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Michael S. Smith II

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Michael S. Smith II is a founder of Kronos Advisory, LLC, a U.S.-based business which, according to Dun & Bradstreet, operates in the spaces of National Security and International Affairs.[1] According to the firm’s web site, Kronos is a strategic advisory firm established in 2011 by Medal of Honor recipient MajGen James E. Livingston, USMC (Ret), Council on Foreign Relations member Mallory Factor, and Smith to “deliver global stakeholders the situational awareness solutions they require to address strategic and tactical threats to their interests.”[2] Along with Gen Livingston and Mallory Factor, Smith is also a founder of The Charleston Meeting, an invitation-only center-right political forum hosted in Charleston, S.C. that borrows the model Factor developed for his New York-based Monday Meeting forum.[3]

Biography

Smith was a Baker Fellow at The Free Enterprise Foundation [4], a Charleston, S.C.-based think tank housed at The Citadel [5]. He served as the executive editor of the foundation’s publication, The Ethical Standard. [6] He also served as a contributing editor[7] for SCHotline.[8], a conservative-oriented news aggregator site based in Columbia, S.C. A NEFA Brief published 9 November 2009[9] references Smith as an Associate Researcher for The NEFA Foundation[10], a self-described "leader in the fields of terrorism investigation, research, and analysis that sheds light on the activities of terrorist organizations and the individuals and entities providing support to them." In 2010, Smith served as the secretary of South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis’ transition team.

Smith's bio[11] published by SCHotline indicates "He regularly publishes reviews of nonfiction materials in the Evening Post’s flagship newspaper, The Post and Courier[12], and is an occasional contributor of materials to The State.[13] That bio also indicates "Smith earned his B.A. degree from the College of Charleston[14] (2007), where he briefly studied Arabic and Economics."

According to a document published by the South Carolina World Trade Center, Mr. Smith is (or at one time was) a special assistant to The Hon. L. Ronald Scheman [15], a former U.S. Executive Director of the Inter-American Development Bank and Sr. Adv. to Kissinger McLarty Associates. [16] Mr. Scheman is also a member of The Free Enterprise Foundation's board of directors. [17]

According to Mr. Smith, he coauthored an op-ed with Mr. Scheman, titled "Immigration and the Looming U.S. Demographic Crisis," [18] which was published by The Globalist on 12 April 2007; however, Mr. Smith's name does not appear in the article's byline.

Mr. Smith's profile [19] posted to Linkedin [20] reveals he is the past publisher of S.C. Voyage[21], the official publication of the South Carolina Maritime Foundation. [22] This profile also indicates he is a past board member of the Charleston branch of The English-Speaking Union of the United States,[23] and that he has volunteered his services as a fundraiser for political candidates, assisting with the organizations of events and "raising funds for federal- and state-level Republican politicians." Invitations [24][25] to two political events hosted in South Carolina in 2009 indicate Smith has helped raise funds for U.S. Senator David Vitter (Republican, Louisiana)[26] and U.S. Congressman Joe Wilson (Republican, South Carolina).[27]

Kronos Report: The al-Qa’ida-Qods Force Nexus

According to an Agence France Press report titled “Report highlights alleged Iran force's Al-Qaeda links," at the request of a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, in May 2011 Smith presented the Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus a special report regarding Iran’s ties to al-Qa’ida and affiliated movements. The report states:

"Iran has quietly forged a strong working relationship with core al-Qaeda?s leaders," said the report's author Michael S. Smith II.

"This relationship has been established to counter American influence in the Middle East and South Asia," according to his report.

"Through it, Iran will likely also help Al-Qaeda mobilize terrorists to carry out attacks against the US and our allies, providing the support required to extend Al-Qaeda's operational reach," the report added.

Smith argued that not enough attention has been paid to the links between the two entities because of a "pervasive" belief that Shiite and non-Arab Iran will not work with the Sunni Arab militants of Al-Qaeda.

The ties date back to the 1990s when Al-Quds members worked with the Iranian-backed Hezbollah to train and equip bin Laden's holy warriors. He cites the 9/11 Commission Report for operational linkages between the two.

"Since 9/11, these partnerships have become all the more pronounced. Hundreds of al-Qaeda members, along with family members of core al-Qaeda leaders like Osama bin Laden, have found refuge inside Iran," he wrote. …

The congressional caucus's Andy Polk said in an email to AFP that: "With the death of Bin Laden, and with Iran's Quds Force being listed as part of the new sanctions against Syria, this is an interesting and timely report."

Coverage of Smith’s report, titled “The al-Qa’ida-Qods Force Nexus,” was also provided by the Jerusalem Post [28] and al-Arabiya.[29]

Arab Spring Developments in Syria

In June 2011, Smith coauthored a piece with American military geostrategist Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett titled “Making Syria’s Assad Next Domino to Fall” for Barnett’s weekly “The New Rules” column published by World Politics Review. Arguing that the U.S. should provide greater support to the movements seeking regime change in Syria, they wrote:

“Recent polls indicate that a majority of Americans and Europeans don't want NATO to widen its war against embattled Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. So long as the West's low-and-slow approach to regime change continues to weaken the dictator, there is good reason to stick with President Barack Obama's strategy of limited intervention. Yet as international cameras focus in on Libya, a prospective tipping point for the future of the Middle East becomes all the more visible in Syria, despite that country's ban on international journalists. And although Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has taken an admirably tough line regarding the Baath regime's "continued brutality," the White House still expresses more concern over Israel's policies in the West Bank and Gaza than over Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's increasingly bloody crackdown against protesters there.

