Thursday, December 21, 2017

Book Review - Yeager: An Autobiography

General Yeager is in a class of individuals that includes historical figures like Horatius and Leonidas. Fewer and fewer men are entering that class. There are still men like Chesley Sullenberger but more men like Francesco Schettino, the Captain of the Costa Concordia, are being produced. Yeager showed courage and character in everyday life as well as in combat. The item that interested me the most about this book was his admission that he was a war criminal. This is an example of his courage and character and I am certain his editor suggested that he remove the information. Yeager writes, “We were ordered to commit an atrocity. I’m certainly not proud of that particular strafing mission against civilians. But it is there, on the record and in my memory." “If it occurred to anyone to refuse to participate (nobody refused, as I recall) that person would have probably been court-martialed. I remember sitting next to (Major Donald H. Bochkay) Bochkay at the briefing and whispering to him: ‘If we’re gonna do things like this, we sure as hell better make sure we’re on the winning side.’” Respected historian have done their best to ignore items like this. It does not conform to the crusader narrative.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Additions to the MP Third Edition – “Nuremberg was colonial.”

            Morgenthau’s policies led to the creation of a third world colony in the center of Europe.  Francis Biddle described the atmosphere in Germany during his attendance at the Nuremberg Trails:

Nuremberg was colonial, we had taken the country after this wretched war, and were living in it, had to be there for a while.  We weren't sure how the natives would act, whether they would lie down and lick our boots, or slit our throats on too dark a night, yet we were determined to dine out on occasion and have as much fun as we could.  It was like Kipling's Simla, pointed to a different setting in a very different time.  

This was an exciting time, especially for Great White Hunters.  Ernest Hemingway apparently was quite proud of the trophies he accumulated during his stay in Germany.  In a letter to Charles Scribner Hemingway tells of a young German officer who refused to answer his questions.   The officer informed Hemingway it was a violation of the Geneva Convention to shoot prisoners.  Hemingway wrote: “What a mistake you made. Brother, I told him and shot him three times in the belly fast and then, when he went down on his knees, shot him on the topside so his brains came out of his mouth.”  In a letter to Arthur Mizener on 2 June 1950, Hemingway described killing his last “kraut”, an unarmed youngster on a bicycle, “. . . I said ‘let me take him’ and I shot him with an M1  . . . he was a boy about the age of my son Patrick . . . I had shot him through the spine and the bullet had come out  through the liver.”    

         Many of these victims remained nameless.  However, there were also well known victims.  The German conductor Leo Borchard was killed by a US sentries in Berlin.  And the Austrian composer and conductor Anton von Webern was killed in Salzburg by an American sentry.        

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Dumbledore’s Army - Things Fall Apart; The Centre Cannot Hold

When Mick Mulvaney was selected to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) he complemented the staff for being very professional.  There are a significant number of CFPB employees who are opposed to the president and any of his appointees.  They have formed a resistance group they call Dumbledore’s Army.  Although members of other departments, agencies and bureaus do not call themselves Dumbledore’s Army they are essentially of the same mindset.  Perhaps the largest number of these Dumbledores are in the Department of Justice and the intelligence community.  They are mounting an attack on the Trump administration and are suffering one defeat after another.  Things are falling apart.

The major attack is being carried out by Robert Mueller, the Independent Counsel.  Several of the attorneys on Mueller’s team have collectively given over $62,000 in political contributions to Democrats.  These are the contributions that we know of.  Three of his attorneys have reportedly been removed for anti-Trump bias.  But as Rep. Jim Jordan said, "If you get kicked off the Mueller team for being anti-Trump, there wouldn't be anybody left on the Mueller team. There has to be more.”  This says a lot about the independence of the Independent Counsel.

