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:

No, Trump: The UN’s problem is not ‘bureaucracy,’ it’s despotism

Conservative Review, by Jordan Schachtel, Sept. 18, 2017:

President Trump delivered remarks at the United Nations Monday morning, arguing that the international body has yet to reach its “full potential” because there is simply too much “bureaucracy and mismanagement” in its current structure.

“The United Nations was founded on truly noble goals,” President Trump said in New York City, before getting to the heart of his message. Despite an increase in U.N. funding, Trump said, “we are not seeing the results in line with this investment.”

“We seek a United Nations that regains the trust of the people around the world. In order to achieve this, the United Nations must hold every level of management accountable, protect whistle-blowers and focus on results rather than on process,” Trump said.

But “bureaucracy and mismanagement” have little to do with the U.N.’s failure to reach the aforementioned goals. Over the past few decades, the United Nations has merely served as cover for rogue states with totalitarian ambition. These nations and groups now utilize the U.N. as a pulpit to harass and bully nations that don’t subscribe to authoritarian regional agendas.

The U.N.’s inherent flaw comes in its foundationally collectivist, idealistic structure. Following the horrors of World War II, the U.N. was founded on the noble cause of maintaining international peace and security. But with its one-country, one-vote system, the United Nations will act as a body that enables iron-fisted regimes so long as unfree countries continue to outnumber free countries.

Even if it was running with 100 percent efficiency, the institution would still be churning out resolutions and reports that undermine freedom and prosperity.

Moreover, the veto power included in the UN Security Council cannot do much to produce powerful sanction packages and/or human rights initiatives, due to the adversarial nations of China and Russia having a permanent seat at the table.

Totalitarian nations with common interests have used the U.N. as a machine to advance their collective agenda. One such prominent group, the 57-state Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), is notorious for pushing U.N. policy that adheres to Islamic supremacist ideals. The OIC blocks discussion on issues such as Islamic terror and the human rights abuses that occur inside Muslim-majority countries.

But it’s not just outside bodies that cause problems at the U.N. Its longstanding institutions have been corrupted to their cores.

The U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Turtle Bay’s most influential U.N. body, has turned into a tool for notorious regimes. Several dictatorial nations maintain good standing on the council, including Venezuela, Cuba, Qatar, and other nations with horrific domestic human-rights records. Instead of promoting human rights, the UNHRC churns out resolution after resolution attacking the nation of Israel, while ignoring the real atrocities being committed across the globe on a daily basis.

In its heyday, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was revered as an agency dedicated to the preservation of important global institutions. Today, UNESCO acts as an Islamic supremacist propaganda machine, attacking Jewish and Christian claims to holy sites in Jerusalem.

Other agencies, such as the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), has promoted the destruction of Israel and helped perpetuate Arab-Israeli hostilities. During Israel’s 2014 war with Hamas, UNRWA-owned construction materials were found in Hamas terror tunnels. The terrorist group also utilized UNRWA schools to stockpile its missiles.

Despite its anti-American agenda, the United States continues to contribute about $3 billion annually to the United Nations — about a quarter of its annual budget. U.S. citizens also keep the U.N. subsidiaries afloat (e.g. UNRWA, UNESCO, UNHRC) via hundreds of millions in donations.

According to Freedom House, 67 countries suffered net declines in overall freedom last year (while 36 registered gains). “Bureaucracy and mismanagement” is not the problem at the United Nations, as Trump believes. The problem at the United Nations is the fact that totalitarian nations outnumber the free ones, and control its agenda.

Jordan Schachtel is the national security correspondent for Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @JordanSchachtel.

Also see:

US Absolutely Slaughters ISIS Suicide Bombers Attacking Base In Iraq

Marines with 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, reload their 240B machine gun at a support by fire-position during a company-sized attack on Range 401 at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., July 26. The battalion is currently conducting the Integrated Training Exercise in preperation of their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan later this year. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Ali Azimi/released)

Daily Caller, by Saagar Ejeti, Sept. 18, 2017:

The U.S. military killed several Islamic State suicide bombers that attempted to breach a base in Iraq Sunday, Operation Inherent Resolve Spokesman Army Col. Ryan Dillon told the Associated Press.

U.S. forces shot and killed two of the ISIS fighters, while the other two blew themselves up prematurely after they realized they could no longer advance. The attack occurred near the city of Hawija where the U.S. backed Iraqi Security Forces are preparing to advance on one of the terrorist group’s last strongholds in the country.

Direct ISIS attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria are relatively rare, with airstrikes or allied fighters killing militants long before they can get close. The terrorist group will, however, likely adjust its tactics in the future as it loses significant territory in Iraq and Syria, trying more last ditch attacks on U.S. troops and committing flagrant acts of terror.

