The State Department inspector general fired by President Trump on Friday was investigating whether the administration had unlawfully declared an “emergency” last year to allow the resumption of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for their war in Yemen, according to a Democratic member of Congress who asked for the inquiry.
“In support of the new government the United States will move forward with a 120-day electricity waiver as a display of our desire to help provide the right conditions for success,” the State Department said in a statement on a call between Pompeo and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.
“The idea that it was just a totally natural occurrence is circumstantial. The evidence it leaked from the lab is circumstantial. Right now, the ledger on the side of it leaking from the lab is packed with bullet points and there’s almost nothing on the other side,” the official said.
As my colleague David Ignatius noted, the Chinese government’s original story — that the virus emerged from a seafood market in Wuhan — is shaky. Research by Chinese experts published in the Lancet in January showed the first known patient, identified on Dec. 1, had no connection to the market, nor did more than one-third of the cases in the first large cluster. Also, the market didn’t sell bats.
-Bloomberg: World Bank
-Diamond: US Treasury
-John Kerry: Secretary of State
-Susan Rice: National Security Adviser
Return the Neoliberal normalcy….
Of the 35 people listed as advising Warren, including Baker, nine have spent time at the Pentagon and 13 at the State Department.
Most others have spent time at the big four Democratic foreign policy think tanks, with six from the Center for American Progress (CAP), three from the Century Foundation, five from the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), and five from the Truman Project. Meanwhile, three members of the team worked at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) or the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Washington’s two main vehicles for funding regime change activity.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday said he will investigate allegations that former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was under surveillance by private American citizens intent on her removal from Kyiv and possibly threatening harm.
Congressional staffers had planned to ask questions about the shifting explanations and wanted to receive a global threat assessment for U.S. personnel.
FBI officials had been expected to brief a group of House lawmakers on counterintelligence issues related to Iran on Wednesday in a separate closed-door session but those plans also changed at the last moment, according to two sources familiar with the planning. The reason for the cancellation remains unclear but the briefing was added to the calendar late last week, one of the sources said.
– The Trump administration has canceled three classified briefings scheduled for lawmakers on the situation with Iran
– The move comes amid questions about the president’s justification for killing Iranian General Qassem Soleimani
– The last round of administration briefings ended with lawmakers furious over a lack of candor by Trump administration officials
– Additionally, Senate Democrats said they have enough support to pass a war powers resolution to limit Trump’s ability to use a military response to Iran
But the United States also sent secret messages through Swiss intermediaries urging Iran not to respond so forcefully that Mr. Trump would feel compelled to go even further. After it did respond, firing 16 missiles at bases housing American troops without hurting anyone as a relatively harmless show of force, a message came back through the Swiss saying that would be the end of its reprisal for now. The message, forwarded to Washington within five minutes after it was received, persuaded the president to stand down.
Mahdi habe Pompeo gegenüber zudem erklärt, dass es einige US-Truppen gebe, die ohne Erlaubnis der Regierung ins Land gekommen seien. Auch US-Drohnen seien ohne Zustimmung der Regierung im Irak aktiv. Das stelle einen Verstoß gegen die Abkommen dar, hieß es weiter.
Die US-Truppen sind auf der Grundlage einer Vereinbarung mit der irakischen Regierung aus dem Jahr 2014 im Land, bei der es um den internationalen Kampf gegen die Dschihadistenmiliz „Islamischer Staat“ geht.
In a phone call with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi asked the United States to send a delegation to Iraq to set up a mechanism for U.S. troop withdrawal from the country, a statement from the prime minister’s office said Friday.
The request followed a vote by the Iraqi parliament to expel thousands of U.S. troops, a direct consequence of a U.S. drone attack that killed senior Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani and nine companions in Baghdad a week ago.
Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a meeting with reporters Friday that Soleimani was killed after U.S. officials recently became aware of intelligence that showed the “size, scale, scope” of what he was planning, which led them to conclude that there was a greater risk in not taking action than in doing so.
