.”

Now leftists are coming out of the woodwork to defend McMaster against his conservative critics. Newsweek accuses the “alt-right” of attempting to smear McMaster, while genuine slime merchants like Media Matters for America are smearing his critics.

He is even being defended by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the propaganda arm of the Palestinian terrorist group HAMAS.

Okay, wait a minute.

When reflexively anti-American, anti-military outlets like Mother Jones, Slate and the Washington Post offer fawning praise for a Republican military commander, the reasons underlying those plaudits deserve further investigation. When anti-American, anti-military, George Soros-funded, extreme leftist smear operations like Media Matters go to war to defend a Trump political appointee, it casts a shadow on everything about the man. When the anti-American, terrorism-supporting, Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated CAIR defends an American general, the alarm bells drown out all other sound. And officers who have witnessed his “leadership” in the unforgiving crucible of combat are now sounding the alarm.

There is much more. Read the rest here.

Fired NSC Aide Reveals Political Warfare Operation Targeting Trump

August 11, 2017

Fired NSC Aide Reveals Political Warfare Operation Targeting Trump, Washington Free Beacon, , August 11, 2017

Gen. H. R. McMaster / Getty Images

Higgins was fired by the national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, July 21 after the memo came to McMaster’s attention as part of an internal search for leaks from the staff.

A White House official said McMaster appears to be trying to clear out anyone from the NSC staff who is outspokenly pro-Trump and has been slow-rolling the president’s directives that he disagrees with.

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A White House National Security Council official has charged that leftist opponents of President Trump are engaged in political warfare operations designed to subvert his presidency and drive him from office.

Rich Higgins, until recently director of strategic planning at the NSC, revealed the program in a seven-page memorandum produced in May that warns of a concerted information warfare campaign by the Marxist left, Islamists, and political leaders and government officials opposed to the populist president.

“The Trump administration is suffering under withering information campaigns designed to first undermine, then delegitimize and ultimately remove the president,” Higgins states.

“This is not politics as usual but rather political warfare at an unprecedented level that is openly engaged in the direct targeting of a seated president through manipulation of the news cycle,” he said.

Higgins, an Army veteran and former Pentagon official who specialized in irregular warfare and who was dismissed last month for writing the memo, said the attacks should not be confused with normal partisan political attacks or adversarial media attention.

The former aide criticized the White House for failing to counter the activities and said the political warfare attacks threaten the Trump presidency.

“The White House response to these campaigns reflects a political advocacy mindset that it is intensely reactive, severely under-inclusive and dangerously inadequate to the threat,” he said. “If action is not taken to re-scope and respond to these hostile campaigns very soon, the administration risks implosion and subsequent early departure from the White House.”

Higgins was fired by the national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, July 21 after the memo came to McMaster’s attention as part of an internal search for leaks from the staff.

Higgins’s firing, along with that of two other NSC conservatives, Derek Harvey and Ezra Cohen-Watnick, has set off political infighting and charges from conservatives that National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster is opposing Trump’s populist policies in favor of maintaining the policies of the former Obama administration.

Harvey, a retired Army colonel, recently complained to McMaster about the large number of officials who were kept on at the NSC from the Obama administration. He was told by McMaster that he has a “leadership problem,” according to people close to the matter.

Cohen-Watnick was senior director for intelligence programs at the NSC and ran afoul of McMaster because of his conservative views.

A White House official said McMaster appears to be trying to clear out anyone from the NSC staff who is outspokenly pro-Trump and has been slow-rolling the president’s directives that he disagrees with.

According to White House sources, Trump is said to be unhappy with McMaster and has considered dispatching him to Afghanistan.

A possible replacement is said to be CIA director Mike Pompeo, who is regarded as more of a Trump loyalist.

An NSC spokesman declined to comment.

Foreign Policy first published the memo on Thursday and quoted sources as saying Trump read it and “gushed over it.”

Higgins urged in the memo that immediate action be taken to counter what he described as a campaign of subversion reflecting “cultural Marxist” narratives used by political leftists who are aligned with Islamist groups.

“In candidate Trump, the opposition saw a threat to the ‘politically correct’ enforcement narratives they’ve meticulously laid in over the past few decades,” Higgins said. “In President Trump, they see a latent threat to continue that effort to ruinous effect and their retaliatory response reflects this fear.”

