Why Obama Really Spied on Trump

Obama had to spy on Trump to protect himself.

Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, Sept. 20, 2017:

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.

Last week, CNN revealed (and excused) one phase of the Obama spying operation on Trump. After lying about it on MSNBC, Susan Rice admitted unmasking the identities of Trump officials to Congress.

Rice was unmasking the names of Trump officials a month before leaving office. The targets may have included her own successor, General Flynn, who was forced out of office using leaked surveillance.

While Rice’s targets weren’t named, the CNN story listed a meeting with Flynn, Bannon and Kushner.

Bannon was Trump’s former campaign chief executive and a senior adviser. Kushner is a senior adviser. Those are exactly the people you spy on to get an insight into what your political opponents plan to do.

Now the latest CNN spin piece informs us that secret FISA orders were used to spy on the conversations of Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.  The surveillance was discontinued for lack of evidence and then renewed under a new warrant. This is part of a pattern of FISA abuses by Obama Inc. which never allowed minor matters like lack of evidence to dissuade them from new FISA requests.

Desperate Obama cronies had figured out that they could bypass many of the limitations on the conventional investigations of their political opponents by ‘laundering’ them through national security.

If any of Trump’s people were talking to non-Americans, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) could be used to spy on them. And then the redacted names of the Americans could be unmasked by Susan Rice, Samantha Power and other Obama allies. It was a technically legal Watergate.

If both CNN stories hold up, then Obama Inc. had spied on two Trump campaign leaders.

Furthermore the Obama espionage operation closely tracked Trump’s political progress. The first FISA request targeting Trump happened the month after he received the GOP nomination.  The second one came through in October: the traditional month of political surprises meant to upend an election.

The spying ramped up after Trump’s win when the results could no longer be used to engineer a Hillary victory, but would instead have to be used to cripple and bring down President Trump. Headed out the door, Rice was still unmasking the names of Trump’s people while Obama was making it easier to pass around raw eavesdropped data to other agencies.

Obama had switched from spying on a political opponent to win an election, to spying on his successor to undo the results of the election. Abuse of power by a sitting government had become subversion of the government by an outgoing administration. Domestic spying on opponents had become a coup.

The Democrat scandals of the past few administrations have hinged on gross violations of political norms, elementary ethics and the rule of law that, out of context, were not technically illegal.

But it’s the pattern that makes the crime. It’s the context that shows the motive.

Obama Inc. compartmentalized its espionage operation in individual acts of surveillance and unmasking, and general policies implemented to aid both, that may have been individually legal, in the purely technical sense, in order to commit the major crime of eavesdropping on the political opposition.

When the individual acts of surveillance are described as legal, that’s irrelevant. It’s the collective pattern of surveillance of the political opposition that exposes the criminal motive for them.

If Obama spied on two of Trump’s campaign leaders, that’s not a coincidence. It’s a pattern.

A criminal motive can be spotted by a consistent pattern of actions disguised by different pretexts. A dirty cop may lose two pieces of evidence from the same defendant while giving two different excuses. A shady accountant may explain two otherwise identical losses in two different ways. Both excuses are technically plausible. But it’s the pattern that makes the crime.

Manafort was spied on under the Russia pretext. Bannon may have been spied on over the UAE. That’s two different countries, two different people and two different pretexts.

But one single target. President Trump.

It’s the pattern that exposes the motive.

When we learn the whole truth (if we ever do), we will likely discover that Obama Inc. assembled a motley collection of different technically legal pretexts to spy on Trump’s team.

Each individual pretext might be technically defensible. But together they add up to the crime of the century.

Obama’s gamble was that the illegal surveillance would justify itself. If you spy on a bunch of people long enough, especially people in politics and business, some sort of illegality, actual or technical, is bound to turn up. That’s the same gamble anyone engaged in illegal surveillance makes.

Businessmen illegally tape conversations with former partners hoping that they’ll say something damning enough to justify the risk. That was what Obama and his allies were doing with Trump.

It’s a crime. And you can’t justify committing a crime by discovering a crime.

If everyone were being spied on all the time, many crimes could be exposed every second. But that’s not how our system works. That’s why we have a Fourth Amendment.

Nor was Obama Inc. trying to expose crimes for their own sake, but to bring down the opposition.

That’s why it doesn’t matter what results the Obama surveillance turned up. The surveillance was a crime. Anything turned up by it is the fruit of a poisonous tree. It’s inherently illegitimate.

The first and foremost agenda must be to assemble a list of Trump officials who were spied on and the pretexts under which they were spied upon. The pattern will show the crime. And that’s what Obama and his allies are terrified of. It’s why Flynn was forced out using illegal surveillance and leaks. It’s why McMaster is protecting Susan Rice and the Obama holdovers while purging Trump loyalists at the NSC.

The left’s gamble was that the Mueller investigation or some other illegitimate spawn of the Obama eavesdropping would produce an indictment and then the procedural questions wouldn’t matter.

It’s the dirty cop using illegal eavesdropping to generate leads for a “clean” case against his target while betting that no one will look too closely or care how the case was generated. If one of the Mueller targets is intimidated into making a deal, the question of how the case was generated won’t matter.

Mueller will have a cooperative witness. And the Democrats can begin their coup in earnest. It will eventually turn out that there is no “there” there. But by then, it’ll be time for President Booker.

There’s just one problem.

If the gamble fails, if no criminal case that amounts to anything more than the usual investigational gimmick charges like perjury (the Federal equivalent of ‘resisting arrest’ for a beat cop) develops, then Obama and his allies are on the hook for the domestic surveillance of their political opponents.

With nothing to show for it and no way to distract from it.

That’s the race against the clock that is happening right now. Either the investigation gets results. Or its perpetrators are left hanging in the wind. If McMaster is fired, which on purely statistical grounds he probably will be, and a Trump loyalist who wasn’t targeted by the surveillance operation becomes the next National Security Adviser and brings in Trump loyalists, as Flynn tried to do, then it’s over.

And the Dems finally get their Watergate. Except the star won’t be Trump, it will be Obama. Rice, Power, Lynch and the rest of the gang will be the new Haldeman, Ehrlichman and Mitchell.

