Archive for the ‘Washington Post’ category

Panic at the Washington Post

December 26, 2017

Panic at the Washington Post, Power LinePaul Mirengoff, December 25, 2017

The Washington Post is worried. The lead headline in today’s paper edition reads: “Mueller criticism grows to a clamor — FBI Conspiracy Claim Takes Hold — Driven by activists, GOP lawmakers, Trump tweets.”

Turnabout is fair play. Last year around this time, an honest newspaper could easily have written: “Trump criticism grows to a clamor — Russia Collusion Takes Hold — Driven by activists, Democratic lawmakers, leaks.”

A year ago, an honest newspaper could not have written that the Trump collusion criticism was driven by the FBI. The facts supporting such a headline were not known. Now we have good reason to suspect that the FBI was, in fact, advancing the collusion claim.

The FBI reportedly offered money to Christoper Steele to continue his work on the anti-Trump dossier (in testimony before Congress Rod Rosenstein refused to say whether the FBI paid or offered to pay for the dossier). The FBI may well have used information in the dossier to secure approval of surveillance efforts from the FISA court.

The FBI also helped push the dossier into the public’s consciousness. Its general counsel, James Baker, reportedly told reporter David Corn about the dossier, thus enabling Corn to write about it just before the election. And FBI director Comey briefed president-elect Trump on the dossier, which led to publication of its contents by BuzzFeed.

We also know about the quest of Peter Strzok, a high-level FBI man, for an “insurance policy” against a Trump presidency.

But let’s return to the Washington Post’s story about growing criticism of Mueller. The three distressed Post writers are less than fully open when it comes to informing readers what — other than activists, GOP lawmakers, and Trump tweets — is causing criticism of Mueller to grow to a clamor.

They acknowledge that it has something to do with Strzok’s role as Mueller’s former top investigator. However, they do their best to make Strzok seem innocuous.

The story introduces him by noting that he called Trump an “idiot” and predicted that Hillary Clinton would win the election in a landslide — statements that don’t distinguish him from tens of thousands of government employees and millions of other Americans. They also quote a former colleague of Strzok who says:

To think Pete could not do his job objectively shows no understanding of the organization. We have Democrats, we have Republicans, we have conservatives and liberals. . . . Having personal views doesn’t prevent us from independently following the facts.

The problem with peddling this happy narrative is that it ignores Strzok’s anti-Trump zeal, his obvious desire to impress his mistress, and his damning statement about the need for an “insurance policy” against Trump becoming president. The Post, in fact, never mentions that statement.

The Post also manages to ignore the hyper-partisan nature of Mueller’s staff, even excluding Strzok, whom he reassigned. There is a passing reference to Andrew Weissmann’s gushing note to Sally Yates praising her for her resistance to Trump, but no discussion of the ideologically one-sided composition of Team Mueller — a marked contrast to Ken Starr’s balanced staff.

Even with that diverse staff, Starr was successfully portrayed as spearheading a “vast right-wing conspiracy.” It’s not surprising that as more and more evidence emerges of bias within Mueller’s team, criticism mounts and takes hold.

Mueller himself is a Republican. But he is also a friend of James Comey, another fact the Post ignores. The steady stream of evidence of Comey’s anti-Trump animus and manipulative conduct has contributed to declining faith in Mueller.

And then, there’s the fact that Mueller appears to have come up empty so far on “collusion” by Trump. A prosecutor investigating a president is bound to lose credibility if, after an extended period of time, he neither produces evidence against the president nor exonerates him of the set of crimes that supposedly underlie the investigation.

A prosecutor who cannot credibly be accused of bias — either personal or within his team — buys himself time and patience from the public. Mueller is not that prosecutor.

In sum, the Post’s account of how Mueller lost the “near-universal support” he enjoyed earlier is shallow.

The Post’s story is significant, nonetheless. Clearly, the Post is concerned that, as it states, the growing criticism of Mueller “threatens to shadow his investigation’s eventual findings.”

It does, indeed. A recent Harvard poll found that 54 percent of voters believe that “as the former head of the FBI and a friend of James Comey,” Mueller has a conflict of interest in the proceedings. Meanwhile, only 35 percent believe that evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia has been found.

I’m sure Mueller believes his own press-clippings, but the public no longer does. The press, it seems, is beginning to realize this.

