State Dept. Hosts Muslim Brotherhood Coalition

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, Aug. 14, 2017:

Islamist groups still have an open door to the State Department under Secretary Tillerson. A coalition of Muslim Brotherhood groups is boasting that it was granted a visit to the department to provide their perspective on the Temple Mount crisis.

The U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) is an umbrella of Islamist extremist groups that was formed in 2014 so they can operate as a single body. The U.S. Muslim Brotherhood had been hoping to achieve such unification since at least 1991 when the Brotherhood expressed this desire in a secret memo uncovered by federal investigators.

Most of the groups in the USCMO are listed by the Brotherhood as being fronts for its “Islamic Movement” in America. The memo described “their work in America as a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within.”

The USCMO says it met with State Department officials to influence them to pressure Israel. As documented by the Clarion Project, USCMO and other Islamists in America are lying about the recent Temple Mount crisis.

The coalition said it discussed “Israel’s denial of religious freedom in Jerusalem.” USCMO was pleased with the reception it got from the State Department, saying it was “encouraged by the constructive dialogue.”

Secretary of State Tillerson opposes designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and has been siding with Qatar, contradicting President Trump in the process. Qatar is spending hand over fist to hire lobbyists, particularly former Trump campaign officials.

The USCMO organizations represented at the meeting included the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Circle of North AmericaAmerican Muslims for Palestine, the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California and the Muslim Ummah of North America.

The Justice Department says CAIR is an entity of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and designated it as an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation, another Brotherhood entity convicted for financing Hamas. ICNA’s own texts show its subversive radical agenda.

The representative at the State Department meeting for the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, Muzammil Siddiqi, said in 1996 that Muslim involvement in U.S. should be geared towards establishing theocratic sharia (Islamic) law everywhere. Siddiqi used to be the president of the Islamic Society of North America, another group that was designated as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land trial and listed as a Brotherhood entity.

As for AMP, some of its officials previously served with the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s pro-Hamas Palestine Committee. Congressional testimony in 2016 pointed out the “significant overlap between AMP and people who worked for or on behalf of organizations that were designated, dissolved or held civilly liable by federal authorities for supporting Hamas.”

Perhaps the strongest evidence linking USCMO to the Brotherhood is the fact that it enlisted a known member of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood for its political efforts in Illinois named Sabri Samirah. The Jordanian Brotherhood is very radical and linked to Hamas. Samirah used to be the chairman of a now-defunct Hamas front in the U.S., the Islamic Association for Palestine.

The U.S. government was concerned enough about him to ban him from coming back to the U.S. from Jordan in 2003, even though he lived in America as a non-citizen since 1987. The U.S. government revoked his work visa in 1999 and denied his appeal in 2001. He then lied on his application for residency.  He was permitted to return in 2014.

Other radical organizations in the USCMO coalition include the Muslim Alliance in North AmericaMuslim American Society, the Muslim Legal Fund of America, the Mosque Foundation, the American Muslim Alliance, Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, the Islamic Society of Boston and the North American Imams Federation.

Its board is full of Islamists from these organizations. One is Siraj Wahhaj, the radical imam of the Masjid Taqwa mosque in New York. Another is Mazen Mokhtar, who was jailed on charges related to tax fraud (but whose indictment laid out his connections to terrorism). Mokhtar has declared support for Hamas and suicide bombings and ran a website that helped fundraise for Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

USCMO is an ally of the Islamist government of Turkey. Another member is the Turkish American Cultural Society. In September, it hosted Turkish President Erdogan and the USCMO president was there to show his “respect and love” to Erdogan. Erdogan is now essentially a dictator and state sponsor of terrorism, particularly of Hamas and the Brotherhood.

USCMO is openly supportive of Erdogan. In 2015, the coalition took a stand against Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. One USCMO member, the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, promoted a rally on that same exact day to thank Erdogan for supporting the Brotherhood.

The Center for Security Policy has published a comprehensive study of the USCMO’s links to Islamic extremism and terrorism, including the Brotherhood and Hamas.

It is not known who USCMO met with at the State Department or what vetting process took place (if any).

This story is the latest in a series about concerning developments within the Trump Administration.

Major danger signs for Israel are emerging, particularly from the State Department and National Security Adviser McMaster.

It is also concerning that the Department of Homeland Security praised CAIR in a letter in May, with the author claiming it was written at the behest of then-Secretary of Homeland Security Kelly, who is now Trump’s chief of staff.

