Blogs from Michael_Novakhov (21 sites): The FBI News Review: “fbi” – Google News: In Ptown interview, former FBI official warns of dangers to rule of law – Cape Cod Times

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June 16, 2019
“fbi” – Google News: In Ptown interview, former FBI official warns of dangers to rule of law – Cape Cod Times
“fbi” – Google News: Pompeo: Fox News host’s questioning Trump’s FBI comments a ‘Washington piece of silliness’ – Yahoo News
9 times Sarah Sanders did not live up to her ‘transparent and honest’ standard – The Washington Post
Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites): Twitter search feed for: michael novakhov.: ‘There’s no accountability’: Trump, White House aides signal a willingness to act with impunity in drive for reelection https://wapo.st/2MQtMsO?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.fed19e7f848a …
Crime and Criminology from Michael_Novakhov (10 sites): “political crimes” – Google News: Dozens of new Indian parliamentarians face criminal charges – Washington Post

“fbi” – Google News: In Ptown interview, former FBI official warns of dangers to rule of law – Cape Cod Times

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (28 sites)
Andrew McCabe, a keynote speaker at film festival, says nation should stay alert. PROVINCETOWN — In his book “The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump,” Andrew McCabe describes a tense meeting with President Trump in the Oval Office when McCabe was named acting director of the FBI in 2017, after the firing of James Comey.
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“fbi” – Google News: Pompeo: Fox News host’s questioning Trump’s FBI comments a ‘Washington piece of silliness’ – Yahoo News

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (28 sites)
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended President Trump on Sunday when asked about the president’s apparent willingness to accept political “dirt” on his opponents from a foreign power, calling the controversy “a Washington piece of silliness.”
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9 times Sarah Sanders did not live up to her ‘transparent and honest’ standard – The Washington Post

The Washington Post
The Fix Analysis Analysis Interpretation of the news based on evidence, including data, as well as anticipating how events might unfold based on past events 9 times Sarah Sanders did not live up to her ‘transparent and honest’ standard
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Michael Novakhov on Twitter from Michael_Novakhov (4 sites): Twitter search feed for: michael novakhov.: ‘There’s no accountability’: Trump, White House aides signal a willingness to act with impunity in drive for reelection https://wapo.st/2MQtMsO?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.fed19e7f848a …

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (28 sites)
‘There’s no accountability’: Trump, White House aides signal a willingness to act with impunity in drive for reelection https://wapo.st/2MQtMsO?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.fed19e7f848a … Twitter search feed for: michael novakhov.
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Crime and Criminology from Michael_Novakhov (10 sites): “political crimes” – Google News: Dozens of new Indian parliamentarians face criminal charges – Washington Post

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (28 sites)
NEW DELHI — India’s recent national election delivered a historic victory to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party, but also exposed the influence of money, power and questionable morality on the world’s largest democracy.
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The FBI News Review

Blogs from Michael_Novakhov (21 sites)


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The Global Security News: 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites): Eurasia Review: Netanyahu Opens Trump Heights In Golan

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Standing under an oversized sign for a village his temporary government has no authority to build, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu took his friendship with Donald Trump to a new level by inaugurating Trump Heights in the Golan.

“It is a historic day,” said Israel’s prime minister, standing next to US ambassador David Friedman.

“Many years have passed since a new settlement was established in the Golan Heights. Today it is happening: We are making an important step toward the rise of Trump Heights. It will proudly carry the name of a very great friend of the State of Israel, and I am also very proud to say a great friend of mine.”

Netanyahu spoke of the name as a symbol of gratitude for the White House decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and Golan as a part of Israel, while Friedman spoke of the settlement as a “beautiful birthday present” to Trump, who turned 73 on Friday.

Trump later tweeted his gratitude.

Despite, a “festive cabinet meeting” to approve the construction of the settlement on the Syrian border, as the head of the interim government who failed to form a ruling coalition after April’s election, Netanyahu has no power to authorize construction. At the earliest, Trump Heights could begin to exist as more than a sign if and when his bloc wins the new election in September.

His chief opponents for the upcoming vote criticized the ceremony as a cheap pre-election stunt, exploiting Trump’s name (and perhaps taking attention away from his wife Sara’s court verdict on the same afternoon).

