Find out why New Zealand’s Trevor Loudon changed my thinking about almost every political event in America since 1920’s. How can so many of our best and brightest leaders in politics, business, media, and academics be so wrong about so often wrong about so many things?
Loudon reminds of facts we all once knew but forgot, because few people mention them today. He gives new information, including secret documents that were briefly made public in Russia before Vladimir Putin took control. He leads to conclusions which are both astonishing–and logical.
Loudon will speak at two area events Saturday, July 25. First breakfast with Trevor at 9:30 am (Shore Diner, Tilton & Fire Roads by Parkway Exit 36 in Egg Harbor Twp.) $10 additional cover over regular menu price to defray expenses.
Then, 6 pm catered reception/dinner with the author at beachblock home of one of our members near Plaza Condo (4600 Block) in Atlantic City. 100 donation for dinner/reception. Attendance at dinner deliberately limited to encourage one-on-one conversations with the author.
Loudon’s latest book “Barack Obama and the Enemies Within” explains how a small group of radicals changed politics of his native New Zealand in 1980’s by joining, and gradually taking over influential mainstream organizations. He describes how same tactics by similar groups are fundamentally transforming America today.
The mainstream media appear eager to distract from the substantive issues raised by the email scandals continuing to plague Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. One example is the media’s focus on the timeline surrounding a Select Committee on Benghazi subpoena for her emails, and when those emails were deleted. As I recently argued, the media wish that these stories about Mrs. Clinton were not true. Most reporters cannot fathom, or will not acknowledge, that she routinely lies to the public about her activities—and those of the Clinton Foundation—while stonewalling both the press and the public.
The repeated revelations that Mrs. Clinton has been lying are apparently affecting her standing in the polls. Politico is now reporting that in the past couple of months she has dropped from having the support of 60% of Democrats, to now having just 51%. And that is before Vice President Joe Biden enters the race, which many signs indicate may happen in the not-too-distant future.
Ron Fournier of The National Journal captured the sentiment of many journalists in his recent letter to Mrs. Clinton, which, he writes, is based on interviews with those who are close to her. “Which brings us to the matter of trust,” he writes in their voice. “Hillary, this makes us want to cry. We can’t figure out why you would compromise the most important commodity of leadership over such banalities.” Fournier continues on to discuss the Clinton Foundation’s inexcusable conflicts of interest and the email scandal.
But while, according to Fournier, some of Clinton’s supporters may have decided that Mrs. Clinton is her own main obstacle to gaining the presidency, the media continue to attempt to salvage her campaign by whatever means possible. Andy McCarthy, writing for National Review, said that “when Benghazi came up in a one-on-one media interview setting, CNN couldn’t bring itself to call Mrs. Clinton on an obvious lie.”
“Plus, it was [Brianna] Keilar who brought up the subject of the subpoena, so one has to assume she did a modicum of research—which is all it would have taken to be ready to challenge Clinton’s false assertion,” writes McCarthy. “Yet, in the context of being asked about her destruction of emails from her private server, Clinton was permitted to tell the public she had not been subpoenaed. …she was able to frame suspicions that she has willfully obstructed probes of the Benghazi Massacre as outlandish.”
The Washington Post’s fact-checker Glenn Kessler awarded Mrs. Clinton three Pinocchios for stating on CNN that “Everything I did was permitted by law and regulation.” However, like so many in the media, Kessler focused on minutiae, the technical details of whether government regulations permitted Mrs. Clinton to use private email exclusively.
The real implications of Clinton’s email scandal are not whether government regulations allowed her to use her own private email account, exclusively or otherwise. Rather, Mrs. Clinton’s actions demonstrate that she unilaterally flouted a transparency process designed to provide the public with the ability to hold her accountable for her work as Secretary of State. In the process, she jeopardized national security and may have hidden pay-for-play schemes involving the Clinton Foundation. Plus, in light of the recent revelations about the cyber-hacking of the government’s Office of Personnel Management, it is very likely that the Chinese or the Russians, or both, have possession of every one of Mrs. Clinton’s emails.
The UK Guardian writes that Cherie Blair’s emails to Mrs. Clinton show that Mrs. Blair, the wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, “appears to be acting directly as a fixer for the Qatari ruling dynasty.”
“Three years after the successful lobbying effort a Qatari-government backed telecommunications [firm] donated an undisclosed amount to Mrs. Blair’s own charity for women,” reports Raf Sanchez for The UK Telegraph.
“Meanwhile, the Qatari government was also giving millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation, Bill Clinton’s global charity,” writes Sanchez. “Charity records show that Qatar gave between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation while the controversial committee behind Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid donated up to $500,000 further.”
“She solicits Sid Blumenthal for advice, and not just on Libya,” continued Rubin. An August 9, 2009 email from Blumenthal appears to pass along a suggestion for a Clinton Global Initiative forum by Shaun Woodward, UK Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Blumenthal writes that he has already gotten Bill Clinton’s approval, and asks Hillary to “let me know how to move this forward.”
Blumenthal received $10,000 a month from the Clinton Foundation starting that year.
