Why do the Neocons of the Bush Era matter? The ideology set forth in 2001 has resulted in Middle East war and transfers of power that have no end in sight. It is also a reminder to pay attention to the ideologies that our elected officials openly subscribe to. They have real effects. These people have been openly critical of the Trump administration and are fearful of his foreign policy, issuing strong statements. Ezra Cohen-Watnick is a Neocon, forced in by Michael Flynn, and forced upon his replacement McMaster, by Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner.
The George W. Bush administration had prominent members of a “Neocon” think tank called the Project For The New American Century (PNAC). The only prominent Government leader whose signature was missing from its mission statement was the President’s. It was very closely related to the Heritage Foundation, Committee for Peace and Security in the Gulf (CPSG), and American Enterprise Institute (AEI). While its website was taken down long ago, this site has a summary and links: HistoryCommons.org
William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard and regular on ABC’s “This Week”, and Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institute, Policy Planning Staff of the State Department from 1984 to 1988, and principal speechwriter for Secretary of State George P. Shultz, are now at the Foreign Policy Initiative, not to be confused with John Hopkins University Foreign Policy Institute.
The Bradley Foundation grant largely funded the CPSG, which largely funded PNAC and AEI, which shared Richard Perle, former Bush Sr. assistant secretary of defense, as a prominent member. Dick Cheney, Elliott Abrams, Richard Armitage, John Bolton, Stephen Bryen, Douglas Feith, Frank Gaffney, Fred Ikle, Robert Kagan, Zalmay Khalilzad, William Kristol, Michael Ledeen, Bernard Lewis, Peter Rodman, Donald Rumsfeld, Gary Schmitt, Max Singer, Casper Weinberger, Paul Wolfowitz, David Wurmser, and Dov Zakheim. [CNN, 2/20/1998; Middle East Policy Council, 6/2004]
Its Statement of Principles, issued June 3, 1997 is following in summary per HistoryCommons.org:
“The Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a neoconservative think tank formed in the spring of 1997, issues its statement of principles. PNAC’s stated aims are:
to “shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests”
to achieve “a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad”
to “increase defense spending significantly”
to challenge “regimes hostile to US interests and values”
to “accept America’s unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.” [Project for the New American Century, 6/3/1997] The Statement of Principles is significant, because it is signed by a group who will become “a roll call of today’s Bush inner circle.” [Guardian, 2/26/2003] ABC’s Ted Koppel will later say PNAC’s ideas have “been called a secret blueprint for US global domination.” [ABC News, 3/5/2003]” Context for Statement of Principles, HistoryCommons.org
“Ezra (Cohen-Watnick) interned at his think tank…Frank Gaffney was in the Reagan Administration and promoted the Star Wars Program, has worked for and closely associated with the Neocon Project For The New American Century, all of whose founders had prominent roles in the George W. Bush administration and were the architects of the 9/11 Middle East Imperialist spread of Democracy with Zionist ideology.” …More about Frank Gaffney in theWashington Report’s Neocon Superhawk Frank Gaffney Earns His Wings In Port Flap, September 1, 2009
A documentary about the 9/11 investigation called “Loose Change” involved the timing of events (including statements and documents created by PNAC) and inciting incident for experiment with their strategies. Youtube The series of events and this film appealed to conspiracy theorists such as Alex Jones, who later surfaced as a voice of the Alt-Right with his Infowars.com. It also encouraged distrust of the government and intelligence agencies, which played a part in the Alt-Right’s rejection of the Neocon imperialist, rule over the naturally inferior, anti-Big Government, anti-Globalist, anti-MSM (Mainstream Media) stance of the Trump era and the distrust of the Clintons and subsequent judicial findings, promoted by the Alt-Right. While the Neocons shielded the masses from the truth, the internet age and social media has encouraged this intellectual populism, whereby the common person feels they can know the truth because of unprecedented access and communication between truth-seekers.
“According to Counterpunch’s Kurt Nimmo, the plan for overthrowing Iraq later adopted by the Bush administration, and currently advocated by the CPSG, will be echoed in the PNAC’s September 2000 document, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” (see September 2000). [CounterPunch, 11/19/2002]”
The Neocons were inspired by LEO STRAUSS, not William Strauss of Steve Bannon’s “Fourth Turning” fascination.
