Tag Archives: John McCain

John McCain Defends Giving Trump Dossier to Comey

Washington, D.C. – Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) reportedly confirmed in his forthcoming book, “The Restless Wave,” (set to be released in May 22), that he personally handed then-FBI Director James Comey a copy of the now infamous dossier of opposition research on then-presidential candidate Donald Trump compiled by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, but defends his actions as those of a patriotic American.

“I agreed to receive a copy of what is now referred to as ‘the dossier,'” McCain wrote in his upcoming book. “I reviewed its contents. The allegations were disturbing, but I had no idea which if any were true. I could not independently verify any of it, and so I did what any American who cares about our nation’s security should have done.”

[Related: Nunes Memo Released]

According to a report by the Daily Beast, which obtained an advance copy of the book, McCain wrote that he spoke to Sir Andrew Wood, a former British diplomat, in November 2016 at the Halifax International Security Forum. Wood reportedly made McCain aware of Steele’s dossier, which subsequently resulted in David Kramer, senior director for Human Rights and Human Freedoms at the McCain Institute, traveling to London to meet with Steele. This was not Steele’s first contact with US officials, as prior to this meeting he had already met with US officials in Rome to discuss his research, according to The Washington Post.

McCain reportedly recalled that once he had procured a copy of the dossier, he put it into a safe in his office and called Comey’s office to request a meeting with the FBI director.

“I went to see him at his earliest convenience, handed him the dossier, explained how it had come into my possession,” said McCain. “I said I didn’t know what to make of it, and I trusted the FBI would examine it carefully and investigate its claims. With that, I thanked the director and left. The entire meeting had probably not lasted longer than ten minutes. I did what duty demanded I do.”

Former FBI Director Comey, during a promotional tour for his own new book, admitted that upon briefing President Trump on the existence of the dossier, he failed to mention that the document was a product of opposition research funded in part by his political enemies.

In an episode of Reality Check in February, Ben Swann examined the claim that the dossier had played a significant role in the acquisition of a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant application to authorize the surveillance of Carter Page, President Trump’s former campaign foreign policy adviser.


GOP Primary Poll: Who’s Your Pick?

Featured below are highlights of last week’s Truth In Media coverage of Republican presidential candidates, followed by a GOP Presidential Primary Poll.

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) accused the New York Times of being untruthful about why the newspaper was keeping his book off of the besteller’s list. The New York Times alleged the book was selling only because of “strategic” bulk purchases; this claim was refuted by Cruz and his publisher, HarperCollins. Read more here: Ted Cruz Accuses New York Times Of Lying About Bestseller List

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) co-sponsored a pro-marijuana legislation bill to allow legal marijuana businesses to gain access to banking services. Read more here: Rand Paul Co-Sponsors Bill to Allow Legal Pot Businesses to Access Banking Services

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made critical comments about Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) over the weekend at the 2015 Family Leadership Summit in Iowa, insisting that the former POW was “not a war hero.” As the statement drew a negative response from the crowd, Trump made attempts to clarify his opinion of POWs and John Mccain. Read more here: Donald Trump Says McCain No War Hero: ‘I Like People Who Weren’t Captured’

Earlier last week, Reason published a portion of an interview with former New Mexico Governor and 2012 Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson, who expressed concern over the GOP’s image in light of Trump’s previous statements criticizing immigrants: “He is appealing to a segment that I’ll just label racist, and it exists and it’s out there, and, you know what? I don’t want to have anything to do with it,” Johnson said. Read more here: NM Ex-Gov. Gary Johnson Says Trump Hurts GOP Brand By Appealing to “Racist” Voters

Vote in our GOP poll below:

This poll has ended. Thank you for voting!

Donald Trump Says McCain No War Hero: ‘I Like People Who Weren’t Captured’

By Jamie Weinstein

Donald Trump escalated his feud with Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain Saturday in a way that probably wasn’t the most politically astute.

Appearing at the 2015 Family Leadership Summit in Iowa, Trump decided to make the case that McCain is not a war hero. Asked by moderator Frank Luntz why he would call a war hero like McCain a “loser,” Trump replied,  “He’s not a war hero.”

“He’s a war hero because he was captured,” Trump said sarcastically. “I like people who weren’t captured, I hate to tell you.”

McCain spent five and a half years in a North Vietnamese prison where he was routinely tortured after his plane was shot down during the Vietnam War.

After hearing boos from the crowd, Trump backed off a bit: “Perhaps he’s a war hero but right now he said some very bad things about a lot of people.”

Trump was referring to McCain calling the people who attended Trump’s recent immigration rally in Arizona “crazies.”

“This performance with our friend out in Phoenix is very hurtful to me,” McCain recently told the New Yorker magazine, speaking of Trump’s July 11 rally. “Because what he did was he fired up the crazies.”

The Washington Post reported Friday that Trump is trying to recruit a primary challenger in Arizona to try to defeat McCain in his 2016 re-election bid.

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Rand Paul Has Choice Words For Lindsey Graham, John McCain

Appearing on Fox News Tuesday morning, Kentucky Senator and 2016 Presidential candidate Rand Paul called Lindsey Graham and John McCain “lap dogs” for President Obama’s foreign policy.

On Monday, South Carolina Senator Graham called Paul “more wrong than right” when it comes to foreign policy.

Here is the fireball Paul threw back:

“This comes from a group of people wrong about every policy issue over the last couple decades. I’ll give you a couple examples where they support the president’s foreign policy and I don’t: They supported Hillary Clinton’s war in Libya; they supported President Obama’s bombing of Assad; they also support President Obama’s foreign aid to countries that hate us. So if there is anyone who is most opposed to President Obama’s foreign policy, it’s me. People who call loudest to criticize me are great proponents of President Obama’s foreign policy — they just want to do it ten times over. I’m only one actually standing up and saying the war in Libya was a mistake; the bombing of Assad would make ISIS stronger; the arms to the Islamic rebels would make ISIS stronger. So I’m really the one standing up to President Obama. And these people are essentially the lapdogs for President Obama and I think they’re sensitive about that.”

