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#101 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 07:28 PM

View Postgolden_valley, on 17 September 2019 - 05:48 PM, said:

Their 9/11? According to this Wall Street Journal article oil production is set to return to normal by the end of the month.

How are we doing on that resurrection project for the 9/11 victims?
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
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#102 LFC

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 06:06 PM

Interesting take on Saudi Arabia starting a war with Yemen from an retired General who was there when the shit first hit the fan. He said they knew they'd fail as soon as they heard about the invasion. McCain, however, was all in on it. Unfortunately the military officials kept quiet because of "McCain’s stature as the arbiter of all-things-military." The more I've learned about McCain the less respect I've had for him. He was a foreign policy wonk in the same way that Paul Ryan was a budget wonk i.e. NOT!

Quote

He explained: “We didn’t see the [Saudi] invasion [of Yemen] coming and we were shocked when it happened. But we were pretty blunt. We told them, ‘you can’t win and you’ll bankrupt your country. It’ll be a quagmire.’ And we were right.”

This officer’s “we-told-ya-so” narrative, as it turns out, is accurate. Saudi Arabia’s invasion of Yemen to destroy the Houthi rebellion (and reinstate the government of Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi) not only surprised the Obama administration, it was met with nearly open disdain by the U.S. military. Key senior officers of the U.S. Special Operations Command viewed the Houthis as a robust counter to al-Qaeda’s strength in Yemen and even argued that America take steps to support them.

“The Houthis were only nominally Iran’s surrogates,” a military officer told me at the time, “but they were also our quiet partners against al-Qaeda.” Yet back in 2015, because of the Saudi invasion (with support from nine other Arab states), the possibility that the Pentagon could count on Houthi backing was not only off the table, senior Pentagon officials predicted that the tribe would strengthen its ties with their Shia co-religionists in Iran—something that, prior to the Saudi invasion, it hadn’t wanted to do. That’s why key segments of the U.S. military thought the Saudi invasion was a mistake.

But that’s not how Senator John McCain saw it. McCain defended the Saudi invasion, linked it to Barack Obama’s decision to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran, and said there was good reason that the Saudis had kept their planned intervention a secret. “These countries, led by Saudi Arabia, did not notify us nor seek our coordination or our assistance in this effort, because they believe we are siding with Iran,” McCain, who succumbed to cancer in 2018, said.

Senior U.S. military officers scoffed at this, even as, given McCain’s stature as the arbiter of all-things-military, they kept their views private. “The reason the Saudis didn’t inform us of their plans,” a U.S. Central Command officer told me at the time, “is because they knew we would have told them exactly what we think—that it was a bad idea.” Yemen expert Michael Horton, whose intimate knowledge of the conflict is informed by visits to the region, echoed these views while channeling the U.S. military’s skepticism about Saudi Arabian military competence: “Frankly, they cannot begin to manage this,” he told me soon after the Saudi intervention. “They have all the toys, but few people who know how to manage them. Their NCO and officer corps are largely untested, and their enlisted men are drawn from the lowest rungs of Saudi society. If they get bogged down in Yemen, I wonder about the loyalty of many of their soldiers and NCOs.”

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

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#103 LFC

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 08:31 PM

Imagine the right-wing shitfit if he was Mexican. And where are the screams from the anti-Muslim crowd? Suddenly tamped down because the source of the overwhelming majority of the 9/11 murderers is run by one of Trump's besties?

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The suspected shooter in the Pensacola Naval Station attack on Friday was a reportedly a Saudi national, the Associated Press and CNN reported, citing multiple U.S. officials.

CNN said the suspected shooter was a military trainee from Saudi Arabia. Authorities are investigating whether the incident was terrorism-related and any other motives, according to the AP and CNN. The shooter was an aviation student from Saudi Arabia and may have been on the Naval base for training as military personnel from around the world often attend training at the station in Pensacola, Florida, CNN reported.

The shooter allegedly opened fire in a classroom building Friday morning, killing at least three people and injuring multiple others. The shooter is dead, according to multiple reports.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#104 golden_valley

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 09:33 PM

View PostLFC, on 06 December 2019 - 08:31 PM, said:

Imagine the right-wing shitfit if he was Mexican. And where are the screams from the anti-Muslim crowd? Suddenly tamped down because the source of the overwhelming majority of the 9/11 murderers is run by one of Trump's besties?

Saudi Muslims are different from other Muslims dontcha know? They have money/oil/ and Jared Kushner. The others don't.

