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Bipartisan War

A new study urges more U.S. interventions

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • December 13, 2016

The Establishment and Realist foreign policy communities in the United States often seem separated by language which leads them to talk past each other. When a realist or Libertarian talks about non-intervention or restraint in foreign policy, as Ron Paul did in 2008 and 2012, the Establishment response is to denounce isolationism. As Dr. Paul noted during his campaigns, non-interventionism and isolationism have nothing to do with each other as a country that does not meddle in the affairs of others can nevertheless be accessible and open in dealing with other nations in many other ways. Non-interventionists are fond of quoting George Washington’s Farewell Address, in which he recommended that “The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible… Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest.” Establishment pundits tend to dismiss that “little political connection” bit, preferring instead to warn how detachment from foreign politics might lead to the rise of a new Adolph Hitler.

I was reminded of the language barrier while reading the Atlantic Council’s Middle East Strategy Task Force report, which appeared on November 30th. The report, which promises a new “Compact for the Middle East” while also asserting that “isolationism is a dangerous delusion,” might be regarded as a quintessential document laying out the Establishment position on what should be done in the region. It is ostensibly the product of two co-chairs, Madeleine Albright and Stephen Hadley, but it is also credited to an Executive Team headed by Executive Director Stephen Grand and Deputy Executive Director Jessica Ashooh, who in all probability were responsible for the actual drafting and editing.

The report also appears to have numerous high profile advisers who might or might not have had some hand in the final product. Running through the list of associates in the project which appears at the end of the report, one notes immediately that there is no individual or group identified that would contest the notion that the U.S. must have a leadership role in the Middle East. Indeed, many of those named derive considerable status from being part or supportive of America’s engagement in the region.

I would unambiguously describe Albright and Hadley as interventionists, a label that they might object to. Albright was Bill Clinton’s aggressive Secretary of State who is famous for her endorsement of American exceptionalism, stating that “We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future…” She also is notorious for her approval of sanctions on Iraq that might have killed 500,000 children as “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it” and she also once asked Colin Powell “What’s the point of having this superb military that you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?”

Stephen Hadley was the hawkish National Security Advisor under George W. Bush. He was one of the most outspoken advocates of military action against Iraq. During the essentially phony Syrian chemical weapons crisis in September 2013, he appeared on the media advocating attacking Syria with missiles. At the time, he was on the board at Raytheon and owned 11,477 shares of stock, which some considered to be a conflict of interest.

Albright and Hadley clearly were selected as co-Chairs to make the report bipartisan, an imperative for the Atlantic Council, which prides itself on being non-political, describing itself in its website as “a nonpartisan organization that promotes constructive U.S. leadership and engagement in international affairs based on the central role of the Atlantic community.” That self-definition suggests active engagement by the United States that goes well beyond George Washington’s advice. And if you look at the list of the Council’s executives and review their writings you will be able to confirm that they are pretty much inside the Beltway status quo in terms of supporting an assertive U.S. role in world affairs.

Albright and Hadley brought with them a certain point of view which was certainly recognized by the initiators of the project and one might assume that the Atlantic Council pretty much knew what the report would endorse even before it was written. The report, which runs to 105 pages, explores what it describes as a new strategic vision for the Middle East that will “change the political trajectory of the region.” It goes something like this: the states in the region must work together to create a “positive vision for their societies” to include “unlock[ing] the region’s rich, but largely untapped, human capital – especially the underutilized talents of youth and women.” Meanwhile, outside forces like the United States would have the responsibility of taking the lead to wind down the “violent conflicts” that have rocked the region. That means that the local governments will be responsible for haggling their way to some kind of acceptable modus vivendi while the U.S. must become more deeply involved militarily and using intelligence resources to stabilize Syria, Yemen and Libya.

In the case of Syria, which is the focus of the report, the argument is made that Bashar al-Assad’s reactionary regime is the root cause of the violence that has cost more than 200,000 lives and dislocated at least a third of the country’s population. This assessment is not necessarily universally accepted since 80% of the Syrian population lives in areas controlled by the government, which is about to increase its dominance by taking all of Aleppo, and there are no reports of civilians fleeing en masse to the greater freedom afforded by the rebel held areas, rather the reverse being true.

The report recommends using the U.S. military to establish safe areas in Syria to protect civilian populations, to include no-fly zones, which would bring about direct contact with the air forces of both Damascus and Moscow. It explicitly calls for direct military action against Syrian government forces including the employment of “air power, stand-off weapons, covert measures and enhanced support for opposition forces to break the current siege of Aleppo and frustrate Assad’s attempts to consolidate control over western Syria’s population centers.”

This judgment has been overtaken by events, but the co-authors do not really discuss what such an intervention would mean as it would involve the United States in an actual war based on executive fiat without any declaration from Congress. It also ignores reality on the ground, to include some politico-military reliance on the mythical moderate rebels while choosing not to recognize that the U.S. military is the intruder in Syria which, like it or not, has a legitimate government and a legal ally in Russia. The possibility of a second war with Russia is largely ignored in the report though there is an assumption that military pressure from the U.S. would push Damascus and Moscow towards a “political settlement” of the conflict after Russia becomes convinced through the assertion of American military power that “defeat, or stalemate, not victory, are the only realistic military outcomes.”

The report was initially intended to serve as a bipartisan rebuke to the current Barack Obama policy which limits direct American involvement in the conflict. Written before the presidential election, the co-authors could not have anticipated a Donald Trump victory, but they might be hoping that the report would serve as a guideline for the new administration. Hopefully they will be wrong in that expectation, but it is difficult at this point to see where the next White House will be going with its Middle Eastern policy.

There are a number of things wrong with the report from my perspective. Most significant, it assigns to the United States the responsibility to set and enforce standards of governance in parts of the world where the American people have little in the way of actual interests. The report refers to this oversight role as part of “enabling American global military operations,” an odd objective and also a point at which the language and perceptual problems come in – I am hearing intervention, which has been a failed policy since 2001, where Albright and Hadley construe a humanitarian mission based on American interests. They also have difficulty in conceptualizing that what they describe as the “debilitating cycle of conflict” in the Middle East might actually have been caused in large part by Washington’s involvement in that region, starting with the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Second, the authors assume that the countries in the region, all of which have disparate interests, will act in good faith to support the “unlocking of the region’s human potential,” as the report enthuses, as part of its “positive vision.” It sounds good and probably is pleasing to globalists, but I would be skeptical of any kumbaya moments that require bringing together players like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey into one harmonic movement to better everyone in the region. Such pie in the sky is not even close to credible.

