Archive | May 29th, 2018

Nazi ADL Praises Congress For Anti-Semitism Awareness Act

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Earlier this week, the Anti-Defamation League – one of the most subversive, anti-American organizations operating with impunity on American soil – released an official memo praising both the House and Senate for introducing the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, a piece of legislation “which provides important guidance for the Department of Education and the Department of Justice for federal anti-discrimination investigations involving anti-Semitism, including on college campuses,” according to the press release.

 ADL

At a time when anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise, we’re glad to see the Anti-Semitism Awareness act introduced to both the House and Senate. This is an important piece of legislation in our efforts to fight . https://www.adl.org/news/press-releases/adl-welcomes-introduction-of-anti-semitism-awareness-act 

ADL Welcomes Introduction of Anti-Semitism Awareness Act

adl.org

Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the ADL, unsurprisingly invoked the threat of “rising levels of ‘anti-Semitism’” and “hate” as a primary factor justifying the creation of this particular legislation, which does nothing but serve Jewish interests by shutting down open, honest, and frank discussion about Jewish power and influence, the virulent anti-White hatred and narratives promoted and advanced by Jewish activists, thinkers, and intellectuals, and the crimes and outrageous behavior of the Israeli government occupying Palestine. The very concept of “anti-Semitism” is a weaponized tool used by the organized Jewish community to demonize anyone who recognizes and espouses basic, simple truths about the subversive nature of Jews operating in our society and their parasitic, terrorist political entity, Zionist Israel.

The legislation, which is supported by virtually all members of both chambers of Congress – Republicans and Democrats alike – is yet another blatant example of the total strangleholdthe organized Jewish community has over the federal government of the United States.

In related news, President Trump’s recently appointed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who appears to be yet another Zionist stooge occupying one of the most important positions of power in the U.S. federal government, has promised the Jews he will name an “anti-Semitism” monitor soon, a position in the U.S. State Department that has been unfilled for months. The organized Jewish community, lead by the ADL, has been demanding the Trump administration appoint an “anti-Semitism” monitor for months, and it’s looking like they will get their demand met.

ADL

@ADL_National

We’ve written to @POTUS. We’ve petitioned. Now, along with @humanrights1st, we’re leading a bipartisan call from over 50 different orgs & individuals calling on @SecPompeo to appoint a Special Envoy to Monitor & Combat Anti-Semitism: http://bit.ly/2IFnI3L 

The Jewish Telegraph Agency reports:

Pompeo Anti Semitism Monitor

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged to take action on naming an anti-Semitism monitor.

“You have my word, we’ll move on that,” Pompeo said Thursday during his appearance testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.

Pompeo had been pressed on the issue by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., who helped author the 2004 law creating the position. The monitor tracks and reports on anti-Semitism worldwide, and makes representations to foreign governments about U.S. concerns regarding anti-Semitism in their lands.

The position has not been filled since January 2017, when Donald Trump became president, and the office shut down in July of that year. Since then, Jewish groups and lawmakers have been pressuring the Trump administration to fill the post.

Pompeo’s ascension last month to the secretary of state position has spurred hopes that he will act where his predecessor, Rex Tillerson, did not.

On Thursday, 120 members of the House Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism wrote to Pompeo urging him to fill the job.

“This appointment would demonstrate the commitment of the United States to Jewish communities around the world and to the fight against the persistent evil of anti-Semitism,” said the letter, which included Republican and Democratic signatories and virtually every Jewish member of the House.

The Anti-Defamation League and Human Rights First, a watchdog, separately this week urged Pompeo to name an anti-Semitism monitor.

The Foreign Affairs Committee last week approved a bill that would enhance the role of the anti-Semitism monitor and require the president to name someone to the role within 90 days of its passage.

It could not be more obvious that the United States federal government exists to serve the Jews and Israel, yet openly recognizing and stating this obvious fact is verboten in modern society.

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Texas Cop Arrested for Murder After Shooting and Killing His Own Brother, Who’s Also a Cop

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A police officer has been arrested on murder charges after he shot and killed his own brother who is also a police officer.

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Stagecoach, TX — A tragic scene unfolded in a small Texas town Friday evening in which a Texas police officer shot and killed his own brother inside his home. His brother was also a cop. Although there were initially no arrests, after an investigation, the killer cop was arrested and charged with murder.

According to police, they were responding to the home of Stagecoach police officer, Robert Lee, a 35-year law enforcement veteran, on a potential breaking and entering call. The call came in around 5:18 pm.

As the Chronicle reported, an off-duty Stagecoach Police officer allegedly shot and killed a Harris County sheriff’s deputy who he said broke into his home near Magnolia Friday evening, authorities said.

However, when police arrived and found Deputy Rocky Lee, 57, a 26-year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, dead on the bathroom floor of Robert’s home, the story changed.

“The exact circumstances surrounding the shooting are under investigation,” said Lt. Scott Spencer of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Friday night. “We don’t believe there was a burglary at the residence.”

View image on Twitter
Marla Carter@MarlaABC13

This was just released by @HCSOTexas: It is with heavy hearts that we report the passing of Deputy Rocky Lee, 57. A 26-year HCSO veteran, Deputy Lee served at the 1200 Baker Street Jail. He was shot to death Friday night in Stagecoach @abc13houston

Highlighting the difference between what happens when a police officer is killed by a civilian and what happens when it’s one of their own the suspect was not immediately arrested.

Police did admit rather quickly, however, that Rocky Lee was killed by his brother and that the initial version of the story involving a burglary was inaccurate.

Ed Gonzalez@SheriffEd_HCSO

One of our @HCSOTexas Deputy’s was shot & killed by his brother (a current Stagecoach PD Officer). Unknown what led to the shooting, but the initial version involving a burglary is inaccurate. Hope to release his name shortly

“This evening, was a tragic situation especially when you are talking about circumstances involving two brothers,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said.

Although the investigation is currently ongoing, Robert Lee was booked into the Montgomery County Jail late last night and charged with murder.

According to police, after he killed his brother, Robert Lee had a medical episode and experienced blood pressure problems for which he had to be treated.

“At this point we’re still trying to gather more information as to the circumstances surrounding the shooting, but our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time,” David Cuevas, president of the Harris County Deputies Organization said. “Any loss to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office family is a loss to all of us.”

According to police, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office and the Texas Rangers are also conducting their own investigation.

Sadly, police officers shooting and killing their own family members, even their own children is a reality. Police officers are still susceptible to the same rage and domestic battles as everyone else and often times, this can manifest into tragic scenarios like this one.

All too often, however, when police officers do kill their own family members, they are given special privileges and even let off.

As TFTP previously reported, a Palm Beach Sheriff’s deputy shot and killed his own son, who was also aspiring to be a police officer. He was not arrested and merely given paid leave.

In spite of the fact that his son was unarmed at the time of the shooting, authorities ruled that deputy Shatara K. Shatara was justified when he killed his son Khamis Shatara, 21, during a domestic dispute early Christmas Eve morning.

In 2016, TFTP reported on cop in Philadelphia who shot and nearly killed his own son. In spite of shooting his son in the back—twice—police immediately called the shooting accidental and no arrests were made.

However, that officer was eventually arrested months later because the official ‘accidental discharge’ cover up story began to unravel.

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Nazi high court blesses killing and maiming of Gaza protesters

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Israel’s high court blesses killing and maiming of Gaza protesters

The backs of two standing youth are seen in foreground of photo with Israeli military installation behind barbed wire and fencing in background
Israeli forces aim towards Palestinian protesters east of Gaza City on 25 May. Atia DarwishAPA images

Israel’s high court rejected two petitions from human rights groups challenging the military’s open-fire regulations this week as several more Palestinians died from wounds sustained during Gaza’s ongoing Great March of Return protests.

It was the second ruling made by the court on Thursday rubber-stamping war crimes.

The high court ruling may be viewed by the International Criminal Court as an indication that Israel’s judicial authorities are unwilling to carry out genuine proceedings concerning crimes against Palestinian civilians.

Between 19 and 25 May, Gaza’s health ministry announced the deaths of seven Palestinians from injuries inflicted during protests along the eastern perimeter of the territory beginning 30 March.

The deceased were identified as Hussein Salem Abu Oweida, 41, Ahmad al-Abed Abu Samra, 21, Muhammad Mazen Alayan, 20, Muin Abd al-Hamid al-Saee, 58, Muhannad Abu Tahoun, 21, Ahmad Qatoush, 23 and Yasir Sami Saad al-Din Habib, 24.

Also this week a 15-year-old in the occupied West Bank, Oday Akram Abu Khalil, died from wounds sustained when he was shot in the stomach by Israeli forces during protests on 15 May, the annual commemoration of the 1948 Nakba or catastrophe.

More than 115 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip since 30 March, the vast majority of them during Great March of Return protests – including 14 childrentwo journalists and a paramedic.

Some 3,600 people were injured by live fire during the protests.

A lightly wounded soldier was the only reported Israeli casualty resulting from the protests in Gaza.

Court sides with state – again

The Israeli high court ruled in favor of the state’s argument that protesters constituted a danger to Israeli soldiers and civilians, thus justifying the use of lethal force.

The judges sided with the government’s contention that the protests take place in the context of a long-running armed conflict between Israel and Hamas. The state argues that the legal framework that regulates the use of fire during the protests is international humanitarian law, or the laws of war.

