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( Jul 10, 2017 , www.msn.com )
Jan 11, 2017 | consortiumnews.com
Sen. John McCain admitted Wednesday that he gave the FBI a dossier detailing claims of a Russian blackmail plot against President-elect Donald Trump.
The Arizona lawmaker, a longtime Trump critic, made the public statement as questions piled up about his alleged role in spreading an unverified and error-riddled document that Trump has denounced as "a complete and total fabrication."
"Late last year, I received sensitive information that has since been made public," McCain said. "Upon examination of the contents, and unable to make a judgment about their accuracy, I delivered the information to the Director of the FBI. That has been the extent of my contact with the FBI or any other government agency regarding this issue."
Oct 30, 2017 | consortiumnews.com
The U.S. government may pretend to respect a "rules-based" global order, but the only rule Washington seems to follow is "might makes right" -- and the CIA has long served as a chief instigator and enforcer, writes Nicolas J.S. Davies.
As the recent PBS documentary on the American War in Vietnam acknowledged, few American officials ever believed that the United States could win the war, neither those advising Johnson as he committed hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops, nor those advising Nixon as he escalated a brutal aerial bombardment that had already killed millions of people.
As conversations tape-recorded in the White House reveal, and as other writers have documented, the reasons for wading into the Big Muddy, as Pete Seeger satirized it , and then pushing on regardless, all came down to "credibility": the domestic political credibility of the politicians involved and America's international credibility as a military power.
Once the CIA went to work in Vietnam to undermine the 1954 Geneva Accords and the planned reunification of North and South through a free and fair election in 1956, the die was cast. The CIA's support for the repressive Diem regime and its successors ensured an ever-escalating war, as the South rose in rebellion, supported by the North. No U.S. president could extricate the U.S. from Vietnam without exposing the limits of what U.S. military force could achieve, betraying widely held national myths and the powerful interests that sustained and profited from them.
The critical "lesson of Vietnam" was summed up by Richard Barnet in his 1972 book Roots of War . "At the very moment that the number one nation has perfected the science of killing," Barnet wrote, "It has become an impractical means of political domination."
Even the senior officer corps of the U.S. military saw it that way, since many of them had survived the horrors of Vietnam as junior officers. The CIA could still wreak havoc in Latin America and elsewhere, but the full destructive force of the U.S. military was not unleashed again until the invasion of Panama in 1989 and the First Gulf War in 1991.
Half a century after Vietnam, we have tragically come full circle. With the CIA's politicized intelligence running wild in Washington and its covert operations spreading violence and chaos across every continent, President Trump faces the same pressures to maintain his own and his country's credibility as Johnson and Nixon did. His predictable response has been to escalate ongoing wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and West Africa, and to threaten new ones against North Korea, Iran and Venezuela.
Trump is facing these questions, not just in one country, Vietnam, but in dozens of countries across the world, and the interests perpetuating and fueling this cycle of crisis and war have only become more entrenched over time, as President Eisenhower warned that they would, despite the end of the Cold War and, until now, the lack of any actual military threat to the United States.
Ironically but predictably, the U.S.'s aggressive and illegal war policy has finally provoked a real military threat to the U.S., albeit one that has emerged only in response to U.S. war plans. As I explained in a recent article , North Korea's discovery in 2016 of a U.S. plan to assassinate its president, Kim Jong Un, and launch a Second Korean War has triggered a crash program to develop long-range ballistic missiles that could give North Korea a viable nuclear deterrent and prevent a U.S. attack. But the North Koreans will not feel safe from attack until their leaders and ours are sure that their missiles can deliver a nuclear strike against the U.S. mainland.
The CIA's Pretexts for War
U.S. Air Force Colonel Fletcher Prouty was the chief of special operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1955 to 1964, managing the global military support system for the CIA in Vietnam and around the world. Fletcher Prouty's book, The Secret Team: The CIA and its Allies in Control of the United States and the World , was suppressed when it was first published in 1973. Thousands of copies disappeared from bookstores and libraries, and a mysterious Army Colonel bought the entire shipment of 3,500 copies the publisher sent to Australia. But Prouty's book was republished in 2011, and it is a timely account of the role of the CIA in U.S. policy.
Prouty surprisingly described the role of the CIA as a response by powerful people and interests to the abolition of the U.S. Department of War and the creation of the Department of Defense in 1947. Once the role of the U.S. military was redefined as one of defense, in line with the United Nations Charter's prohibition against the threat or use of military force in 1945 and similar moves by other military powers, it would require some kind of crisis or threat to justify using military force in the future, both legally and politically. The main purpose of the CIA, as Prouty saw it, is to create such pretexts for war.
The CIA is a hybrid of an intelligence service that gathers and analyzes foreign intelligence and a clandestine service that conducts covert operations. Both functions are essential to creating pretexts for war, and that is what they have done for 70 years.
Prouty described how the CIA infiltrated the U.S. military, the State Department, the National Security Council and other government institutions, covertly placing its officers in critical positions to ensure that its plans are approved and that it has access to whatever forces, weapons, equipment, ammunition and other resources it needs to carry them out.
Many retired intelligence officers, such as Ray McGovern and the members of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), saw the merging of clandestine operations with intelligence analysis in one agency as corrupting the objective analysis they tried to provide to policymakers. They formed VIPS in 2003 in response to the fabrication of politicized intelligence that provided false pretexts for the U.S. to invade and destroy Iraq.
CIA in Syria and Africa
But Fletcher Prouty was even more disturbed by the way that the CIA uses clandestine operations to trigger coups, wars and chaos. The civil and proxy war in Syria is a perfect example of what Prouty meant. In late 2011, after destroying Libya and aiding in the torture-murder of Muammar Gaddafi, the CIA and its allies began flying fighters and weapons from Libya to Turkey and infiltrating them into Syria. Then, working with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Croatia and other allies, this operation poured thousands of tons of weapons across Syria's borders to ignite and fuel a full-scale civil war.
Once these covert operations were under way, they ran wild until they had unleashed a savage Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria (Jabhat al-Nusra, now rebranded as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham), spawned the even more savage "Islamic State," triggered the heaviest and probably the deadliest U.S. bombing campaign since Vietnam and drawn Russia, Iran, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Hezbollah, Kurdish militias and almost every state or armed group in the Middle East into the chaos of Syria's civil war.
Meanwhile, as Al Qaeda and Islamic State have expanded their operations across Africa, the U.N. has published a report titled Journey to Extremism in Africa: Drivers, Incentives and the Tipping Point for Recruitment , based on 500 interviews with African militants. This study has found that the kind of special operations and training missions the CIA and AFRICOM are conducting and supporting in Africa are in fact the critical "tipping point" that drives Africans to join militant groups like Al Qaeda, Al-Shabab and Boko Haram.
The report found that government action, such as the killing or detention of friends or family, was the "tipping point" that drove 71 percent of African militants interviewed to join armed groups, and that this was a more important factor than religious ideology.
The conclusions of Journey to Extremism in Africa confirm the findings of other similar studies. The Center for Civilians in Conflict interviewed 250 civilians who joined armed groups in Bosnia, Somalia, Gaza and Libya for its 2015 study, The People's Perspectives : Civilian Involvement in Armed Conflict . The study found that the most common motivation for civilians to join armed groups was simply to protect themselves or their families.
The role of U.S. "counterterrorism" operations in fueling armed resistance and terrorism, and the absence of any plan to reduce the asymmetric violence unleashed by the "global war on terror," would be no surprise to Fletcher Prouty. As he explained, such clandestine operations always take on a life of their own that is unrelated, and often counter-productive, to any rational U.S. policy objective.
"The more intimate one becomes with this activity," Prouty wrote, "The more one begins to realize that such operations are rarely, if ever, initiated from an intent to become involved in pursuit of some national objective in the first place."
The U.S. justifies the deployment of 6,000 U.S. special forces and military trainers to 53 of the 54 countries in Africa as a response to terrorism. But the U.N.'s Journey to Extremism in Africa study makes it clear that the U.S. militarization of Africa is in fact the "tipping point" that is driving Africans across the continent to join armed resistance groups in the first place.
This is a textbook CIA operation on the same model as Vietnam in the late 1950s and early 60s. The CIA uses U.S. special forces and training missions to launch covert and proxy military operations that drive local populations into armed resistance groups, and then uses the presence of those armed resistance groups to justify ever-escalating U.S. military involvement. This is Vietnam redux on a continental scale.
Taking on China
What seems to really be driving the CIA's militarization of U.S. policy in Africa is China's growing influence on the continent. As Steve Bannon put it in an interview with the Economist in August, "Let's go screw up One Belt One Road."
China is already too big and powerful for the U.S. to apply what is known as the Ledeen doctrine named for neoconservative theorist and intelligence operative Michael Ledeen who suggested that every 10 years or so, the United States "pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show we mean business."
China is too powerful and armed with nuclear weapons. So, in this case, the CIA's job would be to spread violence and chaos to disrupt Chinese trade and investment, and to make African governments increasingly dependent on U.S. military aid to fight the militant groups spawned and endlessly regenerated by U.S.-led "counterterrorism" operations.
Neither Ledeen nor Bannon pretend that such policies are designed to build more prosperous or viable societies in the Middle East or Africa, let alone to benefit their people. They both know very well what Richard Barnet already understood 45 years ago, that America's unprecedented investment in weapons, war and CIA covert operations are only good for one thing: to kill people and destroy infrastructure, reducing cities to rubble, societies to chaos and the desperate survivors to poverty and displacement.
As long as the CIA and the U.S. military keep plunging the scapegoats for our failed policies into economic crisis, violence and chaos, the United States and the United Kingdom can remain the safe havens of the world's wealth, islands of privilege and excess amidst the storms they unleash on others.
But if that is the only "significant national objective" driving these policies, it is surely about time for the 99 percent of Americans who reap no benefit from these murderous schemes to stop the CIA and its allies before they completely wreck the already damaged and fragile world in which we all must live, Americans and foreigners alike.
Douglas Valentine has probably studied the CIA in more depth than any other American journalist, beginning with his book on The Phoenix Program in Vietnam. He has written a new book titled The CIA as Organized Crime : How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World, in which he brings Fletcher Prouty's analysis right up to the present day, describing the CIA's role in our current wars and the many ways it infiltrates, manipulates and controls U.S. policy.
The Three Scapegoats
In Trump's speech to the U.N. General Assembly, he named North Korea, Iran and Venezuela as his prime targets for destabilization, economic warfare and, ultimately, the overthrow of their governments, whether by coup d'etat or the mass destruction of their civilian population and infrastructure. But Trump's choice of scapegoats for America's failures was obviously not based on a rational reassessment of foreign policy priorities by the new administration. It was only a tired rehashing of the CIA's unfinished business with two-thirds of Bush's "axis of evil" and Bush White House official Elliott Abrams' failed 2002 coup in Caracas, now laced with explicit and illegal threats of aggression.
How Trump and the CIA plan to sacrifice their three scapegoats for America's failures remains to be seen. This is not 2001, when the world stood silent at the U.S. bombardment and invasion of Afghanistan after September 11th. It is more like 2003, when the U.S. destruction of Iraq split the Atlantic alliance and alienated most of the world. It is certainly not 2011, after Obama's global charm offensive had rebuilt U.S. alliances and provided cover for French President Sarkozy, British Prime Minister Cameron, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Arab royals to destroy Libya, once ranked by the U.N. as the most developed country in Africa , now mired in intractable chaos.
In 2017, a U.S. attack on any one of Trump's scapegoats would isolate the United States from many of its allies and undermine its standing in the world in far-reaching ways that might be more permanent and harder to repair than the invasion and destruction of Iraq.
In Venezuela, the CIA and the right-wing opposition are following the same strategy that President Nixon ordered the CIA to inflict on Chile, to "make the economy scream" in preparation for the 1973 coup. But the solid victory of Venezuela's ruling Socialist Party in recent nationwide gubernatorial elections, despite a long and deep economic crisis, reveals little public support for the CIA's puppets in Venezuela.
The CIA has successfully discredited the Venezuelan government through economic warfare, increasingly violent right-wing street protests and a global propaganda campaign. But the CIA has stupidly hitched its wagon to an extreme right-wing, upper-class opposition that has no credibility with most of the Venezuelan public, who still turn out for the Socialists at the polls. A CIA coup or U.S. military intervention would meet fierce public resistance and damage U.S. relations all over Latin America.
Boxing In North Korea
A U.S. aerial bombardment or "preemptive strike" on North Korea could quickly escalate into a war between the U.S. and China, which has reiterated its commitment to North Korea's defense if North Korea is attacked. We do not know exactly what was in the U.S. war plan discovered by North Korea, so neither can we know how North Korea and China could respond if the U.S. pressed ahead with it.
Most analysts have long concluded that any U.S. attack on North Korea would be met with a North Korean artillery and missile barrage that would inflict unacceptable civilian casualties on Seoul, a metropolitan area of 26 million people, three times the population of New York City. Seoul is only 35 miles from the frontier with North Korea, placing it within range of a huge array of North Korean weapons. What was already a no-win calculus is now compounded by the possibility that North Korea could respond with nuclear weapons, turning any prospect of a U.S. attack into an even worse nightmare.
U.S. mismanagement of its relations with North Korea should be an object lesson for its relations with Iran, graphically demonstrating the advantages of diplomacy, talks and agreements over threats of war. Under the Agreed Framework signed in 1994, North Korea stopped work on two much larger nuclear reactors than the small experimental one operating at Yongbyong since 1986, which only produces 6 kg of plutonium per year, enough for one nuclear bomb.
The lesson of Bush's Iraq invasion in 2003 after Saddam Hussein had complied with demands that he destroy Iraq's stockpiles of chemical weapons and shut down a nascent nuclear program was not lost on North Korea. Not only did the invasion lay waste to large sections of Iraq with hundreds of thousands of dead but Hussein himself was hunted down and condemned to death by hanging.
Still, after North Korea tested its first nuclear weapon in 2006, even its small experimental reactor was shut down as a result of the "Six Party Talks" in 2007, all the fuel rods were removed and placed under supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the cooling tower of the reactor was demolished in 2008.
But then, as relations deteriorated, North Korea conducted a second nuclear weapon test and again began reprocessing spent fuel rods to recover plutonium for use in nuclear weapons.
North Korea has now conducted six nuclear weapons tests. The explosions in the first five tests increased gradually up to 15-25 kilotons, about the yield of the bombs the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but estimates for the yield of the 2017 test range from 110 to 250 kilotons , comparable to a small hydrogen bomb.
The even greater danger in a new war in Korea is that the U.S. could unleash part of its arsenal of 4,000 more powerful weapons (100 to 1,200 kilotons), which could kill millions of people and devastate and poison the region, or even the world, for years to come.
The U.S. willingness to scrap the Agreed Framework in 2003, the breakdown of the Six Party Talks in 2009 and the U.S. refusal to acknowledge that its own military actions and threats create legitimate defense concerns for North Korea have driven the North Koreans into a corner from which they see a credible nuclear deterrent as their only chance to avoid mass destruction.
China has proposed a reasonable framework for diplomacy to address the concerns of both sides, but the U.S. insists on maintaining its propaganda narratives that all the fault lies with North Korea and that it has some kind of "military solution" to the crisis.
This may be the most dangerous idea we have heard from U.S. policymakers since the end of the Cold War, but it is the logical culmination of a systematic normalization of deviant and illegal U.S. war-making that has already cost millions of lives in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan. As historian Gabriel Kolko wrote in Century of War in 1994, "options and decisions that are intrinsically dangerous and irrational become not merely plausible but the only form of reasoning about war and diplomacy that is possible in official circles."
The idea that Iran has ever had a nuclear weapons program is seriously contested by the IAEA, which has examined every allegation presented by the CIA and other Western "intelligence" agencies as well as Israel. Former IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei revealed many details of this wild goose chase in his 2011 memoir, Age of Deception : Nuclear Diplomacy in Treacherous Times .
When the CIA and its partners reluctantly acknowledged the IAEA's conclusions in a 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), ElBaradei issued a press release confirming that, "the agency has no concrete evidence of an ongoing nuclear weapons program or undeclared nuclear facilities in Iran."
Since 2007, the IAEA has resolved all its outstanding concerns with Iran. It has verified that dual-use technologies that Iran imported before 2003 were in fact used for other purposes, and it has exposed the mysterious "laptop documents" that appeared to show Iranian plans for a nuclear weapon as forgeries. Gareth Porter thoroughly explored all these questions and allegations and the history of mistrust that fueled them in his 2014 book, Manufactured Crisis : the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare , which I highly recommend.
But, in the parallel Bizarro world of U.S. politics, hopelessly poisoned by the CIA's endless disinformation campaigns, Hillary Clinton could repeatedly take false credit for disarming Iran during her presidential campaign, and neither Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump nor any corporate media interviewer dared to challenge her claims.
"When President Obama took office, Iran was racing toward a nuclear bomb," Clinton fantasized in a prominent foreign policy speech on June 2, 2016, claiming that her brutal sanctions policy "brought Iran to the table."
In fact, as Trita Parsi documented in his 2012 book, A Single Roll of the Dice : Obama's Diplomacy With Iran , the Iranians were ready, not just to "come to the table," but to sign a comprehensive agreement based on a U.S. proposal brokered by Turkey and Brazil in 2010. But, in a classic case of "tail wags dog," the U.S. then rejected its own proposal because it would have undercut support for tighter sanctions in the U.N. Security Council. In other words, Clinton's sanctions policy did not "bring Iran to the table", but prevented the U.S. from coming to the table itself.
As a senior State Department official told Trita Parsi, the real problem with U.S. diplomacy with Iran when Clinton was at the State Department was that the U.S. would not take "Yes" for an answer. Trump's ham-fisted decertification of Iran's compliance with the JCPOA is right out of Clinton's playbook, and it demonstrates that the CIA is still determined to use Iran as a scapegoat for America's failures in the Middle East.
The spurious claim that Iran is the world's greatest sponsor of terrorism is another CIA canard reinforced by endless repetition. It is true that Iran supports and supplies weapons to Hezbollah and Hamas, which are both listed as terrorist organizations by the U.S. government. But they are mainly defensive resistance groups that defend Lebanon and Gaza respectively against invasions and attacks by Israel.
Shifting attention away from Al Qaeda, Islamic State, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and other groups that actually commit terrorist crimes around the world might just seem like a case of the CIA "taking its eyes off the ball," if it wasn't so transparently timed to frame Iran with new accusations now that the manufactured crisis of the nuclear scare has run its course.
What the Future Holds
Barack Obama's most consequential international achievement may have been the triumph of symbolism over substance behind which he expanded and escalated the so-called "war on terror," with a vast expansion of covert operations and proxy wars that eventually triggered the heaviest U.S. aerial bombardments since Vietnam in Iraq and Syria.
Obama's charm offensive invigorated old and new military alliances with the U.K., France and the Arab monarchies, and he quietly ran up the most expensive military budget of any president since World War Two.
But Obama's expansion of the "war on terror" under cover of his deceptive global public relations campaign created many more problems than it solved, and Trump and his advisers are woefully ill-equipped to solve any of them. Trump's expressed desire to place America first and to resist foreign entanglements is hopelessly at odds with his aggressive, bullying approach to every foreign policy problem.
If the U.S. could threaten and fight its way to a resolution of any of its international problems, it would have done so already. That is exactly what it has been trying to do since the 1990s, behind both the swagger and bluster of Bush and Trump and the deceptive charm of Clinton and Obama: a "good cop – bad cop" routine that should no longer fool anyone anywhere.
But as Lyndon Johnson found as he waded deeper and deeper into the Big Muddy in Vietnam, lying to the public about unwinnable wars does not make them any more winnable. It just gets more people killed and makes it harder and harder to ever tell the public the truth.
In unwinnable wars based on lies, the "credibility" problem only gets more complicated, as new lies require new scapegoats and convoluted narratives to explain away graveyards filled by old lies. Obama's cynical global charm offensive bought the "war on terror" another eight years, but that only allowed the CIA to drag the U.S. into more trouble and spread its chaos to more places around the world.
Meanwhile, Russian President Putin is winning hearts and minds in capitals around the world by calling for a recommitment to the rule of international law , which prohibits the threat or use of military force except in self-defense. Every new U.S. threat or act of aggression will only make Putin's case more persuasive, not least to important U.S. allies like South Korea, Germany and other members of the European Union, whose complicity in U.S. aggression has until now helped to give it a false veneer of political legitimacy.
Throughout history, serial aggression has nearly always provoked increasingly united opposition, as peace-loving countries and people have reluctantly summoned the courage to stand up to an aggressor. France under Napoleon and Hitler's Germany also regarded themselves as exceptional, and in their own ways they were. But in the end, their belief in their exceptionalism led them on to defeat and destruction.
Americans had better hope that we are not so exceptional, and that the world will find a diplomatic rather than a military "solution" to its American problem. Our chances of survival would improve a great deal if American officials and politicians would finally start to act like something other than putty in the hands of the CIA
Nicolas J. S. Davies is the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq . He also wrote the chapters on "Obama at War" in Grading the 44th President: a Report Card on Barack Obama's First Term as a Progressive Leader .
Dec 30, 2017 | theduran.com
Via Fox News
The man who says he acted as a "go-between" last year to inform Sen. John McCain about the controversial "dossier" containing salacious allegations about then-candidate Donald Trump is speaking out, revealing how the ex-British spy who researched the document helped coordinate its release to the FBI, the media and Capitol Hill.
"My mission was essentially to be a go-between and a messenger, to tell the senator and assistants that such a dossier existed," Sir Andrew Wood told Fox News in an exclusive interview with senior executive producer Pamela K. Browne.
Fox News spoke to Wood at the 2017 Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia, Canada. As Britain's ambassador to Moscow from 1995-2000, Wood witnessed the end of Russian President Boris Yeltsin and the rise of Vladimir Putin.
Just after the U.S. presidential election in November 2016, Arizona GOP Sen. McCain spoke at the same security conference. Wood says he was instructed -- by former British spy Christopher Steele -- to reach out to the senior Republican, whom Wood called "a good man," about the unverified document.
Wood insists that he's never read the dossier that his good friend and longtime colleague prepared. It was commissioned by opposition research firm Fusion GPS and funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign.
In August 2016, "[Steele] came to me to tell me what was in it, and why it was important," Wood said. "He made it very clear yes, it was raw intelligence, but it needed putting into proper context before you could judge it fully."
August 2016 is a critical period, just after the FBI opened the Russia meddling probe, and after then-director James Comey recommended against prosecution for Clinton's mishandling of classified information.
Wood said Steele had "already been in contact with the FBI" at the time.
"He said there was corroborating evidence in the United States, from which I assumed he was working with an American company," Wood said.
British court records reviewed by Fox News as well as U.S. congressional testimony revealed that Steele was directed and paid at least $168,000 by Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson to push the research that fall to five American media outlets. According to British court documents, Steele met with The New York Times (twice), The Washington Post (twice), CNN, The New Yorker and Yahoo News (twice).
"Each of these interviews was conducted in person and with a member of Fusion also present," according to the records associated with separate civil litigation against Steele and Fusion GPS.
Wood said he'd heard of Fusion GPS, as the group Steele was working with, but had "never heard of Mr. Simpson."
Three weeks after Trump won the presidential election, at the Canadian security conference, the details were finalized for the dossier hand-off to McCain.
Along with the senator, Wood and McCain Institute for International Leadership staffer David J. Kramer attended the Canadian conference.
British court records state McCain ordered Kramer to get a personal briefing from Steele in Surrey, just outside of London, and then return to Washington, D.C., where Fusion GPS would provide McCain with hard copies.
In January, McCain officially gave the dossier to the FBI, which already had its own copy from Steele.
Of note, listed in the official program for the 2016 November Canadian conference as a participant was Rinat Akhmetshin -- the same Russian lobbyist who was at Trump Tower five months earlier in June for a highly scrutinized meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and others.
The senator's office noted to Fox News that McCain said in January 2017 he had no contact with Akhmetshin. "Late last year, I received sensitive information that has since been made public. Upon examination of the contents, and unable to make a judgment about their accuracy, I delivered the information to the Director of the FBI. That has been the extent of my contact with the FBI or any other government agency regarding this issue."
It is not known whether Akhmetshin had any contact with Kramer. Fusion GPS and Kramer did not respond to requests for comment from Fox News.
erry Ross , December 12, 2017 8:55 AMmksimp2822 Terry Ross , December 15, 2017 7:42 PM
Doesn't this make McCain guilty of offenses under the Logan act; the very offense that was commonly levelled against Trump and called "collusion" in the press.Gano1 , December 12, 2017 8:00 AM
Trump endorsed McCain during his 2016 Republican primary for senator. The race was very close. This is how McCain repays Trump.S.M. De Kuyper , December 12, 2017 9:09 AM
Deep State at work in America.André De Koning S.M. De Kuyper , December 12, 2017 8:14 PM
This confirms that Congressional Senators and Congressmen should operate under time limits as well as be harshly punished for treasonous activity, meaning they are policed.spoint , December 12, 2017 9:35 AM
Exactly, as this will go on forever just to escape any scandal and other involvements of a dubious nature. The US "justice" system is obviously primitive enough to allow this kind of nonsense to continue.tjoes , December 12, 2017 8:16 AM
I never read it. I was just following orders. The devil made me do it.Mark Millers , December 15, 2017 9:41 PM
"According to British court documents, Steele met with The New York Times (twice), The Washington Post (twice), CNN, The New Yorker and Yahoo News (twice)."
Right there are your "fake news" propaganda sources. What do you want to bet they are all Jewish owned...yet Trump kisses judea'sass?
Well, at the least it makes John McCain a total stooge who let his bias against Trump override his ability to use good judgement, which by the way is already lacking.
Dec 30, 2017 | theduran.com
Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson spoke with US House investigators in a closed-door meeting Tuesday, and confirmed what many in the non-establishment media already knew that Fusion GPS never verified the Dossier claims before passing on the ridiculous document to the corrupt establishment press.
According to The Gateway Pundit , Herridge also said that her source told her that Glenn Simpson was "upset" when Comey re-opened Hillary's email investigation at the end of October and wanted to push back.
And he did
On October 31st, 2016 with just days to go until election day, David Corn of Mother Jones broke the story of a 'veteran spy' who gave the FBI information on Trump's alleged connections to Russia. Christopher Steele, British spy and author of the garbage dossier was not named in this Mother Jones report. Only hints of the dossier were published; the salacious claims were omitted.
Hillary Clinton was disappointed the entire dossier hadn't been published in full prior to the election. After all, she paid millions of dollars for the smear document.
The author of the dossier, Christopher Steele was also desperate to get the salacious document out to the public. He told David Corn of Mother Jones, "The story has to come out."
A week later, Hillary Clinton and the Democrats were in utter shock when Trump won the presidential election. Desperate to delegitimatize him, BuzzFeed published the entire dossier on January 10th, right before the inauguration.
According to the Washington Post , the FBI agreed to pay the British Spy who compiled the garbage dossier after the election to continue to dig up dirt on Trump and Russia.
The FBI pulled out of this arrangement once the author of the dossier, Christopher Steele was publicly identified in media reports.
Comey FBI also used the largely debunked Trump dossier, which alleged Russian ties to the President's campaign associates, to convince a judge to grant them a FISA warrant, allowing them to secretly monitor Trump campaign official Carter Page.
Guy , November 16, 2017 2:02 PMobidiah_slope , November 16, 2017 11:57 AM
Totally BUSTED ! Scam artists that they are. So how much money is the wild goose chase going to cost American taxpayers. When are they going to start indicting some of these scumbags, this is getting old already.john vieira , November 17, 2017 1:49 AM
Smug looking bastard isn't he?
Remember..."It is honourable to deceive the 'infidel'." This is just an 'inkling' of how far our mainstream media and 'establishment politicians' have waded into this 'cesspool'....
Dec 28, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Luke Rosiak of The Daily Caller pointed out a mysterious twist in the case of Pakistani national and long-time DNC IT contractor, Imran Awan - who was arrested in July at Dulles Airport while trying to flee the country after having wired nearly $300,000 to Pakistan .
Awan's court date on four counts related to bank fraud, which had already been reschedule twice, has disappeared from the docket altogether:
Which begs the question - did Imran Awan cut a deal with Federal prosecutors?
Of note - Imran's wife, Hina Alvi - who had fled to Pakistan in March with the Awan children, struck a deal with federal prosecutors in September to return to the U.S. and face charges. One wonders why Alvi would willingly leave the relative security of her family in Pakistan to face arraignment in the United States?
To briefly recap, our report from last week , the Awan family - which was employed by quite a number of House Democrats, had full access to highly sensitive Congressional computer systems , both on-site and remotely from Pakistan , with which they are suspected of committing a variety of crimes - including brokering classified information to hostile foreign governments.
Of note, the Awans had access to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence - whose members have top secret clearance and are looking into Russian election interference.
The Pakistani nationals also operated a shady used car dealership in Falls Church, VA operating under the title "CIA" which Luke Rosiak of The Daily Caller reported has all the signs of a money laundering operation .
On its Facebook page, CIA's "staff" were fake personalities such as "James Falls O'Brien," whose photo was taken from a hairstyle mode l catalog, and "Jade Julia," whose image came from a web page called "Beautiful Girls Wallpaper."
If a customer showed up looking to buy a car from Cars International A, often referred to as CIA, Abid Awan -- who was managing partner of the dealership while also earning $160,000 handling IT for House Democrats -- would frequently simply go across the street to longstanding dealership called AAA Motors and get one.
While Imran and Abid Awan ran their car dealership in Falls Church, Va. in the early part of the decade, Drug Enforcement Agency officials a few miles away in Chantilly were learning that the Iranian-linked terrorist group frequently deployed used car dealerships in the US to launder money and fund terrorism , according to an explosive new Politico expose. - Daily Caller
"Based on the modest way Awan was living, it is my opinion that he was sending most of his money to a group or criminal organization that could very well be connected with the Pakistani government ," said Wayne Black - a private investigator who worked in Janet Reno's Miami public corruption unit, adding " My instincts tell me Awan was probably operating a foreign intelligence gathering operation on US soil."
In February, the Daily Caller dropped two bombshells: that the Awans were under criminal investigation after being caught accessing congressional computers without permission, and they had borrowed, laundered, and never repaid $100,000 from a shady Iraqi expat physician – Dr. Ali al-Attar , a Hezbollah-linked fugitive who led a group of other expats which regularly advised the Bush administration on their plans to invade Iraq in 2002-2003 ( source ).
The money which the Awans borrowed was moved from Ali Al-Attar through accounts intended for Fairfax County real estate. Both Imran Awan and Khattak -- who also put up $200,000 in cash as an investor in CIA -- had realtors licenses.
Dr. Ali al-Attar
Al-Attar's license to practice medicine was revoked by the Maryland State Board of Physicians and he had to pay a $50,000 fine for unprofessional conduct, healthcare fraud, and failure to cooperate with an investigation.
It's not clear where the dealership's money was going, because it was sued by at least five different people on all ends of a typical car business who said they were stiffed.
CIA didn't pay the security deposit, rent or taxes for its building, it didn't pay wholesalers who provided cars, and it sold broken cars to people and then refused to honor the warranties, the lawsuits say .
Moreover, when the Awans' shady car dealership ran into money troubles, Florida Congressman Theo Deutch began paying a monthly salary to a man who had threatened to sue the Awans .
The brothers had numerous additional sources of income, all of which seemed to disappear. While they were supposedly working for the House, the brothers were running a car dealership full-time that didn't pay its vendors, and after one -- Rao Abbas -- threatened to sue them, he began receiving a paycheck from Rep. Theodore Deutch (D-FL), who like Wasserman Schultz represents Florida. - Daily Caller
The Awans were also turned into the Navy Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) by two renters occupying a home they owned , after they found "wireless routers, hard drives that look like they tried to destro y, laptops, [and] a lot of brand new expensive toner" in the garage.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity over concerns for his wife's naval career, the former Marine told the Daily Caller:
" It was in the garage. They recycled cabinets and lined them along the walls. They left in a huge hurry," the Marine said. " It looks like government-issued equipment. We turned that stuff over ."
If the Awans cut a deal , one might speculate that a liberal prosecutor and a DNC-friendly court might be conducting a dog-and-pony show. For months, rumors swirled that brother of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Wasserman was handling the prosecution - however court filings reveal that assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Marando is handling the case. Marando is married to JoAnna Wasserman - an employee of the U.S. Holocaust Museum in D.C.
While JoAnna Wasserman shares a maiden name with Debbie Wasserman Schultz, her parents are named Mark and Donna, while Debbie Wasserman Shultz's parents are Larry and Ann Wasserman. Plus, if there's any relation, JoAnna Wasserman got all of the family's good genetics.
While the notion that Imran Awan cut a deal based on his name vanishing from the court calendar, Federal prosecutors certainly have enough evidence against the Awan clan to put them away for a long time. Perhaps they've decided they like the outside of a prison cell better than the alternative.
Dec 29, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com
J , 27 December 2017 at 04:19 AMColonel, PT,J , 27 December 2017 at 04:19 AM
Has Larry Sanchez stepped over the line?
It also appears that both Brennan and Morrell are knee deep in it as well.
Dec 29, 2017 | 50shadesofpissedoff.com
The alleged Russian computer Hacker named Guccifer 2.0 whom the Democrat National Committee has publicly blamed for hacking its emails and giving them to WIkiLeaks before the Election in order for Russia to help Donald Trump, was really a fiction created by an Obama White House Staffer in order to prevent the exposure of why DNC Staffer Seth Rich was murdered and also try to pin the exposure of DNC emails on Russia and Trump.
Democrat operatives had pushed the fictional Guccifer 2.0 story as the supposed Russian hacker who broke into DNC servers and downloaded thousands of emails, then sent them to the Russians, who then sent them to Wikileaks so Hilary Clinton could be defeated.
Never mind that it has now been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the download speed was far too great to have been done by anyone but a DNC insider like Seth Rich. Because Internet speeds are not nearly sufficient to support download speed that the meta data, embedded in the emails, reported.
Never mind that the same meta data shows that the download came from the eastern time zone of the US, not Romania or Russia.
A five minute video (below) proves Guccifer 2.0 was an invention of someone using a version of Microsoft Word that was originally registered to a DNC / White House Staffer named Warren Flood.
Here are two screen shots from warren floods Facebook page. Notice that warren worked for "Obama for America," the DNC, and the White House . He lives in LaGrange, GA.
