Who Is this MS-13 Gang the Media and Democrats Are Defending?

As part of the efforts by President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reduce violence on America’s streets, they must clean up and clear out the rapidly growing Central American MS-13 gang, many members of which are illegal immigrants.

By Natalia Castro

Since the 2016 election, President Donald Trump has waged war on gangs within the U.S., most notably the violent MS-13. For nearly 40 years, MS-13 has grown across the United States and Central America to become one of the deadliest gangs in the world. To understand the best method of combatting their continued rise, we must first understand who these people are and how they have grown to take over American cities.

What began in the 1970s as a group of low-level drug users in Los Angeles emerged into a violent and satanic group in the early 1980s. Dara Lind of Vox Media explains, the LAPD’s first reference to the group was of the “Mara Salvatrucha Stoners,” but as civil war in El Salvador and conflict with Nicaragua intensified, it brought waves of illegal immigrants hardened from escaping violence in their home country.

Immigrants from El Salvador flooded areas dominated by Mexican-American gangs and used brutal tactics, such as machete killings, to take control over the area and expand.

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The BBC reported in April 2017 that U.S. intelligence data suggested the gang had by then spread to 46 states and maintained an international presence of at least 60,000 members. The group operates on the motto “Kill, rape, control” and has an annual revenue of about $31 million—garnered mainly from drug sales and extortion.

MS-13 has been able to grow due to our lax immigration enforcement. The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) notes in a February 2018 report, while most data on MS-13 suspects does not include immigration status, the center could conclude nearly a quarter of all gang members are illegal immigrants. They prey on low-income, minority youth to join the gang for protection.

The CIS also found that areas with high rates of MS-13 crime correspond with locations having a large number of Unaccompanied Alien Children who have been resettled by the federal government.

In a roundtable discussion with members of law enforcement, experts, and elected officials in Long Island, New York, President Trump also blamed “catch and release” policies for keeping violent gang members on the streets.

The CIS found in an April 2018 report: “According to ICE statistics provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee, over a nine-month period in FY2017, 142 gang members that ICE was seeking to deport were released by the local law enforcement agency instead of transferred to ICE custody.  Two-thirds of the releases occurred in California, which has had a strict sanctuary policy in effect since January 2014. Fifteen of the aliens were members of the MS-13 gang and 127 were members of other gangs.”

The poor enforcement of our immigration laws has allowed the gang to thrive. Today, MS-13 does not only maintain control in large cities like Los Angeles; it has spread across suburban America.

Suburban centers such as Fairfax, Va., Annapolis, Md., and Long Island, N.Y. have never experienced the levels of violent crime they are now facing at the hands of greater MS-13 presence. Additionally, these suburban areas lack the resources of large cities to combat violent crime, making them easy targets for gang abuse.

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In Long Island, the gang is connected to at least 17 murders that have taken place within 18 months. As law enforcement attempts to combat rising crime, they have also been placed on high alert following direct threats from MS-13 members against police, according to Charlotte Cuthbertson of the Epoch Times.

As MS-13 has grown, the gang has transitioned from a small immigrant group of casual drug users to a violent, ruthless, and international organization. Violence throughout Central America and failures in our immigration system have fueled the gang’s rise. Today, MS-13 is not just an urban dilemma; the gang’s presence is truly a national crisis. As President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions attempt to combat violence in this country, they must start with combatting the rise of MS-13.

Natalia Castro is a contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government.




Is U.S. Bellicosity Backfiring?

With the Singapore summit now scuttled, North Korea issuing vaguely threatening references to nuclear war in response to VP Mike Pence’s incendiary remarks, and Mike Pompeo issuing outrageous “demands” of Iran, it’s looking more and more like the neocon warmongers’ complete victory over Donald Trump’s grand America-first goals is imminent.  

By Patrick J. Buchanan

U.S. threats to crush Iran and North Korea may yet work, but as of now neither Tehran nor Pyongyang appears to be intimidated.

Repeated references by NSC adviser John Bolton and Vice President Mike Pence to the “Libya model” for denuclearization of North Korea just helped sink the Singapore summit of President Trump and Kim Jong Un. To North Korea, the Libya model means the overthrow and murder of Libya strongman Col. Gadhafi, after he surrendered his WMD.

Wednesday, North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui exploded at Pence’s invocation of Libya: “Vice-President Pence has made unbridled and impudent remarks that North Korea might end like Libya. . . . I cannot suppress my surprise at such ignorant and stupid remarks.

“Whether the U.S. will meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown is entirely dependent upon the decision and behavior of the United States.”

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Yesterday, Trump canceled the Singapore summit.

Earlier this week at the Heritage Foundation, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo laid out our Plan B for Iran in a speech that called to mind Prussian Field Marshal Karl Von Moltke.

Among Pompeo’s demands: Iran must end all support for Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, and Hamas in Gaza, withdraw all forces under Iranian command in Syria, and disarm its Shiite militia in Iraq.

Iran must confess its past lies about a nuclear weapons program and account publicly for all such activity back into the 20th century.

Iran must halt all enrichment of uranium, swear never to produce plutonium, shut down its heavy water reactor, open up its military bases to inspection to prove it has no secret nuclear program, and stop testing ballistic missiles.

And unless Iran submits, she will be strangled economically.

What Pompeo delivered was an ultimatum: Iran is to abandon all its allies in all Mideast wars, or face ruin and possible war with the USA.

It is hard to recall a secretary of state using the language Pompeo deployed: “We will track down Iranian operatives and their Hezbollah proxies operating around the world and crush them. Iran will never again have carte blanche to dominate the Middle East.”

But how can Iran “dominate” a Mideast that is home to Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Egypt, as well as U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, and Syria?

To Iran’s east is a nuclear-armed Pakistan. To its west is a nuclear-armed U.S. Fifth Fleet and a nuclear-armed Israel. Iran has no nukes, no warships to rival ours, and a 1970s air force.

Yet, this U.S.-Iran confrontation, triggered by Trump’s trashing of the nuclear deal and Pompeo’s ultimatum, is likely to end one of three ways:

First, Tehran capitulates, which is unlikely, as President Hassan Rouhani retorted to Pompeo: “Who are you to decide for Iran and the world? We will continue our path with the support of our nation.” Added Ayatollah Khamenei, “Iran’s presence in the region is our strategic depth.”

Second, Iran defies U.S. sanctions and continues to support its allies in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen. This would seem likely to lead to collisions and war.

Third, the U.S. could back off its maximalist demands, as Trump backed off Bolton’s demand that Kim Jong Un accept the Libyan model of total and verifiable disarmament before any sanctions are lifted.

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Where, then, are we headed?

While our NATO allies are incensed by Trump’s threat to impose secondary sanctions if they do not re-impose sanctions on Tehran, the Europeans are likely to cave in to America’s demands. For Europe to choose Iran over a U.S. that has protected Europe since the Cold War began and is an indispensable market for Europe’s goods would be madness.

Vladimir Putin appears to want no part of an Iran-Israel or U.S.-Iran war and has told Bashar Assad that Russia will not be selling Damascus his S-300 air defense system. Putin has secured his bases in Syria and wants to keep them.

As for the Chinese, she will take advantage of the West’s ostracism of Iran by drawing Iran closer to her own orbit.

Is there a compromise to be had?

Perhaps, for some of Pompeo’s demands accord with the interests of Iran, which cannot want a war with the United States, or with Israel, which would likely lead to war with the United States.

Iran could agree to release Western prisoners, move Shiite militia in Syria away from the Golan Heights, accept verifiable restrictions on tests of longer-range missiles, and establish deconfliction rules for U.S. and Iranian warships in the Persian Gulf.

Reward: aid from the West and renewed diplomatic relations with the United States.

Surely, a partial, verifiable nuclear disarmament of North Korea is preferable to war on the peninsula. And, surely, a new nuclear deal with Iran with restrictions on missiles is preferable to war in the Gulf.

Again, we cannot make the perfect the enemy of the good.

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever and previous titles including The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. His books are available at the AFP Online Store.

