Wednesday, August 30, 2017

"Javanka" threatens to expand blood diamond trade By The Wayne Madsen Report

"Javanka" threatens to expand blood diamond trade
By The Wayne Madsen Report

The Trump White House advisory duo of Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, "Javanka" as they are known to their White House detractors, threatens to undo years of international efforts to stem the flow of conflict diamonds, or "blood diamonds" from Africa. Conflict diamonds from Africa pass into the hands of unscrupulous diamond brokers in Europe, the United States, and South Africa. Ms. Trump and Kushner are directly tied to Israeli and U.S. Orthodox Jewish diamond interests in New York that have overseen the flow of conflict diamonds from such nations as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Angola.

Part of the reason for the concern of international diplomats about the Trump administration's stand on conflict diamonds arises as a result of key vacancies within the State Department, including diplomats responsible for U.S. Africa policy. President Trump has shown no signs that he is ready to nominate anyone to fill secondary and tertiary level positions within the State Department, which, itself is facing a 30 percent budget cut.

The soon-to-be acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs is Donald Yamamoto, who is currently the vice president of the National Defense University and previously served as U.S. ambassador to Djibouti and Ethiopia. Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) has expressed a desire for former U.S. Representative Jack Kingston (R-GA) to serve as Assistant Secretary for Africa. Kingston, one of Trump's cable news boosters, is known to harbor racist views, hardly an asset for someone who would oversee U.S. policy on Africa.

There are currently acting officials in charge of Africa desks at the National Security Council and Department of Defense. Meanwhile, there are reports that Africa policy for the Trump administration is being conducted by "outsiders" with vested financial and other interests on the continent.

What is of equal concern are the ties of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner to unscrupulous Israeli and American Orthodox Jewish diamond merchants. Kushner and members of his family have been involved in real estate deals with members of the family of Israeli mining multi-billionaire Beny Steinmetz, including Raz Steinmetz, Beny's nephew. Steinmetz and his company, Beny Steinmetz Resources Guinea (BSRG), are under investigation in the United States, Israel, United Kingdom, Guernsey, Guinea, and Romania for fraudulent business dealings, including bribery. In the United States, Steinmetz is embroiled in a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violation involving alleged bribes paid by BSRG to government officials in Guinea, where Steinmetz has diamond and other mining interests. Raz Steinmetz, who has taken over a large part of his uncle's business empire, partnered with Kushner in trying to grab up New York City real estate. Some of the deals were in conjunction with the Trump Organization, including a development project in Manhattan's Soho neighborhood that involved, in addition to Kushner, Steinmetz, and Trump, Bayrock Group LLC, a Trump partner headed by Trump associate Felix Sater and bankrolled by suspected Eurasian organized crime figures.

Steinmetz, one of Israel's wealthiest men and who is believed to carry out special assignments for the Mossad, struck a lucrative deal with Guinea in 2008 to exploit the Simandou iron mine, which contains what is believed to be the largest iron ore deposit in the world. The deal between Steinmetz's BSRG and Guinea's President Alpha Condé saw Steinmetz invest $165 million in the deal. However, when BSRG struck a deal in April 2010 that saw the Brazilian mining firm Vale pick up 51 percent of the Simandou concession for a cool $2.5 billion, the CIA and Steinmetz Group business rival George Soros realized that Steinmetz had profited nicely from the Guinea deal.

Civil complaint brought by Rio Tinto, a major mining group, against Jared Kushner business partner, the Steinmetz family of Israel

The CIA convinced Condé that the Israelis had defrauded him and offered Guinea only a fraction of the actual worth of the Simandou mine. The message was clear: the Israelis swindled Condé. Condé demanded the joint mining firm established between BSRG and Vale, VBG, pay Guinea double the royalties in the venture.

Condé, concerned about BSRG's links to Mossad, barred BSRG's president, Asher Avidan, an Israeli national, from entering Guinea. Guinea cited "national security" concerns as the reason.

