State Department Waging “Open War” on White House


Either Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is working against the Trump agenda or he is not competent enough to drain the State Department Obama hold-over swamp. I believe it is the former more than the latter. Either way, President Trump needs to fire Tillerson and get a Secretary of State that can competently execute the Trump agenda in foreign policy. ESPECIALLY as pertaining to Israel!

 

JRH 9/18/17

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State Department Waging “Open War” on White House

 

By Soeren Kern

September 17, 2017 at 5:00 am

Gatestone Institute

 

  • “It’s not clear to me why the Secretary of State wishes to at once usurp the powers of the Congress and then to derail his boss’s rapprochement with the Israeli government.” — Foreign policy operative, quoted in theWashington Free Beacon.

 

  • Since he was sworn in as Secretary of State on February 1, Rex Tillerson and his advisors at the State Department have made a number of statements and policy decisions that contradict President Trump’s key campaign promises on foreign policy, especially regarding Israel and Iran.

 

  • “Tillerson was supposed to clean house, but he left half of them in place and he hid the other half in powerful positions all over the building. These are career staffers committed to preventing Trump from reversing what they created.” — Veteran foreign policy analyst, quoted in the Free Beacon.

 

The U.S. State Department has backed away from a demand that Israel return $75 million in military aid which was allocated to it by the U.S. Congress.

 

The repayment demand, championed by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, was described as an underhanded attempt by the State Department to derail a campaign pledge by U.S. President Donald J. Trump to improve relations with the Jewish state.

 

The dispute is the just the latest example of what appears to be a growing power struggle between the State Department and the White House over the future direction of American foreign policy.

 

The controversy goes back to the Obama administration’s September 2016 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Israel, which pledged $38 billion in military assistance to Jerusalem over the next decade. The MOU expressly prohibits Israel from requesting additional financial aid from Congress.

 

Congressional leaders, who said the MOU violates the constitutional right of lawmakers to allocate U.S. aid, awarded Israel an additional $75 million in assistance in the final appropriations bill for fiscal year 2017.

 

Tillerson had argued that Israel should return the $75 million in order to stay within the limits established by the Obama administration. The effort provoked a strong reaction from Congress, which apparently prompted Tillerson to back down.

 

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) “strongly warned the State Department that such action would be unwise and invite unwanted conflict with Israel,” according to the Washington Free Beacon.

 

Speaking to the Washington Examiner, Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) added:

 

“As Iran works to surround Israel on every border, and Hezbollah and Hamas rearm, we must work to strengthen our alliance with Israel, not strain it. Congress has the right to allocate money as it deems necessary, and security assistance to Israel is a top priority. Congress is ready to ensure Israel receives the assistance it needs to defend its citizens.”

 

A veteran congressional advisor told the Free Beacon:

 

“This is a transparent attempt by career staffers in the State Department to f*ck with the Israelis and derail the efforts of Congressional Republicans and President Trump to rebuild the US-Israel relationship. There’s no reason to push for the Israelis to return the money, unless you’re trying to drive a wedge between Israel and Congress, which is exactly what this is. It won’t work.”

 

Another foreign policy operative said: “It’s not clear to me why the Secretary of State wishes to at once usurp the powers of the Congress and then to derail his boss’s rapprochement with the Israeli government.”

 

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (left) and President Donald J. Trump (right) on February 1, 2017. (Image source: Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

 

Since he was sworn in as Secretary of State on February 1, Tillerson and his advisors at the State Department have made a number of statements and policy decisions that contradict Trump’s key campaign promises on foreign policy, especially regarding Israel and Iran.

 

August 10. The State Department hosted representatives of the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), an umbrella group established by the Muslim Brotherhood with the aim of mainstreaming political Islam in the United States. Behind closed doors, they reportedly discussed what they said was Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine and the removal of all Israeli control of the Temple Mount and holy areas of Jerusalem. Observers said the meeting was part of larger effort by anti-Israel organizations to drive a wedge between the Trump administration and Israel. The USCMO includes a number of organizations, including American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), which promote “extreme anti-Israel views” and “anti-Zionist” propaganda, and which support boycotts of the Jewish state.

 

July 19. The State Department’s new “Country Reports on Terrorism 2016” blamed Israel for Palestinian Arab terrorism against Jews. It attributed Palestinian violence to: “lack of hope in achieving statehood;” “Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank;” “settler violence;” and “the perception that the Israeli government was changing the status quo on the Haram Al Sharif/Temple Mount.” The report also characterized Palestinian Authority payments to the families of so-called martyrs as “financial packages to Palestinian security prisoners…to reintegrate them into society.”

