ROGER SIMON: The Reckoning of the FBI Has Begun. From the FBI and across the intelligence agencies an astonishing number of people are going to find themselves accused, one can safely predict at this point, of some atrocious behavior in a free republic. And it will not just be the small change of Peter Strzok […]
President Donald Trump’s pick for CIA director is about to experience a good Borking. No one doubts her professionalism. President Barack Obama’s CIA director, Leon Panetta, told CNN she's “a good officer,” “who really knows the CIA inside out.” She has the endorsement of Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, and of Mike Morell, who served as acting director of the CIA twice under Obama. Haspel’s career at the agency since the 1980s, including extensive work undercover in the field, is getting blotted out by her reported involvement in the CIA’s black-site interrogation program, which has become a warrant to say anything about her. Her critics assert she should be in jail, instead of running free at the CIA, and The New York Times editorial page wrote about her nomination under the headline, “Having a Torturer Lead the C.I.A.” Not to be outdone in demagogic attacks on anyone associated with our national security apparatus, Sen. Rand Paul calls Haspel “the head cheerleader for waterboarding,” and claims she mocked a detainee for his drooling. The only problem is that this anecdote comes from a book by a contractor who worked with the CIA, James Mitchell, and it describes a man, not a woman, making the comment. Their factual accuracy aside, the attacks on Haspel are ahistorical in that they ignore the context of the CIA program and unfair insofar as they portray her as a remorselessly cruel prime mover behind it. The interrogation program began when Al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah was captured in March 2002, in the shadow of the Sept. 11 attacks.Not until December 2001 had the rubble at Ground Zero been reduced to street level. In March, workers began searching for human remains in an area of the towers they hadn't been able to reach yet. The last column wasn't removed until the end of May. In 2002, we believed another attack was imminent and preventing it had an urgency fueled by raw memories of an event that was literally yesterday’s news. In light of this pervasive feeling, it's unsurprising that a broad political consensus supported doing what was necessary to get information from captured Al Qaeda leaders. The CIA repeatedly briefed select congressional leaders, especially the top Republicans and Democrats on the Intelligence committees. By all accounts, the program met with the assent of lawmakers. Later, when waterboarding become politically radioactive, Nancy Pelosi tried to say she didn’t know about it, even though a CIA memo said the interrogation techniques had been described to her in September 2002.The briefings go to how the interrogation program wasn't a rogue operation. It was approved at the highest level of the U.S. government and the CIA sought, and got, explicit legal approval from the Department of Justice. The enhanced interrogations of Zubaydah didn't begin until Attorney General John Ashcroft verbally approved the methods. When he initially didn't sign off on waterboarding, the CIA team waited until he did a few days later. Haspel is connected in the press to the Zubaydah interrogations, although the CIA hasn't confirmed her participation in the oversight of any particular detainee and insists much of the reporting about her work in this period is erroneous. Again, the Mitchell book suggests a man, not a woman, was in charge at the time. A New York Times report places her at the site in Thailand in question beginning in 2003, when Zubaydah was subjected to waterboarding in 2002.But let’s consider Zubaydah’s case. He was not a detainee who had nothing to tell us, as he is often portrayed by critics of the CIA. Shortly after his capture, he identified Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and provided information about the so-called Dirty Bomb plot. In the run-up to the use of harsh interrogations techniques, according to the 2014 Senate Intelligence report on the interrogation program, “Abu Zubaydah provided information on Al-Qa’ida activities, plans, capabilities, and relationships,” in addition to information on “its leadership structure, including personalities, decision-making processes, training and tactics.” The enhanced interrogations were brutal. Zubaydah was struck, placed in stress positions, confined in small boxes and repeatedly waterboarded. During one session, he became unresponsive, until he received medical care. By any standard, this was extreme and right up to the legal line. The CIA didn't learn of any planned attack in the U.S.; it did became confident that he wasn't holding back any information about one. From his capture to his transfer to the Department of Defense on Sept. 5, 2006, there were 766 intelligence reports based on information from Zubaydah. In the cold light of day, we would have handled all of this differently. The Bush administration shouldn't have been as aggressive in its legal interpretations. We should have realized that we had more time to play with, and that the program itself would become a black mark in our reputation overseas and such a domestic flash point that we would basically lose all ability to interrogate detainees (droning became the preferred alternative).But this was a national failing, and at a time when we understandably believed we were in a race to prevent another atrocity on our shores. To punish Gina Haspel more than 15 years later for doing what her country asked her to do, and in response to what she was told were lawful orders, would be a travesty and a disgrace.But so were the confirmation hearings of Robert Bork.
MICHAEL DORAN: The Real Collusion Story. While the establishment press was singing in harmony with the Clinton campaign, a cacophonous debate erupted inside government. At the end of July, James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, said at a public forum that the intelligence community was not “ready yet to make a call on attribution” […]
LAWS ARE FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE: James Clapper avoids charges for ‘clearly erroneous’ surveillance t…
LAWS ARE FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE: James Clapper avoids charges for ‘clearly erroneous’ surveillance testimony. By “clearly erroneous” they mean he lied to Congress about spying on Americans.
