Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Progressives Are Attacking Christianity, and They Seem to Have Allies in Protestant Denominations and the Catholic Church
MAY FIRST -- THE MAY DAY CELEBRATION OF LABOR. But, there is a lot going on that has more to do with just being human. • • • PRESIDENT TRUMP FORCES ABORTION LANGUAGE OUT OF A UN RESOLUTION. As the United Nations moves farther away from being a protector of human life everywhere to being a radical supporter of the worldwide Progressive-Globalist agenda; President Trump stands out as a defender of human life, calling out the UN whenever it strays form that mission. • Catholic News Agency (CNA) reported on April 25 that : "Language referring to abortion was removed from a United Nations resolution on the care of sexual abuse survivors in wartime, after the Trump administration threatened to veto the measure. US officials said they oppose the UN Security Council resolution on the grounds of a phrase that implied support for abortion, according to the BBC. They threatened to veto the resolution if the abortion language was not dropped. The phrase that was opposed by the US, AND by Russia and China, was : 'Recognizing the importance of providing timely assistance to survivors of sexual violence, urges United Nations entities and donors to provide non-discriminatory and comprehensive health services, in line with Resolution 2106,' the BBC reported. The phrase was dropped, and the resolution passed 13-0 without any references to sexual or reproductive health services, with Russia and China abstaining." • Britain and France opposed the US move, favoring the pregnancy termination reference in the resolution. CNA says : "While the original resolution had been met with widespread support, council members and international leaders from various countries accused the US of diluting the measure by removing the phrase. 'And we regret that the language on services for survivors of sexual violence, recognizing the acute need for those services to include comprehensive reproductive and sexual health care, including safe termination of pregnancies, did not meet with all the council members' support,' British diplomat Tariq Ahmad told NPR. French UN ambassador Francois Delattre said it was 'intolerable and incomprehensible' that the council 'is incapable of acknowledging that women and girls who suffered from sexual violence in conflict, and who obviously didn't choose to become pregnant, should have the right to terminate their pregnancy,' according to the BBC. • Why should the UN try to tell independent nations how to manage their abortion policies? It is within every nation's sovereign right to permit or not to permit abortion. Oddly, in some of the countries where "the care of sexual abuse survivors in wartime" is most often a current issue, the government refuses abortion. Yet, the UN tried to leap over these countries' sovereignty by passing an umbrella resolution that permits abortion. But, President Trump stopped the UN abortion train. • • • ATTACKS ON CHRISTIANS CONTINUE AND ARE AN ATTACK ON THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION. There has been a lot of discussion recently about the new David Horowitz book “Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America.” Horowitz himself wrote an article for American Thinker on April 26, stating that attacks on Christians are an attack on America's constitutionally protected freedom of religion. • Horowitz wrote : "The Islamic State (ISIS) has now taken credit for the Moslem massacre of Christians in Sri Lana. On average over 300 Christians a month are killed for their faith globally. This is the end result of a campaign of disrespect and hate towards Christians that have become a significant theme of American politics as well." • Horowitz asks : "Is it merely coincidental that the most rapidly rising candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, Pete Buttigieg launched his campaign with an unfounded and unprovoked attack on America’s Vice President because he is a Christian? In fact, as Buttigieg’s governor in Indiana, Pence had been particularly generous to Buttigieg when he publicly revealed his sexual orientation. But Buttigieg would not be dissuaded by Pence’s gesture of tolerance. Buttigieg’s hatred was inspired by Pence’s Christian beliefs, not [by] any anti-gay behavior on his part. In other words, it was an assault on Americans’ most basic freedom -- religious liberty. Buttigieg’s attack took place without so much as a demurral from any national Democratic figure, and in fact led directly to Buttigieg’s ascension to third place in the Democratic primary race. That alone speaks volumes about the anti-Christian prejudices manifested by the left in this country." • Horowitz considers how Barack Obama referred to the Sri-Lankans murdered in church as “Easter worshippers” -- "as though they were druids on holiday rather than Christians worshipping their Savior on the day they believed He rose from the dead. The other side of this disrespect is the zeal with which leftists have closed ranks around supporters of the Islamic war against infidels, like congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, both of whom have done fund-raising speeches for terrorist-related groups. In a recent article about the Sri Lanka attacks in National Review, Doug Bandow writes : 'Christianity’s dominant role in American culture has obscured the fact that it is the most persecuted faith globally.' In fact, Christianity is almost invisible in America’s public culture and is its most persecuted faith as well. (In terms of violent acts, filed under 'hate crimes,' Jews are the most frequent targets, thanks to the anti-Semitic propaganda emanating from Moslem Brotherhood front groups and bigots like Ilhan Omar. But unlike Jews, Christians are attacked for the specific beliefs of their faith.)" • Horowitz reminds us that : "The Christians who created America made religious liberty and freedom of conscience the foundation of all Americans’ other freedoms. In doing so, Christians gave a great gift, not only to Americans but to people all over the world whose freedoms Americans have defended. This America is now under attack. Freedom of speech for conservatives is now non-existent on America’s university campuses....Democrats are determined to destroy the Electoral College, which was designed to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority. They are working to destroy America’s borders, give rapists, murderers and Boston Marathon bombers the right to vote, give non-citizens who are here illegally the right to vote, give children the right to vote, and oppose IDs at the ballot box so people who disrespect our democracy can vote as many times as they wish. The war on American democracy has reached a critical point. To grasp the nature of this war, and to understand its goals, it is essential to recognize its origins in the war against Christians. Christian beliefs in the sanctity of life, in free will (and hence individual accountability), and in the flawed nature of humanity are the principal bulwark against our descent into the barbarism which Progressivism promises us." • • • METHODISTS FACE OFF ON LGBT POLICIES. NBC News reported recently that : "United Methodists edge toward a breakup over LGBT policies. The differences have simmered for years, and came to a head in February at a conference in St. Louis where delegates voted 438-384 for a proposal called the Traditional Plan, which strengthens bans on LGBT-inclusive practices. A majority of US-based delegates opposed that plan and favored LGBT-friendly options, but they were outvoted by US conservatives teamed with most of the delegates from Methodist strongholds in Africa and the Philippines." • NBC said that : "Many believe the vote will prompt an exodus from the church by liberal congregations that are already expressing their dissatisfaction over the move. Some churches have raised rainbow flags in a show of LGBT solidarity. Some pastors have vowed to defy the strict rules and continue to allow gay weddings in Methodist churches. Churches are withholding dues payments to the main office in protest, and the UMC's receipts were down 20% in March, according to financial reports posted online. 'It's time for some kind of separation, some kind of amicable divorce,' said James Howell, pastor of Myers Park United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, who posted a video assailing the proposal for its 'real meanness.' " • The UMC's nine-member Judicial Council convened a four-day meeting in Evanston, Illinois, in the week after Easter to consider legal challenges to the Traditional Plan. United Methodist News (UMN) reported : "Court OKs part of Traditional Plan, exit plan." UMN said : "That was the Judicial Council’s ruling on a requested review of the Traditional Plan, which was approved during a special denomination-wide legislative session in February to strengthen enforcement of bans on 'self-avowed practicing' gay clergy and same-sex weddings....The Traditional Plan legislation the court held constitutional will take effect in the US church January 1, 2020. In Africa, Europe and the Philippines, the legislation will take effect 12 months after the next General Conference in May 2020. The disaffiliation petition, 90066, goes into effect immediately. " • UMForward, an organization that "works to strike at the roots of white supremacy, queer and transphobia, sexism and all other theological malpractice and manifest a robust witness to the creative, liberating, and loving One that sets us all free. Centering the voices, wisdom, and experiences of people of color and the LGBTQIA+ community that have far too long been silenced, ignored, or belittled, the people of UMForward invite all into community that is rich in love and deep in commitment to justice for all" had this to say about the United Methodist Judicial Council decision on the Traditional Plan. Reverend Alex da Silva Souto wrote : "The Judicial Council put the final nail in the coffin of the United Methodist Church (UMC). Their ruling allowed many of the Traditional Plan’s most discriminatory and punitive measures to remain in the Book of Discipline (BoD) thereby exacerbating the assaults on LGBTQIA+ people and further empowering agents of harm. This creates an unbearable level of toxicity and unsustainability. I have serious concerns as to whether General Conference 2020 will be able to fix this vicious mess. We have not managed to clean up the BoD from all the harm inflicted unto us since 1972. How will 2020 be any different? Progressives have been fighting for survival mechanisms and deploying creative forms of resistance for so long, but now many of our places of refuge have been taken away. We are ready to begin thriving through God’s grace, rather than remain in survival mode. That may mean living into a new expression of Methodism. It is increasingly clear that our current expression is corrupted beyond repair. To make matters worse, far-right exclusionary local churches have the upper hand even when it comes to disaffiliation. A gracious exit is available for conservative churches in progressives ACs, because 'no good Christian would punish a church that wants to leave.' But progressive churches in exclusionary ACs will probably be in deep trouble, given the punitive tendencies of conferences dominated by WCA. Going forward, a number of inclusive churches will continue to discern whether they can continue to acquiesce to the now-institutionalized abuses of the UMC. These churches remain at the mercy of their Annual Conferences. I hope our church can, at the very least, acknowledge that some local churches cannot in good conscience remain complacent to the harm and abuse currently perpetuated by the UMC....Thanks be to God for the ones on the margins doing the work of resistance and liberation, Reverend Alex da Silva Souto, April 26, 2019." • NBC said : "While other mainline Protestant denominations have embraced gay-friendly practices, the UMC still bans them, though acts of defiance by pro-LGBT clergy have multiplied. Many have performed same-sex weddings; others have come out as gay or lesbian from the pulpit. Enforcement of the bans has been inconsistent; the Traditional Plan aspires to beef up discipline against those engaged in defiance. Traditional Plan supporter Mark Tooley, who heads a conservative Christian think tank, predicts that the UMC will split into three denominations -- one for centrists, another oriented toward liberal activists and a third representing the global alliance of US conservatives and their allies overseas. 'It's a question of how long it takes for that to unfold -- and of who and how many go into each denomination,' Tooley said. 'A lot of churches will be irreparably harmed as they divide.' " • UMN wrote : "In some parts of Europe, United Methodists unhappy with passage of the Traditional Plan have met to consider options." • UMN noted that : "Sierra Leone Area Bishop John K. Yambasu, United Methodist Board of Global Ministries mission agency’s vice president, made clear in his emotional remarks to fellow directors. The bitter aftermath of GC2019 -- including accusations of voting irregularities -- has led Yambasu to question the true commitment to a global church, he said. And he is considering whether the African United Methodists should look at changing to an autonomous, affiliated membership. 'Africans have been abused and misused,' the bishop declared....He also added that the directors of Global Ministries 'failed as a board to do our duty' to engage in the denominational debate that was occurring 'and now we are caught in between.'