Posted tagged ‘Trump agenda’

Ex-Iranian Lobbyist at State Dept Moved After Conservative Pressure

April 23, 2017

Ex-Iranian Lobbyist at State Dept Moved After Conservative Pressure, Front Page Magazine (The Point), Daniel Greenfield, April 23, 2017

No one should assume that the election automatically changed everything. Much of the government is still under the control of the same folks who controlled it last year. And it will take pressure and scrutiny to change that. But pressure can and does work. Conservative activists can change things by focusing on people in government who should not be there.

This is progress.

A top State Department official who helped shape the Iran nuclear deal has reportedly been reassigned following criticism from conservative media outlets that questioned her loyalty to President Trump’s administration.

Sahar Nowrouzzadeh’s yearlong assignment to the secretary of State’s policy planning team was cut short earlier this month following critical stories from the Conservative Review and Breitbart News, Politico reported Friday.

A State Department official told Politico that Nowrouzzadeh did not want to be reassigned, and multiple officials in the State Department believe the media attacks were to blame.

“It puts people on edge,” an unnamed State Department official told Politico.

Good. The people being put on edge ought to be on edge. Especially since some of them are bringing us to the edge of nuclear war.

The State Department said in a statement that Nowrouzzadeh has returned to the Office of Iranian Affairs, but did not specify her new role or tell the publication why she was moved.

We’ll know soon enough.

The Hill story, predictably, makes no mention of why there were objections to her. That’s how you can tell it’s propaganda. It neglects to mention the Iranian lobbyist issue.

This Iran lobby, publicly represented by the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), has become a staunch institutional ally of the White House selling the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the nuclear deal is known. .. Perhaps NIAC’s most accomplished alum is Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, who is now National Security Council director for Iran in the Obama administration and therefore the top U.S. official for Iran policy, bringing together the various departments of government working on U.S. strategy toward the country. She is also, after the White House principals, one of the leading advisers to President Obama on Iran.

No doubt owing to the sensitivity (and influence) of her government role, Nowrouzzadeh has maintained a low profile, but her work at NIAC is publicly available. She drafted one of the organization’s annual reports for 2002-2003 and was referred to by Dokhi Fassihian, then executive director, as a “staff member” (DOC). The Obama administration insists that Nowrouzzadeh was only ever an intern with NIAC, and Nowrouzzadeh does not seem eager to play up her affiliation with the group. According to her LinkedIn profile, she has worked at the State Department and the Department of Defense. The profile doesn’t mention NIAC at all.

Neither does the Hill story.

Nowrouzzadeh should not be in any agency of the government. Let alone sitting pretty in the Office of Iranian Affairs. But there has been some progress. And this is part of draining the swamp.

Trump Has a Foreign Policy Strategy

April 21, 2017

Trump Has a Foreign Policy Strategy, National InterestJames Jay Carafano, April 20, 2017

Trump is an arch nationalist in the positive sense of the term. America will never be safe in the world if the world doesn’t have an America that is free, safe and prosperous.

That belief is at the heart of Trump’s policies designed to spark an economic revival, rollback the administrative state and rebuild the military. It lies at the core of his mantra: make America great again.

Even the strongest America, however, can’t be a global power without the willingness to act globally. And that’s where Trump’s declaration of “America First” comes in.

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For two weeks, the White House has unleashed a foreign-policy blitzkrieg, and Washington’s chattering classes are shocked and, if not awed, at least perplexed.

CNN calls Trump’s actions a “u-turn.” Bloomberg opts for the more mathematical “180 degree turn,” while the Washington Post goes with “flipflop.” Meanwhile, pundits switched from decrying the president as an isolationist to lambasting him as a tool of the neocons. Amid all the relabeling, explanations of an “emerging Trump Doctrine” have proliferated faster than North Korea’s nuclear arsenal.

Here’s my take on what’s going on:

• Yes, there is a method to Trump’s “madness.”

• No, there has been no big change in Trump’s strategy.

The actions that flustered those who thought they had pigeon-holed Donald Trump simply reflect the impulses that have driven the direction of this presidency since before the convention in Cleveland.

At the Center of the Storm

Where is the head and heart of the president’s national-security team? Ask that question a year ago, and the answer would have been simple: General Mike Flynn, Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Senator Jeff Sessions.

Today, Flynn is gone. Giuliani never went in. Sessions is still a crucial voice in the administration, but his duties as Attorney General deal only partially with foreign policy and national-security matters.

