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Moscow wants Saudi Arabia to join Russia-Turkey-Iran efforts for Syria peace – UN envoy

RT | December 21, 2016

Moscow says that Saudi Arabia should join efforts to find peace in Syria undertaken by Russia, Iran and Turkey, Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s UN envoy, said.

The Foreign Ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey met in Moscow on Tuesday to draft a joint statement aimed at resolving the long term conflict in Syria.

According to Churkin, the document was “an extra effort by our three countries” to, among other things, prepare opposition forces “to negotiate with the government, and put them at the same table with the government, so they can develop between themselves some arrangements that would advance the political process.”

It is “very important” that the statement by Moscow, Tehran and Ankara “contained an invitation to other countries that have influence ‘on the ground’ to join such efforts,” he said.

“It seems to me it would be very important for Saudi Arabia to take a similar stance and work in the same direction,” the envoy told Rossiya 24 channel.

The Russia-US talks on resolving the Syrian crisis have stalled, but Churkin says that the situation may change when Donald Trump replaces Barack Obama in the White House.

“I’m going to share my personal interpretation of the things I’ve heard recently,” he said.

According to Churkin’s information, the UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said he planned to convene a new round of talks about Syria on February 8, 2017.

“I’m sure he (de Mistura) did it only after he had found an opportunity to contact the people on Donald Trump’s team and to coordinate the date with them,” the Russian UN ambassador said.

“That’s good enough a sign because it could be indicative of the ability of the Trump Administration to steer the situation towards a rapid enough unfolding of the political process (in Syria),” Churkin said, again stressing that it was just his “personal interpretation of events.”

He said that Russia is ready to cooperate with Nikki Haley, who Trump plans to propose for the next US envoy at the United Nations.

“She’s a quite young governor of South Carolina, lacking international experience, but I heard some good comments about her,” the Russian envoy said.

However, he stressed that he doesn’t know Haley in person, which makes it hard to predict how the US delegation will act under her in the UN and with the Security Council.

“Anyway, I think it’s early to relax and expect that we’re going to have some kind of nirvana in our work at the UN. It’s going to be a bit more complicated in real life,” Churkin said.

The pullout of militants from the Syrian city of Aleppo “is being completed,” Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Wednesday.

Aleppo was the last major city being held by the rebels in the country, with their withdrawal being agreed though Russian and Turkish mediation.

According to estimates by Russian officials, the evacuation of civilians from eastern Aleppo, which has been under rebel control since 2012, is expected to conclude in a few days.

December 21, 2016 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Washington Post Record Arctic Fraud Continues Unabated

The Deplorable Climate Science Blog | December 21, 2016

The Washington Post is misleading their frozen US readers once again about the Arctic, telling them the Arctic has temperatures 50 degrees above normal and record low sea ice. They say this is not normal.

Pre-Christmas melt? North Pole forecast to warm 50 degrees above normal Thursday – The Washington Post

Temperatures in Greenland are incredibly cold. The reason the North Pole is not as cold as normal is because deep waves in the jet stream have brought the cold air south, and milder air north.

Summit, Greenland Forecast | Weather Underground

It has snowed in the Sahara Desert for the first time in 40 years.

Stunning photos capture rare snow in the Sahara Desert

Arctic sea ice extent is higher than 2012 and 2013, and about the same as last year. There is no “record low sea ice” as the Washington Post fraudsters claim.

Ocean and Ice Services | Danmarks Meteorologiske Institut

What is going on in the Arctic with meridional circulation was explained by Science News during the 1970s ice age scare. There is nothing unusual going on in the Arctic.

https://www.sciencenews.org/sites/default/files/8983

The December 1977 issue of National Geographic showed exactly what was going on.

National Geographic : 1977 Dec

Deep dips in the jet stream brought warm air towards the pole, and cold air to the Midwest and East.

Florida was frozen during January, 1977. California was warm and had record drought.

