05/29/15
The cranes at the new port of Um Qasr sit ready to unload humanitarian assistance after being liberated March 22, 2003.  The site was surveyed by members of the United States Agency for International Aid and the 4th Civil Affairs Group March 26.

Gulftainer shipping weapons to Iranian-backed terrorists in Iraq: Former senior official for coalition embassy in Iraq cites Iraq port authority officials’ leak to Iraqi media

By: Alan Jones
1776 Channel

The cranes at the new port of Um Qasr sit ready to unload humanitarian assistance after being liberated March 22, 2003.  The site was surveyed by members of the United States Agency for International Aid and the 4th Civil Affairs Group March 26. (Image/caption credit: DoD CENTCOM)

The cranes at the new port of Um Qasr sit ready to unload humanitarian assistance after being liberated March 22, 2003. The site was surveyed by members of the United States Agency for International Aid and the 4th Civil Affairs Group March 26. (Image/caption credit: DoD CENTCOM)

(1776 Channel) Gulftainer, the UAE container terminal operator that was recently awarded a 35-year lease at strategically-important Port Canaveral, FL, adjacent to a U.S. Navy nuclear submarine base and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, has allegedly been shipping weapons through the Port of Umm Qasr to two Iranian-backed terrorist militia groups in Iraq, the Badr Brigades and Asaeib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), according to a leak from Iraq General Port Company officials in Basra to Iraqi media.

“AAH is an Iranian-backed Shiite militant group that split from Moqtada al-Sadr’s Jaish al-Mahdi (JAM) in 2006. Since that time, AAH has conducted thousands of lethal explosively formed penetrator (EFP) attacks against U.S. and Iraqi forces, targeted kidnappings of Westerners, rocket and mortar attacks on the U.S. Embassy, the murder of American soldiers, and the assassination of Iraqi officials”. – Institute of the Study of War

The Iraq General Port Company, part of the Iraq Ministry of Transport, is the embattled nation’s port authority.

UMM QASR PORT, IRAQ, Iraq General Port Company administrative offices.

UMM QASR PORT, IRAQ, Iraq General Port Company administrative offices.

A former senior official with a coalition embassy in Iraq has confirmed to 1776 Channel that the report, which was published in Arabic by electronic newspaper Al-aalem Al-jadeed on February 10, 2015, charges that Gulftainer is moving weapons to terrorist groups the Badr Brigades and Asaeib Ahl al-Haq (AAH).

Al-aalem Al-jadeed describes itself as an “electronic newspaper free from influence of partisan and sectarian and owners.”

Gulftainer’s 35-year lease with Port Canaveral was negotiated in secret and then approved by the Obama Administration, without a national security review, despite Port Canaveral’s strategic location and it’s extreme proximity to some of the U.S. government’s most sensitive space and defense installations.

SEE RELATED STORY: America’s strategic infrastructure compromised: Did Clinton pay-to-play arrangement hand over port container operations inside national security nexus to wealthy foreign associates?

Gulftainer operates the Iraq Container Terminal inside Iraq’s deep-water Umm Qasr Port, located on the Persian Gulf near Kuwait.

The Badr Brigades and Asaeib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) are backed by Iran’s extremist Islamic regime.

Both Shiite militant groups are listed as terrorist organizations by the UAE government, according to the report.

Privately-owned Gulftainer and its corporate parent the Crescent Group are based in the UAE.

Hadi Al-Ameri leads the Badr Organization, a Shiite political faction in Iraq associated with the Badr Brigades. Al-Ameri is the former Iraq Transport Minister, and likely has deep connections with port officials and shipping companies.

Gulftainer’s shadowy deal with Port Canaveral

As reported earlier by 1776 Channel, Gulftainer’s new GT USA division plans to begin operations next month in Port Canaveral, FL near sensitive U.S. national security installations including a U.S. Navy submarine base and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

Map of Port Canaveral, Florida showing  Gulftainer's area of operations, US Navy Trident submarine base and Canaveral Air Force Station.

Map of Port Canaveral, Florida showing Gulftainer’s area of operations, US Navy Trident submarine base and Canaveral Air Force Station.
Map showing the proximity of Port Canaveral, Florida to the US Navy Trident submarine base, USAF Canaveral Air Force Station and NASA Kennedy Space Center (Image credit: NASA)

Map showing the proximity of Port Canaveral, Florida to the US Navy Trident submarine base, USAF Canaveral Air Force Station and NASA Kennedy Space Center (Image credit: NASA)

Gulftainer’s 35-year lease at Port Canaveral, secretly negotiated by Canaveral officials under code name ‘Project Pelican’, was approved without a national security review by Treasury Secretary Jacob ‘Jack’ Lew, a long-time associate of former President Bill Clinton.