Leo Strauss’ views were summed up by Danny Postel in “Noble lies and perpetual war: Leo Strauss, the neo-cons, and Iraq” in this way:
“He (Strauss) argues that the wise must conceal their views for two reasons – to spare the people’s feelings and to protect the elite from possible reprisals. The people will not be happy to learn that there is only one natural right –the right of the superior to rule over the inferior, the master over the slave, the husband over the wife, and the wise few over the vulgar many.”
“According to Shadia Drury, a scholar who has studied the link between Strauss and the Neo-Conservatives for years, what the Neo-Conservatives find most compelling about Straussianism is the great belief in “efficacy and useful lies in politics.” Strauss based this idea on Plato’s notion of the noble lie, which meant that the rulers of a state must tell the people that they are chosen by God to rule the people in order to keep a stable society. Strauss was also inspired by philosophers and political thinkers such as Hobbes, Nietzsche, and Machiavelli, but the most important inspiration was the old philosophers from the Greek antiquity. Leo Strauss thought that the enlightenment had done little for the common man, and that the fate of the common man was to be led by educated leaders. Society’s problem was not the lack of democracy, but the lack of virtue. If people knew the reality behind how the rulers became rulers, they would create chaos and upheaval.” 48:Danny Postel “Noble lies and Perpetual War: Leo Strauss, the Neo-Cons, and Iraq”, Oct 18 2003. Jan 18 2005 <http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5010.htm>
Robert and middle daughter Rebekah Mercer have an extended family of like-minded people who wield great influence. Citizens United, a non-profit, became a Supreme Court decision after its landmark case for free speech, and now refers to “Dark Money”, the unlimited, anonymous campaign donations from corporations and other non-individuals with limits.
Ted Cruz using firm that harvested data on millions of unwitting Facebook users The GuardianHarry Davies @harryfoxdavies “Having donated $11m to the main pro-Cruz Super Pac, Keep the Promise I, Mercer is Cruz’s top financier – and the largest individual donor to Super Pacs or outside groups during the presidential election cycle thus far, according to data compiled by the political transparency website Open Secrets. Mercer’s connections to both the Cruz campaign and the data firm that is apparently helping to power the senator’s advantages were previously reported by Politico and Bloomberg. But political strategists and privacy advocates agreed that Mercer’s parallel funding channels, combined with concerns over the surreptitious, commodified Facebook data – reported here for the first time – represented an intensified collision of billionaire financing and digital targeting on the campaign trail.” The Guardian
Renaissance Technologies currently has an IRS bill of $7 billion or more. They gave more than $22 million to GOP candidates in 2016 while supporting abolition of the IRS.
They push for Libertarian De-Regulation, Charter Schools, Private Prisons, Petroleum and mineral excavation in National Parks (working with Ryan Zinke‘s Department of the Interior, Scott Pruitt‘s EPA, and Rick Perry‘s Department of Energy), and everything standing in the way of making a profit. They are extremely socially “conservative”, and fight all forms of social wealth and healthcare, and push the extreme religious Right agenda. The “rogue, notorious mercenary” Erik Prince met with Trump at Camp David the same day Bannon quit, requesting $10 billion annually to wage a privately operated war in Afghanistan.
Robert Mercer is the billionaire behind Trump’s campaign, and the $10 million+ backer of Steve Bannon’s Breitbart News. He and his daughter Rebekah are extremely influential on Republicans. He was the biggest-spending political donor in the 2016 election cycle. Rebekah was on Trump’s Transition team and is a major donor to and on the board of the Heritage Foundation, Media Research Center, the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation, the Moving Picture Institute, and the American Museum of Natural History. Rebekah “Mercer is the director of the Mercer Family Foundation, a charitable non-profit organization founded in 2004. She is the founder and chairman of Reclaim New York, a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing a state-wide, grassroots conversation about the future of New York, its economy, and its people. ” Heritage Foundation
They first had a PAC backing Ted Cruz, Keep America Number 1, but then changed it to the Crooked Hillary PAC in June 2016. They launched attack ads against Clinton. CNNTIMEand spread stories like Breitbart’s “Defeat Crooked Hillary PAC: FBI Documents Reveal ‘a Clear Violation of the Law’ Defeat Crooked Hillary PAC, a Super PAC dedicated to opposing Hillary Clinton, is turning up the heat on her following the FBI’s release of the notes on Clinton’s interview about her private email server.” on September 3, 2016, right after transfer from Paul Manafort to Mercer Associates Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon when they joined the campaign.
