Israel was on the edge at least last October, they knew that Obama and Kerry had something in the pipeline against Israel. So it comes down to who wins the debate over Jerusalem? Should there even be a debate and Israel is fighting back on the never-ending use of the words ‘occupy’ and ‘settlement’s and should.
Bloomberg: When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was re-elected last year, the White House threatened to reconsider long-standing U.S. policy to veto U.N. Security Council resolutions on Israel’s presence in the West Bank. At issue was a last-minute interview in which Netanyahu said there would be no Palestinian state as long as he was prime minister. He took back that statement after the election. Nonetheless, the White House directed policymakers to draw up a set of options for how Obama could “preserve the two-state solution,” according to one U.S. official privy to the process.
So far, nothing has come of Obama’s threat. Indeed last month, Obama signed an agreement with Israel to extend the U.S. subsidy of its military for another ten years. In foreign policy, Obama is focused on the collapse of U.S. policy in Syria, which has become an even greater humanitarian emergency in the last month with the Russian and Iranian-led siege of Aleppo. Politically, the White House is working to elect Hillary Clinton as Obama’s successor.
Yet with a little more than three months left of his presidency, Israeli officials privately say they worry Obama intends to try to level the playing field between the Palestinians and Israelis before he leaves office. The threat of a last-minute speech, executive order, or U.N. action has stirred some of Israel’s friends in Washington. Last month, for example, 88 senators signed a letter to Obama urging him to restate “long-standing U.S. policy” to veto one-sided anti-Israel resolutions at the U.N.
The Obama administration has not made such a statement. This week, however, White House spokesman Joshua Earnest “strongly condemned” Israel’s approval of 98 new housing units in the West Bank settlement of Shilo. A CBS correspondent noted that this phrasing is “usually reserved” for terrorist attacks. More here.
So Israel put some assets into the system and worked to determine who, what and when such actions would happen. Since the UN vote, Israel says it has iron clad evidence of the United States complicity in the text for the vote.
Haaretz: he Egyptians distributed a Security Council resolution on the settlements last week, and demanded a vote within 24 hours, only to withdraw it after pressure from the prime minister’s bureau in Jerusalem and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.
Israel’s UN ambassador, Ron Dermer, said Monday that Israel had evidence that the Obama administration was behind the wording of the resolution and had cooperated with the Palestinians behind Israel’s back. The document published on the Egyptian new site might be the evidence Israel has. On December 22, the day the original Security Council vote was to have taken place, the Israeli news site Walla published a report almost identical to the one on the Egyptian news site. Walla quoted a senior Israeli official as stating that in a meeting between Kerry and a Palestinian delegation to Washington headed by Palestinian Liberation Organization Secretary General Saeb Erekat, agreement was reached on the matter of a resolution against the settlements, and that Kerry said the United States would not veto it. More here.
When the General Assembly’s Budget Committee met to approve the UN budget, Israel proposed to delete approval specifically for funding the blacklist.The Committee rejected the Israeli amendment 6 in favor (Australia, Canada, Guatemala Israel, Palau and the United States), 151 against, with 6 abstentions (Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Central African Republic, Georgia, Honduras and Ghana).
After Israel lost the vote on funding the BDS item, it declared it was “disassociating” from the General Assembly’s subsequent approval of the UN budget as a whole. Despite the U.S. voting against funding the blacklist initially, it voted in favor of the UN budget, and made no mention of any problem funding BDS.
December 23, 2016
Fifth Committee Vote on Israeli Proposed Oral Amendment to Resolution on Programme Budget Appropriations for 2016-2017 Biennium, UN Meeting Coverage
Israel’s oral amendment was rejected by a vote of 6 in favor (Australia, Canada, Guatemala Israel, Palau and the United States), 151 against, with 6 abstentions (Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Central African Republic, Georgia, Honduras and Ghana)
So, here is Kerry on 12/28/2016 speaking while Obama is on vacation in Hawaii:
AP: Secretary of State John Kerry says that if Israel rejects a two-state solution for peace with the Palestinian people, “it can be Jewish or it can be democratic.”
Kerry was responding to withering Israeli criticism of the United States’ abstention from a vote condemning Israeli settlement construction. He reiterated the American position that a two-state solution giving both Israelis and Palestinians a home state is the best roadmap to peace. He also made it clear that despite recent differences in policy, the United States continues to be Israel’s closest ally.
Israel has been furious at the United States since the UN vote late last week. But Kerry said in a farewell speech at the State Department on Wednesday that the vote was “in keeping with” American values for democracy.
