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Donald Trump’s ‘travel ban’ Executive Order: Full text and analysis

Donald Trump’s Executive Order imposing temporary bans on entry to the US from certain designated countries is in itself by no means an unprecedented or unusual document. The harsh and chaotic implementation of the policy, however, goes beyond the text of the Order and is causing injustice and severe hardship. However, that probably works to President Trump’s advantage.

Alexander Mercouris

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US President Trump’s Executive Order tightening visa rules for citizens of certain Middle East travelling to the US has been the centre of massive media and international attention since he signed it on Friday.

The Executive Order has been called many things. I have seen it referred to as a “rant”, called a visa ban, or a ban on Muslims from certain countries entering the US. I have read claims that it is illegal and even unconstitutional and that it provides grounds for Donald Trump’s impeachment. I have also heard it called racially discriminatory, a betrayal of the US’s traditional policy of welcoming refugees, and a document that in violates the principle in the US constitution that the US government and US law take no account of religious affiliations by discriminating against Muslims in favour of Christians.

Lastly I have also heard that the Executive Order was drafted in a hurry, and without proper legal advice.

In order to understand the Executive Order and to see whether any of these charges are true, it is necessary to read it first. This point ought to be obvious, but it is not something most of the commentators any longer seem to do. However, on the simple principle that before commenting on a text one should read it first, I now provide the full text.

PROTECTING THE NATION FROM FOREIGN TERRORIST ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq., and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, and to protect the American people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals admitted to the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Purpose.

The visa-issuance process plays a crucial role in detecting individuals with terrorist ties and stopping them from entering the United States. Perhaps in no instance was that more apparent than the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when State Department policy prevented consular officers from properly scrutinizing the visa applications of several of the 19 foreign nationals who went on to murder nearly 3,000 Americans. And while the visa-issuance process was reviewed and amended after the September 11 attacks to better detect would-be terrorists from receiving visas, these measures did not stop attacks by foreign nationals who were admitted to the United States.

Numerous foreign-born individuals have been convicted or implicated in terrorism-related crimes since September 11, 2001, including foreign nationals who entered the United States after receiving visitor, student, or employment visas, or who entered through the United States refugee resettlement program. Deteriorating conditions in certain countries due to war, strife, disaster, and civil unrest increase the likelihood that terrorists will use any means possible to enter the United States. The United States must be vigilant during the visa-issuance process to ensure that those approved for admission do not intend to harm Americans and that they have no ties to terrorism.

In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.

Sec. 2. Policy.

It is the policy of the United States to protect its citizens from foreign nationals who intend to commit terrorist attacks in the United States; and to prevent the admission of foreign nationals who intend to exploit United States immigration laws for malevolent purposes.

Sec. 3. Suspension of Issuance of Visas and Other Immigration Benefits to Nationals of Countries of Particular Concern.

(a) The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall immediately conduct a review to determine the information needed from any country to adjudicate any visa, admission, or other benefit under the INA (adjudications) in order to determine that the individual seeking the benefit is who the individual claims to be and is not a security or public-safety threat.

(b) The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall submit to the President a report on the results of the review described in subsection (a) of this section, including the Secretary of Homeland Security’s determination of the information needed for adjudications and a list of countries that do not provide adequate information, within 30 days of the date of this order. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide a copy of the report to the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence.

(c) To temporarily reduce investigative burdens on relevant agencies during the review period described in subsection (a) of this section, to ensure the proper review and maximum utilization of available resources for the screening of foreign nationals, and to ensure that adequate standards are established to prevent infiltration by foreign terrorists or criminals, pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12), would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas).

(d) Immediately upon receipt of the report described in subsection (b) of this section regarding the information needed for adjudications, the Secretary of State shall request all foreign governments that do not supply such information to start providing such information regarding their nationals within 60 days of notification.

(e) After the 60-day period described in subsection (d) of this section expires, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the President a list of countries recommended for inclusion on a Presidential proclamation that would prohibit the entry of foreign nationals (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas) from countries that do not provide the information requested pursuant to subsection (d) of this section until compliance occurs.

(f) At any point after submitting the list described in subsection (e) of this section, the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security may submit to the President the names of any additional countries recommended for similar treatment.

(g) Notwithstanding a suspension pursuant to subsection (c) of this section or pursuant to a Presidential proclamation described in subsection (e) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked.

(h) The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall submit to the President a joint report on the progress in implementing this order within 30 days of the date of this order, a second report within 60 days of the date of this order, a third report within 90 days of the date of this order, and a fourth report within 120 days of the date of this order.

Sec. 4. Implementing Uniform Screening Standards for All Immigration Programs.