Human rights groups say that irrespective of the political affiliation of any of the organizers or participants, the demonstrations along Gaza’s eastern perimeter are a civilian matter of law enforcement governed by the framework of international human rights law, which allows for the use of deadly force only to stop an imminent lethal threat.

“Some of the rioters have tried to trample or break through the border fence, creating a clear and present danger that terrorists will penetrate into the state’s territory, and this is happening in areas near towns on the Israeli side,” wrote Hanan Melcer, one of the three judges who reviewed the petitions.

“Among the rioters were some who threw rocks and fire bombs at Israeli troops. Therefore, it seems that gunfire was employed to achieve a legal purpose – defending citizens of the state and Israeli soldiers,” Melcer added.

The court ruling gives the military “a green light to its continued use of snipers and live fire against Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip,” stated Al Mezan and Adalah, two of the groups that had petitioned the court.

The two groups stated that the court had “refused to watch video clips documenting Israeli shootings of demonstrators and, rather than actually examining the case, fully accepted the claims presented to it by the state.”

Al Mezan and Adalah published a video montage of such clips:

“The extreme nature of the ruling is also highlighted by the striking absence of any mention of the casualty figures that had been presented to the court,” the human rights groups added.

The Israeli high court said it could not move forward with an inquiry into the military’s rules of engagement because petitioning organizations rejected a request by the state to present the judges secret intelligence without the petitioners being allowed to review it.

“We have no concrete information about the identity of the key activists and inciters, the nature of their acts, their organizational affiliation, their involvement in terrorist activity or other forbidden hostile activity, or whether and in what manner they constituted a clear and present danger,” Melcer stated.

The justices accepted the state’s description of the Gaza protests as “violent disturbances” which were “organized, coordinated and directed by Hamas, which is a terrorist organization in a state of armed conflict with Israel.”

No imminent threat

Adalah and Al Mezan stated that the court ruling “contradicts the conclusions and preliminary results of international human rights organizations and United Nations bodies documenting and evaluating the events in Gaza.”

During a special session of the UN Human Rights Council concerning the events in Gaza last week, the body’s High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein stated:

“Although some of the demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails, used slingshots to throw stones, flew burning kites into Israel, and attempted to use wire-cutters against the two fences between Gaza and Israel, these actions alone do not appear to constitute the imminent threat to life or deadly injury which could justify the use of lethal force.”

The Human Rights Council voted to establish a commission of inquiry into mass civilian casualties during the demonstrations with a final report due next March.

Tania Hary, executive director of Gisha, an Israeli human rights group which challenged the open-fire regulations, said she was “disappointed but not surprised to see the court again sanction Israel’s grave violations of human rights and international law in Gaza.”

Young man with a metal splint on his legs lies across a bench as two other youths look on
A Palestinian injured during Great March of Return protests rests outside Gaza City’s al-Shifa hospital after being discharged, 19 May. Mohammed ZaanounActiveStills

Israel’s high court has long championed policies towards Palestinians that violate international law.

Gisha has previously faulted Israel’s judiciary, and principally the high court, for accepting “the state’s legal positions almost unquestioningly” regarding the 11-year blockade of Gaza.

Palestinian human rights groups have urged the International Criminal Court to investigate the unprecedented closure of Gaza as a crime of persecution.

The Palestinian Authority’s foreign minister made a referral to the International Criminal Court on Tuesday, calling for an immediate investigation into Israeli crimes.

In 2015, the court launched a preliminary examination into potential war crimes in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Preliminary examination by ICC

A preliminary examination is the first step in the court’s process to determine whether to open a formal investigation, which can then lead to indictments and trials.

But while a preliminary examination is carried out whenever a referral is made, it is open-ended and can carry on for years, at the discretion of the chief prosecutor.

In 2006, the prosecutor began a preliminary examination of alleged crimes committed in Afghanistan from 2002.

Eleven years after the examination was opened, and up to 15 years after the commission of the first alleged crimes, the prosecutor concluded that there was enough evidence to proceed with a formal investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity by the Taliban, the Afghan government and the United States.

A preliminary examination into alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes in Colombia, opened in 2004, is still pending, according to the Coalition for the International Criminal Court.

In her response to the Palestinian complaint, chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda signaled that she does not intend to expedite the process, stating that the “preliminary examination has seen important progress and will continue to follow its normal course.”

Israel’s foreign ministry lashed out against the Palestinian move, calling it an effort “to politicize the court and to derail it from its mandate.”

Over the past several weeks Bensouda’s office has expressed “grave concern” over the situation in Gaza and warned Israeli leaders that they may face prosecution for the killing of unarmed Palestinian protesters.

Earlier this month the press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders formally requested that the International Criminal Court prosecutor investigate the targeting of journalists in Gaza as war crimes.

The Palestinian rights groups Al-Haq, Al Mezan and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights stated this weekthat they “have submitted five comprehensive communications to the prosecutor” as part of the court’s preliminary examination.

“These communications have related to the 2014 offensive against the Gaza Strip, the Israeli-imposed Gaza closure, the use of the Hannibal Directive in Rafah, and crimes committed in the West Bank including Jerusalem,” the groups stated, adding that they “have also provided information on the lack of domestic investigations and prosecutions.”

The prosecutor “has sufficient evidence” to open a full investigation, according to the rights groups.

“The ICC acting as a court of last resort must provide redress to Palestinian victims,” they added.

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“Don’t Treat Us Like Animals”: Outrage Builds After Border Agent Kills Indigenous Guatemalan Woman

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Image result for US Border Patrol CARTOON

In Guatemala, family members are demanding justice for Claudia Gómez González, the 19-year-old Indigenous woman whom a US Border Patrol agent shot in the head and killed last week in Texas near the US border. Border Patrol initially claimed that the shooting occurred after an agent “came under attack by multiple subjects using blunt objects.” The original statement described González as “one of the assailants.” But later the agency changed its story, saying the agent opened fire after “the group ignored his verbal commands and instead rushed him.” However, a resident who lives near where the shooting occured said she never heard the agent yell anything. The Guatemalan Consulate in Del Rio, Texas, is calling for an investigation into González’s death, criticizing the “violence and excessive use of force by the Border Patrol.” At the time of her death, González was headed to Virginia to reunite with her boyfriend. For more, we go to Houston, where we speak with Astrid Dominguez, director of the ACLU’s Border Rights Center. We also speak with Sarah Macaraeg, an award-winning investigative journalist, in St. Louis, Missouri.

TRANSCRIPT

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Claudia Gómez González. That is the name of the 19-year-old indigenous Guatemalan woman who US Border Patrol agents shot in the head last week, killing her in Texas near the US border. Claudia’s nickname was Princesita, or “Little Princess.” The Guatemalan Consulate in Del Rio, Texas, has called for an investigation into her death, while criticizing the “violence and excessive use of force by the Border Patrol.”

Border Patrol initially claimed that the shooting occurred after an agent, quote, “came under attack by multiple subjects using blunt objects.” The original statement described Claudia as “one of the assailants.” But later the agency changed its story, saying the agent opened fire after, quote, “the group ignored the verbal commands and instead rushed him.”

AMY GOODMAN: But a resident who lives near the shooting said she never heard the agent yell anything. At the time of her death, Claudia was headed to Virginia, where her boyfriend, Yosimar Morales, lives. Yosimar posted this emotional video message online.

YOSIMAR MORALES: [translated] First off, good evening. I want to thank the people who live in Texas at the border. Thank you for all the support you have given me. And to social media, thank you for the support to continue moving forward. I know that losing a family member is a painful thing, losing a loved one. Despite all the plans that one has to see each other again, unfortunately, it didn’t happen like that. My girlfriend was killed while crossing the border. An immigration agent shot her. Unfortunately, she was shot in the head and killed immediately. I’m asking, please, for everyone who sees this video, support me in demanding justice, in bringing to justice the person who did this. Losing a family member is painful. It’s tragic, losing a loved one. I’m asking for your help in demanding justice. Thank you.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Claudia Gómez González’s family says she was attempting to come to the United States to further her education. This is her mother, Lidia González.

LIDIA GONZÁLEZ VÁSQUEZ: [translated] “I’ll save some money,” she said. “I’ll earn money for my studies,” she said. But, unfortunately, she was unable to do that. My poor little girl! My little baby! No, no, no. This can’t be. She’s gone, my baby. That’s how it is. I want justice for my girl, because it’s not fair for them to do this. … Now, if people are able to help me retrieve my baby’s body as soon as possible, that’s what I want. We can’t do anything else now. She’s dead. She’s dead.

AMY GOODMAN: The shooting death of Claudia Gómez González is not an isolated incident. A recent investigation by The Guardian newspaper revealed the US government has paid over $60 million over the past decade to settle claims against Border Patrol. This includes at least 20 wrongful death claims filed against CBP. That’s Customs and Border Patrol.

To talk more about these stories, we’re joined by two guests. Astrid Dominguez is director of the ACLU Border Rights Center. And Sarah Macaraeg is an award-winning investigative journalist and contributor to The Guardian. Earlier this month, she wrote a three-part investigation into Border Patrol violence. But we’re going to begin with Astrid Dominguez.

Talk about exactly what you know happened to Claudia.