#105 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 09:45 PM

View Postgolden_valley, on 06 December 2019 - 09:33 PM, said:

Saudi Muslims are different from other Muslims dontcha know? They have money/oil/ and Jared Kushner. The others don't.

That's why they don't just ride in planes, they fly them.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#106 andydp

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Posted 26 December 2019 - 04:29 PM

It Seemed Like a Popular Chat App. It's Secretly a Spy Tool.


WASHINGTON — It is billed as an easy and secure way to chat by video or text message with friends and family, even in a country that has restricted popular messaging services like WhatsApp and Skype.


But the service, ToTok, is actually a spying tool, according to U.S. officials familiar with a classified intelligence assessment and a New York Times investigation into the app and its developers. It is used by the government of the United Arab Emirates to try to track every conversation, movement, relationship, appointment, sound and image of those who install it on their phones.


Snip


A technical analysis and interviews with computer security experts showed that the firm behind ToTok, Breej Holding, is most likely a front company affiliated with DarkMatter, an Abu Dhabi-based cyberintelligence and hacking firm where Emirati intelligence officials, former National Security Agency employees and former Israeli military intelligence operatives work. DarkMatter is under FBI investigation, according to former employees and law enforcement officials, for possible cybercrimes. The U.S. intelligence assessment and the technical analysis also linked ToTok to Pax AI, an Abu Dhabi-based data mining firm that appears to be tied to DarkMatter.




https://news.yahoo.c...-125738897.html
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Obamacare took my guns away and put me in a FEMA reeducation camp
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If you've got public schools paid for by taxpayers, you're in a socialist nation. If you have public roads paid for by taxpayers, socialist nation. If you've got public defense (police, fire, military, coast guard) paid for by tax dollars, socialist nation. If you're in a nation that has nationalized or localized delivery of services that are not paid for by users alone, you're in a socialist nation- the only question is how socialist. As I see it, we pay the military pay to protect the shipping lanes for our fuel needs which makes us very socialist. In a capitalist nation, the people supplying the oil would pay for their own defense force. DC Coronata

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"I can't go out because of the virus" sounds whiny and boring. I'm going with:
"I've sworn an oath of solitude until the pestilence is purged from the lands."
Sounds more valiant and heroic AND, as a bonus, people might think you're carrying a sword.

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#107 LFC

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 04:46 PM

Our allies, at least per Trump.

Quote

The United States will send 21 Saudi military trainees back to the Gulf kingdom after an investigation into the fatal shooting of three American sailors last month, the Justice Department announced Monday.

The 21, who the investigation found possessed jihadist material and child pornography, have been expelled from their air force training at a Florida military base, said Attorney General Bill Barr.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#108 LFC

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 03:56 PM

In Trumpland our troops are nothing more than an item to be sold for cash.

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Kelley Vlahos comments on the president’s willingness to send more U.S. troops to Saudi Arabia:

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It is time to claw back from this toxic relationship, and the first place to start is to transform our current mission of paternalistic “power projection” to one of “national defense.” Who cares what the House of Saud wants to buy—it’s not what the American taxpayer pays for, and amen to Amash for putting it in such bald terms.

Trump’s statement that he will send more troops to Saudi Arabia in exchange for payment sums up his foreign policy worldview quite well. He has no objection to sending U.S. troops to other countries, and he doesn’t mind putting them in harm’s way, as long as he thinks someone will pay for it. Trump is not interested in whether a particular mission makes the U.S. more secure, and he certainly doesn’t think strategically about what the U.S. should be trying to accomplish. He just wants to get someone to fork over some cash. The absurd thing is that the cash is never forthcoming, but Trump keeps sending the troops to these places anyway.

We saw the same mercenary attitude during the campaign when he talked about setting up a “big, beautiful safe zone” in Syria, which he assured us would be paid for by Arab client states. We have seen it several times when he talks about “taking the oil” from this or that country to compensate the U.S. for our military interventions. As long as the Saudis and Emiratis are paying customers for weapons that they use to kill Yemenis, Trump will happily put their preferences and interests first.

Oddly enough for a self-proclaimed nationalist, the president has no notion of the national interest, but sees everything in narrow terms of wealth that can be extracted from others. This is why he talks about NATO as if it were a protection racket and shakes down South Korea for more money, and it is why he thinks it is acceptable to keep U.S. forces in Syria illegally so that they can control Syrian oil fields. It is why he insists that Iraq pay us for the cost of the installations that the U.S. built during the occupation of their country. It is also one reason why he relies so heavily on economic warfare in his attempt to coerce other states to do what he wants, because he seems to think that everyone is just as preoccupied with getting money as he is.

