Friday, August 31, 2018

1--Leaked Trump infrastructure plan is a plan for corporate subsidies

 

2--US Prepares to Set Up No–Fly Zone in Northern Syria – Report

 

The Russian Defense Ministry stated earlier that the US-led coalition was "building up a group of cruise missile carriers in the Middle East region," in preparation for a possible strike, while French President Emmanuel Macron declared that France was also ready to launch new strikes against Syria in case of a chemical weapons attack there.
The US military is laying the groundwork to close the airspace over northern Syria, according to the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet. US military freighters are reported to have transported radar systems to the city of Kobanî, controlled by the Kurdish militia, and the US military base in Al-Shaddadah in southern al-Hasakah.

The outlet claims that the US plans to use these complexes to establish a no-fly zone over the territory between Manbij in Aleppo and Deir ez-Zor.
Washington hasn’t commented on the report yet.

3--Abolish student debt! Public education is a social right!


All student debt must be immediately abolished! Everyone should be able to attain a college education without being required to enter the modern equivalent of indentured servitude. Public education is a social right that can only be guaranteed to everyone for free through a direct assault on the capitalist system.
Student debt payments are crippling young people as they leave college, with many forced to put off buying a new car, a home or getting married and starting a family. Close to half of those with student loan debt report that they would be unable to afford to pay for an unexpected expense of $400, such as an emergency car repair....

The abolition of student debt must be connected to the expropriation of the wealth of the corporate and financial elite and the nationalization of the giant banks, which exercise their dominion over indebted youth and all of society.
A quality education, from kindergarten to post-graduate school, must be freely available to all as a basic social right.

4--Vancouver Education Association shuts down strike as teacher walkouts continue throughout southwest Washington

 

5--Reject the anti-Semitism slurs against Jeremy Corbyn! Drive out the Labour Party right wing!

 

Lying accusations of anti-Semitism, endlessly repeated since the failed 2016 leadership putsch by Labour’s right wing, provide the noose with which Corbyn is to be hung. But the goal of this campaign is to discredit socialism in the hope of preventing any challenge by the working class to austerity and the escalating pursuit of militarism and war in the Middle East and throughout the world....

 

Discrimination against Jews has deep historical roots, but the emergence of modern anti-Semitism as a mass political movement in Germany and other European countries was bound up with efforts by the bourgeoisie to mobilise petty-bourgeois layers against the revolutionary threat posed by the socialist workers’ movement.

Identification of the Jews with the evils of modern capitalism provided the populist glue for creating racist and nationalist parties opposed to the class struggle and socialist internationalism, including Hitler’s Nazi party, with its identification of socialism with “international Jewry.”

An attempt is now being made by the Zionists, Blairites and Tories to redefine anti-Semitism and equate it with a left-wing critique of Israel and its brutal subjugation of the Palestinians, centred on demands that Labour fully accept the International Holocaust Remembrance Association definition of anti-Semitism. The organization defines as anti-Semitic any description of the founding of the state of Israel as a “racist endeavour.”

This takes place under conditions in which Israel continues to slaughter Palestinians on an almost daily basis and has passed the “nation-state” law, which asserts that the “right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel” is “unique to the Jewish people.”...

Firstly, despite the retreats he has made on supporting NATO and on retaining the Trident nuclear submarine missile system, Corbyn is not acceptable as the leader of a major NATO ally of the US. Only a week after he was first elected as Labour leader, Murdoch’s Sunday Times reported the threat of “a mutiny” made by a “senior serving general” in the event of his becoming prime minister. Lord West, the former first sea lord and ex-Labour minister, warned that Corbyn “should not lead the nation” because his criticism of militarism might get “the unthinking masses to vote for him.”

More important still is that Corbyn, despite the minimal character of his proposed reforms, is associated in the eyes of many workers and young people with ending austerity, defending the National Health Service and redistributing wealth away from the super-rich and major corporations. These sentiments are anathema to the ruling elite under conditions where the mounting crisis over Brexit demands an escalation in the brutal social onslaught against the working class...

In 1935, Leon Trotsky wrote an open letter, “To All Revolutionary Working-Class Organizations and Groups.”
Surveying the world in the aftermath of Hitler’s rise to power and amid the growth of far-right forces across Europe, Trotsky said the “disintegration of the world economy” had put “the task of the socialist revolution imperiously on the agenda.”
The greatest danger for the working class, Trotsky warned, was the impotence and treachery of its reformist and Stalinist leaders. In a passage that is exceptionally relevant to the present situation, he wrote:

“Should the electoral successes of the Labour Party raise it once again to power, the consequences would not be a peaceful socialist transformation of Great Britain, but the consolidation of imperialist reaction, that is to say, an epoch of civil war, in the face of which the leadership of the Labour Party will inevitably reveal its complete bankruptcy.” [Documents of the Fourth International: The Formative Years (1933-40), p.67]
With British and world capitalism entering a new period of revolutionary crisis, this is the most prescient warning of the dangers attendant on Corbyn’s refusal to drive out the right wing, based on his insistence of preserving party unity so he can form a government “of the many, not the few.”

6--Kaepernick collusion case against NFL cleared to go to trial 

 

7--N. Korea slams US for ‘hostile’ steps & ‘covert operations’ behind curtain of dialogue


 8--Washington is shifting blame on North Korea progress: Beijing

The Chinese government reacted strongly to criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump
 
The Chinese government on Thursday hit back at criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump who said Beijing was the cause of stalled denuclearization progress with North Korea.
Beijing rejected Washington’s statement, which Trump issued on Wednesday via social media, in turn blaming the U.S. for the current downturn in negotiations.

“Many may share the same feeling with me: no one could be better at irresponsibly distorting facts than the US. What logic is this? It’s really beyond understanding for ordinary people,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said a regular press briefing in Beijing.
“In face of the setbacks and difficulties at this point, it should try to find out the reason in itself and reflect upon that, rather than flip-flop and shift blames on others. The US tries to shift blames in one way or another, but sorry, we won’t and cannot take the blames.”
The U.S. President claimed China was exerting downward pressure on the negotiations in retaliation for an ongoing trade dispute between the two countries, which has seen both sides levy tariffs on each other’s products.

“President Donald J. Trump feels strongly that North Korea is under tremendous pressure from China because of our major trade disputes with the Chinese Government,” Trump tweeted.
“At the same time, we also know that China is providing North Korea with considerable aid, including money, fuel, fertilizer and various other commodities. This is not helpful!”

Trump added the had a good relationship with both North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping, and that he expected the conflict over trade to be resolved “in time.”
The disagreement comes as Washington continues to urge countries to enforce UN sanctions, with U.S. Treasury Department designations and a leaked UN Panel of Expert (PoE) report indicating that sanctions breaches are ongoing.

According to the PoE report seen by the AFP earlier this month, there has been an increase in prohibited ship to ship transfers of oil products, a practice which breaches multiple UN resolutions.
The DPRK “has not stopped its nuclear and missile programs and continued to defy Security Council resolutions through a massive increase in illicit ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products, as well as through transfers of coal at sea during 2018,” AFP said, quoting the report.

