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Biden has been a major disappointment for those who hoped that he’d change course regarding America’s pathological involvement in overseas conflicts.

The new White House Team has been in place for more than a month and it is perhaps time to consider where it is going with America’s fractured foreign policy. To be sure, when a new administration brings in a bunch of “old hands” who made their bones by attacking Syria and Libya while also assassinating American citizens by drone one might hope that those mistakes might have served as valuable “lessons learned.” Or maybe not, since no one in the Democratic Party ever mentions the Libya fiasco and President Joe Biden has already made it clear that Syria will continue to be targeted with sanctions as well as with American soldiers based on its soil. And no one will be leaving Afghanistan any time soon. The Biden team will only let up when Afghanistan is “secure” and there is regime change in Damascus.

A big part of the problem is that the personnel moves mean that the poison from the Barack Obama years has now been reintroduced into the tottering edifice that Donald Trump left behind. Obama’s United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice once made the case for attacking the Libyans by explaining how Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi provided his soldiers with Viagra so they could more readily engage in mass rapes of presumably innocent civilians. Unfortunately, Sue is back with the new administration as the Director of the Domestic Policy Council where she will no doubt again wreak havoc in her own inimitable fashion. She is joined at the top level of the administration by Tony Blinken as Secretary of State, Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence, Jake Sullivan as National Security Advisor, Samantha Power as head of USAID and retired General Lloyd J. Austin as Secretary of Defense. All of the appointees are regarded as “hawks” and have personal history working with Biden when he was in Congress and as Vice President, while most of them also served in the Obama administration.

Be that as it may, Joe Biden and whoever is pulling his strings have assembled a group of establishment warmongers and aspirant social justice engineers that is second to none. Those who expected something different than the usual Democratic Party template have definitely been disappointed. Hostility towards China continues with warships being sent to the South China Sea and the president is seeking to create a new Trans-Atlantic alliance directed against both Beijing and Moscow. The Europeans are reportedly not enthusiastic about remaining under Washington’s thumb and would like some breathing room.

In a phone conversation where it would have been interesting to be a fly on the wall, Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that the United States would no longer ignore his bad behavior. The official White House account of the call included the following pithy summary: “President Biden reaffirmed the United States’ firm support for Ukraine’s sovereignty. He also raised other matters of concern, including the SolarWinds hack, reports of Russia placing bounties on United States soldiers in Afghanistan, interference in the 2020 United States election, and the poisoning of Aleksey Navalny.”

And to be sure, there have already been a number of issues that Biden might have dealt with by executive order, like lifting the illegal and unjustified blockade of Cuba, that could have inspired some hope that the new administration would not be just another bit of old wine in new bottles. Alas, that has not taken place but for a series of moves to unleash another wave of illegal immigration and to “protect LGBTQ rights globally.” Biden has also retained a heavy military presence in Washington itself, possibly as part of a Constitution-wrecking plan to tackle what he is referring to as “domestic terrorism.” The domestic terrorists being targeted appear to largely consist of people who are white working and middle class and voted for Trump.

In some ways, foreign policy might have been the easiest fix if the new administration were really seeking to correct the misadventures of the past twenty years. Quite the contrary, Biden and his associates have actually reversed the sensible and long overdue policies initiated by Donald Trump to reduce troop strength in Germany and bring the soldiers home from Syria and Afghanistan. Biden has already committed to an indefinite stay in Afghanistan, America’s longest “lost” war, and has covertly sent more soldiers into Syria as well as Iraq.

As regards Latin America, the U.S. clearly is prepared to double down on regime change in Venezuela, continuing its Quixotic support of Juan Guaido as president. Meanwhile, the new Secretary of State Tony Blinken has clearly indicated that there will be no end to deference to Israeli interests in the Middle East. Under questioning by Congress, he has insisted that Israel will be “consulted” on U.S. policy to include arms sales in the region, which has been interpreted to mean that Jerusalem will have a veto, and has confirmed that his view on Iran is identical to that of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Both are apparently promoting the view that Iran will have enough enriched uranium to construct a weapon within a few weeks, though they have not addressed other technical aspects of what would actually be required to build one. Netanyahu has been making the claim about the Iranian threat since the 1980s and now it is also an element of U.S. policy.

Biden and Blinken have also moved forward slowly on a campaign commitment to attempt renegotiation of the 2015 JCPOA nuclear agreement with Iran that President Trump withdrew from in 2017. As a condition to re-start discussions, the Iranian leadership has demanded a return to the status quo ante, meaning that the punitive sanctions initiated by Trump would have to be canceled and Iran would in return cease all enrichment activities. Biden and Blinken, which admittedly sounds a bit like a vaudeville comedy duo, have reportedly agreed to withdraw the Trump sanctions but have also suggested that Iran will have to make other concessions, to include ending its ballistic missile development program and ceasing its “meddling” in the Middle East. Iran will refuse to agree to that, which means that the bid to renegotiate could turn out to be nothing more than a bit of theater involving multilateral “discussions” hosted by the European Union and the pointless hostility between Washington and Tehran will continue.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, Iran, Israel, Joe Biden 
Here are some suggestions

Critics of U.S. policy with and about Israel like myself have been relatively successful in describing the considerable downside in the bilateral status quo. We have demonstrated that the lopsided relationship supports absolutely no U.S. interest and that, on the contrary, considerable damage is done to the American people, to include involvement in armed conflict in the Middle East which serves no purpose beyond “protecting Israel.”

Israel benefits from billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars annually in a $3.8 billion lump sum for “military aid” plus hundreds of millions more in special procurements and projects that are together considered untouchable in Washington. Add to that the quasi legal “charitable” tax exempt contributions from wealthy American Jews and groups that fuel apartheid policies in Palestine and pay for the illegal settlements. Many of those same groups are themselves tax exempt and they exploit that status to actively lobby on behalf of the Jewish state, successfully shielding it from any consequences for its war crimes and human rights violations. They also avoid registration under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, even though many of them collude directly with the Israeli government through its embassy in Washington and are directed by the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu government. In fact, no Israel Lobby component among the six hundred or so Jewish groups that have protecting Israel as part of their agenda has ever been required to register as a foreign agent.