Another Errant Anti-Trump Hit Piece From The Washington Post

December 16, 2017

Another Errant Anti-Trump Hit Piece From The Washington Post Power LinePaul Mirengoff, December 15, 2017

(WaPo jointed the “resistance” and abandoned whatever “honest journalism” it may once have published well before President Trump was elected. — DM)

Clearly, the Post is grasping at straws. That’s what one does when one abandons honest journalism and joins “the resistance.”

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

Fresh off of its triumph in the Alabama Senate race, the Washington Post returns to its primary mission — taking down the President of the United States. It does so in a piece called (in the paper edition) “How Trump’s pursuit of Putin has left the U.S. vulnerable to the Russia threat.”

The hit piece, by Greg Miller, Greg Jaffe, and Phillip Rucker, takes up five pages in the front section of today’s Post. One searches in vain through the authors’ gossip and distortions for evidence of the article’s two themes: (1) that Trump is leaving the U.S. vulnerable to the Russian threat in question, cyber-attacks on our election process and (2) that Trump’s policies tilt in favor of Russia.

In support of its first theme, the Post notes that Trump hasn’t formed a task force to focus on election hacking or convened a Cabinet-level meeting on the subject. From this, it wants us to infer that little or nothing is being done to make such hacking more difficult. The inference is unreasonable. Task forces and Cabinet-level meetings are not the sine qua non of an effective approach to a problem.

The only other evidence the Post presents is this:

In congressional testimony in October, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was pressed on whether the administration had done enough to prevent Russian interference in the future. “Probably not,” Sessions said. “And the matter is so complex that for most of us we are not able to fully grasp the technical dangers that are out there.”

But the fact that this very complex technical set of problems has not been solved, or fully grasped in all of its dimensions, doesn’t mean that it’s being ignored or being given short shrift. I doubt we can ever prevent any sophisticated foreign power from interfering in our elections. In any event, the Post cites no technical danger our government is ignoring.

Instead, it talks about the need to sanction Russia in the hope of deterring future interference. But Russia has been sanctioned — once by Congress, with the president’s reluctant consent, and then by Trump himself when Russia retaliated for the sanctions. If there is anything more to be done on the sanctions front to “prevent Russian interference in the future,” the Post doesn’t describe it.

The Post cites intelligence reports that the Russians consider their efforts to interfere in our presidential election as “a resounding, if incomplete, success.” “U.S. officials” tell the Post that the Kremlin believes it got “a staggering return” on an operative thought to have cost less than $500,000 to execute.

Of course they believe this, and they are right. The “staggering return” consists of (1) the discrediting of our democracy caused by widespread claims that Trump and Putin stole the election from Hillary Clinton and (2) the enormous disruption caused by investigation of alleged collusion between Trump and Russia. The Washington Post has played a substantial role in both victories for Russia

The Post wants its readers to believe that the “return” for Russia also consists of a pro-Russia tilt in U.S. foreign policy. This is the second theme of the article.

It’s a non-starter. The Post concedes:

The annexation of Crimea from Ukraine has not been recognized. Sanctions imposed for Russian intervention in Ukraine remain in place. Additional penalties have been mandated by Congress. And a wave of diplomatic retaliation [note: by Trump] has cost Russia access to additional diplomatic facilities, including its San Francisco consulate.

Against all of this, the Post moans that Trump has discussed the possibility of returning property to the Russians. But nothing has been returned. If anything is, surely it will be in exchange for Russian concessions. At that time, if it comes, we can assess who got the better of the deal.

The Post, though, seems unhappy that Trump wants to deal with the Russians at all. I believe Trump’s quest for Russian cooperation in solving world problems is misguided — a fool’s errand.

However, dealing with Russia isn’t the same thing as making concessions. The deals Trump reaches with Putin, if and when they occur, must be analyzed on their merits before Trump’s Russia policy can be condemned.

Moreover, Trump’s desire to make deals with Russia cannot fairly be attributed to “collusion” or to excess regard for Putin. Trump’s predecessors also wanted to make deals. The Obama administration made doing so a core element of its foreign policy, even though Putin had already invaded Georgia.

Obama’s conciliatory policy towards Russia drew fire from critics in the U.S. Obama shrugged it off by telling Russia’s president he could be more flexible after the 2012 election. He was.

Russia is probably the second most powerful nation in the world. Misguided or not, it’s natural for an American president to seek to improve relations with it.

