Thursday, January 31, 2019
THE MUELLER PROBE AND THE ROGER STONE ARREST HAVE ONE THING IN COMMON. His name is Donald Trump and he is going to be the last man standing in this mess. • • • WILL THE MUELLER PROBE END SOON? I have serious doubts that it will. But, Western Journal Conservative Tribune reported on Wednesday that : "We’re finally getting some real collusion news that may alter the direction of Robert Mueller’s investigation, or hobble it altogether. Former top FBI lawyer James Baker, the subject of a criminal investigation surrounding his alleged leaks to the media, revealed to lawmakers in October that he had a personal hand in the warrant the FBI received for surveillance of Trump campaign aide Carter Page under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.The former FBI lawyer himself admitted it was an unusual move. The transcripts of the interactions between congressional investigators and Baker have yet to be released to the public, but Fox News reported it was able to verify some of the details. Baker reveals he didn’t want to get involved in the FISA process too close to the end, because once the warrant is ready for the FBI director’s certification, it’s tough to make changes. 'So I wanted to see it when it was gelled enough but before it went through the process and before it went to the director,' Baker said. 'I wanted to see it and I wanted to read it because I knew it was sensitive.' When pressed by lawmakers about his decision to get involved in the process -- an 'abnormal or unusual step,' as the questioner put it -- Baker simply said, 'I wanted to make sure that we were filing something that would adhere to the law and stand up over time. The answer makes it sound routine, but clearly it wasn’t." • Western Journal says that there’s another explanation Baker owes to the American people : "According to TheHill contributor John Solomon, there were two separate occasions when Baker helped a Hillary Clinton lawyer and a journalist get politically charged information to the FBI investigative team. At one point, Solomon writes, Baker took information about Trump and Russia to the investigators from Michael Sussmann, a lawyer for the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign. At another, according to Solomon, Baker moved an updated version of the infamously incorrect Christopher Steele Dossier into the Russian team’s hands. The original of this Dossier is the same one former FBI Director James Comey confirmed was never verified, according to TheHill. Despite that, the author was used as 'source #1' in the Carter Page wiretap. 'At the time Baker got the copy of the Dossier, Steele already had been terminated by the FBI as a confidential human source in the Russia probe for violating bureau rules, lying about his contacts with the news media before the election,' Solomon wrote. 'So, at a time when the FBI was supposed to have severed its ties with Steele, Baker essentially functioned as a document courier. FBI memos I reviewed confirmed the version that Baker got from Corn was different from the one the FBI had from Steele before his termination.' " • President Trump tweeted about this news : "Former FBI top lawyer James Baker just admitted involvement in FISA Warrant and further admitted there were IRREGULARITIES in the way the Russia probe was handled. They relied heavily on the unverified Trump “Dossier” paid for by the DNC & Clinton Campaign, & funded through a....big Crooked Hillary law firm, represented by her lawyer Michael Sussmann (do you believe this?) who worked Baker hard & gave him Oppo Research for 'a Russia probe.' This meeting, now exposed, is the subject of Senate inquiries and much more. An Unconstitutional Hoax. @FoxNews" • Western Journal states that : "The journalist who provided the Steele documents to Baker, David Corn, isn’t exactly what we would consider an impartial reporter, either. Take a look at some of his Trump coverage : 'How Republicans Normalized Donald Trump’s Racism' – Mother Jones, Jan. 12, 2018. 'We Already Know That Trump Betrayed America' — Mother Jones, July/August Issue, 2018. 'What We Still Don’t Know About Donald Trump' — Mother Jones, Nov. 4, 2016. It appears as though Corn already has made up his mind about Donald Trump, which makes Baker’s acceptance of his materials even more suspicious. • Western Journal thinks this latest storm to rock Robert Mueller’s investigation may be the last : "Americans can only take so much. With the anti-Trump texts from Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, the Christopher Steele debacle, the questions surrounding FISA warrants, and the new revelations about James Baker, the Mueller investigation may soon be looking at the straw that will break its back." • If you don't think that Baker providing unverified documents from the Hillary campaign and Christopher Steele to the FBI is enough to bring down the Mueller probe -- will ANYTHING do that -- what about this? Newsmax reported Wednesday that : "A Russian Twitter account published documents from one of the cases special counsel Robert Mueller has filed in an effort to spread disinformation, according to a new report. CNN said Wednesday that the Twitter handle @HackingRedstone, which has since been suspended by the social media network, posted documents pertaining to Mueller's criminal case against Concord Management and Consulting in October. The sensitive material had been shared with attorneys but had not been made public. Mueller's prosecutors said the documents were not stolen in a hack, but rather someone with access handed them off for public dissemination. The Department of Justice filed a court document Wednesday about the matter." According to Wednesday's court filing, the FBI concluded that a computer in Russia was responsible for uploading the case documents. Here is the message that appeared on the Twitter account @HackingRedstone on Oct. 22, 2018: "We've got access to the Special Counsel Mueller's probe database as we hacked Russian server with info from the Russian troll case Concord LLC v. Mueller. You can view all the files Mueller had about the IRA and Russian collusion. Enjoy the reading!" The tweet linked to a file sharing website where the documents could be viewed, according to the court filing. YES, we have yet another instance of "leaking" -- in this case by "someone with access" to the documents -- to Russia. Is this a situation in which Mueller and his thugish lawyers were actually helping Russia by providing its own case file so that the Russian defendants could prepare their defense perfectly?? • • • THE ROGER STONE ARREST STILL MAKING WAVES. Despite all the conservative media handclapping about the troubles in the Mueller staff, I don't think anything will stop Mueller's effort to destroy President trump. Why?? Because Mueller is a creature of and is fully backed by the Deep State, the radical Progressive Democrat Party, and the ProgDem media. They have tied President Trump's hands by threatening impeachment if he so much as suggests that Mueller ought to be fired -- even though that is exactly what ought to happen. BUT, it is possible that the Roger Stone arrest fiasco could bring down Mueller. • The Daily Bell -- a very libertarian online website -- published an article on Wednesday titled "Whatever Mueller Finds, Gag-Orders and No-Knock Raids Should Appall EVERYONE." Joe Jarvis, who wrote the article, says : "I am appalled by the blasé reaction of the news and public to no-knock raids and gag-orders. Longtime Trump friend Roger Stone was arrested in an early morning FBI raid on his home last week. He was charged with lying to Congress and obstructing the Mueller investigation into Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. Helicopters, SWAT gear, and automatic rifles–dozens of agents descended on Stone’s home before the sun came up. To arrest a man suspected of perjury and obstruction, completely non-violent crimes. A man who was not a flight risk. A man they had no reason to believe would resist, flee, or destroy evidence. I saw one reporter mention offhand that the extreme response might have been to send a message to Stone, who has been one of the most vocal supporters of Trump throughout this whole Mueller-Russia investigation. To send a message. Law enforcement kicked in doors, aimed rifles, and brought out the helicopters to send a message. To intimidate a political opponent. To tell him to shut the hell up. I don’t care if you are the most rabid left-wing liberal, a staunch thin-blue-line conservative, or anywhere in between. This is the type of thing that should raise red flags to everyone who cares one iota about personal freedom or an impartial justice system. It is a police state tactic, pure and simple....A banana republic sends thugs to intimidate political opponents, and outspoken critics. And the suppression of free speech continues into the courtroom. A gag-order is when a judge forbids those involved in a case from discussing it in public. Stone now faces the same judge that issued gag-orders silencing other Trump allies caught in the probe. The judge was appointed by Obama. The federal judge in Stone’s case, Amy Berman Jackson, has already hushed a coterie of others caught in special counsel Robert Mueller’s dragnet, including Paul Manafort, Rick Gates and their attorneys. They were quieted after one of the lawyers told reporters that Mueller’s case was 'ridiculous.' Gag-orders are so obviously anti-free-speech that it’s clear the First Amendment has failed to protect our natural right to say what we want. So they have no rights to express themselves, simply because they have been charged with a crime?" • The Daily Bell says : "No-knock raids aren’t exactly in the spirit of the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure either. You are supposed to be presented with a warrant, detailing what exactly will be searched and seized....No-knock raids became mainstream after the start of the drug war. The excuse was that evidence might be destroyed if the police announced themselves....Same with SWAT raids in general. SWAT teams were introduced to be used only in dire hostage situations...Big surprise, now SWAT raids occur tens of thousands of times every year across the country. They happen for small scale non-violent victimless drug crimes. But they also happen for no reason at all...Families have been raided for discarded loose tea leaves, mistaken for marijuana, after buying lamps to grow hydroponic tomatoes. People have lost their lives for not knowing it was the police breaking in to their home. When they tried to defend themselves from the home- invasion, they were shot to death by police. Often, police find nothing in these raids. Roger Stone just happens to be more high profile then these other poor victims of the police state." • As The Daily Bell noted, "the sad truth is that most people don’t think past, 'I hate Trump. I love everything bad that happens to everyone in his orbit'....If it’s not happening to them, they don’t care. And when it does happen to them, it’s too late to care." • It is interesting that only libertarians, conservative online outlets and Fox News are concerned about this issue -- it should be the lead item on every news telecast in America. It won't be because the money-guys who own the mainstream media are ProgDem supporters who love Hillary and ProgDems and donate megabucks to them and their destroy-Trump causes. They also love Mueller and de facto hate America. BUT, Politico reported Wednesday that Roger Stone has an attorney working for him who specializes in the First Amendment. AND, if Washington, DC, District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson ultimately decides to issue the order despite Stone's lawyers' arguments, Stone has two friends who will speak for him in public about his case even if he is "gagged." Roger Stone told Politico in May 2018 : "The most dangerous thing is to go silent. When you're silent, people assume you're guilty of something." • So, keep talking, Roger, keep talking !!! • • • DEAR READERS, voices in Congress are rising to question the Roger Stone arrest tactics. Newsmax reports : "The Republican chairman of the US Senate judiciary panel on Wednesday requested a briefing from the FBI on the arrest of Roger Stone, a longtime associate of President Donald Trump, in an inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. Senator Lindsey Graham said he was concerned about the number of agents involved, tactics employed and the timing of Stone's arrest on Friday in Florida. Graham asked for the briefing to take place no later than February 5." • Forget the ProgDem media smear in using the phrase "longtime associate of President Trump" barb -- Senator Graham is investigating an appalling over-use and mis-use of SWAT Team tactics in an arrest that should have been handled by asking Roger Stone to be at a courthouse at an appointed time and date. It is inconceivable that the tactic used is not in violation of FBI rules of procedure. • Senator Graham wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray : "Although I am sure these tactics would be standard procedure for the arrest of a violent offender, I have questions regarding their necessity in this case." The ranking Republican on the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, Representative Doug Collins, expressed similar concerns in a letter to Wray. Collins asked Wray for answers by February 13 to a series of questions, including whether Wray was aware of what Collins called the FBI's "immense show of force" during the raid. Collins wrote : "Given the nature of the charges in Stone's indictment, many believe the FBI used an excessive amount of force during his arrest." • Some law enforcement experts said in the aftermath that when a person has not agreed to give themselves up to authorities voluntarily, such procedures were standard. BUT, there is absolutely no indication that this was the case with Roger Stone, and anyone who has ever met or dealt with Roger Stone knows that he would comply with any FBI or DOJ order to appear. • President Trump, in an interview with the Daily Caller on Wednesday, said Roger Stone's arrest was a "very, very disappointing scene" and he would "think about" asking the FBI to review its policies. The President told Daily Caller : "When you have 29 people and you have armored vehicles, and you had all of the other -- you know, many people know Roger, and Roger is not a person that they would have to worry about from that standpoint." • This overreach has its origins in the Mueller team -- and Robert Mueller is responsible for their acts. He knew, or should have know, what was going to occur at 6 AM last Friday at Roger Stone's home in Ft. Lauderdale. If -- IF -- Robert Mueller cares at all about the law he is, as a lawyer, sworn to uphold, he should be in front of a TV camera apologizing to America and to Roger Stone for the police tactic his office used last Friday. But, that will not happen because Mueller, like the Deep State and Progressive Democrats he serves, seemingly does not care about the law. He cares only about delivering a report to his keepers that will give them something to use to impeach President Trump. If that means trampling on US law and the Constitution, so be it -- that is apparently, as we review their tactics, their modus operandi. • AND, so I ask again -- and every American ought to be asking the same question and demanding answers until we get them -- Is America now a police state? "Silencing" people who oppose the regime's agenda is what a police state is all about. Ask the freedom fighters in Syria. Ask the national assembly leaders in Venezuela. Ask the Cuban democrats languishing in prison hellholes in Cuba. Ask the Canadian citizen sentenced to death in China. And, now, because of a terrifyingly swift SWAT team sweep by the FBI to arrest a Mueller target, ask Roger Stone.
