Iran

Senate Democrat Murphy acknowledges meeting with Iran’s foreign minister

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., confirmed on Tuesday that he met with Iran’s foreign minister, arguing that “it’s dangerous not to talk to adversaries.” The two met at the Munich Security conference amid tough rhetoric between President Trump and Iran’s leadership. Murphy claimed he told Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif that Congress is also responsible for setting U.S. foreign policy. “Many of us have met w Zarif over the years, under Obama and Trump,” Murphy tweeted. “So though no one in Congress can negotiate with Zarif or carry official U.S. government messages, there is value in having a dialogue.” According to his tweets, Murphy also urged Zarif to control any proxies that might attack U.S. forces, as well as release American citizens unlawfully detained in the nation. Murphy’s tweets confirmed an earlier report that Murphy and other Democratic senators held a secret meeting with Zarif. It’s unclear which other senators were involved. In a Medium post, Murphy expanded on his meeting and clarified that he wasn’t trying to sidestep the administration’s foreign policy. “I don’t know whether my visit with Zarif will make a difference. I’m not the President or the Secretary of State — I’m just a rank and file U.S. Senator. I cannot conduct diplomacy on behalf of the whole of the U.S. government, and I don’t pretend to be in a position to do so,” Murphy wrote. “But if Trump isn’t going to talk to Iran, then someone should. And Congress is a co-equal branch of government, responsible along with the Executive for setting foreign policy. A lack of dialogue leaves nations guessing about their enemy’s intentions, and guessing wrong can lead to catastrophic mistakes.” Murphy’s chamber recently voted on a war powers resolution aimed at reining in Trump’s actions against Iran. The resolution received a majority vote but ultimately failed to garner the two-thirds majority needed to overcome Trump’s veto. The meeting came as the Trump administration seeks to increasingly isolate Iran through the re-imposition of sanctions under its “maximum pressure campaign” on the Islamic republic. Murphy has been a harsh critic of the administration’s policy toward Iran and said in a Medium post that he had raised the U.S. airstrike that killed a top Iranian general in Iraq and told Zarif that despite differences, Congress and the administration are united in sending a message that any Iran-backed attack on American troops in Iraq would be “an unacceptable escalation.” The senator also said he had raised Iran’s support for Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen and Americans held prisoner in Iran.

What Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) has done here is mind-boggling, and sinister at best.  The President and the Executive Branch of government are responsible for setting and maintaining our nation’s foreign policy.  It is NOT something shared with the legislative branch.  Sen. Murphy knows this, despite his disingenuous comments to the contrary.  To be clear…  He is consciously, proactively undermining the Trump Administration’s foreign policy efforts with Iran because he disagrees with them, and he’s a Dem that doesn’t like Trump.  It’s that simple.  At best, Sen. Murphy is in violation of the Logan Act, and should be censured by the Senate.  At worst, he is undermining our national security, and might be engaging in treasonous activities and should be criminally charged accordingly. Sen. Murphy has NO business doing what he’s doing, and has no authority to be doing it whatsoever.  Yes, there ARE three co-equal branches of government, Senator.  But, they each have their separate roles and responsibilities and those roles and responsibilities are clearly laid out in our Constitution, Sir.  Perhaps you should read it.  The conduct of foreign policy resides solely in the purview of the executive branch.  Period.  Sen. Murphy is a legislator, and someone needs to tell him to stay in his lane.  What a self-serving, sanctimonious, sleazy tool…

Iranian student whose deportation spurred Dem outcry has family ties to IRGC, Hezbollah: DHS official

