This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute.

Turkey’s president disclosed this weekend what was presumably, until recently, a closely held state secret: Thanks to Turkish eavesdropping inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Recep Erdogan has shared with our government and others evidence of what he claims was the liquidation there of a Saudi Islamist, Jamal Khashoggi.

Erdogan’s timing strongly suggests he wants this week’s “lame-duck” congressional session to advance Turkey’s interests by punishing its longtime rival for leadership of Sunni Islam: the House of Saud.

America’s strategic interests would not be served, however, by such a one-sided response.  If anything, our equities are far more closely aligned at the moment with the Saudis, than with Turkey under Erdogan.

We should instead punish both by imposing appropriate sanctions on those responsible for Khashoggi’s murder and by designating Erdogan’s jihadist proxy, the Muslim Brotherhood, as the terrorist organization it is.

This is Frank Gaffney.

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This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute.

Ever since the infamous “hanging chads” that made George W. Bush president in 2000, elections in Florida have tended to be bitterly contentious, as well as hotly contested. That’s especially true at the moment as what can be charitably described as “voting irregularities” threaten to reverse the outcomes of races for the state’s next governor and U.S. senator. 

Another upshot of the 2018 balloting in the Sunshine State is even more ominous. A referendum passed that will allow an estimated 1.5 million convicted felons to vote in future elections.

The practical effect of this measure will mean there’s unlikely to be another close election in Florida. The vast majority of the serious criminals that will thus be re-enfranchised are expected reliably to vote for Democratic candidates. And without a shot at Florida’s electoral votes, there may never be another Republican president.

This is Frank Gaffney.

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This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute.

There’s much talk about “bipartisanship” in the wake of Tuesday’s election.  It usually amounts to short-lived lip-service paid to a practice that is generally overrated and a formula for lowest-common-denominator agendas that are not in the public interest.

One such bipartisan initiative is so-called “criminal justice reform.” Legislation advancing some of its many troublesome elements has been dubbed the “First Step Act.” More accurately described as the “Jail-Break” bill, it may be taken up in the lame duck session as early as next week.

Departing Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the law enforcement community oppose such steps that would put lots of hardened and unreformed criminals back on America’s streets.  President Trump has rightly criticized those who are “weak on crime.” He must resist the temptation to throw in with them and endanger public safety in the name of bipartisanship.

This is Frank Gaffney.

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This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute.

Yesterday, American voters gaveth and tooketh away from President Trump.  They rewarded him and Senate Republicans for fighting for Brett Kavanaugh, increasing its GOP caucus’ numbers and conservative cohort.

By contrast, the House Republican leadership’s fecklessness contributed to the electorate’s decision to replace thirty-five GOP legislators with Democrats, many of them self-described centrists.  If there’s any silver lining, it is that conservatives will be more influential in the new House minority.

Which means that elections to be held next week may prove extraordinarily important for both Mr. Trump and America.  If Republican lawmakers properly respond to 2018’s lessons, they will repudiate and replace their existing leaders with scrappy conservative ones. By so doing, they may be able to forge winning, bipartisan coalitions behind robust policies favored by President Trump – and that are likely to be rewarded by voters in 2020.

This is Frank Gaffney.

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This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute.

Hooray for President Trump who has reimposed sanctions on Iran to prevent one of the most dangerous regimes on the planet from becoming even more so!  Unfortunately, Mr. Trump’s bid to apply “maximum pressure” has been undercut, yet again, by the Swamp creatures in own administration.

Prominent among them is Brian Hook, a Never-Trumper State Department official who, incomprehensibly, is now managing U.S. policy towards Iran. Hook has insisted on what might be called a “Europe First” approach, a product of his reflexive effort to accommodate the determination of our so-called allies on the continent to help our mutual enemies in Tehran.

Brian Hook’s machinations rendered the maximum pressure campaign a “medium pressure” one. Waivers allowing eight countries to keep purchasing Iranian oil and the mullahs’ continued access to the dollar banking system amount to life-support for Tehran. Enough with the insubordinate subordinates.

