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GOP Candidate for Missouri Governor is a Ex-Navy SEAL, Rhodes Scholar and Jewish

Eric Greitens threw  his hat in the ring  this week announcing his run for the GOP  nomination in the 2016 Governor race in Missouri reported  the JTA/Forward Jewish Ex Navy Seal Decides to Run For Missouri Governor. This  follows the apparent suicide of a leading candidate, Tom Schweich, State Auditor. Greitens  is as Rhodes Scholar, National Humanitarian award winner and author of the New York Times best-selling book, The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL.

A  Jewish Telegraph Agency profile of Greitens noted his  background and accomplishments:

Greitens, 40, is a former Navy SEAL, the recipient of seven military awards (including a bronze star and a purple heart), a former Rhodes Scholar and the founder of The Mission Continues, a nonprofit that helps veterans integrate themselves back into their communities through volunteer work. He served in Iraq from 2003 to 2007. His fourth book, “Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life,” published earlier this month, is a collection of inspirational letters to a fellow Navy SEAL struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Greitens  is a unusual American Jew. Ex-Navy Seal, Rhodes Scholar, Reform Congregation Member, well published author now running for the GOP nomination for Governor in Missouri. A Missouri torn by sectarian warfare over alleged racism in Ferguson and St. Louis County. Let’s hope that he wins the GOP primary for Governor in Missouri. His announced candidacy follows in the wake of the controversy surrounding the  apparent suicide in Mid-February  of respected  Republican State Auditor, Tom Schweich.  Just before suicide, Missouri politician fretted about rumors he was Jewish, amidst  a  whispering anti-Semitic campaign aimed at knocking him out of contention. Tom Schweich, had Jewish origins- his grandfather. Schweich was an Episcopalian.

The Forward reported:

Tom Schweich committed suicide right before he was supposed to file a complaint against another political figure, John Hancock, for spreading that he was Jewish in attempts to hurt his candidacy.

Just two days before the suicide, ex-navy seal Eric Greitens launched an exploratory committee to raise funds for the governor race. He has already obtained $400,000 for the GOP primary,

Although it is expected that he will run, Greitens has refused to give the public any details about his stance. He has declined requests on why he is running, what issues he wishes to tackle and the issues Missouri residents are concerned about.

These pressing topics include abortion rights, the state’s financial crisis and of course the Black Lives Matter movement that has been taking place in Ferguson, Missouri due to a young black man being shot by a police officer.

“Unfortunately Eric isn’t doing political interviews at this time,” said Greitens’ press officer, Adam Miller, when pressed on this. Miller indicated that the Navy SEAL, who has not yet officially declared his candidacy, was more focused right now on his promoting his book.

In his interview, Greitens was willing to go on the record with a clear statement about his religion. “I’m proud to be Jewish,” he told the Forward.

As to the controversy surrounding the  allegations of  a rumored anti-Semitic campaign against Schweich, the Forward noted:

Hancock, the chairman of the Missouri State Republican Committee, has admitted that he was one of those who had stated that Schweich was Jewish, but that it wasn’t supposed to be malicious

Though, former Republican U.S. Senator John Danforth, a dean of Missouri state politics, refuted that statement. Richard Fox, a Jewish donor to the Republican party in Missouri, has insisted that Hancock resign for his comments.

But Greitens declined to say whether Hancock should give up his position as chairman of the Missouri GOP. “Before I would make that determination I would want to talk with John Hancock and I would want to know more about what these accusations are,” he said.

As for allegations of anti-Semitism, Hancock said it was as simple as saying “I’m a Presbyterian and somebody else is Catholic,” but that it was intended to hurt anyone.

At least one Republican donor did not interpret it innocuously. In a sworn affidavit, David Humphreys said he understood Hancock to mean “that being Jewish is a negative attribute for Tom Schweich’s gubernatorial race.”

However, a detective involved in the police investigation of the suicide told the Associated Press that “we have not been able to prove that there was a whispering campaign.”

