Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Today's Links


1--Broken Promises: NATO enlargement



The expansion of the US-led military alliance, which began in Germany with 13 member states and now stretches to Russia’s borders with 29, is the largest and fastest growth of a “sphere of influence” (American) in modern peacetime history. Throughout the process, Russia has been repeatedly denounced for seeking any sphere of security, even on its own borders. NATO expansion included two broken promises to Russia that the Kremlin has never forgotten. In 1990, the Bush administration (and the West Germany government) assured Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that, in return for Russia’s agreeing to a united Germany in NATO, the alliance would “not expand one inch to the east.” ...The other broken promise is unfolding today as NATO builds up permanent land, sea, and air forces near Russian territory, along with missile-defense installations. NATO “enlargement,” as it is sometimes benignly termed by its promoters, continues.



The Iraqi parliament did something extraordinary last week. A majority of elected Iraqi representatives voted to demand that their prime minister draw up a timetable for the withdrawal of US troops from the country. President Obama had withdrawn US troops from Iraq in 2011, after a status of forces agreement could not be reached with the Iraqi government, but he returned the US military to Iraq under the auspices of fighting ISIS.
We had no business going into Iraq in the first place and we have no business remaining in Iraq. Al-Qaeda and ISIS emerged in Iraq because our attack and occupation of the country 15 years ago created fertile fields for extremism. Nothing will be achieved if we remain. Let’s listen to the Iraqis and just come home!

3--Twitter Storm?


Why did the Obama Administration start an investigation into the Trump Campaign (with zero proof of wrongdoing) long before the Election in November? Wanted to discredit so Crooked H would win. Unprecedented. Bigger than Watergate! Plus, Obama did NOTHING about Russian meddling.
This tweet is a great example of your paranoia, constant misrepresentation of the facts, and increased anxiety and panic (rightly so) about the Mueller investigation. When will those in Congress and the 30 percent of Americans who still support you realize you are a charlatan?

4--Jane Mayer sells out bigtime

Mayer reports that Richard Dearlove, head of MI6 from 1999 to 2004, described Steele as “superb.” Personally, I would shun any “recommendation” from that charlatan. Are memories so short? Dearlove was the intelligence chief who briefed Prime Minister Tony Blair on July 23, 2002 after a quick trip to Washington. The official minutes of that meeting were leaked to the London Times and published on May 1, 2005.
Dearlove explained to Blair that President George W. Bush had decided to attack Iraq for regime change and that the war was to be “justified by the conjunction of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.” Dearlove added matter-of-factly, “The intelligence and facts are being fixed around the policy.”
Another character reference Mayer gives for Steele is former CIA Deputy Director John McLaughlin (from 2000 to 2004) who, with his boss George Tenet, did the fixing of intelligence to “justify” the war on Iraq. State Department intelligence director at the time, Carl Ford, told the authors of “Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War” that both McLaughlin and Tenet “should have been shot” for what they did.
And then there is CIA veteran spy John Sipher who, Mayer says, “ran the Agency’s Russia program before retiring, in 2014.” Sipher tells her he thinks the Steele dossier is “generally credible” in “saying what Russia might be up to.” Sipher may be a good case officer but he has shown himself to be something of a cipher on substance.
Worse still, he displays a distinct inclination toward the remarkable view of former National Intelligence Director James Clapper, who has said that Russians are “typically, almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever.” If Mayer wanted to find some ostensibly authoritative figure to endorse the kind of material in Steele’s dossier, she surely picked a good one in Sipher.
Mayer notes, “It’s too early to make a final judgment about how much of Steele’s dossier will be proved wrong, but a number of Steele’s major claims have been backed up by subsequent disclosures. She includes, as flat fact, his claim that the Kremlin and WikiLeaks were working together to release the DNC’s emails, but provides no evidence.


Not one claim concerning Trump in the Steele Dossier has ever been verified by the FBI, according to Andrew McCabe himself in recent testimony to the House Intelligence Committee. The only confirmed fact is unsurprising: former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page traveled to Moscow on his own dime and met with various Russians—all perfectly legal.
Comey and then-CIA Director John Brennan laundered the Steele Dossier through the U.S. intelligence community to give it an aura of credibility and get it to the press. It was also used by the FBI and senior DOJ officials to secure wiretap warrants from a secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court. Then its contents, via court-authorized FISA warrants, were used to justify the illegal unmasking of the identities of wiretapped Trump officials. The contents of these National Security Agency intercepts were put on spreadsheets and presented to members of President Obama’s National Security Council (NSC)—specifically Susan Rice and Ben Rhodes—and subsequently leaked to the press. According to former NSC staff, President Obama himself read the FISA intercepts of Trump campaign personnel. Unsurprisingly, there was no request for a leak investigation from either the FBI or the DOJ.

