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Pathologizing conspiracy theories is the lazy government’s method of suppressing dissent

By Helen Buyniski – RT – November 12, 2019

The term ‘conspiracy theory’ has long been used to discredit anyone pointing out collusion between powerful people, but efforts to pathologize dissent as ‘conspiracism’ are doomed to collapse under the weight of reality.

Conspiracy theories are divisive, dangerous, even evil, according to the mainstream media. They cause “violence, including terrorism,” former Obama administration official Cass Sunstein notoriously declared, and the FBI’s Phoenix field office recently reiterated. They’re a way for ignorant people to make sense of the world, academics cry, or a holdover from the caveman era, when primitive man had to suspect enemies around every corner. More recently, they’ve been described as a way for white people to deal with demographic changes.

But conspiracies are everywhere in American politics today in a way that is nearly impossible to ignore. Convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s sweetheart deal, given an open-door 13-month sentence despite evidence of abusing and trafficking scores of girls (“he belongs to intelligence,” the prosecutor later claimed he was told),  the machinations of the so-called Deep State (“thank God for the Deep State!” ex CIA director John McLaughlin chuckled, live on CSPAN), and the CIA’s fomenting of coups around the world are just the tip of a massive iceberg we are told does not exist except in the minds of crazy or backward people – one on which the ship of state has wrecked itself again and again.

Unable to drive people away from researching secret plots by calling them racist cavemen, academia has revived the word “conspiracism,” a term first coined in the 1980s to describe the pervasiveness of conspiracy theories in politics as a sort of mass psychosis. The not-so-subtle inclusion of the word “racism” might not be intentional, but it certainly doesn’t hurt when you want to slime anyone poking around behind the façade of power – or deny there is such a façade at all.

‘Conspiracy theory’ has become the go-to shorthand in the mainstream media for inconvenient outbreaks of political dissent. CNN’s Jim Acosta applied it to the idea professed by President Donald Trump and many independent journalists that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election on behalf of the DNC. CNN’s Chris Cillizza applied it to Trump’s claim that Google was suppressing conservative news outlets in its search results, a claim echoed by many right-leaning social media users.

But the mainstream media also reported on Ukrainian involvement in the 2016 election, and multiple Google whistleblowers have come forward to confirm the search giant does, in fact, suppress right-leaning sources in its news searches.

Meanwhile, truly unhinged conspiracy theories blaming Russia for any vote that doesn’t go the way the US government likes – whether it’s Brexit in the UK or the election of right-wing candidates in Italy – as well as political dissent both abroad and at home – are passed off as real news. Indeed, the mainstream media has spent so much time peddling fantasies like the “Russian collusion” delusion – which dominated headlines for three years in the absence of concrete evidence before dying ignominiously – that trust in ‘journalism’ is at record lows. The abundance of real conspiracies behind many of the turning points of recent history – Watergate, the Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction” hoax, and the CIA arming and training terrorist “mujahideen” in Afghanistan to fight the Soviet Union being just a few examples – is rarely mentioned amidst the endless mockery of those tinfoil-hat loonies who believe the rich and powerful are working together behind the scenes.

Even some mainstream journalists see through the tripe they’re asked to report, as Project Veritas’ recent leak of an ABC reporter calling out a conspiracy to suppress her story on suspiciously-deceased pedophile Jeffrey Epstein proved. A media apparatus that can’t even fool the people on its payroll is in a sad state indeed.

Powerful people and intelligence agencies who don’t want the hoi polloi probing their misdeeds are aware they have a crisis of credibility on their hands. Even the FBI, in a memo warning agents that conspiracy theorists (like literally everyone else) are dangerous loonies, had to admit that the “uncovering of real conspiracies or cover-ups involving illegal, harmful, or unconstitutional activities by government officials or leading political figures” might be behind the outbreak of conspiracy theorizing that had seized the nation. In other words, conspiracy theories are everywhere because conspiracies are everywhere.

The tradition of labeling ideas conspiracy theories to discredit them is itself a conspiracy – a documented one. The term was weaponized in 1967 in a CIA memo about how to quash criticism of the Warren Report, the product of the government investigation into President John F. Kennedy’s murder. The memo laments that some 46 percent of Americans did not believe the assassin acted alone, and details how the agency might “counter and discredit the claims of the conspiracy theorists” suggesting others were involved. It recommends “employ[ing] propaganda assets to refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose.” The agency had infiltrated mainstream media through its Operation Mockingbird, paying or even planting journalists to push favorable viewpoints, and a flood of articles denouncing ‘conspiracy theorists’ followed, pushing the term into the popular lexicon.

Over half a century later, the CIA’s plan hasn’t worked very well – a 2017 poll found that the percentage of Americans who believe JFK’s death was the result of a conspiracy had swelled to 61 percent. But rather than come up with a new strategy, the media’s narrative managers have simply doubled down on the failed one, expanding the range of opinions smeared as “conspiracy theories” and heaping scorn upon their adherents.

Feature  articles  still  try to shame people , diagnosing anyone suspicious of threadbare media narratives with the societal psychosis of ‘conspiracism.’ It may work to keep inconvenient truths out of the mainstream media, but in the absence of a compelling alternative narrative – one that can’t be disproven by the evidence of one’s own senses (or a few minutes’ research on the internet) – conspiracy-shaming is a weak weapon. People are much less likely to look for conspiratorial explanations if the “facts” presented by the media make sense. But if mainstream narratives continue to decline in believability, pretty soon people will be dismissing establishment journalists as “coincidence theorists.”

Also on rt.com:

Only thing clear about the new Transparency Act is that US senators are about to let Google keep manipulating your search results

November 12, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

John Brennan’s CIA Trump Task Force

Could it become Obamagate?

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • November 12, 2019

There is considerable evidence that the American system of government may have been victimized by an illegal covert operation organized and executed by the U.S. intelligence and national security community. Former Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and former FBI Director Jim Comey appear to have played critical leadership roles in carrying out this conspiracy and they may not have operated on their own. Almost certainly what they may have done would have been explicitly authorized by the former President of the United States, Barack Obama, and his national security team.

It must have seemed a simple operation for the experienced CIA covert action operatives. To prevent the unreliable and unpredictable political upstart Donald Trump from being nominated as the GOP presidential candidate or even elected it would be necessary to create suspicion that he was the tool of a resurgent Russia, acting under direct orders from Vladimir Putin to empower Trump and damage the campaign of Hillary Clinton. Even though none of the alleged Kremlin plotters would have expected Trump to actually beat Hillary, it was plausible to maintain that they would have hoped that a weakened Clinton would be less able to implement the anti-Russian agenda that she had been promoting. Many observers in both Russia and the U.S. believed that if she had been elected armed conflict with Moscow would have been inevitable, particularly if she moved to follow her husband’s example and push to have both Georgia and Ukraine join NATO, which Russia would have regarded as an existential threat.

