Who’s #IranDeal’s $10M Bag Man?

Bundles of $100 BillsWhoa…

The indispensable Andrew C. McCarthy* over at National Review has once again asked the $64,000 question. Or in this case, the $10,000,000 questionWho got that sweeeeeet tip?

You’ve doubtlessly heard about the $400M in palettes of cash “leverage” given to the Iranians to get our hostages back. Well, like they say in every infomercial ever “But wait! There’s more!”  Shortly after that news broke, an enterprising New York Sun reporter, Claudia Rosett (therefore making her indispensable) combed through the shoebox of federal government receipts to find an additional (illegally structured!) $1.3B!

While “the most transparent administration in history” continues to insist that this transaction is completely legit, Claudia could not find the 13 transfers of $99,999,999.99 by searching for “Iran” listings in the judgment fund. Acknowledgment of payments to Iran is nowhere to be found. Instead, she happened upon this $1.3 billion (minus the 13 cents) by locating cases in which the State Department was a party.

“But wait! There’s even MORE!”

And with that, another intriguing wrinkle emerged: a 14th unexplained transfer by Treasury, on State’s behalf, in the amount of $10 million — bringing the total to $1.31 billion.

Whereupon Mr. McCarthy asks the aforementioned $64,000  $10,000,000 question:

Is that extra $10 million a sweetener for someone in this deal?

Good question.

Look – This entire thing is like if George W. Bush paid off the Bin Ladens. It’s UNTHINKABLE a President would do this but here we are. Read it. And be horrified.

Why Is Obama Stonewalling on Details of the $1.7 Billion in Iransom PayoffsBy Andrew C. McCarthy — August 27, 2016


*Mr. McCarthy is the lawyer who put away “The Blind Sheik” for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The man knows bad guys and bag men when he sees them.

Freedom Tower Elevator Video

If you’ve never seen this, please take less than one minute and watch it. It’s very, very cool. It’s the video that surrounds you, literally from your feet, to above your head, on all four walls all around you, inside the elevator, on the way to the top of the Freedom Tower in New York City. It shows lower Manhattan from pre-history to today;  from bedrock to swamp to colonial times to modern times. Mike & I saw it in person last fall when we stopped in New York on the way up from dropping Leigh at school in Savannah. Like everything in New York City, it’s insanely expensive, but if you can, go do it. It’s a bucket-list type of thing. You can find more on it here.

Stompy-Foot America!

Can we just… not? Please? Stop it. Stop it, America!

The media works itself up into a frenzy over nothing all the time, but that impulse has mutated into something infectious to Tea Party Americans and I’m getting tired of it. People are freaking out over things that normal people in normal times speaking in normal tones would regard as “Oh, I see what happened here. I get it,” then move on.

Just two examples, in no particular order (with full disclosure I’m supporting Ted Cruz for President, just so everyone knows where I stand.):

  1. Dr. Carson’s “scholarship” offer from West Point.  Everybody’s gone insane over the fact that one doesn’t get a “scholarship” from West Point. It’s free. (Well, nothing is “free” but you know what I mean.) It’s so obvious what happened here: young Ben Carson, top guy in his local ROTC in Detroit is told by some big brass, in essence, “If you want it, you got it.” Reporting from various news outlets and men his age tell us that the military was vigorously recruiting young men of color at that time, and the word “scholarship,” obviously, was used colloquially. I mean… C’mon… It was 4 or 5 decades ago! The sum & total of what happened is real and truthful. He was made to believe he could have gone if he wanted to. That is a fact. To get all hung up on the word choice (“scholarship”) or what month it happened (Carson said it was April or something but it turns out the brass’ schedule shows he was really in Detroit in May or some such thing)… I mean, give me a break. He could have gone. He didn’t. It happened. Shut-up.
  2. Trump’s recollection of American Muslims celebrating 9/11/2001. He says he saw “thousands.” This number, after a week of frenzy, appears to be the final sticking point. We began with “It never happened,” then “Somebody called the cops about it, but they don’t remember,” to “Here’s the police report about it, but nothing happened,” to multiple newspaper & broadcast reports from September 2001, that it did, in fact, happen, in “Patterson,” (New Jersey) and other places (Newsweek, CNN, Howard Stern, etc.). I remember it happening. How do I know I remember correctly? Because I remember being shocked and thinking “This is like the O.J. verdict.”  It was like there was a whole ‘nother America out there completely foreign to me. I linked those images, the American Muslims celebrating 9/11 + Black Americans celebrating the O.J. verdict in my mind because they were both shocking to me; shocking examples that there were entire populations of my fellow Americans I truly did not understand and who regarded me with enmity.

