Thursday, May 31, 2018

Today's Links

Referring to the Syrian war as a ‘civil war’ is incorrect... “What we have actually from the very beginning are mercenaries, Syrians, and foreigners being paid by the West in order to topple the government.”  Bashar al Assad

"We and our President have very positively assessed the Panmunjom Declaration, which you and the President of the Republic of Korea signed. We are ready to contribute to its implementation in every possible way, given that it mentions railway projects which should be implemented with Russia's participation in the long term," Lavrov said at a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, as quoted by the Russian Foreign Ministry.  Sergie Lavrov

1--Second Turkish Stream pipeline may traverse Bulgaria


2-- The cancellation of Roseanne Barr’s television series


 ....a controversy surrounding Barr comes as no great surprise. An opponent of the Iraq War, an outspoken supporter of Occupy Wall Street and a candidate for president for the pseudo-left Peace and Freedom Party in 2012, the comedian-actress has descended in the more recent period into the universe of far-right conspiracy theories....

 ABC executives no doubt thought they were being terribly clever, making use (in their own minds) of the “Trump phenomenon” and “white working class anger” when they put Barr’s show back on the air. In their stupidity and social obliviousness, they thought they could successfully navigate fraught, complex political waters through the medium of a situation comedy, that they’d have a profitable hit on their hands to boot and that, in any case, they had Barr under control.

Of course, Barr doesn’t represent working class anger, but a kind of diseased, wealthy-lumpen Hollywood element and she is definitely not under control. She remains a loose cannon even as she sinks into the right-wing swamp. Her comments and the explosion were entirely predictable.

It remains unclear what people like Gilbert, Laurie Metcalfe, John Goodman and some of the others (liberals and even identity politics types) were thinking. Perhaps it was economic opportunism, perhaps there was a fantasy of an alliance with “white populist anger.” But the entire unprincipled affair has now blown up in their faces, costing hundreds of people their jobs. In any event, ABC’s actions were cynical and reactionary from beginning to end, both in putting the show on, and taking it off.

3--Big Banks to Get a Break From Limits on Risky Trading


4-- Spying on the Trump campaign was a British-American venture from the start 


The size of the London-Langley spy ring isn’t known but its existence is no longer in doubt...Whispers of the ring’s work had picked up by the time Brennan had formed his “inter-agency taskforce” at Langley and Comey’s official probe began. Brennan was presiding over a “turf-crossing operation that could feed the White House information,” as revealingly put by Michael Isikoff and David Corn in Russian Roulette. The operation also crossed an ocean, placing a central scene of the spying in London as the ring oafishly built its file.


The roots of Obamagate become clearer.

Even before the first Republican primary, a London-to-Langley spy ring had begun to form against Donald Trump. British spies sent to CIA director John Brennan in late 2015 alleged intelligence on contacts between Trumpworld and the Russians, according to the Guardian.
Here’s the crucial paragraph in the story:
GCHQ first became aware in late 2015 of suspicious “interactions” between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents, a source close to UK intelligence said. This intelligence was passed to the US as part of a routine exchange of information, they added.

Comments--It wasn't the RUSSIANS it was the Brits.
ObamaGate will destroy Barry's legacy; but also the Dems & their cheerleaders in the Media.
WaterGate was a clumsy, botched spy attempt that failed.
Just an attempt.
ObamaGate Scandal is a direct attempt by Seditious US Government Conspirators in league with a Foreign Power to spy upon their Political Adversary and a botched attempt to overturn an election and to remove a Duly Elected POTUS

5-- The Coup against Trump; The whole 9 yards

One player was filling Papadopoulos’s head with tales of Russian dirty tricks, another was telling the FBI, while a third was collecting more information and passing it on to the bureau as well. 

It’s looking more and more massive.  The intelligence agencies initiated reports that Donald Trump was colluding with Russia, they nurtured them and helped them grow, and then they spread the word to the press and key government officials.  Reportedly, they even tried to use these reports to force Trump to step down prior to his inauguration.  Although the corporate press accuses Trump of conspiring with Russia to stop Hillary Clinton, the reverse now seems to be the case: the Obama administration intelligence agencies worked with Clinton to block “Siberian candidate” Trump

It Started Late 2015

 The effort began in late 2015 when GCHQ, along with intelligence agencies in Poland, Estonia, and Germany, began monitoring what they said were “suspicious ‘interactions’ between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents.”  
Since Trump was surging ahead in the polls and scaring the pants off the foreign-policy establishment by calling for a rapprochement with Moscow, the agencies figured that Russia was somehow behind it.  The pace accelerated in March 2016 when a 30-year-old policy consultant named George Papadopoulos joined the Trump campaign as a foreign-policy adviser.  Traveling in Italy a week later, he ran into Mifsud, the London-based Maltese academic, who reportedly set about cultivating him after learning of his position with Trump. Mifsud claimed to have “substantial connections with Russian government officials,” according to prosecutors.  Over breakfast at a London hotel, he told Papadopoulos that he had just returned from Moscow where he had learned that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails....
After Papadopoulos caused a minor political ruckus by telling a reporter that Prime Minister David Cameron should apologize for criticizing Trump’s anti-Muslim pronouncements, a friend in the Israeli embassy put him in touch with a friend in the Australian embassy, who introduced him to Downer, her boss.  Over drinks, Downer advised him to be more diplomatic.  After Papadopoulos then passed along Misfud’s tip about Clinton’s emails, Downer informed his government, which, in late July, informed the FBI...
On July 11, Page showed up at a Cambridge symposium at which Halper and Dearlove both spoke. In early September, Halper sent Papadopoulos an email offering $3,000 and a paid trip to London to write a research paper on a disputed gas field in the eastern Mediterranean, his specialty. “George, you know about hacking the emails from Russia, right?” Halper asked when he got there, but Papadopoulos said he knew nothing. Halper also sought out Sam Clovis, Trump’s national campaign co-chairman, with whom he chatted about China for an hour or so over coffee in Washington.  
The rightwing Federalist website speculates that Halper was working with Steele to flesh out a Sept. 14 memo claiming that “Russians do have further ‘kompromat’ on CLINTON (e-mails) and [are] considering disseminating it.”  Clovis believes that Halper was trying “to create an audit trail back to those [Clinton] emails from someone in the campaign … so they could develop a stronger case for probable cause to continue to issue warrants and to further an investigation.”  Reports that Halper apparently sought a permanent post in the new administration suggest that the effort was meant to continue after inauguration.

