An Erdogan Referendum Victory Would be a Defeat for NATO

April 14, 2017

This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute.

A referendum in Turkey on Sunday may formalize the transformation of that nation from an important pro-Western, albeit Muslim, democracy into a hostile, Sharia-supremacist dictatorship.

The truth is that, since the Islamist who is currently Turkey’s president – Recep Tayyip Erdogan – came to power, the country has become ever less reliable as a Free World ally. Over the years, Erdogan has inexorably mutated his country’s constitution and aligned it, to varying degrees, with such enemies of freedom as Saddam Hussein, Iran, the Islamic State, al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, China and Russia.

If Erdogan wins – or steals – a majority of votes in Sunday’s referendum, the NATO alliance will not remove Turkey as a member; it has no means of formally doing so. But unless and until that happens, it will be including in its huddles an anti-democratic adversary playing for the other team.

This is Frank Gaffney.

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Hitler Didn’t Wage Chemical War Because He Feared In-kind Retaliation - A Capability We Still Need

April 13, 2017

This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute. 

Suddenly, the world has focused more attention on chemical weapons than at any time in the two decades since they were, supposedly, globally banned.

It fact, only law-abiding nations like the United States have liquidated their stockpiles, pursuant to the terms of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Their actual or potential enemies have not. Obviously, Syria still has chemical weapons. We must assume that’s true as well of North Korea, Iran, Russia and China, among others.

The fatal conceit behind the Chemical Weapons Convention was not merely that every nation would comply with its terms. Worse yet, President Clinton and senators who voted for it deluded themselves into believing that, despite past experience, we would not need the capability to retaliate decisively with chemical weapons to deter our foes from employing them.

They were wrong then, and their folly should be urgently revisited.

This is Frank Gaffney.                

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Tillerson Must Show Putin His Hostility Entails Costs

April 12, 2017

This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute.

Rex Tillerson knows his way around Moscow, but this week he is there in an unfamiliar role. He’s no longer a senior executive of a vendor to Russia, Exxon Mobil – in which capacity, he was once awarded the Order of Friendship by Vladimir Putin, himself.

Today, Mr. Tillerson is Secretary of State of the nation Putin hates most: the United States of America. In that capacity, it is imperative that Mr. Tillerson neither is nor appears to be a friend of a hostile Russia.

Given the myriad strains in the U.S. relationship with Russia at the moment, Secretary Tillerson has to demonstrate that Putin’s continued hostility will entail costs. For example, he should tell Putin that, in light of his long-running efforts to destroy our energy sector, Russia will not be allowed to acquire and operate strategic Citgo refineries and pipelines across America. 

This is Frank Gaffney.

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Texas Can Lead the Nation in Securing the Grid

April 11, 2017

This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute.

Today, I will join other witnesses in providing testimony on an urgent matter before the State Senate of Texas. In fact, I’ll argue that we are there to address the single most important issue lawmakers will confront in the present legislative session.

I make that prediction for the simple reason that if someone or something translates the current vulnerability of Texas’ most critical of critical infrastructures – the electric grid – into a widespread, prolonged blackout, legislators are not going to have a chance to address any other issue.

The frightening truth is that, unless Texans – and their counterparts elsewhere around the country – promptly improve the resiliency of the grid, many millions of Americans will perish if it goes down and stays down due to physical sabotage, cyber attacks, electromagnetic pulses or intense solar storms.

We must not let that happen.

This is Frank Gaffney.

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Think Things Can’t Get Worse in Syria? Think Again

April 10, 2017

This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute.

President Trump’s cruise missile strike last week in retaliation for an alleged use of sarin nerve gas by Syria’s Bashir Assad begs the question: “Now what?”

Administration spokesmen are signaling the answer is the removal of Assad from power. It is not clear, however, that they have thought through who will govern Syria once he’s gone, or what America will have to do to prevent that alternative from being even more odious – and dangerous. 

The President’s controversial National Security Advisor, H.R. McMaster, claimed Sunday that Washington was working to replace Assad with “everyone, except Russia and Iran.” That would mean we are now aligned with “partners” who include assorted Sunni Sharia-supremacists – including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood – whose agenda is no less murderous and menacing than Assad’s.

Think things can’t get worse in Syria? Think again.

This is Frank Gaffney.

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After Trump’s Tactical Strike on Syria, He Should Make a Strategic Play by Recognizing Kurdistan

April 7, 2017

This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute.

