Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Trump Settles Debt With Zionists - Confirms That Iran's Struggle Is Righteous




Trump Settles Debt With Zionists - Confirms That Iran's Struggle Is Righteous

U.S. President Trump announced today a change in the official U.S. view of the city of Jerusalem in Palestine:
President Trump on Wednesday formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, reversing nearly seven decades of American foreign policy and setting in motion a plan to move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to the fiercely contested Holy City.“It is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” said Mr. Trump.
This is not Trump's lone doing. The position has long had support of both parties in Congress:
The Senate’s top Democrat, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, told THE WEEKLY STANDARD Tuesday that he had advised Trump to declare Jerusalem as Israel’s “undivided” capital.
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A 1995 law declares that Jerusalem should “remain an undivided city” and “be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel,” but allows the president to issue waivers every six months delaying the move of the embassy for national security reasons. The Senate reaffirmed that law in June.
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Maryland senator Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, reiterated his support for recognizing Jerusalem when asked Monday about the president’s potential announcement.

“I believe that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, so to me, that’s not news,” he told TWS.
In 2008 then presidential candidate Obama pandered to the Zionist Lobby in the U.S.:
Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel and it must remain undivided.
Obama though left it at that speech and never made it official policy. Officially declaring Jerusalem an "undivided city" and capital of the Zionist entity means that there is no room for a Palestinian capital in east-Jerusalem. It buries the (fairy-)tale of a sovereign Palestinian state.
But that idea had been dead all along. The only reasons for U.S. presidents to circumvent the 22 year old law by issuing waivers was to pretend that the U.S. would be a neutral broker towards some peace between the (east-)European colonists and Palestinians. That was from start to end a deception. Congress and U.S. presidents are under control of the Zionist Lobby which can marshal enormous amounts of money to make or defeat candidates for legislative or executive offices. The Zionist billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who also sponsors the fascist Israel Prime Minister Netanyahoo, donated more then $100 million to the Trump campaign and tens of millions to Congress races. Today was time for Trump to settle some of that debt.
With the increasing buildup of Zionist settlements in the Palestinian West Bank areas under Netanyahoo, the two state solution had long been killed. The Palestinian dictator Mahmoud Abbas, who let this happen without resistance, is just a kapo used by the Israelis to keep the Palestinians down. The Palestinians in Gaza which defied the Zionist occupation were bombed whenever an Israeli Premier needed some diversion from domestic political trouble.
The U.S. is alone in its move. The global consensus and international legal status is that the issue of Jerusalem must be decided through negotiations. A city divided into of two capitals is the most expected outcome. The EU nations and other countries rejected the move. The Pope and other dignitaries spoke out against it.
The Trump declaration only reveals the true long-standing U.S. position but it still matters. It provides without doubt that the U.S. is the enemy of the people on the Middle East. It exposes those Arab rulers that seek to ally with the U.S. It elevates all those who have been fighting the U.S. all along.
The tyrant of Saudi Arabia and his clown prince son have agreed to Trumps move. Instead of declaring retaliatory measures they only issued pro-forma condemnations. Other Arab rulers which depend on Saudi money, like the Jordan King "Playstation" Abdullah, will likewise stay mostly quiet.
There will likely be only little violence in the immediate aftermath of the Trump declaration. The long term effects though will be significant. The Arab public, which gets little coverage in the "western" press, is seething. Professor Assad AbuKhalil reports:
Fury on Arab social media over Jerusalem
There is such a fury on Arab social media over Jerusalem but I am confident that none of the Western correspondents in Beirut or Cairo will notice in their dispatches.
and:
This in Saudi Arabia
Hashtag "Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine" #1 trending right now in #KSA #Saudi #القدس_عاصمه_فلسطين_الابديه
PS It also is in Iraq and Algeria.
PS and in Syria.
This is today's front page of the Beirut Daily Star, a newspaper which is on most issues solidly in the "western" camp.

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The Professor Amal Saad of the Lebanon University predicts:
Amal Saad @amalsaad_lb - 6:29 PM - 6 Dec 2017Trump has no idea how his declaration will backfire. In violating Int'l law & legitimizing Israel's apartheid rule in Jerusalem, Int'l law will no longer serve as a framework for securing Palestinian rights- "from river to sea Palestine will be free" will be normalized discourse
Those parties that have resisted and continue to resist U.S. hegemony and the Zionists, will win in the public opinion of the Middle East. Those who cooperate with and enable the U.S. and its Zionist pendant will lose.
On the winning side are Iran, Syria, Hizbullah and Hamas (one can now also include the Houthi?) They have all long resisted imperialism despite enormous pressure and furious wars waged against them. Trump's move fits neatly into their narrative that the U.S. always was and continues to be an enemy of people of the Middle East. The public support for them will grow.
The other "winners" are the terrorists group which pretend to be against the U.S. and the Zionists but which have done little to fight them. These are al-Qaeda, ISIS and other Wahhabi/Takfiri groups. They use the issue as a recruiting tool but their paymasters keep them away from fighting the declared enemies.
Trump's move will increase the internal instability of those countries U.S. imperialism in the Middle East depends on. The Gulf States are the most endangered. Their pliant leaders will come under increased pressure from their own people. At some point that pressure will violently relief itself. I find it likely that the U.S. will be the first to be hurt by it.