Condé agreed to give the green light to the CIA and the Soros operatives, and the latter who operate out of New York City and maintain regular contact with their bosses at the CIA headquarters in Langley, went to work. This past summer, the United Kingdom's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in London opened an investigation of the BSRG Guinean deal. The SFO also pressured the Financial Investigation Unit of Guernsey, where BSRG had established its headquarters, to open an investigation of the firm. Condé arrested two BSRG employees in Guinea. Meanwhile, the FBI arrested BSRG's representative in the United States. Frederic Cilins was arrested by the FBI in Jacksonville, Florida before he could begin destroying several BSRG documents proving that Steinmetz had paid bribes to Guinean officials in violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Child soldiers (file photo). Photo: Gabriel Galwak/IRIN
Trump's turning over Africa policy to grifters and corrupt businesses spells doom for Africa's children, many of whom are pressed into service by Israeli mining interests and Mossad

In September 2013, Guinea arrested four Israeli mercenaries for attempting to overthrow Condé's government. In retaliation for Condé cooperating with the CIA and Soros to strip him of his mine concession, Steinmetz, according to our intelligence sources, convinced Mossad and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government to authorize a "false flag" operation, a Mossad specialty, against Guinea. Commensurate with the Guinean parliamentary election, Mossad agents planned to pay members of the Guinean opposition and the anti-Condé Fula tribe to commit acts of terrorism. The election violence would force Guinean security and police, where Mossad has its "assets" in place, to launch a bloody crackdown. Mossad believed that in the midst of election violence, its assets in the Guinean military and police could successfully declare a state of national emergency and oust Condé and his government, replacing it with Israeli loyalists. It should be noted that 85 percent of Guineans are Muslims.

It was later discovered that Guinea arrested the Israelis based on tips received from the CIA and the French Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieure (DGSE) foreign intelligence service. The CIA and DGSE intelligence stated that Mossad had hired Israeli, French, and South African mercenaries to launch false flag attacks in preparation for a military coup.

With the Mossad coup unsuccessful, Condé's Rally of the Guinean People (RPG) party won the September election. Soros's NGOs, who served as election monitors, were rather muted in their criticism of the election, which was rife with fraud.

With Steinmetz's New York real estate partner, Kushner and his wife Ivanka, in the cat bird's seat advising Trump, the entire corrupt Israeli and New York, London, and Antwerp Jewish diamond industry sees a chance to grab up more lucrative mining deals in Africa. The links between the Steinmetz Group and Kushner also places U.S. Africa policy firmly in the hands of Israeli interlocutors.

Ms. Trump is no stranger to corruption in the diamond business. Her partner in Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry and Madison Avenue Diamonds LLC is a noted Orthodox Jewish New York business defendant Moshe, aka Mosha, Lax, who has been involved in lawsuit after lawsuit in New York, mostly for his failure to pay his bills or defraud business partners. Former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer kicked Lax out of rented business property in a building owned by Spitzer, which is located at 800 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, for failure to pay rent. Ivanka Trump has managed to avoid any repercussions from Lax's activities by merely failing to show up at court hearings in which she or her businesses have been named as defendants.

One of many lawsuits brought against Moshe Lax, Ivanka Trump's diamond business partner
With Ivanka and Jared Kushner in a position to force the State Department to look the other way when it comes to the smuggling of blood diamonds from Africa, the first victims will be African children who are press-ganged into becoming child soldiers, tribes who are forced off their ancestral lands for mining operations, and African governments trying to lift themselves out of rampant corruption brought about by foreign natural resource exploiters.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Trump/Kushner "Trojan horse" inside the CIA has agency on alert By The Wayne Madsen Report

The Trump/Kushner "Trojan horse" inside the CIA has agency on alert
By The Wayne Madsen Report

The Central Intelligence Agency is no stranger to "moles" feeding highly-classified intelligence to outside parties. The Cold War and subsequent years saw moles within the CIA being ferreted out by U.S. counter-intelligence officers. However, what is unprecedented is the fact that the current CIA director, former Kansas Tea Party Republic Representative Mike Pompeo, is suspected by CIA counter-intelligence officials of conveying critical intelligence on certain key CIA operations to Donald Trump and his close associates, including Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner. It is well known that Kushner and his ex-con father, Charles Kushner, enjoy close relations with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the Israeli Mossad.