The most significant removal was that of Peter Strzok and his paramour Lisa Page.  Strzok was Mueller’s second in command.  He was one of the officials who interviewed Hillary Clinton.  He helped lead the investigation into Clinton’s private server clearing her.  He reviewed 50,000 Hillary Clinton State Department emails on Anthony Weiner’s computer and cleared the Weiner-Huma Abedin emails in record time just days before the 2016 election.  Again he found nothing incriminating.  He was the lead FBI investigator in Comey’s Trump Russia investigation.  He played a key role in agreeing to pay Christopher Steele $50,000 to find evidence to support the dossier’s claims.  Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) believes it may have been Strzok who brought the infamous Trump dossier to a FISA court to obtain clearance for surveillance on members of the Trump campaign.  Strzok edited the FBI’s judgment of Mrs. Clinton’s handling of her emails to “extremely careless” from “grossly negligent” as it was described in a previous draft.  He also oversaw the bureau’s interviews with ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Lisa Page, an FBI attorney, was also removed from Mueller’s team.  Her correspondence with Strzok contained such suggestions as “Trump should go f himself.”  On Oct. 20, 2016, Strzok called Trump a “f*cking idiot.”  More than 10,000 texts between Strzok and Page were reviewed by the Justice Department.  375 of them were released on 12 December.  The existence of the texts was not disclosed until nearly four months after Strzok was removed.  The emails are extremely damaging.  One of Strzok’s emails reads, “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office.”  Andy is most likely Andrew McCabe.  In which case it appears that they were plotting against President Trump with the Deputy FBI Director.  Every federal employee knows that emails are subject to monitoring.  This is an example of extremely poor judgment.  Perhaps they believed that if they were monitored the monitor would have similar views and would not reveal their content.  They were obviously wrong.  They should know that there are moles even within Dumbledore’s Army willing to leak information damaging to the resistance’s cause.   Andrew McCabe postponed an appearance before the House Intelligence Committee that was scheduled for 12th.  The Justice Department claimed the cancellation was due to a “routine scheduling error.”

The next significant removal is that of former Assoc. Deputy Attorney General Bruce G Ohr.  Ohr had several meetings with Christopher Steele, the author of the “dossier,” and Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm.  His wife Nellie H. Ohr worked for Fusion GPS and may have worked on the “dossier.”  Ohr reportedly did not reveal his October 2016 contacts with Steele or Simpson to DOJ leadership.  We are supposed to believe that Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General, knew nothing about the activities of Strzok and Ohr.  If this is the case Rosenstein has no business supervising people in the intelligence business.

Much of the information we have about this situation is the result of leaks.  Leaks have plagued the DOJ for well over a year.  Many of these leaks are clearly felonies.  The former head of the FBI admitted in public that he was the source of a leak.  Has anyone in the leadership been prosecuted for leaking to the press?  The answer to this question is no.  No one in the intelligence community can claim that they are unable to identify the leakers.  These leaks can be traced.  At the same time the leadership of the intelligence community is denying information requested by Congress.  Representative Nunes has instructed his staff to draft contempt-of-Congress citations against Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray.  Wray, appointed by President Trump, appears to have joined Dumbledore’s Army.   His response to a question about the Clinton email scandal he responded: “I think of the Inspector General’s investigation as de novo in one sense, in which that it’s objective, arms length, no skin in the game, if you will. But you’re right, the Inspector General is not second guessing prosecutorial decisions and things like that. However, the Inspector General is looking at the very important question of whether or not improper political considerations factored into the decision making. If he were to conclude that’s what happened, then I think at that point were we’re in a situation were we have to assess what else might need to be done to unring that bell.”  Either this is an example of intentional obfuscation or Mr. Wray is an extremely confused individual.  

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Deep State vs. Trump

Retired CIA station chief Scott Uehlinger claims there is a “Deep State.”  He argued, “The Deep State is made up of thousands of similarly credentialed, remarkably “un-diverse” civil servants and political appointees who saw themselves promoted rapidly during the eight years of the Obama administration. The appointees have left, but make no mistake — the progressive civil servants remain.”  Uehlinger is correct except for the fact that he exaggerates the role Obama has played in its creation.  The “Deep State” had its greatest growth during the Roosevelt Administration when bureaucrats like Soviet asset Harry Dexter White recruited large numbers of Communists and progressives to man the government.  Most of the Communists were eventually weeded out of government but the progressives for the most part remained.  These progressives gradually gained control of most of the federal bureaucracy.  Under President Obama even many of the conservative holdouts were driven from the government.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke claims nearly one-third of the employees at his department are not loyal to him and President Trump.  He claimed, “I got 30 percent of the crew that’s not loyal to the flag.”  Either the Department of Interior is a radical exception or Zinke is being extremely optimistic.  There is a large number of professionals in the Department of the Interior who will carry out orders regardless of the administration directing them.  There are even some extremely patriotic employees.  However, particularly in the leadership, there is a significant number of progressives who will actively sabotage efforts by a conservative administration to curtail government interference in the lives of its citizens.  What percentage of the upper echelons of the federal bureaucracy voted for Donald Trump?  That number is exceedingly small.

