Thursday, August 3, 2017

Today's links

"I have watched incredulous as the CIA’s blatant lie has grown and grown as a media story – blatant because the CIA has made no attempt whatsoever to substantiate it. There is no Russian involvement in the leaks of emails showing Clinton’s corruption."  Craig Murray



Political warfare has been described as "propaganda in battledress". 


1--Craig Murray speaks to the Guardian in a post that was later removed


I had a call from a Guardian journalist this afternoon. The astonishing result was that for three hours, an article was accessible through the Guardian front page which actually included the truth among the CIA hype:
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.
“America has not been shy about arresting whistleblowers and it’s not been shy about extraditing hackers. They plainly have no knowledge whatsoever.”

But only three hours. While the article was not taken down, the home page links to it vanished and it was replaced by a ludicrous one repeating the mad CIA allegations against Russia and now claiming – incredibly – that the CIA believe the FBI is deliberately blocking the information on Russian collusion.
“The CIA’s Absence of Conviction”, Dec 11, 2016

2-- Craig Murray admits that one of the DNC leakers was an Intel Agent watching Podesta

I’ve transcribed the 20+ minute interview Craig Murray did with Scott Horton from December 13, 2016

https://scotthorton.org/interviews/121316-craig-murray-dnc-podesta-emails-leaked-by-americans-not-hacked-by-russia/
Abt. 2:00
Scott Horton: This is a very important thing that you’ve written [The CIA's Absence of Conviction] here, the context is, of course,
the CIA’s claim to The Washington Post that the Russians ran an Op to hack the Democrats’ emails, uh, I guess that goes for the
DNC and the Podesta emails, to leak them to Wikileaks in order to help Donald Trump win the election. And to a degree that I think
is actually sort of surprising to me, um, this story really seems to have legs and there are even the Electoral College is now
saying they want a briefing -I don’t think they really would dare try to overturn the results of the election- but they’re at
least trying to use this to “hem in” Trump on his Russia policy as Greg Sargent reported in The Washington Post, and yet, uh,
what you’ve written here and what you’ve told the Guardian was, “HOLD IT RIGHT THERE, THIS ISN’T RIGHT AT ALL!”, but how can
you know?

Craig Murray (2:58): Um, well, it’s not really new. I mean, the people who are in the position to know are Wikileaks and the people who
work with Wikileaks, of which I am one. Julian Assange has said plainly that the information does not come from Russia. He’s said
that (unintelligible) I have inside knowledge that the sources of the leaks was not the Russian government. It’s American source.
So, really the CIA, who’ve offered no evidence whatsoever for this anonymously (unintelligible) claim, the CIA is talking complete
and utter nonsense. I just know for certain that what they say is not true.
Scott Horton (3:52): Well now first of all can you explain what exactly is your role with Wikileaks?
Craig Murray (3:57): Oh, well, I’m not, I should say I’m not a member of Wikileaks staff. They have staff and they have directors.
I’m not any of those. I’m a member of Sam Adams Associates, a whistleblower organization which we work very closely with Wikileaks
and I’ve been close to Julian for a number of years and I’m one of the people who was able to visit him in the Equadorian Embassy
and speak with him and discuss strategy and help him move things along so I cooperate with Wikileaks without being a full member of
the structure.
Scott Horton (4:34): I see. And then, can you tell us how it is that you know who the source is? Is it just that Assange told you or
do you have more direct information yourself?
Craig Murray (4:43): No, I have rather more direct information than that which relates to a visit I paid to Washington in September of
this year, when I, I should be plain that Podesta emails and the DNC emails are of course two separate things. You shouldn’t conclude
that they both have the same source. But, in both cases, we’re talking of a leak, not a hack. In the person who, the person who was
responsible for getting the information out had legal access to that information.
Scott Horton (5:31): And then in the trip to Washington, are you saying that you were the recipient of at least one of these leaks?
Craig Murray (5:37): Uh, no, the material was already, I think, safely with Wikileaks before I, I, before I got there in September.
Um, I, um, had a small role to play, which I hope you’ll understand which I don’t expand on it too much.
Scott Horton (6:03): Sure I do understand. I hope you understand if I keep trying to push a little bit to try to understand what’s
going on here. I read a post by my friend George Washington over there at George Washington’s blog and he put two and two together
and a couple of statements and said, and um I guess comparing your statements with those of the famous NSA whistleblower, William
Binney, that when you say this is a leak, I think George Washington’s blog’s conclusion there was that that meant a leak from the
inside of the American Intelligence Community, although I guess the way I read your statement, it possibly could just be a Democrat,
or a member of the Democratic National Committee, or someone who had access through that route. And again, I’m not exactly sure
whether we’re talking about the Podesta or the DNC leaks or one or both here, as you say, they are at least, presumable separate.
But, can you give us any insight on whether, for example, you can confirm Binney’s claim that this comes from inside American Police
and Intelligence rather than inside the political apparatus like the DNC?
Craig Murray (7:15): Well, I think, again, the key point to remember in answering that question is that the DNC leak and the Podesta
leak are two different things and the answer is they probably aren’t going to be the same in both cases. I also want you to consider
John Podesta was a paid lobbyist for the Saudi government. That’s open and declared, it’s not secret or a leak in a sense. John
Podesta was paid a very substantial sum every month by the Saudi government to lobby for their interests in Washington and if the
American Security services were not watching the communications of the Saudi government’s paid lobbyists, than the American
Intelligence services would not be doing their job. And of course it’s also true that the Saudi’s man, the Saudi’s lobbyist in
Washington, his communications are going to be of interest to a great many other intelligence services as well.
Scott Horton (8:59): I hope I’m not being too annoying here, I’m trying to read between the lines, it sounded like your first answer
was, “well maybe, one is one and the other’s the other, meaning one came from inside Intelligence services and the other maybe came
from a political source and then your allusion, I think, was to, “Geez, the NSA must have been looking at what Podesta was doing since
he was operating as a registered agent of a foreign power.” Is it fair to say that you’re saying that the Podesta leak came from inside
the Intelligence services, NSA or another agency?