An Iranian student who was denied entry to the United States on arrival and deported this week, amid objections from top Democrats and left-wing activists, has family ties to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah, a Department of Homeland Security official said. Mohammad Shahab Dehghani Hossein was denied entry to the U.S. and detained on Sunday when he arrived on a student visa at Boston Logan International Airport. His detention sparked outrage from activists, who flooded the airport demanding his release. It also drew objections from Northeastern University, where Dehghani was due to be enrolled, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). “Shahab Dehghani is an Iranian student with a valid F1 visa, returning to finish his education. CBP already held him overnight,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. tweeted. “His deportation must be halted, and we must fight the Trump administration’s xenophobic policies.” A Massachusetts district court judge granted Dehghani a stay from deportation, but Customs and Border Protection (CBP) deported him minutes later — a DHS official told Fox News Wednesday that he had already been put on the plane when the stay was issued. In a statement Tuesday, CBP said that “the issuance of a visa … does not guarantee entry to the United States” and said that Dehghani had been “deemed inadmissible and processed for expedited removal and return to his place of departure. “During today’s hearing, the court ruled that the matter is now moot as the subject was never admitted into the United States, the subject is no longer in custody, and the court does not have jurisdiction to order his return,” the statement said. A CBP spokesperson said that the agency was not at liberty to discuss an individual’s case due to the Privacy Act, but noted that “CBP officers are charged with enforcing not only immigration and customs laws, but they also enforce over 400 laws for 40 other agencies and have stopped thousands of violators of U.S. law. “

You know its an election year when someone like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) whines and grandstands about something like this.  This kid has ties to Hamas and the IRGC.  CBP was well within its right to deport this guy.  So, kudos to them for doing their job protecting us.  Shame on Lizzy for her self-righteous bs.  She couldn’t care less about our safety.  She just trying to play to her very small base by taking a silly pot shot at Trump over this.  Typical..  For more, click on the text above.

Gutfeld on Iran protests over the jetliner

Sorry, media. It looks like Iran hates its own government more than it hates us. Instead of burning American flags, what did you see at Sunday’s protests in Iran, over its government shooting down that airliner? A bunch of Iranians refusing to act the way our media wished they would. Demonstrators refused to walk on American and Israeli flags. Instead, they attacked images of Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Yes, as much as they were expected to despise those two countries, it seems they loathe the Revolutionary Guard more. Video also showed government forces firing live ammo at the protestors. Media outrage here is at low ebb — they’re still too busy complaining about Trump tweeting mean things about them. In Iran, people who speak out endure bullets. In America, the outrage is over memes. Meanwhile, yet another media narrative implodes. We’ve learned that Trump authorized the killing of Soleimani seven months ago. Wow, talk about impulsive! Erratic! Unstable! Trump only waited seven months to take the guy out. Clearly, he’s a maniac crazy with bloodlust. Where’s the 25th Amendment when you need it? Once again, the media lie to you about everything. They painted Soleimani as a folk hero. It wasn’t true. And, they repeated the lie that Trump was acting irrationally, part of the madman persona they helped fabricate. That wasn’t true, either. Only in America can our media get everything so wrong and still see themselves as the good guys. I guess that’s the only way they can look in the mirror without throwing up.

No kidding..  Thanks Greg.  That was adapted from Greg Gutfeld’s monologue on “The Five” on Jan. 13, 2020.

