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These days in Official Washington, it has become almost forbidden to ask for actual evidence that would prove the original claim that Russia "hacked" Democratic emails, even though the accusation came from what President Obama's Director of National Intelligence James Clapper acknowledged were "hand-picked" analysts from the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency.
These "hand-picked" analysts produced the evidence-lite Jan. 6 "assessment" about Russia "hacking" the emails and slipping them to WikiLeaks – a scenario denied by both WikiLeaks and Russia.
Protecting the Shaky Russia-gate Narrative by Robert Parry, Dec 15, 2017]
In December 2017 this memo which was release on Jan 6, 2017 more and more looks like intelligence operation led by Brannan. There are several questions here:
Here is what Robert Parry wrote on this issue in his article Protecting the Shaky Russia-gate Narrative – Consortiumnews
The 17-Agencies Canard
Whenever scattered expressions of skepticism arose from a few analysts or non-mainstream media, the doubts were beaten back by the claim that “all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies” concurred in the conclusion that Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered the hacking to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump. And what kind of nut would doubt the collective judgment of all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies!
Though the 17-agency canard was never true, it served an important purpose in establishing the Russia-gate groupthink. Wielding the “all 17 intelligence agencies” club, the U.S. mainstream media pounded politicians and policymakers into line, making any remaining skeptics seem more out of step and crazy.
So, in May 2017, when Clapper (along with former CIA Director John Brennan) admitted in congressional testimony that it wasn’t true that all 17 agencies concurred in the Russian hacking conclusion, those statements received very little attention in the mainstream media.
The New York Times among other major news outlets just continued asserting the 17-agency falsehood until the Times was finally pressured to correct its lie in late June, but that only led to the Times shifting to slightly different but still misleading wording, citing a “consensus” among the intelligence agencies without mentioning a number or by simply stating the unproven hacking claim as flat fact.
Even efforts to test the Russian-hack claims through science were ignored or ridiculed. When former NSA technical director William Binney conducted experiments that showed that the known download speed of one batch of DNC emails could not have occurred over the Internet but matched what was possible for a USB-connected thumb drive — an indication that a Democratic insider likely downloaded the emails and thus that there was no “hack” — Binney was mocked as a “conspiracy theorist.”
Even with the new disclosures about deep-seated anti-Trump bias in text messages exchanged between two senior FBI officials who played important early roles in the Russia-gate investigation, there is no indication that Official Washington is willing to go back to the beginning and see how the Russia-gate story might have been deceptively spun.
In a recently released Aug. 15, 2016 text message from Peter Strzok, a senior FBI counterintelligence official, to his reputed lover, senior FBI lawyer Lisa Page, Strzok referenced an apparent plan to keep Trump from getting elected before suggesting the need for “an insurance policy” just in case he did. A serious investigation into Russia-gate might want to know what these senior FBI officials had in mind.
But the Times and other big promoters of Russia-gate continue to dismiss doubters as delusional or as covering up for Russia and/or Trump. By this point – more than a year into this investigation – too many Important People have bought into the Russia-gate narrative to consider the possibility that there may be little or nothing there, or even worse, that it is the “insurance policy” that Strzok envisioned.
As Robert Parry reported:
In the past, America has witnessed "McCarthyism" from the Right and even complaints from the Right about "McCarthyism of the Left." But what we are witnessing now amid the Russia-gate frenzy is what might be called "Establishment McCarthyism, " traditional media/political powers demonizing and silencing dissent that questions mainstream narratives.
This extraordinary assault on civil liberties is cloaked in fright-filled stories about "Russian propaganda" and wildly exaggerated tales of the Kremlin's "hordes of Twitter bots," but its underlying goal is to enforce Washington's "groupthinks" by creating a permanent system that shuts down or marginalizes dissident opinions and labels contrary information – no matter how reasonable and well-researched – as "disputed" or "rated false" by mainstream "fact-checking" organizations like PolitiFact.
It doesn't seem to matter that the paragons of this new structure – such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and, indeed, PolitiFact – have a checkered record of getting facts straight.
For instance, PolitiFact still rates as "true" Hillary Clinton's false claim that "all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies" agreed that Russia was behind the release of Democratic emails last year. Even the Times and The Associated Press belatedly ran corrections after President Obama's intelligence chiefs admitted that the assessment came from what Director of National Intelligence James Clapper called "hand-picked" analysts from only three agencies: CIA, FBI and NSA.
And, the larger truth was that these "hand-picked" analysts were sequestered away from other analysts even from their own agencies and produced "stove-piped intelligence," i.e., analysis that escapes the back-and-forth that should occur inside the intelligence community.
... ... ...
So, if any media outlet dares to question the U.S. government's version of events – once that storyline has been embraced by the big media – the dissidents risk being awarded the media equivalent of a yellow star and having their readership dramatically reduced by getting downgraded on search engines and punished on social media.
Meanwhile, Congress has authorized $160 million to combat alleged Russian "propaganda and disinformation," a gilded invitation for "scholars" and "experts" to gear up "studies" that will continue to prove what is supposed to be proved – "Russia bad" – with credulous mainstream reporters eagerly gobbling up the latest "evidence" of Russian perfidy.
Jul 22, 2018 | twitter.com
cheech_wizard Sun, 07/22/2018 - 14:04
Clapper said --
If it weren't for President Obama we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set up a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today including Special Counsel Mueller's investigation. President Obama is responsible for that. It was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place.
Rita Moreau @ritmmor Replying to @prayingmedic
Rats are jumping ship and singing. Obamagate for sure. Biggest political spy scandal in history
Jul 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
I Am Jack's Ma -> 1 Alabama Tue, 07/17/2018 - 09:57 PermalinkI Am Jack's Ma -> I Am Jack's Ma Tue, 07/17/2018 - 10:20 Permalink
The hysteria is growing far too dangerous.
Comey and Senator Warner basically are calling for a coup because of the FALSE claim that it is 'treason' to doubt the IC.
Honestly, it's past joking about. The rabid dogs are now snarling in our front yard. Circling the house.
But it wasn't the Intelligence Community that said 'Russia hacked the DNC'... a play that was about getting you to ignore the CONTENT of Hillary/DNC emails. (Thus the quip 'Russia rigged our elections by exposing how our elections are rigged.').
It was Brennan and Clapper and a dozen 'handpicked' analysts from just 3 agencies. Even then the NSA boys only said 'moderate confidence' which is analyst speak for 'we have no real evidence.' The CIA and FBI analysts, relying on the DNC-linked CrowdStrike analysis of a server they never examined, said 'high confidence' which means 'we can't prove this but we totally believe it was Russia's government because wouldn't it be just like those aggressive Russkis?'
Trump needs to order a full intelligence agency review of Clapper's report. Someone lose to him needs to scream this into his ear.
Listen boys, that covers Trump from all directions. A full intelligence agency review no matter what it says helps him. MOREOVER, as part of that, any serious IC assessment of CLAPPER'S report will show that it was contrived. Political. Not how such assessments are normally done.
So even if it's conclusions ended up being correct... the report itself would be exposed as complete bullshit. Which points one to Clapper, and Brennan... and Obama.
Hey listen, playtime is over. Comey and Brennan and the neocons and media are basically using Trump's very reasonable doubt as 'treason' and have turned the rhetoric up to 11. They are suggesting a coup based on Deep State/Dem/MIC lies. This is intolerable and we may be at a point where sending the Marines to CIA headquarters to take documents and arrest some folks is in order. What would the media do - go nuts?
Why didn't Clapper invite DIA to the party?
If its military (SO/SF) versus the spooks - guess who wins?
The CIA is for the most part a collection of drig and guns mafias. They operate outside the law with unlimited funding. Squeeze that funding - grab some of their operators off the fucking street and interrogate them...
You have Senator Cohen actually suggesting a coup because Trump doubts the IC which Schumer said has many ways to 'get you.'
Where's the military?
Ready to defend The Republic, I believe.
I know this because Tyler knows this.Whoa Dammit -> I Am Jack's Ma Tue, 07/17/2018 - 10:39 Permalink
I think the triggering began with
REPORTER AP: President Trump you first. Just now President Putin denied having anything to do with the election interference in 2016. Every U.S. intelligence agency has concluded that Russia did...
So, this is a lie. It's the 'all intel agencies' lie even the NY Times at least at one loint admitted was a lie.
This is super important.
It was a dozen or so 'handpicked analysts' - NOT a full IC review. Now why wouldnt Obama, Brennan and Clapper want a full, actual Intel Assessment?
And Clapper had final edit power. I mean its a fucking joke and the complete lack of MSM scrutiny of the problems tells me the media is truly, no kidding, captured by interests who can completely suppress basic journalism (I know there's long been *bias* - this is deliberately not reporting on a highly unusual intel assessment by a guy who hates Trump relying on a private firm founded by a guy who hates Putin which has extensive ties to the DNC.
It really isnt a Red Team Blue Team thing and you don't have to like Trump. This is about whether a small group of spooks with ties to one party and effective media cobtrol get to undo an election to pursue war in Ukraine and Syria and to justify ever more spending by acting aggressively toward Russia along its borders then framing every response as 'Russian aggression.'
We are in an incredibly dangerous time eith senators and former fbi and cia heads more or less openly calling for a coup because Trump doubts Brennan/Clapper's horseshit report.
I know I repeat myself. I have to. I'm very alarmed by this stuff. Trump needs to order a full IC assessment of Clapper's report and of Russian alleged **hacking** ASAP. (the clickbait stuff is so silly its frankly not worth addressing right now).
Secret Service should also detain and question Cohen and Comey over their remarks. Trump needs to flex a little muscle now with people talking coup.wafm -> Whoa Dammit Tue, 07/17/2018 - 11:39 Permalink
I'd not seen the AP reporters question that triggered this before. It looks like the reporter was trying to embarrass both Putin and Trump but wound up getting his ass, Clinton's ass, and the asses of the intelligence community handed to him instead.
too right. If I remember correctly, it was in the context of Putin saying Russia is open to have FBI guys come to question the 12 GRU guys indicted (no proof yet) by Mueller.
In return, he then said Russia would like to ask a few questions to the US officials believed to have HELPED Browder funnel 400 mill to Clinton and probably avoid paying tax on 1.5 billion in Russia AND the US...
Browder has to be on top of the US wanted list in the not too distant future or there really is no fuckin justice.
BROWDER IS A FUCKIN TRAITOR, LOCK HIM UP!
Jul 04, 2018 | consortiumnews.com
uncle tungsten , July 4, 2018 at 12:39 amjacobo , July 4, 2018 at 12:33 am
Thank you John Matlock The fraud of this allegation has been apparent from day one. The Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein started this witch hunt and Sessions permits him to continue. The stone walling of Congress is an insult to everyone watching. Yet the farce continues. It seems Rod Rosenstein is the president of the permanent state and Trump is a token president of the yankee snake oil corporation.
Please USA the world is weary of the permanent state script and hollywood movie based on the farce. Is Sessions a protected species or just a convenient foil while the Awans, Clintons, Comeys, Wasserman-Shultz team run past the statute of limitations finish line?
Trump is a failure on this most important measure. He might fool Kim Jong Un (or vice versa) but he doesn't fool the world.
Joe Mifsud is the key to the path that leads all the way through MI6 and back to Hillary Clinton and the 'permanent state'. Take a peek.F. G. Sanford , July 3, 2018 at 9:23 pm
After the Nov'16 election when Hillary Clinton, instead of acknowledging that she alone was to blame for her defeat (what with, among her other mistakes, her labeling a segment of the working class' as deplorables) resorted to attributing said defeat to Russian/Putin interference in America's "sacred" electoral system.
Clearly, thereby, she was signaling that her post-defeat game would consist of nothing but scapegoating.
Soon thereafter, though, as the deep state joined the hate Russia/Putin chorus, it was apparent that this scapegoating had as much to do with preventing Donald Trump from making good on his promises, however vague, to improve US-Russian relations + getting our nation out of the business of regime changing.
Nothing was permissable, that is, that might impede the deep state's pursuit of world hegemony. Subsequent events re: government hearings along with democratic party politics and MSM coverage of same have only confirmed, not only that the above initial observations were correct, but that the scapegoating is aimed not only at maintaining the status quo vis-a-vis US foreign policy, but to prevent any leftward shift in the Democratic Party – that the duopoly be preserved. .Joe Tedesky , July 3, 2018 at 10:47 pm
The procedure used was the same as that used in 2003 – most likely because the order to prepare it was an Executive, not an Intelligence Community decision. That's what they're trying to keep under wraps, and that's why Rosenstein is stonewalling Congress. I suspect that James Clapper has nothing to worry about. It wasn't his idea in the first place.robjira , July 3, 2018 at 8:57 pm
F.G. are you saying the order came down from the president (Obama)? JoeJim DiEugenio , July 3, 2018 at 8:46 pm
Sorry for the repeated posts, but this is a significant issue for me. Since 1990, when we had the perfect opportunity to cement a bilateral relationship with Russia (maybe even one of those "special" ones the UK, Germany, Japan, and Israel love reminding everyone of), the US has done nothing but pull this kind of petty, mean spirited BS when all Russia has been after is peaceful, profitable coexistence.
Those of the US elite pushing this steaming load of a propaganda campaign (and a really scurrilous one the latest is), for all their learning and experience, are either incredibly stupid or just plain psychotic. Eff them and the preening mandarins posing as national news outlets.
Thank the stars for CN.Jeff Harrison , July 3, 2018 at 7:44 pm
I agree with all the statements in this analysis. And so far, what Mueller has put together does not come close to the charges he was supposed to investigate. Maybe he will later. But why is it taking so long? He has been in business for over a year now.robjira , July 3, 2018 at 7:31 pm
Thank you for a very informative piece. You are clearly a diplomat. Only a diplomat could refrain from saying: And the most important politician in the country, the President, completely and utterly failed in his obligation to exercise critical judgement of the advice that he had been given and foolishly and dangerously imposed sanctions on a nuclear equal based on this political hit job of an analysis which hasn't been shot down in flames only by virtue of an incessant invocation of classification.
The only more amazing thing is that the US government has been so monumentally stupid that it has kept the sanctions in place even though the basis for the sanctions has been thoroughly discredited.Sam F , July 3, 2018 at 6:45 pm
I recall Jack Matlock relating the following anecdote; right around the dissolution of the USSR, the Soviet ambassador to the UN told Matlock, "This will be bad for us, but worse for you. We've just taken away your best enemy."mbob , July 3, 2018 at 6:00 pm
Well reasoned and well written, Mr. Matlock, and I hope that you write more.
You have added new insights to a cogent compilation of analyses of this issue.Joe Tedesky , July 3, 2018 at 6:21 pm
Very nice article -- thank you!
The most troublesome aspect, to me, is the complicity of the "legitimate" media, especially the New York Times, in promoting, rather than questioning, the dubious narrative of Russian electoral "interference." I have too many relatives who are too invested in trusting those so-called "trustworthy" sources. To them, I've become a Breitbart/Fox kinda guy (I'm not.) for suggesting that all media are manipulative and one needs to be skeptical of basically all sources these days. I've given up talking politics with them.DFC , July 3, 2018 at 7:52 pm
Welcome to 'the Consortium' mbob. JoeDavid G , July 3, 2018 at 5:55 pm
MBOB, I used to hate Fox News, which I thought was a lunatic screech-fest against anything Obama did, even when it was reasonable. I am not saying everything Obama did was reasonable, but Fox portrayed everything he did in the worst possible light. As far as Breitbart was concerned, I had not even heard of that organization until after the 2016 election. The way I ran into Breitbart was when I was trying to sort out why every single reputable news agency that I was reading said HRC was going to be the next President and then I read that there was one that reported the opposite (Breitbart). So, I guess the question I asked myself was: am I going to continue to read news sources that got the 2016 presidential election so wrong, or start to read Breitbart? And what else were they getting wrong? So, the first week I was on Breitbart, they were talking Trump's "movement" and how it was related to Brexit (no clue who Nigel Farage was at the tine) and how big Trump's crowd sizes had been at his rallies. I was literally blindsided by all this; being a regular consumer of WaPo, CNN, NYT, etc, I felt like I was totally left in the dark. Breitbart actually informed me about what really happened and what was going on (how the world was undergoing a populist revolution) vs having to swallow the idea that Putin and a bunch of xenophobic misogynistic racists had taken over the United States. I finally gave up entirely on my old news sources when time after time something I read in them would be debunked 3 days later (why spend all those reading hours to become informed when I was being misinformed?). Anyway, I still have not warmed up to Fox News entirely (if it were not for Tucker Carlson, it would be hard to tune in at all, and I suppose Hannity has been right about Trump-Russia but he is so far over the top ) and that is how I drifted here to Consortium News.
*I am not saying Breitbart is a balanced source of news, but can be indispensable at times.voteforno6 , July 3, 2018 at 5:52 pm
I've read elsewhere as well that the State Department's INR has historically yielded some of the best intelligence analysis in the U.S. government. Perhaps not coincidentally, it also lacks the big budget and swagger of the other agencies.Bill , July 3, 2018 at 5:26 pm
For me, the giveaway on this report was that half of it was boilerplate security tips, the sorts of things that people see in their annual security training. It's almost like they were writing a college paper, and had to hit a certain page count, so they included anything they could.mrtmbrnmn , July 3, 2018 at 5:15 pm
Yes the report is bad. I came to that conclusion just reading the contents. They didn't have enough words to fill all of the pages. Now the question is, when is the GOP going to go after Clapper for it?Zim , July 3, 2018 at 5:05 pm
Intelligence Agencies "assessment" is weasel word for not exactly lying, just sayin'. The MSM malpracticers, on the other hand, have decided, in the total absence of ANY evidence in this long-running farcedy, to simply DECLARE their lies are truth. Paging George Orwell!!
and furthermore: http://news.jornal.us/article-681288.-THE-REAL-PUTINGATE-.htmlAntiwar7 , July 3, 2018 at 4:55 pm
Thanks for the info. This reinforces how corrupt the DNC/DLC/HRC cabal truly are.Herman , July 3, 2018 at 4:45 pm
What a cogent, well-written piece.
Shows a clear pattern of politically-motivated deception, implemented by a few appointees at the top (of a few agencies). Plus, why did the FBI never request access to Hillary Clinton's servers?John Kirsch , July 3, 2018 at 4:22 pm
I hope Mr. Matlock becomes a frequent contributor. I think he has a lot more to say beyond the subject he addresses.John Neal Spangler , July 3, 2018 at 4:20 pm
My understanding is that the FBI didn't examine the DNC computer that was allegedly hacked.
I find that very curious.ranney , July 3, 2018 at 4:12 pm
It was a coup attempt and the FBI/CIA plotters must be held accountable if we are going to regain a Democracy, instead of letting a few senile oligarchs dictate policy. Comey, Clapper, Brennan and some lesser figures must go to prison for all the disturbance that Russiagate has caused.Sally Snyder , July 3, 2018 at 3:01 pm
Fabulous article with so much important info! THANK YOU!!!
But Ambassador Matlock, what took you so long??? Didn't it occur to you that we needed to know this months ago?
Thank you for for finally sharing your very important expertise. And thanks to Ray McGovern and Bill Binney for encouraging you to do so.jaycee , July 3, 2018 at 2:56 pm
As shown in this article, apparently it is not a two-way street when it comes to Russian/American propaganda:
Washington has a very, very thin skin when it comes to outside nations criticisms of its agenda.Joe Tedesky , July 3, 2018 at 6:16 pm
There used to be a reasonably clear separation between objective news reporting and the expression of opinion – i.e. in print, news and editorial opinion appeared in distinct sections while on television there was hard news through the week and opinion and analysis on the Sunday morning programs.
Fox News and right-wing talk radio was effectively responsible for clouding these distinctions, presenting opinion (informed and uninformed) in a format usually understood as factual reporting. It used to be a common observation fifteen years ago that Fox News viewers cognitive understanding of objective reality diminished according to their degree of consumption of the Fox product. (see the documentary film "Outfoxed"). But nowadays, most if not all of the mainstream/legacy/corporate news media operate using the Fox model whereby factual reporting and opinion have dissolved into one another – and opinion becomes fact without the consumer being quite aware of it. It has been a major step backwards socially and politically, and a real eye-opener for those who once believed in the ever upward trajectory of human progress.robjira , July 3, 2018 at 2:45 pm
Your comment jaycee should not go unnoticed. More Americans should study and contemplate the dynamics of what you point to, as our news isn't at all news reporting in as much as our news is slanted opinion based propaganda. This control method is why Robert Parry left the MSM, so as he could inform the voter as to allow the voter to have the knowledge required to make an informed decision . & here we are. Good comment. Joelysias , July 3, 2018 at 8:29 pm
I first became aware of Jack Matlock via an interview on Democracy Now. Somehow I don't think Amy Goodman will be having him on again anytime soon to discuss this issue.GM , July 3, 2018 at 8:57 pm
What has gotten into Amy Goodman? I used to find Democracy Now worth listening to.Gary Weglarz , July 3, 2018 at 9:00 pm
She must have caught something contagious from David CornRealist , July 3, 2018 at 2:42 pm
Democracy Now and Counterpunch have both shilled the CIA regime change propaganda aimed at Syria. One expects such things from the NYT's and mainstream media, but I found this quite amazing given both DN and Counterpunch used to be valuable "progressive sites." My suggestion is that they consider combining forces. They could appropriately call the new joint venture either: "Counter Democracy," or better yet, "Democracy Punch."Joe Tedesky , July 3, 2018 at 6:08 pm
The deep state figured that the much-loathed Trump was the perfect patsy for Hillary to roll in the general election, so they didn't prevent him from getting the Republican nomination, in fact, with the considerable aid of the mass media, they promoted his case. The puppet masters in Washington, Arlington and Langley never believed for a moment that Hillary would lose. They simply miscalculated on how much she, also, was hated by the public. They've orchestrated a soft, slow motion coup attempt ever since their bubble was popped on election night. What will happen to Trump is still uncertain, probably depending on how he continues to dance to their tune and walk back every promise made during the campaign. What is certain is that these shadows behind the scenes will never again allow an "outsider," someone they did not create and entirely control, to receive the nomination of either major party ever again.KiwiAntz , July 3, 2018 at 6:56 pm
Realist good to hear from you, and yes Trump was the decoy candidate whom Queen Hillary would run over with a stampede of her voters, but whoops then there was the Electoral College damn the details. There by with Hillary's surprising loss, all the long knives of the Deep State were drawn to take down the orange haired tv reality star turned president down. Now, I have a theory, and my theory all though it can be disputed, is that I believe Trump out did his rivals with his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. With this honor so bestowed upon the disruptive Zionist Trump rallied his Calvary to his rescue or something like that.
Kick it around Realist. JoeGM , July 3, 2018 at 9:06 pm
Trump's a "useful idiot" as a President & as long as he dances to the Deepstate & MIC tune, he will be left in place & not suffer the same fate as JFK! Trump's backdown of his Election promises confirm that he has been totally bought & paid for, by his DS masters & now follows that warmongering agenda of plunder for Elitist gain! Russiagate is the biggest, Propagandist lie that has ever been proported as Truth, despite 2 yrs of zero evidence & fabricated reports such as this latest nothingburger of a Intelligence Report! But they have to keep this nonsense going because to much time & money & energy has been invested, to preserve this propagandist lie that they can't back track from it! Is it any wonder that the general population are starting to despise & distrust all Politicians & the US Govt & it's institutions because of their immoral behaviour! And the RT Channel or Sputnik cannot be blamed for exposing this corruption which the MSM has failed to do!
They also overestimated the power of the media, which traditionally has had much sway over which neoliberal candidate gets elected President. Turns out that said industry has gradually lost the public trust over time, which condition happened to reach a critical mass at any inconvenient juncture.
I'm sure they'll address the problem next time round with strategies involving censorship, blacklisting, and the deployment of covert armies of online disinformation teams, all of which we have already begun to see take shape.
Jun 29, 2018 | jackmatlock.com
Musings II The "Intelligence Community," "Russian Interference," and Due Diligence Posted on by Jack Did the U.S. "Intelligence Community" judge that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election?
Most commentators seem to think so. Every news report I have read of the planned meeting of Presidents Trump and Putin in July refers to "Russian interference" as a fact and asks whether the matter will be discussed. Reports that President Putin denied involvement in the election are scoffed at, usually with a claim that the U.S. "intelligence community" proved Russian interference. In fact, the U.S. "intelligence community" has not done so. The intelligence community as a whole has not been tasked to make a judgment and some key members of that community did not participate in the report that is routinely cited as "proof" of "Russian interference."
I spent the 35 years of my government service with a "top secret" clearance. When I reached the rank of ambassador and also worked as Special Assistant to the President for National Security, I also had clearances for "codeword" material. At that time, intelligence reports to the president relating to Soviet and European affairs were routed through me for comment. I developed at that time a "feel" for the strengths and weaknesses of the various American intelligence agencies. It is with that background that I read the January 6. 2017 report of three intelligence agencies: the CIA, FBI, and NSA.
This report is labeled "Intelligence Community Assessment," but in fact it is not that . A report of the intelligence community in my day would include the input of all the relevant intelligence agencies and would reveal whether all agreed with the conclusions. Individual agencies did not hesitate to "take a footnote" or explain their position if they disagreed with a particular assessment. A report would not claim to be that of the "intelligence community" if any relevant agency was omitted.