Hopefully, the attribution to Kelly was just a consequence of standard procedure, but that still wouldn’t excuse Kelly from failing to change DHS policy towards CAIR during his six months there. However, CAIR’s condemnation of Kelly is an encouraging sign.

The Trump Administration is still young and many positions are still not filled. Almost one-third of senior State Department spots are still empty. And as the strike on a Syrian airbase showed and multiple firings have shown, the administration is very capable of rapid changes. These problems don’t have to be permanent. 

The Trump Administration needs an across-the-board education in these matters and oversight by those who understand Islamism so problematic policies, processes and personnel can be identified. Reviewing this meeting with the USCMO would be a good place to start.

Tillerson’s State Department hosts CAIR, radical Islamic groups

OPEN SUPPORTERS OF HAMAS TERROR GROUP MEET WITH STATE OFFICIALS.

Conservative Review, by Jordan Schachtel, Aug. 10, 2017:

The Council on American Islamic Relations, a Hamas-tied Muslim Brotherhood front group, met with officials from the State Department Thursday to discuss the ongoing situation in Jerusalem, the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) posted online.

The delegation was brought together by an umbrella conglomerate of Islamist outfits known as the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO). They went to the State Dept. to discuss the “ongoing Al-Aqsa Mosque crisis and Israel’s denial of religious freedom in Jerusalem, which is holy to the three Abrahamic faiths,” the AMP website said.

In July, Palestinian terrorists stormed outside the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and assassinated two Israeli police officers, setting off a diplomatic firestorm that would result in Israel securing the facility with metal detectors (which would later be removed due to international pressure).

Represented at the meeting included a CAIR official and members of other suspected Muslim Brotherhood front groups, such as the Islamic Circle of North America and the Islamic Shura Council of North America.

The delegation included Osama Abu Irshaid, a leader at AMP and an open supporter of Hamas. Terrorism expert Steven Emerson reported that he once served as the editor of “Al-Zaitounah” periodical, which Emerson describes as “pro-Hamas propaganda.”

Emerson has compared AMP as a whole to a “Hamas-support network” that mimics the Hamas-funding organizations that federal prosecutors shut down during the George W. Bush administration.

Another member of the delegation, Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, once called for Islamic law to dominate the world, declaring: “Allah’s rules have to be established in all lands, and all our efforts should lead to that direction.”

Oussama Jamal of USCMO, another member of the group, has accused the U.S. government of promoting a “Zionist agenda.” After the 9/11 attacks, he pondered, “How certain are we that it was Arabs who were behind it?”

As Rex Tillerson’s underlings and colleagues welcome the aforementioned radicals, he has thus far successfully blocked efforts to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. In June, Tillerson falsely claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood has moderated itself by “renouncing violence.” Far from renouncing violence, Muslim Brotherhood leaders continue to call for “open jihad” against perceived enemies.

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

State Department Officials Quitting Over “Complete and Utter Disdain for our Expertise”

Front Page Magazine, by Robert Spencer, Aug. 3, 2017:

The New York Times reported last Friday that “an exodus is underway” in the State Department. The Times didn’t think this was good news; it gave space to one career diplomat who lamented that there was “complete and utter disdain for our expertise.”

This could be the best news to come out of Washington since the Trump administration took office.

We can only hope that with the departure of these failed State Department officials, their failed policies will be swept out along with them. Chief among these is the almost universally held idea that poverty causes terrorism. The United States has wasted uncounted (literally, because a great deal of it was in untraceable bags full of cash) billions of dollars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Egypt, and other countries in the wrongheaded assumption that Muslims turn to jihad because they lack economic opportunities and education. American officials built schools and hospitals, thinking that they were winning over the hearts and minds of the locals.

Fifteen years, thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars later, no significant number of hearts and minds have been won. This is partly because the premise is wrong. The New York Times reported in March that “not long after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001…Alan B. Krueger, the Princeton economist, tested the widespread assumption that poverty was a key factor in the making of a terrorist. Mr. Krueger’s analysis of economic figures, polls, and data on suicide bombers and hate groups found no link between economic distress and terrorism.”