The U.S. Treasury Department has also sanctioned both Chinese and Russian companies in recent weeks for what it claims were breaches of UN resolutions on North Korea.

9--U.S. must “take full responsibility” if relations turn sour, N. Korean media warns

Uriminzokkiri says Washington's behavior risks return to "worst war crisis" of last year
 
Uriminzokkiri on Friday described the claims as an “extremely provocative and dangerous military movement which pours cold water on the implementation of the DPRK-U.S. joint statement in Singapore.”
The North Korean media reiterated its stance that the U.S. was the “fundamental cause” of hostility between the U.S. and the North and that there had been “no achievements” made in nuclear negotiations.

It is “undeniable and well-known fact,” the outlet claimed, that Pyongyang has “shown a sincere attitude and sincerity in engaging in dialogue while taking unimaginable and unprecedented measures for trust building.”
Despite dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington having reached something of a stalemate in recent weeks, Trump on Wednesday said his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was “very good and warm.”

Trump also announced that there was “no reason at this time to be spending large amounts of money” on now-suspended joint U.S.-ROK military drills, warning that the scale of exercises will be “far bigger than ever before” should he decide to resume them.
Trump’s statement came a day after Secretary of Defense James Mattis said Washington had no plans to suspend further joint military drills with Seoul.

South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) the following day said it hasn’t been decided if the U.S. and the ROK would stage the Vigilant Ace joint annual air combat exercise.
Around 230 aircraft including F-22 Raptor, F-35A, and F-35B stealth fighter jets were mobilized for the one week-long drill in December last year, which also saw the deployment of B-1B Lancer strategic bombers.

10--Lavrov: Russia Submitted Proof of Planned Chemical Attack in Idlib to UN, OPCW

11--Korea, Fake News, and What’s Really Going On


 

 




 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Today's Links

If Bob Mueller is such a stand-up guy, why did he cover up the Saudi Embassy's role in 9/11? Why did he agree to spirit dozens of Saudi suspects, including the Bin Ladens, out of the country right after the attacks? Why did he lie & tell Congress the hijackers got no help in US?

 

 

 

 

1---Supply of Homes Surges 20% to 90% in Many Markets Just as Pending Home Sales Drop 

 

In 25 metro areas (Metropolitan Statistical Areas as defined by the Census), supply of homes for sale in July skyrocketed by 20% to 90% compared to July last year....

 

Number on in the US: In the Santa Rose MSA, in Sonoma County, CA, in the northern part of the Bay Area, supply (active listings) skyrocketed 90%. Two weeks ago, I’ve done an anatomy of its deteriorating “subcutaneous” metrics that precede price decreases and have pinpointed the inflection point of the market in June.

 

2--Existing home sales

 

Existing-home sales fell 0.7% in July from June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.34 million units. That marked the fourth straight month of declines. Compared with a year earlier, sales in July were down 1.5%. The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in July was 4.53%, up from 4.03% in January and 3.97% in July 2017, according to Freddie Mac. Sales of homes at the low end of the price spectrum—priced at less than $100,000—fell nearly 11% from July 2017. Sales of homes priced $1 million or more, by comparison, rose 16%.  


3--Blame Washington for stalemate on Korean peninsula

 

US President Donald Trump is attempting to blame China for the US inability or unwillingness to fulfill its obligations under the North Korea deal....

 Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang had the following to say: “China’s position on the settlement of the situation on the Korean Peninsula is well known to everyone, from the very beginning we have made significant efforts to advance the settlement of the Korean Peninsula problem, and our efforts are recognized by the international community.”

The US continues to claim that North Korea is not holding up its end of the deal, however that doesn’t appear to be the case. Sputnik cited Dr. Christine Hong, associate professor of critical race and ethnic studies at UC Santa Cruz and a member of the Korea Policy Institute, who claims that North Korea has actually taken serious steps. She noted that so far North Korea “has not only capped its nuclear testing for something like 200 days, it’s basically suspended that, and that’s huge. It’s dismantled nuclear testing sites. The other thing that it’s done is it released three Korean-Americans who were in prison in North Korea for committing acts against the state. And then recently, it released the remains, for repatriation, of 55 American servicemen who were killed during the ‘hot fighting’ period of the Korean War. What the United States has done is suspend one war exercise. And so, if you’re looking at the balance sheet, it’s actually not the case that North Korea’s not keeping up its end of the bargain; it’s really the United States.”

“What we are witnessing now is a return to US policy as usual. Far from being a spectator to an inter-Korean peace process, the Trump administration, as its skewed portrayal of North Korea’s request for a peaceful resolution to the Korean War as ‘belligerent’ reveals, is playing an obstructionist role, all during a time of historic inter-Korean rapprochement,” she said, claiming that US policy on North Korea is taking steps back.

4--Huh? Is the US planning an attack on Syria? (Turkish News)


What will happen in Idlib tomorrow if Americans unleash an aerial operation with the pretext the Syrian government used chemical weapons? The refugee deal with Turkey has stopped the influx of Syrian refugees for the past three years. What will happen if besides the almost four million at present, an additional 2-3 million Syrian refugees pour into Turkey because of an Idlib offensive by the Americans or the Syrian government?

5--How Media Failures Complicate The Nuclear Talks With North Korea--MOA

 

6--The coming Idlib campaign in maps.

 

The US now seems to be contemplating a "no fly zone" over northern Syria. I suppose they could name it in honor of Bomb Bomb McCain. This is a neocon idiocy proposed by the likes of Bolton, Pompeo and Nikki Baby. DoD will oppose that knowing it commits them to war against Syria and Russia. TTG will expand on this.

7--John McCain, Did He Betray Our Democracy or Was it the FBI? by Publius Tacitus


From June 2016 thru 1 November 2016, Christopher Steele was under contract to Fusion GPS to prepare memoranda on "intelligence concerning Russian efforts to influence the US presidential election process and links between Russia and Donald Trump. Steele produced 16 reports during that time frame.
Christopher Steele was terminated as an FBI confidential informant on 1 November 2016....

Christopher Steele prepared a final memo (it was dated 13 December) that made the following fantastic claims:
  • Michael Cohen held a secret meeting in Prague, Czechoslovakia in August 2016 with Kremlin operatives.
  • Cohen, allegedly accompanied by 3 colleagues (Not Further Identified), met with Oleg SOLODUKHIM to discuss on how deniable cash payments were to be made to hackers who had worked in Europe under Kremlin direction against the Clinton campaign and various contingencies for covering up these operations and Moscow's secret liaison with the Trump team more generally.
  • In Prague, Cohen agreed (sic) contingency plans for various scenarios to protect the operation, but in particular what was to be done in the event that Hillary Clinton won the Presidency.
  • Sergei Ivanov's associate claimed that payments to hackers had been made by both Trump's team and the Kremlin..
Comey apparently failed to inform Senator McCain that the FBI was already aware of 16 of the 17 reports and that the source of those reports had been terminated as a confidential informant. But then Comey then signed off on two more FISA warrants and included information from the 13 December report in those warrants. We now know that the information flow to Comey and the FBI was not coming via only John McCain. DOJ's number four guy, Bruce Ohr, also was forwarding information to the FBI.
In light of what we now know about the supposed firing of Christopher Steele and the persistent choice of the FBI to continue to use information from Steele, a proven liar, raises more questions about the integrity and competence of all FBI personnel involved in this sordid affair.