Via JonathanTurley.org, Today is an important anniversary for former intelligence chief James Clapper. No it is not his marriage anniversary or conventional milestone. Clapper can celebrate the running out of the statute of limitations on his alleged perjury before Congress — five years and Clapper is now beyond the reach of the law. I recently wrote a column on the approaching anniversary and how it reaffirms the widely held view that powerful people in Washington are immune from laws used against the rest of society. Clapper appeared before the Senate to discuss surveillance programs in the midst of a controversy over warrantless surveillance of the American public. He was asked directly, “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions of Americans?” There was no ambiguity or confusion and Clapper responded, “No, sir. … Not wittingly.” That was a lie and Clapper knew it when he said it. Later, Clapper said that his testimony was “the least untruthful” statement he could make. That would still make it a lie of course but Clapper is a made guy. While feigned shock and disgust, most Democratic leaders notably did not call for his prosecution. Soon Clapper was back testifying and former president Obama even put Clapper on a federal panel to review the very programs that he lied about in Congress. Clapper is now regularly appearing on cable shows which, for example, used Clapper’s word as proof that Trump was lying in saying that there was surveillance of Trump Tower carried out by President Barack Obama. CNN and other networks used Clapper’s assurance without ever mentioning that he previously lied about surveillance programs. News organizations now regularly feature Clapper who has denounced Donald Trump and members of his government, as discussed in an earlier column. It is the latest chapter in America’s Animal Farm as average citizens are criminally charged with small discrepancies in statements to investigators while people like Clapper and David Petraeus and Sandy Berger are protected from serious repercussions for alleged criminal acts. Orwell wrote the fanciful account of a farm society of animals at the end of World War II during a period of authoritarian power and government propaganda. The farm government proclaimed equality of all animals but, as the pig Squealer explained, “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Of course, none of our politicians is nearly as open and honest as Squealer. There will be no sign proclaiming the different treatment of the governing and governed classes. They prefer the barnyard to return to its previously sleepy existence once the offender has been put away. That is why Clapper’s anniversary is a point of celebration in the Beltway as a reaffirmation that, in Washington, “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
Alex Jones breaks down how it has been 5 years since James Clapper lied to Congress about the Government's 'unwitting' surveillance of American citizens across the country. Help us spread the word about the liberty movement, we're reaching millions help us reach millions more. Share the free live video feed link with your friends & family: http://www.infowars.com/show Follow us on social media TWITTER: https://twitter.com/RealAlexJones FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/AlexanderEmerickJones G+: https://plus.google.com/+infowars/ GAB: https://gab.ai/RealAlexJones MINDS: https://www.minds.com/Infowars :Web: http://www.infowars.com/ http://www.prisonplanet.com/ http://www.infowars.net/ Funding the Infowar is more important than ever! Support: http://infowarsStore.com & get the latest books, documentaries, Infowars swag, survival & preparedness gear & nutritional products Alex Jones and his family trust, while supporting the growth of our expanding media operation. Sign up for the Infowars daily newsletter to become an 'Underground Insider' & bypass censorship bots of social media plus get exclusive content + coupon codes for our shop! - http://www.infowars.com/newsletter :Subscribe and share your login with 20 friends: http://www.prisonplanet.tv http://www.InfowarsNews.com INFOWARS HEALTH - START GETTING HEALTHY BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE - http://www.infowarshealth.com/ The Alex Jones Show ©copyright, Free Speech Systems.LLC 1995 - 2017 All Rights Reserved. May use for fair use and educational purposes #AlexJones #Infowars
It's been five years since former US spy chief James Clapper lied to Congress about the NSA's giant surveillance program, and the statute of limitations for his crime is coming to end, guaranteeing him a peaceful retirement. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/90vl RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air Subscribe to RT! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=RussiaToday Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnews Follow us on Telegram https://t.me/rtintl Follow us on VK https://vk.com/rt_international Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_com Follow us on Instagram http://instagram.com/rt Follow us on Google+ http://plus.google.com/+RT Listen to us on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/rttv RT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.
Former CIA analyst and founder of 'Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity' Ray McGovern, in this tongue-in-cheek article, outlines steps he would take on Day One as CIA Director to get to the bottom of Russiagate. Via ConsortiumNews.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. Ray McGovern 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. Sources 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 (non-existent) “weapons of mass destruction” appear no fewer than seven times as flat fact. More instructive still, in May 2005, when first-hand 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.
Узбекистан собирается строить железнодорожную ветку протяжённостью около 150 км в обход Таджикистана. Для Узбекистана, которому достались все основные города Средней Азии такой манёвр, возможно, и принесёт определённые бонусы. Во-первых, не надо будет выплачивать ежегодно около 25 млн долларов Таджикистану. Во-вторых, как ни крути — контролировать свою железную дорогу проще, нежели проходящую по территории государства, у […]
Former U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper contradicted a tweet from a Facebook Inc. executive that said swaying the 2016 election wasn’t the main aim of Russian interference outlined ...