Under President Donald Trump, one Jewish billionaire Sheldon Adelson contributed as much as $300 million to GOP coffers, money which had with it a quid pro quo, that Trump should do a series of favors for Israel, which he did. The Democrats have their own counterpart in Israeli film producer Haim Saban, who has said that he is a “one issue guy and his issue is Israel.” Neither major party can be counted upon to resist Israeli pressure on foreign policy or even on domestic issues that might limit the “aid” that the Jewish state receives.

The money coming from the Israel Lobby has corrupted American government all the way down to the local level and special preferences for Israeli businesses in states like Florida and Virginia have added even more to the cash flow that goes in only one direction. Ironically, Israel does not really need the money. It is a socialist state that has a European level standard of living, to include free health care and university education, benefits that Americans do not possess.

Add to that Israel’s deplorable human rights record, which Washington is required to defend in international fora, as well as Israel’s record of persistent and highly damaging spying against the United States. It all means that little more need to be said, apart from restating the fact that it is a very bad deal for the American people. And it has also brought with it collateral damage to include attacks on fundamental rights like Freedom of Speech and Assembly. As the politicians in both major parties are bribed or otherwise coerced into continuing to behave the way that they do, count on things getting even worse, with criminalizing of any criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism currently making the rounds of pending legislation.

All of that said, when I and others lay out the laundry list of Israel’s crimes against America, some sympathizers inevitably respond: “Okay, so what are you going to do about it?” So now I am going to address some of the things that can be done by ordinary Americans and by groups that are correctly appalled by Washington’s wag the dog relationship with the Jewish state.

First of all, demand from our elected officials that American law be enforced on Israel. There are several areas where that is relevant. First, as mentioned above, is the failure of the Justice and Treasury Departments to enforce registration of pro-Israel lobbying groups. Registration would force groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) and the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA) to open their books regarding the money they receive and spend and could also require them to reveal details of their lobbying activity.

Another area where the law is not being enforced is regarding Israel’s nuclear arsenal, which was created by stealing both technology and enriched uranium from the U.S. The Symington Amendment on foreign relations forbids giving aid to any country that is either a nuclear proliferator or is in possession of undeclared nuclear weapons. Demand that it be enforced fully now and end all aid to Israel.

U.S. Israel-centric charities or foundations should also have their tax exemptions strictly enforced. Humanitarian aid is fine, but if they are funding the illegal West Bank settlements, which many of them are, they should have their exemptions revoked. And finally, Israelis caught spying or Americans who are assisting in the theft of U.S. classified or sensitive information should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, to include use of the Espionage Act. Currently, such individuals are almost always given a pass. If President Joe Biden can continue the persecution of legitimate journalist Julian Assange under the Espionage Act, he can certainly do the same vis-à-vis Israel’s spies.

Second, call for the end of Citizens United, which enables the Zionist oligarchs to dictate U.S. policy in the Middle East through their PACs and direct political donations. Beyond that, make your voice heard more generally. Sure, calling or writing to a congressional office is most often a waste of time but Capitol Hill staffers have told me many times that if a congressman gets multiple complaints about a certain policy or issue, he or she will begin to pay attention. That is not to say that they will give a damn about their actual constituents versus the powerful Israel Lobby but the background noise might make them just a bit more sensitive on the issue.

Likewise, with the mainstream media and the entertainment industry, which are Jewish/Israel dominated. When one reads an article or watches a documentary that is heavily slanted towards the Jewish state, make an online comment or write a letter to the editor or producer saying that the bias is evident. As in the case with congress, if newspaper or television editors begin to see a lot of commentary hostile to their spin they just might begin to be more cautious for fear of losing readers, viewers or advertising dollars. And just a little bit of loosening of the Israeli grip in the media will mean that the public will begin to appreciate that the “news stories” that have been promoted for so many years are nothing but a tissue of lies.

Third, support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement as well as organizations that are actively critical of Israel. BDS is non-violent and increasingly effective, particularly on college campuses. Always remember that Israel and its friends do not have a grip on Congress, the White House and the media because they are wonderful warm people that others find to be sympathetic. It is difficult even to imagine a scintillating conversation with a malignant toad like former casino magnate Sheldon Adelson or with congressional slime balls like Senators Chuck Schumer and Ben Cardin.

 

It will be difficult or even impossible to go back to a system where learning is actually a discipline that requires hard work and dedication.

Public education in the United States, if measured by results, has been producing graduates that are less competent in language skills and dramatically less well taught in the sciences and mathematics since 1964, when Scholastic Aptitude Test scores peaked. The decline in science and math skills has accelerated in the past decade according to rankings of American students compared to their peers overseas. A recent assessment, from 2015, placed the U.S. at 38th out of 71 countries in math and 24th in science. Among the 35 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD), the United States came in at 30th in math and 19th in science. Those poor results must be placed in a context of American taxpayers spending more money per student than any other country in the world, so the availability of resources is not necessarily a factor in most school districts.

Much of the decline is due to technical advances that level the playing field for teachers worldwide, but one must also consider changing perceptions of the role of education in a social context. In the United States in particular, political and cultural unrest certainly have been relevant factors. But all of that said and considered, the U.S. is now confronting a reassessment of values that will likely alter forever traditional education and will also make American students even more non-competitive with their foreign peers.

Many schools in the United States have ceased issuing grades that have any meaning, or they have dropped grading altogether, which means there is no way to judge progress or achievement. National test scores for evaluating possible college entry are on the way out almost everywhere as they are increasingly being condemned as “racist” in terms of how they assess learning based solely on the fact that blacks do less well on them than Asians and whites. This has all been part of an agenda that is being pushed that will search for and eliminate any taint of racism in the public space. It has also meant the destruction or removal of numerous historic monuments and an avoidance of any honest discussion of American history. San Francisco schools are, for example, notoriously spending more than $1 million to change the names of 44 schools that honor individuals who have been examined under the “racism and oppression” microscope and found wanting. They include George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Paul Revere.

The new world order for education is built around the concept of “equity,” sometimes described as using the public education system to “ensure equitable outcomes.” But the concept itself is deeply flawed as the pursuit of equity means treating all American unequally to guarantee that everyone that comes out of the schools is the same and has learned the same things. That is, of course, ridiculous and it penalizes the good student to make sure that the bad student is somehow pushed through the system and winds up with the same piece of paper.

