12/21/17

WANTED: Fugitive Roda Taher in $94 million scheme linked to Hezbollah

By: Renee Nal | New Zeal

Roda Taher via arrests.org

The Obama administration allegedly thwarted a federal investigation into Iranian-backed terror group Hezbollah in order to appease Iranian officials in their single-minded determination to pass the Iran Nuclear Deal. In the wake of this bombshell, which is now confirmed to be a target for investigation by Congress, a story that did not make it past the local news today should be making national headlines. 

Roda Taher along with his wife, Haanan Jaafar, both from Beirut are involved in a massive internet fraud scheme that “…law enforcement sources say he used to finance Hezbollah, the radical Muslim group based in Lebanon,” as reported at the Miami Herald. The pair were charged with about a dozen others in October, but evidently Roda Tahar & his wife were free to leave the country.

While the initial DOJ report fails to mention Hezbollah, Jay Weaver of the Miami Herald lays out a good case that the massive multi-million dollar scheme was indeed funding the terror organization:

“While a pair of indictments outlining the scheme involving 15 defendants do not mention Hezbollah or any support for the terrorist organization, sources told the Miami Herald that Taher’s network was set up to back the notorious group in the Middle East. Hezbollah, now considered an influential political force in Lebanon, has financial links stretching from South Florida to South America to Africa and other regions of the world.

The U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment about the possible ties between Taher and Hezbollah. But a telltale sign that this isn’t just another money-laundering case recently surfaced in court papers, when prosecutors asked a federal judge to appoint a security officer to handle classified information before trial in Miami.

A counter-terrorism expert who focuses on Hezbollah’s illicit activities around the globe said that while he has no knowledge of Taher’s links to Hezbollah, his indictment points to a highly sophisticated money-laundering network that transferred millions from bank accounts in South Florida to suspicious companies around the globe.

“Little scammers in Miami don’t wire $94 million to foreign bank accounts in places like China and Hong Kong,” said Emanuele Ottolenghi, a senior fellow at the Washington-based nonprofit Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. “It’s very plausible to see this as a larger scheme for funding Hezbollah.””

Based on Politico‘s reporting, it is not a stretch to consider that had President Obama not “derailed” the federal investigation, dubbed Project Cassandra, perhaps Roda Tahar and Haanan Jaafar would be in custody instead of on the run.

12/21/17

BIG NEWS: Congress WILL investigate Obama’s #Hezbollah Scheme

By: Renee Nal | New Zeal

Perhaps CNN will finally report on it?

Congress is “formally” taking steps to examine claims made in a ground-breaking Politico article alleging that in order to appease Iranian officials while securing the Iran Deal, senior Obama administration officials deliberately thwarted an official investigation into Hezbollah’s massive drug-running operation “even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States.”

The Washington Free Beacon reports that “multiple congressional officials and insiders” are “launching an investigation into Obama-era efforts to thwart a longstanding U.S. investigation into the Iranian-backed terror group Hezbollah…”

One of the main players in the scandal is Ben Rhodes, an extreme partisan, anti-Trump, once-aspiring novelist whose brother David is President of CBS News. In response to the allegations made in the report, Rhodes referred to the left-leaning Politico as a “right wing echo chamber.”

Ironically, Rhodes was featured in a NY Times article by David Samuels written in May 2016 as admitting to manipulating the media to regurgitate the Obama Administration narrative.

“’We created an echo chamber,’ he admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. ‘They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.’”

In that same article, Samuels described Rhodes as “…the master shaper and retailer of Obama’s foreign-policy narratives…”

The investigation is welcome.

12/21/17

Come Follow Me

By: T F Stern | Self-Educated American

In the movie, Always, there’s a scene where a mechanic is working on a service vehicle used at a small private air strip.  Somehow while the motor is running it jumps into gear and takes off without a driver.  On the back of the service vehicle is a sign, Follow Me, intended to guide pilots of small aircraft to the proper location.

(Image, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo – Adoration of the Magi – Google Art Project courtesy of Wikipedia)

As often happens in movies intended to entertain, a borderline qualified pilot happens to be landing at this precise moment as he observes and follows the unmanned service vehicle down the taxi way, across a private road, all the while everyone around is yelling for him to stop.  Eventually the truck crashes into a house at the edge of the landing strip.

I suppose it really is important to identify and validate prior to following just anyone, or in this case, anything.

Such was and is the case with the Great War in Heaven.  Satan put forth his plan whereby every soul would be guaranteed to return to Father; but man would not have his Agency, the ability to choose.  That plan was not accepted by Father and a third of the host of Heaven who wanted to follow that plan were cast out with Satan.

In the other plan… the plan we all agreed to follow, mortality would be our proving ground, a probationary period to test our resolve in obeying God’s laws.  Knowing our shortcomings Father would provide a Savior, even His Only Begotten Son.  And so the War in Heaven began…and continues to this very day.

For our safe return to Father we must decide on a daily basis if we really do want to return to Father or is it worth the effort.  Nobody is going to force you back to Heaven; but there are plenty of opportunities to stray from the path.

