EXECUTIVE ORDER: PROTECTING THE NATION FROM FOREIGN TERRORIST ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

EXECUTIVE ORDER: PROTECTING THE NATION FROM FOREIGN TERRORIST ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES

EXECUTIVE ORDER

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Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq., and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, and to protect the American people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals admitted to the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1.  Purpose.  The visa-issuance process plays a crucial role in detecting individuals with terrorist ties and stopping them from entering the United States.  Perhaps in no instance was that more apparent than the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when State Department policy prevented consular officers from properly scrutinizing the visa applications of several of the 19 foreign nationals who went on to murder nearly 3,000 Americans.  And while the visa-issuance process was reviewed and amended after the September 11 attacks to better detect would-be terrorists from receiving visas, these measures did not stop attacks by foreign nationals who were admitted to the United States.

Numerous foreign-born individuals have been convicted or implicated in terrorism-related crimes since September 11, 2001, including foreign nationals who entered the United States after receiving visitor, student, or employment visas, or who entered through the United States refugee resettlement program. Deteriorating conditions in certain countries due to war, strife, disaster, and civil unrest increase the likelihood that terrorists will use any means possible to enter the United States.  The United States must be vigilant during the visa-issuance process to ensure that those approved for admission do not intend to harm Americans and that they have no ties to terrorism.

In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles.  The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law.  In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.

Sec. 2.  Policy.  It is the policy of the United States to protect its citizens from foreign nationals who intend to commit terrorist attacks in the United States; and to prevent the admission of foreign nationals who intend to exploit United States immigration laws for malevolent purposes.

Sec. 3.  Suspension of Issuance of Visas and Other Immigration Benefits to Nationals of Countries of Particular Concern(a)  The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall immediately conduct a review to determine the information needed from any country to adjudicate any visa, admission, or other benefit under the INA (adjudications) in order to determine that the individual seeking the benefit is who the individual claims to be and is not a security or public-safety threat.

(b)  The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall submit to the President a report on the results of the review described in subsection (a) of this section, including the Secretary of Homeland Security’s determination of the information needed for adjudications and a list of countries that do not provide adequate information, within 30 days of the date of this order.  The Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide a copy of the report to the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence.

(c)  To temporarily reduce investigative burdens on relevant agencies during the review period described in subsection (a) of this section, to ensure the proper review and maximum utilization of available resources for the screening of foreign nationals, and to ensure that adequate standards are established to prevent infiltration by foreign terrorists or criminals, pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12), would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas).

(d)  Immediately upon receipt of the report described in subsection (b) of this section regarding the information needed for adjudications, the Secretary of State shall request all foreign governments that do not supply such information to start providing such information regarding their nationals within 60 days of notification.

(e)  After the 60-day period described in subsection (d) of this section expires, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the President a list of countries recommended for inclusion on a Presidential proclamation that would prohibit the entry of foreign nationals (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas) from countries that do not provide the information requested pursuant to subsection (d) of this section until compliance occurs.

(f)  At any point after submitting the list described in subsection (e) of this section, the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security may submit to the President the names of any additional countries recommended for similar treatment.

(g)  Notwithstanding a suspension pursuant to subsection (c) of this section or pursuant to a Presidential proclamation described in subsection (e) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked.

(h)  The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall submit to the President a joint report on the progress in implementing this order within 30 days of the date of this order, a second report within 60 days of the date of this order, a third report within 90 days of the date of this order, and a fourth report within 120 days of the date of this order.

Sec. 4.  Implementing Uniform Screening Standards for All Immigration Programs(a)  The Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall implement a program, as part of the adjudication process for immigration benefits, to identify individuals seeking to enter the United States on a fraudulent basis with the intent to cause harm, or who are at risk of causing harm subsequent to their admission. This program will include the development of a uniform screening standard and procedure, such as in-person interviews; a database of identity documents proffered by applicants to ensure that duplicate documents are not used by multiple applicants; amended application forms that include questions aimed at identifying fraudulent answers and malicious intent; a mechanism to ensure that the applicant is who the applicant claims to be; a process to evaluate the applicant’s likelihood of becoming a positively contributing member of society and the applicant’s ability to make contributions to the national interest; and a mechanism to assess whether or not the applicant has the intent to commit criminal or terrorist acts after entering the United States.

