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Kushner Newspaper Publishes Op-Ed Urging FBI Crackdown On Protests

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Kushner Newspaper Publishes Op-Ed Urging FBI Crackdown On Protests


Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

The New York Observer, a newspaper owned by Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, published an opinion piece last Friday calling for the FBI to launch a coordinated crackdown on nationwide anti-Trump protests, mobilizations, and recount efforts.

Titled “Comey’s FBI Needs to Investigate Violent Democratic Tantrums,” the article was written by Austin Bay, a retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel and adjunct professor at the University of Texas in Austin.

Kushner, who is married to Ivanka Trump, purchased a majority stake in the New York Observer in 2006 for roughly $10 million and currently operates as the outlet’s publisher.

Bay’s opinion piece appeals to FBI director James Comey to “conduct a detailed investigation into the violence and political thuggery that continue to mar the presidential election’s aftermath,” including a “thorough probe of the protests—to include possible ties to organizations demanding vote recounts.”

“The hard left’s violent reaction to Donald Trump’s election is vile and dangerous,” writes Bay. “Peaceful protests? No, the demonstrators vandalize and destroy. They have two goals: intimidating people and sustaining the mainstream media lie that Donald Trump is dangerous.”

The piece raises fears of “communists,” smears the Black Lives Matter movement as violent and even raises alarm about the multi-billionaire George Soros. “Sure, there are a lot of fringe theories out there about Soros,” writes Bay. “But Soros has a record for funding leftist political action.”

Bay also tars grassroots campaigns urging electors to honor the popular vote and keep Trump from the White House. “Reports that members of the Electoral College are being harassed and threatened by angry, vicious (and likely Democratic Party) malcontents require Comey’s quick and systematic attention,” Bay writes.

Jim Naureckas, editor of Extra!, the media watchdog magazine of Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, told AlterNet that Bay’s op-ed is one of the most disturbing things he has seen since the election. “To have the incoming ruler’s son-in-law using his paper to call for the federal police to investigate protests against the ruler, that is pretty far gone,” he said. “It struck me as a ‘first they came for the communists’ moment.”

“He ties up this conspiracy of protesters, people seeking recounts and George Soros into one vast conspiracy that the FBI ought to get to the bottom of,” Naureckas continued. “It shows you the outlines of how you would justify a complete crackdown on dissent. It’s frightening.”

Naureckas said it does not matter that Kushner himself did not write the piece. “This publication is literally in the family,” he said. “This paper has been an organ of the Trump movement from the beginning, and it is owned by one of the closest confidants Trump has. The idea of sending the secret police after protesters is an incredibly dangerous idea, and it must be repudiated.”

The opinion piece comes amid mounting concerns over the incoming administration of Trump, who has vowed to ban Muslims from entering the country, carry out torture, deport more than 11 million immigrants and crack down on the free press by “open[ing] up” libel laws. So far, Trump has unveiled an alarming bevy of far-right administration appointees, including White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who headed the white nationalist publication Breitbart, and Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions, who was deemed too racist to serve as a federal judge under the Reagan administration.

Throughout his campaign, Trump repeatedly incited violence against anti-racist protesters at his rallies. In February, Trump said of a protester at one of his Las Vegas campaign events, “I’d like to punch him in the face.” He added that, “in the old days,” such protesters would be “carried out in stretchers.”

When protests swept the country following Trump’s victory in the electoral college, Trump took to Twitter to condemn the mobilizations as “very unfair” and falsely painted participants as paid agents who are “incited by the media.”

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the election there has been a spike in hate crimes across the country. The Southern Poverty Law Center documents at least 867 “post-election hate incidents,” noting that “K-12 settings and colleges” have been “the most common venues for hate incidents.”  The hate crime monitoring organization notes that this is likely a drastic undercount, as not all such incidents are reported to authorities.