We’ve been given lots of help; parents who love and guide us, the scriptures and living prophets all with the purpose of showing us the way home to Father.  Still, we must decide.

Being a convert to the Church I missed out on attending Primary in my youth; however, the Lord didn’t want me to miss out entirely so along the way I’ve been privileged to serve as an instructor while getting to learn all about Sharing Time, Children’s Hymns and how to deal with a wide variety of challenges.

I remember being impressed as Sharing Time began with a roomful of high energy children bouncing off the walls.  The Chorister didn’t seem phased at all as she stood in front of them, having nodded at the sister playing the piano; asked if one of the more energetic children would assist in singing, Do As I’m Doing.

Do as I’m doing;

Follow, follow me!

Do as I’m doing;

Follow, follow me!

If I do it high or low,

If I do it fast or slow,

Do as I’m doing;

Follow, follow me!

Do as I’m doing;

Follow, follow me…

Apparently the children love this tune as they also have a chance to get the ‘wiggle worms’ out of their system.  After a couple of imaginative operations are offered, a different child helping to carry out the exercise, the children are asked to fold their arms for an opening prayer and the children have achieved a much more teachable attitude.  Someone from the Primary Presidency would then present the spiritual lesson with far fewer interruptions.

Isn’t it much the same with adults?  Take for instance the setting for the birth of our Savior.  Wise Men followed the star, traveling far until it rested over the stable where He’d been sleeping in a crib of hay.  Shepherds watching their flocks by night were greeted by angels advising them of the fulfillment of ancient scripture.

Each of us is prepared according to the Lord’s time, His knowing when our hearts have been properly prepared to receive the message of the Gospel.  For some they are born into families where the Gospel is already a daily part of their lives.  Others, myself included, wait a little longer as experiences and testing work to soften our hearts and open our minds.

The tune in my head has been bouncing around all week, Do as I’m doing, Follow, Follow Me…Do as I’m doing, Follow, Follow Me.  Funny how things like that work to our advantage if we but listen to the Spirit as it guides us to the path leading to what’s best for us.

Lucy and I had been married about 7 years when we decided it was time to toss our world upside down and have children.  I knew at that moment that I needed to know more about spiritual life, much more than I’d gathered over the years.

I hadn’t been much on attending the Presbyterian church, at least not after I’d asked some important questions to the Youth Minister and was told, “You really don’t need to know that”.   Well, I did need to know which was why I’d asked so I came to the conclusion that the reason my request was turned away was simple…this Youth Minister didn’t know the answers and it was his way of telling me to get lost.

I was about 14 at the time and had no use for formal religion until we decided to start our family.

It was time to read the Bible, only this time with the intent of actually finding out what was in it.  The New Testament was my starting point.  I had a partner who attended the Lutheran Church at the time.  He thought it was great that I’d decided to read the Bible, offering me a copy, can’t remember exactly; but it sure wasn’t the King James Version.

I got to the part where God made a Deal with Abraham…yea, it came off like a popular television show… Monty Hall pointing to Curtain Number 3… “…and for you God has a Brand New Pontiac Grand Prix with Air Conditioning, Electric Windows and Italian Leather Bucket Seats.”

I thanked him for his genuine concern and shelved that version of the Bible in favor of the King James Version.  It took a little more effort to read the archaic use of language; but somehow the intent of those words made it into my soul as I continued searching for the pathway back to our Father in Heaven.

I actually took inventory, so to speak, an inventory of those I worked with on a daily basis.  Who seemed to be happier; not because they had more money or a better car as we all were police officers making about the same pay.  No, what I was looking for I’ve learned to call, Countenance, the subtle glow which presents itself when an individual is living his/her life in accordance with Gospel principles.

It’s as if that person had a sign on them saying, Follow Me, I know the way home.

Interestingly, those individuals I’d identified as ‘persons of interest’, they all happened to be members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

If I were prone to assigning things as coincidence, random alignment of details to fit a theory then perhaps it wouldn’t have made such an impression on me; but I don’t believe there is such a thing as coincidence…no, everything happens for a reason including the folks we meet in passing.  It’s up to us to take notice and act on what we have been given.

In short, I knew my insurance agent was a member of the Church so I asked him to send ‘those boys on bicycles’ over so they could tell me more.  The rest is history and we joined the Church.

The Lord sent his servants to assist us in finding the path, the Plan of Salvation.  Another Hymn has been rattling around in my thoughts, one you are familiar with, Come Follow Me.

“Come, follow me,” the Savior said.

Then let us in his footsteps tread,

For thus alone can we be one

With God’s own loved, begotten Son…

I’m grateful for the many opportunities the Lord has seen fit to bless me with all these years; an angel for a wife who puts up with my short comings and loves me in spite of them, the Gospel in my life which has permitted me to follow the Iron Rod which leads us back to our Father in Heaven.  The Temple Blessings which provide the necessary ordinances for eternal marriage and families, ordinances which include all those who have gone before us and tie them together with those who have yet to arrive.

Glad I followed the right path, could just have easily tore through that house on the edge of the run way had I not been paying attention.  In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.