The new team centers round Jim Mattis at the Defense Department, Rex Tillerson at the State Department, John Kelly at the Department of Homeland Security and H. R. McMaster in the West Wing—ably assisted by Nikki Haley at the United Nations. Trump barely knew these people before the election.

There is little question that the new team’s character and competence affected the White House response to the recent string of high profile events and activities—from presidential meetings with Egypt and China and Tillerson’s tête-à-tête with Putin, to the ominous developments in Syria and North Korea. Though on the job for only about dozen weeks, the new administration handled a lot of action on multiple fronts quite deftly. Much of that can be credited to the maturity and experience of Trump’s senior national-security team.

But how the administration responded was purely Trumpian—reflecting an impulse that transcends the makeup of his foreign team or other White House advisors.

Decoding Trumpian Strategy

Since the early days of the campaign, one thing has been clear: trying stitch together an understanding of Trump’s foreign and defense policy based on Trump’s tweets and other off-hand comments is a fool’s errand. That has not changed since the Donald took over the Oval Office.

That is not to say that none of Trump’s rhetoric matters. He has given some serious speeches and commentary. But pundits err when they give every presidential utterance equal merit. A joint address to Congress ought to carry a lot more weight than a 3 a.m. tweet about the Terminator.

But especially with this presidency, one needs to focus on White House actions rather than words to gain a clearer understanding of where security and foreign policy is headed. Do that, and one sees emerging a foreign and defense policy more conventional and more consistent than what we got from Bush or Obama. Still, a deeper dive is necessary to get at the root of Trump’s take on the world and how it fits with recent actions like the tomahawk strikes in Syria and the armada steaming toward North Korea.

I briefed Candidate Trump and his policy advisors during the campaign. I organized workshops for the ambassadorial corps during the Cleveland Convention and worked with the presidential team through the inauguration. Those experiences let me observe how the policies from the future fledgling administration were unfolding. Here are some observations that might be helpful in understanding the Trumpian way.

At the core of Trump’s view of the world are his views on the global liberal order. Trump is no isolationist. He recognizes that America is a global power with global interests and that it can’t promote and protect those interests by sitting at home on its hands. Freedom of the commons, engaging and cooperating with like-minded nations, working to blunt problems “over there” before they get over here—these are things every modern president has pursued. Trump is no different.

What distinguishes Trump—and what marks a particularly sharp departure from Obama—is his perception of what enabled post–World War America and the rest of the free world to rise above the chaos of a half century of global depression and open war.

Obama and his ilk chalked it all up to international infrastructure—the UN, IMF, World Bank, EU, et al. For Trump, it was the sovereign states rather than the global bureaucracies that made things better. The international superstructure has to stand on a firm foundation—and the foundation is the sovereign state. Without strong, vibrant, free and wealthy states, the whole thing collapses like a Ponzi scheme.

Trump is an arch nationalist in the positive sense of the term. America will never be safe in the world if the world doesn’t have an America that is free, safe and prosperous.

That belief is at the heart of Trump’s policies designed to spark an economic revival, rollback the administrative state and rebuild the military. It lies at the core of his mantra: make America great again.

Even the strongest America, however, can’t be a global power without the willingness to act globally. And that’s where Trump’s declaration of “America First” comes in.

What it means for foreign policy is that the president will put the vital interests of the United States above the maintenance of global institutions. That is not an abandonment of universal values. Every American president deals with the challenge of protecting interests and promoting values. Trump will focus on American interests and American values, and that poses no threat to friends and allies. In many cases, we share the same values. In many cases, what’s in America’s vital interest is also in their interest—and best achieved through joint partnership.

Here is how those animating ideas are currently manifesting themselves in Trump’s strategy:

A strategy includes ends (what you are trying to accomplish), means (the capabilities you will use to do that) and ways (how you are going to do it). The ends of Trump’s strategy are pretty clear. In both talk and action in the Trump world, it boils down to three parts of the world: Europe, Asia and the Middle East. That makes sense. Peace and stability in these regions are vital to U.S. interests and are under assault. The United States wants all three parts of the world to settle. It is unrealistic to think all the problems can be made to disappear, but it is not unrealistic to significantly reduce the potential for region-wide conflict.

