“Projection is always the soup du jour at Café la Résistance” 8

Joe Biden used American taxpayer’s money to blackmail and bribe the government of Ukraine in order to provide his son, Hunter Biden, with an opportunity for personal enrichment, and to protect him from criminal investigation. He did it when he was vice-president of the United States by threatening to withhold a billion dollars of US aid from Ukraine if that country’s investigator into those criminal activities was not fired.

Now he and his fellow Democrats are accusing President Trump of threatening to withhold funds from Ukraine unless  …

… unless those dealings of Joe Biden with the Ukrainian government are investigated. And they are calling the alleged threat a high crime and misdemeanor of such gravity on the part of President Trump as to warrant his impeachment.

Of course President Trump is innocent. And Joe Biden is guilty.

It is the habit of the Left always to accuse its enemies of the crimes it is itself committing. 

We quote from an article by Michael Thau at American Greatness:

No one disputes that when Joe Biden was vice president, he threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees from the Ukrainian government unless it replaced the state’s lead prosecutor, Viktor Shokin. But the Washington Post is pushing a funny narrative about Biden’s motives [claiming that] the reason Biden wanted Shokin fired had nothing whatsoever to do with the more than $3.5 million his son Hunter’s consulting firm was paid by a company called Burisma Holdings, which Shokin happened to be investigating at the time.

In the past few days, the Post has published around 30 articles claiming that Burisma had no reason to engineer Shokin’s termination since his investigation was “dormant”. Every single story uses that same phrase. It isn’t just the Post. … And all but a handful were published in the course of a week, including at least one from each of the Post’s elite media brethren such as the New York Times, CNN, CBS, and NBC. …

Thau describes Hunter Biden as “a dissipated American wastrel …, a Navy washout with no pertinent experience in the energy sector (or any other business)” and wonders with his readers what could make him “worth millions to a Ukrainian natural gas company” other than “his powerful father’s influence”.

The Post claims Biden strong-armed Ukraine into replacing Shokin because the prosecutor was “soft on corruption”, not to stop him from investigating it. And many other outlets like the Wall Street Journal have gone further, alleging that “Shokin had dragged his feet” in investigating the very company shelling out millions to Hunter Biden! …

If you’re having a tough time swallowing the idea that Joe Biden was trying to get Shokin fired for not doing enough to investigate a company enriching his son, your gag reflex is in good working order.

The alleged facts about Shokin peddled by the corporate leftist press are at best dubious and the creepily ubiquitous claim that his investigation was “dormant” is an outright falsehood. So are the suggestions that President Trump is spinning fables when he claims, not just that the company paying Hunter Biden millions, but also the man himself, was a subject of interest to Ukrainian prosecutors.

The repeated assertions that Trump is, once again, making things up entirely out of thin air—not surprisingly—are once again being created entirely out of thin air. Projection always being the soup du jour at Café la Résistance.

The avalanche of stories attempting to exonerate Biden was precipitated on May 2, after Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani called for an immediate investigation, claiming that the elder Biden’s conflict of interest when he pushed for Shokin’s dismissal was “too apparent to be ignored”.

Five days later, the first story attempting to exonerate Biden by alleging Shokin’s investigation “had been long dormant” appeared at Bloomberg News. The headline was a direct rebuttal to Giuliani: “Timeline in Ukraine Probe Casts Doubt on Giuliani’s Biden Claim.”

The source for Bloomberg‘s story was one of Shokin’s deputies named Vitaliy Kasko. He alleges that, though he “urged Shokin to pursue the investigations” into Burisma, his boss ignored him.

Bloomberg reports that neither the Bidens nor anyone from Burisma would comment on the story. Strangely, however, Viktor Shokin’s response—or lack thereof—isn’t mentioned alongside that of the other main characters. It’s 900 words in, long past the point where most readers will have moved on to other things, that we learn what the main villain of Bloomberg’s story has to say in his defense:

Shokin has denied any accusations of wrongdoing and declined to provide immediate comment for this article. In an interview with the Ukrainian website Strana.ua . . . Shokin said he believes he was fired because of his Burisma investigation, which he said had been active at the time.

So, though you have to pay close attention and read almost to the end to discover it, the Bloomberg story that suddenly spawned almost a hundred clones—also using the word “dormant” to exonerate Joe Biden of any wrongdoing—essentially boils down to a former Ukrainian lead prosecutor telling a tale that implicates Biden while his subordinate at the time tells another story that seems to exonerate him. Bloomberg simply presents the latter as fact and buries the former.

At best, Bloomberg’s suggestion that its reporting has exonerated Joe Biden is unsubstantiated. But it turns out, in the interview Bloomberg cites, Shokin does more than merely make self-serving claims that contradict equally self-serving ones made by his former deputy Kasko. Though the story fails to mention it, Shokin backs up his account with at least one pertinent fact, which turns out to be verified by Ukrainian media.

Shokin claims that the Ukrainian government pressured him to stop his investigation into Burisma and that Kasko was the one working on their behalf to stifle it. He also says that, when Joe Biden got him fired, he was about to interrogate Hunter:

Shokin: We were going to interrogate Biden, Jr. . . .

Interviewer: What got in the way?

Shokin: [We] did not have enough time. The President told me repeatedly that Biden demanded that they remove me.

Shokin goes on to claim that he took specific actions which, if verified, prove he was actively investigating Burisma:

There were regular ultimatums and discussions about me. I finally crossed the threshold on February 2, 2016, when we went to the courts with motions to re-arrest the property of Burisma. I suppose that then the president received another call from Biden, blackmail by non-allocation of a loan . . . Then [President] Poroshenko surrendered.

Apart from Shokin’s interview with Ukrainian media to which Bloomberg links, his claim that he was preparing to interrogate Hunter Biden has been in the public record since April 1, when The Hill’s John Solomon published the results of his own interview with Shokin. [For John Solomon’s article, see the post immediately below.] Moreover, among many other revelations suggesting that Biden may have pressured for Shokin’s termination to protect Burisma, Solomon also says:

The general prosecutor’s official file for the Burisma probe—shared with me by senior Ukrainian officials—shows prosecutors identified Hunter Biden, his business partner Devon Archer and their firm, Rosemont Seneca, as potential recipients of money.

Why do almost none of the almost 100 articles parroting Bloomberg’s completely worthless attempt to exonerate Biden make any mention at all of Solomon’s vastly more informative and better-sourced story implicating him?

Could it be that the establishment press doesn’t give a damn about uncovering the truth and, instead, is focused solely on advancing a narrative that discredits Trump’s remarks to Ukrainian president Zelensky concerning what Biden was up to when he got Shokin fired and, thus, helping to convince our more gullible citizenry that Trump might be guilty of something justifying impeachment?

Way back on July 22, before anyone imagined that the Biden family’s Ukrainian misadventures would be contrived to impeach Trump, the Washington Post published a quite different take on Joe and Hunter’s probity in an article headlined (you’re going to get a kick out of this): “As vice president, Biden said Ukraine should increase gas production. Then his son got a job with a Ukrainian gas company.”

Almost unbelievably, the Post’s story actually features portions of an email interview they did with Shokin in which he, once again, claims Biden wanted him fired for aggressively investigating “the activities of Burisma and the involvement of his son, Hunter Biden” and that he would have interrogated Hunter had he not been forced out.

Yet the Post mentions its own prior interview with Shokin in only one of the two-dozen-or-so stories about him the paper has published since his answers turned out to be inconvenient for the establishment media’s latest impeachment fantasies.

And that one article is an exercise in deception … citing Bloomberg that “U.S. and Ukrainian officials have said the probe had long been dormant” … [and] lying about Bloomberg’s sources.

Kasko is Bloomberg’s only source for claiming that Shokin’s investigation was dormant and their story contains no information obtained from any U.S sources. They do allege that certain unspecified U.S. officials criticized Shokin. But their source is some unspecified set of “internal documents from the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office” they claim to have seen by some completely mysterious process. And they never suggest that the mysterious Ukrainian documents portray the unknown American officials as believing the Burisma investigation was “dormant”, using that or any other expression.

But the Washington Post’s flagrant deceit gets worse.

The paper has published at least three stories claiming “there is no evidence” for Trump’s assertion that Hunter Biden was a target of Ukrainian prosecutors.