Posted by b on December 6, 2017 at 02:17 PM | Permalink

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Yemen - Saudis Throw The Towel - Saleh is Baaack - Russia Wins by Moon of Al



Yemen - Saudis Throw The Towel - Saleh is Baaack - Russia Wins

The war on Yemen has finally taken a turn towards an end. Former President Saleh is back in his leading position. They Saudis accepted their defeat. The Houthis will be thrown out of the capital Sanaa and return to their northern areas. Yemen is devastated and will need to rebuild. Everyone who participated in this war has lost. The only winner is Russia.
A recap:
During the "Arab spring" (U.S.) induced Yemeni revolution President Saleh was kicked out after ruling the country for 34 years. In 2012 the former Vice-President Hadi was "elected" as the new president on a one choice ballot. With U.S. support the system prevailed.

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As I noted at that time:
The U.S. missed the chance to use the movement against Saleh for some real transition in Yemen. This will come back to bite.
Hadi was a Saudi puppet unable to rule the country. He tried to form a unity government under the National Dialogue Conference sponsored by the Gulf Cooperation Council. But two major constituencies were left out of the effort: the northern Yemeni Houthis of Zaidi belief, who for years had fought against Saudi-Wahhabi indoctrination in Yemen, and the followers of the ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The Houthis and Saleh had fought each other for over a decade. Now they had a common enemy and united their efforts.
In 2015 the Houthi and Yemeni army troops loyal to Saleh took over the capital Sanaa. Hadi resigned (twice), fled to Aden in the south and later onto Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis were afraid to lose influence over their dirt poor but self-confident neighbor. They falsely alleged that the Houthis were supported by their perceived arch-enemy Iran. They declared war on the country and tried to invade it. The U.S. and the UK supported and still support the Saudi war with intelligence, refueling flights for Saudi bombers and massive weapon supplies.
The Saudis sent their troops to invade the country, their neighboring United Arab Emirates sent its forces and additional mercenaries were hired from Sudan, south America and where ever they could be found. All to no avail. While the Saudis dropped more than 100 bombs per day onto Yemen their forces were defeated every time they tried to enter the mountainous heartland. The Houthi counterattacked within Saudi Arabia. They had no shoes but huge balls. Hundreds of Saudi border posts and military checkpoints were destroyed by them.
The Saudis tried to starve the Houthis of weapons, food and other supplies. They blockaded the country and bombed weapon depots, factories and all infrastructure. They completely destroyed Houthi cities in the north and tried to assassinate the leaders of the rebellion. Tens of thousands of Yemenis died in the often indiscriminate attacks. But the Houthi held out. For decades Yemen had been filled up with weapons. During his decades long rule former president Saleh had stashed ten-thousands of tons of ammunition and equipment. Additional supplies were captured or bought from the Saudi mercenaries.
The former Yemeni army units loyal to Saleh, as well as Saleh himself, stayed in the background. Their most visible contribution to the war was the launch of short range ballistic missiles (SRBM) against Saudi cities and military positions. These weapons had been bought earlier and were modified to have extended reach (see the excursion below).
The Saudi were stuck in a stalemate that cost them over $800 million per month. Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State were flourishing in the south which the Saudis and their allies nominally controlled. Saudi proxies were infighting with troops from the UAE. Missiles were falling down on Saudi cities. While only few missiles hit their targets each of them demonstrated the impotence of the Saudi rulers.
The Saudis finally send out peace feelers to former president Saleh. The Russians, who had kept their embassy in Sanaa open throughout the war, acted as the middleman. In mid October the first results of the diplomatic efforts became visible:
A Russian medical team flew into Sanaa on Oct. 11 with the approval of the Saudis, who control Yemeni airspace. The Russian surgeons then performed a life-saving procedure on the 75-year-old Saleh. Some reports say the surgery took place at the Russian Embassy in the capital. Saleh's exact health issue is unclear, but it apparently is a result of the severe burns and other injuries he suffered during an assassination attempt in 2011.
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Most likely the Saudis are hoping to break the rebel alliance between Saleh and the Houthis, which has been fraying this year.
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Both King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, have their prestige heavily invested in this war. They rushed into it precipitously 2½ years ago.
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Salman was in Moscow earlier this month for an unprecedented state visit to Russia. ... It is reasonable to assume that the king and Putin discussed the Yemeni imbroglio. Russia has been openly critical of the UN's approach to the conflict, which Moscow rightly says is too friendly to the Saudi argument and insufficiently even-handed.
While Saleh was sick, the Houthis became uppity. They arrested and killed Saleh followers in Sanaa, occupied bases of his troops and raided homes of his officers. They may have gotten wind of the ongoing negotiations between Saleh and the Saudis. Over the last months their behavior towards their compatriots in Sanaa became unendurable.
Meanwhile negotiations between Saleh and the Saudis were ongoing in the backrooms and on the battle field. On November 4 the Yemeni troops launched a missile against the airport of the Saudi capital Riyadh. U.S. provided missile defense systems destroyed the missile before it hit, but the public damage was done. A serious hit on the airport would likely close it for civilian traffic. The economic and political consequences for the Saudi tyrants would be huge.
The Saudis responded with a total blockade of Yemen. Neither food nor medicine was allowed to pass. This led to a famine, hundreds of death per day and finally to a public outcry from the otherwise slavish UN. Not even the hundreds of millions the Saudis spend to manipulate the global media could prevent the backlash.
Another missile was fired on Thursday to increase the pressure. It targeting the southern Saudi city of Khamis Mushait. The Saudis finally folded. They agreed to Saleh's conditions.
We do not yet know what these conditions are but Saleh publicly announced that a deal had been made and immediately went to work. His first target were the no-longer-allied Houthi:
ADEN (Reuters) - Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said on Saturday he was ready for a "new page" in relations with the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen if it stopped attacks on his country.The call came as his supporters battled Houthi fighters for a fourth day in the capital Sanaa while both sides traded blame for a widening rift between allies that could affect the course of the civil war.
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"I call upon the brothers in neighboring states and the alliance to stop their aggression, lift the siege, open the airports and allow food aid and the saving of the wounded and we will turn a new page by virtue of our neighborliness," Saleh said in a televised speech.
The Saudis likewise publicly announced their agreement:
The Arab coalition has made a statement on Saturday amidst the ongoing fierce clashes in Sanaa.
