Tag Archives: barack obama

Gun-registry-loving Obama Security Advisor Refused to “Record another Muslim”

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Gun-registry-loving Obama Security Advisor Refused to “Record another Muslim”

“A Muslim doesn’t record another Muslim,” said Gamal Abdel-Hafiz (shown). This might not have been noteworthy except that Abdel-Hafiz was an FBI agent at the time and was refusing to do his duty, which at that moment involved taping a Muslim suspect.

That was 2002, and this is now. And now the Cairo-born Abdel-Hafiz has moved on to bigger and perhaps better things — he’s a homeland-security advisor to Barack Obama. And while recording a single Muslim is a problem for him, putting every single American firearm owner on a gun-registry he fancies a good idea. WFAA.com reports on his idea:

A former FBI counter-terrorism agent says lawmakers could make mass murders less likely. “What we need to do is keep the ownership of guns known to the government, so we know who has what,” said security consultant Gamal Abdel-Hafiz.  “And I know a lot of people are against that.”

… “He shouldn’t have been able to buy a gun legally. He shouldn’t,” said Abdel-Hafiz about 29 year-old Omar Mateen [the Orlando jihadist]. He says 3 FBI interviews should have been enough to keep Mateen on the radar, but he also knows why he wasn’t. “Once you investigate someone and clear them, you have to remove them from the watch list by law,” he explained Monday from his office in Dallas.

And even if Mateen had been on a terror watch list, or no-fly list, that would not have prohibited him from legally buying weapons…

“That means the list is useless then,” the former agent said.

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OBAMA TRIES TO WOO ALLIES IN FINAL PUSH FOR TRADE DEALS ONLY CORPORATIONS LIKE


President Barack Obama arrives at Joint Base Andrews aboard Air Force One. Photo credit: Pete Souza / White House
President Barack Obama’s recent trips to Europe and Asia were more than farewell tours with photo ops. While the media focused on an admittedly cute picture of the president shaking hands with Prince George, and dutifully reported his official remarks in Vietnam and Hiroshima, Obama was busy pushing some of the policies he sees as integral to his “legacy.”

These include a military buildup against a newly assertive China and beating the drums for two international trade deals that are increasingly opposed in the United States, Europe and Asia as being too corporate-friendly.

To understand what is driving the opposition to both the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), WhoWhatWhy spoke to experts on the countries Obama visited.

Britain is the second largest economy in the EU. This is not lost on Obama, who sees a unified Europe as more receptive to American economic and political interests. So says Robert Gulotty, a University of Chicago political science professor and author of “America and Trade Liberalization: The Limits of Institutional Reform.”

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An Inconvenient Truth: How The Obama Administration Became Earth’s Largest Arms Dealer

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With the Obama presidency in its final year, there is one central element of his foreign policy that has received little attention – the dramatic acceleration of lethal weapons exports by the U.S. military and defense contractors. As Ammo.com details, the Obama administration has approved more lethal weapon sales to more foreign countries than any U.S. administration since World War II. Many billions more than G.W. Bush’s administration, in fact. And some of these sales will likely result in unintended consequences i.e. “blowback” – especially as more than 60 percent of them have gone to the Middle East and Persian Gulf.

(After all, U.S. weapons supplied to the mujaheddin in Afghanistan to fight the Soviets were then used to help launch Al-Qaeda. Arms supplied to Iraqi security forces and Syrian rebels have been captured by ISIS. And “allies” from Bahrain to Egypt to Saudi Arabia have used U.S.-supplied weapons to defeat homegrown democracy movements.)

On May 23rd, President Obama announced at a press conference in Hanoi that the U.S. would be lifting its decades-long embargo on sales of lethal weapons to Vietnam. Such a reversal in U.S. foreign policy raises questions: How does the U.S. arms export market actually work? Which companies in the military-industrial complex profit from these sales? Who really ends up with U.S. weapons? And most importantly, how many of those weapons could eventually be used against us?

Worldwide Weapons1

This is Getting Serious

Putin has delivered his strongest public remarks to date regarding the missiles placed by NATO on the borders of Russia – active in Romania and soon to be active in Poland:

“If yesterday in those areas of Romania people simply did not know what it means to be in the cross-hairs, then today we will be forced to carry out certain measures to ensure our security,” Putin said in a joint news conference in Athens with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

“It will be the same case with Poland,” he said.

