Friday, May 25, 2018

10 reasons to tank the F-35 jet sale to Turkey

Prof. Efraim Inbar Israel Hayom 5-23-18

The F-35 is a U.S.-manufactured fifth-generation combat platform with stealth capabilities, probably the best fighter jet in the world. (Israel just received its first F-35 jets, and has used them operationally over Syria.)

Turkey is planning to acquire at least 100 F-35 fighter jets, the first of which is scheduled to be delivered in 2019. Delivering such a war machine to Turkey – an authoritarian, Islamist-leaning state that undermines Western interests in the region – would be a big mistake.

Under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey has long stopped behaving as a reliable Western ally, even though it is still a formal member of the NATO alliance.  Instead, Turkey has succumbed to Ottoman and Islamist impulses, and it seems to have imperial ambitions.

Turkey is spending large amounts on arms procurement and on building a domestic military industry intended to bolster its ability to project power beyond its border. It is intervening militarily in Iraq and in Syria. It has used military force against Kurds in Syria (an important American partner in the war against ISIS). Turkish-sponsored militias may yet confront American forces in Syria.

Ankara is also very hostile to American allies in the region. Turkish fighters regularly violate Greek airspace, underscoring Turkey's desire for a revision in the international border. It bullies Cyprus (a third of which is occupied by Turkey) by sending its navy to intervene with gas explorations in Cypriot continental shelf waters. Turkey is also challenging the legitimacy of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Egypt (who deposed the Muslim Brotherhood former President Mohammed Morsi). Ankara opposes the Saudi attempt to isolate Qatar (a country that supports the Muslim Brotherhood and that is cozy with Iran). Similarly, Turkey's relations with Israel have been strained. And at the same time, Turkey is nurturing good relations with Russia, China and Iran.

The Barack Obama and Donald Trump administrations have failed to significantly signal their displeasure with Ankara, allowing Turkey to pursue policies that are inimical to the American interest. It is time to change that. It makes no sense to strengthen Turkish military capabilities, and therefore the sale of F-35 jets to Turkey should be halted.

Telegraphically, here are 10 reasons why the F-35 sale to Turkey should be tanked:

1 The sale by America of F-35 fighter jets abroad is meant to be a booster for the capabilities of U.S. allies. Turkey hardly qualifies any longer for this title.

2 Delivering the F-35 to Turkey would indicate American support for Erdogan's Turkey. Yet, Turkey is an increasingly authoritarian Islamist regime. Under Erdogan, infringements on human rights have gradually increased resulting in a "Putinization" of the Turkish political system. The military, once the defender of the Kemalist secular tradition, has been successfully subordinated by the Islamists.

3 Supplying F-35s will significantly strengthen the capabilities of the Turkish military to make mischief in the region. Erdogan may decide to use the upgraded air force to establish himself as arbiter of developments in the eastern Mediterranean and other parts of the Middle East, or to interfere with Israel's air supremacy, or even to attack Israel.

4 The planned delivery of the Russian-made S-400 air defense system to Turkey, a procurement that has antagonized NATO members, makes the F-35 deal very problematic. If Turkey integrates the American-made F-35 and the Russian-produced S-400, details about the airplane operating systems might leak to the Russians. Thus, F-35 security could be compromised in other arenas where the jet is deployed.

5 Turkey might facilitate Russian access to data about American weapon systems on the F-35.

6 Leakage of sensitive information and technical details of U.S. weapons systems to Tehran is also a distinct possibility since Turkey is developing warmer relations with Iran.

7 Eskisehir, in Turkey, has been chosen as an industrial hub for the production of F-35 engines and as a maintenance hub for all European operators of the F-35. This too is a mistake. It could create a problematic logistical dependency upon a country whose political direction is uncertain.

8 This could result in the transfer of state-of-the-art technology to Turkey and increase the capabilities of the Turkish domestic arms industry. This would reduce Turkey's dependence upon foreign suppliers, enhancing its freedom of action.

9 The economic benefits of the F-35 deal for Turkey are evaluated at over $12 billion, thus aiding the fortunes of an Islamist regime. It is unwise to confer such advantages on a country whose behavior is not helpful to the U.S.

10 Arms sales should be subordinated to paramount political and strategic considerations. American economic fears of losing the Turkish arms market should not supersede the negative strategic ramifications of the transaction.

In sum, the sale of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey must be stopped.

Professor Efraim Inbar is president of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies,

Thursday, May 24, 2018


 Jack Cashill American Thinker 5-22-18

MIL-ED publication note. None of members of the MIL-ED editorial staff has had any contact with any investigator involved in the TWA 800 investigation. Before publication, we reviewed approximately 400 comments . Many were interesting. However , none were definitive.


Jack Cashill Novelist, journalist and editor  Website

He is a weekly contributor to the WorldNetDaily Web site and Executive Editor of Ingram's Magazine, a business publication based in Kansas City, Missouri.He has written for Fortune, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Weekly Standard. He has taught media and literature at Purdue and at universities in the Kansas City area. He served as a Fulbright professor in Nancy, France. Cashill received his Ph.D. in American Studies from Purdue University in 1982. 

Cashill's  book, TWA 800: The Crash, The Cover Up, The Conspiracy, [published in July 2016 by Regnery.] promotes the theory that TWA 800 was hit by a missile .The Pitch described Cashill as a conspiracy theorist;

The idea is floated frequently that the still nameless Russian collusion scandal is "worse than Watergate."  It may well be, but that comparison overlooks a more useful parallel.

The gold standard of government conspiracy remains the investigation into the July 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800 off the south coast of Long Island.  The ensuing cover-up involved many of the same players as in the Russia conspiracy and for the same immediate goal: to secure a presidential election for a Clinton.

As with the Russia scandal, not all the collaborators in the TWA 800 case were equally motivated or equally powerful.  The White House drove the conspiracy through its Justice Department.  The CIA executed it without conscience.  The FBI grudgingly yielded to the CIA.  And the New York Times dutifully reported what the FBI whispered in its reporters' ears.