The full text of his speech is here, but while he ways that Israel has to be either Jewish or a democracy and not both, Kerry also suggests that Israel pay restitution to the Palestinians. In 2009, the United States gave Gaza $900 million, which is under the control of Abu Mazen.
Last week, Obama and his jackals stabbed Israel in the back at the UN over the two-state solution. Bibi Netanyahu and other Israelis have come straight out and accused the Obama administration of being behind the UN resolution that took direct aim at Israel. And the proof of that duplicity is now coming out. John Kerry was actively striking a deal with the Palestinians according to transcripts coming out of Egypt. Obama, Kerry and Biden have all been caught red handed lying over this.
Congress started to move today to cut off funding to the UN until this resolution is reversed thanks to Ted Cruz. What the ruling tries to force is Israel handing over Christianity’s most holy sites to the Palestinians. They would have to forfeit Western Jerusalem to Islamists. Not going to happen. Meanwhile, Obama and others are calling the transcripts fabrications. I very much doubt that.
From the Jerusalem Post:
Prior to the UN Security Council vote on anti-Israeli settlement resolution 2334, US Secretary of State John Kerry met with a Palestinian delegation in early December in Washington to discuss the draft, agreeing to cooperate, according to transcripts released by Egyptian daily Al-Youm Al-Saba’a.
According to the report, Kerry along with US National Security Adviser Susan Rice, met with Secretary General of the PLO Executive Committee Saeb Erkat and Majed Faraj, head of the Palestinian Authority’s General Intelligence Service.
The reported transcripts reflect statements by numerous Israeli officials claiming that the resolution was orchestrated by the Obama administration. The source of the leaked transcripts was not named.
The United States on Friday broke with a longstanding approach of diplomatically shielding Israel and abstained on the United Nations Security Council resolution that passed with 14 countries in favor and none against.
“We have ironclad information that emanates from sources in the Arab world and that shows the Obama administration helped craft this resolution and pushed hard for its eventual passage,” said David Keyes, a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The US State Department has denied claims that the US was involved in perpetuating the resolution.
Meanwhile, Erekat has denied the claims written in the documents.
A defiant Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday defended the US decision allowing the United Nations to condemn Israeli settlements, while lashing out at the so-called “settler agenda” which he claimed is hurting prospects for peace – in a wide-ranging speech that inflamed tensions with Israel and drew a swift rebuke from the Bibi Netanyahu. Bibi was pissed and I don’t blame him. Kerry doubled down on the betrayal and justified it. Just reprehensible and treasonous. What do you expect from these people who brought the Muslim Brotherhood into the White House and crawled between the sheets with Jihadists?
In a written statement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ripped Kerry’s speech as “skewed.” That’s putting it mildly. “Like the Security Council resolution that Secretary Kerry advanced in the UN, his speech tonight was skewed against Israel,” he said. “For over an hour, Kerry obsessively dealt with settlements and barely touched upon the root of the conflict — Palestinian opposition to a Jewish state in any boundaries.” Bibi then slammed Kerry and Obama: “Israelis do not need to be lectured about the importance of peace by foreign leaders.” Indeed, they don’t.
Trump is urging Israel to hold on for three more weeks until he comes into power. Netanyahu said he looks forward to working with the incoming Trump administration to “mitigate” the damage from the resolution and ultimately “repeal” it. Paul Ryan also had something to say about this monstrous move: “After allowing this anti-Israel resolution to pass the UN, Secretary Kerry has no credibility to speak on Israeli-Palestinian peace.”
Obama is deliberately sabotaging Israel and making Trump’s transition as difficult as possible. The White House hotly denied the report in the Egyptian media claiming Kerry and National Security Adviser Susan Rice discussed the UN resolution with a top Palestinian official nearly two weeks before Friday’s Security Council vote. Ned Price, spokesman for the US National Security Council, called the report a “fabrication” and said the “meeting never occurred.” Netanyahu reiterated that his government has “absolutely incontestable evidence” that the US organized and advanced the resolution. And he referred to the details reported in Egyptian media as the “tip of the iceberg.” The State Department’s own website reflects that Kerry was scheduled for a meeting with the Palestinian official at the State Department on Dec. 12th, around the time of the reported discussions. The official website, however, offers no details on what was discussed. Sucks to be caught with your hands in the Middle East cookie jar.