Opinion/Analysis: Obama should apologize for shameful cash payment to Iran

Since the elimination of Iranian terrorist leader Qassem Soleimani, much of the world has rightfully held its collective breath in fearful anticipation of what might be to come. Iran is indeed a dangerous terrorist state that not only has a powerful standing army, air force, navy and advanced weapons systems — including ballistic missiles and a growing space program — but also controls multiple proxy terrorist organizations responsible for killing and injuring hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children. Included on that list of victims are thousands of American military personnel and contractors. These were facts that former President Obama knew when he deliberately chose a policy of appeasement and cash payoffs instead of strength and accountability as the way to deal with Iran. President Trump spelled this out in no uncertain terms on Wednesday when he addressed the nation while seeking to dial down the imminent threat Iran may pose to our nation, the Middle East and the world. Said the president in part, “Iran’s hostilities substantially increased after the foolish Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2013 and they were given $150 billion, not to mention $1.8 billion in cash. … Then, Iran went on a terror spree, funded by the money from the deal and created hell in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq. The missiles fired last night at us and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration.” As we have seen and heard, some — especially Democrats, their allies in the media and Obama supporters — chose to challenge or quibble with Trump’s statement. That said, I spoke with a former senior intelligence official who said that much of the $1.8 billion cash payoff from the Obama administration was used explicitly to fund terrorism as an additional “screw you” from the leaders of Iran — including Soleimani — to the United States. The rest of the money, my source believes, ended up in the bank accounts of corrupt Iranian leaders and terrorists. The cash payment authorized by Obama is one of the most disgraceful and shameful “negotiations” in the history of our nation. It was a payment the Obama White House first denied, then ignored and then grudgingly acknowledged. We paid in cash, but not U.S. currency. Wary of using U.S. bills for a variety of reasons involving concealment, the Obama White House had the money converted to untraceable Euros, Swiss francs, and other foreign currencies. More troubling than those initial denials and deceptions was the fact that $400 million of that all-cash payment was used to pay a ransom to the government of Iran for the release of four American prisoners, in violation of standing U.S. policy. In a pathetic attempt to hide behind semantics, the Obama administration finally did acknowledge that $400 million was delayed as “leverage” until the Americans were allowed to leave Iran. While the Obama White House hid from the true definition of the word “leverage,” Iran’s state-run media was more than happy to brag that Iran had just forced the United States to pay a ransom. Former Congressman Ed Royce (R-Calif.), who chaired the House Foreign Affairs Committee at that time, condemned the deal: “Sending the world’s leading state sponsor of terror pallets of untraceable cash isn’t just terrible policy. It’s incredibly reckless, and it only puts bigger targets on the backs of Americans.” Former Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) seconded Royce’s warning: “Paying ransom to kidnappers puts Americans even more at risk. … The White House’s policy of appeasement has led Iran to illegally seize more American hostages.” Said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), “President Obama’s disastrous nuclear deal with Iran was sweetened with an illicit ransom payment and billions of dollars for the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism.” What many Americans don’t realize is that the Obama White House took the ransom money from something called the “Judgment Fund,” which is administered by the Treasury. That little-known account is entirely paid for by American taxpayers and was set up in such a way that Obama could bypass congressional approval to pay the cash to Iran. Those who continually praise and defend Obama often describe him as “brilliant.” There is no doubt the former president is an intelligent person, certainly bright enough to realize — and admit, at least to himself — that the cash he turned over to the murderous regime leading Iran to ruin was not used for altruistic purposes. Any honest assessment would conclude that at least part of that secretive, massive payment was used to finance terrorist attacks against Americans, our allies and innocent civilians. Trump is correct on that point. For that reason, Obama should apologize for the thousands wounded and killed in terrorist attacks since Iran took possession of that tainted cash. That is his debt to pay.

Exactly!!!  Thanks to Douglas MacKinnon for that absolutely spot-on analysis.  Douglas is a political and communications consultant, was a writer in the White House for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and former special assistant for policy and communications at the Pentagon during the last three years of the Bush administration.  Keep everything you said in mind as you read the next article about John Kerry.  Excellent!!     🙂

Kerry deflects question about why he released money to Iran, accused Trump of ‘lies’

Former Secretary of State John Kerry faced a question about his role in releasing billions of dollars to Iran during the Obama administration and responded by first attacking President Trump’s criticism of the move. President Trump has claimed that Iran’s recent aggression against the U.S. in Iraq was funded by $150 billion that the Obama administration gave to Iran. Kerry has insisted that was false, although in the past he recognized that at least some of the money – which was frozen due to sanctions and held in banks around the world before being released at roughly the same time the Iran nuclear deal was made – would end up in the hands of terrorists. “I think that some of it will end up in the hands of the IRGC or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists,” Kerry told CNBC in 2016. When asked by Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation” why he believed this was a worthwhile risk when releasing the money, Kerry attacked the president rather than answer the question. “You know that the president’s tweet is a lie,” Kerry told host Margaret Brennan. “And the president tweeted this morning, because I am coming on the show and he knew you’d ask me the question or he’d push you in a place where you did ask the question. You and the media, I think, need to call a lie a lie.” Brennan immediately reminded him that she asked the same question in 2015. Kerry continued, saying that what he meant was that “clearly some money from the budget of Iran is going to go to the IRGC.” He then said that, contrary to what President Trump claims ”his own defense intelligence agency in 2017 testified to the Congress that very, very little money actually went to the IRGC at all.” Kerry did not explain his rationale for releasing the money at the time, before he knew where the funds would end up.

