McMaster brings top Obama admin officials into NSC, sources say

INFLUENTIAL OBAMA PENTAGON STAFF MEMBERS NOW HOLD SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL ROLES.

Conservative Review, by Jordan Schachtel, Aug. 31, 2017:

National security adviser H.R. McMaster has quietly pulled in high-ranking officials from the Obama administration into senior positions on his staff, current and former administration officials told Conservative Review.

In recent months, McMaster has hired influential members of the Obama Pentagon. One of these individuals was assigned to boost the Iran nuclear deal with Tehran, while the other became a trusted aide to former defense chief Ash Carter.

The recent hires are Ylli and Ylber Bajraktari, Albanian-Kosovan brothers who elevated to the top of government in the Obama administration.

A 2016 Medium profile of the brothers describes the major influence they have had in crafting policies for the previous administration.

“I have never heard of a story of two brothers playing such a critical behind-the-scenes role at the Pentagon,” Carl Woog, a senior Obama NSC adviser, commented to Partnership for Public Service.

“Ylber travels with [Sec. Carter] to international destinations and attends all his Pentagon meetings on foreign policy matters,” the article said.

At the time, Ylber (pronounced ill-BEAR) was deputy chief of staff to Secretary of Defense Carter, where he helped develop the Obama administration’s foreign policy, focusing on Iran and Iraq. Ylber also worked on the administration’s highly controversial nuclear deal with the Tehran regime.

Ylli (pronounced ill-lee) served as a special assistant to the Obama Pentagon’s deputy secretary, Robert Work, and his job was to “make sure” that the top Obama officials’ “visions are being completed,” Ylli told Medium.

Less than four months after their glowing profile on Medium, Ylber and Ylli witnessed the election of Donald J. Trump. Since the Democrats were no longer in power, their bosses lost their powerful jobs in government.

But H.R. McMaster has recently adopted a good many Ash Carter protégés, bringing Obama administration officials back into power. At the same time, McMaster got rid of much of President Trump’s initial wave of hires upon entering government.

Yll now serves as a close confidant to McMaster, in a position described by a current officialas a gatekeeper to the national security adviser (comparable to the role of a chief of staff). Ylli reviews all requests before they reach McMaster’s desk.

Meanwhile, Ylber is the National Security Council’s senior director for defense policy.

After initial reports surfaced on social media pertaining to the brothers’ role in the White House, figures from left-wing institutions and think tanks quickly emerged to defend them.

“Ylli’s story is what makes America great. It was an honor to serve with him,” said Carl Woog.

“Ylli is a patriot. He embodies the American dream & served the US in non-political DoD roles for years,” said Colin Kahl, the national security adviser to former Vice President Joe Biden.

“Ylli Bajraktari is a kind, honest & dedicated civil servant,” adds Jacqueline Ramos, a fellow at the left-wing Center for a New American Security.

Though the national security adviser continues to populate the NSC with individuals and influences from the past administration, not everyone is convinced that the White House is a lost cause for President Trump’s base.

“I know the president will very rapidly come to understand that people around him at the senior levels of government are not serving him properly and honorably with regard to the advice and options they’re giving him,” Dr. Sebastian Gorka, who recently stepped down as special assistant to the president, tells Conservative Review.

“The president doesn’t just rely upon the counsel of those inside the White House,” Gorka said, predicting that Trump will “make some personnel decisions in the short to medium term that will strengthen the base that actually got the president elected.”

The National Security Council has not responded to a request for comment on this story. Should that change, this story will be updated to include the comment.

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

***

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EXCLUSIVE–‘Like the Last Scene of Star Wars’: Sebastian Gorka Compares Battle Against Globalist Cabal to Rebel Alliance Fighting Evil Empire

Breitbart, by Matthew Boyle, Aug. 26, 2017:

Dr. Sebastian Gorka, a now former Deputy Assistant to President Donald J. Trump, says that the West Wing Democrats, the left, and the Fake News Industrial Complex will never succeed in stopping him and others from battling for the president’s agenda.

During an appearance on Breitbart News Saturday on SiriusXM Patriot Channel 125, Gorka—a former Breitbart News national security editor who served in the White House in a senior position pushing the president’s message—compared former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon leaving the White House to when Darth Vader struck down Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars.

“We are winning and we will continue to do so,” Gorka said. “With Steve back at the helm, it’s like the last scene from Star Wars. Do you remember what Obi Wan Kenobi said to Darth [Vader]? ‘If you strike me down, I will be more powerful than you can ever imagine.’ The left thinks they’re winning. They have no idea what’s coming around the corner, and it’s going to be fun, Matt. You know it.”

