Thursday, February 16, 2017

Today's Links

Amazing battle for dominance is playing out between the elected US govt & the IC  who consider themselves to be the 'permanent government'.  Julian Assange@julianassange                             

The Democrats had to come up with a story as to why they lost the election, and so badly (306), so they made up a story - RUSSIA. Fake news!   Donald Trump twitter

1---The Democrats want to destroy democracy? Glenn Greenwald

Chelsea Manning just spent seven years in prison under harsh conditions for leaking information way less sensitive than what these leakers about General Flynn just leaked.....

I happen to think that the Trump presidency is extremely dangerous. ... They want to dismantle the environment. They want to eliminate the safety net. They want to empower billionaires. They want to enact bigoted policies against Muslims and immigrants and so many others. And it is important to resist them. And there are lots of really great ways to resist them, such as getting courts to restrain them, citizen activism and, most important of all, having the Democratic Party engage in self-critique to ask itself how it can be a more effective political force in the United States after it has collapsed on all levels. That isn’t what this resistance is now doing. What they’re doing instead is trying to take maybe the only faction worse than Donald Trump, which is the deep state, the CIA, with its histories of atrocities, and say they ought to almost engage in like a soft coup, where they take the elected president and prevent him from enacting his policies. And I think it is extremely dangerous to do that. Even if you’re somebody who believes that both the CIA and the deep state, on the one hand, and the Trump presidency, on the other, are extremely dangerous, as I do, there’s a huge difference between the two, which is that Trump was democratically elected and is subject to democratic controls, as these courts just demonstrated and as the media is showing, as citizens are proving. But on the other hand, the CIA was elected by nobody. They’re barely subject to democratic controls at all. And so, to urge that the CIA and the intelligence community empower itself to undermine the elected branches of government is insanity. That is a prescription for destroying democracy overnight in the name of saving it. And yet that’s what so many, not just neocons, but the neocons’ allies in the Democratic Party, are now urging and cheering. And it’s incredibly warped and dangerous to watch them do that.

2--Spies Keep Intelligence From Donald Trump on Leak Concerns-- Decision to withhold information underscores deep mistrust between intelligence community and president

The current and former officials said the decision to avoid revealing sources and methods with Mr. Trump stems in large part from the president’s repeated expressions of admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his call during the presidential campaign for Russia to continue hacking the emails of his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton

3--The Leakers Who Exposed Gen. Flynn’s Lie Committed Serious — and Wholly Justified — Felonies

defined this way by 18 § 798 of the U.S. Code:
Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates … or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes … any classified information … obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of any foreign government … shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

4--You tube must watch

Former CIA operative and 2016 third-party presidential candidate Evan McMullin took to Twitter and CNN on Wednesday to defend rogue intelligence agents who break the law to leak classified information, saying President Donald Trump “presents a threat to the country

Ex-CIA agent and 2016 presidential candidate Evan McMullin has labeled Donald Trump a “domestic enemy” who “presents a threat to the country”.

After Trump criticized the FBI and the NSA for leaking information to the Washington Post and the New York Times, McMullin tweeted, “By oath, intelligence officials’ first duty is to “defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic

McMullin went further during an appearance on CNN, remarking, “I’ll tell you what their concerns are. There concerns are that Donald Trump presents a threat to the country because of his — what they see as his relationship with Vladimir Putin and the relationship of his team to other Russian intelligence officers.”..

McMullin indicated that he was in contact with some of the intelligence agents responsible for the leaks, claiming that they were merely responding to “a security threat coming from the White House.”

5- Putin: "Most admired"?

6--UK think tank warns of fall in economic growth and rising inequality

7-- Intelligence agencies clash with Trump over Russia allegations

The litany of unsubstantiated allegations of Russian control over Trump continued. The lead Times report Wednesday cited “four current and former American officials” in claiming “that Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election,” while Wednesday’s lead Post article cited a seemingly endless list of unnamed sources, including officials “who spoke on the condition of anonymity;” “current and former US officials;” “officials inside the National Security Council;” “several… senior officials… who discussed the sensitive matter on the condition of anonymity;” as well as unnamed “Senior Obama administration officials.”

In neither the Times nor the Post is a single source named. No statement is independently corroborated. No further evidence is presented beyond the anonymous statements themselves—along with broad accusations over “Russian interference” in the US elections, which are presented as fact.
It is now well established that Flynn’s December 29 phone call with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak—in which the incoming national security adviser reportedly indicated that sanctions targeting Russia would be reviewed by the Trump administration—was secretly recorded by the NSA....

There would be nothing illegal in such a discussion, and numerous historical precedents exist, some of them far more egregious than the claims being made about Flynn’s call—including the notorious instance of Reagan campaign officials intervening to prevent the release of US hostages in Iran until after the November 1980 election.
Instead, the intelligence agencies seized on the conversation to drive out Flynn, who advocated a temporary understanding with Russia so that the US could quickly move against Iran, and potentially China.