So, in summary, like the Carson thing, it’s obvious what happened here: Trump conflated 14 year old memories of the overseas celebrations with the homeland celebrations and got “thousands,” but the sum and substance of what he said was materially, largely true. There are other examples, but those are the two loudest & most recent.

So shut-up, America. Put your big-boy pants on and calm the frig down. We’ve got bigger fish to fry.

The National Archives, The Clintons’ History Scrubbers

This isn’t the first time somebody’s been asleep at the switch at The National Archives. Twice in recent memory they’ve screwed up. HUGE. And both times it helped the Clintons.

Funny that, huh? Who do they have in-pocket over there? Do they? I’m just wondering. Spit-balling. Thinking out-loud. But these two things, connected or not, fairly scream: Who’s in charge over there???? Anybody?????

NARA LogoThe first time they screwed-up it benefited Bill Clinton; presumably, by erasing from our institutional memory, his inaction in the face of the gathering threat leading up to 9/11.  Most recently it was to benefit his wife, Hillary Clinton, who used a secret, private server for all of her emails.  Now, you may ask, ‘Why blame the National Archives?’  Well, I’m not saying they deserve all the blame. Certainly not. I’m no liberal.  I don’t blame the gun when someone gets shot; I blame the shooter. Bill & Hillary Clinton are to blame for their crimes. Period.  But that doesn’t mean they didn’t have enablers, accomplices, if you will, either witting or unwitting.  Part of the Archives’ job, part of the documentary traffic their mandate requires they keep, is email.  How is it possible that they didn’t notice, for four years, that she hadn’t even bothered to set-up at .gov email account?  How is that possible?

So let’s walk down memory lane, shall we?  We’ll deal first with Bill’s janitorial job on America’s institutional memory, then we’ll deal with Hillary’s.

Recall, via the February 21, 2007 Washington Post article “Berger Case Still Roils Archives, Justice Dept.” that (article edited for clarity and brevity, bolds are mine):

During a meeting, November 23, 2004, (the Inspector General of the National Archives and Records Administration, Paul Brachfeld), in a chandeliered room at the Justice Department, (along with) the longtime head of the counterespionage section, the chief of the public integrity unit, a deputy assistant attorney general, some trial lawyers and a few FBI agents all looked down at their pant legs and socks.

(They were discussing) Brachfeld’s contention that President Clinton’s former national security adviser Samuel R. ‘Sandy’ Berger could have stolen original, uncatalogued, highly classified terrorism documents 14 months earlier by wrapping them around his socks and beneath his pants… Brachfeld wanted the Justice Department to notify officials of the 9/11 Commission that Berger’s actionsin combination with a bungled Archives response — might have obstructed the commission’s review of Clinton’s terrorism policies.

The Justice Department spurned the advice, and some of Brachfeld’s colleagues at the Archives greeted his warnings with accusations of disloyalty. …A report last month by the Republican staff of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said for the first time that Berger’s visits were so badly mishandled that Archives officials had acknowledged not knowing if he removed anything else and destroyed it. The committee further argued that the 9/11 Commission should have been told more about Berger and about Brachfeld’s concerns…

The commission’s former general counsel, Dan Marcus, now an American University law professor, separately expressed surprise at how little the Justice Department told the commission about Berger and said it was ‘a little unnerving’ to learn from the congressional report exactly what Berger reviewed at the Archives and what he admitted to the FBI — including that he removed and cut up three copies of a classified memo.

In an April 1, 2005, press conference and private statements to the commission, the Justice Department stated instead that Berger had access only to copied documents, not originals. They also said the sole documents Berger admitted taking — five copies of a 2001 terrorism study — were later provided to the commission. (end)

But we now know that’s not true.

