Beyond the Cusp

January 8, 2014

Terror Lawyer Released While Jonathan Pollard Rots

The lawyer who represented the Blind Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman who masterminded and organized the first World Trade Center bombing among other terror defendants, Lynne Stewart, was ordered released due to health problems. Doctors claimed she has less than eighteen months to live as she has been diagnosed with breast cancer that has metastasized to her lungs and bones as well as type-2 diabetes and numerous other health problems. She was originally sentenced to ten years for having passed sensitive information she had received due to her representing the Blind Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman as well as messages from the Sheik to terrorist leaders and representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Her actions compromised numerous methodologies the United States had in use to monitor and track terror operatives. Among the information she passed on to terrorist leadership in Egypt and the Middle East included actionable information which permitted the terrorists to alter their methods so as to avoid American detection and possibly revealed names of operatives who had given the Americans information thus placing their lives at risk. During her resentencing trial it was revealed that the three judge panel of the federal appeals court had noted specifically that Stewart exhibited a “stark inability to understand the seriousness of her crimes.”

 

Meanwhile, Jonathan Pollard has begun his twenty-ninth year of a life sentence after being convicted of passing intelligence information to an allied power, Israel. While I would not try to minimize his crime, the information he passed has been defined as information of Arab military capabilities and assets and none was concerning any American assets or personnel and the information could have been covered under an agreement between the United States and Israel on information sharing which was ordered ignored by the State Department directing the Department of Defense. Even comparing the sentencing of Jonathan Pollard and Lynne Stewart makes one see that at least one of these two sentences makes little sense. Either Pollard was sentenced way beyond his crimes or Stewart was treated with kid gloves for her crimes. When a person who gave information on enemy military capabilities, assets and locations of the allied nation to whom the intelligence was given is sentenced to life while another who revealed methods and names as well as passing instructions to commit terrorist acts within the United States compromising the nation in numerous ways is sentenced to merely ten years there is some serious inequality in sentencing which should be obvious to anybody. Additionally, Lynne Stewart has never apologized or stated she had any regrets over her actions and has gone so far as to claim she had done nothing wrong as she was simply serving her client and conscience while Jonathan Pollard has admitted his crimes and apologized and shown contrition. As far as the argument that Ms. Stewart is in failing health, so is Mr. Pollard. Where President Clinton had promised to release Pollard as part of the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians but after the Israelis held up their half of the bargain President Clinton laughed in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s face and called him a sucker for having believed Pollard would actually be released. President George W. Bush likely asked his father, former President Bush, and his father’s advisors, the same advisors who had convinced the Judge in Pollard’s case to throw out the agreement of a plea bargain and throw Pollard in prison for life. I hold President George W. Bush responsible for not taking the effort to research Pollard’s case himself and instead relying on slanders from those who were responsible for the life sentence.

 

I know that there will be those who will claim that the people from the State department knew of other crimes and that Pollard had turned over to the Russians the names of twenty American agents from the CIA. There is one problem with claiming that Johnathan Pollard had revealed the names of American agents anywhere, let alone Russia. Pollard was a Naval photographic evaluator who studied spy plane and satellite photos and discerned rocket launching, air defense, and other military potential targets. His clearance was limited to the level necessary to complete those kinds of evaluations and interpretations. He had no clearance nor could he have ever had access to information such as the names of active agents or any other CIA information. His clearance was limited to Naval photographic files and the actual photographs, nothing more. He not only did not have any clearance for information on CIA spies, he had no access to any information from the CIA unless the CIA sent photographs to the Navy to be inspected and interpreted for information, an unlikely but possible scenario, but personnel information would have been far beyond any access that Pollard was cleared to receive. He worked at a Naval operations center and likely never even set foot in any CIA building anywhere or at any time. Perhaps if Johnathan Pollard had instead given information to the Muslim Brotherhood he would have been freed long ago, but he foolishly gave the information to the Israelis and did it without receiving the huge sums of money some have claimed. He has stated that what he had done was a bad error in judgment and he expressed remorse all to no avail. Yet without any contrition or remorse Lynne Stewart is going home and I am willing to bet she lives well past the eighteen months that she is claimed to have remaining to her. Where I feel sympathy for her illness, I still am suspect that soon we will hear of her remarkable turnaround and her cancer having gone into remission, meanwhile her serving of her sentence will also have gone into remission.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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February 27, 2013

