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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Did Cotton and other GOP politicians take money from Israel?

If I had the resources I would be following up on my post from last week: What is One Voice, Who is Tom Cotton? And what game are they playing? [], because the question becomes were those donations from the "Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI)" really from American donors, or was any of that money from the Israeli Government? If so, that is one of those infractions that is actually defined in the constitution!

"no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State." [Constitution Article 1, Section 9]

Now I'm sure that Bill Krystol is too clever to leave a paper trail to the Israeli Government. Still a committee with a name like that has to have links to Israel. I wonder how much of his funding comes from Israel? I wish I had the means to investigate.

It's pretty obvious that the Israeli Government is heavily involved in the anti-Iran effort, because they were caught spying on the negotiators and feeding back information to those 47 members of congress who sent a letter to the Iranian Delegation. Getting spy information from the Israelis is illegal for the folks giving it to Congress, but probably not for the Congress members.

Israel caught spying:
Wall Street Journal Article "Israel Spied on Iran Talks" []
"The spying operation was part of a broader campaign by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to penetrate the negotiations and then help build a case against the emerging terms of the deal, current and former U.S. officials said. In addition to eavesdropping, Israel acquired information from confidential U.S. briefings, informants and diplomatic contacts in Europe, the officials said."

If this were a left wing group, the Right Wing would be hauling everyone of them in front of the "House UnAmerican Committee, but thanks to money?... Crickets.

Who the members of the "Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI)?

ECI is the front for ECIPAC, which was created to drive a wedge between Jews and the Democratic party in general and the Obama administration specifically. (More: [])

"Unlike earlier neoconservative-led endeavors (like the Project for the New American Century) that made alliances with hawkish elements in the Democratic Party, ECI is a decidedly right-wing affair. ECI board members have included William Kristol, editor and founder of the Weekly Standard and cofounder of the Foreign Policy Initiative; Rachel Abrams, the wife of the convicted Iran-Contra veteran Elliott Abrams who passed away in 2013; and Gary Bauer, a well-know Christian Zionist who leads the lobby groups American Values and Keep Israel Safe and serves on the executive board of John Hagee's Christians United for Israel."

Pollak is a "take no prisoners type:

"Commenting on Pollak's and Hoover's work on ECI, Clifton wrote: "It's pretty clear that Pollak and Hoover, along with the people behind Keep Israel Safe and Stop Iran Now, are part of the extensive neoconservative echo chamber which seeks to create the appearance of a diverse coalition of grassroots groups calling on the US to prevent Iran from going nuclear by any means necessary. Things as simple as a looking at the registration on a domain name reveal that these groups are part of an intensely partisan (both Republican and Likudist) campaign to push the U.S. into a military conflict with Iran. And CNN, which just last week summarily fired a senior editor for a tweet praising the late Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, is amplifying their message." []

Pollak is also dual citizenship:

"Pollak got his start in neoconservative and Likud Party politics shortly after graduating from Vermont University in 2003.[11] After graduation he moved to Israel, where he worked as an assistant editor for Azure, a magazine published by the Shalem Center. The Jerusalem-based center appears to be a Likud Party-aligned group that claims on to engage "in research, education, and publications in areas that include Jewish moral and political thought, Zionist history and ideas, Biblical archaeology, democratic theory and practice, strategic studies, and economic and social policy." One of its projects is the Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies, which is funded by major Republican Party donor Sheldon Adelson." []

So ECI, if not funded by Israel, is working for the Likud.

Scheunemann, the Israel Project and War-Mongering.

ECI was the child of another group, One of which was "Israel Project", whose task was to stir up a war against Iran. In 2008 Ralph Scheunemann was McCain's top foreign policy advisor. It was probably he who was inciting McCain with his "Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran" arguments. He moved on to running the Orion Strategies and to working with Krystol and his old friends to found the ECI. Which initially operated out of his Orion Strategies office. see [ taken 2010] At that Time Jim Lobe wrote:

"Like the new ECI, the CLI appears to have been the proto-typical astro-turf group or letterhead organization (LHO). In an interview with Deborah Solomon published by the New York Times Sunday Magazine last week, the chairman of CLI‘s advisory board, former Secretary of State George Shultz, had this to about his role and involvement:
Shultz: "There was a group — there was a committee that didn’t really exist, was a name, and it supported the war. Solomon: What do you mean it didn’t exist?"
Shultz: "It didn’t exist in the sense that it never met, and I don’t even know who the members of it were.

And Jim notes:

That’s often how neo-cons work."