The means are more than just a strong military. Trump believes in using all the instruments of power, hard and soft. He has unleashed Nikki Haley on the United Nations. He has ordered Rex Tillerson to revamp the State Department so that it is focused on the core tasks of statecraft and the effective and appropriate use of foreign assistance. He wants an intelligence community that delivers intelligence and doesn’t just cater to what the White House wants to hear. And he has ordered Homeland Security to shift from being politically correct to operationally effective. Further, it’s clear that Tillerson, Kelly, Mattis and Sessions are all trying to pull in the same direction.

The ways of the Trump strategy are not the engagement and enlargement of Clinton, the rearranging of the world by Bush, or the disengagement of Obama. The world is filled with intractable problems. Trump is less interested in trying to solve all of them in a New-York minute and more concerned about reducing those problems so that they give the United States and its friends and allies less and less trouble.

Trump is traveling a path between running away and invading. It might be called persistent presence. The United States plans to engage and use its influence in key parts of the world consistently over time to protect our interests. Done consistently, it will not only protect our interests; it will also expand the global safe space by causing bad influences to fade.

Recent activities in the Middle East are a good example. The bomb strike on Syria was not a prelude to regime change or nation-building in Syria. It was a warning shot to Assad to cut it out and stop interfering in U.S. efforts to finish off ISIS, stabilize refugee populations and keep Iraq from falling apart. Engagement with Egypt was to signal America is back working with partners to stabilize the region and counter the twin threats of Islamist extremism and Iran. Neither is a kick-ass-and-withdraw operation. These are signs of long, serious engagement, shrinking the space in which bad actors can operate.

The U.S. regional strategies for Europe and Asia are the same, and it seems clear that Chinese and Russian leaders have gotten the message. In the wake of recent meetings, both countries have reacted by treating Trump with the seriousness he has demanded. Others get it too. I’ve talked to many foreign officials who have come through Washington, DC this year and they have all told me that they got the same impression: this administration is about resolve and persistence. Still, no strategy is without risks and pitfalls. This one is no different. Here is how Trump might screw up or be upended by a smarter or luckier enemy:

Pop goes political will. A strategy of persistent presence can work only if the United States persists. It took past presidents over a decade to screw things up. It is going to take at least eight years of reassuring friends and wearing down adversaries to fix it. Trump will have to get reelected.

Strength for the fight. Trump has to deliver guns and butter: a rebounding economy at home and a strong face abroad. That means a combination of growth and fiscally responsible federal spending—a challenge that eluded the last two presidents.

Mission creep. Presence can lapse into ambition, which can become overreach, or certainly taking on more than make sense to handle. There might always be temptation to deal with a North Korea, Syria or Iran once for all.

Blindsided. There are other parts of the world. An administration can’t be indifferent to effective engagement in Latin America and Africa.

Distractions. Persistence is boring. There is always the temptation to follow the bright foreign-policy object.

Enemy gets a vote. The United States has to be strong in three theaters at the same time, so there will always be a temptation for its competitors to coordinate efforts or seize opportunities to give the United States multiple problems to solve, straining its capability to persist in each theater.

Black Swans. Competitors might get tired of the long war and risk throwing in a game changer. For example, rolling the dice on an Electromagnetic Pulse attack. Effective persistence requires a measure of paranoia. Competitors are never inanimate entities to be pushed around. They have agency, and they are always looking for a way to make a bad day for the other guy.

It remains to be seen if Trump can become a strategic leader capable of steering America past all these obstacles, but certainly he sees the path forward much more clearly than his domestic opponents are willing to recognize or acknowledge.

Rex Tillerson’s Tough Talk on Iran

April 20, 2017

Rex Tillerson’s Tough Talk on Iran, Power LinePaul Mirengoff, April 19, 2017

Yesterday, as we noted here, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson informed Congress that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear deal and that the administration will continue to provide relief from sanctions, as called for by the agreement. He added, however, that “Iran remains a leading state sponsor of terror through many platforms and methods.”

Today, Tillerson (1) elaborated in scathing language on Iran’s role as a leading sponsor of terrorism and on other of its misdeeds, (2) made clear that the nuclear deal is unsatisfactory, and (3) stressed that the U.S. government is engaged in a thorough review of our Iran policy.

Tillerson characterized the Iran deal as “another example of buying off a power who has nuclear ambitions.” Citing the North Korean example, Tillerson complained “we buy them off for a short period of time, and then someone has to deal with it later.” He then added that the administration does not intend to follow this course.

