TV Interviews

August 17-20 Mideast Arabic language news intel summary By Barry Webb

YEMEN

On 15 August the sinaa’at al-mawt program on al-arabiyya TV did a show on the child soldiers of Yemen. Much of the information gathered for this show came from interviews with children who had escaped the Houthi’s grasp, or had been rescued by forces loyal to the Yemeni government. Social workers and teachers working with these “rescued” children were also interviewed.

According to the reporting on this program, the Iranian-supported Houthis of Yemen have been recruiting children as young a 8, or even 6, with orphanages being a special target of Houthi recruiters.

These children are then trained in weapons use and used as spies, or spotters, to man monitoring points. Others are used as “human shields” for the regular Houthi troops. Some are used to lay mines–without being instructed as to the dangers of this job.

Any kids that refuse “recruitment” by the Houthis, or refuse orders to perform suicidal jobs are tortured and put in prison.

The Houthis are even besieging entire villages promising to kill everyone there unless they surrender their young boys. The boys are thus sacrificed to the Houthis in order to spare the lives of their mothers, sisters, and younger brothers.

Reportedly, the Houthis have succeeded in mobilizing 10,000 under age kids which they have brainwashed and trained for war. These children will become a headache for the next generation throughout the entire Middle East, as they know nothing except how to kill, the program host said.

ISIS

Washington Post has reported that ISIS has begun setting up Caliphate 2.0 in N.E. Syria, right under our noses. The name of the camp is al–Hul, and it contains 70,000 people, including 50,000 children. Among the 70,000 are 11,000 from countries outside of the Iraq/Syria region, and their home countries refuse to take them back.

ISIS has taken over control of this camp from the inside, imposing Shari’a law, and even resuming executions for those who break the rules. They have even succeeded in obtaining weapons, such as the AK-47.

The Saudi-owned al-Arabiyya TV has also reported that ISIS is re-establishing itself in Southern Syria as well.

COMMENT: Yours truly threw a fit the moment I heard that Trump had invited Turkey into N.E. Syria last December 2018 to replace the American troops he wanted to withdraw. I warned that this would come back to bite us in the rear in more ways than one. The first has to do with Turkey itself. As the planet’s #1 state sponsor of terrorism and the Godfather of ISIS, Turkey is the last country in the world you should want to invite into Syria to “take care of ISIS.”

Turkey’s creeping occupation of ever larger chunks of Syria are one consequence of that. The renewed vigor of ISIS is also another predictable outcome of the U.S. withdrawal, even though Trump did backpedal a bit on the idea of a total withdrawal.

Now, when we combine the 10,000 Yemeni kids (mentioned above) being trained to kill, with the 50,000 kids in just this one camp under ISIS control, who are now being brain-washed with ISIS ideology and trained to kill, this is a problem that will plague the Middle East, and the rest of the world, for a long time to come.

Finally, the issue of all non-Iraqis and non-Syrians who now find themselves in these refugee camps unable to return home because their home countries don’t want them . . .
Those home countries should be forced to take them back and stuff them into prisons where they belong. It is not right that they should be foisted upon a small country like Syria. The countries that these people came from are responsible because they have allowed Islam to flourish unchallenged within their borders. They have allowed Islam to dictate what is taught about Islam in their K-12 and colleges. They have allowed Islam to dictate how their intelligence and law enforcement agencies view terrorism. They refuse to allow the truth about Islam to be taught in their schools or discussed publically. They are thus responsible for the very predictable result of having a certain percentage of their citizens recruited by the real Islam that ISIS is.

IRAN

On 18 August al-arabiyya TV reported that Iran has been enriching Uranium underground, in violation of Obama’s brain-dead nuclear deal. They have also threatened to increase their production of enriched Uranium by 50%.

In a related matter, al-arabiyya also reported that Iran had threatened to send warships to Gibraltar to escort the “Adrian Darya” in response to the U.S. threat to take control of the ship after British Gibraltar authorities decided to let the ship go.

