State: Iran’s Proxy Hezbollah Operating Across Western Hemisphere, Including U.S.

AFP ANWAR AMRO

Breitbart, by Edwin Mora, September 20, 2018:

The “world’s preeminent state sponsor of terrorism” Iran and its proxy Hezbollah maintain an operational presence across Latin America and in the United States, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) reported this week.

For years, State and the U.S. military have warned against Iran and Hezbollah’s growing activities in Latin America, including the terrorist group’s involvement in drug trafficking and money laundering.

According to State’s Country Reports on Terrorism for 2017 released Wednesday, which tracks terrorist activities across the world, Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism with a “near-global reach.”

While briefing reporters about the terrorism reports on Wednesday, Nathan Sales, the State Department’s ambassador-at-large and coordinator for counterterrorism, declared:

Iran is the world’s preeminent state sponsor of terrorism, and it brings to its terrorist activities the resources of a state. We have seen Iran’s and its proxies’ terrorist-related activities across the globe. There are active fundraising networks in places as far afield as Africa, in South America. We’ve seen weapons caches planted around the world. We’ve seen operational activity not just in Lebanon by Hizballah, but by Iran-backed terrorists in the heart of Europe. Iran uses terrorism as a tool of its statecraft. It has no reservations about using that tool on any continent.

The annual Country Reports on Terrorism for 2017 added:

Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism worldwide remained undiminished through the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force [IRGC-QF], its Ministry of Intelligence and Security, and Tehran’s proxy Hizballah, which remained a significant threat to the stability of Lebanon and the broader region

State noted that authorities across the Western Hemisphere, including the FBI in the United States, arrested several Hezbollah (or Hizballah) operatives and disrupted various plots last year.

“As far as Iran-backed terrorist organizations are concerned, we’ve arrested a number of operatives who allegedly were casing targets in support of Iran-backed terrorist organizations, and they’re now facing charges in federal court,” Sales told reporters.

In early June 2017, the FBI arrested Ali Kourani, 32, of the Bronx, New York, and Samer el Debek, 37, of Dearborn, Michigan, on charges linked to their alleged activities on behalf of Shiite Hezbollah.

Referring to one of the defendants, State noted:

In addition to its financial and fundraising activities in the Western Hemisphere, Hizballah also maintained interest in the region during 2017. A Hizballah operative was arrested by the FBI in the United States in June 2017. Among other accusations, he was allegedly involved in surveilling U.S. and Israeli targets in Panama.

Latin American authorities also arrested several Hezbollah jihadis and disrupted some plots linked to the Shiite terrorist group last year.

DOS reported:

[B]olivian security services previously uncovered and disrupted a Hizballah cache of explosive precursors in the La Paz area. The Peruvian government’s prosecution of a Hizballah member arrested in 2015 is still ongoing, with the Peruvians successfully appealing a ruling acquitting this operative of terrorism charges.

With the help of U.S. counterparts, Paraguayan law enforcement officials arrested multiple Lebanese Hizballah-linked suspects in the Ciudad del Este area who were engaged in money laundering and drug trafficking activities, some with links to the United States.

“Panama cooperated with U.S. law enforcement on various counterterrorism cases this year, including individuals linked to Hizballah,” State added.

A local Peruvian news outlet reported in 2016 that Shiite Iran’s terror proxy Hezbollah had registered as an official political party in Peru’s Abancay province, home to the nation’s largest Muslim community.

In previous terrorism reports, State acknowledged that the socialist country of Venezuela, which is hostile to the United States, provides “a permissive environment” that benefits known terrorist groups like Hezbollah.

State reiterated in its latest report:

In May 2017, for the twelfth consecutive year, the U.S. Department of State determined, pursuant to section 40A of the Arms Export Control Act, that Venezuela was not cooperating fully with U.S. counterterrorism efforts. The country’s porous borders offered a permissive environment to known terrorist groups.

Politico found last year that former U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration “derailed” a DEA operation targeting Hezbollah’s drug trafficking activities in Latin America to secure approval of the controversial Iran nuclear deal.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, which has taken a tough stance against Iran, pulled out of the nuclear deal and is expected to reimpose sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Under the deal, Iran was expected to reduce its nuclear weapons activities in exchange for sanctions relief.

While financial support for Hezbollah and other Iranian proxies by the heavily sanctioned regime may be drying up, the terrorist group is believed to be generating hundreds of millions of dollars from drug trafficking.