It is rumored that President Trump hit the roof when he saw Tillerson’s letter to Congress (or maybe the way it was reported) and demanded that he issue today’s tough statement. According to this account, the tough statement had been drafted previously, nixed by influential soft-liners in the administration, and revived in light of the Tillerson letter.

Whether or not this is what happened, I think today’s statement was much needed.

But what will come of the policy review promised in Tillerson’s statement? The Obama administration did an effective job of fencing in its successors. I discussed the future of the Iran deal under Trump in this post.

The upshot of two days of Tillerson talk about Iran seems to be that our Iran policy is up-for-grabs, like much else in the policy realm. Sharp disagreement probably exists within the administration about how to proceed and, not unlike other policy disputes, the disagreement occurs in the context of no truly good options.

You can watch Tillerson’s speech, plus a brief Q&A, below. Don’t miss Andrea Mitchell fretting that if the U.S. backs out of the Iran deal, rogue states like North Korea won’t trust us.

 

Why Is the US Still Funding Palestinian Terrorism?

April 19, 2017

Why Is the US Still Funding Palestinian Terrorism? Gatestone Institute, Shoshana Bryen, April 19, 2017

(Please see also, Towards the pending Abbas visit to Washington D.C. — DM)

Jamil Tamimi, 57, knew that if he committed an act of terror, he would be lionized by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and — perhaps more importantly — that, if he were killed or sent to prison, his family would be taken care of financially.

“The PLO Commission was new only in name. The PLO body would have the ‎same responsibilities and pay the exact same amounts of salaries to prisoners… PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas retained overall supervision of ‎the PLO Commission.” — Palestinian Media Watch.

In 2016 Bashar Masalha, who murdered U.S. Army veteran Taylor Force and wounded several others, was hailed on official PA media outlets as a “martyr.” A few months later, Abbas said on PA TV, “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem…. With the help of Allah, every martyr will be in heaven, and every wounded will get his reward.”

The U.S. government should let the PLO and PA know that we are onto their game. Disincentivizing terrorism by closing the PLO office in Washington would be a good first step.

British exchange student Hannah Bladon was stabbed to death on a Jerusalem light rail train last Friday. Her murderer was identified as an East Jerusalem resident who had previously been convicted of molesting his daughter and had tried to commit suicide. Failing at that, he apparently opted for terrorism, on the assumption that the police would kill him. They didn’t. “This,” the Shin Bet said in a statement, “is another case, out of many, where a Palestinian who is suffering from personal, mental or moral issues chooses to carry out a terror attack in order to find a way out of their problems.”

“Suicide by cop” is not unheard of, but the real incentives need to be spelled out.

Jamil Tamimi, 57, knew that if he committed an act of terror, he would be lionized by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and — perhaps more importantly — that, if he were killed or sent to prison, his family would be taken care of financially.

To take the PA leader, Mahmoud Abbas, at his word, the PA itself does not pay salaries or pensions to terrorists in Israeli jails or to their families; the money — instead! — comes from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). That sleight-of-hand would make this a perfect time for the United States, an ally of the UK and properly appalled by terrorism, to take a step it has been avoiding for more than 25 years: to close the PLO office in Washington — preferably before the planned visit by Abbas in May.

The PLO was once understood to be a terrorist organization and a terror umbrella. It hijacked airplanes and threw an elderly disabled man in a wheelchair overboard from a cruise ship. Black September, an arm of the PLO, murdered 11 Israeli Olympic athletes in Munich. The PLO has committed acts of horrific terror in Israel — including massacring bus drivers and their families on holiday. Twenty-five adults and 13 children were killed and 71 others wounded. The PLO has also committed acts of war against the United States by killing American diplomats in Sudan.

In the 1970s and 80s, the U.S. generally knew what it was looking at.

During the Reagan-to-Bush “41”-transition, however, the U.S. dropped its ban on officially talking to then-PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat. (Full disclosure: Colin Powell, then national security advisor, gave this author a “heads up”: “Everyone has something to say,” he said. “The U.S. government already knows what Arafat has to say,” I said, and it is unacceptable.” He was not interested.)

Talking was not the same as opening an office; that move was still prohibited by the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1987. However, in the post-Oslo Accords euphoria, Senate legislation permitted the PLO an official mission in Washington “to implement the accords,” and it allowed President Clinton to waive the law barring U.S. funds to international organizations that gave money to the PLO. The House passed similar legislation. Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-CA) said at the time:

“This legislation provides a limited, temporary and conditional waiver of restrictions in United States law that would seriously impede the ability of Israel and the PLO to proceed with negotiating and implementing their landmark peace agreement.”

