Friday, October 28, 2016

They Knew: The End of the Clinton Lies Begins - Daniel Greenfield




by Daniel Greenfield

There’s only one lie left.

During Hillary Clinton’s first presidential campaign, Neera Tanden was described as “the wonk behind Hillary.” A close associate of the Clintons, Tanden helped shape policy for both Bill and Hillary. Then she switched to playing that role for Obama. 

While Hillary’s email scandal broke, Tanden was in charge of the Center for American Progress, a radical left-wing group that had been described as "Obama's Idea Factory." And she was chatting with John Podesta, the top Clintonite who had founded CAP. Podesta had co-chaired the Obama-Biden Transition Project. Neera Tanden would co-chair the Hillary-Kaine Transition Project under Podesta who headed up Hillary’s presidential campaign. Podesta had helped shape the last eight years of national politics through Obama and Tanden looked forward to shaping the next eight under Hillary.

And what did they think of Hillary? Did they believe their defenses of her wrongdoing?

Podesta and Tanden ridiculed her associates for the cover-up. “Why didn’t they get this stuff out like 18 months ago? So crazy,” she wondered. “Unbelievable,” Podesta wrote. “They wanted to get away with it.”

Since the early days of the email scandal, we’ve been treated to the sordid rituals of feigned innocence. The issue was a non-issue, Clinton surrogates were quick to assure us. And even if it was, no one did anything wrong. The flies on the wall knew better though and now we can all be the flies on the wall.

Away from the cameras and the briefings, the Clintonites held their bosses in contempt. Neera Tanden, a supposed close associate of Hillary, blasted her instincts as “suboptimal” and described her as suffering from a character problem.  And there was never any doubt as to what was going on.

Tanden ridiculed Cheryl Mills for the mess. Mills fired off an email to Podesta warning that Obama’s denial wouldn’t hold up. “We need to clean this up -- he has emails from her -- they do not say state.gov,” she warned. 

Obama had offered his usual denial claiming to have only learned about the scandal from the media. The revelation that Hillary had emailed Obama from her illegal address would show that he had lied. But meanwhile his people struggled to reinvent his lie by claiming that while he knew about her illegal address, he didn’t know that it was illegal. This put his lie in line with Hillary’s lie. 

There was only one problem.

When in doubt, the Clintons take refuge in the final lie that you may be able to prove that they did wrong, but not that they meant to do wrong. That was Hillary’s final email defense to the FBI. Spliced with claims of memory loss due to a concussion was that old Sergeant Schultz favorite, “I know nothing.”

But that defense completely falls apart once you prove that they did know. That is what the leaked emails have begun doing. They are establishing that the Sergeant Schultz defense is utterly hollow.

Cheryl Mills knew. John Podesta knew. Barack Obama knew. And Hillary Clinton knew.

When Obama told a lie that could easily be disproven while trying to distance himself from Hillary, Mills quickly fired off a warning that he had better get his story straight. And his people did. That makes Obama complicit before and after the fact. He knew what Hillary was doing when she was doing it. And his people participated in the effort to cover it up afterward, not just to protect her, but to protect him.


Hillary Clinton was not a rogue actor. She was part of an administration that had waged a war on transparency. Even media allies had dubbed it as the least transparent administration in history. 

Lies, censorship and targeting whistleblowers were the norm for Obama Inc. A New York Times reporter dubbed it, “The greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation.” The Washington Post noted that the, “Obama administration routinely makes a mockery of its long-ago pledge to establish itself as the most transparent administration in U.S. history.” The AP pointed out that it, “more often than ever censored government files or outright denied access to them.”

Bizarre administration email dodges included EPA boss Lisa Jackson using Richard Windsor as her alias. Jackson/Windsor left the EPA and took a seat on the board of the Clinton Foundation. 

Tanden and Podesta didn’t take issue with Hillary Clinton breaking the law, but with her clumsy political instincts, her inability to fake sincere apologies and spin scandals as smoothly as Obama. Hillary’s biggest flaw in their eyes was her clumsiness at covering up acts that were routine in in Obamaworld. They didn’t despise her because she broke the law, but because she was bad at it.

That made her a threat to their political futures. 

Hillary’s clumsy instincts led her to the point of having to admit what she did while denying having intended to do it. Motive is simultaneously the strongest and weakest defense. You can prove what someone else did, but it is hard to prove what someone else meant to do.

Unless you have their emails.

This is Hillary’s firewall. It’s what every painful trickle of the scandal was meant to drag out and delay. Every partial revelation is buying time while bringing us closer to the final breach in the motive wall.

What the Podesta emails tell us is that they knew. Those around Hillary knew. And those around them knew that the inner circle knew. They knew and they hated Hillary for being a bad liar. And now, as the inside drama of Clintonworld spills across the internet, the red queen moves closer to being in check.

By making it all about motive, Hillary Clinton turned personal communications, particularly emails, into the key instrument of culpability. That is why Podesta’s emails are such a hot commodity. It’s why her emails are becoming an even bigger prize. 