Once the “Russia reset” exploded in his face, President Obama made dealing with Iran the centerpiece of his foreign policy. He received applause from the Washington Post and other stalwarts of the present anti-Trump resistance for doing so. At the time, no state was more hostile to the U.S. than Iran and none has inflicted more harm on us.

Why, in the Post’s view, was it okay for Obama to strike a major deal with Iran, but not okay for Trump to pursue major deals with Russia? Given all of Iran’s bad acts, including killing American soldiers in Iraq, the Post’s answer better not be that Putin was mean to Hillary Clinton.

It’s never surprising when the Washington Post resorts to dishonesty and distortion. Given the thinness of today’s five-page expose, dishonesty and distortion were almost inevitable.

Let’s take the two worst examples. The Post says that during the 2016 campaign, Trump “prodded the Kremlin to double down on its operation and unearth additional Clinton emails.” It’s referring to when Trump remarked that maybe the Russians could locate Hillary’s 30,000 missing emails. This was obviously sarcasm –a joke — not an invitation. No fair-minded person who heard the comment could conclude otherwise (you can listen to ithere). It’s no accident that the Post strips it of all context.

In the same vein, there is this:

Rather than voice any support for the dozens of State Department and CIA employees being forced back to Washington [when Russia expelled them], Trump expressed gratitude to Putin.

“I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down on payroll,” Trump told reporters during an outing at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. — remarks his aides would later claim were meant as a joke. “We’ll save a lot of money.”

Again, no fair-minded person could believe that Trump’s remark was anything but sarcasm. As we noted at the time:

[W]e know [Trump] didn’t want our diplomatic presence in Russia slashed because (1) he could have cut it himself but didn’t and (2) following his election, he expressed satisfaction when Putin decided not to retaliate for Obama’s expulsion of Russian diplomats and seizure of property.

Clearly, the Post is grasping at straws. That’s what one does when one abandons honest journalism and joins “the resistance.”

Hillary Clinton’s disingenuous dossier outrage

October 25, 2017

Hillary Clinton’s disingenuous dossier outrage, Washington PostCallum Borchers, October 25, 2017

(Please see also, The Hunt for Red November, about the Washington Post and possibly other leftist media outlets going “rogue” on Hillary Clinton. — DM)

 

The Washington Post’s Adam Entous looks at the role that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee played in funding the research that led to a dossier containing allegations about President Trump’s links to Russia. (Video: Bastien Inzaurralde, Patrick Martin/Photo: Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

 

When BuzzFeed published that now-infamous dossier of unproven claims about Donald Trump and Russia, in January, former Hillary Clinton campaign aides expressed outrage that news outlets that had obtained the dossier before Election Day did not make its contents public in time to influence voters, and Clinton later aired the same grievance in her book about the presidential race.

It turns out that the reaction of the Democratic presidential nominee and her team was disingenuous. The Washington Post reported on Tuesday night that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund the dossier, compiled by a former British intelligence officer, through a law firm hired to conduct opposition research.

The Clinton camp left out its own role in the dossier’s creation, as it ripped the media for sitting on information that journalists had been unable to verify. What Clinton and her advisers presented as their judgment that the media had made the wrong call was, in fact, their frustration at having failed to plant negative news reports before ballots were cast.

Recall that BuzzFeed published the dossier in full on Jan. 10, after CNN reported that the FBI had briefed President Barack Obama and then-President-elect Trump on its contents. Many journalists criticized BuzzFeed’s decision, arguing that news outlets should not spread claims they can’t corroborate, even if the FBI considers the claims significant enough to share with the president and his soon-to-be successor.

But Clinton press aides Brian Fallon and Nick Merrill contended, on Twitter, that the real journalistic malpractice was not publishing information contained in the dossier earlier.

This was long rumored during the campaign, and many reporters know at least some of what Russia was alleged to have https://twitter.com/jeneps/status/818943951185055744 

Today has brought a gush of reporting that outlets knew about and sat on prior to November 8
cc: @GlenCaplin1https://twitter.com/PaulBlu/status/818985935450894337 

I repeat: certain media outlets were told this prior to November 8.https://twitter.com/politicalwire/status/818987542527741952 

In fact, if we want to get specific, one outlet, a very very prominent outlet, threw cold water on this when Slate beat them to the punch. https://twitter.com/brianefallon/status/818987726133399552 

Merrill was referring to the New York Times, which reported on Oct. 31, 2016, that the FBI had “chased a lead — which they ultimately came to doubt — about a possible secret channel of email communication from the Trump Organization to a Russian bank.” Journalist Franklin Foer had reported on the possible secret channel in Slate earlier that day.

