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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

US Senate Subcommittee confirms: Obama sent US taxpayer money to Israel in bid to unseat Netanyahu - UPDATED AND PURGED EMAILS PROVING IT

During Israel's 2015 Knesset elections, a group called V15 attempted to mount a 'grass roots' challenge to Prime Minister Netanyahu. V15 was staffed by Obama campaign staff and financed by Obama supporters (or so we thought) S. Daniel Abraham, the billionaire founder of the Slim Fast food line, Daniel Lubetzky, a social entrepreneur whose OneVoice Movement is partnered with V15 and Alon Kastiel, a Tel Aviv-based businessman and owner of multiple local venues, including bars, clubs and hotels.

Almost immediately, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tx) and Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-NY) sent a letter to Secretary of State Kerry asking whether media reports that US taxpayer money was being used by V15 to unseat Netanyahu were true.

Today, we have an answer to that question. Under the auspices of Chairman Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) has released a report today confirming allegations that an NGO with connections to President Obama’s 2008 campaign (that would be Lubetzky's One Voice, which partnered with V15) used U.S. taxpayer dollars attempting to oust Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2015. This is from Jennifer Rubin.
A press release states:
Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), released a bipartisan report examining the U.S. State Department’s grants to OneVoice—a non-governmental organization operating in Israel and the Palestinian Territories.  The group received nearly $350,000 in grants from the U.S. State Department to support peace negotiations between Israelis and the Palestinian Authority over a 14-month grant period ending in November 2014.  In December 2014, Israeli elections were called following the collapse of peace negotiations.
The Subcommittee’s investigation concludes that OneVoice Israel complied with the terms of its State Department grants. Within days after the grant period ended, however, the group deployed the campaign infrastructure and resources created, in part, using U.S. grant funds to support a political campaign to defeat the incumbent Israeli government known as V15.  That use of government-funded resources for political purposes after the end of the grant period was permitted by the grant because the State Department failed to adequately guard against the risk that campaign resources could be repurposed in that manner or place limitations on the post-grant use of resources.
McCaskill tried to put the best face on it.
"While this report shows no wrongdoing by the Administration, and should put to rest such allegations, it certainly highlights deficiencies in the Department’s policies that should be addressed in order to best protect taxpayer dollars.”
Really? No wrongdoing in using US taxpayer dollars to unseat the democratically elected Prime Minister of an ally? I must have been asleep in my Constitutional Law class when they said that was okay.

Through a spokesman, Portman had a different view.
The campaign’s explicit goal was to elect “anybody but Bibi [Netanyahu]” by mobilizing center-left voters. . . .
The State Department permitted One Voice to use a taxpayer-funded grant to build valuable political infrastructure—large voter contact lists, a professionally trained network of grassroots organizers/activists, and an impressive social media platform—for the putative purpose of supporting peace negotiations. But during the federal grant period, OneVoice devised a plan to target Prime Minister Netanyahu; immediately after the grant period ended, OneVoice deployed its taxpayer-funded campaign resources to launch the largest anti-Netanyahu grassroots organizing campaign in Israel in 2015. Despite OneVoice’s known history of political activism in Israel, the State Department did nothing to guard against the clear risk that OneVoice could engage in electioneering activities using a taxpayer-funded grassroots campaign infrastructure after the grant period. Remarkably, according to the State Department, OneVoice’s conduct was fully compliant with Department regulations and guidelines.
And I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop and to hear that both the White House and the State Department enthusiastically approved OneVoice's activities.

But wait. There's more.
Among the report’s most damning findings, evidence was found that the “durable campaign resources” built during the grant with taxpayer dollars included “a larger voter contact database, a professionally trained network of grassroots activists across the country, and an enhanced social media presence on Facebook and Twitter. OneVoice was even permitted to use State Department funds to hire an American political consulting firm called 270 Strategies — run by Obama 2008 campaign veterans — to train its activists in how to execute a ‘grassroots mobilization’ campaign.”
Can't wait to hear all the lemmings tell us how this is the 'most pro-Israel administration evah.' UNbelievable.

PS For those wondering why I am up at this hour even though I'm in Israel.... I got counterparty comments and client comments on an agreement between 11:00pm and Midnight  and the client asked that I read his comments and call. That's all for tonight....


Sorry - not all for tonight. The State Department purged the emails that proved it. This is Adam Kredo.
A senior State Department official admitted to congressional investigators that he deleted several emails pertaining to the administration’s coordination with OneVoice.
“The State Department was unable to produce all documents responsive to the Subcommittee’s requests due to its failure to retain complete email records of Michael Ratney, who served as U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem during the award and oversight of the OneVoice grants,” the report states.
Investigators “discovered this retention problem because one important email exchange between OneVoice and Mr. Ratney … was produced to the Subcommittee only by OneVoice,” the report continues. “After conducting additional searches, the Department informed the Subcommittee that it was unable to locate any responsive emails from Mr. Ratney’s inbox or sent mail.”
Ratney was ultimately forced to tell investigators that “[a]t times I deleted emails with attachments I didn’t need in order to maintain my inbox under the storage limit.”
While Ratney had the option to archive emails—as required by the department—he did not do this. Ratney claimed he was not aware of the rule, stating he “did not know [he] was required to archive routine emails.”
The deletion of the email chains appears to be a violation of the Federal Records Act, which mandates official records be archived for future disclosure purposes.
Note - this is on John Kerry's watch and not on Hillary Clinton's. Yes, John Kerry is just as corrupt as Hillary Clinton.
One source with intimate knowledge of the situation told the Free Beacon that the deletion of these emails is highly suspicious given the seriousness of the claims about the administration’s behavior.
“The Obama administration had the money, skills, and personnel to build a gigantic campaign infrastructure that was used to try to defeat the prime minister of an ally,” the source said. “But apparently they didn’t have what they needed to store the emails in which they did all of those things. That’s certainly a lucky break for the State Department.”
State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters Tuesday afternoon that he could not comment on the accusations due to the department’s inability to thoroughly review the Senate’s report.
“We’ve not had time to go through it closely, so I’m not going to be able to comment on specifics,” Kirby said. “But I would note that the report makes clear there’s no evidence that OneVoice spent State Department grant funds to influence the Israeli election. Again, I just don’t have additional comment at this time.”
Even McCaskill admitted that OneVoice spent US government funds to influence the Israeli elections. She just claimed it didn't show 'wrongdoing.'

Kirby is a damned liar. And so are his bosses.

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At 6:41 AM, Blogger Rondo said...

Jack Lew should be ashamed

At 5:54 PM, Blogger NancyB said...

This is something that once debates begin, Hillary should be forced to respond to, in my opinion.

At 11:03 PM, Blogger free` said...

As a US citizen I offer my sincere apology to Israel and it's citizens for how my government has treated you these last 7+ years. I hope we never again elect such an awful President.

At 12:15 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

Nancy B,

Why do you think there will be debates? There's no law that says we have to have them.

And my guess is that this won't come up at all if there are debates. It happened on Kerry's watch - not hers - and Trump would be smarter to keep hammering at her on emails and the deal between Bill and Loretta.


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