One of the most crucial fields that a president must rely upon is intelligence.  The NSA, FBI and CIA are in many respects the eyes and ears of a president.  These agencies are also the most compromised.  The heads of each of these agencies have intentionally misled the public and even lied before Congress.  CIA director John Brennan lied when he claimed, “Let me assure you the CIA was in no way spying on [the committee] or the Senate.”  He was later forced to apologize for his statement.  Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the Congress that the NSA was not collecting information on millions of Americans.  Documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed that he had lied.  FBI Director James Comey lied to Congress about his decision not to recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton.

The departments that oversee these agencies are also compromised.  This was illustrated by the recent release of Department of Justice documents by Judicial Watch.  These documents showed strong support by top DOJ officials for former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates’ refusal to enforce President Trump’s Middle East travel ban executive order.  Andrew Weissmann, one of Robert Mueller’s top prosecutors applauded Yates emailing: “I am so proud. And in awe. Thank you so much. All my deepest respects.”  Yates was subsequently fired for disobeying a direct order from the President.  The documents contain numerous emails sent from official Justice Department email addresses.   One was from DOJ Civil Division Appellate Attorney Jeffrey Clair who wrote, “Thank you AG Yates. I’ve been in civil/appellate for 30 years and have never seen an administration with such contempt for democratic values and the rule of law. The President’s order is an unconstitutional embarrassment and I applaud you for taking a principled stand against defending it.”  Of course Clair wrote this before the Supreme Court ruled that the travel ban was constitutional. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Pandora's Box Revisited

The names of sexual predators are flying out of Pandora’s Box at an increasing rate.  There is panic in the media and the halls of Congress.  Deals are being frantically made to stop the bleeding.  The efforts to defeat Roy Moore’s campaign for the Senate from Alabama have resulted in a historic social transformation.  Even with access to Obama’s database and NSA records, the best the deep state can come up with is 38 year old allegations of sexual abuse by Moore.  Moore’s alleged crimes are trivial compared to what prominent politicians and media personalities are being accused of.

People who were outraged at allegation about Moore’s behavior 38 years ago now appear to be defending more recent behavior that is often backed up with photos and documents. 
The scandals have exposed the Congress’s methods to conceal embarrassing incidents.  The Congress Office of Compliance (COC) was set up to deal with complaints.  It reportedly disbursed $17 million over a twenty year period to cover complaints.  The admission about the COC is a distraction of sorts and the 17 million figure is a gross underestimate.  In addition to the COC there is the House Employment Counsel advising members how to conceal their behavior.  These are two institutions that have been reported on in the press.  Are there any more?   

Much has been made of the $17 million payout.  However, neither one of the two prominent politicians who have been exposed paid their victims out of this fund.  Rep. John Conyers paid a former employee $27,111.74 out of his Member’s Representational Allowance account.  Rep. Raul Grijalva gave $48,395 to the female employee who left her job after three months.  Grijalva’s settlement was reportedly arranged by lawyers at the House Employment Counsel.  Is spite of politicians receiving advice from lawyers, these arrangements may be illegal.   Also the COC may be dealing with only a fraction of the complaints.  Tracy Manzer, Congresswoman Speier’s spokesperson told CNN that 80 percent of people who have come to her office to share stories of sexual misconduct never told the COC.