And to think this duplicitous, self-serving tool almost became President…    He and Obama orchestrated that more than $1 BILLION ransom deal with Iran during Obama’s administration.. And when confronted by a mainstream media journalist, Kerry pivots and somehow blames Trump, who wasn’t President at the time; Obama was.

Gutfeld on the media and Democratic response to Iran

As the post-game analysis of “Operation Desert Burp” continues, we realize that for President Trump’s critics, peace means defeat. If you listen to the media right now, it’s like we killed Lady Diana or Elvis. “When Princess Diana died, for example, there was a huge emotional outpouring,” Chris Matthews said on MSNBC. “Elvis Presley, in our culture, he added. “It turns out this general he killed was a beloved hero of the Iranian people to the point — look at the people … look at the crowds coming out. There’s no American emotion in this case, but there’s a hell of a lot of emotion on the other side.” I’m almost impressed by his stupidity. Chris, you’ve been around. Iran can form a crowd over a sneeze. And they’ll shout “Death to America” over anything, including when HBO canceled “Sex and the City.” And that idea that killing bad guys makes them martyrs? We better not kill any more bad guys. By that logic, we should’ve stayed out of World War II, and left Usama bin Laden and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi alone. But, in the media’s world, Trump is Hitler, and a terrorist is Martin Luther King Jr. “What you’re describing feels like the kind of unified national outpouring that is reserved for a small handful of figures in any country, I mean, a beloved president, a civil rights leader like Martin Luther King in the United States,” New York Times podcast host Michael Barbaro said. What an ass. But Trump once again has driven critics to defend the indefensible. Remember when they bashed Trump for being mean to MS-13? Now he’s got the “The View” applauding white racists! The show’s audience applauded news that a white supremacist tweeted his opposition to Trump. As the idiots squawk, Trump rolls on, handing out great ideas like gift baskets. We don’t deserve him. Meanwhile, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg tweets that maybe we should share the blame for that downed plane — even though Iran did the shooting. And he’s running for president. So Trump once again foils his critics, not just by being right, but by letting them be so wrong. “They made a serious mistake … by taking this terrorist action against Commander Soleimani,” Masoumeh Ebtekar told CNN. Does she sound familiar to you? Maybe that’s because, when ABC News asked her many years ago whether she could envision killing Iran’s American hostages, she responded, “Yes. When I’ve seen an American gun being lifted up and killing my brothers and sisters in the streets, of course.” I’m thinking, CNN: maybe don’t get an opinion on America from someone who threatened to kill American hostages. But I guess the network has to find one person outside their own newsroom who’s mad Gen. Qassem Soleimani is dead. That’s hard, because that one person — Soleimani — is dead.

No kidding!!  Thanks to Greg Gutfeld for calling it as he sees it.  That was adapted from Greg’s monologue on “The Five” on Jan. 9, 2020.  If you wanna see the video of Greg’s monologue, and see Chris Matthews (over at MSNBC) saying those breathtakingly stupid comments, click on the text above.