Third, when the report was issued Stephen Hadley told Reuters that “It may not work. But one of the things we know is that what’s going on now isn’t working.” No, it isn’t, but that might be based on a faulty assessment of the nature of the conflict. And this is thin gruel indeed to use as justification for going to war against Syria and possibly Russia.

One of the report’s obvious weaknesses derives from its Establishment-centric worldview. It calls for building stronger political institutions among the Palestinians in order to achieve a two-state solution without any serious examination of what the Israeli occupation is doing or not doing to impede any real movement in that direction. It treats Iran as an enemy of the “positive vision” that is “interfering” with its neighbors with the U.S. willing to “deter and contain Iran’s hegemonic activity,” making any real progress towards regional rapprochement unlikely. It sees a liberal democratic solution to all ills and judges multifaceted regional conflicts in purely “us against them” terms, favoring its “friends and allies” against the numerous other forces that are not on the same page.

The Atlantic Council’s Middle East Strategy Task Force Final Report argues that a transformation of the entire region, starting with establishment of security by replacing al-Assad and defeating ISIS, is both desirable and attainable. And it is an enterprise that has to be left to local players for the necessary social and political constructs with the U.S. providing leadership and direction, particularly when it comes to repressing “violent conflicts.” It is a utopian vision of what might be but one has to be concerned that the simplistic application of military force as a remedy for the regional cycle of violence ignores the probability that the reliance on such a solution in the first place has been a key element in the evolution of the current instability. That Syria will be fixed by coming in with force majeure on the side of what is being promoted as a progressive and humanitarian alternative to Bashar al-Assad borders on the ridiculous, but it is characteristic of the default position that many in Washington adopt when considering how to solve the problems in the Middle East.

December 13, 2016 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli forces shoot Palestinian activist with rubber-coated steel bullet for taking photos

Ma’an – December 13, 2016

rubber-coated-steel-bullet-wm-600x529JERUSALEM – Israeli forces on Monday evening shot a Palestinian activist in the leg with a rubber-coated steel bullet during a raid in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Issawiya while he was attempting to take photos and video footage in the neighborhood, according to a local committee.

Members of a local follow-up committee in al-Issawiya told Ma’an that committee member Muhammad Abu al-Hummus was “documenting Israeli violations and provocations” when an Israeli soldier “threatened to shoot him in the head if he didn’t leave.”

Shortly after the threat was made against him, another soldier then shot a rubber-coated steel bullet at Abu al-Hummus from an approximate distance of 25 meters, hitting him in the leg.

Prior to the shooting, Israeli forces and police officers had stormed the town and deployed in its alleys “in a provocative manner,” started stopping drivers, and arbitrarily issued a number of traffic fines to locals, according to the committee.

After being informed of the forces’ arrival into the town, Abu al-Hummus began taking photos and writing notes about their activities.

An Israeli police spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

Israeli police and soldiers have come under heavy criticism over the past year for what rights groups have referred to as excessive use of force against Palestinians, including journalists and activists, who did not pose an immediate threat at the time they were injured.

December 13, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

Will Trump Defy McCain & Marco?

By Pat Buchanan • Unz Review • December 13, 2016

When word leaked that Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, a holder of the Order of Friendship award in Putin’s Russia, was Donald Trump’s choice for secretary of state, John McCain had this thoughtful response:

“Vladimir Putin is a thug, a bully, and a murderer and anybody else who describes him as anything else is lying.”

Yet, Putin is something else, the leader of the largest nation on earth, a great power with enough nuclear weapons to wipe the United States off the face of the earth. And we have to deal with him.

McCain was echoed by the senior Democrat on foreign relations, Bob Menendez, who said naming Tillerson secretary of state would be “alarming and absurd … guaranteeing Russia has a willing accomplice in the (Trump) Cabinet guiding our nation’s foreign policy.”

Sen Marco Rubio chimed in: “Being a ‘friend of Vladimir’ is not an attribute I am hoping for from a Secretary of State.”

If just three GOP senators vote no on Tillerson, and Democrats vote as a bloc against him, his nomination would go down. President Trump would sustain a major and humiliating defeat.

Who is Tillerson? A corporate titan, he has traveled the world, represented Exxon in 60 countries, is on a first-name basis with countless leaders, and is endorsed by Condi Rice and Robert Gates.

Dr. Samuel Johnson’s observation — “A man is seldom more innocently occupied than when he is engaged in making money” — may be a bit of a stretch when it comes to OPEC and the global oil market.

Yet there is truth to it. Most businessmen are interested in doing deals, making money, and, if the terms are not met, walking away, not starting a war.

And here is the heart of the objection to Tillerson. He wants to end sanctions and partner with Putin’s Russia, as does Trump. But among many in the mainstream media, think tanks, websites, and on the Hill, this is craven appeasement. For such as these, the Cold War is never over.

The attacks on Tillerson coincide with new attacks on Russia, based on CIA sources, alleging that not only did Moscow hack into the Democratic Party and Clinton campaign, and leak what it found to hurt Hillary Clinton, but Russia was trying to help elect Trump, and succeeded.

Why would Moscow do this?

Monday’s editorial in The New York Times explains: “In Mr. Trump, the Russians had reason to see a malleable political novice, one who had surrounded himself with Kremlin lackeys.”

Backed by Democratic leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, McCain has announced an investigation. The goal, said the Times, is to determine “whether anyone within Trump’s inner circle coordinated with the Kremlin and whether Moscow spread fake news to hurt Mrs. Clinton.”

What is going on here? More than meets the eye.

The people who most indignantly condemned Trump’s questioning of Obama’s birth certificate as a scurrilous scheme to delegitimize his presidency, now seek to delegitimize Trump’s presidency.

The Times editorial spoke of a “darkening cloud” already over the Trump presidency, and warned that a failure to investigate and discover the full truth of Russia’s hacking could only “feed suspicion among millions of Americans that … (t)he election was indeed rigged.”

