01/5/17

Gulftainer Scandal Connects Obama, the Clintons and the Media

By: Roger Aronoff | Accuracy in Media

In a recent column, I challenged the notion that the Obama administration has been scandal free. This has been the assertion, most recently, of Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett, in a softball interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. The media have covered for the multiple scandals that have occurred right under their noses, and this is nothing less than willful blindness. It has applied to the Obama administration, the Clinton Foundation and recent presidential campaign, as well as going back to the Clinton administration. One largely overlooked scandal that ties together the Clintons, Barack Obama and the media’s willful blindness is the Gulftainer scandal.

This clear case of malfeasance comes at the expense of national security and American safety. As we reported in 2015, a United Arab Emirates subsidiary company, Gulftainer USA, was granted a lease “at the vital national security hub of Port Canaveral, Florida.” Now a recent Occasional Paper from the Center for Security Policy (CSP) shows that Gulftainer’s parent company, The Crescent Group, is connected to Iraq’s illicit nuclear program, and may have benefited from associations with the Obamas and Clintons. CSP has done an excellent job connecting these very disturbing dots.

Hamid Jafar is the founder and chairman of the Crescent group of companies, according to the Crescent Petroleum website. However, as Alan Jones and Mary Fanning write for the CSP, Hamid Jafar “is the brother and the business partner of Dr. Jafar Dhia Jafar—the Baghdad-born nuclear physicist who masterminded Saddam Hussein’s nuclear weapons program.”

In other words, the company has links to terror. Jones and Fanning write that David Kay, a “U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991–1992” who returned to Iraq after 2003, says that Dr. Jafar told him, “You can bomb our buildings. You can destroy our technology. But you cannot take it [nuclear technology] out of our heads. We now have the capability.”

Dr. Jafar is currently CEO of Crescent’s URUK Engineering & Contracting subsidiary, although his brother claimed for years that he had “no business relationship” with Dr. Jafar, according to Jones and Fanning.

These are the business ties of a company in charge of shipping containers out of a port with close proximity to an Air Force base, a submarine base, and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Yet despite the risks, the mainstream media continue to look the other way on the Gulftainer scandal.

The most recent news article on Gulftainer that I found is from October 2016, and as a local news article it largely discusses the business potential in the port, and notes that Gulftainer USA is “looking at growth opportunities in the northeastern United States and the Oakland, California, area.”

Will this terror-tied shipping company soon be coming to a port near you?

Jones and Fanning also reveal that Obama has ties to this port deal through his college friends.

Abraaj Capital, through The Abraaj Group, is one of Crescent Enterprises’ “private equity holdings,” report Jones and Fanning. “Wahid Hamid, who attended Occidental College in Los Angeles as a wealthy Pakistani foreign student, was one of Barack Obama’s college roommates, and became one of Obama’s lifelong friends, is a Partner at The Abraaj Group,” they write. “Abraaj’s Senior Partner Wahid Hamid of Pakistan, Mohammed Hasan Chandoo of Pakistan, and Vinai Thummalapally of India were all college roommates of Barack Obama, were all 2008 campaign bundlers for Barack Obama (each bringing in $100,000 to $200,000), and all attended Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson’s 1992 wedding.”

Thummalapally attended the 2015 grand opening of Gulftainer’s terminal at Port Canaveral, they write.

The Clintons have also benefited from their relationship with the UAE company and its leaders. Crescent Group executive Majid Jafar, Dr. Jafar’s nephew, co-chairs the “Business Backs Education” campaign with Bill Clinton. “The campaign is funded by the Varkey GEMS Foundation that paid Bill Clinton $5.6 million to serve as ‘Honorary Chairman’ and that helped raise $70 billion in commitments for the Clinton Global Initiative,” write Jones and Fanning. Abraaj Capital held a 25 percent stake in GEMS Education while Bill Clinton received money from that entity, they write.

We have already detailed the conflicts of interest that the Clintons faced while Bill Clinton was earning $16 million from Laureate Education as its Honorary Chancellor. We wrote that Secretary Clinton’s State Department made sure that over $55 million in “American taxpayer dollars flowed out of Hillary Clinton’s State Department to a non-profit run by Laureate CEO Douglas Becker.” Gulftainer is just another example of the potential for corrupt pay for play that has saturated the Clintons’ many dealings.

It turns out that, according to Jones and Fanning, even the man who oversaw the secret negotiations to bring Gulftainer to Port Canaveral is connected to the Clintons. “One of [Port Canaveral CEO John E.] Walsh’s Watersmark business partners is Miguel Lausell, a senior adviser to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign who contributed $1 million to the Clinton Library and is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative,” write Jones and Fanning. “Walsh’s other Watersmark business partners include representatives of the Saudi and UAE royal families and of the UAE government.”