Wednesday, January 30, 2019
ROGER STONE LOOKS A LOT LIKE HOWDY DOODY, AND NEITHER ONE IS A CRIMINAL. What has the Unites States become?? Are we now a police state? Did we decide to replace Stalinism with Muellerism? • • • WHAT HAPPENED TO ROGER STONE SHOULD SHOCK EVERY AMERICAN TO THE CORE. Roger Stone told Sean Hannity : “They’re trying to criminalize legitimate political inquiry. They’re trying to criminalize free speech, which is really what this is about.” • Stone was taken into custody last Friday and indicted on charges of obstruction, making false statements and witness tampering. The indictment does not charge Stone with conspiring with WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy website that published emails of Democrats during the 2016 campaign.? The indictment does not charge Stone with conspiring with the Russian officers who Mueller says hacked them. Instead, it accuses Stone of lying about his interactions related to WikiLeaks' release during investigations by Congress and Mueller’s team. The indictment states that during the summer of 2016, Stone spoke to senior Trump campaign officials about WikiLeaks and information it might have had that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. It also said that senior Trump campaign officials contacted Stone to inquire about future releases, and that Stone continued to communicate with members of the Trump campaign about WikiLeaks. The 24-page indictment alleges that Stone worked to obstruct the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election by making false statements to the committee, denying he had records sought by the committee and persuading a witness to provide false testimony. • But, on Monday, Stone argued that the reason for the indictment against him was much simpler : “Look, I honestly believe that they’re going to try to charge the President and the Vice President with some hoked-up frame of Russian collusion. That way they can make Nancy Pelosi president. She can make Hillary Clinton vice president and then step aside. It’s a nightmare but I think that’s what they have in mind." • Roger Stone continues to insist : "There is no Russian collusion. I had no collaboration with WikiLeaks. I’m not charged with conspiracy. Believe me, if they could’ve made that case they would’ve. But they want to silence me because I will stand up for Donald Trump. That’s what this is really about.” Stone added : “This is not only an effort to silence me because I support Donald Trump...and I’ve been a critic of the Mueller investigation...and I think Donald Trump is making America great again. He’s my friend of 40 years. I have great affection for him and his family. I’m not going to testify against him because I possess no negative information. There is no Russian collusion. This is a witch hunt.” • Roger Stone describes himself : "I’m targeted here because they want to silence me. I’m 66-years-old. I support the Second Amendment but don’t own a firearm...I can’t swim even though they had two amphibious units planted behind my house...I’m not going to testify against him because I have no negative information on Trump..." • Roger Stone described the police state raid last Friday when 29 FBI agents had arrived in 17 vehicles, with lights flashing, to arrest him. He also claimed Monday that the FBI had used more force to arrest him than it had used “to take down Bin Laden or El Chapo.” • Stone added : “It’s a raw abuse of power in the fact that a CNN reporter was allowed to film my arrest.” CNN, whose new motto is "Facts First," has denied that it was tipped off about the arrest and credited its scoop to clever observation of court proceedings -- although we know for a Fact First that the people at CNN aren't even smart enough to figure out who the legitimate US President is. Brooke Baldwin, anchor of CNN’s Newsroom, mocked Stone’s claims, saying, ”The FBI knocked on his door.” CNN also described Stone’s arrest as an “early morning FBI raid : "A number of law enforcement vehicles with silent sirens flashing pulled in front of Stone’s home on a darkened Ft. Lauderdale street just after 6 a.m. Friday morning. About a dozen officers with heavy weapons and tactical vests fanned out across Stone’s lawn. Law enforcement shined a flashlight into Stone’s front door before one officer rapped against it, shouting, 'FBI. Open the door.' Seconds later, the agent shouted, 'FBI. Warrant.' A second-floor light turned on and moments later, Stone appeared in the front entryway. He confirmed who he was to law enforcement." • Not everyone at CNN agreed with this narrative. CNN legal analyst Paul Callan wrote on the network’s website, in an article titled, “Roger Stone must have made Mueller really angry,” that special counsel Robert Mueller had used “an FBI arrest team worthy of a Navy SEAL operation....In a dramatic predawn raid, FBI agents placed Roger Stone, the Republican king of darkness, under arrest at his Florida home on charges related to the Robert Mueller investigation. The televised raid looked like one designed to apprehend a terrorist rather than the pajama-clad 66-year-old Trump campaign advisor renowned for his 'dirty tricks' approach to presidential campaigns and the large Richard Nixon tattoo adorning his back. The aggressive raid suggests that it might be time to trade in the Nixon tattoo for a bulls-eye, especially given the ferocity of the arrest tactics employed by Mueller’s FBI agents. The approach to this arrest makes clear that Roger Stone and possibly his attorneys have done something provocative enough to make the usually low profile and careful special prosecutor extraordinarily angry. Stone was not afforded the customary voluntary surrender option usually seen in white collar criminal cases. Most likely, the raid was intended to send a clear message to other witnesses and potential defendants..." • • • IS AMERICA NOW A POLICE STATE? That is not a throwaway line we might hear from the ProgDem regulars of late night mainstream media TV. • "Silencing" people who oppose the regime's agenda is what a police state is all about. Ask the freedom fighters in Syria. Ask the national assembly leaders in Venezuela. Ask the Cuban democrats languishing in prison hellholes in Cuba. Ask the Canadian citizen sentenced to death in China. And, now, because of a terrifyingly swift SWAT team sweep by the FBI, ask Roger Stone. • National Review's Andrew McCarthy analyzed the SWAT raid arrest by the FBI : "Roger Stone is the shiny object. The obstruction charges in his long-anticipated indictment, made public on Friday, are not the matter of consequence for the United States. Nor is the critical thing the indictment’s implicit confirmation that there was no criminal “collusion” conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia. What matters is this: The indictment is just the latest blatant demonstration that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office, the Department of Justice, and the FBI have known for many months that there was no such conspiracy. And yet, fully aware that the Obama administration, the Justice Department, and the FBI had assiduously crafted a public narrative that Trump may have been in cahoots with the Russian regime, they have allowed that cloud of suspicion to hover over the presidency -- over the Trump administration’s efforts to govern -- heedless of the damage to the country." • McCarthy reminds us -- reminds America -- reminds the Swamp and Deep State -- that : "The rationale for the Trump-Russia investigation -- namely, the notion that the Trump campaign had 'coordinated' in the Kremlin’s cyber-espionage operation to meddle in the 2016 campaign -- has been nothing more than a suspicion harbored by political, law-enforcement, and intelligence officials who loathed Donald Trump. That there may be a thousand good reasons to dislike Donald Trump is irrelevant, for we are talking about investigations, not politics. Investigative suspicions must be rooted in fact, not contempt." • YET, McCarthy, states : "Not only was the suggestion of a Trump-Russia conspiracy not founded on fact. The officials calling the shots had reason to know that the premise was factually false. In truth, there was no evidence of Trump-campaign complicity in Russian espionage -- nothing but the Clinton- campaign generated, unverified Steele Dossier. The months-in-the-making Stone indictment is just the latest proof of that. Yet investigators were not just content to let the country believe there was a Trump-Russia criminal conspiracy; they affirmatively encouraged the public to believe it was true. Even as they indicted people for providing misleading information and then failing to correct the record, they never themselves corrected the misimpression they had gratuitously created in public statements -- the statement issued by FBI director James Comey, with Justice Department approval, just two months after Trump took office; and the statement issued by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein two months later, when he reiterated Comey’s testimony in appointing Special Counsel Mueller." • Andrew McCarthy says that he accepts US intelligence agencies’ finding that Russia is the culprit in tte hacking of Democratic National Committtee computers. But, he adds : "An intelligence finding is just an assessment of probability; it is not courtroom proof. And Mueller’s indictments of Russian intelligence officers, individuals, and corporate entities are effectively no more than press releases trying to put to rest any questions about Russia’s culpability. As the prosecutors well know, an indictment is just an allegation; it is evidence of nothing. Given that Vladimir Putin is never going to extradite his operatives to face US criminal charges, Mueller’s team well knows that their allegations are freebies -- they are never going to be tested in court." • McCarthy brings the Russian hacking down to the Roger Stone arrest : "As the prosecutors have further developed their allegations, we’ve learned that Russia obtained the emails through its hackers and somehow got them to WikiLeaks, which then got them into mainstream publications. Mueller’s indictments of Russian entities strongly suggest that Russia acted alone in its hacking and troll-farm operations: The Kremlin neither needed nor sought help from Trump; its operations actually predated Trump’s candidacy; and sometimes it operated against Trump. Moreover, Mueller has never uttered a single sentence in all his charging instruments alleging Trump’s complicity in Russia’s espionage -- the indicted Russians have no connection to the Trump campaign, and the indicted people in Trump’s orbit have no connection to Russia’s hacking. So now we have the Stone indictment. It alleges no involvement -- by Stone or the Trump campaign -- in Russia’s hacking. The indictment’s focus, instead, is the WikiLeaks end of the enterprise -- i.e., not the 'cyberespionage' of a foreign power that gave rise to the investigation, but the dissemination of the stolen emails after the hacking. And what do we learn? That the Trump campaign did not know what WikiLeaks had. That is, in addition to being uninvolved in Russia’s espionage, the Trump campaign was uninvolved in Julian Assange’s acquisition of what Russia stole. The Stone indictment reads like an episode of The Three Stooges. Stone and two associates -- conservative writer and conspiracy theorist Jerry Corsi, and left-wing-comedian-turned-radio-host Randy Credico, respectively denominated 'Person 1' and 'Person 2' -- are on a quest to find out what WikiLeaks has on Hillary Clinton and when Assange is going to publicize it. But that does not suit Stone, who has cultivated an image of political dirty trickster and plugged-in soothsayer. In public, then, Stone pretends to know more than he knows and to have an insider’s view of Assange’s operation; behind the scenes, he scrounges around for clues about what Assange is up to, hoping some insider will tell him." • Andrew McCarthy labels the Roger Stone quest for information about the Russian hacked emails for what it is -- "a clown show. A despicable one, at that." • Assange, says McCarthy, "is an inveterate anti-American who has done incalculable damage to US intelligence operations." AND, McCarthy ties Mueller inott he Russian affair -- "How interesting that Robert Mueller led the FBI during those debacles and has special incentive to dig into the WikiLeaks-Kremlin connection. And how interesting that Assange was a heroic figure to the Left, and the bane of the national-security Right, before his apparent distaste for Hillary flipped the script (at least for blind Trump and Clinton partisans). In any event, we have Stone and Corsi racking their brains about how to ferret out what Assange has got, and to understand the timeline in which he might release it -- hoping against hope that it will kill off the Clinton bid. And we have Credico, Stone’s radio-host pal, dealing directly with Assange (mainly by interviewing him), then passing information along to Stone while imploring Stone to keep his (Credico’s) name out of it. Meanwhile, Stone tells his friends in the Trump campaign that he has heard WikiLeaks may have information that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign. After the hacked DNC emails are published in July 2016, a 'senior Trump campaign official was directed to contact Stone about any additional releases and what other damaging information [WikiLeaks] had regarding the Clinton campaign.' 