Moreover, the terrorist group is believed to be laundering billions of dollars. Forbes this year deemed Hezbollah the richest terrorist organization with an annual income of $1.1 billion, generated primarily by “aid funding from Iran, drug manufacture and trade.”

Breitbart News has learned that Iran is operating up to 100 so-called cultural centers across Latin America manned by Hezbollah and IRGC recruiters.

Report: Taliban Prepares for Peace Talks with United States

AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

Breitbart, by John Hayward, September 11, 2018:

Taliban leaders are reportedly putting together a team to negotiate with the United States and signaling which concessions they will require to make such talks possible, prominently including a release of Taliban prisoners taken during the 17-year war in Afghanistan.

Reuters on Tuesday quoted “two officials involved with the process” who said Taliban leaders are meeting to select a three- or four-man delegation to meet with American officials. They would then schedule a follow-up meeting to conduct more serious negotiations provided the first meeting goes well and the U.S. demonstrates good faith by releasing Taliban prisoners.

“This meeting will determine the future talks and we would see if the U.S. is serious and sincere in negotiation. We would hand over a list of prisoners languishing in jails across Afghanistan. If they set free our prisoners then we would meet again for another great cause,” one of the “officials,” clearly a Taliban member from the tone of his comments, told Reuters.

The first serious diplomatic contact between the U.S. and Taliban officials occurred in Doha, Qatar, a little over a month ago. Reuters’ sources indicated the head of the Taliban’s office in Qatar would once again take point on negotiations with the United States, although the current chief official is only an interim appointee and will be replaced by a permanent representative.

The American side of negotiations would most likely be headed up by Zalmay Khalilzad, former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq, who was named President Donald Trump’s special adviser for Afghanistan last week. Khalilzad is an Afghan-American noted for his skill at dealing with tribal factions.

The White House began seeking direct talks with the Taliban in July as part of a strategic shift intended to conclude the war in Afghanistan. Before that, the U.S. position was that Afghanistan’s internationally recognized government in Kabul needed to take the lead on negotiations. The Taliban adamantly refuses to bargain with Kabul because it deems the government a wholly illegitimate puppet of the United States.

The Taliban has been described as “willing, but not desperate” for negotiations. In this analysis, military pressure from the U.S. combined with diplomatic pressure from Afghanistan’s neighbors and Islamic religious leaders has convinced the Taliban to “evolve” and consider compromises to achieve its two core objectives, returning to power in Afghanistan and evicting foreign troops.

A significant number of Taliban movers and shakers has decided these objectives cannot be secured by brute force but can be largely won through negotiations with a war-weary Washington and nervous Kabul.

Instead of demanding the immediate exodus of all American troops, the Taliban will ask for a firm exit “timetable” and possibly accept the presence of small foreign units to secure Kabul and fight the Islamic State, which is also a Taliban objective.

Instead of overthrowing and executing the government headed by President Ashraf Ghani, the Taliban might seek the orderly dissolution of his government and the installation of “caretaker” officials until a new constitution is drafted and Taliban seats are secured at the table of power in Kabul.

The Taliban might have decided the time is right for peace talks because Afghanistan will hold a presidential election in April 2019 and it would become much more difficult to rewrite the constitution and install a “caretaker” government after the election. Much of the Taliban’s recent military action could be seen as an effort to shake the Afghan people’s faith in the Ghani government so profoundly that they will not resist Taliban demands to replace it.

These negotiations face four major obstacles: it would take years to reach a settlement, and bloodshed in Afghanistan would continue all the while; the U.S. will resist Taliban leaders inserting themselves into civilian government, and especially into Afghanistan’s military apparatus; the Taliban will insist on writing their harsh interpretation of Islamic sharia law into the constitution, outraging human rights advocates and Afghans who do not wish to live under Islamist domination; and there is little guarantee the Taliban will not use violence to seize the rest of the loaf after half a loaf is given, especially if its fighters wind up sprinkled through the Afghan military.

Also see:

17 Years After 9/11, Al-Qaeda Boasts ‘Strongest Fighting Force in Its Existence

RAMI AL-SAYED/AFP/Getty Images

Breitbart, by John Hayward, September 11, 2018:

Seventeen years after it perpetrated the September 11 terrorist attack, al-Qaeda is arguably stronger and better-positioned than ever.

The consensus on al-Qaeda’s strength among terrorism experts is a sobering rebuke to the notion that al-Qaeda was dealt a mortal wound when its founder Osama bin Laden was killed in May 2011.