In other words, the Washington Post has repeatedly suggested that Trump is just making it all up even though their own article from just two months ago directly quotes the head Ukrainian prosecutor during the time in question as explicitly saying he was investigating Hunter Biden and reports that he also intended to interrogate Hunter.

If that’s all there was, it would be bad enough. It’s already clear that Bloomberg, the rest of the corporate leftist press—and especially the Washington Post—engaged in willful dishonesty by presenting Kasko’s story as if it were fact, while completely burying Shokin’s detailed and damning counter-tale.

If the corporate press had presented both sides of the story properly, at best we’d have a case of two Ukrainian officials contradicting each other without any sound basis for deciding which of them to believe. No one without prejudice could claim that the Bidens were definitely innocent of any wrongdoing and, as Mayor Giuliani suggested, an investigation would clearly be in order. But  … Interfax-Ukraine published an article on April 2, 2016, which verifies that “the movable and immovable property” of Burisma’s owner “Mykola Zlochevsky . . . has been seized” and that “the court satisfied the petition on February 2, 2016″, two weeks before Shokin was forced to resign and, in fact, on the exact date he claimed to have “crossed the threshold” that caused his termination because of Biden’s demands.

Without further official inquiry, we’ll never be certain of the full story. But Bloomberg’s assertion that the investigation into Burisma was dormant under Shokin, which is the lynchpin of the mainstream press’s attempt to convince people that Joe Biden’s Ukrainian ultimatum had nothing to do with his son’s multi-million-dollar gig with Burisma, simply isn’t true. And the fact that Shokin turns out to be the honest one here lends at least a little credence to his claim that Hunter Biden was indeed a target of his investigation.

Moreover, the story that Shokin was the one protecting Burisma doesn’t make a whole lot of sense given what happened in the aftermath of his dismissal. Not only was Burisma not prosecuted, but the investigations were also completely terminated after Biden got his way and Shokin was out of the picture.

In October 2017, Burisma issued a statement saying Ukrainian prosecutors had closed all legal and criminal proceedings against it. …

The end result of Joe Biden’s arrogant and aggressive meddling in another nation’s domestic politics was that a company paying his good-for-nothing son millions of dollars was let off the hook even though his own administration claimed it had engaged in illegal activity deserving of serious punishment.

Bottom line: Well over 50 news articles are trying to convince Americans of Biden’s innocence by claiming that Burisma had absolutely no reason to want Viktor Shokin fired. And every single one of those news articles is a deceitful insult to the intelligence of the reader. As Thomas Jefferson said in response to the fake news of his day: “The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.”

A great American leader speaks 4

The great Rudy Giuliani delivered this powerful speech (recorded on two videos) at a symposium of the Iranian-American community in February, 2015:

 

(Hat-tip to our commenter Frank)

Posted under Iran, jihad, Muslims, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, September 12, 2015

Tagged with ,

This post has 4 comments.

Permalink

Libertarians in blinkers 7

Where we part company with Libertarians is over the hugely important matter of defense.

Like them, we want a free market economy, small government and low taxes. And we too hold liberty to be a supreme value.

The article we quote below is by John Mueller and Mark G. Stewart of the libertarian Cato Institute in America. It was published by The Guardian in Britain on February 24, 2015.

Libertarians and The Guardian are not on the same side. Libertarians are for the freedom of the individual. The Guardian is for socialism, statism, big controlling government interfering in every individual life.

But The Guardian is also pro-Islam. And that is what brings these Libertarians and the collectivists of The Guardian together. Not that the Libertarians are pro-Islam. We have observed that, as a group, they know nothing about Islam and don’t want to. They obstinately refuse to learn what’s going on politically in the wider world, believe Americans have no need to take notice of foreign affairs, and should never go to war unless America itself is attacked. To them, the aggression of 9/11 did not qualify as a war-provoking attack. That’s why they want the (badly named but ever more urgently needed) “War on Terror” to be stopped. And that’s what got these two into the columns of The Guardian.

Terrorism Poses No Existential Threat to America. We Must Stop Pretending Otherwise

One of the most unchallenged, zany assertions during the war on terror has been that terrorists present an existential threat to the United States, the modern state and civilization itself. This is important because the overwrought expression, if accepted as valid, could close off evaluation of security efforts. For example, no defense of civil liberties is likely to be terribly effective if people believe the threat from terrorism to be existential.