'Was directed'? Naturally, you’re thinking, 'was directed by whom?' By Trump? Could be...Stone says it was not, but who knows? The POINT, however, is not who did the directing but WHY it was thought necessary to reach out to Stone. The Trump campaign had to ask Stone because it was in the dark." • McCarthy concludes, as any objective analyst must, that the Trump campaign was "not involved in the hacking, so it did not know what the Russians gave Assange. And it had no involvement with WikiLeaks’ operations, so it turned to Stone, who had held himself out as a knowledgeable source." • But Stone, too, was unsure. McCarthy notes that Mueller alleges : “STONE thereafter told the Trump campaign about potential future releases of damaging material by [WikiLeaks]” (emphasis added). The prosecutor has to say “potential” because Stone did not have solid knowledge of Assange’s intentions -- he tried to find out from others (including Credico, who had contact with Assange), but they did not know for sure exactly what Assange had and whether or when he would publish it." • IT IS NOT A CRIME, as McCarthy points out : "to know that bad people have damaging information about your political opponent, nor to try to nudge them to publish it at the time most opportune for your political favorite. Here, the Trump campaign did not even know what WikiLeaks had. Its best source was Stone, but, like the campaign, he was pressing sources who might have the information about WikiLeaks that he lacked. No surprise, then, that Mueller does not even allege that Stone was in a criminal conspiracy with WikiLeaks, let alone that Trump conspired with WikiLeaks -- much less with Putin. Instead, Stone is charged with seven counts of obstructing congressional investigations -- by giving misleading testimony, withholding and lying about the existence of records responsive to a congressional request, lying about his communications with Credico, and attempting to influence Credico to lie or refuse to testify. These are serious charges, and while Stone may have cards to play on the allegations that he made misrepresentations (more on that another time), the special counsel appears to have daunting evidence that Stone tampered with Credico’s testimony -- a charge that involves Stone’s cheesy exhortations that Credico ape the stonewalling of both Stone hero Richard Nixon and 'Frank Pentangeli' (the Michael V. Gazzo character who famously develops witness-stand amnesia in Godfather II)." • The salient fact, states Andrew McCarthy, is that "the evidence-based narrative from which Mueller derives these obstruction charges underscores that the President and his campaign were not complicit in Russia’s hacking of Democratic accounts. That’s not new news. It is completely consistent with indictments Mueller has been filing for a year. Why does that matter? Well, if I may beat a dead horse, in February 2017, Comey, then the FBI’s director, gave this astonishing public testimony at a House Intelligence Committee hearing : 'I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts. As with any counterintelligence investigation, this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed.'....It was wrong to acknowledge the existence of the classified Russia investigation, and it was egregiously wrong not only to name the Trump campaign as a subject but to do so in a manner that suggested criminal prosecution was foreseeable. Any thinking person would have taken Director Comey’s disclosure, in disregard of several law-enforcement and intelligence protocols, to signal that the new President could be conspiring with Russia in an espionage scheme, for which he -- or at least officials in his campaign -- might very well face criminal charges. It has to have been obvious to investigators for months that this suggestion was misleading. Yet there has been no correction of the record. For month after month, the FBI, the Justice Department, and the special counsel have been content to allow the presidency to be enveloped in a cloud of suspicion that necessarily infects the administration’s capacity to govern, to conduct foreign relations, and to deal with Congress." • Andrew McCarthy calls it for what it was and is : "We are talking about common sense and common decency: The Justice Department and the FBI went out of their way to portray Donald Trump as a suspect in what would have been the most abhorrent crime in the nation’s history. It has been more than two years. Is it too much to ask that the Justice Department withdraw its public suggestion that the president of the United States might be a clandestine agent of Russia?" [The entire McCarthy article is available at < https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/01/roger-stone-indictment-underscores-no-trump-russia-conspiracy/ >.] • • • ALAN DERSHOWITZ WEIGHS IN ON THE ROGER STONE ARREST. In Gateway Institute, Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Dershowitz says : "The reasons given thus far for Roger Stone's pre-dawn arrest by armed FBI agents are utterly unconvincing. He was not a flight risk, as evidenced by the low bail and easy conditions of release set by the judge without objection from the government. Stone knew he was going to be indicted and if he wanted to flee, he had plenty of time to do so. The same is true of destroying evidence, wiping his electronics or doing anything else that would warrant an arrest rather than a notice to his lawyer to appear in court at a specified time. A search was conducted of various residences pursuant to a search warrant. No arrest was necessary to conduct these searches. So, if there was no legitimate reason for the arrest and handcuffing of this presumed innocent defendant, what was the illegitimate reason? To paraphrase the indictment against Stone, the illegitimate purpose of the arrest was to intimidate the potential witness -- namely Stone -- into not invoking his constitutional right to remain silent, rather than to testify as a government witness. The arrest was nothing more than a show of toughness -- a foretaste of what Stone could expect if he did not cooperate with Mueller. Police do this all the time : 'Look, we can do this the easy way or the hard way.' The tough arrest with handcuffs and shackles was a demonstration of the hard way. Prosecutors have enormous power and discretion whether and how to use it. All too often they use it the way Mueller has been using it during this investigation: to pressure witnesses to testify against Trump. As Judge T.S. Ellis, III, who presided over the Manafort trial, observed: 'You don't really care about Mr. Manafort's bank fraud -- what you really care about is what information Mr. Manafort could give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump or lead to his prosecution or impeachment.' " Professor Dershowitz points out : "If Hillary Clinton had been elected president and if a special prosecutor had arrested one of her associates in the rough and demeaning manner by which Stone was arrested, civil libertarians would be up in arms. They would correctly argue that to marshal dozens of armed FBI agents to arrest an elderly man accused of non-violent crimes is an abuse of authority and a waste of FBI resources. They would complain that it constitutes intimidation and violates the spirit, if not the letter, of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. But because the arrest is of a Trump associate and the purpose is to get evidence against President Trump, we have not heard from fair-weather civil libertarians who use civil liberties and constitutional rights as tactics to serve their partisan political agendas....Their silence speaks volumes about their partisanship and lack of neutral standards of civil liberties." • Alan Dershowitz demands that the American public be told the truth about why Roger Stone was arrested : "We have not received the truth. Congress should hold a hearing and call as witnesses those who ordered the arrest and demand they explain and justify it. It is unlikely that a plausible and credible explanation will be offered, but Mueller and his FBI agents should at least have an opportunity to set the record straight. Maybe there is a good reason for why the arrest was necessary, but if so, we have not heard it and it is unlikely that the reason involves national security or other secrets. These hearings should lead to legislation setting enforceable standards for when the kind of arrest to which Stone was subjected should be permissible. The power to arrest, using armed FBI agents, handcuffs and shackles must not become a tactic to be used by law enforcement for impermissible reasons. Nor should it become routine. Congress must act to prevent these abuses from recurring." • • • TO REPEAT, IS AMERICA NOW A POLICE STATE? "Silencing" people who oppose the regime's agenda is what a police state is all about. Ask the freedom fighters in Syria. Ask the national assembly leaders in Venezuela. Ask the Cuban democrats languishing in prison hellholes in Cuba. Ask the Canadian citizen sentenced to death in China. And, now, because of a terrifyingly swift SWAT team sweep by the FBI, ask Roger Stone. • Sean Hannity said it on Fox News Opinions on Wednesday : "With all the people we know who lied to Congress -- former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, ex-CIA Director John Brennan, the folks who lied to the FISA court and years of scandals like Fast and Furious, IRS targeting conservatives and Hillary Clinton's missing emails, it's good to know the feds finally got their man. Roger Stone, who is being charged not with Russia collusion, but the process crime of lying to Congress, was targeted for the same reason US District Judge T.S. Ellis said they went after Paul Manafort and the same reason they tried to bankrupt General Michael Flynn. They want to put the screws to Stone, who is 66, to make him sing or compose against Trump. That’s the only reason. Otherwise, why would you arrest him? If it was really for lying to Congress, he'd be near the back of a long line....Stone got the same treatment as Manafort and Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen. All the other people who lied to Congress or to FISA judges got a pass. Roger Stone committed no violent crime. He’s not a drug dealer or a drug kingpin. He’s not a Mafioso or a gangster. He’s not El Chapo. He may have lied to Congress. All the feds had to do was call his lawyer and say, 'Be at police headquarters for processing at 9 a.m. or we’re putting a warrant out for your arrest,' and he would have shown up. Hillary Clinton and her cronies ignored subpoenas for emails, wiped her hard drive with BleachBit and smashed phones to pieces to avoid turning them over. Do you think you would get away with that? You might, if you could help the Deep State with its witch hunt for President Trump. There’s a danger here. We are a democratic republic. The Constitution that we cherish so much is the foundation of all law and order in this country. If you don’t apply the laws equally, only going after one group of people because of their political views, and you protect people with other political views, you’ve lost our Constitution. We've lost our country. Without equal application of our laws and equal justice under the law, there's one thing left to say to our great nation: Goodbye." • • • DEAR READERS, corruption os insidious. It creeps in, bit by bit, as democracies age or become lazy -- or are targeted for takeover by groups who do not like democracy or We the People. That is the situation now in the United States. A group -- we might better call them a cabal -- composed of Progressive Democrats who want Hillary or another ProgDem to be President at any cost to the Republic, and now being infiltrated and taken over themselves by radicalized anti-American Democrat politicians who see the US as the best candidate to replace Venezuela or the Soviet Union -- are targeting America for overthrow and destruction. American Thinker's Patricia McCarthy asked on Tuesday : " Will no one stand up to the corruption in the FBI, DOJ, and CIA?" • The answer seems to be "No" with one gigantic exception -- President Donald Trump. Patricia McCarthy lzys Robert Mueller bare : "For nearly ten years now, Americans who have been paying attention have known that our government has become corrupt, that its premier institutions were weaponized by the Obama administration to the point that we have become something of a police state or banana republic. This is not to say there was no corruption previous to Obama. As Sidney Powell addresses in her book License to Lie, the current special counsel, Robert Mueller, and his amoral, ruthless right-hand man, Andrew Weismann, had already been practicing their prosecutions of personal destruction for decades. In the 1980s when head of the FBI in Boston, Mueller allowed four men to remain in prison whom he knew were innocent. He did it to protect a confidential informant. Two of them died in prison. The lawsuits filed cost taxpayers $100M. There was the total destruction of Enron, and then came the obliteration of Enron's accounting firm, Arthur Andersen. Those prosecutions were run much as Mueller and Weismann are running their current job assignment. Mueller successfully ruined both companies, costing thousands of people their jobs and sending nonviolent people to prison, sometimes to solitary confinement like what he did with Paul Manafort. Fortunately, but too little, too late, nearly all of the guilty verdicts they managed to elicit from juries were overturned by the Supreme Court in both cases." • But, Mueller goes on, sowing corruption and partisan Fake justice to the enemies of the Deep State and its elite political overseers. Patrica McCarthy asks : "Why were these two men not disbarred? How this malicious and vindictive man continued to rise to be a US attorney in Massachusetts and California before becoming head of the FBI is a still unexplained mystery....Obama definitely used the FBI, DOJ, and CIA for his own ends without regard for the Constitution, rights to privacy, and basic decency. People like Mueller have been around for years and years, poisoning the agencies they are charged with running lawfully. Mueller is just one of the worst, but he has plenty of company : Patrick Fitzgerald, Eric Schneiderman, Eliot Spitzer, and Eric Holder come to mind. Each of them perpetrated crimes against the DOJ and the American people as surely as Comey and McCabe have against the FBI, by using the power of the government for their own despicable ends." • At the end of the day, Patricia McCarthy is right -- "Mueller was not hired to investigate Trump; he was hired to cover up crimes, his own and those of his fellow travelers, their elaborate plot to derail the Trump campaign and then to orchestrate his impeachment by any means necessary. His appointment was successfully manipulated by Comey and Rosenstein for their own purposes. Now Mueller has authorized the over-the-top SWAT-team, guns-drawn raid of Roger Stone's home, an exercise that would be comical if it were not so deadly serious.... As Tucker Carlson pointed out, Mueller sent more men to get Stone than Obama sent to get Osama bin Laden!" • I am beginning to suspect that the Pelosi stonewall over a measly $5.7 billion for a security wall on the southern border is in part a covering tactic -- she is covering Mueller's endgame ruthlessness as he lunges for President Trump; she is covering the Deep State's final thrust for the jugular of the Constitution and its rights and protections; she is covering her own unstated radical plan to take America away from its citizens and give it to socialist-marxist elites. • AND, so I ask again -- and every American ought to be asking the same question and demanding answers -- Is America now a police state? "Silencing" people who oppose the regime's agenda is what a police state is all about. Ask the freedom fighters in Syria. Ask the national assembly leaders in Venezuela. Ask the Cuban democrats languishing in prison hellholes in Cuba. Ask the Canadian citizen sentenced to death in China. And, now, because of a terrifyingly swift SWAT team sweep by the FBI, ask Roger Stone.