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FBI Mole Cried About Russia Collusion in the Past

And the beat goes on. . . . As special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation continues, so does the stream of questionable “evidence” and lack of significant indictments. 

By AFP Staff

Stephen Halper, the Cambridge University professor who was recently outed as a paid federal informant in the Trump presidential campaign, has made accusations in the past about Russians infiltrating the university, reports online news and commentary website “The Daily Caller.” According to the report, the targets of Halper’s charges responded to the claims, saying his allegations were “absurd.”

Several years before Halper had infiltrated the Trump campaign and met with some of Donald Trump’s top advisors, Halper claimed that a female Russian academic attending a seminar in 2014 was actually a spy and that the event sponsor, Cambridge Intelligence Seminar (CIS), was influenced by Russia.

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Interviewed by The Financial Times in 2016, Christopher Andrew, the official historian for MI5 and head of CIS, told the newspaper that Halper’s charges were without merit.

Last week it was reported that Halper was a paid FBI informant when he approached top Trump campaign advisors Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and Sam Clovis.

At this time, no one knows what Halper has told Robert Mueller, the special counsel tasked with investigating possible Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, but it has been disclosed that Halper met with Page several times over the course of 14 months through September 2017. Halper and Papadopoulos met “several times in mid-September 2016,” according to “The Daily Caller.” Halper and Clovis reportedly met only once, on Sept. 1, 2016.

Mueller has issued 23 indictments since the creation of his office a year ago this month. These include four former Trump advisers, 13 Russian nationals, three Russian companies, one California man, and one London-based lawyer. It is worth noting that not one of the Trump officials has been charged with illegally colluding with Russians. Most have centered on lying to federal law enforcement officials, money laundering, and failure to register as a lobbyist.

Most of the Russians have ignored the indictments, but two Russian companies have hired attorneys to contest the charges. It was reported on May 24 that one of the Russian companies has requested a speedy trial date be set so that the company’s name can be cleared. Mueller’s attorneys have sought to delay the request, but a judge ruled against them, saying the trial should commence within 70 days as per law.




Israel Owns U.S. Foreign Policy

President Trump’s “emotional” decision to denounce the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action involving Iran, based on known falsehoods fed to him by Bibi Netanyahu, is not making America great again in the Middle East. Who is really making the decisions on U.S. foreign policy?

By Philip Giraldi

There should be no remaining doubt over whether Israel and its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu working through their billionaire proxies in the U.S. own President Donald Trump. Last Tuesday’s [May 8, 2018] presidential full-bore denunciation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that limits Iran’s nuclear program followed a script that could have easily been written by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs or by National Security Advisor John Bolton, which amounts to the same thing. A truly American foreign policy, which is supposed to be designed to support genuine national interests, was nowhere to be seen.

Perhaps the most absurd segment in what was an emotional rather than rational call to arms was Trump’s citation of “definitive proof” that Iran has a secret nuclear weapons program.

It went like this:

At the heart of the Iran deal was a giant fiction: that a murderous regime desired only a peaceful nuclear energy program. Today, we have definitive proof that this Iranian promise was a lie. Last week, Israel published intelligence documents—long concealed by Iran—conclusively showing the Iranian regime and its history of pursuing nuclear weapons.

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Trump was referring to the previous week’s theatrical performance by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, complete with PowerPoint slides, delivered in English to reach the desired audience, which was the “decider” in the White House. It was not Netanyahu’s first attempt to employ simple graphics to make his point about the alleged Iranian threat. His famous ticking-bomb montage presented at a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly is still recalled fondly in diplomatic circles.

The provenance and meaning of the documents that Netanyahu produced have been debunked almost everywhere in the media, even in outlets that are normally strongly supportive of Israel and all its works. Investigative journalist Gareth Porter has written a book entitled Manufactured Crisis: the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare. In it he describes how many of the documents on Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program were forged by Israel’s Mossad intelligence service before being placed on a laptop and delivered by the terrorist group Mujaheddin e-Khalq, which the Israelis use to carry out assassinations inside Iran. The latest batch of documents mostly date back 15 years, and many of them were already known to the International Atomic Energy Agency as forgeries. Only the president of the United States was seemingly unaware of what kind of material he was actually endorsing.

In truth, Bibi is a serial liar who has been beating on the Iran-nuclear drum since 1996 if not earlier in an attempt to get the United States involved in a program to use its own military resources to take out Iran’s government.

Netanyahu is aware that his own military does not have the capability to destroy Iran singlehandedly unless it uses its secret nukes. It has therefore taken on the task of convincing the Americans to do the heavy lifting and to also suffer the casualties and other costs.

Ironically, in spite of Bibi’s bleating, even his own intelligence chiefs have gone on record recently saying that keeping the JCPOA is good for Israel. Here in the U.S. the verdict has been somewhat the same, with Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and also then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo, a hardliner on Iran, both stating recently that Tehran is in compliance with all the restrictions placed on it by the agreement. Opinion polls also indicate that two out of three Americans support sticking with the JCPOA because it is clearly working and avoids American entanglement in yet another quagmire in the Middle East.

Trump, who attracted many voters due to his campaign promises to avoid unnecessary military interventions, coupled with his pledge to get out of foreign wars, has become Israel’s poodle. He has surrounded himself with Zionist Jewish advisers David Friedman, Jason Greenblatt, and his own son-in-law Jared Kushner to craft some kind of plan for the Middle East region, the details of which remain notably obscure.

The recent move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and the recognition of the city as Israel’s capital was a typical gesture to satisfy an impossible to satisfy Netanyahu. There was no gain for the United States and the American people; quite the contrary, as it will inspire numerous terrorists and make U.S. travelers targets. And Israel has inevitably taken advantage of the opportunity to make more demands, recently expanding the size of Jerusalem to include large chunks of the West Bank while also considering obtaining U.S. consent to the full annexation of the Golan Heights.

So far the game plan, if there is one, has been to allow Israel to do everything it wants in a bid to make the Palestinians so desperate that they will leave or surrender completely to become Israel’s serfs, thereby allowing the creation of a Greater Israel stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean. It would be an Israel ethnically cleansed of Arabs if some of Netanyahu’s ministers have their way. Conceding all to Israel has also meant an ominous silence as Israeli war criminals continue to use army snipers to shoot dead unarmed protesting Gazans. The death toll is currently close to 50 with as many as 5,000 more injured by gunshots and tear gas.

Others who marvel at the ability of Israeli interests to preempt American interests in the White House have come to believe that it is all about money. Tying large dollops of Jewish money to political power is often cited as some kind of “libel,” but there should be no question that Jews have been the money men for the candidates of both major parties in the last electoral cycle. And their money has been provided conditionally based on what the candidates were willing to do to make Israel happy. Both Hillary Clinton and Trump understood the deal and were prepared to deliver.

In the upcoming midterm electoral cycle, control of the Senate is up for grabs and the Democrats are also eyeing major gains in the House. Key to the Republican maintenance of the status quo of control of both legislative bodies is money. Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, Home Depot’s Bernard Marcus, and hedge fund manager Paul Singer are all reportedly prepared to hand over whatever it will take to the party making the most promises. And it will all be for Israel.

Philip Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer and a columnist and television commentator. He is also the executive director of the Council for the National Interest. Other articles by Giraldi can be found on the website of the Unz Review.




Are Bibi and Bolton in the Wheel House Now?

Pat Buchanan asks, and with good reason given President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, “Is the foreign policy that America Firsters voted for being replaced by the Middle East agenda of Bibi and the neoconservatives?”

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Brushing aside the anguished pleas of our NATO allies, President Trump Tuesday contemptuously trashed the Iranian nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions.

Prime Minister Theresa May of Great Britain, President Emmanuel Macron of France, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were put on notice that their ties to Iran are to be severed, or secondary sanctions will be imposed on them.

Driving the point home, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin ordered Airbus to cancel its $19 billion contract to sell 100 commercial planes to Iran.

Who is cheering Trump’s trashing of the treaty?

The neocons who sought his political extinction in 2016, the royals of the Gulf, Bibi Netanyahu, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The IRGC had warned Iranians that the Americans were duplicitous.