President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that no lives were lost after Iran fired ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases housing U.S. and coalition forces overnight. Trump said the U.S. would add new sanctions on Iran, but seemed to seek de-escalation. Meanwhile, Trump and his advisers are facing more pressure to provide justification for the airstrike that assassinated Iranian Gen. Soleimani. Senators and congressmembers found a Wednesday intelligence briefing to be wholly insufficient.
Due to militia attacks at the U.S. Embassy compound, all public consular operations are suspended until further notice. All future appointments are cancelled. U.S. citizens are advised to not approach the Embassy. The U.S. Consulate General in Erbil is open for visa and American Citizen Services appointments.
Pompeo postponed his trip to Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Cyprus “due to the need for the Secretary to be in Washington, D.C., to continue monitoring the ongoing situation in Iraq and ensure the safety and security of Americans in the Middle East,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the Tuesday attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad „state-sponsored terror“ in an interview with CBS News. But he emphasized that the embassy is „safe“ and that the U.S. „never contemplated“ evacuating the facility.
„This is state-sponsored terror, this is Iranian-backed terrorism that took place,“ Pompeo told CBS News‘ Major Garrett in his first broadcast interview since the attack.
Obama’s remarks came in a call on Saturday to Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, sharpening US rhetoric after days of deadly violence – and criticism that Washington was slow to respond.
„When a leader’s only means of staying in power is to use mass violence against his own people, he has lost the legitimacy to rule and needs to do what is right for his country by leaving now,“ the White House said in a statement, summarising their telephone conversation.
Pledging to “end endless wars,” Pete Buttigieg claims he has “never been part of the Washington establishment.” But years before he was known as Mayor Pete, an influential DC network of military interventionists placed him on an inside track to power.
Sources close to the prime minister relayed that while no annexation plan had been formally discussed, it did not mean the issue had not come up in the conversation.
Schenker’s remark contradicts what Netanyahu told reporters while he briefed them in Lisbon. The prime minister said that he „discussed with Pompeo the annexation of the Jordan Valley. Clearly it will be easier [if the Jordan Valley is annexed under] a government and not a transitional government which is much more complicated, we are looking for solutions.“
After presiding over a far-right coup in Bolivia, the US dubbed Nicaragua a “national security threat” and announced new sanctions, while Trump designated drug cartels in Mexico as “terrorists” and refused to rule out military intervention.
Background: The Bahrain maritime security meeting is a follow-up to the U.S.-led anti-Iran conference held in Warsaw in February. Around 60 countries attended that conference and have participated in ongoing meetings since.
The state of play: According to the State Department, the Bahrain meeting on Oct. 21-22 will focus on maintaining maritime and aviation security in the Middle East and promote steps to interdict and prevent shipments of illicit weapons of mass destruction.
“I protect every single State Department employee,” Pompeo said. “When the State Department employees are doing things right, when they’re behaving in ways that are consistent with the rule of law and working on President Trump’s and America’s mission, I’ll always stand with them; I’ll always have their back.”
Early on, it was “pretty evident” to him that much of the department was outmoded, from management practices and some of the systems to IT, and there was no clear delegation of authority, as he was used to in the private sector, so he had a hard time understanding “how decisions are made, who’s got authority to make what decisions and who’s accountable,” he said.
„We later exposed it to the president so he understood, ‘You’ve been played,’” said Tillerson. “It bothers me that an ally that’s that close and important to us would do that to us.”
Tillerson criticized Trump for preferring the advice of political figures outside of his administration when it came to Israel, over the assessments of his own senior cabinet members.
„They did that with the president on a couple of occasions, to persuade him that ‘We’re the good guys, they’re the bad guys,’“ Tillerson said, according to the Harvard Gazette. „We later exposed it to the president so he understood, ‘You’ve been played.’”
He cautioned that skepticism is necessary when dealing with Netanyahu, whom Tillerson called „a bit Machiavellian.“
1. Kenton Clymer, The United States and Cambodia, 1969-2000: A Troubled Relationship(New York and London: Routledge, 2004)
2. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger discusses the Khmer Rouge regime with Thailand’s Foreign Minister Chatichai, November 26, 1975
Kissinger: “You should also tell the Cambodians that we will be friends with them. They are murderous thugs, but we won’t let that stand in our way. We are prepared to improve relations with them.”
