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State Department Tag

President Donald Trump tweeted that failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's former aide Huma Abedin should face jail after reports have emerged she sent State Department passwords to her personal Yahoo account. The Daily Caller reported on Monday that Abedin sent these passwords to the account before every single Yahoo email account was hacked.

Donald Trump is set to give a speech later today recognizing that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, which of course it is. According to reports based on news pool briefings by the White House, Trump will not declare Jerusalem the "united and undivided" capital of Israel, which is how Israelis refer to it. Rather, Trump will leave open that the parties could, as part of a final peace settlement, provide for some part of Jerusalem to serve as the capital of a Palestinian state or political entity.

If history proves one thing, it's that giving in to Palestinian threats only leads to intransigence and more threats. Unfortunately, for the second time the Trump administration has walked back an announced policy in just such a circumstance. The first walk back had to do with moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which is Israel's capital. That was a core Trump campaign promise, reiterated during the transition. As Prof. Miriam Elman explained in a prior post, locating the Embassy in Jerusalem would have a profoundly positive impact on the prospects for peace, since it would signal that Arab and Muslim threats of violence against the Jewish presence in Jerusalem would be futile, Move U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, for peace sake:

Judicial Watch announced today that the State Department told a federal court that officials still need to process 40,000 out of 72,000 emails that belonged to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The watchdog organization filed a lawsuit to receive her emails in May 2015. The department has only processed 32,000 and released a small amount of those.

President Donald Trump's administration has expelled 15 diplomats from the Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C., due to the mysterious attacks on U.S. diplomats that have caused major health problems. From Secretary of State Rex Tillerson:
On October 3, the Department of State informed the Government of Cuba that it was ordering the departure of 15 of its officials from its embassy in Washington, D.C. The decision was made due to Cuba’s failure to take appropriate steps to protect our diplomats in accordance with its obligations under the Vienna Convention. This order will ensure equity in our respective diplomatic operations.

We blogged about the Kurdish Independence vote held last week and about the resulting international threats and tensions, including the closing of Kurdish airports. Pro-western Iraqi Kurds are disappointed by the lukewarm European response to their overwhelming victory, and can't be too happy with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's statement that the U. S. does not recognize their independence referendum. Turkey, Iran, and Iraq are stepping up their disapproval of the referendum and moving to isolate the Kurdish region of Iraq.

The left rejoiced when President Barack Obama decided to normalize relations with the Cuban regime, reopened our embassy, and allowed travel to the island. But most of that has come to a screeching halt after mysterious attacks on our diplomats, which have caused serious health problems. The State Department has decided to recall all non-essential personnel from the embassy and urged Americans not to travel to Cuba.

I have been documenting the horrors the Rohingya minority are facing in Myanmar and their cries for help as they face genocide and ethnic cleansing. 421,000 Rohingya have escaped to Bangladesh with next to nothing and aid groups doing as much as they can to help these people. The U.S. has answered the call. Right before the UN General Assembly kicks off its second day of speeches, the State Department announced the U.S. will send $32 million in aid to help the Rohingya minority.

The dramatic resignation of the Obama-era holdovers from President Trump's administration continue, as a UC Berkeley professor who was the science envoy for the State Department officially gave his notice.
A prominent UC Berkeley energy professor resigned his post with the U.S. State Department on Wednesday in response to President Donald Trump’s “attacks on the core values” of the country. “Your actions to date have, sadly, harmed the quality of life in the United States, our standing abroad, and the sustainability of the planet,” wrote Professor Daniel Kammen in his resignation letter to Trump on Wednesday.

Joe Scarborough has an explanation for the way Rex Tillerson has reportedly said he's been thwarted as Secretary of State. On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough said he would "testify under oath" that Trump administration members said that Jared Kushner "will be the de facto Secretary of State." Scarborough later said, "I've been told by four people in the administration over the past six months that Jared Kushner was going to be the de facto Secretary of State."

In a move that is sure to go uncelebrated on the regressive left and to leave many Trump supporters scratching their heads, the State Department has lifted the limit on the number of refugees admitted to the U. S.   This change will result in almost twice as many refugees flooding into our country each day. It is not clear at this time if President Trump is aware of or has approved this change of policy, though it seems highly unlikely he would be unaware of such a substantive change.

The Iranian Nuclear Deal included many pieces, but one of the least reported items of the deal has been the prisoner swap. Iran agreed to release four Americans while we handed over seven prisoners and dropped charges and investigations against 14 others. Professor Jacobson profiled these prisoners after the exchange occurred. But a Politico investigation has revealed the anger and frustration within former President Barack Obama's administration over the release of these men:
“They didn’t just dismiss a bunch of innocent business guys,” said one former federal law enforcement supervisor centrally involved in the hunt for Iranian arms traffickers and nuclear smugglers. “And then they didn’t give a full story of it.”
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