Summary

How can democratic societies ensure that intelligence services are able to operate effectively while complying with democratic norms and standards? This book chapter from the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces examines the control and oversight of intelligence services in democratic states. It argues that security and intelligence agencies have special features that make effective control and oversight particularly challenging. Democratic oversight and accountability of intelligence services requires constant vigilance from the executive, legislature, judiciary and civil society.

The challenges of effective control and oversight of intelligence are significant and daunting, particularly in environments where perceptions of threats to security are heightened. The paradox of striving for transparency in an inherently secretive area and the degree of professional discretion that effective intelligence requires are central issues. Nevertheless, the values and norms which are fundamental to democratic systems require that intelligence agencies are accountable and subject to internal control and external oversight.

Horizontal accountability refers to the accountability of state institutions to other state institutions. Vertical accountability refers to accountability within the hierarchy of state institutions and of state institutions to the public. The ‘third dimension’ of accountability refers to the role of international actors in holding state institutions to account. These three forms of accountability highlight the importance for ensuring democratic oversight and accountability of intelligence services of various actors, including:

Control of intelligence services confronts a number of structural problems. Secrecy, the discretionary authority granted to intelligence practitioners, the principle of ‘plausible denial’ and claims of national security all pose challenges for control of intelligence. Oversight and control of intelligence also faces a number of paradoxes:


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[Oct 22, 2019] Russia Is All They ve Got - Exposing The Agents Of Empire by Mike Krieger

Notable quotes:
"... This is when it became clear it wasn't just political operatives pushing fake news about Russian influence, but that "respected" mass media would be leading the charge for them. The rest is pretty much history. MSNBC, CNN, The Washington Post, etc have been spewing outlandish Russiagate nonsense for three years straight, and despite the complete failure of special counsel Robert Mueller to find any evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, these agents of empire refuse to stop. ..."
"... Americans like to sneer at more transparently unfree societies around the world, but when you think about the disturbing implications of former spooks delivering news to the public, one can't help but conclude that mass media in 2019 looks like a gigantic propaganda campaign targeting U.S. citizens. Moreover, as can be seen by the recent attacks by Clinton and her allies in the media on Gabbard, they aren't easing up. ..."
"... Comey was a senior vice president for Lockheed Martin before returning to Washington ..."
"... Excuse me, the voting going on up there for sanctions on Russia for various bogus things has been pretty much unanimous and bipartisan. ..."
Oct 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.

– Arundhati Roy

Last week, Hillary Clinton called Tulsi Gabbard (and Jill Stein) Russian agents on a podcast. More specifically :

"I'm not making any predictions, but I think they've got their eye on someone who's currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She's the favorite of the Russians," said Clinton, apparently referring to Rep. Gabbard, who's been accused of receiving support from Russian bots and the Russian news media. "They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far." She added: "That's assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she's also a Russian asset. Yeah, she's a Russian asset -- I mean, totally. They know they can't win without a third-party candidate. So I don't know who it's going to be, but I will guarantee you they will have a vigorous third-party challenge in the key states that they most needed."

Tulsi subsequently responded to this slanderous accusation with a series of devastating blows.

Her tweets set off a firestorm, and even if you're as disillusioned by presidential politics as myself, you couldn't help but cheer wildly that someone with a major political platform finally stated without any hint of fear or hesitation exactly what so many Americans across the ideological spectrum feel.

Of course, this has far wider implications than a high profile feud between these two. The "let's blame Russia for Hillary's loss" epidemic of calculated stupidity driven by Ellen-Democrats and their mouthpieces across corporate mass media began immediately after the election. I know about it on a personal level because this website was an early target of the neoliberal-led new McCarthyism courtesy of a ridiculous and libelous smear in the Washington Post over Thanksgiving weekend 2016 (see: Liberty Blitzkrieg Included on Washington Post Highlighted Hit List of "Russian Propaganda" Websites) .

This is when it became clear it wasn't just political operatives pushing fake news about Russian influence, but that "respected" mass media would be leading the charge for them. The rest is pretty much history. MSNBC, CNN, The Washington Post, etc have been spewing outlandish Russiagate nonsense for three years straight, and despite the complete failure of special counsel Robert Mueller to find any evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, these agents of empire refuse to stop. The whole charade seems more akin to an intelligence operation than journalism, which shouldn't be surprising given the proliferation of former intelligence agents throughout mass media in the Trump era.

Here's a small sampling via Politico's 2018 article: The Spies Who Came in to the TV Studio

Former CIA Director John Brennan (2013-17) is the latest superspook to be reborn as a TV newsie. He just cashed in at NBC News as a "senior national security and intelligence analyst" and served his first expert views on last Sunday's edition of Meet the Press .

The Brennan acquisition seeks to elevate NBC to spook parity with CNN, which employs former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director Michael Hayden in a similar capacity.

Other, lesser-known national security veterans thrive under TV's grow lights. Almost too numerous to list, they include Chuck Rosenberg , former acting DEA administrator, chief of staff for FBI Director James B. Comey, and counselor to former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III; Frank Figliuzzi , former chief of FBI counterintelligence; Juan Zarate , deputy national security adviser under Bush, at NBC; and Fran Townsend , homeland security adviser under Bush, at CBS News.

CNN's bulging roster also includes former FBI agent Asha Rangappa ; former FBI agent James Gagliano ; Obama's former deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken ; former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers ; senior adviser to the National Security Council during the Obama administration Samantha Vinograd ; retired CIA operations officer Steven L. Hall; and Philip Mudd , also retired from the CIA.

Americans like to sneer at more transparently unfree societies around the world, but when you think about the disturbing implications of former spooks delivering news to the public, one can't help but conclude that mass media in 2019 looks like a gigantic propaganda campaign targeting U.S. citizens. Moreover, as can be seen by the recent attacks by Clinton and her allies in the media on Gabbard, they aren't easing up.

Which brings us to the crux of the issue. Why are they doing this? Why is Clinton, with zero evidence whatsoever, falsely calling a sitting U.S. Congresswoman, a veteran with two tours in Iraq, and someone polling at only 2% in the Democratic primary a "Russian asset." Why are they so afraid of Tulsi Gabbard?

It's partly personal. Tulsi was one of only a handful of congressional Democrats to set aside fears of the Clintons and their mafia-like network to endorse Bernie Sanders early in 2016. In fact, she stepped down from her position as vice-chairman of the Democratic National Committee to do so. This is the sort of thing a petty narcissist like Hillary Clinton could never forgive, but it goes further.

Tulsi's mere presence on stage during recent debates has proven devastating for the Ellen Degeneres wing of the Democratic party. She effectively ended neoliberal darling Kamala Harris' chances by simply telling the truth about her horrible record, something no one else in the race had the guts to do.

Embedded video

In other words, Tulsi demolished Kamala Harris and put an end to her primary chances by simply telling the truth about her on national television. This is how powerful the truth can be when somebody's actually willing to stand up and say it. It's why the agents of empire -- in charge of virtually all major institutions -- go out of their way to ensure the American public is exposed to as little truth as possible. It's also why they lie and scream "Russia" instead of debating the actual issues.

But this goes well beyond Tulsi Gabbard. Empire requires constant meddling abroad as well as periodic regime change wars to ensure compliant puppets are firmly in control of any country with any geopolitical significance. The 21st century has been littered with a series of disastrous U.S. interventions abroad, while the country back home continues to descend deeper into a neo-feudal oligarchy with a hunger games style economy. As such, an increasing number of Americans have begun to question the entire premise of imperial foreign policy.

To the agents of empire, dominant throughout mainstream politics, mega corporations, think-tanks and of course mass media, this sort of thought crime is entirely unacceptable. In case you haven't noticed, empire is a third-rail of U.S. politics. If you dare touch the issue, you'll be ruthlessly smeared, without any evidence, as a Russian agent or asset. There's nothing logical about this, but then again there typically isn't much logic when it comes to psychological operations. They depend on manipulation and triggering specific emotional responses.

There's a reason people like Hillary Clinton and her minions just yell "Russia" whenever an individual with a platform criticizes empire and endless war. They know they can't win an argument if they debate the actual issues, so a conscious choice was made to simply avoid debate entirely. As such, they've decided to craft and spread a disingenuous narrative in which anyone critical of establishment neocon/neoliberal foreign policy is a Russia asset/agent/bot. This is literally all they've got. These people are telling you 2+2=5 and if you don't accept it, you're a traitorous, Putin-loving nazi with a pee pee tape. And these same people call themselves "liberal."

Importantly, it isn't just a few trollish kooks doing this. It's being spread by some of the most powerful people and institutions in the country, including of course mass media.

For example:

Embedded video

This inane verbal vomit is considered "liberal" news in modern America, a word which has now lost all meaning. Above, we witness a collection of television mannequins questioning the loyalty of a U.S. veteran who continues to serve in both Congress and the national guard simply because she dared call out America's perpetually failing foreign policy establishment.

To conclude, it's now clear dissent is only permitted so long as it doesn't become too popular. By polling at 2% in the primary, it appears Gabbard became too popular, but the truth is she's just a vessel. What's really got the agents of empire concerned is we may be on the verge of a tipping point within the broader U.S. population regarding regime change wars and empire. This is why debate needs to be shut down and shut down now. A critical mass of citizens openly questioning establishment foreign policy cannot be permitted. Those on the fence need to be bullied and manipulated into thinking dissent is equivalent to being a traitor. The national security state doesn't want the public to even think about such topics, let alone debate them.

Ultimately, if you give up your capacity for reason, for free-thought and for the courage to say what you think about issues of national significance, you've lost everything. This is what these manipulators want you to do. They want you to shut-up, to listen to the "experts" who destroy everything they touch, and to be a compliant subject as opposed to an active, empowered citizen. The answer to such a tactic is to be more bold, more informed and more ethical. They fear truth and empowered individuals more than anything else. Stand up tall and speak your mind. Pandering to bullies never works.

* * *

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Manipuflation , 52 seconds ago link

For those of us who grew up during the Cold War going to Russia is intense. I have never been so scared in my life as when that plane touched down at Pulkovo 2. And I though Dulles was a shithole.

Russians love art and they have fantastic museums and fantastic architecture. Food is a bit sketchy but you can make do. No fat women there that I saw. In fact, you will see some of the most beautiful women in the world there. Trust me on that.

I loved my first trip there. I can't hate Russia.

francis scott falseflag , 38 minutes ago link

Why are they doing this?

Because they're ******* losing and they know it.

Pelosi is smart enough to know that all roads lead to Putin. But is she smart enough to know that're not just American and its 'allied' Western 'roads', but now its all the roads in the world.

Because the world finally understands that Putin is the only peacemaker on the scene. And that most of the disputes the international community is saddled with are a direct result of American foreign policy and the excesses of its economy.

The world is tired of being dragged through Hell at the whim of a handful of American neocon devotees of Paul Wolfowitz and the fallacious Wolfowitz Doctrine which was credited with having won the Cold War for the West and has been in effect ever since.

Except there seems to be some doubt now who actually won the Cold War with America scrambling to get out of Syria, leaving behind a symbolic force of a couple of thousand troops.

That's the reason for everything that's going on America today. Russia, under Putin, has turned the tables on Congress, the neocons, the warmongers, and those politicians and elite who want the Middle East and its vast reserves of oil to continue to be destabilized by intranational, neighborly hatreds, by terrorism and by America's closest ally, Israel to continue to expand its borders with its policy of settlements. This problematic situation is scrupulously avoided in America and the West's MSM, and can only be seen in foreign media. Which brings us back to Putin.

Is he following the strategies of Sun Tzu, who advises you to

  • 'appear weak when you are strong and strong when you are weak.'
  • 'all warfare is based on deception'

'victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first then try to win.'

swmnguy , 15 minutes ago link

Hillary Clinton is obviously testing the waters for a last-minute, swoop-in candidacy. She sees Biden deflating and realizes there's nobody to keep the Democratic nomination firmly in corporate hands. She wants them to beg her, though.

gold_silver_as_money , 36 minutes ago link

So..."Tulsi Gabbard didn't deny being a Russian asset," you say?

Sounds like a page out of the Dems -- now Trump's -- playbook. Dance around the smear indirectly. Then fire back mercilessly

Manipuflation , 54 minutes ago link

If you go to Russia, you will not come back as you were when you departed. You will never look at things the same way ever again in your life.

artistant , 16 minutes ago link

Russia is an IMPEDIMENT to Apartheid Israhell's design for the MidEast .

Without Russia, ASSAD would be long gone and IRAN would have been bombed to oblivion, and Greater Israhell would have been fulfilled and ruling over the MidEast.

In other words, Russia bashing by Jewish-controlled politicians and in Jewish-controlled Western media is simply PAYBACK .

PoopFilled , 21 minutes ago link

in russia, trump is a bad guy

Vuke , 22 minutes ago link

I am a Russian Agent. Well, not formally but act as one. Only in elections though as Russia forbids (after losing 30 million dead in WW2) any military or violent interference. Agent may be too strong a word as my actions reflect the beauty of Russian literature, music and philosophy. (qv Kropotkin, Rimsky Korsakoff etc. etc.) Maybe a spokesman?

In this coming election vote for the agent of your choice. Gabbard, Trump, (Cackles, hang on and wait for this one) or Biden ( on whom we await a conversion). This agency stuff is fun. Can't wait.

DanausPlex , 47 minutes ago link

The quid pro quo for many Deep State bureaucrats comes after they are no longer in office as typified by jobs as "experts" with the corrupt news networks. Comey was a senior vice president for Lockheed Martin before returning to Washington. Trump is outing them all and they are out to destroy him.

If the Russians are so bad, why did we give them our Uranium? Hillary and corrupt Washington Swamp dwellers in action. How many in Congress opposed the deal? We need Trump to be reelected to Make America Great Again.

Salsa Verde , 32 minutes ago link

I remember in the 80's Democrats would mercilessly lampoon and make fun of Conservatives for their (at the time) hard-line stance against the Soviet Union and how we should just get over it: peace, love and b*llsh*t. My how times have changed.

Nunny , 40 seconds ago link

You need a scorecard to keep track these days. Barry lampooned Mitt for speaking against the Russians, like they were the 'good guys' (ahem, 'tell Vlad' and Kills power reset button) Make up your ******* minds people.

Maxamillia , 32 minutes ago link

If Russia wants to Destroy America.. Why Not.. America is Working to Destroy Her

Just Get it Over With... Were Tired Of Waiting...

We All Want To Go Somewhere... Truth is Is Not What Ur All All Waiting For Tis Where Were Going...

Let Those Missiles Fly....Come On Boys..

Show Us Your Might...

ebear , 44 minutes ago link

Dear Hillary and Co.,

Thank you for bringing my attention to Russia. Had it not been for your constant denunciations, I probably would never have investigated that nation to the extent that I have, and that would have been my loss. Allow me to explain.

As a permanent student of human history and culture, I've traveled to, and studied many different nations, from Japan, China and Thailand, to Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, but somehow I managed to completely miss Russia. Of course I was familiar with the Western narrative concerning communism and the USSR - I grew up with that - but I never fully understood Russian culture until, by your actions, you forced me to look into it.

I've since studied their history intently, and have studied their language to the point where I can at least make myself understood. I've spoken to Russian expats, read numerous books, watched their TV shows, listened to their music, and have kept a close eye on current events, including the coup in Ukraine and Russia's response to that event. At this point I feel well enough prepared to travel to Russia and I'm looking forward to my upcoming trip with great anticipation.

I operate on the basic premise that I'm nobody special - that there are thousands of people just like me with a deep interest in human affairs, who, like myself, have been prompted to investigate a culture that, for various reasons, has been largely overlooked in the West. So, on my own and their behalf I thank you for providing the impetus to focus our attention in that regard. It's probably not what you intended, but it is what it is. Thanks to you, many hundreds, if not thousands of people have now undertaken a study of Russia and her people, and that can only be a good thing, as the more we know about each other, the less we have to fear, and the less likely we are to come into conflict with one another.

condotdo , 39 minutes ago link

it is just another attack on a WHITE CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATIC NATION, it is as simple as that , "THEY" must destroy the white race

DesertRat1958 , 53 minutes ago link

We are all Russians now.

hispanicLoser , 47 minutes ago link

Yeah you definitely want to trot out the niggers when youre catapulting the crazy talk. They'll swallow anything.

slicktroutman , 55 minutes ago link

Bravo well written and right on the mark. If Tulsi wasn't a gun grabber and openly supported the 2nd Amendment she would be a front runner, only a few steps behind Trump. And by the way, don't trust those 2% Polls. We all know the polls are pure ********.

Joiningupthedots , 49 minutes ago link

When one Colonel Gary Powers was shot down in his USAF U2 spy plane in 1960 and captured alive he was asked by his then KGB interrogators what the difference was between the Republican and Democratic parties.......and he admitted to being at a loss to explain that there was any fundamental difference at all.

Therein lies the root problem with the American political system. All through the process it arrives at the same outcomes and it doesnt matter who you vote for.

It could be argued that it is in effect a one party system as both are indistinguishable from each other ultimately as they push the America PLC agenda.

The entire system is held captive by secretive and "invisible" unelected groups who call the shots and if you push too hard they have you killed one way or another.....all the esoteric secret societies of any significance are represented.

The question therefore is this; Is America any different to China other than the wallpaper coverings?

To paraphrase Mark Twain; If voting really mattered they wouldn't let you do it.

SolidGold , 1 hour ago link

Tulsi Gabbard is the Dems Donald Trump and they don't like that. That simple.

Epstein101 , 1 hour ago link

Jews control the DNC

Jews control the news media

Jews hate a white, Christian Russia they can not exploit as they once (twice!) did.

Jews want Syria smashed for Greater Israel.

Everything else is commentary.

https://russia-insider.com/en/big-tech-oligarchs-best-tool-censoring-internet-jewish-adl/ri27797

Manipuflation , 1 hour ago link

Russia is an interesting place to visit. There is no good way to describe Russia because you have to go there and see it for yourself.

SolidGold , 59 minutes ago link

Russia is the "bad" one because they literally have no debt

and a ****-load of resources.

Seek Shelter , 1 hour ago link

In a real poll, involving all possible voters, Tulsi Gabbard would be a hell of a lot higher than 2%.

Arising , 1 hour ago link

Those on the fence need to be bullied and manipulated into thinking dissent is equivalent to being a traitor

This is true with Trumptards on this comments board. They unquestionably follow lies, manipulative, and hollow Trump doctrine without thinking.

Just yesterday there was and idiot spewing out that 'Assange was treasonous' before engaging his cerebral matter to realise you cannot be a traitor against a country that's not yours.

pwall70 , 54 minutes ago link

The same can be said for leftards and CNN. Goes both ways, just like you.

chunga , 1 hour ago link

Excuse me, the voting going on up there for sanctions on Russia for various bogus things has been pretty much unanimous and bipartisan.

[Oct 20, 2019] Adam Schiff now the face of the neoliberal Dems for 2020.

Highly recommended!
Oct 20, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Only a few months ago, the Democrats' drive to the White House began with the loftiest of ideals, albeit a hodgepodge from trans toilet "rights" to a 100 percent makeover of the health care system. It is now all about vengeance, clumsy and grossly partisan at that, gussied up as "saving democracy." Our media is dominated by angry Hillary refighting 2016 and "joking" about running again, with Adam Schiff now the face of the party for 2020. The war of noble intentions has devolved into Pelosi's March to the Sea. Any chance for a Democratic candidate to reach into the dark waters and pull America to where she can draw breath again and heal has been lost.

Okay, deep breath myself. A couple of times a week, I walk past the café where Allen Ginsberg, the Beat poet, often wrote. His most famous poem, Howl , begins, "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked." The walk is a good leveler, a reminder that madness (Trump Derangement in modern terminology) is not new in politics.

But Ginsberg wrote in a time when one could joke about coded messages -- before the Internet came into being to push tailored ticklers straight into people's brains. I'll take my relief in knowing that almost everything Trump and others write, on Twitter and in the Times , is designed simply to get attention and getting our attention today requires ever louder and crazier stuff. What will get us to look up anymore? Is that worth playing with fire over?

It is easy to lose one's sense of humor over all this. It is easy to end up like Ginsberg at the end of his poem, muttering to strangers at what a mess this had all become: "Real holy laughter in the river! They saw it all! the wild eyes! the holy yells! They bade farewell! They jumped off the roof! To solitude!" But me, I don't think it's funny at all.

Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People , Hooper's War: A Novel of WWII Japan , and Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99 Percent .

[Oct 20, 2019] Was Adam Schiff running a spy operation against the White House by Monica Showalter

If this is true, then "Schiff spy scandal" might became a serious liability for neoliberal Dems in 2020 elections. Schiff is scion of a very un[leasent character who was reposible for Russo-Japanese war: Russo-Japanese War – financed by Jacob Schiff The Strange Side of Jewish History
Notable quotes:
"... Abigail Grace, who worked at the NSC until 2018, was hired in February, while Sean Misko, an NSC aide until 2017, joined Schiff's committee staff in August, the same month the whistleblower submitted his complaint . ..."
"... The whistleblower was an NSC official who worked with former Vice President Joe Biden and who has expertise in Ukraine, the Washington Examiner has reported . ..."
"... later emerged that a member of his staff had spoken to the whistleblower before his complaint was submitted on Aug. 12. The Washington Post concluded that Schiff "clearly made a statement that was false. ..."
"... Schiff was essentially running an illegal spy operation against the White House, recruiting his staffers, having them recruit their whistleblowers, grooming them up, changing the rules so they could file their complaints, and then lying that they knew anything about the lunatic efforts to get President Trump impeached. See, they were just standing there, minding their own business when all this stuff happened. Everything that did happen was just...a coincidence. ..."
"... Trump's been having a bad time with public opinion in the wake of the Schiff operation orchestrating the media coverage as well. But the facts on the ground suggest it was all an illegal spying operation on the president. ..."
"... It's an abuse of his office, for sure, given that Schiff is supposed to be focused on intelligence ..."
"... Image credit: Caricature by Donkey Hotey via Flickr , CC BY-SA 2.0 . ..."
"... Schiff was essentially running an illegal spy operation against the White House, recruiting his staffers, having them recruit their whistleblowers, grooming them up, changing the rules so they could file their complaints, and then lying that they knew anything about the lunatic efforts to get President Trump impeached. See, they were just standing there, minding their own business when all this stuff happened. Everything that did happen was just...a coincidence. ..."
"... The Lives of Others ..."
Oct 12, 2019 | www.americanthinker.com

Seems every day brings a new revelation about Democratic efforts to rig an impeachment of the president. The false claims and astonishing conflicts of interest being thrown out there are piling up fast.

The latest, from the San Francisco Examiner, exposes House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff's choice of staffers, who it turns out were two disgruntled Deep-Staters from the White House who had actually worked with the so-called "whistleblower":

Abigail Grace, who worked at the NSC until 2018, was hired in February, while Sean Misko, an NSC aide until 2017, joined Schiff's committee staff in August, the same month the whistleblower submitted his complaint .

The whistleblower was an NSC official who worked with former Vice President Joe Biden and who has expertise in Ukraine, the Washington Examiner has reported .

A career CIA analyst with Ukraine expertise, the whistleblower aired his concerns about a phone conversation between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to a House Intelligence Committee aide on Schiff's staff. He had previously informed the CIA's legal counsel's office.

Schiff initially denied he knew anything about the complaint before it was filed, stating on Sep. 17: "We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower. We would like to."

But it later emerged that a member of his staff had spoken to the whistleblower before his complaint was submitted on Aug. 12. The Washington Post concluded that Schiff "clearly made a statement that was false. "

Grace, 36, was hired to help Schiff's committee investigate the Trump White House. That month, Trump accused Schiff of "stealing people who work at White House." Grace worked at the NSC from 2016 to 2018 in U.S.-China relations and then briefly at the Center for a New American Security think tank, which was founded by two former senior Obama administration officials.

So these people were all buddies beforehand, and this would explain why the so-called whistleblower had been sneaking around with Schiff's staff before he made his whistleblower complaint.

And that came only after someone with influence was able to get the inspector general of the Intelligence Community (IGIC) to change the rules about whistleblowers needing no firsthand knowledge about the wrongdoing they were supposedly reporting. Once that rules change was put into place, the whistleblower got going.

More and more, this sounds like a pre-planned setup. One Trump operative has a very good summary of what seems to have been really going on as these anything but exculpatory stories mount:

Schiff was essentially running an illegal spy operation against the White House, recruiting his staffers, having them recruit their whistleblowers, grooming them up, changing the rules so they could file their complaints, and then lying that they knew anything about the lunatic efforts to get President Trump impeached. See, they were just standing there, minding their own business when all this stuff happened. Everything that did happen was just...a coincidence.

Experienced intelligence operatives, and apparently this Trump operative has this sort of background, like to say there are no coincidences.

As facts continue to roll out, it's getting more and more obvious that Schiff's operation was to orchestrate this impeachment scenario all along, going into high gear with the flame-out of the Mueller investigation.

Trump's been having a bad time with public opinion in the wake of the Schiff operation orchestrating the media coverage as well. But the facts on the ground suggest it was all an illegal spying operation on the president.

signed on to GOP rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona's call to condemn and censure Schiff for this sick little illegal freelance operation to spy on Trump.

It's an abuse of his office, for sure, given that Schiff is supposed to be focused on intelligence , not on being one of those creepy secret police characters in The Lives of Others . It's also an outrageous misuse of taxpayer dollars. In light of this Schiff spy operation, and if Democrats don't want some backatcha next time there's a Dem in office with a Republican House, it really ought to be every last one of them signed up to that Biggs list.

Image credit: Caricature by Donkey Hotey via Flickr , CC BY-SA 2.0 . Seems every day brings a new revelation about Democratic efforts to rig an impeachment of the president. The false claims and astonishing conflicts of interest being thrown out there are piling up fast.

The latest, from the San Francisco Examiner, exposes House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff's choice of staffers, who it turns out were two disgruntled Deep-Staters from the White House who had actually worked with the so-called "whistleblower":

Abigail Grace, who worked at the NSC until 2018, was hired in February, while Sean Misko, an NSC aide until 2017, joined Schiff's committee staff in August, the same month the whistleblower submitted his complaint .

The whistleblower was an NSC official who worked with former Vice President Joe Biden and who has expertise in Ukraine, the Washington Examiner has reported .

A career CIA analyst with Ukraine expertise, the whistleblower aired his concerns about a phone conversation between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to a House Intelligence Committee aide on Schiff's staff. He had previously informed the CIA's legal counsel's office.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/9371484590420070?pubid=ld-8832-1542&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.americanthinker.com&rid=aim4truth.org&width=500

Schiff initially denied he knew anything about the complaint before it was filed, stating on Sep. 17: "We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower. We would like to."

But it later emerged that a member of his staff had spoken to the whistleblower before his complaint was submitted on Aug. 12. The Washington Post concluded that Schiff "clearly made a statement that was false."

Grace, 36, was hired to help Schiff's committee investigate the Trump White House. That month, Trump accused Schiff of "stealing people who work at White House." Grace worked at the NSC from 2016 to 2018 in U.S.-China relations and then briefly at the Center for a New American Security think tank, which was founded by two former senior Obama administration officials.

So these people were all buddies beforehand, and this would explain why the so-called whistleblower had been sneaking around with Schiff's staff before he made his whistleblower complaint.

And that came only after someone with influence was able to get the inspector general of the Intelligence Community (IGIC) to change the rules about whistleblowers needing no firsthand knowledge about the wrongdoing they were supposedly reporting. Once that rules change was put into place, the whistleblower got going.

More and more, this sounds like a pre-planned setup. One Trump operative has a very good summary of what seems to have been really going on as these anything but exculpatory stories mount:

me title=

Schiff was essentially running an illegal spy operation against the White House, recruiting his staffers, having them recruit their whistleblowers, grooming them up, changing the rules so they could file their complaints, and then lying that they knew anything about the lunatic efforts to get President Trump impeached. See, they were just standing there, minding their own business when all this stuff happened. Everything that did happen was just...a coincidence.

Experienced intelligence operatives, and apparently this Trump operative has this sort of background, like to say there are no coincidences.

As facts continue to roll out, it's getting more and more obvious that Schiff's operation was to orchestrate this impeachment scenario all along, going into high gear with the flame-out of the Mueller investigation.

Trump's been having a bad time with public opinion in the wake of the Schiff operation orchestrating the media coverage as well. But the facts on the ground suggest it was all an illegal spying operation on the president.

And that's a far more concrete crime than anything Trump is accused of committing. Right now, Schiff has 109 congressional representatives signed on to GOP rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona's call to condemn and censure Schiff for this sick little illegal freelance operation to spy on Trump.

It's an abuse of his office, for sure, given that Schiff is supposed to be focused on intelligence, not on being one of those creepy secret police characters in The Lives of Others . It's also an outrageous misuse of taxpayer dollars. In light of this Schiff spy operation, and if Democrats don't want some backatcha next time there's a Dem in office with a Republican House, it really ought to be every last one of them signed up to that Biggs list.

Veritas Aequitas 6d

"... inspector general of the Intelligence Community (IGIC) to change the rules about whistleblowers needing no firsthand knowledge about the wrongdoing they were supposedly reporting. Once that rules change was put into place, the whistleblower got going." Doesn't that beg the question IF Atkinson had any past relationships with any of these people in his former position? I believe I read somewhere that Atkinson somehow was involved in the Steele Dossier from his former job.

walterbyrd ElBaron 6d

> So someone changes the rules. So why can't the rules be changed back?


I suspect the ICIG rules about accepting hearsay "evidence" will be changed back - if they haven't already been.

mondo_cane Follow Full Profile mondo_cane ElBaron 6d

Our government has always operated this way. Nothing new here. It only seems "run worse" because the results are out in the open for all to see. Whereas, the same thing could be done in secret and you'd never know about it (the changes in the rules).


Which do you prefer? The sloppy American way, or the secretive Chinese way?

I'm sorry to say we have only these two choices. The sloppy American way is preferable to me because it's the better part of our openly democratic republic and our Constitution.


The current problems and distractions we are dealing with are the result of Biden, Schiff, and the Democrat's attempts to be secretive about what they're doing. So, we have to wonder why these people don't want their actions to be known.


We should delight in seeing such illegitimate secrets exposed.

Divi_Julius_Augustus mondo_cane 6d

"...The sloppy American way, or the secretive Chinese way?" What difference does it make if the criminals are never indicted? The fact that I know of don't know makes no difference. We know politicians are dirty scum, anyway..

ElBaron mondo_cane 6d

Good post.

But I think it's not good enough to just accept rampant corruption, surely things could be better than this?

Also, it's not so much the Dems in question but the entire system.

And I see little evidence that the system is changing.

Though as you point out, one big shift is that more of us have become aware of how bad it is.

And as you point out, it's always been that way, going back at least to 1913... but more like forever and with all systems.


And if it is forever and all systems, then maybe it's better we DON'T get to see all the dirty laundry all the time, including that nothing is done about it. Maybe better not to know! Maybe that's the only way to make the country 'great' again!?

[Oct 20, 2019] Finding a Vaccine for the Impeachment Derangement Virus by Peter Van Buren

Easy ;-) Weaken the Deep State (aka drain the swamp). Remove three factors driving impeachment: Obama mafia, Clintons mafia and Brennan mafia. Neutralizing them probably mean (imperfect but workable) vaccine against impeachment derangement.
The author does not understand that neoliberal coup d'état against Trump is driven by the burning desire to kick the can down the road and ignore the crisi of neoliberalism that led to Trump election (as well as Brexit and Orban in Europe)
Notable quotes:
"... The idea that Americans are steps away from squaring off across the field at Gettysburg is something that should only exist in satire. It would be hilarious, except that such fantasizing is influencing the actual future of our country. We have crossed a line where rationality is in the rearview mirror. Most of us have lost track of the constitutional crises that have never actually happened since the first one was declared, over the non-issue of Trump losing the popular vote in 2016. ..."
"... What was it last week? Sharpiegate? Or the hotel in Scotland? Or an impeding war with Iran/North Korea/China? Or treason? Or something about security clearances? The Kurds were a thing in 2017 and again now. Paul Krugman of the New York Times first declared that Trump was going to destroy the economy in 2016 , and has written the same article regularly ever since, most recently just last week . It doesn't seem to matter that none of these things have actually proven to be true. Learned people are saying them again and again. ..."
"... It wasn't supposed to be this way. The fantasy was to use Robert Mueller's summer testimony about Trump being a literal Russian asset to stir up the masses -- Mueller Time, Baby! Congress would go home for August recess to be bombarded by cries for impeachment, and then autumn would feature hearings and revelations amplified by the Blue Check harpies leading up to, well, something big. ..."
"... Desperation makes for poor strategy. Think back just two weeks and no one had heard of any of this. Yet Dems and the media took America from zero to 100 nearly overnight as if this was another 9/11. With the winter caucuses approaching, Dems in search of a crime groped at something half slipped under the door and half bundled up by clever lawyers to be slipped under the door. Mueller was a lousy patsy so a better one needed to be found in the shallow end of the Deep State pool. It wasn't much but it was going to have to be made good enough. ..."
"... The details will come out and they will stink. The first whistleblower had some sort of prior working relationship with a current 2020 Democrat. Given that he is a CIA analyst, that suggests a member of Vice President Biden's White House team, Cory Booker's Committee on Foreign Relations, or maybe Kamala Harris's Select Committee on Intelligence. ..."
"... The so-called second whistleblower appears to actually be one of the sources for the first whistleblower. That's a feedback loop , an old CIA trick where you create the appearance of a credible source by providing your own confirming source. It was tried with the Steele Dossier where the original text given to the FBI appeared to be backed up by leaks filtered through the media and John McCain's office. ..."
"... It is easy to lose one's sense of humor over all this. It is easy to end up like Ginsberg at the end of his poem, muttering to strangers at what a mess this had all become: "Real holy laughter in the river! They saw it all! the wild eyes! the holy yells! They bade farewell! They jumped off the roof! To solitude!" But me, I don't think it's funny at all. ..."
"... And of course MSNBC hires Brennan whose CIA spied on Congress when it was investigating torture. No principles here at all. ..."
"... When they put State power brokers over the will of the people and love of country, it equals Ideology. What they really worship is the ideology itself. All of the various actors are just tools in service of that cause. ..."
"... a lot of the call was about Crowd Strike, not that anyone noticed ..."
"... The Democrats are doing the impossible by making Trump look good by comparison. ..."
"... As I think we all have come to understand, the Swamp is disconnected from mainstreet, [it is] a world all its own. Point being, neither side realizes most Americans have tuned this whole issue out. Two years of Russia gate led to exhaustion. My bigger concern going forward after Americans get a chance to vote in 2020, is, is this how we are destined to be governed ? ..."
"... Bush, Obama, and Trump have all committed vastly larger crimes and in our twisted political culture these don’t matter. Remember when centrist liberals claimed to care about torture and war under false pretenses? ..."
"... And all these former intelligence goons like Brennan are embraced on the liberal cable networks, even if the now beloved intelligence community tortured prisoners, lied about it, and spied on Congress. ..."
"... Had DT used withheld military aid to strong-arm Ukraine to do something in the national interest, then it would have been business as usual. Everyone expects a President to wheel, deal, lie and cheat for the nation. ..."
"... The public knew what Trump was about from the very beginning. That he was bumptious, impetuous, always shooting from the hip and often saying stupid things. And yet he was nominated by one of the two major parties, then turned around and beat the candidate of the other major party. What does that say about this country, other than its citizens elected a real estate businessman turned TV star with no political experience whatsover as president ..."
"... It's all a diversion (among many others) from what we should all be talking and doing something about anyway. It's all part of a sick game the global elites entertain and enrich themselves with. ..."
"... 'Once intelligent people are talking about actual civil war in America' - Peter van Buren, Oct 14, 2019 'We should have a revolution in this country!' - Donald Trump, Nov 6th, 2012 ..."
Oct 14, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Can any of the Democratic candidates pull America back from this madness?

Once intelligent people are talking about actual civil war in America. This began after Trump retweeted a pastor saying impeachment would cause a "civil war-like fracture in this Nation." Never mind that it was a retweet, and never mind that the original statement used "like" to make a comparison. The next headline was set: Trump Threatens Civil War If He's Impeached. Newsweek quoted a Harvard Law professor saying that the "threat" alone made Trump impeachable. Another headline asked: "If Trump's Rage Brings Civil War, Where Will the Military Stand?"

Blowing up some online nonsense into a declaration of war tracks with the meme that Trump will refuse to leave office if defeated in 2020, or will declare himself the winner even if he loses, sending coded messages to armed minions. "Trump Is Going to Burn Down Everything and Everyone," reads the headline from a NASDAQ-listed media outlet . "Before Trump will allow himself to be chased from the temple, he'll bring it down," wrote The New York Times.

That's just what the MSM is saying; it gets worse the further off the road you drive . "Trump is going to try everything, Fox is going to try everything, and they're going to both further the injuring of societal reality and inspire dangerous individuals to kill and maim," Jared Yates Sexton, a well-known academic, tweeted on September 28 . "There's a vast number of people in this, people who have been taught their whole lives that they might need to kill in case of a coup or corrupt takeover," he continued. "Trump and Republicans signal to them constantly. They're more than ready to see this as the occasion."

The idea that Americans are steps away from squaring off across the field at Gettysburg is something that should only exist in satire. It would be hilarious, except that such fantasizing is influencing the actual future of our country. We have crossed a line where rationality is in the rearview mirror. Most of us have lost track of the constitutional crises that have never actually happened since the first one was declared, over the non-issue of Trump losing the popular vote in 2016.

What was it last week? Sharpiegate? Or the hotel in Scotland? Or an impeding war with Iran/North Korea/China? Or treason? Or something about security clearances? The Kurds were a thing in 2017 and again now. Paul Krugman of the New York Times first declared that Trump was going to destroy the economy in 2016 , and has written the same article regularly ever since, most recently just last week . It doesn't seem to matter that none of these things have actually proven to be true. Learned people are saying them again and again.

Those who oppose Trump have convinced themselves they must impeach for something , and if all of Russiagate (remember that? It's like Aunt Edna's brief failed marriage, only not mentioned at the dinner table) wasn't enough, then Democrats will impeach over a phone call to a minor world leader.

It wasn't supposed to be this way. The fantasy was to use Robert Mueller's summer testimony about Trump being a literal Russian asset to stir up the masses -- Mueller Time, Baby! Congress would go home for August recess to be bombarded by cries for impeachment, and then autumn would feature hearings and revelations amplified by the Blue Check harpies leading up to, well, something big.

Were rationality still in vogue, it would be hard to imagine that Democrats would consider the Ukraine call impeachable. But they closed out Russiagate like the OJ Simpson murder trial, certain Trump had gotten away with so much that they had to catch him at something else to make it even.

Op-Ed-O-Matic: Write Doomsday Screeds Like the Pros All Aboard! Impeachment Train Finally Makes Stop For Democrats

Desperation makes for poor strategy. Think back just two weeks and no one had heard of any of this. Yet Dems and the media took America from zero to 100 nearly overnight as if this was another 9/11. With the winter caucuses approaching, Dems in search of a crime groped at something half slipped under the door and half bundled up by clever lawyers to be slipped under the door. Mueller was a lousy patsy so a better one needed to be found in the shallow end of the Deep State pool. It wasn't much but it was going to have to be made good enough.

The details will come out and they will stink. The first whistleblower had some sort of prior working relationship with a current 2020 Democrat. Given that he is a CIA analyst, that suggests a member of Vice President Biden's White House team, Cory Booker's Committee on Foreign Relations, or maybe Kamala Harris's Select Committee on Intelligence.

The so-called second whistleblower appears to actually be one of the sources for the first whistleblower. That's a feedback loop , an old CIA trick where you create the appearance of a credible source by providing your own confirming source. It was tried with the Steele Dossier where the original text given to the FBI appeared to be backed up by leaks filtered through the media and John McCain's office.

So forget everything about this cooked-to-order crisis except the actual thing impeachment would turn on: the transcript of Trump's call. It does not matter what one, two, or 200 whistleblowers, former Obama officials, or talking heads " think " about the call. There it is, the actual words, all pink and naked on the Internet for everyone to read. Ukraine did not investigate Biden. Trump did not withhold aid. The attorney general was not involved. DOJ ruled there was no violation of the law. It has little to do with Pompeo or Pence (though Pompeo was on the call ). You and the Congress pretty much have it all in the transcript. It's bathroom reading, five pages .

Only a few months ago, the Democrats' drive to the White House began with the loftiest of ideals, albeit a hodgepodge from trans toilet "rights" to a 100 percent makeover of the health care system. It is now all about vengeance, clumsy and grossly partisan at that, gussied up as "saving democracy." Our media is dominated by angry Hillary refighting 2016 and "joking" about running again, with Adam Schiff now the face of the party for 2020. The war of noble intentions has devolved into Pelosi's March to the Sea. Any chance for a Democratic candidate to reach into the dark waters and pull America to where she can draw breath again and heal has been lost.

Okay, deep breath myself. A couple of times a week, I walk past the café where Allen Ginsberg, the Beat poet, often wrote. His most famous poem, Howl , begins, "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked." The walk is a good leveler, a reminder that madness (Trump Derangement in modern terminology) is not new in politics.

But Ginsberg wrote in a time when one could joke about coded messages -- before the Internet came into being to push tailored ticklers straight into people's brains. I'll take my relief in knowing that almost everything Trump and others write, on Twitter and in the Times , is designed simply to get attention and getting our attention today requires ever louder and crazier stuff. What will get us to look up anymore? Is that worth playing with fire over?

It is easy to lose one's sense of humor over all this. It is easy to end up like Ginsberg at the end of his poem, muttering to strangers at what a mess this had all become: "Real holy laughter in the river! They saw it all! the wild eyes! the holy yells! They bade farewell! They jumped off the roof! To solitude!" But me, I don't think it's funny at all.

Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People , Hooper's War: A Novel of WWII Japan , and Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99 Percent .


boxofvapor MacCheerful 6 days ago
You are the idiot if you think Peter doesn't know what the Mem-Con was. He was one of the first to explain exactly how the process works. It's as close to an actual recording as it gets and all parties sign off on the "Memo Of Communication" stating it's accurate before it's saved.The idiots are the ones who think it's not accurate, grasping at straws doesn't help you. But it does serve to make a point, YOU like bobbleheaded Shift realize that the Transcript, as it stands, does not point to anything illegal so you like Shift make stuff up.

Each and every time you guys make the claim that it's not a real transcript it's a admission that even YOU don't think what's in the call is illegal. Think about that one for a second.

OH and you can claim that he did it to "punish his political opponents" all you like, that's just spin, just as anyone can much more easily spin this as Trump's duty to find out. Anything that requires mindreading isn't actual evidence and the "spin" in this case is exactly that. Unless you crawl into his head you don't know if he did it to hurt Biden or Help America, so either way we are left with his call as the only real evidence, the one you yourself think was altered to the point where it no longer shows wrongdoing.

Jr. MacCheerful 6 days ago
It’s clear that you are suffering from the Impeachment Derangement Virus as mentioned in the article.

The President’s calls to world leaders were being leaked all throughout the beginning of his presidency. That is a national security issue and so they added an extra layer of security using a password protected system that had been used by previous administrations. Your fantasy about the contents “alarming staffers” is absolute nonsense because even in the “whistleblower” statement it states that other calls to world leaders were also being put into this secured system. The fact that other calls are being put into this system shows just how delusional your fantasy about this call being special in some way, truly is.

As for the texts, as the author stated the opinion of what a diplomat THINKS is the motivation is proof of absolutely nothing especially when that diplomat is told point blank in the next text that his opinion is not factual.

Rational people understand all this. Those with Impeachment Derangement Virus do not.

LostForWords 6 days ago
DT is a populist, in an age where politics is all about withholding from the people what they most want, because the people's instincts are deemed by the liberal consensus to be too "deplorable" to follow.
stevek9 LostForWords 6 days ago
Another great example is Brexit. The elite made the foolish mistake of asking the people of the country what they wanted, and have spent 3 years tying things in ridiculous knots to avoid the outcome the people voted to have.
Shakes_McQueen LostForWords 6 days ago
Trump won the game according to the game's rules, but if you're gonna start opining about what "The People" want, it kinda seems like you need to at least start by addressing the part where millions more of The People voted for Trump's opponent.
=marco01= LostForWords 6 days ago
Trump is not a populist, he is an opportunist and a nationalist who wants everyone to recognize his greatness. He is using the rubes to that end, he doesn’t care what happens to you.
paradoctor LostForWords 6 days ago
DT ran as a populist and is unpopular. HC ran as a technocrat and her political machine broke. Therefore both lost in 2016, in ways most personally humiliating to each.

That kind of "deplorable"?

NotYouNotSure 6 days ago • edited
This cloak and dagger nonsense is all about trying to give an air of authority to this ridiculous plot to impeach Trump. This issue does however show just how disturbingly far left the USA has become, when leftists worship spy chiefs as the ultimate authority figures.

To all the leftists here that think that people like Clapper or Brennan are in any way respected or in any way seen as legitimate, think again.

Don Quijote NotYouNotSure 6 days ago
Broadly speaking the Left doesn't trust the intelligence community or the police any further it can throw them. It says something about the sad state of affairs we are in that the Left is now supporting its traditional enemy in order to save the Republic from the traitorous ra*ist the Right has put in the White House.
Osse Don Quijote 6 days ago • edited
Sorry, but no. Trump is a terrible human being, but that broad left you speak of is composed of mainstream centrist liberals and various people further left. Centrist liberals have demonstrated no moral consistency on the crimes committed by the intelligence community or the interventionist state in general.

They claimed to be outraged by such things during the Bush era, then forgot about them or even switched sides when Obama came in. They wouldn’t dream of impeaching Bush for war crimes ( and become furious when Obama’s are pointed out) but they think Trump’s use of the office to obtain dirt on Biden is a matter of principle. Think about that. War crimes are trivial. Look forward, not back. The use of Trump’s powers to obtain dirt against Biden— not acceptable.

And of course MSNBC hires Brennan whose CIA spied on Congress when it was investigating torture. No principles here at all.

Sid Finster Don Quijote 6 days ago
How many times did you hear "seventeen intelligence agencies proven it! ZOMG!" while the RussiaGate conspiracy theory was au courant?

For that matter, I was frequently treated to the spectacle of Team D partisans insisting that any questioning of "our intelligence community" was ipso facto "treason".

As if it were our patriotic duty to unquestioningly accept anonymous statements from perjurers (NSA), torturers (CIA) and entrapment artists (FBI) all with a long track record of lying and talking about supposed evidence that we are not allowed to see.

TISO_Commo NotYouNotSure 6 days ago • edited
When they put State power brokers over the will of the people and love of country, it equals Ideology. What they really worship is the ideology itself. All of the various actors are just tools in service of that cause.
EliteCommInc. Kyle Stirkenburg 5 days ago
Laughing Well, you might want to actually read those messages . . . seeing them is one thing reading them is another. If i were a democratic supporter --- you bet i would be alarmed.

The cat is getting of the bag and the cat is covered in unsavory behavior by the state department and the supporters of the Ukrainian revolution against a democratic state and ally of the US.

A cabal that nearly sent the Ukraine into a complete civil war ----- encourage and participated in by the previous admin. under the direct leadership of the Sec of State, Madam Hillary Clinton.

Its very damning but who is damned was not in office at the time.

dbriz Kyle Stirkenburg 5 days ago • edited
Quiz for the day: Does this “whistleblower” even exist? Or is it a composite creation of the CIA, Schiff and Co?

Did Schiff and friends turn ghostly white when Trump called their bluff by releasing the transcript?

Is Pelosi’s new found reticence a result of her self annoyance that she let herself get talked into this new debacle and payback is to let Schiff shift in the wind dangling over the thought that no one in the CIA wants to walk the plank for him?

Do the Democrats and their allies in the deep state increasingly look like the Keystone Kops?

Peter Van Buren 6 days ago
What is referred to commonly as the “transcript” is a U.S. government memorandum of conversation. Over the course of my 24 years at the State Department I saw and wrote many of them as the official record of conversations. At the White House level, voice recognition software is used to help transcribe what is being said, even as one or more trained note takers are at work. Afterwards the people who listened to the call have to sign off on the accuracy and completeness of the document. It is the final word on what was said in that call.
Jr. plains dealer 6 days ago
No. Trump wants to investestigate the corruption of the previous administration and get to the bottom of why OBAMA was targeting political opponents.

Nice try at deflection though.

EliteCommInc. plains dealer 5 days ago
Ohhhh stop,

though in a less forward manner the policies of candidates, including foreign policies and their implications are always at issue regarding selection.

It may be unseemly to have it brazenly broadcast, but illegal -- not. The real question here is whether members of the democratic and republican party solicit, incite, encourage a violent revolution in the Ukraine against a democratic ally of the US and in so doing, encourage and engage in graft, theft or illegal influence, such as demanding the removal of a prosecutor attempting to regain some stability and investigative power into how that incitement corrupted and disrupted Ukrainian politics. In otherwords, have member of the US colluded with certain forces in the Ukraine to over throw a democratically elected government, that the international community and the Ukrainians indicated was fair. This activity goes well beyond supplying weapons and post posters, but involved bribing, and removing government officials. Unlike the consideration in Iran, which was an inside coupe, the Ukrainnian affair seems to have been led and run by the US and Europeans, political, economic and intelligence members. And it seems to include a company that used similar tactics in the US to incite suspcion by using falsified computer data, accuasations of hacking in an attempt to falsey accuse the US candidate of colluding with the Russians because part of his agenda was to reduce tensions in between, the Ukraine, Russia and the US.

And peaceful negotiations threatened to uncover those violations of international law by members of the US and Eurpoean communities in which US citizens used the unstable environment in the Ukraine which they fostered to engage in graft.

stevek9 6 days ago • edited
Could not have said it better myself. We are truly in bizzaro-World.

The Bidens are scooping up as much IMF (read American) cash as they can in Ukraine with some more on the side in China, and all the shrieking is about Trump who asked the leader of a country, to cooperate in investigating an ongoing criminal investigation (a lot of the call was about Crowd Strike, not that anyone noticed).

We have a treaty with Ukraine which obligates exactly that. The Biden's activity is about as bald a case of corruption and bribe-taking as one could imagine. Barr is investigating the nauseating deep-state origins of Russia-gate, but in today's World I'm not that confident that the truth will ever come out. Trump is stupid, but his enemies are far, far worse.

Jerry 6 days ago
The rabid drivel dripping from the mouths of the lib-Dem-media regarding Trump's supposed existential threat to the universe -- complete with idiotic hysteria about refusing to leave office and so forth -- is yet another example of their habit of projection, namely accusing others of tactics and threats that they themselves routinely employ.

