Saturday, July 23, 2016


This time in Munich.

July 22, 2016

Police protest people evacuated from shopping centre in Munich. 22 July 2016
Armed police escorted people from the shopping centre after the shooting (Getty Images)
The events unfolded in predictable fashion: a young Iranian Muslim opened fire at a shopping mall in Munich while screaming “Allahu akbar,” and initial mainstream media reports were that the gunman was a “right-wing extremist,” lashing out on the fifth anniversary of the Norwegian madman Anders Breivik’s massacre, while screaming out his hatred for foreigners. 
As it happened, it was someone else screaming his hatred for foreigners at the jihad murderer, not the other way around, but once again, the lie had gotten halfway around the world before the truth had a chance to put on its shoes.
And the same old comedy, the familiar one that plays out every week now in modern, multicultural Europe and North America, duly played out again, to an increasingly bored and indifferent crowd. Munich police chief Hubertus Andraeinformed the world that the young jihadi had no known links to jihad terror groups, and added: “The motive or explanation for this crime is completely unclear.” 
Unclear? Really? What is it about “Allahu akbar” and the gunning-down of innocent civilians that you don’t understand, Herr Andrae? And the answer, of course, is: everything. Hubertus Andrae, and Angela Merkel, and Theresa May, and Manuel Valls, and John Kerry, and Barack Obama, and every last one of the other Western leaders are resolutely and determinedly ignorant about what it means when a young Iranian Muslim screaming “Allahu akbar” opens fire in a shopping mall.
What, after all, could it possibly mean? This young man must have come from a troubled home, no? He must have grown up in poverty and been denied access to all sorts of economic opportunities that were open to native Germans of his age, right? He must have been “radicalized on the Internet” by shadowy forces that somehow possess the magic power to turn benign, peaceful Muslims who are a benefit and asset to every Western nation into misunderstanders of their own religion who suddenly and inexplicably discard the peaceful Islamic teachings they have imbibed from youth in their Western mosques, in favor of a twisted and hijacked version of their religion that leads them to think that treason and mass murder are not only commendable, but blessed by the Almighty – isn’t that the case?
The Munich shooter’s motive is completely unclear, because we don’t yet know if he was teased in school or on the job, or if he had trouble getting a job in the first place, or if he had psychological problems, or if he was a brooding loner who always left his moderate Muslim friends disquieted – the only thing we do know is that he couldn’t possibly have been motivated by a religion that exhorts its adherents to “slay them wherever you find them” (cf. Qur’an 2:191, 4:89, 9:5).
No, none of that is true, and one wonders if even the European and North American political and media elites believe in their own nonsense anymore. The Munich mass murderer was motivated by Islam, pure and simple – by its teachings of warfare against unbelievers and the necessity to subjugate them. His war cry of “Allahu akbar,” revered by jihadis for its power to “strike terror in the hearts of the enemies of Allah” (Qur’an 8:60), demonstrates that. 
The Islamic State’s repeated calls for the mass murder of civilians in Western countries also demonstrate that. Hubertus Andrae, and Angela Merkel, and Theresa May, and Manuel Valls, and John Kerry, and Barack Obama, and every last one of the other Western leaders persist in pretending that incidents such as the mass murder in Munich on Friday, and the mass murders in Nice, Orlando, Brussels, Paris, San Bernardino, Chattanooga, and elsewhere recently are all separate, discrete criminal acts, unrelated to one another and all requiring extensive investigation to determine the motives of the perpetrators.
That proposition is not only false; it’s a Goebbelsian Big Lie. These are not criminal acts. These are not the acts of the psychopathic or the disenfranchised. These are acts of war, battles in a larger war that has been going on for 1,400 years and is picking up speed in our own age, courtesy of our willfully myopic and feckless leaders. Unless and until Western authorities begin to treat each of these incidents as part of a larger war, they will continue to misdiagnose the problem and apply the wrong solutions.
And that is the one thing they are certain to do. And so there will be many, many more Munichs. Watch this space next week for my comments on the next jihad massacre and the next flurry of predictable denials and obfuscations. My comments next week will be much like my comments here, because the actions of the elites after the next jihad attack will be much like what they have been today. What is it going to take to get leaders who are in touch with reality? Seriously, is that really too much to ask?