Also that day, Mother Jones magazine reported that a “former senior intelligence officer for a Western country” had “provided the [FBI] with memos, based on his recent interactions with Russian sources, contending the Russian government has for years tried to co-opt and assist Trump — and that the FBI requested more information from him.” The memos comprised the dossier that BuzzFeed later published.

Consistent with the Mother Jones report, the Times reported that “intelligence officials have said in interviews over the last six weeks that apparent connections between some of Mr. Trump’s aides and Moscow originally compelled them to open a broad investigation into possible links between the Russian government and the Republican presidential candidate.”

“Still,” the Times added, throwing the “cold water” Merrill spoke of, “they have said that Mr. Trump himself has not become a target. And no evidence has emerged that would link him or anyone else in his business or political circle directly to Russia’s election operations.”

Clinton complained about the Times report in her post-election book, “What Happened”:

In the summer of 2016, according to The Washington Post, the FBI convinced a special Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that there was probably cause to believe that Trump adviser Carter Page was acting as a Russian agent, and the received a warrant to monitor his communications. The FBI also began investigating a dossier prepared by a well-respected former British spy that contained explosive and salacious allegations about compromising information the Russians had on Trump. The intelligence community took the dossier seriously enough that it briefed both President Obama and President-elect Trump on its contents before the inauguration.

. . .

Sources within the FBI also convinced the New York Times to run a story saying they saw “no clear link to Russia,” countering Franklin Foer’s scoop in Slate about unusual computer traffic between Trump Tower and a Russian bank.

Note that Clinton described the dossier only as having been “prepared by a well-respected former British spy” — as if the spy, Christopher Steele, had acted on his own. Clinton certainly gave no indication that her campaign helped finance his work.

There is a fundamental contradiction here: Clinton wanted the dossier to be viewed as credible yet she did not want to be connected to it. She hoped the media, before Election Day, would publish claims about Trump to which she was unwilling to attach her own name.

Update: Appearing on CNN Wednesday morning, Fallon said he personally did not know that the Clinton campaign helped fund the dossier and said he was unsure whether Clinton did.

“How could you not know that the Clinton team was paying for it?” CNN’s John Berman asked. “And didn’t someone in the Clinton campaign know this?” 

“I’m sure that there’s a small group of folks that were aware,” Fallon replied, “but it was kept, for reasons that I can understand, to a very select group.”

According to Fallon, Clinton “may have known, but the degree of exactly what she knew is beyond my knowledge.”

Fallon might be right, but ignorance is a pretty weak excuse here. At minimum, some people within the campaign were aware of funding the dossier, yet the campaign allowed spokesmen and the candidate herself to make public statements that were misleading by omission.

The Hunt for Red November

October 25, 2017

The Hunt for Red November, American ThinkerDavid Prentice, October 25, 2017

The dam has broken.   The waters are unleashed, and there’s no stopping them.  Truth is winning.  Even the Washington Post is reporting this story.  The New York Times and the rest will have to follow.  The evidence is too compelling, and the story is out there.  Much like the Weinstein scandal, there is simply too much evidence to deflect it.  The reporting of John Solomon and Sara Carter has been devastating.  They have been doing the work that the leftist American media won’t do.  Which is to report on the real Russian meddling in America’s politics:   Uranium One.  And the Trump dossier.

This is huge.  This will not go away.  Unlike the leftist media narrative of Trump/Russia collusion, there is actual evidence to show we have been compromised, and it’s not Trump who has compromised or colluded.  It’s the group of people the leftist media has vowed to protect.  The Obama/Clinton/Democratic party complex.

The evidence is overwhelming.

The Obama/Clinton administration colluded with Russia in the Uranium One deal.  They knew what the Russians wanted.  They knew the Russians were bribing people.  They knew the Clinton family foundations were getting over a hundred million dollars, that Bill Clinton received half a million dollars for an hour speech from the Russian bank involved with Uranium One.

As for the Clinton/Obama/Democratic Party alliance.  They are in trouble.  Having projected a narrative that was not only untrue about Trump, but was actually true about their own party will be devastating to their base, and the American public will likely not forget.