Analysis: Enemy Combatant Terror Commanders Are Fair Game

Last week, Iranian General Qasem Soleimani was killed in a targeted strike by U.S. forces authorized by President Trump. This preemptive attack has spawned a curious debate over whether Soleimani posed an imminent threat at the time he was taken out. The suggestion, mainly by partisan Democrats, is that it was illegitimate for the president to use lethal force without congressional authorization absent proof that Soleimani was on the cusp of killing Americans — or, better, killing even more Americans. The debate puts me in mind of the early-to-mid 1990s, when our counterterrorism laws were dangerously flawed. Back then, sensible Democrats — as most of them were — knew that these defects had to be addressed. Rather than sound like apologists for anti-American jihadists, they took admirably expeditious action. The problem emerged in the investigation of the proto-Qaeda terror network guided by the so-called Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel Rahman. I was then a federal prosecutor and took over that investigation in Spring 1993. At the time, having just bombed the World Trade Center, the jihadists were actively plotting something even more monstrous: simultaneous attacks on the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels and the United Nations complex on Manhattan’s east side. The jihadists were also scouting additional landmarks in the city, including U.S. military facilities and the FBI’s downtown headquarters. We knew about the plot — and were in a position to thwart it — because we had a confidential informant. (Back then, neither he nor anyone else got the sniffles over the media’s labeling him a “spy.”) Emad Salem, a former Egyptian military officer, had infiltrated the cell and covertly recorded discussions with the Blind Sheikh about the desirability of bombing U.S. armed forces. Like the Shiite Iranian regime (longtime supporters of Sunni al-Qaeda and Hamas, as well as Shiite Hezbollah), Abdel Rahman, a renowned Sunni sharia scholar, recommended that Muslims put aside their internecine conflicts when it came to fighting America, “the Great Satan.” In the early-to-mid 90s, the United States thankfully did not have extensive experience with international terrorist attacks on the homeland, certainly not the systematic use of mass-murder attacks as a method of prosecuting war that we’ve seen in the last quarter-century. This meant that our legal architecture was sorely lacking. That was a significant defect, given that the government was determined to treat this national-security challenge as if it were a mere crime problem. There were anomalies. If, for example, terrorists successfully detonated an explosive, as they did in the 1993 WTC attack (killing six, including a woman about to give birth, injuring hundreds, and causing massive property damage), we had a bombing statute that prescribed an appropriately severe penalty: life imprisonment. But there was no federal bombing-conspiracy statute. Consequently, any bombing plot had to be charged under the catch-all federal conspiracy statute. Generally applicable to less serious offenses, it makes sundry conspiracies punishable by no more than five years, and as little as no imprisonment. In other words, if jihadists killed a few people, you could put them away forever; but if they were stopped while plotting to kill 10,000 people, the penalty was illusory. In effect, our investigators were penalized for doing their jobs well. There was something of a fall-back position, though it further illuminated the flaws in our criminal code — and, analogously, the foolishness of today’s debate over whether a suspected attack is sufficiently imminent to warrant responding with force. Terrorists who’d been stopped could be charged with attempted bombing, which carried a possible penalty of up to ten years’ imprisonment — still inadequate, but better than zero to five years. Yet there was a catch. Court decisions, even in the bombing context, made proving the crime of attempt much harder than it should have been. Evidence was deemed insufficient unless prosecutors could establish that the suspects had taken enough actions in furtherance of a bombing to meet the legal threshold of a “substantial step.” So . . . what was a substantial step? Was discussing a bombing enough? How about conducting surveillance of a target? Purchasing bomb components? Did it matter whether the plotters had done bombings in the past? No one could really be sure. In effect, the question became: Did it seem, under the circumstances, that the bombing was imminent? On this calculus, even evidence of implacable terrorist hostility and a commitment to use force would not be sufficient to prove an attempted bombing. Investigators would need, in addition, evidence that the plotters were so far along in their planning that we could conclude an attack would have happened if the police had not interrupted it. Consider the perverse incentive this legal framework created. If investigators were fortunate enough to be in a position to stop a mass-murder attack and round up the jihadists, the law nevertheless encouraged them to let the plot continue, right up to the moment before detonation if possible, to ensure that a “substantial