Neera Tanden was right. Hillary Clinton’s political instincts are suboptimal. She is the member of the Obama graduating class voted least likely to be able to lie convincingly on national television. And she has a perverse knack for dragging everyone around her into her scandals while exposing their own.

We know that her people knew that she lied. We know that Obama lied. All that’s left is her final lie.


Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/264628/they-knew-end-clinton-lies-begins-daniel-greenfield

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Trump adviser: 'Settlements' aren't illegal - Ben Ariel




by Ben Ariel

David Friedman, Republican candidate's adviser on Israel, says Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria are not illegal.



David Friedman
David Friedman
Credit: INN:DF
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's adviser on Israel said on Wednesday that Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are not illegal and he believes the candidate agrees with him.

Speaking to AFP after a rally in support of Trump in Jerusalem, the adviser, David Friedman, said the U.S. presidential candidate was "tremendously skeptical" about the prospects for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Asked whether Trump viewed Judea and Samaria as part of Israel, Friedman did not answer directly but did tell the news agency, "I don't think he believes that the settlements are illegal.”

The Levy Report, an objective and thorough analysis of the status of Judea and Samaria Jewish communities by a committee of experts led by Israeli Supreme Court Judge Edmond Levy, concluded unequivocally that the "settlements" are legal. It has not been adopted by the Netanyahu government for fear of international reaction.

Friedman reiterated in the interview that Trump would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the U.S. embassy there, thus breaking with decades of precedent.

Friedman, who has expressed support for Israel several times in the past, on Tuesday gave an interview to Israel's Channel 2 News in which he rejected claims that Trump's supporters were anti-Semitic or anti-Israel, suggesting that those who think so – should look to the left.

His comments on Judea and Samaria are in line with comments he made in previous interviews. In May, Friedman told Arutz Sheva in an exclusive interview that Trump believes “that Israel should continue to build settlements. This is land that Israel has held for almost 50 years. The population of Judea and Samaria is 400,000 people. You add in East Jerusalem you have almost a million people. These people aren’t going anywhere and Israel’s not going to make the same mistake that it made in connection with the evacuation of Gaza.”

In another interview with Haaretz, Friedman said that as president, Trump could support Israel annexing parts of Judea and Samaria.

At Wednesday's rally in Jerusalem, a brief video message from Trump of about one minute was played.

"Together we will stand up to the enemies like Iran, bent on destroying Israel and her people," Trump said. "Together we will make America and Israel safe again."


Ben Ariel

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/219410

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PA Kids’ Drawings: Israel Drinks Blood of Palestinians - Itamar Marcus




by Itamar Marcus


How Palestinians are training their next generation of "peacemakers."



Reprinted from Palestinian Media Watch

Fatah has posted several children's drawings on Facebook. The drawings clearly show the success of PA and Fatah brainwashing children to believe that Israel only seeks to harm them, violence is good and that all of Israel really is "Palestine."

Labeling the drawings "innocent drawings" that "express the feelings of children of #Palestine," Fatah posted the drawing above showing Israel, as indicated by a Star of David, eating a Palestinian body wrapped in the Palestinian flag. Blood is seen coming from the body, and a glass of blood is next to the plate.

Another drawing by a Palestinian child showed a crucified woman wearing the colors of the Palestinian flag, with her body in the shape of the PA map of "Palestine" that presents all of Israel as "Palestine" together with the PA areas. The crucifixion also repeats the analogy that Palestinians are Martyr victims like Jesus.

Yet other drawings showed support for violence as legitimate means of Palestinian opposition to Israel. One child drew a Palestinian with a slingshot, another drew a hand with a rifle (see below). These drawings echo the PA and Fatah's encouragement of the use of violence against Israel and their glorification of terrorists as heroes. Palestinian Media Watch documented that summer camps organized by the PA Ministry of Education and the PLO educated children to see terrorist stabbers as role models.



Other drawings repeated the world view that all of Israel is "Palestine," showing the PA map of "Palestine" which completely erases the existence of Israel and its legitimacy (see below).

This message is repeated endlessly by the PA and Fatah. Children are told that "it will all return to us" on kids' TV programs. The PA National Security Forces regularly post photos from all over Israel presenting the places as "Palestine," and even crossword puzzles portray Israeli cities as "occupied Palestine."



The PA's exploitation of Palestinian children's innocence is precisely what PMW has been highlighting and warning about for years.

The PA and Fatah repeatedly demonize Israel as a monster whose only intention is to harm Palestinians. Israel is "Satan with a tail" on PA TV children's programs and "Satan's project" fighting "Allah's project" in sermons delivered by Mahmoud Abbas' advisor.

Similarly, Palestinian terrorist murderers are being portrayed as innocent victims of alleged Israeli "executions."

A few of the drawings included doves, some calling for "peace and freedom." A major focus of Palestinian Authority policy today is to demand freedom for all imprisoned Palestinian terrorists including murderers. One drawing specifies "Freedom for Ahmad Manasrah" - a child terrorist who stabbed and critically wounded two Israelis, one of them a 13-year-old boy.


