Note, This post is based in large part in an prior blog.
Question: What is the republican President Donald J Trump doing by appointing one of his acolytes, the 34 year old infamous Ezra Cohen-Watnick, as the head of Special Forces in the Pentagon?
Remember that guy in early 2017, who was the White House intelligence staffer and the wingman who purportedly shared intel with GOP Representative Devin Nunes, the republican chair of the US House Intelligence Committee, so that they could present their reality show scripts beginning with an impromptu press conferences. Their mission was to sell the concept that they had uncovered classified data proving the president’s assertions that he had been placed under surveillance by his democratic predecessor President Barack Obama. That guy is the same Ezra Cohen-Watnick.
The media pros quickly unraveled the true story about how Rep. Nunes had acted on his own without informing his colleagues regarding his convoluted scheme to cover for the president’s delusion and how it was an entirely made up production. This ended up being a complete dud. Rep. Nunes has continued to be an extreme partisan in his attempts to protect President Trump in office, to where the US House Intelligence Committee ended up destroying its long history for non partisanship. What’s worse, is that it appears he acted with the blessings of the then, GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan.
The White House Intel staffer who had assisted Rep Nunes in this reality play was non other than Ezra Cohen-Watnick. His claim to fame, is that he’s been a close to the the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and he’d been working under the tutelage of General Michael Flynn. He continued to be employed by the White House even after General Flynn was fired. But around August 2017, the former National Security Adviser General H.R. McMaster managed to oust Mr. Cohen-Watnick, along with others who’d been associated with General Flynn.
That same White House Intelligence staffer Ezra Cohen-Watnick was then employed by Oracle corporation, a major supporter and financier of the GOP US Representative Devin Nunes. What I found to be of interest, is that the Oracle Corp. Co-Ceo Safra Catz had been under consideration to replace the president’s National Security Adviser, General H.R. McMaster. According to the Washington DC grapevine, he was supposed to be departing the White House premises by April 1, 2018.
But guess what? He is now the National Security Adviser for the US attorney General Jeff Sessions. And guess who ordered this hiring. This was ordered by the republican President Donald Trump.
See: Trump Ordered DOJ to Hire Ezra Cohen-Watnick, Sources Say/ Bloomberg …
As per the March 2, 2018, Silicon Valley Business Journal report by the SVBJ staff, “Oracle Corp. co-CEO Safra Catz (who had been on the president’s transition team in 2016), is reportedly in the running to join the Trump (team) as National Security Adviser, replacing Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, who has been rumored to be leaving his post.”
“CNN, citing sources in the administration, reported (3/1/18) that McMaster could vacate his post by the end of the month. Among the names being floated to replace him if he departs are Catz, former UN ambassador John Bolton and Ford Motor Co. executive Stephen Biegun, the news organization said.”
As per 3/3/18 Times of Israel report by Matthew Lee and Josh Lederman, Safra Catz, the Israeli-born co-CEO of tech giant Oracle, is considered a leading candidate to replace US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, CNN reported (3/2/18).
“Sheldon Adelson, a prominent donor to Republicans and pro-Israel causes, expressed support to Zionist Organization President Morton Klein in August regarding the group’s effort to push for McMaster’s removal, saying he was “enlightened” about McMaster after being told by Catz of a dinner she had had with the national security adviser.”
As per a 8/21/17 Times of Israel report, “The ZOA issued a report earlier this month alleging that McMaster is anti-Israel and charging that he is undermining Trump’s Middle East agenda and the US-Israel relationship by firing officials supportive of the Jewish state and critical of the Iran nuclear deal.”
The Jewish official being discussed is none other than Ezra Cohen-Watnick.
On April 11, 2018, Adam Goldman of the New York Times penned the following report, “Aide Ousted From White House Re-emerges at Justice Dept.”
“A former American intelligence official who came under intense scrutiny during a stint at the White House last year is returning to government as the national security adviser to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, according to a person familiar with the decision.”
“The official, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, will play an important role at the Justice Department, advising Mr. Sessions on counterintelligence and counterterrorism.”
“Mr. Cohen-Watnick is known to be hawkish on Russia and China, believing the intelligence community needs to take a more aggressive approach in countering their activities. Both countries conduct wide-ranging espionage in the United States that targets commercial and government secrets. Mr. Sessions is broadly viewed in the Justice Department as lacking expertise in the area.”
“Mr. Cohen-Watnick, 31, served briefly at the start of the Trump administration as the senior director for intelligence for the National Security Council, overseeing covert action and other intelligence programs. He was brought on by Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s first national security adviser. But some former officials criticized Mr. Cohen-Watnick, a former clandestine officer in the Defense Intelligence Agency, as too young for the job, which is usually filled by C.I.A. veterans.”
“Mr. Cohen-Watnick was ousted in August 2017 as part of changes in the White House, one of several appointees of Mr. Flynn who were removed by his replacement, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster.”
