Returning ISIS Jihadists Pose Long, Uncharted Challenges for US And Europe

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BY ABIGAIL R. ESMAN/ALGEMEINER.COM OCTOBER 19, 2017

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For months now, Western counterterrorism experts have sounded the alarm: as ISIS loses ground, foreign fighters from America and Europe may try to return home. 

When they do, the experts cautioned, they will carry the terror threat with them, ready and willing to strike in Western countries. And law enforcement agencies must be prepared.

Now, with the fall of the Iraqi city of Harija — the Islamic State’s last major stronghold — and the impending collapse of its Syrian capital, Raqqa, the time has finally come. But is law enforcement prepared?

Not really.

An estimated 5,000 Europeans have joined ISIS and other terrorist groups since fighting first broke out in Syria. While some surviving members may choose to remain in the region, or travel to other conflict areas like Afghanistan, a few thousand others will likely try to make their way back home. 

In countries such as France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, most of them will be taken into custody and ultimately tried for terror-related offenses.

But that only covers those who re-enter through legal means. Most will try clandestine paths. And porous borders make such illegal re-entry disturbingly simple, as the rampant smuggling of refugees has already made abundantly clear.

An ongoing lack of coordination of intelligence and security agencies across Europe will further enable terrorists to slip in unnoticed. That’s what happened with Mehdi Nemmouche, who shot and killed four people at the Brussels Jewish Museum in 2014. 

The same is true of Reda Kriket, who travelled to Syria twice, before being arrested in March 2016 on suspicion of plotting “at least one” attack in France. And Brussels airport bomber Ibraham El Bakraoui had previously been arrested by Turkish officials as he attempted to reach the Islamic State.

“Despite improvements since 9/11, foreign partners are still sharing information about terrorist suspects in a manner which is ad hoc, intermittent, and often incomplete,” a 2015 report of the Task Force in Combating Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel said.

Such critical intelligence failures also pose risks outside of Europe. “The larger concern is that some European extremists might be able to make it to the United States undetected once they have left the battlefield,” the report’s authors said.

With visa-free entry into the US allowed for European citizens, such fears are not unfounded — and compound the threats posed by returning US nationals.

Even so, some US officials caution against overreacting to the threat that American returnees may cause. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper argues that most of the 40 Americans who have returned from the Islamic State did so for reasons “that don’t relate to plotting” — such as homesickness and family matters. 

Others, like analysts at the New America Foundation put a greater emphasis on the danger from jihadists who never actually left the US, but were radicalized locally or online.

But not everyone agrees.

“Whether or not returning fighters carry out attacks, they return with the prestige of warriors and credibility on the street,” a 2014 RAND report observed. “They are able to recruit other fighters to go to the Middle East and they can gather like-minded groups around them.”

RAND political scientist and International Center for Counterterrorism fellow Colin Clarke agrees, writing in The Atlantic that some returnees, both in the US and in Europe, may “attempt to resuscitate dormant networks, recruit new members, or conduct lone-wolf style attacks,” as some Europeans have already done.

Tackling the threat, US and European officials agree, depends heavily on European authorities’ ability to improve their intelligence capabilities — a daunting task at a time when rising crime rates, concerns about existing terror threats, logistically complex bureaucratic systems and international rivalries continue to draw on the intelligence agencies’ reserves.

Moreover, not all European states agree on the best way to handle returnees. While most of these jihadists are jailed and tried on terror charges, returnees to Denmark, for instance, are placed in rehab programs that offer schooling, job training and housing, among other benefits — with the hope being that they will rejoin society and reform.

Moreover, the EU Radicalisation Awareness Network put forth a series of recommendations in July for all member states. Countries, they said, should:

Create “re-socialization” programs for detainees, even pre-trial.

Provide religious guidance through “trustworthy chaplains.”

Employ mental health experts to work with those who may suffer from PTSD or “disillusionment.”

“Be aware that many returnees — even if not engaged in criminal behavior — may still strongly support ideologies opposing apostates, other religions, so-called infidels, women’s rights and even EU societies as such. Most have been subject to severe indoctrination. Consider dialogue, mentoring and other techniques for returnees with such strong beliefs.”

In part, this careful handling reflects the reluctance of countries like Denmark to treat returnees as criminals. But as RAND points out, it also comes as a result of difficulties in assessing “which returnees pose a terrorist threat and which do not.” These uncertainties could require monitoring all returnees for indefinite periods, raising civil rights questions as well as economic and other practical concerns.

Whether such careful handling will effectively thwart radicals remains to be seen. Meantime, US officials are taking a different, more punitive approach. Sentences in the US are longer — and can include the death penalty, which is banned in Europe.

