Closing Thought–17May17

Ambassador Who?

Pres. Trump is lagging behind with his appointments of people to the various positions…..his latest appointment is the ambassador to the Vatican……

President Trump has settled on Callista Gingrich as the US ambassador to the Vatican, CNN reported first Sunday night, saying the choice has been made but the process has been hung up by the Office of Government Ethics, which needs to give its approval. The network reports a formal nomination of the wife of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich could come as soon as this week, with Trump wanting it to be made before his May 24 meeting with Pope Francis. That her name was being floated has been known since January—Newt himself told CNN as much shortly after Trump became president. Newt wouldn’t say much to the New York Times Sunday night beyond noting both he and his wife had been advised to “be very cautious” until an announcement was made.

The Times has more on Callista’s relationship with Catholicism: She helped Newt convert and sings in the Basilica of the National Shrine choir, but it points out she had a hand in the demise of Newt’s third marriage. An opinion piece at the National Catholic Reporter makes the case that “the Vatican cares less about the moral history of an ambassadorial nominee than it does about the nominee’s access to the decision-makers in the administration.” As for the administration, Axios contributes this to the rumor mill: “About six weeks ago … Trump told our source he was reluctant to send Callista to the Vatican because he likes seeing her husband Newt defending him on TV. Our source told the President they were sure satellite hook-ups could be arranged for Newt at the Holy See.”

Really?  He could not find anyone else?

But what can I expect?

Trump is hiring people that are not qualified for the positions that he puts them in…… so in that light I guess this is the perfect choice.

May you all have a great day and I will see you tomorrow for more stuff…..chuq

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Beginning Of The End?

Every drama has a point when the shit hits the fan…..and all one can do is just sit and watch for things are escalating almost out of control…..

This whole firing of the FBI head was the spark that lit the fuse….and now the fuse is covered in gasoline…..and the match is waiting to ignite the whole mess……

President Trump asked James Comey to stop the federal investigation into Michael Flynn, according to a memo written after a February meeting with the president by the former FBI director. “I hope you can let this go,” the New York Times quotes the memo as saying. Comey, in the memo, says Trump hoped Comey would agree to “letting Flynn go.” Flynn was—and remains—under federal investigation for his financial ties to Russia and Turkey. He resigned as Trump’s national security adviser a day before the conversation between Trump and Comey detailed in the memo. The memo provides more evidence that Trump has tried to influence the investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia. Last week, the president said he fired Comey over “this Russia thing.”

Comey is said to have created a paper trail documenting what he believes was inappropriate behavior by Trump, detailing all phone calls and meetings with the president in memos. Such notes by FBI agents are often considered credible evidence in court. The White House issued a statement denying the contents of the memo: “The president has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn.” According to Comey’s memo, Trump also told Comey he should possibly start jailing reporters for publishing classified information. Read the full Times piece here.

And now the acceleration will begin…….

White House aides and senior staffers admit that former FBI Director James Comey’s revelations on Tuesday are probably going to be the hull breach that sinks Donald Trump’s presidency.

“I don’t see how Trump isn’t completely f*cked,” said one senior official to The Daily Beast on Tuesday, referring to Comey’s announcement that he has kept notes of his conversations with Pres. Trump regarding requests Trump made asking Comey to back off on the investigation of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

Source: ‘Completely f*cked’: Trump’s White House staff admits the Comey memo is the beginning of the end

Even the GOP in Congress can see the handwriting on the wall……there have been the usual Dem calls for an impeachment process…..but now the GOP is getting in the line……and the voices will grow as more and more loose ends are revealed.

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) on Wednesday said reports that President Trump pressed ousted FBI Director James Comey to end an investigation would merit impeachment if true, becoming the first Republican lawmaker to broach the idea.

Asked by another reporter whether he trusted Comey’s word or Trump’s, Amash said: “I think it’s pretty clear I have more confidence in Director Comey.”

Amash is one of only two House Republicans to cosponsor a Democratic bill to establish an independent commission to investigate Russia’s role in the election. Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) has also endorsed the legislation.

(thehill.com)

So the question is….is this the beginning of the end?

What say you?

This Is How You “Make The Case”

I have been watching the US turn facts into actionable intel……the US has taken a situation and turned it into a reason to go to war…..

For instance the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq in the 1990’s……to make it more palatable of the population they needed some dastardly facts to use in the ramp up to war….like the BS about the stolen incubators and babies left on the floor as they were stolen…..and the nukes the Saddam was developing…none of which was accurate but it got the population pissed and war seemed like a way to right the “wrongs”.

2003 and Iraq again…..the WMDs that were lying around in the sand and the yellow cake uranium…all to get the world scared and to be approval of yet another war……

I bring this up because there seems to be a bit of a mash up for some sort of action against North Korea.

We all know about the nuke research and the missile tests…..well it looks like they had another missile test that could be a problem…….

North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test may be nearly as big a deal as the country’s propaganda machine claims.

Tokyo clocked the missile as traveling about 800 kilometers (500 miles) and reaching a height of 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) during its half-hour flight.

That is a higher altitude and longer flight time than any other missile the country has test-launched, according to several South Korean analysts reached by The Associated Press.