The infamous Star Wars scene Gorka was referring to is when Obi Wan Kenobi, a Jedi knight, was battling Darth Vader. Right before Vader kills Kenobi, Kenobi says to his old apprentice who turned evil: “You can’t win Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”

Of course, Star Wars fans know that Kenobi had perfected a power that few Jedi wielded: the ability to, post-death, become “one with the Force.” The almost omniscient abilities allowed him to continue mentoring Luke Skywalker, who would go on to defeat the Evil Empire.

Gorka’s resignation—which some in low-level White House positions have inaccurately claimed was not a resignation—came amid major battles he fought alongside Bannon against the “West Wing Democrats.” (Bannon has returned to Breitbart News as the Executive Chairman after he stepped down from the White House. Gorka detailed in this interview how he is likely to engage in a number of roles outside the White House helping the president with his agenda, including in some capacity here at Breitbart News, but also in other places throughout the movement pushing an America-First “Make America Great Again,” or MAGA, agenda.)

The “West Wing Democrats,” as they are colloquially known, include people like the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, his wife the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump, National Security Adviser three-star Army Gen. H.R. McMaster, National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, new White House chief of staff retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, and Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Habib Powell. Powell served with Cohn in a senior position at Goldman Sachs before going to work in the White House. All of them are Democrats, though Powell claims to be a Republican given her short time working in George W. Bush’s White House.

Each of them are engaged, as Breitbart News and virtually everyone else has detailed, in a deep effort to stop the president from implementing the agenda he campaigned on in 2016. They view their roles as forces of moderation, trying to stop President Trump from doing what he promised for the American people in his landslide electoral college victory in 2016 over Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton. And they align with forces in the “opposition party” media—or as has Gorka has defined it previously, the “Fake News Industrial Complex”—as well as throughout the political class in Washington to achieve their objective. Leaks about their self-righteous opposition to Trump ideas, actions, and policies—like his response to Charlottesville, or his Sheriff Joe Arpaio pardon, or the way he has handled various crises—are all about using their influence to slow him down. They also work with people like House Speaker Paul Ryan—a demonstrably anti-Trump force in Congress—as well as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and others, to hold the president back.

Essentially, what each of these folks is doing is using their positions of power to protect the status quo in Washington–and that status quo is what Trump ran against in 2016. The status quo is globalization, a draining of America’s middle class, unbridled migration from the third world into the United States, and an ongoing depletion of America’s middle class separating the haves and have nots even more by hollowing out the distance between financial elites like Cohn and the rest of the country. The rich want to get richer, and screw over everyone else.

In other words, Trump supporters look at the globalist cabal like “The Evil Empire” from Star Wars and view themselves as fighters from the “Rebel Alliance” battling a noble cause against tyranny. And now, with Bannon and Gorka outside the White House, they are “more powerful than” the enemy “can possibly imagine” as they rally the troops of the movement for the battle against international globalist elites.

Gorka hinted at this in his resignation letter, in which he wrote to President Trump that given “recent events, it is clear to me that forces that do not support the MAGA promise are – for now – ascendant within the White House.”

“As a result, the best and most effective way I can support you, Mr. President, is from outside the People’s House,” Gorka wrote. He continued in the letter to the president:

Regrettably, outside of yourself, the individuals who most embodied and represented the policies that will ‘Make America Great Again,’ have been internally countered, systematically removed, or undermined in recent months. This was made patently obvious as I read the text of your speech on Afghanistan this week. The fact that those who drafted and approved the speech removed any mention of Radical Islam or radical Islamic terrorism proves that a crucial element of your presidential campaign has been lost. Just as worrying, when discussing our future actions in the region, the speech listed operational objectives without ever defining the strategic victory conditions we are fighting for. This omission should seriously disturb any national security professional, and any American who is unsatisfied with the last 16 years of disastrous policy decisions which have led to thousands of Americans killed and trillions of taxpayer dollars spent in ways that have not brought security or victory.

Gorka also hinted at it in his Breitbart News Saturday interview.