(a) The Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall implement a program, as part of the adjudication process for immigration benefits, to identify individuals seeking to enter the United States on a fraudulent basis with the intent to cause harm, or who are at risk of causing harm subsequent to their admission. This program will include the development of a uniform screening standard and procedure, such as in-person interviews; a database of identity documents proffered by applicants to ensure that duplicate documents are not used by multiple applicants; amended application forms that include questions aimed at identifying fraudulent answers and malicious intent; a mechanism to ensure that the applicant is who the applicant claims to be; a process to evaluate the applicant’s likelihood of becoming a positively contributing member of society and the applicant’s ability to make contributions to the national interest; and a mechanism to assess whether or not the applicant has the intent to commit criminal or terrorist acts after entering the United States.

(b) The Secretary of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the Secretary of State, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, shall submit to the President an initial report on the progress of this directive within 60 days of the date of this order, a second report within 100 days of the date of this order, and a third report within 200 days of the date of this order.

Sec. 5. Realignment of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for Fiscal Year 2017.

(a) The Secretary of State shall suspend the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days. During the 120-day period, the Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Secretary of Homeland Security and in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, shall review the USRAP application and adjudication process to determine what additional procedures should be taken to ensure that those approved for refugee admission do not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States, and shall implement such additional procedures. Refugee applicants who are already in the USRAP process may be admitted upon the initiation and completion of these revised procedures. Upon the date that is 120 days after the date of this order, the Secretary of State shall resume USRAP admissions only for nationals of countries for which the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence have jointly determined that such additional procedures are adequate to ensure the security and welfare of the United States.

(b) Upon the resumption of USRAP admissions, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, is further directed to make changes, to the extent permitted by law, to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality. Where necessary and appropriate, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall recommend legislation to the President that would assist with such prioritization.

(c) Pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the entry of nationals of Syria as refugees is detrimental to the interests of the United States and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I have determined that sufficient changes have been made to the USRAP to ensure that admission of Syrian refugees is consistent with the national interest.

(d) Pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the entry of more than 50,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017 would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I determine that additional admissions would be in the national interest.

(e) Notwithstanding the temporary suspension imposed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may jointly determine to admit individuals to the United States as refugees on a case-by-case basis, in their discretion, but only so long as they determine that the admission of such individuals as refugees is in the national interest — including when the person is a religious minority in his country of nationality facing religious persecution, when admitting the person would enable the United States to conform its conduct to a preexisting international agreement, or when the person is already in transit and denying admission would cause undue hardship — and it would not pose a risk to the security or welfare of the United States.

(f) The Secretary of State shall submit to the President an initial report on the progress of the directive in subsection (b) of this section regarding prioritization of claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution within 100 days of the date of this order and shall submit a second report within 200 days of the date of this order.

(g) It is the policy of the executive branch that, to the extent permitted by law and as practicable, State and local jurisdictions be granted a role in the process of determining the placement or settlement in their jurisdictions of aliens eligible to be admitted to the United States as refugees. To that end, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall examine existing law to determine the extent to which, consistent with applicable law, State and local jurisdictions may have greater involvement in the process of determining the placement or resettlement of refugees in their jurisdictions, and shall devise a proposal to lawfully promote such involvement.

Sec. 6. Rescission of Exercise of Authority Relating to the Terrorism Grounds of Inadmissibility.

The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall, in consultation with the Attorney General, consider rescinding the exercises of authority in section 212 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182, relating to the terrorism grounds of inadmissibility, as well as any related implementing memoranda.

Sec. 7. Expedited Completion of the Biometric Entry-Exit Tracking System.

(a) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall expedite the completion and implementation of a biometric entry-exit tracking system for all travelers to the United States, as recommended by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.

(b) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit to the President periodic reports on the progress of the directive contained in subsection (a) of this section. The initial report shall be submitted within 100 days of the date of this order, a second report shall be submitted within 200 days of the date of this order, and a third report shall be submitted within 365 days of the date of this order. Further, the Secretary shall submit a report every 180 days thereafter until the system is fully deployed and operational.

Sec. 8. Visa Interview Security.

(a) The Secretary of State shall immediately suspend the Visa Interview Waiver Program and ensure compliance with section 222 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1222, which requires that all individuals seeking a nonimmigrant visa undergo an in-person interview, subject to specific statutory exceptions.

(b) To the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary of State shall immediately expand the Consular Fellows Program, including by substantially increasing the number of Fellows, lengthening or making permanent the period of service, and making language training at the Foreign Service Institute available to Fellows for assignment to posts outside of their area of core linguistic ability, to ensure that non-immigrant visa-interview wait times are not unduly affected.

Sec. 9. Visa Validity Reciprocity.

