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Did Trump save face by breaking America’s commitment to the JCPOA?

Because, how does keeping America’s international agreements make it ‘great’?

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Trump yesterday signed off on a US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) lifting tough economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for a throttled nuclear development commitment. Why would he do this when all the other parties to the agreement were literally begging him not to withdraw and the IAEA had certified nearly a dozen times that Iran was complying with the terms of the agreement?

Trump had been saying that the Iran nuclear deal was the ‘worst deal ever’ negotiated and had promised to end America’s participation in it during his 2016 presidential campaign. Add to that the fact that when he signed off on its continuation in January that it would be ‘for the last time’ bluntly stated that Trump was going to end it.

A Personal Commitment

Trump, in true narcissistic fashion, wants to appear as the greatest president that America has ever had, thus, he wants to downplay or destroy every achievement of his predecessor, Barack Hussein Obama, whether domestically or internationally, whether it was the Paris Climate Accord, the TPP, NAFTA, domestic environmental regulations, tax codes, etc., etc., etc.,. this time it’s the Iran nuclear deal. He will be the one to cut the deals and ‘make America great’. Should he take a different road and renew it once again, he might lose face and break a vital campaign promise, hence, Trump’s personal need to withdraw America from the 2015 multilateral agreement.

The Deal Maker in Action

Trump here breaks a nuclear arms deal immediately before attempting to broker another one with North Korea, who has developed nuclear warheads capable of striking the US mainland. Relative to the North Korea denuclearization prospect, Trump has already declared that if he doesn’t think that America will get the better end of such a deal that he would walk away from the meeting. By breaking America’s commitment to the Iran nuclear deal, the JCPOA, Trump is hereby proving his willingness to ‘walk away’ if he doesn’t get exactly what he wants. It appears as though Trump’s version of deal making is a ‘take it or leave it’ attitude, rather than one of negotiation.

The Deep State’s Iranian regime change ambition

Of course, we can’t overlook the fact that the American deep state has been itching to launch a regime change plan through the past few presidential administrations, and the fact that now it looks like it has a very good chance of accomplishing it under Trump, given the manner in which he has staffed his cabinet, not that it didn’t stand to achieve it under previous admins which proved that they were hungry enough to try it, even violently if need be, from Clinton to Bush to Obama in either of each one’s dual term administrations.

After all, we just witnessed Trump using coded language to call for such a regime change in his announcement of his withdrawal from the JCPOA. The intention is to apply enough economic pressure on the people of Iran to provide the domestic pretext to launch a color revolution on Tehran in much the same way as was done elsewhere in the Middle East and Europe, and as was attempted at the dawn of the current year.

Additionally, we can’t forget that Israel has been crying out for the cancellation of the JCPOA for some time, and Netanyahu’s BS presentation about the Iran nuclear program last week, which was used as part of Trump’s ‘logic’ for breaking America’s international commitment to its allies relative to economic sanctions on Iran over its nuclear development program.

Trump’s reasoning for withdrawing from the JCPOA, as delivered in his announcement, were little more than faulty polemics, as they were fraught with outright inaccuracies, distortions, and fabrications, as even the Washington Post, in a rare instance of legitimate news and analysis, observes:

We reviewed six of Trump’s claims from his May 8 speech announcing the decision to withdraw from the deal. As is our custom with roundups of multiple statements, we will not be offering a Pinocchio rating. But we invite readers to weigh in with comments.

“In fact, the deal allowed Iran to continue enriching uranium and — over time — reach the brink of a nuclear breakout. …

“The agreement was so poorly negotiated that even if Iran fully complies, the regime can still be on the verge of a nuclear breakout in just a short period of time. The deal’s sunset provisions are totally unacceptable. …

“If we do nothing, we know exactly what will happen. In just a short period of time, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror will be on the cusp of acquiring the world’s most dangerous weapons.”

Notice how Trump uses flexible wording such as “on the verge of a nuclear breakout in just a short period of time.” This is refreshing and more accurate than his Four Pinocchio claim from April 30: “In seven years, that deal will have expired, and Iran is free to go ahead and create nuclear weapons.”