Craig Murray (9:35): Well, what I think I said is compatible with that kind of interpretation, yeah. ...

Craig Murray (10:56) Yeah, exactly. In both cases they are leaks by Americans. It’s perfectly possible that Wikileaks themselves
don’t know precisely what is going on, I mean one thing, which I’m sure everybody noticed, was that Julian Assange took a very close
interest in the death of Seth Rich, the Democratic staff member, and Wikileaks offered a 20,000 reward for information leading to
the capture of his killers. So, obviously they’re suspicions there about what’s happening and things are somewhat murky. I’m not
saying, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that he was the source of the leaks. What I’m saying is, is that it’s probably not an
unfair indication to draw that Wikileaks believes that he may have been killed by someone who thought he was the source of the
leaks.
Scott Horton (12:09): Whether correctly or incorrectly?
Craig Murray (12:10): Whether correctly or incorrectly.
Scott Horton (12:12): But you’re, are you saying that Assange says that he is not the source, but that maybe someone mistook him
for the source, or he just is not saying either way.
Craig Murray (12:22): No, Assange is not saying (unintelligible) not clarifying that either way. But obviously, the fear that he
may have been killed (unintelligible) had something to do with these leaks by someone who thought he was the source (unintelligible)
motivation.
Scott Horton (12:40): Well, I think that occurred to a lot of people, but it’s the kind of thing that’s easily dismissed as
conspiricism as well.
Craig Murray (12:49): That’s also true, but people do die of this sort of stuff. You have to remember there were billions of
dollars, literally billions of dollars, behind Hillary Clinton’s election campaign. Those people have lost their money
. And you
have also to remember, there’s a big financial interest (unintelligible) armaments industry in a bad American relationship with Russia.
The worse the relationship with Russia is, the larger the contracts the armaments industry can expect, especially in the most
high-tech, high profit side of fighter jets and missiles and that kind of thing. And Trump has actually already indicated he’s
looking to make savings on the defense budget, particularly in things like fighter projects. And so, there are people standing to
lose billions of dollars and anybody who thinks in that situation bad things don’t happen to people is very naive.