Al-Qaeda’s health is measured by three vital statistics: its military strength, its ideological strength, and the size of its sphere of influence. All three of those metrics were unfortunately boosted as an inevitable side effect of the Western war against al-Qaeda’s chief rival, the Islamic State. Al-Qaeda picked up recruits, forged new alliances, and won its ideological argument with its rabid ISIS offshoot as the Islamic State “caliphate” was destroyed.

Al-Qaeda made sure it was perfectly positioned to pick up the pieces after the ISIS caliphate exploded. It exploited the dramatic discrediting of the Islamic State, which advocated seizing and holding vast amounts of territory to forge an apocalyptic Islamist nation-state that could be targeted and destroyed by mighty Western military forces – not to mention various othermuch more well-established Islamist nation-states threatened by the Islamic State’s existence, such as Iran.

An assessment at the Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday found al-Qaeda boasting the “largest fighting force in its existence.”

“Estimates say it may have more than 20,000 militants in Syria and Yemen alone. It boasts affiliates across North Africa, the Levant (including Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon) and parts of Asia, and it remains strong around the Afghanistan-Pakistan border,” the SMH reported.

Al-Qaeda has done fairly well for itself in Syria, amassing weapons and trained fighters through its network of allies, exploiting both the war against the Islamic State and the bloody chaos of the horrendous Syrian civil war.

At the peak of its power in 2015, al-Qaeda was able to instantly dismantle and disarm the absurdly small “moderate” rebel force President Barack Obama sent into Syria with American training and weapons. Times are harder for al-Qaeda franchisees in Syria these days, but the international organization got what it wanted from the conflict and continues ruthlessly exploiting the ugly truth that it was always one of the few enemies of dictator Bashar Assad’s regime with significant battlefield power. Assad and his allies routinely accuse the West of aiding and abetting terrorists by prolonging the insurrection and dismiss all enemies of the regime as “terrorists.”

Al-Qaeda is very strong in Yemen and Libya – strong enough in Yemen to convince the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iran-backed Houthi insurgency to pay off al-Qaeda fighters instead of engaging them in combat. Here again, al-Qaeda has cunningly positioned itself as the lesser of two evils, and perhaps even an ally of the United States and its coalition against a more pressing military threat.

“Elements of the U.S. military are clearly aware that much of what the U.S. is doing in Yemen is aiding AQAP and there is much angst about that. However, supporting the UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia against what the U.S. views as Iranian expansionism takes priority over battling AQAP and even stabilizing Yemen,” Jamestown Foundation fellow Michael Horton told the Associated Press in August.

The AP noted that al-Qaeda forces that struck deals with the advancing Saudi coalition have been allowed to fall back with “weapons, equipment, and wads of looted cash.” Some al-Qaeda fighters have been actively recruited by the anti-Houthi operation, according to the AP’s sources. Such arrangements risk providing al-Qaeda with even more valuable military training, and possibly hardware, not to mention mixing subversive elements into Arab military units.

In Libya, al-Qaeda swiftly exploited the chaos unleashed by President Barack Obama’s invasion and the fall of dictator Moammar Qaddafi – who was, despite his many, many flaws, a critic of Osama bin Laden and paranoid about the threat jihadi groups like al-Qaeda posed to his power.

The U.S. military has been working with the internationally-recognized government of Libya – which controls only a portion of the country – to conduct airstrikes against al-Qaeda targets.

The Islamist contagion from Libya has been spreading across Africa, prompting an American response described as a “shadow war” largely invisible to the public until U.S. troops were killed in a terrorist ambush in Niger.

Al-Qaeda’s splinter group Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (literally, “The Group to Support Islam and Muslims”) is one of the major regional threats. It was officially designated a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. government last week. The huge new American drone base under construction in Niger will be capable of launching strikes into Libya against al-Qaeda and other jihadi groups.

Al-Qaeda retains a dangerous presence in Iraq, thanks in part to a political strategy similar to the one it followed in Yemen and Libya, presenting itself to locals and government officials as an alternative to ISIS and Iran-backed Shiite militia. Constant ISIS threats to reorganize in Syria and Iraq help to drag the spotlight away from al-Qaeda’s stealthier activities. It is not easy to tell where ISIS ends and al-Qaeda begins in Iraq, which was the scene of the al-Qaeda schism that created the Islamic State.

The al-Qaeda network even has tentacles in Iran, where some of the group’s leaders fled after the Taliban lost control of Afghanistan. Questions about how much help the Iranian government gave al-Qaeda or whether Tehran actively cooperates with the terrorist network are hotly debated.