As to the National Safety Board, the only agency with statutory authority to investigate a domestic plane crash, the DOJ shoved it aside on day one.  The U.S. Navy brass, whose "combatants" were responsible for the accidental shoot-down of the 747, kept their heads down and their lips impressively sealed.  They had nothing to gain by rocking this boat.

In the TWA 800 case, as likely in the Russian case, the collaborators never conspired as a group, and very few among them knew the whole picture.  The White House dealt with the Navy, but the Navy had as little as possible to do with the FBI or the CIA.  The White House controlled the CIA, but the CIA did not deal with the NTSB and only rarely with the FBI.  The New York Times never spoke to the CIA or the Navy.

The FBI talked almost exclusively to the Times.  Reporters treasure such close connections with a source.  The knowledge gleaned from these sources elevates the status of their newspapers and, more to the point, burnishes the star of the reporter within the newspaper.

If reporters have an inside source that talks only to them, they will often shape the news to avoid alienating that source.  In fact, it is the rare reporter who can resist manipulation by a key source, especially if the source is telling a story that suits the politics of the newsroom.

This pattern of seduction and manipulation seems to have shaped the reporting in the Russia investigation as well.  How else to explain a Times headline as implausible and borderline comic as "F.B.I. Used Informant to Investigate Russia Ties to Campaign, Not to Spy, as Trump Claims"?

In my own conversations with at least two of the Times reporters involved in the TWA 800 case, one in person, I was impressed by how little they knew about critical elements of the case, including the CIA participation.

As revealed in a recently unearthed cache of CIA documents, "[t]he DI [directorate of intelligence] became involved in the 'missile theory' the day after the crash occurred."  According to the CIA, within two weeks of the disaster, FBI agents had interviewed 144 "excellent" eyewitnesses to a likely missile strike and found the evidence for such a strike "overwhelming."  The CIA analyst boasted of discouraging the FBI from releasing its missile report.  He seems to have succeeded.

Two weeks later, the FBI permitted the Times to interview one and only one eyewitness.  That witness saw the event out of the corner of his eye and thought it was a bomb.  He was the only eyewitness the Times would interview from that day forward.

At the FBI's direction, the Times ran an above-the-fold, front-page headline on August 23, 1996, "Prime Evidence Found That Device Exploded in Cabin of TWA 800."  The conspirators had settled on a bomb as a sellable and less scary explanation than a missile.  For weeks, at the FBI's direction, the Times ran stories about explosive residue found throughout the plane.

On September 19, two months after the disaster, the Times signaled the government's switch from a "bomb" to a "mechanical failure alone."  On September 20, to explain away the explosive residue throughout the aircraft, the FBI claimed that the TWA 800 aircraft had "previously been used in a law enforcement training exercise for bomb-detection dogs."

As independent researchers easily proved, the exercise in question did not take place on the TWA 800 plane, and the training aids did not match in placement or in composition the explosive residue found after the crash.  The Times never questioned the police officer who did the training, nor did its reporters ever question the FBI about the inconsistencies – even though they were obvious at the time to anyone paying attention.

Hovering above TWA 800 the moment it exploded was a U.S. Navy P-3 Orion with its transponder off.  The P-3 plays a critical role in missile tests relaying information among the various "combatants," in this instance a cruiser and three subs that were in the "immediate vicinity" of the crash site.

Times readers never knew that the P-3 was there.  The Times never asked any Naval officer a single question.  Indeed, by November 1996, its editors and reporters were openly mocking anyone who suggested Navy involvement.

The collaborators had one final challenge before they could close the investigation: how to explain the 250-plus eyewitnesses – including military people, pilots, fishermen, and at least one person with a video camera  – who saw a missile or missiles strike the 747.  Someone near the top of this conspiracy took the task away from an untrustworthy FBI and assigned it to the CIA, specifically two CIA analysts who had no relevant expertise.

The FBI turned over the witness statements grudgingly.  By late 1996, after reviewing just a fraction of those statements, the CIA analysts concluded that a spontaneous fuel tank explosion blew off the cockpit of the 747.  Then the flaming, nose-less fuselage streaked straight up more than three thousand feet, leading the eyewitnesses to think they had seen missiles – a preposterous scenario that went unchallenged by the media.

In November 1997, in closing the criminal case, the FBI showed an animation of this alleged zoom climb and attributed it to the CIA.  The Times asked no questions about CIA involvement – ever – even after the world learned about the "wall" that prevented these two agencies from cooperating in the run-up to 9-11.  Times readers still do not know that the author of the "wall" memo, Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick, also oversaw the cooperation between the FBI and the CIA on the TWA 800 investigation after she wrote the memo.

As troubling as the TWA 800 investigation was, the Russia case appears to be more troubling still.  TWA 800 was a conspiracy of concealment.  These are commonplace in all governments everywhere.

The Russia case involves a conspiracy of concealment, the Hillary investigation, and a much less common conspiracy of execution, the Trump investigation.  Neither conspiracy could ever have succeeded without the cooperation of the major media, the New York Times in particular.

There are, however, two major differences between 1996 and 2016, and they will affect the outcome of the Russia case.  One is the internet.  The other is Donald Trump.  Here is hoping the collapse of the latter conspiracy will lead to the exposure of the former.

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Truth About Hamas and Israel
Ronen ManelisMay 20, 2018

Dozens of Palestinians died to further the terror group’s lies—and the Western media ate it up.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri addresses the media in Gaza City, 2015.
Sami Abu Zuhri is the spokesman for the extremist group Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist organization funded by Iran. Hamas controls Gaza and has killed innocent Israeli, American, Brazilian, Kenyan, British, French and Chinese civilians. As chief intelligence officer of the Israel Defense Forces’ Gaza division from 2012-14, I came to know Mr. Abu Zuhri and other Hamas spokesmen from a distance. Their modus operandi is simple: Lie. Their lies support the stated goal of Hamas: the delegitimization and destruction of Israel.