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The coalition also said that it recognizes the noble members of the the Yemeni General People’s Congress (GPC), the GPC’s leadership and the Yemeni people who were forced to remain under Houthi-Iranian control. Also, the coalition recognizes that these noble individuals have endured numerous murder threats, torture, bombings and seizure of public and private property.
The Yemeni General People’s Congress (GPC) is Saleh's party. He is still the GPC chairperson. Saleh is now again the Saudi accepted ruler of Yemen. The "legitimate" president Hadi will be buried in Riyadh.
Saleh called on all his followers to oust the Houthi from their positions. His nephew and potential successor Colonel Tariq Mohammed Abdullah Saleh will lead a new military council and run that side of the business. Houthi posters in Sanaa have been teared down. There is some fierce fighting ongoing in the city. Sanaa is Saleh territory. His troops are prepared and he is very likely to win the fight.
It is now left to Saleh and his family and followers to clean up the utter mess the U.S. induced "revolution" and the Saudi war on Yemen have caused. The Saudis will have to pay billions in reparations. Saleh's family will plunder a huge share of these. Despite the money Saleh is, like always, no ones puppet but the snake that bites everyone who stands in his way. That is how and why he could rule for so long.
The Houthis, who bravely fought against the Saudis, became too sure of themselves and too obnoxious towards their own people to be able to rule. They will be ousted from Sanaa and pushed back into their devastated northern homelands.
Everyone in Yemen lost in this war. Many, many have died for no good reason. It will take decades to rebuild all that was destroyed. The Saudis and the U.S. behind them have lost face and standing throughout the Arab world. They tried to fuck Yemen but Yemen fucked them.
The only real winners of the war are the Russians. They again demonstrated that they are able to create peace where the U.S. only creates war and chaos.
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Excursion:
The Saudis have alleged all along that the Houthi are an Iranian proxy force. That is not true. The Houthis are not Shia and not follower of Iranian state doctrines. They don't take orders. The military support they receive from Iran is minimal. The Saudis especially allege that the missiles fired under the Houthi label by the former Yemen troops under Saleh's command are of Iranian origin. But that is unlikely. Yemen has been under Saudi blockade for more than two years and ballistic  missiles can not be smuggled under a coat. Yesterday Reuters released a short piece in supports of the Saudi allegations. But a closer reading shows that these are false.
In mid November a confidential report by a UN panel found no evidence that the missiles launched against the Saudis are of QIAM-1 type from Iran:
The supporting evidence provided in these [Saudi] briefings is far below that required to attribute this attack to a Qiam-1 SRBM,” wrote the panel. “The Saudi-Arabia led coalition has not yet though attributed the attempted attack against KKIA” — King Khalid International Airport, in the Saudi capital Riyadh — “to any particular type of SRBM.”“The Panel has seen no evidence to support claims of SRBM having been transferred to the Houthi-Saleh alliance from external sources in violation of paragraph 14 of resolution 2216,” the brief went on.
Like the specialists of IHS Janes (see below) the UN panel assessed that the missiles were modifications of a type that Yemen had earlier bought from North Korea:
The Yemeni military, the panel added, retained existing stockpiles of SCUD-B and Hwasong-6 missiles that were not completely destroyed by earlier Saudi airstrikes. The panel cite a Houthi spokesperson who said missiles that had been damaged were subsequently repaired and modified. “The panel has not discounted though that Yemen based foreign missile specialists may be providing advice,” the brief cautioned. The panel raised the possibility that missiles may have been altered to extend their range to reach targets farther into Saudi Arabia.
Now Reuters is trying to revive the Saudi claim by reporting on a new assessment with a very deceiving headline. Exclusive: Yemen rebel missiles fired at Saudi Arabia appear Iranian - U.N.:
Remnants of four ballistic missiles fired into Saudi Arabia by Yemen’s Houthi rebels this year appear to have been designed and manufactured by Riyadh’s regional rival Iran, a confidential report by United Nations sanctions monitors said, bolstering a push by the United States to punish the Tehran government.
The Reuters claim in its opening paragraph is not what the panel really said. Deeper into the report:
The independent panel of U.N. monitors, in a Nov. 24 report to the Security Council seen by Reuters on Thursday, said it “as yet has no evidence as to the identity of the broker or supplier” of the missiles
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Design characteristics and dimensions of the components inspected by the panel are consistent with those reported for the Iranian designed and manufactured Qiam-1 missile,” the monitors wrote.
I agree that the "design characteristics" and "dimensions of components" are consistent with the QIAM-1. The explanation for that is trivial. The Iranian QIAM-1 is:
a licensed copy of the North Korean Hwasong-6.
The Hwasong-6:
is a North Korean tactical ballistic missile. It is derived from the Hwasong-5, itself a derivative of the Soviet R-17 Elbrus. It carries the NATO reporting name Scud.
According to an IHS Janes report (pdf) the missiles the Saleh government of Yemen had bought from North Korea were of the Hwasong-5 and probably Hwasong-6 type:
Prior to the outbreak of the current conflict, Yemen was known to have acquired R-17 Elbrus (SS -1C 'Scud B') ... ballistic missile systems from the Soviet Union
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Spanish naval vessels intercepted a ship carrying 15 Scud-type ballistic missiles to Yemen in December [2002]. That ship was later allowed to complete the delivery. The missiles found on board were 'Scud Bs' (a reference to North Korea's Hwasong-5 copy of the R-17), according to a June 2003 US diplomatic cable. ,,, [I]t is possible that it was one of several shipments that also included longer-range variants such as the Hwasong-6, which is also known as the 'Scud-C', and has a range of 500-550 km.
The Yemen army has over 30 years of experience with Scud-type missiles and knows how to modify these. They revealed "new Yemeni made" Burkan missiles before they fired on Riyadh. Janes notes:
The stated dimensions of the Burkan-1 suggest that it is a standard Scud that has been lengthened with additional sections welded into its fuselage and fuel tanks so that it can carry the additional propellant needed to extend its range. Iraq carried out similar modifications to produce Al Hussein missiles capable of reaching Tehran during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War.
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The Burkan-2 appears to use a new type of warhead section that is locally fabricated. Both Iran and North Korea have displayed Scud derivatives with shuttlecock-shaped warheads, but none of these match the Yemeni version. The range of the Burkan missiles also appears to have been extended by a reduction in the weight of their warheads.
The Yemenis use locally modified Haewsong-5 and 6 missiles bought from North Korea. Iran builds a licensed copy of the Haewsong-6 under the name QIAM-1. These QIAM missiles will naturally have similar "design characteristics" and "dimensions of components" as the North Korean missiles the Yemenis use.
Reuters is pointing its readers into the false direction when it claims that the Yemeni missiles "appear Iranian". In reality both, the Yemeni Burkan as well as the Iranian QIAM, are variants of the same North Korean Haewsong-5 and 6 which are themselves copies of the Soviet R-17/Scud-B/Scud-C types. All of these were build from the same specification sheet and engineering drawings. That their dimensions and parts look alike, as the UN panel says, follows from that but proves absolutely nothing.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