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper forecasted that there were "other shoes to drop" in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of Russian election meddling, including potential ties to Kremlin by those seeking to sway the election. Clapper on Sunday called the recent indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three foreign entities, which includes charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and aggravated identity theft, served to validate findings by the intelligence community on Russian election interference. But the former intelligence chief, who served under former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, predicted that Mueller's team had yet to fully reveal their findings. "I do think there are other shoes to drop here besides this indictment," Clapper told Dana Bash on CNN's "State of the Union." Pressed on what additional findings Mueller's team of federal prosecutors might unearth, Clapper suggested that we'd yet to see the full extent of the involvement of the Russian government in efforts to undermine the U.S. electoral process. "For example, not addressed here is potential involvement of the Russian government, which we certainly saw through intelligence channels that the Russians were — government was — was masterminding this," Clapper said.Clapper cited the financial dealings of the Trump Organization as another potential avenue for federal investigators. "I think another thing that we haven't seen much of is financial entanglements between the Trump Organization before the election and then during it."Clapper, who led U.S. intelligence efforts from 2010 to 2017, cast the Russian campaign to interfere with the 2016 elections as "unprecedented.""Never before have we seen an effort like this mounted by the Russians with the multidimensional nature of it and its aggressiveness and directness," he said.
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Thursday rebuffed a claim by Vice President Mike Pence that intelligence officials concluded that Russian meddling didn't have "any impact on the outcome of the 2016 election," saying it "stretches credulity" to say Moscow's interference didn't affect any voters' decisions. “I have great respect for Vice President Pence, but in this case, I must respectfully disagree,” Clapper told NPR. Pence acknowledged at an event Wednesday that Russians had sought to influence the 2016 race, but he took issue with the idea that they were successful. “Irrespective of efforts that were made in 2016 by foreign powers, it is the universal conclusion of our intelligence communities that none of those efforts had any impact on the outcome of the 2016 election,” Pence said. Clapper, however, said the intelligence community opted against attempting to judge the impact of Russian meddling on individual voters' decisions in a report that was made public last year."The intelligence community has neither the authority nor the capability to make such a judgment as to whether there was or was not impact on the election," Clapper said. "And we did not say that."Clapper added that it was "absolutely" possible that foreign influence campaigns had swayed voters, even though authorities had not made a definitive ruling on the matter. “I will say now that I’m not in an official position that it stretches credulity, given the magnitude, scope and depth of the Russian efforts, that they didn’t have impact on individual voter decisions," Clapper said. "But again, the intelligence community did not and could not gauge the impact on individual voter decisions.”Clapper said he and other intelligence officials had "made that point clear” to President Donald Trump and his transition staff when they briefed him last January before he took office.
Authored by Mike Whitney via Unz.com, The report (“The Dossier”) that claims that Donald Trump colluded with Russia, was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign. The company that claims that Russia hacked DNC computer servers, was paid by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign. The FBI’s counterintelligence probe into Trump’s alleged connections to Russia was launched on the basis of information gathered from a report that was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign. The surveillance of a Trump campaign member (Carter Page) was approved by a FISA court on the basis of information from a report that was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign. The Intelligence Community Analysis or ICA was (largely or partially) based on information from a report that was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign. (more on this below) The information that was leaked to the media alleging Russia hacking or collusion can be traced back to claims that were made in a report that was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign. The entire Russia-gate investigation rests on the “unverified and salacious” information from a dossier that was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton Campaign. Here’s how Stephen Cohen sums it up in a recent article at The Nation: “Steele’s dossier… was the foundational document of the Russiagate narrative…from the time its installments began to be leaked to the American media in the summer of 2016, to the US “Intelligence Community Assessment” of January 2017….the dossier and subsequent ICA report remain the underlying sources for proponents of the Russiagate narrative of “Trump-Putin collision.” (“Russia gate or Intel-gate?”, The Nation) There’s just one problem with Cohen’s statement, we don’t really know the extent to which the dossier was used in the creation of the Intelligence Community Assessment. (The ICA was the IC’s flagship analysis that was supposed to provide ironclad proof of Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.) According to some reports, the contribution was significant. Check out this excerpt from an article at Business Insider: “Intelligence officials purposefully omitted the dossier from the public intelligence report they released in January about Russia’s election interference because they didn’t want to reveal which details they had corroborated, according to CNN.” (“Mueller reportedly interviewed the author of the Trump-Russia dossier — here’s what it alleges, and how it aligned with reality”, Business Insider) Bottom line: Despite