(b)  The Secretary of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the Secretary of State, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, shall submit to the President an initial report on the progress of this directive within 60 days of the date of this order, a second report within 100 days of the date of this order, and a third report within 200 days of the date of this order.

Sec. 5.  Realignment of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for Fiscal Year 2017(a)  The Secretary of State shall suspend the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days.  During the 120-day period, the Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Secretary of Homeland Security and in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, shall review the USRAP application and adjudication process to determine what additional procedures should be taken to ensure that those approved for refugee admission do not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States, and shall implement such additional procedures.  Refugee applicants who are already in the USRAP process may be admitted upon the initiation and completion of these revised procedures.  Upon the date that is 120 days after the date of this order, the Secretary of State shall resume USRAP admissions only for nationals of countries for which the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence have jointly determined that such additional procedures are adequate to ensure the security and welfare of the United States.

(b)  Upon the resumption of USRAP admissions, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, is further directed to make changes, to the extent permitted by law, to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.  Where necessary and appropriate, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall recommend legislation to the President that would assist with such prioritization.

(c)  Pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the entry of nationals of Syria as refugees is detrimental to the interests of the United States and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I have determined that sufficient changes have been made to the USRAP to ensure that admission of Syrian refugees is consistent with the national interest.

(d)  Pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the entry of more than 50,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017 would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I determine that additional admissions would be in the national interest.

(e)  Notwithstanding the temporary suspension imposed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may jointly determine to admit individuals to the United States as refugees on a case-by-case basis, in their discretion, but only so long as they determine that the admission of such individuals as refugees is in the national interest — including when the person is a religious minority in his country of nationality facing religious persecution, when admitting the person would enable the United States to conform its conduct to a preexisting international agreement, or when the person is already in transit and denying admission would cause undue hardship — and it would not pose a risk to the security or welfare of the United States.

(f)  The Secretary of State shall submit to the President an initial report on the progress of the directive in subsection (b) of this section regarding prioritization of claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution within 100 days of the date of this order and shall submit a second report within 200 days of the date of this order.

(g)  It is the policy of the executive branch that, to the extent permitted by law and as practicable, State and local jurisdictions be granted a role in the process of determining the placement or settlement in their jurisdictions of aliens eligible to be admitted to the United States as refugees.  To that end, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall examine existing law to determine the extent to which, consistent with applicable law, State and local jurisdictions may have greater involvement in the process of determining the placement or resettlement of refugees in their jurisdictions, and shall devise a proposal to lawfully promote such involvement.

Sec. 6.  Rescission of Exercise of Authority Relating to the Terrorism Grounds of InadmissibilityThe Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall, in consultation with the Attorney General, consider rescinding the exercises of authority in section 212 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182, relating to the terrorism grounds of inadmissibility, as well as any related implementing memoranda.

Sec. 7.  Expedited Completion of the Biometric Entry-Exit Tracking System.  (a)  The Secretary of Homeland Security shall expedite the completion and implementation of a biometric entry-exit tracking system for all travelers to the United States, as recommended by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.

(b)  The Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit to the President periodic reports on the progress of the directive contained in subsection (a) of this section.  The initial report shall be submitted within 100 days of the date of this order, a second report shall be submitted within 200 days of the date of this order, and a third report shall be submitted within 365 days of the date of this order.  Further, the Secretary shall submit a report every 180 days thereafter until the system is fully deployed and operational.

Sec. 8.  Visa Interview Security.  (a)  The Secretary of State shall immediately suspend the Visa Interview Waiver Program and ensure compliance with section 222 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1222, which requires that all individuals seeking a nonimmigrant visa undergo an in-person interview, subject to specific statutory exceptions.

(b)  To the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary of State shall immediately expand the Consular Fellows Program, including by substantially increasing the number of Fellows, lengthening or making permanent the period of service, and making language training at the Foreign Service Institute available to Fellows for assignment to posts outside of their area of core linguistic ability, to ensure that non-immigrant visa-interview wait times are not unduly affected.

Sec. 9.  Visa Validity Reciprocity.  The Secretary of State shall review all nonimmigrant visa reciprocity agreements to ensure that they are, with respect to each visa classification, truly reciprocal insofar as practicable with respect to validity period and fees, as required by sections 221(c) and 281 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1201(c) and 1351, and other treatment.  If a country does not treat United States nationals seeking nonimmigrant visas in a reciprocal manner, the Secretary of State shall adjust the visa validity period, fee schedule, or other treatment to match the treatment of United States nationals by the foreign country, to the extent practicable.