Republican Lack of Discipline Exposed by Hagel Confirmation

Filed under: 1949 Armistice Line,1967 Borders,2012 Elections,Administration,Afghanistan,Ahmadinejad,Anti-Israel,Anti-Zionist,Appointment,Arabs,Ayatollah Khamenei,Borders,Boycott,Building Freeze,Cabinet,Checkpoints,Checks and Balances,Chuck Hagel,CIA Chief,Cloture,Coalition,Condemning Israel,Congress,Consequences,Conservatives,Constitutional Government,Constitutionalist,Debate,Democracy,Democracy,Democrat,Disengagement,Divestment,Economic Sanctions,Europe,Extreme Leftist,Extreme Right,Fatah,Fatah Charter,Fayyad,FBI,Federal Government,Filibuster,Foreign Policy,Gaza,Gaza Blockade,Golan Heights,Government,Green Line,Hamas,Hamas Charter,Hezballah,History,Ineffective Sanctions,Intifada,Iran,Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps,Iraq,Islam,Islamic Jihad,Israel,Israeli Capital City,James Inhofe,Jerusalem,Jewish Heritage,Jewish Home,Jewish Leadership,Jewish State,Jews,Jihad,Judea,Judean Hills,Kotel,Land for Peace,Mahmoud Abbas,Middle East,Missile Research,Muslim Brotherhood,Muslims,Neglection of Duty,Netanyahu,Nuclear Program,Nuclear Research,Nuclear Sites,Nuclear Weapons,Obama,Oklahoma,Old City,Oslo Accords,P5+1,Palestinian,Palestinian Authority,Palestinian Legislative Committee,Palestinian Security Force,Parchin,Parliamentary Government,Partition Plan,Peace Process,PLO,PLO Charter,Politics,Pre-Conditions,President,President Obama,Prisoner Release,Prisoners,Protect Citizenry,Protests,Qom,Rafah Crossing,Recognize Israel,Refugee Camp,Refugees,Response to Terrorism,Right of Return,Rock Throwing,Rocket Attacks,Samaria,Sanctions,Secretary of Defense,Secretary of State,Senate,Senate Armed Services Committee,Senate Majority Leader,Separation Barrier,Settlements,Smuggling Tunnels,Submission,Suicide Bomber,Syria,Temple Mount,Terror,Tom Coburn,Two State Solution,United States,United States Constitution,Uranium Enrichment,Uranium Enrichment,Vote,Warhead Development,West Bank,Western Wall,Zionism,Zionist — qwertster @ 2:11 PM
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There is a theory throughout the free world that on certain votes party discipline is expected. Such examples abound in the Parliaments in Europe, Israel, Japan, Australia, Canada and any we may have omitted. It has often been on display within the United States Congress, but almost exclusively by the Democrat legislators and almost never, actually might be never, from the Republican side of the aisle. The nomination by President Obama of former Senator Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense was problematic even before his dreadful performance at his confirmation hearings. As positions go in a President’s Cabinet, Secretary of State, CIA Chief, Chief of the FBI are the few of the positions which rival Secretary of Defense in their importance. This makes the ability to answer questions competently and without overly long hesitations very crucial. Mr. Hagel’s performance left loads to be desired. He not only stumbled on answering questions but also had to correct answers he had given after conferring with handlers sent to aid him in his responses. The United States does not need or desire a Secretary of Defense who is less prepared to answer vital questions than the average Senator would be. Even if this had been the only problem with the Hagel appointment it still would have been worthy of greater objection than was displayed.

But there were already other questions and difficulties posed by Senator Hagel’s previous statements concerning the United States staunchest Middle East ally Israel and his lack of resolve shown towards the Iranian nuclear program as well as his soft approach to such terrorist groups denoted as such by the State Department as Hamas and Hezballah. When one additionally inspects Senator Hagel’s voting record his appointment becomes all the more troublesome. Add in his flippant disregard for many such votes and his snide remark that there was no evidence that any of his votes ever did any damage to Israel which though technically true, it is not for want of trying on Hagel’s behalf and solely due to the fact that Hagel’s vote was among the minority and the vast majority of his fellow Senators supported the United State’s ally Israel. The final nail in the coffin for the Hagel appointment should have come when at least one Republican Senator decided to filibuster the nomination and requested his fellow Republicans support his efforts. Senator Inhofe of Oklahoma even wrote a letter asking as much and despite being given the support of a number of fellow Republican Senators; the party supported his efforts only through one cloture vote stalling the confirmation over one little weekend.

After supporting the Senator Inhofe intent to filibuster on a Friday vote, Senator Reid, the Majority Leader of the Senate, was assured by numerous Republicans that they would no longer support any further Republican efforts to filibuster and delay a confirmation vote. What makes the whole cloture vote fold by Republican Senators so disheartening is when the actual vote came to confirm the Hagel appointment as Secretary of Defense, the final vote was insufficient to have overcome the filibuster by a fair margin of 58-41, two votes short of cloture if the Senators had voted their up or down vote during the cloture vote. Despite the four Senators from the Republican side of the aisle who voted to approve the Hagel nomination, the cloture vote of 71-27 reveals that an additional thirteen Republican Senators voted to end the filibuster by their own party than eventually supported the nomination. The question which those whose Senators voted for cloture despite opposing the nomination must be asked is why, knowing that a vote for cloture guaranteed the nomination, did they ignore the sole path to resist this atrocious appointment and fold to the demands of President Obama, Senator Reid and the Democrats? Are they that afraid to stand strong for their beliefs and only vote their conscience when it will not make a difference and when their vote matters simply fold under even the slightest of pressures from the Democrats? What are they afraid of, missing out on some brie and red wine luncheons in the Capital Building or some other social affairs? If they are unable of standing when their votes matter, perhaps they should be replaced. If your Senator was among the four that voted for Hagel, well, at least they were consistent and voted their minds. But if your Senator is among the thirteen who voted for cloture thus guaranteeing a confirmation which they then voted against, you may wish to replace the worms you currently have as the next choice could not be worse. Maybe you can find a real Republican Senatorial candidate to run against the worm in the next primary and send a real conservative Constitutionalist Senator to Washington. Would that be too much to ask? My Senator, he was the one who first stated intent to filibuster and the other supported him and is known as Senator No. I am glad you asked.