CNS News noted in September 2013 that “according to a Rand Corporation report on counterterrorism, prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense in 2009, ‘Terrorists are not particularly impoverished, uneducated, or afflicted by mental disease. Demographically, their most important characteristic is normalcy (within their environment). Terrorist leaders actually tend to come from relatively privileged backgrounds.’ One of the authors of the RAND report, Darcy Noricks, also found that according to a number of academic studies, ‘Terrorists turn out to be more rather than less educated than the general population.’”

Yet the analysis that poverty causes terrorism has been applied and reapplied and reapplied again. The swamp is in dire need of draining, and in other ways as well. From 2011 on, it was official Obama administration policy to deny any connection between Islam and terrorism. This came as a result of an October 19, 2011 letter from Farhana Khera of Muslim Advocates to John Brennan, who was then the Assistant to the President on National Security for Homeland Security and Counter Terrorism, and later served in the Obama administration as head of the CIA. The letter was signed not just by Khera, but by the leaders of virtually all the significant Islamic groups in the United States: 57 Muslim, Arab, and South Asian organizations, many with ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Muslim American Society (MAS), the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Islamic Relief USA; and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).

The letter denounced what it characterized as U.S. government agencies’ “use of biased, false and highly offensive training materials about Muslims and Islam.” Despite the factual accuracy of the material about which they were complaining, the Muslim groups demanded that the task force “purge all federal government training materials of biased materials”; “implement a mandatory re-training program for FBI agents, U.S. Army officers, and all federal, state and local law enforcement who have been subjected to biased training”; and moreto ensure that all that law enforcement officials would learn about Islam and jihad would be what the signatories wanted them to learn.

Numerous books and presentations that gave a perfectly accurate view of Islam and jihad were removed from coounterterror training. Today, even with Trump as President, this entrenched policy of the U.S. government remains, and ensures that all too many jihadists simply cannot be identified as risks, since the officials are bound as a matter of policy to ignore what in saner times would be taken as warning signs. Trump and Tillerson must reverse this. Trump has spoken often about the threat from “radical Islamic terrorism”; he must follow through and remove the prohibitions on allowing agents to study and understand the motivating ideology behind the jihad threat.

The swamp needs draining indeed. This news from the State Department, and the New York Times’ grief over it, are good signs that the U.S. is on its way back on dry land.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Free Speech (and Its Enemies). Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

Secretary of State Shills for Muslim Brotherhood, Qatar

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro and Martin Mawyer, July 25, 2017:

The Trump Administration still hasn’t designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization as it was expected to do. Designation falls under the purview of Secretary of State Tillerson, who has chosen the Muslim Brotherhood and its backers in Qatar and Turkey over their Arab rivals.

Tillerson recently signaled his opposition to designating the Muslim Brotherhood in mid-June. He only has negative things to say about the idea.

His main point is that the Brotherhood’s political parties have representatives in governments like those in Bahrain and Turkey. That is irrelevant. If it was such a problem, Bahrain itself wouldn’t have banned the Brotherhood and the U.S. wouldn’t be dealing with the Lebanese government that has Hezbollah in it, which is designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

Tillerson also repeated the “non-violent” and “moderate” Muslim Brotherhood propaganda. He claimed that the Brotherhood’s political parties in governments “have become so by renouncing violence and terrorism.” That was false when the Obama Administration said it, and it is false now.

The disappointment in Tillerson’s position is made exponentially greater by the fact that now is an optimum time to designate the group.

The Arab world is putting unprecedented pressure on Qatar over its support of the Brotherhood and other jihadists in the Islamist swarm. Muslim foes of the Brotherhood are left wondering where the U.S.stands because Trump and Tillerson aren’t on the same page.

Counter-terrorism expert Patrick Poole goes so far as to assert that Tillerson is “sabotaging” Trump’s foreign policy and urges his departure from the administration.

While President Trump expressed his support for the Arab measures against Qatar and unequivocally described Qatar as a major terrorism-financier, Tillerson did the opposite. He described Qatar as “very reasonable” in its reaction to the Arabs’ pressure.

His spokesperson read a scripted statement accusing the Arab states of having ulterior motives, saying the U.S. is “mystified” by their complaints. The State Department even cast doubt on the credibility of the Arabs’ accusations, claiming that they haven’t provided supporting details. Qatar’s lavish sponsorship of terrorism and extremism is uncontestable.

As Poole documents, far from offering support for those Arab states opposing Qatar, Tillerson publicly made moves towards Qatar’s Turkish allies and increased criticism of Qatar’s Saudi adversaries. The Trump Administration also agreed to sell up to 36 fighter jets to Qatar right after the Arabs began their campaign.