Trump’s surprising victory forced a pivot, with Clapper, Brennan and Comey adjusting the narrative to make it appear that Trump the traitor may have captured the White House due to help from the Kremlin, making him a latter-day Manchurian Candidate. The lesser allegations of Russian meddling were quickly elevated to devastating assertions that the Republican had only won with Putin’s assistance.

No substantive evidence for the claim of serious Russian meddling has ever been produced in spite of years of investigation, but the real objective was to plant the story that would plausibly convince a majority of Americans that the election of Donald Trump was somehow illegitimate.

The national security team acted to protect their candidate Hillary Clinton, who represented America’s Deep State. In spite of considerable naysaying, the Deep State is real, not just a wild conspiracy theory. Many Americans nevertheless do not believe that the Deep State exists, that it is a politically driven media creation much like Russiagate itself was, but if one changes the wording a bit and describes the Deep State as the Establishment, with its political power focused in Washington and its financial center in New York City, the argument that there exists a cohesive group of power brokers who really run the country becomes much more plausible.

The danger posed by the Deep State, or, if you choose, the Establishment, is that it wields immense power but is unelected and unaccountable. It also operates through relationships that are not transparent and as the media is part of it, there is little chance that its activity will be exposed.

Nevertheless, some might even argue that having a Deep State is a healthy part of American democracy, that it serves as a check or corrective element on a political system that has largely been corrupted and which no longer serves national interests. But that assessment surely might have been made before it became clear that many of the leaders of the nation’s intelligence and security agencies are no longer the people’s honorable servants they pretend to be. They have been heavily politicized since at least the time of Ronald Reagan and have frequently succumbed to the lure of wealth and power while identifying with and promoting the interests of the Deep State.

Indeed, a number of former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Directors have implicitly or even directly admitted to the existence of a Deep State that has as one of its roles keeping presidents like Donald Trump in check. Most recently, John McLaughlin, responding to a question about Donald Trump’s concern over Deep State involvement in the ongoing impeachment process, said unambiguously “Well, you know, thank God for the ‘deep state’… With all of the people who knew what was going on here, it took an intelligence officer to step forward and say something about it, which was the trigger that then unleashed everything else. This is the institution within the U.S. government… is institutionally committed to objectivity and telling the truth. It is one of the few institutions in Washington that is not in a chain of command that makes or implements policy. Its whole job is to speak the truth — it’s engraved in marble in the lobby.”

Well, John’s dedication to truth is exemplary but how does he explain his own role in support of the lies being promoted by his boss George “slam dunk” Tenet that led to the war against Iraq, the greatest foreign policy disaster ever experienced by the United States? Or Tenet’s sitting in the U.N. directly behind Secretary of State Colin Powell in the debate over Iraq, providing cover and credibility for what everyone inside the system knew to be a bundle of lies? Or his close friend and colleague Michael Morell’s description of Trump as a Russian agent, a claim that was supported by zero evidence and which was given credibility only by Morell’s boast that “I ran the CIA.”

Beyond that, more details have been revealed demonstrating exactly how Deep State associates have attempted, with considerable success, to subvert the actual functioning of American democracy. Words are one thing, but acting to interfere in an electoral process or to undermine a serving president is a rather more serious matter.

It is now known that President Barack Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan created a Trump Task Force in early 2016. Rather than working against genuine foreign threats, this Task Force played a critical role in creating and feeding the meme that Donald Trump was a tool of the Russians and a puppet of President Vladimir Putin, a claim that still surfaces regularly to this day. Working with James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, Brennan fabricated the narrative that “Russia had interfered in the 2016 election.” Brennan and Clapper promoted that tale even though they knew very well that Russia and the United States have carried out a broad array of covert actions against each other, including information operations, for the past seventy years, but they pretended that what happened in 2016 was qualitatively and substantively different even though the “evidence” produced to support that claim was and still is weak to nonexistent.

The Russian “election interference” narrative went on steroids on January 6, 2017, shortly before Trump was inaugurated, when an “Intelligence Community Assessment” (ICA) orchestrated by Clapper and Brennan was published. The banner headline atop The New York Times, itself an integral part of the Deep State, on the following day set the tone for what was to follow: “Putin Led Scheme to Aid Trump, Report Says.”

With the help of the Establishment media, Clapper and Brennan were able to pretend that the ICA had been approved by “all 17 intelligence agencies” (as first claimed by Hillary Clinton). After several months, however Clapper revealed that the preparers of the ICA were “handpicked analysts” from only the FBI, CIA, and NSA. He explained rather unconvincingly during an interview on May 28, 2017, that “the historical practices of the Russians, who typically, are almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique,” adding later that “It’s in their DNA.”

Task Force Trump was kept secret within the Agency itself because the CIA is not supposed to spy on Americans. Its staff was pulled together by invitation-only. Specific case officers (i.e., men and women who recruit and handle spies overseas), analysts and administrative personnel were recruited, presumably based on their political reliability. Not everyone invited accepted the offer. But many did because it came with promises of promotion and other rewards.

And this was not a CIA-only operation. Personnel from the FBI also were assigned to the Task Force with the approval of then Director James Comey. Former MI-6 agent Christopher Steele’s FBI handler, Michael Gaeta, may have been one of those detailed to the Trump Task Force. Steele, of course, prepared the notorious dossier that was surfaced shortly before Donald Trump took office. It included considerable material intended to tie Trump to Russia, information that was in many cases fabricated or unsourced.

So, what kind of things would this Task Force do? The case officers would work with foreign intelligence services such as MI-6, the Italians, the Ukrainians and the Australians on identifying intelligence collection priorities that would implicate Trump and his associates in illegal activity. And there is evidence that John Brennan himself would contact his counterparts in allied intelligence services to obtain their discreet cooperation, something they would be inclined to do in collegial fashion, ignoring whatever reservations they might have about spying on a possible American presidential candidate.

Trump Task Force members could have also tasked the National Security Agency (NSA) to do targeted collection. They also would have the ability to engage in complicated covert actions that would further set up and entrap Trump and his staff in questionable activity, such as the targeting of associate George Papadopoulos. If he is ever properly interviewed, Maltese citizen Joseph Mifsud may be able to shed light on the CIA officers who met with him, briefed him on operational objectives regarding Papadopoulos and helped arrange monitored meetings. It is highly likely that Azra Turk, the woman who met with George Papadopoulos, was part of the CIA Trump Task Force.

The Task Force also could carry out other covert actions, sometimes using press or social media placements to disseminate fabrications about Trump and his associates. Information operations is a benign-sounding euphemism for propaganda fed through the Agency’s friends in the media, and computer network operations can be used to create false linkages and misdirect inquiries. There has been some informed speculation that Guccifer 2.0 may have been a creation of this Task Force.

In light of what has been learned about the alleged CIA whistleblower there should be a serious investigation to determine if he was a part of this Task Force or, at minimum, reporting to them secretly after he was seconded to the National Security Council. All the CIA and FBI officers involved in the Task Force had sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, but nevertheless were involved in a conspiracy to first denigrate and then possibly bring down a legally elected president. That effort continues with repeated assertions regarding Moscow’s malevolent intentions for the 2020 national elections. Some might reasonably regard the whole Brennan affair, to include its spear carriers among the current and retired national security state leadership, as a case of institutionalized treason, and it inevitably leads to the question “What did Obama know?”

