Posted tagged ‘McCain’

Inside Judicial Watch: The Truth Behind Fusion GPS & The Trump Dossier

January 19, 2018

Inside Judicial Watch: The Truth Behind Fusion GPS & The Trump Dossier via YouTube,  January 18, 2018

According to the blurb beneath the video,

In this compelling episode of “Inside Judicial Watch,” host Jerry Dunleavy joins JW Senior Investigator Bill Marshall to discuss Fusion GPS, how the infamous Trump dossier was produced, who paid for it, and how it may have led to the surveillance of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and his inner-circle. Prior to joining Judicial Watch, Bill Marshall worked in the private sector conducting corporate investigations and opposition research for various entities, similar to the kind of work carried out by Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS. You WON’T want to miss out on Bill’s compelling insight into the world of opposition research, Fusion GPS, and the Trump dossier.

McMaster, McCain Call to Back Kurds

October 29, 2017

McMaster, McCain Call to Back Kurds, Clarion ProjectElliot Friedland, October 29, 2017

National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster answers questions during a press briefing at the White House (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

McCain blamed the chaos in the region on the previous president, saying “This is the unfortunate legacy that the Obama administration left for its successor.” That alone is not a plan. Despite making encouraging sounding remarks about safeguarding Kurdish security, both McCain and McMaster were remarkably light on specifics.


Leading U.S. political figures Senator John McCain and National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster have called for America to ensure Kurdish security and curb Iranian influence. Iraqi forces recently seized disputed territories including the city of Kirkuk from the Kurds as tensions mount following the Kurdistan independence referendum.

President Trump has long warned about the dangers to American security posed by Iranian ambitions. Iran is steadfastly opposed to a Kurdish state.

“What we would like to see in Iraq is a stable Iraq that is not aligned with Iran,” McMaster told a meeting of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

He clarified that “part of a strong Iraq is a strong Kurdish region where we have very long-time partners whose partnership we value tremendously, who you know, who bore the brunt of Saddam Hussein’s brutality over many years and who we intervene on their behalf as everyone knows after 1991 and they used the safety and security we helped provide that region to build a—phenomenal communities in Sulaymaniyah, and Erbil and in Dohuk. I mean these are southern European thriving cities when you go to the Kurdish region.”

McMaster did not shy away from blaming Iran for aggression against the Kurds. In an interview with the U.S.-funded Arabic news network Al-Hurra, he accused Iran of taking “advantage of divisions within the Kurdish Regional Government, divisions within the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan [PUK] after the death of Jalal Talabani, God rest his soul, and what they have done is tried to advance their interest at the expense of long-term security and stability in Iraq.”

He called on America to intervene, saying, “What we need to do, though, is we have to work to mediate this conflict in a way that allows our Kurdish friends to enjoy the safety, security and prosperity they built over so many years and not regress from that.”

Former Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain was more forthright. In a New York Timesop-ed, McCain slammed the Iraqi government’s attacks on Kurdish forces as “totally unacceptable.”

“The United States offered arms and training to the government of Iraq to fight the Islamic State and secure Iraq from external threats — not to attack Iraqi Kurds, who are some of America’s most trusted and capable partners in the region,” he said.

Despite his strong words, Iraqi forces are already using American equipment to attack Kurds. People’s Mobilization Units (PMU), the paramilitary forces attached to the Iraqi army, launched a four-pronged attack against the Kurdish Peshmerga northwest of Mosul on Thursday, according to Kurdistan 24.

“As of 1200 hrs, Peshmerga heroically repelled today’s attacks, destroying three tanks, five U.S. Humvees and one Badger,” the Kurdish Region Security Council said in a statement. “Having retreated from the areas, Iraqi forces have resorted to shelling Peshmerga positions.”

The Kurds report that around 100 militia fighters were killed. The offensive is aimed at capturing the strategically important area of Iraq next to the Syrian border, according to analyst Seth Frantzman. If successful, it would cut off the Iraqi Kurds from Kurdish areas of Syria.

“Let me be clear: If Baghdad cannot guarantee the Kurdish people in Iraq the security, freedom and opportunities they desire, and if the United States is forced to choose between Iranian-backed militias and our longstanding Kurdish partners, I choose the Kurds,” McCain wrote.

What exactly does he mean by that? Iraq has already rejected a request by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to disband the Iranian-backed militias grouped under the PMU banner.

The PMU were called to arms in 2014 by a fatwa issued by leading Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani to fight ISIS. The PMU were officially made part of the Iraqi army in November 2016.

