Durham vs. The Deep State
Drug stores in deep state neighborhoods around Washington, D.C., reported a run on Maalox last night after news broke that Attorney General William Barr had appointed Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham to investigate the origins of the Trump/Russia collusion hoax.
Durham has a reputation as a "hard-charging bulldog." He has handled sensitive investigations of government corruption and misconduct under Democrat and Republican administrations. And he has reportedly been investigating deep state media leaks for several months.
Former Justice Department lawyer John Yoo told Laura Ingraham last night that Democrats should be very worried by Durham's appointment. Here's what Yoo said:
"But you wouldn't go with a U.S. Attorney like Durham, someone of his stature, unless the attorney general thinks actually something criminal might have happened, that someone might have violated the law, that there might have been malfeasance, that people at the FBI or the Justice Department were acting out of partisan motives, not just out of incompetence or stupidity. . ."
While I am pleased that John Durham is investigating the deep state's spying on the Trump campaign, his assignment raises serious questions about the appointment of Utah prosecutor John Huber.
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed Huber to investigate potential FBI abuses more than a year ago, yet no one has heard from him since. Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham should immediately demand an update on Huber's progress.
The stock market dropped over 600 points yesterday after no progress was made in trade talks with China. President Trump doubled tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. China retaliated by threatening to impose tariffs on $60 billion of American products in June.
The pundits and the talking heads are terrified that we are offending our Chinese trading partner. They are fretting about a "trade war." But China is not just a trading partner. I expect this naiveté on the left. It is deeply disappointing to see it among some on the right who should know better.
We have been in a trade war with China for decades, and they have been winning because we weren't fighting it!
Here's what I mean: This latest breakdown in the trade talks is entirely China's fault, not Trump's. Consider this excerpt from Reuters:
"The diplomatic cable from Beijing arrived in Washington late on Friday night, with systematic edits to a nearly 150-page draft trade agreement that would blow up months of negotiations. . .
"The document was riddled with reversals by China that undermined core U.S. demands. . . In each of the seven chapters of the draft trade deal, China had deleted its commitments to change laws to resolve core complaints. . ."
We negotiated in good faith, and at the last minute China thought it could change everything and that we wouldn't dare complain. Finally, we have a president who is standing up and fighting back, and China is shocked.
The good news is that China is running out of options.
It's Not About Trade
Beyond economics, China is our adversary. We must stop deceiving ourselves.
The communist regime in Beijing -- yes, they are diehard communists -- does not see America as a noble trading partner. You don't have to take my word for it.
Late last year, the Washington Post reported that leading American pro-China experts are "now advocating the United States take a more skeptical view."
Winston Lord, a key adviser to Henry Kissinger in the Nixon Administration and ambassador to China in the Reagan Administration, told the Post, "All of us have become more pessimistic about [China's] trends."
Here are some of those trends.
- China is building fortified islands and developing advanced weapons to threaten the U.S. Navy.
- China has been relentlessly launching devastating cyberattacks against the U.S. for years. During the Obama years, China stole the records of more than 20 million government employees.
- The U.S. Navy is "under cyber siege" by Chinese hackers. A recent report warned that China has "derived an incalculable near and long-term military advantage from [hacking], thereby altering the calculus of global power."
- It has scores of propaganda centers on U.S. colleges known as "Confucius Institutes" that are funded by the Chinese Communist Party. The government is so concerned about spying that the Pentagon is cutting funding to universities that host Confucius Institutes.
- FBI Director Christopher Wray recently said this about China's espionage: "[T]he Chinese counterintelligence threat is more deep, more diverse, more vexing, more challenging, more comprehensive and more concerning than any counterintelligence threat I can think of."
- And, as I noted recently, China is in a class by itself as a violator of human rights.
The main issue with China is not trade. It's national security.
More American businesses and political leaders should start recognizing that fact, and they should start putting our workers and America's interests first. Instead, too many of them sound like lobbyists for the Chinese Communist Party!
Speaking of which. . . In 2013 then-Vice President Joe Biden went to China. His son, Hunter, went with him and returned home with a billion dollar business deal. Now Joe Biden has gone soft on China while claiming to speak for working class Americans.
Is China now stalling in the trade talks in the hope that they will be negotiating with "Uncle Joe" in 2021?
Sabotage & Drones
This morning, Saudi officials reported that two oil pumping stations west of Riyadh were attacked by "explosive-laden drones." Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, claimed responsibility for the attacks.
The stations are critical to an east-west pipeline that has the capacity to transport 5 million barrels of oil a day. Saudi officials said they shut down the pipeline in order to assess and repair the damage.
These drone attacks come on the heels of four oil tankers being sabotaged near the Strait of Hormuz over the weekend. Initial intelligence reports indicate that Iran is also responsible for those attacks.
When the Obama Administration was colluding with Iran, it sent the mullahs more than one billion dollars as a sign of good faith. The Iranian regime dedicated the funds to bolstering its military. The drones used to attack the Saudi pumping stations were likely paid for with our tax dollars.