Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com, Watergate had tragic Shakespearean overtones, with Nixon as King Lear, but Russia-Gate - perhaps the last gate America goes through on its giant slalom run to collapse - is but a Chinese Fire Drill writ large. The reason? In 1973, we were still a serious people. Today, the most lavishly credentialed elite in history believe the most preposterous “stories,” or, surely even worse, pretend to believe them for political advantage. Now, an epic battle of wills is setting up as Robert Mueller’s investigation concludes its business and its primary target, the Golden Golem of Greatness, girds his loins to push back. Behind the flimsy scrim of Russia collusion accusations stands a bewildering maze of criminal mischief by a matrix of federal agencies that lost control of their own dark operation to meddle in the 2016 election. The US intel community (CIA, NSA, FBI, etc), with the Department of Justice, all colluded with the Hillary Clinton campaign and the intel agencies of the UK and Australia, to derail Mr. Trump as a stooge of Russia and, when he shocked them by getting elected, mounted a desperate campaign to cover their asses knowing he had become their boss. The Obama White House was involved in all this, attempting to cloak itself in plausible deniability, which may be unwinding now, too. How might all this play out from here? One big mystery is how long will Mr. Trump wait to declassify any number of secret files, memoranda, and communications that he’s been sitting on for months. My guess is that this stuff amounts to a potent weapon against his adversaries and he will wait until Mr. Mueller releases a final report before declassifying it. Then, we’ll have a fine constitutional crisis as the two sides vie for some sort of adjudication. Who, for instance, will adjudicate the monkey business that is already on-the-record involving misdeeds in the Department of Justice itself? Will the DOJ split into two contesting camps, each charging the other? How might that work? Does the Acting Attorney General Mr. Whitaker seek indictments against figures such as Bruce Ohr, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, et al. Will he also rope in intel cowboys John Brennan and James Clapper? Might Hillary find herself in jeopardy — all the while on the other side Mr. Mueller pursues his targets, characters like Mr. Manafort, Michael Cohen, and the hapless Carter Page? Or might Mr. Mueller, and others, possibly find themselves in trouble, as spearheads of a bad-faith campaign to weaponize government agencies against a sitting president? That might sound outlandish, but the evidence is adding up. In fact the evidence of a Deep State gone rogue is far more compelling than any charges Mr. Mueller has so far produced on Trump-Russia “collusion.” An example of bad faith is former FBI Director James Comey’s current campaign to avoid testifying in closed session before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees — he filed a motion just before Thanksgiving. Mr. Comey is pretending that an open session would be “transparent.” His claim is mendacious. If he were questioned about classified matters in an open session, he would do exactly what he did before in open session: decline to answer about “sensitive” matters on the basis of national security. He could make no such claims in a closed session. The truth is, his attorneys are trying to run out the clock on the current composition of the house committees, which will come under a Democrat majority in January, so that Mr. Comey can avoid testifying altogether. There are other dicey matters awaiting some kind of adjudication elsewhere. For instance, who is going to review the chain of decisions among the FISA judges who approved of warrants made in bad faith to spy on US citizens? Perhaps the shrinking violet, Mr. Huber, out in the Utah Prosecutor’s Office of the DOJ, is looking into all that. He’s been at something for most of the year (nobody knows what). He has to answer to Mr. Whitaker now, or the permanent AG who replaces him. And why is Mr. Trump dragging his heels on nominating a permanent AG? I suppose the FISA court matter will fall to the Supreme Court, but how does that process work, and how long might it take? The potential for a stand-off exists that will confound any effort to untangle these things, and I can see how that might lead to an extraordinary crisis in which Mr. Trump has to declare some form of emergency or perhaps martial law to clean out this suppurating abscess of illegality and sedition. That can only be the last and worst resort, but what if the US judicial system just can’t manage to clean up the mess it has made?