Do you think that Rand Paul proved his foreign policy prowess?


CPAC Straw Poll Winner Rand Paul Battles The Bush Machine—Goldwater Style

WASHINGTON, February 28, 2015—As the winner of the past three Conservative Political Action Committee’s (CPAC) Straw Polls, Senator Rand Paul excels at generating meaningful political and economic discussions among college students and young professionals. The same generation that is known for speaking in bewildering acronyms continues to gather in force to ask and to answer difficult questions that are essential to the life and liberty of all Americans. Their answers will ultimately determine the future of the nation.

The Senator’s most recent economic stand will endear him to anyone who has ever interfaced with the Internal Revenue Service. He promised to introduce the largest tax cut in American history. In his speech to attendees of CPAC, he mentioned that he is poised to propose a tax plan “that would get the IRS out of our lives.” He indicated his intention to cut taxes “for everyone from the richest to the poorest.”

“It’s time for a new way predicated on opportunity and freedom!” said Paul to a wildly supportive crowd. The Senator attacked America’s indiscriminate foreign aid policies, especially the large sums of money sent without the permission of taxpayers to countries that consider The United States an enemy. “Not one penny more to these haters of America!” said Paul.

His speech had the tenor of a well-run, focused campaign and was eerily similar to comments made by Senator Barry Goldwater exactly 50 years ago on the campaign trail leading up to his landmark GOP presidential nomination. “You cannot stop a man who has vowed to bury you by handing him a shovel,” said Goldwater, “By feeding and clothing his friends, while denying your friends the means to help protect you!” Goldwater believed that removing foreign aid would ultimately prevent wars.

Several members of the Young Jewish Conservatives attending CPAC this year specifically mentioned the foreign aid issue as a driving force behind their support for Rand Paul for president. Paul’s straight talk appeals to countless concerned Americans who are fed up with politics as usual, feel betrayed by the Party Machine, and fear that the United States is on an irreversible course similar to that of the Titanic—or Greece.

Two weeks prior to CPAC, the Students for Liberty (SFL) held its national conference in Washington, D.C. More than 1,700 students from across the world attended. The group was largely inspired by the ideas presented to them by Senator Paul’s father, Congressman Ron Paul. Now it is the fastest-growing political group on college campuses globally, and is surpassing both the College Democrats and College Republicans groups on American campuses.

Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) is another group inspired by the Paul family’s articulation of limited government principles. Many YAL members were active in the GOP for years before they understood the liberty message, realized how well it resonates, and committed to passionately fight to preserve it. The large presence of both SFL and YAL at CPAC is telling, and has seemingly eliminated the establishment hostilities doled out to them by fellow attendees when they were the minority at previous conferences. The young libertarians gladly swap testimonies of political enlightenment with a fervor nostalgic of a tent revival meeting. They are also getting elected to offices across the land, a clear sign that they are not going away anytime soon.

Freedom is popular, it seems, and the Bill of Rights is back en vogue with a new generation of American rebels. This energy threatens to change the go-along-to-get-along, aging Republican establishment, which is why the party profiteers are so quick to strike back at the resurgence of old school conservatism.

The same Rockefeller Republicans who sandbagged Goldwater after he won the GOP nomination from the floor are currently working financial and legal channels on behalf of Jeb Bush. The 2016 Republican nomination is seemingly fixed for the top fundraiser and his delegate-donors, a complete violation of the nominating process. Sources say Jeb Bush bussed hundreds of people to CPAC from their Washington offices just to fill seats during his speech and to presumably raise his standing in the straw poll. This effort did not succeed in preventing him from being handily booed every time his name was mentioned, including while he addressed the attendees who remained after a protest/walkout. His temporary seat-filling strategy was met with disdain by attendees who saved and spent their own money to attend the duration of the event and cast their ballots.

One of Paul’s leading critics is fellow Senator and former GOP nominee John McCain, a man who praises Goldwater with his lips while shunning everything he stood for by his actions.  Just two years ago, the 80-year-old McCain called Senators Paul and Cruz, as well as Congressman Justin Amash, “wacko birds.” He called their supporters, the Under 40 crowd that supports Paul’s limited government principles, “impressionable libertarian kids.”

Yet, the vibrant, liberty-leaning younger crowd that has wrestled its way into the GOP is the only fresh blood coursing through the Party’s very old veins. Perhaps the current Republican Party leadership is not the right body from which to expect kind words of “big tent” gratitude. The crowds who now stand with Rand don’t seem to care. Their vision is clear, and they know they will eventually outlive the generation that got the country into this mess in the first place. They seem to be ready to get to work.

RINO Revenge: Graham, McCain Remove Tea Party Foes

Senators and BFFs John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) are removing their adversaries from their state Republican parties to control campaign funds and party politics.

According to Politico, McCain is seeking revenge on the state party that had him censured by having his political team engage “in an aggressive and systematic campaign to reshape the state GOP apparatus by ridding it of conservative firebrands and replacing them with steadfast allies.”

In his focus are conservative activists who hold obscure, but influential, local party offices.

By doing this, he is removing the party officials who are also in control of campaign funds.

“There’s been a huge organizational effort that I’ve never seen before,” said Gordon James, an Arizona public relations executive and longtime McCain confidant, told Politico. “A lot of the party folks who were hostile to John McCain have been marginalized, and that’s a good thing.”

In October, Graham also did some housekeeping.

According to FITSNEWS, anti-Graham members of the South Carolina [Greenville County] Republican Party were removed, calling it a “ a seismic shift within the party.”

“Former executive committeeman Bill Rhodes was unceremoniously booted from the Greenville GOP for ‘disloyalty’ – namely refusing to support Graham’s candidacy.  Two other executive committee members resigned from the party in protest of the way Rhodes was treated” reported FITSNEWS.