“He [Trump] said he was going to fix the economy, build the wall, and defeat ISIS,” Gorka said of Trump’s major campaign promises. “That’s MAGA. That’s what Making America Great Again really means. And unfortunately, I don’t really want to go into the palace intrigue stuff because we’ve had too much of that. But the fact is the forces of MAGA, the Make America Great Again forces the policy people like Steve Bannon–my old boss inside the White House–have been systematically undermined, many of them fired from the NSC [National Security Council]. I realized after the president’s speech on Afghanistan this week that he’s not being well-served. That speech was written by people for the president in direct contravention of everything that we voted for on November the Eighth. It is not clear why we’re in Afghanistan, it doesn’t explain why we’re going to continue to potentially expend American lives and American money in that nation, and the most important thing, Matt, it didn’t mention once–once–the phrase ‘radical Islam’ or ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’ Just think back to how massive a difference that is to the speech the president gave to a joint session of Congress at the beginning of the year. So I decided, just as with Steve, we can be far more effective on the outside and it’s a very exciting day for me and my family.”

LISTEN TO DR. SEBASTIAN GORKA ON BREITBART NEWS SATURDAY: 

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Former deputy assistant to the president Dr. Sebastian Gorka explained his exit from the White House on Breitbart News Saturday this morning, teasing an ambitious joint venture with Breitbart News to “create the platform for a true Jacksonian national foreign policy agenda.”

Exclusive — Low Level White House Staffer Inflates Credentials to Lie About Dr. Sebastian Gorka’s Resignation to Press

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Breitbart, by Matthew Boyle, Aug. 26, 2017:

Kelly Sadler, a low-level staffer in the White House, lied about her credentials to push inaccurate leaked information to the press about the resignation of Dr. Sebastian Gorka from the administration.

In an email to a number of people in the media, Sadler opens up by saying the email is for “BACKGROUND PURPOSES ONLY.” That text is written in bright red, and bolded. The headline of the email is “Background on Sebastian Gorka.”

In the body of the email, Sadler then writes to media figures covering the resignation of Dr. Gorka: “From a White House Official: ‘Sebastian Gorka did not resign, but I can confirm he no longer works at the White House.’”

She rounds out the email to media elites by pleading: “No attribution to me, please. Senior White House official only.”

Sadler’s claim that she is a “Senior White House official” is not true. She is not a “Senior White House official.” She is a low-level press staffer, and a commissioned officer as a special assistant to the president.

In addition, her claim that Gorka “did not resign” is also untrue. Gorka sent the president a detailed resignation letter, as multiple media outlets have reported.

In his resignation letter, Gorka wrote to President Trump that given “recent events, it is clear to me that forces that do not support the MAGA promise are – for now – ascendant within the White House.”

“As a result, the best and most effective way I can support you, Mr. President, is from outside the People’s House,” Gorka wrote. He went on:

Regrettably, outside of yourself, the individuals who most embodied and represented the policies that will ‘Make America Great Again,’ have been internally countered, systematically removed, or undermined in recent months. This was made patently obvious as I read the text of your speech on Afghanistan this week. The fact that those who drafted and approved the speech removed any mention of Radical Islam or radical Islamic terrorism proves that a crucial element of your presidential campaign has been lost. Just as worrying, when discussing our future actions in the region, the speech listed operational objectives without ever defining the strategic victory conditions we are fighting for. This omission should seriously disturb any national security professional, and any American who is unsatisfied with the last 16 years of disastrous policy decisions which have led to thousands of Americans killed and trillions of taxpayer dollars spent in ways that have not brought security or victory.

The White House refused to comment on Sadler’s decision to inflate her credentials to lie about Gorka’s resignation. Sadler herself did not respond to a request for comment.

But many in the media industry picked up on the quote Sadler was blasting out to the entire media.

Read more

Breaking: Sebastian Gorka Resigns From Trump Administration

The Federalist, by Mollie Hemingway, Aug. 25, 2017:

Sebastian Gorka is resigning his post as Deputy Assistant to President Trump, multiple sources familiar with the situation have told The Federalist.

In a blunt resignation letter, the national security and counterterrorism expert expressed dissatisfaction with the current state of the Trump administration. “[G]iven recent events, it is clear to me that forces that do not support the MAGA promise are – for now – ascendant within the White House,” Gorka wrote. “As a result, the best and most effective way I can support you, Mr. President, is from outside the People’s House.”

Gorka’s letter expressed unhappiness with the direction the Trump administration’s foreign policy has taken, as signaled by the president’s recent speech on Afghanistan:

“Regrettably, outside of yourself, the individuals who most embodied and represented the policies that will ‘Make America Great Again,’ have been internally countered, systematically removed, or undermined in recent months. This was made patently obvious as I read the text of your speech on Afghanistan this week…

“The fact that those who drafted and approved the speech removed any mention of Radical Islam or radical Islamic terrorism proves that a crucial element of your presidential campaign has been lost…

“Just as worrying, when discussing our future actions in the region, the speech listed operational objectives without ever defining the strategic victory conditions we are fighting for. This omission should seriously disturb any national security professional, and any American who is unsatisfied with the last 16 years of disastrous policy decisions which have led to thousands of Americans killed and trillions of taxpayer dollars spent in ways that have not brought security or victory.”