ASTRID DOMINGUEZ: Good morning, Amy. We know that last week, on Wednesday, May 23rd, according to Border Patrol, Claudia Patricia Gómez González crossed the border with a group of immigrants. Border Patrol arrived to the scene after someone reported illegal activity, and encountered the group.

What we know after is that Border Patrol states the group attacked the agent with blunt objects, calling Claudia one of the assailants, and shot her in the head. On Friday, Border Patrol retracted and doesn’t call her an assailant anymore, but a group — a member of the group that was crossing. And the agency states that the agent was no longer attacked by a blunt — wasn’t attacked by a blunt object, but the group rushed to the agent, and the group didn’t follow any commands.

What we also know is from the neighbor who recorded this incident right after it had happened. There is the reason why Border Patrol should be wearing body-worn cameras. This would give us more clarity as to what happened to Claudia and what led that agent to shoot Claudia. We have that video in which Miss Marta screams at the agents and protests the violence that took place right at her backyard.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, Astrid, you’ve been working on this issue for quite a while. Your concerns? Could you talk about Customs and Border Patrol and their tactics as they attempt to stem the flow of migrants coming across the border?

ASTRID DOMINGUEZ: Sure. We have several concerns about this particular case, is: What happened to the three immigrants that crossed with Claudia? What is going to happen to them? Will they be deported? They shouldn’t be deported. They should have legal representation. And they might be key witnesses. We need to know what happened to Claudia. And they should be telling their story without fear of being intimidated.

Now, this agency has a track record of violence. This isn’t the first case, sadly, where immigrants are killed at the hands of Border Patrol. There has been, in the past eight years, around 50 people that have been killed by the hands of Border Patrol. And the agency also has a very bad track record in terms of accountability and oversight. We’re talking about an agency that has a record, and they have not — the officers, when they violate policy, are not accountable for their actions.

Just an example, the 20/20 video that probably you’ve seen of the teenage boy Cruz [Velazquez]. He was a teenage boy that was crossing the San Diego border, and he was suspected of carrying liquid meth. The agents asked the teenage boy to drink the liquid meth right there, against policy. The child died right after that. Now, these agents are still on the job, and there is no discipline, or there was no action taken, as far as we know. There is a lot of reforms that this agency needs. And among them, we’re talking about the use of force and their policy manuals, as well.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to turn to Claudia’s aunt, Dominga Vicente.

DOMINGA VICENTE: [translated] This isn’t the first person who has died in this country. There are various people. They are treating us like animals. And this isn’t the way it should be. I’m asking the authorities and the institutions, impose some discipline or call upon the US government to stop treating us in this way, like animals.

AMY GOODMAN: That is Claudia’s aunt, Dominga. I wanted to bring Sarah Macaraeg into this conversation, as she says she’s not the only person who’s been killed. Talk about your investigation, Sarah.

SARAH MACARAEG: Thank you for having me on, Amy. I’m glad to be here to talk about this, because what I found when I looked at fatal encounters with Border Patrol agents over the last 15 years, not including just fatal shootings but all manner of encounters, I found, counting Claudia’s death now, 98 fatal encounters with Border Patrol agents in the last 15 years. And that includes shootings, as I mentioned, and shootings in which incidents like what happened to Claudia, you know, that they’re a pattern among them, among those fatal encounters. But the fatal encounters also include a whole ‘nother litany of violence. As Astrid mentioned, there have been fatal encounters that have happened as a result of malice and negligence. In addition to the incident that happened with the teenager attempting to cross, there have been people who have drowned. There have been people who have died from supposedly nonlethal force, people who died after being pepper-sprayed and tased and beaten.

I found that through looking at civil suit settlements the agency has paid out over the last, you know, dozen or so years. I separately looked at fatal encounters because what I started seeing in all the civil suit settlements were a number of wrongful death claims, and I felt that that probably only hinted — the number was so small, and I had heard of so many other incidents, I felt that the number of claims that have actually settled out only hinted at what was a broader pattern of violence. And so, I saw 20 wrongful death claims over, you know, a dozen or so years. But digging deeper, looking at fatal encounters, some of which have been dismissed in court, some of which have never made it to court — because another important point that Astrid shared are that, in many instances, some of the eyewitnesses are migrants themselves. And, you know, without those eyewitness accounts, it’s very hard to bring a complaint. The cases that we do know about, you know, share features that came up in the shooting of Claudia Gómez González. And the only reason we know about some of these other cases is because of the persistence of family members in demanding justice and because of solidarity of border communities in supporting family members in those claims.

This is not the first shooting, by far, in which we’ve seen agents allege, you know, that people were throwing objects at them. Most prevalently, that’s been rocks. There have been a number of cross-border shooting incidents where alleged rock throwing has come up. But there have also been those shootings inside the United States, one of which was even settled under the current Department of Justice, in which a man was alleged to have thrown, you know, what an agent called basketball-sized rocks at him from above. That agent was back at work within six days, local news media reported. What the lawyer in that case told me, that the current Department of Justice settled out that case for a half-million dollars, told me that the medical examiner’s report was at odds with the agent’s account, because the man died from two downward-trajectory bullet wounds and was of very slight stature to be throwing basketball-sized rocks. Rock throwing and the throwing of objects allegedly has come up so often in use of deadly force among Border Patrol agents that it even prompted a change in policy in 2014, which stated that, you know, after looking at many incidents — and this came from the current chief of the Border Patrol at the time — what a study of those incidents found was that agents could, in many instances, simply move out of harm’s way, that deadly force wasn’t necessary. And so, that prompted a change in policy regarding thrown objects in 2014.

And the shooting of Claudia Gómez González is one that’s taken place since then, that seems to be, from what we can tell, although the facts are obscured, which is another common occurrence in many of these fatal shooting incidents — but from what we can tell, this shooting would seem to be in violation of that policy, regarding their initial claim, which they’ve already walked back.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Sarah, I wanted to ask you — you mentioned that you ferreted out many of these cases through looking through civil suits. Many of these deaths got very little publicity. But, certainly, the Customs and Border Patrol knows exactly who dies in interactions with them. What’s your sense of the accountability within the agency in terms of the agents involved in these cases?

SARAH MACARAEG: I think that when people say this agency — that there’s a culture of impunity in this agency, when people say that this agency acts as if it’s above the law, I think that that is absolutely a fair statement. What I found when I looked at anything I could find regarding accountability and oversight for some of these incidents — you know, there was a shooting that was not dissimilar from that of Claudia Gómez González that goes back to 2007, although I found fatal incidents before that and fatal shootings before that. But the one that occurred in 2007 is notable. It was a young man, approximately 20 years old, had recently crossed the border. According to the civil suit, he was with siblings. The Border Patrol agent that showed up showed up as a result of a National Guard alert. And soon afterwards, a young man was shot and killed, in the words of the complaint, “execution-style.” The government went on to settle that civil suit for $750,000. In a very, very rare instance, the agent in that shooting was actually criminally charged. And twice he walked away free after a hung jury. That, him being — having brought charges against him is very rare. A conviction is even rarer. We’ve yet to see that.

We’ve actually just seen another Border Patrol agent who was found not guilty of murder, although he’ll be retrialed again this — he’ll face a retrial again this fall in the shooting death, a cross-border shooting death, of a teen who allegedly threw rocks. So those are two very rare instances in which criminal charges were brought, but in which there were no convictions.

Meanwhile, in terms of the agency’s own internal reviews, they set up a National Use of Force Review Board. But if you look at any public report, any report that that review board has made public, they have found, you know, all of the incidents — all of the incidents in accordance with standing policy at the time, although some of those incidents have actually compelled the agency to even change their policy, regarding, you know, firing at shooting vehicles and regarding allegedly thrown objects. And so, you know, there’s very little accountability that we can tell has taken place.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to bring Astrid back into the conversation. Astrid Dominguez, talk about the new ACLU report detailing the widespread abuse and neglect of unaccompanied immigrant children detained by border agents during the Obama administration, the ACLU uncovering documents detailing verbal, physical, sexual abuse of migrant children; the denial of clean drinking water, adequate food; failure to provide necessary medical care; detention in freezing, unsanitary conditions. Can you talk about what further you found and what you’re demanding?

ASTRID DOMINGUEZ: This report was published last week. As you well stated, these are documents that the agency provided that go from 2009 to 2014. The agency provided over 30,000 pages of internal documents of complaints that have been placed against CBP from children abuses. And this is — I mean, the stories are appalling. There are stories from kids claiming that the agents not only beat them, but also psychologically mistreated them, calling them dogs, threatening them with rape or, you know, to let them — they were going to let them die. The kids were refused basic necessities, just like you mentioned, like water, food. A girl was sexually assaulted: An agent opened up her legs and touched her so hard that she screamed. And these documents are on our website at the ACLU. This —

AMY GOODMAN: So, we only have 30 seconds, but what you’re calling for in those cases and in the case of Claudia?

ASTRID DOMINGUEZ: So, first of all, what we need is an investigation. We need to know that these types of abuses are not happening anymore. Even though this was during the Obama administration, we ought to make sure that CBP has changed and that these abuses are not currently happening. Second of all, the oversight agencies over CBP, which is the OIG, the Office of Inspector General, the Civil Rights Civil Liberties Office and the —

AMY GOODMAN: Ten seconds.

