Thursday, March 16, 2017

Putin or, Actually, Hitler?

Adrian Weale, who served as a British Intelligence Corps officer in the 1980s, traced how [Sebastian Gorka, President Trump’s top counter-terrorism adviser,] claims to have worked on counter-terror issues for British Military Intelligence in Northern Ireland and on collecting evidence for the war crimes tribunal set up after the collapse of Yugoslavia [but both claims] are unlikely to be true. According to Weale, Gorka “has never been an operational practitioner of counter-terrorism.”

At the same time, Gorka’s credentials as an academic expert in terrorism have been widely questioned. His doctoral dissertation has been dissected by various academics who say he is not an expert in their field, has never lived in a Muslim-majority country, does not speak Arabic and has avoided publishing any serious, peer-reviewed academic research.

  Forward
But that's not all...
Gorka, who worked in Hungary’s Ministry of Defense and served in the British military, became a U.S. citizen only five years ago.

[...]

[He] is a formal member of a Hungarian far-right group that is listed by the U.S. State Department as having been “under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany” during World War II.

There are now two organizations in Hungary that claim to be the heirs of the original Vitézi Rend, with Gorka, according to fellow members, belonging to the so-called “Historical Vitézi Rend.” Though it is not known to engage in violence, the Historical Vitézi Rend upholds all the nationalist and oftentimes racial principles of the original group.

[...]

Gorka’s membership in the organization — if these Vitézi Rend leaders are correct, and if Gorka did not disclose this when he entered the United States as an immigrant — could have implications for his immigration status.
No, it won't.
The Vitézi Rend, which was established in 1920 [...], is listed by the State Department as one of many groups in Germany and the countries it occupied as collaborationist “criminal organizations” with the Nazis as determined by the post-war International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg.Dissolved in Hungary after World War II under the terms of the Allies’ armistice with Hungary, it was reconstituted by veterans’ groups in exile. [...] It was re-established inside Hungary after communism’s collapse in 1989.

[...]

The group’s mission emphasized not only loyalty to Hungary and nationalist ideas, but also an ideology of racial superiority. One of the original aims of the Vitézi Rend was to “ensure such might to the Hungarian race, which with tremendous power strikes every subversive state and anti-national movement.”

[...]

As historian Eva S. Balogh notes, the organization’s formal slogan — “I believe in one God, I believe in one country, I believe in the divine everlasting truth, I believe in the resurrection of Hungary” — advocates a return to Hungary’s pre-World War I borders; a territory that includes parts of modern-day Romania, Ukraine, Slovakia and Serbia.

Today, the organization presents itself as a “conservative, right-wing” group independent of party politics.

[...]

The State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual specifies that members of the Vitézi Rend “are presumed to be inadmissible” to the country under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

[...]

According to State Department guidelines, while Vitézi Rend membership “does not automatically render the alien ineligible for a visa, the applicant has the burden of establishing that, despite being a member of a designated criminal organization, he or she did not participate in activities that would fall within the purview of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

[...]

No statute of limitations exists for such violations.
Anything goes now. Anything goes. We're on the path to full out fascism.  Racism is our national passtime.
Gorka, who is a deputy assistant to the president, first provoked questions about his relationship to the Vitézi Rend after he publicly brandished its medal on his lapel at a presidential inauguration ball January 20. When questions were raised about this in February on the news website Lobelog and elsewhere, he explained it as a gesture of honor to his late father.

“In 1979 my father was awarded a declaration for his resistance to a dictatorship,” he told Breitbart News then. “Although he passed away 14 years ago, I wear that medal in remembrance of what my family went through and what it represents today, to me, as an American.”
I am not understanding how that would be a mitigation. I think he figured no one would notice or know what the medal was but fellow Nazi sympathizers.
Several commentators also noted that in his 2008 doctoral dissertation at Hungary’s Corvinus University, Gorka presented his name as Sebastian L. v. Gorka. The “v.” is an initial used by members of the Vitézi Rend.

[...]

In June 2011, Gorka testified in front of the House Armed Services Committee. His official testimony did not list his name as Sebastian L. Gorka, but rather as Dr. Sebastian L. v. Gorka.

[...]

If correct, Gorka’s membership in the order is notable because, as Pintér and other members explained, affiliation is possible only via a solemn initiation rite in which new members take an oath swearing undying allegiance to the Hungarian nation and the Vitézi Rend’s goals.

[...]

Gorka [...] did not respond to multiple emails sent to his work and personal accounts, asking whether he is a member of the Vitézi Rend and, if so, whether he disclosed this on his immigration application and on his application to be naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 2012. The White House also did not respond to a request for comment.
What a surprise.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

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