John Kerry stated Wednesday that if Israel chooses to remain a singular state with Palestine, “it cannot be both” Jewish and democratic. That’s simple then… they remain Jewish and tell the US to stuff it. In reality, it’s a false choice; a straw man argument. It’s a lie and the last wicked gasp of a failed legacy and presidency.
Does anyone out there doubt for even a second that Barack Obama not only promoted the anti-Israel resolution, but was in fact behind it and helped craft it? I don’t. I’d say it was an absolute certainty. Netanyahu and his spokesman have dropped a bombshell and are coming right out and saying it… good for them. And Obama isn’t done stabbing Israel in the back yet. Rumor has it more is coming. Bibi is turning to President-elect Donald Trump for help, although I’m not sure how much he can do before being sworn in. But if anyone can at this point, it’s Trump.
Obama has three more weeks to do harm to Israel. Netanyahu is telling his ministers to not directly attack Barack Obama as they may cause him to do even more damage. I don’t think it makes a difference because he’s going to do it anyway. In sheer defiance of the UN and Obama, Netanyahu lit the 2nd Chanukah candle at the Western Wall. Nice.
A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Netanyahu’s government has “ironclad” information tying President Barack Obama directly to the anti-Israel resolution passed last week by the United Nations Security Council.
David Keyes, Netanyahu’s spokesman, said on CNN Sunday that top Israeli officials have evidence that Obama not only pushed the deal to pass, but he helped “craft” it.
“Well, we have ironclad information, frankly, that the Obama administration really helped push this resolution and helped craft it, from sources internationally and from sources in the Arab world, and it’s really an unfortunate legacy, kind of last minute jab at Israel that actually distances peace,” Keyes said.
“We have full confidence that the information is accurate,” he added of the accuracy of the information. “This resolution is shameful and actually pushes peace farther away.”
Keyes doubled down on his comments during a second interview with Fox News, where he explained that an “abandonment” of Israel by the Obama administration is currently playing out for the world to see.
“I think what we’re seeing is an abandonment of Israel, and an abandonment of a long-standing American policy,” he said.
The International Court could also bring charges of war crimes up against Israel over all this. It’s absurd, but they hate Israel and are twisting everything to do with the Palestinians. Obama will be in the thick of that too. The White House already has acknowledged President Obama made the decision for US Ambassador Samantha Power to abstain. Unclear was how involved the Obama administration was in crafting and pushing the resolution itself – which initially was put forward by Egypt and then pursued by New Zealand, Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela. Personally, I have no doubt of his involvement with crafting this whole monstrosity. He didn’t just ‘let’ this happen… Obama made it happen.
Netanyahu has vowed that Israel will not abide by the resolution and has already started planning with his government how they will respond. They have already summoned many of their ambassadors — mainly from countries that voted for the resolution — including their US ambassador. They have also cut off funding to the UN over this, just as we should. Come January 20th, when Trump takes office, I think the UN is in for a rude shock. Sens. Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham have also said in the days following the passing of the resolution that all US funds to the UN should be cut until the international body revokes the anti-Israeli measure. They aren’t going to revoke it… we should immediately cut all funds and withdraw from the UN over this move after Obama threw Israel to the jackals of the UN.
Here in Israel, the world sort of floats in limbo over the Pesach week; and so I thought that perhaps I would not post until the holiday was over. But life does go on, and I’ve decided to write.
But before I move to the serious matters calling for attention, let me share this lighthearted video for Pesach, done by the students of the Technion (a top notch university – Israel Institute of Technology) in Haifa, specifically for Pesach:
Then, moving on, and hoping your spirits have been lifted…
I’m seeing a huge number of commentaries regarding the Iran situation, and obviously cannot share any significant portion of them.
Actually, what I am finding most interesting is the way in which Obama is walking back several of his positions of last week. This is, of course, in response to severe criticism that has been directed at the framework agreement with Iran and at his hard-nosed attitude. I will come back to this.
Whatever my other disagreements and disappointments with Bibi Netanyahu, I continue to salute him for speaking out on the Iran issue. There are those (writing in some of those commentaries) who think he’s wasting his breath because no one is listening. I disagree. He has affected the dialogue on Iran and modeled a forthright approach.
Yesterday, Bibi asked some particularly pertinent questions (the deal is so full of holes there are always more questions):
“Why doesn’t the framework address Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missile program whose sole purpose is to carry nuclear payloads?” (Emphasis added)
And…”What is to stop Iran from using the over one hundred billion dollars that will be unfrozen as part of this agreement to fund aggression and terror in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and elsewhere?”