Alaska was 50 degrees in January 1997, and the bears refused to hibernate. Note the same 50 degree number used in the Washington Post article.

27 Jan 1977, Page 8 – The Sheboygan Press

This is just one more fake news attempt by the Washington Post to derail President Trump’s efforts to end junk climate science. Warm air in one place normally means cold air somewhere else. This is perfectly normal weather and has nothing to do with fake news global warming.

So far, everyone who has jumped in front of the Trump Train has been crushed.

December 21, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

NY Daily News Joins Daesh in Celebrating Assassination of Andrey Karlov

Sputnik | December 21, 2016

As world leaders and ordinary people expressed their horror following the assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov, New York Daily News (NYDN) writer Gersh Kuntzmann openly celebrated the public execution, calling it an example of ‘justice [being] served.’

“As Vladimir Putin’s man in Turkey, Karlov was the public face of that murderous dictator’s war crimes around the globe and of oppression at home,” Kuntzmann wrote. “I, for one, am shedding no tears for Andrei Karlov.”

Kuntzmann also repeatedly compared the assassination of Karlov to the killing of Ernst vom Rath, a Nazi German embassy official shot dead in 1938 by Jewish teenager Herschel Grynszpan, while also likening Vladimir Putin, the leader of the government that Karlov served, to the infamous dictator Adolf Hitler. “Like Karlov, Rath was the public face of atrocity — in this case, Adolf Hitler’s genocide, anti-Semitism and coming global aggression… [history] has vindicated Grynszpan — and, indeed, vindicated others who have fought against aggression and fought for freedom.”

While giving a welcome speech at the Ankara Center for Contemporary Art on Monday December 19, Karlov was shot nine times in the back by Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, a Turkish police officer. The 62-year-old father of one was unarmed and unguarded, and died soon after. Altıntaş’s motivations are not yet clear, but after the murder he yelled “Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria!”

The 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which nearly every country has signed and ratified, places the safety of diplomats as sacrosanct. Even in wartime, a diplomat’s task of providing reliable means of communication between nations is thought to be apolitical and crucial.

Kuntzmann, however, disagrees. “Karlov’s job in Turkey was to ease tensions over Russia’s atrocities in Syria and its incursions inside Turkey itself — meaning his job was to enable and normalize Vladimir Putin. Given that role, he wasn’t a diplomat, but a soldier, and his death is the same whether it came on a battlefield outside Aleppo or in an art gallery in Ankara.”

Kuntzmann’s comments have been met primarily with outrage on NYDN’s Facebook page. “Shouldn’t we be sad based on the fact he was a human being who was killed on camera? For the whole world & his family? Ridiculous headline. Learn some empathy instead of selling propaganda against Russia over this tragic death,” reads one comment.

“Oh Gersh, do you just stay awake at night trying to figure out ways to be ‘controversial’ or are you really that stupid. Regardless of what he was ‘the face of’, being assassinated by an Islamic terrorist is a bad thing,” reads another.

Many readers were fast to remind the author that the US is also participating in Middle East conflicts, and American diplomats have been killed in the line of duty as well.

“I’m sure there are many in the dung pile who would have said the same about Chris Stephens.. way to “go high”, sickos,” Lynn Peterson reflected.

Others went further. “You have got to be kidding me… the United States has committed human atrocities all over the place… seriously Kuntzman are you oblivious to The American war machine and what it has been doing to innocent lives for decades,” Gord Jacquie Clance charged.

The international response to the death of Andrey Karlov was a combination of outrage and support for Russia, as one of their public servants was horrifically gunned down. Besides Turkey, figures such as US Secretary of State John Kerry, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, French President Francois Hollande, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and countless others have offered Russia condolences.