8--  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not fighting for socialism, but to strengthen the Democratic Party, one of the two main capitalist parties in the United States.”,,,


The Democratic Party is engaged in a ferociously right-wing campaign in its conflict with the Trump administration. Its focus is not on Trump’s fascistic policies or his own warmongering, but on the claim that Trump is insufficiently committed to war in the Middle East and aggression against Russia. The Democrats have utilized the death of McCain as part of a calculated strategy, elevating him—along with figures such as former CIA Director John Brennan—as political heroes....

They, along with the corporate media and the Republican Party establishment, are seeking to use McCain’s death as an opportunity to shift public opinion in favor of war and political reaction.
In the 2018 midterm elections, as the WSWS has documented, the Democrats are running an unprecedented number of former intelligence and military operatives as candidates. The promotion of groups such as the DSA is an integral part of this strategy. “The politics of the ‘CIA Democrats,’” the Socialist Equality Party noted in the resolution passed at its Congress last month, “is not in conflict with, but rather corresponds to, the pseudo-left politics of the upper-middle class, as expressed in organizations such as the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and the International Socialist Organization (ISO).”
The role of Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders, the DSA and the ISO, is to give a “socialist” label to politics that is entirely in line with the right-wing, militarist and imperialist character of the Democratic Party.


Was his human decency on display when he was dropping bombs on the Vietnamese people, or when he was acting as one of the earliest supporters of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which led to the deaths of one million people? Was his heroism expressed in his call for the bombing of Iran, his visit with Islamic fundamentalist organizations spearheading the CIA-backed civil war in Syria, or his demands, up to his last day, for stepped-up aggression against Russia?

The list of countries McCain advocated bombing is a long one, and there is no war launched by the US that he did not support. Political positions have consequences, and McCain had the blood of many hundreds of thousands of people on his hands. A genuine socialist would not praise his “human decency,” but demand, were he still alive, his prosecution for war crimes.

The praise for McCain by Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders is a calculated political decision. It reveals everything about the politics of the Democratic Party and the particular role played by these figures and the organizations that promote them.

9--Sometimes even Hannity is right  -- Bruce Ohr and astounding deep state corruption







 


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Today's links

1--Accused by Trump of rigging search results, Google denies political bias


Contrary to Trump’s claims, however, the main target of the censorship measures adopted by the Internet companies is not right-wing, but rather left-wing, socialist and anti-war publications. In August 2017, the World Socialist Web Site revealed that changes to Google’s search algorithm announced in April sharply reduced search traffic to left-wing sites, with search traffic to the World Socialist Web Site falling by 75 percent

2--UN panel cites massive war crimes in US-backed war on Yemen

By Bill Van Auken
29 August 2018
A draft report prepared by a United Nations human rights panel has spelled out in detail the massive and savage war crimes that have been carried out against the people of Yemen in the three-year-old war waged by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates with indispensable military and political backing from Washington....

In any genuine accounting for the slaughter in Yemen, as well as the wider sociocide carried out by US imperialism throughout the Middle East, figures like Mattis, Obama, Trump, et al., would be standing in the dock like the surviving leaders of Hitler’s Third Reich in Nuremberg.

3--US-North Korea Deal: How Is It Going

 

4--It's about time--Vietnam Demands Monsanto Be Held Liable Over Agent Orange

 

5--Housing and the Trump Tax Cut, Dean Baker

 

Because the Federal Reserve Board has chosen to raise interest rates at least partly in response to this acceleration of growth, the housing market appears to be weakening. Surprisingly, this fact seems to be getting little attention from either the mainstream media or the most ardent opponents of the tax cuts....

 

Alternatively, the Fed could let interest rates rise or even push them higher through its own actions. The Fed has clearly adopted this latter course. As a result, long-term interest rates have risen. Currently, the 10-year Treasury bond rate is just over 2.8 percent.
While this is still a very low rate by historical standards, it is about 0.6 percentage points higher than the rate a year ago. This has translated into a comparable increase in the 30-year mortgage rate. It now stands at close to 4.2 percent, as opposed to 3.6 percent a year ago.

As would be expected, higher mortgage rates appear to have weakened the housing market. Existing home sales have been edging downward most of this year. They peaked at an annual rate of 5,050,000 in November of 2017. The data for July sales released last week showed them at 4,750,000.
There is a comparable story with housing starts. The data on housing starts (and sales) are erratic, but the July data showed starts down by 1.4 percent from their year-ago level. The average annual rate for starts over the last three months has been 1,215,000. That compares to an annual rate of 1,317,000 in the first three months of the year.

This is potentially a big deal because housing costs are the one area where inflationary pressures are clearly a problem. This matters not only because rising rents are pushing up the overall rate of inflation, but rent is by far the largest single expenditure for low- and moderate-income households. With rents rising more rapidly than other prices, and more rapidly than wages, many families are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet.

The best hope for bringing rents down, or at least slowing their rate of increase, is by rapidly increasing the supply of housing, thereby putting downward pressure on rents. However, with construction slowing, there is not likely to be much relief any time soon for most of the areas where housing costs are a major problem.
It is worth mentioning that this is at least partially the Fed’s fault. The Fed could have acted to limit the rise in mortgage interest rates. Instead, it continued to raise short-term interest rates, presumably because it feared inflation.

6--Massively Fake News from the USG--How the Department of Homeland Security Created a Deceptive Tale of Russia Hacking US Voter Sites


DHS compiled an intelligence report suggesting hackers linked to the Russian government could have targeted voter-related websites in many states and then leaked a sensational story of Russian attacks on those sites without the qualifications that would have revealed a different story. When state election officials began asking questions, they discovered that the DHS claims were false and, in at least one case, laughable.

The National Security Agency and special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigating team have also claimed evidence that Russian military intelligence was behind election infrastructure hacking, but on closer examination, those claims turn out to be speculative and misleading as well. Mueller’s indictment of 12 GRU military intelligence officers does not cite any violations of U.S. election laws though it claims Russia interfered with the 2016 election....

The inability to think of any plausible way for the Russian government to use such data explains why DHS and the intelligence community adopted the argument, as senior DHS officials Samuel Liles and Jeanette Manfra put it, that the hacks “could be intended or used to undermine public confidence in electoral processes and potentially the outcome.” But such a strategy could not have had any effect without a decision by DHS and the U.S. intelligence community to assert publicly that the intrusions and other scanning and probing were Russian operations, despite the absence of hard evidence. So DHS and other agencies were consciously sowing public doubts about U.S. elections that they were attributing to Russia....

The DHS methodology of selecting reports of cyber incidents involving election-related websites as “potentially targeted” by Russian government-sponsored hackers was based on no objective evidence whatever. The resulting list appears to have included any one of the eight addresses as well as any attack or “scan” on a public website that could be linked in any way to elections....

