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Thank You Water Bombs

In this bonus “thank you” episode for producers, Jen starts off the episode with an addendum to Losing Afghanistan before thanking producers and filling everyone in on the magnificence of the new Raiders stadium.

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Background Sources

Senator Rand Paul. “SEN. RAND PAUL asks on guy Biden Administration droned, was he an aid worker or a ISIS-K operative?” America News on Youtube.

Christoph Koettl, Evan Hill, Matthieu Aikins, Eric Schmitt, Ainara Tiefenthäler and Drew Jordan. September 10, 2021. “How a U.S. Drone Strike Killed the Wrong Person.” The New York Times.


Producer-recommended Sources

Robert Bryce. September 6, 2021. “Franklin ‘Chuck’ Spinney: Author of ‘The Defense Death Spiral.'” The Power Hungry Podcast.

Vinay Prasad. September 2, 2021. “The Downsides of Masking Young Students Are Real.” The Atlantic.

Glenn Greenwald. August 25, 2021. “The Bizarre Refusal to Apply Cost-Benefit Analysis to COVID Debates.” Glenn Greenwald Substack.

Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. August 2021. What We Need to Learn: Lessons from twenty years of Afghanistan reconstruction.

World Health Organization. August 21, 2020. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Children and masks.

March 7, 1983. “U.S. Defense Spending: Are Billions Being Wasted?” Time Magazine.


Music Presented in This Episode

Intro & Exit: Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on Music Alley by mevio)

Check out this episode!

CD238: Losing Afghanistan

The war in Afghanistan is over. In this episode, we document how and why the Biden administration finally admitted defeat in our 20 year attempt to create a new government in Afghanistan and we take a hard look at the lessons we need to learn. Afghanistan is a country in a far away land, but there are disturbing similarities between the Afghanistan government that just collapsed and our own. We’d be wise not to ignore them.

Executive Producer: Rachel Passer

Executive Producer: Anonymous 


Please Support Congressional Dish – Quick Links

  • Contribute monthly or a lump sum via PayPal
  • Support Congressional Dish via Patreon (donations per episode)
  • Send Zelle payments to: Donation@congressionaldish.com
  • Send Venmo payments to: @Jennifer-Briney
  • Send Cash App payments to: $CongressionalDish or Donation@congressionaldish.com
  • Use your bank’s online bill pay function to mail contributions to: 5753 Hwy 85 North, Number 4576, Crestview, FL 32536.

Please make checks payable to Congressional Dish

Thank you for supporting truly independent media!


Background Sources

Recommended Congressional Dish Episodes

CD236: January 6: The Capitol Riot
CD218: Minerals are the New Oil
CD210: The Afghanistan War
CD124: The Costs of For-Profit War

How We Got Here

Craig Whitlock. The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War. Simon and Schuster, 2021.

Patrick Tucker. August 18, 2021. “Trump’s Pledge to Exit Afghanistan Was a Ruse, His Final SecDef Says.” Defense One.

Eugene Kiely and Robert Farley. August 17, 2021. “Timeline of U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan.” FactCheck.org.

Eric Schmitt and Jennifer Steinhauer. July 30, 2021. “Afghan Visa Applicants Arrive in U.S. After Years of Waiting.” The New York Times.

Craig Whitlock, Leslie Shapiro and Armand Emamdjomeh. December 9, 2019. “The Afghanistan Papers: A secret history of the war.” The Washington Post.

Mark Landler and James Risen. July 25, 2017. “Trump Finds Reason for the U.S. to Remain in Afghanistan: Minerals.” The New York Times.

John F. Harris. October 15, 2001. “Bush Rejects Taliban Offer On Bin Laden “ Washington Post.

The Evacuation: Those Left Behind

William Mauldin. September 2, 2021. “Afghanistan Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Staff Left Behind.” Wall Street Journal.

Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Annie Karni. August 29, 2021. “Series of U.S. Actions Left Afghan Allies Frantic, Stranded and Eager to Get Out.” The York Times.

Sami Sadat. August 25, 2021. “I Commanded Afghan Troops This Year. We Were Betrayed.” The New York Times.

Marjorie Censer. August 18, 2021. “US contractors rush to get former employees out of Afghanistan.” Defense News.

Siobhan Hughes. August 18, 2021. “Afghanistan Veterans in Congress Trying to Prevent ‘a Death Warrant’ for Helping America.” Wall Street Journal.

Alex Sanz and Tammy Webber. August 18, 2021. “US friends try to rescue brother in arms in Afghanistan.” AP News.

Seth Moulton. June 04, 2021. “Moulton, Bipartisan Honoring Our Promises Working Group to White House: Evacuate our Afghan Partners.”

Contractors in Afghanistan

Matt Taibbi. August 18, 2021. “We Failed Afghanistan, Not the Other Way Around.” TK News by Matt Taibbi on Substack.

Jack Detsch. August 16, 2021. “Departure of Private Contractors Was a Turning Point in Afghan Military’s Collapse.” Foreign Policy.

Matt Stoller. July 15, 2021. “‘A Real S*** Show’: Soldiers Angrily Speak Out about Being Blocked from Repairing Equipment by Contractors.” BIG by Matt Stoller.

Lynzy Billing. May 12, 2021. “The U.S. Is Leaving Afghanistan? Tell That to the Contractors.” New York Magazine.

Oren Liebermann. March 29, 2021. “Pentagon could open itself to costly litigation from contractors if US pulls out of Afghanistan this year.” CNN.

Lucas Kunce and Elle Ekman. September 15, 2019. “Comment Submitted by Major Lucas Kunce and Captain Elle Ekman.” [Regulations.gov(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulations.gov).

Aaron Mehta. Oct 25, 2016. “30 Years: William Perry — Reshaping the Industry.” Defense News.

Jared Serbu. August 22, 2016. “DoD now awarding more than half its contract spending without competitive bids.” Federal News Network.

41 U.S. Code § 3307 – Preference for commercial products and commercial services.

Money: Lost and Gained

David Moore. August 23, 2021. “Lawmakers Benefit From Booming Defense Stocks.” Sludge.

Lee Fang. August 20, 2021. “Congressman Seeking to Relaunch Afghan War Made Millions in Defense Contracting.” The Intercept.

Anna Massoglia and Julia Forrest. August 20, 2021. “Defense contractors spent big in Afghanistan before the U.S. left and the Taliban took control.” OpenSecrets.org.

Stephen Losey. April 16, 2021. “The Bill for the Afghanistan War Is $2.26 Trillion, and Still Rising.” Military.com.

Eli Clifton. February 16, 2021. “Weapons Biz Bankrolls Experts Pushing to Keep U.S. Troops in Afghanistan.” Daily Beast.

Open Secrets. 2021. Defense: Lobbying, 2021.

Open Secrets. 2021. Defense: Money to Congress.