A couple of months earlier Blumenthal writes regarding Woodward that “he told me things you would in my judgment want and need to hear because they will likely involve your personal role.”
“I think you should step in and ask him to tell you directly,” Blumenthal continues.
“I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email,” Mrs. Clinton told the press this spring.
To the contrary, at least 25 of the emails that Mrs. Clinton did not delete have been upgraded to classified status by the State Department.
While technically that may not constitute having sent or received classified information through the personal email server located at her home in Chappaqua, New York, it does reveal that she certainly trafficked in sensitive information. We also learned recently that she had edited some of the emails that were handed over to the State Department, long past due. And she hadn’t handed over other emails that were clearly State Department-related business, though she had claimed that she had. That was discovered through the additional emails Blumenthal provided to the Select Committee on Benghazi when he testified before the Committee last month.
In addition, Mrs. Clinton has publicly acknowledged having self-selected and deleted approximately 30,000 emails that she deemed personal, and had the server wiped clean so that it could not be independently verified that they all were, in fact, personal. Who wouldn’t trust Hillary?
It’s impossible to know what information has been withheld by the State Department. However, here are just a couple of topics discussed in those emails containing now-classified information:
Discussions with family members of journalists detained in North Korea; and
A readout from a call with Tony Blair while he was still representing the Quartet, which mediates the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Mrs. Clinton’s ongoing efforts at deception have become so commonplace that perhaps reporters don’t believe that her lies and conflicts of interest deserve regular front-page treatment. Instead they write articles about how the GOP is trying to “vilify” her using her own falsehoods. The drive-by media may be disappointed in their attempts to save Hillary because the slow drip, drip release of her emails will repeatedly force them to confront these real issues, like it or not.
Official the Joint Plan of Action with Iran is now complete with several items considered just housekeeping matters are still to be worked out. The Parchin plant MAY have allowed inspections while the other locations are off limits. The Fordo plant continues the enrichment work and Bashir al Assad is dancing at Disney. (sarcasm)
It is unclear if the UK Parliament or France votes on the JPOA but it is likely to occur. China and Russia stand with Iran especially on the arms embargo and sanction relief side.
As the Senate wraps up debate this week on Iran legislation, expect to hear a lot about “hardliners.”
The Senate’s alleged hardliners have tried to add conditions to a nuclear deal the U.S. is currently negotiating with Iranian moderates, but there is little chance the senators will succeed. The majority leader, Mitch McConnell, is expected to call for an end to debate on their meddling amendments.
President Obama views the politics of the Iran deal in these terms himself. Back in March when Senator Tom Cotton and 46 other Republicans sent a letter to Iran’s leaders, reminding them that any deal signed with Obama could be reversed by Congress or future presidents, the president played the hardliner card: “I think it’s somewhat ironic to see some members for Congress wanting to make common cause with the hardliners in Iran.”
There is definitely a political logic to pinning this “hardliner” label on the senators. The White House can artfully shift the conversation away from the contents of the deal it is negotiating. Instead the debate is framed as the Americans and Iranians who seek peace (moderates) versus those in both nations who want war (hardliners).
It’s simple, but deceptive. This tactic understates the power of Iran’s hardliners and dramatically overstates the power of U.S. hardliners.
In Iran, the people inside the system who are negotiating a deal, such as Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, must take the agreement to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, for approval. In Iran, the hardliner approves the deal.
In the U.S. system it’s the other way around. Senators like Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton and Ted Cruz support amendments that would set new conditions before lifting Congressional sanctions on Iran. But there are not enough votes in the Senate to overturn an Obama veto on the legislation if these amendments are attached. In other words, Obama frames the conversation in the U.S., because he has the power to ignore his hardliners whereas Zarif is obliged to placate his.
Then there is the substance of the amendments themselves. Democrats and Republicans have derided certain Republicans’ amendments to the bill as “poison pills,” aimed at making a deal with Iran impossible. But these amendments would require Iran to end its war against its neighbors, release U.S. citizens who have been jailed and recognize the right of the world’s only Jewish state to exist. Outside the context of Iran negotiations, these are hardly radical views. Obama has expressed support for these positions himself.
Compare those demands with those of the Iranian hardliners. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, the chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces on Sunday reiterated the red line that no military installations would be accessible for international inspections. This would pose a problem, given that the U.S. and other great powers have agreed to allow Iran to keep most of its nuclear infrastructure in exchange for tough inspections. The Iranian hardliners appear to be putting back in play something Obama’s team believed was already agreed.
The most important distinction between Iran’s hardliners and America’s hardliners however is their political legitimacy. Iran’s people have supported reform, but nonetheless the country’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and domestic spy agency have tightened the grip on power despite elections when reformers won the presidency.
Contrast their ascent with the plight of Iran’s moderates: In 1997, Iranians elected a reformer president, Mohammed Khatami, who promised to open up Iran’s political system. But throughout his presidency he was unable to stop the arrests of student activists or the shuttering of opposition newspapers. By the end of Khatami’s presidency, some of his closest advisers were tried in public for charges tantamount to treason. In 2013, Iranians elected Hassan Rouhani, who ran as a reformer even though under Khatami he had overseen crackdowns on reformers. Rouhani has not freed the leaders of the 2009 green movement from house arrest or most of the activists who protested elections in 2009.