Moreover, EU laws can be vague regarding which potentially terror-related activities constitute a crime. By contrast, RAND says, American courts are better prepared for the challenges of convicting returnees, thanks in part to the fact that, in the United States, “providing material support to a terrorist organization, which includes joining or attempting to join a terrorist group, is already a crime.”

But for both Europe and America, RAND suggests another alternative: encouraging returnees to cooperate with intelligence agencies in exchange for lighter sentences, thereby becoming valuable resources in the battle against jihadism in their homelands, and helping to locate and convict other terrorists returning from abroad, especially those who have entered illegally. These are the hardest people to find, and pose the greatest danger.

But even without cooperation from within, there may be other strategies. RAND’s Colin Clarke calculates that approximately half of all Islamist terrorists involved in attacks in Europe had criminal pasts. In contrast, others put the figure closer to 22 percent.

“Many foreign fighters began as criminals,” Clarke wrote on Lawfare, “and many might turn to crime on their return.” Indeed, those seeking to finance attacks are likely to look to criminal activity — such as drug trafficking — to secure it.

Hence, Clarke notes, “To root out returning foreign fighters, authorities should first look to the underworld from which the fighters originally emerged. Criminals inevitably return to what they know best.”

Clarke’s approach for Europe applies equally to America. Yet for all its practicality, the criminal element of these terrorists’ backgrounds also points to an additional danger. 

As Canadian counterterrorism analyst Mubin Shaikh has noted, “prisons are a factory for radicalization. The jihadis themselves say prison is the university of jihad.” Should those trained in militant jihad find their way back into the criminal circuit, that situation could only worsen.

Ultimately, the problem of returning jihadists promises to be a complicated one across the West, likely for years to come. In the face of an unprecedented terror threat, we have no map to travel by.

Originally published by Algemeiner.com – reposted with permission.


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GEORGE SOROS TRANSFERS $18 BILLION TO HIS ALT-LEFT GLOBALIST ANTI-TRUMP GROUP OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATIONS

The transfer, according to the Wall Street Journal, accounts for most of Soros’s Open Society Foundation, which he accrued through a controversial career as an investor. The Journal notes: “Open Society has vaulted to the top ranks of philanthropic organizations, appearing to become the second largest in the U.S. by assets after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, based on 2014 figures from the National Philanthropic Trust.”
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LEFT-WING BILLIONAIRE GEORGE SOROS HAS TRANSFERRED $18 BILLION TO HIS OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATIONS, THE PRIMARY VEHICLE FOR HIS GLOBAL POLITICAL ACTIVISM AND PHILANTHROPY.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The New World Order’s resident villain-in-chief just took his evil scheming to a whole new level with what some are calling the largest cash transfer to a philanthropic organization in US history. And not just any group, but a group whose whole purpose is to sow disharmony and discord throughout our country. The Open Society Foundation is pro-abortion, anti-Israel, and uses race baiting tactics to stir up trouble. Soros spent $33 million to fuel the St. Louis race riots by busing in agitators from out of town. One can only imagine the kind of anarchy that can be created with an $18 billion dollar checking account. And the new civil war just got kicked up a notch. 

The transfer, according to the Wall Street Journal, accounts for most of Soros’s Open Society Foundation, which he accrued through a controversial career as an investor. The Journal notes: “Open Society has vaulted to the top ranks of philanthropic organizations, appearing to become the second largest in the U.S. by assets after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, based on 2014 figures from the National Philanthropic Trust.”

GEORGE SOROS TRANSFERS $18B TO OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATION:

Soros, who is 87, transferred the funds as part of a plan to make sure his activism continues after he retires or passes away. $18 billion is roughly three times the amount of money spent by all parties, in all races, during the 2016 election cycle, according to Open Secrets. Though not all of the Open Society Foundations’ activities will be focused on the United States, Soros’ grant easily makes his organization the biggest player on the American political scene.

THE OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATIONS IS BIGGER THAN YOU THINK. IN FACT, IT MAY BE THE LARGEST PHILANTHROPIC ORGANIZATION EVER BUILT, WITH BRANCHES IN 37 COUNTRIES. WHILE THE GATES FOUNDATION SPENDS MORE MONEY, OSF HAS A LARGER FOOTPRINT WORLDWIDE THANKS TO ITS MANY LOCAL OFFICES, INCLUDING THROUGHOUT AFRICA. OSF’S BUDGET WILL BE AROUND $930 MILLION THIS YEAR—WHICH IS SUBSTANTIALLY MORE THAN FORD’S TOTAL GRANTMAKING.

