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Westlake Legal Group > National Security

Iain Dale: No gloating, no jingoism, please. Let’s not rub Remainers’ noses in it.

Iain Dale presents the evening show on LBC Radio and is a commentator for CNN.

I think that like most people I really struggle with the decision to enable Huawei to be a major part of the 5G project.

This country has cosied up to China for too long. I haven’t ever said this before but, given that David Cameron has said it in his memoirs, I don’t feel I’m doing anything wrong by doing so.

Some time ago, I went on a tour of GCHQ and I was shown a live screen which demonstrated where all our incoming cyber attacks came from. A lot came from Russia. Many came from North Korea.  But the majority emanated from China.

Cameron clearly saw the same evidence, as he relates in his book. One assumes that the Prime Minister and his Cabinet have the same information, and yet they have seen fit to give the same country – which is addicted to launching cyber attacks on this country – access to our 5G system.

To say that it will only have peripheral access means very little. We are told that the intelligence agencies are all on board with this. Really? If GCHQ is on board, you have to question the logic of their position, give that they know very well China’s role in cyber attacks.

Decisions like this are all about managing risk. We need to know for certain that in any sort of national emergency China or Huawei would not be in a position to shut down our 5G network.

We’ve already sold the pass in other parts of our national infrastructure, such as water and nuclear power. I find it bizarre that on the face of it, we have now handed over parts of 5G to the Chinese too. Having said that, I also understand the need to roll out fast broadband as quickly as possible. This pledge was of course a key part of Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign.

– – – – – – – – –  –

The Prime Minister has expended a lot of political capital on Huawei. You might say, well, with a majority of 80, he Prime Minister can afford to do that.

But another big decision looms in the next few weeks, and that is whether the government will continue with HS2. All the signs are that it will. I cannot believe that Steve Barclay and Robert Buckland would have said what they’ve said on the media this week about it without having been tipped the wink. If the decision is ‘yes’, that’s yet more political capital up the swannee.

– – – – – – – – – –

Like Steve Baker, I won’t be attending the Brexit shindig in Parliament Square tonight.

He says: “I will not be on Parliament Sq. Bearing in mind our need to unite this country when many people feel great sorrow about leaving the EU, I’m encouraging magnanimity from Brexit supporters. It’s time for big hearts.”

I totally agree. I understand that people who’ve fought for this all their political lives wish to celebrate us leaving. I’m glad we’re leaving the EU too.

But let’s not have any gloating or outrageous jingoism. We’ve already seen some very ugly social media posts from ultra-Remainers this week. Let’s not play their game. Happy Independence Day!

– – – – – – – – – –

The announcement of a Middle East peace plan ought to be a moment of celebration. It ought to enable us to feel optimistic about the future.

However, I am afraid that Donald Trump’s plan does nothing of the sort. It is so one-sided and pro-Israel – and offers virtually nothing to the Palestinians – that it is almost risible. It’s dead on arrival.

The Palestinian reaction to it was, of course, typical. Indeed, they denounced it before they even knew what was in it. The fact that their cynicism was justified is by the by.

The fact remains, however, that each time the Palestinians have been offered the chance of a separate Palestinian state – and there have been eight or nine occasions over the years – they have turned it down.

Until both the Israelis and the Palestinians recognise that neither of them will ever get their perfect scenario, but will have to entertain compromise, a peace agreement will never be possible. I’m depressed to say that I don’t see it happening in my lifetime.

– – – – – – – – – –

As I’ve told you before, I’ve become addicted to the US political drama series, Madam Secretary.

t’s all about a fictional US Secretary of State called Elizabeth McCord, and her battles on US foreign policy and keeping her family on the straight and narrow.

I’m 60 episodes in to the total of 120. I’m trying to restrict myself to one episode a day, but they do rather good cliffhangers. Little did I know that this would coincide with me interviewing the real Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo during his visit to London this week.

At the time of writing, it hasn’t happened yet, but suffice to say that it’s a big deal, both for me and LBC, given he isn’t doing any interviews with the BBC. Or with any other broadcaster to my knowledge.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Margot James: The evidence available does not support a total ban on Huawei

Margot James is a former BEIS and DCMS Minister, and was MP for Stourbridge from 2010-2019.

I have visited a number of sites piloting different applications using 5G technology. At the University of Surrey, the use of 5G to enable people with dementia to be cared for at home is showing great potential. The researchers gave me quite an impactful demonstration when they produced a robot powered by 5G performing a few impressive tasks. They asked me if I wanted to see what would happen if they switched the robot back to 4G; when they did so, the robot keeled over and was capable of next to nothing.

The next release of the 5G standard is due in June of this year. The new standard will enable the performance of wired ethernet with the flexibility of wireless communication. Although consumers will benefit from vastly superior connection speeds (5G reacts in a thousandth of a second delivering speeds of hundreds of Mbps per second), the potential for 5G to dramatically improve productivity, and UK competitiveness, is the real prize.