What has CIA internal security and counter-intelligence personnel particularly worried is a decision by Pompeo to have the agency's Counterintelligence Mission Center (CMC) to report to him directly. The CMC is responsible for investigating Trump and the Trump Organization's links to a myriad of Russian and other Eurasian individuals, companies, and syndicates. Pompeo's decision was so egregious to CIA career employees, one or more leaked to The Washington Post Pompeo's unusual decision to have the CMC bypass its intermediate superiors within the agency's chain-of-command and pass on all relevant information on counter-intelligence operations, including raw intelligence, directly to Pompeo.

The CMC is an outgrowth of the CIA's original counter-intelligence center formed by the legendary CIA mole-hunter James Jesus Angleton, who suspected Soviet moles had penetrated the CIA and other government agencies. However, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover believed that Angleton was so paranoid about moles that Angleton may have been one himself. If Angleton, who was very Catholic and very anti-Communist, was a mole, it was probably for Mossad, with which he maintained an unauthorized close relationship.

Mike Pompeo official CIA portrait.jpg Trojan Horse
Pompeo is a suspected Trojan horse and mole who is running the CIA

When Ronald Reagan's campaign finance chairman William Casey took over the reins at the CIA in 1981, he immediately appointed New York businessman Max Hugel to the post of Deputy Director of Operations. Hugel's off-the-books contacts with Mossad and the Israeli government ensured his quick departure from Langley and a counter-intelligence damage assessment from his short tenure -- May 1981 to July 1981  -- as the head of CIA clandestine operations. The official reason Hugel was sacked was a seven-year old civil case involving securities fraud. It was much more convenient for Casey and the agency to cite an old civil case in firing Hugel than having to admit they placed a suspected Mossad mole in charge of the CIA's espionage operations.

Bill Clinton's CIA director, John Deutch, was investigated by CIA counter-intelligence and the FBI for mislabeling several classified CIA laptop computers as "unclassified" and taking them home. After Deutch pleaded guilty on January 19, 2001, to a misdemeanor of mishandling government secrets, Clinton pardoned him. Deutch was discovered to have used his classified laptops from home to access a number of pornographic websites, some of which downloaded data-retrieving "cookies" programs on to the computers' hard drives.

CIA officers told the Post that Pompeo's political activism on behalf of Trump has the agency extremely concerned about security compromises. Agency officials expressed concern to the Post that never in the history of the CIA has there been a director so willing to place politics over the agency's non-partisan intelligence and counter-intelligence mission.

In what could be bad news for Trump and Pompeo, career CIA officers have responded to Pompeo's political meddling in CIA operations by providing counter-intelligence evidence on suspected security breaches committed by Pompeo to Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller and agents with the FBI. Although the CIA and FBI have had a traditionally stormy relationship, the unofficial and low-level cooperation between the CIA and the Bureau has grown closer as Pompeo has shown himself to be a dangerous mole within Langley.

Pompeo has no prior intelligence experience, other than peripheral, from serving as an Army officer in Germany after graduating from West Point. Pompeo, who ran businesses in the oil sector, received his political boost from the Koch brothers.