Once Obama and his allies launched their domestic surveillance operation, they crossed the Rubicon. And there was no way back. They had to destroy President Trump or risk going to jail.

The more crimes they committed by spying on the opposition, the more urgently they needed to bring down Trump. The consequences of each crime that they had committed spurred them on to commit worse crimes to save themselves from going to jail. It’s the same old story when it comes to criminals.

Each act of illegal surveillance became more blatant. And when illegal surveillance couldn’t stop Trump’s victory, they had to double down on the illegal surveillance for a coup.

The more Obama spied on Trump, the more he had to keep doing it. This time it was bound to pay off.

Obama and his allies had violated the norms so often for their policy goals that they couldn’t afford to be replaced by anyone but one of their own. The more Obama relied on the imperial presidency of executive orders, the less he could afford to be replaced by anyone who would undo them.  The more his staffers lied and broke the law on everything from the government shutdown to the Iran nuke sellout, the more desperately they needed to pull out all the stops to keep Trump out of office. And the more they did it, the more they couldn’t afford not to do it. Abuse of power locks you into the loop familiar to all dictators. You can’t stop riding the tiger. Once you start, you can’t afford to stop.

If you want to understand why Samantha Power was unmasking names, that’s why. The hysterical obsession with destroying Trump comes from the top down. It’s not just ideology. It’s wealthy and powerful men and women who ran the country and are terrified that their crimes will be exposed.

It’s why the media increasingly sounds like the propaganda organs of a Communist country. Why there are street riots and why the internet is being censored by Google and Facebook’s “fact checking” allies.

It’s not just ideology. It’s raw fear.

The left is sitting on the biggest crime committed by a sitting president. The only way to cover it up is to destroy his Republican successor.

A turning point in history is here.

If Obama goes down, the left will go down with him. If his coup succeeds, then America ends.

***

DID SUSAN RICE SPY ON TRUMP OFFICIALS FOR MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD?

Also see:

State Department Waging “Open War” on White House

Gatestone Institute, by Soeren Kern, 

  • “It’s not clear to me why the Secretary of State wishes to at once usurp the powers of the Congress and then to derail his boss’s rapprochement with the Israeli government.” — Foreign policy operative, quoted in the Washington Free Beacon.
  • Since he was sworn in as Secretary of State on February 1, Rex Tillerson and his advisors at the State Department have made a number of statements and policy decisions that contradict President Trump’s key campaign promises on foreign policy, especially regarding Israel and Iran.
  • “Tillerson was supposed to clean house, but he left half of them in place and he hid the other half in powerful positions all over the building. These are career staffers committed to preventing Trump from reversing what they created.” — Veteran foreign policy analyst, quoted in the Free Beacon.

The U.S. State Department has backed away from a demand that Israel return $75 million in military aid which was allocated to it by the U.S. Congress.

The repayment demand, championed by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, was described as an underhanded attempt by the State Department to derail a campaign pledge by U.S. President Donald J. Trump to improve relations with the Jewish state.

The dispute is the just the latest example of what appears to be a growing power struggle between the State Department and the White House over the future direction of American foreign policy.

The controversy goes back to the Obama administration’s September 2016 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Israel, which pledged $38 billion in military assistance to Jerusalem over the next decade. The MOU expressly prohibits Israel from requesting additional financial aid from Congress.

Congressional leaders, who said the MOU violates the constitutional right of lawmakers to allocate U.S. aid, awarded Israel an additional $75 million in assistance in the final appropriations bill for fiscal year 2017.

Tillerson had argued that Israel should return the $75 million in order to stay within the limits established by the Obama administration. The effort provoked a strong reaction from Congress, which apparently prompted Tillerson to back down.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) “strongly warned the State Department that such action would be unwise and invite unwanted conflict with Israel,” according to the Washington Free Beacon.

Speaking to the Washington Examiner, Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) added:

“As Iran works to surround Israel on every border, and Hezbollah and Hamas rearm, we must work to strengthen our alliance with Israel, not strain it. Congress has the right to allocate money as it deems necessary, and security assistance to Israel is a top priority. Congress is ready to ensure Israel receives the assistance it needs to defend its citizens.”

A veteran congressional advisor told the Free Beacon:

“This is a transparent attempt by career staffers in the State Department to f*ck with the Israelis and derail the efforts of Congressional Republicans and President Trump to rebuild the US-Israel relationship. There’s no reason to push for the Israelis to return the money, unless you’re trying to drive a wedge between Israel and Congress, which is exactly what this is. It won’t work.”

Another foreign policy operative said: “It’s not clear to me why the Secretary of State wishes to at once usurp the powers of the Congress and then to derail his boss’s rapprochement with the Israeli government.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (left) and President Donald J. Trump (right) on February 1, 2017. (Image source: Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

Since he was sworn in as Secretary of State on February 1, Tillerson and his advisors at the State Department have made a number of statements and policy decisions that contradict Trump’s key campaign promises on foreign policy, especially regarding Israel and Iran.

August 10. The State Department hosted representatives of the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), an umbrella group established by the Muslim Brotherhood with the aim of mainstreaming political Islam in the United States. Behind closed doors, they reportedly discussed what they said was Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine and the removal of all Israeli control of the Temple Mount and holy areas of Jerusalem. Observers said the meeting was part of larger effort by anti-Israel organizations to drive a wedge between the Trump administration and Israel. The USCMO includes a number of organizations, including American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), which promote “extreme anti-Israel views” and “anti-Zionist” propaganda, and which support boycotts of the Jewish state.

July 19. The State Department’s new “Country Reports on Terrorism 2016” blamed Israel for Palestinian Arab terrorism against Jews. It attributed Palestinian violence to: “lack of hope in achieving statehood;” “Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank;” “settler violence;” and “the perception that the Israeli government was changing the status quo on the Haram Al Sharif/Temple Mount.” The report also characterized Palestinian Authority payments to the families of so-called martyrs as “financial packages to Palestinian security prisoners…to reintegrate them into society.”

Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) called on the State Department to hold the PA accountable in State Department Country reports: “The State Department report includes multiple findings that are both inaccurate and harmful to combating Palestinian terrorism…. At the highest level, the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership incites, rewards, and, in some cases, carries out terrorist attacks against innocent Israelis. In order to effectively combat terrorism, it is imperative that the United States accurately characterize its root cause — PA leadership.”