The UK is a leader in the deployment of 5G in a wide variety of applications. The Urban Connected Communities project which links 5G infrastructure between Wolverhampton, Birmingham and Coventry will deploy up to £50 million in public funds to test the potential of 5G in many settings, from the integration of patient care between the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and GPs in Birmingham to the application of 5G to research in to electrification and other aspects of advanced manufacturing at the University of Warwick.

The UK is one of only five countries in the world to allow private networks to deploy 5G. Ocado already has a private network in which many warehousing and distribution functions have been automated and are now staffed by robots, connected to each other by 5G.

5G is a base technology that will enable many applications such as biometric authentication, machine learning, the internet of things (IoT), big data, automation and robotics. Robot-enabled remote surgery and driverless vehicles will become a reality only when 5G is widely deployed. This is why 5G is so fundamental to an effective industrial policy; one that can truly deliver greater regional prosperity and the dramatic improvements to UK productivity and competitiveness that need to underpin our post-Brexit economy. 5G will be essential to the automation of parts of the economy, like agriculture, that have been overly dependent on unskilled labour from abroad.

The security of our telecoms infrastructure is vitally important, and the difficult decision over the role of Huawei in the supply chain is about to be made. Given the intensity of US lobbying and the action taken to exclude Huawei by Australia and New Zealand, it would be very difficult for us to do nothing. If doing nothing is not an option, the decision comes down to whether the risk can be managed, or whether the risk justifies an outright ban on Huawei from the deployment of 5G. Of course this would then beg the question what, if anything, to do about the scale of Huawei kit in the existing 4G and fixed networks?

According to Enders Analysis, Huawei has the largest market share in the supply of existing telecoms equipment (28 per cent vs Nokia at 17 per cent and Ericsson at 13 per cent). When it comes to 5G, Huawei has invested more and are between six and twelve months ahead of their rivals as a result. Furthermore, there is a fundamental difference between the nature of the spectrum bands the US market are using to introduce 5G compared with Europe. Ericsson have invested more to meet the spectrum needs of the US market, and Huawei have invested more in the different spectrum bands 5G will be using in the European market.

Anything more than a partial ban – i.e. restricting Huawei equipment to the periphery of the 5G network, as it has been in the current fixed and mobile infrastructure – would have serious negative consequences for our ability to keep up with other countries and maintain our 5G advantage where we have one. A total ban on Huawei can only be justified if there is unequivocal evidence that the risk to our national security is real; and cannot be managed effectively.

For the last ten years the risk has been managed by the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC). This centre has enabled close scrutiny of Huawei products and standards with regard to reliability, resilience and security by our National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). Deficiencies have been found recently in the quality of certain Huawei products and engineering processes. The problems identified have been comparable to the sorts of issues that might arise from this level of scrutiny of any companies’ products, and are not consistent with a serious threat to our national security.

From a reading of the public statements put out by different arms of the security services it seems that there is not a clear consensus on the level of risk. Importantly, MI5 do not think that allowing some involvement by Huawei in our telecoms supply chain would jeopardise the sharing of intelligence between Britain and the US.

Close examination of exactly what the US are doing in respect of their clampdown on Huawei is instructive. For a start, the US is not paying a significant price in banning Huawei from the roll out of 5G, as the company has nothing like as significant a share of the US telecoms infrastructure market as it has in the UK. Huawei has been placed on the US Entity list – meaning that US companies must apply for a license in order to sell technology to the company.

The US Government has been subject to intense lobbying efforts from such companies as Intel and Qualcomm, which are trying to get the Department of Commerce to ease the restrictions. These companies have had some success, in that the department has stated that it will continue to issue licences for the sale of technology to Huawei where there is no specific threat to national security.

There would seem to be a difference between the rhetoric coming out of the US and the implementation of policy. There is a degree of risk management going on in practice in the States and we should do likewise in the UK. To effect a total ban on Huawei products in our telecoms supply chain would put our plans to accelerate the pace of full fibre coverage and 5G deployment back by an unacceptable length of time, three to five years. Such a decision could only be justified if the threat to our security were more substantial than would appear to be the case.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

WATCH: Johnson 3) “The British public deserve the best possible technology,” declares the PM, regarding Huawei

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WATCH: Johnson 3) “The British public deserve the best possible technology,” declares the PM, regarding Huawei

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Bob Seeley: Why the Government should listen to our allies and say: no way, Huawei

Bob Seely is the MP for the Isle of Wight. He is standing to be Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee.

I am delighted that this Government is both unashamedly patriotic and positive about Britain’s future and our alliances. Yet Huawei presents a threat to those alliances, as is being reported this weekend.