Novelist Daniel Silva celebrates the art world via superspy Gabriel Allon

Best-selling author Daniel Silva signs copies of his new novel, The Black Widow, before his appearance at the Jewish Community Center in Dallas on Sunday, July 17. (Jewish Community Center/Jewish Community Center)

To say that Daniel Silva is a best-selling author is a bit like saying Henry Aaron was a decent home-run hitter. Before July 12, Silva had written 18 novels, all of which claimed their place on the New York Times best-seller list. He only recently released his 19thThe Black Widow, which brought him to Dallas last Sunday night.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Silva on stage during his sold-out appearance at the Jewish Community Center. During his remarks, I thought, "Wow, he'd be a terrific subject for Art Notes." Art plays a major role, even a critical role, in most Silva novels. 
The character at the heart of 16 Silva classics is superspy Gabriel Allon, who doubles as an art restorer. You could even say that Allon is an internationally renowned art restorer. The crowd at the JCC, which numbered more than 500 adoring fans, beseeched the author: Why did he make Gabriel Allon an art restorer? 
So he told them. Years ago, he was walking the streets of Georgetown with his wife, who reminded him that they were having dinner that night with David Bull, who just happens to be one of the world's most famous art restorers.
"That's it!" Silva said. "Gabriel will be an art restorer."
Silva sounded almost rhapsodic in telling a story about meeting Bull at the National Gallery of Art, where Bull was paintings conservator, and getting to see the work Bull was doing on a masterpiece by Claude Monet. Silva even got to touch the painting. His idea of making Allon an art restorer has both deepened his friendship with Bull and launched a rare collaboration between the two. Silva thanks Bull profusely in the acknowledgements to The Black Widow (and for that matter, several other books). I should note here that restoration is a 21st century endeavor at many major museums, including the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth and the Dallas Museum of Art, where it became a high priority under previous director Maxwell Anderson, whom Silva also knows.
"What has been fascinating is that this has attracted a lot of attention," Bull told me in his British accent, in a telephone call.  
"Once, I was in San Diego, and suddenly, somebody says to me, 'You're Gabriel Allon!' This has happened frequently in various places." About 18 months ago, Bull met a lawyer who wanted him to look at a painting. During their discussion on restoration, the man "mentioned Gabriel Allon and said, 'Have you read those books?' This has happened oh so many times." 
But Bull wants you to know: He is not a spy. "I would be very bad at it. I don't think I could shoot straight. I would be no good at doing what he does." 
So, Silva deemed art restoration to be the perfect foil for the elusive Allon, who is a superspy but also, well, an assassin. As Silva's Facebook page points out, "In one part of his life, Gabriel has to destroy, in the other he is able to restore. Art restoration symbolizes Gabriel's way of trying to make damaged people and the damaged world whole again."
It helps that Silva loves, as in really, really loves, great works of art. It's a passion he can embrace by using Allon as his vehicle of indulgence.
A 2015 story in the Washington Post describes Bull as "Silva's secret weapon. In a way, he's helped the author become the John le Carré of art conservation. Bull's tools have touched Picassos, Monets and even a da Vinci. And while the conservator is nothing if not respectful of his writing friend -- he would never consider meddling with Silva's prose -- there was one proposed twist in The Heist he couldn't accept. Silva wanted Allon to roll up a real van Gogh at one point in the book."
Bull protested mightily. "Never, never, never," he said. "Because Gabriel loves the painting. He would not damage a painting."
In the past, Silva has spoken to hundreds of sold-out crowds, including one several years ago at the DMA, where he riffed on art like a lead guitarist turned loose on stage. Bull shared this about him with the Washington Post
"I might not hear from him in six months and then suddenly there's e-mails and telephone calls because he's hit a certain moment and he just wants to be sure," Bull said. "When it comes to dealing with paintings and the restoration of paintings, he wants everything to be absolutely accurate. Tell him you use a little thing like a stick, like a Q-Tip, then he says, 'What solvents do you use?' He's meticulous in his research."
And when it comes to his followers, Silva enjoys bipartisan adoration. Two of his biggest fans are former President Bill Clinton (he does a darned good imitation of the 42nd president, by the way) and Newt Gingrich, a Republican who served as speaker of the House of Representatives during Clinton's White House years. 
Clinton appeared on the Today show on NBC in 2011 and said his "favorite character in fiction" is -- who else? -- Gabriel Allon, art restorer and superspy. 
Gingrich tweeted this on July 18: 
This is a CBS interview with Silva, who talks about why he used the subject of art theft for the centerpiece of one of his novels: 

Friday, July 22, 2016


And Hillary is the voice of the establishment.