The report states that it represents the findings of three intelligence agencies: CIA, FBI, and NSA, but even that is misleading in that it implies that there was a consensus of relevant analysts in these three agencies. In fact, the report was prepared by a group of analysts from the three agencies pre-selected by their directors, with the selection process generally overseen by James Clapper, then Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Clapper told the Senate in testimony May 8, 2017, that it was prepared by "two dozen or so analysts -- hand-picked, seasoned experts from each of the contributing agencies." If you can hand-pick the analysts, you can hand-pick the conclusions. The analysts selected would have understood what Director Clapper wanted since he made no secret of his views. Why would they endanger their careers by not delivering?
What should have struck any congressperson or reporter was that the procedure Clapper followed was the same as that used in 2003 to produce the report falsely claiming that Saddam Hussein had retained stocks of weapons of mass destruction. That should be worrisome enough to inspire questions, but that is not the only anomaly.
The DNI has under his aegis a National Intelligence Council whose officers can call any intelligence agency with relevant expertise to draft community assessments. It was created by Congress after 9/11 specifically to correct some of the flaws in intelligence collection revealed by 9/11. Director Clapper chose not to call on the NIC, which is curious since its duty is "to act as a bridge between the intelligence and policy communities."
During my time in government, a judgment regarding national security would include reports from, as a minimum, the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) of the State Department. The FBI was rarely, if ever, included unless the principal question concerned law enforcement within the United States. NSA might have provided some of the intelligence used by the other agencies but normally did not express an opinion regarding the substance of reports.
What did I notice when I read the January report? There was no mention of INR or DIA! The exclusion of DIA might be understandable since its mandate deals primarily with military forces, except that the report attributes some of the Russian activity to the GRU, Russian military intelligence. DIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, is the U.S. intelligence organ most expert on the GRU. Did it concur with this attribution? The report doesn't say.
The omission of INR is more glaring since a report on foreign political activity could not have been that of the U.S. intelligence community without its participation. After all, when it comes to assessments of foreign intentions and foreign political activity, the State Department's intelligence service is by far the most knowledgeable and competent. In my day, it reported accurately on Gorbachev's reforms when the CIA leaders were advising that Gorbachev had the same aims as his predecessors.
This is where due diligence comes in. The first question responsible journalists and politicians should have asked is "Why is INR not represented? Does it have a different opinion? If so, what is that opinion? Most likely the official answer would have been that this is "classified information." But why should it be classified? If some agency heads come to a conclusion and choose (or are directed) to announce it publicly, doesn't the public deserve to know that one of the key agencies has a different opinion?
The second question should have been directed at the CIA, NSA, and FBI: did all their analysts agree with these conclusions or were they divided in their conclusions? What was the reason behind hand-picking analysts and departing from the customary practice of enlisting analysts already in place and already responsible for following the issues involved?
As I was recently informed by a senior official, the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence Research did, in fact, have a different opinion but was not allowed to express it . So the January report was not one of the "intelligence community," but rather of three intelligence agencies, two of which have no responsibility or necessarily any competence to judge foreign intentions. The job of the FBI is to enforce federal law. The job of NSA is to intercept the communications of others and to protect ours. It is not staffed to assess the content of what is intercepted; that task is assumed by others, particularly the CIA, the DIA (if it is military) or the State Department's INR (if it is political).
The second thing to remember is that reports of the intelligence agencies reflect the views of the heads of the agencies and are not necessarily a consensus of their analysts' views. The heads of both the CIA and FBI are political appointments, while the NSA chief is a military officer; his agency is a collector of intelligence rather than an analyst of its import, except in the fields of cryptography and communications security.
One striking thing about the press coverage and Congressional discussion of the January report, and of subsequent statements by CIA, FBI, and NSA heads is that questions were never posed regarding the position of the State Department's INR, or whether the analysts in the agencies cited were in total agreement with the conclusions.
Let's put these questions aside for the moment and look at the report itself. On the first page of text, the following statement leapt to my attention:
We did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election. The US Intelligence Community is charged with monitoring and assessing the intentions, capabilities, and actions of foreign actors; it does not analyze US political processes or US public opinion.
Now, how can one judge whether activity "interfered" with an election without assessing its impact? After all, if the activity had no impact on the outcome of the election, it could not be properly termed interference. This disclaimer, however, has not prevented journalists and politicians from citing the report as proof that "Russia interfered" in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
As for particulars, the report is full of assertion, innuendo, and description of "capabilities" but largely devoid of any evidence to substantiate its assertions. This is "explained" by claiming that much of the evidence is classified and cannot be disclosed without revealing sources and methods. The assertions are made with "high confidence" or occasionally, "moderate confidence." Having read many intelligence reports I can tell you that if there is irrefutable evidence of something it will be stated as a fact. The use of the term "high confidence" is what most normal people would call "our best guess." "Moderate confidence" means "some of our analysts think this might be true."
Among the assertions are that a persona calling itself "Guccifer 2.0" is an instrument of the GRU, and that it hacked the emails on the Democratic National Committee's computer and conveyed them to Wikileaks. What the report does not explain is that it is easy for a hacker or foreign intelligence service to leave a false trail. In fact, a program developed by CIA with NSA assistance to do just that has been leaked and published.
Retired senior NSA technical experts have examined the "Guccifer 2.0" data on the web and have concluded that "Guccifer 2.0's" data did not involve a hack across the web but was locally downloaded. Further, the data had been tampered with and manipulated, leading to the conclusion that "Guccifer 2.0" is a total fabrication.
The report's assertions regarding the supply of the DNC emails to Wikileaks are dubious, but its final statement in this regard is important: "Disclosures through WikiLeaks did not contain any evident forgeries." In other words, what was disclosed was the truth! So, Russians are accused of "degrading our democracy" by revealing that the DNC was trying to fix the nomination of a particular candidate rather than allowing the primaries and state caucuses to run their course. I had always thought that transparency is consistent with democratic values. Apparently those who think that the truth can degrade democracy have a rather bizarre -- to put it mildly–concept of democracy.
Most people, hearing that it is a "fact" that "Russia" interfered in our election must think that Russian government agents hacked into vote counting machines and switched votes to favor a particular candidate. This, indeed, would be scary, and would justify the most painful sanctions. But this is the one thing that the "intelligence" report of January 6, 2017, states did not happen. Here is what it said: " DHS [the Department of Homeland Security] assesses that the types of systems Russian actors targeted or compromised were not involved in vote tallying ."
This is an important statement by an agency that is empowered to assess the impact of foreign activity on the United States. Why was it not consulted regarding other aspects of the study? Or -- was it in fact consulted and refused to endorse the findings? Another obvious question any responsible journalist or competent politician should have asked.
Prominent American journalists and politicians seized upon this shabby, politically motivated, report as proof of "Russian interference" in the U.S. election without even the pretense of due diligence. They have objectively acted as co-conspirators in an effort to block any improvement in relations with Russia, even though cooperation with Russia to deal with common dangers is vital to both countries.
This is only part of the story of how, without good reason, U.S.-Russian relations have become dangerously confrontational. God willin and the crick don't rise, I'll be musing about other aspects soon.
Thanks to Ray McGovern and Bill Binney for their research assistance.
Jack F. Matlock, Jr.
June 29, 2018
Jun 09, 2018 | consortiumnews.com
If you are wondering why so little is heard these days of accusations that Russia hacked into the U.S. election in 2016, it could be because those charges could not withstand close scrutiny . It could also be because special counsel Robert Mueller appears to have never bothered to investigate what was once the central alleged crime in Russia-gate as no one associated with WikiLeaks has ever been questioned by his team.
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity -- including two "alumni" who were former National Security Agency technical directors -- have long since concluded that Julian Assange did not acquire what he called the "emails related to Hillary Clinton" via a "hack" by the Russians or anyone else. They found, rather, that he got them from someone with physical access to Democratic National Committee computers who copied the material onto an external storage device -- probably a thumb drive. In December 2016 VIPS explained this in some detail in an open Memorandum to President Barack Obama.
On January 18, 2017 President Obama admitted that the "conclusions" of U.S. intelligence regarding how the alleged Russian hacking got to WikiLeaks were "inconclusive." Even the vapid FBI/CIA/NSA "Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections" of January 6, 2017, which tried to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for election interference, contained no direct evidence of Russian involvement. That did not prevent the "handpicked" authors of that poor excuse for intelligence analysis from expressing "high confidence" that Russian intelligence "relayed material it acquired from the Democratic National Committee to WikiLeaks." Handpicked analysts, of course, say what they are handpicked to say.
Never mind. The FBI/CIA/NSA "assessment" became bible truth for partisans like Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, who was among the first off the blocks to blame Russia for interfering to help Trump. It simply could not have been that Hillary Clinton was quite capable of snatching defeat out of victory all by herself. No, it had to have been the Russians.
Five days into the Trump presidency, I had a chance to challenge Schiff personally on the gaping disconnect between the Russians and WikiLeaks. Schiff still "can't share the evidence" with me or with anyone else, because it does not exist.
It was on June 12, 2016, just six weeks before the Democratic National Convention, that Assange announced the pending publication of "emails related to Hillary Clinton," throwing the Clinton campaign into panic mode, since the emails would document strong bias in favor of Clinton and successful attempts to sabotage the campaign of Bernie Sanders. When the emails were published on July 22, just three days before the convention began, the campaign decided to create what I call a Magnificent Diversion, drawing attention away from the substance of the emails by blaming Russia for their release.
Clinton's PR chief Jennifer Palmieri later admitted that she golf-carted around to various media outlets at the convention with instructions "to get the press to focus on something even we found difficult to process: the prospect that Russia had not only hacked and stolen emails from the DNC, but that it had done so to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton." The diversion worked like a charm. Mainstream media kept shouting "The Russians did it," and gave little, if any, play to the DNC skullduggery revealed in the emails themselves. And like Brer' Fox, Bernie didn't say nothin'.
Meanwhile, highly sophisticated technical experts, were hard at work fabricating "forensic facts" to "prove" the Russians did it. Here's how it played out:
June 12, 2016: Assange announces that WikiLeaks is about to publish "emails related to Hillary Clinton."
June 14, 2016: DNC contractor CrowdStrike, (with a dubious professional record and multiple conflicts of interest) announces that malware has been found on the DNC server and claims there is evidence it was injected by Russians.
June 15, 2016: "Guccifer 2.0" affirms the DNC statement; claims responsibility for the "hack;" claims to be a WikiLeaks source; and posts a document that the forensics show was synthetically tainted with "Russian fingerprints."
The June 12, 14, & 15 timing was hardly coincidence. Rather, it was the start of a pre-emptive move to associate Russia with anything WikiLeaks might have been about to publish and to "show" that it came from a Russian hack.
Enter Independent Investigators
A year ago independent cyber-investigators completed the kind of forensic work that, for reasons best known to then-FBI Director James Comey, neither he nor the "handpicked analysts" who wrote the Jan. 6, 2017 assessment bothered to do. The independent investigators found verifiable evidence from metadata found in the record of an alleged Russian hack of July 5, 2016 showing that the "hack" that day of the DNC by Guccifer 2.0 was not a hack, by Russia or anyone else.
Rather it originated with a copy (onto an external storage device – a thumb drive, for example) by an insider -- the same process used by the DNC insider/leaker before June 12, 2016 for an altogether different purpose. (Once the metadata was found and the "fluid dynamics" principle of physics applied, this was not difficult to disprove the validity of the claim that Russia was responsible.)
One of these independent investigators publishing under the name of The Forensicator on May 31 published new evidence that the Guccifer 2.0 persona uploaded a document from the West Coast of the United States, and not from Russia.
In our July 24, 2017 Memorandum to President Donald Trump we stated , "We do not know who or what the murky Guccifer 2.0 is. You may wish to ask the FBI."
Our July 24 Memorandum continued: "Mr. President, the disclosure described below may be related. Even if it is not, it is something we think you should be made aware of in this general connection. On March 7, 2017, WikiLeaks began to publish a trove of original CIA documents that WikiLeaks labeled 'Vault 7.' WikiLeaks said it got the trove from a current or former CIA contractor and described it as comparable in scale and significance to the information Edward Snowden gave to reporters in 2013.
"No one has challenged the authenticity of the original documents of Vault 7, which disclosed a vast array of cyber warfare tools developed, probably with help from NSA, by CIA's Engineering Development Group. That Group was part of the sprawling CIA Directorate of Digital Innovation – a growth industry established by John Brennan in 2015. [ (VIPS warned President Obama of some of the dangers of that basic CIA reorganization at the time.]
"Scarcely imaginable digital tools – that can take control of your car and make it race over 100 mph, for example, or can enable remote spying through a TV – were described and duly reported in the New York Times and other media throughout March. But the Vault 7, part 3 release on March 31 that exposed the "Marble Framework" program apparently was judged too delicate to qualify as 'news fit to print' and was kept out of the Times at the time, and has never been mentioned since .
"The Washington Post's Ellen Nakashima, it seems, 'did not get the memo' in time. Her March 31 article bore the catching (and accurate) headline: 'WikiLeaks' latest release of CIA cyber-tools could blow the cover on agency hacking operations.'
"The WikiLeaks release indicated that Marble was designed for flexible and easy-to-use 'obfuscation,' and that Marble source code includes a "de-obfuscator" to reverse CIA text obfuscation.
"More important, the CIA reportedly used Marble during 2016. In her Washington Post report , Nakashima left that out, but did include another significant point made by WikiLeaks; namely, that the obfuscation tool could be used to conduct a 'forensic attribution double game' or false-flag operation because it included test samples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi."
A few weeks later William Binney, a former NSA technical, and I commented on Vault 7 Marble, and were able to get a shortened op-ed version published in The Baltimore Sun
The CIA's reaction to the WikiLeaks disclosure of the Marble Framework tool was neuralgic. Then Director Mike Pompeo lashed out two weeks later, calling Assange and his associates "demons," and insisting; "It's time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is, a non-state hostile intelligence service, often abetted by state actors like Russia."Our July 24 Memorandum continued: "Mr. President, we do not know if CIA's Marble Framework, or tools like it, played some kind of role in the campaign to blame Russia for hacking the DNC. Nor do we know how candid the denizens of CIA's Digital Innovation Directorate have been with you and with Director Pompeo. These are areas that might profit from early White House review. [ President Trump then directed Pompeo to invite Binney, one of the authors of the July 24, 2017 VIPS Memorandum to the President, to discuss all this. Binney and Pompeo spent an hour together at CIA Headquarters on October 24, 2017, during which Binney briefed Pompeo with his customary straightforwardness. ]
We also do not know if you have discussed cyber issues in any detail with President Putin. In his interview with NBC's Megyn Kelly he seemed quite willing – perhaps even eager – to address issues related to the kind of cyber tools revealed in the Vault 7 disclosures, if only to indicate he has been briefed on them. Putin pointed out that today's technology enables hacking to be 'masked and camouflaged to an extent that no one can understand the origin' [of the hack] And, vice versa, it is possible to set up any entity or any individual that everyone will think that they are the exact source of that attack.
"'Hackers may be anywhere,' he said. 'There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia. Can't you imagine such a scenario? I can.'
New attention has been drawn to these issues after I discussed them in a widely published 16-minute interview last Friday.
In view of the highly politicized environment surrounding these issues, I believe I must append here the same notice that VIPS felt compelled to add to our key Memorandum of July 24, 2017:
"Full Disclosure: Over recent decades the ethos of our intelligence profession has eroded in the public mind to the point that agenda-free analysis is deemed well nigh impossible. Thus, we add this disclaimer, which applies to everything we in VIPS say and do: We have no political agenda; our sole purpose is to spread truth around and, when necessary, hold to account our former intelligence colleagues.
"We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental." The fact we find it is necessary to include that reminder speaks volumes about these highly politicized times.
Ray McGovern works for Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Savior in inner-city Washington. He was an Army infantry/intelligence officer before serving as a CIA analyst for 27 years. His duties included preparing, and briefing one-on-one, the President's Daily Brief.
ThomasGilroy , June 9, 2018 at 9:44 amanon , June 9, 2018 at 11:28 am
"More important, the CIA reportedly used Marble during 2016. In her Washington Post report, Nakashima left that out, but did include another significant point made by WikiLeaks; namely, that the obfuscation tool could be used to conduct a 'forensic attribution double game' or false-flag operation because it included test samples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi."
Another false flag operation? Suddenly false flag operations have become the weapon of choice. Interestingly enough, they are nefariously (always) committed by the US or US allies. MH17 was a false flag with an SU-25 Ukraine jet responsible for downing the passenger jet (to blame Russia). All of the chemical attacks in Syria were false flag operations with the supply of sarin/chlorine made in Turkey or directly given to the "rebels" by the CIA or US allies. The White Helmets were of course in on all of the details. Assad was just simply not capable of doing that to "his" people. Forget that the sarin had the chemical signature of the Assad regime sarin supply. Next it was the snipers who used a false flag operation during the Maidan revolution to shoot protesters and police to oust Yanukovych. Only the neo-Nazis could be capable of shooting the Maidan protesters so they could take power. And then Seth Rich was murdered so he couldn't reveal he was the "real" source of the leak. This was hinted by Assange when he offered a reward to find the killers.
The author tosses out that the DNC hack was (potentially) a false flag operation by the CIA obviously to undermine Trump while victimizing Russia. It must be the Gulf of Tonkin all over again. While Crowdstrike might have a "dubious professional record and multiple conflicts of interest", their results were also confirmed by several other cyber-security firms (Wikipedia):
cybersecurity experts and firms, including CrowdStrike, Fidelis Cybersecurity, Mandiant, SecureWorks, ThreatConnect, and the editor for Ars Technica, have rejected the claims of "Guccifer 2.0" and have determined, on the basis of substantial evidence, that the cyberattacks were committed by two Russian state-sponsored groups (Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear).
Then there was Papadopoulas who coincidentally was given the information that Russia had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of emails. Obviously, they were illegally obtained (unless this was another CIA false flag operation). This was before the release of the emails by WikiLeaks. This was followed by the Trump Tower meeting with Russians with connections to the Russian government and the release of the emails by WikiLeaks shortly thereafter. Additionally, Russia had the motive to defeat HRC and elect Trump. Yesterday, Trump pushed for the reinstatement of Russia at the G-7 summit. What a shock! All known evidence and motive points the finger directly at Russia.
Calling everything a false flag operation is really the easy way out, but ultimately, it lets the responsible culprits off of the hook.CitizenOne , June 8, 2018 at 11:40 pm
I don't seen any cause to say that any false-flag theory you don't like is merely "tossed out" propaganda. One cannot tell in your comment where you think the accounts are credible and where not. No evidence that the Syria CW attacks "had the chemical signature of the Assad regime sarin supply."susan sunflower , June 8, 2018 at 7:52 pm
There can be no doubt that counterintelligence tools would be pursued by our intelligence agencies as a means to create narratives and false evidence based on the production of false flags which support desired geopolitical outcomes. There would be a need to create false flags using technology to support the geopolitical agenda which would be hard or impossible to trace using the forensic tools used by cyber sleuths.
In pre computer technology days there were also many false flags which were set up to create real world scenarios which suited the geopolitical agenda. Even today, there are many examples of tactical false flag operations either organized and orchestrated or utilized by the intelligence agencies to create the narrative which supports geopolitical objectives.
The US loaded munitions in broad daylight visible to German spies onto the passenger ship Lusitania despite German warnings that they would torpedo any vessels suspected of carrying munitions. The Lusitania then proceeded to loiter unaccompanied by escorts in an area off the Ireland coast treading over the same waters until it was spotted by a German U-Boat and was torpedoed. This was not exactly a false flag since the German U-Boat pulled the trigger but it was required to gain public support for the entrance of the US into WWI. It worked.
There is evidence that the US was deliberately caught "off guard" in the Pearl Harbor Attack. Numerous coded communication intercepts were made but somehow the advanced warning radar on the island of Hawaii was mysteriously turned off in the hours before and during the Japanese attack which guaranteed that the attack would be successful and also guaranteed that our population would instantly sign on to the war against Japan. It worked.
There is evidence that the US deliberately ignored the intelligence reports that UBL was planning to conduct an attack on the US using planes as bombs. The terrorists who carried out the attacks on the twin towers were "allowed" to conduct them. The result was the war in Iraq which was sold based on a pack of lies about WMDs and which we used to go to war with Iraq.
The Tonkin Gulf incident which historians doubt actually happened or believe if it did was greatly exaggerated by intelligence and military sources was used to justify the war in Vietnam.
The Spanish American War was ginned up by William Randolph Hearst and his yellow journalism empire to justify attacking Cuba, Panama and the Philippines. The facts revealed by forensic analysis of the exploded USS Maine have shown that the cataclysm was caused by a boiler explosion not an enemy mine. At the time this was also widely believed to not be caused by a Spanish mine in the harbor but the news sold the story of Spanish treachery and war was waged.
In each case of physical false flags created on purpose, or allowed to happen or just made up by fictions based on useful information that could be manipulated and distorted the US was led to war. Some of these wars were just wars and others were wars of choice but in every case a false flag was needed to bring the nation into a state where we believed we were under attack and under the circumstances flocked to war. I will not be the judge of history or justice here since each of these events had both negative and positive consequences for our nation. What I will state is that it is obvious that the willingness to allow or create or just capitalize on the events which have led to war are an essential ingredient. Without a publicly perceived and publicly supported cause for war there can be no widespread support for war. I can also say our leaders have always known this.
Enter the age of technology and the computer age with the electronic contraptions which enable global communication and commerce.
Is it such a stretch to imagine that the governments desire to shape world events based on military actions would result in a plan to use these modern technologies to once again create in our minds a cyber scenario in which we are once again as a result of the "cyber" false flag prepared for us to go to war? Would it be too much of a stretch to imagine that the government would use the new electronic frontier just as it used the old physical world events to justify military action?
Again, I will not go on to condemn any action by our military but will focus on how did we get there and how did we arrive at a place where a majority favored war.
Whether created by physical or cyberspace methods we can conclude that such false flags will happen for better or worse in any medium available.Gary Weglarz , June 8, 2018 at 11:08 am
I'd like "evidence" and I'd also like "context" since apparently international electoral "highjinks" and monkey-wrenching and rat-f*cking have a long tradition and history (before anyone draws a weapon, kills a candidate or sicc's death squads on the citizenry.
The DNC e-mail publication "theft" I suspect represents very small small potatoes for so many reasons As Dixon at Black Agenda Report put it . Russia-gate is American Exceptionalism writ large which takes on a more sinister aspect as groups like BLM and others are "linked" to alleged "Russian funding"on one and and Soros funding on another
(FWIW, this is a new neoliberal phenomenon when the ultra-rich "liberals" can quietly fund marches on Washington and "grassroots" networking making those neophyte movements too easy targets with questionable robust foundation (color revolutions are possible when anyone is able to foot the cost of 1,000 or 2000 "free" signs or t-shirts -- impecccably designed and printed.Skip Scott , June 8, 2018 at 1:07 pm
Excellent post. Thanks also for reminding me I need to revisit the Vault 7 information as source material. These are incredibly important leaks that help connect the dots of criminal State intelligence activities designed to have remained forever hidden.Realist , June 9, 2018 at 1:36 am
I can't think of any single piece of evidence that our MSM is under the very strict control of our so-called intelligence agencies than how fast and completely the Vault 7 releases got flushed down the memory hole. "Nothing to see here folks, move along."Skip Scott , June 9, 2018 at 7:05 am
http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/dems-put-finishing-touches-on-one-party-surveillance-superstate/willow , June 8, 2018 at 9:24 pm
I don't think anyone can predict whether or not Sanders would have won as a 3rd party candidate. He ran a remarkable campaign, but when he caved to the Clinton machine he lost a lot of supporters, including me. If he had stood up at the convention and talked of the DNC skullduggery exposed by Wikileaks, and said "either I run as a democrat, or I run as a Green, but I'm running", he would have at least gotten 15 pct to make the TV debates, and who knows what could have happened after that. 40 pct of registered voters didn't vote. That alone tells you it is possible he might have won.
Instead he expected us to follow him like he was the f'ing Pied Piper to elect another Wall St. loving warmonger. That's why he gets no "pass" from me. He (and the Queen of Chaos) gave us Trump. BTW, Obama doesn't get a "pass" either.Vivian O'Blivion , June 8, 2018 at 8:22 am
It's all about the money. A big motive for the DNC to conjure up Russia-gate was to keep donors from abandoning any future
Good Ship Hillary or other Blue Dog Democrat campaigns: "Our brand/platform wasn't flawed. It was the Rooskies."Realist , June 8, 2018 at 4:28 pm
An earlier time line.
March 14th. Popadopoulos has first encounter with Mifsud.
April 26th. Mifsud tells Popadopoulos that Russians have "dirt" on Clinton, including "thousands of e-mails".
May 4th. Trump last man standing in Republican primary.
May 10th. Popadopoulos gets drunk with London based Australian diplomat and talks about "dirt" but not specifically e-mails.
June 9th. Don. Jr meets in Trump tower with Russians promising "dirt" but not specifically in form of e-mails.
It all comes down to who Mifsud is, who he is working for and why he has been "off grid" to journalists (but not presumably Intelligence services) for > 6 months.
