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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Was Prominent Journalist a Target?

In a new book, journalist Mark Feldstein claims Nixon and his men desperately wanted to get rid of renowned columnist Jack Anderson, who Nixon blamed in part for his loss to JFK in 1960. They considered an assortment of ways to silence Anderson’s criticisms of Nixon and his administration, from criminal prosecution to defamation of character to outright murder.

By S. T. Patrick

The common factors that drove columnist Jack Anderson and President Richard Nixon to the apex of their respective fields are the same that tore them apart and made them adversaries for more than 25 years. The escalating tension between two of the most powerful men in Washington, D.C. climaxed in the year before Watergate, as Nixon’s men wanted Jack Anderson dead.

Anderson and Nixon were both from small, western towns. Their middle-class upbringings often made them uncomfortably conscious of the class warfare inherent within elite society. Anderson was a devout Mormon, while many of Nixon’s social leanings reflected his Quaker upbringing. Both men wrote, walked, talked, and lived like they perpetually had something to prove.

While money was not the driving factor behind the two men personally, they both placed a high value in the same Washingtonian commodity—information. They would gain it in ways that were morally and ethically repugnant to later observers and biographers. They would use it to stay one step ahead of their competition, as well as to belittle opponents who invariably attempted to agitate their most paranoid insecurities. The Beltway was a game, and they were both sore losers.

Nixon believed Anderson was partially responsible for his 1960 presidential loss to John F. Kennedy. Anderson, in his Washington Merry-Go-Round column, had printed a revelation that the Nixon campaign had secretly funneled a private donation from billionaire Howard Hughes. Anderson was in large part responsible for Nixon’s distrust of the establishment media. When the Nixon administration entered the White House in 1969, Anderson’s criticism intensified. He wrote about yet another contribution from Hughes, a favorable tilt toward Pakistan that almost caused a nuclear confrontation with Russia, a covert attempt to oust Chilean president Salvador Allende, and many other brewing scandals.

Mark Feldstein, the chair of broadcast journalism at the University of Maryland, has written Poisoning the Press: Richard Nixon, Jack Anderson, and the Rise of Washington’s Scandal Culture, which is simultaneously a biography of Anderson and a well-written account of his conflict with Nixon.

Feldstein details how Nixon’s “Plumbers”—G. Gordon Liddy, E. Howard Hunt, and company—were created to plug the leaks Anderson used to such success. At one point, Anderson’s column was syndicated in over a thousand newspapers, including The Washington Post. He was the subject of a Timemagazine cover story under the headline “Supersnoop,” he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1972, and he was featured on “60 Minutes.”

“Jack Anderson was like Ahab chasing after Richard Nixon, this great white whale, and he plagued Nixon from the very beginning of his career,” wrote Feldstein.

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Nixon explored many options of what could be done with Anderson. On Jan. 3, 1972, he discussed with Attorney General John Mitchell the possibility of criminally prosecuting Anderson for publishing classified documents.

“I would just like to get a hold of this Anderson and hang him,” said Mitchell.

Nixon replied, “So listen, the day after the election, win or lose, we’ve got to do something with [Anderson].”

Liddy and Hunt met with other Nixon aides to discuss what could be done to thwart the muckraking journalist. A spy was placed in Anderson’s office where Colson attempted to plant a false White House document. They considered labeling Anderson as gay, which he was not, and charging that his legman Brit Hume was his gay lover. The administration then tried leaking information on Anderson to The Washington Post, which instead printed a story about how Nixon was trying to smear Anderson.

Exasperated, the Plumbers turned to the one method of silencing Anderson that would work permanently—murder. Hunt and Liddy, under orders from Colson, met and plotted potential ways to kill Anderson. They interviewed a CIA poison expert to determine whether they could poison him without detection. They put Anderson under surveillance to see if there was a location on his regular route to potentially stage a fatal auto accident. They staked out his home to case the vulnerable points of entry that could be penetrated to swap prescription medications for poison. The most bizarre consideration was the idea of lacing Anderson’s steering wheel with LSD, thus causing an accident.

Finally, they decided that the best means would be to stage a mugging that would end in Anderson’s death. Liddy later claimed that he had volunteered for the latter and was satisfied with breaking Anderson’s neck. Before his death, Hunt also corroborated the scheme to kill Anderson.

Colson called off the plan to kill Anderson, as the funds had been earmarked elsewhere. Six weeks later, the burglars were arrested at the Watergate complex.

When the second Watergate break-in occurred in June 1974, Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman tried planting a story that blamed Anderson. Dating back to the 1950s, Anderson had been involved in buggings and break-ins in an effort to acquire damaging information on politicians. Making Haldeman’s plan even more potentially credible, Anderson was also friendly with Watergate burglar Frank Sturgis, who had been his house guest in Washington, D.C. In a strange turn of coincidence, Anderson ran into Sturgis at the airport on the night of the Watergate break-in. Sturgis and the burglars were flying in from Miami. When Anderson first heard about Watergate, he instantly knew who was involved.

Anderson’s later career was plagued with factual errors, dwindling readership, and an affinity for the Reagan administration that took the bulldog out of the aging reporter. Nixon would resign from office and live out his life writing about global issues. Nixon would die in 1994, and Anderson would succumb to the effects of Parkinson’s disease in 2005. He had retired his column a year before at the age of 81.

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.




Robert Mueller’s Questionable Past

Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Trump, was born, bred, and married into deep state spy families. As S. T. Patrick points out, “some of the more interesting reasons” to question Mueller’s current role may be historical, involving his or his family members’ role in deep state events from the Bay of Pigs, JFK assassination, and Pan Am Flight 103 to 9/11’s Dancing Israelis, the Israeli “art students,” and many others. 

By S. T. Patrick

Robert Mueller is the special counsel tasked with investigating potential Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. This appointment has also given Mueller significant leeway in exploring any possible links between the Trump campaign and the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Much has been written about Mueller’s conduct, as well as his methods, but some of the more interesting reasons for questioning Mueller’s role may be historical.

Mueller was born into and then married into a family with high-level ties to covert CIA operations.

Since 1966, Mueller has been married to Ann Cabell Standish. The Cabell family includes Charles Cabell, the deputy director of the CIA under Allen Dulles. As part of the fallout of the Bay of Pigs fiasco, Cabell was forced to resign by President John F. Kennedy in January 1962. His brother, Earle Cabell, was the mayor of Dallas in 1963 where and when Kennedy was assassinated. The 2017 JFK document releases have also proven that Mayor Cabell was a CIA asset.

Kingdom Identity

Mueller, himself, is a relative of Richard Bissell, the CIA’s director of plans at the time when it utilized the U-2 spy plane, formed closer ties to the mafia, planned assassination plots against Castro, and directed the Bay of Pigs invasion.