Contrary to the common assumption that Trump espouses some sort of “Jacksonian” foreign policy, this is an approach that ignores national honor and interest and focuses solely on lucre. Trump resembles nothing so much as a minor German prince from the 17th or 18th century who hires out his soldiers to fight the wars of other countries. This is what a mercenary foreign policy looks like, and it has nothing to do with making the U.S. more secure.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#109 LFC

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 04:03 PM

The so-called great deal maker (and definitely world class liar) strikes again. It's embarrassing that one nation after another makes him their chump.

Quote

During an interview on Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show Friday night, President Donald Trump made a stunning announcement: Saudi Arabia was paying the US $1 billion to send US troops to defend it from Iran.

“We’re sending more [troops] to Saudi Arabia, and Saudi Arabia is paying us for it,” Trump said. “I said, ‘Listen, you’re a very rich country. You want more troops? I’m going to send them to you, but you have to pay us.’ They’re paying us. They’ve already deposited $1 billion in the bank.”

Critics, including Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI), slammed the move, accusing Trump of using American troops as “paid mercenaries.” “He sells troops,” Amash tweeted.

On MSNBC, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) raised the possibility that Trump deposited the Saudi money in a personal bank account and said the president is “selling our soldiers as mercenaries to foreign governments.”

“It’s outrageous,” Lee added. “He does not deserve to be the commander in chief of the United States of America.”

As is often the case when it comes to Trump, the details of this purported transaction with Saudi Arabia are murky. Ingraham didn’t ask any follow-up questions about it, and Trump didn’t offer any additional details.

Though the Pentagon did announce last October that it would send troops to Saudi Arabia to defend the country against Iran, there had been no reporting about Saudi Arabia financially compensating the US.

Trump’s comments immediately raised questions: Into which bank account did Saudi Arabia deposit the $1 billion? What exactly are US troops doing over there? And did this transaction even happen, or was the president just making stuff up?

Days later, we’ve learned a bit more about what Trump was talking about. And it seems the president, as he often does, was exaggerating.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#110 golden_valley

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 04:20 PM

View PostLFC, on 14 January 2020 - 04:03 PM, said:

The so-called great deal maker (and definitely world class liar) strikes again. It's embarrassing that one nation after another makes him their chump.

It's all transactional with him. World politics and diplomacy are just countries (corporations) making deals with each other. You got money; we got weapons and soldiers. Even his anti Muslim stance is not enough to keep him away from Saudi money.

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 09:28 PM

From the Department of Of Course He Is:

Quote

The chairman of the South Dakota Republican Party, Dan Lederman, is being paid $10,000 a month to lobby on behalf of Saudi Arabian interests, according to The Rapid City Journal.

Although Lederman declined to discuss his work on behalf of the Saudi Arabian embassy, he replied with a two-sentence statement by email.

The statement referenced LS2group, which is short for the Larson Shannahan Slifka Group, of Des Moines, Iowa. The company has an agreement with the Saudi Arabian embassy, and Lederman, a senior adviser for LS2group, was assigned to work on the embassy’s behalf.

“LS2group will provide strategic and government affairs counsel, public relations, and communications services to the Embassy of Saudi Arabia,” the statement said. “LS2group meets and files all disclosures as required by law and takes that responsibility seriously.”

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#112 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 09:38 AM

I wonder if Barr can find a way to either keep active military from voting or delaying the delivery of their ballots?
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#113 LFC

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 05:32 PM

Our friends. If I had to bet the over/under on Trump knowing about this it would definitely be the over. Hell, it wouldn't shock me if he was even the one who requested it.

Quote

Two independent experts told the UN that Amazon CEO and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos’ phone was likely hacked in 2018 after an account owned by Saudi Arabia crown prince Mohammed bin Salman sent him a WhatsApp message.

Agnes Callamard, UN Special Rapporteur on summary executions and extrajudicial killings, and David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, said that the timing suggests an attempt from the crown prince to get some control over the Washington Post’s reporting.

Bezos and bin Salman exchanged WhatsApp numbers about a month before the alleged hack. In May, after bin Salman sent Bezos a message, there was a massive spike of data being removed from Bezos’ phone. The experts suspect that malware was embedded in the message.

Jamal Khashoggi, the columnist for the Washington Post who was murdered by Saudi Arabian agents in October 2018, saw his phone hacked right around the same time that Bezos’ was.