June 14. Tillerson voiced opposition to designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, saying that such a classification would complicate Washington’s relations in the Middle East. During his confirmation hearings on January 11, by contrast, Tillerson lumped the Brotherhood with al-Qaeda when talking about militant threats in the region. He said:

“Eliminating ISIS would be the first step in disrupting the capabilities of other groups and individuals committed to striking our homeland and our allies. The demise of ISIS would also allow us to increase our attention on other agents of radical Islam like al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and certain elements within Iran.”

June 13. During testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Tillerson said he had received reassurances from President Mahmoud Abbas that the Palestinian Authority would end the practice of paying a monthly stipend to the families of suicide bombers and other attackers, commonly referred to by Palestinians as martyrs. One day later, Palestinian officials contradicted Tillerson, saying that there are no plans to stop payments to families of Palestinians killed or wounded carrying out attacks against Israelis.

May 22. Tillerson sidestepped questions on whether the Western Wall is part of Israel, while telling reporters aboard Air Force One they were heading to “Tel Aviv, home of Judaism.” Asked directly whether he considers the Western Wall under Israeli sovereignty, Tillerson replied: “The wall is part of Jerusalem.”

May 15. In an interview with Meet the Press, Tillerson appeared publicly to renege on Trump’s campaign promise to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem:

“The president, I think rightly, has taken a very deliberative approach to understanding the issue itself, listening to input from all interested parties in the region, and understanding what such a move, in the context of a peace initiative, what impact would such a move have.”

Tillerson also appeared to equate the State of Israel and the Palestinians:

“As you know, the president has recently expressed his view that he wants to put a lot of effort into seeing if we cannot advance a peace initiative between Israel and Palestine. And so I think in large measure the president is being very careful to understand how such a decision would impact a peace process.”

Critics of this stance have argued that moving the embassy to Jerusalem would, instead, advance the peace process by “shattering the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel.”

March 8. The State Department confirmed that the Obama administration’s $221 million payment to the Palestinian Authority, approved just hours before Trump’s inauguration, had reached its destination. The Trump administration initially had vowed to freeze the payment.

In July 2017, the Free Beacon reported that Tillerson’s State Department was waging an “open political war” with the White House on a range of key issues, including the U.S.-Israel relationship, the Iran portfolio, and other matters:

“The tensions have fueled an outstanding power battle between the West Wing and State Department that has handicapped the administration and resulted in scores of open positions failing to be filled with Trump confidantes. This has allowed former Obama administration appointees still at the State Department to continue running the show and formulating policy, where they have increasingly clashed with the White House’s own agenda.”

A veteran foreign policy analyst interviewed by the Free Beacon laid the blame squarely on Tillerson:

“Foggy Bottom [a metonym for the State Department] is still run by the same people who designed and implemented Obama’s Middle East agenda. Tillerson was supposed to clean house, but he left half of them in place and he hid the other half in powerful positions all over the building. These are career staffers committed to preventing Trump from reversing what they created.”

Notable holdovers from the Obama administration are now driving the State Department’s Iran policy:

Michael Ratney, a top advisor to former Secretary of State John Kerry on Syria policy. Under the Trump administration, Ratney’s role at the State Department has been expanded to include Israel and Palestine issues. Ratney, who was the U.S. Consul in Jerusalem between 2012 and 2015, oversaw $465,000 in U.S. grants to wage a smear to oust Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from office in 2015 parliamentary elections, according to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Ratney admitted to Senate investigators that he deleted emails containing information about the Obama administration’s relationship with the group.

Thomas A. Shannon, Jr., a career foreign service officer who serves as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. Shannon, the State Department’s fourth-ranking official, has warnedthat scrapping the Iran deal would lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. “Any effort to step away from the deal would reopen a Pandora’s box in that region that would be hard to close again,” he said. His statement indicates that Shannon could be expected to lead efforts to resist any attempts to renege or renegotiate the deal; critics of the deal say that Iran’s continued missile testing has given Trump one more reason to tear up his predecessor’s deal with the Islamist regime.

Chris Backemeyer is now the highest-ranking official at the State Department for Iran policy. During the Obama administration, Backemeyer made his career by selling the Iran deal by persuading multinational corporations to do business with Iran as part of an effort to conclude the Iran nuclear deal.

Ratney, Shannon and Backemeyer, along with Tillerson, reportedly prevailed upon Trump twice to recertify the Iran nuclear deal. The Jerusalem Post explained:

Washington was briefly abuzz on the afternoon of July 17 when rumors began to circulate that President Trump was eager to declare that Iran was in breach of the conditions laid out in the 2015 Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA).

Those receptive antennas were further heightened given the previous signals sent. After all, the State Department already released talking points to reporters on the decision to recertify Iran. The Treasury Department also had a package of fresh sanctions on over a dozen Iranian individuals and entities ready to announce to appease the hawks who were eager to cut loose from the deal.

But Trump didn’t want to recertify Iran, nor did he want to the last time around in April. That evening, a longtime Middle East analyst close to senior White House officials involved in the discussions described the scene to me: “Tillerson essentially told the president, ‘we just aren’t ready with our allies to decertify.’ The president retorted, ‘Isn’t it your job to get our allies ready?’ to which Tillerson said, ‘Sorry sir, we’re just not ready.'” According to this source, Secretary Tillerson pulled the same maneuver when it came to recertification in April by waiting until the last minute before finally admitting the State Department wasn’t ready. On both occasions he simply offered something to the effect of, “We’ll get ’em next time.”

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone InstituteFollow Soeren Kern on Twitter and Facebook

Also see:

America’s Unelected ‘Deep State’ Pushes Hidden Agenda, Says Judicial Watch Panel

The U.S. Capitol Building is lit at sunset in Washington on Dec. 20, 2016. (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo)

Epoch Times, by Joshua Philipp, Sept. 17, 2017:

A group of career politicians often referred to as the “Deep State” or the “permanent government” is pushing an agenda that goes against the Constitution and U.S. law, while also selectively leaking information to manipulate public perception.

These were among the claims from a panel of experts in a Sept. 15 video from the conservative, nonpartisan watchdog group Judicial Watch, which followed its publication of a report that exposed the unelected government of the United States often referred to as the Deep State. [CJR – Be sure to read that report!]