During his tenure with the Justice Department under President George H.W. Bush, Mueller supervised the prosecutions of Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, the Lockerbie bombing (Pan Am Flight 103) case, and Gambino crime boss John Gotti. In the Noriega case, Mueller ignored the ties to the Bush family that Victor Thorn illustrated in Hillary (and Bill): The Drugs Volume, Part Two of the Clinton Trilogy.* Noriega had long been associated with CIA operations that involved drug smuggling, money laundering, and arms running. Thorn significantly links Noriega to Bush family involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal.

Regarding Pan Am Flight 103, the culprit has swayed with the immediate need for a villain. Pro-Palestinian activists, Libyans, and Iranians have all officially been blamed when U.S.  intelligence and the mainstream mass media needed to paint each as the antagonist to American freedom. Mueller toed the line, publicly ignoring rumors that agents onboard were said to have learned that a CIA drug-smuggling operation was afoot in conjunction with Pan Am flights. According to the theory, the agents were going to take their questions to Congress upon landing. The flight blew up over Lockerbie, Scotland.

Rogue Spooks, by Dick Morris
Rogue Spooks: The Intelligence War on Donald Trump, is available from the AFP Online Store in print and audio versions.

In 1995, Mueller worked under Eric Holder as the senior litigator in the District of Columbia U.S. Attorney’s Office. When Holder was appointed to the position of deputy attorney general under Janet Reno in 1997, he urged President Bill Clinton to make Mueller the U.S. attorney for San Francisco.

As the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California in 2000, Mueller “strongly opposed” Patty Hearst’s application for a presidential pardon. Mueller wrote, “The attitude of Hearst has always been that she is a person above the law and that, based on her wealth and social position, she is not accountable for her conduct, despite the jury’s verdict.”

As author Brad Schreiber noted in Revolution’s End, the 1974 kidnapping of Hearst was an eventual effect of the CIA-created Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). By vehemently arguing that Hearst was responsible for her association with the SLA—rather than being a victim in a FBI Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) operation gone haywire—Mueller protected the FBI from bearing any responsibility for the SLA’s origin or actions.

Shortly after his inauguration, President George W. Bush chose Mueller to head the FBI. As news organizations were vetting Mueller in 2001, The New York Times stumbled upon former associates who remembered Mueller’s reactions to critics who had questioned the FBI’s actions at Ruby Ridge. During an 11-day siege, officers of the U.S. Marshals and FBI killed Randy Weaver’s wife and 14-year-old son.

“Associates recall his anger at members of Congress and others for criticism of the FBI’s 1992 siege of a separatist family at Ruby Ridge in Idaho,” reported Neil A. Lewis. The New York Times further reported the popularity Mueller garnered from officers at both the FBI and the IRS.

Mueller was at the helm of the FBI on Sept. 11, 2001. Many independent researchers have questioned Mueller’s handling of the “five dancing Israelis” who worked for Urban Moving Systems. Callers to the FBI office in New Jersey reported five dancing Middle Eastern men watching and celebrating in clear view as the World Trade Center was destroyed. The Forward, a Jewish weekly publication, later reported that the FBI concluded that at least two of the five Israelis were Mossad agents. It was also concluded that Urban Moving Systems was a Mossad front operation. Unfathomably, the Israeli agents were quietly released from detention.

Also downplayed was the story of the Israelis who claimed to be capitalistic art students. They were traveling the country in hopes of hawking their questionably artistic wares at top-secret facilities and at the homes of those who worked at sensitive security locations. Though the “students” had been reported by the U.S. Marshals, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Air Force, the Secret Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the FBI itself, the issue was largely ignored in the FBI’s testimony to the 9/11 Commission and by Mueller himself.

Mueller’s history goes deeper than partisanship or personal grudges. He is the consummate establishment insider, a role into which he was born and then married. His résumé has been built upon pleasing those whose career trajectories, family histories, and loyalty to the deep state guide their assignments, associations, and maneuvers. Any hope that Mueller will conduct an impartial investigation of the Trump campaign staff seems whimsical, at best.

The apparent tactics of Mueller’s office seemingly reside in the faulty “There’s the man. . . . Now go find the crime” strategy. If there is fault, it will lie at the feet of individuals, not institutions. This is Mueller’s history and the modus operandi of a career insider who has flourished protecting the interests of his most loyal allies.

*Victor Thorn’s Hillary (and Bill): The Drugs Volume—Part Two of the Clinton Trilogy is available from the AFP Online Store for $30. Order online or send cash, check, or money order to AFP, 16000 Trade Zone Ave., Unit 406, Upper Marlboro, Md. 20774. To order by credit card or cryptocurrency, call 888-699-6397, Mon.-Thu. 9-5.

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.




Bolton Should Be Denied Clearance

Newly appointed national security advisor John Bolton is anything but new when it comes to his efforts to foment war—anywhere and everywhere possible. Phil Giraldi says the warmonger Bolton, “supremely sure of himself and possessing a tendency to do what he considers expedient without regard for consequences, cannot be relied upon to do the right thing when it comes to national security” and, based on his record, should not be given security clearance.

By Philip Giraldi

Much of the criticism of the appointment of John Bolton as national security advisor focuses on his record as a warmonger, a man who believes that any complex foreign problem can and should be resolved by force in support of the principle that the United States knows best how other countries should govern themselves.

The Israeli liberal newspaper Ha’aretz, dismayed over how Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government were overjoyed at the appointment, described Bolton as “Dr. Strangelove with a whiff of Apocalypse Now,” before observing ruefully how he “has yet to meet a war he didn’t love, a rival he didn’t want to destroy, an enemy he didn’t seek to blow to smithereens, and an international conflict he didn’t believe could be solved by force of arms. He denigrates diplomacy, maligns multilateral organizations, yearns for the days, if they ever existed, that America told the world what to do and everyone saluted.”

Bolton, a leading architect of the Iraq war, rightly described as America’s worst foreign policy blunder ever, endorses that decision to this day. But it was more than a blunder. It was a war crime that in turn produced many other crimes to include torture, rendition, and black site prisons.Bolton’s inability to recognize defeat and failure marks him as an intelligent man locked into his own worldview who is completely unable to learn from his mistakes.

For the past 15 years, Bolton has consistently advocated bombing Iran and has connived at creating some casus belli, by false flag if necessary, to initiate fighting. He has even pressured America’s hawkish United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley to contrive some kind of confrontation to kill the successful Iran nuclear deal. Bolton’s nomination has many Americans rightly alarmed that he might initiate yet another endless cycle of costly and bloody military engagement in the Mideast.

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Beyond the general concerns, however, one might consider Bolton’s impending access to the most highly classified intelligence information that the United States possesses due to his close personal relationship with Israel and its government, which appears to have included divulging classified information in the past. The Israeli connection is particularly sensitive because of the role of casino billionaire GOP funder Sheldon Adelson, who supported some of Bolton’s initiatives after he left the State Department in 2006. Bolton certainly knows how to return a favor, approving of Adelson’s suggestion to detonate a nuclear bomb in the Iranian desert, just to warn the Mullahs what might be coming.