GLOBALLY, SOROS IS INVOLVED IN EFFORTS TO MAKE IRELAND PRO-ABORTION, TO DEMONIZE THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT, AND TO PROMOTE MIGRATION FROM THE MUSLIM WORLD INTO EUROPE ACROSS OPEN BORDERS.

Though Soros’s foundation was originally aimed at fostering “open societies” as opposed to authoritarian systems, in recent years the foundation’s work has supported dogmatic, aggressive left-wing groups that disrupt liberal democracy and stifle opposing voices. Soros has funded the Black Lives Matter movement and is considering bankrolling the so-called “resistance” to President Donald Trump. He also backs Media Matters, a so-called “watchdog” group that spends most of its energy trying to eliminate conservatives from the media.

Soros recently named former ambassador and Democratic National Committee official Patrick Gaspard as president of the Open Society Foundations as of the end of 2017. source

HERE ARE SOME NOTABLE GEORGE SOROS EXPOSES YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ AND SHARE:

LIBERALS CHEER AS GLOBALIST JOHN MCCAIN LAUNCHES FULL-FRONTAL ATTACK ON PRESIDENT TRUMP AND HIS PRO-AMERICAN AGENDA

On Monday night in Philadelphia, John McCain offered a total and complete rejection of the world view offered by the leader of his party. “To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain ‘the last best hope of earth’ for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.” “Half-baked.” “Spurious nationalism.” “Tired dogma.”
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ON MONDAY NIGHT IN PHILADELPHIA, JOHN MCCAIN OFFERED A TOTAL AND COMPLETE REJECTION OF THE WORLD VIEW OFFERED BY THE LEADER OF HIS PARTY, PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP

EDITOR’S NOTE: John McCain’s speech shows that he has never been more popular…with the Liberals, globalists, Democrats and all stripes of the Alt-Left, that is. As failing health from a brain tumor brings his 40 year career to a close, a teary-eyed McCain could not resist one more swipe, one more attack, on Trump’s mandate agenda to restore the American government to the American people. McCain and his ilk are not for America, they are for a global government that America serves, funds and bows down to. McCain likes to call himself the “maverick”, but he’s nothing more than a good, old-fashioned traitor to both the Constitution and the country it was written to protect. You end your career as a hero to the Alt-Left Movement. 

Here’s the key paragraph:

“TO FEAR THE WORLD WE HAVE ORGANIZED AND LED FOR THREE-QUARTERS OF A CENTURY, TO ABANDON THE IDEALS WE HAVE ADVANCED AROUND THE GLOBE, TO REFUSE THE OBLIGATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND OUR DUTY TO REMAIN ‘THE LAST BEST HOPE OF EARTH’ FOR THE SAKE OF SOME HALF-BAKED, SPURIOUS NATIONALISM COOKED UP BY PEOPLE WHO WOULD RATHER FIND SCAPEGOATS THAN SOLVE PROBLEMS IS AS UNPATRIOTIC AS AN ATTACHMENT TO ANY OTHER TIRED DOGMA OF THE PAST THAT AMERICANS CONSIGNED TO THE ASH HEAP OF HISTORY.”
“HALF-BAKED.” “SPURIOUS NATIONALISM.” “TIRED DOGMA.”

Those would be harsh words coming from any politician about the president of the United States. They are remarkable when you consider that McCain and President Trump are, ostensibly, part of the same Republican party.

GLOBALIST RINO JOHN MCCAIN DENOUNCES TRUMP AND PRO-AMERICAN AGENDA:

If the video does not display, click here to watch McCain bash Trump.

What McCain’s speech shows — again — is just how far Trumpism is from the traditional Republican party on virtually every issue. And how much Trumpism represents a break from the ways in which all post-World War II presidents — Republican and Democratic — have envisioned the role the U.S. can and should play in the world.

(Perhaps the most moving part of McCain’s speech was when he recounted attending an event in which George H.W. Bush was commemorating soldiers lost on Dec. 7, 1941; “May God bless them, and may God bless America, the most wondrous land on earth,” McCain recounted Bush saying, with emotion heavy in his voice.)

That McCain is giving this speech isn’t terribly surprising. He has always been someone who fancies himself as willing and able to critique his own party. And, his diagnosis earlier this year with an aggressive form of brain cancer has made him even more outspoken about the problems he sees in the party (and the country).

BUT, SIMPLY BECAUSE MCCAIN IS SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN CRITICAL OF TRUMP IN THE PAST DOESN’T MAKE HIS SPEECH LAST NIGHT ANY LESS IMPORTANT.

Remember what McCain has given to the country. Naval service. Six years as a prisoner of war. More than three decades in public office. Two presidential bids. This is someone who understands at a gut level what this country means — and what it should mean — around the world.