July 22, 2016
Hope. Confidence. Resolve.
As the country reels from its crises, facing domestic and international terrorism, culture wars orchestrated by the powerful machinery of the left and economic decline robbing generations, these are the qualities that a nation on the edge of despair is desperately looking for.
If there is one defining quality for Donald Trump that sums up his essence, it is confidence. And that is also the quality that the Republican National Convention has also come to embody.
Day after day, speaker after speaker has boldly laid out a confident case for a national resurgence. 
This has been an unapologetic convention. A convocation of men and women who refuse to back away from their beliefs.  Proudly politically incorrect, the convention rocked Cleveland. Defying the threats and predictions of violence, the protests proved to amount to little more than a nuisance showing once again that confidence and courage can achieve success where compromise and appeasement fail. 
Tonight the pattern held true as Sheriff Joe Arpaio told a cheering crowd the simple truth. "We are the only country in the world whose immigration systems put the needs of other nations ahead of ours. We are more concerned with the rights of illegal aliens and criminals than we are with protecting our own country."
“When I was a kid, the great debate was about how to defeat the Soviet Union. And we won. Now we are told that the great debate is about who gets to use which bathroom,” Peter Thiel declared.
African-American pastor Mark Burns proudly led a chant of, “All lives matter.” And he told a cheering crowd, "Despite the color you were born with, here in America, the only colors that matter are the colors red, white, and blue.” 
This was exactly the sort of uncompromising tone with which Donald Trump took the stage, telling those in attendance that, “Beginning on January 20th 2017, safety will be restored. The most basic duty of government is to defend the lives of its own citizens. Any government that fails to do so is a government unworthy to lead.”
It was a confident statement about national security that not only offered no concessions or apologies, but in an instant shrugged off the malaise and madness of the Obama and Hillary years. It took the web of lies and deceits, the Orwellian word games and gaslighting from an administration that claims appeasement is national security and that Islam is our only hope of defeating Islamic terrorism and tore it to shreds with a lesson on what real national security is supposed to look like. It doesn’t involve helping the Muslim Brotherhood take over governments, but defending us from Islamic terrorists.
On the pro-crime policies which have led to sharp rises in crime and anti-police terror, Trump was equally devastating. “Decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed by this Administration’s rollback of criminal enforcement. Homicides last year increased by 17% in America’s 50 largest cities. That’s the largest increase in 25 years. In our nation’s capital, killings have risen by 50 percent. They are up nearly 60 percent in nearby Baltimore.” That was not what advocates of “sentencing reform” wanted to hear. 
Trump denounced the “sacrifice” of American lives on the “altar of open borders”. He demanded to know where the sanctuary cities were for the victims of illegal alien crime like Kate Steinle. He slammed an economic recovery in which “4 in 10 African-American children are living in poverty” and “2 million more Latinos are in poverty today than when President Obama took his oath of office less than eight years ago” holding Obama accountable for the economic misery of the minorities whom the left claims to defend. 
Obama had doubled our debt and all we had to show for it was a decaying infrastructure and 43 million people on food stamps, he pointed out, showing the hollowness of Obama’s obscene spending sprees.
Abroad, Trump’s case against Obama and Hillary was equally devastating. Iran had shown off its capture and abuse of American sailors “forced to their knees by their Iranian captors at gunpoint” before the nuclear deal which “gave back to Iran $150 billion and gave us absolutely nothing”.
In the face of a GOP foreign policy establishment which had largely backed the Arab Spring, Trump utterly disavowed it and praised the Egyptian military for removing the Muslim Brotherhood from power. It was a wonderful act of political heresy. And Trump wrapped up his foreign policy case with a simple and devastating truth that all this was, “the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction, terrorism, and weakness.”
Then, even more boldly, Trump laid out a case for his own candidacy as the change candidate. Hillary Clinton represented a “rigged system” controlled by the “special interests” of “big business, elite media and major donors” that had lined up behind her candidacy. 
That is why Hillary Clinton’s message is that things will never change. My message is that things have to change – and they have to change right now,” Trump declared. With those words, he solidified his theme. Beyond ideology and ideas, Trump had embraced his strongest element, the radical reinvention of politics, to become the candidate of change, while Hillary, who had beaten Bernie Sanders and enlisted the aid of Obama by promising to be his third term, became the candidate of the status quo.
“I am your voice,” Trump called out to the unemployed workers and to victims of crime and terror. Hillary Clinton was, by contrast, the voice of the rigged system which had protected and coddled her.
And that was yet one more thing that would change. “On January 21st of 2017, the day after I take the oath of office, Americans will finally wake up in a country where the laws of the United States are enforced.” And that is the last thing that Hillary and her cronies and corrupt associates want.
Trump contrasted Hillary’s “loyalty pledge” of “I’m With Her” with his pledge of “I’m With You, The American People.”
Trump vowed to restore law and order, to restore the economy, to restore national defense and to restore the country. He vowed to change broken systems and rigged systems. He committed numerous common sense heresies, including calling for an end to nation building and a Muslim immigration ban.
And he did it all unapologetically and with a casual confidence that so many wanted to see and hear closing with the core message of the convention. “We Will Make America Strong Again. We Will Make America Proud Again. We Will Make America Safe Again. And We Will Make America Great Again.”

