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

Legal Dragnet, Fallen Hawk, Faith-Based Government

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Right Web News | February 22, 2005

“Exposing the Architectureof Power That’s Changing Our World”

https://rightweb.irc-online.org

Editor: Tom Barry

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This Week on theRight

New Homeland Security Czar’s Legal Dragnet

[Excerpted from new Right Webanalysis, with complete version available at:

https://rightweb.irc-online.org/analysis/2005/0502chertoff.php]

Michael Chertoff,who served as the head of the Justice Department’s criminal division under Attorney General John Ashcroft, has replaced Tom Ridge as theadministration’s new chief of the homeland security department. Praised by thepresident as a “brilliant thinker” and for his “stellar career” as a toughprosecutor, Chertoff is now in charge of determining the color of the day’sterror alert and overseeing what the administration has described as the “homefront” in its war against terrorism. Human rights advocates, civillibertarians, and immigrant rights activists sharply criticized the appointmentof Chertoff for his abusive record as Ashcroft’s chief counterterrorismprosecutor.

Like othernew appointments, Chertoff has proved himself a Bush loyalist. Chertoff, whohelped write the US Patriot Act, has little to show in the way of actualachievements in directing criminal prosecutions against any of the manyhundreds of suspected terrorists detained by the Justice Department.Nonetheless, following the pattern set by the promotions of Alberto Gonzalesand Condoleezza Riceto attorney general and secretary of state, Chertoff has fallen upwards in thesecond Bush administration.

Chertoff,a rabbi’s son from northern New Jersey, is widelyrespected for his razor-sharp mind and fearsome courtroom demeanor. While at Harvard Law School, he was aclassmate of Scott Turow, whose semi-fictional memoir about law school, One L, was based inpart on his memories of Chertoff’s brutal yet incisive manner of legalargument.

Apolitical partisan, Chertoff became special counsel to the WhitewaterCommission established in 1994 by the Republican-majority Congress toinvestigate the involvement of Bill and Hilary Clinton in real estate deals in Arkansas and otherbusiness deals. Now widely regarded as a political witch hunt spearheaded bySen. Alfonse D’Amato (R-NY) and Independent Counselor Kenneth Starr, theWhitewater Commission spent $40 million on the investigation that ultimatelyfailed to find that the Clintons had doneanything illegal.

Chertoffis a longtime member and activist in the Federalist Society. This nationalassociation of right-wing lawyers and judicial reform activists is dedicated torealigning the country’s legal system to reflect a more conservative interpretationof the constitution. The Federalist Society, which since its founding in 1982has been closely linked to the neoconservative political camp, aims to rid thesystem of liberal judges and stamp out what it sees are its overly egalitarianand secular impulses. Association members believe that the constitution and thecountry’s laws should primarily serve to ensure order and social orthodoxyrather than democracy and human rights.

As U.S.Attorney General in New Jersey, appointed by President H.W. Bush in1990, Chertoff gained the reputation as a political attack dog for theRepublican Party. Leveraging his strong political base in New Jersey, Chertoff servedas financial vice-chair of Bush’s 2000 campaign in the Garden State.

Elliot Abrams–Fallen Hawk Soars Again

(Excerpted from an articlepublished by Inter Press Service, with complete version at: http://www.antiwar.com/orig/barry.php?articleid=4847)

Elliott Abrams, a figure fromthe Ronald Reagan-era Iran-Contra scandal who describes himself as a”neo-conservative and neo-Reaganite”, is moving to center-stage in U.S. foreignpolicy as head of President George W.. Bush’s Global Democracy Strategy.

In his new position, Abramswill oversee the administration’s promotion of democracy and human rights whilecontinuing to provide oversight to the National Security Council’s directorateof Near East and North African affairs — including involvementin the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Although not known as aregional specialist, Abrams has frequently voiced his strong support for Israel’sLikud party positions on the Oslo peace process and ”land for peace” negotiations.

In his private writing andnongovernmental policy advocacy work, Abrams has described radical separatistand segregationist leanings. He believes, for example, that Jews shouldn’t dateor attend school with non-Jews.

”Outside the land ofIsrael,” says Abrams, ”there can be no doubt that Jews, faithful to thecovenant between God and Abraham, are to stand apart from the nation in whichthey live. It is the very nature of being Jewish to be apart — except in Israel –from the rest of the population.”