During his time in the Trump administration, Gorka focused on issues such as countering the Muslim Brotherhood, the crisis in Qatar, supporting efforts to draft a new long-term national security strategy, and combatting China’s economic warfare. Before coming to the White House, Gorka was the Major General Matthew C. Horner Chair at Marine Corps University and also contributed to Breitbart News.

Gorka’s tenure at the White House was marked by unusually vociferous attacks against him and his family by left-leaning media organizations and the Democratic Party. This includes personal attacks against his wife, mother, and son.

A source close to the White House said of his decision, “This was more or less going to be a done deal when Bannon submitted his resignation. Not because he didn’t have a protector, but because there is no point in having your life ruined every day if you’re not going to get much accomplished.” The same source said that what did change after Bannon left was that anti-Bannon factions began erecting bureaucratic road blocks to undermine Gorka internally.

The Forward has written dozens of attack pieces against Gorka, including several attempting to align him with Nazism. Most recently that publication retracted a story about his son’s schoolwork. Gorka strenuously objected to allegations he had ties to Nazi groups in his family’s home country of Hungary, where he had previously been involved in national politics. Even detractors eventually acknowledged the Nazi accusations were unfair smears.

In his letter, Gorka made clear that he believes in the promise of the Trump presidency despite being concerned about its present direction.

“Your presidency will prove to be one of the most significant events in modern American politics. November the 8th was the result of decades during which the political and media elites felt that they knew better than the people who elect them into office. They do not, and the MAGA platform allowed their voices to be heard,” he wrote, adding, “Millions of people believe in, and have chosen, you and your vision of Making America Great Again. They will help eventually rebalance this temporary reality.”

Mollie Ziegler Hemingway is a senior editor at The Federalist. Follow her on Twitter at @mzhemingway

Stop Smearing Sebastian Gorka

MEF, by Gregg Roman
The Forward
August 18, 2017

Slightly edited.

White House counterterrorism advisor Sebastian Gorka has been the subject of severe criticism in recent months. With the departure of Steve Bannon from the administration, many are calling for Gorka to be fired next. A recent piece in Rolling Stone questioned the validity of his Ph.D. and labeled him something of a neophyte and an extremist. The Forward tied Gorka to a right-wing Hungarian secret society called Vitezi Rend.

These stories make for great political attacks, but are they valid? And, perhaps more importantly, setting aside all of the charges against him, are Gorka’s views on terrorism and how our nation should combat it prudent?

First, let’s examine the accusations on anti-Semitism and secret societies. Gorka, on the record, has denied being a member of the Vitezi Rend. He was also called an anti-Semite, and a video used to incriminate him was conveniently edited to remove his condemnation of the world’s oldest hatred. Still, he’s gone on the record and denied this allegation, too.

There’s no evidence that Gorka has ever expressed anti-Semitic views.

There isn’t any reliable evidence that Gorka has ever expressed the extremist views he’s accused of holding or been a member of a secret society.

The questions raised about Gorka’s qualifications seem suspect as well. He earned a Ph.D. from Corvinus University. Whatever the quality of that pedigree, it was sufficient to land Gorka a position as an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University and positions with a host of other respected institutions like the Marine Corps University Foundation and the Council for Emerging National Security Affairs (CENSA).

Ben Rhodes, a senior national security advisor during the Obama administration, had shockingly thin qualifications for the job.

Even if his credentials have been inflated, it’s worth remembering that the previous White House relied on Ben Rhodes for international security counsel, and his background was shockingly thin, focused mostly on creative writing.

Gorka’s worldview, similarly questioned, is perhaps the most important piece of this puzzle. He has written forcefully about the threats Islamists pose to the West and devoted his career to understanding the nature of these threats, while working to raise alarm bells about the despicable ideology that has been gaining popularity throughout the Muslim world.

He’s been right to do so.

Gorka’s influence can be felt at all levels of this administration. In his inaugural address, President Trump promised to “eradicate the Islamic State.” He didn’t say degrade, manage, or contain. He said eradicate. That’s important. So is the Trump administration’s willingness to name the threat facing our people – radical Islamism.

This represents a welcome change after eight years of leading from behind and “strategic patience” that got us nowhere. While the Obama administration dithered as the Arab-Islamic world erupted into conflagration, Gorka reminds us that ignoring our enemies as they rise to power is just as dangerous as disengagement from our friends as they fall from it.