They're the ones who refused to accept the results of the 2016 election, after their criminal attempt to subvert the campaign of one of the candidates, and they've put us through three years of what Peter Van Buren correctly calls "madness" ever since -- like 3-year olds rolling on the floor kicking and screaming because they didn't get their way.

They've got the media, the Ruling Class, the Deep State, and most of the power brokers on their side, and yet laughably portray themselves as victims and targets of oppression. They are doing serious damage to this country and they are worthy of contempt, which is what I feel for them.

Salt Lick 6 days ago
The Democrats are doing the impossible by making Trump look good by comparison. When Trump finally wakes up to the fact that his opponents will never relent until he is in jail, along with his family, he will respond in ways that will abrogate what little remains of this constitutional democracy. Many will support him because of the opposition's overreach. Will it rise to the level of a civil war? Will millions take to the streets if Adam Schiff is jailed for treason? I doubt it. That's the hole the Democrats are digging for themselves and the country.
tweets21 6 days ago
As I think we all have come to understand, the Swamp is disconnected from mainstreet, [it is] a world all its own. Point being, neither side realizes most Americans have tuned this whole issue out. Two years of Russia gate led to exhaustion. My bigger concern going forward after Americans get a chance to vote in 2020, is, is this how we are destined to be governed ?
Osse 6 days ago • edited
I think that in the desire to attack this column about Ukrainegate, people ignored the earlier point, which is that some liberals are unhinged. Go back and read it. I think that part is right.

I also think Trump tried to use his office to obtain dirt on a political foe, which is impeachable imo. But here is my problem.

Bush, Obama, and Trump have all committed vastly larger crimes and in our twisted political culture these don’t matter. Remember when centrist liberals claimed to care about torture and war under false pretenses? That is long gone. Bush is a lovable figure now. Centrist liberals never did care about Obama’s crimes—drone strikes, Yemen, arming terrorists in Syria. They are more likely to despise whistleblowers like Snowden than care about mass surveillance. Trump’s war in Yemen was ignored by most liberals until Khashoggi’s murder and then many of them seriously seem to think Trump started it. It still doesn’t interest them that much. You can’t impeach Trump for complicity in genocide without looking at what other Presidents have done, so best focus on Ukrainegate.

And all these former intelligence goons like Brennan are embraced on the liberal cable networks, even if the now beloved intelligence community tortured prisoners, lied about it, and spied on Congress.

Oh, I forgot one thing. As shoddy as Trump’s behavior is, notice how we just accept that we should be arming yet another side in what is in part a civil war in the Ukraine. That’s just what we do.

I am not defending conservatives. Most conservatives, with some honorable exceptions, are worse. But the whole political system is run by competing morally repugnant factions.

EliteCommInc. Osse 5 days ago
Excuse me, a little integrity is in order here ----- The current president inherited these wars, and while he must take responsibility for them during his tenure, they aren't his.

And oddly enough as much as I opposed the previous executive, They weren't a part of his agenda until he chose interventionists as part his admin. He owns them lock stock and barrel -- he should have declined to add Sec Clinton and her interventionists.

The issue with outsiders is that in attempts to placate insiders derails their agenda.

Shakes_McQueen 6 days ago • edited
"Ukraine did not investigate Biden."

Which, if it's even true, is germane to a blatant attempt to leverage and extort them into doing so... why?

"Trump did not withhold aid."

Trump absolutely did withhold aid, until conspicuously releasing that hold for unstated reasons a couple of days after learning of the whistleblower communicating with Congress. I guess his concerns about "corruption" just suddenly evaporated, said the ostrich to the hole.

"The attorney general was not involved."

That remains to be seen, though...

"DOJ ruled there was no violation of the law."

...he still has plenty of ways to try and shield his client. I like how you offer this, like Bill Barr's DOJ has a shred of credibility for objective application of the law right now.

"It has little to do with Pompeo or Pence (though Pompeo was on the call)."

How on Earth do you know this? There's growing evidence that Pence absolutely WAS in-the-know to some extent, and Pompeo is actively assisting with the WH attempts to stonewall the unambiguous, Constitutionally granted impeachment powers of the House, by telling his employees not to respect lawful subpoenas for testimony and documents.

It must give TAC writers like Larison heartburn to see Peter's terrible arguments so prominently displayed on the website every week.

Parrhesia 6 days ago
Finally, some sensible comment on the issue. Thanks for that.
Tomonthebeach 6 days ago
What this article fails to appreciate is that the majority of Americans are suffering from Trumpzaustion. We are tired of the daily barrage of tweets, corruption, graft, patronage, incompetence, incivility, lies, emoluments, edicts by Tweet, destruction of alliances, lies, racism, sexism, obstinacy, impulsive executive decisions that turn sour, disregard for science and expertise generally, lies, nepotism, narcissism, vulgarity, hypocrisy, and did I mention lies?

This administration is annoying, costing many of us time and treasure, and like a migraine headache, we just want it to go away.

Trump=Obama 6 days ago • edited
Yes, the media and Democrats want to degrade any Republican Politician's powers by any means necessary. They have done that to all past Republican Presidents going back to Nixon.

On the other hand, Trump gives them all of the ammo that they need to promote their narrative. He is a caricature of the narcissistic, corrupt, crony capitalist Republican that the media loves to sell to the public.

For crying out loud, the very next day after the Mueller probe ended, Trump appeared to try to pressure a foreign nation to help him get reelected. If you don't recognize that Trump gives his enemies ammo by his own reckless behaviour, then you may be in denial.

Martin Ranger 6 days ago
You mean this impeachment derangement virus: http://nymag.com/intelligen... ?
paradoctor 6 days ago • edited
Had DT used withheld military aid to strong-arm Ukraine to do something in the national interest, then it would have been business as usual. Everyone expects a President to wheel, deal, lie and cheat for the nation. But the favors he extorted from Ukraine were personal . That's not in the unwritten rules.

Trump is being impeached for doing the wrong quid pro quo. This is the world we live in.

Connecticut Farmer 6 days ago • edited
The public knew what Trump was about from the very beginning. That he was bumptious, impetuous, always shooting from the hip and often saying stupid things. And yet he was nominated by one of the two major parties, then turned around and beat the candidate of the other major party. What does that say about this country, other than its citizens elected a real estate businessman turned TV star with no political experience whatsover as president.

A "cri de coeur?" Perhaps. This thing of ours doesn't work anymore . There are a lot of things wrong with this country but one thing seems increasingly and disturbingly clear: our system of government, which was put into place via a document written in the late 18th century is not responsive to the needs of the 21st. So much needs to be changed, starting with:

1.) De-emphasizing the office of Presidency, which has increasingly become more a source of entertainment rather than enlightenment (to the extent that ANY president has ever been "enlightened"). There was a very good reason why the first article of the US Constitution refers to the legislature and not to the executive (or, for that matter, to the judiciary).

2.) Instituting a multi-party system rather than the current farce--which has long since become archaic.

Perhaps the time has at last come for a second Constitutional Convention, because the rules no longer fit the game. A constitution prepared in 1787 when the US was still an agrarian society consisting of 13 states from Maine to Florida and from the Atlantic seaboard to the Alleghenies with a total population of less than 4 million may simply not be responsive to the US of 2019, an advanced, information based, society consisting of 330 million (and counting) situated on a land mass of nearly 3.8 million square miles. Either we may have to re-think what it means to govern ourselves in the 21st century or--and I shudder at the thought-- perhaps the concept of what we call "the United States of America" may no longer be tenable.

It was, after all is said and done, only meant to be an experiment.

EliteCommInc. 5 days ago
"So forget everything about this cooked-to-order crisis except the actual thing impeachment would turn on: the transcript of Trump’s call. It does not matter what one, two, or 200 whistleblowers, former Obama officials, or talking heads “think” about the call.

There it is, the actual words, all pink and naked on the Internet for everyone to read. Ukraine did not investigate Biden. Trump did not withhold aid. The attorney general was not involved. DOJ ruled there was no violation of the law. It has little to do with Pompeo or Pence (though Pompeo was on the call). You and the Congress pretty much have it all in the transcript. It’s bathroom reading, five pages."

How dare you suggest reality be considered on this matter. And it may be more ironic than what went on before --- but there are plenty of places and reasons to find humor --

even if the humor is the result of tragedy.

"“Before Trump will allow himself to be chased from the temple, he’ll bring it down,” wrote The New York Times."

Laughing.

Now there's an interesting reference --- Samson in the Temple ---

I am sure that was unintentional

Kelly Storme 5 days ago
I couldn't give a bucket of methane emitting cow dung whether Trump is impeached or not. It's all a diversion (among many others) from what we should all be talking and doing something about anyway. It's all part of a sick game the global elites entertain and enrich themselves with.

Have a gander at this recent interview by Greg Hunter and Dr. Paul Craig Roberts - https://usawatchdog.com/oli... - I may not agree with all of the conclusions the good Dr. has drawn but a lot of what he says does have a ring of truth to it based on my own independent research into a various aspects of our so-called civilization.

LostForWords 5 days ago • edited
Unfortunately for the Dems, not one of them has one tenth of Trump's charisma and ability to campaign. He doesn't need to be right all the time, his personality will carry him through, and the more the Dems plot, the smaller they look. Is there anyone in world to put him in the shade?
marqueemoons 4 days ago
'Once intelligent people are talking about actual civil war in America' - Peter van Buren, Oct 14, 2019 'We should have a revolution in this country!' - Donald Trump, Nov 6th, 2012

[Oct 19, 2019] Intelligengence againces control of mass media at DuckDuckGo

Oct 19, 2019 | duckduckgo.com

The CIA and the Media : 50 Facts the World Needs to Know ...

https://www.globalresearch.ca /the-cia-and-the-media-50-facts-the-world-needs-to-know/5471956 In a bitter irony, the media coverup of the CIA's covert support to Al Qaeda and the ISIS is instrumented by the CIA which also oversees the mainstream media .

PDF Mass Media Functions, Knowledge and Social Control

www.aejmc.org /home/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Journalism-Quarterly-1973-Donohue-652-9.pdf of mass media as interdependent parts of a total social system in which they share facets of controlling, and being controlled by, other subsystems. A major purpose of this paper is to relate the subsystems of mass media to the total pattern of social organization and social control and to point up the crucial nature of

Declassified CIA Documents Show Agency's Control Over ...

https://www.collective-evolution.com /2017/05/11/declassified-cia-documents-shows-agencies-control-over-mainstream-media-academia/ Declassified CIA Documents Show Agency's Control Over Mainstream Media & Academia. He blew the whistle on public television, stating that he was forced to publish the works of intelligence agencies under his own name and that noncompliance with these orders would result in him losing his job. ( source) Sharyl Attkisson and Amber Lyon,...

Mind Control Theories and Techniques used by Mass Media

https://vigilantcitizen.com /vigilantreport/mind-control-theories-and-techniques-used-by-mass-media/

Mass media are media forms designed to reach the largest audience possible. They include television, movies, radio, newspapers, magazines, books, records, video games and the internet. Many studies have been conducted in the past century to measure the effects of mass media on the population in order to discover the best techniques to influence it.

What are the agencies of social control in mass media - Answers

https://www.answers.com /Q/What_are_the_agencies_of_social_control_in_mass_media There is no such thing as the agencies of social control in mass media but mass media is an agency of social control because it is a way of controlling the way we act.

CIA influence on public opinion - Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org /wiki/CIA_influence_on_public_opinion The Central Intelligence Agency has made use of mass media assets, both foreign and domestic, for its covert operations. In 1973, the Washington Star-News reported that CIA had enlisted more than thirty Americans working abroad as journalists, citing an internal CIA inquiry ordered by CIA director William E. Colby.

American Intelligence Media - Citizens Addicted to Truth

https://aim4truth.org

Bill Barr: This is not decay. This is organized destruction. Schiff was essentially running an illegal spy operation against the White House. Trade Deal With China Is a Blockbuster

There's more than the CIA and FBI: The 17 agencies that make ...

https://www.latimes.com /nation/la-na-17-intelligence-agencies-20170112-story.html Jan 12, 2017 · The CIA is the most recognized intelligence agency, ... Though it's one of the smallest intelligence agencies, its assessment on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was ... border control ... The Role and Influence of Mass Media - cliffsnotes.com

https://www.cliffsnotes.com /study-guides/sociology/contemporary-mass-media/the-role-and-influence-of-mass-media Mass media is a significant force in modern culture, particularly in America. Sociologists refer to this as a mediated culture where media reflects and creates the culture. Communities and individuals are bombarded constantly with messages from a multitude of sources including TV, billboards, and magazines, to name a few. American Intelligence Media - YouTube

https://www.youtube.com /channel/UCv0dEcvXLOf4ZFvjCahK4Lw Join the Anonymous Patriot spokespersons and hosts of the AIM Radio network, Thomas,and Betsy, as they discusses a wide variety of topics that are pertinent ...

[Oct 19, 2019] Welcome To The USSR The United States Of Suppression And Repression by Charles Hugh Smith

Notable quotes:
"... When propaganda is cleverly engineered, people don't even recognize it as propaganda: welcome to the USSR, the United States of Suppression and Repression. The propaganda in the U.S. has reached such a high state that the majority of people accept it as "Pravda" (truth), even as their limbic system's BS detector is sensing there is a great disturbance in the Force. ..."
"... To give some examples: healthcare is over 18% of the nation's GDP, yet it makes up only 8.7% of the Consumer price Index. Hundreds of thousands of families have to declare bankruptcy as a result of crushing healthcare bills, but on the CPI components chart, it's a tiny little sliver just a bit more than recreation (5.7%). ..."
"... "Facts" are a funny thing when the data sources and massaging of that data are all purposefully opaque. Again, inflation is a lived-world example of how "official facts" are clearly massaged to support an essential narrative -- that inflation is so low it's basically signal noise, while in the real world it has impoverished the bottom 95% to a startling (but unmentionable) degree. ..."
"... This is what happened to this site in the bogus PropOrNot propaganda campaign of 2016, in which every alternative-media website that questioned the "approved narratives" was labeled "fake news" in a classic propaganda trick of labeling dissenters as propagandists to misdirect the citizenry from the actual propaganda (PropOrNot), which by the way was heavily promoted on page one by Jeff Bezos' propaganda mouthpiece, The Washington Post . (Who's your daddy, WP "journalists"?) ..."
"... Fake news, indeed. Those individuals who support the "approved narratives" and orthodoxies win gold stars, and so virtue-signaling is now the nation's most passionate hobby. (Shades of the Stasi...) ..."
"... In the wake of the 1976 Church Committee revelations on the institutional lawlessness and corruption of the FBI and CIA, the idea that former CIA propagandists and spy masters would be on TV as "commentators" would have been laughed off as a bad joke. Yet here are Clapper, Brennan et al, the "most likely to lie, obfuscate, rendition and propagandize" individuals in the nation welcomed as "experts" who we should all accept as trustworthy Big Brother. (Ahem) ..."
"... Welcome to the USSR: the United States of Suppression and Repression , where your views are welcome as long as they parrot "approved narratives" and the corporate-state's orthodoxies. "Facts" are only welcome if they lend credence to the "approved narratives" and orthodoxies. ..."
Oct 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

We're all against "fake news," right? Until your content is deemed "fake news" in a "fake news" indictment without any evidence, trial or recourse.

When propaganda is cleverly engineered, people don't even recognize it as propaganda: welcome to the USSR, the United States of Suppression and Repression. The propaganda in the U.S. has reached such a high state that the majority of people accept it as "Pravda" (truth), even as their limbic system's BS detector is sensing there is a great disturbance in the Force.

Inflation is a good example. The official (i.e. propaganda) inflation rate is increasingly detached from the real-world declines in the purchasing power of the bottom 80%, yet the jabbering talking heads on TV repeat the "low inflation" story with such conviction that the dissonance between the "official narrative" and the real world must be "our fault"--a classic technique of brainwashing.

To give some examples: healthcare is over 18% of the nation's GDP, yet it makes up only 8.7% of the Consumer price Index. Hundreds of thousands of families have to declare bankruptcy as a result of crushing healthcare bills, but on the CPI components chart, it's a tiny little sliver just a bit more than recreation (5.7%).

Then there's education, which includes the $1.4 trillion borrowed by student debt-serfs--which is only part of the tsunami of cash gushing into the coffers of the higher-education cartel. Yet education & communication (which presumably includes the Internet / mobile telephone service cartel's soaring prices) is another tiny sliver of the CPI, just 6.6%, a bit more than fun-and-games recreation.

As for housing costs, former Soviet apparatchiks must be high-fiving the Federal agencies for their inventive confusion of reality with magical made-up "statistics." To estimate housing costs, the federal agency in charge of ginning up a low inflation number asks homeowners to guess what their house would rent for, were it being rented--what's known as equivalent rent.

Wait a minute--don't we have actual sales data for houses, and actual rent data? Yes we do, but those are verboten because they reflect skyrocketing inflation in housing costs, which is not allowed. So we use some fake guessing-game numbers, and the corporate media dutifully delivers the "pravda" that inflation is 1.6% annually--basically signal noise, while in the real world (as measured by the Chapwood Index) is running between 9% and 13% annually. How the Chapwood Index is calculated )

As the dissonance between the real world experienced by the citizenry and what they're told is "pravda" by the media reaches extremes, the media is forced to double-down on the propaganda , shouting down, marginalizing, discrediting, demonetizing and suppressing dissenters via character assassination, following the old Soviet script to a tee.

(Clearly, the CIA's agitprop sector mastered the Soviet templates and has been applying what they learned to the domestic populace. By all means, start by brainwashing the home audience so they don't catch on that the "news" is a Truman Show simulation.)

In 2014, Peter Pomerantsev, a British journalist born in the Soviet Union, published Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia which drew on his years working in Russian television to describe a society in giddy, hysterical flight from enlightenment empiricism. He wrote of how state-controlled Russian broadcasting "became ever more twisted, the need to incite panic and fear ever more urgent; rationality was tuned out, and Kremlin-friendly cults and hatemongers were put on prime time."

Now, he's written a penetrating follow-up, This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality that is partly an effort to make sense of how the disorienting phenomena he observed in Russia went global. The child of exiled Soviet dissidents, Pomerantsev juxtaposes his family's story -- unfolding at a time when ideas, art and information seemed to challenge tyranny -- with a present in which truth scarcely appears to matter.

"During glasnost, it seemed that the truth would set everybody free," he writes. "Facts seemed possessed of power; dictators seemed so afraid of facts that they suppressed them. But something has gone drastically wrong: We have access to more information and evidence than ever, but facts seem to have lost their power."

(source)

"Facts" are a funny thing when the data sources and massaging of that data are all purposefully opaque. Again, inflation is a lived-world example of how "official facts" are clearly massaged to support an essential narrative -- that inflation is so low it's basically signal noise, while in the real world it has impoverished the bottom 95% to a startling (but unmentionable) degree.

This is the reality as inflation has eaten up wages' purchasing power: Families Go Deep in Debt to Stay in the Middle Class Wages stalled but costs haven't, so people increasingly rent or finance what their parents might have owned outright Median household income in the U.S. was $61,372 at the end of 2017, according to the Census Bureau. When inflation is taken into account, that is just above the 1999 level.

We're all against "fake news," right? Until your content is deemed "fake news" in a "fake news" indictment without any evidence, trial or recourse. This is what happened to this site in the bogus PropOrNot propaganda campaign of 2016, in which every alternative-media website that questioned the "approved narratives" was labeled "fake news" in a classic propaganda trick of labeling dissenters as propagandists to misdirect the citizenry from the actual propaganda (PropOrNot), which by the way was heavily promoted on page one by Jeff Bezos' propaganda mouthpiece, The Washington Post . (Who's your daddy, WP "journalists"?)

Meanwhile, back in reality, the primary source of data here on oftwominds.com is 1) the Federal Reserve data base (FRED) 2) IRS data and 3) content and charts posted by the cream of the U.S. corporate media Foreign Affairs, Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

Fake news, indeed. Those individuals who support the "approved narratives" and orthodoxies win gold stars, and so virtue-signaling is now the nation's most passionate hobby. (Shades of the Stasi...)

In the wake of the 1976 Church Committee revelations on the institutional lawlessness and corruption of the FBI and CIA, the idea that former CIA propagandists and spy masters would be on TV as "commentators" would have been laughed off as a bad joke. Yet here are Clapper, Brennan et al, the "most likely to lie, obfuscate, rendition and propagandize" individuals in the nation welcomed as "experts" who we should all accept as trustworthy Big Brother. (Ahem)

What if every employee in the corporate media who was paid (or coerced) by the FBI, NSA, CIA etc. had to wear a large colorful badge that read, "owned by the FBI/CIA"? Would that change our view of the validity of the "approved narratives"?

Welcome to the USSR: the United States of Suppression and Repression , where your views are welcome as long as they parrot "approved narratives" and the corporate-state's orthodoxies. "Facts" are only welcome if they lend credence to the "approved narratives" and orthodoxies.

For example, corporate earnings are rising. Never mind estimates were slashed, that was buried in footnotes a month ago. What matters is Corporate America will once again "beat estimates" by a penny, or a nickel, or gasp, oh the wonderment, by a dime, on earnings that were slashed by a dollar when "nobody was looking." Meanwhile, back in reality, the bottom 95% have been losing ground for two decades. But don't say anything, you'll be guilty of "fake news."

* * *

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[Oct 19, 2019] Kunstler One Big Reason Why America Is Driving Itself Bat$hit Crazy

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It's a major unanticipated consequence of the digital "revolution." It has gotten us stuck looking backward at events, obsessively replaying them, while working overtime to spin them favorably for one team or the other, at the expense of actually living in real time and dealing with reality as it unspools with us. If life were a ballgame, we'd only be watching jumbotron replays while failing to pay attention to the action on the field. ..."
"... The stupendous failure of the Mueller Investigation only revealed what can happen when extraordinary bad faith, dishonesty, and incompetence are brought to this project of reinventing "truth" -- of who did what and why -- while it provoked a counter-industry of detecting its gross falsifications. ..."
"... Perhaps you can see why unleashing the CIA, NSA, and the FBI on political enemies by Mr. Obama and his cohorts has become such a disaster. When that scheme blew up, the intel community went to the mattresses, as the saying goes in Mafia legend and lore. The "company" found itself at existential risk. Of course, the CIA has long been accused of following an agenda of its own simply because it had the means to do it. It had the manpower, the money, and the equipment to run whatever operations it felt like running, and a history of going its own way out of sheer institutional arrogance, of knowing better than the crackers and clowns elected by the hoi-polloi. The secrecy inherent in its charter was a green light for limitless mischief and some of the agency's directors showed open contempt for the occupants of the White House. Think: Allen Dulles and William Casey. And lately, Mr. Brennan. ..."
Oct 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

Here's one big reason that America is driving itself batshit crazy : the explosion of computerized records, emails, inter-office memos, Twitter trails, Facebook memorabilia, iPhone videos, YouTubes, recorded conversations, and the vast alternative universe of storage capacity for all this stuff makes it seem possible to constantly go back and reconstruct reality. All it has really done is amplified the potential for political mischief to suicide level.

It's a major unanticipated consequence of the digital "revolution." It has gotten us stuck looking backward at events, obsessively replaying them, while working overtime to spin them favorably for one team or the other, at the expense of actually living in real time and dealing with reality as it unspools with us. If life were a ballgame, we'd only be watching jumbotron replays while failing to pay attention to the action on the field.

Before all this, history was left largely to historians, who curated it from a range of views for carefully considered introduction to the stream of human culture, and managed this process at a pace that allowed a polity to get on with its business at hand in the here-and-now -- instead of incessantly and recursively reviewing events that have already happened 24/7. The more electronic media has evolved, the more it lends itself to manipulation, propaganda, and falsification of whatever happened five minutes, or five hours, or five weeks ago.

This is exactly why and how the losing team in the 2016 election has worked so hard to change that bit of history. The stupendous failure of the Mueller Investigation only revealed what can happen when extraordinary bad faith, dishonesty, and incompetence are brought to this project of reinventing "truth" -- of who did what and why -- while it provoked a counter-industry of detecting its gross falsifications.

This dynamic has long been systematically studied and applied by institutions like the so-called "intelligence community," and has gotten so out-of-hand that its main mission these days appears to be the maximum gaslighting of the nation -- for the purpose of its own desperate self-defense. The "Whistleblower" episode is the latest turn in dishonestly manipulated records, but the most interesting feature of it is that the release of the actual transcript of the Trump-Zelensky phone call did not affect the "narrative" precooked between the CIA and Adam Schiff's House Intel Committee. They just blundered on with the story and when major parts of the replay didn't add up, they retreated to secret sessions in the basement of the US capitol.

Perhaps you can see why unleashing the CIA, NSA, and the FBI on political enemies by Mr. Obama and his cohorts has become such a disaster. When that scheme blew up, the intel community went to the mattresses, as the saying goes in Mafia legend and lore. The "company" found itself at existential risk. Of course, the CIA has long been accused of following an agenda of its own simply because it had the means to do it. It had the manpower, the money, and the equipment to run whatever operations it felt like running, and a history of going its own way out of sheer institutional arrogance, of knowing better than the crackers and clowns elected by the hoi-polloi. The secrecy inherent in its charter was a green light for limitless mischief and some of the agency's directors showed open contempt for the occupants of the White House. Think: Allen Dulles and William Casey. And lately, Mr. Brennan.

The recently-spawned NSA has mainly added the capacity to turn everything that happens into replay material, since it is suspected of recording every phone call, every email, every financial transaction, every closed-circuit screen capture, and anything else its computers can snare for storage in its Utah Data Storage Center. Now you know why the actions of Edward Snowden were so significant. He did what he did because he was moral enough to know the face of malevolence when he saw it. That he survives in exile is a miracle.

As for the FBI, only an exceptional species of ineptitude explains the trouble they got themselves into with the RussiaGate fiasco. The unbelievable election loss of Mrs. Clinton screwed the pooch for them, and the desperate acts that followed only made things worse. The incompetence and mendacity on display was only matched by Mr. Mueller and his lawyers, who were supposed to be the FBI's cleanup crew and only left a bigger mess -- all of it cataloged in digital records.

Now, persons throughout all these agencies are waiting for the hammer to fall. If they are prosecuted, the process will entail yet another monumental excursion into the replaying of those digital records. It could go on for years. So, the final act in the collapse of the USA will be the government choking itself to death on replayed narratives from its own server farms.

In the meantime, events are actually tending in a direction that will eventually deprive the nation of the means to continue most of its accustomed activities including credible elections, food distribution, a reliable electric grid, and perhaps even self-defense.

[Oct 13, 2019] Rep. Jim Jordan Asks 17 Awkward Questions About Pelosi's Impeachment Inquiry

This is coup d'état, no question about it. What is the level of connection of Adam Schiff and the CIA?
Notable quotes:
"... Why did the "whistleblower" write an 800+ word memo describing President Trump and President Zelensky's call based on second-hand information gleaned from a conversation that lasted just a few minutes? ..."
"... Why didn't the "whistleblower" just give his memo to the Inspector General, instead of a seven page complaint dressed up with extraneous citations and media references? ..."
"... What work did the “whistleblower” do with a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate? ..."
Oct 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

1. Why did the "whistleblower" write an 800+ word memo describing President Trump and President Zelensky's call based on second-hand information gleaned from a conversation that lasted just a few minutes?

2. Why did the "whistleblower" wait 18 days to file the complaint after describing the call as "frightening" in their memo?

3. Why and when did the "whistleblower" communicate with Rep Adam Schiff's staff before filing the complaint?

4. Why did the "whistleblower" hide from the ICIG that they met with Rep Adam Schiff's staff by not checking the box on the whistleblower form indicating they had spoken to Congress?

5. Why didn't Rep Adam Schiff tell us his staff had met with the "whistleblower?"

6. Why didn't the "whistleblower" just give his memo to the Inspector General, instead of a seven page complaint dressed up with extraneous citations and media references?

7. Why is Rep Adam Schiff holding hearings, depositions, and interviews behind closed doors?

8. Why won't Rep Adam Schiff release the transcripts of these interviews, instead of leaking cherry-picked information that fits his narrative?

9. Why won't Rep Adam Schiff take questions from the press after these interviews, like Republicans have done?

10. Why does Speaker Pelosi think we need to “strike while the iron is hot,” instead of taking time for serious and thorough investigative fact-finding?

11. Why is Speaker Pelosi scared to have a vote to open an official impeachment inquiry like it’s been done every other time?

12. Why do Democrats keep making up the rules as they go along, instead of following a fair process?

13. What work did the “whistleblower” do with a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate?

14. Why do Democrats and the media keep falsely claiming President Trump pressured Ukraine? President Zelensky has repeatedly said that he wasn't pushed.

15. Why don't Democrats trust the American people to choose the President? The election is less than 13 months away.

16. Why won't Democrats focus on helping the country, instead of attacking the President with this unfair and partisan process?

17. Why won't the media ask these questions to Rep Adam Schiff or Speaker Pelosi?


punjabiraj , 1 minute ago link

Dems not troubled by truth. Their mind control media believes in itself as the new God that the morons bow down to and will abandon their children for. Their brainwashed radical left will trample their own mothers to get into a fight to the death for their demonic cause of grabbing power for the furtherance of their selfish sponsors.

This is the train of darkness that unwittingly delivered the first people POTUS reaction. The train drivers are very powerful and are long established as the puppet masters. They are scheming 24/7 on multiple fronts to distract their enemy called democracy and further embed themselves within every internal organ and nerve fiber. But they are not immutable.

The capture of democracy is a goal that they must achieve. The attack is obviously coordinated and multi-faceted. The tool of brainwashing will target the children, like the Nazi program called "Hitler Youth" but with a neolibic dogma.

One man stands alone against the deep state and its swamp and media and mind control and infiltration. Can he trust anyone to watch his back?

Someone Else , 9 minutes ago link

This is really a travesty. Every day we hear about this. The President is being tried by the press - with only one side being heard. How the hell is this fair?

Sick Monkey , 13 minutes ago link

The impeachment calls were to serve as a distraction till 2020.

Seems to have backfired.

Again

hooligan2009 , 1 hour ago link

disturbing thread to you maybe.

to most on this thread democrats want to take all they can via taxes, then borrow what they can't raise in taxes, democrats will cause widespread poverty, sickness and will sponsor **** educational standards, encourage perversion and pay minorities taxpayer dollars to buy their votes - even though minorities are no more special than any social grouping (other than the perverts in the lbGTQ++ community who are special in a mentally retarded way) democrats sponsor criminal behavior by refusing to punish it and so on and so forth,

trump at least promotes reward for effort, by giving back some taxes to individuals and makes American corporate tax rates consistent with global corporate tax rates, has shitcanned the stealth taxes on healthy people via Obamacare, and inspires people left behind by the constant march to socialism that the US has endured for the last fifty years (via welfare benefits, scholastic indoctrination, social housing programs, medicare/medicaid programs that taxpayers could have got for half the price they paid - and half the debt liabilities run up in trust funds.

so..has trump got the federal government completely out of peoples lives? no, but he at least wants taxes on the country to 18% of GDP and not the 40% targeted by the howler monkeys on the left.

it is not a choice of two equal evils. it is the choice between YOU paying 18% of your income or 40%.

tough choice right?

[Oct 13, 2019] The Foreign Office Must Be Challenged Over Sacoolas' Immunity

Oct 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Craig Murray,

... ... ...

Finally, if RAF Croughton were an annex to the US Embassy and if Mr Sacoolas were a diplomat, the cars of both he and his wife would have diplomatic CD plates. Mrs Sacoolas was not driving a diplomatic car – an obviously vital fact in this case, again omitted from all mainstream media reporting.

... ... ...

This fake "diplomatic immunity" needs to be challenged in court, but I am not sure anyone except Harry Dunn's family has the locus to do this. Their son was killed by the wife of a spy and to avoid political embarrassment about his activities, the government has falsely connived at a status of diplomatic immunity and then pretended to be trying to get Mrs Sacoolas back. That is an awful lot to take in for people in a terrible state of grief. After losing a son, the cognitive dissonance involved in uncovering state secrets, and learning that the state is malevolent and senior ministerial office holders are liars, is a huge hurdle to surmount. The Dunn family have first to summon the will to fight it, and then to avoid the attempts to hug them in the suffocating embrace of an establishment lawyer – believe me the powers that be will be covertly thrusting one at them – who will advise them they are most likely to make progress if they rock no boats.

The only people I know of who effectively enjoy secret diplomatic immunity are spies from CIA/NSA like Jonathon Sacoolas or from Mossad like Shai Masot . There are not any other categories of pretend diplomats having immunity, and the elaborate charade to pretend that there are is a nonsense. It must not distract from the fact that the claim that the government can grant US and Israeli intelligence agencies diplomatic immunity at will is a lie. The government is acting illegally here. There is no legislation that covers Raab in allowing Mrs Sacoolas to kill – albeit accidentally – with impunity.

I pray both the government and Mrs Sacoolas will be brought to account. I hope Mr and Mrs Dunn find what peace they can with their loss, and are able to remember with due warmth the eighteen wonderful years that I am sure they had with their son.

* * *

Unlike our adversaries including the Integrity Initiative, the 77th Brigade, Bellingcat, the Atlantic Council and hundreds of other warmongering propaganda operations, Craig's blog has no source of state, corporate or institutional finance whatsoever. It runs entirely on voluntary subscriptions from its readers – many of whom do not necessarily agree with the every article, but welcome the alternative voice, insider information and debate. Subscriptions to keep Craig's blog going are gratefully received .

[Sep 30, 2019] Stephen Miller calls whistleblower a 'partisan hit job' in fiery interview

Highly recommended!
This is deep state operation, Russiagate II, pure and simple
Stephen Miller proved to be formidable debater. His jeremiad against the Deep State at 12:55 was brilliant. Former South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy says people have stopped sharing information with the House Intelligence Committee because Chair Adam Schiff is the most deeply partisan member who is "leaking like a sieve"
The problem with Pelosi bold move is that she does not have votes for impeachment, but the dirt uncovered might sink any Democrat changes for 2020
Notable quotes:
"... Stephen Miller is amazing at wrestling and smacking down this Democratic Operative Chris Wallace ..."
"... Wallace is a minion of the globalists. ..."
"... Stephen Miller is CORRECT -- there is no more integrity and confidence in government affairs when it can be turned into ammunition against the President of the United States. Chris Wallace really ought to work for CNN. ..."
"... Chris Wallace Incorrect. We have the Docs that expose the corruption on the part of the Biden. We have his legal team basically threatening the new prosectutor saying in lawyer speak "Hey you saw how we got the last prosecutor fired? I'd suggest you cooperate with us or you will get fired next" .450 pages from Biden's son legal team at Burisma, Ukrainian Embassy Official Docs and State Department Docs. ..."
"... Also last time I checked Donald Trump is the head of the executive branch he can direct anyone to go find anything, and I haven't seen one person show me where he can't. ..."
Sep 30, 2019 | www.youtube.com

john scott , 3 hours ago

This hit job is George Soros and Son and his Lawyers

We2 , 21 minutes ago

Wallace is one of the Deep State swamp creature plants that he is talking about!

YahshuaLovesMe , 8 seconds ago

this interviewer Chris Wallace is a subversive. so it seems to me. he is a saboteur.

Salvador , 46 seconds ago

Stephen Miller is amazing at wrestling and smacking down this Democratic Operative Chris Wallace

vermeea1 , 17 minutes ago

FOX is a part of the Oligarch Deep State.

Reverend Fry , 7 minutes ago

Wallace is a minion of the globalists.

YahshuaLovesMe , 14 seconds ago

Stephen Miller is a genius.

Flash , 5 minutes ago

Stephen Miller is CORRECT -- there is no more integrity and confidence in government affairs when it can be turned into ammunition against the President of the United States. Chris Wallace really ought to work for CNN.

Russ Hansen , 1 minute ago

Biden and the whistle blower hahaha they need to go to jail

Lloyd Noland , 6 minutes ago

Chris Wallace Incorrect. We have the Docs that expose the corruption on the part of the Biden. We have his legal team basically threatening the new prosectutor saying in lawyer speak "Hey you saw how we got the last prosecutor fired? I'd suggest you cooperate with us or you will get fired next" .450 pages from Biden's son legal team at Burisma, Ukrainian Embassy Official Docs and State Department Docs.

Wallace you sir you are a paritsan hack. Anyone can read the docs too thats whats sad. I'm only 70 pages in and its bad for the Biden's jailtime bad.

Also last time I checked Donald Trump is the head of the executive branch he can direct anyone to go find anything, and I haven't seen one person show me where he can't.

[Sep 28, 2019] Media biased Hong Kong reporting

Foreign new coverage in modern western societies is controlled by intelligence agencies. There are no exceptions.
Notable quotes:
"... At this stage, any one who still believes in the western propaganda about China is simply too brain-washed and not too smart for any cure. Excuse me, I should say "too dumb for any cure". ..."
"... For example, Nathan Rich's recent video shows how media biased reporting of Hong Kong compare with Ukraine riots. The contrast can't be anymore stark: ..."
"... All these so-called anti communist slant against countries, I suspect, have its origins in the Vatican. People seem to forget that they should bear false witness https://www.youtube.com/embed/yUGPIeE9kMc?feature=oembed ..."
Sep 28, 2019 | www.unz.com

nsa , says: September 28, 2019 at 11:17 am GMT

@d dan " ..media biased Hong Kong reporting ."
How would American cops react to punks tossing Molotov Cocktails at them? Arson is a felony but there would be no need for a trial just a coroner.
d dan , says: September 27, 2019 at 4:12 pm GMT
@Godfree Roberts "The weird result of this enormous, expensive effort is that, while we were busy lying to ourselves about China "

At this stage, any one who still believes in the western propaganda about China is simply too brain-washed and not too smart for any cure. Excuse me, I should say "too dumb for any cure".

For example, Nathan Rich's recent video shows how media biased reporting of Hong Kong compare with Ukraine riots. The contrast can't be anymore stark:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/-2Rr8hZK2aQ?feature=oembed

Godfree Roberts , says: September 27, 2019 at 10:57 pm GMT
@Tusk "Radio Free Asia reports .". RFA is a US Government propaganda outlet. 100% WMD, 24×7.
Ber , says: September 28, 2019 at 2:19 am GMT
@Godfree Roberts Here is a good analysis of how the main stream media (MSM) gang up to give propaganda, and how I wish they have objective comments about China or any country they do not like.

All these so-called anti communist slant against countries, I suspect, have its origins in the Vatican. People seem to forget that they should bear false witness

https://www.youtube.com/embed/yUGPIeE9kMc?feature=oembed

[Sep 26, 2019] Did Nancy Pelosi Just Make One Of The Biggest Political Mistakes In History

The key question here is: Is Nancy Pelosi a CIA controlled politician who followed Breenan instruction to open the second stage of the color revolution against Trump. Her long service in House Intelligence Committee suggest that this is a possibility.
Sep 26, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Michael Snyder via The End of The American Dream blog,

Nancy Pelosi just took the biggest gamble of her entire political career. If she is ultimately successful, she will be remembered as the woman that removed Donald Trump from the White House, and Democrats will treat her like a hero for the rest of her life. But if she fails and Trump wins in 2020, the backlash that she created when she tried to impeach Trump is likely to be blamed, and she could potentially lose her leadership role in the House. Of course at that point she probably wouldn't want to remain in the House much longer, and she would be hated by many Democrats for the rest of her life for subjecting them to four more years of Trump. So it really is all on the line for Nancy Pelosi, and she never should have gone down this road if she wasn't absolutely certain that she could deliver.

And at this point, most Americans don't want impeachment proceedings to happen. For example, just check out what a Politico/Morning Consult poll just found

In the poll -- conducted Friday through Sunday, as stories circled about Trump allegedly pressuring Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, one of the Democratic candidates hoping to oust him -- 36 percent of respondents said they believe Congress should begin impeachment proceedings against Trump.

Other surveys have come up with similar results , but there is one survey out there that indicates that most Americans would actually support impeachment proceedings if the evidence shows that "Trump did use his presidential power to force a foreign leader to help take down a political rival"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Tuesday the opening of a formal impeachment inquiry against Trump in response to the Ukraine controversy. If it's found that Trump did use his presidential power to force a foreign leader to help take down a political rival, 55 percent of U.S. adults said they would support removing him from office, according to a recent YouGov survey.

Forty-four percent of those polled said they'd "strongly support" removing Trump if the allegations are true, while another 11 percent said they'd "somewhat support" it.

But as it stands right now, on the national level this is a very unpopular decision by Pelosi, and it could potentially hurt Democrats among key blocs of voters

Worse yet, impeachment isn't selling where Democrats made their best gains in the midterms. A majority of suburban respondents oppose starting the impeachment process (35 percent/50 percent), with a wider gap among rural respondents (27/59), while urban voters are more ambivalent than one might guess (47/35). Impeachment trails by double digits in the South (33/53), Midwest, (36/48), and even in the Democrat-friendly Northeast (37/48).

Another reason why this is potentially a giant mistake by Nancy Pelosi is the fact that all of this focus on Ukraine is almost certainly going to damage one of the frontrunners for the Democratic nomination.

All of a sudden, everyone is talking about Joe Biden, Hunter Biden and Ukraine. A lot of voters are going to look into what happened, and they are not going to be pleased. And this comes at a time when Elizabeth Warren is surging in the polls, and real votes will start to be cast in just a few months.

Up until recently, the Biden campaign had successfully kept the focus off Hunter Biden and Ukraine , and Joe was widely considered to be the heavy favorite to win the nomination.

But now everything could change thanks to Nancy Pelosi.

And what if this push toward impeachment is not successful? Trump's base is going to be extremely fired up by all of the political drama over the next several months, and if Trump survives it is going to be a huge boost for his campaign.

All of the recent polls indicated that a Democrat was likely to win in 2020, and there was a very good chance that the Democrats were going to take the Senate too, but now this could dramatically shift public opinion and change everything.

Nancy Pelosi is rolling the dice, and if she fails it is going to be absolutely disastrous for the Democratic Party. The following is how Matthew Walther summarized the situation that she is facing

Pelosi knows this will not be popular. She knows more than that. She knows that it will be a disaster for the Democratic Party, that it will inflame the president's base and inspire even his most lukewarm supporters with a sense of outrage. She knows that in states like Michigan, upon which her party's chances in 2020 will depend, the question of impeachment does not poll well. She knows, further, that Joe Biden will not be able to spend the next 14 or so months refusing to answer questions about the activities of his son, Hunter, in Ukraine, and that increased scrutiny of the vice president's record in office will not rebound to his credit. She and her fellow Democratic leaders had better hope that someone like Elizabeth Warren manages to steal the nomination away from him before this defines his candidacy the way that Hillary Clinton's emails and paid speechmaking did during and after the 2016 primaries.

And it isn't going to be easy for Pelosi to be successful, because she is going to need 67 votes in the Senate to convict Trump, and right now Democrats only hold 47 seats.

In the end, this is yet another example that proves that America's political system is deeply broken, and we desperately need a seismic change .

Because no matter what the end result is, this entire episode is going to be a giant stain in the history books.

If future generations of Americans get the chance, they will look back on this entire saga with disgust.

And if our founders could see us today, they would be rolling over in their graves, because this is not what they intended.

[Sep 25, 2019] After Chavez took power, Venezuelans told me that he had found that a critical subsidiary of the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA was basically a CIA shop.

Notable quotes:
"... One of the reasons that I doubt Biden's version of the story stems from my experience in Venezuela. After Chavez took power, Venezuelans told me that he had found that a critical subsidiary of the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA was basically a CIA shop. The names of CIA on the Board of Directors were not just ordinary CIA, but were recognizable figures at the very top. ..."
"... To me this is entirely plausible. Control of oil is critical to US global hegemony. And what better way to control foreign oil than to have trusted American asset sit on the BOD? ..."
Sep 25, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

JohnH -> JohnH... , September 25, 2019 at 03:45 PM

One of the reasons that I doubt Biden's version of the story stems from my experience in Venezuela. After Chavez took power, Venezuelans told me that he had found that a critical subsidiary of the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA was basically a CIA shop. The names of CIA on the Board of Directors were not just ordinary CIA, but were recognizable figures at the very top.

To me this is entirely plausible. Control of oil is critical to US global hegemony. And what better way to control foreign oil than to have trusted American asset sit on the BOD?

This brings us to Hunter Biden's appointment to Ukrainian energy giant Burisma. After the coup in 2014, why wouldn't Biden want a trusted asset on the board of the biggest natural gas producer in Ukraine? IOW it was unpublicized standard operating procedure.

[Sep 24, 2019] CIA decided under Dulles that they were the only ones capable of leading this country

Notable quotes:
"... CIA decided under Dulles that they were the only ones capable of leading this country, mainly because they wanted it ran their way and no other. Don't take my word for it though, read Arthur B. Darling's "THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, AN INSTRUMENT OF GOVERNMENT TO 1950 copy right 1990 Penn State Press. (This work was classified for quite a long while.) ..."
"... So the first thing that works in CIA et al's favor is politicians who have been in DC long enough to be worn down and thoroughly compromised by blackmail of one sort or another and there fore vulnerable. ..."
Sep 24, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

SusanR , September 20, 2019 at 20:22

It has been my contention that Biden's powerful backers from the military-industrial-intelligence-media complex are fully aware of his mental state, and that is precisely why they want him to be president. Why? He would only be a figure-head president. He would be given a suggested running mate as well as a list of candidates for cabinet and other appointed positions (as Obama was given) and Biden would follow that in making appointments. Policies of his administration would be consistent with the interests of the military-industrial-intelligence-media complex.

robert e williamson jr , September 20, 2019 at 15:19

Kids this is exactly what the intelligence community wants, someone who they can claim needs to be told what to do or be kept discreetly out of the loop, so currently Joe maybe the chosen one just as Bill Barr is reported to have told Slick Willy.

We end up where we are at the moment because our security state apparatus is ran by the intelligence community who do not really want a strong intelligent, clear minded president who can actually think for himself. Ask Barrack Obama!

For years I've used this analogy, crude as it maybe, that when the newly elected president is called on for his national security briefing it is always a tense encounter because this "Newby" is about to have a come to Jesus meeting with this most abusive of all government entities. The intelligence community. He is "shown the way"he will act because if he doesn't this community who has relieved him of one his go -- -s will come and relieve him of the other.

This started as a joke on my part, I'm now convinced it reflects reality.

At some point many here will understand that since around the time of the murder of JFK , CIA has framed things in this manner.

CIA decided under Dulles that they were the only ones capable of leading this country, mainly because they wanted it ran their way and no other. Don't take my word for it though, read Arthur B. Darling's "THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, AN INSTRUMENT OF GOVERNMENT TO 1950 copy right 1990 Penn State Press. (This work was classified for quite a long while.)

Doing so will help make your mind more flexible , jeesh what a slog to get through it.

So the first thing that works in CIA et al's favor is politicians who have been in DC long enough to be worn down and thoroughly compromised by blackmail of one sort or another and there fore vulnerable.

I figured if Caitlin could say "dog balls " which I think was a great analogy I could say gonads.

Time to sit down Joe.

Thanks again to Consortium News for their great efforts at informing the masses.

[Sep 23, 2019] Snowden: "I would like to return to the US"

Sep 23, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star September 16, 2019 at 1:32 pm

Snowden on CBS this morning worth watching .

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/edward-snowden-wants-to-come-home-but-says-u-s-wont-give-him-a-fair-trial/

Like Like

Jen September 16, 2019 at 5:57 pm
Taco Bell, please open an outlet in Moscow or near where Ed Snowden lives to keep him happy and stop him from getting homesick!

Like Like

Moscow Exile September 16, 2019 at 10:57 pm
Snowden: "I would like to return to the US"
Mark Chapman September 16, 2019 at 11:06 pm
I don't see how he could have handled it better. He was polite and well-spoken, never flustered or defensive, and the talking heads tumbled over one another in their eagerness to be properly judgmental, to talk over him and recite their own talking points, and ended up looking like buffoons. He will be a tough nut to crack, and so far the American regime has done nothing to convince ordinary people that he is a cowardly traitor. Putting him on television only makes him look more heroic.

Like Like

Moscow Exile September 17, 2019 at 1:29 am
Typical Yankee judgementalism:

Snowdon: "Russia has, shall we say, a problematic human rights record -- at a minimum "

Never had no negro slavery, though, did it, Edward?

Like Like

Moscow Exile September 17, 2019 at 1:31 am
"That's if we're being generous" ???

Who?

The USA????

Like Like

Moscow Exile September 17, 2019 at 1:43 am
And a US "talking" head, in reply to Snowdon's belief that he would not get a fair trial in the USA (a US human rights issue, is that not, Mr.Snowdon?) says that criminals and alleged criminals do not customarily get to determine the terms of their trial: they broke the law and they face the consequences "

Guilty before proven innocent?

Presumption of innocence: an international human right under the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 11.

Like Like

Mark Chapman September 17, 2019 at 6:59 am
An excellent point I wish he had immediately made.

Like Like

Mark Chapman September 17, 2019 at 7:06 am
Nor, to the best of my recollection, did it have an Abu Ghraib. The United States actually has a pretty shitty human-rights record if you consider it from the viewpoint of how it treas others than Americans, and – going further back – only white Americans. The west always tries to factor in the Holodomor, too, how Russia deliberately starved the Ukrainians to death, as an example of their horrible human rights record.

Like Like

yalensis September 17, 2019 at 1:10 pm
I cringed at that one too. But I forgive Edward, because I think he was trying to make a tactical debating point, namely:

I am not a Russia stooge, I have my criticisms of the Russian regime yada yada, and I agree with you talking heads that their human rights record is not well received in the West. And yet they scored a human-rights trifecta when they let me in, when not one single "democracy" would defend me or give me asylum.

In other words, he would concede, for argumentation purposes, that Russia is bad, only to stick it to them that Russia did well by him and scored propaganda points against the West. It's a particular debating tactic, whose Latin name I cannot recall.

Unfortunately, Edward never got to finish his point, because those bitches cut him off before he could even get to the punchline.

Like Like

Northern Star September 17, 2019 at 3:18 pm
Ahhh I see you will need more intense beatings at the cultural reeducation camp in consideration of your continued use of the 'negro' word.

However one should ignore Gayle she's a black moron, one of the TV progeny of the uber fat whale 'O'.

Like Like

Moscow Exile September 19, 2019 at 8:20 pm
Is it "wrong" to say "negro" now?