Others celebrated Karlov’s death. Most prominent among them were Ukrainian nationalist politician Volodymyr Parasiuk, as well as Daesh. They have now been joined by NYDN. Gersh Kuntzmann, who joined NYDN in 2012, is best known for a July 2016 article about AR-15 assault rifles in which he claimed that firing the weapon “gave me a temporary form of PTSD. For at least an hour after firing the gun just a few times, I was anxious and irritable.” It seems, however, that Kuntzmann may have still not recovered from his trauma, as one reader summed up after reading his article: “ Annnnnnd Kuntzman has PTSD again.”

December 21, 2016 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

CIA Hawk Called for the US to Deliver a “Painful” Blow to Putin One Week Prior to Ambassador Being Assassinated

By Steven MacMillan | Blacklisted News | December 21, 2016

On the evening of Monday the 19th of December, a day before Russia, Turkey and Iran were scheduled to meet in Moscow to discuss the Syrian conflict, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, was assassinated while speaking at an art exhibition in Ankara. The assailant has been identified as Mevlut Mert Altıntas, a 22-year-old off-duty Turkish police officer, who reportedly had just returned to duty last month after being suspended over suspected knowledge of the failed July coup attempt. Video footage of the attack shows Altintas shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ moments after shooting Karlov, in addition to yelling: “Don’t forget Aleppo; don’t forget Syria!” According to certain pro-government newspapers in Turkey, Altıntas may have had ties to the Gülen movement, a movement led by the US-based cleric, Fethullah Gülen. The CIA has been intimately connected to the Gülen movement for years, as the author F. William Engdahl has extensively documented.

Just a Coincidence?

Six days prior to the assassination, the hawkish former Deputy Director of the CIA (who also served as the Acting Director twice), Michael Morell, called for the US to respond to alleged Russian meddling in the US election by retaliating in a way that was both “overt” and “painful to Putin.” It should be noted that the whole narrative of Russia meddling or hacking is a faux one, as no proof has been presented to the public thus far, and is merely the latest effort to demonize Moscow due to the fact that Russia prevented the West and their allies forcing regime change in Damascus. In reality, Morell was advocating retaliation against Russia because Moscow had the audacity to stand up to the US in the Middle East, not because Russia meddled in the US election. Speaking to the Atlantic Council – a Washington-based think tank – on the 13thof December, Morell said:

“In order for a US response to actually result in deterrence two things have to be true: one, it has got to be overt, it has got to be seen; and two, it has got to be painful to Putin. That responsibility for responding to what the Russians did here is largely that of the Obama administration because it happened on their watch. I am a little concerned that the response is going to fall through the cracks of the transition, just the way the US response to the [USS] Cole bombing [on October 12, 2000] fell through the cracks of the transition between the Clinton administration and the Bush administration.”

Perhaps Morell’s comments and the assassination were unrelated, and the shooting was carried out on behalf of militants in retaliation for the Russian military campaign in Syria without the CIA’s knowledge; but then again, perhaps they were related, and the CIA in coordination with other intelligence agencies were involved in the assassination. Franz Klintsevich, the First Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Defense and Security at the Russian Federation Council, has questioned whether the West was involved in the shooting, saying that “representatives of NATO secret services” may have been be behind it.

Morell’s comments certainly reveal the kind of strategic discussions that were (and are) taking place in think tank circles in the West. We know for sure that the assassination was both “overt” and “painful to Putin,” as the shooting took place in a highly public place and Putin had a fairly close relationship with Karlov. The Russian President said in a statement that Karlov was a “good-hearted person” that he knew “personally,” in addition to stating that the assassination was an attempt to disrupt the Russian-Turkish rapprochement and the resolution of the Syrian conflict:

“Ambassador Karlov was a very good-hearted person; I knew him personally, so I’m not speaking from hearsay. Last Autumn, during my visit to Turkey, Ambassador Karlov accompanied me all the time. This murder is clearly a provocation aimed at undermining the improvement and normalization of Russian-Turkish relations, as well as undermining the peace process in Syria promoted by Russia, Turkey, Iran and other countries interested in settling the conflict in Syria.”