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

November 12, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Afghanistan: An On-Going Story of War Crimes

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By Salman Rafi Sheikh – New Eastern Outlook – 09.11.2019

While the Afghan peace process has been stalled and US forces have been busy dropping more bombs on Afghanistan than any other time in the last decade or so of the Afghan war, the story of gross human rights violations and even potential war crimes, too, continues to unfold in the country. With more civilian and unarmed innocent people dying at the hands of US and Afghan forces, including CIA-trained, funded and backed paramilitary militias, the question of which side actually follows barbaric methods has gained an unusual significance. According to the UNO, only during the first half of 2019, US and Afghan forces killed more civilians than the Taliban or ISIS, known as IS-K in Afghanistan, did. This figure does not include the number of innocent people who die due to heavy bombing in isolated areas of Afghanistan, where documenting these deaths is almost impossible.

Ever since the so-called ‘reduction’ of US forces from Afghanistan–a sugar-coated pill that the US policy makers fed their public with—the US war strategy has put on a much more secretive and a lot less accountable veil. The organisation of the US and Afghan elite units that mainly operate in Afghanistan tell the story of how the war is being fought. For one thing, there is little to nothing that people generally know about them. There is no clear information available about how many Afghans and Americans belong to them, how members are recruited, what their budget is, how their hierarchy functions, or if they are subject to oversight. These groups have been organised regionally: Zero-One in central Afghanistan, Zero-Two in the east, Zero-Three in the south, and Zero-Four in the north.

While these groups, as Afghan officials themselves claim, have been effective in killing both the Taliban and ISIS fighters, they also frequently engage in extra-judicial killings. Significantly enough, these groups operate solely under the command of the CIA and are answerable not to the Afghan authorities or the Afghan military forces but to the CIA. Therefore, what they do and how they do it must directly be attributed to the CIA.

Thus the story of their activity, as recently documented by Human Rights Watch (HRW) not only reveals their atrocities but also brings to light the ugly face of the Afghan war after the so-called ‘withdrawal’ of the bulk of US forces first under the Obama administration and then the Trump administration.

This withdrawal has only led the CIA to not only expand its role but also turn itself into a rather independent actor in Afghanistan. Therefore, as many even in the main stream western media have reported, these operations are not “military operations” and it is not clear if laws governing military operations can apply to these militias.

Perhaps, they don’t and that explains the impunity with which these groups operate and shoot people summarily or disappear them for a long time. The said HRW report has documented at least 14 cases from 2017 to 2019 which clearly show the trail of abuse and anger that these ‘special operations forces’ leave behind.

However, while these operations are not technically “military operations”, a US policy shift in 2017 created a provision for these groups to call in air-strikes as and when needed, thereby implying that these operation still had US military’s blessings and aren’t just an exclusive affair of the CIA. The “zero” groups, according the 2017-policy, can call for air strike even without the US forces present on the ground alongside them to identify targets.

According to HRW report, this change of policy and discretion given to the militias has “meant that airstrikes are hitting more residential buildings, while a decreased US ground presence and a reliance on local Afghan intelligence sources has meant there is less information available about the possible presence of civilians in those buildings.”

Accordingly, the report claims, “in many of the night raids that Human Rights Watch investigated, Afghan paramilitary forces seem to have unlawfully targeted civilians because of mistaken identity, poor intelligence, or political rivalries in the locality”; hence, an increasing number of the loss of innocent lives at their hands, explaining why the Taliban continue to receive support from the public. As it stands, in many of the cases the New York Times had investigated back in 2018, one of the primary reasons behind “night raids” and disappearance and killing of people by them was their support for the Taliban, which was often confined to just providing food and shelter out of fear.

The militias’ inability to wean people away from the Taliban explains why these groups engage in what the HRW report calls “willful violation of the law” and unjustifiable use of force.

As is evident, the long trail of abuse that these operations leave behind will never let the US win the war in Afghanistan. On the other hand, a deliberate policy followed by the highest US officials, including the president, continues to encourage these acts through a systematic blockade of any attempts at war crimes investigation. In 2018, when the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court requested an investigation of possible war crimes by the US forces in Afghanistan, including abuses by the CIA, the US State Department bullied the ICC into silence by revoking the chief prosecutor’s visa and threatening the court with sanctions, thus unwittingly posing serious questions about the sincerity of usual US concerns and claims about human rights and liberty. Obviously, these concerns don’t apply to the US-occupied and CIA-managed Afghanistan.

Salman Rafi Sheikh is a research-analyst of International Relations and Pakistan’s foreign and domestic affairs.

November 9, 2019 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Russiagate is a cult, complete with unquestionable doctrine, dissent-shaming, and us-vs-them cosmology

By Helen Buyniski | RT | November 6, 2019

Americans still clinging to the idea that their candidate lost the 2016 election because of meddling by the Russian state have much in common with victims of brainwashing cults. For them, doctrine has eclipsed reality.

Russiagate true believers are already screaming about foreign interference in the 2020 election and it hasn’t even happened yet. Months after the long-awaited special counsel’s report failed to serve up the promised evidence of “Russian collusion,” they have held fast to their conviction that President Donald Trump is a Russian asset placed in office by Vladimir Putin, and the intelligence agencies that serve as their oracles have predicted further “meddling” will occur to keep him in office. Indeed, their beliefs only grow stronger the more contrary evidence is presented, to the point where they have more in common with a cult than any other political group.

Russiagaters are back in the headlines after the Justice Department, the Pentagon, and a cluster of intelligence agencies released a joint statement on “ensuring security” for the 2020 elections on Tuesday. But to be fair, they never really left. Just last month, they were pearl-clutching about Russians on Facebook targeting Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden, and before that, it was a non-story about Trump supposedly telling Russian officials he wasn’t concerned about the (still-unproven, but who’s counting) Russian interference in the 2016 election.

There’s no such thing as a negative Russiagate story, and even if Trump is ousted from office and replaced with a safely Russophobic warmonger like Biden, the election will be presented as a narrow victory over the forces of Russian meddling. If Trump wins in the absence of Russian interference, Russiagaters will claim there was a coverup. If intelligence agencies claim there was, but fail to show proof, as they did in 2016, it will be because the proof has to stay classified. If they declare there was meddling, and show reality-based proof – which hasn’t happened yet for any of the elections deemed to involve Russian meddling – then, and only then, can the story be trusted. This is not how reality works.