Text: "Freedom for Ahmad Manasrah"
 Text on flag: "Palestine". 
Text below states the name of the school: 
"Al-Janiah High School for Boys and Girls"
The PA and Fatah's indoctrination of children to hate and violence, including their naming schools and sporting events after terrorists, perpetuate the conflict and are one of the greatest impediments to peace.


Itamar Marcus

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/264621/pa-kids-drawings-israel-drinks-blood-palestinians-itamar-marcus

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Palestinians: Jihadi-Style Child Abuse - Khaled Abu Toameh




by Khaled Abu Toameh

What is the world prepared to do in order to combat this child abuse? UNICEF and other international bodies may not have time to deal with such issues at present, because they are too busy thinking about the next resolution to condemn Israel.

  • Children in this world do not dream about becoming doctors, pilots or engineers; an entire generation of Palestinians, particularly those in the Gaza Strip, has been raised on the glorification of suicide bombers and anyone who kills a Jew.
  • Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other radical groups see children as future "soldiers" in the war to eliminate Israel. They raise children to regard suicide bombers and jihadis as role models.
  • This form of child abuse does not seem to bother human rights organizations or UNICEF, whose declared goal is to "work for a world in which every child has a fair chance in life and a right to survive, thrive and fulfill their potential..." UNICEF apparently does not believe its mandate extends to Palestinian children, who are exploited to serve the interests of Islamist groups.
  • In the view of human rights organizations, recruiting Palestinian children to the ranks of Islamist terror groups does not constitute child abuse.
Children have long become an integral part of "military" parades held in the Gaza Strip by various Palestinian groups. But this form of child abuse does not seem to bother human rights organizations or the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), whose declared goal is to "work for a world in which every child has a fair chance in life and a right to survive, thrive and fulfill their potential -- to the benefit of a better world." It seems that UNICEF does not believe that its mandate extends to Palestinian children, who are exploited to serve the interests of Islamist groups.

In the Gaza Strip, children are taught not only to hate Israel, but also to prepare themselves for jihad (holy war) against the "Zionist enemy." Hamas, the Islamic Jihad Movement, and other radical groups see children as future "soldiers" in the war to eliminate Israel. They raise children to regard suicide bombers and jihadis as role models.

Children in this world do not dream about becoming doctors, pilots or engineers. Rather, they dream of destroying Israel and "liberating Palestine." In fact, an entire generation of Palestinians, particularly those in the Gaza Strip, has been raised on the glorification of suicide bombers and anyone who kills a Jew. With enough sacrifices, they are taught, the destruction of Israel is not a far-fetched dream. They alone embody the future hope of the Palestinians to see Israel removed from the face of the earth. Forget becoming a physician: their job is to continue what their fathers failed to achieve.

All the while, both local and international human rights organizations look the other way. In their view, recruiting Palestinian children to the ranks of Islamist terror groups does not constitute child abuse.

Yet not only human rights groups turn a blind eye to this child abuse. The Palestinian Authority (PA), which relies heavily on Western donors for its survival, has also chosen to bury its head in the sand regarding this disturbing practice, which has become widespread in the Gaza Strip in recent years.

While the PA has no control over the Gaza Strip, its leaders, especially President Mahmoud Abbas, might be expected to condemn the exploitation and brainwashing of children. What Abbas and other PA leaders fail to understand is that these children also pose a real threat to them. The radicalized children grow up not only to hate Jews, but also any Palestinian leader who claims to seek peace with Israel. The very poison that is being injected into the minds and hearts of these children will come back to haunt those Palestinian leaders who sit idly by as the indoctrination occurs.

It is precisely these jihad-abused children who in a few short years will turn against the same leaders who poison their hearts and minds because they regard the leaders as too "moderate." Moreover, it is this incitement that drives Palestinians into the open arms of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the two groups that are considered political foes of the PA leadership and that strongly oppose any peaceful settlement with Israel.

Strikingly, the children are not being brainwashed in secret, behind closed doors. On the contrary; it is taking place in broad daylight, with those responsible boasting of it and inviting the world to see how they prepare the next generation of jihadis.

Summer camps where children undergo military training are not new to the Gaza Strip. They operated there long before Hamas's violent takeover of the Strip. But now, one no longer has to wait until the children are off from school and attend one of the summer camps there to see such scenes. Children clad in military uniforms and brandishing automatic rifles can be seen throughout the Gaza Strip almost every other week. The parents, by and large, seem "proud" that their sons and daughters are being taught that jihad is the only way to "liberate Palestine."


Take, for example, the recent rally organized by the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine on the occasion of its 29th anniversary. The group's declared objective is to destroy Israel and establish a sovereign, Islamic state. The rally was also to commemorate the anniversary of the assassination of the group's leader, Fathi Shikaki, who was gunned down on October 26, 1995 in front of the Diplomat Hotel in Sliema, Malta, presumably by Israeli agents.

The "stars" at the rally were dozens of boys and girls who came -- or more accurately were brought -- to the rally to express their support for the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, and its goals.