The Gulftainer USA deal was signed in 2014, the same year that the UAE was a first-time donor to the Clinton Foundation.

Gulftainer USA’s presence at Port Canaveral, Florida, remains a threat to the military assets and other national security targets within and near to that port. Yet, “Secretary [Jack] Lew bypassed the mandated Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) ‘National Security Threat Analysis,’ which should have been overseen by Director James R. Clapper,” write Jones and Fanning. “The National Security Threat Analysis is supposed to be ordered by and delivered to the Treasury Secretary, who is also the designated chairperson of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).”

“Did the Clintons’ contacts help to seal the deal?” we asked about this contract in 2015. “Given the Clintons’ scandal-filled history the media might want to at least look into this one.”

Gulftainer was granted its lease without a national security review because it was not purchasing part of the port. Instead, it was leasing it—for 35 years. But it is clear that in this case the Obama administration looked the other way on a potential national security nightmare.

That the media refuse to cover this ongoing Obama and Clinton scandal is a profound dereliction of their journalistic duty to investigate issues of America’s national interest, and an additional blatant attempt to shield President Obama from criticism. The media have an obligation to cover ongoing threats to our national security, no matter who is responsible for them.


Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi. He can be contacted at [email protected]. View the complete archives from Roger Aronoff.

01/5/17

AmmoMan.com is pushing security-minded Americans to cover up computer cameras with “Lens Liberator”

By: Eric the AmmoMan | AmmoMan

Facebook found Mark Zuckerberg and FBI Director James Comey are two high-profile, relatively tech-savvy individuals who cover their computer cameras up to prevent a potential hack.

With relative ease, foreign and domestic hackers have proven they can gain access to computer camera footage and in some cases have been known to exploit whatever that camera sees for financial gain.

It’s enough of a problem that James Comey blocks his camera with tape and suggests the general public consider it as well.

“You go into any government office and we all have the little camera things that sit on top of the screen,” Comey said during a conference in the fall. “They all have a little lid that closes down on them. “You do that so that people who don’t have authority don’t look at you. I think that’s a good thing.”

In other words, while you can have strong passwords and even firewalls on your network to help defend against hackers, you should still take additional steps to protect yourself against hackers who might to try to access your camera.

To help make it easier (and less of an eye-sore) AmmoMan.com is pushing security-minded Americans to cover up their computer cameras with something they call the “Lens Liberator”.

Cut in two different sizes to best fit your computer or smartphone camera lens, the Lens Liberator promises “complete annihilation of privacy-breaching photons” that might make their way to your computer’s camera lens and put your privacy at risk.

The small, custom made one-half and three-quarter inch stickers are re-stickable. So, users can easily remove the sticker to access their camera as they see fit. While supplies last, 10,000 of the Lens Liberators are available for free to any American who requests one be sent to them.

“While we deal mostly with firearms and ammunition, security is about more than just gunpowder and the shooting guns,” Eric Schepps of AmmoMan.com said. “We see this as a good opportunity to help the shooting community take the proper steps to secure other aspects of their life.”

Liberating Your Lens – A Look at Domestic Spying and Cyber Security in the U.S.A. – An infographic by the team at Lens Liberator

01/5/17

The “No Scandals” Obama Administration Revisited

By: Roger Aronoff | Accuracy in Media

No matter how many times it is disproved, members of the Obama administration and the liberal media continue to claim that President Barack Obama has overseen a scandal-free executive branch during his two terms in office. Nothing could be further from the truth. Fast & Furious, the IRS targeting scandal, Benghazi, and the Veterans Administration scandal are but a taste of President Obama’s scandal-ridden leadership.

The latest in the voices declaring Obama scandal-free is senior advisor Valerie Jarrett, who said recently on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” that “The President prides himself on the fact that his administration hasn’t had a scandal and that he hasn’t done something to embarrass himself. But that’s not because he’s being someone other than who he is. That’s because that’s who he is, that’s who they are, and I think that’s what really resonates with the American people.” A fawning Zakaria also asked Jarrett about Obama’s “cool,” “discipline,” and “dignity” on his January 1 show, which was entitled “Voices From the Obama Years.” “Over the last few months, we have had extraordinary access to the White House, to officials current and former. It was all for a documentary about President Obama’s legacy,” said Zakaria.

With President Obama set to step down this month and give way to soon-to-be President Donald Trump, the media are even more eager to contrast the current President with his already demonized successor.

As we have reported, both token New York Times conservative David Brooks and former Obama senior advisor David Axelrod have also claimed that Obama’s tenure has been scandal-free. While this assertion is pure fiction, it continues nonetheless. It is a convenient way of dismissing, if not covering up, Obama’s dishonesty, incompetence and corruption. The perpetuation of this lie demonstrates that the media and the Obama administration are living in a reality constructed entirely by themselves, one that ignores any information that might damage Obama’s legacy.