It was unclear if McCain would support using U.S. military force to protect Kurdish areas against Iranian-backed Iraqi militias. It is also worrying what might happen if America does not act.

“There is a great fear among the Kurds that they could face another genocide at the hands of the Iraqi government and the Shia militia forces backed by Iran,” said Julie Lenarz, the executive director of the Human Security Centre, a London-based think-tank with extensive contacts in Kurdistan. Lenarz was speaking on a conference call hosted by The Israel Project.

McCain blamed the chaos in the region on the previous president, saying “This is the unfortunate legacy that the Obama administration left for its successor.” That alone is not a plan. Despite making encouraging sounding remarks about safeguarding Kurdish security, both McCain and McMaster were remarkably light on specifics.

McCain: Attacks on McMaster from “same purveyors of hatred and ignorance” as at Charlottesville

August 17, 2017

McCain: Attacks on McMaster from “same purveyors of hatred and ignorance” as at Charlottesville, Jihad Watch

(Please see also, VIDEO – H.R. McMaster: Muslim Terrorist Groups Are ‘Really Un-Islamic,’ ‘Irreligious. —  DM)

McCain, who defended Huma Abedin from legitimate questions about her Muslim Brotherhood ties by defaming those who were raising the questions as hatemongering “Islamophobes,” is now claiming that critics of NSA H.R. McMaster are all racists and neo-Nazis.

Someone should inform Senator McCain, but no one will, that there are plenty of critics of McMaster who abhor racism and Nazism, but are concerned about McMaster because of his denial and willful ignorance regarding the motivating ideology of the jihad threat, his hostility toward Israel, and his favorable stance toward the Islamic Republic of Iran. But routinely such concerns are buried under charges of “Islamophobia,” and McCain is just another functionary repeating the current acceptable political line. There isn’t any debate anymore, just demonization of opponents.

Meanwhile, President Trump should note that the defenders of McMaster include not only McCain but also Hamas-linked CAIR, and realize that this is indication enough in itself that he should be fired.

“John McCain takes on H.R. McMaster critics,” by Jeremy Diamond, CNN, August 14, 2017:

(CNN)Sen. John McCain on Monday slammed recent attacks on White House national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster and called on President Donald Trump to speak out against the right-wing campaign targeting the top adviser.

“The recent attacks upon (McMaster) from the so-called ‘alt-right’ are disgraceful. Since this fringe movement cannot attract the support of decent Americans, it resorts to impugning the character of a good man and outstanding soldier who has served honorably in uniform and sacrificed more for our country than any of his detractors ever have,” McCain said in a statement Monday afternoon. “Such smear tactics should not be tolerated and deserve an emphatic response.”

“I hope the President will once again stand up for his national security adviser and denounce these repugnant attacks, which arise from the same purveyors of hatred and ignorance who precipitated the recent violence in Charlottesville,” McCain added.

McCain’s statement came as far-right leaders pushed new lines of attack against McMaster, which ranged from claims that he’s not a strong enough supporter of Israel to unfounded allegations that McMaster has a drinking problem — the latter promulgated by the far-right blogger Mike Cernovich.

The smear campaign is the latest effort by McMaster’s adversaries to undermine the national security adviser’s credibility as he has feuded internally with White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, particularly over the war in Afghanistan. Bannon has privately denied any involvement in the anti-McMaster efforts, according to officials.

“The President directly expressed his support for Gen. McMaster from Bedminster last week,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said when asked if Trump had any additional comment to offer.

Trump last week expressed confidence in his national security adviser while taking questions at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, saying he “absolutely” had confidence in him.

“He’s our friend. He’s my friend. And he’s a very talented man. I like him and I respect him,” Trump said then….

The Russian Collusion Story: The Acme of Fake News

July 16, 2017

The Russian Collusion Story: The Acme of Fake News, American ThinkerClarice Feldman, July 16, 2017

Richard Fernandez is one of the most brilliant authors on the Internet. This week he wrote:

Conventional wisdom posits the chief challenges facing the post-Cold War World are Global Warming and the decline of international institutions. But maybe that assurance is a species of Fake News. Suppose the most pressing problems in the next decade is finding new energy supplies to 1) keep the price of oil low enough to contain Russia (and Islamism); and 2) adapting to a disruptive information revolution no one can seem to control. Who will hand you that unconventional wisdom unless you come to it yourself.