The video below does a great job explaining who is behind the original Trump opposition research leaked via WikiLeaks AND the later (same) document allegedly obtained by Guccifer 2.0 by "hacking."EVIDENCE OF DNC/WHITE HOUSE STAFFER BEING "RUSSIAN HACKER GUCCIFER 2.0″
If you have ever accidentally tried to open a Microsoft Word document in a simple text editor like Notepad, you can see the meta data behind each word document, including WHO that copy of Word belongs to.
The video below explains who the author of the original opposition research document was and how we know:
. . . it also includes who the AUTHOR of the document of is. It gets that information from the name that was entered when you installed your copy of Microsoft Office. Inside the original trump opposition research, the document later released by WikiLeaks, the author of the document is listed as Lauren Dillon , DNC Research Director.
This is Lauren Dillion from the DNC:
The metadata in the WikiLeaks release of Trump Opposition research shows that it was created by Lauren Dillon, as show below:
HOWEVER, that same document later released by Guccifer 2.0 shows a CHANGE in who authored Document; this later copy showing the Author as Warren Flood . . . . who worked in the White House!
Thus, the entire claim by Guccifer 2.0 that he was a Russian Hacker who stole the DNC emails, was a deliberate deception attributable to a staffer in the Obama White House: Warren Flood.
Here's the kicker, the version of Trump's opposition research file that was originally released by WikiLeaks, and later released to the Main-Stream-Media (MSM), was never attributed to the DNC, it was attributed to the Russian Hacker "Guccifer 2.0 -- A man jailed in Romania for hacking.THE DNC/WHITE HOUSE "FATAL MISTAKE"
It just wouldn't do, to have the head of research for the DNC be the Leaker to WikiLeaks or to have the later Guccifer 2.0 release to come from a White House staffer, it had to be attributable to someone connected to the Russians. The Romanian guy was the FALL GUY.
The one fatal mistake the DNC and the Obama White House made was that no one remembered about the Microsoft Word metadata which reveals the owner of that particular copy of the Word software. So, according to the evidence, Guccifer 2.0 was actually DNC/White House Staffer, Warren Flood.
Yes, you read that correctly: EVIDENCE. Not speculation, or rumor, or innuendo. Actual real life, hard copy EVIDENCE.
Guccifer 2.0 was an invention of the DNC/White House to cover-up who the real leaker was; and at the same time start the Russian Hacking rumors that persist today.
INTERESTINGLY, the Wikipedia entry for Guccifer 2.0, describes an interview he did with MotherBoard via an online chat. Guccifer 2.0 insisted he was Romanian but, when pressed to use the Romanian language in an interview with an Interview with Motherboard via an online chat, he used such clunky grammar and terminology that experts believe he was using an online translator.
Bottom line: The Obama White House invention of Guccifer 2.0, apparently through its Staffer Warren Flood, accomplished three things:
1) It covered DNC research director Lauren Dillon. Whatever sort of opposition research she authored was later claimed by Guccifer 2.0.
2) It covered for Seth Rich. This is the BIG ONE, because he was killed in an obvious assassination staged to look like street robbery -- the only problem is, the robbers didn't take anything. He still had all his cash and his Rolex watch when police arrived. And Guccifer 2.0 took also credit for the Podesta emails which were actually downloaded by Seth Rich and given to WikiLeaks.
3) It created the conduit to "Russian Intelligence" to fortify the claim that it was the Russians who leaked the DNC emails to WikiLeaks, and therefore Trump "was in collusion with the Russians" to defeat Clinton.
The whole claim of "Russian Hacking" and "Trump colluding with Russians" has come unraveled because it was ALL a complete fraud.
What remains is how this fraud is STILL affecting our nation to this very day, and how the Congress of the United States, acting late last month upon this totally FALSE "Russian Hacking" claim, has now enacted further sanction upon Russia – sanctions that will very likely lead to war.VIDEO EVIDENCE
Here is the video containing the EVIDENCE that the Wikileaks original Trump Opposition document was created by a user whose Microsoft Word software was registered to DNC Research Director Lauren Dillon, and the later exact same document, allegedly hacked by "GUccifer 2.0″ was done by DNC/White House Staffer William Flood
Dec 28, 2017 | theduran.com
Of course the DNC did not want to the FBI to investigate its "hacked servers". The plan was well underway to excuse Hillary's pathetic election defeat to Trump, and CrowdStrike would help out by planting evidence to pin on those evil "Russian hackers." Some would call this entire DNC server hack an "insurance policy."
... ... ...
Nov 27, 2016 | www.amazon.comAlan Dale on November 27, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars An Essential Addition to an Essential Body of Work
Of the extraordinarily valuable and informative works for which Mr. Valentine is responsible, his latest, CIA As Organized Crime, may prove to be the best choice as an introduction to the dark realm of America's hidden corruptions and their consequences at home and around the world. This new volume begins with the unlikely but irrevocable framework by which Mr. Valentine's path led to unprecedented access to key Agency personnel whose witting participation is summarized by the chapter title: "How William Colby Gave Me the Keys to the CIA Kingdom."
By illuminating CIA programs and systems of surveillance, control, and assassination utilized against the civilian population of South Vietnam, we are presented with parallels with operations and practices at work today in America's seemingly perpetual war against terror.
Through the policies of covert infiltration and manipulations, illegal alliances, and "brute force" interventions that wreak havoc on designated enemy states, destroy progress and infrastructure under the claim of liberation, degrade the standards of living for people in the perceived hostile nations, "...America's ruling elite empowers itself while claiming it has ensured the safety and prestige of the American people. Sometimes it is even able to convince the public that its criminal actions are 'humanitarian' and designed to liberate the people in nations it destroys."
Mr. Valentine has presented us with a major body of work which includes: The Strength of the Wolf; The Strength of the Pack; The Pheonix Program, to which we may now add The CIA as Organized Crime, and for which we are profoundly indebted.
felixnola on December 6, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth About the CIA and What is Instore For You
If you want the inside scoop on the CIA and it's criminal past; this is the book. Additionally, why the Phoenix Program is pertinent for our own times. This book connects the dots.
If you have been wondering why Homeland Security has fusion centers; why the USA Anti-Patriot Act, NDAA and Rex 84 have been passed by Congress; you will get your answer here.
A book every intelligent American needs to read and place in a prominent place in their library. Oh, and don't forget after you read it; spread the word !!! (this book is based upon actual face to face interviews and documents)
Jay Trout on January 2, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars A crucial tool to understanding present reality. An absolute must read.
Run, don't walk, and get yourself a copy of this book. The author has been warning us for decades about the clear and present danger that is the CIA I was unaware of Valentine's work for most of those years, perhaps because our media outlets (even the "anti-establishment" ones like Democracy Now and The Intercept) have been compromised. Valentine's work has been suppressed since his ground-breaking book on the Phoenix Program.
Not that I didn't know anything about the sordid history. I knew about MK-Ultra, some of the agency's drug running and empire-building exploits. This work goes much deeper and paints a much bigger picture. The extent of the agency's influence is much greater than I had imagined.
This is not another history book about dirty tricks. It is not just about our insane foreign policy and empire building. The cancer of corruption, of outright crime, has metastasized into every agency of the government right here in the US itself. Those dirty tricks and crimes have become domestic policy- in fusion centers and Homeland Security, in the militarization of local police and in Congress, from Wall Street to Main Street. Border Patrol, the DEA, Justice and State have all been compromised.
Want to know why the DEA is losing the war on drugs, how torture has become policy? Want to know why the government no longer represents your interests? Look no further.
The problem is now. We are the new targets.
Read it and weep, but for God's sake, please read it.
A highly informative and comprehensive book, and a scathing, fearless indictment of government corruption.
I cannot overstate it's importance.
Andrew E. Belshaw on December 6, 2016
Disguising Obama's Dirty War Chapter 22
I just picked up this book and have not read it yet--but I am writing this to CORRECT THE RECORD regarding very basic information. There are 446 PAGES (not 286, as listed above). 160 Pages is a big difference--obviously, QUALITY is more important than quantity--but I do feel the listing needs be corrected.
The "Inside Look" feature is also cutting off the last 9 chapters of the book, which are as follows:
- Chapter 16: Major General Bruce Lawlor: From CIA Officer in Vietnam to Homeland Security Honcho
- Chapter 17: Homeland Security: The Phoenix Comes Home to Roost
PART IV: MANUFACTURING COMPLICITY: SHAPING THE AMERICAN WORLDVIEW
- Chapter 18: Fragging Bob Kerrey: The CIA and the Need for a War Crimes Tribunal
- Chapter 19: Top Secret America Shadow Reward System
- Chapter 20: How Government Tries to Mess with Your Mind
- Chapter 21: Disguising Obama's Dirty War
- Chapter 22: Parallels of Conquest, Past and Present
- Chapter 23: Propaganda as Terrorism
- Chapter 24: The War on Terror as the Greatest Covert Op Ever
John C. Landon on January 2, 2017
Expose of the CIA mafia
This is a devastating and must-read study of the social and political calamity created by the CIA over the last sixty years. The portrait shows the criminal character of the agency and finally of the government it is said to serve. The portrait is a double shock because it shows not just a sordid corruption but a malevolent 'dark side' mafia-style corruption of american civilization and government. That the CIA controls the drug trade is not the least of the stunning revelations of this history.
Jan 20, 2017 | www.informationclearinghouse.info
The norms of US capitalist democracy include the election of presidential candidates through competitive elections, unimpeded by force and violence by the permanent institutions of the state. Voter manipulation has occurred during the recent elections, as in the case of the John F. Kennedy victory in 1960 and the George W. Bush victory over 'Al' Gore in 2000. But despite the dubious electoral outcomes in these cases, the 'defeated' candidate conceded and sought via legislation, judicial rulings, lobbying and peaceful protests to register their opposition.
These norms are no longer operative. During the election process, and in the run-up to the inauguration of US President-Elect Donald Trump, fundamental electoral institutions were challenged and coercive institutions were activated to disqualify the elected president and desperate overt public pronouncements threatened the entire electoral order.
We will proceed by outlining the process that is used to undermine the constitutional order, including the electoral process and the transition to the inauguration of the elected president.Regime Change in America
In recent times, elected officials in the US and their state security organizations have often intervened against independent foreign governments, which challenged Washington 's quest for global domination. This was especially true during the eight years of President Barack Obama's administration where the violent ousting of presidents and prime ministers through US-engineered coups were routine – under an unofficial doctrine of 'regime change'.
The violation of constitutional order and electoral norms of other countries has become enshrined in US policy. All US political, administrative and security structures are involved in this process. The policymakers would insist that there was a clear distinction between operating within constitutional norms at home and pursuing violent, illegal regime change operations abroad.
Today the distinction between overseas and domestic norms has been obliterated by the state and quasi-official mass media. The US security apparatus is now active in manipulating the domestic democratic process of electing leaders and transitioning administrations.
The decisive shift to 'regime change' at home has been a continual process organized, orchestrated and implemented by elected and appointed officials within the Obama regime and by a multiplicity of political action organizations, which cross traditional ideological boundaries.
Regime change has several components leading to the final solution: First and foremost, the political parties seek to delegitimize the election process and undermine the President-elect. The mass media play a major role demonizing President-Elect Trump with personal gossip, decades-old sex scandals and fabricated interviews and incidents.
Alongside the media blitz, leftist and rightist politicians have come together to question the legitimacy of the November 2016 election results. Even after a recount confirmed Trump's victory, a massive propaganda campaign was launched to impeach the president-elect even before he takes office – by claiming Trump was an 'enemy agent'.
The Democratic Party and the motley collection of right-left anti-Trump militants sought to blackmail members of the Electoral College to change their vote in violation of their own mandate as state electors. This was unsuccessful, but unprecedented.
Their overt attack on US electoral norms then turned into a bizarre and virulent anti-Russia campaign designed to paint the elected president (a billionaire New York real estate developer and US celebrity icon) as a 'tool of Moscow .' The mass media and powerful elements within the CIA, Congress and Obama Administration insisted that Trump's overtures toward peaceful, diplomatic relations with Russia were acts of treason.
The outgoing President Obama mobilized the entire leadership of the security state to fabricate 'dodgy dossiers' linking Donald Trump to the Russian President Vladimir Putin, insisting that Trump was a stooge or 'vulnerable to KGB blackmail'. The CIA's phony documents (arriving via a former British intelligence operative-now free lance 'security' contractor) were passed around among the major corporate media who declined to publish the leaked gossip. Months of attempts to get the US media to 'take the bite' on the 'smelly' dossier were unsuccessful. The semi-senile US Senator John McCain ('war-hero' and hysterical Trump opponent) then volunteered to plop the reeking gossip back onto the lap of the CIA Director Brennan and demand the government 'act on these vital revelations'!
Under scrutiny by serious researchers, the 'CIA dossier' was proven to be a total fabrication by way of a former 'British official – now – in – hiding !' Undaunted, despite being totally discredited, the CIA leadership continued to attack the President-Elect. Trump likened the CIA's 'dirty pictures hatchet job' to the thuggish behavior of the Nazis and clearly understood how the CIA leadership was involved in a domestic coup d'état.
CIA Director John Brennan, architect of numerous 'regime changes' overseas had brought his skills home – against the President-elect. For the first time in US history, a CIA director openly charged a President or President-elect with betraying the country and threatened the incoming Chief Executive. He coldly warned Trump to ' just make sure he understands that the implications and impacts (of Trump's policies) on the United States could be profound "
Clearly CIA Director Brennan has not only turned the CIA into a sinister, unaccountable power dictating policy to an elected US president, by taking on the tone of a Mafia Capo, he threatens the physical security of the incoming leader.From a Scratch to Gangrene
The worst catastrophe that could fall on the United States would be a conspiracy of leftist and rightist politicos, the corporate mass media and the 'progressive' websites and pundits providing ideological cover for a CIA-orchestrated 'regime change'.
Whatever the limitations of our electoral norms- and there are many – they are now being degraded and discarded in a march toward an elite coup, involving elements of the militarist empire and 'in`telligence' hierarchy.
Mass propaganda, a 'red-brown alliance, salacious gossip and accusations of treason ('Trump, the Stooge of Moscow') resemble the atmosphere leading to the rise of the Nazi state in Germany . A broad 'coalition' has joined hands with a most violent and murderous organization (the CIA) and imperial political leadership, which views overtures to peace to be high treason because it limits their drive for world power and a US dominated global political order.
James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York. http://petras.lahaine.org/
Dec 28, 2017 | theduran.com
André De Koning , December 28, 2017 3:59 AM
Getting closer all the time, but Mueller's job will continue till the mid-term elections just to see if they can get away with their scheming. The tale within a tale: FBI investigates and discovers they themselves are also part of this tale. The story will have a tail: will it be a tragic, Shakespearean end or repentance by Hillary and Mueller (Duh...).
Trauma2000 -> André De Koning , December 28, 2017 4:28 AMAM Hants -> Trauma2000 , December 28, 2017 6:53 AM
I love the forensics of all this. It's what gets me riveted to my computer screen.
For anyone who likes the forensics of this whole DNC Hack fiasco, you need to read this: https://50shadesofpissedoff...
It's about the date / time stamps on the files, and the HACKER (Guciffer 2.0) was acutely an Obama aid called: WARREN FLOOD. Warren Flood pretended to hack the DNC and made himself out to be Russian with an alias of Guciffer 2.0. That was the smoke screen the Democrats put out on top of the Crowdstrike false evidence job. It's excellent reading.André De Koning -> Trauma2000 , December 28, 2017 5:08 AM
Thank you for the link and must admit it has made me laugh. A line I will use in the future. '50 Shades of Pissed Off' - no doubt I will use it as my Mantra for 2018.Trauma2000 -> André De Koning , December 28, 2017 5:23 AM
Yes, that Guccifer 2.0 stuff and the clear evidence that it was not a hack was published before but you are now updating us by identifying the guy who did it, which should also change the process. Thanks for that!
Update: Just see what Libby and Trauma2000 mean: yes, that makes sense!AM Hants -> Trauma2000 , December 28, 2017 6:57 AM
In actual fact, it was Seth Ritch who 'leaked' the material (if you believe that Huma Abdeen was the original leaker and used Seth as a 'go between' then that is up to you). When the DNC found out Seth was the leaker, the murdered him and had to 'think up a story' hence Guccifer 2.0. There are several DNC employees involved but Warren Flood is the 'fall guy' along with a girl (her name is out there) whom had her name on the software licenses that were used to doctor the emails.
It's very interesting. But there is one thing that is certain according to McAffee (the McAffee) "If it looked like it was the Russians, then I can guarantee it WASN'T the Russians."André De Koning -> AM Hants , December 28, 2017 9:48 PM
Good comment and reading the last line, it has just reminded me of 'Vault 7' and what Wiki Leaks had to say.
Vault 7 CIA Hacking Tools Revealed.docx... https://www.scribd.com/docu...
Now why does CIA, Google, Crowd Strike, Clintons and Atlantic Council keep twerking around my grey cells?libby -> André De Koning , December 28, 2017 5:11 AM
For me it is because of the truth: there is not much point being on this or that "side", but when the truth is so twisted it becomes perversion and that should be uncovered.Trauma2000 -> libby , December 28, 2017 5:24 AM
Flood wasn't involved directly.
see http://g-2.spacelibby -> Trauma2000 , December 28, 2017 7:58 PM
Correct. He was just a 'foot soldier.' But he still left his name all over everything as a fall guy. Someone else used his computer.
EDIT: Actually, someone at the DNC used his computer. They were on the eastern seaboard of the U.$. according to the time stamp on the documents.André De Koning -> libby , December 28, 2017 5:15 AM
Flood had already stopped working as Biden's IT director back in 2011, the only place he'd likely have had his name on a license under the company name GSA based on his work history - was there.
So, Guccifer 2.0's first docs were most likely constructed using a computer that had resided in the West Wing office on June 15, 2016 at the exact same time as Pyatt, Nuland and others (also connected to the Ukraine coup in 2014) were meeting there.
(the person behind it is the person who originally wrote this "Fancy Fraud, Bogus Bears..." article too)
RE: The Eastern timezone. - If referring to the NGP-VAN analysis, the timestamps themselves don't show timezones but the timezone can be evaluated due to how timestamps on files (that appear to be part of the same batch transfer on July 5, 2016) are displayed in the 7zip archive root versus those in various RAR files contained within (and the different methods of timestamp storage used by the different archive formats) and how this changes depending on what your computer's timezone is set to (the time changes in the 7zip but not in the RARs and the only timezone in which these have a close correlation is Eastern).
But I prefer your explanation as a TLDR version. :)AM Hants -> André De Koning , December 28, 2017 6:52 AM
Seth Rich was the one who leaked it and yes, makes sense to have distractions to cover up his murder.Gr8 White Caulk , December 28, 2017 8:34 AM
There was an article, that I read, just before Christmas Day, that supports what you say. That Mueller has got to keep the narrative running, until they have sorted out the Mid-Term Elections, that the Dems believe will work to their advantage. Is it something to do with the Dems hoping to control Congress and managing to close any investigations that Trump is working on?jmg , December 28, 2017 5:11 AM
like Putin told Meghan Kelly, it could've been made to look like her 3 yr old daughter had hacked the dnc from her bedroom.AM Hants -> jmg , December 28, 2017 7:34 PM
More details. As mentioned before, it's technically verified as a whistleblower's leak, not a hack:
Intel Vets Challenge 'Russia Hack' Evidence - Consortium News
A quick summary:
Ex-NSA official: Spies don't believe Russia collusion story - Fox News
https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FvA0HK_I-Hps%3Ffeature%3Doembed&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DvA0HK_I-Hps&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FvA0HK_I-Hps%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=21d07d84db7f4d66a55297735025d6d1&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtubeAndré De Koning , December 28, 2017 5:06 AM
Surprised with Fox. Considering old Murdoch has a problem with Russia, no doubt owing to his interests in Genie Energy. However, not complaining, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and now the ex-NSA on Fox News. Nice.AM Hants -> André De Koning , December 28, 2017 7:31 PM
This is just the beginning: just read New Trump Executive Order Targets Clinton-Linked Individuals, Lobbyists And Perhaps Uranium One on Zerohedge.com
1. It will have huge consequences for all those who made shady deals with dictators and criminals (adding to the coffers of the Clinton Foundation etc.etc.). Perhaps this is what Trump was waiting for to start in the new year:his fireworks response to all the mud slung around?
2. Seth Rich and distraction by Guccifer 2.0: Trauma200 comments below is BIG and makes the connection to SETH RICH's murder, which also shows how Assange made it necessary for the complete the search and expose with evidence what was going on.André De Koning -> AM Hants , December 28, 2017 9:51 PM
What I am curious about, is will he use it for that or will he go for any foreigner that Washington DC has a problem with. Such as anybody who is a friend of President Putin, just to cause problems, before the Russian Presidential Campaign.
Or am I being cynical. I seriously hope he uses it for the Russia Gate crowd and no doubt, he has good reason and he is not known to like being insulted, with no payback. However, I can also see him using it as another form of punishment on non-nationals.richardstevenhack , December 28, 2017 4:48 PM
He likes Putin but has to pretend for a while to be tough on him, so he'll probably limit it to the BS-ers (he is a maverick but does not like BS).André De Koning -> richardstevenhack , December 28, 2017 9:57 PM
One additional point: Thomas Rid and most of the mainstream media keeps saying that German intelligence fingered Russia for the German Parliament attacks. While this is partly true, German intelligence in fact never said directly that APT 29 or "Fancy Bear" WAS DEFINITELY Russian state sponsored. They said they ASSUMED Russia was conducting hacks on Germany.
Digital Attack on German Parliament: Investigative Report on the Hack of the Left Party Infrastructure in Bundestag
Jeffrey Carr made this point early on in his Medium article:
Can Facts Slow The DNC Breach Runaway Train?
Thomas Rid wrote:
One of the strongest pieces of evidence linking GRU to the DNC hack is the equivalent of identical fingerprints found in two burglarized buildings: a reused command-and-control address -- 176.31.112[.]10 -- that was hard coded in a piece of malware found both in the German parliament as well as on the DNC's servers. Russian military intelligence was identified by the German domestic security agency BfV as the actor responsible for the Bundestag breach. The infrastructure behind the fake MIS Department domain was also linked to the Berlin intrusion through at least one other element, a shared SSL certificate.
This paragraph sounds quite damning if you take it at face value, but if you invest a little time into checking the source material, its carefully constructed narrative falls apart.
The IP address 176.31.112[.]10 used in the Bundestag breach as a Command and Control server has never been connected to the Russian intelligence services. In fact, Claudio Guarnieri, a highly regarded security researcher, whose technical analysis was referenced by Rid, stated that "no evidence allows to tie the attacks to governments of any particular country."
Problem #2: The Command & Control server (184.108.40.206) was using an outdated version of OpenSSL vulnerable to Heartbleed attacks. Heartbleed allows attackers to exfiltrate data including private keys, usernames, passwords and other sensitive information.
The existence of a known security vulnerability that's trivial to exploit opens the door to the possibility that the systems in question were used by one rogue group, and then infiltrated by a second rogue group, making the attribution process even more complicated. At the very least, the C2 server should be considered a compromised indicator.
Problem #3: The BfV published a newsletter in January 2016 which assumes that the GRU and FSB are responsible because of technical indicators, not because of any classified finding; to wit: "Many of these attack campaigns have each other on technical similarities, such as malicious software families, and infrastructure -- these are important indicators of the same authorship. It is assumed that both the Russian domestic intelligence service FSB and the military foreign intelligence service GRU run cyber operations."
Professor Rid's argument depended heavily on conveying hard attribution by the BfV even though the President of the BfV didn't disguise the fact that their attribution was based on an assumption and not hard evidence.
End QuoteAM Hants , December 28, 2017 6:48 AM
Very good analysis! Thanks.André De Koning -> AM Hants , December 28, 2017 9:56 PM
Thanks for the article and reminding us of Crowd Strike. Must admit, I read an interesting article, over on Oped News, by George Eliason, with regards Crowd Strike. Plus a few other reminders.
Does anybody remember the Awan Brothers from Pakistan and what they were arrested for, with regards the DNC and computers?
BREAKING : Democrat Awan Brothers (NOT RUSSIANS) Allegedly Hacked Congress... http://truthfeed.com/breaki...
Then you have Google and Soros and their links into Crowd Strike. Hasn't the CEO of Google just stepped down, the same day that Trump signed a Presidential Order, that might prove a problem for some, in the future?
QANON EXPOSES DEM CONSPIRACY TO FRAME TRUMP, CLAIMS GOOGLE'S SCHMIDT PLAYED PIVOTAL ROLE
QAnon also claims Debbie Wasserman Schultz contracted MS-13 gang to kill Seth Rich... https://www.infowars.com/qa...
DNC 'Russian Hacking' Conclusion Comes from Google-Linked Firm... http://www.breitbart.com/bi...
Remember, Crowd Strike, Dmitry Alperovic and his links back to The Atlantic Council? Then you have the Ukrainian Oligarch Pinchuk, who happily invested $25 million in the Clinton Foundation. Remember his Yalta Summits and the one back in September 2013? Now who attended and what were the various topics that they discussed?
Then you have Obama giving Crowd Strike a White House Commission for Cyber Security. Plus, the DNC refusing the FBI access to their servers, but, having no problem giving Crowd Strike full access. Now why was that? Funny how often Ukraine comes up, when looking into Clinton, Fusion, Crowdstrike, Old Ukrainian Malware and The Trump Dossier? Coincidence or what?
Why Crowdstrike's Russian Hacking Story Fell Apart- Say Hello to Fancy Bear... http://www.washingtonsblog....
Another good article by George Eliason.
A Tale of 2 Ukraines- Health Care in War-Torn Lugansk and Peaceful Kiev... https://www.opednews.com/ar...
In their attack (best defense motto) the real truth is slowly unfolding and yes, the Awan brothers etc. are all part of it.
I think they arrested one of those Awans (?) but we have not heard about them much lately.
The plot thickens and the time for the démasqué is here....
Dec 27, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
Sid2 , Dec 26, 2017 8:24:09 PM | 55It's very difficult to get the head wrapped around the Mueller investigation as a contrivance to avoid going after Clinton, which shows a corrupted intelligence service working for political ends and saving the Democratic Party, which needs replacing. The evidence against Clinton is much more substantial than the continuing Mueller foray into inconsequence.
If you need more on Clinton beyond the massive email problems she had to avoid revealing how much pay money she was getting, search on the DNC convention entirely corrupted over to her and then the Uranium One deal. Why is all this not being investigated?
It should be Clinton-Gate not Russia-Gate. It seems that once again, as with late 02 and into 03, the populace has been hoodwinked into believing government falseness--as with the non-existent WMD and invasion of Iraq.
Dec 27, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
Rhett , Dec 26, 2017 2:18:30 PM | 20I have great respect for the reporting on this site regarding Syria and the Middle East. I regret that for some reason there is this dogmatic approach to the issue of Russian attempts to influence the US election. Why wouldn't the Russians try to sway the election? Allowing Hillary to win would have put a dangerous adversary in the White House, one with even more aggressive neocon tendencies than Obama. Trump has been owned by Russian mobsters since the the 1990s, and his ties to Russian criminals like Felix Sater are well known.Sid2 , Dec 26, 2017 3:17:40 PM | 27
Putin thought that getting Trump in office would allow the US to go down a more restrained foreign policy path and lift sanctions against Russia, completely understandable goals. Using Facebook/Twitter bots and groups like Cambridge Analytica, an effort was made to sway public opinion toward Trump. That is just politics. And does anyone really doubt there are incriminating sexual videos of Trump out there? Trump (like Bill Clinton) was buddies with billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Of course there are videos of Trump that can be used for blackmail purposes, and of course they would be used to get him on board with the Russian plan.
The problem is that everything Trump touches dies. He's a fraud and an incompetent idiot. Always has been. To make matters worse, Trump is controlled by the Zionists through his Orthodox Jewish daughter and Israeli spy son-in-law. This gave power to the most openly extreme Zionist elements who will keep pushing for more war in the Middle East. And Trump is so vile that he's hated by the majority of Americans and doesn't have the political power to end sanctions against Russia.
Personally, I think this is all for the best. Despite his Zionist handlers, Trump will unintentionally unwind the American Empire through incompetence and lack of strategy, which allows Syria and the rest of the world to breathe and rebuild. So Russia may have made a bad bet on this guy being a useful ally, but his own stupidity will end up working out to the world's favor in the long run.@20Oriental Voice , Dec 26, 2017 3:56:16 PM | 35
there is considerable irony in use of "dogmatic" here: the dogma actually occurs in the rigid authoritarian propaganda that the Russians Putin specifically interfered with the election itself, which now smugly blankets any discussion. "The Russians interfered" is now dogma, when that statement is not factually shown, and should read, "allegedly interfered."
The dogma does not come from questioning this conclusion. Because Putin, during the campaign, complimented Trump, does not support the conclusion with its insinuation that those who voted for Trump needed to be influenced by anything other than being fed up with the usual in American politics. Same with Brexit. That dissatisfaction continues, and it doesn't need Russian influence to feed it. This is infantile oversimplification to say so.
To suggest "possibly" in any argument does not provide evidence. There is no evidence. Take a look at b's link to the following for a clear, sane assessment of what's going on. As with:
"The centrepiece of the faith, based on the hacking charge, is the belief that Vladimir Putin orchestrated an attack on American democracy by ordering his minions to interfere in the election on behalf of Trump. The story became gospel with breathtaking suddenness and completeness. Doubters are perceived as heretics and as apologists for Trump and Putin, the evil twins and co-conspirators behind this attack on American democracy. Responsibility for the absence of debate lies in large part with the major media outlets. Their uncritical embrace and endless repetition of the Russian hack story have made it seem a fait accompli in the public mind. It is hard to estimate popular belief in this new orthodoxy, but it does not seem to be merely a creed of Washington insiders. If you question the received narrative in casual conversations, you run the risk of provoking blank stares or overt hostility – even from old friends. This has all been baffling and troubling to me; there have been moments when pop-culture fantasies (body snatchers, Kool-Aid) have come to mind."
this is b's link in URL form here:
I echo you opinion that this site gives great reports on issues pertaining to Syria and the ME. Credit to b.
On your surmise that Putin prefers Trump to Hillary and would thus have incentive to influence the election, I beg to differ. Putin is one smart statesman; he knows very well it makes no difference which candidates gets elected in US elections. Any candidate that WOULD make a difference would NEVER see the daylight of nomination, especially at the presidential level. I myself believe all the talk of Russia interfering the 2016 Election is no more than a witch hunt.
But I do believe Putin, and for that matter Xi Jinping of China too, should make efforts to infiltrate the USA election processes. It's an eye for an eye. USA has been exercising its free hands in manipulating elections and stirring up color revolutions all around the world, including the 2012 presidential election in Russia. They should be given a taste of their own medicine. In fact, I believe it is for this reason that the US MSM is playing up this hocus pocus Russian-gate matter, as a preemptive measure to justify imposing electioneering controls in the future.
USA may not be vulnerable as yet to this kind of external nuisances, as the masses have not yet reached the stage of being easily stirred. But that time will come.
Dec 27, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
Sid2 , Dec 26, 2017 8:24:09 PM | 55It's very difficult to get the head wrapped around the Mueller investigation as a contrivance to avoid going after Clinton, which shows a corrupted intelligence service working for political ends and saving the Democratic Party, which needs replacing. The evidence against Clinton is much more substantial than the continuing Mueller foray into inconsequence. If you need more on Clinton beyond the massive email problems she had to avoid revealing how much pay money she was getting, search on the DNC convention entirely corrupted over to her and then the Uranium One deal. Why is all this not being investigated? It should be Clinton-Gate not Russia-Gate. It seems that once again, as with late 02 and into 03, the populace has been hoodwinked into believing government falseness--as with the non-existent WMD and invasion of Iraq.
Dec 26, 2017 | The Unz ReviewList of Bookmarks
The original question the FBI investigation of the Trump campaign was to answer was a simple one: Did he do it?
Did Trump, or officials with his knowledge, collude with Vladimir Putin's Russia to hack the emails of John Podesta and the DNC, and leak the contents to damage Hillary Clinton and elect Donald Trump?
A year and a half into the investigation, and, still, no "collusion" has been found. Yet the investigation goes on, at the demand of the never-Trump media and Beltway establishment.
Hence, and understandably, suspicions have arisen.
Are the investigators after the truth, or are they after Trump?
Set aside the Trump-Putin conspiracy theory momentarily, and consider a rival explanation for what is going down here:
That, from the outset, Director James Comey and an FBI camarilla were determined to stop Trump and elect Hillary Clinton. Having failed, they conspired to break Trump's presidency, overturn his mandate and bring him down.
Essential to any such project was first to block any indictment of Hillary for transmitting national security secrets over her private email server. That first objective was achieved 18 months ago.
On July 5, 2016, Comey stepped before a stunned press corps to declare that, given the evidence gathered by the FBI, "no reasonable prosecutor" would indict Clinton. Therefore, that was the course he, Comey, was recommending. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, compromised by her infamous 35-minute tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton -- to discuss golf and grandkids -- seconded Comey's decision.
And so Hillary walked. Why is this suspicious? First, whether or not to indict was a decision that belonged to the Department of Justice, not Jim Comey or the FBI. His preemption of Justice Department authority was astonishing. Second, while Comey said in his statement that Hillary had been "extremely careless" with security secrets, in his first draft, Clinton was declared guilty of "gross negligence" -- the precise language in the statute to justify indictment.
Who talked Comey into softening the language to look less than criminal? One man was FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, whose wife, Jill, a Virginia state senate candidate, received a munificent PAC contribution of $474,000 from Clinton family friend and big bundler Terry McAuliffe.
Also urging Comey to soften the fatal phrase "gross negligence" was key FBI agent Peter Strzok. In text messages to his FBI lover Lisa Page, Strzok repeatedly vented his detestation of the "idiot" Trump. After one meeting with "Andy" (McCabe), Strzok told Page an "insurance policy" was needed to keep Trump out of the White House.
Also, it appears Comey began drafting his exoneration statement of Hillary before the FBI had even interviewed her. And when the FBI did, Hillary was permitted to have her lawyers present.
One need not be a conspiracy nut to conclude the fix was in, and a pass for Hillary wired from the get-go. Comey, McCabe, Strzok were not going to recommend an indictment that would blow Hillary out of the water and let the Trump Tower crowd waltz into the White House.
Yet, if Special Counsel Robert Mueller cannot find any Trump collusion with the Kremlin to tilt the outcome of the 2016 election, his investigators might have another look at the Clinton campaign.
For there a Russian connection has been established.
Kremlin agents fabricated, faked, forged, or found the dirt on Trump that was passed to ex-British MI6 spy Christopher Steele, and wound up in his "dirty dossier" that was distributed to the mainstream media and the FBI to torpedo Trump.