Like Like

[Sep 22, 2019] More Americans Questioning Official 9-11 Story As New Evidence Contradicts Official Narrative by Whitney Webb

Highly recommended!
If commissioners for a New York-area Fire Department, which responded to the attacks called for a new investigation into the events of September 11 then official story is officially dead.
Notable quotes:
"... Evidence continues to mount that the official narrative itself is the irrational narrative of September 11, and it becomes ever more clear that the media remains committed to preventing legitimate questions about that day from receiving the scrutiny they deserve. ..."
"... For instance, in late July, commissioners for a New York-area Fire Department, which responded to the attacks and lost one of their own that day, called for a new investigation into the events of September 11. On July 24, the board of commissioners for the Franklin Square and Munson Fire District, which serves a population of around 30,000 near Queens, voted unanimously in their call for a new investigation into the attacks. ..."
"... Commissioner Christopher Gioia, who drafted and introduced the resolution, told those present at the meeting's conclusion that getting all of the New York fire districts onboard was their plan anyway. ..."
"... "We're a tight-knit community and we never forget our fallen brothers and sisters. You better believe that when the entire fire service of New York State is on board, we will be an unstoppable force," Gioia said. "We were the first fire district to pass this resolution. We won't be the last," he added. ..."
"... While questioning the official conclusions of the first federal investigation into 9/11 has been treated as taboo in the American media landscape for years, it is worth noting that even those who led the commission have said that the investigation was "set up to fail" from the start and that they were repeatedly misled and lied to by federal officials in relation to the events of that day. ..."
"... For instance, the chair and vice-chair of the 9/11 Commission, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, wrote in their book Without Precedent that not only was the commission starved of funds and its powers of investigation oddly limited, but that they were obstructed and outright lied to by top Pentagon officials and officials with the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA). ..."
"... Though the official story regarding the collapse of WTC 7 cites "uncontrolled building fires" as leading to the building's destruction, a majority of Americans who have seen the footage of the 47-story tower come down from four different angles overwhelmingly reject the official story, based on a new YouGov poll released on Monday. ..."
"... That poll found that 52 percent of those who saw the footage were either sure or suspected that the building's fall was due to explosives and was a controlled demolition, with 27 percent saying they didn't know what to make of the footage. Only 21 percent of those polled agreed with the official story that the building collapsed due to fires alone. Prior to seeing the footage, 36 percent of respondents said that they were unaware that a third building collapsed on September 11 and more than 67 percent were unable to name the building that had collapsed. ..."
"... Ted Walter, Director of Strategy and Development for Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, told MintPress that the lack of awareness about WTC 7 among the general public "goes to show that the mainstream media has completely failed to inform the American people about even the most basic facts related to 9/11. On any other day in history, if a 47-story skyscraper fell into its footprint due to 'office fires,' everyone in the country would have heard about it." ..."
"... The Americans who felt that the video footage of WTC 7's collapse did not fit with the official narrative and appeared to show a controlled demolition now have more scientific evidence to fall back on after the release of a new university study found that the building came down not due to fire but from "the near-simultaneous failure of every column in the building." The extensive four-year study was conducted by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alaska and used complex computer models to determine if the building really was the first steel-framed high-rise ever to have collapsed solely due to office fires. ..."
"... The only reason it remains taboo to ask questions about the official narrative, whose own authors admit that it is both flawed and incomplete, is that the dominant forces in the American media and the U.S. government have successfully convinced many Americans that doing so is not only dangerous but irrational and un-American. ..."
Sep 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

Evidence continues to mount that the official narrative itself is the irrational narrative of September 11, and it becomes ever more clear that the media remains committed to preventing legitimate questions about that day from receiving the scrutiny they deserve.

Today the event that defined the United States' foreign policy in the 21st century, and heralded the destruction of whole countries, turns 18. The events of September 11, 2001 remains etched into the memories of Americans and many others, as a collective tragedy that brought Americans together and brought as well a general resolve among them that those responsible be brought to justice.

While the events of that day did unite Americans in these ways for a time, the different trajectories of the official relative to the independent investigations into the September 11 attacks have often led to division in the years since 2001, with vicious attacks or outright dismissal being levied against the latter.

Yet, with 18 years having come and gone -- and with the tireless efforts from victims' families, first responders, scientists and engineers -- the tide appears to be turning, as new evidence continues to emerge and calls for new investigations are made. However, American corporate media has remained largely silent, preferring to ignore new developments that could derail the "official story" of one of the most iconic and devastating attacks to ever occur on American soil.

For instance, in late July, commissioners for a New York-area Fire Department, which responded to the attacks and lost one of their own that day, called for a new investigation into the events of September 11. On July 24, the board of commissioners for the Franklin Square and Munson Fire District, which serves a population of around 30,000 near Queens, voted unanimously in their call for a new investigation into the attacks.

While the call for a new investigation from a NY Fire Department involved in the rescue effort would normally seem newsworthy to the media outlets who often rally Americans to "never forget," the commissioners' call for a new investigation was met with total silence from the mainstream media. The likely reason for the dearth of coverage on an otherwise newsworthy vote was likely due to the fact that the resolution that called for the new investigation contained the following clause:

Whereas, the overwhelming evidence presented in said petition demonstrates beyond any doubt that pre-planted explosives and/or incendiaries -- not just airplanes and the ensuing fires -- caused the destruction of the three World Trade Center buildings, killing the vast majority of the victims who perished that day;"

In the post-9/11 world, those who have made such claims, no matter how well-grounded their claims may be, have often been derided and attacked as "conspiracy theorists" for questioning the official claims that the three World Trade Center buildings that collapsed on September 11 did so for any reason other than being struck by planes and from the resulting fires. Yet, it is much more difficult to launch these same attacks against members of a fire department that lost a fireman on September 11 and many of whose members were involved with the rescue efforts of that day, some of whom still suffer from chronic illnesses as a result.

Rescue workers climb on piles of rubble at the World Trade Center in New York, Sept. 13, 2001. Beth A. Keiser | AP

Another likely reason that the media monolithically avoided coverage of the vote was out of concern that it would lead more fire departments to pass similar resolutions, which would make it more difficult for such news to avoid gaining national coverage. Yet, Commissioner Christopher Gioia, who drafted and introduced the resolution, told those present at the meeting's conclusion that getting all of the New York fire districts onboard was their plan anyway.

"We're a tight-knit community and we never forget our fallen brothers and sisters. You better believe that when the entire fire service of New York State is on board, we will be an unstoppable force," Gioia said. "We were the first fire district to pass this resolution. We won't be the last," he added.

While questioning the official conclusions of the first federal investigation into 9/11 has been treated as taboo in the American media landscape for years, it is worth noting that even those who led the commission have said that the investigation was "set up to fail" from the start and that they were repeatedly misled and lied to by federal officials in relation to the events of that day.

For instance, the chair and vice-chair of the 9/11 Commission, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, wrote in their book Without Precedent that not only was the commission starved of funds and its powers of investigation oddly limited, but that they were obstructed and outright lied to by top Pentagon officials and officials with the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA). They and other commissioners have outright said that the "official" report on the attacks is incomplete, flawed and unable to answer key questions about the terror attacks.

Despite the failure of American corporate media to report these facts, local legislative bodies in New York, beginning with the fire districts that lost loved ones and friends that day, are leading the way in the search for real answers that even those that wrote the "official story" say were deliberately kept from them.

Persuasive scientific evidence continues to roll in

Not long after the Franklin Square and Munson Fire District called for a new 9/11 investigation, a groundbreaking university study added even more weight to the commissioners' call for a new look at the evidence regarding the collapse of three buildings at the World Trade Center complex. While most Americans know full well that the twin towers collapsed on September 11, fewer are aware that a third building -- World Trade Center Building 7 -- also collapsed. That collapse occurred seven hours after the twin towers came down, even though WTC 7, or "Building 7," was never struck by a plane.

It was not until nearly two months after its collapse that reports revealed that the CIA had a "secret office" in WTC 7 and that, after the building's destruction, "a special CIA team scoured the rubble in search of secret documents and intelligence reports stored in the station, either on paper or in computers." WTC 7 also housed offices for the Department of Defense, the Secret Service, the New York Mayor's Office of Emergency Management and the bank Salomon Brothers.

Though the official story regarding the collapse of WTC 7 cites "uncontrolled building fires" as leading to the building's destruction, a majority of Americans who have seen the footage of the 47-story tower come down from four different angles overwhelmingly reject the official story, based on a new YouGov poll released on Monday.

Source | Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth

That poll found that 52 percent of those who saw the footage were either sure or suspected that the building's fall was due to explosives and was a controlled demolition, with 27 percent saying they didn't know what to make of the footage. Only 21 percent of those polled agreed with the official story that the building collapsed due to fires alone. Prior to seeing the footage, 36 percent of respondents said that they were unaware that a third building collapsed on September 11 and more than 67 percent were unable to name the building that had collapsed.

Ted Walter, Director of Strategy and Development for Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, told MintPress that the lack of awareness about WTC 7 among the general public "goes to show that the mainstream media has completely failed to inform the American people about even the most basic facts related to 9/11. On any other day in history, if a 47-story skyscraper fell into its footprint due to 'office fires,' everyone in the country would have heard about it."

The fact that the media chose not to cover this, Walter asserted, shows that "the mainstream media and the political establishment live in an alternative universe and the rest of the American public is living in a different universe and responding to what they see in front of them," as reflected by the results of the recent YouGov poll.

Another significant finding of the YouGov poll was that 48 percent of respondents supported, while only 15 percent opposed, a new investigation into the events of September 11. This shows that not only was the Franklin Square Fire District's recent call for a new investigation in line with American public opinion, but that viewing the footage of WTC 7's collapse raises more questions than answers for many Americans, questions that were not adequately addressed by the official investigation of the 9/11 Commission.

The Americans who felt that the video footage of WTC 7's collapse did not fit with the official narrative and appeared to show a controlled demolition now have more scientific evidence to fall back on after the release of a new university study found that the building came down not due to fire but from "the near-simultaneous failure of every column in the building." The extensive four-year study was conducted by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alaska and used complex computer models to determine if the building really was the first steel-framed high-rise ever to have collapsed solely due to office fires.

The study, currently available as a draft , concluded that "uncontrolled building fires" did not lead the building to fall into its footprint -- tumbling more than 100 feet at the rate of gravity free-fall for 2.5 seconds of its seven-second collapse -- as has officially been claimed. Instead, the study -- authored by Dr. J. Leroy Hulsey, Dr. Feng Xiao and Dr. Zhili Quan -- found that "fire did not cause the collapse of WTC 7 on 9/11, contrary to the conclusions of NIST [National Institute of Standards and Technology] and private engineering firms that studied the collapse," while also concluding "that the collapse of WTC 7 was a global [i.e., comprehensive] failure involving the near-simultaneous failure of every column in the building."

This "near-simultaneous failure of every column" in WTC 7 strongly suggests that explosives were involved in its collapse, which is further supported by the statements made by Barry Jennings, the then-Deputy Director of Emergency Services Department for the New York City Housing Authority. Jennings told a reporter the day of the attack that he and Michael Hess, then-Corporation Counsel for New York City, had heard and seen explosions in WTC 7 several hours prior to its collapse and later repeated those claims to filmmaker Dylan Avery. The first responders who helped rescue Jennings and Hess also claimed to have heard explosions in WTC 7. Jennings died in 2008, two days prior the release of the official NIST report blaming WTC 7's collapse on fires. To date, no official cause of death for Jennings has been given.

Still "crazy" after all these years?

Eighteen years after the September 11 attacks, questioning the official government narrative of the events of those days still remains taboo for many, as merely asking questions or calling for a new investigation into one of the most important events in recent American history frequently results in derision and dismissal.

Yet, this 9/11 anniversary -- with a new study demolishing the official narrative on WTC 7, with a new poll showing that more than half of Americans doubt the government narrative on WTC 7, and with firefighters who responded to 9/11 calling for a new investigation -- is it still "crazy" to be skeptical of the official story?

Firefighters hose down the smoldering remains of 7 World Trade Center Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2001, in New York. Ryan Remiorz | AP

Even in years past, when asking difficult questions about September 11 was even more "off limits," it was often first responders, survivors and victims' families who had asked the most questions about what had really transpired that day and who have led the search for truth for nearly two decades -- not wild-eyed "conspiracy theorists," as many have claimed.

The only reason it remains taboo to ask questions about the official narrative, whose own authors admit that it is both flawed and incomplete, is that the dominant forces in the American media and the U.S. government have successfully convinced many Americans that doing so is not only dangerous but irrational and un-American.

However, as evidence continues to mount that the official narrative itself is the irrational narrative, it becomes ever more clear that the reason for this media campaign is to prevent legitimate questions about that day from receiving the scrutiny they deserve, even smearing victims' families and ailing first responders to do so. For too long, "Never Forget" has been nearly synonymous with "Never Question."

Yet, failing to ask those questions -- even when more Americans than ever now favor a new investigation and discount the official explanation for WTC 7's collapse -- is the ultimate injustice, not only to those who died in New York City on September 11, but those who have been killed in their names in the years that have followed.

Whitney Webb is a MintPress News journalist based in Chile. She has contributed to several independent media outlets including Global Research, EcoWatch, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has made several radio and television appearances and is the 2019 winner of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism.


tanabear , says: September 11, 2019 at 7:45 pm GMT

Leroy Hulsey et al. of the University of Alaska Fairbanks released their draft report on WTC7 on September 3rd. These are the major findings and conclusions:

" The principal conclusion of our study is that fire did not cause the collapse of WTC 7 on
9/11, contrary to the conclusions of NIST and private engineering firms that studied the collapse. The secondary conclusion of our study is that the collapse of WTC 7 was a global failure involving the near-simultaneous failure of every column in the building.

This conclusion is based primarily upon the finding that the simultaneous failure of all
core columns over 8 stories followed 1.3 seconds later by the simultaneous failure of all exterior columns over 8 stories produces almost exactly the behavior observed in videos of the collapse, whereas no other sequence of failures that we simulated produced the observed behavior."

So World Trade Tower 7 was an engineered demolition. This is something that the 9/11 "conspiracy theorists" believed all along. Now a major engineering study confirms it.

Osama Bin SEE I A , says: September 12, 2019 at 1:12 am GMT
...The infuriating thing about 9/11 and the multitude of lesser false flags which both preceded and followed it is that, although most Americans know it was as phoney as a three and a half dollar fed reserve note, everyone seems content to put up with the extremely phoney "war on terror" it was designed to create and which has already destroyed a hand full of countries in the world, caused the murder of upwards of two million people, mostly using U.S. military, and turned the U.S. into a ruthlessly insane police state wherein everyone is made to obey patently unlawful statutes in the name of "emergency" while the ruling elite has quit obeying any laws at all while gathering a massive military presence to cow the now restless and resentful public. – See more at:Christopher Bollyn: The Man Who Solved 9/11

https://www.youtube.com/embed/pLWIV0TTcbI?feature=oembed

davidgmillsatty , says: September 12, 2019 at 6:58 pm GMT
@The Alarmist An aerospace engineer. Good for you. Maybe you need a refresher course with some architects and building engineers. Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth is a good place to start.

As for steel losing 90% of its strength at half its melting temperature -- that does not imply that heat not will stack on steel. The whole building was a steel radiator. And the fires in building 7 were very small so just how do small fires get to half the melting temperature of steel when the radiator effect is bleeding what little heat these fires have from a certain spot.

Lets see the steel buildings you claim were demolished by fires, because I have heard many architects and engineers say the number is zero. We are talking a total collapse of the buildings not just a partial collapse. Let's see them.

Adam Smith , says: September 19, 2019 at 3:56 am GMT

Eighteen years after the September 11 attacks, questioning the official government narrative of the events of those days still remains taboo for many

This topic illustrates a few things about humans and their societies that many of us do not realize, or are too afraid to realize. It's bigger than just the cognitive dissonance, though this is part of it. Admittedly it is uncomfortable for most people to think about such things Ignorance is bliss, and it is much easier to follow the herd.

But

Humans have been selectively bred and conditioned for obedience to authority for at least the last 10,000 years. Stanley Milgram made the ramifications of this clear when he showed us some of the dangers this fact presents for our world. Couple Milgram's findings with those of Solomon Asch's conformity experiments and it starts becoming clear why a large part, about 30%, of the population will never be able to question the official orthodoxy regarding this "New Pearl Harbor".

Many people simply do not have the mental ability to question those in a perceived position of authority. These people are used to following orders. They are trained very well. These are the people who will electrocute a stranger just because a man in a white coat says to. These are the people who will throw a grenade into your babies crib while storming your home in the middle of the night because some junkie informant told them they bought drugs there in exchange for cash or a lighter sentence. These are the people who will not believe their lying eyes when it contradicts the words of their masters or if it risks going against the apparent consensus of a group of strangers.

I call them authoritarian followers. They love punishing members of the outgroup. They love following rules no matter how arbitrary, nonsensical or detrimental. They expect others to follow too.

We all know September 11, 2001, was an inside/outside job. Cui bono? The axis of kindness. The U.S./Nato, Saudi Arabia and Israel committed the events of September 11, 2001 so they could escalate their wars in the middle east to redraw the map for Greater Israel while securing the oil in the middle east and the trillions in minerals in Afghanistan. The military industrial complex needs endless wars to justify their one trillion plus dollar annual budget and all the power that comes with it. Some people, like lucky Larry Silverstein, made billions off the transaction. There is plenty of profiteering and graft that comes with waging forever war.

The same people who profited from the event are the same people who planned and executed the event. They are also the people who had the tools to make it happen. Fortunately for the criminals who committed the crimes of that day a large part of the population will line up to ridicule anyone who has the audacity to question the official narrative.

So buy police brutality bonds and pay your victory tax. Your work will set you free.

Anonymous [973] • Disclaimer , says: September 19, 2019 at 11:24 pm GMT
@Adam Smith It's so unbelievably rare to run into a sincere description of the average fellow. Because one cam't lie to himself about the others less than he does about himself (he can't know the others more than he can know himself), so usually evident features of people (thus of mainstream culture, history, journalistic narratives, ) must he denied because evident features of the self must be denied.

It's co-operation.

And then, aren't they a social species? You have surely observed that a group of them functions in ways very close to the ant colony, the bee hive, and so on. So many more billion neurons but what rules the mind is still so close to what rules it in the other social species.

The thing to consider is that for God knows how many thousands of years in mankind's history, whenever two differently sized came to a confrontation, belonging in the largest equated survival, in the smallest death.
Then there is the intragroup confrontations and dangers: here flattering the pack leaders best equated to better chances of survival + a more comfortable life. On the other hand, injuring their sense of power had the same outcome that it has for the ordinary bee or ant to do the same to the colony's or hive's leader.

This has embedded a couple of instincts, which truth and fairness can't be where they are, at the deepest level of the regular human mind.
Some minds are different, but they don't matter, first of all they don't matter numerically.

So official accounts of historic events are no more and no less truth-free of the accounts people make-up of their own lives' essential events.
If you assess the average divorce-asking woman's narrative on her marriage and why she wants to break it up and the average account of, say, World War 2 in the average school book, the % of untruth will be circa the same.

What happens at the higher levels follows from the nature of the majority.

Anonymous [973] • Disclaimer , says: September 19, 2019 at 11:32 pm GMT
@Adam Smith

They love following rules no matter how arbitrary, nonsensical or detrimental. They expect others to follow too.

Following rules as long as nobody above them tells them to make an exception.
They expect not all others, but only those below them in the power pole, to follow rules.
If they see/realize/know someone above them has broken a rule, they are awesomely good at, wbile they have seen/realized/learned the fact, not having seen/realized/learned it.

This kind of mind can't afford unity and individuality, of course. There are always inconsistencies, and even contradictory things believed at the same time.
And boy, how do the other authorities/authoritarian followers (depending whom they are dealingwith) who make up the psych professions praise that kind of person! How do they master selective blindness/forgetfulness/ignorance.

Paul Vonharnish , says: • Website September 20, 2019 at 3:45 pm GMT
It's obvious from most reader comments that the educational systems in America (and elsewhere) have completely decayed. "Cognitive dissonance" is just another cowardly way of accepting lies as truths Most of you are lying to yourselves and expecting others to buy into hype and bullshit.

Anyone who's worked with cutting steel plate knows that 5 inch thick steel plating (as used in most lower columns of the towers) requires a perfect mixture of acetylene and oxygen just to get the cutting area hot enough to apply the oxygen burst that cuts along the line. Any cooling of the plate and it's no cigar. There is no way air craft fuel (kerosene) and normal building materials can get anywhere near the melting point of steel, much less cause complete structural failure of a perfectly engineered steel beamed structure.

Christopher Bollyn and many other dedicated journalists have connected all the relevant dots, yet the unwashed continue to hide behind their collage degrees and talk complete nonsense.

The first and second laws of thermodynamics should be mastered before graduating from eighth grade People need to quit lying about the efficacy of truth

D-FENS , says: September 21, 2019 at 7:09 pm GMT
I am an agnostic on whether the twin towers were brought down by supplemental explosives. My question is, what is gained by actually bringing the buildings down? If the attacks were to serve as a pretext for war in the middle east, wouldn't the acts of hijacking the planes and crashing them have been sufficient without the risks involved in planting explosives and being being detected?

The only reasons I can offer are financial, such as the insurance payments, voided contracts, shorting stocks etc. and perhaps destruction of evidence in criminal or civil cases.

What is interesting is the 9/11 Commission's conclusion regarding the financing of 9/11: " the U.S. government has not been able to determine the origin of the money used for the 9/11 attacks. Ultimately the question is of little practical significance."

Then why do we have all the financial transaction laws?

[Sep 22, 2019] The Beeb continues to blather on about Smolenkov being an absolutely top-hole high-level aide to Vladimir Putin, practically running the place, Darling, probably called each other 'Vladdy' and 'Smoky' when the peasants weren't around.

Sep 22, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

J.T. September 21, 2019 at 5:32 pm

How contrived.

What will they claim next? That Putin and Smolenkov were lovers?

[Sep 22, 2019] >Snowden says he married his girlfriend Lindsay Mills in Russia -- Guardian

Sep 22, 2019 | tass.com

In the interview, timed to coincide with the release of his book titled Permanent Record, Snowden said he and Mills, who later moved to him in Russia, married two years ago at a private ceremony ... ... ... One of world's most beautiful countries

According to Snowden, people in the West often have no information about the beauty of Russian nature and hospitality of Russians.

"I've been to St. Petersburg, I've been to Sochi. I love travelling and I still do, even though I can't cross borders now," he said.

"One of the things that is lost in all the problematic politics of the Russian government is the fact this is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The people are friendly. The people are warm," he continued. "And when I came here I did not understand any of this. I was terrified of this place because, of course, they were the great fortress of the enemy, which is the way a CIA agent looks at Russia."

According to Snowden, "What people don't realize about Russia is that basically you can get all the same things you can get in the United States." "The only thing they don't have in Russia is Taco Bell," he added.

He said it was never his plan to reside in Russia, but, "with time, with open eyes you can see that our presumptions of a place are almost always different from the reality."

Noble cause

According to Snowden, his book was intended not only to inform reader of his life in the US and Russia, but also to draw attention to serious challenges the modern society is now facing.

"We have moved into a time where people care much more deeply about feelings than they do about facts. And this is a dangerous moment for democracy, because people believe that once we have achieved and established a free and open society it will remain that way, it will always be there. But the reality is: things can backslide very quickly," Snowden said when asked how dangerous, in his opinion, Trump's rise to power was.

The whistleblower believes that people should be informed of infringements on their freedom and of acute problems, such as climate change or advanced mass surveillance technologies used by various governments.

"We need people to recognize these problems, to understand these problems and then to be willing to give something up to change that problem," he said. "But it's not enough to believe in something. You have to be ready to stand for something if you want it to change. And so that is what I hope this book will help people come to decide for themselves: are you ready to this change."

Snowden's case

In June 2013, Snowden leaked classified information to journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, which revealed global surveillance programs run by US and British intelligence agencies. He explained the move by saying that he wanted to tell the world the truth because he believed such large-scale surveillance on innocent citizens was unacceptable and the public needed to know about it.

The Guardian and The Washington Post published the first documents concerning the US intelligence agencies' spying on Internet users on June 6, 2013. According to the documents, major phone companies, including Verizon, AT&T and Sprint Nextel, handed records of their customers' phone conversations over to the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who also had direct access to the servers of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Skype, YouTube, Paltalk, AOL and Apple. In addition, Snowden's revelations showed that a secret program named PRISM was aimed at collecting audio and video recordings, photos, emails and information about users' connections to various websites.

After leaking classified information, Snowden flew to Hong Kong and then to Moscow, arriving in Russia on June 23, 2013. He applied for political asylum to more than 20 countries while staying in the transit zone at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport. On July 16, he applied for a temporary asylum in Russia, accepting Moscow's condition to refrain from activities aimed against the US.

The NSA and the Pentagon claim that Snowden stole about 1.7 mln classified documents concerning the activities of US intelligence services and US military operations. He is charged with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person. He is facing up to ten years in prison on each charge.

[Sep 22, 2019] The Snowden Conundrum by Yvonne Lorenzo

Highly recommended!
This article raises serious questions about Snowden's authenticity. Although the level of damage he has done make suggestion that he is apart of CIA operation against NSA much less plausible. He did some damage by publicizing operations like Prism. No question about it.
And it is diffuclt to treat Snowden like another variation of Lee Harvey Oswald defection to the USSR.
But it is true that several steps that he took after supposed exfiltration of the documents were highly suspicious: As author pointed out WaPo and Guardian are essentially intelligence agencies controlled outlets, so there is no chance that publication can't be completely blocked.
Another good point is that in any large corporation there is system of logs and they suppoedly are analysed, althout the level of qualification in doing so varies greatly.
And if reports are created automatically that not not mean that they are ver read. Another valid point is that even if you are system administrator, you have great powers over all your users. But at the same time your power is compartmentalized: you have access only to few selected computer that constitute the set of servers you manage. And you usually access then via special jumpserver, which logs everything you do. In no way you have access to any server and any database in the organization; you might not even know that some servers exist. Actually access to critical databases is very tightly controlled.
The author also pointed to an interesting question about difficulties of exfiltration of data on encrypted Windows computers. I think that copy to the UCB drive from encrypted drive to SD or USB drive might still be permitted for sysadmins, as it might be required for some operations. But SD accepted might be special, issued by NSA, not retai and they should be accounted for. Still the point that Yvonne Lorenzo raised is very interesting: how you bypass existing protections on you computer to copy information of SD card ?
On another issue, why did Snowden provide his files to known house organs of Intelligence Agencies, specifically the Washington Post and The Guardian, and not give them to Wikileaks?
Notable quotes:
"... How many reading my words work at a large entity, not necessarily government, let us say a Fortune 1000 or higher? Do you have the ability to copy data unimpeded onto any external device? Can you surf the Internet at will? Or is everything you do on the computer network under constant, real-time scrutiny? ..."
"... Edward Snowden would have us believe that the Eye of Sauron didn't notice he was looking at gigabytes of data unrelated to his job function and using his computer to copy the data to external devices over a lengthy period of time. Are his supporters alleging he is so clever he could disappear from the "Eye of Sauron's" view and be unnoticed? If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you in Crimea. ZeroHedge reported " IRS Agent Charged In Leak Of Michael Cohen Transactions To Michael Avenatti ." ..."
"... However, don't believe it takes nine months to identify such an unauthorized intrusion. Don't think every keystroke isn't monitored in real-time. So my question is: would the NSA, which has much more sensitive data (especially compromising information on the governing class) than tax returns and financial transactions have inferior capabilities than the IRS as to maintaining data security? Are we to believe the NSA lacks a "digital trail" when it comes to classified documents? ..."
"... On another issue, why did Snowden provide his files to known house organs of Intelligence Agencies, specifically the Washington Post and The Guardian, and not give them to Wikileaks to allow a publicly available searchable database? ..."
"... While other outlets -- such as the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post and the New York Times -- also possess much (though not all) of the archive, the Intercept was the only outlet with the (full) archive that had continued to publish documents, albeit at a remarkably slow pace, in recent years. In total, fewer than 10 percent of the Snowden documents have been published since 2013. Thus, the closing of the publication's Snowden archive will likely mean the end of any future publications, unless Greenwald's promise of finding "the right partner that has the funds to robustly publish" is fulfilled ..."
"... Do you believe Putin's intelligence agencies don't communicate to him how Washington "organized crime" really operates, as Whitney Webb has disclosed, now on the pages of Unz.com ? What difference does any compromised President make to the policies and goals of the occupational government of the United States (obvious to any reader of this and similar websites)? ..."
"... Why is an alleged humanitarian such a Russophobe? ..."
"... Has Snowden ever challenged the September 11 narrative, ludicrous as it is, and him being an "engineer?" ..."
"... STO equals Special Technical Operations It's highly unlikely Mr. Snowden had any access to these. ..."
"... ECI = Exceptionally Controlled Information. I do not believe Mr. Snowden had any access to these ECI controlled networks). VRK = Very Restricted Knowledge. I do not believe Mr. Snowden had any access to these VRK controlled networks. ..."
"... So what they did, is they took a few documents and they downgraded [he classification level of the documents] – just a few – and gave them to them to placate this basic whitewash investigation. ..."
"... Journalist Margie Burns asked some good questions back in June that have not yet been answered. She wondered about the 29-year old Snowden who had been a U.S. Army Special Forces recruit, a covert CIA operative, and an NSA employee in various capacities, all in just a few, short years. Burns asked "How, exactly, did Snowden get his series of NSA jobs? Did he apply through regular channels? Was it through someone he knew? Who recommended him? Who were his references for a string of six-figure, high-level security jobs? Are there any safeguards in place so that red flags go up when a subcontractor jumps from job to job, especially in high-level clearance positions?" ..."
"... In December, whistleblower Sibel Edmonds broke the news that Omidyar's Paypal Corporation was implicated in the as-yet-unreleased NSA documents from Snowden. Moreover, Edmonds had allegedly been contacted by an NSA official who alleged that "a deal was made in early June, 2013 between the journalists involved in this recent NSA scandal and U.S. government officials, which was then sealed by secrecy and nondisclosure agreements by all parties involved." ..."
"... No, no one is accusing Wikileaks of conspiring with Russia, just Robert Mueller. I really appreciate Snowden calling Julian Assange a liar, for he has consistently denied there was a "state actor." ..."
"... "Terrorism is a real problem" Snowden said. Is it credible that Snowden, who presented himself as donating funds to Ron Paul, has never read any alternative news sites? Is it credible that Snowden believes that terrorists and this would include the good "moderate terrorists" in Syria are armed and act on their own initiative, and is ignorant of the role of the governments of America, Israel, and Saudi Arabia in using them to achieve their ends as proxy armies? ..."
"... Does Snowden then think this report, " America Created Al-Qaeda and the ISIS Terror Group" is false? Does that mindset make Snowden a champion for liberty or a tool for more control of the American population? For example, is it credible that this alleged genius supports the narrative of the September 11 attacks World Trade Center attacks? ..."
"... Tor lists on its own website sponsors that include Google, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, ONR via Naval Research Laboratory (past sponsor) and DARPA. ..."
"... Perhaps Snowden is only a Soros and Hillary Clinton supporting liberal -- but then why would he have done what he did? His character is of any government employee of the "surface state" who swallows false narratives whole. ..."
"... The logging of user and information accessed is sure added to the file. But real time supervision? No. A eye of sauron? Please. The system isnt there to prevent crime, its to track down the criminal and deeds later. And yes everything takes a very long time on the public side. ..."
"... 'Edward Snowden' who first 'leaked' to the CIA's Washington Post, in fact to Bush VP Dick Cheney's biographer Bart Gellman then the Deep State realised that was too stupid, so they switched to Rothschild employee & ex-gay-pornography-seller Glenn Greenwald, former proprietor of 'hairystuds', at the Guardian, an intel-agency rag which lies about nearly everything ..."
"... NeonRevolt once floated the theory that Snowden was an FBI or CIA plant who whistleblew solely because he had the mission to undermine NSA operations by exposing their equipment/techniques and turning public opinion against them. ..."
"... inter-service rivalry and sabotage between spy agencies is absolutely a thing, and reviewing the inconsistencies of Snowden's stunt, its aftermath, and his personal views with that potential background in mind suddenly makes things make much more sense, in my mind at least. ..."
"... If we accept the later, that he's a plant, then it raises a further question: was the short term loss, associated with his revelations, ie highlighting the utterly disturbing degree of Gov surveillance over US citizens (etc) worth the long term profit of having an established, authoritive psy-op's agent able to influence/distort etc any debate or narrative concerning the US State /elites. On this side the author notes Snowmen's views on Tor, 9/11, Russia etc which clearly advantage the US State's own views on these subjects. ..."
"... Consider that nothing Snowden revealed was news. It was all old hat for anyone who'd been paying attention, and for up to ten years. Sure Snowden made it mainstream for what good it did but nothing he said was a secret anymore. In fact, I thought even at the time his actions were nothing less than a 'threat and warning' from the intel services that they had this much on everyone. Just imagine all those national leaders, politicians from all states being pout on notice. All your secrets are ours! What a powerful global message to deliver and in such a loud and clear fashion. ..."
"... The lack of deviation from official bullshit on 9/11 is on its own however reason enough to toss this guy out. ..."
"... To my mind "9/11, attitude to", is a sort of touch-stone for telling genuine dissidents from fake and both Snowden and Assange fail on that test ..."
"... Snowden is not a classic defector so it makes sense for him to keep his distance from Russian society so as not to be inadvertently compromised or used by their intelligence services. He's obviously under surveillance there, I know we all are but he's much more aware of it, so that doesn't make it easy for him but he's definitely safer there than he'd be in France or Germany. I just don't think he planned well ahead when he became a whistle-blower or was clear about what he was trying to achieve. He's not the top level type of spy we're accustomed to reading about who betray their country for money or to serve another they believe in more than their own. If he has been on active duty as a CIA asset all along I can't see that he has achieved much of use to them other than in some inter-agency rivalry game. But it's natural for Russians to be suspicious of him – they're suspicious by nature – and rightly so, but it doesn't make his life easy there. ..."
"... 9/11 is the "litmus test" and it appears that both Assange and Snowden have failed it. ..."
"... Snowden keeping "distance" to Russia, and not openly defending them seems reasonable to me. You can imagine the smear campaign back home if he would side with Russia against the U.S. on almost anything. "The Russians got to him" or "He was always their man". ..."
"... He is trying to keep his neutrality and credibility and his target audience isn't the average Unz reader, but rather some mainstream educated middle/upper class blokes. Easily scared away from his views if they become too controversial and too far from the established narrative. ..."
"... If I had been in the position like 'Snowden', after first having been granted asylum, my priority would have been to study the language. I would gtuess that he can order food or drink, do basic greetings, and not much else. ..."
"... I agree. Shilling for the Israelis regarding 911 is a deal breaker for me. They had me going about these 2 guys for a while, but when I heard that they had ridiculed 911 truthers I smelled a rat. And after this article I agree they are shills for the status quo. Reasonable people can not doubt that 911 was a false flag operation. There's just too much bullshit there. ..."
"... I think the idea Snowden is a "plant" is a bit far out there. If he is; the real purpose of the exercise is what exactly? ..."
"... I also don't get why some commenters think Julian Assange isn't who he claims to be. His Wikileaks has published great volume of highly embarrassing material for the U.S. The embassy cables come to mind – bringing to light evidence contrary to Washington narrative on many events. ..."
"... There is another thing; Just after he established Wikileaks he came to Iceland and met with journalists and few politicians. The result from that visit was he met one Kristinn Hrafnsson, long time journalist in Iceland with excellent track record and credibility. Since Assange got in trouble, accused of sexual harassment from Swedish woman and finally escaped into the Ecuador embassy in London, Hrafnsson has been spokesman for Wikileaks. ..."
"... "It all comes down to 9/11.Everything that has happened has happened based on a lie . Everyone in Government ; everyone in the media , in entertainment , in organized religion , in the public ,in the public eye who accepts and promotes the official story is either a traitor or a tool . Everyone who does not stand forth and speak truth to power is a coward , a liar and complicit in mass-murder . Everyone everywhere can be measured by this Litmus Test ." ..."
Sep 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

Have you ever had the pleasure of dealing with an agent of the Federal government? For example, have you been audited by the IRS? Did you notice what the "Agent" does to gain access to his (or her) computer -- by inserting a "Smart ID" into a slot? Did you ask how your personal information is protected from disclosure or theft? What is to prevent the Agent from copying files to a thumb drive and taking them home?

Regarding the Smart ID, the "HSPD-12" is discussed in this publicly available article ; please note the following:

HSPD-12, FIPS 201 and the PIV Card

Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12), issued by President George W. Bush on August 27, 2004, mandated the establishment of a standard for identification of Federal government employees and contractors. HSPD-12 requires the use of a common identification credential for both logical and physical access to federally controlled facilities and information systems. The Department of Commerce and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) were tasked with producing a standard for secure and reliable forms of identification. In response, NIST published Federal Information Processing Standard Publication 201 (FIPS 201), Personal Identity Verification (PIV) of Federal Employees and Contractors, issued on February 25, 2005, and a number of special publications that provide more detail on the implementation of the standard.

Both Federal agencies and enterprises have implemented FIPS 201-compliant ID programs and have issued PIV cards. The FIPS 201 PIV card is a smart card with both contact and contactless interfaces that is now being issued to all Federal employees and contractors

Additional information about FIPS 201 can be found on the Government Identity/Credentialing Resources page, from NIST, and from the Secure Technology Alliance Access Control Council.

If you engage the IRS employee in conversation, remembering the adage you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, you'll learn the computer cannot be compromised -- all data on the device are encrypted; the only access to it is via the Smart ID. Data can be copied to an external "thumb drive" but everything copied will be encrypted; any file on that thumb drive is only readable by that specific device. Wouldn't this be true of NSA devices as well? Why does Snowden never discuss dealing with such encryption: how would it be possible?

In the Oliver Stone movie Snowden , as well as in any of Snowden's descriptions of how he accessed the NSA computers, did you note either the depiction or reference to this universal Smart ID? How could Snowden be exempt from its requirement? Why wasn't its use, which is public knowledge, shown or discussed? Per the above, the Smart ID is deployed in all government agencies: there are no exceptions. And while the financial portion (think of all those Goldman Sachs alumni at the U.S. Department of the Treasury) is likely the most powerful part of the financial-military-industrial-media-congressional complex that is the central power of the federal government, do you think that IRS systems are different and superior in security to what was employed by a contractor working for Booze-Allen Hamilton at the NSA?

How many reading my words work at a large entity, not necessarily government, let us say a Fortune 1000 or higher? Do you have the ability to copy data unimpeded onto any external device? Can you surf the Internet at will? Or is everything you do on the computer network under constant, real-time scrutiny?

Did Edward Snowden, who has publicly criticized Google, mention Google is deployed as a search engine throughout the federal "intranet"? And can he catch a link to the Washington Post on the NSA homepage too? Or would he testify and can it be verified that NSA does not use Google (for example to obtain the PowerPoint he revealed) for searching for internal documents and procedures? Can anyone reading my words answer the questions I've posed so far and answer accurately and honestly with confirmatory evidence?

Edward Snowden would have us believe that the Eye of Sauron didn't notice he was looking at gigabytes of data unrelated to his job function and using his computer to copy the data to external devices over a lengthy period of time. Are his supporters alleging he is so clever he could disappear from the "Eye of Sauron's" view and be unnoticed? If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you in Crimea. ZeroHedge reported " IRS Agent Charged In Leak Of Michael Cohen Transactions To Michael Avenatti ." From the article:

John C. Fry, an analyst in the San Francisco IRS office who had worked for the agency since 2008, was charged with disclosing Cohen's Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) – nine months after we reported that it wouldn't be difficult to track down the leaker due to a digital trail left behind from accessing the system.

However, don't believe it takes nine months to identify such an unauthorized intrusion. Don't think every keystroke isn't monitored in real-time. So my question is: would the NSA, which has much more sensitive data (especially compromising information on the governing class) than tax returns and financial transactions have inferior capabilities than the IRS as to maintaining data security? Are we to believe the NSA lacks a "digital trail" when it comes to classified documents?

On another issue, why did Snowden provide his files to known house organs of Intelligence Agencies, specifically the Washington Post and The Guardian, and not give them to Wikileaks to allow a publicly available searchable database? As Roger Stone has noted, the odious Nixon was taken down principally by the CIA media front The Washington Post because he sought detente with Russia and another presidential assassination would have been too obvious. Notice the situation regarding the Snowden treasure trove as investigative journalist Whitney Webb writes about it here: " Silencing the Whistle: The Intercept Shutters Snowden Archive, Citing Cost ."

According to a timeline of events written by Poitras that was shared and published by journalist and former Intercept columnist Barrett Brown, both Scahill and Greenwald were intimately involved in the decision to close the Snowden archive.

While other outlets -- such as the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post and the New York Times -- also possess much (though not all) of the archive, the Intercept was the only outlet with the (full) archive that had continued to publish documents, albeit at a remarkably slow pace, in recent years. In total, fewer than 10 percent of the Snowden documents have been published since 2013. Thus, the closing of the publication's Snowden archive will likely mean the end of any future publications, unless Greenwald's promise of finding "the right partner that has the funds to robustly publish" is fulfilled

Yet, as Poitras pointed out, the research department accounted for a minuscule 1.5 percent of First Look Media's budget. Greenwald's claim that the archive was shuttered owing to its high cost to the company is also greatly undermined by the fact that he, along with several other Intercept employees -- Reed and Scahill among them -- receive massive salaries that dwarf those of journalists working for similar nonprofit publications.

Greenwald, for instance, received $1.6 million from First Look Media, of which Omidyar is the sole shareholder, from 2014 to 2017. His yearly salary peaked in 2015, when he made over $518,000. Reed and Scahill both earn well over $300,000 annually from First Look. According to journalist Mark Ames, Scahill made over $43,000 per article at the Intercept in 2014. Other writers at the site, by comparison, have a base salary of $50,000, which itself is higher than the national average for journalists.

And what about Snowden himself, the pontificator, the man who can speak on television or to the media with evidence of training? Practice yourself -- see how well you can answer questions and speak publicly to a TV camera. How did he get his training? Who trained him? Why? How is it that the legacy media, which applauds the slow, painful execution of Julian Assange , be in rapture over Snowden's new book tour and provide ample coverage? Is Assange being murdered in part to prevent his providing exculpatory evidence that Russia never hacked the DNC and it was a leak?

I have provided two videos below for the reader to consider and compare.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/F7J2DdiXM9Q?feature=oembed

https://www.youtube.com/embed/O4nFGOEeSP0?feature=oembed

Look at how Bill Binney, a true techno-nerd speaks and compare the difference between him with the polished interviews given by Snowden who borders on pomposity. Also, to his favor Binney is doing his best to debunk the Russia hacking narrative of the DNC; Snowden makes his thoughts about Russia and Russians clear in his latest interview with Der Spiegel promoting his new book about himself:

DER SPIEGEL: Do you have Russian friends?

Snowden: I try to keep a distance between myself and Russian society, and this is completely intentional. I live my life with basically the English-speaking community. I'm the president of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. And, you know, I'm an indoor cat. It doesn't matter where I am -- Moscow, Berlin, New York -- as long as I have a screen to look into.

DER SPIEGEL: Western authorities accuse the Russian government on a regular basis of being one of the biggest disrupters in the digital world. Are they right?

Snowden: Russia is responsible for a lot of negative activity in the world, you can say that right and fairly. Did Russia interfere with elections? Almost certainly. But do the United States interfere in elections? Of course. They've been doing it for the last 50 years. Any country bigger than Iceland is going to interfere in every crucial election, and they're going to deny it every time, because this is what intelligence services do. This is explicitly why covert operations and influence divisions are created, and their purpose as an instrument of national power is to ask: How can we influence the world in a direction that improves our standing relative to all the other countries?

I am pleased to have played a small role in getting Stephen F. Cohen's work published on Unz.com. He and others have effectively debunked Russian involvement in the manipulation of America elections and the conclusions of the Mueller report. To paraphrase a point Professor Cohen made in his most recent article posted here, which is simply common sense: We are to believe Trump is Putin's puppet yet Putin simultaneously encouraged the preparation of a dossier to destroy him. Does that make sense to any one with half a brain? Do you believe Putin's intelligence agencies don't communicate to him how Washington "organized crime" really operates, as Whitney Webb has disclosed, now on the pages of Unz.com ? What difference does any compromised President make to the policies and goals of the occupational government of the United States (obvious to any reader of this and similar websites)?

Do you notice how Snowden never challenges any government narrative, whether it's on Russia as a villain, and not as a victim of war initiated by Washington? Why is an alleged humanitarian such a Russophobe? Is this how he repays the nation that granted him asylum? Has he only compassion in the abstract, and is a genius but too stupid to consider the consequences of America going to war with Russia and in fact exacerbating the tension by his false and inflammatory statements about Russian conduct in the 2016 elections, for which there are no facts and evidence?

And then there's the destruction of the World Trade Center buildings. Of course Snowden at NSA had no access to information on how and why it was done, but as Dmitri Orlov has written:

I suppose I am a "conspiracy theorist" too. Whenever I write something that questions the veracity of some official narrative, someone (probably a troll) pops up and asks me what I think of 9/11. Here is what I typically reply:

I totally believe that it was possible to knock down three steel-framed buildings using two flying aluminum cans loaded with kerosene, luggage and meat. I have proven that this is possible by throwing two beer cans at three chain-link fences. All three fences were instantly swallowed up by holes in the ground that mysteriously opened up right under them and in which they were instantaneously incinerated into fine oxide powder that coated the entire neighborhood. Anybody who does not believe my experimental results is obviously a tin-foil-hat crackpot conspiracy theorist.

Lots of people read this and ran away bleating; a few people bust a gut laughing because this is (trust me on this!) actually quite funny. Some people took offense at someone ridiculing an event in which thousands of people died. (To protect their tender sensibilities they should consider emigrating to a country that isn't run by a bunch of war criminals.)

But if you do see the humor in this, then you may be up to the challenge, which is to pull out a useful signal (a typical experimentalist's task) out of a mess of unreliable and contradictory data. Only then would you be in a position to persuasively argue -- not prove, mind you! -- that the official story is complete and utter bullshit.

Note that everything beyond that point, such as arguing what "the real story" is, is strictly off-limits. If you move beyond that point you open yourself up to well-organized, well-funded debunking. But if all you produce is a very large and imposing question mark, then the only way to attack it is by producing certainty -- a very tall order! In conspiracy theory, as in guerrilla warfare, you don't have to win. You just have to not lose long enough for the enemy to give up.

Has Snowden ever challenged the September 11 narrative, ludicrous as it is, and him being an "engineer?" And this last point is the reason I'm writing these words: I don't have to come up with the "real story" on who Edward Snowden is and what his true motives are. I am asking questions that point out the discrepancies in Snowden's statements and conduct and his alleged sanctity. In this article, " EXCLUSIVE REPORT: NSA Whistleblower: Snowden Never Had Access to the JUICIEST Documents Far More Damning "

WASHINGTON'S BLOG: Glenn Greenwald – supposedly, in the next couple of days or weeks – is going to disclose, based on NSA documents leaked by Snowden, that the NSA is spying on all sorts of normal Americans and that the spying is really to crush dissent. [Background here, here and here.]

Does Snowden even have documents which contain the information which you've seen?

RUSSELL TICE: The answer is no.

WASHINGTON'S BLOG: So you saw handwritten notes. And what Snowden was seeing were electronic files ?

RUSSELL TICE: Think of it this way. Remember I told you about the NSA doing everything they could to make sure that the information from 40 years ago – from spying on Frank Church and Lord knows how many other Congressman that they were spying on – was hidden?

Now do you think they're going to put that information into PowerPoint slides that are easy to explain to everybody what they're doing?

They would not even put their own NSA designators on the reports [so that no one would know that] it came from the NSA. They made the reports look like they were Humint (human intelligence) reports. They did it to hide the fact that they were NSA and they were doing the collection. That's 40 years ago. [The NSA and other agencies are still doing "parallel construction", "laundering" information to hide the fact that the information is actually from mass NSA surveillance.]

Now, what NSA is doing right now is that they're taking the information and they're putting it in a much higher security level. It's called "ECI" – Exceptionally Controlled Information – and it's called the black program which I was a specialist in, by the way.

I specialized in black world – DOD and IC (Intelligence Community) – programs, operations and missions in "VRKs", "ECIs", and "SAPs", "STOs". SAP equals Special Access Program. It's highly unlikely Mr. Snowden had any access to these. STO equals Special Technical Operations It's highly unlikely Mr. Snowden had any access to these.

Now in that world – the ECI/VRK world – everything in that system is classified at a higher level and it has its own computer systems that house it. It's totally separate than the system which Mr. Snowden was privy to, which was called the "JWICS": Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System. The JWICS system is what everybody at NSA has access to. Mr Snowden had Sys Admin [systems administrator] authority for the JWICS.

And you still have to have TS/SCI clearance [i.e. Top Secret/ Sensitive Compartmented Information – also known as "code word" – clearance] to get on the JWICS. But the ECI/VRK systems are much higher [levels of special compartmentalized clearance] than the JWICS. And you have to be in the black world to get that [clearance].

ECI = Exceptionally Controlled Information. I do not believe Mr. Snowden had any access to these ECI controlled networks). VRK = Very Restricted Knowledge. I do not believe Mr. Snowden had any access to these VRK controlled networks.

These programs typically have, at the least, a requirement of 100 year or until death, 'till the person first being "read in" [i.e. sworn to secrecy as part of access to the higher classification program] can talk about them. [As an interesting sidenote, the Washington Times reported in 2006 that – when Tice offered to testify to Congress about this illegal spying – he was informed by the NSA that the Senate and House intelligence committees were not cleared to hear such information.]

It's very compartmentalized and – even with stuff that they had – you might have something at NSA, that there's literally 40 people at NSA that know that it's going on in the entire agency.

When the stuff came out in the New York Times [the first big spying story, which broke in 2005] – and I was a source of information for the New York Times – that's when President Bush made up that nonsense about the "terrorist surveillance program." By the way, that never existed. That was made up.

There was no such thing beforehand. It was made up to try to placate the American people.

The NSA IG (Inspector General) – who was not cleared for this – all of a sudden is told he has to do an investigation on this; something he has no information or knowledge of.

So what they did, is they took a few documents and they downgraded [he classification level of the documents] – just a few – and gave them to them to placate this basic whitewash investigation.

Snowden's Failure To Understand the Most Important Documents

RUSSELL TICE: Now, if Mr. Snowden were to find the crossover, it would be those documents that were downgraded to the NSA's IG.

The stuff that I saw looked like a bunch of alphanumeric gobbledygook. Unless you have an analyst to know what to look for – and believe me, I think that what Snowden's done is great – he's not an intelligence analyst. So he would see something like that, and he wouldn't know what he's looking at.

