Archive for January, 2015

Robert Agostinelli reasearch – harder than it seems….

Robert Agostinelli reasearch – harder than it seems….

Robert Agostinelli reasearch - harder than it seems....

Robert Agostinelli reasearch – harder than it seems….

I am not sure if I have hit a brick wall with my search for information. Or as I suspect – there is not as much information about Robert Agostinelli on the Internet as I thought. Another theory is that I have been predominantly using Google to search for information. I may actually have exhausted their index listing of links (If that’s even possible). I only say this because after a quick search with BING (Microsoft’s search engine), what is returned is a little different. There may be some articles or information there about  Robert Agostinelli that has previously eluded me. This leads me to believe that there is much more out there than I have already found – but has either not been indexed by the major search engines, or buried deep within countless websites, that haven’t gone to the trouble of optimizing their pages for search engines. If this is the case – finding new material, or even extensions of the current material I have uncovered, is going to be quite difficult. What is particularly frustrating, is that for all the charity work Robert Agostinelli does, along with the work that Rhone does (Of which Robert is one of the founders) – surprisingly little information, news, etc. exists. I would have thought that there would be more about him with Friends of Israel or The C Group, but those avenues of data mining have proved to be a bit of a dead end. There is information, but not much. As he is a very private man,  I don’t expect a lot of information to turn up en mass, but after trawling through the Wall Street Journal and Washington Times websites for a few days – I think there might be enough in there from time to time to sustain my research. He does pen some interesting letters/responses to their copy sometimes. 🙂  

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Shocking Atrocities in Paris

I don’t usually blog anything – preferring to tweet my thoughts, but I think I may blog more often now that I have this platform to do it from (Thanks to Keith Martinez for setting this up for me). I was really shocked about the shootings in Paris, France – and I think the world has gone completely mad! I mean, 9/11 was really bad and although this doesn’t compare, it is no less upsetting and deplorable than every other terrorist attack around the globe. This may have been aimed at a satirical news outfit with religious motives, but whats to stop anyone attacking the office of a company who does something an individual or group of individuals disagree with or take offense too? For example, take the fairly recent banking crisis (Yes – I know if has nothing to do with this, but bare with me and as Robert Agostinelli is in Finance and Rhone has an office in Paris – it is sort of relevant…). You don’t need religion and ‘killing in the name of’ to go ‘postal’. An individual (Or group of) could have been deeply affected by that financial issue, taken up arms, stormed an office and shot everyone – because they were offended by the actions of others. The events in Paris are exactly that – Individuals have been offended by the actions of others, with the added variable of using religion as a means to justify their endeavor. It really does sicken me. And while my example of a financial crisis causing enough distress to drive someone to mass shooting is not comparable to the Paris event or possibly any other terrorist related even, the point I am trying to make is that it doesn’t seem to take much these days for someone to go on a killing spree – regardless of the catalyst.

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Robert Agostinelli – response to WSJ: “Obama’s Cuban Detente”

Robert Agostinelli – response to WSJ: “Obama’s Cuban Detente”

Two articles in one day! Found another of Roberts articles on the Wall Street Journal. As the previous one, first is the actual article posted from the WSJ – followed by the response. CA

The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal

Obama’s Cuban Detente New recognition for the Castros in return for two U.S. prisoners.

Dec. 17, 2014 7:29 p.m. ET The Cuban government finally released American Alan Gross from prison on Wednesday after five harsh years, and what a haul Raul and Fidel Castro received in return: The release and repatriation of three of their spies serving life sentences in the U.S., plus the start of an American diplomatic and economic embrace that they have long sought. Mr. Obama hailed these steps as “historic,” adding that his goal is nothing less than “to begin to normalize relations between our two countries.” In his familiar claim to superior wisdom, he assailed the “outdated” U.S. diplomatic and trade embargo and claimed that “through a policy of engagement we can more effectively stand up for our values and help the Cuban people help themselves as they move into the 21st century.” We should stipulate that 20 years ago these columns called for lifting the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba. We did so to assist the impoverished Cuban people and perhaps undermine the regime. But we also stressed that “no U.S officials have to dignify Castro’s regime by sitting down at a negotiating table” with Cuban officials: “The whole point is to continue to oppose Castro’s government while allowing succor for Cuba’s people.” Mr. Obama’s approach will provide immediate succor to the Castro government in the hope of eventually helping the Cuban people.