According to Judicial Watch, the Deep State is a bureaucracy of permanent officials in branches across the U.S. government who share a common far-left agenda, and use their positions to selectively enforce or block actions based on their own interests. Being in unelected positions, the Deep State is able to continue its activities regardless of who the sitting president is.

Key Issues

Diana West, journalist and author of the book “American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character,” said during the panel that the Deep State represents “unconstitutional powers, exercised by strange, illegitimate branchlets of the U.S. government that are in no way restrained by the balance of powers.”

The Deep State came to the surface during the presidential campaign, mainly to challenge Donald Trump, and it has continued to operate relatively in the open while trying to undermine Trump’s presidency.

A few key issues appear to have irked the Deep State, West noted, which are Trump’s positions on immigration, national trade and tariffs, radical Islam, his bid to end wars not fought over American core interests, and the restoration of American sovereignty.

These issues are typically not on the table during political debates of government candidates belonging to the establishment. She said, “These issues have essentially been taken from us by the powers that always seem to be, they were settled, and then along came Trump.”

She noted that these issues provide clues to the ideology of the Deep State: “[The Deep State] shows itself to be fanatically globalist and anti-nationalist. It is interventionist. It favors mass immigration and even open borders. It supports free trade.” She said the Deep State also appears to support radical and political Islam.

Its policies, she said, “are building blocks of a Socialist ‘paradise.’” Members of this permanent structure appear to exist not just among Democrats but also among Republicans, she said.

“During my own campaign coverage, I was able to find striking similarities between the beliefs of mainstream, anti-Trump Republicans and the programs set forth in a 1932 book called ‘Towards Soviet America,’” she said, referring to the 1932 book written by William Foster, who was chairman of the Communist Party USA, which is believed to have operated under the auspices of the Soviet Union.

White House as ‘Enemy’

Dr. Sebastian Gorka, former Deputy Assistant to the President who only recently left his job in the White House, shared his own experiences with the Deep State from his position in the Trump Administration.

“I’ve seen the worst of the worst, the first seven months, of how the bureaucracy responded to the administration of Donald J. Trump,” he said, noting that within the government, the Deep State operates overtly, in plain view.

“It was in our faces. It was arrogant. It was right there in the surface of our policy discussions at the White House,” he said. “This is not just a reaction to a New York mogul who became president. This has been brewing for decades, truly decades.”

Among the ways the Deep State has reacted to the Trump presidency is with selective leaks to the media. Gorka noted there were 125 national security leaks in the first 126 days of the Trump administration, and at least 60 of those leaks were of “serious national security matters.”

Gorka explained one of his own encounters with the Deep State, noting that as a former professor he has taught many young men and women in the national security field. When he entered the White House, he wanted to bring over some of his students who were now members of the intelligence community.

“I identified the three best individuals, and requested—as a deputy assistant to the president—that these people be detailed over to me at the White House to work on key projects of importance to Steve [Bannon] and the President,” he said.

“In the six months I was in office, not one of those people was detailed over to me from an unnamed sister agency,” he said.

Not only were the individuals not moved, as requested, but Gorka said he later discovered, “not only did the sister agency stop their detailing, every single individual was taken off their current duty roster and punished, and put into menial tasks.”

“Why?” he said. “Because the seventh floor of that agency, to quote a senior individual, ‘looks at the White House as the enemy.’”

The ‘Shadow Government’

While Gorka did not name the agency, he did mention the “seventh floor.” It has long been known that individuals on the seventh floor of the State Department operate what the FBI has referred to in its reports as “The Shadow Government.”

The FBI described The Shadow Government in a 2016 report on the investigations into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. It stated “There was a powerful group of very high-ranking STATE officials that some referred to as ‘The 7th Floor Group’ or ‘The Shadow Government.’” It said the group met every Wednesday afternoon to discuss public information requests and “everything CLINTON-related to FOIA/Congressional inquiries.”

The FBI gave a partial list of individuals who regularly attended meetings of The Shadow Government that included former Secretary of State John Kerry and his Chief of Staff and Director of Policy Planning Jonathan Finer, Deputy Chief of Staff Jennifer Stout, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom, Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs Julia Frifield, and an individual referred to only as “Kennedy.” Several other names were redacted.

The FBI report also noted the group changed protocols on how documents on Clinton were released, and noted the group “did have control of the release process for the approximately 30,000 emails, or 52,455 pages related to the CLINTON FOIA request, and it was decided to be a rolling release.”

The permanent bureaucrats on the State Department’s seventh floor also have a notorious reputation among members of the U.S. intelligence community, who refer to them as “bow ties,” “Mandarins,” and “Black Dragons.”

The Black Dragons were described in a 2010 report from geopolitical intelligence company Stratfor as “a powerful element within the State Department that is averse to security and does its best to thwart security programs.”

Anti-American Agenda

Todd Shepherd, an investigative reporter at the Washington Examiner, said the Deep State violates a basic duty of the American government, sharing information with the people.

“Under the fundamental philosophy of the American constitutional form of representative government that adheres to the principle that government is the servant and not the master of the people,” Shepherd said, “it is the policy of this state that each person is entitled, unless expressly provided by law, at all times to complete information about the affairs of government and the official acts of public officials and employees.”

“The people, in delegating that authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is good for them not to know,” Shepherd said. “The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.”

James Peterson, senior attorney at Judicial Watch, noted the Deep State aggressively blocks freedom of information requests on select information. In his own experience, they have continued to selectively block information regardless of who the sitting president is.

“The permanent state, the Deep State, the bureaucracy is intent to remain, and is planning to,” Peterson said.  In spite of efforts through the courts to obtain information, Peterson said, “it is difficult at each stage.”

Gorka noted that the functions of the Deep State go against the Constitution and its guidelines on the structures and functions of government. Government agencies, he said, are supposed to work for the White House, which is supposed to represent the American people. He noted, “they co-opt the media into being willing or unwitting agents in a very selective flow of information.”

In these agencies, “you are there to serve the interests of the President who has been duly elected by the electoral college, which represents the American people,” he said, and noted the Deep State’s view that a presidential administration is its enemy “leads to very, very dangerous things.”