And who hired Steele to tie Trump to Russia?
Fusion GPS, the oppo research outfit into which the DNC and Clinton campaign pumped millions through law firm Perkins Coie.
Let's review the bidding.
The "dirty dossier," a mixture of fabrications, falsehoods and half-truths, created to destroy Trump and make Hillary president, was the product of a British spy's collusion with Kremlin agents.
In Dec. 26′s Washington Times, Rowan Scarborough writes that the FBI relied on this Kremlin-Steele dossier of allegations and lies to base their decision "to open a counterintelligence investigation (of Trump)." And press reports "cite the document's disinformation in requests for court-approved wiretaps."
If this is true, a critical questions arises:
Has the Mueller probe been so contaminated by anti-Trump bias and reliance on Kremlin fabrications that any indictment it brings will be suspect in the eyes of the American people?
Director Comey has been fired. FBI No. 2 McCabe is now being retired under a cloud. Mueller's top FBI investigator, Peter Strzok, and lover Lisa, have been discharged. And Mueller is left to rely upon a passel of prosecutors whose common denominator appears to be that they loathe Trump and made contributions to Hillary.
Attorney General Bobby Kennedy had his "Get Hoffa Squad" to take down Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa. J. Edgar Hoover had his vendetta against Dr. Martin Luther King. Is history repeating itself -- with the designated target of an elite FBI cabal being the President of the United States?
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever."
KenH , Next New Comment December 26, 2017 at 11:07 pm GMTJFK wanted to break the CIA into a million pieces and I think Trump needs to shatter the FBI into a million pieces after these latest revelations. The FBI stinks to high heaven and have for quite a long time now. They have become a highly politicized federal law enforcement agency who often collaborate with mortal enemies of America like the ADL and other "watchdog" groups in addition to assuming the biases of said organizations against certain groups of Americans.Rich , Next New Comment December 27, 2017 at 1:34 am GMT
They behave like a bunch of cowboys and police state thugs and their treatment of and unnecessary raid on Paul Manafort's home was just the tip of the iceberg. The FBI is becoming a clear and present danger to civil liberties.Trump was a bit of a wild card to the establishment elites. He lived in the public spotlight for most of his adult life, so his foibles were well known, and he had too much money to be bought off. Mueller was given his job to make sure Trump doesn't stray too far from the elitists program. He appears to have been cowed and is walking the straight left of center republican line, now.T. G. , Next New Comment December 27, 2017 at 1:42 am GMT"A game going on inside the intelligence community":anonymous , Disclaimer Next New Comment December 27, 2017 at 1:58 am GMT"For there a Russian connection has been established.MEexpert , Next New Comment December 27, 2017 at 6:52 am GMT
Kremlin agents fabricated, faked, forged, or found the dirt on Trump that was passed to ex-British MI6 spy Christopher Steele, and wound up in his "dirty dossier" that was distributed to the mainstream media and the FBI to torpedo Trump."
No worries -- as long as somebody can still accuse "Kremlin agents" of something, the Establishment will be just fine.
Time for Mr. Napolitano to take his turn at the spinning wheel?exiled off mainstreet , Next New Comment December 27, 2017 at 8:05 am GMT
Second, while Comey said in his statement that Hillary had been "extremely careless" with security secrets, in his first draft, Clinton was declared guilty of "gross negligence" -- the precise language in the statute to justify indictment.
If any Joe or Jane Shmo at Boeing or Lockheed-Martin had done what Hillary did he or she would have been fired and fined or jailed or both. His or hers security clearance would have been permanently revoked. So much for liberty and justice for all.
What was the original mandate for Robert Mueller? If after all this time he has not been able to find any connection between Trump campaign and Putin then that phase of the investigation must end. The Justice Department appointed him and they should put a stop to that portion of the investigation. They can always give him a new mandate to investigate Hillary campaign's connection with Russia. These investigations should never be open ended. Lots of money is wasted and it gives the investigator an opportunity to satisfy personal vendetta.This connects the dots in a reasonable fashion on most of the major issues brought out by what this is: the Clinton crowd/deep state effort to "get" Trump.LondonBob , December 27, 2017 at 11:40 am GMT
The only thing I would take exception with is to call the phony allegations of the GPS Steele dossier to be "Kremlin" based. They might have talked to Russians, but they were not acting on behalf of the Putin government when they talked. These individuals were doing no more than telling the Clinton researchers what they thought they would want to hear so that generous payments would be forthcoming.@anonymous
Rather obvious Steele made it all up.
Dec 17, 2017 | www.bbc.com
In recent weeks, conservative commentators and politicians have begun arguing, with growing intensity, that Robert Mueller's investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia is the result of an intentional effort by biased investigators to undermine the Trump presidency.
There are a number of components to the case they are presenting, from doubts about the impartiality of Mr Mueller and his team to questions about the integrity of the FBI and the Obama-era Justice Department.
All of it could be setting the ground for new investigations into the FBI or Democrat Hillary Clinton's actions while secretary of state - something Mr Trump himself has suggested - or perhaps even for the president to order the end of Mr Mueller's probe.
Such an action would provoke a major political crisis and could have unpredictable consequences. For Mr Trump's defenders, it may be enough simply to mire Mr Mueller's investigation in a partisan morass. Here are some are some of the ways they're trying to do that.Tell-tale texts?
Peter Strzok, a senior counter-intelligence agent in the FBI and until this summer a top member of Mr Mueller's special counsel team, has become Exhibit A of anti-Trump bias in the Russia investigation.
A Justice Department inspector general review of the FBI's handling of its 2016 election investigations unearthed text messages between Mr Strzok and Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer who also temporarily worked on the Mueller investigation and with whom Mr Strzok was having an extramarital affair.
Some of the messages, which were provided to reporters, showed the two had a hostility toward then-candidate Trump in 2016. Ms Page called Mr Trump a "loathsome human" in March, as the candidate was cementing his lead in the Republican primary field. Three months later - after Mr Trump had secured the nomination - Mr Strzok wrote that he was an "idiot" who said "bigoted nonsense".
In an August text, Mr Strzok discussed a meeting with then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe in which Ms Page apparently had mentioned there was "no way" Mr Trump could be elected.
"I'm afraid we can't take that risk," Mr Strzok wrote. "It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40."
Some have theorised that the "insurance policy" in question was an FBI plan to destroy Mr Trump if he were to win. Others have suggested that it was simply a reference to the need to continue working the Trump-Russia investigation even though his election seemed unlikely.
"It is very sad when you look at those documents," Mr Trump said on Friday, apparently referring to the texts. "And how they've done that is really, really disgraceful, and you have a lot of very angry people that are seeing it." He said it was a shame what had happened to the FBI and that it would be "rebuilt".
Since the first coverage of the story, reporters have reviewed more of the Strzok-Page texts and found the two made disparaging comments about a wide range of public figures, including Chelsea Clinton, Democrat Bernie Sanders, then-Attorney General Eric Holder, Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and John Kasich, and Mrs Clinton.
"I'm worried about what happens if HRC is elected," Mr Strzok wrote, referring to Mrs Clinton by her initials.
Why it could matter: If Mr Strzok, a high-ranking member of the FBI who officially launched the initial investigation of ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, harboured anti-Trump animus, there is the possibility it could have motivated him to influence the investigation to the president's disadvantage.
Why it might not: Government employees are allowed to express political views as long as they don't influence their job performance. The breadth of the Strzok-Page texts could indicate they were just gossiping lovers. Without context, Mr Strzok's "insurance" line is vague. When Mr Mueller learned of the text this summer, Mr Strzok was removed from the independent counsel investigation and reassigned to a human resources job.
The Clinton case
Mr Strzok also figures prominently in Republican concerns about the FBI's handling of its investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.
Mr Strzok took part in interviews with key Clinton aides and reportedly was involved in drafting the report that concluded Mrs Clinton's actions did not warrant criminal charges, including changing the description of her handling of classified material from "grossly negligent" - which might have suggested illegal behaviour - to "extremely careless".
- The Trump-Russia saga in 200 words
- Who is in the drama to end all dramas?
- What is Robert Mueller tasked with?
During the campaign Mr Trump repeatedly insisted that the Justice Department should re-open its investigation into Mrs Clinton and, after backing away from the idea early in his presidency, has once again renewed those calls.
"High ranking FBI officials involved in the Clinton investigation were personally invested in the outcome of the election and clearly let their strong political opinions cloud their professional judgement," Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte said during a House Judicial Committee hearing.
There's also the possibility that there were more communications between Ms Page and Mr Strzok about the Clinton investigation that have yet to come to light.
"We text on that phone when we talk about Hillary because it can't be traced, you were just venting [because] you feel bad that you're gone so much but it can't be helped right now," Ms Page wrote in one text.
Chuck Grassley, the Republican chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has said he wants more information about the use of these "untraceable" phones.
Why it could matter: If FBI agents backed off their investigation of Mrs Clinton in 2016 it could be further evidence of bias within the bureau that could affect its ongoing investigation into Mr Trump. If public confidence in the FBI is eroded, the ultimate findings of Mr Mueller's probe may be cast in doubt.
Why it might not: Lest anyone forget, Mrs Clinton's candidacy was the one wounded by FBI actions in the final days of the 2016 campaign. Then-Director James Comey's announcement of new evidence in the inquiry into her private email server - perhaps prompted by anti-Clinton leaks from the bureau's New York office - dominated the headlines and renewed concerns about the former secretary of state. News of the ongoing Trump-Russia investigation, on the other hand, didn't emerge until well after the election.
When it comes to the ongoing investigations into the investigations, it's not just the actions of the principals involved that have come under the spotlight. Spouses have figured prominently, as well.
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the bureau's second-in-command, is married to Jill McCabe, a paediatrician who ran as a Democrat for a Virginia state senate seat in 2015 (before Mr McCabe was promoted to his current position). During the hotly contested race, Ms McCabe received $467,500 in campaign contributions from a political action committee controlled by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a close political ally of the Clinton family.
Conservatives contend that this donation should have disqualified Mr McCabe from involvement in the Clinton case - and was yet another example of possible anti-Trump bias in the FBI's Russia investigation.
"If Mr McCabe failed to avoid the appearance of a partisan conflict of interest in favour of Mrs Clinton during the presidential election, then any participation in [the Russia] inquiry creates the exact same appearance of a partisan conflict of interest against Mr Trump," Senator Grassley wrote in a letter to then-Director Comey in March.
Meanwhile, the wife of Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce G Ohr was recently reported as being employed in 2016 by Fusion GPS, the political research firm that produced the dossier containing unconfirmed allegations of Mr Trump's Russia entanglements. Mr Ohr himself has been connected to Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence agent who collected the material for the dossier.
Fusion GPS's anti-Trump research efforts were originally funded by a Republican donor and later backed by groups associated with the Democratic Party and the Clinton presidential campaign.
Why it matters: "Power couples" - spouses with influential, complementary political jobs - are a Washington tradition, and the actions of one partner are often considered to reflect on the views and behaviour of the other. In Mr McCabe's case, his wife's Democratic activism and allegiances could shed light on his political sympathies. For Mr Ohr, his marriage could have served as a conduit to inject Democratic-funded opposition research into the Justice Department.
Why it might not: Having a political spouse is not evidence of official bias. The identity of the individuals or groups that funded and gathered anti-Trump research and how it ended up in government hands does not necessarily have a bearing on whether the information is valid or merits further investigation.
Follow the money
The individuals working on the Russia investigation have been billed as a "dream team" by Democrats and liberal commentators hoping the efforts will eventually topple the Trump presidency.
Many conservatives beg to differ.
In June, as details of the special counsel hires began to emerge, conservatives noted that some of the biggest names - Andrew Weissmann, James Quarles, Jeannie Rhee and Michael Dreeben - had given money to Democratic presidential candidates.
"Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair," former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich tweeted . "Look who he is hiring."
Ms Rhee's private law work included representing Democrats, such as Obama Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes and the Clinton Foundation in a lawsuit brought by a conservative activist group.
Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz recently travelled to Florida with Mr Trump and said he told the president that the independent counsel investigation was "infected with bias" against him - a view echoed in the conservative press.
"What we've seen over the past seven months of the Mueller investigation reveals a lot about how big government can end up becoming a threat to representative democracy," Laura Ingraham said on her Fox News programme. "And the more we look at the web of Clinton and Obama loyalists who burrowed into Mueller's office, the more obvious it all becomes."
Why it could matter: Political donations and legal work may be evidence of the ideological tilt of Mr Mueller's investigative team. That he has assembled a group of lawyers that may lean to the left could mean the investigation itself is predisposed to findings damaging to Mr Trump.
Why it might not: Investigators are adversarial by nature, and as long as Mr Mueller's team builds its cases with hard evidence, personal political views should not matter. While political partisans may focus on staff-level appointments, the investigation will rise and fall based on perceptions of Mr Mueller himself.Mr Mueller's waiver
Prior to accepting the position as special counsel investigating possible Trump campaign ties to Russia, Mr Mueller requested - and received - an "ethics waiver" for possible conflicts of interest from the US Department of Justice.
The government has confirmed the existence of the waiver but has not revealed any details, although speculation at the time was that it had to do with Mr Mueller's work at the law firm WilmerHale, which represented former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort - who Mr Mueller has since indicted on money-laundering charges - and the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
Why it could matter: Without further information about the nature of the waiver, some are speculating that there is more to this request than simply routine ethical paperwork. Given that Mr Mueller is a former director of the FBI, with ties to many of the bureau officials who are now coming under conservative scrutiny, Mr Mueller's own allegiances are being called into question.
Why it might not: Mr Mueller is a decorated war veteran who, prior to taking the special counsel role was widely praised for his independence and probity. He was appointed FBI head by Republican George W Bush in 2001. If Mr Mueller's waiver had explosive details indicating clear bias, it probably would have leaked by now.
Dec 23, 2017 | dailymail.co.uk
More than 40 bipartisan former government officials and attorneys [Deep State globalists] are telling President Trump and Congress to leave Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller alone so he can do his 'job.'
In two letters, the former U.S. attorneys and Republican and conservative officials pushed back against efforts to discredit the special counsel investigating [alleged] Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The letters come a week after speculation that Trump wanted Mueller fired over recent revelations that two former FBI agents, assigned to investigate the alleged collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia, had sent each other hundreds of 'anti-Trump' text messages during the campaign and election.
Dec 25, 2017 | www.youtube.com
Published on Nov 9, 2017
Kamala Harris Pisses Off Intelligence Committee Chairman When She Tries to Control Senate Hearing!
Jul 25, 2017 | www.breitbart.com
Last year, the marionettes rebelled. Naturally, the Great Puppeteer Counter-revolt of 2017 followed.
"I think it's the obligation of some executive branch officials to refuse to carry that out," former CIA director John Brennan said of the possibility of Donald Trump firing special counsel Robert Mueller. "I would just hope that this is not going to be a partisan issue. That Republicans, Democrats are going to see that the future of this government is at stake and something needs to be done for the good of the future. "
Leaving aside the imprudence of the president firing the man investigating his campaign's alleged ties to Russian interference in the 2016 election, Trump certainly possesses the right to dismiss Mueller. Unelected people who work for the man elected president do not possess the right to thwart the legal directives of their boss.
The American people, after all, elected Trump. Rod Rosenstein elected Mueller.
A fine line exists between anonymous, unelected, unaccountable government officials undermining the president's legal directives and such people working to overturn the results of last year's election. One might argue the two as one in the same differing only in degree.
Did the Russians meddle in our electoral process in 2016 or do entrenched bureaucrats do so on a constant basis? How one answers that question dictates one's response to this current controversy.
November's results, one might think, would have sparked epiphanies. Americans voted for a populist outsider to, in his words, "drain the swamp." Brennan's words indicate that the swamp thrives six months after inauguration. The election neither hastened the drain nor chastened the creatures from the swamp. As the late, great Stan Evans oft reflected, people go to Washington imagining it a swamp only to soon regard it as a hot tub. Who wants to vacate a hot tub?
A self-flattering interpretation by the puppeteers imagines Trump voters as Pap Finns resentful of the mere existence of the edumacated elites. Cultural tics surely explain part of this divide. But more so do frustrations with votes repeatedly resulting in policies unwanted by voters. Brennan encouraging employees of the executive branch to subvert the executive comes off as too analogous to the unelected continually sabotaging the will of the electorate that directly caused Trump's election. Trump's supporters certainly see it this way. This fight is an extension of the overall fight that colored the presidential election.
Consider any massive change in America over the last half century or so. The demographic sea change in the United States occurred in large part in spite, not because, of U.S. immigration laws. Courts, not the people, determined the legal status of abortion, gay marriage, school prayer, and much else. On important questions regarding the environment, the internet, and health care unelected bureaucrats make the rules under which we live. Such policy change exposes the metachange of process change that allows unelected people to impose their will on massive numbers of people. Tolerating the hijacking of policy soon leads to empowered hijackers thinking they can hijack the presidency.
The Constitution decrees, "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government." Do the deep-state puppeteers imagine that this principle does not apply to Washington?
Donald Trump attempts to bring down the curtain on the long-running Puppet Show on the Potomac. Naturally, Charlie McCarthy finds this more liberating than Edgar Bergen
Dec 24, 2017 | www.breitbart.com
The House Intelligence Committee has asked the former CEO of President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, Stephen K. Bannon, to appear before them for an interview as part of their ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Bannon received a letter this week from the committee. In the letter, the committee requests that he appear in early January, according to Bloomberg:
"The invitation, which didn't come in the form of a subpoena compelling them to testify, was for a "voluntary interview" in the committee's offices, which means it would be held behind closed doors, the official said."
Former Trump presidential campaign manager Corey Lewandowski also received a letter requesting he speak with the committee in January.
The report further reveals that the letters to Bannon and Lewandowski don't specify reasons for the interview beyond relation to the committee's ongoing investigation into any Russian meddling in the 2016 election. At the time of the report, the committee had not received responses from either Bannon or Lewandowski.
Dec 23, 2017 | www.youtube.com
Some nice graphics, almost useless interview.
Dec 23, 2017 | www.unz.com
The second point we want to make, relates to Mueller himself who–far from being a "stand-up fellow" with a spotless record, and an unshakable commitment to principle–is not the exemplar people seem to think he is. In fact, his personal integrity and credibility are greatly in doubt. Here's a little background on Mueller from former-FBI Special Agent Colleen Rowley who was named Time's Person of the Year in 2002:
"Mueller's FBI was also severely criticized by Department of Justice Inspector Generals finding the FBI overstepped the law improperly serving hundreds of thousands of "national security letters" to obtain private (and irrelevant) metadata on citizens, and for infiltrating nonviolent anti-war groups under the guise of investigating "terrorism."
Comey and Mueller were complicit with implementing a form of martial law, perpetrated via secret Office of Legal Counsel memos mainly written by John Yoo and predicated upon Yoo's singular theories of absolute "imperial" or "war presidency" powers, and requiring Ashcroft every 90 days to renew certification of a "state of emergency."
Mueller was even okay with the CIA conducting torture programs after his own agents warned against participation. Agents were simply instructed not to document such torture, and any "war crimes files" were made to disappear. Not only did "collect it all" surveillance and torture programs continue, but Mueller's (and then Comey's) FBI later worked to prosecute NSA and CIA whistleblowers who revealed these illegalities
Mueller didn't speak the truth about a war he knew to be unjustified. He didn't speak out against torture. He didn't speak out against unconstitutional surveillance. And he didn't tell the truth about 9/11." ("Comey and Mueller: Russia-gate's Mythical Heroes", Colleen Rowley, Counterpunch)
Illegal spying on American citizens? Infiltration of nonviolent anti-war groups? Martial law? Torture??
This is NOT how Mueller is portrayed in the media, is it?
The fact is, Mueller is no elder statesman or paragon of virtue. He's a political assassin whose task is to take down Trump at all cost. Unfortunately for Mueller, the credibility of his investigation is beginning to wane as conflicts of interest mount and public confidence dwindles. After 18 months of relentless propaganda and political skullduggery, the Russia-gate fiction is beginning to unravel.
Anon , Disclaimer December 23, 2017 at 7:48 pm GMTPlease, let Mueller stay to become a poster boy for borgistas. With each day, the incompetence of the CIA' and FBI' brass has been revealing with the greater and greater clarity. They have sold out the US citizenry for personal gains.Anon , Disclaimer December 23, 2017 at 8:17 pm GMT
Rod Rosenstein' role in particular should be well investigated so that his name becomes tightly connected to the "dossier" and all its racy tales.
" there was never sufficient reason to appoint a Special Counsel. The threshold for making such an appointment should have been probable cause, that is, deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should have shown why he thought there was 'reasonable basis to believe that a crime had been committed.' That's what's required under the Fourth Amendment, and that's the standard that should have been met. But Rosenstein ignored that rule because it improved the Special Counsel's chances of netting indictments. Even so, there's no evidence that a crime has been committed. None."
-- Anti-Consttutonal activity by Rod Rosenstein = Treason.@CorvinusAnon , Disclaimer December 23, 2017 at 8:33 pm GMT
You mean, we should have better read the New Times and WaPo instead, in order to get the "gigantic scope of the investigation?" -- Thank you very much. But these ziocons' nests have not provided any hard facts related to the main goal of this particular investigation. However, a true and immense value of the investigation is the exposure of the incompetence of and political manipulations by the FBI deciders -- as well as the sausage making under Clinton leadership in the DNC kitchen.@Realistfnn , December 23, 2017 at 8:41 pm GMT
"It should have never been started. Trump and his administration screwed themselves."
The investigation is the best thing for the US. It has exposed traitors (leakers) in the US government, the corruption of the FBI (which provided the leaks and did not investigate the allegedly hacked DNC computers and white-washed Clinton's criminal negligence), and the spectacular incompetence of the DNC-FBI deciders (the cooperation with foreigners in order to derail the governance of the US by the elected POTUS). Cannot wait to hear more about Awan affair (the greatest breach of the US cybersecurity under the watch of the current FBI brass) and about the investigation of Seth Rich murder.Relic Adlai Stevenson-type liberal law prof Jonathan Turley:Anonymous , Disclaimer December 23, 2017 at 11:50 pm GMT
For those familiar with Mueller, the blunt-force approach taken toward the GSA is something of a signature of Mueller and his heavy-handed associates like Andrew Weissmann. As I have previously written, Mueller has a controversial record in attacking attorney-client privilege as well as harsh tactics against targets. As a U.S. attorney, he was accused of bugging an attorney-client conversation, and as special counsel he forced (with the approval of a federal judge) the attorney of Paul Manafort to become a witness against her own client. Weissmann's record is even more controversial, including major reversals in past prosecutions for exceeding the scope of the criminal code or questionable ethical conduct."There is no proof of hacking,"
Nor will any be produced either. If Trump were to drop dead tomorrow or, alternatively, decide to pack it in and go back to running hotels, Mueller's Star Chamber Committee would close down the day after. Mueller is a tool of The Powers That Be. And they want Trump OUT -- no matter what the cost.
May 23, 2017 | www.npr.org
Former CIA Director John Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee Tuesday that Russia "brazenly interfered in the 2016 election process," despite U.S. efforts to warn it off. Brennan testified in an open session of the committee, one of a handful of congressional committees now investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Brennan said he told his Russian counterpart, the head of Russia's FSB, last August that if Russia pursued its efforts to interfere, "it would destroy any near-term prospect for improvement in relations" between the two countries. He said Russia denied any attempts to interfere.
In his opening statement, Brennan also recounted how he had briefed congressional leaders in August of last year, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees about the "full details" of what he knew of Russia's interference in the 2016 election. Brennan said he became convinced last summer that Russia was trying to interfere in the campaign, saying "they were very aggressive."
Brennan said he is "aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign." Brennan said that concerned him, "because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals," and that it raised questions about whether or not the Russians "were able to gain the cooperation of those individuals." Brennan added he didn't know if "collusion existed" between the Russians and those he identified as involved in the Trump campaign.
While Brennan would not specifically identify any individuals associated with the Trump campaign who had contacts with Russian officials and would not opine as to whether there was any collusion or collaboration, he did tell lawmakers why he was concerned about the contacts occurring against the general background of Russian efforts to meddle in the election. Brennan said he's studied Russian intelligence activities over the years, and how Russian intelligence services have been able to get people to betray their country. "Frequently, individuals on a treasonous path do not even realize they're on that path until it gets to be too late," he said.
Brennan said Russia was motivated to back Donald Trump in the presidential election because of a "traditional animus" between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Russian President Vladimir Putin. He told committee members there had not been a good relationship between Putin and the Clintons over the years. What's more, Brennan said Putin blamed Hillary Clinton's actions as secretary of state during the Obama administration for domestic disturbances inside Russia. He said Putin was concerned Clinton would be more "rigid" on issues such as human rights if elected president.
But Brennan told the committee he believed that Russia anticipated that Clinton would be the likely winner of the presidential race, and that Russia tried to "damage and bloody" her before Election Day. Had she won, Brennan said, Russia would have continued to attempt to "denigrate her and hurt her" during her presidency. If Russia had collected more information about Clinton that they did not use against her during the campaign, Brennan said they were likely "husbanding it for another day."
On another question, Brennan criticized President Trump's reported sharing of classified intelligence with Russia officials. Brennan said if reports were accurate, Trump violated "protocols" by sharing the information with Russia's foreign minister and ambassador to the U.S.
Brennan also said he was "very concerned" by the release of what he said appears to be classified information from the Trump administration. He said there appear to be "very, very damaging leaks, and I find them appalling and they need to be tracked down."
Reacting to Brennan's testimony, a White House spokesman said "This morning's hearings back up what we've been saying all along: that despite a year of investigation, there is still no evidence of any Russia-Trump campaign collusion, that the President never jeopardized intelligence sources or sharing, and that even Obama's CIA Director believes the leaks of classified information are 'appalling' and the culprits must be 'tracked down.'"
Under questioning from Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., Brennan said the Russians have been trying to disrupt Western elections since the 1960s, and that they've quickly adapted to the times. Brennan pointed to the ease with which Russia was able to hack Democratic operatives' emails, which were then published on WikiLeaks.
"The cyber-environment now really provides so much more opportunity for troublemaking and the Russians take advantage of it," he said. Brennan said the use of spear phishing, and "whatever else so that they can then gain access to people's emails, computer systems networks," is something that the Russians are adept at.
He said Russia used WikiLeaks as a "cut-out," or go-between, and that protests by WikiLeaks that it is not working with Russia and Russia's claims it is not working with WikiLeaks are "disingenuous."
May 30, 2017 | www.unz.com
Speaking to a Russian becomes treasonousThe Washington Post and a number of other mainstream media outlets are sensing blood in the water in the wake of former CIA Director John Brennan's public testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. The Post headlined a front page featured article with Brennan's explosive testimony just made it harder for the GOP to protect Trump . The article states that Brennan during the 2016 campaign "reviewed intelligence that showed 'contacts and interaction' between Russian actors and people associated with the Trump campaign." Politico was also in on the chase in an article entitled Brennan: Russia may have successfully recruited Trump campaign aides .
The precise money quote by Brennan that the two articles chiefly rely on is "I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals. It raised questions in my mind whether or not Russia was able to gain the co-operation of those individuals."
Now first of all, the CIA is not supposed to keep tabs on American citizens and tracking the activities of known associates of a presidential candidate should have sent warning bells off, yet Brennan clearly persisted in following the trail. What Brennan did not describe, because it was "classified," was how he came upon the information in the first place. We know from the New York Times and other sources that it came from foreign intelligence services, including the British, Dutch and Estonians, and there has to be a strong suspicion that the forwarding of at least some of that information might have been sought or possibly inspired by Brennan unofficially in the first place. But whatever the provenance of the intelligence, it is clear that Brennan then used that information to request an FBI investigation into a possible Russian operation directed against potential key advisers if Trump were to somehow get nominated and elected, which admittedly was a longshot at the time. That is how Russiagate began.
But where the information ultimately came from as well as its reliability is just speculation as the source documents have not been made public. What is not speculative is what Brennan actually said in his testimony. He said that Americans associated with Trump and his campaign had met with Russians. He was "concerned" because of known Russian efforts to "suborn such individuals." Note that Brennan, presumably deliberately, did not say "suborn those individuals." Sure, Russian intelligence (and CIA, MI-6, and Mossad as well as a host of others) seek to recruit people with access to politically useful information. That is what they do for a living, but Brennan is not saying that he has or saw any evidence that that was the case with the Trump associates. He is speaking generically of "such individuals" because he knows that spies, inter alia , recruit politicians and the Russians presumably, like the Americans and British, do so aggressively.
At a later point in his testimony Brennan also said that "I had unresolved questions in my mind about whether or not the Russians had been successful in getting US persons, involved in the campaign or not, to work on their behalf, again, either in a witting or unwitting fashion," clearly meant to imply that some friends of Trump might have become Russian agents voluntarily but others might have cooperated without knowing it.
It is a line that has surfaced elsewhere previously, most notably in the demented meanderings of former acting Director of Central Intelligence Michael Morell. As the purpose of recruiting an intelligence agent is to have a resource that can be directed to do things for you, the statement is an absurdity and Brennan and Morell, as a former Director and acting Director of the CIA, should know better. That they don't explains a lot of things about today's CIA
Brennan confirms his lack of any hard evidence when he also poses the question "whether or not Russia was able to gain the co-operation of those individuals." He doesn't know whether the Americans were approached and asked to cooperate by Russian intelligence officers and, even if they were, he does not know whether they agreed to do so. That means that the Americans in question were guilty only of meeting and talking to Russians, which was presumably enough to open an FBI investigation. One might well consider that at the time and even to this day Russia was not and is not a declared enemy of the United States and meeting Russians is not a criminal offense.
In his testimony, Brennan also hit the main theme that appears to be accepted by nearly everyone inside the beltway, namely that Russian sought to influence and even pervert the outcome of the 2016 election. Interpreting his testimony, the Post article asserts that "Russia was engaged in an 'aggressive' and 'multifaceted 'effort to interfere in our election." As has been noted frequently before, even though this assertion has apparently been endorsed by nearly everyone in the power structure AKA (also known as) "those who matter," it is singularly lacking in any actual evidence.
Nor has any evidence been produced to support the claim that it was Russia that hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC) server, which now is accepted as Gospel, but that is just one side to the story being promoted. Last Wednesday, the New York Times led off its front page with a piece entitled Top Russian Officials Discussed How to Influence Trump Aides Last Summer . Based, as always, on anonymous sources citing "highly classified" intelligence, the article claimed that "American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers " The "discussions," which are presumably NSA intercepts of phone calls, reportedly focused on two aides in particular, Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn, both of whom had established relationships with Russian businessmen and government officials.
The article goes on to concede that "It is unclear, however, whether Russian officials actually tried to directly influence Mr. Manafort and Mr. Flynn ," and that's about all there is to the tale, though the Times wanders on for another three pages, recapping Brennan and the Flynn saga lest anyone has forgotten. So what do we have? Russians were talking on the phone about the possibility of influencing an American's presidential candidate's advisers, an observation alluded to by Brennan and also revealed in somewhat more detail by anonymous sources. Pretty thin gruel, isn't it? Isn't that what diplomats and intelligence officers do?
It would appear that the New York Times ' editors are unaware that the United States routinely interferes in elections worldwide and that the action taken in various places including Ukraine goes far beyond phone conversations. In some other places like Libya, Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan the interference is particularly robust taking place at the point of a bayonet, but the Times and Washington Post don't appear to have any problem when the regime change is being accomplished ostensibly to make the world more democratic, even if it almost never has that result.
How one regards all of the dreck coming out of the Fourth Estate and poseurs like John Brennan pretty much depends on the extent one is willing to trust that what the government, its highly-politicized bureaucrats and the media tell the public is true. For me, that would be not a lot. The desire to bring down the buffoonish Donald Trump is understandable, but buying into government and media lies will only lead to more lies that have real consequences, up to and including the impending wars against North Korea and Iran. It is imperative that every American should question everything he or she reads in a newspaper, sees on television "news" or hears coming out of the mouths of former and current government employees.
RobinG , May 30, 2017 at 5:20 am GMTanimalogic , May 30, 2017 at 5:32 am GMT
Thanks for the reassurance, Phil. It's lonely standing against the tide, and many are trying to fabricate excuses for the lack of evidence.
Take Melvin Goodman, author of Whistleblower at the CIA, for instance. (I realize CIA is a big place, but did you know him?) I've met Mr. Goodman, and he struck me as thoughtful, rational and capable of objective discussion. However, in his talk at the Gaithersburg Book Festival, he seemed a rather different person. At the end of Q&A, he said that he was trying to figure out how the Russians had laundered the "hacked" DNC emails to make it look like they were leaked by an insider. He's sure the Russians did it. With such creative speculation, who needs facts?
The book, though, is probably pretty good. Which makes it that much stranger that he's taking the political line on the DNC emails!
Melvin A. Goodman talked about his book, Whistleblower at the CIA: An Insider's Account of the Politics of Intelligence.Anon , May 30, 2017 at 5:51 am GMT
Ah, another day, another disgraceful display by the media. Incidentally: "The "discussions," which are presumably NSA intercepts of phone calls, reportedly ."
"Presumably" here is quite generous: I'd be tempted to presume a whole string of lies .The Alarmist , May 30, 2017 at 5:54 am GMT
US is now like USSR? https://pjmedia.com/rogerlsimon/2017/05/29/forget-russian-collusion-we-are-russia/exiled off mainstreet , May 30, 2017 at 6:15 am GMT
It's like climate change: The MSM tells us that 17 intelligence agencies agree that the Russians hacked the election and thereby influenced it, but when you dig a little you find that NSA, for example, did not express a high degree of confidence that this might have actually been the case. Nevertheless, the case is settled. Pravda and Izvestia should have been so convinced in their day.jilles dykstra , May 30, 2017 at 8:00 am GMT
The end result of Brennan's fulminations likely is nuclear war, since he seems to consider even contact with the Russians treasonous. His view is both fascist and nihilist and treasonous to civilization itself and a threat to our survival.Russ , May 30, 2017 at 8:39 am GMT
It all seems quite simple to me. After WWI the USA people decided that their sons should not die ever more for imperialism. Isolation, neutrality laws. In 1932 Roosevelt was brought into politics to make the USA great, great as the country controlling the world. Trump and his rich friends understand that this policy is not just ruining the USA, but is ruining them personally. If I'm right in this, it is the greatest change in USA foreign policy since 1932.