Sec. 10.  Transparency and Data Collection(a)  To be more transparent with the American people, and to more effectively implement policies and practices that serve the national interest, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, shall, consistent with applicable law and national security, collect and make publicly available within 180 days, and every 180 days thereafter:

(i)   information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been charged with terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; convicted of terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; or removed from the United States based on terrorism-related activity, affiliation, or material support to a terrorism-related organization, or any other national security reasons since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later;

(ii)   information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been radicalized after entry into the United States and engaged in terrorism-related acts, or who have provided material support to terrorism-related organizations in countries that pose a threat to the United States, since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later; and

(iii)  information regarding the number and types of acts of gender-based violence against women, including honor killings, in the United States by foreign nationals, since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later; and

(iv)   any other information relevant to public safety and security as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General, including information on the immigration status of foreign nationals charged with major offenses.

(b)  The Secretary of State shall, within one year of the date of this order, provide a report on the estimated long-term costs of the USRAP at the Federal, State, and local levels.

Sec. 11.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

DONALD J. TRUMP

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Clinton failed to hand over key email to State Department

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Secretary Hillary Clinton failed to turn over a copy of a key message involving problems caused by her use of a private homebrew email server, the State Department confirmed Thursday. The disclosure makes it unclear what other work-related emails may have been deleted by the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

The email was included within messages exchanged Nov. 13, 2010, between Clinton and one of her closest aides, Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin. At the time, emails sent from Clinton’s BlackBerry device and routed through her private clintonemail.com server in the basement of her New York home were being blocked by the State Department’s spam filter. A suggested remedy was for Clinton to obtain a state.gov email account.

“Let’s get separate address or device but I don’t want any risk of the personal being accessible,” Clinton responded to Abedin.

Clinton never used a government account that was set up for her, instead continuing to rely on her private server until leaving office.

The email was not among the tens of thousands of emails Clinton turned over to the agency in response to public records lawsuits seeking copies of her official correspondence. Abedin, who also used a private account on Clinton’s server, provided a copy from her own inbox after the State Department asked her to return any work-related emails. That copy of the email was publicly cited last month in a blistering audit by the State Department’s inspector general that concluded Clinton and her team ignored clear internal guidance that her email setup violated federal standards and could have left sensitive material vulnerable to hackers.

“While this exchange was not part of the approximately 55,000 pages provided to the State Department by former Secretary Clinton, the exchange was included within the set of documents Ms. Abedin provided the department in response to our March 2015 request,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said she provided “all potentially work-related emails” that were still in her possession when she received the 2014 request from the State Department.

“Secretary Clinton had some emails with Huma that Huma did not have, and Huma had some emails with Secretary Clinton that Secretary Clinton did not have,” Fallon said.

Fallon declined to say whether Clinton deleted any work-related emails before they were reviewed by her legal team. Clinton’s lead lawyer, David Kendall, did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.

The November 2010 email was among documents released under court order Wednesday to the conservative legal advocacy group Judicial Watch, which has sued the State Department over access to public records related to the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee’s service as the nation’s top diplomat between 2009 and 2013. The case is one of about three dozen lawsuits over access to records related to Clinton, including one filed by the AP.

Before turning over her emails to the department for review and potential public release, Clinton and her lawyers withheld thousands of additional emails she said were clearly personal, such as those involving what she described as “planning Chelsea’s wedding or my mother’s funeral arrangements, condolence notes to friends as well as yoga routines, family vacations.”

Clinton has never outlined in detail what criteria she and her lawyers used to determine which emails to release and which to delete, but her 2010 email with Abedin appears clearly work-related under the State Department’s own criteria for agency records under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.

Dozens of the emails sent or received by Clinton through her private server were later determined to contain classified material. The FBI has been investigating for months whether Clinton’s use of the private email server imperiled government secrets. Agents recently interviewed several of Clinton’s top aides, including Abedin.

As part of the probe, Clinton turned over the hard drive from her email server to the FBI. It had been wiped clean, and Clinton has said she did not keep copies of the emails she choose to withhold.