“National Security Council aides usually draw little public scrutiny, but Mr. Cohen-Watnick was swept up in the tumult of early 2017 when Mr. Trump accused the previous administration, without evidence, of wiretapping his phones at Trump Tower.”
“Mr. Trump’s allegations were bolstered by Representative Devin Nunes of California, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who said he had evidence that Mr. Trump’s communications were incidentally swept up in surveillance of foreigners by American spy agencies.”
“Mr. Nunes did not divulge the sources of this information, but American officials later told The New York Times that Mr. Cohen-Watnick, at the instruction of two senior White House officials, helped print intelligence reports that later served as Mr. Nunes’s proof.”
“The revelation showed that Mr. Nunes and one of the aides, Michael Ellis, a lawyer in the White House Counsel’s Office, were using intelligence to advance political goals. It also undercut Mr. Nunes’s claims that his information came from whistle-blowers, and revealed that he was eager to aid the Trump administration when he was conducting an independent investigation of Russian election meddling.”
Hasn’t this been the case for years?? Our ties to Israel are very tight and have tended to color our relationship with Middle Eastern countries for many, many years.
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Yes! And of course Israel is our #1 ally in the region.
But there have been recent actions taken which have been counter to US national security interests and in my mind, also counter to Israel’s best interests.
The 1st policy decision made which went against both interests in my mind started with Jared Kushner telling General Flynn during the transition period to have Russia abstain from voting on a United Nations resolution pertaining to Israeli settlements.
As per Times Of Israel:
Around December 21, 2016: The government of Egypt submitted a resolution to the UN Security Council on the issue of Israeli settlements. the vote was planned for the next day.
December 22, 2016: A Jared Kushner of the presidential transition team directs Flynn to contact officials with several foreign governments, including Russia, about the resolution. He tells Flynn to see what the governments’ positions were on the resolution and to try to get them to delay the vote on the resolution or defeat it. Flynn then calls Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the US, and asks him to have Russia vote against or delay the resolution.
December 23, 2016: Kislyak tells Flynn that Russia would not vote against the resolution if it came to a vote.
This started the ball rolling where General Flynn got into trouble for lying about his actions during the transition time frame.
But this wasn’t necessarily against US interests.
Then came the decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Although the US recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the US had taken this stance of not relocating the US embassy until after a peace settlement had been negotiated between Israel and Palestine. The US had wanted to be an independent peace broker and we were pro a 2 member state. So since 1995, every 6 months the US president signed a 6 month’s waiver to delay this relocation. The US recognized that this would not happen under the hard right Israeli leader, Benjamin Netanyahu. Originally, the president was following in the steps of his predecessors.
And this is where I suspect that pressure from Sheldon Adelson with his millions stepped in, as he voiced his displeasure that the president was not acting pronto to relocate the US embassy.
But even here, this decision was not necessarily against US national security interests.
The president had delayed backing out of the Iran nuclear deal. I am convinced that were it not for pressure from Israel, that he might have listened to all the the foreign policy experts who advised against this. Sheldon Adelson wanted General H.R. McMaster gone and he is ok with John Bolton. This is where US national security interests have been placed at risk.
Sheldon Adelson/ Safra Catz are Jewsih republicans who have been very financially supportive of the US House Intel Committee chair Rep. Devin Nunes who has been leading the attacks against the US rule of law, the FBI, and DOJ to tarnish these institutions’ reputations.
The House Speaker has been backing Devin Nunes. It doesn’t hurt that Sheldon Adelson just cut a $30 million dollar check to help House republicans with their reelection campaigns.
Israel will do just about anything to keep President Trump in power. In my mind, this is definitely not in the best interests of US national security.
I love Israel but I love the US more as this is my country.
There is a lot more, but I would need to write another blog.
Gronda, while heeding the wishes of Israel’s Netanyahu who is very hawkish, we have ticked off European allies, especially Germany, France and the UK. Trump could have worked with them to make an imperfect deal better and kept a relationship with Iran, where half the country is under age 35.
Now, we are in a spitting contest with Europe over sanctions on companies who want to and have existing contracts to do business in Iran.
I saw one of Trump’s advisors smugly say there is no problem with Europe, to which the PBS reporter said “with all due respect, they seem to be pretty upset with the US.”
His followers are saying he is just doing what he said in the campaign. That is my concern that he is doing what he said, as he is one of the more ill-informed decision makers. Keith
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This is the elephant in the room. Both Russia and Israel are pushing for US foreign policy which is counter to what is in the US best interests, as in the president backing out of the Iran Nuclear agreement..
The president doesn’t care and neither do the GOP in the US Congress.
I can’t help but ask about how much monies have Israel and the UAE greased the president’s palms and/ or what kompromat do they have on him.
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