Bolton’s regard for Israel has included activity that might have involved unauthorized disclosure of classified information when he was undersecretary of state for arms control and international security. He collaborated with the Israelis, often without telling his superiors in the State Department, to create a justification for a U.S. attack on Iran. The strategy to bring about a war included diplomatic pressure, crude propaganda, and the production of fabricated evidence by Mossad.

Despite the fact that Bolton was technically under the supervision of Secretary of State Colin Powell, he violated existing State Department regulations by taking a series of secret trips to Israel in 2003 and 2004 without the required clearance from the State Department’s Bureau for Near Eastern Affairs. Thus, when Powell was saying administration policy was not to attack Iran, Bolton was working with the Israelis to prepare for just such a war. During a February 2003 visit, Bolton assured Israeli officials in private meetings that he was certain that the United States would attack Iraq to take down Saddam before dealing with Iran as well as Syria.

During multiple trips to Israel, Bolton had unannounced meetings, including with the head of Mossad, Meir Dagan, without the usual reporting cable to the secretary of state. Those meetings involved crafting a joint strategy to bring about political conditions supporting an eventual U.S. strike against the Iranians.

Bolton, while serving as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, also supplied Israel with crucial information on American plans at the UN so as to redirect U.S. policy. Dan Gillerman, who served as Israel’s ambassador to the UN in 2006 when Bolton was U.S. ambassador, has described how “in more than one case, Ambassador Bolton called me and alerted me to the fact that his mission—the United States mission to the UN—was about to vote against Israel and asked that I alert the prime minister, who at that time was Ehud Olmert. In more than one case the prime minister called the president, who was then George W. Bush, and got him to overrule the State Department.”

Bolton was working with Israel to subvert positions being supported by the U.S. government, as in August 2006 when the UN Security Council was considering Resolution 1701, to end a month-long war between Israel and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. Bolton warned the Israelis that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice planned to support the initiative. Gillerman reports, “In that case John Bolton got in touch with me at about 8 o’clock in the evening, which was 3 in the morning in Israel, calling to say ‘You have to call your prime minister and tell him that Condi Rice sold you out to the French.’ ”

All of the above is now part of the public record on Bolton. Some might consider what he did as treasonous. Given what we know about his last experience of high office, he should never again be cleared to have access to classified information since he would likely abuse that privilege to satisfy his own agenda. Bolton, supremely sure of himself and possessing a tendency to do what he considers expedient without regard for consequences, cannot be relied upon to do the right thing when it comes to national security. He should never be granted a security clearance and should never be placed in a position of authority that would again permit him to do mischief. Unfortunately, however, urging President Donald Trump to reverse the Bolton decision because of the grave damage it will inevitably do to the United States is not likely be received favorably by the White House.

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.




Has the War Party Hooked Trump?

Following reports of an alleged gas attack on civilians in Syria, President Trump threatened Bashar Assad, via Twitter, with paying a “big price.” This in spite of just recently announcing the U.S. would be withdrawing troops from Syria. Is he bluffing? Or did he just further extend U.S. involvement in this foreign civil war.

By Patrick J. Buchanan

With his Sunday tweet that Bashar Assad, “Animal Assad,” ordered a gas attack on Syrian civilians, and Vladimir Putin was morally complicit in the atrocity, President Donald Trump just painted himself and us into a corner.

“Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria,” tweeted Trump, “President Putin, Russia, and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price . . . to pay.”

“Big price . . . to pay,” said the president.

Now, either Trump launches an attack that could drag us deeper into a seven-year civil war from which he promised to extricate us last week, or Trump is mocked as being a man of bluster and bluff.

For Trump Sunday accused Barack Obama of being a weakling for failing to strike Syria after an earlier chemical attack.

“If President Obama had crossed his stated Red Line In The Sand,” Trump tweeted, “the Syrian disaster would have ended long ago! Animal Assad would have been history!”

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Trump’s credibility is now on the line and he is being goaded by the war hawks to man up. Sunday, John McCain implied that Trump’s comments about leaving Syria “very soon” actually “emboldened” Assad:

“President Trump last week signaled to the world that the United States would prematurely withdraw from Syria. Bashar Assad and his Russian and Iranian backers have heard him, and emboldened by American inaction, Assad has reportedly launched another chemical attack against innocent men, women and children, this time in Douma.”

Pronouncing Assad a “war criminal,” Lindsey Graham said Sunday the entire Syrian air force should be destroyed.

So massive an attack would be an act of war against a nation that has not attacked us and does not threaten us. Hence, Congress, prior to such an attack, should pass a resolution authorizing a U.S. war on Syria.

And, as Congress does, it can debate our objectives in this new war, and how many men, casualties, and years will be required to defeat the coalition of Syria, Russia, Hezbollah, Iran, and the allied Shiite militias from the Near East.

On John Bolton’s first day as national security adviser, Trump is being pushed to embrace a policy of Cold War confrontation with Russia and a U.S. war with Syria. Yet candidate Trump campaigned against both.

The War Party that was repudiated in 2016 appears to be back in the saddle. But before he makes good on that threat of a “big price . . . to pay,” Trump should ask his advisers what comes after the attack on Syria.

Lest we forget, there was a reason Obama did not strike Syria for a previous gas attack. Americans rose up as one and said we do not want another Middle East war.

When John Kerry went to Capitol Hill for authorization, Congress, sensing the national mood, declined to support any such attack.

Trump’s strike, a year ago, with 59 cruise missiles, on the air base that allegedly launched a sarin gas attack, was supported only because Trump was new in office and the strike was not seen as the beginning of a longer and deeper involvement in a war Americans did not want to fight.

Does Trump believe that his political base is more up for a major U.S. war in Syria today than it was then?

The folks who cheered Trump a week ago when he said we were getting out of Syria, will they cheer him if he announces that we are going deeper in?

Before any U.S. attack, Trump should make sure there is more hard evidence that Assad launched this poison gas attack than there is that Russia launched that poison gas attack in Salisbury, England.

One month after that attack, which Prime Minister Theresa May ascribed to Russia and Foreign Minister Boris Johnson laid at the feet of Putin himself, questions have arisen:

If the nerve agent used, Novichok, was of a military variety so deadly it could kill any who came near, why is no one dead from it?

Both the target, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter Yulia are recovering.

If the deadly poison was, as reported, put on the doorknob of Skripal’s home, how did he and Yulia manage to go to a restaurant after being contaminated, with neither undergoing a seizure until later on a park bench?

If Russia did it, why are the British scientists at Porton Down now admitting that they have not yet determined the source of the poison?

Why would Putin, with the prestige of hosting the World Cup in June on the line, perpetrate an atrocity that might have killed hundreds and caused nations not only to pull out of the games, but to break diplomatic relations with Russia?

U.S. foreign policy elites claim Putin wanted Trump to win the 2016 election. But if Putin indeed wanted to deal with Trump, why abort all such prospects with a poison gas murder of a has-been KGB agent in Britain, America’s foremost ally?

The sole beneficiaries of the gas attacks in Salisbury and Syria appear to be the War Party.

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.