Tuesday, January 29, 2019
China and Huawei Face a Determined US, Europe, and World Commercially, but the Pope Has Already Made His 'Munich' Deal with the Red Dragon
CHINA IS ON THE FRONT PAGE AROUND THE WORLD THIS WEEK. And not for anything good. • • • CAN THE VATICAN RECOVER CHRISTIANITY IN CHINA? Gatestone Institute published on Sunday an article by Lawrence A.Franklin -- the Iran Desk Officer for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, who also served on active duty with the US Army and as a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve. He is also a practicing Catholic. The article notes that : "With a recent agreement signed between the Vatican and China's regime, Pope Francis surrendered partial control of the Chinese Catholic Church to the Chinese Communist Party. The Pope agreed to grant the Party considerable authority over personnel matters. After decades of refusing to give China the right to appoint Catholic bishops, as a condition for normalization of relations, the Vatican finally conceded to the regime's demand to allow the CCP a decisive role in the selection of bishops to head Catholic dioceses. The Vatican's concession came despite the CCP's continued persecution of the unofficial, independent, underground Catholic Church in China....The Church's consenting to fold its independent political posture into the Chinese regime's Communist Party apparatus gives Beijing the authority to appoint bishops politically acceptable to the CCP. In granting China this right, the Vatican implicitly is recognizing the legitimacy of the regime's CCP instrument to infiltrate and control Roman Catholicism in China, which is the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA). Pope Francis has also reinstated several pro-regime bishops whom the Vatican had once excommunicated because they willingly agreed to follow Communist China's directives, while forsaking their loyalty to the Church in Rome. Finally, the Holy See's bureaucracy also accepted Beijing's demand to reduce and restructure the Catholic Church's 137 dioceses across China. This last Vatican concession may shred the religious authority of several bishops secretly appointed to some of these eliminated dioceses by Pope Francis and previous popes. For almost 70 years, after the CCP's successful takeover in China, Catholics have either attended churches approved by the government's Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association or churches aligned with the Vatican. Some Catholics even attend Mass in private homes to avoid surveillance by agents of the regime. After a series of recent meetings between the Holy See and China's State Administration for Religious Affairs, Pope Francis dispatched a delegation in mid-December to meet with leading bishops of the pro-Vatican 'Underground Church' and Chinese government officials....The delegation included the Vatican's President-Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli. The Archbishop carried a document signed by the Holy See's Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin and by Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. The delegation's Papal directive instructed at least two prominent Catholic bishops of the "Underground Church" to retire or share their official duties with bishops approved by the CCP....The decision by the Vatican not to publish the letter, however, may suggest that the regime is also demanding that the Holy See break relations with Taiwan before it can normalize diplomatic ties to China. This supposition is based on the character of Beijing's previous agreements establishing bilateral relations with other countries, including Panama. Other countries that cut ties to Taiwan in order to open up embassies in China include the tiny African country of São Tomé and Príncipe as well as El Salvador. The prerequisite that states desiring formal ties with China must first sever formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan rests on Beijing calls its 'One China' policy." • As Lawrence Franklin wrote : "The Vatican may learn the hard way that that the Communist Chinese government does not honor its agreements. Beijing may attempt to extort even more concessions from the Vatican, just as the Chinese regime demands ever more surrender of sovereignty from western companies that do business in China. It is also highly dubious that the Vatican will purchase peace by this pact : the regime will continue to persecute the Church. If the Communist regime is true to form, thousands more crosses will be taken down from Christian churches, especially in areas that have a high Christian population. The courageous elders of Chinese Catholicism, who have endured decades of government persecution and regime efforts to divide the Church, may be seen by their flocks as having been bypassed by the Vatican. Many, if not most, Chinese Catholics are likely to view this agreement as a cynical political betrayal by the Vatican rather than a faith-based decision....It is clear from Beijing's anti-Catholic harassment campaign that the Communist Party leadership is determined to co-opt, if not destroy, the independence of the Church in China. Regime harassment includes the dispatch of internal security police to strip churches of their statues, and the removal of crosses from steeples. Sometimes bibles are confiscated if seen in public. Masses are often celebrated in private homes to avoid being monitored by the state. On one occasion in early 2018, an entire Catholic Church was demolished, prompting a street demonstration by parishioners." • Retired Cardinal of Hong Kong Joseph Zen bitterly critiqued the agreement as "an incredible betrayal," tantamount to giving "the flock to the wolves." The China Director of Human Rights Watch, Sophie Richardson, stated that "the Pope has effectively given Chinese leader President Xi Jinping a stamp of approval when the latter's hostility to religious freedom couldn't be clearer." Lawrence Franklin says : "The only likely benefit that the Vatican could derive from this Munich-style pact with the Chinese regime may be an official invitation to Pope Francis to visit China....The courageous elders of Chinese Catholicism, who have endured decades of government persecution and regime efforts to divide the Church, may be seen by their flocks as having been bypassed by the Vatican. Many Chinese Catholics, realizing that their hierarchy was reluctantly fused by the Vatican into a union with the state-controlled church, might retreat into private homes to attend Catholic services. Many, if not most, Chinese Catholics are likely to view this agreement as a cynical political betrayal by the Vatican rather than a faith-based decision. The eminent American Catholic author George Weigel sums up the Vatican's past failed policies of negotiation with totalitarian regimes : 'In light of this dismal record, it seems that prudence and caution would seem to be the order of the day in Vatican negotiations with the totalitarians in charge in Beijing, at whose most recent Party Congress religion was once again declared the enemy of Communism.' " • • • PRESIDENT TRUMP TAKES A DIFFERENT APPROACH TO CHINA. American Thinker's Peter Skurkiss reported last week that a quick survey of news from around the world show the screws are tightening on China : "First, news broke that Chinese tech company Huawei is now likely to face a criminal probe for stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile. This case is the result of civil lawsuits files against Huawei, primarily one where a Seattle jury found the Chinese company guilty of misappropriating robotic technology from T-Mobile. Although the judgment was a modest $4.8 million, it set a precedent for the Justice Department to use Huawei's behavior that was previously outlined in civil lawsuits as a basis for possible criminal prosecution. Second, Chinese trade negotiators have offered a deal to go on a six-year buying spree to ramp up imports from the US with a combined value of over one trillion dollars over that period. This will, it is claimed, reduce the trade deficit to zero. So far, the Trump administration is cool to the offer for being not enough and not addressing the matter of intellectual property theft. Also, there is concern regarding what the Chinese might want to buy. Advanced technologies would be off the table. There is also constant concern about China keeping its promises. So for, the Red Dragon's record is not good. Third, the US campaign to shut Huawei out of Western markets took another step forward when it was reported that Germany is considering banning Huawei products from its coming 5G networks over security concerns. If Berlin follows though, it will be a major blow to Huawei and would affect 3G and 4G networks, too. Germany is one of that company's largest market outside of China with Dusseldorf being Huawei's European headquarters. Fourth, the European Union has set trade restrictions on steel imports in the form of quotas on 26 steel categories with a tariff of 25% on imports exceeding those quotas. This move mostly affects China and is the indirect result of President Trump's 25% tariffs on steel imports. As Chinese steel finds it harder to get into the American market, China is looking to dump its excess steel capacity wherever it can. Europe is a plump target. This type of trade restriction could cascade to include any country with a steel industry. Not to do so would leave said countries open to being flooded by Chinese steel over-capacity, extinguishing their domestic steel industry. Fifth, Polish Internal Security agency arrested and charged a Huawei executive on suspicion of spying for China. Huawei is the top supplier of smartphones in Poland with over a third of the market. Huawei has denied knowledge of the activities of its employee and has fired him." • Peter Skurkiss tells us : "They're happening because of one Donald Trump. It's not that the President told the EU to restrict Chinese steel or called Poland to arrest the Huawei executive. Trump isn't micromanaging. What he's doing is more effective. Leading by example, he has initiated a paradigm shift in how others look at Chinese misbehavior. Prior to Trump taking strong exception to China's mercantile trade practices and intellectual property thefts, Chinese agents more or less skipped uninhibited throughout the West, picking up whatever goodies they could. A greased palm here, a bought politician there, and before you know it, hundreds of billions of dollars a year of intellectual property and technology was flowing into China. Now that the Alpha Dog has bared his teeth to the Red Dragon, others are finding the courage to demand fairness in their China trade. There is no other way to look at the situation but to conclude that China's free ride is rapidly ending. This will force Chinese President Xi Jinping and the rest of his communist leadership to focus more on how to manage their country's astronomical debt, capital outflow, poverty, and upside-down demographic than trying to take America's position in the world." • BlabberBuzz reports that China’s economic expansion last year slumped to its slowest pace in 28 years as the country came under pressure from the Trump administration’s tariffs. China announced Monday that its economy grew 6.6%, the slowest pace since 1990. The year prior, China’s economy grew at a 6.8% rate, revised down from 6.9% earlier. The slowdown was expected by economists. In fact, investors in Asian stocks appeared to be relieved it was not even worse than forecast, bidding up share prices after the announcement. BlabberBuzz says : "It may be that President Donald Trump’s agreement with Chinese dictator Xi Jinping to hold off on further trade actions for 90 days gave China’s industrial production an end of the year lift....Many outside experts are skeptical of China’s reports of its economic performance. They suspect that China’s economy may be growing even slower than the official statistics reveal." • • • TRUMP'S CHINA POLICY AND EUROPE. And, South China Morning Post (SCMP -- the Hong Kong(based decipherer of Chinese political and economic moves) wrote on Monday that : "Germany’s slide towards recession and Italy again threatening a revolt could mean big trouble for China’s economy, even if the trade war is resolved." The SCMP says : "The global economy remains stuck in a deflationary [post-2008] aftershock, with the fallout still felt far and wide, not least in China’s other big trade partner, Europe, where the risks of slipping back into recession still loom large. As a major exporting bloc, Europe is a good bellwether for how global trade is bearing up under the strain -- and the outlook is far from rosy. What is alarming from Europe’s perspective is that, after years of monetary super-stimulus and policy pump-priming, the economic outlook has taken a turn for the worse, with Germany, its biggest economy, suddenly back on the brink of recession....The easy days are over....Germany is definitely feeling the pinch and what emerges there will be felt in the rest of Europe further down the line. In the past few months, German business confidence has fallen away very sharply, reinforcing the ECB’s view that European economic risks are tilted to the downside. Domestic and international fear factors abound. On the international side, German companies are worried about the US-China trade war, negative fallout from the US government shutdown and the impact of a no-deal, hard Brexit by the UK. This is all