He’s right, as I explain, but the significance of his observation is this: which of the two candidates — Hillary or Trump — was more likely to tap into America’s huge energy resources to contain both Russia and the Islamists? And when you answer that as you must — Trump — you can dismiss all the folderol about Donald J. Trump Jr’s, 15 minute meeting in Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer as evidence of “collusion” with Russia.  As I further explain, the non-stop media promotion of some nefarious scheme between Russia and Trump does not pass even the most cursory forensic examination, proving once again in the age of fake news, you cannot remain a passive consumer of news. You have to bring to each story the good sense and diligence with which you handle your most important personal affairs.

A. Russia and Environmental Groups

As Fernandez explained:

The oil crash collapsed the ruble and forced a 27% reduction in the Kremlin’s military budget in 2016.  With oil prices set to stay flat the Russians have to keep drilling and investing simply to stay level as the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies notes.  The Kremlin doesn’t make any real spending money until world oil price gets above levels before the great oil crash of 2014, which may not happen any time soon.[snip] You would think this a Eureka moment: to contain oil prices is to contain Russia (and Islamism). But cheap fossil fuels are not everyone’s cup of tea.  “Drill, baby, drill” is not popular on the left.  Even though liberals understand the power of cheap energy — one of Hillary’s supposedly hacked emails even alleged anti-fracking and environmental causes were a Russian plot to depress oil production — to advocate it is bad progressive politics. This probably led the Saudis to Hillary’s camp in 2016. “According to Bob McNally, president of consulting firm Rapidan Group, countries in the oil-producing Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, are hoping for Hillary Clinton to become president.”

If you’re looking for collusion with Russia, it is not to be found in the Trump Tower meeting.  Paul Mirengoff of Powerline details the Russian efforts through environmental groups — at best Stalin’s “useful idiots” — to tamp down US energy production.

 Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Science Committee, tells James Freeman of the Wall Street Journal:

If you connect the dots, it is clear that Russia is funding U.S. environmental groups in an effort to suppress our domestic oil and gas industry, specifically hydraulic fracking. They have established an elaborate scheme that funnels money through shell companies in Bermuda. This scheme may violate federal law and certainly distorts the U.S. energy market. The American people deserve to know the truth and I am confident Secretary Mnuchin will investigate the allegations.

To help Sec. Mnuchin conduct such an investigation, Rep. Smith, along with Energy Subcommittee Chairman Randy Weber, sent him a letter. They noted:

According to the former Secretary General of NATO, “Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called nongovernmental organizations – environmental organizations working against shale gas – to maintain dependence on imported Russian gas.” Other officials have indicated the same scheme is unfolding in the U.S.

Reps. Smith and Weber add that, according to public sources including a 2014 report from Republican staff on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, “entities connected to the Russian government are using a shell company registered in Bermuda, Klein Ltd. (Klein), to funnel tens of millions of dollars to a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) private foundation,” which supports various environmental groups. Klein denies this allegation.

Regardless of the conduit for the money, the allegation of funneling appears to be substantial. Indeed, says Freeman, it appears to have been noted by none other than Hillary Clinton:

If a document posted last year on WikiLeaks is to be believed, Clinton campaign staff summarized in an email attachment Hillary Clinton’s remarks on the subject during a private speech:

Clinton Talked About “Phony Environmental Groups” Funded By The Russians To Stand Against Pipelines And Fracking. “We were up against Russia pushing oligarchs and others to buy media. We were even up against phony environmental groups, and I’m a big environmentalist, but these were funded by the Russians to stand against any effort, oh that pipeline, that fracking, that whatever will be a problem for you, and a lot of the money supporting that message was coming from Russia.” [Remarks at tinePublic, 6/18/14]

Freeman suggests that Mnuchin commence his investigation by speaking with Mrs. Clinton, who “obviously knows the terrain.” He also thinks John Podesta would be a useful source.

Podesta is invested in and acts for a “green energy company backed by the Russian government.”

B. The Media Has lost all Credibility, Serving as the semi-official newsroom for the Democratic Party

Just as Fernandez detailed the rise of Samizdat in Russia as the official press was uniformly distrusted, the growth on alternate media in the U.S. is disrupting the old news models .

Our trust hierarchies have collapsed. As with Soviet Russia, the “official” media sources are now distrusted as purveyors “fake news”.  To fill the gap a peer-to-peer grapevine, similar to the “friends and family”, a samizdat is emerging to pick up the slack. Sonya Mann at Inc uses a startup to illustrate the growing division of society into trust groups. “Pax Dickinson wants to fund the revolution. Not a blood-in-the-streets revolution, but one where hardcore right-wingers can economically secede from the parts of society they vehemently dislike. “We need parallel everything. I do not want to ever have to spend a single dollar at a non-movement business.

Nothing so illustrates why the media has  deservedly lost all credibility than it’s unending, overdone effort to fit any action on the part of the President or those around him into a narrative of Russia somehow colluding with him to defeat Hillary. This week’s take was the short meeting his son held with a Russian lawyer in Trump Tower last summer.

The clearest summary of the facts surrounding the meeting with Trump’s son last summer is to be found in The American Spectator.  Scott McKay writes:

[Natalia] Veselnitskaya’s  [The Russian lawyer’s] presence in the United States alone ought to be the source of suspicion that not only is the Trump-Russian collusion narrative suspect in this case but that the real inquiry ought to be into whether the encounter was a small part of a larger attempt to trap the Trump campaign.

The Russian lawyer wasn’t even supposed to be here. She had been denied a visa for entry into the United States in late 2015, but given a rather extraordinary “parole” by the federal government to assist preparation for a client subject to asset forfeiture by the Justice Department. That was in January. The client was Prevezon Holdings, a Russian company suspected of having been paid some portion of $230 million stolen by Russian mobsters. When Sergey Magnitsky a Russian lawyer representing a company that had been the victim of the theft, reported it to authorities in Moscow he was promptly jailed and beaten to death. The American response to this atrocity was the 2012 Magnitsky Act, which sanctioned several individuals connected to human rights abuses. The Russian government retaliated by preventing American adoptions of Russian children.

But in June, she was permitted to fly back to the U.S., have the meeting with Trump Junior  —  at Trump Tower, no less  —  and then end up in the front row for a congressional hearing involving testimony from a former U.S. ambassador to Russia, then turning up at a D.C. showing of a documentary film on the negative effects of the Magnitsky Act, and later appearing at a dinner involving Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and former Rep. Ron Dellums (D-CA) who is now a lobbyist for the Russians. The repeal of that legislation is a priority item for the Russians and a personal project of Veselnitskaya’s; it, rather than any Clinton dirt, was reportedly the primary subject brought forth at the meeting with Donald Trump Jr.

All of this without a visa! Not to mention Veselnitskaya didn’t file a FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act) document before acting as a lobbyist for a foreign entity, as required by law. Neither, apparently, did Dellums. Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) wrote a fascinating letterTuesday to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson asking them to please find out what in the hell Veselnitskaya was doing in this country last June.

And further, it turns out Veselnitskaya was connected to Fusion GPS, the Democrat opposition research firm which employed a former British spy who used Russian contacts to produce the infamous and debunked Pee Pee Dossier smearing Trump. Veselnitskaya hired Fusion GPS head Glenn Simpson to work on behalf of Prevezon, the company she was allowed into the country to represent, in its efforts to repeal the Magnitsky Act. Fusion then hired Christopher Steele, the British spy who drew on Russian sources to produce that dossier, and made him available for private briefings on the dossier with left-leaning media sources such as Mother Jones, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Yahoo! News, the New Yorkerand CNN in September.

Naturally, John McCain is involved  —  if that fact should produce his resignation, all of this will have been worth it.

By the way, there is Veselnitskaya’s social media account, which is decidedly more aligned with the Fusion GPS side of this equation than the Trump side.

And the meeting came about largely due to hyped-up promises made by a publicist for a Russian pop star who was connected to the Trump family from the Miss Universe pageant having been held in Moscow in 2013  —  promises which don’t appear to have been fulfilled. If this whole thing doesn’t look like an old-fashioned dangle to you, then you haven’t watched enough spy movies.

If timelines are interesting to you, there is this  —  reportedly, the Obama administration sought permission to electronically monitor Trump Tower in early June, and the FISA court would not grant it. But in October, that warrant was given. [snip]

And once that meeting  —  which on its surface was a waste of everyone’s time  —  was had, the Obama administration now had something to sell to the FISA court to get that warrant  —  from which they snagged Mike Flynn and gave the Democrat party and the media a mechanism to shroud the Trump administration in what can best be described as a rather dubious scandal. Remember how Hillary Clinton was accusing Trump of being a Putin’s puppet at the October 19 debate?