Behind the effort to smear Tillerson and delegitimize Trump lies a larger motive. Trump has antagonists in both parties who alarmed at his triumph because it imperils the foreign policy agenda that is their raison d’etre, their reason for being.

These people do not want to lift sanctions on Moscow. They do not want an end to the confrontation with Russia. As is seen by their bringing in tiny Montenegro, they want to enlarge NATO to encompass Sweden, Finland, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.

They have in mind the permanent U.S. encirclement of Russia.

They want to provide offensive weapons to Kiev to reignite the civil war in the Donbass and enable Ukraine to move on Crimea. This would mean a war with Russia that Ukraine would lose and we and our NATO allies would be called upon to intervene in and fight.

Their goal is to bring down Putin and bring about “regime change” in Moscow.

In the campaign, Trump said he wanted to get along with Russia, to support all the forces inside Syria and Iraq fighting to wipe out ISIS and al-Qaida, and to stay out of any new Middle East wars — like the disaster in Iraq — that have cost us “six trillion dollars.”

This is what America voted for when it voted for Trump — to put America First and “make America great again.” But War Party agitators are already beating the drums for confrontation with Iran.

Early in his presidency, if not before, Trump is going to have to impose his foreign policy upon his own party and, indeed, upon his own government. Or his presidency will be broken, as was Lyndon Johnson’s.

A good place to begin is by accepting the McCain-Marco challenge and nominating Rex Tillerson for secretary of state. Let’s get it on.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.”

Copyright 2016

December 13, 2016 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , , , | 1 Comment

Trump’s Showdown With the CIA

By Finian Cunningham | Sputnik | December 13, 2016

It doesn’t come more scathing than this. On nationwide television, US President-elect Donald Trump rubbished the Central Intelligence Agency as “ridiculous” for making claims that Russian hackers helped get him elected.

The CIA – America’s foremost intelligence apparatus set up after the Second World War by then President Harry Truman – is supposed to be the guiding light for occupants of the White House on all matters geopolitical.

And here we have aspiring White House occupant Donald Trump telling the CIA to shut up.

Over the last week, the spy agency was quoted by both the Washington Post and New York Times as having informed anonymous government officials that there was “high confidence” that Russian-sponsored hackers had interfered in the US presidential election in favor of Trump over his Democrat rival Hillary Clinton.

The alleged modus operandi to sway the election was the leaking of private emails to whistleblower site Wikileaks which implicated Clinton in big business corruption and fomenting foreign wars, among other scandals.

It’s a sensational claim, especially given that the CIA or its unnamed official conduits quoted by the US’ two most prominent newspapers have provided zero evidence to support their contention of Russian malfeasance. Russia has flatly denied the accusations. As has Wikileaks.

In effect, the explosive insinuation is that Trump’s election last month is invalid because voting was marred by foreign manipulation.

In his subsequent slap-down of the CIA, Trump was clearly implying that the supposedly prestigious spy agency was far from competent. He said that the hacking of the Democrat party’s emails could have been carried out by anybody, including “someone sitting in their bed somewhere”.

He also expressed skepticism on the specific claim that Russia was to blame. His campaign team went even further in its dismissal of the CIA, saying: “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.” Adding insult to injury, Trump also disclosed that he is reducing the daily briefings customarily received by presidents to weekly meetings. “I don’t need to hear the same words every day,” he said, adding that “when something changes” then the CIA can call him.

The Trump Wave (Exclusive Interview) Dec 11 2016

In a previous edition of this column it was speculated that the CIA and its secretive Deep State networks might pull off a “digital 9/11” on the day of the November 8 election to scupper a Trump victory. During the long run-up to the ballot, it was abundantly evident that the US political establishment, including the CIA and mass media, favored Clinton to win. Her belligerent foreign policy towards Russia was certainly something that former CIA officials were endorsing.

As it turned out, Trump’s election blindsided the US establishment. The latter were sure Clinton was a shoo-in. The bolt from nowhere may be why the powers-that-be appeared slow to react on Trump’s election.

The latest dredging up of allegations about Russian hackers getting Trump into the White House seems to be part of a retrospective action by the Deep State to call the presidential election in the way that it sees fit.

It is worth noting that from a constitutional viewpoint Trump’s inauguration as 45th president is not finalized. Legal challenges are underway aimed at forcing the decisive Electoral College to overturn earlier votes for Trump.

If enough brouhaha is whipped up over alleged Russian interference in the US election – and large sections of the US corporate media seem all too willing to do that – then a critical number of Electoral College votes might be revoked in Clinton’s favor.

Trump appears to be aware of this stealth agenda. As well as lambasting the CIA’s “Russian hacker” claims as rubbish, he also said that it was a brazen partisan effort by his Democrat rival and her powerful backers to overturn an election result that they did not accept. In short, Trump is inferring an electoral coup attempt.

But even if the CIA and its spooks fail to thwart Trump in taking the White House, an alternative, less controversial option is to smear the next president as a Russian stooge. That charge has already been made during the election campaign when Trump was denigrated by Clinton and media pundits for being a “puppet” of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Following Trump’s election victory, those charges notably disappeared from public discourse.

However, the recent resurfacing of CIA claims that Russia interfered in the election serves to recall earlier smears. That in turn seems designed to curtail Trump’s stated foreign policy objective of normalizing US-Russia relations. In particular, Trump has said he wants to work with Russia on resolving the Syrian and Ukrainian conflicts.

In recent days, Trump has flagged the possibility of appointing ExxonMobil boss Rex Tillerson as the next Secretary of State. The oil tycoon has extensive industry links with Russia as well as reportedly cordial personal relations with president Putin. He has publicly opposed the erstwhile US sanctions policy on Russia as counterproductive. Trump’s consideration of Rex Tillerson for the top diplomat position has provoked disapproving media headlines that such a choice is “proof” of Russia’s hand in steering the US election.

In the wake of sensational CIA claims that Russia interfered to get Trump elected, one can see how his presidency will be dogged by ongoing aspersions that his policies are somehow hostage to the Kremlin’s orchestration.

One way or another, however, whether the Deep State can succeed in thwarting Trump taking the White House or rather confines itself to warping his foreign policy towards Russia, the reality is that Trump seems to be on a collision course with his top spooks.

Trump’s brusque attitude toward the CIA over its claims of Russian subversion suggest that he is prepared for a bruising encounter. So much so that the Washington Post is reporting that personnel within the agency are anxious that Trump in office will exact retribution with mass sackings at the agency’s Langley headquarters.