the denials of former-CIA Director John Brennan, the dossier may have been used in the ICA. In the last two weeks, documents have been released that have exposed the weak underpinnings of the Russia investigation while at the same time revealing serious abuses by senior-level officials at the DOJ and FBI. The so called Nunes memo was the first to point out these abuses, but it was the 8-page “criminal referral” authored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senator Lindsey Graham that gave credence to the claims. Here’s a blurb from the document: “It appears the FBI relied on admittedly uncorroborated information, funded by and obtained for Secretary Clinton’s presidential campaign, in order to conduct surveillance of an associate of the opposing presidential candidate. It did so based on Mr. Steele’s personal credibility and presumably having faith in his process of obtaining the information. But there is substantial evidence suggesting that Mr. Steele materially misled the FBI about a key aspect of his dossier efforts, one which bears on his credibility.” There it is. The FBI made a “concerted effort to conceal information from the court” in order to get a warrant to spy on a member of a rival political campaign. So –at the very least– there was an effort, on the part of the FBI and high-ranking officials at the Department of Justice, to improperly spy on members of the Trump team. And there’s more. The FBI failed to mention that the dossier was paid for by the Hillary campaign and the DNC, or that the dossier’s author Christopher Steele had seeded articles in the media that were being used to support the dossier’s credibility (before the FISA court), or that, according to the FBI’s own analysts, the dossier was “only minimally corroborated”, or that Steele was a ferocious partisan who harbored a strong animus towards Trump. All of these were omitted in the FISA application which is why the FBI was able to deceive the judge. It’s worth noting that intentionally deceiving a federal judge is a felony. Most disturbing is the fact that Steele reportedly received information from friends of Hillary Clinton. (supposedly, Sidney Blumenthal and others) Here’s one suggestive tidbit that appeared in the Graham-Grassley” referral: “…Mr. Steele’s memorandum states that his company “received this report from REDACTED US State Department,” that the report was the second in a series, and that the report was information that came from a foreign sub-source who “is in touch with REDACTED, a contact of REDACTED, a friend of the Clintons, who passed it to REDACTED.” It is troubling enough that the Clinton campaign funded Mr. Steele’s work, but that these Clinton associates were contemporaneously feeding Mr. Steele allegations raises additional concerns about his credibility.” (Lifted from The Federalist) What are we to make of this? Was Steele shaping the dossier’s narrative to the specifications of his employers? Was he being coached by members of the Hillary team? How did that impact the contents of the dossier and the subsequent Russia investigation? These are just a few of the questions Steele will undoubtedly be asked if he ever faces prosecution for lying to the FBI. But, so far, we know very little about man except that he was a former M16 agent who was paid $160,000 for composing the dubious set of reports that make up the dossier. We don’t even know if Steele’s alleged contacts or intermediaries in Russia actually exist or not. Some analysts think the whole thing is a fabrication based on the fact that he hasn’t worked the Russia-scene since the FSB (The Russian state-security organization that replaced the KGB) was completely overhauled. Besides, it would be extremely dangerous for a Russian to provide an M16 agent with sensitive intelligence. And what would the contact get in return? According to most accounts, Steele’s sources weren’t even paid, so there was little incentive for them to put themselves at risk? All of this casts more doubt on the contents of the dossier. What is known about Steele is that he has a very active imagination and knows how to command a six-figure payoff for his unique services. We also know that the FBI continued to use him long after they knew he couldn’t be trusted which suggests that he served some other purpose, like providing the agency with plausible deniability, a ‘get out of jail free’ card if they ever got caught surveilling US citizens without probable cause. But that brings us to the strange case of Carter Page, a bit-player whose role in the Trump campaign was trivial at best. Page was what most people would call a “small fish”, an insignificant foreign policy advisor who had minimal impact on the campaign. Congressional investigators, like Nunes, must be wondering why the FBI and DOJ devoted so much attention to someone like Page instead of going after the “big fish” like Bannon, Flynn, Kushner, Ivanka and Trump Jr., all of whom might have been able to provide damaging information on the real target, Donald Trump. Wasn’t that the idea? So why waste time on Page? It doesn’t make any sense, unless, of course, the others were already being surveilled by other agencies? Is that it, did the NSA and the CIA have a hand in the surveillance too? It’s a moot point, isn’t it? Because now that there’s evidence that senior-level officials at the DOJ and the FBI were involved in improperly obtaining warrants to spy on members of the opposite party, the investigation is going to go wherever it goes. Whatever restrictions existed before, will now be lifted. For example, this popped up in Saturday’s The Hill: “House Intelligence Committee lawmakers are in the dark about an investigation into wrongdoing at the State Department announced by Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) on Friday. …Nunes told Fox News on Friday that, “we are in the middle of what I call phase two of our investigation. That investigation is ongoing and we continue work toward finding answers and asking the right questions to try to get to the bottom of what exactly the State Department was up to in terms of this Russia investigation.”