In order to protect themselves from charges of complicity, people in a position of power must claim that the charges against an individual came as a complete surprise.  Matt Lauer’s co-host Savannah Guthrie fought back tears when she announced Lauer had been fired for “inappropriate sexual behavior.  She stated, “we do not know more than what I just shared with you.”  NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack told staff it "may not have been an isolated incident."  If Savannah knew nothing about Lauer’s behavior she has no business in the news business.  If Andrew Lack thinks Lauer’s behavior “may” not have been isolated he has no business being in management.  In 2012 Lauer's former co-host Katie Couric said he pinched her "on the a-- a lot."  Joe Scarborough claimed he attended a Friars Club event for a roast of Lauer.  He claims many of the jokes were made about his sexual pursuits at work.  He added, "So was this whispered behind closed doors? No, it was shouted from the mountaintops and everybody laughed about it,"

This type of behavior is virtually impossible to keep secret.  Politicians have the advantage of paying their victims with other people’s money.  Cokie Roberts, NPR correspondent and ABC News commentator, claimed "every female in the press corps knew" to avoid being in an elevator with Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), and has apparently known about this "for years."  She added, “you know they are so used to it. I mean, the culture of Capitol Hill for so many decades was men being bad.”  Conyers’ attorney Arnold E. Reed, claims there are allegations against "many members" of the House and Senate. He might be suggesting that Conyers does not intend to go down alone.  The Congress of the United States is like a small fraternity.  Members are fully aware of what other members are up to.  Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer know who has stepped over the line.  They knew about Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy.  Kennedy made no effort to conceal his affairs “including public sex in 1985 and 1987 at La Brasserie restaurant.  Yet his colleagues referred to him as “the gentleman from Massachusetts.”

There is an obvious double standard when it comes to aberrant behavior by progressives.  If Judge Moore had drugged and had intercourse with a 13 year old girl that would be a crime.  When Roman Polanski did it Whoopi Goldberg claimed it was not “rape-rape.”  The excuses used to defend Bill Clinton’s behavior are too numerous to recount.  The media does its best not to cover incidents that would embarrassment colleagues or politicians unless they disagree with them.  The attack on Judge Moore appears to have failed.  In fact it has exploded in the face of the left.    They are most likely working on a new revelation that will be announced on December 11, one day before the election.  This will not give Moore’s defenders time to refute it.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

A Fresh Start for Zimbabwe

The nation of Zimbabwe just went under a change in government.  Robert Mugabe is being replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa.  Mnangagwa had been a close ally of Mugabe.  However, he had to flee the country after he was dismissed as vice-president.  Mnangagwa has close ties with the military and his dismissal may have been the reason the military sent troops to arrest Mugabe.  Under the circumstances Mugabe decided to resign.  He is being accused of rigging elections and using violence to repress his opponents.  Mnangagwa may not be the exact remedy for eliminating political violence.  He is widely believed to be responsible for the Gukurahundi massacres in which up to 20,000 civilians were killed. 

Robert Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980 after an election that replaced the white dominated Rhodesian government with a largely African one.  This was a great victory for anti-colonial progressives.  Mugabe has been showered with honorary degrees from Universities as far as Edinburgh, Massachusetts, Michigan, Atlanta and Moscow.  He was recently named a goodwill ambassador by the World Health Organization.  This a curious honor in light of Zimbabwe’s deteriorating heath care system.  Many critics complain that Zimbabwe’s health care system has collapsed.  They complain that medical staff is regularly unpaid and medications are in short supply.  The inability to obtain basic drugs and medicines has been blamed on hyperinflation.  About one fifth of the population is infected with HIV.  At one point life expectancy of Zimbabwean women has dropped from 61 years, in 1991, to 34 years.  The World Health Organization currently (2015) puts the female life expectancy at 62.3 years.  However, in light of the deteriorating health care system, their figures should be looked at skeptically.

The failure of Zimbabwe is an embarrassment to the progressive globalists.  It is best to avoid reporting news from there except for reports of crop failures due to drought or shortages due to hyperinflation.  Few would, like Andrew Young, defend Mugabe. Nicholas Kristof wrote in the New York Times, “Many, many ordinary black Zimbabweans wish that they could get back the white racist government that oppressed them in the 1970’s.” 

The Financial Times reported that, “One of Mr Mnangagwa’s main challenges will be turning around the ailing economy as the country grapples with a severe currency shortage, rampant unemployment and crumbling infrastructure.”  According to one Zimbabwean source China and the West provide 80% of Zimbabwe’s revenue.  In 2015 the United States provided $159 million in aid to the country. 