President Donald Trump appeared to accuse his own deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, of treason on Wednesday, posting a meme to his Twitter feed that shows an image of Rosenstein and a slew of Trump critics behind bars.The image also included special counsel Robert Mueller, former FBI Director James Comey, former national intelligence director James Clapper and Bill and Hillary Clinton. Their picture was overlaid with the words, “Now that Russia collusion is a proven lie, when do the trials for treason begin?”Trump retweeted the image after separately ripping Mueller, whose investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election appears to be closing in on several Trump associates, including longtime ally Roger Stone and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi. Trump has ramped up his attacks on Mueller in recent days, after a quiet few weeks ahead of the November midterm elections.In the past two days, he’s also revived the assertion that the Hillary Clinton campaign emails — which intelligence agencies concluded were stolen by Russian operatives and funneled to WikiLeaks in 2016 — may not have been stolen at all. He also suggested that Corsi and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort were being pressured by Mueller to lie, though Mueller’s team has accused both men of lying to investigators.Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine]]>
Cesar Sayoc, 56, of Aventura charged with five federal crimesAttorney general Sessions says Sayoc ‘appears to be partisan’Pipe bombs latest – live updatesAn avowed Donald Trump supporter in southern Florida was charged on Friday with sending pipe bombs to critics of the president, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.Thirteen of the devices were mentioned on a federal criminal complaint. A 14th device was reported by the billionaire Tom Steyer, who has called for Trump’s impeachment. Continue reading...
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: The Distortions of Our Unelected Officials. On March 17, ex-CIA Director John Brennan tweeted about the current president of the United States: “When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. . […]
Сенатор от штата Кентукки республиканец Рэнд Пол в интервью для The Laura Ingraham Show заявил, что термин «глубинное государство» в точности описывает то, как невыбираемые высокопоставленные представители служб безопасности без ведома Конгресса влияют на политику США.
Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com, With spring, things come unstuck; an unspooling has begun. The turnaround at the FBI and Department of Justice has been so swift that even The New York Times has shut up about collusion with Russia - at the same time omitting to report what appears to have been a wholly politicized FBI upper echelon intruding on the 2016 election campaign, and then laboring stealthily to un-do the election result. The ominous silence enveloping the DOJ the week after Andrew McCabe’s firing - and before the release of the FBI Inspector General’s report - suggests to me that a grand jury is about to convene and indictments are in process, not necessarily from Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s office. The evidence already publicly-aired about FBI machinations and interventions on behalf of Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump looks bad from any angle, and the wonder was that it took so long for anyone at the agency to answer for it. McCabe is gone from office and, apparently hung out to dry on the recommendation of his own colleagues. Do not think for a moment that he will just ride off into the sunset. Meanwhile, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Bruce Ohr, have been sent to the FBI study hall pending some other shoes dropping in a grand jury room. James Comey is out hustling a book he slapped together to manage the optics of his own legal predicament (evidently, lying to a congressional committee). And way out in orbit beyond the gravitation of the FBI, lurk those two other scoundrels, John Brennan, former head of the CIA (now a CNN blabbermouth), and James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence, a new and redundant post in the Deep State’s intel matrix (and ditto a CNN blabbermouth). Brennan especially has been provoked to issue blunt Twitter threats against Mr. Trump, suggesting he might be entering a legal squeeze himself. None of these public servants have cut a plea bargain yet, as far as is publicly known, but they are all, for sure, in a lot of trouble. Culpability may not stop with them. Tendrils of evidence point to a coordinated campaign that included the Obama White House and the Democratic National Committee starring Hillary Clinton. Robert Mueller even comes into the picture both at the Uranium One end of the story and the other end concerning the activities of his old friend, Mr. Comey. Most tellingly of all, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was not shoved out of office but remains shrouded in silence and mystery as this melodrama plays out, tick, tick, tick. None of this makes President Trump a more reassuring figure. His lack of decorum remains as awesome as his apparent lack of common sense. But he has labored against the most intense campaign of coordinated calumny ever seen against a chief executive and his fortitude, at least, is impressive. What is unspooling for him, and the body politic, are the nation’s finances, and the dog of an economy that gets wagged by finance. Yesterday’s 724-point dump in the Dow Jones Industrial Average is liable to not be a fluke event, but the beginning of a cascade into the pitiless maw of reality - the reality that just about everything is grossly mispriced. There is plenty of dysfunction in plain sight to suggest that the financial markets can’t bear the strain of unreality anymore. Between the burgeoning trade wars and the adoption in congress this week of a fiscally suicidal spending bill, you’d want to put your fingers in your ears to not be deafened by the roar of markets tumbling. A 40 to 75 percent drop in the equity markets will leave a lot of one-percent big fish gasping on the beach as the tide rolls out. But the minnows and anchovies will suffer too, as regular economic activity declines in response to tumbling markets. And then the Federal Reserve will ride to the rescue with QE-4, which will very sharply drive the dollar toward worthlessness. The result: a nation with a sucking chest wound, whirling around the drain en route to political pandemonium.
