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Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

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Academi LLC is a controversial private military contractor that was formerly called Blackwater Worldwide and later Xe Services LLC.

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This now defunct speakers bureau and PR firm played an important role promoting neoconservative voices in the U.S. media after 9/11.

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Benador Public Relations is the successor company to Benador Associates, a PR firm that played a key role promoting major neoconservative figures during the first George W. Bush administration.

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Criticized for offering trainings to law enforcement agencies that promote prejudicial profiling of Muslims, SSI hypes the threat of “radical Islam” to market its anti-terror products in the United States and Israel.

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Touting itself as the “the nation’s leading conservative publisher,” 1 Regnery Publishing was founded by Henry Regnery in 1947 in Chicago. Initially affiliated with the University…

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Michael Flynn–a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general who fears Muslims, wants war with Iran, is regarded as “unhinged” by military colleagues, and likes to cozy up to Vladimir Putin–was selected to be National Security Advisor in the Trump White House.


Michael Ledeen, a “Freedom Scholar” at the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies, has long been obsessed with getting the U.S. to force regime change in Tehran.


The People’s Mujahedin of Iran, or MEK, is a militant organization that advocates the overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran.


Donald Trump calls Mitt Romney a “choke artist.” Romney calls Trump a threat to “a safe and prosperous future.” But the two are reportedly discussing the possibility of making Romney secretary of state. While he is arguably a safer choice then John Bolton or Rudolf Giuliani, Romney nevertheless has supported aggressive U.S. overseas intervention and sought advice from “pro-Israel” hardliners who would like nothing more than to see the Iran nuclear agreement fail.


Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) is one the Senate’s more ardent supporters of militaristic U.S. foreign policies.


Frank Gaffney, director of the hardline neoconservative Center for Security Policy, is a longtime advocate of aggressive U.S. foreign policies, bloated military budgets, and confrontation with the Islamic world.


Clare Lopez is a former CIA officer and rightwing activist who has argued that the Muslim Brotherhood and a shadowy “Iran Lobby” are working to shape Obama administration policy.


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From the Wires

Trump: “Well, I’ll be honest with you, I probably do because look at the job they’ve done. OK, look at the job they’ve done. They haven’t done the job.”


Trump’s deputy national security advisor Kathleen McFarland has a history of making wildly conspiratorial claims about China leveraging its holdings of U.S. debt to demand the elimination of Fourth of July celebrations and casually joking about nuclear winter as a solution to global warming.


Thus far, signs indicate that Donald Trump will continue to ensure that the United States plays the dominant role in policing the world.


The Iran deal is beneficial to Israeli security. Without an Iranian nuclear weapon, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have no incentive to obtain nuclear weapons, thus preventing a domino scenario. The deal also closed off the chapter of pre-emption strikes scenarios on Iran’s military targets and reduced the risks for a new and long regional war. All of this could be threatened by the Trump administration.


People are attaining positions of power under Trump not because of perspicacity and temperament but because they were not sufficiently outraged during the campaign to exile themselves from Trumpland.


Little attention has been paid to the roll of Trump’s national security adviser in a small drone company that has received Pentagon contracts after he joined the company in April, while he was simultaneously serving as an adviser to the Trump campaign. If Trump follows through on his campaign promise to deploy more surveillance drones on the Canadian and Mexican borders, the company would be well-placed to win even bigger contracts.


As Donald Trump’s national security team begins to take shape, it’s becoming clear that Trump indeed has a “basket of deplorables” around him. And many of them are going to wind up serving in his administration.


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