One GOP insider told BenSwann.com’s Joshua Cook that Graham has his eyes on Greenville  County, a local party that censured him for his progressive voting record.

There is an organized effort to remove all limited-government and pro-liberty executive committee members by systematically purging them from the Party. FitsNews calls this move, the Greenville Coup.

The Greenville County Executive Committee, which includes Graham’s Regional Director as one of its members, recently tried to pass a rule change requiring the body to pass future censure motions by a two thirds vote, instead of the current majority vote. Graham has been on the receiving end of two censures from the party. Fortunately, that rules change was defeated by the conservatives still left in the Greenville GOP. 

Tea Party leaders are planning to “take back the Party” from establishment Republicans loyal to Graham at precinct reorganization next Spring. But a few weeks ago, the County Party leadership announced significant changes to the upcoming precinct reorganization. Some have speculated that these changes will allow more centralized control of the process. Simply put, Tea Party leaders have an uphill battle to regain influence and control of the county parties.

Some speculate that this move by Graham could be revenge on the Tea Party, but it could be something more practical, like laying the ground work for his own presidential run in 2016.

Graham And McCain Can’t Make Up Their Minds About Boots-On-The-Ground Strategy

So, which is it?

Apparently, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham think that the American people have selective amnesia.

According to a piece in Forbes, McCain has criticized President Obama’s position on whether America will fight ISIS, or ISIL, using ground troops. The President has said that he doesn’t support the use of ground troops. And, this hasn’t satisfied present-day McCain.

Contributor Rick Ungar wrote: “Senator McCain rose to speak on the floor of the United States Senate where, in his now trademarked brand of righteous indignation, the Senator asked, ‘Why does the president insist on continuing to tell the enemy what he will not do? Why does the president keep telling the people that are slaughtering thousands, ‘Don’t worry, we will not commit ground troops’?”

This chest-thumping happened after McCain has previously said he too wouldn’t support ground troops:

In an June 13th appearance on the “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” McCain said, “I think you have to explain to the American people what kind of a threat that an ISIS takeover of Iraq would pose to the United States of America. Can you imagine a caliphate or a center of violent Muslim extremism dedicated to attacking the United States, the consequences of that? That has to be explained to the American people.”

He continued, “I do not envision a scenario where ground combat troops are on the ground…. I would not commit to putting Americans boots on the ground.”

Senator Graham seems to be flip-flopping too.

Graham said in a June 10 interview with Fox News, “I don’t think we need boots on the ground. I don’t think that is an option worth consideration.”

Ben Swann recently spoke with RT.com saying, “The U.S. is creating a perpetual state of war by attacking ISIS on one hand while simultaneously funding ISIS indirectly though the Free Syrian Army.”

Swann said, “Senator Rand Paul talked about this quite a bit here in the U.S., that the U.S. needs to step back and acknowledge the fact that we have funded these groups and given them technology capability, money and fighters in order to become the Islamic state.

Swann exposed the hypocrisy of this U.S. foreign policy strategy by asking, “How are we able to create sanctions against other countries when we are sending these fighters?”

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Pentagon Officials Tell Senate: ISIS War Will Be Long and Difficult

Hagel, Dempsey Offer Few Details, No Guarantees

by Jason Ditz, September 16, 2014
Top Pentagon officials, including Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee today to brief them on the new war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
The two offered very few details on the plans for the war, though Gen. Dempsey conceded that the US ground troops in the country as advisers could end up being used in combat operations, despite repeated insistence this had been ruled out.Dempsey presented the eventual attack on Mosul as one particular circumstance which could lead to the use of US ground troops in combat, saying they’d do “close combat advising,” while of course fighting themselves.

The one thing that was clear was that the war is going to be long, and both Dempsey and Hagel conceded that the current plans were unlikely to defeat ISIS in Syria. Hagel insisted that the current plans to train 5,000 Syrian rebels to fight ISIS would not be nearly enough to defeat ISIS.

In that regard, Sen. John McCain (R – AZ) was unusually the voice of reason, saying that the belief that the rebels would fight ISIS was a “fundamental misunderstanding” of their nature, and that their focus was on the Syrian government. The US-backed rebels have been allying with ISIS off and on, and recently signed a non-aggression pact.

Both of them tried to assure the Senate, though the news was decidedly not reassuring, that the strategy continues to be a work in progress and that regular adjustments would be made.

Did John McCain Misspeak Or Admit To Meeting With ISIS?

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) appeared on Fox News on Monday and provided criticism of both the Obama administration’s handling of fighting the Islamic State and statements from Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who told CBS News on Monday that requesting giving weapons to Syrian rebels was a poor decision.

McCain said that no Arab states are willing to provide support in fighting the Islamic State, although the State Department reported that there are several Arab states “in the discussion phase” willing to participate in airstrikes against militants in Iraq. “I have just heard, and it may be wrong, that no Arab country has agreed, Middle Eastern country, has agreed to engage in air or ground support against ISIS. This is a direct result of American indecision and lack of credibility,” McCain said. He then said that Arab states do not take Obama seriously because he compared ISIS to Yemen and Somalia.

“By the way, I could show the President targets on the map today that he could be bombing and killing ISIS people. same ones that carried out this hideous decision. Why the delay in a bombing campaign in Syria? I’d be very interested to know,” McCain continued.

Sean Hannity then began discussing the cease-fire between Syrian rebels and ISIS, to which McCain adamantly denied, saying “it’s not true, it’s not true, it’s not true. Whether- I don’t care about the report, I know these people intimately, we talk to them all the time.” It is unclear if McCain was referring to the Free Syrian Army or to Islamic State militants.

“Let me ask you about what your colleague Rand Paul said about it this morning. He said it’s a mistake to arm them, most of the arms we’ve given to the s-called moderate rebels have wound up in the hands of ISIS because ISIS simply takes it from them, or it is given them, and we mistakenly actually, uh, give it to some of the radicals,” said Hannity.