Huawei involvement in the roll-out of UK’s 5G network is an extraordinarily important issue. Sadly, there has been little public or Parliamentary scrutiny. US officials are in town this week in a last-ditch attempt to win UK support for their position on Huawei. They want us to say no to it.

The Fifth Generation Cellular Communications network – 5G – will be a key part of our critical national infrastructure. The US is concerned that, amongst other issues, Chinese involvement in our 5G network will damage security relationships with our closest allies, especially the so-called ‘Five Eyes’ network: US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

In this instance, the US is absolutely right. We need to listen to them and other allies such as Australia. Both have banned Chinese high-tech from their 5G networks. We need to do the same to support our Western alliances and to protect our security, our people and our values.

The blunt reality is that China is a cyber risk and will remain so for years. It has a dreadful reputation for cyberattacks and intellectual property theft against Western and global institutions and firms. Huawei itself has been the subject of a US investigation for fraud and commercial espionage. In general, China is becoming more adversarial internationally and less tolerant of dissent domestically.

Sadly, the debate over Huawei is marked by dangerous levels of misunderstanding.

For example, Huawei argues that it is a private firm. In no meaningful sense is this correct. Huawei is to all intents and purposes part of the Chinese state. Allowing Huawei to build a significant role in our 5G network is effectively allowing China and the Chinese agencies access to it. To say otherwise is simply false.

It’s argued that Huawei will enable wider market provision. In reality, it’s the opposite. China openly seeks to dominate global comms. The risk is that in the next ten-to-20 years almost all Western providers such as Ericsson and Nokia will be put out of business by Chinese high-tech firms backed by tens of billions in state credit.

It’s also claimed that Huawei will be limited to the fringe of the 5G network. Untrue, say many experts. The difference between ‘core’ and ‘non-core’ does not exist in 5G to anything like the same extent as 4G. Antennas, for example, will not be ‘dumb’ bits of kit but an advanced combination of hardware and software. To be in the 5G system anywhere will be to be in the system. The assessment of technical experts from the US and other states is that the risks of allowing Chinese telecommunications equipment anywhere in 5G networks cannot be fully mitigated, despite laughable no-spy pledges.

Rob Strayer, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, has said any role for Huawei in 5G infrastructure poses an “unacceptable risk.” He has said: “If countries put unsecure and untrusted vendors into their 5G networks, in any place, we’re letting countries know that we’re going to have to consider the risk that that produces to our information-sharing arrangements with them.”

We need to build up alliances, not risk them.

There are powerful moral and ethical arguments against the use of Chinese firms. Huawei has an intimate relationship with the Chinese military and security services. China is using big data and Artificial Intelligence to build a surveillance state. In Xinjiang province, China has built the most advanced human monitoring system that the world has ever known; an actual, virtual Orwellian state.

We need public debate. The Australian Government did just that, initiating months of discussion before deciding de facto to exclude Chinese firms in its 5G network – despite pressure from Beijing and a far greater dependency on trade with their Pacific neighbour than we will ever have.

There is still time for the UK. Some members of the Cabinet and backbench MPs are privately concerned. But this issue is so new and the risks not yet fully understood that I fear we are sleepwalking into a decision we will regret in the years and decades to come.

We need to pause, and then decide to work with our Five Eyes and European and international partners to initiate new rules on privacy, high-tech co-operation and cyber laws that protect our citizens and our societies. We need to follow Australia’s example and have a wide-ranging public consultation.

We need international agreement on a common ‘trusted vendor’ status and agree that only those vendors can become primary contractors for our 5G – and for our critical national infrastructure in general. Trusted vendors would be defined as those coming from states that respect the rule of law, individual human rights, privacy and intellectual property. This rules out, de facto, high-tech from one-party states whose legal and political systems are very different from our own.

Whoever becomes chair of the Foreign or Intelligence and Security Select Committees needs to pledge to open immediate investigations into the suitability of Huawei and whether it can be seen in any sense as a ‘trusted vendor’.

We need good relations with China; there is no question about this. It is going to be a very significant voice in the next century. But we do not need to be making the world safe for its brand of surveillance authoritarianism or risking our collective and individual security. And with Chinese firms, there is risk. We have a right and a responsibility to protect our nation, our people and our values.

This Government is intent on putting our national interest first. Agreed; let’s do it. Let’s listen to Australia, the US and say “no way, Huawei”.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Ruth Edwards: The Iran crisis should spur us to upgrade our cyber defences

Ruth Edwards is MP for Rushcliffe.

The breach of the US Embassy in Iraq and the US retaliation in assassinating Qasem Soleimani are potent symbols of the increasing tensions between Iran and the West.

There are clear, visible signs of the Government moving to protect our people and assets in the region, with Royal Navy ships being sent to protect tankers in the Strait of Hormuz. But, unseen, there will also be huge amounts of activity in Security Operation Centres across the country to step-up our digital defences.