rebounding on Germany’s domestic economy, hitting industrial orders, factory output and new investment intentions....German growth slumped to 1.5% in 2018, its worst annual rate in five years, with the economy once again flirting with recession. Third-quarter gross domestic product was negative to the tune of a 0.2% drop in output and it will be another month before official data confirms whether Germany managed to avoid a 'technical recession' in the final three months of 2018. Whatever the outcome, the underlying trend is worrying, with the gravitational drift shifting towards harder times ahead." • SCMP calls Germany the "microcosm for what fate befalls the rest of Europe. If Germany stumbles into a demand sinkhole then the European economy will follow close behind. The latest economic confidence numbers from the Eurozone are far from encouraging. The problems are piling up, not least the worry that the ECB will be less supportive to future growth, while the European Union keeps plugging away with fiscal consolidation and austerity. The policy outlook will strangle any hope of recovery without a major sea-change in strategy." • AND, says SCMP : "European politics could throw a further spanner into the works. After Italy’s recent run-in with the European Union over fiscal sovereignty, far-right Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini warned that Italy could lead a populist 'European spring,' a reminder that anti-Brussels and eurosceptic sentiments are far from dead and buried. Politicians may boast about a 'united' front over Britain’s Brexit position but, behind the unity, there are definite signs of cracks re-emerging in European politics." This refers to the May 2019 European Parliament elections, in which Europe's populist parties that champion nationhood, local culture and government, and greatly reduced immigration, are expected do well. • • • THE UNITED STATES INDICTS HUAWEI. CNBC reported very early on Tuesday that : "The US Department of Justice filed criminal charges Monday against Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of China tech giant Huawei and the daughter of its founder and president Ren Zhengfei. Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker confirmed during a press conference that the Justice Department is seeking the extradition of Meng Wanzhou from Canada. The Justice Department also announced charges Monday against Huawei for allegedly stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile. The charges stem from a civil trade secrets lawsuit filed by T-Mobile in 2014 over a robot called "Tappy," which was used in testing smartphones." • Reuters reported on Tuesday that a spokesman at China's industry and information technology ministry said that the US government indictment against Huawei is "unfair" and "immoral." • Alex Capri, visiting senior fellow at NUS Business School, told CNBC he found Beijing's response notable : "I think the choice of words is very interesting from Beijing because I didn't hear any talk about retaliation, I didn't hear any talk similar to what we heard regarding Canada, where 5G networks might be held up, Huawei's involvement in building these types of networks, you know, as a penalty might withdraw. What that does is that underscores the reality here, and that is that Huawei is incredibly vulnerable." Capri says the vulnerability stems from Huawei's "dependence still on Western tech," adding "that is why Beijing is treading very carefully here." • The South China Morning Post quoted the Chinese foreign ministry as saying that the Huawei charges are a US attempt to smear Chinese companies -- "Political motivation" is behind the attack on companies’ legitimate operations, says Chinese foreign ministry. On Monday, Huawei issued a statement denying the charges filed in the US against the Chinese telecom giant for allegedly stealing trade secrets and violating US sanctions. A spokesman for China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology condemned the US charges against Huawei and Meng. • THE CHARGES are extensive -- more than two dozen charges were filed, including those related to money laundering and Meng's conspiring to violate US sanctions against Iran by doing business with Teheran through a subsidiary Huawei tried to hide. The justice department also accused Huawei of making misrepresentations to several financial institutions, not disclosing their names in the indictment, to “manipulate those other banks into expanding and maintaining their banking relationships with Huawei.” A separate indictment charged that in 2012 Huawei had begun a concerted effort to steal information about a robot that T-Mobile used to test mobile phones. In an effort to build their own robot, Huawei’s engineers violated confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements with T-Mobile by secretly taking photos of the robot, measuring it and even stealing a piece of it, according to the indictment. Huawei later rewarded the employees involved, the indictment states. • SCMP noted that Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang also said that the US should halt what he called "unreasonable suppression of Chinese companies" and withdraw its arrest warrant against Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou : “The United States has been using state power to smear and attack specific Chinese enterprises, destroying the legitimate operations of the companies,” Geng said, adding, "There is strong political motivation and manipulation behind it. China is determined to protect legitimate rights of Chinese companies.” • • • THE HUAWEI CASE AND MENG, HUAWEI FOUNDER'S DAUGHTER. US prosecutors spent more than 10 years preparing their case before filing criminal charges against Huawei Technologies, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment supplier, alleging it stole trade secrets from an American rival and committed bank fraud by violating sanctions against doing business with Iran. Reuters quotes the US indictment that says that since 2010, Huawei misled various financial institutions and banks in the US by hiding its true relationship with Skycom. As a result, one of the banks, known as “US Subsidiary 1” (a subsidiary of “Financial Institution 1”) in the indictment, cleared over US$100 million in transactions for Skycom. In September 2012, a Huawei senior vice-president testified to the US Congress that the company’s business did not violate any sanctions, and a Huawei treasurer days later told a principal of a US bank that the firm and its global affiliates were not in violation of any laws. But months later, Reuters published a report that said Huawei owned and operated Skycom, which was trying to sell embargoed goods of US origin to Iran, which violated sanctions. Last year, Huawei's Chinese rival ZTE was fined US$1 billion and banned from buying American parts and services for almost three months, for failing to discipline 35 employees involved in the illegal sale of telecoms equipment to Iran and North Korea. Acting US Attorney General Matthew Whitaker announced the 13-count indictment of financial fraud and other charges against Chinese Huawei Technologies, as well as two affiliated companies and Huawei's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in Canada on December 1 at the request of the US, which has said it would file a request to Canada for her extradition by Wednesday’s deadline. • Reuters reported that Huawei told SCMP : “After Ms Meng’s arrest, the company sought an opportunity to discuss [the investigation] with the Justice Department, but the request was rejected without explanation. The company denies that it or its subsidiary or affiliate have committed any of the asserted violations of US law set forth in each of the indictments, is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms Meng and believes the US courts will ultimately reach the same conclusion.” Meng’s lawyer Reid Weingarten, partner at Steptoe & Johnson, said Meng “should not be a hostage” in China-US relations. “Our client, Meng, should not be a pawn or a hostage in this relationship. Ms Meng is an ethical and honorable businesswoman who has never spent a second of her life plotting to violate any US law, including the Iranian sanctions.” Huawei listed Meng as CFO and one of the company’s executive directors in 2011, when it publicly disclosed its leadership. She is out on bail in Vancouver while awaiting the outcome of a hearing to decide whether she will be extradited to the US to face charges. Months after the Reuters reports were first published in 2012, Meng requested an in-person meeting with an executive from “Financial Institution 1” -- one of the victims involved in helping Skycom [a wholly-owned Huawei affiliate] process millions of dollars in transactions. In Meng’s meeting with the executive in August 2013, she used a PowerPoint presentation to explain that her participation on the board of Skycom between February 2008 and April 2009, was meant to help Huawei “better understand Skycom’s financial results and business performance, and to strengthen and monitor Skycom’s compliance.” In early 2014, Meng made a trip to New York via John F Kennedy International Airport, where US authorities reviewed a file containing text from an electronic device belonging to her. The file, which may have been deleted, contained “talking points” about Iran and Skycom, according to the indictment. The airport was under the purview of the Eastern District of New York, which filed the criminal charges. Around 2017, “Financial Institution 1” terminated its banking relationship with Huawei due to risk concerns, the US found. The financial institution emphasized to Huawei that the termination was its decision alone. Following that setback, Huawei attempted to strengthen its relationships with other banks, stating that it was the one who ended the relationship with “Financial Institution 1” because it was dissatisfied with its service. Around the same time, the US alleged that Huawei became aware of the US criminal investigation against it, and purportedly moved witnesses with knowledge about its Iran business to mainland China, where they would be beyond the jurisdiction of the US. The company also sought to destroy and conceal evidence of its business. • • • THE HUAWEI CASE INVOLVES COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD. SCMP reported on Tuesday that Reuters states : "China has pledged to fast-track the issuance of 5G commercial licences as part of an effort to boost domestic use of the next-generation mobile technology amid a US-led push back on the overseas ambitions of telecommunications equipment giant Huawei Technologies. China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a notice published on its website on Tuesday that it will speed up the granting of 5G commercial licences to upgrade so-called information consumption in the country. The state planner also said it would promote high-quality video and support the launch of 4K television channels across China to enrich content as well as subsidise super high-definition TV sets, virtual reality and augmented reality devices in certain regions. The move is part of a broader effort to boost domestic consumption amid slowing economic growth. It also comes at a time when Huawei, which leads China’s bid to become the leading supplier of advanced telecoms equipment to the world’s mobile carriers, faces growing pressure from the US, where some politicians consider it an arm of the Chinese government." There is also heightened scrutiny on Huawei in other countries -- including Britain, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. • SCMP says China authorities earlier this year said they would issue temporary 5G licenses to promote the application and construction of the next-generation mobile technology to push forward the development of new 5G hardware, including smartphones and wearable devices. The central Chinese government also awarded China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom with 5G spectrum licences at the end of 2018, enabling them to conduct final trials for the new mobile system before its wider commercial roll-out set for 2020. Wen Ku, a senior information and communications officer at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said at a news conference in Beijing on Tuesday that the 5G networks are ready for “pre-commercialisation” after the completion of the latest tests. Wen said Huawei expects mature 5G devices to roll out by mid-2019 because smartphone makers and chip suppliers have been making rapid progress in developing 5G-based devices. According to data from the Internet Society of China, the information consumption market in China, which includes all services and products that rely on an internet connection -- including connected cars, wearable devices and service robots -- was worth 5 trillion yuan (US$741 billion) in 2018, accounting for about 6% of the country’s GDP. • According to SCMP : "Huawei Technologies, which founder Ren Zhengfei started in 1987 as a company selling telephone switches, has built for itself a vast international market to become the world’s largest telecommunications equipment supplier. The US indictments against Huawei Technologies for violating US sanctions against Iran and stealing trade secrets are seen as the latest steps that could potentially push the world into two distinct camps when it comes to the telecommunications industry. If Huawei is blocked from providing network equipment to the US and its allies, there is a danger of a split in the industry -- where Western companies and Asian firms are only allowed to serve their own markets. Countries such as Britain, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Canada have either banned or are reviewing whether to allow Huawei equipment to be installed in their telecoms networks on the basis of security concerns over the firm’s relationship with the Chinese government." American universities have blacklisted Huawei and other Chinese telecoms under pressure from the Department of Justice. But, the Canadian phone company Telus backs China’s Huawei as "viable and reliable," according Reuters and SCMP. And, US lawmakers are seeking to ban chip sales to China’s Huawei and ZTE for "violating American sanctions." • • • CANADA IS A SPECIAL CASE. Because of being the country that arrested Meng Wanzhou, Canada has played a highlighted role in the Huawei legal battle with the United States. • AND, that led to a scandal of sorts last week when Canada’s ambassador to China, John McCallum, was fired by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after McCallum remarked that the US extradition request was flawed and that it would be “great for Canada” if it was dropped. • Chinese state media attacked Canada for sacking its "outspoken" ambassador. The tabloid Global Times leads charge against Canadian government’s demand that John McCallum resign. Chinese state-run media on Monday decried the sacking of Canada’s ambassador to Beijing. McCallum had raised eyebrows over a series of remarks regarding the case of Huawei’s chief financial officer whose arrest has sparked a diplomatic row between Beijing and Canada. The resignation, at the request of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, “reveals political interference,” the Global Times said in an editorial; adding that Ottawa is now as “sensitive as a frightened bird....As a Chinese folk saying goes, ‘You cannot live the life of a whore and expect a monument to your chastity.' Canada is a country worthy of respect, but some Canadians...are against moral righteousness while deceiving themselves to believe that they can be honoured as moral models.” • Beijing has reacted furiously to Meng’s detention. In apparent retaliation, two Canadian citizens have been detained on national security grounds and another was sentenced to death for drug trafficking. • SCMP says Canada has repeatedly stressed the case is not politically motivated and the justice system is fair but Chinese media has cast Meng’s arrest as part of an assault on the development on the country’s hi-tech industry. China Daily wrote : “McCallum was merely stating the truth when he observed that Meng has a strong case against extradition, which he rightly said was politically motivated.” • Canada Free Press wrote on Tuesday that : "For Trudeau and the Liberals, it is all about winning this upcoming election and turning Asian-Ontario swing districts to the Liberals and retaining existing Asian-dominated Liberal districts. That is why McCallum gave a 40-minute speech to only local Chinese-speaking newspapers in the Asian-dominated town of Markham about why McCallum and the Trudeau Liberals thought Meng Wanzhou, the Huawei CFO, had a strong legal case against America’s extradition request for her to be removed to the US....No English-speaking press was allowed at this 40-minute briefing in which McCallum meticulously and articulately laid out the case to the Asian reporters and by extension to the Asian voters in the Markham districts and to the Communist Chinese government. When this very undiplomatic speech was leaked, McCallum was forced to apologize for 'misspeaking.' This was no misspeak. McCallum is not smart enough to have composed this pro Huawei, pro Communist China speech without help from the sharp Liberal lawyers in the Prime Minister’s Office and without the knowledge and consent of Trudeau. You see the slippery Trudeau and the Liberals were caught doing what they always do. Speaking out of two sides of their mouths to two different audiences in two different languages. Usually Trudeau says something in English to English Canada and something different on the same topic to French Quebec. McCallum and Trudeau thought they could pull that same stunt on the Huawei case. They thought they could say in English to English Canada and to the US, that the Huawei matter was strictly legal and Canada was simply following the rule of law and respecting its treaty obligations with the US and there would be no political interference in the adjudication of the Meng Wanzhou extradiction case. But McCallum and Trudeau were too clever for their own good....They also did not count on the political firestorm that was unleashed by McCallum’s apparently very pro Communist Chinese comments which ran contrary to Canada’s national interests and particularly its relationship with its major ally and trading partner to the south....Bottom line. McCallum accepted an impossibly stupid mission. He got caught. And Trudeau and his government disavowed all knowledge of his involvement." • • • DEAR READERS, despite the Huawei lawsuit, the trade talks between China and the US will go forward. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says he's hopeful that the talks will make progress. The high-level Chinese trade delegation -- including a central bank governor, the National Development and Reform Commission deputy chief, a finance vice-minister, a foreign vice-minister, a commerce vice-minister, an agriculture vice-minister, and industry and information technology vice-minister -- landed in Washington on Tuesday for the latest round of talks aimed at ending the trade war. A diplomatic source told SCMP that the US had presented a list of demands to China during their previous round of talks in Beijing in early January. China said it would study the demands, and is expected to make counter proposals in the upcoming talks, the source said. Both sides gave a positive assessment of the last talks, saying the discussions were “good." Both sides have agreed on a March 1 deadline for the current round of negotiations, following talks between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Trump in Argentina in early December. Both agreed to suspend the imposition of additional tariffs after the talks, but failing to reach a deal by March could result in the US increasing tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese imports from 10% to 25%. The US has long demanded that China buys more American products, stop forcing US companies to transfer technology to their Chinese counterparts, and stop cyberattacks and theft. • China and the US clearly are trying to keep their complicated trade disputes separate from the charges levelled against China’s telecommunications giant Huawei. Speaking in Beijing on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing hoped that the trade talks in Washington would make progress and he did not draw any direct links between the Huawei case and the trade negotiations. Geng reiterated that Washington was well aware of China’s positions on Meng and Huawei as well as the trade issues. He would not elaborate on whether Meng’s case would be raised by the Chinese trade negotiators but said Beijing hopes that the trade talks would lead to mutually acceptable solutions.
Monday, January 28, 2019
THE COVINGTON CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL STORY CONTINUES. This messy media creation wanted to tell a story about rabidly racist Trump-supporter MAGA-cap-wearing Catholic high school students attacking a Native American "elder." It hasn't panned out quite that way. • • • THE BISHOP APOLOGIZES. Fox News told the tale last Friday : "The bishop overseeing Covington Catholic High School apologized Thursday for his and the Diocese’s rush to judgment of the students in the viral incident at the Lincoln Memorial. The Most Reverend Roger Foys initially condemned the students for the supposed actions towards Native American elder Nathan Phillips and said their 'behavior is opposed to the Church’s teachings on the dignity and respect of the human person.' He added in a January 19 statement that they were investigating the matter and would 'take appropriate action, up to and including expulsion.' But after video evidence emerged showing the full picture of the confrontation, the bishop backtracked an issued an apology. 'We apologize to anyone who has been offended in any way by either of our statements which were made with good will based on the information we had,' wrote Foys, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. 'We should not have allowed ourselves to be bullied and pressured into making a statement prematurely, and we take full responsibility for it.' The bishop in particular apologized to Nicholas Sandmann, the student at the center of the controversy, and his family 'as well as to all CovCath families who have felt abandoned during this ordeal. We apologize to anyone who has been offended in any way by either of our statements which were made with good will based on the information we had. We should not have allowed ourselves to be bullied and pressured into making a statement prematurely, and we take full responsibility for it.' ” • Bishop Foys justified his initial condemnation of the students by saying that "the videos initially 'purportedly' showed the students being rude to the Native American man and he was pressured to make a statement. 'Based on what the video clip showed, we condemned the actions of students who engaged in the alleged disrespect and promised to investigate the matter,' he wrote, adding that after the new footage came to light, the same people who asked to condemn now asked him to issue a retraction." • The Bishop also denounced the death threats made to the students and their families, and he expressed his support for the school’s Principal Robert Rowe, who has been facing calls to resign due to controversy. • However, Bishop Foys is not backing down on his promise to investigate : "These last four days have been a living hell for many of you, for your parents, for your relatives, for your friends and it certainly has been for me. This is a no-win situation. We are not going to win. No matter what we say, one way or another, there are going to be people who are going to argue about it. The best we can do is, first of all, to find out the truth, to find out what really went on, what really happened. So we do have investigators who are here today, a third-party who is not associated with our diocese.” • Of course, Bishop Foys has every right, and even a duty, to "investigate" what happened at the Lincoln Memorial. BUT... • • • COVINGTON CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL IS NOT THE STORY -- THE STORY IS THE BLACK HEBREW ISRAELITES AND NATHAN PHILLIPS. Let's examine the facts as we know them. • • • COVINGTON STUDENT SANDMANN AND SCHOOL PARENTS ARE PUSHING BACK. Nick Sandmann, the Covington Catholic High School junior at the center of the videotaped encounter, told NBC's 'Today' show that he did nothing to provoke anyone and sought to calm the situation. "As far as standing there, I had every right to do so," he said in the interview. "My position is that I was not disrespectful to Mr. Phillips. I respect him. I’d like to talk to him. I mean, in hindsight, I wish we could’ve walked away and avoided the whole thing." And, some parental chaperones who witnessed the encounter say the Covington students were targeted because they were Catholics at a March for Life rally who were wearing Trump 'Make American Great Again' hats. "I think they were targeted for what they stood for...which is Christianity, the right for life," parental chaperone Jill Hamlin told Fox News. "And they were singled out, and I believe, partially because of the color of their skin they were targeted." • Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, in an interview with Fox News' Tucker Carlson, blasted the media for an "incredible amount of bigotry" against President Trump and his supporters. "This fit the narrative of the stereotype of bigotry that they would be able to run with," Bevin said. • • • WHAT HAPPENED AT THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL? The Washington Free Beacon reported about what happened to the high school boys : "During the 46th annual March for Life Friday, students from Covington Catholic High School, many of them wearing 'MAGA' hats, came face to face with protesters. One protestor was a Native American with a drum. Others were Black Hebrew Israelites, a religious organization listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a 'militant' hate group. The Free Beacon stated : "Initial media and activist reports relied on viral video footage and the drummer's account to blame the students for 'surrounding' him, falsely claim they chanted 'build the wall,' and slimed them as racist. The New York Times described the students as a 'mob' before later modifying the story's title and body to reflect the facts. The initial video received millions of views and tens of thousands of retweets. In a tweet, CNN accused the students of 'taunting' the man. The tweet remained up as of Tuesday afternoon. A recent CNN marketing campaign and its banner photograph on Twitter promotes the idea the organization puts 'facts first.'....Soon after the initial reports, eyewitness accounts and longer footage became available, which contradicted the conclusions many had drawn about the incident. A full account showed the Native American elder approach the students, who chanted along with the elder. In the video, Black Hebrew Israelites throw slurs at the students, who do not respond in kind. Gradually, media organizations began correcting their false reports. Some did not. As of press time, the New York Times had not deleted its false tweet : '@nytimes Boys in ‘Make America Great Again’ Hats Mob Native Elder at Indigenous Peoples March https://nyti.ms/2FMGTGo" 5:35 AM - Jan 20, 2019." • • • THE DAILY CALLER WAS FIRST TO TRY TO PRESENT FACTS. A full video that you can watch at < https://youtu.be/t3EC1_gcr34 >, begins nearly an hour prior to the confrontation between Phillips and the boys, and was shared on Facebook by Shar Yaqataz Banyamyan. A mirror of that video was posted to YouTube. • Here is the Daily Caller report : "That video begins with coverage of about five African-American men identified as “Black Hebrew Israelites” -- with which the person recording the video appeared to be involved -- interacting first with the Native American protesters, calling them just 'like the white man' and calling one female protester a 'culture vulture' and a 'damn blue-eyed demon' (10:20). After an hour or so of the Black Israelites yelling at the Native American group -- calling them '$5 Indians' and 'rented Natives' -- they turned their attention on the gathered group of young boys. They called the group 'dusty-ass crackers' and claimed that their MAGA gear was racist. 'Babies made out of incest!' they yelled at the boys. 'This is what Make America Great looks like. When was it great? I dare you to say it.' (1:07:55). The boys began chanting school spirit slogans, but the Black Israelites continued to taunt them, saying, 'You sound like a bunch of dogs. Hyenas.' They also claimed that the boys wouldn’t dare come any closer because 'you can’t see the angels around us. You worship blasphemy and we got angels.” (1:09:00). At that point, one of the boys ran down the steps, stripped down to a pair of athletic shorts, and led the group in a raucous cheer (1:09:45). The boys continued to cheer and chant, and only then did Phillips and the others in his group approach. 'Here come Gad,' the Black Israelites commented as he got closer (1:12:22). The video then shows Phillips walking right into the crowd, pushing into the group and stopping only when he was nose to nose with one of the students. From behind him, one of the Black Israelites yelled, 'Y’all better not touch him. Y’all better not touch him,' and claimed that 'Gad' had 'calmed the demonic spirits' as the boys continued to chant along with the beating drums (1:13:25). 'Serious mockery,' the Black Israelites continued. 'With their Make America Great Again hats. America will be destroyed by nuclear thermal destruction. Thus saith the Lord.' They added, 'This is what Donald Trump produces. This is a bunch of future school shooters. That’s right. School shooters. That’s your future.' (1:14:28). Shortly after Phillips left the scene, the Black Israelites once again turned their attacks on the students. Upon realizing that there were a couple of African American students in the group, they yelled, 'They got one black man. Y’all got one n***er in the crowd, huh? One n***er, huh? OHHHH, you got two n***ers in the crowd. Two n***ers in the crowd.' The Covington boys quickly surrounded the black students, helping them disappear into the crowd (1:18:25). They went on to tell the boys that 'your President' and his attorney Rudy Giuliani were 'homosexuals,' citing a charity dinner in 2000 where Giuliani dressed in drag and Trump pretended to harass him in a comedy skit (1:22:30). The boys fired back simply by pointing out, 'Most of us aren’t even old enough to vote.' " • The Daily Caller reported the attacks on the students following the spread of the video by celebrities and pundits who picked up the narrative -- and began comparing the boys in the video to the KKK and even to those who crucified Jesus -- "The red MAGA hat is the new white hood. Without white boys being able to empathize with other people, humanity will continue to destroy itself. #FirstThoughtsWhenIWakeUp" — Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) January 20, 2019 /// "This #maga boy attends Covington Catholic, a Christian school? Oh, the irony. pic.twitter.com/t02SGzVCCG" — Daniel Dae Kim (@danieldaekim) January 19, 2019. AND, of course, they blamed President Donald Trump -- "An entire generation of young white boys and men are being radicalized by Trump in front of our very eyes. Impeachment or no impeachment, defeat in 2020 or no defeat in 2020, I suspect it’s too late to put this particular #MAGA genie back in the bigoted bottle." — Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) January 19, 2019. AND, they advocated violence -- "They like to say & believe that violence isn’t the answer....but for this little smug, entitled, privileged, MY DADDY WILL SUE YOU fuck boy in the MAGA hat....I don’t see another option. Crack his shit one good time, bet he won’t be bout this life no more. pic.twitter.com/gBhzwKGLU8" — Khleo Thomas (@KhleoThomas) January 19, 2019. • The Daily Caller also provided a sampling of the media's first frenzied attack on the students : "BuzzFeed News Reporter, Anne Helen Petersen, made her colleagues proud by smearing one of the kids in the video and implied he had a future in sexually assaulting women. Petersen even acknowledged that other videos showed a completely different story, but that didn’t stop her diatribe about why a teenage boy’s face “caused a visceral reaction.” "Anne Helen Petersen @annehelen One theme of the conversations over the past 24 hours = how deeply familiar this look is. It's the look of white patriarchy, of course, but that familiarity -- that banality -- is part of what prompts the visceral reaction. This isn't spectacular. It's life in America." 1:12 AM - Jan 21, 2019. Three Washington Post reporters, as National Review’s Michael Brendan Dougherty neatly explained, framed their story on how “a throng of young, mostly white teenage boys, several wearing “Make America Great Again” caps,” surrounded the Native American protestor Nathan Phillips and reported that he “felt threatened.”....The Atlantic’s James Fallows, just hours after the first video was released, wrote a bizarre column comparing the young boys to pro-segregation activists. Fallows seemed to even recognize that other footage might give a more complete picture of the incident, but he chose to brush this off as just “whatever happened.” Even by Monday morning, MSNBC was still tweeting out clips from shows expressing sympathy for Fallows...."MSNBC @MSNBC Tara Houska, tribal rights attorney, on video from Indigenous Peoples March : 'I was there, and I witnessed something that was very aggressive and something that was very frightening.' 5:05 PM - Jan 21, 2019. • Here is how one anonymous student provided Local 12 reporter Adam Clements with a written statement regarding the confrontation. He said that the boys were waiting for their bus and had decided to do some school cheers to pass the time : "We initially thought this was a cultural display since he was beating along to our cheers so we clapped to the beat. He came to stand in front of one of my classmates who stood where he was, smiling and enjoying the experience.…we did not partake in any physical or verbal abuse, did not chant 'build the wall' or mock or anything of the like, and did not seek to incite violence. After that initial occurrence, we were then verbally assaulted by four or five African-American men who called us 'faggots' and berated one of our African American friends for being friends with us." • • • WHO ARE THE BLACK HEBREW ISRAELITES? Fox News wrote about them : "The Black Hebrew Israelites, members of which identify themselves as a historic religious group, has taken center stage after some of its members appeared to be part of a controversial confrontation at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC over the weekend....Following the confrontation, the religious group has been thrust into the spotlight for some of the members’ alleged behavior at the rally. Here’s what to know about the Black Hebrew Israelites. Who are they? The Black Hebrew Israelites -- sometimes called 'Black Jews,' 'Black Hebrews,' and 'Hebrew Israelites,' according to Vox -- are a controversial offshoot of an American religious movement known as Black Israelism, the Washington Post reported. The movement dates back to the 18th century, if not before. More specifically, the movement is 'rooted in Black Judaism,' according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which noted the Black Judaism doctrine states 'when the Kingdom of Israel was destroyed, the Israelites were first scattered across the African continent and then selectively targeted by enemy African tribes who captured and sold them to European slave traders for bondage in the New World.' The principles of the Black Hebrew Israelites vary : the group does not appear to have an official creed. In fact, Lewis Gordon, a professor of Africana philosophy at the University of Connecticut, told the Philadelphia Inquirer some sects within the movement 'identify as Jews, as Christians, and as neither.' Some who identify with the group read the Christian bible, while others read the Hebrew Bible. Some believe Jesus was the Messiah while others do not, according to the Post. Overall, there are dozens of Black Hebrew organizations. Many members continue to follow the teachings of a rabbi who founded a congregation in Harlem, New York, in 1919, according to a 2000 report in the New York Times. However, one belief appears to hold true for the majority of those who identify as Black Hebrew Israelites : African Americans 'are the literal descendants of the Israelites of the Bible and have been severed from their true heritage,' the Post reported. How many Black Hebrew Israelites are in the US? The non-profit organization Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry, or CARM, estimated there are 'approximately 200,000 among the dozens of offshoot branches.' In 2000, the New York Times reported a range of 40,000 to 500,000 across the US -- but noted 'an accurate counting [is] made impossible by the diversity of styles and beliefs.' ” • More important, Fox News discusses the sect known as “One West” : "The Post reported a branch known as One West began to form in the 1970s and 1980s, or in the years after the civil rights and Black Power movements. One Westers, according to the Post, 'saw themselves as radical reformers of earlier generations of Hebrew Israelites who had gone astray. They would troop out to street corners dressed in colorful and ornate capes and leather -- vivid imaginings of what ancient Israelites might look like transported into the urban culture of New York City. They were also early and eager adopters of new media, hosting local television slots and filming their often-confrontational street ministry.' Members of the One West group believe Native Americans and Hispanics, in addition to African Americans, are descendants of the Israelites or the original 12 Tribes of Israel. One prominent offshoot on One West is a group known as House of Israel (HOI). Vox reported this sect of Black Israelites are often seen as the 'fringe sect' and are known for their 'highly confrontational form of street ministry' commonly seen in large cities such as Washington, DC, and New York." • It was members of HOI who were reportedly present at the Lincoln Memorial confrontation over the weekend. Some Black Israelite groups, such as HOI, have been labeled as 'hate groups' by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC reported in 2008 that while most 'Hebrew Israelites are neither explicitly racist nor anti-Semitic and do not advocate violence, there is a rising extremist sector within the Hebrew Israelite movement whose adherents believe that Jews are devilish impostors and who openly condemn whites as evil personified, deserving only death or slavery.' " • Wikipedia states : "In late 2008, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) described as black supremacist what it called 'the extremist fringe of the Hebrew Israelite movement.' It wrote that the members of such groups 'believe that Jews are devilish impostors and...openly condemn whites as evil personified, deserving only death or slavery.' The SPLC also said that 'most Hebrew Israelites are neither explicitly racist nor anti-Semitic and do not advocate violence.' " • Thr key TAKEAWAY -- the Black Hebrew Israelites are not Jews and do not practice Judaism. • • • WHO IS NATHAN PHILLIPS? Phillips, 64, who has been involved in a number of past protests, including the Dakota and Keystone XL pipelines, was singing songs “urging participants to ‘be strong’ against the ravages of colonialism that include police brutality, poor access to health care and the ill effects of climate change on reservations,” when he claimed a group of schoolboys began to gather near him, according to the Washington Post. BUT, the Washington Post issued a correction on Tuesday about Phillips that reads : “Earlier versions of this story incorrectly said that Native American activist Nathan Phillips fought in the Vietnam War. Phillips served in the U.S. Marines from 1972 to 1976 but was never deployed to Vietnam.” Phillips told the Post that he felt threatened by the children. “It was getting ugly, and I was thinking : ‘I’ve got to find myself an exit