“Whoever reads the fine print in this ‘historic decision’ will understand that it is nothing more than a fictitious and non-obligatory resolution – a fake policy,” said Zvi Hauser of the center-left Blue and White party. “There is no budget, there is no plan, there is no location for the settlement and there isn’t really any binding decision to execute the project.”

Those outside the country were likely more concerned about Israel’s
unwillingness to consider the return of the region, which was occupied
and then annexed by Jewish state following the Six Day War in 1967.

On this Netanyahu was unapologetic.

“If it weren’t for us, this place would be populated with fanatic Iranian militias,” he said during his speech.

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites)

The Global Security News


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The Global Security News: 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites): Eurasia Review: Inaction In Face Of Tanker Attacks Will Have Dire Consequences – OpEd

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By Dr. Mohammed Al-Sulami*

In July last year, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said during a trip
to Switzerland: “No oil in the region would be exported if we did not
export our oil.” His comment was lauded by the Islamic Revolutionary
Guard Corps (IRGC), with the powerful military arm of the regime sending
him a congratulatory message thanking him for his words. Qassem
Soleimani, the head of the IRGC’s elite Quds Force, said he would
personally be ready to implement this policy if possible. He added in
his letter, published by the Islamic Republic News Agency: “I kiss your
hand for expressing such wise and timely comments, and I am at your
service to implement any policy that serves the Islamic Republic.”
Iranian regime officials, whether as representatives of the government,
the IRGC or members of the inner circle close to Supreme Leader Ali
Khamenei, have made similar comments.

It has been suggested that Rouhani, who is viewed in Western political
circles as a representative of the moderate faction in Iran and as
someone who could be supported to weaken the regime’s hard-line
revolutionary movement, is using such comments to force Washington to
reconsider its decision to use sanctions to lower Iranian oil exports to
zero.

More recently, last month, four oil tankers were targeted off the coast
of Fujairah in the UAE. Shortly afterward, Yemeni Houthi militias
affiliated with Iran’s regime targeted two Aramco oil pumping stations
in Saudi Arabia. The subsequent investigative report published jointly
by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Norway in New York asserted that it was
highly likely that a state actor was behind the attacks on the tankers.

On June 4, the Iranian Parliament speaker’s special aide Hussein Amir
Abdullahian wrote on Twitter: “If Saudi Arabia does not stop supporting
the US-led economic war on Iran, it will receive a surprising Iranian
response against it.”

Then, on the morning of June 13, two oil tankers were targeted in the
Gulf of Oman near the Iranian coast. The tankers, both loaded with
shipments of oil, were heading to Japan and Singapore. While some
reports said that one of the tankers was owned by a Japanese firm, it
was flying the flag of another country. As was the case with the
Fujairah attacks, Iranian media outlets were the first to publish
reports on the incident, preceding the global media. The terrorist
attacks led to material losses and one crewman was also wounded.

Again, the fingers of blame are being pointed at the primary beneficiary
of any impediment to the flow of energy supplies, namely Iran’s regime,
with the attacks being consistent with its previous threats in this
regard. The attack coincided with a visit to Tehran by the Japanese
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which was aimed at easing the tensions
between Washington and Tehran. Khamenei rejected this attempt at
mediation, according to official statements published by the Iranian
press.

In order to redirect the blame away from Iran, and in the regime’s usual
effort to use the language of reason and rationalism to convince
others, Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif tweeted: “Reported attacks
on Japan-related tankers occurred while PM @AbeShinzo was meeting with
Ayatollah @khamenei_ir for extensive and friendly talks.”

The reactions to the attack varied. Some spoke of a third party being
responsible, without naming it. Many countries condemned the attack,
deeming it a dangerous escalation. Another group expressed concern about
this escalation, voicing fears that the region could slide into
dangerous territory and calling for restraint by all regional nations.
Taking into consideration the different reactions, it is impossible that
an Arab country could be behind such an attack. Blame could, similarly,
not be attributed to the US or Europe. Washington has no interest in
any such escalation. If the US had the desire to pursue military action
against Iran, it would not seek mediation and launch an operation before
knowing the results of the Japanese prime minister’s visit to Tehran.
As for Israel, it launches military operations against Iranian elements
in Syria on a weekly basis.

Who, then, is this “third party?” The last possibility is one seeking to
impede the Japanese mediation or any diplomatic solutions, which could
come at the expense of its special interests. Here I am specifically
referring to the IRGC. This wing within the Iranian regime has nothing
to lose, having already been classified as a terrorist organization by
Washington. Indeed, diplomatic solutions and the lifting of sanctions
may be detrimental to its massive military, economic and security
influence in Iran and beyond. Also, divisions among the wings of the
ruling elite in Iran have become increasingly and unequivocally clear.