After Khashoggi’s murder, the Washington Post aggressively reported on the circumstances surrounding it and the involvement of Bin Salman. Accordingly, the crown prince started sending Bezos messages about his private life not available from public sources. At the same time, Bezos was being aggressively maligned in a Saudi social media campaign.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#114 golden_valley

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 07:35 PM

View PostLFC, on 22 January 2020 - 05:32 PM, said:

Our friends. If I had to bet the over/under on Trump knowing about this it would definitely be the over. Hell, it wouldn't shock me if he was even the one who requested it.

That is one chilling story...this sort of thing is only supposed to happen in fiction. The US is supposed to be immune from such nastiness...is this part of globalization or is this part of the mob-like elements introduced to the US by a certain person's son in law.

#115 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 07:55 AM

View Postgolden_valley, on 22 January 2020 - 07:35 PM, said:

The US is supposed to be immune from such nastiness.

And the Senate is supposed to be an impartial judge and jury in cases of impeachment.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#116 LFC

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Posted 14 May 2020 - 01:03 PM

WTH just happened? Was this somebody's intentional mistake?

Quote

After an extraordinary, two-year battle to keep secret the name of a Saudi diplomat suspected of ties to the 9/11 plot, the Justice Department accidentally disclosed the man’s name in a court filing.

The revelation of the Saudi official’s identity, in a federal court filing last week, did little to illuminate links between the Al Qaeda hijackers and the Saudi government, which is being sued for complicity in the 2001 attacks by survivors and families of the victims.

In fact, the diplomat’s identity only deepens a mystery about why the Trump administration has fought so aggressively to keep the information under wraps. The disclosure, in a partially redacted statement from a senior FBI official, was first reported on Tuesday by Yahoo News.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr has twice argued in federal court statements that the Saudi diplomat’s name and other information from the FBI investigation of the plot constitute “state secrets” that would imperil the nation’s security if they became public. The FBI, the CIA and the Director of National Intelligence submitted a flurry of declarations endorsing that claim last month, at the Justice Department’s behest.

Yet the Saudi diplomat, Musaed Ahmed al-Jarrah, is an almost anonymous figure whose possible connections to the 9/11 plot were never solidly confirmed, several officials said, and were only a passing focus of the FBI’s long-running inquiry into the Saudi role.

“Our government has been fighting us tooth and nail to prevent the release of this name, and now — lo and behold — we know his name,” said a spokesman for the 9/11 families, Brett Eagleson. “What about this is a state secret? Why would our government go to such lengths to protect this guy? This proves it’s a giant cover-up to protect the Saudis.”

The Justice Department declined to comment on the release of Jarrah’s name, although an official confirmed that it was inadvertent.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#117 LFC

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 12:40 PM

The State Dept. is still trying to justify the bullshit emergency order that Pompeo and Trump used to ram through a Saudi arms deal without proper Congressional approval. Of course the Republican Party has done nothing on this issue. The imperial presidency, which has long been creeping forward, has rocketed forward under Trump.

Quote

In a new defense of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo provided to TPM, the State Department called the emergency declaration approving a controversial arms deal with Saudi Arabia “essential” and legal.

The statement comes after reporting this week that Pompeo’s involvement in the emergency declaration was among the matters the department’s inspector general had been probing before President Trump fired him.

“As the Secretary has said, The United States is, and must remain, a reliable security partner to our allies and partners around the world,” a department spokesperson told TPM. “His May 24, 2019, Emergency designation was essential to helping U.S. partners better defend themselves and it reinforced changes to U.S. posture in the region to deter Iran.”

“The Department met the requirements of the law and followed relevant practice in invoking this emergency authority, and has moved these arms transfers forward,” the spokesperson added.

Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, told TPM that fired Inspector General Steve Linick was conducting an ongoing investigation into the President’s emergency declaration that allowed Pompeo to approve the arms deal. Trump fired Linick last Friday on Pompeo’s recommendation.

The State Department’s defense is particularly notable given a Thursday report from CNN detailing Pompeo’s push to get State Department officials to find a reason to justify the emergency declaration after he decided to enter into the $8 million arms deal last year. He ultimately got it done by using a provision of the Arms Export Control Act.


Typical Republican. They decide to do something and then find a justification, ANY justification, so they can act imperially. No thread is too thin and Congressional Republicans will either ignore it or back it to the hilt. That's how W Bush turned us into a nation that used torture as an official practice.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer





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