out of this situation and finish my song at the Lincoln Memorial,’” he said. “I started going that way, and that guy in the hat [Sandmann] stood in my way, and we were at an impasse. He just blocked my way and wouldn’t allow me to retreat.” THAT IS A LIE. • Indian Country Today published an article on Wednesday written by the well-known retired Navy Seal, Don Shipley, who obtained the official military records of Nathan Phillips and posted a descriptive story to his YouTube account. The military records paperwork, known as a DD-214 were secured by Shipley because of his connections to the military and work in the area focusing on stolen valor. Shipley says a lot of the confusion in obtaining was largely due to Nathan Phillips' enlisting name, Nathan Stanard. Shipley opens his video beating a large bottle of vodka with a spoon and asks his viewers to guess who he is talking about. He shortly thereafter reveals that Nathan Phillips is the subject of the video, who joined the U.S. Marines in 1972 but did not serve in combat. Throughout the video, which Shipley admits “will probably offend someone” he makes other Native-themed comments including “I am Ten Bears” about the movie Outlaw Josey Wales. • Shipley then describes the DD-214 in which Phillips has served as a private and exited the service as a private and received one medal. He also shows that Phillips went AWOL and was stationed in Nebraska and California. He had also served as a ReferMech or Refrigerator Mechanic. In addition to Shipley’s remarks, syndicated columnist Phil Kerpen applauded Shipley’s ability to get the military paperwork, tweeting : “Don Shipley got the DD-214. Self-described 'recon ranger' Nathan Phillips was a rifleman for two days and a refrigerator mechanic in Lincoln, Nebraska and El Toro, California the rest of his service. Retired a private.” • Shipley quotes an article from Digital Underground, a site that extracted the article from Vogue. He recites Phillips’ comments in the article, “You know, I’m from Vietnam times. I’m what they call a recon ranger. That was my role.” Shipley responds, “I got you down as an electrician.” • Chase Iron Eyes, lead attorney for the Lakota People’s Law Project, says there has been a lot of backlash regarding Phillips’ response regarding comments at Standing Rock over the term ‘recon ranger.’ Iron Eyes told Indian Country Today : “The recon ranger quote was taken completely out of context. I’ve known Nathan a long time. He was speaking about his role at Standing Rock, he was not talking about his role in the military. He has always said Vietnam Times or Vietnam era when referring to his military service.” • A friend of Phillips, who will remain anonymous, also contacted Indian Country Today via phone and email to say he has known Phillips for over 20 years, Phillips has talked about his service extensively for years and has never said he was deployed or in combat. • In the YouTube video, Shipley also says : “I haven’t personally heard him use the words that I am a Vietnam Vet. What I’ve heard him say and what’s written is ‘I was in Vietnam Times.” Shipley then shows a clip of a CNN video in which Nathan Phillips does say ‘Vietnam Times,’ while CNN does show a graphic that writes 'I’m a Vietnam Veteran...' • Shipley describes Phillips as a Vietnam Times Veteran, who might not have corrected people for describing him as a Vietnam combat Veteran. • The comments were in the main directed at the Indian Country Today journalist who interviewed Don Shipley and wrote the article about Shipley's research. The criticism was not directed at Shipley. • One commenter wrote : "Well, what do you know, more fake news! Not only did Phillips specifically claim to be a Vietnam veteran in multiple interviews, including the one with CNN where he said : 'And it's because I'm a veteran -- I'm a Vietnam veteran -- that these two groups even have the right in this country to have protests' -- and also -- 'And I'm a Vietnam veteran and I know that mentality of 'There's enough of us. We can do this.' Not only do you pretend that Nathan never said this, you went to the lengths of going back and editing one of your OWN articles where you claimed him to be a Vietnam veteran. https://archive.is/EiR1I Have you no integrity? Does truth mean so little to you?" Another commenter wrote : "It's perfectly ok to be a mechanic, however, its not ok to go AWOL to the point where you are jailed...multiple times. Its not ok to receive a less than honorable discharge. Its also not ok to lead people on. Even though he said 'Vietnam Times' he should have been more forthcoming about his exact service versus letting them believe something different. He is not really a veteran nor did he serve the country by going awol and getting a dishonorable discharge. Frankly he should have never mentioned his 'service' at all." Another commenter wrote : "But Mr. Phillips/Stanard DID claim to be a Vietnam Veteran in this very publication. 'Phillips also described coming back to the US as a veteran from Vietnam. 'People called me a baby killer and a hippie girl spit on me.' That post has been edited, in just the past couple of days, but archived. See link. BTW, DD214s are public records, available to anyone through a FOIA request." • AND, Nathan Phillips was at it again after the Lincoln Memorial encounter with the Covington students, as reported by Gateway Pundit : "Native American activist Nathan Phillips was blocked by church security from entering the Catholic Church’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, Saturday night as he and fellow activists tried to hold a drum protest during Mass, according to a report by the Catholic News Agency. The protesters had a list of demands of the Vatican that included a demand that Covington students be punished, and also demanded seniors be punished by the universites that have accepted them. Watch the video of Phillips reading his demands at the Basilica :
." • Here is an excerpt from the CNA report : "The group of 20
demonstrators was stopped by shrine security as it tried to enter the church during its 5:15 pm Vigil Mass, according to a shrine
security guard on duty during the Mass. 'It was really upsetting,' the guard told CNA. 'There were about twenty people trying to get in,
we had to lock the doors and everything.'....A source close to the shrine’s leadership corroborated the security guard’s account, telling
CNA that during the Mass, Phillips and the group tried to enter the church while playing drums and chanting, and were prohibited from
entering the building by security personnel, who locked the main basilica doors with the congregation still inside. The shrine’s
spokeswoman would not confirm or deny that the group attempted to enter the Mass. She told CNA that 'a group did assemble on Saturday evening outside the the shrine' and that they 'left without incident.'....The security guard told CNA that the incident was especially distressing given that Mass was underway. 'It’s a house of worship, a place of prayer where people come to celebrate. All this anger is so against what we are all about here.' ” • President Trump broke his silence on the disgusting media smear campaign against the Covington Catholic students. In a tweet, President Trump said the students were treated unfairly and smeared by the media. The President named the main student being smeared -- Nick Sandmann. The President tweeted : "Looking like Nick Sandman & Covington Catholic students were treated unfairly with early judgments proving out to be false -- smeared by media. Not good, but making big comeback! New footage shows that media was wrong about teen’s encounter with Native American” @TuckerCarlson" • I cannot help wondering why Pocahontas was in Puerto Rico calling a wall for better border security "stupid" instead of beating a drum with Nathan Phillips. • • • DEAR READERS, we may never fully know exactly what happened at the Lincoln Memorial. BUT, the Covington Catholic students have not been shown on ANY video to ahve incited what befell them. They were calm, considering their ages, and it was the Black Hebrew Israelites who drowned them in disgusting racist epithets, evne calling out the black Covington students in a way that made the otehr students try to shield and protect them. Nathan Phillips is a relatively 'known' personality, who seems to navigate toward media opportunities even as he tries to make some, as yet not very clear,
statement about Native Americans. We know he was not in Vietnam. We know he has lied about that. But, for the most part, Phillips
seems to be rather sad and 'lost' character who is played by the media for their own Progressive-Globalist agenda. • Most
distressing for me is the fact that this same ProgGlobalist media and their supporters -- both political and celebrity -- were and remain
willing to attack teenagers as somehow being spokesmen for anything -- let alone President Trump's MAGA agenda. They are children. Their MAGA caps are not racist. They are simply caps. Like the caps that support a baseball team or a sports product. But, the ProgGlobalist media has a history of using children. They did it after Parkland, managing to push forward naive teenagers to carry water for their anti-gun anti-Second-Amendment agenda. • And, now we have, according to a Monday article by Western Journal Conservative Tribune, attorney Robert Barnes, who represents several students from Covington Catholic High School, and who, he says, were libeled in the aftermath of the Lincoln Memorial incident. In an appearance on Fox News this weekend, he listed the individuals he would be going after. First, those who are CLEARED -- Representative Ilhan Omar, who posted a tweet that claimed the students told a woman, “It’s not rape if you enjoy it” and who took the side of the Black Hebrew Israelite sect harassing the students, saying they were harassing the sect instead. Barnes said they asked her to retract the tweet and she did. Also cleared was comedian Kathy Griffin, who retracted tweets which were aimed at doxing the students. But, those facing POSSIBLE LAWSUITS include -- Reza Aslan, the former CNN host known for his frequently profane rants against anything that has to do with Donald Trump or conservatives, who did not retract his seeming call for violence against a minor : "Honest question. Have you ever seen a more punchable face than this kid’s? pic.twitter.com/jolQ7BZQPD" — Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) January 20, 2019. Another potential target is Matthew Dowd, the ABC News analyst who first lambasted the kids and then clung to the idea that the fuller video showed them to be racists : "Folks, let us not let these kids, their parents, and their school off the hook. Regardless of what led up to this, this is awful....Check the footage. All of it. These students were exhibiting awful behavior and bigotry. @secupp @JohnJHarwood https://t.co/YUNunjQymw" — Matthew Dowd
(@matthewjdowd) January 21, 2019. Dowd's tweets were still up late Monday morning, which means Dowd was looking at a possible lawsuit. The New York Daily News is another potential target for their article mistaking a Covington Catholic “blackout game” for an instance of blackface. • While it is true that a plaintiff has to show that there was malicious intent and knowingly that something is wrong and defamatory, which is often difficult to prove, Attorney Barnes points out a “unique exception” : “When there is a defamation and libel of private citizens, particularly minors, then the legal standard goes way down. So you no longer have to prove actual malice or malevolent intent. All you have to prove is that a false statement was made -- or in Kentucky, the law is even broader, ‘an unflattering impression given and a person’s impression in a false light’ -- and otherwise...that it just be negligent to do so.” That, says Barnes, is why the families gave individuals a 48-hour window to retract or delete their statements. “If they still refuse to do so, it’s clearly negligent for them to keep false statements up.” • Western Journal says : "If it gets into a court of law and journalists who should have known better are clearly shown to have not known better, that’s not only going to drag this on -- it’s more than likely to move this into a stage where news organizations are going to try to dig up dirt on minors to defend themselves or admit they were desperate to keep the narrative alive. It’ll likely show, in a very public forum, how they denigrated and villainized under-age kids for clicks and ratings. That’s not a fate anyone who rushed to judgment on this case wants. The longer their arguments are out in the sun of public scrutiny, the more they wither and putrefy -- and to a jury, that could look like a large cash award." • There are villians in the Lincoln Memorial incident -- the Black Hebrew Israelites who are the racists, and the ProgGlobalist media, for whom Nathan Phillips was a useful pawn, pushed forward in their stories to prove the media's pre-conceived Fake Facts. The Covington Catholic high school boys were the ProgGlobalist media's perfect foil -- white, MAGA cap wearers, and Christian. And, that is perhaps the real point of the media frenzy. Their hit piece was not just on children. It was on Christians. The ProgGlobalist media thought they had found another way to label Christians as aggressively racist and misogynist. This time their Fake polemic and attack on children, President Trump, his MAGA supporters, and Catholics, may have backfired. Bigtime.