And it’s worth saying
that if Hillary Clinton hadn’t connived with the DNC to fix the Primary schedule in order to disadvantage Bernie Sanders, if
she hadn’t accepted the questions in advance of the televised debates against Bernie in order to give her an unfair advantage,
if the Clinton Foundation hadn’t accepted donors from all kinds of dictators in exchange for access to meetings in the State
Department, or foreign policy decisions, or purchase of uranium, or whatever else they wanted in exchange… If all that
hadn’t happened, then we wouldn’t be talking about any of this


3-- Seymour Hersh Owes The World An Explanation For His Seth Rich Comments


You know it’s easy to joke about this, except that we’re at maybe the most dangerous moment in US-Russian relations in my lifetime, and maybe ever. And the reason is that we’re in a new cold war, by whatever name. We have three cold war fronts that are fraught with the possibility of hot war, in the Baltic region where NATO is carrying out an unprecedented military buildup on Russia’s border, in Ukraine where there is a civil and proxy war between Russia and the west, and of course in Syria, where Russian aircraft and American warplanes are flying in the same territory. Anything could happen.”
~ Leading US-Russian relations authority Stephen Cohen

4--Seymour Hersh: Spy chiefs invented Russia-collusion story-- Famous journalist claims they lied to Obama and lied about Trump


5--Governments should withdraw support for terrorists in Syria: Russian diplomat


6--Russia – the Main Threat for the USA: What is Behind the Pentagon’s Statement?


Russia is a threat to the USA, primarily because she has the ability to restrain US aggressive military actions, and not only in relation to herself. And this is quite more difficult from the military-technical as well as from the political point of view.


Russia confidently restores the psychological aspects of nuclear deterrence, almost lost by the 2010s. There is an increasing understanding of past negative circumstances that nuclear strategic parity is important.

The recovery of the principles of the classical nuclear deterrence, which will occur in the next 3 to 5 years if the trends continue, and possibly sooner, will significantly curtail American “freedom of hands” in situations where either way Russia’s interests are affected or Russian business, affiliated with her government, as well as Russia’s allies. This type of situations will be more and more frequent.


Let us remember and widely discussed in the military-political and expert circles in the United States the concept A2AD (anti-access and area denial), which was interpreted as a strategy for restricting access to critical regions using a system of military and technological measures, which are attributed to Russia.


This situation is very uncomfortable for the American political elite, but even worse for the military that understand better than the politicians what this entails from an “operational” point of view. J. Dunford, with his statement, which cannot either in form or in fact, bring the American elite to recognise the unpleasant fact of the unconditional end of the era of unipolar global power of the USA. And the military themselves are facing the need for a wholesale revision of key tenets of the military doctrine that prevailed in the United States for the last 25 years...


After Russia literally brought Syria from the brink of collapse, states such as Turkey, Qatar, Iraq, Egypt are inclined for “expanded” relations with Moscow in the security sphere, not to mention influential forces in countries that are in a state of statehood crisis or collapse (Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, etc.).


7--Trump announces plan to cut legal immigration in half


8--Military escalation accelerates under Trump


Conveniently forgotten in this narrative is the US-orchestrated and fascist-spearheaded coup carried out in Ukraine to install a regime subservient to the US and further the protracted drive to bring NATO’s military might to Russia’s borders. Also omitted are the facts that the population of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to join Russia after the coup, and that the the fighting in the predominantly Russian Donbas region was provoked by the rise to power of extreme right-wing anti-Russian nationalists in Kiev.


That the military pressures against Russia are to further increase following the passage of the sanctions legislation has been made clear by the report that both the US State Department and the Pentagon have recommended that the Trump administration supply Ukraine with so-called “defensive” weapons. These would include anti-tank missiles, antiaircraft arms and other weaponry that would fuel a bloodbath in eastern Ukraine.


This type of military escalation on the part of Washington will no doubt strengthen the hand in Moscow of those elements within Russia’s own military apparatus pressing Putin to adopt a more aggressive posture toward the US. The likely result would be the placing of the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals on a hair trigger.


The new sanctions have not only exacerbated tensions between Washington and Moscow, but also brought the deepening conflict between Europe and America out into the open. Provisions within the legislation passed by Congress targeted Russian energy companies with potentially punishing implications for European firms doing business with them. Among the biggest concerns is the Nord Stream 2 gas project, being co-financed by a group of German, French, British, Dutch and Austrian firms, to funnel Russian natural gas under the Baltic Sea to Germany. Many in Europe view the legislation as a means of strong-arming the European powers into turning to the US instead of Russia to supply their energy needs.