During the presidential campaign, Trump was able to break through the leftist narratives and as a result the political left regards him as “an existential threat to cultural Marxist memes that dominate the prevailing cultural narrative.”

“For this cabal, Trump must be destroyed,” he said. “Far from politics as usual, this is a political warfare effort that seeks the destruction of a sitting president. Since Trump took office, the situation has intensified to crisis level proportions.”

The opponents also include officials within the permanent government apparatus, also called the Deep State.

Other opponents are supporting the Marxist subversion, including those within government, along with “globalists, bankers, Islamists, and establishment Republicans.”

“Globalists and lslamists recognize that for their visions to succeed, America, both as an ideal and as a national and political identity, must be destroyed,” Higgins said.

The political warfare campaign seeks to exploit differences in society based on sexism, racism and xenophobia narratives. The program is implemented by mainstream media, and the academic community is the main driver promoting the imposition of cultural Marxism and derivatives of it.

Islamists, supporters of political Islam in the United States, also are working with leftists who they regard as having the best chance of reducing Western civilization to the benefit of Islamic supremacists. The Islamists are seeking to divide American society against itself as a way of undermining stability.

“This is the intended outcome of hostile information cum political warfare campaigns and today we see their effects on American society,” he said.

Higgins also said a complicating factor in the political warfare program is that “many close to the president have pushed him off his message when he was candidate Trump thus alienating him from his base thereby isolating him in the process.”

The political warfare follows the insurgency methods used by Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong. “In Maoist insurgencies, the formation of a counter-state is essential to seizing state power,” he said. “Political warfare operates as one of the activities of the ‘counter-state’ and is primarily focused on the resourcing and mobilization of the counter state or the exhaustion and demobilization of the targeted political movement.”

In the Marxist strategy and tactics, political correctness is being used to foster intolerance of political movements of the right and toleration of leftist movements.

The attack narratives being used are pervasive and can be seen in social media, television, and the 24-hour news cycle in all media, as well as within the foreign policy establishment. “They inform the entertainment industry from late night monologues, to situation comedies, to television series memes, to movie themes,” Higgins said. “The effort required to direct this capacity at President Trump is little more than a programming decision to do so. The cultural Marxist narrative is fully deployed, pervasive, full spectrum and ongoing.”

Information attacks against the president are carried out through overt publicity and covert propaganda and infiltration and subversion means.

The current campaign against Trump is seeking to delegitimize the president, his administration, and the vision of America he promoted as a candidate.

Key major opposition themes are that Trump is illegitimate, corrupt, and dishonest. Secondary political attacks include the notion that Russia hacked the election, Trump obstructed justice and is hiding Russian collusion, and that he is a “puppet” of Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

“Adversaries utilize these interlocking narratives as a defensive political and information warfare screen that silences critics and smears supporters of President Trump,” Higgins said.

“When people in the media question the behavior, actions and decisions of the Trump administration’s opponents, they are immediately said to be ‘working for the Russians’ or ‘supporting Russian propaganda.'”

Additionally Americans who support the president are deemed “deplorable” and “racist.”

“Attacks on President Trump are not just about destroying him, but also about destroying the vision of America that lead [sic] to his election,” Higgins said.

Higgins concluded the memo by noting that defending the president is a defense of the United States. “In the same way President Lincoln was surrounded by political opposition both inside and outside of his wire, in both overt and covert forms, so too is President Trump.

“Had Lincoln failed, so too would have the Republic. The administration has been maneuvered into a constant backpedal by relentless political warfare attacks structured to force him to assume a reactive posture that assures inadequate responses. The president can either drive or be driven by events; it’s time for him to drive them.”

Dina Habiv Powekk: McMaster’s Huma Abedin

August 11, 2017

Dina Habiv Powekk: McMaster’s Huma Abedin, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, August 11, 2017

The media had agitated for Hijazi because it served its agenda of opposing Sisi and supporting the Brotherhood. Bringing Hijazi to the White House appeared to serve the same agenda. She was meant as an object lesson to Trump that the real bad guys weren’t the Brotherhood, but the Egyptian military.

Hijazi was escorted back from Egypt by Dina Habib Powell. And Habib Powell was there sitting opposite Ivanka and Jared at the meeting with President Trump. In the media, Powell is often associated with Ivanka. And indeed, Ivanka posed with Hijazi in a widely circulated photo. But she is also so much more.