Most of the children appeared in camouflage military outfits, some carrying real or fake automatic rifles, and wearing headbands carrying the name of the group's armed wing, Al-Quds Brigades. And here is a quick reminder: the Brigades are responsible for a series of suicide bombings and other terror attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers. They are also behind many of the rockets that have been fired into Israel in recent years. The children are celebrated and lionized as "cubs and flowers."

The rally, which drew thousands of Palestinians, was held under the banner of "Jihad is our Renewed Birth." Translated, this means that the group is repeating its commitment to pursue holy war against Israel and Jews in order to achieve its goal of establishing an ISIS-style Islamic state. Later, the group proudly announced that a month-old infant named Sham Al-Zaq was the youngest Palestinian to attend the rally. The group even posted a photo of the baby girl dressed in a military outfit.


The Islamic Jihad Movement in Gaza recently held a rally in which children appeared in camouflage military outfits, some carrying real and fake automatic rifles. They proudly announced that a month-old baby girl named Sham Al-Zaq was the youngest Palestinian to attend the rally.

Addressing the crowd through satellite, Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ramadan Shallah once again reminded his supporters of the need to abide by the "armed struggle" as the only means to destroy Israel. "The Palestinians and their future generations will not compromise or give up their right to Palestine, which is our homeland," Shallah emphasized. "Jihad is the path to victory and liberation."


What is worrying about this Islamic Jihad rally is not only the number of children who appeared at the forefront and in military uniforms and weapons, but also the large number of participants.

According to sources in the Gaza Strip, tens of thousands of Palestinians attended the Islamic Jihad rally. They noted that some of the families arrived from various parts of the Gaza Strip two or three days earlier at the location of the rally, to make sure they found space close to the podium.

The large turnout is evidence of the widespread support for Islamic Jihad, which has become the second-largest militia in the Gaza Strip, after Hamas. The large turnout is also a sign of the increased radicalization of Palestinians, especially in the Gaza Strip, and the "mass return to Islam." Ironically, many of the group's supporters are former disgruntled members of Hamas, who felt that Hamas was not Islamic enough, and was too "soft" on Israel.

Thus, we are dealing with the exploitation of children, but also the growing radicalization that is taking place among Palestinians. In a society where drinking coffee with Jews is considered a crime, it is easy to see in which direction Palestinians are headed. It is only a matter of time before many of these children who appear at the "military" rallies of Islamic Jihad and Hamas, and absorb the poison of their leaders, set out on a mission to kill Jews with the hope of replacing Israel with an Islamic state. The children are being taught that the conflict with Israel is not about a settlement or an illegal outpost or borders or checkpoints, but about the very existence of Israel. What is the world prepared to do in order to combat this child abuse? UNICEF and other international bodies may not have time to deal with such issues at present, because they are too busy thinking about the next resolution to condemn Israel.

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Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist, is based in Jerusalem.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/9188/palestinian-jihadi-child-abuse

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Realism About the Jihad Threat in Oklahoma - Robert Spencer




by Robert Spencer

Oklahoma State Rep. John Bennett ventures where few dare to tread.




In an age of near-universal denial and willful ignorance at the highest levels about the ideological roots, nature and magnitude of the jihad threat, it is as unusual as it is refreshing to find lawmakers at any level who are willing to approach the problem honestly. State Representative John Bennett of Oklahoma, a Marine and combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, is one of an all-too-rare breed.

On Tuesday, Bennett held an “Interim Study” on “the current threat posed by radical Islam and the effect that Shariah Law, the Muslim Brotherhood and jihadist indoctrination have in the radicalization process in Oklahoma and America.” In his request to hold this study, he explained: “This will be a study of the current threat posed by radical Islam and the effect that Shariah Law, the Muslim Brotherhood and jihadist indoctrination have in the radicalization process in Oklahoma and America.”

This kind of study should have been held not just in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, but in the U.S. House, and Senate as well. That such an idea is inconceivable is an indication of the fix we’re in. And the situation is only marginally better in Oklahoma: nowadays the misinformation and disinformation about what we’re up against is so universal that anywhere the truth is told about this threat, there is significant pushback from the allies and enablers of jihad and Islamic supremacism.

And so it was in Tulsa on Tuesday. The interim study featured testimony by former FBI agent John Guandolo and Chris Gaubatz, whose exploits as an undercover agent infiltrating the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) are chronicled in the eye-opening book Muslim Mafia.

Gaubatz and Guandolo presented evidence, including land records, showing that the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City (ISGOC) is owned by the Muslim Brotherhood group the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), that both CAIR, which has an active chapter in Oklahoma City, and ISGOC are Muslim Brotherhood organizations, and that CAIR has extensive ties to the jihad terror group Hamas, which styles itself the Muslim Brotherhood for Palestine. They pointed out that since Imad Enchassi, the imam of ISGOC, is a Palestinian and has all these ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, he likely also has links to Hamas.