The Secretary of State shall review all nonimmigrant visa reciprocity agreements to ensure that they are, with respect to each visa classification, truly reciprocal insofar as practicable with respect to validity period and fees, as required by sections 221(c) and 281 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1201(c) and 1351, and other treatment. If a country does not treat United States nationals seeking nonimmigrant visas in a reciprocal manner, the Secretary of State shall adjust the visa validity period, fee schedule, or other treatment to match the treatment of United States nationals by the foreign country, to the extent practicable.

Sec. 10. Transparency and Data Collection.

(a) To be more transparent with the American people, and to more effectively implement policies and practices that serve the national interest, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, shall, consistent with applicable law and national security, collect and make publicly available within 180 days, and every 180 days thereafter:

(i) information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been charged with terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; convicted of terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; or removed from the United States based on terrorism-related activity, affiliation, or material support to a terrorism-related organization, or any other national security reasons since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later;

(ii) information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been radicalized after entry into the United States and engaged in terrorism-related acts, or who have provided material support to terrorism-related organizations in countries that pose a threat to the United States, since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later; and

(iii) information regarding the number and types of acts of gender-based violence against women, including honor killings, in the United States by foreign nationals, since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later; and

(iv) any other information relevant to public safety and security as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General, including information on the immigration status of foreign nationals charged with major offenses.

(b) The Secretary of State shall, within one year of the date of this order, provide a report on the estimated long-term costs of the USRAP at the Federal, State, and local levels.

Sec. 11. General Provisions.

(a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

DONALD J. TRUMP

THE WHITE HOUSE, January 27, 2017

The Executive Order is written in standard American legal English, which is different from legal English used in Britain, and as is always the way with such documents, is verbose and longwinded, which makes it difficult to follow. A number of points however immediately stand out.

The Executive Order was clearly drafted by legal draftsmen who are obviously lawyers. The claim legal advice was not sought is plainly wrong. As is usually the case with Executive Orders it refers to and draws authority from earlier legislation, including laws passed by Congress. The words “Islam”, “Muslim” and “Christian” appear nowhere in it.

The Executive Order claims to be driven by a fear of terrorism, specifically that terrorists may successfully evade existing control mechanisms in order to enter the US and commit terrorism there.

It orders an all-encompassing review of immigration and border controls whilst imposing a 90-day ban on entries from certain countries designated by earlier Orders (see below). It also suspends the entry of refugees into the US for 120 days pending a further review, whilst capping the total number of refugees to be admitted to the US in the 2017 fiscal year to 50,000. Refugees from Syria – identified as a country of particular terrorist danger – are banned from entering the US indefinitely, and will only be readmitted once the President is satisfied that there are procedures in place sufficient to screen them properly.

One part of the Executive Order which has attracted the most attention is a particular provision which allows the US authorities to prioritize certain cases during the period of the 120 day refugee ban, including those which involve cases of persecution of people from religious minorities. This is assumed to refer to Christians fleeing persecution by Muslims in the Middle East.

Having read this document through, I am at something of a loss to understand the controversy around it. As someone who has experience of entry and refugee law, none of the things in the Executive Order seem too exceptional or unusual.

All countries jealously guard their rights as to what persons they admit, save for those countries which have agreed by treaty to limit these rights (the states that make up the European Union are obvious examples). Countries also typically jealously guard their rights to decide who if anyone should be granted refugee or asylum status.

If German Chancellor Angela Merkel really did lecture President Trump on the refugee convention on Sunday – as some reports suggest – then it seems she may have misunderstood the refugee convention since it is not primarily concerned with determining criteria for grants of asylum or with creating obligations for the entry of refugees into a particular country, but is rather concerned with the rights of refugees once their status as refugees has been recognised. As it happens the US has not ratified the refugee convention anyway, but only its first protocol.

I would add that the one Western country which is in clear-cut breach of its obligations under the refugee convention is Britain, which is preventing Julian Assange from exercising his right as a refugee to travel to Ecuador, which is the country which has granted him asylum.

I am not familiar with US asylum and entry law so I do not know whether the Executive Order in any way breaches that law. However, I have to say on the face of it that I think that is unlikely.

It is by no means unheard of or even unusual for countries to tighten up their visa entry rules or to ban entries from particular countries whilst those rules are being changed. Nor is it unheard of for countries to ban entry of people from conflict zones, and to refuse to entertain applications for asylum from there.

Former US President Obama, for example, banned asylum applications from Iraq for a 6 month period in 2011, again because of terrorism fears. As for the 50,000 person cap on refugees in the 2017 fiscal year, as I understand it, it is standard US practice to impose such a cap and Trump’s cap falls somewhere between the lower cap imposed by George W. Bush and the higher cap imposed by Barack Obama.