North Korea: "The Missile Program Is Now Complete"




November 30, 2017

North Korea: "The Missile Program Is Now Complete"

Last night the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) launched another nuclear capable missile. It was a new type never shown before. Its name is Hwasong-15 and it is a beauty.

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The new missile is huge. Note Kim Jong Il in his black coat on the left. He is 5'7 or 1.70 meters. The transporter-erector vehicle with the missile must be nearly 20' or 6 meters high and the missile must have a diameter of 2+ meters.

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The vehicle is a modified copy of a Chinese WS51200. North Korea once bought 5 or 6 of these to "haul lumber from the mountains". All were of course used as missile transporters. A ninth axle has been added to the original design to carry the additional load of the huge missile and its firing table. The vehicle is not a TEL, a transporter, erector and launcher, but a TE. The missile is erected and set vertical on the firing table. The vehicle is removed for the launch.
The first guestimates for the total weight of the missile currently vary between 45 and 60 metric tons. I believe it is a bit more. My thumb-rule says that a heavy military truck can haul 10 metric tons of cargo per axle. Nine axles times 10 minus the weight of the firing table and the erector system could leave some 70 tons for the missile. They did not add the ninth axle for nothing.
The missile looks like a Titan II missile shrunken by 30%. The Titan II was U.S. intercontinental nuclear missile developed in the 1960s. It is not the most modern concept but solid.
The new missile has two engines of unknown type in the first stage. These are fed their fuel by one common turbo-pump. The missile steers by moving its nozzles. The reentry vehicle (RV) in the front which carries the payload is also huge. North Korea can surely fit one of its peanut shaped hydrogen bombs inside of it.

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North Korea claims that the vehicle and missile were completely locally build. It is possible that this true. North Korea also claims a maximum reach for the missile of 13,000 kilometer. That is likely the absolute maximum with no payload. With a significant payload of about 600 kilogram for a hydrogen bomb the missile might be able to reach the mid-west of the U.S. but likely not the east coast. But these are guestimates. For risk evaluation one needs to look at the worst case. One has to anticipate that this type, with maybe slight modifications, will have enough reach to flatten Manhattan.
The launch happened on 3:00 am local time after the missile was transported from the factory hall seen above (March 16th Factory, Pyongsong 39°16'52.71"N 125°52'12.89"E) to its launch place. North Korea thus demonstrated the capability for surprise launches independent of the "weather". (In military doctrine nighttime darkness is a "weather" condition.) The U.S. has no means to preempt a launch of such a missile as place and time of the launch are not discernible.
Some pictures of the launch are below. A 14 minute video of the official TV announcement of the launch shows additional details of the preparations and flight.
One hopes that it will have finally sunk in with U.S. decision makers that North Korea is a nuclear power. The U.S. has claimed for some 75 years that it needs nukes for its security. It is constantly threatening North Korea. It does not stick to its deals (just ask Ghaddafi). There is no way the the DPRK will give up on its nukes or its intercontinental missile force.
In its government statement the DPRK said that its missile development is now "complete":
.. it is the most powerful ICBM which meets the goal of the completion of the rocket weaponry system development set by the DPRK.
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Kim Jong Un declared with pride that now we have finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, the cause of building a rocket power.
It has achieved its aim of holding the whole continental U.S. at risk of a nuclear attack should it try to attack (or decapitate) North Korea. This likely also means that it will not build any new types of missile. It will continue to develop the existing ones.
A good agreement between the U.S. and North Korea would stop such further development of missiles and nukes in exchange for the stop of U.S. maneuvers near the country. North Korea has made such a "double suspension" offer. It is for the U.S. to accept it. But with Tillerson leaving as Secretary of State and Pompeo taking over his job the chances for negotiations and any deal are currently next to zero.
Pics:

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Kushner linked to Madoff Ponzi scheme through Platinum Partners collapse By The Wayne Madsen Report



Kushner linked to Madoff Ponzi scheme through Platinum Partners collapseBy The Wayne Madsen Report

Donald Trump son-in-law and special adviser Jared Kushner is linked to two of the most fraudulent financial schemes in the financial history of Wall Street, the Bernie Madoff securities fraud Ponzi scheme and the financial collapse of the fraudulent hedge fund, Platinum Partners. Kushner's aunt and uncle, Richard and Marisa Stadtmauer were major investors in Platinum Partners, along with Madoff Investment Securities LLC, the company operated by the imprisoned-for-life financial manipulator Bernie Madoff. 