Guandolo and Gaubatz did not base their case on innuendo and hearsay. They laid out FBI evidence, Muslim Brotherhood documents, and more, demonstrating that the claims they were making were based on solid evidence.

Predictably, however, the mainstream media, which we now know beyond any shadow of a doubt is simply and solely a propaganda arm for the Left and the Democratic Party, focused entirely on the presence of Adam Soltani of CAIR-OK and Enchassi. The Tulsa World ran a piece with the hysterical headline “State representative brands CAIR-OK, its director and a local imam as terrorists.” It quoted Soltani raging against Bennett: “Rep. Bennett is shamefully wasting taxpayer money to promote his own biased agenda. This hearing was a new low for Rep. Bennett, as his guests presented a biased narrative that achieves nothing more than demonizing and marginalizing the Oklahoma Muslim community.”

The World magisterially told its readers that “CAIR is a Muslim civil liberties and advocacy group working to enhance the understanding of Islam.” It didn’t see fit to mention that CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case — so named by the Justice Department. There was not a word in the World report about how CAIR officials have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups. Several former CAIR officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror. CAIR’s cofounder and longtime Board chairman (Omar Ahmad), as well as its chief spokesman (Ibrahim Hooper), have made Islamic supremacist statements. (Ahmad denies this, but the original reporter stands by her story.) A California chapter distributed a poster telling Muslims not to talk to the FBI, and a Florida chapter distributed pamphlets with the same message. CAIR has opposed virtually every anti-terror measure that has been proposed or implemented and has been declared a terror organization by the United Arab Emirates.

But the Tulsa World and other mainstream media outlets that covered Bennett’s study did not see fit to inform their readers of any of that; instead, predictably enough, they portrayed the hearing as a baseless exercise in race-baiting and fearmongering conducted by a politician up for reelection.

John Bennett, and the people of Oklahoma, deserve better. There are legitimate questions about CAIR and ISGOC; Bennett dared to raise them Tuesday; for that, he is being subjected to a media lynching that is cynically designed to obscure the genuine concerns he raised – yet ever since a member of ISGOC beheaded a coworker in 2014, these concerns are more urgent than ever.

The media enablers of jihad must be decisively repudiated. Please email the Speaker of the Oklahoma House, Jeff W. Hickman, politely and courteously expressing your support for John Bennett and requesting that his hearing be just the first of a series. His email is jwhickman@okhouse.gov and his phone number is (405) 557-7339.

John Bennett has yet again stuck his neck out for freedom. In these hard times, those who are willing to do that have to hang together.

Robert Spencer

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/264629/realism-about-jihad-threat-oklahoma-robert-spencer

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Iran Takes More Hostages: What Did the US Expect? - Majid Rafizadeh




by Majid Rafizadeh

Iran is not only detaining and arresting more Iranian-Americans, but also boasting about it and publicly asking for more money to release them

  • Another question raised is that while the State Department has long warned American citizens against traveling to Iran, why do some dual nationals, primarily Iranian-Americans, continue to travel to Iran for business or other reasons?
  • The Iranian government has learned that arresting dual nationals and Iranian-Americans not only can lead to the flow of billions of dollars to Iran, but also can ratchet up Iran's political leverage against the US and Western allies.
  • President Obama is dangerously encouraging the Iranian leaders' detaining and arresting dual nationals to extort money and play hardball.
Iran is not only detaining and arresting more Iranian-Americans, but also boasting about it and publicly asking for more money to release them.

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) pointed out recently: "We should wait and see, the U.S. will offer ... many billions of dollars to release" two particular Iranian-American businessman, Siamak Namazi and his father Baquer Namazi.

According to Alex Shirazi's nuanced profile, Siamak Namazi was one of the intellectual architects of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), which has been accused of lobbying for the Iranian regime and pursuing policies that benefit themselves and the Iranian regime. Accordingly, the organization was founded "as a way to continuously lobby for the removal of sanctions against Iran and to promote Iran's foreign policy, while combating the pro-Israel sentiment in America, according to documents from a Cyprus convention that featured the two men."

Mr. Namazi worked for Iran's Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning from 1994 to 1996. He also joined a company in Tehran called Atieh Bahar Consulting (AB), which was founded by Pari Namazi and her husband, Bijan Khajehpour.

The Tehran-based Atieh Bahar Consulting "offered a range of legal and industrial services to foreign enterprises, most importantly the access it provided to the [Iranian] regime, and the advice it dispensed on how best to navigate the vagaries of the regime's entrenched factions and competitive interests."

In addition, Siamak Namazi seemed to advocate doing business with the Iranian regime, as he pointed out to Lebanon's Daily Star newspaper: "If oil companies want to operate in the Iranian market they need to link up with a local partner, and this is where we step in and help them to find the right partner." This apparently occurred at a time that there were US economic sanctions imposed on Iran, including sanctions on firms dealing with the Iranian government. Baquer Namazi was governor of Iran's Khuzestan province one of the most oil-rich areas in the nation.