At long last, President Barack Obama and other top officials are beginning to back away from this absurd position. This much overdue development may not last, however. Extravagant alarmism about the pathological but self-destructiveIslamic State (ISIS) in areas of Syria and Iraq may cause us to backslide.

The notion that international terrorism presents an existential threat was spawned by the traumatized in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Rudy Giuliani, mayor of New York at the time, recalls that all “security experts” expected “dozens and dozens and multiyears of attacks like this” and, in her book The Dark Side, Jane Mayer observed that “the only certainty shared by virtually the entire American intelligence community” was that “a second wave of even more devastating terrorist attacks on America was imminent”. Duly terrified, US intelligence services were soon imaginatively calculating the number of trained al-Qaida operatives in the United States to be between 2,000 and 5,000.

Also compelling was the extrapolation that, because the 9/11 terrorists were successful with box-cutters, they might well be able to turn out nuclear weapons.

Who on earth said such a silly thing? What was said is that jihadists might become nuclear armed. And in fact the Islamic theocracy of Iran is becoming a nuclear-armed power, and repetitively threatens Israel, America and Europe with destruction. Why don’t these writers know that? Or do they know it and choose to ignore it?

Soon it was being authoritatively proclaimed that atomic terrorists could “destroy civilization as we know it” and that it was likely that a nuclear terrorist attack on the United States would transpire by 2014.

Many a terrorist attack that could have been devastating (how devastating it’s impossible to know) has been averted because sensible people – which category does not include Obama – have worked hard to prevent them, and so far have largely succeeded.

But no, okay, it is not “terrorism” that threatens Western civilization, it is Islam, using the method of terrorism to an unprecedented extent.

“Atomic  terrorists” –  namely Iran – could destroy civilization as we know it. Especially as atomic war against us will be accompanied by the Islamization of Europe – which these authors are above noticing.

The sneering scorn they pour on the menace makes their arguments all the more inapposite.

No atomic terrorists have yet appeared (al-Qaida’s entire budget in 2001 for research on all weapons of mass destruction totaled less than $4,000), and intelligence has been far better at counting al-Qaida operatives in the country than at finding them.

But the notion that terrorism presents an existential threat has played on. By 2008, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff declared it to be a “significant existential” one – carefully differentiating it, apparently, from all those insignificant existential threats Americans have faced in the past. The bizarre formulation survived into the Obama years. In October 2009, Bruce Riedel, an advisor to the new administration, publicly maintained the al-Qaida threat to the country to be existential.

In 2014, however, things began to change.

In a speech at Harvard in October, Vice President Joseph Biden …

Of all people! A man no one in their right mind would look to for insight, accurate analysis, or the most basic comprehension of what’s happening even if it’s going on under his own nose …

… offered the thought that “we face no existential threat — none — to our way of life or our ultimate security”. After a decent interval of three months, President Barack Obama reiterated this point at a press conference, and then expanded in an interview a few weeks later, adding that the US should not “provide a victory to these terrorist networks by over-inflating their importance and suggesting in some fashion that they are an existential threat to the United States or the world order”. Later, his national security advisor, Susan Rice, echoed the point in a formal speech.

Obama also said that al-Qaida was defeated, when in truth it has grown bigger and has spread further. Obama constantly signals that he loves Islam, so he would say those things. Libertarians ought not to be unaware of that.

And for them to quote Susan Rice, the notorious lie-retailer of the Obama administration, is absurdly ingenuous.

It is astounding that these utterances … appear to mark the first time any officials in the United States have had the notion and the courage to say so in public.

Whether that development, at once remarkable and absurdly belated, will have some consequence, or even continue, remains to be seen. Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham have insisted for months that ISIS  presents an existential threat to the United States. …

And General Michael Flynn, recently retired as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, has been insisting that the terrorist enemy is “committed to the destruction of freedom and the American way of life” while seeking “world domination, achieved through violence and bloodshed”.  It was reported that his remarks provoked nods of approval, cheers and “ultimately a standing ovation” from the audience.

Thus even the most modest imaginable effort to rein in the war on terror hyperbole may fail to gel.

“Rein in the war on terror hyperbole”? They mean, of course, do nothing about the jihad.

