Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Today's Links

1--Partitioning Syria: Oil, Gas, And Peace

1. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates there are potential mean recoverable resources of “1.7 billion barrels of oil and 122 trillion cubic feet of [natural] gas” in the Levant Basin Province, which is offshore Israel, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, and Syria

2--Competing Pipelines and Iran land corridor

2--Putin vs Kelly

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: They have been misled and they are not analysing the information in its entirety. I have not once seen any direct proof of Russia’s interference in the presidential election in the USA

3--Seth Rich

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: They have been misled and they are not analysing the information in its entirety. I have not once seen any direct proof of Russia’s interference in the presidential election in the USA...

The head of a private investigative team in Washington, D.C., insists that Metropolitan Police Department officials have been instructed by Mayor Muriel Bowser to withhold evidence pertaining to Rich’s case from the public and obstruct the investigation for political purposes.
“The police have shut down all full operations,” Jack Burkman, head of the Profiling Project investigative team, told WND. “The police are not cooperating with us or anyone, which is sad. This has become a very systematic and deliberate effort by the D.C. police and the mayor to end the Seth Rich investigation.”

Left-leaning media outlets covering the investigation, including the New York Times, Washington Post and Huffington Post, have worked overtime to bury the story, eagerly slamming theories that Rich may have leaked DNC emails as “fake news” and “conspiracy.” And members of Congress are apparently tight-lipped.

4--Dear Great Britain – Blame Your Intelligence Agencies and Government, Not the Internet

5--Russia-gate’s Mythical ‘Heroes’

6--Pro-Assad alliance threatens to hit U.S. positions in Syria

7--Battle for Deir Ezzor reaches critical stages as ISIL makes another push

8--The coming speech wars online

9--Military Situation In Syria And Iraq On June 7, 2017 (Map Update)

10--Red Lines in Syria

11--Top-Secret NSA Report Details Russian Hacking Effort Days Before 2016 Election

12--Craig Murray, the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, who is a close associate of Assange, called the CIA claims “bullshit”,

The Kremlin has rejected the hacking accusations, while the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has previously said the DNC leaks were not linked to Russia. A second senior official cited by the Washington Post conceded that intelligence agencies did not have specific proof that the Kremlin was “directing” the hackers, who were said to be one step removed from the Russian government.
Craig Murray, the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, who is a close associate of Assange, called the CIA claims “bullshit”, adding: “They are absolutely making it up.”
“I know who leaked them,” Murray said. “I’ve met the person who leaked them, and they are certainly not Russian and it’s an insider. It’s a leak, not a hack; the two are different things.
“If what the CIA are saying is true, and the CIA’s statement refers to people who are known to be linked to the Russian state, they would have arrested someone if it was someone inside the United States.

13--US-backed forces enter Syrian city of Raqqa

14--NSA contractor charged with leaking report on alleged Russian election hacking

Winner was reportedly upset over the election of Donald Trump and had vented her outrage on Twitter as recently as mid-March. She had subscribed to a podcast from the Intercept where founder Glenn Greenwald expressed skepticism about US intelligence agency claims that the Russian government carried out the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, in an effort to help Trump win the election.

The document Winner leaked adds nothing probative to the campaign waged by the Democratic Party and a section of the military-intelligence apparatus over alleged Russian hacking.
Like previous public “findings” by the intelligence agencies, released in October and January, the NSA document only summarizes conclusions reached by NSA analysts, with varying levels of “confidence,” but does not include any of the raw intelligence that would constitute actual evidence

The Intercept article, published June 5, acknowledges the absence of actual documentation to support the conclusions of the NSA analysis, adding, “A U.S. intelligence officer who declined to be identified cautioned against drawing too big a conclusion from the document because a single analysis is not necessarily definitive.”
The bulk of the article rehashes the unsupported assertions by the NSA while noting that none of the alleged hacking targeted facilities where votes were tabulated or had any effect on the outcome of the election. The eight states included California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, New York, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia, but none of the three industrial states that gave Trump his Electoral College victory, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

In only one of the states using VR Systems software, North Carolina, was there any software malfunction on Election Day. The registration system failed in Durham, forcing local officials to switch to paper ballots and extend voting hours to accommodate long lines. State election officials said the VR Systems software was not responsible for the problems, which they attributed to user errors, adding that there was no evidence of “any suspicious activity during the 2016 election.”

While the substance of Winner’s leak seems less than compelling, the Democratic Party and pro-Democratic media outlets immediately seized on this supposed confirmation of the allegations of Russian hacking in the 2016 elections.

The ranking Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, declared Tuesday that the report in the Intercept meant that “we now have verified information” of Russian intervention. “In any other circumstances this would be an earthquake,” she said at the beginning of a committee hearing where Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly was the main witness. McCaskill pressed Kelly to take steps to protect voting systems in the future.
WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange called for public support to Winner, saying that she was “accused of courage in trying to help us know.” He continued in a tweet Monday, “It doesn’t matter why she did it or the quality the report. Acts of non-elite sources communicating knowledge should be strongly encouraged.”

15--The Saudi offensive against Qatar and the global intensification of geopolitical conflict

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