Suppliers of Critical National Infrastructure, such as my former employer BT, often face an increase in attempted cyber security attacks at times of high international tensions.

Cyber attacks are increasingly used by nation states to continue ‘war by other means’. Ten years ago, the Stuxnet virus was deployed against Iran to damage centrifuges being used in its nuclear programme and, last year, US officials claimed to have carried out a cyber attack which degraded Iran’s ability to target tankers in the Gulf.

We know that Iran has been developing its own cyber capabilities. Malware such as the Shamoon virus, which wiped out much of the digital infrastructure of oil companies like Saudi Aramco and RasGas, has been attributed to Iranian-backed sources.

We may not have yet seen a ‘C1’ cyber-attack against the UK – that’s an attack that cripples our critical infrastructure – but the UK’s ability and willingness to deploy both hard and soft ‘cyber power’ against nation state adversaries and organised criminal groups will be crucial as we redefine our role in international affairs post-Brexit.

This year’s Security, Defence and Foreign Policy review provides an excellent opportunity to reinforce Britain’s place as a leader in international ‘cyber power’.

As well as investment in hardware – ships, jets and kinetic weapon –  the UK must prioritise investment in defensive and offensive cyber capabilities.

Yes, that means investing in the latest technologies, but it also means making sure we have enough people with the skills to defend infrastructure and businesses across the country. This is the most pressing issue.

Government research has found that 54 per cent of businesses in the UK lack the skilled people they need to protect themselves from cyber-attack. This is a global problem, with current estimates that we will have a global shortage of 1.8 million cyber security professionals by 2022.

Previous governments have rightly sought to address the shortage of talent coming through the pipeline, with initiatives such as CyberFirst encouraging young people to study cyber security at university. This has been an effective method of getting young people into the industry.

What we need now is a comprehensive strategy to help train and transfer people into cyber security roles mid-career. The £3 billion National Skills Fund, announced in the Conservative election manifesto, to help adults re-train and re-enter the workplace provides this opportunity. Sectors of strategic national importance, such as cyber security, should be prioritised.

Finally, we must project soft-power abroad. In the same way the UK helps developing countries build infrastructure through its international aid programme, we need to use our leadership in cyber security to help our friends and trading partners develop their capacity.

For example, the UK has made good progress in improving the infrastructure of the internet and making it harder for attackers to exploit, through its Active Cyber Defence Programme. It also has advanced information sharing practises between the public and private sector and has spent years developing a comprehensive strategic approach to tackling cyber threats. Helping others to build this capacity would strengthen cyber security across the world.

Cyber Power will be a defining characteristic of the ‘20s: the UK can, and must, lead in its deployment.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Watch: NSA Adviser Shuts Down Chuck Todd on Why Russia Was Notified in Advance of ISIS Raid

Westlake Legal Group trump-fist-620x317 Watch: NSA Adviser Shuts Down Chuck Todd on Why Russia Was Notified in Advance of ISIS Raid white house washington D.C. Syria Social Media Russia robert o'brien republicans Politics North Carolina NBC News National Security Middle East Media journalism Front Page Stories Front Page Foreign Policy Featured Story Featured Post donald trump democrats Culture Congress Chuck Todd Allow Media Exception

President Donald Trump gestures towards members on the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, after returning from United Nations General Assembly. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

You’d think everyone would have been elated at the news, but the national media and Democrats including Obama loyalists and former Obama officials were some of the saddest, angriest people in the aftermath of the news of the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi over the weekend.

After the news broke, the mainstream media wasted no time in latching on to a Democratic talking point about how Trump had informed Russia about the raid in advance but not Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

NBC News’ Chuck Todd was just one of many journos who saw something sinister behind Trump’s decision to notify Russia in advance of the raid and “thank Russia first” afterwards, and he let National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien know it on Sunday’s “Meet the Press”:

CHUCK TODD: The president said that there were a number of folks that helped. He thanked Russia first. He thanked the Kurds last. Should we read into that?

ROBERT O’BRIEN: No I don’t think you should read into that. I think what the president talked about is that it was a very dangerous mission for our troops. And the president made a courageous decision to send them far into enemy territory at night, a long range helicopter raid. It was a courageous decision of the president. But it was incredible bravery and skill of our men and women in the armed forces and the intelligence community that executed the mission flawlessly. But they had to fly over areas where there was significant anti-aircraft capability, the Syrians, the Russians, the Turks, others. So I think we appreciated the fact that our helicopters and our planes weren’t molested. The Kurds played an important role in the operation. And we’re grateful for the Kurds and for the SDF and our allies there.