This tactic was on full display Thursday when the group dispatched a team of terrorists to kill nearly 80 Shiite pilgrims at a restaurant in southern Iraq. The attack was a well-planned, multi-prong suicide attack which involved guns and suicide bombs to first breach a checkpoint.

Follow Saagar Enjeti on Twitter

What is the OSCE?

CJR: Even as the OSCE proceedings were going on, Donald Trump was coerced into signing an anti-hate Resolution aimed at right wing groups and not left wing such as Antifa. And now there is a report that Hillary Clinton funded Antifa!

Gates of Vienna, Sept. 17, 2017:

In the interventions by Bashy Quraishy and Henrik Clausen, you’ve just seen the Yin and Yang of the OSCE Human Dimension conference in Warsaw. Yet interventions like Mr. Clausen’s consistently earned the rebuke of the moderators, while those like Mr. Quraishy’s did not.

What’s going on? What has happened to the OSCE?

In the video below, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff and Clare Lopez explain the way in which the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has been subverted by the Red-Green Alliance and turned into an Inquisitor designed to hunt down and stamp out “hate speech” wherever it may be found.

Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for editing and uploading this video:

For links to previous articles about the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, see the OSCE Archives.

***

Clare Lopez on Civil Liberties and Natural Rights

The following video shows the intervention read by Clare Lopez, representing the Center for Security Policy, at OSCE Warsaw today, September 14, 2017, during Session 6, “Fundamental Freedoms, Including Freedom of Thought, Conscience, Religion, or Belief”.

Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for uploading this video:

Below is the prepared text for Ms. Lopez’ intervention:

America’s Founding Fathers understood that tyranny takes hold when men allow governments or religious systems to usurp the rights of the individual unto themselves

For this reason, they enshrined freedoms of belief, conscience & speech in 1st Amendment of our Constitution

These principles & these freedoms are Judeo-Christian-based, first articulated among the brilliant thinkers of the Enlightenment in Europe — although their roots trace back to Athens, Rome & Jerusalem

They derive from the revolutionary idea that the individual is the key pillar of society — not the clan, or tribe, or a religious belief system

The individual human being is entitled to these rights & freedoms because the laws of nature — which are knowable thru human reason — endow each & every person – men women equally — w/human dignity & the right to live free

Freedom of speech is among the most essential of our human liberties & one that gives voice & meaning to all the others – especially freedom of conscience & belief

Islam doesn’t have such beliefs or freedoms — there’s no such thing as ‘freedom of speech’ or belief articulated in Islamic Law (shariah)

Instead there is the “Law of Slander” — which defines ‘slander’ as anything that a Muslim would dislike — including the truth

Slander under shariah can carry the death penalty – indeed the Sira & hadiths tell us that some of the first assassinations ordered by Muhammad were precisely against poets for writing verses that he found insulting – apostasy from Islam likewise is a capital crime

I refer to the Council of Europe report from October 2016 on the ‘Compatibility of Sharia law with the European Convention on Human Rights: can States Parties to the Convention be signatories of the ‘Cairo Declaration’?

And I suggest the answer is ‘No.’ A government or system that defines itself as liberal, Western & democratic does not impose restrictions on free speech to shield itself from criticism – much less impose a death penalty for belief or lack of belief

We of Western Civilization dignify the individual by permitting all speech, no matter how we dislike it, if it is not explicitly inciting to immediate violence – and all beliefs or lack of belief

And so I recommend for the ODIHR 2017: Let us leave here today, renewed & inspired to reject liberty-crushing concepts like ‘hate speech’ & death penalties for religious beliefs or rejection of belief & instead committed to defend freedoms of belief, conscience & speech & all the principles of liberty we hold so dear.

Science aims to destroy rational fear of Islamic invasion by drugging Europeans

Vlad Tepes Blog, by Eeyore, Sept. 17, 2017:

From the Daily Mail:

Giving people oxytocin alongside positive social pressure increases kindness toward refugees, even in those with a fear of foreigners, new research has found.

The hormone is released naturally by humans during social and sexual behaviour, and research has shown it breeds trust and generosity in others. 

Oxytocin, known as the love or ‘cuddle hormone’, together with being surrounded by charitable peers was found to boost people’s willingness to donate money to refugees in, even in those with a sceptical attitude toward migrants.

Yes, European authorities have combined George Orwell’s 1984 with Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange and are now working on drugging, not the dangerous thugs into becoming good citizens, but the good citizens into submitting to the dangerous thugs.