Madoff funds were transferred to Platinum Partners via the Jay Cohen Revocable Trust of New York. $9.271 billion of Madoff funds have already been recovered and distributed to victims of Madoff's fraud. Richard Stadtmauer, who was number two in the Kushner Companies when the firm was being run by Jared's father, Charles Kushner, served a 38-month prison sentence for fraudulent activities associated with Charles Kushner. Charles Kushner received a two-year prison sentence -- serving only 14 months of it -- for illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion, and witness tampering. Charles Kushner's wife Seryl is the sister of Richard Stadtmauer. The Ponzi schemes and interlocking corporations involving the Kushners, Stadtmauers, Trumps, Manaforts, and others are notable for the involvement of entire families. This is especially the case with the Russian and Israeli oligarchs who have been involved in Trump and Kushner businesses.

Platinum Partners and its principals were the subject of a federal criminal indictment for fraud between 2011 and 2016. This included bilking the New York Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association (COBA) out of $20 million from its pension fund. Indicted in the fraud were Platinum's chief investment officer Mark Nordlicht, its founder Murray Huberfeld, Platinum marketing officer Uri Landesman, and COBA president Norman Seabrook. Many of those who invested in Platinum were the same wealthy New York and Florida Jews who were investors in Madoff's securities scheme.

Platinum maintained that it had $1.3 billion in assets but, in reality, had only $68,530 in cash. Some of the Eastern District of New York prosecutors in Brooklyn are now members of Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team that is investigating Kushner's and Trump's dubious business ties.

Platinum's insolvency and bankruptcy resulted in a major lender, Parris Investments Ltd. of New Zealand, petitioning a Cayman Islands court to roll up Platinum's Offshore Feeder Fund, which was incorporated in Grand Cayman. One of Platinum's principals, Murray Huberfeld, a friend of Richard Stadtmauer, paid a bribe to COBA's Seabrook, in return for the investment of the pension fund money in Platinum. Huberfeld was major investor in the Livingston, New Jersey-based bank NorCrown, which was owned by Charles Kushner.

WMR previously reported that Madoff would order his employees to "roll the accounts" in the Cayman Islands every business day at 3:00 pm. When it came to manipulating hundreds of millions of dollars using the bank and corporate secrecy laws of the Cayman Islands, the Madoffs, Kushners, and Stadtmauers were experts. And the patriarchs of all three families are serving or have served prison sentences for their fraud schemes. Rather than keep such individuals as far from his administration as possible, Donald Trump has appointed Jared Kushner to several key posts, including special Middle East envoy and China trade interlocutor, to name but a few.

Trump's real estate schemes have also relied heavily on offshore financial contrivances that rely on tax havens and their bank and corporate secrecy laws.

In the federal government's criminal complaint filed against seven Platinum principals on December 14, 2016, the government stated that Nordlicht and an unnamed co-conspirator planned to flee the United States. The indictment reads: "On or about December 13, 2015, Nordlicht, Landesman, and an unnamed coconspirator sent emails 'that contemplated Nordlicht and Co-Conspirator 1 fleeing from the United States and illustrated their knowledge and awareness of the fraudulent scheme perpetrated on Platinum's investors and prospective investors.'" The e-mail from Co-Conspirator 1 stated "Don't forget books. Assume we are not coming back to ny[.] Just to be safe. Depends on Miami[.] We can fly straiggt [sic] to europe from miami on Tuesday[.] Take passport." Nordlicht responded in an email to Co-Conspirator 1: "Am on my way to jfk with kids for their 6 pm flight to Israel. [Co-Conspirator 2] ducking my calls . . .[My wife] is literally making me get on Israel flight if we don't connect and agree what we are doing."

Landesman responded to Nordlicht's email to Co-Conspirator 1, which Nordlicht had forwarded to Landeman: "You should get on the flight if there is no bridge [loan], probably even if there is...We need to go through the mehalech of how we are going to share this with clients and employees, going to be very rough, big shame." Mehalech is a Hebrew word, which means "a way of operating." Some critics of unethical Jewish business practices define mehalech as committing fraud against others while carrying a clean conscience. In any case, Israel has welcomed with open arms Jews who are on the lam from law enforcement in countries as varied as the United States and Russia to Colombia and Romania.

Platinum Partners owned Black Elk Energy, a Houston firm that also declared bankruptcy. Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations' West Delta 32 oil platform, located 17 miles southeast of Grand Isle, Louisiana, suffered an explosion that killed three crewmen on November 16, 2012. [pictured, right]. Black Elk and its sub-contractors were named in 41 citations issued by the Interior Department's 
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) that later resulted in criminal charges being filed against the firm. A link to those citations, which appeared on BSEE's website, now results in a "404 -- page not found" message.

Black Elk Energy was affiliated with other Houston firms, including Iron Island Technologies, Inc., Iron Island Technologies I, Deepwater Solutions LLC, Freedom HHC Management LLC, and Elk Well Services LLC.

With Kushner-related businesses active in the Texas oil industry, Jared Kushner's recent all-night "strategizing" in Riyadh with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman becomes even more suspicious.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

FBI files on Trump's father focus on mob ties - By The Wayne Madsen Report




 FBI files on Trump's father focus on mob ties - By The Wayne Madsen Report
Apparently, WMR's recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the FBI for files on ties between Donald Trump's father Fred C. Trump and Nazi and white supremacist groups reflects, save for one other inquiry, is the only media interest for such information.