Tillerson even signed a counter-terrorism agreement with Qatar, spitting in the faces of the Arab countries fed up with Qatar’s repeated breaking of its promises to change its behavior. Immediately after signing the deal, Qatar reiterated its firm commitment to Hamas (and therefore, the broader Muslim Brotherhoodorganization of which it is an official branch).

Tillerson’s Ties to Qatar

People are inevitably influenced by those they surround themselves with, especially if that interaction is lucrative. Perhaps Tillerson’s favoring of Qatar has something to do with the close relationship he had with the Qatari government as a businessman with ExxonMobil, which has a decades-long association with the rulers.

ExxonMobil was a founding member of the U.S.-Qatar Business Council in 1996, an entity created by the Qatari regime. Tillerson was a senior official at the time. Another listed founding member is Al-Jazeera, the jihadist-friendly propaganda network run by Qatar and the Brotherhood. One of the Arab states’ top demands is the closure of the network headquartered in Doha.

After becoming chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, Tillerson became a member of the U.S.-Qatar Business Council’s advisory board. He apparently held this position up until when he became Secretary of State, as his name is still listed with that title on the website.

The Vice President of ExxonMobil Production’s name is currently listed as a member of the Council’s board of directors. Al-Jazeera officials also appear on the advisory board and board of directors.

The organization’s website says that the U.S.-Qatar Business Council “played a major role in the formation of Qatar Foundation International (U.S.-based).” The Qatar Foundation headquartered in Doha is a major promoter of Islamist extremism, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, including Islamists in America.

When the Arab campaign against Qatar began, the Qataris immediately began utilizing their contacts to try to win the State Department over. It deployed its lobbyists in America and they had leverage: The West’s three biggest energy companies, including ExxonMobil, were trying to strike a deal with the Qatari government for expanding liquified natural gas production.

But Qatar isn’t the only country working aggressively to influence U.S. foreign policy in a direction favorable to the Muslim Brotherhood. Turkey’s government is also leading the Islamist charge.

Tillerson’s Ties to Turkey

ExxonMobil is a member of the U.S.-Turkish Business Council. The chairman is Ekin Alptekin, the very same Turkish businessman at the center of the controversy with President Trump’s former National Security Adviser, General Michael Flynn.

Alptekin’s company had a $600,000 contract with Flynn to promote the Erdogan government’s interests. Flynn’s firm registered as a lobbyist but did not register as a foreign agent. The Justice Department’s National Security Division began an investigation last November. Flynn registered as a foreign agent of Turkey after he was fired and replaced by General H.R. McMaster.

We do not currently know of direct dealings between Tillerson and Alptekin, but ExxonMobil’s involvement in the U.S.-Turkish Business Council highlights how his prior relationship with the Turkish government may influence his behavior.

At a time when Erdogan has few defenders, the Islamist dictator finds a supporter in Tillerson.

On July 9, Tillerson traveled to Istanbul to receive an award from the World Petroleum Congress. There, he heaped praise upon those who defended Erdogan against a coup attempt last year, going so far as to describe the Islamist government as a democracy. He said:

“Nearly a year ago, the Turkish people – brave men and women – stood up against coup plotters and defended their democracy. I take this moment to recognize their courage and honor the victims of the events of July 15, 2016. It was on that day that the Turkish people exercised their rights under the Turkish constitution, defended their place in a prosperous Turkey, and we remember those who were injured or died in that event.”

Tillerson doesn’t defend Erdogan in all circumstances, as he did condemn the Turkish security personnel who attacked protesters in Washington D.C. in May. But that’s not exactly a bold stand; it’s something that any public official would condemn.

When it comes to the tough issues, Tillerson has sided with Qatar and Turkey, even when it contradicts the commander-in-chief who picked him for secretary of state.

On designating the Muslim Brotherhood, Tillerson sides with Qatar and Turkey

When the Arab states piled unprecedented pressure on Qatar for its sponsorship of terrorism and extremism including the Brotherhood and Hamas, Tillerson sided with Qatar and Turkey.

When it comes to last year’s coup in Turkey, Tillerson sided unequivocally with Erdogan’s Islamist dictatorship. He didn’t even necessarily have to talk about it during his visit to Istanbul. He chose to.