Dina Habib Powell was an influential figure in the Bush administration. The Egyptian-American immigrant had served as a gatekeeper for George W. Bush. If you wanted a job, you went through her. Barely 30, Habib Powell had more power than many of the big Bush era names you do know.

The swamp is deeper than most understand or imagine. When you come to the city of government buildings and lobbyists, it’s all around you. And if you take a wrong step, it sucks you in. The real power doesn’t belong to the politicians you elect, but to bureaucrats and staffers, to the people who, like Huma Abedin or Dina Habib Powell, are talented at knowing the right people.

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The media dubbed her the Republican Huma Abedin. She’s been one of the most powerful women in two Republican administrations. She’s friends with Valerie Jarrett. And you’ve never heard her name.

Flash back to the spring of this year.

Cameras flashed as Aya Hijazi sat next to President Trump. Media reports described her as an imprisoned rescue worker who had been released from Egypt after administration intervention.

Aya Hijazi was also the photogenic face of a campaign against the post-Brotherhood Egyptian government. If you believed the stories, Hijazi had learned French and Spanish while in prison. Photos showed her reading Maya Angelou’s ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ behind bars. Snaps from that calculated photoshoot would be used to illustrate countless media sob stories about her plight in prison.

Mohamed Hassanein, her husband, received far less attention. As did the other arrested members of the Belady Foundation which had been accused of using street children in Muslim Brotherhood riots.

Aya’s cause was quickly taken up by all the usual suspects.

Hillary Clinton had met with President Sisi and called for Hijazi’s release. Rep. Gerry Connolly, the go-to guy for Muslim Brotherhood front groups, had blustered, “The Egyptian government mistakes American resolve.” Avril Haines, the former indie bookstore owner who had been appointed by Obama as Deputy Director of the CIA and Deputy National Security Advisor, despite having no relevant experience, met with Hijazi’s family and issued a statement demanding her release.

None of this meant that Hassanein and Hijazi were guilty of the charges. Politically they appeared to be closer to the left than to the Islamists. Hijazi hasn’t worn a hijab outside of her imprisonment.

But the larger question is whose interests were being served by bringing her to the White House?

In a PBS interview, Aya Hijazi challenged President Trump’s praise for Egypt’s leader. She accused him of keeping “thousands of wrongly imprisoned people” in prison. “It’s not just for fighting terrorism,” she insisted. And she made a point of correcting President Trump on the Muslim Brotherhood.

“It seemed like he had this idea that… it was at the time of the Muslim Brotherhood,” Hijazi said. “So, he was like, ‘So was your arrest — be at the time of the Brotherhood?’ And I said, no. And then he said, ‘Oh, it was at the time of Sisi.’ And he was taken aback. It seemed, like, different to what he had in mind.”

The media had agitated for Hijazi because it served its agenda of opposing Sisi and supporting the Brotherhood. Bringing Hijazi to the White House appeared to serve the same agenda. She was meant as an object lesson to Trump that the real bad guys weren’t the Brotherhood, but the Egyptian military.

Hijazi was escorted back from Egypt by Dina Habib Powell. And Habib Powell was there sitting opposite Ivanka and Jared at the meeting with President Trump. In the media, Powell is often associated with Ivanka. And indeed, Ivanka posed with Hijazi in a widely circulated photo. But she is also so much more.

Dina Habib Powell was an influential figure in the Bush administration. The Egyptian-American immigrant had served as a gatekeeper for George W. Bush. If you wanted a job, you went through her. Barely 30, Habib Powell had more power than many of the big Bush era names you do know.

Then she took on the mission of promoting America to the Muslim world at the State Department. There were cultural exchanges with Iran and money for Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority. Afterward it was off to make millions through philanthropy at the Goldman Sachs Foundation.

When President Trump took office, Avril Haines was replaced by K. T. McFarland at the National Security Council. McFarland had worked at the Pentagon under Reagan and her views on Islamic terror were forthright.  “Global Islamist jihad is at war with all of Western Civilization,” she said after the Charlie Hebdo attacks. She called for profiling terrorists and an end to the big lie of political correctness.

“They have launched a guerrilla war against us in our own neighborhoods. They shout ‘Allahu Akbar, The Prophet is Avenged.’ We’re still calling it ‘workplace violence,’ ‘senseless killings’ or ‘man-caused disasters.’ Our leaders insist these are criminal acts, not acts of war.”

Of the Muslim Brotherhood, McFarland correctly pointed out that, “The Muslim Brotherhood was the godfather of al-Qaeda. The number 2 guy in al-Qaeda was Muslim Brotherhood.”

When Flynn was forced out and McMaster took over, there was no room for her views at the NSC.

At an NSC meeting, H.R. McMaster insisted that Islamic terror had nothing to do with Islam. The use of “radical Islamic terrorism” was a mistake. McFarland was in attendance.

Before long, McMaster had pushed out McFarland and replaced her with Dina Habib Powell.

Habib Powell had all the right friends. Like Valerie JarrettArianna Huffington praised the White House for bringing her in. Her ex-husband heads up Teneo Strategy: the organization created by the same man who made the Clinton Foundation happen and which employed Huma Abedin.

You could see her posing next to Huma, Arianna and a Saudi princess. You can see her photographed at the American Task Force of Palestine gala. The ATFP was originally Rashid Khalidi’s American Committee on JerusalemKhalidi was the former PLO spokesman at the center of the Obama tape scandal. And Habib Powell was there as a presenter at the Middle East Institute after a speech by the PLO’s Hanan Ashrawi.

Unlike McFarland, Habib Powell had no national security background. But though her parents were Christians, she had the “right” views on Islam. In Egypt, she had described how Bush after September 11 had, “visited a mosque, took off his shoes and paid his respects.” “I see the president talk of Islam as a religion of peace, I see him host an iftar every year.” Habib Powell had attended such an iftar dinner.

While President Trump fights to restrict Muslim immigration, back in the Bush era, Habib Powell had bragged on CNN, “Over 90% of student visas are now issued in under a week, and that is in the Middle East.”

Habib Powell has been described as the Republican Huma Abedin. And she was quoted as saying that Abedin “feels a deep responsibility to encourage more mutual understanding between her beliefs and culture and American culture.”

Within a short time, Habib Powell became the Senior Counselor for Economic Initiatives, the Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy and was being put forward as Chief of Staff. If Kelly doesn’t work out, the effort to move her up will resume. And then the gatekeeper will be back at the gate.

Dina Habib Powell is a deep part of the Republican establishment. Her top role at the NSC represents McMaster’s vision for our approach to Islam. And it’s an echo of the failed approach of the Bush years. Flynn made the NSC into a tool that matched Trump’s vision. McMaster is remaking it to match Jeb Bush’s vision.

The Hijazi stunt was the public manifestation of an effort to pull Trump away from President Sisi and guide him into the same old swamp of pushing democracy and political change in Egypt. There is worse taking place behind the scenes. The NSC purge of personnel who understand the threat of Islamic terrorism is not a mere political power struggle, it’s policy. McMaster is just the public face of it.

The swamp is deeper than most understand or imagine. When you come to the city of government buildings and lobbyists, it’s all around you. And if you take a wrong step, it sucks you in. The real power doesn’t belong to the politicians you elect, but to bureaucrats and staffers, to the people who, like Huma Abedin or Dina Habib Powell, are talented at knowing the right people.

When we talk about the swamp, it’s not an organization. It’s a way of life. If you’re not fighting the swamp all the time, if you don’t wake up resisting it and go to bed fighting free of it, you will drown in it.

Kill the Alligators, Then Drain the Swamp

August 2, 2017

Kill the Alligators, Then Drain the Swamp, Front Page MagazineBruce Thornton, August 2, 2017

(Please see also, The Administrative State Declares Independence. — DM)

Donald Trump campaigned on the promise to “drain the swamp” ––the D.C. establishment made up of most Congressmen from both parties, employees of executive agencies and bureaus, the political appointees who head up those agencies, and the hordes of lobbyists, fundraisers, Congressional staffers, “consultants,” “journalists,” and pundits. These are the “Beltway insiders” or the “political establishment” whose natural habitat is the swamp. These are the alligators Trump needs to get rid of.

Of course, many of these D.C. denizens of the establishment are permanent dwellers in the swamp, beyond the reach of the president or even Congress. Besides, monitoring Congressmen should be the business of their constituents, who should hold them accountable. But too often voters like the pork their alligators bring back to their states or districts. As for pundits, consultants, lobbyists, fundraisers, and journos, they are employees of private businesses, with the right of political free speech and association. Keeping them in line is the responsibility of citizens trading in the market-place of ideas, and imposing ballot-box accountability to punish the office-holders corrupted by these parasites.

Then there are 2.1 million federal employees. They manage the federal government’s agencies, execute the laws that they, not Congressmen, actually write, and judge whether the rest of us comply––collapsing together and usurping the separation of powers central to our Constitutional order. And they do so without any accountability to the voters who pay their handsome salaries and Cadillac benefits (85% higher in value than private employees’). They are, no surprise, stalwart supporters of big-government Democrats, to whom this last election they gave 95% of their political donations. And don’t forget the 3.7 million federal contract-workers who also do the federal Leviathan’s bidding.

Something could be done about reducing the size and intrusive scope of this bureaucratic behemoth. Trump has made a good start. He has left many vacancies open with a hiring freeze, and has proposed reducing some agency budgets in order to starve the beast and prune the regulations that empower it. In his 2018 budget proposal he also called for eliminating cost of living raises for employees in the Federal Employee Retirement System, cutting the Civil Service Retirement System’s COLAs by 0.5%, and making employees contribute more to their retirement annuities. If Congress approves, of course. Good luck with that. But he has not yet tackled reducing the more shadowy contract workers, although some are a legitimate resource for the military. When it comes to domestic affairs, however, they carry out the bidding of the federal agencies while most of us citizens have no clue who they are or what they’re up to.

As for Congress, it could pass legislation changing the laws that make federal employees almost untouchable. Like unionized teachers and professors, federal employees benefit from both union protections and virtual tenure––the civil service regulations that make disciplining or firing federal workers time-consuming and costly. There’s nothing to keep Congress from abolishing unions for federal employees, which were created 55 years ago by John Kennedy through an executive order. One of Ronald Reagan’s boldest and most consequential domestic actions came in 1981 when he fired nearly 12,000 air traffic controllers and decertified their union. A Republican Congress should likewise defang this reliably Democrat voting bloc.

Political appointees are another matter, since they’re easier to get rid of. They serve at the pleasure of the Chief Executive. There is no law that keeps the president from firing political appointees. There may be political costs, as Richard Nixon found out, but there are no Constitutional limits, outside of criminal behavior, on the reasons why he fires a political appointee. This is where Trump has been remiss.

Start with former FBI director James Comey, who immediately after the inauguration should have heard Trump’s trademark “You’re fired!” Comey’s careerism and arrogance made him mishandle the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s patent violations of the laws governing classified material, and her probable obstructions of justice. An indictment could have been justified based simply on the information already made public. Indeed, Comey himself laid out the predicates for indictment in his infamous July 2016 announcement. Then he rewrote the relevant statute to let Clinton off the hook, simply to spare AG Loretta Lynch, who had met with Bill Clinton in a private confab in an airplane, the pretext Comey used for usurping the prosecutor’s role. Along the way he violated the foundation of any free government––equality before the law.

Next, as soon as Jeff Sessions was confirmed as AG, Trump should have cleaned out every Democrat appointee left in the DOJ, starting with Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein. If he had, the whole “Russia collusion” and “hacking the election” fictions, which have led to an investigative slow death from a thousand leaks, would not now be assailing the Trump administration. The messy firing of Comey in May, which created the perception that Trump was trying to stop the Russia probe because he had something to hide, wouldn’t have happened. With Rosenstein replaced by a Trump appointee, Sessions could have recused himself more easily, knowing a politically reliable deputy would be making the decisions.

And that means Rosenstein, who appointed Robert Mueller as special prosecutor, wouldn’t have been around to turn a counter-intelligence investigation into a criminal one. Comey couldn’t have engineered his close friend Robert Mueller’s appointment by using illegal leaks to the media. There would be no investigative team stocked with Democrat donors and wannabe Javerts like Andrew Weismann. And Mueller would not now be running a partisan investigation in search of a crime, and providing endless leaked chum to the Trump-hating media sharks circling the president.

Instead, perhaps Sessions would have ordered a special prosecutor to investigate the real crimes that endangered national security, like Hillary’s illegal email server and pay-for-play State Department. Maybe then the real Russia “collusion” story could have been exposed––from the allegations that Hillary facilitated the Russian takeover of American uranium mines in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation, to the FBI’s buying a Russian-produced vulgar fake “dossier” about Trump from a “researcher” at GPS Fusion, a firm also patronized by Democrats, who are now helping the outfit’s chief stonewall Congress.