North Korea’s state media generally confirmed those estimates. It said the newly developed Hwasong-12 flew as high as 2,111 kilometers (1,310 miles) before landing in a targeted area in the ocean about 787 kilometers (490 miles) from the launch site.

North Korea said it fired the missile at a high angle to avoid neighboring countries.

If it had been fired at a normal angle, analysts say, it could have flown much farther — estimates vary between 4,000 and 7,000 kilometers (2,500 and 4,350 miles), the upper number putting Alaska and possibly Hawaii within striking distance.

All this is just gravy for the grits……

But wait there is more……

Remember the ransomware that has just attacked the world…..well it is said the North Korea is the culprit……

Researchers investigating last week’s cyber attacks involving the WannaCry ransomware say that early versions of the software had some code in common with past attacks by the “Lazarus Group,” which some officials have accused of being North Korean hackers.

The Lazarus Group was behind a handful of past attacks, most notably the Sony hacking incident of 2014, which officials attributed to North Korea primarily because it came around the release of the movie The Interview, which involved a plot to kill North Korea’s leader.

The researchers who noted the similar code conceded that copying snippets of code between hacker groups is not uncommon, and that this was “well short of proof” of an actual relationship between the two. Indeed, most of the WannaCry code was a copy of exploits developed by the NSA.

(antiwar.com)

Seriously?  Does it not look like a bit of a coincidence that North Korea is behind this latest cyber attack?

Not really…….The US has long favored blaming whatever nation they are at odds with at any given time for any high-profile cyber attack, which in the past has left puzzling situations where the US accuses Russia or China of hacking something they had no plausible reason to hack in the first place. While North Korea doesn’t have a clear motive for bringing down phones in Spain or Britain’s health care system, US officials are continuing to talk this up.

Just doing what we always do…..making the case.

OMG! It’s Somalia (Again)

I am sure that every American is aware of the tragedy in Somalia if for no other reason than they have watched the movie, “Blackhawk Down”.

There seems to be a slow trickle of US troops back into the country of Somalia to fight terror…I recently gave my thoughts on this…….

Source: Somalia–Take A Right At Ethiopia – In Saner Thought

The Trump plan is to return special ops operatives into the country to fight the growing ISIS presence in East Africa…..the first encounter for our troops did not end so well….

The death of Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken and the wounding of two more U.S. troops in Somalia this month marked the first deadly engagement for American forces in the country since the Battle of Mogadishu of October 1993. The two events differ in notable respects, not least in their magnitude—the battle of October 3-4, 1993, resulted in 18 Americans killed and 79 wounded. But both operations reflect the adverse conditions that U.S. special-operations forces, and the United States more broadly, face in the world’s most dysfunctional states.

Back in the summer of 1993, warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid bedeviled an international coalition that was trying to restore order and build democracy in the midst of a vicious civil war in Somalia. A ruthless clan leader known for firing artillery into civilian neighborhoods and starving opposing clans into submission, Aidid had made himself the chief obstacle to the nation-building project. The Clinton administration had removed a large U.S. Marine force months earlier and transferred authority over the remaining international troops to the United Nations. Madeleine Albright, Clinton’s UN ambassador, declared at the time, “[W]e will embark on an unprecedented enterprise aimed at nothing less than the restoration of an entire country as a proud, functioning and viable member of the community of nations.”

Source: How American Special Operators Gradually Returned to Somalia – The Atlantic

There seems to be a push to insert American troops into every corner of the globe all with the intention of armed conflict.

The dangers of this type of foreign policy, if we can call it that, are too numerous to count.  And yet the American people are perfectly fine with this world-wide escalation…..and apparently the deaths that will go with it.

Why?

The Tale Of Unit 731

A Wednesday and another of the professor’s history classes….(save the groans and moans for after the class)……

Does anyone remember your history?  Like Operation “Paper Clip” when at the end of the war in Europe teams of Americans rush to scoop up German scientists before the Soviets could do so.  Many of these “scientist” committed war crimes or at least looked the other way while they were being committed…all in the name of science.

These people got a free ride and avoided prosecution because of their “skills”.

Well Japan was not left out either……they had an infamous research unit called Unit 731 that carried out horrendous experiments on humans all in the name of science……and the US did the same as they had in Germany……they searched the countryside for these criminals so their “expertise” could be used by the US……

Upon my request, both the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Simon Wiesenthal Center have released copies of a December 1998 letter from DOJ official Eli Rosenbaum to Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. In the letter, Rosenbaum admitted to Cooper that after World War II the United States government had classified records pertaining to a Japanese military unit that engaged in biological warfare experimentation and field trials on humans.

The letter, one of two released to this author, confirmed the U.S. “essentially assisted Japan in covering up the atrocities perpetrated by the unit.”

Source: Department of Justice Official Releases Letter Admitting U.S. Amnesty of Unit 731 War Criminals

Just as with the scientists in Germany….the US profited off the suffering of others by giving the Japanese war criminals a “get out of jail free” card.

That makes us as much a war criminal as those that committed the horrendous experiments.

Where should the line be drawn?