When Trump finished speaking, Bibi launched strikes on Iranian bases in Syria, and flew to Moscow to persuade Vladimir Putin not to give the Iranians any air defense against Israeli attacks.

Iranian forces responded with 20 missiles fired at the Golan, which ignited a massive Israeli counterstrike Thursday night, a 70-missile attack on Iranian bases in Syria.

We appear to be at the beginning of a new war, and how it ends we know not. But for Bibi and National Security Adviser John Bolton, the end has always been clear—the smashing of Iran and regime change.

Tuesday, Trump warned that Iran is on “a quest for nuclear weapons,” and “if we do nothing . . . in just a short period of time, the world’s worst sponsor of state terror will be on the cusp of acquiring the world’s most dangerous weapon.”

And where is the evidence for this Bush-like assertion?

If Iran is on a “quest” for nukes, why did 17 U.S. intel agencies, “with high confidence,” in 2007 and 2011, say Iran did not even have a nuclear weapons program?

Saddam Hussein could not convince us he had no WMD, because the nonexistent WMD were the pretext, the casus belli, for doing what the War Party had already decided to do: invade Iraq.

We were lied into that war. And how did it turn out?

Why has the Foreign Relations committee not called in the heads of the U.S. intelligence agencies and asked them flat out: Does Iran have an active nuclear bomb program, or is this a pack of lies to stampede us into another war?

If Iran is on a quest for nukes, let the intel agencies tell us where the work is being done, so we can send inspectors and show the world.

Efforts to pull us back from being dragged into a new war have begun.

The Europeans are begging Iran to abide by the terms of the nuclear deal, even if the Americans do not. But the regime of Hassan Rouhani, who twice defeated Ayatollah-backed candidates, is in trouble.

The nuclear deal and opening to the West were the reasons the children of the Green Movement of 2009 voted for Rouhani. If his difficulties deepen because of reimposed U.S. and Western sanctions, his great achievement, the nuclear deal, will be seen by his people as the failed gamble of a fool who trusted the Americans.

Should Rouhani’s regime fall, we may get a Revolutionary Guard regime rather less to the liking of everyone, except for the War Party, which could seize upon that as a pretext for war.

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What happens next is difficult to see.

Iran does not want a war with Israel in Syria that it cannot win.

Iran’s ally, Hezbollah, which just swept democratic elections in Lebanon, does not want a war with Israel that would bring devastation upon the nation it now leads.

The Russians don’t want a war with Israel or the Americans.

But as Putin came to the rescue of a Syria imperiled by ISIS and al Qaeda, to save his ally from a broad insurgency, he is not likely to sit impotently and watch endless air and missile strikes on Syria.

Trump has said U.S. troops will be getting out of Syria. But Bolton and the generals appear to have walked him back.

There are reports we are reinforcing the Kurds in Manbij on the west bank of the Euphrates, though President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has demanded that the Kurds vacate all Syrian border towns with Turkey.

Americans are also reportedly on the border of Yemen, assisting Saudi Arabia in locating the launch sites of the rockets being fired at Riyadh by Houthi rebels in retaliation for the three years of savage Saudi assault on their country.

Meanwhile, the news out of Afghanistan, our point of entry into the Near East wars almost a generation ago, is almost all bad—most of it about terrorist bombings of Afghan troops and civilians.

Is the foreign policy that America Firsters voted for being replaced by the Middle East agenda of Bibi and the neoconservatives? So it would appear.

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever and previous titles including The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. Both are available from the AFP Online Store.

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Two Judges in Virginia Rebuke Special Counsel Mueller

Two separate judges have shut down Robert Mueller in the last week, “breathing life into the Constitution.” This is evidence that, as Printus LeBlanc writes, “the investigation has absolutely nothing to do with finding a link between Russia and President Trump, but everything to do with ending the Trump presidency.”

By Printus LeBlanc

As bad weeks go, last week was a pretty bad week for Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Two different judges dealt blows to the special counsel while breathing life into the Constitution. From the beginning it was obvious the special counsel was not interested in Russian collusion but was more interested in getting President Trump. Thanks to a pair of federal judges the American people are finally seeing what the special counsel is really up to.

In a blistering exchange with Mueller cronies, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis, overseeing Mueller’s case against one-time Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, questioned why the special counsel was handling a case that was years old and had nothing to do with President Donald Trump or the election. The judge stated, “You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud. . . . What you really care about is what information Mr. Manafort could give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump or lead to his prosecution or impeachment.”

The judge is correct. From the beginning, it has become increasingly clear, the investigation has absolutely nothing to do with finding a link between Russia and President Trump, but everything to do with ending the Trump presidency. The Special Counsel handed over the case involving Mr. Cohen to federal authorities in New York but did not do so in this case, even though Manafort is being charged with crimes that are alleged to have happened years before becoming part of the Trump campaign.

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Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning agreed with the judge, stating, “Everyone outside the Department of Justice seems to be able to see that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s only objective is to create grounds for the Democrats to impeach the president. That isn’t his job; his job is to investigate Russian collusion if there was Russian collusion in the election. The Manafort case clearly demonstrates the special counsel is well beyond his legal mandate, and Judge Ellis should throw the charges out immediately on this basis.”

Perhaps the most critical issue to come out of the hearing was the judge ordering the Special counsel to turn over the scope memo to the court. The scope memo was written by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and laid out the parameters of the Special Counsel’s investigative powers. The DOJ has been guarding this document closely, refusing congressional subpoenas to turn it over. If the Special Counsel and DOJ have nothing to hide and are doing everything legally, why are they refusing to hand over the document?

While Judge Ellis was slamming the Mueller investigation for targeting the president, another judge dealt a potential lethal legal blow to the case against 13 Russians and three companies indicted earlier this year. Federal District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich rejected Mueller’s motion to delay the first hearing after lawyers showed up to defend two of the companies last month when it was expected no one would show up. The lawyers made multiple requests for information, seemingly catching the special counsel off guard.

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It is believed the requests were a plan “to force Mueller’s team to turn over relevant evidence to the Russian firm and perhaps even to bait prosecutors into an embarrassing dismissal in order to avoid disclosing sensitive information,” according to Politico’s Josh Gerstein, citing legal experts. Mueller’s team must now show up on Wednesday. If the team does not turn over all exculpatory Brady material the defendants are entitled to, it risks a dismissal and an extremely embarrassing episode for Mueller and Deputy AG Rosenstein.

Something else we also learned late last week, is that Mueller may have lied to the court. For almost a year, there have been multiple reports on the contacts between Manafort and Russian agents or people connected to Russian agents. On March 28, it was further reported by Newsweek, Mueller told the court Gates knew he and Manafort were dealing with ex-Russian intelligence agents in sentencing documents for Alex van der Zwaan. Manafort’s lawyers challenged the allegation that their client knew anything and asked the special counsel to produce the evidence Manafort had contact with Russian intelligence officials.

The government is allowed to deny the request for the Brady material on national security grounds, but the government is not allowed to deny the evidence exists. This is exactly what the Mueller team did. Manafort’s legal team filed papers stating, “Despite multiple discovery and Brady requests in this regard, the special counsel has not produced any materials to the defense—no tapes, notes, transcripts or any other material evidencing surveillance or intercepts of communications between Mr. Manafort and Russian intelligence officials, Russian government officials (or any other foreign officials). The Office of Special Counsel has advised that there are no materials responsive to Mr. Manafort’s requests.”

Two questions immediately come to mind: Did Mueller lie to the court, and how can there be collusion if there is no evidence of contact? If Robert Mueller can go after Trump officials on specious charges of lying to the FBI, then Mueller’s lies to the federal court should be treated harshly. Apparently, Mr. Mueller lives in a glass house and should have known better than to throw the first three stones.

We are finally seeing the true nature of the special counsel. His sole objective is to be the most expensive and extensive opposition research project in history. He was created to give Congress an excuse to impeach the president, and if he couldn’t find it, make it up. Thanks to the judicial branch, the people can finally see who is pulling the coup strings.