While the FBI claims its files do not contain any information on Fred Trump's links to Nazi groups like the German-American Bund or white supremacist groups like the Ku Klux Klan, even though he was arrested at a Klan rally in Queens, New York in 1927, the FBI does appear to have tracked Fred Trump's links to organized crime in the 1960s. It is also noteworthy that the FBI's Central Records System (CRS) has been criticized by a number of professional researchers and librarians for its inability to return complete information on searches on specific subjects or individuals. 
In a March 28, 1966 memo from Deputy Attorney General Ramsey Clark to FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, an FBI "Namecheck" on Fred C. Trump of 85-14 Midland Parkway, Jamaica, Long Island, New York is expeditiously requested because of a deposition by Fred Trump being taken by the Justice Department in a "tax case." Clark, who worked for Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, requested that the FBI respond no later than March 29, 1966. The FBI did not respond in writing until March 30, 1966, however, there was a conversation between FBI Special Agent George Scatterday and one of Clark's aides on March 28, 1966. The FBI's written response to Clark stated, "no identifiable information" was found pertinent to Clark's request concerning Trump. 

Katzenbach, who succeeded anti-mob Attorney General Robert Kennedy in September 1964, continued Kennedy's aggressive pursuit of mobsters. Wiretaps and electronic bugs placed on known mobsters in New York and New Jersey by Kennedy were kept in place by Katzenbach. In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson ordered the electronic surveillance of mobsters to be discontinued.




One single paragraph FBI document, dated April 24, 1991, involving an FBI Special Agent and the Trump Organization, is completely redacted, including the name of the agent.

Another FBI file indicates the bureau conducted a Dun & Bradstreet search on the Trump Construction Company on August 27, 1988. Fred Trump died in 1993. Another FBI file shows the bureau was interested in the Trump Organization in 1986 for being one of the largest donors to the New York mayoral campaign of Democrat Ed Koch.

An index of files the FBI maintained on various individuals, not included as part of the FOIA request on Fred Trump, does contain a file under the name "Tommy Trump." It is not clear who Tommy Trump was or whether he was connected to the Fred Trump family.



While FOIA responses often do not yield much in the way of information, agency responses to such requests contain more valuable information. This appears to be the case with Fred Trump and ties to organized crime. In late 2015 and early 2016, as Donald Trump began to appear as a credible candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, the FBI received a flurry of FOIA requests from a few dozen news organizations requesting FBI files on Fred Trump's, and, by inference, Donald Trump's, links to a number of mobsters and their business entities. Amazingly, some of the Fred Trump-mob indexed cross-references sought by the media were redacted by the FBI. 

Among the mob linkages to Fred Trump were Constantino "Big Paul" Castellano, head of the Gambino crime family and secret owner of S&A Concrete, a defunct New York firm run by Nick Auletta, which built the Trump Plaza and Trump Tower; Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno, head of the Genovese crime family and secret owner of S&A Concrete, Inc.; Genovese crime family member and FBI informant Peter Savino; Atlantic City/Philadelphia crime boss Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo [an indication where Donald Trump got the idea for the nicknames "Little Marco Rubio" and "'Liddle' Bob Corker"], owner of the Cleveland Wrecking Company; Wachtel Plumbing; Chief of the New York City District Council of Carpenters Theodore "Teddy" Maritas; The Circle Group, a major Atlanta construction company headed by Long Island reputed mobster Jerry Marchelletta Jr., which built the Atlantis Resort and Casino in the Bahamas and reportedly laundered money through the Gambino-connected Gold Club, a popular Atlanta strip joint; John Cody, the racketeering-convicted president of Teamsters Local 282; Daniel "Danny" Sullivan, a Teamster official and partner in the Scarfo family's New Jersey-based SSG, Inc. and a labor "fixer" for Donald Trump; Kenny Shapiro, an SSG, Inc. partner, scrap metal dealer, and member of the Scarfo crime family; Edward J. "Biff" Halloran, a concrete contractor who owned Certified Concrete Company and the Transit Mix Company; and Michael Matthews, a mayor of Atlantic City.

Two names requested by media organizations from FBI files linked to Fred Trump were redacted in the actual news media request letters released under FOIA. While redactions of private addresses and phone numbers contained in such requests in commonplace and required under the Privacy Act, the redaction of substantive information in FOIA requests is highly suspect [see below].



The same entries were redacted by the FBI in multiple FOIA requests, including May 31, 2016 communications from The BlackVault.com and GovernmentSecrets.com, as well as The Philadelphia Inquirer, CBS News and Cryptome.com; June 1, 2016 communications from Vice News, Judicial Watch, and The Daily Beast; a June 3, 2016 communication from Gizmodo.com and Trump biographer David Cay Johnson; and a July 27, 2016 communication from ABC News. 

Castellano was murdered in a gangland hit in 1985 that was arranged by John Gotti. Salerno died in federal prison in 1992. Nick Aueltta died in 2013. Scarfo [pictured left] died in federal prison, while serving a life term, on January 13 of this year, a week before Donald Trump was sworn in an president. Savino died on September 30, 1997 at the age of 55 of unknown causes while living in an undisclosed location as part of the federal witness protection program. Maritas disappeared in March 1982, a day before he was to go on trial for racketeering, near the Throgs Neck Bridge in New York. Maritas's wallet was found in shallow water and a $100 bill was discovered floating on the water. Federal tax evasion charges were suddenly dropped against Marchelletta in 2012. Cody died in 2001. Sullivan died of a heart attack in 1993 at the age of 54, after he began cooperating with the FBI in a probe of Donald Trump's Atlantic City mob ties. Sullivan also said he knew what happened to the body of former Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa, but gave no details. Donald Trump revealed that he understood that Sullivan killed Hoffa. Shapiro died in the 1990s with no details available. Halloran disappeared in Manhattan in August 1998 while visiting the city from his home in Fort Lauderdale. Matthews was recalled as Atlantic City mayor in 1984 and later convicted for extortion. Matthews was sentenced to 15 years in prison but was paroled in 1990 and died in 2014.