It was “conditional” on the PLO meeting its Oslo Accords obligations, including refraining from terrorism and renouncing international moves that would impede bilateral agreement on final status issues. While the legislation was, as Berman said, “temporary,” it came with the usual waiver provision, ultimately allowing Presidents to do as they wished.

Presidents, therefore, beginning with President Clinton, did exactly that, even as the Palestinian Authority supplanted the PLO as the “peace partner” and ignored the Oslo Accords at will.

In 2003, the height of the so-called “second intifada,” the Palestinian terror war against Israel, Colin Powell, by then Secretary of State, waffled through a statement suggesting that the Palestinians kindly refrain from not killing so many Jews. “We need to see a more concerted effort against the capacity for terrorist activity on the Palestinian side… It’s not enough just to have a cease-fire.” He then noted “progress in reducing attacks against Israelis” — but without mentioning that the IDF and Shin Bet had reduced them; not the PA. Nevertheless, President Bush exercised the waiver.

A 2011, a Palestinian bid for recognition as a full member of the UN failed, but the waiver remained. Over U.S. objections, “Palestine” joined the International Criminal Court in 2015. President Barack Obama waived the sanctions every six months — right through two Hamas wars against Israel.

Largely through the work of Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), the question of payments to terrorists and their families has come to the fore. Worried about foreign aid payments from the U.S. and the EU, in 2014 the Palestinian Authority claimed it stopped paying salaries and that future money would come from a new PLO Commission of Prisoner Affairs. However, PMW reported from Palestinian sources:

The PLO Commission was new only in name. The PLO body would have the ‎same responsibilities and pay the exact same amounts of salaries to prisoners; the ‎former PA Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs, Issa Karake, became the Director of the new ‎PLO Commission and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas retained overall supervision of ‎the PLO Commission.

Tower Magazine reported that in 2015, a year after the PA “officially” transferred authority over Palestinian prisoners to the PLO, it also transferred an extra 444 million shekels (more than $116 million) to the PLO — nearly the same amount that the PA had allocated in the previous years to its now-defunct Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs.

Citing PMW, Tower wrote that the transfer to the PLO was meant to evade pressure from Western governments that demanded an end to terrorist salaries — specifically the United States and the UK, which froze payments to the PA in 2016 over the problem.

In the end, perhaps, it does not matter whose bank account transfers the money to whose bank account:

In 2016 Bashar Masalha, who murdered U.S. Army veteran Taylor Force and wounded several others, was hailed on official PA media outlets as a “martyr.” A few months later, Abbas said on PA TV, “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem. This is pure blood, clean blood, blood on its way to Allah. With the help of Allah, every martyr will be in heaven, and every wounded will get his reward.”

 

Abbas has not said much about Jamil Tamimi, last Friday’s murderer, and it is time to stop encouraging, threatening or demanding that he do so. Rather, the U.S. government should let the PLO and PA know that we are onto their game. Disincentivizing terrorism by closing the PLO office in Washington would be a good first step.

US Tomahawk cruise missiles for ISIS-Sinai HQ

April 18, 2017

US Tomahawk cruise missiles for ISIS-Sinai HQ, DEBKAfile, April 18, 2017

 

A final decision to go ahead with a US missile assault on central Sinai rests with Defense Secretary James Mattis. He is due to arrive in Cairo on Wednesday, April 19.

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The US Mediterranean fleet is moving into position ready for a decision to launch Tomahawk cruise missiles for a crushing assault on the Islamic State’s mountain strongholds in central Sinai, DEBKAfile’s military and counterterrorism sources report.

This would be the second American strike in a month against a Middle East target, after 59 cruise missiles destroyed one-fifth of the Syrian air force at the Shayrat air base on April 7 in response for Assad’s chemical attack on Syrian civilians.

The prospective American missile attack in Sinai would raise the war on ISIS in the Middle East to a new plane. It would have been discussed during the Egyptian President Abdul-Fatteh El-Sisi’s visit to the White House on April 3. He explained to his host, President Donald Trump, the immense difficulty of overcoming the Islamic State’s affiliate when its headquarters were dug into an interconnected web of tunnels and caves in the central Jabal (Mount) Halal of the peninsula. Nicknamed the “Tora Bora of Sinai,” approach roads to this mountain fastness are few and far between, in common with the Afghan cave network near the Pakistan border destroyed on April 13 by the biggest non-nuclear bomb, the GBU-43/B, in the American arsenal.