Hmm…That first question is particularly pertinent, as Iran aims to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles that reach the US.
Joining Bibi in his forthright approach have been members of his government, such as Yuval Steinitz.
And I am pleased that Israel is is not alone in criticizing the agreement.
There are Arab nations highly critical of Obama, although their criticisms are less direct than Israel’s. See Khaled Abu Toameh’s piece on this:
“Arab leaders and heads of state were polite enough not to voice public criticism of the agreement when President Barack Obama phoned them to inform them about it. But this has not stopped Arab politicians, political analysts and columnists reflecting government thinking in the Arab world from lashing out at what they describe as ‘Obama’s bad and dangerous deal with Iran.’”
Most significantly, there are key members of Congress speaking out.
Right after the framework deal was announced, Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) blasted it in no uncertain terms (emphasis added):
”Neville Chamberlain got a lot of more out of Hitler than Wendy Sherman [State Department negotiator] got out of Iran,” he declared.
There’s nothing for Iranians to do but go at breakneck speed to a nuclear weapon. We’re moving straight to forcing Israel to clean up this mess … when the West does nothing, Israel over and over has done something….we shouldn’t force our best ally in the region to clean up the mess.”
On April 14, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will be voting on the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, which would require the Obama administration to submit the final nuclear deal with Iran to Congress for review and approval.
Committee Chair, Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said on Sunday that ”it’s very important that Congress is in the middle of this, understanding, teasing out, asking those important questions.”
Then on Monday, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell stated that:
“We cannot forget that Iran is pursuing a full-spectrum campaign to expand its sphere of influence in the greater Middle East.
“The administration needs to explain to the Congress and the American people why an interim agreement should result in reduced pressure on the world’s leading state sponsor of terror.”
It is a matter of certainty that Obama will veto this bill, and so 67 votes supporting it are needed to override that veto. Senator Corker has indicated that there are already 65 who will be voting in favor. Two more votes are necessary.
And so, please! contact your Senator without delay. If you are certain that he or she will be voting for this bill, offer thanks and express your understanding of how important this is. If you are in doubt as to whether your Senator will be supporting the bill, urge that he or she do so. Say it is a matter of critical importance, and that you will be watching.
Now, as to the Obama walkback: nothing is more astonishing (and disingenuous!) than his new, improved stance on Israel. In an interview with Tom Friedman on Sunday, he declared that:
“It’s been a hard period. It has been personally difficult for me to hear” accusations that “this administration has not done everything it could to look out for Israel’s interest…if anybody messes with Israel, America will be there.”
This is best read on an empty stomach. What would be personally difficult for most of us would be to swallow this self-serving drivel. But I imagine that, unfortunately, there are some who will buy it.
Obama now feels so kindly disposed to Bibi that he is planning on inviting him to the White House after the coalition is formed.
Yes, this is the same Obama who refused to see Bibi when he came to address the Congress.
Elliot Abrams, Former US Deputy National Security Adviser, has penned a potent response to Obama’s hot air assurances to Israel (emphasis added):
“Several times in this interview the President went out of his way to suggest that he fully understands Israel’s security problems, but the full text suggests that he does not–because he believes that his statements that ‘if anybody messes with Israel, America will be there’ and would ‘stand by them’ actually solve any of those problems…
“What does ‘messes with Israel’ mean? No one has the slightest idea. The President unfortunately uses this kind of diction too often, dumbing down his rhetoric for some reason and leaving listeners confused. Today, Iran is sending arms and money to Hamas in Gaza, and has done so for years. Is that ‘messing with Israel?…Iranian Revolutionary Guards, along with Hezbollah troops, are in southern Syria now near the Golan. Is that ‘messing with Israel?’ And what does the President mean by ‘America will be there?’ With arms? With bandages? With the diplomatic protection his administration is now considering removing at the United Nations?”
At some level, Bibi has little choice but to accept this new approach at face value – i.e., he will have to go to the White House. It falls to him to spin it so that it is of maximum utility to Israel – perhaps extracting certain military guarantees. Unfortunately, the “two state” solution is likely to be at the top of Obama’s agenda when they meet. (And in coming days I’ll have much to say about that issue, which never dies.)
One of the most convoluted statements that has been offered by Obama on the benefits of the deal is this, from an NPR interview:
It is, he said “a relevant fear” that “in year 13, 14, 15, [the Iranians] would have advanced centrifuges that enrich uranium fairly rapidly, and at that point the breakout times would have shrunk almost down to zero.
“Keep in mind, though, currently, the breakout times are only about two to three months by our intelligence estimates. So essentially we’re purchasing for 13, 14, 15 years assurances that the breakout is at least a year…that if they decide to break the deal, kick out all the inspectors, break the seals and go for a bomb, we’d have over a year to respond. And we have those assurances for at least well over a decade.
“And then in years 13 and 14, it is possible that those breakout times would have been much shorter, but at that point we have much better ideas about what it is that their program involves. We have much more insight into their capabilities. And the option of a future president to take action if in fact they try to obtain a nuclear weapon is undiminished.”
Immediate and vociferous criticism followed this statement: The president, went the charge, has now admitted that the deal would not stop Iran from every getting a nuclear weapon, as promised. It would simply make it perhaps a bit more difficult for some 15 years, after which breakout would be close to zero.
Spokespersons for the White House argued that the “zero breakout time” the president referred to was only if there was no deal.
Our prime minister certainly isn’t buying this. Iran’s post-deal breakout time will be zero, he says. And with good reason:
Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, has now announced that once a deal is signed at the end of June, and sanctions are lifted, Iran will move over to using its most advanced centrifuges.
These are the IR8 centrifuges, which enrich uranium 20 times faster than the current IR-1 models, meaning they would radically reduce the breakout time needed for Iran to obtain a nuclear arsenal. (Emphasis added)
Times of Israel editor David Horovitz writes, in “The unfolding farce of Obama’s deal with Iran” that:
”Time and again, President Barack Obama and his indefatigable secretary of state promised that they and their P5+1 negotiating partners would not sign a bad deal with Iran on its nuclear weapons program.
“And, lo, they were as good as their word. They didn’t sign a bad framework deal in Lausanne, Switzerland, last week. They just agreed on one in principle, and left it unsigned, allowing for multiple conflicting interpretations.” (Emphasis added)
Of course, it is Obama’s deepest hope that this unsigned agreement will go through in one version or another (likely the version most satisfactory to Iran – regardless of what the president has told his people and the world), and become a signed deal by the end of June.
But it is the responsibility of every individual who can see past the president’s hype to the dangers looming large, to do everything possible to make sure it does not become a signed deal.
In the US, the most important vehicle for blocking Obama is Congress – a Congress that must be informed by its constituency of its urgent concern.
But it is also important to inform those Americans who may be buying what they are told. Write letters to the editor and Internet talkbacks on this issue. Speak to people.
In Israel, we must pray that our government will have the strength to do whatever must be done.
Tomorrow night is holiday again – the seventh and in Israel the last day of Pesach. (Outside of Israel, there is an eighth day.)
I want to end here with one of my very favorite songs, which I have shared before: Yehi Sheamda.
This video features Yaakov Shwekey and Yonatan Razel, who wrote the vocal arrangement, at the piano.
The words. The words are straight out of the Pesach Haggadah:
And so it has stood for our fathers and for us, that it wasn’t just one nation alone that rose up against us to destroy us, and The Holy One, Blessed is He, saves us from their hand.
A song of faith and of hope. Appropriate for this Pesach season, and for this time of threats to the Jewish people. Our history is a story of miracles. Let it be so now.
This past week John Kerry, bargaining from a self-imposed position of weakness, continued to negotiate with Iran, the world’s most pernicious state sponsor of international terrorism even after America’s allies walked away. It might be said that Kerry agreed to take “No” for an answer. Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu left no doubt about his grave concerns about the wisdom of the agreement being hammered out at the behest of the Obama administration that legitimizes Iran’s nuclear program and therefore poses an existential threat to Israel.
Mr. Obama has said that a deal with Iran would be “Historic.”
My concern is that Obama’s statement will be prophetic. History records as many tragedies as successes. The Hindenburg explosion was certainly historic. So was the loss of the Titanic and two of our space shuttles.
In point of fact, every major war has been historic as has been the Holocaust.
Many of the events recorded in history books were written with blood- rivers and, indeed, oceans of blood!
The news media has reported on Netanyahu’s concerns and noted how a nuclear Iran would, indeed, pose a threat to Israel’s survival. What has not been considered is that a nuclear Iran would pose no less a threat to America.
There is a saying that when confronting several adversaries in a dark alley you should not go after the smallest adversary but the largest. The reasoning is that if you beat up the smallest guy first, you will then have to fight your way up until you wind up fighting the largest adversary last. By then your strength and ability would have been largely depleted.
On the other hand, if you successfully take on the biggest adversary first, the other guys will run away and you will prevail.