The fact is that the “dossier” was opposition research, not an intelligence report. It was neither vetted by Steele nor anyone in an intelligence agency. Opposition research is intended to mix truths and fiction, to dig up plausible dirt to throw at your opponent, not to produce an intelligence assessment at taxpayer’s expense to “protect” the country. And Steele was paid for it by the Democrats, not his government...
McCain dispatched long-time aide David J. Kramer to the UK to discuss the dossier with Steele directly. 
Although Kramer denies it, the New Yorker found a former national-security official who says he spoke with him at the time and that Kramer’s goal was to have McCain confront Trump with the dossier in the hope that he would resign on the spot. When that didn’t happen, Clapper and Brennan arranged for FBI Director James Comey to confront Trump instead.  Comey later testified that he didn’t want Trump to think he was creating “a J. Edgar Hoover-type situation – I didn’t want him thinking I was briefing him on this to sort of hang it over him in some way.”
But how could Trump think otherwise? As Consortium News founding editor Robert Parry observed a few days later, the maneuver “resembles a tactic out of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s playbook on government-style blackmail: I have some very derogatory information about you that I’d sure hate to see end up in the press.


That portions of the American national security apparatus would put their considerable powers—surveillance, spying, legal pressure—at the service of a partisan political campaign is a sign that something very big is broken in Washington. Our Founding Fathers would not be surprised to learn that the post-9/11 surveillance and spying apparatus built to protect Americans from al-Qaeda has now become a political tool that targets Americans for partisan purposes. That the rest of us are surprised is a sign that we have stopped taking the U.S. Constitution as seriously as we should.

Under whose authority were they spying on a political campaign? Did FBI and DOJ leadership sign off? Did FBI director James Comey and Attorney General Loretta Lynch know about it? What about other senior Obama administration officials? CIA Director John Brennan? Did President Obama know the FBI was spying on a presidential campaign? Did Hillary Clinton know? What about Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta?

  the shady dossier makes exactly the same claim — that Putin personally “ordered” the cyberattacks on the Clinton campaign and leaked embarrassing emails to “bolster Trump,” as part of “an aggressive Trump support operation.” Like Obama’s ICA, Clinton’s dossier provides no concrete evidence to back up the claim.

The House committee found “significant leaks" of classified information around the time of the ICA -- and “many of these leaks were likely from senior officials within the IC." Its recently released report points to Clapper as the main source of leaks about the presidential briefings involving the dossier. It also suggests that during his July 17, 2017, testimony behind closed doors in executive session, he misled House investigators.
When first asked about leaks related to the ICA in July 2017, Clapper flatly denied “discuss[ing] the dossier or any other intelligence related to Russia hacking of the 2016 election with journalists.” But he subsequently acknowledged discussing the “dossier with CNN journalist Jake Tapper,” and admitted he might have spoken with other journalists about the same issue.


Then-Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid released a letter in the heat of the 2016 election alleging Trump-Russia collusion even though the CIA director at the time urged him not to, according to a person familiar with their conversation.

Mr. Reid’s Aug. 27 letter to the FBI appears to mark the first time a Democrat officially accused President’ Trump’s campaign of colluding with the Russian government to hack his party’s computers...
The letter has come to represent for conservatives the “deep state” — Obama loyalists leaking unproven allegations to the press against Mr. Trump and his people to ruin the campaign, the transition and the White House.
“The evidence of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign continues to mount,” Mr. Reid wrote to FBI Director James B. Comey.
Mr. Reid wrote and leaked his letter after receiving a secret telephone briefing from then-CIA Director John Brennan.
The retired senator has portrayed the letter as having the blessing of Mr. Brennan, a fierce Trump critic who suggests the president is beholden to Russian President Vladimir Putin for fear of blackmail.


Trump has tapped into the hatred that huge segments of the American public have for a political and economic system that has betrayed them. He may be inept, degenerate, dishonest and a narcissist, but he adeptly ridicules the system they despise. His cruel and demeaning taunts directed at government agencies, laws and the established elites resonate with people for whom these agencies, laws and elites have become hostile forces. And for many who see no shift in the political landscape to alleviate their suffering, Trump’s cruelty and invective are at least cathartic....Chris Hedges

And Trump’s storytelling has takers. A CBS News poll several weeks ago showed that fewer Americans believed Mueller’s investigation to be legitimate (44 percent) than to be politically driven (53 percent).