The JCPOA’s prohibition on Iran’s building nuclear weapons does not sunset, and other international agreements to which Iran has committed itself also prohibit the development of such weapons.

However, critics of the JCPOA have voiced concerns that — despite these strictures — Iran could keep working toward nuclear weapons capability under the guise of pursuing peaceful goals, such as a nuclear energy program.

Trump is alluding to the fact that the JCPOA gradually lifts restrictions on the types of nuclear activities and the level of uranium enrichment Iran may conduct. These and other provisions sunset over 10, 15, 20 or 25 years.

The president argues that easing these restrictions over time would open the door to Iran’s attaining nuclear weapons capability, rendering the JCPOA ultimately ineffective. But supporters of the Iran deal dispute that and say the JCPOA at least buys time, subjecting Iran to strong constraints on its nuclear activities for 10 to 25 years. Without the JCPOA, Iran could hasten its development of nuclear weapons on an even shorter timeline than the one Trump found unsatisfactory, they say.

“Even as some of the provisions in the JCPOA do become less strict with time, this won’t happen until ten, fifteen, twenty, or twenty-five years into the deal, so there is little reason to put those restrictions at risk today,” Obama wrote in a Facebook post responding to Trump’s announcement.

Moreover, Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and has committed itself to ratifying the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Additional Protocol in 2023. The former restricts Iran from ever developing nuclear weapons, and the latter grants international inspectors wide access to monitor nuclear-related activities within Iran’s borders.

In agreeing to the JCPOA, Iran reaffirmed its commitment to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and stated: “Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons.” …

“This disastrous deal gave this regime — and it’s a regime of great terror — many billions of dollars, some of it in actual cash — a great embarrassment to me as a citizen and to all citizens of the United States.”

Trump always makes it seem that the United States casually handed Iran billions of dollars in cash. But as we’ve reported, this was always Iran’s money. Iran had billions of dollars in assets that were frozen in foreign banks because of international sanctions over its nuclear program. The U.S. Treasury Department estimated that Iran would have a little more than $50 billion of usable liquid assets at its disposal after a broad lifting of sanctions under the terms of the JCPOA. The Central Bank of Iran said the number was $32 billion.

Trump also mentions “actual cash.” This relates to the settlement of a decades-old claim between the United States and Iran. In the 1970s, the pro-Western Iranian government under the shah paid $400 million for U.S. military equipment. But the equipment was never delivered because the two countries broke off relations after American hostages were seized at the U.S. Embassy in Iran…

“At the heart of the Iran deal was a giant fiction that a murderous regime desired only a peaceful nuclear energy program. Today, we have definitive proof that this Iranian promise was a lie. Last week, Israel published intelligence documents long concealed by Iran, conclusively showing the Iranian regime and its history of pursuing nuclear weapons.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel announced on April 30 that Mossad agents had obtained a massive cache of documents and data discs from Iran about “Project Amad,” a clandestine nuclear-weapons development program. Netanyahu said the documents proved that Iran had lied about its past nuclear efforts.

“What he is revealing with all this detail is not news,” Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, told The Washington Post after Netanyahu gave a PowerPoint presentation laying out these findings. “The fact that Iran has experimented with nuclear warhead designs, and had at one point an active weapons program, makes it all the more essential that the JCPOA remains in place to prevent Iran from quickly amassing enough fissile material for even one bomb.”

Like Kimball and other experts, U.S.-allied nations in Europe described Israel’s findings as nothing new and said they strengthened the case for the JCPOA….

“In the years since the deal was reached, Iran’s military budget has grown by almost 40 percent — while its economy is doing very badly.”

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Iran’s military expenditure increased nearly 30 percent from 2015, when the JCPOA was adopted, to 2017. This increase brought Iran’s military spending back to near-2006 levels. But as we’ve pointed out before, just looking at the raw increase or decrease in any country’s military budget misses important context. Instead, let’s consider Iran’s military expenditure as a share of overall government spending. In 2015, it accounted for 15.4 percent of government spending. It increased 0.4 percentage point, to 15.8 percent of government spending, by 2017. According to a White House official, this spending level is expected to remain stable in 2018. That means military spending increased alongside overall government spending — not in a silo on its own.