 

Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) called on the State Department to hold the PA accountable in State Department Country reports: “The State Department report includes multiple findings that are both inaccurate and harmful to combating Palestinian terrorism…. At the highest level, the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership incites, rewards, and, in some cases, carries out terrorist attacks against innocent Israelis. In order to effectively combat terrorism, it is imperative that the United States accurately characterize its root cause — PA leadership.”

 

June 14. Tillerson voiced opposition to designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, saying that such a classification would complicate Washington’s relations in the Middle East. During his confirmation hearings on January 11, by contrast, Tillerson lumped the Brotherhood with al-Qaeda when talking about militant threats in the region. He said:

 

“Eliminating ISIS would be the first step in disrupting the capabilities of other groups and individuals committed to striking our homeland and our allies. The demise of ISIS would also allow us to increase our attention on other agents of radical Islam like al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and certain elements within Iran.”

 

June 13. During testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Tillerson said he had received reassurances from President Mahmoud Abbas that the Palestinian Authority would end the practice of paying a monthly stipend to the families of suicide bombers and other attackers, commonly referred to by Palestinians as martyrs. One day later, Palestinian officials contradicted Tillerson, saying that there are no plans to stop payments to families of Palestinians killed or wounded carrying out attacks against Israelis.

 

May 22. Tillerson sidestepped questions on whether the Western Wall is part of Israel, while telling reporters aboard Air Force One they were heading to “Tel Aviv, home of Judaism.” Asked directly whether he considers the Western Wall under Israeli sovereignty, Tillerson replied: “The wall is part of Jerusalem.”

 

May 15. In an interview with Meet the Press, Tillerson appeared publicly to renege on Trump’s campaign promise to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem:

 

“The president, I think rightly, has taken a very deliberative approach to understanding the issue itself, listening to input from all interested parties in the region, and understanding what such a move, in the context of a peace initiative, what impact would such a move have.”

 

Tillerson also appeared to equate the State of Israel and the Palestinians:

 

“As you know, the president has recently expressed his view that he wants to put a lot of effort into seeing if we cannot advance a peace initiative between Israel and Palestine. And so I think in large measure the president is being very careful to understand how such a decision would impact a peace process.”

 

Critics of this stance have argued that moving the embassy to Jerusalem would, instead, advance the peace process by “shattering the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel.”

 

March 8. The State Department confirmed that the Obama administration’s $221 million payment to the Palestinian Authority, approved just hours before Trump’s inauguration, had reached its destination. The Trump administration initially had vowed to freeze the payment.

 

In July 2017, the Free Beacon reported that Tillerson’s State Department was waging an “open political war” with the White House on a range of key issues, including the U.S.-Israel relationship, the Iran portfolio, and other matters:

 

“The tensions have fueled an outstanding power battle between the West Wing and State Department that has handicapped the administration and resulted in scores of open positions failing to be filled with Trump confidantes. This has allowed former Obama administration appointees still at the State Department to continue running the show and formulating policy, where they have increasingly clashed with the White House’s own agenda.”

 

A veteran foreign policy analyst interviewed by the Free Beacon laid the blame squarely on Tillerson:

 

“Foggy Bottom [a metonym for the State Department] is still run by the same people who designed and implemented Obama’s Middle East agenda. Tillerson was supposed to clean house, but he left half of them in place and he hid the other half in powerful positions all over the building. These are career staffers committed to preventing Trump from reversing what they created.”

 

Notable holdovers from the Obama administration are now driving the State Department’s Iran policy:

 

Michael Ratney, a top advisor to former Secretary of State John Kerry on Syria policy. Under the Trump administration, Ratney’s role at the State Department has been expanded to include Israel and Palestine issues. Ratney, who was the U.S. Consul in Jerusalem between 2012 and 2015, oversaw $465,000 in U.S. grants to wage a smear to oust Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from office in 2015 parliamentary elections, according to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Ratney admitted to Senate investigators that he deleted emails containing information about the Obama administration’s relationship with the group.