In sum, the FBI and DOJ employed unverified salacious allegations contained in a political opposition research document to obtain court-sanctioned wiretaps, and then leaked the contents of the wiretaps and the identities of political opponents. This was a complex criminal plot worthy of Jason Bourne.

6--East Ghouda: Syria 


Despite being warned as early as November 2011 that the armed opposition was dominated by violent sectarian extremists, the Obama administration spent $1 billion a year training and funneling weapons to an insurgency they knew was linked to Al-Qaeda in order to overthrow the Syrian government. Al-Qaeda has built its largest affiliate in history as a direct result of this reckless US regime change policy.
In other words, the US government outsourced its war on Syria to Al-Qaeda death squads and Americans have no idea because Western media continue to promote lies about the West’s so-called inaction....
Jihadist leaders
The "rebels" in charge of Eastern Ghouta are a collection of jihadist groups, the strongest of which is Jaysh al-Islam, or the Army of Islam, a Salafi-Jihadist group backed by Saudi Arabia that seeks to replace the Syrian government with an Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). Jaysh al-Islam is extremely sectarian and just as nasty in its rhetoric, tactics and goals as IS. It engages in public executions and has publicly bragged about parading caged civilians from the minority Alawite sect in the streets as human shields. The group’s founder, the late Zahran Alloush, openly called for the ethnic cleansing of religious minorities from Damascus.
The second largest group is Faylaq al-Rahman, which is allied with Hayet Tahrir al-Sham, or HTS, the latest name for Syria’s Al-Qaeda affiliate. HTS also has a small presence in Eastern Ghouta as well as Ahar al-Sham and Nour al-Din al-Zenki, former recipients of US weapons whose fighters videotaped themselves beheading a teenage boy...

The most famous is the White Helmets, a rescue group heavily funded by the US and UK governments. Marketed by a top PR firm, the White Helmets openly advocate for regime change while working alongside Al-Qaeda-linked rebels in opposition areas. Some of its members have participated in atrocities on video, a fact almost entirely ignored by Western media, which is enamored with the group.
The other go-to source for Western media outlets is the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring organization that is run by one man working from his house in Britain who is openly biased towards the opposition.  

7--Brennan: No evidence of collusion


8--Washington's goal in Syria: Prevent a Russian-backed "Peace" and ramp up the propaganda war 


this document - quite exceptional - reveals the content of a meeting (of the "Small Group on Syria", bringing together high-ranking diplomats from the United States, Great Britain, France, Saudi Arabia and Jordan ), which should have been kept strictly confidential.
Why ? Because it reveals, by the menu, the "Western strategy" concerning the war in Syria: to feed and multiply the hostilities by any means to prevent a Pax Russiana; to continue an intense communication campaign on the Russian and Syrian bombings that kill civilians; frame the UN Special Representative for Syria - Staffan de Mistura - with a binding roadmap; sabotage the Sochi peace conference to return to Geneva in a tripartite format: Syrian opposition, Syrian government and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDS - mainly made up of Kurdish deputies on the orders of the Pentagon)...

More seriously, this TD was a perfect harbinger of what happened next and what is currently happening operationally in Syria: adding new wars to the ongoing war.

The military-intelligence candidates are disproportionately favored by the party apparatus, encouraged to run in districts that are the most likely takeover targets. Military-intelligence candidates account for 10 of the 22 districts selected for the most high-profile attention as part of the “red-to-blue” program, or nearly half. In some cases, military-intelligence candidates have amassed huge campaign war chests that effectively shut out any potential rivals, an indication that the financial backers of the Democratic Party have lined up behind them.
They clearly regard working as a CIA agent in Baghdad, an Army special ops assassin in Afghanistan, or a planner for drone missile warfare in the White House or Pentagon as a star on their résumé, rather than something to conceal....

Of the 102 primary elections to choose the Democratic nominees in these competitive districts, 43 involve candidates with a military-intelligence or State Department background, with 11 districts having two such candidates, and one district having three. In the majority of contests, the military-intelligence candidates seem likely to win the Democratic nomination, and, if the Democrats win in the general election, would enter Congress as new members of the House of Representatives.

Notes and Links--- http://www.unz.com/video/ramzpaul_who-is-behind-social-media-censorship/


https://www.lewrockwell.com/2018/03/charles-hugh-smith/never-mind-volatility-systemic-risk-is-rising/

https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/the-us-empire-is-acting-like-a-desperate-cornered-animal-because-thats-what-it-is-25308ee10221



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