This is Frank Gaffney.

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This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute.

This is it: The end of the hugely consequential 2018 election is at hand.  To paraphrase Winston Churchill, never has so much been riding for so many on the votes of so few. 

It is no exaggeration to say that the future course of the country will be determined by voter turnout in perhaps as few as twenty-five congressional districts. Who casts votes and in what numbers will produce either a Democratic- or Republican-controlled House of Representatives, with enormous implications for the policy direction America will take in the next two years and beyond.

Consequently, every vote matters, especially if you or a friend or loved one resides in a district that is truly up for grabs. So please, decide what kind of America you want to live in and bequeath to the next generation – and be sure to cast your ballot accordingly.

This is Frank Gaffney.

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This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute.

U.S. presidents have long treated Latin America with, at best, benign neglect and, at worst, the malign kind that prompted Barack Obama to embrace the odious Castro regime in Cuba.  Ambassador Nikki Haley reminded the United Nations yesterday that the result of that diplomatic opening was just more repression of the Cuban people.

Yet, every nation but ours and Israel responded to her admonition that we stand with those long-suffering Cubans by voting instead to stand  with their oppressors. 

Fortunately, the Trump administration won’t.  Yesterday, National Security Advisor John Bolton denounced the “Troika of Tyranny” that is afflicting not just the people of Cuba, but also those of Venezuela and Nicaragua.  And Mr. Trump imposed new sanctions on their tyrants – a key step towards a policy of U.S. engagement aimed at securing a hemisphere liberated from external powers, dangerous regimes and rampant criminality.

This is Frank Gaffney.

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This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute.

Representative Steve King of Iowa is one of the most thoughtful, principled and courageous legislators in the U.S. Congress. As with anyone who believes in America, who strongly supports our national sovereignty and secure borders and who opposes – as his oath of office requires – all enemies, foreign and domestic, he has vociferous detractors.  So does President Trump, for many of the same reasons.

Unfortunately for both men, some of those detractors are currently in the Republican leadership of the House of Representatives.  Its hostility was made clear this week when House GOP campaign funding was cut off in the closing days of Mr. King’s campaign for reelection.

At a moment when every incumbent Republican’s seat should be prized, evidently the party’s establishment would rather lose the majority than have a formidable conservative like Steve King in Congress. That’s reprehensible – and further justifies new GOP leadership.

This is Frank Gaffney.

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This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute.

A miracle just happened. The Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled today that Asia Bibi, a Christian woman falsely accused of blasphemy – a capital offense under Islam’s totalitarian Sharia code – is not guilty after eight years on death row.

Particularly miraculous was the courage of the three Pakistani justices who know full well that, in freeing Mrs. Bibi, they have probably signed their own death warrants.  Other senior officials there have been murdered simply for speaking up for her and against blasphemy restrictions.

We must now pray for a few more miracles. Extracting Asia and her family safely from Pakistan will probably require an operation as stealthy as the one that liquidated Osama bin Laden there. And let the hand of God be upon other Pakistani Christians who will stay behind and are likely to be targeted for intensified persecution following her acquittal.

This is Frank Gaffney.

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This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute.

Recent politically charged violence has spawned aggressive efforts to spin public perceptions. 

In particular, the Left has promoted the false narrative that the purported pipe-bomb plot and the actual, murderous attack on the Pittsburgh synagogue were basically President Trump’s fault.

Here’s a fact-check:

Billionaire George Soros’ security detail got one of the so-called pipe-bombs and we’re told now he’s a “victim of anti-Semitism.” In fact, for years his funding has promoted hostility towards Israel and enabled the world’s most aggressive anti-Semites: rabid leftists and their Sharia-supremacist allies.

The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society was an object of the Pittsburgh shooter’s enmity. But this organization, another putative “victim” of anti-Semitism, has long brought here inadequately vetted and potentially Jew-hating Muslim refugees – and savaged President Trump for opposing such practices.

Political violence is one, unacceptable form of political warfare. Lying for political advantage is another.

This is Frank Gaffney.

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