“The philosophical underpinnings of what put Donald J. Trump into the White House is sovereignty—that a sovereign nation is a healthy nation. And the swamp vehemently, philosophically disagrees with that,” he said.

In the government today, Gorka said, there are a large number of people who have already been in power for many years, and believe they’ll still be in power regardless of the sitting president, and so they play by their own rules. He noted, “That’s not democracy, and that’s not the American way.”

CJR: Interestingly, the core value of Sovereignty is being heavily used now in the talking points by White House spokespersons. Also mentioned by Gorka are the “Sherpas” that guide the new cabinet appointees into each agency. Go to 42 min. in the main video where Gorka dramatically turns to the camera and addresses the “good guys” in the audience on the importance of having your people in place in these roles before you undertake a political insurgency such as Trump’s.

***

He are some shorter clips:

U.S. Islamists Claim Win Over Legislation Banning Funding to Terror-Tied Charity

Did House Speaker Paul Ryan just return a favor to his Islamist donors?

WND, by Leo Hohmann, Sept. 12, 2017:

Rack up a win for the Council on American-Islamic Relations and a network of other U.S. Islamist organizations controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Not only has the Brotherhood thus far managed to avoid the Trump White House designating it a terrorist organization, but its U.S. affiliates still hold enormous sway over the Republican-dominated Congress.

The latest evidence of that fact played out on Capitol Hill last Thursday, in a stunning turn of events that received no coverage from the national media and elicited nary a peep out of the conservative media.

Islamic Relief Worldwide, or IRW, a United Kingdom-based humanitarian relief agency with a U.S. chapter, has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in U.S. federal grants in recent years, including $370,000 for the fiscal years 2015 and 2016. Quite naturally, IRW wants to keep the spigot of federal dollars flowing, despite the charity’s links to the terrorist group Hamas.

U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., introduced an amendment to the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Act that would have banned all federal funding of IRW and its affiliates.

When they got wind of DeSantis’ amendment, CAIR and other Islamist groups blitzed members of Congress with a last-minute lobbying effort to vote against the amendment. House leaders capitulated, withdrawing the amendment last Thursday before it was even brought up for a vote.

As a result, Hamas terrorists will continue to have access to federal tax dollars.

IRW is an Islamist charity that has funneled money to Hamas and has ties to the extremist Muslim Brotherhood, according to the highly respected Islamist Watch project of Daniel Pipes’ Middle East Forum.

The Washington Free Beacon has also reported on the money flow from IRW to Hamas.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has accepted campaign donations from Islamists tied to CAIR.

Ryan on March 30, 2016, accepted a $1,000 check from Asad Malik, former board member of CAIR Michigan. Malik, the president and CEO of hotel company Amerilodge Group, also gave $500 that year to Rep. Mike Bishop, R-Mich., for his re-election campaign, and another $500 to the Michigan Republican Party, according to the Federal Elections Commission.

Islamic Relief Wordwide has a long history of promoting extremist ideology across both America and Europe and claims to have already received $704,662 in taxpayers’ money.

CAIR put out an action alert Sept. 7 for its supporters to call members of Congress and urge them to vote against the DeSantis Amendment.

A 2014 report by the Clarion Project showed multi-level links between IRW and Hamas, and/or with Muslim Brotherhood front groups such as CAIR, the Islamic Circle of North America, the Islamic Society of North America and the Muslim American Society, going back to another infamous Islamic charity organization known as the Holy Land Foundation. The HLF was designated as a terrorist organization and shut down by the U.S. government in December 2001.

History will not look kindly on those in government who indulge in such blatant willful blindness, said Philip Haney, a founding member of the Department of Homeland Security who co-authored the whistleblower book “See Something Say Nothing.”

“We are nearly 10 years past the time when claims of ignorance can be used as an excuse,” Haney said.

Azhar Aziz, current president of the Islamic Society of North America, or ISNA, is the former director of Fund Development for Islamic Relief-USA (a direct subsidiary of IRW).

‘Putting all of us at risk’

“The fact that representatives of CAIR and ISNA, both co-conspirators in the 2008 HLF trial, still have enough influence within the halls of Congress in 2017 to actually stop legislation designed to prevent the funding of yet another Muslim Brotherhood-linked charity organization, shows that members of Congress have abrogated their constitutional duty to protect American citizens from global Islamic terrorism, and put us all at further risk,” Haney said.

Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch for the David Horowitz Freedom Center, said nothing was learned from the 2007-08 Holy Land Foundation trial in which several Muslim Brotherhood operatives were sent to prison for their roles in funneling tax-exempt Islamic charitable donations to Hamas terrorists.

“The Obama administration quashed investigations of some of the ‘unindicted co-conspirators,’ notably CAIR,” Spencer told WND. “It was a one-off, and probably most current U.S. representatives have no idea what the Holy Land Foundation was, or that there was a trial, much less the implications of that trial”

What does this say about the current Republican-controlled Congress?

“That they’re an unprincipled gang of self-aggrandizers and clueless narcissists whose only interests are lining their pockets and getting reelected, not confronting hard issues or protecting the American people,” Spencer said. “Incredible disappointment that Trump has changed nothing.”

John Guandolo, former counter-terrorism specialist with the FBI who now works as a consultant to law enforcement with Understanding the Threat, said the news is not surprising. Washington is under the full control of globalists in both parties who consider it a top priority to deny the threat of the global Islamic movement.

Trump avoids mentioning Islam at 9/11 memorial events

He said he and his business partner were in New York for 9/11 ceremonies and was astounded at the concerted effort to conceal who the enemy was that attacked the U.S. that day 16 years ago.

“We were sad to see the president did not even mention this, or Islam, during any of his speeches when discussing the attacks of 9/11/01,” Guandolo told WND in an email Tuesday. “From our perspective, the purge of the current administration is complete.

“Counter-state actors like Paul Ryan, John McCain, Reince Prebius. Herbert McMaster and others have done their work well.”

Stopping this kind of influence over America’s own government is exactly why the Muslim Brotherhood – and its U.S.-based affiliates – should be designated as a terrorist organization, said Haney.