Here’s more background on that from Stephen Cohen’s illuminating article at The Nation:
“….when, and by whom, was this Intel operation against Trump started?
In testimony to the House Intelligence Committee in May 2017, John Brennan, formerly Obama’s head of the CIA, strongly suggested that he and his agency were the first, as The Washington Post put it at the time, “in triggering an FBI probe.” Certainly both the Post and The New York Times interpreted his remarks in this way. Equally certain, Brennan played a central role in promoting the Russiagate narrative thereafter, briefing members of Congress privately and giving President Obama himself a top-secret envelope in early August 2016 that almost certainly contained Steele’s dossier. Early on, Brennan presumably would have shared his “suspicions” and initiatives with James Clapper, director of national intelligence. FBI Director Comey… may have joined them actively somewhat later…

When did Brennan begin his “investigation” of Trump? His House testimony leaves this somewhat unclear, but, according to a subsequent Guardian article, by late 2015 or early 2016 he was receiving, or soliciting, reports from foreign intelligence agencies regarding “suspicious ‘interactions’ between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents.”
In short, if these reports and Brennan’s own testimony are to be believed, he, not the FBI, was the instigator and godfather of Russiagate.” (“Russiagate or Intelgate?”, Stephen Cohen, The Nation)
According to the Washington Times:
“It was then-CIA Director John O. Brennan, a close confidant of Mr. Obama’s, who provided the information — what he termed the “basis” — for the FBI to start the counterintelligence investigation last summer….Mr. Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 that the intelligence community was picking up tidbits on Trump associates making contacts with Russians.

in response the CIA and DOJs various spokespeopledid not deny the core accusation but quibbled with the language The Intercept

Spying on the opposition party's political campaign is an attack on democracy. Collaborating with other senior-level officials in the intelligence community, law enforcement, Justice Department and White House, is a conspiracy to sabotage the electoral process and destroy the foundation upon which representative government rests. So far, there is no proof that Donald Trump colluded with Russia to influence the election in his favor. There is, however, considerable circumstantial evidence that high-ranking officials at the CIA, NSA, FBI, DOJ and perhaps even the White House were either aware of or participated in a counterintelligence operation aimed at swaying the election and/or removing the president from office.  The nation's focus of attention is rapidly shifting from the fabricated claims of the Mueller probe to the covert activities of Comey, Brennan, Clapper, McCabe, Lynch and perhaps even Obama who appear to have been actively involved in the biggest political corruption scandal in American history.
They were, that much we know, although the FBI and Department of Justice are blocking Congress's requests for additional documents that would show the full extent of the surveillance. And, there was more than one spy too. Various Trump assistants have come forward and claimed that they were approached by other people who sought access  to gather sensitive information on higher-ups in the campaign. The fact that the undercover informant, who has already been identified,   was  a long-term CIA asset with critical infiltration experience, suggests that the men who dispatched him had executed similar operations in the past.. In other words, this was a full-blown professionally-conducted counterintelligence operation aimed at gathering damaging and possibly incriminating dirt on Donald Trump. It is a striking example of the state acting against the elected government. In their hatred for Trump, many Democrats seem to shrug off the danger these deep state assassins pose to the country. The fact is, these unscrupulous elements in the permanent bureaucracy are a real threat to the two-party system.

  The FBI's spying operation is just the tip of the iceberg. We also know that the Bureau had improperly procured FISA warrants to wiretap members of the campaign, and that, all sorts of other  nefarious activity was taking place at the same time. In order to fulfill its duty of oversight, Congress needs to know the full extent of the surveillance including background on the illegally-obtained FISA warrants, wiretaps, improper unmasking, questionable surveillance on campaign members and how many informants were on the government payroll. What seems clear at this point, is that there was significant coordination and communication between the officials who occupied the top-rungs of power at the CIA, NSA, FBI and DOJ. All of them seem to have known when details of the infamous "Trump Dossier" were going to be leaked to the media and how they would be used to shore up the case against the president, in fact, the group of officials were in-the-know even had a name, they were called the "sensitive matter team". Why does this matter?

It matters because it suggests that a conspiracy was underway. The attacks on Trump have not been the work of lone wolves operating independently. No. The sustained assault on Trump has been a collective effort of senior-level officials in the government,  law enforcement and the Intel agencies working together whose activities were coordinated by an unknown central authority.   By definition, a 'conspiracy' is an agreement between two or more people to commit an illegal act, along with an intent to achieve the agreement's goal. As the details of this anti-Trump operation surface, I am confident that the activities of this group will fit within that definition.

On Wednesday, an article at The Daily Caller stated that

a number of FBI agents want to be subpoenaed by Congress so they can explain what has gone on under by former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. Here's an excerpt from the article:

“There are agents all over this country who love the bureau and are sickened by [James] Comey’s behavior and [Andrew] McCabe and [Eric] Holder and [Loretta] Lynch and the thugs like [John] Brennan–who despise the fact that the bureau was used as a tool of political intelligence by the Obama administration thugs,” former federal prosecutor Joe DiGenova told The Daily Caller Tuesday. “They are just waiting for a chance to come forward and testify.”...

Every special agent I have spoken to in the Washington Field Office wants to see McCabe prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. They feel the same way about Comey,“ the special agent said, according to transcripts provided to TheDC...

All Congress needs to do is subpoena involved personnel and they will tell you what they know. These are honest people. Leadership cannot stop anyone from responding to a subpoena. Those subpoenaed also get legal counsel provided by the government to represent them.”...