The leftist media.  The Democratic Party.  The Obama/Clinton families.  Their corruption reaches to the heavens.  They have knowingly deceived America in the worst of ways.  Let’s hope their stature never recovers.

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

The Democratic Party has put forth several narratives since their loss in 2016.  They have stuck with those narratives no matter how absurd they have been:  Trump was elected because Russia colluded with him.  Trump is unstable and unfit.  Everything Trump does is wrong, he is a tainted President.

So says the party of Hillary Clinton and Hollywood, the moral arbiters of America.  And the leftist mainstream media has followed in the most scurrilous of ways.   They have reported only what the Democratic Party narrative says they should report.

Until now.

Follow me here.  How long has this search for Trump/Russia collusion been going on?  How long has the leftist media been claiming Trump does everything wrong?

Since he was elected last November.   They have been hunting him since he won.

But the ground has shifted.  It’s been clear for a long time that the Trump/Russia collusion narrative has been just that.  It’s been a fable repeated over and over again, the Democratic Party and its media shills hoping that something would stick, helping them regain power through mindless repetition of an empty narrative.

Until now.

Unfortunately for the left, there is not the tiniest bit of evidence to bolster their narrative.  There is not a scintilla of truth that shows Donald Tramp colluded with Russia to win.  $100,000 of Facebook ads, half of them after November 8, 2016?  That’s proof?  Lord help us.  That is the dumbest idea of proof offered since Piltdown Man.  Donald Trump Jr had a meeting with a with someone claiming to have dirt on Hillary and left the meeting early because he saw nothing?  Wow.   Indict him, and impeach his father.

And that’s all there is?

Yep.  That’s all there is.

But now we have an explosion of information about Russian influence on….. *drum roll*…….the Uranium One deal.  Perhaps the worst political scandal since Teapot Dome.  And then there’s the so-called Trump dossier.  Which apparently was paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party.

The Uranium One deal has been a powder keg since Peter Schweizer wrote about the scandal in the book Clinton Cash.  It’s everything a scandal should be.  Corruption, illicit bribes, Russians influencing a deal to control stockpiles of Uranium for their own use.

Tucker Carlson reports there is an extremely credible witness that will testify how the Russians did collude with an American President.  Unfortunately for the left, it’s the Obama Presidency they colluded with, Hillary Clinton being the chief conspirator.   This witness is said to have absolute proof of this collusion.

And the leftist mainstream American media is virtually silent.

But that’s because they aren’t interested in news, or reporting.  They’re only interested in the narratives pushed by the Obama/Clinton/Democratic media complex.

Until now.

The dam has broken.   The waters are unleashed, and there’s no stopping them.  Truth is winning.  Even the Washington Post is reporting this story.  The New York Times and the rest will have to follow.  The evidence is too compelling, and the story is out there.  Much like the Weinstein scandal, there is simply too much evidence to deflect it.  The reporting of John Solomon and Sara Carter has been devastating.  They have been doing the work that the leftist American media won’t do.  Which is to report on the real Russian meddling in America’s politics:   Uranium One.  And the Trump dossier.

This is huge.  This will not go away.  Unlike the leftist media narrative of Trump/Russia collusion, there is actual evidence to show we have been compromised, and it’s not Trump who has compromised or colluded.  It’s the group of people the leftist media has vowed to protect.  The Obama/Clinton/Democratic party complex.

The evidence is overwhelming.

The Obama/Clinton administration colluded with Russia in the Uranium One deal.  They knew what the Russians wanted.  They knew the Russians were bribing people.  They knew the Clinton family foundations were getting over a hundred million dollars, that Bill Clinton received half a million dollars for an hour speech from the Russian bank involved with Uranium One.

Quid pro quo.  As clear as it can be.

They sold out American interests for thirty pieces of silver.

It’s hard to say which is the bigger disgrace.  The Obama Justice Department, the FBI, Obama himself, the Clintons, or our despicably partisan media.  Let’s not mince words, they’re all culpable, all guilty of selling out America.

It’s difficult to say enough negative about all of them.

The Trump Dossier.

The one that the Clinton campaign, and John McCain, tried to pass off on the FBI as truth.  The one that apparently was paid for by the Hillary campaign and the Democratic Party, and perhaps a Republican donor.

The dossier is so embarrassingly bad, so embarrassingly transparent as a political ruse, there aren’t’ enough words to describe its stupidity and disgraceful place in history.