Via “information culled from The New York Times” in a WND piece entitled, “What Did Sandy Steal,” (not normally a site I would cite*), is analysis that is spot-on and widely believed among the non-kool-aid drinkers (Again, article is edited for clarity, and bolds & underlines are mine.):

Sandy Berger and Bill Clinton

Sandy Berger and President Bill Clinton

Sandy Berger was director of the National Security Center in the Clinton administration, and as such President Clinton’s top adviser on all national security matters. On Sept. 2, 2003, in a secure reading room at the National Archives building in Washington, Berger was reviewing classified documents from the Clinton era, in his capacity as Clinton’s point man in providing relevant materials to the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks.

One such document was a copy of a White House “after-action” report that he himself had commissioned, while still National Security director, to assess the Clinton administration’s performance in responding to the so-called millennium terrorist threat before New Year’s 2000. (I am relying throughout on reports from the New York Times.) Berger put the document in his pocket and walked out of the National Archives with it.

Exactly a month later, on Oct. 2, 2003, in another visit to the Archives, he stuffed four copies of other versions of the same report into his clothes (some reports have specified his socks) and again walked out of the building with them.

At his own office later that day, Berger cut three of the copies into small pieces. Two days later staff members at the Archives took the matter up with him. He said the removals were inadvertent, and returned the two remaining copies of the report, but said nothing about the three he had destroyed.

The burning question here, of course, is what was in the three documents that Berger destroyed. We can be sure that Berger won’t tell us, or more precisely that we will never know whether anything he chooses to say on the subject is a lie. The documents are irretrievably gone, and Berger can carry the secret of their contents to his grave.  But you can bet your bottom dollar that they weren’t Bill Clinton’s secret recipes for chicken a la king. In fact, as a practical matter, there is only one thing they could have been, given the huge risk that Berger took in stealing them from the National Archives and destroying them.

Consider. All five were copies, or (as the Times puts it at one point) “versions,” of a single document: an assessment of terrorist threats produced during the Clinton administration. These copies had presumably been distributed to various major figures in the administration, and later collected and placed in the Archives. What interested Berger about five copies of the same document? Presumably, notes scribbled on them by the recipients. And what could have impelled him to destroy three of the five copies, and return the other two? Surely, that the notes on those three copies made it all too clear that somebody high up in the Clinton administration had perceived a threat very much like what happened on Sept. 11, but then failed to do anything whatever about it.

For whom would Berger be willing to risk a jail sentence? For himself, no doubt, and for President Clinton, and that just about completes the list. (end)

Now the wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton. What the hell happened? Well, when you don’t have Inspectors General at either State or the Archives, corruption and incompetence can run amok. Well, more amok than usual, because, really, this is the federal government, right? The whole place needs fumigating. But I digress.

From The Washington Times, June 3, 2015,”Acting IGs at State Dept., National Archives Ignored Looming Clinton Email Scandal”  (And, again, edited for clarity and brevity and bolds are mine):

A years-long vacancy in the State Department’s Office of inspector general allowed Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account and server to hide her public records to continue unchecked, experts told a Senate committee Wednesday.US-Department-of-State-Logo

Daniel Epstein, president of nonpartisan watchdog Cause of Action, pointed to another empty inspector general office — this one in the National Archives and Records Administration — as a potential cause of the breakdown in transparency that occurred during Clinton’s tenure at the State Department.

James Springs, who now serves as the National Archives’ permanent inspector general, oversaw the agency in an interim capacity from September 2012 until March of this year.

That means the watchdog position was effectively empty as Clinton made her transition out of the State Department.

Epstein told the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee that the National Archives, under Springs’ oversight, “either was aware of the failure to preserve Mrs. Clinton’s emails or was extremely negligent in its efforts to monitor senior officials’ emails.” … (and, further suggests) the National Archives “had reason to know that the State Department was seeking legal justification for noncompliance with applicable regulations relating to email records,” Epstein said.

What’s more, transparency appeared to suffer at the State Department under another temporary inspector general.

Harold Geisel served as the agency’s interim watchdog while Clinton was secretary of state. Geisel had been named an ambassador by then-President Bill Clinton and donated to President Obama’s first presidential campaign, records show.

The Government Accountability Office raised concerns in April 2011 that Geisel’s career membership in the Foreign Service “resulted in, at a minimum, the appearance of independence impairment.”  (Annie note: YA THINK????) Yet Geisel continued to serve as acting inspector general until shortly after Clinton left office…” (end)

So, in summary, it appears the Clintons had janitors where they needed them.