....Yambasu said he believes it is not too late to rethink what has occurred. If invited, 'God is still able to do something in our denomination,' he said." • • • A WORLDWIDE ISSUE IN PROTESTANT CHURCHES. What is happening in the United Methodist Church is worthy of consideration because it is by no means an isolated affair. Protestant denominations all over the world are arguing about whether to ordain gay clergy -- a battle that has largely been won by the gay community -- and about whether to perform same-sex marriages. While I am not a theologian, it seems to me that the LGBTQ+ issue has been subsumed inot a political issue that is also of a worldwide nature. We only need look at the political -- really US constitutional -- arguments in the United Methodist Judicial Council's latest decision to see the political nature of the United Methodist Church itself. At issue is the fundamental question of whether Christianity permits gay pastors, same-sex married pastors, or same-sex marriage at all. Archbishop of Canterbury Welty has "disinvited" same-sex partners of bishops to the 2020 worldwide Lambeth Conference of Anglican and Episcopalian bishops. It seems that the generally acceptable position of welcoming all people into membership in Protestant Christian churches, while not ordaining LGBT+ people as pastors, not accepting them as pastors if they enter into same-sex marriages, and not performing same-sex marriages in the church, is no longer acceptable to the LGBT+ community. Most of the hierarchies of Protestant churches have adopted the political Progressive agenda item of opening every aspect of social life to LGBT+ people. But, there is no reason for Christian churches to do the same. Loving and welcoming those in the LGBT+ community does not mean that the Christian church has change its dogma to accommodate the LGBT+ political agenda. • • • THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HAS A DIFFERENT ISSUE TO RESOLVE. It is the issue of "the two Popes." • The Italian L'Espresso wrote on April 17 about the two Popes. We have already discussed the open letter of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI concerning the sexual abuse problem among priests. L"Espresso wrote : "In the week that followed the explosive publication of Joseph Ratzinger’s [Pope Benedict XVI] 'notes' on the scandal of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, there are at least seven essential elements that have come into the open, which are to be kept in mind in view of future developments. The first concerns the genesis of the publication of the 'notes.' In the introductory paragraphs, Ratzinger says that he wrote them 'in the hiatus between the announcement of the meeting of the presidents of the episcopal conferences and its real and proper beginning,' or between September 12 2018, the day of the announcement, and February 21 2019, the opening day of the summit. But Ratzinger also says that he wrote them to 'contribute one or two remarks to assist in this difficult hour.' From which one deduces that he wrote them in order to offer them, first of all, to the leaders of the Church gathered at the Vatican by Pope Francis to discuss the question. This was confirmed on April 13 by 'Corriere della Sera,' the most widely read secular Italian newspaper, one of the press outlets that two days before had published the full text of the 'notes : 'Benedict sent the eighteen-and-a-half pages on pedophilia ‘to the gracious attention’ of the secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, before the global meeting of the episcopal conferences, to make them known also to Francis.' What happened however is that none of the participants at the summit received Ratzinger’s text. Francis thought it better to keep it to himself, locked away in a drawer. And no one would have known anything about it if Ratzinger himself, about forty days later, had not decided to make it public, formally in a little-known Bavarian magazine, 'Klerusblatt,' but practically in a dozen major publications, Catholic and not, all over the world and in several languages, after alerting the highest Vatican authorities to this, as he himself has revealed : to 'Having contacted the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin and the Holy Father himself, it seemed appropriate to publish this text in the Klerusblatt.' " • A second element, says L'Espresso, is the initial reaction of the Vatican media -- "Frosty. The official portal 'Vatican News' covered Ratzinger’s text several hours after it had been made public, among the second-class news items, with a brief and bureaucratic summary and with no link to the complete text. And the same was done by 'L’Osservatore Romano' printed on the afternoon of April 11, with the same concise summary buried at the bottom of page 7, without any lead on the front page and beneath a much more prominent article by the Jesuit Antonio Spadaro, director of 'La Civiltà Cattolica' and the main advisor and ghostwriter of Pope Francis. Since it is known how close the pope is to the highest officials of the Vatican media -- prefect of the dicastery for communication Paolo Ruffini and editorial director Andrea Tornielli, in addition to Fr. Spadaro -- this chill in registering the publication of the text by Ratzinger cannot help but reflect strong irritation on the part of Francis." • L'Espresso says that in the following days, the Vatican media was "entirely taciturn on the contents and repercussions of Ratzinger’s text and instead bent on giving distracting and justifying emphasis -- with two successive editorials by Tornielli and by 'L’Osservatore Romano' director Andrea Monda -- to a concomitant gesture of Francis that was as disconcerting as it was spectacular, his kissing the feet of the two rival leaders in the ferocious war between tribes in South Sudan that has already claimed 400,000 lives." • BUT, for L'Espresso, it was the silence of Pope Francis himself that was telling : "In the homily for Palm Sunday, on April 14, the Pope took as a basis for comparison the 'silence of Jesus throughout his Passion,' a silence that 'overcomes the temptation to answer back, to act like a ‘superstar’. Because 'in moments of darkness and great tribulation, we need to keep silent, to find the courage not to speak, as long as our silence is meek and not full of anger. The meekness of silence will make us appear even weaker, more humble. Then the devil will take courage and come out into the open.” A more-or-less TAKE THAT, Pope Benedict. L'Espresso states : "Silence is the typical reaction of Jorge Mario Bergoglio every time he is seriously put to the test. He adopted it with the 'dubia' of the four cardinals [who openly asked him to explain a theological matter], with the uncomfortable questions of ex-nuncio in the United States Carlo Maria Viganò [about Francis knowing that the Archbishop of Washington was a pedophile] and now with the contribution of the Pope Emeritus....Domenico Agasso, the current coordinator of the website 'Vatican Insider' directed until a few months ago by Tornielli and still under his supervision....[wrote] this exegesis of the papal homily followed, on Sunday April 14, by two other articles by Agasso with very eloquent titles : 'Francis and the shadow of Ratzinger, the coexistence that weighs on the Vatican' and 'Coexistence between the two popes is possible only if the emeritus is able to remain invisible.' • L'Espresso reveals that : "The most diligent in taking a position has been Stefania Falasca, an editorialist for the newspaper of the Italian episcopal conference, 'Avvenire,' but above all a longtime friend of Bergoglio, together with her husband, Gianni Valente, director of the Vatican agency 'Fides' and another leading writer for 'Vatican Insider.' It is useful to recall that Bergoglio’s first telephone call after his election as pope, on the very evening of March 13 2013, was to none other than Stefania Falasca. And a good two times, in the days that preceded that conclave, the then-archbishop of Buenos Aires had been to dinner at her house, where Tornielli was also present. So then, with two tweets shortly after the publication of Ratzinger’s 'notes;' Falasca accused the pope emeritus of having violated two requirements that the 2004 directory 'Apostolorum Successores' imposed on all bishops emeritus : 'not to interfere in any way' with the reigning bishop, and not to 'even hint at some kind of parallel authority.' ” • And there is the rub. L'Espresso writes : "But there are also those who state : 'They want to silence Benedict XVI because he is telling the truth.' And this brings us to the sixth element of the story : the interview of Cardinal Gerhard Müller by Riccardo Cascioli in 'La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana' of April 15. The whole interview is worth reading. But here are three passages in which Müller vindicates the freedom of the pope emeritus to 'speak the truth' : 'Of course bishops emeritus must stay out of the everyday governance of the Church, but when it comes to doctrine, morality, faith they are obligated to speak by divine law. All have promised during episcopal consecration to defend the ‘depositum fidei.’ The bishop and great theologian Ratzinger has not only the right but also the duty to speak and give testimony of revealed truth. The apostles Peter and Paul, the founders of the Roman Church, gave their lives for the truth. Peter and Paul did not say : ‘Now there are other successors, Timothy and Titus, let’s let them speak publicly.’ They gave testimony right to the end of their lives, all the way to martyrdom, with blood. A bishop emeritus, when he celebrates a Mass, in the homily must he not speak the truth?....No one can change this divine law, if one does so he is a heretic, he is a schismatic.' " • Here are the final remarks of the Müller interview : "Q: Cardinal Müller, what consequences do you expect from the publication of these 'notes' by Benedict XVI? A: I hope that some will finally begin to address the problem of sexual abuse in a clear and correct way. Clericalism is a false response. 'Clericalism' being the mantra that for Pope Francis would be the cause of all the evils of the Church." • L'Espresso adds : "Finally, the seventh but not last element of the story: Francis’s visit to Benedict, on the afternoon of April 15, for Easter and birthday greetings, as shown in the photo released by the Vatican press office. During those same hours there came out on the front page of 'L’Osservatore Romano' an editorial by Tornielli entitled 'That ‘penitential way’ which unites the two pontificates,' which insists on the harmonious appeal of the two popes - in the major documents of the respective pontificates and most recently also in the 'notes' -- to prayer, penance, and the conversion of hearts as the master path for overcoming the scandal of abuse." • • • IS POPE FRANCIS TROLLING PRESIDENT TRUMP? Rather than seeing the visit as a sign of a truce, L'Espresso warns : "But once again, not a single word from Francis and his spokesman on the contents of Ratzinger’s “notes” concerning the ultimate root of the scandal. On this the divergence between Francis and Benedict remains intact. And unpredictable in its developments." It is obvious to those who follow the words of Pope Francis that he is not interested in the theological foundations of the Church's dogma. He is pushing a political Progressive agenda, much as the LGBT+ community is doing in the United Methodist Church. If we need proof, consider this breaking story published by CNA on Monday : "Peter’s Pence, a global charitable fund overseen by Pope Francis, will support migrants in limbo in Mexico, the charity has announced. 'Men and women, often with young children, flee poverty and violence, hoping for a better future in the United States,' said the Peter’s Pence website. 'However, the US border remains closed to them. All these people were stranded, unable to enter the United States, without a home or livelihood. The Catholic Church hosts thousands of them in the hotels within dioceses or religious congregations, providing basic necessities, from housing to clothing.' A $500,000 allocation will go to 27 projects in 16 dioceses and religious congregations who are seeking to provide housing, food and basic necessities to the migrants. The Peter’s Pence website said there were six migrant caravans, totaling 75,000 people, that entered Mexico, as did other groups. Most of these people came from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Fleeing violence or poverty or seeking a better life, migrants are sometimes encouraged by human traffickers’ false promises of jobs in the US. Some take out loans to pay for the trip, which then may lead to retaliation against families if unpaid. The trips can be dangerous, with sexual assault of women a common danger. 'Thanks to these projects, and thanks to Christian charity and solidarity, the Mexican Bishops hope to be able to continue helping our migrant brothers and sisters,' the Peter’s Pence website said." The organization also said the donations are needed because “media coverage of this emergency has been decreasing, and as a result, aid to migrants by the government and private individuals has also decreased.” • Money and Markets said on Tuesday the President Trump hasn’t mentioned the Pope’s tactics yet, and he’s sure to be unhappy about it judging by tweets he sent Monday evening when he said : “Also, stop the MARCH to US.” The President's tweet was : "The Coyotes and Drug Cartels are in total control of the Mexico side of the Southern Border. They have labs nearby where they make drugs to sell into the US. Mexico, one of the most dangerous country’s in the world, must eradicate this problem now. Also, stop the MARCH to US.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 30, 2019." The President then added : "If the Democrats don’t give us the votes to change our weak, ineffective and dangerous Immigration Laws, we must fight hard for these votes in the 2020 Election! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 30, 2019." • The Pope is definitely out of his league if he means to take on the master of communication, 21st century style. • • • DEAR READERS, while the CNA was touting Pope Francis's gesture in support of migrants illegally pouring into the US -- we might ask why Francis didn't send the money to Honduras, Guatemala or El Salvador, those Progressive-socialist regimes the Pope seems to like, to help keep their citizens who are "fleeing violence or poverty or seeking a better life" at home -- CNA was also reporting about the annual 2019 "United States Commission on International Religious Freedom Report" (USCIRF). USCIRF is a bipartisan commission that advises the President, Congress, and the Secretary of State on international religious freedom issues. CNA wrote : "The majority of the world’s worst violators of religious freedom are found in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa," according to the USCIRF report released Monday. The report's introduction focused on abuses against China's Uyghur Moslems. the USCIRF Reprt said that with the exception of Cuba -- another favorite stopover for Francis -- the only majority Chirstian country listed, other than Russia, all the countries identified as the worst offenders are located in the eastern hemisphere. USCIRF Chair Tenzin Dorjee said in a release accompanying the report : “Our goal is not only to call out the offenders, but to provide concrete actions for the US government to take in working with these countries to get off our lists." Each year the group identifies “countries of particular concern” (CPC) using the criteria of “systematic, ongoing, egregious violations” of religious freedom. Non-state actors are given the designation “entities of particular concern” (EPC) using similar criteria. CNA quotes the Report : "Some of these violations include torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment; prolonged detention without charges; causing the disappearance of persons by the abduction or clandestine detention of those persons; or other flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, or the security of persons." Among the 16 countries designated as CPCs for 2019 are ten flagged by the state department in November 2018 : Myanmar, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. The list also includes six other countries : Central African Republic, Nigeria, Russia, Syria, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. In addition the group identified 12 countries that meet either one or two of the three criteria for a CPC, placing them on the 'Tier 2' list. These include Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cuba, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Laos, Malaysia, and Turkey. Among the ECPs of concern this year, USCIRF identified the Islamic State, the Taliban in Afghanistan, al-Shabaab in Somalia, and, making their first appearance on the list this year, the Houthis in Yemen and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an Islamist militant group in Syria." • The USCIRF Report particularly highlights the plight of the Uyghur Moslem minority in China. To date, between 800,000 to 2 million Uighurs -- or about 10% of their population -- have been detained and sent to “re-education camps” to be subjected to abuse and political indoctrination. The report calls on the US government to sanction those in the Chinese government responsible for the detention of the Uyghurs. It also recommends the appointment of a special advisor to the President on international religious freedom." • The USCIRF Report noted that while the Vatican reached a provisional agreement with China on the appointment of bishops in September, “nevertheless, repression of the underground Catholic Church increased during the latter half of the year.” Among the report's inclusion of commissioners' "individual views” were those of Johnnie Moore, who called the Vatican-China deal “one of the most alarming incidents as it relates to religious freedom in the entire year. Within days of the Vatican negotiating its deal, the Chinese used it as cover to embark upon the closure of several of the nation’s largest and most prominent unregistered church communities,” Moore wrote. He believes the Vatican “now bears a significant moral and legal responsibility to help solve the problem which it helped created -- albeit inadvertently -- by providing China license to viciously crack down on Christian communities (as cited in this report), and by providing the Chinese government further cover to continue its incomprehensible, inexcusable and inhumane abuses of Moslem citizens in the western part of the country. While I am entirely for direct engagement on these issues, including with the most severe violators in the world, that engagement must not result in these types of unintended consequences, as has been the case in China. The Vatican made a terrible mistake, which it must take seriously. This debacle must be dealt with urgently and seriously.” • Everyone from a Chinese Cardinal living in Hong Kong to innumerable conservative and religious journalists and historians warned Pope Francis publicly that he was making a grave error in trusting China to deal honorably or even humanely with mainland China Christians once he agreed that the Communist Chinese Party could have the last word in selecting Chinese Catholic bishops. Pope Francis even acknowledged the warnings and said he would take personal responsibility for his decision. • WELL, dear Pope Francis, decision time has arrived -- only 5 months after you signed the unholy deal with the CCP. What will you do now?? Send Peter's Pence money to help the Chinese "fleeing violence or poverty or seeking a better life" as Christians. Step up. Or step aside. Pope Benedict can certainly do a much better, and less political, job.
Monday, April 29, 2019
THE HORROR OF DEMOCRAT ANTI-SEMITISM; BUT FIRST A THOUGHT FOR SENATOR RICHARD LUGAR. Vice President Pence and Senator Lugar both came from Indiana. When Senator Lugar died at the age of 87 on Sunday, the Vice President said Indiana and America "will never forget" Lugar's leadership and service." Newsmax offered this : "He was a foreign policy expert known for leading efforts to help the former Soviet states dismantle and secure much of their nuclear arsenal." Vice President Pence issued a statement saying, "Lugar was a leader not only in the Senate but also on the world stage, where he worked tirelessly to bring pressure to end apartheid in South Africa and enforce treaties that destroyed Soviet weapons of mass destruction." Pence noted that that Richard Lugar was "the longest serving member of Congress from Indiana, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient" and said "Lugar leaves behind a legacy of public service that will inspire Hoosiers for generations." For those of us who grew up at the time when, no matter who was President, Senator Lugar was THE voice looked to as the final word on all things nuclear or Soviet, the Senator will always be remembered as the kindest and most honorable Senator of his generation -- and probably of most congressional generations. He was soft-spoken, precise, and never, but never, exaggerated or withheld anything for political purposes. He was a gentleman in the finest tradition of American politics. Rest in Peace, Senator Lugar. America is a better place for your having passed our way. • • • PRESIDENT TRUMP PHONED SAN DIEGO'S RABBI GOLDSTEIN. Newsmax reported on Monday that : "The rabbi injured in the synagogue shooting near San Diego on Sunday raved about Donald Trump’s kind words following a telephone conversation the pair had and said the President assured him that tackling anti-Semitism was a priority of his. President Trump was 'exceedingly comforting to me, my community,' Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein told reporters outside the Chabad of Poway synagogue a day after he was shot in both of his index fingers. In a separate interview with MSNBC Goldstein said Trump 'spoke to me like a friend, like a buddy.' Trump, said Goldstein, told him he loves Israel. 'He said, listen, I have a son-in-law who's Jewish, a daughter that's Jewish, I have grandchildren that are Jewish. I love Israel, we're going to do whatever we can to protect the Jewish people of United States of America and abroad.' It was the highlight of the day after everything I've been through to hear from the President himself to be so comforting and consoling. It meant a lot to our community, meant a lot to me....He was exceedingly kind and sensitive. We spoke for close to 15 minutes. I thought to myself, for the President of the United States of America to take time out of his day to talk to me about the issues at hand was just absolutely incredible and admirable.' Trump called the rabbi 'very special' in a tweet early Monday, saying : 'I spoke at length yesterday to Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, Chabad of Poway, where I extended my warmest condolences to him and all affected by the shooting in California. What a great guy. He had at least one finger blown off, and all he wanted to do is help others. Very special!' Goldstein founded the Chabad of Poway synagogue in Poway, California, which was targeted by a 19-year-old gunman armed with an assault-style weapon who wrote a manifesto of hate against Jewish people. Lori Gilbert Kaye, 60, died after shielding Goldstein from the bullets. Three others were injured in the shooting, which happened on the final day of Passover. A suspect was taken into custody." • • • PRESIDENT TRUMP IS NOT ANTI-SEMITIC. Of course, anyone with a functioning brain already knew that, but American Thinker's Monica Showalter drove home the fact in her Monday article. Showalter wrote : "For years, President Trump's opponents on the Left have attempted to pin the label of anti-Semitism on him. In the wake of the vile attack on the Poway synagogue, the response from Rabbi Yishoel Goldstein, who was wounded in the attack, tells a different story : 'As I was in my house, I received a personal phone call from our President, Donald Trump. I was amazed to answer the phone, and, say, the secretary of the White House is calling, and he spent close to ten, 15 minutes with me on the phone. And, it's the first time I've ever spoken to a President of the United States of America. He shared with the condolences on behalf of the United States of America. And we spoke about the moment of silence. And he spoke about his love of peace and Judaism and Israel and he was just so comforting that I'm really grateful to our president for taking the time and making that effort to share with us his comfort and consolation.' " • Showalter ssks : "Does that sound like the kind of phone call that comes from an anti-Semite? The sort of person who would run a sick 'Der Sturmer'-style Jews-are-dogs cartoon in a newspaper? The sort of phone call that Representative Ilhan Omar would be capable of making? It's amazing that in this era of Omar and all her anti-Semitic tropes ('All about the Benjamins, baby,'), and now the New York Times' repulsive anti-Semitic cartoon, it's Trump who is branded as the 'real' anti-Semite, a projection if there ever was one. It reminds me of the style of anti-Semitism that has come out of Europe in recent decades, claiming that Jews, see, are the real Nazis." • I must add that the propaganda poster -- it does a huge discredit to the genre to call it a cartoon -- in the NY Times made me actually ill at my stomach when I saw it. It could not have been passed over lightly for publication. It was deliberately malicious, the grossest, most evil representation of anti-Semitism I have ever seen outside Nazi anti-Jewish propaganda posters. • Showalter goes on to say : "Yet the evidence of President Trump's philo-Semitism has always been there. His favorite daughter is a convert to Judaism. He boldly moved the US embassy in Israel to its correct capital, Jerusalem, in a deed that has eluded every past President -- and, wildly enough, seems to have contributed to peace. He has a warm relationship with Israeli prime minister Bibi Netanyahu, the man who was left waiting at the White House while then-president Obama ate his own lunch without offering his guest any. And Trump has made repeated statements of affection for the Jewish people." • BUT, says Showalter : "Nope, Trump is the bad guy, the 'real' anti-Semite, despite all the evidence to the contrary -- and in particular, this moving statement from the kindly old wounded rabbi in Poway. Look at this nonsense written by some lefty in Ha'aretz [a left-leaning Israeli media outlet] : 'The US President is no anti-Semite and doesn't want attacks on Israelis and Jews. Nevertheless, Donald Trump's electoral victory and the violent political discourse which he both reflects and actively encourages have let the genies of extremism out of the bottle in the United States. Under these circumstances, even the San Diego murderer -- whose published remarks just before he embarked on his attack harshly criticized Trump and depicted him as a puppet of the Jews -- have found the ideological ground more fertile for action.' Here's more dreck, trying to pin anti-Semitism onto conservatives from the Daily Beast : 'Despite reams and reams of ideological-political writing, from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion forgery to Mein Kampf to the paranoid manifesto of the Poway shooter that allege in precise terms the ways in which Jews destroy the national homeland, conservatives insist that anti-Semitism is simply pure, irrational, timeless, and a historical hatred that has nothing to do with any politics whatsoever. It's the same whether it comes from Pharaoh in Egypt, a Tsarist pogrom, or a Hamas terrorist. 'We forcefully condemn the evil of anti-Semitism and hate, which must be defeated,' President Donald Trump said in response to the Poway shooting. This definition of anti-Semitism is extraordinarily wrong. It is at odds with what anti-Semites themselves have said since the term was popularized in 1879. It mashes together religious animus, true nationalist anti-Semitism, and resistance to right-wing Zionism. And it is particularly helpful to the very people who exacerbate it, today's nationalists, for three reasons.' Leftist California governor Gavin Newsom muddled things in other ways, first trying to yes-but his thanks to Trump by calling attention to himself and then by generalizing the 'hate' he condemns to include everyone, taking the focus off the anti-Semitism that drove the maniac to kill. Here's what Fox reported : " 'Appreciated the call from [Trump],' Newsom tweeted. 