To the extent that Trump’s Executive Order imposes visa bans and limits asylum claims from certain countries for limited periods, or in Syria’s case indefinitely, it seems to me that it breaks no fundamentally new ground. However there have been some other claims: that it turns away people who have already been granted asylum status – or who were about to be – and that it prevents entry to the US of individuals who previously had a right to enter and remain there. There are numerous reports that such things have actually been happening.

If so then all I can say is that there seems to be no permission for such practices in the Executive Order, which so far as I can see takes away no one’s legal right to enter and stay in the US if that right is already granted. Whether an Executive Order can in fact as a matter of law take away such legal rights I do not know but strongly doubt.

I suspect that what has happened is that in the early days of the new administration, with the relevant departments such as Homeland Security still not under the proper control of their newly appointed chiefs, officials lower down the command chain are not getting proper guidance from their superiors, and are choosing to avoid taking risks with their careers by interpreting the Executive Order beyond the meaning of its text. Doubtless one factor in causing them to act in this way is that they believe that this is how Trump wants them to act,

Whilst all this is causing severe and arguably unnecessary distress, the effect should diminish over the next few days as the newly appointed chiefs of the various departments finally get a grip on the situation. In the meantime there remains recourse to the courts to enforce the legal rights the Executive Order both cannot and does not attempt to take away, but which it seems some officials, confused about the meaning of the Order, may be violating. According to news reports, there have been several occasions of this actually happening.

What of the other criticisms of the Executive Order: that it discriminates against Muslims in favor of Christians, and that is being enforced against citizens of the wrong countries because it includes Iran – which does not export terrorism – but not countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Pakistan – which do?

Taking the second point first, the list of countries to which the Executive Order applies was previously drawn up by the Obama administration, with the Executive Order simply taking over this list. Iran is on the list because the US has long considered Iran to be a country which supports terrorism because of its support for Hezbollah and Hamas, which the US considers to be terrorist organizations. For the record, I do not consider Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization, whilst Hamas appears to me to be one of those organizations – like Fatah, the IRA and the FARC – which have used terrorism in the past but which are evolving into legitimate political movements. However I don’t expect the US government to agree with that, and I am sure it will not do so whoever is the President.

As for Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Pakistan, whether they will ever be included in the list remains to be seen, but the Executive Order itself says that the list should be reviewed and if necessary expanded. For the record, my opinion is that these countries are excluded from the list because they are longstanding allies of the US, not because Donald Trump has business interests in them, as some journalists have been saying.

On the subject of the Executive Order’s supposed discrimination against Muslims in favor of Christians, as I have pointed out (see above) the Executive Order nowhere mentions “Islam”, “Muslims” or “Christians”. What it does is allow the US authorities as an exception to prioritize grants of asylum to individuals belonging to persecuted religious minorities in the target countries during the period of the entry bans.

This is in accordance with the Executive Order’s stated objective. The Executive Order explicitly targets Sunni Muslim Jihadi terrorists who it says are a threat to the US. Sunni Muslim Jihadi terrorists are known for their relentless persecution of non-Sunnis – including not just Christians but also Shia Muslims and people belonging to other faiths – in all the targeted countries, all of which apart from Iran have majority Sunni Muslim populations. Since people from these persecuted non-Sunni minorities by definition cannot be Sunni Muslim Jihadi terrorists, there is no logical reason to include them in the entry bans, and the Executive Order permits grants of asylum to them during the period of the entry bans where they can prove that they are who they say they are.

In summary, the Executive Order itself does not justify the apocalyptic claims made about it. In itself, it is by no means an extraordinary or unusual document. It is open to anyone who wishes to argue that it treats persons coming to the US from the countries it targets in a harsh and arbitrary way. For the record that is my view. However that is arguably true of Western refugee and border control law and policy as a whole, and in that respect, the Executive Order is no different.

One can moreover provide a justification or rationalization for the Executive Order.

President Trump has committed the US to a policy of wiping out Jihadi terrorism “from the face of the earth”. He has indicated that a major military campaign against ISIS is in the works. The invariable response of ISIS to any military action taken against it is to launch terrorist attacks against the civilian populations of the countries that are carrying out the military action against it.

There is no reason to think that ISIS’s response to military action by the US would be any different, and in light of that President Trump and his officials are in a strong position to argue that they are simply taking an essential precaution to protect US civilians in light of the military action against ISIS that they say they are going to take.

If it is possible to make a case for the Executive Order, even its defenders should admit that its implementation has been grossly unjust and chaotic, and that this has caused – and is causing – great hardship to many people.

I doubt that President Trump or his advisers much care about that. Tightening up border controls to exclude dangerous Jihadi terrorists from the US is a popular policy. They probably welcome the scenes the harsh implementation of the policy in its first days is causing. It shows to President Trump’s electoral base that he is in earnest about what he is doing.