14 of the 21 states on the list experienced nothing more than the routine scanning that occurs every day, according to the Senate Intelligence Committee. Only six involved what was referred to as a “malicious access attempt,” meaning an effort to penetrate the site. One of them was in Ohio, where the attempt to find a weakness lasted less than a second and was considered by DHS’s internet security contractor a “non-event” at the time....

The Mueller Indictment’s Sleight of Hand
The Mueller indictment of GRU officers released on July 13 appeared at first reading to offer new evidence of Russian government responsibility for the hacking of Illinois and other state voter-related websites. A close analysis of the relevant paragraphs, however, confirms the lack of any real intelligence supporting that claim. 

7--Glenn Greenwald--

The Media’s Chronic Misreporting on the Trump/Russia Story



The reality is that from the start of the Trump/Russia story, the U.S. media has repeatedly and frequently – not rarely and periodically – gotten major stories completely wrong, always in the same direction: exaggerating the threat posed by Russia to the U.S., and concocting evidence of Trump/Russia collusion even when such evidence did not exist....

When reporting on that story, I detailed just some of the similarly significant and false stories major outlets have published on this story over the last eighteen months, notably always in the same direction, pushing the same narrative interests:
  • Russia hacked into the U.S. electric grid to deprive Americans of heat during winter (Wash Post)
  • An anonymous group (PropOrNot) documented how major U.S. political sites are Kremlin agents (Wash Post)
  • WikiLeaks has a long, documented relationship with Putin (Guardian)
  • A secret server between Trump and a Russian bank has been discovered (Slate)
  • RT hacked C-SPAN and caused disruption in its broadcast (Fortune)
  • Russians hacked into a Ukrainian artillery app (Crowdstrike)
  • Russians attempted to hack elections systems in 21 states (multiple news outlets, echoing Homeland Security)
  • Links have been found between Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci and a Russian investment fund under investigation (CNN)
Whatever words one wishes to use to defend the U.S. media’s conduct here, “rare” and “isolated” are not among those that can be credibly invoked. Far more accurate are “chronic,” “systematic” and “reckless.”

And when it comes to discrediting journalism in the U.S., thousands of mean Donald Trump tweets about Chuck Todd and Wolf Blitzer can’t accomplish even a fraction of what this media behavior has done to themselves, particularly when their behavior is followed by secrecy and refusals to comment so brazen and unjustified that it would make even security state spokespeople blush with shame.

   


NOTES--





Indeed, on July 13 when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the indictment of 12 Russians for their alleged roles in hacking computers at the Democratic National Committee and other sites, he said: “There’s no allegation in this document that any American citizen committed a crime. There’s no allegation that the conspiracy changed the vote count or affected any election result.
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/08/28/cal-thomas-mark-penn-was-right-about-trump-hillary-and-double-standards-trump-should-respond-by-doing-this.html?intcmp=ob_article_sidebar_video&intcmp=obnetwork

President Trump needs to refocus and stop attacking his political enemies, and even his friends, and start worrying about his most pressing problem. As The Wall Street Journal editorialized, “The biggest political threat to Mr. Trump is a Democratic election victory in November, which will trigger a drive for impeachment. Mr. Trump isn’t going to persuade anyone to vote for Republicans by railing against a Republican attorney general he selected.”

He should stop publicly admonishing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who early on recused himself from all things Russian. After the president’s latest criticism of Sessions, Sessions issued a statement defending the law and the integrity of the Department of Justice against the president’s constant criticism.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Russiagate links ??

1--The Michael Flynn case


As national security adviser, Flynn intended to conduct an audit on the intelligence community as a whole. A full audit of the U.S. intelligence community’s activities has not been completed since 1975, following the Nixon administration’s Watergate scandal.

While serving in the Obama administration, Flynn’s earlier attempts at intelligence reform infuriated the upper echelons of the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency. Flynn’s enemies list continued to grow when, as Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) director, he testified in front of the Congress and challenged the Obama White House narrative that al Qaeda had been “decimated.” The Obama administration forced him into early retirement shortly thereafter.

It became quite clear that the incoming national security adviser posed a direct challenge to the fourth branch of government — the unaccountable Washington bureaucrat class, including the intelligence community, which some have come to refer to as the “deep state.”

A man who has spent his entire life dedicated to his country, who has served in some of the world’s most dangerous war zones on behalf of the United States, has been targeted for destruction. Robert Mueller’s team of Democrat prosecutors — using unethical wiretaps, along with the now-contested testimony of wholly corrupt FBI officials — has silenced Gen. Michael Flynn.

2-- DOJ official Bruce Ohr grilled over Trump dossier, Steele ties


Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., came out and told reporters that the FBI knew there were "credibility" issues surrounding the dossier before it was used to secure the first FISA warrant on Page in October 2016. Meadows said Ohr had never acted or handled evidence in this way before. 
Text messages obtained and reviewed by Fox News show that Steele also tried to use Ohr as a go-between with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
“We are frustrated with how long this reengagement with the Bureau and Mueller is taking,” Steele wrote to Ohr. “Anything you could do to accelerate the process would be much appreciated.”...

“We are frustrated with how long this reengagement with the Bureau and Mueller is taking,” Steele wrote to Ohr. “Anything you could do to accelerate the process would be much appreciated.”
Months later, Ohr confirmed to Steele that he had passed along his questions to Mueller’s team. The Republican-led House Intelligence Committee found that Steele effectively used Ohr as a back channel for communications after his termination.....


Ohr has become a key point of contention for Republicans and President Trump, who see the revelations about Ohr as the latest development that calls into question the FBI’s actions that led to the beginning of the Russia probe. The dossier was used by federal officials to justify the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant on Trump aide Carter Page.

“The fundamentals don't change the fact that a top Department of Justice official’s wife is working for the firm the Clintons hired to put together the dossier and the FBI uses that dossier that they’re getting from Bruce Ohr ... to then go get the warrant to spy on the Trump campaign,” Jordan said. “So that’s a big concern, who at the DOJ knew that?"
 
 
Lanny Davis, the high-powered attorney of President Trump’s longtime “fixer”-turned-foe Michael Cohen, admitted Monday he was an anonymous source for a bombshell CNN story on the infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting — after The Washington Post outed him as a source for its own story.
Davis told BuzzFeed News Monday night he regretted being the anonymous source as well as his subsequent denial. The CNN story, which cited multiple “sources,” claimed Cohen said President Trump knew in advance about the Trump Tower sit-down.

4---The scheme from Bruce Ohr and Comey's confederates to clear Clinton, damage Trump


-Bruce Ohr

Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr bypassed his superiors at the Justice Department and worked covertly with Steele to exploit what became known as the “Steele dossier.” Sixty-three pages of texts, emails and handwritten notes show extensive contacts between Ohr and Steele both before and after the election.

Even after Steele was fired by the FBI for lying about his contacts with reporters, Ohr maintained intensive communications with Steele. The former British spy kept feeding his bogus information while simultaneously fretting to Ohr that his actions might be “exposed.” 

It was a direct violation of FBI procedures to use a discredited source who had also broken an agreement with the FBI. To circumvent its rules, the bureau used Ohr as a conduit to continue its relationship with Steele.

