El Chapo Trial: Former Mexican President Peña Nieto Took $100 Million Bribe, Witness Says

What is the DOJ and the FBI hiding?

 

   

     “How come the lights went on before he clapped?”

 

 

Taking it to the bank:

El Chapo Trial: Former Mexican President Peña Nieto Took $100 Million Bribe, Witness Says

By: Alan Feuer

Former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto took a $100 million bribe from international drug traffickers ,acocrding to a witness at the trial of Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the infamous crime lord known as El Chapo.

The stunning testimony was delivered Tuesday in a New York courtroom by Alex Cifuentes Villa, a Colombian drug lord who worked closely with Mr. Guzmán from 2007 to 2013, when they were hiding from the authorities at one of the kingpin’s remote ranches in the Sierra Madre mountains.

“Mr. Guzmán paid a bribe of $100 million to President Peña Nieto?” Jeffrey Lichtman, one of Mr. Guzmán’s lawyers asked Mr. Cifuentes during cross-examination.

Yes,” responded Mr. Cifuentes.

The bribe was delivered to Mr. Peña Nieto through an intermediary, according to Mr. Cifuentes.

While other witnesses at Mr. Guzmán’s trial in Federal District Court in Brooklyn have testified about payoffs from traffickers to the Mexican police and public officials, the revelations about Mr. Peña Nieto were the most egregious allegations yet. If true, they suggest that corruption by drug cartels had reached into the highest level of Mexico’s political establishment.

From the start of the trial in November, there were lurid hints that top Mexican leaders might have been compromised by dirty money. In his opening statement, Mr. Lichtman claimed his client had been framed for years by a conspiracy hatched by his partner, Ismael Zambada García, in league with “crooked” American drug agents and a “completely corrupt” Mexican government, including two of its presidents.

At the time, Mr. Peña Nieto released a statement calling Mr. Lichtman’s claims false. The judge in the case, Brian M. Cogan, later cautioned Mr. Lichtman against making promises to the jury that the evidence in the case would not support.

Then, as the first week of the trial came to an end, Mr. Guzmán’s lawyers informed Judge Cogan at a sidebar conference that a coming witness, Jesus Zambada García, Ismael Zambada’s brother, would testify, if asked, that two Mexican presidents had taken bribes from the Sinaloa drug cartel.

But Judge Cogan forbade the testimony, citing the embarrassment it would cause to unnamed “individuals and entities” who were not directly involved in the case.

Until Monday, the most prominent Mexican official accused of taking bribes was Genaro García Luna, the country’s former public security director. When Jesus Zambada testified in November, he told jurors that he had met twice with Mr. García Luna in a restaurant and both times gave him a briefcase stuffed with at least $3 million in cash.

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Report: Illegal Migrants from Terror-Linked Countries Surging at Southern Border

 


Stand Up America Foundation has intel from its extensive network on the smuggling of long guns into the United States from Mexico just before the 2018 Congressional elections as well as more intelligence concerning the safety and security of the United States and its citizens.

From our friends at Breitbart. A reminder.

Report: Illegal Migrants from Terror-Linked Countries Surging at Southern Border

U.S. officials are trying to establish closer cooperation with various Latin American nations to combat an increase in the number of illegal migrants from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East attempting to sneak into the United States.

Between October 2015 and May 2016, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency, a component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), detained 5,350 African and Asian migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to Reuters.

The apprehensions of illegals from Africa and Asia during that period marks an increase from those that took place in all of 2015 (4,261) and 2014 (1,831).

In its report, Reuters highlighted attempted entries into the U.S. by individuals from Pakistan, Syria, and Afghanistan, which the U.S. considers to be terrorism-linked countries.

Most countries considered by the U.S. government to be linked to terrorism are located in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. American border authorities are trying to stop the illegal migrants at the Mexico border with Guatemala, before they reach the United States.

Reuters reports:

U.S. agents deployed to an immigration facility on Mexico’s southern border have vetted the more than 640 migrants from countries outside the Americas who have been detained at the center since October 2015, according to U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) documents reviewed by Reuters…

The U.S. agents’ findings come as Mexican immigration data show 6,342 Asian, African and Middle Eastern migrants were apprehended trying to enter Mexico in the first six months of this year. That was up from 4,261 in all of 2015, and 1,831 in 2014.