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Fire Spreads

July 17, 2016
Baton Rouge Police Shot
Baton Rouge police seal off an area near Hammond Aire Shopping Center in Baton Rouge on Sunday after a man with an assault rifle opened fire, killing three officers.(AP)
Perhaps it will turn out that the latest assassination of police officers, this time in Baton Rouge, is unrelated to the hatred fomented by the Black Lives Matter movement. Perhaps the gunmen were members of militia groups aggrieved by federal overreach, say. But the overwhelming odds are that this most recent assault on law and order, taking the lives of three officers and wounding at least three more, is the direct outcome of the political and media frenzy that followed the police shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, less than two weeks ago. That frenzy further amplified the dangerously false narrative that racist police officers are the greatest threat facing young black men today.
President Barack Obama bears direct responsibility for the lethal spread of that narrative. In a speech from Poland just hours before five officers were assassinated in Dallas on July 7, Obama misled the nation about policing and race, charging officers nationwide with preying on blacks because of the color of their skin. Obama rolled out a litany of junk statistics to prove that the criminal justice system is racist. Blacks were arrested at twice the rate of whites, he complained, and get sentences almost 10 percent longer than whites for the same crime. Missing from Obama’s address was any mention of the massive racial differences in criminal offending and criminal records that fully account for arrest rates and sentence lengths. (Blacks, for example, commit homicide at eight times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined, and at about 11 to 12 times the rate of whites alone.) Instead, Obama chalked up the disparities to “biases, some conscious and unconscious that have to be rooted out . . . across our criminal justice system.”
Then five Dallas officers were gunned down out of race hatred and cop hatred. Did Obama shelve his incendiary rhetoric and express his unqualified support for law enforcement? No, he doubled down, insulting law enforcement yet again even as it was grieving for its fallen comrades. In a memorial service for the Dallas officers, Obama rebuked all of America for its “bigotry,” but paid special attention to alleged police bigotry:
When African-Americans from all walks of life, from different communities across the country, voice a growing despair over what they perceive to be unequal treatment, when study after study shows that whites and people of color experience the criminal justice system differently. So that if you’re black, you’re more likely to be pulled over or searched or arrested; more likely to get longer sentences; more likely to get the death penalty for the same crime. When mothers and fathers raised their kids right, and have the talk about how to respond if stopped by a police officer—yes, sir; no, sir—but still fear that something terrible may happen when their child walks out the door; still fear that kids being stupid and not quite doing things right might end in tragedy.
When all this takes place, more than 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, we cannot simply turn away and dismiss those in peaceful protest as troublemakers or paranoid.
The irresponsible zealotry of this rebuke was stunning. Obama was fully on notice that the hatred of cops was reaching homicidal levels. And yet his commitment to prosecuting his crusade against phantom police racism trumped considerations of prudence and safety, on the one hand, and decent respect for the fallen, on the other. Of course, Obama also uttered the mandatory praise for officers who “do an incredibly hard and dangerous job fairly and professionally,” and he warned against “paint[ing] all police as biased, or bigoted.” This was self-indulgent hypocrisy. A passing denunciation of stereotyping hardly compensates for the insane accusation that black parents rightly fear that any time “their child walks out the door,” that child could be killed by a cop.
It is possible that the Dallas killers and the Baton Rouge killers had not heard Obama’s most recent speeches on criminal-justice racism, or even the many that preceded them. But even if the cop murderers had not encountered Obama’s exact words, the influence of his rhetoric on the hatred in the streets is absolute. Obama’s imprimatur on the Black Lives Matter demagoguery gives it enormous additional thrust and legitimacy, echoing throughout public discourse into the most isolated corners of the inner city.