What is most remarkable about the article is that these two believers in the value of individual freedom ignore the tragedy of individuals who have been captured, tortured, and killed by terrorists inside America and in the Middle East – and we are speaking specifically of Islamic terrorists, Islam being the ideology that is posing a serious threat to the Western world and its civilization. They seem to have neither an instinctive nor a rational desire for justice. They consider only the collective of the nation in their assessment of existential danger. Of course the USA is not immediately threatened with destruction as a nation by Islam with its favored method of terrorism.

It is, however, being slowly destroyed by Leftist, statist, collectivist, redistributionist government which puts no value on civil liberties. And jihadis iterate often enough that America is their target, that they will replace the Constitution with sharia law, and that Americans will be given the choice of conversion, subservience, or death. So when Europe, much of Africa, all the Middle East, and a very large part of the Far East are Islamic; and when the US has abandoned its own Constitution, disarmed its citizenry, and allowed the population to be cowed by threats and demonstrations of horrific murders, how long will it take for the jihadis’ aim to be achieved?  

Perhaps Mueller and Stewart seem to feel that they themselves are somehow immune from terrorist attacks, such as the one people experienced in Boston when bombs exploded in their midst as they watched a marathon race.

And perhaps an unwillingness to consider such a possibility can explain why they are not concerned about the deaths by terrorist violence of thousands of individuals.    

No wonder The Guardian liked their article.

Oh, please no! 0

Diana West raises a troubling question:

Should Fox News register with the State Department as a foreign agent — an agent of Saudi Arabia?

First off, is that a farfetched question? Not when a leading member of the ruling family of the Sharia-totalitarian “kingdom” of Saudi Arabia, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, has made himself the second-largest shareholder of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., Fox News’ parent company.

Just as Steven Emerson believes that American universities using Saudi mega-millions (many from Alwaleed) to set up Islamic studies departments should register as Saudi agents, I believe an American news channel part-owned and part-influenced by the Saudi prince should, too.

Alwaleed’s long march through U.S. institutions is a mainly post-9/11 progression greased by his purchase of about a 5.5 percent stake in News Corp. in 2005, and his purchases, I mean, gifts, of $20 million apiece to Georgetown and Harvard Universities, also in 2005.

There have been other eye-catching displays of Alwaleed’s largesse — $500,000 in 2002 to the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Hamas- and Muslim-Brotherhood-linked entity, and a whopping $27 million, also in 2002, to the families of Palestinian “martyrs,” aka suicide bombers. These, along with Alwaleed’s self-described “very close relationship” with Murdoch son and apparent heir-apparent James, a left-wing global-warmist with virulently anti-Israel views, should only deepen Americans’ concerns about Fox’s ties to “the prince.” Recently, Murdoch and Alwaleed have discussed expanding their business relationship through the Murdoch purchase of a substantial stake in Rotana, Alwaleed’s huge Arab media company.

Before entering his Murdoch association, Alwaleed gave a remarkably candid interview in 2002 about what Arab News described as his belief that “Arabs should focus more on penetrating U.S. public opinion as a means to influencing decision-making” rather than boycotting U.S. products, an idea of the moment.

The Arab News reported: “Arab countries can influence U.S. decision-making ‘if they unite through economic interests, not political,’ (Alwaleed) stressed. ‘We have to be logical and understand that the U.S. administration is subject to U.S. public opinion. We (Arabs) are not so active in this sphere (public opinion). And to bring the decision-maker on your side, you not only have to be active inside the U.S. Congress or the administration but also inside U.S. society.'”

And active inside U.S. society living rooms — even better. Alwaleed would seem to have hit on a Fox strategy some time after Rudy Giuliani refused to accept, on behalf of a 9/11-shattered New York City, his $10 million check-cum-lecture that essentially justified the al-Qaida attacks as having been a response to U.S. foreign policy. This was “such an egregious, outrageous, unfair offense that I would have nothing to do with his money either,” Sean Hannity said at the time on Fox News‘ “Hannity & Colmes,” his remarks (and those of other Fox personalities) recently re-examined by the left-wing group Media Matters. “This is a bad guy,” Hannity said. “Rudy was right to decline the money.” Bill Sammon called Alwaleed’s check “blood money,” adding, “we’re better off without it.”