When Todd again pressed O’Brien on the Russia angle, the NSA adviser patiently explained again why Russia played a crucial role and deserved thanks, even though they were not an ally of the United States:

CHUCK TODD: On a policy front, Russia. Are they an ally of the United States in this fight in ISIS? And are they an adversary of the United States in this situation with Ukraine? How would you describe it?

ROBERT O’BRIEN: Well, let me just make it very clear, Russia is not an ally of the United States. The president doesn’t believe that. I don’t believe that. I think there’s anyone —

CHUCK TODD: First country he thanked today.

ROBERT O’BRIEN: Look, there are times when our interests overlaps with the interests of Russia. Last night it overlapped. We didn’t want Russian air defense missiles being shot at our men and women who were executing this raid. And, and so last night — and they don’t like ISIS, as the president pointed out. Last night, our interests overlapped with Russia. When our interests overlap with Russia, there’s no reason we shouldn’t work with them. Russia is not an ally of the United States and look Russia presents a great danger to the United States. And something we keep an eye on every single day.

Watch O’Brien calmly teach Foreign Policy 101 to Todd below:

And to be perfectly clear, per Trump Russia was not notified of the specific mission:

“We spoke to the Russians. We told them we are coming in. They said, ‘Thank you for telling us,’” he said. “We told them we thought they would be happy. They hate ISIS as much as we do. You know what ISIS has done to Russia. They did not know the mission but they knew we were going over an area where they had a lot of firepower.”

In spite of the LSM and Democratic concern trolling about what Russia knew vs. what Pelosi and Schumer knew, it was just a great weekend all around for the dedicated men and women of the U.S. military. Job well done, y’all.

——-
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 16+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –

The post Watch: NSA Adviser Shuts Down Chuck Todd on Why Russia Was Notified in Advance of ISIS Raid appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group trump-fist-300x153 Watch: NSA Adviser Shuts Down Chuck Todd on Why Russia Was Notified in Advance of ISIS Raid white house washington D.C. Syria Social Media Russia robert o'brien republicans Politics North Carolina NBC News National Security Middle East Media journalism Front Page Stories Front Page Foreign Policy Featured Story Featured Post donald trump democrats Culture Congress Chuck Todd Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Uh Oh! Rudy Giuliani Accidentally Dialed an NBC Reporter – Twice – and Left Three Minute Voicemails

Westlake Legal Group Rudy-Giuliani-620x440 Uh Oh! Rudy Giuliani Accidentally Dialed an NBC Reporter – Twice – and Left Three Minute Voicemails security Rudy Giuliani Politics National Security Mainstream Media Joe Biden International Affairs hunter biden Front Page Stories Featured Story elections donald trump democrats Culture Allow Media Exception

 

At 11 pm on October 16, Rudy Giuliani unintentionally called (butt-dialed) an NBC reporter he’d spoken to several hours before. The reporter was sleeping and the call went to voicemail.

When the reporter heard the message the next day, he or she heard Giuliani having a conversation with another person.

Giuliani is heard saying, “You know, Charles would have a hard time with a fraud case ’cause he didn’t do any due diligence.” It was difficult to hear the other man in the room.

Giuliani continues, “Let’s get back to business. I gotta get you to get on Bahrain…I’ve got to call Robert again tomorrow. Is Robert around?”

The man answers, “He’s in Turkey.”

Giuliani tells him, “The problem is we need some money…We need a few hundred thousand.”

The man says, “I’d say even if Bahrain could get, I’m not sure how good [unintelligible words] with his people.”

Giuliani answers, “Yeah, okay.”

The man tells him, “You want options? I got options.”

“Yeah, give me options.”

The message ended.

Unbelievably, Giuliani had made this same mistake several weeks earlier. This time the reporter was attending a family birthday party on a Saturday afternoon and the call went to voicemail.

The day before, the reporter had interviewed Giuliani. Several of his former colleagues had said “they believed he committed crimes in his effort to push the Ukrainians to launch an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden.”

On this message, Giuliani is heard speaking to one or more others. He is discussing the comments his former colleagues had made about him and tells the others,

(Note: One of Hunter Biden’s early business partners was Christopher Heinz, stepson of former Secretary of State John Kerry. But Heinz objected to Hunter Biden’s decision to work for the Ukrainian gas company and ultimately cut ties with him. Heinz had nothing to do with the Chinese investment fund. But in the voicemail message, Giuliani is heard telling his friend that Kerry’s stepson was working for the same foreign entities that employed Hunter Biden. Giuliani was mistaken.)

Giuliani tells the others, “I expected it would happen. The minute you touch on one of the protected people, they go crazy. They come after you.”

A man says, “You got the truth on your side.”

Giuliani notes, “It’s very powerful.”

According to the reporter, Giuliani spends the entire three minutes railing against the Bidens. “He claims that Biden intervened to stop an investigation of a Ukrainian gas company because his son Hunter sat on the board, and that Hunter Biden traded on his father’s position as vice president to earn $1.5 billion from Chinese investors.”