The last Egyptian assault on ISIS’ towering mountain stronghold took place on April 2, shortly before El-Sisi travelled to Washington. The Egyptian military announced that 31 terrorists had been killed and a number of caves holding arms and ammunition destroyed.

But the damage was not devastating enough to disrupt the Islamist terrorists’ operations, DEBKAfile’s military sources report. Most of the terrorists escaped with the help of allied Bedouin tribesmen who, familiar with every nook and cranny in the desert peninsula, guided them to safety in new caves in Jabal Halal that were even more inaccessible to Egyptian troops.

Their new headquarters can only be destroyed by cruise missiles capable of exploding underground.

The Egyptians and Americans believe that if the Jabal Halal cave system sheltering the ISIS-Sinai core command center is destroyed, its long campaign of terror will be curtailed. The flow of terrorist manpower, arms and explosives from the mountain to the networks which terrorize the population and Egyptian forces of northern Sinai will dry up.

Jabal Halal is also the hub of the ISIS smuggling networks, through which fighters and arms are moved from southern Libya into Sinai and Egypt. Knocking it out will also deliver a resounding blow to that traffic.

A final decision to go ahead with a US missile assault on central Sinai rests with Defense Secretary James Mattis. He is due to arrive in Cairo on Wednesday, April 19.

EXCLUSIVE: Officials Defy Trump’s Promises: 40 Miles of Border Ordered Unpatrolled

April 18, 2017

EXCLUSIVE: Officials Defy Trump’s Promises: 40 Miles of Border Ordered Unpatrolled, BreitbartBrandon Darby & Ildefonso Ortiz, April 18, 2017

 

U.S. Border Patrol agents are once again sounding the alarm about miles of border being left wide open and unsecured. Breitbart Texas exclusively obtained a document showing a Havre Sector Border Patrol manager knowingly issuing orders to leave 40 miles of border open and unpatrolled. Obama holdovers in the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency are continuing with the same careless disregard in the Trump Administration that they did under former President Obama, according to Border Patrol agents.

Breitbart Texas has the specific order that was given to the agents signed by the Obama-holdover manager. The order demands that agents on the northern border stay within one assigned zone and are not to leave that zone to patrol other zones that the agents have historically patrolled — even though there are no agents assigned to patrol the other zones.. The Havre Sector has six Border Patrol stations and the order applies to one of these stations consisting of six zones. A total of 60 linear miles are covered by the one Border Patrol station in question, yet agents say that this only allows them to patrol 20 of the 60 miles of border.

When Breitbart Texas asked multiple Border Patrol agents about motives for the manager leaving such a vast swath of border unpatrolled, the agents felt that it was twofold; they blamed previous Obama-era policies and they also believed that widespread corruption exists within the Havre Sector’s upper-management.

One of the Border Patrol agents who was present when the manager gave the order spoke to Breitbart Texas on the condition of anonymity and said, “Criminal cartels exploit our weaknesses on a daily basis and they’re certainly going to exploit such a large area of open and unpatrolled border.” Another agent from the station told us on the same condition, “From a border security standpoint, this directive makes no sense, but there has to be a reason so I don’t think it’s a far stretch to conclude it’s due to corruption.” And yet another agent from the station speaking to us on the same condition said, “This order has to be coming from the Sector Chief and Deputy Chief Patrol Agents. They, along with the Station’s Patrol Agent in Charge and Deputy Patrol Agent in Charge, need to be immediately reassigned until a full and thorough investigation can be done into this order.”

Border Patrol Agent Brandon Judd, President of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) was appalled when he heard of this incident from agents — thereby confirming to Breitbart Texas the authenticity of the other agents’ concerns. He told Breitbart Texas that there have been more complaints filed out of the Havre sector than any other sector within recent years. Unfortunately, he says the agency has justified all of the manager’s actions. Agent Judd said anytime you have managers investigating other managers, the result is always “no cause of wrong doing found.”

Agent Judd said there must be accountability from the top down. “I believe Secretary Kelly’s constant praise of former Secretary Jeh Johnson is an endorsement of his open border policies. There are so many good managers in the Border Patrol, but when Secretary Kelly condones his predecessors failures, he opens the door for the bad managers to act like this and bring shame on the entire organization.” Agent Judd continued, “President Trump is the president of the common citizen and the choice of the rank-and-file Border Patrol Agents, unfortunately there are those highly paid career managers who want to believe they’re above everyone else — up to and including the President of the United States.”