U.S. border apprehensions point to the same trend. Between October 2015 and May 2016, U.S. agents apprehended 5,350 African and Asian migrants at the U.S. Southwest border. That’s up from 6,126 in all of fiscal year 2015 and 4,172 in all of fiscal year 2014.

“The reality is that the vast majority of the people that Mexico encounters that are extra-continental will eventually end up on our border,” an unnamed official from CBP, told Reuters.

The Reuters report came soon after Central American authorities dismantled a human trafficking network dedicated to smuggling illegal migrants into the United States from terror-linked countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Moreover, the top American military official in Latin America and the Caribbean, U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) chief Navy Adm. Kurt W. Tidd, recently warned that there are various networks in his area of responsibility that specialize in trafficking illegals into the United States from countries affiliated with terrorism.

He noted that both the Shiite Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy, and the Sunni Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) are known to operate in the region.

Reuters points out:

Washington is seeking closer coordination with several Latin American countries to tackle a jump in migrants from Asia, Africa and the Middle East who it believes are trying to reach the United States from the south on an arduous route by plane, boat and through jungle on foot…

The migrants often fly to Brazil, obtain fake passports there, and are smuggled to Panama before heading through Central America to Mexico’s porous southern border, according to transcripts of 14 interviews conducted at the center and other internal briefing documents seen by Reuters…

U.S. concerns about potential security risks from migrants using the unusual and circuitous southern route have been growing in recent years, following a string of Islamic State-inspired attacks in the West and the surge in Syrian refugees fleeing that country’s civil war.

Breitbart Texas previously released leaked documents from CBP showing that hundreds of individuals from 75 countries outside the Americas, including some compromised by terrorist organizations, were attempting to sneak into the United States through the southern border.

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Joint Statement of the 2nd Afghanistan-China-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue

 

Joint Statement of the 2nd Afghanistan-China-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue

 

KABUL – Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi of the People’s Republic of China, and Foreign Minister Makhdom Shah Mahmood Qureshi of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan held the 2nd Afghanistan-China-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue in Kabul, Afghanistan on 15th December 2018. The meeting was chaired by H.E. Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani.

China and Pakistan congratulated Afghanistan on the completion of the parliamentary elections, and welcomed the efforts of the Afghan government for holding the presidential elections in 2019.

The three sides, once again, reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthening their relations, deepening cooperation and advancing connectivity under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) and other regional economic initiatives. The three sides agreed to promote China-Afghanistan-Pakistan trilateral cooperation under the framework of jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative. The three sides reiterated their strong resolve to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and without any distinction. The three Foreign Ministers agreed to jointly continue their efforts for building political mutual trust and support reconciliation, development cooperation and connectivity, security cooperation and counter-terrorism as the three areas of the trilateral cooperation.

The three sides reiterated their support to the Afghan-owned, and Afghan led inclusive peace process that is fully supported regionally and internationally, as the most viable way to bring peace in Afghanistan. In this regard, China and Pakistan appreciated the efforts of H.E. President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani especially for the comprehensive peace plans that came out of the second Kabul Process and the Geneva Conferences on Afghanistan, and therefore called on the Afghan Taliban to join the peace process at an early date. While efforts are underway to start the peace process, the three sides call upon the parties concerned to end violence and the loss of innocent lives in Afghanistan.

The three sides agreed to continue economic development cooperation in areas of mutual interest. The three sides will continue to implement and expand the “soft” projects such as exchange and capacity building programs, and explore “hard” projects of livelihood facilities and connectivity. China expressed its readiness to support Afghanistan and Pakistan in building immigration reception center and drinking water supply schemes at each side of the Ghulam Khan Khel crossing point, and to explore cold storages at Chaman and Spin Boldak. China supports enhanced coordination between Afghanistan and Pakistan on major energy and connectivity projects including the construction of Quetta-Kandahar railway and Kabul-Peshawar Motorway and Railway. The three sides reiterated their firm commitment to implement the activities and projects agreed to under practical cooperation.

The three sides expressed their strong determination not to allow any country, organization or individual to use their respective territories for terrorist activities against any other countries. The three sides took stock of trilateral cooperation in their fight against terrorism and underlined the need to further strengthen counter-terrorism coordination and cooperation in an effort to combat all terrorist groups and individuals without any discrimination. They also agreed to counter terrorist’ logistical capabilities including financing, recruitment, training, and strengthen trilateral cooperation for counter-terrorism capacity building, deny terrorist use of the internet and to take joint steps for deradicalization, as well as work together to break the nexus between narco-trade and terror financing. To advance their cooperation in the fields of Counter-Terrorism, the three sides signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Counter-Terrorism.

The three sides agree to implement the consensus of the 2nd Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue through the trilateral Vice-Ministerial Strategic Dialogue, Vice-Ministerial Consultation on Counter-Terrorism and Security, and Director Generals’ Practical Cooperation as well as other agreed mechanisms.

China and Pakistan thanked Afghanistan for the successful organization of the 2nd China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue and its warm hospitality, and the three sides agreed that the 3rd Afghanistan-China-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue would be held in Islamabad in 2019.

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CHINA AND PAKISTAN UNVEIL THEIR PLAN FOR AFGHANISTAN

 

CHINA AND PAKISTAN UNVEIL THEIR PLAN FOR AFGHANISTAN

By Lawrence Sellin, Colonel, U.S. Army (Reserve)

The China Daily, a Chinese government media outlet, published an article, “Pakistan key to Afghan peace process,” by an author from Pakistan, an ally of China, which not only drips with irony but unabashedly explains the Chinese-Pakistani plan for the future of Afghanistan.

It originates from the “non-governmental” Beijing think tank, the Center for China and Globalization, founded and run by former high officials of the Chinese government, one of which was chief negotiator for China’s entry into the World Trade Organization.

The article begins by blaming the United States for waging “an unnecessary and avoidable war” for 17 years, despite the fact that it was actually Pakistan who provided safe haven and supported a Taliban proxy army that “caused the deaths of countless innocent people.”

Contrary to the author’s contention, it was not the War in Afghanistan that “has endangered and destabilized the whole region” but Pakistan’s domestic policy of promoting Islamic extremism to subdue ethnic self-determination and its use of terrorism as an instrument of its foreign policy that led to and nurtured that war.

The author then conveniently identifies the countries collaborating with Pakistan to hasten a U.S. exit from South Asia; China, Russia, Iran and Turkey.

U.S. withdrawal is necessary for “the true potential of the Belt and Road Initiative, especially China-Pakistan Economic Corridor”, to be realized because “Eurasia, Russia and Central Asia can only utilize Gwadar [Pakistan’s port] as a newly emerged trade route through Afghanistan, where CPEC may later extend in the future.”

That can happen when “the [United States] completely withdraws from the country, as in Vietnam … and Pakistan can facilitate this by providing a safe passage for a U.S .withdrawal.” The subtle message being that Pakistan will continue to attack Afghanistan with its Taliban proxies until the United States does so.

Here is the punchline: “China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization objectives can only be realized only when there is a stable Afghanistan,” that is, a Chinese-Pakistani controlled Afghanistan.

And here is how the Chinese-Pakistani plan will unfold.

China’s ally Pakistan will increase the attacks on Afghanistan by its proxy the Taliban to further undermine the Kabul government and raise the pressure on the United States to reach an agreement for withdrawal.

Together with Pakistan, Iran, Russia and Turkey, China will become a mediator to end the Afghan War.

A coalition government for Afghanistan will be proposed consisting of the Taliban and nominally neutral, but, in practice, pro-Pakistani/pro-Chinese Afghan politicians with a concomitant scheduled drawdown of the United States and NATO forces.

Afghanistan will be offered participation in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and will become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as a basis for Afghan reconstruction and development.

Pakistan will withdraw its support of the Taliban and joint Chinese-Pakistani counterterrorism forces will eliminate the remaining Taliban from Afghanistan, for which joint exercises are already underway while solidifying a pro-Pakistani/pro-Chinese government in Kabul.

Following China’s economic subjugation of South Asia, the Chinese will establish military bases in Balochistan on the Arabian Sea to control the vital sea lanes of the northern Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf, link the Chinese naval base in Djibouti with its bases in the South China Sea and isolate India.

Focused narrowly on enticing the Taliban to the negotiating table, the U.S. government appears to have no strategy to counter the China-Pakistan plan to dominate South Asia.

Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel, an IT command and control subject matter expert, trained in Arabic and Kurdish, and a veteran of Afghanistan, northern Iraq and a humanitarian mission to West Africa.

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TRUMP’S CLUELESS WAR IN AFGHANISTAN

TRUMP’S CLUELESS WAR IN AFGHANISTAN

By: Lawrence Sellin, Retired Colonel, U.S. Army Reserve
11/30/2018

Yes, it is President Trump’s war now, and he doesn’t know what to do about it. The bad news is: neither do those advising him.

So, the Trump administration has chosen to prolong the stalemate by continuing an expensive, exhaustive and entirely inappropriate counterinsurgency strategy in the desperate hope that the Taliban will be encouraged to join a peace process and agree to terms that will permit the United States to withdraw without the appearance of a humiliating American defeat.

Good luck with that.

The Trump Afghanistan policy remains the same as the two previous administrations: “Our primary mission remains to protect the homeland by preventing Afghanistan from being used again as a safe haven for terrorists to attack the United States or our allies.”

The success of that mission has always been predicated on a single proposition, to buy enough time so that Afghan security forces can successfully take the lead against the Taliban or any other terrorist entity who planned to use Afghanistan as a training or operational base.

In 2010, after serving at ISAF Joint Command (IJC) in Afghanistan, I wrote about our advise and train program in Afghanistan:

Last autumn [2009] the U.S. government announced that after eight years and $27 billion, the results of the Afghan Army and Police training program were so bad that it was declared a failure. If the effectiveness of the training was ever questioned internally, it had no obvious effect.

It was a program on automatic pilot, where everyone was being reassured that everything was going according to plan and ‘progress was being made.’ Despite the fact that symptoms of failure were already appearing in the press years earlier, no one in the chain of command spoke up and hence, no one should be surprised. The pressure to conform is enormous.

Like Afghanistan, the withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Vietnam depended upon a similar proposition: “American ground forces in Vietnam would be reduced through the policy of Vietnamization and the war turned over to an improved ARVN [Army of the Republic of Vietnam] and government capable of defending its territory and its people.”

As we know, that never happened in Vietnam, and it still hasn’t happened in Afghanistan after 17 years.

To paraphrase Clausewitz, we have misunderstood the war we are fighting, turning it into something that is alien to its nature, a conclusion that can offer some clues to the Trump administration.

The war in Afghanistan is not an insurgency. It is a proxy war orchestrated by Pakistan and executed by the Taliban, an extremist group created and supported by Pakistan and composed primarily of Pakistani nationals.

The U.S. military policy of counterinsurgency in Afghanistan is untenable because Pakistan, through its proxies, regulates the operational tempo of the conflict and, because Afghanistan is landlocked, Pakistan also controls the supply of our troops. Pakistan has effectively used those levers to inhibit the United States from attacking Taliban safe havens and command and control infrastructure inside Pakistan.

Pakistan is an ally of China, not the United States. Pakistan’s aims in Afghanistan are completely different from those of the United States. To view Pakistan as a reliable partner in any resolution of the Afghanistan conflict on terms favorable to the United States is a fool’s errand.

Islamic extremism is endemic in South Asia, largely due to a toleration for or the promotion of that ideology by nation states. That is a regional reality and a U.S. “presence” in Afghanistan will not change it, but merely remain a target of it. Burden shifting is a more sensible approach.

U.S. leverage in achieving a satisfactory resolution to the Afghan war resides less with our presence or our military action in Afghanistan than in managing, to our advantage, the vested interests of nation states.

Financial carrots and sticks have had only a negligible effect on Pakistan’s support of the Taliban because the potential benefits to Pakistan supplied by the Taliban outweigh any measures previously employed by the United States to discourage that support. More effective measures are needed.

Ethnic separatism is Pakistan’s pain point, an existential rather than a financial threat. Greater U.S. leverage, both short and long-term, can be achieved by recognizing and supporting the ongoing efforts by groups such as the Baloch and Pashtuns movements for self-determination, located precisely in the staging areas in Pakistan from which the Taliban operate.

Ethnic separatism in Pakistan is also a threat to China’s investment in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the flagship of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative. The disruption of CPEC would be a major geopolitical setback for Chinese economic and military expansionism.

Instead of our current policy, a recipe for stalemate, the Trump Administration should aim higher at the vested interests of those nation states who benefit from the service the Taliban proxies provide.

The United States cannot succeed operating under strategic conditions favorable to our adversaries. Instability can cut both ways. We should learn to manage it.

Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired US Army Reserve colonel, an IT command and control subject matter expert, trained in Arabic and Kurdish, and a veteran of Afghanistan, northern Iraq and a humanitarian mission to West Africa.

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