But that would be "the jewels". And the key is, you wouldn't know it's the jewels unless you were a diamond miner and you knew what to look for. Because otherwise, there's a big lump of rock and you don't know there's a diamond in there.

I worked special programs. And the way I found out is that I was working on a special operation, and I needed information from NSA from another unit. And when I went to that unit and I said "I need this information", and I dealt with [satellite spy operations], and I did that in the black world. I was a special operations officer. I would literally go do special missions that were in the black world where I would travel overseas and do spooky stuff.

Did we really need Snowden to have told us that the Internet, federally controlled, does not allow anyone a modicum of privacy and the government after implementing the Patriot Act considers ordinary Americans the enemy?

In " Inconsistencies and Unanswered Questions: The Risks of Trusting the Snowden Story " Kevin Ryan wrote:

Journalist Margie Burns asked some good questions back in June that have not yet been answered. She wondered about the 29-year old Snowden who had been a U.S. Army Special Forces recruit, a covert CIA operative, and an NSA employee in various capacities, all in just a few, short years. Burns asked "How, exactly, did Snowden get his series of NSA jobs? Did he apply through regular channels? Was it through someone he knew? Who recommended him? Who were his references for a string of six-figure, high-level security jobs? Are there any safeguards in place so that red flags go up when a subcontractor jumps from job to job, especially in high-level clearance positions?"

Five months later, journalists Mark Ames and Yasha Levine investigated some of the businesses in which Greenwald's benefactor Omidyar had invested. They found that the actual practices of those businesses were considerably less humanitarian than the outward appearance of Omidyar's ventures often portray. The result was that Omidyar took down references to at least one of those businesses from his website.

In December, whistleblower Sibel Edmonds broke the news that Omidyar's Paypal Corporation was implicated in the as-yet-unreleased NSA documents from Snowden. Moreover, Edmonds had allegedly been contacted by an NSA official who alleged that "a deal was made in early June, 2013 between the journalists involved in this recent NSA scandal and U.S. government officials, which was then sealed by secrecy and nondisclosure agreements by all parties involved."

It would appear that Snowden's whistleblowing has been co-opted by private corporate interests. Are those involved with privatization of the stolen documents also colluding with government agencies to frame and direct national discussions on domestic spying and other serious matters?

The possibilities are endless, it seems. Presenting documents at a measured rate could be a way to acclimate citizens to painful realities without stirring the public into a panic or a unified response that might actually threaten the status quo. And considering that the number of documents has somehow grown from only thousands to nearly two million, it seems possible that those in control could release practically anything, thereby controlling national dialogue on many topics.

Please read the final paragraph above twice and think about the points raised about acclimating citizens and controlling national dialog. Is Snowden as much of a "Pied Piper" as QAnon? How did Snowden describe the nature of the CIA and NSA in this earlier interview with Der Spiegel ?

DER SPIEGEL: But those people see you as their biggest enemy today.

Snowden: My personal battle was not to burn down the NSA or the CIA. I even think they actually do have a useful role in society when they limit themselves to the truly important threats that we face and when they use their least intrusive means.

**

Snowden: It wasn't that difficult. Everybody is currently pointing at the Russians.

DER SPIEGEL: Rightfully?

Snowden: I don't know. They probably did hack the systems of Hillary Clinton's Democratic Party, but we should have proof of that. In the case of the hacking attack on Sony, the FBI presented evidence that North Korea was behind it. In this case they didn't, although I am convinced that they do have evidence. The question is why?

DER SPIEGEL: Mike Pompeo, the new head of the CIA, has accused WikiLeaks, whose lawyers helped you, of being a mouthpiece for the Russians. Is that not harmful to your image as well?

Snowden: First, we should be fair about what the accusations are. I don't believe the U.S. government or anybody in the intelligence community is directly accusing Julian Assange or WikiLeaks of working directly for the Russian government. The allegations I understand are that they were used as a tool basically to wash documents that had been stolen by the Russian government. And, of course, that's a concern. I don't see that as directly affecting me because I'm not WikiLeaks and there is no question about the provenance of the documents that I dealt with.

DER SPIEGEL: Currently, there's another American guy out there who is accused of being too close to Putin.

Snowden: Oh (laughs).

DER SPIEGEL: Your president. Is he your president?

Snowden: The idea that half of American voters thought that Donald Trump was the best among us, is something that I struggle with. And I think we will all be struggling with it for decades to come.

DER SPIEGEL: But isn't there reason to fear terrorism?

Snowden: Sure there is. Terrorism is a real problem. But when we look at how many lives it has claimed in basically any country that is outside of war zones like Iraq or Afghanistan, it is so much less than, say, car accidents or heart attacks. Even if Sept. 11 were to happen every single year in the U.S., terrorism would be a much lower threat than so many other things.

No, no one is accusing Wikileaks of conspiring with Russia, just Robert Mueller. I really appreciate Snowden calling Julian Assange a liar, for he has consistently denied there was a "state actor."

"Terrorism is a real problem" Snowden said. Is it credible that Snowden, who presented himself as donating funds to Ron Paul, has never read any alternative news sites? Is it credible that Snowden believes that terrorists and this would include the good "moderate terrorists" in Syria are armed and act on their own initiative, and is ignorant of the role of the governments of America, Israel, and Saudi Arabia in using them to achieve their ends as proxy armies?

Does Snowden then think this report, " America Created Al-Qaeda and the ISIS Terror Group" is false? Does that mindset make Snowden a champion for liberty or a tool for more control of the American population? For example, is it credible that this alleged genius supports the narrative of the September 11 attacks World Trade Center attacks? Whom do you trust, the contributors to these very pages or Edward Snowden?

Snowden has promoted the use of the Tor Browser. ZeroHedge posted this article, " Tor Project 'Almost 100% Funded By The US Government': FOIA" which noted:

The Tor Project – a private nonprofit known as the "NSA-proof" gateway to the "dark web," turns out to be almost "100% funded by the US government" according to documents obtained by investigative journalist and author Yasha Levine.

In a recent blog post, Levine details how he was able to obtain roughly 2,500 pages of correspondence via FOIA requests while performing research for a book. The documents include strategy, contract, budgets and status updates between the Tor project and its primary source of funding; a CIA spinoff known as the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which "oversees America's foreign broadcasting operations like Radio Free Asia and Radio Free Europe."

By following the money, I discovered that Tor was not a grassroots. I was able to show that despite its indie radical cred and claims to help its users protect themselves from government surveillance online, Tor was almost 100% funded by three U.S. National Security agencies: the Navy, the State Department and the BBG. Following the money revealed that Tor was not a grassroots outfit, but a military contractor with its own government contractor number. In other words: it was a privatized extension of the very same government that it claimed to be fighting.

The documents conclusively showed that Tor is not independent at all. The organization did not have free reign to do whatever it wanted, but was kept on a very short leash and bound by contracts with strict contractual obligations. It was also required to file detailed monthly status reports that gave the U.S. government a clear picture of what Tor employees were developing, where they went and who they saw. -Yasha Levine

The FOIA documents also suggest that Tor's ability to shield users from government spying may be nothing more than hot air. While no evidence of a "backdoor" exists, the documents obtained by Levine reveal that Tor has "no qualms with privately tipping off the federal government to security vulnerabilities before alerting the public, a move that would give the feds an opportunity to exploit the security weakness long before informing Tor users."

Interestingly, Edward Snowden is a big fan of Tor – even throwing a "cryptoparty" while he was still an NSA contractor where he set up a Tor exit node to show off how cool they are.

In a 2015 interview with The Intercept's (Wikileaks hating) Micah Lee, Snowden said:

LEE: What do you think about Tor? Do you think that everyone should be familiar with it, or do you think that it's only a use-it-if-you-need-it thing?

SNOWDEN: I think Tor is the most important privacy-enhancing technology project being used today.

"Tor Browser is a great way to selectively use Tor to look something up and not leave a trace that you did it. It can also help bypass censorship when you're on a network where certain sites are blocked. If you want to get more involved, you can volunteer to run your own Tor node, as I do, and support the diversity of the Tor network."

Tor lists on its own website sponsors that include Google, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, ONR via Naval Research Laboratory (past sponsor) and DARPA.

When Julian Assange was taken from the Ecuadoran embassy, he was carrying a copy of Gore Vidal: History of the National Security State & Vidal on America. As an older article on Vidal in The Guardian noted, " Gore Vidal claims 'Bush junta' complicit in 9/11 ."

Isn't it odd by doing what he did with Vidal's book Assange makes the point the legitimacy of Washington must be challenged, but Snowden never does, other than offering suggestions for tinkering at the margins, perhaps advising we use DuckDuckGo instead of Google to give us the illusion of privacy? Did Snowden, for someone who is in front of a computer screen for most of the day, make public the facts obtained by Whitney Webb in her piece " How the CIA, Mossad and 'the Epstein Network' Are Exploiting Mass Shootings to Create an Orwellian Nightmare " posted on Unz.com which goes in depth into the Orwellian hell we are facing, for as Webb concludes:

With companies like Carbyne -- with its ties to both the Trump administration and to Israeli intelligence -- and the Mossad-linked Gabriel also marketing themselves as "technological" solutions to mass shootings while also doubling as covert tools for mass data collection and extraction, the end result is a massive surveillance system so complete and so dystopian that even George Orwell himself could not have predicted it.

Following another catastrophic mass shooting or crisis event, aggressive efforts will likely follow to foist these "solutions" on a frightened American public by the very network connected, not only to Jeffrey Epstein, but to a litany of crimes and a frightening history of plans to crush internal dissent and would-be dissenters in the United States.

There is the concept of willful blindness that I think applies to much of what Snowden has done, if not something altogether more nefarious -- distorations, misrepresenations, and outright lies, in addition to hubris. What is the point I'm making? Perhaps Snowden is only a Soros and Hillary Clinton supporting liberal -- but then why would he have done what he did? His character is of any government employee of the "surface state" who swallows false narratives whole.

I only wish the reader fairly and intelligently consider the questions I have raised. For I am encouraging you to think very carefully before you trust the statements, purpose, motives, and truthfulness of the secular saint, Edward Snowden.

Yvonne Lorenzo makes her home in New England in a house full to bursting with books, including works on classical Greece. Her interests include gardening, mythology, ancient history, The Electric Universe, and classical music, especially the compositions of Handel, Mozart, Bach, Haydn, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, and the Bel Canto repertoire. She is the author of the novels the Son of Thunder and The Cloak of Freya and has contributed to LewRockwell.com and TheSaker.IS.


Nicolás Palacios Navarro , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 4:27 am GMT

Edward Snowden is a typical American fachidiot who, despite their protestations is a striver and bootlick for the Empire. I genuinely believe that he is puzzled as to why it has turned against him. He deserves his destiny of forever languishing in political purgatory.

Several years later, practically nobody remembers him here in the US, and possible elsewhere (save for when it is convenient for the media). Julian Assange was a far more daring, more insightful figure.

(As an aside, I am curious about the author's liking of bel canto . Lot of birdbrain music to my ears; I prefer Wagner, Strauss, Schreker, and Berg. Also, the older I get, the more I realize that Schoenberg was by far the greater genius than Mahler.)

ikki , says: September 20, 2019 at 4:56 am GMT
The logging of user and information accessed is sure added to the file. But real time supervision? No. A eye of sauron? Please. The system isnt there to prevent crime, its to track down the criminal and deeds later. And yes everything takes a very long time on the public side.

You know, 16:00 hours the mouse just drops dead from the hand. Public servants don't give a damn if a job is made fast or efficient, only that procedure if followed and that it is eventually done. Unless priorities are reassigned, stuff left halfway undone in disarray is no problem when reassigned.

Just as keeping secret private archives of more or less job related data is all standard procedure. That is keep a load of data in your personal folders and move those into whatever form desired. Security is not very tight. Only in the sense that eventually every person with hours and access point etc data can be recovered if so ordered to.

So stealing data out of that system shouldn't be terribly hard. Just email it to a private email. Or store on something else and transport out. For one Hillary was doing the same thing for ages. In that case though "what difference does it make"

Jonathan Revusky , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 5:26 am GMT
Why does the author distrust the Snowden story while taking the Assange saga at face value?
Horst G , says: September 20, 2019 at 6:41 am GMT
There was an interview with Edward in the German magazine Der Spiegel this month, Nr. 18. In it, we get the tale, he copied material on SD cards, and smugeled them in his mouth, or inside a "magic cube" out of the base on Hawaii, passing "guards". A cube, the occult symbol, how blatant, just mocking the profane.

On the technical side, I got a story from a German BMW factory. A bunch of guys on nightshift plugged a USB Harddisk into a PC to watch a movie. Minutes later they received a call from the IT, it had been recognized remotely. What a charade. It has the taste of Jewish tales, smuggling stuff, tricking guards of an evil system.

Tusk , says: September 20, 2019 at 6:49 am GMT
Great article, thanks Ron for publishing.
der einzige , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 7:00 am GMT
I recommend these articles from Jon Rappaport, unfortunately, wordpress deleted his blog.

and this

Russia gov report Snowden Greenwald are CIA frauds https://www.radios.cz/en/articles/russia-gov-report-snowden-greenwald-are-cia-frauds/

Brabantian , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:00 am GMT
Nice to have a piece helping point to the truth, that Glenn Greenwald & Edward Snowden are CIA frauds, as every major government knows

'Edward Snowden' who first 'leaked' to the CIA's Washington Post, in fact to Bush VP Dick Cheney's biographer Bart Gellman then the Deep State realised that was too stupid, so they switched to Rothschild employee & ex-gay-pornography-seller Glenn Greenwald, former proprietor of 'hairystuds', at the Guardian, an intel-agency rag which lies about nearly everything

Vladmir Putin himself hinting out loud he knows Snowden is fake, and 'Snowden asylum' is a game of back-door favours between Russia & the USA, few in the West pick up on it http://www.veteranstoday.com/2016/09/21/russia-govt-report-snowden-greenwald-are-cia-frauds/

Despite the Snowden-Assange mutual sniping in their media-star rivalry, Julian Assange is also a CIA-Mossad asset, as Bibi Netanyahu himself has boasted to Israeli media, regarding aggressively pro-Zionist, anti-Palestinian Julian, equally anti-9-11-truth along with Eddie Snowden

As loyal CIA assets, neither Assange and Snowden dare to mention USA Virginia fed judge bribery files that have blocked other extraditions, tho these files would make their own extraditions impossible, if these CIA fakers really cared about their own 'defence'

Zbigniew Brzezinski on 29 Nov 2010, on the US public television PBS News Hour, also admitted Assange was intel, his Wikileaks 'selected'

People trusting Assange are dead, Peter W Smith, Seth Rich; others jailed

Very darkly, it is unknown how many dissidents Snowden and also Julian Assange helped silence or even kill, both of them a 'rat trap' for trusting whistle-blowers
https://www.henrymakow.com/2018/11/assange-snowden-rat-traps.html

You will notice that Assange & Snowden both got famous via CIA – MI6 media, NY Times, UK Guardian, who are never interested in real dissidents

Assange shared lawyer with Rothschilds, Rothschild sister-in-law posted Assange bail, Assange has ties to George Soros too

Early on, Assange helped Rothschilds destroy rival bank Julius Baer that is 'progressive Wiki-leaking' for you

Assange had a weird childhood with Aussie mind-control cult 'the Family'

Things like 'Assange living at Ecuador Embassy' – 'now in Belmarsh prison' – easily faked, Assange moved in & out for photos by MI5 MI6, police under national security orders 'Snowden' is not necessarily in Russia either

Assange & Snowden de-legitimise real dissidents, because people say, 'Wikileaks – NY Times – UK Guardian would cover it if it was true'

Tree Watcher , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:10 am GMT
NeonRevolt once floated the theory that Snowden was an FBI or CIA plant who whistleblew solely because he had the mission to undermine NSA operations by exposing their equipment/techniques and turning public opinion against them.

I completely understand if people are leery of the theorycrafting of a Q tracker, but I do believe that this suggestion is plausible. Setting aside attempts at placing it in context of a Deep State war, inter-service rivalry and sabotage between spy agencies is absolutely a thing, and reviewing the inconsistencies of Snowden's stunt, its aftermath, and his personal views with that potential background in mind suddenly makes things make much more sense, in my mind at least.

animalogic , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:10 am GMT
Interesting, thought-provoking article. It asks us to balance up competing interests & advantages.

On the one hand we can assume Snowden is "real" or not. That is, he's a genuine whistle blower, or he's a government psy-op's plant.

If we accept the later, that he's a plant, then it raises a further question: was the short term loss, associated with his revelations, ie highlighting the utterly disturbing degree of Gov surveillance over US citizens (etc) worth the long term profit of having an established, authoritive psy-op's agent able to influence/distort etc any debate or narrative concerning the US State /elites. On this side the author notes Snowmen's views on Tor, 9/11, Russia etc which clearly advantage the US State's own views on these subjects.

I don't know the answer -- except that this article raises serious questions, suspicions , about Snowden's authenticity.

Franz , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:15 am GMT
Never for a moment considered Snowden any sort of secular saint.

Snowden for the most part only confirmed the downward trajectory of the formerly at least interesting filmmaker, Oliver Stone. If JFK was worth a laugh (and evidently did get a few people thinking about the phoniness of Dallas '63 for the first time), Snowden was total chloroform on screen. Sad to see Ollie hit such lows.

This bit is interesting:

When Julian Assange was taken from the Ecuadoran embassy, he was carrying a copy of Gore Vidal: History of the National Security State & Vidal on America. As an older article on Vidal in The Guardian noted, "Gore Vidal claims 'Bush junta' complicit in 9/11."

As batty as Vidal may have been, it is a fact he was the first American with any sort of national recognition to speak out against the National Security State, starting in the Eisenhower years. His fury was partly stoked by their meddling in Central America, but he stayed at it. Even gave it a mention in a movie he had a gag role in, Bob Roberts , 1992.

His favorite line (variously rendered) was "Harry Truman signed the United States of America into oblivion in February, 1949" which was when the NSA papers were drawn up, giving us the security state, the CIA and the whole shebang. Anytime before, any US citizen could demand accounting of any government project, no matter what. Afterward, the rule by secrecy applied.

Vidal had been a WWII veteran and deplored all that came about after. Credit is due for that.

wayfarer , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:30 am GMT

Even if you're not doing anything wrong, you are being watched and recorded. The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your emails or your wife's phone calls, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards. – Edward Snowden

https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/edward-snowden-quotes

https://www.youtube.com/embed/e9yK1QndJSM?feature=oembed

Nik , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:05 am GMT
Both Assuange and Snowden are agent patsys
Oscar Peterson , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:14 am GMT
Who is this dizzy chick?

Snowden, exiled and isolated in Russia, is some sort of USG crypto-agent or something?

I suppose that if you're going to look for outside-the-box commentary and analysis, you're going to get some of this sort of nonsense. I guess you can't expect to hit a home run every time.

Oscar Peterson , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:20 am GMT
@Nicolás Palacios Navarro

"Edward Snowden is a typical American fachidiot who, despite their protestations is a striver and bootlick for the Empire. I genuinely believe that he is puzzled as to why it has turned against him. He deserves his destiny of forever languishing in political purgatory."

And yet this "striver and bootlick for the Empire" is exiled in Russia. So some guy sacrifices an enjoyable and secure life to go live in Russia and all you can say is that "he deserves his destiny?"

"Several years later, practically nobody remembers him here in the US"

And this is a reflection on him or on the rest of us?

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:42 am GMT
@Oscar Peterson She starts off with a falsehood:

> Edward Snowden would have us believe that the Eye of Sauron didn't notice

He states exactly the opposite. I quit reading her garbage after that.

AmRusDebate , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 10:18 am GMT
Comfortable living in Moscow, vs. Belmarsh, makes all the difference in the world.

You might be right about Snowden, you might not be, but were Assange living in a Russian city, far out of reach of NeoconiaDC, Bill Blaney would show him greater respect believe me.

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 10:21 am GMT
@Horst G Boy howdy, a Rubik's Cube is now magical, profane, occult, and eerily symbolic, because it's cubical! And geometry class is a satanic false flag op of oppressive propaganda taught by crypto-Jews! Who else could be interested in IRRATIONAL numbers like π? PYTHAGORAS WAS A MOSSAD AGENT!
Nicolás Palacios Navarro , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 10:57 am GMT
@Oscar Peterson

And yet this "striver and bootlick for the Empire" is exiled in Russia. So some guy sacrifices an enjoyable and secure life to go live in Russia and all you can say is that "he deserves his destiny?"

His "sacrifice" was inadvertent and involuntary. The fact that he seems not to appreciate the sanctuary offered to him by Russia -- has he not repeatedly expressed the desire to go elsewhere? -- says a lot. From everything I have read about him, it would appear that he regards his exile not as something to be borne with dignity, but as something to pout over as does a child who unexpectedly did not get his way.

Julian Assange, on the other hand, sacrificed much more and did so willingly and courageously. He had no illusions about the consequences that he would face for his beliefs and actions.

And this is a reflection on him or on the rest of us?

Both. Nobody remembers anything here in the US anyway, least of all people and events which do not flatter the national mythos. In the case of this would-be patriot -- the scion of a family that grew fat at the government teat, and who himself has made a tidy profit from his exile -- his unofficial damnatio memoriæ is deserved.

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:07 am GMT
@Franz > veteran Credit is due for that.

Maybe you ought to give Snowden some credit for his military service too. Fair is fair.

Snowden enlisted in the United States Army Reserve on May 7, 2004, and became a Special Forces candidate through its 18X enlistment option.[39] He did not complete the training.[12] After breaking both legs in a training accident,[40] he was discharged on September 28, 2004.[41]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Snowden#Career

9/11 Inside job , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:11 am GMT
@Brabantian Is Seth Rich dead ? OpDeepState.com : "The 'murder' of Seth Rich – Everything we thought we knew is wrong !" by Lisa Phillips . "The MOSSAD infiltrated Clinton's campaign with a Sayanim contractor – Seth Rich – this OP took Hillary right out of the race ."
anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:19 am GMT
Tor is a great tool, if you know how to use it correctly. The US gov't know people don't know how to use it correctly, and sets up exit nodes to spy on idiots, like this:

In 2007 Egerstad set up just five Tor exit nodes and used them to intercept thousands of private emails, instant messages and email account credentials.

Amongst his unwitting victims were the Australia, Japanese, Iranian, India and Russia embassies, .

Dan Egerstad proved then that exit nodes were a fine place to spy on people and his research convinced him in 2007, long before Snowden, that governments were funding expensive, high bandwidth exit nodes for exactly that purpose.

Tor is a fine security project and an excellent component in a strategy of defence in depth but it isn't (sadly) a cloak of invisibility.

Exit nodes, just like fake Wi-Fi hotspots, are an easy and tempting way for attackers to silently insert themselves into a network.

By running an exit node they can sit there as an invisible man-in-the-middle on a system that people choose when they want extra privacy and security.

Can you trust Tor's exit nodes?
https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2015/06/25/can-you-trust-tors-exit-nodes/

So just assume the US gov't is your exit node, thank them silently for paying for you to use it free, and keep your info encrypted.

Svevlad , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:30 am GMT
Both him and Assange are spooks
Rabbitnexus , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:50 am GMT
Well, this is refreshing. I agree wholeheartedly about Snowden and have the same reservations. My feelings about Assange, however, aren't much different. Julian has not challenged the 9/11 narrative either to be fair. I am inclined to see them both as limited hangouts. Snowden's 'revelations' were all old news to anyone who'd been paying attention for 10 years before his appearance. Even other whistleblowers, none of whom got any media coverage, had spoken of much of it previously. I see them both as pied pipers and nothing more. I think Russian intelligence services are perfectly well aware of what Snowden is and have kept him at arms length themselves. Not much they could do but play along but nothing suggests they ever saw him as any sort of 'coup'

Anyone who still plays along with the 9/11 bullshit narrative isn't worth a damn anyway.

Rabbitnexus , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:58 am GMT
@animalogic Consider that nothing Snowden revealed was news. It was all old hat for anyone who'd been paying attention, and for up to ten years. Sure Snowden made it mainstream for what good it did but nothing he said was a secret anymore. In fact, I thought even at the time his actions were nothing less than a 'threat and warning' from the intel services that they had this much on everyone. Just imagine all those national leaders, politicians from all states being pout on notice. All your secrets are ours! What a powerful global message to deliver and in such a loud and clear fashion.

The lack of deviation from official bullshit on 9/11 is on its own however reason enough to toss this guy out. Snowden NEVER impressed me for a moment and honestly, nor has Assange. I believe they're both working for the other side still. By the way, Julian Assange has actually denigrated 9/11 truthers a number of times.

Horst G , says: September 20, 2019 at 12:08 pm GMT
@anon It's in the magazine, page 82, quote "Zauberwürfel". Presented by me, for you to get the picture. Maybe you haven't seen enough cubes around, to get that humor. In real life, copying material on devices will be followed by arrest, no interview, no journey to some exile. This whole tale is not funny, it's evil on many levels. Your sarcasm is disturbing.
Realist , says: September 20, 2019 at 12:09 pm GMT
@Nicolás Palacios Navarro

Several years later, practically nobody remembers him here in the US, and possible elsewhere (save for when it is convenient for the media). Julian Assange was a far more daring, more insightful figure.

I disagree, there are plenty of people who remember him. The problem is they don't care, most Americans would rather watch America's Got Talent or Dancing With The Stars than do something about our corrupt political system.

Johnny Walker Read , says: September 20, 2019 at 12:16 pm GMT
Assange and Snowden are both shill's..

https://aanirfan.blogspot.com/search?q=assange

Johnny Walker Read , says: September 20, 2019 at 12:20 pm GMT
@Johnny Walker Read And

2013 Edward Snowden 'leaked stolen documents' (1) 'Leaked' to Dick Cheney friend at CIA WashPost, Rothschild employee Greenwald (2) Anti-9-11-truth (3) Nothing really new beyond more than 5+ previous NSA whistleblowers (4) Has CIA lawyers, worked with Brzezinski son, promoted by Brzezinski daughter, fake CV history (5) Known as fake to all major gov intel agencies

https://aanirfan.blogspot.com/search?q=snowden

Johnny Walker Read , says: September 20, 2019 at 12:31 pm GMT
@Johnny Walker Read This is absolutely dynamite material, it blows to smithereens any notion that Edward Snowden is anything other than a fraud, a CIA disinfo op.

So now we can place him alongside Julian Assange and Wikileaks in the rogue's gallery of professional liars. This report also exposes several other media outlets as being under CIA control, something we have known for some time

https://www.veteranstoday.com/2016/09/21/russia-govt-report-snowden-greenwald-are-cia-frauds/

foolisholdman , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:04 pm GMT
@animalogic

I don't know the answer -- except that this article raises serious questions, suspicions , about Snowden's authenticity.

To my mind "9/11, attitude to", is a sort of touch-stone for telling genuine dissidents from fake and both Snowden and Assange fail on that test. I don't have a reference for it, but I saw it in correspondence on this site. There was a video of a lecture given by Assange, where someone asked him about 9/11. He looked extremely embarrassed and then replied that he thought that it was "not very important" (Sic!) and changed the subject.

I am less sure of this but I think I saw something similar in an interview with Snowden. Perhaps someone else can remind me of exact references?

Amon , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:23 pm GMT
This is the same government whose leaders secure their laptops with the secret code "pas$word" and require the producers of computers to give them full access via day one exploits along with tailor fitted programs that are easier to hack.

That Snowden got away with what he did is not that shocking.

Justvisiting , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:23 pm GMT
These days Snowden has become a generic term for whistleblowing on the Deep State tech spying, like xerox for copying. I suppose someone here wants to remind us that this was _really_ the first copier, patented in 1879:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gestetner

The truth or falsity of the original "myth" becames moot at some point.

The Deep State is spying. They do have hardware and software and monkey in the middle hacks. They do trade intelligence with other spy agencies, domestic and foreign. They lie about it through the Mockingbird media.

_That_ is what is important.

Snowden's bona fides are "inside baseball", and minor league baseball at that.

.gov IT security is a joke–millions of pages of regulations, proclamations, millions of hours of management meetings, goals, powerpoint slides–ultimately easily outmatched by any determined hackers (whether in mom's basement or an intelligence agency's basement).

Multiple Fronts , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:32 pm GMT
CIA Edward Snowden? ...
Antiwar7 , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:34 pm GMT
If he was a sys admin, that probably meant he had the rights to install, remove, enable, and disable the various safety guards and security checks discussed in this article.
sally , says: September 20, 2019 at 1:48 pm GMT
@Jonathan Revusky Yvonne Lorenzo paper suggest suspect issues exist to support Snowden's story but finds Assange's saga to be based in epic, consistent, continued resistance to the organized forces at work in governments and high profile international corporations and agencies to keep secret things which expose officials as criminals.

<=the difference is consistency, scope and finger points. Assange has been consistent.. always seeking to make available as much as he could, always with as much clarity as possible; making the point where he could, that much of what he exposed seems to be in the domain of organized crime. Assange often exposes high profile persons and tags them with evidence to connect them to prior and current organized crime or obviously corrupt activities. Assange shows these persons or governments or agencies are involved in secret diplomatic activities, the secrecy of which seem always to be protected by judicial and legal processes

The Assange story paints a picture that suggest globally organized crime has come into possession and now manages and controls many well armed domestic governments and that selected agencies of government have been enabling selected private enterprises. Assange exposes intelligence services of many different nations to be a bank, corporation, and agency inter connects that coordinate infrastructure destruction, invasion, regime change, and war, and that these events are often followed by opportunistic privatization.

Snowden merely says a few things are wrong and should be corrected. in time the government will fix its own mistakes. I do not know if Snowden is a Trojan, but nothing Assange has done suggest he is and governments have treated Assange as anything but one of them. My opinion.

der einzige , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 2:04 pm GMT
@foolisholdman I think you meant that

https://www.youtube.com/embed/zG23AyiIObk?feature=oembed

Oscar Peterson , says: September 20, 2019 at 2:35 pm GMT
@Nicolás Palacios Navarro I agree that Assange has suffered much more than Snowden, but why hold that against the latter?

Snowden took a risk to publicize what he thought was important information indicating a dangerous trend in US policy. He wasn't willing to offer himself up as a lamb to the slaughter, so it's true that his sacrifice is not perhaps the ultimate one. He seems to have thought he could remain in Hong Kong but didn't realize that China was never going to compromise relations with the US to protect him. Putin wouldn't have either except that the US was so imperious in demanding his return that Putin really couldn't save face and give him up, and no doubt he was rankled by US hypocrisy, knowing that had Snowden been a Russian, the US would never have considered sending him back.

But Snowden DID take action which is more than most of us do. I find your complete lack of empathy kind of weird, to be honest. Even if Assange is the more virtuous or if one disagrees with Snowden's actions, he has paid a price for principle.

What does his family background have to do with anything?

I'm not inclined to sneer at him, and I don't see how you get to "he deserves what he gets."

Commentator Mike , says: September 20, 2019 at 2:44 pm GMT
@Brabantian Brabantian,

So Pamela Anderson lied about visiting Assange in the embassy? If they're faking it, wherever he is he isn't in the public eye walking down the street or sitting in a Starbucks, so he's leading a prison life anyway behind closed doors somewhere. I suppose a dedicated agent would do something like that for Queen and country or whatever, but I doubt he's the type. I gather veterans today are trying to cast Assange as a Mossad agent but then they're the Journal of the Clandestine Community, whatever that is.

Snowden is not a classic defector so it makes sense for him to keep his distance from Russian society so as not to be inadvertently compromised or used by their intelligence services. He's obviously under surveillance there, I know we all are but he's much more aware of it, so that doesn't make it easy for him but he's definitely safer there than he'd be in France or Germany. I just don't think he planned well ahead when he became a whistle-blower or was clear about what he was trying to achieve. He's not the top level type of spy we're accustomed to reading about who betray their country for money or to serve another they believe in more than their own. If he has been on active duty as a CIA asset all along I can't see that he has achieved much of use to them other than in some inter-agency rivalry game. But it's natural for Russians to be suspicious of him – they're suspicious by nature – and rightly so, but it doesn't make his life easy there.

Justvisiting , says: September 20, 2019 at 2:46 pm GMT
@der einzige Thanks for posting–Assange looked dazed and confused by the question itself.

It could be "rogue agents". A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 2:48 pm GMT
@Anonymous Snanonymous > Snowden, unlike Assange, largely suffered from pussy deprivation

You're projecting your own lack of success with females. Meanwhile, Snowden's squeeze Lindsay Mills lives with him in Moscow.

Snowden's lawyer Anatoly Kucherena confirmed the lovebirds' reunion and said they've been taking in Russian theaters and cultural sights together. "Love is love," he told AFP. "She lives with him when she comes here. Moral support is very important for Edward."
https://nypost.com/2014/10/11/snowdens-girlfriend-lives-with-him-in-moscow-documentary-reveals/

There's no way an envious gamma like you could tap this:

Anonymous [893] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 2:51 pm GMT
Good stuff. Snowden was outed by Gordon Duff years ago. Although I'll have to come back to finish this article, it generally appears to agree with Duff's analysis that none of it adds up. If I may paraphrase Edward Bernays, To read the Washington Post and Guardian or watch TV news is to see America and Western Civilization through the eyes of its enemy.

The owners of the media own the public forum in America and through it the formation of men's attitudes and the outcome of elections. The left vs right, CNN vs Fox News, MAGA vs socialism and other contrived theater serves the interests of the media owners and no other.

TheJester , says: September 20, 2019 at 3:02 pm GMT
@Jonathan Revusky Try this:

Assange tried to destroy the "system", which would have furthered the conditions for completing the ongoing, global Cultural Marxist Revolution Mao Zedong on steroids.

Snowden, on the other hand, wanted something much less extreme. He wanted to fix and save the "system" by exposing its excesses in order to bring it back within a quasi-legal, democratic framework.

In response, the "system" was satisfied to teach Snowden a lesson. They were willing to slap Snowden's hand by exiling him to Western Russia, which is better than rotting in a Siberian labor camp or "max" prison in the United States.

Assange, on the other hand, is a reincarnated, digital version of Che Guevara. They want his scalp, recognizing that Assange (like Che Guevara) will brook no compromise in his revolutionary agitation.

Anonymous Snanonymous , says: September 20, 2019 at 3:22 pm GMT
@anon Thank you for the update I remain celibate out of consideration for those who are truly hard up.
Sparkon , says: September 20, 2019 at 3:29 pm GMT
Good article. Snowden and Assange are agents of disinformation

"I'm constantly annoyed that people are distracted by false conspiracies such as 9/11, when all around we provide evidence of real conspiracies, for war or mass financial fraud."

-- Julian Assange

http://911blogger.com/news/2010-07-22/wikileaks-founder-julian-assange-annoyed-911-truth

Assange's damming statement about 9/11 at the Belfast Telegraph is now behind a sign-up gatepost, which was not there in the fairly recent past.

9/11 Inside job , says: September 20, 2019 at 4:36 pm GMT
9/11 is the "litmus test" and it appears that both Assange and Snowden have failed it.
anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 5:06 pm GMT
@9/11 Inside job Well, the Real Litmus Test ™ is eternal security vs. conditional salvation. Don't fail, or everything else you've ever said must be summarily dismissed. Answer well, friendo .

Splitting (also called black-and-white thinking or all-or-nothing thinking) is the failure in a person's thinking to bring together the dichotomy of both positive and negative qualities of the self and others into a cohesive, realistic whole. It is a common defense mechanism.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Splitting_(psychology)

Nicolás Palacios Navarro , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 6:09 pm GMT
@Realist

The problem is they don't care, most Americans would rather watch America's Got Talent or Dancing With The Stars than do something about our corrupt political system.

Also very true.

Outrage Beyond , says: September 20, 2019 at 6:43 pm GMT
It appears the author of this piece has not read Snowden's book, Permanent Record . If she had, she would not have asked questions which are answered, in detail, in Snowden's book. Here are some of the most obvious points.

1. "Why does Snowden never discuss dealing with such encryption: how would it be possible?"

Answer: In his book, Snowden describes the layers of encryption that he used when copying the files from NSA. He also describes the extraordinary level of access he had as a systems engineer. Further, he mentions his surprise at finding that the NSA did not practice widespread encryption, in contrast to his experience at CIA, where the hard drives were not only encrypted, but removed from the computers and placed in a safe each night.

2. "In the Oliver Stone movie Snowden, as well as in any of Snowden's descriptions of how he accessed the NSA computers, did you note either the depiction or reference to this universal Smart ID? How could Snowden be exempt from its requirement?"

Answer: Movies omit details. In his book, Snowden describes working in the one-person Information Sharing department. As part of that work, he brought an older, "obsolete" system to his office under the cover story of "compatibility testing" and used this older system to copy the data.

3. "Did Edward Snowden, who has publicly criticized Google, mention Google is deployed as a search engine throughout the federal "intranet"?"

Answer: Yes, as a matter of fact, in his book, Snowden does mention that Google provides a custom internal version of their search engine to the intelligence community.

4. "Edward Snowden would have us believe that the Eye of Sauron didn't notice he was looking at gigabytes of data unrelated to his job function and using his computer to copy the data to external devices over a lengthy period of time."

Answer: In his book, Snowden describes how he created a "readboard" that collected the documents as part of his work in the Information Sharing department. He also describes how another systems administrator did notice, and how he addressed this attention by providing access to his "readboard" to the other administrator, and explained its purpose and value to users. In other words, the "gigabytes of data" he was looking at were directly related to his job function.

5. "On another issue, why did Snowden provide his files to known house organs of Intelligence Agencies, specifically the Washington Post and The Guardian, and not give them to Wikileaks to allow a publicly available searchable database?"

Answer: Snowden also discusses this topic in his book. According to Snowden, he did not want to simply release the information, he wanted the media to remove anything that might cause harm.

6. "And what about Snowden himself, the pontificator, the man who can speak on television or to the media with evidence of training? Practice yourself -- see how well you can answer questions and speak publicly to a TV camera. How did he get his training? Who trained him? Why?"

Answer: After 6 years of media attention, it seems reasonable he would gain some expertise in dealing with the media.

My purpose in providing the answers above is not to defend or attack Snowden. Rather, these examples just show that the author of this piece is a sloppy amateur who did not do her homework. I suspect the author is also woefully ignorant of computer technology. Anyone curious about these topics should read Permanent Record and decide for themselves.

PetrOldSack , says: September 20, 2019 at 6:49 pm GMT
@sally

My opinion.

Your opinion stands. Snowden has de facto been compromised. Being in Russia, and not in control of his environment. Whether he was from the start, could be. The Tor browser bull- *** t speaks against him all the way. His conventional career start, and youth also. He is more Macron then a Galloway.

Assange was in for the long term, had thorough knowledge of affairs digital, his youth, his physical courage(there must be a point where selling out was a possibility) were exemplary all along the (long) and still ongoing slug.

Even his ego, fronting Wikileaks seems to be proportionate as compared to the conventional Jerks &, as Pompeo, Hillary, Trump, Obama. If one sees how many personnel is dedicated to steer elections and governance public opinion, he certainly looks like a lonely giant on the civil disobedience, organizational, knowledgeable, energy spent and resilience side. A true example of what White, and Western European descend stands for. Enlightenment, in system, style, and function. Relevancy, long term goals, dare, does not come better then that.

PetrOldSack , says: September 20, 2019 at 6:53 pm GMT
@Justvisiting Very to the point. True over the whole stretch digital communication is in existence.
Mark Hunter , says: Website September 20, 2019 at 6:59 pm GMT
@Oscar Peterson I don't have "Agree/Disagree/Etc" privileges so I say here that I agree with you.

Some of the pompous ingrates trashing Snowden for the flimsiest of reasons still seem to have a high opinion of Thomas Drake, William Binney, or Kirk Wiebe. They might read this: Three NSA Veterans Speak Out on Whistleblower

peterAUS , says: September 20, 2019 at 7:06 pm GMT
@ikki Pretty much.

The author, interestingly enough, isn't I.T. professional, but, has very definite opinions about IT security. Dumb.

Just email it to a private email.

Well, firewall logs could reveal your connection to some email server outside ..

Or store on something else and transport out.

Yep. Hehe the girl doesn't actually get how that "encryption" thing works. OSI layers etc.

And, what people really don't get: all security is as good as an average person using it. As hehe you pointed out:

Hillary was doing the same thing for ages.

Insider doesn't need to tackle technology. All he/she needs is to tackle is a dumb employee. Anyway .

I could make my home systems quite secure, even against Five Eyes. That would create another set of even worse problems, but let's leave it out for now.
The problem is my wife and her browsing/computer use habits. Hehe makes sense?

peterAUS , says: September 20, 2019 at 7:09 pm GMT
@Outrage Beyond A very good comment.

Especially

.a systems engineer .. the one-person Information Sharing department . .providing access to his "readboard" to the other administrator .

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 7:26 pm GMT
@Realist Snowden did "do something about our corrupt political system," not that anybody here cares.

And God Bless America.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/8kssysjyPl0?feature=oembed

niceland , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:46 pm GMT
Snowden keeping "distance" to Russia, and not openly defending them seems reasonable to me. You can imagine the smear campaign back home if he would side with Russia against the U.S. on almost anything. "The Russians got to him" or "He was always their man".

He is trying to keep his neutrality and credibility and his target audience isn't the average Unz reader, but rather some mainstream educated middle/upper class blokes. Easily scared away from his views if they become too controversial and too far from the established narrative.

Last but not least, he is playing very dangerous game, probably without much security from his host country. This probably limits what he can do, TPTB could probably get to him if they wanted it badly enough.

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:49 pm GMT
@Horst G Everybody with the slight familiarity about the story knows of Snowden's use of the Ernő Rubik's Cube to hide the SD card.

> In real life, copying material on devices will be followed by arrest, no interview, no journey to some exile.

Snowden proved you wrong, by the skin of his teeth.

> Your sarcasm is disturbing.

Yeah? How do you think folks feel about your black cape and a fiberglass helmet?

Republic , says: September 20, 2019 at 8:54 pm GMT
@anon Wasn't Ross William Ulbricht compromised by using Tor ?
anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:12 pm GMT
@PetrOldSack > The Tor browser bull- *** t speaks against him all the way

No, your stupid bull- *** t lack of understanding about Tor speaks against you all the way. It's not encryption, like you probably think it is. It's simply a way to use another IP address without having to drive to the nearest Starbucks to use their wifi. You treat Tor just like any "free" wifi, assuming that your data is being sniffed and collected. If you're going to message, use Signal (or Telegram.) Always force HTTPS. Use encryption. All Tor does is obfuscate your IP location, which is exactly what Snowden states, "All Tor does is obfuscate your IP location .

"[Tor] allows you to disassociate your physical location ."

EDWARD SNOWDEN EXPLAINS HOW TO RECLAIM YOUR PRIVACY
https://theintercept.com/2015/11/12/edward-snowden-explains-how-to-reclaim-your-privacy/

And now Brave Browser has it built in! So easy. Try it. Just don't do anything on Tor that you wouldn't do with a Starbuck's free wifi in Foggy Bottom.

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 20, 2019 at 9:29 pm GMT
@Republic How he got taken down is here , and it started with the name-fag using his Real Name while e-begging for help to run illegal websites, and ended up with a half-dozen FBI agents tailing him at his arrest. Even then, Tor made it harder for the FBI to track him, just not impossible.

Tor only does one thing, obfuscate your physical location. That's it. It's not magic. It's a virtual way to sit at the Starbucks cafe and use their free wifi. Just assume the exit node is owned by the Feds, looking for criminal morons who don't understand it and think it's "secure" or "encrypted." It's not. Use encryption too.

Gg , says: September 20, 2019 at 10:09 pm GMT
Stuff like this just confirms Qanon. He said years ago Snowden was a CIA plant in the NSA to reveal this information about their mass surveillance on purpose. Why ? Maybe it relates to what Michael Hoffman describes as revelation of the method – a process of revealing the crimes being committed against us by "they" so it breeds apathy and despair in the population when nothing comes from
The revelation of the crimes
The Company , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:06 pm GMT
The Russian authorities are capable of asking the same perceptive questions – – and yet they continue to be gracious hosts.
Sean , says: September 20, 2019 at 11:10 pm GMT
An allegedly very high iq high school from a family with drop out Snowden's tried to join special forces and failed jump school, he failed a polygraph, got accepted to the CIA though not as a field agent despite his lack of a degree, and was bounced from the CIA and then got a job with Dell as an outside contractor on the basis of his still intact security clearance, the contractors were not compartmentalised in the way government employees were.

Then he went to work for defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, at an NSA facility in Hawaii. In subsequent interview with journalists, Snowden lied about his doing undercover work for the CIA, salary and seniority at Booz Allen, being able to spy on the the emails and phone calls of President Obama. Oh, and suffering broken bones in special forces jump school, he just had shin splints It is very clear how he got access, and why most of the people who gave him it did not own up.

https://nypost.com/2013/11/08/snowden-duped-coworkers-to-get-passwords/ Snowden duped co-workers to get passwords A handful of agency employees who gave their login details to Snowden were identified, questioned and removed from their assignments, said a source close to several U.S. government investigations into the damage caused by the leaks.

Snowden may have persuaded between 20 and 25 fellow workers at the NSA regional operations center in Hawaii to give him their logins and passwords by telling them they were needed for him to do his job as a computer systems administrator, a second source said.

Are we to believe the NSA lacks a "digital trail" when it comes to classified documents?

It's only difficult to believe if you think NASA (like the CIA and FBI once were) are only guarded in relation to external rather than internal security breaches

[A] frightening history of plans to crush internal dissent and would-be dissenters in the United States.

Why would they bother? Those dissenters cannot change anything, while they are whiling away their free time on the internet. Such activity cannot change anything at all, and so it is to be encouraged from the point of view of any establishment as open dissent on the net wards off the allegation of totalitarian state. Talk is cheap.

Johnny Walker Read , says: September 21, 2019 at 2:19 am GMT
Learn to recognize government dis-info. http://mileswmathis.com/glenn.pdf
ShermanFan , says: September 21, 2019 at 2:28 am GMT
I'm not going to comment on the person or their agenda, rather the process-broadly.

Can you copy encrypted files without knowledge and smuggle them out? Short answer: Yes, with a second device and some standard hardware stuff. They can see the second device if it is plugged in, but they have to look for it. There is no need to try and copy from the source, copy the output to a second machine that can interpret.

Franz , says: September 21, 2019 at 6:25 am GMT
@anon

ought to give Snowden some credit for his military service too.

Hell, I'd give the guy credit for his quick sprinting at the NSA. But we haven't established if he was a wiz kid or a plant.

Vidal went into the US Army after Pearl Harbor, at age 17. Even though he'd been his high school representative for the America First Committee, trying to keep the US out of the war. Due to hypothermia working on army transport ships in the Aleutians, he was initially misdiagnosed as arthritic and, not being caught in time, ended up first with a titanium leg replacement years later, then in a wheelchair.

I remain sort of impressed when a young man opposes a fight, then for patriotic reasons, serves anyway (and pays a steep price).

I'm sure we'll get the full story on Snowden sooner or later.

anon [260] Disclaimer , says: September 21, 2019 at 12:58 pm GMT
@Saggy A stupid girl who is completely unfamiliar with the Snowden history. For example, she asks this, "why did Snowden provide his files to The Guardian?"

Because he needed immediate press coverage. He didn't have weeks or even days, he had at most a few hours. His story had to be in the press the next morning. Both Greenwald and the Guardian reporter were with him at the hotel, worried that Snowden might even be assassinated if caught by US forces, and worked to get immediate press coverage of his plight to save his life. Plus, he was in constant contact with Wikileaks'Julian Assange, which she conveniently ignores to promote her lie-based conspiritard theory.

Without his story getting into the press within a few hours, and without Wikileaks' Julian Assange helping Snowden, he'd be in prison now, at best, possibly dead.

I say, give the guy a fair trial. He has asked for a fair trial. But the US Gov't has refused to allow his motive to be considered in the trial. Amazing, isn't it? Since when is motive to not be considered in a criminal trial?

For Snowden, a fair trial means allowing the jury to consider his motivations rather than simply deciding the case on whether a law was broken.

"They want the jury strictly to consider whether these actions were lawful or unlawful, not whether they were right or wrong," Snowden said. "And I'm sorry, but that defeats the purpose of a jury trial."

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2019/09/17/edward-snowden-releases-book-russia-wants-fair-trial-us/2349586001/

Che Guava , says: September 21, 2019 at 3:26 pm GMT
Tor may still be a good tool, it certainly was, I had great fun using it to troll and set off edit wars on English Wikipedia for a year or two mid-last decade. One of those edit wars lasted for about three days. I just watched after starting it (but I meant what I said in the comment that set it off, but not always in the trolling(^-^)v).

In any case, the English-language WP has been madly tracking Tor exit nodes and banning them since about early '07.

Fun while it lasted.

As for the wrong way to use it, that basically means making a connection to any other site, without Tor, while using Tor. I slipped up on that once or twice when slightly drunk.

I don't even know if using Tor is even legal in Japan now. I do love, however, how Wikipedia is aggressively supressing it.

Some politicians in ruling party were moving to make it illegal a couple of years ago, our polity is so nonsensical that I have to checck Japanese wiki to see the result.

Any fule knows that Tor original is a U.S.N. programme,

Yvonne Lorenzo , says: September 21, 2019 at 6:42 pm GMT
@der einzige

I recommend these articles from Jon Rappaport, unfortunately, wordpress deleted his blog.

Rappaport started my thinking and I bookmarked his pages long ago and to my horror found the site was taken down. I wonder why? Glad for this archive. Thank you.

Yvonne Lorenzo , says: September 21, 2019 at 6:57 pm GMT
@Outrage Beyond

It appears the author of this piece has not read Snowden's book, Permanent Record. If she had, she would not have asked questions which are answered, in detail, in Snowden's book. Here are some of the most obvious points.

1. "Why does Snowden never discuss dealing with such encryption: how would it be possible?"

Answer: In his book, Snowden describes the layers of encryption that he used when copying the files from NSA. He also describes the extraordinary level of access he had as a systems engineer. Further, he mentions his surprise at finding that the NSA did not practice widespread encryption, in contrast to his experience at CIA, where the hard drives were not only encrypted, but removed from the computers and placed in a safe each night.

2. "In the Oliver Stone movie Snowden, as well as in any of Snowden's descriptions of how he accessed the NSA computers, did you note either the depiction or reference to this universal Smart ID? How could Snowden be exempt from its requirement?"

Answer: Movies omit details. In his book, Snowden describes working in the one-person Information Sharing department. As part of that work, he brought an older, "obsolete" system to his office under the cover story of "compatibility testing" and used this older system to copy the data.