Such unshakeable faith is typically the domain of religion, not politics. But three years after the initial claims of Russian meddling in the US election, with the sanguine early predictions Trump would be running home to Putin within months having thoroughly collapsed, Russiagate resembles nothing so much as a fringe religious cult. The devotees of high priests Rachel Maddow and Bill Maher may not have a deity, but they have their saints – former FBI director James Comey, former special counsel Robert Mueller, and failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who continues to play the part of the martyr in interviews. On the side of evil is, of course, Vladimir Putin, portrayed as omnipotent – “Russia” is behind all domestic discord and will shut off your heat in the middle of the winter on a lark – and irresistible, with a few Facebook groups and clumsy memes somehow enough to induce black voters to elect a Russian asset.

Led by Maddow and Maher, certain mainstream media figures have set themselves up as a “priest class,” urging viewers to allow them to interpret primary sources such as the Democratic National Committee emails released by WikiLeaks in lieu of reading them themselves. CNN’s Chris Cuomo led the establishment of this caste, warning viewers the month before the election that they were not allowed to read WikiLeaks publications – that was for journalists to do. The media can thus smooth over any logical inconsistencies with the collusion doctrine and memory-hole the really inconvenient primary sources. Believers’ faith is thus protected, dissenting reports rejected (after all, if it was legitimate, it would be printed or discussed in the mainstream media), and doubters frozen out in a phenomenon cult expert Robert J Lifton calls “mystical manipulation.” In fact, most of the characteristics Lifton includes in his checklist for brainwashing cults are fulfilled by Russiagaters.

Cultists are kept from straying too far into “wrongthink” through thought-stopping techniques they are taught by other members early on. For Russiagate, this manifests in buzzwords like “fake news” and the smearing of all non-mainstream sources as unreliable. True cultists will cut entire websites out of their news diet, lest they be exposed to “Russian disinformation” carefully disguised as, say, American conservatism (Breitbart, Infowars) or peace activism (antiwar.com, the Ron Paul Institute). Even aggregators like Drudge Report have been smeared by the PropOrNot list later used, more disturbingly, by more authoritative voices like the Poynter Institute in an attempt to smear entire sections of the web as disinformation and “fake news.” Such “milieu control” keeps cultists safe in their echo-chambers.

By controlling a person’s information environment, it becomes much easier to control their thoughts. Brainwashing cults demand purity from their members, and both impure thoughts – perusing “fake news” or having civilized online chats with dissenters – and impure people must be jettisoned. If you can’t convert your friends (or family, or spouse!) to see things your way politically, ditch them, a surprising number of articles recommended around the 2016 election. This is no different than a cult demanding followers cut off family members who frown on its activities. Cults know that without a strong support system, it can be difficult to leave.

“Sacred science” is another hallmark of brainwashing cults, referring to unquestionable doctrine and the discouragement of questioning. Many elements of the Russiagate conspiracy theory – CrowdStrike’s assessment that the DNC fell victim to “Russian hacking,” delivered to the FBI without the actual server; the claim that the Internet Research Agency somehow changed voters’ minds with a few hundred thousand dollars’ worth of goofy memes, many of which were posted after the election – require a complete suspension of one’s critical faculties. The Hamilton68 “Russian bot” dashboard, cited by dozens of publications to support the claim that the Kremlin is steering political conversation on social media, has seen one creator largely disavow it (“I’m not convinced on this bot thing,” Clint Watts told Buzzfeed last year) and the other exposed as the leader of his own election-swaying faux-Russian bot armies. Yet the “Russian bots persuading people on social media” narrative persists, even when its targets reveal themselves to be humans.

The most disturbing element of a true brainwashing cult is “dispensing of existence,” the cult leader’s ability to determine who lives or dies (sometimes metaphorically, by being excommunicated, but sometimes literally). Russiagaters are quick to label their enemies traitors – former CIA director John Brennan infamously accused the president of treason last year, a crime that has a very specific meaning for an intelligence official who delivered “kill lists” weekly to the desk of former president Barack Obama. Brennan is not the leader of the Russiagate cult per se, but the investigation currently being conducted into the operation’s roots seems to point to the intelligence community, and recently turned into a criminal investigation.

Less powerful Russiagaters are fond of denouncing their enemies as Russians (and by extension less than human – recall former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s conviction that Russians are “genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate and gain favor,” unlike the rest of humans who are presumably trustworthy types who never lie under oath). Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul have all been tarred with the Russiagaters’ brush recently, given cringe-inducing nicknames like “Moscow Mitch” and “Red Paul” for disagreeing with doctrine. In medieval times, heretics were burned at the stake; now they are “burned” on social media.

Perhaps sensing the cult’s days are numbered, Brennan recently backpedaled in his conviction that Russians stole the 2016 election. Russian meddling “changed the mind of at least one voter,” he hedged at the National Press Club last week, not long after an enthusiastic colleague caused him to cringe by cheering “Thank God for the Deep State!” Russiagate may not be over – the warning from the intelligence agencies suggests they are preparing yet another excuse in case they lose the election – but when it does end, it will be with the saddest of whimpers.

November 6, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

Growing Indicators of Brennan’s CIA Trump Task Force

By Larry C Johnson | Sic Semper Tyrannus | November 2, 2019

The average American has no idea how alarming is the news that former CIA Director John Brennan reportedly created and staffed a CIA Task Force in early 2016 that was named, Trump Task Force, and given the mission of spying on and carrying out covert actions against the campaign of candidate Donald Trump.

This was not a simple gathering of a small number of disgruntled Democrats working at the CIA who got together like a book club to grouse and complain about the brash real estate guy from New York. It was a specially designed covert action to try to destroy Donald Trump.

A “Task Force” is a special bureaucratic creation that provides a vehicle for bringing case officers and analysts together, along with admin support, for a limited term project. But it also can be expanded to include personnel from other agencies, such as the FBI, DIA and NSA. Task Forces have been used since the inception of the CIA in 1947. Here’s a recently declassified memo outlining the considerations in the creation of a task force in 1958. The author, L.K. White, talks about the need for a coordinating Headquarters element and an Operational unit “in the field”, i.e. deployed around the world.

A Task Force operates independent of the CIA “Mission Centers” (that’s the jargon for the current CIA organization chart).

So what did John Brennan do? I am told by a knowledgeable source that Brennan created a Trump Task Force in early 2016. It was an invitation only Task Force. Specific case officers (i.e., men and women who recruit and handle spies overseas), analysts and admin personnel were recruited. Not everyone invited accepted the offer. But many did.

This was not a CIA only operation. Personnel from the FBI also were assigned to the Task Force. We have some clues that Christopher Steele’s FBI handler, Michael Gaeta, may have been detailed to the Trump Task Force (see here).

So what kind of things would this Task Force do? The case officers would work with foreign intelligence services such as MI-6, the Italians, the Ukrainians and the Australians on identifying intelligence collection priorities. Task Force members could task NSA to do targeted collection. They also would have the ability to engage in covert action, such as targeting George Papadopoulos. Joseph Mifsud may be able to shed light on the CIA officers who met with him, briefed on operational objectives regarding Papadopoulos and helped arrange monitored meetings. I think it is highly likely that the honey pot that met with George Papadopoulos, a woman named Azra Turk, was part of the CIA Trump Task Force.