By contrast, those who are leading the campaign against the Executive Order risk maneuvering themselves into a position where they appear to be soft on terrorists entering the US. President Trump and the tough-minded political professionals around him are probably quietly pleased.

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FBI Had “Two Sets Of Records” On Trump Investigation; Comey, McCabe Implicated: Carter

Sara Carter: FBI/DOJ had ‘two sets of books’ in the Russia investigation.

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Journalist Sara Carter told Sean Hannity during his Wednesday radio show that the FBI has two sets of records in the Russia investigation, and that “certain people above Peter Strzok and above Lisa Page” were aware of it – implicating former FBI Director James Comey and his #2, Andrew McCabe.

Hannity: Sara, I’m hearing it gets worse than this–that there is potentially out there–if you will, two sets of record among the upper echelon of the FBI–one that was real one that was made for appearances. Is there any truth to this?

CarterAbsolutely, Sean. With the number of sources that I have been speaking with as well as some others that there is evidence indicating that the FBI had separate sets of books.

I will not name names until all of the evidence is out there, but there were certain people above Peter Strzok and above Lisa Page that were aware of this. I also believe that there are people within the FBI that have actually turned on their former employers and are possibly even testifying and reporting what happened inside the FBI to both the Inspector General and possibly even a Grand Jury.

Listen:

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Kavanaugh Accuser’s Classmate Backs Off Claims She Heard About Alleged Assault

“That it happened or not, I have no idea,” Cristina King Miranda told NPR’s Nina Totenberg. “I can’t say that it did or didn’t.”

The Duran

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Authored by Amber Athey via The Daily Caller:


A classmate of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is backing off of claims that she knew anything about an alleged sexual assault committed by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Cristina King Miranda, who attended high school with Ford, wrote on Facebook this week that she heard school rumors about an incident involving Kavanaugh and Ford back in the 1980s. Miranda later deleted the post and said she did not want to talk to the media about her claims.

However, Miranda spoke to NPR on Thursday and clarified that she has no information about an alleged assault.

“That it happened or not, I have no idea,” Cristina King Miranda told NPR’s Nina Totenberg. “I can’t say that it did or didn’t.”

Miranda’s new statement directly contradicts her Facebook post, in which she wrote, “The incident DID happen, many of us heard about it in school.”

“In my post, I was empowered and I was sure it probably did [happen],” Miranda told NPR this morning. “I had no idea that I would now have to go to the specifics and defend it before 50 cable channels and have my face spread all over MSNBC news and Twitter.”

Miranda said the Senate Judiciary Committee reached out to her after her post but that she would not testify if asked.

Dr. Ford previously said she had not told anyone about the incident until a therapist meeting in 2012. Ford also said the incident happened during the summer, contradicting Miranda’s assertion that she heard rumors about it in school.

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How the U.N. Joined America’s War Against Syria

Right and left, America’s ‘news’-media are loaded with rot — especially regarding foreign countries, including Syria.

Eric Zuesse

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America has been at war to transfer control of Syria over to the Saud family, who own Saudi Arabia; and America has been trying to do this ever since the first of the CIA’s coups against Syria failed in 1949. But only during the U.S. Presidency of Barack Obama did the United Nations become a tool in this American enterprise. Obama entered the White House in 2009 secretly hoping to be able to overthrow Syria’s Government; and when the CIA-assisted “Arab Spring” uprisings in the Arab world started flowering in 2011, the U.S. Government had the important U.N. operatives fully on-board assisting the U.S. Government to assist this overthrow — to hand Syria to the Sauds (the Sauds being America’s most important international ally, andthe world’s richest family) to control.

By the time of June 2011, the Obama State Department, under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was already deep into planning the overthrow not only of Syria’s Government (planning the international recruitment of jihadists to do that), but of Ukraine’s Government (planning international recruitment of nazis to do that).

Although the common view is that America’s main allies are European, that viewpoint is no longer true. Today’s America is allied mainly with the Sauds, and with Israel, which latter is the Sauds’ chief lobbying arm both in North America and in Europe, because Christian-majority populations are far more sympathetic to Jews than to Moslems. For a politician to be publicly sympathetic to Jews is much better for a politician than for him/her to be publicly sympathetic to Muslims. So, Israel carries the Sauds’ lobbying water, not only their own.