For weeks the international media has reported on violence on the border between Gaza and Israel. Hamas has continued to lie to the world, which is why their rare acknowledgments of truth are especially revealing. Hamas spokesmen raced to the press last week to lament the death of innocent civilians. But a senior Hamas leader, Salah Bardawil, said in a May 16 interview with a Palestinian TV station: “In the last round of confrontations, if 62 people were martyred, 50 of them were Hamas.”

Hamas itself has confirmed that 80% of those killed in their violent riots last Monday were members of a terrorist group, not innocent civilians. Several more of the fatalities were claimed by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. On May 13, Mahmoud Al-Zahar, a co-founder of Hamas, said in an interview with Al Jazeera: “When we talk about ‘peaceful resistance,’ we are deceiving the public.” You can trust Hamas only when they admit to their lies.

The Hamas spokesmen orchestrated a well-funded terrorist propaganda operation. Behind the theatrics was a plan that threatened Israel’s border and civilians. Hamas provided free transportation from throughout the Gaza Strip to the border for innocent civilians, including women and children. Hamas hired them as extras, paying $14 a person or $100 a family for attendance—and $500 if they managed to get injured. Hamas forced all of their commanders and operatives to go to the border dressed as civilians, each serving as a director of an area—as if to direct their own stage of the operation.

The audience was the international media. Hamas gave anyone with a video camera front-row access to the show and free Wi-Fi. The IDF had precise intelligence that the violent riots were masking a plan of mass infiltration into Israel in order to carry out a massacre against Israeli civilians. Hamas called it a “peaceful protest,” and much of the world simply fell for it.

The idea that this was a peaceful protest is the biggest lie of all, because the basic tenets required for a protest in a democracy like the U.S. or Israel do not exist in Gaza. Under Hamas’s control, there is no freedom of speech, no freedom of assembly, no freedom of religion, no freedom of the press. There can be no such thing as a peaceful protest in Gaza, only gatherings organized, sanctioned and funded by Hamas. Calling this a protest isn’t fake news, just fake.

In multiple assaults on the border this spring, Hamas has used machine guns, Molotov cocktails, airborne improvised explosive devices and grenades. Hundreds of Gazans have tried to blow up or tear down the fence between Gaza and Israel, with the intention of infiltrating our sovereign territory and reaching innocent Israelis who live minutes from the border.

On April 6 the Hamas political leader, Yahya Sinwar, stated: “We will take down the border [with Israel] and we will tear their hearts from their bodies.” On Facebook Hamas posted maps for their operatives showing the quickest routes from the border with Israel to Israelis’ homes, schools, and day-care centers near the border. Does that sound like a peaceful protest to you?

Facing the dangers posed by cowardly terrorists who disguise themselves as civilians, IDF soldiers acted with courage and restraint, following strict rules of engagement to ensure minimum civilian injury and loss of life while still protecting the border. As part of Hamas’s propaganda operation, hundreds of Gazans were injured last week and several dozen died, most of whom were Hamas operatives. None of this violence had to occur, but it was the violence that Hamas instigated and orchestrated so that the headlines and pictures would reinforce the lies that the Hamas spokesmen had planned.

Hamas can lie—to the world, to Palestinians and to their own commanders and operatives—but I am proud that the IDF will never lie or use Israeli civilians or soldiers as pawns. Some of Israel’s greatest friends might have preferred that we had looked better in the media this past week, but between vanity and truth, the IDF always chooses truth. It is that morality that sustains the IDF. The uniformed professional soldiers of the IDF may not photograph well compared with terrorists disguised as civilians—but we are honest about what we are and what we say. As the IDF spokesman, if I cannot source and cite material, I will not allow it to be published. I will not release any statement if the facts are in doubt.

Some in the media helped Hamas by publishing its lies rather than the facts. Hamas achieved negative media coverage about Israel after their first violent riot, on March 30, the first day of this propaganda operation. Hamas could have then claimed a propaganda victory, stopped the violence, and prevented many deaths. But for Hamas, lies are more important than lives.

If in order to win the international propaganda war I need to lie like Hamas, then I prefer to tell the truth and lose. The IDF will win where it matters—protecting our civilians in the face of terror. The soldiers of the IDF won this week by keeping Israeli families safe and by stopping Hamas from accomplishing its stated goals.

Even more than the lying, the true difference between Mr. Abu Zuhri and me is that he goes to sleep every night wishing for the destruction of my country and the death of my children. I go to sleep at night hoping for a better life for his children as well as mine. And that’s the truth.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

New York Times outs itself as a covert spokesman [shill] for the deep swamp.

 Delving into the identities and motivations of the New York Times sources [dissident elements in the Defense Department, dissident elements in the State Department ,and staff members and associates within the office of special Counsel Robert Mueller] reveals the true objectives  of the concerted attack on Donald Trump: support the position of Iran; degrade the positions of Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Egypt, Israel and other genuine US allies.

The New York Times’ methodology is simple. Write an extremely long article.Throw a lot of mud in the hope that some of the mud will stick in the public mind. Utilize
  a multitude secret anonymous "sources in a position to know" making assertions of clandestine  associations and hypothesizing  on conspiratorial motivations of the alleged participants

Their keynote statement ,buried deep in the article ,exposes their actual intent… ”…Mr. Trump has allied himself closely with Saudi Arabia and the Emirates. His first overseas trip was to Riyadh. He strongly backed Saudi and Emirati efforts to isolate their neighbor Qatar…This month, Mr. Trump also withdrew from an Obama administration nuclear deal with Iran that both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had campaigned against for years, delivering them their biggest victory yet from his administration.”

Trump Jr. and Other Aides Met With Gulf Emissary Offering Help to Win Election

 NEW YORK TIMES May 19, 2018

Donald Trump Jr. met in Trump Tower in the summer of 2016 with a representative of two wealthy Arab princes who said they were eager to help his father win election. Hiroko Masuike /The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Three months before the 2016 election, a small group gathered at Trump Tower to meet with Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son. One was an Israeli specialist in social media manipulation. Another was an emissary for two wealthy Arab princes. The third was a Republican donor with a controversial past in the Middle East as a private security contractor.