Undoubtedly when Iran looks at Israel and the United States, the United States is that largest adversary.
Iran is operating in the Western Hemisphere as has been for many years. Their presence in our hemisphere and indeed our country, leaves us vulnerable to a devastating attack.
The basis for the Huffington Post article was a hearing that was conducted that day by the House Committee on Homeland Security that is chaired by Congressman Peter King of New York, the topic of the hearing was, “Iran, Hezbollah, and the Threat to the Homeland.”
Here is how the Huffington Post article began:
WASHINGTON — Iranian-backed Hezbollah agents, not al Qaeda operatives, may pose the greatest threat on U.S. soil as tensions over Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program ratchet up, according to the Republican chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.
“As Iran moves closer to nuclear weapons and there is increasing concern over war between Iran and Israel, we must also focus on Iran’s secret operatives and their number one terrorist proxy force, Hezbollah, which we know is in America,” said New York Rep. Peter King at a Wednesday hearing of his committee.
The hearing, which featured former government officials and the director of intelligence analysis for the New York Police Department, follows a foiled plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington, D.C., and testimony by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in late January that Iran’s leaders are “more willing to conduct an attack inside the United States in response to real or perceived U.S. actions that threaten the regime.”
Opening the hearing, King said, “We have a duty to prepare for the worst,” warning there may be hundreds of Hezbollah operatives in the United States, including 84 Iranian diplomats at the United Nations and in Washington who, “it must be presumed, are intelligence officers.”
Congressman Peter King focused primarily on the threats posed by Iranian diplomats and, indeed, these diplomats should be of great concern to us. However, these diplomats are readily identifiable. We know their identities and the fact that they are officially connected to the Iranian government. There are other Iranians who are present in the United States whose relationship with the Iranian government and its goals of destroying the United States are not so readily identifiable.
Here is an important excerpt from “The Blaze” article:
The federal indictment revealed Allouche had married a U.S. citizen and was going through the naturalization process when he was arrested. When asked by officials if he had ever been associated with a terrorist organization, he replied no. That apparently turned out to be a lie.
According to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, he was a militant with the Amal militia in Lebanon in the early to mid-1980s. He was reportedly captured as a Israeli prisoner of war, but was later released to become a commander of the Amal militia.
“News reports at the time said Hezbollah was formed by religious members of the Amal movement.”
In addition to lying about his terror ties, Allouche is also accused of lying about his relationship with his ex-wife. He falsely claimed on his application forms in 2009 that he and his wife were married and living together for the past three years. In reality, they had no lived together since May 2007 and they filed for divorce in December of 2007.
While Allouche’s allegedly committed fraud in filing his application for naturalization, it must be noted that if the allegations are accurate, that he also gamed the the process by which he had been granted lawful immigrant status years earlier. He had a Green Card (Alien Registration Receipt Card) for at least three years before he applied for United States citizenship. The 9/11 Commission identified such fraud as being an integral part of the strategy terrorists have used to enter the United States and embed themselves.
At the time of his arrest Allouche, was applying for a security clearance in order to work for the Department of Defense and had also applied for naturalization. Allegedly he lied by claiming to have never been a member of a terrorist organization when in fact, according to the FBI, he had not just been a member of Hezbollah, but had been a commander of that terrorist organization.
On May 29, 2013 both of those newspapers published follow-up reports in conjunction with disclosures made by prosecutors during the bail hearing.
Allouche was arrested by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force here last week after being indicted on charges of not disclosing, during his quest to obtain his U.S. citizenship, his membership in the Amal militia and Hezbollah in Lebanon in the 1980s.
He’s also charged with not disclosing his prior membership in those groups when he applied for a security clearance with the Defense Department as he sought a contracting job.
Before 2009, Allouche worked for L-3 Communications, which provides linguistic services for the U.S. military, and he was deployed for several months to Iraq. He has lived in the U.S. since about 2002, and once owned Windcrest Mobil, a gas station at Walzem Road and Interstate 35, his lawyer said.
In view of the charges lodged against Allouche, it would be important to know what the vetting process was that enabled him to be put in a position of trust. He was deployed with American troops in Iraq as a translator. This means that he may have assisted in the questioning and vetting of suspected terrorists and with those applying to work with our military. This raises some obvious and important questions.