Giuliani speaks:

There’s plenty more to come out. He did the same thing in China. And he tried to do it in Kazakhstan and in Russia…

It’s a sad situation. You know how they get? Biden has been been trading in on his public office since he was a senator…

When he became vice president, the kid decided to go around the world and say, ‘Hire me because I’m Joe Biden’s son.’ And most people wouldn’t hire him because he had a drug problem.

His son altogether made somewhere between 5 and 8 million. A 3 million transaction was laundered, which is illegal.

Last week, Hunter Biden said in an ABC News interview that he will step down from the board of the Chinese investment company that he joined in October 2017.

His partner was John Kerry’s stepson. Secretary of State and the vice president for the price of one.

They don’t want to investigate because he’s protected, so we gotta force them to do it.

And the Ukraine, they’re investigating him and they blocked it twice. So what the president was [unintelligible word], ‘You can’t keep doing this. You have to investigate this.’ And they say it will affect the 2020 election.

The recording ends. Mercifully.

In terms of damage, Giuliani didn’t say anything he hasn’t said a thousand times before on cable news shows. He didn’t divulge any state secrets. Nor did he discuss any illegal activities. He was having a business conversation with a colleague about cash needs.

Still, a man in his position must be more mindful of security issues. It’s ridiculous that this happened – twice.

This is a wakeup call (no pun intended) for Giuliani. He’s lucky nothing more sensitive was discussed. He may not be so lucky the next time.

The post Uh Oh! Rudy Giuliani Accidentally Dialed an NBC Reporter – Twice – and Left Three Minute Voicemails appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Rudy-Giuliani-300x213 Uh Oh! Rudy Giuliani Accidentally Dialed an NBC Reporter – Twice – and Left Three Minute Voicemails security Rudy Giuliani Politics National Security Mainstream Media Joe Biden International Affairs hunter biden Front Page Stories Featured Story elections donald trump democrats Culture Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Harold Finch Comments on a Tale of Two Pictures (Me, too)

Intrepid independent researcher @NameRedacted was suspended multiple times on Twitter for what amounted to hurting the feelings of leftists and challenging their blatant lies. In his final incarnation, he was “Harold Finch,” and after being suspended for the final time has subsequently moved to Telegram where he runs a repository consisting of important factoids, linked articles, and personal commentary available to the masses. He can be found here.

Sometimes his poignant commentary deserves a much wider audience, and San Fran Nan’s staged walkout of the meeting with President Trump the other day provided the impetus for this blast. I will add my own two cents at the end.

Before getting to our commentary, here is the what transpired at the meeting:

President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., heated up their ongoing war of words after a White House meeting on Syria devolved into name-calling and led to Democrats storming out, with both sides accusing the other of a “meltdown.” Pelosi, along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., walked out of the meeting Wednesday afternoon, which had been intended to discuss the administration’s decision to pull troops out of northern Syria. That decision has sparked bipartisan criticism that the decision betrays the Kurds, while giving a boost to ISIS.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham dismissed the [Democrat] reports about the meeting [Cvrk comment: they ran to the press microphones in a staged event after walking out of the meeting to spin it like they always do]:

“The President was measured, factual and decisive, while Speaker Pelosi’s decision to walk out was baffling, but not surprising,” Grisham said. “She had no intention of listening or contributing to an important meeting on national security issues. While democratic leadership chose to storm out and get in front of the cameras to whine, everyone else in the meeting chose to stay in the room and work on behalf of this country.”

Read the rest here. That pretty much says it all, but there are a couple pictures from the event that provide a lot more than simple context, as Harold Finch notes! Without further ado, here is his analysis….

This White House meeting that included hysterics by Nancy Pelosi can really be defined as a tale of two pictures. The first is unhinged Pelosi lecturing the man who writes the letters to the families of the fallen soldiers (the meetings centered on “Turkey and the Kurds”). Check out the first picture here:

Westlake Legal Group First-pic-201x300 Harold Finch Comments on a Tale of Two Pictures (Me, too) Uncategorized Turkey Politics Policy National Security Nancy Pelosi Middle East Liberal Elitism ISIS Front Page Stories Foreign Policy Featured Story donald trump democrats Democrat Lies Abuse of Power

Note carefully that her body language screams out of control, rude, and disrespectful. And Chuck Schumer smirking like a childish teenager watching the mouthy kid run her mouth at the Teacher. This is supposed to be a national security meeting on events in Syria. The Democrats are acting like they are the Commander in Chief berating an officer who is giving them advice they don’t want to hear. They’re drunk on Power. They’re demanding the President start a war with a NATO member and sacrifice our soldiers, all while they refuse to vote to authorize use of force much less vote to declare war on Turkey. That means this cry for war isn’t even a serious one. They don’t believe in it enough to hold a vote. They want President Trump to get into an ugly quagmire that bleeds us white to help them in 2020 election. They don’t care about Kurds. They CERTAINLY don’t care about American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines.