… Since then, GOP lawmakers have been quietly buzzing about allegations that an Obama-era State Department official passed along information from allies of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that may have been used by the FBI to launch an investigation into whether the Trump campaign had improper contacts with Russia. “I’m pretty troubled by what I read in the documents with respect to the role the State Department played in the fall of 2016, including information that was used in a court proceeding. I am troubled by it,” Gowdy told Fox News on Tuesday.” (“Lawmakers in dark about ‘phase two’ of Nunes investigation”, The Hill) So the State Department is next in line followed by the NSA and, finally, the Russia-gate point of origin, John Brennan’s CIA. Here’s more background on that from Stephen Cohen’s illuminating article at The Nation: “….when, and by whom, was this Intel operation against Trump started? In testimony to the House Intelligence Committee in May 2017, John Brennan, formerly Obama’s head of the CIA, strongly suggested that he and his agency were the first, as The Washington Post put it at the time, “in triggering an FBI probe.” Certainly both the Post and The New York Times interpreted his remarks in this way. Equally certain, Brennan played a central role in promoting the Russiagate narrative thereafter, briefing members of Congress privately and giving President Obama himself a top-secret envelope in early August 2016 that almost certainly contained Steele’s dossier. Early on, Brennan presumably would have shared his “suspicions” and initiatives with James Clapper, director of national intelligence. FBI Director Comey… may have joined them actively somewhat later…. When did Brennan begin his “investigation” of Trump? His House testimony leaves this somewhat unclear, but, according to a subsequent Guardian article, by late 2015 or early 2016 he was receiving, or soliciting, reports from foreign intelligence agencies regarding “suspicious ‘interactions’ between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents.” In short, if these reports and Brennan’s own testimony are to be believed, he, not the FBI, was the instigator and godfather of Russiagate.” (“Russiagate or Intelgate?”, Stephen Cohen, The Nation) Regular readers of this column know that we have always believed that the Russiagate psyops originated with Brennan. Just as the CIA launched its disinformation campaigns against Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gadhafi, so too, Russia has emerged as Washington’s foremost rival requiring a massive propaganda campaign to persuade the public that America faces a serious external threat. In any event, the demonizing of Russia had already begun by the time Hillary and Co. decided to hop on the bandwagon by blaming Moscow for hacking John Podesta’s emails. The allegations were never persuasive, but they did provide Brennan with some cover for the massive Information Operation (IO) that began with him. According to the Washington Times: “It was then-CIA Director John O. Brennan, a close confidant of Mr. Obama’s, who provided the information — what he termed the “basis” — for the FBI to start the counterintelligence investigation last summer….Mr. Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 that the intelligence community was picking up tidbits on Trump associates making contacts with Russians.” It all started with Brennan. After Putin blocked Brennan’s operations in both Ukraine and Syria, Brennan had every reason to retaliate and to use the tools at his disposal to demonize Putin and try to isolate Russia. The “election meddling” charges (promoted by the Hillary people) fit perfectly with Brennan’s overall strategy to manipulate perceptions and prepare the country for an eventual confrontation. It provided him the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, to deliver a withering blow to Putin and Trump at the very same time. The temptation must have been irresistible. But now the plan has backfired and the investigations are gaining pace. Trump’s allies in the House smell the blood in the water and they want answers. Did the CIA surveil members of the Trump campaign on the basis of information they gathered in the dossier? Who saw the information? Was the information passed along to members of the press and other government agencies? Was the White House involved? What role did Obama play? What about the Intelligence Community Assessment? Was it based on the contents of the Steele report? Will the “hand-picked” analysts who worked on the report vouch for its conclusions in or were they coached about what to write? How did Brennan persuade the reluctant Comey into opening a counterintelligence investigation on members in the Trump campaign when he knew it would be perceived as a partisan attempt to sabotage the elections by giving Hillary an edge? Soon the investigative crosshairs will settle on Brennan. He’d better have the right answers.
Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation, With text messages between US Justice Department (DOJ) conspirators Peter Strzok and his adulterous main squeeze Lisa Page now revealing that then-President Barack Obama “wants to know everything we’re doing,” it now appears that the 2016 plot to subvert the rule of law and corrupt the US organs of state security for political purposes reached the very pinnacle of power. To call the United States today a “banana republic” increasingly may be seen as a gratuitous insult to the friendly spider-infested nations to our south. Still, don’t expect to see Barry Hussein Saetoro doing the perp walk anytime soon or even being deported back to Kenya. Don’t expect to see orange prison suits on Strzok, Page, former FBI Director James Comey, former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and others implicated in putting a political thumb on the scales to, first, get Hillary Clinton elected, and then, when that failed, to neuter Donald Trump’s presidency with a phony Russiagate probe. Officials’ getting “former-ed” is one thing, their getting prosecuted quite another. (Just imagine if a GOP administration had similarly skewed the supposedly non-political law enforcement and intelligence services for partisan reasons. We’d have Watergate on steroids. The New York Times, Washington Post and CNN would be calling for hanging, drawing, and quartering.) Indeed, it’s not even clear the Russiagate investigation itself will be impacted. After all, the narrative may have flipped on one variable – from Trump campaign collusion to Democratic and FBI collusion – but the constant remains the same: Russia. Trump’s defenders are as