Liberals tweeting the most hawkish garbage on North Korea because they hate Trump is peak 2019. Maddow has even made John Bolton a hero for his critique of Trump's policies. Listening to people who would happily eliminate the DPRK and its 25 million people is stupid & dangerous. Tim Shorrock
Many of the critical tools employed in the coup to paint Donald Trump as a tool of the Russians and to manufacture a pretext for removing him from office, were created more than twenty years ago. I am talking about the surveillance state that the American electorate has ignorantly accepted as necessary in order to keep us safe from terrorists...
The spying got worse. Just ask Donald Trump and the members of his campaign that were targeted first by the CIA and NSA and then by the FBI. Fundamental civil rights were trampled.
The real irony in all of this is that Barack Obama, as President, took credit for helping revise the laws in order to prevent the spying exposed by Edward Snowden. But under the Obama Administration, spying on political opponents--both real and perceived--escalated. We know for a fact that journalists, such as James Rosen and Sheryl Atkinson, were targets and their communications and computers attacked by the U.S. Government.
We know, thanks to a memo released by Judge Rosemary Collyer, that "FBI consultants" were making illegal searches of NSA material using the names of Donald Trump, his family and members of his campaign staff....
What has happened to Donald Trump can happen to any of us. It is time to take this threat seriously and put the intel agencies back into a properly monitored corral. Otherwise, we will lose this Republic
This was in 2002-2003 time frame. The NSA were targeting individuals. In that case, they were judges like the Supreme Court. I held in my hand Judge Alito's targeting information for his phones and his staff and his family.
Bill Binney, what was your sense of who was being targeted and why they were being targeted? And what was being collected, in other words?
WILLIAM BINNEY, former National Security Agency technical leader: Well, I wasn't aware of specific targeting like Russ was. I just saw the inputs were including hundreds of millions of records of phone calls of U.S. citizens every day. So it was virtually — there wasn't anybody who wasn't a part of this collection of information.
So, virtually, you could target anybody in this country you wanted....
Well, two months ago, I contacted some colleagues at NSA. We had a little meeting, and the question came up, was NSA collecting everything now? Because we kind of figured that was the goal all along. And the answer came back. It was, yes, they are collecting everything, contents word for word, everything of every domestic communication in this country.
Both of you know what the government says is that we're collecting this — we're collecting the number of phone calls that are made, the e-mails, but we're not listening to them.
Well, I don't believe that for a minute. OK?
I mean, that's why they had to build Bluffdale, that facility in Utah with that massive amount of storage that could store all these recordings and all the data being passed along the fiberoptic networks of the world. I mean, you could store 100 years of the world's communications here. That's for content storage. That's not for metadata.
Metadata if you were doing it and putting it into the systems we built, you could do it in a 12-by-20-foot room for the world. That's all the space you need. You don't need 100,000 square feet of space that they have at Bluffdale to do that. You need that kind of storage for content.
Vladimir Putin has accused US agents of directly aiding rebel fighters in the second Chechen war.The Russian President made the comments in a film on state-run television marking his 15 years in power.
The documentary gives considerable time to the conflict in the North Caucasus, a battle for independence that mutated into an Islamist insurgency.
Mr Putin accuses the West of trying to tear Russia apart by supporting terrorists.
"Our security services recorded direct contact between North Caucasus fighters and representatives of US intelligence in Azerbaijan," Mr Putin discloses in the lengthy film.
The first, devastating war with Chechen separatists ended with Russian troops forced to withdraw in 1996.
Three years later, Mr Putin launched a second campaign vowing to "wipe out the terrorists".
The war was punctuated by attacks within Russia by Chechens, including the Beslan school siege in 2004 that left more than 300 people dead.
The revelation fits President Putin's often-repeated narrative of a Russia that sought strong ties with the West as equals after the end of the Cold War, only to be constantly deceived and rebuffed.
"Even I thought that with the end of the ideological barrier in the form of the Communist Party's monopoly on power, things would change radically," Mr Putin says.
"But it turns out […] there are geopolitical interests not linked to any ideology at all."
But this view of the Russian media is precisely the opposite of the impression I gained while watching both CNN and Russian TV over the past week: the Russian channels had far better information and images from Beslan than their western competitors. This harshness towards Putin is perhaps explained by the fact that, in the US, the leading group which pleads the Chechen cause is the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya (ACPC). The list of the self-styled "distinguished Americans" who are its members is a rollcall of the most prominent neoconservatives who so enthusastically support the "war on terror".
They include Richard Perle, the notorious Pentagon adviser; Elliott Abrams of Iran-Contra fame; Kenneth Adelman, the former US ambassador to the UN who egged on the invasion of Iraq by predicting it would be "a cakewalk"; Midge Decter, biographer of Donald Rumsfeld and a director of the rightwing Heritage Foundation; Frank Gaffney of the militarist Centre for Security Policy; Bruce Jackson, former US military intelligence officer and one-time vice-president of Lockheed Martin, now president of the US Committee on Nato; Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute, a former admirer of Italian fascism and now a leading proponent of regime change in Iran; and R James Woolsey, the former CIA director who is one of the leading cheerleaders behind George Bush's plans to re-model the Muslim world along pro-US lines.