And the quality overall of public education will sharply decline. One might reasonably observe that imposition of a totalitarian style “equity” regime based on race will inevitably drive many of the academically better prepared students out of the system. Many of the better teachers will also move to the private academies that will spring up due to parental and student demand. Others will stop teaching altogether when confronted by political correctness at a level that prior to 2020 would have seemed unimaginable. The actual quality of education will suffer for everyone involved

All of that has been bad enough, but the clincher is that his transformation is taking place all over the United States with the encouragement of federal, state and local governments and once the new regime is established it will be difficult or even impossible to go back to a system where learning is actually a discipline that sometimes requires hard work and dedication. In many school districts, the actual process of change is also being put on the back of the taxpayer. In one Virginia county the local school board spent $422,500 on a consultant to apply so-called Critical Race Theory (CRT) to a new program of instruction that will be mandatory for all employees and will serve as the framework for teaching the students. When schools eventually reopen, all kindergarteners, for example, will be taught “social justice” in a course designed by the controversial Southern Poverty Law Center and “diversity training” will be integrated in all other grade levels. Teaching reading, writing and arithmetic will take a back seat of “social justice.”

Critical Race Theory, which is being promoted as the framework for reorganizing the schools along lines of racial preferences, has been fairly criticized as it pretends to be an antidote to systemic racism but is itself racist in nature as it opposes a race neutral system that equally benefits everyone. It proposes that all of America’s governmental bodies and infrastructures are racist and supportive of “white supremacy” and must be deconstructed. It requires everything to be examined through a value system determined by identity politics and race and it views both whites and their institutions as hopelessly corrupted, if not evil.

Fortunately, some pushback to the Jacobins of political correctness is developing. Parents in many school districts are starting to attend school board meetings to register their opposition and even some school board members and teachers are refusing to cooperate. The teachers do so at risk of losing their jobs. At the elite Dalton private school in New York City parents have sent a letter to the Head of School Jim Best complaining how the newly introduced “anti-racist” curriculum has been gravely distorted by Critical Race Theory and the pursuit of “equity” to such an extent that it has included “a pessimistic and age-inappropriate litany of grievances in EVERY class. We have confused a progressive pedagogical model with progressive politics. Even for people who are sympathetic to that political viewpoint, the role of a school is not to indoctrinate politically. It’s to open the minds of children to the wonders of the world and learning. The Dalton we love, that has changed our lives, is nowhere to be found. And that is a huge loss.”

The letter also stated that “Every class this year has had an obsessive focus on race and identity, ‘racist cop’ reenactments in science, ‘decentering whiteness’ in art class, learning about white supremacy and sexuality in health class. Wildly age-inappropriate, many of these classes feel more akin to a Zoom corporate sensitivity training than to Dalton’s intellectually engaging curriculum.”

 
United States will punish ICC

Well, as usual, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has finally received authorization to proceed with the investigation of possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Israel-Palestine, to include both the Israel Defense Force (IDF) and also Hamas in Gaza. On February 5th ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced that her office is now studying the decision made to confirm ICC’s jurisdiction and would be “guided strictly by its independent and impartial mandate” to investigate and prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity. The ICC has already ruled in December 2019 that “war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip” but was waiting for confirmation that it had jurisdiction to proceed. Both the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) and armed groups including Hamas were named as possible perpetrators.

The bad news is that Bensouda has been replaced as the United States is already intervening in support of its best friend and closest ally in the whole world and will inevitably do all sorts of stupid things that do not serve its own interests when the Israeli tail starts wagging the American dog. Count on it. That has apparently already included pressure exerted both by Washington and Jerusalem behind closed doors to make Bensouda go. She was replaced last Friday by British human rights lawyer Karim Asad Ahmad Khan, who is expected to be more accommodating to Israel and might even decide not to proceed with the investigation.

There has also been some speculation that the ICC was waiting for Donald Trump to be gone as Trump and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had already more-or-less declared war on the ICC back in June 2020. The Trump White House had sanctioned key members of the court and had also blocked the travel to the U.S. by investigators associated with it. It threatened to arrest anyone who cooperated with the investigation. Washington also warned in the strongest terms that there would be “consequences” for any attempt by the court to investigate or punish Israel.

The Joe Biden White House clearly is on the same page on the issue, releasing the following State Department press statement on February 5th, immediately after the ICC decision became public: “Today, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a decision claiming jurisdiction in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, while expressly recognizing the serious legal and factual questions that surround its ability to do so. As we made clear when the Palestinians purported to join the Rome Statute in 2015, we do not believe the Palestinians qualify as a sovereign state, and therefore are not qualified to obtain membership as a state, or participate as a state in international organizations, entities, or conferences, including the ICC. We have serious concerns about the ICC’s attempts to exercise its jurisdiction over Israeli personnel. The United States has always taken the position that the court’s jurisdiction should be reserved for countries that consent to it, or that are referred by the UN Security Council.”

State Department Spokesman Ned Price provided additional commentary on the press release, saying “We will continue to uphold President Biden’s strong commitment to Israel and its security, including opposing actions that seek to target Israel unfairly.” Neither the U.S. nor Israel is a signatory to the Rome Statute that created the ICC. The argument Washington is using is essentially a legal one, at least at this point, that Palestine is not a “sovereign state” and that the ICC does not have jurisdiction over any county that is not a signatory. Both are, of course, debatable. Israel has also taken steps to prevent any investigation by the court on its soil, to include the occupied territories and it is not clear if Egypt will allow ICC investigators to enter Gaza from Sinai.

The initial issue that turned Washington against the court in 2018 was the concern that it would begin inquiries into possible U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan since 2003, where both avoidable deaths and torture have been well documented. The U.S. used at the time the argument that it was not a signatory to the ICC but, as Prosecutor Bensouda observed, one does not have to be a signatory to be investigated as the court was specifically set up by the Rome Statute in 2002 to inquire into atrocities where there had been no accountability, either because the local government had no ability to do so or chose not to investigate itself.

So, it is all a bit of a non-starter since Israel and friends are non-signatories and will not cooperate while the United States will be using all its resources to stop the process stillborn. But that is not exactly the way it might play out. If the court holds the Israeli government accountable for war and human rights crimes those countries in Europe and elsewhere that are signatories to the ICC might consider themselves obliged to honor arrest warrants naming senior Israeli government officials whenever they are traveling. Israel is predictably reported to be already seeking to make arrangements whereby it will be warned by “friends” in foreign chanceries whenever such warrants are issued.

