Iran deal architect is now running Tehran policy at the State Department

Conservative Review, by Jordan Schachtel, March 14, 2017:

A trusted Obama aide who once worked for an alleged Iranian regime lobbying group is one of the individuals in charge of Iran policy planning at the State Department under Secretary Rex Tillerson.

Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, the Iran director for former President Obama’s National Security Council (NSC), has burrowed into the government under President Trump. She’s now in charge of Iran and the Persian Gulf region on the policy planning staff at the State Department.

To make matters worse, Nowrouzzadeh is a former employee of the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC), a non-profit that is accused of being a lobbying group for the Iranian regime. NIAC’s current president, Trita Parsi, has long held close relationships with top officials in the Tehran dictatorship. In February, a group of over 100 prominent Iranian dissidents called for Congress to investigate NIAC’s ties to the Iranian regime.

One of Nowrouzzadeh’s primary duties under President Obama was to promote initiatives that pushed the Iran deal. As President Obama’s NSC director for Iran, Nowrouzzadeh sat in on high-level briefings along with President Obama, former VP Joe Biden, and former Secretary of State John Kerry, as top White House staff crafted false narratives on the Iran deal to sell to the American public.

According to the head of a state-run Iranian newspaper, Nowrouzzadeh was an essential element to pushing through the Iran deal. Editor-in-Chief Emad Abshenass said that she opened up a direct line of communication with the Iranian president’s brother. “She helped clear a number of contradictions and allowed the entire endeavor to succeed,” Abshenass said of her efforts.

Nowrouzzadeh’s advocacy for President Obama’s directives resulted in an agreement that has done enormous damage to the security interests of the United States and its allies. Iran, the world’s top sponsor of international terrorism, was gifted $150 billion dollars for agreeing to the deal. The deal will not restrict Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. In fact, the regime in Tehran may now have the operational capacity to deploy nuclear warheads within the next decade, according to expert estimates.

Towards the end of President Obama’s tenure, Nowrouzzadeh was embedded into the State Department and for a brief time served as its Persian language spokesperson.

In addition to Nowrouzzadeh, several other prominent Obama officials currently serve under Sec Tillerson at the State Department. A former John Kerry apprentice, Michael Ratney, occupies the Israeli-Palestinian portfolio there. Another trusted Obama aide, Yael Lempert, also serves under Tillerson on the same platform.

Why Secretary Tillerson has decided to keep on a chief Obama policy official remains unclear. The State Department did not return multiple requests for comment seeking additional information on Nowrouzzadeh’s role at the government agency.

Robert Spencer video: Why the State Department Swamp Is In Dire Need of Draining

Jihad Watch director Robert Spencer explains some of the key failed policies and analyses that the Trump administration State Department should jettison quickly and decisively.

Are US Intelligence Agencies Withholding Intelligence From President Trump?

Trump leaving the CIA headquarters with Michael Flynn after delivering remarks during a visit in Langley, Virginia, on January 21. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Trump leaving the CIA headquarters with Michael Flynn after delivering remarks during a visit in Langley, Virginia, on January 21. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Center for Security Policy, by Fred Fleitz, February 16, 2017:

According to a front page Wall Street Journal article today, U.S. intelligence officials have withheld sensitive intelligence from President Donald Trump because they are concerned it could be leaked or compromised.  The Journal story cited former and current intelligence officials.  If true, this would be a dangerous and unprecedented act of defiance by unelected intelligence officers.  The acting Director of National Intelligence denied this report.

I suspect this story is only partly true for several reasons.  While I believe there are a handful of Obama appointees who are making such claims, most intelligence officers would  never do this because they know they work for the president and such behavior would cost them their jobs.  I also question whether any intelligence officials who have had actual contact with the White House did this.  I believe this story is being driven by a blogger and former intelligence officer who, although he has a wide following, has a history of making far-fetched and conspiratorial claims.

What this story does represent is the urgency that the Trump administration get its appointees in place in intelligence agencies to ensure they perform their mission to provide the president with the intelligence he needs to keep our nation safe.  Trump officials also are urgently needed at State and the Pentagon.

Once Trump officials are in place and assert control over the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, CIA, DIA, State and DOD, there should be a sharp reduction in leaks and anti-Trump press stories like today’s Wall Street Journal article.

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LISTEN TO TODAY’S SECURE FREEDOM PODCAST ON THE DEEP STATE

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FAKE NEWS: MEDIA LIES ABOUT STATE DEPT OFFICIALS “FLEEING” TRUMP

dan-rather-document-investigation

Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, January 26, 2016:

There are a bunch of media pieces like this. I picked this one because its headline and opening push a narrative that is completely discredited by its closing paragraphs. The narrative is that State Department officials are “fleeing” Trump. The reality is that political appointees were asked to resign.