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish President, also called the assassination a “provocation,” as well as describing the incident as a “false flag attack:”

“I believe this is an attack on Turkey, the Turkish state and the Turkish people, and also a clear provocation … [in terms of] Turkish-Russian relations. I am sure our Russian friends also see this fact. Both Turkey and Russia have the will not to be deceived by this false flag attack.”

Since Erdoğan apologized to Putin for shooting down a Russian plane on the Turkish-Syrian border in November 2015, Moscow and Ankara have been trying to rebuild ties. Although it has not always been a smooth path, Russia and Turkey appear to be moving closer to each other. The agreement between Ankara and Moscow over the Turkish Stream project – a natural gas pipeline that would run from Russia to Turkey via the Black Sea, and potentially be extended into southeast Europe – is illustrative of the improvement in relations between the two countries. If Turkey, Russia and Iran manage to forge an agreement over Syria, this will bring the Syrian conflict much closer to being resolved, considering the role Turkey has played in supporting the rebels in neighboring Syria.

There was a clear motive for certain factions within the CIA and other intelligence agencies to attempt to impede the Turkish-Russian rapprochement, and disrupt the potential of an alliance between Turkey, Russia and Iran emerging. The shooting may also be an attempt to send a message to Putin that figures close to him can be assassinated with ease. We should not forget that Putin’s favorite driver was killed in a freak road accident in September.


Steven MacMillan is a freelance writer and editor of  The Analyst Report

December 21, 2016 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Syria, Russia and American Desperation

By Margaret Kimberley | Black Agenda Report | December 21, 2016

It is no coincidence that anti-Russian propaganda is being ramped up at the same moment the Syrian government is poised to retake its country from terrorists. Barack Obama and the rest of the war party are left to sputter nonsensical statements because their grand plan to realize the neocon Project for a New American Century is in very big trouble.

The American corporate media ignored the suffering of Syrians in the city of Aleppo until their captivity was broken by the Syrian Arab Army. Ever since 2012 ISIS and other terrorist groups sponsored by the United States, NATO, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar have held thousands of people hostage there. Turks picked the region apart, raiding Syrian factories and transporting them piece by piece back to their country.

Now that the Syrians are retaking the city with the help of their Russian and Hezbollah allies, there is a steady stream of news about Aleppo. All of it is meant to pull at the heart strings of uninformed people as the human rights industrial complex reliably goes about its dirty work. Human Rights Watch and other groups who work to promote United States foreign policy speak endlessly about war crimes. They didn’t say much when America’s allies were terrorizing Syrians but now they suddenly point fingers and always at the people who run afoul of regime change plans.

The five year-long effort to destroy the Syrian state has produced many victims in that country and it always threatened to spark a larger international conflict. The assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey could be such a moment. The gunman’s last words and obviously his actions were a call to jihad. Even one hundred years later the 1914 assassination in Sarajevo is not far from memory.

But the United States is the principal actor in this drama. None of the other nations involved in this crime would have acted absent American direction. All of the casualties, the sieges, the hunger and the frantic search for refuge can be placed at America’s feet. So too the death of the Russian ambassador. This international tangle is covered with American finger prints.

The Syrian government is determined to take back its country and the Americans and their allies are equally determined to thwart it. The recent successes of the Syrian army explain part of the desperation coming from Obama, the Democratic Party and corporate media. Blaming Russia kills several birds with one stone. It continues the propaganda war against a country that will not knuckle under and accept American hegemony. The hyper Russophobia was also an attempt to make the unpalatable and incompetent Hillary Clinton more appealing. And its continuation is being used by Democrats and Republicans to stop the incoming president from having any chance to improve relations with that country or curtail the regime change doctrine. The war party never sleeps.

Barack Obama’s last press conference was replete with lies and insults aimed at Russia and Vladimir Putin. He should have been embarrassed to say that Russia was “smaller,” “weaker” and “doesn’t produce anything that anybody wants to buy except oil and gas and arms.” He completed his bizarre rant by saying that Putin was “the former head of the KGB.” He was no such thing and of course Obama knows that. It isn’t clear if he expected anyone to believe him or if facing his failure carried him away to heights of rhetorical foolishness.