“And it’s why they should be banned from any further influence within America’s social, political and/or law enforcement arenas,” he said. “Other countries have already taken such measures; what are we waiting for, here in the land of the free, and the home of the brave?”

Also see:

Updated Sept. 13: U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis’s amendment to block money going to Islamic Worldwide was not withdrawn, as it was never formally offered in the first place. “Due to Hurricane Irene (sic), I left Washington on Thursday to help my family and community prepare for the storm,” DeSantis said in a statement. “I was thus unable to offer my amendment, but remain committed to blocking taxpayer funds for organizations with ties to terrorist groups such as Hamas.”

The “Progressive” Pro-Polygamy Arizona Muslim Candidate, Appears With Supporters of Killing Gays

Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, Sept. 6, 2017:

The progressive rules are very different for Islamists. Anyone else who supported theocracy, racism and homophobia would be furiously denounced. But the left embraces Islamists.

Keith Ellison got a complete pass on his membership in the Nation of Islam and anti-Semitism. And one of the left’s latest Islamist pets is Deedra Hill Abboud.

Abboud, formerly with the anti-Semitic Islamist hate group CAIR, is aiming for the Senate. And Deedra Hill Abboud made headlines playing the usual “Help, I’m being suppressed by the Islamophobes” game. And the media rushed to promote her. So did Senator Flake.

Here’s how anti-Orthodox leftist activist Shmuly Yanklowitz of Uri L’Tzedek and Jews for Syrian Human Rights, describes Abboud.

Just met with Deedra Hill Abboud who is running for United States Senate (for Jeff Flake’s seat in 2018). She is a progressive, religious Muslim, deeply concerned with healthcare, education, immigration reform, LGBT rights, environmental protection, & much more. She believes the U.S. can be more just than it is today!

I just bet.

Back in 2006 she was interviewed via Phoenix New Times in The Chosen One:

She defends her husband’s right under Islam to have as many as four wives. “But I wouldn’t want that,” Abboud says, her hands deep in soap suds, her pastel blue headscarf, or hijab, hugging her round face. “I wouldn’t agree to it. Not right now, anyway.”

America can be more… polygamist.

Nothing says progressive like polygamy. And she is very for LGBT rights. Just ask some of the folks she’s hanging around with.

Arizona Senate candidate Deedra Abboud is scheduled to appear at a benefit dinner for ICNA Relief, the relief arm of the Islamic Circle of North America, on October 14th. Although Abboud has presented herself as the new moderate face of the Muslim community, she will be sharing the stage with two extremist clerics, Siraj Wahhaj and Omar Suleiman.

Wahhaj also expresses racial and religious bigotry. In other speeches, he has said, “Woe to the Muslims who pick kafirs [non-Muslims] for friends. Woe, woe, woe to the Muslims who take kafirsas friends. Kafir will take you away from the remembrance of Allah…. Take not into your intimacy those outside of your race. They will not fail to corrupt you.” Wahhaj has also called homosexuality “a disease of this society.”

So… progressive.

Omar Suleiman, meanwhile, has been condemned by moderate Muslim activists for describinghomosexuality as a “disease” and a “repugnant shameless sin.” He refers to the Islamic death penalty for the “people that practiced sodomy.” In a talk titled “Fighting Zina,” Suleiman claimsthat women who are too close with their brothers are likely to commit incest. Women, he declares, should never be alone with a man outside of her family. Further, he warns, without condemnation, that women who commit adultery risk being killed by a family member.

I don’t think there’s ever been anything this progressive.

We’ve got race mixing denounciations, honor killings and the death penalty for homosexuals.

But don’t worry, this won’t impede the latest “progressive” Islamist candidate from the long march through the rotting corpse of the Democrat Party. The media will ignore it. The leftist activists will close their eyes. Because the rules are different for Islamists.

47 Nonprofit Leaders Denounce the Southern Poverty Law Center’s ‘Hate List’ in Open Letter to the Media

SPLC Hate Map

PJ Media, by Tyler O’Neil, Sept. 6, 2017:

On Wednesday, 47 leaders of conservative nonprofits sent an open letter to the media warning against using the notorious “hate map” put out by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The leaders denounced any news organization that would cite the SPLC’s list of “extremists” and “hate groups” as if it carried moral authority. “The SPLC is an attack dog of the political left” and should be treated as such, the leaders wrote.

“To associate public interest law firms and think tanks with neo-Nazis and the KKK is unconscionable, and represents the height of irresponsible journalism,” the leaders declared. “All reputable news organizations should immediately stop using the SPLC’s descriptions of individuals and organizations based on its obvious political prejudices.”

The letter addressed “Members of the Media” and strongly warned against the SPLC. The leaders characterized the organization as “a discredited, left-wing, political activist organization that seeks to silence its political opponents with a ‘hate group’ label of its own invention and application that is not only false and defamatory, but that also endangers the lives of those targeted with it.”

Leaders from across the nonprofit spectrum signed the letter, including: L. Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center; Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (FRC); Frank Gaffney, president and CEO of the Center for Security Policy; Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel; Frank Wright, president and CEO of D. James Kennedy Ministries; Brigitte Gabriel, founder and chairman of ACT for America; J. Christian Adams, president of the Public Interest Legal Foundation; Jennifer Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute; and Edwin Meese III, a distinguished fellow emeritus from the Heritage Foundation.

The leaders pinned the letter to the fifth anniversary of a terrorist attack inspired by the SPLC’s hate list. “On August 15, 2012, Floyd Lee Corkins II entered the Family Research Council offices in Washington, D.C. and shot and badly wounded its building manager, Leo Johnson, who stopped his intended killing spree,” the letter explained. “According to his own statements to the FBI, Corkins intended to kill everyone in the building, and then go on to terrorize additional organizations.”

As the letter noted, Corkins pled guilty to committing an act of terrorism and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. During an FBI interrogation, he said he targeted the FRC because of the SPLC “hate map.”

“We believe the media outlets that have cited the SPLC in recent days have not intended to target mainstream political groups for violent attack, but by recklessly linking the Charlottesville melee to the mainstream groups named on the SPLC website — those that advocate in the courts, the halls of Congress, and the press for protection of conventional, Judeo-Christian values — we are left to wonder if another Floyd Lee Corkins will soon be incited to violence by this incendiary information,” the leaders wrote.