Laws

S.1790 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020

Sponsor: Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK)
Status: Became Public Law No: 116-92 on December 20, 2019

H.R. 3237: Emergency Security Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021

Sponsor: Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
Status: Signed into law, 2021

May 20 House Vote Breakdown
Congressional Budget Office Score

Law Outline

TITLE IV: BILATERAL ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE

GENERAL PROVISIONS

EXTENSION AND MODIFICATION OF THE AFGHAN SPECIAL IMMIGRANT VISA PROGRAM

Sec. 401: Amends the Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009 to expand eligibility to include Afghans who worked not only for the US Government for more than 1 year but also our allies as an off-base interpreter or if they performed “activities for United States military stationed at International Security Assistance Force (or any successor name for such Force).

Increases the number of Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) to Afghan partners by 8,000, for a total of 34,500 allocated since December 19, 2014.

Sec. 402: Authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security and Secretary of state to jointly waive for 1 year (maximum 2 years with an extension) the requirement that Afghan partners eligible for SIVs get a medical exam before they can receive their visa. The Secretary of Homeland Security has to create a process to make sure Afghan SIV holders get a medical exam within 30 days of entry into the United States.

Sec. 403: Allows the surviving spouse or child or employee of the United States Government abroad to be eligible for immigration into the United States if the employee worked for our government for at least 15 years or was killed in the line of duty. It also expands entry permissions for Afghan SIV applicants in addition to those who have already been approved. This is retroactive to June 30, 2021.

Policies for Visa Processing:


Audio Sources

Gen. Mark Milley: “There was nothing that I or anyone else saw that indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days.”

August 18, 2021

  • General Mark Milley: The time frame of rapid collapse that was widely estimated and ranged from weeks to months, and even years following our departure, there was nothing that I or anyone else saw that indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days. Central Command submitted a variety of plans that were briefed and approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense and the President. These plans were coordinated, synchronized and rehearsed to deal with these various scenarios. One of those contingencies is what we are executing right now. As I said before, there’s plenty of time to do AARs(After Action Reviews) and key lessons learned and to delve into these questions with great detail. But right now is not that time. Right now, we have to focus on this mission, because we have soldiers at risk. And we also have American citizens and Afghans who supported us for 20 years also at risk. This is personal and we’re going to get them out.

President Biden on Afghanistan Withdrawal

Transcript

July 8, 2021

Sound Clips

  • 01:30 President Biden: When I announced our drawdown in April, I said we would be out by September, and we’re on track to meet that target. Our military mission in Afghanistan will conclude on August 31. The drawdown is proceeding in a secure and orderly way, prioritizing the safety of our troops as they depart

  • 3:40 President Biden: Together with our NATO allies and partners, we have trained and equipped nearly 300,000 current serving members of the military, the Afghan national security force, and many beyond that are no longer serving. Add to that hundreds of thousands more Afghan national defense and security forces trained over the last two decades.

  • 04:04 President Biden: We provided our Afghan partners with all the tools, let me emphasize, all the tools — training, equipment — of any modern military. We provided advanced weaponry, and we’re going to continue to provide funding and equipment and we’ll ensure they have the capacity to maintain their Air Force.

  • 5:54 President Biden: We’re also going to continue to make sure that we take on Afghan nationals who worked side by side with US forces, including interpreters and translators. Since we’re no longer going to have military there after this, we’re not going to need them and they’ll have no jobs. We’re [sic] also going to be vital to our efforts. they’ve been very vital, and so their families are not exposed to danger as well. We’ve already dramatically accelerated the procedure time for Special Immigrant Visas to bring them to the United States. Since I was inaugurated on January 20, we’ve already approved 2,500 Special Immigrant Visas to come to the United States. Up to now, fewer than half have exercised the right to do that. Half have gotten on aircraft and come commercial flights and come and other half believe they want to stay, at least thus far. We’re working closely with Congress to change the authorization legislation so that we can streamline the process of approving those visas. And those who have stood up for the operation to physically relocate 1000s of Afghans and their families before the US military mission concludes so that, if they choose, they can wait safely outside of Afghanistan, while their US visas are being processed.

  • 8:13 President Biden: For those who have argued that we should stay just six more months, or just one more year, I asked them to consider the lessons of recent history. In 2011, the NATO allies and partners agreed that we would end our combat mission in 2014. In 2014, some argued one more year. So we kept fighting. We kept taking casualties. In 2015, the same, and on and on. Nearly 20 years of experience has shown us that the current security situation only confirms that just one more year of fighting in Afghanistan is not a solution, but a recipe for being there indefinitely. It’s up to the Afghans to make the decision about the future of their country. Others are more direct. Their argument is that we should stay with the Afghans and Afghanistan indefinitely. In doing so they point to the fact that we we have not taken losses in this last year. So they claim that the cost of just maintaining the status quo is minimal.

  • 9:19 President Biden: But that ignores the reality, and the facts that already presented on the ground in Afghanistan when I took office. The Taliban is at its strongest militarily since 2001. The number of US forces in Afghanistan had been reduced to a bare minimum. And the United States and the last administration made an agreement that they have to with the Taliban remove all our forces by May 1 of this year. That’s what I inherited. That agreement was the reason the Taliban had ceased major attacks against US forces.

  • 9:55 President Biden: If in April, I had instead announced that the United States was going to go back on that agreement, made by the last administration, the United States and allied forces will remain in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future, the Taliban would have again begun to target our forces. The status quo was not an option. Staying would have meant US troops taking casualties, American men and women back in the middle of a civil war, and we would run the risk of having to send more troops back in Afghanistan to defend our remaining troops. Once that agreement with the Taliban had been made, staying with a bare minimum force was no longer possible.

  • 10:34 President Biden: So let me ask those who want us to stay: how many more? How many 1000s more Americans’ daughters and sons are you willing to risk? How long would you have them stay? Already we have members of our military whose parents fought in Afghanistan 20 years ago. Would you send their children and their grandchildren as well? Would you send your own son or daughter? After 20 years, a trillion dollars spent training and equipping hundreds of 1000s of Afghan National Security and Defence Forces. 2,448 Americans killed, 20,722 more wounded, and untold 1000s coming home with unseen trauma to their mental health. I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome.

  • 11:51 President Biden: Today the terrorist threat has metastasized beyond Afghanistan. So, we are repositioning our resources and adapting our counterterrorism posture to meet the threats where they are now: significantly higher in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

  • 12:07 President Biden: But make no mistake, our military and intelligence leaders are confident they have the capabilities to protect the homeland and our interests from any resurgent terrorist challenge emerging or emanating from Afghanistan. We’re developing a counterterrorism over-the-horizon capability that will allow us to keep our eyes firmly fixed at any direct threat to the United States in the region and act quickly and decisively if needed.

  • 12:38 President Biden: We also need to focus on shoring up America’s core strengths to meet the strategic competition competition with China and other nations that is really going to determine our future.

  • 14:58 Reporter: Is the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan now inevitable?
    President Biden: No. It is not. Because you have the Afghan troops, 300,000. Well equipped, as well equipped as any army in the world, and an air force against something like 75,000 Taliban. It is not inevitable.

  • 15:45 President Biden: Do I trust the Taliban? No, but I trust the capacity of the Afghan military who is better trained, better equipped, and more competent in terms of conducting war.

  • 18:07 Reporter: Your own intelligence community has assessed that the Afghan government will likely collapse
    President Biden: That is not true

  • 18:53 President Biden: And I want to make clear what I made clear to Ghani, that we are not going to walk away and not sustain their ability to maintain that force. We are. We’re going to also work to make sure we help them in terms of everything from food necessities and other things in the region. But there is not a conclusion that in fact, they cannot defeat the Taliban. I believe the only way there’s going to be — this is now Joe Biden, not the intelligence community — the only way there’s only going to be peace and secure in Afghanistan, is that they work out a modus vivendi with the Taliban, and they make a judgement as to how they can make peace. And the likelihood there’s going to be one unified government in Afghanistan, controlling the whole country is highly unlikely.

  • 21:30 Reporter: Mr. President, how serious was the corruption among the Afghanistan government to this mission failing there?
    President Biden: First of all, the mission hasn’t failed yet.

  • 22:00 President Biden: There were going to be negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan national security forces, and the Afghan government that didn’t come to fruition. So the question now is where do they go from here? The jury is still out, but the likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely.

  • 23:20 Reporter: Mr. President, “speed is safety,” as you just said in your remarks. Are you satisfied with the timeline of relocating Afghan nationals? Is it happening quickly enough to your satisfaction if it may not happen until next month at the end?
    President Biden: It has already happened, there have already been people, about 1000 people have gotten on aircraft and come to the United States already on commercial aircraft. So as I said, there’s over 2500 people, that as from January to now, have have gotten those visas and only half decided that they wanted to leave. The point is that I think the whole process has to be speeded up — period — in terms of being able to get these visas.
    Reporter: Why can’t the US evacuate these Afghan translators to the United States to await their visa processing as some immigrants of the southern border have been allowed to?
    President Biden: Because the law doesn’t allow that to happen. And that’s why we’re asking the Congress to consider changing the law.

President Biden Remarks on Afghanistan Strategy

Transcript

April 14, 2021

Sound Clips

  • 00:38 President Biden: I’m speaking to you today from the Roosevelt — the Treaty room in the White House — the same spot where in October of 2001, President George W. Bush informed our nation that the United States military had begun strikes on terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. It was just weeks, just weeks after the terrorist attack on our nation that killed 2,977 innocent souls, that turned Lower Manhattan into a disaster area, destroyed parts of the Pentagon and made hallowed ground in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and sparked an American promise that we would never forget. We went to Afghanistan in 2001, to root out al Qaeda to prevent future terrorist attacks against the United States planned from Afghanistan. Our objective was clear, the cause was just, our NATO allies and partners rallied beside us. And I supported that military action along with the overwhelming majority of the members of Congress. More than seven years later, in 2008 weeks before we swore the oath of office — President Obama and I were about to swear — President Obama asked me to travel to Afghanistan and report back on the state of the war in Afghanistan. I flew to Afghanistan to the Kunar Valley, a rugged, mountainous region on the border of Pakistan. What I saw on that trip reinforced my conviction that only the Afghans have the right and responsibility to lead their country. And that more and endless American military force could not create or sustain a durable Afghan Government. I believed that our presence in Afghanistan should be focused on the reason we went in the first place: to ensure Afghanistan would not be used as a base from which to attack our homeland again. We did that, we accomplished that objective. I said, along with others, we would follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell if need be. That’s exactly what we did. And we got him. It took us close to 10 years to put President Obama’s commitment into form. And that’s exactly what happened Osama bin Laden was gone. That was 10 years ago. Think about that. We delivered justice to Bin Laden a decade ago. And we’ve stayed in Afghanistan for a decade since. Since then, our reasons for remaining in Afghanistan have become increasingly unclear, even as the terrorist threat that we went to fight evolved. Over the past 20 years, the threat has become more dispersed, metastasizing around the globe. Al Shabaab in Somalia, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, on Al Nusra in Syria, ISIS attempting to create a caliphate in Syria and Iraq and establishing affiliates in multiple countries in Africa and Asia. With the terror threat now in many places, keeping 1000s of troops grounded and concentrated in just one country at a cost of billions each year makes little sense to me and our leaders. We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan, hoping to create ideal conditions for the withdraw and expecting a different result. I’m now the fourth United States President to preside over American troop presence in Afghanistan: two Republicans, two Democrats. I will not pass this responsibility on to a fifth. After consulting closely with our allies and partners, with our military leaders and intelligence personnel, with our diplomats and our development experts, with the Congress and the Vice President, as well as with Mr. Ghani and many others around the world. I concluded that it’s time to end America’s longest war. It’s time for American troops to come home.

  • 5:01 President Biden: When I came to office, I inherited a diplomatic agreement, duly negotiated between the government of the United States and the Taliban, that all US forces would be out of Afghanistan by May 1 2021, just three months after my inauguration. That’s what we inherited. That commitment is perhaps not what I would have negotiated myself, but it was an agreement made by the United States government. And that means something. So in keeping with that agreement, and with our national interest, the United States will begin our final withdrawal beginning on May 1 of this year.

  • 8:11 President Biden: You all know that less than 1% of Americans serve in our Armed Forces. The remaining 99%, we owe them. We owe them. They’ve never backed down from a single mission that we’ve asked of them. I’ve witnessed their bravery firsthand during my visits to Afghanistan. They’ve never wavered in their resolve. They paid a tremendous price on our behalf and they have the thanks of a grateful nation.


The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) High-Risk List

Center for Strategic and International Studies

Transcript

March 10, 2021

Speaker:

  • John Sopko – Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction

Sound Clips

  • 7:40 John Sopko: But right now, that state is under threat. In the wake of the February 2020 withdrawal agreement, all is not well. Compromise appears in short supply on either side. Taliban attacks have actually increased since the agreement was signed. Assassination of prominent officials, activists, journalists, aid workers and others have also increased, including an unsuccessful attack on one of the female members of the peace negotiating team. And the Taliban offensive on Kandahar city last October, as peace negotiations were ongoing, may well have succeeded, were it not for U.S. air support. Peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban have achieved little for Afghanistan so far, and only time will tell as to whether the new Biden administration initiative will bear fruit. And the Afghan people’s fears for its own government survival are exacerbated by the knowledge of how dependent their country is on foreign military and financial support.
  • 12:56 John Sopko: Another equally serious threat to Afghanistan’s stability has also largely been ignored as we focus on the boots on the ground in Afghanistan. And that is the provision of last year’s U.S.-Taliban agreement that stipulates that in addition to the departure of U.S. and coalition troops, or non-diplomatic civilian personnel: private security contractors, trainers, advisors, and supporting service personnel also must leave the country by May 1. Should this come to passSIGAR and many others believe this may be more devastating to the effectiveness of the Afghan security forces than the withdrawal of our remaining troops. Why is that? Because the Afghan government relies heavily on these foreign contractors and trainers to function. In the first quarter of fiscal year 2021 there are over 18,000 Defense Department contractors in Afghanistan, including 6000 Americans, and 7,000 3rd country nationals, 40% of whom are responsible for logistics, maintenance, or training tasks. Now, it is well known that the Afghan security forces need these contractors to maintain their equipment, manage supply chains, and train their military and police to operate the advanced equipment that we have purchased for them. For example, as of December, the Afghan National Army was completing just under 20% of its own maintenance work orders, well below the goal of 80% that was set and the 51% that they did in 2018. So that’s actually going down. The Afghan National Police were just as bad if not worse, undertaking only 12% of their own maintenance work against a target of 35% and less than the 16% that we reported in our 2019 high risk list. Additionally, and more troubling. The Department of Defense does train, advise and assist command air, or commonly called TAC air recently reported that since late 2019, they have reduced their personnel in Afghanistan by 94%, and that the military drawdown now requires near total use of contract support to maintain the Afghan Air fleet. They assess that quote “further drawdown in the associated closure basis will effectively end all in country aviation training contracts in Afghanistan.” Again, why is this significant? Why do we view this as a high risk? Namely because contractors currently provide 100% of the maintenance for the Afghan Air Force, UAE 60 helicopters and CE 130 cargo aircraft and a significant portion of Afghans Light Combat Support aircraft. TAC air this January gave a bleak assessment, namely, that no Afghan airframe can be sustained as combat effective for more than a few months in the absence of contractor support.

  • 17:51 John Sopko: Continued funding for U.S. reconstruction programs aimed at promoting economic development, rule of law, respect for human rights, good governance and security for the Afghan people may be more significant, because it may be the primary lever left for the US and other donors to influence that country. It appears that even the Taliban understand Afghanistan’s dire need for foreign assistance. Because, as one of the few commitments that the US had to make last year was, “to seek economic cooperation for reconstruction, with the new post settlement, Afghan Islamic government.” Now how much the donor community wishes to stay involved will of course depend on what that government looks like and how it behaves. Numerous officials, including then Secretary of State Pompeo and Ambassador Halley, have stated that the US will be able to advance its human rights goals, including the rights of women and girls with the Taliban by leveraging or conditioning this much needed financial assistance. But unfortunately, as SIGAR has long reported, even when conditionality involved only dealing with the Afghan government, donors do not have a stellar record of successfully utilizing that conditionality to influence Afghan behavior.

  • 27:19 John Sopko: Today our report suggests the donor community should realize the Afghan government is focused on a single goal, its survival. Afghanistan is more dependent on international support than ever before. It may not be an overstatement that if foreign assistance is withdrawn and peace negotiations fail, Taliban forces could be at the gates of Kabul in short order.


Hearing: A PATHWAY FOR PEACE IN AFGHANISTAN: EXAMINING THE FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE AFGHANISTAN STUDY GROUP

House Committee on Oversight and Reform: Subcommittee on National Security

February 19, 2021

Testimony was heard from the following Afghanistan Study Group officials:

Sound Clips

  • 3:13 Rep. Stephen Lynch (MA): I’d also like to take a moment to thank the nonpartisan US Institute of Peace for the support and expertise they provided to the study group during the course of its work.

  • 3:23 Rep. Stephen Lynch (MA): In the fiscal year 2020 omnibus bill Congress led by Senator Graham Senator Patrick Leahy and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee of state foreign ops and related programs. They tasked the independent and bipartisan Afghanistan study group to quote, consider the implications of a peace settlement or the failure to reach a settlement on US policy, resources and commitments in Afghanistan. After nearly nine months of review and consultation with current and former US and Afghan government officials, allies and partners and other key stakeholders, the Afghanistan study group issued its final report earlier this month.

  • 15:12 Kelly Ayotte: We recommend that US troops remain beyond may 1. We believe a precipitous withdrawal of US and international troops in May, would be catastrophic for Afghanistan, leading to civil war, and allow the reconstitution of terror groups which threaten the United States within an 18 to 36 month period.

  • 15:41 Kelly Ayotte: Let me be clear, although we recommend that our troops remain beyond may 1, we propose a new approach toward Afghanistan, which aligns our policies, practices and messaging across the United States government to support the Afghan peace process, rather than prosecute a war. Our troops would remain not to fight a forever war, but to guarantee the conditions for a successful peace process and to protect our national security interests to ensure that Afghanistan does not become a haven again, for terrorists who threaten the United States of America.

  • 37:15 General Joseph F. Dunford: Do we need to increase forces if the Taliban don’t accept an extension past the first of May, and if they then would re initiate attacks against US forces? and Chairman, we heard exactly what you heard. In the fall. What we were told by commanders on the ground in the department of fence was that 4500 US forces, in addition to the NATO forces that are there was the minimum level to address both the mission as well as protection of our forces in the context of the conditions that existed in the fall in as you’ve highlighted, those conditions have only gotten worse since the fall so in in our judgment 2500 would not be adequate. Should the Taliban re initiate attacks against the United States


Hearing: Examining the Trump Administration’s Afghanistan Strategy

House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Subcommittee on National Security

January 28, 2020

Witness:

  • John Sopko – Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR)

Sound Clips

  • 48:54 John Sopko: We’ve almost created a system that forces people in the government to give happy talk success stories because they’re over there on very short rotations. They want to show success. The whole system is almost geared to give you, and it goes up the chain of command, all the way to the President sometimes. He gets bad information from people out in the field because somebody on a nine month rotation, he has to show success, and that goes up.

  • 54:24 John Sopko: Maybe incentivize honesty. And one of the proposals I gave at that time,be cause I was asked by the staff to come up with proposals, is put the same requirement on the government that we impose on publicly traded corporations. Publicly traded corporations have to tell the truth. Otherwise the SEC will indict the people involved. They have to report when there’s a significant event. So put that onus, call it The Truth in Government Act if you want, that you in the administration are duty bound by statute to alert Congress to significant events that could directly negatively impact a program or process. So incentivize honesty.

  • 1:10:25 John Sopko: Over 70% of the Afghan budget comes from the United States and the donors. If that money ended, I have said before and I will stand by it, then the Afghan government will probably collapse.


Wartime Contracting

Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

September 21, 2011

Witnesses:

  • Charles Tiefer: Commissioner on the Commission on Wartime Contracting
  • Clark Kent Ervin: Commissioner on the Commission on Wartime Contracting

Sound Clips

  • 1:11:30 Charles Tiefer: Our private security in Afghanistan appears to be a major source of payoffs to the Taliban. Our report has the first official statement that it’s the second-largest source of money for the Taliban. Sen. Carl Levin: After drugs. Charles Tiefer: After drugs, that’s right.

  • 1:25:18 Clark Kent Ervin: It’s critical that the government have a choice, and that means that there needs to be at least a small and expandable, organic capacity on the part of these three agencies to perform missions themselves, so the next time there’s a contingency, the government has a choice between going with contractors and going in-house and the determination can be made whether it’s more effective to do it either way, whether it’s cheaper to do it either way. As we said at the inception, right now the government doesn’t have an option. Contractors are the default option because they’re the only option.


President George W. Bush announces U.S. Military Strikes on Afghanistan

October 7, 2001

  • President George W. Bush: Good afternoon. On my orders, the United States military has begun strikes against Al-Qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. These carefully targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations and to attack the military capability of the Taliban regime. More than two weeks ago, I gave Taliban leaders a series of clear and specific demands: close terrorist training camps, hand over leaders of the Al-Qaeda network, and return all foreign nationals including American citizens unjustly detained in your country. None of these demands were met and now the Taliban will pay a price by destroying camps and disrupting communications. We will make it more difficult for the terror network to train new recruits and coordinate their evil plans. **

International Campaign Against Terrorism

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

October 25, 2001

Witness:

  • Colin Powell: Secretary of State

Sound Clip

  • 27:00 Colin Powell: Our work in Afghanistan though, is not just of a military nature. We recognize that when the Al Qaeda organization has been destroyed in Afghanistan, and as we continue to try to destroy it in all the nations in which it exists around the world, and when the Taliban regime has gone to its final reward, we need to put in place a new government in Afghanistan, one that represents all the people of Afghanistan and one that is not dominated by any single powerful neighbor, but instead is dominated by the will of the people of Afghanistan.

Executive Producer Recommendations

Elect Stephanie Gallardo 2022

Krystal Kyle and Friends. August 21, 2021. “Episode 35 Audio with Matthew Hoh.”


Cover Art

Design by Only Child Imaginations


Music Presented in This Episode

Intro & Exit: Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on Music Alley by mevio)

Check out this episode!

Thank You, Market Rate Racket

Floods, fires, abortion bans: Oh my! In this bonus thank you episode, hear Jen’s thoughts on this rough week in the United States, with some extended perspective on the end of the eviction moratorium from the perspective of a former corporate landlord. Jen will then thank and respond to all the wonderful souls who are co-producing this podcast.

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Background Sources

David Dayen. September 3, 2021. “A Devastating Week for This Country.” American Prospect.

David Dayen. September 1, 2021. “America’s Acute Governance Problem.” American Prospect.

Will Parker. August 31, 2021. “House Rents Pop Up as New Investors Pile In.”

Supreme Court of the United States. August 26, 2021. Alabama Association of Realtors et. al. v. Department of Health and Human Services.

Andrew Ackerman and Will Parker. August 25, 2021. “Only a Fraction of Covid-19 Rental Assistance Has Been Distributed.” Wall Street Journal.

U.S. Department of the Interior. “Public Gathering Permit 21-0278.”


Producer-recommended Sources

Robert Menendez and Richard Blumenthal. August 5, 2021. “Senators Menendez and Blumenthal News Conference on 9-11 Transparency Act.” C-SPAN.

James Corbett. September 8, 2020. “Why Aren’t Insurers 9/11 Truthers? – Questions For Corbett #067.” The Corbett Report: Open Source Intelligence News.

James Corbett. August 26, 2019. “What the OKC Investigation Missed with Roger G. Charles.” The Corbett Report: Open Source Intelligence News.

James Corbett. April 2, 2017. “Requiem for the Suicided: Kenneth Trentadue.” The Corbett Report: Open Source Intelligence News.

James Corbett. April 20, 2016. “Interview 1161 — PFT Live: Debunking the 28 Pages.” The Corbett Report: Open Source Intelligence News.

James Corbett. May 11, 2015. “Episode 305 — The Secret Life of Timothy McVeigh.” The Corbett Report: Open Source Intelligence News.

James Corbett. September 9, 2013. “Interview 744 — Kevin Ryan Exposes ‘Another 19’ 9/11 Suspects.” The Corbett Report: Open Source Intelligence News.

James Corbett. December 2, 2011. “Corbett Report Radio 023 – The OKC Bombing with James Lane and Holland Van den Nieuwenhof.” The Corbett Report: Open Source Intelligence News.

Peter Collins. October 17, 2011. “Boiling Frogs: Bill Bergman Follows the Money Around 9/11.” The Peter Collins Show.

James Corbett. September 1, 2011. “Interview 368 — Kevin Ryan.” The Corbett Report: Open Source Intelligence News.

Peter Collins. March 26, 2010. “Info on Podcast #116.” The Peter Collins Show.

James Corbett. August 1, 2010. “Episode 140 – Requiem for the Suicided: Terrance Yeakey.” The Corbett Report: Open Source Intelligence News.


Music Presented in This Episode

Intro & Exit: Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on Music Alley by mevio)

Check out this episode!

CD237: Hunting Domestic Terrorists

In the aftermath of January 6th, Congress passed a “Capitol Security” law and is considering other measures to deal with “domestic terrorists”. In this episode, after we examine the new law, we take a look at the domestic terrorism related bills making their way through Congress, we analyze the laws already on the books which allow way too many Americans to be branded as “domestic terrorist” suspects, and we take a close look at the Biden administrations disturbing plans for investigating, preventing, and prosecuting American citizens for crimes they haven’t committed yet.

Executive Producer: Christopher Grizzle

Please Support Congressional Dish – Quick Links

Please make checks payable to Congressional Dish

Thank you for supporting truly independent media!


Background Sources

Recommended Congressional Dish Episodes

CD236: January 6: The Capitol Riot

CD235: The Safe Haven of Sanctions Evaders

CD228: The Second Impeachment Trial of Donald Trump

CD224: Social Media Censorship

Domestic Terrorism Policy and Strategy

U.S. Department of Homeland Security. August 13, 2021. “National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin.”

U.S. National Security Council. June 2021. National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism. The White House.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security. May 11, 2021. “DHS Creates New Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships and Additional Efforts to Comprehensively Combat Domestic Violent Extremism.”

U.S. Department of Homeland Security. September 19, 2019. “Fusion Centers.”

“John D. Cohen: Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Assistant Secretary for Counterterrorism and Threat Prevention Policy, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.” No date. U.S. House of Representatives Document Repository.

John Cohen LinkedIn profile.

U.S. Department of Defense Security Cooperation Agency. No date. “Humanitarian Assistance”.

Perspectives on the “Domestic War on Terror”

Branko Marcetic. July 28, 2021. “The FBI’s Domestic ‘War on Terror’ Is an Authoritarian Power Grab”. Jacobin.

Ken Bensinger and Jessica Garrison. July 20, 2021. “Watching the Watchmen.” BuzzFeed News.

Harsha Panduranga. June 21, 2021. “Why Biden’s Strategy for Preventing Domestic Terrorism Could Do More Harm Than Good”. Los Angeles Times.

Glenn Greenwald. June 2, 2021. “The New Domestic War on Terror Has Already Begun — Even Without the New Laws Biden Wants”. Glenn Greenwald Substack.

Faiza Patel. February 16, 2021. “We Don’t Need More Terrorism Laws After the Capitol Riot. Just Look At Our 9/11 Mistakes.” Brennan Center for Justice.

January 6 Capitol Riot Aftermath

Natalia Gurevich. August 24, 2021. “After Jan. 6 attack, US Capitol Police choose San Francisco for new field office.” KCBS Radio.

Barbara Sprunt. July 27, 2021. “Here Are The 9 Lawmakers Investigating The Jan. 6 Capitol Attack.” NPR.

Glenn Greenwald. July 8, 2021. “The Capitol Police, Armed With $2 Billion in New Funding, Expanding Operations Outside of D.C.” Glenn Greenwald Substack.

United States Capitol Police. July 6, 2021. “After the Attack: The Future of the U.S. Capitol Police.”

Lexi Lonas. June 30, 2021. “Nearly 70 House lawmakers ask leadership to reimburse National Guard for Jan. 6 response.” The Hill.

Jacob Pramuk. May 20, 2021. “House passes $1.9 billion Capitol security bill that faces Senate roadblocks.” CNBC.

Corporate and Government Partnerships

Rachael Levy. August 15, 2021. “Homeland Security Considers Outside Firms to Analyze Social Media After Jan. 6 Failure.”

Anti-Defamation League. July 26, 2021. “PayPal Partners with ADL to Fight Extremism and Protect Marginalized Communities.”

Danny O’Brien and Rainey Reitman. December 14, 2020. “Visa and Mastercard are Trying to Dictate What You Can Watch on Pornhub.” Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Gillian Friedman. December 10, 2020. “Mastercard and Visa stop allowing their cards to be used on Pornhub.” New York Times.

Shannon Souza. October 12, 2020. “Credit and Debit Card Market Share by Network and Issuer.” The Ascent: A Motley Fool Service.

New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The Christchurch Call.

“Anti-Defamation League.”. Last edited March 30, 2012. SourceWatch.

Valens Global. “Who We Are.”


Laws

H.R. 3237: Emergency Security Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (Capitol Police Funding)

Sponsor: Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)

Status: Signed into law, 2021

May 20 House Vote Breakdown
Congressional Budget Office Score

Law Outline

TITLE I: DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Emergency funding appropriated…

  • $600 million for the National Guard
  • $500 million for the “Overseas Humanitarian, Disaster, and Civic Aid” account

TITLE II: DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Emergency funding appropriated…

  • $25 million for Refugee and Entrant Assistance for Afghans

TITLE III: LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Emergency funding appropriated…

  • $11.6 million for the House of Representatives for coronavirus related expenses.
  • $ 8 million for the Senate Sergeant at Arms for coronavirus related expenses
  • $346 thousand for the families of late members of Congress Ronald Wright and Alcee Hastings.
CAPITOL POLICE

Emergency funding appropriated…

  • $37.5 million for “Salaries” account for January 6 related expenses
    • $3.6 million is for retention bonuses
    • $6.9 million for hazard pay
    • $1.4 million for a wellness program for the Capitol Police officers
  • $33 million for “General Expenses” account for January 6 related expenses
    • At least $5 million must be spent on “reimbursable agreements with State and local law enforcement agencies”
    • At least $4.8 million for protective details for Congress
    • $2.6 million for physical protection barriers and other civil disturbance unit equipment
    • $2.5 million to the US Marshalls Service for providing counseling to Capitol Police officers.
    • $800,000 for coronavirus expenses
  • $35.4 million for mutual aid and training
    • $9 million for payments to other local law enforcement partners who responded on January 6
    • Leaves $25 million for Capitol Police training
ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL

Emergency funding appropriated…

  • $22 million for coronavirus expenses
CAPITOL POLICE BUILDINGS, GROUNDS AND SECURITY

Emergency funding appropriated to the Capitol Police and Architect of the Capitol Police…

  • $300 million to repair January 6th damage
    • $281 million for windows, doors, and enhances physical security
    • $17 million for security cameras
GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 310: No Permanent Fencing

  • No funds now or in the future can be used to install “permanent, above ground fencing around the perimeter, or any portion thereof, of the United States Capitol Grounds.

TITLE IV: BILATERAL ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, MIGRATION AND REFUGEE ASSISTANCE

Emergency funding appropriated…

  • $100 million for “humanitarian needs in Afghanistan and to assist Afghan refugees”
  • $500 million for the “United States Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund”
GENERAL PROVISIONS

Extension and Modification of the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Program (See episode CD238)

TITLE V: DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

STATE AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT ASSISTANCE

Emergency funding appropriated…

  • $1.1 million for reimbursements for protecting Joe Biden between his election and inauguration

USA PATRIOT Act

Sponsor: James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-WI)

Status: Signed into law, 2001

Bills

S. 1896: Algorithmic Justice and Online Platform Transparency Act

Sponsor: Doris Matsui (D-CA)

Status: Introduced, May 28, 2021

S. 937: COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act

Sponsor: Mazie Hirono (D-HI)

Status: Enacted, March 23, 2021

H.Res. 272: Calling for the designation of Antifa as a domestic terrorist organization

Sponsor: Lauren Boebert (R-CO)

Status: Introduced, March 26, 2021

S. 963: Domestic Terrorism and Hate Crimes Prevention Act

Sponsor: Richard Durbin (D-IL)

Status: Sent to the Senate for consideration March 25, 2021

S. 964: Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021

Sponsor: Richard Durbin (D-IL)

Status: Introduced, March 24, 2021

H.R. 657: District of Columbia National Guard Home Rule Act

Sponsor: Eleanor Norton (D-DC)

Status: Introduced, February 1, 2021

S. 130: District of Columbia National Guard Home Rule Act

Sponsor: Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)

Status: Introduced January 28, 2021

H.R. 350: Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021

Sponsor: Brad Schneider (D-IL)

Status: Introduced January 19, 2021

H.R. 4192: Confronting the Threat of Domestic Terrorism Act

Sponsor: Adam Schiff (D-CA)

Status: Died in 116th Congress


The Hearings

Resources and Authorities Needed to Protect and Secure the Homeland

Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
July 27, 2021

Testimony heard from Alejandro N. Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security

37:00 DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas: Domestic terrorism is the most lethal and persistent terrorism related threat to the United States today. That is why we are requesting $131 million to support innovative methods to prevent domestic terrorism, while respecting privacy, civil rights and civil liberties.


2:27:00 Sen. Jon Ossoff (GA): According to DHS, FBI data from 2015 to 2019, 65 Americans were tragically killed in domestic terrorist attacks. And I want to put that in context by referring to CDC homicide data over the same period of 2015 to 2019. 94,636 Americans killed by homicide over that same period.


2:27:15 Sen. Jon Ossoff (GA): What leads you to the conclusion that the level of threat from domestic violent extremists and the level of threat posed by potential domestic terrorists has risen to the extent that it justifies this bureaucratic focus and this budgetary focus you’ve requested, for example, resources to establish a new dedicated domestic terrorism branch within DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis.


2:28:00 DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas: What we see is an increasing amount of social media traffic that is based on ideologies of hate, and extremism, false narratives, and an increasing connectivity to violence – intention to commit violent acts. And so that is what causes us to conclude that this is the greatest terrorist related threat that we face in our homeland today.


2:28:15 DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas: What we seek to do is more effectively disseminate what we learn about those trends – mindful of rights of privacy and civil rights and civil liberties – disseminate that information to our state, local, tribal, territorial partners on the one hand, and importantly, to equip local communities, to empower them to address the threat in their own neighborhoods.

Terrorism and Digital Financing: How Technology is Changing the Threat

House Committee on Homeland Security: Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism
July 22, 2021

Testimony was heard from the following Department of Homeland Security officials:


3:15 Rep. Elise Slotkin (MI): Some of the online platforms and online tech allow easy access for thousands, if not millions of users to donate money through online campaigns. For example, crowdfunding through PayPal, GoFundMe, and Amazon have become popular ways in recent years for extremist groups to raise money. To put this in context, according to the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, from about 2005 to 2015, just about every extremist group they tracked featured a PayPal button on their website. Now, even though PayPal and other payment processing platforms became aware of the issue and began to ban extremists from their flat platforms, which is a great first step, these groups have persevered and maintained a strong online presence.


5:00 Rep. Elise Slotkin (MI): But just as nefarious groups have changed their fundraising tactics after crackdowns by payment processors like PayPal, when law enforcement begins following and cracking down on illicit Bitcoin use, terrorist fundraisers advise supporters to use other cryptocurrencies to avoid detection. This was the case of a pro ISIS website that requested its supporters send money via Monero, another cryptocurrency instead of Bitcoin because of its privacy and safety features.


6:00 Rep. Elise Slotkin (MI): But we know we have an uphill battle. Our subcommittee really stands ready to help the department with what you need. If you need changes to legislation, if you need resources, we want to hear more from you, not less.


56:55 Rep. Tom Malinowski (NJ): I hear the phrase that it enables the democratization of currency. And every time someone says we’re democratizing something, it kind of ends the conversation. That’s sort of good. I don’t really understand what that means in this context. I think it’s an abstraction, whereas ransomware attacks are not an abstraction. They’re hurting people, every single day. So I’m not sure if I see it. And I think we do need to expand this conversation to ask that fundamental question, whether the challenges that you are facing – that we are asking you to deal with – in protecting us against all of these social ills, are challenges that are necessary, inescapable and inevitable. And I think we have to ask, what is the good? What is the positive social value of this phenomenon that is also creating all of this harm? And you know, I think when you look at the history of how we built modern economies in the United States and around the world, we started three or 400 years ago with multiple currencies that were unregulated and not controlled by governments and in every modern economy, we built what we have today when government decided no, we’re going to have one currency that is issued and regulated by government. And I think I could ask you – we don’t have time – how we can better regulate cryptocurrency, but I think if we regulated it, it wouldn’t be crypto anymore. And so what would be the point? So I come back to the question, should this be allowed? Thank you. I yield back.

Examining the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol, Part II

Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and Committee on Rules and Administration
March 3, 2021
Hearing on C-SPAN Day II, Part I Hearing on C-SPAN Day II, Part II

Testimony was heard from:

  • Robert Salesses, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Assistant Secretary for Homeland Defense and Global Security at the U.S. Department of Defense
  • Major General William Walker, Commanding General of the DC National Guard
  • Jill Sanborn, Assistant Director, Counterterrorism Division Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Justice

06:42 Sen. Gary Peters (MI): But the January 6 attack must mark a turning point. There can be no question that the domestic terrorist threat and concluding violence driven by white supremacy and anti-government groups is the gravest terrorist threat to our homeland security. Moving forward, the FBI, which is tasked with leading our counterterrorism efforts, and the Department of Homeland Security, which ensures that state and local law enforcement understands the threats that American communities face must address this deadly threat with the same focus and resources and analytical rigor that they apply to foreign threats such as ISIS and Al Qaeda.

State and Local Responses to Domestic Terrorism: The Attack on the U.S. Capitol and Beyond

House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism
March 24, 2021

Testimony was heard from:

  • Dana Nessel, Attorney General, Michigan
  • Aaron Ford, Attorney General, Nevada
  • John Chisholm, District Attorney, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin

07:19 Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI): The post 9/11 era of security where the threats come from abroad is over. In the 20 years of the post 9/11 era, they came to an end on January 6th, the new reality is that we have to come to terms with is that it’s our extremists here at home, seeking to explain internal divisions that pose the greatest threat.

Dollars Against Democracy: Domestic Terrorist Financing in the Aftermath of Insurrection

House Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy
February 25, 2021

Testimony was heard from:

  • Iman Boukadoum, Senior Manager, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • Lecia Brooks, Executive Director, Southern Poverty Law Center
  • Daniel Glaser
    • Global Head Jurisdictional Services and Head of Washington, DC Office at K2 Integrity
    • Senior Advisor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies
    • Board member at the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority
    • Former Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, U.S. Department of the Treasury
  • Daniel Rogers Co-Founder and Chief Technical Officer at Global Disinformation Index
  • Daveed Gertenstein-Ross, CEO of Valens Global

03:28 Rep. Jim Himes (CT): In the wake of the attacks of September 11th, we recast the entire federal government and worked feverishly to defund terrorist streams. To effectively disrupt domestic extremist groups, we need to better understand their financing.


23:11 Daniel Glaser: Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to talk about how the US government can employ similar tools and strategies against white nationalists and other domestic terrorist groups as it has employed against global jihadist groups over the past two decades.


27:42 Daniel Glaser: Potential measures in Treasury’s toolbox include the issuance of guidance to financial institutions on financial type policies, methodologies and red flags, the establishment of public private partnerships, the use of information sharing authorities, and the use of geographic targeting orders. Taken together these measures will strengthen the ability of financial institutions to identify, report and impede the financial activity of domestic extremist groups and will ensure that the US financial system is a hostile environment for these groups.


30:10 Daniel Rogers: These groups leverage the Internet as a primary means of disseminating their toxic ideologies and soliciting funds. One only needs to search Amazon or Etsy for the term q anon to uncover shirts, hats, mugs, books and other paraphernalia that both monetize and further popularize the domestic violent extremist threat. Images from that fateful day last month are rife with sweatshirts that say, Camp Auschwitz that until recently were for sale on websites like Teespring and Cafe Press. As we speak at least 24 individuals indicted for their role in the January 6 insurrection, including eight members of the proud boys have used crowdfunding site gifts and go to raise nearly a quarter million dollars in donations. And it’s not just about the money. This merchandise acts as a sort of team jersey that helps these groups recruit new members and foment further hatred towards their targets. We analyzed the digital footprints of 73 groups across 60 websites, and 225 social media accounts and their use of 54 different online fundraising mechanisms, including 47 payment platforms and five different cryptocurrencies, ultimately finding 191 instances of hate groups using online fundraising services to support their activities. The funding mechanisms included both primary platforms like Amazon, intermediary platforms, such as Stripe or Shopify crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe, payments facilitators like PayPal, monetized content streaming services, such as YouTube, super chats, and cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. All of these payment mechanisms were linked to websites or social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, telegram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, gab, picshoot and others. The sheer number of companies I just mentioned, is the first clue to the scale and the scope of the problem.