The meeting was convened primarily to offer help to the Trump team, and it forged relationships between the men and Trump insiders that would develop over the coming months — past the election and well into President Trump’s first year in office, according to several people with knowledge of their encounters.

Erik Prince, the private security contractor and the former head of Blackwater, arranged the meeting, which took place on Aug. 3, 2016. The emissary, George Nader, told Donald Trump Jr. that the crown princes who led Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were eager to help his father win election as president. The social media specialist, Joel Zamel, extolled his company’s ability to give an edge to a political campaign; by that time, the firm had already drawn up a multimillion-dollar proposal for a social media manipulation effort to help elect Mr. Trump.

The company, which employed several Israeli former intelligence officers, specialized in collecting information and shaping opinion through social media.

It is unclear whether such a proposal was executed, and the details of who commissioned it remain in dispute. But Donald Trump Jr. responded approvingly, according to a person with knowledge of the meeting, and after those initial offers of help, Mr. Nader was quickly embraced as a close ally by Trump campaign advisers — meeting frequently with Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, and Michael T. Flynn, who became the president’s first national security adviser. At the time, Mr. Nader was also promoting a secret plan to use private contractors to destabilize Iran, the regional nemesis of Saudi Arabia and the Emirates.

Donald Trump Jr. was said to respond approvingly to a proposal for a social media manipulation effort to help elect his father as president.Damon Winter/The New York Times
After Mr. Trump was elected, Mr. Nader paid Mr. Zamel a large sum of money, described by one associate as up to $2 million. There are conflicting accounts of the reason for the payment, but among other things, a company linked to Mr. Zamel provided Mr. Nader with an elaborate presentation about the significance of social media campaigning to Mr. Trump’s victory.

The meetings, which have not been reported previously, are the first indication that countries other than Russia may have offered assistance to the Trump campaign in the months before the presidential election. The interactions are a focus of the investigation by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, who was originally tasked with examining possible Trump campaign coordination with Russia in the election.

Mr. Nader is cooperating with the inquiry, and investigators have questioned numerous witnesses in Washington, New York, Atlanta, Tel Aviv and elsewhere about what foreign help may have been pledged or accepted, and about whether any such assistance was coordinated with Russia, according to witnesses and others with knowledge of the interviews.

The interviews, some in recent weeks, are further evidence that special counsel’s investigation remains in an intense phase even as Mr. Trump’s lawyers are publicly calling for Mr. Mueller to bring it to a close.

It is illegal for foreign governments or individuals to be involved in American elections, and it is unclear what — if any — direct assistance Saudi Arabia and the Emirates may have provided. But two people familiar with the meetings said that Trump campaign officials did not appear bothered by the idea of cooperation with foreigners.

Erik D. Prince, the founder of Blackwater, arranged the meeting with Donald Trump Jr., George Nader and Joel Zamel.Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News
A lawyer for Donald Trump Jr., Alan Futerfas, said in a statement that “prior to the 2016 election, Donald Trump Jr. recalls a meeting with Erik Prince, George Nader and another individual who may be Joel Zamel. They pitched Mr. Trump Jr. on a social media platform or marketing strategy. He was not interested and that was the end of it.”

The August 2016 meeting has echoes of another Trump Tower meeting two months earlier, also under scrutiny by the special counsel, when Donald Trump Jr. and other top campaign aides met with a Russian lawyer after being promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton. No evidence has emerged suggesting that the August meeting was set up with a similar premise.

The revelations about the meetings come in the midst of new scrutiny about ties between Mr. Trump’s advisers and at least three wealthy Persian Gulf states. Besides his interest in Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, Mr. Mueller has also been asking witnesses about meetings between White House advisers and representatives of Qatar, Saudi Arabia’s bitter rival.

A lawyer for Mr. Zamel denied that his client had carried out any campaign on Mr. Trump’s behalf. “Neither Joel Zamel, nor any of his related entities, had any involvement whatsoever in the U.S. election campaign,” said the lawyer, Marc L. Mukasey.

“The D.O.J. clarified from Day 1 that Joel and his companies have never been a target of the investigation. My client provided full cooperation to the government to assist with their investigation,” he said.

Stephen Miller, a senior aide to President Trump, was in Donald Trump Jr.’s office when the others arrived for the meeting.Shawn Thew/EPA, via Shutterstock
Kathryn Ruemmler, a lawyer for Mr. Nader, said, “Mr. Nader has fully cooperated with the special counsel’s investigation and will continue to do so.” A senior official in Saudi Arabia said it had never employed Mr. Nader in any capacity or authorized him to speak for the crown prince.

Mr. Prince, through a spokesman, declined to comment. The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

Advisers to the Court

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, the king’s main adviser, had long opposed many of the Obama administration’s policies toward the Middle East. They resented President Barack Obama’s agreement with Iran over its nuclear program, his statements of support for the Arab Spring uprisings and his hands-off approach to the Syrian civil war.

News outlets linked to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates fiercely criticized Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Trump’s Democratic opponent, when she was secretary of state, and diplomats familiar with their thinking say both crown princes hoped for a president who would take a stronger hand in the region against both Iran and groups like the Muslim Brotherhood.

Mr. Nader had worked for years as a close adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed of Abu Dhabi, and Mr. Zamel had worked for the Emirati royal court as a consultant as well. When Mr. Trump locked up the Republican presidential nomination in early 2016, Mr. Nader began making inquiries on behalf of the Emirati prince about possible ways to directly support Mr. Trump, according to three people with whom Mr. Nader discussed his efforts.

Mr. Trump has allied himself with the Emirati crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, endorsing his strong support for Saudi Arabia and confrontational approaches toward Iran and Qatar.Al Drago for The New York Times
Mr. Nader also visited Moscow at least twice during the presidential campaign as a confidential emissary from Crown Prince Mohammed of Abu Dhabi, according to people familiar with his travels. After the election, he worked with the crown prince to arrange a meeting in the Seychelles between Mr. Prince and a financier close to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

Companies connected to Mr. Zamel also have ties to Russia. One of his firms had previously worked for oligarchs linked to Mr. Putin, including Oleg V. Deripaska and Dmitry Rybolovlev, who hired the firm for online campaigns against their business rivals.