Judaism, according toAbrams, demands ”apartness” — not in the sense of confining oneself to aphysical ghetto but in that all necessary measures should be taken to prevent”prolonged and intimate exposure to non-Jewish culture.”

Abrams takes care to notethat his positions imply no ”disloyalty” to the United States, but at the sametime he insists that Jews must be loyal to Israel because they ”are in apermanent covenant with God and with the land of Israel and its people. Theircommitment will not weaken if the Israeli government pursues unpopular policies.”

Abrams describes himself asa ”somewhat observant Conservative Jew” in his controversial book, ”Faith andFear: How Jews Can Survive in Christian America”.

Unlike Condoleezza Rice,Abrams is not commonly regarded as being a Bush or Republican Party loyalist.Rather over the past three decades he has established his credentials as aninfluential right-wing ideologue — one who has effectively put his own ideasabout religion, human rights, democracy, and U.S. power to work both as aleading figure the world of neoconservative policy institutes and as a skilledforeign policy operative.

Abrams is equallycomfortable in using military intervention, human rights advocacy,democratization programs, and back-door illegal channels as instruments to advancea neoconservative foreign policy agenda.

FeaturedProfiles

**Civil Liberties Be DamnedIn keeping with the pattern of other Bush appointments, Chertoff has proved hisloyalty to Bush—and to the Republican Party—as a storm trooper in the failed waron terrorism at home and abroad.

Right Web Profile:Michael Chertoff: https://rightweb.irc-online.org/ind/chertoff/chertoff.php

**Neocons and LebaneseExiles Together Working closely with leading neoconservatives, the U.S.Committee for a Free Lebanon is at once pro-Israeli Likud and anti-SyrianBaathist.

Right Web Profile: U.S.Committee for a Free Lebanon: https://rightweb.irc-online.org/org/uscfl.php

**Washington’sMan in Latin America Roger Noriega’s steady climb through the ranks of U.S.diplomacy has been based not on his skills as a statesman or diplomat, but ratheron a willingness to do what’s necessary to defend U.S. eliteinterests abroad. In many instances, those actions have included shady dealingsof questionable legality and morality.

Right Web Profile: RogerNoriega: https://rightweb.irc-online.org/ind/noriega/noriega.php

FeaturedAnalysis

Bush Administration’s “Faith-Based” Initiatives—

Transforming America “One Soul at a Time”

By Don Monkerud

In his State of the Unionaddress, President Bush called for the passage of his two faith-basedinitiatives to transform America “one soul at a time.” The initiatives the presidentspoke of would allow religious organizations to compete for more governmentcontracts and grants that destroy the strict separation between religiousactivities and social service programs.

In the past four years,President Bush has gone around Congress and behind the public’s back to spreadhis faith-based initiative throughout the government, raising serious issuesthat the public appears to accept.

Don Monkerud is an Aptos,California-based writer who follows religion and politics, and contributes tothe Right Web program of the International Relations Center, online at http://www.irc-online.org.

Right Web Analysis: https://rightweb.irc-online.org/analysis/2005/0502religion.php

Lettersand Comments

(Editors Note: Weencourage feedback and comments, which can be sent for publication through ourfeedback page, at: https://rightweb.irc-online.org/form_feedback.html.Thank you.)

Re: Neocons and Liberals,Again, https://rightweb.irc-online.org/analysis/2005/0502ally.php

The spirit of Scoop Jacksonis alive and well. Cold war liberals have signed on to a new charter that willhelp to finish off what remains of a progressive domestic agenda and ensure afuture of never-ending struggle and sacrifice like that which we eldersremember and regret. Kiss goodbye to any belief that we can use ourunprecedented wealth to build a more decent society and viable world order.

– Sumner M. Rosen, WWIIpurple heart veteran

Re: Bush Administration’s “Faith-Based”Initiatives—Transforming America “One Soul at a Time”

https://rightweb.irc-online.org/analysis/2005/0502religion.php

Let us take a look at’”faith-based’” charity, from its origin. When Christianity was created tomanage the slaves of the Roman Empire, a scam was devised that would cement the slaves tothe church. The church was designed to operate on 10% of the profits derivedfrom slavery. The aristocrats allowed the slaves less than the minimumfor survival and the church says to them “come hither and god will giveyou the charity that will allow you to survive.” The starving slavescame, and the church doled out to them the pittance that allowed them tosurvive, and thus the slaves owed their very lives to the church. Whendemocracy emerged the American revolution, the democratic government took uponitself to fill this function of guaranteeing survival of the downtrodden,taking this scam away from the church and marginalizing its function in thedemocratic economy. Thus, the theocrats have hated government ‘benefits’ever since, and the basis for their panic to destroy all government benefitsprograms, like Social Security, welfare, minimum wage, and all of the thingsthat make our democracy a success and keep slavery from being recreated by thetheocrats.