On 3 December 2011 (near the end of the year when the “Arab Spring” started), the independent investigative journalist Sibel Edmonds headlined “US Media: Distorters of Reality & Gravediggers of Truth”, and she reported:

Follow Up — The Continued Blackout on West’s Secret Training & Support Camp in Turkey for War on Syria

12 days ago, on November 21, here at Boiling Frogs Post, I reported on the ongoing joint US-NATO secret training camp in the US air force base in Incirlik, Turkey, which began operations in April-May 2011 to organize and expand the dissident base in Syria. I had received the information for that story from multiple sources including highly credible insiders in Turkey and government insiders here in the US. …

I immediately started checking our infamous US mainstream media sites — still nothing on this significant information. I then contacted one of my high-level sources and asked why he had come to me with his documented report instead of going directly to the big guys. With several credible insiders as his corroborators and a high-level official in Turkey, he would have no problem getting their attention. And his response? Well here it is minus a few expletives:

“Who said we didn’t go to MSM [Main Stream Media] first? We got them the info back in October. First they were interested and drooling. At least the reporters. Then, they disappeared.” …
I was the last resort. … This goes down as one more example of very many cases of intentional, willful censorship by the US mainstream media and their so-many-times-proven role as distorters of reality and gravediggers of the truth.

Keeping the “MSM” on-board was likewise something that went back as far as the CIA’s “Operation Mockingbird” had started in 1948 with the cooperation of all of the United States’ mainstream ‘news’-media, and of virtually all of the ‘alternative’ news-media. (The case against the latter, the ‘alternative’ media, was documented by Stuart Jeanne Bramhall here and here; and by me here; with both of us relying heavily upon the encyclopedic researches from Bob Feldman, who is the major historian of the corruptness of almost all of America’s ‘progressive’ ‘news’ media — the present medium being obviously among the few exceptions that actually is progressive, and this article is simultaneously distributed to all media, so all media have been invited to publish it.) (The corruptness of self-declared conservative ‘news’-media is virtually automatic, since their chief function is to aggrandize the aristocracy — doing that is what defines them; they are clearly doing what they are paid to do, whereas the non-conservative media need to use subterfuges to do it, in order for them to seem to be supportive of the poor, which conservative media don’t even pretend to support.)

Right and left, America’s ‘news’-media are loaded with rot — especially regarding foreign countries, including Syria. Here are a few CIA documents from 2012 showing how obsequiously American ‘journalists’ respect and adhere to their CIA minders.

Aristocrats everywhere do business internationally and have much more of a personal interest in foreign relations than does the average person; so, lying about international relations is especially important to them, in order to control the masses on these matters, matters which aristocrats are especially determined to control. The aristocracy are the people who determine which nations are “allies” and which nations are “enemies.” The public don’t control that.

This is why the CIA, which is an agency of the U.S. aristocracy, has at least all of the mainstream ‘news’-media trumpeting their lies on foreign affairs. Aristocrats control their country’s foreign policies. Their international corporations demand this control, and tell the politicians what to do in foreign matters. The ‘news’-media provide the back-up for the politicians’ lies. They’re all on the same team, the aristocracy’s team. They all are agents for the aristocracy, against the public — and not only against whichever foreign aristocracies are labeled “enemy” nations (i.e., as being suitable targets for the given aristocracy’s military — places where the U.S. aristocracy’s weapons-manufacturing corporations such as Lockheed Martin don’t sell their wares but instead upon which those wares are to be used, as targets, the opposite end of the international weapons-trade from the “allies,” which are themarkets-side, instead of the targets-side).

International relations is relations between aristocracies. The publics are ignored.

So, if democracy exists anywhere or at all, then it exists only in regards to domestic issues. However, studies have shown that even on domestic issues, the U.S. Government ignores the U.S. public — the U.S. is totally an aristocracy; it’s no democracy at all, not even on domestic issues, such asMedicare-for-all.

That’s the reason why Sibel Edmonds found herself to be a “last resort.” That was a euphemism referring actually to a dead-end for the important news — for the type of news that would have contradicted the Obama Administration’s infamous joyous lie-based “We came, we saw, he died!” (the Libya case), and now the follow-on invasion and destruction of Syria. (Trump continues Obama’s aggressions; he doesn’t end them. It doesn’t make much difference whom the occupant of the White House is, at least not regarding foreign relations, because the same aristocracy remains in control of U.S. foreign relations, even though that might be a different faction of this aristocracy — Obama representing the liberal billionaires, and Trump representing some of the conservative ones, but they are different segments of the same aristocracy; nobody in such a Government represents the public).

Here’s how psychopathic the U.S.-and allied aristocracies are:

A video shows at 2:18 that it was taken on “27/11/2012,” and it’s titled, “EMIR OF QATAR AND PRIME MINISTER OF TURKEY STEAL SYRIAN OIL EXCAVATORS – ENGLISH SUBTITLES”. Both Qatar’s Emir and Turkey’s Prime Minister are enormously wealthy individuals, but they wanted still more. Both were there using their being heads-of-state so as to assist not only their own wealth but America’s and Europe’s aristocracies to steal and sell oil and oil-well equipment from the Syrian public — from Syrians’ Government — for the benefits not only of those aristocrats but also of Al Qaeda and of ISIS (two jihadist groups trying to overthrow Syria’s Government). As Syrian News reported this, on 28 November 2012, “Emir of Qatar & Muslim Brotherhood Prime Minister of Turkey send their Al Qaeda FSA terrorists to Syria to destroy the country, kill the people and destroy whatever they can of its infrastructure so their companies would have jobs in the future to rebuild as they think they will win the war against Syria.”

Syrian News headlined on 5 September 2015, “What Did Syrians Do to Deserve the Hatred of the Whole World” and commented:

Syrians stood by each oppressed nation in the planet, all liberation movements from the colonial powers had their main offices in Syria, including South African anti-apartheid party…this is how the colonial powers revenge.

It is beyond kafkaesque to realize that virtually the entire world chants its enmity against the Syrian people, and their country, and that the rest have not even noticed.

On 2 September, “greatest psy op of the last century,” al Jazeera, degraded a photo of a drowned Syrian boy, into an emoticon, to use for a new round of imperial malfeasance against the SAR [that being an acronym for Syria’s Government]. It seems to be of no importance, that al Jazeera (renamed “al Khanzeera,” “the pigsty,” by Libyan patriots, during the destruction of their country), is owned by the absolute monarchy Qatar — “pronounced ‘gutter’”), the little Gulfie gas station that has spent over 3 billion dollars in looting and bombing Syria. Twenty-four hours later, a Google search of “drowned Syrian boy” yielded over 10 million ‘hits’ (a number which has jumped to over 14 million, 48 hours later), reports which neglect to mention there was no Syrian refugee crisis before the mass-murderers of the colonial powers, and their Levant and Gulfie rabid dogs decided to “arab spring” Syria. …

On Sunday, 23 August, the city of Damascus came under massive mortar and missile attacks by the Obama-Cameron moderate death squads. Seven days later, the Syrian Arab Army [Syrian Government’s Army] Facebook page posted the following:

“The city of Damascus had 4.5 to 5 million inhabitants in 2011. Today and due to the war there are over 8.5 million inhabitants in the city; most of which were forced outside of their homes by the “moderate rebels” backed by NATO in general specifically the U.S. Turkey and France; also backedand financed by the terrorist nations of the Gulf. …
The cacaphony of murderous silence among the Vichy [nazi] media and sham activists and NGOs [charities that are funded by U.S.-and-allied aristocracies] has increased, exponentially, in perverse rhyme, with the increase in the bombings of the villages of Kafraya and al Foua, in Idlib countryside. In mid-August, the Syrians of these villages had been the beneficiaries of more than 1,500 missile attacks — from moderate rebel mass murderers — that have destroyed 60% of their houses. …

The punishment of the Syrian people for refusing the Obama plan of regime change cannot be missed in this organized ongoing assault by NATO and stooges for the past 4.5 years. …
The punishment of the Syrian people for refusing the Obama plan of regime change cannot be missed in this organized ongoing assault by NATO and stooges for the past 4.5 years. …

On 28 February 2018, Syria News bannered “Deep State Hyenas Flaunt [Flout] Law, Ravenous for More Syrian Blood” and opened:

The globalist deep state hyenas have reached a new low in delirious frenzy against Syria. While screaming international law! they flaunt [flout] it, and flaunt their insatiable lust for Syrian blood. The mania of the terrorists in suits is so out of control that they appear to have abandoned their chemical conspiracy planned for Idlib. Instead, they scream in unison for the preservation of serial killers occupying eastern Ghouta.  Savages they would call by rightful names in western countries are converted to innocent women and children [in Western media]. These hyenas ignore more than 1,000 terrorist mortars and missiles fired by Ghouta terrorists into Damascus. They hold the Goebbels Big Lie proudly over their heads, knowing their elite club is one of destruction, that none of its members will speak the truth. …

The deep state hyenas introduced the foreign-armed, foreign-paid, and foreign takfiri [jihadists] of al Ghouta onto the world stage in August 2013. The stupid, inbred, savages accidentally slaughtered many of their own, and thus ratted out having been given chemical weapons by Prince Bandar, because he neglected to give them proper instruction on their use. The admission was of no matter to the perpetual warriors, including Nobel Peace Laureate cum war criminal, POTUS Obama. Nor was concern voiced by the humanitarian bastards that several of the dead Syrians were recognized as having been kidnapped in Latakia countryside (similarly, the hyenas were too sedated to report on the moment long awaited, when 58 Syrian women and their children abductees were released in exchange for imprisoned terrorists of al Qaeda). …

On 21 February, UN High Commissioner on Human Rights [sic] Zeid Ra’ad al Husseini frothed at the mouth over the “monstrous annihilation” in Eastern Ghouta.  He tossed words like international humanitarian law, and war crimes about [against the Government].

That article has a lengthy section which opens:

THE UN:  HYENAS LEADERSHIP

Animals running in packs require leadership.  Who is better qualified to lead beasts known to take advantage of other animals’ kills for easy prey, devouring every part including bones, than the well-manicured and polished diplomats of the United Nations?

All of that is true, and it even understates the reality. For example, though the article documents that Jordan, next door to Syria, is a key part of America’s effort to overthrow Assad, it fails to note that Zeid Ra’ad al Husseini, that cited high U.N. official on Syria, is a Jordanian Prince. He’s doing what the royal family of Jordan do. Otherwise, that article is an excellent description of the U.N. Administration’s extreme prejudices in favor of the U.S. game-plans for conquest, especially for their conquest of Syria.

However, on 3 March 2018, Syria News revealed that an even more important U.N. official on Syria has also been working secretly with the U.S. to assist overthrow of Syria’s Government. Headlining “Rotten, Secret Diplomatic Meeting that Launched UN Frenzy against Syria”, they reported that,

In possession of a diplomatic telegram [TD], Pan Arabic al Akhbar gave a detailed report 24 February on the nefarious, colonialist plot:

In a somewhat familiar but precise English, Benjamin Norman – a diplomat in charge of the Middle East at the British Embassy in Washington – reports in a confidential diplomatic telegram of the first meeting of the “Small American Group on Syria” (United States, Great Britain, France, Saudi Arabia and Jordan), held in Washington on January 11, 2018.

In this five-page TD, he reveals the details of the “Western strategy” in Syria: partition of the country, sabotage of Sochi, framing of Turkey and instructions to the UN Special Representative Staffan de Mistura who leads the negotiations of Geneva. A Non Paper (8 pages) accompanies this TD in anticipation of the second meeting of the “Small Group”. It was held in Paris on January 23, mainly devoted to the use of chemical weapons and the “instructions” sent by the “Small American Group” to Staffan de Mistura.

In fact, Trump is now protecting both Al Qaeda and ISIS in order to conquer Syria. And he has the U.N.’s backing in this. On Friday, 7 September 2018, America’s Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty headlined “UN Syria Envoy Warns of ‘Perfect Storm’ for Disaster in Idlib” and reported that:

The U.N. envoy for Syria warned Friday that all the ingredients exist for a “perfect storm” of a humanitarian catastrophe if the Syrian government, backed by Russia, carries out a large-scale military offensive on the northwestern province of Idlib.

“The dangers are profound that any battle for Idlib could be — would be — a horrific and bloody battle,” Staffan de Mistura told U.N. Security Council members via videoconference. “Civilians are its potential victims.”

As I have documented at the link here:

Idlib has consistently been showing as being, by far, the most-pro-jihadist of all of Syria’s Governates, in the annual polls that the British polling organization, Orb International, has taken since 2014, throughout Syria. Idlib has been showing there as being over 90% in favor of jihadists and of jihadism — and specifically in favor of organizations such as Al Qaeda and ISIS.

Staffan de Mistura and Prince Husseini refer to this matter as instead a “humanitarian catastrophe” if Syria, Russia, and Hezbollah, do what they will need to do in order to end the invasion of Syria by U.S., Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE, Kuwait, and Israel (and the jihadists they hire). The U.N. officials are treating this matter not as a thoroughly illegal invasion and military occupation of the sovereign nation of Syria, but instead as what will be a “humanitarian catastrophe” if Syria and its allies attack the area of Syria whose current residents are over 90% jihadists and supporters of jihadists. Syria and its allies are to be blamed for invading that jihadist cauldron, while U.S. and its allies are to be held immune from prosecution for their having used those jihadists, during the past 7 years — used them to invade and occupy not only Idlib but other parts of Syria.

Thus, the U.N. is not only holding U.S. Presidents and other international invaders above international law, but it is now positively assisting them under the fake rubric of “humanitarian” concerns, so as to support the U.S. alliance’s invasions and military occupations. The U.N., which was supposed to have been opposing international aggression is now assisting it when ‘the right leaders’ do it. This is no organization supporting democracy — it is the opposite: an international scheme to back the U.S. alliance’s invasions and military occupations. War is ugly. Apparently, the U.N. has become even uglier than that — supporting the invaders and military occupiers of a sovereign nation.

This is the reason why Syria and its allies have placed on-hold their planned elimination of the jihadists in Idlib and will create a DMZ between Idlib and the adjoining areas of Syria. Further details and context on that can be seen here. Perhaps now, the high U.N. officials who have been claiming that the elimination of those jihadists would produce a “humanitarian catastrophe” will change their tunes and publicly acknowledge that it would instead be a practical necessity.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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