Authored by S.M.Gibson via TheAntiMedia.org, U.S. Senator Rand Paul is fed up with Congress’ drunken sailor spending style and looked to challenge the bloated spending package as it reached the floor of the Senate overnight. Despite being given approximately 24-hours to read the 2,000-plus pages of financial waste before a possible vote, the senator from Kentucky decided he would not only read the entirety of the bill (likely the only member of the Senate to do so), which he has repeatedly called “terrible” and “rotten,” but also live-tweeted out the highlights of where taxpayer dollars are actually going. As of this writing, Paul is roughly 500 pages into reading the legislation and has already uncovered a mountain of waste. You can read the senator’s tweets below. This story will be updated as more tweets become available. Shame, shame. A pox on both Houses – and parties. $1.3 trillion. Busts budget caps. 2200 pages, with just hours to try to read it. — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2018 //--> //--> //--> Well here it is, all 2,232 budget-busting pages. The House already started votes on it. The Senate is expected to soon. No one has read it. Congress is broken… pic.twitter.com/izvJlUEgUM — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2018 It’s a good thing we have Republican control of Congress or the Democrats might bust the budget caps, fund planned parenthood and Obamacare, and sneak gun control without due process into an Omni…wait, what? — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 21, 2018 I ran for office because I thought the Obama spending and trillion dollar annual deficits were a real problem for our country and now Republicans are doing the same thing. https://t.co/Fdi9riA3YK — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2018 FYI- The 2200+ page, budget-busting Omnibus has been printing for two hours in my office and still isn’t done. — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2018 //--> //--> //--> 1. On page 207. 2000+ pages to go! Reading about the ever wasteful $6 billion National Science Foundation. — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2018 2. Remember the $350,000 NSF spent asking if japanese quail are more sexually promiscuous on cocaine? — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2018 3. Reading this monstrous bill full of grant programs begun decades ago reminds me of Reagan’s critique: the nearest thing to immortality is a government program. — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2018 Page 226 of terrible, no good, rotten deficit spending bill. I found a kernel of hope: “no funds in this act will be used to support or justify torture.” — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2018 Page 240 good news for states rights: no funds will be spent to prevent any state’s medical marijuana initiatives. Thank you Congr. Rohrbacher — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2018 Page 278. (1954 to go!) $961 million to destroy our chemical weapons. Who was it, exactly, who convinced our government to pay billions to develop weapons we now find deplorable? — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2018 Page 281 of “crumni-bus”. CIA retirement funding. Wouldn’t it be great to amend out the retirement benefits of Trump hater John Brennan and Congressional dissembler James Clapper? pic.twitter.com/rRG6qGKcx6 — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2018 Here are a few more highlights: o $1m for the Cultural Antiquities Task Force o $6.25m for the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation o $20m for Countering Foreign State Propaganda o $12m for Countering State Disinformation and Pressure — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2018 o $5m for Vietnam Education Foundation Grants o $2.579m for Commission on Security and Co-operation in Europe o $15m to USAID for promoting international higher education between universities o $2.696bn for International Disaster Assistance — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2018 o $1.371bn for Contributions to International Organizations o $51m to promote International Family Planning and Reproductive Health o $7m promoting International Conservation o $10m for UN Environmental Programs — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2018 o $1m for the World Meteorological Organization o $218m for Promoting Democracy Development in Europe (yep..the birthplace of democracy needs promoting) o $25m for International Religious Freedom o $10m for disadvantaged Egyptian Students — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2018 o $12m for Scholarships for Lebanon o $20m for Middle East Partnership Initiative Scholarship Program o $12m in military funding for Vietnam o $3.5m in nutrition assistance to Laos o $15m in Developmental assistance to China o $10m for Women LEOs in Afghanistan — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2018 on page 355. NSA prohibited from targeting US persons with FISA 702 program. sounds good —but — privacy advocates fear that NSA still does back-door targeting of US persons. Courageous Senator Wyden has asked how many US persons caught up in supposedly foreign data base. — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2018 But Brennan and Clapper too busy spewing hatred of Trump to respond