Contributor’s links, May 13, 2019

Daily Links Post graphic

Each day at just after midnight Eastern, a post like this one is created for contributors and readers of this site to upload news links and video links on the issues that concern this site. Most notably, Islam and its effects on Classical Civilization, and various forms of leftism from Soviet era communism, to postmodernism and all the flavours of galloping statism and totalitarianism such as Nazism and Fascism which are increasingly snuffing out the classical liberalism which created our near, miraculous civilization the West has been building since the time of Socrates.

This document was written around the time this site was created, for those who wish to understand what this site is about. And while our understanding of the world and events has grown since then, the basic ideas remain sound and true to the purpose.

So please post all links, thoughts and ideas that you feel will benefit the readers of this site to the comments under this post each day. And thank you all for your contributions.

This is the new Samizdat. We must use it while we can.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

190 Replies to “Contributor’s links, May 13, 2019”

  1. Morocco Stops 3 Migrant Boats, Arrests Dozens (aawsat, may 13, 2019)

    “Moroccan authorities have stopped boats carrying 117 sub-Saharan migrants from crossing to Europe and arrested 40 people trying to scale a fence into Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla.

    A military official told The Associated Press on Monday that the Moroccan navy prevented three boats from sailing Saturday across the Mediterranean. It was unclear where the migrants onboard were taken.

    Meanwhile, a police official in the northern Moroccan city of Nador said 40 migrants were arrested Sunday while storming a razor-wire fence into Melilla. Another group of 52 migrants managed to cross into Spain.

    Clashes left seven security forces and two migrants injured on the Moroccan side, the official said.

    Both officials were not authorized to be publicly named according to government policy.”

  2. Clashes in Sudan’s capital after deal on transitional power structure (saudigazette, May 13, 2019)

    “Violence flared in Sudan’s capital Khartoum late on Monday after the military council and opposition groups said they had agreed to a power structure for the country’s transition following the ouster of President Omar Bashir last month.

    Heavy gunfire was heard late into the evening, and the council said a military police officer had been killed and many protesters wounded. Local doctors said some were in serious condition.

    The council accused armed groups unhappy with progress toward a political deal of opening fire at protest sites. Protesters said counterrevolutionaries linked to the former regime were inciting violence.

    Earlier, paramilitary forces patrolled the streets, using tear gas and gunshots to disrupt protests blocking roads…”

  3. Somali Muslim workers accuse Amazon of discrimination (memo, May 13, 2019)

    “Muslim women in the state of Minnesota filed a federal complaint against Amazon, saying they were denied space and time to pray on a regular basis and were given less favourable work compared to their white counterparts, reports Anadolu Agency.

    The three employees of Somali origin said the company created a hostile work environment for employees in its warehouse in Shakopee, Minnesota.

    The complaint was filed last week with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), arguing the tech giant was in violation of Title VII, which protects against religious discrimination.

    “The charges also allege that Amazon created a discriminatory, two-tiered system in which qualified Somali and East African workers were regularly passed over for promotions in favour of white workers and regularly received more difficult work assignments,” Muslim Advocates, a non-profit organization representing the women, in this case, said in a statement.

    When they filed complaints with the company, they were given “write-ups” – warnings that could ultimately lead to termination.

    “Our clients have been harassed, targeted, and retaliated against for no reason other than their race, religion, and national origin,” said Nimra Azmi, a staff attorney for Muslim Advocates. “Amazon should not tolerate this kind of discrimination at any of their workplaces or facilities.”

    The organization added that while the managers of the facility are white, the vast majority of the workers are from East Africa.

    The complaint also charges that after employees protested against the discrimination, Amazon management engaged in a “campaign of retaliatory harassment” against the workers.

    “Amazon’s message to Somali workers has been clear: since they protested Amazon’s discriminatory actions, Amazon management would now create an environment so harassing and hostile that they would be forced to quit,” Muslim Advocates said in a letter to the EEOC.

    Two of the three Amazon employees who filed the claim continue to work at the company, while one was “constructively discharged” in December.”

  4. Moroccan Man Stabbed to Death After Fight in Spain (moroccoworldnews, May 13, 2019)

    “A 25-year old Moroccan man was stabbed to death after a fight in the El Gerco de Reus neighborhood in Tarragona, Spain.