Then there is the second picture which is QUITE a contrast!

Westlake Legal Group Second-pic-203x300 Harold Finch Comments on a Tale of Two Pictures (Me, too) Uncategorized Turkey Politics Policy National Security Nancy Pelosi Middle East Liberal Elitism ISIS Front Page Stories Foreign Policy Featured Story donald trump democrats Democrat Lies Abuse of Power

In this picture, we have the President, the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Advisor, the Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the House Minority Leader, and others. In this picture, the President’s body language says he rejects her attack and is insulted. You can see it in his face he is insulted. This man writes every letter to families of those Mil families who loved one’s life is lost. He sees their pain up close & face to face. Their lives matter to him. He’s sitting down. He’s not aggressive in posture, but he’s offended.

The Chairman of JCS is looking down ignoring Pelosi. See his shoulder? US Army Special Forces & Ranger Tabs. Chest full of medals. He doesn’t take her seriously. His hands clasped likely praying. This is serious business. Everyone on this side of the table is sober & here for serious business. No laughing. No mocking. No insults. The SECDEF is clearly tense, with hands clasped, lips parsed, and a stern brow. He’s seething mad but determined to hide it.

Here’s the whole picture for comparison purposes:

Westlake Legal Group Third-pic-620x413 Harold Finch Comments on a Tale of Two Pictures (Me, too) Uncategorized Turkey Politics Policy National Security Nancy Pelosi Middle East Liberal Elitism ISIS Front Page Stories Foreign Policy Featured Story donald trump democrats Democrat Lies Abuse of Power

Everyone else on the President’s side of the table, including the House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, is embarrassed by and disgusted with Pelosi, Hoyer and Schumer. It’s clear the three of them never intended for this to be a good faith meeting. This was Pelosi threatening the President and he, his advisers, the Republicans, and the national security staff having none of their childishness. No one accepted the Democrats’ putting politics before America’s national security and the lives of our troops. The only skin in the game that the Democrats have is crass partisan politics; the lives of our troops are merely chess pieces in their quest for political power.

Here is a final picture, showing the President making a measured statement to the lesser-ranking Democrats who remained in the meeting.

Westlake Legal Group Fourth-pic-620x405 Harold Finch Comments on a Tale of Two Pictures (Me, too) Uncategorized Turkey Politics Policy National Security Nancy Pelosi Middle East Liberal Elitism ISIS Front Page Stories Foreign Policy Featured Story donald trump democrats Democrat Lies Abuse of Power

This is the aftermath: when Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Steny Hoyer couldn’t force the Commander in Chief into a bloody quagmire in Syria a year before a presidential election, they threw a temper tantrum and stormed out.

Let me be blunt: the Democrats don’t give a flying f**k about America, our troops, the Kurds, or about YOU whom they are supposedly serving. The *ONLY* thing the Democrats care about is obtaining AND KEEPING political power AT ANY COST.

The moral of this sordid story is, Ddn’t ever let these dangerous people have power. It is CRITICAL to the safety of our nation that we take the House away from Pelosi &and further marginalize Chuck Schumer. You have a choice in 2020, America: a president and Congress who want the wars ended and the troops to come home, or a resident and congress who want endless wars and endless sacrifice of American lives to keep them in power. Choose wisely.

End of Finch’ commentary

A couple of points to add to Finch’s excellent synopsis:

  • San Fran Nan is concerned that pulling out 26 (!) special forces soldiers off the Syria-Turkey border is going to let ISIS back in the game? That’s laughable, particularly after her total silence during the years in which Obama allowed ISIS grow from nothing into a threat!
  • This isn’t the first time that they’ve pulled this stunt (running to a media microphone to spin a contentious meeting with @POTUS). This is what career politicians do; non-politicians and problem-solvers like @POTUS work through differences and deliver the goods!

Finally, here is the most accurate pictorial characterization of that White House meeting. Unbelievably spot on!

Westlake Legal Group Fifth-pic-620x262 Harold Finch Comments on a Tale of Two Pictures (Me, too) Uncategorized Turkey Politics Policy National Security Nancy Pelosi Middle East Liberal Elitism ISIS Front Page Stories Foreign Policy Featured Story donald trump democrats Democrat Lies Abuse of Power

The end.

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Big Crony Amazon Has Dumped $1.5 Million Into Seattle City Council Races

Westlake Legal Group Bezos-Crown Big Crony Amazon Has Dumped $1.5 Million Into Seattle City Council Races Politics Outsourcing National Security Government Contracting Government Front Page Stories Front Page Department of Defense democrats Cybersecurity Cronyism corruption Congress Cloud Computing Business & Economy Barack Obama amazon web services amazon Abuse of Power

Buying America’s Governments – One City at a Time

 

That’s not a massive over-contribution at all.