A key counterpart to the elevation of Obama is the necessary criticism of his successor. Thus, the Times’ Paul Krugman writes in his recent column that Trump is bringing America down to “stan” status, a third-world country label which indicates a runaway personality cult and despotism by rich elites. “But cults of personality are actually the norm in the ‘stans,’ the Central Asian countries that emerged after the fall of the Soviet Union, all of which are ruled by strongmen who surround themselves with tiny cliques of wealthy crony capitalists,” Krugman writes.

While Krugman is busy attacking what he perceives as Trump’s cult of personality, he may have forgotten that in 2008 he himself accused candidate Barack Obama of the same thing: “I’m not the first to point out that the Obama campaign seems dangerously close to becoming a cult of personality. We’ve already had that from the Bush administration—remember Operation Flight Suit? We really don’t want to go there again.” At the time Krugman was clearly supporting Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, so his venom was aimed at Obama.

He wrote in that column that it was “particularly saddening” how “many Obama supporters seem happy with the application of ‘Clinton rules’—the term a number of observers use for the way pundits and some news organizations treat any action or statement by the Clintons, no matter how innocuous, as proof of evil intent.” By that definition, it is clear that Krugman and the Times, as well as most of the liberal media, seem happy with the application of “Trump rules.” Of course they would argue that in Trump’s case, those rules are justified.

So Krugman has portrayed President George W. Bush, President Obama and President-elect Donald Trump as each fostering cults of personality. America, under that rubric, isn’t descending to Third World status—it is simply getting more of the same. After all, Obama is the one with a celebrated iconic portrait, who is worshiped by Hollywood and the inane arbiters of pop culture, nearly all of whom have refused to be associated in any way with anything related to Trump.

Speaking of cult of personality, incredibly, the Obama administration has inserted favorable mentions of their Dear Leader in 12 of the last 14 biographies of former presidents on the White House website, going back to Calvin Coolidge. That is something no other president has had the audacity to do. For example, President Jimmy Carter’s biography includes a paragraph at the bottom which states, “In 1977, President Jimmy Carter created the Department of Energy; today the DOE works with the Obama Administration to drive towards innovation in energy and reducing reliance on foreign oil with an ‘all of the above’ approach.”

If you attend the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., you will see, in the area focusing on First Ladies, a larger than life photo of President Obama with First Lady Michelle. No other president rates a photo of any size in that room.

But the real difference between the media treatment of these recent presidencies is that President Obama is the only President receiving fawning, constant press coverage that ignores his faults and celebrates his enduring legacy items, such as Obamacare and the Iran deal. As we have written, both of those initiatives are debacles—and the Iran Deal isn’t even signed—yet the press continues to publish articles praising those policies as signature achievements.

The difference is, Obama is a Democrat, and the corrupt Democrat-Media complex works hard to only celebrate the left’s victories.

“How could this happen in a nation that has long prided itself as a role model for democracies everywhere?” asks Krugman in his column, continuing, “In a direct sense, Mr. Trump’s elevation was made possible by the F.B.I.’s blatant intervention in the election, Russian subversion, and the supine news media that obligingly played up fake scandals while burying real ones on the back pages.”

Actually, as we have reported, the media have consistently downplayed the national security scandal that was Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. The press focused on the problems with Trump University, yet they ignored the scandal of the Clinton-linked Laureate Education. While the Clintons’ pay-for-play using the Clinton Foundation during Hillary’s time as secretary of state received some early press coverage, it was not pursued with the same passion as uncovering Trump’s faults.

Accuracy in Media’s Cliff Kincaid has outlined why allegations of Russian interference in the election may be baseless. Yet story after story express outrage and disbelief that Trump won’t acknowledge that the Russians, as they see it, handed him the election, so sure are these journalists of the supposed consensus among the intelligence agencies. We’ve seen time after time that the Obama administration has politicized intelligence to fit their narrative. Why not this time?

“Remember, the Clinton administration was besieged by constant accusations of corruption, dutifully hyped as major stories by the news media,” writes Krugman, asserting that “not one of these alleged scandals turned out to involve any actual wrongdoing.” (emphasis added). As Accuracy in Media has outlined in the special report, “The Hillary Clinton File,” and its documentary, “The Clinton Legacy,” investigations into the corruption of the Clintons reach back to President Bill Clinton’s term as president in the 1990s, and reveal serious, even criminal wrongdoing.

The Clintons have been demonstrably corrupt for decades, and President Obama has experienced one scandal after another. But don’t expect the mainstream media to report the truth—they are too invested in supporting politicians who further the left’s agenda.


Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi. He can be contacted at roger.ar[email protected]. View the complete archives from Roger Aronoff.