Defeat the Mueller Coup: ‘The Gate Is Open, So Do It’
Dec. 18 (EIRNS)—With Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller having been compared by a leading law professor today to J. Edgar Hoover—violating the Fourth Amendment and attorney-client privilege in his drive to get the President—the state of the intelligence community’s coup attempt against Trump is breaking open.
Hoover notoriously blackmailed Presidents, to try to control and be able to remove them if necessary. Mueller is “legal assassin” for a two-year-old “stop Trump” drive by British and U.S. intelligence and security agencies. But the tide is turning. At this point, the dismissal of even one more heavily biased member of Mueller’s team could bring his unprincipled operation down. The battle could be won in the short term, during the Christmas-New Year’s holiday period.
The expanding circulation of LaRouchePAC’s dossier, “Robert Mueller Is an Amoral Legal Assassin; He Will Do His Job If You Let Him,” has been crucial in getting to this point. With another 10,000 copies now out, and more members of Congress entering the fray, this witchhunt can be defeated.
But in this fight, only one side will win. Not only is the Presidency at stake, but the continued threat of an effective coup may force President Trump into trying to “balance” it by giving way to “hostile adversary” rhetoric toward China and Russia.
Did China not just commit to more than $80 billion in investment to revive and remake the industrial economy of West Virginia? The potential for the United States cooperating with China’s Belt and Road Initiative of great infrastructure projects, and fully reviving NASA space exploration with the other spacefaring power, could be lost. The United States could go, not into a new paradigm of economic progress, but back into Bush’s and Obama’s war confrontations with Russia and China.
What LaRouchePAC and the Schiller Institute can do now will be crucial. Congress must act to defend the U.S. Constitution and institutional powers against such a “deep state” coup. But a total mobilization by the small forces with the big weapon of the truth in this matter, will be decisive.
Lyndon LaRouche told colleagues today that the result of this fight is largely up to them. “Talk to people carefully about what we have to do…. This is an important moment. The gate is open. Do it.”
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Turley: Mueller Seizure of Trump Emails an Illegal ‘Coup Stick’
Dec. 18 (EIRNS)—Constitutional legal expert Jonathan Turley of George Washington University presented Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s abuse of the law in his attempt to prosecute President Donald Trump as following in the footsteps of the FBI’s notorious J. Edgar Hoover, in The Hill’s Opinion section today.
Hoover, now a pariah, even to the FBI, tellingly said, “Justice is just incidental to law and order,” says Turley, but nevertheless, “Hoover’s attitude toward the use of federal power lingers like a dormant virus. Too often investigators interpret uncertain legal questions as a license for action.”
Turley attacks Mueller’s seizure of tens of thousands of Trump transition emails from the General Services Administration, the custodian of all “transition” emails, as “legally unprecedented and strategically reckless.”
Says Turley, “[T]he blunt force approach taken toward the GSA is something of a signature of Mueller and heavy-handed associates like Andrew Weissmann. As I have previously written, Mueller has a controversial record in attacking attorney-client privilege as well as harsh tactics against targets. As a U.S. Attorney, he was accused of bugging an attorney-client conversation….” Mueller associate Andrew Weissmann’s record includes “major reversals in past prosecutions for exceeding the scope of the criminal code or questionable ethical conduct.”
Turley warns that Mueller’s move on the confidential General Services Administration-held transition emails “takes his investigation into uncertain legal territory,” and if upheld, could create some new law in his favor.
The GSA only provides space for transition records, while the National Archives controls access, and has expressly maintained that “materials that [transition team] members create or receive are not presidential records, but are considered private materials,” and thus, the GSA has agreed to delete “all data on [computing] devices” used by transition staff.
When Mueller’s team found out that the transition records had not yet been deleted, it demanded them, while the Trump team claimed that they were privileged information and protected from discovery. Richard Beckler, General Counsel for the GSA, agreed with the transition team that the GSA controlled the records. However, when Beckler was hospitalized, Mueller’s team seized the thousands of messages.
Trump’s counsel sent a letter to Congress saying that Mueller’s office had denied pulling emails off the equipment (e.g., mobile phones, etc.), but it was later revealed that such action may not have been necessary. In fact, “the special counsel’s office had received tens of thousands of emails, including a very significant amount of privileged material,” from the GSA while Beckler was hospitalized. There is no evidence that the demand for the materials was made in a court-approved subpoena.