The ship was originally seized because it was thought that it was heading to Syria, and there is a UN embargo against delivering oil to Syria because of its war against ISIS and al-Qaeda. Iran claims that the ship was not destined for Syria, but for the NATO country of Greece. The U.S. has apparently lost the legal battle, and the ship was last seen steaming away from Gibraltar, heading east.

QATAR

On the 18 August edition of al-hakaya on MBC-Egypt, talk show host ‘Amru Adeeb reported on Qatar’s involvement in yet another financial scandal, this with regarding the London-based Barclay’s bank. The initial reports of this scandal came out in the British press in early 2019, and has to do with secret payments by Barclay’s to Qatar, and the admission by Barclay’s that Barclay’s could not survive without Qatar’s support.

Adeeb then opined that everywhere you look in the world where there is a financial scandal, Qatar is there in some capacity. First they bribe FIFA to hold the world cup soccer championships in Qatar, then we learn of Qatar purchasing the way Americans think through their buying off media and think tanks, then the purchasing of politicians in Paris, and now Barclay’s in London.

What Adeeb left out was that now there is a video making the rounds on you Tube that U.S. Congressperson Ilhan Omar is “Qatar’s pet project.” Which, of course, is not surprising since she has been regurgitating the Muslim Brotherhood propaganda points since the day she set foot in Congress.

MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD

Egyptian talk show host ‘Amru Adeeb opened his Monday 19 August al-hakaya (the Story) show with the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). He noted that the MB is still around (in spite of the 60,000 in prison in Egypt, and another 60,000 Egyptian MB members in exile in Turkey). “And,” he says, “everyone knows who they are. They’re in the colleges, government work, the media, other areas of employment.” But, he implied, they generally lie low.

Adeeb then launched into his reason for bringing up the MB: 1,350 MB members currently in prison in Egypt have signed a document asking their leaders to make peace with the government so they could be let out of prison.

Adeeb warned against that, while making fun of the MB saying how when they are weak, they always pretend to be “nice,” “non-violent,” loyal citizens, but once free . . . Adeeb ripped off a list of recent terrorist acts in Egypt he blamed on the MB. He closed his spiel with the admonition that the MB “is a serious national security danger to Egypt,” and that they should not be let loose from prison.

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Barry Webb has logged a 25-year career as an Arabist for the NSA, has two MA degrees in related subject matter, and is currently a Senior Fellow with Americans for Intelligence Reform www.intelreform.org. He is the author of Confessions of an (ex) NSA spy: Why America and its Allies are Losing the War on Terror. His website is www.barrywebbauthor.com

 

EX-CIA OFFICER ON STRATEGIC THREATS TO US, PUTIN’S UNSAVORY WEALTH, AND SOCIALISM

America Daily Reporter Arleen Richards talks to Brad Johnson, a former CIA operations officer and intelligence expert, about the biggest long-term strategic threats facing the United States.

China Hong Kong Managing the Protests

FILE – In this June 9, 2019, file photo, protesters display a banner with images of Chinese President Xi Jinping during a march along a downtown street against the proposed amendments to an extradition law in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)(Use courtesy SOH)

Ex-CIA Officer on Strategic Threats to US, Putin’s Unsavory Wealth, and Socialism
So you are also an op-ed writer for the Epoch Times. And you’ve written a number of articles about the area of intelligence. One of your recent articles is titled “The Math of Long-Term Strategic Threats to the US.” So tell us, how does the U.S. government view long-term strategic threats?

Brad Johnson: The way government refers to long-term strategic threats is what has commonly become known as “four plus one.” The “four” being the four countries of China, Russia, North Korea and Iran; and the “one” being separated out as terrorism. So no disagreement on my part as to the fact that those are all long-term strategic threats to one degree or another.