Beyond the Cusp

February 24, 2013

A Question for Netanyahu

The election results were a ray of hope and promise for many in the Zionist communities. But there is a question which must be asked of Netanyahu because if there is any chance that his intended direction has been indicated by bringing Livni into the coalition while also acquiescing to her every demand; then the Zionist should stop any celebrations and begin to worry that another Likud Prime Minister is headed to the dark side. What would be the indications that Netanyahu intends to fall before the pressures from the Europeans, United States President Obama backed by his recent appointees to be CIA Chief and Secretaries of State and Defense, the numerous leftist NGOs and the rest of the world support groups backing the Palestinian ploy by the Arab and Muslim world to destroy Israel?

It truly was a shocking revelation to read that Prime Minister Netanyahu has accepted Tzipi Livni into the coalition and agreed to grant her the Justice Ministry which was the expressed position sought by Yair Lapid and also granted her request to be the lead in negotiations with the Palestinian Authority as her position supporting surrendering most if not all of Judea and Samaria along with half of Jerusalem including all of the Old City as well as the Kotel which would make it next to impossible for Naftali Bennett and the Jewish Home to also enter such a coalition. The first question that comes to mind is how Netanyahu could form a coalition without compromising his promises to Livni. The first sign of the unthinkable may have been occurring right before our eyes as Netanyahu appears to be spending great amounts of time wooing Shelly Yachimovich and the Labor Party to join his coalition. Should Netanyahu succeed in his wooing of Yachimovich and the Labor Party he would be well on his way to forming that both sides of center coalition which has been the center of much chatter since the election. This would also fit in with the rumors that Netanyahu will go to whatever length is necessary to keep Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett out of the coalition. I know, how could Netanyahu fill out the rest of the needed Knesset seats to reach the minimum of sixty-one seats as even with Kadima along with Labor Party, Hatnuah and Likud-Beiteinu only gives him fifty-four?

That is where the unusual leadership by triumvirate of Shas comes into play. Despite the story fed to the media and membership of Shas that the three members of the triumvirate, Eli Yishai, Ariel Atias and Aryeh Deri, were equal and were working together there will always be the suspicion that not all members are truly equal. The truth is that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef as the spiritual guiding light is the true and undisputed true leader of Shas and he was the one who decided upon the triumvirate form of leadership in order to soften the inclusion of Aryeh Deri back into a leadership position immediately after he returned to politics after his conviction. This would likely mean that anything which Aryeh Deri decides for Shas will be supported by Rabbi Yosef and thus nobody would ever think to counter his decisions. Deri was well known to prefer Labor over Likud though he would ally with whichever was necessary to gain considerations for the Hasidic heart of Shas. It is this flexibility; some might say pragmatism, which has made Shas the coalition builder in Israeli history. Should Shas also join the above parties in a coalition, then Netanyahu would have his broad based coalition with sixty-five seats. The guarantor that this is Netanyahu’s desired outcome would be some generous deal made with Shelly Yachimovich in order to bring Labor into the coalition over her original denial of any possibility of her being in a coalition with Netanyahu.

 
Should this actually come to pass, then there are some additional questions which would soon surface. One of the foremost among them is what will Netanyahu do to keep such a coalition together with a number of his fellow Likud members probably having misgivings about their fellow coalition members? With Moshe Feiglin and Tzipi Hotovely and other Zionist and nationalist members within the Likud faction, how does Prime Minister Netanyahu expect to hold his coalition together and avoid losing a sure to follow vote of no confidence. Such would most certainly come attached to some piece of legislation made to satisfy either Tzipi Livni or Shelly Yachimovich or members of their parties by one of the parties not within the coalition, especially should such legislation either be detrimental to the Israelis residing in Judea and Samaria or other controversial subjects. Would Prime Minister Netanyahu purposely hold the members of the coalition to vote for anything which was brought before the Knesset by any coalition member? On the other hand, would Prime Minister Netanyahu deny members of the coalition bringing any motion which might challenge the coalition? And if either were the case, how would such a move be enforced? Would the coalition survive if Prime Minister Netanyahu challenged one of the other party leaders to hold their members to vote with the coalition or be removed from the Knesset and replaced with another minister appointed in order to enforce compliant voting? Would Prime Minister Netanyahu replace members of his own Likud Party in order to sustain his coalition? What would be the result from either of these actions? Such a coalition even if formed would appear on face value unsustainable. This may be conjecture but the possibility that Prime Minister Netanyahu may be headed in this direction is possible. This becomes even more likely if Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid hold to their agreement not to enter the coalition without the other, an agreement I believe both will truly honor despite what some, including Netanyahu, may think or even be counting on.

Beyond the Cusp

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