insistent as his detractors that the real culprit is Russia! Russia! Russia! Sean Hannity of Fox News has been particularly hyperventilative that the entire Steele Dossier lying at the black heart of the mess consists of “phony, fake-news Russian propaganda” and “Russian intelligence lies” from British MI6 (supposedly “former”) spymaster Christopher Steele’s “Russian sources.” Even level-headed observers like Paul Sperry and Patrick Buchanan characterize the file as a “Kremlin-aided smear job” and “Russian dirt [that] Steele was spoon-fed by old comrades in the Kremlin’s security apparatus.” Christopher Steele is not Russian But what do we really know about Steele’s claimed sources? Not much. Sure, maybe Vladimir Putin personally whispered every word of the dossier into Steele’s ear. Or maybe Steele invented his supposed sources from whole cloth: your clients are paying for sleaze, you give them sleaze. Or anything in between: maybe Steele consulted some imaginative Russian cranks with only a marginal, and most likely adversarial, relationship to the Russian authorities, whose “inside knowledge” Steele padded to justify his fee. (Steele claims he didn’t pay his “sources” – assuming they exist at all – but that’s no more worthy of credit than anything else he says.) As analyzed by Russia expert Stephen F. Cohen: ‘Where, then, … did Steele get his information? According to Steele and his many stenographers – which include his American employers, Democratic Party Russiagaters, the mainstream media, and even progressive publications – it came from his “deep connections in Russia,” specifically from retired and current Russian intelligence officials in or near the Kremlin. From the moment the dossier began to be leaked to the American media, this seemed highly implausible (as reporters who took his bait should have known) for several reasons: - ‘Steele has not returned to Russia after leaving his post there in the early 1990s. Since then, the main Russian intelligence agency, the FSB, has undergone many personnel and other changes, especially after 2000, and especially in or near Putin’s Kremlin. Did Steele really have such “connections” so many years later? [JGJ: Is it credible that the head of MI6’s Russian branch is on a first-name basis with top Kremlin insiders? Turn the identities around and ask whether the chiefs of the US section of Russian or Chinese intelligence are on intimate speaking terms with the US president’s top advisers or with the leadership of the CIA or FBI. Hardly.] - ‘Even if he did, would these purported Russian insiders really have collaborated with this “former” British intelligence agent under what is so widely said to be the ever-vigilant eye of the ruthless “former KGB agent” Vladimir Putin, thereby risking their positions, income, perhaps freedom, as well as the well-being of their families? - ‘Originally it was said that his Russian sources were highly paid by Steele. Arguably, this might have warranted the risk. But subsequently Steele’s employer and head of Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson, wrote in The New York Times that “Steele’s sources in Russia…were not paid.” If the Putin Kremlin’s purpose was to put Trump in the White House, why then would these “Kremlin-connected” sources have contributed to Steele’s anti-Trump project without financial or political gain – only with considerable risk? - ‘There is the also the telling matter of factual mistakes in the dossier that Kremlin “insiders” were unlikely to have made, but this is the subject for a separate analysis. ‘And indeed we now know that Steele had at least three other “sources” for the dossier, ones not previously mentioned by him or his employer. There was the information from foreign intelligence agencies provided by Brennan to Steele or to the FBI, which we also now know was collaborating with Steele. There was … a “second Trump-Russia dossier” prepared by people personally close to Hillary Clinton and who shared their “findings” with Steele. And most intriguingly, there was the “research” provided by Nellie Ohr, wife of a top Department of Justice official, Bruce Ohr, who, according to the Republican memo, “was employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump. Ohr later provided the FBI with all of his wife’s opposition research.” Most likely, it found its way into Steele’s dossier. (Mrs. Ohr was a trained Russian Studies scholar with a PhD from Stanford and a onetime assistant professor at Vassar, and thus, it must have seemed, an ideal collaborator for Steele.)’ The reference to “people personally close to Hillary Clinton and who shared their ‘findings’ with Steele” dovetails with another intriguing suggestion from former Clinton insider Dick Morris, who knows the modus operandi of the Clinton lie generator better than anyone else. On the Fox News “Ingraham Angle” show, Morris suggested to host Laura Ingraham that the bulk of the dossier was invented by veteran political dirty tricksters and Clinton-machine hatchet men Sid Blumenthal and Cody Shearer, who then engaged “former” spook Steele, because of the Brit’s known relationship with the FBI, as their conduit to give their garbage credibility. (Never underestimate the residual “colonial” mentality of Yanks to find any sort of gibberish convincing if delivered with a British accent, as confirmed by the ubiquity of posh Brit voices in American advertising.) Andrew Wood is not Russian But Steele isn’t the only limey link to #Dossiergate. In late 2016, after Trump’s election victory, Andrew Wood, a former British ambassador to Russia, told US Senator John McCain about the existence of compromising material on Donald Trump, according to Wood’s account to BBC4. Wood then set up a meeting between Steele and David Kramer, an associate of McCain’s. It’s unclear whether McCain already knew about the dossier at that point or whether Wood alerted the Senator to its existence. For what it is worth – not much – Wood states that McCain had obtained the documents from the Senator’s own sources. “I told him I was aware of what was in the report but I had not read it myself, that it might be true, it might be untrue. I had no means of judging really,” and that he served only to inform McCain about the dossier contents: “My mission was essentially to be a go-between and a messenger, to tell the Senator and assistants that such a dossier existed,” Wood told