Obama thought that Hillary Clinton would win and complete his regime change plans. Not only did she lose and deprive him of his third term but the hollowness of his legacy is clear. Obviously “hope and change” was a marketing tag line meant to hide his commitment to the world wide neoliberal project.

Donald Trump will be president of the United States in just four weeks. That is a short period of time in which to pull off a soft coup. He will be inaugurated but team Obama want to make sure he cannot upend the status quo they work so hard to uphold.

While the Democratic Party rank and file are anxious about racism, immigration, Islamophobia, judicial appointees and voter suppression their leaders only care about maintaining imperialism. Obama and the rest of the democratic party are unworthy of the loyalty they engender. On January 20th thousands of people will head to Washington to protest Trump while the Democrats will be making last ditch efforts to help jihadists destroy Syria.

Some of the protesters ought to target their ire at Obama and the Democrats and not just because of their electoral failure. They ought to pledge an end to support for warmongering Democrats altogether. If it is true that Trump is a fascist he won’t be the first one in the White House. His predecessor fits that description just as well. But events may have spun out of his control. The fate of Syria may not be in American hands any longer. And that is why the desperation is so evident.


Margaret Kimberley can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.

December 21, 2016 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | Leave a comment

Is the CIA editing your newspaper?

By Jonathan Cook | Dissident Voice | December 20, 2016

Here is a great overview by Ed Jones of why corporate media are the arch-exponents of “fake news”. The media are overwhelming owned and controlled by billionaires and gargantuan corporations, who depend on the support of other corporations for ad revenue, and employ journalists from a narrow, privileged class whose careers depend on maintaining access to elite sources. It would be simply astounding in these circumstances if we had anything resembling a pluralistic media.

The data concerns UK outlets, but the same principles apply in the US.

One section makes especially disturbing reading. It is the little-discussed matter of the intelligence services’ deep penetration of most western, and in some cases non-western, media organisations. In short, US intelligence services – and to a lesser extent British ones – have for many decades fed information to sympathetic journalists in key positions inside the “free” media, working with them hand in glove. Additionally, the CIA has sought to put its own people into publications to shape directly editorial content and influence public opinion. In some cases, these people may have reached very senior positions.

Nick Davies, of the Guardian, dedicated a whole chapter of his book Flat Earth News to documenting these practices. Strangely, that chapter is rarely mentioned. Journalists who praise the book instead concentrate on his less revealing concept of “churnalism” – journalism compromised by constraints of time and resources.

Jones adds other sources who make much the same point:

Richard Keeble, professor of journalism at the University of Lincoln, … has written on the history of the links between journalists and the intelligence services. … He quotes Roy Greenslade, who has been a media specialist for both the Telegraph and the Guardian [and is a former editor of the Mirror newspaper], as saying: “Most tabloid newspapers – or even newspapers in general – are playthings of MI5 [Britain’s FBI].”

Keeble goes on to say:

Bloch and Fitzgerald, in their examination of covert UK warfare, report the editor of ‘one of Britain’s most distinguished journals’ as believing that more than half its foreign correspondents were on the MI6 payroll [the British equivalent of the CIA – my emphasis]. And in 1991, Richard Norton-Taylor revealed in the Guardian that 500 prominent Britons paid by the CIA and the now defunct Bank of Commerce and Credit International, included 90 journalists.

Keeble has given many more examples in his book chapter of the intelligence services infiltrating the media and changing the politics of the time, including around the miners strikes and Arthur Scargill in the 1980s and during the lead-up to the Iraq war in 2003. …

David Leigh, former investigations editor of The Guardian, wrote about a series of instances in which the secret services manipulated prominent journalists. He claims reporters are routinely approached and manipulated by intelligence agents and identifies three ways – providing examples for each in his article – in which they do it:

• They attempt to recruit journalists to spy on other people or themselves attempt to go under journalistic “cover.”