Looking at Iran’s military expenditure as a share of GDP, there’s a similar trend. It has increased by only half a percentage point — going from 2.6 percent to 3.1 percent from 2015 to 2017. (For comparison, in 2016, military expenditure accounted for about 3.3 percent of GDP in the United States.)…

“Making matters worse, the deal’s inspection provisions lack adequate mechanisms to prevent, detect, and punish cheating and don’t even have the unqualified right to inspect many important locations, including military facilities. Not only does the deal fail to halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but it also fails to address the regime’s development of ballistic missiles that could deliver nuclear warheads.”

Let’s start at the top. To meet its end of the JCPOA deal, Iran first had to dismantle its nuclear program significantly. Then, Iran gave the international community wide access to investigate its nuclear activities.

As we’ve reported, the IAEA already has the ability to investigate nuclear facilities and activities disclosed by Iran’s government. The country also has committed itself to ratifying the IAEA’s Additional Protocol in 2023, which would give international investigators the power to “investigate undeclared nuclear facilities and activities” as well as “demand information from member states,” according to a 2017 report by the Congressional Research Service.

If Iran were to violate the terms of the deal, sanctions would be reinstated.

This all hinges on the access given to international watchdogs (and their ability). Supporters claim the JCPOA grants them unprecedented access. Some critics point out that Iran has been known to evade inspections in the past and that key provisions giving access to monitors sunset over time. Others say the IAEA should be given wider authority, particularly the ability to inspect military sites, to adequately police Iran’s nuclear programs.

“As long as Iran remains in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), it has an obligation to answer the IAEA’s questions and allow inspectors access to military sites and personnel in Iran related to that effort,” the Institute for Science and International Security, which has been skeptical of the Iran deal, said in a statement after Trump’s speech.

“The Iranian regime is the leading state sponsor of terror. It exports dangerous missiles, fuels conflicts across the Middle East, and supports terrorist proxies and militias such as Hezbollah, Hamas, the Taliban, and al-Qaeda.”

This claim is not new to the president’s repertoire. Trump suggests the assistance to al-Qaeda continues to the present day. This is in line with the latest State Department Country Reports on terrorism, released in July 2017, which said: “Since at least 2009, Iran has allowed AQ facilitators to operate a core facilitation pipeline through the country, enabling AQ to move funds and fighters to South Asia and Syria.” This phrasing marked a shift from previous reports, which indicated the support was in the past.

Trump’s reasoning simply doesn’t fly here. With the JCPOA in place, even if Iran were violating it, international nuclear inspectors are keeping a close eye on their activities, whereas if the deal is canned, then Iran would have no incentive to keep it under wraps and would therefore escalate its nuclear program with impunity as they would have no reason not to do so, especially if the US announces that it wants to invade them. After all, nuclear weapons have worked as a great deterrent to a Western backed invasion attempt in North Korea, why would it not work for them, especially if other means prove unfeasible.

The accusations about Iran being a state sponsor of terror, as the WaPo demonstrates, are nothing new, as the US has been saying this all along, however, that it sponsors American backed terrorists is what is laughable about the claim. If that were indeed the case, then wouldn’t Washington consider Iran a strategic ally, in the much the same way that it views the Saudis, who likewise train, arm, and fund terrorists, ahem, ‘moderates’ and ‘opposition forces’, in the Middle East who are serving the deep state’s interests? Trump is borrowing Israel’s propaganda against Iran in order to justify withdrawing from the deal.

This is a case where Trump’s personal ambitions are both in concert with, and conflict with, his administration’s own interests. How is this so? Well, Trump is devaluing America’s clout on the world stage by giving the world its newest example of America violating its international commitments, while, at the same time, it wants to implement new ones with parties that the US has little or no diplomatic experience (North Korea, in particular), and showing European partners that their interests and their contributions are not esteemed by Washington. Here, he is breaking America’s word by keeping his personal word to his constituents to do so.