And absolutely nothing will be done about.

God Bless America.


*That I would not normally cite WND as a source is a comment on others’ perception of the site, not mine.  They have people over there who actually know how to use a card-catalog at the library, value the importance of primary sources, and ask important questions.  While every collection of reports & reporters has flaws, I consume all media with a presumption of guilt (as it were), thus, as far as they present proper sourcing and and ask important questions I might not have otherwise thought of, I have no problem with them.

Want Rice or Beans w/that Taqiyya?

Oh… Wait… That’s taco, not taqiyya…

I always get that wrong.

Kinda like the progressive left, or as we like to call them, The New York Times Editorial Board, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, and the modern Democratic party.

This morning’s example of the survival instinct being bred out of them, is the big, splashy, feature NYT editorial insisting the Muslim Brotherhood is just misunderstood, and gosh, darn, golly, if we’d just relax and listen to the NY-DC-corridor elites we’d see they’re really just a cute and cuddly as a little puppy!

Osama bin Laden was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Pfft. Forget that part.

I posted a comment, which I seriously doubt will get published, but I thought it was worth sharing (It’s below the line at the bottom of this rant!).  Understanding my comment doesn’t require reading the entire editorial that inspired it, but it’s worth a skim to just get an understanding, if you don’t have one, of how human evolution has arrived at the point that half the f*cking country has had their survival instincts bred out of them.

I’m not kidding.  I’m as serious as a heart attack.  This is the same party (the Democrats) who wants to repeal the 2nd amendment, not only for us, but for cops, too!  No, really, they want to r-e-p-e-a-l it, but, in the shorter term, they’ll just settle for disarming the police.  This is a real thing.  Happened just recently.  Really.  Because… Everybody knows if guns are illegal, criminals will obey the law and charm will stop a bullet, right?  A good, sensitivity-trained cop in a “softer uniform” can just talk the perp insane on PCP out of killing him, right?  RIGHT?

We literally have more guns that people in this country.  300 million+ guns.  (If that seems impossible, just think about it for just a split second:  Do you know, or know of, anyone with a gun who owns just one?  Of course not.  Most people who own guns own several.)  So in order to believe this fantasy of a repealed 2nd amendment gun-free America you would have to believe that all of those weapons evaporate.  Magically.  Just… POOF.  GONE.  Which is ridiculous. No?  Okay… So now you have to imagine that everyone in possession of a gun will turn it in.  Everyone.  E-v-e-r-y-o-n-e.  Everyone will just obey the law, like a good little serf.

You’d have to believe in unicorn-farts made of gold dust to believe that, but, then, I’m not a liberal.

But I digress.

Back to those adorable rascals, the Muslim Brotherhood and their defenders at the NYT Editorial Board.  We began this rant on how we are to believe the MB “renounced violence in the 1970’s.”

Uh-huh.

Here’s my answer to that pile of steaming poo, which isn’t likely to see the light of day in the comments section at the Times:


(UPDATE:  They must have someone new on the comments desk this morning.  They actually published it.)

From the UK’s Guardian, May 2, 2011, right after OBL’s killing, regarding the ‘peaceful’ MB:

“Egypt’s influential Muslim Brotherhood condemned the ‘assassination’ of Osama bin Laden, claiming anyone accused of a crime should be put on trial.”

The Muslim Brotherhood is not benign.

They are not our friends.

They lie.

The Iranian mullahs “denounce” violence too. While there are many forms of Islam & the MB, the Egyptian version, the Shia, the Sunni, etc., they all operate under the umbrella of the same “rules,” which include taqiyya = lying, even if it is “against the faith,” because the purpose of taqiyya is to pacify the infidel long enough to finish the job, as it were.

Related to this is the politically correct, and frankly suicidal, western practice of obfuscation; making a big fuss about “core al Qaeda” or how one faction is fighting the other so, based on our western good-guy/bad-guy paradigm, surely one side must be aligned with our interests. When it comes to Islam all bets are off. The paradigm is useless. These people lie. Just because we do too doesn’t make them any more credible. In fact, because it is in the service of Islam it is worse, because while we Americans lie for all kinds of reasons, when their leaders lie to the west it is with a sword behind their backs and the righteousness of the cause to wield it upon our necks.