No, I haven't read the book–yet.

As part of a forensic analysis, which none of you were observant enough to understand, the subject is interviewed without knowledge of the questions in advance. His answers would be evaluated based on facts, for which a forensic IT team with no connections to government contractors would be part of and gain access to NSA systems. Thus, testimony is considered but it must be verified. Rand Paul might be one to open an investigation into the inadequacy of NSA security but government investigating itself is suspect. No such investigation will ever take place.

Note there has been no calls, that I am aware of, for any GAO study of NSA vulnerabilities.

Second, the critics miss the point: providing files to CIA-Five Eye fronts like Guardian and CIA Washington Post is suspect. As per what I wrote, no one now has access to this data.

I suspect Snowden leaked legitimate information to con the Russians to be on their soil and conduct malfeasance. Prior to Putin providing S-300s to Syria, Israel had better relations with Russia. I suspect Q is also coordinated by Intel agency friendly to Likud. Note his mention of John Perry Barlow before his death. He warned of Snowden being sent deliberately to Russia and hence my concern for CIA doing something stupid.

As to his comments on not supporting Russia, no support is necessary. If he were a decent human being he could simply have stated, "Election interference notwithstanding the U.S. should pursue non-aggressive posture against Russia. There was no 'Second Pearl Harbor.' The risk of nuclear war is great and I agree with President Trump to reduce tensions, although I disagree with his politics."

Instead, see his Tweets supporting the Pussy Hats and "We came, we saw, he died" Hillary Clinton.

In the event, Snowden is irrelevant. The end of Empire is imminent.

Read Martyanov's post on the recent threats America made to Russia here.

https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2019/09/why-would-you-ask.html

I have compassion for Snowden. His end will likely be as Skripals was: disappearance by Western IC which he supports and blame placed on Russia.

We are free to disagree with one another. I trust nothing a supporter of Empire says.

As to September 11 I wasn't aware of Assange's remarks. This is the touchstone as others have said. Snowden enlisted because of September 11 false flag. Yeah, right, he is an idiot savant.

Even Ed Asner who no longer wins Emmy awards and is blackballed had the courage to do this video. Trust Snowden? I think not.

Y. Lorenzo (this site will not allow me to post under my name)

p.s. Ron uses Gmail. The nearest military base is a long, long way from my location. A helicopter outfitted with surveillance bubbles overflew after I submitted this piece.. Coincidence, right?

I will fight for the truth. I receive no compensation for my work and expect none. I support the cause of peace and not Empire. Thanks for the intelligent supportive comments. Ad hominem attacks mean nothing. Thanks to Ron for posting though he disagrees.

Che Guava , says: September 21, 2019 at 7:17 pm GMT
...re. 'Smowden"when he was constantly whining about Russia, getting hhs pole-dancing gf to join him there must have been a major effort, but he has no gratitude for it.

Really strange. At the time, I thought that Putin's comment 'he is a strange young man' had to do only with questions of loyalty and betrayal, of course, it was lilekely deeper and more suspicious than that. If I had been in the position like 'Snowden', after first having been granted asylum, my priority would have been to study the language. I would gtuess that he can order food or drink, do basic greetings, and not much else.

Sean , says: September 21, 2019 at 7:22 pm GMT
@Republic Snowden's wife is a former pole dancer, those are for good for something, but its not marrying. Everything about him suggests immaturity, from his toying with the idea of being a model to his trying to go from frail civilian with a youth spent 24/7 gaming to passing jumps school. He stole vastly more than he could ever have read, much of it having no bearing on privacy so he has no idea what he might have compromised. Quoth he:

There is a secrecy agreement, but there is also an oath of service. An oath of service is to support and defend, not an agency, not even the president, it is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies – direct quote – foreign and domestic. And this begs the question, what happens when our obligations come into conflict.

If you have meaningful values (ie those that do not charge to suit your personal aggrandisement) you resign, I but instead of doing that he deliberately got another job contracting with the NSA all the better to steal data.

peterAUS , says: September 21, 2019 at 7:56 pm GMT
@Yvonne Lorenzo

.In the event, Snowden is irrelevant. The end of Empire is imminent. Read Martyanov's post on the recent threats America made to Russia here .

That was fast, even for this pub.

Ad hominem attacks mean nothing.

You mean being positive about you UNABLE to visualize a byte from a "keypress" moving all the way to the LAN cable with each timer "click"? You know, buffers, busses, microcode/firmware, interrupts, stack/heap, closed source, encryption/decryption layer of the OSI stack etc. That's for technology. As for people, unaware of an average idiot user in any environment using IT, Governments in particular, and the role and power of sysadmins in such environments? But confident to write articles what can and can not be done re IT security? Yeah .

AB_Anonymous , says: September 21, 2019 at 8:05 pm GMT
@anon Not sure about Pythagoras, but there are (very unfortunately) people who might have fun from combining "Rubik's Cube and highly classified information". And not necessarily in reality.
Yvonne Lorenzo , says: September 21, 2019 at 8:08 pm GMT
@peterAUS

You mean being positive about you UNABLE to visualize a byte from a "keypress" moving all the way to the LAN cable with each timer "click"? You know, buffers, busses, microcode/firmware, interrupts, stack/heap, closed source, encryption/decryption layer of the OSI stack etc. That's for technology.

Butthurt you are, yes? Tell me how he defeats this, be specific. https://www.symantec.com/products/endpoint-encryption

White paper here. https://www.symantec.com/content/dam/symantec/docs/white-papers/keeping-your-private-data-secure-en.pdf

Y. Lorenzo

And I don't care; fine, he was a clever op, he hacked the NSA, whoo-hoo. My other comments still stand. Go wave your flag, you're done.

Sean , says: September 21, 2019 at 8:22 pm GMT
@Yvonne Lorenzo

Rand Paul might be one to open an investigation into the inadequacy of NSA security but government investigating itself is suspect. No such investigation will ever take place.

Yes, Rand Paul who while cutting his lawn provoked his own retired doctor neighbor in a gated community into a maddened vicious rib dislocating attack that cost Paul part of his lung What a brilliant choice to annoy the government.

His end will likely be as Skripals was: disappearance by Western IC which he supports and blame placed on Russia

Skirpal is in America. The British got Skirpal out of Russia, but Russia could have killed him any time because he was homesick and meeting people from the Russian Embassy. In my opinion the Russians were trying to kill Skirpal's daughter along with him. They knew she was coming and timed the nerve agent attack so as to 'accidentally' kill her along with the traitor. The knowledge that you will go after their families is the ultimate deterrent. Unless you are a narcissistic dick like Snowden, who hardly mentions anything his family did for him except getting a second phone line so he could play some stupid internet game. Snowden actually says in his book that the internet raised him. It did not get him a job in the CIA despite him having no degree, that was his mom's NSA and her father's Pentagon connections. Aldrich Ames's father worked for the CIA .

Art , says: September 21, 2019 at 9:12 pm GMT
Edward Snowden is a great man – a great American. (Will a Dem president pardon him?) I recently viewed a video on how a poor immigrant family hid Snowden before he secured a flight out of Hong Kong. (He is working to get them out of Hong Kong, to Canada.) I am curious as to how he got the flight out to Russia?????
Yvonne Lorenzo , says: September 21, 2019 at 9:14 pm GMT
This will be my final comment. My issue is one regarding Snowden's character and integrity, especially as the collapsing Empire under FUBAR Trump is waging war on the world. Come on, none of the CIA trolls here have read The Saker with Orlov on the fate of the mass murdering Empire?

http://www.unz.com/tsaker/placing-the-usa-on-a-collapse-continuum-with-dmitry-orlov/

At this point it is important to explain what exactly a "final collapse" looks like. Some people are under the very mistaken assumption that a collapsed society or country looks like a Mad Max world. This is not so. The Ukraine has been a failed state for several years already, but it still exists on the map. People live there, work, most people still have electricity (albeit not 24/7), a government exists, and, at least officially, law and order is maintained. This kind of collapsed society can go on for years, maybe decades, but it is in a state of collapse nonetheless, as it has reached all the 5 Stages of Collapse as defined by Dmitry Orlov in his seminal book "The Five Stages of Collapse: Survivors' Toolkit" where he mentions the following 5 stages of collapse:

Stage 1: Financial collapse. Faith in "business as usual" is lost.
Stage 2: Commercial collapse. Faith that "the market shall provide" is lost.
Stage 3: Political collapse. Faith that "the government will take care of you" is lost.
Stage 4: Social collapse. Faith that "your people will take care of you" is lost.
Stage 5: Cultural collapse. Faith in "the goodness of humanity" is lost.

Sound familiar? Read it and weep. Your pensions are toast.

Or read Chris Hedges America The Farewell Tour.

Snowden's character is proven by his interview with Brian Roberts.

Now, although only 14% of U.S. TLAMs got past Syrian air defenses, hear him was rhapsodic on the "beautiful missiles."

And Snowden is happy to talk to this creep? And asks Rothschild-Kravis puppet Macron to ex-filtrate him to France?

https://www.voltairenet.org/article204303.html

It was in this milieu that he met Henry and Marie-Josée Kravis, in their residence on Park Avenue in New York [1]. The Kravis couple, unfailing supporters of the US Republican Party, are among the great world fortunes who play politics out of sight of the Press. Their company, KKR, like Blackstone and the Carlyle Group, is one of the world's major investment funds.

" Emmanuel's curiosity for the 'can-do attitude' was fascinating – the capacity to tell yourself that you can do anything you set your mind to. He had a thirst for knowledge and a desire to understand how things work, but without imitating or copying anyone. In this, he remained entirely French ", declares Marie-Josée Drouin (Mrs. Kravis) today [2].

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201909141076804460-go-west-edward-snowden-hopes-frances-emmanuel-macron-will-approve-his-asylum-application/

Snowden's revelations about his aspirations for asylum outside of Russia come just days ahead of the upcoming release of his new memoir which is expected to hit the shelves on US Constitution Day.

Famous American whistleblower and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the man responsible for exposing a number of global surveillance programs run by the US agency, has recently revealed that he would like to obtain asylum in France.

Call it female intuition, Snowden creeps me out.

Those who want to bow before his altar, be my guest. You have free will.

peterAUS , says: September 21, 2019 at 11:21 pm GMT
@Yvonne Lorenzo

Butthurt

whoo-hoo..

Go wave your flag

.CIA trolls here

Read it and weep. Your pensions are toast.

From an author here?!

Whoah ..

My God, Unz .. really ? Coming to this?

Hahaha oh man.

peterAUS , says: September 21, 2019 at 11:48 pm GMT
Just realized, isn't this creature the only female author here? A female creature is writing, as an author, on alt-whatever site, about things she has never been professionally involved in. With certain hahaha style.

Hahaha ..oh my.

So, what have we got:
1. Unz finally collapsed under "diversity" pressure?
2. There is, sort of a hidden, message here.

I really hope it's the second.

Sean , says: September 22, 2019 at 12:35 am GMT peterAUS , says: September 22, 2019 at 2:31 am GMT
@Sean True true .mea culpa. Female stuff, that is, in general.

Style, though, is unique for the creature here.

Butthurt

whoo-hoo..

Go wave your flag

.CIA trolls here

Read it and weep. Your pensions are toast .

.creep .creeps me out

I mean hahaha .when reading those things it's, almost, as written by a certain type of commentators here. Almost as one of them, actually. Same "footprint". Especially the first two.

I mean, having that from an author here is, really, a new low for sure.

This is the first time I've seen something like that, and my attitude was mild in this thread compared to some in other threads. I mean, I was quite hard on some authors here, and never, so far that. "Butthurt" ."whoo-hoo"

I've quite offended a couple of authors here and they never replied with any rude word. And ..my God "whoo-hoo". Haha crazy.

New "quality" seeping here, apparently. Hehe getting with times, I guess. And program.
Understandable.

peterAUS , says: September 22, 2019 at 2:54 am GMT
@peterAUS O.K. I could be wrong.

I've been on this site for quite some time. Read, on average, 20 % of articles and similar number of comments in those articles.

I can't, really, recollect ONE case when an AUTHOR, here, in a comments exchange with a commentator, used the words "butthurt" and "whoo-hoo". Not once from the, say, authors from the West. Born and raised there, that is. Cultural thing, I guess.

Anyone could prove me senile/wrong? Please.

2stateshmustate , says: September 22, 2019 at 3:27 am GMT
@foolisholdman I agree. Shilling for the Israelis regarding 911 is a deal breaker for me. They had me going about these 2 guys for a while, but when I heard that they had ridiculed 911 truthers I smelled a rat. And after this article I agree they are shills for the status quo. Reasonable people can not doubt that 911 was a false flag operation. There's just too much bullshit there.
Commentator Mike , says: September 22, 2019 at 3:43 am GMT
@peterAUS

isn't this creature the only female author here?

Ilana Mercer is a woman who writes on UR.

niceland , says: September 22, 2019 at 4:55 am GMT
I think the idea Snowden is a "plant" is a bit far out there. If he is; the real purpose of the exercise is what exactly?

I also don't get why some commenters think Julian Assange isn't who he claims to be. His Wikileaks has published great volume of highly embarrassing material for the U.S. The embassy cables come to mind – bringing to light evidence contrary to Washington narrative on many events.

There is another thing; Just after he established Wikileaks he came to Iceland and met with journalists and few politicians. The result from that visit was he met one Kristinn Hrafnsson, long time journalist in Iceland with excellent track record and credibility. Since Assange got in trouble, accused of sexual harassment from Swedish woman and finally escaped into the Ecuador embassy in London, Hrafnsson has been spokesman for Wikileaks.

Since I am familiar with Hrafnsson work for decades, I would be very surprised if he worked with Assagne all this time, and even took over his job, so to speak, as head of Wikileaks if Assagne wasn't genuine. Hrafnsson has struck me as smart guy and honest and it's extremely unlikely he would continue if something didn't smell right at Wikileaks. I also want to point out Wikileaks has been working with, what I consider the few remaining NEWS outlets in Europe. (Including The Guardian before it was bought few years ago and became worthless).

To Assagne credit he booted Icelandic polititian, one Birgitta Jónsdóttir; who tried to visit him in U.K. prison – and wanted nothing to do with her. She has been trying to make international name for herself as fighter for human rights and peacemaker and against corruption and so forth. Unfortunately she is a bag full of hot air and thinks SHE is the center of the universe. It's all about her and therefore she is of no use for any cause. Julian was right to send her packing.

I can't imagine what the CIA or NSA or other tentacles of the Empire would gain by running Wikileaks. It makes absolutely no sense to me.

niceland , says: September 22, 2019 at 5:07 am GMT
@niceland Here you can view interview by Chris Hedges with Hrafnsson on RT. You decide if this guy is genuine or not. It seems he has basically been running Wikileaks for past several years. https://www.rt.com/shows/on-contact/461987-kristinn-hrafnsson-extradition-wikileaks/
Digital Samizdat , says: September 22, 2019 at 6:43 am GMT
@der einzige Wow. Thank you for posting that. Doesn't look too good for Assange.
anon [310] Disclaimer , says: September 22, 2019 at 8:52 am GMT
@Yvonne Lorenzo > Call it female intuition, Snowden creeps me out.

Can't refute that! #BelieveWomen

anon [310] Disclaimer , says: September 22, 2019 at 9:56 am GMT
@Yvonne Lorenzo > A helicopter outfitted with surveillance bubbles overflew after I submitted this piece.. Coincidence, right?

No coincidence, they're distributing corn sharks in a contract with ADM. Stay indoors and cover your head with tin foil.

9/11 Inside job , says: September 22, 2019 at 10:19 am GMT
@2stateshmustate "9/11 is the Litmus Test " By Smoking – Mirrors.Com :

"It all comes down to 9/11.Everything that has happened has happened based on a lie . Everyone in Government ; everyone in the media , in entertainment , in organized religion , in the public ,in the public eye who accepts and promotes the official story is either a traitor or a tool . Everyone who does not stand forth and speak truth to power is a coward , a liar and complicit in mass-murder . Everyone everywhere can be measured by this Litmus Test ."

[Sep 22, 2019] Is Epoch time yet another CIA controlled publication? The publisher, obscure sect called Fanul Gong is supported by NED and other usual players connected to CIA

Notable quotes:
"... As for Falun Gong's potential affiliations with the CIA and NED that's another quite plausible storyline altogether. ..."
"... One surely wondered (until how) how Falun Gong can fund The Epoch Times using the same business model that Sheldon Adelson uses to fund a pro-Netanyahu newspaper "Israel Hayom" in Israel that Netanyahu himself endorses and which he or other people in the Israeli government might privilege with news of events that the rest of the Israeli news media has no access to. In this way "Israel Hayom", offered for free in Israel, poses a threat to other Israeli newspapers which have no rich patron to fund their activities and pay their staff but must rely on people buying their papers or regularly subscribing to them. ..."
Aug 21, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Falun Gong is a cult which claims to have millions of followers. It was founded in China by Li Hongzhi who thinks of himself as a higher being . Falun Gong mixes some Taoism and Buddhism with nutty ideas, conservative politics and strong anti-communism :

Some of Mr Li's pronouncements are certainly unconventional, some would say just plain strange.

He believes aliens walk the Earth and he has reportedly said he can walk through walls and make himself invisible.

Mr Li says that he is a being from from a higher level who has come to help humankind from the destruction it could face as the result of rampant evil.

In 1999 the cult attempted to gain political power in China. The government shut it down for pushing its followers to not use medical therapies. Li Hongzhi and some of his followers moved to the United States. As the cult is strongly anti-communist the U.S. government used it to put pressure on China. Some institutions and companies related to Falun Gong are openly funded with U.S. government money.

The main media outlet of the Falun Gong organization is the Epoch Times . NBC reports of its astonishing growth as a pro-Trump social media force:

By the numbers, there is no bigger advocate of President Donald Trump on Facebook than The Epoch Times.

The small New York-based nonprofit news outlet has spent more than $1.5 million on about 11,000 pro-Trump advertisements in the last six months, according to data from Facebook's advertising archive -- more than any organization outside of the Trump campaign itself, and more than most Democratic presidential candidates have spent on their own campaigns.

Those video ads -- in which unidentified spokespeople thumb through a newspaper to praise Trump, peddle conspiracy theories about the "Deep State," and criticize "fake news" media -- strike a familiar tone in the online conservative news ecosystem. The Epoch Times looks like many of the conservative outlets that have gained followings in recent years.
...
In April, at the height of its ad spending, videos from the Epoch Media Group, which includes The Epoch Times and digital video outlet New Tang Dynasty, or NTD, combined for around 3 billion views on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, ranking 11th among all video creators across platforms and outranking every other traditional news publisher.
...
The Epoch Times brought in $8.1 million in revenue in 2017 -- double what it had the previous year -- and reported spending $7.2 million on "printing newspaper and creating web and media programs." Most of its revenue comes from advertising and "web and media income," according to the group's annual tax filings, while individual donations and subscriptions to the paper make up less than 10 percent of its revenue.

New Tang Dynasty's 2017 revenue, according to IRS records, was $18 million, a 150 percent increase over the year before. It spent $16.2 million.


XXX

The NBC report says it is not clear where the "web and media" money that gets invested in pro-Trump advertisement actually comes from. I didn't realize it was the same Epoch Times that did a good job covering Russia-Gate:

Spygate: The True Story of Collusion [Infographic]

Spygate: The Inside Story Behind the Alleged Plot to Take Down Trump

jb , Aug 21 2019 18:32 utc | 1

"The Democrats could up their game by taking a deeper look into this issue." you mean the CIA democrats like Mark Warner? the US has nothing to offer the world except war, which is why the people of the US must destroy this country. there is 1000% bipartisan agreement on the war drive against both china & russia. both parties spend their days yelling at each other about who is the most commie, like moscow mitch or comrade nancy, b/c they are unified in their war drive. as they are on anything else that matters. this country exists to wage war, as the platform for projection of power, against competitors. nothing else. the illusion that any of the operators w/in the system, any of them at all, are doing anything but crafting a persona in relation to power for self-aggrandizement, not challenging power in the slightest, is not helpful.

c1ue , Aug 21 2019 20:22 utc | 7
Thanks for the info on Shen Yun.
In the Bay Area, it seems there are at least 3 or 4 permanent Shen Yun advertising billboards at any given time. Just yesterday, I passed one advertising tickets for 2020!
The Epoch Times is also very widespread in distribution, although unclear on the actual readers. It seems that every 2nd SF Weekly box has an Epoch Times one next to it, although my personal experience is mostly downtown where the large Cantonese speaking population is.
William Gruff , Aug 21 2019 20:40 utc | 12
Falun Gong is kinda like Scientology crossed with Amway. Get rich quick while simultaneously healing your goiters. In its best days it was a terrible scam. Now it is just a blunt instrument that the US State Department uses to try and beat China with.
FSD , Aug 21 2019 21:01 utc | 14
The Epoch Times' Jeff Carlson has been in the thick of uncovering the broad Democratic Party coup (in league with transnational intelligence assets) against the Trump Presidency. Thus b's depiction here of the Dems potentially acting in the role of white knight subverts mountains of evidence. As for Falun Gong's potential affiliations with the CIA and NED that's another quite plausible storyline altogether.
Lbanu , Aug 21 2019 22:21 utc | 16
Perhaps experience affords one the possibility of rapidly discerning the underbelly of an organized grouping like Falun Gong. Early in its manifestations on streets in Europe it became as apparent as the nose on one's face that it was a well financed propaganda tool for the gullible and naive. In short, its a ridiculous novelty, a con job and a rip off for all who are taken in by such preposterous pretensions when its plainly so assuming in its virulent hatred. Anyone who protests their disturbing, illegal and unacceptable behavior best be prepared to be bitten.. Like various other cults they are not what they appear. Rather they are a mish-mash of absurd fantasies and hypnotic imaginations. Finally, such groups can seem innocent enough and yet become highly dangerous to others. But ask around and expect the response they are nice, gentle, kind and harmless or other such understanding expressions. Don't be taken in by the setup folks!

Jen , Aug 21 2019 23:28 utc | 19

Thanks B for an excellent survey covering Falun Gong's business activities and cybersecurity connections with the US government and its agencies.

One surely wondered (until how) how Falun Gong can fund The Epoch Times using the same business model that Sheldon Adelson uses to fund a pro-Netanyahu newspaper "Israel Hayom" in Israel that Netanyahu himself endorses and which he or other people in the Israeli government might privilege with news of events that the rest of the Israeli news media has no access to. In this way "Israel Hayom", offered for free in Israel, poses a threat to other Israeli newspapers which have no rich patron to fund their activities and pay their staff but must rely on people buying their papers or regularly subscribing to them.

Also, when the sources of most news about prisoners having organs forcibly removed from them by the Chinese government go back to Falun Gong itself, one has to wonder about the veracity of such claims. If after 20, 30 years of such claims, there is still no independent verification of the claims of forced organ removals and transplants (and the British design firm Forensic Architecture hasn't yet been approached to create its 3D Bellingcrap-style visual recreations of the horrific surgery theatres in which the operations supposedly take place), then we must regard these claims with all the scepticism and scorn they may deserve.

[Sep 21, 2019] Edward Snowden On The NSA, His Book 'Permanent Record' And Life In Russia NPR

Sep 21, 2019 | www.npr.org

In 2013, Edward Snowden was an IT systems expert working under contract for the National Security Agency when he traveled to Hong Kong to provide three journalists with thousands of top-secret documents about U.S. intelligence agencies' surveillance of American citizens.

To Snowden, the classified information he shared with the journalists exposed privacy abuses by government intelligence agencies. He saw himself as a whistleblower. But the U.S. government considered him a traitor in violation of the Espionage Act .

After meeting with the journalists, Snowden intended to leave Hong Kong and travel -- via Russia -- to Ecuador, where he would seek asylum. But when his plane landed at Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport, things didn't go according to plan.

"What I wasn't expecting was that the United States government itself ... would cancel my passport," he says.

Snowden was directed to a room where Russian intelligence agents offered to assist him -- in return for access to any secrets he harbored. Snowden says he refused.

"I didn't cooperate with the Russian intelligence services -- I haven't and I won't," he says. "I destroyed my access to the archive. ... I had no material with me before I left Hong Kong, because I knew I was going to have to go through this complex multi-jurisdictional route."

Snowden spent 40 days in the Moscow airport, trying to negotiate asylum in various countries. After being denied asylum by 27 nations, he settled in Russia, where he remains today.

"People look at me now and they think I'm this crazy guy, I'm this extremist or whatever. Some people have a misconception that [I] set out to burn down the NSA," he says. "But that's not what this was about. In many ways, 2013 wasn't about surveillance at all. What it was about was a violation of the Constitution."

Snowden's 2013 revelations led to changes in the laws and standards governing American intelligence agencies and the practices of U.S. technology companies, which now encrypt much of their Web traffic for security. He reflects on his life and his experience in the intelligence community in the memoir Permanent Record.

On Sept. 17, the U.S. Justice Department filed suit to recover all proceeds from the book, alleging that Snowden violated nondisclosure agreements by not letting the government review the manuscript before publication; Snowden's attorney, Ben Wizner, said in a statement that the book contains no government secrets that have not been previously published by respected news organizations, and that the government's prepublication review system is under court challenge.

[Sep 21, 2019] Poisoner In Chief Details The CIA s Secret Quest For Mind Control

Notable quotes:
"... Kinzer notes that the top-secret nature of Gottlieb's work makes it impossible to measure the human cost of his experiments. "We don't know how many people died, but a number did, and many lives were permanently destroyed," he says. Ultimately, Gottlieb concluded that mind control was not possible. Ultimately, Gottlieb concluded that mind control was not possible. After MK-ULTRA shut down, he went on to lead a CIA program that created poisons and high-tech gadgets for spies to use. Kinzer writes about Gottlieb and MK-ULTRA in his new book, Poisoner in Chief. ..."
"... Sidney Gottlieb, can now be seen as the man who brought LSD to America. He was the unwitting godfather of the entire LSD counterculture. ..."
"... In the early 1950s, he arranged for the CIA to pay $240,000 to buy the world's entire supply of LSD. He brought this to the United States, and he began spreading it around to hospitals, clinics, prisons and other institutions, asking them, through bogus foundations, to carry out research projects and find out what LSD was, how people reacted to it and how it might be able to be used as a tool for mind control. ..."
"... Whitey Bulger was one of the prisoners who volunteered for what he was told was an experiment aimed at finding a cure for schizophrenia. As part of this experiment, he was given LSD every day for more than a year. He later realized that this had nothing to do with schizophrenia and he was a guinea pig in a government experiment aimed at seeing what people's long-term reactions to LSD was. Essentially, could we make a person lose his mind by feeding him LSD every day over such a long period? ..."
"... Bulger wrote afterward about his experiences, which he described as quite horrific. He thought he was going insane. He wrote, "I was in prison for committing a crime, but they committed a greater crime on me." ..."
"... And towards the end of his life, Bulger came to realize the truth of what had happened to him, and he actually told his friends that he was going to find that doctor in Atlanta who was the head of that experiment program in the penitentiary and go kill him. ..."
"... The CIA mind control project, MK-ULTRA, was essentially a continuation of work that began in Japanese and Nazi concentration camps. Not only was it roughly based on those experiments, but the CIA actually hired the vivisectionists and the torturers who had worked in Japan and in Nazi concentration camps to come and explain what they had found out so that we could build on their research. ..."
"... For example, Nazi doctors had conducted extensive experiments with mescaline at the Dachau concentration camp, and the CIA was very interested in figuring out whether mescaline could be the key to mind control that was one of their big avenues of investigation. So they hired the Nazi doctors who had been involved in that project to advise them. ..."
"... CIA officers in Europe and Asia were capturing enemy agents and others who they felt might be suspected persons or were otherwise what they called "expendable." They would grab these people and throw them into cells and then test all kinds of, not just drug potions, but other techniques, like electroshock, extremes of temperature, sensory isolation -- all the meantime bombarding them with questions, trying to see if they could break down resistance and find a way to destroy the human ego. So these were projects designed not only to understand the human mind but to figure out how to destroy it. And that made Gottlieb, although in some ways a very compassionate person, certainly the most prolific torturer of his generation. ..."
"... [Gottlieb] operated almost completely without supervision. He had sort of a checkoff from his titular boss and from his real boss, Richard Helms, and from the CIA director, Allen Dulles. But none of them really wanted to know what he was doing. This guy had a license to kill. He was allowed to requisition human subjects across the United States and around the world and subject them to any kind of abuse that he wanted, even up to the level of it being fatal -- yet nobody looked over his shoulder. He never had to file serious reports to anybody. I think the mentality must have been [that] this project is so important -- mind control, if it can be mastered, is the key to global world power. ..."
"... The end of Gottlieb's career came in 1972, when his patron, Richard Helms, who was then director of the CIA, was removed by [President Richard] Nixon. Once Helms was gone, it was just a matter of time until Gottlieb would be gone, and most important was that Helms was really the only person at the CIA who had an idea of what Gottlieb had been doing. So as they were both on their way out of the CIA, they agreed that they should destroy all records of MK-ULTRA ..."
"... Gottlieb actually drove out to the CIA records center and ordered the archives to destroy boxes full of MK-ULTRA records. ... However, it turns out that there were some [records] found in other places; there was a depot for expense account reports that had not been destroyed, and various other pieces of paper remain. So there is enough out there to reconstruct some of what he did, but his effort to wipe away his traces by destroying all those documents in the early '70s was quite successful. ..."
Sep 09, 2019 | npr.org
Heard on Fresh Air Terry Gross

CIA chemist Sidney Gottlieb headed up the agency's secret MK-ULTRA program, which was charged with developing a mind control drug that could be weaponized against enemies.

Courtesy of the CIA

During the early period of the Cold War, the CIA became convinced that communists had discovered a drug or technique that would allow them to control human minds. In response, the CIA began its own secret program, called MK-ULTRA, to search for a mind control drug that could be weaponized against enemies.

MK-ULTRA, which operated from the 1950s until the early '60s, was created and run by a chemist named Sidney Gottlieb. Journalist Stephen Kinzer, who spent several years investigating the program, calls the operation the "most sustained search in history for techniques of mind control."

Some of Gottlieb's experiments were covertly funded at universities and research centers, Kinzer says, while others were conducted in American prisons and in detention centers in Japan, Germany and the Philippines. Many of his unwitting subjects endured psychological torture ranging from electroshock to high doses of LSD, according to Kinzer's research.

"Gottlieb wanted to create a way to seize control of people's minds, and he realized it was a two-part process," Kinzer says. "First, you had to blast away the existing mind. Second, you had to find a way to insert a new mind into that resulting void. We didn't get too far on number two, but he did a lot of work on number one."

The Picture Show Found In The Archives: Military LSD Testing

Kinzer notes that the top-secret nature of Gottlieb's work makes it impossible to measure the human cost of his experiments. "We don't know how many people died, but a number did, and many lives were permanently destroyed," he says. Ultimately, Gottlieb concluded that mind control was not possible.

Ultimately, Gottlieb concluded that mind control was not possible. After MK-ULTRA shut down, he went on to lead a CIA program that created poisons and high-tech gadgets for spies to use.

Kinzer writes about Gottlieb and MK-ULTRA in his new book, Poisoner in Chief.


Interview highlights Poisoner in Chief

Poisoner in Chief

Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control

by Stephen Kinzer

Hardcover, 354 pages |

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On how the CIA brought LSD to America

As part of the search for drugs that would allow people to control the human mind, CIA scientists became aware of the existence of LSD, and this became an obsession for the early directors of MK-ULTRA. Actually, the MK-ULTRA director, Sidney Gottlieb, can now be seen as the man who brought LSD to America. He was the unwitting godfather of the entire LSD counterculture.

In the early 1950s, he arranged for the CIA to pay $240,000 to buy the world's entire supply of LSD. He brought this to the United States, and he began spreading it around to hospitals, clinics, prisons and other institutions, asking them, through bogus foundations, to carry out research projects and find out what LSD was, how people reacted to it and how it might be able to be used as a tool for mind control.

Now, the people who volunteered for these experiments and began taking LSD, in many cases, found it very pleasurable. They told their friends about it. Who were those people? Ken Kesey , the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest , got his LSD in an experiment sponsored by the CIA by MK-ULTRA, by Sidney Gottlieb. So did Robert Hunter, the lyricist for the Grateful Dead, which went on to become a great purveyor of LSD culture. Allen Ginsberg , the poet who preached the value of the great personal adventure of using LSD, got his first LSD from Sidney Gottlieb. Although, of course, he never knew that name.

So the CIA brought LSD to America unwittingly, and actually it's a tremendous irony that the drug that the CIA hoped would be its key to controlling humanity actually wound up fueling a generational rebellion that was dedicated to destroying everything that the CIA held dear and defended.

On how MK-ULTRA experimented on prisoners, including crime boss Whitey Bulger

Whitey Bulger was one of the prisoners who volunteered for what he was told was an experiment aimed at finding a cure for schizophrenia. As part of this experiment, he was given LSD every day for more than a year. He later realized that this had nothing to do with schizophrenia and he was a guinea pig in a government experiment aimed at seeing what people's long-term reactions to LSD was. Essentially, could we make a person lose his mind by feeding him LSD every day over such a long period?

Meet 'The Brothers' Who Shaped U.S. Policy, Inside And Out

Author Interviews Meet 'The Brothers' Who Shaped U.S. Policy, Inside And Out

Bulger wrote afterward about his experiences, which he described as quite horrific. He thought he was going insane. He wrote, "I was in prison for committing a crime, but they committed a greater crime on me."

And towards the end of his life, Bulger came to realize the truth of what had happened to him, and he actually told his friends that he was going to find that doctor in Atlanta who was the head of that experiment program in the penitentiary and go kill him.

On the CIA hiring Nazi doctors and Japanese torturers to learn methods

The CIA mind control project, MK-ULTRA, was essentially a continuation of work that began in Japanese and Nazi concentration camps.

Stephen Kinzer, author of 'Poisoner in Chief'

The CIA mind control project, MK-ULTRA, was essentially a continuation of work that began in Japanese and Nazi concentration camps. Not only was it roughly based on those experiments, but the CIA actually hired the vivisectionists and the torturers who had worked in Japan and in Nazi concentration camps to come and explain what they had found out so that we could build on their research.

For example, Nazi doctors had conducted extensive experiments with mescaline at the Dachau concentration camp, and the CIA was very interested in figuring out whether mescaline could be the key to mind control that was one of their big avenues of investigation. So they hired the Nazi doctors who had been involved in that project to advise them.

Another thing the Nazis provided was information about poison gases like sarin, which is still being used. Nazi doctors came to America to Fort Detrick in Maryland, which was the center of this project, to lecture to CIA officers to tell them how long it took for people to die from sarin.

On the more extreme experiments Gottlieb conducted overseas

Gottlieb and the CIA established secret detention centers throughout Europe and East Asia, particularly in Japan, Germany and the Philippines, which were largely under American control in the period of the early '50s, and therefore Gottlieb didn't have to worry about any legal entanglements in these places. ...

CIA officers in Europe and Asia were capturing enemy agents and others who they felt might be suspected persons or were otherwise what they called "expendable." They would grab these people and throw them into cells and then test all kinds of, not just drug potions, but other techniques, like electroshock, extremes of temperature, sensory isolation -- all the meantime bombarding them with questions, trying to see if they could break down resistance and find a way to destroy the human ego. So these were projects designed not only to understand the human mind but to figure out how to destroy it. And that made Gottlieb, although in some ways a very compassionate person, certainly the most prolific torturer of his generation.

On how these experiments were unsupervised

This guy [Sidney Gottlieb] had a license to kill. He was allowed to requisition human subjects across the United States and around the world and subject them to any kind of abuse that he wanted, even up to the level of it being fatal -- yet nobody looked over his shoulder.

Stephen Kinzer

[Gottlieb] operated almost completely without supervision. He had sort of a checkoff from his titular boss and from his real boss, Richard Helms, and from the CIA director, Allen Dulles. But none of them really wanted to know what he was doing. This guy had a license to kill. He was allowed to requisition human subjects across the United States and around the world and subject them to any kind of abuse that he wanted, even up to the level of it being fatal -- yet nobody looked over his shoulder. He never had to file serious reports to anybody. I think the mentality must have been [that] this project is so important -- mind control, if it can be mastered, is the key to global world power.

On how Gottlieb destroyed evidence about his experiments when he left the CIA

The end of Gottlieb's career came in 1972, when his patron, Richard Helms, who was then director of the CIA, was removed by [President Richard] Nixon. Once Helms was gone, it was just a matter of time until Gottlieb would be gone, and most important was that Helms was really the only person at the CIA who had an idea of what Gottlieb had been doing. So as they were both on their way out of the CIA, they agreed that they should destroy all records of MK-ULTRA.

Gottlieb actually drove out to the CIA records center and ordered the archives to destroy boxes full of MK-ULTRA records. ... However, it turns out that there were some [records] found in other places; there was a depot for expense account reports that had not been destroyed, and various other pieces of paper remain. So there is enough out there to reconstruct some of what he did, but his effort to wipe away his traces by destroying all those documents in the early '70s was quite successful.

Sam Briger and Thea Chaloner produced and edited the audio of this interview. Bridget Bentz, Molly Seavy-Nesper and Meghan Sullivan adapted it for the Web.

Correction Sept. 9, 2019

A previous photo caption incorrectly referred to the CIA's MK-ULTRA program as MS-ULTRA.

[Sep 18, 2019] US wants to seize all money Edward Snowden makes from new book - Reuters

Notable quotes:
"... The United States is seeking all proceeds earned by Snowden for the book, the Justice Department said. The lawsuit also names the "corporate entities" behind the book's publication as nominal defendants. ..."
"... Ben Wizner, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union who represents Snowden, said the lawsuit was without merit. "This book contains no government secrets that have not been previously published by respected news organizations," he said in a statement, adding that Snowden would have submitted it for review if he thought the government would review it in good faith. ..."
Sep 18, 2019 | uk.reuters.com

The United States filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked secret documents about U.S. telephone and internet surveillance in 2013, saying his new book violates non-disclosure agreements.

The Justice Department said Snowden published his memoir, "Permanent Record," without submitting it to intelligence agencies for review, adding that speeches given by Snowden also violated nondisclosure agreements. In 2013, Snowden wrote "Everything You Know about the Constitution is Wrong."

The United States is seeking all proceeds earned by Snowden for the book, the Justice Department said. The lawsuit also names the "corporate entities" behind the book's publication as nominal defendants.

Ben Wizner, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union who represents Snowden, said the lawsuit was without merit. "This book contains no government secrets that have not been previously published by respected news organizations," he said in a statement, adding that Snowden would have submitted it for review if he thought the government would review it in good faith.

Representatives for the book's publisher, Macmillan Publishers, and its unit Henry Holt & Co, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Snowden has lived in Russia since he revealed details of U.S. intelligence agencies' secret surveillance programs.

Though he is viewed by some as a hero, U.S. authorities want him to stand in a criminal trial over his disclosures of classified information.

Speaking by video link at an event in Berlin to promote the book, Snowden said that while he had signed a non-disclosure agreement to maintain secrecy, he had also sworn an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution.

"You've told the government you're not going to talk to journalists. You've told them you're not going to write a book," Snowden said. "At the same time you have an oath to defend the Constitution. And the secret that you are asked to protect is that the government is violating that Constitution and the rights of people around the world."

Reporting by Makini Brice; Additional reporting by Mark Hosenball in Washington and Paul Carrell in Berlin; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Lisa Shumaker Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

[Sep 17, 2019] The Spy Who Failed by Scott Ritter

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The source was said to be responsible for the reporting used by the former director of the CIA, John Brennan, in making the case that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered Russian intelligence services to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election for the purpose of tipping the scales in favor of then-candidate Donald Trump. ..."
"... On closer scrutiny, however, this aspect of the story falls apart, as does just about everything CNN, The New York Times ..."
"... "And Ye Shall Know the Truth and the Truth Shall Make You Free," John 8:32, is etched into the wall of the main lobby of the Old CIA Headquarters Building. ..."
"... Every Russian diplomat assigned to the United States is screened to ascertain his or her susceptibility for recruitment. The FBI does this from a counterintelligence perspective, looking for Russian spies. The CIA does the same, but with the objective of recruiting a Russian source who can remain in the employ of the Russian government, and thereby provide the CIA with intelligence information commensurate to their standing and access. Turning a senior Russian diplomat is difficult; recruiting a junior Russian diplomat like Oleg Smolenkov less so. Someone like Smolenkov would be viewed not so much by the limited access he provided at the time of recruitment, but rather his potential for promotion and the increased opportunity for more essential access provided by such. ..."
"... The reality is, however, that the CIA and the FBI have different goals and objectives when it comes to the Russians they recruit. As such, Smolenkov's recruitment was most likely a CIA-only affair, run by NR but closely monitored by the Russian Operations Group of the Agency's Central Eurasia Division, who would have responsibility for managing Smolenkov upon his return to Moscow. ..."
"... But his job as foreman of the Rossotrudnichestvo coop was not the kind of job a Maurive Thorez graduate gets; Smolenkov had to have felt slighted. He allegedly turned to drink, and his marriage was on the rocks; his colleagues spoke of a man who believed his salary was too low. ..."
"... The enticements of money and future opportunity -- the CIA's principle recruitment ploys -- more than likely were a factor in convincing this dissatisfied diplomat to defect. ..."
"... the fact is, sometime in 2007-2008, Smolenkov was recruited by the CIA. ..."
"... He was granted a "second-level" security clearance, which allowed him to handle top secret information. ..."
"... Moscow Station, however, was having trouble carrying out its clandestine tasks. In the fall of 2011, the CIA's chief of station in Moscow, Steven Hall, had been approached by his counterpart in the Russian Federal Security Service (the FSB, Russia's equivalent of the FBI) and warned that the CIA should stop trying to recruit agents from within the FSB ranks; the FSB had detected several of these attempts, which it deemed inappropriate given the ongoing cooperation between the intelligence services of the two countries regarding the war on terrorism. ..."
"... The loss of Hall at this very sensitive time created a problem for both the CIA and Smolenkov. Smolenkov's new assignment was a dream come true for the CIA -- never before had the agency managed to place a controlled agent into the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation. ..."
"... With communications down, and the chief of station evicted, Smolenkov was left in a state of limbo while the CIA trained up new case officers capable of operating in Moscow and sought a replacement for Hall. ..."
"... "To put it mildly," Ushakov said, "it is surprising that this extremely crude, clumsy attempt at recruitment took place in a situation where both President Obama and President Putin have clearly stated the importance of more active cooperation and contacts between the special services of the two countries." ..."
"... As a senior aide to Ushakov, Smolenkov was ideally positioned to gather intelligence about the Russian response. If he was able to communicate this information to the CIA, it would have provided Obama and his advisers time to prepare a response to the Russian letter. The situation meant that Smolenkov may have been reporting on events related to the expulsion of Hall, one of the CIA officers specifically trained to manage his reporting. ..."
"... Smolenkov's success was directly linked to the work of his boss, Ushakov. In June 2015, Ushakov was put in charge of establishing a high-level working group in the fuel and energy sector for the purpose of improving bilateral cooperation with Azerbaijan. The reporting Smolenkov would have been able to provide on the work of this group would have been of tremendous assistance to those in the Obama administration working on U.S. energy policy, especially as it related to countering Russian moves in the former Soviet Republics. ..."
"... Ushakov's 10-year tenure as Russia's ambassador to the U.S. gave him unprecedented insight into U.S. decision making, experience and expertise Putin increasingly relied upon as he formulated and implemented responses to U.S. efforts to contain and punish Russia on the international stage. ..."
"... While Ushakov's meetings with Putin were conducted either in private, or in small groups of senior advisers, meaning Smolenkov was not present, Smolenkov was able to collect intelligence on the periphery by photographing itineraries and working papers, as well as overhearing comments made by Ushakov, that collectively would provide U.S. policymakers with important insight into Putin's thinking. ..."
"... According to the FSB, the Russians were adept at identifying CIA officers working under State Department cover and would subject these individuals to extensive surveillance. ..."
"... In addition to the decimation of its staff, Moscow Station was experiencing an alarming number of its agents being discovered by the FSB and arrested. While the Russians were circumspect about most of these cases, on several occasions they indicated that they had uncovered a spy by intercepting the electronic communications between him and the CIA. This meant that the Russians were aware of, and actively pursuing, the Google-based internet-based system used by the CIA to communicate with its agents in Russia. ..."
"... Sometime in early August 2016, a courier from the CIA arrived at the White House carrying a plain, unmarked white envelope. Inside was an intelligence report from Smolenkov that CIA Director Brennan considered to be so sensitive that he kept it out of the President's Daily Brief, concerned that even that restrictive process was too inclusive to adequately protect the source. The intelligence was to be read by four people only -- Obama, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Deputy National Security Advisor Avril Haines and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough. The document was to be returned to the courier once it had been read. ..."
"... The contents of the report were alarming -- Putin had personally ordered the cyber attack on the Democratic National Committee for the purpose of influencing the 2016 presidential election in favor of the Republican candidate, Donald Trump. ..."
"... The White House found the Smolenkov report so convincing that in September 2016, during a meeting of the G-20 in China, Obama pulled Putin aside and told him to stop meddling in the U.S. election. Putin was reportedly nonplussed by Obama's intervention. ..."
"... It is not publicly known what prompted the report from Smolenkov which Brennan found so alarming. Was it received out of the blue, a target of opportunity which Smolenkov exploited? Was it based upon a specific tasking submitted by Smolenkov's CIA handlers in response to a tasking from above? Or was it a result of the intervention of the CIA director, who tasked Smolenkov outside normal channels? In any event, once Brennan created his special analytical unit, Smolenkov became his dedicated source. If Smolenko was in this for the money, as appears to be the case, he would have been motivated to come up with the "correct" answer to Brennan's tasking for information on Putin's role. By late 2016, Western media had made quite clear what kind of answer Brennan wanted. ..."
"... Brennan took the extraordinary measure of sequestering the source from the rest of the Intelligence Community. He also confronted the head of the Russian FSB, Alexander Bortnikov, about the risks involved in interfering in U.S. elections. ..."
"... The Washington Post ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... Smolenkov's firing occurred right before the Intelligence Community released its much-anticipated assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 election ..."
"... Brennan had sold the Smolenkov reporting to both President Obama and President-elect Trump, along with the rest of the intelligence community, as "high-quality information." It was, at best, nothing more than uncorroborated rumor or, at worst, simple disinformation. This reporting, which was parroted by an unquestioning mainstream media that accepted it as fact, created an impression amongst the American public that Vladimir Putin had personally ordered and directed a Russian interference campaign during the 2016 election designed "to help President-elect Trump's election chances when possible," according to the ICA. ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... The Washington Post ..."
"... Concerned that Smolenkov could be arrested by the Russians and, in doing so, have control over the narrative of Russian interference transfer to Moscow, the CIA once again approached Smolenkov to defect to the United States. This time the Russian agent agreed. ..."
"... Sometime in June 2018, Smolenkov and his wife bought a home worth nearly $1 million in northern Virginia. The couple used their real names. They were not afraid. ..."
"... I can only speculate as to the circumstances that led to Smolenkov's firing by secret decree. Normally, Russians charged with transmitting classified material to the intelligence services of a foreign state are arrested, placed on trial and given lengthy prison sentences, or worse. This did not happen to Smolenkov. ..."
"... In any case, the Smolenkov report in the white envelope represented a level of access that would have significantly deviated from what one could expect from a person in his position and which suggests he may have been telling the CIA what he knew Brennan wanted to hear. ..."
"... The third scenario is that Smolenkov, a low-level failure of a diplomat with drinking issues, marital problems and monetary frustrations, was recruited by the CIA, but only with the complicity of the Russian security services. ..."
"... The same red flags that the CIA looks for when recruiting agents are also looked at by Russian counterintelligence. At what point in the recruitment process the Russians stepped in is unknown (if they did at all.) ..."
"... Moreover, this muddling diplomat whose questionable behavioral practices scream "recruit me" is, within three years of returning to Moscow, given a significant promotion that enables him to follow Ushakov into the Presidential Administration–a posting which would require extensive vetting by the Russian security services. Smolenkov's promotion pattern is enough, in and of itself, to raise red flags within the counterintelligence offices tasked with monitoring such things. The fact that it did not indicates that the quality and quantity of reporting being provided by Smolenkov was deemed by the Americans too important to interfere with. ..."
"... In this scenario, Smolenkov would have been playing to a script written by the Russian security services. Since he, technically, had broken no laws by serving as a double agent, he would not be subjected to arrest and trial. But once his existence became the fodder of the U.S. media via inference and speculation, his services as a double agent were no longer needed. He was fired from his position, via a secret Presidential proclamation, and set free to live his life as he saw fit. ..."
"... In my view, if one assumes that the Smolenkov July 2016 report at the center of this drama was not a result of serendipity, but rather a product derived from a specific request from his CIA managers to find out how high up in the Russian decision-making chain the authorization went for what U.S. intelligence agencies were already publicly pushing as an alleged DNC cyber attack, then the answer I believe becomes clear–the Russians knew the U.S. had an intelligence deficit. ..."
"... In my view, the CIA, Russia and Smolenkov were happy to maintain the status quo, with Smolenkov living in comfortable retirement with his family, the CIA continuing to accuse Russia of interfering in the 2016 presidential election, and Russia denying it. ..."
"... Trump's instructions to Barr are linked to a desire on the part of the president to hold to account those responsible for creating the narrative of possible collusion. Reports indicate that Barr is particularly interested in finding out how and why the CIA concluded that Putin personally ordered the Russian intelligence services to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. ..."
"... Seen in this light, the timing of the CNN and New York Times reports about the "exfiltration" of the CIA's "sensitive source" seems to be little more than a blatant effort by Brennan and his allies in the media to shape a narrative before Barr uncovers the truth. ..."
"... A few days following Smolenkov's "outing" by the U.S. media, the Russian government filed a request with Interpol for an investigation into how someone who had gone missing in Montenegro was now living in the United States. ..."
"... The only person at risk from this entire sordid affair is Brennan, whose reputation and potential livelihood is on the line. At best, Brennan is guilty of extremely poor judgement; at worst, he actively conspired to use the office of Director of the CIA to interfere in the outcome of a U.S. presidential election. Neither option speaks well of the U.S. Intelligence Community and those in Congress charged with oversight of its operations. ..."
"... Watch Scott Ritter discussing this article on ..."
"... Consortium News does not necessarily endorse the views of its authors. ..."
"... If you value this original article, please consider ..."
"... making a donation ..."
"... to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one. ..."
"... Before commenting please read Robert Parry's ..."
"... Allegations unsupported by facts, gross or misleading factual errors and ad hominem attacks, and abusive language toward other commenters or our writers will be removed. If your comment does not immediately appear, please be patient as it is manually reviewed. ..."
"... And under the third scenario, with Smolenkov a double agent all along, Ritter writes: "But once his existence became the fodder of the U.S. media via inference and speculation, his services as a double agent were no longer needed. He was fired from his position, via a secret Presidential proclamation, and set free to live his life as he saw fit." ..."
"... That doesn't make sense to me. In fact I see the opposite: if he had been a successfully run double agent all that time, then when his usefulness had ended he would have been decently pensioned off – not simply cut loose to fend for himself – but *not* allowed to travel abroad unimpeded (with his whole family, no less) where he would have the opportunity to cause mischief. ..."
"... In the extremely sophisticated world of high grade intelligence I have repeatedly said that the Brennan, Clapper, Comey trio were lead-footed imbeciles ..."
"... Read The CIA as Organized Crime and Strength of the Wolf and Strength of the Pack by Douglas Valentine. ..."
"... "Kiriakou also notes that the way Smolenkov's intelligence was handled raises echoes of the CIA's manipulation of intelligence to help justify the Iraq war. The information from Smolenkov was handled personally by then-CIA Director John Brennan. Brennan reportedly sidelined other CIA analysts and kept the Smolenkov information out of the Presidential Daily Briefing – instead delivering it personally to President Obama and a small group of officials." ..."
"... More like a Le Carre' film. The CIA was originally sold as an intelligence gathering and analysis organization, and was not supposed to be involved in operations. Thus, it was founded on lies and the lies have only grown since. ..."
"... Even the former communist state governments in Europe and the Soviet Union rued the day that they unleashed their secret police from accountability, and thereby became subservient to their power. ..."
"... I suspect Scott was provided a great deal of the reporting in this fascinating article from a disgruntled insider, or former insider. Knowledge of Brennan's break with protocol to form a select 'stand alone fusion cell' that reported only to him is something that I haven't seen reported before. In any case this story adds another red flag to the entire Russiagate hoax. ..."
"... Just as Mueller failed to interview Julian Assange or Christopher Steele for his report -- obvious red flags -- we should now watch the conduct of Barr's investigation. Will Barr's investigators interview Smolenkov? ..."
"... ( ) the timing of the CNN and New York Times reports about the "exfiltration" of the CIA's "sensitive source" seems to be little more than a blatant effort by Brennan and his allies in the media to shape a narrative before Barr uncovers the truth. ..."
"... "If Smolenkov was a spy, he could have delivered important insights about Russia's foreign policy thinking and planning to U.S. intelligence. But if he was the source for the U.S. intelligence community's certainty that Putin personally orchestrated a covert interference campaign, that certainty rests on a weak foundation. Smolenkov served the wrong boss in the Kremlin to get reliable information about such ventures." ..."
Sep 14, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

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OPINION: Scott Ritter probes Oleg Smolenkov's role as a CIA asset and the use of his data by the director of the CIA to cast doubt over the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

By Scott Ritter
Special to Consortium News

Reports that the CIA conducted an emergency exfiltration of a long-time human intelligence source who was highly placed within the Russian Presidential Administration sent shock waves throughout Washington, D.C.

