PowerLine -> Trump’s North Korea Policy: The Story So Far – Mossad’s Iran Caper

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PowerLine -> Trump’s North Korea Policy: The Story So Far – Mossad’s Iran Caper

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Daily Digest

  • Trump’s North Korea Policy: The Story So Far
  • A BRIDGES too far
  • Mossad’s Iran Caper
  • Civil War on the Left, Part 58: Going Googly-Eyed
  • Speaking of collusion
Trump’s North Korea Policy: The Story So Far

Posted: 02 May 2018 03:25 PM PDT

(Steven Hayward)News breaking this afternoon that North Korea is releasing three American citizens it has been holding. Another point on the scoreboard for Trump’s Nork policy. Of course, this is but a small gesture on the part of the Norks, and the real business will be whether Trump can get a meaningful and enforceable deal with them. Count me skeptical about this.

But still it is fun to see the creased-smarty-pants Obamanauts made fools, like Ben Rhodes:

This starting to remind me of the Reagan years, when liberals and the media decried Reagan’s military buildup and especially his tough talk about the Soviet Union (“evil empire” and that those other truthful characterizations), which the critics said would only ensure that “hardliners” would stay in charge in the Kremlin. Columbia University’s Robert Legvold, for example, wrote critically of Reagan’s Soviet policy in 1982 that “it is conceivable that vigorous, sometimes bellicose anti-Soviet policies on the part of U.S. authorities could vindicate and strengthen their hard-line rivals. This is precisely what some Soviets hint might happen.” Reagan’s people thought early on that just the opposite was more likely—that a tough approach would produce a more conciliatory Soviet leader. In January 1984 Reagan’s recently departed national security adviser William Clark wrote him to say that he thought Administration policy would “very likely influence the rise of a less dangerous Soviet leader than the dying Andropov.” Enter Gorbachev, and you know the rest of the story.


A BRIDGES too far

Posted: 02 May 2018 02:30 PM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)Tonight, the Department of Justice/FBI will continue its 17-year practice of meeting quarterly with representatives of the Muslim community in southeast Michigan. It’s called a BRIDGES meeting. BRIDGES stands for Building Respect in Diverse Groups to Enhance Sensitivity.

Not security, which should be the FBI’s mission. Sensitivity.

Indeed, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Michigan no longer even mentions trying to prevent jihad as the mission of BRIDGES. Rather, the point is “to ensure that all Americans receive the full protection of the Constitution and laws of the United States.” The stated target is alleged Islamophobia.

Jihad, in fact, has been defined away as a threat to security. At the last meeting, Bushra Alawie, an “outreach” specialist with the FBI in Detroit, claimed that jihad means “inner struggle” — e.g., her struggle not to eat cheesecake — as well as the struggle to defend one’s property.

On this account, it would be churlish to oppose jihad. Unfortunately, the account is BS.

To whom does the FBI “reach out” by inviting to BRIDGES meetings? A heavy dose of CAIR personnel.

CAIR stands for Council on American Islamic Relations. The Department of Justice named CAIR an unindicted co-conspirator in its prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation and others for providing support to the terrorist group Hamas. The court, in that case, sustained the designation.

Moreover, the head of CAIR Michigan, Muthanna Al-Hanooti, was convicted in 2011 of conspiring to work for a foreign government by running a group that supported the Sunni-led insurgency in Iraq against U.S. forces. Yet, Al-Hanooti is among those invited to meet with the FBI/Justice tonight.

So is Dawud Walid, the current head of CAIR Michigan. He has claimed that “the number one perpetrators of terrorism in the United States. . .are not Muslims; they are actually white men.” This too is BS.

Lena Masri, CAIR’s national litigation director, is also on the invite list. She leads CAIR’s resistance to President Trump’s travel ban. That’s her (and CAIR’s) right, of course. But why is the Trump administration Justice Department/FBI collaborating with her?

What will go down at tonight’s meeting? Most likely, the same kinds of things that occurred a few months ago. A report from the last meeting states that it served as “a fresh reminder of how the FBI has made a concerted effort to divert the eyes of law enforcement away from Muslim communities as potential breeding grounds for terror, and refocus attention on ‘Islamophobic’ American citizens.” Nearly the entire meeting was “spent focusing on Islamic religious and cultural practices and trying to debunk any derogatory information police officers may have received about Islamic ideology.”

One eyewitness said that guests of the American Middle Eastern Christian Congress were refused the right to record the meeting. By contrast, according to the same witnesses, the right to record was granted to the Arab American News. If true, this means that the DOJ/FBI discriminated against Christians and in favor of Muslims.