Earlier this year, the Obama administration paid nearly $1.7 billion in cash to make sure that Iran would release four Iranian-Americans who were taken as hostages. According to one report, "Future payments to Iran could reach as much as $2 billion, according to sources familiar with the matter."

One of the hostages was Jason Rezaian, who according to his family, has been trying to improve the Islamic Republic's image to the world through his work. Improving Iran's image would undoubtedly benefit the Islamic Republic's political establishment and the ruling politicians of Iran in many ways such as re-entering the international community, enhancing its global legitimacy, re-engaging in the world financial system, improving business opportunities, and bringing more revenues which would empower the IRGC, the hardliners, and the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.


One of the American hostages that Iran this year released in exchange for $1.7 billion in cash was Jason Rezaian, who according to his family, has been working to improve the Islamic Republic's image to the world. Rezaian is pictured above with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on January 28, 2016. (Image source: U.S. State Department)

One major question that many would then ask is: why the Iranian government would arrest Iranian-Americans who seem to be benefiting the Iranian government's interests, enhancing Iran's legitimacy, doing business, making money for themselves, making money for the Iranian government, or supporting an Iranian lobby group? Is this all part of a tactical game to extort more money from the US, as some might argue?

Other questions raised are that while the State Department has long warned American citizens against traveling to Iran, why do some dual nationals, primarily Iranian-Americans, continue to travel to Iran for business or other reasons? Does not this place the US in a grave situation where it has to plead with Iranian leaders and pay money, while the Iranian government gains the upper hand and enjoys more leverage against Washington?

There are several other issues at stakes as well. First of all, from the IRGC and Khamenei's perspective, while some dual nationals, Iranian-Americans, might appear to be advocating for the Iranian government and advancing Iran and their own interests, the IRGC still can play the tactical game that these individuals are siding with specific Iranian leaders such as Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif, rather than siding with other Iranian leaders.

Secondly, and more fundamentally, the Iranian government has learned that arresting dual nationals and Iranian-Americans not only can lead to the flow of billions of dollars to Iran, but also can ratchet up Iran's political leverage against the US and Western allies.

Finally, U.S. President Barack Obama appears to have forgotten the basic rule of foreign policy and international law, that a state should not engage in negotiation or paying ransom to other state or non-state actors listed as top sponsors of terrorism or as terrorist organizations.

Paying ransom only reinforces their behavior. The State Department's own report in 2016 found Iran to be still the "top state sponsor of terrorism." Iranian-Americans who travel to Iran despite the warnings put the US in a difficult situation. President Obama is dangerously encouraging the Iranian leaders' detaining and arresting dual nationals to extort money and play hardball.
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Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, political scientists and Harvard University scholar is president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He can be reached at Dr.rafizadeh@post.harvard.edu

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/9207/iran-takes-more-hostages

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Why the Obamacare collapse is exactly what Obama and Clinton want - Monica Crowley




by Monica Crowley

The plan to move to single payer is right on schedule

Illustration on the goals of Obamacare by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times


The Obama administration has finally admitted that everything it told us about Obamacare was a lie.

During their hard sell, the Democrats — starting with President Obama — swore up and down that the “Affordable” Care Act would lower costs, expand choice and allow you to keep your health plan and doctor. They knew none of those things were going to materialize — ever. Because they also knew that Obamacare was never about health care. It was only and always about government power and control. Over you.

This week, the administration implicitly conceded that Obamacare is being smothered by an array of existential problems. Average premiums, they said, will spike by a whopping 25 percent next year. And that’s a low-ball estimate, given that premiums in places like Arizona are increasing by a staggering 116 percent and Oklahoma by a breathtaking 69 percent.

The administration also admitted that at least 20 percent of consumers will have only one health insurer from which to choose. With less or no competition, costs will continue to rise while choice shrinks. So much for keeping your plan and doctor. You’ll be lucky to even find a doctor at all. Physicians are leaving Medicare in droves because of the pittances paid to them in reimbursement.

Subsidies are also disappearing, Obamacare co-ops are collapsing, fewer people are enrolling and loss ratios are soaring. The long-anticipated death spiral is here.

Mr. Obama, Hillary Clinton and the Democrats own this catastrophe, but none of it comes as surprise — least of all to them, who designed it to implode. The built-in collapse is proceeding right on schedule.

Mrs. Clinton is, of course, the grandmother of socialized medicine, having spent much of her public life pushing for it.

Since Obamacare’s passage, the left has effectively moved the goalposts so far to the extreme that single payer will no longer seem like a radical approach but the logical solution to fixing the program’s problems. Mrs. Clinton is already arguing that single payer is the obvious next step, a fait accompli.

That, of course, was the endgame all along. The Obamacare architects rigged the system to fall apart so they could ride to the rescue with single payer.

That was always the leftists’ ideal vision. In 2003, Illinois state Sen. Barack Obama laid it out: “I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care program. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House.”

But Democrats facing re-election in 2010 and 2012 did not want to have to vote for a highly unpopular single-payer system, so they pursued an easier political path.

They designed a health care scheme that was as close to single payer as was politically possible and stacked the deck so that it would be the inevitable result.