On March 14th Popadopoulos knew he was transferring from team Carson to team Trump but this was not announced to the (presumably underwhelmed) world 'till March 21st. Whoever put Mifsud onto Popadopoulos was very quick on their feet.
The Australian diplomat broke chain of command by reporting the drunken conversation to the State Department as opposed to his domestic Intelligence service. If Mifsud was a western asset, Australian Intelligence would likely be aware of his status.
If Mifsud was a Russian asset why would demonstrably genuine Russians be trying to dish up the dirt on Clinton in June?
There are missing pieces to this jigsaw puzzle but it's starting to look like a deep state operation to dirty Trump in the unlikely event that he went on to win.Wcb , June 8, 2018 at 5:25 pm
Ms. Clinton was personally trying to tar Trump with allusions to "Russia" and being "Putin's puppet" long before he won the presidency, in fact, quite conspicuously during the two conventions and most pointedly during the debates. She was willing to use that ruse long before her defeat at the ballot box. It was the straw that she clung to and was willing to use as a pretext for overturning the election after the unthinkable happened. But, you are right, smearing Trump through association with Russia was part of her long game going back to the early primaries, especially since her forces (both in politics and in the media) were trying mightily to get him the nomination under the assumption that he would be the easiest (more like the only) Republican candidate that she could defeat come November.Rob Roy , June 8, 2018 at 1:33 am
Steven Halper?MLS , June 7, 2018 at 9:59 pm
I might add to this informative article that the reason why Julian Assange has been ostracized and isolated from any public appearance, denied a cell phone, internet and visitors is that he tells the truth, and TPTB don't want him to say yet again that the emails were leaked from the DNC. I've heard him say it several times. H. Clinton was so shocked and angry that she didn't become president as she so confidently expected that her, almost knee-jerk, reaction was to find a reason that was outside of herself on which to blame her defeat. It's always surprised me that no one talks about what was in those emails which covered her plans for Iran and Russia (disgusting).
Trump is a sociopath, but the Russians had nothing to do with him becoming elected. I was please to read here that he or perhaps just Pompeo? met with Binney. That's a good thing, though Pompeo, too, is unstable and war hungry to follow Israel into bombing yet another innocent sovereign country. Thank, Mr. McGovern for another excellent coverage of this story.strgr-tgther , June 8, 2018 at 12:14 am
"no one associated with WikiLeaks has ever been questioned by his team"
Do tell, Ray: How do you know what the GOP Congress appointed Special Prosecutor's investigation – with its unlimited budget, wide mandate, and notable paucity of leaks – has and has not done?Rob Roy , June 8, 2018 at 1:48 am
MLS: Thank you! No one stands up for what is right any more. We have 17 Intelligency agencies that say are election was stolen. And just last week the Republicans Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnel and Trey Gowdy (who I detest) said the FBI and CIA and NSA were just doing there jobs the way ALL AMERICANS woudl want them to. And even Adam Schiff, do you think he will tell any reporter what evidence he does have? #1 It is probably classified and #2 he is probably saving it for the inpeachment. We did not find out about the Nixon missing 18 minutes until the end anyways. All of these articles sound like the writer just copied Sean Hannity and wrote everything down he said, and yesterday he told all suspects in the Mueller investigation to Smash and Bleach there mobile devices, witch is OBSTRUCTION of justice and witness TAMPERING. A great American there!John , June 8, 2018 at 5:48 am
Sean Hannity??? Ha, ha, ha.
As Mr. McGoven wrote .."any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental."incontinent reader , June 8, 2018 at 7:14 am
Sorry I had to come back and point out the ultimate irony of ANYONE who supports the Butcher of Libya complaining about having an election stolen from them (after the blatant rigging of the primary that caused her to take the nomination away from the ONE PERSON who was polling ahead of Trump beyond the margin of error of the polls.)
It is people like you who gave us Trump. The Pied Piper Candidate promoted by the DNC machine (as the emails that were LEAKED, not "hacked", as the metadata proves conclusively, show.)Realist , June 8, 2018 at 4:12 pm
What is this baloney? Seventeen Intelligence agencies DID NOT conclude what you are alleging, And in fact, Brennan and his cabal avoided using a National intelligence Estimate, which would have shot down his cherry-picked 'assessment' before it got off the ground – and it would have been published for all to read.
The NSA has everything on everybody, yet has never released anything remotely indicating Russian collusion. Do you think the NSA Director, who, as you may recall, did not give a strong endorsement to the Brennan-Comey assessment, would have held back from the Congress such information, if it had existed, when he was questioned? Furthermore, former technical directors of the NSA, Binney, Wiebe and Loomis- the very best of the best- have proven through forensics that the Wikileaks disclosures were not obtained by hacking the DNC computers, but by a leak, most likely to a thumb drive on the East Coast of the U.S. How many times does it have to be laid out for you before you are willing and able to absorb the facts?
As for Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, (and Trey Gowdy, who was quite skilled on the Benghazi and the Clinton private email server investigations- investigations during which Schiff ran interference for Clinton- but has seemed unwilling to digest the Strozk, Page, McCabe, et al emails and demand a Bureau housecleaning), who cares what they think or say, what matters is the evidence.
I suggest you familiarize yourself with the facts- and start by rereading Ray's articles, and the piece by Joe diGenova posted on Ray's website.Farmer Pete , June 8, 2018 at 7:30 am
The guy's got Schiff for brains. Everyone who cares about the truth has known since before Mueller started his charade that the "17 intelligence agency" claim was entirely a ruse, bald-faced confected propaganda to anger the public to support the coup attempted by Ms. Clinton and her zombie followers. People are NOT going to support the Democratic party now or in the future when its tactics include subverting our public institutions, including the electoral process under the constitution–whether you like the results or not! If the Democratic party is to be saved, those honest people still in it should endeavor to drain the septic tank that has become their party before we can all drain the swamp that is the federal government and its ex-officio manipulators (otherwise known as the "deep state") in Washington.strgr-tgther , June 8, 2018 at 12:50 pm
"We have 17 Intelligency agencies that say are election was stolen."
You opened up with a talking point that is factually incorrect. The team of hand-picked spooks that slapped the "high confidence" report together came from 3 agencies. I know, 17 sounds like a lot and very convincing to us peasants. Regardless, it's important to practice a few ounces of skepticism when it comes to institutions with a long rap sheet of crime and deception. Taking their word for it as a substitute for actual observable evidence is naive to say the least. The rest of your hollow argument is filled with "probably(s)". If I were you, I'd turn off my TV and stop looking for scapegoats for an epically horrible presidential campaign and candidate.irina , June 8, 2018 at 3:40 pm
/horrible presidential campaign and candidate/ Say you. But we all went to sleep comfortable the night before the election where 97% of all poles said Clinton was going to be are next President. And that did not happen! So Robert Mueller is going to find out EXACTLY why. Stay tuned!!!Realist , June 8, 2018 at 3:50 pm
Not 'all'. I knew she was toast after reading that she had cancelled her election night fireworks
celebration, early on the morning of Election Day. She must have known it also, too.
And she was toast in my mind after seeing the ridiculous scene of her virtual image
'breaking the glass ceiling' during the Democratic Convention. So expensively stupid.Realist , June 8, 2018 at 3:57 pm
Mueller is simply orchestrating a dramatic charade to distract you from the obvious reason why she lost: Trump garnered more electoral votes, even after the popular votes were counted and recounted. Any evidence of ballot box stuffing in the key states pointed to the Democrats, so they gave that up. She and her supporters like you have never stopped trying to hoodwink the public either before or after the election. Too many voters were on to you, that's why she lost.Curious , June 8, 2018 at 6:27 pm
Indeed, stop the nonsense which can't be changed short of a coup d'etat, and start focusing on opposing the bad policy which this administration has been pursuing. I don't see the Dems doing that even in their incipient campaigns leading up to the November elections. Fact is, they are not inclined to change the policies, which are the same ones that got them "shellacked" at the ballot box in 2016. (I think Obama must own lots of stock in the shellack trade.)Daniel , June 8, 2018 at 6:38 pm
Ignorance of th facts keep showing up in your posts for some unknown reason. Sentence two: "we have 17 intelligency (sic) agencies that say ". this statement was debunked a long time ago.
Have you learned nothing yet regarding the hand-picked people out of three agencies after all this time? Given that set of lies it makes your post impossible to read.
I would suggest a review of what really happened before you perpetuate more myths and this will benefit all.
Also, a good reading of the Snowden Docs and vault 7 should scare you out of your shell since our "intelligeny" community can pretend to be Chinese, Russian, Iranian just for starters, and the blame game can start after hours instead of the needed weeks and/or months to determine the veracity of a hack and/or leak.
It's past trying to win you over with the actual 'time lines' and truths. Mr McGovern has re-emphasized in this article the very things you should be reading.
Start with Mr Binney and his technical evaluation of the forensics in the DNC docs and build out from there This is just a suggestion.
What never ceases to amaze me in your posts is the 'issue' that many of the docs were bought and paid for by the Clinton team, and yet amnesia has taken over those aspects as well. Shouldn't you start with the Clintons paying for this dirt before it was ever attributed to Trump?Joe Lauria , June 8, 2018 at 2:12 am
Actually, both Brennan and Hayden testified to Congress that only 3 agencies signed off on their claim. They also said that they'd "hand picked" a special team to run their "investigation," and no other people were involved. So, people known to be perjurers cherry picked "evidence" to make a claim. Let's invade Iraq again.
More than 1/2 of their report was about RT, and even though that was all easily viewable public record, they got huge claims wrong. Basically, the best they had was that RT covered Occupy Wall Street and the NO DAPL and BLM protests, and horror of horrors, aired third party debates! In a democracy! How dare they?
Why didn't FBI subpoena DNC's servers so they could run their own forensics on them? Why did they just accept the claims of a private company founded by an Atlantic Council board member? Did you know that CrowdStrike had to backpedal on the exact same claim they made about the DNC server when Ukraine showed they were completely wrong regarding Ukie artillery?Realist , June 8, 2018 at 3:40 pm
Until he went incommunicado Assange stated on several occasions that he was never questioned by Muellers team. Craig Murray has said the same. And Kim Dotcom has written to Mueller offering evidence about the source and he says they have never replied to him.Miranda Keefe , June 8, 2018 at 3:28 pm
Mueller is not interested in the truth. He can't handle the truth. His purpose is not to divulge the truth. He has no use for truthtellers including the critical possessors of the truth whom you mentioned. This aversion to the truth is the biggest clue that Mueller's activities are a complete sham.F. G. Sanford , June 7, 2018 at 8:22 pm
MLS wrote, "How do you know what the GOP Congress appointed Special Prosecutor's investigation – with its unlimited budget, wide mandate, and notable paucity of leaks – has and has not done?"
Robert Mueller is NOT a Special Prosecutor appointed by the Congress. He is a special counsel appointed by the Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, and is part of the Department of Justice.
I know no one who dislikes Trumps wants to hear it. But all Mueller's authority and power to act is derived from Donald J. Trump's executive authority because he won the 2016 presidential election. Mueller is down the chain of command in the Executive Department.
That's why this is all nonsense. What we basically have is Trump investigating himself. The framers of the Constitution never intended this. They intended Congress to investigate the Executive and that's why they gave Congress the power to remove him or her via impeachment.
As long as we continue with this folly of expecting the Justice Department to somehow investigate and prosecute a president we end up with two terrible possibilities. Either a corrupt president will exercise his legitimate authority to end the investigation like Nixon did -or- we have a Deep State beyond the reach of the elected president that can effectively investigate and prosecute a corrupt president, but also then has other powers with no democratic control.
The solution to this dilemma? An empowered Congress elected by the People operating as the Constitution intended.
As to the rest of your post? It is an example of the "will to believe." Me? I'll not act as if there is evidence of Russian interference until I'm shown evidence, not act as if it must be true, because I want to believe that, until it's fully proven that it didn't happen.Ray McGovern , June 8, 2018 at 1:03 am
There must be some Trump-Russia ties.
Or so claim those CIA spies-
McCabe wants a deal, or else he won't squeal,
He'll dissemble when he testifies!
No one knows what's on Huma's computer.
There's no jury and no prosecutor.
Poor Adam Schiff hopes McCabe takes the fifth,
Special council might someday recruit her!
Assange is still embassy bound.
Mueller's case hasn't quite come unwound.
Wayne Madsen implies that there might be some ties,
To Israelis they haven't yet found!
Halper and Mifsud are players.
John Brennan used cutouts in layers.
If the scheme falls apart and the bureau is smart,
They'll go after them all as betrayers!
They needed historical fiction.
A dossier with salacious depiction!
Some urinous whores could get down on all fours,
They'd accomplish some bed sheet emiction!
Pablo Miller and Skripal were cited.
Sidney Blumenthal might have been slighted.
Christopher Steele offered Sidney a deal,
But the dossier's not copyrighted!
That story about Novichok,
Smells a lot like a very large crock.
But they can't be deposed or the story disclosed,
The Skripals have toxic brain block!
Papadopolis shot off his yap.
He told Downer, that affable chap-
There was dirt to report on the Clinton cohort,
Mifsud hooked him with that honey trap!
She was blond and a bombshell to boot.
Papadopolis thought she was cute.
She worked for Mifsud, a mysterious dude,
Now poor Paps is in grave disrepute!
But the trick was to tie it to Russians.
The Clinton team had some discussions.
Their big email scandal was easy to handle,
They'd blame Vlad for the bad repercussions!
There must have been Russian collusion.
That explained all the vote count confusion.
Guccifer Two made the Trump team come through,
If he won, it was just an illusion!
Lisa Page and Pete Strzok were disgusted
They schemed and they plotted and lusted.
If bald-headed Clapper appealed to Jake Tapper,
Brennan's Tweets might get Donald Trump busted!
There had to be cyber subversion.
It would serve as the perfect perversion.
They would claim it was missed if it didn't exist,
It's a logically perfect diversion!Rob Roy , June 8, 2018 at 1:41 am
BRAVO, F.G. and thanks.
RayKiwiAntz , June 7, 2018 at 7:30 pm
F.G., you've done it again, and I might add, topped even yourself! Thanks.Sam F , June 7, 2018 at 7:11 pm
What a joke, America, the most dishonest Country on Earth, has meddled, murdered & committed coups to overturn other Govts & interfered & continues to do so in just about every Country on Earth by using Trade sanctions, arming Terrorists & illegal invasions, has the barefaced cheek to puff out its chest & hypocritcally blame Russia for something that it does on a daily basis?? And the point with Mueller's investigation is not to find any Russian collusion evidence, who needs evidence when you can just make it up? The point is provide the US with a list of unfounded lies & excuses, FIRSTLY to slander & demonise RUSSIA for something they clearly didn't do! SECONDLY, was to provide a excuse for the Democrats dismal election loss result to the DONALD & his Trump Party which just happens to contain some Republicans? THIRDLY, to conduct a soft Coup by trying to get Trump impeached on "TRUMPED UP CHARGES OF RUSSIAN COLLUSION"? And FOURTLY to divert attention away from scrutiny & cover up Obama & Hillary Clinton's illegal, money grubbing activities & her treasonous behaviour with her private email server?? After two years of Russiagate nonsense with NOTHING to show for it, I think it's about time America owes Russia a public apology & compensation for its blatant lying & slander of a innocent Country for a crime they never committed?Antiwar7 , June 7, 2018 at 6:23 pm
Thanks, Ray, for revealing that the CIA's Digital Innovation Directorate is the likely cause of the Russiagate scams.
I am sure that they manipulate the digital voting machines directly and indirectly. True elections are now impossible.
Your disclaimer is hilarious: "We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental."mike k , June 7, 2018 at 5:55 pm
Expecting the evil people running the show to respond to reason is futile, of course. All of these reports are really addressed to the peanut gallery, where true power lies, if only they could realize it.
Thanks, Ray and VIPS, for keeping up the good fight.John , June 8, 2018 at 5:42 am
For whatever reason, Ray McGovern chose not to mention the murder of Seth Rich, which pretty clearly points to the real source of the leak being him, as hinted by Assange offering a reward for anyone uncovering his killer. The whole thing stinks of a democratic conspiracy.
And BTW people have become shy about using the word conspiracy, for fear it will automatically brand one as a hoaxer. On the contrary, conspiracies are extremely common, the higher one climbs in the power hierarchy. Like monopolies, conspiracies are central to the way the oligarchs do business.Unfettered Fire , June 8, 2018 at 10:44 am
Ray, from what I have seen in following his writing for years, meticulously only deals in knowns. The Seth Rich issue is not a known, it is speculation still. Yes, it probably is involved, but unless Craig Murray states that Seth Rich was the one who handed him the USB drive, it is not a known.
There is a possibility that Seth Rich was not the one who leaked the information, but that the DNC bigwigs THOUGHT he was, in which case, by neither confirming nor denying that Seth Rich was the leaker, it may be that letting the DNC continue to think it was him is being done in protection of the actual leaker. Seth Rich could also have been killed for unrelated reasons, perhaps Imran Awan thought he was on to his doings.Unfettered Fire , June 8, 2018 at 10:47 am
Don't forget this Twitter post by Wikileaks on October 30, 2016: Podesta: "I'm definitely for making an example of a suspected leaker whether or not we have any real basis for it." https://www.wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/36082#efmAGSAH-Drew Hunkins , June 7, 2018 at 5:50 pm
" whether or not"?!! Wow. That's an imperialistic statement.jose , June 7, 2018 at 5:13 pm
Mueller has nothing and he well knows it. He was willingly roped into this whole pathetic charade and he's left grasping for anything remotely tied to Trump campaign officials and Russians. Even the most tenuous connections and weak relationships are splashed across the mass media in breathless headlines. Meanwhile, NONE of the supposed skulduggery unearthed by Mueller has anything to do with the Kremlin "hacking" the election to favor Trump. Which was the entire raison d'etre behind Rosenstein and Mueller's crusade on behalf of the deplorable DNC and Washington militarist-imperialists. Sure be interesting to see how Mueller and his crew ultimately extricate themselves from this giant fraudulent edifice of deceit. Will they even be able to save the most rudimentary amount of face?
So sickening to see the manner in which many DNC sycophants obsequiously genuflect to their godlike Mueller. A damn prosecutor who was arguably in bed with the Winter Hill Gang!Jeff , June 7, 2018 at 4:35 pm
If they had had any evidence to inculpate Russia, we would have all seen it by now. They know that by stating that there is an investigation going on: they can blame Russia. The Democratic National Committee is integrated by a pack of liars.john wilson , June 7, 2018 at 4:09 pm
Thanx, Ray. The sad news is that everybody now believes that Russia tried to "meddle" in our election and, since it's a belief, neither facts nor reality will dislodge it. Your disclaimer should also probably carry the warning – never believe a word a government official says especially if they are in the CIA, NSA, or FBI unless they provide proof. If they tell you that it's classified, that they can't divulge it, or anything of that sort, you know they are lying.Joe Tedesky , June 7, 2018 at 4:08 pm
I suspect the real reason no evidence has been produced is because there isn't any. I know this is stating the obvious, but if you think about it, as long as the non extent evidence is supposedly being "investigated" the story remains alive. They know they aren't going to find anything even remotely plausible that would stand up to any kind of scrutiny, but as long as they are looking, it has the appearance that there might be something.Realist , June 7, 2018 at 5:25 pm
I first want to thank Ray and the VIPS for their continuing to follow through on this Russia-Gate story. And it is a story.
My question is simple, when will we concentrate on reading Hillary's many emails? After all wasn't this the reason for the Russian interference mania? Until we do, take apart Hillary's correspondence with her lackeys, nothing will transpire of any worth. I should not be the one saying this, in as much as Bernie Sanders should be the one screaming it for justice from the highest roof tops, but he isn't. So what's up with that? Who all is involved in this scandalous coverup? What do the masters of corruption have on everybody?
Now we have Sean Hannity making a strong case against the Clinton's and the FBI's careful handling of their crimes. What seems out of place, since this should be big news, is that CNN nor MSNBC seems to be covering this story in the same way Hannity is. I mean isn't this news, meant to be reported as news? Why avoid reporting on Hillary in such a manner? This must be that 'fake news' they all talk about boy am I smart.
In the end I have decided to be merely an observer, because there are no good guys or gals in our nation's capital worth believing. In the end even Hannity's version of what took place leads back to a guilty Russia. So, the way I see it, the swamp is being drained only to make more room for more, and new swamp creatures to emerge. Talk about spinning our wheels. When will good people arrive to finally once and for all drain this freaking swamp, once and for all?Joe Tedesky , June 7, 2018 at 10:00 pm
Ha, ha! Don't you enjoy the magic show being put on by the insiders desperately trying to hang onto their power even after being voted out of office? Their attempt to distract your attention from reality whilst feeding you their false illusions is worthy of Penn & Teller, or David Copperfield (the magician). Who ya gonna believe? Them or your lying eyes?F. G. Sanford , June 7, 2018 at 5:34 pm
Realist, You can bet they will investigate everything but what needs investigated, as our Politico class devolves into survivalist in fighting, the mechanism of war goes uninterrupted. JoeSam F , June 7, 2018 at 6:59 pm
Joe, speaking of draining the swamp, check out my comment under Ray's June 1 article about Freddy Fleitz!Unfettered Fire , June 8, 2018 at 11:00 am
That is just what I was reminded of; here is an antiseptic but less emphatic last line:
"Swamp draining progresses apace.
It's being accomplished with grace:
They're taking great pains to clean out the drains,"
New swamp creatures will need all that space!
We must realize that to them, "the Swamp" refers to those in office who still abide by New Deal policy. Despite the thoroughly discredited neoliberal economic policy, the radical right are driving the world in the libertarian direction of privatization, austerity, private bank control of money creation, dismantling the nation-state, contempt for the Constitution, etc.
May 20, 2018 | www.unz.com
Tom Welsh , May 17, 2018 at 9:46 am GMT"John Brennan, James Clapper and Admiral Rogers stage-managed a paper in January, 2017 that asserted that the Intelligence Community believed various things about Russian government tinkering with the US election (much as the US does in other countries' elections)".Curmudgeon , May 17, 2018 at 5:58 pm GMT
1. The paper's assertion was untrue (and known by the authors to be untrue). Far from "the intelligence community" believing any such thing, it was eventually admitted that a handful of picked individuals from three agencies (of the 16) had cautiously expressed that "belief" – with the proviso that they acknowledged that they knew of no supporting evidence. Presumably a handful of picked (and anonymous) individuals would be highly susceptible to bribery, blackmail, or a combination of the two.
2. The sentence quoted does not make it clear that, whereas the US government routinely manages and controls other countries' political affairs (it goes a very long way further than "tinkering") the alleged Russian "tinkering" was on a tiny scale, and had nothing to do with the Russian government.@Tom Welsh
An assertion is less than an allegation. Both have some factual basis, however little that factual basis may be.
A belief is less than an assertion. A belief is based on faith. A factual basis is not necessary.
In other words, the document was a leap of faith.
May 18, 2018 | www.realclearinvestigations.com
Former CIA Director John Brennan's insistence that the salacious and unverified Steele dossier was not part of the official Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 election is being contradicted by two top former officials.
Recently retired National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers stated in a classified letter to Congress that the Clinton campaign-funded memos did factor into the ICA . And James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence under President Obama, conceded in a recent CNN interview that the assessment was based on "some of the substantive content of the dossier." Without elaborating, he maintained that "we were able to corroborate" certain allegations.
These accounts are at odds with Brennan's May 2017 testimony before the House Intelligence Committee that the Steele dossier was "not in any way used as the basis for the intelligence community's assessment" that Russia interfered in the election to help elect Donald Trump. Brennan has repeated this claim numerous times, including in February on "Meet the Press."
In a March 5, 2018, letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, Adm. Rogers informed the committee that a two-page summary of the dossier -- described as "the Christopher Steele information" -- was "added" as an "appendix to the ICA draft," and that consideration of that appendix was "part of the overall ICA review/approval process."
His skepticism of the dossier may explain why the NSA parted company with other intelligence agencies and cast doubt on one of its crucial conclusions: that Vladimir Putin personally ordered a cyberattack on Hillary Clinton's campaign to help Donald Trump win the White House.
Rogers has testified that while he was sure the Russians wanted to hurt Clinton, he wasn't as confident as CIA and FBI officials that their actions were designed to help Trump, explaining that such as assessment "didn't have the same level of sourcing and the same level of multiple sources."Here and in photo at top, from left, the National Security Agency Director, Adm. Michael Rogers; FBI Director James Comey; Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; CIA Director John Brennan; and the Defense Intelligence Agency Director, Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, testifying before the
The dossier, which is made up of 16 opposition research-style memos on Trump underwritten by the Democratic National Committee and Clinton's own campaign, is based mostly on uncorroborated third-hand sources. Still, the ICA has been viewed by much of the Washington establishment as the unimpeachable consensus of the U.S. intelligence community. Its conclusions that "Vladimir Putin ordered" the hacking and leaking of Clinton campaign emails "to help Trump's chances of victory" have driven the "Russia collusion" narrative and subsequent investigations besieging the Trump presidency.
Except that the ICA did not reflect the consensus of the intelligence community. Clapper broke with tradition and decided not to put the assessment out to all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies for review. Instead, he limited input to a couple dozen chosen analysts from just three agencies -- the CIA, NSA and FBI. Agencies with relevant expertise on Russia, such as the Department of Homeland Security, Defense Intelligence Agency and the State Department's intelligence bureau, were excluded from the process.