Of course those, their mouth pieces Washpost, CNN and NYT, who still want USA control of the world, have aligned their careers on this policy, do anything to get rid of Trump. As Russia is seen by them as the next country to be subjugated, any talk with this 'enemy' to them is high treason.LauraMR , May 30, 2017 at 9:32 am GMT
Lisa Frank has recently (5/18/2017) written beautifully on the topic of Comey in the FBI: http://stateofthenation2012.com/?p=72788
Just as Ms. Frank dissects Comey's background and motivations, so a similar dissection is now in order for Mr. Brennan.Renoman , May 30, 2017 at 10:08 am GMT
@exiled off mainstreet The end result of Brennan's fulminations likely is nuclear war, since he seems to consider even contact with the Russians treasonous. His view is both fascist and nihilist and treasonous to civilization itself and a threat to our survival.
Is he an Anglo-Zionist? I kind of missed a reference to the true puppet-masters in the articlemp , May 30, 2017 at 10:30 am GMT
I'll say it again "what has Russia ever done to the USA"? The answer is Nothing!Tom Welsh , May 30, 2017 at 10:52 am GMT
Is someone going to look in to how the Izzys influence our politicians and elections? No. Why? Because Russia is the "enemy" and Israel is our "ally." Can someone explain in simple terms why Russia is the enemy? Yes. Because Jews don't like them very much. Can someone explain in simple terms why Israel is our ally? Because of New York City, Hollywood, CNN, Fox, MSNBC, CBS and NBC, the major newspapers, Wall Street, porn, military subsidies, dual citizenship, etc. And because every president just can't wait to wear the beanie and genuflect at some wall. Any other questions?Tom Welsh , May 30, 2017 at 10:53 am GMT
" One might well consider that at the time and even to this day Russia was not and is not a declared enemy of the United States and meeting Russians is not a criminal offense".
Although in point of fact the USA has committed, and continues to commit, acts of war against Russia.RealAmerican , May 30, 2017 at 11:23 am GMT
@Renoman "[W]hat has Russia ever done to the USA"?
Er, supported the US government during the American Civil War? Given it Alaska for a token payment? Won WW2 for it?DanCT , May 30, 2017 at 11:33 am GMT
How many congressmen and other politicians in Washington are already suborned by AIPAC? Is that not AIPAC's raison d'etre ?Wizard of Oz , May 30, 2017 at 12:30 pm GMT
"Because of New York City, Hollywood, CNN, Fox, MSNBC, CBS and NBC, the major newspapers, Wall Street, porn, military subsidies, dual citizenship, etc. "
Let's not forget 911 and it's ongoing coverup, the State Dept's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs exemplifying our bestest ally's parallel command and control apparatus in every federal agency such as the FBI, etcalexander , May 30, 2017 at 12:31 pm GMT
The only problem I have with the article is understanding the vehemence with which Brennan and Morell are denounced for, as I read it, blathering about unwitting agents who might have co-operated without knowing it. I construed the objection to be based on a foreign intelligence service necessarily seeking to "direct" its agents. It would indeed follow that the agents could not help knowing what they were doing. However .
Is there not a category of people who Brennan and Morell might be referring to who could be aptly described as useful idiots. You meet them at a writer's festival, invite them to accept your country's generous and admiring hospitality and soon have them spouting the memes you have made sure they are fed as well inadvertently feeding you useful titbits of information, especially about people.Andrei Martyanov , Website May 30, 2017 at 12:50 pm GMT
I think something fascinating is going on, Tom. Our leaders made a choice to defraud us into the Iraq war. Russia didn't. This is a very serious crime for which there has been zero accountability. It seems that all the various people who should be in federal prison for having done this, are the one's "braying the loudest" about the Russian threat.
The real crisis in our country is the absence of accountability for the heinous crimes THEY committed, not anything the Russians did. If we allow acts of "war fraud" to go unprosecuted, then War Fraud becomes acceptable behavior. I do not know of one American, anywhere, who feels this is okay.
Do you ?Agent76 , May 30, 2017 at 1:19 pm GMT
Nor has any evidence been produced to support the claim that it was Russia that hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC) server
It doesn't matter. Mr. Clapper finally found the answer to this 1 billion dollar question why US is suffering in his NBC interview -- it is because Russians are untermensch. Russian genetics is wrong and we all were so sweating and suffering over this whole mess., while the answer was so close, on the surface.
"If you put that in context with everything else we knew the Russians were doing to interfere with the election, and just the historical practices of the Russians, who typically, almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique. So we were concerned."
http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/james-clapper-trump-russia-ties-my-dashboard-warning-light-was-n765601Tom Welsh , May 30, 2017 at 1:53 pm GMT
I know some others actually know you cannot believe spies. Some on the other hand so not.
Mar 22, 2017 How the CIA Plants News Stories in the Media. It is no longer disputed that the CIA has maintained an extensive and ongoing relationship with news organizations and journalists, and multiple, specific acts of media manipulation have now been documented.
August 30, 2015 THE CIA AND THE MEDIA: 50 FACTS THE WORLD NEEDS TO KNOW By Prof. James F. Tracy
Since the end of World War Two the Central Intelligence Agency has been a major force in US and foreign news media, exerting considerable influence over what the public sees, hears and reads on a regular basis.
https://www.intellihub.com/the-cia-and-the-media-50-facts-the-world-needs-to-know-2/ jilles dykstra , May 30, 2017 at 2:23 pm GMT
@alexander Alexander, I definitely don't think it's OK, but I am not American – I am British (Scottish, to be exact). Although we have exactly the same problem over here – in miniature – with our local pocket Hitlers strutting around in their jackboots just salivating for the blood of foreigners.
I think the people who are braying about Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, etc. are doing so largely to distract attention from their own crimes. The following celebrated dialogue explains very clearly how it works.
We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.
"Why, of course, the people don't want war," Goering shrugged. "Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship."
"There is one difference," I pointed out. "In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars."
"Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
- Conversation with Hermann Goering in prison, reported by Gustave Gilbertjilles dykstra , May 30, 2017 at 2:29 pm GMT
@Tom Welsh I suppose the story is meant to show that Goering wanted war. The opposite is true, he sent the Swedish negotiator Dahlerus several times to London in his plane, taking himself care, telephoning with the Dutch authorities, that the Junckers could fly safely over the Netherlands. What Goering did not know was that Britain had been preparing for war at least since 1936. The march 1939 guarantee to Poland was meant to provoke Hitler to attack Poland. The trap worked.Agent76 , May 30, 2017 at 2:32 pm GMT
@Agent76 That even Senator Moynihan, of the CIA Oversight Committee, was lied to by the CIA director, about laying mines in Havana harbour, says enough. The CIA is not a secret service, it is a secret army. This secret army began drugs production in Afghanistan, mainly for the USA market, when funds for the CIA's war in Afghanistan were insufficient.jilles dykstra , May 30, 2017 at 2:34 pm GMT
This CIA director? May 19, 2010 Obama advisor John Brennan speaks about the beauty of IslamAgent76 , May 30, 2017 at 2:43 pm GMT
@alexander It is.
After an investigation of some seven years the lies of Tony Blair were exposed, in a report of considerable size. What happened ? Nothing. Instead of being in jail, the man flies aroud in a private jet, with an enormous income, paid by whom for what, I do not have a clue.annamaria , May 30, 2017 at 2:50 pm GMT
Dec 12, 2016 Georgia Official Says Homeland Security Tried To Hack Their State's Voter Database
While most of the country frets over Russia's role in the 2016 election, the state of Georgia has come forward saying that they've traced an IP from a hack of their voter database right back to the offices of the Department of Homeland Security. Apparently we need to focus on protecting our vote from our own government.alexander , May 30, 2017 at 2:58 pm GMT
@exiled off mainstreet
The end result of Brennan's fulminations likely is nuclear war, since he seems to consider even contact with the Russians treasonous. His view is both fascist and nihilist and treasonous to civilization itself and a threat to our survival. Brennan is just a regular profiteering opportunist. Someone needs to remind the scoundrel that the civil war in Ukraine (initiated by an illegal Kievan junta sponsored and installed by the US), had started immediately upon Brennan's arrival to Kiev in 2014. He tried to make the visit secret but this did not work and Brennan's presence in Ukraine became widely known: https://sputniknews.com/world/20140415189240842-ANALYSIS-CIA-Director-Brennans-Trip-to-Ukraine-Initiates-Use-Of/
"CIA Director John Brennan visited Ukraine over the weekend, information that was confirmed by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Monday, after being reported by media on Sunday.
Over the same weekend, Kiev authorities cracked down on pro-federalization protests in eastern Ukraine. Regime troops advanced toward a number of cities in eastern Ukraine Tuesday to attack the protesters. "Brennan's appearance in Kiev just before the announcement of a violent crackdown in eastern Ukraine is just too timely to assume that it is a coincidence," Turbeville [an American international affairs expert] said.
"Brennan, who has been actively involved in arming insurgents in Libya, Syria and Venezuela, has a reputation for using thuggish tactics in pursuit of CIA goals," Wayne Madsen, an American investigative journalist told RIA Novosti."
This is a fact showing the US' direct meddling in the affairs of another state and in creating a war on a border with Russian federation. Brennan has been so much immersed in lies and politicking and war crimes that it is impossible to expect any decent reasoning from this miserable opportunist.Agent76 , May 30, 2017 at 3:08 pm GMT
@Tom Welsh Excellent quote, Tom.
.And so true.Tom Welsh , May 30, 2017 at 3:29 pm GMT
Unfortunately for you and myself there are literally millions of people in America who do not think or challenge what they read or view as we do apparently. Thanks, *government schooling* .
Mar 6, 2017 Drug Boss Escobar Worked for the CIA
The notorious cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar worked closely with the CIA, according to his son. In this episode of The Geopolitical Report, we look at the long history of CIA involvement in the international narcotics trade, beginning with its collaboration with the French Mafia to using drug money to illegally fund the Contras and overthrow the Sandinista government in Nicaragua.Tom Welsh , May 30, 2017 at 3:31 pm GMT
I suppose the story is meant to show that Goering wanted war. The opposite is true, he sent the Swedish negotiator Dahlerus several times to London in his plane, taking himself care, telephoning with the Dutch authorities, that the Junckers could fly safely over the Netherlands. What Goering did not know was that Britain had been preparing for war at least since 1936. The march 1939 guarantee to Poland was meant to provoke Hitler to attack Poland. The trap worked.
What Goering did say – cogently and precisely – is that, regardless of the form of government, the people can always be quite easily stirred up to want war. The key sentence is this: "All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger". That is exactly what the US, UK and European governments have been doing for years to justify their terrorist scares and their wars of aggression. And Goering was absolutely right to point out that it works just the same in democracies (or "democracies") as under dictatorships.
As for your point about Britain having deliberately fomented the war, I don't think that holds water. Britain was grossly – almost grotesquely – underarmed in 1939, and came very close indeed to being conquered in 1940. In my view, it was FDR and his friends who assiduously wound up the Nazis and the Poles to fight one another, and then persuaded the British and French to give Poland guarantees. Everyone believed that, if war came, the USA would immediately join Britain and France in fighting Germany. Alas, they were very much mistaken.Agent76 , May 30, 2017 at 3:57 pm GMT
"Apparently we need to focus on protecting our vote from our own government". I very much doubt if the Deep State needs to resort to such small-scale and easily-detected trickery to retain control. As Philip Berrigan pointed out long ago, "If voting made any difference, it would be illegal".Rurik , Website May 30, 2017 at 4:06 pm GMT
@Tom Welsh Well, another ruler also stated this, "Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed." Joseph Stalin
Brennan is just a regular profiteering opportunist. Someone needs to remind the scoundrel that the civil war in Ukraine (initiated by an illegal Kievan junta sponsored and installed by the US), had started immediately upon Brennan's arrival to Kiev in 2014. He tried to make the visit secret but this did not work and Brennan's presence in Ukraine became widely known: https://sputniknews.com/world/20140415189240842-ANALYSIS-CIA-Director-Brennans-Trip-to-Ukraine-Initiates-Use-Of/
"CIA Director John Brennan visited Ukraine over the weekend, information that was confirmed by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Monday, after being reported by media on Sunday.
Over the same weekend, Kiev authorities cracked down on pro-federalization protests in eastern Ukraine. Regime troops advanced toward a number of cities in eastern Ukraine Tuesday to attack the protesters. "Brennan's appearance in Kiev just before the announcement of a violent crackdown in eastern Ukraine is just too timely to assume that it is a coincidence," Turbeville [an American international affairs expert] said.
"Brennan, who has been actively involved in arming insurgents in Libya, Syria and Venezuela, has a reputation for using thuggish tactics in pursuit of CIA goals," Wayne Madsen, an American investigative journalist told RIA Novosti."
This is a fact showing the US' direct meddling in the affairs of another state and in creating a war on a border with Russian federation. Brennan has been so much immersed in lies and politicking and war crimes that it is impossible to expect any decent reasoning from this miserable opportunist.
the civil war in Ukraine (initiated by an illegal Kievan junta sponsored and installed by the US), had started immediately upon Brennan's arrival to Kiev in 2014
I wouldn't so much call it a civil war, as a ZUSA imposed putsch, installing a Zio-bankster-quisling.
the United States routinely interferes in elections worldwide and that the action taken in various places including Ukraine goes far beyond phone conversations.
getting to the crux of the matter
when Russia released the phone conversation where ZUS State Dept. – Kagan klan / Zio-bitch Nuland was overheard deciding who was going to be the next president of Ukraine (some democracy), it was this breach of global oligarch protocol that has riled the deepstate Zio-war-scum ever since. Hence all the screeching and hysterics about "Russian hacking".
The thug Brennan, (as you correctly call him [imagine this mug coming into the room as you're about to be 'enhanced interrogated'])
has his fingerprints not just all over the war crimes and atrocities in Ukraine, but Syria and elsewhere too.
All these war criminals are all scrambling to undermine Trump in the fear that he'll eventually hold some of them accountable for their serial crimes, treasons, and treachery. Which brings us to this curious comment..
The desire to bring down the buffoonish Donald Trump is understandable,
what the hell does Mr. G think will replace him?!
So far the "buffoonish Donald Trump" has not declared a no-fly zone in Syria, as we know the war sow would have by now. He's not materially harmed the Assad regime, but only made symbolic attempts to presumably mollify the war pigs like McBloodstain and co in the zio-media/AIPAC/etc..
His rhetoric notwithstanding, he seems to be making nice with the Russians, to the apoplectic hysteria of people like Brennan and the Stain.
In fact the more people like Brennan and Bloodstain and the zio-media and others seem on the brink of madness, the better Trump seems to me every day.
And if it puts a smelly sock in the mouths of the neocons and war pigs to saber rattle at Iran, with no possibility to actually do them any harm, because of the treaty and Europe's need to respect it, then what's the harm of Trump sounding a little buffoonish if it gets them off his back so that he can circle himself with a Pretorian guard of loyalists and get to the bottom of all of this. I suspect that is what terrifies people like Brennan more than anything else.
Dec 23, 2017 | www.unz.com
Liverpool , December 22, 2017 at 9:16 pm GMTI was raised by Democrats, and used to vote for them. But these days, I think heck would freeze over before I'd vote Democrat again. From my point of view, Bernie tried to pull them back to sanity. But the hard core Clinton-corporate-corrupt Democrats have declared war on any movement for reform within the Democratic Party. And there is no way that I'm voting for any of these corrupt-corporate Democrats ever again.
Of course, the notion of 'reform' within the Democratic Party is an oxymoron. Its been around since Nader, when the corrupt-corporate Democrats tried to tell us that the way forward was to work within the corrupt-corporate Democratic Party and change things that way. We saw the way the corrupt-corporate Democrats colluded and rigged the last Presidential Primaries so that Corrupt-Corporate-Clinton was guaranteed the corrupt-corporate Democrat nomination. That's a loud and clear message to anyone who thinks they can achieve change within the corrupt-corporate-colluding-rigged Democratic Party.
Since I've always been anti-war, I've been forced to follow what anti-war movement there is over to the Republicans. And I see Steve Bannon trying to wage the fight within the Republican party that the fake-reformers in the Democrats never even tried . ie, numerous primary challenges to corrupt-corporate Democrats. That never happened, and by 2012 I was convinced that even the fake-reformers within the corrupt-corporate Democrats were fakes who only wanted fund-raising but didn't really fight for reform.
Neither party represents any but the richest of the rich these days. Both parties lie to voters and try to pretend that they might actually give a damn about the rest of us. But the only sign of life that I see of anyone trying to fight back against this Bannon inside the Republicans. I'm not thrilled with Bannon, although he's not nearly as bad as the loony-lefties in the corrupt-corporate Democratic Party and their many satellites call him. But he's the only one putting up a fight. I just hope that maybe someone will run in primaries against the corrupt-corporate-Republicans who fake-represent the part of the map where I live.
Neither party is on our side. The establishment in both parties is crooked and corrupt. Someone needs to fight them. And I sure as heck won't vote for the corrupt and the crooked. Since the Democrats are doubling down on corrupt and crooked and telling such big lies that even Goebbels would blush, it doesn't look like I'll ever vote Dem0crat again.
Dec 23, 2017 | www.washingtonpost.com
what is interesting is that whuile answering "yes" about Russian interference in election is safe answer, the real quesion is whehther Russian intergfernce exceed in scope British (Stele dossier), Israel (via Kushner) and Saudi interference to name a few. If no this is a witch hunt. Russia is just another neoliberal state, so why it can be a threat to the US neoliberalm and empire is unlear. It does has its own interests in former USSR space. How would the US react if Russia halped to depose legitimate goverment in Mexico and started to supply arms in order to get back California, Texas and Florida which new government would consider were occupied by the the USA illegally? the fact that Russia does not want ot be Washington vassal is not illegal. And there is nothing criminal in attempts to resist the spread of the US neoliberal empire on xUSSR space.
May 11, 2016
Full transcript Acting FBI director McCabe and others testify before the Senate Intelligence CommitteeSEN. MARK WARNER, D-VA.: Intelligence community assessment accurately characterized the extent of Russian activities in the 2016 election and its conclusion that Russian intelligence agencies were responsible for the hacking and leaking of information and using misinformation to influence our elections? Simple yes or no would suffice.
ROBERT CARDILLO, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL GEOSPATIAL-INTELLIGENCE AGENCY: I do. Yes, sir.
STEWART: Yes, Senator.
ROGERS: Yes I do.
DAN COATS, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE : Yes I do.
MIKE POMPEO, DIRECTOR, CIA: Yes.
WARNER: And I guess the presumption there -- or the next presumption, I won't even ask this question is consequently that committee assess -- or that community assessment was unanimous and is not a piece of fake news or evidence of some other individual or nation state other than Russia. So I appreciate that again for the record.
I warned you Mr. McCabe I was going to have to get you on the record as well on this. Mr. McCabe for as long as you are Acting FBI Director do you commit to informing this committee of any effort to interfere with the FBI's ongoing investigation into links between Russia and the Trump campaign?
MCCABE: I absolutely do.
WARNER: Thank you so much for that. I think in light of what's happened in the last 48 hours it's critically important that we have that assurance and I hope you'll relay, at least from me to the extraordinary people that work at the FBI that this committee supports them, supports their efforts, support their professionalism and supports their independence.
MCCABE: I will sir, thank you.
WARNER: In light of the fact that we just saw French elections where it felt like deja vu all over again in terms of the release of a series of e-mails against Mr. Macron days before the election and the fact that this committee continues to investigate the type of tactics that Russia has used.
Where do we stand, as a country, of preparation to make sure this doesn't happen again in 2018 and 2020 -- where have we moved in terms of collaboration with state voting -- voter files, in terms of working more with the tech community, particularly the platform -- platform entities in terms of how we can better assure real news versus fake news, is there some general sense -- Director Coats I know you've only been in the job for a short period of time -- of how we're going to have a strategic effort? Because while it was Russia in 2016 other nation states could -- you know -- launch similar type assaults.
COATS: Well, we are -- we will continue to use all the assets that we have in terms of collection and analysis relative to what the influence has been and potentially could be in future. Russians have spread this across the globe -- interestingly enough I met with the Prime Minister of Montenegro the latest nation to join NATO, the number 29 nation, what was the main topic?
Russian interference in their political system. And so it does -- it sweeps across Europe and other places. It's clear though, the Russians have upped their game using social media and other opportunities that we -- in ways that we haven't seen before. So it's a great threat to our -- our democratic process and our job here is to provide the best intelligence we can to the policy makers to -- as they develop a strategy in terms of how to best reflect a response to this.
WARNER: Well one of the things I'm concerned about is, we've all expressed this concern but since this doesn't fall neatly into any particular agency's jurisdiction you know, who's -- who's taking the point on interacting with the platform companies like the Google, Facebook and Twitter, who's taking the point in terms of interacting DHS image in terms of state boards of election? How are we trying to ensure that our systems more secure, and if we can get a brief answer on that because I got one last question for Admiral Rogers.
COATS: Well, I think the -- the obviously, our office tasks and takes the point, but there's contribution from agencies across the I.C. We will -- I've asked Director Pompeo to address that and others that might want to address that also. But each of us -- each of the agencies to the extent that they can and have the capacity whether its NSA though SIGINT, whether it's NSA through human or other sources will provide information to us that we want to use as a basis to provide to our -- to our policymakers.
Relative to a grand strategy, I am not aware right now of any -- I think we're still assessing the impact. We have not put a grand strategy together, which would not be our purview, we would provide the basis of intelligence that would then be the foundation for what that strategy would be.
WARNER: My hope -- my hope would be that we need to be proactive in this. We don't want to be sitting here kind of looking back at it after 2018 election cycle. Last question, very briefly, Admiral Rogers do you have any doubt that the Russians were behind the intervention in the French elections?
ROGERS: I -- let me phrase it this way, we are aware of some Russian activity directed against the Russian -- excuse me, directed against the French election process. As I previously said before Congress earlier this week, we in fact reached out to our French counterparts to say, we have become aware of this activity, we want to make you aware, what are you seeing?
I'm not in a position to have looked at the breadth of the French infrastructure. So I'm -- I'm not really in a position to make a whole simple declaratory statement.
WARNER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
BURR: Senator Rubio?
RUBIO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. McCabe, can you without going into the specific of any individual investigation, I think the American people want to know, has the dismissal of Mr. Comey in any way impeded, interrupted, stopped or negatively impacted any of the work, any investigation, or any ongoing projects at the Federal Bureau of Investigations?
MCCABE: As you know, Senator, the work of the men and women of the FBI continues despite any changes in circumstance, any decisions. So there has been no effort to impede our investigation today. Quite simply put sir, you cannot stop the men and women of the FBI from doing the right thing, protecting the American people, and upholding the Constitution.
RUBIO: And this is for all the members of the committee, as has been widely reported, and people know this, Kaspersky Lab software is used by not hundreds of thousands, millions of Americans. To each of our witnesses I would just ask, would any of you be comfortable with the Kaspersky Lab software on your computers?
COATS: A resounding no, from me.
MCCABE: No, Senator.
ROGERS: No, sir.
STEWART: No, Senator.
CARDILLO: No, sir.
... ... ...
POMPEO: I'll -- I'll let Mr. McCabe make a comment as well, but yes, of course. Frankly, this is consistent with what -- right, this is the -- the -- the attempt to interfere in United States is not limited to Russia. The Cubans have deep ties, it is in their deepest tradition to take American visitors and do their best influence of the way that is in adverse to U.S. interests.
MCCABE: Yes, sir. Fully agree, we share your concerns about that issue.
RUBIO: And my final question is on -- all this focus on Russia and what's happened in the past is that the opinion of all of you -- or those of -- you certainly all have insight on this. That even as we focus on 2016 and the efforts leading up to that election, efforts to influence policy making here in the United States vis-a-vis the Russian interests are ongoing that the Russians continue to use active measures; even at this moment, even on this day.
To try, through the use of multiple different ways, to influence the political debate and the decisions made in American politics; particularly as they pertain to Russia's interests around the world. In essence, these active measures is an ongoing threat, not simply something that happened in the past.
MCCABE: Yes, sir, that's right.
POMPEO: Senator, it's right. In some sense, though, we've got to put it in context, this has been going on for a long time. There's -- there's nothing new. Only the cost has been lessened, the cost of doing it.
COATS: I -- I would just add that the use of cyber and social media has significantly increased the impact and the capabilities that -- obviously this has been done for years and years. Even decades. But the ability they have to -- to use the interconnectedness and -- and all the -- all that that provides, that didn't provide before I -- they literally upped their game to the point where it's having a significant impact.
ROGERS: From my perspective I would just highlight cyber is enabling them to access information in massive quantities that weren't quite obtainable to the same level previously and that's just another tool in their attempt to acquire information, misuse of that information, manipulation, outright lies, inaccuracies at time.
But other times, actually dumping raw data which is -- as we also saw during this last presidential election cycle for us.
... ... ...
COATS: I can't speak to how many agents of -- of the U.S. government are as cognizant as perhaps we should be but I certainly think that, given China's aggressive approach relative to information gathering and -- and all the things that you mentioned merits a -- a review of CFIUS in terms of whether or not it is -- needs to have some changes or innovations to -- to address the aggressive -- aggressive Chinese actions not just against or companies, but across the world.
They -- they clearly have a strategy through their investments, they've started a major investment bank -- you name a park of the world Chinese probably are -- are there looking to put investments in. We've seen the situation in Djibouti where they're also adding military capability to their investment, strategic area for -- on the Horn of Africa there that -- that you wouldn't necessarily expect. But they're active in Africa, Northern Africa, they're active across the world.
Their one belt, one road process opens -- opens their trade and -- and what other interest they have to the Indian Ocean in -- and a different way to address nations that they've had difficulty connecting with. So it's a -- it's clearly an issue that we ought to take a look at.
... ... ...
WYDEN: Thank you very much Mr. Chairman.
Gentlemen, it's fair to say I disagreed with Director Comey as much as anyone in this room but the timing of this firing is wrong to anyone with a semblance of ethics. Director Comey should be here this morning testifying to the American people about where the investigation he's been running stands.
At our public hearing in January where he refused to discuss his investigation into connections between Russia and Trump associates I stated my fear that if the information didn't come out before inauguration day it might never come out. With all the recent talk in recent weeks about whether there is evidence of collusion, I fear some colleagues have forgotten that Donald Trump urged the Russians to hack his opponents. He also said repeatedly that he loved WikiLeaks.
So the question is not whether Donald Trump actively encouraged the Russians and WikiLeaks to attack our democracy, he did; that is an established fact. The only question is whether he or someone associated with him coordinated with the Russians.
Now, Mr. McCabe, the president's letter to Director Comey asserted that on three separate occasions the director informed him that he was not under investigations. Would it have been wrong for the director to inform him he was not under investigations? Yes or no?
MCCABE: Sir, I'm not going to comment on any conversations that the director may have had with the president...
WYDEN: I didn't ask that. Would it have been wrong for the director to inform him he was not under investigation? That's not about conversations, that's yes or no answer.
MCCABE: As you know, Senator. We typically do not answer that question. I will not comment on whether or not the director and the president of the United States had that conversation.
WYDEN: Will you refrain from these kinds of alleged updates to the president or anyone else in the White House on the status of the investigation?
MCCABE: I will.
WYDEN: Thank you.
Director Pompeo, one of the few key unanswered questions is why the president didn't fire Michael Flynn after Acting Attorney General Yates warned the White House that he could be blackmailed by the Russians. Director Pompeo, did you know about the acting attorney general's warnings to the White House or were you aware of the concerns behind the warning?
POMPEO: I -- I don't have any comment on that.
WYDEN: Well, were you aware of the concerns behind the warning? I mean, this is a global threat. This is a global threat question, this is a global threat hearing. Were you...
POMPEO: Tell me...
WYDEN: Were you aware?
POMPEO: Senator, tell me what global threat it is you're concerned with, please. I'm not sure I understand the question.
WYDEN: Well, the possibility of blackmail. I mean, blackmail by a influential military official, that has real ramifications for the global threat. So this is not about a policy implication, this is about the national security advisor being vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians. And the American people deserve to know whether in these extraordinary circumstances the CIA kept them safe.
POMPEO: Yes, sir, the CIA's kept America safe. And...
POMPEO: And the people at the Central Intelligence Agency are committed to that and will remain committed to that. And we will...
POMPEO: ... do that in the face of...
WYDEN: You won't answer the question...
POMPEO: We will do that in the face of political challenges that come from any direction, Senator.
WYDEN: But, you will not answer the question of whether or not you were aware of the concerns behind the Yates warning.
POMPEO: Sir, I don't know exactly what you're referring to with the Yates warning, I -- I -- I wasn't part of any of those conversations. I -- I... (CROSSTALK)
WYDEN: The Yates warning was...
POMPEO: ... I have no first hand information with respect to the warning that was given.
POMPEO: She didn't make that warning to me. I -- I can't -- I can't answer that question, Senator...
POMPEO: ... as much as I would like to.
Director Coats, how concerned are you that a Russian government oil company, run by a Putin crony could end up owning a significant percentage of U.S. oil refining capacity and what are you advising the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States about this?
COATS: I don't have specific information relative to that. I think that's something that potentially, we could provide intelligence on in terms of what this -- what situation might be, but...
WYDEN: I'd like you to furnace that in writing. Let me see if I can get one other question in, there have been mountains of press stories with allegations about financial connections between Russia and Trump and his associates. The matters are directly relevant to the FBI and my question is, when it comes to illicit Russian money and in particular, it's potential to be laundered on its way to the United States, what should the committee be most concerned about?
We hear stories about Deutsche Bank, Bank of Cypress, Shell companies in Moldova, the British Virgin Islands. I'd like to get your sense because I'm over my time. Director McCabe, what you we most -- be most concerned about with respect to illicit Russian money and its potential to be laundered on its way the United States?
MCCABE: Certainly sir. So as you know, I am not in the position to be able to speak about specific investigations and certainly not in this setting. However, I will confirm for you that those are issues that concern us greatly.
They have traditionally and they do even more so today, as it becomes easier to conceal the origin and the -- and the track and the destination of purpose of illicit money flows, as the exchange of information becomes more clouded in encryption and then more obtuse, it becomes harder and harder to get to the bottom of those investigations. That would shed light on those issues.
WYDEN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. BURR: Senator Risch?
RISCH: Thank you very much. Gentlemen, I -- the purpose of this hearing as the chairman expressed is to give the American people some insight into what we all do, which they don't see pretty much at all. And so I think what I want to do is I want to make an observation and then I want to get your take on it, anybody who wants to volunteer. And I'm going to start with you Director Coats, to volunteer.
My -- I have been -- I've been on this committee all the time I've been here in the Senate and all through the last administration. And I have been greatly impressed by the current administrations hitting the ground running during the first hundred days, as far as their engagement on intelligence matters and their engagement with foreign countries. The national media here is focused on domestic issues which is of great interest to the American people be it healthcare, be it personnel issues in the government.
And they don't -- the -- the media isn't as focused on this administrations fast, and in my judgment, robust engagement with the intelligence communities around the world and with other governments. And my impression is that it's good and it is aggressive. And I want -- I'd like you're -- I'd like your impression of where we're going. Almost all of you had real engagement in the last administration and all the administrations are different. So Director Coats, you want to take that on to start with?
COATS: I'd be happy to start with that, I think most presidents that come into office come with an agenda in mind in terms of what issues they'd like to pursue, many of them issues that effect -- domestic issues that affect infrastructure and education and a number of things only to find that this is dangerous world, that the United States -- that the threats that exist out there need to be -- be given attention to.
This president, who I think the perception was not interested in that, I think Director Pompeo and I can certify the fact that we have spent far more hours in the Oval Office than we anticipated. The president is a voracious consumer of information and asking questions and asking us to provide intelligence. I -- we are both part of a process run through the national security council, General McMaster, all through the deputy's committees and the principal's committees consuming hours and hours of time looking at the threats, how do we address those threats, what is the intelligence that tells us -- that informs the policy makers in terms of how they put a strategy in place.
And so what I initially thought would be a one or two time a week, 10 to 15 minute quick brief, has turned into an everyday, sometimes exceeding 45 minutes to an hour or more just in briefing the president. We have -- I have brought along several of our directors to come and show the president what their agencies do and how important it is the info -- that the information they provide how that -- for the basis of making policy decisions.
I'd like to turn to my CIA colleague to get -- let him give you, and others, to give you their impression.
RISCH: I appreciate that. We're almost out of time but I did -- Director Pompeo you kind of sit in the same spot we all sit in through the last several years and I kind of like your observations along the line of Director Coats, what you feel about the matter?
POMPEO: Yeah, I think Director Coats had it right. He and I spend time with the president everyday, briefing him with the most urgent intelligence matters that are presented to us as -- in our roles. He asks good, hard questions. Make us go make sure we're doing our work in the right way.
Second, you asked about engagement in the world. This administration has reentered the battle space in places the administration -- the previous administration was completely absent. You all travel some too...
POMPEO: ... you will hear that when you go travel. I've now taken two trips to places and they welcome American leadership. They're not looking for American soldiers, they're not looking for American boots on the ground, they're looking for American leadership around the globe and this president has reentered that space in a way that I think will serve America's interest very well.
RISCH: Yeah I -- I couldn't agree more and we -- we deal with them not only overseas but they come here, as you know, regularly.
POMPEO: Yes sir.
RISCH: And the fact that the president has pulled the trigger twice as he has in -- in the first 100 days and -- and done it in a fashion that didn't start a world war and -- and was watched by both our friends and our enemies has made a significant and a huge difference as far as our standing in the world. My time's up. Thank you very much Mr. Chair.
WARNER: Thank you Senator.
HEINRICH: Director McCabe you -- you obviously have several decades of law enforcement experience, is it -- is it your experience that people who are innocent of wrong doing typically need to be reassured that they're not the subject of an investigation?
MCCABE: No sir.
HEINRICH: And I ask that because I'm still trying to make heads or tails of the dismissal letter from -- earlier this week from the president where he writes, "While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation." And I'm still trying to figure out why that would even make it into a dismissal letter. But let me go to something a little more direct.
Director, has anyone in the White House spoken to you directly about the Russia investigation?
MCCABE: No, sir.
HEINRICH: Let me -- when -- when did you last meet with the president, Director McCabe?
MCCABE: I don't think I -- I'm in...
HEINRICH: Was it earlier this week?
MCCABE: ... the position to comment on that. I have met with the president this week, but I really don't want to go into the details of that.
HEINRICH: OK. But Russia did not come up?
MCCABE: That's correct, it did not.
HEINRICH: OK, thank you. We've heard in the news that -- that -- claims that Director Comey had -- had lost the confidence of rank and file FBI employees. You've been there for 21 years, in your opinion is it accurate that the rank and file no longer supported Director Comey?