And then there is the matter of Israel’s approval rating vis-à-vis the rest of the world, which is already low, hovering down at the bottom of the list together with the United States. To be sure, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu understands all that and has reacted sharply to the ICC decision to proceed. He said: “When the ICC investigates Israel for fake war crimes, this is pure anti-Semitism. The court established to prevent atrocities like the Nazi Holocaust against the Jewish people is now targeting the one state of the Jewish people. First, it outrageously claims that when Jews live in our homeland, this is a war crime. Second, it claims that when democratic Israel defend itself against terrorists who murder our children, rocket our cities, we’re committing another war crime. Yet the ICC refuses to investigate brutal dictatorships like Iran and Syria who commit horrific atrocities almost daily. As Prime Minister of Israel, I assure you, we will fight this perversion of justice with all our might.”

 
Biden Doubles Down on Some Bad Policies and Appointments

The prize for the truly awful story of the week goes to the appointment of AIPAC monster to head Pentagon planning for the Middle East.

The extension of the nuclear arms agreement between Russia and the United States and the decision to stop directly supporting the war on Yemen may have been the only good news items to come out of Washington last week. The really bad news came when President Joe Biden warned Russia that “the days of the United States rolling over in the face of Russia’s aggressive actions, interfering with our elections, cyber-attacks, poisoning its citizens, are over.” It was an empty threat full of innuendo that virtually guarantees four more years of Russiagate or something like it. It was an odd statement considering that it has been Washington doing all of the provoking during the Donald Trump administration, much of it instigated by Democrats who are still looking for a scapegoat for the defeat of Hillary in 2016.

The mainstream media hasn’t been reporting many second-tier stories because of the still playing out double impeachment saga combined with the lingering debate over who actually won the election. Whether Trump personally incited a riot or something worse depends on one’s point of view, but what is really sad to watch is the efforts being made by a “woke” Democratic Party leadership and a frenzied media to destroy Trump’s life and businesses even though he is no longer in office, a revenge scenario that goes well beyond previous political vendettas. Worse still, the attempts being made to render White House employees and Trump supporters unemployable or even try to send them to jail based on convoluted interpretations of legislation reflects a level of vindictiveness not seen since the Catiline Conspiracy in Republican Rome.

Well, the incident on January 6th wasn’t exactly a replay of the storming of the Bastille, but as it is all we have it will have to make do. Were those folks wandering around inside the Capitol Building tourists who had gotten separated from their tour guide or were they confused citizens from the Dakotas who had a couple of stamps remaining on their hunting licenses allowing them to bag a Democrat or two? They would have been better advised to set up a couple of feeder bait sites under the Rotunda loaded with Benjamins and the Congress-critters would have arrived in droves. And that guy who stole Nancy Pelosi’s podium only had to announce that he was holding a Black Lives Matter meeting and good old Nancy would have arrived tout suite on her knees with an African kente cloth stole draped around her neck. Alas, we may never know the truth about what actually happened on that fateful day, but the speculation will keep us going for months more.

There is a definite paucity of actual fact-based news that might make sense to a third grader, particularly given the decline in American public education, which now only teaches about the holocaust and racism. Consequently, I have fallen into the habit of saving links to stories during the week and then deciding on the weekend which are worthy of special recognition for being particularly ridiculous.

There were some really absurd articles last week. A particularly fascinating story describes what is going on at the Pentagon, which is frantically sneaking more soldiers into Syria and canceling any reduction in force in Afghanistan until the situation stabilizes, a policy move by Biden that reverses one of the few good things that Trump initiated. Unfortunately, the withdrawal from Afghanistan should take another twenty years or so to finish.

But the really interesting development is the new mission of the U.S. Army, which will soon be halting training and other bellicose activity to ease the transition into a full-time military force dedicated to making sure that everyone observes diversity. It is a long overdue move that the entire nation can be proud of, plus the U.S. will as a result be made safer from the Chinese, Iranian and Russian threats. The tricky part is identifying those soldiers who think racist thoughts, even if they never perform a racist act, because they are guilty of not conforming to “woke world.” They will have to be identified by special trained psychologists before being dishonorably discharged and made unemployable as they are not fit to mix with decent people.

Paul Kersey reports some of the details, how the “Pentagon [has ordered] a ‘stand down’ in [the] next 60 Days” to identify and address the problem of extremists in the military. It should be observed that soldiers who kill civilians are not the extremists in question because killing is what soldiers are supposed to do. It is instead “white people in the U.S. Military who display an insufficient loyalty to Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Tolerance. [They] are [the] domestic enemy, and unworthy as individual[s] of defending our nation against the only threat our elite have united to defeat: that, of course, being whiteness.”

And for those apostatizing white supremacist civilians who don’t want to get left out when the diversity train rolls into their town, the Democratic Party is looking into setting up Truth Commissions to make sure that anyone who ever entertained a racist thought or used the “N” word will not be missed.

Make no mistake, an army that really knows what is important is surely great news. It will be an excellent return on the taxpayers’ trillion dollars annual investment, particularly as the Constitution was written by a bunch of slave holders and is no longer worth swearing an oath of allegiance to. But perhaps of more interest to foreign policy wonks is what is going on in some of the other Pentagon offices dedicated to finding new enemies so there will always be a supply of wars to fight after everyone in Afghanistan and Syria is exterminated.

As telling other nations how to behave backed up by the 101st Airborne division has become a wonderful indoor board game in this age of Coronavirus-19, my favorite article for the past week has to be the news that Honest Joe Biden has appointed yet another Zionist harpy to his team of war planners in an apparent attempt to keep Nuland, Sherman, Haines, Rice, Power and Neuberger company. Her name is Dana Stroul and she will be running the Pentagon’s Middle East Desk, making her the senior policy official focused on that region. Indications are that her eagle eye will be fixed on those major malefactors Iran and Syria.

 
Neuberger will make our cyber secure?

It does not require any particularly perspicacity to realize that the President Joe Biden Administration has been loaded with Zionists who not only believe in their own vision for Greater Israel but also in some cases have strong and enduring ties to the Israeli government itself. The new Secretary of State Tony Blinken comes from an American Jewish family that has well established ties to Israel. Blinken’s paternal grandfather was one of the founders of an organization that eventually evolved into the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Blinken said at his Senate confirmation hearing that the new administration would “consult with Israel” before any possible return to the 2015 nuclear deal and he also made clear that there will be “additional conditions for Iran,” an odd position to take since it was the U.S. that withdrew from the agreement and introduced a harsh sanctions regime even though Iran was in compliance. More recently, Blinken claimed that Iran is weeks away from having the enriched uranium needed to make a nuclear weapon. Strangely enough, or perhaps not, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been making the same claim since the 1980s.