COPYRIGHT 2017 CREATORS.COM



HUD Scam Dies

While the new $1.3 trillion omnibus bill is another egregious example of governmental over-reach and over-spend, there’s one bright spot in the act: At least it won’t fund an Obama-era social engineering experiment. Now Congress needs to take action to end permanently the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing regulation.

By John Friend

The recently passed omnibus spending bill, which funds the federal government for the 2018 fiscal year, was reluctantly signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 23. The bill is an absurd 2,232 pages in length and outlays $1.3 trillion in federal funding, yet another demonstration of the mind-blowing reach and expanse of the U.S. federal government.

There may be a bright note to this otherwise ridiculous spending outlay. Language embedded in the bill upends a controversial Obama-era policy administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) known as Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH), a regulation enacted in 2015 that permitted HUD—a federal agency—to dictate and influence basic zoning policies in local municipal and county jurisdictions.

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The program essentially allowed the federal government to shape zoning laws in local jurisdictions in a manner that advances the Marxist ideal of forced social integration and represents a tremendous overreach by the federal government into the affairs of local communities. The rules effectively told communities what they could build and where and monitored neighborhoods to arbitrarily force ethnic and income diversity.

According to the AFFH rule, local municipal or county governments accepting any portion of the $3 billion annual community development block grants awarded and administered by HUD would be forced to rezone neighborhoods and cities based on income and racial criteria determined by the federal government.

According to Robert Romano, vice president of public policy at Americans for Limited Government, the relevant portion of the omnibus spending bill concerning the controversial HUD program states: “None of the funds made available by this act may be used by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to direct a grantee to undertake specific changes to existing zoning laws as part of carrying out the final rule entitled ‘Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing’ . . . or the notice entitled ‘Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Assessment Tool.’ ”

“This provision utterly guts the HUD regulation, which had already been delayed by HUD Secretary Ben Carson earlier this year until 2020,” Romano recently wrote, commending the GOP-led Congress and the spending bill for tackling this controversial policy head on. “While there were many problems with the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, one thing the Republican-led Congress got absolutely right was defunding Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing from being used to force communities to make changes to local zoning law.”

Overall, the spending bill provides funding for a variety of programs and activities administered and carried out by the federal government, from military spending to border security and everything in between.

Trump initially threatened to veto the bill due to its lack of funding for his proposed border wall, a signature issue of his 2016 presidential campaign that garnered national attention and much support from his constituent base. Eventually, the president backed down and signed the bill, basing his decision largely around his concern for funding the U.S. military.

John Friend is a writer based in California.




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.

COPYRIGHT 2017 CREATORS.COM



Is the GOP Staring at Another 1930?

Pat Buchanan warns, “The party of ‘tax and tax, spend and spend, and elect and elect’ appears to be reaching the end of its tether. Federal deficits are rising toward trillion-dollar levels,” even as the Republican base grows smaller. These are not the only factors that “point to a bad day for the GOP on Nov. 6.”

By Patrick J. Buchanan

After the victory of Donald Trump in 2016, the GOP held the Senate and House, two-thirds of the governorships, and 1,000 more state legislators than they had on the day Barack Obama took office.

“The Republican Party has not been this dominant in 90 years,” went the exultant claim.

A year later, Republicans lost the governorship of Virginia and almost lost the legislature.

Came then the loss of a U.S. Senate seat in ruby-red Alabama.

Tuesday, Democrats captured a House seat in a Pennsylvania district Trump carried by 20 points, and where Democrats had not even fielded a candidate in 2014 and 2016.

Republicans lately congratulating themselves on a dominance not seen since 1928 might revisit what happened to the Class of 1928.

In 1930, Republicans lost 52 House seats, portending the loss of both houses of Congress and the White House in 1932 to FDR who would go on to win four straight terms. For the GOP, the ’30s were the dreadful decade.

Is the GOP staring at another 1930?

Perhaps.

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Unlike 1930, though, the nation has not endured a Great Crash or gone through year one of a Great Depression where unemployment hit 10% in June, when the Smoot-Hawley tariff was passed.

Today, the economy is moving along smartly. The labor force is larger than it has ever been. Workers are re-entering and seeking jobs. Black and Hispanic unemployment are at record lows. Confidence is high. Our Great Recession is 10 years in the past.

The problem for Republicans may be found in a truism: When the economy is poor, the economy is the issue. When the economy is good, something else is the issue.

A good economy did not save the GOP in the 18th Congressional District of Pennsylvania, where the party’s tax cut was derided by Democrat Conor Lamb as a wealth transfer to the rich. Nor did Lamb hurt himself by implying Republicans were planning to pay for their tax cut by robbing Social Security and Medicare.

Republican candidate Rick Saccone reportedly stopped using the tax cut as his major issue in his TV ads that ran closest to Election Day.

Other factors point to a bad day for the GOP on Nov. 6.

Republican retirees from Congress far outnumber Democratic retirees.

Democratic turnout has been reaching record highs, while GOP turnout has been normal. And even in the special elections Democrats have lost, they are outperforming the Democrats who lost in 2016.

Relying upon hostility to Trump to bring out the resistance, savvy Democrats are taking on the political coloration of their districts and states, rather than of the national party of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders.

There is, however, troubling news from Pennsylvania for Nancy Pelosi.

Lamb promised voters of “Deerhunter” country he would not support San Francisco Nancy for speaker. Look for Democrats in districts Trump carried to begin talking of the “need for new leaders.”

Trump seems fated to be the primary target of attack this fall, and not only in districts Clinton carried. For an average of national polls shows that disapproval of his presidency is 14 points higher than his approval rating. And this is when the economy is turning up good numbers not seen in this century.

At the national level, Democrats will turn 2018 into a referendum on the Trump persona and Trump presidency. For while the Trump base is loyal and solid, the anti-Trump base is equally so, and appreciably larger.

Lest we forget, Hillary Clinton, not the most charismatic candidate the Democrats have put up in decades, beat Trump by nearly 3 million votes. And while Trump pierced the famous “blue wall”—the 18 states that voted Democratic in every presidential election between 1992 and 2012—the demographic trend that created the wall is still working.

White voters, who tend to vote Republican, continue to decline as a share of the population. Peoples of color, who vote 70 to 90% Democratic in presidential elections, are now nearly 40% of the nation.

Mass migration into America is re-enforcing that trend.

Moreover, millennials, who have many elections ahead of them, are more liberal than seniors, who have fewer elections ahead and are the GOP base.

But if Republicans face problems of demography, the party of “tax and tax, spend and spend, and elect and elect” appears to be reaching the end of its tether. Federal deficits are rising toward trillion-dollar levels.

The five largest items in the budget—Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, defense, interest on the debt—are rising inexorably. And there appears no disposition in either party to cut back on spending for education, college loans, food stamps, housing assistance or infrastructure.

If the Fed did not retain the power to control the money supply, then the fate of New Jersey and Illinois, and beyond, of Greece and Argentina, would become our national destiny.

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.