    Spanish news outlet El Caso reported that the incident took place on Sunday afternoon. The perpetrator has been arrested.

    The suspect, according to the Spanish news outlet, is a 27-year old Guinean national. He fled the site of the incident after stabbing his victim…”

  5. Terrorist attack injures 3 village guards in SE Turkey (aa, May 13, 2019)

    “Three village guards were injured in southeastern Turkey on Monday after explosion of an improvised explosive device (IED) laid by the PKK terror group.

    According to local authorities, the IED was triggered as the guards made their way through Sirnak province to a nearby base where they served.

    The injured village guards were sent to the Sirnak State Hospital by helicopter.

    An operation was launched in the region to capture the terrorists.

    Meanwhile, an Interior Ministry statement said four terrorists were killed in a counter-terrorism operation in Yuksekova, southeastern Hakkari province.

    The operations against the terror group have been ongoing, the statement added.

    In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU — has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women and children.”

    • Barr Assigns U.S. Attorney in Connecticut to Review Origins of Russia Inquiry

      WASHINGTON — Attorney General William P. Barr has assigned the top federal prosecutor in Connecticut to examine the origins of the Russia investigation, according to two people familiar with the matter, a move that President Trump has long called for but that could anger law enforcement officials who insist that scrutiny of the Trump campaign was lawful.

      John H. Durham, the United States attorney in Connecticut, has a history of serving as a special prosecutor investigating potential wrongdoing among national security officials, including the F.B.I.’s ties to a crime boss in Boston and accusations of C.I.A. abuses of detainees.

      His inquiry is the third known investigation focused on the opening of an F.B.I. counterintelligence investigation during the 2016 presidential campaign into possible ties between Russia’s election interference and Trump associates.

      The department’s inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, is separately examining investigators’ use of wiretap applications and informants and whether any political bias against Mr. Trump influenced investigative decisions. And John W. Huber, the United States attorney in Utah, has been reviewing aspects of the Russia investigation. His findings have not been announced.

      Additionally on Capitol Hill, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has said he, too, intends to review aspects of law enforcement’s work in the coming months. And Republicans conducted their own inquiries when they controlled the House, including publicizing details of the F.B.I.’s wiretap use.

      Thomas Carson, a spokesman for Mr. Durham’s office, declined to comment, as did a spokeswoman for the Justice Department. “I do have people in the department helping me review the activities over the summer of 2016,” Mr. Barr said in congressional testimony on May 1, without elaborating.

      Mr. Durham, who was nominated by Mr. Trump in 2017 and has been a Justice Department lawyer since 1982, has conducted special investigations under administrations of both parties. Attorney General Janet Reno asked Mr. Durham in 1999 to investigate the F.B.I.’s handling of a notorious informant: the organized crime leader James (Whitey) Bulger.

      In 2008, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey assigned Mr. Durham to investigate the C.I.A.’s destruction of videotapes in 2005 showing the torture of terrorism suspects. A year later, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. expanded Mr. Durham’s mandate to also examine whether the agency broke any laws in its abuses of detainees in its custody.

      Mr. Barr has signaled his concerns about the Russia investigation during congressional testimony, particularly the surveillance of Trump associates. “I think spying did occur,” he said. “The question is whether it was adequately predicated. And I’m not suggesting that it wasn’t adequately predicated. But I need to explore that.”

      His use of the term “spying” to describe court-authorized surveillance aimed at understanding a foreign government’s interference in the election touched off criticism that he was echoing politically charged accusations by Mr. Trump and his Republican allies that the F.B.I. unfairly targeted the Trump campaign.

      Last week, the F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, defended the bureau, saying he was unaware of any illegal surveillance and refused to call agents’ work “spying.” Former F.B.I. and Justice Department officials have defended the genesis of the investigation, saying it was properly predicated.

      Yet Mr. Durham’s role — essentially giving him a special assignment but no special powers — also appeared aimed at sidestepping the rare appointment of another special counsel like Robert S. Mueller III, a role that allows greater day-to-day independence.