There was a time when no US president would dare take on the CIA, such was the agency’s fearsome reputation for dirty tricks and political assassinations. Only one president pushed that envelope. John F Kennedy threatened to smash the CIA into a “thousand pieces and throw it to the wind” following the Bay of Pigs fiasco in 1961. Two years later, the CIA and its mafia contractors had JFK murdered in broad daylight in Dallas, Texas.

If Trump follows through on his showdown with the CIA, he will have to tread carefully. But, as with other tentacles of the US empire, the CIA is no longer the same all-powerful agency it once was.

The American public have become more attuned to how the Deep State operates through its fake news media conduits in order to propagandize and manage perception. That is partly why the US media is currently floundering from a credibility crisis.

Significantly too, the US domestic crime agency, the FBI, has pointedly declined to support the CIA’s reported contentions about Russian interference in the US election. Moreover, quite a few senior US lawmakers in Congress have expressed skepticism over the CIA claims.

The time for muzzling the CIA may be at hand.

December 13, 2016 Posted by | Video | , , | 2 Comments

Bakersfield police kill elderly man with dementia

RT | December 13, 2016

A retired cotton gin operator out for a walk was shot and killed by a Bakersfield, California police officer. Police were responding to a call about a man with a gun, but found no weapon anywhere near the scene.

Francisco Serna, 73, was shot and killed in the early hours of Monday after Bakersfield police responded to a 911 call about a man “outside with a gun, armed with a revolver,” local media reported.

After a witness pointed to Serna, one officer fired several rounds and killed him, Bakersfield PD spokesman Sergeant Gary Carruesco told KBAK.

Serna was declared dead at the scene, around 1:15am local time (09:15 GMT) on Monday, according to the Kern County coroner.

According to his family, Serna suffered from early stages of dementia and his medication made him paranoid. He often took a walk when he had trouble sleeping, the family said. Serna was in the neighbor’s driveway when police shot and killed him.

Eight shots were fired, the family told KERO.

“My dad did not own a gun. He was a 73-year-old retired grandpa, just living life,” Rogelio Serna told the Los Angeles Times. “He should have been surrounded by family at old age, not surrounded by bullets.”

Police had visited the Sernas twice before, because Francisco in his confusion activated a medical alarm, Rogelio Serna added.

The officer who shot Serna has not been named, and has been placed on administrative leave as is the policy in such situations.

Police searched the scene for a weapon, but found none, Sgt. Carruesco said.

Bakersfield is a city of around 365,000 in the San Joaquin Valley, halfway between Los Angeles and Fresno.

December 13, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , | 5 Comments

It’s Beginning to Smell a Lot Like Totalitarianism, and I Don’t Mean Russia

By F. William Engdahl – New Eastern Outlook – 13.12.2016

If we smell precisely the stench of the totality of steps taken in NATO countries in recent months, especially in the United States and the European Union, we can smell the stench of totalitarian rule or some would call it, fascism, being quietly imposed on our basic human freedoms. Some recent examples give pause for reflection as to where we are allowing our world to drift.

Let’s begin with a most ominous, bizarre, Jesuitical interview that the Roman Catholic Pope Francis gave to a Belgian paper December 7, comparing what he calls defamatory news to what he called the “sickness of coprophagia.” He stated:

QUESTION – A final question, Holy Father, regarding the media: a consideration regarding the means of communication…

POPE – The communications media have a very great responsibility…It is obvious that, given that we are all sinners, also the media can…become harmful… They can be tempted by calumny, and therefore used to slander, to sully people, especially in the world of politics. They can be used as a means of defamation: every person has the right to a good reputation, but perhaps in their previous life, or ten years ago, they had a problem with justice, or a problem in their family life, and bringing this to light is serious and harmful… This is a sin and it is harmful. A thing that can do great damage to the information media is disinformation: that is, faced with any situation, saying only a part of the truth, and not the rest. This is disinformation… Disinformation is probably the greatest damage that the media can do, as opinion is guided in one direction, neglecting the other part of the truth. I believe that the media should… not fall prey – without offence, please – to the sickness of coprophilia, which is always wanting to communicate scandal… And since people have a tendency towards the sickness of coprophagia, it can do great harm.

Coprophilia is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “marked interest in excrement, especially the use of feces or filth for sexual excitement.” And coprophagia is eating feces by humans, literally, eating shit.

What people precisely, Holy Father, have a “tendency to towards the sickness of coprophagia”? Is this the dominant sickness of the human race? And if not, why do you make such a disgusting likeness between eating shit and citizens who read about politicians and their misdeeds or media that report on same? And who is to judge if factually true dissemination of facts about political figures from their past is relevant or not to help voters judge their character? I would say the comments are a perfect example of what he pretends to condemn.

Were it only a single, off-the-cuff remark by a religious figure, we could dismiss it along with claims such as the papal infallibility declaration proclaimed by the Vatican I on 18 July 1870. However, precisely because of such dogma and of the influence of the Roman Catholic Church and its Pope, notably in the countries of Western Europe, the United States and Latin America, such vague and dangerous remarks ought to be taken seriously as a signal of what lies ahead for the public freedom of speech.

“Fake News”

The papal comments on coprophagia and journalism come amid an explosion of charges in the USA and EU that Russia is planting “fake news” as it is now being called, about Hillary Clinton in the US media by way of certain alternative media. Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton’s former campaign manager, said “fake news” was a “huge problem” the campaign faced in the recent US election: “I still think we have to investigate what happened with Russia here. We cannot have foreign, and I would say foreign aggressors here, intervening in our elections. The Russian were propagating fake news through Facebook and other outlets, but look, we also had… Breitbart News, which was notorious for peddling stories like this.”

Online stories that claimed a Washington D.C. pizza restaurant, Comet Ping Pong, was used by candidate Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager John Podesta for child sex, the so-called “Pizzagate” Scandal, is now being used to drum up popular opinion for censorship of the Internet as well as Facebook and other social media.

Senior New York Times reporter David Sanger wrote a vague, anonymous “according to senior Administration sources,” article on December 9 under the headline, “Russia Hacked Republican Committee but Kept Data, US Concludes.” What we are seeing is precisely the kind of fake news that Hillary Clinton and the Pope talk about. But it is mainstream establishment media doing the fakery.