A parade of leftists telegraphed that intention. When Obamacare was passed in its final form in March 2010, Sen. Tom Harkin said, “I think of this bill as a starter home. It’s not the mansion of our dreams, but it has a solid foundation.” He added, “By passing this legislation, we will achieve a progressive prize that has eluded Congresses and presidents going back to Teddy Roosevelt.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi chimed in, “Once we kick through this door, there’ll be more legislation to follow.” Mr. Obama himself told Rep. Dennis Kucinich, “We’ve gotta start somewhere.”

This is why they purposefully built collapse into the program: They want employers to drop private coverage and push ever more Americans into government-run care.

They have already started to argue that we tried the market approach, but gosh golly, it just didn’t work, so we’re going to have to go the full socialized medicine route.

The night of the Supreme Court’s King v. Burwell decision, which upheld federal subsidies in states that did not establish their own exchanges, Mrs. Clinton released a fundraising email, indicating that she was ready to go far to the left, and destroy the Republicans as villains.

“This ruling is a reminder that while progress never comes easy, if we keep working, keep pushing, and never, ever give up, anything is possible,” she wrote.

“The next president, “she continued, “will either protect and expand health care for every American, or undo the progress we’ve made.”

Her language is code for moving Obamacare quickly and seamlessly into a single-payer system — under the guise of “improving health care for all.”

The real reason is to finalize the critical cornerstone of what Mr. Obama in 2008 called the “fundamental transformation of the nation.” After all, if the government controls your health care, the government controls you.

Mrs. Clinton knows this. So does Donald Trump, who will repeal and replace this socialist nightmare with market- and patient-based solutions.

On Nov. 8, we have one last chance to take back our health care — and our freedom.


Monica Crowley is editor of online opinion at The Washington Times.

Source: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/oct/26/why-obamacare-is-collapsing/

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Are Canada's Islamists Calling the Shots? - Thomas Quiggin




by Thomas Quiggin

In 2016, Prime Minister Trudeau chose not to observe any official 9/11 memorial ceremony to honour the Canadians who died that day. However, the very next day, he attended the Ottawa Main Mosque which has multiple links to extremism

  • The discourse of "Islamophobia," and this petition, are nothing more than a continuation of the efforts of Islamists to silence their critics as they advance their own political agenda.
  • The Liberal Party of Canada appears to have been infiltrated by a variety of individuals who are supporters of Islamist extremism. This is beginning to look like a classic case of political entryism.
  • In 2016, Prime Minister Trudeau chose not to observe any official 9/11 memorial ceremony to honour the Canadians who died that day. However, the very next day, he attended the Ottawa Main Mosque which has multiple links to extremism. This despite recent stories in Canada about extremism in mosques and schools in Canada.
  • It was the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan Banna, who stated that "It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated; to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet."
Samer Majzoub from Quebec has initiated an official Government of Canada petition to the House of Commons. The sponsor of the petition is Liberal Member of Parliament Frank Baylis. The petition calls upon the government to condemn all forms of Islamophobia.

Samer Majzoub self identifies as being part of multiple Islamist (extremist) organization in Quebec, including the (in)famous Al-Rawdaw Mosque[1] and the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC). MAC itself states that they follow the teachings of Hassan Banna and the Muslim Brotherhood. ­­ If there was any doubt, a senior member of MAC, Dr. El-Tantawi Attia, made it clear when he stated: "Here we follow the teachings of the Muslim Brotherhood."

The Muslim Brotherhood is listed as a terrorist group in many countries in the Middle East, while a recent UK government report states that the Muslim Brotherhood
"have a highly ambiguous relationship with violent extremism. Both as an ideology and as a network it has been a rite of passage for some individuals and groups who have gone on to engage in violence and terrorism."
The Muslim Association of Canada itself has been identified in Canadian Senate testimony as being a Muslim Brotherhood front group.

Accusations of racism and "Islamophobia" are the sword and shield of extremist Islam in the West. It makes excellent use of the concept of perpetual victimhood. The motto of the Muslim Brotherhood is:
"Allah is our objective; the Prophet is our leader; the Quran is our law; Jihad is our way; dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope."
The term "Islamophobia" was popularized by the mullahs in Iran after the 1979 Revolution. Women who would not willingly wear the veil were attacked by the government and accused of being "Islamophobic" for not submitting to the will of the (male) mullahs. Richard Stone was one of the authors of a letter to The Guardian in 1994 that used the term; he was also on the Runnymede Trust, which put the term into broad circulation in 1996. Trevor Phillips, of Britain's Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), who commissioned the Runmymede Report, has now admitted, in a damning new report on integration, segregation, and how the followers of Islam are creating "nations within nations" in the West, that he "got almost everything wrong" on Muslim immigration.