• They allow intelligence officers to pose as journalists “to write tendentious articles under false names.”

• And “the most malicious form”: they plant intelligence agency propaganda stories on willing journalists who disguise their origin from readers.

Remember that those who should be exposing the intelligence services’ manipulation of the mainstream media are the very same mainstream media that are already compromised. In other words, this story of systematic “fake news” planted by our intelligence services is almost impossible for the media to tell because it would expose a very uncomfortable reality: that they are not, as they claim, watchdogs on power, but rather the lapdogs of the powerful.

If all this still seems hard to believe, please watch this video of a senior German journalist admitting that he was recruited by the US intelligence services (h/t Antonio Nascimento). Udo Ulfkotte covered the Middle East for the Frankfurter Allgemeine for 12 years, and says he regularly acted as a conduit for CIA propaganda. He adds that many of his colleagues were doing the same, willingly promoting CIA disinformation.

Jonathan Cook, based in Nazareth, Israel is a winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism.

December 21, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Fake News, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 1 Comment

Bearing Witness to the Liberation of Hanano, East Aleppo

A Personal View by Vanessa Beeley | 21st Century Wire | December 20, 2016

This video is in honour of all those who have suffered in East Aleppo under the Nusra Front regime funded by the NATO and Gulf states and imposed upon Syria and its people in order to bring about “regime change” and to achieve the US alliance geopolitical aims in the region and to strengthen Israel in the Middle East.

I hope it goes some way towards conveying the incredible suffering that these people endured and the joy they expressed when, at last, they were free from four years of brutal sectarianism, torture, abuse and starvation, not at the hands of the Syrian government, as described by the baying corporate media in the West, but at the hands of the terrorist and militant factions injected into East Aleppo by the very governments who were screaming “humanitarian crisis”.

Children, prematurely aged, whose childhood has been ravaged and stolen from them by our vulture regimes in the west via their proxy “child catchers” and exploiters.

They were using images of tiny Omran Daqneesh to cynically manipulate emotions in the west and to nudge public perception towards their goal of a No Fly Zone to ensure the deaths of yet more children.

Meanwhile, the children of East Aleppo continued to suffer and be traumatised as their siblings, their fathers, their mothers, their world was raped, beheaded, shot, mined, sniped, detonated, exploded in front of them.

Who will heal these children? Who will give them back their childhood, their innocence? Who will say sorry for the blood in the streets and the dust in their souls.

I am not writing this as a journalist but as a human being. To witness the level of depravity and extremism unleashed by the creatures who govern us and to see children – emaciated, angry, bruised and wounded children glaring at the world through a filter of pain, it is hard to be anything else.

For Aleppo and for Syria with all my love and my hope that one day the Syrian people will forgive all of us for what has been done to them.

December 21, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | Leave a comment

CIA is misrepresenting FBI’s and Clapper’s doubts on CIA’s Russian hacking claims

By Alexander Mercouris | The Duran | December 20, 2016

Four days ago on 16th December 2016 the Washington Post, the newspaper which has been the most zealous in spreading the story that Russian hacking influenced the outcome of the US Presidential election, published a report that claimed that ODNI and the FBI – which had previously appeared to express doubts – had fallen into line with the claims concerning the hacking being made by the CIA.

This report follows earlier reports that not just the FBI but more critically ODNI, Director of Intelligence James Clapper’s Office, have expressed doubts about the CIA’s claims of Russian hacking.

The Washington Post article that ODNI and the FBI have fallen into line behind the Russian hacking claims stems from a private memorandum circulated to officials of the CIA by CIA Director John Brennan.