“Has Rand Paul ever been to Syria?” McCain repiled. “Has he ever met with ISIS? Has he ever met with any of these people? No, no, no. We’re going to have a fight, because it’s patently false,” McCain said. That statement may add fuel to the arguments from speculators who believe McCain met with members of ISIS and there’s photographic proof, although the rumor was never truly confirmed.

The New York Times recently reported that the photos of McCain are not with members of ISIS, based on assertions from McCain’s communication director Brian Rogers and Syrian Emergency Task Force executive director Mouaz Moustafa. Whether or not McCain indeed posed for pictures with ISIS members, the Senator has been criticized for not understanding who has aligned themselves with the group.

“As much as Senator McCain says he’s vetted these groups, we simply do not have guarantees that they won’t work with ISIS, when it serves their purpose, as they were doing a year ago. In fact, various reports continue to pour out of the region, about moderate factions striking deals with ISIS. The potential for these weapons ending up in the hands of ISIS is high,” read a press release from VoteVets.org.

“I know these people,” McCain repeated to Hannity. “I’m in contact with them all the time. And he is not. He is not. He is not.”

McCain refused to accept the reports that Syrian rebels and Islamic State militants had agreed to a nonaggression pact, and said that the Free Syrian Army continues to be attacked by both ISIS and Bashar al-Assad. “I know that we can make them strong and resilient,” said McCain.

Paul responded to McCain’s statements through the Daily Beast. “Here’s the problem. He [McCain] did meet with ISIS, and had his picture taken, and didn’t know it was happening at the time. That really shows you the quandary of determining who are the moderates and who aren’t. If you don’t speak Arabic, and you don’t understand that some people will lie to you—I really think that we don’t have a good handle on who are the moderates and who aren’t, and I think the objective evidence is that the ones doing most of the fighting and most of the battles among the rebels in Syria are the radical Islamists.”

Ben Swann on Jay Carney’s Move To CNN, “He’s A Propagandist”

Ben Swann appeared on RT show “In The Now”, Thursday to talk about the move by former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney to his new job as political analyst for CNN.

Swann explained that Carney’s role is no different at CNN than it was at the White House, claiming that the only difference now is that Carney isn’t wearing a tie. When asked why CNN would hire Carney, Swann replied,

“Why would Fox hire Dana Perino, why would MSNBC hire David Axelrod? (MSNBC also hired former Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs) They hire these guys because they fit the political agenda. The network thinks, ‘Here is someone who has lots of contacts, someone who has lots of access and they will be able to get us exclusive stories and be able to bring us fresh insight and they have a hint of celebrity to them.”

Swann goes on to explain that while there is nothing unethical about hiring former press secretaries, cable channels and news networks should not pretend that these people are journalists.

“In reality, they are just propagandists. That’s what they do in their official capacity while working for the White House and that is what they transfer (to a news network) to do. Look, its not about hating on these guys for taking these positions but they are not journalists. Jay Carney was at one time a journalist but he gave that up when he went to work for the White House.”

Carney joins a long line of press secretaries to move into network news. Carney’s predecessor Robert Gibbs joined MSNBC as a contributor immediately after resigning his post as President Obama’s Press Secretary. George W. Bush‘s press secretary Dana Perino now hosts “The Five” on Fox News. Bush’s two other press secretaries Ari Fleischer and the late Tony Snow, each joined CNN following their White House runs. Former Clinton press secretary Dee Dee Myers hosted CNBC’s “Equal Time” following her White House stint.

Ron Paul: If We Did Less, There Would Be More Peace

In a recent video for Voices of Liberty, Ron Paul gave his take on the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

There’s still a lot of news coming out of Iraq with the problems there, especially since ISIS has come to the forefront,” said Paul. He mentioned that although ISIS has been working to obtain a grip on Iraq for a while, “They seem to have surprised a lot of people.”

Paul brought up 2008 Presidential candidate, Republican John McCain, calling him “nearly hysterical,” regarding the situation with ISIS, and his attempt to get the U.S. to “bomb more people and send more weapons.”

However, Paul pointed out that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, who Paul argues should know more about the subject than McCain, says he has “no evidence there is anything imminent or planned” by ISIS for the United States, and that we shouldn’t “expect them to do anything here in the United States.

National security really isn’t threatened,” said Paul. “What is threatened is maybe a little prestige about the continuation of our failure in Iraq.”

Paul mentioned a recent article in the New York Times, which discusses the U.S. and Iran being “unlikely allies” in the Iraq battle.

Now, that is brilliant,” said Paul, calling the fact that the U.S. is aiding Iran-backed militias a “relative success,” due to the fact that “the Iranians weren’t supposed to be our friends.”

Paul pointed out that even though the previous weapons the United States sent into Syria and Iraq had landed in the hands of the Islamic State, and U.S. airpower was now seeking to destroy those weapons, John McCain is still insisting, “They need more weapons! Send them more weapons to help solve the problem!”

If that doesn’t wake some people up, nothing ever will, because it just goes on and on,” said Paul. “The militias that we set up really didn’t do the trick. They were the ones that dropped their weapons and ran.”

Paul described the current United States’ foreign policy as a “policy of schizophrenia” where one day the United States is “sending weapons, and the next day those weapons are with another group, used against us, and then what do we do? We just respond by going back in with more weaponry.”

While Paul said that while the “military industrial complex,” is a problem in the United States, he also mentioned the “media industrial complex,” which he says is providing an endless stream of propaganda.

Rather than interviewing individuals who are willing to question the current policies, Paul maintains that the media sticks to those who are in favor, because, “Everybody is a hawk. Everybody wants war!”

Paul said that even if, hypothetically, things settled down, and the United States left the Arabs and the Muslims to settle their disputes, “there wouldn’t be any settlement.