The Mercers hate the Federal Reserve, the Clintons, and support dismantling the establishment. Robert Mercer is a genius at algorithmic computer financial trading and publicly shy. Robert Mercer Supports the John Bolton Institute, Heartland Institute, American Principles Project, Keep The Promise, Doctors for Disaster Preparedness, Breitbart.com, Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, Ending Spending Action Fund, Concerned Taxpayers of America, Republican Super PACs. He founded the Government Accountability Institute, GAI, and Rebekah sits on the board. The GAI is used to supply “facts and figures” to media outlets including Mercer-backed Breitbart.
What Does the Billionaire Family Backing Donald Trump Really Want? The Mercers are enjoying more influence than ever with their candidate in the White House—but no one seems to know how they intend to use it. The Atlantic Jan 27, 2017 “Robert Mercer got his start at IBM, working there for over 20 years. He went to Renaissance Technologies in 1993. It’s there that Mercer, already well into middle age, became wealthy. Renaissance, based in East Setauket, Long Island, includes three hedge funds managing over $25 billion in assets, as well as the mysterious Medallion Fund, an employees-only fund that has made its investors unimaginably rich. Mercer’s co-CEO is Jim Simons, a major donor to Democrats; one Republican operative with connections to the Mercers who spoke on condition of anonymity joked that the pair were trying to “hedge the political system.”
Rebekah, known as Bekah, is one of Bob and Diana Mercer’s three daughters. Along with her sisters Heather Sue and Jennifer (“Jenji”), she owns Ruby et Violette, a cookie store in New York (the cookies are now sold exclusively online). Rebekah, 43, is married to a French Morgan Stanley executive, Sylvain Mirochnikoff, with whom she has four children. Mercer did not respond to requests for comment for this story.
“Almost all donors want to pretend they’re Karl Rove. They all want to play political mastermind,” said one of the Republican operatives who has worked on Mercer-funded projects. But “I would say that Rebekah is as smart at politics as you could be without ever having been at the grunt level.”
“Her political instincts were always on the money,” said Hogan Gidley, a former Mike Huckabee aide who served as spokesman for the Make America Number One PAC which became the Mercers’ pro-Trump vehicle during the general election. “We would be talking about how a certain ad should look or changes we should make to an ad, and she would just offer an idea that would just elicit instantaneous agreement. It wasn’t because they were largely funding the PAC, it was because she was right.”
“They’re libertarians who understand that they might have to make compromises with social conservatives,” said one person in the non-profit world who is a recipient of multiple Mercer grants. “They’re just as at home at the Cato Institute as they would be at the Heritage Foundation on general issues.”
“That first goal has been clear for some time. The Mercers have for years had their hands in the cottage industry of anti-Clinton activity in and around the conservative movement. According to tax records from the Mercer Family Foundation, they gave nearly $3.6 million to Citizens United between 2012 and 2014, which sued for access to Clinton Foundation-related emails last year and whose president David Bossie also got a senior job on the Trump campaign. They’ve also invested in the Government Accountability Institute, which publishes the conservative author Peter Schweizer. Schweizer’s book Clinton Cash was an influential source of talking points for Trump allies during this election cycle, providing fodder for one of Trump’s early salvos against Clinton in a speech in June and regularly populating the pages of Breitbart. Bannon co-founded GAI with Schweizer; Rebekah Mercer has sat on the board.
“At first, the Mercers went in for Cruz. They backed Keep the Promise 1, one of the main super PACs supporting Cruz, to the tune of $11 million. Like other campaigns with which the Mercers have been involved, including Trump’s, the Cruz campaign engaged the Mercers’s data firm Cambridge Analytica. Cruz campaign officials clashed with Cambridge over the particulars of the contract and lodged complaints about the product itself, according to multiple sources familiar with what happened; in one instance, the Cruz campaign was paying for a database system, RIPON, that had not been built yet, leading to a contentious argument. They also caught wind of work Cambridge had done for the Ben Carson campaign; working on more than one primary campaign is a no-no for vendors. Elsewhere in Mercer-world, there were other signs of trouble when it came to Cruz. In January, before the primaries had even begun, Breitbart News began attacking Cruz, insinuating that he was ineligible to be president because of his Canadian birth (a line also in heavy use by Trump at the time). Meanwhile, the Mercers were still publicly behind Cruz.
