Category Archives: National Security

Adam Schiff: Remove Trump, Because He Didn’t Follow Talking Points

Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) told the Senate impeachment trial Thursday that President Donald Trump should be removed from office because he did not obey the talking points prepared by bureaucrats who work for him.

China Blocks Taiwan from Joining Global Wuhan Virus Response

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday urged the World Health Organization (WHO) to reconsider membership for Taiwan, which has long been blocked by Beijing, in light of the virus epidemic spreading from Wuhan.

Texas Health Officials Investigating Possible Coronavirus Patient

Physicians in Brazos County, Texas, are investigating the possibility that a patient who recently returned from Wuhan, China, may be infected with the novel coronavirus. If the patient tests positive, they would be the second confirmed case in the United States.

Chinese Propaganda Organ Defies Feds

A Republican congressman is asking the Justice Department to investigate a Chinese propaganda organ that has defied a federal order to register as a foreign agent.

In a letter to Attorney General William Barr, Rep. Jim Banks (R., Ind.) said it was “extremely troubling” that Xinhua News Agency, the “largest news organization in all of China,” has yet to register as a foreign agent. He asked Barr to investigate whether the department could force the media organization to register as a foreign agent.

“Rep. Banks expects agencies like the Justice Department to begin fully utilizing their anti-foreign propaganda tools,” Banks spokesman Mitchell Hailstone told the Washington Free Beacon.

The Justice Department previously ordered Xinhua News Agency and CGTN America, a state-owned television network, to register as foreign agents following an appeal from a bipartisan group of senators led by Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.). While CGTN has complied with the order, Xinhua News Agency continues to avoid registration, according to the letter.

Xinhua News Agency is part of China’s shadowy multi-million dollar influence operation in the United States. The effort has penetrated the nation’s media organizations and the halls of Congress. China Daily, the propaganda paper of the Chinese Communist Party, has given millions to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post to publish more than 500 print advertorials. China Daily also delivers its newspaper to nearly all members of Congress every day, despite Banks’s efforts to restrict its distribution on Capitol Hill.

The Foreign Agents Registration Act requires all U.S. entities funded by or under the influence of a foreign government to register as foreign agents and provide detailed disclosures about their activities, including funding sources and expenditures. Originally enacted to track German-sponsored Nazi propaganda during the 1930s, the law allows the general public to review these disclosures at any time.

While disclosures filed by CGTN America and China Daily can be found on the FARA website, a search inquiry for Xinhua News Agency returned no results. Xinhua News Agency did not respond to a request for comment.

Banks requested that the Justice Department verify that Xinhua News Agency is not registered as a foreign agent and asked what actions the department can take to ensure the propaganda outfit complies with federal law.

Xinhua, and other Chinese propaganda rags, won’t be able to evade FARA registration for much longer,” Hailstone, the congressman’s spokesman, said.

This is not the first time a Chinese propaganda organ has failed to comply with federal disclosure requirements. The Free Beacon previously found that China Daily failed to disclose details about its media purchases for 30 years. CGTN America failed to register as a foreign agent for roughly six years before the Justice Department order.

The post Chinese Propaganda Organ Defies Feds appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Fact Check: Russia Interfered in the 2016 Election — and Ukraine Did, Too

Fact check – CLAIM: President Donald Trump subscribed to the “debunked conspiracy theory” that Ukraine, “rather than Russia,” interfered in the 2016 presidential election. VERDICT: FALSE. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Iran-Backed Militias Continue Attacks on U.S. Outposts in Iraq

U.S. Army helicopter crew members look out of their Chinook helicopter as they fly from the U.S. Embassy to Baghdad International airport

Iran-backed militias continue to wage attacks on American outposts in Iraq, according to senior U.S. officials.

James Jeffrey, the Trump administration’s special representative for Syria engagement and special envoy for the global coalition to defeat ISIS, said the United States continues to experience targeted strikes by Iran-backed militia groups seeking to foment unrest in Iraq.

In the weeks since U.S. forces killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, Iran-backed militants have scaled down their attacks but continue to launch strikes at U.S. positions in the war-torn country, Jeffrey told reporters in a briefing.

“In terms of attacks, we’ve seen a few shellings of coalition—or bases where coalition forces are located,” Jeffrey said on Thursday. “Other than several at the American embassy compound a couple of days ago, they have been intermittent, the kind of thing that we have—or all been used to in our years in Iraq. Nothing like the very targeted, precise, 30-plus rocket attacks we were seeing in those 11 incidents that led up to our response last month, so—this month. So—well, last month and this month. But so for the moment, that front is fairly quiet.”

Asked if these attacks have been orchestrated by Iran, Jeffrey told reporters, “We think so.”

The United States, while still engaged in the fight to defeat the ISIS terror group in Iraq, remains primarily focused on protecting American forces in the region from retaliatory strikes by Iran.