Al-Qaeda’s strategic alliances have proven more useful and durable than the Islamic State’s frenzied efforts to pressure jihadi groups into pledging allegiance. The most infamous of these allies, the Taliban of Afghanistan, have endured 17 years of U.S. and allied military operations and currently control at least a quarter of the country.

The Taliban is very close to achieving one of its major objectives: direct talks with the U.S. government. It is difficult to imagine a negotiated peace with the Taliban that would not infuse the Afghan constitution with their ideology and put Taliban members in top government and military positions, which are both highly desirable outcomes for al-Qaeda. A United Nations panel confirmed in June that al-Qaeda remains closely allied with the Taliban. The Afghan group’s stubborn refusal to abandon al-Qaeda under decades of immense Western military pressure greatly enhances the prestige of the international terrorist organization.

Al-Qaeda’s allies in Somalia, al-Shabaab, are such an active threat that American forces have been obliged to bomb them as well. Over twenty U.S. airstrikes have been conducted against al-Shabaab in Somalia this year, a significant increase in operational tempo since the end of the Obama administration. Somalia is one of the few African theaters where the Trump administration openly plans to maintain a U.S. military presence.

Al-Qaeda’s ideological threat is the most difficult aspect of the group’s persistence for Western analysts and policymakers to discuss. Simply put, the past 17 years have conclusively disproved the old bromide that al-Qaeda and its allies were a “tiny minority of extremists” that “hijacked” the religion of Islam. We may hope they remain a minority and they certainly are extreme, but they definitely are not “tiny.”

The Taliban’s persistence is an instructive example of the strength of al-Qaeda’s religious ideology. The Taliban have been fighting a brutal war of attrition against Afghan security forces and American troops for almost two decades. They usually suffer at least as many casualties as they inflict, but they have no difficulty recruiting fresh troops. It is likewise difficult to point to an area where al-Qaeda is having trouble replenishing its manpower.

In other theaters, al-Qaeda appears to be enjoying considerable success at recruiting former members of the Islamic State and its allied organizations, themselves persistent despite defeats in Syria and Iraq that would seem to demolish their claim to preside over a caliphate.

There is little evidence that jihadi groups activated by bin Laden’s network are growing discouraged and giving up the fight; instead, they look for better leadership when their old gang is beaten. Al-Qaeda’s growing influence in Asia is grim evidence that their appeal extends beyond Arabs. Conventional wisdom in the West now holds that “nation-building” is sheer folly in any theater where al-Qaeda or its offshoots have a strong presence – which is another way of conceding that its jihad ideology is too popular to extinguish by defeating its armed forces or killing its leaders, and it is too strong for moderate Muslim political leaders to overwhelm.

If there is any good news in this grim picture of al-Qaeda’s strength in 2018, it is that Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network has endured and prospered largely by abandoning flashy big-ticket terrorist attacks like 9/11. Analysts routinely credit al-Qaeda’s relative subtlety, its interest in developing political strength, and long-term alliances instead of drawing attention to itself as ISIS does for its survival.

The question is how long al-Qaeda will be content to fight its adversaries in the Middle East and Asia instead of slaughtering American and European civilians. The United Nations warned in August that al-Qaeda, under the leadership of Osama bin Laden’s vengeful son Hamza, could become a more active global threat as ISIS fades and its fighters migrate back to their parent organization. Al-Qaeda does hold territory in places like Libya and Yemen, giving it the kind of money, recruiting appeal, and striking power that made ISIS so dangerous.

An Arab News assessment on Monday of the strategic threat posed by al-Qaeda pointed out that al-Qaeda could be waiting for some of the Islamic State’s key allies in Africa, Egypt, and Pakistan to switch allegiance back to them before making big global moves:

It is obvious that Al-Qaeda has been largely left alone in recent years, as global and regional powers vented their anger against Daesh, which was undoubtedly a bigger and more immediate threat. But the situation could change if Al-Qaeda is able to undertake new attacks, particularly against the US and its Western allies. That it has failed to do so until now was primarily due to its declining power and failure to attract more recruits

Al-Qaeda’s strength and sophistication are undeniable. They are playing a much longer game than the Islamic State, and they have learned to play it carefully – but eventually, they will make more aggressive moves, because they still believe making war against the West is necessary.

Seventeen years after 9/11, America endures. So does the enemy.