Here we go.

There’s an ‘ongoing mass exodus’ at the State Department of people who don’t want to work for Trump

Senior officials are fleeing the State Department in the first days of President Donald Trump’s administration, according to The Washington Post.

Patrick Kennedy, the State Department’s undersecretary for management, and three of his top officials resigned abruptly recently, The Post reported. All are career diplomats who have served under presidents from both parties.

Two other senior leaders in the State Department left earlier this month. Post columnist Josh Rogin characterized it as an “ongoing mass exodus of senior foreign service officers who don’t want to stick around for the Trump era.”

David Wade, who was the State Department’s chief of staff under Secretary of State John Kerry, told The Post that it’s “the single biggest simultaneous departure of institutional memory that anyone can remember.”

…cut to the ending

State Department spokesman Mark Toner responded to the Post story with a statement characterizing resignations during a transition in administration as normal.

“As is standard with every transition, the outgoing administration, in coordination with the incoming one, requested all politically appointed officers submit letters of resignation,” he said in the stateme

“While this appears to be a large turnover in a short period of time, a change of administration always brings personnel changes, and there is nothing unusual about rotations or retirements in the Foreign Service,” the statement said. “Indeed, both are essential to the development of a steady stream of experienced leaders ready to assume critical roles at State.”

Here’s Matt Lee trying his best to educate the media:

Don’t worry. FactCheck will still rate it as Mostly True. Snopes will make assorted noises that sound like they mean something. Because our media is all Fake News, all the time.

Remember all that stuff we said at the beginning. It’s a bunch of fake news.

Instead of a “mass exodus” of desperate State refugees fleeing Trump, a handful of political appointees were told to resign. Patrick Kennedy, one of the more prominent of the bunch, had lobbied to keep his job.

Also see:

TRUMP FIRES HILLARY’S BENGHAZI FIXER

benghazi-master1050

Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, January 26, 2017:

The mainstream media’s fake news operation is predictably spinning this as principled resignations by public officials who couldn’t stand the idea of working under Trump. Except that Patrick Kennedy, the biggest fish being forced out, had reportedly been begging to keep his job. These were resignations in name only. They were actually firings.

Thomas Shannon remains the United States’ acting secretary of state, but Foggy Bottom has lost its entire senior management team. President Donald Trump reportedly ordered these moves in an effort to “clean house.”

CNN reports the administration told four senior State Department officials that their services were no longer needed. The Washington Post characterized the departures as “sudden.”

Among those who are out include State’s long-serving undersecretary of management, Patrick Kennedy. He is reported to have been lobbying to keep his job. Other top officials who are no longer working at State include: Joyce Anne Barr, Gentry O. Smith and Michelle Bond. All three are career foreign service officers who have served under both Democratic and Republican administrations.

Lydia Muniz, director of the bureau of overseas building operations, was asked to depart as well, CNN reports.

“It’s the single biggest simultaneous departure of institutional memory that anyone can remember, and that’s incredibly difficult to replicate,” said David Wade, who served as Secretary John Kerry’s chief of staff.

Good and good riddance. Here’s a refresher on Patrick Kennedy from Paul Mirengoff at Powerline.

Patrick Kennedy, the State Department official who tried to get the FBI to change email classifications in exchange for helping the FBI meet its staffing needs in Bagdhad, is what they used to call a “fixer.” ..

Kennedy was at fault for the poor security at Benghazi. Gregory Hicks, the State Department’s charge d’affaires in Libya, testified before Congress that “given the decision-making that Under Secretary Pat Kennedy was making with respect to Embassy Tripoli and Consulate Benghazi operations, he has to bear some responsibility” for the Benghazi terror attack.

As Clinton’s fixer, it was only natural that Kennedy assist the Clinton Foundation. The Washington Examiner reports that Kennedy was involved in pushing plans for a new $177.9 million embassy in Norway in 2011 over the apparent objections of diplomatic officials in Oslo. Norway’s government has donated between $10 million and $25 million to the Clinton Foundation, donor records show.

Kennedy also helped fix it so that Brian Pagliano, the man in charge of Hillary’s home-brew email server, got a job at the State Department

And then there was this outrageous moment.

According to FBI interview summaries set to be released in the coming days. Patrick Kennedy, the undersecretary of state for management, discussed providing additional overseas slots for the FBI in exchange for revisions to classifications of the sensitive emails.