COPYRIGHT 2017 CREATORS.COM



Is That Russia Troll Farm an Act of War?

President Trump says Russians are laughing at the “revelations” from Mueller’s investigation that a Russian “troll farm” used social media to influence the 2016 election–through never in support of Hillary Clinton. Yet Democrats are screaming these shenanigans are the “equivalent of Pearl Harbor.” Never mind that U.S. intelligence continues to do what it wants to influence other countries’ elections “in support of democracy.”

By Patrick J. Buchanan

According to the indictment by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Russian trolls, operating out of St. Petersburg, took American identities on social media and became players in our 2016 election.

On divisive racial and religious issues, the trolls took both sides. In the presidential election, the trolls favored Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein and Donald Trump, and almost never Hillary Clinton.

One imaginative Russian troll urged Trumpsters to dress up a female volunteer in an orange prison jump suit, put her in a cage on a flatbed truck, then append the slogan, “Lock Her Up!”

How grave a matter is this?

This Russian troll farm is “the equivalent (of) Pearl Harbor,” says Cong. Jerrold Nadler, who would head up the House Judiciary Committee, handling any impeachment, if Democrats retake the House.

When MSNBC’s Chris Hayes pressed, Nadler doubled down: The Russians “are destroying our democratic process.” While the Russian trolling may not equal Pearl Harbor in its violence, said Nadler, in its “seriousness, it is very much on a par” with Japan’s surprise attack.

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Trump’s reaction to the hysteria that broke out after the Russian indictments: “They are laughing their (expletives) off in Moscow.

According to Sunday’s Washington Post, the troll story is old news in Russia, where reporters uncovered it last year and it was no big deal.

While Mueller’s indictments confirm that Russians meddled in the U.S. election, what explains the shock and the fear for “our democracy”?

Is the Great Republic about to fall because a bunch of trolls tweeted in our election? Is this generation ignorant of its own history?

Before and after World War II, we had Stalinists and Soviet spies at the highest levels of American culture and government.

The Hollywood Ten, who went to prison for contempt of Congress, were secret members of a Communist Party that, directed from Moscow, controlled the Progressive Party in Philadelphia in 1948 that nominated former Vice President Henry Wallace to run against Harry Truman.

Soviet spies infiltrated the U.S. atom bomb project and shortened the time Stalin needed to explode a Soviet bomb in 1949.

As for Russian trolling in our election, do we really have clean hands when it comes to meddling in elections and the internal politics of regimes we dislike?

Sen. John McCain and Victoria Nuland of State egged on the Maidan Square crowds in Kiev that overthrew the elected government of Ukraine. When the democratically elected regime of Mohammed Morsi was overthrown, the U.S. readily accepted the coup as a victory for our side and continued aid to Egypt as tens of thousands of Muslim Brotherhood members were imprisoned.

Are the CIA and National Endowment for Democracy under orders not to try to influence the outcome of elections in nations in whose ruling regimes we believe we have a stake?

 

“Have we ever tried to meddle in other countries’ elections?” Laura Ingraham asked former CIA Director James Woolsey this weekend.

With a grin, Woolsey replied, “Oh, probably.”

“We don’t do that anymore though?” Ingraham interrupted. “We don’t mess around in other people’s elections, Jim?”

“Well,” Woolsey said with a smile. “Only for a very good cause.”

Indeed, what is the National Endowment for Democracy all about, if not aiding the pro-American side in foreign nations and their elections?

Did America have no active role in the “color-coded revolutions” that have changed regimes from Serbia to Ukraine to Georgia?

When Republicans discuss Iran on Capitol Hill, the phrase “regime change” is frequently heard. When the “Green Revolution” took to the streets of Tehran to protest massively the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009, Republicans denounced President Obama for not intervening more energetically to alter the outcome.

When China, Russia, and Egypt expel NGOs, are their suspicions that some have been seeded with U.S. agents merely marks of paranoia?

The U.S. role in the overthrow of Premier Mossadegh in Iran in 1953, and of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954, and of President Ngo Dinh Diem in Saigon in 1963 are established facts.

When the democratically elected Marxist Salvador Allende was overthrown in Chile in 1973, and committed suicide with an AK-47 given to him by Fidel Castro, the Nixon White House may have had no direct role. But the White House welcomed the ascendancy of Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

What do these indictments of Russians tell us? After 18 months, the James Comey-Robert Mueller FBI investigation into the hacking of the DNC and John Podesta emails has yet to produce evidence of collusion.

Yet we do have evidence that a senior British spy and Trump hater, Christopher Steele, paid by the Hillary Clinton campaign and DNC to dig up dirt on Trump, colluded with Kremlin agents to produce a dossier of scurrilous and unsubstantiated charges, to destroy the candidacy of Donald Trump. And the FBI used this disinformation to get FISA Court warrants to surveil and wiretap the Trump campaign.

Why is this conspiracy and collusion with Russians less worthy of Mueller’s attention than a troll farm in St. Petersburg?

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of a new book, 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.

COPYRIGHT 2017 CREATORS.COM



Trump – Middle American Radical

Many think of Donald Trump as a conservative Republican. Yet this is not the case, explains Pat Buchanan, who refers to an article arguing a more accurate description is “radical anti-progressive.” So who is this president and why are so many Americans having a hard time wrapping their brains around this “new breed” of politician? 

By Patrick J. Buchanan

President Trump is the leader of America’s conservative party.

Yet not even his allies would describe him as a conservative in the tradition of Robert Taft, Russell Kirk or William F. Buckley.

In the primaries of 2016, all his rivals claimed the mantle of Mr. Conservative, Ronald Reagan. Yet Trump captured the party’s heart.

Who, then, and what is Donald Trump?

In a Federalist essay, “Trump Isn’t a Conservative—And That’s a Good Thing,” Frank Cannon comes close to the mark.

Trump, he writes, “would more accurately be described as a ‘radical anti-progressive’ ” who is “at war with the progressives who have co-opted American civil society.” Moreover, Trump “is willing to go further than any other previous conservative to defeat them.”

Many “elite conservatives,” writes Cannon, believe the “bedrock institutions” they treasure are “not subject to the same infectious politicization to which the rest of society has succumbed.”

This belief is naive, says Cannon, “ridiculous on its face.”

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“Radical anti-progressives” recognize that many institutions—the academy, media, entertainment, and the courts—have been co-opted and corrupted by the left. And as these institutions are not what they once were, they no longer deserve the respect they once had.
Yet most conservatives will only go so far in criticizing these institutions. We see this in how cradle Catholics find it difficult to criticize the Church in which they were birthed and raised, despite scandals and alterations in the liturgy and doctrine.

Trump sees many institutions as fortresses lately captured by radical progressives that must be attacked and besieged if they are to be recaptured and liberated. Cannon deals with three such politicized institutions: the media, the NFL, and the courts.

Trump does not attack freedom of the press but rather the moral authority and legitimacy of co-opted media institutions. It is what CNN has become, not what CNN was, that Trump disrespects.