“They know that it wasn’t just Comey and McCabe in this case. That’s too narrow a net to cast over these guys. There’s a much broader corruption that seeped into the seventh floor at the bureau....The FBI has long been politicized to the detriment of national security and law enforcement.”
Sources: FBI Agents Want Congress To Issue Them Subpoenas So They Can Reveal The Bureau’s Dirt", Kerry Pickett, Daily Caller)

“John Brennan is panicking. He has disgraced himself, he has disgraced the Country, he has disgraced the entire Intelligence Community. He is the one man who is largely responsible for the destruction of American’s faith in the Intelligence Community and in some people at of the FBI. Brennan started this entire debacle about President Trump. We now know that Brennan had detailed knowledge of the (phony) Dossier...he knows about the Dossier, he denies knowledge of the Dossier, he briefs the Gang of 8 on the Hill about the Dossier, which.....they then used to start an investigation about Trump. It is that simple. This guy is the genesis of this whole Debacle. This was a Political hit job, this was not an Intelligence Investigation. Brennan has disgraced himself, he’s worried about staying out of Jail.” Dan Bongino
“John Brennan did more than anyone to promulgate the dirty dossier,” (said Paul Sperry at RealClear Investigations) “He politicized and effectively weaponized what was false intelligence against Trump.”

Sperry reported that several Capitol Hill sources said Brennan “talked up” the dossier to Democratic leaders and the media during the 2016 campaign.
The sources said he also fed allegations about Trump-Russia contacts directly to the FBI while pressuring the bureau to conduct an investigation of several Trump campaign figures.

Here’s how political analyst Nick Short sums it up in a recent comment on Twitter:
“FBI opened a CI (CounterIntelligence) investigation in the absence of any (a) incriminating evidence, or (b) evidence implicating the Trump camp in Russian espionage. The FBI collaborated w/ CIA to probe an American political camp using foreign-intel surveillance & informants. Bigger than Watergate…” @PoliticalShort

The FBI’s use of an informant to spy on the Trump campaign has placed a spotlight on the immense power wielded behind the scenes by the political police and intelligence agencies of the American ruling class and their manipulation of elections and every other aspect of political life in the US. In the 2016 election, the FBI was simultaneously investigating both the Trump and Clinton campaigns, using its informants and surveillance methods in an effort to influence the outcome.

, senior-level officials  in the country's premier law enforcement agency launched a counterintelligence operation aimed at infiltrating the opposition party's campaign with the intention of gathering information that could be used to damage, blackmail or incriminate members of the campaign or the candidate, Donald Trump. Simply put, the FBI was spying on Trump's people in order to get at Trump. The FBI's behavior in this matter is not only unprecedented, it also fits into a broader pattern of abuse at the other agencies and departments that suggests that the key players were communicating with each other, coordinating their activities and operating off the same basic blueprint. We know now, for example, that the leaks to the media were not random one-off occurrences, but part of a calculated disinformation campaign  aimed at maximizing the public's distrust of the new administration. Not surprisingly, rejectionist elements within the NSA, the DOJ and the CIA all assumed a similarly hostile attitude towards the newly-elected government and coordinated their attacks accordingly.  
During the campaign, a whole series of former CIA, NSA and State Department officials publicly declared their opposition to a Trump presidency and their support for Clinton, who was seen as a more competent and reliable custodian of American imperialist interests around the world. There was also, and there remains, a great deal of concern within ruling circles that Trump could not trusted—as could Clinton—to continue and intensify the anti-Russia offensive launched by the Obama administration.
During the campaign, a whole series of former CIA, NSA and State Department officials publicly declared their opposition to a Trump presidency and their support for Clinton, who was seen as a more competent and reliable custodian of American imperialist interests around the world. There was also, and there remains, a great deal of concern within ruling circles that Trump could not trusted—as could Clinton—to continue and intensify the anti-Russia offensive launched by the Obama administration.

The latest revelations of government spying on the Trump campaign undermine the concocted narrative of Russian “meddling” in the election, which has been used by sections of the intelligence apparatus and the Democratic Party to attack Trump and pressure him to escalate US provocations against Russia as well as the US war in Syria. Nothing Vladimir Putin could have done compares to the massive and completely undemocratic intervention of the police and intelligence agencies of the American state into the election.


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Today's Links

“This investigation involved far more surveillance than we ever had any idea about. It wasn’t just a wiretap against a campaign was secretly gathering information on the Trump Campaign...people call that Spying...this is unprecedented and scandalous.” Mollie Hemingway



Mifsud provided the Russian information. Not Papadopoulos. Mifsud's mission of feeding Papadopoulos "Russian intelligence," which the later then reported back to the Trump campaign produced the casus belli (of sorts) to justify opening an FBI counter intelligence investigation. The FBI also was ensnared, most likely. It does not appear the FBI was briefed immediately on these matters. Instead, John Brennan and Jim Clapper built up a pretty sizable intel file, filled with SIGINT reports from the UK's GCHQ, which contained American names and reports of efforts to broker a meeting with Vladimir Putin. Of course they (Clapper and Brennan) conveniently failed to mention to the FBI that the information originated with a UK plant. But it did provide legal cover for unmasking the identities of Trump campaign personnel....


What I have outlined above is the circumstantial case for how the so-called intelligence was generated to create a feasible foundation for opening a counter intelligence investigation of President Trump and his campaign. But if Vegas allowed a bet on this scenario I would bet my house and feel confident of collecting a big payoff. Publius Tacitus





1---Kaepernicks Amnesty Speech


2--It’s Time To Admit The Russia Investigation Was Illegitimate From The Start


3--- The Dummies Guide to The Russia Collusion Hoax: Who, What, Where, When & Why

 The real fons et origo is John Brennan, Director of the CIA under Obama. As Trump’s victories in the primaries piled up, Brennan convened a “working group” at CIA headquarters that included Peter Strzok, the disgraced FBI agent, and James Clapper, then Director of National Intelligence, in order to stymie Trump’s campaign.


A cabal of CIA and FBI operatives, including the Director of the CIA, John Brennan, along with other members of the intelligence “community,” prominently including James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, and various members of the Obama administration, colluded to undermine Donald Trump’s campaign.