Mr. Deripaska, an aluminum magnate, was once in business with the former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who has pleaded not guilty in the special counsel investigation to charges of financial crimes and failing to disclose the lobbying work he did on behalf of a former president of Ukraine, an ally of Mr. Putin. Mr. Rybolovlev once purchased a Florida mansion from Mr. Trump.

Mr. Nader’s visits to Russia and the work Mr. Zamel’s companies did for the Russians have both been a subject of interest to the special counsel’s investigators, according to people familiar with witness interviews.

A String of Meetings

Mr. Zamel and Mr. Nader were together at a Midtown Manhattan hotel at about 4 p.m. on the afternoon of Aug. 3 when Mr. Nader received a call from Mr. Prince summoning them to Trump Tower. When they arrived, Stephen Miller, a top campaign aide who is now a White House adviser, was in Donald Trump Jr.’s office as well, according to the people familiar with the meeting.

One of Mr. Zamel’s firms did work for Oleg V. Deripaska, an aluminum magnate, who has been linked to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters
Mr. Prince is a longtime Republican donor and the brother of Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, and Mr. Prince and Mr. Nader had known each other since Mr. Nader had worked for Blackwater as a business agent in Iraq in the years after the American invasion. Mr. Prince has longstanding ties to the Emirates, and has frequently done business with Crown Prince Mohammed.

Mr. Prince opened the meeting by telling Donald Trump Jr. that “we are working hard for your father,” in reference to his family and other donors, according to a person familiar with the meeting. He then introduced Mr. Nader as an old friend with deep ties to Arab leaders.

Mr. Nader repeatedly referred to the crown princes of Saudi Arabia and the Emirates as “my friends,” according to one person with knowledge of the conversation. To underscore the point, he would open his mobile phone to show off pictures of him posing with them, some of which The New York Times obtained.

Mr. Nader explained to Donald Trump Jr. that the two crown princes saw the elder Mr. Trump as a strong leader who would fill the power vacuum that they believed Mr. Obama had left in the Middle East, and Mr. Nader went on to say that he and his friends would be glad to support Mr. Trump as much as they could, according to the person with knowledge of the conversation.

Mr. Zamel, for his part, laid out the capabilities of his online media company, although it is unclear whether he referred to the proposals his company had already prepared. One person familiar with the meeting said that Mr. Nader invited Donald Trump Jr. to meet with a Saudi prince — an invitation the younger Mr. Trump declined. After about half an hour, everyone exchanged business cards.

Mr. Prince has known Mr. Nader since he worked for Blackwater in Iraq.Zach Gibson for The New York Times
“There was a brief meeting, nothing concrete was offered or pitched to anyone and nothing came of it,” said Mr. Mukasey, the lawyer for Mr. Zamel.

By then, a company connected to Mr. Zamel had been working on a proposal for a covert multimillion-dollar online manipulation campaign to help elect Mr. Trump, according to three people involved and a fourth briefed on the effort. The plan involved using thousands of fake social media accounts to promote Mr. Trump’s candidacy on platforms like Facebook.

There were concerns inside the company, Psy-Group, about the plan’s legality, according to one person familiar with the effort. The company, whose motto is “shape reality,” consulted an American law firm, and was told that it would be illegal if any non-Americans were involved in the effort.

Mr. Zamel, the founder of Psy-Group and one of its owners, has been questioned about the August 2016 meeting by investigators for the special counsel, and at least two F.B.I. agents working on the inquiry have traveled to Israel to interview employees of the company who worked on the proposal. According to one person, the special counsel’s team has worked with the Israeli police to seize the computers of one of Mr. Zamel’s companies, which is currently in liquidation.

In the hectic final weeks of the campaign and during the presidential transition, several of Mr. Trump’s advisers drew Mr. Nader close. He met often with Mr. Kushner, Mr. Flynn and Stephen K. Bannon, who took over as campaign chairman after Mr. Manafort resigned amid revelations about his work in Ukraine.

George Nader in 1999. He is an adviser to the Emiratis who is cooperating in the special counsel investigation.Ron Sachs/Picture-Alliance, via Associated Press
In December 2016, Mr. Nader turned again to an internet company linked to Mr. Zamel — WhiteKnight, based in the Philippines — to purchase a presentation demonstrating the impact of social media campaigns on Mr. Trump’s electoral victory. Asked about the purchase, a representative of WhiteKnight said: “WhiteKnight delivers premium research and high-end business development services for prestigious clients around the world. WhiteKnight does not talk about any of its clients.”

After the inauguration, both Mr. Zamel and Mr. Nader visited the White House, meeting with Mr. Kushner and Mr. Bannon.

At that time, Mr. Nader was promoting a plan to use private contractors to carry out economic sabotage against Iran that, he hoped, might coerce it to permanently abandon its nuclear program. The plan included efforts to deter Western companies from investing in Iran, and operations to sow mistrust among Iranian officials. He advocated the project, which he estimated would cost about $300 million, to American, Emirati and Saudi officials.

Last spring, Mr. Nader traveled to Riyadh for meetings with senior Saudi military and intelligence officials to pitch his Iran sabotage plan. He was convinced, according to several people familiar with his plan, that economic warfare was the key to the overthrow of the government in Tehran. One person briefed on Mr. Nader’s activities said he tried to persuade Mr. Kushner to endorse the plan to Crown Prince Mohammed in person on a trip to Riyadh, although it was unclear whether the message was delivered.

Asked about Mr. Nader’s plans to attack Iran, the senior Saudi official said Mr. Nader had a habit of pitching proposals that went nowhere.

Mr. Nader was also in discussions with Mr. Prince, the former head of Blackwater, about a plan to get the Saudis to pay $2 billion to set up a private army to combat Iranian proxy forces in Yemen.

Since entering the White House, Mr. Trump has allied himself closely with Saudi Arabia and the Emirates. His first overseas trip was to Riyadh. He strongly backed Saudi and Emirati efforts to isolate their neighbor Qatar, another American ally, even over apparent disagreement from the State and Defense Departments.