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Taken on its own the prisoner swap is defensible. Mr. Gross is 65 years old and ailing after being arrested in 2009 for providing satellite equipment to Cuba’s small Jewish community as a contractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development. He should not have had to die in a Cuban dungeon.

Americas Columnist Mary Anastasia O’Grady on Obama Administration’s prisoner swap and decision to normalize relations with the Castro regime. Photo credit: Getty Images.

The Castros also released a Cuban who had spied for the U.S. and had been in prison for nearly 20 years. This is a welcome case of rescuing one of our own. The Cuban government also agreed to release 53 of its political prisoners, many at U.S. request. The three Cubans the U.S. released in turn were convicted in U.S. criminal court of spying on America, but they at least served 16 years. The problem is that wrapping the prisoner swap into a larger policy shift makes it look like Cuba’s hostage-taking of Mr. Gross paid off. All the more so because Mr. Obama is going out of his way to give formal U.S. recognition to the Castro government that remains one of the world’s most tyrannical. The benefits for the regime from this new era are obvious. Cuba is starved for cash, and its main patron in Venezuela is teetering as oil prices fall. The country desperately needs hard currency, which is the main reason it exports its doctors to work abroad. So the dictatorship will cheer Mr. Obama’s decision to allow greater dollar remittances to the island, as well as more opportunities for Americans to travel and invest in “humanitarian projects” and information technology, among other things. Only Congress can fully lift the trade embargo, but with Mr. Obama’s many new loopholes, creative investors will find ways to gradually break it down. Keep in mind that the regime confiscates every dollar spent in Cuba now, while paying its workers in near-worthless pesos. The White House press release did not say that will change. Mr. Obama is also giving U.S. companies more freedom to export telecom equipment to the island, in the name of giving ordinary Cubans the tools to communicate with the outside world. But other countries can already supply Cuba’s telecom needs. The problem is that Cuba’s police state bars private ownership and limits and monitors private communication. The President is betting that U.S. investment will create more free space for average Cubans and eventually overwhelm the dictatorship. We hope it does, but also consider the fate of Stephen Purvis, a British real-estate developer in Cuba who was abruptly imprisoned in 2012 on dubious charges of revealing state secrets. He spent 16 months in a Cuban jail, where he says he met numerous other foreign business prisoners. The least defensible part of Mr. Obama’s new policy is its attempt to rehabilitate Cuba as an ordinary state. The President has tasked Secretary of State John Kerry to begin talks on renewing formal diplomatic ties, and he wants “high-level exchanges and visits between our two governments as part of the normalization process.” Mr. Obama also called for a review of Cuba’s designation on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism. Cuba wants off that list, though there is solid evidence that it has helped Venezuela relocate Iranian agents in the Americas. What’s striking is how little Cuba had to do for such a major shift in U.S. policy. At least Burma’s military government released the leader of the opposition and opened up its political process before the U.S. lifted sanctions.

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By offering so much for relatively little, Mr. Obama may calculate that an American gesture now will lead to a larger opening once the aging Castro brothers finally go to their eternal punishment. He may also hope that by acting now he can prepare the way for a triumphant visit to Havana before the end of his Presidency. Mr. Obama came to office in 2009 promising a new era of engagement with U.S. adversaries, and engage he has. Perhaps his Cuban “reset” will turn out better than have his efforts with Russia, Syria, North Korea and Iran.