It is not unusual for a Liberal Member of Parliament to support efforts by extremists. Canada's Parliamentary Secretary for Global Affairs (Junior Foreign Minister) is an open supporter of Islamic sharia law. Several other Liberal Party members have close links to extremism as well. Additionally, in 2016, Prime Minister Trudeau chose not to observe any official 9/11 memorial ceremony to honour the Canadians who died that day. However, the very next day, he attended the Ottawa Main Mosque, which has multiple links to extremism. This despite recent stories in Canada about extremism in mosques and schools in Canada.

In 2016 Prime Minister Trudeau chose not to observe any official 9/11 memorial ceremony to honour the Canadians who died that day. However, the very next day, he attended the Ottawa Main Mosque which has multiple links to extremism. (Image source: Rebel.media screenshot)

Canada's Minister of Democratic Reform, Maryam Monsef, is another Liberal Party member creating waves around her place of birth and Islamist belief system. She campaigned on a narrative of how she, as an Afghan refugee, could do great things in Canada -- until it became clear she was born in Iran. She was reported to have tried to return to Afghanistan to take a job there in 2014, but now it seems she spent the time in Iran instead. More notably, she claims to find sharia law "fascinating."

It was the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan Banna, who stated that "It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated; to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet." The discourse of "Islamophobia," and this petition, are nothing more than a continuation of the efforts of Islamist to silence their critics as they advance their own political agenda.


[1] The mosque is also a part of the Muslim Association of Canada. Among many other problems, the mosque held a lecture in which the very concept of martial rape was mocked.


Thomas Quiggin

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/9184/canada-islamists-silence

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'Make Soros happy': Inside Clinton team's mission to please billionaire VIP - FoxNews.com




by FoxNews.com

As of July, Soros had donated $25 million to help elect Clinton and other Democrats

Newly revealed emails posted by WikiLeaks show top aides to Hillary Clinton went out of their way to keep a certain VIP happy: Uber-liberal billionaire George Soros. 

The emails, hacked from the account of Clinton Campaign Chairman and Soros ally John Podesta, disclose that Clinton was advised to do fundraisers simply to make Soros “happy.” They also indicate the 85-year-old Hungarian-born heavyweight, through his top aides, freely reached out to Podesta to make Soros’ wishes clear on issues ranging from trade to migration to the Supreme Court.

In one instance, trusted Clinton adviser Huma Abedin wrote to now-Campaign Manager Robby Mook on Oct. 7, 2014, to tell him Clinton was having dinner with Soros. Abedin said she expected Soros would eventually ask Clinton to appear at a fundraiser for America Votes, one of the many liberal organizations Soros helps fund, and Abedin wanted to know how to proceed.

“I would only do this for political reasons (ie to make Soros happy),” Mook replied.

NEW REPORTS REVEAL SOROS INFLUENCE

During her time as secretary of state, Clinton was forwarded from Soros’ aides on Jan. 23, 2011 a message he wrote specifically for her addressing “a serious situation” in Albania. Soros even included two actions that “need to be done urgently.” One of the suggestions was appointing “a mediator such as Carl Bildt, Martti Ahtisaari or Miroslav Lajcak…”


Clinton received the email the next day. On Jan. 27, Lajcak met Albanian leaders for a mediation effort.

Just hours after Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was reported dead on Feb. 13, 2016, the president of the Soros-founded Open Society Foundations also emailed Podesta.

“Remember our discussion of Wallace Jefferson, [former] Chief Justice in Texas?” Chris Stone asked cryptically.

Podesta replied: “Yup.”

Most of the Soros-related correspondences with Podesta came via Michael Vachon, an adviser and spokesman for Soros, who frequently emailed Podesta to schedule phone calls and meetings and relay his boss’ policy positions. Many of the messages were brief or mysterious. 

On Feb. 23, 2015, Vachon wrote to Podesta that he needed to tell him something “separately, important, timely but certainly not urgent.” In a message dated Jan. 13, 2009, Vachon thanked Podesta for meeting with Soros the previous day.

“He found it extremely useful,” Vachon wrote.

Other emails show a stream of Soros’ policy beliefs being passed to Podesta: An invitation to the screening of a film about climate change at Soros’ house in July 2015; a short documentary based on Soros’ essays about Ukraine in January 2015; a Soros-authored piece titled “Recapitalize the Banking System” in October 2008.

On March 7, 2016, Vachon sent Podesta a memo regarding “TPP and Malaysia’s Corruption Crisis.” The document criticized President Obama for making “visible compromises” in his quest to get a deal for the Trans Pacific Partnership completed. Podesta was ostensibly set to discuss the memo with Soros and his son, Alexander, during a dinner later that month. Six days later, Vachon got even more specific.

“In general I think George is more interested in talking about policy than the campaign per se,” Vachon wrote. “In a separate email I will send you George’s latest thinking on the migration crisis, which he is spending a lot of time on. His other big preoccupation these days is Ukraine.”

While Vachon said Soros wasn’t interested in discussing “the campaign per se” at that dinner, his involvement in the 2016 election is extensive. As of July, Soros had donated $25 million to help elect Clinton and other Democrats, Politico reported.


FoxNews.com

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/10/27/make-soros-happy-inside-clinton-teams-mission-to-please-billionaire-vip.html

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