This month, Mr. Trump also withdrew from an Obama administration nuclear deal with Iran that both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had campaigned against for years, delivering them their biggest victory yet from his administration.

Mark Mazzetti reported from Washington, Ronen Bergman from Tel Aviv and David D. Kirkpatrick from London. Maggie Haberman contributed reporting.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018


Fifty of the 62 Gazans killed on Monday during violence at the border with Israel were members of the ruling Hamas terror group, spokesperson Dr. Salah Al-Bardawil said Wednesday in a live television interview with “Bladna al Alamiya.”The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group claimed at least another three of the dead were members of its ranks as well.

The violence that began around midday included terror operatives hurling flaming tires at the security fence, using bolt cutters to destroy the barrier while others used slingshots to hurl rocks at IDF soldiers. Other terrorists used the chaos to try to slip through the border into Israel to burn IDF engineering tools, destroy military structures and abduct Israeli soldiers.

Still others were involved in assembling Molotov terror kites that flew over the border carrying flaming bottles filled with gasoline that dropped on the agricultural fields of Israeli farms nearby once the heat from the fire severed the cord attached to the kite, or burst the helium balloon bearing the burning firebomb through the skies.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

The maximum public [left-wing] case against Donald Trump by Mike Allen & Jim VandeHei May 12, 2018 and analytical rebuttal

The maximum public [left-wing] case against  Donald Trump 
by Mike Allen & Jim VandeHei   May 12, 2018

 and analytical rebuttal

One thing is true of all major political scandals: What we know in the moment is but a tiny, obscured, partial view of the full story later revealed by investigators.
Why it matters: That’s what makes the Trump-Russia drama all the more remarkable. Forget all we don’t know. The known facts that even Trump’s closest friends don’t deny tell a damning tale that would sink most leaders. These are the words of the left. Most of these “statements” are slanted.

Here's a guide that Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen put together to the known knowns of Russia: [responses are in red]

  • We know Paul Manafort, former Trump campaign chair, has been indicted on 32 countsincluding conspiracy and money laundering. We know he made millions off shady Russians and changed the Republican platform to the benefit of Russia. The changing of the Republican platform to benefit Russia is a false assertion. Notice how they link the indictment for activities that occurred far earlier than Manafort’s employment in the Trump campaign with allegations that are still unproven.

  • We know that the U.S. intelligence community concluded, in a report released in January 2017, that Russian President Vladimir Putin “ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election,” to “denigrate” Hillary Clinton and with “a clear preference for ... Trump.” The report was the product of an ad hoc committee appointed by James Comey and John Brennan. That work was never vetted by the CIA or any other normal intelligence vetting process. The individual who made the assertion that he had a link in the Kremlin has never been identified and cross-examined. Only three agencies, the CIA, the FBI and James Clapper have endorsed this allegation.

  • We know that in May 2016, Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos told an Australian diplomat Russia had political dirt on Hillary. "About three weeks earlier," according to the N.Y. Times, "Papadopoulos had been told that Moscow had thousands of emails that would embarrass Mrs. Clinton." This whole account is suspicious and looks like a cover-up for the FBI planting a spy within the Trump campaign. Papadopoulos was a very junior participant in the Trump campaign. Most of the time he was trying to insert himself and most of his suggestions were rejected. Most suspicious is the foreign involvement [Australian diplomat; former British spy; etc.] that was trying to bring the Clinton financed "Russian dossier " into play in the US media.

  • We know that in June 2016, Trump’s closest aides and family members met at Trump Tower with a shady group of Russians who claimed to have dirt on Hillary. The meeting was billed as"part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump." We also know that the Russian lawyer had close ties to Fusion GPS. Other information indicates that there was a orchestrated effort to entrap Trump campaign Junior staffers in questionable activities linked to so-called Russian operatives.

  • We know the Russian lawyer who helped set it up concealed her close ties to Putin government. Actually, the reverse is true. The Russian lawyer, pretended to have close links with the Kremlin and therefore would be in a position to have top-secret information concerning Hillary Clinton that would be detrimental to Hillary Clinton’s campaign
  • We know that in July 2016, Trump said: "“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 [Hillary] emails that are missing,” and urged their publication. That remark emphasized the  US intelligence belief that Hillary Clinton's use of a personal server was hacked by the Russians, by the Chinese, by the Iranian's and others and that her use of a personal server jeopardized US national security.
  • We know that on Air Force One a year later, Trump helped his son, Don Jr., prepare a misleading statement about the meeting. We know top aides freaked out about this. This is still an unproven allegation. Further, to be intentionally misleading would require that Donald Trump had intimate knowledge of the meeting The press release was  a public relations spin, common in the political world. ["If you want to keep your doctor you will be able to keep your doctor."]

  • We know Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting. Actually the source of the information released was Jordan. The accusation was made that the president's statement jeopardized Israel's intelligence sources. This accusation was made by the media.It has never been made by anyone in Israel except the left-wing opposition to Prime Minister Netanyahu.
  • We know Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and close campaign aide, lied to Vice President Pence and FBI about his Russia-related chats. We know he’s now cooperatingwith special counsel Robert Mueller. We know Trump initially tried to protect Flynn with loyalty and fervency rarely shown by Trump to others.We know that Gen. Flynn knew that his conversations with the Russian ambassador were being recorded. We know that the FBI agents who questioned Gen. Flynn both believed that he was telling the truth. Flynn relayed to the Russian ambassador exactly the message that the incoming administration told him to transmit. We know that Robert Mueller threatened to go after Flynn’s son ,bankrupted Gen. Flynn and according to a federal judge exceeded his authority and also withheld information from Gen. Flynn as to evidence that would help establish Flynn’s  innocence. What we know here is extremely damaging to Robert Muller and to  the Mueller investigation.