Printus LeBlanc is a contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government.




Memo to Trump: Defy Mueller

Patrick Buchanan tells President Trump, Don’t testify. Ignore a subpoena, defy the courts if they compel you, but don’t testify. He explains, “The only institution that is empowered to prosecute a president is Congress,” and after two years, Mueller has nothing conclusive. Put it to bed.  

By Patrick J. Buchanan

If Donald Trump does not wish to collaborate in the destruction of his presidency, he will refuse to be questioned by the FBI, or by a grand jury, or by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his malevolent minions.

Should Mueller subpoena him, as he has threatened to do, Trump should ignore the subpoena, and frame it for viewing in Trump Tower.

If Mueller goes to the Supreme Court and wins an order for Trump to comply and testify to a grand jury, Trump should defy the court.

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The only institution that is empowered to prosecute a president is Congress. If charges against Trump are to be brought, this is the arena, this is the forum, where the battle should be fought and the fate and future of the Trump presidency decided.

The goal of Mueller’s prosecutors is to take down Trump on the cheap. If they can get him behind closed doors and make him respond in detail to questions—to which they already know the answers — any misstep by Trump could be converted into a perjury charge.

Trump has to score 100 on a test to which Mueller’s team has all the answers in advance while Trump must rely upon memory.

Why take this risk?

By now, witnesses have testified in ways that contradict what Trump has said. This, plus Trump’s impulsiveness, propensity to exaggerate, and often rash responses to hostile questions, would make him easy prey for the perjury traps prosecutors set up when they cannot convict their targets on the evidence.

Mueller and his team are the ones who need this interrogation.

For, after almost two years, their Russiagate investigation has produced no conclusive proof of the foundational charge—that Trump’s team colluded with Vladimir Putin’s Russia to hack and thieve the emails of the Clinton campaign and DNC.

Having failed, Mueller & Co. now seek to prove that, even if Trump did not collude with the Russians, he interfered with their investigation.

How did Trump obstruct justice?

Did he suggest that fired NSC Advisor Gen. Mike Flynn might get a pardon? What was his motive in firing FBI Director James Comey? Did Trump edit the Air Force One explanation of the meeting in June 2016 between his campaign officials and Russians? Did he pressure Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire Mueller?

Mueller’s problem: These questions and more have all been aired and argued endlessly in the public square. Yet no national consensus has formed that Trump committed an offense to justify his removal. Even Democrats are backing away from talk of impeachment.

Trump’s lawyers should tell Mueller to wrap up his work, as Trump will not be testifying, no matter what subpoena he draws up, or what the courts say he must do. And if Congress threatens impeachment for defying a court order, Trump should tell them: Impeach me and be damned.

Will a new Congress impeach and convict an elected president?

An impeachment battle would become a titanic struggle between a capital that detests Trump and a vast slice of Middle America that voted to repudiate that capital’s elite, trusts Trump, and will stand by him to the end.

And in any impeachment debate before Congress and the cameras of the world, not one but two narratives will be heard.

The first is that Trump colluded with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton and then sought to obstruct an investigation of his collusion.

The second is the story of how an FBI cabal went into the tank on an investigation of Clinton to save her campaign. Then it used the product of a Clinton-DNC dirt-diving operation, created by a British spy with Russian contacts, to attempt to destroy the Trump candidacy. Now, failing that, it’s looking to overthrow the elected president of the United States.

In short, the second narrative is that the “deep state” and its media auxiliaries are colluding to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

Unlike Watergate, with Russiagate, the investigators will be on trial as well.

Trump needs to shift the struggle out of the legal arena, where Mueller and his men have superior weapons, and into the political arena, where he can bring his populous forces to bear in the decision as to his fate.

This is the terrain on which Trump can win—an us-vs-them fight, before Congress and country, where not only the alleged crimes of Trump are aired but also the actual crimes committed to destroy him and to overturn his victory.

Trump is a nationalist who puts America first both in trade and securing her frontiers against an historic invasion from the South. If he is overthrown, and the agenda for which America voted is trashed as well, it may be Middle America in the streets this time.

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever and previous titles including The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. Both are available from the AFP Online Store.

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Immigrant Caravan a Publicity Stunt

The band of illegal immigrants entering the United States at the Southwestern border is being called a “propaganda ploy” designed to test U.S. resolve. How many of the “caravaners” are actually asylum-seekers from Central America? 

By Mark Anderson

The much-ballyhooed “caravan” of Central Americans, which recently arrived at the Mexico-California border in several buses seeking asylum, looks to be nothing more than a publicity stunt that has been artificially inflated in size and scope for purposes of political agitation.

“This is a provocation to get publicity and excite other migrants . . . so they can do the same thing,” Roger Ogden told AFP by phone May 1, after sharing his video footage and photographs with AFP. “It’s also done to make our government look weak and helpless.”

The retired naval engineer and videographer has been watching the caravan for over a month now from the U.S. border in southern California.

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Ogden cited the well-publicized San Diego beach area where aging metal border fencing ends at the water’s edge. He said that “several hundred” people did gather there on the Mexican side around the time that the mainstream media announced the arrival of the so-called caravan. Mainstream and amateur video footage showed that the fence was breached—evidently by a combination of “caravaners” and migrants from nearby parts of Mexico. Some of the more agile among them were able to climb the fence to the other side.

For months now, the mainstream media has been claiming that a massive caravan of migrants from Central America have walked across Mexico to get to the U.S., claiming that many in the group were fleeing political persecution. Ogden, however, questioned the origins of the migrants.

“I don’t think that many of them were Central American refugees at all,” Ogden said. He emphasized that the “caravan” is political theater—a combination of nearby migrants and some from Central America co-mingling to advance a propaganda war.

He pointed out that protest signs and banners had been already prepared, as it would be cumbersome for scores of people traveling on foot, in buses, and even atop trains to drag along unwieldy signs all the way from Central America.

Ogden also pointed out that many of the arrivals were surprisingly well-groomed and cleanly dressed for supposedly having just endured the 2,000-mile journey from Central America to Tijuana to turn themselves in to customs in the U.S. and seek asylum.

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Referring to a local Fox News report, Ogden noted: “It shows file footage of migrants [on top of] ‘the Beast’ train, but then shows fresh-looking women and children arriving in Tijuana on a comfortable chartered bus.”

A California spokesman for the group Fight Sanctuary State—whose Laotian wife got a green card and strictly followed U.S. citizenship-qualifying rules— told that same Fox News affiliate: “We support legal immigration, but if you want to come over and undermine our system and break our laws, you’re not welcome. They should have to prove their [need for] asylum, prior to getting to the border, and we shouldn’t let them in unless they’ve done that.”

The Department of Homeland Security announced: “DHS continues to monitor the remnants of the ‘caravan’ of individuals headed to our Southern border with the apparent intention of entering the U.S. illegally. A sovereign nation that cannot—or worse, chooses not—to defend its borders will soon cease to be a sovereign nation. The Trump administration is committed to enforcing our immigration laws—whether persons are part of this ‘caravan’ or not.”

Mark Anderson is AFP’s roving editor. He invites your thoughtful emails at truthhound2@yahoo.com.




America’s Unsustainable Empire

How long can America continue to expend our blood and treasure to sustain security commitments around the world? And how long should we keep trying to do so? Many would argue we should never have entered into many of these arrangements in the first place. President Trump is facing some very significant foreign policy decisions right now, and one could hope Donald-Trump-the-candidate will resurface soon—the one that promised to clean up rather than join with the neoconservative swamp.

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Before President Trump trashes the Iran nuclear deal, he might consider: If he could negotiate an identical deal with Kim Jong Un, it would astonish the world and win him the Nobel Peace Prize.

For Iran has no nuclear bomb or ICBM and has never tested either. It has never enriched uranium to bomb grade. It has shipped 98% of its uranium out of the country. It has cameras inside and inspectors crawling all over its nuclear facilities.

And North Korea? It has atom bombs and has tested an H-bomb. It has intermediate-range ballistic missiles that can hit Guam and an ICBM that, fully operational, could hit the West Coast. It has shorter-range missiles that could put nukes on South Korea and Japan.

Hard to believe Kim Jong Un will surrender these weapons, his ticket of admission to the table of great powers.

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Yet the White House position is that the Iran nuclear deal should be scrapped, and no deal with Kim Jong Un signed that does not result in the “denuclearization” of the peninsula.

If denuclearization means Kim gives up all his nukes and strategic missiles, ceases testing, and allows inspectors into all his nuclear facilities, we may be waiting a long time.

Trump decides on the Iran deal by May 12. And we will likely know what Kim is prepared to do, and not prepared to do, equally soon.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron is in D.C. to persuade Trump not to walk away from the Iran deal and to keep U.S. troops in Syria. Chancellor Angela Merkel will be arriving at week’s end with a similar message.

On the White House front burner then are these options:

Will North Korea agree to surrender its nuclear arsenal, or is it back to confrontation and possible war?

Will we stick with the nuclear deal with Iran, or walk away, issue new demands on Tehran, and prepare for a military clash if rebuffed?

Do we pull U.S. troops out of Syria as Trump promised, or keep U.S. troops there to resist the reconquest of his country by Bashar Assad and his Russian, Iranian, Hezbollah, and Shiite allies?

Beyond, the larger question looms: How long can we keep this up?

How long can this country, with its shrinking share of global GDP, sustain its expanding commitments to confront and fight all over the world?

U.S. planes and ships now bump up against Russians in the Baltic and Black seas. We are sending Javelin anti-tank missiles to Kiev, while NATO allies implore us to bring Ukraine and Georgia into the alliance.

This would mean a U.S. guarantee to fight an alienated, angered and nuclear-armed Russia in Crimea and the Caucasus.

Sixteen years after 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan, we are still there, assisting Afghan troops against a Taliban we thought we had defeated.

We are now fighting what is left of ISIS in Syria alongside our Kurd allies, who tug us toward conflict with Turkey.

U.S. forces and advisers are in Niger, Djibouti, Somalia. We are aiding the Saudis in their air war and naval blockade of Yemen.

The last Korean War, which cost 33,000 U.S. lives, began in the June before this writer entered 7th grade. Why is the defense of a powerful South Korea, with an economy 40 times that of the North, still a U.S. responsibility?

We are committed, by 60-year-old treaties, to defend Japan, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand. Voices are being heard to have us renew the war guarantee to Taiwan that Jimmy Carter canceled in 1979.

National security elites are pushing for new naval and military ties to Vietnam and India, to challenge Beijing in the South China Sea, Indian Ocean, and Arabian Sea.

How long can we sustain a worldwide empire of dependencies?

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How many wars of this century—Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen—turned out to have been worth the blood shed and the treasure lost? And what have all the “color-coded revolutions” we have instigated to advance “democracy” done for America?

In a New York Times essay, “Adapting to American Decline,” Christopher Preble writes: “America’s share of global wealth is shrinking. By some estimates, the United States accounted for roughly 50% of global output at the end of World War II. . . . It has fallen to 15.1% today.”

Preble continues: “Admitting that the United States is incapable of effectively adjudicating every territorial dispute or of thwarting every security threat in every part of the world is hardly tantamount to surrender. It is rather a wise admission of the limits of American power.”

It is imperative, wrote Walter Lippmann, that U.S. commitments be brought into balance with U.S. power. This “forgotten principle . . . must be recovered and returned to the first place in American thought.”

That was 1943, at the height of a war that found us unprepared.

We are hugely overextended today. And conservatives have no higher duty than to seek to bring U.S. war guarantees into conformity with U.S. vital interests and U.S. power.

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Foreverand previous titles including The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. Both are available from the AFP Online Store.

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Syrian Showdown: Trump vs. the Generals

Yet again, President Trump’s appointees are disagreeing with him, this time on his desire to bring U.S. troops back home from the Middle East. “It’s time,” he says. Centcom commander Gen. Joseph Votel and Defense Secretary James Mattis insist we must stay the course in Syria. Buchanan asks, “What gains have we reaped from 17 years of Middle East wars—from Afghanistan to Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen—to justify all the bloodshed and the treasure lost?” Indeed.

By Patrick J. Buchanan

With ISIS on the run in Syria, President Trump this week declared that he intends to make good on his promise to bring the troops home.

“I want to get out. I want to bring our troops back home,” said the president. We’ve gotten “nothing out of the $7 trillion (spent) in the Middle East in the last 17 years. . . . So, it’s time.”

Not so fast, Mr. President.

For even as Trump was speaking he was being contradicted by his Centcom commander Gen. Joseph Votel. “A lot of good progress has been made” in Syria, Votel conceded, “but the hard part . . . is in front of us.”

Moreover, added Votel, when we defeat ISIS, we must stabilize Syria and see to its reconstruction.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had been even more specific:

“It is crucial to our national defense to maintain a military and diplomatic presence in Syria, to help bring an end to that conflict, as they chart a course to achieve a new political future.”

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But has not Syria’s “political future” already been charted?

Bashar Assad, backed by Iran and Russia, has won his seven-year civil war. He has retaken the rebel stronghold of Eastern Ghouta near Damascus. He now controls most of the country that we and the Kurds do not.

According to The Washington Post, Defense Secretary James Mattis is also not on board with Trump and “has repeatedly said . . . that U.S. troops would be staying in Syria for the foreseeable future to guarantee stability and political resolution to the civil war.”

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who fears a “Shiite corridor” from Tehran to Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut, also opposes Trump. “If you take those (U.S.) troops out from east Syria,” the prince told Time, “you will lose that checkpoint. . . . American troops should stay (in Syria) at least for the mid-term, if not the long-term.”

Bibi Netanyahu also wants us to stay in Syria.

Wednesday, Trump acceded to his generals. He agreed to leave our troops in Syria until ISIS is finished. However, as the 2,000 U.S. troops there are not now engaging ISIS—many of our Kurd allies are going back north to defend border towns threatened by Turkey—this could take a while.

Yet a showdown is coming. And, stated starkly, the divide is this:

Trump sees al Qaeda and ISIS as the real enemy and is prepared to pull all U.S. forces out of Syria as soon as the caliphate is eradicated. And if Assad is in power then, backed by Russia and Iran, so be it.

Trump does not see an Assad-ruled Syria, which has existed since the Nixon presidency, as a great threat to the United States. He is unwilling to spill more American blood to overturn the outcome of a war that Syria, Iran, and Russia have already won. Nor is he prepared to foot the bill for the reconstruction of Syria, or for any long-term occupation of that quadrant of Syria that we and our allies now hold.

Once ISIS is defeated, Trump wants out of the war and out of Syria.

The Israelis, Saudis, and most of our foreign policy elite, however, vehemently disagree. They want the U.S. to hold onto that slice of Syria east of the Euphrates that we now occupy, and to use the leverage of our troops on Syrian soil to effect the removal of President Assad and the expulsion of the Iranians.

The War Party does not concede Syria is lost. It sees the real battle as dead ahead. It is eager to confront and, if need be, fight Syrians, Iranians and Shiite militias should they cross to the east bank of the Euphrates, as they did weeks ago, when U.S. artillery and air power slaughtered them in the hundreds, Russians included.

If U.S. troops do remain in Syria, the probability is high that Trump, like Presidents Bush and Obama before him, will be ensnared indefinitely in the Forever War of the Middle East.

President Erdogan of Turkey, who has seized Afrin from the Syrian Kurds, is threatening to move on Manbij, where Kurdish troops are backed by U.S. troops. If Erdogan does not back away from his threat, NATO allies could start shooting at one another.

As the 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria are both uninvited and unwelcome, a triumphant Assad is likely soon to demand that we remove them from his country.

Will we defy President Assad then, with the possibility U.S. planes and troops could be engaging Syrians, Russians, Iranians, and Shiite militias, in a country where we have no right to be?

Trump is being denounced as an isolationist. But what gains have we reaped from 17 years of Middle East wars—from Afghanistan to Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen—to justify all the bloodshed and the treasure lost?