In regard to Zarif’s tweet, perhaps it is rational that the government
could not have given the green light for such an operation to be
executed. But the IRGC is not controlled by the government, nor does it
submit reports to the leadership on its operations. Bashar Assad’s
recent visit to Iran, which prompted Zarif to submit his resignation in
protest at the fact he did not receive prior notification (although this
was rejected by Khamenei), is a case in point.

The IRGC, unlike the government, is detached from the level where
sensitive decisions are made and is far closer to Khamenei. The IRGC is
an extremist entity, whose actions cannot be assessed or calculated in
terms of reason and rationality. There is no contradiction between
Zarif’s tweet and the IRGC’s behavior, with the agendas of the two sides
diverging sharply.

The position of the group that calls for self-restraint and expresses
concern is justified, given the simmering and volatile tensions in areas
across the region. Any further escalation of these tensions is clearly
undesirable. This group is, however, heedless of the grave dangers
inherent in continuing this approach of appeasement, which will
inevitably lead to more terrorist attacks being perpetrated, further
tensions in the region, and a sharp increase in the possibility of
similar operations being carried out.

The failure to attribute responsibility to the party most likely to be
culpable for the attack, especially in light of the open threats by
Iranian regime officials to block oil exports by other regional
countries, is construed by Iran as an indication that the world is
incapable of facing up to its hostile behavior. The failure to hold Iran
responsible for the Fujairah incident has already led to another
attack; therefore, stopping short of taking practical steps now will
inevitably lead to other attacks taking place in the near future. If
these countries are adopting this policy through fear that oil prices
could reach $200 per barrel, the realities on the ground suggest that
their passive diplomatic positions will not prevent these price surges,
as they will not prevent a repeat of these terror attacks.

In conclusion, countering terrorism and rogue states, as well as their
proxies, is a collective responsibility, with the dire consequences of
an inactive position toward them being borne by the entire world. Even
if countries are outside the region, their interests will be harmed,
with the smallest damage resulting in a rise in energy prices and
threats to international navigation. More seriously, these threats will
be extremely detrimental to the global economy.

This is a shared responsibility. But will anyone pay attention to these alarm bells before it is too late?

  • Dr. Mohammed Al-Sulami is Head of the International Institute for Iranian Studies (Rasanah). Twitter: @mohalsulami

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites)

The Global Security News


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The Global Security News: Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites): Eurasia Review: Inaction In Face Of Tanker Attacks Will Have Dire Consequences – OpEd

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By Dr. Mohammed Al-Sulami*

In July last year, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said during a trip
to Switzerland: “No oil in the region would be exported if we did not
export our oil.” His comment was lauded by the Islamic Revolutionary
Guard Corps (IRGC), with the powerful military arm of the regime sending
him a congratulatory message thanking him for his words. Qassem
Soleimani, the head of the IRGC’s elite Quds Force, said he would
personally be ready to implement this policy if possible. He added in
his letter, published by the Islamic Republic News Agency: “I kiss your
hand for expressing such wise and timely comments, and I am at your
service to implement any policy that serves the Islamic Republic.”
Iranian regime officials, whether as representatives of the government,
the IRGC or members of the inner circle close to Supreme Leader Ali
Khamenei, have made similar comments.

It has been suggested that Rouhani, who is viewed in Western political
circles as a representative of the moderate faction in Iran and as
someone who could be supported to weaken the regime’s hard-line
revolutionary movement, is using such comments to force Washington to
reconsider its decision to use sanctions to lower Iranian oil exports to
zero.

More recently, last month, four oil tankers were targeted off the coast
of Fujairah in the UAE. Shortly afterward, Yemeni Houthi militias
affiliated with Iran’s regime targeted two Aramco oil pumping stations
in Saudi Arabia. The subsequent investigative report published jointly
by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Norway in New York asserted that it was
highly likely that a state actor was behind the attacks on the tankers.

On June 4, the Iranian Parliament speaker’s special aide Hussein Amir
Abdullahian wrote on Twitter: “If Saudi Arabia does not stop supporting
the US-led economic war on Iran, it will receive a surprising Iranian
response against it.”