  • We know that during the transition, Jared Kushner spoke with the Russian ambassador "about establishing a secret communications between the Trump transition team and Moscow." We know Kushner omitted previous contacts with Russians on his disclosure forms. We know that Barack Obama did exactly the same thing when he was the President-elect. We know that Jared Kushner amended his original forms to include additional contacts as he, the campaign staff, and Jared Kushner’s personal staff reviewed Jared Kushner’s meeting logs, emails, telephone logs, etc.

  • We know Trump initially lied about why he fired James Comey, later admitting he was canned because of the “Russia thing.” This point is ridiculous. The record is now clear that James Comey should have been fired by whoever was elected US president. The memos prepared by the Atty. Gen. and the deputy assistant attorney general are clear. The president’s feeling toward James Comey is immaterial. The evidence supporting the firing and the  president’s authority to do so is all that counts. We should put Robert Mueller under oath and ask him if he was aware that James Comey leaked government memos to the New York Times with  the explicit intention to trigger the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel and also was Mueller aware of the bias against Donald Trump that was held by some of Mueller’s key  staff members.[ New revelations shed light on Comey, Trump, and that 'loyalty' demand, Byron York   April 20, 2018 ]

  • We know Michael Cohen was a close adviser and lawyer, the fixer and secret-keeper. We know Trump seethed when the FBI raidedCohen's office. This is correct. Since Michael Cohen was targeted in  an attempt to "get dirt" on Donald Trump and  since according to  Michael Avenatti ,Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti had a long back channel relationship with Judge Kimba Wood, we can safely assume that Donald Trump every other client of Michael Cohen, and any guardian of civil liberties such as Alan Dershowitz, would seethe.
  • We know that in January 2016, just before Republicans began voting, Michael Cohen tried to restart a Trump Tower project in Moscow.  AND FAILED!!

  • We know Mueller questioned a Russian oligarch tied to a firm that made payments to Cohen, who paid off a porn star who allegedly had an affair with Trump. We also know that the same Russian oligarch made much larger payments to John Podesta and to the Clintons.[Russian Oligarch Who Allegedly Paid Michael Cohen Is Linked To Clinton Foundation And John Podesta]

  • We know that oligarch was a bad enough dude that the Trump administration sanctioned him.  YES!

Be smart: The undisputed known knowns about Trump, Russia and his associates are damning and possibly actionable. Possibly. However the undisputed known knowns about Hillary Clinton, John Podesta, Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, John Kerry, etc. as well as information on James Comey, Rod Rosenstein, John Brennan, James Clapper, etc. are more troubling and more likely to be criminal. For example, Why does Lisa H Barsoomian  merit any mention?…..BECAUSE…..Lisa H Barsoomian is Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s  wife.


Key players (recurring roles) :  Hillary Clinton; Bill Clinton; Robert Mueller; James Comey;Rod Rosenstein;. Lois Lerner

From 2001 to 2005 

There was an ongoing investigation into the Clinton Foundation.

A Grand Jury had been empaneled.

Governments from around the world had donated to the “Charity”.

Yet, from 2001 to 2003 none of those “Donations” to the Clinton Foundation were declared.

Hmmm, now you would think that an honest investigator would be able to figure this out.

Guess who took over this investigation in 2002? No other than James Comey.
Guess who was transferred in to the Internal Revenue Service to run the Tax Exemption Branch of the IRS? Your friend and mine, Lois Lerner.

Guess who ran the Tax Division inside the Department of Injustice from 2001 to 2005?
No other than the Assistant Attorney General of the United States, Rod Rosenstein.

Guess who was the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation during this timeframe???  Robert Mueller.

What do all four casting characters have in common? They all were briefed and/or were front line investigators into the Clinton Foundation Investigation.
Fast forward to 2009.

James Comey leaves the Justice Department to go and cash-in at Lockheed Martin.

Hillary Clinton is running the State Department, on her own personal email server by the way.

The Uranium One “issue” comes to the attention of the Hillary.

Like all good public servants do, you know looking out for America’s best interest, she decides to support the decision and approve the sale of 20% of US Uranium to no other than, the Russians.

Now you would think that this is a fairly straight up deal, except it wasn’t, the People got absolutely nothing out of it.

However, prior to the sales approval, no other than Bill Clinton goes to Moscow, gets paid 500K for a one hour speech then meets with Vladimir Putin at his home for a few hours.

Well, not so fast, the FBI had a mole inside the money laundering and bribery scheme.

Guess who was the FBI Director during this timeframe? Yep, Robert Mueller.
He even delivered a Uranium Sample to Moscow in 2009.

Guess who was handling that case within the Justice Department out of the US Attorney’s Office in Maryland. No other than, Rod Rosenstein.

Guess what happened to the informant? The Department of Justice placed a GAG order on him and threatened to lock him up if he spoke out about it.

How does 20% of the most strategic asset of the United States of America end up in Russian hands when the FBI has an informant, a mole providing inside information to the FBI on the criminal enterprise?

Guess what happened soon after the sale was approved?

~145 million dollars in “donations” made their way into the Clinton Foundation from entities directly connected to the Uranium One deal.

Guess who was still at the Internal Revenue Service working the Charitable Division? No other than, Lois  Lerner.
Fast forward to 2015.

Due to a series of tragic events in Benghazi and after the 9 “investigations” the House, Senate and at State Department, Trey Gowdy who was running the 10th investigation as Chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi discovers that the Hillary ran the State Department on an unclassified, unauthorized, outlaw personal email server.

He also discovered that none of those emails had been turned over when she departed her “Public Service” as Secretary of State which was required by law.

He also discovered that there was Top Secret information contained within her personally archived email.

Sparing you the State Departments cover up, the nostrums they floated, the delay tactics that were employed and the outright lies that were spewed forth from the necks of the Kerry State Department, we shall leave it with this…… they did everything humanly possible to cover for Hillary.

Now this is amazing, guess who became FBI Director in 2013?

Guess who secured 17 no bid contracts for his employer (Lockheed Martin) with the State Department and was rewarded with a six million dollar thank you present when he departed his employer.

No other than James Comey.

Amazing how all those no-bids just went right through at State, huh?

