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Bombshell: Obama could have Crippled Global Heroin Trade, Played Politics Instead

But the architects of Operation Reciprocity are hoping the administration will pull the old plan out of the mothballs, dust it off, and put it into action as part of the administration’s evolving strategy in Afghanistan.



From the Daily Caller News Foundation:

The Obama administration reportedly had the chance to cripple the global heroin trade funding terrorism in war-torn Afghanistan, but it shelved the plan to advance a broader political agenda.

The administration, citing political concerns, shut down a plan to stop the spread of narcotics around the world, prevent Afghanistan’s emergence as a narco-state, and sever the critical revenue streams financing the deadly insurgency American troops are fighting and dying to end, Politico’s John Meyer reported Sunday.

The plan — Operation Reciprocity — was drafted by Drug Enforcement Administration and Department of Justice legal advisers, but the high-stakes strategy was strangled in its crib by the Obama administration’s deputy chief of mission in Kabul, Tina Kaidanow, to protect the administration’s strategic ambitions.

Trending: Sekulow Destroys Schiff As Impeachment Trial Starts

Kaidanow told Politico that there were serious concerns the plan would impact the White House’s Afghanistan strategy, including but not limited to the proposed drawdown of America’s military presence in the region. At the time Operation Reciprocity was just starting to gain momentum in the summer of 2013, the conflict in Afghanistan had already cost American taxpayers $686 billion, not to mention the more than 2,000 American lives sacrificed to the war. It appears the administration caved to the political pressure.

The plan’s architects argued that Operation Reciprocity was in line with the administration’s initiatives and crucial to securing a better future for Afghanistan.

“This was the most effective and sustainable tool we had for disrupting and dismantling Afghan drug trafficking organizations and separating them from the Taliban,” Michael Marsac, the DEA regional director for Southwest Asia who helped draft the plan with DOJ law enforcement adviser John Seaman, told reporters, adding that the plan to indict 26 Taliban commanders and allied drug lords and try them in U.S. courts — a strategy based on that used against guerrillas in Colombia — “lies dormant, buried in an obscure file room, all but forgotten.”

Operation Reciprocity’s designers argue that the plan was abandoned not only because the Obama administration feared it would impact plans for a withdrawal from Afghanistan, but also because it threatened engagement and peace talks with the Taliban, as well as negotiations for a prisoner swap that would ultimately see the release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five senior terrorist leaders held in Guatanamo Bay.

There were also bureaucratic reasons for the shutdown, specifically chain-of-command and procedural errors.

The drug lords in the crosshairs were supporting Taliban forces and other regional extremists, as well as supplying more than 90 percent of the world’s heroin, which included heroin fueling an emerging opioid crisis in the U.S.

After the Operation Reciporcity agents were given the stand-down order in 2013, drug raids occurred infrequently, and the narcotics trade flourished. By 2015, Taliban forces, operating with increased funding, surpassed the Islamic State as the world’s deadliest terrorist organization. Poppy cultivation and heroin production are surging to record highs as extremists seize more territory and carry out terrorist attacks with greater frequency, Politico reports, citing Department of State statistics.

The Trump administration has made the targeting of Taliban revenue sources a priority, with American bombers even setting records for the number of bombs dropped on training and narcotics facilities.

But the architects of Operation Reciprocity are hoping the administration will pull the old plan out of the mothballs, dust it off, and put it into action as part of the administration’s evolving strategy in Afghanistan.

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Trump Weighs in on Impeachment Witness Fight with Surprising Stance

Trump certainly isn’t making Mitch McConnell’s job any easier here.



Day two of the Senate impeachment trial has begun, and, as of yet, there have been few surprises.

For much of the nation, the end to this national nightmare has long been known:  The GOP-controlled Senate will vote to acquit the President thanks to the unending work of Mitch McConnell and the Trump loyalists within this higher chamber of Congress.

Still, the Democrats continue to push for new documents and new witnesses in the case – something that McConnell has roundly rejected on the basis that the House of Representatives was tasked with the “fact finding” portion of the process, with the Senate left to simply adjudicate based on those findings.

The President, for what it’s worth, has previously suggested that he prefers the idea of a “show trial” that wouldn’t exonerate him based solely on process, but on exculpatory testimony by new witnesses.   He reiterated this belief this week.

The U.S. Senate plunged into President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial with Republicans abruptly abandoning plans to cram opening arguments into two days but solidly rejecting for now Democratic demands for more witnesses to expose what they deem Trump’s “trifecta” of offenses.

Trump himself said Wednesday he wants top aides to testify, but qualified that by suggesting there were “national security” concerns to allowing their testimony.

“We have a great case,” Trump said at a global economic forum in Davos, Switzerland. In a press conference before returning to Washington, Trump said his legal team was doing a “very good job.”

This certainly isn’t the consensus, however.

He appeared to break with Republicans efforts to block Democratic motions to immediately call witnesses and subpoena documents. Instead, Trump said he’d like to see aides, including former national security adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, testify as witnesses.

Democrats have considered some of these same witnesses named by the President to be of the utmost significance in the UkraineGate matter, and will likely seize on Trump’s affirmation to make their case before the Senate.



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Stephen Colbert Blasted by White House After Off-Color MLK, Melania Joke

Whatever happened to classy comedy?



Late night television used to be one of the only places in the nation where we would see anyone speaking openly about politics.  This is because there was a time, believe it or not, where the political malarky of our nation’s capital wasn’t so intertwined with our daily lives.

This was, of course, back when our public servants acted like public servants and not like the ruling class congressional monarchy we see today.  In the 21st century We The People need to be very involved, lest we wish for these cretins to snatch ever more power away from us.  But I digress…

Late night’s comedy kings also used to use a much different approach when speaking on the subject of politics; one that was less about offending the “other side”, and more about calling attention to the things that make us all Americans.  It was less about getting a laugh and more about tickling your psyche back then.

Stephen Colbert’s latest jab at the West Wing certainly wasn’t on that level of tact, and conjured a rare retort from the White House itself.

“Here we go again – an irrelevant late-night talk show host mocking the First Lady, when her main focus is serving the American people,” White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a comment to the Daily Caller. “His comments were disgraceful, and certainly not original, but that doesn’t seem to matter when you’re hurting for ratings.”

What did Colbert say?

During the show, Stephen Colbert mocked the first lady’s accent and ridiculed for her short message on Twitter honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“She really relates to Dr. King’s message, especially the part about wanting to be ‘free at last.’” Colbert said, referring to Melania Trump’s marriage to President Donald Trump as the crowd laughed. “It’s what I heard. It’s what I heard.”

The much-maligned Melania has been a near-constant target for the leftist media, with many comedians making similar jokes about her allegedly unhappy marriage.

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Adam Schiff Describes GOP-Requested Impeachment Witness as ‘Illegitimate’

Talk about lopsided.



The political battle surrounding the impeachment of President Donald Trump has been a dual-fronted skirmish, with the Republicans not only fighting the allegations being made by the their Democratic colleagues, but also the process by which the progressive party hopes to tarnish Trump ahead of the 2020 election.

In this latest round of procedural fisticuffs, the two parties are fighting over who, if anyone, should testify in the now-begun impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Trump loyalist from Kentucky, has repeatedly asserted that he prefers the no-witness, speedier route.  On the left, folks like House Intel Committee Chairman Adam Schiff are hoping to hear from current and former White House insiders.

Of course, if the left will be allowed to call witnesses, so too will the GOP.  And on top of their list is Hunter Biden, son of former Vice President Joe Biden, and a central figure in the corruption investigation scandal at the heart of the impeachment matter.

Democrats have been deafening in their opposition to this.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) claims it would be an “abuse” of the Senate’s impeachment trial against President Donald Trump if Hunter Biden is called to testify as a witness.

“It would certainly be fair for the president and his team to be able to call witnesses that can provide material information on the charges,” Schiff, the House Democrats’ lead impeachment managers, said in an interview scheduled for a Tuesday release with CBS Evening News. “It would not be appropriate for the president to seek to call witnesses merely to try to perpetuate the same smear campaign that was foiled when his plot was discovered.”

Should Hunter Biden be deposed, questions regarding his business dealings within Ukraine would be a top priority for Republicans, as any perceived wrongdoing on his part would lend credence to the President’s defense that he was simply working to root out systemic corruption in the tiny European nation – a stipulation of the military aid agreement between the two allied countries. This would, in turn, neuter the accusations made by Schiff and his associates.

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New Poll Demonstrates Americans’ Thoughts on Impeachment Witnesses as Trial Begins

Mitch McConnell may have caught a big of a snag here.



Today’s historic Senate session is more akin to the beginning of the end than it is to a simple beginning.

That’s because, no matter what the Democrats believe, there are not enough votes to further punish President Trump for what they accuse him of doing, and we’ve known it for months.  Trump will not be removed from office, and he will tweet from on high that his coming acquittal was a “total exoneration”, and that the entire debacle merely cheapened the very idea of impeachment.

This assuredness stems from the work of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has managed to keep his flock in his pocket throughout the process.  McConnell is pushing for a swift trial, with no witnesses and very little additional evidence.  His assertion is that the House was responsible for the fact-finding portion of the process, and that his Senate will stick to the adjudication of the case before them.

A new poll seems to indicate that Americans aren’t quite sold on this plan, however.

McConnell is calling for a condensed, two-day calendar for each side to give opening statements, at 12 hours per day. After that, senators would be able to question the Democratic prosecution and the White House defense team. Only then would witnesses be allowed, if they are approved by a majority vote of the Senate.

More than three in four Americans questioned in a Monmouth Poll released Tuesday said that Trump administration officials, as well as the president, should be invited to testify. And just over half — 51 percent — said that members of the Trump administration who refused to appear before last year’s House impeachment inquiry should be compelled to testify in the Senate trial.

At least one of those White House insiders, former national security adviser John Bolton, has already indicated that he would be willing to testify, should he be subpoenaed by the Senate.

The poll also revealed that 40% of Americans believe that President Trump himself should appear before the Senate – a spectacle that would almost certainly take this circus over the top.

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Jeff Flake Tries Childish Reverse Psychology on Congressional Trump Loyalists

This didn’t work in fifth grade, and it’s not going to work now.



Political discourse in America certainly isn’t what it used to be.  Gone are the stately soliloquies, discarded not long after social media’s meteoric impact on our American psyche.

We trade in quips and soundbites now more than ever.  Even what we know of the past has been distilled into a few choice words; “I am not a crook”, and “”It depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is”.

So now, as yet another impeachment breathes down our national neck, we are seeing a reduced effort by our elected officials in explaining, arguing, or otherwise demonstrating their stance on a subject.  It’s more a race to the end than it is a conversation, and it has taken us back to the fifth grade…at least in terms of tact and tactics.

Now one former Senator is attempting to use reverse psychology on the current Republican legislature.

During Monday’s broadcast of CBS’s “This Morning,” former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) sounded off on his outspokenness against President Donald Trump ahead of the upcoming Senate impeachment trial.

Flake, who was never shy about his distrust of Trump, said it is “difficult” for Republican lawmakers to speak out against Trump because they do not want to lose their jobs.

“It’s difficult because they want to keep their jobs, and the president is extremely popular among Republican primary voters,” Flake explained. “That is a subset of a subset of a subset. They are are those who decide who represent the party and the general election.”

Flake is essentially calling the GOP chicken, saying they are too afraid of the voters to do what Flake himself believes is the right thing.  The only way to prove him wrong would be to abandon this loyal-to-Trump position, revealing just how childish Flake’s statement truly is.


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Trump’s High-Powered Legal Team Puts Kibosh on Senate Trial Witnesses in Scathing Statement

Mitch McConnell may get his swift impeachment trial yet.



The Senate will begin deliberating on President Trump’s impeachment on Tuesday this week, with one of the most pressing questions about the process lingering unanswered.

We still don’t know whether or not witnesses will be heard in the trial, let alone who could possibly find their derrieres on that stand.

The left would love to subpoena or otherwise convince White House insiders such as Mick Mulvaney and John Bolton to sit for depositions, but the Senate is controlled by the GOP, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has thus far rebuked his Democratic colleagues at every turn.

But, should the Democrats succeed, there is little doubt that the door would then be open for Republicans to call Joe and/or Hunter Biden to the stand in order to further pontificate on their business dealings in Ukraine – something that wouldn’t play too well with an already skeptical 2020 electorate.

The likelihood of such an expansive trial devolving into a circus is high, and that’s why the Trump legal team is pushing to put a kibosh on the idea of witnesses altogether.

Former federal prosecutor Robert Ray, a member of President Trump’s impeachment defense team, said on “Fox & Friends” on Monday that witnesses would not be “appropriate” at the Senate trial.

“I expect that the House managers will go forward probably for the better part of two days and then the president’s defense team will have the case for an equal amount of time to present their case, essentially by way of opening,” Ray said, laying out what he anticipates will take place during the Senate impeachment trial, which is expected to begin in earnest on Tuesday. “And then I imagine, you know, what the country is interested in finding out thereafter will be whether or not there will be witnesses in this case.

“The president’s job is to be president. That’s why he is doing what he’s doing,” Ray continued. “Our job as part of the president’s defense team is to show why and how the House managers do not have a case, and also I think in part that will reveal why we don’t think that witnesses are appropriate and that the Senate can proceed to the task ultimately in the country’s best interest and the president’s interest, that a judgment of acquittal is appropriate here.”

Mitch McConnell has already promised the President a swift and exonerating process in the Senate, and this assertion by Trump’s legal team should be enough to walk the President back from his previous inclination toward a “show trial”.

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