Then, on the morning of June 13, two oil tankers were targeted in the
Gulf of Oman near the Iranian coast. The tankers, both loaded with
shipments of oil, were heading to Japan and Singapore. While some
reports said that one of the tankers was owned by a Japanese firm, it
was flying the flag of another country. As was the case with the
Fujairah attacks, Iranian media outlets were the first to publish
reports on the incident, preceding the global media. The terrorist
attacks led to material losses and one crewman was also wounded.

Again, the fingers of blame are being pointed at the primary beneficiary
of any impediment to the flow of energy supplies, namely Iran’s regime,
with the attacks being consistent with its previous threats in this
regard. The attack coincided with a visit to Tehran by the Japanese
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which was aimed at easing the tensions
between Washington and Tehran. Khamenei rejected this attempt at
mediation, according to official statements published by the Iranian
press.

In order to redirect the blame away from Iran, and in the regime’s usual
effort to use the language of reason and rationalism to convince
others, Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif tweeted: “Reported attacks
on Japan-related tankers occurred while PM @AbeShinzo was meeting with
Ayatollah @khamenei_ir for extensive and friendly talks.”

The reactions to the attack varied. Some spoke of a third party being
responsible, without naming it. Many countries condemned the attack,
deeming it a dangerous escalation. Another group expressed concern about
this escalation, voicing fears that the region could slide into
dangerous territory and calling for restraint by all regional nations.
Taking into consideration the different reactions, it is impossible that
an Arab country could be behind such an attack. Blame could, similarly,
not be attributed to the US or Europe. Washington has no interest in
any such escalation. If the US had the desire to pursue military action
against Iran, it would not seek mediation and launch an operation before
knowing the results of the Japanese prime minister’s visit to Tehran.
As for Israel, it launches military operations against Iranian elements
in Syria on a weekly basis.

Who, then, is this “third party?” The last possibility is one seeking to
impede the Japanese mediation or any diplomatic solutions, which could
come at the expense of its special interests. Here I am specifically
referring to the IRGC. This wing within the Iranian regime has nothing
to lose, having already been classified as a terrorist organization by
Washington. Indeed, diplomatic solutions and the lifting of sanctions
may be detrimental to its massive military, economic and security
influence in Iran and beyond. Also, divisions among the wings of the
ruling elite in Iran have become increasingly and unequivocally clear.

In regard to Zarif’s tweet, perhaps it is rational that the government
could not have given the green light for such an operation to be
executed. But the IRGC is not controlled by the government, nor does it
submit reports to the leadership on its operations. Bashar Assad’s
recent visit to Iran, which prompted Zarif to submit his resignation in
protest at the fact he did not receive prior notification (although this
was rejected by Khamenei), is a case in point.

The IRGC, unlike the government, is detached from the level where
sensitive decisions are made and is far closer to Khamenei. The IRGC is
an extremist entity, whose actions cannot be assessed or calculated in
terms of reason and rationality. There is no contradiction between
Zarif’s tweet and the IRGC’s behavior, with the agendas of the two sides
diverging sharply.

The position of the group that calls for self-restraint and expresses
concern is justified, given the simmering and volatile tensions in areas
across the region. Any further escalation of these tensions is clearly
undesirable. This group is, however, heedless of the grave dangers
inherent in continuing this approach of appeasement, which will
inevitably lead to more terrorist attacks being perpetrated, further
tensions in the region, and a sharp increase in the possibility of
similar operations being carried out.

The failure to attribute responsibility to the party most likely to be
culpable for the attack, especially in light of the open threats by
Iranian regime officials to block oil exports by other regional
countries, is construed by Iran as an indication that the world is
incapable of facing up to its hostile behavior. The failure to hold Iran
responsible for the Fujairah incident has already led to another
attack; therefore, stopping short of taking practical steps now will
inevitably lead to other attacks taking place in the near future. If
these countries are adopting this policy through fear that oil prices
could reach $200 per barrel, the realities on the ground suggest that
their passive diplomatic positions will not prevent these price surges,
as they will not prevent a repeat of these terror attacks.

In conclusion, countering terrorism and rogue states, as well as their
proxies, is a collective responsibility, with the dire consequences of
an inactive position toward them being borne by the entire world. Even
if countries are outside the region, their interests will be harmed,
with the smallest damage resulting in a rise in energy prices and
threats to international navigation. More seriously, these threats will
be extremely detrimental to the global economy.