C. Donald J Trump’s son had every reason to believe that there was evidence of Hillary’s collusion with Russia

If this seems farfetched, consider this Veselnitskaya  was barred from entry to the US until Loretta Lynch granted her an excedptional “immigration parole” to appear in a judicial proceeding; a federal judge considered — but we can find no ruling — her motion  on January 6, 2016,to extend her stay by a week, and then  with no explanation of how this occurred, she was back in the US on June of that year  where she met with Donald J Trump Jr and attended as a front row guest a Congressional hearing on the Magnitsky act which imposed sanctions on Russia.

To add a dash of extra color to the story the media reported that with the lawyer was a “former Russian counter intelligence officer”, Rinat Akhmetshin.  He denies this.

“I am an American citizen since 2009 who pays taxes, earned his citizenship after living here since 1994, and swore an oath of loyalty to the United States of America,”

Kayleigh McEnany in The Hill characterized this as a “conspiracy theory desperately in earch of evidence”.

Bill Clinton had given a $500,000 speech in Russia.  Clinton had given her approval in handing one-fifth of U.S. uranium to Russia, after which her foundation received $2.35 million from the Russian-controlled company.  Suspiciously, Clinton did not disclose the transaction.

Likewise, Clinton campaign chief John Podesta sat on the board of a company that received $35 million from the Russian government alongside fellow board members Anatoly Chubais, a senior Russian official, and Ruben Vardanyan, an oligarch.

Given this context, why wouldn’t Trump Jr. be open to taking a meeting that offered evidence of incriminating Clinton dealings with Russia, particularly when most of the media refused to look into Clinton’s question-raising actions?[snip] We likewise know that several foreign countries known for their human rights violations  —  like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Brunei, and Algeria  —  donated millions to the Clinton foundation, and yet few publications construed their “support” in a negative way.

Taken together, the micro story of Donald Trump Jr. seeking opposition research  —  much like Clinton allies did in their dealings with the Ukrainian government  —  does nothing in the way of proving the macro allegation that the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia in hacking the DNC and releasing Clinton’s illegally obtained emails.

The American people see through this leftist-purveyed Russia conspiracy theory.  That’s why a full 56 percent want Congress and the media to focus on real issues, not Russia.  If the left continues to concoct Russian collusion evidence, they can fully expect for the 2018 congressional elections to look a lot like the special elections in Kansas, Montana, South Carolina, and Georgia  —  Republican victory.  Voters dismiss the salacious in favor of solutions, and as of now, the left have nothing besides an evidence-free smear campaign.

In any event, isn’t it curious that those who claim to consider a meeting to listen to opposition research, bought hook line and sinker the ridiculous-on-its-face Dossier concted by GPS against Trump, a far more likely piece of Russian intel disinformation? Or why they ignore DNC officials meeting with Ukrainian government officials for dirt on then Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.

Politico detailed the many ways the Ukrainians worked to help Hillary beat Trump.  As you might guess, they indicated these efforts were “far less concerted or centrally directed than Russia’s alleged hacking and dissemination of Democratic emails.” Covering with the word “alleged” a smear without any evidence but for the mutterings of Crowdstrike, a private outfit which was the only investigation the DNC allowed , a misstep by the Comey FBI which let this pass.

In any event, Legal commentators on both sides of the aisle have confirmed there was nothing illegal about the meeting.   I suppose we can’t expect much more of a press corps so stupid it mistakes the Star Spangled Banner for France’s La Marseillaise, and Bastille Day for the 100th Anniversary of the U.S. entry in WW I.

You’ll just have to work harder in the face of such ignorance and bias to find out what you need to know.

John McCain, off rail, says Obama better than Trump

June 12, 2017

John McCain, off rail, says Obama better than Trump, Washington Times

(Please see also, Never Trump is Still Waiting for the Apocalypse. — DM)

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., questions former FBI Director James Comey during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Thursday, June 8, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


We know Sen. John McCain is no friend of President Donald Trump’s — but this is ridiculous.

The Arizona senator, who says he’s a Republican, actually came out and told a left-leaning overseas newspaper, the Guardian, that Barack Obama provided better leadership for America than Trump.


Here’s the context: The Guardian, in a long-running hit piece on Trump that included quotes from those who were upset at the president’s tweeting and non-politically correct talk and walk on foreign affairs — including blunt assessments of the terrorist situation — asked McCain what he thought of the message the White House chief was sending ‘round the world.

The Guardian asked McCain this, no doubt because the Guardian knew exactly what kind of reply McCain would give. And McCain, the anti-Trumper of the Senate, did not disappoint.

“What do you think the message is? The message is that America doesn’t want to lead,” McCain said, the Guardian gleefully reported. “They are not sure of American leadership, whether it be in Siberia or whether it be in Antarctica.”