It would still be Shia against the Sunni, and that war has been going on for 1,300 years,” said Paul. He claimed that when the United States gets involved in this religious war, it only intensifies the “civil strife and civil war that has been going on for a long time.”

According to Paul, after Saddam Hussein warned the United States that invading would lead to the “mother of all battles,” Eric Margolis had the best description when he referred to the Islamic State’s current actions as the “mother of all blowback.

It will surprise a lot of people, but quite frankly, if we did less, we would have more,” said Paul. “If we did less, there would be more peace and less of a problem.”

Blowback in Iraq: How U.S. Proxy Wars Led to the Rise of ISIS


The U.S. and its regional allies armed and trained “moderate” Sunni rebels to oust President Bashar al-Assad of Syria in order to weaken the Iranian/Russian influence in the Middle East. Then those “moderate” Sunni rebels became more radical and joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) which has emerged as the largest, wealthiest and most-radical terrorist organization in the region.

The strategy of arming radical Sunni Muslims has been an abysmal failure, yet Hillary Clinton and neoconservatives like Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham continue to push their Brzezinski-inspired foreign policy. In a swipe at the Obama administration, Clinton said, “Failure to help Syrian rebels led to the rise of ISIS.”

Last Sunday, both McCain and Graham appeared on the Sunday talk shows to warn about the “direct threat” of ISIS.

Graham told Fox News, “The Islamic State is ‘an existential threat’’ to our homeland.” Graham asked, “Do we really want to let America be attacked?”

What the mainstream media fails to ask war hawks like Graham is what made ISIS a threat in the first place?

What the mainstream media is not telling you is that both Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham played roles in strengthening ISIS and other Islamic insurgents in Syria.

ISIS success is due to the support they received from the CIA and key U.S. allies in the Persian Gulf — Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Both countries remain to be a critical financial support for al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. Recently, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of openly funding the Sunni Muslim insurgents.

McCain still praises the Saudis, despite the known fact of its state-sponsored terror network and funding sources.

At the Munich Security Conference, McCain said, “Thank God for the Saudis and Prince Bandar and for our Qatari friends.”

According to Steve Clemons writing for The Atlantic, “ISIS, in fact, may have been a major part of Bandar’s covert-ops strategy in Syria.” Clemons notes that according to one senior Qatari official, “ISIS has been a Saudi project.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Saudi ambassador, Adel al-Jubeir, recruited both McCain and Graham to “put  pressure on the administration to get more involved in Syria.”

So why are U.S. Senators working with the same actors who are behind ISIS instead of working to cut off the Islamic funding mechanisms?

Not only has the U.S. created an unholy alliance with states who sponsor terrorism, it has strengthened ISIS by training and arming radical Sunni insurgents who join ISIS, that share similar goals of creating an Islamic caliphate.


The CIA trains and arms Islamic rebels making matters worse.

There is no real distinction between moderate rebels and ISIS. In fact, there are an endless parade of reports that the U.S.-supported “moderate rebels” in the Free Syrian Army (FSA)  have joined ISIS. See here, here and here.

The FSA, al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front and other Syrian rebels are joining forces with a unifying goal of creating an Islamic state.

Despite the reality on the ground in Syria and Iraq, politicians continue to advance their failed policies and the mainstream media never challenges them. They refuse to accept that arming Sunni rebels prolongs the conflict and makes matters worse.

The foreign policy strategy of arming radical Islamist to fight in American proxy wars postulated by Clinton, McCain and Graham is  not based on any winning strategy but is based on political distraction by averting attention away from their failures.

The blame game is alive in Washington, D.C.. But their ideas are dangerous for the American people who face a challenging world.

Foreign Policy’s Marc Lynch, said that the scheme of arming rebels is “just wrong” and it’s a strategy that won’t work. He noted that an “external support for insurgents typically makes conflicts longer and bloodier.”

“It’s difficult to produce a single example in modern history of a strategy of arming rebels actually succeeding,” said Lynch.

Steve Clemons describes the current blowback in Iraq perfectly:

“ Like elements of the mujahideen, which benefited from U.S. financial and military support during the Soviet war in Afghanistan and then later turned on the West in the form of al-Qaeda, ISIS achieved scale and consequence through Saudi support, only to now pose a grave threat to the kingdom and the region.”

“It’s this concern about blowback that has motivated Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to encourage restraint in arming Syrian rebels. President Obama has so far heeded these warnings.”

According to recent polls, Americans want to be less active in global affairs. What will bombing ISIS in Syria and Iraq really accomplish when there is no real prospect of victory?

In recent opinion piece, Pat Buchanan asks, “If ISIS’ gains are truly an “existential threat” to the republic and our cities are about to “go up in flames,” why did these Republican hawks not demand that President Obama call back Congress from its five-week vacation to vote to authorize a new war on ISIS in Syria and Iraq?”

Congressman Thomas Massie agrees with Buchanan.

“Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress—not the President—the power to declare war … these air strikes require congressional authorization, and the American people deserve open debate by their elected officials,” said Massie.

Massie told the media that “America’s national security interests in Iraq are unclear, because Iraq poses no imminent threat.”

“And, because the President has not articulated a long term strategy, I would vote against authorizing the use of military force in Iraq,” Massie said.


John McCain On NSA Spying: “Something You’ve Got To Accept”

While appearing on the Dan Patrick Show, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said that NSA spying is part of “the world we’re living in” and claimed that young Americans are bothered by NSA spying because their memories of the 9/11 attacks have faded.

McCain has been an enthusiastic proponent of the NSA despite his acknowledgement that the agency has abused its power in the past.

After discussion of sports, the conversation shifted to Donald Sterling and the subject of his phone conversations being recorded, and McCain explained that:

“It’s the world we’re living in. You don’t like it, but everything I say I expect to be recorded,” McCain told Patrick. He went on to defend its place in the lives of American citizens:

“It’s just the way we live. It is something you’ve got to accept. I don’t particularly like it, but it is what it is.”