Joe Biden himself proclaims proudly that he is a Zionist and Vice President Kamala Harris has spoken at AIPAC gatherings, pledging her unconditional support for the Jewish state. Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer has proclaimed himself “shomer” or protector of Israel in the Senate while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that the “If this Capitol crumbled to the ground, the one thing that would remain would be our commitment to our aid, I don’t even call it our aid, our cooperation with Israel. That’s fundamental to who we are.” The House Majority Leader, the second ranking Democrat, Steny Hoyer has proudly led numerous Congressional delegations to Israel.

One has to suspect that many White House and Congressional friends of Israel are opportunists, knowledgeable of the fact that Zionism is career enhancing and equally aware that getting on the wrong side of “The Lobby” is a political death wish. Many politically astute senior officials meanwhile wind up by design in positions in the Department of State, CIA and National Security Council where they will be able to narrow foreign policy options in favor of the Jewish state. Under George W. Bush, folks like Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Doug Feith and Scooter Libby worked hard to infiltrate the Pentagon and White House and, having succeeded, the disastrous Iraq War was the result.

One might also recall the concurrent purge of the so-called “Arabists” in the State Department in the 1950s which has led to a domination of key foreign and national security positions relating to the Middle East by American Jews ever since. Indeed, the shift in priorities at State Department has been dramatic, with Foggy Bottom now housing an office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, allegedly because anti-Semitism is surging worldwide, apparently having nothing to do with how Israel and its supporters behave. The incumbent, Elan Carr, has recently been elevated to the rank of Ambassador-at-large and his office, as well as the Biden Administration, now insists that criticism of Israel is ipso facto anti-Semitism. So much for free speech in the new world order.

Once upon a time it was considered unwise to appoint senior officials who had personal ties to other countries lest it create a conflict of interest that would not ultimately be beneficial to either nation. In his often-cited Farewell Address of 1796, George Washington famously warned that “…permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular Nations, and passionate attachments for others should be excluded; and that in place of them just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The Nation, which indulges towards another an habitual hatred, or an habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest.”

If Washington were to see the foreign policy ruined by the Israel-centric federal government that has prevailed since the time of Ronald Reagan he would surely be at a loss to understand how that could possibly have developed. Donald Trump even intensified the pander by giving the Israelis gifts that they had not asked for and Joe Biden looks like he will do more of the same. When it comes to Israel, no concession or gift is ever enough.

The FBI, in the past, routinely denied security clearances to appointed officials who had close and enduring ties to other countries that were not part of NATO. Under Donald Trump, it was reported that his son-in-law Jared Kushner had been denied a top-level clearance in part due to his family’s close personal connection with Israel, to include its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is regarded as a family friend. Donald Trump ignored the recommendation and used his own authority to grant Kushner the clearance anyway.

The latest friend of Israel to rise to the top as Biden completes his appointments is one Anne Neuberger, who recently was named senior director for cyber policy on the National Security Council. Neuberger has spent the last decade at the National Security Agency, the Pentagon’s cyber spying arm, where she was recently appointed head of the newly created cybersecurity directorate. Her husband Yehuda meanwhile is chair of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Baltimore executive council. He reportedly lobbied ardent Zionist Senator Ben Cardin to oppose the 2015 Iran nuclear deal the Obama White House had negotiated. Cardin did vote against it in spite of it being strongly supported by his party leader President Barack Obama.

There is, not surprisingly, an additional back story to the tale. It goes something like this: NBC news published on January 27th an article claiming that a family foundation connected to Neuberger has donated $500,000 to AIPAC, which is the largest of the hundreds of Jewish organizations that are dedicated to advancing Israeli interests in the United States. AIPAC had in 2019 an annual budget of $133 million, assets of $157 million and 476 employees. It lobbies Congress heavily and is successful to the point where it actually writes legislation favorable to the Jewish State.

 

Pandering to Israel as part of the political process in the United States has become part of the DNA of both major parties.

The job of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations must have some kind of curse on it as it seems to attract a type of woman who seeks to prove her suitability by running up a tally of how many wars she can start and how many people she can kill. One recalls fondly Bill Clinton’s monstrous Madeleine Albright, who famously declared the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children as “worth it” due to the sanctions that Washington had imposed and enforced. And then there was Barack Obama’s darling Samantha Power, who was the spokesperson for the completely unnecessary slaughter of Syrians and Libyans to bring them democracy. And, most recently, we have had Nikki Haley, who didn’t start her own war but kept the ones ongoing during her watch on the boil while also taking on the task of being the most strident defender of Israel’s war crimes.

And now we have Honest Joe Biden’s nominee to be the U.N. ambassador, Linda Thomas-Greenfield. She is predictably black and is a career diplomat who ended up as head of the State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs. Upon retirement in 2017, she took a position, predictably, with the Albright Stonebridge Group in Washington. The Albright in the name comes from Madeleine and the Group is where many Democratic Party establishment foreign policy types wind up. Thomas-Greenfield might not be a drama queen like Nikki Haley or evil incarnate like Albright or Samantha Power, but she demonstrated in her confirmation hearing before the Senate that she knows the lines she has to speak as well as anyone in Washington.

Thomas-Greenfield dutifully spouted the usual cant relating to the Palestinians, which means that she did not mention them at all and is completely indifferent to the gross violations of their human rights by Israel. In response to several queries from legislators about how she would work to fend off international criticism against Israeli policies, she unleashed an attack against the non-violent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (B.D.S.) movement which criticizes Israel’s human rights record and urges people to support Palestinian rights by pressuring Israel’s economy through boycotts, divestment, and sanctions. It deliberately eschews violence or punishing ordinary Israelis for the actions of their government and it’s economic approach is a tactic that was used successfully against the apartheid South African regime in the 1980s.