And let’s not forget the Obama administration’s partisan “unmasking” scandal, the leaking nearly 100 citizens’ identities that appeared “incidentally” in the course of surveilling foreign nationals. Or the Democrats’ IT scandal, in which a crooked, overpaid IT tech had access to the computer data of over 24 Democrat Congressmen as well as the Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs committees. Or Loretta Lynch’s meeting with the politically powerful husband of a person under investigation by Lynch’s FBI, or her browbeating the “Boy Scout” James Comey into spinning the Clinton investigation into a mere “matter.” Of course, nothing is stopping Sessions now from naming a special prosecutor to investigate any of these likely felonies, but he has been publicly battered by his boss and seems demoralized by this whole chain of events.

And that’s on Trump. His browbeating and humiliation of Sessions is unseemly because it was Trump who didn’t clean house on day one, and so created the circumstances that now distract him. And it’s not just the DOJ or FBI. Why is well-connected, long-time D.C. alligator John Koskinen still running the IRS? The same guy who was less than helpful (remember those “missing” emails?) in getting to the bottom of one of the worst scandals in IRS history? Even though the IRS, with the active, nay eager participation of Director of Exempt Organizations Lois “Toby Miles” Lerner, had been weaponized against conservative advocacy groups? That was one of the most despicable official acts against the Constitution and the citizenry in recent memory, a gross violation of equal protection under the law, the rules protecting citizens’ privacy, and the First Amendment, all to serve naked partisan interests.

Talk about “interfering in an election” with impunity. Nothing the Russians have done with their “hacking” of the DNC’s amateurishly secured computers, or their preposterous fabricated “dossier” on Trump, comes even close to what Lerner pulled off. Yet Koskinen, whom the House failed to impeach, let Lerner retire with a full pension and a $129K bonus. That was after she got away with providing misleading testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee, being found in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena, and then pleading the 5th Amendment, a de facto admission of guilt. But AG Loretta “Tarmac” Lynch’s DOJ just shrugged away this gross undermining of the integrity of a presidential election.

I’m not sure Trump really gets the depths to which Democrats and establishment Republicans despise and resent him for trashing their Kabuki theater of “decorum” and “acting presidential” and “bipartisan” comity, the whole hypocritical camouflage of “traditional protocols” and “selfless public servants” that hides the brutal, bare-knuckle politics, rank partisanship, featherbedding, and logrolling that has defined democracy ever since the ancient Athenian orators and comic playwrights accused their political rivals of being treasonous homosexual prostitutes spawned by barbarian whores.

If Trump did get it, he would realize it’s not enough to Tweet late-night insults and bluster. Such outbursts can never counter the Democrats’ willingness to lie shamelessly, and their advantage in having the deep-state 5thcolumnists, hysterical Republican NeverTrumpers, and squadrons of flying media monkeys eager to attack Republicans 24/7. Deeds, not words, are the best defense. And the most important action of a new administration is to clean out the partisan alligators who make the swamp so deadly.

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….

McMaster Ousts Trump Adviser who Tried to Fire Obama Holdovers

July 27, 2017

McMaster Ousts Trump Adviser who Tried to Fire Obama Holdovers, The Point (Front Page Magazine), Daniel Greenfield, July 27, 2017

(We elected Trump to be our President. But who is running the Trump administration? — DM)

But Mattis and McMaster have forced out Derek Harvey. And it’s up to President Trump to act. Or to let the McMaster-Mattis swamp control his foreign policy. And make sure it’s Jeb Bush’s foreign policy.

President Trump can reverse his decision. Just as he overruled McMaster’s bid to replace Ezra Watnick-Cohen, the guy who outed the Obama spying on Trump’s people, with the woman who drafted the Benghazi talking points. Not to mention Mattis’ plan to bring in Hillary’s Secretary of Defense and the Muslim Broptherhood’s favorite woman.

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Derek Harvey was the key figure when it came to the Middle East. He was against the Iran Deal and the funding of Palestinian Authority terror. He called out Islamic Jihad. He tried to force out the Obama holdovers running our foreign policy. 

And now he’s gone.

McMaster’s purge at the NSC continues. Flynn’s people get forced out and replaced with establishment zombies. The Obama holdovers continue to run foreign policy. The swamp is now in full control of the NSC.

This one is a really big win for McMaster. And a great loss for America. It will set back our ability to fight Islamic terrorism. Iran, Al Qaeda and the Palestinian Authority are celebrating today.