Mugabe will get a 5 to 10 million dollar “golden parachute,” immunity from prosecution for his family and his family’s assets will be protected.  He will also received his $150,000 salary for the rest of his life.  His wife has been nicknamed “Gucci Grace” for her lavish spending.  She has spent millions on property and luxury cars in South Africa.  Her oldest son, Bellarmine Chatunga, recently posted a clip on social media showing him pouring a £200 bottle of Ace of Spades champagne over a $60,000 diamond encrusted Rolex at a Johannesburg nightclub.  He boasted, “daddy runs the whole country”.  Kristof quotes a farmer by the name of Isaac, “It was better under Rhodesia. Then we could get jobs. Things were cheaper in stores. Now we have no money, no food.”  Isaac’s daddy obviously run the whole country.

Zimbabwe’s elite love showcasing their wealth on social media.  They have no concern for the millions of their countrymen who are starving.  This is more than conspicuous consumption.  It borders on the pathological.  Robert Mugabe Jr. travels in a private jet “with an interior decked out completely in gold.”   He has a black Batmobile.  He purchased two Rolls Royces in September.  Sidney Himbara Jr., whose father is one of the richest businessmen in Zimbabwe, wears customised alligator skin, gold plated Giuseppe Zanotti $14,000 trainers.  He has a golden revolver that fires lipstick pellets.

Nicholas Kristof pointed out in the New York Times, “When a white racist government was oppressing Zimbabwe, the international community united to demand change.”  He states that now a black racist government is harming the people.  He claims that most of the criticism is focused on the seizure the farms from white landowners.  The major victims, however, are black Zimbabweans.  Kristof states, “Our hypocrisy is costing hundreds of Zimbabwean lives every day.“

Friday, November 17, 2017

Was That The Sound Of Pandora’s Box Being Opened?

The recent Weinstein, Moore and Franken scandals have the establishment and the media in a frenzy.  Weinstein had displayed his objectionable behavior for decades.  It might be curious why it suddenly came to light.  The allegations against Moore only came to light in the last days of his campaign for the Senate.  This is understandable.  The establishment has spent millions in an attempt to defeat him.  He is a definite threat to their order.  Franked appears to be collateral damage.  In fact Franken is an example of friendly fire.  How many casualties can the establishment sustain?  We will probably be finding out.

Congresswoman Jackie Speier told Chuck Todd on MSNBC that the House had paid out $15 million in harassment settlements in the past 10-15 years.   Actually the Congress’ Office of Compliance put the figure at more than 17 Million.   Not all of these settlements were for sexual harassment.  The settlements are classified and not subject to Freedom of Information Act requests.  Tracy Manzer, Speier’s spokesperson told CNN that 80 percent of people who have come to her office to share stories of sexual misconduct never told the Office of Compliance.  Speier charged, “Congress created the Office of Compliance to protect itself from being exposed.”   The current law forces victims to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

The 17 million dollar figure is only the tip of an iceberg.  It does not include non-monetary settlements: “Here’s that promotion I promised you.”  It does not include cash payments made out of the harasser’s own pocket.  Former high school coach and House Speaker, Dennis Hastert, was apparently willing to pay $3.5 million to insure the silence of a former victim.  There is also the fear factor.  Informing on your boss might not be a smart career move.  Speier knows the names of two sitting members but will not release the names because, “The victims are the ones who do not want this exposed.”

There are several incidences that have made national news.  The Mark Foley page scandal of September 2006 possibly led to the Republicans loss of control over Congress in the November 2006 elections. That was extremely convenient timing.  Foley was sending sexually suggestive emails to teenaged boys who had formerly served as congressional pages.  House Speaker, Dennis Hastert, had apparently covered for Foley as long as he could.  He was accused of a cover-up in the Foley incident.   Another Republican Congressman, Jim Kolbe, may also have been involved in improper conduct at the time. There is no need to elaborate on the recent problems of Anthony Weiner. 

