Mike Pompeo’s certification earlier this month that the Saudi coalition was working to reduce harm to civilians in Yemen was an obvious sham. According to a new report in The Wall Street Journal, Pompeo made the decision to lie for the Saudis and Emiratis because he feared it would hurt arms sales:
Mr. Pompeo overruled concerns from most of the State Department specialists involved in the debate who were worried about the rising civilian death toll in Yemen. Those who objected included specialists in the region and in military affairs. He sided with his legislative affairs team after they argued that suspending support could undercut plans to sell more than 120,000 precision-guided missiles to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, according to a classified State Department memo and people familiar with the debate.
Cutting off refueling to the coalition likely would make it extremely difficult to sell more weapons to the Saudis and Emiratis, but that is not a good reason to ignore evidence and expert advice and then lie to Congress. Opponents of the war have been trying to block arms sales to both countries for years, and this just gives them one more reason to keep trying. The U.S. should not be in the business of arming governments that we know will use them to commit war crimes, and that certainly applies to the Saudis and the UAE as long as the war on Yemen continues. The longer that the war drags on, and the more civilians that the coalition kills using U.S.-made weapons, the more politically toxic arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE will become. In the end, Pompeo’s decision to flout the law and lie to Congress will just make opposition to future arms sales that much more intense.
Due to the approach of Hurricane Florence, today marked the end of the Disarm Trident Peace Walk. Some 50 people in all took part in the walk from Savannah to Kings Bay, Georgia, in support of the Seven Catholic peace activists of the Kings Bay Plowshares.
On April 4th, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the seven entered Naval Station Kings Bay, home to six Trident ballistic missile submarines. Each Trident can carry the explosive power of some 1825 Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs – if they are ever used it will mean the end of the world. The activists carried hammers and bottles of their own blood into the base to "beat swords into plowshares," as the Hebrew Prophets envisioned. Finding no subs in port, they poured blood on the base logo, hammered on a concrete model of a Trident D5 missile, crisscrossed the administration building with yellow crime scene tape, and hung banners on the fence surrounding the nuclear weapons bunkers reading "The Ultimate Logic of Racism is Genocide~MLK" and "The Ultimate Logic of Trident is Omnicide." Two of the activists remain in the Glynn County Detention Center and five are out on house arrest. All await a hearing on their motion to argue the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in their defense, and then a trial date.
The Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, IRmep announces a lawsuit has been filed against the National Archives and Records Administration demanding immediate release of presidential letters held by the George W. Bush and William J. Clinton presidential libraries.
The New Yorker in June reported Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump all issued letters at the beginning of their terms promising never to pressure the Israeli government into signing the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) or publicly discuss Israel’s nuclear weapons program.
IRmep believes the government of Israel sought the guarantees in order to preempt Arms Export Control Act AECA limitations on U.S. aid to foreign countries with clandestine nuclear weapons programs.
When the Polish president came to town this week, he brought an offer of $2 billion toward the cost of putting in a permanent US military base on his soil. He even sweetened the deal by jokingly offering to name it “Fort Trump.” Joking aside, does establishing a permanent US military base so close to Russia’s border really do anything for US security? Or is it just a provocation? Is Russia really about to launch a land war to take over Europe? More in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
Trump is floating the possibility of establishing a permanent U.S. military base in Poland:
President Donald Trump said the U.S. is looking “very seriously” at establishing a permanent military base in Poland.
Trump said at an Oval Office meeting Tuesday with Polish President Andrzej Duda that the two would discuss the possibility and “we’re looking at it very seriously.”
“Poland is willing to make a very major contribution to the United States to come in and have a presence in Poland,” Trump added. “If they’re willing to do that, it’s something we will certainly talk about.”
Putting a U.S. base in Poland isn’t necessary for European security, and it would very likely create a rift within NATO. It would further antagonize Russia, and it would create one more overseas military installation that the U.S. doesn’t need to have. Trump is often accused of wanting to “retreat” from the world, but his willingness to entertain this proposal shows that he doesn’t care about stationing U.S. forces abroad so long as someone else is footing most of the bill.
Don’t hold your breath. While the media is breathlessly describing yesterday’s order by President Donald Trump’s “to provide for the immediate (emphasis added) declassification” of Russia-gate materials as a “showdown,” any likely showdown is months away, if it comes at all.
The word “immediate” can mean different things to different people. Had the President set a deadline, or had he given the declassification task to his own National Security Council, the word “showdown” might be closer to what to expect.
The tragic-comedy now on stage in Washington is beyond bizarre. Can President Trump be unaware that those he “ordered” to do the declassification – top officials of the Justice Department, the FBI, and the intelligence agencies – have zero incentive to comply “immediately.” And they have minus-zero incentive, as the top echelons see it, to throw their former bosses, colleagues, and co-conspirators under the bus by releasing the family jewels.