step” had been proved. Of course, even if they have an inside cooperator, investigators are never in complete control of a criminal enterprise. The last stage of a plot is the time when plotters may speed up matters to avoid getting caught in possession of incriminating evidence. The higher-ups are apt to flee before the strike, so they’ll be beyond capture when the lower-ranking plotters set off the explosion. The chance that a bombing will happen increases immensely if investigators are discouraged from taking decisive preemptive action that a court may later second-guess as premature. This is one reason (of many) that international terrorism is best regarded as a military threat rather than a criminal prosecution issue. It is one thing to agitate about whether the proof of an attempt is good enough when, if the agents lose control of the situation, the only danger is that a few victims will be defrauded or robbed. It is quite another thing when jihadists are projecting power on the scale of a national military force. That risk is unacceptable. It is interesting to contrast the mid Nineties to today. Back then, most Democrats were committed to the law-enforcement approach to counterterrorism. While you can debate the wisdom of that, those Democrats were at least serious about making sure that court prosecution was as effective as it could possibly be. In the 1996 overhaul of counterterrorism law, the Clinton White House and Justice Department worked closely with a Republican-controlled Congress. They not only addressed the flaws that made uncompleted bombing plots so challenging to prosecute. They also defined new crimes tailored to how modern international terrorism actually works. These improvements enabled investigators to thwart plots in their infancy; we were also empowered to starve jihadist organizations of funding, personnel, and materiel. The bipartisan message was loud and clear: We want terrorists aggressively prosecuted but, even more, we want our agents to have the tools to prevent plots and attacks from taking shape in the first place. Where is that message today? In neutralizing terrorists and their state sponsors, the venerable law of war is, to my mind, a necessary complement, if not a preferable alternative, to the criminal law. One of many reasons is that, when an enemy is making war on the United States, there is no need to wait for an attack to be imminent in order to justify a defensive, preemptive strike. General Soleimani was an enemy combatant commander for the Iranian regime and the jihadist terror networks it uses in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and elsewhere. For more than 40 years, Iran has unabashedly pronounced itself as at war with the United States. It has conducted major attacks that have killed hundreds of Americans. In just the past few weeks, Iran’s jihadist militias attacked American bases in and around Baghdad eleven times. Reports of intelligence indicating that Soleimani was planning more attacks in the near term are surely credible. Legally, though, they are beside the point. Soleimani was a proper target regardless of the evidence that any new attack was imminent. The real question is: Why is imminence even an issue? This is not a close call. We are talking about one of the most notorious mass-murderers of Americans on the planet, the top combatant commander of the regime that proudly tells the world its motto is “Death to America.” Why would we want to raise an abstruse question that would make eliminating such a monster more difficult? In the Obama years, Democrats were happy to line up in support of unprovoked U.S. attacks on Libya. The use of lethal force was not authorized by Congress, and Americans were not being threatened. Now, because the president at the helm is Donald Trump, they want to quibble over whether the latest Iranian atrocities and U.S. intelligence were a sufficiently flashing neon sign that more atrocities were imminent? That is irresponsible. In the 1990s, Democrats understood that we needed to fix our laws to make it easier to eliminate threats to attack the United States, regardless of whether they were about to occur or hadn’t even gotten beyond the recruitment-and-training phase. Maybe those Democrats make themselves heard only when one of their own is in the White House. Right now, though, we need to pull together as a united front against an Iranian enemy that could not be clearer about its murderous intentions. Yes, we’re in a period of extreme partisanship. That is no excuse for playing politics with our security.

Agreed!!  And well said, Andrew.  Attorney and former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy is the author of that well thought out, and at times tedious, legal analysis.  Bottom line…  President Trump had every legal authority to take out Soleimani.  So, don’t believe a single thing you hear to the contrary by posturing Democrats and the hypocritical anti-Trump idiots suffering from non-stop Trump Derangement Syndrome over at CNN and MSNBC.  Had Obama ordered that strike they would have said it was “bold;” not reckless, etc.  Anyway, we also posted another legal article by attorney Gregg Jarrett.  Scroll down about 13 articles or so for that one to get his input as well.  Thanks Andrew!!    🙂