Sexual Harassment may be much more widespread than the public is aware of.  Members of Congress may feel invulnerable.  Their colleagues would be reluctant to expose them because it would bring discredit to the institution or they may also be involved in questionable behavior like House Speaker Dennis Hastert.  Their allies in the media are also reluctant to publicize the faults of people they socialize with and use as sources.  The floodgates, however, may be about to break open.  There are people in power who encouraged this movement.  Movements sometimes spin out of control and the there are plenty examples of revolutions eating their children. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Roy Moore vs. The Swamp

The Swamp is in full panic mode.  They are pulling out the big guns.  They claim Judge Roy Moore is a pedophile and cannot be allowed to represent the good people of the great state of Alabama.   If Moore wins the election the Senate should refuse to seat him.  The Washington Post claims it stumbled across this story by accident:  While reporting a story in Alabama about supporters of Moore’s Senate campaign, a Post reporter heard that Moore allegedly had sought relationships with teenage girls.”   The Swamp media would have us believe that they do not have a double standard when it comes to conservatives.  When Sarah Palin was selected for vice president David Corn claimed, “Alaska’s getting pretty crowded…with investigative reporters and scandal-chasers.”  Six weeks after being offered an exclusive story by Paula Jones the Post printed nothing.  The Post's managing editor, Robert Kaiser claimed  "We have an obligation to the Post's readers to do our best to establish the truth and not simply to print damaging accusations the moment they are made."

The author of the Washington Post article on Moore is very conscious of the problems the paper has with credibility.  She goes to great lengths to establish the main accuser’s bona fides. Leigh Corfman is not, like Paula Jones, who Newsweek’s Evan Thomas called "some sleazy woman with big hair coming out of the trailer parks."  McCrummen claims, “none of the women has donated to or worked for Moore’s Democratic opponent.”  Corfman voted for Republicans and even voted for Trump.  She described her story consistently in six interviews with The Post.  Neither Corfman nor any of the other women sought out The Post.  All were initially reluctant to speak.  Corfman claims, “I have prayed over this.”  She is obviously what the Post’s Michael Weisskop called one of the people who are “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command.”

The Swamp accepts Corfman’s allegations without reservations.  No one from the Swamp asked, “Why is this coming out now?”  After 38 years is it possible that the memories of a girl from a broken home might be distorted.
Corfman has been divorced three times and has been plagued by financial problems.  She blames her chaotic teenage recklessness; drinking, drug abuse, promiscuity and a suicide attempt on Moore.  By contrast Moore is a West Point graduate, a Vietnam veteran, a law school graduate, and what some would describe as a “holy roller.”  This is not to say that “holy rollers” have not been known to “misbehave.”  People have to decide who is more credible.

The question of credibility frequently depends on which side of the political spectrum an individual is on.  Members of the Swamp will immediately side with Corfman.  The Swamp creatures have revealed themselves yet again.  Mitch McConnell is leading the charge.  McConnell stated, “If these allegations are true, he must step aside.”  He was followed by Sen. Jeff Flake who argued, “If there is any shred of truth to the allegations against Roy Moore, he should step aside immediately.”   Sen. Susan Collins said, “If there is any truth at all to these horrific allegations, Roy Moore should immediately step aside as a Senate candidate.”  Sen. Lisa Murkowski said, “I’m horrified.”  Sen. Rob Portman said, “It was very troubling … if what we read is true and people are on the record so I assume it is.”  Sen. John McCain had no doubts about Moore’s guilt.  He tweeted, “The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying. He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of.”  All of these Senators are Republicans and member of the Swamp.

McConnell and the other Swamp creatures would rather have a democrat in this Alabama Senate seat.  George H.W. Bush voted for Hillary Clinton and is an unlikely Moore supporter.  Max Boot, a Rubio consultant said, “I would sooner vote for Josef Stalin than I would vote for Donald Trump.”  He is also an unlikely Moore supporter.  These are not 38 year old allegations.

The Swamp’s Claude Rains imitations are unconvincing.    Presently Senator Bob Menendez is being investigated for financial corruption.  Federal prosecutors believe that “defendants Menendez and Melgen had sex with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic."  These are not 38 year old allegations.  Three women who made the prostitution allegations later recanted and said they were paid to level the charges.  Who paid them?  Is the Post interested?   Sen. Lindsey Graham has testified as a character witness for Menendez.  Are Swamp creatures outraged by the recent release of FBI documents claiming Martin Luther King engaged in sex orgies?   Are they outraged by a Hollywood producer, Roman Polanski, who drugged and raped a 13 year old?  Or was this not a case of “rape-rape?”