4--Trust in media?  Dems do, Republicans don't


Democrats' trust and confidence in the mass media to report the news "fully, accurately and fairly" has jumped from 51% in 2016 to 72% this year -- fueling a rise in Americans' overall confidence to 41%. Independents' trust has risen modestly to 37%, while Republicans' trust is unchanged at 14%. 


Democratic trust and confidence in the news media is the highest it has been in the past 20 years, having previously peaked at 70% in 2005. Following that high, Democrats' trust in the media declined, reaching the lower 50s by 2014.
Democrats' renewed trust in the media may be driven by the perception that it acts as a watchdog over Republican President Donald Trump. Major reporting on the alleged unrest surrounding Trump's administration -- including the departure of several high-level aides and the ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign's potential meddling with Russia -- may be feeding this perception....

Much of this decline in the past 20 years can be attributed to dampened trust among Republicans and independents. There has been an intensification of cries of "fake news," especially among those on the right wing, claiming the mass media is biased or outright making up news. This has been promulgated by Trump, who has vowed to "continue to attack the press."

Democrats, who in the past 20 years have had greater confidence than Republicans in the media, have sharply higher confidence in the Fourth Estate this year. With major outlets such as The Washington Post and The New York Times conducting in-depth investigations of Trump's presidential campaign and White House officials, Democrats may be heartened by major media outlets seemingly committed to "real" journalism. Yet with Republicans having expressed the most confidence during the Lewinsky scandal, it may be that both parties trust the media when it's targeting a president of the opposite party.

5--A majority of journalists globally (71 per cent) believe the public has lost trust in in the media and that accuracy is more important than speed when it comes to stories, new survey results show. 


6--Documents reveal the vast influence of Koch brothers in US universities and public school


7--With ‘Spygate,’ Trump Shows How He Uses Conspiracy Theories to Erode Trust

Several news organizations, including The New York Times, have reported that an F.B.I. informant contacted Trump campaign aides who evidence suggested had had suspicious contacts with Russians in 2016 as part of a counterintelligence investigation into possible efforts by Moscow to meddle in the election.
In Mr. Trump’s telling, however, the informant was a spy sent by Mr. Obama and a cabal inside his Justice Department and the intelligence community who were bent on stopping his candidacy....

Several polls have shown a dip in public approval of the special counsel investigation over the past several months, as the president has repeatedly attacked it. And a Monmouth Poll released in March found that a bipartisan majority believes an unelected “deep state” is manipulating national policy.

 Last week, President Trump promoted new, unconfirmed accusations to suit his political narrative: that a “criminal deep state” element within Mr. Obama’s government planted a spy deep inside his presidential campaign to help his rival, Hillary Clinton, win — a scheme he branded “Spygate.” It was the latest indication that a president who has for decades trafficked in conspiracy theories has brought them from the fringes of public discourse to the Oval Office.

8--September 2, 2016 Strzok-Page memo--Time for a second Special Counsel

POTUS wants to know everything we're doing   2min 45 sec

9-- The FBI Informant Who Monitored the Trump Campaign, Stefan Halper, Oversaw a CIA Spying Operation in the 1980 Presidential Election


An extremely strange episode that has engulfed official Washington over the last two weeks came to a truly bizarre conclusion on Friday night. And it revolves around a long-time, highly sketchy CIA operative, Stefan Halper.

Four decades ago, Halper was responsible for a long-forgotten spying scandal involving the 1980 election, in which the Reagan campaign – using CIA officials managed by Halper, reportedly under the direction of former CIA Director and then-Vice-Presidential candidate George H.W. Bush – got caught running a spying operation from inside the Carter administration. The plot involved CIA operatives passing classified information about Carter’s foreign policy to Reagan campaign officials in order to ensure the Reagan campaign knew of any foreign policy decisions that Carter was considering.

Over the past several weeks, House Republicans have been claiming that the FBI during the 2016 election used an operative to spy on the Trump campaign, and they triggered outrage within the FBI by trying to learn his identity. The controversy escalated when President Trump joined the fray on Friday morning. “Reports are there was indeed at least one FBI representative implanted, for political purposes, into my campaign for president,” Trump tweeted, adding: “It took place very early on, and long before the phony Russia Hoax became a “hot” Fake News story. If true – all time biggest political scandal!”

10--John Brennan’s Role in the FBI’s Trump-Russia Investigation


11--Framing the Trump Campaign as Lackeys of Russia by Publius Tacitus


There are still many unanswered questions, but the evidence that now is part of the public record removes any doubt that British and US Intelligence services collaborated in a devious and fabricated scheme to portray the Trump campaign as intent on collaborating with Russia. The evidence was planted and cleverly fabricated. It was done through highly classified intelligence channels, which created a paper trail and provided prima facie "evidence" that individuals with tenuous ties to the Trump campaign where seeking meetings with Russian officials. What was not reported, however, was the fact that the original impetus for those reporting on those communications originated with an individual who appears to be an MI-6 intelligence asset. His name is Joseph Mifsud and I believe that evidence ultimately will establish that he was directed to contact and then feed incriminating information to George Papadopoulos. That information became the foundation of creating a counter intelligence investigation of Donald Trump and his campaign....



Pay close attention to the actual facts. Papadopoulos met with Mifsud in Italy on 14 March 2016. Although both shared an affiliation prior to that 14 March meeting with the London Centre of International Law Practice, they were not buddies nor in regular communication. According to the NY Times, Mifsud had little interest in Papadopoulos until the latter was named a Trump foreign policy advisor.