And that is also how intelligence services work. I once was involved in some strange stuff. Afterwards I was told; "it never happened." Only with intelligence agents suddenly the people involve disappear too. So this is something different, a little. These folks don't care if folks know who they are.

So the real force behind CLI is the same bunch behind ELI:

"Randy Scheunemann ran a very small firm in Washington called Orion Strategies, which had only a handful of clients, most of which were fairly prominent Eastern European governments: Latvia, Georgia, and several others who were seeking membership in NATO. And that was Scheunemann’s job, to help stir up interest and get them support for joining NATO." []

So who knows who Scheunemann is working for presently, but his foreign strategies are independent of anyone in the Democratic party or the White House. And Scheunemann was an NRA lobbyist in 2008:

"Randy was also, lesser well known, but an outside lobbyist for the National Rifle Association for several years and is advising McCain, to some extent, on gun issues. His primary role is chief foreign policy adviser. But in a profile I did of Scheunemann a few months ago, he indicated to me that, yes, he did weigh in as well on gun issues with Senator McCain. Randy’s a hunter." []

And of course both He, Krystol and others are veterans of infamous previous efforts to ginn up fraudulent wars:

"Along with neoconservative figures like Robert Kagan and William Kristol, Scheunemann served as a director of the now-defunct Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a letterhead group that played an important role in building support for the Iraq War and an expansive "war on terror." He also headed the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq (CLI), a post-9/11 advocacy outfit that pushed for war in Iraq. Like PNAC, CLI played a key role forging a coalition of Beltway figures who supported a Middle East agenda that had at its core toppling Saddam Hussein. Other CLI members included Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT)." [bold my addition] []

Now, ironically, "Randy was working with " ... "Ahmed Chalabi in championing intervention in Iraq." And Chalabi, turned out to be an agent for Iraqi Shia, closely aligned with Iran. [Democracy Now article] And his Orion group has since the time of Peter Stone's article increased it's source for lobbying money because he leads both:

"Orion Strategies (which he owns) and the Mercury Group. Clients of the Mercury Group have included Swiftships Shipbuilders, Barrett Firearms Manufacturing, BP America, Air Force Memorial Foundation, Lockheed Martin, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and Sporting Arms and Ammunitions Manufacturers." [Rightweb article]

So Randy is tied to the Arms Industry, and the Arms Industry has a real economic interest in starting new wars. A war with Iran means contracts, turnover of arms, and profits. Win/Win for McCain, the lobbyists, and the Senators who seem to be in their hip pocket. And of course, this isn't just a plot by some Jewish Conspirators. It's also the project of some Right Wing Dominionist and Neo-Millenial groups Christians United for Israel which is a similar mix of Right Wing Religion and self interested arms manufacturers.

Were any laws broken?

The law relating to subversion or sedition by members of Congress is very murky. Especially since it's Congress' job to write such laws. But there was a clear violation of protocol if not the law by the Israel Lobby, the 47 Senators, and the Netanyahu regime. Whatever their protestations that they didn't spy on our actual officials. If nothing else, the level of corruption is amazing. Both the American lobbyists, Likud and Congress seem more concerned with selling arms and ginning up yet another war than the actual security of either the USA or Israel. Israel's national interests are not served by continuous bellicose warmongering against Iran. Even if the Sunni Arab leadership is secretly cheering them and ISIL is glad to see them ignoring their conquest of territories adjacent to Israel. Anyway. I've been looking for what laws might have been broken. Certainly the parties lobbying to derail talks with Iran were in violation with 18 U.S. Code § 798 - Disclosure of classified information

"Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information—...obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of any foreign government, knowing the same to have been obtained by such processes—... Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both. [18 U.S. Code § 798 - Disclosure of classified information]

However, the Israelis and the lobbyists have a get out of jail card:

"Nothing in this section shall prohibit the furnishing, upon lawful demand, of information to any regularly constituted committee of the Senate or House of Representatives of the United States of America, or joint committee thereof."

So no law was broken, because Congress can spy on anyone. And unless one can prove a direct money trail from Israel to Cotton and the other Congressmen, nothing is going to happen. Money is free speech and the Arms industry is just talking to Congress. And as I described in the previous article on Cotton, the same Arms manufacturers, Hedge Fund investors and lobbyists who paid Cotton also bankroll the Likud.


This post is a follow on to these Posts
And earlier:
Source for donation information for Cotton:
Mondoweiss: Emergency Committee for Israel Spends Big on Rep. Cotton []
Further Reading and Sources:
Orion Strategic Services:
Which is a vehicle for Randy Scheunemann []
Bill Krystol:

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