One assumes that Thomas-Greenfield, as a black American diplomat who was active when South Africa adopted majority rule, is fully aware of the fact that Israeli apartheid backed by an army of occupation that does not hesitate to shoot to kill is more pervasive than the South African version ever was. She may even be aware that what Israel does is driven by racism and amounts to genocide. Nevertheless, she told the Senators “[B.D.S.] verges on anti-Semitic, and it’s important that they not be allowed to have a voice at the U.N., and I intend to work against that… I look forward to standing with Israel, standing against the unfair targeting of Israel, the relentless resolutions proposed against Israel unfairly.” In short, Thomas-Greenfield sounded more than a little like Nikki Haley, who used to amuse the U.N. General Assembly with her homilies in defense of the Jewish state that culminated in U.S. withdrawal from the Human Rights Council, refugee agency (UNRWA), and its cultural organization (UNESCO) over claims that they all had an anti-Israel bias.

There should be no question but that the friends of Israel constitute the most powerful foreign policy lobby. It’s ability to shift policy in its favor in unmatched by any other organization that promotes the interests of a foreign nation at the expense of the United States itself. No other nation comes close to having the power to actually write legislation that is then approved by Congress while also influencing decision making in the White House. No other country avoids accountability for its actions either among politicians or in the media to anywhere near the same extent as Israel. If anyone doubts that that is true, it is only necessary to review the recent confirmation hearings of Biden appointees, where foreign policy discussions are limited to bashing China and Russia followed almost immediately by the question “And what have you done for Israel lately?”

Politicians are quite aware that giving the wrong answer on Israel can be fatal for one’s career. In many congressional districts the training of lawmakers begins early, with representatives of the hundreds of Israel Lobby affiliates interviewing potential candidates on their views relating to the Jewish state. In many cases, attempts are made to get possible candidates to sign statements affirming that they hold the correct views on Israel versus its neighbors. The sensitivity towards Israeli and Jewish issues must continue after one is elected, resulting in questions in public fora like confirmation hearings. It never hurts to advertise one’s loyalty to Israel early and often.

Questions about Israel inevitably also came up in the Senate confirmation hearing for Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. Blinken is Jewish, a confirmed Zionist, and now heads a State Department where his deputy and political affairs chief are both Jewish women hardliners who basically share his views. Biden, Blinken and company advocate policies in the Middle East that are definitely pleasing to the Israeli government, such as de facto continuing a hard line with Iran.

In a press statement last year Blinken confirmed the outlines of the Biden Administration relationship with Israel as follows: “You can count on Joe Biden to make sure Israel has what it needs to defend itself, to honor the bipartisanship traditions of U.S. support for Israel, to safeguard, not put at risk, Israel’s future as a Jewish, and democratic state. Joe Biden has spoken out strongly and stood strongly against the B.D.S. movement. He’s also been very clear that he would not tie military assistance to Israel to things like annexation or other decisions by the Israeli government with which we might disagree.”

In other words, Israel has a free hand to do whatever it wants and there will be no pushback from the Biden White House in terms of the only thing that matters – the billions of dollars in “military assistance” the Jewish state receives each year. Oh, and Blinken surely realizes that while Israel is Jewish by law it is ipso facto hardly democratic.

Blinken’s apparent first telephone call to a Foreign Secretary counterpart was to Gabi Ashkenazi of Israel. Their warm and fuzzy exchange was tweeted, with Blinken enthusing “Great speaking with @Gabi_Ashkenazi today to discuss the steadfast partnership between the U.S. and Israel. Our commitment to Israel’s security is sacrosanct, and I look forward to working with the Foreign Minister and others toward our common goals.” Ashkenazi replied “I had a warm call with @secBlinken & affirmed Israel’s commitment to the robust Israeli-US strategic partnership. I welcomed very much the POTUS commitment to IL security.”

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: BDS Movement, Israel, Israel Lobby, Joe Biden 
Netanyahu tells Biden how to deal with Iran

Anyone who persists in believing that the United States is not Israel’s poodle should pay attention to the comedy that is playing out right now. Joe Biden was president for less than a week when the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu government announced that he would soon be receiving a possibly unwelcome visitor in the form of the Israeli foreign intelligence service Mossad’s chief Yossi Cohen, who will be flying to Washington in February to explain the correct policy when dealing with Iran. And lest there be any confusion on the issue, the Israel Defense Force chief of staff Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi also announced that any Biden attempt to mend fences with the Islamic Republic will have to meet certain conditions or Israel will exercise other options. He said “In light of this fundamental analysis, I have instructed the Israel Defense Forces to prepare a number of operational plans, in addition to those already in place. It will be up to the political leadership, of course, to decide on implementation but these plans need to be on the table.” Another government minister clarified that the options would include “an attack” on Iran, though there has been no indication whether or not Israel would possibly contemplate deploying its tactical nuclear weapons to prevent retaliation by Iranian forces.

There is no limit to Israeli hubris. A leading Rabbi in Israel is predicting that as the United States is in decline it is up to the Jewish state to take over the role of “guiding civilization forward.” And that kind of thinking shapes how Israel treats the United States with condescension, acting as if it is the knowledgeable elder statesman whose guidance must be respected. In this case the Zionist solution to the Iran problem will by design be unpalatable for the government in Tehran if it intends to remain sovereign. For Israel the correct policy for dealing with Iran is to effectively disarm it and make it impossible to establish any sphere of influence in the countries adjacent to it, to include Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. That would be to concede Israeli dominance over the entire region and if the Iranians do not play ball the next step would be to convince the United States to attack it on some pretext, possibly to include an Israeli “false flag” to start the process going.

The Times of Israel sums up the Israeli official position as “…Iran must halt the enriching of uranium; stop producing advanced centrifuges; cease supporting terror groups, foremost Lebanon’s Hezbollah; end its military presence in Iraq, Syria and Yemen; stop terror activity against Israeli targets overseas; and grant full access to the IAEA on all aspects of its nuclear program.” Completing the disarming of Iran would also include requiring Tehran to abandon its ballistic missile program.

The irony is, of course, that it is Israel that has a secret nuclear arsenal that it created by stealing uranium and triggers from the United States and it is also the leading regional supporter of terrorist groups, to include al-Qaeda and ISIS. Iran’s presence in Syria is due to its lending assistance to the Damascus government’s resistance to the insurgencies supported by Israel and the United States. And Iran has not targeted Israeli citizens and groups overseas, but Israel and the U.S. have assassinated Iranian officials while also bombing both government and civilian targets in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. And all of the kinetics occur in a context where Israel continues its illegal occupation of Palestine and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people replete with both war crimes and crimes against humanity. Iran is also a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Israel is not, so who is the rogue state?