Fox News. Wood elsewhere relates that McCain was “visibly shocked” at his description and expressed interest in reading the full report. That doesn’t sound as though McCain had already obtained the dossier from his “own sources” but, rather, that Wood was the instigator. So which is it? Did McCain already know about the dossier, and if so how did it “happen” to get raised with a British diplomat? Conversely, was the initiative from Woods to induce the Senator – known to be a strong Trump critic as well as for his hostility to Russia – to pass the dossier on in Washington? Keep in mind that the dossier had already been used to secure a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to monitor Carter Page, a peripheral asteroid in the Trump orbit, and that Trump had already been elected. By this time the conspiracy’s purpose had shifted from preventing Trump’s victory to tying down his incoming administration, especially with respect to blocking any opening to Moscow as Trump said he intended to do. What better way to set the cat among the pigeons than for a supposedly totally non-political British diplomat (certainly no intelligence officer, he!) to quietly peddle the material from Steele (whom Wood called a “very competent professional operator … I do not think he would make things up.”) to the right man in Washington? GCHQ is not Russian Finally, while it’s clear the dossier served to get a FISA warrant for American services to spy on the Trump campaign and later the transition team, US agencies’ might not have been the only eyes and ears monitoring them. Amid all the hubbub over Michael Wolff’s slash-and-burn Fire and Fury, little mention (other than a heated denial on the floor of the House of Commons, from the notoriously truth-challenged former prime minister Tony Blair, and from the relevant British agency itself!) has been made of the suggestion that the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) – Britain’s version of the NSA – was spying on Trump and providing their sister agencies in the US with additional data. Keep in mind the carefully worded deflection last year from James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence (DNI), that “there was no wiretap against Trump Tower during the campaign conducted by any part of the national intelligence community... including the FBI,” thus begging the question of whether Trump was spied on not by a US “national” agency but by one of the Anglosphere “Five Eyes” agencies – most likely GCHQ – which then passed the information back to their American colleagues. With Steele’s and Wood’s involvement, and given the virtual control of America’s manifestly corrupted agencies of their counterparts in satellite countries like the United Kingdom, involvement by GCHQ and perhaps other “friendly” foreign agencies cannot be dismissed out of hand. Madame Prime Minister is not Russian To be sure, in 2016 the majority opinion in Russia was that Donald Trump’s election would be preferable to Hillary Clinton’s for the simple reason that the former openly advocated better relations with Moscow while the latter was a notorious warmonger. But there was also a strong minority view, especially among more pro-Western elements of the Russian establishment, that Hillary – “the devil you know” – was preferable to rolling the dice on an unpredictable and unknown quantity. Plus, Hillary was delightfully corrupt, with the Clinton Foundation an open invitation for many foreign powers to buy influence. There was no ambiguity in the position of the British government, however. In 2016 Prime Minister Theresa May, like her German counterpart, made little effort to hide her disdain for the “just plain wrong” Trump and her preference for Hillary Clinton, whom she expected to win (as did most other observers). Why should anyone be surprised that her MI6 and GCHQ minions would share the same views and perhaps acted on them to provide some helping “hands across the water” to their US counterparts whose anti-constitutional conspiracy now stands exposed?
Donald Trump says he won't repeat the mistakes of the past. But the past offers clues to what he might do.
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Wednesday that he is unfazed by taunts from President Donald Trump, lamenting on CNN that such rhetoric has become “the new normal.”Trump listed Clapper this week among the “biggest liars and leakers in Washington,” a group that the president said also includes Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), former FBI Director James Comey and former CIA Director John Brennan. Asked whether the attack bothered him, Clapper said, “No, it doesn’t.”“That, in itself, I think, is kind of a sad commentary. I remember thinking when he tweeted out about Sally Yates and me choking at this hearing, that had I showed up in the Oval Office in the last administration and President Obama commented to me, ‘Hey, you really choked on this hearing,’ I’d have been devastated,” he continued. “But now it doesn't seem to matter and that in itself is a sad commentary because it’s just — this is normal now. And that is part of the regrettable situation we find ourselves in, where the discourse in Washington has gotten so crude and so coarse that people are starting to be jaded to it.”Clapper, who is among the Obama-era officials appearing relatively frequently on cable news over the past year, has been harshly critical of Trump, at one point labeling the president’s performance at an Arizona rally last summer “disturbing” and questioning his fitness for office.Trump, too, has eagerly lashed out at the intelligence community large and at Clapper specifically. In the weeks leading up to his inauguration last year, Trump, then president-elect, likened the intelligence community to Nazi Germany after reports surfaced a dossier of inflammatory and unverified intelligence about Trump. Last May, the president wrote on Twitter that Clapper and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates had started to “choke like dogs” during Senate testimony.“Well, I seem to have progressed from being a Nazi to a choker at the hearing that Sally Yates and I testified last May 8, and political hack on Veterans Day, no less,” Clapper said. “And so being a leaker and liar, I guess — actually, I think I'm in very good company with the likes of Adam Schiff and Mark Warner and Jim Comey and John Brennan.”