While faulting Clapper for not following intelligence community tradecraft standards that Clapper himself ordered in 2015, the House Intelligence Committee's 250-page report also found that the ICA did not properly describe the "quality and credibility of underlying sources" and was not "independent of political considerations."
In another departure from custom, the report is missing any dissenting views or an annex with evaluations of the conclusions from outside reviewers. "Traditionally, controversial intelligence community assessments like this include dissenting views and the views of an outside review group," said Fred Fleitz, who worked as a CIA analyst for 19 years and helped draft national intelligence estimates at Langley. "It also should have been thoroughly vetted with all relevant IC agencies," he added. "Why were DHS and DIA excluded?"
Fleitz suggests that the Obama administration limited the number of players involved in the analysis to skew the results. He believes the process was "manipulated" to reach a "predetermined political conclusion" that the incoming Republican president was compromised by the Russians.
"I've never viewed the ICA as credible," the CIA veteran added.
A source close to the House investigation said Brennan himself selected the CIA and FBI analysts who worked on the ICA, and that they included former FBI counterespionage chief Peter Strzok.
"Strzok was the intermediary between Brennan and [former FBI Director James] Comey, and he was one of the authors of the ICA," according to the source.
Last year, Strzok was reassigned to another department and removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation after anti-Trump and pro-Clinton text messages he wrote to another investigator during the 2016 campaign were discovered by the Justice Department's inspector general. Strzok remains under IG investigation, along with other senior FBI officials, for possible misconduct.
Strzok led the FBI's investigation of Trump campaign ties to Russia during 2016, including obtaining electronic surveillance warrants on Carter Page and other campaign advisers. The Page warrant relied heavily on unverified allegations contained in the Democratic Party-funded dossier.
Brennan has sworn the dossier was not "in any way" used as a basis for the ICA. He explains he heard snippets of the dossier from the press in the summer of 2016, but insists he did not see it or read it for himself until late 2016. "Brennan's claims are impossible to believe," Fleitz asserted.
"Brennan was pushing the Trump collusion line in mid-2016 and claimed to start the FBI collusion investigation in August 2016," he said. "It's impossible to believe Brennan was pushing for this investigation without having read the dossier."
He also pointed out that the key findings of the ICA match the central allegations in the dossier. The House Intelligence Committee concluded that Brennan, who previously worked in the White House as Obama's deputy national security adviser, created a "fusion cell" on Russian election interference made up of analysts from the CIA, FBI and NSA, who produced a series of related papers for the White House during the 2016 campaign.
Less than a month after Trump won the election, Obama directed Brennan to conduct a review of all intelligence relating to Russian involvement in the 2016 election and produce a single, comprehensive assessment. Obama was briefed on the findings, along with President-elect Trump, in early January.
"Brennan put some of the dossier material into the PDB [presidential daily briefing] for Obama and described it as coming from a 'credible source,' which is how they viewed Steele," said the source familiar with the House investigation. "But they never corroborated his sources."
Attempts to reach Brennan for comment were unsuccessful. Several prominent Washington news outlets had access to the dossier during the 2016 campaign -- or at least portions of it -- but also could not confirm Steele's allegations. So they shied away from covering them. All that changed in early January 2017, after CNN and The Washington Post learned through Obama administration leaks that the CIA had briefed the president and president-elect about them. Then the allegations became a media feeding frenzy. On Jan. 11, 2017, within days of the dossier briefings and release of the declassified ICA report, BuzzFeed published virtually all of the dossier memos on its website.
The House committee found "significant leaks" of classified information around the time of the ICA -- and "many of these leaks were likely from senior officials within the IC." Its recently released report points to Clapper as the main source of leaks about the presidential briefings involving the dossier. It also suggests that during his July 17, 2017, testimony behind closed doors in executive session, he misled House investigators.When first asked about leaks related to the ICA in July 2017, Clapper flatly denied "discuss[ing] the dossier or any other intelligence related to Russia hacking of the 2016 election with journalists." But he subsequently acknowledged discussing the "dossier with CNN journalist Jake Tapper," and admitted he might have spoken with other journalists about the same issue.
On Jan. 10, 2017, CNN published an article by Tapper and others about the dossier briefings sourced to "multiple U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the briefings." Tapper shared a byline with lead writer Evan Perez, a close friend of the founders of Fusion GPS, which hired Steele as a subcontractor on the dossier project.
The next day, Clapper expressed his "profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press," while stressing that "I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC." A month after his misleading testimony to House investigators, Clapper joined CNN as a "national security analyst."
Attempts to reach Clapper for comment were unsuccessful.
Tom JonesLeader 3dMy, My, My.....what a tangled web they weave. Interesting that both Rogers and Clapper indicated the dossier was part of the assessment and Brennan does not. All while Obama was assuring the public that in no way could Russia impact our elections. With the recent allegations of a plant in the Trump campaign organization and the continued reluctance of the DOJ to release documents, it's becoming more evident by the day of significant irregularities that took place. Certainly, one would hope that only under the most severe probabilities would a President allow his intelligence agencies to spy on an opponents campaign....but it's looking more and more like it was an intended political operation rather than a national security issue. And if so, it's a direct threat to our democracy and should be addressed with the full power and legal impact of our judicial system. If it was political, EVERYONE involved should be prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law and they should spend significant time behind bars.magic_worker 1dIn my opinion the key points are: - Obama spied on Trump and many other Senator's Congressmen, Judges, and the press without warrants they only did Trump warrants well after they started spying.Rosa1984 Leader 3d
This was to cover their a$$ because they had no warrants when the spying started. Did it start the second a billionaire stepped on the escalator or before? - Obama spied using our allies (GCHQ) 5 eyes etc. and DOJ, IRS, FBI, CIA, Treasury and all the Alphabet Obamagate will be 10,000 x worse than Watergate, Don't fall for the golly gee Obama knew nothing Schultz defense. - Awan's were hired by Obama to run the DNC server, you really don't think Debbie hired them do you? ... See moreThey're covering up an attempted coup. What we've witnessed the past 15 months is HORRIFIC, Deeply Disturbing, and a Threat to the U.S. We CANNOT allow Democrats and Deep State to get away with this.NoBS NoSpam Influencer 3d EditedDid you know the President was in Nevada and Las Vegas during the Mandalay Assassination? Err, I mean the mass shooting by an FBI informant, of course. We assume Trump is free to govern. Why? If the Deep State owns the FBI, CIA, NSA and the most powerful weapon on Earth, the IRS. Martial Law of all Security clearance holders who are still alive "off" the books or not. Operative word is "Ex" spooks and their active psychopath cousins in the Military Industrial Complex.Peps Leader 3dAll of which means precisely nothing, because Sessions (via his absurd recusal) and Rosenstein allowed the Statute of Limitations to run out against Clapper without filing a perjury charge. So, once again, if you are a high-ranking DC insider, you can commit a felony for which any average citizen would be arrested, prosecuted and jailed, and do so with absolute, arrogant impunity, regardless of which party is technically in charge of the Department of Justice.KathyMcP 3dWhat is the limitation period for a perjury charge???carolinaswampfox Leader 3dWhat is the limitations period for sedition, treason, conspiring to interfere with a presidential election, conspiring to overturn the results of an American presidential election, obstruction of justice, illegal abuse of the FISA process, perjury in sworn testimony and in the FISA process, etc.Sam Hyde Leader 3d EditedMr. Clapper, did you leak any information on the briefings that took place with the President and President-elect? Clapper: Not wittingly. How many times has this guy committed perjury and gotten away with it? lolCarolinatarheel Leader 3dObama lowered the bar substantially for ethical standards and telling the truth! Our FBI is corrupt and dangerous! Mueller and Comey are dirty cops! ...chris_zzz Leader 3dIt's a bit ironic that Comey has been the focus of so much ire from the Trump people. Brennan and Clapper, not Comey, were the Obama political hacks who were pushing the Russian collusion angle.Greg Bed 2d
They forced the FBI to open a Trump/Russia investigation, even though Strzok and Comey were skeptical that any real evidence existed. Congressional investigators as well as the relevant IGs need to look at whether Obama himself, as well as the White House staff, engineered the Trump/Russia collusion hocus-pocus. It's hard to believe that Clapper and Brennan (and Lynch, Yates, and Ohr from DoJ) cooked-up the scheme without the approval/direction of Obama. In fact, the sheer political evil genius of the Trump/Russia collusion plot, including how it "explained" the DNC hack, reeks of the only person capable of inventing it: that 'ol silver fox himself, Bill Clinton.I think it is Comey's sanctimonious self-righteousness that brings that reaction. It always does. No matter who the parties are or what event it is. Even though their crimes are greater, it is easier to tolerate the obviously slimy swamp critters like Clapper and Brennan than it is the pious hypocrite like Comey.GameTime68 Leader 3dHow much more of this are we going to have to read about before someone with authority begins investigating this entire sordid mess? Until someone is indicated and charged with something, there is no incentive for the truth - just more media stories about conflicting congressional testimony, colleague disagreements on the veracity of statements, and so forth. Those of us who sat through Watergate were not naive enough to think it was a one-off. What is Sessions doing? Where is the special investigator for Dossiergate?NoBS NoSpam Influencer 3dThe DNC was caught in the act of rigging the Primaries. Fact. Do we really think they stopped at only the level of the DNC Primaries? I wish to be that naive so my love for America was still alive and not dead like Seth Rich. The low lives could not even cheat well, but not from lack of trying.GameTime68 Leader span 3dAnd someone inside hacked their computers for all those emails, too. That's why they didn't turn over their computers to the F.B.I. because it would bear that out.Old Paratrooper Contributor 3dBrennan and Clapper may have been the puppetmasters, with Comey, McCabe, Stzrok, Page, Ohr and Yates dancing to their tune, but Rogers didn't play nice and they didn't even invite the Defense Intelligence Agency to play. But I suspect the conspiracy went to the White House. Didn't Page say that the President "wanted to know everything we do"? And I suspect that Susan Rice, Valarie Jarrett and Ben Rhodes left fingerprints all over this crime.chris_zzz Leader span oper 3dThe NSA director at the time, Adm. Rogers, reportedly visited Trump (without Clapper's authorization) during the transition to inform Trump about the FBI's surveillance of his operation. The next day Trump tweeted that Obama was wiretapping Trump Tower.carolinaswampfox Leader 3dRogers is a white hat in a sea of black hats who tried to fire him for being a patriot. Rogers is a true American hero, without whom the extent of this coup and treasonous plot may never have been fully uncovered. The big ugly awaits the traitors and hopefully, the great awakening begins.carolinaswampfox Leader span oper 3d--and BHO communicated with Hillary at her private email address. The computers were smashed and bleach bit and Comey and company obstructed justice in whitewashing the Clinton investigation because all roads lead to BHO.Right-Here; Right Now ! Influencer 3dThe cogent fact is that none of that matters since the entire premise is that the Russians hacked the emails.....the ENTIRE Russia collusion theory collapses without the hacking of emails. And of course the Russians did not hack the DNC emails (time stamps on the meta data PROVE that they were copied at speeds too fast for any internet hack) ....they were downloaded on site on to a portable storage devise. We Know that the DNC denied law enforcement access to its server, (why would any "victim," of a crime refuse to cooperate with investigators?) Even more remarkable, experts determined that the files released by Guccifer 2.0 have been "run, via ordinary cut and paste, through a template that effectively immersed them in what could plausibly be cast as Russian fingerprints." Brennan Clapper and Comey ALL testified to congress that the CIA...and many others.. had this capability to leave "fingerprints" of whomever they wished to implicate. Moreover, for what it is worth, Julian Assange has repeatedly denied that Russia "or any state actor" was the source of the stolen DNC data published by WikiLeaks...but rather a staffer who passed a portable drive on the Mall in DC I think its safe to assume that the downloading was done by Imran Awan who we KNOW had access and we KNOW downloaded material and we KNOW used unauthorized methods to access unauthorized areas of Congressional servers and TOTAL ... See moreJames Fitzpatrick Influencer span Right Now ! 3d EditedI believe the name you're looking for is "Seth Rich." This is a case that requires a bull dog, not Droopy Dog. It's got murder, blackmail, extortion, Deep State conspiracy, high treason, low-level corruption, perverted sex cults... c'mon! Why are we still hearing about how a Senator met a Russian Ambassador at a meet-and-greet?! This is real drama!NoBS NoSpam Influencer span atrick 3dThey are mocking Seth Rich as the Russian Hacker. They keep dragging this kids hard work through the mud!JayTeigh Leader span Right Now ! 3dI think you're right about Awan being the hacker. I now wonder if the somehow sold the emails to someone who sent them to Assange.James Fitzpatrick Influencer 3dHere are some things that need investigation:pmidas span atrick 3d
- Aside from the obvious crimes of espionage and certainly extortion and fraud, why was Imran Awan trying to flee the country just after Seth Rich's assassination? Was Rich spilling the beans about Debbie Schultz's Pakistani mole and not just the Hillary scam?
- Russia expert Nellie Ohr was hired by FusionGPS during the launch of the Steele scam. But she was CIA. Was Fusion itself a rogue CIA shell org? And nobody seems to get the connection to the CIA OpenSource hackers' toolbox that was leaked into the wild, just as the "resist" people were expressing concern that THEY would lose access to these spying malware products and could no longer spy on Trump. And who worked for the OpenSource project? Why, Nellie Ohr, of course. Funny.Didn't Nellie state in some format that "i am going to be purchasing short-wave radios for our communications going forward"....?James Fitzpatrick Influencer 3dYes. One of many attempts to dodge a trail for investigators, oversight and FOIA.BorisBadinov Leader 3dBrennan and Clapper are dirty as can be. They are both corrupt deep state agents, and should go to prison for their lies and corruption. Adm. Rogers looks like the only straight-shooter in the bunch.NoBS NoSpam Influencer span v 3dGeneral Flynn was the main crusader for our children's dignity. The son of a b*censured*ich is still fighting for them!Grandmother of 7 Contributor 3dMay Brennan and all his cohorts, including Obama, rot from the inside out because I doubt anything we could punish them with would be enough. They did more damage to the Republic than Osama bin Laden and his ilk ever could.Mcgovern72 Leader 3dThe Clap-Man and Jimmy the B continue to be the best sources of intrigue on the whole collusion confusion, huh? Their legacy tarnished by all the lies, they now get to spew it on 'fake news', further tarnishing the credibility of 'faux news'. Brilliant!!Sam Hyde Leader span 3d EditedDNI Clapper doing what DNI Clapper does best. I can see him rubbing his greasy egg head right now for not having his story straight.dadling 3dThere are 2 sets of Laws in America. One for the elite, power political people and one for the Joe Sixpacks.....there is NO Law in America...the people are still asleep and have yet to be roused. However, when they do wake up, pitchforks, tar & feathers will be the order of the day for these criminals.dawg1234 3dOuch! Quite a scathing article from Real Clear! Impressive! Brennan? Brennan? Calling Mister, John, Brennan! LOL, this is getting fun!cjones1 Leader 3dThe plot thickens!leestauf4 Leader 2dThe democrats accuse Trump of colluding with the Russians to get elected, have ZERO proof of it after two years of trying to invent it, and yet it is a proven fact that Hillary and the DNC, through the middlemen Fusion GPS and Steele, COLLUDED with and paid high level Russian officials millions of dollars to produce the "salacious and completely unverified dossier" (Comey's words), in an attempt to throw our election like they did in their own primary, and to then try to impeach a constitutionally elected president with the same Russian supplied lies when that failed! So where was the actual collusion with the enemy? And why is Mueller completely ignoring those facts?jrc_mrc 2dFormer FBI Director James Comey has a long history of involvement in Department of Justice actions that arguably ended up favorable to the Clintons. In 2001, following the original 9/11 mass murder by the Muslim jihadists, President Bush asked the FBI to track the movements of likely Muslim jihadists; Comey and Mueller refused that request on the basis that such tracking would be "un-American". The jihadist mass murders of Americans in Boston, Chattanooga, Orlando, Fort Hood, and San Bernardino are therefore the direct result of that irresponsible refusal. In 2004 Comey, then serving as a deputy attorney general in the Justice Department, apparently limited the scope of the criminal investigation of Sandy Berger, which left out former Clinton administration officials who may have coordinated with Berger in his removal and destruction of classified records from the National Archives. The documents were relevant to the accusations that the Clinton administration was negligent in the build-up to the 9/11 terrorist attack. Back a year or two ago, FBI director Comey announced that despite the evidence of "extreme negligence" by Hillary Clinton and her top aides regarding the handling of classified information through her unprotected private email server, the FBI would not refer criminal charges to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the Justice Department since it was just a case of innocent negligence.jrc_mrc 2dFBI has had its ups and downs, certainly, but usually it found those low times due to some mishap or bad policy decisions based on matters of process by its upper management. But despite some of the worst 1970s conspiracy theories, rarely has the FBI been considered a bald-faced political actor until Director James Comey tarnished the shield by becoming a member of the Hillary Clinton's election campaign.KenPittman 2d
The FBI is no longer a legitimate or competent law enforcement agency. The FBI has become nothing more than a bunch of goons for the DNC and the Democrat Party. The FBI should now be considered a domestic corrupt terrorist organization. Due to the FBI's corruption and political affiliation with the Democrat Party, they should no longer have jurisdiction over a single American citizen. Comey is now guilty of treason by default and association. He has violated his sworn oath and must be removed. "Yes – Hillary Clinton is guilty but we will not recommend prosecution" – he declared to the congressional inquiry with a straight face. In other words, and for all practical purposes our FBI had become the American KGB.Clapper, Brennan and Comey have al likely retained legal counsel as Nunes has brilliantly followed the trail methodically backwards to the source. The Ohr couple, the intercepts of Strzok and the common denominators linking Stefan Halper are going to rock the Deep State to its foundation. Thankfully there are enough patriots in Washington to continue to outflank the framing of the POTUS.johnmike 2dThe butts of Brennan, Clapper, and Comey should be hauled before a Grand Jury by John Huber, the US Attorney, as stated by Joe DiGenova. I believe all three are enemies of the US and the biggest threats to our constitutional republic. Brennan once voted for a communist. All three are pathological liars...it's scary that these three scumbags held the highest and most critical intelligence and law enforcement positions in the nation.Ralph Lynch Contributor 1dIf these yokels better knew history, they would better understand the dangers of fomenting revolution.
May 15, 2018 | www.themarketswork.com
An article, Two Colleagues Contradict Brennan's Denial of Reliance on Dossier , caught the attention of a bunch of folks:
In a March 5, 2018, letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, Adm. Rogers informed the committee that a two-page summary of the dossier -- described as "the Christopher Steele information" -- was "added" as an "appendix to the ICA draft," and that consideration of that appendix was "part of the overall ICA review/approval process."
A source close to the House investigation said Brennan himself selected the CIA and FBI analysts who worked on the ICA, and that they included former FBI counterespionage chief Peter Strzok.
"Strzok was the intermediary between Brennan and [former FBI Director James] Comey, and he was one of the authors of the ICA," according to the source.
As a result of the article, I'm re-upping relevant portions from a February 23, 2108 post, Did Brennan & Clapper Use the Steele Dossier in the Intelligence Community Assessment:
We've long suspected that Clapper and Brennan were already ensnared in the Inspector General's Investigation – see John Brennan & James Clapper – Complicity, Lies & Bill Priestap .
Clapper was the architect of the report – Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections . I've previously discussed the report here and here .
Clapper's Assessment Report was the third in series of reports – each building on the other.
The first report, an assessment of Russian Intervention, was made in an October 7, 2016, Joint Statement from the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence noting the Intelligence Community was confident of Russian involvement in our election.
Later testimony by our various Intelligence Directors confirmed that Russia is always involved in Presidential elections.
The October report was followed up by a December 29, 2016, Joint Analysis by Homeland Security and the FBI titled GRIZZLY STEPPE – Russian Malicious Cyber Activity .
This report was meant to directly tie Russian hacking to the election.
What the report actually did was use technical language to describe a generalized hacking process – and the means by which hacking and phishing can be generally prevented.
I strongly encourage you to read the report. Its lack of actual detail is eye-opening.
FBI Russian Hacking Report by The Conservative Treehouse on Scribd
May 18, 2018 | www.unz.com
Originally from: The President is not CinC of the US, by W. Patrick Lang - The Unz Review
3. John Brennan, James Clapper and Admiral Rogers stage-managed a paper in January, 2017 that asserted that the Intelligence Community believed various things about Russian government tinkering with the US election (much as the US does in other countries' elections). The paper was represented to be an IC wide opinion (like an NIE).
Clapper gave it his imprimatur as Director of National Intelligence but Admiral Rogers at the National Security Agency could not get his people to express more than limited confidence in the document. DIA, State Department INR, the Army, Navy, Air Force and other agencies were either not consulted or did not deign to "sign on." Donald J Trump thinks this is a "rum deal," a phony politically motivated procedure run by a group of "hacks". Why would he not think that? The reaction of the Left is to excoriate him for his lack of "respect", for the people who "cooked up" this document. We should remember that the people who "cooked" the document have no legal or constitutional existence outside the framework of the Executive Branch. Any president, in any circumstance could dismiss them all at will. No president is under any obligation at all to accept their opinion or that of anyone in the Executive Branch on anything. They are his advisers and subordinates, tools in his kit box, and that is all they are.
Mar 07, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com
The Intel Community Lie About Russian Meddling by Publius Tacitus
Americans tend to be a trusting lot. When they hear a high level government official, like former Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper, state that Russia's Vladimir ordered and monitored a Russian cyber attack on the 2016 Presidential election, those trusting souls believe him. For experienced intelligence professionals, who know how the process of gathering and analyzing intelligence works, they detect a troubling omission in Clapper's presentation and, upon examining the so-called "Intelligence Community Assessment," discover that document is a deceptive fraud. It lacks actual evidence that Putin and the Russians did what they are accused of doing. More troubling -- and this is inside baseball -- is the fact that two critical members of the Intelligence Community -- the DIA and State INR -- were not asked to coordinate/clear on the assessment.
You should not feel stupid if you do not understand or appreciate the last point. That is something only people who actually have produced a Community Assessment would understand. I need to take you behind the scenes and ensure you understand what is intelligence and how analysts assess and process that intelligence. Once you understand that then you will be able to see the flaws and inadequacies in the report released by Jim Clapper in January 2017.The first thing you need to understand is the meaning of the term, the "Intelligence Community" aka IC. Comedians are not far off the mark in touting this phrase as the original oxymoron. On paper the IC currently is comprised of 17 agencies/departments:
- Air Force Intelligence,
- Army Intelligence,
- Central Intelligence Agency aka CIA,
- Coast Guard Intelligence,
- Defense Intelligence Agency aka DIA,
- Energy Department aka DOE,
- Homeland Security Department,
- State Department aka INR,
- Treasury Department,
- Drug Enforcement Administration aka DEA,
- Federal Bureau of Investigation aka FBI,
- Marine Corps Intelligence,
- National Geospatial Intelligence Agency aka NGIA or NGA,
- National Reconnaissance Office aka NRO,
- National Security Agency aka NSA,
- Navy Intelligence
- The Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
But not all of these are "national security" agencies -- i.e., those that collect raw intelligence, which subsequently is packaged and distributed to other agencies on a need to know basis. Only six of these agencies take an active role in collecting raw foreign intelligence. The remainder are consumers of that intelligence product. In other words, the information does not originate with them. They are like a subscriber to the New York Times. They get the paper everyday and, based upon what they read, decide what is going on in their particular world. The gatherers of intelligence are:
- The CIA collects and disseminates intelligence from human sources, i.e., foreigners who have been recruited to spy for us.
- The DIA collects and disseminates intelligence on the activities and composition of foreign militaries and rely primarily on human sources but also collect documentary material.
- The State Department messages between the Secretary of State and the our embassies constitutes the intelligence reviewed and analyzed by other agencies.
- NGIA collects collects, analyzes, and distributes geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) in support of national security. NGA was known as the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) until 2003. In other words, maps and photographs.
- NRO designs, builds, and operates the reconnaissance satellites of the U.S. federal government, and provides satellite intelligence to several government agencies, particularly signals intelligence (SIGINT) to the NSA, imagery intelligence (IMINT) to the NGA, and measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT) to the DIA.
- NSA analyzes signal intelligence, including phone conversations and emails.
Nine of the other agencies/departments are consumers. They do not collect and package original info. They are the passive recipients. The analysts in those agencies will base their conclusions on information generated by other agencies, principally the CIA and the NSA.
The astute among you, I am sure, will insist my list is deficient and will ask, "What about the FBI and DEA?" It is true that those two organizations produce a type of human intelligence -- i.e., they recruit informants and those informants provide those agencies with information that the average person understandably would categorize as "intelligence." But there is an important difference between human intelligence collected by the CIA and the human source intelligence gathered by the FBI or the DEA. The latter two are law enforcement agencies. No one from the CIA or the NSA has the power to arrest someone. The FBI and the DEA do.