“What a privilege it is to serve this big, boisterous, brawling, intemperate, striving, daring, beautiful, bountiful, brave, magnificent country,” McCain said on Monday night. “With all our flaws, all our mistakes, with all the frailties of human nature as much on display as our virtues, with all the rancor and anger of our politics, we are blessed.”

THAT VIEW OF AMERICA — WHO WE ARE AND WHO WE SHOULD BE — IS AT DIRECT ODDS WITH TRUMP’S VISION.

“Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation,” Trump said in his speech accepting the Republican nomination in 2016. “The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life. Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country.”

On foreign policy, Trump offered a similarly grim assessment in that convention speech. “The most important difference between our plan and that of our opponents, is that our plan will put America First. Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo,” he said. “As long as we are led by politicians who will not put America First, then we can be assured that other nations will not treat America with respect.”

In office, Trump has made good on that rhetoric. He has decertified the Iran nuclear deal. He has pulled the US out of the Paris climate accords. At global summits, he has been adamant that the US will no longer write checks to fund the rest of the world.

McCain, in his speech Monday night, was not just rejecting Trump’s dark vision of America and the world but he was seeking to point out how at odds that vision is from how all of the men who came before Trump in the office — at least since the 20th century — saw their job and the country.

THESE LINES, IN PARTICULAR, SPEAK TO THAT DIVIDE — AND THE DANGERS, IN MCCAIN’S MIND — OF PURSUING TRUMPISM TO ITS LOGICAL END. SAID MCCAIN:

“WE LIVE IN A LAND MADE OF IDEALS, NOT BLOOD AND SOIL. WE ARE THE CUSTODIANS OF THOSE IDEALS AT HOME, AND THEIR CHAMPION ABROAD. WE HAVE DONE GREAT GOOD IN THE WORLD. THAT LEADERSHIP HAS HAD ITS COSTS, BUT WE HAVE BECOME INCOMPARABLY POWERFUL AND WEALTHY AS WE DID. WE HAVE A MORAL OBLIGATION TO CONTINUE IN OUR JUST CAUSE, AND WE WOULD BRING MORE THAN SHAME ON OURSELVES IF WE DON’T. WE WILL NOT THRIVE IN A WORLD WHERE OUR LEADERSHIP AND IDEALS ARE ABSENT. WE WOULDN’T DESERVE TO.”

Will other prominent Republicans speak out in support of McCain? Almost certainly not. To date, the only consistent voices of criticism against the rise of Trumpism within the GOP have been McCain and Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Jeff Flake of Arizona. (Of McCain’s speech, Corker said Tuesday: “Well the pieces that I saw, I loved, and I gave him a big hug on the floor.”)

Corker is retiring and Flake is in deep trouble for reelection. Sasse appears, at least at the moment, to be the one whose willingness to stand against Trumpism hasn’t negatively affected his political future.

Regardless of whether other Republicans rise to support him, what McCain is trying to say is of critical import: Trumpism is neither conservatism nor Republicanism. The question is whether that will continue to hold true if no other voices rise to speak out against Trumpism. source

A Trump Impersonator Worthy of Being Called “A Disgrace to the World”

A clip from Comedy Central’s “The President Show” that features a child scolding an ersatz Donald Trump went viral over the weekend, thanks to Anthony Atamanuik’s spot-on performance.

PHOTOGRAPH BY BRAD BARKET / GETTY FOR COMEDY CENTRAL

This weekend, in what turned out to be a real instance of fake news, hundreds of thousands of people on social media shared a clip of a little girl telling a man who looked a lot like Donald Trump that he was “a disgrace to the world.” The girl’s sentiments might have been genuine, but her interlocutor was not: she was speaking to the comedian Anthony Atamanuik, in what was one of his recurring Trump-on-the-street segments for his new late-night show, “The President Show,” on Comedy Central.

Atamanuik tweeted this weekend that the scene, which aired on last Thursday’s show, had not been staged, and that the little girl was not necessarily aware that she wasn’t speaking to the real President. Certainly, the resemblance between the two men is considerable, despite the fact that Atamanuik is younger than Trump, with slightly less heft and a markedly different nose. In addition to wearing the expected trappings—wig, self-tanning lotion—Atamanuik has mastered what might be the most important element of a good Trump impression: the imperious forward lean. He recently demonstrated the particular Trump posture to Stephen Colbert, noting, of the President, that “he has no center of gravity,” hence his reported fear of stairs and slopes.

Atamanuik began doing his Trump in 2015, in performances with the improv group Upright Citizens Brigade, and later squared off in mock debates with the comedian James Adomian, who played Bernie Sanders, in a series of live performances and on Comedy Central’s late-night show “@midnight.” As Alec Baldwin’s Trump impression on “Saturday Night Live” gained widespread admiration, Atamanuik’s Trump became the preferred choice among comedy connoisseurs. This, in part, owed to some behind-the-scenes controversy: Atamanuik auditioned for “S.N.L.” in April, 2016, doing his impression of Trump—and, incidentally, of Baldwin—but was not cast. Later, when Baldwin débuted his version, in October, some viewers pointed out that his repeated pronunciation of China, as “Gyna,” was similar to a running gag that Atamanuik had used in his impression. Baldwin, meanwhile, has described his Trump as a nearly spontaneous creation. (In March, the two appeared to feud on Twitter, after Baldwin dismissed Atamanuik as being a “guy on the Internet.”)

Despite Atamanuik’s insider credibility, I was slow to appreciate his impression. He captures Trump’s physical mannerisms, including his odd repertoire of hand gestures, and, in speaking, nails his breathy lower registers, as well as the phrases that he tacks on to the ends of sentences. But he also injects into Trump’s speech an exaggerated shrillness, a pinched whine, that, when paired with the low notes, makes each sentence a broadly comedic seesaw. Trump doesn’t really talk this way, and Atamanuik’s distinctive spin seemed a step too far from the original—a distracting rather than enriching element that showed too much of the performer at the expense of the subject.

Then, on March 23rd, the real Donald Trump welcomed representatives of the American Trucking Associations to the White House and, as part of a photo op for the visit, got behind the wheel of a semi that had been parked on the front drive. There in the cab, hunched over the wheel and yanking on a cord to blow the truck’s horn, Trump looked happier than he has any time before or since as President. As he praised big men and their big trucks, he seemed like a boastful and demanding little boy, whose proud delight in an object might turn suddenly to sad rage if it were taken away from him. Which is to say that he seemed a lot like Anthony Atamanuik’s Trump.

On “The President Show,” Atamanuik has further accentuated his interpretation of Trump as an over-sugared child inhabiting the body of a seventy-year-old man. During the first episode, in his opening monologue, he squealed, like a kid talking about his great summer vacation, about how he “talked to a lady astronaut on the computer.” Later, he exclaimed, “I’m the President! Can you believe it?” (In an odd turn, the real Trump, a week later, during a ceremony celebrating the passage of a health-care bill, said exactly the same thing.) In another segment, after seeing a dump truck on the streets of New York, he prattled on giddily, “Honk! Honk! goes the truck.” In the second episode, he explained why he preferred issuing executive orders: “I get to make people do whatever I want.” Later, he clutched a golden cup that he claimed, without evidence, had belonged to Andrew Jackson—his new, shiny toy. As in most cases of arrested development, this Trump is trapped in a sad purgatory, tormented by whatever long ago made him the incomplete man he is today. In the first episode, after babbling about the dump truck, he imagines driving it into the river. “When I let go, the water fills my lungs, and I’m finally at peace. And only then do I find the complete and absolute solitude that I’ve wanted.”

“The President Show” faces a common challenge for political comedy in the age of Trump: how to be funny and signal honest opposition at the same time. Each episode begins with a monologue by Trump from a mockup of the press briefing room. Then he moves on to a desk piece in the Oval Office, accompanied by his hapless straight-man sidekick Mike Pence (played by Peter Grosz). Later, he does an interview from Mar-a-Lago with a guest. The conceit of these interviews—so far, with Keith Olbermann and Dan Savage—has been that, after clownishly sparring with an opposition figure, Atamanuik, as Trump, will suddenly offer trenchant and wise analysis on a major issue that is meant to be jarring but mostly feels like an applause line for the liberal audience—a wink to let everyone know that the show’s creators are on the right side. The same is true of the show’s final remarks, in which Atamanuik again skewers some policy of the Administration, producing another reliable round of cheering and applause.

Yet the show’s best segments are the pretaped bits, like the one that went viral, in which Atamanuik gets out and blunders among the people, many of whom, either because he looks like Trump or because there are TV cameras following, are seen gawking and taking cell-phone photos. Loosed on the world, Atamanuik’s impression is deliriously funny. And back in the studio, when he riles up the crowd with some Trumpian indecency, and sneers and preens foolishly amid their angry response, his exhilarating impression communicates opposition and contempt all on its own.

Washington Post: U.S. Congress engineered DEA racket to protect Big Pharma’s opioid drug giants

Image: Washington Post: U.S. Congress engineered DEA racket to protect Big Pharma’s opioid drug giants

(Natural News) Although best known for publishing fake news or being forced give back a Pulitzer prize after being caught committing fake journalism, the Washington Post occasionally stumbles across an actual news story. Over the weekend, the Post published a story that reads almost exactly like Natural News a decade ago, accusing the U.S. Congress of conspiring with drug companies to hobble the DEA by erecting a protection racket for prescription opioid profits.

“In April 2016, at the height of the deadliest drug epidemic in U.S. history, Congress effectively stripped the Drug Enforcement Administration of its most potent weapon against large drug companies suspected of spilling prescription narcotics onto the nation’s streets,” says the article by Scott Higham and Lenny Bernstein. “A handful of members of Congress, allied with the nation’s major drug distributors, prevailed upon the DEA and the Justice Department to agree to a more industry-friendly law, undermining efforts to stanch the flow of pain pills…”

The WaPo story goes on:

The law was the crowning achievement of a multifaceted campaign by the drug industry to weaken aggressive DEA enforcement efforts against drug distribution companies that were supplying corrupt doctors and pharmacists who peddled narcotics to the black market. The industry worked behind the scenes with lobbyists and key members of Congress, pouring more than a million dollars into their election campaigns.

Of course, knowing that the Washington Post is capable of fabricating fake sources out of thin air — as in the paper’s fake news “Russia conspiracy” hoax narrative — we have to take all this with a grain of salt. Also keep in mind that, with this story, the Washington Post is asserting the existence of a massive drug cartel conspiracy involving Congress, drug companies and the DEA.

Ten years ago, I was ridiculed for asserting much the same thing, yet today this news blankets the pages of the Washington Post. Let’s look more closely at the structure of this drug cartel conspiracy the Post says is operating in America today, because as it turns out, WaPo actually got this story right.

Republican lawmakers are front men for Big Pharma’s illicit drug cartel

The Big Pharma opioid drug cartel protection racket was put in place by Rep. Tom Marino, a Republican, says the Post. That same story also names Republican Senator Orrin Hatch as complicit in the negotiation of the final language of the bill. Knowing the extreme dishonesty of the Washington Post’s fake journalism, there were probably all sorts of Democrats involved in this bill as well, but they didn’t bother to include them in the story, since everything the Post publishes is engineered to demonize Republicans rather than report all the relevant news facts.

“The new law makes it virtually impossible for the DEA to freeze suspicious narcotic shipments from the companies,” says the Post. “Political action committees representing the industry contributed at least $1.5 million to the 23 lawmakers who sponsored or co-sponsored four versions of the bill,” the article says, once again refusing to name any Democrats who received money from the drug industry. However, the Post does admit that President Obama signed it into law, adding that “top officials at the White House and the Justice Department have declined to discuss how the bill came to pass.”

Loretta Lynch, former attorney general and now widely known to be a treasonous cover-up artist who secretly met with Bill Clinton before shutting down any prosecution of Hillary Clinton for obstruction of justice (she deleted 33,000+ emails, remember?), “declined a recent interview request,” reports the Post.

The Washington Post runs head first into a massive government cover-up

“The DEA and Justice Department have denied or delayed more than a dozen requests filed by The Post and ’60 Minutes’ under the Freedom of Information Act for public records that might shed additional light on the matter,” says the Post.

When the Washington Post attempted to interview Rep. Tom Marino, his staff called the Capitol Police as a warning to reporters. Blocked at every turn, the Post says it is now suing the DOJ for documents that should have been released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

In other words, the Washington Post, a pro big-government paper that almost universally believes government can do no wrong, is suddenly finding out just how corrupt, incompetent and dangerous a government racket can truly become. When big pharma’s billions of dollars get funneled into the pockets of greedy Washington lawmakers, the health of the entire nation is put at risk while powerful corporations are granted a kind of “legal immunity” while dealing dangerous drugs.

As the Post reports:

Today, Rannazzisi is a consultant for a team of lawyers suing the opioid industry. Separately, 41 state attorneys general have banded together to investigate the industry. Hundreds of counties, cities and towns also are suing. “This is an industry that’s out of control. If they don’t follow the law in drug supply, and diversion occurs, people die. That’s just it, people die,” he said.

A key reason for the cover-up, of course, is that government officials routinely take jobs with the very same drug companies they previously regulated. Via the Post:

In 2011, Linden Barber left the DEA to join the Washington, D.C., office of the law firm Quarles & Brady. He started a practice representing drug companies. “If you have a DEA compliance issue or you’re facing a government investigation,” he said in a promotional video for the firm, “I’d be happy to hear from you.”

Barber’s move turned out to be a key moment in the struggle between drug companies and the government, but it was far from the only one. Dozens of top officials from the DEA and Justice Department have stepped through Washington’s revolving door to work for drug companies.

