Thursday, May 17, 2018

Today's links

1-- Did John Brennan lie about the Trump-Russia dossier?

 

 Mike Rogers and James Clapper now confirm that the Dossier DID influence the Intelligence Community Assessment.. Four top officials in the Trump campaign were spied on

 

2--  President Trump offers Kim Jong Un 'protections' in exchange for giving up nukes 3

 

 “He will get protections that are very strong,” President Trump said from the Oval Office in an apparent attempt to lure the North Korean leader to the negotiating table after reports that Pyongyang is threatening to withdraw from a planned summit in June.


The president offered direct assurances that the U.S. would not seek to overthrow Kim if a deal is hatched and further promised that a potential deal would include major economic sweeteners for Kim and his country.

Addressing the so-called Libya model, Trump contradicted his National Security Adviser, John Bolton, who invoked it over the weekend and has since been cited by North Korea as a reason why it might withdraw from the planned Trump-Kim summit scheduled for June 12, Trump said it “isn't a model that we have at all.”

“The Libyan model was a much different model,” Trump said. “We decimated that country. We never said to Gadhafi: 'Oh, we're going to give you protection, we're going to give you military strength, we're going to give you all of these things; we went in and decimated him.”

3-- North Korea pointed to the “Max Thunder” air force drills between the US and the South as the reason for the cancellation of the talks.

 

Pyongyang also denounced US national security advisor John Bolton for suggesting in late April that there was a “Libyan model” for the North’s denuclearization. In threatening to cancel the June 12 summit with Trump, Pyongyang also stated that the world “knows too well that our country is neither Libya nor Iraq which met miserable fates.”

 

North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs are aimed at avoiding the same “miserable” ends that befell the regimes of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, which it has regularly pointed to over the years while requesting a formal peace treaty with the US.

 

Yet, as Pyongyang seeks security guarantees that its ruling elite will not be removed from power, Tokyo and Washington continue to raise the bar the North must jump over, if it wishes to avoid risking a return to Trump’s threats of North Korea’s complete destruction

 

4--North Korea denounces US “provocation” and threatens to cancel talks with Trump

 

the KCNA announced that Pyongyang was “suspending” top-level talks with South Korean officials scheduled for today. It warned that Washington “will have to carefully contemplate” the fate of the planned June 12 summit between its leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump. Pyongyang would “closely watch the ensuing behaviour of the US and the South Korean authorities.”...

 

Of primary concern to China is the deployment by the US and Japan of advanced anti-missile systems, including the installation of the American THAAD system in South Korea last year that can spy deep into Chinese territory.

While portrayed as a defensive reaction to the purported threat posed by North Korea, the regional anti-missile shield is part of the US preparations for a potential nuclear “first strike” against China in the event of war. US nuclear strategy is to destroy as many of China’s weapons as possible before they can be launched, and shoot down, with the anti-missile batteries, any that are fired in retaliation.

 

The 2018 US National Defense Strategy openly labelled China as the US’s greatest “strategic competitor” and declared the Pentagon had to “prioritise preparedness for war” by further expanding its already vast nuclear arsenal...

 

There is little doubt that Beijing is exerting immense pressure on North Korea, including by holding out the possibility of substantial economic assistance, not to make any agreement with Washington that compromises Chinese interests. It would expect Pyongyang to at least insist on the withdrawal of the THAAD system, on Chinese and Russian involvement in any process of “verifying” denuclearisation and on a guarantee that American and South Korean forces will not move north of the existing border.

 

5--IG Horowitz Finds FBI, DOJ Broke Law In Clinton Probe, Refers To Prosecutor For Criminal Charges

 

6-- Code Name Crossfire Hurricane: The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation

 

The facts, had they surfaced, might have devastated the Trump campaign: Mr. Trump’s future national security adviser was under investigation, as was his campaign chairman.

 

7--Obama officials set for Senate grilling on Russia, as Comey stands up committee

 

8-- Big Trouble for John Brennan


Former CIA Director John Brennan’s insistence that the salacious and unverified Steele dossier was not part of the official Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 election is being contradicted by two top former officials.

 

Recently retired National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers stated in a classified letter to Congress that the Clinton campaign-funded memos did factor into the ICA. And James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence under President Obama, conceded in a recent CNN interview that the assessment was based on “some of the substantive content of the dossier.” Without elaborating, he maintained that “we were able to corroborate” certain allegations.

 

These accounts are at odds with Brennan’s May 2017 testimony before the House Intelligence Committee that the Steele dossier  was "not in any way used as the basis for the intelligence community's assessment" that Russia interfered in the election to help elect Donald Trump. Brennan has repeated this claim numerous times, including in February on “Meet the Press.”

Two Colleagues Contradict Brennan's Denial of Reliance on Dossier

 

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