It is unclear if Treasury Secretary Lew, the Department of Commerce or other officials within the Obama administration accessed any intelligence reports indicating that Gulftainer was possibly involved in trafficking weapons to Iranian-backed terrorist militias in Iraq. U.S. officials decided that Gulftainer should not be subjected to a national security review before commencing operations at Port Canaveral.

Gulftainer previously attempted to secure a lease at the Port of Jacksonville (JAXPORT), close to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay and Naval Air Station Jacksonville, but was abruptly rebuffed by Port of Jacksonville officials.

Bill Clinton met last summer with Malik Jafar, a member of the family that owns Gulftainer and who is also a top executive at Crescent, the parent company of Gulftainer.

Although the official business of the meeting between former President Clinton and Jafar concerned the Business Backs Education Foundation, the two men met during the same time period in which Gulftainer and Port Canaveral officials were secretly negotiating Project Pelican. 1776 Channel reported on that meeting and the possibility that Clinton engaged Gulftainer in a pay-to-play arrangement to secure Department of Treasury approval for the deal.

Screenshot of story about Iraq's Port of Basra published by al-aalem.com.

Screenshot of story about Iraq’s Port Umm Qasr published by Iraqi media outlet Al-aalem Al-jadeed.
05/29/15
Vladimir Putin

Follow the Nukes, Money and Death(s) to Putin?

By: Denise Simon
FoundersCode.com

Embedded image permalink

Who Took Moldovos Millions ~ The Crooks or the Kremlin

On the eve of a national election in tiny Moldova last November, $450 million — equal to 10 percent of the Eastern European country’s entire annual gross domestic product — went missing. So far, no one knows where it went.

Much was at stake in the election. Last June, Moldova’s pro-Europe government signed an association agreement with the European Union. Pro-Russia opponents favored partnership with Moscow’s Eurasian Economic Union instead. The incumbents barely won. Moscow signaled its displeasure with the EU agreement by placing an embargo on the import of Moldovan fruits, vegetables and wine.

Earlier this month, approximately 10,000 Moldovans marched in the streets of the capital, Chisinau, shouting, “Down with the thieves!” and “We want the billions back!”

Kroll, the international risk consultancy, had been engaged to do an initial private investigation. The parliament’s speaker posted this from their report: “There appears to have a deliberate plan to gain control of each of the banks and subsequently manipulate transactions to gain access to credit, whilst giving the appearance to the contrary.” Yet, the National Anti-corruption Center of Moldova claimed the report was based on rumors that leaked to local media. Read more here.

Oppose Putin?

Putin opponent near death in suspected poisoning

An outspoken opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin was near death Friday from an apparent poisoning just three months after his close political ally was gunned down near the Kremlin, and supporters want him evacuated to Europe or Israel to determine what sickened him.

Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr., who has long been based in Washington, was in a hotel in Moscow when he suddenly lost consciousness May 26 and was hospitalized with what his wife called “symptoms of poisoning.” The 33-year-old is a coordinator for Open Russia, a nongovernmental organization which on the previous day released a documentary film accusing close Putin crony and Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov of human rights abuses including torture and murder.

“Doctors have just confirmed that he was poisoned,” Andrei Bystrov, an opposition activist and friend of the Kara-Murza family, told The Telegraph. “As to what with, they can’t say yet. It could be anything.”

Kara-Murza, a dual Russian-British citizen, was a close associate of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, who was assassinated in February.

“I am deeply concerned about the mysterious illness of Vladimir Kara-Murza, especially given the recent murder of Boris Nemtsov and the number of Putin’s opponents who have been poisoned,” Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., said in a statement.”

Kara-Murza’s family was trying to get him evacuated to Europe or Israel for toxicology tests after hemodialysis failed to stop complete kidney failure. Read more here.

Nuclear Aggression

NATO Leader Sees Dangerous Trend in Russia’s Nuclear Activities

Russia’s recent use of nuclear rhetoric, exercises and operations are deeply troubling. As are concerns regarding its compliance with the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty.

President Putin’s admission that he considered putting Russia’s nuclear forces on alert while Russia was annexing Crimea is but one example.

Russia has also significantly increased the scale, number and range of provocative flights by nuclear-capable bombers across much of the globe. From Japan to Gibraltar. From Crete to California. And from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea.

Russian officials announced plans to base modern nuclear-capable missile systems in Kaliningrad. And they claim that Russia has the right to deploy nuclear forces to Crimea.