The memorandum, which was obviously leaked to the Washington Post by officials of the CIA, reads as follows

Earlier this week, I met separately with (Director) FBI James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election. The three of us also agree that our organisations, along with others, need to focus on completing the thorough review of this issue that has been directed by President Obama and which is being led by the DNI.  In recent days, I have had several conversations with members of Congress, providing an update on the status of the review as well as the considerations that need to be taken into account as we proceed.  Many — but unfortunately not all — members understand and appreciate the importance and the gravity of the issue, and they are very supportive of the process that is underway.

(bold italics added)

The first thing to say about this memorandum is that it originates from within the CIA, not from ODNI or the FBI. The media asked ODNI and the FBI to comment on the memorandum but as is their invariable practice they refused to do so.

The second point to make about this memorandum is that – as the memorandum implicitly admits – the CIA’s claims have not gone uncontested within the US political world, and that there have been some complaints from some Republicans and from Donald Trump and his transition team that the CIA is politicising the issue. In light of this reports of doubts on the part of ODNI and the FBI are dangerous for both the CIA and for CIA Director Brennan personally, giving them a strong reason to play the existence of these doubts down.

The third point to make is that Brennan’s memorandum and its leaking to the Washington Post came immediately following US President Obama’s own public endorsement of the CIA’s claims of Russian hacking, and his threats to take retaliatory action against Russia.

In light of the President’s public statement, it is a certainty that ODNI and the FBI have been under intense pressure from the Obama administration and the CIA to endorse what is now the US government’s official line. Brennan’s memorandum is almost certainly a product of that pressure.

In the event the memorandum stops well short of giving either the Obama administration or the CIA the strong endorsement they were looking for, which is why news of it had to be given in such an indirect way – through the leaking of a private internal memorandum of the CIA to the Washington Post – rather than in a public statement.

That ODNI and the FBI have fallen well short of providing the endorsement the Obama administration and the CIA were looking for is also shown by the language of the memorandum itself. It speaks of  “consensus” rather than “agreement”, a word that leaves open the possibility for disagreement, especially in light of the review which is now underway.

There is in fact nothing in the memorandum that contradicts the doubts passed on to Reuters by the three ODNI officials who were speaking on behalf of both ODNI and the FBI, and whose comments I have discussed previously.

It is hardly plausible that in the few days since those officials spoke to Reuters the US’s various intelligence agencies have learnt anything new that would cause ODNI or the FBI to change their views. If anything new had come to light, we would certainly have heard about it, and it is a certainty Brennan would have mentioned it in his memorandum.

As to why ODNI and the FBI doubt the CIA’s claims, as the ODNI officials told Reuters it is because they are inferential

[The CIA conclusion] was a judgment based on the fact that Russian entities hacked both Democrats and Republicans and only the Democratic information was leaked. (It was) a thin reed upon which to base an analytical judgment.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose evidentiary standards require it to make cases that can stand up in court, declined to accept the CIA’s analysis – a deductive assessment of the available intelligence – for the same reason.

Note in particular the point made by one ODNI official to Reuters

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

(bold italics added)

Reading this last comment, it is easy to see what has happened.

Brennan is misrepresenting ODNI’s and the FBI’s negative point – that they are not arguing that the CIA is wrong – by presenting it as a positive  – that they accept (“strong consensus”) that the CIA is right.

Affirming a positive from a negative is of course a well known debating trick, even though it is a logical fallacy. That however is what CIA Director Brennan has done.

I would repeat a point here that I made in my previous article discussing the comments by the three ODNI officials to Reuters : not only were those officials acting on DNI Clapper’s instructions, but it is very likely that DNI Clapper was one of them. Indeed it is quite possible that he was the one who made the point to Reuters about ODNI “not arguing that the CIA is wrong”.

If Clapper used the same words to Brennan, then it becomes even easier to see how Brennan might be misrepresenting Clapper’s words. Of course Brennan would be acting in a grossly insubordinate way. However since both he and Clapper are about to retire, and since Brennan knows he has Obama’s backing, it is doubtful Brennan cares very much about it.

December 21, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | Leave a comment