This dossier became the child of the left, and the child of one James Comey.  He pushed it forward with no shame.  This dossier is what informed him of why Trump was unfit?  Good grief, James, were you that obtuse?

I guess so.   You were the one who wanted the Mueller investigation to start.  Purposefully.  Based on your belief in the (Russian) Trump dossier?   Rod Rosenstein appointed your man, Mueller.

And now it’s boomeranging.  Just ask the Podesta family.

Trump clearly did nothing wrong, but now it’s going to be revealed just how incompetent and conniving Mr. Comey, Rod Rosenstein, and Robert Mueller were and are.

The wrong people have been blamed.  And the truth is coming out.

The dam has broken.

The left’s narratives have been reduced to a pile of ashes.

Blaming Trump for colluding with the Russians for almost a year has been a failure.  It’s simple, the narrative was never true.  It was bound to be shown as false.  But the unintended consequence of playing this narrative for the last year has been that a lot of people have come to believe Russia interfered with our political system.

Most of those believers are on the left.  The disciples of Rachel Maddow, CNN, Democratic politicians, and the leftist partisan media masquerading as journalists.

The cognitive dissonance has just begun for all of them.  The proof is clear, they were all wrong.  Extraordinarily wrong.  The collusion and sell out was from the very people they put forth as heroes.  The Obama/Clinton Democratic Party has been caught with their hands in the cookie jar.  Thirty pieces of silver wasn’t enough.  It was millions of dollars and the opportunity to hold power in America that proved to be their downfall.  Colluding with the Russians was what they were willing to do in this power play.

The unwinding of this scandal will take time.  But the implication is clear.   The Trump administration will be fully exonerated.  They did nothing wrong.  Oh yes, the left won’t admit it, they will be furious (aren’t they always?), but this narrative is over except in the minds of total leftist partisans. Just like the man who threw the Russian flags at Trump. He was aiming for the wrong people.

He just didn’t know it yet.  Likewise, the leftist base doesn’t either.

As for the Clinton/Obama/Democratic Party alliance.  They are in trouble.  Having projected a narrative that was not only untrue about Trump, but was actually true about their own party will be devastating to their base, and the American public will likely not forget.

The leftist media.  The Democratic Party.  The Obama/Clinton families.  Their corruption reaches to the heavens.  They have knowingly deceived America in the worst of ways.  Let’s hope their stature never recovers.

No good deed goes unpunished for Israel

September 27, 2017

No good deed goes unpunished for Israel, American Thinker, Michael Berenhaus, September 27, 2017

Even the Syrians who were treated by Israel understand the situation better than the Post.  The article ended with this: “‘At first I was afraid, but then I saw that the treatment was superb,’ the 36-year-old woman said.  ‘We were told they are the enemy, but in reality, they are friends.'”

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

Israel courts Syrians with humanitarian aid on border” (9/12/17) is yet another Washington Post article that tells a true, touching story yet spins it 180 degrees because of the paper’s antipathy toward Israel.  Israel takes in its neighbor’s war casualties and is vilified for the deed.  Talk about no good deed going unpunished! 

The article admits that “[m]ore than 600 Syrian children have been bused to Israeli hospitals for treatment in the past year.”  And “Israel has now treated more than 3,000 wounded Syrians, military officials say, though a Syrian medic on the other side of the border said the number traveling for care appeared to be higher.” 

But then there are the digs.  “Israeli officials stress the humanitarian aspect of the program, but it has another aim: to create a friendly zone just inside Syria as a bulwark against Israel’s arch enemy.”  The Washington Post provides no evidence to support this. 

The headline of the second page of the article on A13 reads, “Israeli aid to Syrians is humanitarian and strategic.”  But even according to the Post’s own reporting, “[i]t was in 2013, Israeli military officials say, when the first Syrians approached the Israeli fence on the Golan Heights.”  The Post provides no evidence that contradicts Israel’s official report.  The Post then adds its own spin by saying Israel’s motive for helping the wounded was “strategic.”  In a court of law, such conjecture would be deemed inadmissible.  Further, if the Syrians initiated the plea for help, what does that say about the motivations of the Israeli people?

According to the Post, “Israel has transferred 360 tons of food, nearly 120,000 gallons of gasoline, 90 pallets of drugs and 50 tons of clothing as well as generators, water piping and building material, the IDF says.”  Israel also has given supplies and medical care in areas ranging from as far away as Haiti and most recently Florida (See here.)  Was this also strategic?