What Cruz’s staff may not have taken into account was the behind-the-scenes influence of Steve Bannon.
“I don’t think [the Mercers are] as nationalistic as Steve,” said a Republican operative who has worked for the Mercers. “Steve is an unapologetic nationalist. I don’t think the Mercers are as much.” But “they share a real disdain for elitism. That’s what sort of binds them together.”
“Another of the Republican operatives described Bannon as the “Obi-Wan Kenobi” to Rebekah Mercer, and a third was even more pointed: “Svengali.” Bannon is “really, really, really influential” with Mercer, said the former Breitbart employee. The Mercers, the former employee said, made their wishes known through Bannon, who would sometimes cite the company’s financial backers as a reason for Breitbart not to do a story. Bannon didn’t respond to a request for comment about this.
“That highlights a third apparent goal, which became clearer over the course of the campaign: dismantling the establishment.” The Atlantic Jan 27, 2017
The Real News made a documentary, “The Bizarre Far-Right Billionaire Behind Trump’s Presidency” about the various people Mercer inserted when he decided to back Trump in August 2016 Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, senior on the Trump campaign and Citizens United President and Producer of Bannon’s “Generation Zero” David Bossie, Betsy DeVos and more.
New Super-PAC Launches for Donors Who Won’t Back Trump But Loathe Clinton Bloomberg June 21, 2016 “Together with his wife Diana, Robert Mercer, 69, is the biggest-spending political donor in the 2016 election cycle, according to a tally by the Center for Responsive Politics. Mercer has a penchant for investing in anti-establishment candidates and quirky causes, including an annual fringe-science convention and a conference for proponents of the gold standard. He spent the first part of his career as a programmer at IBM, where he pioneered the use of computers to process human language. He later joined Renaissance Technologies, a Long Island hedge fund that uses advanced mathematics to spot patterns in financial markets. He’s now the co-chief executive officer of the firm.
“Rebekah Mercer, his daughter, has devoted considerably resources to stopping Clinton. Mercer was a funder and board member of the Government Accountability Institute, a nonprofit group that produced the bestselling 2015 book, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich; she also served as a co-executive producer of the “Clinton Cash” movie, which debuted in Cannes, France in May.
“According to three sources involved in the Defeat Crooked Hillary effort, Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner approached the Mercers after Cruz dropped out of the Republican race on May 3rd to say they would be supportive of any effort to help Trump. The Mercers agreed. “This will be one of the super-PACs that Trump will make clear he supports,” says a source involved in the effort. On Wednesday, Trump will give a speech at Trump Soho which a Trump campaign source says will be focused on attacking Clinton; at the same time, Defeat Crooked Hillary will release its first ad, which Bossie says will begin airing in battleground states next week. Although Keep the Promise PAC raised $14.2 million this cycle, disclosure filings show that it had only $1.3 million cash on hand as of May 31st. Bossie says the Mercers and other donors will recapitalize the super-PAC with a “substantial” budget. He and other sources declined to give a dollar figure. “We are in conversations with many top donors across the country who have indicated that they have been waiting for a super-Pac that is devoted to being anti-Hillary,” he says.”
Billionaire Robert Mercer did Trump a huge favor. Will he get a payback? May 1, 2017 BY SCOTT CHRISTIANSON AND GREG GORDON McClatchy Washington Bureau MAY 01, 2017 WASHINGTON “The Internal Revenue Service is demanding a whopping $7 billion or more in back taxes from the world’s most profitable hedge fund, whose boss’s wealth and cyber savvy helped Donald Trump pole-vault into the White House.
“Suddenly, the government’s seven-year pursuit of Renaissance Technologies LLC is blanketed in political intrigue, now that the hedge fund’s reclusive, anti-establishment co-chief executive, Robert Mercer, has morphed into a political force who might be owed a big presidential favor.
“With Trump in the Oval Office, Mercer and his daughter Rebekah, who has become his public voice, seem armed with political firepower every which way you look – and that’s even though presidential adviser Stephen Bannon, their former senior executive and political strategist, appears to have recently lost influence.
“Since the IRS found in 2010 that a complicated banking method used by Renaissance and about 10 other hedge funds was a tax-avoidance scheme, Mercer has gotten increasingly active in politics. According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, he doled out more than $22 million to outside conservative groups seeking to influence last year’s elections, while advocating the abolition of the IRS and much of the federal government.”