The Task Force also could carry out other covert actions, such as information operations. A nice sounding euphemism for propaganda, and computer network operations. There has been some informed speculation that Guccifer 2.0 was a creation of this Task Force.

In light of what we have learned about the alleged CIA whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella, there should be a serious investigation to determine if he was a part of this Task Force or, at minimum, reporting to them.

When I described this to one friend, a retired CIA Chief of Station, his first response was, “My God, that’s illegal.” We then reminisced about another illegal operation carried out under the auspices of the CIA Central American Task Force back in the 1980s. That became known to Americans as the Iran Contra scandal.

I sure hope that John Durham and his team are looking at this angle. If true it marks a new and damning indictment of the corruption of the CIA. Rather than spying on genuine foreign threats, this Task Force played a critical role in creating and feeding the meme that Donald Trump was a tool of the Russians and a puppet of Putin.

November 3, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Russophobia | , , , , , | 3 Comments

‘Thank God for Deep State’, ex-CIA boss says. Still think it’s a conspiracy theory?

By Nebojsa Malic | RT | November 1, 2019

In just a few short months, the US political establishment has gone from denying the existence of the ‘Deep State’ and calling it a conspiracy theory, to praising it as the bulwark of the Republic against President Donald Trump.

“Thank God for the ‘Deep State,’” declared former CIA director John E. McLaughlin at an event this week, describing the diplomats and intelligence officers testifying before the congressional impeachment inquiry as “people who are doing their duty or responding to a higher call.”

Lavishing praise on the ‘whistleblower’ intelligence officer whose complaint about Trump’s phone call launched the impeachment probe, McLaughlin said the intelligence community is “institutionally committed to objectivity and telling the truth.”

One would think this might be a bit rich, coming from the former deputy director of the CIA at the time of the infamous ‘Iraqi WMDs’ fiasco – and acting director for a time in 2004 – but McLaughlin’s comments were met with applause by the crowd at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government.

He wasn’t the only one to praise the Deep State either. Sitting right next to him was John Brennan, the CIA director under President Barack Obama, whose fingerprints are all over the so-called ‘Steele dossier’ and ‘Russiagate’, and who is now enjoying a rewarding career as a TV pundit accusing Trump of treason.

Brennan argued that the reason Trump “has a contentious relationship with the Deep State people… is because they tell the truth,” and praised the unelected intelligence and law enforcement officials for continuing to “do their work irrespective of what he’s going to do or say.”

Under normal circumstances, these admissions would be rather earth-shattering. It isn’t every day that former bosses of the intelligence apparatus basically admit that yes, they are meddling in the country’s politics, because they feel they have a “higher loyalty” – to borrow a phrase from ex-FBI boss James Comey, another member of this merry cabal – than to the chief executive elected by the American people.

Yet the response has been muted at best, with a silent shrug and the implicit “nothing to see here, move along” from the major outlets. That’s not particularly surprising, given the media’s role in the ‘Russiagate’ conspiracy. Why, just a couple weeks ago, the New York Times published an opinion piece praising the Deep State along the very same lines Brennan and McLaughlin would.

When Trump and his defenders talked about the Deep State during the ‘Russiagate’ hysteria, the very same outlets pooh-poohed them as insane, paranoid, and delusional. Now they say the Deep State is real, it’s always been real, and it’s acting in the best interests of the American Republic – and if you don’t believe it, you’re the one who’s insane, paranoid and delusional. Sense a pattern?

Whatever one may think of Trump, it beggars belief that the very people who cry the loudest about “our democracy” are elevating an unelected bureaucracy, spies and counter-spies as the arbiters of it. It almost makes you think the people responsible for pushing the ‘Russian meddling’ conspiracy theory may have done it as a smokescreen for their own (mis)deeds.

Oh, wait.

November 1, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception | , | 2 Comments

Questions Remain Over Alleged Death of Islamic State Leader

Strategic Culture Foundation | November 1, 2019

Russia’s Ministry of Defense this week said it had not seen any credible evidence that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State (IS) terror group, had been killed in northern Syria last weekend, allegedly in a daring US military operation.

US President Donald Trump boasted last Sunday that American Special Forces raided a base in Idlib Province, which purportedly led to al-Baghdadi’s death from a suicide explosion. The Pentagon said six other people were killed in the operation. In addition, two of al-Baghdadi’s children were killed when the IS leader blew himself up as American troops were closing in, according to Trump’s own dramatic telling of the event.

Curiously, Trump gave prominent thanks to Russia for its help in the logistics of carrying out the attack.

However, Russian MOD spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov has subsequently stated that Russia was not involved in the raid, as Trump had claimed. He said that Russian flight data indicated that there were no US air strikes in the vicinity of the declared raid. The spokesman went further and remarked that there were doubts as to whether the assassination mission even took place in the way that Washington is publicly claiming.

Another anomaly in the official US account is that the base where al-Baghdadi was purportedly hiding out is in a location known to be a stronghold for another al-Qaeda affiliate that is a sworn enemy of their perceived rival jihadists belonging to IS. Why and how then was the IS leader able to maintain a base surrounded by enemy jihadists?

According to the New York Times, it is claimed that al-Baghdadi paid $67,000 to the rival terror group, Hurras al-Din, for protection. Somehow that sounds a dubious explanation.

A glaring omission in US media coverage of the alleged killing of al-Baghdadi is the historical background as to who he was and how his former so-called caliphate came into being straddling Iraq and Syria.

There is copious evidence that Iraqi-born al-Baghdadi was recruited by American intelligence while imprisoned during the US war on Iraq in the mid- to late-2000s. He was held in the notorious Abu Ghraib US-run torture prison, but subsequently was released by the Americans despite his known jihadist past. It was around 2012 that the Obama administration was covertly mobilizing and weaponizing jihadi assets to carry out its clandestine war for regime change against the Syrian government. It is believed that al-Baghdadi was a key CIA asset for the US dirty war in Syria, even though Washington was proclaiming its involvement in Syria was to “defeat IS” and other terror groups.

It is entirely plausible that US intelligence assets are “terminated” whenever it is politically convenient and when it is calculated that their usefulness has expired.

Trump and the mainstream US media depiction of a spectacular success in exterminating a feared terror chief is almost certainly a distortion of reality and events.

The way Trump in particular has crowed about the purported operation suggests he is seeking a boost to his re-election chances next year. The thuggish rhetoric of killing the IS leader “like a dog” smacks of Trump trying to project an image of a tough president.

More generally, the event has afforded US media to proclaim the virtue of American military power in apparently bringing a notorious renegade “to justice”.

The timing could not be more important. The nearly eight-year war in Syria has exposed the criminality of Washington and its NATO partners for fueling carnage. By contrast, the Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian allies have been vindicated in their long-held claims that a criminal US-backed aggression using terrorist proxies has been thwarted.

When Trump abandoned the Kurdish militants last month, the move was condemned for throwing Syria into further turmoil. It was Russia’s deft diplomacy which managed to contain the situation. At that point, Washington’s international credibility was scraping the barrel of duplicity and malign responsibility for conflict and chaos in Syria.