Rich Higgins on the Deep State

Unconstrained Analytics, September 7, 2018:

UA Senior Fellow Rich Higgins talks about what he saw of the Deep State in the White House in an interview by Breitbart’s Curt Schilling,

“. . . . I would go into National Security Council meetings with 10, 20, 30 people and there would only be 2 or 3 Trump supporters who were outnumbered by Obama holdovers.

Why was it so hard for Trump to clean house? Why did the Obama holdovers so outnumber everyone? Why didn’t he make his own team?

There are three things we have to look at:

  1. The Deep State wanted to get Gen Flynn out of there as early as possible because he would have figured out what the FBI was up to
  2. We need to find out who put McMaster in place
  3. We know that McMaster was talking with McCabe, he was talking with perhaps Strozyk, and other persons

The full scope of this investigation has not begun yet. It definitely requires its own Special Counsel. It is unprecedented in American history. I’m sitting in the National Security Council watching these events unfold around me.

I did not write this memo for public consumption. I don’t know if Trump read it but somehow this memo that talked about the Deep State ended up on the desk of a Deep State bureaucrat, McMaster.

The memo brought up Title 18 concerns–Trump is the Command-in-Chief, you don’t get to subvert him. What I see now, that is beyond the pale for me, is the institutional bureaucracy becoming hyper politicized in opposition to the President.

Why were these people allowed to remain in place?

Trump is a businessman and his reliance on the establishment to help him was perhaps his Achilles heel. Steve Bannon said it best: the ‘original sin’ of this administration was the belief that the establishment was going to help do the President’s mandate and what he was elected to do.

Watching all this take place in the White House, this memo just bubbled out. By the time it has been leaked to the press, I had already been removed. This is different from the anonymous coward in the White House who leaked to the NY Times in an op-ed. I think she’ll be out of here pretty soon. I have a pretty good idea who it is and again, we’re going to find out it’s a known commodity who had been identified early on as opposing the President. . . . ”

Listen to the rest as Higgins and Schilling talk about the implications on the American people, the Deep State and the media of declassifying the FISA memo, as well as thoughts on the Kavanaugh nomination, and how the Mueller witchhunt is a rearguard action protecting the corrupt activities of multiple individuals in the government and private sector with foreign money going back perhaps decades.

AUDIO

From 9/11 to Spygate: The National Security Deep State

Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, June 14, 2018:

On September 4, 2001, Robert Mueller took over the FBI. At his confirmation hearings, fraud had overshadowed discussions of terrorism. And as FBI Director, Mueller quickly diverged from the common understanding that the attacks that killed 3,000 people had been an act of war rather than a crime.

In 2008, Abdullah Saleh al-Ajmi, who had been unleashed from Guantanamo Bay, carried out a suicide bombing in Iraq. Al-Ajmi had been represented by Thomas Wilner who was being paid by the Kuwaiti government.

Wilner was a pal of Robert Mueller. And when the families were having dinner together, Mueller got up and said, “I want to toast Tom Wilner. He’s doing just what an American lawyer should do.”

“I don’t know what he was doing from inside the government. I’d like to find out,” Wilner mused.

We know some of what Mueller was doing. The same official who paved the way for raiding the president’s lawyer, who illegally seized material from the Trump transition team and whose case is based in no small part on illegal eavesdropping, fought alongside Comey against surveilling terrorists. Materials involving the Muslim Brotherhood were purged. Toward the dawn of the second Obama term, Mueller met with CAIR and other Islamist groups and a green curtain fell over national security.

But the surveillance wasn’t going anywhere. Instead it was being redirected to new targets.

Those targets were not, despite the wave of hysterical conspiracy theories convulsing the media, the Russians. Mueller’s boss was still quite fond of them. Barack Obama did have foreign enemies that he wanted to spy on. And there were plenty of domestic enemies who could be caught up in that trap.

By his second term, the amateur was coming to understand the incredible surveillance powers at his disposal and how they could be used to spy on Americans under the pretext of fighting foreign threats.

Two birds. One stone.

While the Mueller purge was going on, Obama was pushing talks with Iran. There was one obstacle and it wasn’t Russia. The Russians were eager to play Obama with a fake nuke deal. It was the Israelis who were the problem. And it was the Israelis who were being spied on by Obama’s surveillance regime.

But it wasn’t just the Israelis.

Iran was Obama’s big shot at a foreign policy legacy. As the year dragged on, it was becoming clear that the Arab Spring wouldn’t be anything he would want to be remembered for. By the time Benghazi went from a humanitarian rescue operation to one of the worst disasters of the term, it was clearly over.