      Mr. Trump and House Republicans have long pushed senior Justice Department officials to appoint one to investigate the president’s perceived political enemies and why Mr. Trump’s associates were under surveillance.

      Mr. Trump’s calls to investigate the investigators have grown after the findings from Mr. Mueller were revealed last month. Mr. Mueller’s investigators cited “insufficient evidence” to determine that the president or his advisers engaged in a criminal conspiracy with Russia.

      The Mueller report reaffirmed that the F.B.I. opened its investigation based on legitimate factors, including revelations that a Trump campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, had told a diplomat from Australia, a close American ally, that he was informed that the Russians had stolen Democratic emails.

      “It would have been highly, highly inappropriate for us not to pursue it — and pursue it aggressively,” James Baker, who was the F.B.I.’s general counsel in 2016, said in an interview on Friday with the Lawfare podcast.

      As part of the Russia inquiry, the F.B.I. investigated four Trump associates: Mr. Papadopoulos; Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign chairman; Michael T. Flynn, the president’s first national security adviser; and Carter Page, another campaign foreign policy adviser.

      Mr. Flynn and Mr. Papadopoulos later pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. as part of the inquiry; Mr. Manafort was also convicted of tax fraud and other charges brought by the special counsel, who took over the investigation in May 2017, and pleaded guilty to conspiracy.

      F.B.I. agents and federal prosecutors also obtained approval from the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to wiretap Mr. Page after he left the campaign. Mr. Trump’s allies have pointed to the warrant as major evidence that law enforcement officials were abusing their authority, but the investigation was opened based on separate information and the warrant was one small aspect in a sprawling inquiry that grew to include more than 2,800 subpoenas, nearly 500 search warrants and about 500 witness interviews.

      Law enforcement officials have also drawn intense criticism for using an informant — a typical investigative step — to secretly report on Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos after they left the campaign and for relying on Democrat-funded opposition research compiled into a dossier by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer who was also an F.B.I. informant.

      Investigators cited the dossier in a lengthy footnote in its application for permission to wiretap Mr. Page, alerting the court that the person who commissioned Mr. Steele’s research was “likely looking for information to discredit” the Trump campaign.

      The inspector general is said to be examining whether law enforcement officials intentionally misled the intelligence court, which also approved three renewals of the warrant. The last application in June 2017 was signed by Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, who defended the decision last month in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

      Mr. Horowitz is also said to be scrutinizing how the F.B.I. handled Mr. Steele and another informant, Stefan A. Halper, an American academic who taught in Britain. Agents asked Mr. Halper to determine whether Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos were in contact with Russians. Mr. Barr has said the inspector general could finish his inquiry in May or June.

      Mr. Durham is also investigating whether Mr. Baker made unauthorized disclosures to the news media, according to two House Republicans closely allied with Mr. Trump, Representatives Jim Jordan of Ohio and Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who disclosed in a letter to Mr. Durham in January that they had learned of that inquiry.

      While they implied that it was related to the Russia investigation, another witness in Mr. Durham’s inquiry into Mr. Baker, Robert Litt, the former general counsel of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, came forward to say that he had been interviewed and that the investigation has nothing to do with Russia. Mr. Baker said last week that he was confident he had done nothing wrong and would be exonerated.

    • abc news – Rod Rosenstein defends Russia investigation handling, hits back at James Comey

      Just two days after his official departure from the Department of Justice, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein mounted an extensive defense of the tumultuous early days of his tenure and his decision to appoint Robert Mueller as special counsel.

      Rosenstein, in remarks before the Greater Baltimore Committee annual meeting, took aim at critics, cable news pundits and former FBI Director James Comey — while mostly sparing President Donald Trump from any direct criticism.

      “People spend a lot of time debating whose side I was on, based on who seemed to benefit most from any individual decision,” Rosenstein said. “That is because partisans evaluate things in terms of the immediate political impact and cable TV pundits fill a lot of time by pretending there is always serious breaking news.”

      The remarks followed Rosenstein’s recent resignation from the department and a weekend of Trump continuing to take aim at Mueller’s investigation in a series of tweets and retweets that described the special counsel probe as a “hoax” and “an illegal coup.”