Their authority as law enforcement agents, however, comes with limitations, especially in collecting so-called intelligence. The FBI and the DEA face egal constraints on what information they can collect and store. The FBI cannot decide on its own that skinheads represent a threat and then start gathering information identifying skinhead leaders. There has to be an allegation of criminal activity. When such "human" information is being gathered under the umbrella of law enforcement authorities, it is being handled as potential evidence that may be used to prosecute someone. This means that such information cannot be shared with anyone else, especially intelligence agencies like the CIA and the NSA.
The "17th" member of the IC is the Director of National Intelligence aka DNI. This agency was created in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks for the ostensible purpose of coordinating the activities and products of the IC. In theory it is the organization that is supposed to coordinate what the IC collects and the products the IC produces. Most objective observers would concede that the DNI has been a miserable failure and nothing more than a bureaucratic boondoggle.
An important, but little understood point, is that these agencies each have a different focus. They are not looking at the same things. In fact, most are highly specialized and narrowly focused. Take the Coast Guard, for instance. Their intelligence operations primarily hone in on maritime threats and activities in U.S. territorial waters, such as narcotic interdictions. They are not responsible for monitoring what the Russians are doing in the Black Sea and they have no significant expertise in the cyber activities of the Russian Army military intelligence organization aka the GRU.
In looking back at the events of 2016 surrounding the U.S. Presidential campaign, most people will recall that Hillary Clinton, along with several high level Obama national security officials, pushed the lie that the U.S. Intelligence agreed that Russia had unleashed a cyber war on the United States. The initial lie came from DNI Jim Clapper and Homeland Security Chief, Jeb Johnson, who released the following memo to the press on 7 October 2016 :
"The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow -- the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities."
This was a deliberate deceptive message. It implied that the all 16 intelligence agencies agreed with the premise and "evidence of Russian meddling. Yet not a single bit of proof was offered. More telling was the absence of any written document issued from the Office of the DNI that detailed the supposed intel backing up this judgment. Notice the weasel language in this release:
- "The USIC is confident . . ."
- "We believe . . ."
If there was actual evidence/intelligence, such as an intercepted conversation between Vladimir Putin and a subordinate ordering them to hack the DNC or even a human source report claiming such an activity, then it would have and should have been referenced in the Clapper/Johnson document. It was not because such intel did not exist.
Hillary Clinton helped perpetuate this myth during the late October debate with Donald Trump, when she declared as fact that:
"We have 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin, and they are designed to influence our election," Clinton said. "I find that deeply disturbing."
What is shocking is that there was so little pushback to this nonsense. Hardly anyone asked why would the DEA, Coast Guard, the Marines or DOE have any technical expertise to make a judgment about Russian hacking of U.S. election systems. And no one of any importance asked the obvious -- where was the written memo or National Intelligence Estimate laying out what the IC supposedly knew and believed? There was nothing.
It is natural for the average American citizen to believe that something given the imprimatur of the Intelligence Community must reflect solid intelligence and real expertise. Expertise is supposed to be the cornerstone of intelligence analysis and the coordination that occurs within the IC. That means that only those analysts (and the agencies they represent) will be asked to contribute or comment on a particular intelligence issue. When it comes to the question of whether Russia had launched a full out cyber attack on the Democrats and the U.S. electoral system, only analysts from agencies with access to the intelligence and the expertise to analyze that intelligence would be asked to write or contribute to an intelligence memorandum.
Who would that be? The answer is simple -- the CIA, the DIA, the NSA, State INR and the FBI. (One could make the case that there are some analysts within Homeland Security that might have expertise, but they would not necessarily have access to the classified information produced by the CIA or the NSA.) The task of figuring out what the Russians were doing and planned to do fell to five agencies and only three of the five (the CIA, the DIA and NSA) would have had the ability to collect intelligence that could inform the work of analysts.
Before I can explain to you how an analyst work this issue it is essential for you to understand the type of intelligence that would be required to "prove" Russian meddling. There are four possible sources -- 1) a human source who had direct access to the Russians who directed the operation or carried it out; 2) a signal intercept of a conversation or cyber activity that was traced to Russian operatives; 3) a document that discloses the plan or activity observed; or 4) forensic evidence from the computer network that allegedly was attacked.
Getting human source intel is primarily the job of CIA. It also is possible that the DIA or the FBI had human sources that could have contributed relevant intelligence.
Signal intercepts are collected and analyzed by the NSA.
Documentary evidence, which normally is obtained from a human source but can also be picked up by NSA intercepts or even an old-fashioned theft.
Finally there is the forensic evidence . In the case of Russian meddling there is no forensic evidence available to the IC because the Democratic National Committee did not permit the FBI to investigate and examine the computers and the network that was allegedly attacked.
What Do Analysts Do?
Whenever there is a "judgment" or "consensus" claimed on behalf to the IC, it means that one or more analysts have written a document that details the evidence and presents conclusions based on that evidence. On a daily basis the average analyst confronts a flood of classified information (normally referred to as "cables" or "messages"). When I was on the job in the 1980s I had to wade through more than 1200 messages -- i.e., human source reports from the CIA, State Department messages with embassies around the world, NSA intercepts, DIA reports from their officers based overseas (most in US embassies) and open source press reports. Today, thanks to the internet, the average analyst must scan through upwards of 3000 messages. It is humanly impossible.
The basic job of an analyst is to collect as much relevant information as possible on the subject or topic that is their responsibility. There are analysts at the CIA, the NSA, the DIA and State INR that have the job of knowing about Russian cyber activity and capabilities. That is certain. But we are not talking about hundreds of people.
Let us move from the hypothetical to the actual. In January of 2017, DNI Jim Clapper release a report entitled, " Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections " (please see here ). In subsequent testimony before the Congress, Clapper claimed that he handpicked two dozen analysts to draft the document . That is not likely. There may have been as many as two dozen analysts who read the final document and commented on it, but there would never be that many involved in in drafting such a document. In any event, only analysts from the CIA, the NSA and the FBI were involved :
This report includes an analytic assessment drafted and coordinated among The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and The National Security Agency (NSA), which draws on intelligence information collected and disseminated by those three agencies.
Limiting the drafting and clearance on this document to only the CIA, the NSA and the FBI is highly unusual because one of the key analytical conclusions in the document identifies the Russian military intelligence organization, the GRU, as one of the perpetrators of the cyber attack. DIA's analysts are experts on the GRU and there also are analysts in State Department's Bureau of INR who should have been consulted. Instead, they were excluded.
Here is how the process should have worked in producing this document:
- One or more analysts are asked to do a preliminary draft. It is customary in such a document for the analyst to cite specific intelligence, using phrases such as: "According to a reliable source of proven access," when citing a CIA document or "According to an intercept of a conversation between knowledgeable sources with access," when referencing something collected by the NSA. The analyst does more than repeat what is claimed in the intel reports, he or she also has the job of explaining what these facts mean or do not mean.
- There always is an analyst leading the effort who has the job of integrating the contributions of the other analysts into a coherent document. Once the document is completed in draft it is handed over to Branch Chief and then Division Chief for editing. We do not know who had the lead, but it was either the FBI, the CIA or the NSA.
- At the same time the document is being edited at originating agency, it is supposed to be sent to the other clearing agencies, i.e. those agencies that either provided the intelligence cited in the draft (i.e., CIA, NSA, DIA, or State) or that have expertise on the subject. As noted previously, it is highly unusual to exclude the DIA and INR.
- Once all the relevant agencies clear on the content of the document, it is sent into the bowels of the DNI where it is put into final form.
That is how the process is supposed to work. But the document produced in January 2017 was not a genuine work reflecting the views of the "Intelligence Community." It only represented the supposed thinking (and I use that term generously) of CIA, NSA and FBI analysts. In other words, only three of 16 agencies cleared on the document that presented four conclusions:
- Russian efforts to influence the 2016 US presidential election represent the most recent expression of Moscow's longstanding desire to undermine the US-led liberal democratic order, but these activities demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous operations.
- We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the US 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.
- We assess Moscow will apply lessons learned from its Putin-ordered campaign aimed at the US presidential election to future influence efforts worldwide, including against US allies and their election processes.
Sounds pretty ominous, but the language used tells a different story. The conclusions are based on assumptions and judgments. There was nor is any actual evidence from intelligence sources showing that Vladimir Putin ordered up anything or that his government preferred Trump over Clinton.
How do I know this? If such evidence existed -- either documentary or human source or signal intercept -- it would have been cited in this document. Not only that. Such evidence would have corroborated the claims presented in the Steele dossier. But such evidence was not forthcoming. If it had existed than Jim Comey could have claimed in his June 2017 testimony before Congress that the parts of the "Dossier" had been verified. He did not do so. Testifying under oath Comey described the "Dossier" as "salacious and unverified."
It is genuinely shocking that DNI Jim Clapper, with the acquiescence of the CIA, the FBI and NSA, would produce a document devoid of any solid intelligence. There is a way to publicly release sensitive intelligence without comprising a the original source. But such sourcing is absent in this document.
That simple fact should tell you all you need to know. The Intelligence Community was used as a tool to misinform the public and persuade them that Russia was guilty of something they did not do. That lie remains unchallenged.
LeaNder , 07 March 2018 at 05:59 PMGood summary argument, PT. Thanks. Helpful reminder.turcopolier , 07 March 2018 at 06:10 PM
But, makes me feel uncomfortable. Cynical scenario. I'd prefer them to be both drivers and driven, somehow stumbling into the chronology of events. They didn't hack the DNC, after all. Crowdstrike? Steele? ...
But yes, all the 17 agencies Clinton alluded to in her 3rd encounter with Trump was a startling experience:
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/oct/19/hillary-clinton/hillary-clinton-blames-russia-putin-wikileaks-rele/LeaNderFlavius , 07 March 2018 at 06:19 PM
One other point on which Tacitus and I differ is the quality of the analysts in the "minors." The "bigs" often recruit analysts from the "minors" so they can't be all that bad. And the analysts in all these agencies receive much the same data feed electronically every day. There are exceptions to this but it is generally true. I, too, read hundreds of documents every day to keep up with the knowledge base of the analysts whom I interrogated continuously. "How do you know that?" would have been typical. plWell done.Richardstevenhack , 07 March 2018 at 06:23 PM
"The Intelligence Community was used as a tool to misinform the public and persuade them that Russia was guilty of something they did not do. That lie remains unchallenged.'" Yes it was and so remains the lie unchallenged.
Conjectural garbage appears first to have been washed through the FBI, headquarters no less, then probably it picked up a Triple A rating at the CIA, and then when the garbage got to Clapper, it was bombs away - we experts all agree. There were leaks, but they weren't sufficient to satisfy Steele so he just delivered the garbage whole to the Media in order to make it a sure thing. The garbage was placed securely out there in the public domain with a Triple A rating because the FBI wouldn't concern itself with garbage, would it?
Contrast this trajectory with what the Russian policy establishment did when it concluded that the US had done something in the Ukraine that Russia found significantly actionable: it released the taped evidence of Nuland and our Ambassador finishing off the coup.
The whole sequence reminds me in some ways of the sub prime mortgage bond fiasco: garbage risk progressively bundled, repackaged, rebranded and resold by big name institutions that should have known better.
I have only two questions: was it misfeasance, malfeasance, or some ugly combination of the two? And are they going to get away with it?Re this: " In the case of Russian meddling there is no forensic evidence available to the IC because the Democratic National Committee did not permit the FBI to investigate and examine the computers and the network that was allegedly attacked."ann , 07 March 2018 at 11:22 PM
To be precise, CrowdStrike did provide the FBI with allegedly "certified true images" of the DNC servers allegedly involved in the alleged "hack." They also allegedly provided these images to FireEye and Mandiant, IIRC.
All three allegedly examined those images and concurred with CrowdStrike's analysis.
Of course, given the CrowdStrike itself is a massively compromised organization due to its founder and CEO, those "certified true images" are themselves tainted evidence.
In addition, regardless of whether the images were true or not, the evidence allegedly contained therein is painfully inadequate to confirm that APT28 or APT29 were involved, nor that the Russian government was involved, or even that there was a real hack involved, and even less evidence that any emails that might have been exfiltrated were given to Wikileaks as opposed to another leak such as that alleged by Sy Hersh to have been done by Seth Rich.
The "assessment" that Putin ordered any of this is pure mind-reading and can be utterly dismissed absent any of the other evidence Publius points out as necessary.
The same applies to any "estimate" that the Russian government preferred Trump or wished to denigrate Clinton. Based on what I read in pro-Russian news outlets, Russian officials took great pains to not pick sides and Putin's comments were similarly very restrained. The main quote from Putin about Trump that emerged was mistranslated as approval whereas it was more an observation of Trump's personality. At no time did Putin ever say he favored Trump over Clinton, even though that was a likely probability given Clinton's "Hitler" comparison.
As an aside, I also recommend Scott Ritter's trashing of the ICA. Ritter is familiar with intelligence estimates and their reliability based on his previous service as a UN weapons inspector in Iraq and in Russia implementing arms control treaties.
Exposing The Man Behind The Curtain
Throwing a Curveball at 'Intelligence Community Consensus' on Russia
His analysis of the NSA document leaked by NSA contractor Reality Winner which supposedly supported the Russia theory is also relevant.
Leaked NSA Report Is Short on Facts, Proves Little in 'Russiagate' Case
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/leaked-nsa-report-is-short-on-facts-proves-little-in-russiagate-case/This is a wonderful explanation of the intelligence community. And I thank you for the explanation. My interpretation is: In 1990 +- Bush 41 sold us the 1st Iraq war using fudged intelligence, then Bush 43 sold us the second Iraq war using fabricated intelligence. And now the Obama Administration tried to sell us fake intelligence in regard to Russia in order to get Clinton elected. However inadequate my summary is it looks like the Democrats are less skilled in propaganda than the Repubs. And what else is the difference?Richardstevenhack , 08 March 2018 at 03:02 AMMueller has had 18 months and has proceeded to reveal exactly nothing related to either Trump "collusion" with Russia nor Russia as a state actually doing anything remotely described as "meddling."blue peacock , 08 March 2018 at 04:12 AM
His expected indictment of some Russians for the DNC hack is going to be more of the same in all likelihood. I predict there will be next to zero evidence produced either that the Russians named are in fact members of APT28 or APT29 or that they had any direct connection with either the alleged DNC hack or Wikileaks or the Russian government.
It's a witch hunt, nothing more. People holding their breath for the "slam dunk" are going to pass out soon if they haven't already.GZC #12English Outsider , 08 March 2018 at 05:57 AM
Mueller is investigating some aspects. But there is another aspect - the conspiracy inside law enforcement and the IC. That is also being investigated. There are Congressional committees in particular Nunes, Goodlatte and Grassley. Then there is the DOJ IG. And today AG Sessions confirms there is a DOJ prosecutor outside Washington investigating.
IMO, the conspiracy is significantly larger in scale and scope than anything the Russians did.
Yes, indeed we'll have to wait and see what facts Mueller reveals. But also what facts these other investigations reveal.Thank you for setting out the geography and workings of this complex world.turcopolier , 08 March 2018 at 07:53 AM
Might I ask how liaison with other Intelligence Communities fits in? Is intelligence information from non-US sources such as UK intelligence sources subject to the same process of verification and evaluation?
I ask because of the passage in your article -
"But such evidence (corroborating the Steele dossier) was not forthcoming. If it had existed than Jim Comey could have claimed in his June 2017 testimony before Congress that the parts of the "Dossier" had been verified. He did not do so. Testifying under oath Comey described the "Dossier" as "salacious and unverified." "
Does this leave room for the assertion that although the "Dossier" was unverified in the US it was accepted as good information because it had been verified by UK Intelligence or by persons warranted by the UK? In other words, was UK Intelligence, or an ex-UK intelligence officer, used to get material through the US evaluation process, material that would not have got through that US evaluation process had it originated within the US itself?EO,turcopolier , 08 March 2018 at 07:54 AM
" ... was UK Intelligence, or an ex-UK intelligence officer, used to get material through the US evaluation process, material that would not have got through that US evaluation process had it originated within the US itself?" I would say yes and especially yes if the contact for this piece of data was conducted at the highest level within the context of the already tight liaison between the US IC and Mi-6/GCHQ. PT may think differently. plGZCjsn -> The Twisted Genius ... , 08 March 2018 at 08:20 AM
A lot of smoke? Only if you wish to place a negative value on everything the Trump people did or were. plThe CIA appears to be trying to right the wrongs done them with the creation of the DNI:turcopolier , 08 March 2018 at 08:54 AM
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/03/08/dems-m08.htmljsnturcopolier -> Green Zone Café ... , 08 March 2018 at 09:01 AM
The wrongs done them? I hope that was irony. plGZCturcopolier , 08 March 2018 at 09:24 AM
Was it Hitler or Stalin who said "show me the man and I will find his crime?" As I have said before, Trumps greatest vulnerability lies in his previous business life as an entrepreneurial hustler. If he is anything like the many like him whom I observed in my ten business years, then he has cut corners legally somewhere in international business. they pretty much all do that. Kooshy, a successful businessman confirmed that here a while back. These other guys were all business hustlers including Flynn and their activities have made them vulnerable to Mueller. IMO you have to ask yourself how much you want to be governed by political hacks and how much by hustlers. pljsnDH , 08 March 2018 at 09:50 AM
hy this socialist pub would fing it surprising that former public servants seek elected office is a mystery to me. BTW, in re all the discussion here of the IC, there are many levels in these essentially hierarchical structures and one's knowledge of them is conditioned by the perspective from which you viewed them. plRe 'baby adoption' meeting between Trump, Jr. and Veselnitskaya, I recall a comment here linking to an article speculating the email initiating the meeting originated in Europe, was set up by the playboy son of a European diplomat, and contained words to trip data-gathering monitors which would have enabled a FISA request to have Trump, Jr. come under surveillance.Publius Tacitus -> Green Zone Café ... , 08 March 2018 at 09:53 AM
Also, the Seymour Hersh tape certainly seems authentic as far as Seth Rich being implicated in the DNC dump.GZC,jsn , 08 March 2018 at 10:15 AM
Are you really this obtuse?
You insist (I guess you rely on MSNBC as your fact source) that Manafort, Page, etc. all "have connections to Russia or Assange." You are using smear and guilt by association. Flynn's so-called connection to Russia was that he accepted an invite to deliver a speech at an RT sponsored event and was paid. So what? Nothing wrong with that. Just ask Bill Clinton. Or perhaps you are referring to the fact that Flynn also spoke to the Russian Ambassador to the US after the election in his capacity as designated National Security Advisor. Zero justification for investigation.
Stone? He left the campaign before there had even been a primary and only had text exchanges with Assange.
Your blind hatred of Trump makes you incapable of thinking logically.Sir,jsn , 08 March 2018 at 10:25 AM
The most sarcastic irony was intended. This is what the real left looks like, its very different from Clintonite Liberals, not that I agree with their ideological program, though I believe parts have their place.
Liberals have, I believe, jumped the shark: https://consortiumnews.com/2018/03/07/progressive-journalists-jump-the-shark-on-russiagate/
If the get their way with the new McCarthyism, the implications for dissent, left or right, seem to me to be about the same:
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/12/federalist-68-the-electoral-college-and-faithless-electors.html#intelligenceSir,LeaNder said in reply to Flavius... , 08 March 2018 at 10:40 AM
And to your second comment, yes I agree about the complexity of institutions and how situationally constrained individual experiences are, if that was the point.
I'll also concede my brief comments generalize very broadly, but it's hard to frame things more specific comments without direct knowledge, such as the invaluable correspondents here. I try to avoid confirmation bias by reading broadly and try to provide outside perspectives. My apologies if they're too far outside.
I suppose it would be interesting to see a side by side comparison of how many former IC self affiliated with which party in choosing to run. I'm just guessing but I'll bet there's more CIA in the D column and more DIA among the Rs.love this coinage Flavius: Yes it was and so remains the lie unchallengedSid Finster , 08 March 2018 at 11:06 AM
a lie "circumstantial"? http://recycledknowledge.blogspot.de/2005/05/seven-degrees-of-lie.html"We don't have the evidence yet because Mueller hasn't found it yet!" is a classic argument from ignorance, in that is assumes without evidence (there's that pesky word again!) that there is something to be found.Sarah B said in reply to turcopolier ... , 08 March 2018 at 11:27 AM
That said, I have no doubt that Mueller will find *something*, simply because an aggressive and determined prosecutor can always find *something*, especially if the target is engaged in higher level business or politics. A form unfiled, an irregularity in an official document, and overly optimistic tax position.
If nothing else works, there's always the good old standby of asking question after question until the target makes a statement that can be construed as perjury or lying to investigators.My perspective, after reading that linked article by the WSWS, is that both, the IC and the DoD, are trying to take over the whole US political spectrum, in fact, militarizing de facto the US political life....Barbara Ann -> turcopolier ... , 08 March 2018 at 11:35 AM
Now, tell me that this is not an intend by the MIC ( where all the former IC or DoD people finally end when they leave official positions )to take over the government ( if more was needed after what has happened with Trump´s ) to guarantee their profit rate in a moment where everything is crimbling....
Btw, have you read the recently released paper, "WorldWide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community" by Daniel R. Coats ( DNI )? You smell fear from the four corners....do not you?Those immortal words are attributed to Lavrentiy Beria, Colonel and you are not the first to draw the comparison re Mueller's investigation. For those who do not know Beria was head of the NKVD under Stalin.Barbara Ann -> Sid Finster... , 08 March 2018 at 11:36 AMOnly if you were discussing BDS.Sarah B , 08 March 2018 at 11:38 AMHere is the paper in question I am mentioning above: https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/Newsroom/Testimonies/2018-ATA---Unclassified-SSCI.pdf Some neutral analyst is saying that from 28 pages, 24 are dedicated to Russia and China, then Iran and NK, in this order...and that it is an official recognition of the new multipolar order....Peter VE said in reply to johnf... , 08 March 2018 at 11:55 AMThe BBC reported this morning that a police officer who was amongst the earliest responders to the "nerve gas" poisoning of Col. Skripal is also being treated for symptoms. How was it that many "White Helmets" who were filmed where the sarin gas was dropped on Khan Sheikhoun last April suffered no symptoms?Jack -> turcopolier ... , 08 March 2018 at 11:59 AMSirThe Twisted Genius , 08 March 2018 at 12:59 PM
That's a good way to present it political hacks vs hustlers. The fact is Flynn has pled guilty to perjury. Nothing else like collusion with the Russians. And his sentencing is on hold now as the judge has ordered Mueller to hand over any exculpatory evidence. Clearly something is going on his case for the judge to do that.
Manafort has been indicted for money laundering, wire fraud, etc for activities well before the election campaign. Sure, it is good that these corrupt individuals should be investigated and prosecuted. However, this corruption is widespread in DC. How come none of these cheering Mueller on to destroy Trump care about all the foreign money flowing to K Street? Why aren't they calling for investigations of the Clinton Foundation or the Podesta brothers where probable cause exist of foreign money and influence? What about Ben Cardin and all those recipients of foreign zionist money and influence? It would be nice if there were wide ranging investigations on all those engaged in foreign influence peddling. But it seems many just want a witch hunt to hobble Trump. It's going to be very difficult to get the Senate to convict him for obstruction of justice or tax evasion or some charge like that.The select group of several dozen analysts from CIA, NSA and FBI who produced the January 2017 ICA are very likely the same group of analysts assembled by Brenner in August 2016 to form a task force examining "L'Affaire Russe" at the same time Brennan brought that closely held report to Obama of Putin's specific instructions on an operation to damage Clinton and help Trump. I've seen these interagency task forces set up several times to address particular info ops or cyberattack issues. Access to the work of these task forces was usually heavily restricted. I don't know if this kind of thing has become more prevalent throughout the IC.LeaNder said in reply to Richardstevenhack ... , 08 March 2018 at 01:01 PM
I am also puzzled by the absence of DIA in the mix. When I was still working, there were a few DIA analysts who were acknowledged throughout the IC as subject matter experts and analytical leaders in this field. On the operational side, there was never great enthusiasm for things cyber or info ops. There were only a few lonely voices in the darkness. Meanwhile, CIA, FBI and NSA embraced the field wholeheartedly. Perhaps those DIA analytical experts retired or moved on to CYBERCOM, NSA or CIA's Information Operations Center.I predict there will be next to zero evidence produced either that the Russians named are in fact members of APT28 or APT29 ...LeaNder said in reply to Fred... , 08 March 2018 at 02:29 PM
Richard, over here the type of software is categorized under Advanced Persistent Threat, and beyond that specifically labeled the "Sofacy Group". ... I seem to prefer the more neutral description 'Advanced Persistent Threat' by Kaspersky. Yes, they seem to be suspicious lately in the US. But I am a rather constant consumer, never mind the occasional troubles over the years.
APT: Helps to not get confused by all the respective naming patterns in the economic field over national borders. APT 1 to 29 ...? Strictly, What's the precise history of the 'Bear' label and or the specific, I assume, group of APT? ...
Kasperky pdf-file - whodunnit?
Ever used a datebase checking a file online? Would have made you aware of the multitude of naming patterns.
More ad-hoc concerning one item in your argument above. To what extend does a standard back-up system leave relevant forensic traces? Beyond the respective image in the present? Do you know?