to legitimate requests. — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2018 Page 357. Sec. 8116 no funds can be used in Iraq in contravention of the War Powers Act sounds good but . . . haven’t we been back in Iraq at war against new foes without any new congressional authorization? — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2018 Page 348 of terrible, rotten, no-good budget busting bill, a nugget that I wish we obeyed sec. 8103: none of the funds may be used in contravention of the War Powers Act — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2018 hmm . . . that would mean we shouldn’t be spending $ in undeclared wars in Yemen, Libya, Niger, Somalia, Afghanistan wonder why the party that talks about the rule of law, doesn’t obey the rule of law? — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2018 and I’m STILL reading. This bill is no @bradthor thriller. Page 365: Overseas contingency operations. aka military slush fund that circumvents budget caps. All told, we’ve spent over a trillion dollars in this budget busting category. — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2018 Page 376 of terrible, rotten, no-good budget busting bill: I found it! I found it! Border security, what President Trump wanted! no . . .wait a minute section says Defense can spend what funds it determines to enhance the border security of Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, and Tunisia — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2018 eyes getting tired but really someone should read this beast. Page 392 sec 9007: no $ shall be spent “for the permanent stationing of US forces in Afghanistan” Wonder what they meant by permanent? Some might argue that after 16 years we approaching the definition of permanent. — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2018 Page 430 of “crumni-bus:” Good news. The government is going to “earn” $350 million by selling oil from Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Bad news is the $ won’t go to reduce the $21 trillion debt. The $ will be instead be spent elsewhere by the Federal government. — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2018 Page 447: a little over $30 billion for Dept of Energy Wonder if anyone would notice if we had no Dept of Energy Put oversight of nuclear waste in DOD and let supply & demand be our Energy policy — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2018 Page 485: No $ used by the IRS to target citizens for exercising 1st amendment rights. Do you think Lois Lerner knew about this part of the law before she targeted Tea Party groups? pic.twitter.com/t41kZ63oD8 — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2018 ⚡ “Tweeting the 2018 Omnibus”https://t.co/qgTCivVbrX — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 22, 2018 * * * Anti-Media’s independent journalism and analysis takes substantial time, resources, and effort to produce, but we do it because we believe in our message and hope you do, too. If everyone who reads our reporting and finds value in it helps fund it, our future can be much more secure. For as little as $1 and a minute of your time, you can support Anti-Media. Thank you. Click here to support us
President Donald Trump on Friday celebrated the House Intelligence Committee’s decision to end its Russia investigation, highlighting the committee’s findings of no collusion between Russia and his 2016 campaign and of malfeasance on the part of the Obama administration.“House Intelligence Committee votes to release final report. FINDINGS: (1) No evidence provided of Collusion between Trump Campaign & Russia. (2) The Obama Administrations Post election response was insufficient. (3) Clapper provided inconsistent testimony on media contacts,” Trump wrote online just after 6 a.m. Friday morning.In its findings, released Thursday after the committee’s Republican majority voted to end the investigation, the committee criticized former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page for providing “incomplete” testimony about a 2016 trip to Moscow and called the contacts some Trump associates had with the website WikiLeaks, where the intelligence community says emails hacked by the Russian government were leaked to the public, were “ill-advised.” But none of it, the committee’s report said, rose to the level of collusion.The House Intelligence Committee also said Obama-era Director of National Intelligence James Clapper provided “inconsistent testimony” regarding his interactions with the media.Trump has long complained that investigations into his campaign amount to a “witch hunt” invented by Democrats upset over Hillary Clinton’s surprise 2016 loss. A Senate Intelligence Committee investigation remains underway, as does the Justice Department probe being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller.Democrats on the House committee have been critical of the decision to end the investigation, accusing Republicans of shielding Trump by not subpoenaing certain documents, declining to interview certain witnesses and refusing to compel other witnesses to answer certain questions. "It really is a fundamentally flawed document and there’s not much that can rescue it," Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the committee, said after GOP members voted to close the committee’s probe on Thursday.