9--Brennan's long a sordid history (From comments)


somebody @12,
Thanks for the link, it is a keeper.
"It is a perfect illustration of the Obama legacy that a person who was untouchable as CIA chief in 2008 because of his support for Bush's most radical policies is not only Obama's choice for the same position now, but will encounter very little resistance. Within this change one finds one of the most significant aspects of the Obama presidency: his conversion of what were once highly contentious right-wing policies into harmonious dogma of the DC bipartisan consensus. Then again, given how the CIA operates, one could fairly argue that Brennan's eagerness to deceive and his long record of supporting radical and unaccountable powers make him the perfect person to run that agency. It seems clear that this is Obama's calculus."

My own addition to the Brennan record:

Brennan was station chief for the CIA in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia during the planning period for 9/11. The Saudi rulers do not use the US embassy as their first point of contact with Washington, they use the CIA. Brennan moved back to the US some time in (late?) 1999. The first 9/11 Saudi hijackers arrived on US shores in January 2000. Brennan was made CIA chief of staff to Director Tenet in 1999 and Deputy Executive Director of the CIA in March 2001.
Posted by: librul | Aug 3, 2017 8:20:55 AM

somebody @15
one more quote from your newest link to the NYT:
"The job Mr. Brennan once held in Riyadh is, more than the ambassador’s, the true locus of American power in the kingdom. Former diplomats recall that the most important discussions always flowed through the C.I.A. station chief."
The Saudis bought the CIA.
From station chief in Riyadh to Director Tenet's chief of staff to Deputy Executive Director of the CIA and finally, under Obama, to Director of the CIA...

Best background article I've come across on how the Arab Spring pro-democracy uprisings were either suppressed (in the U.S. client oil monarchies like Bahrain) or hijacked for regime change purposes (as in Libya and Syria):
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion... how-the-arab-spring-was-hijacked/ (Feb 2012)
In particular:
• A fourth trend is that the Arab Spring has become a springboard for playing great-power geopolitics.
Syria, at the center of the region’s sectarian fault lines, has emerged as the principal battleground for such Cold War-style geopolitics. Whereas Russia is intent on keeping its only military base outside the old Soviet Union in Syria’s Mediterranean port of Tartus, the U.S. seems equally determined to install a pro-Western regime in Damascus.
This goal prompted Washington to set up a London-based television station that began broadcasting to Syria a year before major protests began there. The U.S. campaign, which includes assembling a coalition of the willing, has been boosted by major Turkish, Saudi, Qatari and UAE help, including cross-border flow of arms into Syria and the establishment of two new petrodollar-financed, jihad-extolling television channels directed at Syria’s majority Sunni Arabs.

The best explanation is that despite the effort to "woo" Assad into the Saudi-Israeli axis (c.2008-2010), Assad refused to cut economic ties with Iran, which was setting up rail lines, air traffic and oil pipeline deals with Assad on very good terms. This led Hillary Clinton, Leon Panetta, etc. to lobby Obama to support a regime change program:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk...Leon-Panetta-supports-Hillary-Clinton-plan-to-arm-Syrian-rebels.html (Feb 2013)

Replace "plan" with "ongoing project". The main point would be that Panetta and Clinton also belong on that "illegal arms transfer" charge sheet. Civil damages for the costs Europe, Turkey, Lebanon etc. bore due to millions of fleeing refugees should also be assessed (let alone damage in Syria, often to priceless historical treasures destroyed by ISIS).
Then there's the previous regime and its deliberate lies about non-existent WMDs in Iraq, claims used to start a war of aggression that killed thousand of U.S. soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians - Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Woolsey, Tenet, Powell - they should have their own separate charge sheet.

10-- Seymour Hersh Cracks ‘RussiaGate’ as CIA-Planted Lie — Revenge Against Trump (transcript)

11--  Russia warns US over arms supplies to Ukraine

12--  US sanctions won’t stop Russia’s pipeline project to Europe – analysts

13-- Putin tops latest Russian approval ratings with 83% support

14-- Dumbo: WikiLeaks reveals CIA system to take over webcams, microphones 

15--  (archive) Leon Panetta supports Hillary Clinton plan to arm Syrian rebels

(How much blood on Hillary's hands?)  President Barack Obama rejected calls from four of the most senior members of his foreign policy team to arm the rebels fighting to overthrow the Syrian regime, it emerged on Thursday night.  