The Guardian, sensing victory on the horizon, then followed up with this: So was America’s standing in the global arena better under Obama?

And again, McCain didn’t disappoint.

“As far as American leadership is concerned, yes,” he said.

Unbelievable. Now the important thing to remember here is a) members of the media only go to McCain when they want to act like they’re doing the balanced thing and getting a quote from a Republican — while knowing full well McCain’s a Republican In Name Only; and b) nobody in the conservative world gives a hoot what McCain thinks.

In fact, the only ones who want McCain to stay in office are the Democrats.

But saying ObamaObama of world tour apologist fame, Obama of diplomacy at all costs fame, Obama of selling out Israel and Mideast allies with the Iran treaty fame — is better for America in terms of leadership is a new low, for even the left.

Trump’s policy with other nations is pure and simple: America first. Those who criticize, are globalists.

Those who say Obama was a better leader than Trump — especially those in the Republican Party who say such — are delusional.

Two More Iraqi Cities At Risk Of Falling Into ISIS Control – John McCain – America’s Newsroom

April 17, 2015

Two More Iraqi Cities At Risk Of Falling Into ISIS Control – John McCain – America’s Newsroom, via You Tube, April 17, 2015


McCain: Failed Korea Nuke Negotiators Now Bringing You Iran Talks

November 24, 2014

McCain: Failed Korea Nuke Negotiators Now Bringing You Iran Talks, National ReviewMichael Auslin, November 24, 2014

Halifax — As news spreads that the failed Iranian nuclear talks require a second extension, this time for seven-months, U.S. officials at an international security conference here essentially admitted that North Korea was now a nuclear power, underscoring the failure of decades of high-level diplomacy. Yet the White House is doubling-down on its equally suspect negotiations with Tehran.

General Charles H. Jacoby, outgoing commander of U.S. Northern Command and NORAD, told the Halifax International Security Forum that he was treating North Korea as a “practical threat” due to its nuclear and ballistic missile capability that could potentially reach the U.S. homeland. Jacoby did not specify whether this meant that North Korea’s missiles and nukes were an operational threat, nor how he had changed NORAD’s operating posture, if at all. Admiral Cecil Haney, commander of U.S. Strategic Command (in control of all of America’s nuclear weapons), refused to answer whether he also considered Pyongyang a practical threat, but noted that he wanted more focus on trying to understand North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. The generals’ comments came just weeks after General Curtis Scaparotti, commander of U.S. Forces Korea, testified before Congress that he believed Pyongyang could build a nuclear warhead and mount it on a ballistic missile.

There is little doubt that America’s policy towards North Korea has failed, and that Pyongyang has played Democratic and Republican administrations alike, promising concessions, making agreements, and playing for time. Time enough to be close to a nuclear break out, which may be imminent. When Pyongyang mates a functional nuclear warhead with a reliable long-range or intercontinental ballistic missile, then two things will happen: first, the nuclear balance in Asia will tip, second, the Iranians will be opening their checkbooks immediately for access to both technologies. Above all, Japan will begin thinking seriously about either dramatically expanding its strike capabilities or maybe even its own nuclear deterrent. After all, given that two decades of American diplomacy resulted in a rogue regime with nukes, how much can the U.S. nuclear umbrella be trusted? Will Washington really be willing to trade Los Angeles for Tokyo? Our ally won’t admit it publicly, but highly doubts it.

To paraphrase: Diplomacy has consequences. Unfortunately, it seems that Washington doesn’t quite get that. Instead, the dialogue dependency trap continues to ensnare our top officials, who convince themselves that talking is always better than the opposite, that rationality and self-interest will ultimately win out. That’s probably true, but the Obama administration’s problem (like the Bush administration’s) is that they don’t understand North Korean concepts of self-interest. Hence, an Asia about to get much more dangerous.

The real dangers of our failed diplomacy were summed up by Senator John McCain in Halifax, who bluntly stated that the North Koreans have nuclear weapons and delivery systems. “It’s a wake up call,” said McCain, who topped it off by looking at the greater danger of Iran. “The same people who negotiated with North Korea are now negotiating with the Iranians,” McCain explained, likely referring to Acting Deputy Secretary of State and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman. Sherman, who is lead negotiator for the flailing Iranian talks, was the point person for talks with the North Koreans back in the Clinton administration, under Madeleine Albright. If McCain is right, then expect years more of failed negotiations and a nuclear Iran sometime this decade or next.