These people are political enemies posturing as journalists who create “fake news” to destroy me, says Trump. Enraged media, responding, reveal themselves to be not far removed from what Trump says they are.

And, since Trump, media credibility has plummeted.

Before 2016, the NFL was an untouchable. When the league demanded that North Carolina accept the radical transgender agenda or face NFL sanctions, the Tar Heel State capitulated. When Arizona declined to make Martin Luther King’s birthday a holiday in 1990, the NFL took away the Super Bowl. The Sun State caved.

This year, the league demanded respect for the beliefs and behavior of NFL players insulting Old Glory by “taking a knee” during the national anthem.

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Many conservative politicians and commentators, fearing the NFL’s almost mythic popularity in Middle America, remained mute.

But believing instinctively America would side with him, Trump delivered a full-throated defense of the flag and called for kicking the kneelers off the field, out of the game, and off the team.

“Fire them!” Trump bellowed.

And Trump triumphed. The NFL lost fans and viewers. The players ended the protests. No one took a knee at the Super Bowl.

Before Trump, the FBI was sacrosanct. But Trump savaged an insiders’ cabal at the top of the FBI he saw as having plotted to defeat him.

Trump has not attacked an independent judiciary, but courts like the Ninth Circuit, controlled by progressives and abusing their offices to advance progressive goals, and federal judges using lifetime tenure and political immunity to usurp powers that belong to the president—on immigration, for example.

Among the reasons Congress is disrespected is that it let the Supreme Court seize its power over social policy and convert itself into a judicial dictatorship—above Congress.

Trump is no Beltway conservative, writes Cannon.

“Trump doesn’t play by these ridiculous rules designed to keep conservatives stuck in a perpetual state of losing—a made-for-CNN version of the undefeated Harlem Globetrotters versus the winless Washington Generals. Trump instead seeks to fight and delegitimize any institution the Left has captured and rebuild it from the ground up.”

The Trump supporters who most relish the wars he is waging are the “Middle American Radicals,” of whom my columnist-colleague and late friend Sam Francis used to write.

 

There was a time such as today before in America.

After World War II, as it became clear our long-ruling liberal elites had blundered horribly in trusting Stalin, patriots arose to cleanse our institutions of treason and its fellow travelers.

The Hollywood Ten were exposed and went to jail. Nixon nailed Alger Hiss. Truman used the Smith Act to shut down Stalin’s subsidiary, the Communist Party USA. Spies in the atom bomb program were run down. The Rosenbergs went to the electric chair.

Liberals call it the “Red Scare.” And they are right to do so.

For when the patriots of the Greatest Generation like Jack Kennedy and Richard Nixon and Joe McCarthy came home from the war and went after them, the nation’s Reds had never been so scared in their entire lives.

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of a new book, 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

COPYRIGHT 2017 CREATORS.COM



Read Newly Released House Memo Blasting FBI Here

Regular readers of AFP know that U.S. law enforcement regularly abuse their powers to investigate and arrest everyday Americans. It is no small comfort that law enforcement at the highest levels now stands accused of committing similar contentious acts against a presidential contender who was a threat to the establishment.

By AFP Staff

On Feb. 2, the House Intelligence Committee released a secret memo alleging the Justice Department abused its powers to surveil the Trump campaign.

As per the law, President Donald Trump was required to authorize the release. He could have chosen to redact key parts, but the billionaire president decided to release it in its entirety so the public could see for themselves the abusive process.

The memo was originally compiled by House Intelligence Committee staff, led by Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), from classified documents provided by the Department of Justice.

The Justice Department and the FBI both objected to its release but the House and the president overruled them. Read the memo by clicking the link here.




Anybody But Romney

Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts who lost both the 2008 Republican presidential primary to John McCain and the 2012 presidential election to Barack Obama, has since stayed mainly out of politics. But now, the wishy-washy candidate is eyeing the Utah U.S. Senate seat being vacated by 40-year Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch. While Romney and President Trump have gone verbally toe-to-toe over a few matters, Trump reportedly called Romney to encourage him to run in what will be a mid-term referendum on the president’s performance.

By S.T. Patrick

As Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) prepares to retire after 40 years in the Senate, Mitt Romney has made recent headlines as the likely Republican replacement for Hatch on the 2018 senatorial ballot. Since losing the GOP’s presidential primary to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008 and then the presidential election to President Barack Obama in 2012, Romney has for the most part steered clear of political battles.

First-term mid-term elections are usually referendums on the first two years of a new presidency. In a political environment as emotionally charged as Washington, D.C. is today, the elections of 2018 will center on President Donald Trump and a candidate’s support or opposition for the Trump agenda. Though a source close to the White House confirmed to The Salt Lake Tribune that Trump called Romney and encouraged him to run, the White House only confirmed the call and not the reason for the call.

Recently, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) said that Ken Gardner, a local businessman, phoned him to say that he had received a text from Romney.

“I’m running,” it said.

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In the political world of alliances, mending fences that appeared irreparably broken is not as far-fetched as it seems. In a March 2016 speech, Romney was harshly critical of Trump, declaring, “Here’s what I know: Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud.”

After Romney was critical of Trump for not releasing his tax records, Trump responded that Romney was “one of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of Republican politics.” After predicting that a Trump victory would mean that “the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished,” Trump called Romney “a choke artist.”

Romney publicly stated that he voted for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) in the 2016 Utah caucus, but he never revealed his 2016 general election vote.

After Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton, Romney congratulated him via Twitter and a phone call. Shortly thereafter, Romney met with president-elect Trump at the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey. The two reportedly discussed a possible appointment for Romney as secretary of state in the new administration. The position eventually went to Rex Tillerson.

After the August violence in Charlottesville, Romney again criticized Trump’s handling of what Romney said should have been a “defining moment” for the Trump presidency. “Whether he intended to or not, what (Trump) communicated caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn,” Romney wrote in a Facebook post. “The president must take remedial action in the extreme. He should address the American people, acknowledge that he was wrong, apologize. State forcefully and unequivocally that racists are 100% to blame for the murder and violence in Charlottesville.” Trump had said that there was “blame on both sides” for the violence.

After recent reports surfaced that Trump had used the expression “sh**hole countries” to describe nations like Haiti, Romney took to Twitter in response. “The poverty of an aspiring immigrant’s nation of origin is as irrelevant as their race,” Romney tweeted. “The sentiment attributed to POTUS is inconsistent (with) America’s history and antithetical to American values. May our memory of Dr. King buoy our hope for unity, greatness, and charity for all.”

Romney emerged again last November as he opposed the Alabama senate candidacy of Roy Moore. Political strategist Steve Bannon, giving a speech in support of Moore, addressed Romney directly.

“You hid behind your religion,” Bannon said. “You went to France to be a missionary while guys were dying in rice paddies in Vietnam.”

