Saturday, December 31, 2016

Biggest danger for Americans is Enemy Within and complicit political class: Dept. of Homeland Security personnel have taken $15 million in bribes in past 10 yrs, allowed tons of drugs and thousands of illegal aliens to enter the US. Chump US taxpayers have even been forced to pay wages of drug cartel members who were hired by Border Patrol due to lax hiring and screening procedures. Corruption festers for decades in US Customs and Border Protection-NY Times, 12/29/16 (Who in the US political establishment will announce that he "stands with Americans" in the war against them by enemies within?)

Who needs "hacking"? US government employees give away or sell anything a so-called US enemy could ever want. The neocon controlled US political establishment remains silent as the cancer grows. Making all the more amusing their recent feigned outrage over non-existent email "hacking"--which without evidence they say requires "regime change" and nuclear war with Russia. "Jeh Johnson, the secretary of Homeland Security, in 2014 gave authority to the agency’s internal affairs office to conduct criminal investigations for the first time."

12/28/16, "The Enemy Within: Bribes Bore a Hole in the U.S. Border," NY Times, Ron Nixon. Print edition, December 29, 2016, page A13 of New York edition with headline: "Bribes Paid to Agents Bore Holes in Border."

"A review by The New York Times of thousands of court records and internal agency documents showed that over the last 10 years almost 200 employees and contract workers of the Department of Homeland Security have taken nearly $15 million in bribes while being paid to protect the nation’s borders and enforce immigration laws. 

These employees have looked the other way as tons of drugs and thousands of undocumented immigrants were smuggled into the United States, the records show. They have illegally sold green cards and other immigration documents, have entered law enforcement databases and given sensitive information to drug cartels. In one case, the information was used to arrange the attempted murder of an informant.

The Times’s findings most likely undercount the amount of bribes because in many cases court records do not give a tally. The findings also do not include gifts, trips or money stolen by Homeland Security employees.

Throughout his campaign, President-elect Donald J. Trump said border security would be one of his highest priorities. As he prepares to take office, he will find that many of the problems seem to come from within. 

“It does absolutely no good to talk about the building of walls or tougher enforcement if you can’t secure the integrity of the immigration system, when you have fraud and corruption with your own employees,” said an internal affairs official at the Department of Homeland Security who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Although Homeland Security employees who have been caught taking bribes represent less than 1 percent of the more than 250,000 people who work at the department, investigators say the bribes and small numbers of people arrested and charged with bribery obscure the impact corruption can have on border security and immigration enforcement.

“Any amount is bad, and one person alone can do a lot of damage,” said John Roth, the inspector general at the Department of Homeland Security. “It doesn’t have to be widespread.”

Law enforcement experts say the bribing of border and immigration agents is not surprising. As security along the border has tightened with the addition of fences, drones and sensors, drug cartels and human smugglers have found it increasingly more difficult to operate. 

“So it makes sense that cartels would target and try to corrupt border interdiction agents,” said Fred Burton, chief security officer at Stratfor, a global intelligence company, and a former deputy chief of counterterrorism at the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service. “It’s very similar to the tactics and tradecraft used by foreign intelligence services during the Cold War.” 

Homeland Security officials, acknowledging that internal corruption is a problem, have hired more internal affairs investigators, provided ethics training and started to administer polygraph tests to new applicants, along with countersurveillance training to employees so they can recognize when they are being targeted by criminal organizations.

Customs and Border Protection, which has had dozens of its officers arrested and charged with bribery, said it had made additional changes to combat corruption. Jeh Johnson, the secretary of Homeland Security, in 2014 gave authority to the agency’s internal affairs office to conduct criminal investigations for the first time. And Mark Morgan, a former F.B.I. agent who had investigated corruption on the border, was put in charge of the Border Patrol.

“Polygraphs have made it so we don’t hire people with significant problems,” said R. Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of the customs agency. “The bigger problem is what happens to people who are already on board. These changes address that.” 

Records show that the bribing of Homeland Security employees persists. In 2016, 15 have been arrested on, convicted of or sentenced on charges of bribery.

In February, Johnny Acosta, a Customs and Border Protection officer in Douglas, Ariz., was sentenced to eight years in prison for bribery and drug smuggling. Mr. Acosta, who was arrested as he tried to flee to Mexico, took more than $70,000 in bribes and helped smuggle over a ton of marijuana into the United States.

In a plea agreement, Johnny Acosta, a Customs and Border Protection officer, admitted to taking bribes and participating in a scheme to smuggle marijuana across the United States-Mexico border.
Last month, Eduardo Bazan, a Border Patrol agent in McAllen, Tex., was arrested and accused of helping a drug trafficking organization smuggle cocaine. According to court records, Mr. Bazan admitted to receiving $8,000 for his help. José Cruz-López, a Transportation Security Administration screener at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan, P.R., was arrested around the same time and accused of taking $215,000 in bribes to help smuggle drugs.

Corruption investigators said the case of the former Border Patrol agent Ivhan Herrera-Chiang illustrates the damage a single compromised agent can cause. In 2013, he was sentenced to 15 years for providing sensitive law enforcement information to drug cartels. 

Mr. Herrera-Chiang, who was assigned to a special undercover unit targeting the cartels in Yuma, Ariz., provided maps of hidden underground sensors, lock combinations to gates along the United States-Mexico border and the locations of Border Patrol traffic checkpoints to an individual who provided them to the cartels. The cartels used the information to bypass Border Patrol agents and transport methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana into the country, according to court records.