When it comes to the Kurds, our best allies in fighting ISIS, Tillerson’s State Department sided with Turkey in criticizing the Iraqi Kurds’ referendum on independent statehood. It also implied opposition to Kurdish independence, reacting to the referendum with a statement in support of a “united” and “federal” Iraq.

Political analysts always say that Trump was elected because people wanted change from an outsider. Tillerson is not bringing change. When it comes to Islamism, it’s the same-old same-old. Possibly worse.

Also see:

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State Department Lawyers Removing References to ISIS ‘Genocide’ Against Christians, Other Religious Minorities

Yazidi refugees carry their belongings in Diyarbakir, southeastern Turkey, as they change their refugee camp / Getty Images

Washington Free Beacon, by Susan Crabtree, July 25, 2017:

The State Department’s top lawyers are systematically removing the word “genocide” to describe the Islamic State’s mass slaughter of Christians, Yazidis, and other ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria from speeches before they are delivered and other official documents, according to human rights activists and attorneys familiar with the policies.

Additionally, Democratic senators are delaying confirmation of Mark Green, Trump’s pick to head the U.S. Agency for International Development who has broad bipartisan support.

These efforts guarantee that Obama-era policies that worked to exclude Iraq’s Christian and other minority religious populations from key U.S. aid programs remain in place, the activists said.

Richard Visek, who was appointed by President Obama as head the State Department’s Office of Legal Adviser in October 2016, is behind the decision to remove the word “genocide” from official documents, according to Nina Shea, an international human rights lawyer who directs the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom.

“I don’t think for a minute it’s a bureaucratic decision—it’s ideological,” said Shea, who also spent 12 years as a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, or CIRF, from 1999 to 2012.

A State Department spokesman on Monday said he would look into the matter and respond.

The latest moves from the State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser appear aimed at rolling back then-Secretary of State John Kerry’s March 2016 genocide determination. Kerry’s much-anticipated genocide designation came after months of equivocation and detailed documentation by interested parties that the Islamic State is responsible for genocide against Yazidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims.

It was one of the few times in history that the United States designated ongoing mass murders against ethnic or religious minorities as meeting the legal definition of genocide laid out in a 1948 treaty. That agreement requires signatories, including the United States, to take steps to “prevent and punish” genocide.

A bipartisan group of Capitol Hill lawmakers and activists, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and Rep. Robert Aderholt (R., Ala.) were hoping the designation would help direct millions of dollars in U.S. relief funds to Christian, Yazidi, and other persecuted religious minority communities.

ISIS murders and kidnappings have decimated the Christian population in Iraq, which numbered between 800,000 and 1.4 million in 2002, reducing it to fewer than 250,000 now. Without action, activists and charities say, Christians could disappear completely from Iraq in the near future.

After meeting with Pope Francis in May, President Trump vowed to do everything in his power to defend and protect the “historic Christian communities of the Middle East.”

Activists and Catholic leaders are now calling on Trump to turn the rhetoric into action on the ground and help get U.S. aid to these persecuted communities trying to rebuild their homes and their lives in Iraq.

These advocates want the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the United Nations to allow church groups and other religious-affiliated relief organizations to receive government aid, a practice prohibited during the Obama administration.

In early May, Congress allocated more than $1.3 billion in funds for refugee assistance and included specific language to try to ensure that at least some of the money is used to assist persecuted religious minorities, including Christians, Yazidis, and Shia Muslims—all groups the State Department deemed victims of genocide in 2016.

Nevertheless, only $10 million is specifically earmarked for Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities. The Trump administration has until the end of September, when the stop-gap funding bill runs out, to ensure it distributes the funds in the most effective way.

“There is congressional legislation … that calls for the U.S. government to stop excluding the genocide-targeted minorities in Iraq,” Shea said. “This has been a pervasive problem that this aid has not been getting to them.”

“Iraq is home to one of the four largest remaining Christian communities in the Middle East that are about to become extinct,” she said. “Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama made catastrophic mistakes that left these communities on the brink of extinction, but it’s going to be on President Trump’s watch as to whether they survive or become extinct—it’s going to be his policies that make or break the situation.”

Instead of going through Iraqi government agencies or other internationally recognized groups, activists say the best way to get the aid to Christians and other persecuted minorities is through local Iraqi Catholic dioceses and parishes and other religious organizations, such as the Knights of Columbus, which have spent years on the ground working with these communities.

The money would be specifically designated for relief efforts for these persecuted communities and could not be used for other purposes, such as church-building or more general church operations.