Traveling in Italy that March, Mr. Papadopoulos met Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor at a now-defunct London academy who had valuable contacts with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Mifsud showed little interest in Mr. Papadopoulos at first. 
But when he found out he was a Trump campaign adviser, he latched onto him, according to court records and emails obtained by The New York Times. Their joint goal was to arrange a meeting between Mr. Trump and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in Moscow, or between their respective aides.

Only one tiny problem--Mifsud met in Italy with Papadopoulos  on the 14th of March but George was not announced publicly as an advisor until ONE WEEK later, on the 21st. So how did Joseph Mifsud know about Papadopoulos' new job? Why was Mifsud so eager to meet with Papadopoulos?
Once Papdopolous was announced, Mifsud kicked into overdrive trying to introduce George to Russians.

Here is what you need to understand. When Papadopoulos communicated to persons in the Trump campaign the results of his meetings with Mifsud and Mifsud's Russian contacts, that information was relayed from the UK to America via telephone and email. Those conversations, without one doubt, were intercepted and put into a Top Secret intel reports (known in intel circles as SIGINT) by GCHQ. 
It would be damning if Papadopoulos had initiated the contact with Russian sources and was lighting up the web with requests for info about Russians willing to work with or help Trump. But that did not happen. The impetus to talk about Russia originated with Mifsud, who, based on circumstantial evidence, was a British intelligence asset and was directed to target and bait Papadopoulos. It was Mifsud who raised the specter of the Russians targeting Hillary Clinton (see pp 6-7 of the Statement of Offense):

Mifsud provided the Russian information. Not Papadopoulos. Mifsud's mission of feeding Papadopoulos "Russian intelligence," which the later then reported back to the Trump campaign produced the casus belli (of sorts) to justify opening an FBI counter intelligence investigation. The FBI also was ensnared, most likely. It does not appear the FBI was briefed immediately on these matters. Instead, John Brennan and Jim Clapper built up a pretty sizable intel file, filled with SIGINT reports from the UK's GCHQ, which contained American names and reports of efforts to broker a meeting with Vladimir Putin. Of course they (Clapper and Brennan) conveniently failed to mention to the FBI that the information originated with a UK plant. But it did provide legal cover for unmasking the identities of Trump campaign personnel.

12--The Trump Dossier Timeline, A Democrat Disaster Looming by Publius Tacitus




“They don’t want to interrupt their narrative with what could be facts very similar to the case of the hacking of the Democratic National Committee. The DNC has never handed over its servers to any US intelligence or law enforcement agency and has likely destroyed those servers,” he said. “It seems like the US does not want to know what’s in them just as the US only wants to know what Assange has to say only after he has been sufficiently held and intimidated.”

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Today's Links



1-- Kim Jong-Un Holds Surprise Second Summit With South Korea President Moon


2-- Colombia Joins NAT


3-- If a "confidential informant" is NOT a spy,  then what is it? (video)

4-- Sorry, But Obama White House, Not Dossier, Was Behind Trump Investigation


Did the Obama administration spy on the Donald Trump campaign because it feared Russian hacking of the 2016 election? Or was it merely a smokescreen to cover up the real reason: to keep Trump from winning the presidency or take him down if he did?


As the saying goes, timing is everything. Recent revelations keep pushing back the beginning of the CIA and FBI investigation into "Russian hacking" or "meddling" in the 2016 election further and further in time.
This is significant, since the farther back in time the actual origin of the spying on Trump, the less likely it is that it had anything to do with Russian involvement in the 2016 elections, but everything to do with stopping the surprising surge of Trump during the GOP primaries and beyond.
Increasingly, a political motive seems not only likely, but almost certain....

McCarthy, the real origin of the investigation appears to have been in Spring of 2016, before Papadopoulos' conversation with the Australian ambassador in May and also before Page's visit to Moscow in July.
It started with James Comey briefing President Obama's National Security Council about Carter Page, likely sometime in mid-Spring.
Why? Well, both Page and Paul Manafort, another Trump adviser, had business ties to Russia, which, perhaps justifiably, concerned the FBI.

But rather than telling the Trump campaign about their concerns, or even moving against the Russians, the Justice Department and the FBI starting treating Trump's campaign like a criminal enterprise.

Instead of continuing to interview Page, or Manafort, or Papadopoulos, they inserted a spy, Stefan Halper, in the campaign, and tapped its phones. It had the earmarks of a political hit, not an actual investigation.

As for the CIA, another line of inquiry finds they also were busy early on pursuing Trump.
George Neumayr, writing in The American Spectator, notes that CIA Director John Brennan used the flimsy excuse of a tip from the Estonian intelligence agency that Putin was giving money to the Trump campaign to form an "inter-agency taskforce" on supposed Trump-Russia collusion in 2016. It met at CIA headquarters, spy central.

The Estonian tip didn't pan out, but the task force remained.

"Both before and after the FBI's official probe began in late July 2016," wrote Neumayr, "Brennan was bringing together into the same room at CIA headquarters a cast of Trump haters across the Obama administration whose activities he could direct — from Peter Strzok, the FBI liaison to Brennan, to the doltish (Director of National Intelligence) Jim Clapper, Brennan's errand boy, to an assortment of Brennan's buddies at the Treasury Department, Justice Department, and White House."

It eventually led, on July 31, 2016, to the creation FBI's "Crossfire Hurricane" program to spy against the Trump campaign.
What we're discovering is that the investigations and spying on the Trump campaign for evidence of possible collusion with Russia appear to have begun well before the CIA and FBI said they did.
And it all arose from progressive, pro-Hillary embeds deep within the Deep State and at the top of key Obama agencies, people who could use their positions of supposed Olympian objectivity to mask their political bias — and to ignore years of evidence that Hillary Clinton had colluded with the Russians for her own financial benefit.
As McCarthy concluded: "The Trump-Russia investigation did not originate with Page or Papadopoulos. It originated with the Obama administration."