The DEA, in other words, quickly became nothing more than an extension of the Big Pharma drug cartel. This is known as a regulatory “captive” structure, where regulatory agencies such as the FDA, EPA, USDA and DEA very quickly become “captured” by the very industry they once claimed the regulate. As Natural News readers know very well, nearly every federal regulatory body has already been overrun by powerful industry interests.

The EPA, for example, is one of the top polluters in America, routinely “legalizing” toxic pesticides and herbicides that poison consumers and the environment. The USDA is a front group for the GMO biotech industry, and the FDA is nothing but a fake science cover for the corrupt, criminally-run pharmaceutical industry. The CDC, similarly, is a fake science front for the vaccine industry.

As far as the DEA goes, the independent media has been publishing stories for years that document how the DEA is running the drugs in America. It’s the DEA that grants certain drug cartels immunity from prosecution, of course, while taking down competing organizations in an effort to build near-monopoly drug cartels. Asset seizure laws also allowed the DEA to profit from taking down drug-running cells that were previously allowed to grow and prosper in order to build up assets that eventually became worth seizing. In effect, the DEA has been running a “drug cartel farming operation” in America.

Now, thanks to the Washington Post’s investigation, we learn that the DEA directly negotiated with the drug industry to grant opioid manufacturers selective immunity from criminal seizure and prosecution. Is anyone really surprised? This has been the DEA’s business model for decades.

The following graphic, published by the Washington Post, reveals that at least 56 DEA and Justice Dept. officials left their government jobs to work for the pharmaceutical industry:

In other words, America has become a narco-pharma state, and the infiltration of government by powerful, drug-dealing corporations is now complete. The drug pushers are running Congress and the regulators. They’re also running nearly the entire mainstream media, which is why independent media organizations like Natural News were a full decade ahead of the Washington Post in sounding the alarm on this sort of collusion. (What the mainstream media is just now waking up to, Natural News already reported in 2007 or earlier.)

Congress keeps medical marijuana criminalized to protect the profits of the corrupt opioid drug industry

Once you fully grasp the depth of collusion between the opioid drug cartels, Congress and the DEA, it’s not difficult to figure out why they’ve all conspired to keep medical marijuana, CBD and hemp extracts illegal at the federal level. The protection racket requires anything that competes with prescription opioids to be criminalized.

It’s all about limiting consumers’ options and funneling them into a life of personal addiction and Big Pharma profits. As long as the money keeps rolling in, federal workers will keep taking jobs with the drug industry, exploiting their contacts and influence in Washington to keep their toxic, deadly drugs flowing into the hands of vulnerable Americans. At the same time, every effort will be undertaken to keep medical marijuana illegal, thereby denying citizens and veterans an affordable, safe and highly effective option for pain control.

It has taken until 2017 for the mainstream media to finally admit all this is happening. The deep state collusion and conspiracy is now finally being covered by the Washington Post and 60 Minutes. Just remember that Natural News warned America about all this a decade ago and was ridiculed for believing in “conspiracy theories.”

Suddenly, it seems, the narco-pharma-government industrial complex is no longer a “theory.” It’s a business model for corporate America.

GAME OVER: PRESIDENT TRUMP WINS AGAIN AS NFL NOW TELLS TEAM OWNERS ‘EVERYONE STAND FOR NATIONAL ANTHEM’

ESPN host Stephen A. Smith on Monday said President Donald Trump is winning the debate over NFL players kneeling for the national anthem. “In the end, what it really, really comes down to is the president has successfully hijacked this issue,” Smith said on “First Take,” explaining that the original purpose of the anthem protests – highlighting racial inequality and police brutality – has been lost.
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NFL COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL ON TUESDAY WROTE A LETTER TO ALL 32 LEAGUE OWNERS REGARDING THE PROTESTS THAT HAVE TAKEN PLACE DURING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM, ESPN’S ADAM SCHEFTER REPORTED.

EDITOR’S NOTE: 2017 is the year that the Alt-Left attempted to hijack the beloved sport of professional football and turn it into a platform for airing snowflake grievances and other Liberal claptrap. That is until President Trump said “stand up” and demanded they respect the nation that made them wealthy for throwing and catching a ball. His statements triggered a fireball of reaction that polarized the country. Today the NFL has officially run up the white flag of surrender, terrified of their billion dollar revenue stream drying up. Winner – Trump.

In the letter, which Schefter shared on his Facebook page, Goodell wrote that the “current dispute over the National Anthem is threatening to erode the unifying power of our game, and is now dividing us, and our players, from many fans across the country.”

Last year, former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat down and later took a knee during the playing of the national anthem as protest against racial injustice. More players have joined the protests and President Donald Trump spoke out against the activity in September and has continued to do so.

Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters has sat during the playing of the national anthem at every game this season. Goodell would like players to stand, but the national anthem is not mentioned in the NFL rulebook. However, players “should” stand for the anthem, according to the league’s game operation manual.

“Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem,” Goodell wrote. “It is an important moment in our game,” Goodell wrote. “We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us. We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues. The controversy over the Anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues. We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players.”

Goodell said in the letter that the issue will be a topic of discussion at league meetings next week in New York.

STEPHEN A. SMITH: TRUMP IS WINNING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM PROTEST DEBATE

ESPN host Stephen A. Smith on Monday said President Donald Trump is winning the debate over NFL players kneeling for the national anthem.

“In the end, what it really, really comes down to is the president has successfully hijacked this issue,” Smith said on “First Take,” explaining that the original purpose of the anthem protests – highlighting racial inequality and police brutality – has been lost.

“He’s turned it into an issue about patriotism and beyond. He’s catering to his base in the process,” Smith said. “He is the one that’s winning because he’s turned this into something that the players didn’t intend to. So they’re going to have to find a different mechanism to make their voices heard, because Trump has won this round.”

ANTIFA PLANS NATIONWIDE ‘SOMETHINGS COMING’ CAMPAIGN TO DESTROY STATUES STARTING TOMORROW ON COLUMBUS DAY

The NYC-based ANTIFA group Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement (RAM) made the announcement on Thursday, September 21, calling on ANTIFA groups nationwide to “decorate” their neighborhoods. According to Far Left Watch, RAM is “an extremely militant group that advocates for the violent redistribution of property” and for “the abolition of gender.”  The militant group recently hosted an “Our Enemies in Blue” anti-police workshop at its branch in Brooklyn, NY.
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VIOLENT LEFT-WING ANARCHIST GROUP ANTIFA HAS ANNOUNCED A NATIONWIDE CAMPAIGN TO DEFACE CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS STATUES THIS COMING MONDAY.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Try to imagine for a moment the utter stupidity of a group that is using hate to “stop hate”, using violence to “stop violence”, and of course, using fascism to “stop fascism”. That’s ANTIFA. Tomorrow they will launch what they are calling a nationwide campaign to tear down and destroy all statues of Christopher Columbus. They will be easy to spot, just look for a cowardly group of domestic terrorists that look exactly like the KKK, but in black hoods instead of white. 

Five Christopher Columbus statues have already been vandalized in New York City in recent weeks, according to Far Left Watch. In one case last month, vandals defaced a “larger-than-life” statue of Columbus in Central Park, leaving blood-red paint on his hands, and scrawled, “Hate will not be tolerated” and “#SomethingsComing” on its pedestal.

What is coming appears to be a coordinated campaign to destroy monuments all across the country on Columbus Day.

REVOLUTIONARY ABOLITIONIST MOVEMENT: DOMESTIC TERRORISTS

The NYC-based ANTIFA group Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement (RAM) made the announcement on Thursday, September 21, calling on ANTIFA groups nationwide to “decorate” their neighborhoods.

ACCORDING TO FAR LEFT WATCH, RAM IS “AN EXTREMELY MILITANT GROUP THAT ADVOCATES FOR THE VIOLENT REDISTRIBUTION OF PROPERTY” AND FOR “THE ABOLITION OF GENDER.”

The militant group recently hosted an “Our Enemies in Blue” anti-police workshop at its branch in Brooklyn, NY. RAM posted a video called “Against Columbus Day” on the antifa website It’s Going Down, showcasing destroyed monuments across the country and black-clad thugs strutting around menacingly to psycho synth music.

“The battles lines have been drawn and white supremacists are on notice,” the anarchists wrote in a statement on the website. “White nationalist statues are crumbling all over the US as our collective revolutionary power is growing.”

A recent poll showed that the vast majority of Americans support a holiday honoring Christopher Columbus, but RAM called Columbus Day, October 9, “one of the most vile ‘holidays’ of the year.” The group called on supporters “to take action against this day and in support of indigenous people in the US and abroad who have been victims of colonialism and genocide.”

We are calling for groups to “decorate” their neighborhoods as they see fit: put up murals, wheatpaste posters, drop a banner, etc. On October 9th put a picture of your action on social media and use the hashtags below. With these actions multiplied around the country, we will make it unequivocally clear that revolutionaries will always stand with the indigenous!

The anarchists encouraged fellow law-breakers to record and broadcast their crimes by using the hashtags #F*ckColumbusDay and #DestroyColonialism.

As ANTIFA has already announced its illegal intentions well ahead of time, elected officials and police departments across the country should not be blindsided by the rash of vandalism that is sure to come in the next few days. source