Obama was worried that the Israelis would launch a strike against Iran’s nuclear program. And the surveillance and media leaks were meant to dissuade the Israelis from scuttling his legacy. But he was also worried about Netanyahu’s ability to persuade American Jews and members of Congress to oppose his nuclear sellout. And that was where the surveillance leapfrogged from foreign to domestic.

The NSA intercepted communications between Israelis and Americans, including members of Congress, and then passed the material along to the White House. Despite worries by some officials that “that the executive branch would be accused of spying on Congress”, the White House “believed the intercepted information could be valuable to counter Mr. Netanyahu’s campaign.”

The precedent was even more troubling than it seemed.

Obama Inc. had defined its position in an unresolved political debate between the White House and Congress as the national interest. And had winkingly authorized surveillance on Congress to protect this policy in a domestic political debate. That precedent would then be used to spy on members of the Trump transition team and to force out Trump’s national security adviser.

National security had become indistinguishable from the agenda of the administration. And that agenda, like the rest of Obama’s unilateral policies, was enshrined as permanent. Instead of President Trump gaining the same powers, his opposition to that agenda was treated as a national security threat.

And once Obama was out of office, Comey and other Obama appointees would protect that agenda.

We still don’t know the full scope of Spygate. But media reports have suggested that Obama officials targeted countries opposed to the Iran sellout, most prominently Israel and the UAE, and then eavesdropped on meetings between them and between figures on the Trump team.

Obama had begun his initial spying as a way of gaining inside information on Netanyahu’s campaign against the Iran deal. But the close election and its aftermath significantly escalated what had been a mere Watergate into an active effort to not only spy, but pursue criminal charges against the political opposition. The surveillance state had inevitably moved on to the next stage, the police state with its informants, dossiers, pre-dawn raids, state’s witnesses, entrapments and still more surveillance.

And the police state requires cops. Someone had to do the dirty work for Susan Rice.

Comey, Mueller and the other cops had likely been complicit in the administration’s abuses. Somewhere along the way, they had become the guys watching over the Watergate burglars. Spying on the political opposition is, short of spying for the enemy, the most serious crime that such men can commit.

Why then was it committed?

To understand that, we have to go back to 9/11. Those days may seem distant now, but the attacks offered a crossroads. One road led to a war against our enemies. The other to minimizing the conflict.

President George W. Bush tried to fight that war, but he was undermined by men like Mueller and Comey. Their view of the war was the same as that of their future boss, not their current one, certainly not the view as the man currently sitting in the White House whom they have tried to destroy.

Every lie has some truth in it. Comey’s book, A Higher Loyalty, his frequent claims of allegiance to American ideals, are true, as he sees it, if not as he tells it. Men like Comey and Mueller believed that the real threat came not from Islamic terrorists, but from our overreaction to them. They believed that Bush was a threat. And Trump was the worst threat imaginable who had to be stopped by any means.

What Comey and Mueller are loyal to is the established way of doing things. And they conflate that with our national ideals, as establishment thugs usually do. Neither of them are unique. Washington D.C. is filled with men and women who are registered Republicans, who believe in lowering taxes, who frown at the extremities of identity politics, but whose true faith is in the natural order of government.

Mueller and Comey represent a class. And Obama and Clinton were easily able to corrupt and seduce that class into abandoning its duties and oaths, into serving as its deep state against domestic foes.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodies? It’s the old question of who watches the watchmen that no society has found a good answer to. And the answer is inevitably that the watchers, watch themselves and everyone else. What began as national security measures against Islamic terrorism was twisted by Obama and his deep state allies into the surveillance of the very people fighting Islamic terrorism.

Spygate was the warped afterbirth of our failure to meaningfully confront Islamic terrorism. Instead, the political allies of the terrorists and the failed watchmen who allowed them to strike so many times, got together to shoot the messengers warning about the terror threat. The problem had never been the lack of power, but the lack of will and the lack of integrity in an establishment unwilling to do its job.

After 9/11, extraordinary national security powers were brought into being to fight Islamic terror. Instead those powers were used to suppress those who told the truth about Islamic terrorism.

***

Trump Excludes Brotherhood-Tied Groups from Iftar Dinner

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Breitbart, by Neil Munro, June 7,  2018:

President Donald Trump excluded a variety of domestic Islamic groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood from his first White House annual Islamic ‘Iftar’ dinner.