What classified documents or people did he have had access to? Did he come to meet with covert officers whose identities must be preserved? Did he meet with suspected terrorists and, perhaps, have the capability to alter what the record reflects that they did or did not say? Might he have learned the identities of foreign nationals who for whatever reason decided to become cooperators? Has this endangered their lives and the operations that they were providing information for? Might he mistranslated statements made by terrorists seeking to gain entry to military bases to subsequently kill American soldiers?
The Allouche case is hardly an isolated one. Furthermore, the threat of terrorism is not just limited to Iranian citizens but may involve terrorists from other countries that are funded and otherwise supported by Iran.
Let us now consider yet another example of ineptitude that is beyond description or comprehension.
The Inspector General that has responsibility for the Witness Protection Program, conducted an audit of that program and found gaping holes in the system. While it is important for the government to protect witnesses whose testimony and information is vital to conducting successful investigations and prosecutions of criminals and terrorists, it must also be remembered that witnesses can themselves, pose a threat to public safety. The Witness Protection Program is commonly known by an acronym, WITSEC that stands for “Witness Security.”
Perhaps the important WITSEC program should henceforth be referred to as “WITLESS Security!”
This is not the good news Attorney General Eric Holder was likely hoping for. A public memorandum issued on Thursday by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General indicates that in July 2012 the U.S. Marshal Service, the federal law enforcement agency of the DoJ of Tommy Lee Jones notoriety, was unable to locate two “known or suspected terrorists” participating in the Witness Security Program, the well-known protection program (of Goodfellas fame) administered by the Marshal Service. “Through its investigative efforts,” the Inspector General writes, the agency “concluded that one individual was and the other individual was believed to be residing outside the United States.”
The mishap was apparently one of many incidents where the agency inadvertently allowed protected witnesses, who were also identified as “known or suspected terrorists,” to travel freely out of and within the United States. Indeed, the agency is only beginning to track how many witnesses have been tagged as such. From the inspector’s report:
We found that the Department did not definitively know how many known or suspected terrorists were admitted into the [Witness Security Program]. The Department has idenitifed a small but significant number of USMS WITSEC Program participants as known or suspected terrorists. As of March 2013, the Deparment is continuing to review its more than 18,000 WITSEC case files to determine whether additional known or suspected terrorists have been admitted into the program.
The 18-page report goes on to list a number of problems (described as “significant issues concerning national security”) with the way the U.S. Marshal Service deals with suspected terrorists, such as neglecting to share valuable case information with other agencies like the F.B.I.
Here is a truly disconcerting paragraph from the CNN report:
The IG summary said that although the Marshals Service was giving known or suspected terrorists who participated in the WITSEC program and their dependents new names and identity documentation, the Justice Department “was not authorizing the disclosure to the Terrorist Screening Center,” which operates the terrorist watch list that helps provide information to the Transportation Security Administration’s No-Fly and Selectee lists. “Therefore it was possible for known or suspected terrorists to fly on commercial airplanes in or over the United States and evade one of the government’s primary means of identifying and tracking terrorists’ movements and actions,” the summary said.
Think about that paragraph the next time you wait to be screen by the TSA before you board an airliner.
The report focused on statements made by Senator Dianne Feinstein, who, at the time, chaired the Senate’s Intelligence Committee, when she was interviewed for CNN’s program, “State of the Union.”
Here is how the report began:
Interviewed on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said she believed that there are now more terrorists with the technological means to carry out a bombing in the U.S.
Here is an additional important excerpt from the Huffington Post article:
“I think terror is up worldwide,” said Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee. “There are new bombs, very big bombs, trucks being reinforced for those bombs. There are bombs that go through magnetometers. The bomb-maker is still alive. There are more groups than ever. And there is huge malevolence out there.”
Feinstein added that there was “a real displaced aggression in this very fundamentalist jihadist Islamic community, and that is that the West is responsible for everything that goes wrong and that the only thing that’s going to solve this is Islamic Sharia law.”
This report began with this unambiguous assessment:
The U.S. is in greater danger of a terrorist attack than it was prior to September 11 and has less ability to prevent such aggression by Islamist radicals, key congressional intelligence leaders said Sunday.
On September 20, 2013 CAPS (Californians for Population Stabilization) posted my article about the failures of the vetting process for alien applicants who apply for immigration benefits, “Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Background Checks Require a Reality Check.” The focus of my commentary was that simply running the unverifiable name an applicant provides in an application for an immigration benefit leaves the proverbial door wide open to aliens to use false aliases- especially when we are discussing aliens who have evaded the inspections process designed, in part, to prevent terrorists, criminals and fugitives from entering the United States.