And how has our great rival China suffered from not having fought in any of these wars?

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Foreverand previous titles including The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. Both are available from the AFP Online Store.

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U.S. Soldiers Sacrificial Lambs

Make no mistake about this, says Phil Giraldi: “The American soldiers and airmen who are now based in Israel are the sacrificial lambs that will guarantee U.S. entry into a war that Israel intends to start.” 

By Philip Giraldi

The current crisis with Pyongyang in part relates to the presence of 30,000 U.S. troops at or near the demilitarized zone that separates North from South Korea. A relic of the Cold War, the Korean “police action” never actually ended with a peace treaty that might have created a modus vivendi, allowing the two states to develop without the threat of military intervention coming from either side. The American soldiers continue to serve as a guarantor of the uneasy ceasefire that ended the fighting in that they are, in a sense, hostages to the situation, guaranteeing that there would be massive retaliation if the North were ever to push south in force and kill Americans. Pyongyang knows that and has sought for years a final peace agreement that would remove those hostages and end what it sees as a continuous threat from a nuclear armed and unfriendly United States.

Many observers might well challenge the government-promoted perception that the U.S. military is actually in Korea to guarantee that there be no war, but even they would have to admit that is how the deployment has been successfully sold to the American public and the international audience.

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Consider for a moment, however, a somewhat different scenario in which American soldiers are stationed in a foreign country and even integrated with that country’s own military ostensibly for defensive purposes, but the host country, though not in fact actually threatened by its neighbors, wants to start a war of aggression. Its plans might include deliberately involving the United States in the conflict, making the Americans de facto hostages, with U.S. casualties guaranteeing Washington’s direct and immediate involvement in the fighting. That is exactly what is happening with Israel.

The United States has just completed the largest ever joint military exercises with Israel even though it has no defense agreement or treaty. That is, in part, because military alliances are dependent on an attack on one partner mandating support from all parties to the agreement. Israel has balked at such an arrangement, because it cannot define its own borders, which are constantly expanding. Without a border it is impossible to maintain that you have been attacked, which means that Israel and the U.S. have no treaty obligation to come to their mutual assistance in case of war. In fact, no Israeli soldier has ever fought by the side of an American soldier and likely never will.

The recent maneuvers featured scenarios in which U.S. troops fought Syrians, Lebanese, and Palestinians to defend Israel. Washington’s vulnerability derives from the recent opening of a U.S. permanent facility at Mashabim Air Base in Israel. It is described as a base within a base, completely contained by an Israeli air force installation and operating “under Israeli military directives,” meaning that if the facility is attacked, Americans will likely die. It has no function in support of U.S. regional interests but is instead a shell facility that can be ramped up considerably if Israel goes to war and calls for American assistance. Together with billions of dollars-worth of U.S. military equipment that is pre-positioned in Israel and can be used by the Israelis as needed, it is all about supporting Israeli war-making and has nothing to do with American security or defense interests except as a tripwire to bring about U.S. involvement.

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For that reason, all of the above is something more than just the latest “we have to support Israel” gimmick. The American soldiers and airmen who are now based in Israel are the sacrificial lambs that will guarantee U.S. entry into a war that Israel intends to start, make no mistake about that statement.

A group of U.S. senators who have just returned from Israel have confirmed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is preparing for a major regional war. Their recommendation? Give Israel more money so it can “defend” itself, a proposal that might be well received in the White House, which is also itching to confront both Syria and Iran.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, and the president himself have all been particularly ratcheting up the rhetoric against Iran. At the UN, Nikki Haley recently warned that the U.S. is prepared to attack Syria again because “there are times when states are compelled to take their own action.” Wrong, Nikki. Attacking a country that is not threatening to attack you has been recognized as the ultimate war crime since the Nuremberg trials of 1945-1946.

When Israel attacks Syria or Lebanon, as it clearly intends to do, Hezbollah will retaliate with its missiles, some of which will surely be directed towards the Mashabim Air Base, which will be a prime target to inhibit the base’s ability to bomb Lebanese targets. And once Washington is well and truly engaged in what is referred to as “force protection,” Israel will undoubtedly widen the conflict by drawing in Iran through attacks on that country’s identified bases in Syria that are supporting the al-Assad regime. The bigger war will suddenly become America’s responsibility after Israel inevitably proves itself incapable of handling the escalation.

During the recent bilateral military exercises, Air Force Lt. Gen. Richard Clark enthused that American soldiers are “prepared to die for the Jewish state” and also added that they would “probably” be under the command of Israeli Air Force Gen. Zvika Haimovitch, who would decide on the involvement of U.S. personnel. Haimovitch commented, “I am sure . . . we will find U.S. troops on the ground . . . to defend the state of Israel.”

I somehow doubt if Clark would be so sanguine if his own son were told to prepare to die for the Jewish state. And I have to wonder if the good general has considered Article 2 of the Constitution about declaring war, the 1973 War Powers Act, and the issue of national sovereignty itself in allowing another country to declare war for you.

Clark is a perfect example of how we have been sold out by the people we have honored and rewarded to defend our country when it comes to pandering to Israel. He and the other administration hawks clamoring for more war for Israel are a national disgrace.

Philip Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer and a columnist and television commentator. He is also the executive director of the Council for the National Interest. Other articles by Giraldi can be found on the website of the Unz Review.




Is Trump Assembling a War Cabinet?

It would seem President Trump does not remember the history Candidate Trump seemed to understand, given his choices of cabinet members who support war and more war and seem intent on bombing Iran—sooner than later. 

By Patrick J. Buchanan

The last man standing between the U.S. and war with Iran may be a four-star general affectionately known to his Marines as “Mad Dog.”

Gen. James Mattis, the secretary of defense, appears to be the last man in the Situation Room who believes the Iran nuclear deal may be worth preserving and that war with Iran is a dreadful idea.

Yet, other than Mattis, President Donald Trump seems to be creating a war cabinet.

Trump himself has pledged to walk away from the Iran nuclear deal—”the worst deal ever”—and reimpose sanctions in May.

His new national security adviser John Bolton, who wrote an op-ed titled “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran,” has called for preemptive strikes and “regime change.”

Secretary of State-designate Mike Pompeo calls Iran “a thuggish police state,” a “despotic theocracy,” and “the vanguard of a pernicious empire that is expanding its power and influence across the Middle East.”

Trump’s favorite Arab ruler, 32-year-old Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman, calls Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei “the Hitler of the Middle East.”

Bibi Netanyahu is monomaniacal on Iran, calling the nuclear deal a threat to Israel’s survival and Iran “the greatest threat to our world.”

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley echoes them all.

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Yet Iran appears not to want a war. UN inspectors routinely confirm that Iran is strictly abiding by the terms of the nuclear deal.

While U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf often encountered Iranian “fast attack” boats and drones between January 2016 and August 2017, that has stopped. Vessels of both nations have operated virtually without incident.

What would be the result of Trump’s trashing of the nuclear deal?

First would be the isolation of the United States.

China and Russia would not abrogate the deal but would welcome Iran into their camp. England, France, and Germany would have to choose between the deal and the U.S. And if Airbus were obligated to spurn Iran’s orders for hundreds of new planes, how would that sit with the Europeans?

How would North Korea react if the U.S. trashed a deal where Iran, after accepting severe restrictions on its nuclear program and allowing intrusive inspections, were cheated of the benefits the Americans promised?

Why would Pyongyang, having seen us attack Iraq, which had no WMD, and Libya, which had given up its WMD to mollify us, ever consider giving up its nuclear weapons—especially after seeing the leaders of both nations executed?

And, should the five other signatories to the Iran deal continue with it despite us, and Iran agree to abide by its terms, what do we do then?

Find a casus belli to go to war? Why? How does Iran threaten us?

A war, which would involve U.S. warships against swarms of Iranian torpedo boats, could shut down the Persian Gulf to oil traffic and produce a crisis in the global economy. Anti-American Shiite jihadists in Beirut, Baghdad, and Bahrain could attack U.S. civilian and military personnel.