MCCABE: No, sir, that is not accurate. I can tell you, sir, that I worked very, very closely with Director Comey. From the moment he started at the FBI I was his executive assistant director of national security at that time and I worked for him running the Washington field office. And of course I've served as deputy for the last year.
MCCABE: I can tell you that I hold Director Comey in the absolute highest regard. I have the highest respect for his considerable abilities and his integrity and it has been the greatest privilege and honor in my professional life to work with him. I can tell you also that Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI and still does until this day.
We are a large organization, we are 36,500 people across this country, across this globe. We have a diversity of opinions about many things, but I can confidently tell you that the majority -- the vast majority of FBI employees enjoyed a deep and positive connection to Director Comey.
HEINRICH: Thank you for your candor. Do you feel like you have the adequate resources for the existing investigations that the -- that the bureau is invested in right now to -- to follow them wherever they may lead?
MCCABE: Sir, if you're referring to the Russia investigation, I do. I believe we have the adequate resources to do it and I know that we have resourced that investigation adequately. If you're referring to the many constantly multiplying counter-intelligence threats that we face across the spectrum, they get bigger and more challenging every day and resources become an issue over time.
MCCABE: But in terms of that investigation, sir, I can -- I can assure you we are covered.
HEINRICH: Thank you.
Director Coats, welcome back. Would you agree that it is a national security risk to provide classified information to an individual who has been compromised by a foreign government as a broad matter.
COATS: As a broad matter, yes.
HEINRICH: If the attorney general came to you and said one of your employees was compromised what -- what sort of action would you take?
COATS: I would take the action as prescribed in our procedures relative to how we report this ad how it's -- how it is processed. I mean, it's a serious -- serious issue Our -- our -- I would be consulting with our legal counsel and consulting with our inspector general and others as to how -- how best to proceed with this, but obviously we will take action.
HEINRICH: Would -- would one of the options be dismissal, obviously?
COATS: Very potentially could be dismissal, yes.
HEINRICH: OK, thank you Director.
BURR: Senator Collins?
COLLINS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Mr. Vice Chairman.
Mr. McCabe, is the agent who is in charge of this very important investigation into Russian attempts to influence our election last fall still in charge?
MCCABE: I mean we have many agents involved in the investigation at many levels so I'm not who you're referring to.
COLLINS: The lead agent overseeing the investigation.
MCCABE: Certainly, almost all of the agents involved in the investigation are still in their positions.
COLLINS: So has there been any curtailment of the FBI's activities in this important investigation since Director Comey was fired?
MCCABE: Ma'am, we don't curtail our activities. As you know, has the -- are people experiencing questions and are reacting to the developments this week? Absolutely.
COLLINS: Does that get in the way of our ability to pursue this or any other investigation?
MCCABE: No ma'am, we continue to focus on our mission and get that job done.
COLLINS: I want to follow up on a question of resources that Senator Heinrich asked your opinion on. Press reports yesterday indicated that Director Comey requested additional resources from the Justice Department for the bureau's ongoing investigation into Russian active measures. Are you aware that request? Can you confirm that that request was in fact made?
MCCABE: I cannot confirm that request was made. As you know ma'am, when we need resources, we make those requests here. So I -- I don't -- I'm not aware of that request and it's not consistent with my understanding of how we request additional resources.
That said, we don't typically request resources for an individual case. And as I mentioned, I strongly believe that the Russian investigation is adequately resourced. COLLINS: You've also been asked a question about target letters. Now, it's my understanding that when an individual is the target of an investigation, at some point, a letter is sent out notifying a individual that he is a target, is that correct?
MCCABE: No ma'am, I -- I don't believe that's correct.
COLLINS: OK. So before there is going to be an indictment, there is not a target letter sent out by the Justice Department?
MCCABE: Not that I'm aware of.
COLLINS: OK that's contrary to my -- my understanding, but let me ask you the reverse.
MCCABE: Again, I'm looking at it from the perspective of the investigators. So that's not part of our normal case investigative practice.
COLLINS: That would be the Justice Department, though. The Justice Department...
MCCABE: I see, I see...
COLLINS: I'm -- I'm asking you, isn't it standard practice when someone is the target of an investigation and is perhaps on the verge of being indicted that the Justice Department sends that individual what is known as a target letter?
MCCABE: Yes, ma'am I'm going have to defer that question to the Department of Justice.
COLLINS: Well, let me ask you the -- the flip side of that and perhaps you don't know the answer to this question but is it standard practice for the FBI to inform someone that they are not a target of an investigation?
MCCABE: It is not.
COLLINS: So it would be unusual and not standard practice for there -- it -- for there to have been a notification from the FBI director to President Trump or anyone else involved in this investigation, informing him or her that that individual I not a target, is that correct?
MCCABE: Again ma'am, I'm not going to comment on what Director Comey may or may not have done.
COLLINS: I -- I'm not asking you to comment on the facts of the case, I'm just trying to figure out what's standard practice and what's not.
MCCABE: Yes ma'am. I'm not aware of that being a standard practice.
COLLINS: Admiral Rogers, I want to follow up on Senator Warner's question to you about the attempted interference in the French...
COLLINS: ... election. Some researchers, including the cyber intelligence firm Flashpoint claim that APT28 is the group that was behind the stealing of the -- and the leaking of the information about the president elect of France, the FBI and DHS have publicly tied APT28 to Russian intelligence services in the joint analysis report last year after the group's involvement in stealing data that was leaked in the run up to the U.S. elections in November.
Is the I.C. in a position to attribute the stealing and the leaking that took place prior to the French election to be the result of activities by this group, which is linked to Russian cyber activity?
ROGERS: Again ma'am, right now I don't think I have a complete picture of all the activity associated with France but as I have said publicly, both today and previously, we are aware of specific Russian activity directed against the French election cycle in the course -- particularly in the last few weeks.
To the point where we felt it was important enough we actually reached out to our French counterparts to inform them and make sure they awareness of what we were aware of and also to ask them, is there something we are missing that you are seeing?
COLLINS: Thank you.
BURR: Senator King.
KING: Mr. McCabe, thank you for being here today under somewhat difficult circumstances, we appreciate your candor in your testimony.
On March 20th, Director Comey -- then Director Comey testified to the House of Representative, "I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russian efforts.
As with any counter intelligence investigation this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed." Is that statement still accurate?
MCCABE: Yes sir, it is.
KING: And how many agents are assigned to this project? How many -- or personnel generally with the FBI, roughly?
MCCABE: Yeah, sorry I can't really answer those sorts of questions in this forum.
KING: Well, yesterday a White House press spokesman said that this is one of the smallest things on the plate of the FBI, is that an accurate statement?
MCCABE: It is...
KING: Is this a small investigation in relation to all -- to all the other work that you're doing?
MCCABE: Sir, we consider it to be a highly significant investigation.
KING: So you would not characterize it as one of the smallest things you're engaged in?
MCCABE: I would not.
KING: Thank you.
Let me change the subject briefly. We're -- we've been talking about Russia and -- and their involvement in this election. One of the issues of concern to me, and perhaps I can direct this to -- well, I'll direct it to anybody in the panel. The allegation of Russian involvement in our electoral systems, is that an issue that is of concern and what do we know about that? And is that being up followed up on by this investigation.
Mr. McCabe, is that part of your investigation? No I'm -- I'm not talking about the presidential election, I'm talking about state level election infrastructure.
MCCABE: Yes, sir. So obviously not discussing any specific investigation in detail. The -- the issue of Russian interference in the U.S. democratic process is one that causes us great concern. And quite frankly, it's something we've spent a lot of time working on over the past several months. And to reflect comments that were made in response to an earlier question that Director Coats handled, I think part of that process is to understand the inclinations of our foreign adversaries to interfere in those areas.
So we've seen this once, we are better positioned to see it the next time. We're able to improve not only our coordination with -- primarily through the Department of Homeland -- through DHS, their -- their expansive network and to the state and local election infrastructure. But to interact with those folks to defend against ; whether it's cyber attacks or any sort of influence driven interactions.
KING: Thank you, I think that's a very important part of this issue.
Admiral Rogers, yesterday a camera crew from TAS (ph) was allowed into the Oval Office. There was not any American press allowed, was there any consultation with you with regard to that action in terms of the risk of some kind of cyber penetration or communications in that incident?
KING: Were you -- you were -- your agency wasn't consulted in any way?
ROGERS: Not that I'm aware of. I wouldn't expect that to automatically be the case; but no, not that I'm aware of.
KING: Did it raise any concerns when you saw those pictures that those cameramen and crew were in the Oval Office without....
ROGERS: I'll be honest, I wasn't aware of where the imaged came from.
KING: All right, thank you.
Mr. Coats -- Director Coats, you're -- you're -- you lead the intelligence community. Were you consulted at all with regard to the firing of Director Comey?
COATS: I was not.
KING: So you had no -- there were no discussions with you even though the FBI's an important part of the intelligence community?
COATS: There were no discussions.
KING: Thank you.
Mr. Chairman, thank you.
BURR: Thank you Senator King.
LANKFORD: Thank you, let me just run through some quick questions on this. Director McCabe, thanks for being here as well.
Let me hit some high points of some of the things I've heard already, just to be able to confirm. You have the resources you need for the Russia investigation, is that correct?
MCCABE: Sir, we believe it's adequately resourced...
LANKFORD: OK, so there's not limitations on resources, you have what you need? The -- the actions about Jim Comey and his release has not curtailed the investigation from the FBI, it's still moving forward?
MCCABE: The investigation will move forward, absolutely.
LANKFORD: No agents have been removed that are the ongoing career folks that are doing the investigation?
MCCABE: No, sir.
LANKFORD: Is it your impression at this point that the FBI is unable to complete the investigation in a fair and expeditious way because of the removal of Jim Comey?
MCCABE: It is my opinion and belief that the FBI will continue to pursue this investigation vigorously and completely.
LANKFORD: Do you need somebody to take this away from you and somebody else to do?
MCCABE: No sir.
L.. ... ...
MANCHIN: Thank you Mr. Chairman.
Thank all of you for being here, I really appreciate it and I know that, Mr. McCabe, you seem to be of great interest of being here. And we're going to look forward to really from hearing from all of you all in a closed hearing this afternoon which I think that we'll able to get into more detail. So I appreciate that.
I just one question for Mr. McCabe it's basically the morale of the agency, the FBI agency and the morale basically starting back from July 5th to July 7th, October 28th, November 6th and election day -- did you all ever think you'd be embroiled in an election such as this and did -- what did it do to the morale?
MCCABE: Well, I -- I don't know that anyone envisioned exactly the way these things would develop. You know, as I said earlier Senator, we are a -- a large organization. We are -- we have a lot of diversity of opinions and -- and viewpoints on things. We are also a fiercely independent group.
MANCHIN: I'm just saying that basically, before July 5th, before the first testimony that basically Director Comey got involved in, prior to that, did you see a change in the morale? Just yes or no -- yes a change or more anxious, more concern?
MCCABE: I think morale has always been good, however we had -- there were folks within our agency who were frustrated with the outcome of the Hillary Clinton case and some of those folks were very vocal about that -- those concerns.
MANCHIN: I'm sure we'll have more questions in the closed hearing, sir but let me say to the rest of you all, we talked about Kaspersky, the lab, KL Lab. Do you all have -- has it risen to your level being the head of all of our intelligence agencies and people that mostly concerned about the security of our country of having a Russian connection in a lab as far outreaching as KL Labs?
Has it come with your IT people coming to you or have you gone directly to them making sure that you have no interaction with KL or any of the contractors you do business with? Just down the line there, Mr. Cardillo?
CARDILLO: Well, we count on the expertise of Admiral Rogers and the FBI to protect our systems and so I value...
MANCHIN: ...But you have I -- you have IT people, right?
MANCHIN: Have you talked to the IT people? Has it come to your concern that there might be a problem?
CARDILLO: I'm aware of the Kaspersky Lab challenge and/or threat.
MANCHIN: Let me tell you, it's more of a challenge -- more than a challenge, sir and I would hope that -- I'll go down the line but I hope that all of you -- we are very much concerned about this, very much concerned about security of our country watching (ph) their involvement.
CARDILLO: We share that.
STEWART: We are tracking Kaspersky and their software. There is as well as I know, and I've checked this recently, no Kaspersky software on our networks.
MANCHIN: Any contractors? STEWART: Now, the contractor piece might be a little bit harder to define but at this point we see no connection to Kaspersky and contractors supporting (ph)...
MANCHIN: ...Admiral Rogers?
ROGERS: I'm personally aware and involved with the director on the national security issues and the Kaspersky Lab issue, yes sir.
COATS: It wasn't that long ago I was sitting up there talking -- raising issues about Kaspersky and its position here. And that continues in this new job.
POMPEO: It has risen to the director of the CIA as well, Senator Manchin.
(UNKNOWN): He's very concerned about it, sir, and we are focused on it closely.
MANCHIN: Only thing I would ask all of you, if you can give us a report back if you've swept all of your contractors to make sure they understand the certainty you have, concern that you have about this and making sure that they can verify to you all that they're not involved whatsoever with any Kaspersky's hardware. I'm going to switch to a couple different things because of national security.
But you know, the bottom gangs that we have in the United States, and I know -- we don't talk about them much. And when you talk about you have MS-13, the Crips, you've got Hells Angels, Aryan Brotherhood, it goes on and on and on, it's quite a few. What is -- what are we doing and what is it to your level -- has it been brought to your level the concern we have with these gangs within our country, really every part of our country?
Anybody on the gangland?
MCCABE: Yes sir. So we spend a lot of time talking about that at the FBI. It's one of our highest priorities...
MANCHIN: Did the resources go out to each one of these because they're interspersed over the country?
MCCABE: We do, sir. We have been focused on the gang threat for many years. It -- like -- much like the online pharmacy threat. It continues to change and develop harried we think it's likely a -- having an impact on elevated violent crime rates across the country, so we're spending a lot of time focused on that.
... ... ..
COTTON: Inmates are running the asylum.
COTTON: So, I think everyone in this room and most Americans have come to appreciate the aggressiveness with which would Russia uses active measures or covert influence operations, propaganda, call them what you will, as your agencies assess they did in 2016 and in hacking into those e-mails and releasing them as news reports suggest they did. In the French election last week -- that's one reason why I sought to revive the Russian active measures working group in the FY'17 Intelligence Authorization Act.
These activities that will go far beyond elections, I think, as most of our witnesses know. former director of the CIA, Bob Gates, in his memoir "From the Shadows," detailed soviet covert influence campaigns designed to slow or thwart the U.S. development of nuclear delivery systems and warheads, missile-defense systems and employment of intermediate nuclear range systems to Europe.
Specifically on page 260 of his memoir, he writes "during the period, the soviets mounted a massive covert action operation, aimed at thwarting INF deployments by NATO. We at CIA devoted tremendous resources to an effort at the time to uncovering the soviet covert campaign. Director Casey summarized this extraordinary effort in a paper he sent to Bush, Schultz, Weinberger and Clark on January 18, 1983. We later published it and circulated it widely within the government and to the allies, and finally, provided an unclassified version of the public to use," end quote.
I'd like to thank the CIA for digging up this unclassified version of the document and providing it to the committee, Soviet Strategy to derail U.S. INF deployment. Specifically, undermining NATO's solidarity in those deployments. I have asked unanimous consent that it be included in the hearing transcript and since the inmates are running the asylum, hearing no objection, we'll include it in the transcript.
Director Pompeo, earlier this year, Dr. Roy Godson testified that he believed that Russia was using active measures and covert influence efforts to undermine our nuclear modernization efforts, our missile defense deployments, and the INF Treaty, in keeping with these past practices.
To the best of your ability in this setting, would you agree with the assessment that Russia is likely using such active measures to undermine U.S. nuclear modernization efforts and missile defenses?
COTTON: Thank you.
As I mentioned earlier, the F.Y. '17 Intelligence Authorization Act included two unclassified provisions that I authored. One would be re-starting that old (inaudible) Measures Working Group. A second would require additional scrutiny of Russian embassy officials who travel more than the prescribed distance from their duty station, whether it's their embassy or a consulate around the United States.
In late 2016, when that bill was on the verge of passing, I personally received calls from high-ranking Obama administration officials asking me to withdraw them from the bill. I declined. The bill did not pass. It passed last week as part of the F.Y. '17 spending bill.
I did not receive any objection from Trump administration officials to include from our intelligence community.
Director Coats, are you aware of any objection that the Trump administration had to my two provisions?
COATS: No, I'm not aware of any objection.
COTTON: Director Pompeo?
COTTON: Do you know why the Obama administration objected to those two provisions in late 2016? I would add after the 2016 presidential election.
COATS: Well, it would be pure speculation. I don't -- I couldn't read -- I wasn't able to read the president's mind then and I don't think I can read it now.
COTTON: Thank you.
I'd like to turn my attention to a very important provision of law. I know that you've discussed earlier section 702.
Director Rogers, it's my understanding that your agency is undertaking an effort to try to release some kind of unclassified estimate of the number of U.S. persons who might have been incidentally collected using 702 techniques. Is that correct?
ROGERS: Sir, we're looking to see if we can quantify something that's of value to people outside the organization.
COTTON: Would -- would that require you going in and conducting searches of incidental collection that have been previously unexamined?
ROGERS: That's part of the challenge. How do I generate insight that doesn't in the process of generating the insight violate the actual tenets that...
COTTON: So -- so we're -- you're trying to produce an estimate that is designed to protect privacy rights, but to produce that estimate, you're going to have to violate privacy rights?
ROGERS: That is a potential part of all of this.
COTTON: It seems hard to do.
ROGERS: Yes, sir. That's why it has taken us a period of time and that's why we're in the midst of a dialogue.
COTTON: Is it going to be possible to produce that kind of estimate without some degree of inaccuracy or misleading information, or infringing upon the privacy rights of Americans?
ROGERS: Probably not.
COTTON: If anyone in your agency, or for that matter, Director McCabe, in yours, believes that there is misconduct or privacy rights are not being protected, they could, I believe under current law, come to your inspector general; come to your general counsel. I assume you have open door policies.
ROGERS: Whistleblower protections in addition, yes, sir, and they can come to you.
COTTON: They can come to this committee.
So four -- at least four different avenues. I'm probably missing some, if they believe there are any abuses in the section 702 (inaudible).
MCCABE (?): And anyone in their chain of command.
COTTON: I would ask that we proceed with caution before producing a report that might infringe on Americans' privacy rights needlessly, and that might make it even that much harder to reauthorize a critical program, something that, Director McCabe, your predecessor last week just characterized, if I can paraphrase, as a must-have program, not a nice-to-have program.
BURR: Thank you, Senator Cotton.
HARRIS: Thank you.
Acting Director McCabe, welcome. I know you've been in this position for only about 48 hours, and I appreciate your candor with this committee during the course of this open hearing.
MCCABE: Yes, ma'am.
HARRIS: Until this point, what was your role in the FBI's investigation into the Russian hacking of the 2016 election?
MCCABE: I've been the deputy director since February of 2016. So I've had an oversight role over all of our FBI operational activity, including that investigation.
HARRIS: And now that you're acting director, what will your role be in the investigation?
MCCABE: Very similar, senior oversight role to understand what our folks are doing and to make sure they have the resources they need and are getting the direction and the guidance they need to go forward.
HARRIS: Do you support the idea of a special prosecutor taking over the investigation in terms of oversight of the investigation, in addition to your role?
MCCABE: Ma'am, that is a question for the Department of Justice and it wouldn't be proper for me to comment on that.
HARRIS: From your understanding, who at the Department of Justice is in charge of the investigation?
MCCABE: The deputy attorney general, who serves as acting attorney general for that investigation. He is in charge.
HARRIS: And have you had conversations with him about the investigation since you've been in this role?
MCCABE: I have. Yes, ma'am.
HARRIS: And when Director Comey was fired, my understanding is he was not present in his office. He was actually in California. So my question is: Who was in charge of securing his files and devices when that -- when that information came down that he had been fired?
MCCABE: That's our responsibility, ma'am.
HARRIS: And are you confident that his files and his devices have been secured in a way that we can maintain whatever information or evidence he has in connection with the investigation?
MCCABE: Yes, ma'am. I am.
HARRIS: It's been widely reported, and you've mentioned this, that Director Comey asked Rosenstein for additional resources. And I understand that you're saying that you don't believe that you need any additional resources?
MCCABE: For the Russia investigation, ma'am, I think we are adequately resourced.
HARRIS: And will you commit to this committee that if you do need resources, that you will come to us, understanding that we would make every effort to get you what you need?
MCCABE: I absolutely will.
HARRIS: Has -- I understand that you've said that the White House, that you have not talked with the White House about the Russia investigation. Is that correct?
MCCABE: That's correct.
HARRIS: Have you talked with Jeff Sessions about the investigation?
MCCABE: No, ma'am.
HARRIS: Have you talked with anyone other than Rod Rosenstein at the Department of Justice about the investigation?
MCCABE: I don't believe I have -- you know, not recently; obviously, not in that -- not in this position.
HARRIS: Not in the last 48 hours?
MCCABE: No, ma'am.
HARRIS: OK. What protections have been put in place to assure that the good men and women of the FBI understand that they will not be fired if they aggressively pursue this investigation?
MCCABE: Yes, ma'am. So we have very active lines of communication with the team that's -- that's working on this issue. They are -- they have some exemplary and incredibly effective leaders that they work directly for. And I am confident that those -- that they understand and are confident in their position moving forward on this investigation, as my investigators, analysts and professionals staff are in everything we do every day.
HARRIS: And I agree with you. I have no question about the commitment that the men and women of the FBI have to pursue their mission. But will you commit to me that you will directly communicate in some way now that these occurrences have happened and Director Comey has been fired? Will you commit to me that given this changed circumstance, that you will find a way to directly communicate with those men and women to assure them that they will not be fired simply for aggressively pursuing this investigation?
MCCABE: Yes, ma'am.
HARRIS: Thank you.
And how do you believe we need to handle, to the extent that it exists, any crisis of confidence in the leadership of the FBI, given the firing of Director Comey?
MCCABE: I don't believe there is a crisis of confidence in the leadership of the FBI. That's somewhat self-serving, and I apologize for that.
You know, it was completely within the president's authority to take the steps that he did. We all understand that. We expect that he and the Justice Department will work to find a suitable replacement and a permanent director, and we look forward to supporting whoever that person is, whether they begin as an interim director or a permanently selected director.
This -- organization in its entirety will be completely committed to helping that person get off to a great start and do what they need to do.
HARRIS: And do you believe that there will be any pause in the investigation during this interim period, where we have a number of people who are in acting positions of authority?
MCCABE: No, ma'am. That is my job right now to ensure that the men and women who work for the FBI stay focused on the threats; stay focused on the issues that are of so much importance to this country; continue to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution. And I will ensure that that happens.
HARRIS: I appreciate that. Thank you.
MCCABE: Yes, ma'am.
BURR: Thank you.
Second round, five minutes each.
WYDEN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I want to go back to the question I asked you, Director Pompeo. And I went out and reviewed the response that you gave to me. And of course, what I'm concerned about is the Sally Yates warning to the White House that Michael Flynn could be blackmailed by the Russians.
And you said you didn't have any first-hand indication of it. Did you have any indication -- second-hand, any sense at all that the national security adviser might be vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians? That is a yes or no question.
POMPEO: It's actually not a yes-or-no question, Senator. I can't answer yes or no. I regret that I'm unable to do so. You have to remember this is a counterintelligence investigation that was largely being conducted by the FBI and not by the CIA. We're a foreign intelligence organization.
And I'll add only this, I was not intending to be clever by using the term "first-hand." I had no second-hand or third-hand knowledge of that conversation either.
WYDEN: So with respect to the CIA, were there any discussion with General Flynn at all?
POMPEO: With respect to what sir? He was for a period of time the national security advisor.
WYDEN: Topics that could have put at risk the security and the well being of the American people. I mean I'm just finding it very hard to swallow that you all had no discussions with the national security advisor.
POMPEO: I spoke with the national security advisor. He was the national security advisor. He was present for the daily brief on many occasions and we talked about all the topics we spoke to the President about.
WYDEN: But nothing relating to matters that could have compromised the security of the United States? POMPEO: Sir I can't recall every conversation with General Flynn during that time period.
WYDEN: We're going to ask some more about it in closed session this afternoon. Admiral Rogers, let me ask you about a technical question that I think is particularly troubling and that is the S.S. 7 question in the technology threat. Last week the Department of Homeland Security published a lengthy study about the impact on the U.S. government of mobile phone security flaws. The report confirmed what I have been warning about for quite some time, which is the significance of cyber security vulnerabilities associated with a signaling system seven report says the department believes, and I quote, that all U.S. carriers are vulnerable to these exploits, resulting in risks to national security, the economy and the federal governments ability to reliably execute national security functions. These vulnerabilities can be exploited by criminals, terrorists and nation state actors and foreign intelligence organizations.
Do you all share the concerns of the Department of Human -- the Homeland Security Department about the severity of these vulnerabilities and what ought to be done right now to get the government and the private sector to be working together more clearly and in a coherent plan to deal with these monumental risks. These are risks that we're going to face with terrorists and hackers and threats. And I think the federal communications commission has been treading water on this and I'd like to see what you want to do to really take charge of this to deal what is an enormous vulnerability to the security of this country?
ROGERS: Sure. I hear the concern. It's a widely deployed technology in the mobile segment. I share the concern the Department of Homeland security in their role kind of as the lead federal agency associated with cyber and support from the federal government to the private sector as overall responsibility here.
We are trying to provide at the national security agency our expertise to help generate insights about the nature of the vulnerability, the nature of the problem. Partnering with DHS, talking to the private sector. There's a couple of specific things from a technology stand point that we're looking at in multiple forms that the government has created partnering with the private sector.
I'm not smart, I apologize about all of the specifics of the DHS effort. I can take that for the record if you'd like.
WYDEN: All right. I just want to respond before we break to Senator Cotton's comments with respect to section 702. Mr. Director, glad to see my tax reform partner back in this role. You know Mr. Director that I think it's critical the American people know how many innocent law abiding Americans are being swept up in the program. The argument that producing an estimate of the number is in itself a violation of privacy, is I think a far fetched argue has been made for years. I and others who believe that we can have security and liberty, that they're not mutually exclusive have always believed that this argument that you're going to be invading peoples privacy doesn't add up. We have to have that number. Are we going to get it? Are we going to get it in time so we can have a debate that shows that those of us who understand there are threats coming from overseas, and we support the effort to deal with those threats as part of 702. That we are not going to have American's privacy rights indiscriminately swept up.
We need that number. When will we get it?
COATS: Senator as you recall, during my confirmation hearing, we had this discussion. I promised to you that I would -- if confirmed and I was, talk (ph) to NSA indeed with Admiral Rogers, try to understand -- better understand why it was so difficult to come to a specific number. I -- I did go out to NSA. I was hosted by Admiral Rogers. We spent significant time talking about that. And I learned of the complexity of reaching that number. I think the -- the statements that had been made by Senator Cotton are very relevant statements as to that.
Clearly, what I have learned is that a breach of privacy has to be made against American people have to be made in order to determine whether or not they breached privacy. So, it -- it -- there is a anomaly there. They're -- they're -- they're issues of duplication.
I know that a -- we're underway in terms of setting up a time with this committee I believe in June -- as early as June to address -- get into that issue and to address that, and talk through the complexity of why it's so difficult to say...
COATS: ...this is specifically when we can get you the -- the number and what the number is. So, I -- I believe -- I believe -- we are committed -- we are committed to a special meeting with the committee to try to go through this -- this particular issue.
But I cannot give you a date because I -- I -- and -- and a number because the -- I understand the complexity of it now and why it's so difficult for Admiral Rogers to say this specific number is the number.
WYDEN: I'm -- I'm well over my time. The point really is privacy advocates and technologists say that it's possible to get the number. If they say it, and the government is not saying it, something is really out of synch.
You've got people who want to work with you. We must get on with this and to have a real debate about 702 that ensures that security and liberty are not mutually exclusive. We have to have that number.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
... ... ...
Dec 22, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Just hours after FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe delivered private testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, his boss, FBI Director Christopher Wray, announced that the bureau's top lawyer would be leaving his post, an attempt to bring in "new blood" to an agency whose reputation has been hopelessly compromised by revelations that agents' partisan bias may have influenced two high-profile investigations involving President Donald Trump and his former campaign rival, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
As the Washington Post reported, the FBI's top lawyer, James Baker, is being reassigned. WaPo says Baker's removal is part of Wray's effort to assemble his own team of senior advisers while he tries to defuse allegations of partisanship that have plagued the bureau in recent months.
But reports published over the summer said Baker was "the top suspect" in an interagency leak investigation, as we reported back in July
Three sources, with knowledge of the investigation, told Circa that Baker is the top suspect in an ongoing leak investigation, but Circa has not been able to confirm the details of what national security information or material was allegedly leaked.
A federal law enforcement official with knowledge of ongoing internal investigations in the bureau told Circa, "the bureau is scouring for leakers and there's been a lot of investigations."
The revelation comes as the Trump administration has ramped up efforts to contain leaks both within the White House and within its own national security apparatus.
The news of the staff shakeup comes as Trump and his political allies have promised to "rebuild" the FBI to make it "bigger and better than ever" following its "disgraceful" conduct over the Trump probe . Baker played a key role in the agency's handling of major cases and policy debates in recent years, including the FBI's unsuccessful battle with Apple over the growing use of encryption in cellphones.
CuttingEdge -> wmbz , Dec 22, 2017 9:41 AMJoe Davola -> ne-tiger , Dec 22, 2017 10:11 AM
Getting a bit tired of this "one of the most trusted, longest-serving et al" shite they troll out for every one of these vermin.
They said Comey was honourable...
And so many more...Abaco -> wmbz , Dec 22, 2017 2:02 PM
And the DOJ attorney who was in the meetings with Ohr needs to be looked at also. From my post a week ago:
who's husband was on the NSC
and as the article states, the husband is going to be working again with a guy who just so happened to be:
Prior to assuming his role in the NSD, Mr. Carlin served as Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel to Robert S. Mueller, III, former
Wondering if Newmann's name would be found on some unmasking requests or he's gotten some texts from Strok/Page.
Just like Clapper admitting to perjuring himself before congress and he is brought on TV to comment as if he is a decent person instead of being thrown in prison like anyone else would be.
Dec 21, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Though WaPo's Josh Rogin characterizes the decision as intended to appease hawks while seeking to avoid broader conflict escalation based on "limited arms sales" (and not approving some of the heavier weaponry sought by Kiev), the move is likely to further ratchet up tensions with Russia, which is ironic for the fact that the decision comes the same week that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be handling Trump like "an asset".
Or perhaps we will be assured this is just more 4-dimensional chess playing between Trump and Putin to prove that not Putin but the Military Industrial Complex is once again "unexpectedly" in charge?
Dec 21, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com
17 December 2017 HARPER: WHY ISN'T JAMES CLAPPER BEHIND BARS? One of the biggest failures of the United States Congress, IMHO, has been the refusal to hold Executive Branch officials accountable when they lie to Congress on vital matters of national security. And no case angers me more than that of James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence under President Barack Obama, who held a series of high-level intelligence positions during his long career as an Air Force officer.
Clapper, during his tenure as DNI, lied to Congress when directly asked if the intelligence community was spying on millions of innocent American citizens. His lies were exposed with the release of the Edward Snowden documents. While several individual Members of Congress called for his resignation and a few even dared to demand his prosecution for contempt of Congress, nothing happened.
More recently, Clapper again lied to Congress, in claiming that the intelligence community findings about Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections were compiled by all 17 member agencies. In later testimony in May 2017, he belatedly admitted that the report was compiled by the FBI, the CIA and the NSA, and that the authors had been hand-picked to conduct the study. According to Robert Parry in Consortium News, one of the FBI agents who participated in the study was Peter Strzok, a Trump-hater and Hillary Clinton partisan who was fired by Robert Mueller last July after an investigation by the Department of Justice Inspector General revealed his biases.
I recall comments over the years by Col. Lang about his personal experiences with Clapper while at the DIA in the early 1990s. I am interested in Col. Lang's and others' comments and observations.
blowback , 17 December 2017 at 06:11 PMAll Clapper's actions may have been for nothing - the Trump-Putin Love In is on a roll:voislav , 17 December 2017 at 06:33 PM
Putin thanked Trump for CIA tip-off which helped Russia prevent terror attack
Trump to Putin: US was glad to save many lives in Russia by helping foil major terrorist attack|
https://www.rt.com/usa/413471-trump-russia-foil-terror/Huckleberry , 17 December 2017 at 07:35 PM
There has been a trend in the recent presidential administrations (Clinton, Bush II, Obama) to use highly suspect legal interpretations to evade legal restrictions imposed by laws. Clapper is by no means an isolated example, he is just more visible.
Using Clapper as an example, he defended his lying by saying that he gave a truthful (or the least untruthful) answer according to his definition of "collection of data". According to him, collection of data meant that the data was actively examined by the intelligence personnel, not just passively collected and stored for later use. So, in his view, data is only being "collected" if it's actively used and to the best of his knowledge, there was no illegal use of the data .
Clapper's defence is predicated on allowing that such redefinition of a common term like collection is reasonable and therefore there was no intent to deceive. I am sure he had a similar reasoning for what "compiled" means in the context of the 17 agency report.
Similarly, Bush administration famously decided to redefine torture to exclude enhanced interrogation techniques. Obama administration redefined "imminent threat of violent attack" to mean any threat for purposes of assassinating American citizens. Obama also changed the meaning of "military coup" to mean "only those military coups that are recognized as such by the administration". None of these act have been challenged in court, so their legality is still quite dubious .
This weaseling removes the effective checks on the executive power. Clapper is just an example in a larger pattern by the recent administration officials of using similar or even more brazen techniques to evade their legal responsibilities. This situation is bound to escalate until the judiciary and the courts put a stop to it by prosecuting such behaviour. The problem is that there is little incentive for a new administration to prosecute such behaviour by past administrations as they like the expanded executive power themselves and have historically had no interest in restricting it.Because we are ruled by an alien elite through a constellation of unaccountable institutions protected by a collection of corrupt and completely interchangeable officeholders who supposedly represent the interests of an obese, drug-addled and digitally-distracted mob of useless eaters.The Porkchop Express , 17 December 2017 at 07:56 PM
And because too many of the best among of us have been shamed into silence and inaction through a series of blood libels (slavery, genocide, patriarchy) that have been used to condition our children into hating themselves, their parents and their civilization.I've only ever heard rumors about Clapper but it dovetails with the Colonel's and others' previous descriptions: an inveterate liar and ass-kissing social climber. The optics remain terrible. It does nothing but further the perception that, whether right or wrong, there exists a two-tiered system of justice in the US.MRW , 18 December 2017 at 12:13 AM
Draw a penis in the sky with a fighter jet and you will be held accountable.