Hence, a sensational operation resembling “a movie” – as Trump put it – was a timely public relations remedy for Washington’s badly tarnished image. Ostensibly, “taking out” a terrorist leader gives the US the means to renew its propaganda narrative that it is “fighting against terrorism” rather than the reality of using terrorism for its regime-change wars and other imperialist objectives.

Was Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi killed last weekend? It is not the first time his “death” has been reported by US forces who have made similar claims in past years. There are too many questions and discrepancies to take Washington’s version of events as accurate. More plausibly, it was a carefully contrived propaganda stunt to burnish Washington’s disgraced image.

One thing for sure, however, is that the US will continue to use terror proxies and assets into the future in order to achieve its pernicious geopolitical aims. There are plenty more “al-Baghdadis” to be cultivated and orchestrated by Washington as it sows chaos and destruction in the Middle East and beyond for its selfish interests.

November 1, 2019 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | , , , | 3 Comments

The “Deep State” Has Been Redefined as Career Bureaucrats Doing Their Patriotic Duty

By Edward J. Curtin | Behind the Curtain | October 31, 2019

It gets funny, this shallow analysis of the deep state that is currently big news. There’s something ghoulish about it, perfectly timed for Halloween and masked jokers. What was once ridiculed by the CIA and its attendant lackeys in the media as the paranoia of “conspiracy theorists” is now openly admitted in reverent tones of patriotic fervor. But with a twisted twist.

The corporate mass-media has recently discovered a “deep state” that they claim to be not some evil group of assassins who work for the super-rich owners of the country and murder their own president (JFK) and other unpatriotic dissidents (Malcom X, MLK, RK, among others) and undermine democracy home and abroad, but are now said to be just fine upstanding American citizens who work within the government bureaucracies and are patriotic believers in democracy intent on doing the right thing and keeping their jobs.

This redefinition has been in the works for a few years, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that this tricky treat was being prepared for our consumption a few years ago by The Council on Foreign Relations.  In its September/October 2017 edition of its journal Foreign Affairs, Jon D. Michaels, in “Trump and the Deep State: The Government Strikes Back,” writes:

Furious at what they consider treachery by internal saboteurs, the president and his surrogates have responded by borrowing a bit of political science jargon, claiming to be victims of the “deep state,” a conspiracy of powerful, unelected bureaucrats secretly pursuing their own agenda. The concept of a deep state is valuable in its original context, the study of developing countries such as Egypt, Pakistan, and Turkey, where shadowy elites in the military and government ministries have been known to countermand or simply defy democratic directives. Yet it has little relevance to the United States, where governmental power structures are almost entirely transparent, egalitarian, and rule-bound.

The White House is correct to perceive widespread resistance inside the government to many of its endeavors. But the same way the administration’s media problems come not from “fake news” but simply from news, so its bureaucratic problems come not from an insidious, undemocratic “deep state” but simply from the state—the large, complex hive of people and procedures that constitute the U.S. federal government.

Notice how in these comical passages about U.S. government transparency and egalitarianism, Michaels slyly and falsely attributes to Trump the very definition – “unelected bureaucrats” – that in the next paragraph he claims to be the real deep state, which is just the state power structures. Pseudo-innocence conquers all here as there is no mention of the Democratic party, Russiagate, etc., and all the machinations led by the intelligence services and Democratic forces to oust Trump from the day he was elected. State power structures just move so quickly, as anyone knows who has studied the speed which bureaucracies operate. Ask Max Weber.

Drip by drip over the past few years, this “state bureaucracy” meme has been introduced by the mainstream media propagandists as they have gradually revealed that the government deep-staters are just doing their patriotic duty in trying openly to oust an elected president.

Many writers have commented on the recent New York Times article, Trump’s War on the ‘Deep State’ Turns Against Him asserting that the Times has finally admitted to the existence of the deep state, which is true as far as it goes, which is not too far. But in this game of deceptive revelations – going shallower to go deeper – what is missing is a focus on the linguistic mind control involved in the changed definition.

In a recent article by Robert W. Merry, whose intentions I am not questioning – New York Times Confirms: It’s Trump Versus the Deep State – originally published at The American Conservative and widely reprinted, the lead-in to the article proper reads: “Even the Gray Lady admits the president is up against a powerful bureaucracy that wants him sunk.” So the “powerful bureaucracy” redefinition, this immovable force of government bureaucrats, is slipped into public consciousness as what the deep state supposedly is. Gone are CIA conspirators and evil doers. In their place we find career civil servants doing their patriotic duty.

Then there is The New York Times’ columnist James Stewart who, appearing on the Today Show recently, where he was promoting his new book, told Savannah Guthrie that:

Well, you meet these characters in my book, and the fact is, in a sense, he’s right. There is a deep state… there is a bureaucracy in our country who has pledged to respect the Constitution, respect the rule of law. They do not work for the President. They work for the American people. And, as Comey told me in my book, ‘thank goodness for that,’ because they are protecting the Constitution and the people when individuals – we don’t have a monarch, we don’t have a dictator – they restrain them from crossing the boundaries of law. What Trump calls the deep state in the United States is protecting the American people and protecting the Constitution. It’s a positive thing in this sense.

So again we are told that the deep-state bureaucracy is defending the Constitution and protecting the American people, as James Comey told Stewart, “in my book, ‘thank goodness for that,’” as he put it so eloquently. These guys talk in books, of course, not person to person, but that is the level not just of English grammar and general stupidity, but of the brazen bullshit these guys are capable of.

This new and shallow deep state definition has buried the old meaning of the deep state as evil conspirators carrying out coup d’états, assassinations, and massive media propaganda campaigns at home and abroad, and who, by implication and direct declaration, never existed in the good old U.S.A. but only in countries such as Egypt, Turkey, and Pakistan where shadowy elites killed and deposed leaders and opponents in an endless series of coup d’états. No mention in Foreign Affairs, of course, of the American support for the ruthless leaders of these countries who have always been our dear allies when they obey our every order and serve as our servile proxies in murder and mayhem.

Even Edward Snowden, the courageous whistleblower in exile in Russia, in a recent interview with Joe Rogan, repeats this nonsense when he says the deep state is just “career government officials” who want to keep their jobs and who outlast presidents. From his own experience, he should know better. Much better.

Linguistic mind control is insidious like the slow drip of a water faucet. After a while you don’t hear it and just go about your business, even as your mind, like a rotting rubber washer, keeps disintegrating under propaganda’s endless reiterations.

To think that the deep state is government employees just doing their patriotic duty is plain idiocy and plainer propaganda.

Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 2 Comments

The Failed FBI Plot to Paint Trump Doing Deals with Putin

Felix Sater
By Larry C. Johnson | Sic Semper Tyrannis | October 31, 2019

To appreciate the lies and corruption that are the foundation of the conspiracy to destroy the Presidency of Donald Trump by the FBI, the CIA and the DNI, one need only look at how Robert Mueller lied about FBI informants who were targeting the Trump team.