On Wednesday, lawyers from Judicial Watch, a conservative legal organization, questioned under oath Bryan Pagliano, the computer technician who set up Clinton’s private server. A transcript released Thursday shows Pagliano repeatedly responded to detailed questions by invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, as he did last year before a congressional committee.

Dozens of questions Pagiliano declined to answer included who paid for the system, whether there was technical help to support its users and who else at the State Department used email accounts on it. Pagliano also would not answer whether he discussed setting up a home server with Clinton prior to her tenure as secretary of state, according to the transcript.

Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said the November 2010 email cited in the inspector general audit was one of more than a dozen work-related emails that his group identified that Clinton sent or received but later failed to turn over the State Department.

“Contrary to her statement under oath suggesting otherwise, Mrs. Clinton did not return all her government emails to the State Department,” Fitton said. “Our goal is to find out what other emails Mrs. Clinton and the State Department are hiding.”

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Donald Trump on Immigration

 

“As has been stated continuously in the press, people are pouring across our borders unabated. Public reports routinely state great amounts of crime are being committed by illegal immigrants. This must be stopped and it must be stopped now.”

Trump: NBC ‘stands behind Brian Williams,’ not people who tell it ‘like it is’

The Hill – Jun 29, 2015
Trump reiterated his stance again Thursday night: “We’re going to bring people in, but we’re going to bring people in legally.”

‘Oh, we’re gonna build the wall,’ Donald Trump says to loud cheers in Harrisburg

The Patriot-News – Apr 22, 2016
“As president …. I would be very, very tough on the borders, and I would be not allowing certain people to come into this country without absolute perfect documentation,” said Trump, campaigning to become the Republican nominee for the Nov. 8 election that will decide on Obama’s successor.

Trump backs waterboarding and ‘a lot more’ after Brussels attacks

KDAL – Mar 22, 2016
“I will end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program, and institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers first for every visa and immigration program. No exceptions,” Trump added in the statement.

Trump Clarifies Position On Foreign Worker Visas After Debate

Talking Points Memo – Mar 4, 2016
“We want people to come into our country but they have to come into our country legally,” Trump said as the crowd roared its approval.

In New Hampshire, Trump’s pitch is urgent and his schedule full

The Washington Post – Feb 5, 2016
When asked if he’d send 50,000 immigrants back, Trump said, “They’re going to have to go out. They can come back, but they’re gonna have to go out.”

How Did Trump Do in the Debate?

Money Morning – Nov 11, 2015
“For many years, Mexico’s leaders have been taking advantage of the United States by using illegal immigration to export the crime and poverty in their own country (as well as in other Latin American countries),” Trump said.

Trump shares ideas for ‘real immigration reform’

The Hill – Aug 16, 2015
In a rambling, defiant speech delivered in this border state that has been the epicenter of the nation’s divisive battle over immigration reform, Trump declared: “These are people that shouldn’t be in our country. They flow in like water.”

Donald Trump: ‘We have to take back the heart of our country’

The Washington Post – Jul 11, 2015
Trump said if he’s elected president he will “greatly strengthen our border, making it impenetrable, putting a stop to illegal immigration once and for all. I will bring jobs back to the United States.”

NYC Reviewing Contracts With Trump After Comments On Immigration

CBS Local – Jul 2, 2015
In Monday’s statement, Trump doubled down on his commitment to “strong borders” that would keep illegal immigrants from “pouring across our borders unabated. Public reports routinely state great amounts of crime are being committed by illegal immigrants,” he said.

Trump: NBC contract ‘violation’ will be ‘determined in court’

Politico – Jun 29, 2015
“Illegal immigration is going to stop,” Trump said during a recent campaign stop in Arizona.

Guatemala’s comedian president offers Trump ‘cheap labor’ to build his border wall

Fox News Channel – Apr 19, 2016
“A nation without borders is not a nation,” Trump says on his online platform.

Wanna See Donald Trump’s America? Look at Arizona

Mic – Mar 23, 2016
In Tucson, Trump vowed that “Illegal immigration is gonna stop,” adding, “It’s dangerous.”

Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment

KXRA – Mar 20, 2016
“I talk about deporting people that are here illegally,” Trump said of his immigration platform.

Trump: ‘Not proud’ of children mimicking my deportation rhetoric

MSNBC – Mar 9, 2016
“We have at least 11 million people in this country that came in illegally. They will go out, they will come back, some will come back, the best, through a process … it may not be a very quick process, but I think that’s very fair and very fine,” said Trump.

Rubio, Cruz, And Trump Begin Texas GOP Debate With Three‑Way Battle

Western Journalism Center – Feb 26, 2016
“I’ve talked to the greatest legal people, spoken to the greatest security people. There’s absolutely no way of saying where these people come from. They may be from Syria, they may be ISIS, they may be ISIS related,” Trump said.

Donald Trump to Syrian refugee children: ‘You can’t come here’

New York Daily News – Feb 8, 2016
Defending his plan to deport 11 million illegal immigrants, Trump warned that we will “become so politically correct as a country that we can’t even walk. We can’t think properly. We can’t do anything.”

‘Politically correct’ a nervous tic among the GOP

The Herald – Dec 23, 2015
“The border is a disaster, Bill. People are pouring in, and I mean illegal people, illegal immigrants — 300 and some odd thousand are in your state jails right now, according to Homeland Security.”

Donald Trump Sues Univision For $500 Million After Network Drops Miss USA Pageant

X17 Online – Jul 1, 2015
“We cannot allow illegal immigrants to pour into our country,” he continued.

Colombian singer cancels Miss USA appearance over Donald Trump’s comments

Fox News Channel – Jun 25, 2015
“We could increase the various border fees we charge. We could increase the fees on temporary visas. We could even impound remittance payments derived from illegal wages,” Trump offers.

Donald Trump’s latest book: A stump speech titled ‘Crippled America’

The Christian Science Monitor – Nov 3, 2015
“When politicians talk about ‘immigration reform’ they mean: amnesty, cheap labor, and open borders,” Trump decried.

Trump rails against H‑1B visas in new immigration plan

The American Bazaar – Aug 17, 2015
“Because people realize the problem we have I this country with illegal immigration. It’s going to be solved it’s going to be fixed”, said Trump.

Trumps wraps up visit

KGNS-TV – Jul 23, 2015
“Had we had my immigration policies in effect, those people wouldn’t have been in the country for the most part,” Trump said.

Donald Trump Says He’s ‘Very Seriously’ Considering Suing Ted Cruz

ABC News – Feb 16, 2016

Is it Time for America to Quit NATO?

NATO will celebrate its sixty-seventh anniversary in April. Instead of being an occasion for the usual expression of mind-numbing clichés about the alliance’s enduring importance both to U.S. security and world peace, it should become an opportunity for a long overdue assessment of whether the NATO commitment truly serves America’s best interests in the twenty-first century. There is mounting evidence that it does not.

The creation of NATO in 1949 represented the most explicit break with America’s traditional policy of avoiding foreign alliances and generally charting a noninterventionist course. Being drawn into two major wars in little more than a generation—and especially the psychologically devastating attack on Pearl Harbor—had struck a fatal blow to a noninterventionist foreign policy. Even prominent noninterventionists such as Sen. Arthur Vandenberg (R-MI) now conceded that the world had changed and that “isolationism” (a poisonous misnomer) was no longer an appropriate policy for the United States. Joining NATO, the ultimate “entangling alliance” with European powers, confirmed the extent of the shift in Washington’s policy and American attitudes.

It was hard to dispute the argument that the world had changed. There was no semblance of a European or a global balance of power in the late 1940s or early 1950s. Central and Eastern Europe were under the domination of the Soviet Union, a ruthless totalitarian power that posed an expansionist threat of unknown dimensions. Western Europe, although mostly democratic, was badly demoralized from the devastation of World War II and the looming Soviet menace. Even prominent noninterventionists such as Sen. Robert A. Taft (R-OH) were not prepared to cut democratic Europe loose in such a strategic environment. He merely wanted to offer the Europeans a security guarantee without having the United States take the fateful step of joining NATO and assuming virtually unlimited leadership duties for an unknown length of time. Subsequent developments validated his wariness.

NATO partisans insisted that the world had changed with World War II and that the new paradigm required extensive U.S. leadership. The problem with their analysis, especially as the decades have passed, is that they seem to assume that change is a single major event and everything thereafter operates within the new paradigm. But that assumption is totally false. Change is an ongoing process. Today’s Europe is at least as different from the Europe of 1949 as that Europe was from pre–World War II Europe. Yet the institutional centerpiece—NATO—and much of the substance of U.S. policy remain the same.

The entire security environment is different. Instead of being a collection of demoralized, war-ravaged waifs, the European democracies are now banded together in the European Union, with a population and collective gross domestic product larger than that of the United States. Although they are troubled by the turbulence in the Middle East and the occasional growls of the Russian bear, they are capable of handling both problems. Indeed, Vladimir Putin’s Russia is a pale shadow of the threat once posed by the Soviet Union. The European Union has three times the population and an economy nearly ten times the size of Russia.

The primary reason that the EU countries have not done more to manage the security of their own region is that the United States has insisted on taking the leadership role—and paying a large portion of the costs. As a result, the United States spends nearly 4 percent of its GDP on the military; for NATO Europe, the figure is barely 1.6 percent. That disparate economic burden is only one reason why we need to conduct a comprehensive review of whether the NATO commitment serves America’s interests any longer, but it is an important one.

The European security environment has changed in another significant way since NATO’s creation. During the early decades of the alliance, Washington’s goal was to preserve the security of major players, such as West Germany, Italy, France and Britain. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, though, U.S. leaders have pushed for the expansion of the alliance into Central and even Eastern Europe, adding marginal allies with the casual attitude that some people add Facebook friends.

But unlike Facebook, military alliances are deadly serious enterprises. NATO, with its Article 5 commitment pledging that an attack on one member will be considered an attack on all, could easily entangle the United States in an armed conflict that has little or nothing to do with America’s own security. The absurdity of NATO in the twenty-first century may have reached its zenith in February 2016 when, with Washington’s enthusiastic backing, the alliance admitted tiny Montenegro as a member. In the post–World War II decade, when the United States broke with its traditional noninterventionist policy, proponents of the new approach argued that alliances would enhance America’s security. How a microstate like Montenegro could augment America’s already vast military power and economic strength would seem to be a great mystery.

But at least Montenegro does not have any great-power enemies. The same could not be said of three other small members, the Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which were admitted a decade ago. They are on frosty terms with Russia, and a leading think-tank study indicates they are so vulnerable that Russian forces could overrun them in a matter of days. So, we have gone from an alliance commitment to protect crucial economic and strategic players against an ominous totalitarian superpower to putting America’s credibility, and perhaps its very existence, on the line to protect a collection of tiny players on Russia’s border. Indeed, the buildup of U.S. forces on Russia’s western frontier has contributed significantly to the deterioration of bilateral relations.

It would seem that NATO partisans are the ones who don’t appreciate the role of change in international affairs. To them, preserving the alliance, not maximizing America’s security and well-being, is the highest priority. We should not accept such static thinking. Sixty-seven years is a long time for any policy to remain intact and try to remain relevant. America’s NATO policy is increasingly failing the most basic tests of relevance and prudence. It is well past time to conduct a comprehensive review and consider even the most drastic option: U.S. withdrawal from the alliance.

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Benghazi mom: ‘Special place in hell’ for Hillary

Patricia Smith, the mother of an American killed during the terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, unleashed a wave of condemnation against Hillary Clinton over a remark the former secretary of state made in a presidential campaign debate.

Just this week, Clinton was asked by a moderator about Benghazi, and the fact that one of the mothers of the American victims who died during that 2012 assault accused her of not telling the truth about the incident. Specifically, Smith has said repeatedly the White House administration and Clinton continued to characterize the attack as a reaction to a perceived anti-Muslim YouTube video, and not due to terrorists.

Clinton, during the debate, said such accusations, and those making the accusations, were “absolutely wrong.”

Smith reacted with angry rhetoric.

In a Fox Business Network interview reported by Breitbart, she said: “She lied to me. She told me it was a fault of the video … and she knew full well it wasn’t at that time. And then she says she was going to check and if it’s any different, she would call me back. She would let me know. She has never once spoken to me or her office. The only thing I ever got out of them is that I am not a member of the immediate family and I don’t need to know.”

She also said: “I want Hillary to talk to me personally and tell me why there was no security there, when they were asked for it. I know this, because I spoke to my son. That day, he says he was really scared … He says it didn’t look very good. And he was afraid. And that he asked for security and he was turned down.”

Smith said she simply wanted Clinton to explain the truth about that day.

“What’s political about that? I think that as a mother, I deserve to know,” she said, Breitbart reported. “And as a woman, as she says, she always talks about a woman, I am a woman, too. I think I deserve to know why my son is dead.”

Smith then said her main intent with her outspoken remarks was to compel Clinton to speak with her personally, and answer her questions.

“I want her to be able to tell me what happened,” she said. “I don’t believe she’s got the guts to do that. As Madeleine Albright said, there’s a special place in hell for people like her and I hope she enjoys it there.”

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What I See Happening In a Trump Presidency By Bill Bennett

“They will kill him before they let him be president. It could be a Republican or a Democrat that instigates the shutting up of Trump.

Don’t be surprised if Trump has an accident. Some people are getting very nervous: Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett, Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton and Jon Corzine, to name just a few.

It’s about the unholy dynamics between big government, big business, and big media. They all benefit by the billions of dollars from this partnership, and it’s in all of their interests to protect one another. It’s one for all and all for one. It’s a heck of a filthy relationship that makes everyone filthy rich, everyone except the American people. We get ripped off. We’re the patsies. But for once, the powerful socialist cabal and the corrupt crony capitalists are scared. The over-the-top reaction to Trump by politicians of both parties, the media, and the biggest corporations of America has been so swift and insanely angry that it suggests they are all threatened and frightened.

Donald Trump can self-fund. No matter how much they say to the contrary, the media, business, and political elite understand that Trump is no joke. He could actually win and upset their nice cozy apple cart.

It’s no coincidence that everyone has gotten together to destroy The Donald. It’s because most of the other politicians are part of the a good old boys club. They talk big, but they won’t change a thing. They are all beholden to big-money donors. They are all owned by lobbyists, unions, lawyers, gigantic environmental organizations, and multinational corporations – like Big Pharmacy or Big Oil. Or they are owned lock, stock, and barrel by foreigners like George Soros owns Obama or foreign governments own Hillary and their Clinton Foundation donations.

These run-of-the-mill establishment politicians are all puppets owned by big money. But there’s one man who isn’t beholden to anyone. There’s one man who doesn’t need foreigners, or foreign governments, or George Soros, or the United Auto Workers, or the teacher’s union, or the Service Employees International Union, or the Bar Association to fund his campaign.

Billionaire tycoon and maverick Donald Trump doesn’t need anyone’s help. That means he doesn’t care what the media says. He doesn’t care what the corporate elites think. That makes him very dangerous to the entrenched interests. That makes Trump a huge threat to those people. Trump can ruin everything for the bribed politicians and their spoiled slave masters.

Don’t you ever wonder why the GOP has never tried to impeach Obama? Don’t you wonder why John Boehner and Mitch McConnell talk a big game, but never actually try to stop Obama? Don’t you wonder why Congress holds the purse strings, yet has never tried to de-fund Obamacare or Obama’s clearly illegal executive action on amnesty for illegal aliens? Bizarre, right? It defies logic, right?

First, I’d guess many key Republicans are being bribed. Secondly, I believe many key Republicans are being blackmailed. Whether they are having affairs, or secretly gay, or stealing taxpayer money, the National Security Agency knows everything.

Ask former House Speaker Dennis Hastert about that. The government even knew he was withdrawing large sums of his own money from his own bank account. The NSA, the SEC, the IRS, and all the other three-letter government agencies are watching every Republican political leader. They surveil everything. Thirdly, many Republicans are petrified of being called racists, so they are scared to ever criticize Obama or call out his crimes, let alone demand his impeachment. Fourth , why rock the boat? After defeat or retirement, if you’re a good old boy, you’ve got a $5 million-per-year lobbying job waiting. The big-money interests have the system gamed. Win or lose, they win.

But Trump doesn’t play by any of these rules. Trump breaks up this nice, cozy relationship between big government, big media, and big business. All the rules are out the window if Trump wins the Presidency. The other politicians will protect Obama and his aides but not Trump. Remember: Trump is the guy who publicly questioned Obama’s birth certificate. He questioned Obama’s college records and how a mediocre student got into an Ivy League university. Now, he’s doing something no Republican has the chutzpah to do. He’s questioning our relationship with Mexico; he’s questioning why the border is wide open; he’s questioning why no wall has been built across the border; he’s questioning if allowing millions of illegal aliens into America is in our best interests; he’s questioning why so many illegal aliens commit violent crimes, yet are not deported; and he’s questioning why our trade deals with Mexico, Russia and China are so bad.