President Trump can reverse his decision. Just as he overruled McMaster’s bid to replace Ezra Watnick-Cohen, the guy who outed the Obama spying on Trump’s people, with the woman who drafted the Benghazi talking points. Not to mention Mattis’ plan to bring in Hillary’s Secretary of Defense and the Muslim Broptherhood’s favorite woman.

But Mattis and McMaster have forced out Derek Harvey. And it’s up to President Trump to act. Or to let the McMaster-Mattis swamp control his foreign policy. And make sure it’s Jeb Bush’s foreign policy.

Derek Harvey, a top Middle East adviser to President Donald Trump, has been fired from his position at the National Security Council, effective today…

Two sources tell TWS that Harvey’s departure is not a direct result of the internecine staff fighting, but he was viewed by some top Trump aides as too close to Steve Bannon

Harvey has experience as an intelligence officer, as an analyst at military commands, American embassies, and in the Defense Intelligence Agency. He’s viewed as an out-of-the-box thinker who has shown a keen knack for identifying threats before they’ve matured.

Here’s how Bob Woodward described Harvey in his 2008 book The War Within:

“In the late 1980s, Harvey traveled throughout Iraq by taxicab—500 miles, village to village—interviewing locals, sleeping on mud floors with a shower curtain for a door. He [was] full of questions, intensely curious and entirely nonthreatening. After the 1991 Gulf War, when the CIA was predicting the inevitable fall of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, Harvey, then a major, insisted that Hussein would survive because members of the Sunni community knew their fortunes were tied to his. He was right. Months before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Harvey wrote an intelligence paper declaring that al Qaeda and the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan posed a strategic threat to the United States.”

Harvey hasn’t been afraid to call out Islamic terrorism as a threat. And he was the point man for trying to force out the Obama holdovers.

That dispute was followed by a bigger one. Bannon and Trump, according to White House officials, pressed McMaster to fire a list of Obama holdovers at the National Security Council who were suspected of leaking to the press. The list of names was compiled by Derek Harvey, a former Defense Intelligence Agency colonel who was initially hired by Flynn. McMaster balked. He refused to fire anyone on the list and asserted that he had the authority to fire and hire National Security Council staff. He also argued that many of these appointees would be ending their rotation at the White House soon enough.

Instead the holdovers forced him out. McMaster and Mattis and Obama won. Again.

Harvey has been a firm opponent of the Iran Deal. He’s not perfect on Islam, but he has emphasized the theological connection to Islamic terrorism. And he tried to halt the funding of Palestinian Authority terrorism.

Haaretz has learned that Harvey – whose appointment was reported Thursday in The Wall Street Journal – was one of the officials who earlier this week instructed the U.S. State Department to issue a statement saying it was reexamining the outgoing administration’s decision to transfer $221 million to the Palestinian Authority during President Barack Obama’s last hours in office.

A government source described Harvey as “the new Rob Malley,” referring to the former Obama administration official who was in charge of Middle East affairs at the outgoing NSC.
But while Malley’s background was mostly academic and diplomatic, Harvey spent most of his adult life either in uniform or working for the intelligence community.

Harvey has also published articles and analyses, many of them critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy in the Middle East.

Harvey called to strengthen the U.S. relationship with Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. “Why won’t President Obama talk to Egyptian President Sisi [sic]? Sisi has taken on the threat of violent, intolerant Islamic jihadism at great personal risk. Obama will reconcile with the Castro brothers and Iranian Mullahs but won’t talk to a friend like President Sisi,” Harvey wrote.

“They’re ignoring the intelligence — and I think Secretary Kerry, I hate to say it, must be smoking dope,” Harvey was quoted as saying on “Newsmax Prime.” “He is not paying attention to the intelligence and he does not understand the enemy with his statements.”

The left hated Derek Harvey for his views.

Harvey shares Trump’s belief that in order for the United States to prevail in its fight against the self-declared Islamic State, al-Qaida, their various offshoots and a variety of other groups, American officials need to declare that the country is at war with “radical Islamic extremism” or the “radical jihadist agenda” or “militant Islam” — all of which he uses interchangeably. On his blog, which has been shut down since he joined the Trump administration, Harvey argued that Obama’s failure to do so hampered the effort against such groups.

It really is past time to drain the foreign policy swamp.