Groups say the special allocation is needed because Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities often do not go to Muslim-dominated refugee camps out of fear they will be targeted, killed, or kidnapped.

After the Iraqi army retook Mosul from the Islamic State with the help of U.S. forces, much international attention has focused on helping rebuild the Sunni community so that ISIS cannot regain its influence there through sleeper cells or other supportive Islamic terrorist groups.

Shea said Christians will also play a key role in stabilizing the area in and around Mosul if they have enough aid to rebuild their homes in the area and other parts of Northern Iraq.

They could also combat Iran’s colonization of northern Iraq, where pro-Iranian militias are buying up Christian land in the area to try to broaden their influence.

“Christians and Yazidis need to be able to go back to their towns just to hold them—it’s a big national security priority for the U.S.,” she said.

#Rexit. Is it time for Tillerson to go?

State Department | Flickr

Conservative Review, by Jordan  Shachtel, July 24, 2017:

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has failed to accomplish the founding mission of the U.S. Department of State, and his solutions to fix the bureaucratic apparatus will do little or nothing to repair the broken institution. To fix the State Department, its highest-ranking official must reestablish its founding goal of preserving and protecting American interests abroad. But in order to complete that objective successfully, the diplomatic institution needs a leader who can identify what those interests are and how to properly advance them.

It’s not an efficiency problem

The secretary of state wants to remake his department into a fine-tuned machine that gets maximal value out of the government agency. Tillerson has hired two prominent consulting firms to help him restructure the organization. In an interview with The New York Times, Tillerson confided that he believes the State Department is not calibrated to an appropriate level. “It’s largely not a highly disciplined organization, decision-making is fragmented and sometimes people don’t want to take decisions; coordination is difficult through the interagency,” Tillerson said of his department in the interview. While it’s hard to argue against auditing and restructuring a low-functioning State Department, critiques of Foggy Bottom hardly start or end with complaints about the efficiency of the institution. Through the years, the State Department has lost touch with its fundamental mission to advance the interests of the United States. Instead of promoting American values, the department continues as an institution that preaches moral relativism. Instead of advancing American interests, State protects the status quo. Instead of coming up with new approaches to preserve the American mission, State hangs on to old ideas that lack the power to advance our interests.

Morally and intellectually bankrupt

Tillerson has failed to identify the most pressing issue with the State Department: its moral and intellectual bankruptcy.

Today’s State Department seemingly can’t tell the difference between the good guys and the bad guys. All too often, its leaders fail to recognize, or understand, what motivates the bad guys to do bad things. They fail to distinguish between our allies and our adversaries. And the department cannot define what is and is not in the interests of the United States.

The State Department under Tillerson seems to engage in diplomacy for the sake of diplomacy. In recent weeks, there seemed to be no particular goal or agenda advanced as a result of the actions taken by top department heads.

Arguably, the most pressing issue of Tillerson’s diplomatic tenure involves the ongoing crisis in the Gulf. America’s Gulf allies are putting extensive pressure on the rogue nation of Qatar to end its terrorist financing. They’ve made demands upon the leaders at Doha — such as asking them to stop dealing with Iran and Turkey and terrorist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda — that align quite well with American interests. Nonetheless, Tillerson has decided to engage in endless rounds of “shuttle diplomacy” without a particular agenda in mind other than to resolve the dispute for the sake of resolving disputes. Tillerson has even gone as far as to demand that our allies back off of their pressure campaign against the terror-friendly Qatar, where the former ExxonMobil CEO has extensive ties.

State has taken a morally absent approach to resolving the most recent Islamic supremacist flare-up against Israel. Last week, an Arab terrorist gunned down two Israeli policemen in the old city of Jerusalem, forcing Israel to take extra security measures and install metal detectors outside the famous Al-Aqsa mosque. Islamic radicals responded by rioting and targeting Israel and its Jewish population, resulting in the brutal killing of a Jewish family and other acts of horrific Islamic violence. Instead of standing by America’s closest Middle East ally, the State Department went to social media and released the vacuous statement: “Violence is not the answer to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

In the debate over whether to recertify the Iran deal, Tillerson was reported as a proponent for recertification. But when top White House officials confronted Tillerson, challenging him and asking why he chose to support recertification, the secretary of state had no answer for his executive branch colleagues.