Trump has the audacity to ask out loud why American workers always get the short end of the stick. Good question! I’m certain Trump will question what happened to the almost billion dollars given in a rigged no-bid contract to college friends of Michelle Obama at foreign companies to build the defective Obamacare website. By the way, that tab is now up to $5 billion. Trump will ask if Obamacare’s architects can be charged with fraud for selling it by lying. Trump will investigate Obama’s widespread IRS conspiracy, not to mention Obama’s college records. Trump will prosecute Clinton and Obama for fraud committed to cover up Benghazi before the election. How about the fraud committed by employees of the Labor Department when they made up dramatic job numbers in the last jobs report before the 2012 election?

Obama, the multinational corporations and the media need to stop Trump. They recognize this could get out of control. If left unchecked, telling the raw truth and asking questions everyone else is afraid to ask, Trump could wake a sleeping giant. Trump’s election would be a nightmare. Obama has committed many crimes. No one else but Trump would dare to prosecute. He will not hesitate. Once Trump gets in and gets a look at the cooked books and Obama’s records, the game is over. The goose is cooked. Holder could wind up in prison. Jarrett could wind up in prison. Obama bundler Corzine could wind up in prison for losing $1.5 billion of customer money. Clinton could wind up in jail for deleting 32,000 emails or for accepting bribes from foreign governments while Secretary of State, or for misplacing $6 billion as the head of the State Department, or for lying about Benghazi. The entire upper level management of the IRS could wind up in prison.

Obamacare will be de-funded and dismantled. Obama himself could wind up ruined, his legacy in tatters. Trump will investigate. Trump will prosecute. Trump will go after everyone involved. That’s why the dogs of hell have been unleashed on Donald Trump.

Yes, it’s become open season on Donald Trump. The left and the right are determined to attack his policies, harm his businesses, and, if possible, even keep him out of the coming debates. But they can’t silence him. And they sure can’t intimidate him. The more they try, the more the public will realize that he’s the one telling the truth”.

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Email Scandal: Hillary Clinton’s Last Defense Just Blew Up

National Security: The Washington Post, of all places, found that not only did Hillary Clinton send and receive classified material on her unsecured email server as Secretary of State, she wrote dozens of classified emails herself.

To understand the implications of this revelation, let’s rewind the clock to almost exactly one year ago, when Clinton first addressed her private email controversy at a press conference held in the United Nations building.

A reporter asked Clinton whether she was “ever specifically briefed on the security implications of using your own email server and using your personal address to email with the president?”

Her answer was emphatic: “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.”

Then she went on: “I’m certainly well aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.”

The first claim had been proved false long ago, once the State Department started releasing what would end up being 2,093 of Clinton’s emails that it said contained classified material.

Once those emails started emerging, Clinton changed her story to say that she never “knowingly” sent or received classified information, because none of the messages were so marked. That excuse fell by the wayside when emails turned up containing information deemed “classified at birth.” Then several showed up that couldn’t be released at all because their classification rating was so high.

The Post’s latest revelations, however, are particularly damning. It found that three-quarters of the classified emails she sent were written by Clinton herself.

Saying she didn’t know the information was classified because it wasn’t marked makes no sense, since she was the one who would have been responsible for marking it in the first place.

And, since she claims that she was “well aware of the classification requirements,” she can’t now claim that she was ignorant of the nature of the information she was sending.

As this story has unfolded over the past year, Clinton has tried to brush it aside as a partisan witch hunt. When that didn’t wash, she tried to blame the State Department for “over classifying” information, or charged that it was just the result of interagency squabbles.

Clinton also tried to smear the inspectors general for State and the intelligence community, both of whom were appointed by President Obama.

But what she has never done is admit the truth. Namely, that she set up her private email account as a way to shield her communications from public scrutiny — a tactic that worked for a time — and that in doing so she gave little thought to the national security implications.

Her cavalier attitude apparently set the tone for the department. The Post notes that top aid John Sullivan “was the most frequent author of classified emails,” and other top officials, Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, “authored dozens of such notes.”

Under the law, gross negligence in handling classified material is all that’s required for a government official to face criminal charges. At this point, is there anyone who can honestly say that Clinton wasn’t being grossly negligent?

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