As the Army and Marine Corps do not have the troops to invade and occupy Iran, would we have to reinstate the draft?

And if we decided to blockade and bomb Iran, we would have to take out all its anti-ship missiles, submarines, navy, air force, ballistic missiles, and air defense system.

And would not a pre-emptive strike on Iran unite its people in hatred of us, just as Japan’s pre-emptive strike on Pearl Harbor united us in a determination to annihilate her empire?

What would the Dow Jones average look like after an attack on Iran?

Trump was nominated because he promised to keep us out of stupid wars like those into which folks like John Bolton and the Bush Republicans plunged us.

After 17 years, we are still mired in Afghanistan, trying to keep the Taliban we overthrew in 2001 from returning to Kabul. Following our 2003 invasion, Iraq, once a bulwark against Iran, became a Shiite ally of Iran.

The rebels we supported in Syria have been routed. And Bashar Assad—thanks to backing from Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, and Shiite militias from the Middle East and Central Asia—has secured his throne.

The Kurds who trusted us have been hammered by our NATO ally Turkey in Syria, and by the Iraqi Army we trained in Iraq.

What is Trump, who assured us there would be no more stupid wars, thinking? Truman and LBJ got us into wars they could not end, and both lost their presidencies. Eisenhower and Nixon ended those wars and were rewarded with landslides.

After his smashing victory in Desert Storm, Bush I was denied a second term. After invading Iraq, Bush II lost both houses of Congress in 2006, and his party lost the presidency in 2008 to the antiwar Barack Obama.

Once Trump seemed to understand this history.

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever and previous titles including The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. Both are available from the AFP Online Store.

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Elites Move to Ban Guns Following Recent Mass Shootings

Not surprisingly, the push for more draconian gun-control laws has strengthened following the Feb. 14 shooting deaths of 14 students and 3 teachers at a high school in south Florida. Now, a former Supreme Court justice has weighed in calling for a constitutional amendment to repeal the Second Amendment, which he says is “a relic of the 18th century.” 

By Mark Anderson

Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens caused a stir on March 27 when he took to the sympathetic pages of The New York Times in an op-ed calling for repeal of the Second Amendment via constitutional amendment. What’s not as well known is that, about a month before that, a bill had been quietly introduced in Congress to ban all “assault weapons.”

The Assault Weapons Ban of 2018 (H.R. 5087), which has 174 cosponsors as of this writing, was introduced in the House Feb. 20, just six days after the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. As of March 20, the legislation had been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary, which referred it to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations. The bill would “make it a crime to knowingly import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon (SAW) or large capacity ammunition feeding device (LCAFD).”

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The bill does permit “continued possession, sale, or transfer of a grandfathered SAW, which must be securely stored. A licensed gun dealer must conduct a background check prior to the sale or transfer of a grandfathered SAW between private parties. The bill permits continued possession of, but prohibits sale or transfer of, a grandfathered LCAFD.”

The nationally televised March for Our Lives had just happened on March 24 in Washington, D.C.—where scores of emotional teens stumped for drastically increased gun controls—when Stevens’s anti-gun homily was published in the Times.

Referring to the radical idea of repealing the second of the 10 amendments that comprise the Bill of Rights—a concept that has never been seriously contemplated much less carried out—Stevens wrote: “Overturning that decision [in District of Columbia v. Heller, which upheld the individual right to bear arms] via a constitutional amendment to get rid of the Second Amendment would be simple and would do more to weaken the N.R.A.’s ability to stymie legislative debate and block constructive gun control legislation than any other available option. That simple but dramatic action would move Saturday’s marchers closer to their objective than any other possible reform. It would eliminate the only legal rule that protects sellers of firearms in the United States. . . .”

He argues: “Concern that a national standing army might pose a threat to the security of the separate states led to the adoption of that amendment. . . . Today that concern is a relic of the 18th century.”

Of course, Stevens knows that America has a standing army, which has grown beyond what our Founders envisioned due to the U.S. leading the charge in interventionist, undeclared world warfare. Worse still, the U.S. ceaselessly patrolling the world has over the years led to calls for surrendering command of U.S. forces to United Nations commanders—a prospect U.S. Army Medic Michael New resisted in 1995 when refused to wear a UN uniform.

“For over 200 years after the adoption of the Second Amendment,” Stevens, 97, opined, “it was uniformly understood as not placing any limit on either federal or state authority to enact gun control legislation. In 1939 the Supreme Court unanimously held that Congress could prohibit the possession of a sawed-off shotgun because that weapon had no reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a ‘well-regulated militia.’ ”

Irrespective of that court decision, the types of weapons needed for personal and community defense, in a Second Amendment context, would logically be based on effectiveness, since it’s absurd to speak of defending town, state, and nation from tyranny with inferior firepower. The widely popular AR-15—the prime target of the Florida students, other gun opponents, and an example of SAWs addressed in H.R. 5087—is arguably the best readily available defense weapon in terms of its utility and power.

Stevens’s Times piece comes adorned with a picture of an 18th century musket alongside an AR-15, and he tries to say that the AR-15’s power so far exceeds the power of the weaponry from the days of the Second Amendment’s framers that the amendment itself is enabling dangers that the framers could not have foreseen. Therefore, Stevens believes, the U.S. should disregard the framers in terms of the principle of homeland defense.

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Overlooked is the fact that the musket represented the top firearm technology of its day, just as the AR-15 does now. Naturally, the educated men who framed the national charter understood that weapons technology would advance like any other technology. Conversely, sound principles are by definition unchanging—with the principles of self-defense and national defense being definitive in America’s founding—regardless of the weapons technology at any given time.

The mainstream media, meanwhile, uses loaded terms like “assault weapon” regarding the AR-15, even though any weapon is best defined by the circumstances of its usage. In other words, an AR-15, a .38 revolver, a baseball bat, or a meat cleaver are all “assault weapons” if used unlawfully in an actual assault. But an AR-15 or any other weapon is a defense weapon when lawfully used to “defend the realm” from an assault.

And while all the talk of nixing the Second Amendment and banning so-called assault weapons only pertains to civilian-owned firearms, the government’s abuse of its own firepower is undeniably evident—from police shooting citizens without just cause to the military unlawfully bombing nations with which the U.S. is not at war.

It is worth noting that the Second Amendment is largely bulletproof despite groups like the Conference of the States (CS) seeking to amend the Constitution, according to Cindy Nation, a volunteer for the Conference of the States, an organization based in Houston.

Ms. Nation assured AFP that existing calls for a formal Conference of the States to propose constitutional changes are designed to be strictly limited.

Her group wants to convene such a conference to, among other things, insert term limits for all federal officials into the Constitution, which would require ratification by 38 states under Article V of the Constitution.

However, repealing the Second Amendment appears to be impossible, she said, since none of the CS groups of which she’s aware have any known intentions of touching that amendment.

Besides, “It’s against the rules to add amendment topics later outside the framework of the initial topics with which states apply for a [CS],” she said.

Still, the bill on Capitol Hill, H.R. 5087, among other anti-gun bills that have taken root lately could gravely erode the Second Amendment due to our country’s current fearful climate.

As of this writing, Congress had been out of session starting March 26. Lawmakers return April 9—making this the perfect time to start calling Congress: 202-224-3121, or 202-225-3121.

Mark Anderson is AFP’s roving editor for AFP. Email him at truthhound2@yahoo.com.




Hearst Kidnapping Was CIA Op

The author of a new book has powerfully countered CNN propaganda, boldly challenging the accepted mainstream version of “the most notorious American kidnapping since the baby of Charles and Anne Lindbergh was taken in 1932.” In doing so, Brad Schreiber exposes how the U.S. undermines dissident groups through revealing the real history of the Symbionese Liberation Army’s kidnapping of media mogul heiress Patty Hearst. 

By S. T. Patrick

Political kidnappings are rare in North America. More common in Latin America, South Asia, and Africa, they are most often used to gain political concessions, commodity control, money, notoriety or a combination of the four. Someone who may be valuable to a wealthy and powerful entity is kidnapped in exchange for something that is of value to the kidnappers.