China Is the Biggest Threat to US
Now, one of the points I make in this article is that, unfortunately, I think it implies not something purposely deceptive, but I think it implies something that’s important and not accurate. And that is the relative threat between these things. And China is far and away, head and shoulders above everybody else as the long-term strategic threat.

Brad Johnson: They’re controlling a lot of the economic issues that exist, food and trying to take over and create another monitary system. And at the same time, they’re implementing draconian control systems over their own population in China. They have around 50 million cameras set up, controlled, and operated by the government to watch their own people. And that’s not just in the big cities, that’s out in some of the small villages. Now they’re even controlling the population with these cameras in smaller rural villages… So there is nobody else out there that can compare to China. They’re just head and shoulders above anybody else for their military threat.

Russia Is a Lesser Threat
Brad Johnson: Vladimir Putin is the richest man on the planet, and he’s interested in building that new dacha on the Black Sea and enjoying his money. And you can see he goes and gets plastic surgery and is famous for having these girlfriends and playing on the hockey team… He’s out having a good time, living a good life. Now he’s also interested in changing over back some areas of the Soviet Union and so on. But he’s not out trying to do what China’s trying to do. He’s just a different type of threat, lesser type of threat than what you see out of China, not so aggressive and not so expansionist.

If we’ve got all our focus on something with Russia collusion and it’s not on China, this stuff is all gonna bite us in the rear end. We gotta be on top of it, and all the national security people need to keep that at the forefront.

 

President Trump Needs an Ally as Intel Director by Christopher C. Hull for the Epoch Times

Joseph Maguire on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 25, 2018. (MARCUS TAPPAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Joseph Maguire on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 25, 2018. (MARCUS TAPPAN/AFP/Getty Images)

August 15, 2019

President Donald Trump should go with his gut and name an ally as the permanent director of national intelligence.

As of Aug. 15, the positions of director and principal deputy director of national intelligence and head of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) are all technically vacant.

Outgoing intelligence director Daniel Coats, a well-respected former U.S. senator from Indiana, resigned after repeatedly making plain he disagreed with the president’s view of the world. Meanwhile, Sue Gordon, Coats’s principal deputy director, likewise submitted her resignation.

Gordon did so after Donald Trump Jr. rightly pegged her as an ally of the allegedly law-breaking leaker House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), and the famously communist-voting former Obama Central Intelligence Agency Director John O. Brennan. In Coats’s and Gordon’s wake, retired Vice Adm. Joseph Maguire, a decorated Navy SEAL, takes the reins as acting director, leaving open his former post as NCTC director.

Throughout this complex story, intelligence community sources have made clear that they long for compliant leadership, someone willing to toe the line of all their favorite narratives, especially that the Russians colluded more with Trump’s presidential campaign than that of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

According to one expert, there is no time limit on acting directors. Another report suggests that it’s unclear whom Trump will pick to be his nominee to permanently take over as spy chief. The president has said, “I’m in no rush because we have a great acting [director].”

Maguire is, by all accounts, a good man with an honorable record of service to our nation.

That said, while Senate Intelligence committee ranking member Mark Warner (D-Va.) praised Maguire’s willingness to serve, he called on the president to nominate a permanent director “during this critical time for our country.”

Depoliticizing
To that extent at least, Warner is right. Then-President-elect Trump’s team was likewise right to explore depoliticizing and devolving intelligence activities at the beginning of his term. Moreover, the president was right to want to shake up the “inbred, back-biting” intelligence community by picking an ally.

Specifically, Trump has a personal interest in addressing the politicization of intelligence that resulted, inter alia, in U.S. spymasters’ interference in the 2016 presidential race, based on a claim of collusion with the Russians.

Based at least in part on their opposition to fixing that problem, media dead-pans, intel dead-enders, and Democrat dead-eyes directed deadly darts at Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), the outspoken and articulate Trump ally recently nominated to the intel director post, who quickly withdrew from consideration.