 

Thomas A. Shannon, Jr., a career foreign service officer who serves as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. Shannon, the State Department’s fourth-ranking official, has warned that scrapping the Iran deal would lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. “Any effort to step away from the deal would reopen a Pandora’s box in that region that would be hard to close again,” he said. His statement indicates that Shannon could be expected to lead efforts to resist any attempts to renege or renegotiate the deal; critics of the deal say that Iran’s continued missile testing has given Trump one more reason to tear up his predecessor’s deal with the Islamist regime.

 

Chris Backemeyer is now the highest-ranking official at the State Department for Iran policy. During the Obama administration, Backemeyer made his career by selling the Iran deal by persuading multinational corporations to do business with Iran as part of an effort to conclude the Iran nuclear deal.

 

Ratney, Shannon and Backemeyer, along with Tillerson, reportedly prevailed upon Trump twice to recertify the Iran nuclear deal. The Jerusalem Post explained:

 

Washington was briefly abuzz on the afternoon of July 17 when rumors began to circulate that President Trump was eager to declare that Iran was in breach of the conditions laid out in the 2015 Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA).

 

Those receptive antennas were further heightened given the previous signals sent. After all, the State Department already released talking points to reporters on the decision to recertify Iran. The Treasury Department also had a package of fresh sanctions on over a dozen Iranian individuals and entities ready to announce to appease the hawks who were eager to cut loose from the deal.

 

But Trump didn’t want to recertify Iran, nor did he want to the last time around in April. That evening, a longtime Middle East analyst close to senior White House officials involved in the discussions described the scene to me: “Tillerson essentially told the president, ‘we just aren’t ready with our allies to decertify.’ The president retorted, ‘Isn’t it your job to get our allies ready?’ to which Tillerson said, ‘Sorry sir, we’re just not ready.'” According to this source, Secretary Tillerson pulled the same maneuver when it came to recertification in April by waiting until the last minute before finally admitting the State Department wasn’t ready. On both occasions he simply offered something to the effect of, “We’ll get ’em next time.”

 

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Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute.

 

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Ambassador John R. Bolton, Chairman

 

Nina Rosenwald, President


Naomi H. Perlman, Vice President

 

Forgotten Americans Spoke


Intro to ‘Forgotten Americans Spoke’

Edited by John R. Houk

By Justin O. Smith

 

This part-essay and part op-ed piece is quite thought provoking. Justin Smith writes about how Americans rose up and voted for Trump largely repudiating the Obama legacy and the continued Crony-Leftism of Crooked Hillary.

 

Justin praises the electoral system and the wisdom of the Founding Fathers to make that a part of their American experiment. And that made me think of the hysterical Leftist in the tank Clintonistas going ballistic breaking the public order with vandalism and violence. There is a Left Wing push to those responsible for the Electoral College to reject the Constitutional path to POSTUS and revote according to the national popular vote which as of this writing has Crooked Hillary up by a mere .2% over President-Elect Trump.

 

For those that didn’t pay attention in school, one of the reasons for the Electoral College is to balance political power between populous States and less populous States. If you look at a Hillary vs. Trump map as affecting the Constitutional Electoral College, YOU will notice Trump’s victory is a virtual landslide in terms of the Electoral College.

 

The below map was for 11/14/16 with Trump at 290 and Crooked Hillary at 228 as of 1:05 PM ET with Michigan nearly to be able to be declared for Trump (add 16 Electoral votes to Trump column):

 

electoral-college-11-14-16-1-pm

Electoral College 11-14-16 1:00 PM

 

JRH 11/14/16

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Forgotten Americans Spoke

OR — Leftist Heads Spin

 

By Justin O. Smith

Sent 11/14/2016 12:21 PM

 

Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on January 20th, 2017, in large part because he so easily and defiantly laughed in the face of the D.C. establishment types, who thought he was a joke, and he turned the old political order on its head. Trump rejected soul-draining and mind-numbing identity politics and double standards in the law, that centered on whether one was a Republican or Democrat. He addressed the real issues of the day from immigration and “refugee” policies to Obamacare and national security, and he bluntly outlined how our world is filled with enemies, adversaries and competitors as well as friends. He opened a pathway for Americans to forcefully oppose the long-entrenched D.C. establishment, and the hyphen-free Americans took it, as they chose to make America work for all Americans, not just those in power.

 

Certainly, it is a positive act for any candidate to be magnanimous in victory, as Trump is showing. But he shouldn’t fall for the Leftist Progressive Democrats’ overanxious con — the “poison chalice” — of reaching across the aisle for “compromise”. The Democrats didn’t even know the meaning of the word in 2009 when Obama and his Democrat majority rammed Obamacare down our throats.