The US claims that the missiles are to protect against Iran.  Putin suggests this is unnecessary as there is now an agreement in place with Iran regarding nuclear weapons.  It seems to me the point is irrelevant – given the location of the missiles, they could strike either Iran or Russia just the same.

“We won’t take any action until we see rockets in areas that neighbor us,” Putin added.

At least for the west, diplomacy does not appear to be an option:

“We’ve been repeating like a mantra that we will be forced to respond… Nobody wants to hear us. Nobody wants to conduct negotiations with us.”

These central European countries are playing a dangerous game that Poland has lost once before.  They are counting on promises of salvation from the west instead of remaining focused on developing good relations with regional neighbors.  Instead of creating alliances with neighbors who share similar (and strictly limited) security concerns, they are willingly becoming pawns in MacKinder’s very great game.

There was once such a plan proposed – an alliance of these several central European countries:

Międzymorze, known in English as Intermarium, was a plan, pursued after World War I by Polish leader Józef Piłsudski, for a federation, of Central and Eastern European countries. Invited to join the proposed federation were the Baltic states (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia), Finland, Belarus, Ukraine, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia.

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Emails Show Obama Administration Using Goldman Sachs Lobbyists to Pass TPP

Home»Business»Emails Show Obama Administration Using Goldman Sachs Lobbyists to Pass TPP

May 27, 2016   |   admintam

(COMMONDREAMSseries of emails released Friday show what activists describe as “collusion” between U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Wall Street executives to push for the passage the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The emails (pdf), obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the group Rootstrikers, which organizes against money in politics, include a message to Froman from a managing director at Goldman Sachs urging him to push for “robust commitments” on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions—which allow private corporations to sue governments for perceived loss of profits—to be included in the divisive trade deal.

“I wanted to underscore how important it is for the financial services industry to get robust commitments on ISDS in the agreement… denying our industry the same rights as enjoyed by every other sector would be terribly unfortunate,” the email states.

Another mentions it would be “good for the U.S.” if lawmakers in U.S. Congress passed Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), also known as “fast track,” which would allow the president to send trade deals to the House and Senate for a yes-or-no vote, rather than allowing them to make amendments to the agreements.

“Will do what I can to assist,” reads the email from the Goldman Sachs lobbyist, sent in February 2015—just a few months before the Senate passed TPA in what opponents called a “great day for corporate America.”

Froman responded that he would assign a staff member to be in contact with Goldman Sachs’ lobbyist team, and that he would “welcome the chance to pick your brain” on the equally controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Rootstrikers—which is part of a newly launched financial reform coalition called Take On Wall Street—also noted that Froman, then chief of staff to the Treasury Secretary, was “instrumental” in the 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, which created a firewall between the investment and commercial banking sectors, and has maintained a friendly relationship with the financial industry during his time as trade rep.

As the American Prospect reported in June 2015, under Froman’s leadership, “more ex-lobbyists have funneled through USTR, practically no enforcement of prior trade violations has taken place, and new agreements like TPP are dubiously sold as progressive achievements, laced with condescension for anyone who disagrees.”

Kurt Walters, campaign director at Rootstrikers, said Friday, “Wall Street knows it can get favors in closed door negotiations that could never survive the light of day in Congress. One thing has been consistent during Michael Froman’s frequent trips through the Wall Street-to-Washington revolving door: He’s repeatedly used his official positions to deliver for his friends at the biggest banks on Wall Street.”

“It’s fair to ask whether Froman is negotiating on behalf of the American public or to benefit the financial sector that gave him a massive golden parachute bonus upon his shift from Citigroup executive to U.S. Trade Representative,” Walters added, noting that Froman received more than $4 million upon leaving Citigroup in 2013.

Froman repeatedly ignored calls by Rootstrikers to release the emails as public opposition to TPP began to grow in recent years. A USTR representative said in 2015 that Froman has “been very clear, on repeated occasions, in public and in private, that this administration will do nothing that puts at risk the Wall Street reforms.”


This article (Emails Show Obama Administration Using Goldman Sachs Lobbyists to Pass TPP) originally appeared on CommonDreams.org and is licensed Creative Commons 3.0. The Anti-Media radio show airs Monday through Friday @ 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. Help us fix our typos: edits@theantimedia.org