The fakery is being orchestrated by the highest levels of the mainstream media in collusion with NATO circles and intelligence agencies such as the CIA, which has saturated the ranks of mainstream media with their disinformation agents according to former CIA head William Colby, who once allegedly said, “The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media.”

The campaign will continue, likely with some horrendous stories about some psychopath taking a gun and bursting into Comet Ping Pong pizza place shooting innocent customers, because it was said he read in alternative media fake news about the pedophile ring. That already took place, but the man fired no shots. The population is being manipulated to accept extreme censorship of internet and other alternative media, something unimaginable just months ago.

Like clockwork, the “fake news” campaign has spread to the European Union. After announcing she will run again in 2017 for Chancellor, Angela Merkel spoke ominous words suggesting government censorship of independent “populist” (sic) media might be necessary: “Today we have fake sites, bots, trolls — things that regenerate themselves, reinforcing opinions with certain algorithms and we have to learn to deal with them.” She declared, “we must confront this phenomenon and if necessary, regulate it… Populism and political extremes are growing in Western democracies..” Her remarks came after Google and Facebook cut off ad revenue to what they declared to be “fake” news sites.

In the EU, especially Germany, populist has an implicit negative or even fascist connotation as in “right-wing populist” parties who oppose Merkel’s open door to war refugees policies, or who these days oppose almost anything her heavy-handed government puts forward.

War on Cash

Now if we begin to see stealth propaganda preparing us to accept severe clampdowns on the one remaining free media, the Internet and related social media, we can also see an equally ominous, indeed, totalitarian move to create acceptance for the idea we give up the right to hold paper money, giving private, often corrupt, banks total control over our money, and in turn giving government agencies total control over where we spend for what.

This is the so-called cashless society. Arguments put forward are that elimination of cash will be more convenient to consumers or that it will eliminate or greatly reduce organized crime and shadow economy that evades taxation. In the EU, Sweden has already virtually eliminated cash. Sweden cash purchases today are down to just three per cent of the national economy compared to nine per cent in the Eurozone and seven per cent in the US. Public buses don’t accept cash. Three of Sweden’s four largest banks are phasing out the manual handling of cash in bank branches. Norway is following the same path.

In France today, it’s now illegal to do cash transactions over €1,000 without documenting it properly. France’s finance minister Michel Sapin, in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, blamed the attacks on the ability of the attackers to “buy dangerous things with cash.” Shortly after the Hebdo attacks he announced capital controls that included the €1,000 cap on cash payments, down from €3,000, to “fight against the use of cash and anonymity in the French economy.” In high-inflation Eurozone €1,000 is not a huge sum.

Even in conservative Germany, a leading member of the Merkel coalition proposed to eliminate the €500 note and capping all cash transactions at €5,000. Some weeks later the European Central Bank, where negative interest rates are the order of the day, announced it would end issue of €500 notes by December 2018 arguing it made it too easy for criminals and terrorists to act.

And in the United States, as the campaign to sell skeptical citizens on cashless digital bank payments increases, JP Morgan Chase, the largest and one of the most criminal banks in the US, has a policy restricting the use of cash in selected markets. The bank bans cash payments for credit cards, mortgages, and auto loans; and it prohibits storage of “any cash or coins” in safe deposit boxes. So if you have a rare cold coin collection, you better stuff it in the mattress…

Negative Rates and Cashless Citizens

As long as cash–bills and coins of a national currency–are the basis of the economy, the central banks of the USA and EU as well as Japan, are unable to impose a severe negative interest rate policy much beyond the flirtation today by the ECB and Bank of Japan. If central bank rates were to go very negative, banks would be charging customers the absurd charge to make them pay to keep their cash on deposit or in savings at those banks. Naturally, people would revolt and withdraw in cash to invest in gold or other hard, tangible valuables.

Harvard economist and member of the Economic Advisory Panel of the Federal Reserve, Kenneth Rogoff, an advocate of the “war on cash,” noted that the existence of cash “creates the artifact of the zero bound on the nominal interest rate.” In his 2016 book, The Curse of Cash, Rogoff urged the Federal Reserve to phase out the 100-dollar bill, then the 50-dollar bill, then the 20-dollar bill, leaving only smaller denominations in circulation, much like what the mad Modi has just done in India.

Any serious observer of the world economy, especially of NATO nations in Europe and North America since the financial crisis of September 2008, would have to realize the current status quo of zero or negative central bank interest rates to prop up banks and financial markets is not sustainable. Unless cash is eliminated that is.

On April 5, 1933 President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 6102, “forbidding the Hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States.” That was rightly denounced by many as outright theft, confiscation of privately held gold, by the Government.

Radical solutions such as done by President Roosevelt in 1933, yet in a monetary order where gold no longer dominates, is clearly becoming more attractive to the major bankers of Wall Street and the City of London. Rather than confiscate citizens’ gold, today the Gods of Money would have to find a way to steal the cash of citizens. Moving to their “cashless” banking, limiting how much cash can be withdrawn and then eliminating cash entirely as Swedish banks are doing would enable tax authorities to have perfect totalitarian control on every citizen’s use of money. Moreover, governments could decree, as did FDR, that cash above certain levels must be taxed under some or another national declaration of emergency.

As such bold, radical moves advance, they would of course be vociferously attacked not on CNN or The New York Times or Financial Times or other mainstream media tied to those criminal financial institutions, but in alternative media. Keep in mind it was the uncritical New York Times and Washington Post that uncritically retailed the fake news that led to declaration of war on Iraq in 2003, namely that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction aimed at Washington. That war has spread death and destruction of a scale unimaginable. No one complained at the time about that fake news.

The protest over moves to confiscate citizens’ bank holdings would come through alternate, independent media such as Zero Hedge or countless others. Recently, US media uncritically republished a purported list of “fake news” blogs and websites prepared by Assistant Professor of Communications at Merrimack College, Melissa Zimdars. Zero Hedge was on it.

This is not about endorsing or not endorsing any alternative blog or website. It is about the essential freedom of us all to be able to read and decide any and all opinions or analyses and not to have government decide what I am or am not allowed to read. It’s about the freedom to keep privacy about what I choose to buy and not leave a digital trail that my bank could release to the tax authorities or to Homeland Security or the FBI, or sell to profiling consumer operations. Controlling public communication and controlling private money would go a long way to creation of the perfect totalitarian state. Not a good idea, I would say.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University.