Greitens responded:

“It certainly could be that there are prejudices around,” said Greitens, the honest-to-goodness Jewish GOP gubernatorial candidate. “I can only speak to what I have lived, and I have experienced that people have been incredibly welcoming to me as a Jewish Republican.”

“There is no room for anti-Semitism in the Republican Party,” Greitens insisted, “and the leaders need to show that.”

We know from the deadly April 2014  attack , in adjacent Overland Park, Kansas  that Missouri harbors some anti-Semitic extremists. 

See our Iconoclast post, UPDATED: Blind Hate Cuts Down Three Lives at Kansas City Jewish Complex. The Kansas City metro area is also home to some anti-Semitic Muslims as well. Witness MD ‘rabbi’ Alam , a Bangladeshi Muslim émigré, who served in the U.S. Army to gain his citizenship, an anti- Semitic 9/11 ‘truther ‘who ran for the Secretary of State in Missouri in 2012 saying, “Not a Single Jew killed on 9/11”.

Our colleague Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein, noted theologian and widely published author, commented about the difference between Schweich and Greitens:

It’s a pity and a waste that Schweich took his own life, but I would guess that he saw his conversion to Christianity as a way of escape. When the escape failed, he took his own life, I can’t blame Senator Danforth, but I would guess that Danforth had only a limited understanding of the psychological and cultural elements involved in religious identity. If Schweich had simply declared, “Yes, I have Jewish roots. That’s who I am. He might have retained his dignity and self-respect even if he lost the race  but he would have saved his life and his dignity. Win or lose, the former Navy Seal will never lose either his dignity or his self respect.

Greitens has something else in his stead for Missouri voters. He served his country with honor and distinction in combat. That  was grounded in his Jewish faith, the bedrock of American Judeo-Christian values.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of Eric Greitens: “What’s beautiful about the military is that it’s probably the most well integrated institution on the planet.” ( Photo: Chloe Crespi)

House Intelligence Committee Benghazi Report Misleads and Conceals Facts

dark forces timmermanKen Timmerman, author of Dark Forces: The Truth about What Happened in Benghazi   was interviewed Wednesday, November 26, 2014 on 1330AM WEBY  in Pensacola by host Mike Bates and this writer.  This is the third in a series of interviews with Timmerman on the Benghazi terrorist attack that took the lives of four Americans, US Ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service Information Manager Sean Smith, and CIA security contractors, Tyrone Power and Glen Doherty.  This latest interview with Timmerman was occasioned by the recently released House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) chaired by outgoing Rep.  Mike Rogers (R-MI).

Timmerman’s views expressed in the interviews are reflective of his Daily Caller, article, “House Intelligence Committee Report Obfuscates Benghazi Arms Smuggling.“  His views parallel those of ex-CIA agent Larry Johnson and Col. Dick Brauer of Special Operations Speaks, that we posted: “UPDATE: The Benghazi House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee Report is a “Whitewash”. Overall Timmerman considers the report, “lame” and a “whitewash” of the conduct by the Administration and the Central Intelligence Agency leadership. He especially called in to question Deputy Director Michael Morell and the Chiefs of Base in Benghazi.

Timmerman believes the media abetted this deception by suggesting that the HPSCI Report exonerated the Administration and the CIA dismissing so-called conspiracy theories.  He noted that given the short news cycle following the release of the report, Friday, November 21, 2014, the press barely had time to digest the 37 page report let alone delve into the underlying transcripts.    Report findings denying that there was no stand down orders have been contradicted by surviving CIA security contractors in the book 13 Hours.  Those contractors engaged in the battle at the Annex  said  that the Chief of Base in Benghazi had issued such stand down orders  several times, resulting in a critical 21 minute delay  too late, to rescue Amb. Stevens and aide Sean Smith. When asked his opinion, Timmerman said that with arms and equipment already in a vehicle, the CIA contractors if released in a timely manner might have saved the lives of both Ambassador Stevens and Smith.