One explicit concern was that Ratcliffe believes the now-toweringly obvious truth that some sub-portion of U.S. intelligence worked to undermine now-President Trump.

Another concern, which is a howler: Ratcliffe might politicize America’s intelligence. For instance, as Warner noted archly, “Shading intelligence to fit political views ultimately threatens the safety and effectiveness of America’s dedicated intelligence professionals and makes our country less safe.”

Agreed. Which is why a new director must explore the degree to which partisan Obama spy chief James Clapper shaded the January 2017 intelligence community assessment to fit his (and President Barack Obama’s) political views, including by handpicking fierce Trump critic Peter Strzok to help write it.

Such a new director could not only consider changes in the structure of the intelligence community, he might help break the logjam in declassifying documents for Attorney General Robert Barr’s investigation of “Spygate,” according to Paul Sperry, the former Washington bureau chief for Investor’s Business Daily.

The president probably recognizes that partisans and perps will polemicize anyone he puts forward for the post willing to pursue depoliticization. That is why he should move forward with that agenda anyway, by naming an ally to be permanent director of national intelligence.

Even a few Republicans expressed concern not only about Ratcliffe’s politics, but his experience as well. Thus, the president should choose someone who not only shares his worldview, but has deep roots in intelligence, too.

Two Candidates
Two candidates come to mind: current U.S. Ambassador to Holland Pete Hoekstra and former Trump National Security Council Chief of Staff Fred Fleitz.

Press reports suggest Hoekstra has emerged as a frontrunner for the slot. That’s good news; Hoekstra is a proven Trump loyalist who was part of the president’s 2016 campaign, and also oversaw America’s spies as House Intelligence Committee chairman when he served in Congress.

Hoekstra also has some bipartisan support, including Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), a former ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, who said of his former colleague, “I worked closely with Peter and, even though there were some disagreements on our side of the aisle, he ultimately made the decisions that were right for our country in his role as chairman.”

The Democratic House veteran continued, “I think he’s qualified. … Anyone who has served on the Gang of Eight understands the need for oversight of the intelligence agencies and the need to work closely with them on behalf of our country.”

Another name floated is Fleitz, who would likewise check all the president’s boxes: A loyalist who has defended Trump administration policies vociferously including on all-important cable news, and who also has a quarter-century in the U.S. intelligence community, including a long career at the CIA, as well as stints at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the House Intelligence Committee, and most recently at Trump’s National Security Council.

Ken Timmerman, who was co-nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, argues that in Fleitz, Trump “could get both someone who understands the horrible politicization within the intelligence community that has deeply discredited many of its key recommendations over the past two decades, and someone who also understands how that community operates from the inside.”

In particular, Trump needs someone like Hoekstra or Fleitz, who could remind the nation of a century of Russian interference, including Russia’s offer in 1968 to finance the campaign of Democrat Hubert Humphrey against Richard Nixon; Teddy Kennedy’s plea to Moscow to intervene in the 1984 elections against Ronald Reagan; and especially Hillary Clinton in 2016 paying a former foreign spy to dig up agitprop directly from Russian intelligence and then weaponize it inside the U.S. intelligence and law enforcement community.

This is the president’s chance to get it right on the intelligence community in this first term. Either Fleitz or Hoekstra would do just that.

Now, never-Trumpers of all parties and positions will attack and undermine anyone with whom they disagree politically, just as they did with Ratcliffe. That said, the intelligence community has no God-given right to choose its own boss.

Democrats who dislike Trump enough to oust him disqualify themselves from deciding whom Trump should choose to oversee the part of the government that arguably tried to do just that. Finally, elites skeptical of the president’s foreign policy at some point may want to notice that he won the election.

Mr. President, go with your gut. Name a well-qualified ally as your spy chief.

Christopher C. Hull, Ph.D., is a public affairs executive with extensive real-world expertise running successful local, state, federal, and international policy-shaping and coalition-building issue campaigns, as well as academic-level training in presidential and grassroots politics.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.