December 13, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Economics, Fake News, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Hypocrisy Behind the Russian-Election Frenzy

By Robert Parry | Consortium News | December 13, 2016

As Democrats, the Obama administration and some neocon Republicans slide deeper into conspiracy theories about how Russia somehow handed the presidency to Donald Trump, they are behaving as they accused Trump of planning to behave if he had lost, questioning the legitimacy of the electoral process and sowing doubts about American democracy.

President-elect Donald J. Trump (Photo credit:

US President-elect Donald J. Trump

The thinking then was that if Trump had lost, he would have cited suspicions of voter fraud – possibly claiming that illegal Mexican immigrants had snuck into the polls to tip the election to Hillary Clinton – and Trump was widely condemned for even discussing the possibility of challenging the election’s outcome.

His refusal to commit to accepting the results was front-page news for days with leading editorialists declaring that his failure to announce that he would abide by the outcome disqualified him from the presidency.

But now the defeated Democrats and some anti-Trump neoconservatives in the Republican Party are jumping up and down about how Russia supposedly tainted the election by revealing information about the Democrats and the Clinton campaign.

Though there appears to be no hard evidence that the Russians did any such thing, the Obama administration’s CIA has thrown its weight behind the suspicions, basing its conclusions on “circumstantial evidence,” according to a report in The New York Times.

The Times reported: “The C.I.A.’s conclusion does not appear to be the product of specific new intelligence obtained since the election, several American officials, including some who had read the agency’s briefing, said on Sunday. Rather, it was an analysis of what many believe is overwhelming circumstantial evidence — evidence that others feel does not support firm judgments — that the Russians put a thumb on the scale for Mr. Trump, and got their desired outcome.”

In other words, the CIA apparently lacks direct reporting from a source inside the Kremlin or an electronic intercept in which Russian President Vladimir Putin or another senior official orders Russian operatives to tilt the U.S. election in favor of Trump.

More ‘Group Thinking’?

The absence of such hard evidence opens the door to what is called “confirmation bias” or analytical “group think” in which the CIA’s institutional animosity toward Russia and Trump could influence how analysts read otherwise innocent developments.

For instance, Russian news agencies RT or Sputnik reported critically at times about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, a complaint that has been raised repeatedly in U.S. press accounts arguing that Russia interfered in the U.S. election. But that charge assumes two things: that Clinton did not deserve critical coverage and that Americans – in any significant numbers – watch Russian networks.

Similarly, the yet-unproven charge that Russia organized the hacking of Democratic National Committee emails and the private email account of Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta assumes that the Russian government was responsible and that it then selectively leaked the material to WikiLeaks while withholding damaging information from hacked Republican accounts.

Here the suspicions also seem to extend far beyond what the CIA actually knows. First, the Republican National Committee denies that its email accounts were hacked, and even if they were hacked, there’s no evidence that they contained any information that was particularly newsworthy. Nor is there any evidence that – if the GOP accounts were hacked – they were hacked by the same group that hacked the Democratic Party emails, i.e., that the two hacks were part of the same operation.

That suspicion assumes a tightly controlled operation at the highest levels of the Russian government, but the CIA – with its intensive electronic surveillance of the Russian government and human sources inside the Kremlin – appears to lack any evidence of such a top-down operation.

Second, WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange directly denies that he received the Democratic leaked emails from the Russian government and one of his associates, former British Ambassador Craig Murray, told the U.K. Guardian that he knows who “leaked” the Democratic emails and that there never was a “hack,” i.e. an outside electronic penetration of an email account.

Murray said, “I’ve met the person who leaked them, and they are certainly not Russian and it’s an insider. It’s a leak, not a hack; the two are different things.”

‘Real News’

But even if Assange did get the data from the Russians, it’s important to remember that nothing in the material has been identified as false. It all appears to be truthful and none of it represented an egregious violation of privacy with some salacious or sensational angle.

The only reason the emails were newsworthy at all was that the documents revealed information that the DNC and the Clinton campaign were trying to keep secret from the American voters.

For instance, some emails confirmed Sen. Bernie Sanders’s suspicions that the DNC was improperly tilting the nomination race in favor of Clinton. The DNC was lying when it denied having an institutional thumb on the scales for Clinton. Thus, even if the Russians did uncover this evidence and did leak it to WikiLeaks, they would only have been informing the American people about the DNC’s abuse of the democratic process, something Democratic voters in particular had a right to know.

And, regarding Podesta’s emails, their most important revelation related to the partial transcripts of Clinton’s paid speeches to Wall Street banks, the contents of which Clinton had chosen to hide from the American people. So, again, if the Russians were involved in the leak, they would only have been giving to the voters information that Clinton should have released on her own. In other words, these disclosures are clearly not “fake news” – the other hysteria now sweeping Official Washington.

In the mainstream news media, there has been a clumsy effort to conflate these parallel frenzies, the leak of “real news” and the invention of “fake news.” But investigations of so-called “fake news” have revealed that these operations were run mostly by young entrepreneurs in places like Macedonia or Georgia who realized they could make advertising dollars by creating outlandish “click bait” stories that Trump partisans were particularly eager to read.

According to a New York Times investigation into one of the “fake news” sites, a college student in Tbilisi, Georgia, first tried to create a pro-Clinton “click bait” Web site but found that a pro-Trump operation was vastly more lucrative. This and other investigations did not trace the “fake news” sites back to Russia or any other government.

So, what’s perhaps most telling about the information that the CIA has accused Russia of sharing with the American people is that it was all “real news” about newsworthy topics.

What Threat to Democracy?

So, how does giving the American people truthful and relevant information undermine American democracy, which is the claim that is reverberating throughout the mainstream media and across Official Washington?

“Corruption” allegations against Yanukovych – pushed by OCCRP – were integral to the U.S.-supported effort to organize a violent putsch that drove Yanukovych from office on Feb. 22, 2014, touching off the Ukrainian civil war and – on a global scale – the New Cold War with Russia.