One anonymous CIA officer told the Post, "People have to watch him [Pompeo] . . . It's almost as if he can’t resist the impulse to be political." Another CIA officer fretted, "if you were passing on something too dicey [to Pompeo] he would go to the White House with it." Even though White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Adviser (NSA) Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster have purged the White House of far-right political hacks, Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka, with McMaster previously purging from the National Security Council ex-NSA Michael Flynn loyalists Ezra Cohen-Watnick, Rich Higgins, Derek Harvey, and Victoria Coates, Pompeo remains a significant malignant Trojan horse within the national security structure. Moreover, the continued presence of Kushner and Trump speechwriter, Stephen Miller, within the White House pose a significant counter-intelligence threat, especially where Israel's Mossad is concerned.

Thanks to Kelly and McMaster, neo-con war hawk and former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton, is now also persona non grata in the Oval Office. Bolton has been trying to undo the Iranian nuclear agreement on behalf of his Israeli paymasters.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Politicizing disasters: it's an old Republican tactic BY THE WAYNE MADEN REPORT

Politicizing disasters: it's an old Republican tactic

The modern Republican Party can always be counted upon to inject its brand of racist politics into any natural disaster. Hurricane Harvey, which has brought about a 1000-year epic flood in northeast Texas, is no exception. No sooner had pictures emerged from the Houston area of flooded homes and stranded residents on rooftops, the GOP spin machine, egged on by conspiracy hate monger websites, the most prominent being located in Texas, began laying blame on elected and appointed Democratic officials.

Just as New Orleans Republican-turned-Democratic Mayor Ray Nagin became the target of hate merchants after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, with Rush Limbaugh constantly "mispronouncing" his name as "Naggir," the racist right and their GOP dog whistling allies began blaming Houston's monumental rescue effort on the city's African-American Democratic mayor Sylvester Turner.  One thing the radical right can never be accused of is heeding the lessons of history.

Although Nagin was, in fact, a corrupt politician and is now Federal prison inmate 32571-034, he realized he could only become New Orleans mayor if he became a Democrat. Nevertheless, it was the ineffectiveness of the George W. Bush administration, Bush's inept Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) director Michael Brown ("Heckuva job Brownie"), and the cold political calculation of Bush's political adviser Karl Rove that saw Washington try to blame Louisiana's Democratic Governor Kathleen Blanco, as well as Nagin, for the hundreds of deaths in and around New Orleans after the levees broke. In the aftermath of Katrina, whistleblowers working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cited corruption within the agency that led, in part, to the levee failures and the massive post-hurricane death count in Louisiana.

Criticisms by Trump acolytes of Turner have fallen flat. Attempts to paint Turner as a bungling mayor for not ordering the evacuation of, in concert with Harris County, of 6.5 million people from the greater Houston area, the fourth largest urban area in the United States, were not successful. Houston, as pointed out by the mayor and several other Houston officials, learned its lesson from Hurricane Rita, which followed Katrina by a few weeks and was the fourth most intense hurricane to strike the U.S. during modern meteorological record-keeping. When Texas's bumbling GOP Governor Rick Perry, now Donald Trump's Energy Secretary, pushed for the evacuation from Houston and Galveston of 3.7 million people, disaster struck on the highways. Among the 118 deaths caused by the mandatory evacuation order were 23 nursing home evacuees who perished when their bus caught fire on traffic-clogged Interstate 45. Many evacuees nearly drowned when their vehicles were swamped with flood waters while stuck in miles-long traffic jams. Other evacuees ran out of gas or saw their vehicles break down.

Turner did not want a repeat of Rita and decided that Houstonians were safer if they sheltered at home and be rescued by boat, high-water vehicles, or helicopter if the need arose. Turner's decision proved to be the wiser option. Thousands of Houstonians were rescued from rooftops who might have drowned in their vehicles had they been subjected to a mandatory evacuation order. Turner coordinated his efforts with Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, a Republican. Turner and Emmett rejected criticism of their decision not to order a mega-evacuation of the greater Houston area, rare cooperation between a Democrat and Republican during an era of childish name-calling from the White House.