 And now for Robert Agostinelli’s response. CA

Robert Agostinelli

Robert Agostinelli

Response to “Obama’s Cuban Detente”, WSJ December 19-21, 2014

America and Old Glory have long stood as the beacon of hope and freedom for all mankind. The torch of Liberty has remained strong and bright and was backed by our nation’s insistence that tyrants would at best be denied our fruits and at worst face our sword if they tempted fate to confront our interest. The Castro brothers and their thugs have long battered their nation with as severe a Marxist regime as the world has known. A  supporter of terrorism and global agitator from Angola to Peru they have only been slowed by the evaporation of their main patron the Soviet Union through the good graces of our own policy. They have stridently sought league with other evil doers from North Korea, Tehran and  Venezuela all enemies of nation. Yet here is the elite  sympathizer in the oval office rewriting history to suit his even more disgraceful redefinition of American values to justify embracing the same. In the  very same week where his “reset” buddy Putin spits in his eye, North Korea cyber-attacks Sony And Tehran lauds it manipulation of the nuclear negotiation, there is Obama teleprompting his world view while ignoring all reality. What to expect from a community organizer raised in the bosom of Marx. For him Castro is a misunderstood liberator and freedom fighter whose socialist nirvana has been hampered by our repression rather than his own.. It is the hegemony of America which has created these difficulties and misunderstandings. Once again the humbler- in-chief is making a “mea culpa ” for “our 50 years of failed policy”. To absorb this insanity takes one’s mind around a very long bend. We should all wear Che t-shirts and insist that murderous tyranny is actually self-defense against we the aggressor imperialist state. Such is the reading according to our Lord Obama. Robert Agostinelli – Palm Beach, Florida Source: http://www.wsj.com/articles/obamas-cuban-detente-1418862551

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Robert Agostinelli’s response to WSJ Brett Stephens: “I Am Not Sorry the CIA Waterboarded”

Robert Agostinelli’s response to WSJ Brett Stephens: “I Am Not Sorry the CIA Waterboarded”

Good start to the year, found this on the Wall Street Journal from Robert Agostinelli. First is the actual article from Bret Stephens – followed by the response. I found it very interesting. CA

Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal

I Am Not Sorry the CIA Waterboarded Dick Cheney says he would “do it again in a minute.” He’s right.