Replenishing the Swamp

Tillerson has failed to make good on President Trump’s campaign promise to “drain the swamp” of the Washington establishment in his department. The State Department is notorious as a place for fringe leftists who fail to prioritize American interests. Unfortunately, those Obama- and Clinton-friendly staffers remain embedded in the State Department’s highest-ranking positions. State Department holdovers include officials who are publicly mocking the current president on social media, a man who lied to the American people about the “merits” of the Iran deal, and a man described as “the Iran deal czar,” who consistently advocated for a pro-Tehran posture. Shockingly, Tillerson has taskedtwo of the State Department’s biggest Iran deal proponents — Stephen Mull and Chris Backemeyer — with verifying Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal.

And instead of evacuating Foggy Bottom of the ideologue leftists in its ranks, Tillerson went to bat for them, sometimes going to the president personally to protect their positions, according to reports.

An early exit?

Given Tillerson’s failure to reform the State Department into an “America-first” agency that promotes U.S. interests abroad and stands with our allies, it might not come as a surprise that the secretary of state is reportedly pondering an early exit from government service. Sources close to Tillerson are speculating that a “Rexit” may come sooner rather than later.

Tillerson has failed to drain the swamp at Foggy Bottom. But that doesn’t mean that the next man (or woman) up can’t tackle the bureaucratic establishment there. President Trump needs a secretary of state who understands the State Department’s founding vision of ferociously protecting and advancing American interests, morals, and values throughout the world.

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

Also see:

Letter to Sec. of State Tillerson is plea to keep Refugee Program at State Department

Refugee Resettlement Watch, by Ann Corcoran, July 18, 2017:

Some of you asked me what I think of the idea floated by the Trump team to move the US Refugee Admissions Program from the State Department to the Dept. of Homeland Security.  This letter helped me decide!

If these are the supporters for keeping it at the DOS, then I vigorously support moving it!

The letter reported  by the Washington Post here yesterday was spearheaded by none other than Eric Schwartz (the Soros protege who is now heading Refugees Internationalsee here).  It is also signed by eight of the nine federal refugee contractors*** who have over the years established a cozy relationship with the bureaucrats at State. They are counted among the 58 “foreign policy experts.”

In fact there are 40 ‘experts’ and then 18 non-profit open borders activist groups.

Experts include Anne Richard (see our extensive archive here) and Ellen Sauerbrey (don’t miss this 2007 post!).  Both are former Asst. Secretaries of State for Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM). Sauerbrey, from Maryland, ran the refugee program for several years under George W. Bush.

Here is the WaPo on the letter (hat tip: Joanne):

A group of prominent foreign policy experts on Monday called on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to keep the office responsible for managing refu­gee inflows a part of the State Department instead of moving it to the Department of Homeland Security.

Last month, a leaked memo showed the administration contemplating a relocation of the Bureau of Population Refugees and Migration. Such a change, says a letter signed by 58 former diplomats and national security advisers, would adversely shift the bureau’s focus from humanitarian and policy concerns to solely security issues.

“We are convinced that the elimination of PRM’s assistance functions would have profound and negative implications for the Secretary of State’s capacity to influence policy issues of key concern to the United States,” the letter states. “It would also be ironic, as this is one of the bureaus at State that has enjoyed strong bipartisan support over many years.”

The signatories include former officials who served in Republican and Democratic administrations, as well executives from numerous religious and humanitarian organizations that work with newly arrived refugees.

[….]

Eric Schwartz, the president of Refugees International who helped organize the letter sent to Tillerson, said DHS plays an important role in security screening. But he said it does not focus on foreign policy considerations, such as support for host countries where refugees are awaiting admissions and encouraging other nations to take in more displaced people.  [Why is it our job to nag other countries?—ed]

See the letter by clicking here.

Your homework assignment for today is to write to Trump and tell him you like the idea of breaking up the cozy cabal at the DOS by moving the US Refugee Admissions Program to the Dept.of Homeland Security!

***Federal contractors/middlemen/lobbyists/community organizers paid by you to place refugees in your towns and cities.  Because their income is largely dependent on taxpayer dollars based on the number of refugees admitted to the US, the only way for real reform of how the US admits refugees is to remove the contractors from the process.

Eight of the nine signed the letter to pressure Tillerson.

Noticeably absent as a signatory is the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. I’ve noticed that lately they aren’t signing on to these overtly political letters. Maybe parishioners are getting to their priests! Keep it up!