I met with Gorka recently at the White House and he mentioned how the struggle against communism, wherein his father was tortured by the authorities, was akin to the battle against modern day Islamism. Inspired by his father, he’s fighting this generation’s ideological struggle.

Gorka has a solid grasp of the ideology that threatens our safety and security.

A dispassionate review of Gorka’s background and work indicates that he is simply a right-wing Hungarian. Hungary has produced its fair share of racists and anti-Semites, but there’s absolutely no reason to believe Gorka is one of them. His credentials are no less impressive than others who have served the White House in similar capacities.

Importantly, in order to win the war against radical Islamism, we must develop a thorough understanding of its ideology. Gorka has a solid grasp of that ideology, and all of us in the United States should be thankful that he is lending his expertise to advance our safety and security. Attacks on Gorka’s character do nothing to make our nation safer. His work on combatting radical Islamists most likely will.

Gregg Roman is director of the Middle East Forum.

***

Dr. Gorka posted this on his Facebook Page yesterday:

This man calls himself Tosten Burks.
He is allegedly a journalist.

He just attacked my teenage son in his latest article using my son’s work as a high schooler against him.

I have called him out on-the-record for his harassment and borderline stalking of my family and me.

I have been through the mill since January 20th, but that’s OK. I’m a grown-up.

Also, I have perspective.

My parents lived through Nazi oppression during WWII and Communist persecution after the war, so verbal assaults mean nothing to me.

And on top of that, I’m fair game if you didn’t vote for Donald J. Trump as your President.

But families, and especially children, are OFF LIMITS, no matter who you think you are, or how “just” you believe you may be.

If you agree, perhaps you may want to consider sending Mr. Burks a forthright – but NOT rude – email. Or call him during work hours to tell him whether the children of someone you politically disagree with can ever be the legitimate targets for attacks by the politically motivated gutter-press.

NB: None of you who read this and decide to speak out should ever resort to the depravity Mr. Burks and his colleagues have sunken to in their attacks against the President, the First Lady, KellyAnne Conway, Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, or anyone else who is serving our nation today.

Show them we are better than they are, not just in our goals, but in our means and how we carry ourselves.

Thank you, and God Bless.

Tosten Burks
Staff Writer | Death and Taxes
tosten.burks@deathandtaxesmag.com
Work: 858-829-3005
Twitter: @TostenBurks

Sebastian Gorka Speech at the Republican National Lawyers Association

Published on May 5, 2017 by Nick Short

Sebastian Gorka, Deputy Assistant to President Trump, gives an eye opening speech at the National Press Club on the reality of the threat posed to Western society by the Islamic State (ISIS).

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Al Qaeda and the Taliban rule Afghanistan, 16 years later. @SebGorka, Deputy Assistant to the President.

 

John Batchelor Show, May 4, 2017:

Al Qaeda and the Taliban rule Afghanistan, 16 years later. @sebastiangorka, Deputy Assistant to the President.

Al-Qaeda’s presence in Afghanistan has not occurred in a vacuum. It has maintained its strength in the country since the U.S. invasion, launched a new branch, AQIS, and established training camps with the help and support of the Taliban.

When Generals Campbell and Buchanan discussed al-Qaeda in the wake of the Shorabak raid, they described the group as resurgent. Campbell described the Taliban-al-Qaeda relationship as a “renewed partnership,” while Buchanan said it “has since ‘grown stronger.’”

But like the estimate that al-Qaeda maintained a small cadre of 50 to 100 operatives in Afghanistan between 2010 and 2016, the idea that the Taliban and al-Qaeda have only recently reinvigorated their relationship is incorrect. Al-Qaeda would not have been able to maintain a large cadre of fighters and leaders inside Afghanistan, conduct operations in 25 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, establish training camps, and relocate high-level leaders from Pakistan’s tribal areas to Afghanistan without the Taliban’s long-term support.

Al-Qaeda has remained loyal to the Taliban’s leader, which it describes as the Amir al- Mumineen, or the “Commander of the Faithful,” since the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001. Osama bin Laden maintained his oath of allegiance to Mullah Omar, the Taliban’s founder and first emir. When bin Laden died, Ayman al-Zawahiri renewed that oath. And when Mullah Omar’s death was announced in 2015, Zawahiri swore bayat (an oath of allegiance) to Mullah Mansour, the Taliban’s new leader. Mansour publicly accepted Zawahiri’s oath.

Photo: Long War Journal

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