By BRET STEPHENS –  I am not sorry Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the operational mastermind of 9/11, was waterboarded 183 times. KSM also murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Danny Pearl in 2002. He boasted about it: “I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew,” he said after his capture. I am sorry KSM remains alive nearly 12 years after his capture. He has been let off far too lightly. As for his waterboarding, it never would have happened if he had been truthful with his captors. It stopped as soon as he became cooperative. As far as I’m concerned, he waterboarded himself. I am not sorry the CIA went to the edge of the law in the aftermath of 9/11 to prevent further mass-casualty attacks on the U.S. I am not sorry that going to the edge meant, as Sen.  Dianne Feinstein  put it in 2002, doing “some things that historically we have not wanted to do to protect ourselves.” I don’t suppose she was talking about removing our shoes at airport security. I am sorry we weren’t willing to do those “things” before 3,000 people had their lives unnaturally ended on Sept. 11, 2001. I am not sorry  Osama bin Laden  died by an American bullet.  John Brennan , the CIA director, delivered a master class in rhetorical obfuscation masquerading as epistemology when he waffled last week about the quality of intelligence yielded by the interrogations of KSM and other high-value detainees. But several former directors and deputy directors of the CIA have all attested to the link between KSM’s interrogation and the identification of bin Laden’s courier. I am sorry that the Feinstein Report, which failed to interview those directors and thus has the credibility of a Rolling Stone article, seeks to deny this. Maybe Sabrina Rubin Erdely, author of the discredited University of Virginia gang-rape story and a pro at failing to interview key witnesses, will find a new career in Sen. Feinstein’s office. I am not sorry that President Obama has ordered drone strikes on hundreds of terrorist suspects hiding in Pakistan, Yemen and other places. I am not sorry he has done so despite the fact that the strikes inevitably have killed hundreds and perhaps thousands of their associates, many of whom were either innocent of wrongdoing or had committed no crime deserving of death from 30,000 feet. This is the nature of war. I am sorry that we are now having a national convulsion over the fact that the CIA captured, detained, interrogated and in at least two cases accidentally killed two detainees. This is undoubtedly wrong and merits apology and compensation. But how this is any worse than what Mr. Obama routinely brags about doing with drones is beyond me. I am not sorry that Dick Cheney told NBC’s Chuck Todd this Sunday that, in the matter of enhanced interrogation techniques, he would “do it again in a minute.” The former vice president seems to feel none of the need for the easy moral preening that is the characteristic political reflex of our age. I am sorry that Mr. Cheney, and every other supporter of enhanced interrogation techniques, has to defend the practices as if they were torture. They are not. Waterboarding is part of the military’s standard course in Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape, or SERE. Tens of thousands of U.S. servicemen have gone through it. To describe this as “torture” is to strip the word of its meaning. I am not sorry that  Google  makes it easy to recall what the political class had to say about KSM in the immediate aftermath of his capture. Here is a noteworthy exchange between Sen. Jay Rockefeller, Democrat of West Virginia, and CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on March 2, 2003: Blitzer: “There has been speculation, Sen. Rockefeller, in the press that U.S. authorities, given the restrictions on torture, might hand over Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his colleagues to a third country, a friendly Arab state, Jordan, Egypt, some country like that, where the restrictions against torture are not in existence.” Rockefeller: “I don’t know that. I can’t comment on that. And if I did know it, I wouldn’t comment on it. [Laughter.] But I wouldn’t rule it out. I wouldn’t take anything off the table where he is concerned, because this is the man who has killed hundreds and hundreds of Americans over the last 10 years.” I am sorry that Sen. Rockefeller saw nothing amiss with the idea of handing over KSM to the Cairo Cattle-Prod Crew. This is rightly known as torture-by-proxy. It is wrong. I am not sorry that Sen. Feinstein went ahead and released her report. In its partisanship, its certitudes, its omissions of reportage and recommendation, and its attempt to seem authoritative merely by being verbose, it has reopened a necessary debate that was nearly closed—and nearly lost. Eventually we will have another mass-casualty attack on U.S. soil. We’ll need better than Ms. Feinstein’s insipid shibboleths to answer it. And for that, I am sorry—for all of us.
Robert Agostinelli

Robert Agostinelli

We are not only “Not Sorry” for using enhanced interrogation tactics against our enemies; we actually wish they had gone further. KSM and his like are not jay walkers they are maniacal cold blooded indiscriminate murders. With no moral bounds, prisoner of a 7th century screw ball dogma full of hate and evil venom. They have attacked our nation and our allies with an unabashed and relentless commitment to our undoing. It is the most frontal assault on our life , liberty and pursuit of happiness since the evil Nazi regime declared war on us. Phonies like Senators  Rockefeller or Feinstein are grotesque in their faux concern regarding the  nobility of our values. Their reckless aid to our enemies merely masquerades as concern over their invented moral code while inciting and emboldening the evil doers to press us harder. Worse these traitors serve to disclose our tactics allowing enemies to prepare themselves for capture while making our own brave operators hesitate, concerned that they could be prosecuted by these would be do-gooders. KSM beheaded Danny Pearl, why? Because he existed. An existential threat is one that takes our survival to the limit; limits our decency could never provoke in response. These are necessary tactics of self-defense and should not hesitate to shatter their norms until they break. To do less merely offers sucer to the serpent allowing to strike a mortal blow. This is known as suicide. For this we are sorry; we will not agree: ever. Robert F. Agostinelli Source: http://www.wsj.com/articles/bret-stephens-i-am-not-sorry-the-cia-waterboarded-1418687576

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