Charges of sexual misconduct have been successfully used by the Swamp in the past.  In 1989 Senator John Tower was nominated for Secretary of Defense.  The day the debate on Tower's nomination began in the Senate, Bob Woodward’s article entitled, "Incidents at Defense Base Cited, Drunkenness, Harassment of Women Alleged" appeared on the front page of the Washington Post.  Bob Woodward reported that informed sources claimed Tower had been drunk at Bergstrom Air Force Base.  Tower was not confirmed and the next day it was revealed that Woodward’s source was discharged from the Air Force for psychiatric reasons.  Another story used against him was that he danced naked on a grand piano with his mistress, a Russian ballerina. This was reported by Leslie Stahl on CBS even though the FBI had reported they had reason to believe it was not true.  Sen. Ted Kennedy told students at Yale University that he was "troubled" by reports that John Tower drank excessively and made improper advances toward women.

For many an attack on Judge Moore by McCain is the next thing to an endorsement. If McCain opposes him he must be a patriot.  The President missed a great opportunity to embarrass the Swamp.  He reportedly said that Moore will “step aside” if the charges are true.  He should have mentioned that in light of the Swamp’s past behavior this is unlikely that the charges are true. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Book Review - Harry Dexter White

David Rees’ biography of Harry Dexter White, published in 1973, understandably does not include information that has come to light in the succeeding decades.  To his credit Rees comes to the conclusion that White was at least a “fellow traveler.”  Whether White was a “fellow traveler” or a card carrying Communist or simply extremely incompetent is irrelevant.  The important thing is what resulted from the policies he so successfully advocated.

Rees comes to the opposite conclusion of John Haynes and Harvey Klehr about Communist agents influencing U.S. policy.  Klehr has stated, "In our more than twenty years of archivally based research on Soviet espionage in America, we have uncovered ample documentation of Soviet intelligence obtaining American technical, military, and diplomatic information but very little indicating successful policy manipulation."  In an interview  Haynes stated, “Soviet manipulation of American policy—which by the way Soviet intelligence agencies didn’t do that. They were into intelligence, not policy manipulation. And there are sensible reasons for that—but that’s another question.”  Rees make several references to Communist efforts to manipulate policy.  As an example: “During 1936 an “elite group,” composed of promising officials who were expected to rise in the government service, was detached from this parent group (the Ware group.)  Its paramount objectives at that time were “power and influence” rather than active espionage.”  He quotes Whitticar Chambers, “The power to influence policy has always been the ultimate purpose of the Communist Party’s infiltration.  It was much more dangerous, and, as events have proved, much more difficult to detect, than espionage, which beside it was trivial, though the two go hand in hand.”  Haynes and Klehr are two of the leading scholars in this field.  It is curious that they were willing to damage their reputations by making such a claim.

Rees contends that White was not it a position to guide U.S. policy: “So far from being able to work on a high level to propel the United States into a war with Japan, so diminishing the possibility of a Japanese attack on the Soviet Union, White was certainly not part of the policy-making process at this time, as has been noted.”  Yet he wrote, “Some of White’s suggestions were incorporated in the final ‘ultimatum,’ as it was regarded in Tokyo, which was given by Secretary of State Cordell Hull to the Japanese envoys on November 26, 1941.”  It would later be discovered that these suggestions originated in Moscow.

Rees covers White’s role in the formulation of the Morgenthau Plan.  He appears to accept the fact that JCS 1067, the policy for occupation of Germany, was based on the Morgenthau Plan.  He quotes Walter Dorn, “Treasury representatives declared that the original White Memorandum had been approved by the President.  Thus it happened that the original version of JCS 1067 became largely a Treasury document.  It literally decreed, as a State Department official put it, economic chaos.”  White was a outstanding economist.  He knew exactly what the results of chaos would be.  Philip Mosely commented, “Such a policy outlined by White would drive the Germans into dependence on the Soviet Union.”  This would result in the rest of Europe falling under Soviet control.  White was almost successful.  By 1947 both France and Italy were on the verge of electing Communist governments.  This led to the Marshall Plan and the recovery of the European economy.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Is U.S. Policy in Afghanistan Doomed?