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Mueller report contains claim Russia taped Bill Clinton having phone sex with Monica Lewinsky

Bill Clinton allegedly was recorded by Russia in the 1990s, allowing Russia to learn of the affair before American officials.

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Via The Washington Examiner…


Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report mentions a claim that Russians recorded President Bill Clinton having phone sex with White House intern Monica Lewinsky — but the reference was redacted from the version released to the public.

The redaction is likely to anger Republicans, because the allegation has been known since at least 2001 and the Mueller report’s reference to a claim that President Trump watched prostitutes urinating in a Moscow hotel room was not struck out.

Clinton allegedly was recorded by Russia in the 1990s, allowing Russia to learn of the affair before American officials. A reference to the Clinton intercept was redacted from the Mueller report to protect “personal privacy,” but sources told the Washington Examiner that the context makes clear what was blacked out.

According to the report, Center for the National Interest President Dimitri Simes sent Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner a 2016 email with recommended talking points to counter Hillary Clinton’s Russia attacks. The email referenced “a well-documented story of highly questionable connections” between Bill Clinton and Russia.

At a meeting in New York, Simes told Kushner the details: Russia allegedly recorded President Clinton on the phone with Lewinsky, opening questions of foreign leverage over the ex-president-turned-potential first spouse.

“During the August 17 meeting, Simes provided Kushner the Clinton-related information that he had promised. Simes told Kushner that, [redacted],” the Mueller report says. “Simes claimed that he had received this information from former CIA and Reagan White House official Fritz Ermarth, who claimed to have learned it from U.S. intelligence sources, not from Russians.”

Ermarth, 78, a 25-year CIA veteran and chairman of the National Intelligence Council from 1988 to 1993, said he was concerned with the wording in the report. He said the report inaccurately suggests he mishandled classified information, when in fact he used public sourcing.

“The line in the Mueller report that says any of this was based on intelligence information is the product either of faulty remembering by Dimitri or a flawed inference … or a hostile fabrication by the Mueller people,” Ermarth said. “[The report wording] implies my misuse of intelligence or use of intelligence that is classified in this context. And that is completely false.”

Independent counsel Ken Starr’s 1998 report on Clinton’s affair with Lewinsky identified 17 phone sex calls in 1996 and 1997. The report says Clinton told Lewinsky “that he suspected that a foreign embassy (he did not specify which one) was tapping his telephones, and he proposed cover stories. If ever questioned, she should say that the two of them were just friends. If anyone ever asked about their phone sex, she should say that they knew their calls were being monitored all along, and the phone sex was just a put-on.”

Ermarth thinks he told Simes that the Clinton-Lewinsky phone call was intercepted while the president was traveling on Air Force One, but that detail is believed to not have been conveyed to Kushner or included in the report.

The former CIA officer, who was not interviewed by Mueller, said he discussed the intercept with Simes during a trip to Washington in either 2014 or 2015. The story’s omission from the Mueller report hints at a double standard for the Clintons, he said.

Mueller spokesman Peter Carr declined to comment, as did Simes. A White House spokesman and Kushner attorney Abbe Lowell did not respond to requests for comment.

The report was redacted by Justice Department leadership in cooperation with Mueller’s team. There were 855 redactions, according to the Smoking Gun. Only 7% of of those redactions were justified by “personal privacy,” according to an analysis by Vox. Most information was withheld because it involved grand jury deliberations or because it could harm an ongoing criminal case.

According to the report, Simes told investigators Kushner appeared to consider the phone-sex story “old news,” as news outlets had long ago reported that Russia had advanced knowledge about Lewinsky. Meanwhile, Kushner told Mueller’s team he did not receive information from Simes that could be “operationalized” and doubted new negative information could be unearthed on the Clintons.