Yet, in the case of the “Panama Papers” or other leaks about “corruption” in governments targeted by U.S. officials for “regime change,” there are no frenzied investigations into where the information originated. Regarding the “Panama Papers,” there was simply back-slapping for the organizations that invested time and money in analyzing the volumes of material. And there were cheers when implicated officials were punished or forced to step down.

So, why are some leaks “good” and others “bad”? Why do we hail the “Panama Papers” or OCCRP’s “corruption evidence” that damaged Yanukovych – and ask no questions about where the material came from and how it was selectively used – yet we condemn the Democratic email leaks and undertake investigations into the source of the information?

In both the “Panama Papers” case and the “Democratic Party leaks,” the material appeared to be real. There was no evidence of disinformation or “black propaganda.” But, apparently, it’s okay to disrupt the politics of Iceland, Ukraine, Russia and other countries, but it is called a potential “act of war” – by neocon Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona – to reveal evidence of wrongdoing or excessive secrecy on the part of the Democratic Party in the United States.

Shoe on the Other Foot

Russian President Putin, while denying any Russian government attempt to tilt the election to Trump, recently commented on the American hypocrisy about interfering in other nations’ elections while complaining about alleged interference in its own or those of its allies. He described a conversation with an unnamed Western “colleague.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin answering questions from Russian citizens at his annual Q&A event on April 14, 2016. (Russian government photo)

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Putin said, “I recently had a conversation with one of my colleagues. We touched upon our [Russian] alleged influence on some political processes abroad. I told him: ‘And what are you doing? You have been constantly interfering in our political life.’ And he replied: ‘It’s not us, it’s the NGOs’. I said: ‘Oh? But you pay them and write instructions for them.’ He said: ‘What kind of instructions?’ I said: ‘I have been reading them.’”

Whatever one thinks of Putin, he is not wrong in describing how various U.S.-funded NGOs, in the name of “democracy promotion,” seek to undermine governments that have ended up on Official Washington’s target list.

And another aspect of the hypocrisy permeating Official Washington’s belligerent rhetoric directed toward Russia: Aren’t the Democrats doing exactly what they accused Trump of planning to do if he had lost the Nov. 8 election, i.e., question the legitimacy of the results and thus undermine the faith of the American people in their democratic system?

For days, Trump’s unwillingness to accept, presumptively, the results of the election earned him front-page denunciations from many of the same mainstream newspapers and TV networks that are now trumpeting the unproven claims by the CIA that the Russians somehow influenced the election’s outcome by presenting some Democratic hidden facts to the American people.

Yet, this anti-Russian accusation not only undermines the American people’s faith in the election’s outcome but also represents a reckless last-ditch gamble to block Trump’s inauguration – or at least discredit him before he takes office – while using belligerent rhetoric that could push Russia and the United States closer to nuclear war.

Wouldn’t it be a good idea for the CIA to at least have hard evidence before the spy agency precipitated such a crisis?

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s.

December 13, 2016 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trump’s secretary of state pick Tillerson on Russia ties in 2012 interview with RT

RT | December 13, 2016

US President-elect Donald Trump has announced ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his secretary of state. Tillerson, who has close ties to Russia, spoke to RT back in 2012 after signing a landmark deal with Russian oil giant Rosneft.

Back then, Tillerson said that bolstering ties with Russia was vital for business. In 2012 he oversaw the singing of a partnership deal between Exxon and Rosneft to develop the Arctic’s rich untapped reserves.

“With these agreements we have a lot on our plate. But we will continue to evaluate other opportunities that might present themselves,” he told RT.

December 13, 2016 Posted by | Economics, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

US Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims

As the hysteria about Russia’s alleged interference in the U.S. election grows, a key mystery is why U.S. intelligence would rely on “circumstantial evidence” when it has the capability for hard evidence, say U.S. intelligence veterans.

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity | December 12, 2016


Allegations of Hacking Election Are Baseless

A New York Times report on Monday alluding to “overwhelming circumstantial evidence” leading the CIA to believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin “deployed computer hackers with the goal of tipping the election to Donald J. Trump” is, sadly, evidence-free. This is no surprise, because harder evidence of a technical nature points to an inside leak, not hacking – by Russians or anyone else.

Monday’s Washington Post reports that Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has joined other senators in calling for a bipartisan investigation of suspected cyber-intrusion by Russia. Reading our short memo could save the Senate from endemic partisanship, expense and unnecessary delay.

In what follows, we draw on decades of senior-level experience – with emphasis on cyber-intelligence and security – to cut through uninformed, largely partisan fog. Far from hiding behind anonymity, we are proud to speak out with the hope of gaining an audience appropriate to what we merit – given our long labors in government and other areas of technology. And corny though it may sound these days, our ethos as intelligence professionals remains, simply, to tell it like it is – without fear or favor.

We have gone through the various claims about hacking. For us, it is child’s play to dismiss them. The email disclosures in question are the result of a leak, not a hack. Here’s the difference between leaking and hacking:

Leak: When someone physically takes data out of an organization and gives it to some other person or organization, as Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning did.

Hack: When someone in a remote location electronically penetrates operating systems, firewalls or any other cyber-protection system and then extracts data.

All signs point to leaking, not hacking. If hacking were involved, the National Security Agency would know it – and know both sender and recipient.

In short, since leaking requires physically removing data – on a thumb drive, for example – the only way such data can be copied and removed, with no electronic trace of what has left the server, is via a physical storage device.

Awesome Technical Capabilities

Again, NSA is able to identify both the sender and recipient when hacking is involved. Thanks largely to the material released by Edward Snowden, we can provide a full picture of NSA’s extensive domestic data-collection network including Upstream programs like Fairview, Stormbrew and Blarney. These include at least 30 companies in the U.S. operating the fiber networks that carry the Public Switched Telephone Network as well as the World Wide Web. This gives NSA unparalleled access to data flowing within the U.S. and data going out to the rest of the world, as well as data transiting the U.S.

In other words, any data that is passed from the servers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) or of Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) – or any other server in the U.S. – is collected by the NSA.  These data transfers carry destination addresses in what are called packets, which enable the transfer to be traced and followed through the network.

Packets: Emails being passed across the World Wide Web are broken down into smaller segments called packets. These packets are passed into the network to be delivered to a recipient. This means the packets need to be reassembled at the receiving end.