Biden will likely fold like a cheap suit when confronted by the force majeure of Cohen. The new American president has assembled a national security team for dealing with the Middle East that is nearly all Jewish and all Zionist, an affliction that he himself claims to suffer from. The Biden nominee for secretary of state Tony Blinken said at a confirmation hearing last week that the new administration would “consult with Israel” before any possible return to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal and he also made clear that there would be additional conditions for Iran. It was an odd comment for a government official who is supposed to support American interests, but it was predictably what Congress wanted to hear. As Iran has already indicated that it is unwilling to abandon its defenses and its role in the region, the Biden proposal will be a non-starter in any case, though Israel will be prepared to apply its own veto if anything undertaken by the State Department moves beyond the talking stage.

Currently there is credible speculation that Israeli intelligence has been able to compromise most if not all of the U.S. government’s information systems as well as those of major corporations. As the Jewish state is the most active in spying against the United States, that should surprise no one. For Israel to interfere in U.S. politics or government blatantly is not exactly new, though it is rare to have anyone in the mainstream media or in government say anything about. That is because Israel’s ability to wage war against critics is second to none, having at its back nearly unlimited financial resources and easy access to the media as well as active supporters from among the nearly six hundred Jewish organizations that exist in the United States.

Indeed, Israel has been involved in American politics frequently, one might even argue incessantly, even if it is predictably never held accountable. To cite only one well known example, it has been suggested that Russiagate was really Israelgate based on what actually took place shortly after the 2016 election. The contact with Russia was set up by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was at the time seeking to kill an anti-Israeli vote in the United Nations. He sought to do so by lobbying Donald Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner on the matter shortly after the 2016 election. Netanyahu was particularly close to the Kushner family, having on at least one occasion slept overnight at their mansion in Manhattan.

 
What makes the current state of war against “terrorism” so dangerous is that the national security apparatus has...

President Joe Biden has already made it clear that legislation that will be used to combat what he refers to as “domestic terrorism” will be a top priority. That means that his inaugural speech pledge to be the president for “all Americans” appears to apply except for those who don’t agree with him. Former Barack Obama CIA Chief John Brennan, who is clearly in the loop on developments, puts it this way in a tweet where he describes how the new Administration’s spooks “are moving in laser-like fashion to try to uncover as much as they can about [the] insurgency” [that includes] “religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, nativists, even libertarians.”

The United States Constitution’s Bill of Rights, which includes freedom of speech and association, has been under siege for some time now. Government has always used its assumed powers conferred by a claimed state of emergency to deprive citizens of their rights. During the American Civil War Abraham Lincoln imprisoned critics of the conflict. Woodrow Wilson’s First World War administration brought in the Espionage Act, which has since been used to convict whistleblowers without having to present the level of evidence that would be required in a normal civil trial. During the Second World War, Franklin D. Roosevelt erected concentration camps that imprisoned Japanese Americans whose only crime consisted of being Japanese.

But perhaps the greatest attack on the Bill of Rights is more recent, the Patriot and Military Commissions Acts that were passed into law as a consequence of the “Global War on Terror” launched by President George W. Bush in the wake of 9/11. Together with the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which includes a court designed to speed up the warrant approval process, ordinary citizens found themselves on the receiving end of surveillance for which there was little or no justification in terms of probable cause. The FISA process was even notoriously abused in the national security apparatus attempt to derail the campaign of Donald Trump. The tools are in place for ever more government mischief and no one should doubt that the Democrats are just as capable of ignoring constitutional safeguards as the Republicans have been.

What makes the current state of war against “terrorism” so dangerous is that the national security apparatus has been politicized while the government has learned that labeling someone or some entity terrorist or even a “material supporter of terrorism” is infinitely elastic. That is precisely why Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has frequently called out opponents and attached to them the terrorist label, since it then permits other steps that might otherwise be challenged.

And there is also the fact that the playing field has changed since the First and Second World Wars. The government has technical capabilities that were never dreamed of in most of the twentieth century. Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers have demonstrated how the government routinely ignores constitutional limits on its ability to interfere in the lives of ordinary citizens. Not only that, it can monitor the lives of millions of Americans simultaneously, giving the police and intelligence agencies the power to mount “fishing expeditions” that literally invade the phones, computers and conversations of people who have not been guilty of any crime.

The authorizations that already exist will be further weaponized to go after dissidents as identified by the new regime. A bill introduced by House intelligence committee chair Adam Schiff “would take existing War on Terror legislation and simply amend it to say we can now do that within the U.S.” It would be combined with previous legislation, including former president Barack Obama’s infamous 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, which allows the military to indefinitely detain American citizens suspected of terrorism without a trial. Obama and Brennan also assumed an illegal and unconstitutional right to act as judge, jury and executioner-by-drone of American citizens overseas. Given those precedents, a bill like Schiff’s would free the national security community’s hands even more.

The new body of legislation would mean increased secret legal surveillance, suppression of free speech, indefinite incarceration without charges, torture, and even perhaps assassination. If it sounds like totalitarianism it should. There ought to be particular concern that the plan of the Biden Administration to go after so-called domestic terrorists will be this generation’s version of either Pearl Harbor or 9/11. The incident that took place at the Capitol Building on January 6th (already being referred to as 1/6 in some circles) has been exaggerated beyond all recognition and is now being regularly referred to as an “insurrection,” which it was not, by both politicians and the mainstream media. The language used to vilify what are alleged to be “right wing” and “white supremacist” enemies of the state is astonishing and the technology is keeping pace to turn the United States and other countries into police states to ensure that citizens will do the bidding of government.

To cite only one example of how technology can drive the process, Biden has several times threatened to initiate and enforce something like a nationwide lockdown to defeat the coronavirus. Can he do it? Yes, the tools are already in place. Facial recognition technology is highly developed and deployable in the numerous surveillance cameras that are being installed. Wrist bands are being developed overseas that are designed to compel compliance with government dictates on pandemic measures enforcement. If you have been told to stay home and are instead walking the dog your wrist band will tell the police and they will find and arrest you.