The exclusion is a sharp change from former President Barack Obama, who put the Brotherhood-linked groups front-and-center in his Iftar dinners and his Middle East strategy. His regional strategy crashed once the Brotherhood groups in Egypt, Syria, Libya, Tunisia, and other countries were unable to restrain their Islamic radicalism during the so-called “Arab Spring.”

Reports show that most of the invitees at the dinner were the ambassadors of Islamic countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Morocco. The dinner marks the end of the Islamic Ramadan season of fasting.

Among the excluded political groups were the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Also excluded were the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), which cater to Muslim immigrants from Arab countries and from the Indian sub-continent.

CAIR has been declared a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates and was named by federal prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas-funding operation. MPAC was “established in 1988 by followers of the Muslim Brotherhood and admirers of Hezbollah… [and]  is yet another Islamist wolf in the ‘social justice’ clothing of the hard Left,” said Andrew McCarthy, a prosecutor who convicted several Muslims for the New York jihad attacks.

Exclusion is a financial hit for various groups, some of which rely on domestic — or even foreign — donors who support them because of the groups’ claimed ability to advance Islamic goals in U.S. politics.

The exclusion also shows that the White House rejects the groups’ unproven claim to be legitimate and popular political representatives of Muslims in America. Polls show these groups have little sway among the Muslims who live in America. Also, Muslims in America are already represented in Washington by their local congressional representatives.

The White House did not say if it invited representatives of Islam reform groups which who reject Islam’s demand that government should follow Islamic dictates. For example, Trump did not publicly announce an invite to the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, which is led by Zuhdi Jasser.

Also, Trump has not announced any replacement for Obama’s anti-terrorism policy, which gave these Muslim groups taxpayer funding and political legitimacy in exchange for their promise to quietly suppress political violence by Muslims. Trump’s deputies have abandoned that policy but have not announced a replacement policy.

While the White House did not publish an official invite list before the dinner, the excluded groups protested in remarks to the media.

“I wouldn’t anticipate that any credible mainstream American Muslim organizations or leaders would be invited or agree to attend, given the administration’s Islamophobic and white supremacist positions and policies,” Ibrahim Hooper, the CAIR spokesman, told the Guardian newspaper.

The “Islamophobic” claim suggests that opponents of CAIR’s political agenda have a mental disease, akin to a phobia.

“There has been no real engagement, no real effort to even invite members of our faith communities, to have conversations with the White House or administration,” said Hoda Hawa, MPAC policy director, told the Guardian newspaper.

The MPAC group maintains a strong anti-Israel policy and has close ties to Islamic radicals in Libya and Egypt. In June 2012, for example, MPAC applauded the Brotherhood-backed President of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi:

Less than one week ago, Dr. Mohamed Morsi became the first democratically elected president in Egypt’s thousands of years of history … Indeed, the transition to a sustainable democracy does not come after one election — it will be a continuous effort and will need the support and hard work of the Egyptian people and the international community.

Morsi and other Egyptian Islamic radicals won an initial election in 2012 but were removed by the military in a 2013 coup, despite quiet support from Obama. MPAC opposed the coup.

MPAC also complained that Trump has left them with little or no influence in the White House. “With the Trump administration, we have seen no effort by them, by the president himself, his senior officials, who are noted anti-Muslim extremists, Cabinet officials, towards engaging in a productive dialogue with the American Muslim community,” Omar Noureldin, MPAC’s vice president, told an NPR interviewer. Trump, not Islamic political activists, must change, he said:

I believe it’s incumbent on the president and his Cabinet and senior White House officials to extend those olive branches genuinely. And until they do so, we don’t believe that there’s going to be a meaningful dialogue or ability to move the needle on the issues that affect our communities.

Linda Sarsour, a jihad advocate who was welcome in Obama’s White House, also was excluded from the dinner.

Obama’s support for the Brotherhood-linked groups proved futile because they were unable to moderate their peers’ Islamic revolutionary zeal in Egypt, Libya, or Syria.

In September 2012, for example, four Americans were killed by Islamic gunmen in Benghazi while other Islamic radicals surrounded the U.S. embassy in Cairo. In Syria, the Brotherhood-linked Islamic groups were unable to build any political alliances with any moderate or non-Muslim communities, ensuring a bloody civil war that continues in 2018.

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Fleitz Appointment a Savvy Move by Trump, Bolton

CSP, BY Tom Anderson, June 4, 2018:

Originally posted on Newsmax

I was elated to hear Fred Fleitz just accepted the position of National Security Council chief-of-staff and executive secretary under White House National Security Advisor John Bolton. Americans should be grateful. The appointment is a huge score for enhancing our national security.