When Obama talks about his Iran negotiations, he glosses over all of this. He emphasizes instead that Rouhani has a mandate to negotiate and that he is taking advantage of this diplomatic window.
Obama had threatened to veto legislation that would give Congress a chance to review, but not modify, any agreement the administration reaches with Iran and five other world powers. Now the president says he will sign the legislation, but only if it doesn’t include the kinds of amendments favored by the so-called hardliners. After all, those amendments are unacceptable to the hardliners who actually have sway — in Iran.
Now, the movement behind the machine is something called ‘The Agency’ which is a location in St. Petersberg, Russia called the Internet Research Agency.
From DenisonForum: The Agency’s origins can be traced to the 2011 anti-government protests, organized because of the growing evidence of fraud in the Parliamentary elections that year. The protests had been organized largely via Facebook, Twitter, and LiveJournal and the government wanted to ensure that similar protests were far more difficult to put together in the future. So the next year, Vyascheslav Volodin was named the new deputy head of Putin’s administration and given the task of gaining better control over the internet. In addition to starting the Agency, laws were passed that required bloggers to register with thestate and the government was allowed to censor websites without a court order. Putin justified the new laws “by calling the Internet a ‘C.I.A. project,’ one that Russia needed to be protected from.”
The full background investigation on the Internet Research Agency, or rather the Kremlin troll factory is found here.
For the software and internet geeks out there, below is the proof of the machine where evidence was peeled back by using open source analytic tools.
From Global Voices Online: In April of this year, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the Guardian reported on the website вштабе.рф, a large photo gallery of pro-Russian memes and “demotivator” graphics. Most of these crude caricatures ridicule US, Western, and Ukrainian leaders, whilst portraying Vladimir Putin as strong and heroic.
The site gives no credit or attribution for its design, and offers no indication as to who might be behind it. Intrigued by this anonymity, I used Maltego open-source intelligence software to gather any publicly-available information that might provide clues.
The Secrets of Google Analytics
My use of Maltego revealed that the site was running Google Analytics, a commonly used online analytics tool that allows a website owner to gather statistics on visitors, such as their country, browser, and operating system. For convenience, multiple sites can be managed under a single Google analytics account. This account has a unique identifying “UA” number, contained in the Analytics script embedded in the website’s code. Google provides a detailed guide to the system’s structure.
Whilst investigating the network of sites tied to account UA-53176102, I discovered that one, news-region.ru, had also been linked to a second Analytics account: UA-53159797 (archive).
This number, in turn, was associated with a further cluster of nineteen pro-Kremlin websites. Subsequent examinations of these webpages revealed three more Analytics accounts, with additional sites connected to them. Below is a network diagram of the relationships I have established to date.
The story of Russia’s El Presidente for Life (apparently), Vladimir Putin, is intriguing, to say the least. For over 15 years, Vladimir Putin has been the de facto supreme leader of the Russian Federation.
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has been the President of Russia since 7 May 2012, succeeding Dmitry Medvedev. Putin previously served as President from 2000 to 2008, and as Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2012.
The people (i.e. “the family”) behind Putin’s rise to power remain in the shadows, and are a mystery to many.
At around the 43:30 min. mark is a clip of Vladimir Putin stating he will ask the Duma to “reinstate Aleksandrov’s music”—meaning, he asked the Russian Parliament to reinstate the national anthem of the Soviet Union, originally written for Josef Stalin.
One Russian political party that put its support behind Putin was known as the “Fatherland” party. An interesting twist (i.e. dialectic), considering the “former” Soviet Union has long been known as the “Motherland.”
[OBP] was formed from the movement Fatherland, chaired by the Mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, and the movement All Russia, chaired by regional Presidents of the Republics of Tatarstan, Mintimer Shaimiev, of Bashkortostan, Murtaza Rakhimov, of Ingushetia, Ruslan Aushev, and the Governor of St. Petersburg, Vladimir Yakovlev. In his founding Congress, that took place on 28 August 1999, their first chairman elected were Yevgeny Primakov and Yury Luzhkov.
The party took part in the 1999 State Duma election, being led by Yevgeny Primakov, Yury Luzhkov and Vladimir Yakovlev. During the pre-election debates, the block suffered from ‘black public relations’ campaign in Boris Berezovsky-controlled media and competition with the rival conservative Unity Party of Russia. ‘Fatherland’ supported the election of Vladimir Putin as President of Russia in 2000.
In 1 December 2001 a joint congress of rival party Unity and Fatherland-All Russia decided to merge both parties into a single new political party, United Russia. In the IV Congress of Fatherland, at 9 April 2002, it was decided to disband the organization.
Who would’ve ever thunk that the gay rights movement and the “Fatherland” have something in common?
Well, if anything, it makes for a colorful tale … does it not?