And, as the old saying goes, the Revolution is already beginning to devour its own children. Universities and schools are insisting that teachers actively support both publicly and privately the new “equity and diversity” order while police departments are purging themselves of officers suspected of being associated with conservative groups, meaning that something like a loyalty test might soon become common. Recently the Defense Department has begun intensive monitoring of the social media of military personnel to identify dissenters, as is already done in some large companies with their employees. The new Director of National Intelligence hardliner Avril Haines has already confirmed that her agency will participate in a public threat assessment of QAnon, which she has described as America’s Greatest Threat.

 
Another disgraceful performance from “Israel’s president”

One keeps hearing that former President Donald Trump will be judged well by the history books because he was the only American head of state in recent memory who did not start any new wars. Well, the claim is itself questionable as Jimmy Carter, for all his faults, managed to avoid entering into any new armed conflict, and Trump can hardly be described as a president who eschewed throwing his weight around, both literally and figuratively. He attacked Syria on two occasions based on fabricated intelligence, assassinated an Iranian general, withdrew from several arms and proliferation agreements, and has been waging economic warfare against Iran, Syria, Venezuela and Iraq. He has sanctioned individuals and organizations in both China and Russia and has declared Iranian government components and Yemeni Houthi rebels to be terrorists. He has occupied Syria’s oil producing region to “protect it from terrorists” and has generally exerted “maximum pressure” against his “enemies” in the Middle East.

So no, Donald Trump is no antiwar activist. But Trump’s most pervasive foreign policy initiatives have involved Israel, encouraging the Jewish state’s attacks on Palestinian, Iranian, Lebanese and Syrian targets with impunity, killing thousands of civilians on his watch. Trump has given Israel everything it could possibly ask for, with no consideration for what the U.S. interests might actually be. The only thing he did not do for the Jewish state was to attack and destroy Iran, and even there, reports suggest that he sought to do just that in the waning days of his administration but was talked out of it by his cabinet.

Trump’s pander to Israel started out with withdrawing from the nuclear monitoring agreement with Iran, followed by his shutting down the Palestinian offices in the United States, halting U.S. contributions for Palestinian humanitarian relief, moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Syrian Golan Heights, giving a green light for Israel to do whatever it wishes on the formerly Palestinian West Bank, and, finally permitting paroled former Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard to go “home” to Israel where he received a hero’s welcome. Trump, to be sure, was aided in his disloyalty to his own country by former bankruptcy lawyer Ambassador David Friedman in place in Israel, an ardent Zionist and a cheerleader for whatever atrocities Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to commit. Couple that with a Congress that gives billions of dollars to Israel annually while bleating that the Jewish state has a “right to defend itself” and a media that self-censors all the human rights violations and war crimes that Netanyahu unleashes, and you have a perfect love fest for Israel expressed daily throughout the United States.

But even given all that, Trump the panderer clearly wanted to give one last gift to Israel, and he saved it for his last day in office, when he issued more than 140 pardons and commutations. Though other presidents have issued controversial pardons, no other head of state has so abused the clemency authority to benefit not only friends and acquaintances but also celebrity defendants including rappers, some advocated by the likes of the Kardashians, and also those promoted by monied interests. Most of the pardons went to cronies and to supplicants who were willing to pay in cash or in kind to be set free. It was suggested that Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner was engaged in the selection process and money was often a key element. Some might describe that as corruption.

Those of us in the actual antiwar plus anti-surveillance-state movement had been hoping that Trump would actually do something good at no cost to himself, pardoning whistleblowers Edward Snowden, John Kiriakou, Reality Winner, and Chelsea Manning as well as journalist Julian Assange. Kiriakou has reported that when he petitioned for a pardon through one of Trump lawyer Rudi Giuliani’s aides, he was told that such an arrangement would cost $2 million.

Bribes for pardons aside, it would have cost Trump nothing to pardon the whistleblowers and it would be a vindication of those who had put themselves at risk to attack the machinations of the Deep State, which Trump had blamed for the coordinated attacks against himself. This was his relatively cost-free chance to get revenge. Admittedly, there is speculation that Senator Mitch McConnell may have warned Trump against pardoning Julian Assange in particular, threatening to come up with enough GOP votes to convict him in his upcoming impeachment trial if he were to do so. Be that as it may, not a single whistleblower was pardoned though there was room on the ship for plenty of heinous white collar criminals. Former Dr. Salomon Melgen, for example, had his sentence commuted. Melgen, a close friend of the seriously corrupt Senator from New Jersey Robert Menendez got into trouble in 2009 when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) discovered that he had overbilled Medicare for $8.9 million for a drug called Lucentis. Two years later Melgen’s business was hit with a $11 million lien from the IRS and four years after that he was charged and convicted over more than 76 counts of health care fraud and making false statements.

Some of those pardoned had Jewish organizations going to bat for them. Elliott Broidy, former finance chair of the Republican National Committee, had no less than five Rabbis vouching for him. Last year Broidy had pleaded guilty to acting as an “unregistered foreign agent,” part of a larger investigation into the Malaysian “1MDB Scandal” in which Prime Minister Najib Razak stole more than $700 million dollars from his country’s state-run 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Broidy worked on behalf of Razak and was offered $75 million if he could get the U.S. Justice Department to drop its own investigation into the scandal.

Another clemency beneficiary who exploited his Jewish links was Philip Esformes, a former nursing home executive who executed one of the biggest Medicare frauds in U.S. history. Just days after being released after serving four years of his 20-year sentence, Esformes celebrated his daughter’s wedding in a lavish party held at his multi-million dollar Florida home. He benefited from a lobbying campaign by the Hasidic Chabad-Lubavitch Aleph Institute, a group advised by the ubiquitous former Trump lawyer Alan Dershowitz. The movement reportedly has connections to Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner.

 
Philip Giraldi
About Philip Giraldi

Phil Giraldi is a former CIA Case Officer and Army Intelligence Officer who spent twenty years overseas in Europe and the Middle East working terrorism cases. He holds a BA with honors from the University of Chicago and an MA and PhD in Modern History from the University of London. In addition to TAC, where he has been a contributing editor for nine years, he writes regularly for Antiwar.com. He is currently Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest and resides with his wife of 32 years in Virginia horse country close to his daughters and grandchildren.


Personal Classics
Shouldn't they recuse themselves when dealing with the Middle East?
A Modern Guernica Enabled by Washington
Pressuring Candidates Even Before They Are Nominated
But is it even a friend?
The gagged whistleblower goes on the record.
Today’s CIA serves contractors and bureaucrats—not the nation.