ASTRID DOMINGUEZ:  — their internal affairs, should also have greater powers to make sure that agents are held accountable for their actions and that these abuses no longer happen to kids who are in Border Patrol custody.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to thank you both very much for being with us, Astrid Dominguez, director of the ACLU’s Border Rights Center, speaking to us from Houston, and Sarah Macaraeg, award-winning investigative journalist, contributor to The Guardian, speaking to us from St. Louis.

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Historically, the Biggest Violator of Human Rights on the Korean Peninsula Isn’t North Korea

NOVANEWS

By Joseph Essertier

US forces target rail cars south of Wonsan, North Korea, an east coast port city, in 1950 during the Korean War.

US armed forces target rail cars south of Wonsan, North Korea, an east coast port city, in 1950 during the Korean War. (Photo: US Army Military History Institute)

On February 22, 2018, at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Vice President Mike Pence described North Korea as “the most tyrannical and oppressive regime on the planet, an evil family clique that brutalizes, subjugates, starves and imprisons its 25 million people.”

As a rare, concrete example of North Korea’s “horrendous human rights abuses and crimes against humanity,” Pence trotted out the tragic case of Otto Warmbier, who suffered a “severe neurological injury” of unknown cause, according to the coroner in Ohio, and died at the age of 22 after being released by North Korea’s government.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has said that, in his estimation, the government in the North bears a “heavy responsibility” for the process that led to Warmbier’s death, but President Moon also warns, “We cannot know for sure that North Korea killed Mr. Warmbier.” Pence and the man he calls the “Leader of the Free World” (i.e., Donald Trump), on the other hand, know for sure that Pyongyang killed Warmbier. Somehow, they just know it.

Pence used the story of Warmbier to explain why he remained in his seat at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games as the athletes from North and South Korea walked in together: “So for all those in the media who think I should have stood and cheered with the North Koreans, I say the United States of America doesn’t stand with murderous dictatorships, we stand up to murderous dictatorships,” he said.

He also praised Trump for “restoring strong American leadership” through such actions as withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord and signing the “largest investment in our national defense since the days of Ronald Reagan.”

The audience who mindlessly clapped in support of Pence seemed to believe that North Korea’s government is guilty of “horrendous human rights abuses and crimes against humanity,” while ours is not. A curious position to adopt.

Consider the words of the American historian Bruce Cumings in North Korea: Another Country:

American strategy toward North Korea during and after the hot war concluded in 1953 is not a question of whether North Korea has been governed by people we like or respect…. The question is whether we have lived up to our ideals. North Korea has always posed the same question that Nazi Germany and militarist Japan did, namely, that morality in warfare always requires the separation of the enemy leadership from the innocence of the people whom they lead, whether in the 1950s, or today when 23 million human beings live in North Korea’s garrison state. In that, we have consistently failed.”

Of course, we have to agree with the form of Pence’s words — that we must confront “horrendous human rights abuses and crimes against humanity.” It goes without saying that we must confront all governments, especially our own, for their past violations of human rights, to protect the rights not only of Americans, but also those of people in other countries — something clearly not germane to Pence’s mouth-frothing oratory.

As many have admitted, even US Secretary of Defense James “Mad Dog” Mattis, to restart the Korean War would be to initiate a catastrophe of unprecedented proportions. He surmised that such a conflict would be “probably the worst kind of fighting in most people’s lifetimes.” If that is true, then it would also result in the violation of the human rights of North Koreans on a massive scale. Preventing such a war is one of the ways that we Americans must protect human rights, and ensure the very survival of Homo sapiens, for that matter.

The bombing of cities in North Korea was even more thorough than the bombing of Japan’s cities during the Pacific War.

Washington will surely raise the issue of human rights violations during the June 12 summit in Singapore between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un. It is a tragedy that the narrow definition of this concept employed by the US government and the mass media for their ends is sometimes also employed, or at least given lip service, by human rights organizations. Too many good-hearted, responsible people these days have been indoctrinated such that they ignore two fundamental types of such violations: those that are caused by a general state of war and those committed by our soldiers, who are commanded by our commander-in-chief and our generals, and therefore, are our responsibility.

In the Korean War, US soldiers committed many horrible atrocities contrary to our human rights ideals, such as those in the No Gun Ri Massacre. In July 1950, American soldiers, mostly inexperienced young men freshly arrived from Tokyo, were ordered to machine-gun down “hundreds of helpless civilians under a railroad bridge,” in the words of Chon Chun-ja, a Korean woman who survived the attack.

The victims, all dressed in traditional, white farmers’ clothes, were overwhelmingly women, children and the elderly. “The soldier, be he friend or foe, is charged with the protection of the weak and unarmed,” in the words of General Douglas MacArthur. In The Korean War: A History, Bruce Cumings notes that MacArthur was the same man who “ordered that a wasteland be created between the war front and the Yalu River border, destroying from the air every ‘installation, factory, city, and village’ over thousands of square miles of North Korean territory.” (The Yalu River forms a natural boundary between China and North Korea.) The “terrible swath of destruction” extended all the way into South Korea, one reason being that there were Chinese as well as Korean forces there.

The New York Times reported on June 20, 1953, that the US Air Force had bombed dams in two places, Kusong and Toksan. The bombing of the Toksan Dam produced a huge flood that destroyed 700 buildings in Pyongyang 20 miles away, 10 bridges, many roads, thousands of acres of rice; disabled two rail lines for days; and “scooped clean” 27 miles of river valley. Several other dams were also similarly destroyed, causing massive and instant death and destruction as well as long-term suffering for an untold number of Koreans. Bombing the Kusong and Toksan dams was a violation of human rights on an unimaginable scale, reported dutifully in the most influential American newspaper in fine print, and then ignored for decades. The bombing of cities in North Korea was even more thorough than the bombing of Japan’s cities during the Pacific War.

When a city is completely destroyed, so too, is much of the people’s history.

One of the greatest killing sprees in history was the napalm “firebombing” of Tokyo on the night of March 9-10, 1945, when 100,000 Japanese civilians were killed. The bombing of Japan’s cities during the Pacific War was a violation of human rights of enormous proportions. The later US violations of the rights of North Koreans during the Korean War were arguably even worse, considering the fact that in the cities a higher percentage of buildings were destroyed.

When a city is completely destroyed, so too, is much of the people’s history. They lose their past. It is difficult for us to imagine what such a loss feels like because our cities have never before been bombed.

Historical massacres aside, every time the Trump administration talks about Pyongyang’s violations of the rights of North Koreans, we should remind ourselves that even now, US leaders themselves are violating the most fundamental human rights through the sanctions and the threat of annihilation. Trump’s threat at the United Nations last year was a war crime. Reflecting on the last 70 years of the US military in Korea, Washington can legitimately be called “North Korean Human Rights Violator Number One.” We should remind the world that the scale of human rights violations committed by the US against North Korea during that period overshadow anything perpetrated by North Koreans themselves. We should remember that the US invaded North Korea. Stating the obvious is tiresome, but many Americans have been kept in the dark about our history in Korea.

As part of the campaign to establish Syngman Rhee as president — the dictator who ruled South Korea from 1948 to 1960 — US government officials and military personnel committed egregious human rights violations, even against South Korean civilians. They sometimes looked on while Koreans tortured and massacred other Koreans. Worse, they helped put treacherous murderers of Koreans, such as former police and military personnel of the Empire of Japan, into powerful positions in government. Many of those murderers became legislators in the new government in the south, i.e., the Republic of Korea (ROK). That was before the Korean War. And during that war, both North and South Korean cities were bombed.

Nor should we ignore the successes of the North Korean regime in creating some conditions that have actually favored human rights. As Helen-Louise Hunter documents in her book, Kim Il-song’s North Korea, according to internal assessments of the CIA, these conditions included compassionate care for children and especially war orphans; radical, progressive change in the position of women; free housing; free health care; and good infant mortality and life expectancy rates. Remarkable that this poor country achieved all this by the 1980s, in the midst of the threat of a second invasion. Before applauding Pence as the freedom warrior, one might actually consider the part he has played in curtailing such rights for American citizens over the last year.

The notion of human rights violations must be expanded such that it includes violations that come from outside the country, not only from within the country.

The notion of human rights violations must be expanded such that it includes violations that come from outside the country, not only from within the country. Our government violates the human rights of Koreans as well as those of Americans. Like North Korea, our government incarcerates a large percentage of its citizens. Our prison system cannot be held up as a model for anything other than profound injustice and violation of human rights. Likewise, why is it that the notion of “denuclearization” does not usually include US nuclear disarmament?

In the end, one of the causes of our biased view of human rights is a combination of our belief in US exceptionalism, and our misplaced belief that American lives are more precious than are the lives of North Koreans. To bring up Pyongyang’s human rights violations at this moment in history — when there is a chance for peace, a chance to finally end the Korean War, before we have reflected on and atoned for our own country’s violations of the human rights of North Koreans — is sanctimonious hypocrisy on a truly grand scale.

Obviously, normalization of North Korea’s government will make monitoring of human rights inside North Korea easier. To focus at this time on the signing of a peace treaty is not to forget those victims in North Korea — neither those whose rights have been violated by their government, nor those that our government is responsible for. It is to do the very opposite, to lay the groundwork for the burgeoning of human rights protections. Imagine hundreds of thousands of Koreans flowing across the Demilitarized Zone at the 38th parallel in both directions. What would that do for human rights in North Korea?