In the parlance of the open borders / immigration anarchists, these aliens are “undocumented.” Such aliens have no official, reliable identity documents to verify their true identities including their names, dates of birth or even countries of birth.
There is no way to readily determine when, where or how such aliens actually entered the United States .
Running their fingerprints may well not yield any meaningful results. Many times the fingerprints from aliens from Third World countries or countries that do not have good relations with the United States will simply come back as a “no hit.”
The next time you hear some politician talk about “First securing the U.S./Mexican border” I want you to consider what the 9/11 Commission had to say about the way to counter terror threats-
Approximately a decade ago, on March 10, 2005 I testified before a hearing conducted by the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims on the topic, “INTERIOR IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT RESOURCES.”
My prepared testimony at that hearing included a quote from the 9/11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel. Here is an excerpt from my testimony that included that quote:
The 9/11 Commission ultimately came to recognize the critical nature of immigration law enforcement where the War on Terror is concerned. In fact, page 49 of the report entitled, 9/11 and Terrorist Travel, A Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States contains a sentence that reads, Thus abuse of the immigration system and a lack of interior immigration enforcement were unwittingly working together to support terrorist activity. This page incidentally is contained in the chapter entitled, Terrorist Travel and Embedding Tactics.
The issue of the interior enforcement of our immigration laws is a critical- indeed, key component of national security and today, under the wrong-headed policies of the administration- there is no meaningful enforcement of our immigration laws from within the interior of the United States. This encourages still more illegal immigration. To paraphrase my testimony at subsequent hearing conducted by the Senate Immigration Subcommittee approximately two years ago- the failures of the immigration system and statements made by political leaders about the “solution” to millions of illegal aliens who evaded the vital inspections process amount to firing the starter’s pistol for aspiring illegal aliens from around the world. The message is clear- if you can ultimately enter the United States, no matter how you manage to do this, you will ultimately be given lawful status.
It is dishonest and misleading for our leaders to state that in order to gain control of our immigration system we must “First secure the (U.S./Mexican border).” On February 5, 2015 FrontPage Magazine posted my article, “The ‘Secure Our Border First Act’ Deception” that exposed this supposed “solution” to America’s immigration crisis. Although that bill failed to pass, it provided evidence that members of Congress of both political parties are as much a part of the problem as the administration.
The administration should be given the MVP award by international terrorist and criminal organizations, providing millions of illegal aliens with lawful status and admitting tens of thousands of refugees who are not being vetted.
On February 28th I was a guest on Fox & Friends and interviewed by Anna Kooiman on the broad issue of the risks to America’s national security that are created by our dysfunctional immigration system, especially where the political asylum program is concerned. We also narrowed our focus to the situation that now exists in Minneapolis, MN where a community of 30,000 Somali refugees was established.
On February 24, 2015 Progressives For Immigration Reform posted my commentary, “The Immigration Factor Naturalized U.S. Citizen Added to FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists List.”. about a naturalized United States citizen who was born in Somalia and has been placed on the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists List.” The FBI press release actually expressed extreme concern that because this individual who is now believed fighting on the side of ISIS overseas had been a taxi driver in Washington, DC and therefore has an intimate familiarity with the infrastructure of our nation’s Capitol that could help him or his confederates to launch a debilitating attack in Washington.
On December 19, 2014 Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) posted my extensive article,
On the local level so-called “Sanctuary Cities” and even “Sanctuary States” are provided outrageous opportunities for sleepers to embed themselves in their jurisdictions. On January 23, 2015 FrontPage Magazine published my article, “Sleeper Cells: The Immigration Component of the Threat” which focused on how terrorists are able to hide in plain sight.
The lunacy must stop before, God forbid, the next terror attack(s). Our borders and our immigration laws are our first line of defense and last line of defense against those who would kill us.
Someone needs to send Mr. Obama the memo: “Our president is supposed to defend and protect our citizens and our allies and frighten our enemies.” Somehow it would seem he got that memo’s message reversed!
Michael Cutler is a retired Senior Special Agent of the former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) whose career spanned some 30 years. He served as an Immigration Inspector, Immigration Adjudications Officer and spent 26 years as an agent who rotated through all of the squads within the Investigations Branch. For half of his career he was assigned to the Drug Task Force. He has testified before well over a dozen congressional hearings, provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission as well as state legislative hearings around the United States and at trials where immigration is at issue. He hosts his radio show, “The Michael Cutler Hour,” on Friday evenings on BlogTalk Radio. His personal website is http://michaelcutler.net/.