“Regrettably, it appears that the Obama administration's judgment has become mired in a fog of misconceptions about what regime change in Syria would really mean for the region and larger world. As a result, Washington may squander the biggest opportunity to date amid the Arab Spring to rehabilitate our image there as a force for positive change.”

The Charleston Meeting

Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient MajGen James E. Livingston [30], Monday Meeting founder Mallory Factor [31], former New Hampshire Republican Party Executive Director Andrew Boucher, and Smith are co-founders of The Charleston Meeting.

A report on this monthly “center-right coalition” forum [32] published in the Charleston-based Post and Courier newspaper on January 24, 2011 notes:

“The road to the 2012 Republican presidential nomination may wind through a downtown Charleston room where a few hundred people hear the candidates talk briefly and then decide for themselves who is right for the job.

“The Charleston Meeting — a new invitation only, off-the-record gathering of conservatives from South Carolina and beyond — isn't being formed only for that contest.

“Instead, organizers hope they can move the needle on all sorts of national and state policy issues of interest to conservatives.”

The Post and Courier report identified December 6, 2010 as the first meeting date, and January 24, 2011 as the second meeting date.

According to a report published by the South Carolina political blog site FITSNews titled “The Holy City Cabal,” [33] S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis, S.C. Adjutant General Bob Livingston, S.C. Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn McConnell, S.C. Senator Chip Campsen, S.C. Senator Larry Grooms, S.C. Representative Chip Limehouse, and S.C. Republican National Committeewoman Cindy Costa were among the featured speakers for the December 6 launch of the Charleston Meeting.

A Facebook posting[34] by the Chester County (S.C.) GOP reveals speakers for the February 2011 meeting included:

National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation President Mark Mix

U.S. Congressman Tim Scott (R, N.C.)

U.S. Congresswoman Sue Myrick (R, N.C.)

U.S. Congressman Jeff Duncan (R, S.C.)

According to a March 2011 article[35] published by The State newspaper of Columbia, S.C., U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R, K.Y.) visited Charleston on March 21, 2011 to address the meeting’s members. Charleston’s daily newspaper, The Post and Courier, suggested Senator Paul was visiting Charleston to test the waters for a presidential bid in 2012.[36] A posting to a S.C.-based site[37] launched to promote Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign reveals U.S. Congressman Mick Mulvaney (R, S.C.) and U.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert (R, T.X.) also spoke at the March 2011 meeting.

South Carolina Governor Controversy

On December 7, 2009, Smith prepared a special report at the request of South Carolina (SC) Representative Greg Delleney, who led the effort to launch an impeachment of SC Gov. Mark Sanford in special hearings held by the SC House Judiciary Impeachment Subcommittee. The report was entered into the public record. It was titled “Regarding the Argentina Leg Governor Mark Sanford Ordered the South Carolina Department of Commerce to Add to South Carolina’s 2008 Trade Mission to Brazil”[38] (archived by The Post and Courier and linked to an online report on the December 7 hearing[39]), augmented Rep. Delleney’s arguments that the governor had arranged for his 2008 trip to Brazil to be an official state-funded business trip in order to mask what Delleney argued was the governor’s true reasons for spending three days in Buenos Aires, Argentina in June 2008 -- a visit with his mistress, Maria Belen Chapur. On December 9, 2009, a letter[40] responding to issues with Smith’s report voiced during the December 7 hearing was also placed into the public record of documents reviewed by committee members contemplating impeachment of Gov. Sanford. (The State newspaper of Columbia has provided an archive of the footage[41] from each hearing on its Web site.)

Involvement in tort reform debate

On 8 October 2009, Smith published a letter[42] in The Wall Street Journal[43] highlighting his opinion that both plaintiffs' lawyers and their defense team counterparts, who Smith says also derive significant financial rewards from "trial lawyers' proclivities for very costly litigious pursuits," are to blame for steps taken to block tort reform. This letter was written in response to Philip K. Howard's September 29 Wall Street Journal oped titled "Why Medical Malpractice is Off Limits."[44]

Book Reviewer, "The Post and Courier"

Miscellaneous information

Using the Internet Archive’s “Wayback Machine” [45] (entering www.charlestonmercury.net into the search window adjacent to the tab that reads "Take Me Back") to search for old pages posted to the original domain name for the Charleston Mercury [46] newspaper’s original Web site (originally accessible via www.charlestonmercury.net, not “.com”) one finds the "Team Mercury" pages from the 28 November 2004, 7 February 2005, 5 March 2005 and 4 April 2005 updates to that site [47] indicated Michael S. Smith II was at one time this newspaper’s Copy Editor. An examination of all past web pages for this site reveals he was the first person to appear in the "Team Mercury" list with the corresponding title of "Copy Editor." The Charleston Mercury newspaper is a subsidiary of the Charleston, S.C.-based Evening Post Publishing Company [48], as is Charleston's daily newspaper, The Post and Courier [49], a newspaper in which Mr. Smith has published numerous letters to the editor (see article links posted below this section). According to the byline of a Charleston Mercury article about Neoclassical Architect Randolph Martz (a contributor to the Summer 2008 edition of The Ethical Standard [50]), which has been published on Mr. Martz' Web site [51], "Chief Intern" was another title delegated to Mr. Smith during the period of time in which he was associated with the Charleston Mercury newspaper. (This title is also associated with Mr. Smith's byline in the article about the creation of the Charleston Mercury newspaper that is linked below.)

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