The media bear equal responsibility for the ongoing carnage. The press immediately slotted the shootings of Sterling and Castile into the racist-cop paradigm, though the facts about what the officers saw and whether the victims were in fact reaching for their guns were unknown. The New York Times went into cop-calumny overdrive, with an editorial entitled “When Will the Killing Stop?” and a series of back-to-back op-eds decrying the brutal oppression of blacks in America. One of those op-eds, by an assistant professor at Purdue University, bemoaned that blacks were up against a world “where too many people have their fingers on the triggers of guns aimed directly at black people.” The professor was presumably not referring to the thugs who shot a three-year-old boy in Chicago on Father’s Day this year, leaving him paralyzed for life, or who shot a five-year-old girl, a seven-year-old boy, and an 11-year-old boy in Chicago on the Fourth of July. She was probably also not referring to Le’Vonte King Jason, a two-year-old boy killed on July 8 in Minneapolis, a few miles away and two days after Philando Castile was shot by police during a traffic stop. Jason was in a car driven by his father that was peppered with bullets in a drive-by shooting; the gunfire hit his 15-month-old sister as well. Except for a local columnist, the press ignored Jason’s funeral, in contrast to the media scrum that inundated Castile’s funeral on the same day.
Even before this latest attack on the police, officers across the country have been reeling under the prejudice directed against them. A police trainer meeting with officers on July 7, hours before the Dallas carnage, reported to me that the cops were “out of their minds that the default [in the Castile and Sterling shootings] is racism, without one iota of fact.” Officers have already been backing off of proactive policing under the constant charge that they are racist for making pedestrian stops and enforcing public-order laws in black neighborhoods. In June, I spoke with police officers in Dallas about the 75 percent increase in homicides the city has experienced this year. The officers chalked it up to de-policing. “Officers are now leery of doing their job,” a cop who runs warrants in the high-crime Five Points area told me. “Why make stops in the first place?” This summer of blue bloodshed will deter officers from discretionary policing even more. Expect violent crime, already on the rise since the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in summer 2014, to spike further.
Between the Dallas assassinations and today’s, officers have been shot at and ambushed in Tennessee, Missouri, Georgia, and Washington, D.C. Authorities have been circumspect in identifying the reasons behind those shootings—unlike the alacrity with which racial motives are assigned to cops when they shoot someone in the line of duty— and the incidents have been brushed under the rug. But we are quickly reaching the worst days of the nightmare 1960s, when it seemed that the very foundation of society was breaking apart. The difference between the 1960s and today is that the hatred of law enforcement and of whites is being stoked by the highest reaches of the establishment. Universities sometimes seem like little else than factories of desperately ginned-up racial grievance. That the cop killer in Dallas and apparently in Baton Rouge as well came out of the military is an indication that the happy talk about how the military is an engine of racial reconciliation is naïve. The country has been pretending that the main source of racism today comes from whites. Anyone who has spent time in the inner city and even more middle-class black precincts—such as college campuses—knows differently.
It may be too late to stop this fire from spreading. But Obama has one more chance to try to put it out. He failed that opportunity in his remarks hours after the Baton Rouge carnage, delivering instead an anodyne call to heal “our divisions” and discard “inflammatory rhetoric thrown around to advance an agenda.” Implication: Blame for “inflammatory rhetoric” is equally shared by those who attack cops and those who defend them. Sorry, Mr. President, those who tell the truth about crime and policing are not part of the problem and they bear no responsibility for the massacre of cops. The killing of cops is furthered exclusively by those peddling a false narrative that cops harbor lethal bias toward blacks. Obama should call for the Black Lives Matter movement to fold its tent—and he himself should start telling the truth about inner-city crime.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Ignoring Politicians

By John Stossel
July 20, 2016

Anthony Weiner

My Fox colleagues are in Cleveland, diligently interviewing Republicans. Next week, they'll interview Democrats. I'm glad they do it -- because I despise most politicians.