The source was said to be responsible for the reporting used by the former director of the CIA, John Brennan, in making the case that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered Russian intelligence services to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election for the purpose of tipping the scales in favor of then-candidate Donald Trump.

According to CNN's Jim Sciutto, the decision to exfiltrate the source was driven in part by concerns within the CIA over President Trump's cavalier approach toward handling classified information, including his willingness to share highly classified intelligence with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during a controversial visit to the White House in May 2017.

On closer scrutiny, however, this aspect of the story falls apart, as does just about everything CNN, The New York Times and other mainstream media outlets have reported. There was a Russian spy whose information was used to push a narrative of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election; this much appears to be true. Everything else that has been reported is either a mischaracterization of fact or an outright fabrication designed to hide one of the greatest intelligence failures in U.S. history -- the use by a CIA director of intelligence data specifically manipulated to interfere in the election of an American president.

The consequences of this interference has deleteriously impacted U.S. democratic institutions in ways the American people remain ignorant of -- in large part because of the complicity of the U.S. media when it comes to reporting this story.

This article attempts to set the record straight by connecting the dots presented by available information and creating a narrative shaped by a combination of derivative analysis and informed speculation. At best, this article brings the reader closer to the truth about Oleg Smolenkov's role as a CIA asset; at worst, it raises issues and questions that will help in determining the truth.

"And Ye Shall Know the Truth and the Truth Shall Make You Free," John 8:32, is etched into the wall of the main lobby of the Old CIA Headquarters Building.

The Recruit

Oleg Smolenkov

In 2007, Oleg Smolenkov was living the life of a Russian diplomat abroad, serving in the Russian embassy in Washington. At 33 years of age, married with a 1-year old son, Smolenkov was the picture of a young diplomat on the rise. A protégé of Russian Ambassador Yuri Ushakov, Smolenkov worked as a second secretary assigned to the Russian Cultural Center, a combined museum and exhibition hall operated by the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation (better known by its common Russian name, Rossotrudnichestvo), an autonomous government agency operating under the auspices of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In addition to hosting Russian artists and musicians, Rossotrudnichestvo oversaw a program where it organized all-expense paid cultural exchanges for young Americans to travel to Russia, where they were accommodated in luxury hotels and met with Russian officials. Smolenkov's boss, Yegeny Zvedre, would also tour the United States, speaking at public forums where he addressed U.S.-Russian cooperation. As for Smolenkov himself, life was much more mundane -- he served as a purchasing agent for Rossotrudnichestvo, managing procurement and contract issues for a store operating out of the Rossotrudnichestvo building, which stood separate from the main embassy compound.

Rossotrudnichestvo had a darker side: the FBI long suspected that it operated as a front to recruit Americans to spy for Russia, and as such every Russian employee was viewed as a potential officer in the Russian intelligence service. This suspicion brought with it a level of scrutiny which revealed much about the character of the individual being surveilled, including information of a potentially compromising nature that could be used by the American intelligence services as the basis of a recruitment effort.

Every Russian diplomat assigned to the United States is screened to ascertain his or her susceptibility for recruitment. The FBI does this from a counterintelligence perspective, looking for Russian spies. The CIA does the same, but with the objective of recruiting a Russian source who can remain in the employ of the Russian government, and thereby provide the CIA with intelligence information commensurate to their standing and access. Turning a senior Russian diplomat is difficult; recruiting a junior Russian diplomat like Oleg Smolenkov less so. Someone like Smolenkov would be viewed not so much by the limited access he provided at the time of recruitment, but rather his potential for promotion and the increased opportunity for more essential access provided by such.

The responsibility within the CIA for recruiting Russian diplomats living in the United States falls to the National Resources Division, or NR, part of the Directorate of Operations, or DO -- the clandestine arm of the CIA. In a perfect world, the CIA domestic station in Washington, D.C., would coordinate with the local FBI field office and develop a joint approach for recruiting a Russian diplomat such as Smolenkov.

The reality is, however, that the CIA and the FBI have different goals and objectives when it comes to the Russians they recruit. As such, Smolenkov's recruitment was most likely a CIA-only affair, run by NR but closely monitored by the Russian Operations Group of the Agency's Central Eurasia Division, who would have responsibility for managing Smolenkov upon his return to Moscow.

The precise motive for Smolenkov to take up the CIA's offer of recruitment remains unknown. He graduated from one of the premier universities in Russia, the Maurice Thorez Moscow State Pedagogical Institute of Foreign Languages, and he married his English language instructor. Normally a graduate from an elite university such as Maurice Thorez has his or her pick of jobs in the Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Defense or the security services. Smolenkov was hired by the Foreign Ministry as a junior linguist, assigned to the Second European Department, which focuses on Great Britain, Scandinavia and the Baltics, before getting assigned to the embassy in Washington.

Felt Underpaid

But his job as foreman of the Rossotrudnichestvo coop was not the kind of job a Maurive Thorez graduate gets; Smolenkov had to have felt slighted. He allegedly turned to drink, and his marriage was on the rocks; his colleagues spoke of a man who believed his salary was too low.

The enticements of money and future opportunity -- the CIA's principle recruitment ploys -- more than likely were a factor in convincing this dissatisfied diplomat to defect. Did the CIA compromise him by dangling the temptation of contract-based embezzlement? Or did the FBI uncover some sort of personal or financial impropriety that made the Russian diplomat vulnerable to recruitment? Only the CIA and Smolenkov know the precise circumstances behind the Russian's decision to betray his country. But the fact is, sometime in 2007-2008, Smolenkov was recruited by the CIA.

After Smolenkov accepted the CIA's offer, there was much work to be done -- the new agent had to be polygraphed to ascertain his reliability, trained on covert means of intelligence collection, including covert photography, as well as on how to securely communicate with the CIA in order to transmit information and receive instructions. Smolenkov was also introduced to his "handler," a CIA case officer who would be responsible for managing the work of Smolenkov, including overseeing the bank account where Smolenkov's CIA "salary" would be deposited. Various contingencies would be prepared for, including procedures for reestablishing communications should the existing means become unavailable, emergency contact procedures and emergency exfiltration plans in case Smolenkov became compromised.

Took Away His Name, and Gave Him a Code

The recruitment of a diplomat willing to return to Moscow and be run in place is a rare accomplishment, and Smolenkov's identity would become a closely guarded secret within the ranks of the CIA. Smolenkov's true identity would be known to only a few select individuals; to everyone else who had access to his reporting, he was simply a codename, comprised of a two-letter digraph representing Russia (this code changed over time), followed by a word chosen at random by a CIA algorithm (for example, Adolf Tolkachev, the so-called "billion dollar spy," was known by the codename CKSPHERE, with CK being the digraph in use for the Soviet Union at the time of his recruitment.) Because the specific details from the information provided by Smolenkov could compromise him as the source, the Russian Operations Group would "blend" his reporting in with other sources in an effort to disguise it before disseminating it to a wider audience.

Smolenkov followed Ambassador Ushakov when the latter departed the United States for Moscow in the summer of 2008; soon after arriving back in Moscow, Smolenkov and his wife divorced. Ushakov took a position as the deputy chief of the Government Staff of the Russian Federation responsible for international relations and foreign policy support. Part of the Executive Office of the Government of the Russian Federation, Ushakov coordinated the international work of the prime minister, deputy prime ministers and senior officials of the Government Executive Office. Smolenkov took up a position working for Ushakov, and soon found himself moving up the ranks of the Russian Civil Service, being promoted in 2010 to the rank of state advisor to the Russian Federation of the Third Class, a second-tier rank that put him on the cusp of joining the upper levels of the Russian government bureaucracy. He was granted a "second-level" security clearance, which allowed him to handle top secret information.

Moscow Station

Ukashov, r. with Putin (Kremlin photo)

In 2013 Ushakov received a new assignment, this time to serve in the Presidential Executive Office as the aide for international relations. Smolenkov joined Ushakov as his staff manager. Vladimir Putin was one year into his second stint as president and brought Ushakov, who had advised him on foreign relations while Putin was prime minister, to continue that service. Ushakov maintained an office at the Boyarsky Dvor (Courtyard of the Boyars), on 8 Staraya Square.

The Boyarsky Dvor was physically separate from the Kremlin, meaning neither Ushakov nor Smolenkov had direct access to the Russian president. Nevertheless, Smolenkov's new job had to have pleased his CIA masters. In the five years Smolenkov worked at the Executive Office of the Government, he was not privy to particularly sensitive information. His communications with CIA would most likely have been administrative in nature, with the CIA more interested in Smolenkov's growth potential than immediate value of any intelligence he could produce.

Smolenkov's arrival in the Presidential Administration coincided with a period of operational difficulty for the CIA in Moscow. First, the CIA's internet-based covert communications system, which used Google's email platform as the foundation for accessing various web pages where information was exchanged between the agent and his CIA handlers, had been globally compromised. Smolenkov had been trained on this system, and it provided his lifeline to the CIA. The compromise first occurred in Iran, and then spread to China; in both countries, entire networks of CIA agents were rounded up, with many being subsequently executed . China is believed to have shared the information on how to detect the covert communication-linked web pages with Russia; fortunately for Moscow Station, they were able to make the appropriate changes in the system to safeguard the security and identity of its agents. In the meantime, communications between the CIA and Smolenkov were cut off until the CIA could make contact using back-up protocols and re-train Smolenkov on the new communications procedures.

Moscow Station, however, was having trouble carrying out its clandestine tasks. In the fall of 2011, the CIA's chief of station in Moscow, Steven Hall, had been approached by his counterpart in the Russian Federal Security Service (the FSB, Russia's equivalent of the FBI) and warned that the CIA should stop trying to recruit agents from within the FSB ranks; the FSB had detected several of these attempts, which it deemed inappropriate given the ongoing cooperation between the intelligence services of the two countries regarding the war on terrorism.

But Hall had his orders, and after a year-long pause to review its operating procedures, Moscow Station resumed its targeting of FSB officers. Things went real bad real fast. In January 2013, a CIA officer named Benjamin Dillon was arrested by the FSB as he tried to recruit a Russian agent, declared persona non grata, and expelled from Russia. Then in May 2013 the FSB arrested another CIA officer, Ryan Fogle. Fogle was paraded before television cameras together with his spy paraphernalia, and like Dillon before him, expelled from the country. Moreover, the Russians, in condemning the CIA actions, revealed the identity of the CIA's Moscow chief of station (Hall), who because of the public disclosure was compelled to depart Russia.

A CIA Dream

Steve Hall (CNN/YouTube)

The loss of Dillon and Fogle was a serious blow to Moscow Station, but one from which the CIA could recover. But the near simultaneous loss of two case officers and the chief of station was a different matter altogether. Hall was one of the few people in the CIA who had been "read in" on the recruitment of Smolenkov, and as such was involved in the overall management of the Russian agent. The loss of Hall at this very sensitive time created a problem for both the CIA and Smolenkov. Smolenkov's new assignment was a dream come true for the CIA -- never before had the agency managed to place a controlled agent into the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation.

But while Smolenkov had been able to provide evidence of access, by way of photographs of presidential documents, the CIA needed to confirm that Smolenkov hadn't been turned by the Russians and was not being used to pass on disinformation designed to mislead those who used Smolenkov's reporting. Normally this was done by subjecting the agent to a polygraph examination -- a "swirl," in CIA parlance. This examination could take place at an improvised covert location in Russia, or in a more controlled environment outside of Russia, if Smolenkov was able to exit on work or during vacation. But arranging the examination required close coordination between the CIA and its agent, as well as a healthy degree of trust between the agent and those directing him. With communications down, and the chief of station evicted, Smolenkov was left in a state of limbo while the CIA trained up new case officers capable of operating in Moscow and sought a replacement for Hall.

One of the ironies surrounding the arrest and expulsion of CIA officer Fogle, and the subsequent outing and eviction of Hall, was that Smolenkov was ideally positioned to provide an inside perspective on how the Russian leadership reacted to the incident. Smolenkov's boss, Ushakov, was tasked with overseeing Russia's diplomatic response. In a statement given to the Russian media, Ushakov expressed surprise at the timing of the incident. "To put it mildly," Ushakov said, "it is surprising that this extremely crude, clumsy attempt at recruitment took place in a situation where both President Obama and President Putin have clearly stated the importance of more active cooperation and contacts between the special services of the two countries."

Ushakov coordinated closely with the head of Putin's Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, regarding the content of a letter Putin was planning to send in response to a previous communication from Obama. While the original text focused on missile defense issues, Ushakov and Patrushev inserted language about the Fogle incident. As a senior aide to Ushakov, Smolenkov was ideally positioned to gather intelligence about the Russian response. If he was able to communicate this information to the CIA, it would have provided Obama and his advisers time to prepare a response to the Russian letter. The situation meant that Smolenkov may have been reporting on events related to the expulsion of Hall, one of the CIA officers specifically trained to manage his reporting.

The Center

Amid the operational challenges and opportunity provided by Smolenkov's new position within the Russian Presidential Administration, the CIA underwent a radical reorganization which impacted how human agents, and the intelligence they produced, would be managed. The past practice of having intelligence operations controlled by insular regional divisions, which promoted both a physical and philosophical divide between the collectors and their analytical counterparts in the respective regional division within the Directorate of Intelligence, or DI, was discontinued by Brennan, who had taken over as director of the CIA in May 2013.

To replace what he viewed as an antiquated organizational structure, Brennan created what he called "Mission Centers," which combined analytical, operational, technical and support expertise under a single roof. For Moscow Station and Smolenkov, this meant that the Russia and Eurasia Division, with its Russian Operations Group, no longer existed. Instead, Moscow Station would take its orders from a new Europe and Eurasia Mission Center headed by an experienced CIA Russia analyst named Peter Clement.

Clement, who had earned a PhD in Russian history from Michigan State University, had a diverse resumé with the CIA which included service as the director for Russia on the National Security Council and as the CIA representative to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. Clement served as the director of the Office of Russian and Eurasian Analysis and as the CIA's Russia issue manager from 1997 to 2003; as the President's Daily Brief (PDB) briefer for Vice President Dick Cheney from 2003-2004, and from 2005-2013, as the deputy director for intelligence for analytic programs. In 2015 Brennan appointed Clement to serve as the deputy assistant director of CIA for Europe and Eurasia, where he directed the activities of the newly created Europe and Eurasia Mission Center. If one was looking for the perfect candidate to manage the fusion of operational, analytical and technical experience into a singular, mission-focused entity, Peter Clement was it.

Peter Clement (C-Span)

As Clement got on with the business of whipping the Europe and Eurasia Mission Center into shape, Smolenkov was busy establishing himself as an intelligence source of some value. Smolenkov's success was directly linked to the work of his boss, Ushakov. In June 2015, Ushakov was put in charge of establishing a high-level working group in the fuel and energy sector for the purpose of improving bilateral cooperation with Azerbaijan. The reporting Smolenkov would have been able to provide on the work of this group would have been of tremendous assistance to those in the Obama administration working on U.S. energy policy, especially as it related to countering Russian moves in the former Soviet Republics.

Another project of interest was Russia's sale of advanced Mi-35 helicopters to Pakistan in support of their counterterrorism efforts. Coming at a time when U.S.-Pakistani relations were floundering, the Russian sale of advanced helicopters was viewed with concern by both the Department of State and the Department of Defense. Again, Smolenkov's reporting on this issue would have been well received by critical policymakers in both departments.

But the most critical role played by Ushakov was advising Putin on the uncertain state of relations between the U.S. and Russia in the aftermath of the 2014 crisis in Ukraine, and Russia's annexation of Crimea. Ushakov's 10-year tenure as Russia's ambassador to the U.S. gave him unprecedented insight into U.S. decision making, experience and expertise Putin increasingly relied upon as he formulated and implemented responses to U.S. efforts to contain and punish Russia on the international stage.

While Ushakov's meetings with Putin were conducted either in private, or in small groups of senior advisers, meaning Smolenkov was not present, Smolenkov was able to collect intelligence on the periphery by photographing itineraries and working papers, as well as overhearing comments made by Ushakov, that collectively would provide U.S. policymakers with important insight into Putin's thinking.

Managing an important resource like Smolenkov was one of the critical challenges faced by Clement and the Europe and Eurasia Mission Center. Smolenkov's reporting continued to be handled using special HUMINT procedures designed to protect the source. However, within the Center knowledge of Smolenkov's work would have been shared with analysts who worked side by side with their operational colleagues deciding how the intelligence could best be used, as well as coming up with follow-up questions for Smolenkov regarding specific issues of interest.

Given the unique insight Smolenkov's reporting provided into Putin's thinking, it would be logical that intelligence sourced from Smolenkov would frequently find itself briefed to the president and his inner circle via the PDB process, which was exacting in terms of vetting the accuracy and reliability of any intelligence reporting that made it onto its pages. As a long-time Russia expert with extensive experience in virtually every aspect of how the CIA turned raw reporting into finished intelligence, Clement was ideally suited to making sure his Center handled the Smolenkov product responsibly, and in a manner which maximized its value.

Meanwhile, Moscow Station continued to exhibit operational problems. By 2015 the CIA had managed to rebuild its stable of case officers operating from the U.S. embassy. But the FSB always seemed to be one step ahead. According to the FSB, the Russians were adept at identifying CIA officers working under State Department cover and would subject these individuals to extensive surveillance. As if to prove the Russian's point, in short order the FSB rounded up the newly assigned case officers, along with the deputy chief of station, declared them persona non grata, and expelled them from Russia. To make matters worse, the FSB released surveillance video of all these officers, who in some cases were joined by their spouses, as they engaged in elaborate ruses to evade Russian surveillance in order to carry out their covert assignments.

Moscow Station's string of bad luck continued into 2016, when one of its officers, having been detected by the FSB during a meeting, fled via taxi to the U.S. embassy, only to be tackled by a uniformed FSB officer as he tried to enter the compound. In the scuffle that followed, the CIA officer managed to make entry into the embassy building, compelling the FSB guard to release him once jurisdiction was lost. The CIA officer, who suffered a separated shoulder during the incident, left Russia shortly thereafter, together with a female colleague who had also been detected by the FSB while engaged in clandestine activities and subsequently declared persona non grata.

FSB Headquarters in the Lubyanka Building, Moscow.

The FSB indicated, at the time these two officers were being expelled, that it had evicted three other CIA officers during the year. In addition to the decimation of its staff, Moscow Station was experiencing an alarming number of its agents being discovered by the FSB and arrested. While the Russians were circumspect about most of these cases, on several occasions they indicated that they had uncovered a spy by intercepting the electronic communications between him and the CIA. This meant that the Russians were aware of, and actively pursuing, the Google-based internet-based system used by the CIA to communicate with its agents in Russia.

Meanwhile, Smolenkov continued to send his reports to his CIA handlers unabated, using the same internet-based system. Under normal circumstances, an exception to compromise would raise red flags within the counterintelligence staff that evaluated an agent's reporting and activity. But by the summer of 2016, nothing about the work of the CIA, and in particular the Europe and Eurasia Mission Center could be considered "normal" when it came to the Russian target.

Little White Envelope

Sometime in early August 2016, a courier from the CIA arrived at the White House carrying a plain, unmarked white envelope. Inside was an intelligence report from Smolenkov that CIA Director Brennan considered to be so sensitive that he kept it out of the President's Daily Brief, concerned that even that restrictive process was too inclusive to adequately protect the source. The intelligence was to be read by four people only -- Obama, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Deputy National Security Advisor Avril Haines and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough. The document was to be returned to the courier once it had been read.

Brennan in Oval Office where he had envelope delivered. (White House photo/Pete Souza)

The contents of the report were alarming -- Putin had personally ordered the cyber attack on the Democratic National Committee for the purpose of influencing the 2016 presidential election in favor of the Republican candidate, Donald Trump.

The intelligence report was not a product of Clement's Europe and Eurasia Mission Center, but rather a special unit of handpicked analysts from the CIA, NSA and FBI who were brought together under great secrecy in late July and reported directly to Brennan. These analysts were made to sign non-disclosure agreements protecting their work from their colleagues.

This new analytical unit focused on three new sensitive sources of information -- the Smolenkov report, additional reporting provided by a former MI6 officer named Christopher Steele, and a signals intelligence report provided by a Baltic nation neighboring Russia. The Steele information was of questionable provenance, so much so that FBI Director James Comey could not, or would not, vouch for its credibility. The same held true for the NSA's assessment of the Baltic SIGINT report. By themselves, the Steele reporting and Baltic SIGINT report were of little intelligence value. But when viewed together, they were used to corroborate the explosive contents of the Smolenkov intelligence. The White House found the Smolenkov report so convincing that in September 2016, during a meeting of the G-20 in China, Obama pulled Putin aside and told him to stop meddling in the U.S. election. Putin was reportedly nonplussed by Obama's intervention.

It is extraordinarily difficult for a piece of intelligence to be deemed important and reliable enough to be briefed to the president of the United States. The principal forum for such a briefing is the Presidential Daily Brief, which prior to 2004 was a product produced exclusively by the CIA. When the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act was signed into law in 2004, the responsibility for the PDB was transferred to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), a newly created entity responsible for oversight and coordination of the entire Intelligence Community, or IC. The PDB is considered to be an IC product, the production of which is coordinated by ODNI's PDB staff in partnership with the CIA Directorate of Intelligence (DI)'s President's Analytic Support Staff.

Since he began reporting about his work in the Russian Presidential Administration in 2013, Smolenkov had, on numerous occasions, produced intelligence whose content and relevance was such that it would readily warrant inclusion in the PDB. After 2015, the decision to submit a Smolenkov-sourced report for inclusion in the PDB would be made by Clement and his staff. For a report to be nominated, it would have to pass an exacting quality control review process which evaluated it for accuracy, relevance and reliability.

U.S. Embassy Moscow ( Wikimedia Commons)

Sometime in the leadup to August 2016, this process was halted. Oleg Smolenkov was a controlled asset of the CIA. While he was given certain latitude on what information he could collect, generally speaking Smolenkov worked from an operations order sent to him by his CIA controllers which established priorities for intelligence collection based upon information provided by Smolenkov about what he could reasonably access. Before tasking Smolenkov, his CIA handlers would screen the request from an operational and counterintelligence perspective, conducting a risk-reward analysis that weighed the value of the intelligence being sought with the possibility of compromise. Only then would Smolenkov be cleared to collect the requested information.

It is not publicly known what prompted the report from Smolenkov which Brennan found so alarming. Was it received out of the blue, a target of opportunity which Smolenkov exploited? Was it based upon a specific tasking submitted by Smolenkov's CIA handlers in response to a tasking from above? Or was it a result of the intervention of the CIA director, who tasked Smolenkov outside normal channels? In any event, once Brennan created his special analytical unit, Smolenkov became his dedicated source. If Smolenko was in this for the money, as appears to be the case, he would have been motivated to come up with the "correct" answer to Brennan's tasking for information on Putin's role. By late 2016, Western media had made quite clear what kind of answer Brennan wanted.

Every intelligence report produced by a controlled asset is subjected to a counterintelligence review where it is examined for any evidence of red flags that could be indicative of compromise. One red flag is the issue of abnormal access. Smolenkov did not normally have direct contact with Putin, if ever. His intelligence reports would have been written from the perspective of the distant observer. His report about Putin's role in interfering in the 2016 election, however, represented a whole new level of access and trust. Under normal circumstances, a report exhibiting such tendency would be pulled aside for additional scrutiny; if the report was alarming enough, the CIA might order the agent to be subjected to a polygraph to ensure he had not been compromised.

This did not happen. Instead, Brennan took the extraordinary measure of sequestering the source from the rest of the Intelligence Community. He also confronted the head of the Russian FSB, Alexander Bortnikov, about the risks involved in interfering in U.S. elections.

Whether Brennan further tasked Smolenkov to collect on Putin is not known. Nor is it known whether Smolenkov produced more than that single report about Putin's alleged direct role in ordering the Russian intelligence services to intervene in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.

Despite Brennan's extraordinary effort to keep the existence of a human source within the Russian Presidential Administration a closely-held secret, by December 2016 both The Washington Post and The New York Times began quoting their sources about the existence of a sensitive intelligence source close to the Russian president. The timing of these press leaks coincided with Smolensky being fired from his job working for the Presidential Administration; the method of firing came in the form of a secret decree. When the CIA found out, they desperately tried to convince Smolenkov to agree to extraction, fearing for his safety should he remain in Moscow. This Smolenkov allegedly refused to do, prompting the counterintelligence-minded within the CIA to become concerned that Brennan and his coterie of analysts had been taken for a ride by a Russian double agent.

Trump and Barr on Feb. 14, 2019. (Wikimedia Commons)

Smolenkov's firing occurred right before the Intelligence Community released its much-anticipated assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 election . Like the special analytical unit created by Brennan to handle the intelligence about Putin ordering the Russian intelligence services to intervene in favor of Trump in the 2016 election, Brennan opted to produce the Russian interference assessment outside the normal channels. Usually, when the IC opts to produce an assessment, there is a formal process which has a national intelligence officer (NIO) from within the National Intelligence Council take the lead on coordinating the collection and assessment of all relevant intelligence. The NIO usually coordinates closely with the relevant Mission Centers to ensure no analytical stone was left unturned in the pursuit of the truth.

The 2016 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) was produced differently -- no Mission Center involvement, no NIO assigned, no peer review. Just Brennan's little band of sequestered analysts.

Smolenkov's information took top billing in the ICA, "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections," published on Jan. 6, 2017. "We assess," the unclassified document stated, "Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election. Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump." Smolenkov's reporting appears to be the sole source for this finding.

The ICA went on to note, "We have high confidence in these judgments." According to the Intelligence Community's own definition, "high confidence'" generally indicates judgments based on high-quality information, and/or the nature of the issue makes it possible to render a solid judgment. A "high confidence" judgment is not a fact or a certainty, however, and still carries a risk of being wrong.

The same day the ICA was published, Brennan, accompanied by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and Admiral Mike Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, met with President-elect Trump in Trump Tower, where he was briefed on the classified information behind the Russian ICA. Included in this briefing was the intelligence from "a top-secret source" close to Putin which sustained the finding of Putin's direct involvement.

Brennan had sold the Smolenkov reporting to both President Obama and President-elect Trump, along with the rest of the intelligence community, as "high-quality information." It was, at best, nothing more than uncorroborated rumor or, at worst, simple disinformation. This reporting, which was parroted by an unquestioning mainstream media that accepted it as fact, created an impression amongst the American public that Vladimir Putin had personally ordered and directed a Russian interference campaign during the 2016 election designed "to help President-elect Trump's election chances when possible," according to the ICA.

As CIA director, Brennan understood very well the role played by intelligence in shaping the decisions of key policy makers, and the absolute need for those who brief the president and his key advisers to ensure only the highest quality information and derived assessments are briefed. In this, Brennan failed.

Coming in From the Cold

Tivat, Montenegro

After being fired from his position within the Presidential Administration, Smolenkov continued to live in Moscow, very much a free man. By this time he was the father of three children, his new wife having given birth to two daughters. Following Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017, Brennan resigned as CIA director. By May, Brennan was testifying before Congress about the issue of Russian interference. Increasingly, attention was being drawn to the existence of a highly-placed source near Putin, with both The New York Times and The Washington Post publishing surprisingly detailed reports.

Concerned that Smolenkov could be arrested by the Russians and, in doing so, have control over the narrative of Russian interference transfer to Moscow, the CIA once again approached Smolenkov to defect to the United States. This time the Russian agent agreed.

In July 2017, Smolenkov, accompanied by his wife and three children, travelled to Montenegro on vacation. They arrived in the resort city of Tivat, flying on a commercial air flight from Moscow. The CIA took control of the family a few days later, spiriting them away aboard a yacht that had been moored at the Tivat marina. Upon his arrival in the U.S., Smolenkov and his family were placed under the control of the CIA's resettlement unit.

According to the Russian media, Smolenkov's disappearance was discovered in September 2017. The FSB opened an investigation into the matter, initially suspecting foul play. Soon, however, the FSB reached a different conclusion -- that Smolenkov and his family had defected to the United States.

Normally a defector would be subjected to a debriefing, inclusive of a polygraph, to confirm that he or she had not been turned into a double agent. Smolenkov had, over the course of a decade of spying, accumulated a considerable amount of money which the CIA was holding in escrow. This money would be released to Smolenkov upon the successful completion of his debriefing. In the case of Smolenkov, however, there doesn't seem to have been a detailed, lengthy debriefing. His money was turned over to him. Sometime in June 2018, Smolenkov and his wife bought a home worth nearly $1 million in northern Virginia. The couple used their real names. They were not afraid.

I can only speculate as to the circumstances that led to Smolenkov's firing by secret decree. Normally, Russians charged with transmitting classified material to the intelligence services of a foreign state are arrested, placed on trial and given lengthy prison sentences, or worse. This did not happen to Smolenkov.

But this does not mean the Russian authorities were ignorant of his activities. This raises another possibility, that Smolenkov could have been turned by the Russian security services before he had compromised any classified information, and that he operated as a double agent his entire CIA career. Since the only classified information he transferred would, in this case, be approved for release by the Russian security services, he would not have technically committed a crime. If Smolenkov was working both sides, it could have been a Russian vehicle to create distrust between the U.S. intelligence community and Trump.

Smolenkov was fired, and left to his own devices, once his utility to Russia had expired. Having escaped being arrested as a spy, Smolenkov believed he might be able to live a normal life in Moscow. But when the potential for compromise arose due to leaks to the press, I assess that it was in the CIA's interest to bring Smolenkov in, if for no other reason than to control the narrative of Russian interference.

Three Scenarios

Old CIA building in Langely, Virginia.

There are three scenarios that could be at play regarding Smolenkov's bone fides as a human intelligence source for the CIA. First, that this was a solid recruitment, that Smolenkov was the high-level asset the CIA and Brennan claim he was, and the information he provided regarding the involvement of Putin was unimpeachable. Mitigating against this is the fact that when Smolenkov was fired from his position in late 2016, he was not arrested and put on trial for spying.

Russia is fully capable of conducting secret trials, and controlling the information that is made available about such a trial. Moreover, Russia is a vindictive state–persons who commit treason are not tolerated. As Putin himself noted in comments made in March 2018, "Traitors will kick the bucket. Trust me. These people betrayed their friends, their brothers in arms. Whatever they got in exchange for it, those thirty pieces silver they were given, they will choke on them." The odds of Smolenkov being fired for committing treason, and then being allowed to voluntarily exit Russia with his family and passports, are virtually nil.

The second scenario is a variation of the first, where Smolenkov starts as a solid recruitment, with his reporting commensurate with his known level of access–peripheral contact with documents and information pertaining to the work of the aide to President Putin on international relations. Sometime in July 2016 Smolenkov produces a report that catches the attention of DCI Brennan, who flags it and pulls Smolenkov out of the normal operational channels for CIA-controlled human sources, and instead creating a new, highly-compartmentalized fusion cell to handle this report, and possibly others.

Three questions emerge from the second scenario. First, was Smolenkov responding to an urgent tasking from Brennan to find out how high up the Russian chain of command went the knowledge of the alleged DNC cyber attack, or did Smolenkov produce this report on his own volition? Was Brennan arranging evidence to show that there was indeed a Russian hack. After all, all the FBI had to go by was a draft of a report by the virulently anti-Russian private security firm CrowdStrike. The FBI never examined the DNC server itself.

In any case, the Smolenkov report in the white envelope represented a level of access that would have significantly deviated from what one could expect from a person in his position and which suggests he may have been telling the CIA what he knew Brennan wanted to hear. As such, normal counterintelligence procedures should have mandated an operational pause while the intelligence report in question was scrubbed to ensure viability. Under no circumstances would a report so flagged be allowed to be put into the Presidential Daily Brief. However, by pulling the report from the control of the Europe and Eurasian Mission Center, turning it over to a stand-alone fusion cell, and bypassing the PDB process to brief the president and a handful of advisors, there would be no counterintelligence concerns raised. This implies that Brennan had a role in the tasking of Smolenkov, and was waiting for the report to come in, which Brennan then took control of to preclude any counter-intelligence red flags being raised.

The third scenario is that Smolenkov, a low-level failure of a diplomat with drinking issues, marital problems and monetary frustrations, was recruited by the CIA, but only with the complicity of the Russian security services.

The same red flags that the CIA looks for when recruiting agents are also looked at by Russian counterintelligence. At what point in the recruitment process the Russians stepped in is unknown (if they did at all.) But it is curious that this professional failure was suddenly transferred from running a co-op to being the right hand man of one of the most influential foreign policy experts in Russia–Yuri Ushakov.

Moreover, this muddling diplomat whose questionable behavioral practices scream "recruit me" is, within three years of returning to Moscow, given a significant promotion that enables him to follow Ushakov into the Presidential Administration–a posting which would require extensive vetting by the Russian security services. Smolenkov's promotion pattern is enough, in and of itself, to raise red flags within the counterintelligence offices tasked with monitoring such things. The fact that it did not indicates that the quality and quantity of reporting being provided by Smolenkov was deemed by the Americans too important to interfere with.

In this scenario, Smolenkov would have been playing to a script written by the Russian security services. Since he, technically, had broken no laws by serving as a double agent, he would not be subjected to arrest and trial. But once his existence became the fodder of the U.S. media via inference and speculation, his services as a double agent were no longer needed. He was fired from his position, via a secret Presidential proclamation, and set free to live his life as he saw fit.

The most pressing question that emerges from this possibility is why? Why would the Russian security services want to cook the books, so to speak, in a manner which made the Russians look guilty of the very thing they were publicly denying?

In my view, if one assumes that the Smolenkov July 2016 report at the center of this drama was not a result of serendipity, but rather a product derived from a specific request from his CIA managers to find out how high up in the Russian decision-making chain the authorization went for what U.S. intelligence agencies were already publicly pushing as an alleged DNC cyber attack, then the answer I believe becomes clear–the Russians knew the U.S. had an intelligence deficit.

I am speculating here, but if the Russians provided an answer guaranteed to attract attention at a critical time in the U.S. presidential election process, it would inject the CIA and its reporting into the democratic processes of the United States, and thereby politicize the CIA and the entire intelligence community by default. This would suppose, however, that the agencies did not have their own motives for wanting to stop Trump.

Rogers, Comey, Clapper and Brennan all in a row.

In this scenario, the Russians would have been in control of when to expose the CIA's activities–all they had to do was fire Smolenkov, which in the end they did, right as Smolenkov's report was front and center in the post-election finger-pointing that was taking place regarding the allegation of Russian interference. The best acts of political sabotage are done subtlety, where the culprit remains in the shadows while the victims proceed, unaware that they have been played.

For the Russians, it didn't matter who won the election, even if they may have favored Trump; simply getting President Obama to commit to the bait by confronting Putin at the G20 meeting in September 2016 would have been a victory, because I assess that at that point the Russians knew that they were driving the American narrative. When the President of the United States acts on intelligence that later turns out to be false, it is an embarrassment that drives a wedge between the intelligence community and the Executive Branch of government. I have no solid evidence for this. But in my speculation on what may have happened, this was the Russian objective–to drive that wedge.

An Idyllic Truce

In my view, the CIA, Russia and Smolenkov were happy to maintain the status quo, with Smolenkov living in comfortable retirement with his family, the CIA continuing to accuse Russia of interfering in the 2016 presidential election, and Russia denying it. As well, Russia seems to have brushed off the sanctions that resulted from this alleged "interference." This idyllic truce started to unravel in May 2019, when Trump ordered Attorney General William Barr to "get to the bottom" of what role the CIA played in initiating the investigation into allegations of collusion between Trump's campaign and the Russians that led to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller's investigation concluded earlier this year, with a 400-plus page report being published which did not find any evidence of active collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

Trump's instructions to Barr are linked to a desire on the part of the president to hold to account those responsible for creating the narrative of possible collusion. Reports indicate that Barr is particularly interested in finding out how and why the CIA concluded that Putin personally ordered the Russian intelligence services to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Barr's investigation will inevitably lead him to the intelligence report that was hand couriered to the White House in early August 2016, which would in turn lead to Smolenkov, and in doing so open up the can of worms of Smolenkov's entire history of cooperation with the CIA. Not only could the entire foundation upon which the intelligence community has based its assessment of Russian interference collapse, it could also open the door for potential charges of criminal misconduct by Brennan and anyone else who helped him bypass normal vetting procedures and, in doing so, allowed a possible Russian double agent to influence the decisions of the president of the United States.

Seen in this light, the timing of the CNN and New York Times reports about the "exfiltration" of the CIA's "sensitive source" seems to be little more than a blatant effort by Brennan and his allies in the media to shape a narrative before Barr uncovers the truth.

At the end of the day, Smolenkov and his family are not at risk. If the Russian government wanted to exact revenge for his actions, it would have done so after firing him in late 2016. In any event, Smolenkov and his family would never have been allowed to leave Russia had he been suspected or accused of committing crimes against the state. A few days following Smolenkov's "outing" by the U.S. media, the Russian government filed a request with Interpol for an investigation into how someone who had gone missing in Montenegro was now living in the United States.

The only person at risk from this entire sordid affair is Brennan, whose reputation and potential livelihood is on the line. At best, Brennan is guilty of extremely poor judgement; at worst, he actively conspired to use the office of Director of the CIA to interfere in the outcome of a U.S. presidential election. Neither option speaks well of the U.S. Intelligence Community and those in Congress charged with oversight of its operations.

Watch Scott Ritter discussing this article on CN Live! Episode 9 .

Consortium News does not necessarily endorse the views of its authors.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD.

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Linda Wood , September 17, 2019 at 00:34

Brennan may have written the white envelope report and attributed it to Smolenkov, who may or may not have been a double agent. The Russian interference story is not just something Brennan wanted to hear, it's what the military industrial complex needs us to believe.

Dan Anderson , September 16, 2019 at 22:09

I trust Scott Ritter. Had we listened to him, the USA would not have invaded Iraq over WMDs. Reading the piece added to my distrust of our intelligence community, remembering this haunting exchange on live TV.

  • January 3, 2017 – Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer: "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday to get back at you. So, even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he is being really dumb to do this."
  • Rachel Maddow: "What do you think the intelligence community would do if they were motivated to?"
  • Schumer: "I don't know, but from what I am told, they are very upset with how he has treated them and talked about them," -- The Rachel Maddow Show Jan 3, 2017

David G , September 16, 2019 at 18:32

I'm surprised Scott Ritter thinks it likely that Russia engineered the "Putin meddled" narrative – that just seems unbelievable to me. There are enough moving parts here that one doesn't have to commit to one of Ritter's three scenarios: numerous variations are possible. For instance, Smolenkov may have been fired for some mundane mix of reasons going to performance and reliability. He may have been considered dubious without Russian counterintelligence having fingered him as a U.S. agent.

And under the third scenario, with Smolenkov a double agent all along, Ritter writes: "But once his existence became the fodder of the U.S. media via inference and speculation, his services as a double agent were no longer needed. He was fired from his position, via a secret Presidential proclamation, and set free to live his life as he saw fit."

That doesn't make sense to me. In fact I see the opposite: if he had been a successfully run double agent all that time, then when his usefulness had ended he would have been decently pensioned off – not simply cut loose to fend for himself – but *not* allowed to travel abroad unimpeded (with his whole family, no less) where he would have the opportunity to cause mischief.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , September 16, 2019 at 15:26

Were it not so powerful militarily and financially, the United States would be the laughingstock of the world. This entire business is just another avenue travelled in America's nonstop Russophobia lunatic wanderings. The DNC material was not hacked as a number of true experts have told us, including the key one now languishing in a British prison. Putin had no plan because nothing ever happened.

Nothing. And I think we've all seen that when Putin plans something, it happens. The article is interesting for its laying out of elaborate security procedures – kind of a high-level almost academic "police procedural" – but I do feel in the end it is not that helpful, much as I respect Mr Ritter.

When nothing has happened, it does seem a bit odd to scrutinize every piece of fiber and bit of dust and to construct a massive scenario of "what ifs."

Meanwhile, the murder of Seth Rich, a genuine and meaningful event, goes virtually uninvestigated.

No wonder you are in so much trouble, America, and no wonder you make so much trouble for others.

Anonymot , September 16, 2019 at 15:16

In the extremely sophisticated world of high grade intelligence I have repeatedly said that the Brennan, Clapper, Comey trio were lead-footed imbeciles. That has been the CIA tradition since Dulles left. All of those in our intelligence racket have led us to the trough of poisoned water and all of our Presidents drank. They have all become very rich, but not from book sales nor from consulting fees.

It says a lot about the entire echelon of those who decide our fates. There is no way to know whether it stems from ignorance or incompetence, but those with the Deep State mindset like each other, hire each other, and have been in some sort of daisy chain since university. We not only need to describe How it happens as this article does very well, but even more importantly Why. Only then can we start to do something about it, although it is probably far too late – it would be like taking the shell off of an egg and leaving that delicate interior membrane just inside the shell intact.

Clods like these (add the Clintons) should have their post-employment millions confiscated and put on trial.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , September 16, 2019 at 15:39

Sorry, but "Big Intelligence" is always a failure, and on many levels. It is not a matter of any "clods." It is a matter of the very nature of the institution and the nature of the people who use its output. The CIA only has a good record at doing bad things. I refer to its operations side and the havoc and violence they have released through the decades. It is an army of richly-equipped thugs without uniforms interfering in the business of others, "lying, cheating, and stealing."

The true intelligence side of things fails and always has to a great extent. https://chuckmanwords.wordpress.com/2009/05/31/why-the-cia-always-will-be-a-costly-flop/

jessika , September 16, 2019 at 15:11

I find it maddening that we "puppet proles" are treated like stupid fools, lied to constantly, and nothing happens to stop the mad lying/false flag garbage that keeps on. Now, today, after Bolton departure, out of the weirdness comes Pompous Pompeo spewing even worse madness that could tip "us" into attacking Iran! Saudis are insane, Netanyahu faces his electorate tomorrow, and we should believe MbS and cronies? Trump is nothing but a stooge!

Maricata , September 16, 2019 at 19:28

Read The CIA as Organized Crime and Strength of the Wolf and Strength of the Pack by Douglas Valentine.

Please, CN, have Mr. Valentine on your livc broadcast

Jeff Harrison , September 16, 2019 at 14:36

It occurs to me that this may have an inappropriate title. Plausibly Mr. Ritter has pegged what Smolenkov was eventually – a double agent. In which case I would probably call him pretty successful.

hetro , September 16, 2019 at 13:06

Also published yesterday, this Aaron Mate interview with John Kiriakou on Smolenkov:

"Kiriakou also notes that the way Smolenkov's intelligence was handled raises echoes of the CIA's manipulation of intelligence to help justify the Iraq war. The information from Smolenkov was handled personally by then-CIA Director John Brennan. Brennan reportedly sidelined other CIA analysts and kept the Smolenkov information out of the Presidential Daily Briefing – instead delivering it personally to President Obama and a small group of officials."

"That is a highly highly unusual thing to do, but I think [Brennan] did it because he knew that the source wasn't well placed, he knew that the source was lying about his access to Putin -- or information coming from Putin -- and I think that for whatever reason John Brennan really wanted the president to run with this narrative that the Russians were trying to somehow impact the 2016 election, when the intelligence just simply wasn't there," Kiriakou says.

https://thegrayzone.com/2019/09/15/outing-of-cias-kremlin-mole-echoes-iraq-wmd-hoax/

dean 1000 , September 16, 2019 at 11:53

When Trump campaigned against the bloody foreign policies of the duopoly he was also campaigning against an out of control, coup making, drug running, blackmailing, imperial CIA. my comment to The Brennan wanted to 'get' Trump to save his own hide, the CIA, and the duopoly from further embarrassment.

If Smolenkov is missing from his Virginia home (Chancellor below at 9.15.19 at 23:40) hopefully he is in hiding to assure he can tell a Grand Jury about any instructions or suggestions he may have received from Brennan, or others regarding the election of Donald Trump.

Zhu , September 16, 2019 at 05:25

Re John 8:32, people forget Pilate's remark, "what is truth"?

Igor Bundy , September 16, 2019 at 04:29

The next report from the CIA will be from hogwarts and how the measter is concatenating a secret potion on how to turn dykes into donkeys.. This is especially impotent to the CIA and such.. to hide in plain sight..

Imagine them trying to make a bond movie from this. Or more of Bourne.. But now it makes sense of all the shows that show the CIA as protector of humanity and the good guys.. There are no righteous intelligence agencies anywhere, only how evil and their limits.. Why their powers should be limited and their actions also limited to a small sphere. Because where does it stop? Once given the power to shape reality, then the entire world is shaped according to a few with psychopathic tendencies. Which normal person would want to control everyone according to their own reality? When you cant control your very own family, you have to be one heck of a control freak to do it globally and to force everyone to do as told. But these are the dreams and aspirations of an ape.. To remake the world in his own image.. and the prize is the banana..

John Wright , September 16, 2019 at 15:11

More like a Le Carre' film. The CIA was originally sold as an intelligence gathering and analysis organization, and was not supposed to be involved in operations. Thus, it was founded on lies and the lies have only grown since.

Neither the CIA nor the FBI are salvageable at this point. They need to be abolished, their functions reconsidered and new institutions which adhere to the Constitution created. Of course, the entire military intelligence complex needs to be dismantled, starting with the DHS, but that will require a revolution in this country.

Perhaps after the crash

junaid , September 16, 2019 at 03:12

US President Donald Trump dismissed another official – National Security Advisor John Bolton. what threatens relations between the US and Russia What threatens relations between the US and Russia

Fran Macadam , September 16, 2019 at 01:49

Even the former communist state governments in Europe and the Soviet Union rued the day that they unleashed their secret police from accountability, and thereby became subservient to their power.

Chancellor , September 15, 2019 at 23:40

"But his job as foreman of the Rossotrudnichestvo coop was not the kind of job a Maurive (sic) Thorez graduate gets;"

Of course it isn't, because that was never really his job. My guess is that his real job all along was to be recruited by the CIA, when, in fact, he was always a double agent. The rumors that he drank too much, was dissatisfied with his pay, and so on, strike me as too obvious a come-on to an over-confident CIA. If Mr. Ritter knows that this is the type of individual the CIA looks for, then the Russian security services know this as well. After all, they tagged every American on the Moscow Station. Clearly, they have excellent tradecraft.

The final coup by the Russian security services was to create a situation where Smolenkov would have to be extracted by the CIA, although the Russians probably didn't think it would take so long. Now it appears that Smolenkov is missing from the Virginia home that he purchased openly under his own name. I wouldn't be surprised if he is living comfortably somewhere back in Russia–this time having been "extracted" by the Russians, since his cover as a CIA asset was finally blown.

Clearly this is speculation, but no more so than the scenarios Mr. Ritter posits.

Fabrizio Zambuto , September 16, 2019 at 14:11

Third scenario seems possible. He starts to drink, he shows how unsatisfied he is, knows Americans will target him.
Meanwhile he gets spoonfed the intel he will have to share with the CIA.

According to Lavrov, he was a employee with little access to the echelons.

Last but not least: Putin said traitors will be punished but they don't get killed, they're sent to Prison and handed years like Skripal which managed to go to UK thanks to a swap.

Overall I like the article but too much Hollywood in the story. Why was he fired?

John Wright , September 15, 2019 at 23:38

[The Chinese play Go, the Russians Chess and the Americans Poker (badly)]

I think it's pretty clear that Mr. Ritter's third scenario is the correct interpretation of the facts. I wouldn't even be surprised if the Russians surreptitiously got the U.S. media to out their double agent. Timing is everything, after all, and now he's Langley's problem to deal with.