Now he is the FBI Director in charge of the “Clinton Email Investigation” after of course his FBI Investigates the Lois Lerner “Matter” at the Internal Revenue Service and exonerates her.

Nope couldn’t find any crimes there.

Can you guess what happened next?

In April 2016, James Comey drafts an exoneration letter of Hillary Rodham Clinton, meanwhile the DOJ is handing out immunity deals like candy.

They didn’t even convene a Grand Jury.

Like a lightning bolt of statistical impossibility, like a miracle from God himself, like the true “Gangsta” Homey is, James steps out into the cameras of an awaiting press conference on July the 8th of 2016, and exonerates the Hillary from any wrongdoing.

Can you see the pattern?

It goes on and  on, Rosenstein becomes Asst. Attorney General, Comey gets fired based upon a letter by Rosenstein, Comey leaks government information to the press, Mueller is assigned to the Russian Investigation sham by Rosenstein to provide cover for decades of malfeasance within the FBI and DOJ and the story continues.

FISA Abuse, political espionage..... pick a crime, any crime, chances are...... this group and a few others did it.

All the same players.

All compromised and conflicted.

All working fervently to NOT go to jail themselves.

All connected in one way or another to the Clinton's.

As of this writing, the Clinton Foundation, in its 20+ years of operation of being the largest International Charity Fraud in the history of mankind, has never been audited by the Internal Revenue Service……Let us not forget that Comey's brother works for DLA Piper, the law firm that does the Clinton Foundation's taxes.

Mike Allen, Jim VandeHei :  “But the known unknowns of how much more Robert Mueller knows that is publicly unknown is what spooks Trump allies most.  Remember: No one in the media saw Mueller’s indictments of Russian oligarchs coming until the second they were announced, and no one knew until this week that Mueller’s team questioned AT&T five months ago about its payments to Cohen. Mueller has every incentive to keep the public and Trump himself in suspense.” 

ANOTHER VIEW: Collusion, anyone? Michael Barone  Washington Examiner  April 18, 2018 

Whenever special counsel Robert Mueller finishes his investigation, it seems unlikely his work will fulfill the daydreams so many liberals have of making President Trump go the way of Richard Nixon.

As the likelihood of the charges of Trump campaign “collusion” with Russia seems headed toward zero, the likelihood of proof of a different form of “collusion” seems headed upward toward certainty.

The Russia collusion charge had some initial credibility because of businessman Trump’s dealings in Russia and candidate Trump’s off-putting praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin. It was fueled by breathless media coverage of such trivial events as Jeff Sessions’ exchange of pleasantries with the Russian ambassador at a Washington reception.

And, of course, by the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel. But Mueller’s prosecutions of Trump campaign operatives were for misdeeds long before the campaign, and his indictment of 13 Russians specified that no American was a “knowing participant” in their work.

Now, there’s talk that Mueller is winding up his investigation. Whenever he finishes, it seems unlikely his work will fulfill the daydreams so many liberals have of making Trump go the way of Richard Nixon.

Meanwhile, the evidence builds of collusion by the Obama administration's law enforcement and intelligence personnel in trying to elect Hillary Clinton and defeat and delegitimize Donald Trump in and after the 2016 presidential election.

The investigation of Hillary Clinton’s illegal email system was conducted with kid gloves. One glaring example of impropriety came when FBI Director James Comey was given (and accepted) Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s order to call it a “matter” rather than an “investigation.” Clinton aides were allowed to keep her emails and destroy 30,000 of them, plus cellphones. They were not subject to grand jury subpoenas, and a potential co-defendant was allowed to claim attorney-client privilege.

On June 27, 2016, Lynch clandestinely met with Bill Clinton on his plane at the Phoenix airport — a meeting that became known only thanks to an alert local TV reporter. Lynch supposedly left the decision on prosecution to Comey, who on July 5 announced publicly that Clinton was “extremely careless” but lacked intent to violate the law, even though the statute punishes violations intentional or not.

Contrast that with the collusion of Obama officials with the Clinton campaign-financed Christopher Steele/Fusion GPS memorandum alleging Trump ties with Russians. Comey and the Justice Department used it, without divulging who paid for it, to get a FISA warrant to surveil former Trump campaign operative Carter Page’s future and past communications — the “wiretap” Trump was derided for mentioning.

Similarly, when Comey informed Trump in January 2017 of the contents of the then-unpublished Steele memorandum, he didn’t reveal that the Clinton campaign paid for it. Asked on his book tour why not, he blandly said he didn’t know. Maybe he doesn’t actually realize he was employing tactics reminiscent of J. Edgar Hoover in a bid to keep his job. Maybe.

In any case, after he was fired, he immediately sent four of his internal memos, at least one of them classified, to a law professor friend to leak them to the press, with the intent of getting a special counsel appointed — who turned out to be his longtime friend and ally, Robert Mueller. Collusion, anyone?

Collusion can get complicated and sometimes fail to produce the intended results. Comey’s deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe reportedly kept to himself for weeks the discovery that Clinton emails were transmitted over the home computer of her aide Huma Abedin’s then-husband, the disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner. It was after Comey learned of this that he made his Oct. 28 announcement that the Clinton email investigation was being reopened.

Comey and McCabe have produced contradictory accounts of events, and Comey’s public praise of McCabe contrasts with his referral of McCabe to Justice’s inspector general, who found him guilty of “lack of candor” — a fireable offense for which he was indeed fired. Partners in collusion sometimes fall out.

Longtime Clinton friend Lanny Davis charges that Comey’s statement was responsible for Clinton’s defeat, and Comey on his book tour admitted that he may have made it only because he assumed Clinton would win.

Davis may be right, though no one can prove it. But one can also say that the Democratic Party lost the presidency because it nominated a candidate under investigation for committing a felony. And it seems as certain as these things can be that, if Hillary Clinton had followed the law and regulations, there would be today no President Trump, no Attorney General Jeff Sessions, no EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, no Justice Neil Gorsuch.

The blame ultimately belongs to Barack Obama, who knew of her private email system and who could have ordered her to follow the law. But that’s one bit of collusion that didn’t occur.