There are exceptions, of course, but after years of reporting, I've concluded that most politicians have little to say that's interesting, and many are craven opportunists, desperate to rule over others.

A few stand out, like former Congressman Anthony Weiner. Like many politicians, he's never held a real job. He's run for office or worked for politicians all his life.

Weiner married one of Hillary Clinton's closest advisers, passionately pushed leftists' bad ideas and was a member of Congress.

Then a photo of an anonymous man's bulging underwear was tweeted from his account. He ended up having to resign from Congress.

That embarrassment alone would send most mortals into hiding, but not Weiner. He decided to campaign for mayor of New York City, and New York's Democrats even forgave him. Polls showed he was the front-runner.

Then came more sleazy stuff. He sent out naked pictures under the name "Carlos Danger."

A new documentary, "Weiner," chronicles these events. "This really is a great movie," says's Anthony Fisher. It illustrates "how sick this drive for elective office can be."

In the movie, NBC's Lawrence O'Donnell asks Weiner, "What's wrong with you?" Weiner doesn't even understand the question. O'Donnell elaborates, "you cannot seem to imagine a life without elective office?" Weiner still doesn't get it.

Maybe one needs to be sick to run for office. Weiner is a disciple of New York Sen. Chuck Schumer.

Schumer famously said, "I was born to legislate." This goes to the heart of the political sickness -- the need to tell others how to live. As economist Walter Williams puts it, "I respect ordinary thieves more than I respect politicians. Ordinary thieves take my money without pretense. (They don't) insult my intelligence by proclaiming that they'll use the money that they steal from me to make my life better."

In the next weeks, as cameras record every utterance burped up by politicians at the political conventions, I'll take comfort knowing that when politicians can't force us to do things, people often ignore them (remember, government is force; this is why politicians are important, and dangerous).

Here's another happy story about people ignoring them.

After Anthony Weiner sleazed himself into oblivion, another clueless socialist, Bill de Blasio, was elected mayor of New York. De Blasio embraces every leftist cause. After the restaurant chain Chick-fil-A was attacked by Democratic interest groups because its CEO opposes gay marriage, de Blasio told New Yorkers not to eat there. He said Chick-fil-A spreads a "message of hate" and "wouldn't urge any other New Yorkers to patronize them."

Now, there's nothing wrong with a boycott. Boycotts are free speech, a way to voice disapproval without getting government involved.

Some craven politicians misunderstand that concept. Boston's mayor declared that Chick-fil-A was "not welcome" in his town, and some Chicago politicians said they would deny Chick-fil-A the necessary permits. After the politicians were told that they don't have a legal right to ban businesses because of things the owners say, they backed down. They just pushed the boycott.

When politicians support boycotts without using the power of their office to boycott by force, we get to see whether the public really cares what politicians think.

So at lunchtime recently, I walked around to see if (mostly pro-gay marriage) New Yorkers were honoring our mayor's request.


In fact, at two Chick-fil-A outlets close to my office, customers lined up to get sandwiches. At one restaurant, the line was so long that it extended outside the store and onto the sidewalk.

I asked waiting customers why they went to Chick-fil-A, since our mayor says the company is anti-gay.

"I didn't think that had anything to do with the sandwich," said one. Another made me smile by saying, "Too bad. I don't care about what the mayor says."

When we have a choice, Americans ignore politicians. That's usually a good thing.


Newly released pages raise troubling questions about the Clinton confidante's own jihadist connections.