05/29/15
Lying with Pigs

The Council Has Spoken!! Our Watcher’s Council Results – 05/29/15

The Watcher’s Council

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

So we want an Islamic state where Islamic law is not just in the books but enforced, and enforced with determination. There is no space and no room for democratic consultation. The Shariah is set and fixed, so why do we need to discuss it anymore? Just implement it! – ISIS Leader Abu Bakar Bashir

We’re definitely not losing in Iraq – Barack Obama

In a very short time the Islamic State has become the most compelling and attractive organisation for Muslim fighters around the world, more so than al-Qaeda ever was – Sunny Hundal, Al Jazeera

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_nEAkWOufFU/T366WMxCdrI/AAAAAAAABOg/easpV-8FMnM/s1600/Joshua_Dali_Sun.jpg

This week’s winning essay, Joshuapundit’sRamadi Falls To ISIS In A Major Victory – And Why It’s Important, is pretty much about what the title implies it is… an analysis of how and why ISIS won a huge victory in Ramadi, Iraq and what it means.

Here’s a slice:

http://i1.wp.com/w0.fast-meteo.com/locationmaps/Al-Fallujah.8.gif?w=540

On Sunday, Islamic State forces captured Ramadi, routing the Iraqi army, many of whom literally fled from the scene, those that could. Over 500 Iraqi soldiers died in the assault, and the debacle came so quickly that substantial pockets of Iraqi troops were trapped there after taking heavy casualties. They aren’t expected to hold out very long and I’ve already received reports that some of them have already been captured and executed by ISIS.

Hundreds of civilians fled along with the Iraqi troops.

ISIS is using some fairly innovative tactics against fixed defensive points like Ramadi. First they seek to control the ingress and egress via outlying areas, to prevent or delay reinforcement and resupply. The next step in Ramadi was to break the defensive line using car and truck bombs, after which ISIS fighters stormed into the breach.

Many Americans may recall hearing the name Ramadi before, and some might recall that quite a few American lives were spent in securing it. Here’s why Ramadi matters.

Look at the map above. Ramadi controls all of the traffic on the Euphrates River. It is only 68 miles (110 Kilometers) from Baghdad and opens the road to that city from the west, just as Fallujah, which ISIS also holds does from the east paving the way for a two-pronged assault. Also, ISIS captured the town of Jubbah in this new offensive, next door to Iraq’s biggest air base at Al-Ansar. That’s where US soldiers, AKA advisers are trying to train Iraqi troops to fight ISIS, which so far hasn’t been particularly successful.

ISIS has also surrounded the oil-producing town of Baiji near Ramadi, where a small Iraqi army force of a few hundred soldiers is trying to hold out. It’s probably only a matter of tie until they’re forced to surrender or are wiped out.

Our Secretary of State John Kerry announced from a news conference in Seoul, South Korea that as far as he was concerned Ramadi was ” a target of opportunity” for ISIS rather than a carefully planed strategic offensive.

“I am convinced that as the forces are redeployed and as the days flow in the weeks ahead that’s going to change, as overall (they) have been driven back … I am absolutely confident in the days ahead that will be reversed.”

Let’s examine that.

Exactly what forces is Secretary Kerry talking about? True, the Iraqi government announced that “major military reinforcements” were being deployed to halt the advance of ISIS. The problem is that between Ramadi, the recent ‘victory’ in Tikrit (about which more later) and an attempted counterattack on Fallujah that went horribly wrong, the Iraqi army has very little strength to ‘deploy’ between ISIS and Baghdad right now. They’re a badly defeated army that is incapable of an offensive against Islamic State right now. The only thing keeping ISIS away from Baghdad is a series of 19 U.S, airstrikes near Ramadi over the past 48 hours.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Sultan Knish with De-Islamization Is The Only Way To Fight ISIS submitted by Joshuapundit.

Here are this week’s full results. Only the Right Planet was unable to vote this week, but was not subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

05/28/15
Draw Mohammad

Arizona: Armed Biker Protest to happen at Mosque

Armed Bikers Plan to Draw Cartoons of Mohammed Outside a Mosque in Arizona

In Arizona, Bikers Plan Armed Protest Outside of Mosque

Police on Edge Over Upcoming ‘Draw Muhammad’ Contest That Encourages Attendees to Bring Their Guns

05/28/15
Trevor Loudon

Trevor Loudon to Speak in Gresham, Oregon

New Zeal

Trevor Loudon will be speaking to the Gresham Tea Party at the Mojave Grill on 77NE 4th Street, Gresham Oregon, Friday, May 29th, at 6:30 pm.

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All welcome. See you there!!