Timmerman said that the Report leaves many unanswered questions that might be addressed by the House Select Committee on Benghazi, led by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC). He doesn’t believe that possible GOP Senate creation of a parallel Select Benghazi Committee in the 114th Session beginning January 2015 would be productive.  He noted there have already been five House Committee investigations, including this final report issued by the HPSCI.

On the matter of arms shipment from Libya to Syrian opposition, Timmerman drew a fine line between so-called Presidential Findings authorizing covert operations and liaison with foreign intelligence agencies, the latter not subject to Congressional oversight.   He said the CIA briefings on covert operations in Benghazi under Presidential findings were typically given to the Chairs and Ranking Members of both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees and the Senate Majority and Minority leaders as well as the House Speaker and Minority Leader, the so-called ‘eight Cardinals.’  According to his sources none of the briefed Congressional members made any objections. Timmerman, following the revelations by ex-CIA agent Johnson, indicated the filtration of arms was accomplished through a ‘cut out involving British, Turkish, and Qatari Intelligence and Australian contractors.

According to Timmerman, a 400 ton shipment of arms on the vessel Al Entisar was sent by a Libyan Jihadist group to a Turkish Muslim Brotherhood charity, IHH.  That attracted Western press whose reports embarrassed CIA Director Gen. David Petreaus and led to former Secretary of State Clinton dispatching the late Ambassador Stevens to Benghazi to shut the operation down.  The Turkish Embassy General Consul, who Stevens met in Benghazi on the evening of 9/11/2012, was likely an intelligence official.  Timmerman commented that Stevens had conducted liaison with Islamist Libyan militias during the Arab Spring rebellion against Gaddafi.  He said that was reflective of the Administration’s distinction that there were good versus bad Jihadists.

When asked about what was going on at the CIA Annex in Benghazi, Timmerman pointed out there were two groups of intelligence personnel there, not including the CIA security contractors at the Annex.  One group of CIA operatives was monitoring the activities of local Islamist militia and the arms filtration cut out operation with foreign intelligence agencies. Not even mentioned in the HSPCI report, Timmerman contends was the presence of NSA agents intercepting communications of local Islamist militias and Iranian Quds Force operatives in Benghazi.  Timmerman agrees with the comments of Col. Brauer that the Iranian Quds Force operatives had surveyed the Annex in Benghazi preparing it for a possible mortar attack.

Timmerman noted the HSPCI Report comment that use of mortars by the Taliban in Afghanistan was woefully inaccurate reflecting little training in the use of such weapons. Col. Brauer said in an interview with this writer that Soviet 82 mm mortars require a team of four and weigh over 120 pounds. Moreover, each rounds weighs over 7 pounds. Brauer pointed to the expertise in the use of mortars by the Iranian Quds force and military during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980’s. Timmerman believes that members of the Quds Force in Benghazi were possibly involved in preparation and execution of the mortar attack in Benghazi.

Col. Brauer’s sources suggested that some Republican members of the HPSCI may not have been consulted on the release of Final Report.  That prompted observations by Timmerman that in too many instances, ruling majority parties are often side tracked by the interests of Chairman and Ranking Members.  That may have played a part in the timing of the release of the House Intelligence Committee report. Timmerman noted former CIA Director Michael Morell’s role in editing the talking points exonerating the Administration and subsequently joining a Washington, DC-based strategic consulting firm, Beacon Global Strategies.  The firm with close connections to former aides of Secretary Hillary Clinton and former Pentagon Chief, Leon Panetta.  Also joining the firm as Managing Director was Michael Allen former Majority Chief of Staff to outgoing House Intelligence Committee Chair, Mike Rogers.  It appears that the revolving door in Washington Intelligence circles creates conflicts overarching important national security interests.

Listen to the 1330 am WEBY interview with Ken Timmerman:

Segment 1Segment 2, Segment 3Segment 4.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.