3. Ford and Kissinger discuss Cambodia with Indonesia’s President Suharto, Jakarta, December 5, 1975
4. Former US National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, on China and the Khmer Rouge, 1979:
“I encouraged the Chinese to support Pol Pot. Pol Pot was an abomination. We could never support him, but China could.” According to Brzezinski, the USA “winked, semi-publicly” at Chinese and Thai aid to the Khmer Rouge.
There are allegations that the United States (U.S.) directly armed the Khmer Rouge during the Cambodian–Vietnamese War in order to weaken the influence of Vietnam and the Soviet Union in Southeast Asia. It is not disputed that the United States encouraged the government of China to provide military training and support for the Khmer Rouge and that the United States voted for the Khmer Rouge to remain the official representative of the country in the United Nations even after 1979 when the Khmer Rouge was mostly deposed by Vietnam and ruled just a small part of the country.
Additional alleged U.S. actions that benefited the Khmer Rouge range from tolerating Chinese and Thai aid to the organization (Henry Kissinger) to, according to Michael Haas, directly arming the Khmer Rouge. The U.S. government officially denies these claims, and Nate Thayer defended U.S. policy, arguing that little, if any, American aid actually reached the Khmer Rouge. However, it is not disputed that the U.S. voted for the Khmer Rouge, and later, for the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea (CGDK), which was dominated by the Khmer Rouge, to retain Cambodia’s United Nations (UN) seat until 1982 and 1991, respectively.
In February 2018, Lebanon signed its first contract for offshore drilling for oil and gas with a consortium comprising energy giants Total, ENI and Novatek.
Two blocks in the eastern Mediterranean are part of the deal, but Israel claims that part of Block 9 belongs to the Jewish state.
U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri deliver statements to the press at the U.S. Department of State on August 15, 2019.
“The WHA team has many successes to its credit, from launching a productive relationship with the new government in Mexico, to our unprecedented Venezuela policy, to taking full advantage of the new era in South America and beyond,“ Breier wrote, expressing satisfaction with her accomplishments during her nearly 10 months in office.
Japan said last week it would end expedited shipments of chemical compounds used by South Korean companies in the manufacture of microchips and smartphones.
Tokyo is angry at South Korean court rulings that Japanese firms must compensate forced laborers from Japan’s 1910-1945 rule of the peninsula.
Darunter finden sich unter anderem die umstrittene Selbsternennung Juan Guaidós zum Interimspräsidenten und die eintausend übergelaufenen venezolanischen Militärangehörigen. Weiter werden auch 3,2 Milliarden US-Dollar eingefrorenes Staatsvermögen im Ausland sowie der Einbruch der Ölproduktion genannt. Letzteres habe geschätzt den Verlust von etwa 50 Prozent der Staatseinkommen innerhalb des letzten Jahres bedeutet.
Der venezolanische UN-Botschafter Samuel Moncada bezeichnete das zurückgezogene Dokument angesichts seiner Offenheit als eine „Liste von Geständnissen“.
The authorities of Qatar asked earlier to purchase 24 of the AH-64E helicopters.
In 2016, the Boeing Company has won a two-thirds-of-a-billion dollar US Army foreign military sales contract to supply the Gulf Arab nation of Qatar with 24 Apache ground-support helicopters. According to the US Department of Defence, work on the contract is being implemented in Mesa, Arizona, with an estimated completion date of 31 May 2020.
On Monday, the U.S. sent a stark message across the Atlantic: „It is the United States’ position that putting Huawei or any other untrustworthy vendor in any part of the 5G telecommunications network is a risk,” said Robert Strayer, as reported by Reuters. This can hardly come as a surprise to the U.K. Washington has made no secret of its binary view of Huawei’s equipment, and the U.K. is its closest ally, even within the Five Eyes.