 5--4 former spies and national security agents pick apart Russia spy narrative

"The White House is running this" Page-Strzrok text

They were using the NSA databases in their investigation so they could dig up info on every one in the campaign--Bill Binney

6--Fifty-one million US households cannot afford “survival budget


7--Did the FBI have a legal basis for starting a criminal investigation or an intelligence probe? 

The Democrats are now alluding to the the concept that having an Informant placed in an opposing party’s campaign is different than having a Spy, as illegal as that may be. But what about an “Informant” who is paid a fortune and who “sets up” way earlier than the Russian Hoax?


Can anyone even imagine having Spies placed in a competing campaign, by the people and party in absolute power, for the sole purpose of political advantage and gain? And to think that the party in question, even with the expenditure of far more money, LOST!


8-- John Brennan’s Plot to Infiltrate the Trump Campaign..."a CIA director (who was) running an anti-Trump spy ring out of Langley."


As Trump won primary after primary in 2016, a rattled John Brennan started claiming to colleagues at the CIA that Estonia’s intelligence agency had alerted him to an intercepted phone call suggesting Putin was pouring money into the Trump campaign. The tip was bogus, but Brennan bit on it with opportunistic relish.


Out of Brennan’s alarmist chatter about the bogus tip came an extraordinary leak to the BBC: that Brennan had used it, along with later half-baked tips from British intelligence, as the justification to form a multi-agency spy operation (given the Orwellian designation of an “inter-agency taskforce”) on the Trump campaign, which he was running right out of CIA headquarters.
The CIA was furious about the leak, but never denied the BBC’s story. To Congress earlier this year, Brennan acknowledged the existence of the group, but cast his role in it as the mere conduit of tips about Trump-Russia collusion: “It was well beyond my mandate as director of CIA to follow on any of those leads that involved U.S. persons. But I made sure that anything that was involving U.S. persons, including anything involving the individuals involved in the Trump campaign, was shared with the bureau.

But if his role had truly been passive, the “inter-agency taskforce” wouldn’t have been meeting at CIA headquarters. By keeping its discussions at Langley, Brennan could keep his finger wedged in the pie. Both before and after the FBI’s official probe began in late July 2016, Brennan was bringing together into the same room at CIA headquarters a cast of Trump haters across the Obama administration whose activities he could direct — from Peter Strzok, the FBI liaison to Brennan, to the doltish Jim Clapper, Brennan’s errand boy, to an assortment of Brennan’s buddies at the Treasury Department, Justice Department, and White House....

That Halper came out of the brainstorming of Brennan’s group is clear from the fact that his first known meeting with Carter Page preceded the formal opening of the FBI’s probe. The Washington Post hinted at the role of Brennan’s group in hatching Halper:
Many questions about the informant’s role in the Russia investigation remain unanswered. It is unclear how he first became involved in the case, the extent of the information he provided and the actions he took to obtain intelligence for the FBI. It is also unknown whether his July 2016 interaction with [Carter] Page was brokered by the FBI or another intelligence agency [italics added].

The FBI commonly uses sources and informants to gather evidence and its regulations allow for use of informants even before a formal investigation has been opened. In many law enforcement investigations, the use of sources and informants precedes more invasive techniques such as electronic surveillance....

The members of Brennan’s working group at Langley “were just a bunch of out-of-control idiots,” says a former high-ranking CIA official to TAS. He finds it flabbergasting that Brennan would bring CIA officials and FBI officials into the same room to cook up schemes to send a spy into the Trump campaign’s ranks.

Downer traveled in the same elitist circles as Christopher Steele, Halper, and John Kerry. It appears he sent word of his boozy evening with Papadopoulos back to Brennan’s group through these circles — either through Hillary partisans at the State Department or through Clinton Foundation channels, for whom he had worked as a kind of bag man.

Halper had come up empty, so Brennan’s group at Langley went with Downer’s tale, as feeble as it was. But it at least had the advantage of coming from a “diplomat.” Yet if Congressman Nunes is right and the originating document for the FBI probe doesn’t even contain a reference to an official intelligence product passed to Brennan from the Australian government, Downer’s hearsay must have been exceedingly flaky, so flaky no one would want to be on the record treating it as “evidence” for something as momentous as a probe into a presidential campaign.


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Today's links

1--Russia--friend or Foe??


It’s disturbing that people in this country should accept a narrative of relentless Russian expansion in the wake of repeated U.S. assaults on and occupations of countries in this century...


Most disturbing is the tendency of liberal Democrats to—alongside their Republican fellow opportunists—embrace this Russophobia. It’s like they’re saying: Ok, I part from the right on social issues. I’m good because I’m against against racism, sexism, religious intolerance, growing income inequality, and Trump in general but I agree that Russia is an adversary...


Russia announced its embrace of a western-advised transition to full-blown capitalism (with horrible effects) before recovering under Putin. People who know little about the trajectory of Russian history in the last 25 years are snarling about how this country is our enemy. I disagree. I agree with Trump that it would be good to improve relations with Russia.

2--Don't use the "C" word....Coup

“We may now have proof the investigation was weaponized to destroy [Trump's] presidency for partisan political purposes and to disenfranchise millions of American voters,” Watters said on "Watters' World."

 “Now if that is true, we have a coup on our hands in America,” he added.


