Embattled New Jersey Senator Bob "Gold Bar" Menendez is a big fan of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. FARA, though, is going to bite him.
In May 2020, Menendez wrote a letter to the Justice Dept. urging an investigation of a former Congressman for failing to register under FARA. “The Act is clear that acting directly or indirectly in any capacity on behalf of a foreign principal triggers the requirement to register under FARA,” he wrote. Correct.
In a 2022 follow-up to attorney general Merrick Garland, Menendez wrote that if a former member of Congress “carried out work that requires him to register under FARA, it is imperative that the Justice Dept. ensure he is held to account.” Well done.
The Justice Dept. now has a golden opportunity to hold Menendez to account.
Federal prosecutors released a superseding indictment on Oct. 12, alleging that Menendez and his wife, Nadine, conspired to have him serve as an agent of Egypt.
Senators and Members of Congress aren’t required to file under FARA because they aren’t expected to be on the payroll of foreign entities.
Bob and Nadine are alleged to have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for his influence as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
It would be sweet justice if the new FARA charge is added to the pile of the Senator’s legal headaches.
No terrorists, here. The BBC has defended its policy of not using the word “terrorists" in reporting on the slaughter of more than 1,000 civilians in southern Israel on Oct. 7. The Beeb described the Hamas killers as “militants.”
Here is the official policy: "Our reporting of possible acts of terror should be timely and responsible, bearing in mind our requirement for due accuracy and impartiality. Terrorism is a difficult and emotive subject with significant political overtones and care is required in the use of language that carries value judgements. We should not use the term ‘terrorist’ without attribution.”
The BBC believes the word “terrorist” can be a barrier rather than an aid to understanding.
Its role is to provide a full narrative of what has happened so the audience can made its own decision about the consequences of the event.
While the BBC shuns the word “terrorist,” the use of “attacker,” “insurgent,” “kidnapper” and “gunman” is okay.
The BBC is splitting hairs.
The Israeli government was invisible in the days following the Oct. 7 terror attack by Hamas, said reporters at The Economist on a webinar conducted Oct. 12. There were no high-profile visits to hospitals, or consoling the greiving.
That's because members of prime minister’s Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government didn’t want to experience close-up the rage of Israel’s citizens over the military and intelligence failure that allowed the assault.
Anton LaGuardia, diplomatic correspondent, said there will soon be a large day of reckoning for Netanyahu.
Gregg Carlstrom, Middle East correspondent, said Netanyahu is a master of the “divide and rule” form of government. He creates “schisms” between Israel’s right and left wing, and between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. And then he plays each side against the other.
Netanyahu refuses to negotiate with the more moderate Palestinian Authority over the future of West Bank. But prior to Oct. 7, Netanyahu treated Hamas as the legitimate government of Gaza and cut deals with it, including prisoner swaps, said Carlstrom.
LaGuardia and Carlstrom agree that Netanyahu is a shrewd political operative and a survivor as Israel’s longest-serving prime minister.
Though Bibi suffered a big blow on Oct. 7, “you can never count him out,” said Carlstrom.