Stephen Zunes, a professor of politics and international studies at the University of San Francisco, told AlterNet that the demonstrations that the New York Observer article took aim at “are constitutionally protected exercises in free speech.” He warned that, “Combined with the recent bipartisan legislation in Congress to crack down on pro-Palestinian activism on college campuses, this may presage a serious crackdown on civil liberties in the coming years.”

 Sarah Lazare is a staff writer for AlterNet. A former staff writer for Common Dreams, she coedited the book About Face: Military Resisters Turn Against War. Follow her on Twitter at @sarahlazare.

IMAGE: Stephen Bannon, (R) senior advisor to President-elect Donald Trump and Jared Kushner (L) walk from Trump’s plane upon their arrival in Indianapolis, December 1, 2016.  REUTERS/Mike Segar


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  1. charleo1 December 7, 2016

    My opinion as a tax paying citizen, and unwavering Constitutional advocate to Kushner’s opinion, is who cares? My opinion on his Father-in-Law, is he is absolutely dangerous! And I personally do not need the help of any liberal, or any other media to see that. It’s frighteningly more evident each day!
    How dangerous? As dangerous in my opinion as a 5 year old in the cockpit of a jetliner carrying 7 billion people along for the ride. And according to Kushner, we’re all just supposed to sit quietly while the novice pilot, and his idiot crew runs the plane into the side of a mountain. And so he’s calling on Federal Law Enforcement to use their expanded powers of surveillance, search, seizure, and criminal indictment. To intimidate those Americans who may disagree, or be concerned with the direction of the Trump Train is heading into silence. Why does this all sound so familiar? Where have we read of things like this happening? In what Nations? And what were the end results? When men such as Kushner, Bannon, Spencer, and other would be tyrants? Or governmental leaders such as Donald Trump were successful in cowing the free populations of their respective countries? What became of the people’s liberties, and freedoms? Were their Nations ever really great again? Never great until the despots, and dictators that used the power of the State to beat their people into submission were rightly thrown on the trash heaps of history.

    1. Arnie December 7, 2016

      Charleo 1 has it EXACTLY right! Add to what he is saying the name of a real nation: Germany between WW1 and WW2. An educated and democratic population voted Hitler into power and Mr. Hitler was saying pretty much what Mr. Trump and his minions are saying now. I realize that the conditions in Germany after WW1 were very bad but the point still sticks.

      History can and does repeat itself. We all have to keep our eyes open and perhaps start to worry. Oh yes, one more thing, VOTE! See what happens when you don’t.

    2. Mama Bear December 7, 2016

      My mother’s entire family was slaughtered by the Nazis in a death camp, and I am very frightened about all of this. When we refer for racists most people think black and white, but for God’s sake when will we all open our eyes to what have been unleashed on us by the ignorant, arrogant fools who either voted for this maniac or sit back and accept it.

    3. dpaano December 7, 2016

      We could become another bigger Cuba!

      1. charleo1 December 8, 2016

        I’ll say this, all of which I am totally serious. The island of Cuba could turn out to be one of the bastions of Progressivism, and Jeffersonian Democracy. Compared to the corporately owned playground, of the dystopian soon to be, “Trumplandia,” we’re being set up to become. My advice, as everything in my education and background, (family financial planning.) Tells me we should be very closely watching our backs. Because they are coming for the Middle Class in ways they’ve never dared come before. And that wall?
        If it’s build, it might wind up keeping more Americans in, than Mexicans, and Latinos out. It might be asked one day, what immigrant would want to come to America? It’s a gun filled, police state… I hear things are nice in Cuba!

        1. dpaano December 8, 2016

          That’s a thought….maybe we should consider moving to Cuba and starting over! Even Raul Castro has to be better than Trump and his billionaire cronies!

  2. wanever December 7, 2016

    As the saying goes, the turd didn’t fall far from that anus.

  3. Thomas Martin December 7, 2016

    Kushner is just another fascist looking to dominate the middle class and poor of this nation. His papa in law is the nut job who has already led our nation into serious chaos.