A high number of mobsters connected to both Fred and Donald Trump have died suspiciously and conveniently. Trump's fear and loathing of the FBI may have something to do with what the bureau has amassed in its files over the years. The FBI searches of its arcane file system may have yielded little in the way of files on the Trumps, but the files on the connections of the Trump family to those investigated by the FBI for mob activities could fill an Olympic-size swimming pool.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Arabian peninsula returns to warring princes and tribes By The Wayne Madsen Report




Arabian peninsula returns to warring princes and tribes
By The Wayne Madsen Report
Saudi Arabia's 32-year old Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud, fancies himself as a champion of "moderate Wahhabism," something that does not actually exist, and clean government. In fact, this fast-rising son of the decrepit 81-year old King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, was a prime motivator behind the creation of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), or "Da'esh," in Iraq and Syria, the chief architect of the genocidal Saudi-led war in Yemen, and the driving force behind the Gulf Cooperation Council's economic and travel sanctions imposed on Qatar. 

Rather than being a reformer or "moderate," MBS, as he is known in Saudi Arabia and abroad, hearkens back to an age when rival sheikhs and tribal leaders vied for control over wide patches of desert lands in Arabia. MBS's ongoing coup d'état against some of Saudi Arabia's most powerful and wealthiest princes points to his determination to become an autocratic ruler over Saudi Arabia once his father, King Salman, leaves the scene. MBS has curbed the power of Saudi Arabia's dreaded religious police and allowed women the right to drive in an effort to gain popular support for his own "Salmanist" movement in Saudi Arabia, one that brooks no dissent and rules with an iron fist. MBS will use Wahhabism for his own advantage and when it is against his interests, he will not hesitate to clamp down on Wahhabist domestic clerics and foreign missionaries. Indeed, some Middle East experts see MBS’s rapid rise to power as eventually achieving the same autocratic rule over Saudi Arabia as that commanded by the founder of the modern Saudi state, Abdulaziz bin Saud, in the 1930s.

MBS's rise to a prominent role within the House of Saud began in October 2011 when Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz died. Salman, who had been Governor of Riyadh province, and, as WMR reported, a major bankroller for Al Qaeda mercenaries traveling to Afghanistan, became second deputy prime minister and defense minister in November 2011. Salman made MBS his personal adviser and with that wide portfolio, the young prince helped initiate the jihadist rebellion in Syria against President Bashar al Assad and the uprising against Muammar Qaddafi in Libya. MBS also aided his father, the defense minister, is helping to brutally crush a pro-democracy uprising in Bahrain. 

In November 2012, Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Salman's brother, died. Salman was named Crown Prince and First Deputy Prime Minister. Salman basically ran Saudi Arabia's domestic affairs while his half-brother, King Abdullah, was out of the country, which was often. Crown Prince Salman's penchant for charitable contributions to poor majority Muslim countries, which was shared by MBS, saw Saudi funds flow into the coffers of Wahhabist radical groups in Somalia, Bangladesh, Afghanstan, and Sudan. 

In January 2015, King Abdullah died at the age of 90 and Salman succeeded to the Saudi throne. The former chief of the Saudi Intelligence Agency, Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, was named Crown Prince by Salman. Muqrin's reign did not last long. In April 2015, Salman replaced Muqrin with his nephew, the Interior Minister, Prince Muhammad bin Nayef al-Saud. MBS was named defense minister. On June 21, 2017, in what can be described as the beginning of a "creeping coup," Crown Prince Nayef was deposed by Royal Decree. In what would portend future events a mere four months later, Nayef was reportedly held under house arrest at his palace and pressured to renounce his claim to the throne. King Salman moved quickly to name MBS the new Crown Prince.
In September 2017, MBS detained some of the top clerics in Saudi Arabia, including Salman al-Ouda, who, as being independent from the Saudi state Wahhabist infrastructure, was known to favor reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Al-Ouda’s two compatriots, Awad al-Qarni and Ali al-Omary, were also arrested.

Former Crown Prince Nayef is said to have remained under house arrest until MBS made his sudden move against other members of the House of Saud on November 4, 2017. Declaring the foundation of a new Saudi anti-corruption committee, MBS put under house arrest at least 11 Saudi princes, including multi-billionaire international investor and Kingsom Holding Company Chairman Prince Alaweed bin Talal al-Saud, MBS also fired and arrested the commander of the Saudi National Guard, the son of the late King Abdullah, Prince Miteb bin Abdullah and replaced him with MBS loyalist Prince Khalid Bin Ayyaf Al-Muqrin. Also arrested was the Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning Adel Fakieh, a close reform adviser of MBS. In Fakieh's place was appointed another MBS loyalist, Mohammad Al-Tuwaijri. 

Many senior officials of the late King Abdullah's government are being systematically purged by MBS and his loyalists. They include Prince Turki bin Abdullah, a former governor of Riyadh province, and Khaled al-Tuwaijri, the chief of the Royal Court under Abdullah.

No coup would be complete or successful without seizing control over the media. MBS ordered the arrests of Saleh Kamal and Waleed al-Ibrahim, the co-founders of the Middle East Broadcasting Corporation, which operates the Al Arabiya satellite news network. News out of Saudi Arabia is being strictly controlled by the new MBS regime, with the international corporate media dutifully echoing Saudi government press releases as "news."