The BRIDGES program should be suspended, pending an investigation by Main Justice. If the meetings are reinstated, they should reflect a more balanced, more realistic assessment of the threats our country faces from terrorists. All elected Michigan representatives in Congress should be invited. I’m told that currently only Rep. Debbie Dingell, a left-liberal Democrat, is.

And, of course, Christian groups should have the same right to record the meeting as Muslims do.

It’s difficult to imagine a government operation more out of line with the views expressed by candidate Donald Trump than BRIDGES, as presented constituted. The program can be viewed as a pocket of “resistance” within the administration. Couple that with the program’s willful blindness to the threat of jihad, and the need to stop BRIDGES in its tracks could hardly be more obvious.


Mossad’s Iran Caper

Posted: 02 May 2018 01:41 PM PDT

(Steven Hayward)I’ve been waiting for an account of how the Mossad carried off their heist of Iranian nuclear secrets from inside a warehouse in Tehran. I’m sure at some point—though we may have to wait a while—we’ll get the real and complete story. So far about the only account, I’ve seen is in the Times of Israel, whose story today says Mossad agents had the Iranians on their tail as they were fleeing the country. The story is very slight on key details, but suggests this was a very bold and high-risk operation:

Mossad discovered the warehouse in February 2016, and had had the building under surveillance since then. Before arriving at the site, the secret archives had been moved by Iranian authorities several times in a bid to keep their whereabouts a secret. . .

In late January of this year, Mossad agents received pinpoint information pointing them to certain safes in a specific container inside the warehouse. The team then broke in, removed the files and transferred them to a secondary location.

From there a complex extraction operation began. According to Hadashot, Iranian officials realized that information had been taken before the files were out of the country. Mossad agents managed to smuggle the data out of Iran with authorities “on their tails,” searching for them.

This isn’t much, but it’s something. Hopefully, it is setting off all kinds of paranoid mole hunts inside Iran’s intelligence and security services. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch of terrorists.

I’m pretty sure I know how they snuck everything out, and I’ve created original artwork to reveal it:

“Okay, you can go then.”


Civil War on the Left, Part 58: Going Googly-Eyed

Posted: 02 May 2018 10:59 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)I have been remarking for a while that it is not a coincidence that Google refers to its Mountain View headquarters as a “campus,” as the politics of Google appear to be a close replication of college campus politics, with identity politics running amok. They might want to rethink this.

We covered Google’s disgraceful firing of James Damore (herehere, and here), but today the Wall Street Journal has a front-page feature that reveals what a horrible swamp Google has become. The lede of the article tells of a speaking invitation to Ingrid Newkirk, the lunatic head of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), whose invitation was rescinded at the last minute when she had arrived at Google’s parking lot. Who thought to invite Newkirk was a good idea in the first place?

The article is behind the Journal‘s robust paywall, but here are a few highlights along with some commentary:

In 2008, a Google chef generated an online debate, with more than 100 comments on Google’s internal message forums, by serving a “Free Tibet Goji Chocolate Cream Pie” in the cafeteria, a reference to the political movement opposing China’s rule of the Asian region. The chef initially drew a suspension, which another manager at Google overturned on free-speech grounds, according to Laszlo Bock, who wrote about the flap in a book about the company culture called “Work Rules!”

I wonder if you can order a rare hamburger at Google’s cafeteria? Meanwhile, with the enthusiasm for identifying as any gender you want these days, I’ve been wondering why you have to identify as a human being at all. Why can’t I identify as a unicorn or a pig? (Some people already identify me as a pig, so why not make it official.) As Harry Jaffa once remarked—as quoted in a certain recent book coming out in paperback next fall—“Whether you want to belong to the human race is now a matter of personal preference.”

Well guess what:

At a recent Google event titled “Living as a Plural Being,” one employee gave a talk explaining why the speaker sexually identified as “a yellow-scaled wingless dragonkin” and an “expansive ornate building” . . .

PETA’s Ingrid Newkirk intended to run with this theme in her proposed talk at Google:

She planned to show a video in which RZA, the Wu-Tang Clan hip-hop artist and outspoken vegan, transforms from a black man into an Asian woman and eventually into a bear and a chicken. “It doesn’t matter if we have fur or feathers or fins, the length of our nose or the number of legs,” RZA says in the video’s voice-over. “We’re not different in any important way.”

Humans not different from bears or chickens in any important way? Oh-kay.

It was Newkirk’s “appropriation” of racism, or comparison of the lack of formal animal rights with racism, that sparked the backlash. Apparently, no one at Google bothered to Google “intersectionality.”