'Working with state, local, and federal officials on today's horrific shooting at the Chabad of Poway synagogue.' Newsom added : 'We all must call out hate -- against any and all communities -- wherever it lives.' " • Showalter calls the garbage spewed by the Leftist Progressive media as "changing the subject. Because right now, it's pretty obvious that President Trump -- who was detested by the killer who attacked the synagogue in his so-called 'manifesto' -- is probably the strongest friend the Israelis and the Jewish people here have ever had. He not only detests Jew-hatred with a credible loathing; he loves Jewish people. They can't pin this on him anymore. They need to start looking at themselves -- and their newspaper of record, which just ran a revolting anti-Semitic cartoon and papered over the anti-Semitism of a congress member by reducing the problem to a generalized issue of 'hate.' They're the ones with an anti-Semitism problem, and their hypocrisy is showing." • American Thinker's Patricia McCarthy wrote an outstanding article on Monday. In it, McCarthy begins with this : "Those of us who live in solid Democrat strongholds amid single-minded leftists will know what it is like to attempt a civil conversation about President Trump. This is especially true if one encounters those true-blue Dems in the wealthiest areas of California, NY, and DC. Because they are wealthy, successful, often educated at one of the prestige colleges, they know, with every fiber of their being, that they are smarter, wiser, and better than any of us lowly, deplorable Trump-supporters. If they are Jewish, and you ask them if they appreciate Trump's support of Israel, they will look at you, roll their eyes as if you were even more verklempt than they thought. They hate Trump more than they love Israel. If you ask them if they are bothered by the open acceptance of anti- Semitism by the Democratic Party, they will shrug at the lunacy of your question and say something like 'anti-Semitism has always been with us.' They will deny to their death its escalation across the world at this moment in time, despite the obvious overt escalation and implicit approval of and by the global left. Their identities since the 2016 election are defined by their opposition to Trump. They have sold their souls because their candidate lost the election." McCarthy goes on to talk about the Democrat rejection of President Trump's phenomenal success regarding the economy and its very positive impact on their 401(k)s and stock portfolios; about his successful foreign policy maneuvers; about the immeasurably better place America is now than it was overall than under Obama. McCarthy says : "Again, they will regard your question with disgust and disdain. As many others have observed, they hate the President more than they love this country, this country that made their privilege, wealth, and safety possible. These are arrogant people who, like most leftists today, see nothing good in America worth preserving. They are supremely confident that none of the nonsense policies being promulgated by the crazy gaggle of Democrat presidential candidates will ever affect them. The widespread contamination of San Francisco's streets with human feces and discarded needles does not seem to bother Nancy Pelosi one bit, as she has opposed every possible solution. She continues to encourage migrants from Central America to make their way to her sanctuary city....There is a quote of Ben Carson that perfectly describes such people : 'What you're saying is that 'I, the superior elite, will take care of you.' Why? Because, you see, that superior, elite group needs to feel superior and elite. And they can't be superior and elite unless you have a whole lot of people down there groveling around. So you keep them down there by feeding them.' This sums up our disagreeable left to a T....Karin McQuillan has written an excellent column that nails this single-minded, blinkered crowd to the cross....She writes : 'The Democrats don't believe in our two-party system anymore. They utterly reject American civic norms of treating the President with a modicum of respect and cooperation....They think theirs is the only party that deserves to be elected.' That fact should be crystal-clear to every Trump-supporter by now who has tried to have a friendly discussion with a sanctimonious Trump-hater. They now favor voter fraud, the invasion of the country by illegal migrants for obvious reasons, late-term and post-birth abortion, no citizenship question on the Census, etc. They absolutely believe that the ends justify the means; they will cheat any and every way they can (vote-harvesting) and project onto Republicans what they in fact do as a matter of course. The last line of McQuillan's column : 'The Democrats are into the dismantling of America for the long haul. It is a national tragedy and it must be stopped.'....The nation is virulently divided, but all the virulence is coming from the Left. They have become so desperate, especially in the wake of the betrayal of the Mueller Report. They were so sure it would be the last nail in Trump's presidential coffin. As it turns out, Trump is perhaps the most investigated president in US history and thus the one with the cleanest bill of political health! As has now been proven, the whole Russia-collusion meme was a setup from the outset, an attempt to bait the president into obstructing a trumped up investigation. Their grand plan has backfired, and hopefully the schemers, so sure of their own moral supremacy, will be indicted and tried for their many crimes against the president, the Constitution, and the American people. May this long nightmare of their invention soon be over, and may all those parochial people who for over two years have been willing to sacrifice everything Americans once held dear to unseat a president who simply offends their sensibilities be shamed for their bigotry. That is what characterizes them : sheer, unmitigated contempt for no reason other than that Trump is not one of them. No, he is not. He is by far the better man." • Patricia McCarthy always delivers her subject with pinpoint precision. And this article is no exception. BUT, it is her opening description of Democrat Jewish Americans that we should never forget, whether we are Jew or Gentile : "They hate Trump more than they love Israel. If you ask them if they are bothered by the open acceptance of anti-Semitism by the Democratic Party, they will shrug at the lunacy of your question and say something like 'anti-Semitism has always been with us.' They will deny to their death its escalation across the world at this moment in time, despite the obvious overt escalation and implicit approval of and by the global left. Their identities since the 2016 election are defined by their opposition to Trump. They have sold their souls because their candidate lost the election." • • • DEAR READERS, I constantly ask myself why -- WHY -- the Progressive Democrat Party and its propaganda media arm would want to label President Trump an anti-Semite. It doesn't permit their wretched 'identity politics' to strip groups away from the President's base. His base is growing because of the ProgDem identity politics stupidities. • But, there is one group that has -- with blind refusal to recognize where its survival lies -- voted for Democrats since the New Deal of FDR. It is Jewish Americans. If the Democrats and their ghoulish media are actually attracting and holding American Jews by appealing to some misplaced sense that Donald Trump -- a continually self-declared friend of Israel -- is an anti-Semite, then this last obscenity -- the New York Times 'cartoon' -- should be their wake-up call. No American media outlet that would publish such an outrage is a friend either of American Jews or of Israel -- or of America. It is too reminiscent of Nazi "Juden" scrawled on Jewish shop windows and obligatory yellow Star-of-David patches on lapels of Jews in 1930s Germany to do anything but repulse and terrify any Jew, or any other sentient human being.
Sunday, April 28, 2019
THE FALLOUT FROM THE MUELLER REPORT CONTINUES AS PRESIDENT TRUMP GATHERS STEAM AHEAD OF 2020. • • • DID THE OBAMA FBI TRY TO SPY ON MIKE PENCE? Vice President Mike Pence is the latest name to drop out of the ongoing investigations and release of heretofore withheld information about the illegal surveillance of the Trump campaign. Vice President Pence said Friday that allegations that FBI officials tried to infiltrate the Trump Administration should be investigated. This information comes from Newsmax, which was quoting Axios. Newsmax wrote that : "Republican Senators Chuck Grassley, the chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and Ron Johnson, chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr on Thursday quoting text messages between two former FBI officials, former Special Agent Peter Strzok and former FBI Attorney Lisa Page, to help him took into the 'genesis and conduct of intelligence activities directed at the Trump campaign during 2016.' " The Vice President told Axios : "I was deeply offended to learn that two disgraced FBI agents considered infiltrating our transition team by sending a counter intelligence agent to one of my very first intelligence briefings only 9 days after the election. This is an outrage and only underscores why we need to get to the bottom of how this investigation started in the first place." Some media reports, says Newsmax "linked the former FBI officials to Pence’s former chief of staff, Josh Pitcock, who has denied having contact with either Page or Strzok." Pence said : "The American people have a right to what happened and if these two agents broke the law and ignored long-standing DOJ policies, they must be held accountable." • • • PRESIDENT TRUMP SAYS THE US DID NOT PAY NORTH KOREA FOR OTTO WARMBIER. Conservative Newsroom reported on Friday that : "President Trump is making it very clear that he does not operate like Obama when it comes to dealing with foreign powers. In an early morning tweet, President Trump clarified over the claims of the fake media that 'No money was paid to North Korea for Otto Warmbier.' He further shared that he does not operate in the interests of terrorists as his predecessor, former President Barrack Obama, was known to do." The President tweeted : "No money was paid to North Korea for Otto Warmbier, not two Million Dollars, not anything else. This is not the Obama Administration that paid 1.8 Billion Dollars for four hostages, or gave five terrorist hostages plus, who soon went back to battle, for traitor Sgt. Bergdahl! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 26, 2019." • Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old US citizen and college student, was arrested in 2016 in North Korea for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster. He was first sentenced to 15 years hard labor, but after 17 months, the US government negotiated his release in 2017. However, by the time of his release, Warmbier had entered a fatal coma and died within six days of being returned to the United States. Conservative Newsroom says : "Now the Washington Post and CNN are reporting that the North Korean government demanded $2 million in compensation for the medical treatment of Warmbier received up to his release." CNN and other mainstream media have reported that US Special Representative Joseph Yun was allegedly given permission to sign an agreement that the sum would be paid. • A more complete explanation was provided by the New York Post on Friday. NY Post Reporter Yaron Steinbuch wrote : "North Korea slapped the US with a $2 million bill for the hospital care of Otto Warmbier -- forcing an American official [Joseph Yun] to sign a pledge to fork over the money before being allowed to fly the comatose student back home from Pyongyang in 2017, according to a new report. The US envoy sent to retrieve the University of Virginia student from the rogue regime signed an agreement to pay the bill on instructions passed down from President Trump, two people familiar with the situation told the Washington Post on condition of anonymity. The invoice ended up at the Treasury Department, where it remained unpaid throughout 2017, the sources said. It was unclear whether Team Trump ultimately paid the bill or whether it came up in the run-up to the President’s two summits with Kim Jong-un. The White House declined to comment to the newspaper about the bill, which was not previously disclosed by US or North Korean officials. 'We do not comment on hostage negotiations, which is why they have been so successful during this administration,' White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders wrote in an email to the New York Post." The NY Post states : "In March 2016, the 21-year-old fell into a coma for unknown reasons after being sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. He was released after 17 months. The Trump administration arranged Warmbier’s transfer out of North Korea, but he died about a week later after falling into a vegetative state. Pyongyang claimed he had fallen into a coma after contracting botulism and being given a sleeping pill -- but he reportedly was subjected to a severe beating. Doctors in the US said he had suffered severe brain damage, but they weren’t sure what led to it. Warmbier’s father, Fred, said he had never been told about the hospital bill, adding that it sounded like a 'ransom' for his son...News about Otto’s condition in North Korea sparked a frantic effort led by Joseph Yun, then the State Department’s point man on North Korea, to get the young man home. Yun and a physician flew on a medical evacuation plane to Pyongyang, where they were taken to the Friendship Hospital, which only treats foreigners, and found Warmbier lying unresponsive and with a feeding tube in his nose. Dr. Michael Flueckiger examined Warmbier, asked two local doctors about his care and then began talks to free him, the Washington Post reported. 