The Russians know that the corrupt Anglo-American Deep State will work against any relationship which is beneficial to Russia, so they have absolutely nothing to lose by feeding the Deep State a narrative that can potentially wreak havoc within it.

Having Smolenkov feed this narrative into the bowels of the CIA clearly helped advance the Deep State's rather obvious operation to create the appearance of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, all the more reason for Brennan and company to swallow it hook, line and sinker.

So Deep State tool Obama bites on the interference narrative, confronts Putin and takes illegal actions that, if exposed, have the potential to seriously damage his legacy and the presidency. This plausible result would cause Americans to lose even more faith in their increasingly corrupt and dysfunctional government and affect world opinion.

We now see that if Barr actually does his job as mandated by the Constitution, then this becomes a very distinct possibility.

Had the rabid neocon Clinton won, her administration would've undoubtedly buried Obama's unconstitutional indiscretion, but fingerprints would've lingered for a future Republican to possibly uncover and cause chaos with. It's even possible that Smolenkov would've remained in place and continued to feed even more poisonous disinformation to the U.S. intelligence morass, setting Clinton up for who knows what.

However, the unstable, narcissistic and easily played Trump miraculously wins. He's immediately and continuously hit with RussiaGate. Trump reacts predictably by fanning the flames of distraction when he calls out the Deep State and keeps punching back. The Executive Branch is divided against itself, Congress and the electorate are further polarized and a significant amount of energy is tied up with unproductive domestic political machinations.

Almost three years of noise and crisis worked to increase Trump's natural dysfunction while the Russians and Chinese quietly manage their coordinated effort to transform the global power structure in their favor.

Will this Russian gift keep on giving?

Will Barr, or someone else if Trump fires him, dig into the entire RussiaGate mess and expose all the lies and blatant illegality potentially causing a serious national crisis, further damaging the reputation and credit worthiness of the U.S. ?

Or will Barr remain a faithful Deep State fixer, convince Trump that taking down Obama would not be good for the economic health of the country (and his re-election), and carefully steer everything he can down the memory hole?

Are those vodka glasses I hear clinking in Beijing?

[I'm just left wondering who will produce the deliciously embarrassing (to the U.S.) film that this would make.]

Taras77 , September 15, 2019 at 19:42

Remarkable detail on the recruitment and control of agents by the CIA. In this case, it would appear that Brennan has been played big time. IMO, to see Smolenkov walk away with his loot in the bank, there can not be any other conclusion.

Hence, the obvious panic by brennan to use the likely suspects, NYT and wapo, to cast more haze on the story. If there were treason, I doubt Smolenkov would be walking because the Russians do not take that lightly. Actually, they have acted and are acting with competence and confidence in the face of the bumbling, fumbling bombast and threats of the group around trump which passes themselves off as diplomats and security advisors.

Brennan in his obsession to interfere with the political process prob contributed to his malfeasance and a possible crime-I am no legal expert but it certainly seems that he committed crimes.

Of course, this raises the question as to whether barr et al will act accordingly and bring him to justice-I have strong doubts about barr taking on the cia as they will certainly close ranks to protect him. My doubts about barr, however, go well beyond this particular issue vis-a-vis the cia.

SilentPartner , September 15, 2019 at 18:58

I suspect Scott was provided a great deal of the reporting in this fascinating article from a disgruntled insider, or former insider. Knowledge of Brennan's break with protocol to form a select 'stand alone fusion cell' that reported only to him is something that I haven't seen reported before. In any case this story adds another red flag to the entire Russiagate hoax.

Just as Mueller failed to interview Julian Assange or Christopher Steele for his report -- obvious red flags -- we should now watch the conduct of Barr's investigation. Will Barr's investigators interview Smolenkov? This should be an important metric to determine how serious his investigation is. Another metric for Barr will be whether Ghislaine Maxwell is indicted and arrested in the Jefferey Epstein affair. If not, we will soon know just how deep goes the corruption of the ruling class.

Sam F , September 15, 2019 at 18:28

Many thanks to Scott Ritter for this information and cogent argument.

However it is not clear how Russia would expect to benefit by allowing Smolenkov to deceive the CIA that Putin directly ordered interference in the US election. While later discrediting of the US "Russia-gate" nonsense would make the US IC look bad, it is unclear that this could be done, and it would have been done by now to reduce political tensions, but still has not been done. Putin himself denied the accusations as nonsense.

So something is missing: if that was not the plan, Smolenkov was not asked to do that, and he would not have been viewed as harmless when fired for that. If he had other incriminating info on decision makers there, he would not have been allowed to leave, and having escaped, he would have concealed his new location. Perhaps his superiors ill-advisedly asked him to make false statements, for which he was not blamed.

Anon , September 16, 2019 at 07:09

I agree. The logic of "embarrassing" the CIA and dividing them from the president by passing inflammatory information seems a stretch. On the other hand, I agree there do appear a number of "red flags."

I'm wondering about the merit of the idea that this guy cooked up the story himself, though I'm not sure that works either. It just seems to me something is missing.

Ojkelly , September 16, 2019 at 12:00

I thought the idea was that a Brennan minion planted or asked for the "Putin is interfering " report, or even made it up and attributed it to a minor asset.

Brendan , September 15, 2019 at 15:00

( ) the timing of the CNN and New York Times reports about the "exfiltration" of the CIA's "sensitive source" seems to be little more than a blatant effort by Brennan and his allies in the media to shape a narrative before Barr uncovers the truth.

That's very likely to be true, but I think there's more to it than just getting Brennan's version of events published before anyone elses. If you want to implant your narrative in the public's mind it certainly does help to get your story out first, but in this case there's an additional motive for leaking the spy story.

One effect of the leak was that Smolenko suddenly disappeared. His family apparently fled their house in a hurry, leaving belongings lying around according to media reports.

Normally the CIA would never 'out' a valued asset, even a used one, because that would discourage potential informers. And CNN and the NYT would not reveal details that would identify a Russian defector – as happened in this case when Russian Kommersant identified Smolenkov. American mainstream media would first check that it was OK to publish those details.

This looks far too unusual to be simply a result of incompetence by Americans. A much better explanation is that some powerful people were really desperate to make Smolenko disappear. And the reason is that he knew too much. And now he has gone into hiding, supposedly to escape vengeance from Putin. What is most significant is that he does not face as many questions about his role in Russiagate.

Abe , September 15, 2019 at 14:31

As far as spying is concerned, "a different set of calculations" prevails under Trump
https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/12/israel-white-house-spying-devices-1491351

The Blue Fairy , September 16, 2019 at 00:57

A general search for Intel on google doesn't yield an abundance of articles that mention its move to Israel in 1974, but I discovered it when the Spectre/Meltdown (intentional Israeli processor security flaws, I mean "features") became known in 2018. "Nothing is ever impossible, in this life" except for a computer that's not infested with the US-Israeli partnership. We are also not surprised that Intel was not on Donald Trump's list of American companies to bring back to the US.

Mike from Jersey , September 15, 2019 at 14:23

Good article. This is the kind of analysis you will not find in the New York Times or the Washington Post. This is why I come to the Consortium News.

hetro , September 15, 2019 at 13:46

If I'm following properly, the white paper from Smolenkov is at the heart of the January 6, 2017, "assessments" that the case would be made–Trump as dupe of Putin.

Recall, too, that these "assessments" differed. Brennan's and Comey's were "high"; Clapper's was "moderate."

And, as Scott Ritter points out, they were "estimates" not based on hard proof; they were essentially "guesses."

Why the discrepancy? (Related: William Binney says this "moderate" from Clapper means the NSA knows Russia did not hack the DNC.)

I think this discrepancy question is important. How could a (supposedly) verifiable report via white paper from a verifiable double agent Smolenkov be anything but a slam dunk (unanimous) "high" for the major intelligence agencies?

The other question is Scott's WHY the Russian intelligence apparatus, with Putin complicit, would set out to embarrass the US intelligence agencies with a cooked up story–that made Putin look bad?

Of course, they could not know back at that time how the story would cook and proliferate across US mainstream media with all the glee of Russia-bashing run amok and its TDS.

This view would also suggest a belief that somewhere in the US justice system was the integrity to dig everything out and expose the fraud.

nwwoods , September 15, 2019 at 17:56

I believe that it was NSA which declared "moderate confidence", so no, not Clapper. Clapper, in my opinion, was in on the gambit, a witting confederate of ringleader Brennan.

hetro , September 16, 2019 at 11:30

Yes. Technically Clapper resigned as head of the NSA in 2016, and it was Mike Rogers, the new head in 2017 who declared the assessment "moderate." Clapper had been involved with Brennan and Comey in forming the January 6, 2017 assessment.

https://www.conservativereview.com/news/trump-is-right-to-doubt-the-obama-intelligence-communitys-claims/

The question still remains: why the discrepancy in this "assessment" at the very beginning of Trump's presidency, with its powerful impact.

JP McEvoy , September 15, 2019 at 12:33

One thing is for sure, if anything bad happens to the mole, it's won't be the Russians who did it. Watch your back Mr. Skrip – er – I mean Smolenkov.

Robert Emmett , September 15, 2019 at 11:25

Damn! Please allow me to toss the "curveball" too. What's that? The real one or the fake, you say? Ha ha. Yes, exactly! O, Vaunted sacred screed of PDB where the truth shall set you free to prime the pump with lies. (hint: to spare your soul don't look into their eyes)

I haven't exactly been able to figure out what's wrong with Brennan's face, 'til I just got it. He's been double-yoked! His own plus Barrack's (truer sp.). Egg that just won't wash off! So you have to wear it everywhere, every day. Talk about serviceable villains hiding in plain sight. Hey, Clapper! Don't get any on ya! Haha. Too late!

Carroll Price , September 15, 2019 at 10:43

Another example of checker champions competing with chess masters.

CortesKid , September 15, 2019 at 10:33

Brilliant and thorough. As I was reading Mr. Ritter's analysis, an overwhelming impression was building, analogous to the third scenario, that Smolenkov , indeed, was a lure perfectly placed to catch an intelligence agency or three. As I've watched and read many Russian official's communications, especially their diplomatic efforts, it has become obvious to me that, on average, they are some of the few "adults in the room." In broadstrokes, they are playing chess, while the whole of the West, with its increasingly senile elites, is at the Checkers table.

And in even broader strokes, I believe that at the heart of all of these shenanigans, is a foundational turning away from a matured-and-deflating West, to an energized and expanding Eurasia (Brezhinki's nightmare). As you know, changes on the scale of hegemon are never easy. "Dying empires don't lay down, they double-down."

And I don't necessarily think Smolenkov and family are safe–from, for instance, "Novichok" delivered via some American ally's secret service–as a pretense for further demonization of Russia.

Brendan , September 15, 2019 at 07:51

Sorry but the theory that's proposed above is a bit too convoluted to be believable – that Russia manipulated the CIA with the fake hacking story from Smolenkov and then the CIA chief Brennan used it to manipulate Obama who then unwittingly revealed to Putin that the USA was fooled by the story.

I'd rather follow Occam's razor and go for a simpler scenario. Brennan and the CIA persuaded Smolenkov to invent the story (that he had inside knowledge that Putin ordered the hacking of the DNC).

Not only that, but Obama suspected that the story was fake, since it was passed on to him outside the normal channels and was investigated in a similar unconventional way. It's hard to believe that Obama was easily hoodwinked and simply accepted the story as fact without any convincing evidence.

The Democratic Party's fingerprints are all over the Russiagate story. The DNC commissioned the Steele dossier and Steele met officials in the Obama administration's State Department before the 2016 election. We're expected to believe that this all went on behind President Obama's back.

We're also expected to believe that Obama innocently believed Smolenkov's report, as if the CIA and FBI would never tell a lie. He's not completely stupid – at the very least he must have had serious doubts about the allegations, or he could even have been in on the Russiagate fabrication himself.

Maricata , September 16, 2019 at 19:34

It is more and more difficult to ascertain reality from fantasy, certainty from assumptions. And this all plays into the hands of the ruling elites and their international and national pratorean guards.

Americans do not ask questions. They prefer to believe than to know and thus the {swirl} will yield nothing.

F. G. Sanford , September 15, 2019 at 07:05

Putin must surely have smirked. The little white envelope worked.
The debate made it plain he had pulled Brennan's chain,
And behind the scene subterfuge lurked!

Only four people went to the meeting. Connections might prove rather fleeting.
The "puppet" rebuke at the time seemed a fluke,
No one dared claim that Clinton was cheating!

Brennan's confidence level was high. He had sources and methods to spy.
He had top secret stuff that he claimed was enough,
But no evidence he'd specify!

Then Clinton claimed Russian subversion. In retrospect, not a diversion.
She must have been tipped by somebody loose lipped,
And she ran with the Putin incursion!

Strzok and Page were kept out of the loop. They didn't get insider poop.
They found no 'there' there, Comey's cupboard looked bare,
Brennan's spy had not yet flown the coop.

The durable lie picked up traction. Their spook would require extraction.
How could Clinton be sure that the blame would endure,
And the Steele Dossier would get action?

The 'Agent in Place' was a double. He didn't get in any trouble.
Hillary's pride had some hubris to hide,
In the end it would burst Brennan's bubble!

The big secret meeting was leaked. On the stage, "He's a puppet!" she shrieked.
Perhaps Susan Rice was inclined to be nice,
And her duty to Hillary peaked!

So now, they blame Trump for the outing. But it's over except for the shouting.
The 'insurance' is void, the illusion destroyed,
And poor Hillary just keeps on pouting!

David Otness , September 14, 2019 at 23:41

Scott -- so glad I got the head's-up on this via the CN Live show. I just now finished it and am putting it into perspective. Well-researched, and well-written -- it's truly a web so very reminiscent of what should have remained Cold War 1.0 finis.

And Episode Nine of CN Live is showing us where this internet platform can go with the assembled experience and talent exhibited. The tech glitches were too bad, but the audio was quite good enough.

Thanks for this travel guide to the heart of the labyrinth. Hopefully good things come of it. I do worry about Barr's too many allegiances to his CIA incubator though, especially with all of the ongoing coverups of the Epstein fiasco (engineered or not,) that complicate and obfuscate the twin scandals that both end up under Barr's purview.

Ya done good, nonetheless. Thank you.

Abe , September 14, 2019 at 22:07

"After the U.S. reports came out, an anonymous, well-informed Russian Telegram channel, The Ruthless PR Guy, reported that the asset was Kremlin official Oleg Smolenkov. On Tuesday (10 September 2019] morning, the Moscow daily Kommersant published a story confirming that it was him based on anonymous sources and some pretty convincing circumstantial evidence. [ ]

"If Smolenkov was a spy, he could have delivered important insights about Russia's foreign policy thinking and planning to U.S. intelligence. But if he was the source for the U.S. intelligence community's certainty that Putin personally orchestrated a covert interference campaign, that certainty rests on a weak foundation. Smolenkov served the wrong boss in the Kremlin to get reliable information about such ventures."

Was this man the prized US asset in the Kremlin? By Leonid Bershidsky http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0919/bershidsky091119.php3#Asy3R8hJ2mAQPm1y.99

Ojkelly , September 14, 2019 at 22:01

Mr Ritter, Very lightly done. " Curveball made me do it" is the defense.
Brennan, well,I am not knowledgeable , but tight with Barry, unprofessional to my view, has an issue. He made the most outrageous statements, Commander believing his own BS, NYT magazine. Imagine going around saying that Trump was a Russian agent . Did incomparable harm.And Morrell endorsing Hillary Clinton :beyond the pale , Professional members of the agency must've been? Shocked appalled, whatever.

Jeff Harrison , September 14, 2019 at 21:52

Whooof! Obviously the MSM won't touch any of this stuff. I also don't have a lot of confidence in the US government's ability to clean up the mess it has made. Amusingly, I've watched the US's ham handed operations around the world and wondered when somebody would return the complement. If Mr. Ritter is to be believed, it seems the Russians have started. As Mr. Lawrence pointed out on CN live, Americans need to dispense with the notion that we are exceptional. That's a weakness as it leads to complacency. How many more bricks of trust in our government will we have to see broken before the entire edifice collapses? I would also like to point out that we wouldn't be having these kind of problems if we weren't hell bent on being the global hegemon.

Clark M Shanahan , September 14, 2019 at 22:54

"If Mr. Ritter is to be believed"
Jeffrey, I've followed Mr Ritter.
You can believe what he is stating, he's a good man.

he follows soon, here w/G. Galloway:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NutNHIj2nU8

Clark M Shanahan , September 15, 2019 at 08:46

my bad: Ritter starts at 48 minutes, before Nixon & Maupin

Jeff Harrison , September 15, 2019 at 17:43

I'm hip, Clark. I said that simply because I have no other collaborating commentary. Ritter had my vote when he stood up to Shrub over Iraq's WMDs. But you do have to keep the realization that you could be wrong so if Mr. Ritter is to be believed. I think that the odds that Ritter is wrong are in the general vicinity of the odds that the US will start acting like a normal nation.

[Sep 15, 2019] Snowden Spills Infamous Whistleblower Opines On Spycraft, AI, And Being Suicided

When the ideology collapses like neoliberalism collapsed in 2008 defections and leaks from the intelligence agencies became more prominent and higher level. Just before the USSR collapsed there were several high level officers of KGB that changed sides including at least one general of KGB.
We can probably view Snowden and Manning as signs of similar process which started in the USA after the collapse of neoliberalism. They suggest that loyalty to the USA in CIA or NSA is on low level not became of some external factors, but due to lack of conviction in the sanity of the current social system in the USA (aka neoliberal society). So "protest defections" will probably continues unabated.
Of course, dealing with intelligence agencies is tricky as Snowden revelation might just be a limited revenge of CIA to NSA. But in any case it is undisputable that while few Snowden files were published the mere fact of exfiltration of so much highly sensitive information did some damage to military industrial complex. That makes is less pausible that he operates as CIA mole, which several commenters below suggest.
At the same time in this interview Snowden sounds like a naive and disoriented person: " I try to keep a distance between myself and Russian society, and this is completely intentional. I live my life with basically the English-speaking community." English speaking community in Russia probably has highest in the world percentage of intelligence officers of Western countries including CIA officers.
Another somewhat suspicious fact is that very few files that Snowden files were released. So the whole story now looks like "Too much ado about nothing." Unlike Wikileaks that published Manning materials.
Notable quotes:
"... He describes the 18 years since the September 11 attacks as "a litany of American destruction by way of American self-destruction, with the promulgation of secret policies, secret laws, secret courts and secret wars". ..."
"... Snowden also said: " The greatest danger still lies ahead, with the refinement of artificial intelligence capabilities, such as facial and pattern recognition. ..."
"... " An AI-equipped surveillance camera would be not a mere recording device, but could be made into something closer to an automated police officer ." - The Guardian ..."
"... You have to remember, in the beginning I didn't even know mass surveillance was a thing because I worked for the CIA, which is a human intelligence organization. But when I was sent back to NSA headquarters and my very last position to directly work with a tool of mass surveillance, there was a guy who was supposed to be teaching me . And sometimes he would spin around in his chair, showing me nudes of whatever target's wife he's looking at. And he's like: "Bonus!" ..."
"... The most important part of the Rubik's cube was actually not as a concealment device, but a distraction device. I had to get things out of that building many times. I really gave Rubik's cubes to everyone in my office as gifts and guards saw me coming and going with this Rubik's cube all the time. So I was the Rubik's cube guy . ..."
"... When you're doing this for the first time, you're just going down the hallway and trying not to shake. And then, as you do it more times, you realize that it works. You realize that a metal detector won't detect an SD card because it has less metal in it than the brackets on your jeans. ..."
"... I try to keep a distance between myself and Russian society, and this is completely intentional. I live my life with basically the English-speaking community . I'm the president of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. And, you know, I'm an indoor cat. It doesn't matter where I am -- Moscow, Berlin, New York -- as long as I have a screen to look into. ..."
"... 16 June 2013 The revelations expand to include the UK, with news that GCHQ intercepted foreign politicians' communications during the 2009 G20 summit in London, and that the British spy agency has also tapped the fibre-optic cables carrying much of the internet's traffic. ..."
"... 3 July 2013 While en route from Moscow, Bolivia's president, Evo Morales, is forced to land in Vienna after European countries refuse his plane airspace, suspecting that Snowden was on board. It is held and searched for 12 hours. ..."
"... December 2016 Oliver Stone releases the movie Snowden featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Melissa Leo, Tom Wilkinson, Zachary Quinto and a cameo by former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger. ..."
"... When he originally contacted Glenn Greenwald, I was suspicious. I said then, nothing will come of this, and nothing did, because WE NEVER GOT TO SEE all the files he had and what was on them. ..."
"... Read in Reuters that he's requested asylum in France. ..."
"... It will be common knowledge soon that it was the NSA (Admiral Rogers) that first detected the coup against Trump and the illegal surveillance. Remember friends, the FISA warrants were a cover for the illegal spying the Obama administration was ALREADY doing on Trump, Cruz, and others. ..."
"... I try to keep a distance between myself and Russian society, and this is completely intentional. I live my life with basically the English-speaking community. ..."
"... What an ungrateful twat. Russia saved his bacon and yet he wants to know nothing of the country and its people and maybe begin to understand WHY they would offer to help him...even if he doesnt like the Russain government, he CHOOSES to know nothing of the Russian people. What a loser! ..."
"... Maybe he doesn't know how to speak Russian, seeing as how getting stuck in Russia was not exactly his original plan. He just happened to be in a Russian airport when the USA happened to revoke his passport, making it impossible for him to leave. ..."
"... There is also the other angle, that perhaps he might be working as a CIA agent even now, and that his predicament is actually all entirely pre-meditated by the USA. Russia might take his getting friendly with the locals as being a bit impolite if he is doing spy work for the USA while living in Russia. ..."
"... He doesnt need to be "palsy-walsy" with Russians, he has NO knowledge of the country he lives in and its people and doesn't want to. That is ungrateful to the nth degree. ..."
"... If Russia wanted to they could shut down his ability to give video-conferences etc. They don't, they continue to show him a hospitality that he seems willing to spit on! ..."
"... Serious damage? I fear Snowden and Assange wasted their lives upon the American people. Was Snowden wrong morally? He fought the totalitarian giant and for this the people sit back in their arm chairs and moralize whether it was right or wrong. We don't deserve to be "free.". ..."
"... Why and how has Greenwald been able to "sit on" countless info files but never released them? If that is true then why haven't US authorities gone after him as well? Way too many strange aspects to Snowden's cover story and how he's allowed by the Russian's to make public statements about their local political landscape. ..."
"... It's not just that. Greenwald lives full time in Brazil for a very good reason--Brazil has no extradition treaty with the US. He's relatively safe there, although his boyfriend was stupid enough to go to London briefly and nearly got the Assange treatment... ..."
"... What I hate is that Snowden gave all those documents to Greenwald who said he was going to publish them and once he went to the Intercept under Omadyar...nothing but silence on those files. To my mind he betrayed Snowden. ..."
"... Book tour, Docudrama and T-Shirt? ..."
"... That part of the narrative does seem a bit odd, doesn't it? She's allowed to come and go as she pleases in the USA, yet is married to this guy wanted by the US authorities? Hmm. Nothing suspicious about that. ..."
"... Can anybody name something that Snowfen revealed that wasn't common knowledge? ..."
Sep 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Meeting with both The Guardian and Spiegel Online in Moscow as part of its promotion, the infamous whistleblower spent nearly five hours with the two media outlets - offering a taste of what's in the book, details on his background, and his thoughts on artificial intelligence, facial recognition, and other intelligence gathering tools coming to a dystopia near you.

While The Guardian interview is 'okay,' scroll down for the far more interesting Spiegel interview, where Snowden goes way deeper into his cloak-and-dagger life, including thoughts on getting suicided.

First, The Guardian :

Snowden describes in detail for the first time his background, and what led him to leak details of the secret programms being run by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK's secret communication headquarters, GCHQ .

He describes the 18 years since the September 11 attacks as "a litany of American destruction by way of American self-destruction, with the promulgation of secret policies, secret laws, secret courts and secret wars".

Snowden also said: " The greatest danger still lies ahead, with the refinement of artificial intelligence capabilities, such as facial and pattern recognition.

" An AI-equipped surveillance camera would be not a mere recording device, but could be made into something closer to an automated police officer ." - The Guardian

https://www.youtube.com/embed/EezWIxcinnw

Other notables from the Guardian interview:

The Der Spiegel interview, meanwhile, is way more interesting ... For example:

" If I Happen to Fall out of a Window, You Can Be Sure I Was Pushed. "

Meeting Edward Snwoden is pretty much exactly how children imagine the grand game of espionage is played.

But then, on Monday, there he was, standing in our room on the first floor of the Hotel Metropol, as pale and boyish-looking as the was when the world first saw him in June 2013 . For the last six years, he has been living in Russian exile. The U.S. has considered him to be an enemy of the state, right up there with Julian Assange, ever since he revealed, with the help of journalists, the full scope of the surveillance system operated by the National Security Agency (NSA).

For quite some time, though, he remained silent about how he smuggled the secrets out of the country and what his personal motivations were. - Spiegel Online

Select excerpts via Der Spiegel (emphasis ours):

***

DER SPIEGEL: Mr. Snowden, you always said: "I am not the story." But now you've written 432 pages about yourself. Why?

Edward Snowden: Because I think it's more important than ever to explain systems of mass surveillance and mass manipulation to the public. And I can't explain how these systems came to be without explaining my role in helping to build them.

DER SPIEGEL: Wasn't it just as important four or even six years ago?

Snowden: Four years ago, Barack Obama was president. Four years ago, Boris Johnson wasn't around and the AfD ( Germany's right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany ) was still kind of a joke. But now in 2019, no one is laughing. When you look around the world, when you look at the rising factionalization of society, when you see this new wave of authoritarianism sweeping over many countries: Everywhere political classes and commercial classes are realizing they can use technology to influence the world on a new scale that was not previously available. We are seeing our systems coming under attack.

DER SPIEGEL: What systems?

Snowden: The political system, the legal system, the social system. And we have the proclivity to think that if we get rid of the people we don't like, the problem is solved. We go: "Oh, it's Donald Trump. Oh, it's Boris Johnson. Oh, it's the Russians" But Donald Trump is not the problem. Donald Trump is the product of the problem.

***

DER SPIEGEL: While writing, did you discover any truths about yourself that you didn't like?

Snowden: The most unflattering thing is to realize just how naïve and credulous I was and how that could make me into a tool of systems that would use my skills for an act of global harm . The class of which I am a part of, the global technological community, was for the longest time apolitical. We have this history of thinking: "We're going to make the world better."

***

DER SPIEGEL: Was that your motivation when you entered the world of espionage?

Snowden: Entering the world of espionage sounds so grand. I just saw an enormous landscape of opportunities because the government in its post-9/11 spending blitz was desperate to hire anybody who had high-level technical skills and a clearance. And I happened to have both. It was weird to be just a kid and be brought into CIA headquarters, put in charge of the entire Washington metropolitan area's network .

DER SPIEGEL: Was it not also fascinating to be able to invade pretty much everybody's life via state-sponsored hacking?

Snowden: You have to remember, in the beginning I didn't even know mass surveillance was a thing because I worked for the CIA, which is a human intelligence organization. But when I was sent back to NSA headquarters and my very last position to directly work with a tool of mass surveillance, there was a guy who was supposed to be teaching me . And sometimes he would spin around in his chair, showing me nudes of whatever target's wife he's looking at. And he's like: "Bonus!"

***

DER SPIEGEL: You became seriously ill and fell into depression. Have you ever had suicidal thoughts?

Snowden: No! This is important for the record. I am not now, nor have I ever been suicidal. I have a philosophical objection to the idea of suicide, and if I happen to fall out of a window, you can be sure I was pushed.

***

DER SPIEGEL: You write that you sometimes smuggled SD memory cards inside a Rubik's cube .

Snowden: The most important part of the Rubik's cube was actually not as a concealment device, but a distraction device. I had to get things out of that building many times. I really gave Rubik's cubes to everyone in my office as gifts and guards saw me coming and going with this Rubik's cube all the time. So I was the Rubik's cube guy . And when I came out of the tunnel with my contraband and saw one of the bored guards, I sometimes tossed the cube to him. He's like, "Oh, man, I had one of these things when I was a kid, but you know, I could never solve it. So I just pulled the stickers off." That was exactly what I had done -- but for different reasons.

DER SPIEGEL: You even put the SD cards into your mouth.

Snowden: When you're doing this for the first time, you're just going down the hallway and trying not to shake. And then, as you do it more times, you realize that it works. You realize that a metal detector won't detect an SD card because it has less metal in it than the brackets on your jeans.

***

DER SPIEGEL: You describe your arrival in Moscow as a walk in the park. You say you refused to cooperate with the Russian intelligence agency FSB and they let you go. That sounds implausible to us.

Snowden: I think what explains the fact that the Russian government didn't hang me upside down my ankles and beat me with a shock prod until secrets came out was because everyone in the world was paying attention to it. And they didn't know what to do. They just didn't know how to handle it. I think their answer was: "Let's wait and see."

DER SPIEGEL: Do you have Russian friends?

Snowden: I try to keep a distance between myself and Russian society, and this is completely intentional. I live my life with basically the English-speaking community . I'm the president of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. And, you know, I'm an indoor cat. It doesn't matter where I am -- Moscow, Berlin, New York -- as long as I have a screen to look into.

***

Read the rest of Der Spiegel' s interview with Edward Snowden here .

Meanwhile, The Guardian provides an interesting 'Snowden Timeline':

Snowden's timeline

mrjinx007 , 18 minutes ago link

I'm an indoor cat. It doesn't matter where I am -- Moscow, Berlin, New York -- as long as I have a screen to look into.

Snowed-in.

headless blogger , 27 minutes ago link

There's really no way to know that for sure if this guy is legit. If he is part of an operation, let's hope it's for something good. When he originally contacted Glenn Greenwald, I was suspicious. I said then, nothing will come of this, and nothing did, because WE NEVER GOT TO SEE all the files he had and what was on them.

Just what this man is up to we will likely never know. These kinds of operations can take years to set up.

My guess is Snowden is the Decoy, the distraction. There is likely someone else or something else that all of this camouflages.

Decoherence , 35 minutes ago link

He met his pole dancer on hot or not and allowed her to shape his views on politics. That sounds like desperation or pretty bad judgment.

Equinox7 , 36 minutes ago link

Things go both ways in a surveillance environment. Snowden will be exposed in time as a CIA operative. The NSA has everything including Hillary's private emails. Obama and many in his regime were also using private email servers, and the NSA has them all.

Snowden was trying to destroy the NSA, when they are what was needed to take down the CIA, FBI, and the Deep State. I don't like the NSA being in existence, but this will help in prosecuting the criminals.

NiggaPleeze , 12 minutes ago link

So what is the NSA waiting for? The statute of limitations to expire? LOL. Snowden wasn't trying to do anything except educate people on what their government is doing. You obviously hate truth and knowledge. You work for the NSA?

BennyBoo , 37 minutes ago link

I don't believe a damned thing about anything published about any of the alphabet agencies - good, bad, neutral, doesn't matter it's all clown show bs.

VooDoo6Actual , 37 minutes ago link

Any other critical thinkers notice the CIA activated their asset again finally ? A predictable programmed book really ? Just imagine what kind of juicy already known statecraft he will reveal. Lol. America loves their confabulated mythical pseudo-hero's & cucked political demigods full of bovine scat don't they.

The UberMensch hero who somehow miraculously survived the 'enkryptonite' where other HVT can't. Amazing. Need to hurl makes me gag reflex & gut retch.

VooDoo6Actual , 26 minutes ago link

"Trump is the Anti-Mass Surveillance" ... LMAO -

TRUMP REQUESTS PERMANENT REAUTHORIZATION OF NSA MASS SURVEILLANCE https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/08/16/alarm-trump-requests-permanent-reauthorization-nsa-mass-spying-program-exposed

vasilievich , 58 minutes ago link

Read in Reuters that he's requested asylum in France.

JBLight , 1 hour ago link

Snowden is still CIA and his mission was to throw the NSA under the bus.

It will be common knowledge soon that it was the NSA (Admiral Rogers) that first detected the coup against Trump and the illegal surveillance. Remember friends, the FISA warrants were a cover for the illegal spying the Obama administration was ALREADY doing on Trump, Cruz, and others.

Gonzogal , 1 hour ago link

I try to keep a distance between myself and Russian society, and this is completely intentional. I live my life with basically the English-speaking community.

What an ungrateful twat. Russia saved his bacon and yet he wants to know nothing of the country and its people and maybe begin to understand WHY they would offer to help him...even if he doesnt like the Russain government, he CHOOSES to know nothing of the Russian people. What a loser!

Pure Speculation , 24 minutes ago link

Just how is he to know who is undercover security services and who is just plain good and interesting?

Maybe he doesn't know how to speak Russian, seeing as how getting stuck in Russia was not exactly his original plan. He just happened to be in a Russian airport when the USA happened to revoke his passport, making it impossible for him to leave.

There is also the other angle, that perhaps he might be working as a CIA agent even now, and that his predicament is actually all entirely pre-meditated by the USA. Russia might take his getting friendly with the locals as being a bit impolite if he is doing spy work for the USA while living in Russia.

Gonzogal , 1 hour ago link

He doesnt need to be "palsy-walsy" with Russians, he has NO knowledge of the country he lives in and its people and doesn't want to. That is ungrateful to the nth degree.

If Russia wanted to they could shut down his ability to give video-conferences etc. They don't, they continue to show him a hospitality that he seems willing to spit on!

vasilievich , 56 minutes ago link

No, really, I met people there who were deep and friendly and sensitive. Lots critical of what's not right with their own society, and yet not traitors to their country.

Gonzogal , 49 minutes ago link

I agree with you vasilievich....I am looking forward to visiting Russia next spring in time for the V-Day and the Immortal Regiment, then spend a month visiting Russian and hopefully getting to interact with Russians "on the street".

One of the differences with Russia and the "West" is that Putins hours long live "conversations" with Russians and the way he gets his government to follow up up problems, which he himself follows up on to insure actions are taken, ensure that people have that freedom to be critical of their own society. Such an opposite to what happens to critics in the "west"

vasilievich , 1 hour ago link

Yes, that's inexplicable, at least to me. I lived there and liked Russians very much.

richsob , 1 hour ago link

My take on Snowden is he's basically a decent guy who did some serious damage. Was he wrong legally? Hell yes! Was he wrong morally? Possibly. Would I put the guy in prison if I could? Yeah for about 30 days because the bottom line of what he did was to expose **** that needed to be exposed.

It's complicated but occasionally a guy like this is needed to stir the pot.

NAV , 1 hour ago link

Serious damage? I fear Snowden and Assange wasted their lives upon the American people. Was Snowden wrong morally? He fought the totalitarian giant and for this the people sit back in their arm chairs and moralize whether it was right or wrong. We don't deserve to be "free.".

ISEEIT , 1 hour ago link

I personally consider Snowden to be a limited hangout operative.

Bingo Hammer , 1 hour ago link

There is still more and something very fishy about Snowden.....if he really did so much so called "damage" to the US why do US authorities never mention him? Why do they never pressure Russia to send him back?

Why and how has Greenwald been able to "sit on" countless info files but never released them? If that is true then why haven't US authorities gone after him as well? Way too many strange aspects to Snowden's cover story and how he's allowed by the Russian's to make public statements about their local political landscape.

puckles , 55 minutes ago link

It's not just that. Greenwald lives full time in Brazil for a very good reason--Brazil has no extradition treaty with the US. He's relatively safe there, although his boyfriend was stupid enough to go to London briefly and nearly got the Assange treatment...

Gonzogal , 1 hour ago link

What I hate is that Snowden gave all those documents to Greenwald who said he was going to publish them and once he went to the Intercept under Omadyar...nothing but silence on those files. To my mind he betrayed Snowden.

smacker , 1 hour ago link

I think Greenwald lives in Rio, Brazil and is partnered to a Brazilian guy, so Brazil would not extradite him.

5fingerdiscount , 2 hours ago link

Book tour, Docudrama and T-Shirt?

Jazzman , 2 hours ago link

The quality of low rank NSA employees is rapidly deteriorating since 2013... ^^

Pure Speculation , 2 hours ago link

That part of the narrative does seem a bit odd, doesn't it? She's allowed to come and go as she pleases in the USA, yet is married to this guy wanted by the US authorities? Hmm. Nothing suspicious about that.

cakesquid , 28 minutes ago link

strong suit you must mean..

How does what I wrote translate into an integrity issue?

Been married twice, fully faithful. But at his age particularly, would not recommend it to a guy who is in an unstable situation anyway. (not to mention the girl originally rejected him when the going got rough).

Live a little, enjoy your youth, and enjoy the infamy!

Bob_Sacamano , 2 hours ago link

Can anybody name something that Snowfen revealed that wasn't common knowledge?

[Sep 15, 2019] How the UK Security Services neutralised the country s leading liberal newspaper by Matt Kennard and Mark Curtis

Highly recommended!
Essentially neoliberal MSM were hijacked. Which was easy to do. The current anti-Russian campaign is conducted under the direct guidance of MI6 and similar agencies
Notable quotes:
"... committee minutes note the secretary saying: "The Guardian was obliged to seek advice under the terms of the DA notice code." The minutes add: "This failure to seek advice was a key source of concern and considerable efforts had been made to address it." ..."
"... These "considerable efforts" included a D-Notice sent out by the committee on 7 June 2013 – the day after The Guardian published the first documents – to all major UK media editors, saying they should refrain from publishing information that would "jeopardise both national security and possibly UK personnel". It was marked "private and confidential: not for publication, broadcast or use on social media". ..."
"... "The FT [Financial Times] and The Times did not mention it [the initial Snowden revelations] and the Telegraph published only a short". It continued by noting that only The Independent "followed up the substantive allegations". It added, "The BBC has also chosen to largely ignore the story." ..."
"... The British security services had carried out more than a "symbolic act". It was both a show of strength and a clear threat. The Guardian was then the only major newspaper that could be relied upon by whistleblowers in the US and British security bodies to receive and cover their exposures, a situation which posed a challenge to security agencies. ..."
"... The increasingly aggressive overtures made to The Guardian worked. The committee chair noted that after GCHQ had overseen the smashing up of the newspaper's laptops "engagement with The Guardian had continued to strengthen". ..."
"... But the most important part of this charm and threat offensive was getting The Guardian to agree to take a seat on the D-Notice Committee itself. The committee minutes are explicit on this, noting that "the process had culminated by [sic] the appointment of Paul Johnson (deputy editor Guardian News and Media) as a DPBAC [i.e. D-Notice Committee] member". ..."
"... The Guardian's deputy editor went directly from the corporation's basement with an angle-grinder to sitting on the D-Notice Committee alongside the security service officials who had tried to stop his paper publishing. ..."
"... In November 2016, The Guardian published an unprecedented "exclusive" with Andrew Parker, the head of MI5, Britain's domestic security service. The article noted that this was the "first newspaper interview given by an incumbent MI5 chief in the service's 107-year history". It was co-written by deputy editor Paul Johnson, who had never written about the security services before and who was still sitting on the D-Notice Committee. This was not mentioned in the article. ..."
"... The MI5 chief was given copious space to make claims about the national security threat posed by an "increasingly aggressive" Russia. Johnson and his co-author noted, "Parker said he was talking to The Guardian rather than any other newspaper despite the publication of the Snowden files." ..."
"... Just two weeks before the interview with MI6's chief was published, The Guardian itself reported on the high court stating that it would "hear an application for a judicial review of the Crown Prosecution Service's decision not to charge MI6's former counterterrorism director, Sir Mark Allen, over the abduction of Abdel Hakim Belhaj and his pregnant wife who were transferred to Libya in a joint CIA-MI6 operation in 2004". ..."
"... The security services were probably feeding The Guardian these "exclusives" as part of the process of bringing it onside and neutralising the only independent newspaper with the resources to receive and cover a leak such as Snowden's. They were possibly acting to prevent any revelations of this kind happening again. ..."
"... The Guardian's coverage of anti-Semitism in Labour has been suspiciously extensive, compared to the known extent of the problem in the party, and its focus on Corbyn personally suggests that the issue is being used politically. While anti-Semitism does exist in the Labour Party, evidence suggests it is at relatively low levels. Since September 2015, when Corbyn became Labour leader, 0.06% of the Labour membership has been investigated for anti-Semitic comments or posts. In 2016, an independent inquiry commissioned by Labour concluded that the party "is not overrun by anti-Semitism, Islamophobia or other forms of racism. Further, it is the party that initiated every single United Kingdom race equality law." ..."
"... A former Guardian journalist similarly told us: "It is significant that exclusive stories recently about British collusion in torture and policy towards the interrogation of terror suspects and other detainees have been passed to other papers including The Times rather than The Guardian." ..."
"... The Guardian had gone in six short years from being the natural outlet to place stories exposing wrongdoing by the security state to a platform trusted by the security state to amplify its information operations. A once relatively independent media platform has been largely neutralised by UK security services fearful of being exposed further. Which begs the question: where does the next Snowden go? DM ..."
Jan 01, 2019 | dailymaverick.co.za

The Guardian, Britain's leading liberal newspaper with a global reputation for independent and critical journalism, has been successfully targeted by security agencies to neutralise its adversarial reporting of the 'security state', according to newly released documents and evidence from former and current Guardian journalists.

The UK security services targeted The Guardian after the newspaper started publishing the contents of secret US government documents leaked by National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden in June 2013.

Snowden's bombshell revelations continued for months and were the largest-ever leak of classified material covering the NSA and its UK equivalent, the Government Communications Headquarters. They revealed programmes of mass surveillance operated by both agencies.

According to minutes of meetings of the UK's Defence and Security Media Advisory Committee, the revelations caused alarm in the British security services and Ministry of Defence.

" This event was very concerning because at the outset The Guardian avoided engaging with the [committee] before publishing the first tranche of information," state minutes of a 7 November 2013 meeting at the MOD.

The DSMA Committee, more commonly known as the D-Notice Committee, is run by the MOD, where it meets every six months. A small number of journalists are also invited to sit on the committee. Its stated purpose is to "prevent inadvertent public disclosure of information that would compromise UK military and intelligence operations". It can issue "notices" to the media to encourage them not to publish certain information.

The committee is currently chaired by the MOD's director-general of security policy Dominic Wilson, who was previously director of security and intelligence in the British Cabinet Office. Its secretary is Brigadier Geoffrey Dodds OBE, who describes himself as an "accomplished, senior ex-military commander with extensive experience of operational level leadership".

The D-Notice system describes itself as voluntary , placing no obligations on the media to comply with any notice issued. This means there should have been no need for the Guardian to consult the MOD before publishing the Snowden documents.

Yet committee minutes note the secretary saying: "The Guardian was obliged to seek advice under the terms of the DA notice code." The minutes add: "This failure to seek advice was a key source of concern and considerable efforts had been made to address it."

' Considerable efforts'

These "considerable efforts" included a D-Notice sent out by the committee on 7 June 2013 – the day after The Guardian published the first documents – to all major UK media editors, saying they should refrain from publishing information that would "jeopardise both national security and possibly UK personnel". It was marked "private and confidential: not for publication, broadcast or use on social media".

Clearly the committee did not want its issuing of the notice to be publicised, and it was nearly successful. Only the right-wing blog Guido Fawkes made it public.

At the time, according to the committee minutes , the "intelligence agencies in particular had continued to ask for more advisories [i.e. D-Notices] to be sent out". Such D-Notices were clearly seen by the intelligence services not so much as a tool to advise the media but rather a way to threaten it not to publish further Snowden revelations.

One night, amidst the first Snowden stories being published, the D-Notice Committee's then-secretary Air Vice-Marshal Andrew Vallance personally called Alan Rusbridger, then editor of The Guardian. Vallance "made clear his concern that The Guardian had failed to consult him in advance before telling the world", according to a Guardian journalist who interviewed Rusbridger.

Later in the year, Prime Minister David Cameron again used the D-Notice system as a threat to the media.

" I don't want to have to use injunctions or D-Notices or the other tougher measures," he said in a statement to MPs. "I think it's much better to appeal to newspapers' sense of social responsibility. But if they don't demonstrate some social responsibility it would be very difficult for government to stand back and not to act."

The threats worked. The Press Gazette reported at the time that "The FT [Financial Times] and The Times did not mention it [the initial Snowden revelations] and the Telegraph published only a short". It continued by noting that only The Independent "followed up the substantive allegations". It added, "The BBC has also chosen to largely ignore the story."

The Guardian, however, remained uncowed.

According to the committee minutes , the fact The Guardian would not stop publishing "undoubtedly raised questions in some minds about the system's future usefulness". If the D-Notice system could not prevent The Guardian publishing GCHQ's most sensitive secrets, what was it good for?

It was time to rein in The Guardian and make sure this never happened again.

GCHQ and laptops

The security services ratcheted up their "considerable efforts" to deal with the exposures. On 20 July 2013, GCHQ officials entered The Guardian's offices at King's Cross in London, six weeks after the first Snowden-related article had been published. At the request of the government and security services, Guardian deputy editor Paul Johnson, along with two others, spent three hours destroying the laptops containing the Snowden documents.

The Guardian staffers, according to one of the newspaper's reporters, brought "angle-grinders, dremels – drills with revolving bits – and masks". The reporter added, "The spy agency provided one piece of hi-tech equipment, a 'degausser', which destroys magnetic fields and erases data."

Johnson claims that the destruction of the computers was "purely a symbolic act", adding that "the government and GCHQ knew, because we had told them, that the material had been taken to the US to be shared with the New York Times. The reporting would go on. The episode hadn't changed anything."

Yet the episode did change something. As the D-Notice Committee minutes for November 2013 outlined: "Towards the end of July [as the computers were being destroyed], The Guardian had begun to seek and accept D-Notice advice not to publish certain highly sensitive details and since then the dialogue [with the committee] had been reasonable and improving."

The British security services had carried out more than a "symbolic act". It was both a show of strength and a clear threat. The Guardian was then the only major newspaper that could be relied upon by whistleblowers in the US and British security bodies to receive and cover their exposures, a situation which posed a challenge to security agencies.

The increasingly aggressive overtures made to The Guardian worked. The committee chair noted that after GCHQ had overseen the smashing up of the newspaper's laptops "engagement with The Guardian had continued to strengthen".

Moreover, he added , there were now "regular dialogues between the secretary and deputy secretaries and Guardian journalists". Rusbridger later testified to the Home Affairs Committee that Air Vice-Marshal Vallance of the D-Notice committee and himself "collaborated" in the aftermath of the Snowden affair and that Vallance had even "been at The Guardian offices to talk to all our reporters".

But the most important part of this charm and threat offensive was getting The Guardian to agree to take a seat on the D-Notice Committee itself. The committee minutes are explicit on this, noting that "the process had culminated by [sic] the appointment of Paul Johnson (deputy editor Guardian News and Media) as a DPBAC [i.e. D-Notice Committee] member".

At some point in 2013 or early 2014, Johnson – the same deputy editor who had smashed up his newspaper's computers under the watchful gaze of British intelligence agents – was approached to take up a seat on the committee. Johnson attended his first meeting in May 2014 and was to remain on it until October 2018 .

The Guardian's deputy editor went directly from the corporation's basement with an angle-grinder to sitting on the D-Notice Committee alongside the security service officials who had tried to stop his paper publishing.

A new editor

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger withstood intense pressure not to publish some of the Snowden revelations but agreed to Johnson taking a seat on the D-Notice Committee as a tactical sop to the security services. Throughout his tenure, The Guardian continued to publish some stories critical of the security services.

But in March 2015, the situation changed when the Guardian appointed a new editor, Katharine Viner, who had less experience than Rusbridger of dealing with the security services. Viner had started out on fashion and entertainment magazine Cosmopolitan and had no history in national security reporting. According to insiders, she showed much less leadership during the Snowden affair than Janine Gibson in the US (Gibson was another candidate to be Rusbridger's successor).

Viner was then editor-in-chief of Guardian Australia, which was launched just two weeks before the first Snowden revelations were published. Australia and New Zealand comprise two-fifths of the so-called "Five Eyes" surveillance alliance exposed by Snowden.

This was an opportunity for the security services. It appears that their seduction began the following year.

In November 2016, The Guardian published an unprecedented "exclusive" with Andrew Parker, the head of MI5, Britain's domestic security service. The article noted that this was the "first newspaper interview given by an incumbent MI5 chief in the service's 107-year history". It was co-written by deputy editor Paul Johnson, who had never written about the security services before and who was still sitting on the D-Notice Committee. This was not mentioned in the article.

The MI5 chief was given copious space to make claims about the national security threat posed by an "increasingly aggressive" Russia. Johnson and his co-author noted, "Parker said he was talking to The Guardian rather than any other newspaper despite the publication of the Snowden files."

Parker told the two reporters, "We recognise that in a changing world we have to change too. We have a responsibility to talk about our work and explain it."

Four months after the MI5 interview, in March 2017, the Guardian published another unprecedented "exclusive", this time with Alex Younger, the sitting chief of MI6, Britain's external intelligence agency. This exclusive was awarded by the Secret Intelligence Service to The Guardian's investigations editor, Nick Hopkins, who had been appointed 14 months previously.

The interview was the first Younger had given to a national newspaper and was again softball. Titled "MI6 returns to 'tapping up' in an effort to recruit black and Asian officers", it focused almost entirely on the intelligence service's stated desire to recruit from ethnic minority communities.

" Simply, we have to attract the best of modern Britain," Younger told Hopkins. "Every community from every part of Britain should feel they have what it takes, no matter what their background or status."

Just two weeks before the interview with MI6's chief was published, The Guardian itself reported on the high court stating that it would "hear an application for a judicial review of the Crown Prosecution Service's decision not to charge MI6's former counterterrorism director, Sir Mark Allen, over the abduction of Abdel Hakim Belhaj and his pregnant wife who were transferred to Libya in a joint CIA-MI6 operation in 2004".

None of this featured in The Guardian article, which did, however, cover discussions of whether the James Bond actor Daniel Craig would qualify for the intelligence service. "He would not get into MI6," Younger told Hopkins.

More recently, in August 2019, The Guardian was awarded yet another exclusive, this time with Metropolitan police assistant commissioner Neil Basu, Britain's most senior counter-terrorism officer. This was Basu's " first major interview since taking up his post" the previous year and resulted in a three-part series of articles, one of which was entitled "Met police examine Vladimir Putin's role in Salisbury attack".

The security services were probably feeding The Guardian these "exclusives" as part of the process of bringing it onside and neutralising the only independent newspaper with the resources to receive and cover a leak such as Snowden's. They were possibly acting to prevent any revelations of this kind happening again.