The committee voted to release a report that recommends a crackdown on leaks, including administering 'mandatory polygraphs' to some administration officials with top secret security clearances.
Authored by Jay Syrmopoulos via TruthInMedia.com, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said Tuesday during an appearance on The Laura Ingraham Show podcast that the term “deep state” accurately describes how an unelected bureaucracy of national security officials in positions of power exert influence without Congressional oversight. “Absolutely, there is a deep state, because the deep state is the intelligence agencies that do not have oversight,” he said. “Only eight people in Congress know what they’re doing, and traditionally, those eight people have been a rubber stamp to let the intelligence communities do whatever they want. There is no skeptic among the eight people that are supposedly overseeing the intelligence community.” The “Gang of Eight” that Paul referenced is made up of the majority and minority leaders of the House of Representatives and Senate, along with the chairmen and ranking members of the two intelligence committees, and are the select few members of Congress with real-time access to America’s most sensitive intelligence. Paul pointed out that he believed Obama-era CIA Director John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and others used intelligence collected “without any judicial warrants” for political purposes, in addition to “try to bring Trump down.” “John Brennan and James Clapper were doing whatever the hell they wanted, without any judicial warrants, and I think there were numerous people in the Obama administration who were using intelligence — one, to try to bring Trump down; but two, also, they were using it for political purposes,” he said. “And this is very, very worrisome.” Paul evidenced his point by noting Brennan’s politicized tweet over the weekend calling Trump a corrupt demagogue, and promising that America would “triumph” over him. When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America...America will triumph over you. https://t.co/uKppoDbduj — John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) March 17, 2018 “This is the real problem,” Paul said. “And [founding father James] Madison warned about this from the beginning. Madison said that men are not angels. And all you gotta do is look at John Brennan’s tweet to know that he’s not an angel. And listen to James Clapper lying to the Senate about whether they were spying on Americans.” Paul previously tweeted that Brennan’s attacks on the “Bill of Rights” and “freedoms of every American” while running the CIA were “disgraceful.” Further solidifying Paul’s point about “men are not angels,” Samantha Power, former UN Ambassador under President Obama, issued an ominous tweet: “Not a good idea to piss off John Brennan.” Not a good idea to piss off John Brennan. https://t.co/VLg94OLL2R — Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower) March 17, 2018 Many took this tweet by Powers as an implicit threat on behalf of Brennan. After strong social media backlash following her tweet, Powers sent a follow-up tweet that aimed to walk back the implied threat she had first issued. Whoa! Just home & see much misinterp. of earlier tweet. It’s testament to polarized times that it cd be misread as referring to something other than Brennan’s indignation. So will translate: not a good idea to upset @JohnBrennan bc/ he will raise an angry (& eloquent) voice. https://t.co/YgIjeKGAlp — Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower) March 18, 2018 Rand Paul’s commentary starts at roughly 21:30 in the podcast below.
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.”
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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.
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.