Lie to the public about mass surveillance and there's a cushy board position along with image rehabilitation in store for you.
A bit of hyperbole but, still, there's about a million other examples like this from the last two decades or so. Not just in government, either. Media, Business, Entertainment, Education, etc... Elites/Borg will be facing a reckoning sooner or later if there isn't any modification in behavior, or at the very least the perception of a modification of their behavior.blue peacock , 18 December 2017 at 01:46 AMI recall comments over the years by Col. Lang about his personal experiences with Clapper while at the DIA in the early 1990s. I am interested in Col. Lang's and others' comments and observations.I'm interested in them as well. Just to enjoy what this sonofabitch thought he was getting away with, because every time he talked (on TV in public like the grand poobah he pretended he was) he acted as if he were telling us the truth and was derisive in his comments.
I never bought a goddam thing this oily SOB came up with.Divadab , 18 December 2017 at 07:05 AM"HARPER: WHY ISN'T JAMES CLAPPER BEHIND BARS?"
Good question. Any ideas why?Why should we expect people who lie as a default position to care if their man Clapper lies to them? They consider hearings, speeches, etc. to be public theatre to gull the masses and Clapper a particularly avuncular actor in the show. The proles like that folksy aw shucks Clapper persona.turcopolier , 18 December 2017 at 09:20 AM
The people who will 'get' Clapper are certainly not elected officials, imho.Pork ChopBill H , 18 December 2017 at 10:11 AM
"an inveterate liar and ass-kissing social climber." SWMBO says that "incompetent" should be added to your encomium. I have "form" with this fellow. I found him to be very insecure, jealous and envious of his subordinates (sigh), and afflicted with a strange animosity for anyone who could possibly be called a WASP.
Nevertheless my main complaint about him from the long ago is that he destroyed DIA as a world class strategic intelligence agency. He came from USAF with a deep disdain for anything that was not air targeting and files about air defense weapons. He drove the carefully educated and selected corps of ME analysts out of the agency. At the end of the first Gulf War DIA's analysis "bestrode the world." It was the gold standard. He destroyed that. plLying to Congress is not something that Congress or the DOJ actually cares about because the hearings are a places where speeches are made by Congresscritters and the questions are merely the hooks upon which the speeches are hung .Babak Makkinejad , 18 December 2017 at 11:26 AM
No one listens to or cares about the answers except insofar as a careless answer can be used to impale the answerer, such as publicly impaling a general for using the wrong honorific in calling the Senator "Ma'am" instead of by the title that she "worked very hard for many years to earn."
It can, of course, be used more harshly to severely punish an out of favor minion for crimes about which the "deep state" actors actually do care but which are not on any law books, such as not adequately promoting the official story line.Harper:The Twisted Genius , 18 December 2017 at 11:27 AM
Your complaint could be equally made about UK government or the French government.
I mean, after all the detailed analysis that David Habakkuk has supplied on this forum in regards to both the murder of Litivenk as well as the Steel Dossier, why aren't any heads rolling in the United Kingdom (or does none need the Privy Council to step in to cleanup that mess?).
Indeed, the gravity of the latter, being nothing less than enabling the mouthing a soft coup in the United States, thus potentially destabilizing a linchpin of global security, resulting in the deaths of perhaps millions, would warrant, in my opinion, the merciless application of Hara kiri to all those involved.
Yet nothing has happened.Harper,Patrick Armstrong -> blue peacock... , 18 December 2017 at 11:38 AM
Clapper never made the 17 intel agencies claim. That was Clinton and a lot of MSM types. The report itself was very clear on who produced it.
"This report includes an analytic assessment drafted and coordinated among The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI ), and The National Security Agency (NSA), which draws on intelligence information collected and disseminated by those three agencies."
Clapper is as Colonel Lang describes him. My only run in with him was when he tried to "reorganize" Defense HUMINT in an attempt to weasel his way back into a government position. The effort was pretty damned transparent to me. And his bold-faced lie about not spying on US citizens was exceedingly stupid and duplicitous. He was told this question would be asked before the testimony and he still managed to royally screw the pooch.Plan A: Because President Clinton and the compliant media would cover for him.TV , 18 December 2017 at 11:53 AM
Plan B: Because we'll get President Trump out and the compliant media will cover for him.
Plan C.....Clapper is a swamp creature. When did the swamp start indicting it's loyal minions? Dems, Republicans, Intel. Community, lobbyists, bureaucracy - all facing a common threat; Trump and the "deplorables."ex-PFC Chuck said in reply to turcopolier ... , 18 December 2017 at 12:05 PMPerhaps it's an instance of injelititis, as first described by C. Northcote Parkinson in Parkinson's Law and Other Studies in Administration: Incompetence and jealousy interacting to reinforce each other according to the formula I squared times J cubed.Sid Finster , 18 December 2017 at 01:48 PM
The criminal laws in this country are sufficiently broad and deep in scope that an aggressive prosecutor can always find an excuse to bring charges against anyone, especially if the target is involved in high level business or politics. Google "three felonies a day" if you need more detail.LeaNder said in reply to The Twisted Genius ... , 18 December 2017 at 02:15 PM
This is entirely intentional. Those whom the establishment wants punished are punished, and those whom the establishment does not want punished are not punished (but can be, should they stray into the first category).
This is not to suggest that a shadowy cabal of 1%ers get together and hold a secret email vote as to who gets voted off the island, so to speak. Rather, the average prosecutor is a glorified politician, and like other politicians, prosecutors are acutely sensitive to establishment concerns.
HRC provides a instructive example. It is abundantly obvious that she violated the law; the fact that Comey was forced to misstate the law regarding specific intent* as known to every first year law student merely shows that he was trying desperately seeking a way not to bring charges. They didn't even bother trying to question The Queen so as to ensure that Her Majesty did not perjure herself or lie to investigators and thus force them to deliver another rationale not to bring charges.
However, had charges been brought against HRC, the Great and Good of this country would have thrown a collective hissy fit, a cri du coeur of "You can't do that! Don't you know who she is?" so to speak.
*specific intent refers to the intent to commit a crime, rather than the intent to do the act complained of. If you are accused of theft, the prosecutor need only show that you take property, knowing that the property was not yours, not that you knew that doing so was "theft" or otherwise illegal.
I actually called a former prosecutor that I know to determine whether I recalled the principle correctly, and he conceded that I did.That's how I recall it too, TTG. Surfaced for me in one of the much watched election campaign debates as a claim by Clinton. ...Emad , 18 December 2017 at 02:48 PM
But generally I am very, very much with Mrs Lang: "SWMBO says that 'incompetent' should be added to your encomium.!"
As I recall it was the most disconcerting statement for me the outsider at the time. On the other hand I cannot remember it drew much attention here in the post debate discussions. Only gained momentum as focus of attention later.
But I am still undecided, if I should consider it a deliberately misleading, manipulating statement chosen to score a debate point. Or if it simply showed her incompetence.
Anyway: a complete consent within 17 agencies sounded definitively more like a information dictatorship. Never mind there was a DNI.Harper,J , 18 December 2017 at 07:07 PM
"Why isn't James Clapper behind bars?" isn't the right question. That ship's long sailed and isn't coming back i.e. one justice systems for ordinary people, another for the indispensable is well ingrained into the fabric of the U.S. polity.
The right question is what the plebs can do about it, knowing that "official" accountability is all but dead.Looks like Finnish government is eager to put a thumb in their apparent Intelligence leaking dam. Finland's Largest Newspaper Faces Treason Charges For Publishing Leaked Files On Spy Ops Targeting RussiaMark Logan , 18 December 2017 at 07:14 PM
Harper,The Porkchop Express -> turcopolier ... , 18 December 2017 at 08:13 PM
On the lying to Congress over the data collection, I will opine the reason for the lack of prosecution: It's because the laws passed by Congress specifically approve the data gathering, laws passed after 9/11, signed by George W Bush, who proudly proclaimed "we intent to get everything" in reference to date in his first SOTU address to standing applause.
An effort to prosecute Clapper for lying about what they themselves have no excuse not to be aware of could backfire rather badly on Congress. The legal can of worms for Justice in pursuing such prosecution would be impressive as well.
Congress passed these laws and lacks the stones to retract them. And We The People refuse to punish them for it. I have no liking of Clapper...but I believe if we prosecute him while not changing those laws, laws which clearly state the government has the legal power to collect this data, We The People would be hypocrites.ColonelMax said in reply to turcopolier ... , 18 December 2017 at 10:14 PM
You have "form"? I'm not familiar with that expression. Out of curiosity, what does it mean precisely?I remember those midnight telephone calls.Crosley Bendix , 18 December 2017 at 10:14 PMOn the other hand, he is the only prominent government figure to let us know about the Russian threat to our pure American Reich:blue peacock , 19 December 2017 at 02:51 AM
http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/ss-oberfuhrer-james-clapper-subhuman-russians-genetically-driven-meddle-us-democracyDavid Stockman on Russiagate. It seems he is speaking for a lot of people who are beginning to ask what is really going in Washington DC. Do we have a case of national security institutions run amok?turcopolier -> Max... , 19 December 2017 at 07:54 AM
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-18/russiagate-witch-hunt-stockman-names-names-deep-states-insurance-policyThere was a sinister plot to meddle in the 2016 election, after all. But it was not orchestrated from the Kremlin; it was an entirely homegrown affair conducted from the inner sanctums---the White House, DOJ, the Hoover Building and Langley----of the Imperial City.
Likewise, the perpetrators didn't speak Russian or write in the Cyrillic script. In fact, they were lifetime beltway insiders occupying the highest positions of power in the US government.
Here are the names and rank of the principal conspirators: John Brennan, CIA director; Susan Rice, National Security Advisor; Samantha Power, UN Ambassador; James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence; James Comey, FBI director; Andrew McCabe, Deputy FBI director; Sally Yates, deputy Attorney General, Bruce Ohr, associate deputy AG; Peter Strzok, deputy assistant director of FBI counterintelligence; Lisa Page, FBI lawyer; and countless other lessor and greater poobahs of Washington power, including President Obama himself.MaxWagenfeld Russ , 19 December 2017 at 08:16 AM
Good to see you here old friend. plMax,turcopolier , 19 December 2017 at 08:33 AM
It is indeed good to see you here.
Russold DIAersturcopolier , 19 December 2017 at 09:07 AM
The "best" thing he ever said to me was that I reminded him of his father. That, obviously, was not a compliment. plPorkchopThe Porkchop Express -> turcopolier ... , 19 December 2017 at 10:20 AM
British cop show talk. Means "a record" in americanspeak. plDuly noted, thanks.robt willmann , 19 December 2017 at 12:19 PMThe problem of lying before Congress points up the two parts of the issue: 1) the law, and 2) the process, procedure, people, and organizations (PPPO) through which the law is applied and enforced.Robert said in reply to J ... , 19 December 2017 at 02:06 PM
Unfortunately, even if "the law" is carefully and precisely worded, the PPPO can make it meaningless and worthless.
Since a Congressional hearing is a federal proceeding and is on federal property, the federal criminal law applies. As far as perjury and its sister -- obstruction of justice -- are concerned, here are two papers from the Congressional Research Service you can read to get a good understanding of the federal law in this area.
The first one is "Perjury Under Federal Law: A Brief Overview", from 2014, and is 21 pages--
The second one basically includes the article on perjury. It is entitled "Obstruction of Justice: An Overview of Some of the Federal Statutes That Prohibit Interference with Judicial, Executive, or Legislative Activities", and is also from 2014 by the same author. It covers areas in addition to perjury, is comprehensive, and is 89 pages--
Who is responsible to investigate, file charges, and prosecute perjury, obstruction of justice, and other legal violations before Congress? The short and slightly general answer is the Department that Calls Itself Justice.
In any consideration of people who hold themselves out as being from the "intelligence" community who may be observed tap dancing before Congress, names such as former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden, former NSA director Keith Alexander, and John O. Brennan could well be in the mix.
For example, here is a little video of U.S. Representative Henry "Hank" Johnson (Dem. Georgia) back in 2012 asking Keith Alexander a few basic questions. This bit of testimony could be a funny parody and comedy sketch, were it not so real and outrageous--
If you are getting your information from ZeroHedge you should take the time to learn more about its history and who owns the domain and site.Richardstevenhack -> Robert... , 19 December 2017 at 02:06 PM
And here http://streetwiseprofessor.com/?p=5728I slogged through the seven pages of the NY Mag piece and find it to be the standard "he said, she said" hit piece which slaps mocking statements in between alleged facts to basically declare the whole subject unworthy of anyone's time because it's all "conspiracy theory".
In short, it's crap. Don't bother reading it.
Dec 18, 2017 | thehill.com
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be handling President Trump Donald John Trump House Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for 'serious case of amnesia' after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don't want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE like "an asset."
"I think this past weekend is illustrative of what a great case officer Vladimir Putin is. He knows how to handle an asset, and that's what he's doing with the president," Clapper said on CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper," clarifying that he means this "figuratively."
Clapper took aim at the news that Putin called Trump on Sunday to thank him and the CIA for sharing information that helped prevent a terrorist attack in St. Petersburg, describing the move as a "rather theatric gesture."
He said the U.S. and Russia have shared such intelligence "for a long time" and it seemed over the top for Putin to call Trump " for something that goes on below the radar and is not all that visible."
The former intelligence chief said Putin likely learned to recruit assets to help with his interests when he served as an officer in the KBG, which was the Soviet Union's main security agency.
"You have to remember Putin's background. He's a KGB officer, that's what they do. They recruit assets. And I think some of that experience and instincts of Putin has come into play here in his managing of a pretty important account for him, if I could use that term, with our president," he continued.
The remarks come after Trump said the U.S. is in competition with "revisionist" powers like Russia and China in a policy release about national security, while also stating in a speech that he wants to form a "great partnership" with them. Clapper said he found the message to be contradictory.
He also pointed to his previous experiences of trying to share intelligence with the Kremlin, stemming back to the early 1990s, describing the attempts as a "one-way street."
Clapper's remarks on CNN come after he and over a dozen other former national security, intelligence and foreign policy officials filed an amicus brief in a lawsuit earlier this month against the Trump campaign and Republican operative Roger Stone. The brief details how Russia uses "active measures" and "actors" to spread disinformation and influence politics worldwide. "These actors include political organizers and activists, academics, journalists, web operators, shell companies, nationalists and militant groups, and prominent pro-Russian businessmen," the brief reads.
"They range from the unwitting accomplice who is manipulated to act in what he believes is his best interest, to the ideological or economic ally who broadly shares Russian interests, to the knowing agent of influence who is recruited or coerced to directly advance Russian operations and objectives," it continues.
Mar 23, 2017 |fresno dan March 22, 2017 at 6:56 pmcraazyboy March 22, 2017 at 8:45 pm
So I see where Nunes in a ZeroHedge posting says that there might have been "incidental surveillance" of "Trump" (?Trump associates? ?Trump tower? ?Trump campaign?)
Now to the average NC reader, it kinda goes without saying. But I don't think Trump understands the scope of US government "surveillance" and I don't think the average citizen, certainly not the average Trump supporter, does either – the nuances and subtleties of it – the supposed "safeguards".
I can understand the rationale for it .but this goes to show that when you give people an opportunity to use secret information for their own purposes .they will use secret information for their own purposes.
And at some point, the fact of the matter that the law regarding the "incidental" leaking appears to have been broken, and that this leaking IMHO was purposefully broken for political purposes .is going to come to the fore. Like bringing up "fake news" – some of these people on the anti Trump side seem not just incapable of playing 11th dimensional chess, they seem incapable of winning tic tac toe .
Was Obama behind it? I doubt it and I don't think it would be provable. But it seems like the intelligence agencies are spending more time monitoring repubs than Al queda. Now maybe repubs are worse than Al queda – I think its time we have a real debate instead of the pseudo debates and start asking how useful the CIA is REALLY. (and we can ask how useful repubs and dems are too)Irredeemable Deplorable March 23, 2017 at 2:57 am
If Obama taped the information, stuffed the tape in one of Michelle's shoeboxes, then hid the shoebox in the Whitehouse basement, he could be in trouble. Ivanka is sure to search any shoeboxes she finds.Lambert Strether Post author March 23, 2017 at 4:08 am
Oh the Trump supporters are all over this, don't worry. There are many more levels to what is going on than what is reported in the fakenews MSM.
Adm Roger of NSA made his November visit to Trump Tower, after a SCIF was installed there, to .be interviewed for a job uh-huh yeah.
Freedom Watch lawyer Larry Klayman has a whistle-blower who has stated on the record, publicly, he has 47 hard drives with over 600,000,00 pages of secret CIA documents that detail all the domestic spying operations, and likely much much more.
The rabbit hole goes very deep here. Attorney Klayman has stated he has been trying to out this for 2 years, and was stonewalled by swamp creatures, so he threatened to go public this week. Several very interesting videos, and a public letter, are out there, detailing all this. Nunes very likely saw his own conversations transcripted from surveillance taken at Trump Tower (he was part of the transition team), and realized the jig was up. Melania has moved out of Trump Tower to stay elsewhere, I am sure after finding out that many people in Washington where watching them at home in their private residence, whichi is also why Pres Trump sent out those famous angry tweets 2 weeks ago. Democrats on the Committee (and many others) are liars, and very possibly traitors, which is probably why Nunes neglected to inform them. Nunes did follow proper procedures, notifying Ryan first etc, you can ignore the MSM bluster there ..observe Nunes body language in the 2 videos of his dual press briefings he gave today, he appears shocked, angry, disturbed etc.
You all should be happy, because although Pres Trump has been vindicated here on all counts, the more important story for you is that the old line Democratic Party looks about to sink under the wieght of thier own lies and illegalities. This all stems from Obama's Jan 16 signing of the order broadening "co-operation" between the NSA and everybody else in Washington, so that mid-level analysts at almost any agency could now look at raw NSA intercepts, that is where all the "leaks" and "unmasking" are coming from.
AG Lynch, Obama, and countless others knew, or should have known, all about this, but I am sure they will play the usual "I was too stupid too know what was going on in my own organization" card.
> Was Obama behind it? I doubt it and I don't think it would be provable
I think he knew about it. After fulminating about weedy technicalities, let me just say that Obama's EO12333 expansion made sure that whatever anti-Trump information got picked up by the intelligence community could be spread widely, and would be hard to trace back to an individual source .
Dec 19, 2013 | thehill.com
Sen. Rand Paul Randal (Rand) Howard Paul Lexington mayor launches bid for Congress Trump-free Kennedy Center Honors avoids politics Meet the Iran hawk who could be Trump's next secretary of State MORE (R-Ky.) on Wednesday called on Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to resign his post.
Paul also floated the idea of prosecuting Clapper for perjury.
Paul said Clapper's misleading testimony to a Senate panel earlier this year about a National Security Agency program that collected phone records has hurt the United States far worse than anything leaker Edward Snowden has done."I find really that Clapper is lying to Congress is probably more injurious to our intelligent capabilities than anything Snowden did because Clapper has damaged the credibility of the entire intelligence apparatus, and I'm not sure what to believe anymore when they come to Congress," Paul said in an interview with CNN.
Paul has been consistently critical of Clapper and the surveillance program since its public disclosure this year.
During a hearing in March, Clapper said the NSA does not "wittingly" collect bulk information on all Americans. After Snowden leaked a trove of NSA documents, it was revealed that the agency collects metadata from all U.S. phones. Clapper has since apologized for the statement .
" And I really think that in order to restore confidence in our intelligence community, I think James Clapper should resign," Paul said .
When asked if the Justice Department should file criminal charges against Clapper, Paul said that if they do not, "you're just encouraging people to lie to us."
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), ranking member of the Intelligence Committee, said Clapper was put in a tough spot in an open hearing, but he should not resign.
"I don't think he should," Chambliss said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "I've known Jim Clapper for years and years. He is a man of integrity, and he has done a good job."
Paul said both Clapper and Snowden have broken the law, but suggested that Snowden could be considered a whistle-blower since a judge ruled earlier this week that the collection program appeared to be unconstitutional.
"But at the same time, there is some question whether or not you can be a whistle-blower in our society, and whether you can release information that you think that the government is breaking the law, and that is the argument here, and now it's been upheld by a federal court saying that the government is breaking the law," he said.
Paul said the report released Wednesday by a group of advisers to President Obama recommending curbs to the NSA is an acknowledgement that the agency needs to be reined in .
"I think even the president's own team now is coming up with recommendations that acknowledge that the president has allowed this to get away from himself," Paul said.
Apr 03, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
im1dc , April 03, 2017 at 04:50 PMPutin paid Millions of Rubles to get his puppet into office and keep Hillary Clinton out
Do you really believe he will sit back and do nothing now that he's been discovered
"How Russian Twitter Bots Pumped Out Fake News During The 2016 Election"
'Heard on All Things Considered' by Gabe O'Connor & Avie Schneider...April 3, 2017...4:53 PM ET
"When he testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week, former FBI agent Clint Watts described how Russians used armies of Twitter bots to spread fake news using accounts that seem to be Midwestern swing-voter Republicans.
"So that way whenever you're trying to socially engineer them and convince them that the information is true, it's much more simple because you see somebody and they look exactly like you, even down to the pictures," Watts told the panel, which is investigating Russia's role in interfering in the U.S. elections.
In an interview Monday with NPR's Kelly McEvers, Watts, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, says the Russian misinformation campaign didn't stop with the election of President Trump.
"If you went online today, you could see these accounts -- either bots or actual personas somewhere -- that are trying to connect with the administration. They might broadcast stories and then follow up with another tweet that tries to gain the president's attention, or they'll try and answer the tweets that the president puts out," Watts says.
Watts, a cybersecurity expert, says he's been tracking this sort of activity by the Russians for more than three years.
"It's a circular system. Sometimes the propaganda outlets themselves will put out false or manipulated stories. Other times, the president will go with a conspiracy."
One example, he says, is Trump's claim that he was wiretapped at Trump Tower by the Obama administration. "When they do that, they'll then respond to the wiretapping claim with further conspiracy theories about that claim and that just amplifies the message in the ecosystem," Watts says.
"Every time a conspiracy is floated from the administration, it provides every outlet around the world, in fact, an opportunity to amplify that conspiracy and to add more manipulated truths or falsehoods onto it."
Watts says the effort is being conducted by a "very diffuse network." It involves competing efforts "even amongst hackers between different parts of Russian intelligence and propagandists -- all with general guidelines about what to pursue, but doing it at different times and paces and rhythms."
The White House has blamed Democrats for the allegations of Russian interference in the U.S. election, saying the theory is a way to shift the blame for their election loss.
But Watts says "it's way bigger" than that. "What was being done by nation-states in the social media influence landscape was so much more significant than the other things that were being talked about," including the Islamic State's use of social media to recruit followers, he says."
Dec 19, 2017 | www.dcstatesman.com
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein refused to say on Wednesday in front of the House Judiciary Committee, whether the FBI paid for the infamous Trump dossier, reports The Daily Caller . He would neither confirm nor deny the FBI's involvement in the now-disproved dossier that started the whole Russian collusion investigation against President Trump.
Rosenstein, who was grilled by the House Judiciary Committee, suggested that he knew the answer to the question, which was posed by Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis.
"Did the FBI pay for the dossier?" DeSantis asked.
"I'm not in a position to answer that question," Rosenstein responded.
"Do you know the answer to the question?" the Republican DeSantis followed up.
"I believe I know the answer, but the Intelligence Committee is the appropriate committee " Rosenstein began.
DeSantis interjected to assert that the Judiciary panel has "every right to the information" about payments for the dossier. The Russian dossier, which was written by British spy Christopher Steele and commissioned to do so by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee, has been the starting point to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 election.
Congressional Republicans have long been suspicious of the dossier and now that it was discovered who funded, now Republicans are questioning whether the Justice Department and FBI are involved in it as well.
"'According to some reports published earlier this year, Steele and the FBI struck an informal agreement that he would be paid to continue his investigation into Trump's ties to Russia. It has been reported that Steele was never paid for his work, though the FBI and DOJ have not publicly disclosed those details,' reports The Daily Caller."
CNN had reported earlier this year that Steel was already compensated for some expenses from his work investigating Trump and trying to dig up any dirt he could on the president.
The Deputy Attorney General told the House Judiciary Committee that he saw no good cause to fire Mueller from conducting the investigation, but many Republicans believe the whole investigation is now wrapped up in too many overlapping conflicts of interest
Dec 18, 2017 | www.yahoo.com
Conway appeared on Jesse Watters program, Watters' World, to talk about the newly revealed content of text messages sent between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
When asked what she thought they meant when they said "they need to protect America from Trump and need to have an insurance policy against his presidency," Conway tore into the investigation's credibility.
Trending: Trump and Putin Keep Calling Each Other for Praise, Discuss North Korea and Terrorism
"The fix was in against Donald Trump from the beginning, and they were pro-Hillary. We understand that people have political views but they are expressing theirs with such animus and such venom towards the now president of the United States they can't possibly be seen as objective or transparent or even-handed or fair," she said.
As she spoke, the banner below Conway and Watters screamed "A COUP IN AMERICA?"
Watters proceeded to ask "how dangerous" Conway thought it was that people were "plotting what appears to be some sort of subversion campaign" against Trump.
"It's toxic, it's lethal, and it may be fatal to the continuation of people arguing that that matter is since behind us, he won he's the president, and the Mueller investigation is something separate," she answered.
Conway then slammed critics for defending the integrity of the probe by alleging that Trump is against the FBI, repeating the claim that he isn't under investigation, "we're told."
Released on Tuesday, Strzok and Page's messages referred to Trump as an "idiot" and "douche. At one point, Strzok told Page he was considering "an insurance policy" if Trump were elected. Page had also told Strzok that maybe he was meant to "protect the country from that menace," according to records reviewed by Politico.
Watters assessed the texts as evidence of a coup, or sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from the government, in America.
"The investigation into Donald Trump's campaign has been crooked from the jump. But the scary part is we may now have proof the investigation was weaponized to destroy his presidency for partisan political purposes and to disenfranchise millions of American voters. Now, if that's true, we have a coup on our hands in America," he said.
Dec 18, 2017 | russia-insider.com
"The two (Trump and Clinton) cannot greet one another on stage, cannot say goodbye to one another at the end. They barely can get out the texts that have been prepared for them by their respective staffs. Repeating on stage what one may have said in the locker room."
"Billions of people around the world conclude with one word: Disgrace!"
- Vladimir Zhirinovsky - prominent Russian politician, leader of a major party in parliament.
The American public is now experiencing mass paranoia that is called Russia-gate. Obnoxious and dangerous as this officially encouraged madness may be, it is, alas, nothing new. As from 9/11, the same kind of group hypnosis was administered from the Nation's Capital on the body politic to serve the then agenda of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, turning back civil liberties that had accrued over generations without so much as a whimper from Congress, our political elites and the country at large.
This time the generalized paranoia started under the nominally left of center administration of Barack Obama in the closing months of his presidency. It has been fanned ever since by the centrists in both Democratic and Republican parties who want to either remove from office or politically cripple Donald Trump and his administration, that is to say, to overturn the results at the ballot box on November 8, 2016.
Foreign policy issues are instrumentalized for domestic political objectives. In 2001 it was the threat of Islamist terrorists in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world attacking the American homeland. Today it is the alleged manipulation of our open political system by our enemies in the Kremlin.
Americans are wont to forget that there is a world outside the borders of the USA and that others follow closely what is said and written in our media, especially by our political leadership and policy elites. They forget or do not care how the accusations and threats we direct at other countries in our domestic political squabbling, and still more the sanctions we impose on our ever changing list of authoritarians and other real or imagined enemies abroad might be interpreted there and what preparations or actions might be taken by those same enemies in self-defense, threatening not merely American interests but America's physical survival.
In no case is this more relevant than with respect to Russia, which, I remind readers, is the only country on earth capable of turning the entire Continental United States into ashes within a day. In point of fact, if Russia has prepared itself for war, as the latest issue of Newsweek magazine tells us, we have no one but our political leadership to blame for that state of affairs. They are tone deaf to what is said in Russia. We have no concern for Russian national interests and "red lines" as the Russians themselves define them. Our Senators and Congressmen listen only to what our home grown pundits and academics think the Russian interests should be if they are to fit in a world run by us. That is why the Senate can vote 98-2 in favor of making the sanctions against Russia laid down by executive order of Barack Obama into sanctions under federal legislation as happened this past summer.
There is in the United States a significant minority of journalists and experts who have been setting out the facts on why the Russia-gate story is deeply flawed if not a fabrication from the get-go. In this small but authoritative and responsible field, Consortium News stands out for its courage and dogged fact-checking and logic-checks. Others on the side of the angels include TruthDig.com and Antiwar.com .
The Russia-gate story has permutated over time as one or another element of the investigation into Donald Trump's alleged collusion with the Kremlin has become more or less promising. But the core issue has always been the allegation of Russian hacking of DNC computers on July 5, 2016 and the hand-over of thousands of compromising documents to Wikileaks for the purpose of discrediting putative Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and throwing the election to Donald Trump, who had at that time nearly clinched the Republican nomination.
Perhaps the most significant challenge to the official US intelligence story of Russian hacking released on January 6, 2017 was the forensic evidence assembled by a group of former intelligence officers with relevant technical expertise known as VIPS (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity). Their work, arguing that the attack on the DNC computers was an inside job by someone with access to the hardware rather than a remote operation by persons outside the Democratic Party hierarchy and possibly outside the United States, was published in Consortium News ("Intel Vets Challenge 'Russia Hack' Evidence") on July 24, 2017.
The VIPS material was largely ignored by mainstream media, as might be expected. An editorial entitled "The unchecked threat from Russia" published by The Washington Post yesterday is a prime example of how our media bosses continue to whip up public fury against collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin even when, by their own admission, "no conclusive proof has surfaced."
The VIPS piece last July was based on the laws of physics, demonstrating that speed limitations on transfer of data over the internet at the time when the crime is alleged to have taken place rendered impossible the CIA, NSA and FBI scenario of Russian hacking In what follows, I will introduce a very different type of evidence challenging the official US intelligence story of Russian hacking and meddling in general, what I would call circumstantial evidence that goes to the core issue of what the Kremlin really wanted. Let us consider whether Mr. Putin had a motive to put his thumb on the scales in the American presidential election.
In the U.S., that is a slam-dunk question. But that comes from our talking to ourselves in the mirror. My evidence comes precisely from the other side of the issue: what the Kremlin elites were saying about the US elections and their preferred candidate to win while the campaign was still going on. I present it on a privileged basis because it is what I gathered on my several visits to Moscow and talks with a variety of insiders close to Vladimir Putin from September through the start of November, 2016. Moreover, there is no tampering with this evidence on my part, because the key elements were published at the time I gathered them, well before the US election. They appeared as incidental observations in lengthy essays dealing with a number of subjects and would not have attracted the attention they merit today.
* * * *
Political talk shows are a very popular component of Russian television programming on all channels, both state-run and commercial channels. They are mostly carried on prime time in the evening but also are showing in mid-afternoon, where they have displaced soap operas and cooking lessons as entertainment for housewives and pensioners. They are broadcast live either to the Moscow time zone or to the Far East time zone. Given the fact that Russia extends over 9 time zones, they are also video recorded and reshown locally at prime time. In the case of the highest quality and most watched programs produced by Vesti 24 for the Rossiya One channel, they also are posted in their entirety and in the original Russian on youtube, and they are accessible worldwide by anyone with a computer or tablet phone using a downloadable free app.
I underline the importance of accessibility of these programs globally via live streaming or podcasts on simple handheld gadgets. Russian speaking professionals in the States had every opportunity to observe much of what I report below, except, of course, for my private conversations with producers and panelists. But the gist of the mood in Moscow with respect to the US elections was accessible to anyone with an interest. As you know, no one reported on it at the time. American media simply were not interested in knowing what Russians were thinking since that might get in the way of their construction of what Russians should be thinking.
The panelists appearing on these different channels come from a rather small pool of Russian legislators, including chairmen of the relevant committees of the Duma (lower house) and Federation Council (upper house), leading journalists, think tank professors, retired military brass. The politicians are drawn from among the most visible and colorful personalities in the Duma parties, but also extend to Liberal parties such as Yabloko, which failed to cross the threshold of 5% in legislative elections and received no seats in parliament.
Then there are very often a number of foreigners among panelists. In the past and at the present, they are typically known for anti-Kremlin positions and so give the predominantly patriotic Russian panelists an opportunity to cross swords, send off sparks and keep the audience awake. These hostile foreigners coming from Ukraine or Poland are Russian speakers from their childhood. The Americans or Israelis who appear are generally former Soviet citizens who emigrated, whether before or after the fall of Communism, and speak native Russian.
"Freshness" is an especially valued commodity in this case, because there is a considerable overlap in the names and faces appearing on these talks whatever the channel. For this there is an objective reason: nearly all the Russian and even foreign guests live in Moscow and are available to be invited or disinvited on short notice given that these talk programs can change their programming if there is breaking news about which their audiences will want to hear commentary. In my own case, I was flown in especially by the various channels who paid airfare and hotel accommodation in Moscow as necessary on the condition that I appear only on their shows during my stay in the city. That is to say, my expenses were covered but there was no honorarium. I make this explicit to rebut in advance any notion that I/we outside panelists were in any way "paid by the Kremlin" or restricted in our freedom of speech on air.
During the period under review, I appeared on both state channels, Rossiya-1 and Pervy Kanal, as well as on the major commercial television channel, NTV. The dates and venues of my participation in these talk shows are as follows:
- September 11 – Sunday Evening with Vladimir Soloviev, Rossiya 1
- September 26 - Sixty Minutes with Yevgeni Popov and Olga Skabeyeva, Rossiya 1
- November 8-9 Time Will Tell.
For purposes of this essay, the pertinent appearances were on September 11 and 26. To this I add the Sixty Minutes show of October 20 which I watched on television but which aired content that I believe is important to this discussion.
My debut on the number one talk show in Russia, Sunday Evening with Vladimir Soloviev, on September 11 was invaluable not so much for what was said on air but for the exchange I had with the program's host, Vladimir Soloviev, in a five minute tête-à-tête in the guests' lounge before the program went on air.
Soloviev obviously had not yet read his guest list, did not know who I am and stood ready to respond to me when I walked up to him and unceremoniously put to him the question that interested me the most: whom did he want to see win the US presidential election. He did not hesitate, told me in no uncertain terms that he did not want to see Trump win because the man is volatile, unpredictable and weak. Soloviev added that he and others do not expect anything good in relations with the United States in general whoever won. He rejected the notion that Trump's turning the Neocons out of government would be a great thing in and of itself.
