A Syrian government newspaper says the failed coup in Turkey was fabricated and aimed at tarnishing the reputation of the military.
The daily Al-Thawra said Sunday that the attempted coup was a plot by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to “avenge the military and strip it of its remaining popular support.”
It said police loyal to Erdogan “deliberately humiliated” the army in front of the people.
Erdogan is a strong backer of the insurgents trying to remove President Bashar Assad from power in neighboring Syria. The Syrian government views the rebels as terrorists.
Here’s one outcome of the Turkish coup attempt that you can bet on: Washington lobbyists will be getting rich off it.
The extensive web of ties between Gulen, his supporters, and the Clintons has been amply documented by Chuck Ross of the Daily Caller. Gulen allies gave money to the Hillary Clinton campaign and to the Clinton Global Initiative, as well as between $500,000 and $1 million to the Clinton Foundation. Gulen’s supporters have also been operating a charter school network, which “60 Minutes” and others allege may be designed to funnel U.S. taxpayer money back to his supporters in Turkey.
Hillary Clinton has been out on the campaign trail calling for overturning the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision to end what she calls “the stranglehold of wealthy special interests in Washington.” Meanwhile, her non-profit foundation is going around vacuuming up millions of dollars in donations from individuals and entities that have an interest in her policies. It’s an outrageously brazen and hypocritical act of crookedness even by Clinton standards.
Getting less attention, but just as newsworthy, is that Erdogan’s government has also been spreading money around American politics.
Last month, Turkey’s embassy in Washington hired a former communications director for Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Thomas Blank, according to a Foreign Agents Registration Act filing with the Department of Justice. Turkey also earlier this year hired the firm of a former Republican congressman from Minnesota, Vin Weber, for $20,000 a month for consulting services “relating to its investigation into Fethullah Gulen and his organization in the United States.” Turkey’s embassy in Washington also earlier this year hired the Gephardt group, led by former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt, for a fee of $1.7 million for 11 months work. And it spent $600,000 on a yearlong contract with a Washington firm for legal advice and representation aimed at getting Gulen extradited to Turkey from America.
Mr. Gephardt — a registered foreign agent of Turkey with (did we mention it?) a $1.7 million, 11 month lobbying contract for Erdogan’s increasingly brutal Islamist government — will be a Clinton superdelegate to the Democratic National Convention, is a Clinton campaign donor, and is a member of an official Clinton campaign “leadership council” for the state of Missouri.
The political conflict in Turkey creates what the author Peter Schweizer calls a “double milker” situation. The politicians and former politicians-turned-lobbyists in Washington are able to collect legal or lobbying fees, campaign contributions, or “charitable donations” — to use the term very loosely — from both sides of the issue. In this case, Clinton is fundraising from both allies of Gulen and allies of Erdogan.
No one — except perhaps Mrs. Clinton herself, with her nonsense about the “stranglehold of wealthy special interests” — wants to prevent countries or individuals from arguing their case in Washington. That’s what the First Amendment rights of speech and petition are all about.
But even so, you’ve got to wonder: What does Erdogan think he’s getting for that $1.7 million, or what do the Gulen supporters think they are getting for their fees to Podesta and their donation to the Clinton Foundation? It would be nice if a President Clinton would set our policy in Turkey based on what is in American interests, or even, for that matter, on some combination of American interests and American values. By American values, though, I mean freedom, democracy, and rule of law, not enrichment-by-influence-peddling.