Bannon was referring to Romney’s devoted membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Mormons. While Romney’s religion may not present problems in Utah, the global center for Mormonism, many have expressed doubts about the religion’s legitimacy and its practices. Right or wrong, many American evangelical Christians consider Mormonism to be a non-Christian cult, while revisionists and conspiracy theorists are troubled by its structural and traditional proximity to freemasonry. The once-secret, “sacred” rituals performed by Mormons in exclusive temples are now viewable as hidden camera footage on YouTube.

If Romney arrives in Washington, D.C. as the next senator from Utah, his support will be coveted by both the White House as well as the #NeverTrumpers. The milieu of Senate Republicans who indirectly and directly have criticized the president is not small. But a newly elected Sen. Romney may not choose to blend in at all. He may, instead, choose to carve his own path—and maybe in preparation for another even-larger campaign.

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.




Arpaio Will Run for Senate

Famed Arizona lawman “Sheriff Joe” Arpaio spoke with AFP about his upcoming campaign plans to run for the Arizona U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican Jeff Flake. He talks about his sole reason for running, his previous election experiences, the recently concluded criminal misdemeanor contempt case brought against him by the feds and its one “loose end,” and more. 

By Mark Anderson

Former longtime Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio spoke to AFP Jan. 21 in an exclusive interview about his recently announced bid to fill the seat of departing U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). While reflecting on his 58 years in federal and state law enforcement and discussing his political views, the embattled but resilient lawman said he intends to serve for one term and feels he has a respectable chance to prevail.

“What’s good about my race is that I’m not going to make a career out of it,” he told AFP. “My sole intention is to serve the people of Arizona.”

Comparing his Senate bid with his past Maricopa County election efforts that earned him the sheriff’s post for 24 years, Arpaio is challenging mainstream-media naysayers. He points out that, since Maricopa County is larger in population and/or land area than 18 states, this statewide Senate race is not too much of a stretch, especially given his notoriety.

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“I’ve never lost a Republican primary,” he said. “I won seven of them,” including even the 2016 sheriff’s office primary by a comfortable margin despite media efforts to scuttle his primary bid. He lost the general election to a former Phoenix police officer, amid sustained negative publicity about the government taking him to trial.

A three-way primary is already shaping up. Besides Arpaio, Republican Kelli Ward, a former state senator, is running, as is one-term GOP Congresswoman Martha McSally, a retired Air Force officer. Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema is running, too, and she’ll likely have a primary challenge.

Since Sen. Flake is vacating his seat, partly over blowback from excessively ridiculing Trump’s policies, Arpaio has the advantage of not having to unseat an incumbent. He also has good statewide and national name-recognition in a border state whose two sitting senators both stump for amnesty for illegal immigrants.

“Arizonans largely continue to see illegal immigration as a major problem but believe undocumented immigrants should be treated humanely,” according to a March 2015 poll by Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy.

Arpaio said that his critics who see him as a rogue character “forgot all the drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs I had in the jail,” referring to humane policies he applied toward assisting prisoners, including illegal aliens.

Arpaio said that a major motivation for his Senate run is that Flake, along with the other Arizona senator, John McCain, are part of a small establishment-Republican vanguard who’ve unduly and unfairly obstructed the president’s agenda, including Trump’s pledge to stop runaway immigration, an issue on which Arpaio and Trump clearly agree.

Yet most media, Arpaio said, report as if this vanguard represents virtually the entire Senate.

“You can count the vocal ones on one hand,” Arpaio remarked. “But I don’t like what’s going on with the two senators from Arizona zeroing in on the president.”

Notably, Sens. Flake, Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) are in a faction called the “gang of six,” joining forces with Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin (Ill.), scandal-ridden Robert Menendez (N.J.) and Michael Bennet (Colo.). Their goal, according to a recent op-ed in The Hill, a Beltway newspaper, is to “give amnesty to millions of so-called Dreamers [those who entered the U.S. illegally as children] and their illegal-alien parents.”

Arpaio has a rather colorful background. After a U.S. Army stint from 1950-53, he became a Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police officer in 1957. He also briefly served as a Las Vegas patrolman. Pursuing higher aspirations, he was sworn in as a federal Drug Enforcement Administration officer in Chicago that year in November, while getting married the following month. He calls 1957 his banner year. He and his wife, Ava, recently celebrated 60 years of marriage.

Politically, Arpaio came out early in support of Trump in 2015. Previously, he was honorary state chairman for George W. Bush’s first campaign and supported the presidential runs of Rick Perry in 2012 and Mitt Romney in 2008. He feels he’s a loyal Republican but not a GOP “rubber stamp.”

“I do agree with the president’s policies on international trade—anything that will help the economy of our country. We should be using money spent overseas on our country, on our highways and byways,” he told AFP.

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Thus, Arpaio supports Trump on the NAFTA renegotiation, because it could rev up the U.S. economy as well as Mexico’s—a rebalancing that Arpaio believes would reduce the incentive for illegal border crossings into the U.S.

Arpaio has faced his share of media brickbats since at least 2006, when he became nationally known as a so-called “hardliner” for wanting to get a handle on the huge influx of illegal immigrants flowing into his jurisdiction. He was clobbered again when the Department of Justice sued him for his “willful” decision to disregard a 2011 federal injunction issued to bar him from continuing to arrest and detain illegal aliens during his time as sheriff.

On July 31, 2017 Arpaio was found guilty of misdemeanor criminal contempt by Judge Susan Bolton—who, according to one of Arpaio’s attorneys, Mark Goldman, improperly issued her verdict from the bench after a brief non-jury trial that ran four days and concluded July 6. Arpaio did not get the jury trial he had sought.

A loose end in those proceedings remains, in that Judge Bolton has refused to strike the misdemeanor from his record—something Arpaio is appealing. “She won’t erase my conviction,” he explained. “I was never brought before [her] and sentenced.”

When Trump pardoned Arpaio last Aug. 25, the prospect of him running for Senate was mentioned, though it wasn’t discussed at-length in major media. According to Arpaio, there’s no connection between the pardon and his Senate run.

“President Trump hasn’t called me, nor have I called him, before or since my Senate announcement,” he said, adding that the last time he spoke with Trump was by phone in November 2016 after Trump had won the presidency.

Mark Anderson is a longtime newsman now working as the roving editor for AFP. Email him at truthhound2@yahoo.com.




Earmarks Are Not the Problem

The fact increasing numbers of legislators are “willing to vote against big government than in past years” is not because the practice of earmarks was ended but because “the liberty movement has led to more liberty-minded members being elected to the House and Senate,” says Ron Paul. 

By Dr. Ron Paul

Last week President Trump urged Congress to reassert its constitutional authority to direct how federal agencies spend taxpayer dollars. Ironically, many constitutional conservatives and libertarians disagree with the president. The reason is, President Trump wants Congress to reassert its authority by bringing back earmarks.

Earmarks are line items in spending bills directing federal agencies to spend federal funds on specific projects in a representative or senator’s district or state. Congress ended the practice of earmarks several years ago after a public outcry fueled by a widespread misunderstanding of the issue.