To accomplish this, all the packets that form a message are assigned an identifying number that enables the receiving end to collect them for reassembly. Moreover, each packet carries the originator and ultimate receiver Internet protocol number (either IPV4 or IPV6) that enables the network to route data.

When email packets leave the U.S., the other “Five Eyes” countries (the U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) and the seven or eight additional countries participating with the U.S. in bulk-collection of everything on the planet would also have a record of where those email packets went after leaving the U.S.

These collection resources are extensive; they include hundreds of trace route programs that trace the path of packets going across the network and tens of thousands of hardware and software implants in switches and servers that manage the network. Any emails being extracted from one server going to another would be, at least in part, recognizable and traceable by all these resources.

The bottom line is that the NSA would know where and how any “hacked” emails from the DNC, HRC or any other servers were routed through the network. This process can sometimes require a closer look into the routing to sort out intermediate clients, but in the end sender and recipient can be traced across the network.

The various ways in which usually anonymous spokespeople for U.S. intelligence agencies are equivocating – saying things like “our best guess” or “our opinion” or “our estimate” etc. – shows that the emails alleged to have been “hacked” cannot be traced across the network. Given NSA’s extensive trace capability, we conclude that DNC and HRC servers alleged to have been hacked were, in fact, not hacked.

The evidence that should be there is absent; otherwise, it would surely be brought forward, since this could be done without any danger to sources and methods. Thus, we conclude that the emails were leaked by an insider – as was the case with Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. Such an insider could be anyone in a government department or agency with access to NSA databases, or perhaps someone within the DNC.

As for the comments to the media as to what the CIA believes, the reality is that CIA is almost totally dependent on NSA for ground truth in the communications arena. Thus, it remains something of a mystery why the media is being fed strange stories about hacking that have no basis in fact. In sum, given what we know of NSA’s existing capabilities, it beggars belief that NSA would be unable to identify anyone – Russian or not – attempting to interfere in a U.S. election by hacking.

For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)

Mike Gravel, former Adjutant, top secret control officer, Communications Intelligence Service; special agent of the Counter Intelligence Corps and former United States Senator

Larry Johnson, former CIA Intelligence Officer & former State Department Counter-Terrorism Official

Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)

Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East, CIA (ret.)

Kirk Wiebe, former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA (ret.)

December 13, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | Leave a comment

White House Claims Trump Aides Bankrolled by Kremlin

Sputnik – 13.12.2016

White House spokesman Josh Earnest accused Donald Trump and his top aides of enjoying lucrative connections with Russia, effectively implying a conflict of interests.

The White House appears to be dedicated to its stalwart campaign to ferret out any traces of Donald Trump and his team secretly conspiring with Russia, no matter how imaginary they are.

During his daily briefing on Monday, December 12, White House spokesman Josh Earnest insisted that Donald Trump and some of his top aides allegedly enjoy lucrative ties with Russia or even directly receive money from a “Russian propaganda outlet.”

“It was the president-elect who refused to disclose his financial connections to Russia. It was the president-elect who hired a campaign chairman with extensive, lucrative, personal financial ties to Russia. It was the president-elect who had a national security adviser on the campaign that had been a paid contributor to RT, the Russian propaganda outlet,” Earnest declared.

While the spokesman opted not to name any names in his accusatory speech, it is not hard to deduce that the “campaign chairman” in question is Paul Manafort, a one-time advisor to the former Ukrainian president Victor Yanukovich, while the “national security adviser” is Ret. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

It should be noted that Manafort was earlier accused by Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau of pocketing some $12.7 million worth of ‘black cash’ supplied by corrupt Ukrainian oligarchs. However, the agency was subsequently unable to provide any evidence of these alleged wrongdoings, and Nazar Kholodnytskiy, head of the Ukraine’s Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, had to admit that so far no reason has been found to hand Manafort a notice of suspicion, RIA Novosti points out.

Meanwhile, Michael Flynn did indeed appear as a guest on RT and even attended the RT anniversary event in Moscow, where he was seated next to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. Nevertheless, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov made it clear that Putin and Flynn did not engage in lengthy conversations of any kind.

RT was less than amused by the accusations brought forward by Earnest against both Flynn and the news agency, and decided to clarify the issue in no uncertain terms. “We are rather amazed at the misinformation peddled by White House press secretary Josh Earnest. At no time has General Michael Flynn ever been a paid contributor to RT. General Flynn has appeared as a guest on our award-winning news network, alongside many international experts who respond to our invitation to share their views,” the news channel’s press office stated.

It remains to be seen whether the Obama administration will continue to push forward these claims.

December 13, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Progressive Hypocrite | , , | 1 Comment

Top US spy agency abstains on CIA assessment of Russian hack of 2016 election

RT | December 13, 2016

The office overseeing all 17 agencies of the US intelligence community apparently doubts the CIA’s assessment that Russia intervened to help Donald Trump win the presidential election, as Reuters reports anonymous officials saying the allegation won’t be endorsed.

Three unnamed officials from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) told Reuters on Monday that their agency does not dispute the CIA’s findings, yet it would not accept them either.

“ODNI is not arguing that the agency (CIA) is wrong, only that they can’t prove intent,” one of the officials told the news agency. “Of course they can’t, absent agents in on the decision-making in Moscow.”

The CIA has not made its findings public, but the Washington Post reported on a secret assessment by the agency. It concluded that Russian intelligence hacked the servers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff John Podesta to help Trump win the presidency.

The ODNI was formed to ease the bureaucratic obstacles between US intelligence agencies after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“[It was] a thin reed upon which to base an analytical judgment,” another official said in response to the speculation. He stressed that the “judgment based on the fact that Russian entities hacked both Democrats and Republicans and only the Democratic information was leaked.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (D-California) wrote a letter Monday to James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence. In it, Nunes said he was “dismayed” with Clapper’s inaction on informing the house committee about the division between the assessments of the CIA and the FBI, Reuters reported. Nunes also requested that Clapper speak to his panel by the end of this week and noted that Clapper testified in November that there was not enough evidence to show a connection between Russia and the “Podesta emails” releases from WikiLeaks.

Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) has urged a Congressional probe, saying there is “no information” to prove any Russian intention.

“It’s obvious that the Russians hacked into our campaigns,” McCain told Reuters. “But there is no information that they were intending to affect the outcome of the election, and that’s why we need a congressional investigation.”

December 13, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Video | , , , | Leave a comment