Though the report was redacted to protect the former president’s privacy, it does reference an alleged sex tape featuring Trump watching prostitutes urinate in a Moscow hotel. The Mueller report says Russian businessman Giorgi Rtskhiladze texted former Trump attorney Michael Cohen that he “[s]topped flow of tapes from Russia.” Rtskhiladze told Mueller’s team that “he was told the tapes were fake, but he did not communicate that to Cohen.”

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FBI Texts Show Agents Discussed Recruiting White House Sources To Spy For Bureau

The texts and sources reveal that Strzok had one significant contact within the White House – Vice President Mike Pence’s Chief of Staff Joshua Pitcock.

Sara Carter

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Via SaraCarter.com:


Senior Republican chairmen submitted a letter Thursday to Department of Justice Attorney General William Barr revealing new texts from former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok to his paramour FBI Attorney Lisa Page showing the pair had discussed attempts to recruit sources within the White House to allegedly spy on the Trump administration.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Charles Grassley and Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson revealed the information in a three page letter. The texts had been obtained by SaraACarter.com Tuesday and information regarding the possible attempt to recruit White House sources had been divulged by several sources to this news site last week.

The texts and sources reveal that Strzok had one significant contact within the White House – Vice President Mike Pence’s Chief of Staff Joshua Pitcock, whose wife was working as an analyst for Strzok on the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server. A senior White House official told this news site that Pitcock’s wife recused herself from the Clinton investigation as soon as Pence and Trump became the Republican nominees in July 2016. A senior law enforcement official also told SaraACarter.com that Pitcock’s wife no longer worked under Strzok after she recused herself from the Clinton investigation.

However, the text messages uncovered from November, 2016 and have left questions lingering about the relationship between Strzok, Pitcock and his wife among congressional investigators and lawmakers.

“The course of our oversight work we have reviewed certain text messages that may show potential attempts by the FBI to conduct surveillance of President-elect Trump’s transition team,” the letter states. “In text messages exchanged between former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok and former FBI Attorney Lisa Page, the two discussed the possibility of developing “potential relationships” at a November 2016 FBI briefing for presidential transition team staff. Specifically, it appears they discussed sending “the CI guy” to assess an unnamed person ‘demeanor’ but were concerned because it might be unusual for him to attend.”

The Senators are investigating if any “of these communications, and the precise purpose of any attempts to ‘develop relationships’ with Trump or VP Mike Pence transition team staff are not immediately clear.”

Were these efforts done to gain better communication between the respective parties, or were the briefings used as intelligence gathering operations? Further, did any such surveillance activities continue beyond the inauguration, and in the event they did, were those activities subject to proper predication,” the letter states.

“Any improper FBI surveillance activities that were conducted before or after the 2016 election must be brought to light and properly addressed.”

The Texts

A few weeks after the presidential election, Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page discussed the logistics for the briefing. Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page said the following:

Strzok: Talking with Bill. Do we want Joe to go with Evanina instead of Charli for a variety of reasons?

(Strzok is referring to former FBI Assistant Director of Counterintelligence division Bill Priestap. ‘Joe is referencing FBI Special Agent Joe Pientka, who interviewed former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn in January, 2017. And Evanina is in reference to William Evanina, National Counterintelligence and Security Center.)

Page: Hmm. Not sure. Would it be unusual to have [sic] show up again? Maybe another agent from the team?

Strzok: Or, he’s “the CI guy.” Same.might [sic] make sense. He can assess if there [sic] are any news [sic] Qs, or different demeanor. If Katie’s husband is there, he can see if there are people we can develop for potential relationships

Page: Should I ask Andy about it? Or Bill (Priestap) want to reach out for Andy (McCabe)?Strzok: I told him I’m sure we could ask you to make the swap if we thought it.

FBI Seeks Sources In White House

There was one major connection in the White House. According to documents, White House sources and the FBI one of FBI’s top counterintelligence analysts who was personally working for former FBI Special Agent Strzok had a spouse working directly for Vice President Mike Pence.

The White House and the FBI told this news site that she had recused herself from the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server and working for Strzok as soon as Pence and Trump announced they were the candidates for the party.

The FBI asked that her name be kept private as not to reveal her identity. Her identity, however is revealed in the texts below. But this news site is withholding her last name for security reasons.