16--archive--U.S. Relies Heavily on Saudi Money to Support Syrian Rebels
The support for the Syrian rebels is only the latest chapter in the decadeslong relationship between the spy services of Saudi Arabia and the United States, an alliance that has endured through the Iran-contra scandal, support for the mujahedeen against the Soviets in Afghanistan and proxy fights in Africa. Sometimes, as in Syria, the two countries have worked in concert. In others, Saudi Arabia has simply written checks underwriting American covert activities. ... Although the Saudis have been public about their help arming rebel groups in Syria, the extent of their partnership with the C.I.A.’s covert action campaign and their direct financial support had not been disclosed. Details were pieced together in interviews with a half-dozen current and former American officials and sources from several Persian Gulf countries. Most spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the program. From the moment the C.I.A. operation was started, Saudi money supported it.
...
The roots of the relationship run deep. In the late 1970s, the Saudis organized what was known as the “Safari Club” — a coalition of nations including Morocco, Egypt and France — that ran covert operations around Africa at a time when Congress had clipped the C.I.A.’s wings over years of abuses.
...
Prince Bandar pledged $1 million per month to help fund the contras, in recognition of the administration’s past support to the Saudis. The contributions continued after Congress cut off funding to the contras. By the end, the Saudis had contributed $32 million, paid through a Cayman Islands bank account.
When the Iran-contra scandal broke, and questions arose about the Saudi role, the kingdom kept its secrets. Prince Bandar refused to cooperate with the investigation led by Lawrence E. Walsh, the independent counsel.
In a letter, the prince declined to testify, explaining that his country’s “confidences and commitments, like our friendship, are given not just for the moment but the long run.”  

17--archive--John Brennan's extremism and dishonesty rewarded with CIA Director nomination

Prior to President Obama's first inauguration in 2009, a controversy erupted over reports that he intended to appoint John Brennan as CIA director. That controversy, in which I participated, centered around the fact that Brennan, as a Bush-era CIA official, had expressly endorsed Bush's programs of torture (other than waterboarding) and rendition and also was a vocal advocate of immunizing lawbreaking telecoms for their role in the illegal Bush NSA eavesdropping program. As a result, Brennan withdrew his name from consideration, issuing a bitter letter blaming "strong criticism in some quarters prompted by [his] previous service with the" CIA....

It is a perfect illustration of the Obama legacy that a person who was untouchable as CIA chief in 2008 because of his support for Bush's most radical policies is not only Obama's choice for the same position now, but will encounter very little resistance. Within this change one finds one of the most significant aspects of the Obama presidency: his conversion of what were once highly contentious right-wing policies into harmonious dogma of the DC bipartisan consensus. Then again, given how the CIA operates, one could fairly argue that Brennan's eagerness to deceive and his long record of supporting radical and unaccountable powers make him the perfect person to run that agency. It seems clear that this is Obama's calculus.

18--Counterterrorism Legal Policy in Obama’s Second Term

19-- Professional Leftist Michael Hayden praises Obama’s “continuity”  -- Democrats were once inflamed by Bush policies in these areas yet now are largely indifferent. What explains that?

“You’ve got state secrets, targeted killings, indefinite detention, renditions, the opposition to extending the right of habeas corpus to prisoners at Bagram [in Afghanistan],” Mr. Hayden said, listing the continuities. “And although it is slightly different, Obama has been as aggressive as President Bush in defending prerogatives about who he has to inform in Congress for executive covert action.”
The above-cited NYT article, written by Peter Baker, also quoted numerous other GOP and right-wing figures similarly praising Obama on the grounds of continuity: 
“The administration came in determined to undo a lot of the policies of the prior administration,” Senator Susan Collins of Maine, the top Republican on the homeland-security committee, told me, “but in fact is finding that many of those policies were better-thought-out than they realized — or that doing away with them is a far more complex task.” . . . . James Jay Carafano, a homeland-security expert at the Heritage Foundation, was blunter. “I don’t think it’s even fair to call it Bush Lite,” he said.It’s Bush.  It’s really, really hard to find a difference that’s meaningful and not atmospheric. You see a lot of straining on things trying to make things look repackaged, but they’re really not that different” . . . A senior Obama adviser scoffed at the idea that Bush advisers see continuity . . . . [b]it is true that much of the Bush security architecture is almost certain to remain part of the national fabric for some time to come, thanks to Obama.

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