The US State Department warned: “Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Sri Lanka. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.”
(21.2.2019) Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams will travel to Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida and Cucuta, Colombia February 21-22 to support the delivery of humanitarian aid to some of the most vulnerable people in Venezuela in response to Interim President Guaido’s request.
Special Representative Abrams will lead a U.S. government delegation to accompany humanitarian supplies to be transported from Florida to Colombia by military aircraft. While in Colombia Special Representative Abrams will meet Colombian President Duque and visiting delegations from Central and South America.
Haitian newspapers printed names that corresponded to social media profiles of U.S. citizens claiming military backgrounds.
(7. Oktober 1991) From July 1985 through 1988, ELLIOTT ABRAMS was Assistant Secretary of State and headed the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Inter-American Affairs.
As Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, MR. ABRAMS chaired a Restricted Interagency Group („RIG“) comprised of, among others, representatives of the United States Department of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Central Intelligence Agency („CIA“), the National Security Council („NSC* 1 ), and the Department of State. During 1985 and 1986, the RIG met regularly to coordinate the activities of these agencies in Central America.
(8. Oktober 1991) As the State Department’s point man on Latin America, Mr. Abrams headed the Restricted Interagency Group, a panel that coordinated the Administration’s Central America policy among officials at the White House, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon.
Other members included Mr. North, the Marine Corps lieutenant colonel and White House aide who managed the day-to-day operations of secretly aiding the Nicaraguan rebels, and Alan D. Fiers Jr., who supervised Central Intelligence Agency activities in Central America.
In this capacity, Mr. Abrams operated as a high-visibility figure who seemed to relish his combative public role in defending Administration policy in Central America, while at the same time working closely with officials who were engaged in secret efforts to supply the rebels with arms after Congress barred direct military assistance in late 1984.
U.S. Secretary of State will visit Budapest next week as part of his European tour, National Security Advisor John Bolton said in a tweet.
Ich stelle mir vor, dass bei diesem medialen Schauspiel, mit dem man die Welt vergiften möchte, die großen transnationalen Ölkonzerne bereits Gewehr bei Fuß stehen, um ihre Krallen auszufahren und sich des Erdöls zu bemächtigen.
The US State Department said on Friday that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sought to press United Nations Security Council members to recognize Guaido as the “acting president” of Venezuela.
The announcement was swiftly rejected by Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, who vowed to oppose any such initiative. “That will not pass. For us, nothing changes,” Nebenzia told Reuters.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement that the summit is going to focus on Iran has drawn strong reaction from Tehran, with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denouncing it as a „desperate anti-Iran circus.“
The U.S. State Department has notified Congress of a proposal to sell the Patriot air and missile defense system to Turkey, a move that signals a key breakthrough with a NATO ally that had been inching closer to Russia.
The potential $3.5 billion deal for the system, which is manufactured by Raytheon Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp., would help bolster Turkey as it confronts instability in the region, according to a statement by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency posted on Tuesday.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Qatari Defense Minister Khalid al-Attiyah in Washington over a US plan to create a NATO-like Arab military alliance as Washington pushes for an end to a diplomatic rift between Doha an a Saudi-led quartet in favor of an alliance against Iran.
U.S. Secretary of States Mike Pompeo will hold talks with incoming Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard in Houston on Thursday, according to the U.S. State Department.
So yes, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told one wicked truth last week. But before he demands that countries like Iran start acting “normal” or face starvation, perhaps he should look in the mirror. Are Pompeo and the neocons “normal”? I don’t think so.
U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad will visit Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar this month to push for peace negotiations with the Afghan Taliban, the State Department says.
Trump sent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo twice to Pyongyang in the ensuing weeks to talk directly with Kim, and at no point, the State Department says, did he come away thinking Kim was not serious about the meeting. On the other hand, State says it sought for weeks to arrange a lower level meeting of diplomats from both countries to finalize the agenda—a request the U.S. says the North Koreans never responded to.