How terribly ironic that this same “bad guy” is now a News Corp. blood-money bags, a boss who must be handled with care as, for example, Fox host Neil Cavuto did in a deferential interview with Alwaleed last month.

How does this influence Fox News coverage? It’s impossible to say. Alwaleed has bragged that it only took a phone call to ensure that Fox coverage of Muslim rioting in France not be described as “Muslim” rioting in France, a boast News Corp. has never denied….

Meanwhile, spokesmen for terrorism-linked and Alwaleed-endowed CAIR still appear on Fox shows, for example, while Dave Gaubatz and Paul Sperry, likely Fox guests as conservative authors of the sleeper-hit book “Muslim Mafia” (an expose of CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood), get zero airtime. The more important question becomes: How does Alwaleed’s stake in News Corp. affect what Fox News doesn’t cover?

If they don’t report, we can’t decide. This, for a Sharia prince, could be worth millions.

This is very disturbing.

For TV news we watch Fox almost exclusively. We are hugely entertained by Glenn Beck who’s doing a great job exposing the bad policies and bad policy-makers in the Obama administration. We regularly watch Bret Baier’s ‘Special Report’, eager to hear the opinions of Charles Krauthammer, Brit Hume, and Stephen Hayes. We quite often watch Sean Hannity. We bear with Bill O’Reilly because he brings us conservatives like Michelle Malkin who inform and interest us. We need Fox News.  If it is to become a propaganda instrument of the soft jihad we will be losing a highly valuable resource, irreplaceable as far as we can see.

Rupert Murdoch, what are you doing to us?

The deadly danger of Christian forgiveness 2

The good news that the Democrats are dropping rapidly in voters’ approval is tempered for us by the bad news that of  the visible Republican 2012 presidential candidates, Mike Huckabee heads the list. We see him as good-natured but dangerously naive. His religious belief is as ingenuous as that of a small child. True, Sarah Palin’s is too, but she has many qualities that made her a strong governor and could make her an effective future leader.

A former member of Huckabee’s 2008 campaign, Joe Carter, confirms our view of him. Slightly to our surprise we found this at First Things, a Christian site:

The tragic murders of four policemen in Washington State, quickly turned into a political story when it was discovered that former governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee had previously commuted the sentence of the gunman [Maurice Clemmons], making him eligible for parole.

Normally, I wouldn’t have much to say on such story. But because I have some familiarity with the backstory — I worked for a brief time for the Huckabee campaign — and because it has implications for the role of religion in politics, I thought it might be worth sharing my perspective.

Reflections on a politician by former campaign staffers should always be taken cum grano salis. This is no exception. While I’m still a fan of the governor I don’t believe he — nor anyone else from the 2008 primary season (from Palin to Romney to Giuliani to Paul) — has any chance of ever becoming President. Because of this, I don’t feel the need to either defend or condemn him. While the tragic chain of events that were set in place by his signing commutations are not entirely — or even primarily — the fault of the governor, he must bear a sufficient measure of responsibility. …

On the issue of clemency, commutations, and pardons. … Other governors with their sights set on higher offices had learned that doing nothing — even to correct obvious instances of injustice — was unlikely to cause any long-term political damage. Keeping an innocent man in prison is less harmful to an ambitious politician than freeing someone who may commit other crimes.

Huckabee would certainly discover this political reality the hard way. Initially, I chalked it up solely to extraordinary political courage. Later, I tempered this view when I realized that this courage was mixed with a large dose of cluelessness. The governor seemed genuinely surprised that he was held responsible for the criminal acts committed by those whose sentences he had commuted as governor. It was as if he believed that simply having noble intentions and a willingness to make tough decisions would provide political cover. The notion that he should be accountable for future crimes committed by these men seemed as foreign to him as the idea that he should refuse all leniency.

His naivete about how his actions would be judged was compounded by his own belief in the nobleness of his motives. Huckabee was — and likely remains — a true believer in the concept of restorative justice.

Judging from the records, the governor also seemed to put a lot of weight on conversion stories — a common trait among evangelicals, who believe the gospel is sufficient for restoration and redemption of character. The opinion of clergy appears to have carried a great deal of weight in the decision-making process. …