Let us look specifically at Felix Sater. Felix Sater has been a fully signed up Confidential Human Source for the FBI since 1998. His original plea deal was signed off on by Mueller’s deputy, Andrew Weismann. But you would not know any of this if you relied solely on the Mueller Report.

Here is how Mueller portrays Sater:

In approximately September 2015, Felix Sater, a New York based real estate advisor, contacted Michael Cohen, then-executive vice president of the Trump Organization and special counsel to Donald J. Trump. Sater had previously worked with the Trump Organization and advised it on a number of domestic and international projects. Sater had explored the possibility of a Trump Tower project in Moscow while working with the Trump Organization and therefore knew of the organization’s general interest in completing a deal there.

This is fundamentally dishonest. Sater was more than a mere “real estate advisor” who had previously worked with Trump. He was and is a fully signed up FBI Confidential Human Source. Not my opinion. It is a fact.

An excellent article by Newsweek reporter Bill Powell, Donald Trump Associate Felix Sater Is Linked to the Mob and the CIA—What’s His Role in the Russia Investigation?, provides an excellent review of Sater’s history and involvement with the FBI. One of the surprising revelations from Powell is that Felix Sater was a childhood friend of Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer. Let that sink in for a moment. The FBI informant, Felix Sater, was a long time friend of Cohen.

Sater was playing a role scripted by the FBI and deliberately designed to feed the meme that Trump was dealing with the Russians.

The covert op to paint Trump as a Russian stooge was not left to Sater alone. Christopher Steele, a British spy who was hired by Fusion GPS, conveniently produced a report insisting that the Russians were working overtime to get Trump in bed with them on “lucrative real estate deals.” The Steele report dated 20 June 2016 makes the following claims:

Speaking to a trusted compatriot in June 2016 sources A and B, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure and a former top level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin respectively, the Russian authorities had been cultivating and supporting US Republican presidential candidate, Donald TRUMP for at least 5 years. . . .

In terms of specifics, Source A confided that the Kremlin had been feeding TRUMP and his team valuable intelligence on his opponents, including Democratic presidential candidate Hillary CLINTON, for several years (see more below). . . .

The Kremlin’s cultivation operation on TRUMP also had comprised offering him various lucrative real estate development business deals in Russia, especially in relation to the ongoing 2018 World Cup soccer tournament. How ever, so far, for reasons unknown, TRUMP had not taken up any of these.

Pay attention. Who offered Trump the deal in Moscow? FELIX SATER. Was he a Russian agent? No. He was the FBI’s Joe.

If the Steele Dossier was true, Trump should have had multiple offers for projects on in Russia, especially Moscow. Steele claims Putin’s people were feeding Trump information and opportunity. So where is the evidence of such activity? There is none. Just Felix Sater, FBI snitch.

Robert Mueller tried in vain to advance the lie that Trump was doing deals in Moscow. His report states:

In the late summer of 2015, the Trump Organization received a new inquiry about pursuing a Trump Tower project in Moscow. In approximately September 2015, Felix Sater . . . contacted Cohen (i.e., Michael Cohen) on behalf of I.C. Expert Investment Company (I.C. Expert), a Russian real-estate development corporation controlled by Andrei Vladimirovich Rozov. Sater had known Rozov since approximately 2007 and, in 2014, had served as an agent on behalf of Rozov during Rozov’s purchase of a building in New York City. Sater later contacted Rozov and proposed that I.C. Expert pursue a Trump Tower Moscow project in which I.C. Expert would license the name and brand from the Trump Organization but construct the building on its own. Sater worked on the deal with Rozov and another employee of I.C. Expert. (see page 69 of the Mueller Report).

Who was pushing the project in Moscow? FELIX SATER. Not Michael Cohen and certainly not Donald Trump. Sater was the instigator. At no time did he testify that he was directed by Trump or anyone else in the Trump organization to reachout to the Russians. And don’t forget what Christopher Steele claimed—the Russians were in a frenzy supposedly to offer Trump lucrative deals. That was and is a monumental lie.

Sater was and is an FBI informant. Sater was not just a private entrepreneur looking to make some coin. We know without a doubt that Sater was a fully signed up FBI informant. Sater’s status as an FBI snitch was first exposed in 2012 (you can read the letter confirming Sater’s status as an FBI snitch here). Another inconvenient fact excluded from the Mueller report is that one of Mueller’s Chief Prosecutors, Andrew Weissman, signed the deal with Felix Sater in December 1998 that put Sater into the FBI Informant business. Sater was used multiple times in the next decade by the FBI to make cases against Russian spies and mobsters.

How could Robert Mueller neglect to mention this critical fact? This was not the oversight of a senile old man. It was deliberate obfuscation.

The question that prosecutor Robert Durham needs to ask is who directed Sater to pitch the Trump team in September 2015 to pursue a deal in Moscow? The answer probably lies in Sater’s FD-1023s. A 1023 is a report that an FBI agent must file every time he meets with a Confidential Human Source. This was an orchestrated attempt to set up Donald Trump as a Russian stooge. But it did not start in July 2016 as the FBI falsely claims. It started in September 2015. Who authorized this?

October 31, 2019 Posted by | Deception | , , | Leave a comment

From Russiagate to Ukrainegate: An Impeachment Inquiry

By Renée Parsons | OffGuardian | October 30, 2019

As the Quantum field oversees the disintegration of institutions no longer in service to the public, the Democratic party continues to lose their marbles, perpetuating their own simulated bubble as if they alone are the nation’s most trusted purveyors of truth.

Since the Mueller Report failed to deliver on the dubious Russiagate accusations, the party of Thomas Jefferson continues to remain in search of another ethical pretense to justify continued partisan turmoil.  In an effort to discredit and/or distract attention from the Barr-Durham and IG investigations, the Dems have come up with an implausible piece of political theatre known as Ukrainegate which has morphed into an impeachment inquiry.

The Inspector General’s Report, which may soon be ready for release, will address the presentation of fabricated FBI evidence to the FISA Court for permission to initiate a surveillance campaign on Trump Administration personnel. In addition, the Department of Justice has confirmed that Special Investigator John Durham’s probe into the origin of the FBI’s counter intelligence investigation during the 2016 election has moved from an administrative review into the criminal prosecution realm. Durham will now be able to actively pursue candidates for possible prosecution.

The defensive assault from the Democrat hierarchy and its corporate media cohorts can be expected to reach a fevered pitch of manic proportions as both investigations threatened not only their political future in 2020 but perhaps their very existence.

NBC suggests that the Barr investigation is a ‘mysterious’ review “amid concerns about whether the probe has any legal or factual basis” while the NY Times continues to cast doubt that the investigation has a legitimate basis implying that AG Barr is attempting to “deliver a political victory for President Trump.”  The Times misleads its readers with:

Trump has repeatedly attacked the Russia investigation, portraying it as a hoax and illegal even months after the special counsel closed it.”