Подняв флаг борьбы с «Исламским государством» (ИГ), США наносят теперь авиаудары по позициям ИГ не только в Ираке, но и в Сирии. Делается это без согласия правительства Сирии и без принятия соответствующего решения Советом Безопасности ООН. Начинают оправдываться опасения Москвы и Тегерана на тот счёт, что целью ракетно-бомбовых ударов является окончательное уничтожение сирийской инфраструктуры. По заявлению представителя Пентагона Джона Кирби, США нанесли авиаудары по 12 нефтеперерабатывающим заводам в Сирии. Якобы их контролировали боевики-экстремисты. Таких атак по позициям ИГ, говорит Джон Кирби, «будет больше». Здесь следует напомнить, что мятеж в Сирии, продолжающийся четвёртый год, стал разрастаться практически синхронно с подписанием 25 июня 2011 г. в Бушере меморандума о строительстве нового газопровода Иран – Ирак – Сирия. Борьбу американцев с правительством Башара Асада справедливо называют войной за нефть и газ. Дамаск попал в число врагов Америки в 2009 году, когда Асад отказался принять американский план строительства газопровода из Катара в Европу. Вместо этого Сирия предпочла сделку с Ираном, дав согласие на участие в строительстве газопровода через Ирак к своим портам на Средиземном море. Именно тогда всемирную известность приобрели слова бывшего госсекретаря США Генри Киссинджера: «Нефть слишком важна, чтобы оставлять ее арабам». Создание халифата на обширной территории Ирака и Сирии ведет к потере Соединенными Штатами (ExxonMobil Corporation) и Великобританией (BP и Royal Dutch Shell) позиций в нефтегазовом секторе Ирака и возможности доступа (после приближаемой американцами смены режима в Дамаске) к сирийским запасам углеводородов. Пока террористы ИГ воевали с сирийскими правительственными войсками, они американцев устраивали, но как только они вторглись в Ирак и объявили о создании собственного государства, Америка объявила им войну. Никаких двойных стандартов у США здесь нет. Налицо неизменное стремление американской элиты к мировому господству, и война с «Исламским государством» – всего лишь локальная операция. В позиции США много нестыковок и противоречий, а объясняются они тем, что Вашингтону всё труднее диктовать свои условия остальному миру. Нет сомнения в том, что Сирия остается для США главной мишенью на Ближнем Востоке, в том числе с точки зрения реализации планов по ослаблению России. «Исламское государство» — это проект американского происхождения, его цель — создание мощной дестабилизирующей волны, которая распространится вглубь Евразии. На первом этапе, переключая внимание международного сообщества на борьбу с ИГ, американцы подготавливают под шумок свержение президента Башара Асада. Именно так оценивают односторонние действия Вашингтона против «Исламского государства» многие страны мира. Поэтому не получилось у Обамы и формирование «широкой» коалиции. Американцам удалось добиться возмещения своих расходов монархиями Персидского залива (Бахрейн, Катар, Саудовская Аравия и ОАЭ), удалось склонить Иорданию предоставить свою инфраструктуру, привлечь к нанесению авиаударов некоторых союзников по НАТО - Великобританию, Францию, Бельгию и Данию. По данным Госдепартамента, 54 страны и три международные организации - ЕС, НАТО и Лига арабских государств – тоже обещали внести в эту кампанию свой вклад. Однако анонсированное Джоном Керри «всемирное» участие в коалиции не состоялось. Доверие к Америке осталось лишь у немногих. Мир еще не забыл, как в 2003 году США вторглись в Ирак без санкции ООН. Вашингтон тогда заявлял, что Ирак ведёт разработки оружия массового поражения и разоружить его нужно силой. Голосование в СБ ООН по этому вопросу так и не состоялось, поскольку Россия, Китай и Франция дали понять, что наложат вето на любой проект резолюции, подразумевающий применение военной силы против Ирака. Тогда, как и сейчас, США вызывающе пренебрегли международным общественным мнением, агрессия против Ирака началась, страна была разрушена, и последствия этого мы наблюдаем по сей день. Сегодня история повторяется. Джеймс Клеппер, глава Национальной разведки США, во время своего ежегодного выступления перед сенатской комиссией по разведке (29 января 2014) отчитался в угрозах, нависших над Америкой. Коснулся он и Сирии, сообщив ничему не соответствующие данные о составе «повстанцев». Его главный тезис состоял в том, что на 80% это «умеренные» противники режима, которые вполне могут принимать финансовую помощь США, за предоставление которой американский сенат в свое время тайно проголосовал. Теперь эти «умеренные» в одночасье превратились в непримиримых террористов, и против одной из их организаций американцы начали войну. Заметим: не против террористов вообще, а лишь против «Исламского государства». Интересно, а что думают руководители американской разведки об «умеренности» группировки «Джебхат ан-Нусра», этого сирийского отделения «Аль-Каиды»? В ответ на авиаудары по территории Сирии лидеры «Джебхат ан-Нусра» уже заявили о готовности противостоять Америке совместно с ИГ. Своими действиями американцы консолидируют терроризм. В эфире телеканала CBS Обама заявил, что в свое время американским военным удалось нанести поражение «Аль-Каиде» в Ираке, после чего организация «ушла в подполье», но «за последние два года, воспользовавшись хаосом во время гражданской войны в Сирии, боевики смогли восстановить свои силы». О том, что хаос и гражданская война в Сирии - прямое следствие действий США на Ближнем Востоке, американский президент не сказал. Председатель Объединенного комитета начальников штабов США генерал Мартин Демпси считает, что для успешной борьбы с группировкой «Исламское государство» в Ираке и Сирии необходимо провести наземную операцию. По мнению Демпси, нужно принять политическое решение и ввести войска в эти страны. Если это произойдёт, дестабилизирующая волна начнёт распространяться за пределы Сирии и Ирака, ряды террористов пополнятся новыми непримиримыми бойцами, а перед военно-промышленным комплексом США откроются захватывающие дух перспективы.