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Rev. Billy Graham Dies at 99

NOVANEWS

Rev. Billy Graham Dies at 99 – Listen to Graham Shockingly Say that “If the Jewish Stranglehold of Media is Not Broken America Will Go Down the Drain!

    Rev. Billy Graham Dies at 99 – Listen to Graham Shockingly Say that “If the Jewish Stranglehold of Media is Not Broken America Will Go Down the Drain!”

    Watch this David Duke Video called Should Christians Support Israel showing Rev. Graham and President Nixon saying that if the Jewish stranglehold on “media is not broken, America will go down the drain.” Graham asks Nixon if he believes that, and Nixon answers, “I believe that, but I can never say it (outloud).

    Rev. Billy Graham Dies at 99 – Listen to Graham State that “If the Jewish Stranglehold of Media is Not Broken America Will Go Down the Drain!”

    Not that the video has now been oppressed by Google as objectionable and is suppressed in search engines, and is not allowed for people to share the video comment on it or rate the video. One reason they don’t know allow rating of this video that people coming upon the video will see that the video is overwhelmingly given approval by viewers, but they don’t want people to know how popular it is.

    Of course it is popular, there is no hate speech in this video. In fact it quotes one the most respected Christian leaders in the world, and a president of the United States and far from promoting hatred it exposes the real apostles of hatred against Christianity and the Christian values of the Western World !

    Please write to google and YouTube and protest the repression of this video and point out is that all it does is quote Rev. Graham, the New Testament, and shows the intolerance and hate propaganda against the Christian faith and Christian values of Western Civilization.

    Best to You!

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    Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich can enter the UK after being granted ‘Israeli’ citizenship following British visa hold-up

    NOVANEWS

    Abramovich has been granted Israeli citizenship following a spat between Moscow and London in the wake of the Salisbury nerve agent attack

    Roman Abramovich

    • Roman Abramovich has been granted Israeli citizenship, officials confirm
    • Born to Jewish parents, he has a right to citizenship under Law of Return
    • His British visa expired last month and it is taking ‘longer than usual’ to renew 
    • Israeli citizenship allows him to visit for short stays, but not work in the UK

    Abramovich has been granted Israeli citizenship following a spat between Moscow and London in the wake of the Salisbury nerve agent attack

    Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich will be able to return to the UK after becoming an Israeli citizen.

    Abramovich arrived in Tel Aviv yesterday and received an Israeli identity card under the Law of Return, which allows Jews, as well as people with a Jewish parent, grandparent or spouse, the right to citizenship.

    The Russian billionaire, who owns a £125million mansion in London‘s Kensington, made the move to become an Israeli citizen after the renewal of his British visa was hit by a delay.

    Abramovich was caught up in the row after Theresa May targeted Russian oligarchs in a tit-for-tat row with Putin in the wake of the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury.

    The 51-year-old businessman was born to Lithuanian Jewish parents Irina and Arkady, which gives him the right to an Israeli citizenship.

    Russia maintains a strong relationship with Israel, and allows dual citizenship, meaning Abramovich will be able to hold both a Russian and and Israeli passport.

    Israeli citizens may enter the UK without a visa for short stays, although they require a permit in order to work in Britain.

    Abramovich arrived at Ben Gurion International Airport, southeast of Tel Aviv, early yesterday, Israel’s Interior Ministry confirmed.

    The Nativ Liaison Bureau, which manages immigration from Russian-speaking countries, confirmed the tycoon applied for citizenship from abroad last week.

    ‘Roman Abramovich arrived at the Israeli embassy in Moscow like any other person. He filed a request to receive an immigration permit, his documents were checked according to the Law of Return, and he was indeed found eligible,’ a spokesperson told Channel 10 news.

    A view of the Varsano Hotel in Neve Tzedek from the garden - Roman Abramovich's home in Israel, and bought from Hollywood star Gal Gadot

    A view of the Varsano Hotel in Neve Tzedek from the garden – Roman Abramovich’s home in Israel, and bought from Hollywood star Gal Gadot

    Chelsea Football Club Billonaire owner Roman Abramovich's specially adapted £56 million pound Boeing 767 Airliner (stock image)

    Chelsea Football Club Billonaire owner Roman Abramovich’s specially adapted £56 million pound Boeing 767 Airliner (stock image)

    Abramovich has been a regular visitor to Israel, where he has bought a former hotel from Israeli Hollywood actress Gal Gadot in Neve Tzedek, an old Tel Aviv neighbourhood, close to the Mediterranean shore.

    Israel-based Russian language newspaper Vesty reported the tycoon was on the ground at Ben Gurion Airport for around three hours after arriving in his £56million private Boeing 767 jet.

    ‘He was issued a certificate of a new repatriate (Teudat Oleh) and an identity card (Teudat Zehut),’ reported Vesty yesterday.

    Upon receiving his citizenship, Abramovich, who is worth £8.6billion ($11.4bn), immediately became the richest man in Israel.

    The website reported that he opened a bank account and arranged medical insurance during his three-hour stint in the country, before jetting off to an unknown location.

    Should Abramovich take up residence in Israel, he would be able to benefit from the 2008 tax law, which allows new Israeli citizens a ten year tax exemption on all income earned abroad.

    Chelsea's Russian owner Roman Abramovich (left) shakes hands with former Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink during a UEFA Champions League Group C football match between Chelsea and Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge in London on December 5, 2017

    Chelsea’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich (left) shakes hands with former Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink during a UEFA Champions League Group C football match between Chelsea and Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge in London on December 5, 2017

    Eclipse yacht, the world's second largest, belonging to Roman Abramovich, moored near Cavtat, Croatia (stock image)

    Eclipse yacht, the world’s second largest, belonging to Roman Abramovich, moored near Cavtat, Croatia (stock image)

    A source close to Abramovich told the Jerusalem Post that the billionaire ‘is very committed to Israel.

    ‘He has family ties there and has invested in business and has charitable contributions and this has been in the back of his mind for a while, to formalise his ties with the country.’

    The Jerusalem post added that Abramovich has made multiple generous donations in Israel, including about $60million to various advanced medical ventures at the Sheba Medical Center, and $30million towards the establishment of an innovative new nanotechnology site at Tel Aviv University.

    Abramovich’s British special investor visa expired last month.

    The delay in renewing it follows a Whitehall crackdown on Russian applications in the aftermath of the Sergei Skripal nerve agent poisoning, which was blamed on Moscow despite the Kremlin’s strong denial.

    Scores of Russian oligarchs with homes and businesses in London face being swept up in the Government’s new crackdown on ‘unexplained’ foreign wealth.

    Abramovich, who bought Chelsea in 2003, was last in the UK in early April this year. He was unable to travel to Britain to watch Chelsea win the FA Cup Final.

    The British government has declined to comment on Abramovich’s case.

    What is Israel’s ‘Law of Return’

    The Law of Return (1950) grants every Jew, wherever they may be, the right to come to Israel as an oleh (a Jew immigrating to Israel) and become an Israeli citizen.

    For the purposes of the Law, ‘Jew’ means a person who was born of a Jewish mother, or has converted to Judaism and is not a member of another religion.

    Israeli citizenship becomes effective on the day of arrival in the country or of receipt of an oleh’s certificate, whichever is later. A person may declare, within three months, that he/she does not wish to become a citizen.

    Since 1970, the right to immigrate under this law has been extended to include the child and the grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a child of a Jew and the spouse of the grandchild of a Jew.

    Source: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

     

    Posted in ZIO-NAZI, UKComments Off on Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich can enter the UK after being granted ‘Israeli’ citizenship following British visa hold-up

    Credit Moon, Not Trump or Kim, for the Breakthrough With North Korea

    NOVANEWS

    Moon Jae-In stands in front of Donald Trump and waves to guests at the White House | Getty Images

    South Korea’s president has been planning his peace gambit for his entire life. If peace breaks out on the peninsula, he’ll deserve the bulk of the applause.

    SEOUL, South Korea—Last summer, South Korea’s new president, only two months into his term, announced sweeping new goals—including the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, inter-Korean industrial economic zones and traffic networks that he described as a“New Korean Peninsula Economic Map,” and a peace treaty. “The five-year plans for state affairs announced today will be the blueprint and compass for a new Korea,” Moon said.

    Few people outside of the country took much notice—Americans have been too busy debating whether their own president, Donald Trump, deserves credit for bringing North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un to the table. Yet this year, events have kept falling into place with an eerie sense of predestination.

    Diplomacy is rarely so neat. It takes planning—and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in has been preparing for this moment for his entire life. It’s not Trump or Kim who should be lauded for setting the conditions for peace in Korea—it’s Moon.

    ***

    The image was stunning: Moon, the son of North Korean refugees, beaming at the grandson of the North Korean founder, Kim Il-sung, who created the conditions that forced his parents to flee their village for a refugee camp to the south. The stage-managed moment was also not without a touch of theatrical flair. Each detail of the April 27 inter-Korean summit was hammered out in advance to make Kim feel comfortable on his foray across the demarcation line, hand in hand, with Moon.

    Many steps brought the 65-year-old South Korean president to this juncture. He came of age during a military dictatorship that began when the father of his immediate predecessor seized power in a 1961 coup. As a young man, he worked as a human rights attorney and helped found the left-leaning national newspaper Hankyoreh. After years as a subaltern in the country’s liberal Democratic party, he swept to power in a May 2017 election to replace his conservative predecessor, Park Geun-hye, after her impeachment on corruption charges.