McCain dismissed a poll that showed 53% of Americans believe that their phone calls are being recorded. When asked by Patrick if they are, McCain laughed, “no, no.”

“Young people aren’t particularly happy. We’ve forgotten a little bit about 9/11, and how if we’d intercepted the right communications we might have prevented 9/11,”  McCain continued.

He admitted to Patrick that “there have been abuses” and “we’ve got to be more transparent”. However, McCain concluded that “we’re all grown people, and we have to realize we live in the 21st century. I’ve said things in the past that I wish I hadn’t said and… it just is what it is.”

This brief discussion of the NSA with Patrick illustrates McCain’s nonchalant approval of massive surveillance. While McCain has pushed for an overhaul of NSA oversight, he remains convinced that the spying should continue as part of day-to-day life and may someday actually intercept a terrorist plot.

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McCain-Backed Plan Could Give Terrorists shoulder-fired missiles


According to John McCain, powerful weapons getting into the wrong hands is worth the risk to oust Syria’s President Bashar al Assad.

With blood on McCain’s hands, those same weapons could bring more terror attacks if those wrong hands are members of Al Qaeda. McCain says he is perfectly fine with taking that risk.

Award-winning journalist Ben Swann has reported extensively that the largest groups fighting to overthrow Assad are Jihadists.

Al-Nusra Front is the largest group, which is the Syrian wing of Al Qaeda in Iraq.

So is McCain ok with these stinger missiles falling in the hands of Al Qaeda? Apparently so.

According to Time, the Obama White House is weighing the options of sending surface-to-air missiles to Syria to help bring an end to the country’s long civil war.

The shoulder-fired missiles are capable of knocking a helicopter or low-flying plane out of the sky.

“The introduction of manpads could be a game changer in Syria, like it was in Afghanistan in the 1980s with Stinger missiles,” an Arab official told TIME, adding that he believed the Obama Administration had begun discussing the idea more seriously.

The addition of U.S. weapons could be an even huge game changer if those weapons got into the wrong hands.

Time reported that Senior Administration officials worry that the weapons — known technically as man-portable air-defense systems, or manpads — could fall into the hands of terrorists intent on shooting down a civilian airliner. Syria’s rebel forces are now dominated by radical Islamists, some of whom recently overran headquarters used by a moderate faction and looted weapons stored there.

The potential of al-Qaeda is terrifying. Even former CIA director David Petraeus who called that scenario a “nightmare” in January.

A 2005 Rand Corp. study found that the shooting down of a civilian airliner might temporarily freeze air travel worldwide and produce total economic losses of more than $15 billion.

But McCain thinks our safety is worth the risk: “I want to shoot them down,” McCain said. “To stop these atrocities, I’m willing to take the risk of a manpad … falling into the wrong hands, because we’ve got to stop it.”

McCain is postulating a false idea that if Assad is ousted, all atrocities in Syria will end. Pulitzer Prize-winning Seymour Hersh said the Obama Administration cherry-picked intelligence to justify a war with Syria. In fact, the rebels may have launched the chemical attack last year that killed over a thousand civilians in Syria. Read more here.

So the premise that the U.S. should be involved in order to stop the violence is false.

According to the Time report, officials in Saudi Arabia are trying to broker this arms deal and “vet” which rebels would be allowed to use these lethal weapons. It’s ironic that Saudi Arabia is trusted to do this while they remain the leading financial source for terrorism world wide.

As previously reported by Benswann.com, a leaked diplomatic cable from then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated, “Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support for al-Qa’ida, the Taliban, LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan] and other terrorist groups.”

So while American soldiers are fighting terrorists in Afghanistan, McCain is essentially arming the terrorists in Syria.

It’s very troubling that McCain would make such a irresponsible claim. What is more troubling, is the fact the U.S. continues to  repeat the same failed foreign policies and expect different results-it’s insanity!

Arizona State GOP censures Senator McCain


PHOENIX– Arizona US Senator John McCain (R) was formally censured Saturday, January 26, 2014 by the Arizona Republican Party for his liberal voting record.

Official state Republicans called McCain’s record “disastrous and harmful” to the state and country.

Brian Rogers, McCain’s spokesman, declined to comment on the censure. However, former three-term Sen. Jon Kyl told local media that the move was “wacky.”

According to Kyl, McCain’s voting record is “very conservative”. However, according to his Heritage Action score, McCain only votes conservative 43% of the time. The score is complied from McCain’s legislative voting record.

“I’ve gone to dozens of these meetings and every now and then some wacky resolution gets passed,” Kyl told local media on Saturday. “But most people realize it does not represent the majority of the vast numbers of Republicans.”

According to Arizona Central, Saturday’s censure came two weeks after the Maricopa County Republican Party passed a resolution to censure the senator on a 1,150-to-351 vote. In fact, multiple counties have censured McCain for his “disastrous” liberal voting record.

“Only in times of great crisis or betrayal is it necessary to publicly censure our leaders,” the resolution stated. “Today we are faced with both. For too long we have waited, hoping Senator McCain would return to our Party’s values on his own. That has not happened.”

McCain joins US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) who has been censured by more than half a dozen county Republican parties in his home state. Graham has not yet be censured by the state party as a whole.

Follow Michael Lotfi on Facebook & on Twitter: @MichaelLotfi

Top Ten Moments In Conservative Politics For 2013 So Far

This year has played host to a paradigm shift in the Republican Party. That shift has been reflected in headlines again and again. The below list reflects that shift and some other top moments in 2013 conservative politics.