Admittedly, I have no knowledge about matters beyond purely private struggles. But yes, they seemed enough to get a vague glimpse of categories in the field of attribution. Regarding suspected state actors vs the larger cybercrime scene that is.Even mentioning those is just further evidence that something really did happen.Dave -> Publius Tacitus ... , 08 March 2018 at 03:18 PM
I appreciate you are riding our partially shared hobby horse, Fred. ;)
But admittedly this reminds me of something that felt like a debate-shift, I may be no doubt misguided here. Nitwit! In other words I may well have some type of ideological-knot in the relevant section dealing with memory in my brain as long-term undisciplined observer of SST.
But back on topic: the argument seemed to be that "important facts" were omitted. In other words vs earlier times were are now centrally dealing with omission as evidence. No?Ask National Security Advisor General McMaster.Dave -> Publius Tacitus ... , 08 March 2018 at 03:20 PM
Even Trump now says Putin meddled.
What more evidence do you needGeneral McMaster has seen the evidence and says the fact of Russian meddling can no longer be credibly denied.turcopolier , 08 March 2018 at 03:34 PM
That doesn't stop the right-wing extremists from spinning fairy tales.DaveDave -> turcopolier ... , 08 March 2018 at 03:50 PM
It is politically necessary for Trump to say that. Tell me, what is meant by "Russian meddling"in this statement by McMaster? plRussian meddling is hacking our election systems.Publius Tacitus -> Dave... , 08 March 2018 at 04:02 PM
The right wing (re: Hannity and Limbaugh) have been trying mightily to discredit this investigation by smearing Mueller's reputation, even though he is a conservative republican.
They are doing this so that if Mueller's report is damning, they can call it a "witch hunt."
I would think that if Trump is innocent, he would cooperate with this investigation fully.
You are insinuating that McMaster is a liar even though he has access to information that you don't.Just because trump is stupid is not an excuse for you. You accept a lie without one shred of actual evidence. You are a lemmingFred -> LeaNder... , 08 March 2018 at 04:04 PMLeaNder,Fred -> Dave... , 08 March 2018 at 04:07 PM
"omission as evidence. " Incorrect. Among the omissions was the fact that the dossier was paid for by a political campaign and that the wife of a senior DOJ lawyer's wife was working for Fusion GPS. Then there's the rest of the political motivations left out.Dave,Linda , 08 March 2018 at 04:16 PM
Putin hired Facebook. That company seems to do well helping out foreign governments.
If you have seen the classified information that would be necessary to back up your conclusions, it should not be discussed in this forum. As you are well aware sources and methods cannot be made public so I fail to see how you believe this should have been publically done. Having said that, I pretty much agree with your conclusion except for the indication that the analysts lied.turcopolier , 08 March 2018 at 04:26 PMDaveturcopolier , 08 March 2018 at 04:36 PM
What does "hacking our elections" mean? Does it means breaking into voting systems and changing the outcome by altering votes? Or does it mean information operations to change US voters' minds about for whom they would vote? If the latter you must know that we (the US) have done this many times in foreign elections, including Russian elections, Israeli elections, Italian elections, German elections, etc., or perhaps you think that a different criterion should be applied to people who are not American. As for McMasters, I am unimpressed with him. He displays all the symptoms of Russophobia. He has special information? Information can be interpreted many ways depending on one's purpose. plLindaJamesT -> turcopolier ... , 08 March 2018 at 04:37 PM
PT does not have access to the classified information underlying but your argument that "As you are well aware sources and methods cannot be made public so I fail to see how you believe this should have been publicly done." doesn't hold water for me since I have seen sources and methods disclosed by the government of the US many times when it felt that necessary. One example that I have mentioned before was that of the trial of Jeffrey Sterling (merlin) for which I was an expert witness and adviser to the federal court for four years. In that one the CIA and DoJ forced the court to allow them to de-classify the CIA DO's operational files on the case and read them into the record in open court. I had read all these files when they were classified at the SCI level. IMO the perpetrators in the Steel Memo case are and were merely hiding behind claims of sources and methods protection in order to protect themselve. plI continue to learn things around here that I could never learn anywhere else. It is a privilege to read the Colonel, TTG, and Publius Tacitus.turcopolier , 08 March 2018 at 04:47 PMDaveLeaNder said in reply to Flavius... , 08 March 2018 at 04:49 PM
If you use denigrating language like "wild eyed" to attack your interlocutors you will not be welcome here. plMueller cleared his ridiculous indictment relating to the Russian troll farm, a requirement that at one time would have been SOP for any FBI Office or USAtty Office bringing an indictment of this kind.Sid Finster said in reply to Dave... , 08 March 2018 at 05:09 PM
Not aware of this. Can you help me out?
No doubt vaguely familiar with public lore, in limited ways. As always.So now we are supposed to believe unquestioningly the word of torturers, perjurers and entrapment artists, all talking about alleged evidence that we are not allowed to see?LeaNder said in reply to Fred ... , 08 March 2018 at 05:10 PM
Did you learn nothing from the "Iraqi WMD" fiasco or the "ZOMG! Assad gassed his own peoples ZOMG!" debacle?
Funny how in each of these instances, the intelligence community's lies just happened to coincide with the agenda of empire.Ok, true. I forgot 'Steele'* was used as 'evidence'.m -> turcopolier ... , 08 March 2018 at 06:29 PM
Strictly, Pat may have helped me out considering my 'felt' "debate-shift". Indirectly. I do recall, I hesitated to try to clarify matters for myself.
* ...Depends on what crime the "hack" committed. Fudging on taxes or cutting corners? Big whoop. Laundering $500 mil for a buddy of Vlad's? Now you got my attention and should have the voters' attention.m -> Publius Tacitus ... , 08 March 2018 at 06:33 PM
This is a political process in the end game. Clinton lied about sex in the oval Office and was tried for it. Why don't we exercise patience in the process and see if this President should be tried?I ain't a lawyer but don't prosecutors hold their cards (evidence) close to their chests until the court has a criminal charge and sets a date for discovery?Publius Tacitus -> Linda ... , 08 March 2018 at 06:45 PMLinda,J , 08 March 2018 at 07:08 PM
You betray your ignorance on this subject. You clearly have not understood nor comprehended what I have written. So i will put it in CAPS for you. Please read slowly.
THIS TYPE OF DOCUMENT, IF IT HAD A SOURCE OR SOURCES BEHIND IT, WOULD REFERENCE THOSE SOURCES. AN ANALYST WOULD NOT WRITE "WE ASSESS." IF YOU HAVE A RELIABLE HUMAN SOURCE OR A RELIABLE PIECE OF SIGINT THE YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ASSESS. YOU SIMPLY STATE, ACCORDING TO A KNOWLEDGEABLE AND RELIABLE SOURCE.
GOT IT. And don't come back with nonsense that the sources are so sensitive that they cannot be disclose. News flash genius--the very fact that Clapper put out this piece of dreck would have exposed the sources if they existed (but they do not). In any event, there would be reference to sources that provided the evidence that such activity took place at the direction of Putin.
IT DOES NOT EXIST.Colonel,Steve McIntyre -> David Habakkuk ... , 08 March 2018 at 07:41 PM
The granddaddy of them all is #16, and what have they contributed?I'm eagerly awaiting your thoughts on the Skripal poisoning. I'm sure I'm not alone in the hope that you will write on it.The Twisted Genius -> Publius Tacitus ... , 08 March 2018 at 07:59 PMPublius Tacitus,The Twisted Genius -> Dave... , 08 March 2018 at 08:26 PM
I notice other Intelligence Community Assessments also use the term "we assess" liberally. For example, the 2018 Worldwide Threat Assessment and the 2012 ICA on Global Water Security use the "we assess" phrase throughout the documents. I hazard to guess that is why they call these things assessments.
The 2017 ICA on Russian Interference released to the public clearly states: "This report is a declassified version of a highly classified assessment. This document's conclusions are identical to the highly classified assessment, but this document does not include the full supporting information, including specific intelligence on key elements of the influence campaign. Given the redactions, we made minor edits purely for readability and flow."
I would hazard another guess that those minor edits for readability and flow are the reason that specific intelligence reports and sources, which were left out of the unclassified ICA, are not cited in that ICA.Dave,Publius Tacitus -> The Twisted Genius ... , 08 March 2018 at 08:55 PM
As far as I know, no one has reliably claimed that election systems, as in vote tallies, were ever breached. No votes were changed after they were cast. The integrity of our election system and the 2016 election itself was maintained. Having said that, there is plenty of evidence of Russian meddling as an influence op. I suggest you and others take a gander at the research of someone going by the handle of @UsHadrons and several others. They are compiling a collection of FaceBook, twitter and other media postings that emanated from the IRA and other Russian sources. The breadth of these postings is quite wide and supports the assessment that enhancing the divides that already existed in US society was a primary Russian goal.
I pointed this stuff out to Eric Newhill a while back in one of our conversations. He jokingly noted that he may have assisted in spreading a few of these memes. I bet a lot of people will recognize some of the stuff in this collection. That's nothing. Recently we all learned that Michael Moore did a lot more than unwittingly repost a Russian meme. He took part in a NYC protest march organized and pushed by Russians. This stuff is open source proof of Russian meddling.TTG
Nice try, but that is bullshit just because recent assessments come out with sloppy language is no excuse. Go back and look at the assessment was done for iraq to justify the war in 2003. Many sources cited because it was considered something Required to justify going to war. As we have been told by many in the media that the Russians meddling was worse or as bad as the attack on Pearl Harbor and 9-11. With something so serious do you want to argue that they would downplay the sourcing?
Mar 4, 2017 | www.youtube.com
He also exposes the NSA penchant for "swindles", such as preventing the plugging of holes in software around the world, to preserve their spying access.John, 10 months agoNancy M, 10 months ago
It's almost comical to hear that they lie to each other. No wonder why these retards in the mid-east and every other third world country gets the better of us.
The Clinton campaign to divert attention to Russia instead of her myriad of crimes that were revealed during the election must be stopped and the alt media needs to start talking about her and Obama's crimes again and demand justice...control the dialogue
Feb 22, 2018 | www.antiwar.com
Now that I have been nominated again – this time by author Paul Craig Roberts – to be CIA director, I am preparing to hit the ground running.
Last time my name was offered in nomination for the position – by The Nation publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel – I did not hold my breath waiting for a call from the White House. Her nomination came in the afterglow of my fortuitous, four-minute debate with then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, when I confronted him on his lies about the attack on Iraq , on May 4, 2006 on national TV. Since it was abundantly clear that Rumsfeld and I would not get along, I felt confident I had royally disqualified myself.
This time around, on the off-chance I do get the nod, I have taken the time to prepare the agenda for my first few days as CIA director. Here's how Day One looks so far:
Get former National Security Agency Technical Director William Binney back to CIA to join me and the "handpicked" CIA analysts who, with other "handpicked" analysts (as described by former National Intelligence Director James Clapper on May 8, 2017) from the FBI and NSA, prepared the so-called Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) of Jan. 6, 2017. That evidence-impoverished assessment argued the case that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his minions "to help President-elect Trump's election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton."
When my predecessor, CIA Director Mike Pompeo invited Binney to his office on Oct. 24, 2017 to discuss cyber-attacks, he told Pompeo that he had been fed a pack of lies on "Russian hacking" and that he could prove it. Why Pompeo left that hanging is puzzling, but I believe this is the kind of low-hanging fruit we should pick pronto.
The low-calorie Jan. 6 ICA was clumsily cobbled together: "We assess with high confidence that Russian military intelligence used the Guccifer 2.0 persona and DCLeaks.com to release US victim data obtained in cyber operations publicly and in exclusives to media outlets and relayed material to WikiLeaks."
Binney and other highly experienced NSA alumni, as well as other members of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), drawing on their intimate familiarity with how the technical systems and hacking work, have been saying for a year and a half that this CIA/FBI/NSA conclusion is a red herring , so to speak. Last summer, the results of forensic investigation enabled VIPs to apply the principles of physics and the known capacity of the internet to confirm that conclusion.
Oddly, the FBI chose not to do forensics on the so-called "Russian hack" of the Democratic National Committee computers and, by all appearances, neither did the drafters of the ICA.
Again, Binney says that the main conclusions he and his VIPs colleagues reached are based largely on principles of physics – simple ones like fluid dynamics. I want to hear what that's all about, how that applies to the "Russian hack," and hear what my own CIA analysts have to say about that.
I will have Binney's clearances updated to remove any unnecessary barriers to a no-holds-barred discussion at a highly classified level. After which I shall have a transcript prepared, sanitized to protect sources and methods, and promptly released to the media.
Like Sisyphus Up the Media Mountain
At that point things are bound to get very interesting. Far too few people realize that they get a very warped view on such issues from the New York Times . And, no doubt, it would take some time, for the Times and other outlets to get used to some candor from the CIA, instead of the far more common tendentious leaks. In any event, we will try to speak truth to the media – as well as to power.
I happen to share the view of the handful of my predecessor directors who believed we have an important secondary obligation to do what we possibly can to inform/educate the public as well as the rest of the government – especially on such volatile and contentious issues like "Russian hacking."
What troubles me greatly is that the NYT and other mainstream print and TV media seem to be bloated with the thin gruel-cum-Kool Aid they have been slurping at our CIA trough for a year and a half; and then treating the meager fare consumed as some sort of holy sacrament. That goes in spades for media handling of the celebrated ICA of Jan. 6, 2017 cobbled together by those "handpicked" analysts from CIA, FBI, and NSA. It is, in all candor, an embarrassment to the profession of intelligence analysis and yet, for political reasons, it has attained the status of Holy Writ.
The Paper of (Dubious) Record
I recall the banner headline spanning the top of the entire front page of the NYT on Jan. 7, 2017: "Putin Led Scheme to Aid Trump, Report Says;" and the electronic version headed "Putin Led a Complex Cyberattack Scheme to Aid Trump, Report Finds." I said to myself sarcastically, "Well there you go! That's exactly what Mrs. Clinton – not to mention the NY Times, the Washington Post and The Establishment – have been saying for many months."
Buried in that same edition of the Times was a short paragraph by Scott Shane: "What is missing from the public report is what many Americans most eagerly anticipated: hard evidence to back up the agencies' claims that the Russian government engineered the election attack. That is a significant omission."
Omission? No hard evidence? No problem. The publication of the Jan. 6, 2017 assessment got the ball rolling. And Democrats like Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, were kicking the ball hard down the streets of Washington. On Jan. 25, 2017, I had a chance to confront Schiff personally about the lack of evidence -- something that even Obama had acknowledged just before slipping out the door. I think our two-minute conversation speaks volumes.
Now I absolutely look forward to dealing with Adam Schiff from my new position as CIA director. I will ask him to show me the evidence of "Russian hacking" that he said he could not show me on Jan. 25, 2017 – on the chance his evidence includes more than reports from the New York Times .
Intelligence analysts put great weight, of course, on sources. The authors of the lede, banner-headlined NYT article of Jan. 7, 2017 were Michael D. Shear and David E. Sanger; Sanger has had a particularly checkered career, while always landing on his feet. Despite his record of parroting CIA handouts (or perhaps partly because of it), Sanger is now the NYT's chief Washington correspondent.
Those whose memories go back more than 15 years may recall his promoting weapons of mass destruction in Iraq as flat fact. In a July 29, 2002 article co-written with Them Shanker, for example, Iraq's (nonexistent) "weapons of mass destruction" appear no fewer than seven times as flat fact.
More instructive still, in May 2005, when firsthand documentary evidence from the now-famous "Downing Street Memorandum" showed that President George W. Bush had decided by early summer 2002 to attack Iraq, the NYT ignored it for six weeks until David Sanger rose to the occasion with a tortured report claiming just the opposite. The title given his article of June 13 2005 was "Prewar British Memo Says War Decision Wasn't Made."
Against this peculiar reporting record, I was not inclined to take at face value the Jan. 7, 2017 report he co-authored with Michael D. Shear – "Putin Led a Complex Cyberattack Scheme to Aid Trump, Report Finds."
Nor am I inclined to take seriously former National Intelligence Director James Clapper's stated views on the proclivity of Russians to be, well, just really bad people – like it's in their genes. I plan to avail myself of the opportunity to discover whether intelligence analysts who labored under his "aegis" were infected by his quaint view of the Russians.
I shall ask any of the "handpicked" analysts who specialize in analysis of Russia (and, hopefully, there are at least a few): Do you share Clapper's view, as he explained it to NBC's Meet the Press on May 30, 2017, that Russians are "typically, almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever"? I truly do not know what to expect by way of reply.
End of Day One
In sum, my priority for Day One is to hear both sides of the story regarding "Russian hacking" with all cards on the table. All cards. That means no questions are out of order, including what, if any, role the "Steele dossier" may have played in the preparation of the Jan. 6, 2017 assessment.
I may decide to seek some independent, disinterested technical input, as well. But it should not take me very long to figure out which of the two interpretations of alleged "Russian hacking" is more straight-up fact-based and unbiased. That done, in the following days I shall brief both the Chair, Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and ranking member Schiff of the House Intelligence Committee, as well as the Chair and ranking member of its counterpart in the Senate. I will then personally brief the NYT's David Sanger and follow closely what he and his masters decide to do with the facts I present.
On the chance that the Times and other media might decide to play it straight, and that the "straight" diverges from the prevailing, Clapperesque narrative of Russian perfidy, the various mainstream outlets will face a formidable problem of their own making. Mark Twain put it this way: "It is easier to fool people than it is to convince them they have been fooled."
And that will probably be enough for Day One.
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and CIA analyst for a total of 30 years and now servers on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). Reprinted with permission from Consortium News .
Feb 16, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Richardstevenhack -> The Twisted Genius ... , 15 February 2018 at 11:43 PMAnd IIRC Scott Ritter ripped that report a new one as being totally speculative and without an ounce of fact behind it.Richardstevenhack -> Clueless Joe... , 15 February 2018 at 11:49 PM
After Nine Months, Only Stale Crumbs in Russia Inquiry
Exposing The Man Behind The Curtain
Throwing a Curveball at 'Intelligence Community Consensus' on Russia
Leaked NSA Report Is Short on Facts, Proves Little in 'Russiagate' Case
The idea that these "selected" analysts really understand "Russian thinking" and "Russian interests" is highly questionable. The bottom line remains that Russia had ZERO POSSIBILITY of actually influencing the election in favor of Trump at any point up the night of the election itself.
And the Russians would know that. And they also know that despite the US' more extensive efforts to influence Russian elections that the US has no chance of influencing the upcoming election. Which means they understand this fact better than you do.It's an interesting theory, but it pales in probability to the likelihood that Russiagate is actually a disinformation operation run by the CIA.
It also fails to take into account the inevitable hiking of US hostility to Russia which Putin has shown zero evidence of wanting to have happen and which would be the obvious result of such a plan. Which as I say is precisely why he wouldn't do it because it is in no way in Russia's interests, whether they got caught or not.
This is far more logical than the ICA and TTG's notions that Russia's interests would be served by trying to do the impossible and actually mess with a US election.
And of course, there have been NO "solid clues" to any of this - just innuendo and unsupported assertions by a pack of liars including Clapper, Brennan, and others.
Feb 15, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
Don Bacon | Feb 14, 2018 9:47:45 AM | 10
I guess this is an open thread. . . .from The Cipher Brief--
On Tuesday the Senate intelligence committee grilled leaders of the FBI, CIA, NSA, DNI, DIA and NGA over the contents of the 2018 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community.
[comment: Not surprisingly, the assessment identified other countries as threats to world peace, but not the United States.]DNI Dan Coats warned the U.S. is under cyberattack, by hacking campaigns backed by Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, as well as terrorists and transnational criminals. He listed North Korea as presenting the most volatile and confrontational weapons of mass destruction threat. He said terrorists like ISIS, al Qaeda and Hezbollah would continue to be dangerous. And he warned that Russia, China and Iran are all trying to find ways to expand their reach, from land to sea to space.
Coats also mentioned a key warning from the Worldwide Threat Assessment: "The risk of interstate conflict, including among great powers, is higher than at any time since the end of the Cold War.
The most immediate threats of regional interstate conflict in the next year come from North Korea and from Saudi-Iranian use of proxies in their rivalry." . . . here
Jan 07, 2018 | www.cbsnews.com
Margarita Simonyan is the head of RT, Russia's state-run television network. She's also been referenced 27 times in a U.S. intelligence report that assesses that Russian President Vladimir Putin, "ordered an influence campaign aimed at the U.S . election."
Simonyan has a simple response to that.
"There's nothing illegal that we did," Simonyan tells 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl. "There's nothing murky. There's no weird activity that we're involved in. Nothing."
Dec 25, 2017 | consortiumnews.com
The Israel-gate Side of Russia-gate December 23, 2017
While unproven claims of Russian meddling in U.S. politics have whipped Official Washington into a frenzy, much less attention has been paid to real evidence of Israeli interference in U.S. politics, as Dennis J Bernstein describes.
By Dennis J Bernstein
In investigating Russia's alleged meddling in U.S. politics, special prosecutor Robert Mueller uncovered evidence that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pressured the Trump transition team to undermine President Obama's plans to permit the United Nations to censure Israel over its illegal settlement building on the Palestinian West Bank, a discovery referenced in the plea deal with President Trump's first National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel at the United Nations General Assembly (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)
At Netanyahu's behest, Flynn and President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner reportedly took the lead in the lobbying to derail the U.N. resolution, which Flynn discussed in a phone call with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak (in which the Russian diplomat rebuffed Flynn's appeal to block the resolution).
I spoke on Dec, 18 with independent journalist and blogger Richard Silverstein, who writes on national security and other issues for a number of blogs at Tikun Olam .
Dennis Bernstein: A part of Michael Flynn's plea had to do with some actions he took before coming to power regarding Israel and the United Nations. Please explain.
The Obama administration was negotiating in the [UN] Security Council just before he left office about a resolution that would condemn Israeli settlements. Obviously, the Israeli government did not want this resolution to be passed. Instead of going directly to the Obama administration, with which they had terrible relations, they went to Trump instead. They approached Michael Flynn and Jared Kushner became involved in this. While they were in the transition and before having any official capacity, they negotiated with various members of the Security Council to try to quash the settlement resolution.
One of the issues here which is little known is the Logan Act, which was passed at the foundation of our republic and was designed to prevent private citizens from usurping the foreign policy prerogatives of the executive. It criminalized any private citizen who attempted to negotiate with an enemy country over any foreign policy issue.
In this case, what Flynn and Kushner were doing was going directly against US foreign policy, because Obama wanted the resolution to pass; He just didn't want to vote for it because that would cross the Israel lobby in the United States. The US finally ended up abstaining on the resolution and it passed 14-0.
But before that happened, Flynn went to the Russians and to Egypt, both members of the Security Council, and tried to get the resolution delayed. But all of Israel's machinations to derail this resolution failed and that is what Mueller was investigating, the intervention and disruption of American foreign policy by private citizens who had no official role.
This speaks to the power of the Israel lobby and of Israel itself to disrupt our foreign policy. Very few people have ever been charged with committing an illegal act by advocating on behalf of Israel. That is one of the reasons why this is such an important development. Until now, the lobby has really ruled supreme on the issue of Israel and Palestine in US foreign policy. Now it is possible that a private citizen will actually be made to pay a price for that.
This is an important development because the lobby till now has run roughshod over our foreign policy in this area and this may act as a restraining order against blatant disruption of US foreign policy by people like this.
Bernstein: So this information is a part of Michael Flynn's plea. Anyone studying this would learn something about Michael Flynn and it would be part of the prosecution's investigation.
That's absolutely right. One thing to note here is that it is reporters who have raised the issue of the Logan Act, not Mueller or Flynn's people or anyone in the Trump administration. But I do think that Logan is a very important part of this plea deal, even if it is not mentioned explicitly.
Bernstein: If the special prosecutor had smoking-gun information that the Trump administration colluded with Russia, in the way they colluded with Israel before coming to power, this would be a huge revelation. But it is definitely collusion when it comes to Israel.
Silverstein: Absolutely. If this were Russia, it would be on the front page of every major newspaper in the United States and the leading story on the TV news. Because this is Israel and because we have a conflicted relationship with the Israel lobby and they have so much influence on US policy concerning Israel, it has managed to stay on the back burner. Only two or three media outlets besides mine have raised this issue of Logan and collusion. Kushner and Flynn may be the first American citizens charged under the Logan Act for interfering on behalf of Israel in our foreign policy. This is a huge issue and it has hardly been raised at all.
Bernstein: As you know, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC has made a career out of investigating the Russia-gate charges. She says that she has read all this material carefully, so she must have read about Flynn and Israel, but I haven't heard her on this issue at all.
Even progressive journalists, who you'd think would be going after this with a vengeance, are frightened off by the fact the lobby really bites back. So, aside from outlets like the Intercept and the Electronic Intifada, there is a lot of hesitation about going after the Israel lobby. People are afraid because they know that there is a high price to be paid. It goes from being purely journalism to being a personal and political vendetta when they get you in their sights. In fact, one of the reasons I feel my blog is so important is that what I do is challenge Israeli policy and Israeli intervention in places where it doesn't belong.
Bernstein: Jared Kushner is the point man for the Trump administration on Israel. He has talked about having a "vision for peace." Do you think it is a problem that this is someone with a long, close relationship with the prime minister of Israel and, in fact, runs a foundation that invests in the building of illegal Israeli settlements? Might this be problematic?