    South Koreans compare him with a past leader from his party, President Kim Dae-jung, whose “sunshine policy” of increasing contact with the North and a groundbreaking 2000 inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang garnered him the Nobel Peace Prize later the same year. A second summit between the two sitting Korean leaders followed in 2007 with Kim’s father, Kim Jong-il, and South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun. As the South Korean leader’s chief presidential secretary, Moon was one of the organizers.

    Many conservative South Koreans deem the sunshine policy a failure. North Korea’s nuclear and missile testing programs have only grown stronger since the two previous summits. Worse, some experts believe the research has been funded in part by a large payment made to North Korea in advance of the 2000 summit, the extent of which only became known later. A South Korean investigation into a $500 million transfer to North Korea made by Hyundai found that possibly as much as a quarter of it was government money, while the rest was a business investment.

    But Moon is clearly undaunted by the doubts. Soon after moving into the Blue House, South Korea’s presidential residence, he began cultivating the other members of the former six-party talks to put a halt to North Korea’s nuclear program: the two Koreas, the United States, Japan, China and Russia.

    The Oval Office was among his first stops. He made an official state visit in June, a month after winning the South Korean presidency. His relationship with Trump appeared to nosedive in September when the U.S. president accused him of “appeasement” for favoring dialogue with the North. Two months later, Trump was posing for photographs by his side in Seoul, South Korea’s kinetic capital of 10 million.

    Then in a New Year’s phone call, a visibly relieved Moon convinced the U.S. president to shorten the annual joint military exercises between the two countries—which North Korea habitually views as a provocation—from two months to one. “I believe it would greatly help ensure the success of the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games if you could express an intention to delay joint South Korea-U.S. military exercises during the Olympics,” he told Trump, who agreed to postpone the drills until April 1.

    In his next deft diplomatic move, Moon seized upon the symbolism of the Olympics to pry open negotiations with his country’s bellicose neighbor. His administration spent $3 million to subsidize North Korea’s participation at the Winter Games, where the reclusive state sent athletes, cheerleaders and even Kim’s sister. This wasn’t mere window dressing, but an opportunity for soft diplomacy.

    Moon took charge of the diplomatic endeavors in the Olympic corridors by meeting with high-level delegations from the U.S., Japan, North Korea and others. At the Opening Ceremony, Kim’s younger sister personally handed him a letter from her brother inviting him to Pyongyang. Although the inter-Korean summit was later held at Panmunjom, the “truce village” along the border, the South Korean president immediately responded to this invitation by sending an envoy to the North Korean capital. Chung Eui-Yong, the South’s national security adviser, followed up his trip to the North with a dash to Washington to persuade Trump to meet face-to-face with Kim. In a huge favor to Moon, the White House allowed Chung to brief reporters about Trump’s willingness to attend an unprecedented summit with North Korea.

    As he emerged from the Oval Office, Chung said he had told the U.S. president how much Kim had “stressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible.” Although Moon had set the ball rolling with his Olympics diplomacy, Chung was careful to credit the American president with a leading role. “Along with President Trump, we are optimistic about continuing a diplomatic process to test the possibility of a peaceful resolution,” he said. In a possible attempt to reassure the foreign policy hawks on North Korea, he said his country stood firm with the United States “in insisting that we not repeat the mistakes of the past and that the pressure will continue until North Korea matches its words with concrete actions.”

    During Chung’s perambulations from Pyongyang to Washington in the first week of March, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told a group of international journalists meeting in Seoul, “Although there were no direct contacts between the United States and North Korean delegations on the sidelines of the Olympics, we were able to confirm through our discussions with each the willingness of both sides to engage directly.”

    Kang credited Trump’s toughness on North Korea with helping to bring Kim to the negotiation table.She told the journalists on March 5 that if North Korea changed course on the nuclear issue, the United States and South Korea “stand ready to offer it a brighter, more prosperous future,” language that has since been echoed by Trump.

    By the end of the week, Kang would be packing her bags to visit Washington to pave the way for what may become the first U.S.-North Korea summit.

    Shortly after the announcement, Kim left North Korea on a slow-moving train to Beijing. Some media reports portrayed this as a bold, new chapter in his leadership. You might equally compare it with a teenager coming home from college for spring break: Although he is used to a degree of autonomy, he still needs to ask to borrow the car.

    It is no exaggeration to say that Kim’s regime couldn’t exist without the support of China. Over the years, it has sold North Korea such life essentials as fuel, rice and textiles, while buying its coal, iron ore and finished clothing.

    China has been helping to construct this diplomatic puzzle that South Korea began piecing together late last year. The work has proceeded in a pattern of bilateral meetings. In part, this is due to pragmatism. On the campaign trail, candidate Trump said repeatedly that as president he would engage in bilateral talks. He portrayed America as getting a raw deal in multilateral negotiations, particularly on trade. Taking the piecemeal approach has also allowed Moon and his envoys to play to the egos of both Trump and Kim.

    An annual journalism conference in Seoul during the first week of March, which I attended as the incoming president of the Society of Professional Journalists, provided a glimpse into the country’s new foreign policy stance. The title of this year’s conference—the first since Moon took office—was ripped straight from the pages of his policy agenda: Role of Press for Denuclearization of Korean Peninsula and World Peace. The annual event is hosted by the Journalists Association of Korea and co-sponsored by the country’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, among other organizations.

    More than 60 international journalists gathered a few days after the closing ceremony of the Olympics. A colleague and I were the only Americans. Several countries in the region sent three participants each, including China, Indonesia, Mongolia and Vietnam. Yet some key Pacific Rim countries weren’t represented, such as Canada, Australia, and most notably, Japan, which at the nearest point is some 130 miles off the Korean peninsula.

    We began with an opening day forum about denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, a term that wasn’t any more clearly defined than it has been in subsequent media coverage. Does Kim intend to destroy all the nuclear weapons and long-range missiles that his country has spent hundreds of millions of dollars creating? Only South Africa has ever done that, although some Eastern European countries eliminated nuclear arsenals they inherited from the breakup of the Soviet Union.

    Even some of the local staff we encountered during the week doubted that Kim would take the ultimate step in denuclearization. “He wants to keep his regime,” said Park Hyun-sook, a tireless freelance tour guide, who goes by the name “Honey” in English. “He will never give up the nuclear weapons, but he also will not attack. I think the nuclear is only for threatening, to get favors at the negotiation table.”

    North Korea is widely considered the most militarized country on the planet. It maintains an army of 1.1 million by keeping a large portion of its population in uniform for a decade or more. Young men are required to serve for 10 years beginning at 17, and some are pushed to remain in uniform until they reach 30.

    However, Kim may have calculated that long-range missiles and sophisticated nuclear devices aren’t necessary to preserve his regime. South Koreans long ago became an effective human shield to thwart any preemptive military action against the North.

    Seoul is only as far from the demilitarized zone, or DMZ, as Baltimore is from Washington. “You are sitting in the heavy target,” South Korean journalist Choi Woosuk Kenneth told the recent forum in South Korea’s capital. “This is the place where North Korea will strike first.” Referring to the annual joint military drills by the U.S. and South Korea, at the time less than a month away, he said, “We’re preparing for a potential invasion from the North, not the other way around.”

    Choi, the editor of the future planning news desk at the conservative daily newspaper Chosun Ilbo, asked the audience why they thought South Korea hadn’t pursued a nuclear arms program of its own. One of the journalists piped up, “Because of America!”

    “It’s not America alone,” Choi responded. “The global community would shun us. And if we cannot trade, we cannot survive.”

    Kim may be coming around to the same conclusion. In 2016, China bought more than 85 percent of North Korea’s estimated $3 billion in exports and sold 90 percent of the $4 billion of goods imported by its southern neighbor, with which it shares an 880-mile land border.

    Yet experts say that China recently began enforcing U.N. sanctions, driving the isolated state’s remaining trade into the shadows. The U.N. accuses North Korea of using false paperwork and ship-to-ship cargo transfers at sea to get around the sanctions. In March, the U.N. Security Council blacklisted shipping companies—including 12 based in North Korea, three in Hong Kong and two in mainland China—for helping the North to continue the coal exports and oil imports. The net is tightening.

    Along with a peace treaty, Kim no doubt wants relief from the sanctions, and ultimately, normalized relations with the South and other potential trading partners. Yet theDemocratic People’s Republic of Korea, his country’s official name, is anything but a normal country. It is among the worst state actors in terms of human rights, press freedom and economic development. A 400-page U.N. report describes decades of official murder, torture and rape in North Korea;upwards of 100,000 North Koreans are held in conditions akin to Nazi concentration camps. Witnesses quoted in the report describe prisoners who were forced to burn corpses, and the murder of newborns to repatriated women who had attempted to defect through China, because the prison guards assumed the babies were mixed-race Chinese.

    Even before the stiffer sanctions, satellite images showed the DMZ slashing across the peninsula like a scar from an old wound, leaving the North in darkness after sunset. By contrast, the South is lit up like a candle at night. A technology-fueled economic boom, driven by global brands like Samsung and Hyundai, has made South Koreans rich in a single generation. The country ranks 33rd in the world in terms of income per person, better off than Spain and Italy. It has an average annual income around $40,000, a roughly 20-fold increase from $2,000 in 1980. Now they have cars, cell phones and nice apartments with all the modern amenities. And here comes the beggar from the North.