Earmarks are added to spending bills after the spending levels have been determined. Therefore, earmarks do not increase federal spending. What earmarks do is limit the federal bureaucrats’ ability to decide how to spend taxpayer money.

When I served in Congress, I was amazed when self-proclaimed constitutionalists complained about how earmarks prevented funding of federal bureaucrats’ priorities. These “constitutionalists” seem to have forgotten that the Constitution gives Congress sole authority over deciding how taxpayer dollars should be spent.

My support for earmarks in Congress did not add one penny to the spending in the bills. I believed that some of the tax money sent to Washington should actually make it back to congressional districts rather than remain in the hands of Washington bureaucrats. In the end, I always voted against final passage of the bloated spending bills.

Some call earmarks a gateway drug to big spending. They point to how congressional leadership denied earmarks to members unless the members voted for big spending and other anti-liberty legislation. It is true that congressional leadership used earmarks to reward and punish members. During my years in Congress, earmarks for my district were stripped from bills in an (unsuccessful) attempt to make me stop voting against unconstitutional legislation.

Congressional leaders do not need earmarks to reward or punish members. They can, for example, deny plum committee assignments to those who refuse to toe the party line, or discourage donors from supporting them.

Presidents can still use the promise of federal funds to influence congressional votes. “Presidential earmarks” were crucial to passing Obamacare, and President Trump has threatened to withhold aid from states whose senators oppose his agenda. The removal of earmarks has given the president even greater influence over the legislative branch!

The fact that there are more representatives and senators willing to vote against big government than in past years has nothing to do with the lack of earmarks. Instead, the liberty movement has led to more liberty-minded members being elected to the House and Senate.

While the ideas of liberty are growing in popularity, the majority of the people and certainly most politicians still believe the U.S. government should run the economy, run the world, and run our lives. This misplaced faith in big government, not the presence of earmarks, is why most politicians vote for big spending. No politician ever said, “Now that I can’t receive earmarks, I am abandoning my support for the welfare-warfare state.”

Earmarks are a way for elected representatives to ensure their constituents’ tax dollars are spent in a manner that matches constituent priorities. Earmarks do not by themselves expand government. Those who oppose earmarks should work to stop so many Americans from demanding government-provided economic and personal security. Earmarks are not the cause of runaway spending, and removing them has done little or nothing to shrink government and regain our liberties.

Ron Paul, a former U.S. representative from Texas and medical doctor, continues to write his weekly column for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, online at ronpaulinstitute.org.




What Is America’s Mission Now?

America’s UN Ambassador Nikki Haley continues to make the U.S. look ridiculous and make public statements that do not agree with established U.S. foreign policy. When will President Trump rein her in or, better yet, replace her in this position that should truly represent the United States to the world? 

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Informing Iran, “The U.S. is watching what you do,” Ambassador Nikki Haley called an emergency meeting Friday of the Security Council regarding the riots in Iran. The session left her and us looking ridiculous.

France’s ambassador tutored Haley that how nations deal with internal disorders is not the council’s concern. Russia’s ambassador suggested the United Nations should have looked into our Occupy Wall Street clashes and how the Missouri cops handled Ferguson.

Fifty years ago, 100 U.S. cities erupted in flames after Martin Luther King’s assassination. Federal troops were called in. In 1992, Los Angeles suffered the worst U.S. riot of the 20th century, after the LA cops who pummeled Rodney King were acquitted in Simi Valley.

Was our handling of these riots any business of the UN?

Conservatives have demanded that the UN keep its nose out of our sovereign affairs since its birth in 1946. Do we now accept that the UN has authority to oversee internal disturbances inside member countries?

Friday’s session fizzled out after Iran’s ambassador suggested the Security Council might take up the Israeli-Palestinian question or the humanitarian crisis produced by the U.S.-backed Saudi war on Yemen.

The episode exposes a malady of American foreign policy. It lacks consistency, coherence, and moral clarity, treats friends and adversaries by separate standards, and is reflexively interventionist.

Thus has America lost much of the near-universal admiration and respect she enjoyed at the close of the Cold War.

This hubristic generation has kicked it all away.

Consider. Is Iran’s handling of these disorders more damnable than the thousands of extrajudicial killings of drug dealers attributed to our Filipino ally Rodrigo Duterte, whom the president says is doing an “unbelievable job”?

And how does it compare with Gen. Abdel el-Sissi’s 2012 violent overthrow of the elected president of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, and Sissi’s imprisonment of scores of thousands of followers of the Muslim Brotherhood?

Is Iran really the worst situation in the Middle East today?

Hassan Rouhani is president after winning an election with 57% of the vote. Who elected Mohammed bin Salman crown prince and future king of Saudi Arabia?

Vladimir Putin, too, is denounced for crimes against democracy for which our allies get a pass.

In Russia, Christianity is flourishing and candidates are declaring against Putin. Some in the Russian press regularly criticize him.

How is Christianity faring in Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan?

It is alleged that Putin’s regime is responsible for the death of several journalists. But there are more journalists behind bars in the jails of our NATO ally Turkey than in any other country in the world.

Suicide of a Superpower cover Patrick Buchanan
Have a look at Pat Buchanan’s books in the AFP Bookstore.

When does the Magnitsky Act get applied to Turkey?

What the world too often sees is an America that berates its adversaries for sins against our “values,” while giving allies a general absolution if they follow our lead.

A day has not gone by in 18 months that we have not read or heard of elite outrage over the Kremlin attack on “our democracy,” with the hacking of the DNC and John Podesta emails.

How many even recall the revelation in 2015 that China hacked the personnel files of millions of U.S. government employees, past, present and prospective?

While China persecutes Christians, Russia supports a restoration of Christianity after 70 years of Leninist rule.

In Putin’s Russia, the Communist Party is running a candidate against him. In China, the Communist Party exercises an absolute monopoly of political power and nobody runs against Xi Jinping.

China’s annexation of the Paracel and Spratly Islands and the entire South China Sea is meekly protested, while Russia is endlessly castigated for its bloodless retrieval of a Crimean peninsula that was recognized as Russian territory under the Romanovs.

China, with several times Russia’s economy and 10 times her population, is far the greater challenger to America’s standing as lone superpower. Why, then, this tilt toward China?

Among the reasons U.S. foreign policy lacks consistency and moral clarity is that we Americans no longer agree on what our vital interests are, who our real adversaries are, what our values are, or what a good and godly country looks like.

Was JFK’s America a better country than Obama’s America?

World War II and the Cold War gave us moral clarity. If you stood against Hitler, even if you were a moral monster like Joseph Stalin, we partnered with you.

From Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech in 1946 to the end of the Cold War, if you stood with us against the “Evil Empire” of Reagan’s depiction, even if you were a dictator like Gen. Pinochet or the Shah, you were welcome in the camp of the saints.

But now that a worldwide conversion to democracy is no longer America’s mission in the world, what exactly is our mission?

“Great Britain has lost an empire,” said Dean Acheson in 1962, “but not yet found a role.”

Something of the same may fairly be said of us today.

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of a new book, 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 Bookstore

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