We’re all benefactors from President Trump’s and Mr. Bolton’s wisdom. Hosting a news radio show in Alaska can be intriguing, and also challenging at times, securing thoughtful guests that actually understand our northern issues and the nexus with the country as a whole.

Our state’s Arctic policy, military, and resource development issues affect the entire nation, not just the Last Frontier. It was through this venue I connected with Fred Fleitz, who became a regular and appreciated guest.

I’ve interviewed national leaders and pundits from across the spectrum. They can be engaging whether an Ann Coulter, Pat Buchanan, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, or former Gov. Sarah Palin. Of all my guests, Fleitz has been one of the most effective in educating and explaining to listeners his rational on foreign relations and security policy.

I’ve interviewed him over 20 times. As a result, many listeners have come to appreciate government, policy development, and the evolution of sound national-security policy that may have otherwise seemed esoteric.

Fleitz hasn’t forgotten Alaska, or its defensive and resource-rich value to the United States. His analysis and ability to tether military operations, or communications and transportation, to operational logistics involving North Korea and the Middle East has helped shed light on President Obama’s obfuscated policies.

Fleitz has taken a balanced approach on U.S. State Department issues, drawing from his experience with the Central Intelligence Agency as a senior analyst, at the State Department as Bolton’s former chief-of-staff, and with the House Intelligence Committee. The Fleitz appointment feels like a commercial plane ride with a seasoned pilot, or surgery with a reliable veteran surgeon, where you’re relieved from anxiety because of the expertise at the helm. America is in good hands.

When it comes to federal bureaucracy, I can attest to the perception from the public. For many of my listeners in Alaska, there is a deep, growing lack of trust. There is also disappointment.

Morale and inspiration have waned under past presidential administrations that elevated ego and power above service to Americans. From Obamacare to Middle East and European obligations, my listeners consistently convey a feeling of abandonment by national leaders.

Enter selfless advocates like Fred Fleitz and John Bolton, and suddenly a smidgen of hope is sprinkled on disillusionment. These guys have a backbone. Fleitz has taken a principled position on the Iran Nuclear program, siding with Bolton against the majority of the U.S. foreign policy establishment, arguing that the U.S. had to pull out of the fraudulent deal.

Fleitz took this stance even when other conservative advocacies knee-buckled and said stay in the horrific deal. He has been consistent on pulling out of the deal because it literally affords advancement of Iran’s nuclear program.

North Korea is no different. When our president, vice president, and foreign relations envoys are continuously disrespected by a communist regime in dire straits, it’s time to end negotiations until respect is shown. Fleitz is on board with a thoughtful, yet hardline approach to national security. It’s about time.

Here’s another reason why the Fleitz appointment is important: He was made for the job. The chief-of-staff and executive secretary position to the National Security Council is critically important because that appointee helps Mr. Bolton present the President with a full scope of well-argued policy options, which is something President Trump was not receiving under H.R. McMaster.

Cogent, researched national-security policy options are what the president expects from his management team — without success until now, under John Bolton’s leadership.

A president must know the risks, rewards, and resources to make the right decisions. A former CIA senior analyst of Fleitz’s pedigree is appropriate and sensible to promote our best interests.

Based on President Trump’s recent exemplary appointments like Secretary of State Pompeo and Mr. Bolton — and assuming the president and Bolton want the same for the National Security Council management — Fred Fleitz is the best choice.

His expertise, coupled with a history of bucking conventional wisdom when it is antithetical to American interests, falls in line with candidate Trump’s promise and commitment to his constituency.

What I’ve seen and heard in Fleitz is a professional who isn’t afraid of countering the swamp and the foreign policy establishment. If ever that matters, considering our interests being threatened abroad from Europe to Asia to the Middle East, it’s now.

Tom Anderson is a radio talk show host in Alaska and a former state representative.

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Also see:

Dave Bailey comments in his newsletter today:

The appointment of another anti-jihadist to a top White House post is even bigger news than it sounds at first…

Fleitz’s position prior to the White House was as a VP in Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy…

This is the very organization that blew the lid off of Gulftainer’s terrorist and Russian connections…

…when Gulftainer got a 35-year lease for Port Canaveral during the Obama maladministration…

Fleitz is sure to know all about Gulftainer…

…which significantly improves the likelihood that its Port of Wilmington deal will be rejected by the feds…

Keep your fingers crossed…   Dave