We’ve oft written about huge companies using their huge wallets – to dictate huge cronyism from huge governments.

No gaggle of companies has done it more and more effectively – than the Big Tech companies.

Silicon Valley Robber Barons Are Using Government As a Weapon Against Us

Silicon Valley Gets Government Favors – While Boosting Leftists And Blocking Conservatives

The Obamas’ $50 Million Netflix Deal: Cronyism Comes Full Circle

Google, The Barack Obama Administration – And Even More Questionable Policy

Obama 2012 and Facebook: Your Privacy, Diminished

Sometimes Big Tech companies screw up – and demand the wrong cronyism.  So they demand more cronyism – to get themselves out of their self-inflicted jams.

Facebook Looks to Cronyism Its Way Out of Its Cronyism

And no Big Tech company has mastered the art of cronyism – quite like Amazon.

We have written a lot about Amazon – over a lot of years.  One of the conclusions we’ve reached?

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ goal from the outset – was to get huge enough to bend governments everywhere to his will.  And part of that the process was – in anti-competitive fashion – to murder every other retailer on the planet.

It’s why Amazon has gone decades – rarely turning a profit.

The Amazon Era: No Profits, No Problem

Why Amazon Has No Profits (And Why It Works)

Amazon Never Makes Money But No One Cares

Amazon’s No-Profit Model: Bleed Competitors To Death – Then Do Exactly What They Did

Amazon Killed Toys ‘R’ Us – But Much More Dishonestly Than The Way You Think

Again, Bezos’ objective wasn’t profits – it was growth.  And it worked – like a charm.

Now Amazon is gi-normous (Market Cap: $874 billion).  And gi-normous Amazon is dictating terms to governments…everywhere.

And the government reciprocal gifts – keep getting bigger and bigger and….

Amazon: One of the Biggest of Bigfoot Cronyism-Recipient Lobbyists

Something Is Rotten in Amazon’s Request for HQ2 Proposals

Why The Post Office Gives Amazon A $1.46 Subsidy on Each Box

Top Amazon Boss Privately Advised US Government on Web Portal Worth Billions to Tech Firm

The ‘Amazon Amendment’ Would Effectively Hand Government Purchasing Power Over to Amazon

Uber-Crony Amazon – Is About To Get The Biggest Crony Deal In DC’s Awful History

How does over-sized Amazon secure such over-sized cronyism from over-sized governments?

By dumping over-sized money into political races…everywhere.

Heads up, HQ2 recipient Arlington, Virginia.

Amazon Drops Additional $1 Million-Plus into Seattle City Council Races, With Ballots Out This Week:

“Amazon is dropping an additional $1 million-plus into Seattle’s pivotal City Council races, boosting its spending on politics in its hometown this year to an unprecedented $1.45 million.

“The corporate giant has now shelled out more on the council races than any other business or union….

“Amazon’s outlay is the largest ‘in anyone’s memory’ by a single entity in a Seattle election cycle, said Wayne Barnett, executive director of the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission.

“The record-breaking sum is the latest sign that the company with 53,000 local employees, once content to stay on the political sidelines, is now throwing its weight around….

“Amazon alone has contributed more money to the Chamber’s PAC than the candidates the Chamber opposes have collectively raised with their own campaigns….”

We ain’t the hugest of union fans – but this woman ain’t just whistling Dixie:

“‘One of the richest corporations in the world just invested an unprecedented amount of money to attempt a hostile takeover of Seattle’s local government,’ Rachel Lauter, executive director of the union-backed Working Washington advocacy group, said in a statement.”

It is indeed Amazon’s attempted wholesale purchase of…Seattle.  But it’s even bigger than that:

“‘This isn’t just about Seattle, it’s about the 2020 national elections. Amazon is warning presidential candidates who say they share Seattle’s values that it will stop at nothing to protect its power and profits.’”

It is indeed about the 2020 national elections.  And then some.

Because Amazon has cronyism everywhere to preserve, protect and defend.

Get this:

“‘We are contributing to this election because we care deeply about the future of Seattle,’ Amazon spokesman Aaron Toso said Tuesday in a statement.

“‘We believe it is critical that our hometown has a city council that is focused on pragmatic solutions to our shared challenges…’”

Yeah.  Ok.

Except…Amazon always ends up getting massive un-shared government cronyism.

The massive cost of which – is force-shared by all the rest of us.

Over and over and over and over again….

None of which is good for anyone.

Except, of course, Amazon.

The post Big Crony Amazon Has Dumped $1.5 Million Into Seattle City Council Races appeared first on RedState.

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