As I now understand, Soloviev's resistance to the idea that Trump could be a good thing was not just an example of Russians' prioritizing stability, the principle "better the devil you know," meaning Hillary. During a recent chat with a Russian ambassador, someone also close to power, I heard the conviction that the United States is like a big steamship which has its own inertia and cannot be turned around, that presidents come and go but American foreign policy remains the same. This view may be called cynical or realistic, depending on your taste, but it is reflective of the thinking that comes out from many of the panelists in the talk shows as you will find below in my quotations from the to-and-fro on air. It may also explain Soloviev's negativism.
To appreciate what weight the opinions of Vladimir Soloviev carry, you have to consider just who he is. That his talk show is the most professional from among numerous rival shows, that it attracts the most important politicians and expert guests is only part of the story. What is more to the point is that he is as close to Vladimir Putin as journalists can get.
In April, 2015 Vladimir Soloviev conducted a two hour interview with Putin that was aired on Rossiya 1 under the title "The President." In early January 2016, the television documentary "World Order," co-written and directed by Soloviev, set out in forceful terms Vladimir Putin's views on American and Western attempts to stamp out Russian sovereignty that first were spoken at the Munich Security Conference in February 2007 and have evolved and become ever more frank since.
Soloviev has a Ph.D. in economics from the Institute of World Economics and International Relations of the USSR Academy of Sciences. He was an active entrepreneur in the 1990s and spent some time back then in the USA, where his activities included teaching economics at the University of Alabama. He is fluent in English and has been an unofficial emissary of the Kremlin to the USA at various times.
For all of these reasons, I believe it is safe to say that Vladimir Soloviev represents the thinking of Russian elites close to their president, if not the views of Putin himself.
On September 27 , I took part in the Sixty Minutes talk show that was presented as a post mortem of the first Trump-Clinton debate the day before. I direct attention to this show because it demonstrates the sophistication and discernment of commentary about the United States and its electoral process. All of this runs against the "slam-dunk" scenario based on a cartoon-like representation of Russia and its decision makers.
The show's hosts tried hard to convey the essence of American political culture to their audience and they did some effective research to this end. Whereas French and other Western media devoted coverage on the day after the debates to the appearance of the American presidential candidates and especially to Hillary (what else attracts comment from the male world of journalism if not a lady's hair styling and sartorial choices), 'Sixty Minutes' tweaked this aspect of the debates to find politically relevant commentary.
To make their point, presenter Yevgeny Popov came on stage in a blue suit and blue tie very similar in coloring to Trump's, while his wife and co-presenter Olga Skabeyeva was wearing a garment in the same red hue as Hillary. They proceeded to note that these color choices of the candidates represented an inversion of the traditional colors of the Democratic and Republican parties in American political tradition. And they took this a step further by declaring it to be in line with the inversion of policies in the electoral platforms of the candidates. Hillary had taken over the hawkish foreign policy positions of the Republicans and their Neoconservative wing. Donald had taken over the dovish foreign policy positions normally associated with Democrats. Moreover, Donald also had gone up against the free trade policies that were an engrained part of Republican ideology up until now and were often rejected by Democrats with their traditional financial backers from among labor unions. All of these observations were essentially correct and astute as far as the campaigns went. It is curious to hear them coming from precisely Russian journalists, when they were largely missed by West European and American commentators.
As mentioned above, foreigners are often important to the Russian talk shows to add pepper and salt. In this case, we were largely decorative. The lion's share of the program was shared between the Russian politicians and journalists on the panel who very ably demonstrated in their own persona that Russian elites were split down the middle on whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton was their preferred next occupant of the Oval Office
The reasons given were not what you heard within the USA: that Trump is vulgar, that Trump is a bigot and misogynist. Instead the Russian Trump-skeptics were saying that he is impulsive and cannot be trusted to act with prudence if there is some mishap, some accidental event occurring between US and Russian forces in the field, for example. They gave expression to the cynical view that the positions occupied by Trump in the pre-election period are purely tactical, to differentiate himself from all competitors first in his own party during the primaries and now from Hillary. Thus, Trump could turn out to be no friend of Russia on the day after the elections.
A direct answer to these changes came from the pro-Trump members of the panel. It was best enunciated by the senior politician in the room, Vyacheslav Nikonov. Nikonov is a Duma member from Putin's United Russia party, the chair of the Education Committee in the 6th Duma. He is also chair of a government sponsored organization of Russian civil society, Russian World, which looks after the interests of Russians and Russian culture in the diaspora abroad.
Nikonov pointed to Trump's courage and determination which scarcely suggest merely tactical considerations driving his campaign. Said Nikonov, Trump had gone up against the entire US political establishment, against the whole of corporate mainstream media and was winning. Nikonov pointed to the surge in Trump poll statistics in the couple of weeks preceding the debate. And he ticked off the 4 swing states which Trump needed to win and where his fortunes were rising fast. Clearly his presentation was carefully prepared, not something casual and off-the-cuff.
During the exchange of doubters and backers of Trump among the Russians, one doubter spoke of Trump as a "non-systemic" politician. This may be loosely interpreted a meaning he is anti-establishment. But in the Russian context it had an odious connotation, being applied to Alexei Navalny and certain members of the American- and EU-backed Parnas political movement, and suggesting seditious intent.
In this connection, Nikonov put an entirely different spin on who Trump is and what he represents as an anti-establishment figure. But then again, maybe such partiality runs in the family. Nikonov is the grandson of Molotov, one of the leading figures who staged the Russian Revolution and governed the young Soviet state.
Who won the first Trump-Clinton debate? Here the producers of Sixty Minutes gave the final verdict to a Vesti news analyst from a remote location whose image was projected on a wall-sized screen. We were told that the debate was a draw: Trump had to demonstrate that he is presidential, which he did. Clinton had to demonstrate she had the stamina to resist the onslaught of 90 minutes with Trump and she also succeeded.
The October 20 program Evening with Vladimir Soloviev, which I watched on television from abroad, was devoted to the third Clinton-Trump debate. My single most important conclusion from the show was that, notwithstanding the very diverse panel, there was a bemused unanimity among them regarding the US presidential electoral campaign: that it was deplorable. They found both candidates to be disgraceful due to their flagrant weaknesses of character and/or records in office, but they were also disturbed by the whole political culture. Particular attention was devoted to the very one-sided position of the American mass media and the centrist establishments of both parties in favor of one candidate, Hillary Clinton. When Russians and former Russians use the terms "McCarthyism" and "managed democracy" to describe the American political process as they did on the show, they know acutely well whereof they speak.
Though flamboyant in his language the nationalist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the LDPR Party, touched on a number of core concerns that bear repeating extensively, if not in full:
"The debates were weak. The two cannot greet one another on stage, cannot say goodbye to one another at the end. They barely can get out the texts that have been prepared for them by their respective staffs. Repeating on stage what one may have said in the locker room.
Billions of people around the world conclude with one word: disgrace! This is the worst electoral campaign ever. And mostly what we see is the style of the campaign. However much people criticize the USSR – the old fogies who ran it, one and the same, supposedly the conscience of the world.
Now we see the same thing in the USA: the exceptional country – the country that has bases everywhere, soldiers everywhere, is bombing everywhere in some city or other. They are making their 'experiments.' The next experiment is to have a woman in the White House. It will end badly.
Hillary has some kind of dependency. A passion for power – and that is dangerous for the person who will have her finger on the nuclear button. If she wins, on November 9th the world will be at the brink of a big war "
Zhirinovsky made no secret of his partiality for Trump, calling him "clean" and "a good man" whereas Hillary has "blood on her hands" for the deaths of hundreds of thousands due to her policies as Secretary of State. But then again, Zhirinovsky has made his political career over more than 30 years precisely by making outrageous statements that run up against what the Russian political establishment says aloud. Before Trump came along, Zhirinovsky had been the loudest voice in Russian politics in favor of Turkey and its president Erdogan, a position which he came to regret when the Turks shot down a Russian jet at the Syrian border, causing a great rupture in bilateral relations.
The final word on Russia's electoral preferences during the October 20 show was given by the moderator, Vladimir Soloviev: "There can be no illusions. Both Trump and Clinton have a very bad attitude to Russia. What Trump said about us and Syria was no compliment at all. The main theme of American political life right now is McCarthyism and anti-Russian hysteria."
This being Russia, one might assume that the deeply negative views of the ongoing presidential election reflected a general hostility to the USA on the part of the presenter and panelists. But nothing of the sort came out from their discussion. To be sure, there was the odd outburst from Zhirinovsky, who repeated a catchy line that he has delivered at other talk shows: essentially that the USA is eating Russia and the world's lunch given that it consumes the best 40% of what the world produces while it itself accounts for just 20% of world GDP. But otherwise the panelists, including Zhirinovsky, displayed informed respect and even admiration for what the United States has achieved and represents.
The following snippets of their conversation convey this very well and do not require attribution to one or another participant:
"America has the strongest economy, which is why people want to go there and there is a lot for us to borrow from it. We have to learn from them, and not be shy about it."
"Yes, they created the conditions for business. In the morning you file your application. After lunch you can open your business."
"America is a very complex country. It does not pay to demonize it. We have to understand precisely what we like and do not like. On this planet there is no way to avoid them. Whoever becomes president of the USA, the nuclear parity forces us to negotiate and reach agreement."
"The US has opened its doors to the most intelligent people of the world, made it attractive for them. Of course, this builds their exceptionalism. All directors, engineers, composers head there. Our problem is that we got rid of our tsar, our commissars but people are still hired hands. The top people go to the States because the pay is higher."
How are we to understand the discrepancy between the very low marks the panelists gave the US presidential race and their favorable marks for the US as an economic and military powerhouse. It appears to result from their understanding that there is a disconnect between Washington, the presidency and what makes the economy turn over. The panelists concluded that the USA has a political leadership at the national level that is unworthy and inappropriate to its position in the world. On this point, I expect that many American readers of this essay will concur.
* * * *
Ever since his candidacy took off in the spring of 2016, both Liberal Interventionists and Neoconservatives have been warning that a Donald Trump presidency would mean abandonment of US global leadership. They equated Donald's "America First" with isolationism. After all, it was in the openly "isolationist period" of American political history just before the outbreak of WWII that the original America First slogan first appeared.
However, isolationism never left us, even as the United States became engaged in and eventually dominated the world after the end of the Cold War. Even today more than half of the US Senators do not possess passports, meaning they have never been abroad, barring possible trips to Canada using their driver's licenses as ID.
And for those Americans who do travel abroad, the world outside US borders is all too often just an object of prestige tourism, a divertissement, where the lives of local people, their concerns and their interests do not exist on the same high plateau as American lives, concerns and interests. It is not that we are all Ugly Americans, but we are too well insulated from the travails of others and too puffed up with our own exceptionalism.
It is not surprising that in the US foreign policy is not a self-standing intellectual pursuit on a chessboard of its own but is strictly a subset of domestic policy calculations, and in particular of partisan electoral considerations. Indeed, that is very often the case in other countries, as well. The distinction is that the US footprint in the world is vastly greater than that of other countries and policy decisions taken in Washington, especially in the past 20 years of militarized foreign-policy making, spell war or peace, order or chaos in the territories under consideration.
As regards the Russian Federation, the ongoing hysteria over Russia-gate in particular, and over the perceived threat Russia poses to US national interests in general, risks tilting the world into nuclear war.
It is a luxury we manifestly cannot afford to indulge ourselves.
TONY LANE , December 17, 2017 9:59 AMKjell Hasthi -> TONY LANE , December 17, 2017 1:50 PM
But we all have to agree that the USA is the more infantile of all The Nations, and since the end of the last war they have made no effort to grow up. They have created RussiaGate where no other nation would dream up such Trivia.Jimmy Robertson , December 17, 2017 9:22 AM
JFK murder was about replacing the president elected by the people. Russia-gate has the same goal. When the American president is enemy, you are not Americantom -> Jimmy Robertson , December 17, 2017 9:23 AM
As shown in this article, the American media has a long track record of misreporting key news items:
The current cycle of fake news about Russia is definitely not a new phenomenon in the United States.GKW -> tom , December 17, 2017 2:13 PM
"Remember the Maine!"John Tosh , December 17, 2017 9:47 AM
Don't forget the Turner Joy and the gulf of Tonkin.Guy -> John Tosh , December 17, 2017 1:16 PM
Can someone tell the big fat cowards exercising around North Korea to please shut the hell up? Cowards make a lot of noise. When Libya was invaded there were no exercises, when Iraq was invaded there were no exercises...... when Vietnam was invaded there were no exercises....
It is obvious to the world that the fat cowards cannot attack a nuclear armed country. They are too yellow bellied to do anything but beat their chest like some stupid gorilla in an African jungle.
Please cut out the announcements of exercises after exercises, it is clogging the airwaves. We are all tired of your stupid exercises... if you want to attack go ahead and get your fat asses whipped like a slave running away from its masters.
Shameless cowards are now becoming highly annoying... it can be called Propaganda terrorism. Cut that nonsense out. You cannot beat North Korea, you know it, the rest of the world knows it. You cannot fight China or Russia, the rest of the world knows it ... so please shut up once and for all.
You are terrorizing the airwaves with your exercise after exercise after exercise. Practice control of the ships that are becoming a maritime hazzard to commercial ships. That is what you need to practice.
Nobody is impressed with your over-bloated expensive war equipment which fail under war conditions. Cut out the exercises before we start turning off our ears for your propaganda.
YELLOW BELIED COWARDS!!!!! Go poison an innocent person or kill a child....it may make you feel better... Big fat cowards.!ALTERNATE HISTORY -> John Tosh , December 17, 2017 6:15 PM
I am also very tired of the bluster . They flap their gums and taunt. Enough already . You have made fools of yourselves in the eyes of the world .
All the while the real diplomacy is going on between South Korea and China with North Korea paying close attention, I am sure. The Russian / Chinese proposal of a rail system from South Korea through North Korea and into China connecting to the connection grid of all of Asia is a far greater prospect for the peace initiative than the saber rattling presently outwardly being displayed.tom , December 17, 2017 9:39 AM
They keep raising the ante, and the North Koreans keep calling their bluff. They are made to look ridiculous as they don't have a winnable hand and the North Koreans know it.Emmet Sweeney , December 17, 2017 4:31 PM
"American media simply were not interested in knowing what Russians were thinking since that might get in the way of their construction of what Russians should be thinking".
Reminds me of the classic American boss's remark: "Any time I want your opinion, I'll tell you it".tom , December 17, 2017 9:20 AM
The whole thing is orchestrated by the Zionist state within a state which controls not only America but most of the West - and own the entire mainstream media. They cannot forgive Trump for wanting to make peace with Russia. Their hatred of Christian Russia is visceral and unhinged.CaperAsh -> tom , December 17, 2017 4:17 PM
'...by their own admission, "no conclusive proof has surfaced."'
This is actually quite a neat and elegant example of the kind of deceptive language routinely used by politicians and the media. It is, of course, entirely true that no conclusive proof has surfaced. Indeed, that must follow from the equally true and indisputable fact that no proof of any kind has surfaced. Actually, nothing even vaguely resembling proof has surfaced. There is no evidence at all - not the slightest scrap.
But by slipping in that little adjective "conclusive" the journalist manages to convey quite a strong impression that there is proof - only not quite conclusive proof.
It is just as dishonest and cynical as Ronald Reagan's 1984 campaign remark, "I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience".John C Carleton , December 17, 2017 7:20 AM
Yes, but R's comment was delightfully witty, and a great 'high ground manoeuvre.'Kjell Hasthi -> John C Carleton , December 17, 2017 1:43 PM
Russiangate is concocted BS, to keep the ignorant American sheep , from understanding Israel picked the "president of the USA".
That American children are murdering innocent children in foreign lands, for the benefit of, not Israel, it is just a figment of the imagination, as the USSR was, and the USA is, but the owners of Israel, City of London, Usury bankers.
Pedophile scum!rosemerry , December 17, 2017 3:29 PM
- understanding Israel picked the "president of the USA".
The fraud is in every election district. Israel cannot afford the bussing of Liberals. This is too large for some poor nation like Israel. You are making up "Israel", just like Gordon Duff. It tells me you are the same as Gordon Duff.thomas malthaus -> Nationalist Globalist Oligarch , December 17, 2017 4:08 PM
What an excellent article. If only people who have a very small knowledge of Russia/USA relations would bother to read this and reflect upon it, a lot of misconceptions could be cleared up if goodwill is part of the picture.rosewood11 , December 17, 2017 2:03 PM
I think at times the CIA is actually assisting the Russian security services with terror operations. I realize it doesn't make sense with Langley assisting ISIS in Syria, but that's the world we appear to have: selective cooperation.
I don't know if the FSB has the levels of electronics signals intelligence the US has, I do know the US and Russia may have cooperated in raids resulting in deaths of two Caucaus Emirates leaders in 2014-2015. I believe that group has since disbanded and members probably blended into other terror groups.You can call me Al -> rosewood11 , December 17, 2017 5:59 PM
The thing that is absolutely ridiculous is that the American media and Deep State are what is causing this trouble. I don't know why they want to have a World War so badly, but the only thing keeping our two countries from destruction is Vladimir Putin's hard work and good nature, and Trump's defiance of his "staff."
These Deep State actors in the US have hidey-holes they can run to in case of the unthinkable, but they couldn't care less about the people of the US -- let alone Russia. Their day is coming, and they'll be praying for their mountains to fall on them when it does.
Anyone in the US that's paying any attention at all knows the real story on this, and none of those who do are blaming anyone in Russia. If the day ever comes that the US Deep State takes to their bunkers, they better be prepared to stay in there--Balrogs or no Balrogs--because those of us who manage to survive above will be looking for their sorry azzes when they come out!!!Stop Bush and Clinton , December 17, 2017 8:41 PM
I think that is a great comment.
Just to take your comment a little further ;- get to know every plumber and builder in your area as I am, get on a friendly basis and ask about these "Deep State actors in the US have hidey-holes" over a pint or two.
Then I am starting a crowdfunding fund to bring in "hundreds of thousands" to pay them to screw up their sewage facilities in their hidey-holes SO THEY CAN down in their own BS.Nationalist Globalist Oligarch , December 17, 2017 2:54 PM
After Uranium One, it would make sense to assume Russia would have preferred Hitlery in the White House - Uranium One gives Russia something they know all the details of and something they know the US public won't take lightly, so they could easily have blackmailed Hitlery with leaking those details.
Of course they also know Hitlery is a massive warmongering Nazi terrorist, but then again, looks like Trump doesn't differ very much from her on that.Guy , December 17, 2017 1:07 PM
No need for paranoia, it is a veritable American love fest at the Kremlin, RIA, etc., ever since the CIA informed Moscow that they had "information" on an imminent attack in Russia.
Funny how the CIA has better intel on terrorism in Russia than the Russians do, even stranger than the RF leadership doesn't seem to question the situation what so ever.
Got to hand it to the Americans, a couple of months ago Putin joked about RF "cells" in the USA and now the CIA hands the RF a real cell all ready to go murder some Russians.
Some people talk a good game while some people actually take action.Superior Europe , December 17, 2017 11:12 AM
For those of you that have some video viewing time available , you will probably enjoy the lecture at the National Press Club , not nearly well attended I might add for this quality venue, of Gilbert Doctoro.
I would highly recommend his latest book also .I am approx half way already and well worth the read.Kjell Hasthi -> Superior Europe , December 17, 2017 1:37 PM
New legatum prosperity index is up: Europeans enjoy the greatest quality of life worldwide, Russians fall into more impoverishment and low quality of life. Its no secret that, for the past 150 years, Russian's wealth, quality of life and life expectancy is unacceptably low for European standards).
Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, Netherlands and Denmark occupying the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th 7th and 8th places respectively.
- low for European standards ... ) .... Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden Netherlands and Denmark
When you do copyworks, include your source. RI is not for illiterate globalist bots who cannot read an answer. The quality of trolls is now too low. The globalists are now hiring junk?
"German media reported on Saturday that BND covertly provided a number of journalists with information containing criticism of Russia before the data were disclosed by the agency."
Superior Europe is employed by Zionist BND?
Dec 17, 2017 | www.breitbart.com
Comey, for his part, wrote a memo alleging Trump had asked him to drop his investigation into Flynn, an act which some say could constitute obstruction of justice and thus grounds for seeking Trump's impeachment.
Dec 17, 2017 | www.breitbart.com
"Yes, there is," Barnes replied. "In fact, it's one of the directions that a future investigation can take. A future investigation doesn't have to focus on whatever it is the Democrats or liberals want. It can focus on the illegal leaks that took place."
"As I mentioned the other day to a liberal lawyer friend of mine, the worst thing ever accused concerning Nixon was about using private resources to try to illegally spy on people. Here you had Obama's people using the NSA to spy on his adversaries, and apparently include the CIA, the FBI, and members of the Department of Justice in that loop, in a manner that was not approved of by any court, that was not approved by even a FISA court – the special court that monitors certain kinds of surveillance," he said.
"Just because a conversation involves a foreign official doesn't allow you to illegally tape it, illegally monitor it, or illegally record it when a U.S. citizen is on there, particularly when it's your political adversary," Barnes explained.
"I'm sure the liberals would go nuts if Trump tomorrow started listening in on every conversation Obama had with anybody that's foreign, or that Bill Clinton had with anybody that's foreign, or that Hillary Clinton had with anybody that's foreign. So it's a dangerous, precarious path that Obama has opened up, and hopefully there is a full investigation into that activity," he said.
"You clearly also have lots of illegal leaks going on, particularly as it related to the recent Yemen issue involving the widow of the Navy SEAL who passed way, that became a big issue at the State of the Union. There you had people reporting that no intelligence was gathered. Well, that's an illegal leak. It turns out that they're wrong, they were lying about what intelligence developed or the fact that intelligence did develop, but they shouldn't have been out there saying anything like that," he noted.
"There are people willing to leak the most sensitive national security secrets about any particular matter, solely to have a one-day political hit story on Trump. These are people who are violating their oath, and violating the law. Hopefully there is ultimately criminal punishment," Barnes urged.
"This is far worse than the Plame matter that got all that attention, that got a special prosecutor in W's reign. This is far, far worse than any of that. This is putting national security at risk. This is an effective de facto coup attempt by elements of the deep state. So hopefully there's a meaningful investigation and a meaningful prosecution of these people who have engaged in reckless criminal acts for their personal political partisan purposes," he said.
Dec 17, 2017 | www.zerohedge.comrumors , denials, whistleblowers , backlash , demands, threats, lies , bias, and anti-bias surrounding Robert Mueller and his investigation, President Trump said Sunday that he is not considering firing the Special Counsel.
"No, I'm not," Trump told reporters, when asked if he intended to fire Mueller, according to Politico .
The president was returning to the White House from a weekend at the Camp David presidential retreat.
Trump's allies complained this weekend about the way Mueller's team went about obtaining from the presidential transition. Mueller's spokesman Peter Carr said Sunday that the office had followed appropriate steps to obtain the transition emails. Pro-Trump lawmakers and pundits also have accused the special counsel's office of bias after it was revealed that two FBI officials who previously served on Mueller's team had exchanged anti-Trump text messages.
And while Trump said "I'm not," Axios notes that he did criticize the fact that Mueller accessed "many tens of thousands" of emails from the presidential transition, saying it was "not looking good."
Son of Loki -> DingleBarryObummer , Dec 17, 2017 6:46 PMjeff montanye -> Son of Loki , Dec 17, 2017 8:45 PM
Who is Seth Rich?azusgm -> shitshitshit , Dec 17, 2017 8:47 PM
seth? he was the guy that stole the dnc and podesta emails (well at least the dnc emails) and got them to julian assange. after he was murdered (well at least shot twice) on the streets of d.c. (he actually died in a hospital; probably bears some looking into), julian offered a reward for info on it, making many believe he was wiki's source.
seymour hersh, who followed the case closely, thinks the same, but agrees with the d.c. police that he was just mugged, not shot by say hillary and podesta using imran awan or something. http://archive.is/lD4BV if so, for a lucky lady that hillary clinton has some real bad luck. but it is poetically fitting that someone who actually killed dozens of people as a private citizen (and maybe a million as a public servant), would be convicted in the public's eye of the one she didn't really do.
first as tragedy, then as farce.grunk , Dec 17, 2017 6:16 PM
YO!!! TYLERS!! OVER HERE.
Looks like Andrew McCabe may be a double agent!!!!!
https://truepundit.com/comey-mueller-ignored-mccabes-ties-to-russian-cri...Kayman -> grunk , Dec 17, 2017 6:17 PM
Mueller WANTS Trump to fire him.
It's Mueller's only face-saving way out of this cluster fuck.grunk , Dec 17, 2017 6:14 PM
Mueller has painted himself into a cesspool that is exploding. If he had an ounce of sense or honor he would get the eff out before he has to start covering his own tracks. But don't bet on Mueller doing the right thing. His pals in politics and the press have made him out to be some kind of saint when he really is all t'aint, no saint (don't ask me what t'aint is, ask someone else.)
Don't fire Mueller now- the cesspool is bursting at the seems and Mueller is standing right under it.Mzhen , Dec 17, 2017 8:04 PM
Robert Mueller is D.C.'s Tomás de Torquemada.Kelley , Dec 17, 2017 9:26 PM
It makes little sense to me that if Seth Rich was an idealistic young man, standing on principle and conviction, who along with his brother contacted WikiLeaks and arranged to give it evidence of Hillary's and Debbie's treachery against Sanders, why he would then have been reported to be looking forward to joining the Hillary campaign staff in the Brooklyn headquarters.
CrowdStrike (run by Shawn Henry, who is a former FBI official, promoted by Mueller), which provided the narrative to the DNC that the "Russians did it," has never been independently verified in their conclusions by the FBI. Or Mueller. Pull that thread and the sweater starts to unravel.
Mueller doesn't have it in him to step aside. Therefore he needs to be indicted for prosecutorial abuse. Slap his ass down hard. Handcuffs would be a nice touch.
Mueller didn't oppose the raid of Paul Manafort at 5 a.m. in the morning with guns drawn. Sounds like a good law enforcement technique for the buzzard.
Dec 16, 2017 | www.youtube.com
buzzkillean , 8 months agomeconnectesimplement , 8 months ago
Obama and Clinton thought they had the election in the bag. They broke surveillance laws thinking that Clinton would be in the Whitehouse to cover it anyway. Imagine their shock on election day when they realized how many felonies would be exposed when Trump took over.........cover-up.
Look at her face at 2:06 ... Scared and panicking Evelyn Farkas spilled the beans. By saying "I became very worried..." she's obviously trying to justify her behavior in case a legal bomb is dropped on her. This is a side effect of Nunes' dramatized little trip to the White House intelligence secure facilities: as long as they don't know Nunes and Trump's hands, panic will bring more people to come forward and look for some kind of justification and/or protection.
Dec 12, 2017 | www.youtube.com
Former CIA Director Michael Morell said in an interview that he thought if there was evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, special prosecutor Robert Mueller would have found it already and that the evidence would've been leaked by now. RT America's Anya Parampil has more.
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John B. , 4 days agoJoJo Mama , 4 days ago
Psychopath.Michael Maxfield , 4 days ago
all roads seem to go in the direction of TelAviv...Kunal Sharma , 4 days ago
Morell is "priming" the public, cushioning the landing as it were, for the eventual revelation that the Russian collusion narrative has been entirely fabricated.
He's not doing it out of the goodness of his heart, but in an attempt to minimize the intelligence community's inevitable, and i might add deserved, loss of credibility over the fiasco.
What boggles the mind is there are 3 or 4 solid ways to go after Trump that don't involve Russia, but the media doesn't seem to be interested in those.
That is because a) it doesn't exonerate the DNC over it's shitty performance in 2016, and b) it doesn't push the new cold war (which in turn boosts arms sales, and gives the elite a way to terrify and therefore control the populace). They thought it was going to work, but it's becoming increasingly apparent that the Nothingburger is about to be exposed for what it is.Bella , 4 days ago
That guy wanted to "kill Russians" and "kill Iranians". He's not a good guy by any stretch of the imagination.Corona zerone , 4 days ago
What a dufus.....just now figuring that out after destroying people's lives?Mark Redmond , 4 days ago
Fake News.davidmcccsf , 3 days ago
American politics is a clown show and it's actually embarrassing to watch, the world is laughing at America because it's like a badly written soap opera live on TV.Sandor Daroci , 4 days ago
Michael Morell is a psychopath and the kind of guy who'd usually be pushing the Russia narrative. If he is saying this - well that's a mind blowing death blow to the big lie. Amazing. For once in his pathetic life he actually makes a correct analysis. Fuck me.carole carroll , 4 days ago
another scum. damn swamp.Buddy Floyd , 3 days ago
Israelgate is the collusion between trump and Netanyahu. They care not going to tell you. Israel used DNC to divide democrats.T Sun , 3 days ago
The Russophobes need to be put up against the Wall and Shot.
CIA INFILTRATED TOP LEVEL OFFICIALS OF THE FBI. CIA MUST BE BLOWN TO PIECES LIKE PRESIDENT KENNEDY SAID. IF THE CIA WOULD STICK TO THEIR JOB DESCRIPTION, THE UNITED STATES WOULD NOT BE IN THE MESS IT IS IN NOW.
Richard Llewellyn , 3 days agoPHIL BURTOFT , 4 days ago
Yes the MSM dont question the Intelligence Agencies and now 8 million murdered based on lies later you wonder why.
Morell didn't think through the implications of his actions! If that's the case it would be the first move in his life he hadn't thought through. These people think we are cabbages and believe anything, whether its Comey schoolboy act or Morell lack of foresight, we are expected to suck it up, its just plain insulting they don't even try and mask their deceit anymore
Dec 15, 2017 | www.youtube.com
Former Acting Director of the CIA, Michael Morell, gives a surprisingly honest interview in which he admits that leaking and bashing by the intelligence community against an incoming president might not have been the best idea.
Dec 16, 2017 | www.youtube.com
Microphonix Virtual Studio , 8 months ago
Big question is; will they bring Obama to justice? Logically, if he can get away with breaking the law, we should be able to as well.
Dec 16, 2017 | www.youtube.com
King Leonidas , 8 months ago
People need to go to jail for this. Too much power is in the hands of the shadow government. The democratic party along with the republican establishment need to be exposed for the snakes that they really are, thank you HA !!
Dec 16, 2017 | www.youtube.com
Flora Moreland , 8 months agoSempi5757 , 8 months ago
Do you remember when Schumer said Trump better watch what he says against the intelligence cause they no how to get back at him?!!!!R J , 8 months ago
Lynch should've been arrested a long time ago
So how long until we see some arrests? An average citizen would be sitting in jail!
Dec 12, 2017 | www.youtube.com
Anonymous EXPOSED -
CIA Insider Releases 47 Hard Drives Revealing Obama Spying On Trump | Anonymous EXPOSED
⭐ Please Donate & Support This Channel: https://www.paypal.me/AnonymousEXPOSEDus
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Dec 16, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
In November. Sessions pushed back on the need for a special counsel to investigate a salacious anti-Trump dossier paid for in part by Hillary Clinton and the DNC, and whether or not the FBI used the largely unverified dossier to launch the Russia investigation. Sessions told Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) that it would take "a factual basis that meets the standard of a special counsel," adding "You can have your idea but sometimes we have to study what the facts are and to evaluate whether it meets the standards it requires. I would say, 'looks like' is not enough basis to appoint a special counsel "
A flood of GOP lawmakers along with President Trump's outside counsel Jay Sekulow have renewed calls for a separate special counsel investigation of the Department of Justice and the FBI amid revelations that top FBI officials conspired to tone down former FBI Director James Comey's statement exonerating Hillary Clinton - altering or removing key language which effectively "decriminalized" Clinton's beahvior. The officials implicated are former FBI Director James Comey, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Strzok's supervisor E.W. "Bill" Priestap, Jonathan Moffa, and DOJ Deputy General Counsel Trisha Anderson .
Also under recent scrutiny are a trove of text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok to his mistress, FBI attorney Lisa Page showing extreme bias against then-candidate Trump, while both of them were actively engaged in the Clinton email investigation and the Trump-Russia investigation. GOP lawmakers claim the FBI launched its investigation into Russian collusion based on the 34-page dossier created by opposition research firm Fusion GPS - which hired the CIA wife of a senior DOJ official to assist in digging up damaging information on 5then-candidate Trump .
A particularly disturbing text message between Strzok and Page was leaked to the press last week referencing an " insurance policy " in case Trump were to be elected President. Strzok wrote to Page: " I want to believe the path you threw out to consideration in Andy's office -- that there's no way he gets elected -- but I'm afraid we can't take that risk ." It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40.... "
House and Senate Committees are also trying to get to the bottom of a report last Monday by Fox News which revealed that recently demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr's wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS - the firm behind the Trump-Russia dossier. It was also later uncovered by internet sleuths that Nellie Ohr represented the CIA's "Open Source Works" group at a 2010 working group on organized crime, which she participated in along with her husband Bruce and Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS.
Bruce and Nellie Ohr
Last Tuesday, FBI Deputy Director McCabe unexpectedly cancelled a scheduled testimony in front of the House Intelligence Committee -- thought to be related to the Fox report on Bruce and Nellie Ohr. Text messages between Strzok and Page were released the same day .
So with Attorney General Jeff Sessions saying things may have "more innocent explanations" here are some specific questions for the AG to answer:
- Did Peter Strzok innocently tell his mistress that there was an " insurance policy" against a Trump win, which likely referenced the Russia investigation which GOP lawmakers think was based on an unverified dossier?
- Was Peter Strzok innocently texting Lisa Page " F Trump " while he was the lead investigator on the Clinton email case?
- Was Peter Strzok's edit of the phrase "Gross negligence" to "extremely careless" innocent? It very innocently changed the entire legal standing of the case from criminal conduct to a layman's opinion of carelessness.
18 U.S. Code ' 793 "Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information" specifically uses the phrase "gross negligence." Had Comey used the phrase, he would have essentially declared that Hillary had broken the law.
- Was Peter Strzok innocently calling Trump " a f*cking idiot " and a " loathsome human" before investigating him?
- Did FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe's "damage control team" innocently change their conclusion that Hillary Clinton's server was " possibly " hacked, rather than " reasonably likely " - language which significantly altered the seriousness of Clinton's mishandling of classified information?
- Were all references to the FBI working with other members of the intelligence community on Clinton's private server innocently scrubbed from Comey's exoneration statement - making it look like a much smaller investigation?