The NSA shared the transcript of the Flynn call with the FBI. At some point, multiple unnamed intelligence agents then shared the transcript with the media, as well as politicians and government officials. By last weekend, the transcript, which the White House refused to allow Flynn to review, was circulating widely in Washington. Flynn tendered his resignation on Monday evening. A concession from the Trump administration to the anti-Russia campaign, Flynn’s ouster only emboldened it....

Forty-five years later, the Times and the Post, serving as mouthpieces of the CIA, are leading the charge against Trump from the right, not to accommodate mass popular antiwar sentiment, but for the opposite purpose, to help prepare the political conditions for war with Russia.

8--Democrats seek to channel opposition to Trump behind anti-Russia offensive

The Democrats are hoping to kill two birds with one stone. They want to contain social tensions and prevent them from giving rise to an independent political movement of the working class. And they want to force a “correction” in the foreign policy of the Trump government, bringing it into line with the economic, political and military campaign against Russia initiated by the CIA under Obama....

In a meeting of Democratic senators on Tuesday, Sanders was reportedly asked by party leaders to placate popular anger that has erupted at constituency meetings held by Democratic congressmen. According to Senator Joe Manchin, Sanders was told by Minority Leader Charles Schumer and others that he might be the only person who can make sure that this anger is “directed in all the right proper channels”—that is, exclusively against the Republicans....

Trump’s inauguration, however, was followed immediately by protests involving millions of people—the most significant and widespread international demonstrations since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. These demonstrations were followed barely a week later by protests at airports across the country against the anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant executive orders of the new administration. Protests of an essentially progressive and left-wing character have continued across the country.
As the World Socialist Web Site has warned, these protests lack an independent program and are politically dominated by organizations oriented to the Democratic Party. This creates the danger that they will be suppressed or channeled behind the warmongering policies of the CIA and the Pentagon, to shift the “narrative” in a pro-war direction.

This is precisely what the Democratic Party is attempting to do. The furor over Flynn’s phone calls with Russia and Trump’s ties to Putin has served to bury public discussion of the anti-Muslim ban, the attack on refugees, the fascistic character of the new administration and the cabal of CEOs, bankers and ex-generals in Trump’s cabinet.

What if the anti-Russia campaign is successful? The Democratic Party and the organizations that surround it are committing themselves to a policy that has catastrophic consequences. They would presumably consider the outbreak of war with nuclear-armed Russia a great triumph.

9--Behind the Flynn resignation and Trump crisis: A bitter conflict over imperialist policy

A raging conflict within the US ruling elite has erupted to the surface of American political life. The battle involves the major institutions of the capitalist state—the White House, CIA, NSA, FBI and Pentagon—as well as the leaderships of both the Democratic and Republican parties. At the center of this conflict are divisions over foreign policy and concerns within the military-intelligence apparatus that the Trump administration is not taking a sufficiently aggressive line against Russia.

The campaign against Trump is no less reactionary and militaristic than the new administration itself. It has a definite logic, leading to an escalation of the political and military confrontation with Russia, with potentially catastrophic consequences for the entire world...

This campaign is the central preoccupation of the Democratic Party. Throughout the final months of the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton repeatedly attacked Trump as a political stooge of Russian President Vladimir Putin, while presenting herself as the more reliable defender of American imperialism....

US imperialism seeks to counter its declining world economic position by exploiting its unchallenged global military dominance. It sees as the principal roadblocks to its hegemonic aims the growing economic and military power of China and the still-considerable strength of Russia, possessor of the world’s second-largest nuclear arsenal, the largest reserves of oil and gas, and a critical geographical position at the center of the Eurasian land mass.

Trump’s opponents within the ruling class insist that US foreign policy must target Russia, with the aim of weakening the Putin regime or overthrowing it. This is deemed a prerequisite for taking on the challenge posed by China.

Numerous Washington think tanks have developed scenarios for military conflicts with Russian forces in the Middle East, in Ukraine, in the Baltic States and in cyberspace. The national security elite is not prepared to accept a shift in orientation away from the policy of direct confrontation with Russia along the lines proposed by Trump, who would like for the present to lower tensions with Russia in order to focus first on China

10-- Russians never prouder than under Putin

11---Leakers belong in jail

12--Russia's wrong direction (archive) CFR

13--CIA Espionage Orders for the Last French Presidential Election  Not Russia but the CIA

All major French political parties were targeted for infiltration by the CIA’s human (“HUMINT”) and electronic (“SIGINT”) spies in the seven months leading up to France’s 2012 presidential election. The revelations are contained within three CIA tasking orders published today by WikiLeaks as context for its forthcoming CIA Vault 7 series. Named specifically as targets are the French Socialist Party (PS), the National Front (FN) and Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) together with current President Francois Hollande, then President Nicolas Sarkozy, current round one presidential front-runner Marine Le Pen, and former presidential candidates Martine Aubry and Dominique Strauss-Khan.

14--Retail sales, Empire manufacturing, Mortgage purchase applications, Industrial production, Builder confidence, Business inventories

15--Austerity was a bigger disaster than we thought

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