An FBI Intelligence analyst named Katherine, is married to Joshua Pitcock. Katherine’s name is different from her husbands. Pitcock worked for Pence as his Chief of Staff from January, 2017 until he resigned in August, 2017.

Prior to accepting his then new role at the White House, he had served as a senior Trump campaign official and long time aide to Pence.

Katherine had been detailed to Strzok and according to sources was one of the top analysts in the investigation into Hillary Clinton, according to federal law enforcement sources and U.S. officials.

Strzok was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team in 2017 and then fired from the FBI in August, 2018. He was fired after an extensive review by Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s office into the FBI’s handling of the Clinton investigation and was removed from Mueller’s team after the IG discovered his anti-Trump text messages to his paramour former FBI Attorney Lisa Page.

A senior White House official told SaraACarter.com that it is “our understanding that as soon as the President and Vice President accepted the nomination, she recused herself for the entire time after they were officially the nominees from anything that would have spill over to the White House.”

FBI officials could not immediately respond for comment.

Trump announced Pence as his pick on July 15, 2016. They officially became nominees on July 21, 2016 at the Republican convention. This means, Katherine was working on the Russia investigation with Strzok prior to that time frame. Strzok’s direct involvement and actions during the investigation will more than likely lead to criminal charges, a source with knowledge told SaraACarter.com.

A former senior intelligence official who spoke to this news-site said “my concern about this is the potential for information to flow from her to her husband to spin any information that the Vice President may or may not have heard during that time frame.” The former intelligence source said the connection raises questions regarding information that may have moved from the FBI into the vice president’s orbit “regarding former (National Security Advisor Michael Flynn),” they added.

The senior White House official responded saying, “she was recused from that investigation before he was ever sworn into office. That didn’t happen.”

However, “the texts leave many questions unanswered and appear to show that Strzok was in communication with Pitcock on some level,” the intelligence official added.

During the time Pitcock served as chief of staff, Flynn became the highest profile target of the now debunked investigation into the campaign.

In the letter Grassley and Johnson refer to Barr’s testimony “during your April 10, 2019, testimony before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, you stated that you are looking into the ‘genesis and conduct of intelligence activities directed at the Trump campaign during 2016.’ You further stated that ‘spying did occur,’ and that you believe it is your obligation to look into the question of whether surveillance activities by the Federal Bureau of lnvestigation (FBI) or other intelligence agencies were adequately predicated.”

“We share your concerns about these activities, and are troubled by the apparent unauthorized disclosures of surveillance efforts and other classified information during the same time period,” the Chairmen state in the letter. “We bring to your attention information that may assist your review.

Page Two of The Letter

Questions for Attorney General Barr April 25, 2019

  1. Please describe the nature and extent o f your review o f FBI surveillance o f the Trump Campaign, President-elect Trump’s transition staff, Vice President- elect Pence’s transition staff, President Trump’s staff, and Vice President Pence’s staff, including your efforts to determine whether that surveillance was adequately predicated.
  2. How many counter-intelligence briefings were provided to the Trump and Pence transition staffs prior to Inauguration Day? Please list the dates, all agencies involved, and each official that represented those agencies at the briefings.
  3. Many of the FBI employees involved in these activities are no longer employed by the federal government. How will your review obtain information needed from these individuals?
  4. Will you commit to providing the results of your review once completed?
  5. What steps have you taken to investigate whether DOJ or FBI officials hadunauthorized contacts with the media during the Russia investigation?

We anticipate that your written reply and most responsive documents will be unclassified. Please send all unclassified material directly to each Committee. In keeping with the requirements of Executive Order 13526, if any of the responsive documents do contain classified information, please segregate all unclassified material within the classified documents, provide all unclassified information directly to each Committee, and provide a classified addendum to the Office of Senate Security. Although our Committees comply with all laws and regulations governing the handling of classified information, they are not bound, absent prior agreement, by any handling restrictions.

 

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Ethics, Morals and Integrity in British Public Life

Why does the UK Government, the FCO in particular, allow its retired diplomats to be able to go straight into the private sector without any ‘cooling off’ period?