Emmett also criticized Abbott for urging Harris County and Houston residents to evacuate north. Abbott said, "If I were living in the Houston region, as I once did, I would decide to head to areas north of there." Emmett scolded Abbott, saying, "We don’t need people getting on the highways.” Many Houston area highways, including interstates, turned into raging rivers after all the region's bayous overflowed their banks.

Many Trump observers expected the president to tweet criticisms of Turner as he did with London mayor Sadiq Khan after a jihadist terrorist attack in that city. Trump's constant refrain of "fake news" also resulted in initial state government lethargy over reports of over 20 stranded elderly residents of the La Bella Vita nursing home in Dickinson, in Galveston County. The nursing home operator was forced to transmit on social media a photo of her residents, some on oxygen and sitting in wheelchairs and on walkers in rising water, waiting on Texas National Guard air support for rescue. Even with the photo as dramatic proof of the in extremis situation of the residents, the Trump crowd, conditioned by their leader calling everything "fake news," claimed the photo of the flooded nursing home was photoshopped. This is yet another example of Trump's irresponsibility almost costing two dozen senior citizens their lives. If Trump could be sued for presidential "malpractice," he should be.

Trump was ensconced during the Houston disaster at Camp David, while Vice President Mike Pence chaired a Harvey response Cabinet meeting in the White House Situation Room. There was no plausible reason given by White House press representatives for Trump's absence from the White House. As the flood disaster in Houston unfolded, Trump busied himself by tweeting out comments about his winning Missouri by a large margin and, once again, threatening Mexico, which was providing hurricane relief assistance to Texas, with the "wall."

Trump's irrelevant tweets during massive flooding of Houston

George W. Bush was stung over his initial reaction with Katrina, choosing to conduct a flyover of flooded New Orleans from Air Force One after returning from vacation outings in California and Arizona. Bush later admitted his response to the disaster was lacking. Bush was not helped by his mother, Barbara Bush's insensitive comments about New Orleans evacuees, many of them African-American, housed in Houston's Astrodome being "underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them." Trump, in reacting to Harvey and Texas, learned nothing from Bush's ineffectual response to Katrina and the New Orleans disaster.

President Obama certainly put politics aside when he toured the ravaged New Jersey shoreline after Super Storm Sandy, accompanied by Republican Governor Chris Christie, who was effusive with praise for the president's rapid response to the storm damage. In the aftermath of Harvey, Texas GOP Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz are demanding the quick post-hurricane federal assistance they voted against for New Jersey and New York in the wake of Sandy. Nothing spells hypocrisy more than Cornyn and Cruz.

Nursing home residents in Dickinson, Texas, wait for first responders in a flooded room.
Irresponsible social media users, conditioned by Trump's "fake news" mantra, claimed the above nursing home picture was photoshopped. They were dead wrong and the delay in responding to the "SOS" from the facility almost cost the elderly residents their lives.

Mayor Turner was particularly incensed by social media rumors. He said, "False forecasts and irresponsible rumors on social media are interfering with efforts by the city of Houston, and its government and news media partners, to provide accurate information to the public about the expected effects of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Harvey."

One of the reasons why Turner received knee-jerk criticism from the right is because of his international standing. In June of this year, Turner was appointed, along with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the co-chair of Climate Mayors, a grouping of 372 mayors who endorsed the Paris Climate Accord after Trump withdrew the United States from the pact.

Although the radical right began blaming Turner for Houston's flooding ills, they did not attack Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Tea Party Republican. Yet, if blame were to be doled out, Abbott would be a worthy recipient. There were no good reasons why Abbott initially sequestered state resources, including Texas National Guard helicopters, until situations like that of La Bella Vita arose.

The radical right vipers are now waiting with fangs bared in the event Harvey causes a major disaster in Louisiana. They already have Louisiana Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards and New Orleans Democratic Mayor Mitch Landrieu in their gun sights. And with Trump's Twitter fingers at the ready, these disaster political parasites see an ally in the White House.