Ivhan Herrera-Chiang, a former Border Patrol agent who is known as La Mujer, was accused in a criminal complaint of passing information about a confidential informant to a member of a drug cartel who planned to have the informant killed.
Mr. Herrera-Chiang also entered law enforcement databases on his work computer to run drug seizure checks and even provided information on confidential informants in Mexico. That information included one informant whom federal law enforcement officers were able to locate before he could be killed, court records said. Mr. Herrera-Chiang admitted to receiving about $4,500 in bribes for his efforts, but his co-conspirator put the amount between $60,000 and $70,000. 

Corrupt C.B.P. law enforcement personnel pose a national security threat, a Department of Homeland Security report released in May concluded. The report also revealed numerous problems with efforts to root out corruption among Border Patrol and customs agents. The report said the “true levels of corruption within C.B.P. are not known. ” 

Convicted former border and immigration agents give different reasons for taking bribes, from financial troubles to drug use. But for many, it was simple greed.

Records show that Border Patrol officers and customs agents, who protect more than 7,000 miles of the border and deal most directly with drug cartels and smugglers, have taken the most in bribes, about $11 million.

But the issue of bribery extends well beyond front-line agents at the border. Department of Homeland Security employees who enforce immigration and customs laws and provide citizenship benefits and aviation security have also been arrested or indicted on and convicted of charges of taking bribes.

Last month, Daniel Espejo Amos, a former immigration service officer at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in Los Angeles, pleaded guilty to taking $53,000 in bribes from immigration lawyers on behalf of 60 immigrants who were not eligible to become naturalized citizens of the United States. Mr. Amos certified that the immigrants met the requirements for citizenship, even though one person’s English-language skills were so poor that copies of test answers were given to him so he could memorize them for a naturalization interview. 

Transportation security officers and screeners with access to secure areas of airports that could be used to smuggle weapons and even carry bombs onto planes have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes as well, records show.

Mr. Roth, the inspector general, said rooting out corrupt employees is a top priority for his office, which gets 300 to 400 cases a year alleging corruption. The office takes about 100 of the cases and sends the rest to internal affairs offices at ICE, Customs and Border Protection, the T.S.A. and Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The Border Corruption Task Force, which is directed by the F.B.I. and includes agencies from the Department of Homeland Security as well as the Drug Enforcement Administration, has also pursued dozens of corruption and bribery cases that have ended in convictions. 

But the Homeland Security report released in May said Customs and Border Protection, the parent agency of the Border Patrol, currently lacks proactive programs to weed out corruption.

Instead, the report said, the agency based its investigations on reporting from other employees, other government agencies or the public, by which time the corruption could have festered for decades.

The agency also needed to more than double the number of internal affairs criminal investigators to 550 from about 200, the report said. It said the agency’s 2017 budget calls for an increase of only 30 investigators.

James Tomsheck, the former head of internal affairs at Customs and Border Protection, said many of the problems the agency is facing with corrupt agents had to do with inadequate prehiring screening programs. 

Background checks and polygraph tests have failed to weed out actual cartel members who were hired by the Border Patrol in some instances, he said."

images from NY Times

Friday, December 30, 2016

Russian President Putin statement: Russia chooses not to retaliate to expulsion of Russian diplomats by the outgoing Obama administration. Noting global security responsibilities of both Russia and US and consideration of international relations, Russia will plan further steps to restore Russian-US relations based on policies of the next US president-December 30, 2016

December 30, 2016, official statement from President Vladimir Putin in response to outgoing Obama administration's expulsion of Russian diplomats: 

"Statement by the President of Russia,"

"We regard the recent unfriendly steps taken by the outgoing US administration as provocative and aimed at further weakening the Russia-US relationship. This runs contrary to the fundamental interests of both the Russian and American people. Considering the global security responsibilities of Russia and the United States, this is also damaging to international relations as a whole. 

As it proceeds from international practice, Russia has reasons to respond in kind. Although we have the right to retaliate, we will not resort to irresponsible 'kitchen' diplomacy, but will plan our further steps to restore Russian-US relations based on the policies of the Trump Administration.

The diplomats who are returning to Russia will spend the New Year’s holidays with their families and friends. We will not create any problems for US diplomats. We will not expel anyone. We will not prevent their families and children from using their traditional leisure sites during the New Year’s holidays.

Moreover, I invite all children of US diplomats accredited in Russia to the New Year and Christmas children’s parties in the Kremlin. 

It is regrettable that the Obama Administration is ending its term in this manner. Nevertheless, I offer my New Year greetings to President Obama and his family. 

My season’s greetings also to President-elect Donald Trump and the American people. I wish all of you happiness and prosperity." 


Trump flipped 6 states that voted for Obama in 2012. To divert global attention from their historic failure, Obama and media seek to delegitimize US election and render voters irrelevant-NY Post Editorial Board

Trump "flipped six states that voted for Obama in 2012." Obama "himself said it was a referendum on him and his policies. Memo to the president: You lost."

12/29/16, "Obama’s ugly bid to snub voters and tie Trump’s hands," New York Post Editorial Board 

"In his waning days in the White House, President Obama is desperately trying to make his policies as permanent as possible by tying the hands of his successor — and far more than other presidents have done on their way out.

From his dramatic and disastrous change of US policy on Israel to his executive order restricting 1.65 million acres of land from development despite local objections, Obama is trying to make it impossible for Donald Trump and a GOP-controlled Congress to govern.

Even Thursday’s announcement of wide-ranging sanctions against Russia presents Trump with a foreign-policy crisis immediately upon taking office.

By contrast, many of Obama’s predecessors have stood back in their final days in office and refrained from any dramatic shifts, in deference to the agenda of the man voters sent to succeed them. 

But Obama won’t accept the election results. As he suggested the other day, Trump’s election was a fluke — and he himself would have easily been re-elected if allowed to stand for a third term.

He believes this not just because he’s an effective campaigner, but because he thinks his “vision” and policies continue to be backed by “a majority of the American people.”

But Obama, like many Democrats, fails to understand what happened in the election: Voters were calling for real change from the status quo — from his policies. Indeed, before the vote, he himself said it was a referendum on him and his policies. 

Memo to the president: You lost.

Whether it was the lackluster economy, ObamaCare, trade, the sweeping failure of his foreign policy or illegal immigration, voters sought something very different.

Trump, on the other hand, did more than just energize his base: He flipped six states that voted for Obama in 2012. 

The results, as many have since come to realize, is that the Democratic Party now caters to a hard-left, elite core located on the two coasts — and has abandoned the working-class Americans in the heartland it so loudly claims to champion.

Which is why Democrats have also been losing seats, especially at the state level. Voters are fed up with Democratic failures — to the point where they were willing to take a chance on an untested novice like Trump.

Obama’s failure to follow tradition and respect voters is par for the course. He spent much of his tenure pushing the bounds and overstepping his constitutional authority — through regulatory edicts and executive actions. So his latest power grab should come as no surprise.

But it’s one thing for Obama to have delusions about the popularity of his agenda. It’s quite another to try to preserve a discredited legacy by handcuffing America’s next democratically elected president."


Monday, December 26, 2016

Trump won white working class voters over Hillary Clinton by a larger margin than any major party nominee since World War II. Such an achievement would normally inspire introspection. MIT study found key support for Trump in areas most hurt by Chinese imports-NY Times op ed, David Paul Kuhn, 12/27/16

12/26/16, "Sorry, Liberals. Bigotry Didn’t Elect Donald Trump." NY Times op-ed, David Paul Kuhn. Print edition,  December 27, 2016, p. A19, NY edition 

"Donald J. Trump won the white working-class vote over Hillary Clinton by a larger margin than any major-party nominee since World War II. Instead of this considerable achievement inspiring introspection, figures from the heights of journalism, entertainment, literature and the Clinton campaign continue to suggest that Mr. Trump won the presidency by appealing to the bigotry of his supporters. As Bill Clinton recently said, the one thing Mr. Trump knows “is how to get angry white men to vote for him.”

This stereotyping of Trump voters is not only illiberal, it falsely presumes Mr. Trump won because of his worst comments about women and minorities rather than despite them.

In fact, had those people who agreed that Mr. Trump lacked “a sense of decency” voted for Mrs. Clinton, she would have been elected the next president.

Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump equally won over party loyalists. Yet about one in five voters did not have a favorable view of either candidate. These voters overwhelmingly backed Mr. Trump. Exit polls demonstrated that if voters who disapproved of both candidates had divided evenly between them, Mrs. Clinton would have won.

Several weeks before the election, a Quinnipiac University poll found that 51 percent of white working-class voters did not believe that Mr. Trump had a “sense of decency” and ranked Mrs. Clinton slightly higher on that quality. 

But they were not voting on decency. Indeed, one-fifth of voters — more than 25 million Americans — said they “somewhat” disapproved of Mr. Trump’s treatment of women. Mr. Trump won three-quarters of these voters, despite their disapprobation.

Bluntly put, much of the white working class decided that Mr. Trump could be a jerk. Absent any other champion, they supported the jerk they thought was more on their side — that is, on the issues that most concerned them.

And anti-immigrant blowback, for instance, was not what unified them. Mr. Trump proposed expelling illegal immigrants yet more of his voters, by a 50 percent to 45 percent margin, said illegal immigrants working here should be offered a chance to apply for legal status rather than be deported.
In the Obama era, we also saw that race was not a critical driver of white swing votes. Barack Obama won more support among white men in 2008, including the working class, than any Democrat since 1980.

Mr. Obama’s support among these whites was at its peak in 2008 after the stock market crash. At the depths of the Great Recession that followed, blue-collar white men experienced the most job losses.

Their support began hemorrhaging after Mr. Obama chose early in his presidency — when congressional Democrats could have overcome Republican obstruction — to fight for health care reform instead of a “new New Deal.”

By 2016, Mr. Trump personified the vote against the status quo, one still not working out for them. A post-campaign study [by MIT Dept. of Economics] comparing the George W. Bush coalition in 2000 to the Trump coalition in 2016 found that Mr. Trump particularly improved in areas hurt most by competition from Chinese imports, from the bygone brick and tile industry of Mason City, Iowa, to the flagging furniture plants of Hickory, N.C. The study concluded that, had the import competition from China been half as large, Mrs. Clinton would have won key swing states and the presidency with them.

This argument does not ignore bigotry. Racism appeared more concentrated among Trump voters. One [Reuters] poll found that four in 10 Trump supporters said blacks were more “lazy” than whites, compared with one-quarter of Clinton or John Kasich supporters. 

But traits are not motives and don’t necessarily decide votes. Consider that four in 10 liberal Democrats, the largest share of any group, said in 2011 that they would hold a Mormon candidate’s faith against him or her. It would be silly to argue that, therefore, liberals voted for Mr. Obama because Mitt Romney was Mormon.

Yet the Trump coalition continues to be branded as white backlash. The stereotyping forgets that many Trump supporters held a progressive outlook. Mr. Trump won nearly one in four voters who wanted the next president to follow more liberal policies.

Democrats need only recall Mr. Clinton to understand how voters can support someone in spite of his faults. Mr. Clinton won re-election in 1996 despite a majority, including about a third of liberal voters, saying he was not honest. His approval rating reached the highest point of his presidency during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. It wasn’t that Democrats and independents endorsed Mr. Clinton’s behavior. They opposed Republicans more.

Two decades later, we are reminded again that a vote for a presidential candidate is not a vote for every aspect of him. We can look for the worst in our opponents, but that doesn’t always explain how they got the best of us."


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Is Obama a Russian agent? While feigning hostile intent he did everything possible to ensure Russia’s rise. His destruction of Libya pushed Russia and China together. Soon they began voting against the US as a block in the UN Security Council. No longer is the US able to further its agenda via this important body-Dimitry Orlov

12/20/16, "Is Obama a Russian Agent?" Dimitry Orlov, ClubOrlov

"Sometimes a case looks weak because there is no “smoking gun”—no obvious, direct evidence of conspiracy, malfeasance or evil intent—but once you tally up all the evidence it forms a coherent and damning picture. And so it is with the Obama administration vis à vis Russia: by feigning hostile intent it did everything possible to further Russia’s agenda. And although it is always possible to claim that all of Obama’s failures stem from mere incompetence, at some point this claim begins to ring hollow; how can he possibly be so utterly competent…at being incompetent? Perhaps he just used incompetence as a veil to cover his true intent, which was always to bolster Russia while rendering the US maximally irrelevant in world affairs. Let’s examine Obama’s major foreign policy initiatives from this angle.

Perhaps the greatest achievement of his eight years has been the destruction of Libya. Under the false pretense of a humanitarian intervention what was once the most prosperous and stable country in the entire North Africa has been reduced to a rubble-strewn haven for Islamic terrorists and a transit point for economic migrants streaming into the European Union. This had the effect of pushing Russia and China together, prompting them to start voting against the US together as a block in the UN Security Council. In a single blow, Obama assured an important element of his legacy as a Russian agent: no longer will the US be able to further its agenda through this very important international body.

Next, Obama presided over the violent overthrow of the constitutional government in the Ukraine and the installation of an American puppet regime there. When Crimea then voted to rejoin Russia, Obama imposed sanctions on the Russian Federation. These moves may seem like they were designed to hurt Russia, but let’s look at the results instead of the intentions. First, Russia regained control of an important, strategic region. Second, the sanctions and the countersanctions allowed Russia to concentrate on import replacement, building up the domestic economy. This was especially impressive in agriculture, and Russia now earns more export revenue from foodstuffs than from weapons. Third, the severing of economic ties with the Ukraine allowed Russia to eliminate a major economic competitor. Fourth, over a million Ukrainians decided to move to Russia, either temporarily or permanently, giving Russia a major demographic boost and giving it access to a pool of Russian-speaking skilled labor. (Most Ukrainians are barely distinguishable from the general Russian population.) Fifth, whereas before the Ukraine was in a position to extort concessions from Russia by playing games with the natural gas pipelines that lead from Russia to the European Union, now Russia’s hands have been untied, resulting in new pipeline deals with Turkey and Germany. In effect, Russia reaped all the benefits from the Ukrainian stalemate, while the US gained an unsavory, embarrassing dependent.

Obama’s next “achievement” was in carefully shepherding the Syrian conflict into a cul de sac. (Some insist on calling it a civil war, although virtually all of the fighting there has between the entire Syrian nation and foreign-funded outside mercenaries). To this end, Obama deployed an array of tactics. He simultaneously supported, armed, trained and fought various terrorist groups, making a joke of the usual US technique of using “terrorism by proxy.” He made ridiculous claims that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against its own people, which immediately reminded everyone of similarly hollow claims about Saddam’s WMDs while offering Russia a legitimate role to play in resolving the Syrian conflict. He made endless promises to separate “moderate opposition” from dyed-in-the-wool terrorists, but repeatedly failed to do so, thus giving the Russians ample scope to take care of the situation as they saw fit. He negotiated several cease fires, then violated them.

There have been other achievements as well. By constantly talking up the nonexistent “Russian threat” and scaremongering about “Russian aggression” and “Russian invasion” (of which no evidence existed), and by holding futile military exercises in Eastern Europe and especially in the geopolitically irrelevant Baltics, Obama managed to deprive NATO of any residual legitimacy it once might have had, turning it into a sad joke.

But perhaps Obama’s most significant service on behalf of the Russian nation was in throwing the election to Donald Trump. This he did by throwing his support behind the ridiculously inept and corrupt Hillary Clinton. She outspent Trump by a factor of two, but apparently no amount of money could buy her the presidency. As a result of Obama’s steadfast efforts, the US will now have a Russia-friendly president who is eager to make deals with Russia, but will have to do so from a significantly weakened negotiating position.

As I have been arguing for the last decade, it is a foregone conclusion that the United States is going to slide from its position of global dominance. But it was certainly helpful to have Obama grease the skids, and now it’s up to Donald Trump to finish the job. And since Obama’s contribution was especially helpful to Russia, I propose that he be awarded the Russian Federation’s Order of Friendship, to go with his Nobel Peace Prize."
among comments
"bronwen said... 
Great analysis...also, in the Syrian debacle, he managed to get the Pentagon and CIA fighting one another in the battlefield, and arranged for Russia to become the dominant power in the middle east...with new bases, alliances with Syria and Iran, and replacing the US as power broker with Israel, Iraq, Turkey and now Egypt. 

Star over Bethlehem


Star over Bethlehem


Friday, December 23, 2016

Trump remarks on the UN in 3/21/16 AIPAC speech: "The United Nations is not a friend of democracy. It's not a friend to freedom. It's not a friend even to the United States of America, where as all know, it has its home. And it surely isn’t a friend to Israel."


Donald J. Trump twitter

Trump comments about the UN in his 3/21/16 speech at AIPAC:

"The United Nations is not a friend of democracy. It's not a friend to freedom. It's not a friend even to the United States of America, where as all know, it has its home. And it surely isn’t a friend to Israel." 

3/21/16, "Donald J. Trump Remarks at AIPAC," Donald J. Trump

"Which brings me to my next point – the utter weakness and incompetence of the United Nations. 

The United Nations is not a friend of democracy. It's not a friend to freedom. It's not a friend even to the United States of America, where as all know, it has its home. And it surely isn’t a friend to Israel.

With President Obama in his final year, discussions have been swirling about an attempt to bring a security council resolution on the terms of an eventual agreement between Israel and Palestine.

Let me be clear: An agreement imposed by the UN would be a total and complete disaster. The United States must oppose this resolution and use the power of our veto. Why? Because that's not how you make a deal.

Deals are made when parties come to the table and negotiate. Each side must give up something it values in exchange for something it requires. A deal that imposes conditions on Israel and the Palestinian Authority will do nothing to bring peace. It will only further delegitimize Israel and it would reward Palestinian terrorism, because every day they are stabbing Israelis – and even Americans.

Just last week, American Taylor Allen Force, a West Point grad who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was murdered in the street by a knife-wielding Palestinian. You don't reward that behavior, you confront it!

It's not up the United Nations to impose a solution. The parties must negotiate a resolution themselves. The United States can be useful as a facilitator of negotiations, but no one should be telling Israel it must abide by some agreement made by others thousands of miles away that don't even really know what's happening. When I'm president, believe me, I will veto any attempt by the UN to impose its will on the Jewish state....

We know Israel is willing to deal. Israel has been trying to sit down at the negotiating table, without pre-conditions, for years. You had Camp David in 2000, where Prime Minister Barak made an incredible offer – maybe even too generous. Arafat rejected it. 

In 2008, Prime Minister Olmert made an equally generous offer.

The Palestinian Authority rejected it. Then John Kerry tried to come up with a framework and Abbas didn't even respond, not even to the Secretary of State of the United States of America!

When I become President, the days of treating Israel like a second-class citizen will end on Day One. I will meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu immediately. I have known him for many years and we will be able to work closely together to help bring stability and peace to Israel and to the entire region.

Meanwhile, every single day, you have rampant incitement and children being taught to hate Israel and hate the Jews. When you live in a society where the firefighters are the hero’s, little kids want to be firefighters. 

When you live in a society where athletes and movie stars are heroes, little kids want to be athletes and movie stars. In Palestinian society, the heroes are those who murder Jews - we can't let this continue. You cannot achieve peace if terrorists are treated as martyrs. Glorifying terrorists is a tremendous barrier to peace. In Palestinian textbooks and mosques, you’ve got a culture of hatred that has been fermenting there for years, and if we want to achieve peace, they’ve got to end this indoctrination of hatred.

There is no moral equivalency. Israel does not name public squares after terrorists. Israel does not pay its children to stab random Palestinians. 

You see, what President Obama gets wrong about deal making is that he constantly applies pressure to our friends and rewards our enemies. That pattern, practiced by the President and his administration, including former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has repeated itself over and over and has done nothing but embolden those who hate America. We saw that with releasing $150 billion to Iran in the hope that they would magically join the world community - It's the same with Israel and Palestine. 

President Obama thinks that applying pressure to Israel will force the issue, but it's precisely the opposite. Already, half the population of Palestine has been taken over by the Palestinian ISIS in Hamas, and the other half refuses to confront the first half, so it’s a very difficult situation but when the United States stands with Israel, the chances of peace actually rise. That's what will happen when I’m president.

We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem - and we will send a clear signal that there is no daylight between America and our most reliable ally, the state of Israel.

The Palestinians must come to the table knowing that the bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable. They must come to the table willing and able to stop the terror being committed on a daily basis against Israel and they must come to the table willing to accept that Israel is a Jewish State and it will forever exist as a Jewish State."... 


Comment: Why is the US even a member of a group of haters, parasites, terrorists, and their lazy relatives? Because the US political class likes it this way. The US political class thinks it's fine to force chump US taxpayers to pay the majority of bills for a massive, unaccountable money laundering operation. UN personnel can put all US taxpayer dollars into personal bank accounts and suffer no consequences.


12/23/16, "Benjamin Netanyahu – Christmas Message to Christians Around The World," tcth, sundance 


Blue Christmas, Elvis Presley, live in 1968



Thursday, December 22, 2016

US has 10,000+ open terrorism investigations. It takes 30 agents per week for FBI to monitor one individual suspected of terrorism-Kozak, Lifezette, Sept. 2016

Sept. 28, 2016, "GOP Senators Expose Refugee Danger," Lifezette, Edmund Kozak

"Republican senators questioned the strength of the refugee vetting process--as well as the wisdom of allowing 110,000 Muslim migrants from Syria into the country--during a hearing convened by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and The National Interest, Wednesday....

Sessions noted there are over 10,000 open terror investigations underway the U.S. currently, and that

it takes 30 agents a week for the FBI to monitor one individual suspected of terrorism.

He also highlighted the “580 individuals from the Middle East convicted of terrorism since 9/11. The U.S. simply does not have the necessary manpower to monitor potential hundreds or thousands of Islamic militants who could enter disguised as refugees.

León Rodríguez, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and Simon Henshaw, deputy assistant secretary for the Bureau Of Population, Refugees, and Migration, were adamant that refugees allowed entry pose no threat to Americans."...

[Ed. note: US does no vetting of refugees per official Henshaw: "The government's decisions to grant refugee applications "are based [exclusively] on their vulnerabilities.""]

(continuing): "Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), however, brought up the fact that 18 percent of ISIS prosecutions in the U.S. have been of refugees or asylum seekers, and Rodriguez readily admitted that refugees have been caught committing terrorism offenses.

Not only did he contradict his earlier statement that "only those who do not pose a risk to national security" are allowed into the country via the program, [also contradicted by US official Henshaw: "The government's decisions to grant refugee applications "are based [exclusively] on their vulnerabilities."] but also confirmed that the vetting process relies on U.S. intelligence only and that potential terrorists won't be flagged "if they have not appeared in our intelligence databases.""...

[Ed. note: "Databases" on "refugees" are virtually non-existent: "FBI Director James Comey said in some cases Syrians’ backgrounds aren’t fully known because there is no documentation available to the U.S. to research."]

(continuing): "Rodriguez qualified his admission by raising the point that there's no possible way to identify every terrorist from any country, Middle Eastern or otherwise.

"We never had terrorist attacks from people who came from Cuba, or the Philippines, or Mexico, or South Africa or Ethiopia," Sessions replied.

None of this was of any concern at all to the Democrats on the committee, who seemed hell-bent on ignoring the very real questions raised about national security and turning the hearing into a excoriation of supposed Republican "fear and hate."

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)...produced two giant copies of now-famous photos of refugee children: Alan Kurdi, who drowned crossing the Mediterranean, and Omran Daqneesh. Of course, Kurdi drowned because of the actions of his father — a people-smuggler....

"In all our refugee programs, we have a right and a duty to favor the admission of immigrants who support and celebrate our pluralist Western values," said Sessions. "This is not just a security test — it is a national interest test."

Sessions said we must ensure those coming in have the "ability to assimilate." We must vet their "views towards the treatment of women and homosexuals, their views on honor killings" and "their views on the Constitution," Sessions said."


map via Lifezette


Americans helped decide Russian election in 1996-Time Cover, July 15, 1996, "Yanks to the Rescue," Boris Yeltsin with American flag


Time cover, July 15, 1996

Cover story: "RESCUING BORIS"


In the end the Russian people chose--and chose decisively--to reject the past. Voting in the final round of the presidential election last week, they preferred Boris Yeltsin to his Communist rival Gennadi Zyuganov by a margin of 13 percentage points. He is far from the ideal democrat or reformer, and his lieutenants Victor Chernomyrdin and Alexander Lebed are already squabbling over power, but Yeltsin is arguably the best hope Russia has for moving toward pluralism and an open economy. By re-electing him, the Russians defied predictions that they might willingly resubmit themselves to communist rule. The outcome was by no means"...(log in required) (via discussion on WBAI)

LA Times article, 1996

7/9/1996, "Americans Claim Role in Yeltsin Win," LA Times, Eleanor Randolph

"Russia: Consultants say they spent months in Moscow secretly devising U.S.-style strategy." 

"A team of American political strategists who helped Gov. Pete Wilson with his abortive presidential bid earlier this year said this week that they served as Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin's secret campaign weapon in his comeback win over a Communist challenger.And while some Muscovites are debating whether the Americans saved Yeltsin's job or merely provided one voice among many working to revive the Russian president's political chances, the consultants have now emerged to give interviews about how they quietly peddled advice to Yeltsin's 36-year-old daughter and key advisor, Tatyana Dyachenko.

"I don't have candidates generally who are as responsive as Boris Yeltsin," said George Gorton, who worked for Wilson in 1994 and later ran Wilson's abortive bid for the GOP nomination. "Certainly not Pete Wilson."

Hired in February through a San Francisco firm with connections in Moscow, Gorton said that the team members never met Yeltsin. Instead, they sent their detailed, unsigned memos to his daughter. "We were told that we were formally retained as advisors to the Yeltsin family."

Although the Americans spoke no Russian and worked through translators, they began secretly laying out an American-style campaign to counter the public sentiment running against Yeltsin. When they started, Yeltsin's approval rating was about 6%, and, as they told Time magazine, Josef Stalin had a higher positive rating in their polls. Yet last week, Yeltsin defeated Communist candidate Gennady A. Zyuganov by more than 13 percentage points.
In an interview here Monday, Gorton said that he and his colleagues quickly realized that Yeltsin did not trust his campaign advisors to help him win reelection and placed more value on the advice of his daughter.

"However, she didn't know anything," Gorton said. "She's very bright, very articulate, very strong-willed, but she didn't have the first idea about campaigning, not even the ideas that a child here would have."

The Americans were brought in by a circuitous route. Felix Braynin of San Francisco, a Soviet immigrant who is now a wealthy consultant to American businesses working in Russia, began helping the Yeltsin campaign last year.

After he asked about American advisors who could help, San Francisco lawyer Fred Lowell suggested Gorton and Joe Shumate, an expert on political polling, and Richard Dresner, a political strategist who has helped not only Wilson but President Clinton in his earlier campaigns for governor of Arkansas.

The Americans will not say how much they were paid, although their fee has been estimated at about $250,000. They were told that their involvement had to be treated like a state secret because of fears that the Communists would use their presence to try to foment anti-Western sentiment among voters.

The group worked in hiding on the 11th floor of the Kremlin's lavish President Hotel in downtown Moscow. The hotel can be entered by invitation only. After six weeks inside, Gorton and his colleagues began to sneak out for occasional meals in the city or to go into the countryside to help conduct some of Russia's first focus groups.

"What you have to understand is that this hotel is a minimum-security prison masquerading as a five-star hotel," said Steven Moore, a 28-year-old political consultant who joined in the effort. The team is still secretive about some of its Russian business. Dresner prefers to stay mum about whether he was in touch with his old colleague Dick Morris, now Clinton's chief campaign advisor. Citing certain "agreements" that they refuse to explain, Dresner and Gorton acknowledge only that information about their work was made available to the Clinton White House.
The American advisors also worked with the Russians on such details as replacing a poster of a scowling Yeltsin with a smiling version. They suggested that some negative ads needed to be more subtle--persuading the Yeltsin campaign to pull one poster that showed a hammer and sickle made of cockroaches.

Some of Yeltsin's Russian advisors felt strongly that he could not criticize communism, especially since Communists had done so well in parliamentary elections in December and their leader, Zyuganov, was doing so well in the polls.

But Yeltsin followed the American advice until the last few days before the first round of balloting June 16, Gorton said. At that point, however, the Russian advisors canceled the anti-Communist ads. About the same time, Dresner said, Yeltsin's campaign polls showed a flattening out.

But mostly, Yeltsin took their advice, the Americans said.

Perhaps the most troubling moment in their adventure came when it appeared some of Yeltsin's advisors in the Kremlin were trying to convince him to cancel the election. At one point, the Americans believed that a Moscow pollster was handing out false numbers showing that Yeltsin could not possibly win.

"It came to the point that we wrote a memo I would never have written anywhere else. We said: 'This campaign is in the bank. It's over. It's finished,' " Gorton said, meaning that Yeltsin had won."


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Germany says couldn't deport Tunisian 'refugee' Islamic mass murderer because they didn't have required paperwork to do so. Tunisia at first denied he was a citizen so he couldn't be sent to them-BBC

German police officers went to search Amri's former refugee residence earlier today but left because of mistakes on their paperwork. "Before entering Germany, he served four years for arson in Italy and faced a jail sentence in absentia in Tunisia."

12/21/16, "Berlin truck attack: Tunisian fugitive 'had been under surveillance'," BBC

Anis Amri
"The Tunisian man wanted for the Berlin lorry attack which killed 12 people and injured 49 had been under surveillance earlier this year, media reports say.
Anis Amri, 23, was reportedly monitored on suspicion of planning a robbery in order to pay for guns but surveillance was lifted for lack of evidence.

Before entering Germany, he served four years for arson in Italy and faced a jail sentence in absentia in Tunisia.

The failed asylum seeker is now the subject of a manhunt across Europe.

An arrest warrant was issued after his residence permit was found in the cab of the lorry that left a trail of carnage at a Christmas market near Berlin's most famous shopping street, the Kurfuerstendamm, on Monday evening. 

The German authorities warn he could be armed and dangerous and are offering a reward of up to €100,000 (£84,000; $104,000) for information leading to his arrest.
Reports suggest he may have been injured in a struggle with the lorry driver, found murdered in the cab. The attack claimed 12 lives in all.... 

Six aliases

German judicial sources say the suspect, who reportedly entered Germany last year, was monitored in Berlin between March and September on suspicion of planning a robbery to pay for automatic weapons for use in an attack.

Surveillance was reportedly called off after it turned up nothing more than drug-dealing in a Berlin park and a bar brawl before the suspect disappeared from his regular haunts in Berlin.

Ralf Jaeger, the interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, confirmed that Anis Amri had, more recently, attracted the attention of counter-terrorism police. 

"Security agencies exchanged their findings and information about this person with the Joint Counter-Terrorism Centre in November 2016," the minister said.

Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reports that the suspect moved within the circle of an Islamist preacher, Ahmad Abdelazziz A, known as Abu Walaa, who was arrested in November.
A police notice lists six different aliases used by Anis Amri, who at times tried to pass himself off as an Egyptian or Lebanese.

The suspect was facing deportation as of June but there was a delay in receiving paperwork from Tunisia."... 

"“Tunisia at first denied that this person was its citizen, and the papers weren’t issued for a long time,” Jaeger said. “They arrived today.”...

The new suspect apparently arrived in Germany in July 2015 and lived in three German regions since February, mostly in Berlin, said Ralf Jaeger, the interior minister of western North Rhine-Westphalia state.

Jaeger told reporters on Wednesday that state police had launched proceedings against the man on suspicion that he was preparing a serious crime. He said “security agencies exchanged information about this person in the joint counter-terrorism center, the last time in November.”

Separately, the man’s asylum application was rejected in July. German authorities prepared to deport him but weren’t able to do so because he didn’t have valid identity papers, Jaeger said. In August they started trying to get him a replacement passport."...12/21/16, "Berlin market attack: “Armed and dangerous” Tunisian Anis Amri hunted throughout Europe," CBS News/AP 

(continuing, BBC): "History of crime... 

The suspect has a history of crime:
  • Anis Amri's father and security sources told a Tunisian radio station that after leaving Tunisia about seven years ago, he had served four years in an Italian prison over a fire at a school
  • He was also sentenced to five years in prison in Tunisia in absentia, reportedly for aggravated theft with violence
An earlier suspect, a Pakistani asylum seeker, was freed from German custody on Tuesday, with officials saying there was no evidence to link him to the attack. 

'Struggle with driver'

Some 49 people were also injured when the lorry was driven into crowds at the Breitscheidplatz Christmas market. So-called Islamic State said one of its militants carried out the attack but offered no evidence.

Polish citizen Lukasz Urban was found dead on the passenger seat with gunshot and stab wounds.

Investigators believe the lorry was hijacked on Monday afternoon as it stood in an industrial zone in north-western Berlin, Germany's Bild tabloid reports.

Mr Urban had stopped there after the delivery of Italian steel beams he was carrying was postponed until Tuesday.

GPS data from the vehicle reportedly shows it made small movements "as if someone was learning how to drive it" before leaving for the city at 19:40 (18:40 GMT), heading for the Christmas market near the Kurfuerstendamm, Berlin's main shopping street....

Where Amri stayed: Gavin Lee, BBC News, Emmerich

In a small detached building surrounded by fields, 16 male migrants live on two floors in basic, student-style accommodation. I knocked on each of their doors, The young Iraqi and Albanian refugees who answered claimed they knew little about Anis Amri, who stayed here for a short time.

"I don't recognise his face," Andi from Albania told me as I showed him a picture of the Berlin suspect. "But we've been talking about this attack with other refugees," he added, "and about how this man had jihadist contacts around here. Maybe he did. It's horrible around here. We hate it but no one here knew much about him."

There is a swastika graffiti sign on the corridor wall, evidence of anti-migrant sentiment, which migrants say was done by locals two months ago. 

The site's night manager, who did not want to be identified, told me he had recognised Amri "straightaway" because "We're a small place. I know everyone who stays here." Staff said Amri had "disappeared" after "a brief stay". 

We are told that police officers attempted to search the premises earlier today but left because of mistakes on their paperwork. They have not returned. This place offers a glimpse into the life and activity of Europe's most wanted terror suspect but it appears to be a trail that goes cold quickly."...image from thinkstock


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

German Christmas market at Strasbourg targeted in 2000 by al Qaeda bomb plot-BBC

12/20/16, "Berlin attack: Can police protect Christmas crowds?"

No-one should be surprised that a Christmas market was attacked or even the way the attack was carried out. But even if the tactics and target were predictable, the security challenges in defending against it remain real.
As far back as 2000, a market in Strasbourg was targeted by al-Qaeda in a bomb plot which was foiled.

For jihadists, these markets - a long tradition in many parts of Europe - offer a large number of locals and tourists crowded in a public place as well as the symbolic and emotional impact of striking in the holiday season. 

Just a few weeks ago, a radicalised 12 year old was reportedly arrested in Germany with a plan to set off home-made explosives at a market in his home town. The nail bomb is said to have failed to detonate.

And the methodology of this attack is also not new. 

Vehicles used as weapons 

Two years ago a van was driven into shoppers at a Christmas market in the French city of Nantes, leaving 10 people injured. One person later died.

Jihadist group Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda have both called for the use of vehicles as weapons and the attack in Nice in July was the clearest sign of the terrible damage a lorry could wreak when 86 people were killed.

In that case, the driver may have been inspired by IS jihadists but the extent of direct contact seems to have been limited. Vetting every lorry driver is not a solution especially, as seems to have been the case in Berlin, a vehicle was hijacked just hours before it was used.

The challenges in preventing such low-tech attacks are complex.

A decade ago those working with al-Qaeda tended to plan more complex attacks involving explosives. 

This often required international travel and training as well as communication and such plots took time to develop. This all provided potential opportunities for intelligence agencies to learn about the plans and interdict them. 

Protecting crowds from lone jihadists 

If an individual is inspired by IS but not in touch with them and acts either alone or in a small cell, then it can be harder to spot them. By the time they hijack a lorry, there may be few chances to find them.

The only hope in that case is protecting sites from an attack to reduce the possible damage.

The UK has invested extensively in trying to protect crowded places. 

Advice is published by the National Counter Terrorism Security Office to those looking after security at buildings, pubs, bars and visitor attractions on how to protect themselves. 

Much of that historically has been about protecting against car bombs or what is called "a marauding firearms attack" - the kind of incident seen first in Mumbai and more recently in Paris.

The concern over car bombs has led to investment in bollards, obstacles and chicanes - sometimes integrated into local architecture rather than overtly visible - which would make it harder for a vehicle to ram a building at speed. 

There is also increased surveillance at public events and liaison by organisers with police to prepare. 

Markets are still hard to protect, partly because they tend to be based in open squares and streets but are also temporary in nature - making it less likely that there will be investment in heavy, permanent security, although temporary barriers can still be used. 

British police forces say security plans were already in place for markets in the UK and these will be reviewed and in some cases adjusted, with Greater Manchester Police increasing their presence. 

Counter-terrorism experts caution that relying purely on protective security is not enough.

"More bollards and troops on the streets is absolutely not the answer to this threat," Richard Walton, who was in charge of counter-terrorism at the Metropolitan Police from 2011 until the start of 2016, told the BBC.

"You have to build your intelligence capability more. You have to encourage people to come forward and in particular you have to encourage the Muslim community to come forward and trust the agencies and report information and concerns they have got".

There may be questions, though, as to whether enough was done in Berlin given that this threat was known about. 

The US state department issued a warning in late November telling American citizens to exercise caution at "holiday festivals, events and outdoor markets".

Increased security was put in place at some Christmas markets, such as the more famous one at Strasbourg, with checks on people and restrictions on vehicle movements. 

But one risk is that if all markets are not secured to the same standard, it might simply divert an attacker to a less well-defended target. 

German officials have sought to defend their preparations, especially since there do not appear to have been obstacles capable of stopping a lorry in Berlin.

"Christmas markets can't be turned into fortresses," one German official said the day after the attack.

"We have an unlimited number of soft targets. There are so many possibilities to attack with a lorry and kill people."" map from bbc