Agent Judd said the rank-and-file Border Patrol agents have spoken with the managers at the station in question until they were blue in the face — all to no avail.  “Managers who sit behind a desk and never patrol the border should never dictate operations and policy, otherwise this is what you get.”

Multiple Border Patrol agents who were present for the manager’s order to leave 40 miles of border open spoke with Breitbart Texas. They said that all Border Patrol agents who were present argued with the manager and informed him they felt the order was “illegal and was dereliction of duty.”  They even argued it was contrary to the President Trump’s express wishes as set forth in the Border Security Executive Order. The agents asked for the rationale behind the order, but the manager refused to provide one, according to them.

Luckily for all of the Border Patrol agents present, a representative of the NBPC who is also an agent walked into the muster room as the order was given and he wrote the order down verbatim, according to the agents. Not only did he document the order, but the agents claim he read it back to the manager and asked, “did I twist your words?” and the manager responded that he did not. The agent and NBPC representative had all agents present sign the documentation and he asked the manager to also sign the order which the manager did.

Breitbart Texas showed the handwritten and signed order we obtained to Agent Judd and he confirmed that agents were, in fact, given this order. He pointed to the manager’s signature on the order as authentic. We provide the leaked document below. The names have been redacted to avoid any chance of revealing the exact station in the Havre Sector.

 

Putting ‘America first’ in the Mideast

April 14, 2017

Putting ‘America first’ in the Mideast, Israel Hayom, Ruthie Blum, April 14, 2017

Their argument now goes that Trump’s latest military moves — and shift in attitude toward NATO — are examples of policy “flip-flopping” from the “isolationism” expressed in his inaugural address to a newfound global interventionism. They contend that a president who so drastically and swiftly shifts gears is perfectly capable of performing yet another about-face when the mood arises.

Those who consider the Trump doctrine spelled out [in his inaugural address] as contradictory to the president’s performance in office so far seem to have lost something in translation.

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America’s surgical strike on Syrian regime targets last Thursday night — and this Thursday’s “mother of all non-nuclear bomb” attack on Sunni terrorist infrastructure in Afghanistan — garnered surprisingly widespread bipartisan support, but put some of U.S. President Donald Trump’s critics in a bit of a rhetorical quandary. How could they word their defense of Trump’s bold yet not extreme warning shots without putting a dent in their distrust of the new occupant of the Oval Office?

Coming up with a solution to this problem turned out not to be so difficult for those pundits and politicians who have been paying close attention both to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s slaughter of his own people — most recently with chemical weapons — and to every syllable of Trump’s Twitter feed.

Their argument now goes that Trump’s latest military moves — and shift in attitude toward NATO — are examples of policy “flip-flopping” from the “isolationism” expressed in his inaugural address to a newfound global interventionism. They contend that a president who so drastically and swiftly shifts gears is perfectly capable of performing yet another about-face when the mood arises.

The trouble is that this assertion is both overly simplistic and inaccurate.

In the first place, Trump himself openly acknowledged that though he had said he was not going to intervene in Syria, he “changed his mind” when it was established that Assad was killing babies with sarin gas — after lying about having rid his country of chemical weapons. He has also openly declared war on the Islamic State group. This hardly constitutes a flip-flop. Instead, it indicates flexibility of thought and action on the part of a leader faced with a set of circumstances that warrants both.

The same goes for his statements on NATO, which he originally called “obsolete” and has since deemed necessary. His initial attack on the organization was that its members were not pulling their weight. This spurred them to make at least symbolic gestures, such as slightly increasing their budgets, to persuade him to reconsider. This is no small thing.

Secondly, Trump’s inaugural speech was not, in fact, an ode to isolationism; it was a reassertion of American greatness and power both domestically and on the world stage. Take the following excerpt, for example:

“For many decades, we’ve … subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military; we’ve defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own. … From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this moment on … America will start winning again, winning like never before.”

And this: “We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to follow. We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones — and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth. …

“It is time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget: that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots, we all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American flag.”

The speech concludes: “So to all Americans, in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, and from ocean to ocean, hear these words: You will never be ignored again. Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way. Together, we will make America strong again. We will make wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And yes, together, we will make America great again.”

Those who consider the Trump doctrine spelled out above as contradictory to the president’s performance in office so far seem to have lost something in translation.