- Before he was demoted for doing so - did senior DOJ official Bruce Ohr innocently meet with MI6 spy Christopher Steele who assembled the salacious 'Trump-Russia' dossier, and then also innocently meet with Glenn Simpson, co-founder of opposition research firm Fusion GPS? Fusion commissioned Steele to create the dossier, which relied on senior Russian officials.
- Did Fusion GPS innocently hire Bruce Ohr's CIA wife, Nellie Ohr, to gather damaging information on President Trump? If there weren't such innocent explanations for everything, one might think Nellie Ohr could have possibly passed information from the DOJ to Fusion GPS and vice versa.
- Did Hillary Clinton and the DNC innocently pay Fusion GPS $1,024,408 through law firm Perkins Coie, which then paid Steele $168,000?
- In addition to the 'Trump-Russia' dossier, did Fusion GPS innocently arrange the Trump Tower "setup" meeting between Trump Jr. and a Russian Attorney? Or attempt to link Donald Trump to billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein ? Or try to push the debunked claim that a secret email server existed between Trump Tower and Moscow's Alfa bank - which Alfa bank executives are suing Fusion GPS over?
The list goes on and on, but hey: sometimes things that might appear to be bad in the press have more innocent explanations...
So Close -> Automatic Choke , Dec 16, 2017 6:31 PMSWRichmond -> So Close , Dec 16, 2017 6:43 PM
No! The true explanation cuts across the grain of the existing miasma currently being perpetrated as truth by the senior management at the FBI. One being ignored and covered up by the mainstream media. We have senior management at the top federal law enforcement agency that has willfully chosen to elevate their personal political opinion and beliefs above their sworn duty to uphold constitutional law. And this "explanation" is just the latest attempt to reinforce a violently shaking house of cards. The question that presents itself is whether we have the moral backbone as a country to correct our course. The outcome is questionable. And yet there is room for hope.Buckaroo Banzai -> Muddy1 , Dec 16, 2017 7:06 PM
Is Sessions the insurance policy?LetThemEatRand -> chunga , Dec 16, 2017 7:05 PM
"Never interrupt your enemy when they are making a mistake" Appointing a second Special Counsel could be interpreted as an interruption. I'm not defending Sessions here, he simply might be doing exactly what his boss is asking him to do.veritas semper ... -> fx , Dec 16, 2017 7:35 PM
Of course he won't, yet those who still support Trump will continue to perform mental gymnastics to explain why. Trump picked Sessions, just like he picked Cohn, Munchkin, Pence, etc.stocktivity -> Everybodys All American , Dec 16, 2017 6:36 PM
"The AAZ Empire the Judiciary domain is like central banking and media a goy-free zone. All lawyers, attorneys, judges, etc. are members of the BAR association, a private, Zion controlled monopoly, whose internal rules and regulations, that all BAR members are sworn to, supersedes the constitutions and laws of all nation states."
This quote is not mine,but it reflects exactly what I think. If you do not believe this,do a search about BAR association.
Look at this judge : https://fair.org/home/judge-tells-jury-informing-public-may-be-criminal-...
Look at her picture. You know she's a "chosen",even without knowing her name
Sessions is a gatekeeper. Like the Donald.
The simple fact that Hillary Clinton is not in jail, with the OVERWHELMING evidence we have against her, that the Weiner lap top has disappeared with all 650 000 incriminating e-mails, that all the Clinton dead pool is OVERFLOWING, including with the recent death of Dr. Dean Lorich, who had knowledge about the Clinton Foundation doings in Haiti, Seth Rich's death, etc. ALL THESE are proofs that we do not have a DOJ, an AG(which are named by the EXECUTIVE branch) .
This leads to only one conclusion=there is one party, having two wings ,to create an illusion of "democracy" and that voting matters.swmnguy -> stocktivity , Dec 16, 2017 6:59 PM
I can't stand Sessions but in this one instance, he is correct.lew1024 -> swmnguy , Dec 16, 2017 7:07 PM
Yes, the full-court press is on to end the Special Prosecutor investigation, and maybe even the entire law authorizing it. There appear to be no legal grounds for any of this. This seems to be pure politics and PR manipulation attempts.
I've always been very uncomfortable with the nearly unlimited mandate afforded Special Prosecutors. Arguments that Mueller has exceeded his mandate and is now on a fishing expedition show a complete disregard for the law. Mueller is allowed to do that, just as Ken Starr was. That's the problem. Mueller hasn't done anything unlawful and nobody has seriously alleged that he has. The problem is that the law allows him to do whatever he wants.
And investigators are allowed to communicate with each other. They shouldn't have affairs with each other, but they do. Nobody serious, in a position to say or do anything that counts, alleges that they did anything unlawful, or anything that should be handled any other way than the way it was handled, which is a job reassignment and possible termination. Prosecutors are biased against the people they investigate. That's their job. I don't like that either, but that's the deal.
I'd have a lot more respect for Sessions if he didn't blather on about the Constitution and State's Rights and Freedom, and then cheerlead enthusiastically for a violent police state and suspension of the rule of law for profit. But as you say, in this situation, he is indeed correct.
And the fatuousness of the campaign to discredit Mueller, which assiduously avoids any legitimate political argument, is a very bad sign. President Trump's attorneys are in way over their head and they're panicking. Perhaps with good reason. But it would be better for America if Trump could have retained any competent representation. Clearly all the good lawyers decided they wanted no part of him as a client.Akzed -> swmnguy , Dec 16, 2017 7:20 PM
No, you are wrong about a full-court press to end the special prosecutor.
He is ending himself just fine. Also, the IG's work is not yet done, how dirty are the other lawyers working for Mueller?
Note that all of the Clinton's oppo research didn't find anything serious enough to use on Trump? No matter how much they paid?wcole225 -> Everybodys All American , Dec 16, 2017 6:43 PM
Nobody serious, in a position to say or do anything that counts, alleges that they did anything unlawful
If by "insurance policy" Strzok meant the dossier, which was the basis for a FISA warrant, I'd say they were outside the law.ZH Snob -> Everybodys All American , Dec 16, 2017 6:48 PM
Have you noticed that everyone with these impeccable, beyond reproach, do it by the book reputations are all really nothing more than reptilian scumbags? Comey, Mueller, McCain, Sessions.......
all benefit of the doubt has been exhausted. they obviously have something on Sessions, or he's been a deep stater all along.
Dec 10, 2017 | The Duran
... ... ...
Extracted from Strzok-Gate And The Mueller Cover-Up by Alexander Mercouris
It is now known that the FBI also met with Christopher Steele, the compiler of the Trump Dossier, who is now known to have been in the pay of the DNC and Hillary Clinton's campaign in July 2016, shortly before the Russiagate investigation was launched.
Whilst there is some confusion about whether the FBI actually paid Steele for his information, it is now known that Steele was in contact with the FBI throughout the election and after, and that the FBI gave credence to his work.
Recently it has also come to light that Steele was also directly in touch with Obama's Justice Department, a fact which was only disclosed recently. The best account of this has been provided by Byron York writing for The Washington Examiner
The department's Bruce Ohr, a career official, served as associate deputy attorney general at the time of the campaign. That placed him just below the deputy attorney general, Sally Yates, who ran the day-to-day operations of the department. In 2016, Ohr's office was just steps away from Yates, who was later fired for defying President Trump's initial travel ban executive order and still later became a prominent anti-Trump voice upon leaving the Justice Department.
Unbeknownst to investigators until recently, Ohr knew Steele and had repeated contacts with Steele when Steele was working on the dossier. Ohr also met after the election with Glenn Simpson, head of Fusion GPS, the opposition research company that was paid by the Clinton campaign to compile the dossier.
Word that Ohr met with Steele and Simpson, first reported by Fox News' James Rosen and Jake Gibson, was news to some current officials in the Justice Department. Shortly after learning it, they demoted Ohr, taking away his associate deputy attorney general title and moving him full time to another position running the department's organized crime drug enforcement task forces.
It is also now known that over the course of the election the FBI – on the basis of information in the Trump Dossier – obtained at least one warrant from the FISA court which made it possible for it to undertake surveillance during and after the election of persons involved in the election campaign of Hillary Clinton's opponent Donald Trump.
In response to subpoenas issued at the instigation of the Congressman Devin Nunes the FBI has recently admitted that the Trump Dossier cannot be verified.
However the FBI and the Justice Department have so far failed to provide in response to these subpoenas information about the precise role of the Trump Dossier in triggering the Russiagate investigation.
The FBI's and the Justice Department's failure to provide this information recently provoked an angry exchange between FBI Director Christopher Wray and Congressman Jim Jordan during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee.
During that hearing Jordan said to Wray the following
Let's remember a couple of things about the dossier. The Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign, which we now know were one and the same, paid the law firm who paid Fusion GPS who paid Christopher Steele who then paid Russians to put together a report that we call a dossier full of all kinds of fake news, National Enquirer garbage and it's been reported that this dossier was all dressed up by the FBI, taken to the FISA court and presented as a legitimate intelligence document -- that it became the basis for a warrant to spy on Americans.
In response Wray refused to say whether or not the Trump Dossier played any role in the FBI obtaining the FISA warrants, even though it was previously disclosed that it did. This is despite the fact that this information is not classified and ought already to have been provided in response to Congressman Nunes's subpoenas.
There is now talk of FBI Director Christopher Wray and of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein being held in contempt of Congress because of the failure of the FBI and the Justice Department to comply with Congressman Nunes's subpoenas.
During the exchanges between Wray and Jordan at the hearing in the House Judiciary Committee Jordan also had this to say
Here's what I think -- I think Peter Strozk (sic) Mr. Super Agent at the FBI, I think he's the guy who took the application to the FISA court and if that happened, if this happened, if you have the FBI working with a campaign, the Democrats' campaign, taking opposition research, dressing it all up and turning it into an intelligence document so they can take it to the FISA court so they can spy on the other campaign, if that happened, that is as wrong as it gets
Peter Strzok is the senior FBI official who is now known to have had a leading role in both the FBI's investigation of Hillary Clinton's misuse of her private server and in the Russiagate investigation.
Strzok is now also known to have been the person who changed the wording in Comey's statement clearing Hillary Clinton for her misuse of her private email server to say that Hillary Clinton had been "extremely careless'" as opposed to "grossly negligent".
Strzok – who was the FBI's deputy director for counter-intelligence – is now also known to have been the person who signed the document which launched the Russiagate investigation in July 2016.
Fox News has reported that Strzok was also the person supervised the FBI's questioning of Michael Flynn. It is not clear whether this covers to the FBI's interview with Flynn on 24th January 2017 during which Flynn lied to the FBI about his conversations with Russian ambassador. However it is likely that it does.
If so then this is potentially important given that it was Flynn's to the FBI during this interview which made up the case against him to which he has now pleaded guilty, and given the indications that Flynn's interview with the FBI on 24th January 2017 was a set-up intended to entrap him .
As the FBI's deputy director of counter-intelligence it is also highly likely that it was Strozk who was the official within the FBI who supervised the FBI's contacts with Christopher Steele, and who would have been provided with the Trump Dossier.
Recently it has been disclosed that Special Counsel Mueller sacked Strzok from the Russiagate investigation supposedly after it was discovered that Strzok had been sending anti-Trump and pro-Hillary Clinton messages to Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer with whom he was having an affair.
These messages were sent by Strzok to his lover during the election, but apparently only came to light in July this year, when Mueller supposedly sacked Strzok because of them.
It seems that since then Strzok has been working in the FBI's human resources department, an astonishing demotion for the FBI's former deputy director for counter-intelligence who was apparently previously considered the FBI's top expert on Russia.
Some people have questioned whether the sending of the messages could possibly be the true reason why Strzok was sacked. My colleague Alex Christoforou has reported on some of the bafflement that this extraordinary sacking and demotion has caused.
Business Insider reports the anguished comments of former FBI officials incredulous that Strzok could have been sacked for such a trivial reason. Here is what Business Insider reports one ex FBI official Mark Rossini as having said
It would be literally impossible for one human being to have the power to change or manipulate evidence or intelligence according to their own political preferences. FBI agents, like anyone else, are human beings. We are allowed to have our political beliefs. If anything, the overwhelming majority of agents are conservative Republicans.
This is obviously right. Though the ex-FBI officials questioned by Business Insider are clearly supporters of Strzok and critics of Donald Trump, the same point has been made from the other side of the political divide by Congressman Jim Jordan
If you get kicked off the Mueller team for being anti-Trump, there wouldn't be anybody left on the Mueller team. There has to be more
Adding to the mystery about Strzok's sacking is why the FBI took five months to confirm it.
Mueller apparently sacked Strzok from the Russiagate investigation in July and it was apparently then that Strzok was simultaneously sacked from his previous post of deputy director for counter-espionage and transferred to human resources. The FBI however only disclosed his sacking now five months later in response to demands for information from Congressional investigators.
There is in fact an obvious explanation for Strzok's sacking and the strange circumstances surrounding it and I am sure that it is the one Congressman Jordan was thinking during his angry exchanges with FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Recently the FBI admitted to Congress that it has failed to verify the Trump Dossier.
I suspect that Congressman Jordan believes that the true reason why Strzok was sacked is that Strzok's credibility had become so tied to the Trump Dossier that when its credibility collapsed over the course of the summer when the FBI finally realised that it could not be verified his credibility collapsed with it. If so then I am sure that Congressman Jordan is right.
We now know from a variety of sources but first and foremost from the testimony to Congress of Carter Page that the Trump Dossier provided the frame narrative for the Russiagate investigation until just a few months ago.
We also know that the Trump Dossier was included in an appendix to the January ODNI report about supposed Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
The fact that the Trump Dossier was included in an appendix to the January ODNI report shows that at the start of the year the top officials of the FBI and of the US intelligence community – Comey, Clapper, Brennan and the rest – believed in its truth.
The June 2017 article in the Washington Post (discussed by me here ) also all but confirms that it was the Trump Dossier that provided the information which the CIA sent to President Obama in August 2016 alleging that the Russians were interfering in the election.
As the BBC has pointed out , it was also the Trump Dossier which Congressman Adam Schiff – the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Community, who appears to be very close to some of the FBI investigators involved in the Russiagate case – as well as the FBI's Russiagate investigators were using as the narrative frame narrative when questioning witnesses about their role in Russiagate.
These facts make it highly likely that it was indeed the Trump Dossier which provided the information which the FBI used to obtain the surveillance warrants it obtained from the FISA court during the 2016 election and afterwards.
Strzok's position as the FBI's deputy director for counter-intelligence makes it highly likely that he was amongst those senior FBI and US intelligence officials who gave the Trump Dossier credence, whilst his known actions during the Hillary Clinton private server investigation and during the Russiagate investigation make it highly likely that it was he who was the official within the FBI who sought and obtained the FISA warrants.
Given Strzok's central role in the Russiagate investigation going back all the way to its start in July 2016, there has also to be a possibility that it was Strzok who was behind many of the leaks coming from the investigation which so destabilised the Trump administration at the start of the year.
This once again points to the true scandal of the 2016 election.
On the strength of a fake Dossier paid for by the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign the Justice Department, the FBI and the US intelligence community carried out surveillance during the election of US citizens who were members of the campaign team of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton's opponent .
Given the hugely embarrassing implications of this for the FBI, it is completely understandable why Strzok, if he was the person who was ultimately responsible for this debacle – as he almost certainly was – and if he was responsible for some of the leaks – as he likely also was – was sacked and exiled to human resources when the utter falsity of the Trump Dossier could no longer be denied.
It would also explain why the FBI sought to keep Strzok's sacking secret, so that it was only disclosed five months after it happened and then only in response to questions from Congressional investigators, with a cover story about inappropriate anti-Trump messages being spread about in order to explain it.
This surely is also the reason why in defiance both of evidence and logic the Russiagate investigation continues to grind on.
Given the debacle the Justice Department, the FBI and the US intelligence community are facing, it is completely understandable why they should want to keep the Russiagate investigation alive to draw attention away from their own activities.
Put in this way it is Robert Mueller's investigation which is the cover-up, and the surveillance which is the wrongdoing the cover up is trying to excuse or conceal, which is what I said nine months ago in March . Congressman Jordan has again recently called for a second Special Counsel to be appointed . When the suggestion of appointing a second Special Counsel was first floated last month the suggestion was that the focus of the second Special Counsel's investigation would be the Uranium One affair.
That always struck me as misconceived not because there may not be things to investigate in the Uranium One case but because the focus of any new investigation should be what happened during the 2016 election, not what happened during the Uranium one case.
Congressman Jordan has now correctly identified the surveillance of US citizens by the US national security bureaucracy during the election as the focus of the proposed investigation to be conducted by the second Special Counsel.
In truth there should be no second Special Counsel. Since there is no Russiagate collusion to investigate the Russiagate investigation – ie. the investigation headed by Mueller – should be wound up.
There should be only one Special Counsel tasked with looking into what is the real scandal of the 2016 election: the surveillance of US citizens during the election by the US national security bureaucracy on the basis of the Trump Dossier.
I remain intensely skeptical that this will happen. However the fact that some members of Congress such as Congressman Nunes (recently cleared of charges that he acted inappropriately by disclosing details of the surveillance back in March) and Congressman Jordan are starting to demand it is a hopeful sign.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
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Jul 18, 2017 | www.unz.com
For a year, the big question of Russiagate has boiled down to this: Did Donald Trump's campaign collude with the Russians in hacking the DNC? And until last week, the answer was "no."
As ex-CIA director Mike Morell said in March, "On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all. There's no little campfire, there's no little candle, there's no spark."
Well, last week, it appeared there had been a fire in Trump Tower. On June 9, 2016, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort met with Russians -- in anticipation of promised dirt on Hillary Clinton's campaign. While not a crime, this was a blunder. For Donald Jr. had long insisted there had been no collusion with the Russians. Caught in flagrante, he went full Pinocchio for four days.
And as the details of that June 9 meeting spilled out, Trump defenders were left with egg on their faces, while anti-Trump media were able to keep the spotlight laser-focused on where they want it -- Russiagate.
This reality underscores a truth of our time. In the 19th century, power meant control of the means of production; today, power lies in control of the means of communication.
Who controls the media spotlight controls what people talk about and think about. And mainstream media are determined to keep that spotlight on Trump-Russia, and as far away as possible from their agenda -- breaking the Trump presidency and bringing him down.
Almost daily, there are leaks from the investigative and security arms of the U.S. government designed to damage this president.
Just days into Trump's presidency, a rifle-shot intel community leak of a December meeting between Trump national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn and Russia's ambassador forced the firing of Flynn.
An Oval Office meeting with the Russian foreign minister in which Trump disclosed that Israeli intelligence had ferreted out evidence that ISIS was developing computer bombs to explode on airliners was leaked. This alerted ISIS, damaged the president, and imperiled Israeli intelligence sources and methods.
Some of the leaks from national security and investigative agencies are felonies, not only violations of the leaker's solemn oath to protect secrets, but of federal law.
Yet the press is happy to collude with these leakers and to pay them in the coin they seek. First, by publishing the secrets the leakers want revealed. Second, by protecting them from exposure to arrest and prosecution for the crimes they are committing.
The mutual agendas of the deep-state leakers and the mainstream media mesh perfectly.
Consider the original Russiagate offense.
Confidential emails of the DNC and John Podesta were hacked, i.e., stolen by Russian intelligence and given to WikiLeaks. And who was the third and indispensable party in this "Tinker to Evers to Chance" double-play combination?
The media itself. While deploring Russian hacking as an "act of war" against "our democracy," the media published the fruits of the hacking. It was the media that revealed what Podesta wrote and how the DNC tilted the tables against Bernie Sanders.
If the media believed Russian hacking was a crime against our democracy, why did they publish the fruits of that crime?
Is it not monumental hypocrisy to denounce Russia's hacking of the computers of Democratic political leaders and institutions, while splashing the contents of the theft all over Page 1?
Not only do our Beltway media traffic in stolen secrets and stolen goods, but the knowledge that they will publish secrets and protect those who leak them is an incentive for bureaucratic disloyalty and criminality.
Our mainstream media are like the fellow who avoids the risk of stealing cars, but wants to fence them once stolen and repainted.
Some journalists know exactly who is leaking against Trump, but they are as protective of their colleagues' "sources" as of their own. Thus, the public is left in the dark as to what the real agenda is here, and who is sabotaging a president in whom they placed so much hope.
And thus does democracy die in darkness.
Do the American people not have a "right to know" who are the leakers within the government who are daily spilling secrets to destroy their president? Are the identities of the saboteurs not a legitimate subject of investigation? Ought they not be exposed and rooted out?
Where is the special prosecutor to investigate the collusion between bureaucrats and members of the press who traffic in the stolen secrets of the republic?
Bottom line: Trump is facing a stacked deck.
People inside the executive branch are daily providing fresh meat to feed the scandal. Anti-Trump media are transfixed by it. It is the Watergate of their generation. They can smell the blood in the water. The Pulitzers are calling. And they love it, for they loathe Donald Trump both for who he is and what he stands for.
It is hard to see when this ends, or how it ends well for the country.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever."
Copyright 2017 Creators.com. ← Russia Baiters and Putin Haters Category: Ideology Tags: American Media , Donald Trump , Russia
NoseytheDuke , Show Comment Next New Comment July 18, 2017 at 5:27 am GMTPat, you are again presenting yourself to be a disinformation asset and are truly undermining your credibility here. The DNC and Podesta emails were leaked not hacked. Please write this out in full a hundred times on the blackboard or whiteboard of your choice. Maybe then it will sink in.Priss Factor , Website Show Comment Next New Comment July 18, 2017 at 5:57 am GMTThere is nothing there. Let the media cry Russia Russia Russia forever. Trump can do other things. People will lose interest in this. This is different from Watergate because there really was a burglary and a coverup. There's nothing remotely like this here.vinteuil , Show Comment Next New Comment July 18, 2017 at 8:43 am GMT
1. If Russians really did it, they did it on their own. Trump team had nothing to do with it.
2. If Russians didn't do it, this is just the media wasting its resources and energy on nothing.
Let the media keep digging and digging and digging where they is no gold. Let them be distracted by Trump does something real. Because Buchanan lived through Watergate, I think he's over-thinking this. It's like dejavu to him. Sure, the media today are more deranged than ever. Media are also more cynical and in the control of globalists. But they got nothing on Russia. They have the cry of Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, but unless they can provide solid evidence, this is nothing.Pat Buchanan does his best – but apparently he just can't bring himself to doubt the integrity of America's "intelligence" services – even after their epic failure &/or deception when it came to Iraq's non-existent WMD's. "Confidential emails of the DNC and John Podesta were hacked, i.e., stolen by Russian intelligence and given to WikiLeaks." What reason do we have to believe this, other than the worthless word of these perpetually lying creeps?The Alarmist , Show Comment Next New Comment July 18, 2017 at 9:37 am GMTRandal , Show Comment Next New Comment July 18, 2017 at 11:37 am GMT
It is hard to see when this ends, or how it ends well for the country.
No it's not. The Republic died a long time ago: The Empire is in that rough middle period where the Praetorians choose the leader who suits them most, but occasionally have an unsuitable one slip past them. This ends with the barbarians moving in to assume all the trappings of being a Roman but lead the empire to a final crushing defeat at the hands of worse barbarians.Buchanan still being too reasonable towards the enemies of US democracy (the Democrats and their neocon Republican allies trying to undermine and overthrow the elected US President), imo.Gg Mo , Show Comment Next New Comment July 18, 2017 at 12:59 pm GMT
There's still no need, unless Buchanan knows something a lot more significant than what he covers here, to give any credence whatsoever to the "Russia influencing the US election" black propaganda campaign. It should still be laughed at, rather than given the slightest credibility, whilst, as Buchanan does indeed do repeatedly, turning the issue upon the true criminals – those in US government circles leaking US security information to try to influence US politics.
Did Donald Trump's campaign collude with the Russians in hacking the DNC?
Clearly not, as far as anybody knows based upon information in the public domain. There's no evidence Russia's government hacked anything anyway. A meeting by campaign representatives with Russians claiming to have dirt on Trump's rival is not evidence of collusion in hacking.
Confidential emails of the DNC and John Podesta were hacked, i.e., stolen by Russian intelligence and given to WikiLeaks.
Again, Buchanan seems to be needlessly conceding ground to known liars and deluded zealots.
If there was any attempt by Russia to "influence" the US election it was trivial, and should be put into context whenever it is mentioned. That context includes the longstanding and ongoing efforts by the US to interfere massively in other countries' (including Russia's) elections and governments, and the routine acceptance of foreign interference in US politics by Israel in particular.
If Trump and his backers really wanted to put a halt to this laughable nonsense about foreign influence, he should start a high profile investigation of the nefarious "influencing" of US politics by foreign "agents of influence" in general, specifically including Israel and staffed by men who are not sympathetic to that country.
That would quickly result in the shutting down of mainstream media complaints about foreign influence.@NoseytheDukeGg Mo , Show Comment Next New Comment July 18, 2017 at 1:05 pm GMT
Yup, His name was Seth Rich . (and let us never forget Michael Hastings and the Smith Mundt Modernization Act put in place for a Hillary win/steal.)Yipes -- What is the matter with Buchanan? Is he taking weird prescription drugs for Alzheimers ?Andrei Martyanov , Website Show Comment Next New Comment July 18, 2017 at 1:45 pm GMT
He seems to be a bit of an apologist for KNOWN liars and he doesn't seem to understand that the MSM is absolutely the mouthpiece for these agencies, populated with agents like Cooper and Mika etc etc etc
It is hard to see when this ends, or how it ends well for the country.
It already didn't end well and it pains me to say this. What it may become only is worse. At this stage I don's see any "better" scenarios. The truth has been revealed.
Aug 11, 2016 | OffGuardian
Last month Seth Rich, a data analyst who worked for the DNC, was shot near his home in Washington DC. He was on the phone to his girlfriend when it happened. Police were called to the scene and discovered the young man's body at roughly 4.20am. It was reported that Rich was "covered in bruises", shot "several times" and "at least once in the back".
The New York Daily News reported:" police have found little information to explain his death. At this time, there are no suspects, no motive and no witnesses in Rich's murder.
While initial theories were that the killing was robbery or mugging gone wrong, the Washington Post said:" There is no immediate indication that robbery was a motive in the attack but it has not been ruled out as a possibility."
Rich's family have also reported that nothing was taken:" [Rich's] hands were bruised, his knees are bruised, his face is bruised, and yet he had two shots to his back, and yet they never took anything."
On August 9th Julian Assange gave an interview on Dutch television in which he seemed to imply that Rich's death was politically motivated, and perhaps suggest he had been a source for the DNC e-mail leak:
That same day wikileaks tweeted that they were offering a $20,000 dollar reward for information on the killing of Mr Rich.
These are the facts of the case, so far. And they are undisputed.
I'm not going to take a position on the motive for Mr Rich's killing, or possible suspects. But I do want to point out the general level of media silence. Take these facts and change the names – imagine Trump's email had been hacked, and then a staffer with possible ties to wikileaks was inexplicably shot dead. Imagine this poor young man had been a Kremlin whistleblower, or a Chinese hacker, or an Iranian blogger.
If this, as yet unsolved, murder had ties to anyone other than Hillary Clinton, would it be being so ritually and rigourously ignored by the MSM?
Dec 14, 2017 | www.defenddemocracy.pressPublished in The Nation on Dec 5, 2017
Why are the media paying scant attention to Michael Flynn's admissions about Israel?
The indictment of former national-security adviser Michael Flynn on December 1 has confirmed that Donald Trump's inner circle colluded with a foreign power before entering the White House -- just not the foreign power that has been the subject of our national fixation for the past year. To be sure, the jury is still out on Russia, though there are new grounds for questioning the case for a plot tying the Kremlin to Trump Tower. But with Flynn's plea, we can now say for certain that the Trump team did collude -- with Israel.
To recap, Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about his conversations with then–Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the period after Trump's November 2016 victory. As Foreign Policy previously reported , Flynn reached out to Kislyak as part of "a vigorous diplomatic bid" to undermine President Obama's decision to allow a December 2016 Security Council resolution condemning illegal Israeli settlement building in the Occupied Territories. The indictment fills in some details.
According to the charge sheet , Flynn first made contact with Kislyak to discuss the Israel vote. We found out this weekend his reason for doing so. "[Special counsel Robert] Mueller's investigators have learned through witnesses and documents that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel asked the Trump transition team to lobby other countries to help Israel,"
The New York Times reported after Flynn's court appearance on Friday. "Investigators have learned that Mr. Flynn and [Trump son-in-law Jared] Kushner took the lead in those efforts" -- efforts which failed to change a single vote, including Russia's, which backed the measure in defiance of the Trump-Netanyahu subversion attempt.
In short, the first known contact between the Trump campaign and Russia after the election occurred in the service of a different foreign power, Israel, and was ultimately fruitless.
The next contact between Flynn and Kislyak was more productive. In late December, Obama imposed new sanctions on Russia for its alleged meddling in the 2016 election. A day later, Flynn called the Russian ambassador to request that the Kremlin, according to the plea document, "only respond to the U.S. Sanctions in a reciprocal manner." Flynn's overture came after a Trump transition colleague told him that the incoming administration "did not want Russia to escalate the situation." By all accounts, Russia complied.Read also: Turkish Fears
Whatever one thinks about this covert attempt to reduce tensions with a nuclear-armed power, it demonstrates an effort by the Trump transition, as with the Israel vote, to undermine the outgoing administration's policy. Trump critics have seized on that as a violation of the Logan Act, which bars citizens from having unauthorized negotiations with foreign governments in a dispute with the United States. But the Logan Act has seldom been used except as a partisan talking point , not a prosecutable offense. More importantly, there's the question as to whether Flynn's overture on sanctions prove a quid pro quo [a favor or advantage granted or expected in return for something].
Notwithstanding the post-election contact with Flynn, not only has Russia failed to gain a reduction in sanctions but its relations with Washington have deteriorated. In early August, Trump signed new sanctions on Russia overwhelmingly approved by Congress. The administration recently presented lawmakers with a list of targets that "reads like a who's who of the Russian defense and intelligence sectors," The New York Times noted. In September, Trump shut down the Russian consulate in San Francisco and two annexes in New York City and Washington, DC. Just last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson denounced Russia's "malicious tactics" against the West and vowed that sanctions imposed over Russian's role in Ukraine "will remain in place until Russia reverses the actions that triggered them."
Meanwhile, Trump has enlarged NATO over Russia's objections, carried out the "biggest military exercise in Eastern Europe since the Cold War" on Russia's border, appointed several anti-Russia hawks to key posts, and continues to deliberate over whether to supply Ukraine with a weapons package that Obama himself rejected out of fear it would worsen the country's civil war.
In the latest flare-up, Russia has ordered international media outlets to register as foreign agents in retaliation for the Justice Department first doing so to Washington-based RT America .
It is, of course, possible that all of this is an elaborate ruse to mask the secret, as yet unproven, conspiracy that many insist will lead to Trump's downfall. The fact that Flynn is now a cooperating witness has refueled hopes that this day is finally approaching. After all, why would Flynn lie about his contacts with Russia if he did not have something to hide? And why would Mueller offer him a plea deal if Flynn wasn't offering him a bigger fish to fry? (One plausible motive, as Buzzfeed notes , is that Flynn may have lied to hide his potential Logan Act violation.)Read also: Trump and the Terrorists Support Le Pen
Only time will tell whether Flynn has something to offer Mueller, or whether Mueller has gotten from him what he can. In the meantime, more than a year after the election, we still have exactly zero evidence of any cooperation between the Trump campaign and the Russian government -- nor, it must be repeated, any evidence to back up U.S. intelligence officials' claims that the Russian government meddled in the election. We do have instances of Trump campaign figures' -- namely, Donald Trump Jr. and low-level adviser George Papadopoulos -- making contact with people that they thought were Russian government intermediaries. But whatever they were told or believed, there is still no proof that their contacts led to an actual Kremlin connection.
What we do have is evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Israel to subvert the U.S. government's official position at the United Nations Security Council. Yet reaction to that news has been quite a departure from the standards of Russiagate when it comes to foreign meddling.
The contrast was put on stark display on Sunday, when Jared Kushner appeared with billionaire Israeli-American media tycoon Haim Saban at the latter's annual forum on U.S.-Israel relations. Saban took a moment to thank Kushner for his role in the subversion effort that Flynn admitted to have undertaken on Israel's behalf. "To be honest with you, as far as I know there's nothing illegal there," Saban told his stage companion. "But I think that this crowd and myself want to thank you for making that effort, so thank you very much."
For all of the fears of Russian oligarchs' having influence over Trump, the comment from this American oligarch reveals a great deal about who really influences practically everyone in Washington, Republican or Democrat. Saban was not a Trump donor. He is, in fact, Bill and Hillary Clinton's top all-time financial supporter, to the tune of more than $25 million ; a benefactor whose generosity has helped build not just the Clinton Library but also the Democratic National Committee's headquarters.Read also: The real Marine Le Pen: Α Warrior against Islam, like the "Fake pacifist" Trump?
But there has been no outrage from democracy-defending #Resistance stalwarts over Saban's comments (and the Israeli subversion effort he endorsed). The same for news of Kushner's failure to disclose his leadership of a group that funded the illegal Israeli settlements that he tried to protect at the United Nations. And now we await to see how those who agonize over foreign influence on Trump will respond to his reported plans to move the American embassy to Jerusalem -- "a decision that would break with decades of U.S. policy and could fuel violence in the Middle East," as Haaretz notes .
It is unlikely that Trump will be challenged on Israel, because his approach is harmonic with a bipartisan consensus cemented in large part by the financial contributions of billionaires like Saban and his Republican pro-Israeli government counterpart, Sheldon Adelson. Hence, there are no editorials or opinion pieces denouncing Israel's ' Plot Against America ' or ' War on America ', or warnings that ' Odds Are, Israel Owns Trump ', or explorations of ' What Israel Did to Control the American Mind '. Likewise, there will be no new groups forming dubbed the ' Committee to Investigate Israel ' or the ' Tel Aviv Project '. In fact it is more than likely that, going forward, the media will give Israelgate the same treatment as cable's top Russiagate sleuth, MSNBC 's Rachel Maddow, gave during her exhaustive Flynn coverage so far, which is to not even mention it.
This weekend furnished us with another important contrast. Flynn's indictment was followed hours later by the passage of the Senate Republican tax bill, which stands to be one of the largest upward transfers of wealth in U.S. history. If protecting democracy is our goal, we may want to tune out the Russia-obsessed pundits and look closer to home.
* Aaron Maté is a host/producer for The Real News Network.
Published in www.newcoldwar.org
(New Cold War: Ukraine and Beyond)