A pamphlet Ms. Newkirk planned to distribute to those attending shows pictures of a cow, a chicken and a bunny with the heading “How Bigotry Begins.” The talk was canceled about an hour before it was to begin, with goodie bags ready and the auditorium already starting to fill. . .

The story then goes on the explain how Newkirk recorded a phone call in her car in the parking lot with a Google employee who was part of the affinity group hosting Newkirk:

“There was, like, a sort of outcry in response” to the prospect of the talk, said the Google employee, David Barry, according to a transcript reviewed by the Journal. “And the last thing that Google wants, that we want to do, is to make people, like, feel alienated, or hurt people, like, who voiced concern over this talk,” said Mr. Barry, whose LinkedIn profile describes him as an associate account strategist at Google.[Emphasis added.]

“Like. Like. Like.” I thought that was Facebook’s thing? Like, learn to talk, dude.

Now excuse me while I Google the best prices for popcorn futures.


Speaking of collusion

Posted: 02 May 2018 08:46 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)The synthetic Russian “collusion” scandal in which we have been enmeshed since the inauguration of President Trump is closely related to the real Russian collusion scandal involving the Clinton campaign. Underlying both is a media scandal of epic proportions. Exposing the interrelationship of these scandals — synthetic, real, and media (also real) — has been the more or less exclusive domain, Lee Smith. I urge interested readers to take the time necessary to absorb his devastating new Tablet column “Are NBC and CNN paying off top spies who leaked info with on-air jobs?”

If you’ve been paying attention, you know that Glenn Simpson and Fusion GPS “fuse” all three scandals. Here Lee comments on the Times’s recent report that the infamous Natalia Veselnitskaya was, shall we say, a close friend of Vladimir Putin and professional associate of — wait, Glenn Simpson. But the Times forgot that last part. “Here’s the story in full,” with the omitted parts filled in by Lee Smith:

A British music publicist arranged Veselnitskaya’s June 9, 2016 meeting with Donald Trump Jr. at the Trump Tower by promising dirt on Clinton. “If it’s what you say, I love it,” the president’s eldest son replied by email.

But Veselnitskaya had nothing on Clinton. She wanted to discuss the U.S. law imposing sanctions on Russian government officials and other figures close to Russian president Vladimir Putin who are implicated in the detention and death of Sergei Magnitsky. He was a Russian tax accountant hired in 2007 by the Chicago-born financier William Browder to investigate the misappropriation of $230 million in taxes that Browder’s firm had paid to the Russian government. Magnitsky was arrested in 2008 and was found dead a year later in a Moscow jail cell. The Magnitsky Act is the sanctions legislation that Browder spearheaded to punish those involved, and fire a shot across Putin’s bow.

In turn, Veselnitskaya was hired to represent a firm owned by Kremlin associates charged by the Justice Department with laundering some of the profits from the tax fraud that Magnitsky was investigating on behalf of Browder when he was arrested. Since the fraud case and the Magnitsky Act touch on Russian national interests, as well as Putin’s personal interests, it’s only natural the lawyer handling the case would be in close touch with the Kremlin’s top lawyer.

Yet the Times piece from last week barely touched on Magnitsky. His case, the story explains, “became a cause célèbre in Washington,”—in fact it gave rise to American legislation. The Times article didn’t mention Browder at all. Why? Because that would’ve widened the lens of a story that is tasked to show the Trump team’s ties to Kremlin affiliates, and raised some uncomfortable questions that undermine the governing narrative, which is that Trump colluded with Russia in order to steal the Presidency from Hillary Clinton.

More detail in the Times story would show that one of Veselnitskaya’s partners in the anti-Magnitsky campaign was Fusion GPS. Glenn Simpson’s opposition research shop had been brought on to run a smear campaign against Browder in the press. The talking points on Magnitsky and Browder that Veselnitskaya recited in the Trump Tower meeting, talking points that she previously shared with Russia’s prosecutor general, were quite literally written by Fusion GPS.

Fusion GPS—that’s the same firm that was hired by the Clinton campaign and the DNC to produce the Steele dossier. So Fusion GPS disseminated reports of the Trump team’s ties to Russia in order to warn America of a possible criminal conspiracy that would sell out U.S. interests in exchange for help securing the presidency—while it also worked on a campaign defending Kremlin interests by undermining an American law. How, you ask, is that possible? And why didn’t the Times report that salient fact?

Because the Times was in bed with Fusion GPS too. William Browder told me that when he was trying to get various journalists to report on Fusion GPS’ role in the campaign against him and the Magnitsky Act, he found that the company’s founder Glenn Simpson “was so deeply embedded as a source for different stories, no one wanted to write a story about him.”

I urge interested readers to consume the whole devastating thing here.


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