    So far, the costs are real, but contained. The $3 million spent on the North Korean trip to the Olympics was largely symbolic. South Korea makes substantial outlays to house, care for and integrate into their society the more than 1,000 defectors who succeed in reaching the South each year. They receive a mandatory three-month reeducation process and $6,450 a year to subsidize living costs. Choi’s presentation called attention to the discovery of an 11-inch tapeworm in a North Korean soldier who had sprinted across the DMZ amid a hail of bullets in November as evidence that some defectors require major medical attention.

    “There’s a saying in Korea, if there’s a fight between a beggar on the street and a gentleman, who do you think is going to win?” Choi asked the audience rhetorically. “The beggar. Why? Not only because he’s more desperate, but because he’s going to put all the dirt onto the gentleman’s clothes, so the gentleman is going to run away.”

    ***

    South Korea must walk a narrow path between its two powerful neighbors to the north, China and Russia, and its traditional allies like the U.S. and Japan. I got a small taste of this during the conference, which served as a kind of microcosm of the careful coalition diplomacy Moon has been juggling for the past year. The conference organizers divided participants into separate groups during site visits, and rotated honors, such as the toasts and press interviews, among journalists from different countries.

    Occasionally, our Korean hosts had to scramble to preserve harmony. When I became embroiled in an exchange with the two young Russian journalists, who were skeptical that their country was behind the social media “bots” aimed at influencing American political opinions, a Korean staffer materialized by my side. I had to greet the local dignitary hosting our lunch. I protested that we were already in the middle of lunch and I didn’t want to leave the table. A few moments later, I was bowing and exchanging cards with a man in a suit.

    Russia has a scant 11-mile land border with North Korea, along the Tumen River, with a single 1950’s-era rail bridge near Vladivostok, dubbed the “friendship bridge.” Although the two countries were major trading partners in the 1970s and ‘80s, since the fall of the Berlin Wall, China has replaced it as North Korea’s lifeline. Recently, however, Russia expressed interest in building a vehicle bridge across the river so that its trucks wouldn’t need to pass through China to reach North Korea.

    Russia’s trade with South Korea totals around $15 billion, but Moon has said he’d like to expand that rapidly. He met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok in September. The South Korean president hopes to establish a free trade agreement with Russia and other members of the Eurasian Economic Union.

    “Moon’s main motivation for closer ties with Russia is focused on North Korea,” said Artyom Lukin, an associate professor of international relations at the Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, where he attended the forum. “Seoul hopes that strong links with Russia will eventually help engage North Korea in the process of economic integration and opening up, including through trilateral (South-Russia-North) projects.”

    China is South Korea’s largest trading partner, and by a wide margin. It buys more than a quarter of South Korea’s $550 billion in exports and sells more than one-fifth of its $450 billion in imports. U.S. trade in both directions is almost exactly half the size.

    China has also become a major property developer in the south. Landing International Development, a Chinese real estate development company that trades on the Hong Kong stock exchange, recently cut the ribbon on Jeju Shinhwa World, a 27-million-square-foot resort complex on Jeju, a beach resort island off Sourth Korea’s southern coast, with 2,000 luxury hotel rooms, condominiums and shops, including the island’s largest food and beverage complex. It also boasts a convention center, theme park and casino. Future planned additions include a waterpark and a Four Seasons Resort & Spa.

    Many of the visitors will likely be Chinese. In recent years, Jeju’s provincial government has encouraged Chinese real estate investment with liberal visa policies and permanent resident status for condominium owners. Jeju’s airport, the country’s second-largest, is a regional hub with direct flights to Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and many other Chinese cities.

    With greater rail and road links between the two Koreas, China might even extend the Belt and Road Initiative—its Goliath effort to unite Eurasia and East Africa in a vast transportation network of its own creation, also known as “One Belt, One Road”—as far down as Jeju.

    ***

    At our final dinner, the staff passed around glossy printed copies of a statement. The polished young South Korean woman who had been serving as our translator read it from the podium. The audience applauded. With our applause, she said, we had approved the declaration.

    Some of us became agitated. I skimmed the handout to discern how our “approval” might be construed.

    It began by saying that inter-Korean reconciliation had become an “irreversible trend of our time” and expressing hope that “spring comes heralding rapprochement and peace on the Korean Peninsula.” It continued by calling on members of the former six-party talks—the United States, China, Japan and Russia—to join the “path toward security and peace on the Korean Peninsula.” The last paragraph troubled me. We were promising to contribute to peace on the Korean peninsula “through articles and other activities after returning home.”

    Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed some of the journalists in a huddle. The translator returned to the stage to announce that they were striking the final paragraph, which had been added by mistake.

    It’s tempting to see this as simply a cultural misunderstanding. The Journalist Association of Korea considers working toward the peaceful reunification of the peninsula among its organizational goals. An American journalist group would never pursue a political goal. But the stakes are larger. Moon is fast-tracking his agenda amid the usual cloud of skepticism because North Korea has promised to end its nuclear program before, only to reverse course. He and his supporters know that Kim could very well be shooting off rockets again if the negotiations don’t go his way, so they don’t want to overlook any potentially useful pieces of the puzzle.

    And who knows, perhaps this time really is different, as the country North Korea cannot live without now has a clear economic interest at heart. Yet it worries me to watch the euphoria over “peace” blot out the memory of the ongoing crimes that have been exposed in North Korea. Throughout my stay, I was reminded of my flight over the North Pole to reach Seoul. Although the calendar skipped ahead a full day, the sun kept skimming above and below the horizon, neither dark nor day.

    Posted in USA, North Korea, South KoreaComments Off on Credit Moon, Not Trump or Kim, for the Breakthrough With North Korea

    Trump Says North Korea Summit May Go Ahead After ‘Productive Talks’

    NOVANEWS

    Image result for North Korea Summit CARTOON

    Bloomberg’s Kevin Cirilli reports on Trump’s latest comments about meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

    President Donald Trump says his June historic summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un may be back on and could be extended following “very productive” talks between the two countries.

    “We are having very productive talks with North Korea about reinstating the Summit which, if it does happen, will likely remain in Singapore on the same date, June 12th, and, if necessary, will be extended beyond that date,” Trump said in a tweet Friday night.

    Trump abruptly canceled the planned summit in a letter to Kim on Thursday — and then pivoted a day later. “We are talking to them now,” he told reporters in Washington earlier Friday, saying the summit might proceed and “it could even be the 12th.”

    State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters in Annapolis, Maryland, on Friday, that “we are working on plans going forward.” While there are always “high points and low points” in diplomacy, she said, “we hope that the meeting will go forward at some point.”

    Tracking Trump: Follow the Administration’s Every Move

    The comments reflected a broadly shared perception inside the White House and State Department that the two leaders still want to get together and there will be a meeting eventually. “We would like to do it,” Trump said, and “they very much like to do it.”

    Less than a year after the two leaders traded threats of nuclear war, the back-and-forth over whether the summit will even happen reflects both Trump’s lead-from-the-gut style of decision-making and North Korea’s long-standing penchant for unpredictable behavior.

    U.S. Claims Successes

    U.S. officials argue that the administration has already won a great deal from North Korea, including a moratorium on missile testing and the release of three American prisoners, without giving up anything in return. A White House-led advance team is heading to Singapore this weekend as previously planned to deal with the logistics of a potential summit, Politico reported.

    But the latest developments also exemplified how quickly aspirations for successful talks between North Korea and the U.S. — which remain technically at war — can rise and fall.

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a Senate committee on Thursday that U.S. negotiators had been getting only “dial tones” when they tried calling their North Korean counterparts in recent days, which coincided with increasingly sharp rhetoric from Pyongyang about U.S. intentions. Trump cited North Korea’s “tremendous anger and open hostility” as his reason for canceling the summit.

    At the same time, it also was increasingly clear that the administration’s goal of “total denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula was interpreted differently in North Korea, which analysts say is unlikely to give up all of its nuclear capabilities and especially not in short order, as the U.S. has demanded.

    “We weren’t getting the right signals previously, so hopefully we will in the future,” Nauert said. “We didn’t want to go to a meeting just for the sake of going to a meeting. There had to be something to come out of it.”

    ‘Everyone Plays Games’

    Trump appeared to take the turbulence in stride. Asked Friday if North Korea was playing games ahead of the summit, the president responded, “Everyone plays games.”

    Although he trumpeted America’s “massive and powerful” nuclear arsenal in his letter canceling the summit, Trump also thanked Kim for the release of the detainees, described the “wonderful dialogue” they were developing and left open the door for reconciliation. North Korea responded in kind, with First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan saying that his country still wanted to pursue peace and said it would give Washington time to reconsider talks.

    “The first meeting would not solve all, but solving even one at a time in a phased way would make the relations get better rather than making them get worse,” First Vice Foreign Minister Kim said in a statement carried Friday by the state-run Korean Central News Agency. “We would like to make known to the U.S. side once again that we have the intent to sit with the U.S. side to solve problem regardless of ways at any time.”

    According to a person familiar with the administration’s thinking, Trump’s letter was intended only to convey his decision against going ahead with the summit on June 12 — not to rule out a meeting in the future. The person, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters, said the “maximum pressure” campaign to strangle North Korea’s economy is working, and Kim’s regime will have to come to the table eventually.