      But Rosenstein in his speech said he believes the investigation was “justified,” while noting the ongoing Inspector General’s investigation into the counterintelligence decisions that were taken in the early stages.

      “If the Inspector General finds significant new facts, I would reconsider my opinion,” Rosenstein said. “But I always need to base my opinion on credible evidence.”

      Rosenstein also hit back at a recent New York Times op-ed by Comey, who wrote that Rosenstein and Attorney General William Barr have compromised themselves by not speaking out more forcefully against Trump’s attacks on the DOJ.

      “Accomplished people lacking inner strength can’t resist the compromises necessary to survive Mr. Trump and that adds up to something they will never recover from,” Comey wrote. “It takes character like [former Secretary of Defense James Mattis’] to avoid the damage, because Mr. Trump eats your soul in small bites.”

      While Rosenstein in his speech noted he once had a deep professional respect for Comey, he expressed dismay at former FBI director’s recent political commentary.

      “Now the former Director is a partisan pundit, selling books and earning speaking fees while speculating about the strength of my character and the fate of my immortal soul,” Rosenstein said. “I kid you not. That is disappointing. Speculating about souls is not a job for police and prosecutors. Generally we base our opinions on eyewitness testimony.”

      But Rosenstein also made a notable split with Trump, saying he would have handled Comey’s ouster differently.

      “If I had been the decision maker, the removal would have been handled differently, with far more respect and far less drama,” Rosenstein said. “So I do not blame the former Director for being angry, I would be too if I was in his shoes.”

      Rosenstein also offered some insight into his own mindset in determining whether Comey’s firing could amount to a potential act of obstruction of justice by President Trump.

      Democrats have raised issue with Rosenstein’s decision to partner with attorney general Barr in determining Trump should not be charged, due to Rosenstein’s simultaneous status as a witness in the investigation.

      “I would never have allowed anyone to interfere with that investigation,” Rosenstein said.

      In summary of his oversight of Mueller’s investigation, Rosenstein tasked his critics with coming up with alternatives for the more controversial decisions he made and insisted that his own political opinions had no effect on the outcome of the investigation.

      “I’m pretty confident that my soul and character are pretty much the same today as they were two years ago,” Rosenstein said. “I took a few hits and made some enemies during my time in the arena, but I held my ground and made a lot of friends. And thanks to them, I think I made the right calls on the things that mattered.”


      video – NEW: Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein defends Russia investigation handling, hits back at James Comey. “I would never have allowed anyone to interfere with the investigation.”

      ( 8 min 22 )

  6. Donald Trump Hosts Iftar Dinner for Ramadan; Condemns New Zealand Mosque Attacks

    President Donald Trump celebrated an Iftar dinner at the White House on Monday to mark the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, and commented on recent attacks on churches, synagogues, and mosques.

    “Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims here in the United States and all across the world,” Trump said, giving the traditional greeting for the season, “Ramadan Kareem.”

    This is the second year that President Trump has hosted a Ramadan Iftar dinner at the White House, after skipping the tradition started by President Bill Clinton in his first year as president.

    “Ramadan is a time when people join forces in pursuit of hope, tolerance, and peace,” Trump said.

    The president recognized recent attacks on places of prayer, specifically noting the mosque attacks in New Zealand, the attacks on Christians in Sri Lanka, and the synagogue attacks in Pittsburgh and California.

    “In their blessed memory we resolve to defeat the evils of terrorism and religious persecution so that all people can worship without fear, pray without danger, and live by the faith that flows from their heart,” Trump said.

    The president was joined by Vice President Pence, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar as well as Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and several ambassadors from Muslim countries.

    “We’re going to have a good meal, and if it’s not good, blame me,” he joked as the audience laughed.

  7. !! Jonathan Spyer !!
    Arab Spring: The Second Coming?

    Events in Sudan and Libya suggest that the core dynamic in the Arab world has not changed: authoritarian military regimes and political Islam remain the key players, popular sovereignty remains a distant aspiration
    The Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS) is the current favorite of the Trump administration. It’s new (2017), but all the experts are very familiar to those in the field. (Some have migrated from BESA [the Begin-Sadat Center]).
    It’s accessible to the general public, not too deep in the policy-wonk weeds.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *