The REAL Disgrace of Rudy Giuliani

Mayor Giuliani oversaw the illegal destruction of the 9/11 crime scene and is criminally liable for the deaths of hundreds of emergency workers for not passing on prior warnings about the collapses of the Twin Towers.

09/10/2021

An associate of Trump lawyer and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani pleaded guilty Friday to illegally funneling foreign donations into U.S. political campaigns as part of an effort to win licenses in the booming legal marijuana business.

As part of a plea deal with prosecutors, Igor Fruman, 56, admitted to soliciting a foreign national for donations to both state and federal campaigns.

During a hearing in federal court in Manhattan, neither prosecutors nor Fruman’s attorney discussed specific details of the donations or identified the recipients of the money, but Fruman did agree that the sums involved exceeded $25,000.

Giuliani has not been charged in the case and has denied wrongdoing, but his apartment and law office were raided by the FBI in May as part of an investigation overseen by the same prosecutors handling the case against Fruman.

The judge who took Fruman’s plea Friday, J. Paul Oetken, has also supervised aspects of the ongoing inquiry into Giuliani, which focuses on whether he failed to register when acting as a lobbyist for foreign interests.

Another Giuliani associate, Lev Parnas, is scheduled to face a jury trial next month with a co-defendant in the case, Andrey Kukushkin, on charges related to alleged schemes to make donations to U.S. political campaigns both from foreigners and using so-called “straw donors” who hid the identity of the sources of the cash.

The initial indictment in the case also linked the defendants to an effort to oust the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch — a drive that Giuliani was deeply involved in and which led to then-President Donald Trump’s first impeachment.

However, prosecutors quietly deleted that language in subsequent indictments without explanation.

One of the charges in the case accuses Parnas of fraud in connection with seeking investments in a company he and Fruman founded, called “Fraud Guarantee.”

Giuliani took a $500,000 consulting fee for work to boost the firm in 2018, but contends he was unaware of any fraudulent solicitations.

However, Oetken ruled that the “Fraud Guarantee” charge should be tried separately after a trial on the illegal-donations charges, making it unlikely that Giuliani will be discussed much, if at all, in the trial set to open Oct. 12.

In a brief statement he read aloud at Friday’s hearing, Fruman admitted to using foreign money to make U.S. political donations to get a planned cannabis business off the ground in various states.

“Part of the business plan included donations to government officials in those states,” Fruman told Oetken.

Fruman said a partner in the business drafted a list of potential donations and Fruman sent it to the man he hoped would bankroll the effort.

“I sent this list to the foreign national as part of an effort to get him to invest,” Fruman said.

Fruman did not name the potential investors, but various press reports have identified him as Andrey Muraviev, a wealthy Russian and former cement industry executive who has sought to back numerous legal marijuana ventures in the U.S.

To be convicted under the foreign-donation statute, a defendant must be aware that his or her conduct was against the law. Fruman said he was, at least in general terms.

“I had little experience, [but I] generally understood foreign nationals and individuals who are not American citizens are not allowed to make political donations in the United States,” Fruman said. “I deeply regret my actions and apologize to the court.”

Oetken set sentencing for Fruman for Jan. 21 to allow time to take account of any developments at the trial set for next month.

Fruman faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison on the charge he pleaded to Friday.

In last push before Trump exits, GOP tries to erase Palestinian refugees

“The original Zionist slogan—’a land without a people for a people without a land’—disclosed its own negation when I saw the densely populated Arab towns dwelling sullenly under Jewish tutelage. You want irony? How about Jews becoming colonizers at just the moment when other Europeans had given up on the idea?”
― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Republican Members of Congress are calling on the Trump administration to reclassify which Palestinians are considered refugees — a move which would constrain the Biden White House, and could fatally harm the Palestinian demand for the right of return.

The political nature of the demand is spelled out clearly by these Members of Congress.

“The issue of the so-called Palestinian ‘right of return’ of 5.3 million refugees to Israel as part of any ‘peace deal’ is an unrealistic demand, and we do not believe it accurately reflects the number of actual Palestinian refugees…it is time to end the fiction of the ‘right of return’ and bring the conflict one step closer [to] conclusion,” they argued.

The Trump administration has already taken a major step toward trying to erase Palestinian refugees.

In August 2018, the State Department cut US funding to UNRWA, deeming the UN agency responsible for providing social services to Palestinian refugees an “irredeemably flawed operation.”

By starving UNRWA, the Trump administration hoped to magically make Palestinian refugees disappear.

By declassifying the State Department report on Palestinian refugees, Republican Members of Congress hope to publicly redefine in US policy who is and is not a Palestinian refugee for this same purpose.

Trump Disappointed Netanyahu Declined to Publicly Endorse Him

What was Trump thinking?

US President Donald Trump is disappointed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined to endorse him ahead of the presidential race with Joe Biden.

American news website Axios reported Wednesday that Netanyahu was ordering ministers from his Likud party to refrain from any public statements on the vote.

Writing for Axios, Israeli journalist Barak Ravid quoted one Netanyahu aide as saying that Trump was disappointed that Netanyahu declined to publicly endorse him during a phone call held before TV cameras on Oct. 23.

During the call to announce a normalization agreement between Sudan and the Zionist entity, Trump asked Netanyahu if “Sleepy Joe” could have sealed such a deal, Ravid said.

“Netanyahu gave a diplomatic answer and said he’d be happy to work for peace with any American partner.

According to Netanyahu’s aide, one of Trump’s advisers told his Israeli counterpart about Trump’s disappointment in an informal conversation,” Ravid wrote in Axios.

“The Israeli side then checked in formally with the White House to see if there was an issue, but was reassured that things were fine,” the Israeli journalist added.

‘Israel’ watches Election Day in the US

On the eve of the U.S. presidential election, leaders of Israeli settlers in the West Bank gathered in the occupied city of Hebron, Palestine to pray for victory for President Donald Trump.

It was a highly symbolic move by the settlers, who have been among the biggest beneficiaries of the president’s Mideast policies.

Monday’s gathering took place in front of a holy site revered by Jews and Muslims as the burial place of the biblical patriarch Abraham, a gesture to the Trump-brokered deals between Israel and Arab countries known as the “Abraham Accords.”

“We are grateful for his first term, and we pray that he may be elected for another four years of blessed endeavors,” said Rabbi Hillel Horowitz, mayor of Hebron’s ultranationalist Jewish community.

It was almost certainly the first time settler leaders, long ostracized by the U.S., have publicly prayed for victory for a sitting American president.

But Trump is unlike any of his predecessors. He has embraced Israel’s religious and nationalist right wing and showered Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a string of diplomatic gifts: withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, offering a Mideast plan that would allow Israel to annex large swaths of the West Bank, including all of its settlements.

Netanyahu, while careful not to openly take sides, made little secret of his preference when he said this week he hopes Trump’s policies “will continue in the coming years.”

The Palestinians, sidelined and humiliated by Trump, have been even clearer that they are pulling for Joe Biden.

The Democratic challenger has already signaled he will scrap Trump’s approach toward Iran and the Palestinians. That has raised concerns in Israel, especially on the right.

Elie Pieprz, an American-Israeli consultant who lives in the Karnei Shomron settlement, said Trump has been a “tremendous success” by rejecting policies of the past.

He said, if Biden wins, he hopes he will “learn the proper lessons.”

In the Age of Stupidity

With every new president elect comes the age of New Stupid

As witnessed during Donald Trump’s recent attendance at the G20 Summit in Osaka and his side trip to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Korea, relying solely on the counsel of one’s daughter and son-in-law resulted in Trump displaying for the world his total ignorance of the fundamentals of international relations and geo-politics.

Trump insisted on placing his daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her husband, Jared Kushner, on center stage in Osaka for the G20 conclave and at Panmunjom for a hastily arranged meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Ms. Trump acted as if she was on some sort of sorority house outing and was keen to impress her friends with inane statements that stepping into North Korea with her father was “surreal.”

Ms. Trump’s husband failed to impress anyone a week earlier after his long-awaited and overly hyped Middle East “peace plan” (a Zionist real estate deal which is nothing new to the Palestinians and their answer has been NO for 70 years) was presented at a “workshop” in Manama, Bahrain.

Ms. Trump’s husband failed to impress anyone a week earlier after his long-awaited and overly hyped Middle East “peace plan” was presented at a “workshop” in Manama, Bahrain.

While Kushner failed to impress anyone in Bahrain with his peace plan nonsense, his wife, Ivanka, made an utter fool out of herself and the United States by appearing center stage at the G20 Summit.

leaders ogling Ivanka Trump

Tweet of G20 Leaders looking at Ivanka Trump
Rarely was Ms. Trump absent from photographs of the gathered world leaders. A short video link was released by the Élysée Palace in Paris showing Ms. Trump attempting to barge in on a conversation between French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde, and British Prime Minister Theresa May.

It is clear from the audio that Trump’s daughter was way out of her league and her insertions of babbling nonsense failed to impress the four leaders, three of whom are responsible for major nations and one for an important international organization.

LOL!

Ms. Trump has only been responsible for using her White House position to enrich her portfolio of handbag, clothing, perfume, footwear, and jewelry companies.

Trump’s neo-conservative war hawk national security adviser, John Bolton, did not accompany the president to Panmunjom. North Korea has made no secret of its dislike for Bolton, an opinion that is shared by many other countries and a sizable percentage of Americans.

Instead, Bolton was banished to Ulan Bator, Mongolia, where he conducted talks with Mongolian state security secretary Davaasuren Damdinsuren.

Bolton’s place in Panmunjom was taken by Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who would not even have a job in the television business had it not been for the fact that his father, Dick Carlson, was a past president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and director of the Voice of America.

Together with Ms. Trump and Kushner, Tucker Carlson made up the US contingent in Panmunjom for the first ever “visit” by a sitting US president to North Korean soil.

In fact, two past presidents, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, accomplished much more during their post-presidential visits to North Korea than did Trump for a self-serving “photo op.”

When it comes to the G20 leaders, regardless of politics, it can be safely said that Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa are in a class by themselves when it comes to experienced practitioners of geo-political statecraft.

Ivanka sounds like a Disneyland tour guide!

At the other end of the spectrum, where inexperienced and outright stupid novices roam, is found Trump and Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro. During a joint press conference in Osaka, Trump was asked about President Putin’s belief that “western liberalism” was on the political ropes.

Trump, obviously unfamiliar with the concept advanced during the Age of Enlightenment by such 17th and 18th century figures as John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, and Baron Montesquieu – it should be firmly stated that anyone who ever took a college political science or history course is familiar with the refrain “Hobbes, Locke, and Montesquieu” – began blathering about liberal Democratic cities in California, specifically mentioning Los Angeles and San Francisco.

In a cringeworthy moment, Trump incredulously said, “I guess you look at what’s happening in Los Angeles, where it’s so sad to look, and what’s happening in San Francisco, and a couple other cities which are run by an extraordinary group of liberal people.”

It is of little wonder why Trump only seems to bond with Bolsonaro, an admirer of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. Bolsonaro is a disciple of the Richmond, Virginia-based Brazilian polemicist, Olavo de Carvalho.

Bolsonaro criminal friend of Israel

A fierce opponent of former Brazilian Presidents Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, Carvalho rejects Copernican, Newtonian, and Einsteinian physics, choosing to believe that the Earth does not revolve around the sun; that the concept of infinite numbers, as well as manmade climate change, are hoaxes; that there was no such thing as the Spanish Inquisition; that vaccinations kill people or make them crazy; and that Pepsi sweetened its drinks with aborted human fetuses.

Carvalho has also said that there is insufficient evidence to prove whether the Earth is flat or a sphere. No wonder Trump and Bolsonaro admire one another.

They have become the antithesis of the Age of Enlightenment. They represent a modern “Age of Stupidity.”

One could easily dismiss those like Carvalho as lunatic gadflies. However they have powerful admirers and cohorts, as witnessed in March 2019 at the Trump International Hotel in Washington.

Former Trump adviser and campaign strategist Steve Bannon co-hosted a screening of a complementary film about Carvalho.

Present was President Bolsonaro’s son, Eduardo Bolsonaro, a representative for South America of Bannon’s global fascist “Movement.” Following the screening of the film, Carvalho declared that all journalists are drug addicts.

Such a Trump-like statement by the political guru of Bannon and Bolsonaro provides further evidence that our world has entered the Age of Stupidity, where up is no longer down, facts are considered false, and imbeciles like Trump and Bolsonaro, along with their corrupt families, now govern major nation-states.

Mueller probes whether Trump sought election help from Israeli firm

UNESCO says Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem is “null and void”

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO.)was established in 1946 to “contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among nations through education, science and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations”.

Image result for unesco says golan heights belong to Syrians

Golan Heights Syria, South Lebanon and the whole of Palestine, hostile Israeli illegally occupies and is at war with all it’s neighbors since it’s establishment, and claims they are surrounded by terrorists.

President Trump’s decision to begin moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to the disputed city of Jerusalem — and disclosure that first-son-in-law Jared Kushner failed to disclose his role in a foundation funding Israeli settlements and lobbied against a United Nations’ resolution critical of those settlements during the transition — are reminders that the foreign government with truly broad influence over U.S. politics is Israel.

Image result for netanyahu animated gif

You see now we are the chosen ones.

(JTA) — U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller has sent investigators to Israel to probe the activities of an Israeli-run social media firm that may have led a social media manipulation effort to help Donald Trump get elected.

The co-founder of the firm, identified as Joel Zamel, who was born in Australia, met in New York three months before the 2016 election with Donald Trump Jr., as well as with Lebanese-American businessman George Nader representing the crown princes of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who he said wanted to help get his father elected, The New York Times reported on Saturday.

The Aug. 3, 2016, meeting was arranged by Erik Prince, the founder and former head of private military contractor Blackwater, who also attended the meeting.

It is illegal for foreign governments or individuals to be involved in American elections. The Israel Police and Zamel are cooperating with the investigation, according to the Times.

After Trump was elected, Nader reportedly paid Zamel a large sum of money, reportedly up to $2 million, because among other reasons given, a company linked to Zamel provided Nader with an elaborate presentation about the significance of social media campaigning to Trump’s victory.

Zamel told the Times that his client never carried out any campaign on Trump’s behalf. “Neither Joel Zamel, nor any of his related entities, had any involvement whatsoever in the U.S. election campaign,” the lawyer, Marc L. Mukasey, said. “There was a brief meeting, nothing concrete was offered or pitched to anyone and nothing came of it,” he also said.

A company connected to Zamel, Psy-Group, had been working on a proposal for a covert multimillion-dollar online manipulation campaign to help elect Trump, The Times reported citing three people involved and a fourth briefed on the effort. The plan involved using thousands of fake social media accounts to promote Trump’s candidacy.

The company, whose motto is “shape reality,” consulted an American law firm, and was told that it would be illegal if any non-Americans were involved in the campaign, according to the report.

Companies connected to Zamel also have ties to Russia, according to the Times.

After Trump’s inauguration, Zamel and Nader visited the White House, where they met with White House advisor Jared Kushner and then-chief of staff Steve Bannon.

President Trump’s decision to begin moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to the disputed city of Jerusalem — and disclosure that first-son-in-law Jared Kushner failed to disclose his role in a foundation funding Israeli settlements and lobbied against a United Nations’ resolution critical of those settlements during the transition — are reminders that the foreign government with truly broad influence over U.S. politics is Israel.

Trump’s Jerusalem announcement also threatened to touch off more disorder in the Middle East, which Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the Electronic Intifada, says reflected the Trump administration’s determination to demand a full capitulation by the Palestinians. I spoke with Abunimah on Dec. 5.

One of Islam’s holiest sites the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, seen through barbed wire.

Dennis Bernstein: We turn our attention back to occupied Palestine.  We have now seen the kind of policy we are going to get from the Trump administration.  Jared Kushner has described bringing peace to the region as his dream.  We are going to talk about that in the context of his investment in settlements there. I suppose the central issue in Palestine this week is whether the embassy is going to be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and what will the timing be, as in, will it happen some time soon?

Ali Abunimah: Actually, it will not be moved any time soon.  Trump will announce tomorrow [Dec. 6] that the US is recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital but he will also sign a waiver delaying the move for another six months and the whole process will likely take years.

Dennis Bernstein: How bad is the situation now?  We know that settlements are being built apace, that the repression continues in the Gaza Strip, where life is barely livable.

Ali Abunimah: It is interesting that no one is actually talking about what is happening on the ground in Jerusalem, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians there are facing systematic ethnic cleansing by Israel.  This includes home demolitions, revocation of residency rights, land confiscations.

In the words of B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights group, since the occupation of East Jerusalem began in 1967, Israel has treated Palestinians in the city as “unwanted immigrants” and worked systematically to drive them out of the area.  Whatever Trump announces tomorrow will not change the situation.  The so-called international community is doing nothing about it and is letting Israel get away with it.

Dennis Bernstein: Jared Kushner is a broker for illegal settlements.

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Israel’s constant harassment and humiliation the indigenous of Jerusalem and all of Palestine.

Ali Abunimah: He is a donor to illegal settlements, a philanthropist for illegal settlements.  How many headlines have been devoted to Kushner failing to disclose important information in his government ethics filings?  The latest is that he failed to disclose the fact that he was a director of his family’s foundation, which has donated to building settlements in the occupied West Bank, particularly the settlement of Beit El, the same settlement that receives philanthropic donations from David Friedman, Trump’s ambassador in Tel Aviv.

Kushner, who is supposedly charged with coming up with a peace plan, is actually busy funding settlements. Kushner’s family are close friends of Benjamin Netanyahu.  It is just farcical to pretend that anyone like Jared Kushner could ever be an honest broker.

Dennis Bernstein: Is all of this legal?

Ali Abunimah: That’s questionable.  Actually, in the past year there were lawsuits filed challenging this massive multi-billion dollar flow of tax-deductible, so-called charitable funds for illegal purposes, including the construction of settlements and massive donations to groups like Friends of the IDF.

Another issue is this whole business of what Jared Kushner was doing during the transition, when he was trying to undermine the policy of the sitting Obama administration and stop the UN Security Council resolution passed last December condemning Israeli settlements.  This all came out in the context of the Mueller investigation and Michael Flynn’s guilty plea, which revealed not so much a collusion with Russia as a very close collusion between the Trump transition and Israel.

Dennis Bernstein: You would think then that MSNBC, which makes a living on pumping up Russiagate, would want to jump into this case of collusion.

Ali Abunimah: The Michael Flynn revelation did not show collusion with Russia and certainly did not show any interference in the US election.  What Flynn pled guilty to was lying about two meetings.  Flynn is a serial liar, he lied about his work for the Turkish government.

The facts that were filed in the documents with his plea show that a “very senior member” of the Trump transition team, who has since been identified as Jared Kushner, had ordered Flynn to contact every member of the UN Security Council to try to defeat this resolution criticizing Israel.  It was also reported in The New York Times that Kushner had acted at the urging of Netanyahu.

None of this has anything to do with Russian interference in the elections.  What it does show is clear collusion at the highest level with a foreign government [Israel] to undermine and sabotage the policy of the sitting administration.

President Donald Trump places a prayer in-between the stone blocks of the Western Wall in Jerusalem, May 22, 2017

Dennis Bernstein: It doesn’t appear that Arab outrage is going to have much influence over what happens with this plan to move the capital from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Ali Abunimah: On the contrary, I think that it has actually been facilitated by the fact that Saudi Arabia, which markets itself as the guardian of Islam, has been engaging in this major rapprochement with Israel, pressuring the Palestinians to accept what amounts to surrender, in order to get them out of the way so that Saudi Arabia and Israel can embrace each other and go to war together against Iran.

The New York Times reported details of the so-called Trump peace plan that Jared Kushner has been putting together, which basically creates a Palestinian state in name only.  The Palestinians would have very limited autonomy in very small non-contiguous areas of the West Bank.  They would have no control, no sovereignty, no capital in East Jerusalem, no right of return for refugees, and so on.  But they would be free to call this a Palestinian state if they want to.

All of this sounds familiar to people who have followed this issue because this is a rehashing of the kind of schemes that have been put forward since the 1990’s.  What is different this time is that Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority leader, was called to Riyadh last month and told by Mohammad bin Salman that he was going to accept this or else.  The thinking behind it is that the Palestinian issue is a thorn in the side of the Saudi/Israeli alliance that wants to escalate the catastrophic confrontation with Iran.

Dennis Bernstein: How does the crisis with the prime minister in Lebanon play into all of this?

Ali Abunimah: The Saudis have been behind so many of the regional disasters, including escalating the situation in Syria by funding a proxy war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people.  For two years they have been bombing the poorest Arab country, Yemen, with millions suffering famine and tens of thousands killed and injured.  Saudi Arabia has been unable to defeat the people resisting them in Yemen.  They were trying to destabilize Lebanon and that failed because [Prime Minister] Hariri went home and rescinded his forced resignation under pressure from the Saudis.

Dennis Bernstein: I guess maybe the one silver lining in all of this is the boycott/divestment movement.  There is not much else going on in terms of global resistance to the brutality in occupied Palestine.

Ali Abunimah: I suppose it is possible to look at all of this and just feel immobilized and hopeless.  But I think it is important to feel hope as well.  Even in Jerusalem, Palestinians have been standing up to Israel and winning victories, as they did this summer when they forced Israel to back down from its efforts to impose stricter control on entrance to the al-Aqsa mosque compound.  That was a real victory for people power in Jerusalem against one of the strongest armies in the world.

Despite a twenty-fold increase in lobbying, Israel has not been able to stop the “impressive growth” of the Palestine solidarity movement, particularly the boycott/divestment/sanctions movement.  So it’s not time to be hopeless, it’s time to get on with the work, because there is lots to do and people power is still winning victories.

Dennis Bernstein: I guess you could say that proof of those victories is the amount of repression and clamp-down of Palestinian students and their supporters all over the country.

Ali Abunimah: And it is across the board now, including the effort of the big Silicon Valley companies who are helping the establishment to censor and limit the reach of independent media like us.  They know that people are listening and we are powerful, even though we may sometimes feel small in the face of the forces that are trying to reshape the world.