'I didn’t realize what a negotiation it was going to be to secure his release,' said Flueckiger, medical director of Phoenix Air Group, an aviation company based in Cartersville, Georgia. North Korean officials asked Flueckiger to write a report about his findings. 'It was my impression that if I did not give them a document that I could sign off on, that would cause problems,' he told the paper, adding that it was 'evident' that Warmbier had received 'really good care' in the hospital. The doctors had done 'state-of-the-art resuscitation' to revive him after he suffered a catastrophic cardiovascular collapse, Flueckiger said. 'Would I have lied to get him out of there? Maybe I would have,' he said. 'But I didn’t have to answer that question.' But, Yun was placed in a tricky spot when the officials handed him the hefty bill -- insisting he sign an agreement to pay it before they would allow him to take Warmbier home, the sources told [the Washington Post]. Yun informed then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who then called Trump, according to the Washington Post. They directed their envoy to sign the slip of paper agreeing that he would pay the $2 million, the two sources said. A State Department spokesman and Yun, who retired last year, declined to comment to the paper. Tillerson, the Treasury Department and North Korea’s New York-based envoy responsible for US affairs did not respond to requests for comment. After signing the documentation, Yun and Flueckiger returned Warmbier to his parents in Cincinnati, where he died six days later. They requested that an autopsy not be performed. The Warmbiers sued Pyongyang over their son’s death and requested $1.05 billion in punitive damages and about $46 million for the family’s suffering. In December, Judge Beryl A. Howell of the US District Court in the District of Columbia awarded them $501 million in damages -- money that they will likely never see. Howell said it was 'appropriate to punish and deter North Korea' for the 'torture, hostage taking and extrajudicial killing of Otto Warmbier.' Trump has said he believes Kim did not know about the student’s treatment. 'I don’t believe he would have allowed that to happen,' Trump said in Vietnam in February after his second summit with Kim. The President said he spoke to Kim about Warmbier’s death and that Kim 'feels badly about it.' 'He tells me he didn’t know about it, and I take him at his word,' Trump said at the time." • • • MUELLER REPORT INACCURACIES. BizPac Review quoted Daily Caller's Chuck Ross Thursday posting that : "A Georgian-American businessman is calling for a retraction of a footnote in the special counsel’s report that refers to a text message exchange with Michael Cohen about a rumored Trump sex tape. Giorgi Rtskhiladze’s lawyer sent a letter to the attorney general claiming that the Mueller report has 'glaring inaccuracies.' The report quoted a text message in which Rtskhiladze told Cohen he was 'stopping the flow' of tapes of Trump. But in a text message left out of Mueller’s report, Rtskhiladze suggested he did not believe the rumor. A Georgian-American businessman is accusing special counsel Robert Mueller of publishing 'glaring inaccuracies and misrepresentations' about rumors of alleged sex tapes of President Donald Trump during a visit to Moscow in 2013. In a letter sent to Attorney General William Barr on Tuesday, a lawyer for...Giorgi Rtskhiladze, called on the Justice Department to retract a footnote in Mueller’s report mentioning an October 30, 2016 text message exchange he had with attorney Michael Cohen about a rumored Trump tape. Rtskhiladze claims that the special counsel’s report inaccurately quotes his text message with Cohen. He says that additional text messages not quoted in the report show that he was doubtful about a rumor he had heard from an associate in Moscow about the existence of a tape. 'We strongly demand that a full and immediate retraction of these falsehoods should be issued forthwith to restore his good name,' wrote A. Scott Bolden, a lawyer for Rtskhiladze. The letter was first reported by Bloomberg News and obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation....Rtskhiladze told prosecutors during interviews in 2018 that he was told that the tapes were fake but that he did not communicate that to Cohen, according to Mueller’s report. Cohen told Mueller’s team in a September 12, 2018, interview that he notified Trump about the message from Rtskhiladze. Rtskhiladze claims that his additional texts with Cohen show that he had no direct knowledge of the tapes and that he saw them as mere rumor, rather than fact. Bolden also says that Rtskhiladze did not hear the rumor first-hand....Bolden says in the letter that Rtskhiladze was not present at the event in Moscow where the claim about the tape was allegedly made. Melanie Bonvicino, a spokeswoman for Rtskhiladze, told the Daily Caller that he has not been in Russia in more than a decade. She said that Rtskhiladze does not know who made the comment at the Moscow party, but that he heard about it from another person. Rtskhiladze identified the intermediary during interviews with Mueller’s team." • The footnote in the special counsel’s report is important because it "reignited speculation about the most salacious allegation contained in the infamous Steele Dossier. In the unverified report, author Christopher Steele alleged that the Kremlin had video of Trump with a group of prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room during his visit there in November 2013 for the Miss Universe pageant. Trump has vehemently denied taking part in the activities described in the Dossier, and such a tape has never been produced. Steele’s alleged source for the claim has also come under intense scrutiny. People who were with Trump during his visit to Moscow have doubted the claims about the tape, saying that he only stayed one night in the Russian capital and was only alone for a few hours." • • • AG BARR TELLS DEMOCRATS HE MAY NOT APPEAR FOR A HEARING. TheHill wrote on Sunday that : "Attorney General William Barr has warned House Democrats that he might not appear as scheduled this week in front of the Judiciary Committee....Barr has told Democrats they need to change the proposed format for the hearing, CNN first reported Sunday, citing an unidentified source. In addition to five minutes of questioning for each member of the committee, Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the committee, has proposed an additional round that would allow for each side to question Barr for 30 minutes, a source said. That round of questioning also would allow the committee counsels for both parties to question Barr. Nadler also has proposed having the committee enter a closed session to discuss redacted sections of special counsel Robert Mueller's report, the source added." • No wonder Barr has said he may not appear on Thursday. The rejected additional rounds of questioning, with counsel being able to question the Attorney General, is highly unusual. And, because the House Judiciary Committee is expected to grill Barr on the Mueller report, there will certainly be perjury traps lying in wait for AG Barr at the hands of Committee counsel. • • • TRUMP SAYS HE DIDN'T ORDER McGAHN TO FIRE MUELLER. TheHill reports that : "President Trump on Friday insisted that he did not order former White House counsel Don McGahn to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, despite McGahn's testimony to the contrary, explaining that he was aware of the potential consequences. 'I’m a student of history. I see what you get when you fire people, and it’s not good,' Trump told reporters as he departed the White House for a National Rifle Association (NRA) conference in Indianapolis. The President maintained he had the legal right to fire Mueller, but that he chose not to. 'I never told Don McGahn to fire Mueller,' he said. 'If I wanted to fire Mueller I would’ve done it myself. It’s very simple. I had the right to. And frankly, whether I did or [McGahn] did, we had the absolute right to fire Mueller.' " • McGahn, the former White House counsel, gave hours of interviews and provided contemporaneous notes, which produced some of the most damaging aspects of the special counsel's report on the Russia investigation. McGahn testified under penalty of law that Trump called him at home in June 2017 and directed him to tell Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that Mueller “had conflicts of interest and must be removed,” according to the Mueller Report. The White House lawyer refused to carry out the order. The Mueller Report also says that when news of the President’s order was reported last year in the New York Times, Trump met with McGahn in the Oval Office and pressured him to deny it but McGahn refused to do so. This was one of the "10 episodes" the special counsel's office said it reviewed for possible obstruction of justice by President Trump. TheHill says : "McGahn has been at the center of a political firestorm in the aftermath of Mueller's report, and House Democrats have subpoenaed him for testimony. Trump has signaled he will stonewall Democratic requests and assert executive privilege to block McGahn from testifying. He told reporters on Wednesday that the White House is 'fighting all the subpoenas,' setting up a prolonged legal battle with congressional Democrats. The President has argued that his administration was sufficiently cooperative with Mueller's nearly two-year investigation, and that subsequent Democratic probes into his actions are overreach. 'This is a pure political witch hunt,' Trump said Friday. 'We did nothing wrong, and the only thing I did is make our country stronger...If I’m guilty of anything, it’s that I’ve been a great President and the Democrats don’t like it, which is a shame.' " • • • SOME OF THE COLLUSION WAS BETWEEN THE OBAMA WHITE HOUSE AND UKRAINE. On Sunday, BlabberBuzz reported an InfoWars article titled "Ukraine Tapped By Obama Admin To Hurt Trump, Help Clinton And Protect Bidens Featured." First rate investigative reporter John Solomon wrote for TheHill : "In January, 2016, the Obama White House summoned Ukrainian authorities to Washington to discuss several ongoing matters under the guise of coordinating 'anti-corruption efforts.' The January 2016 gathering, confirmed by multiple participants and contemporaneous memos, brought some of Ukraine’s top corruption prosecutors and investigators face to face with members of former President Obama’s National Security Council (NSC), FBI, State Department and Department of Justice (DOJ). The agenda suggested the purpose was training and coordination. But Ukrainian participants said it didn’t take long -- during the meetings and afterward -- to realize the Americans’ objectives included two politically hot investigations : one that touched Vice President Joe Biden’s family and one that involved a lobbying firm linked closely to then-candidate Trump....The Obama officials -- likely knowing that lobbyist Paul Manafort was about to join President Trump’s campaign soon (he joined that March), were interested in reviving a closed investigation into payments to US figures from Ukraine’s pro-Russia Party of Regions -- which both Paul Manafort and Tony Podesta did unregistered work for, according to former Ukrainian Embassy political officer Andrii Telizhenko....The 2014 investigation focused heavily on Manafort, whose firm was tied to Trump through his longtime partner and Trump advisor, Roger Stone. Agents interviewed Manafort in 2014 about whether he received undeclared payments from the party of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, an ally of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, and whether he engaged in improper foreign lobbying. The FBI shut down the case without charging Manafort. Telizhenko and other attendees of the January, 2016, meeting recall DOJ employees asking Ukrainian investigators from their National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) if they could locate new evidence about the Party of Regions’ payments to Americans. 'It was definitely the case that led to the charges against Manafort and the leak to US media during the 2016 election,' said Telizhenko -- which makes the January 2016 gathering in DC one of the earliest documented efforts to compile a case against Trump and those in his orbit." • Solomon says: “Nazar Kholodnytskyy, Ukraine’s chief anti-corruption prosecutor, told me he attended some but not all of the January 2016 Washington meetings and couldn’t remember the specific cases, if any, that were discussed. But he said he soon saw evidence in Ukraine of political meddling in the US election. Kholodnytskyy said the key evidence against Manafort -- a ledger showing payments from the Party of Regions -- was known to Ukrainian authorities since 2014 but was suddenly released in May 2016 by the US-friendly NABU, after Manafort was named Trump’s campaign chairman. 'Somebody kept this black ledger secret for two years and then showed it to the public and the US media. It was extremely suspicious,' said Kholodnytskyy -- who specifically instructed NABU not to share the 'black ledger' with the media. 