The letter did not mention the more tenuous — but still concerning — connection between the SPLC and Bernie Sanders supporter James Hodgkinson, the man who shot Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) this summer. Hodgkinson “liked” the SPLC on Facebook, and the SPLC had repeatedly attacked Scalise — even after he apologizedand distanced himself from the remarks that earned him a spot on the SPLC “extremist” list.

After mentioning Corkins, the letter went on to describe the history of the SPLC. Although the group “evolved from laudable origins battling the Klan in the 1970’s, the SPLC has realized the profitability of defamation, churning out fundraising letters, and publishing ‘hit pieces’ on conservatives to promote its agenda and pad its substantial endowment (of $319 million).”

“Anyone who opposes them, including many Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and traditional conservatives is slandered and slapped with the ‘extremist’ label or even worse, their ‘hate group’ designation,” the leaders wrote. “At one point, the SPLC even added Dr. Ben Carson to its ‘extremist’ list because of his biblical views (and only took him off the list after public outcry).”

Other recent examples also back up the argument that the SPLC is carless in its defamation. Just last week, the group removed the innocent historic town of Amana Colonies from its “hate map.” While the SPLC eventually removed Amana Colonies, it first defended the “hate” label because a white supremacist website claimed to have had a book club in one of the town’s restaurants.

In a series of three videos, the anti-terror group Quilliam International revealed the SPLC’s ever-changing reasons for listing Muslim Maajid Nawaz as an “anti-Muslim extremist.” One of the reasons the SPLC gave for targeting Nawaz? His visit to a strip club for his bachelor party.

Such errors are no laughing matter. Not only has CNN recently broadcast the SPLC’s “hate map” on its website and Twitter account (which still includes FRC, by the way), but two other major media outlets, ABC and NBC, parroted the SPLC’s “hate group” label against ADF last month.

Furthermore, some companies are already blacklisting any group on the SPLC “hate group” list. Vanco Payments just withdrew its service from the Ruth Institute, taking away that organization’s ability to process donations online.

More concerning are the contributions from big influential companies like J.P. Morgan ($500,000 to the SPLC) and Apple ($1 million, with other benefits, to the organization). Companies like Lyft and MGM Resorts have also partnered with the group, and many companies match employee contributions. Pfizer, Bank of America, and Newman’s Own have each contributed over $8,900 to the SPLC in recent years.

(The SPLC does not need this money, by the way. The Washington Free Beacon recently reported that the group sent multiple transactions to foreign entities, including two cash payments of $2.2 million into funds in the Cayman Islands. As the letter noted, the SPLC takes in $50 million in contributions each year, and had $328 million in net assets as of 2015.)

In June, the charity navigation website GuideStar adopted the SPLC “hate group” list, marking each profile of the targeted organizations as a “hate group.” This action inspired the first of three lawsuits against the SPLC, launched by the Christian nonprofit Liberty CounselMaajid Nawaz followed up with his own lawsuit soon after, and D. James Kennedy Ministries has been the most recent group to sue the SPLC for defamation.

In the case of D. James Kennedy Ministries, the group was denied access to Amazon Smile because it was on the SPLC’s “hate group” list.

The letter, which includes signatories from both Liberty Counsel and D. James Kennedy Ministries, insisted that the SPLC has been “discredited,” and it cited experts to back up that claim. Laird Wilcox, one of America’s genuine experts on political extremism, said the SPLC’s work was “completely unreliable.” The 47 nonprofit leaders also cited Ken Silverstein at Harper’s, who wrote that “the SPLC shuts down debate, stifles free speech, and most of all, raises a pile of money, very little of which is used in behalf of poor people.”

In 2013, Secretary of the Army John McHugh dissociated his service from use of SPLC materials on two occasions. In March 2014, the FBI removed the SPLC from its list of “trusted resources” on its Hate Crimes page.

The letter concluded with a compelling hypothetical. “We wonder how the media would react if a corresponding situation arose on the center-right of the political spectrum,” the leaders wrote.

“Let’s assume that congressional debate were racing as to whether or not taxpayers should continue to fund Planned Parenthood, which receives about $500 million a year from Congress. If a national pro-life advocacy organization were to release a map with caricatures of abortionists and title it, ‘Here’s Where the Baby Killers are Located in Your State,’ would the media run the story? Would it reprint the map and discuss the location of these ‘pro-death’ doctors throughout the news day? Clearly, it would not.”

So why does the media prop up the SPLC? Why do Apple, J.P. Morgan, MGM Resorts, and other companies partner with the organization?

The letter was remarkably restrained, given the most recent map published by the SPLC. Last month, the group published a map of every single Confederate monument across the United States, but it did not just include monuments.

This Confederate “hate map” included elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. The SPLC’s post publishing the map also warned of “turmoil and bloodshed” if Confederate monuments were not removed.

Now, such a map may not inspire a terror attack like that perpetrated by Floyd Lee Corkins at FRC, but it could easily inspire protests. Americans have seen recent protests against Confederate monuments break out into violence, and no kid deserves to walk to school amidst flying rocks, spraying mace, and the kinds of disruptions associated with “antifa” activists.

According to a recent poll, a plurality of Americans oppose companies going after conservative groups on the SPLC hate list. When asked if Internet companies like Paypal, Google, Facebook, and Twitter should use the SPLC list “as an excuse to censor or suppress mainstream and non-violent conservative groups by denying them access to their services,” more Americans said no (43 percent) than yes (32 percent). Many Americans frankly admitted they did not know (25 percent).

The media’s malpractice in reporting this story has already damaged public opinion, leading almost a third of Americans to support internet companies silencing conservative voices in the SPLC marks them as “hateful.” This letter could not come out fast enough.

Also see:

A New Obama? The Media Starts Selling Abdul El-Sayed

In a May 3, 2016 file photo, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, Director of the Detroit Health Department, gives his remarks during the Mayor’s Summit on Health Equity in Detroit. (Clarence Tabb Jr./Detroit News via AP)

PJ Media, by Bruce Bawer, Sept. 5, 2017:

On August 24, the Guardian ran an unusually long profile of one Abdul El-Sayed, a 32-year-old Muslim doctor and son of Egyptian immigrants who is already campaigning heavily for governor of Michigan, even though the election won’t take place until November of next year. The headline on Drew Philp’s article dubbed El-Sayed “the new Obama.”