Politico provides an account of a State Department election night “party” in Kabul’s U.S. embassy.  The author, May Jeong, explains “State Department employees, who are officially barred from political activism while living abroad but tend to support Democrats.”  As proof he reports, “On the wall hung a Donald Trump piñata.”  He reports a change in the party’s atti  The article explains the role of Scott Guggenheim, “senior adviser” to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.  He describes Guggenheim as, “one of the most powerful people in the country.”  Guggenheim has worked with Ghani since 2002.  Ghani and Guggenheim are member of the same elite.  Ghani is described as “former academic whose lifelong passion has been studying how to fix broken countries.”  Guggenheim spent the first half of his career as an international development expert.  They attended some of the same schools and both worked for the World Bank.
tude when it became clear that Trump was going to win the election.

Jeong claims that Guggenheim’s “sympathies run far closer to Afghanistan than the United States” and that he “often slips into the collective possessive pronoun—our country, our people—and refers just as reflexively to ‘you Americans.’”  He sees Afghanistan as a victim of modernizing struggles.  Apparently he believes in the “Noble Savage Theory.”  He attributes Afghanistan’s trouble to the result of British colonialism.  “What the British achieved was turning one of the oldest civilizations into warring tribes.”  The problem with this theory is that most of Afghanistan’s problems preceeded the British invasion.  The United Nations Development Program rates Afghanistan one of the worst countries in the world to be born female.  The sexual abuse of children is long standing characteristic of Afghan culture. “The practice is called bacha bazi, literally ‘boy play,’ and American soldiers and Marines have been instructed not to intervene.” 

One of Guggenheim’s major duties is to act as Afghanistan’s informal ambassador to the world of foreign donors who fund most of the country’s budget.  Approximately 70 percent of the Afghan government’s budget since the 2001 has been supplied by foreign donors.  Guggenheim asked,  “Is the Parliament of Afghanistan really representative of the country, or is it a bunch of warlords dividing up national rent? This is what American foreign policy in Afghanistan has created. The institutions they built up are deeply corrupt.”  There are billions of taxpayer dollars circulating through Afghanistan.  One example is the $43 million ($42.7 million, to be exact) spent to build a compressed natural gas station in Afghanistan. Naturally this figure was disputed when the cost became public.  Critics claim the true cost was somewhere between $5 million and $10 million.  This is not a very precise figure for a facility that would cost no more than $500,000 in neighboring Pakistan.

Guggenheim views Afghanistan as an American experiment.  He was attracted to the job there by “the promise of the early years.”  He saw Afghanistan as a “modern society that would catch up to regional success stories like India or Iran.”  After emerging from decades of civil war and misrule it offered a country-sized laboratory.  Afghanistan was a chance to implement some of the theories Guggenheim and Ghani had “discussed during countless conversations at weddings, backyard swims and garden parties across decades.”  Progressives believed that a vote for Ghani was “a vote for progress, for reform, for equality, for human rights, and a sense of Afghanistan joining the rest of the world.”  Guggenheim described his vision: “What I’d like to see is countries with deep historical legacies, that are struggling, pull it off.  Some sense that they will finally get their act together and they are going to be democratic and there is going to be basic freedoms. Kids can go to a movie theater and not worry about being blown up, that sort of thing. I’m still a deep idealist on those scores.”  This would have been a prefect time for Mr. Guggenheim to break out in song: “You may say I’m a dreamer But I’m not the only one.  I hope some day you’ll join us And the world will live as one.”  But how many eggs will be required to make this omelet?

The people implementing U.S. policy in Afghanistan will have to put away their piñata and deal with the Afghan people for what they are.  They will not be holding any “gay” pride parades in Kabul in the near future.  The United States is providing billions to support an admittedly corrupt government yet this government is giving away mining rights to Chinese companies.  Guggenheim appears to be coming to the realization that the theories formulated at “weddings, backyard swims and garden parties across decades” may not be practical.  He declared, “What you are doing is doomed.  But isn’t that the story of life? And so, you do it anyway.”  Jeong described this as “sardonic wit.”  It is a type of wit that goes over well at garden parties but not in foxholes.  He should not try out his wit on the mothers of soldiers who have returned to the U.S. in body bags.  The elite has a different sense of humor.