A satire piece, which jokingly cited Obama telling students not to celebrate the Fourth of July made headlines around the country last Summer. The piece was published just 2 days before the holiday and went viral. Viewed more than 500k times in only 2 days, many conservatives were enraged when they discovered the story they had shared was in fact satire.  As MSN News points out,

A label at the end of the short article reads in all capital letters: “POLITICAL SATIRE.” But not everyone reads to the end of articles, however short. For every hour Americans spend online, only two minutes is spent reading news, according to Experian, which doesn’t leave much time to absorb details like “satire” labels.

TheOnion.com ran a satire piece on Kim Jong-Un being the sexiest man alive a few months before this piece ran. Conservatives were delighted when the entire country of North Korea was fooled by the piece. However, when the tables were reversed it wasn’t funny. Perhaps the article taught us a lesson about actually reading versus seeing a 5 word headline and re-posting to our Facebook walls.


Conservatives knew they were onto something when Lois Lerner, a senior IRS official, took the Fifth claiming that she had nothing to do with the IRS targeting tea party political groups. They kept digging and discovered that Lerner was indeed involved. She had sent emails directly targeting the tea party.


Dr. Carson isn’t new to politics, but he made national headlines in his National Prayer Breakfast speech last February when he literally insulted Obama at an event where the President was featured to his face. Dr. Carson has been a household name since, and many are begging the Dr. to run for office.


A new libertarian leaning stronghold has emerged out of the United States Congress, and in 2013 their voices are being heard. Representative Justin Amash (R-MI) was attacked by Karl Rove, who called him, “The most liberal republican member of Congress.” Rove claimed Amash had the most similar voting record to Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Amash laughed back with facts. The fact is that Amash actually has the least similar voting record to Pelosi than any other member of the House. Rove Recently launched his Conservative Victory Project, which seeks to squash any tea party, libertarian leaning republicans who seek a run for office. Amash is joined by Rep. Thomas Massey (R-KY) who is being painted as Kentucky’s “Next Rand Paul”. United States Senators Mike Lee, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul form the Senate version. Harry Reid (D-NV) recently took to the Senate floor and proclaimed that Congress had been taken over by anarchists. The 5 horsemen are certainly not anarchists. They just aren’t socialists, and that upsets Harry Reid. Headlines around the country read, “Nation Has Arrived At A New Libertarian Movement” and these are its leaders.


Hillary Clinton, mulling over a presidential bid in 2016, gave conservatives all the ammunition they could ever need to take her down when she shocked the country by saying the talking points made no difference when it came to the Americans who had died in the Benghazi terrorist attack. To politicize Benghazi does no honor to the souls lost, but it’s the American way.


After the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy many in the country were calling for stricter gun laws. Democrats capitalized on the incident. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) made a name for himself when he infuriated Diane Feinstein (D-CA) with his Texas straight talk. Cruz challenged Fenstein’s knowledge and understanding of the Constitution to which she responded:

“I’m not a sixth grader,” said Feinstein. “Senator, I’ve been on this committee for 20 years. I was a mayor for nine years. I walked in, I saw people shot. I’ve looked at bodies that have been shot with these weapons. I’ve seen the bullets that implode. In Sandy Hook, youngsters were dismembered. Look, there are other weapons. I’ve been up — I’m not a lawyer, but after 20 years I’ve been up close and personal to the Constitution. I have great respect for it.”

 #4 Plead The Tenth

Nullification has experienced a recent renaissance in America. The Tenth Amendment Center, the driving force behind the rebirth of American nullification, has come under attack from mainstream democrats and republicans.

Michael Boldin, executive director, tells us:

“If you’re not catching any flak, you’re not over the target. Nullification is definitely over the target with the establishment on both the left and right using the same talking points to attack it. But truth seems to catch on, and the nullification movement keeps growing no matter what these people throw at us.”

It is the mission of the Tenth Amendment Center to pull back the hand of the federal government and return power to the states, which is where the Constitution delegates it. Polls show that more than 1/2 of Americans now support nullification.

#3 Ron Paul Retires From Congress

The man who quite literally started a revolution retired from Congress this year. Many heavy hearts watched his farewell speech and were sad to see him leave. Paul blatantly called his colleagues crooks to their faces, which they all applauded to by time the speech was over. It was quite comical.

 #2 John McCain To Retire? 

Thank God!

#1 “I will speak, until I can no longer speak.” -The Rand Paul Filibuster

My number one pick for conservative politics in 2013 so far was the Rand Paul filibuster. There’s no need to go into details about the filibuster as it made headlines around the world, and if you don’t know about it then you probably aren’t alive. Rand Paul became a viral sensation around the world that night. The 13 hour filibuster was front page news everywhere you looked. Paul trended to the top of Twitter, Facebook and Google. He also generated a new campaign slogan #StandWithRand. The “Stand With x Candidate” slogan has now been used in just about every republican campaign for the upcoming election. Even the establishment likes it. Except John McCain and Lindsey Graham of course who called Paul a wacko bird. Paul’s bone-chilling 13 hour speech captured the hearts and minds of the world, and many believe it is why he now sits at the top of the 2016 GOP Presidential polls.

Stay tuned and in 2014 I will update the list to include the Top 20 moments for the year.

Syrian Woman Blasts Senator McCain Over Supporting Al Qaeda

At a town hall meeting a Syrian immigrant blasts John McCain (R-AZ) over supporting the Syrian rebels who have ties to Al Qaeda. John McCain’s body language says it all. He initially refuses to make eye contact with the woman who stands begging before him less than a foot away from his face. “My cousin was killed last week!” Her words are strong, passionate and true. “We do not want another engagement in the Middle East. We do not want Al Qaeda to take over,” she screams. McCain simply looks away as if he is more concerned with getting back to his iPhone poker game. He even laughs at one point.


John McCain’s counter was simple. “I’ve been to Syria too,” he says. He provides no real substance other than an emotionally based argument that Assad is a butcher. John McCain joined only two other republicans in voting in favor of the Senate resolution to engage in a Syrian war. All eyes are now resting on the House to see how members will vote.