One email in particular concerned Kennedy and, according to the FBI summary, providing a B9 exemption “would allow him to archive the document in the basement of the department of state never to be seen again.” The FBI official told Kennedy that he would look into the email if Kennedy would authorize a pending request for additional FBI personnel in Iraq.

A summary of an interview with the section chief of the FBI records management division provides further evidence of Kennedy’s attempts to have the classification of some sensitive emails changed. The FBI records official, whose job includes making determinations on classification, told investigators that he was approached by his colleague in international operations after the initial discussion with Kennedy. The FBI records official says that his colleague “pressured” him to declassify an email “in exchange for a quid pro quo,” according to the interview summary. “In exchange for making the email unclassified State would reciprocate by allowing the FBI to place more agents in countries where they are presently forbidden.” The request was denied.

In the days that followed, the FBI records official attended an “all-agency” meeting at the State Department to discuss the ongoing “classification review of pending Clinton FOIA materials.” One of the participants at the meeting asked Kennedy whether any of the emails were classified. Kennedy purposely looked at the FBI records chief and then replied: “Well, we’ll see.”

Kennedy shouldn’t just be fired. He should be on trial. But hopefully the investigation of Hillary’s actions will continue.

 

State Department freezes Obama’s $221m gift to Palestinians

President-elect Donald Trump smiles as he arrives to speak at an election night rally, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

President-elect Donald Trump smiles as he arrives to speak at an election night rally, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

WIN, January 25, 2017:

The Trump administration has frozen Obama’s parting gift to the the Palestinians.

Former US President Barack Obama, in his waning hours, quietly released $221 million to the Palestinian Authority (PA), which Congress had been blocking.

The Trump administration announced it is freezing the move.

The State Department is reviewing the last-minute decision by former Secretary of State John Kerry to send $221 million dollars to the Palestinians.

Kerry formally notified Congress that State would release the money Friday morning, just hours before President Donald Trump took the oath of office.

The funds — supposedly intended for reconstruction in Gaza and good governance programs for the Palestinian Authority — were being blocked by at least two Republican lawmakers— Ed Royce (R-CA), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Kay Granger (R-TX), who sits on the House Appropriations Committee — in response to Palestinian attempts to join international organizations, from which it intended to launch more international campaigns against Israel and before a peace deal with Israel.

Such holds are generally respected but are not legally binding.

When asked about the transfer by a reporter during Tuesday’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that “[Trump] is very concerned about how taxpayer money is spent, whether it’s sent overseas and what we get for it in terms of the relationship or our support for a democracy or aid to another country for their defenses. But he’s going to be examining all aspects of the budget… He’s going to make sure that every deal, every dollar that is spent by the government is done in a way that respects the American taxpayer.”

By: AP and World Israel News Staff

Bin Laden’s Millennial Son Designated a Terrorist by U.S.

Osama bin Laden and Hamza bin Laden

Osama bin Laden and Hamza bin Laden

PJ Media, by Bridget Johnson, January 5, 2017:

WASHINGTON — The State Department has designated and sanctioned Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza as a global terrorist.

Hamza, who is in his mid-20s and bin Laden’s eleventh son, has been rallying millennials to jihad in audio messages over the past several months.

“The followers of the thought of Sheikh Osama, may Allah have mercy on him, which is represented by targeting the head of global disbelief that supports the Jews, have increased in number within a decade and a half, and became double in number,” Hamza bin Laden said in a July message.

“If you think that your sinful crime that you committed in Abbottabad has passed without punishment, then you thought wrong,” he added, referring to the U.S. raid in which his father was killed. “What is correct is coming to you, and its punishment is severe.”

Al-Qaeda senior leader Ayman al-Zawahiri announced on Aug. 14, 2015, that Hamza was an official member of the terror group.

Since then, bin Laden has called for “open-source jihad,” as al-Qaeda calls lone jihad, attacks against Washington, Paris and Israel. This year Hamza has also called on Saudi tribes to unite with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to wage war against Saudi Arabia.

“Today’s action notifies the U.S. public and the international community that Hamza bin Laden is actively engaged in terrorism,” the State Department said. “Designations of terrorist individuals and groups expose and isolate organizations and individuals, and result in denial of access to the U.S. financial system. Moreover, designations can assist or complement the law enforcement actions of other U.S. agencies and other governments.”

The department also issued a terrorist designation against Ibrahim al-Banna, an Egyptian AQAP leader who previously led Islamic Jihad in Yemen before becoming AQAP’s security chief. A $5 million reward is on his head.

Also see: