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December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
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Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Aaron Klein

Aaron Klein

Has Turkey Replaced Iran As Hamas’s Biggest Financier?

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has facilitated major financial investments by Hamas in businesses located in Turkey, primarily hotels, according to informed Middle Eastern defense officials.

The defense officials said the financial ventures currently constitute the largest returns for the investment wing of Hamas’s government.

The officials said Turkey has replaced Iran as the biggest financial backer of Hamas. While a portion of that Turkish backing comes in the form of direct grants, the more lucrative transactions for Hamas are derived from the business opportunities granted to it.

The defense officials said Erdogan and his government facilitated the Hamas business investments, working with Abed El Aziz, the head of the Gazan group’s superior council for investments.

The officials said Erdogan wanted the aid to Hamas to be returned to his country in the form of employment that helps to fuel the Turkish economy.

Hamas was given prime rates for investments in hotels, restaurants and other firms based inside Turkey.

Questions Rise About Incoming White House Counselor

John Podesta, incoming White House counselor, has major corporate donors who are tied to the client list of his powerful lobbyist brother.

The revelation may raise concern about Podesta’s new influential position.

A former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, he is founder of the highly influential Center for American Progress. Podesta will serve as “counselor” to the president for one year.

In response to increased scrutiny, Podesta’s Center for American Progress, or CAP, just released its official list of corporate donors.

The list includes firms tied to the firms of Podesta’s brother, Tony Podesta. There are also some questions about the work of Tony Podesta’s wife, Heather Podesta, also a major lobbyist.

Tony and Heather Podesta topped the Center for Public Integrity’s list of top five financial bundlers.

SourceWatch documents that Tony Podesta’s website previously listed the firm’s clients, which reportedly included Google.

Google is also a corporate donor to John Podesta’s PAC, it has been revealed.

Besides corporate clients, Tony Podesta has represented foreign governments, including Iraq and Egypt.

The Huffington Post reported that another CAP donor is the Livingston Group. Livingston is not currently listed on CAP’s donor page, but the Huffington Post said it was provided the donor list by CAP itself.

A cached version of the CAP donor page finds Livingston on the list.

Livingston provided a statement to the Hill saying it was the “interlocutor” of the donation, which was actually made by a mining company, Anglo American, a Livingston client.

Any donation by Livingston would be controversial. Until last year, Livingston represented the Egyptian government with Tony Podesta’s firm.

The Washington Free Beacon reported Tony Podesta’s firm was among a group of 50 companies that toured Egypt under the rule of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi to open business ties with the new government. Numerous firms represented by Tony Podesta visited Egypt.

Also on that Egypt trip was John Podesta, the Free Beacon reported.

Meanwhile, Heather Podesta already has ties to at least one firm that received a government grant in areas where John Podesta’s CAP is heavily influential.

CAP has written numerous recommendation papers reportedly utilized by the White House to help inform “clean energy” policy.

The New York Times reported that when he assumed his office, John Podesta would focus on executive orders and so-called climate change issues along with Obamacare.

Heather Podesta served as the lobbyist for a wind-power firm that was awarded a $135.8 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy in 2011. The company is Brookfield Asset Management. It boasts a board of nine directors that includes New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s long-term girlfriend.

 

 

CIA Agents Ready To Fight In Benghazi Were Told To ‘Wait’

CIA agents on the ground in Benghazi testified to lawmakers that they were loaded into vehicles and ready to aid the besieged U.S. special mission on Sept. 11, 2012, but were told by superiors to “wait,” a congressman privy to the testimony has revealed.

This new account seems to contradict claims made by the State Department’s Accountability Review Board, or ARB, which states that the response team one mile away in the CIA annex was “not delayed by orders from superiors.”

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.), head of the House intelligence subcommittee that interviewed the CIA employees, explained that while there was no “stand-down order,” there was a disagreement at the nearby CIA annex about how quickly to respond.

Westmoreland revealed that some CIA agents wanted to storm the Benghazi compound immediately, but they were told to wait while the agency collected intelligence on the ongoing attack.

“Some CIA security contractors disagreed with their bosses and wanted to move more quickly,” the Associated Press reported, drawing from Westmoreland’s comments.

At least one of those security contractors, a former U.S. Army Ranger, was told to “wait” at least twice, and he argued with his security team leader, according to his testimony, related by Westmoreland.

The narrative of “orders to wait” seems to directly contradict Page 23 of the ARB report. The report said “the Annex response team departed its compound in two vehicles at approximately 2205 local.”

“The departure of the Annex team was not delayed by orders from superiors,” claimed the ARB.

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


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