July 20, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 10:  U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) receives a note from her aide Huma Abedin (L) as she testifies about the State Department's FY2012 budget during a hearing of the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on March 10, 2011 in Washington, DC.  Secretary Clinton has recently warned that proposed budget cuts would have a negative effect on U.S. national security policy. (Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)
Huma Abedin and Hillary Clinton in March 2011 (Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)
The 28 classified pages of the “Congressional Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001” (“Report”) have been finally de-classified and released, with some redactions, to the public. The material in these pages points to evidence of connections between Saudi individuals and groups affiliated in some way with the Saudi government or its funded entities and terrorist organizations. Individuals named in the Report include Omar Al-Bayoumi, Osama Bassnan, Shakyh al-Thumiary, Saleh Hussayen and Osama Bin Laden’s half-brother Abdullah Bin Laden. The Report also mentions groups such as the World Arab Muslim Youth Association (WAMY), based in Saudi Arabia, which the FBI believes is ‘closely associated with funding and financing of international terrorist activities.”
The information in the Report details the activities of these Saudi individuals and related groups, including in the United States. There is a network of links to Saudi government entities, Saudi-funded front groups espousing radical Islam and jihad on the Wahhabist model, and terrorist organizations or individuals.  A study of organizations in this network, with the Saudi government agencies or front groups at its hub, is very instructive in itself. But it reveals something else, highly relevant to this year’s presidential election. There are direct links of Islamic organizations in the network to those to which Hillary Clinton’s top aide and confidante Huma Abedin has belonged. To be clear, Huma Abedin is not named in the Report. However, her associations with groups linked to what is referenced in the Report is highly troubling, to say the least. 
The Muslim Student Association was founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood. It spreads radical Islamist propaganda. FrontPage Magazine has documented the MSA’s indoctrination activities on U.S. campuses in an essay entitled “The Muslim Students Association and the Jihad Network.” The MSA has had close ties with the Muslim World League (MWL), an organization with ties to jihadist terrorist groups, including Hamas and al Qaeda. MWL was founded by members of the Saudi government. The MSA also has close ties with WAMY, one of the organizations mentioned specifically in the Report and which is the youth wing of the Muslim World League. The Report referenced the FBI’s account of the connections of Osama bin Laden’s half-brother, Abdullah Bin Laden, to terrorist organizations. Mentioned specifically was the fact that he was “the President and Director of the World Arab Muslim Youth Association (WAMY) and the Institute of Islamic and Arabic Science in America.”
 A cable released by WikiLeaks under then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s name stated that, according to intelligence, the Muslim World League and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth “continue to send money overseas and, at times, fund extremism overseas.”
Abdullah Omar Naseef, a former secretary-general of the Muslim World League, founded the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA) in Saudi Arabia and recruited Huma Abedin’s father to take an active leadership role. This included serving as the managing editor of IMMA’s in-house publication, the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. Huma’s mother took over editorial duties after her father passed away. Huma Abedin also worked at the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs as the assistant editor of the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs.  The idea behind the “Muslim Minorities Agenda,” in which the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs and its journal have played an important part, is to encourage Muslim migration to non-Muslim countries. As described in a Discoverthenetworks article on the subject, the maintenance of the Muslim migrants’ collective separate Muslim identity would be reinforced by Islamic centers, educational programs, mosques, and organizations like the Muslim Student Association, established to “prevent Muslims from assimilating into the cultures of their non-Muslim host nations.”
As reported by Breitbart News, the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs just happens to be in the same London office location as the Muslim World League and WAMY. This was not just some sort of bizarre coincidence. Citing the work of Walid Shoebat, who at one time had belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood, Andrew McCarthy wrote back in 2012 that “the IMMA was operated under the management of one of the MWL's most significant organizations, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth.”
In the late 1990’s, while Huma Abedin was interning in the Bill Clinton White House and began her long association with Hillary Clinton, she served as an executive board member of George Washington University's Muslim Students Association.  Huma Abedin also worked at the aforementioned Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs.  
Huma Abedin, who was raised in Saudi Arabia during her formative years and was exposed to Saudi Wahhabist ideology, gravitated to Islamist organizations with ties to radical Saudi entities when she returned to the United States as a young adult. 
Years later, with the prospect of an influential White House position side by side with her patron Hillary Clinton in sight, Huma Abedin still puts Islamist interests first. Evidence that the “Muslim Minority Agenda” espoused by the journal she once worked for is still her key priority is a video of Huma Abedin advocating unlimited admission of Syrian refugees into the United States.  She said that “we cannot turn these people away.”
Huma Abedin has operated within the same network revealed in the Congressional Joint Inquiry Report. She will be a carrier of “civilization jihad” into the inner circle of the White House if Hillary Clinton is elected president. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Russia must be kicked out of Rio Olympics

, USA TODAY Sports
July 18, 2016
Writing in USA Today, Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee, cited the “shocking new dimension in doping” of which Russia had been accused.CreditManan Vatsyayana/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