'I ordered the detectives to give nothing to the mass media considering this case. Instead, they had broken my order and published themselves these one or two pages of this black ledger regarding Paul Manafort...For me it was the first call that something was going wrong and that there is some external influence in this case. And there is some other interests in this case not in the interest of the investigation and a fair trial.' ” • Solomon states : "Manafort joined Trump’s campaign on March 29, 2016, and became campaign manager on May 19, 2016. The ledger’s existence leaked on May 29, 2016, while Manafort would be fired from the Trump campaign that August. NABU leaked the existence of the ledgers on May 29, 2016. Later that summer, it told US media the ledgers showed payments to Manafort, a revelation that forced him to resign from the campaign in August, 2016. A Ukrainian court in December concluded NABU’s release of the ledger was an illegal attempt to influence the US election. And a member of Ukraine’s parliament has released a recording of a NABU official saying the agency released the ledger to help Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign." • Rudy Giuliani tweeted on Saturday : "If the media continues to ignore the possible Ukrainian-DNC conspiracy in 2016 to find and create damaging information about Trump, Manafort and the Trump campaign, it will amount to corruption. For those of us still open to change, help us and cover it. You know it’s NEWS! — Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) April 27, 2019." • Solomon says that : "Kostiantyn Kulyk -- deputy head of the Ukraine prosecutor general’s international affairs office, said that Ukraine also had evidence of other Western figures receiving money from Yanukovych’s party -- such as former Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig -- but the Americans weren’t interested.'They just discussed Manafort. This was all and only what they wanted. Nobody else,' said Kulyk." • BUT, Solomon states that another case was raised in the January, 2016, meeting, involving the Bidens -- "specifically Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company which was under investigation at the time for improper foreign transfers of money. Burisma allegedly paid then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter more than $3 million in 2014-15, as both a board member and a consultant, according to bank records. According to Telizhenko, US officials told the Ukrainians they would prefer that Kiev drop the Burisma probe and allow the FBI to take it over. The Ukrainians did not agree. But then Joe Biden pressured Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to fire Ukraine’s chief prosecutor in March 2016, as I previously reported. The Burisma case was transferred to NABU, then shut down. The Ukrainian Embassy in Washington on Thursday confirmed the Obama administration requested the meetings in January, 2016, but embassy representatives attended only some of the sessions." • Last Wednesday on Fox and Friends,Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani said, “I ask you to keep your eye on Ukraine,” referring to collusion to help Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. InfoWars says : "DOJ documents support Telizhenko’s claim that the DOJ reopened its Manafort case as the 2016 election ramped up -- including communications between Associate Attorney General Bruce Ohr, his wife, Nellie, and ex-British spy Christopher Steele, as Solomon writes. Nellie Ohr and Steele worked in 2016 for the research firm, Fusion GPS, that was hired by Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to find Russia dirt on Trump. Steele wrote the famous Dossier for Fusion that the FBI used to gain a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. Nellie Ohr admitted to Congress that she routed Russia dirt on Trump from Fusion to the DOJ through her husband during the election. DOJ emails show Nellie Ohr on May 30, 2016, directly alerted her husband and two DOJ prosecutors specializing in international crimes to the discovery of the 'black ledger' documents that led to Manafort’s prosecution. 'Reported Trove of documents on Ukrainian Party of Regions’ Black Cashbox,' Nellie Ohr wrote to her husband and federal prosecutors Lisa Holty and Joseph Wheatley, attaching a news article on the announcement of NABU’s release of the documents. Politico reported previously that the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington assisted the Hillary Clinton campaign through a DNC contractor, while the Ukrainian Embassy acknowledges that it got requests from a DNC staffer to find dirt on Manafort (though it denies providing any improper assistance. As Solomon concludes : 'what is already confirmed by Ukrainians looks a lot more like assertive collusion with a foreign power than anything detailed inthe Mueller report.' ” • • • DEAR READERS, TheHill reported on Sunday about the massive Trump rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Saturday evening. President Trump warned his huge audience that Democrats would “take your guns away,” while opening the borders, legalizing late-term abortions and overseeing a government takeover of the healthcare industry, if they take power in Washington. • President Trump told the rally : “The Democratic Party has never been more outside the mainstream. Oh, do I look forward to running against them.” • If half the rotten apples on the Mueller tree fall to the ground before November 2020, even more Americans will vote for President Trump. His brand of truth-speaking for the American public and his never-ending defense of their rights as citizens is already garnering votes from groups the Democrat Party used to consider as their "private property." That is changing rapidly and the President will continue to add to his American Majority as the depth and breadth and upper reach of the Democrat Deep State cabal against President Trump and constitutional America become obvious. The President says "Oh, do I look forward to running against them,” and Americans say "Oh, do we look forward to voting for him.”
Friday, April 26, 2019
President Trump Should Shake the Rafters at the FBI, DOJ, CIA, DOD, and State, to Find and Prosecute the Slithering Obama-era Political Spies
MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN DAMAGED AND WRONGED, BUT WILL THE SOON-TO-BE-RELEASED REPORTS MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE? Here is what's at stake. • • • THE HOROWITZ FISA REPORT. Newsmax says the upcoming report from DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz concerning potential abuse of the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act to investigate Carter Page, a former aide to President Donald Trump, will be "very, very hard-hitting." That's the opinion of ex-Whitewater independent counsel Sol Wisenberg, who told Fox News : ""Michael Horowitz is a person of impeccable integrity. You can expect him to be very ethical, very hard hitting. He will not seek to expand his charter." • However, Wisenberg told Fox News he is "skeptical about the prospect of the people who signed off on the FISA application, including former FBI Director James Comey, ex-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, and former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, or former Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente facing any kind of criminal prosecution." Wisenberg said : "I will believe it when I see it, and I certainly would be very surprised if Dana Boente or Rod Rosenstein were seriously implicated in this. It's something quite different when you are talking about something that happened with the people in the Obama administration, who authorized surveillance of the political campaign of the opposition party of their main candidate. That is very shocking and something that should concern it all...if there were abuses, I think Horowitz will not hesitate to spell them out." • Newsmax explained : "Horowitz has been examining the FBI for almost a year to determine if the agency violated the FISA warrant system based on information from British ex-spy Christopher Steele, who claims that sources told him Page and other Trump associates had been working with Russia to help Trump win the 2016 election." Carter Page was the person whose name was on the line for the FBI when a FISA surveillance warrant was requested based on the Hillary-paid for Steele Dossier. But, other people were more seriously hurt by the chain of events unleashed by the FISA warrant permitting the FBI to surveil Carter Page. • GENERAL MICHAEL FLYNN. American Thinker's Ed Timperlake wrote on April 1 that : "General Flynn has been grievously wronged, and Defense Department archives may have the evidence. It has now become clear that General Michael Flynn was set up and sandbagged by rogue FBI agents while the national security director, Susan Rice, an agent for President Obama, was orchestrating a domestic political intelligence operation of historic magnitude....The evidence presented to date in public makes the case that the Obama White House was using intelligence / counterintelligence practices and procedures against innocent Americans for political purposes. In undertaking such an effort, one of the most import aspects of any intelligence collection effort is to build out the 'social network' of your targets and then send out that 'work in progress' of social network analysis to others to continue to expand one's knowledge base of 'who is connected to whom.' Content analysis is the parallel part of that equation, and NSC director Susan Rice's engagement accomplishes both those objectives." • In what Timperlake calls "the growth of the Surveillance State," he warms : "It is evident that the former administration was creating a target list of political opponents under the false flag of national security....Of those early supporters who did make it into administration no one suffered more than General Flynn." Former President Barack Obama's national security advisor, Susan Rice, says Timperlake : "...ordered US spy agencies to produce 'detailed spreadsheets' of legal phone calls involving Donald Trump and his aides when he was running for President, early warriors for Trump Nation, according to former US attorney Joseph diGenova....American citizens have seen damning comments on abusing the trust and confidence of having access to highly classified information being made by a former deputy assistant secretary of defense, Dr. Evelyn Farkas, who...has said : 'I was urging my former colleagues (she left in 2015) and frankly speaking the people on the Hill -- it was more actually aimed at telling the Hill people -- get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can before President Obama leaves the administration.' Consequently, a perfect starting point to get to the bottom of the unauthorized use of the awesome power of the Surveillance State would be to focus on Dr. Farkas's performance while serving in the DOD. Before evidence of the Deep State violations of Americans' Fourth Amendment rights using the power of the state grow ice-cold, law enforcement action should be taken. In getting to the bottom of what happened to General Flynn by the malicious attacks from the FBI and Special Counsel Mueller, there may be significant connection to collusion in helping to destroy him by political operatives at DOD." • Ed Timperlake has several questions he thinks DrM Farkas should answer under oath : "When was the DOD first made aware of the surveillance of the Trump campaign, Donald Trump, and especially Lieutenant General Mike Flynn? Who in the DOD was made aware of the NSC director's efforts, and what did anyone do with the information? Was there any reporting at the highest levels in the Department of Defense about any possible illegal actions involved with such an effort, and was any investigation asked for? Did any individuals in the DOD distribute classified information in any way to open additional continuous surveillance of American citizens beyond just General Flynn? Were any individuals in the Legislative Branch in receipt of classified DOD message traffic with unmasked names? Finally, what was the DOD's role in protecting any information-gathering activities that had retroactively focused on General Flynn while he was on active duty?" Timperlake also says that : "...since General Flynn had been director of DIA and his name was 'unmasked( in public from code word–protected intelligence collection efforts, did Secretary Carter -- or, after he left, Deputy Secretary Work, initiate any action to stop the felony violations of an American citizen's name being made public using highly classified collection efforts?" • Timperlake's conclusion : "If any evidence surfaces that the DOD helped violate General Flynn's Fourth Amendment rights, he is a greatly wronged individual and should finally be made whole. Enough is enough! After serving his country honorably in uniform in combat, he has huge debts from hiring lawyers and that is just not right in America today." • American Thinker editor Thomas Lifson followed up on Ed Timperlake's article in an article posted on April 5, in which Lifson says that General Flynn "may be the key to uncovering and prosecuting the Deep State attempted coup." Thomas Lifson reminds us that : "the Russia Hoax attempted coup involved senior figures in the 'intelligence community'....Even as obsessive Trump-hating promoters of the hoax like Adam Schiff and Jerrold Nadler continue to troll for evidence in the Mueller Report to use for impeachment, it is important to uncover the secret maneuvers that led to spying on the Trump campaign and the appointment of Mueller....It seems that people with very dirty hands had to take out [Trump and also General Flynn] when Trump made him national security advisor : 'Flynn's Defense Intelligence Agency produced a now-notorious 2012 report warning that CIA backing for Sunni rebels fighting Assad would lead to the rise of a new Caliphate movement, namely ISIS. The Obama administration threw its support behind the 'Arab Spring' rebellion in Syria, ignoring the fact that Islamist terrorists led the opposition to Assad. This was reported exhaustively in specialist media, for example, Brad Hoff's July 2016 essay in Foreign Policy Journal : Flynn humiliated the bungling CIA and exposed the incompetence and deception of the Obama administration, and got fired for it. If the proper authorities turn over the CIA's rock and examine its underside, the result will be the exposure of an intelligence failure of galactic proportions. The CIA channeled Saudi money into al-Qaeda fronts in Syria and helped move a large part of the late Colonel