McCain, Graham & Boehner Stand With Obama On Syrian Attack


This Labor Day weekend played host to a meeting between John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and President Obama at the White House. Obama is seeking help from the two unpopular republican senators in an attempt  to rally Congress to vote for a Syrian attack.

McCain suggested to Obama that they must embolden the Free Syrian Army, which has direct ties to Al Qaeda, so that they may prevail over Syria’s President Assad. “It is my hope that even a limited military strike can degrade Assad’s ability to project force, particularly using chemical weapons,” said Graham.  Graham continues, “There seems to be a pretty solid plan from this administration to upgrade the opposition.”

According to an unrelated statement by Harry Reid, John McCain can get the job done in the Senate:

“See I don’t need a lot of Republicans to help me. And that’s why I so admire John McCain. John McCain and I came to the House together 31 years ago. We came to the Senate together at the same time. He and I have fought over the years but we’re also very very good, good friends. And he broke away from the pack. So, he doesn’t control the Republican caucus but he controls probably 10 people there. That’s all I need.”

If Congress is to block a strike on Syria it will almost certainly have to come from the House. However, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) are now at Obama’s side after a meeting today. Regardless of how Congress votes, a Syrian war may be inevitable. Secretary of State John Kerry says that Obama has already made up his mind. When asked if Obama would still strike Syria if Congress voted against intervention- Kerry refused to answer.

McCain & Graham Stand With Rand: “End Aid To Egypt”

Even a broken clock is right twice a day, and perhaps just in time. US senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has been calling for an end to foreign aid to Egypt and Syria for quite some time. Just recently the Senate voted 86-13 against Paul’s most recent attempt to end aid to Egypt. Graham and McCain both voting against Paul. “It would be a terrific mistake for the United States to send a message to Egypt: you’re on your own,” McCain said on the Senate floor. “I urge my colleagues to vote to table the Paul amendment.”paul_graham_mccain

In response to the Senate voting against his amendment Paul said, “This is something that those who voted in Congress are going to have to live with. The question is: How does their conscience feel now as they see photographs of tanks rolling over Egyptian civilians?”

Due to more than 650 deaths in Egypt over the past few days, Obama recently canceled a joint military exercise and delayed sending new military equipment to Egypt. Finally, it seems that the two senior senators have had a recent change of heart just days after voting against Paul’s efforts to end aid to Egypt.

In a joint statement, senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) now “standing with Rand” by calling for an end to foreign aid in Egypt:

“The interim civilian government and security forces – backed up, unfortunately, by the military – are taking Egypt down a dark path, one that the United States cannot and should not travel with them.”

McCain and Graham continue,

“We cannot be complicit in the mass slaughter of civilians. We urge the Obama Administration to suspend U.S. assistance to Egypt and make clear to the current leadership of the country what steps we believe are necessary to halt Egypt’s descent into civil conflict and ultimately to restore our assistance relationship, which has historically served U.S. national security interests.”

It is not immediately clear how far McCain and Graham are willing to go in order to end aid to Egypt. However, should Paul bring his amendment back for a similar vote, he may for the first time have McCain and Graham on his side.


According to FedBizOpps.gov, the U.S. Navy is soliciting “12 Light Observation Aircraft to Yemen for use by the Yemeni Air Force (YAF) equipped with EO/IR sensor.”

You can find, here, the request.

Ron Paul states in his weekly column that over the past two weeks the U.S. has launched at least eight drone attacks in Yemen, in which dozens have been killed.

“It is the largest U.S. escalation of attacks on Yemen in more than a decade,” said Paul.

Paul cites that there have been previous reports of civilian deaths due to drone attacks, but the U.S. denies that there were any civilian deaths.

Drone attacks

“The US government is clearly at war in Yemen,” Paul said. “It is claimed they are fighting al-Qaeda, but the drone strikes are creating as many or more al-Qaeda members as they are eliminating.”

The U.S. foreign policy is in crisis.

Recently Senators John McCain’s and Lindsey Graham went to Egypt with the White House’s “blessing” to help the ousted Muslim Brotherhood talk with the new Egyptian government.

“We told [the Muslim Brother leaders] that in our view, the best way to resolve this issue was to renounce and condemn violence, that they should be willing to negotiate if some of the brotherhood were released from prison,” McCain said. “We were not negotiating, we were just saying what we thought had to be done to get back to the negotiating table.”

McCain’s suggestion of releasing Muslim Brotherhood prisoners, calling them “political prisoners,” infuriated Egyptians who suffered under Muhammad Morsi reign.

According to PJMedia, “A top advisor to Egypt’s Interim President Adly Mansour formally accused McCain of distorting facts to the benefit of the Brotherhood,” the article said. “He dismissed McCain’s recent remarks as ‘irrational’ and ‘moronic.’”

Secular political commentator Ahmed Musa asserted:

These two men have made more shameless demands than the Brotherhood themselves would dare.

[McCain] is not a man elected by the American people to speak on their behalf; today, he speaks on behalf of an armed terrorist organization — the Muslim Brotherhood. …  We had expected [better] from these two men who came to speak with the tongue of the Brotherhood’s leadership, as if they had been recruited as two new leaders of the Brotherhood, which killed, destroyed, and burned in al-Muqattam, and now in Rab‘a al-Adawiya [the main Brotherhood militant camp]. The only thing missing is to see them in Rab‘a, surrounded by armed groups, and in their midst Muhammad Badie [supreme leader of the Brotherhood] and [U.S. Ambassador] Anne Patterson. That’s all that’s missing! Here comes Brother McCain today saying that we must “release the [Brotherhood] prisoners”.

Are you not aware that these people are accused of murder? Are you not aware that hundreds of Egyptians have been killed at the hands of the Brotherhood, Morsi, Shatter, Qatatni, Badie, Baltagi — have you forgotten? Did you not read the report on what happened? Or did you just blindly accept your ambassador’s words that it was a coup, that 33 million people did not go out?