Jun 11, 2018
The State Department is known as the agency that solves conflicts with words but a closer look reveals that it’s much more connected to war than most of us think. By examining the State Department’s funding for 2018, discover the State Department’s role in regime changes past, current, and future. In this episode, you’ll also get an introduction to the National Endowment for Democracy, a scandalous organization with a noble sounding name. Mike Glaser joins Jen for the Thank You’s.
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Article: It's time for a coup in Venezuela by Jose R. Cardenas, Foreign Policy, June 5, 2018.
Opinion: Venezuela needs a new government after rigged election keep socialist criminal Maduro in power by Roger F. Noriega, Fox News, May 23, 2018.
Opinion: Venezuela's sham election by The Editorial Board, The New York Times, May 21, 2018.
Report: Trump bans purchase of Venezuelan debt in new sanctions by John Paul Rathbone, Financial Times, May 21, 2018.
Article and Video: Pompeo vows U.S., Mideast allies will 'crush' Iranian operatives around the world by Carol Morello, The Washington Post, May 21, 2018.
Article: Venezuaela's Maduro re-elected amid outcry over vote by Luc Cohen and Andreina Aponte, Reuters, May 20, 2018.
Opinion: It's time to hasten Maduro's exit from power by Marco Rubio, CNN, May 16, 2018.
Letter: 34 organizations oppose rescission of Complex Crises Fund, FCNL, May 14, 2018.
Report: Egypt population surge must be met with job growth, IMF says by Ahmed Feteha, Bloomberg, May 6, 2018.
Article: John Bolton is cleaning at the National Security Council by Eliza Relman, Business Insider, April 12, 2018.
Opinion: The observer view: The west's ill-founded support for Sisi and his brutal regime, The Guardian, April 2, 2018.
Article: John ("Bomb Iran") Bolton, the new warmonger in the White House by Robin Wright, The New Yorker, March 23, 2018.
Report: State Dept. announces $1B in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia by Ellen Mitchell, The Hill, March 22, 2018.
Report: Here's how many Americans don't have access to a 401(k) plan by Emmie Martin, CNBC, March 12, 2018.
Report: Egypt's IMF program: Assessing the political economy challenges by Bessma Momani, Brookings, January 30, 2018.
Article: Egypt: Time to entrench growth and make it more inclusive, IMF, January 23, 2018.
Report: Arab Republic of Egypt : 2017 Article IV Consultation, Second Review Under the Extended Arrangement Under the Extended Fund Facility, and Request for Modification of Performance Criteria-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for the Arab Republic of Egypt, International Monetary Fund, January 22, 2018.
Article: Beyond the Iran nuclear deal by John Bolton, WSJ, January 15, 2018.
Article: Allison's goal: Keep Summit Point humming by Tim Cook, The Journal, December 11, 2017.
Interview: An interview with Carl Gershman '65, President of the National Endowment for Democracy by Adrianne Owings, The Politic, November 20, 2017.
Working Paper: Household wealth trends in the United States, 1962 to 2016: Has middle class wealth recovered? by Edward N. Wolff, The National Bureau of Economic Research, November 2017.
Article: Millions of Americans are left out of the stock market boom by Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN Money, October 20, 2017.
Article: Egypt's Sisi meets Kushner after U.S. holds back aid by Ahmed Aboulenein, Reuters, August 23, 2017.
Article/Video: Trump alarms Venezuela with talk of a 'military option' by The New York Times, August 12, 2017.
Article: Why is Egypt's new NGO law controversial? by Farah Najjar, Aljazeera, May 31, 2017.
Video: Construction progress on the new Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (FASTC), U.S. Department of State, April 1, 2017.
Article: An actual American war criminal may become our second-ranking diplomat by Eric Alterman, The Nation, February 2, 2017.
Report: National Endowment for Democracy is first 'undesirable' NGO banned in Russia by Alec Luhn, The Guardian, July 28, 2015.
Article: Did State Dept. mislead Congress about findings in an OMB report? This lawmaker says so. by Colby Itkowitz, The Washington Post, May 12, 2015.