What, if any, private conversations have taken place between Viner and the security services during her tenure as editor are not known. But in 2018, when Paul Johnson eventually left the D-Notice Committee, its chair, the MOD's Dominic Wilson, praised Johnson who, he said, had been "instrumental in re-establishing links with The Guardian".

Decline in critical reporting

Amidst these spoon-fed intelligence exclusives, Viner also oversaw the breakup of The Guardian's celebrated investigative team, whose muck-racking journalists were told to apply for other jobs outside of investigations.

One well-placed source told the Press Gazette at the time that journalists on the investigations team "have not felt backed by senior editors over the last year", and that "some also feel the company has become more risk-averse in the same period".

In the period since Snowden, The Guardian has lost many of its top investigative reporters who had covered national security issues, notably Shiv Malik, Nick Davies, David Leigh, Richard Norton-Taylor, Ewen MacAskill and Ian Cobain. The few journalists who were replaced were succeeded by less experienced reporters with apparently less commitment to exposing the security state. The current defence and security editor, Dan Sabbagh, started at The Guardian as head of media and technology and has no history of covering national security.

" It seems they've got rid of everyone who seemed to cover the security services and military in an adversarial way," one current Guardian journalist told us.

Indeed, during the last two years of Rusbridger's editorship, The Guardian published about 110 articles per year tagged as MI6 on its website. Since Viner took over, the average per year has halved and is decreasing year by year.

" Effective scrutiny of the security and intelligence agencies -- epitomised by the Snowden scoops but also many other stories -- appears to have been abandoned," a former Guardian journalist told us. The former reporter added that, in recent years, it "sometimes seems The Guardian is worried about upsetting the spooks."

A second former Guardian journalist added: "The Guardian no longer seems to have such a challenging relationship with the intelligence services, and is perhaps seeking to mend fences since Snowden. This is concerning, because spooks are always manipulative and not always to be trusted."

While some articles critical of the security services still do appear in the paper, its "scoops" increasingly focus on issues more acceptable to them. Since the Snowden affair, The Guardian does not appear to have published any articles based on an intelligence or security services source that was not officially sanctioned to speak.

The Guardian has, by contrast, published a steady stream of exclusives on the major official enemy of the security services, Russia, exposing Putin, his friends and the work of its intelligence services and military.

In the Panama Papers leak in April 2016, which revealed how companies and individuals around the world were using an offshore law firm to avoid paying tax, The Guardian's front-page launch scoop was authored by Luke Harding, who has received many security service tips focused on the "Russia threat", and was titled "Revealed: the $2bn offshore trail that leads to Vladimir Putin".

Three sentences into the piece, however, Harding notes that "the president's name does not appear in any of the records" although he insists that "the data reveals a pattern – his friends have earned millions from deals that seemingly could not have been secured without his patronage".

There was a much bigger story in the Panama Papers which The Guardian chose to downplay by leaving it to the following day. This concerned the father of the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, who "ran an offshore fund that avoided ever having to pay tax in Britain by hiring a small army of Bahamas residents – including a part-time bishop – to sign its paperwork".

We understand there was some argument between journalists about not leading with the Cameron story as the launch splash. Putin's friends were eventually deemed more important than the Prime Minister of the country where the paper published.

Getting Julian Assange

The Guardian also appears to have been engaged in a campaign against the WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who had been a collaborator during the early WikiLeaks revelations in 2010.

One 2017 story came from investigative reporter Carole Cadwalladr, who writes for The Guardian's sister paper The Observer, titled "When Nigel Farage met Julian Assange". This concerned the visit of former UKIP leader Nigel Farage to the Ecuadorian embassy in March 2017, organised by the radio station LBC, for whom Farage worked as a presenter. Farage's producer at LBC accompanied Farage at the meeting, but this was not mentioned by Cadwalladr.

Rather, she posited that this meeting was "potentially a channel of communication" between WikiLeaks, Farage and Donald Trump, who were all said to be closely linked to Russia, adding that these actors were in a "political alignment" and that " WikiLeaks is, in many ways, the swirling vortex at the centre of everything".

Yet Cadwalladr's one official on-the-record source for this speculation was a "highly placed contact with links to US intelligence", who told her, "When the heat is turned up and all electronic communication, you have to assume, is being intensely monitored, then those are the times when intelligence communication falls back on human couriers. Where you have individuals passing information in ways and places that cannot be monitored."

It seems likely this was innuendo being fed to The Observer by an intelligence-linked individual to promote disinformation to undermine Assange.

In 2018, however, The Guardian's attempted vilification of Assange was significantly stepped up. A new string of articles began on 18 May 2018 with one alleging Assange's "long-standing relationship with RT", the Russian state broadcaster. The series, which has been closely documented elsewhere, lasted for several months, consistently alleging with little or the most minimal circumstantial evidence that Assange had ties to Russia or the Kremlin.

One story, co-authored again by Luke Harding, claimed that "Russian diplomats held secret talks in London with people close to Julian Assange to assess whether they could help him flee the UK, The Guardian has learned". The former consul in the Ecuadorian embassy in London at this time, Fidel Narvaez, vigorously denies the existence of any such "escape plot" involving Russia and is involved in a complaint process with The Guardian for insinuating he coordinated such a plot.

This apparent mini-campaign ran until November 2018, culminating in a front-page splash , based on anonymous sources, claiming that Assange had three secret meetings at the Ecuadorian embassy with Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

This "scoop" failed all tests of journalistic credibility since it would have been impossible for anyone to have entered the highly secured Ecuadorian embassy three times with no proof. WikiLeaks and others have strongly argued that the story was manufactured and it is telling that The Guardian has since failed to refer to it in its subsequent articles on the Assange case. The Guardian, however, has still not retracted or apologised for the story which remains on its website.

The "exclusive" appeared just two weeks after Paul Johnson had been congratulated for "re-establishing links" between The Guardian and the security services.

The string of Guardian articles, along with the vilification and smear stories about Assange elsewhere in the British media, helped create the conditions for a deal between Ecuador, the UK and the US to expel Assange from the embassy in April. Assange now sits in Belmarsh maximum-security prison where he faces extradition to the US, and life in prison there, on charges under the Espionage Act.

Acting for the establishment

Another major focus of The Guardian's energies under Viner's editorship has been to attack the leader of the UK Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn.

The context is that Corbyn appears to have recently been a target of the security services. In 2015, soon after he was elected Labour leader, the Sunday Times reported a serving general warning that "there would be a direct challenge from the army and mass resignations if Corbyn became prime minister". The source told the newspaper: "The Army just wouldn't stand for it. The general staff would not allow a prime minister to jeopardise the security of this country and I think people would use whatever means possible, fair or foul, to prevent that."

On 20 May 2017, a little over two weeks before the 2017 General Election, the Daily Telegraph was fed the story that "MI5 opened a file on Jeremy Corbyn amid concerns over his links to the IRA". It formed part of a Telegraph investigation claiming to reveal "Mr Corbyn's full links to the IRA" and was sourced to an individual "close to" the MI5 investigation, who said "a file had been opened on him by the early nineties".

The Metropolitan Police Special Branch was also said to be monitoring Corbyn in the same period.

Then, on the very eve of the General Election, the Telegraph gave space to an article from Sir Richard Dearlove, the former director of MI6, under a headline: "Jeremy Corbyn is a danger to this nation. At MI6, which I once led, he wouldn't clear the security vetting."

Further, in September 2018, two anonymous senior government sources told The Times that Corbyn had been "summoned" for a "'facts of life' talk on terror" by MI5 chief Andrew Parker.

Just two weeks after news of this private meeting was leaked by the government, the Daily Mail reported another leak, this time revealing that "Jeremy Corbyn's most influential House of Commons adviser has been barred from entering Ukraine on the grounds that he is a national security threat because of his alleged links to Vladimir Putin's 'global propaganda network'."

The article concerned Andrew Murray, who had been working in Corbyn's office for a year but had still not received a security pass to enter the UK parliament. The Mail reported, based on what it called "a senior parliamentary source", that Murray's application had encountered "vetting problems".

Murray later heavily suggested that the security services had leaked the story to the Mail. "Call me sceptical if you must, but I do not see journalistic enterprise behind the Mail's sudden capacity to tease obscure information out of the [Ukrainian security service]," he wrote in the New Statesman. He added, "Someone else is doing the hard work – possibly someone being paid by the taxpayer. I doubt if their job description is preventing the election of a Corbyn government, but who knows?"

Murray told us he was approached by the New Statesman after the story about him being banned from Ukraine was leaked. "However," he added, "I wouldn't dream of suggesting anything like that to The Guardian, since I do not know any journalists still working there who I could trust."

The Guardian itself has run a remarkable number of news and comment articles criticising Corbyn since he was elected in 2015 and the paper's clearly hostile stance has been widely noted .

Given its appeal to traditional Labour supporters, the paper has probably done more to undermine Corbyn than any other. In particular, its massive coverage of alleged widespread anti-Semitism in the Labour Party has helped to disparage Corbyn more than other smears carried in the media.

The Guardian and The Observer have published hundreds of articles on "Labour anti-Semitism" and, since the beginning of this year, carried over 50 such articles with headlines clearly negative to Corbyn. Typical headlines have included " The Observer view: Labour leadership is complicit in anti-Semitism ", " Jeremy Corbyn is either blind to anti-Semitism – or he just doesn't care ", and " Labour's anti-Semitism problem is institutional. It needs investigation ".

The Guardian's coverage of anti-Semitism in Labour has been suspiciously extensive, compared to the known extent of the problem in the party, and its focus on Corbyn personally suggests that the issue is being used politically. While anti-Semitism does exist in the Labour Party, evidence suggests it is at relatively low levels. Since September 2015, when Corbyn became Labour leader, 0.06% of the Labour membership has been investigated for anti-Semitic comments or posts. In 2016, an independent inquiry commissioned by Labour concluded that the party "is not overrun by anti-Semitism, Islamophobia or other forms of racism. Further, it is the party that initiated every single United Kingdom race equality law."

Analysis of two YouGov surveys, conducted in 2015 and 2017, shows that anti-Semitic views held by Labour voters declined substantially in the first two years of Corbyn's tenure and that such views were significantly more common among Conservative voters.

Despite this, since January 2016, The Guardian has published 1,215 stories mentioning Labour and anti-Semitism, an average of around one per day, according to a search on Factiva, the database of newspaper articles. In the same period, The Guardian published just 194 articles mentioning the Conservative Party's much more serious problem with Islamophobia. A YouGov poll in 2019, for example, found that nearly half of the Tory Party membership would prefer not to have a Muslim prime minister.

At the same time, some stories which paint Corbyn's critics in a negative light have been suppressed by The Guardian. According to someone with knowledge of the matter, The Guardian declined to publish the results of a months-long critical investigation by one of its reporters into a prominent anti-Corbyn Labour MP, citing only vague legal issues.

In July 2016, one of this article's authors emailed a Guardian editor asking if he could pitch an investigation about the first attempt by the right-wing of the Labour Party to remove Corbyn, informing The Guardian of very good inside sources on those behind the attempt and their real plans. The approach was rejected as being of no interest before a pitch was even sent.

A reliable publication?

On 20 May 2019, The Times newspaper reported on a Freedom of Information request made by the Rendition Project, a group of academic experts working on torture and rendition issues, which showed that the MOD had been "developing a secret policy on torture that allows ministers to sign off intelligence-sharing that could lead to the abuse of detainees".

This might traditionally have been a Guardian story, not something for the Rupert Murdoch-owned Times. According to one civil society source, however, many groups working in this field no longer trust The Guardian.

A former Guardian journalist similarly told us: "It is significant that exclusive stories recently about British collusion in torture and policy towards the interrogation of terror suspects and other detainees have been passed to other papers including The Times rather than The Guardian."

The Times published its scoop under a strong headline , "Torture: Britain breaks law in Ministry of Defence secret policy". However, before the article was published, the MOD fed The Guardian the same documents The Times were about to splash with, believing it could soften the impact of the revelations by telling its side of the story.

The Guardian posted its own article just before The Times, with a headline that would have pleased the government: "MoD says revised torture guidance does not lower standards".

Its lead paragraph was a simple summary of the MOD's position: "The Ministry of Defence has insisted that newly emerged departmental guidance on the sharing of intelligence derived from torture with allies, remains in line with practices agreed in the aftermath of a series of scandals following the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq." However, an inspection of the documents showed this was clearly disinformation.

The Guardian had gone in six short years from being the natural outlet to place stories exposing wrongdoing by the security state to a platform trusted by the security state to amplify its information operations. A once relatively independent media platform has been largely neutralised by UK security services fearful of being exposed further. Which begs the question: where does the next Snowden go? DM

The Guardian did not respond to a request for comment.

Daily Maverick will formally launch Declassified – a new UK-focused investigation and analysis organisation run by the authors of this article – in November 2019.

Matt Kennard is an investigative journalist and co-founder of Declassified . He was previously director of the Centre for Investigative Journalism in London, and before that a reporter for the Financial Times in the US and UK. He is the author of two books, Irregular Army and The Racket .

Mark Curtis is a leading UK foreign policy analyst, journalist and the author of six books including Web of Deceit: Britain's Real Role in the World and Secret Affairs: Britain's Collusion with Radical Islam .

[Sep 13, 2019] Antiwar.com wins legal case against FBI

Notable quotes:
"... The Inteligence elite mistake their power over people -- and the unspeakable sums of money that are flooded into their agencies -- for success. As you might imagine, that has spelled disaster where ever in the world that they operate. God help the society where they gain the upper hand. Like in the United States, for example. Their minds are broken beyond repair because reality actively lies to them. ..."
Sep 13, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/court-fbi-must-destroy-...

Court: FBI Must Destroy Memos Calling Antiwar.com a Threat
Ruling comes after a eight-year battle over secret surveillance of the popular website after 9/11.
By KELLEY BEAUCAR VLAHOS • September 12, 2019

In a major victory for Antiwar.com, free speech and journalism, a federal appeals court has ruled that the FBI must expunge surveillance memos that agents had drafted about the website's co-founders Eric Garris and Justin Raimondo in the early years following the 9/11 attacks.

"It's been a long fight and I'm glad we had an outcome that could might affect future FBI behavior," said Garris, who runs Antiwar.com, based in the San Francisco Bay area. "I just wish Justin was still here to know that this has happened."

Raimondo, 67, passed away in June from a long bout with cancer. He and Garris had sued the FBI in 2013 demanding it turn over all the memos and records it was keeping on the two men and the website, which has been promoting anti-interventionist news and views from a libertarian-conservative perspective since 1995

They won their case, and in 2017 the FBI agreed to turn over all the memos and settle their legal fees, $299,000, but the final expungement of two key memos involving intelligence gathered on the men and Antiwar.com, had yet to be expunged from the agency's record...

It all began when an observant reader brought a heavily redacted 2004 memo to Antiwar.com's attention in 2011. It was part of a batch of documents the reader had obtained through FOIA requests. It was clear from the documents' contents that the FBI had been collecting information and records on Raimondo and Garris for some time. At one point the FBI agent writing the April 30, 2004 memo on Antiwar.com recommended further monitoring of the website in the form of opening a "preliminary investigation to determine if [redaction] are engaging in, or have engaged in, activities which constitute a threat to national security."

Why? Because the website was questioning U.S. war policy ...

Agents noted that Antiwar.com had, or linked to, published counter-terrorism watch lists (already in the public domain). The FBI noted at least two of Raimondo's columns and wondered openly, "who are (Antiwar.com's) contributors and what are the funds utilized for?" This, after acknowledging there was no evidence of any crime being plotted or committed.

Other things noted in the documents::

-- Garris had passed along a threat he received on Sept. 12, 2001 from a Antiwar.com reader obviously disgruntled with the website's coverage of 9/11. The subject line read, "YOUR SITE IS GOING DOWN," and proceeded with this missive: "Be warned assholes, ill be posting your site address to all the hack boards tonight your site is history."

Concerned, Garris forwarded the email to the FBI field office in San Francisco. Garris heard nothing, but by January 2002, it turned up again, completely twisted around, in a secret FBI memo entitled, "A THREAT BY GARRIS TO HACK FBI WEBSITE."

It turns out this "threat" went on to justify, at least in part, the FBI's ongoing interest in monitoring the website.

-- The FBI took interest in Raimondo's writing about a 2001 FBI investigation of five Israeli nationals who were witnessed smiling and celebrating and taking pictures of the burning Twin Towers from a rooftop perch across the river from Manhattan in Union City, New Jersey, on 9/11. After witnesses called the police, the individuals, who all worked for a local moving company, were taken into custody and grilled by FBI and CIA for two months after it was deemed their work visas had expired. They were eventually deported without charge.

Raimondo, in writing about the case in 2002, linked to an American-generated terror watchlist (which had been published elsewhere on the Internet) that went out to Italian financial institutions and included the name of the man who owned the New Jersey moving company in question.

-- The FBI noted Antiwar.com was cited in an article, the name of the author redacted, about U.S aid to Israel.

-- They also noted that Raimondo had appeared on MSNBC to talk about his opposition to the Iraq War.

-- It also cited an article that listed Antiwar.com as a reference was handed out in 2002 at a "peaceful protest" at a British air base in the U.K.

-- The FBI was watching a member of a domestic neo-Nazi group who had "discussed a website, Antiwar.com" while encouraging fellow members at a conference to "educate themselves" about the Middle East conflict.

-- The agency said a special agent's review of hard drives seized during an investigation of an unnamed subject, revealed that the subject had visited Antiwar.com between July 25, 2002 and June 15, 2003, "among many other websites."

The FBI acknowledged it searched the Web, as well as Lexis-Nexis, the Universal Index (FBI central records), the agency's Electronic Case File, Department of Motor Vehicles and Dunn & Bradsheet (credit reports) for information on Antiwar.com and for "one or more individuals" working for the website.

Looking back, it's hard to fathom how such tiny (Constitutionally protected) crumbs led the FBI to the conclusion that Garris and Raimondo, two dedicated activists (Raimondo was also a prolific author) with decades of time in California's political trenches, might be a "threat to national security," but there you are...

The case decided on Wednesday revolved around two remaining memos that the FBI had so far refused to expunge. One involved the call Garris made to the FBI in 2002. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in Northern California found that the government did not have a compelling law enforcement reason to keep them.

"Maintenance of a record that describes only First Amendment activity and does not implicate national security is not pertinent to the FBI's authorized activities," the court concluded...

Garris said he was relieved and elated that the court was able to end this ugly chapter for the website...

>dervish
This is an example of why the innocent have nothing to fear from "all surveillance, all the time" is patently untrue.

Not to mention that casual erasures of any part of the Bill of Rights by government are frickin' scary, as are casual acceptance and rationalization of same by ordinary Americans (and/or those seeming like ordinary Americans).

In his memoir, True Compass , Ted Kennedy said that LBJ told him that LBJ considered the FBI culpable in the assassination of JFK, in that the FBI had had its eye on Oswald and considered him dangerous, but never warned the Secret Service.

Many years later, we have failures by the FBI and CIA to coordinate and act upon intel involved in 911. They did nothing about reports from citizens of the suspicious activities of the Saudi assassins while the assassins were in the US, such as taking flying lessons, but saying they didn't need to learn how to land. Moreover, the FBI and CIA had months of Arab conversations awaiting translation because of a shortage of translators cause by the FBI's and CIA's unwillingess to use Arab translators.

Then we have two warnings, not from ordinary citizens, but from the Russian government, that the Tsarnaevs were a threat. Now, that alone sure sounds to me like probable cause for surveillance. However, the FBI interviewed them and supposedly was unable to justify doing anything else.

So, we have culpability in a Presidential assassination AND two terrorist attacks. And that certainly can't be all before and after 1960. For instance, speaking of JFK, there was the Bay of Pigs fiasco. On the bright side, that taught JFK to squint at the CIA and the military, which, in turn, may have avoided nuclear disaster over the Cuban missile "crisis." (When we place missiles somewhere, it's defense on our part and a deterrent; when another nation, especially Russia, does the same, it's casus belli , unless some brilliant politicians can scale it "all the way down" to a "crisis" or a "national emergency." Our hypocrisy sickens.

BTW, according to the memoir, JFK was questioning our Vietnam involvement and Bobby Kennedy had flat out become convinced that bombing should stop immediately and peace negotiations should begin. He volunteered to negotiate the peace himself, but LBJ refused. So, that's another thing Bobby and Jack had in common. (Interestingly to me, by Ted's own account, he was the last of the three Kennedy brothers to lose support for the Vietnam War!)

jim p on Thu, 09/12/2019 - 7:20pm

Doubtless there are other agencies with files and stalking
Pluto's Republic on Thu, 09/12/2019 - 8:34pm
Thanks for reporting on this, Linda

The socially destructive solutions designed by the Intelligence Communities since the mid-20th century are paying off in one way:

There is now a copious amount of research and data, that once harnessed and put to work, will clearly demonstrate without doubt how tragic and destructive their outcomes have been. They have accomplished precisely the opposite of the goal they were reaching for. For example, apply their social engineering to reduce the number of terrorists in a region, and in less than a decade the region will be overrun with terrorists.

Use their strategic genius to stop the flow of drugs from hot-spots of the world, and in another decade, much of the world will be saturated with illegal drugs.

Humanity throughout the world are the losers, and they pay dearly for the blindness of Nazi-mentored techniques and strategies that are embraced by intelligence agencies and military intelligence. In the long term, they are bringers of chaos.

The nazis always lose. Ever since we brought them to America after World War II to teach us their techniques -- the US has lost every war it attempted. The effects of this influence has turned America into a prison complex.

The Inteligence elite mistake their power over people -- and the unspeakable sums of money that are flooded into their agencies -- for success. As you might imagine, that has spelled disaster where ever in the world that they operate. God help the society where they gain the upper hand. Like in the United States, for example. Their minds are broken beyond repair because reality actively lies to them.

If you ask them to send a rocket to the moon, they'll wait until the full moon is directly overhead, then fire the rocket. They are void of subtlety. The failure will be classified and forgotten.

We need Taoist leaders if we want to solve real world problems.

[Sep 12, 2019] Israel Accused Of plating StingRays swvices near White House

Sep 12, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Though it's easy to imagine the outpouring of fury and wall to wall media coverage -- complete with urgent Congressional hearings -- should such allegations center on any other foreign country caught spying on the White House (let's say Russia for example), the bombshell Politico report has barely made a dent in the mainstream media or big cable networks' coverage.

This is partly because the administration's own reaction has been muted, as the report notes that "the Trump administration took no action to punish or even privately scold the Israeli government" after being informed by US intelligence that Israel likely planted the devices.

Politico's sources in most instances held top intelligence and national security posts, who describe the following of the recovered spy devices :

The miniature surveillance devices, colloquially known as "StingRays," mimic regular cell towers to fool cell phones into giving them their locations and identity information . Formally called international mobile subscriber identity-catchers or IMSI-catchers, they also can capture the contents of calls and data use .

The devices were likely intended to spy on President Donald Trump, one of the former officials said, as well as his top aides and closest associates -- though it's not clear whether the Israeli efforts were successful.

From the moment the report was unveiled early Thursday, Israel's stance has been to vehemently deny, and to even suggest the accusations are tinged with "anti-Semitism".


Pure Speculation , 7 minutes ago link

The statement from the prime minister's office added, "There is a longstanding commitment, and a directive from the Israeli government not to engage in any intelligence operations in the U.S. This directive is strictly enforced without exception."

Uh huh... Sure. So how do you explain Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell then?

Vuke , 19 minutes ago link

Come on readers. Next they'll be saying Israel controls all levels of government through political donations. Possible from the $2 Billion a year they get? Anybody know how much total Israeli contributions go to the Pres, Congress etc?

africoman , 21 minutes ago link

How sweet & bitter this revelation come on the anniversary of 911 & perps are free solidifying their grips over America etc

it would be ironically surprising if the MSM took it for repointing to Americans on such a day or we

How could you deprogram Americans especially trumptards when others such as Ilhan Omar tried to hint them who did 911?

i commemorate the anniversary of 911 cos it happened on the eve of my new year and at least 3 of my people died in that fateful event

i wish isisrahell annexed their strong holds DC and leave Palestinians alone

attah-boy-Luther , 32 minutes ago link

... ... ...

http://themillenniumreport.com/2019/09/9-11-truth-exploding-worldwide-perps-desperate-to-distract-populace-and-disarm-patriots/#more-84351

Mustafa Kemal , 33 minutes ago link

I was hoping to see a comment from Einstein, but cant find him. Wonder where he is. I guess we will just have to lower our standards and look to ZD1 for the real scoop.

[Sep 12, 2019] On 6 May, a volunteer subject, a 20-year-old soldier, was dosed with sarin there, began foaming at the mouth, collapsed into convulsions, and died an hour later

Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al September 7, 2019 at 4:07 am

The subject itself is v. interesting but I'm only posting this because, well you'll see from the brief section below:

The Groaning Man: From mind control to murder? How a deadly fall revealed the CIA's darkest secrets
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/sep/06/from-mind-control-to-murder-how-a-deadly-fall-revealed-the-cias-darkest-secrets

Olson's doubts deepened. In spring 1953, he visited the top-secret Microbiological Research Establishment at Porton Down in Wiltshire, where government scientists were studying the effects of sarin and other nerve gases. On 6 May, a volunteer subject, a 20-year-old soldier, was dosed with sarin there, began foaming at the mouth, collapsed into convulsions, and died an hour later. Afterward, Olson spoke about his discomfort with a psychiatrist who helped direct the research, William Sargant .
####

That's very unBritish! Not really. This is not the first time that something that has been declassified in the United States and uncovered British (shameful) secrets. The thing is the Brits like to see themselves as not 'going as far' as their American cousins and this myth is perpetuated – a bit like the British sense of 'fairness'. Yet again we discover that the UK has worked hand in glove in the deepest of sh*t, something that most probably would have been buried forever under their Secrets Act if it wasn't for the US' relative openness.


https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/sep/06/from-mind-control-to-murder-how-a-deadly-fall-revealed-the-cias-darkest-secrets

Olson's doubts deepened. In spring 1953, he visited the top-secret Microbiological Research Establishment at Porton Down in Wiltshire, where government scientists were studying the effects of sarin and other nerve gases. On 6 May, a volunteer subject, a 20-year-old soldier, was dosed with sarin there, began foaming at the mouth, collapsed into convulsions, and died an hour later. Afterward, Olson spoke about his discomfort with a psychiatrist who helped direct the research, William Sargant .
####

That's very unBritish! Not really. This is not the first time that something that has been declassified in the United States and uncovered British (shameful) secrets. The thing is the Brits like to see themselves as not 'going as far' as their American cousins and this myth is perpetuated – a bit like the British sense of 'fairness'. Yet again we discover that the UK has worked hand in glove in the deepest of sh*t, something that most probably would have been buried forever under their Secrets Act if it wasn't for the US' relative openness.

[Sep 11, 2019] John Brennan's and Jim Clappers' Last Gasp by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
The fact that Smolenkov purchased house on his name excludes his "extraction" to the USA. He probably legally emigrated amazing some serious money in Russia
Notable quotes:
"... [Smolenkov] follows Ushakov back to Moscow, where he is a mid-level paper pusher doing administrative support for Ushakov. The CIA gets copies of Putin's itineraries that Smolenkov photographs. He is a big hit, but ultimately produces nothing of vital importance because all truly sensitive information is hand carried by principles, and never seen by administrative staff. Moreover Ushakov advises on international relations, and would not be privy to anything dealing with intelligence. Ushakov, as a long-serving Ambassador to the US, would be asked by Putin to opine on US politics. Smolenkov has access to Ushakov's post-meeting verbal comments, which he turns over to the CIA. ..."
"... The initial reports of the Steele Dossier appeared in June 2016. This coincided with John Brennan ordering Moscow Station to turn up the heat on Smolenkov to gain access to what Putin is thinking. But Smolenkov has no real direct access. Instead, he starts fabricating and/or exaggerating his access to convince his CIA handler that he is on the job and worth every penny he is being paid by US taxpayers. ..."
"... The information Smolenkov creates is passed to his CIA handler via the secure communications channel set up when he was signed up as a spy. But these reports are not handled in the normal way that sensitive human intelligence is treated at CIA Headquarters. Instead, the material is accepted at face value and not vetted to confirm its accuracy. My intel friend, citing a knowledgeable source, indicates that Smolenkov was not polygraphed. ..."
"... This raised red flags in the CIA Counterintelligence staff, especially when Brennan starts briefing the President using the information provided by Smolenkov. Brennan responds by locking most of the CIA's Russian experts out of the loop. Later, Brennan does the same thing with the National Intelligence Council, locking out the National Intelligence Officers who would normally oversee the production of a National Intelligence Assessment. In short, Brennan cooked the books using Smolenkov's intelligence, which had it been subjected to normal checks and balances would never have passed muster. It's Brennan's leaks to the press that eventually prompt the CIA to pull the plug on Smolenkov. ..."
"... The dossier attributed to Steele, it has seemed to me, showed every sign of being the proverbial 'camel produced by a committee.' ..."
"... Although I know that fabricating evidence and corrupting judicial proceedings is part of its supposed author's 'stock in trade', I think it is unclear whether he contributed all that much to the dossier. ..."
"... His prime role, I think, was to contribute a veneer of intelligence respectability to a farrago the actual origins of which could not be acknowledged, so it could be used in support of FISA applications and in briefings to journalists. ..."
"... Although it had started much earlier, the moving into 'high gear' of the conspiracy behind 'Russiagate, of which the dossier was one manifestation, and the phone 'digital forensics' produced by 'Crowdstrike' and the former GCHQ person Matt Tait another, were I think essentially panicky 'firefighting' operations. ..."
"... Part of this involved turning the conspiracy to prevent Trump being elected into a conspiracy to destabilise his Presidency and ensure he did not carry through on any of his 'anti-Borgist' agenda. ..."
Sep 11, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

A flood of news in the last 24 hours regarding Russiagate. I am referring specifically to reports that the CIA ex-filtrated Oleg Smolenkov, a mid-level Russian Foreign Ministry bureaucrat who reportedly hooked himself on the coat-tails of Yuri Ushakov, who was Ambassador to the US from 1999 through 2008. He was recruited by the CIA (i.e., asked to collect information and pass it to the U.S. Government via his or her case officer) at sometime during this period. Smolenkov is being portrayed as a supposedly "sensitive" source. But if you read either the Washington Post or New York Times accounts of this event there is not a lot of meat on this hamburger.

Regardless of the quality of his reporting, Smolenkov is the kind of recruited source that looks good on paper and helps a CIA case officer get promoted but adds little to actual U.S. intelligence on Russia. If you understood the CIA culture you would immediately recognize that a case officer (CIA terminology for the operations officer tasked with identifying and recruiting human sources) gets rewarded by recruiting persons who ostensibly will have access to information the CIA has identified as a priority target. In this case, we're talking about possible access to Vladimir Putin.

If you take time to read both articles you will quickly see that the real purpose of this "information operation" is to paint Donald Trump as a security threat that must be stopped. This is conveniently timed to assist Jerry Nadler's mission impossible to secure Trump's impeachment. But I think there is another dynamic at play--these competing explanations for what prompted the exfiltration of this CIA asset say more about the incompetence of Barack Obama and his intel chiefs. John Brennan and Jim Clapper in particular.

A former intelligence officer and friend summarized the various press accounts as the follows and offered his own insights in a note I received this morning:

[Smolenkov] follows Ushakov back to Moscow, where he is a mid-level paper pusher doing administrative support for Ushakov. The CIA gets copies of Putin's itineraries that Smolenkov photographs. He is a big hit, but ultimately produces nothing of vital importance because all truly sensitive information is hand carried by principles, and never seen by administrative staff. Moreover Ushakov advises on international relations, and would not be privy to anything dealing with intelligence. Ushakov, as a long-serving Ambassador to the US, would be asked by Putin to opine on US politics. Smolenkov has access to Ushakov's post-meeting verbal comments, which he turns over to the CIA.

The initial reports of the Steele Dossier appeared in June 2016. This coincided with John Brennan ordering Moscow Station to turn up the heat on Smolenkov to gain access to what Putin is thinking. But Smolenkov has no real direct access. Instead, he starts fabricating and/or exaggerating his access to convince his CIA handler that he is on the job and worth every penny he is being paid by US taxpayers.

The information Smolenkov creates is passed to his CIA handler via the secure communications channel set up when he was signed up as a spy. But these reports are not handled in the normal way that sensitive human intelligence is treated at CIA Headquarters. Instead, the material is accepted at face value and not vetted to confirm its accuracy. My intel friend, citing a knowledgeable source, indicates that Smolenkov was not polygraphed.

This raised red flags in the CIA Counterintelligence staff, especially when Brennan starts briefing the President using the information provided by Smolenkov. Brennan responds by locking most of the CIA's Russian experts out of the loop. Later, Brennan does the same thing with the National Intelligence Council, locking out the National Intelligence Officers who would normally oversee the production of a National Intelligence Assessment. In short, Brennan cooked the books using Smolenkov's intelligence, which had it been subjected to normal checks and balances would never have passed muster. It's Brennan's leaks to the press that eventually prompt the CIA to pull the plug on Smolenkov.

There is public evidence that Brennan not only cooked the books but that the leaks of this supposedly "sensitive" intelligence occurred when he was Director and lying Jim Clapper was Director of National Intelligence. If Oleg Smolenkov was really such a terrific source of intel, then where are the reports? It is one thing to keep such reports close hold when the source is still in place. But he has been out of danger for more than two years. Those reports should have been shared with the Senate and House Intelligence committees. If there was actual solid intelligence in those reports that corroborated the Steele Dossier, then that information would have been leaked and widely circulated. This is Sherlock Holmes dog that did not bark.Then we have the odd fact that this guy's name is all over the press and he is buying real estate in true name. What the hell!! If the CIA genuinely believed that Mr. Smolenkov was in danger he would not be walking around doing real estate deals in true name. In fact, the sources for both the Washington Post and NY Times pieces push the propaganda that Smolenkov is a sure fire target for a Russian retaliatory hit. Really? Then why publish his name and confirm his location.

That leaves me with the alternative explanation--Smolenkov is a propaganda prop and is being trotted out by Brennan to try to provide public pressure to prevent the disclosure of intelligence that will show that the CIA and the NSA were coordinating and operating with British intelligence to entrap and smear Donald Trump and members of his campaign.

I want you to take a close look at the two pieces on this exfiltration (i.e., Washington Post and NY Times) and note the significant differences

REASON FOR THE EXFILTRATION :

Let's start with the Washington Post:

The exfiltration took place sometime after an Oval Office meeting in May 2017, when President Trump revealed highly classified counterterrorism information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador, said the current and former officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive operation.

What was the information that Trump revealed? He was discussing intel that Israel passed regarding ISIS in Syria. (See the Washington Post story here .) Why would he talk to the Russians about that? Because every day, at least once a day, U.S. and Russian military authorities are sharing intelligence with one another in a phone call that originates from the U.S. Combined Air Operations Center (aka CAOC) at the Al Udeid Air Force Base in Qatar. Trump's conversation not only was appropriate but fully within his right to do so as Commander-in-Chief.

What the hell does this have to do with a sensitive source in Moscow? NOTHING!! Red Herring.

The NY Times account is more detailed and damning of Obama instead of Trump:

But when intelligence officials revealed the severity of Russia's election interference with unusual detail later that year, the news media picked up on details about the C.I.A.'s Kremlin sources.

C.I.A. officials worried about safety made the arduous decision in late 2016 to offer to extract the source from Russia. The situation grew more tense when the informant at first refused, citing family concerns -- prompting consternation at C.I.A. headquarters and sowing doubts among some American counterintelligence officials about the informant's trustworthiness. But the C.I.A. pressed again months later after more media inquiries. This time, the informant agreed. . . .

The decision to extract the informant was driven "in part" because of concerns that Mr. Trump and his administration had mishandled delicate intelligence, CNN reported. But former intelligence officials said there was no public evidence that Mr. Trump directly endangered the source, and other current American officials insisted that media scrutiny of the agency's sources alone was the impetus for the extraction. . . .

But the government had indicated that the source existed long before Mr. Trump took office, first in formally accusing Russia of interference in October 2016 and then when intelligence officials declassified parts of their assessment about the interference campaign for public release in January 2017. News agencies, including NBC, began reporting around that time about Mr. Putin's involvement in the election sabotage and on the C.I.A.'s possible sources for the assessment.

Trump played no role whatsoever in releasing information that allegedly compromised this so-called "golden boy" of Russian intelligence. The NY Times account makes it very clear that the release of information while Obama was President, not Trump, is what put the source in danger. Who leaked that information?

WHAT DID THE SOURCE KNOW AND WHAT DID HE TELL US?

But how valuable was this source really? What did he provide that was so enlightening? On this point the New York Times and Washington Post are more in sync.

First the NY Times:

The Moscow informant was instrumental to the C.I.A.'s most explosive conclusion about Russia's interference campaign: that President Vladimir V. Putin ordered and orchestrated it himself . As the American government's best insight into the thinking of and orders from Mr. Putin, the source was also key to the C.I.A.'s assessment that he affirmatively favored Donald J. Trump's election and personally ordered the hacking of the Democratic National Committee .

The Washington Post provides a more fulsome account:

U.S. officials had been concerned that Russian sources could be at risk of exposure as early as the fall of 2016, when the Obama administration first confirmed that Russia had stolen and publicly disclosed emails from the Democratic National Committee and the account of Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta.

In October 2016, the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in a joint statement that intelligence agencies were "confident that the Russian Government directed" the hacking campaign. . . .

In January 2017, the Obama administration published a detailed assessment that unambiguously laid the blame on the Kremlin, concluding that "Putin ordered an influence campaign" and that Russia's goal was to undermine faith in the U.S. democratic process and harm Clinton's chances of winning.

"That's a pretty remarkable intelligence community product -- much more specific than what you normally see," one U.S. official said. "It's very expected that potential U.S. intelligence assets in Russia would be under a higher level of scrutiny by their own intelligence services."

Sounds official. But there is no actual forensic or documentary evidence (by that I mean actual corroborating intelligence reports) to back up these claims by our oxymoronically christened intelligence community.

Vladimir Putin ordered the hack? Where is the report? It is either in a piece of intercepted electronics communication and/or in a report derived from information provided by Mr. Smolenkov. Where is it? Why has that not been shared in public? Don't have to worry about exposing the source now. He is already in the open. What did he report? Answer--no direct evidence.

Then there is the lie that the Russians hacked the DNC. They did not. Bill Binney, a former Technical Director of the NSA, and I have written on this subject previously ( see here ) and there is no truth to this claim. Let me put it simply--if the DNC had been hacked by the Russians using spearphising (this is claimed in the Robert Mueller report) then the NSA would have collected those messages and would be able to show they were transferred to the Russians. That did not happen.

This kind of chaotic leaking about an old intel op is symptomatic of panic. CIA is already officially denying key parts of the story. My money is on John Brennan and Jim Clapper as the likely impetus for these reports. They are hoping to paint Trump as a national security threat and distract from the upcoming revelations from the DOJ Inspector General report on the FISA warrants and, more threatening, the decisions that Prosecutor John Durham will take in deciding to indict those who attempted to launch a coup against Donald Trump, a legitimately elected President of the United States.


blue peacock , 10 September 2019 at 02:34 PM

I'm always skeptical of NY Times and WaPo and CNN reporting on anything national security related. It seems there is always an axe to grind.

I don't know why folks believe these media outlets have any credibility.

Larry Johnson -> blue peacock... , 10 September 2019 at 03:16 PM
Important to focus on the fact they are telling different and even contradictory stories. That's confusion on the part of the deep state.
Ana said in reply to Larry Johnson ... , 11 September 2019 at 10:00 AM
... And what helps us to decode the plot!
turcopolier -> blue peacock... , 11 September 2019 at 09:47 AM
BP

As I told LJ yesterday while he was writing this piece I have a slightly different theory of this matter. It is true that CIA suffered for a long time from a dearth of talent in the business of recruiting and running foreign clandestine HUMINT assets. This was caused by a focus by several CIA Directors on technical collection means rather than espionage. This policy drove many skilled case officers into retirement but the situation has much improved in the last decade and it must be remembered that an agency only needs a few skilled case officers with the right access to human targets to acquire some very fine and useful well placed foreign agents (spies). IMO it is likely that CIA has/had several well placed Russian assets in Moscow of whom Smolenkov was probably the least useful and the most expendable. It may well be that Brennan was using the chicken feed provided by Smolenkov to fuel the conspiracy run by him and Clapper against Trump's campaign and presidency, but Brennan left office and then the CIA under other management was faced with the problem of a Russian government which was told in the US press by implication that either the US had deep penetrations of Russian diplomatic and intelligence communications or that there were deep penetration moles in Moscow. that being the case it seems likely to me that the Russians would have been beating the bushes looking for the moles. In that situation the CIA may have decided to exfiltrate Smolenkov and his wife while leaving enough clues along the way that would have indicated that he might have been THE MOLE. People do not need a lot of encouragement to accept thoughts that they want to believe. A point in favor of this theory is that once CIA had him in the States they quickly lost interest in him, terminated their relationship with him and paid him his back pay and showed him the door. No new identity, no resettlement, he was given none of that. Finding himself alone in a strange land, Smolenkov then bought a house in the suburbs of Washington in HIS OWN NAME. Say what? That would not have happened if CIA had maintained some sort of relationship with him. And then... someone in CIA leaked the story of the exfiltration as movie plot to "a former senior intelligence officer" who gives sit to Sciutto at CNN. Why would they do that? IMO they would have though that having the story appear in the media would reinfocer Smolenkov's importance in Russian minds. Well, pilgrims, Clapper fits the bill as the "former blah, blah". He is an employee of CNN. CNN hates Trump and they quickly broadcast the story far and away. Unfortunately for CNN the story immediately began to disintegrate even in the eyes of the NY Times. The Smolenkov/Brennan affair will undoubtedly be part of the road that leads to doom for Brennan and Clapper but the possible CIA story is equally interesting.

ambrit , 10 September 2019 at 03:51 PM
Sir;
The fact that Mr. Smolenkov is out and about in his new home in the West shows that he is a small fish. As you say, if he was really in danger, he would be living somewhere in the West now under a new name and maybe a new face. The fact that his 'handlers' allow this lax security to happen is a sign of how unimportant he is. Unless, my inner cynic prompts, he is destined to become one of the "honoured dead," perhaps by a false flag 'liquidation.'
How low will Clapper and Brennan et. al. go?
Thanks for keeping this matter front and centre.
Fred , 10 September 2019 at 04:22 PM
So the son of Our Man in Havana went to Moscow. It would make a decent movies if it weren't for the damage Brennan and company have done to us. Obama, of course, knew nothing......
Diana C , 10 September 2019 at 04:49 PM
I have lost hope that anyone--especially Brennan and Clapper--will be held accountable for their attempt to "launch a coup" (as you put it).

Since their coup attempt ultimately failed, most people will be wanting just to move on.

As an unimportant citizen liveing in a fly-over state, I feel very angry that my tax dollars were wasted on these many government hearings and enormously expensive investigations rather than on actually on governing and improving the governing of our country.

The least we should be able to expect is that people who live off our tax dollars should be held accountable for all that wasted expense and for the lack of actual governing going on in The House and The Senate. So many problems that need the attention of our elected representative and Senators were ignored while elected representatives and representatives got to capture the spotlight and try to become "media stars" while accomplishing nothing.

I also feel terrible that men have been sent to prison for seemingly nothing and have their lives ruined for nothing but the chance of some to grand stand and claim they are really doing the jobs they were sent to do. So many people with no real sense of honor or of what is right and what is wrong.

Thanks, Larry. You have been consistently one of the good guys. (And I bet you are happy now that Yosemite Sam Bolton is no longer advising the POTUS.)

fredw , 10 September 2019 at 06:09 PM
"The fact that his 'handlers' allow this lax security to happen is a sign of how unimportant he is."

It indicates to me that he and any handlers believe that the Russians are OK with it. That could be for various reasons. But relying on Russian tolerance because he is a "small fish" seems incredibly trusting. Neither fled agents nor their handlers are known for their trusting natures. They have had some reasons stronger than that for their unconcern. Whether those reasons will survive publicity remains to be seen.

Oscar , 10 September 2019 at 06:31 PM
Are those CIA agents as stupid, naive & incompetent as you paint them to be?
If that's the case our country is in real danger! You are. Pro Trump
and, you are basically defending him, but Putin do own Donald Trump,whether you like it or not!
turcopolier -> Oscar ... , 11 September 2019 at 08:56 AM
Oscar
What is the evidence for "Putin do own Trump?"Is it Trump's attempts to conduct foreign policy relationships with Russia? That is his job.
JohnH , 10 September 2019 at 08:16 PM
My question is: why did they push this report now? Any way you cut it, the Times and Post are just providing some trivia and drivel. Without substance, they can accomplish nothing and substance has been what's been missing all along.

I doubt that Democrats, having been burned once, are eager to explore Brennan's smoke and mirrors again. It's never been a big concern to voters. And unless Brennan & Co. can do better than this superficial stuff, voters are never going to be concerned.

Maybe the Times and Post just felt sorry for Brennan, who's been off barking at the moon for years now.

Factotum , 10 September 2019 at 08:40 PM
Have a cup of Ovomaltine.
Rhondda , 10 September 2019 at 08:48 PM
...Smolenkov is a propaganda prop and is being trotted out by Brennan to try to provide public pressure to prevent the disclosure of intelligence that will show that the CIA and the NSA were coordinating and operating with British intelligence to entrap and smear Donald Trump and members of his campaign...

Well said. Thank you for following this closely and shining the light! You are an amazing American patriot, Mr. Larry C. Johnson. A glass in your honor!

plantman , 10 September 2019 at 09:13 PM
I think AG Barr might have cut these guys (Brennan and Clapper) some slack and let them off the hook, but NOW, what can he do but prosecute??

Brennan has shown that he is going to persevere with his fallacious attacks on Trump come hell or high water.

He needs to be stopped and brought to justice...

johnklis56@gmail.com -> plantman... , 11 September 2019 at 08:51 AM
Haha! Dream on. Barr IS CIA...remember his role back in the Slick WIlly days in Mena Arkansas?
Roy G , 10 September 2019 at 11:27 PM
IMO this scenario is the most plausible, Thanks for the sanity check. That said, given the desperation by these Sorcerer's Apprentices, I would be on the lookout for Mr. Smolenkov lest he be 'Skirpal-ed' in the coming weeks.
anon , 10 September 2019 at 11:36 PM
This whole story convinces now more than ever before that there is a high level spy/mole in the us administration and intelligence community.The only question is it spying for russia or china or both.Just a beautiful thing to watch.Those knickers,must surely be in a knot by now.
Even rocketman had a giggle.
Jim Ticehurst , 10 September 2019 at 11:52 PM
How many CIA Assets have been exposed..Tortured and Murdered During The Barrack Obama Reign...In May..2014 HE Paid a Surprise Visit to Afghanastan..His White House Bureau Chief Sent out an email to Reporters with a List of Who would meet With President Obama..It Contained the NAME of the CIA...Chief of Station in Kabul...Now that is REAL MESSY..
turcopolier , 11 September 2019 at 08:59 AM
johnklis56@gmail.com

Is there any basis for any of your assertions or are you just running your mouth?

David Habakkuk , 11 September 2019 at 10:37 AM
Larry,

Having been away from base, I have not been able to comment on some very fascinating recent posts.

Both your recent pieces, and Robert Willman's most helpful update on the state of play relating to the unraveling of the frame-up against Michael Flynn, have provided a lot to chew over.

Among other things, they have made me think further about the 302s recording the interviews with Bruce Ohr produced by Joseph Pientka – a character about whom I think we need to know more.

On reflection, I think that the picture that emerges of Ohr as an incurious and gullible nitwit, swallowing whole bucket loads of 'horse manure' fed him by Christopher Steele and Glenn Simpson, may be a carefully – indeed maybe cunningly – crafted fiction.

The interpretation your former intelligence officer friend puts on the Smolenkov affair, and also some of what Sidney Powell has to say in the ''Motion to Compel' on behalf of Flynn, both 'mesh' with what I have long suspected.

The dossier attributed to Steele, it has seemed to me, showed every sign of being the proverbial 'camel produced by a committee.'

Although I know that fabricating evidence and corrupting judicial proceedings is part of its supposed author's 'stock in trade', I think it is unclear whether he contributed all that much to the dossier.

His prime role, I think, was to contribute a veneer of intelligence respectability to a farrago the actual origins of which could not be acknowledged, so it could be used in support of FISA applications and in briefings to journalists.

Although it had started much earlier, the moving into 'high gear' of the conspiracy behind 'Russiagate, of which the dossier was one manifestation, and the phone 'digital forensics' produced by 'Crowdstrike' and the former GCHQ person Matt Tait another, were I think essentially panicky 'firefighting' operations.

They are likely to have been responses, first, to the realisation that material leaked from the DNC was going to be published by WikiLeaks, and then the discovery, probably significantly later, that the source was Seth Rich, and his subsequent murder.

Although the operation to divert responsibility to the Russians which then became necessary was strikingly successful, it did not have the expected result of saving Hillary Clinton from defeat.

What I then think may have emerged was a two-pronged strategy.

Part of this involved turning the conspiracy to prevent Trump being elected into a conspiracy to destabilise his Presidency and ensure he did not carry through on any of his 'anti-Borgist' agenda.

In different ways, both the framing of Flynn, and the final memorandum in the dossier, dated 13 December 2016, were part of this strategy.

Also required however was another 'insurance policy' – which was what the Bruce Ohr 302s were intended to provide.

The purpose of this was to have 'evidence' in place, should the first prong of the strategy run into problems, to sustain the case that people in the FBI and DOJ, and Bruce and Nellie Ohr in particular, were not co-conspirators with Steele and Simpson, but their gullible dupes.

This brings me to an irony. Some people have tried to replace the 'narrative' in which Steele was an heroic exposer of a Russian plot to destroy American democracy by an alternative in which he was the gullible 'patsy' of just such a plot.

In fact there is one strand, and one strand only, in the dossier which smells strongly to me of FSB-orchestrated disinformation.

Some of the material on Russian cyber operations, including critically the suggestions about the involvement of Aleksej Gubarev and his company XBT which provoked legal action by these against BuzzFeed and Steele, look to me as though they could come from sources in the FSB.

But, if this is so, the likely conduit is not through Steele, but from FSB to FBI cyber people.

How precisely this worked is unclear, but I cannot quite get rid of the suspicion that Major Dmitri Dokuchaev just might be serving out his sentence for treason in a comfortable flat somewhere above the Black Sea. Indeed, I can imagine a lecture to FSB trainees on how to make 'patsies' of people like the Ohrs.

If this is so, however, it mat also be the case that these are attempting to make 'patsies' of Steele and Simpson.