– Charles W. Smith<cwssystems@wfeca.net>

Re: Right Web ProfileMichael A. Ledeen: https://rightweb.irc-online.org/ind/ledeen/ledeen.php

While I disagreefundamentally with many of the opinions expressed in your article about Dr.Ledeen, it is the astonishing lack of factual details which surprises me.Harold Rhode earned his PhD in the 1980s, and is therefore entitled to thetitle Dr., not Mr.

— MD<litedrum2001@yahoo.com>

Re: Thomas Donnelly, https://rightweb.irc-online.org/ind/donnelly/donnelly.php

A sentence in ThomasDonnelly (AEI Scholar and PNAC associate) comments on President’s Bush’ visitto Europe puzzles me. When comparing the EU and the U.S. hesaid. ‘The U.S. is not a ‘status-quo’ nation but a ‘revolutionarypower’.”

What exactly is a“revolutionary power”?

– Simon Kalf<simon.kalf@planet.nl>

Re: Vast Right WingConspiracy

As a life member of the VastRight Wing Conspiracy, someone who has GOP tattooed across his heart, a man whowould vote Ann Coulter into any political office (basically, a gun-totin’,First Amendment slingin’, flag wavin’, prayer-in-school murmurer, MiltonFriedman-lovin’, right-to-lifer) my views are likely not to be too terribly inline with yours. Mine are based on an enduring and absolute love for God,country, and the freedoms I hold dear.

Would you kindly remove mye-mail address from your mailing list? Feel free to give my subscription to aFrenchman, someone whose opinions of this great country and its leaders aremore in line with your organization and this country’s media.

– David Scott<dscott@elca.org>

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Featured Profiles

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was a leading framer of the “global war on terror” and a staunch supporter of aggressive U.S. military action around the world.


Mike Pompeo, the Trump administration’s second secretary of state, is a long time foreign policy hawk and has led the public charge for an aggressive policy toward Iran.


Right Web readers will be familiar with Mr. Fleitz, the former CIA officer who once threatened to take “legal action” against Right Web for publicizing reports of controversies he was associated with in the George W. Bush administration. Fleitz recently left his job at the conspiracy-mongering Center for Security Policy to become chief of staff to John Bolton at the National Security Council.


Norm Coleman is chair of the Republican Jewish Coalition and a former senator from Minnesota known for his hawkish views on foreign policy.


Billionaire hedge fund mogul Paul Singer is known for his predatory business practices and support for neoconservative causes.


Keith Kellogg, national security adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, is a passionate supporter of Trump’s foreign policy.


Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest “pro-Israel” advocacy group in the United States, is known for its zealous Christian Zionism and its growing influence in the Republican Party.


For media inquiries,
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A comparison of U.S. nuclear diplomacy with Iran and the current version with North Korea puts the former in a good light and makes the latter look disappointing. Those with an interest in curbing the dangers of proliferating nuclear weapons should hope that the North Korea picture will improve with time. But whether it does or not, the process has put into perspective how badly mistaken was the Trump administration’s trashing of the Iran nuclear agreement.


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Numerous high profile Trump administration officials maintain close ties with anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists. In today’s America, disparaging Islam is acceptable in ways that disparaging other religions is not. Given the continuing well-funded campaigns by the Islamophobes and continuing support from their enablers in the Trump administration, starting with the president himself, it seems unlikely that this trend will be reversed any time soon.


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To bolster the president’s arguments for cutting back immigration, the administration recently released a fear-mongering report about future terrorist threats. Among the potential threats: a Sudanese national who, in 2016, “pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS”; an Uzbek who “posted a threat on an Uzbek-language website to kill President Obama in an act of martyrdom on behalf of ISIS”; a Syrian who, in a plea agreement, “admitted that he knew a member of ISIS and that while in Syria he participated in a battle against the Syrian regime, including shooting at others, in coordination with Al Nusrah,” an al-Qaeda offshoot.


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The recent appointment of purveyors of anti-Muslim rhetoric to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom exposes the cynical approach Republicans have taken in promoting religious freedom.


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