It appears that Ohr would communicate with Steele, then endeavor to pass on the information to the FBI. Peter Strzok, the FBI’s lead investigator in the Trump-Russia probe, confirmed in his congressional testimony that “the FBI received documents and material from Mr. Ohr.” 

Ohr knew that Steele was a nefarious and unreliable character. Records show that in September of 2016 Steele told Ohr that he was “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.”

Given such an acute bias and motivation to lie, all contact with Steele should have been terminated and his “dossier” tossed in the garbage. However, both Ohr and the FBI were determined to use Steele and his unverified documents to damage Trump.

It is important to note that Steele was not only receiving money from the Clinton campaign. He was also on the payroll of the FBI from January 1, 2016 to November 1, 2016. Records obtained by Judicial Watch through a lawsuit reveal that he was paid eleven times when he met with the FBI.

Thus, it appears the FBI and Clinton’s campaign were working in concert to use a discredited source, who composed a fictitious document to harm her political opponent in the 2016 election. 

 

Ironically, Clinton and her campaign are not being investigated for violating campaign laws. Her payments to a foreign source constituted a “thing of value” which is illegal under the Federal Election Campaign Act. In egregious cases like this one, it is a crime.

Juxtapose Clinton’s actions to the recent accusations against President Trump for personally funding payments that were perfectly legal under election laws. The disparity of treatment proves that equal justice under the law is a charade when partisan politics prevail.

Documents also show that Steele kept feeding the FBI allegations about Trump – even after Trump became president – all the way through May 15, 2017. Why?  It is reasonable to conclude that the FBI was desperate to verify the unverified “dossier.” The material from Steele served as the basis for launching its Trump-Russia investigation and the foundation of its warrant to wiretap a Trump campaign associate.

Having violated FBI regulations by using unverified information in a warrant application and thereby committing a fraud on the court, the FBI was hoping to cure its wrongdoing belatedly. It’s called covering your tracks.

It is not surprising the FBI was never able to corroborate or substantiate anything contained in the “dossier.” In British court documents, Steele was forced to admit under oath that his claims against Trump were derived from “raw intelligence” based on “limited intelligence” – casting doubt on their veracity.
Steele further acknowledged that his accusations were “unverifiable.” In other words, the “dossier” was so poorly sourced that it was inherently untrustworthy. The contents were based on triple and quadruple hearsay from “anonymous” sources that probably never existed in the first place. It was a clever illusion.
In a veiled reference to the partisan motivations behind his report, Steele cautioned that “its contents must be critically viewed in light of the purpose for and circumstances in which the information was collected.”
This was a subtle way for Steele to confess that his work was not worth the paper on which it was written. In plain language, it was an untruthful political attack intended to vilify an opposing candidate – Donald Trump. Ohr and the FBI plainly knew this. They didn’t care.

 

Nellie Ohr
Bruce Ohr was peddling the false Steele document while benefiting from it financially. His wife, Nellie Ohr, worked on the “dossier” as an employee of Fusion GPS and was getting paid to do so by the Clinton campaign. Money was going into the Ohrs’ bank account at the same time Bruce Ohr was using his position at the Justice Department to advance this false intelligence document.

 Since his wife worked for Fusion GPS and contributed to the “dossier,” the relationship presented a disqualifying conflict of interest for Ohr. He was legally obligated under Justice Department regulations to recuse himself from any investigation in which his wife was involved.

Ohr did not seek a waiver of the conflict of interest. Instead, he omitted this information. Upon joining the Justice Department, he had signed an agreement stating that he would be fired for violating its rules. Inexplicably, he was not terminated, which only reinforces the impression that impropriety and concealment continued at the highest levels of the department.

Not only did Bruce Ohr fail to disclose that Fusion GPS was paying his wife, but it appears he did not fully report the nature of the work performed in financial disclosure reports as required under Justice Department regulations. Willfully filing a false government report constitutes a crime under federal law – specifically 8 U.S.C. (United States Code) 1001.

It is also against the law to use a public official for personal financial gain. This runs afoul of the federal bribery and gratuity statutes (18 U.S.C. 201-b and 18 U.S.C. 201-c) and is a violation of the honest services fraud statute (18 U.S. C. 1346). These are serious felonies. Yet, there appears to be no known investigation of Ohr by the Justice Department, where he is still employed.

 7--Here Are The Questions Bruce Ohr Needs To Answer In His Testimony Before Congress


Who assigned Ohr to the Russia probe? And when? Was Rosenstein truthful when he testified that he did not know Ohr was involved in the Russia investigation? Did Ohr intentionally conceal his involvement from Rosenstein? Why...

recent leaks of communications between Ohr and Steele indicate that Steele had sought to be reestablished as a source for the special counsel’s investigation of collusion with Russia. With whom connected to the special counsel investigation did Ohr communicate concerning Russia, Trump, Steele, Simpson, Fusion, or any of the other actors implicated in Spygate? When? Where? And what did they discuss? Who worked within the FBI or other agencies to reestablish Steele as a source?  And who knew of these efforts?

Bruce Ohr is scheduled to testify Tuesday behind a closed-door session of the House Oversight Committee. Earlier this month, Republican Rep. Devin Nunes outed Ohr as an overlooked, but important, figure in the Obama administration’s targeting of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Recent revelations confirm Nunes’ characterization of Ohr: In his former position as the associate deputy attorney general under then-deputy attorney general Sally Yates, Ohr began feeding the FBI information from Christopher Steele, the former British spy who put together the unverified Trump dossier. Steele continued providing information to the FBI through Ohr, after the FBI had officially cut him off as a source and ordered him to stop gathering “intel.” Steele had leaked the investigation to the press

Ohr’s role as a conduit between Steele and the FBI continued for months and resulted in 12 separate FBI interviews, including several after Trump’s inauguration. According to Ohr’s then-supervisor, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Ohr worked on the Russia probe without his permission and without his knowledge.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy promised Tuesday’s questioning of Ohr would “get to the bottom of what he did, why he did it, who he did it in concert with, whether he had the permission of the supervisors at the Department of Justice.”

before questioning Ohr on those details, Gowdy should first establish the identity of everyone on the outside connected to the investigation of Russia and Trump. We know Ohr spoke with his wife Nellie Ohr, who also worked on the Russia opposition-research project funded by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton, as well as Steele and Steele’s Fusion GPS boss Glenn Simpson.

Who else, if anyone, provided Ohr with information on Russia or Trump? Who else provided Steele, Simpson, Nellie, Fusion, or governmental agencies information on Russia or Trump? Were there other sources? Were they paid? How did these individuals communicate? What telephone or text numbers, email accounts, or other methods of communication were used? What in-person meetings occurred? Where and why?

Does Ohr know whether other governments were also involved in gathering or sharing information on Russia or Trump? Which governments? And who within those governments? How was the information transmitted? Who approved this information-sharing relationship?