    China’s Vice President Wang Qishan found encouragement in the continuing exchanges between the U.S. and North Korea.

    “Both sides still leave some maneuver for a discussion,” Wang said Friday on a panel at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia. “So I’m confident that peace and security on the Korean peninsula can be maintained. And it’s between North Korea and the U.S. right now. And a summit is needed to achieve a breakthrough.”

    At the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday that “the diplomats are still at work on the summit” but declined to say whether he thought the event would take place on June 12. He did say that the leaders of the two nations have had positive interactions. “I’ll let them talk all they want and then I’ll hope and pray the diplomats pull it off,” he said.

    Posted in USA, North KoreaComments Off on Trump Says North Korea Summit May Go Ahead After ‘Productive Talks’

    On Not Remembering Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III

    NOVANEWS

    Image result for trump cartoon

     by Richard Falk

    [Prefatory Note: More than usual, I need to explain this post of an article by Vimal Patel published a few days ago in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Given the celebrity surrounding Robert Mueller since he was appointed Special Counsel to investigate charges of criminal wrongdoings associated with the 2016 election that brought us and the world, Donald Trump, the most anomalous presidency in all of American history, yet also part of a global trend toward ‘illiberal democracies,’ which may be a polite was of describing ‘democracies’ with a soft spot for fascism. In any event, Mueller’s thesis was devoted to litigation in the World Court (more formally known as the International Court of Justice) at the Hague, initiated by Ethiopia and Liberia, to challenge the extension of apartheid to the South West Africa mandate, now Namibia. I worked at The Hague on the second phase of the case as a member of the Ethiopia/Liberia team throughout the year 1964-65, while on leave from Princeton. I will write about the case in a few days. Mueller’s paper was devoted to the first phase, the much contested question as to whether the ICJ should accept jurisdiction.

    Mr. Patel’s article is concerned with what struck him and others as strange, that someone with conservative politics should choose to work with someone on the left, especially given the polarizing effects of the Vietnam debate raging on and off campus. I have lightly edited the published text for clarity.]

    —————————————————————————

    “Robert Mueller’s Undergraduate Thesis Adviser Has a Great Memory. But He Doesn’t Remember Mueller”

    By Vimal Patel, MAY 24, 2018

    Robert S. Mueller III, special counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice, wrote an undergraduate thesis at Princeton U. on “Acceptance of Jurisdiction in the South West Africa Cases.”

    Before Robert Mueller became a war hero, headed the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and led the inquiry into Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election, he had another feat to accomplish.

    The year was 1966, and he had his senior thesis to complete at Princeton University. The senior thesis is a big deal, and has been described as the defining Princeton academic experience for undergraduate seniors.

    Mueller’s 117-page thesis was titled “Acceptance of Jurisdiction in the South West Africa Cases.” It dealt with a court case at The Hague about the extension of apartheid to a South African territory, Namibia.

    In the acknowledgments section, Mueller acknowledged just one person, Richard A. Falk, “for his stimulating guidance in the preparation of this Thesis.”

    The Chronicle tracked down Falk, who is 87, in Turkey, where he has a home along the coast. He also lives in Santa Barbara, Calif., where he is a research fellow in the University of California’s Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies.

     

    “He must have been fairly low profile.”

    Falk has a razor-sharp memory, and 53 years later, can recall details of the case he argued at The Hague, like the final vote count and the name of the judge who cast the tie-breaking vote. But he has no memory of Mueller.

    However, after The Chronicle alerted him about his star student, he reread Mueller’s thesis. Falk spoke to us about Princeton in the 1960s, and what he thinks about the quality of the thesis after all these years. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

    Can you tell me how you were involved with the case Mueller wrote his thesis on?

     A.It was a very important case that had complicated political ramifications. It ended up to the surprise of almost everyone of being decided in favor of South Africa. I was involved with the litigation team of the governments that brought charges. The judges were split, 7 to 7, and the president of the International Court of Justice, an Australian and colonialist, Sir Percy Spender, had a second vote to break the tie, and cast it in favor of apartheid, South Africa’s position. The whole case involved whether South Africa was living up to its mandatory duties as set forth by the international community. The main question was whether extending apartheid to Namibia, then South-West Africa, was consistent with the mandate.

     So a key question was whether apartheid would be allowed in Namibia?

     A. Yes, whether South Africa was living up to its obligations [to govern Namibia] by extending apartheid to Namibia. And the South African argument was “It’s the best solution. After all, it’s what we do for our own people.” It was at the height of apartheid. And it made the international community very angry. The court’s decision actually accelerated Namibia’s process of independence, because people were so angry at the decision. It also led to the restructuring of the personnel of the court. It was an extremely controversial decision. It was a big breakthrough for the anti-apartheid campaign. That’s why the jurisdictional issue was politically interesting. That’s what Robert Mueller was obviously preoccupied with at the time. When I first got your message, it didn’t even occur to me that you were referring to this Robert Mueller, who has become a celebrity.

     You don’t have any memory of Robert Mueller?

    A: Unfortunately, no. None. And I remember many of my senior-thesis students. I taught at Princeton for 40 years. You do have a quite close relationship with your senior-thesis students. It’s the big thing your last year at Princeton. You can probably text me the names of 10 others, and I would remember at least eight of them.

     That’s fascinating to me because you have an impressive ability to recall half-century-old details.

     A: I could talk about the details of the case for hours. I spent a year working on it.

    Robert Mueller does strike me as sort of an unmemorable and unflashy person.

    He must have been fairly low profile. I had some very right-wing students, like, for instance, Richard Perle, who became one of the lead intellectuals of the neoconservative movement. I remember him extremely well. He was there around the same period as Mueller.

    The chair of the department of politics at Princeton was surprised that Mueller would thank you in his thesis, calling it an “odd pairing.” Mueller ended up serving in Vietnam. You questioned the legality of the war. Mueller would become a Republican. You were a controversial leftist. But yet there he was, working with you.

    A: It’s an irony I suppose. I’m glad you brought this to my attention. I would have never known about my forgotten connection to this currently prominent personality who may have the fate of the nation in his hands.

    What do you remember about Richard Perle?

     A: I remember lots of things some of which I am reluctant to discuss. Despite the political gap between our views, we were quite friendly. The seminars were small at the time, so you knew many of the graduate students quite well. He’s one of the few people who eventually left Princeton as a graduate student, because the department was too liberal for him. There are many arguments about what goes wrong at Princeton, but very few have ever claimed that it was too liberal as an institution.

    It was more on the conservative side, as far as universities go, during this time?

    Definitely. It prided itself on being conservative. And its alumni were extremely conservative. I had a lot of trouble over the years with the alumni, especially the older alumni. Princeton changed a lot in my 40 years there, and being a visible progressive faculty member I was associated with some of the changes, like bringing women into the university. And some of the more progressive political initiatives that occurred during the Vietnam period particularly. I favored most of these changes, but played very little role in bringing them about.

    So having someone like Robert Mueller, who would end up serving in Vietnam and becoming a Republican, wouldn’t be out of character at Princeton in the 1960s?

    Not at all. He would be a mainstream Princeton student — in the early 1960s, at least. Princeton changed during the 1960s. and he’s just about at that point where it did become briefly — I wouldn’t say radicalized — but I would say the student body became quite progressive. That’s what alarmed and angered many of the alumni at the time, particularly older alumni who wanted Princeton to remain as they had experienced it.

    Would it be fair to say you were more of an anomaly than Robert Mueller at the Princeton of the sixties?

    A: Oh, much more. Mueller would not be seen as an anomaly at all in that Princeton atmosphere. It was a year when there was growing tension among students about the Vietnam War. The draft was present, but there were also many pro-war students. Some students began to express the view, “Why should we risk our lives for a war that had no meaning for us?” Because I don’t remember Mueller at all, I don’t know if he expressed any views about this back then. But it was a key moment in the evolution of the political atmosphere at Princeton. It must have affected him deeply, because there was growing tension by 1966 in the university community, and since I was probably the most visible critic of the Vietnam War among the faculty he would have been well aware of this fact.

    How does it feel knowing that one of the most talked about people in the United States thought so highly of you and acknowledged you in his senior thesis?

    Of course, it is pleasant, and far better than the reverseOn one level, it’s amusing. I do wish my memory extended to the experience of knowing and working with him at that time. It’s one of those experiences that I didn’t appreciate at the time but later acquires a special significance.

    Robert Mueller throughout his career seems to have earned a lot of bipartisan support. Democrats and Republicans found him to be someone they could work with. And it’s interesting to me that his productive relationship with you more than half a century ago — someone with presumably wildly different views — alludes to the kind of person he would become.

    A: I think that’s a good insight. From what little I know about him as a public personality, he is somebody that comes across as careful and impresses people with his professionalism. He doesn’t flaunt his ideological views the way someone like Richard Perle would have, or some of the well-known people on the right, orthe left for that matter.

    Any general thoughts on his thesis?

    A: I was extremely impressed with the maturity and sophistication of the analysis, which was quite unusual for someone who had not yet attended law school. Even though, from my perspective, it sided too strongly with the conservative interpretation of these complex legal issues, he did so in a judicious way and was very fair in his assessment of opposing views. These are exactly the kind of qualities you would look for in someone given this nationally sensitive role of looking into potential wrongdoing by the president of the United States.

    Posted in USAComments Off on On Not Remembering Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III


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