Qaddafi's massive arsenal to Syria. The jihadists backed by the CIA eventually formed a good deal of ISIS. Heads would roll at CIA. And when I say 'proper authorities,' I mean General Flynn in his capacity as National Security Advisor, a job in which he lasted a month before the Deep State set him up and persuaded President Trump to fire him." For Thomas Lifson, and for all Americans, "The attempt by intelligence agencies to unseat a President they disagreed with over policy is about as serious as it gets when it comes to scandal. If properly uncovered and prosecuted, it has the potential to alter the course of American politics. That's a big if. It will require toughness and knowledgeable investigators. Fortunately, we have a President who believes in hitting back twice as hard." • • • JUDICIAL WATCH FOIA DISCOVERIES ARE GETTING CLOSE TO PRESIDENT OBAMA. American Thinker editor Thomas Lifson wrote on Wednesday : "The truth of violations of law by the Obama White House, long buried, is being excavated by two private groups. Judicial Watch has obtained testimony from a top FBI official that Hillary Clinton's home-brew server emails were found in the White House. This means that Barack Obama's illegal handling of classified information contained in those emails is closer to being exposed. This implicates him in the same felonies committed by Hillary Clinton that James Comey falsely claimed 'no reasonable prosecutor' would pursue. Judicial Watch announces : 'Judicial Watch announced today that a senior FBI official admitted, in writing and under oath, that the agency found Clinton email records in the Obama White House, specifically, the Executive Office of the President....the FBI also admitted nearly 49,000 Clinton server emails were reviewed as result of a search warrant for her material on the laptop of Anthony Weiner : "E.W. (Bill) Priestap, assistant director of the FBI Counterintelligence Division, made the disclosure to Judicial Watch as part of court-ordered discovery into the Clinton email issue. US District Court Judge Royce Lamberth ordered Obama administration senior State Department officials, lawyers, and Clinton aides, as well as Priestap, to be deposed or answer writer questions under oath. The court ruled that the Clinton email system was 'one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.' Priestap was asked by Judicial Watch to identify representatives of Hillary Clinton, her former staff, and government agencies from which 'email repositories were obtained.' Priestap responded with the following non-exhaustive list : 'Bryan Pagliano /// Cheryl Mills /// Executive Office of the President /// Heather Samuelson /// Jacob Sullivan /// Justin Cooper /// United States Department of State /// United States Secret Service /// Williams & Connolly LLP.' " • Lifson reported that Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said Priestap testified in a separate lawsuit that Clinton was the subject of a grand jury investigation related to her BlackBerry email accounts : “This astonishing confirmation, made under oath by the FBI, shows that the Obama FBI had to go to President Obama’s White House office to find emails that Hillary Clinton tried to destroy or hide from the American people. No wonder Hillary Clinton has thus far skated -- Barack Obama is implicated in her email scheme.” • Lifson also noted that : "A second scandal threat for the Obama administration is also slowly being excavated. Proof is piling up that White House operatives exploited the NSA's surveillance of all electronic communications in the United States to monitor political opponents. This very long and detailed post by Sundance of Conservative Tree House defies any possibility of concise summary [but we will try, Dear Readers -- see below]. But by putting together information from the Mueller Report with a ruling by FISA Court Judge Rosemary Collyer, Sundance teases out the clear implications. This requires time and focus to follow but is rewarded by a deeper understanding of how the Obama administration actually did spy on its opponents, not just on the Trump campaign. The Conservative Tree House article is available at < https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/04/23/the-obama-use-of-fisa-702-as-a-domestic-political-surveillance-program/ >. • • • JOE DiGENOVA'S ANALYSIS. BizPac Review reported on Thursday that : "On Wednesday retired US Attorney Joe diGenova reiterated his call for certain members of the Obama administration, namely disgraced former FBI Director James Comey and disgraced former CIA Director John Brennan, to 'lawyer up' immediately for their own sake. 'John Brennan isn’t going to need one lawyer. He’s going to need five,' he said specifically of Brennan while speaking on The Ingraham Angle with guest host Mike Huckabee. Why? Because of the role he’d allegedly played in crafting the viral Russian collusion narrative. In January of 2017, Brennan and Comey briefed President Donald Trump about the Steele Dossier. This briefing was then used as a pretext by the media to publish the Dossier in full." Di Genova told Huckabee : "It has been evident from day one that there was a brazen plot to exonerate Hillary Clinton illegally, and then if she lost the election, to frame Donald Trump. This Dossier was a knowing part of that. It was created by Hillary Clinton. It was created knowingly by John Brennan as part of a scheme to do everything they could to harm Donald Trump. The problem for Brennan and Clapper and Comey and Baker and all of them now is that the FISA court has already communicated with the Justice Department about its findings, and their findings are that for more than four years before the election of Donald Trump, there was an illegal spying operation going on by FBI contractors, four of them, to steal personal information, electronic information about Americans, and to use it against the Republican Party....There is the Horowitz report coming out in May or possibly early June. There is another report that everybody has forgotten about involving James Comey alone. That will be out in two weeks. That report is going to be a bombshell. It’s going to open up the investigation on a very high note." • The investigation by DOJ IG Michael Horowitz is nearly completed and DiGenova says "his report will shed light on the possible abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by the Obama DOJ, focusing on the entire scandal....There will be criminal referrals in it....The FISA court abuse is the center of this entire abuse of governmental power. The chief judge of that court has already ruled that the FBI broke the law and that the people at the head of the Justice Department, Sally Yates, John Carlin, the assistant attorney general all knew about it and lied to the FISA court about it....it is imperative that Attorney General William Barr follow through on his threat to launch a full-scale criminal investigation into the Obama admin’s abuses." DiGenova told Bill O'Reilly on Monday : "Barr knows that the only way to have accountability and therefore to restore the credibility of the FBI and the Department of Justice and the CIA and the intelligence community is to have a full-scale, criminal investigation. When O'Reilly asked how certain he is that this will happen, DeGenova replied, “100%.” • • • THE CONSERVATIVE TREE HOUSE REPORT. It was published on April 23, and written by Sundance. The entire article is at < https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/04/23/the-obama-use-of-fisa-702-as-a-domestic-political-surveillance-program/ >. Sundance says : "Now that we have significant research files on the 2015 and 2016 political surveillance program; which includes the trail evident within the Weissmann/Mueller report; in combination with the Obama-era DOJ 'secret research project' (their words, not mine); we are able to overlay the entire objective and gain a full understanding of how political surveillance was conducted over a period of approximately four to six years....This explains an evolution from The IRS Files in 2010 to the FISA Files in 2016." • Sundance explains : "The FISA-702 database extraction process, and utilization of the protections within the smaller intelligence community, was the primary process. We start by reviewing the established record from the 99-page FISC opinion rendered by Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer on April 26th, 2017; and explain the details within the FISC opinion. I would strongly urge everyone to read the FISC report [the Scribd version is available in the CTH article] because Judge Collyer outlines how the DOJ, which includes the FBI, had an 'institutional lack of candor' in responses to the FISA court. In essence, they were continually lying to the court about their activity, and the rate of fourth amendment violations for illegal searches and seizures of US persons’ private information for multiple years." • Sundance notes : "For the sake of brevity and common understanding CTH will highlight the most pertinent segments showing just how systemic and troublesome the unlawful electronic surveillance was. Early in 2016 NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers was alerted of a significant uptick in FISA-702(17) 'About' queries using the FBI/NSA database that holds all metadata records on every form of electronic communication. The NSA compliance officer alerted Admiral Mike Rogers who then initiated a full compliance audit on/around March 9th, 2016, for the period of November 1st, 2015, through May 1st, 2016. While the audit was ongoing, due to the severity of the results that were identified, Admiral Mike Rogers stopped anyone from using the 702 (17) 'about query' option, and went to the extraordinary step of blocking all FBI contractor access to the database on April 18, 2016 (keep these dates in mind). Here are some significant segments : The key takeaway from these first paragraphs is how the search query results were exported from the NSA database to users who were not authorized to see the material. The FBI contractors were conducting searches and then removing, or ‘exporting’, the results. Later on, the FBI said all of the exported material was deleted." • Sundance tell us that : "Searching the highly classified NSA database is essentially a function of filling out search boxes to identify the user-initiated search parameter and get a return on the search result. FISA-702(16) is a search of the system returning a US person (“702”); and the '16' is a check box to initiate a search based on 'To and From.' Example, if you put in a date and a phone number and check '16' as the search parameter, the user will get the returns on everything 'To and From' that identified phone number for the specific date. Calls, texts, contacts etc. Including results for the inbound and outbound contacts. FISA-702(17) is a search of the system returning a US person (702); and the '17' is a check box to initiate a search based on everything 'About' the search qualifier. Example, if you put a date and a phone number and check '17' as the search parameter the user will get the returns of everything about that phone. Calls, texts, contacts, geolocation (or gps results), account information, user, service provider etc. As a result, 702(17) can actually be used to locate where the phone (and user) was located on a specific date or sequentially over a specific period of time which is simply a matter of changing the date parameters." • Sundance says these two types of searches are "just from a phone number. Search an ip address 'about' and read all data into that server; put in an email address and gain everything about that account. Or use the electronic address of a GPS enabled vehicle (about) and you can withdraw more electronic data and monitor in real time. Search a credit card number and get everything about the account including what was purchased, where, when, etc. Search a bank account number, get everything about transactions and electronic records etc. Just about anything and everything can be electronically searched; everything has an electronic ‘identifier.' The search parameter is only limited by the originating field filled out. Names, places, numbers, addresses, etc. By using the 'About' parameter there may be thousands or millions of returns. Imagine if you put '@realdonaldtrump' into the search parameter? You could extract all following accounts who interacted on Twitter, or Facebook etc. You are only limited by your imagination and the scale of the electronic connectivity." • Sundance then explains what the Obama FBI was doing : "As you can see below, on March 9th, 2016, internal auditors noted the FBI was sharing 'raw FISA information, including but not limited to Section 702-acquired information.' In plain English the raw search returns were being shared with unknown entities without any attempt to 'minimize' or redact the results. The person(s) attached to the results were named and obvious. There was no effort to hide their identity or protect their 4th Amendment rights of privacy....The review of November 1, 2015, to May 1, 2016, showed 'eighty-five percent of those queries' were unlawful or 'non compliant.' 85% !! 