The Launch Of Crossfire Hurricane

The FBI has long maintained that it launched Crossfire Hurricane on July 31, 2016, upon learning that former Trump-campaign advisor George Papadopoulos knew the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton in advance of the late-July WikiLeaks publication of the hacked DNC emails. But recently revealed evidence shows that Ohr and his wife met with Steele the day before the official start of the investigation into the Trump campaign.
What did Steele tell Ohr and Nellie at that meeting? What did Ohr tell Steele? Did Ohr suggest any lines of inquiry for the former MI6 agent? Did Ohr share the details of that meeting with anyone else? If so, what did he say? What did they say? Did it have anything to do with the FBI’s decision to initiate Crossfire Hurricane?..

Post-Termination Intel

Following the FBI’s decision to terminate Steele as a source on Nov. 1, 2016, evidence indicates that Steele continued to feed Ohr information, which Ohr relayed to the FBI. Ohr’s notes confirm that the day before his first interview with the FBI, he met with former FBI Agent Peter Strzok, former FBI attorney Lisa Page, and another unnamed agent. Who was that third agent?  What was discussed at that meeting? What prompted the FBI to interview Ohr the next day? Who in the FBI discussed using Ohr as a go-between for Steele?

Was Steele reimbursed for any expenses for gathering intel? Was Nellie compensated for gathering intel that was then shared with Ohr? Did anyone in the DOJ know of, suggest, or approve the use of Ohr as a conduit for Steele’s intel? Did anyone in the DOJ, including Yates, know of, or approve the decision to use Ohr as a middleman?  Did the FBI provide Rosenstein information laundered through Ohr without Rosenstein’s knowledge?...

Had Ohr informed Rosenstein that Steele had been terminated as an FBI source even though Steele continued to feed the FBI information indirectly? What information did Ohr know about the investigation that he did not share with Rosenstein? What information did Ohr know that the other DOJ attorneys involved in the briefing did not know?




Lovinger, .... The Pentagon suspended his top-secret security clearance May 1, 2017, when he exposed through an internal review that Stefan Halper,... had received roughly $1 million in tax-payer funded money to write Defense Department foreign policy reports..
Lovinger also raised concerns about Halper’s role in conducting what appeared to be diplomatic meetings with foreigners on behalf of the U.S. government because his role as contractor forbids him from doing so, according to U.S. federal law....

An investigation by SaraACarter.com reveals that the documents and information Lovinger stumbled on and other documents obtained by this news site, raise troubling questions about Halper, who was believed to have worked with the CIA and part of the matrix of players in the bureau’s ‘CrossFire Hurricane’ investigation into Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Halper, who assisted the FBI in the Russia investigation, appears to also have significant ties to the Russian government, as well as sources connected directly to President Vladimir Putin....

strip Mr. Lovinger of both his security clearance and his detail to the National Security Council, where he had been Senior Director for Strategy as a by-name request of the incoming Trump Administration,” said the attorney.
“Yet, we were puzzled by the unprecedented ferocity of efforts to discredit Mr. Lovinger, including leaks from DoD of false and defamatory information to the press,” he said. “Our assumption was that the other contractor about whom Mr. Lovinger explicitly raised concerns – a close confidante of Hillary Clinton – was the reason for the sustained assault on Mr. Lovinger, and that certainly may have played a role.”

Lovinger raised concerns with top officials at the Pentagon in 2016 and noted that Halper went far beyond his work as a contractor after he discovered that the amount of money the professor was being paid for his research did not make sense. Lovinger stressed his concern that Halper was not just being utilized as a contractor, but that he was also conducting diplomatic work for the Pentagon “in violation of federal law,” according to Bigley.

Bigley suspects it was more than the Clinton-connected contracts adding, “Mr. Lovinger unwittingly shined a spotlight on the deep state’s secret weapon – Stefan Halper – and threatened to expose the truth about the Trump-Russia collusion narrative than being plotted: that it was all a set-up.”

, it was during his time hosting the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar at the University of Cambridge where Halper shifted from a professor and former government consultant to FBI informant on the Trump campaign

n 2016, Halper was an integral part of the FBI’s investigation into short-term Trump campaign volunteer, Carter Page. Halper first made contact with Page at his seminar in July 2016. Page, who was already on the FBI’s radar, was accused of being sympathetic to Russia and sought better relations between the U.S. and Russian officials. Halper stayed in contact with Page until September 2017.
During that time, the FBI sought and obtained a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to spy on Page and used Halper to collect information on him, according to sources.

...
Halper was not only spying on Page for the FBI in 2016, but he had also made contact in September 2016 with another Trump campaign volunteer, George Papadopoulos. He invited Papadopoulos to London that September, luring him with a  $3,000 paycheck to work on a research paper under contract.  By this time the young Trump campaign volunteer had already been in contact London-based professor, Josef Mifsud, who had basically informed him that the Russians had damaging material about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Misfud’s role has also come into question by Congress.
Eventually, Papadopoulos was swept into Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation and pled guilty to one count of lying to the FBI. His wife, Simona Papadopoulos, who’s been a vocal advocate for her husband, told SaraACarter.com that essentially he was forced to plead guilty because of threats from Mueller’s team and lack of financial resources...

After testifying behind closed doors last month to the House Intelligence Committee, Simona told this outlet that she testified to Congress “as far as George is concerned, he met with individuals following the same pattern of behavior….and all of a sudden (Halper) was asking if he was doing anything with Russians…. This is the case with Halper, who is now proven to be a spy, possibly with (Australian Ambassador) Alexander Downer” who her husband met with in London.
Halper and Michael Flynn 
Before Page and Papadopolous, there was the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. Flynn had been invited to Cambridge in February, 2014 for a a dinner hosted by both Dearlove and Halper.

Flynn was pushed out by Obama and then became a thorn in the side of Obama and the Clintons when he joined the Trump campaign,” said a former senior intelligence source with knowledge of what happened. “The investigation into Trump didn’t start with Carter Page or George Papadapolous, but with Flynn. Flynn was already on the CIA and Clinton target list. Those same people sure as hell didn’t want him in the White House and they sure as hell didn’t want Trump to win.” Flynn’s career with Trump ended as quickly as it came. He was forced to resign as Trump’s National Security Advisor 27 days after taking the job.

Halper’s involvement in the bureau’s investigation started much earlier than the FBI’s opening of its Crossfire investigation into the Trump campaign on July 31, 2016. He was already providing information on Page, Papadopolous, and Flynn earlier that year.

9--GOP rep touches off firestorm with claim FBI leaked info, used stories to get FISA warrants


A top FBI special agent admitted to House committees last week that bureau officials were known to leak information to the press and then use the resulting articles to help obtain surveillance warrants. 
Special Agent Jonathan Moffa, who worked with controversial former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, testified last Friday behind closed doors before the House Judiciary Committee and House Oversight Committee. 
A source with knowledge of his testimony confirmed to Fox News that Moffa said FBI personnel would use media reports based on information they leaked to justify applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants.
The source told Fox News that Moffa acknowledged this “had been a practice in the past.”

Republicans have long questioned to what extent leaked information, related to the unverified anti-Trump dossier, was used as a basis for surveillance warrants against former Trump adviser Carter Page in 2016 -- when the bureau was led by James Comey and deputy Andrew McCabe.
The source told Fox News that Moffa did not specifically confirm the practice of using leaked information to bolster warrant applications was employed with regard to the dossier.
But, when pressed by the committees on whether this was common practice at the FBI, Moffa acknowledged the FBI had at least engaged in this activity in other cases.

The FBI did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., told Fox News on Tuesday that the committee had evidence of the FBI’s practice that would be “hard to refute.”
“We know that some people at the Department of Justice and the FBI actually gave information to the media, then the stories were reported. Then they used those reports to justify further investigations,” Meadows said on “America’s Newsroom” Tuesday. “You know, that’s like saying, we’re going to incriminate on one hand, and be the jury on the other. It just doesn’t work that way.”
Meadows had tweeted late Monday night in reference to the Moffa statements, without naming him: "We've learned NEW information suggesting our suspicions are true: FBI/DOJ have previously leaked info to the press, and then used those same press stories as a separate source to justify FISA's."

The Daily Caller first reported on the specifics of Moffa's claims.
The Trump dossier, which contained salacious allegations about the then-presidential candidate, was compiled by ex-British spy Christopher Steele. Steele, who was also working as an FBI source, had been hired by research firm Fusion GPS to compile details for the dossier, which was funded by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee.
The source familiar with Moffa's testimony told Fox News that his statements raise concerns that the bureau indeed used this practice with the dossier, referencing an article written by Yahoo! News’ Michael Isikoff.
The Isikoff article was published on Sept. 23, 2016, focusing on Page’s July 2016 trip to Moscow. According to a House GOP memo earlier this year, the Isikoff article did “not corroborate the Steele dossier” as the article was “derived from information leaked by Steele himself to Yahoo News.” Yet the subsequent FISA application to spy on Page cited the Isikoff article, among other pieces of evidence.
“The [Carter] Page FISA application incorrectly assesses that Steele did not properly provide information to Yahoo News,” the memo read. “Steele has admitted in British court filings that he met with Yahoo News—and several other outlets—in September 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS.”
Moffa served on the FBI’s “Mid-Year Exam,” the code name for the bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information and use of a private email server while secretary of state.
Moffa’s name often appeared in text message conversations between former FBI officials Strzok and Page, who came under scrutiny for their anti-Trump and politically charged exchanges. One text message exchange between the two on July 24, 2016 discussed their need to read “Moffa’s thing,” referencing an FBI “302”—which is an interview or witness deposition in an FBI investigation

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/08/28/fbi-agent-says-bureau-leaked-stories-then-used-them-to-get-fisa-warrants.html

 greenwald
https://theintercept.com/2018/05/19/the-fbi-informant-who-monitored-the-trump-campaign-stefan-halper-oversaw-a-cia-spying-operation-in-the-1980-presidential-election/


Today's Links

Ohr testifies today---


-Ohr’s wife worked for firm hired by Clinton to produce the Dossier -Ohr passed Dossier to FBI -FBI used “salacious and unverified” Dossier to spy on the President’s campaign Who all knew about this at the DOJ?

More and more, Mueller's investigation into Russia "collusion" appears to be designed not to protect the country but to protect his former FBI/DOJ regime and their political espionage crimes. He has to find something, anything, to justify their crimes


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

1--Destructive Stock Buybacks—That You Pay For

 

The monster of economic waste—over $7 trillion of dictated stock buybacks since 2003 by the self-enriching CEOs of large corporations—started with a little noticed change in 1982 by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under President Ronald Reagan. That was when SEC Chairman John Shad, a former Wall Street CEO, redefined unlawful ‘stock manipulation’ to exclude stock buybacks.....

 

The authors also cite General Electric, which in the same period spent $114.6 billion on its own stock only to see its stock price steadily decline in a bull market. In a review of 64 companies, including major retailers such as JC Penny and Macy’s, these firms spent more dollars in stock buybacks “than their businesses are currently worth in market value”!...

 

When I asked Robert Monks, an author and longtime expert on corporate governance, about his reaction to CEOs heavy with stock buybacks, he replied that the management was either unimaginative, incompetent or avaricious – or all of these.

 

2--Real US Wages Are Essentially Back At 1974 Levels, Pew Reports

 

3--Defending the “status quo” 

 

Pentagon Study Declares American Empire Is ‘Collapsing’

Top on the list of forces that have knocked the U.S. off its position of global “pre-eminence”, says the report, are the role of competing powers — major rivals like Russia and China, as well as smaller players like Iran and North Korea.

The document is particularly candid in setting out why the U.S. sees these countries as threats — not so much because of tangible military or security issues, but mainly because their pursuit of their own legitimate national interests is, in itself, seen as undermining American dominance.

Russia and China are described as “revisionist forces” who benefit from the U.S.-dominated international order, but who dare to “seek a new distribution of power and authority commensurate with their emergence as legitimate rivals to U.S. dominance.” Russia and China, the analysts say, “are engaged in a deliberate program to demonstrate the limits of U.S. authority, will, reach, influence, and impact.”
The premise of this conclusion is that the U.S.-backed “status quo” international order is fundamentally “favorable” for the interests of the U.S. and its allies. Any effort to make global order also work “favorably” for anyone else is automatically seen as a threat to U.S. power and interests...

The document also sets out the real reasons that the U.S. is hostile to “revolutionary forces” like Iran and North Korea: they pose fundamental obstacles to U.S. imperial influence in those regions. They are:
“… neither the products of, nor are they satisfied with, the contemporary order… At a minimum, they intend to destroy the reach of the U.S.-led order into what they perceive to be their legitimate sphere of influence. They are also resolved to replace that order locally with a new rule set dictated by them.”
Far from insisting, as the U.S. government does officially, that Iran and North Korea pose as nuclear threats, the document instead insists they are considered problematic for the expansion of the “U.S.-led order.”

(The threat of real news)

The “hyper-connectivity and weaponization of information, disinformation, and dis­affection”, the study team observes, is leading to the uncontrolled spread of information. The upshot is that the Pentagon faces the “inevitable elimination of secrecy and operational security”.
“Wide uncontrolled access to technology that most now take for granted is rapidly undermining prior advantages of discrete, secret, or covert intentions, actions, or operations… In the end, senior defense leaders should assume that all defense-related activity from minor tactical movements to major military operations would occur completely in the open from this point forward.”
This information revolution, in turn, is leading to the “generalized disintegra­tion of traditional authority structures… fueled, and/or accelerated by hyperconnectivity and the obvious decay and potential failure of the post-Cold War status quo....

Bad facts

Among the most dangerous drivers of this risk of civil unrest and mass destabilization, the document asserts, are different categories of fact. Apart from the obvious “fact-free”, defined as information that undermines “objective truth”, the other categories include actual truths that, however, are damaging to America’s global reputation.

“Fact-inconvenient” information consists of the exposure of “details that, by implication, un­dermine legitimate authority and erode the relationships between governments and the governed” — facts, for instance, that reveal how government policy is corrupt, incompetent or undemocratic.