European Attacks Show the Difficulty in Tracking Soaring Terror Suspect Numbers

IPT News, by Patrick Dunleavy, September 18, 2017:

Three separate radical Islamic terror attacks took place Friday in Europe. The most serious was caused by an improvised explosive device (IED) placed on a London underground train in the Parsons Green station which injured more than 30 people.

Witnesses spoke of hearing a “whooshing” sound and then seeing a fireball coming at them from a plastic bucket that was placed unattended on the floor of the rush hour train. The device’s failure to completely detonate was credited with saving lives. “There is no doubt that this was a serious IED (improvised explosive device) and it was good fortune that it did so little damage,” said UK Interior Minister Amber Rudd.

Two men, ages 18 and 21, are in custody. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Until the second suspect’s arrest Saturday night, Prime Minister Theresa May raised the terror threat level from severe to critical, meaning that future attacks may have been imminent.

As the number of terror attacks in Europe increases, the question arises whether current counter terrorism strategies are working. Issues such as immigrant vetting, watch lists, and de-radicalization continue to be critical components that require, upon closer examination, changes. At least one of those components failed in each attack.

This was the UK’s fifth terrorist attack this year. Other attacks targeted the Westminster Bridge, Manchester, Borough Market, and Finsbury Park. The terrorists have used knives, vehicles, and bombs to kill and injure both police and civilians.

These incidents have contributed to a 68 percent increase in terrorism arrests in the UK. Authorities say as many as 3,000 people are under active investigation with 20,000 more causing concerns about radicalization and terrorist leanings.

Former New York Police Counter Terrorism Director Mitch Silber believes that some of the UK’s previous counter terrorism and de-radicalization programs have been insufficient. “One of the things the UK will have to do is hire more intelligence analysts, police investigators, and staff in order to be better prepared to match up with the numbers that they are up against,” he said.

Similar statistics are also showing up in France, which suffered two more terror attacks on Friday. A man with a knife shouting “Allah Akbar” attacked a French soldier at the Paris Chatelet subway station. Then, two women in Chalon-sur-Saone were attackedby a man wielding a hammer. He also shouted, “Allah Akbar” as he assaulted the women, witnesses said.

This was the tenth terrorist attack in France this year. France’s terror watch list has more than 18,500 names on it, up from 15,000 a year ago.

So far, the United States has seen only a minimal number of terrorism attacks compared to the EU. In March, the FBI said it had as many as 1,000 open terrorism cases. Many of these involve people returning from Syria and Iraq or ISIS sympathizers. A third of those cases reportedly involve refugees.

The Bureau has also admitted that some of the people who carried out recent terrorist acts in the U.S. were “previously known to authorities.” That includes Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen, Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and would-be Garland, Texas shooter Elton Simpson.

People can become known to authorities in several ways. There may have been a prior allegation of radicalization, or an incident which caused federal or state law enforcement agencies to interview the subjects or their families. This creates a paper trail which may or may not be shared with other agencies.

We also have a watch list.

Managed by the National Counterterrorism Center’s Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) the terror threat list has more than 1 million names on it. Other federal and state agencies have their own “persons of interest” list. Their information sometimes is not shared because of small-minded administrators and long-standing turf wars. This was a problem prior to 9/11.

Yet there are indications this continues to be an issue. The FBI’s National Data Exchange program, initiated in 2008 to foster cooperation among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, still does not have full participation due to longstanding mistrust between the groups.

Any list is likely to include duplications and erroneous entries, but still the numbers are mind boggling. How do you keep track of more than 1 million potential suspects? It is critical to make resource sharing and information sharing priorities if the information contained on the lists is to be of any value in preventing future terror attacks.

It will require decisive action both from the congressional and executive branches. An agreement on how to properly vet individuals from countries ravaged by war or terrorist attacks seeking refugee status would help. A clear policy on what to do with people who commit terrorist acts would address the growing concern of what happens when someone who has been radicalized is released from prison.

If we do not address this issue sooner or later some that have been released will return to the battlefield. The environments where radicalization seem to thrive most – cyber chat rooms, websites, prisons and radical mosques – must be countered.

Otherwise we’re just fooling ourselves in to thinking we can avoid the surge in terror attacks that we see in Europe. As coordinated military action continues to squeeze ISIS and regain territory in the Middle East, it undoubtedly will increase its call for followers to carry out attacks in their home countries.

The U.S. will not be immune from the threat.

IPT Senior Fellow Patrick Dunleavy is the former Deputy Inspector General for New York State Department of Corrections and author of The Fertile Soil of Jihad. He currently teaches a class on terrorism for the United States Military Special Operations School.

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: