Friday, November 30, 2018
TODAY, PRESIDENT TRUMP IS AT THE G-20, AND ISRAEL IS IN THE WINGS. • • • NO TRUMP-PUTIN MEETING AT THE G-20. Russian-Ukrainian tensions have shifted the focus of the G-20 summit from economics to diplomacy, but power struggles in the Middle East between the US and Russia, Sunnis and Shiites, and Israelis and Arabs are likely to be discussed, too. Israel Hayom's Yoav Limor wrote on Friday that : "Argentina is bracing for diplomatic drama. Selected as the first South American host of the G-20 summit -- the powerful international forum of governments and central bank chiefs that aim to shape policy for the promotion of international financial stability -- Buenos Aires has already become the scene of a showdown between Russia and Ukraine, after Russia opened fire on three Ukrainian Navy ships on Sunday and seized their crews in the Kerch Strait, between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. The incident quickly spiraled into an international crisis that has clouded the summit's agenda. It seems that, much like in the days of the Cold War, everyone is waiting to see what the United States and Russia will do. US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin were supposed to meet over the weekend on the sidelines of the summit, but Trump announced Thursday that he was canceling the meeting, citing his disapproval over Russia's refusal to release the Ukrainian ships and sailors. It is doubtful whether this meeting could have changed the situation on the Russia-Ukraine border, as it is far too rife with emotion and internal politics that are now being exploited by both parties. The Russians have reinforced their troops on the border and the Ukrainians have declared a tentative, one-month state of emergency. Putin was also less than impressed by the joint air maneuvers conducted this week by the United States, France and Britain, which for the first time included F-35 stealth fighter jets. The move sought to send a clear message to Moscow, but as far as Putin is concerned, this was just another move in the global chess game the Kremlin is playing." • We are looking at the Buenos Aires G-20 from the perspective of Israeli media because the US-Russia-Ukraine issues will have an impact on Israel, with the other glaring US-Russia power struggle being played out in the Middle east and so involves not only eastern Europe but also Sunnis and Shiites, and Israelis and Arabs. Israel Hayom says : "Israel's focus remains the developments in Syria. This tumultuous arena seems to have calmed in recent weeks. This may be a cooling effect of the September 17 downing of a Russian plane by Syrian air defenses trying to counter an Israeli airstrike. Since that incident, all sides have been acting differently : Israel has been less aggressive in its operations, Iran has reduced its attempts to smuggle weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon via Syria, and Damascus has shifted its focus to its own rehabilitation after the seven-year civil war. Russia's bombastic statements also seem different on the ground : The S-300 anti-aircraft defense systems deployed in Syria in the wake of the September 17 incident have yet to be declared operational, nor has a timetable been set for handing them over to the Syrian army's control. Add to this the immediate implications of the US sanctions on Iran -- especially with respect to Teheran reducing its financial aid to Hezbollah, which is suffering from severe financial distress -- the situation is very different than previously assessed, even if it remains highly volatile." • In addition, Israel Hayom notes that this status, "the ramifications of which extend far beyond Syria, has prompted Israel is engaged in intensive efforts to form international and regional alliances that will change the regional balance of power in its favor." One of the most discussed of Israel's alliance-forming efforts has been to try to "placate American ire over Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's alleged involvement in the murder of exiled Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi are true, and these efforts have succeeded and have contributed to the budding relationship between Jerusalem and Riyadh.' • But, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected visit to Bahrain -- after his October 28 visit to Oman -- an indication, says Israel Hayom that "we see a new Middle East, one less naive than in the past, where alliances are based on strong military, economic and technological interests." • • • THE UNITED STATES IN THE MIDDLE EAST. President Trump told the Washington Post this week that US forces remain in Syria in part "for Israel." The clear statement that Washington stands with Israel provides a reason for America to stay in Syria, but it also, according to Israel Hayom raises "the possibility that Israel will now be blamed for every American casualty in the Middle East." If America remains in the region mainly to prevent Iran from gaining more power, the stabilization of Iraq and maintenance of a balance of power against Russia and its client state, Iran, are also on the US Middle East agenda.But, there is no doubt that the Trump administration has made it clear to the world that Israel does not stand alone in its efforts to stop Iran's regional aspirations. • One proof of the continuing and re-enforced US support for Israel was to be found at the UN this week. The Associated Press and Israel Hayom staff reported that : "The United States circulated a UN resolution Thursday condemning the terrorist group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, 'for repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence' that puts civilians at risk. The draft General Assembly resolution, obtained by the AP, 'demands that Hamas and other militant actors, including Palestinian Islamic Jihad, cease their activity,' including the recently adopted practice of launching 'airborne incendiary devices.' The resolution, which would not be legally binding, was circulated as the 193-member world body was preparing to vote on four pro-Palestinian resolutions. The US mission said it expects a vote on the Hamas resolution as early as Monday. If adopted, it would be the first resolution condemning Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007." Outgoing US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has repeatedly accused the United Nations of anti-Israel bias, citing the General Assembly's annual adoption of numerous resolutions supporting the Palestinians. In June, America withdrew from the Geneva-based Human Rights Council over the body's longstanding bias against Israel. In June, Ambassador Haley also sought to amend an Arab-backed General Assembly resolution blaming Israel for violence in Gaza and deploring its "excessive use of force" by adding a condemnation of Hamas attacks on Israel. The amendment was approved by a 62-58 vote, with 42 abstentions, but it failed because this was below the two-thirds majority needed. The resolution was later approved by a vote of 120-8 with 45 abstentions. AP and Israel Hayom reported Friday that : "The latest draft resolution on Hamas does not include references to previous Security Council resolutions sought by some European Union members that call for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and criticize Israel, including for settlement building. But the US draft does reaffirm support 'for a just, lasting and comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians, in accordance with international law, and bearing in mind relevant UN resolutions.' Sweden's UN ambassador, Olof Skoog, told reporters earlier Thursday : 'We don't mind condemning Hamas. They deserve to be condemned.' But he said that 'we also need to be very careful' that Security Council or General Assembly resolutions 'always stress the fact that there needs to be a two-state solution.' " A key EU diplomat told the AP that the final US draft will have the support of the 28 EU nations, which would be a step forward for Israel at the UN, because the US draft resolution states that violence against civilians, "particularly acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation, incitement and destruction, only serve to erode trust and hinder efforts to bring about a peaceful solution." It also condemns Hamas for using resources that could go to meeting "critical needs of civilians" to instead construct tunnels used to infiltrate Israel and for equipment to launch rockets into civilian areas. The draft resolution also calls on all parties to respect international human rights and humanitarian law including on protecting civilians and to halt intimidation and violence against medical and humanitarian personnel, and it encourages the reconciliation of rival Palestinian groups "and concrete steps to reunite the Gaza Strip and the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority." The US draft resolution, in addition, urges UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Middle East Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov to help "de-escalate the situation and address urgent infrastructure, humanitarian, and economic development needs." As we would expect, the AP and Israel Hayom reported that on Tuesday, Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour called the draft US resolution a continuation of the "attack against the Palestinian people," citing the Trump administration's decision last December to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, ignoring the Palestinians' demand that east Jerusalem be the capital of its future state, as well as the cutoff of US funding for the Palestinian refugee agency, UNRWA, and closing of the Palestine Liberation Office in Washington. But, these are all indications of the depth of US support for Israel, while at the same time the US is seeking to find a way forward to improve the conditions of Palestinians, especially those under Hamas in Gaza. Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon told reporters Tuesday that "the fact that people discuss Hamas in the UN is a win-win." • • • ISRAELI GAS TO EUROPE. Another sign that Israel is moving into a more secure position because of Trump administration support is the Israel-Europe Pipeline that Canada Free Press wrote about on Thursday. The Pipeline will benefit not only Israel but also the people of Europe, leading to the stability of governments, stability of energy prices, and stability in the energy markets. CFP calls it "The Geo-Political and Strategic Umbilical Cord," saying : "After fairly rapid negotiations, Israel has agreed with European nations to supply Europe with its future natural gas needs. The project will turn Israel into a significant fuel-exporting nation. Construction will begin on the longest and deepest underwater fuel pipeline in the world. 1,305 miles in length and lying 1.86 miles under the Mediterranean Sea. The $7 Billion project will take five years to complete. Natural gas will flow from Israel’s natural gas reserves in the Mediterranean via Cyprus to Greece and Italy. This multi-national pipeline will supply Europe with 125 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually by 2030. After careful strategic deliberations, Israel decided on the Cyprus-Greece-Italy connection to Europe rather than through the Turkish route. One factor in the decision was the political behavior of Tayip Erdogan, the Turkish President, toward the Jewish State. The decision has been received poorly by the Turks who were quick to sign an alternative agreement with Russia for the construction of a rival TurkStream pipeline for the delivery of Russian natural gas to Turkey. The Israeli decision may be the reason for recent provocative statements made by the Kremlin against Israel, but Israel has chosen the direct European route for important strategic, as well as economic, reasons." Canada Free Press states : "As former Greek Deputy Minister, Demitri Dollis said during the negotiations, ‘The EU will prefer the Israeli pipeline over the TurkStream project because EU countries are involved (in the Israeli project). Also, since Europe already relies heavily on Russian gas, the project is of top geo-political importance to Israel, Greece, and Europe and, for this reason, is backed by the United States. Going forward, Greece will hold strategic talks in Washington with the Trump Administration on December 13 before heading to Jerusalem for talks with the Israeli Government. As Dollis said when the new pipeline had been agreed, 'Energy and security will work to the benefit not only of Israel but for the people of Europe. It will lead to the stability of governments, stability of energy prices, stability in the energy markets.' When the fuel starts flowing it will certainly improve the relationship between the EU and Israel." AND, we should note, it will loosen somewhat the current energy stranglehold that Russia has on Europe. This may not please Germany and Chancellor Merkel, who suppots the Russia pipeline one-supplier deal with Russia, but a lot of other European countries will be sleeping easier. • • • IS THE US IN THE MIDDLE EAST ONLY FOR ISRAEL? Against the backdrop of the multitude of efforts and signals coming from President Trump and his administration, the Jerusalem Post chose Wednesday to ask the question "Why is the US in the Middle East?" The JPost article begins with this statement : "Jerusalem wants to see the US engaged, influential and active in the region. It doesn’t want to see it disengaged and concerned only about its own domestic problems. In the run-up to the 2016 US presidential campaign, one concern heard in Jerusalem about then-candidate Donald Trump was that his 'America First' policy contained the seeds of isolationism. And American isolationism is not good for Israel. Since his election, however, those concerns were largely put to rest, as Trump took a number of steps that have been extremely good for Israel. These include withdrawing from the Iranian nuclear agreement and turning the sanction screws on Teheran; moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem and challenging some of the long-held principles of how to reach an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians; and, dramatically changing the tone toward Israel both in Washington and at the UN in New York." • The JPost then noted that President's interview with the Washington Post again raised the issue of isolationism under President Trump : "The concerns about isolationism were largely put to rest, but not completely buried, and interviews such as the one Trump gave Tuesday to The Washington Post, where he discussed why the US is in the Mideast, have a tendency to bring them back to the surface. Asked about whether sanctions should be imposed on Saudi Arabia for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey, Trump said, 'I just feel that it’s very, very important to maintain that relationship [with Riyadh]. It’s very important to have Saudi Arabia as an ally, if we’re going to stay in that part of the world. Now, are we going to stay in that part of the world? One reason to is Israel. Oil is becoming less and less of a reason, because we’re producing more oil now than we’ve ever produced. So, you know, all of a sudden it gets to a point where you don’t have to stay there.' " • The Jerusalem Post sees the President's self-debate about whether the US needs to remain in the Middle East as bad for Israel : "The first is his argument that Israel is the reason the US is in the Middle East. The last thing Israel wants the average American to think is that US troops in the Middle East are risking their lives -- and at times losing them -- to protect Israel. Israel has been careful never to ask for US troops to be deployed in the region. It has lobbied Washington long and hard for weapons and funds to buy arms, saying 'Give us the wherewithal to defend ourselves.' But it has never asked America to do the actual defending. Trump’s answer could be construed as meaning that the US is in the Mideast -- its troops are engaged throughout the region -- because of Israel." • It may well be true that the US remains in the Middle East for strategic reasons in part unrelated to Israel -- as a function of US security, of America's strategic position in the world requiring it to be involved in the region, and of preventing the entire region form falling into the hands of Islamic radicals. The JPost sees President Trump's argument about remaining in the Mideast because of Israel as having "a certain appeal to some of Trump’s Evangelical backers, who see this as a good enough reason since it fits their belief in God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis : 'I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curses thee.' But for US Jews, the argument is uncomfortable. If America is in the Mideast because of Israel, then if something goes wrong -- if US troops are killed -- Israel is to blame, and that is definitely not something for which Israel wants to bear responsibility." • • • DEAR READERS, I find this to be a self-defeating argument from the Jerusalem Post. If there is any overriding reason for the US to stay in the Middle East, it is for Israel. Most Americans -- while weary of the loss of life and expense of staying the course in the region -- see it as vital to the survival of Israel. If Israel were not in the Middle East, President Trump's argument for a US easing back in the region -- American petroleum independence -- would carry great weight with the American public. THAT is precisely why he added that oil independence means that it is Israel that is a major reason for remaining. As I wrote about Afghanistan, there are many reasons to leave the region to its own self-destructive inclinations. BUT, the existence of Israel overrides the American sense of weariness with the entire millenia-old Sunni-Shiite battle for hegemony over Islam. The day that America ceases to see Israel as of overriding importance is the day the US backs off in the Middle East. The JPost should recognize this and support it, not try to say something that smacks of an insincere "Oh, of course I know I'm not your only love" while the wedding vows are said. • Now, the Jerusalem Post does raise one key point related to this : "Jerusalem wants to see the US engaged, influential and active in the region. It doesn’t want to see it disengaged and concerned only about its own domestic problems. This sentiment is in no way unique to Israel. Saudi Arabia, the rest of the Persian Gulf countries, Egypt and Jordan are all fearful of a situation where the US would withdraw within itself. If that were to happen, other actors would fill the vacuum, as was the case in Syria, where in 2015 Russia moved in, as the US waffled during the Syrian civil war. And two things are certain if other actors fill the vacuum left by the US : First, those actors will be much less benign; second, they will be much less concerned about Israel’s interests." • That is a far better position for the Jerusalem Post to take than trying to suggest, especially to Americans, that Israel is not the key to it all.
Thursday, November 29, 2018
TODAY'S NEWS IS ABOUT A NICE MAN AND A MONSTROUSLY OVERREACHING MUELLER. Who can possibly accept that in America anything as outrageous as this could happen to anyone. • • • JEROME CORSI FELONY-PERJURY-TRAPPED FOR FORGETTING. It was Fox News's Tucker Carlson who had the best commentary on the sordid affair : "For the crime of forgetting, Jerome Corsi is facing bankruptcy and imprisonment." • The video of Carlson and Corsi discussing his treatment by Mueller is imbedded at < https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/tucker-carlson-for-the-crime-of-forgetting-jerome-corsi-is-facing-bankruptcy-and-imprisonment?cmpid=NL_opinion >. • As Tucker Carlson points out, "Jerome Corsi is 72-years-old. He has a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard. He has written two New York Times bestsellers about politics. He is the kind of person who could, and probably should be happily retired by now. Instead, he's facing felony charges from Robert Mueller." • Carlson asks and answers : "How did this happen? Earlier this year, the independent counsel subpoenaed Corsi and seized his laptop and personal phone. They had all of his communications. They know exactly what he did and didn’t say. In September Corsi was summoned to an interview with prosecutors. They asked him if he'd ever tried to broker a meeting with Julian Assange in London. Corsi responded, no. 'I didn’t want anyone to see Assange.' So the prosecutors left the room to confer after Corsi said that. They returned and informed Corsi that he'd just committed a felony. On Corsi’s laptop was an email chain -- from more than two years before -- in which he had been asked to contact Assange. Corsi forwarded that email to someone else. Nothing ever came of any of this. And, again, the independent counsel would know, because they have Corsi’s laptop and phone. They know that Corsi never left the United States and never spoke to Julian Assange. Corsi said he forgot all about forwarding the email. For the crime of forgetting, he is facing bankruptcy and imprisonment." • That is Robert Mueller at work -- ruthlessly at work. • Tucker Carlson says none of us -- not even Robert Mueller -- would survive "under the same standard he set up for Jerome Corsi. Mueller is 74-years-old. What if the next special prosecutor seized his personal computer and interrogated him about every email he'd ever sent -- or forwarded -- going back years? He'd probably be able to remember some of it. But all of it, to the letter? Keep in mind, the slightest mistake would mean prison time. Would that be justice? Or would it be its opposite?" • Roger Stone, who is the Daily Caller's Men's Fashion Editor, wrote a letter published by the Daily Caller on Tuesday, that states : "My friend Dr. Jerry [Jerome] Corsi is being harassed by the special counsel, not for lying, but for refusing to lie. It is inconceivable that in America, someone would be prosecuted for refusing to swear to a false narrative pushed on him by Robert Mueller’s team of investigators. However, according to new media reports, Dr. Corsi received “limited-use immunity” to testify that he worked with me to develop an after-the-fact cover for my now-iconic Aug. 21, 2016 tweet about John Podesta and his brother, Tony, in which I stated it would “it will soon be the Podesta’s time in the barrel.” The idea that we developed any such story is completely devoid of logic. At the time, that tweet went completely unnoticed and unreported. I did not need anything to deflect attention. I steadfastly maintain that Jerry, who had been researching the Podesta brothers, brought their business dealings to my attention, and that is what prompted my tweet. I asked him if he would write it up, and he agreed. It took him until around the end of August to do so. Go back and look at the reporting at the time. It was not until after the Podesta emails were released that my tweet got any attention. If the reports are true, Jerry is simply mistaken that what we discussed was a cover. Ask yourself: a cover for what? In August 2016, there was no investigation, no special counsel, no congressional committees, and no subpoenas. Why would a cover story be necessary? According to published media reports, Mueller’s team is contending that Jerry had advance information about emails to and from Hillary Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta that had been purloined and would be published by Wikileaks. If Jerry ever deduced as much, he did not share that conclusion with me. Our discussions were limited to the research he had been doing on the money and business ties that John Podesta and his brother, Tony Podesta, had with Russian oligarchs in gas, banking and uranium and who were also tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin. I never received advance notice, from anyone, that Podesta’s emails had been “nicked,” as the Brits would say, and would be published. Any and all research I received from Dr. Corsi came from public legal sources. As Dr. Corsi has also said, I have no knowledge of any contact or communication with Wikileaks or its founder, Julian Assange, by Dr. Corsi. The facts are clear. Mueller’s team is subjecting Corsi, an innocent American journalist engaged in First Amendment activities, to high-pressure gulag tactics reserved for violent organized crime (mafia) associates. These partisan 'prosecutors' are determined to prove a false narrative. Corsi told One America News that Mueller wanted him to say he was my conduit to Assange, and that I passed allegedly stolen or hacked emails to Donald Trump or the Trump campaign. Corsi said he refused to say it because that statement would have been false. Despite all this, media reports indicate that Mueller deputy Jeannie Rhee, a former lawyer for the Clinton Foundation, ridiculed and badgered Dr. Corsi -- a 72-year-old man -- over 40 hours of interrogation. Ironically, this all comes at the same time that Democrats nationally argue that Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker should recuse himself because of his private political activities. Nothing could show the hypocrisy and the persistence of this hit squad more clearly." • Corsi instructed his legal team on Wednesday to file a criminal complaint against ‘Mueller’s special counsel’ and the Department of Justice, alleging prosecutorial misconduct. Corsi said in a tweet that he retained attorney Larry Klayman, the founder of the conservative Judicial Watch, who later left and founded Freedom Watch. Corsi told Fox News' Tucker Carlson on Tuesday that Mueller's investigators accused him of lying after he didn’t "give them what they wanted." He elaborated further Wednesday when talking with Sean Hannity : "My experience made it clear to me that political criminals are running the Department of Justice and Mueller’s prosecution. I was ridiculed; my testimony was laughed at; they yawned at it; they misbehaved. They accused me of being a liar and a fabricator." Corsi thinks that investigators hoped that he would admit to a connection with WikiLeaks' Julian Assange. The connection would bolster their Russian collusion investigation, he said. A link between Corsi and Assange would make it easy to tie in President Trump's former Trump advisor Roger Stone, he said. Corsi rejected a deal with investigators that would have required him to plead guilty to perjury. He said he could not lie to something he knew to be false, even if it meant living out his life in prison. A draft court filing prepared as part of the rejected plea deal, which Corsi has provided to multiple media outlets, said Corsi notified Trump advisor Stone in August 2016 that WikiLeaks intended to release information damaging to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. Corsi said he had "figured out that Assange had Podesta’s emails. I figured that out and told Roger Stone and told many people in August and it just happened that I was right." The DOJ has not commented, but Bloomberg reported that Klayman said in an email that he is preparing to file a complaint with Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and two units within the DOJ. • Can anyone -- especially any lawyer -- justify Robert Mueller's jackboot tactics? He has soiled the legal profession, the FBI, the already badly damaged idea of special counsel, and the Department of Justice that continues to let him wreak havoc on the American justice system and its ideals of fair play and rule of law. • • • MUELLER, SWAMP CREATURE PAR EXCELLENCE. Jerome Corsi is just the latest of Mueller's victims. Before him, there was General Michael Flynn and Carter Page and George Papadopoulos and Michael Cohen. They are all friends or advisors or just poor unwitting political slobs who happened to wander into the Trump campaign looking for instant fame or actually trying to help. That common thread is so obvious that nobody can refute it -- because the real victim, the man whose blood and head on a platter Mueller is salivating to get is Donald Trump. • I leave out Paul Manafort. He is of another universe. The one thing we could say, until now, about Manafort is that his crimes -- for if he did what he has admitted to doing he has committed criminal offenses -- should have been immediately forwarded to a federal prosecutor with no connection to the Mueller "collusion" probe. What Paul Manafort is dealing with is a past that included working for the now-deposed Russian-backed president of Ukraine. He undoubtedly made a lot of money in his role, even if, as he has said, he only worked to help the Ukrainian president get Ukraine into a closer relationship with the European Union. His problems arose in trying to hide at least some of that money by not reporting it to the IRS and by failing to register as the agent of a foreign entity. While it is Manafort's connection to the Trump campaign that got him into trouble with Mueller, his misdeeds have nothing to do with President Trump. As I wrote in a long-ago blog, I leave Paul Manafort to his own particular demons and guilts. • But, now, even Paul Manafort has fallen into the Mueller felony-lie trap. Mueller has charged Manafort with lying to his investigators after he entered into a plea bargain arrangement under which he was to cooperate fully with Mueller's team. A report Tuesday in the UK Guardian claims that Manafort met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange a few months before the group leaked the hacked emails of Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta. It's a potentially explosive revelation that Manafort has DENIED : " I have never met Julian Assange or anyone connected to him. I have never been contacted by anyone connected to Wikileaks, either directly or indirectly. I have never reached out to Assange or Wikileaks on any matter." BUT, in a court filing Monday, Mueller's team alleged that Manafort had lied to investigators, asking the judge to move immediately to sentencing. They also said they would provide a “detailed sentencing submission,” outlining “the nature of the defendant’s crimes and lies.” In other words, Mueller plans to quickly issue a “report” on Manafort’s activities, one that will be more informed, more knowledgeable, and more detailed than any we has thus far seen in the Manafort cases. We should be careful in judging Manafort's denial because Mueller knows has apparently caught Manafort twice already in lies -- when he tried to deny ghostwriting an op-ed supporting himself and then prosecutors showed the court the Microsoft Word track changes edits he’d made; and, when he tried to align his story with a witness and Mueller’s team hit him with witness tampering charges and showed the court his encrypted text messaging conversations. Tread lightly on anything relating to Paul Manafort. • Mueller’s team has apparently been laser-focused since the spring on President Trump's friend Roger Stone, who has said for months that he expects to be indicted. Stone is suspected of having contact with WikiLeaks, potentially relating to the hacked Podesta emails, before the emails were released. That is the only reason Mueller was interested in Jerome Corsi, but Corsi became the first victim to cry "foul" by refusing to enter into a plea bargain under Mueller(s terms that include what Corsi says would be admitting to lies. That probably leaves Mueller with less muscle in attacking Stone, and it may make the Stone indictment either weaker or unfiled. The other aspect of the Stone-Corsi attack is Mueller's reported efforts to indict Assange himself. Assange has lived at the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 in self-imposed exile to avoid potential criminal charges. The ambassador who has helped protect and negotiate on Assange’s behalf since 2015 was removed from office last week by Ecuador’s president, following many staff who have left the embssy service after supporting Assange over the years. WikiLeaks tweeted Thursday : “All diplomats known to Assange have now been terminated to transferred away from the embassy.” And, in a rather ominous tweet, WikiLeaks said that Assange’s lawyers have now been barred from visiting him. Has Equador quasi-abandoned Assange because it knows he is going to be indicted by the US on criminal charges? • AND, Mueller has finally received President Trump's written answers to questions put to him by Mueller’s investigators. • ABC News recently reported that Mueller's team has filed an abnormally large number -- 36 or so -- sealed indictments in DC federal court in 2018, and 14 of those sealed indictments have been added to court records since August. The special counsel is building toward something. • Alan Dershowitz told Fox News on Thursday that : "President Donald Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen's decision to plead guilty to lying to Congress about work he did on a Trump real estate deal on Russia shows special counsel Robert Mueller is 'making all of his decisions based on false statements,' and that the plea could also mean a perjury trap for the President himself. Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Dershowitz said : "He [Cohen] is admitting to making false statements. His credibility as a witness diminishes. The question is whether he will say what others have said about buildings in Moscow or whether or not that constitutes any kind of criminal activity. I find it very hard to define." But, Dershowitz says that the Cohen plea could even mean a "perjury trap" for Trump himself : "They are going to comb through every one of his answers and see if they can come up with anybody who can contradict anything the President said," referring to written answers Trump has given Mueller in the case, "That is why it is called perjury. Even if the President believes what he said was true, if somebody will contradict it, then the President can be charged with lying to government officials, which is the equivalent of perjury." Dershowitz explained that this makes it dangerous for President Trump or anyone who is the subject of an investigation to answer questions from prosecutors, as they can "get evidence that they can use to show contradictions." Professor Dershowitz added that Thursday's guilty plea means Mueller's report is not quite ready to release, if the investigators are still filling blanks : "They have lost Paul Manafort as a witness. Of course, he is unlikely to be a witness...they are probably hustling to try to get a new witness to fill some of those gaps." Meanwhile, Mueller's case has never been very strong against the President, according to Dershowitz, and Cohen won't be a good witness because of his own "history of questionable conduct...I think they are going to look to see if they can get some information that can be corroborated." • • • DEAR READERS, American Patriot Daily wrote an article on Wednesday about how Mueller did his best to corner President Trump. APD says : "He hoped to provoke a massive legal fight that would lead to Trump’s downfall. But instead he walked right into a trap that sealed his own doom....Trump turned in written answers to Mueller’s questions about the Russian collusion hoax. But he did not answer any questions regarding Mueller’s attempts to frame him for obstruction of justice. And he does not plan to sit for an interview." • President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani told the leftist Axios in an exclusive interview exactly why Mueller would be likely to lose an obstruction of justice case : “I don’t think he has any way to compel testimony on obstruction because the argument of executive privilege would be very, very strong. It all relates to a period of time after he was President.” Giuliani added that Mueller has other sources of information to get Trump’s explanations for his actions : “Any question he has on obstruction....the President has given [the answers] in interviews, tweets. Other witnesses have given it to him....And the law definitely requires that if you’re going to subpoena a President, you have to show that you can’t get the information any place else.” • As for "collusion" with Russia, Giuliani also told Axios that he believes Mueller has no evidence of Russian collusion : “I don’t think they have any evidence of collusion of any kind. I think their obstruction case, as a legal matter, doesn’t exist.” • Giuliani said that Mueller questions for Trump were in two areas : Did Trump know ahead of time about the meeting between Donald Trump, Jr. and a group of Russians at Trump Tower in June 2016, and about Trump’s joke in July 2016 about the Russians finding Hillary Clinton’s 30,000 missing emails. We remember that during a campaign rally, Trump said, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 [Hillary Clinton] emails that are missing.” The Fake news media inflated that obvious joke into “evidence” that Trump colluded with the Russians. But, anyone who watched his comment could tell that candidate Trump was joking. However, Mueller and his junkyard dogs -- 17 angry Democrats -- used the joke as an excuse to ruin the lives of Trump allies -- Flynn, Page, Papadopoulos, Cohen -- and waste tens of millions of dollars investigating the President. • "This [Mueller] investigation is a complete failure. The purpose was to investigate a conspiracy between the Trump campaign or the President and the Russians. There is absolutely no evidence of that in any of the cases that he has brought." That's what former US Attorney Joseph diGenova told Fox News' Laura Ingraham on Wednesday night. • Will somebody pull the plug on the real joke -- a sick joke -- and get rid of Robert Mueller and his Fake and unhinged investigation.
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
TODAY, THERE IS SAD NEWS FOR THREE AMERICAN FAMILIES. It makes me wonder -- why ARE we there?? • • • THREE US SERVICEMEN KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN. Fox News told the story on Tuesday, reporting that 3 US service members have been killed in an Afghanistan roadside bomb blast. Three others, including an American contractor, were wounded in the blast. Fox News called it "likely the deadliest incident this year for US forces in the country....The wounded victims were evacuated and receiving medical attention, officials said. Those killed and injured weren’t immediately identified." It is DOD policy to withhold the names of service members killed in action until 24 hours after notification of next of kin is complete.” • The latest deaths come just days after a US soldier was killed in a firefight with al-Qaida forces Saturday, Defense officials told Fox News, which reported : "US Army Ranger Sergeant Leandro Jasso, 25, from Leavenworth, Washington, was wounded by small arms fire while conducting an operation to eliminate al-Qaida militants in Nimruz Province, located in the southwest part of Afghanistan. Jasso was evacuated to Helmand province, where he was pronounced dead, officials said. The Pentagon said the incident remains under investigation. Jasso was the ninth American killed in action in the country this year, and the second this month after a former mayor from Utah who served in the state’s National Guard since 2013 was slain in an 'insider attack' in Kabul on November 3. Brent Taylor, a married father of seven children who was deployed to Afghanistan in January, was a former mayor of North Ogden, a city of about 17,000 people located about 46 miles north of Salt Lake City." • Fox News says : "The killings of the American service members on Tuesday came as ISIS, in a statement posted by its Amaq propaganda arm, claimed responsibility for the suicide attack on Friday inside an Afghan Army base in eastern Khost province that killed at least 27 soldiers. That attack came a few days after a suicide bomber killed 55 religious scholars gathered in the Afghan capital, Kabul, to celebrate the holiday marking the birth of Islam's prophet, Muhammad. The Taliban denied involvement in that bombing, which also wounded 94 people." • The US and NATO formally concluded their combat mission in 2014, but still provide support to Afghan security forces, who have been struggling in recent years to combat a resurgent Taliban and ISIS. Approximately 15,000 US soldiers are currently serving in Afghanistan. International forces have also suffered from so-called insider attacks in recent months, in which Afghan soldiers or police have opened fire on them. • The deaths of young Americans in a country that by any standard is far from improving or even standing still against the Taliban onslaught is particularly sad and galling. • • • DEATH COMES FOR ALL. By accident, I also read on Tuesday a column in The Catholic Thing newsletter about Death. Professor Michael Pakaluk was writing about the assassination of President Kennedy -- whose commemoration got lost in the Thanksgiving celebration that fell on the day he was shot -- November 22. • Michael Pakaluk wrote : "Fifty-five years ago last Thursday, John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, at 12:30 pm Central Time. The anniversary passed, for me, while I was working through St. Alphonsus Liguori’s great spiritual work, The Preparation for Death. And a puzzle formed in my mind. On the saint’s terms, JFK’s death ought to have been a great matter for reflection on the meaning of death. After all, “the death of the great prince” has traditionally served such a purpose. For example, the saint quotes Horace : 'Death brings down the scepter to the level of the spade.' He tells the story of how Diogenes was seen by Alexander the Great looking intently for something among the bones of the dead. When the conqueror asked him what he was searching for, Diogenes replied, 'I am looking for the head of Philip your father. I am not able to distinguish it. If you can find it, show it to me.' The winding parade through Dallas is just about at its end. In five minutes, exiting the Plaza and entering the highway, they would arrive at the Trade Mart center, for a luncheon of business leaders....Kennedy was reasonably starting to plan a second term. He did not think he would die then, nor that day. He had no warning. Absolutely nothing about his career, prospects, plans, worries, annoyances, suggested that he would never arrive at the Trade Mart luncheon, only five minutes away. He was the most powerful man in the world, and one of the most admired -- so intelligent, handsome, wealthy, and blessed by fortune in every way." • But, JFK was shot. That day. In Dallas. Pakaluk quotes Liguori : “My brother, God has already fixed the year, the month, the day, the hour, and the moment, when I and you are to leave this earth and go into eternity, but the time is unknown to us. To exhort us to be always prepared, Jesus Christ tells us that death will come unawares, and like a thief in the night.” • • • WHEN IS ENOUGH, ENOUGH?? Pakaluk wrote about his friends who were taken by Death suddenly -- "a young mother, thirty years old, felled by a hemorrhage leaving her house....An aunt, middle-aged, making breakfast, never made it walking from the table to the stove. A friend’s father collapsed while on a dock, fishing, during a family vacation: he passed away while this friend, a physician, applied CPR." We all can tell of similar cases. It’s close to a certainty, says Pakaluk, "that at least one reader of this essay will die this very week." He was speaking of his essay, Dear Readers, not our Blog, I pray. • But, when it is young soldiers sent to forsaken regions to be used in some giant political game of chess, when is enough death, enough? • St. Alphonsus gives us this in one of his prayers for a holy death : “My Lord Jesus Christ, by that bitterness which Thou didst endure on the cross, when Thy blessed soul was separated from Thy most sacred body, have pity on my sinful soul, when it leaves my miserable body to enter into eternity....obtain for me a good death, that loving Jesus and thee, my Mother, in this life, I may attain heaven, where I shall love thee for all eternity. Amen." Did St. Alphonsus ever have an "Enough is Enough" moment. Did he ever question of untimely or youthful deaths, 'what is the use of this'? Not likely because he is a saint -- but then, we all are saints if we stake our life and eternity on Jesus being the Son of God. Alphonsus is just one on the named saints. That's why, as we discussed on Halloween, there is an All Saints Day -- it is for all of us who are unnamed saints. But, that does not prevent our feeling that there is little use in the deaths of young Americans in Afghanistan, perhaps no use at all. None of the “istan” countries will be free and fairly functioning countries in our lifetimes. Our elected officials should be required to walk up those walkways and knock on the door with the bad news. OR, perhaps we should each take our turn -- as in jury duty, for after all, we elect the leaders who send these young Americans to their deaths -- telling the mothers, fathers, wives, and children of these young people that they died -- and then trying to explain why, and for what. • • • IT IS EUROPE IN THE PATH OF THE TERRORIST HORDES. And Europe seems to be oblivious to the threat. Perhaps because it is young Americans who come home in body bags in order to protect Europe, far more than ot protect the US. • FRANCE. Consider France. Last week, the Gatestone Institute's Giulio Meotti called it "The Fracturing of France." The entire erticle is available at < https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/13335/fracturing-france >. Meotti states : "In a new program, Macron's government is offering Arabic lessons in France's public schools to children as young as six years old, purportedly to facilitate integration. French authorities seem to ignore that the vast majority of terrorists from France have been French citizens, who spoke a perfect French and, unlike their parents, were born in France. They were perfectly 'integrated.' They rejected it. US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron engaged in a public diplomatic clash just days before Trump visited France this month. The spat began when, in a radio interview, Macron suggested that Europe needed an army to protect itself from the US. 'We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America,' said Macron. Protecting France from the United States? In a November 11 speech commemorating World War I, Macron in a diplomatic welcome to his guest, attacked 'nationalism.' President Trump had proudly called himself a 'nationalist' less than three weeks before. Macron, it seems, was using the armistice signed in 1918 to forget what is going on in France in 2018. Gérard Collomb, France's Interior Minister until last month and currently Mayor of Lyon, is apparently pessimistic about the situation in his country, according to comments reported by Valeurs Actuelles. 'People do not want to live together,' Collomb lamented, continuing that the responsibility for security during the recent immigration has been 'huge.' Collomb also warned that there is only a 'little time' to improve the situation. 'It's difficult to estimate but I would say that in five years the situation could become irreversible. Yes, we have five, six years to avoid the worst,' he added. And the worst will be a "secession", or as Gilles Kepel, the French specialist on Islam, called it: 'La fracture.' " • BELGIUM. Consider Belgium. French President Macron went to Brussels' Molenbeek district, which he defined "a territory marked by the image of the terrorist drama and also a place of initiatives, sharing and integration." Meotti is shocked : "Sharing and integration? Eight people were arrested in a March 2018 counter-terror raid in Molenbeek. A confidential report revealed last year that police in the same Brussels district uncovered 51 organizations with suspected ties to jihadist terrorism. Many of the suspects involved in the Paris and Brussels terror attacks either lived in, or operated, from Molenbeek. As Julia Lynch wrote in The Washington Post regarding Molenbeek : 'One of 19 'communes' in the Brussels metro area, the neighborhood was home to one of the attackers in the 2004 commuter train bombings in Madrid and to the Frenchman who shot four people at the Jewish Museum in Brussels in August 2014. The Moroccan shooter on the Brussels-Paris Thalys train in August 2015 stayed with his sister there. If there is a place where Collomb's explanation about 'secession' is not only a warning but already a reality, that place is Molenbeek. Roger Cohen, in The New York Times, called it 'the Islamic State of Molenbeek.' " • FRANCE AGAIN. Such districts are not only a Belgian phenomenon. 'Today, we know that there are 100 neighbourhoods in France that have potential similarities with what happened in Molenbeek,' said France's then Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Patrick Kanner, in 2016. The town of Trappes is infamous for the number of jihadists from there who went to fight in Syria or Iraq. Meotti reminds us : "In France, six planned terror attacks have been foiled this year, the Secretary of State to the Minister of the Interior, Laurent Nunez, disclosed. 'Since November 2013, 55 planned Islamist attacks were foiled thanks to the action of the intelligence services, including six this year,' Nunez said. In the last few months, the current French scenario has not been dominated by new big terror attacks, but by a daily rain of intimidation. A Frenchman in his 60s was walking down a Paris street with wrapped Christmas gifts last week, when a stranger knocked off his eyeglasses before slapping him. 'That's what we do to the infidels,' the attacker said to the man. A few days before that, a French Jewish citizen was also attacked in the street by three men." The Wall Street Journal says : "Now President Emmanuel Macron's government is considering giving parents a secular alternative to that intertwining of Arabic and Islam by prodding more of France's public schools to offer children as young as age 6 Arabic lessons..." The confirmation of the Islamist wave came last September in a sobering report from Institut Montaigne titled, "The Islamist Factory." It details the extreme level of radicalization of French Moslem society. According to its director, Hakim El Kharoui, extremist Moslems in France are "creating an alternative society, parallel, separate. With a key concept : halal." Meotti says : "Macron has done almost nothing to stop this expansion." Marine Le Pen recently said : "Two or three Salafist mosques were closed in 18 months, [but] foreign funding of mosques was not banned." Meotti states : "The goal of foreign funding has been detailed by the former chairman of the Christian Democratic Party, Jean-Frédéric Poisson, in his new book, 'Islam, Conquering the West.' 'The expansion of Islam in the West is part of a strategic plan developed by the 57 states that make up [the Organisation of] Islamic Cooperation -- a sort of Moslem United Nations -- which theorized the spread of Sharia law in Europe,' Poisson said in an interview this month. 'They openly declared the ambition to install a 'substitution civilization' in the West.' " • The islamization of France is having another obvious effect -- French Jews are leaving the country. This summer, the New York Times gave details of the Jewish exodus from the multicultural Paris suburbs : "More than 50,000 have moved to Israel since 2000, compared with about 25,000 French Jews who left between 1982 and 2000." There is also an internal exodus, says the WSJ : "In Aulnay-sous-Bois, the number of Jewish families dropped to 100 in 2015 from 600 in 2000; in Le Blanc-Mesnil, to 100 families from 300; in Clichy-sous-Bois, there are now 80 Jewish families, down from 400; and in La Courneuve, there are 80 families, down from 300." • "We may be living the end of a civilization -- ours," says Philippe de Villiers, a French politician and novelist, whose brother was the head of the French military before a funding spat with Macron ended his career. De Villiers says : "There are two points in common between the decay of the Roman Empire and our own decay. The Roman senatorial nobility, who thinks only of adding a layer of porphyry to their bathtubs, no longer considers the limes, the border of the Empire, as an emergency to secure." • GERMANY. Consider Germany. In Germany, the same case can be made, but its details are being suppressed ad hoc by the government of Chancellor, Merkel, who added immensely to the problem with her open borders catastrophe in 2015. The Voice of Europe wrote on November 23 : "Headmaster Astrid-Sabine Busse (61) of a Berlin school is sounding the alarm, saying : 'We are Arabised!' Of the 103 first graders that came to her school in Berlin’s Neukölln suburb, only one speaks German at home. It is a result of working class Germans leaving the area, migrant family reunifications and tax measures. 'We are here at the front,' says headmaster Busse : 'Because of a third migrant generation who import their brides from their former home country. Another parent who cannot speak German...' " • And, Chancellor Merkel just appointed Sinan Selen, a 46-year-old Istanbul-born counter-terrorism expert, as the first Moslem to fill a top leadership position within Germany's intelligence community. Gatestone Institute's Soeren Kern wrote last week : "Throughout his government career, Selen has been resolute in confronting Islamic fundamentalists in Germany. He also led efforts at the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) to monitor the Turkish nationalist Milli Görüs, an influential Islamist movement strongly opposed to Moslem integration into European society. The leadership changes at the BfV were spurred by a cellphone video that purportedly showed right-wing mobs attacking migrants over the murder of a German citizen in Chemnitz by two failed asylum seekers. According to the respected blog Tichys Einblick, the video actually documented migrants attacking Germans, not Germans 'hunting' migrants. Selen, a Turkish immigrant, will fill the second-highest position in Germany's domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV). Kern says : "The appointment comes just weeks after Merkel fired BfV President Hans-Georg Maaßen for publicly defending the anti-mass-migration party Alternative for Germany (AfD) against attacks from Merkel and her junior coalition partner, the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD). By choosing Selen, Merkel appears to be trying to achieve several objectives. First, she seems to be attempting to save her floundering government by placating the [socialist] SPD, which has demanded that the domestic intelligence agency begin monitoring the AfD party, and which has called for more people with a 'migration background' in leadership positions at federal agencies. Selen's appointment also seems to be a symbolic move aimed at reaching out to Germany's Turkish community, which has long complained of 'institutionalized racism' within the German security apparatus. Finally, by appointing an ethnic Turk, Merkel appears to be trying to mollify Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has repeatedly pressed for her to crack down on anti-Turkish Kurdish elements in Germany." In May 2016, according to Kern : "Die Welt reported that Merkel had appointed Selen to lead -- apparently at Erdogan's behest -- a special counter-terrorism task force at the German Interior Ministry. The concession was part of the March 2016 EU-Turkey migrant deal, which was designed to halt the flow of migrants from Turkey to Greece. In a lengthy article that examined Erdogan's growing leverage over Merkel, Die Welt wrote : 'The Federal Government is going so far as to reorganize its internal organizational structure in order to adapt it to Turkish wishes. The Turks have agreed to a 'new common mechanism' in the fight against terrorism, with Sinan Selen, of Turkish origin, appointed as the responsible authority at the Federal Interior Ministry....the fact that such a high-profile position is being created for him has only one explanation : the Turks are to believe that when discussing counter-terrorism with Berlin, they will be speaking with one of their own.' " Maaßen's successor, Thomas Haldenwang, has already announced that under his leadership, the BfV will focus on "right-wing extremism." Speaking to the Parliamentary Control Board of the German Bundestag on November 16, Haldenwang -- who previously was the BfV's second-in-command, and whose position will now be filled by Selen -- said that although Islamist terrorism poses the greatest threat to German security, the BfV will keep "the possible development of right-wing terrorist structures firmly on the radar." He also promised to make a "professional assessment of how to deal with the AfD party." As in France -- AND the US if the Democrat PArty has its way -- it is always the "right wing" that needs extra government attention and suppression. The radicals causing the trouble are safe to work their terror because they are the "friends" of socialist leaders. • • • FREE SPEECH IS DYING IN EUROPE.The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) just established a precedent for Sharia-compliant adherence to Islamic blasphemy laws, based on fears of "disturbing the religious peace." The ECHR recently ruled that to state that the Islamic prophet Muhammad "liked to do it with children" and "A 56-year-old and a six-year-old?... What do we call it, if it is not paedophilia?" goes "beyond the permissible limits of an objective debate," and could be classified as "an abusive attack on the Prophet of Islam which could stir up prejudice and threaten religious peace." Those words were spoken by free speech and anti-jihad activist, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, who was convicted by an Austrian court of "denigrating religious symbols of a recognized religious group" after she gave a series of small seminars: "Introduction to the basics of Islam", "The Islamization of Europe", and "The impact of Islam." The court case against her came about only because a magazine, NEWS, filed a complaint against her after secretly planting a journalist at her seminars to record them. The Vienna Regional Criminal Court -- according to the summary in the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) -- found that "these statements implied that Muhammad had had paedophilic tendencies," and convicted Sabaditsch-Wolff "for disparaging religious doctrines" under §188 of the Austrian penal code, which states : "Anyone publicly denigrating or mocking any person or thing that is the object of worship of a domestically existing church or religious society...among whom his conduct is liable to cause legitimate annoyance, is punishable by imprisonment of up to six months or a fine of up to 360 daily rates." Sabaditsch-Wolff was ordered to pay a fine of 480 Euros and the costs of the proceedings. The Vienna Court of Appeal upheld the decision in December 2011. Sabaditsch-Wolff then appealed the Austrian court decisions to the European Court of Human Rights. She stated that her right to freedom of expression, safeguarded in Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, had been violated. On October 25, the ECHR reached the conclusion that there had been "no violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights." In its ruling, the ECHR stated : "The Court found in particular that the domestic courts comprehensively assessed the wider context of the applicant's statements and carefully balanced her right to freedom of expression with the right of others to have their religious feelings protected, and served the legitimate aim of preserving religious peace in Austria. It held that by considering the impugned statements as going beyond the permissible limits of an objective debate, and by classifying them as an abusive attack on the Prophet of Islam which could stir up prejudice and threaten religious peace, the domestic courts put forward relevant and sufficient reasons." • Are these countries, with their kowtowing to Islamization, worth the blood of young Americans? • • • AND, EUROPEANS THINK JEWS HOLD TOO MUCH POWER. Newsmax reported on Tuesday about a CNN Poll that found that 1 in 5 Europeans (20%) say Jews hold "Too Much Influence." A recent CNN and ComRes poll of more than 7,000 people in multiple countries across Europe found that more than 25% think Jews hold too much influence in finance and business, and almost 25% think they are too influential in conflicts around the world. 20% said Jews have too much influence on the media and in politics. Respondents also tended to overestimate the number of Jews in the world. A quarter of Hungarians and a fifth of Brits and Poles thought that more than 20% of people in the world are Jewish. The Pew Research Center found in a worldwide study that about 0.2% of the global population is Jewish. 40% of Europeans thought that their countries were between 3% and 10% Jewish, but no country other than Israel is more than 2% Jewish. One third of Europeans polled said they knew little to nothing about the Holocaust, in which roughly six million Jews were killed -- in Europe. 5% said they had never heard of the Holocaust, including 20% of people between the ages of 18 and 34. CNN and ComRes polled 7,092 adults in seven European countries, Great Britain, France, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Sweden and Austria, on September 7 - 20, 2018. • Is this level of anti-Semitism in Europe worth "saving"? • • • DEAR READERS, when is enough, enough? When is the death of one more American soldier one death too many?? Perhaps the answer lies in the reasons American youngsters are in Afghanistan. Why should America spill its young peoples' blood and spend its taxpayers' money on the protection of Europe? Why should the United States try to "save" Europe from illegal terrorist inundation and collapse into a feudal status under Islamic overlords when Europe is, by its own acts, showing that it does not want to be "saved." • If there are other reasons for America to stay in Afghanistan, those reasons have faded with time. There have been 17 years of occupation, housecleaning, keeping governments afloat, deaths of American soldiers, Afghan soldiers and civilians, and brutal civil war with America on one side -- but on a side that keeps shifting. If the US is acting out of the altruistic desire to help Afghanistan stabilize into a democratic nation, we are wasting our time -- as with drug dependence, only the dependent can save themselves. If we are there as a shield for Israel, then we and Israel need to find another place to plant the shield -- say, Iran, or Iraq, or Syria, or all three. • Iran seems to want Afghanistan. Let the Ayatollahs have it. Let them try to mollify the Taliban, al-Qaida, and the tribes. Let their young soldiers die in the streets of Kabul and on the roads of Nimruz and Helmand provinces. America has done more than its share of dying for nothing -- for the Afghans who are happy to let Americans fight for the freedom they should want enough to fight for themselves (as we did), and for the Europeans who seem to be satisfied with being run over and subdued by Islam while blaming conservatives and Jews. Not one more drop of American blood in Afghanistan. Enough is finally Enough.
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
President Trump, the Raging, Unconventional Dragon-slaying Defender of America -- But Who Has the "Right Stuff" to Be His Successor?
JUST DAYS AFTER CORSI FACED DOWN A MUELLER PLEA BARGAIN, MUELLER GOES AFTER MANAFORT. Isn't it convenient that special counsel Robert Mueller just happened to have another plea bargain "lies" story ready. • • • MUELLER SAYS MANAFORT IS LYING TO HIS TEAM. Fox News reported Monday that : "Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied to the FBI and Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office 'on a variety of subject matters' since his plea deal earlier this year, thereby violating the agreement, Mueller said in a court filing submitted Monday night, while adding that Manafort claims he's been truthful." Mueller's joint status report noted that both sides called for a sentencing date to be set without delay. • Manafort, 69, was convicted on eight counts of financial fraud last summer relating to work he completed in Ukraine as a political consultant -- years before he worked on the Trump campaign as chairman for several months. Fox News explained : "Approaching a separate trial on similar charges in September he entered into an arrangement with the government in which he was expected to answer questions on a wide variety of matters. Manafort remains jailed and is expected to face at least 10 years in prison. 'After signing the plea agreement, Manafort committed federal crimes by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Special Counsel’s Office on a variety of subject matters, which constitute breaches of the agreement,' Mueller's office said. Manafort, however, according to the report, contested the claims of the special counsel. 'Manafort met with the government on numerous occasions and answered the government’s questions,' the report said...Manafort has provided information to the government in an effort to live up to his cooperation obligations. He believes he has provided truthful information and does not agree with the government’s characterization or that he has breached the agreement.' " • But, Mueller's office argued it would "file a detailed sentencing submission to the Probation Department and the Court in advance of sentencing that sets forth the nature of the defendant’s crimes and lies, including those after signing the plea agreement herein." • TheHill also carried the Manafort story on Monday, reporting that : "As part of the agreement, Manafort pleaded guilty to two felony charges related to his foreign lobbying efforts and agreed to fully cooperate with Mueller’s sprawling investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. He had been working with the special counsel for roughly 2 1/2 months. Manafort, who served on Trump’s campaign for six months, was seen as a crucial witness in Mueller’s inquiry into whether anyone on the campaign colluded with Moscow....However, Manafort's attorneys said in their own portion of the filing that he met with Mueller’s officials 'numerous times' following his plea deal and that he believes his answers to be truthful and not constituting a breach of the agreement. He believes he has provided truthful information and does not agree with the government’s characterization or that he has breached the agreement,' the filing states. 'Given the conflict in the parties’ positions, there is no reason to delay the sentencing herein, and he asks the Court to set a sentencing date in this matter.' ” • Mueller's government filing notes that the breach relieves the government of any obligations under the plea agreement, including promises to seek a lighter sentence for Manafort. • With Jerome Corsi refusing to accept a plea bargain offered by Mueller because it would require him to lie, the Manafort development on Monday raises the question whether Mueller was saving the court filing that charges Manafort with lying for just such an occasion. It also highlights the rampant speculation that Mueller is nearing the final stages in his investigation. Last week's submission by President Trump of written responses to written questions from Mueller on collusion is an indication that Mueller is reaching the end of his probe. Mueller has also sought an in-person interview with the President, though negotiations between Trump’s lawyers and the special counsel on the prospect have not yielded progress, and any attempt by Mueller to subpoena the President would be met with acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker's intervention to weigh the benefits versus the constitutional crisis such a subpoena attempt of a sitting President would create. • • • THE CLINTON FOUNDATION IS LOSING DONORS. Also on Monday, Fox News' Brooke Singman reported that : "Newly released tax documents showing a plunge in Clinton Foundation donations after Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential election defeat have fueled long-standing Republican allegations of possible “pay-to-play” transactions at the organization, amid a Justice Department probe covering Foundation issues. The tax filings, which were made public this month, show the Clinton Foundation pulled in $62.9 million in 2016, but only $26.6 million the following year, representing a nearly 58% drop. Tax documents for 2018 are not yet available. A spokesman for the Foundation told the New York Post, which first reported the figures, that they 'anticipated a decline' in 2017 and said it was 'largely attributable to the absence of sponsorship and membership contributions for CGI [Clinton Global Initiative].' The final CGI meeting was held in 2016, and the wind-down was a likely factor in the donation drop. Representatives for the Clinton Foundation did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment." • However, Singman states that the filings "further emboldened congressional Republicans concerned the Foundation benefited first from Clinton's position atop the State Department and later as a presidential candidate, by way of donors seeking political favors -- only for that cash flow to dry up when it was clear Hillary Clinton was out of government." House Freedom Caucus Chairman Representative Mark Meadows gave a statement to Fox News that said : "The remarkable significance of the drop in Clinton Foundation donations raises grave concerns their operations were not above board as the American people have been led to believe. Whenever we look at the possibility of 'pay to play' by government officials, current or former, it demands answers -- and anyone who uses public office to sell access for their own financial benefit must be held accountable." • President Trump was more direct, tweeting on Sunday that it "shows that they illegally played the power game" and "monetized their political influence through the Foundation." • The Clinton Foundation repeatedly has denied the allegations. But, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions revealed in March that he had appointed US Attorney John Huber to lead an evaluation into a range of Clinton-related issues -- including the FBI's handling of the email case and the Foundation's operations. Huber has been silent about his investigation, but House Republicans last week announced they plan to hold a hearing on December 5 to hear Huber’s testimony -- just one month before Democrats take control of the House. Representative Meadows, who heads the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations, told TheHill last week that it was time to “circle back” with Huber on developments in the probe. Meadows said : “Mr. Huber with the Department of Justice and the FBI has been having an investigation -- at least part of his task was to look at the Clinton Foundation and what may or may not have happened as it relates to improper activity with that charitable Foundation, so we’ve set a hearing date for December 5th.” When Sessions appointed Huber he said that Huber was conducting his work “from outside the Washington DC area” and would cooperate with Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz. Sessions said, at the time, that Huber’s review would “include a full, complete and objective evaluation of these matters in a manner that is consistent with the law and facts.” Huber is a twice Senate-confirmed US attorney for the district of Utah. He previously served in leadership roles within the US Attorney’s Office as national security section chief and executive assistant US attorney. • Singman said that it is "noteworthy that the new acting attorney general is Matthew Whitaker, who before joining the Justice Department led The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, a conservative nonprofit that focused heavily on scrutinizing Clinton. Whitaker, while leading FACT, appeared in more than 200 television and radio appearances from 2014 to September 2017 when he became chief of staff for Sessions. According to the Washington Post, Whitaker criticized Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, the investigation into her private email server and special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation during those appearances more than 700 times." • • • TRUMP CALLS OUT MUELLER CONFLICTS. The latest attention being paid to the Clinton Foundation will likely be overshadowed by the expected conclusion of Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling and potential "collusion" with Trump campaign associates during the 2016 presidential election. • LifeZette noted on Monday that President Trump slammed special counsel Robert Mueller and wondered whether Mueller would be covering all of his own “conflicts of interest” in a preamble for the impending report that summarizes his findings in the Russia probe. President Trump and other Republicans have criticized Mueller for hiring a dozen or more registered Democrats and those who donated to Democrat candidates -- including to 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton -- to investigate President Trump and his campaign. The President has targeted Mueller’s Democrat team members, dubbing them the “13 Angry Democrats.” The most prominent among those 13 is prosecutor Andrew Weissmann -- who attended Clinton’s election night party. • President Trump's Monday tweet was direct : "When Mueller does his final report, will he be covering all of his conflicts of interest in a preamble, will he be recommending action on all of the crimes of many kinds from those ‘on the other side’”(whatever happened to Podesta?)...and will he be putting in statements from...hundreds of people closely involved with my campaign who never met, saw or spoke to a Russian during this period?....So many campaign workers, people inside from the beginning, ask me why they have not been called (they want to be). There was NO Collusion & Mueller knows it!” • On Tuesday, President Trump again hit Mueller, tweeting early in the morning : “The Phony Witch Hunt continues, but Mueller and his gang of Angry Dems are only looking at one side, not the other. Wait until it comes out how horribly & viciously they are treating people, ruining lives for them refusing to lie. Mueller is a conflicted prosecutor gone rogue.” A second tweet said : “The Fake News Media builds Bob Mueller up as a Saint, when in actuality he is the exact opposite. He is doing TREMENDOUS damage to our Criminal Justice System, where he is only looking at one side and not the other. Heroes will come of this, and it won’t be Mueller and his...terrible Gang of Angry Democrats." Continuing, the President added in a third tweet : “Look at their past, and look where they come from. The now $30,000,000 Witch Hunt continues and they’ve got nothing but ruined lives. Where is the Server? Let these terrible people go back to the Clinton Foundation and “Justice” Department!" • • • FIFTEEN DAYS !!! While President Trump surely is paying attention to the leaks and filings coming out of the Mueller probe, he also has the southern border crisis to deal with. On Sunday, hundreds of migrants rushed the US border at multiple points along the San Ysidro port of entry, some attacking US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents with rocks and bottles. The CBP temporarily shut down San Ysidro the port while officers dealt with the mass of migrants attempting violently to make their way across the border. And, President Donald Trump on Monday morning threatened to close the border permanently and called for Congress to fund the wall, tweeting : “Mexico should move the flag-waving migrants, many of whom are stone-cold criminals, back to their countries. Do it by plane, do it by bus, do it anyway you want, but they are NOT coming into the USA. We will close the border permanently if need be. Congress, fund the WALL!” The President repeated that warning when he took questions from White House pool reporters as he was boarding his helicopter to leave for Mississippi to support GOP candidate Cindy Hyde-Smith in the Senate run-off election. • Can President Trump energize the outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan sufficiently to get through the House in the next 15 days bills to fund the wall, end chain migration, mandate E-verify, end the visa lottery system, and allow immediate turnbacks for asylum-seekers from non-contiguous countries who present themselves at the border rather than making a claim from within their home country. It is a big order -- BUT, Speaker Paul Ryan is set to end his tenure in Congress with no real legacy to point to. By doing something lasting and positive for America in his last 15 days, Ryan could leave a legacy for the Republican Party and America to build on. • • • DEAR READERS, when I try to describe where the United States is now, "dysfunctional" and "out of control" are the words that keep coming to mind. I really wonder where we will find a path forward that can possibly accommodate both the radical Progressive Left and the Conservative Constitutional Right. Such an accommodation is hard to imagine, isn't it? • A friend and advisor wrote to me last night to say : "I am so disappointed with the good guys not getting anyplace with the Clinton-Obama clan this past 2 years...what’s it take. And now just before the stolen House takes over we have : a daughter who must have been under a mushroom in the WH lawn with all the talk of Hillary emails; the US Border looking like a fight on the West Bank or any stone throwing event in a 3rd world country; a Special Counsel making cases out of lies & lies; and a deadbeat national party whose leaders stand far from Trump. The list is endless and known to you all too well." • There is really no answer to that view. We have President Trump to cling to now, but he is, as we said in the last blog -- ALONE. Even his beloved daughter Ivanka seems to have failed to understand the precipice that both her father and America are staring at. And, when Donald Trump has gone -- probably in 2024, but earlier if the radical ProgDems have their way -- who will take his place? I have enormous respect for Mike Pence, but can he possibly be expected to stand as firm as President Trump in the face of the entire world?? We can rule out Rubio and Romney and Paul and Haley and almost anyone else now in a position from which to launch a campaign to take over the leadership of the GOP. They are all flawed by their own grace and dignity -- and conventionalism. • President Trump is of another mold -- he is dignified and polite and full of grace and charm when he is allowed to be, but he can put all that aside in an instant and become the raging, death-defying, unconventional dragon-slaying defender that America needs. And, through it all, the President holds his base close to his heart and under his wings. Who else has that unique ability? Christie? Nunes? Cruz? Pence? If one of these men is ready to take on the martyrdom of being Donald Trump's successor, now is the time to move close to President Trump without trying to upstage him. Now is the time to pledge allegiance to the Trump agenda and find the people and money to take the plunge into the full-time job of becoming President Trump's successor. THAT must rapidly become the single most important item on the agenda of President Trump, on the agenda of the part of the GOP that supports him, and on the agenda of every Deplorable and Conservative American now alive. These are, indeed, Times that Try Men's Souls.
Monday, November 26, 2018
Russia Dossier/MI6/Mueller and Confrontation at the US-Mexico Border -- How to Trash Trump and Save Skin
TODAY, WE HAVE TWO VERY DIFFERENT STORIES BUT WITH ONE THEME. Can there be any common thread between the Russia Dossier / MI6 / Mueller Report and the confrontation on the US-Mexican border? Let's look at the Russia Dossier / Mueller story first. • • • BRITISH INTELLIGENCE SEEKS TO PREVENT RELEASE OF RUSSIA MEDDLING DOCUMENTS. Zero Hedge reported on Sunday that : "The UK’s Secret Intelligence Service, otherwise known as MI6, has been scrambling to prevent President Trump from publishing classified materials linked to the Russian election meddling investigation, according to The Telegraph, stating that any disclosure would 'undermine intelligence gathering if he releases pages of an FBI application to wiretap one of his former campaign advisers.' Trump’s allies, however, are fighting back -- demanding transparency and suggesting that the UK wouldn’t want the documents withheld unless it had something to hide." • The Telegraph reported that it has talked to more than a dozen UK and US officials, including in American intelligence, who have revealed details about the row. "British spy chiefs have 'genuine concern' about sources being exposed if classified parts of the wiretap request were made public," figures familiar with discussions told the Telegraph. "It boils down to 'the exposure of people," said one US intelligence official, adding, "We don’t want to reveal sources and methods." US intelligence shares the UK's concerns, both intel communities fearing that the proposed release would set a dangerous "precedent" which could make people less likely to share information, knowing that it could one day become public. The Telegraph added that the UK’s dispute with the Trump administration is so politically sensitive that staff within the British Embassy in Washington have been barred from discussing it with journalists. Theresa May has also “been kept at arms-length and is understood to have not raised the issue directly with the US President.” • In September, Zero Hedge reported that the British government “expressed grave concerns” over the material in question after President Trump issued an order to the DOJ to release a group of materials, “immediately” and “without redaction.” Trump rescinded his order back days later after the UK begged him not to release them. The Telegraph noted : “Mr Trump wants to declassify 21 pages from one of the applications. He announced the move in September, then backtracked, then this month said he was 'very seriously' considering it again. Both Britain and Australia are understood to be opposing the move. Memos detailing alleged ties between Mr Trump and Russia compiled by Christopher Steele, a former MI6 officer, were cited in the application, which could explain some of the British concern.” • President Trump tweeted in September : "I met with the DOJ concerning the declassification of various UNREDACTED documents. They agreed to release them but stated that so doing may have a perceived negative impact on the Russia probe. Also, key Allies’ called to ask not to release. Therefore, the Inspector General....has been asked to review these documents on an expedited basis. I believe he will move quickly on this (and hopefully other things which he is looking at). In the end I can always declassify if it proves necessary. Speed is very important to me -- and everyone!" • Also in September, the New York Times reported that the UK was concerned about material which “includes direct references to conversations between American law enforcement officials and Christopher Steele,” the former MI6 agent who compiled the infamous “Steele Dossier.” The UK’s objection, according to former US and British officials, was over revealing Steele’s identity in an official document, “regardless of whether he had been named in press reports.” But, as Zero Hedge noted in September : "Steele’s name appeared in the Nunes Memo -- the House Intelligence Committee’s majority opinion in the Trump-Russia case. Steele also had extensive contacts with DOJ official Bruce Ohr and his wife Nellie, who -- along with Steele -- was paid by opposition research firm Fusion GPS in the anti-Trump campaign. Trump called for the declassification of FBI notes of interviews with Ohr, which would ostensibly reveal more about his relationship with Steele. Ohr was demoted twice within the Department of Justice for lying about his contacts with Fusion GPS." • Zero Hedge suggests that the British are also concerned since much of the espionage performed on the Trump campaign was conducted on UK soil throughout 2016, including the facts that (1) Trump aid George Papadopoulos was lured to London in March, 2016, where Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud fed him the rumor that Russia had dirt on Hillary Clinton; (2) later at a London bar, Papadopoulos would drunkenly pass the rumor on to Australian diplomat Alexander Downer (who the later-fired FBI agent Strzok flew to London to meet with); and, (3) CIA / FBI “informant” (i.e., spy) Stefan Halper met with both Carter Page and Papadopoulos in London. • The Daily Caller reported : "Halper, a veteran of four Republican administrations, reached out to Trump aide George Papadopoulos in September 2016 with an offer to fly to London to write an academic paper on energy exploration in the Mediterranean Sea. Papadopoulos accepted a flight to London and a $3,000 honorarium. He claims that during a meeting in London, Halper asked him whether he knew anything about Russian hacking of Democrats’ emails. Papadopoulos had other contacts on British soil that he now believes were part of a government-sanctioned surveillance operation." • In total, Halper received over $1 million from the Obama Pentagon for “research,” over $400,000 of which was granted before and during the 2016 election season. Papadopoulos was sentenced to 14 days in prison (starting Monday when he reports to prison) for lying about his conversations with the shadowy Maltese professor Mifsud, a self-professed member of the Clinton Foundation. But, Papadopoulos has publicly claimed he was targeted by UK spies. Trump’s Washington allies have suggested that the facts laid out mean that the still ongoing Russia investigation was invalid from the start. • Thus, it’s understandable that the UK would prefer to hide their involvement in the “witch hunt” of President Trump by convincing the US intelligence community to suppress the release of any "Russia" Dossier" documents. If the British had knowledge of the operation, it will bolster claims that Britain directly meddled in the 2016 US election by assisting what appears to have been a set-up from the start -- none of the claims asserted by former MI6 agent Steele have been proven true. The Daily Caller also reported : "Steele, a former MI6 agent, is the author of the infamous and unverified anti-Trump Dossier....He shared results of his investigation into Trump’s links to Russia with the FBI beginning in early July 2016. The FBI relied heavily on the unverified Steele Dossier to fill out applications for four FISA warrants against Page. Page has denied the Dossier’s claims, which include that he was the Trump campaign’s back channel to the Kremlin." • • • DERSHOWITZ ON THE UPCOMING MUELLER REPORT. Let's consider this MI6 history in light of the apparently imminent release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on the "collusion" of the Trump campaign with the Russians in order to win the 2016 election. What caught my eye on Sunday was a Newsmax article on an interview Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz gave to ABC's George Stephanopoulos, in which Dershowitz said special counsel Robert Mueller's eventual report on election meddling is "going to be politically very devastating' even if it will not get President Donald Trump on criminal charges. Dershowitz told ABC : "I think the report is going to be devastating to the President, and I know that the President's team is already working on a response to the report." Dershowitz stated that "IF" the Attorney General ultimately releases Mueller's findings, it will be with President Trump's response, side by side for the public to draw their own conclusions : "The critical questions are largely political. When I say devastating, I mean it's going to paint a picture that's going to be politically very devastating. I still don't think it's going to make a criminal case because collusion is not criminal." Dershowitz told Stephanopoulos that pinning on President Trump a charge of conspiracy to cooperate with an attempt to defraud the United States is "too much of a stretch....They're going to need more than that. What I think they're going to do, if Mueller's smart, is he's not going to take a chance on being rebutted. He's going to lay out 'just the facts, man'...leave it to Congress to decide whether that rises to the level of impeachable offense. I still think Trump's greatest vulnerabilities do not lie with Mueller, they lie in the Southern District of New York because Mueller's allegations have constitutional defenses. Whereas if there's any shenanigans having to do with business, they don't have constitutional defenses." • That is one of the most unexpected apparent about-faces I have ever read. Alan Dershowitz has defended President Trump for months, and he has had access to the White House during that time. We have to ask -- has he now decided to go after the President; does he know what's in the Mueller report; and, does he still have access to the White House? We cannot answer these questions, but it seems strange that Dershowitz would select the same time that the MI6 story is circulating to talk about the Mueller report. Will Mueller show facts that support the allegation that there were improper contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians during the campaign? Or, is Dershowitz surmising that whatever facts Mueller has must be negative for Trump at least in respect of his business, thus calling into play, as Dershowitz does, the Southern District of New York where all the cases of Trump associates have been referred for criminal proceedings -- cases totally unrelated to thier positions, if any, in the Trump campaign and totally unrelated to political contacts with Russians on behalf of Trump. • Early in the Newsmax artilce, Dershowitz is quoted as saying "Mueller's eventual report on election meddling is "going to be politically very devastating' EVEN IF IT WILL NOT GET President Donald Trump on criminal charges." [capitals for emphasis mine] • But later in the Newsmax report of the Stephanopoulos interview, Dershowitz says " I know that the President's team is already working on a response to the report." We have to believe that he is speaking truthfully. So, what are the President's lawyers working on? My guess would be that they are preparing to attack the entire Mueller probe as being procedurally out of order and constitutionally improper since Mueller never had either precise instruction about the scope of his assignment and was supervised by Rod Rosenstein, a Deputy Attorney General who, the President's lawyers would argue, hates President Trump and has worked to get rid of him from day one. Federal regulations in place since 1999 make clear that Mueller is not subject to day-to-day supervision from the acting attorney general or any other Justice Department official, and that he is also equipped with the power and independent authority equal to that of a US attorney. But, if the President's lawyers can prove either of these elements -- lack of any scope in Mueller's initial assignment jurisdiction and/or supervision by a clearly biased DAG Rosenstein -- it would very likely be seen as having poisoned any "fruit" of the Mueller probe and make even business-related improprieties improper discoveries. • This idea makes the Dershowitz about-face more understandable. He is simply doing what the British are doing -- trying to save skin -- the British, their MI6 intelligence agency's skin, and Dershowitz, his own skin by saying indirectly, 'I was right about the constitutional presidential issues, but I couldn't know that Mueller would be permitted to dig into the President's business dealings.' • • • CAN ACTING AG WHITAKER CONTROL MUELLER? TheHill reported on Friday that : "Much of the focus on President Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker to temporarily replace former Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been on the possibility of Whitaker removing Mueller, a move that would undoubtedly spark public outrage and trigger full-scale investigations by Democrats, who are poised to take control of the House in January. But federal regulations offer Whitaker, now acting attorney general, broad authority with respect to the special counsel that extends beyond the ability to remove Mueller, giving him the ability to curtail the probe in ways that would not necessarily become public knowledge until after the Russia investigation is over....Whitaker has the power to weigh in on any major steps in the probe, such as the issuance of new subpoenas and indictments. Should he remain at the helm of the Justice Department until the conclusion of the investigation, it will be up to Whitaker to decide which portions, if any, of Mueller’s final report are submitted to Congress or released to the public." • All of this said, there are absolutely no public indications that Whitaker will limit the probe. In a court filing last Monday, Mueller’s team signaled that their authorities remain intact following the leadership shuffle at the Justice Department. But, Democrats and other critics constantly warn that President Trump could be laying the groundwork to impede the investigation with Whitaker’s appointment. Last week, retiring Senator Jeff Flake, a #NeverTrumper, unsuccessfully tried to force a vote on legislation that would protect Mueller from being fired. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has repeatedly said such a measure is not necessary because he does not believe Mueller is in danger of being removed. In addition, the Justice Department has declined to comment on whether Whitaker has taken any steps with respect to the special counsel investigation since his appointment. • Whitaker publicly criticized the investigation on several occasions before joining the Justice Department, arguing in an August 2017 CNN op-ed that the investigation into Trump was going “too far” and should be limited. But, in a recent interview with Fox News, President Trump said he was unfamiliar with Whitaker’s previous views on the Mueller probe before appointing him. He also indicated he would not intervene if Whitaker took action to pump the brakes on the investigation : “It’s going to be up to him. I think he’s very well aware politically. There was no collusion whatsoever, and the whole thing is a scam.” • According to the 1999 federal regulations, expansive as they are about a special counsel's freedom of action, Mueller is required to notify the acting attorney general of any “significant events” in the investigation, ranging from plans to pursue charges or subpoena witnesses to testify. So, Whitaker can request briefings on any investigative or prosecutorial steps and block actions that he deems to be inappropriate or unwarranted under department practices. According to TheHill : "Legal analysts say Whitaker, in theory, could prevent Mueller from subpoenaing Trump to testify before the grand jury, a prospect that is already subject to legal debate. On Tuesday, Trump submitted written responses to the special counsel’s questions on collusion but has not agreed to a sit-down interview sought by Mueller’s team. If negotiations with Trump’s lawyers on an interview falter...it is possible Mueller could try to subpoena the President to testify.” Whitaker's obligation to inform Congress of any move to stop certain actions by the special counsel is not required until after the investigation has concluded. In addition, Whitaker has control over the special counsel’s budget and staff, and in a 2017 CNN interview, Whitaker envisioned a scenario in which a Sessions replacement could reduce Mueller’s budget “so low that his investigations grinds to almost a halt.” AND, Mueller would need Whitaker’s approval to expand the investigation to probe matters beyond his original jurisdiction. • If the Mueller investigation is in the late fact-finding stages, as experts believe, the special counsel is required to submit a final confidential report to the attorney general. That report is expected to contain grand jury testimony and other sensitive information, increasing the odds that the government will keep at least some of it sealed. But Democrats in Congress have already said they will fight to make its contents public, which could create a confrontation with the Trump administration. In this final chapter over the Russia "collusion" probe, President Trump is more alone now that he has been since entering office because of the House shift to a Democrat majority in the mid-terms. But, the President now has an acting Attorney General who is free of the Session recusal stain and who has many powers to use vis-à-vis the Mueller probe. And, President Trump has Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Heavyweight allies. • Whitaker assumed oversight of the Mueller probe from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at what TheHill calls "a critical point in the investigation, as the special counsel reviews Trump’s written answers to questions about potential collusion between his campaign and Moscow in 2016 and mulls further steps in his scrutiny of longtime Trump ally Roger Stone." Whitaker may get the chance to take on Mueller sooner than anticipated because Newsmax reported on Monday that : "Conservative writer Jerome Corsi, an associate of Roger Stone, has been offered a plea deal in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia collusion, according to several news outlets, but he is swearing that he will not accept it. 'Corsi tells me he’s been offered plea deal on one count of perjury,' NBC News Senior Producer Anna Schecter tweeted Monday, quoting him as telling her 'They want me to say I willfully lied. I’m not going to agree that I lied. I did not. I will not lie to save my life. I’d rather sit in prison and rot for as long as these thugs want me to.' Corsi also told CNN Monday that he will not accept a plea deal, commenting during a telephone interview that 'They can put me in prison the rest of my life. I am not going to sign a lie.' He also said he does not know what will happen if he refuses the deal." What Mueller apparently offered to Corsi is the chance to plead guilty to one count of perjury. Corsi is under investigation for being a possible intermediary between WikiLeaks and Stone. CNN, citing Corsi's interview with One America News Network, said Corsi claimed that he had no knowledge of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, never spoke with him about former Hillary Clinton campaign director John Podesta's leaked emails and never communicated to anyone about them. The conservative One America, which interviewed Corsi for an exclusive on Monday, noted on Twitter that Corsi has said his issue is a faulty memory, not "willfully and knowingly lying," and that Corsi is calling Mueller's tactics "Gestapo" like. AND IMPORTANTLY -- One America also reported that Corsi is preparing to file a criminal complaint against Mueller's investigation with acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. THIS could be Whitaker's first entry into the "collusion" Swamp. • • • THE TIJUANA BORDER HEATS UP. The Daily Caller reported Friday that : "Officials in Tijuana have declared a humanitarian crisis in response to thousands of mostly Central American migrants who have arrived in recent weeks and overwhelmed temporary shelters in the Mexican border city. As of Thursday night, at least 5,000 recent arrivals were camped in Tijuana, which is serving as a staging ground for the migrants to apply for asylum in the US. City officials estimate as many as 1,200 migrants arrived from the nearby city of Mexicali in less than 24 hours between Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon, straining temporary shelters that were already operating at capacity. At least 2,000 more migrants are traveling in a second caravan currently moving north through the central Mexican states of Jalisco and Queretaro -- most are expected to end up in Tijuana in the coming weeks. In response to the influx, Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum declared an international humanitarian crisis and blasted the federal government for allowing the migrants to concentrate in the city. 'They have categorically omitted and not complied with their legal obligations,' Gastelum said Thursday at a news conference, according to the Arizona Republic. 'So we’re now asking them and international humanitarian aid groups to bring in and carry out humanitarian assistance.' ” • The Tijuana municipal government told the Daily caller that it's spending about $27,000 per day to house and provide care to the caravan migrants in the city. Gastelum, who has drawn criticism for his tough rhetoric about the caravan, warned that he would not authorize more spending as additional migrants arrive : “I will not compromise public services. I will not spend Tijuanans’ money, I will not bring Tijuana into debt now, in the same way we haven’t done so these past two years." Most of the caravan migrants are being sheltered in Tijuana’s Benito Juarez sports center, but officials say the center is already over capacity and cannot hold any more migrants while still maintaining even minimal safety and sanitary conditions. Tijuana officials say lack of coordination with the Mexican federal government has hindered the on-the-ground response to the caravan. • Fox News reported on Sunday that, as President Trump threatens to close the entire border : "US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said it suspended northbound and southbound crossings for both pedestrians and vehicles at the San Ysidro port of entry at approximately 11:30 a.m. local time. It later tweeted that the pedestrian crossings had re-opened, a little more than four hours after the initial closure....CBP added that some demonstrators 'attempted to illegally enter the US through both the northbound and southbound vehicle lanes at the port of entry itself. Those persons [mostly men] were stopped and turned back to Mexico." • Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement that some migrants "attempted to breach legacy fence infrastructure along the border and sought to harm CBP personnel by throwing projectiles at them. Neilsen said : "As I have continually stated, DHS will not tolerate this type of lawlessness and will not hesitate to shut down ports of entry for security and public safety reasons. We will also seek to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anyone who destroys federal property, endangers our frontline operators, or violates our nation’s sovereignty." • The Mexican Interior Ministry said Sunday afternoon it would immediately deport the migrants who tried to "violently" breach the border. The Mexican government described Sunday's events as "acts of provocation" that were "far from helpful" for the migrants' objectives. Earlier this month, President Trump said that troops stationed at the border would treat thrown rocks like "firearms." The President said : "We're not going to put up with that. They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back. I told them to consider it a rifle. When they throw rocks, like they did at the Mexico military and police, I said, consider it a rifle." • Mexico's incoming government denied reports Saturday that it had struck a deal with the White House to keep asylum-seekers in the country while their claims move through US immigration courts. The prospective deal between the US and Mexico was seen as a way to dissuade thousands of Central American migrants from seeking asylum in the US, a lengthy process. The legal bar for claiming asylum is high and generally requires applicants to show a specific risk of persecution based on factors such as race, nationality, politics or religion. Fox News said : "Trump administration officials have characterized the vast majority of asylum claims as fraudulent or legally insufficient, and have taken steps to reduce the backlog of asylum claims that they say are often used by migrants to gain entry into the US and disappear into the country as their claims are adjudicated. • Future Mexico Interior Minister Olga Sanchez said in a statement : "There is no agreement of any sort between the incoming Mexican government and the U.S. government." BUT, just hours earlier, The Washington Post quoted her as saying that the incoming administration of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had agreed to allow migrants to stay in Mexico as a "short-term solution" while the US considered their applications for asylum. The Washington Post the Trump administration support from the Mexican president-elect's team had been dubbed "Remain in Mexico." The WP also quoted Sanchez as saying : "For now, we have agreed to this policy of Remain in Mexico." Sanchez did not explain in the statement why the Washington Post had quoted her as saying there had been an agreement. • Early Sunday, President Trump tweeted that it would be "very SMART" for Mexico to "stop the Caravans long before they get to our Southern Border" to avoid future logistics challenges at the border. Fox News said : "There were signs last week that the Mexican government has received that message. Mexican immigration agents on Wednesday detained almost all of the Central American migrants on a fourth caravan that recently entered Mexico seeking to reach the US, with Mexico's National Immigration Institute saying 213 migrants were detained and taken to a processing center. Those found to lack proper documents may face repatriation to their home countries." Another proposal, called "Safe Third," would have denied asylum claims on the grounds that asylum seekers had found haven in Mexico. President Enrique Pena Nieto offered thousands of Central Americans asylum on October 26 if they agreed to remain in southern Mexico. Approximately 3,000 migrants took Mexico up on the offer. But, Sanchez said Saturday that the next government does not plan for Mexico to become a "Safe Third" country. • And, in Tijuana, things were bound to heat up. The York Post reported on Sunday afternoon that : "US Customs and Border Protection closed a section of the southern border with Mexico on Sunday and fired tear gas at a group of migrants that tried to breach a fence separating the two countries. CNN reported that road and pedestrian bridge access at the San Ysidro port had been closed. This is the major artery connects San Diego, California, and Tijuana, Mexico. Video footage from journalists on-site shows hundreds of migrants rushing toward the US border, and the Associated Press reported that US officials fired tear gas at the migrants as they attempted to break through the fence. • President Trump said on Saturday : “Migrants at the Southern Border will not be allowed into the United States until their claims are individually approved in court.” Trump administration officials have alleged widespread fraud, suggesting most asylum seekers disappear into the US after making their initial claims. The administration had also tried to insure that no one could apply for asylum if they crossed into the US illegally, but a northern California judge blocked the order. This led to President Trump's attack on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which will hear the case : “You cannot win if you’re us, a case in the Ninth Circuit, and I think it’s a disgrace when people file, every case gets filed in the Ninth Circuit. That’s not law. That’s not what this country stands for. Every case gets filed in the Ninth Circuit, we get beaten and then we end up having to go to the Supreme Court.” • • • THE RADICAL LEFT IS BEHIND THE CARAVANS. American Thinker's Monica Showalter wrote on Monday : "To hear the news report it, the migrant caravan is just a spontaneous uprising of women and children fleeing Honduran gangs, and the issue is one of Mexico and the US diplomacy finding a way to accommodate them. What's lost is just how hard, hard, left the organizers of what has become this humanitarian disaster are. Even the liberation-theology types are getting concerned. The caravan agenda is a hard-left, pro-Chavista one, and drawing the fringiest leftwing groups. To its organizers on the ground, the caravan is not a humanitarian mission, it's a by-any-means-necessary political mission." • Showalter points out that the real aim of the caravan organizers is to "confront the US. The moms-and-kids are window dressing." Here is Showalter's reprint of what Puebla Sin Fronteras has on its Spanish website announce for the border protest Sunday : "We, the San Diego Migrant and Refugee Solidarity Coalition, composed of migrant rights and social justice groups, invite individuals and organizations across the country and globe to organize demonstrations in their cities, and if they have the capacity, to join our rally and march to the border. We call for an action on November 25th to commemorate the anniversary of the 2017 Honduran election stolen by the US government-backed, right-wing military dictator Juan Orlando Hernández....It should be clear that they are not just acting with the support of a cabinet of white supremacists and a majority GOP in the Senate but are also emboldened by the last few decades of bipartisan militarization of the border, mass raids, expansion of for-profit detention centers, and mass deportations -- with more than 2.5 million migrants under Obama and Trump alone. Further, these policies are a continuation of a long history of anti-Indigenous colonial violence and genocide." Here is what Puebla Sin Fronteras wants : "The US government must publicly acknowledge a) its role in Honduran Coup in 2009, b) that the Honduran government is a US supported dictatorship, and c) recognize the political and social crises throughout Central America as caused by US foreign policy." • Showalter says : "That's not about moms and kids in the slightest, that's about the political demands of Hugo Chavez's Venezuela. And as you read further in the "demands," you can read that they also want American officials prosecuted. This is the caravan agenda as it throws hapless women and children in front of the cameras, leaves Tijuana a humanitarian disaster, and leaves Mexico with the prospect of a completely shut down border. As the leftists say : 'By any means necessary,' and those migrants are their easily expendable pawns....Even the liberation-theology priests, the famous rifles-and-cassocks crowd of Latin American Idiot fame, are warning they are a problem. Univision has a report (Spanish only) here, but here is a translation from Google -- "Father Solalinde assures that Pueblo Sin Fronteras uses the migrant caravan to its own advantage. 'Some are extremists,' in this way the priest referred to the activists who accompany the mass exodus and assured that they will cause problems as they are already doing internationally between the US and Mexico....This is amazing stuff, completely ignored by the mainstream media and available only in the Spanish-language press. And these people are at the heart of the caravan roiling both the US and Mexico, creating a humanitarian disaster in the true marxist tradition. My question : Why are they completely off the U.S. press radar?" • • • DEAR READERS, the common thread shared by the Russia Dossier / MI6 / Mueller Report situation and the confrontation on the US-Mexico border is this -- the southern border confrontation, like the Russia Dossier / MI6 / Mueller Report situation, demonstrates just how alone President Trump is in his battle against the Swamp and those who feed off it. Mexico has an incoming socialist government that will try to appease President Trump by purporting to cooperate with him while dragging its feet on doing anything to relieve the situation on its own side of the border at Tijuana. The goal must surely be to make the Trump administration and the US military look mean-spirited and incompetent -- and to save skin, Mexico's, by forcing the US to take all the migrants at its southern border and thus eliminate the problem for Mexico. AND, in the border situation, there is the ProgDem press trying its best to make President Trump look bad by reporting squalid conditions in the Tijuana sports stadium where the migrants have been held for more than a week, by talking up the so-called rampant poverty and violence in their home countries, and by, as BuzzFeed News put it on Sunday, calling the migrants peace-loving : "Hundreds of the group's members came together for a peaceful demonstration in Tijuana on Sunday, calling for their asylum claims to be processed more quickly, Reuters reported. The demonstration reportedly got out of hand when hundreds of migrants broke away and headed toward the border." The NYT reported : "Mexican federal police attempted to stop the migrants as they rushed toward the border, but they were unsuccessful." Reuters reported : "Hundreds of the caravan members held a peaceful sit-in a few hundred feet from the fence." The US media calls President Trump "hostile" to the migrant caravan by requesting the deployment of thousands of troops at the border and signing a proclamation that would prevent some of its members from claiming asylum. Others in the media call the President's attempt to secure the southern US border "stoking anti-immigrant and xenophobic fears among his base." • None of this is any more true than is the notion that the Trump campaign "colluded" with Russia or that the Steele Dossier is anything by a pack of Fake political dirt shoveled at President Trump to destroy him. MI6, Dershowitz, Mexico, Puebla Sin Fronteras, and the US media can rant forever -- they will not change the facts. And, Jerome Corsi may just bring some of the unsavory facts about the Mueller probe out into the bright light of day.