We now know it's not just Russian track and field. It’s not just Russian winter sports.
Russian summer sports are dirty to their core too, according to an independent World Anti-Doping Agency report issued Monday by Canadian attorney Richard McLaren.
Russia just won the gold medal for doping: systemic, long-term, state-sponsored doping. This is Lance Armstrong times 100. Perhaps 1,000. The McLaren Report says Russia and its athletes are not to be trusted, that instead of promoting clean sport, as Russia signed on to do as a major player in the Olympic world, it has become the new East Germany.
The International Olympic Committee now has to step up and do what it won’t want to do, but must: Russia has to be kicked out of the Rio Olympic Games. Not just the Russian track and field athletes, who, with the exception of two athletes, already are.
Everyone must go, except for any athletes who can prove in quick appeals to their international sports federations that they have undergone real, thorough, non-Russian-style testing in the past year, just as the two track and field athletes have.
Otherwise, to allow them to compete in Rio is to taint the entire Olympic Games. If the IOC and the Olympics stand for anything, the Russian flag must not fly in Rio.
How bad is the cheating in Russian summer sports? It’s everywhere. It’s weightlifting. It’s wrestling. It’s canoeing. It’s the Paralympic sports. (The Paralympics!) It’s cycling and swimming and soccer and rowing and judo and volleyball and boxing and fencing and…
That’s what McLaren revealed in his devastating report. His investigation found not one but two ways in which Russian sports and government officials, working in concert, diabolically altered the results of major international competitions.
From 2011 through much of 2015, bureaucrats worked up and down the Russian doping chain of command to cover up more than 300 positive tests. McLaren even came up with a wonderful name for this system that sounds like a Nancy Drew mystery I missed: “The Disappearing Positive Methodology.”
This kind of subterfuge wasn’t going to work with the world watching the 2014 Sochi Olympics, however, so the Russians upped their game.
Athletes’ urine was taken and tested well before the Olympics, confirmed to be clean and stored in a freezer. Then, at the Games, when the time came, the dirty urine sample provided by the cheating athlete after the competition was switched out for the clean one from the freezer.
To make sure that it appeared to be a fresh sample, the Russians even added table salt or distilled water. These world-class cheaters didn’t miss a trick. And it worked like a dream. Russia recovered from a devastating performance at the 2010 Vancouver Games to win the medal count in 2014.
One way or the other, Russian officials were able to steal world and Olympic medals for their athletes that rightfully belonged to athletes from other countries — athletes who were not cheating, who were training and being tested properly, who had no idea what was happening around them as they innocently went about their business.
What happens now? Time is short with the Aug. 5 Rio Opening Ceremony approaching. There will be those who say that if Russia is banned, clean Russian athletes would be unfairly cast out of the Games because of the behavior of their leaders. IOC president Thomas Bach has clearly labeled the issue as the need to balance “collective responsibility and individual justice.”
Whatever choice he makes will hurt athletes who are not doping. Either he lets in a nation whose sports program is built on cheating, thereby harming thousands of Olympians whose nations have played by the rules, or he hurts those Russian athletes who happen to be clean.
But, as of now, we have no idea who those clean Russian athletes are, which means every result involving a Russian will be suspect in Rio if Russia is allowed to compete. Every single result. In every sport. Consider that as you clear your schedule to watch the Olympics on TV.
On the other hand, if the Russian athletes who say they are clean move quickly, as their track and field counterparts did, they can still get into the Games under a neutral flag.
Bach knew this was coming. In May, he wrote an op-ed in USA TODAY in which he envisioned the exact scenario facing the IOC:
"It would have to consider, whether in such 'contaminated' federations the presumption of innocence for athletes could still be applied, whether the burden of proof could be reversed. This could mean that concerned athletes would have to demonstrate that their international and independently proven test record is compliant with the rules of their International Federation and the World Anti-Doping Code, providing a level playing field with their fellow competitors.”
He sounds like he gets it, but here's the wild card: Bach is totally beholden to Russia President Vladimir Putin, the man who spent $51 billion to put the Olympics in the middle of nowhere (Sochi), endearing himself to Bach and the IOC if not forever, at least through the summer of 2016.
It’s hard to imagine Bach not caving in to his buddy Putin and letting the Russians compete in Rio.
But he shouldn't. In his relatively new IOC presidency, this is the challenge of a lifetime. What he decides will be his legacy. He will forever be known as the man who let the cheaters in — or as the man who did not.