Report: Two years after Benghazi, State battles lawmakers over training site for agents by Ben Kamisar, The Hill, April 12, 2015.
Article: To stop Iran's bomb, bomb Iran by John R. Bolton, The New York Times, March 26, 2015.
Article: Price to avoid another Benghazi? House leaders question $461 million training center by Josh Siegel, The Daily Signal, June 25, 2014.
Report: CIA admits role in 1953 Iranian coup by Saeed Kamali and Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian, August 19, 2013.
Article: Egyptian military ousts Morsi, suspends constitution by Abigail Hauslohner, William Booth, and Sharaf al-Hourani, The Washington Post, July 3, 2013.
Report: McCain's rules on lobbying face test by Matthew Mosk and Jeffrey H. Bimbaum, The Washington Post, May 23, 2008.
Article: Bush aims to raise whose budget? by Brendan Koerner, Slate, January 22, 2004.
Article: The networks of "democratic" interference by Thierry Meyssan, Voltairenet, January 22, 2004.
Article: Venezuala coup linked to Bush team by Ed Vulliamy, The Guardian, April 21, 2002.
Article: Venezuela gets big I.M.F credit, backing market reforms by Paul Lewis, The New York Times, July 13, 1996.
Campaign Contributions: Maurice Tempelsman Political Campaign Contributions 2016 Election Cycle
Congressional Research Service: State, Foreign Operations Appropriations: A Guide to Component Accounts
Energy Report: BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2017
Friends Committee on National Legislation: The Complex Crisis Fund
International Republican Institute: Board of Directors
International Republican Institute: FAQs
LinkedIn Profile: Alison Fortier
LinkedIn Profile: Judy Black
National Democratic Institute: Board of Directors
National Democratic Institute: FAQs
National Endowment for Democracy: History
National Endowment for Democracy: William Blum
Paladin Capital Group Info: Michael Steed
Publication: Journal of Democracy
U.S. Department of State: Foreign Affairs Security Training Center (FASTC)
U.S. Government Accountability Office: Retirement Security Reports
Website: National Endowment for Democracy
5:32 Chairman Ed Royce (CA): The National Endowment for Democracy in particular should be strongly supported. Let’s face it: democracy is on the ropes worldwide; supporting it is a moral and strategic good. NED is backing critical programming in Venezuela and Nigeria and worldwide. It is no time to cut this programming.
6:00 Chairman Ed Royce (CA): The administration has rightly provided lethal arms to Ukraine, which remains under siege by Russian proxies.
6:16 Chairman Ed Royce (CA): A far more severe threat is Moscow’s information war. This committee has heard that Moscow’s goal isn’t so much to make Western citizens think this or think that; Russia’s goal is to destroy all confidence in objective thought. By undermining fact-based discussions with lies, our enemies hope to gravely damage Western democracies. The State Department must aggressively counter disinformation through its global engagement center, other means, and with department officials speaking out for the truth.
18:05 Mike Pompeo: On Monday I unveiled a new direction for the president’s Iran strategy. We will apply unprecedented financial pressure; coordinate with our DOD colleagues on deterrents efforts; support the Iranian people, perhaps most importantly; and hold out the prospect for a new deal with Iran. It simply needs to change its behavior.
19:40 Mike Pompeo: This budget request seeks $2.2 billion to help stimulate American economic growth by expanding markets for U.S. investment and ensuring the partner countries can fully participate in the global economy.
19:55 Mike Pompeo: America’s message, a noble one, must be shared with the world at all times. Gentleman Royce, you mentioned the global engagement center. We will work with the 55-plus-million dollars available to cover both its original mission, counter extremism, plus countering state-sponsored disinformation campaigns. We will not tolerate Russian interference in our 2018 elections. Much work has been done; there’s more to do. Rest assured that we will take the appropriate countermeasures in response to the continued Russian efforts.
35:05 Mike Pompeo: First, with respect to Venezuela, we did this morning receive a formal notification that our charged affairs had been PNG’d. We will respond appropriately, certainly reciprocally, but perhaps more than that. Perhaps proportionately. We understand that there’s a second U.S. officer who will also be PNG’d. We’re well aware. We’re watching the Maduro regime continue to engage in destructive behavior for the Venezuelan people.
1:44:35 Paul Rep. Cook (CA): Foreign military sales. A number of the countries are concerned. Peru is— Mike Pompeo: Mm-hmm. Rep. Cook: —I think they’re putting in a plug for the C-130Js. Very, very interested. And so I obviously am very, very concerned. Before, in the past, we’re much more involved in that. And as I said, there’s a lot of countries, most notably China and Iran, that are involved in that. What can we do to increase foreign military sales in that region? Pompeo: I, for one, would advocate for working closely with them and encouraging them to purchase U.S. equipment that fit their country, that was the right tool set for them, for themselves and their security interests. I hope that we can, across the board, streamline the State Department’s process connected with foreign military sales. There’s work to do. Rep. Cook: And I brought up this subject before in regards to NATO. You know, Eastern Europe, they’re still reliant on the parts from Russia. Once you go with another country, you’re going to be dependent on that. So, I think we’ve got to look at that whole situation, or once they buy, they’re going to be buying there for the next five generations or something. Pompeo: Yes, sir. Rep. Cook: Thank you very much. I yield back.
1:54:17 Rep. Scott Perry (PA): And in Bosnia, I’m concerned that there’s an October election and there’s a problem with the constitution. The date and accords were never supposed to last 20 years. They have. But I’m concerned that we’re not headed in the right place there. And I just want to get your thoughts on that, if we’re going to wait to see what happens, if we’re going to take preemptive action. I would hate to see that thing burn down and then—with the United States having troops on the ground there to try and secure the peace, and also if we’re interested in pursuing putting some forces there, again, to thwart Russia, and if that’s a consideration. So, those two topics, sir. Mike Pompeo: So, let me start first with Bosnia. We’re working on the very issue you described. I can’t say a lot about it, but know that the State Department, others, Department of Defense are there. We understand the risk. We think the region’s very important. We know the—and this transitions to your second part of the question which is, we know the Russians are hard at work there destabilizing— Rep. Perry: As are the Turks, right? Pompeo: Yes. And so there are a handful, although admittedly not sufficiently sized levers currently being employed, and we’re working to develop a strategy that puts us in a better place.
1:55:35 Rep. Scott Perry (PA): Mr. Secretary, this is a picture—I’m sure you’re well aware—of an M1 tank manufactured right here in the United States, paid for by the citizens of the United States, with their taxes. That is a Hezbollah flag on it. I am concerned and have written letters regarding the Train and Equip Program in Iraq and the Shia Crescent and the land bridges they’re building across Iraq with the militias there again. Many of the Iranian people want freedom, they want peace, and the don’t agree with the regime that they’re working—living under. But I offered amendments in the NDAA to stop the funding and the Train and Equip Program. One was found in favor; one was not. So we leave it up to you. I want to make sure that you’re aware that this is happening, including militias like Kata’ib Hezbollah, listed as a terrorist organization for killing American soldiers. And if the Congress is unwilling to stop it, I hope you will be willing to stop the funding and the Train and Equip Program in Iraq and funding the Iranian militias that are willing to kill Americans and Jews and everybody across the Crescent that disagrees with them. Mike Pompeo: I’ll say this: it is the case that when we perform Train and Equip functions from time to time, equipment ends up in the hands of the wrong people. It’s a risk inherent in those operations. The question becomes, is the value we’re getting from that training, those exercises, outweigh the risk that that happens? You should know that the U.S. government works diligently to put rules and processes in place to make that picture, or pictures like that, as infrequent as possible. Rep. Perry: I don’t think the Iraqis are complying.
2:03:45 Rep. Ron DeSantis (FL): In terms of what’s going on in Venezuela, there’s a pretty significant Cuban presence of military intelligence. Is that your estimation? Mike Pompeo: I’m sorry. Could you repeat the question? Rep. DeSantis: In terms of the situation in Venezuela, propping up the Maduro regime, is part of that the Cuban military and intelligence apparatus? Pompeo: In this setting I can say there are a great deal of Cuban influence that is working alongside the Maduro regime. Rep. DeSantis: And it’s not helpful to what America wants. Pompeo: It runs adverse to U.S. interests, directly adverse to U.S. interests.
2:05:42 Rep. Ron DeSantis (FL): The Iranian people, obviously, are not happy with this regime. I mean, this is a militant, Islamic regime that’s been really imposed on relatively pro-Western populous, educated middle class. We see the protests. The president has spoken out, I think correctly. What can we do to help, because it seems like the regime cracks down on the social networks, they don’t want there to be a free flow of information, but I think it’s certainly in our interests to empower people who view this regime as illegitimate and not representative of their ideals. Mike Pompeo: It’s long been U.S. deeply held position that we will do the things we can to ensure that peoples all around the world have their human rights, their political rights, their capacity to express themselves. We shouldn’t shy away from that with respect to Iran, either. There are a number of tools that we can use, some of which I’m now responsible for their implementation; others exist other places in government. We should bring them all to bear to allow the Iranian people to be governed by the leaders that they choose.
2:59:44 Rep. Ted Lieu (CA): I’d like to ask you now about Yemen. As you know, the war in Yemen is now the world’s worst humanitarian disaster. Over 22 million people are now at risk of starvation, 8 million don’t know where their next meal will be, and every 10 minutes a child dies of preventable causes. So the U.S. is involved in Yemen in two ways. One is we are striking terrorists. Now, I don’t have a problem with that. But the other way we’re involved is we are assisting the Saudi-led military coalition. And again, I don’t have a problem with assisting our allies, but I do have a problem when that coalition is killing large numbers of civilians through airstrikes that are nowhere near military targets. And as of last September, more than 5,000 civilians have been killed, the majority from these airstrikes. In 2016 the State Department, its lawyers, have wrote a memo saying that because we’re refueling these planes, the Saudi jets, and also providing them other assistance, that U.S. personnel could be considered a co-belligerent and liable for war crimes. I know you just came on as secretary of state. Wonder if you’ve had a chance yet to read that memo. Mike Pompeo: I have not. Rep. Lieu: At your convenience. Pompeo: But I will. I will review the memo. Rep. Lieu: Thank you. I appreciate that. And if you could also make a request to your state department to see if members of Congress could also review that memo in a classified setting as well, that’d be appreciated. Pompeo: Have you—You’ve not had a—I take it you’ve not had a chance to see it. Rep. Lieu: We have not. Pompeo: Yes, sir. Rep. Lieu: So if you could make that request, that’d be great. Pompeo: I will review that, absolutely. Rep. Lieu: Thank you. So, when this conflict first started, we had all these airstrikes from Saudi-led coalition, and what it turned out is that it’s not that they were trying to hit a Houthi vehicle that was moving and they missed and struck a bunch of civilians; what ended up happening is they intentionally struck those civilian targets. So they struck hospitals, weddings, schools, markets, and last year they struck a funeral, that killed hundreds of people, twice. So they hit this funeral, and the jets went around and hit it again a second time. Very precise. That’s why the Obama administration actually stopped a shipment of precision-guided munitions because they realized actually these jets are intending to strike their targets and they were civilians. It’s my understanding that the Trump administration is now going to go forward with that sale. Just wondering why do you think anything has changed in Yemen that would authorize this sale to go forward? Mike Pompeo: So, I’m cursorily familiar with the incidents you’re describing. There are a very rigid set of rules that are thought deeply about in every national security agency that I’ve been part of—at the CIA before, now at State Department—with respect to providing munitions to organizations that are intentionally engaging in civilian targeting. We have a complex set of rules and prohibitions. We would never do that. It is this administration’s judgment that providing the precision-guided munitions actually decreases the risk to civilians. And it’s for that reason we think this actually makes sense, certainly for our allies and partners but also for citizens that are engaged in ordinary activity inside of Yemen. And if I might, this administration’s also taken serious action to do our best to reduce the humanitarian crisis that is Yemen as well. We’ve not resolved it, but we’ve made real progress. Rep. Lieu: Thank you.
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