“Fact-perilous” information refers basically to national security leaks from whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden or Chelsea Manning, “exposing highly clas­sified, sensitive, or proprietary information that can be used to accelerate a real loss of tactical, operational, or strategic advantage.”
“Fact-toxic” information pertains to actual truths which, the document complains, are “exposed in the absence of context”, and therefore poison “important political discourse.” Such information is seen as being most potent in triggering outbreaks of civil unrest, because it:

“… fatally weakens foundational security at an international, regional, national, or personal level. Indeedfact-toxicexposures are those likeliest to trigger viral or contagious insecurity across or within borders and between or among peoples.”
In short, the U.S. Army War College study team believe that the spread of ‘facts’ challenging the legitimacy of American empire is a major driver of its decline: not the actual behavior of the empire which such facts point to.

(NB) The document also criticizes U.S. strategies for focusing too much on trying to defend against foreign efforts to penetrate or disrupt U.S. intelligence, at the expense of “the purposeful exploitation of the same architecture for the strategic manipulation of perceptions and its attendant influence on political and security outcomes.”
Pentagon officials need to simply accept, therefore, that:
“… the U.S. homeland, individual American citizens, and U.S. public opinion and perceptions will increasingly become battlefields.”

One would be hard-pressed to find a clearer statement of imperial intent in any U.S. Army document:
“While as a rule, U.S. leaders of both political parties have consistently committed to the maintenance of U.S. military superiority over all potential state rivals, the post-primacy reality demands a wider and more flexible military force that can generate ad­vantage and options across the broadest possible range of military demands. To U.S. political leadership, maintenance of military advantage preserves maximum freedom of action… Finally, it allows U.S. decision-makers the opportunity to dictate or hold significant sway over outcomes in international disputes in the shadow of significant U.S. military capability and the implied promise of unac­ceptable consequences in the event that capability is unleashed.”
Once again, military power is essentially depicted as a tool for the U.S. to force, threaten and cajole other countries into submission to U.S. demands.
The very concept of ‘defence’ is thus re-framed as the capacity to use overwhelming military might to get one’s way — anything which undermines this capacity ends up automatically appearing as a threat that deserves to be attacked....

This also means that the U.S. must retain the ability to physically access any region it wants, whenever it wants:
“Failure of or limitations on the ability of the United States to enter and operate within key regions of the world, for example, undermine both U.S. and partner security.”
The U.S. thus must try to minimize any “purposeful, malevolent, or incidental interruption of access to the commons, as well as critical regions, resources, and markets.”
Without ever referring directly to ‘capitalism’, the document eliminates any ambiguity about how the Pentagon sees this new era of “Persistent Conflict 2.0”:...

This is a war, then, between US-led capitalist globalization, and anyone who resists it.
And to win it, the document puts forward a combination of strategies: consolidating the U.S. intelligence complex and using it more ruthlessly; intensifying mass surveillance and propaganda to manipulate popular opinion; expanding U.S. military clout to ensure access to “strategic regions, markets, and resources”.

4--The Real John McCain, paul craig roberts 


5--A test of US-Europe ties: Russia, Iran and Turkey


Now the current facts:

- It is the U.S. administration, who alienates itself both from Europe and Russia by declaring political and economic sanctions without acknowledging that the disintegration of the Soviet Union has not ended up with a unipolar world instead of a bipolar one, but a multi-polar one with the rise of the EU and China as global powers in addition to Russia.

- It is the U.S. administration, who is threatening its NATO allies along with Russia’s aggression (which provides necessary material by annexing Crimea). U.S. relations with Turkey have dived to their worst level due to a number of reasons, including cooperating with the country’s archenemy in the neighboring country Syria, pushing Turkey to cooperate with Russia and Iran on Syria.

- It is the U.S. administration, who is starting a trade war against Europe to make them kneel down before the monopolization of the American industry and finance, without acknowledging that China is buying out the rest of the world as a result.

- It is also the U.S. administration, who has declared more sanctions against Iran risking a nuclear deal approved by the former administration due to the demands of the Israeli government, curbing the economic potential between Iran and Europe, together with the possibility of reformists gaining support in Iran; the oil rich country that used to be a strong ally until the Islamic Revolution, which was also agitated by a U.S.-backed corrupt Shah....

- In a deep (and mutual) confidence crisis, Turkey is cooperating more and more with Russia and Iran over its security concerns, which means taking risks as a NATO country. This causes security concerns in Europe, since Turkey holds a crucial geographical position between Europe, the Black Sea, the Middle East, the eastern Mediterranean and the Caucasus.

6--Brennan, Giraldi


He apparently played a part in the notoriously salacious Steele dossier, which was surfaced in January just before the inauguration. The dossier included unverifiable information and was maliciously promoted by Brennan and others in the intelligence and law enforcement community. And even after Trump assumed office, Brennan continued to prove to be unrelenting.
 
In May 2017, Brennan testified before Congress that during the 2016 campaign he had “…encountered and [was] aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals. It raised questions in my mind whether or not Russia was able to gain the co-operation of those individuals.” Politico was also in on the chase and picked up on Brennan’s bombshell in an article entitled Brennan: Russia may have successfully recruited Trump campaign aides.

What Brennan did not describe, because it was “classified,” was how he developed the information regarding the Trump campaign in the first place. We know from Politico and other sources that it derived from foreign intelligence services, including the British, Dutch and Estonians, and there has to be a strong suspicion that the forwarding of at least some of that information might have been sought or possibly inspired by Brennan unofficially in the first place. But whatever the provenance of the intelligence, it is clear that Brennan then used that information to request an FBI investigation into a possible Russian operation directed against potential key advisers if Trump were to somehow get nominated and elected, which admittedly was a longshot at the time. That is how Russiagate began....

Richard Burr, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has observed that
“Director Brennan’s recent statements purport to know as fact that the Trump campaign colluded with a foreign power. If Director Brennan’s statement is based on intelligence he received while still leading the CIA, why didn’t he include it in the Intelligence Community Assessment released in 2017? If his statement is based on intelligence he has seen since leaving office, it constitutes an intelligence breach. If he has some other personal knowledge of or evidence of collusion, it should be disclosed to the Special Counsel, not The New York Times.”

7-- Lanny Davis Says He Was A Source For CNN’s Trump Tower Story


Attorney Lanny Davis says he was an anonymous source in a July CNN story that reported his client, Michael Cohen, had privately claimed that President Trump had advance knowledge of the infamous Trump Tower meeting between his son and Russians — contradicting Davis's own words on CNN's air last week.

In the story, Cohen was reported to have claimed he had personally witnessed Donald Trump Jr. informing then-candidate Trump about the June 2016 meeting. Such a claim from Cohen would directly contradict Trump’s statements about his knowledge of the meeting, where Russians were set to offer dirt on Hillary Clinton.

CNN’s July 26 story has come under fresh scrutiny in recent days after Davis acknowledged he had served as an anonymous source for multiple news outlets who were seeking to confirm the CNN article in the hours after it published. Davis has backed away from the story in recent days, telling the Washington Post that he is not certain if the claim is accurate, and that he could not independently corroborate it.

8--Whistleblower Exposes Key Player in FBI Russia Probe: “It was all a Set-up

 

9--Is Washington on the brink of a major attack on Syria?