(3.5.2018) „Our meetings in March were very positive. There were even remarks from senior officials about long-term commitments even into 2020. There were no suggestions whatsoever about stopping support,“ Raed Saleh, the group’s leader, told CBS News.
Now they are not getting any U.S funding as the State Department says the support is „under active review.“ The U.S had accounted for about a third of the group’s overall funding.
(29.4.2018) According to Fox News, the Senate voted 57-42 to officially confirm Pompeo as the nation’s top diplomat; with seven Senators who caucus with the Democratic Party bucking leadership and voting in the affirmative.
The Democrats voting “yes” included Senators Heitkamp, Joe Manchin, and Joe Donnelly.
In a Tweet just days ago, Rep. Thomas Massie expressed frustration that in a briefing to Congress last week the Director of National Intelligence, the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of Defense “provided zero real evidence” that Assad carried out the attack. Either they have it and won’t share it with Congress, he wrote, or they have nothing. Either way, he added, it’s not good. We should share Rep. Massie’s concerns.
Donnelly becomes the third Democrat, after North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp and West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, to say they would back President Donald Trump’s nominee.
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) will vote to confirm Mike Pompeo for secretary of state, he announced Monday morning. Manchin, a moderate senator from a red state, had been pegged as a likely cross-aisle vote for Pompeo.
A day after becoming first Democrat to say she would vote to confirm hawkish CIA director to be Trump’s next secretary of state, Senator from North Dakota stumbled to explain why Pompeo’s troubling record on torture and NSA spying would not dissuade her. Then quickly walked away.
Both of the senators join North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp as Democrats who have to publicly announced their support for Pompeo. All three are up for re-election in states President Donald Trump won in 2016.
Coons finally arrived. However, Isakson was still in Georgia. The vote to report Pompeo out of committee with a favorable recommendation would be 10-10.
By rule, ties fail. But Corker forged ahead, declaring that Isakson, despite his absence was “aye by proxy.” So 11-10. Still, committee rules forbid proxy votes on behalf of absent senators if they impact the outcome of a roll call tally. So there was a conundrum.
If they oppose the nominee they should vote no! That’s how congress works!
„In voting to recommend Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted against diplomacy today, and for a foreign policy even more inclined towards war,“ Paul Kawika Martin, senior director for policy and political affairs at Peace Action said in a statement following the vote. „Pompeo’s record of warmongering, climate denial, and Islamophobia speaks for itself.“
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is about to reject Mike Pompeo’s nomination as secretary of State, a rebuke with few precedents in modern American history — and he is all but certain to assume leadership of the State Department, anyway.
CIA Director Mike Pompeo has lost his chance of receiving a favorable recommendation from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to become the next secretary of state, ABC News reports, after Democratic Sen. Chris Coons said he would not support Pompeo’s nomination.
The big picture: Pompeo could still be confirmed by the full Senate. Per ABC, Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp voiced support for him, and if all Republicans besides Rand Paul — who opposed the nomination — vote in his favor, Pompeo „will have just enough votes to be confirmed, including Vice President Mike Pence’s tie-breaking vote.“
Secretary of State-in-waiting Mike Pompeo never served in the Gulf War, even though media outlets and many of his colleagues have repeatedly said he did, and Pompeo has done nothing to dispute their claims.
Splinter News asked the CIA about Pompeo’s record, and the agency confirmed that while he was in the Army from 1986 to 1991, he never saw action in the Middle East.
(22.10.2017) The new State Department travel warning has this to say about the tactics of HTS and other anti-Assad groups:
„Tactics of ISIS, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, and other violent extremist groups include the use of suicide bombers, kidnapping, small and heavy arms, improvised explosive devices, and chemical weapons.
They have targeted major city centers, road checkpoints, border crossings, government buildings, shopping areas, and open spaces, in Damascus, Aleppo, Hamah, Dara, Homs, Idlib, and Dayr al-Zawr provinces.“
(6.4.2018) President Donald Trump’s announcement that „it’s time“ to rapidly pull U.S. soldiers out of Syria within the next five to six months was met with opposition from every one of his top national security aides, according to the Associated Press.