'representing [redacted number].' We can tell from the space of the redaction the number of searches were between 1,000 and 9,999 [five digits]. If we take the middle number of 5,000 – that means 4,250 unlawful searches out of 5,000. The [five digit] amount (more than 1,000, less than 10,000), and 85% error rate, was captured in a six month period. Also notice this very important quote : 'many of these non-compliant queries involved the use of the same identifiers over different date ranges.' So they were searching the same phone number, email address, electronic 'identifier,' or people, repeatedly over different dates. Specific people were being tracked/monitored. Additionally, notice the last quote : 'while the government reports it is unable to provide a reliable estimate of' these non lawful searches 'since 2012, there is no apparent reason to believe the November 2015 [to] April 2016 coincided with an unusually high error rate.' " • As Sundance points out : "That means the 85% unlawful FISA-702(16)(17) database abuse has likely been happening since 2012. (Again, remember that date, 2012) Who was FBI Director? [Mueller] Who was his chief-of-staff? [John Carlin who left to become head of DOJ national security division] Who was CIA Director? [Brennan] ODNI? [Clapper] etc. Remember, the NSA is inside the Pentagon (Defense Dept) command structure. Who was Defense Secretary? [Carter] And finally, who wrote and signed-off-on the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment? [Clapper] Tens of thousands of searches over four years (since 2012), and 85% of them are illegal." • Sundance answers the WHO : "Private contractors with access to 'raw FISA information that went well beyond what was necessary to respond to FBI’s requests' : And as noted, the contractor access was finally halted on April 18th, 2016. [Coincidentally (or not), the wife of Fusion-GPS founder Glenn Simpson, Mary Jacoby, goes to the White House the next day on April 19th, 2016.] None of this is conspiracy theory. All of this is laid out inside this 99-page opinion from FISC Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer who also noted that none of this FISA abuse was accidental in a footnote on page 87 : 'deliberate decisionmaking' : Summary of this aspect : The FISA court identified and quantified tens-of-thousands of search queries of the NSA/FBI database using the FISA-702(16)(17) system. The database was repeatedly used by persons with contractor access who unlawfully searched and extracted the raw results without redacting the information and shared it with an unknown number of entities." • The WHY? Sundance says : "The outlined process certainly points toward a political spying and surveillance operation; and we are not the only one to think that’s what this system is being used for. Back in 2017 when House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes was working to reauthorize the FISA legislation, Nunes wrote a letter to ODNI Dan Coats about this specific issue...NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers eventually took away the 'About' query option permanently in 2017. NSA Director Rogers said the abuse was so inherent there was no way to stop it except to remove the process completely. Additionally, the NSA database operates as a function of the Pentagon, so the Trump administration went one step further. On his last day as NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers -- together with ODNI Dan Coats -- put US cyber-command, the database steward, fully into the US military as a full combatant command. There is little doubt the FISA-702(16)(17) database system was used by Obama-era officials, from 2012 through April 2016, as a way to spy on their political opposition. Quite simply there is no other intellectually honest explanation for the scale and volume of database abuse that was taking place." • These facts lead to the following Sundance conclusions : "When we reconcile what was taking place and who was involved, then the actions of the exact same principle participants take on a jaw-dropping amount of clarity. All of the action taken by CIA Director Brennan, FBI Director Comey, ODNI Clapper and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter make sense. Including their effort to get NSA Director Mike Rogers fired. Everything after March 9th, 2016, was done to cover up the weaponization of the FISA database. Spygate, Russia-Gate, the Steele Dossier, and even the 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (drawn from the Dossier and signed by the above) were needed to create a cover-story and protect themselves from discovery of this four year weaponization, political surveillance and unlawful spying. Even the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel makes sense; he was FBI Director when this began." • Sundance says it all started in 2012 : "The beginning decision to use FISA(702) as a domestic surveillance and political spy mechanism appears to have started in/around 2012. Perhaps sometime shortly before the 2012 presidential election and before John Brennan left the White House and moved to CIA. However, there was an earlier version of data assembly that preceded this effort. Political spying 1.0 was actually the weaponization of the IRS. This is where the term 'Secret Research Project' originated as a description from the Obama team. It involved the US Department of Justice under Eric Holder and the FBI under Robert Mueller. It never made sense why Eric Holder requested over 1 million tax records via CD ROM, until overlaying the timeline of the FISA abuse : The IRS sent the FBI '21 disks constituting a 1.1 million page database of information from 501(c)(4) tax exempt organizations, to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.' The transaction occurred in October 2010. Why disks? Why send a stack of DISKS to the DOJ and FBI when there’s a pre-existing financial crimes unit within the IRS. All of the evidence within this sketchy operation came directly to the surface in early spring 2012. The IRS scandal was never really about the IRS, it was always about the DOJ asking the IRS for the database of information. That is why it was transparently a conflict when the same DOJ was tasked with investigating the DOJ/IRS scandal. Additionally, Obama sent his chief-of-staff Jack Lew to become Treasury Secretary; effectively placing an ally to oversee/cover-up any issues. As Treasury Secretary Lew did just that." • Sundance says that it seems the Obama administration "learned a lesson from attempting to gather a large opposition research database operation inside a functioning organization large enough to have some good people that might blow the whistle." that is why, says Sundance, that a few months after realizing the 'Secret Research Project' was now worthless (June 2012), they focused more deliberately on a smaller network within the intelligence apparatus and began weaponizing the FBI/NSA database." • AND, it all came together in 2019. Sundance states that : "Fusion GPS was not hired in April 2016 to research Donald Trump. As shown in the evidence provided by the FISC, the intelligence community was already doing surveillance and spy operations. The Obama administration already knew everything about the Trump campaign, and were monitoring everything by exploiting the FISA database. HOWEVER, after the NSA alerts in/around March 9th, 2016, and particularly after the April 18th shutdown of contractor access, the Obama intelligence community needed Fusion GPS to create a legal albeit ex post facto justification for the pre-existing surveillance and spy operations. Fusion GPS gave them that justification in the Steele Dossier. THAT is why the FBI small group, which later transitioned into the Mueller team, are so strongly committed to and defending the formation of the Steele Dossier and its dubious content. The Steele Dossier contains the cover-story and justification for the surveillance operation.....During a rather innocuous podcast discussion panel April 12th, 2019, one of President Trump’s personal lawyers Jay Sekulow mentioned the FBI had three FISA applications denied by the FISA court in 2016....If Sekulow is accurate, this adds additional context to the actions of the FBI in the aftermath of Admiral Mike Rogers and an increased urgency in gaining legal justification for surveillance and spy operation unlawfully taking place. A valid FISA warrant would help the FBI cover-up the surveillance. The likely targets were Manafort, Flynn and Papadopoulos....but it appears the DOJ/FBI were rebuked. These FISC denials would then initiate institutional panic dependent on the election outcome. An INSURANCE POLICY would be needed. The Steele Dossier becomes the investigative virus the FBI wanted inside the system. To get the virus into official status, they used the FISA application as the delivery method and injected it into Carter Page. The FBI already knew Carter Page; essentially Carter Page was irrelevant, what they needed was the FISA warrant and the Dossier in the system. Fusion GPS was not hired to research Trump, the intelligence community was already doing surveillance and spy operations. The intelligence community needed Fusion GPS to give them a plausible justification for already existing surveillance and spy operations. Fusion-GPS gave them the justification they needed for a FISA warrant with the Steele Dossier. Ultimately that’s why the Steele Dossier is so important; without it, the DOJ and FBI are naked with their FISA-702 abuse as outlined by John Ratcliffe." • Sundance makes recommendations that focus on declassifying series of actions to show the intent of the Obama intelligence community. President Trump has already said all the FISA-related documents will be released, but with investigations ongoing, this will take some time. • I urge you to go to the Sundance article and read it as well as the Scribd Judge Collyer opinion. It is -- as American Thinker's Thomas Lifson pointed out on Thursday -- “BIG!” • In his Thursday article, Lifson also adds new detail to this horror story : "In an exclusive report based on anonymous sources, Dustin Voltz and Warren P. Strobel of the Wall Street Journal write : 'The National Security Agency has recommended that the White House abandon a surveillance program that collects information about US phone calls and text messages, saying the logistical and legal burdens of keeping it outweigh its intelligence benefits, according to people familiar with the matter. The recommendation against seeking the renewal of the once-secret spying program amounts to an about-face by the agency, which had long argued in public and to congressional overseers that the program was vital to the task of finding and disrupting terrorism plots against the US. The latest view is rooted in a growing belief among senior intelligence officials that the spying program provides limited value to national security and has become a logistical headache. Frustrations about legal-compliance issues forced the NSA to halt use of the program earlier this year, the people said. Its legal authority will expire in December unless Congress reauthorizes it. It is up to the White House, not the NSA, to decide whether to push for legislation to renew the phone-records program. The White House hasn’t yet reached a policy decision about the surveillance program, according to the people familiar with the matter. The White House National Security Council and the NSA declined to comment." Oddly, says Lifson : "no mention at all is made of the unfolding scandal of the use of NSA data to spy on the Trump campaign...I take this proposal being mooted as a sign that the scandal is going to continue to unfold, and the public will learn more about it. A lot of posteriors are being guarded. And, not so incidentally, the ability of a present or future President to employ this tool would be curtailed. Stay tuned." • • • DEAR READERS, on Thursday, the New York Sun published another "Special to the Sun" by Conrad Black, titled "Day of Reckoning Is Now Dawning For Democrats." The always erudite Black's article is available in full at < htps://www.nysun.com/national/day-of-reckoning-is-now-dawning-for-democrats/90662 >. • Conrad Black says it is "not now clear whether the Democrats’ pathological attachment to the fantasy that they have some chance of destroying the Trump presidency legally is based on continuing hysteria and frenzy, or addiction to continued harassment of the President,...or is an attempt to forestall the investigation and exposure of the malfeasance of the Obama administration and the Clinton campaign in producing the fraud of Trump-Russia collusion....investigations already taking place by the inspector general of the Justice Department, a special counsel, and the attorney general of the United States, about to be joined by the Senate Judiciary Committee, will call upon the chief intelligence and law officers of the Obama administration, along with Hillary Clinton and members of her campaign staff, to account for their conduct. These include lies under oath to congressional committees, lies to federal officials, and misleading the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court....It will not be long before we hear the still familiar words, in reference to President Obama : 'What did the president know and when did he know it?'....the machinery of dispassionate justice is already turning towards the identification and eventual punishment of the Democrats for subverting the justice and intelligence apparatus of the former administration in order to influence the results of the election of the succeeding President and Vice President of the United States....The country recognizes that the attempt to unseat the President has failed, and that it deserved to fail. If he is to be removed from his office, it will be by the electors, and not by a Democratic lynch mob cheered on by the now largely disgraced national political media. Their day of reckoning is about to begin. They will gag and balk at the evidence as it emerges that the Clinton campaign and the Obama Justice Department, the FBI, and the intelligence services were up to their eyeballs in an unprecedented unconstitutional attempt to manipulate and then undo the result of a presidential election....The Democrats will pay for their dishonesty at the polls in 2020. And the national political media will require a very long time to recover the confidence of the American people that they have so energetically squandered." • These long details are necessary to understand why President Trump is so angry. He should be shaking the rafters at the FBI, DOJ, CIA, DOD, and State, to find and prosecute all the crouched slithering political spies, Obama-freaks waiting for a Democrat to return to the White House so they can finish their unholy task of turning America into a socialist-marxist police state run by the elites for the elites.