“The focus of our forces right now is force protection,” Jeffrey said. “They suffered first 11 quite serious attacks from Iranian-supported militias, who are by and large parts of the Iraqi security system, then the assault on the embassy, then the two Iranian long-range intermediate missile strikes on our forces in Erbil and Ayn al-Asad. So in a situation like that, obviously, the commanders are going to focus, as they have so successfully, on force protection. And as the threat diminishes, they’ll review that.”

In addition to the threat posed by Iran, U.S. officials remain concerned ISIS could bounce back following major territorial defeats in the past year.

“The risk of the resurgence of ISIS is a very big problem,” Jeffrey said. “We have emphasized that ever since the physical caliphate was defeated along the Euphrates in March of last year. We are very concerned about the number of forces there and how they coordinate among each other. The Iraqis are concerned about that. Our SDF partners in northeast Syria are concerned about that. The Turks are concerned about that because they now have forces in the northeast. Everyone is looking into this and watching it closely.”

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Klein: Why the GAO’s Ruling on Trump Ukraine Aid Doesn’t Help the Impeachment Case

The Democrats in recent days have quickly latched on to the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s claims about President Trump’s hold on military aid to Ukraine, making the disputed charge a centerpiece of their impeachment campaign.

U.S. Envoy: Successor to Slain Iran General Faces Same Fate If He Kills Americans

Brian Hook, U.S. special representative for Iran

By Nafisa Eltahir

DUBAI (Reuters) – The successor to the Iranian commander killed in a U.S. drone strike would suffer the same fate if he followed a similar path by killing Americans, the U.S. special representative for Iran said, according to Asharq al-Awsat newspaper.

Washington blamed General Qassem Soleimani for masterminding attacks by Iran-aligned militias on U.S. forces in the region. U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the Jan. 3 drone strike in Iraq after an escalation that began last month with missile strikes that killed an American contractor, which Washington blamed on an Iranian-aligned militia in Iraq.

Iran responded to the killing of Soleimani by launching missiles at U.S. targets in Iraq on Jan. 8, although no U.S. soldiers were killed.

After Soleimani’s death, Tehran swiftly appointed Esmail Ghaani as the new head of the Quds Force, an elite unit in the Revolutionary Guards that handles actions abroad. Ghaani has pledged to pursue Soleimani’s course.

“If Ghaani follows the same path of killing Americans then he will meet the same fate,” U.S. envoy Brian Hook told the Arabic-language daily Asharq al-Awsat.

He said in the interview in Davos, Switzerland that Trump had long made it clear “that any attack on Americans or American interests would be met with a decisive response.

“This isn’t a new threat. The president has always said that he will always respond decisively to protect American interests,” Hook said. “I think the Iranian regime understands now that they cannot attack America and get away with it.”

After his appointment, Ghaani said he would “continue in this luminous path” taken by Soleimani and that the goal was to drive U.S. forces out of the region, Iran’s long-stated policy.

The U.S threat to kill Ghaani is a sign of “governmental terrorism”, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Thursday, according to the official IRIB news agency.

“These words are an official announcement and a clear unveiling of America’s targeted and governmental terrorism,” Mousavi said, calling on the international community to condemn Hook’s comments.

The Revolutionary Guards aerospace division commander said four U.S. military bases in the region were used to deploy aircraft and drones involved in the Jan. 3 attack that killed Soleimani, including two bases in Iraq and another in Kuwait.

“Most of the drones” had taken off from Kuwait, Amirali Hajizadeh told state television, without saying if a drone from Kuwait was ultimately responsible for the hit on Soleimani.

U.S.-Iranian tensions have steadily increased since Trump withdrew the United States from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers in 2018 and imposed tough news sanctions that have hammered the Iranian economy.

The military flare-up began in December when rockets fired at U.S. bases in Iraq killed a U.S. contractor. Washington blamed pro-Iran militia and carried out air strikes that killed at least 25 fighters. After the militia surrounded the U.S. embassy in Baghdad for two days, Trump ordered the drone strike on Soleimani.

(Reporting by Nafisa Eltahir and Parisa Hafezi with additional reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh; Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Michael Perry and Mark Heinrich)

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Report: China Ignores Signs of Wuhan Virus in Environmentalist’s Pneumonia Death

The founder of China’s oldest environmental organization and his wife died of “severe lung disease” amid the spread of a novel virus that causes pneumonia, but tested neither of them for the virus and failed to isolate any potential contacts, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported on Wednesday.

China Lockdown Extends to Five Cities, 20 Million People over Wuhan Virus

Chinese authorities added four cities to their lockdown of Wuhan, home to a deadly new virus spreading rapidly, on Thursday afternoon, bringing the total population within the transport shutdown zone to about 20 million people.

Adam Schiff Cites Washington Post Editorial Against Trump in Senate Trial

Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) used an opinion article by the editorial board of the Washington Post in an attempt to prove the facts of his case against President Donald Trump in opening arguments in the Senate impeachment trial Wednesday evening.