...Coming from both political parties, the ACPC members represent the backbone of the US foreign policy establishment, and their views are indeed those of the US administration....
Allegations are even being made in Russia that the west itself is somehow behind the Chechen rebellion, and that the purpose of such support is to weaken Russia, and to drive her out of the Caucasus.
"we support all the political forces, including the opposition forces, and we're going to continue to do that."
Putin said the Kremlin hoped for U.S. support in quelling a separatist movement in the Russian republic, but had observed "instead, U.S. special services supporting the terrorists."...
"If we are talking about political support, this does not need proving," Putin said, referring to the negative reaction internationally to Russia's use of force in the tiny region. "This was done publicly, openly. And as far as operational and financial support is concerned—we have such evidence and above all some of it we have already submitted to our American colleagues."..
"In my view, the important thing is that upon us fell the absolutely lasting opinion that our American partners speak about supporting Russia in words, they speak about their preparedness to cooperate, including in fighting terrorism, but in deeds they use these terrorists to unsettle the internal political situation in Russia," Putin told Stone.
First, Turkey signed a security and military cooperation agreement and a memorandum of understanding regarding the delimitation of maritime jurisdictions in the Eastern Mediterranean. Those documents prevented Greece and the Greek Cypriots to limit Turkey's maritime jurisdiction to the Gulf of Antalya. Alarmed by Ankara's move, Athens has been trying to work more closely with Cairo and Paris. Their foreign ministers will meet in Egypt on Jan. 4, but there can be no "regional cooperation" without Turkey.
At the same time, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's administration prepares to deploy military personnel to Libya on the invitation of the Government of National Accord (GNA). ...
To be clear, the United Nations, the United States and the European Union recognize the Government of National Accord as Libya's legitimate administration – at least on paper. To compel Haftar to negotiate terms, the international community needs to provide military support to the GNA. According to sources, the deployment of Turkish troops could tilt the balance in the GNA's favor.
In that case, there are obvious questions that need answering: Will Russia, which operates on the ground through "private' military contractors, up the ante? Will the Russians cooperate with Egypt and Greece, risking a confrontation with Turkey? If Russia doubles down, will the United States, which is largely irrelevant in the Libyan theater now, become more actively involved? Can the U.S. and the EU stomach Turkey and Russia rewriting the Libya file?
An upcoming meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Egypt's Abdel Fattah el-Sissi signals that Washington won't stand idly by as Moscow assumes a more active role in Libya. Meanwhile, Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, are scheduled to meet in Istanbul on Jan. 8. Their discussion will be critically important, as the two leaders could facilitate a political solution in Libya together...
It is possible, however, that Putin will position himself as an "honest broker" between the two warring parties and their supporters. The successful leader-to-leader diplomacy, which Erdoğan and Putin have been exercising for years now, could contribute to peaceful resolution.
Western and Arab media outlets are already trying to spin Turkey's moves as "neo-Ottomanist" and "Islamist" expansion
Yesterday, U.S. F-15s, in five attacks, hit munitions depots and a command center of the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia in Syria and Iraq, a retaliatory raid for a rocket attack on a U.S. training camp that killed an American contractor and wounded four U.S. soldiers.“For those who ask about the response,” warns a Kataib Hezbollah spokesman, “it will be the size of our faith.” One has to expect Iran and its militia in Iraq to respond in kind.They have a track record. During 2019, with its economy choked by U.S. sanctions, Iran and its allies sabotaged oil tankers in the Gulf, shot down a $130 million U.S. Predator drone, and shut down with missiles and drones half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production.In former times, a confrontation or shooting war often benefitted the incumbent, as there was almost always a rallying to the flag. Those days are gone. This generation has had its fill of wars.
The ferocity with which the entire US national security apparatus responded to the delay raises the question: Is there a timetable for using these weapons in combat to fight a war against Russia?
A New York Times front-page exposé published Monday, coming in at 80,000 words and bearing six bylines, makes it clear that Trump’s decision to withhold military aid—over a month before his phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky—triggered the conflict that led to the president’s impeachment.
As the Times reports, “Mr. Trump’s order to hold $391 million worth of sniper rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, night vision goggles, medical aid and other equipment the Ukrainian military needed to fight a grinding war against Russian-backed separatists would help pave a path to the president’s impeachment.”
The newspaper states that Trump decided to hold up the distribution of military aid to Ukraine on June 19 after he read a news article saying that the “Pentagon would pay for weapons and other military equipment for Ukraine, bringing American security aid to the country to $1.5 billion since 2014.