3--The Coming Collapse


The Trump administration did not rise, prima facie, like Venus on a half shell from the sea. Donald Trump is the result of a long process of political, cultural and social decay. He is a product of our failed democracy. The longer we perpetuate the fiction that we live in a functioning democracy, that Trump and the political mutations around him are somehow an aberrant deviation that can be vanquished in the next election, the more we will hurtle toward tyranny. The problem is not Trump. It is a political system, dominated by corporate power and the mandarins of the two major political parties, in which we don’t count. We will wrest back political control by dismantling the corporate state, and this means massive and sustained civil disobedience, like that demonstrated by teachers around the country this year. If we do not stand up we will enter a new dark age


  (the Dems) play to the margins, especially in election seasons, refusing to address substantive political and social problems and instead focusing on narrow cultural issues like gay rights, abortion and gun control in our peculiar species of anti-politics....


Trump has tapped into the hatred that huge segments of the American public have for a political and economic system that has betrayed them. He may be inept, degenerate, dishonest and a narcissist, but he adeptly ridicules the system they despise. His cruel and demeaning taunts directed at government agencies, laws and the established elites resonate with people for whom these agencies, laws and elites have become hostile forces. And for many who see no shift in the political landscape to alleviate their suffering, Trump’s cruelty and invective are at least cathartic....


All this will soon be compounded by financial collapse. Wall Street banks have been handed $16 trillion in bailouts and other subsidies by the Federal Reserve and Congress at nearly zero percent interest since the 2008 financial collapse. They have used this money, as well as the money saved through the huge tax cuts imposed last year, to buy back their own stock, raising the compensation and bonuses of their managers and thrusting the society deeper into untenable debt peonage. Sheldon Adelson’s casino operations alone got a $670 million tax break under the 2017 legislation. The ratio of CEO to worker pay now averages 339 to 1, with the highest gap approaching 5,000 to 1. This circular use of money to make and hoard money is what Karl Marx called “fictitious capital.” The steady increase in public debt, corporate debt, credit card debt and student loan debt will ultimately lead, as Nomi Prins writes, to “a tipping point—when money coming in to furnish that debt, or available to borrow, simply won’t cover the interest payments. Then debt bubbles will pop, beginning with higher yielding bonds.”


4--US leaves Iran nukes deal


"US diplomacy sham is merely a regression to old habits: imprisoned by delusions & failed policies – dictated by corrupt Special Interest – it repeats the same wrong choices and will thus reap the same ill rewards. Iran, meanwhile, is working with partners for post-US JCPOA solutions,"


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday that Washington will increase the financial pressure on Iran by imposing the "strongest sanctions in history" on the Islamic Republic if Tehran refuses to change the course of its foreign and domestic policy....


The Kremlin, Tehran and the European countries involved have reaffirmed their commitment to the JCPOA for Iran’s nuclear program."

He added that Russia and the European countries "have many times expressed hope that Tehran will remain within the agreement."

5--Back to the Future? Bolton, Trump, and Iranian Regime Change


6---Defanging the Empire-- Ditch the $$ and SWIFT banking system

The Trump administration will cause some economic pain. It will also make the U.S. and Europe weaker and Russia and China stronger. The threat of secondary sanctions will eventually lead to the creation of a sanction-secure parallel global economy. The SWIFT banking information exchange which routes international payments between banks can be replaced by country to country systems that do not depend an sanctionable institutions. The U.S. dollar as a universal exchange medium can be avoided by using other currencies or barter. The nonsensical use of economic and financial sanction will end up destroying the U.S. ability to use them as a tool of foreign policy.


7--NYTs continues its propaganda campaign even while the Russiagate fairy-tale collapses


First the facts: There was a sophisticated, multiyear conspiracy by Russian government officials and agents, working under direct orders from President Vladimir Putin, to interfere in the 2016 presidential election in support of Donald Trump. The American law enforcement and intelligence communities warned the Trump campaign and asked it to report anything suspicious. The campaign didn’t do this. To the contrary, at least seven Trump campaign officials met with Russians or people linked to Russia, and several seemed eager to accept their help. As the F.B.I. became aware of these contacts, it began to investigate. And yet the bureau went to great lengths to shield this investigation from becoming public before the election, even as James Comey, then the F.B.I. director, spoke openly about the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

These facts aren’t disputed. The intelligence community confirmed Russia’s efforts on Mr. Trump’s behalf in January 2017, and last week Richard Burr, the Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he saw “no reason to dispute” those findings.
Do these sound like the actions of government officials intent on bringing down a presidential candidate?...

One doesn’t have to agree with the particulars of every investigation to see the fundamental difference here: The members of our law enforcement and intelligence communities are trying to protect the country. Donald Trump and his supporters are simply trying to protect Donald Trump.

8--Where's Muellers hacking indictment?

Russia’s alleged involvement in the hacking first came to public attention nearly two years ago, when CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC, identified two separate Russian-affiliated breaches of the DNC networks in 2015 and2016...

The January 2017 intelligence community assessment offered a more complete picture of the Russian activity. It described an influence operation that married covert cyber operations with disinformation to undermine confidence in U.S. democracy, damage Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and help Trump win.
It also said that Russian intelligence gained access to DNC networks in July 2015 and maintained it until at least June 2016, noting that the GRU, Russia’s main intelligence agency, “had exfiltrated large volumes of data from the DNC” by May 2016.

Recent reports have offered a tantalizing glimpse into Mueller’s findings. The Wall Street Journal reported last November that the Justice Department had identified more than six Russian government officials involved in the DNC hack and was weighing whether to indict them.
In March, the Daily Beast reported that federal prosecutors have evidence showing that Guccifer 2.0, the hacking persona who claimed responsibility for the DNC breach, was a member of the GRU