Richard Galustian

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The ethics of allowing retiring British government officials to use immediately ‘the revolving door’ seems immoral.

Something that immediately springs to mind is how did former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair amass a fortune of nearly £100m within years of leaving office?

Ponder that fact about Blair when considering the true definition of ethics and integrity in public life worldwide.

War torn Libya is a most recent example in point. Libya, where most reasonable people would think it strange for companies to try and win business while there is war; or maybe it’s as the original Baron Rothschild put it, seek business when there is “blood on the streets”.

Peter Millett, former British Ambassador to Libya, is a merely a case in point, becoming a Board member of the LBBC (https://lbbc.org.uk/).

The Libyan British Business Council do some good networking for companies who seek work in the war torn country that is currently Libya, not, to be frank, earth shatteringly effective, not its fault given the civil war, but it has to be said, only a few of its individual members (of the LBBC) are distinguished and capable and well connected in their own right; most others are less so.

More important for Millett though, no doubt, is his new personal company he recently created in London. It’s called The Peter Millett Consultancy Ltd and describes itself as “Interested in offering consultancy and advice to companies and organisation interested in working overseas.”

Why, many ask, is any former Ambassador continuing to comment/meddle in affairs of their last posting, without making it abundantly clear they work for the private sector actually for themselves and not HMG, a distinction difficult for most locals, on this case Libyans to make. What, if any, are his conflict of interests? The British and Libyan public have a right to know.

Why does the UK Government, the FCO in particular, allow its retired diplomats to be able to go straight into the private sector without any ‘cooling off’ period?

Why is he (or any former government or military personnel) allowed to do this? The problem applies to all countries, not only those who served in Libya.

However Libya serves well to highlight the overall ethical problem.

And of course Millett is no exception but an example and as an individual is a fine capable man. However what worries Libyans is that he (and other like him from not only UK) regularly for example tweet about Libya without declaring their personal financial interests, such as retainers from companies. The rumour amongst Libyans is that Millett is receiving fees through one of the Tripoli based Libyan ‘Prime Minister’ Fayez Serraj’s departments or from one of Serraj’s cronies. Something which is very doubtful one hopes.

(Note: SEE COMPLAINT LETTER FROM EAST LIBYAN AUTHORITIES, THE HoR, COMPLAINING ABOUT PETER MILLETT ADDRESSED TO THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT.)

Some Libyans even have said that he was incompetent as an Ambassador in Libya. The fact is conventional wisdom says that he served no better or worse than his predecessors.

The truth is he probably mistakenly considers himself still important for Libyans and that he can influence Libyans – he and others like him are deluded in that regard. Similarly in America the former US State Department official Jonathan Weener continues his efforts in Libya.

Meanwhile in keeping with the many years tradition of ‘revolving door’ from Diplomatic service to private business, a new former Ambassador will no doubt be swelling the ranks of British private enterprise. Frank Baker OBE has just left the Diplomatic Service.

The new man in Libya being Martin Reynolds CMG, appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador in succession to Frank Baker.

By the way, Mr Reynolds will take up his appointment this month, April 2019.

The movement of individuals between the public and private sectors – known as the revolving door – it is feared by many could lead to ‘conflicts of interests’ situations, increasing the risks of, what some might call, corruption. Given their previous decision-making power, as Government servants with past access to key information and influence, former ministers and members of the government clearly can be an important asset for private companies. But is it ethical?

Governments should thus ensure that appropriate measures are in place to avoid former public officials misusing the information and power they hold to the benefit of their private interests. But do they?

The definition, according to Transparency International, of

“cooling-off periods, is the introduction of a minimum time interval restricting former public officials from accepting employment in the private sector…it is the most common measure to prevent conflicts of interest. Countries in Europe have set different cooling-off periods and requirements for former members of the government wishing to join the private sector. They usually vary from one to two years and are linked to specific types of activities in the private sector.

Overall, enforcement is still very weak and scandals related to post-public employment continue to appear in the media.