  4. Dominick Vila December 7, 2016

    Another example of overt Trumpianism, a mental condition that flourishes in totalitarian surroundings, and is doomed in the presence of democratic principles, and the U.S. Constitution.
    Fear not, it may not be long before hundreds of thousands of Trumpianistas march down Fifth Avenue, sporting golden manes and holding centerfolds of our new First Lady, with George Soros, officials from the Deutsche Bank, and members of the Russian mafia as masters of ceremony, to pay homage to their Messiah. I can see the Savior slowly walking out of his golden abode to grace the uneducated he loves so much with his presence, even if it is just for a fleeting moment, as he must return to the confines of his modest refuge to tweet, while desperate intelligence officers look for him in vain to give him the latest update on foreign and domestic affairs. No need to panic, Ivanka and Kushner are ready and willing to fill the void, and make America great again. Hiding in the shadows, grinning, is good ole Rudy, awaiting his nomination to replace Scalia with an agenda that would make his mentor look like a chump. Yes, for the immoral minority, it is morning in America once again.

    1. dbtheonly December 7, 2016

      Would disagree only to the extent that George Soros is not likely to bend his knee to the new messiah.

      The rank hypocrisy in calling for investigation of the very thing the messiah was calling for two months ago; leaves me stunned.

      I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I suspect I need to get used to that feeling.

      Time to party like it’s 1933?

      1. Dominick Vila December 7, 2016

        Soros will not bend his knee. He will extend his hand expecting interest payments on the loans he gave the Messiah.

        1. dbtheonly December 7, 2016

          As a personal favor, please don’t capitalize messiah when speaking of Trump.

          Trump repay his loans? Hah! George Soros is smarter than that.

        2. CPANY December 7, 2016

          I wonder if Kushie has ever heard of the First Amendment. You know, the one that deals with freedom of speech?

          1. Dominick Vila December 7, 2016

            The Constitution only becomes relevant when Democrats are in office. Otherwise, it is just a minor bump on the road that can be easily circumvented, or simply ignored as evidence of the mindset that existed in ancient history.
            One of the funniest things I heard recently was the comment made after Pence attended a conservative gathering, and commented that conservatives are not troubled by the conflicts of interest the media has been talking about! I think it is safe to say that we are not going to hear any conservatives chant “Hang him, hang him” any time soon.

          2. FireBaron December 8, 2016

            Considering Greg Abbot (yeah, that Greg Abbot) has helped co-author a series of amendments that would effectively turn over every one that grants our civil rights and freedoms, I tremble in fear with these next four years. The amusing thing is they expect the 2nd Amendment to stand when the ones that ensure it are ripped apart.

    2. charleo1 December 8, 2016

      Well said, and Amen! I believe what we are witnessing is a slow rolling Right Wing coup. And what are left to ponder is terrifying. Is Trump merely a reckless, know nothing loud mouth? Who’s unintentional misstep could bring about World annihilation? Or a maniacal genius? A megalomaniac with plans of World conquest now put in charge of the most powerful military man has ever seen? Remind me again what Country, and century I’m living in!!!!
      And sometimes it’s the little things. Yesterday during a Senate hearing to decide the fate of the giant merger between Time Warner and AT&T. Senator Thune, (R. S.Dakota,) made the comment that Donal Trump had said he was against the merger, and “I’ll take him at his word.” Only to have the room fill with tittering laughter all around. Even those Senators on the committee dais could not contain their amusement at such a preposterous statement.

      1. dpaano December 8, 2016

        Let’s hope they keep laughing whenever Trump sends something their way for approval…..and let’s hope that they do their jobs and keep him in check when it comes to spending money like a sailor on leave!! There WERE, after all, a few Republicans in Congress that didn’t like Trump…..we can hope that they will continue to see the damage he can do if given free rein!

      2. ivory69690@yahoo.com December 9, 2016

        DONNY DUMP could care less about the right or the left the SICK POS only cares about his addiction of attention . if all pay no attention to the clown he would blow up from with in him self . he will bad mouth and pull all his B/S with the right the left . cant all see this he has already knocked the pope ? and when he is done with the left and right then no one left he will start knocking himself . just for the attention . want to see the DUMPSTER go so far and jump off the edge IGNORE the clown that will send him into space for sure

  5. 1Zoe55 December 7, 2016

    Does this Kushner not know his own Jewish history? Does he believe that he is accepted by that white, fat Bannon whose divorce records show that he did not want his own children to go to school with all the Jews? Kushner married Ivanka and he thinks is one of them–the evil Aryans called Nazis. He and Ivanka need to visit Buchenwald and other concentration camps to see what Trump’s policies may lead to.

  6. Otto T. Goat December 7, 2016

    The protests are illegal, they should be shut down.

    1. I Am Helpy December 7, 2016

      Disagreeing with Nazis isn’t illegal.

      I hope that helps!

      1. dpaano December 7, 2016

        No, Otto, the protests are NOT illegal. In this country, we have the freedom to protest….remember, Free Speech? I would ask you what YOU would have done had Trump lost the election? I bet we would have seen pretty much the same thing, only worse!

    2. ORAXX December 7, 2016

      Really? What’s illegal about them? It’s actually about as legal as it gets.

    3. Sand_Cat December 7, 2016

      Yes, Otto, we all realize you are desperate to re-live your dream world – Nazi Germany – but we’re not there yet.

    4. Donna4843 December 7, 2016

      But not burnt down…ghost ship. Dangerous times,hope the violence stops.

    5. 788eddie December 7, 2016

      The 1st Amendment says otherwise. If you don’t believe that, then you should shut up!

      You make a wonderful hypocrit.

  7. Mama Bear December 7, 2016

    They have taken a page from their favorite hero’s playbook – Putin.

  8. dpaano December 7, 2016

    Don’t you think we would have seen WORSE riots and rallies if Trump had lost? He hinted at it quite often enough! Now, because the people….you know, the popular voters….are not happy with the results and are using Free Speech and freedom to rally to speak their minds…..that’s not good for the conservatives! Well, get used to it because we won’t back down….Trump is NOT our president!

  9. zorro037 December 7, 2016

    KIushner ask Commey to investigate Democrats, Black Lives Matter y George Soros, the very same blank of every shot conservatives do. this requesting is imbecile to say the least because in America before Kushner parents arrives American were and are free to demonstrates. Why Soros and not Warren Buffet? or any other American?

  10. Thoughtopsy December 7, 2016

    “We’re the party of the Constitution!
    Oh and could you quell those protests please?”


    1. dpaano December 8, 2016

      What ever happened to REAL journalists….you know, like Cronkite and his ilk? Back then, you could actually BELIEVE what the newspapers wrote and they weren’t so afraid of their shadows that they would gloss over anything the likes of Trump and his cronies and all the craziness that they’re doing!

  11. Donna4843 December 7, 2016

    Some say they already have by burning the Ghost Ship.

    1. charleo1 December 8, 2016

      “Some say.” The local authorities say so far there has been no evidence of arson. But Social media says. Or a piece on U-Tube says, or Russian hackers, and Wikileaks have found..or some click bait offered on a quilting website claims this or that. A Right Wing blogger said he had proof 3 million illegals voted for Clinton in MI. Then admits he made it up. I’m not even saying you’re wrong, mind you. But isn’t that one of our big problems here? That we have largely become a National Inquirer, Info-Wars, versus the mainstream establishment press Nation?

  12. FireBaron December 8, 2016

    Calling the New York Observer a “Newspaper” is like calling a paper airplane a strategic bomber. There may be some surface resemblance, but after that, it’s no comparison. The Observer makes the National Inquirer, New York Post and Weekly World News look like paragons of the 4th estate!


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