President Joe Biden and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki are receiving backlash for past tweets attacking the Trump administration’s Middle East airstrikes after Biden approved bombardments on Syria Thursday.
In 2017, Psaki questioned the legality of airstrikes launched by the Trump administration.
“What is the legal authority for strikes? Assad is a brutal dictator. But Syria is a sovereign country,” Psaki wrote on Twitter in April, 2017.
In April 2017, the Trump administration launched airstrikes against Syria in retaliation for an earlier chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians.
On Thursday, the Biden administration launched attacks on Iran-backed militia groups in Syria, killing 22 Iran-backed fighters.
Thursday’s strike came in response to an attack last week by Iran-backed militants on an Iraqi airbase used by the US military, which killed one US military contractor and wounded nine other people.
The strike destroyed “multiple facilities located at a border control point used by a number of Iranian-backed militant groups,” according to a statment by the Pentagon. It described the strike as “defensive.”
Former Trump administration official Richard Grenell tweeted, “Today is a Circle Back day…” in response to Psaki’s tweet.
Sen. Rand Paul wrote, “I condemn meddling in Syria’s civil war. I also condemn attacking a sovereign nation without authority. What authority does @POTUS have to strike Syria?”
“Great question,” Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar wrote.
In 2019, Biden called Trump “erratic” and “impulsive” after it was reported that Trump had considered air strikes on Iran.
“Trump’s erratic, impulsive actions are the last thing we need as Commander-in-Chief. No president should order a military strike without fully understanding the consequences. We don’t need another war in the Middle East, but Trump’s actions toward Iran only make that more likely,” Biden wrote.
Newsmax contributor Jessie Jane Duff asked, “Did you forget to delete this before you bombed Syria?”
Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy
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REPORT: China has vast network of covert police stations around the world
China has a vast network of covert police stations abroad, according to a recent report by Safeguard Defenders, an NGO that focuses on human rights violations in China and other Asian countries. These police stations serve consular functions, but are also used by China to crack down on what the CCP deems “illegal” activity of Chinese nationals abroad. The police stations include at least 38 run by the Fuzhou City police, and 22 run by the Qingtian City police. Cities housing these police stations include New York, Toronto (which has three stations), London (two), Paris (three), Buenos Aires, Rio De Janeiro, and Tokyo.
Key findings of the report are below.
“Persuaded to return”
According to China, China has “persuaded to return [to China]” 230,000 Chinese nationals living aboard from April 2021 to July 2022 alone to face charges of fraud and telecommunications fraud. A Yangxia police station set up in Mozambique, for example, persuaded a Chinese national to return to China after being accused of stealing money from his employer. Chinese authorities also put pressure on the accused family to convince the accused to surrender.
Roughly 54,000 Chinese nationals were persuaded to return from northern Myanmar alone, in the first nine months of 2021. In July 2022, the government of Wenchang City warned that its citizens living in northern Myanmar must check in with their local police stations or face multiple penalties including blocking their children from attending urban schools back in China. Similarly, in February 2022, the government of Liayang City stated that Chinese “illegally staying” in northern Myanmar must return or the bank accounts of their immediate family members could be frozen.
The Nine Forbidden Countries
China has claimed that nine countries contain serious levels of fraud and telecom fraud perpetrated by Chinese nationals. Since November 2021, China has declared that Chinese citizens living in these nine countries must return to China immediately unless they have an “emergency reason” or a “strict necessity” to travel or stay in those countries. Those countries are: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, the UAE, and Turkey. However, the report questions whether these countries are truly awash in such fraud, as most of China’s oversees police stations are in the West, and only one of the nine countries (Cambodia) has such a police station. Chinese staying in the nine forbidden countries, as well as threats to family members as stated above, creates a “guilt-by-association” atmosphere intended to repatriate the Chinese nationals.
According to the report, Chinese police stations abroad serve to bypass “bilateral extradition treaties or other mechanisms of judicial cooperation” to cooperate with CCP-linked NGOs which effectively “[sets] up an alternative policing and judicial system within third countries.” Instead of using international judicial cooperation, which establishes due process, the presumption of innocence, and the right to a fair trial, China uses the above “persuade-to-return” methods and transnational police stations to circumvent international law and coerce Chinese nationals to return to China for trials. These policies show the power of China’s long-arm oppression over its own subjects.
You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic
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