In the UK, the cooling-off period used to be measured in years but these days it’s weeks!

It begs the question when will ethics return to public life not only in UK but around the world?


HoR LETTER To HMG:

22 April 2019

Greetings,

Regarding: Former British ambassador to Libya, Peter Millett.

We urge you to open an urgent investigation into the suspicions of corruption associated with Libyan institutions and companies that deal with the the former British ambassador, who is still actively supporting and working with the Muslim Brotherhood and is now an ordinary citizen, he is providing political support and encouragement to the terrorists through social media that they are using on their channels as if it’s international political support to encourage young Libyans to fight and lose their life, in the absence of an appointed ambassador from his country.

This former ambassador, who, in a sign of international disregard and negative exploitation of the situation in Libya, had arranged for his country to arrange support for several officials of the Central Bank of Libya and the National Oil and Investment Corporation and support their installation in their positions through the Skhirat agreement and then resigned from the British government Another assignment as ambassador before his retirement, which raises the suspicion of corruption, we also surprised that a country so keen on the principles and transparency, Britain, did not move or notice this, dedicated to the special benefit of those who enabled them to lead these institutions, Corruption is at a time when Libyans are suffering from poor living in a time of corruption.

The list includes the governor of the Central Bank, Sadig Kabir who came to the position of governor by violation and was removed from office four years ago, and the President of the National Oil Corporation, which was charged with violating the law by the government of the member of the organization of the terrorist group Omar al-Hassi of the Libyan Fighting Group during the armed coup of militias in the Libyan capital In 2014 and the heads of departments of investment bodies, which at the lowest cases colluded from this former ambassador and interference in the internal affairs of Libya in order to prepare for private benefit and corruption, not the good of others.

It may be that the British government through these connections received wrong information and evaluation that resulted in the provisions, at that time, to provide political support terrible through this ambassador to the stream of corrupt political Islam from the Muslim Brotherhood organization and the Salvation Front and the Libyan Fighting Group, which carried out a terrorist act in the heart of Manchester, He (millet) when he was ambassador said that he was keen to “neutralize the sovereign institutions from the conflict” and this contradicts law and all Libyan procedures, in order to enable his friends and future partners who met with him on a continuous basis, including oil officials (Mustapha Sanallah), Libyan investments Authority (Ali Mahmoud) and the Central Bank (Saddik Kabir).

After the end of his term in Libya, and the appointment of another ambassador who worked with all respect and professionalism and was very different from Millett, the former British ambassador Peter Milllet established a company called “Peter Millet Consultancy” with one share holder, Peter Millet, in the UK.

The company called “Peter Milliet” has become an adviser to one of the largest global oil marketing companies, “Glencore”, which was contracted for an exclusive monopoly for the marketing of the Messella and Sarror mix oil for three years, and it is now been revealed that he contracted with the Libyan Foreign Investment Corporation as a consultant to help Cases brought against them in the United Kingdom.

Peter Millett’s name also appeared as an intermediary in the deal to print the Libyan 1 dinar’s paper recently with the governor who he defended and ensured his continued position through the political agreement signed in Skhirat.

With the aim of protecting the interests of the Libyan people ,,, We would be grateful to publish the results of your inquiries about the suspicions of political corruption that led to huge financial corruption and the extent to which any person (Millet or others) benefited from what happened in Libya and its impact on the status of these institutions and the assessment of the damage to the taxpayers’ the Libyan citizens from their interventions and the extent of conflict of interests of Peter Millets private work as a public servant as ambassador to his country to the contracts now, and how he exploited this to obtain these gains and enrich and benefit in return for political support and facilitate access to visas and meetings with actors in his government With the aim of Political gain to stay at the expense of the Libyan people, who suffered the scourge of these same adherents in violation of the law and the Constitution of Libya by these swindlers despite them being relieved from posts and removed by the House of Representatives before and after the political agreement.

We wish you success and the Libyan people well…

With a great appreciation and respect,

Talal Al – Mayhoub

Chairman of the Defense and National Security Committee

HOR

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