This is a shared responsibility. But will anyone pay attention to these alarm bells before it is too late?

  • Dr. Mohammed Al-Sulami is Head of the International Institute for Iranian Studies (Rasanah). Twitter: @mohalsulami

Eurasia Review

Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites)

The Global Security News


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The Global Security News: Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites): Eurasia Review: Saudi Arabia: Sources Deny Reports Of Permitting Alcohol

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Saudi Arabia has no plans to allow the sale or public consumption of alcohol, a senior government source has told Arab News.

The official with access to relevant decision-makers categorically
denied “unsubstantiated” media reports in some international and
regional news outlets.

“If you read the fake news, you will notice it is all based on hearsay
and tweets by accounts known to have a questionable agenda when talking
about the Kingdom,” he said.

“As the country moves forward with its reform plans, we expect much
speculation and attempts by critics to hold us back. And while people
are allowed to speculate and criticize, their speculation should not be
treated as the truth.”

A second source at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National
Heritage (SCTH) also denied such reports. “The leadership has made it
clear from day one; it is simply not happening,” he told Arab News. “I
have not heard of any plans to allow alcohol in major cities, free zones
or new projects.”

The SCTH is responsible for licensing and rating hotels and restaurants.
Any plans for the sale or consumption of alcohol would have to go
through the commission for implementation. 

Saudi Arabia has witnessed substantial social reforms over the past
three years, such as the curbing of the previously unchecked power of
the religious police, reopening cinemas and allowing women to drive.

There has also been a major shift on previously prohibited public
entertainment and gender mixing. International artists including Mariah
Carey, Yanni, Andrea Bocelli, Enrique Iglesias and Black Eyed Peas have
all performed.

Tourism projects have included pop-up versions of international
restaurants such as Signor Sassi, Nusr-Et and Nobu. None has served
alcohol.

“Officials have repeatedly said all changes were and will always be in
line with Islamic teachings and traditions,” the senior source told Arab
News.

Eurasia Review

Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites)

The Global Security News


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The Global Security News: 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites): Eurasia Review: Saudi Arabia: Sources Deny Reports Of Permitting Alcohol

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Saudi Arabia has no plans to allow the sale or public consumption of alcohol, a senior government source has told Arab News.

The official with access to relevant decision-makers categorically
denied “unsubstantiated” media reports in some international and
regional news outlets.

“If you read the fake news, you will notice it is all based on hearsay
and tweets by accounts known to have a questionable agenda when talking
about the Kingdom,” he said.

“As the country moves forward with its reform plans, we expect much
speculation and attempts by critics to hold us back. And while people
are allowed to speculate and criticize, their speculation should not be
treated as the truth.”

A second source at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National
Heritage (SCTH) also denied such reports. “The leadership has made it
clear from day one; it is simply not happening,” he told Arab News. “I
have not heard of any plans to allow alcohol in major cities, free zones
or new projects.”

The SCTH is responsible for licensing and rating hotels and restaurants.
Any plans for the sale or consumption of alcohol would have to go
through the commission for implementation. 

Saudi Arabia has witnessed substantial social reforms over the past
three years, such as the curbing of the previously unchecked power of
the religious police, reopening cinemas and allowing women to drive.

There has also been a major shift on previously prohibited public
entertainment and gender mixing. International artists including Mariah
Carey, Yanni, Andrea Bocelli, Enrique Iglesias and Black Eyed Peas have
all performed.

Tourism projects have included pop-up versions of international
restaurants such as Signor Sassi, Nusr-Et and Nobu. None has served
alcohol.

“Officials have repeatedly said all changes were and will always be in
line with Islamic teachings and traditions,” the senior source told Arab
News.

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites)

The Global Security News


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1. New York and Brooklyn from Michael_Novakhov (111 sites): Twitter Search / NYDailyNews: Reinforcements are coming to the Yankee lineup. https://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/ny-yankees-encarnacion-edwin-trade-aaron-boone-20190616-7cr4wstfuje3lh37eqgpfw5mei-story.html …

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Reinforcements are coming to the Yankee lineup. https://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/ny-yankees-encarnacion-edwin-trade-aaron-boone-20190616-7cr4wstfuje3lh37eqgpfw5mei-story.html …

Twitter Search / NYDailyNews

1. New York and Brooklyn from Michael_Novakhov (111 sites)


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