 

Trump needs to stay true to his agenda and to those Americans who put their faith in him. He needs to strike hard, while the stars are aligned and the iron is hot, to accomplish much in his first year. Any delay only gives his political enemies and the Leftist media time to gain control of the valves needed to “drain the swamp” in D.C., so Trump must not be overly concerned with those Leftists who are upset that he won, even if their heads are spinning on their shoulders and their tears are making the oceans rise.

 

And conservative Americans must also drive home the lessons of the benefits of a conservative free-market capitalist system, guided under the Founders’ Original Intent in the U.S. Constitution, over Marxist socialism. We must continue to illustrate how capitalism expands liberties, while socialism limits and destroys those same liberties.

 

On November 8th, Obama and most of Americas thought Hillary Clinton was poised early on to win, which prompted Obama to say that (regardless of who wins) “the sun will come up in the morning.” And as the sun rose the next day, a shocked Obama found himself expressing “hope” that Trump would be invested in unity, respect for American institutions and the nation’s way of life and the rule of law; all of this coming from Obama, a man and a U.S. President who had no respect for any of those things.

 

Let’s not forget too quickly that over the last eight years, Obama and his criminal cohorts, radical progressives/communists, used the Executive Branch to unleash the IRS dogs on conservative Americans and conservative political groups. He worked to destroy the coal industry that supported thousands of families, all on an ideological whim based on false science, and he attempted to intimidate conservatives away from exercising their constitutional rights for fear that armed federal agents might arrest them.

 

Let’s not forget how normal Americans have been depicted as racial “cowards” by Clinton associate Eric Holder, former U.S. Attorney General, after being attacked as “xenophobes” and “nativists” by progressives and RINO immigration expansionists. Don’t easily forgive the incessant accusations of “Islamophobia” by Hillary and the progressives in the wake of numerous islamofascist attacks on America. Hold on a bit longer to that anger resulting from baseless accusations of “homophobia” over our protest of homosexual marriage, and continue to mourn those police officers ambushed by murderous thugs seeking racial vengeance — all of this coming from Democrat Progressive policies and propaganda.

 

Hillary Clinton, in a conciliatory tone stated during her concession speech, “We owe him an open mind and as chance to succeed.” She was probably quite fearful that Trump would follow through on his promise to prosecute her, however, this is most unlikely to happen given Trump’s statement in his victory speech that “we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.” This in itself is a troubling start to Trump’s presidency, although he did tell ’60 Minutes’ on Nov. 13th that he wants “to think about it.” He also is now back-pedaling on immigration.

 

An unreasonable fear has also gripped the Leftists and anarchists who either purposefully, or from ignorance, misinterpret Trump’s proposals as “racist”. They have protested and rioted in several major U.S. cities like Los Angeles, Portland, New York and Miami, since November 9th, shouting “not my president”.

 

The Washington Post reported that issues of national security, rule of law and scope of government and rejecting Obama’s liberal agenda propelled Trump to victory, rather than any racist considerations. They assert that “on average, the counties that voted for Obama twice and then flipped to support Trump were 81% white”.

 

Isn’t this ironic? Now that the shoe is on the other foot, all of a sudden the Leftist Progressives, who wanted Obama to ignore the Constitution and take full advantage of “the pen”, are showing a great and renewed interest in that old tired concept of “checks and balances.”

 

And in the meantime, Americans who love God, Family and America are rejecting the corruption in our government. We reject the elites who hold us in contempt. We reject any government official, any leader and any unconstitutional “law” attempting to silence us and make us bow, kneel and obey the arbitrary whims of an out-of-control State.

 

Pray for America. Pray for Donald Trump and Mike Pence as they face this massive responsibility of healing and unifying America the best they can, and help them keep America safe and Free.

 

Ours was not a campaign, but rather an incredible and great movement, made up of millions of hard-working men and women who love their country and want a better, brighter future for themselves and for their families … a movement comprised of Americans from all races, religions, backgrounds and beliefs, who want and expect our government to serve the people, and serve the people it will. … Every single American will have the opportunity to realize his or her fullest potential. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.” — Donald Trump’s presidential victory speech

 

By Justin O Smith

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Edited by John R. Houk

 

© Justin O. Smith