- Andrew McCarthy wrote an excellent summary of how Russia acquired 20% of America’s uranium assets despite the fact that the Department of Justice and the FBI knew Russia was breaking multiple federal laws in the process:
Think about this: The investigation of Russian racketeering in the American energy sector was the kind of spectacular success over which the FBI and Justice Department typically do a bells-n-whistles victory lap — the big self-congratulatory press conference followed by the media-intensive prosecutions . . . and, of course, more press conferences.
Here . . . crickets.
As the Hill reports, the Justice Department and FBI had little to say when Mikerin and his co-conspirators were arrested. They quietly negotiated guilty pleas that were announced with no fanfare just before Labor Day. It was arranged that Mikerin would be sentenced just before Christmas. All under the radar.
- The head of Iran’s Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, personally warned the Kurds to abandon Kirkuk or face Iran’s wrath:
Major-General Qassem Soleimani, commander of foreign operations for Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, traveled to Iraq’s Kurdistan region to meet Kurdish leaders at least three times this month before the Baghdad government’s lightning campaign to recapture territory across the north.
The presence of Soleimani on the frontlines highlights Tehran’s heavy sway over policy in Iraq, and comes as Shi‘ite Iran seeks to win a proxy war in the Middle East with its regional rival and U.S. ally, Sunni Saudi Arabia.
Soleimani met leaders from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), one of the two main Kurdish political parties in northern Iraq, in the city of Sulaimania the day before Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered his forces to advance on Kirkuk, according to a PUK lawmaker briefed on the meeting.
His message was clear: withdraw or risk losing Tehran as a strategic ally.
- The Iraqi army and Iran-backed Shiite militias captured the last district of Kirkuk province from the Kurdish Peshmerga, and this time the Peshmerga contested it — it’s not clear how many casualties there were.
- Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) is holding up the nomination of Russ Vought to the Office of Management and Budget until Donald Trump agrees to fund more hurricane relief for Texas.
- The total number of American diplomats injured by “sonic weapons” in Cuba is up to 24.
- Another crack appeared in the hull of the collision-damaged USS John S. McCain as it was transported from Singapore to Japan, necessitating a side trip to Subic Bay.
- Spain’s prime minister removed the leadership of Catalonia’s government and moved to control the region directly. This is the first time the Spanish government has stripped one of the country’s 17 regions of its autonomy.
- Suicide bombers attacked two mosques in Afghanistan, killing at least 72 people.
- A Taliban suicide bomber killed 15 army cadets in Kabul.
- At least 54 Egyptian policemen died when a raid they were staging against militants southwest of Cairo was ambushed.
- Gunmen equipped with machine guns and RPGs crossed from Mali into Niger and killed 13 police officers. This happened near the area where four U.S. Army special forces soldiers were killed on October 4.