In all, some 14 current ministers, officials and businessmen have been arrested. Dozens of former ministers have also been arrested. The Saudis have not confirmed all of the identities of those arrested. MBS has ordered the bank accounts of the princes and others in Saudi Arabia and abroad frozen. Most of the detainees are being held under house arrest in the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Riyadh. MBS has vowed a complete investigation of all the detainees for corruption, a crime for which the penalty is death.

One execution may have been carried out early. At the same time MBS was rounding up princes and ministers in Riyadh, a helicopter carrying Prince Mansour bin Muqrin, the deputy governor of Asir province and seven other senior Saudi officials, crashed near Abha in Asir Province, near the border with Houthi-controlled north Yemen. Prince Mansour was the son of former Crown Prince Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, who was ousted in 2015 in favor of Salman. 

Saudi official news organs reported that the helicopter carrying Mansour and his aides was returning from an "inspection tour" near the border with Yemen. However, other reports indicated that the aircraft was shot down by the Saudis after they learned it was flying to Houthi-controlled Yemen where the prince and his party had been assured of political asylum. Parallels were immediately drawn to the Chinese attack on the plane carrying Chinese vice premier Lin Biao in 1971, following an abortive coup in Beijing. Lin and his party were fleeing China and their plane was shot down by Chinese MiGs over Mongolia. MBS's coup in Riyadh has been likened to the type of leadership purge that routinely takes place in China.

King Salman went through the motions, Cosa Nostra-style, in paying his respect, in person, to deposed Crown Prince Muqrin at the prince's palace in Riyadh. Saudi press reports failed to indicate whether Murqin was even free to leave his palace in the wake of MBS's coup.

Mansour's safe passage to Houthi-controlled Yemen may have been arranged by his father, Muqrin, who was known to favor dialogue with the majority Shi'as of Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province, as well as with Iran, the Houthis major benefactor. 

The role of the Trump administration and Israel in MBS's coup is an issue that is on the minds of every Middle East professional and lay observer. Trump son-in-law and Middle East special envoy Jared Kushner visited Saudi Arabia last month where he and MBS reportedly stayed up until 4 am for several nights "planning strategy." Kushner was accompanied to Israel by Trump's special adviser on Israeli matters, Jason Greenblatt. Both Kushner and Greenblatt are known to represent the interests of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the Trump White House.

MBS has promised Trump a military showdown with Iran and a public Saudi rapprochement with Israel. The Saudi National Guard chief was fired after he was blamed for an alleged Houthi missile attack on Riyadh from Yemen. The Saudis and Americans are blaming Iran for the attack, however, there is a belief that it may have been a Saudi false flag designed to provide domestic support for MBS's coup and further ratchet up tensions with Iran.

The power struggle within the House of Saud also affects surrounding countries. Opponents of MBS can be assured of tacit support from the Al Thani governing family of Qatar, which has its own issues with MBS over the Saudi-led boycott of Qatar. 

MBS's counterpart in the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, referred to as "MZN" and who is also the deputy commander of the UAE armed forces, does not see eye-to-eye with MBS on certain issues. MBS is backing the extremely corrupt exiled government in Jeddah of Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi against the Houthis and South Yemeni separatists. MZN, on the other hand, supports the South Yemeni independence restoration movement and has taken advantage of Yemen's civil war to extend virtual UAE control over Aden, the islands of Socotra, Abd al Kuri, Darsah, and Samhah in the strategic Gulf of Aden, and the former Mahra Sultanate in the Hadhramaut region of South Yemen. 

An official of the former Sultanate of Mahra and Socotra, Sheikh Abdullah Al Afrar, has received Abu Dhabi's support in representing the mainland Mahra state and Socotra on behalf of his General Council of the Sons of the Province of Al Mahra and Socotra Island. Meanwhile, the former sultan of Hadhramaut, Ghalib Al Quaiti, who has lived in exile in Saudi Arabia, has sought a role in an independent restored Qu'aiti State in Hadhramaut or a new federation of South Yemen. The al-Quaiti royal house was apparently double-crossed by MBS and MZN when it was discovered that Saudi and Emirati funds had flowed to Hadhramaut tribal leader Abdallah Faysal Sadiq al-Ahdal, someone identified as an ally of “Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The royal family of the former Sultanate of Lahej, near Aden, has also been resurgent in politics, thanks to the patronage of the UAE, a federation of emirates that, unlike the sultanates and emirates of Arabia, survived the throes of British decolonization of the Arabian peninsula.

Meanwhile, the heirs of the Zaidi Imams' long-reigning Mutawakkilite Kingdom of the Yemen, overthrown in 1962, may be angling for a place in a restored North Yemen, which may be a republic or a reincarnation of the Kingdom of Yemen. The Houthis and other North Yemeni tribes, as well as those in the Saudi province of Asir, continue to hold the Imams of the Kingdom of Yemen in great reverence.

the Khalifa royal family in Bahrain is firmly in the MBS camp. The Hashemites royal family of Jordan, which has its own grievances with Riyadh, can expect to stay neutral in the House of Saud civil war. The Bin Said's of Oman and Sabahs of Kuwait would also prefer neutrality, although neither is happy with the MBS war in Yemen and the saber-rattling against Iran. The Al Rashids of Dubai have also shown a dislike for the Saudi treatment of Qatar and they have like-minded allies among the ruling royal families the northern emirates of Ras al Khaimah, Umm al Qawain, and Fujairah. Without an over-arching referee like Britain or the United States calling the shots, the political chess board on the shifting sands of Arabia has never been more unpredictable.