 Moreover, is this reporting of Israel consistent with how The Washington Post reports on other countries providing humanitarian aid or disaster assistance?  Or does The Washington Post single out Israel when it comes to this sort of critique?  Without a doubt, the latter!

The Washington Post can’t help but be negative on Israel.  The Post states, “Israel has been in a state of war with its northern neighbor [Syria] for nearly 70 years.”  Hardly!  The truth: Syria and most surrounding Arab or Muslim nations have been at war with Israel for nearly 70 years.

Israel can’t get a break at The Washington Post.  Israel is less than 1% of the Middle East, and the moment it declared independence in 1948, five Arab armies and the local Arabs, now known as Palestinians, attacked the nascent Jewish state with the goal of genocide.  And they didn’t hide that goal!  They bragged about the impending genocide.  Fortunately, the Jewish state won.  Had it not, it would have meant back-to-back Holocausts for the Jewish people.

The Post described a seven-year old girl whose mother said a Syrian “local commander told them to go to Israel” for treatment.  Does this sound like a plot hatched by Israel for disingenuous reasons?

Even the Syrians who were treated by Israel understand the situation better than the Post.  The article ended with this: “‘At first I was afraid, but then I saw that the treatment was superb,’ the 36-year-old woman said.  ‘We were told they are the enemy, but in reality, they are friends.'”

 

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

August 27, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump Campaign Repeatedly Rejected Efforts to Set Up Russia Meetings

August 15, 2017

Trump Campaign Repeatedly Rejected Efforts to Set Up Russia Meetings, Power LinePaul Mirengoff, August 14, 2017

What about Paul Manafort, supposedly a key player in the alleged collusion? The Post says he expressed concern about meetings with Russian officials and, as campaign chairman, rejected a May 2016 proposal that such a meeting take place.

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

The Washington Post reports that in 2016, a new member of the Trump foreign policy advisory committee sent emails to the Trump campaign urging that the candidate meet with top Russian leaders including Putin, but that the campaign repeatedly rejected this suggestion. The Post’s report is based on emails that it says were “read to The Post by a person with access to them.”

The foreign policy adviser in question is George Papadopoulos, described by the Post as “a campaign volunteer with scant foreign policy experience.” According to the Post, between March and September of 2016, he sent at least a half-dozen requests for Trump or members of his team to meet with Russian officials.

The campaign’s response is bad news for those who claim that Trump colluded with Russia. According to the Post:

Campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis wrote that he thought NATO allies should be consulted before any plans were made. Another Trump adviser, retired Navy Rear Adm. Charles Kubic, cited legal concerns, including a possible violation of U.S. sanctions against Russia and of the Logan Act, which prohibits U.S. citizens from unauthorized negotiation with foreign governments.

What about Paul Manafort, supposedly a key player in the alleged collusion? The Post says he expressed concern about meetings with Russian officials and, as campaign chairman, rejected a May 2016 proposal that such a meeting take place.

The Post argues that “the internal resistance to Papadopoulos’s requests is at odds with other overtures Trump allies were making toward Russia at the time, mostly at a more senior level of the campaign.” Not really. Reading the two sets of emails I believe the Post has in mind — the ones involving Papadopoulos and the ones involving Donald Trump Jr. and the Russian lawyer — the logical conclusion is that Team Trump was not interested in making overtures to, or negotiating with, the Kremlin, but was willing to check out information harmful to Hillary Clinton provided by Russian sources, including ones with possible ties to the Kremlin.

The first position is exactly what one would hope for and expect. The second should not shock anyone’s conscience.

It seems to me that if the Trump campaign wanted to collude with Russia, as opposed to simply reviewing “dirt” on Clinton provided by Russians, it would have been eager to meet with top Russian officials including Putin. The emails reportedly show a decided lack of interest in such meetings by top campaign officials.

It’s possible that the candidate himself was interested in overtures, negotiations, or some other form of collusion with the Russians. It’s even possible that he did these things through back channels. But there doesn’t seem to be any evidence to support this speculation. And the fact his campaign managers appear not to have believed Trump had any interest in such endeavors cuts against claims of collusion.

Thus, the Post’s story, which it bills with the headline “Trump campaign emails show aide’s repeated efforts to set up Russia meetings,” seems like a significant setback for the Russia collusion story.