Such actions are typical of Mueller associate Weissmann, Turley says, and noting that the “reversals” of Weissmann’s illegal actions came “at the cost of millions (and ruined lives).” Moreover, any evidence, if tainted, could be thrown out, Turley says, as Lawrence Walsh, independent counsel in the Iran-Contra affair, saw his conviction of Oliver North overturned because the appeals court believed that it was “tainted” by evidence derived from North’s immunized testimony before Congress.
Turley concludes, “If Mueller wants more than a coup stick prosecution, the move against the GSA was one door he should have opened, rather than kicked down in his investigation. Only time will tell, of course, but this is a legal complication that was as unnecessary as it was unprecedented.”
Trump Delivers New National Security Strategy
Dec. 18 (EIRNS)—President Trump today took the unusual step of announcing his administration’s new national security strategy himself, in an address at the White House. In opening his remarks, Trump stressed that it rejects what he views as the failures of the past administration, trade deals and climate deals that hurt the U.S. economy, security and immigration policies that made Americans less safe at home, allowed the growth of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and that of the North Korean “nuclear menace.” Trump touted his own moves to reverse these policy failures, including, on the economic side, trumpeting the high-flying stock market as the main indicator of the economic prosperity which he said his administration has brought in the 11 months it’s been in office.
In prefacing the new strategy, Trump declared that we are in an era of competition, that we face rogue regimes, international terrorist organizations, and transnational criminal groups; and that Russia and China are rival powers that seek to change the world in ways antithetical to U.S. interests. At the same time, however, he praised America’s providing information to Moscow that helped thwart a terrorist attack this past weekend in St. Petersburg, Russia. That’s how cooperation should work between the United States and other countries, he said. “While we seek such cooperation, we will also stand up for our country like we never have before,” he said.
The strategy itself is composed of four pillars, the first of which is securing the American people and homeland. This includes building the wall on the U.S. southern border, tightening immigration policy by reversing many of the changes made by the previous administration, and providing greater support to the U.S. Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and other agencies.
The second pillar of the strategy is to promote U.S. prosperity, because “economic security is national security,” he said. This includes the tax-cut bill now on its way to passage in the Congress, and taking action against unfair trade and intellectual property theft. Trump also called for the complete rebuilding of America’s economic infrastructure. At the outset of his remarks, Trump had noted the Amtrak accident earlier today in Washington State, which he said shows why we must start “fixing” the infrastructure of the United States.
The third pillar of Trump’s new strategy is “peace through strength”; that is, ending the caps on the defense budget and modernizing and growing the military. The strategy, Trump said, also recognizes space as a “competitive domain” and calls for a multi-layered missile defense system.
The fourth pillar is to advance U.S. influence around the world. This includes diplomatic and development efforts to achieve better outcomes in all arenas in order to protect U.S. interests, find new economic opportunities for Americans, and challenge U.S. competitors. We will make new partnerships with those who share our goals, Trump said.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
Poland Hosting Silk Road Rail Summit in March
Dec. 18 (EIRNS)—The Rail Freight journal reports that Poland is hosting the first RailFreight Summit next year, in west Poland’s major city, Wroclaw. Recent developments have, Rail Freight writes, pushed the New Silk Road—or the Belt and Road Initiative—to the forefront of the Europe-Asia logistics corridors, and what they mean for Poland and the other countries along the growing number of routes, as well as for China itself, which launched the concept four years ago.
As part of this development, Poland has become an increasingly vital hub for rail freight services, often as an interchange for container train services coming from the east, via Russia and Belarus, run by dozens of operators. The summit will review developments so far and look to the future to see the benefits that can be realized for all stakeholders, including rail operators, logistics firms, and all those involved in the supply chain.
The summit is taking place on March 20-21, and day one will start with a technical visit, enabling visitors to meet some of the people behind the logistical chains in Poland. The second part of that day will feature keynote speeches on the meaning of the Silk Road and Poland, and the implications of the Belt and Road project for Eastern Europe. Day two begins with a focus on the ambitions of China, followed by sessions on how to connect the Silk Road routes and stops, and the business case for Poland and beyond. The summit is being jointly hosted by Rail Freight and Nieuwsblad Transport, and sponsored by Nunner Logistics.
New Austrian Government Committed to New Silk Road
Dec. 18 (EIRNS)—Compared with other lengthy passages, the ones referring to China and the New Silk Road are rather short, but the commitment of the new coalition government in Vienna to an active role of the country in the realization of the route is explicitly proclaimed: In the “road map” for foreign policy targets, the government program states: “Special attention to new geopolitical situations with a focus on China, in the formulation of a foreign policy strategy of Austria.”
Later in the program, it says: “Austria lies in the middle of Europe and thus through its geographical location alone represents an important hub. This position can have an additional enormous benefit from a stronger development of the trans-European nets. We must make sure that big supra-regional and geostrategic infrastructure projects like for instance the planned Silk Road project or the broad-gauge as well, do not bypass Austria but that we are a part of it as a hub.”
This section of program includes a “commitment to, and share in, the ‘New Silk Road’ railway project, the ecology-compatible handling of commodity streams from Eastern Europe and Asia by rail; generation of real values not bypassing Austria, (but) realization of the project for the construction of a broad-gauge railroad to Vienna.” The program adds furthermore Austria’s intent to make Danube freight shipping more efficient.
With that, the Austrian government is the first in Europe, so far, to have a stated commitment to the New Silk Road in a government program. A more detailed reference and definition of priorities is expected to be published soon by the Ministry of Transport, whose new head, Norbert Hofer, has already stated in public that he considers the New Silk Road one of the priorities.
Standard Chartered Bank Considers Belt and Road Initiative, ‘a Natural Fit’
Dec. 18 (EIRNS)—Simultaneous with the first two European governments fully endorsing the Belt and Road Initiative—those of Austria and Poland—the New Silk Road got a full commitment from the first European bank to make one. Standard Chartered, a $650 billion-asset U.K. bank active in Asia, has committed at least $20 billion in lending to participants in Belt and Road projects over the next several years.
The commitment was announced by Standard Chartered Chairman José Viñals at the U.K.-China Economic and Financial Dialogue in Beijing Dec. 16. The South China Morning Post, in “Standard Chartered Steps Up with $20 billion for Belt and Road Projects,” quoted Viñals. “ ‘Standard Chartered has a natural fit with the Belt and Road Initiative,’ said José Viñals, the bank’s chairman, which gets about 85% of its income from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. ‘The bank has more than two-thirds of its global footprint overlapping with Belt and Road destination countries, and it has a long history in these trade and investment corridors,’ he said.”
The fact that such commitments are the aim of China’s recently announced “financial opening” to Western banks, was explained at the same event by Zhang Xingrong, the managing director at the Bank of China’s Institute of International Finance in Beijing. He described it as a “win-win.” Foreign banks, wrote SCMP, “can leverage their advantage in overseas networks and experience when teaming up with Chinese companies or banking counterparts to back China’s ‘go-abroad’ ambition. ‘While China has pledged further financing opening, we expect more foreign banks to have stronger confidence to join in major economic cooperation plans like the Belt and Road Initiative,’ [said Zhang]. In return, overseas business could facilitate deeper involvement with China’s domestic businesses by forging close relationships with Chinese companies through overseas projects.”
Thus Western banks’ opening to lending in China is linked with their joint credits with China’s banks, for “go-abroad,” or the New Silk Road. And Standard Chartered is the first to take the opportunity.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Amtrak Train without ‘Positive Train Control’ Crashes in Seattle, with Several Deaths
Dec. 18 (EIRNS)—Following a massive and deadly derailment of Amtrak’s Cascades Line near Seattle on Monday morning, President Donald Trump expressed condolences, and tweeted: “The train accident that just occurred in DuPont, WA shows more than ever why our soon to be submitted infrastructure plan must be approved quickly. Seven trillion dollars spent in the Middle East while our roads, bridges, tunnels, railways (and more) crumble! Not for long!” He called attention to the crash again in beginning his National Security Strategy speech Monday afternoon.
The train, which crashed down onto Interstate 5 overpass, killing at least 3 and injuring 70 onboard, was running on a track between Seattle and Portland called the Cascades High-Speed Rail Project, and $181 million had been spent on “refurbishing” the track and building a new Tacoma station. But the track was an existing BNSF freight line, and the upgrade did not include a positive train control (PTC)—the same longstanding lack of state-of-the-art technology which caused the last high-fatality passenger crash, on Amtrak near Philadelphia in 2015. The “high-speed” line adapted from a freight track with downhill curves requiring a 25 mph or 30 mph limit, was not really high-speed, but simply much more direct. Mayor Don Anderson of nearby Lakewood had in fact forecast months ago that there would be a crash on the line. The train that derailed was the first to run on the “new” track.
The National Transportation Safety Board said that it had received a report that the train hit “an object on the track” before derailing; but this has not been established. The train may have also failed to slow down from 80 mph as it approached the downhill sharp turn into the bridge over Route 5.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
Four Months On, a Fight for First Serious U.S. Hurricane Supplemental
Dec. 18 (EIRNS)—Politico reported late today that the House will take up an $81 billion supplemental budget for hurricane reconstruction this week. Though having confirmation of the amount from sources on the House Appropriations Committee, the paper had no further details. The difference between the $55 billion EIR had learned of last week, and the $81 billion figure reported now, may simply reflect the addition of funding for Puerto Rico’s desperately needed infrastructure reconstruction.
The Congress, after stalling the White House’ most recent $44 billion supplemental request for the hurricane-hit states and territories for more than a month—seriously slowing down FEMA’s response in Texas, in particular—now appears to have nearly doubled it. There is no certainty this supplemental will pass, but there will be a fight for it, because bipartisan groups of Texas and Florida legislators have determined to refuse to vote to fund the government beyond Dec. 22, unless such a supplemental were passed. It is unknown whether the Republican Congressional leadership will push passage before the end of the year, or whether groups in Congress will demand “offset” cuts.
At this point, nearly four months after the deadly hurricanes which wreaked an estimated $200 billion in damages and destroyed wealth on seven states and territories, it is far too late for merely $37 billion to have been allocated for recovery.
Constantly recalled is the Houston Chronicle op-ed, days after the storms, “What Would Jesse Jones Do?” It described Franklin Roosevelt’s Reconstruction Finance Corp. (RFC) as the institution fit to provide credit both for immediate recovery measures, and for the building of the storm-protection and water management infrastructure which had been neglected, causing the loss of life, light, shelter, livelihoods and wealth.
The United States has not had a national credit institution for 70 years since the RFC. Now it urgently needs the Hamiltonian national bank proposed in Lyndon LaRouche’s “Four Laws To Save the Nation” in 2014.
South African Ruling Party Narrowly Elects British Faction Leader
Dec. 18 (EIRNS)—The ruling African National Congress in South Africa today narrowly elected the City of London’s candidate, Cyril Ramaphosa, as the party’s president, on a “split ticket.” As the party president, Ramaphosa will be the ANC candidate for President of South Africa in 2019. South Africa’s current President Jacob Zuma had also been president of the party for the past ten years, but could not run for a third term. The contest was between Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma of President Zuma’s faction, and Ramaphosa. Jacob Zuma remains President of the country until the 2019 national elections.
Ramaphosa won with 51.1% of the votes. That margin was less than the percentage of non-voting and abstaining delegates among the 4,776 qualified to vote. His victory was the fruit of the combined efforts of South Africa’s leading mining houses, financial sector, mainstream media, the courts, and the Communist Party, all British-run, to demonize President Zuma, and to carry out a witchhunt against anyone who had ever had contact with Zuma’s sleazy allies, the Gupta brothers.
R.P. Tsokolibane, leader of LaRouche South Africa, stated today that the election of Ramaphosa is “our new challenge.”
The winners of the other five of the “Top Six” positions in the party (Deputy President, Chair, Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General, Treasurer) are split, with the two most powerful (Deputy President and Secretary General), and the Deputy Secretary General, all going to leaders currently aligned with the Zuma faction.
The importance of BRICS and the role of China (and Russia and India) emerged during the conference at breakfast meetings of the ANC’s Progressive Business Forum. This subject was brought up a few times, always in very positive terms, mostly by small- and medium-sized business people who had either been taken to China by the government, or had talked to people at the Russian Embassy, or had visited India.
BRICS and the role of China were also brought up by several of the many discussants during the 24-hour, live conference coverage by the African News Network. They credited Zuma with having brought the issue of extensive poverty in South Africa to the fore. He repositioned South Africa in the world by achieving membership in BRICS, they said. Discussant Udo Froese said that South Africa, without BRICS, had not been strong enough to push back against the prevailing financial institutions. Zuma’s administration was also praised for sending young South Africans to China for skills development.
Apart from Ramaphosa’s election, the conduct of the conference disappointed the British. The mainstream media were predicting violence, the possible breakup of the conference, another split in the ANC, or all of the above. But the conference was carried out with utmost decorum with an eye to the 2019 national Presidential election, in which the ANC must remain intact to face the British-run opposition parties.
The election of Ramaphosa will set the country back, but the New Silk Road and World Land-Bridge have already arrived in Africa (including projects in South Africa itself). Ramaphosa himself, as Zuma’s Deputy President, met with Premier Li Keqiang in China to promote trade relations in 2015, even though the word “BRICS” has still not become part of his vocabulary. And the Zuma faction is not going to disappear.