Patricia (Patty) Campbell Hearst was an heir to the publishing fortune of William Randolph Hearst. She was valuable. The Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) and their leader, Donald DeFreeze, wanted to make a statement that would instantly gain them notoriety through the media, a business the Hearsts knew very well.

When Hearst, a sophomore at the University of California-Berkeley, was kidnapped by members of the SLA on Feb. 4, 1974 there was reason to believe the motives were political and monetary. When no ransom demand was given to California authorities, the media began reporting the story as a political kidnapping. It quickly became the most notorious American kidnapping since the baby of Charles and Anne Lindbergh was taken in 1932. As the story unfolded, the characters, events, and history behind the kidnapping became even more bizarre than what was being reported.

In Revolution’s End: The Patty Hearst Kidnapping, Mind Control, and the Secret History of Donald DeFreeze and the SLA, author Brad Schreiber boldly challenges what is still the accepted mainstream version of the story. It is the mainstream version that was featured on CNN’s recent docuseries, “The Radical Story of Patty Hearst.” In challenging the CNN version of the story with documents and archival interviews that have been available since researcher Dick Russell revealed them in 1976, Schreiber is also challenging the work of CNN’s legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, on whose work the CNN series was based.

While Toobin’s work focuses largely on Hearst, Schreiber’s research delves deeper into the history and ideologies of the SLA and DeFreeze, both of which stem from California Gov. Ronald Reagan’s attempts at infiltrating left-wing political groups. California’s infiltration project was led by Reagan’s attorney general, Evelle Younger, as well as the CIA.

Three months before the Hearst kidnapping, the SLA had been responsible for killing Marcus Foster, the first black superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District. The killing baffled journalists and officials. The SLA had come to prominence as a radical left-wing group concerned mainly about the plight of black Americans. The Foster murder created a rift between the SLA and the Black Panthers, which had formed in Oakland in 1966. It is senseless unless you view the rift as an intentionally created one, as Schreiber does.

While DeFreeze was incarcerated at Vacaville Prison, he became associated with the Black Cultural Association (BCA), a group led by UC-Berkeley professor and CIA asset Colston Westbrook. The BCA would bring white, radical students into the prison to help facilitate political and educational discussions with black inmates housed in a wing used and funded by the CIA for mind control and sociological experimentation projects.

It was through the BCA that Hearst first met the incarcerated DeFreeze. Using a fraudulent ID of friend Mary Alice Siem in a time when prison rules were much more lax, she then began sending money to DeFreeze. Hearst and two of Westbrook’s other volunteers, Patricia Soltysik and Nancy Ling Perry, also engaged in sexual activity with DeFreeze while at Vacaville. DeFreeze and other prisoners targeted by Westbrook were placed on heavy doses of medication.

American Freedom Party Conference in Tennessee

DeFreeze was offered a deal by the California Department of Corrections and the CIA. He would be released (portrayed as an escape) in exchange for starting a phony left-wing group—the SLA—and working in chaotic opposition to the goals of the Black Panthers and the New Left. Westbrook would serve as the control agent for DeFreeze, who had previously been used as an informant to set up the Black Panthers for the Los Angeles Police Department.

After DeFreeze left prison, he was reunited with Soltysik and Perry, who became SLA members. The group’s spurious origins were known by Westbrook and DeFreeze, but not by its white, radical members.

“None of the core 10 white followers of the SLA ever knew that DeFreeze was working for the state,” Schreiber said in an interview with this writer. “They believed it was a radical group, and they believed in revolution. They thought America was a racist country . . . and they thought that the Vietnam War was an immoral war. They were following a black prisoner . . . and they had no idea he was setting them up. . . . They were following DeFreeze blindly.”

According to Schreiber, the kidnapping of Hearst was undertaken by the SLA because DeFreeze felt abandoned by Hearst and had animus toward her. It was, therefore, a personal kidnapping and was neither political nor random. Schreiber believes that Hearst did not expect the kidnapping, nor did she take a willing part in it.

Aside from DeFreeze, the SLA members treated Hearst well. She was already politically radical. DeFreeze employed the use of drugs, intimidation, and sex with other members to mentally coerce Hearst into participating with the SLA in the Hibernia Bank robbery and other activities.

Schreiber is often indignant at the mainstream’s focus on the Hearst angle in the story. Reagan, Younger, and the CIA bear responsibility for the programs by which false left-wing groups were created in California. One of those groups, the SLA, murdered a school superintendent before engaging in a robbery of a San Francisco bank. In a later shootout with the LAPD, six SLA members were killed.

The focus of the story, to Schreiber, is the infiltration of the left, the corruption of the California Department of Corrections, the murder of school superintendent Foster, and the sad deaths of the group’s committed believers.

Schreiber’s point of view is a reminder that the truth of history can be found through dissecting the story of someone the mainstream media views as a minor character. Schreiber found both the truth and the true tragedy of the story within the biographies of the supposedly extraneous figures that surrounded Patty Hearst in 1974 rather than through biographies of Hearst herself.

S.T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent ten years as an educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer News” show. His email is STPatrickAFP@gmail.com.




SPLC Under Fire

Once again, the nation’s leading professional hate group, the Southern Poverty Law Center, has come under fire, this time for unfounded smear jobs against a number of legitimate journalists. The hate-monger retracted its accusatory article. 

By John Friend

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an insidious, subversive, anti-free-speech organization masquerading as a legitimate human rights group, is under fire for once again smearing a number of legitimate, professional journalists as “fascists” and “racists” colluding with the Russian government to promote such views.

In a now-redacted article, originally published March 9 under the headline “The multipolar spin: how fascists operationalize left-wing resentment,” the SPLC attempted to portray a number of anti-war, progressive journalists—including Max Blumenthal, a Jewish journalist critical of the Israeli regime and its brutal occupation of Palestine—as pawns of right wingers and a broader campaign involving Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian regime.

Think the IRS Never Loses Cases? Think again!

Following publication of the article, written by Portland State University lecturer Alexander Reid Ross, Blumenthal and others expressed outrage that they were being falsely portrayed as stooges of the “alt-right” and the Russians. Roughly one week after the article was published, the SPLC took the piece down and replaced it with an apology note attempting to clarify the purpose of the report.

“On March 9, 2018, we posted an article on our Hatewatch blog entitled ‘The multipolar spin: how fascists operationalize left-wing resentment,’ ” the SPLC wrote in its apology clarification note published on March 14. “Shortly after its publication, we received complaints registered by or on behalf of several journalists mentioned in the article that it falsely described one or another of them as white supremacists, fascists, and/or anti-Semites, and falsely accused them of engaging in a conspiracy with the Putin regime to promote such views. Because neither we nor the article’s author intended to make any such accusations, we took it down while we re-examined its contents.”

The SPLC went on to apologize to the journalists and researchers they smeared, including Blumenthal, Ben Norton, Tim Pool, Rania Khalek, and Brian Becker.

Following the original article’s publication, Blumenthal and a number of other prominent anti-war journalists and activists, including Glenn Greenwald, criticized the SPLC for their blatantly dishonest and misleading report. Greenwald described the hit piece as a “scummy” attempt to “smear everyone who dissents from the NATO/neocon view of Syria as bigots and tools of Nazis.”

The latest controversy involving the SPLC comes at a time when the treacherous, un-American organization has been revealed to be a part of YouTube and other top Internet and social media companies’ “Trusted Flaggers” team, which polices YouTube, Google, Facebook, and other platforms for “hate speech” and “racism” by “flagging” content for removal and censorship. Given the SPLC’s clearly blatant bias against conservatives and traditionalists, many are calling for an end to their close relationship with YouTube and other Internet giants.

Trey Radel, a former member of Congress who has in the past been smeared by the SPLC as a “dangerous extremist,” called on YouTube to terminate its relationship with the SPLC in a powerful op-ed published on the conservative online outlet “The Daily Caller.”

“The SPLC is not a legitimate source,” Radel correctly averred. “The Southern Poverty Law Center is as much of a hate group as the organizations it claims to out.”

John Friend is a freelance writer who lives in California.