It was the ultimate puff piece, shameless in its utter lack of objectivity and balance, and it began, as such pieces invariably do, with an anecdote calculated to win sympathy for the subject. When he was seven years old, writes Philp, El-Sayed “sat in the eye of Hurricane Andrew,” drinking juice “while swaddled under mattresses between his father and stepmother, who was holding El-Sayed’s newborn baby brother just home from the hospital.”

What does this story have to do with anything? For Philp, it is a metaphor: “At the moment,” he suggests, “American politics feels a bit like being in the eye a hurricane.” Donald Trump is ready to attack North Korea; neo-Nazis paraded in Charlottesville. “No one man can stop the hurricane,” admits Philp. “But in Michigan, a grown-up El-Sayed is now having a go, trying to keep the storm at bay.” El-Sayed, you see, seeks “not just to win, but also to change American politics itself” by becoming “the first Muslim governor in US history.”

Philp goes on to depict El-Sayed as a progressive hero who is struggling against an army of Yahoos. He follows El-Sayed to Adrian, Mich. (“Trump country, white and Christian,” and “the kind of place with lots and lots of American flags”), where the candidate is introduced to an audience by a transgender man (“a brave choice for a region still coming to terms with gay rights, let alone trans rights”). El-Sayed shares “his personal story” with the audience, then goes into some “soaring rhetoric” about “hope and commonality.”

When he takes questions, one “clearly agitated man” asks him about sharia law. El-Sayed replies by saying that he supports separation of church and state and that he wouldn’t take away anyone else’s right to pray and wouldn’t want that right to be taken from him either. (He has made it clear that he prays several times a day.) For this, the audience gives him “an enormous round of applause” – even though El-Sayed’s answer is a total dodge.

Repeatedly, El-Sayed has described himself as a devout Muslim: he prays several times a day; he has said that “his Islamic values are at the center of his work as a civil servant”; his father is an imam. If he’s a devout Muslim, that means he firmly supports sharia law. But how does he square this with his purported approval of secular government? Is he a devout Muslim or a devout believer in the separation of religion and state? You can’t be both.

Whether or not Philp recognizes this contradiction, he certainly doesn’t confront El-Sayed with it. Instead he approaches the religion issue this way: “The rumors surrounding El-Sayed’s faith are small but persistent, spread by a handful of far-right websites preying on the uninformed and fearful.”

He doesn’t spell out what kind of “rumors” he’s talking about, but his message is clear: only “the uninformed and fearful” (and Islamophobes) would be concerned about a having a Muslim governor. “It’s tempting to make any story about El-Sayed about his faith,” writes Philp. “But to reduce him to his faith would also be a disservice. His story is one of responsibility, courage and hope.”

Hope, hope, hope – that’s the mantra here. Never mind that America is still getting over feeling burned by Obama’s empty repetition of that word.

Then there’s El-Sayed’s staffers, with whom Philp is as impressed as he is with the candidate himself: they’re “young, fun and smart” and “hail from Harvard and other elite institutions” and are “incredibly diverse.” Philp tells us about a bathroom visit during which he sees one of El-Sayed’s staffers, a Muslim, “washing his feet in the sink before praying,” while another, “pierced and dyed and queer,” washes his hands in the next sink.

Oh good, another gay guy who thinks Muslims and gays are, as they say, “allies in oppression.”

There are a few details about El-Sayed that Philp doesn’t mention, obviously because they would damage the glowing picture he’s trying to paint of the guy. For one thing, El-Sayed is chummy with Linda Sarsour, the hijab-wearing Women’s March organizer who is a vocal proponent of jihad and sharia law (and who has enthusiastically endorsed his candidacy). At the University of Michigan, El-Sayed was vice-president of the Muslim Student Association, an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood.

His wife wears hijab, a fact that seriously undermines the image he seeks to project, and her father is a former president and current board member of the Michigan chapter of the terrorist-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). In 2012, when he was in med school, El-Sayed received a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship. Paul Soros, who died the next year, was George Soros’s brother; some sources maintain that the Soros empire is funding El-Sayed’s campaign and grooming him to eventually become president.

Ignoring all this, Philp concludes his piece with a dose of the kind of phony uplift that, again, in the wake of Obama, can only make a sensible reader react with cynicism: “He’s a man who believes politics can be changed, repaired even. His is a story at least as old as the United States, about a person who believes what we were taught in grade school: that all people are created equal, that change can come, that we can live up to our ideals.”

Philp’s snow job appeared about a month after an even longer, if somewhat less breathlessly adulatory, profile of El-Sayed ran in Politico. Both pieces posed the same question — are Michiganders too racist to vote for a Muslim? – the implication being that any concern about a candidate being a Muslim would amount to racism.

Politico quoted voters who spoke about El-Sayed’s religion as if it were a harmless aspect of his identity. “Goddamn, I’m an Irish Catholic,” one man said“We got off a boat and we were discriminated against 150 years ago.” A retired teacher confided: “I think once people hear him … you kind of just forget” that he’s a Muslim.

Yes, it’s hard not to surmise that there’s a lot of forgetting going on here. And denial. And ignorance – specifically, sheer ignorance of the very basics of Islam. El-Sayed and those who are pushing his candidacy are apparently counting on Michigan voters to love him for the same vapid reasons they loved Obama – because he specializes in “soaring rhetoric” about “hope and commonality” and makes them feel impressed with themselves for supporting a dark-skinned guy with a Muslim name.

You’d think the actual Obama record would have inoculated the American electorate against such puerile, irresponsible thinking for at least a generation. And you’d think that in 2017 – when the West has been hammered repeatedly, since 9/11, with brutal terrorist acts rooted in Islamic belief and when mass Muslim immigration into Europe has vividly demonstrated the incompatibility of Islam and Western freedom – a politician’s Muslim faith wouldn’t be a matter of indifference to so many Americans.

But no. Voters seem eager to embrace El-Sayed, and fourteen months before the gubernatorial election the media on both sides of the Atlantic are already selling him every bit as eagerly as they sold Obama. How far we have failed to come!