43:25 Rep. Jim Himes (CT): Mr. Glaser, you you, though suggested something new that I’d like to give you a maybe 30 seconds, 42 seconds I have left to elaborate on you said you were taught you were hopeful for sanctions like authorities against domestic actors. You did nod to constitutional civil liberties concerns. But give us another 30 seconds on exactly what you mean. And perhaps most importantly, what sort of fourth amendment overlay should accompany such authority?


43:52 Daniel Glaser: Well, thank you, thank you for the question. The fact is, the Treasury Department really does not have a lot of authority to go after purely domestic groups in the way that it goes after global terrorist organizations that simply doesn’t have that authority. You could imagine an authority that does allow for the designation of domestic organizations, it would have to take into account that, the constitutional restrictions. When you look when you read the a lot of the court decisions, there’s concerns could be addressed in the statute, there’s concerns. A lot of the scrutiny is heightened because sanctions are usually accompanied with acid freezes. But you could imagine sanctions that don’t involve asset freezes that involve transaction bounds that involve regulatory type of requirements that you see in Section 311 of the Patriot Act. So there’s a variety of ways that both the due process standards could be raised from what we see in the global context.


48:21 Rep. French Hill (AZ): On 314 in the Patriot Act, is that a place where we could, in a protected appropriate way make a change that relates to this domestic issue? Or is that, in your view, too challenging?

Daveed Gertenstein-Ross: No, I think it’s a place where you could definitely make a change. The 314-A process allows an investigator to canvass financial institutions for potential lead information that might otherwise never be uncovered. It’s designed to allow disparate pieces of information to be identified, centralized and evaluated. So when law enforcement submits a request to FinCEN, to get information from financial institutions, it has to submit a written certification that each individual or entity about which the information is sought is engaged in or reasonably suspected of engaging in terrorist activity or money laundering. I think that in some cases 314-A, may already be usable, but I think it’s worth looking at the 314-A process to see if in this particular context, when you’re looking at domestic violent extremism, as opposed to foreign terrorist organizations, there are some tweaks that would provide ability to get leads in this manner.


1:15:04 Iman Boukadoum: What we submit is that the material support for terrorism statute, as we know, there are two of them. There’s one with an international Nexus that is required. And there’s one that allows for investigating material support for terrorism, domestic terrorism, in particular, as defined in the patriot act with underlying statutes that allows for any crimes that take place within the United States that have no international nexus. And we believe that that second piece of material support for terrorism statute has been neglected and can be nicely used with the domestic terrorism definition as laid out in the Patriot Act. And we hope that statutory framework will be used to actually go after violent white nationalists and others.

The Capitol Insurrection: Unexplained Delays and Unanswered Questions (Part II)

House Committee on Oversight and Reform
June 15, 2021
Testimony was heard from:

  • General Charles E. Flynn, Commanding General, U.S. Army Pacific
  • Lieutenant General Walter E. Piatt, Director of the Army Staff, U.S. Army
  • Christopher Wray, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation

2:51:19 Chris Wray: Among the things that we’ve taken away from this experience are a few. One, as you heard me say in response to an earlier question, we need to develop better human sources, right, because if we can get better human sources, then we can better separate the wheat from the chaff in social media. Two, we need better data analytics. The volume, as you said, the volume of this stuff is, is just massive, and the ability to have the right tools to get through it and sift through it in a way that is, again, separating the wheat from the chaff is key. And then the third point that I would make is we are rapidly having to contend with the issue of encryption. So what I mean by that is, yes, there might be chatter on social media. But then what we have found and this is true in relation to January 6th, in spades, but it was also true over the summer in some of the violence that occurred there. Individuals will switch over to encrypted platforms for the really significant, really revealing communications. And so we’ve got to figure out a way to get into those communications or we’re going to be constantly playing catch up in our effort to separate as I said, the wheat from the chaff on social media.


3:16:54 Chris Wray: As for social media, I think there’s, there’s it’s understandable that there’s a lot of confusion on this subject we do not we have very specific policies that Ben at the Department for a long time that govern our ability to use social media and when we have an authorized purpose and proper predication, there’s a lot of things we can do on social media. And we do do and we aggressively do but what we can’t do, what we can’t do on social media is without proper predication, and an authorized purpose, just monitor, just in case on social media. Now, if the policies should be changed to reflect that, that might be one of the important lessons learned coming out of this whole experience. But that’s not something that that currently the FBI has the either the authority or certainly the resources frankly, to do.


Executive Producer contact information

Robyn Thirkill

@flossies_farmstead on Instagram

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robyn-thirkill-701689212/


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Intro & Exit: Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on Music Alley by mevio)

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Thank You, Help Wanted

Interested in becoming a part of the Congressional Dish team? In this surprise bonus Thank You episode, learn how you can become the new master of show notes, examine how the financial industry is setting the stage for the next Wall Street induced financial crash, and listen in as Jen responds to lots of producer notes about the MAGA riot episode.

(By the way, Jen meant “reconciliation”, not “reconstruction”. You’ll know when you hear it.)

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Bills Discussed

H.R. 3684: Invest in America Act

Articles/Documents

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Intro & Exit: Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on Music Alley by mevio

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Thank You Empathetic America

Jen provides quick updates on the Belarus regime change, the January 6th commission, and the infrastructure bill before thanking producers for their support and maturity in this bonus Thank You episode.
 
(Shortly after this recording, the text of the first draft of the infrastructure bill was released: 2,540 pages)

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Recommended Podcast Episodes 


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Intro & Exit: Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on Music Alley by mevio)

Check out this episode!

CD236: January 6: The Capitol Riot

Congress has conducted at least eleven bipartisan hearings to investigate the security failures that permitted a mob of American citizens to riot inside the Capitol Building and successfully disrupt Congress while they certified the 2020 election results on January 6, 2021. In this episode, hear key highlights pulled from over 30 hours of testimony to understand exactly what happened that day.

Executive Producer: Forrest Pittman Read More

Thank You FinCEN Files

How did Jen miss the FinCEN files? In this bonus thank you episode, Jen adds some information to the sanctions topic that should have been in CD235, shares some clues that suggest that the Afghanistan withdrawal is a bunch of malarkey, and responds to lots of notes from producers. Thanks for supporting the show!


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Recommended Podcasts

The Rural Health Voice Podcast Virginia Rural Health Association


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Producer Services

Looking for a home in South Carolina? Producer jesse.ayala@kw.com is available to help


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Intro & Exit: Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on Music Alley by mevio)

Check out this episode!

CD235: The Safe Haven of Sanctions Evaders

Sanctions are weapons of economic war. In this episode, learn the troubling history of ever-expanding sanctions powers granted to the President designed to allow him to cut off people, companies, and governments from our financial system. You’ll also hear fascinating testimony to Congress about how the targets of U.S. sanctions are getting around them. Their evasion techniques are probably not what you think. Read More

Thank You Tom Malinowski

President Biden is dropping bombs. Another congressman made suspicious stock market trades before the lockdowns. Ivermectin might be a COVID wonder drug (and this episode might be censored for that sentence). Race based COVID relief programs are getting shut down in court. In this episode, get updates on all those topics and more while Congressional Dish producers are thanked for supporting the show. Read More