It is quite nefarious, actually. When Jared Kushner was a teenager, Netanyahu used to stay at the Kushner family home when he visited the United States. This relationship with one of the most extreme right political figures in Israel goes back decades. And it is not just Kushner himself, but all the administration personnel dealing with these so-called peace negotiations, including Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman, the ambassador. These are all orthodox Jews who tend to have very nationalist views when it comes to Israel. They all support settlements financially through foundations. These are not honest brokers.
We could talk at length about the history of US personnel who have been negotiators for Middle East peace. All of them have been favorable to Israel and answerable to the Israel lobby, including Dennis Ross and Makovsky, who served in the last administration. These people are dyed-in-the-wool ultra-nationalist supporters of [Israeli] settlements. They have no business playing any role in negotiating a peace deal.
My prediction all along has been that these peace negotiations will come to naught, even though they seem to have bought the cooperation of Saudi Arabia, which is something new in the process. The Palestinians can never accept a deal that has been negotiated by Kushner and company because it will be far too favorable to Israel and it will totally neglect the interests of the Palestinians.
Bernstein: It has been revealed that Kushner supports the building of settlements in the West Bank. Most people don't understand the politics of what is going on there, but it appears to be part of an ethnic cleansing.
The settlements have always been a violation of international law, ever since Israel conquered the West Bank in 1967. The Geneva Conventions direct an occupying power to withdraw from territory that was not its own. In 1967 Israel invaded Arab states and conquered the West Bank and Gaza but this has never been recognized or accepted by any nation until now.
The fact that Kushner and his family are intimately involved in supporting settlements–as are David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt–is completely outrageous. No member of any previous US administration would have been allowed to participate with these kinds of financial investments in support of settlements. Of course, Trump doesn't understand the concept of conflict of interest because he is heavily involved in such conflicts himself. But no party in the Middle East except Israel is going to consider the US an honest broker and acceptable as a mediator.
When they announce this deal next January, no one in the Arab World is going to accept it, with the possible exception of Saudi Arabia because they have other fish to fry in terms of Iran. The next three years are going to be interesting, supposing Trump lasts out his term. My prediction is that the peace plan will fail and that it will lead to greater violence in the Middle East. It will not simply lead to a vacuum, it will lead to a deterioration in conditions there.
Bernstein: The Trump transition team was actually approached directly by the Israeli government to try to intercede at the United Nations.
I'm assuming it was Netanyahu who went directly to Kushner and Trump. Now, we haven't yet found out that Trump directly knew about this but it is very hard to believe that Trump didn't endorse this. Now that we know that Mueller has access to all of the emails of the transition team, there is little doubt that they have been able to find their smoking gun. Flynn's plea meant that they basically had him dead to rights. It remains to be seen what will happen with Kushner but I would think that this would play some role in either the prosecution of Kushner or some plea deal.
Bernstein: The other big story, of course, is the decision by the Trump administration to move the US embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem. Was there any pre-election collusion in that regard and what are the implications?
Well, it's a terrible decision which goes against forty to fifty years of US foreign policy. It also breaches all international understanding. All of our allies in the European Union and elsewhere are aghast at this development. There is now a campaign in the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution condemning the announcement, which we will veto, but the next step will be to go to the General Assembly, where such a resolution will pass easily.
The question is how much anger, violence and disruption this is going to cause around the world, especially in the Arab and Muslim world. This is a slow-burning fuse. It is not going to explode right now. The issue of Jerusalem is so vital that this is not something that is simply going to go away. This is going to be a festering sore in the Muslim world and among Palestinians. We have already seen attacks on Israeli soldiers and citizens and there will be many more.
As to collusion in all of this, since Trump always said during the campaign that this was what he was going to do, it might be difficult to treat this in the same way as the UN resolution. The UN resolution was never on anybody's radar and nobody knew the role that Trump was playing behind the scenes with that–as opposed to Trump saying right from the get-go that Jerusalem was going to be recognized as the capital of Jerusalem.
By doing that, they have completely abrogated any Palestinian interest in Jerusalem. This is a catastrophic decision that really excludes the United States from being an honest broker here and shows our true colors in terms of how pro-Israel we are.
Dennis J Bernstein is a host of "Flashpoints" on the Pacifica radio network and the author of Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom . You can access the audio archives at www.flashpoints.net .
Drew Hunkins , December 23, 2017 at 5:37 pmAnnie , December 23, 2017 at 5:47 pm
As most regular readers of CN already know, some dynamite books on the inordinate amount of influence pro-Israel zealots have on Washington:
1.) 'The Host and the Parasite' by Greg Felton
2.) 'Power of Israel in the United States' by James Petras
3.) 'They Dare to Speak Out' by Paul Findley
4.) 'The Israel Lobby' by Mearsheimer and Walt
5.) 'Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of U.S. Power' by James Petras
I suggest that anyone relatively knew to this neglected topic peruse a few of the aforementioned titles. An inevitable backlash by the citizens of the United States is eventually forthcoming against the Zionist Power Configuration. It's crucial that this impending backlash remain democratic, non-violent, eschews anti-Semitism, and travels in a progressive in direction.Sam F , December 23, 2017 at 8:38 pm
Which one would you suggest? I already read "The Israel Lobby."Larry Larsen , December 24, 2017 at 6:38 pm
Findley and Mearsheimer are certainly worthwhile. I will look for Petras.SocraticGadfly , December 23, 2017 at 6:10 pm
If you haven't already read them, the end/footnotes in "The Israel Lobby" are more illuminating.SocraticGadfly , December 23, 2017 at 6:05 pm
That influence is also shown, of course, by the fact that Obama waited until the midnight hours of his tenure and after the 2016 election to even start working on this resolution.Sam F , December 23, 2017 at 8:41 pm
While I think Bibi is an idiot, I also think the Logan Act is overinvoked, overstated, probably of dubious legal value and also of dubious constitutional value.
In short, especially because Trump had been elected, though not yet inaugurated, I think he is not at all guilty of a Logan Act violation. This is nothing close to Spiro Agnew calling Anna Chenault from the airplane in August 1968.JWalters , December 24, 2017 at 3:32 am
Probably true, although evidence of extreme collusion with Israel eliminates any case against Russia, with whom we have far more reasons for amity. Bringing out the Israel collusion greatly improves public understanding of political corruption. Perhaps it will awaken some to the Agnew-Chennault betrayal of the people of the US.Annie , December 23, 2017 at 10:48 pm
It's ironic that Russia-gate is turning out to be Israel's effort to distract attention from its complete control over the Democratic party in 2016. From Israeli billionaires behind the scenes to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz at the helm.
The leaked emails showed the corruption plainly, and based on the ACTUAL evidence (recorded download time), most likely came from a highly disgruntled insider. The picture was starting to spill into public view. I'd estimate the real huge worry was that if this stuff came out, it could bring out other Israeli secrets, like their involvement in 9/11. That would mean actual jail time. Might be hard to buy your way out of that no matter how much money you have.Annie , December 23, 2017 at 6:59 pm
The Logan act states that anyone who negotiates with an enemy of the US, and Israel is not defined as an enemy.Al Pinto , December 24, 2017 at 9:16 am
The Logan act would not apply here, although I wish it would. I don't think anyone has been convicted based on this act, and they were part of a transition team not to mention the Logan act clearly states a private citizen who attempts to negotiate with an enemy state, and that certainly doesn't apply to Israel. In this administration their bias is so blatant that they can install Kushner as an honest broker in the Israeli-Palestine peace process while his family has a close relationship with Netanyahu, and he runs a foundation that invests in the building of illegal settlements which goes against the Geneva conventions. Hopefully Trump's blatant siding with Israel will receive a lot of backlash as did his plan to make Jerusalem the capital of Israel.
I also found that so called progressive internet sites don't cover this the way they should.Herman , December 24, 2017 at 10:54 am
"The Logan act would not apply here, although I wish it would."
You and me both .
From the point of starting to read this article, it has been in my mind that the Logan act would not apply here. After reading most of the comments, it became clear that not many people viewed this as such. Yes, Joe Tedesky did as well
The UN is the "clearing house" for international politics, where countries freely contact each other's for getting support for their cause behind the scene. The support sought after could be voting for or against the resolution on hand. At times, as Israel did, countries reach out to perceived enemies as well, if they could not secure sufficient support for their cause. This is the normal activity of the UN diplomacy.
Knowing that the outgoing administration would not support its cause, Israel reached out to the incoming administration to delay the vote on the UN resolution. I fail to see anything wrong with Israel's action even in this case; Israel is not an enemy state to the US. As such, there has been no violation of any acts by the incoming administration, even if they tried to secure veto vote for Israel. I do not like it, but no action by Mueller in this case is correct.
People, just like the article in itself, implying that the Logan Act applies in this case are just plain wrong. Not just wrong, but their anti-Israel bias is in plain view.
Whether we like it or not, the former and current administration view Russia is as an enemy state. Even then, Russia contacting the incoming administration is not a violation of the Logan Act. That is just normal diplomacy in the background between countries. What would be a violation is that the contacted official acted on the behalf of Russia and tried to influence the outgoing administration's decision. That is what the Mueller investigation tries to prove hopelesslyAnnie , December 24, 2017 at 1:55 pm
"Whether we like it or not, the former and current administration view Russia is as an enemy state." So that is how it works, the White House says it is an enemy state and therefore it is. The so called declaration is the hammer used for trying to make contact with Russia a criminal offense. We are not at war with Russia although we see our leaders doing their best to provoke Russia into one.Larry Larsen , December 24, 2017 at 6:41 pm
Thanks for your reply. When I read the article and it referenced the Logan Act, which I am familiar with in that I've read about it before, I was surprised that Bernstein and Silverstein even brought it up because it so obviously does not apply in this case, since Israel is not considered an enemy state. Many have even referenced it as flimsy when it comes to convictions against those in Trump's transition team who had contacts with Russia. No one has ever been convicted under the Logan Act.mrtmbrnmn , December 23, 2017 at 7:36 pm
The Logan Act either should apply equally, or not apply at all. This "Russia-gate" hype seems to apply it selectively.alley cat , December 23, 2017 at 7:45 pm
You guys are blinded by the light. The Israel connection disclosed by the malpracticer hack Mueller in the recent Flynn-flam just made Trump bullet-proof (so to speak).
There is no doubt that Trump is Bibi's and the Saudi's ventriloquist dummy and Jared has been an Israel agent of influence since he was 12.
But half the Dementedcrat Sore Loser Brigade will withdraw from the field of battle (not to mention most of the GOP living dead too) if publically and noisily tying Israel to Trump's tail becomes the only route to his removal. Which it would have to be, as there is no there there regarding the yearlong trumped-up PutinPutinPutin waterboarding of Trump.
Immediately (if not sooner) the mighty (pro-Israel) Donor Bank of Singer (Paul), Saban (Haim), Sachs (Goldman) & Adelson (Sheldon), would change their passwords and leave these politicians/beggars with empty begging bowls. End of $ordid $tory.Leslie F. , December 23, 2017 at 8:28 pm
So Mueller caught Kushner and Flynn red-handed, sabotaging the Obama administration? What of it? He can't use that evidence, because it would inculpate the Zionist neocons that are orchestrating his farcical, Stalinist witchhunt. And Mueller, being an efficient terminator bot, knows that his target is Russia, not Israel.
Mueller can use that evidence of sabotage and/or obstruction of justice to try to coerce false confessions from Kushner and Flynn. But what are the chances of that, barring short stayovers for them at some CIA black site?
So Mueller will just have to continue swamp-fishing for potential perjurers ahem witnesses, for the upcoming show trials (to further inflame public opinion against Russia and Russia sympathizers). And continue he will, because (as we all know from Schwarzenegger's flicks), the only way to stop the terminator is to terminate him/it first.JWalters , December 23, 2017 at 8:40 pm
He used it, along with other info, to turn flip Flynn and possibly can use it the same way again Kusher. Not all evidence has end up in court to be useful.mike k , December 23, 2017 at 8:44 pm
This is an extremely important story, excellently reported. All the main "facts" Americans think they know about Israel are, amazingly, flat-out lies.
1. Israel was NOT victimized by powerful Arab armies. Israel overpowered and victimized a defenseless, civilian Arab population. Military analysts knew the Arab armies were in poor shape and would not be able to resist the zionist army.
2. Muslim "citizens" of Israel do NOT have all the same rights as Jews.
3. Israelis are NOT under threat from the indigineous Palestinians, but Palestinians are under constant threats of theft and death from the Israelis.
4. Israel does NOT share America's most fundamental values, which rest on the principle of equal human rights for all.
Maintaining such a blanket of major lies for decades requires immense power. And this power would have to be exercised "under the radar" to be effective. That requires even more power. Both Congress and the press have to be controlled. How much power does it take to turn "Progressive Rachel" into "Tel Aviv Rachel"? To turn "It Takes a Village" Hillary into "Slaughter a Village" Hillary? It takes immense power AND ruthlessness.
War profiteers have exactly this combination of immense war profits and the ruthlessness to victimize millions of people.
"War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror"
Vast war profits easily afford to buy the mainstream media. And controlling campaign contributions for members of Congress is amazingly cheap in the big picture. Such a squalid sale of souls.
And when simple bribery is not enough, they ruin a person's life through blackmail or false character assassination. And if those don't work they use death threats, including to family members, and finally murder. Their ruthlessness is unrestrained. John Perkins has described these tactics in "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man".
For readers who haven't seen it, here is an excellent riff on the absurdly overwhelming evidence for Israel's influence compared to that of Russia, at a highly professional news and analysis website run by Jewish anti-Zionists.
"Let's talk about Russian influence"
http://mondoweiss.net/2016/08/about-russian-influence/mike k , December 23, 2017 at 8:49 pm
Hitler and Mussolini, Trump and Netanyahoo – matches made in Hell. These characters are so obviously, blatantly evil that it is deeply disturbing that people fail to see that, and instead go to great lengths to find some complicated flaws in these monsters.Sam F , December 23, 2017 at 9:00 pm
Keep it simple folks. No need for complex analyses. Just remember that these characters as simply as evil as it gets, and proceed from there. These asinine shows that portray mobsters as complex human beings are dangerously deluding. If you want to be victimized by these types, this kind of overthinking is just the way to go.Sam F , December 23, 2017 at 8:54 pm
There is a modern theory of fiction that insists upon the portrayal of inconsistency in characters, both among the good guys and the bad guys. It is useful to show how those who do wrongs have made specific kinds of errors that make them abnormal, and that those who do right are not perfect but nonetheless did the right thing. Instead it is used by commercial writers to argue that the good are really bad, and the bad are really good, which is of course the philosophy of oligarchy-controlled mass publishers.backwardsevolution , December 23, 2017 at 9:18 pm
A very important article by Dennis Bernstein, and it is very appropriate that non-zionist Jews are active against the extreme zionist corruption of our federal government. I am sure that they are reviled by the zionists for interfering with the false denunciations of racism against the opponents of zionism. Indeed critics face a very nearly totalitarian power of zionism, which in league with MIC/WallSt opportunism has displaced democracy altogether in the US.Joe Tedesky , December 23, 2017 at 10:33 pm
A nice little set-up by the Obama administration. Perhaps it was entrapment? Who set it up? Flynn and Kushner should have known better to fall for it. So at the end of his Presidency, Obama suddenly gets balls and wants to slap down Israel? Yeah, right.
Nice to have leverage over people, though, isn't it? If you're lucky and play your cards right, you might even be lucky enough to land an impeachment.
Of course, I'm just being cynical. No one would want to overturn democracy, would they?
Certainly people like Comey, Brenner, Clinton, Clapper, Mueller, Rosenstein wouldn't want that, would they?JWalters , December 24, 2017 at 3:33 am
I just can't see any special prosecutor investigating Israel-Gate. Between what the Zionist donors donate to these creepy politicians, too what goods they have on these same mischievous politicians, I just can't see any investigation into Israel's collusion with the Trump Administration going anywhere. Netanyahu isn't Putin, and Russia isn't Israel. Plus, Israel is considered a U.S. ally, while Russia is being marked as a Washington rival. Sorry, this news regarding Israel isn't going to be ranted on about for the next 18 months, like the MSM has done with Russia, because our dear old Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, or so they tell us. So, don't get your hopes up.Joe Tedesky , December 24, 2017 at 11:12 am
It's true the Israelis have America's politicians by the ears and the balls. But as this story gets better known, politicians will start getting questions at their town meetings. Increasingly the politicians will gag on what Israel is force-feeding them, until finally they reach a critical mass of vomit in Congress.Jeff Blankfort , December 24, 2017 at 12:18 am
I hope you are right JWalters. Although relying on a Zionist controlled MSM doesn't give hope for the news getting out properly. Again I hope you are right JWalters. JoeAbe , December 24, 2017 at 12:39 am
Actually, Netanyahu was so desperate to have the resolution pulled and not voted on that he reached out to any country that might help him after the foreign minister of New Zealand, one of its co-sponsors refused to pull the plug after a testy phone exchange with the Israeli PM ending up threatening an Israeli boycott oturnef the KIwis.
He then turned to his buddy, Vladimir Putin, who owed him a favor for having Israel's UN delegate absent himself for the UNGA vote on sanctioning Russia after its annexation of Crimea.
Putin then called Russia's UN Ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, since deceased, and asked him to get the other UNSC ambassadors to postpone the vote until Trump took over the White House but the other ambassadors weren't buying it. Given Russia's historic public position regarding the settlements, Churkin had no choice to vote Yes with the others.
This story was reported in detail in the Israeli press but blacked out in the US which, due to Zionist influence on the media, does not want the American public to know about the close ties between Putin and Netanyahu which has led to the Israeli PM making five state visits there in the last year and a half.
Had Clinton won the White House we can assume that there would have been no US veto. That Netanyahu apparently knew in advance that the US planned to veto the resolution was, I suspect, leaked to the Israelis by US delegate Samantha Power, who was clearly unhappy at having to abstain.argos , December 24, 2017 at 7:00 am
The Israeli Prime Minister made five state visits to Russia in the last year and a half to make sure the Russians don't accidentally on purpose blast Israeli warplanes from the sky over Syria (like they oughtta). Putin tries not to snicker when Netanyahu bloviates ad nauseum about the purported "threat" posed by Iran.JWalters , December 24, 2017 at 3:34 am
He thinks Putin is a RATS ASS like the yankee governmentalley cat , December 24, 2017 at 4:49 am
"This story was reported in detail in the Israeli press but blacked out in the US"
We've just had a whole cluster of big stories involving Israel that have all been essentially blacked out in the US press. e.g.
"Dionne and Shields ignore the Adelson in the room"
This is not due to chance. There is no doubt that the US mainstream media is wholly controlled by the Israelis.Brendan , December 24, 2017 at 6:18 am
"He [Netanyahu] then turned to his buddy, Vladimir Putin "
Jeff, that characterization of Putin and Netanyahu's relationship makes no sense, since the Russians have consistently opposed Zionism and Putin has been no exception, having spoiled Zionist plans for the destruction of Syria.
"Had Clinton won the White House we can assume that there would have been no US veto."
Not sure where you're going with that, since the US vote was up to Obama, who wanted to get some payback for all of Bibi's efforts to sabotage Obama's treaty with Iran.
For the record, Zionism has had no more rabid supporter than the Dragon Lady. If we're going to make assumptions, we could start by assuming that if she had won the White House we'd all be dead by now, thanks to her obsession (at the instigation of her Zionist/neocon sponsors) with declaring no-fly zones in Syria.Skip Scott , December 24, 2017 at 7:59 am
Trump and Kushner have nothing to worry about, even if a smoking gun is found that proves their collusion with Israel. That's because the entire political and media establishment will simply ignore the Israeli connection.
Journalists and politicians will even continue to present Mike Flynn's contacts as evidence of collusion with Russia. They'll keep on repeating that "Flynn lied about his phone call to the Russian ambassador". But there will be no mention of the fact that the purpose of this contact was to support Israel and not any alleged Russian interference.argos , December 24, 2017 at 6:57 am
I think you have it right Brendan. The MSM, Intelligence Community, and Mueller would never go down any path that popularized undue Israeli influence on US foreign policy. "Nothing to see here folks, move along."Herman , December 24, 2017 at 10:47 am
The zionist will stop at nothing to control the middle east with American taxpayers money/military equiptment its a win win for the zionist they control America lock stock and barrel a pity though it is a great country to be led by a jewish entity.Zachary Smith , December 24, 2017 at 1:34 pm
What will Israel-Palestine look like twenty years from now? Will it remain an apartheid regime, a regime without any Palestinians, or something different. The Trump decision, which the world rejects, brings the issue of "final" settlement to the fore. In a way we can go back to the thirties and the British Mandate. Jewish were fleeing Europe, many coming to Palestine. The British, on behalf of the Zionists, were delaying declaring Palestine a state with control of its own affairs. Seeing the mass immigration and chafing at British foot dragging, the Arabs rebelled, What happened then was that the British, responding to numerous pressures notably war with Germany, acted by granting independence and granting Palestine control of its borders.
With American pressure and the mass exodus of Jews from Europe, Jews defied the British resulting in Jewish resistance. What followed then was a UN plan to divide the land with a Jerusalem an international city administered by the UN. The Arabs rebelled and lost much of what the UN plan provided and Jerusalem as an international city was scrapped.
Will there be a second serious attempt to settle the issue of the land and the status of Jerusalem? Will there be a serious move toward a single state? How will the matter of Jerusalem be resolved. The two state solution has always been a fantasy and acquiescence of Palestinians to engage in this charade exposes their leaders to charges of posturing for perks. Imagined options could go on and on but will there be serious options placed before the world community or will the boots on the ground Israeli policies continue?
As I have commented before, it will most probably be the Jewish community in Israel and the world that shapes the future and if the matter is to be resolved that is fair to both parties, it will be they that starts the ball rolling.Larry Larsen , December 24, 2017 at 5:56 pm
As I have commented before, it will most probably be the Jewish community in Israel and the world that shapes the future and if the matter is to be resolved that is fair to both parties, it will be they that starts the ball rolling.
The Nice Zionists responsible for the thefts and murders for the past 69 years along with the "Jewish Community" in the rest of the world will resolve the matter so as to be fair to both parties. This is mind-boggling fantasy.Larry Larsen , December 24, 2017 at 5:48 pm
Truly mind-boggling. Ahistorical, and as you say, fantasy.Larry Larsen , December 24, 2017 at 6:11 pm
FFS, Netanyahu aired a political commercial in Florida for Romney saying vote for this guy (against Obama)! I mean, it doesn't get any more overtly manipulative than that. Period. End of story.
$50K of Facebook ads about puppies pales in comparison to that blatant, prima facia, public manipulation. God, I hate to go all "Israel controls the media" but there it is. Not even a discussion. Just a fact.Taras 77 , December 24, 2017 at 6:35 pm
Just for the record, Richard Silverstein blocked me on Twitter because I pointed out that he slammed someone who was suggesting that the Assad government was fighting for its (Syria's) life by fighting terrorists. Actually, more specifically, because of that he read my "Free Palestine" bio on Twitter and called me a Hamas supporter (no Hamas mentioned) and a "moron" for some seeming contradiction.
I also have to point out that he "fist pumped" Hillary Clinton at Mohammed Ali's eulogy. If he's as astute as he purports to be, he has to know that Hillary would have invaded Syria and killed a few hundred thousand more Syrians for the simple act of defiantly preserving their country. By almost any read of Ali's history, he would have been adamantly ("killing brown people") against that. But there was Silverstein using the platform to promote, arguably, perpetual war.
Silverstein is probably not a good (ie. consistent) arbiter of Israeli impact on US politics. Just sayin'.
I wish it were otherwise.
This may be a tad ot but it relates to the alleged hacking of the DNC, the role debbie wasserman schultz plays in the spy ring (awan bros) in house of rep servers: I have long suspected that mossad has their fingers in this entire mess. FWIW
Good site, BTW.
Zachary Smith , December 24, 2017 at 7:35 pmLarry Larsen , December 24, 2017 at 8:51 pm
I can't recall why I removed the Tikun Olam site from my bookmarks – it happened quite a while back. Generally I do that when I feel the blogger crossed some kind of personal red line. Something Mr. Silverstein wrote put him over that line with me.
In the course of a search I found that at the neocon NYT. Mr. Silverstein claims several things I find unbelievable, and from that alone I wonder about his ultimate motives. I may be excessively touchy about this, but that's how it is.P. Michael Garber , December 24, 2017 at 11:54 pm
Yeah Zachary, "wondering about ultimate motives" is probably a good way to put it/his views. He's obviously conflicted, if not deferential in some aspects of Israeli policy. He really was a hero of mine, but now I just don't get whether what he says is masking something or a true belief. He says some good stuff, but, but, but .
Yeah I found a couple of Silverstein's statements to be closer to neocon propaganda than reality: "Because this is Israel and because we have a conflicted relationship with the Israel lobby . . ." "Instead of going directly to the Obama administration, with which they had terrible relations, they went to Trump instead." My impression was that the whole "terrible relationship between Obama and Netanyahu" was manufactured by the Israel lobby to bully Obama. However these are small blips within an otherwise solid critique of the Israel lobby's influence.
Dec 17, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
With eyebrows suspiciously furrowed, Tucker Carlson sat down tonight with NYU Professor of Russian Studies and contributor to The Nation , Stephen Cohen, to discuss the 35 page #FakeNews dossier which has gripped the nation with nightmares of golden showers and other perverted conduct which was to be used by Russia to keep Trump on a leash.
The left leaning Cohen, who holds a Ph.D. in government and Russian studies from Columbia, taught at Princeton for 30 years before moving to NYU. He has spent a lifetime deeply immersed in US-Russian relations, having been both a long standing friend of Mikhail Gorbachev and an advisor to President George H.W. Bush. His wife is also the editor of uber liberal " The Nation," so it's safe to assume he's not shilling for Trump - and Tucker was right to go in with eyebrows guarded against such a heavyweight.
Cohen, who has been quite vocal against the Russophobic witch hunt gripping the nation , believes that this falsified 35 page report is part of an "endgame" to mortally wound Trump before he even sets foot in the White House, by grasping at straws to paint him as a puppet of the Kremlin. The purpose of these overt attempts to cripple Trump, which have relied on ham-handed intelligence reports that, according to Cohen "even the New York Times referred to as lacking any evidence whatsoever," is to stop any kind of détente or cooperation with Russia.
Cohen believes that these dangerous accusations attempting to brand a US President as a puppet of a foreign government constitute a "grave American national security threat."
At the very end of the interview, Tucker's very un-furrowed eyebrows agreed.
Content originally generated at iBankCoin.com
Jun 07, 2017 | www.washingtonpost.com
Trump criticizes media over alleged mind-meld of '17 intelligence agencies' over Russia meddling - The Washington Post As a matter of timing, it was odd: Last week, the New York Times attached a lumpy correction to a story about the political dynamics of President Trump's various proclamations on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election . The story highlighted the president's various "asterisks, wisecracks, caveats or obfuscation" about Russian cyberattacks, and made a reference to the consensus among "17 intelligence agencies" about Russian interference.
Here's the text:
Correction: June 29, 2017
A White House Memo article on Monday about President Trump's deflections and denials about Russia referred incorrectly to the source of an intelligence assessment that said Russia orchestrated hacking attacks during last year's presidential election. The assessment was made by four intelligence agencies -- the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community.
News organizations had been repeating that "17 intelligence agencies" line for months and months, with no corrections in sight. Why was the New York Times issuing a correction all of a sudden? And why did the Associated Press add a clarification one day later? Who asked for it? The New York Times declined to comment beyond the correction. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence also declined to comment on the record.
Whatever your take on the fact-checks, the media laundered and recycled a Clinton talking point without too much exploration of the intricacies through which the intelligence community reaches its conclusions. Until the New York Times wrote up a correction, that is.
Jul 06, 2017 | www.mintpressnews.com
For nearly a year, the news media in the United States has been completely and utterly dominated by one story above all the rest – Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, also known as "Russiagate." The firestorm first began when Hillary Clinton – darling of the U.S. intelligence community, the mainstream press, and Wall Street – failed to win the electoral contests that the media had been convinced was her for the taking.
The story has mushroomed in the weeks since, melding with anti-Russian propaganda and accusations against President Donald Trump regarding his campaign's alleged collusion with the Russian government. However, the first accusations began to emerge when Clinton's campaign became derailed by the leaked emails of the Democratic National Committee and subsequently her campaign chair John Podesta. The Russian government was blamed for the leaks, even though substantial evidence pointed to a DNC insider as the real source of the leaks.
Once the Russian hacker narrative became established, the media began working overtime to connect Trump and his campaign to Russia – creating the illusion of a "bromance" between Trump and Putin despite the fact that the two had never met. Much of the evidence for the so-called "bromance" centered around Trump stating during the campaign that he wanted to improve U.S.-Russia ties, which drastically deteriorated under the Obama administration, and wanted to work with the Russians to defeat Daesh (ISIS).
The bromance and the campaign collusion narrative have been continuously and intensely pushed by several high-ranking politicians of the Democratic Party. In fact, the push has been so intense that it has now backfired for Democrats.
As a result, it has since become a "crime" in the eyes of the mainstream media for any U.S. politician to interact or to have previously interacted with any Russian official. It has also meant that defending Russia's government or its actions could quickly turn you into the laughingstock of the mainstream press
But some of the most prestigious news organizations in the country have been forced to retract a major claim that has stood at the center of the Russia hacking media frenzy: namely that "all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies have agreed that Russia tried to influence the 2016 election to benefit Donald Trump." Last week, both the New York Times and The Associated Press were forced to retract the claim from several of their articles, as the oft-repeated statement has been proven to be false.
The New York Times was first, adding a correction to a June 25th article which stated:
"A White House Memo article on Monday about President Trump's deflections and denials about Russia referred incorrectly to the source of an intelligence assessment that said Russia orchestrated hacking attacks during last year's presidential election. The assessment was made by four intelligence agencies -- the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community."The Associated Press followed a few days later in a "clarification" stating:
"In stories published April 6, June 2, June 26 and June 29, The Associated Press reported that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies have agreed that Russia tried to influence the 2016 election to benefit Donald Trump. That assessment was based on information collected by three agencies -- the FBI, CIA and National Security Agency -- and published by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which represents all U.S. intelligence agencies. Not all 17 intelligence agencies were involved in reaching the assessment."
Jun 30, 2017 | www.breitbart.com
A previous version of Monday's story by Maggie Haberman, titled "Trump's Deflections and Denials on Russia Frustrate Even His Allies," made reference to the "17 intelligence agencies" that have supposedly all concurred in the assessment of Russian hacking in the 2016 presidential race.
Despite the mainstream media and the political left making constant reference for months to the "17 intelligence agencies" agreeing on Russia's actions during the campaign, this has repeatedly been debunked. The single released report on the matter from the American intelligence community was produced by only three intelligence agencies – the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the National Security Agency (NSA).
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper confirmed in his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the "17 agencies" line was fake news. While there are 17 American intelligence agencies and none, to his knowledge, objected to the CIA/FBI/NSA report, none of the other 14 agencies have published any independent confirmation of its claims.
The phrase "17 intelligence agencies" seems to have entered the public discourse after Hillary Clinton used it in her second debate with Trump. Despite its demonstrable inaccuracy, it continues to feature in articles from across the mainstream media. For example, an Associated Press wire story that Breitbart News carried last week uncritically uses the 17-agency figure.
For its part, the New York Times felt compelled to issue a correction after using the same phrase. The following was added below Haberman's article:
Correction: June 29, 2017
A White House Memo article on Monday about President Trump's deflections and denials about Russia referred incorrectly to the source of an intelligence assessment that said Russia orchestrated hacking attacks during last year's presidential election. The assessment was made by four intelligence agencies -- the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community.
Note: The figure of four agencies is reached by including Clapper's office in addition to the three agencies that compiled the published report.
May 09, 2017 | www.breitbart.com
During yesterday's Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing, James Clapper, former director of national intelligence, put the kibosh on a major anti-Donald Trump talking point that 17 federal intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
That talking point was amplified last October, when Hillary Clinton stated the following at the third presidential debate: "We have 17, 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyber-attacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin. And they are designed to influence our election. I find that deeply disturbing."
Clinton was referring to an October 7, 2016 joint statement from the Homeland Security Department and Office of the Director of National Intelligence claiming, "The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of emails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations."
The statement was followed by a January 6, 2017 U.S. Intelligence Community report assessing Russian intentions during the presidential election.
While the U.S. Intelligence Community is indeed made up of 17 agencies, Clapper made clear in his testimony yesterday that the community's assessments regarding alleged Russian interference were not the product of all seventeen agencies but of three – the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the National Security Agency (NSA).
Referring to the assessments, Clapper stated : "As you know, the I.C. was a coordinated product from three agencies; CIA, NSA and the FBI, not all 17 components of the intelligence community. Those three under the aegis of my former office."
Later in the hearing, Clapper corrected Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) when Franken claimed that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies concluded Russia attempted to influence the election.
Here is a transcript of that exchange :
FRANKEN: And I want to thank General Clapper and – and Attorney General Yates for – for appearing today. We have – the intelligence communities have concluded all 17 of them that Russia interfered with this election. And we all know how that's right.
CLAPPER: Senator, as I pointed out in my statement Senator Franken, it was there were only three agencies that directly involved in this assessment plus my office
FRANKEN: But all 17 signed on to that?
CLAPPER: Well, we didn't go through that – that process, this was a special situation because of the time limits and my – what I knew to be to who could really contribute to this and the sensitivity of the situation, we decided it was a constant judgment to restrict it to those three. I'm not aware of anyone who dissented or – or disagreed when it came out.
The January 6 U.S. intelligence community report is titled, "Background to 'Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections': The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution."
The report makes clear it is a product of three intelligence agencies and not 17.
The opening states: "This report includes an analytic assessment drafted and coordinated among the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the National Security Agency (NSA), which draws on intelligence information collected and disseminated by those three agencies."
Following Clinton's presidential debate claim about "17 intelligence agencies," PolitiFact rated her statement as "true."
However, within its ruling, PolitiFact conceded:
We don't know how many separate investigations into the attacks there were. But the Director of National Intelligence, which speaks for the country's 17 federal intelligence agencies, released a joint statement saying the intelligence community at large is confident that Russia is behind recent hacks into political organizations' emails.
PolitiFact's "true" judgement was the basis for a USA Today piece titled, "Yes, 17 intelligence agencies really did say Russia was behind hacking."
Aaron Klein is Breitbart's Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, " Aaron Klein Investigative Radio ." Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.
With research by Joshua Klein.
Dec 15, 2017 | www.redstate.com
July 1, 2017One of the most enduring data points of the whole Trump-colluded-with-Russia fantasy was the idea that there was a unanimity among US intelligence agencies that a) the Russians had intervened in some way, and b) that intervention was calculated to help Trump. The collusion conspiracy theorists have thrown on a third layer which is that members of Trump's campaign were working hand-in-glove with the Russians to do something nefarious. What? Well, we don't know.
This is sort of the genesis of the tale. On October 7, the press office of the director of national intelligence -- that would be the known perjurer , James Clapper -- and the department of homeland security issued a statement titled Joint Statement from the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security :
The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow -- the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.
The statement is tailored narrowly and only speaks to encouraging states to seek federal help in securing their voting systems (though, given the federal government's track record in keeping stuff secure, I'm not sure that's a great idea.)
A week later, in the final Clinton-Trump debate, Clinton made this claim
Oct 14, 2017 | www.unz.com
Greg Bacon, Website October 14, 2017 at 9:59 am GMTliveload , October 13, 2017 7:07 PM
If the Senate can 'assess,' so can I! I assess that Hollywood hottie Jenifer Lawrence is secretly in love with me! Although I can't prove this, all of my assessments point to this as being fact.
It just occurred to me that the perfect Halloween decoration this year would be a Russian flag. That is, unless someone comes out with a Zombie Putin, or Dracula Putin...
Aug 10, 2017 | www.bloomberg.comEvidence that undermines the "election hack" narrative should get more attention.
What if it wasn't Russia's fault?
In 2003, when a number of former intelligence professionals formed a group to protest the way intelligence was bent to accuse Iraq of producing weapons of mass destruction, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote a sympathetic column quoting the group's members. In 2017, you won't read about this same group's latest campaign in the big U.S. newspapers.
The Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) have been investigating the now conventional wisdom that last year's leaks of Democratic National Committee files were the result of Russian hacks. What they found instead is evidence to the contrary.
Unlike the "current and former intelligence officials" anonymously quoted in stories about the Trump-Russia scandal, VIPS members actually have names. But their findings and doubts are only being aired by non-mainstream publications that are easy to accuse of being channels for Russian disinformation. The Nation, Consortium News, ZeroHedge and other outlets have pointed to their findings that at least some of the DNC files were taken by an insider rather than by hackers, Russian or otherwise.
The January assessment of the U.S. intelligence community, which serves as the basis for accusations that Russia hacked the election said, among other things: "We assess with high confidence that Russian military intelligence (General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate or GRU) used the Guccifer 2.0 persona and DCLeaks.com to release U.S. victim data obtained in cyber operations publicly and in exclusives to media outlets and relayed material to WikiLeaks."
VIPS instead surmises that, after WikiLeaks' Julian Assange announced on June 12, 2016 his intention to publish Hillary Clinton-related emails, the DNC rushed to fabricate evidence that it had been hacked by Russia to defuse any potential WikiLeaks disclosures. To this end, the theory goes, the DNC used the Guccifer 2.0 online persona to release mostly harmless DNC data. Guccifer 2.0 was later loosely linked to Russia because of Russian metadata in his files and his use of a Russia-based virtual private network.
The VIPS theory relies on forensic findings by independent researchers who go by the pseudonyms "Forensicator" and "Adam Carter." The former found that 1,976 MB of Guccifer's files were copied from a DNC server on July 5 in just 87 seconds, implying a transfer rate of 22.6 megabytes per second -- or, converted to a measure most people use, about 180 megabits per second, a speed not commonly available from U.S. internet providers. Downloading such files this quickly over the internet, especially over a VPN (most hackers would use one), would have been all but impossible because the network infrastructure through which the traffic would have to pass would further slow the traffic.
However, as Forensicator has pointed out , the files could have been copied to a thumb drive -- something only an insider could have done -- at about that speed.
Adam Carter, the pseudonym for the other analyst, showed that the content of the Guccifer files was at some point cut and pasted into Microsoft Word templates that used the Russian language. Carter laid out all the available evidence and his answers to numerous critics in a long post earlier this month.
VIPS includes former National Security Agency staffers with considerable technical expertise, such as William Binney, the agency's former technical director for world geopolitical and military analysis, and Edward Loomis Jr., former technical director for the office of signals processing, as well as other ex-intelligence officers with impressive credentials. That doesn't, of course, mean the group is right when it finds the expert analysis by Forensicator and Carter persuasive. Another former intelligence professional who has examined it, Scott Ritter, has pointed out that these findings don't necessarily refutes that Guccifer's material constitute the spoils of a hack.
VIPS's record of unruly activism might have devalued its theories and conclusions in the eyes of mainstream journalists. Ray McGovern, a VIPS founder who used to prepare and deliver White House briefings at the Central Intelligence Agency, has been removed from Hillary Clinton's events for protesting her policies. While the group was right about Iraq in 2003, that doesn't mean it's right about Russia in 2017, with some of its members' intelligence work now long in the past.
And yet these aren't good reasons to avoid the discussion of what actually happened at the DNC last year, especially since no intelligence agency actually examined the Democrats' servers and CrowdStrike, the firm whose conclusions informed much of the intelligence community's assessment, had obvious conflicts of interest -- from being paid by the DNC to co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch's affiliation with the Atlantic Council , a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that has generally viewed Russia as a hostile power.
One hopes that the numerous investigations into Trump-Russia are based on hard evidence, not easy assumptions. But since these investigations are not transparent at this point, the only way to make sure their attention is still focused on the technical aspects of the suspected Russian hacks and leaks is to present the available evidence, along with any arguments undermining it, to the public.
Many Americans' certainty about Russian involvement, which has led to increased hostility toward Russia...
Having been burned so badly on the Iraq intelligence claims in 2003, you would think major U.S. media would apply more journalistic skepticism and rigor here, even if, to the broader public, Russia is a faraway power to which it's easy to ascribe pretty much any nefarious activity. Instead, these outlets seem more intent on noting Putin's bare-chested physique and accusing him of further meddling on social networks. The alt-right may not need Russia's help in using Twitter bots to run its social media campaigns , but it gets less scrutiny for them than Russia.
The U.S. public didn't quite buy Clinton's "the Russians did it" line last year, and she lost the election. By now, though, many Americans are sold on it. That may be an Iraq-sized mistake, leading to a dangerous failure to recognize that Donald Trump's victory was an American phenomenon, not a Russian-made one. Authoritarian regimes such as Putin's routinely use external enemies to gloss over domestic divisions and distract the public from problems at home. In a functioning democracy, such tactics should not succeed.( Corrects volume of data transferred in sixth paragraph.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.
To contact the author of this story: Leonid Bershidsky at firstname.lastname@example.org
Aug 08, 2017 | foreignpolicy.com
Anyone else seen this little beauty from Foreign Policy?"According to a source familiar with the matter, McMaster is trying to dismiss anyone involved with a controversial memo arguing that the so-called "deep state" is engaged in a Maoist-style insurgency against the Trump administration. The author of that memo, NSC staffer Rich Higgins, has already been fired, and at least two other anti-globalist NSC staffers have also been forced out."
Heh heh heh the trumpeters Vs the corporatists - every oppressive theocracy should be made to play this game; of course the audience is susceptible to table-tennis watchers neck from swivelling to follow the dried dog turd bouncing back n forth, but the popcorn is pretty good.
Posted by: Debsisdead | Aug 6, 2017 10:27:47 PM | 68
Jul 08, 2017 | original.antiwar.com
After six solid months of coordinated allegation from the mainstream media allied to the leadership of state security institutions, not one single scrap of solid evidence for Trump/Russia election hacking has emerged.
I do not support Donald Trump. I do support truth. There is much about Trump that I dislike intensely. Neither do I support the neo-liberal political establishment in the USA. The latter's control of the mainstream media, and cunning manipulation of identity politics, seeks to portray the neo-liberal establishment as the heroes of decent values against Trump. Sadly, the idea that the neo-liberal establishment embodies decent values is completely untrue.
Truth disappeared so long ago in this witch-hunt that it is no longer even possible to define what the accusation is. Belief in "Russian hacking" of the US election has been elevated to a generic accusation of undefined wrongdoing, a vague malaise we are told is floating poisonously in the ether, but we are not allowed to analyze. What did the Russians actually do?
The original, base accusation is that it was the Russians who hacked the DNC and Podesta emails and passed them to WikiLeaks. (I can assure you that is untrue).
The authenticity of those emails is not in question. What they revealed of cheating by the Democratic establishment in biasing the primaries against Bernie Sanders, led to the forced resignation of Debbie Wasserman Shultz as chair of the Democratic National Committee. They also led to the resignation from CNN of Donna Brazile, who had passed debate questions in advance to Clinton. Those are facts. They actually happened. Let us hold on to those facts, as we surf through lies. There was other nasty Clinton Foundation and cash for access stuff in the emails, but we do not even need to go there for the purpose of this argument.
The original "Russian hacking" allegation was that it was the Russians who nefariously obtained these damning emails and passed them to WikiLeaks. The "evidence" for this was twofold. A report from private cyber security firm Crowdstrike claimed that metadata showed that the hackers had left behind clues, including the name of the founder of the Soviet security services. The second piece of evidence was that a blogger named Guccifer2 and a website called DNCLeaks appeared to have access to some of the material around the same time that WikiLeaks did, and that Guccifer2 could be Russian.
That is it. To this day, that is the sum total of actual "evidence" of Russian hacking. I won't say hang on to it as a fact, because it contains no relevant fact. But at least it is some form of definable allegation of something happening, rather than "Russian hacking" being a simple article of faith like the Holy Trinity.
But there are a number of problems that prevent this being fact at all. Nobody has ever been able to refute the evidence of Bill Binney , former Technical Director of the NSA who designed its current surveillance systems. Bill has stated that the capability of the NSA is such, that if the DNC computers had been hacked, the NSA would be able to trace the actual packets of that information as those emails traveled over the Internet, and give a precise time, to the second, for the hack. The NSA simply do not have the event – because there wasn't one. I know Bill personally and am quite certain of his integrity.
As we have been repeatedly told, "17 intelligence agencies" sign up to the "Russian hacking", yet all these king's horses and all these king's men have been unable to produce any evidence whatsoever of the purported "hack". Largely because they are not in fact trying. Here is another actual fact I wish you to hang on to: The Democrats have refused the intelligence agencies access to their servers to discover what actually happened. I am going to say that again.
The Democrats have refused the intelligence agencies access to their servers to discover what actually happened.
The heads of the intelligence community have said that they regard the report from Crowdstrike – the Clinton aligned private cyber security firm – as adequate. Despite the fact that the Crowdstrike report plainly proves nothing whatsoever and is based entirely on an initial presumption there must have been a hack, as opposed to an internal download.
Not actually examining the obvious evidence has been a key tool in keeping the "Russian hacking" meme going. On 24 May the Guardian reported triumphantly , following the Washington Post, that
"Fox News falsely alleged federal authorities had found thousands of emails between Rich and WikiLeaks, when in fact law enforcement officials disputed that Rich's laptop had even been in possession of, or examined by, the FBI."
It evidently did not occur to the Guardian as troubling, that those pretending to be investigating the murder of Seth Rich have not looked at his laptop.
There is a very plain pattern here of agencies promoting the notion of a fake "Russian crime", while failing to take the most basic and obvious initial steps if they were really investigating its existence. I might add to that, there has been no contact with me at all by those supposedly investigating. I could tell them these were leaks not hacks. WikiLeaks The clue is in the name.
So those "17 agencies" are not really investigating but are prepared to endorse weird Crowdstrike claims, like the idea that Russia's security services are so amateur as to leave fingerprints with the name of their founder. If the Russians fed the material to WikiLeaks, why would they also set up a vainglorious persona like Guccifer2 who leaves obvious Russia pointing clues all over the place?
Of course we need to add from the WikiLeaks"Vault 7" leak release, information that the CIA specifically deploys technology that leaves behind fake fingerprints of a Russian computer hacking operation.
Crowdstrike have a general anti-Russian attitude. They published a report seeking to allege that the same Russian entities which "had hacked" the DNC were involved in targeting for Russian artillery in the Ukraine. This has been utterly discredited.
Some of the more crazed "Russiagate" allegations have been quietly dropped. The mainstream media are hoping we will all forget their breathless endorsement of the reports of the charlatan Christopher Steele, a former middle ranking MI6 man with very limited contacts that he milked to sell lurid gossip to wealthy and gullible corporations. I confess I rather admire his chutzpah.
Given there is no hacking in the Russian hacking story, the charges have moved wider into a vague miasma of McCarthyite anti-Russian hysteria. Does anyone connected to Trump know any Russians? Do they have business links with Russian finance?
Of course they do. Trump is part of the worldwide oligarch class whose financial interests are woven into a vast worldwide network that enslaves pretty well the rest of us. As are the Clintons and the owners of the mainstream media who are stoking up the anti-Russian hysteria. It is all good for their armaments industry interests, in both Washington and Moscow.
Trump's judgment is appalling. His sackings or inappropriate directions to people over this subject may damage him.
The old Watergate related wisdom is that it is not the crime that gets you, it is the cover-up. But there is a fundamental difference here. At the center of Watergate there was an actual burglary. At the center of Russian hacking there is a void, a hollow, and emptiness, an abyss, a yawning chasm. There is nothing there.
Those who believe that opposition to Trump justifies whipping up anti-Russian hysteria on a massive scale, on the basis of lies, are wrong. I remain positive that the movement Bernie Sanders started will bring a new dawn to America in the next few years. That depends on political campaigning by people on the ground and on social media. Leveraging falsehoods and cold war hysteria through mainstream media in an effort to somehow get Clinton back to power is not a viable alternative. It is a fantasy and even were it practical, I would not want it to succeed.
Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster, human rights activist, and former diplomat. He was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and Rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010. The article is reprinted with permission from his website .Read more by Craig Murray
- NATO – An Idea Whose Time Has Gone – September 5th, 2014
Jul 01, 2017 | theduran.com
Yesterday The Duran reported that the New York Times was finally forced to admit that the "17 US intelligence agencies" narrative is completely made up fake news.
The "17 Intelligence Agencies" Russian hacking narrative was the core foundation for which the entire Trump-Russia collusion/cooperation/connection was built upon.
Stefan Molyneux opens the below video with the song lyrics, "When the walls come crumbling down", as the political analyst comprehensively explains the bullsh**t lie Hillary Clinton and her mainstream media cronies feed the world so as to sabotage Trump's presidency, at the risk of war with Russia.
It is a must watch, must share video which puts yet another US Deeep State lie to bed
As a reminder as to how stupid the "17 Intelligence Agencies" Russian hacking narrative The FBI did not even get access to the DNC servers. It relied upon data provided by private security firm CrowdStrike, who had to walk back their audit conclusions on the hacks.
Below is a complete list of the 16 intelligence agencies in the US Intelligence Community, headed by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), whose statutory leadership is exercised through the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), who under the Obama White House was James R. Clapper making 17 total agencies.
Why the list?
Because we are certain that the Coast Guard Intelligence Agency, Marine Corps Intelligence Agency, and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency are authorities when it comes to US election hacking, and thus should be trusted when they sign off to being "highly confident" of Russian election meddling.The 16 members of the IC are:
Agency/Office Parent Agency Federal Department Date est. Defense Intelligence Agency none Defense 1961 National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency none Defense 1996 National Reconnaissance Office none Defense 1961 National Security Agency none Defense 1952 Military Intelligence Corps United States Army Defense 1863 Office of Naval Intelligence United States Navy Defense 1882 Twenty-Fifth Air Force United States Air Force Defense 1948 Marine Corps Intelligence United States Marine Corps Defense 1939 Coast Guard Intelligence United States Coast Guard Homeland Security 1915 Office of Intelligence and Analysis none Homeland Security 2007 Central Intelligence Agency none Independent agency 1947 Bureau of Intelligence and Research none State 1945 Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence none Treasury 2004 Office of National Security Intelligence Drug Enforcement Administration Justice 2006 Intelligence Branch Federal Bureau of Investigation Justice 2005 Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence none Energy 1977
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