President Donald Trump responded forcefully yesterday to the Syrian government’s murderous use of sarin nerve gas against children and other civilians. Fifty-nine U.S. cruise missiles reportedly devastated the air base from which the attack was launched. 

Having punished Syria’s despot for using chemical weapons he is not supposed to have, the question is: What’s the next step? 

The United States should not become embroiled in a horrific civil war in which the principal protagonists – Assad, Russia and Iran on the one side and their Sharia-supremacist opponents tied to the Islamic State, al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and Turkey’s President Erdogan – are all hostile to us.

Instead, President Trump should take an initiative that is in our interest, one that would punish these bad actors and strengthen our friends: Recognize a state for the largest population in the Middle East without one – the pro-American Kurds.

This is Frank Gaffney.

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Trump Must Keep His Promises for the Summit with China to be Successful

April 6, 2017

This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute.

Candidate Donald Trump ran against Communist China. He promised to push back against: Beijing’s predatory trade practices, its enabling of growing North Korean threats and the ominous Chinese military build-up, including new and fortified islands across the Western Pacific.

At the summit meeting with China’s president, Xi Jinping, that starts today in Florida, Mr. Trump’s campaign pledges will be put to the test. It is arguably a unique opportunity to exercise U.S. leverage on Xi, who is now presiding over an increasingly restive population, flagging economy and demographic time-bomb – and is fearful of a bad outcome at Mar-a-Lago.

President Trump must press his advantage – not abandon his promises to the American people. The summit will not be a success for America if it papers over serious, and strategically critical, differences between the two governments, let alone concedes ground to the Communist Chinese.

This is Frank Gaffney.

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Drain the FBI Swamp, Starting with Andrew McCabe

April 5, 2017

This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute.

It’s bad enough that the investigation into alleged Russian involvement in U.S. internal affairs has been upended by top Obama advisor Susan Rice’s evident abuse of intelligence resources for political warfare against Team Trump. Now, the FBI is entrusting oversight of a beefed up investigative unit focused on those allegations to a man deeply implicated in such warfare: Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

What could possibly go wrong?

While McCabe was overseeing an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, his wife – a Virginia Democratic state senate candidate – took large campaign contributions from Hillary fundraisers. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has expressed concern about McCabe’s involvement with the author of a phony dossier designed to smear Trump. Reportedly, McCabe also has inveighed repeatedly against Trump with top FBI managers.

Far from getting additional, politically charged responsibilities, Andrew McCabe should get fired. 

This is Frank Gaffney.

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Susan Rice Lied; What and When Did Obama Know?

April 4, 2017

This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute. 

Out of the shadow world of U.S. intelligence has just emerged a familiar face: Susan Rice, Barack Obama’s National Security Advisor.  

Ms. Rice is notorious for her willingness to subordinate truth-telling to bare-knuckled partisanship. For example, in the wake of the premeditated and murderous jihadist attack in Benghazi, she knowingly repeated – five times – the lie that it was actually a demonstration gone bad, sparked by an offensive Internet video. 

Now, Susan Rice has been caught lying about her knowledge of how the identities of Trump officials subjected to what may have been improper U.S. intelligence monitoring were, in spook-speak, “unmasked.” It turns out that she asked for that step to be taken – which, in turn, resulted in the information being shared widely inside government and, predictably, leaked.

So, what did President Obama know, and when did he know it?

This is Frank Gaffney.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

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Restore the U.S.-Egyptian Strategic Alliance, Designate the Muslim Brothers as Terrorists

April 3, 2017

This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute.

Donald Trump will do something today that his predecessor refused to do. He will meet with the elected leader of Egypt, Abdel Fatteh el-Sisi.

President Obama made no secret of his enmity for his Egyptian counterpart. After all, as his country’s senior military officer in 2013, then-General el-Sisi fulfilled the demands of many millions of Egyptians by ending the misrule of the Muslim Brotherhood government – a regime Mr. Obama helped bring to power.

The Brothers were banished in part because they sought to impose their totalitarian Sharia code on Egypt, a goal they seek world-wide. President Obama embraced the Muslim Brothers. Donald Trump came to office rejecting their agenda and the “radical Islamic terrorism” it spawns.

President Trump can prove the vital U.S.-Egyptian alliance is restored by joining President el-Sisi in designating the Muslim Brotherhood what it is: a terrorist organization.

This is Frank Gaffney.

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