… when in fact, it was the Russiagate collusion allegations that Trump referred to as a hoax, rather than the Mueller investigation per se.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va), minority leader of the Senate Intel Committee suggested that Attorney General William Barr “owes the Committee an explanation” since the committee is completing a “three-year bipartisan investigation” that has “found nothing to justify” Barr’s expanded effort.

The Senator’s gauntlet will be ever so fascinating as the public reads exactly how the Intel Committee spent three years and came up with “nothing” as compared to what Durham and the IG reports have to say.

On the House side, prime-time whiners Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) commented that news of the Durham investigation moving towards criminal liability “raised profound concerns that Barr has lost his independence and become a vehicle for political revenge” and that “the Rule of Law will suffer irreparable damage.”

Since Barr has issued no determination of blame other than to assure a full, fair and rigorous investigation, it is curious that the Dems are in premature meltdown as if they expect indictments even though the investigations are not yet complete.

There is, however, one small inconvenient glitch that challenges the Democratic version of reality that does not fit their partisan spin. The news that former FBI General Counsel James Baker is actively cooperating with the Barr-Durham investigation ought to send ripples through the ranks. Baker has already stated that it was a ‘small group’ within the agency who led the counterintelligence inquiry into the Trump campaign; notably former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Baker’s cooperation was not totally unexpected since he also cooperated with the Inspector General’s FISA abuse investigation which is awaiting public release.

As FBI General Counsel, Baker had a role in reviewing the FISA applications before they were submitted to the FISA court and currently remains under criminal investigation for making unauthorized leaks to the media.

As the agency’s chief legal officer, Baker had to be a first-hand participant and privy to every strategy discussion and decision (real or contemplated). It was his job to identify potential legal implications that might negatively affect the agency or boomerang back on the FBI. In other words, Baker is in a unique position to know who knew what and when did they knew it.

His ‘cooperation’ can be generally attributed to being more concerned with saving his own butt rather than the Constitution.

In any case, the information he is able to provide will be key for getting to the true origins of Russiagate and the FISA scandal. Baker’s collaboration may augur others facing possible prosecution to step up since ‘cooperation’ usually comes with the gift of a lesser charge.

With a special focus on senior Obama era intel officials Durham has reportedly already interviewed up to two dozen former and current FBI employees as well as officials in the office of the Director of National Intelligence.

From the number of interviews conducted to date it can be surmised that Durham has been accumulating all the necessary facts and evidence as he works his way up the chain of command, prior to concentrating on top officials who may be central to the investigation.

It has also been reported that Durham expects to interview current and former intelligence officials including CIA analysts, former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper regarding Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.

In a recent CNN interview, when asked if he was concerned about any wrongdoing on the part of intel officials, Clapper nervously responded:

I don’t know. I don’t think there was any wrongdoing. It is disconcerting to know that we are being investigated for having done our duty and done what we were told to do by the President.”

One wonders if Clapper might be a candidate for ‘cooperating’ along with Baker.

As CIA Director, Brennan made no secret of his efforts to nail the Trump Administration. In the summer of 2016, he formed an inter-agency taskforce to investigate what was being reported as Russian collusion within the Trump campaign. He boasted to Rachel Maddow that he brought NSA and FBI officials together with the CIA to ‘connect the dots.”

With the addition of James Clapper’s DNI, three reports were released: October, 2016, December, 2016 and January, 2017 all disseminating the Russian-Trump collusion theory which the Mueller Report later found to be unproven.

Since 1947 when the CIA was first authorized by President Harry Truman who belatedly regretted his approval, the agency has been operating as if they report to no one and that they never owe the public or Congress any explanation of their behaviour or activity or how they spend the money.

Since those days it has been a weak-minded Congress, intimidated and/or compromised Members who have allowed intel to run their own show as if they are immune to the Constitution and the Rule of Law.  Since 1947, there has been no functioning Congress willing to provide true accountability or meaningful oversight on the intel community.

Renee Parsons has been a member of the ACLU’s Florida State Board of Directors and president of the ACLU Treasure Coast Chapter. She has been an elected public official in Colorado, an environmental lobbyist with Friends of the Earth and staff member of the US House of Representatives in Washington DC. She can be found on Twitter @reneedove31

October 30, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , | 2 Comments

Pentagon Grants Earth Another 20 Year Reprieve

By Tony Heller | Real Climate Science | October 24, 2019

The Pentagon says the world could end in 20 years because of global warming.

U.S. Military Could Collapse Within 20 Years Due to Climate Change, Report Commissioned By Pentagon Says – VICE

This is good news, because in 2004 they said the world would end in 2020.

Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us | Environment | The Guardian

And the new date is 65 years after the CIA said global cooling was going to kill us.

Daily News – Google News Archive Search

October 24, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 1 Comment

FBI/DOJ Likely to Throw the CIA and Clapper Under the Bus

By Larry C. Johnson | Sic Semper Tyrannis | October 20, 2019

Law Enforcement versus the Intel Community. That’s the battle we will likely see unleashed when the Horowitz report comes out next week. The New York Times came out Saturday with info clearly leaked from DOJ that can be summarized simply–the FBI was relying on the intel community (products from the CIA and NSA) under the leadership of Jim Clapper. If they relied on bad, unverified information it ain’t their fault. They trusted the spies.

Let us start with a reminder of how damn corrupt the NY Times and its reporters are. Consider this paragraph penned by Adam Goldman and William Rashbaum:

Closely overseen by Mr. Barr, Mr. Durham and his investigators have sought help from governments in countries that figure into right-wing attacks and unfounded conspiracy theories about the Russia investigation, stirring criticism that they are trying to deliver Mr. Trump a political victory rather than conducting an independent review.

“Unfounded conspiracy theories?” What a damn joke. The facts of a conspiracy to take out Donald Trump or cripple him are very clear. Robert Mueller and Jim Comey lied when they claimed that Joseph Mifsud, who tried to entrap George Papdopoulus in London, was a Russian agent. Nope. He worked for western intelligence. Unless Comey and DOJ have a document or documents from the CIA or NSA stating that Mifsud worked for the Russians, they have no where to hide. Plus, prosecutor John Durham now has Mifsud’s blackberries. What do you think is the likelihood that Mifsud was in communication with FBI or CIA or MI6 personnel? Very likely.

Then there is Stefan Halper, who played a key role in a sophisticated counterintelligence operation that involved the FBI, the CIA British Intelligence and the media. The ultimate target was Donald Trump. Halper’s part of the operation focused on using an innocent woman who had the misfortune of being born in Russia, Svetlana Lokhova, to destroy General Michael Flynn. Halper and Mifsud both were involved in targeting General Michael Flynn. Not a conspiracy? Halper’s nefarious activities included manufacturing and publishing numerous false and defamatory statements. Halper, for example, falsely claimed that Svetlana Lokhova  was a “Russian spy” and a traitor to her country. He also circulated the lie that Lokhova had an affair with General Flynn on the orders of Russian intelligence. Not content to use the unwitting Svetlana as a weapon against General Flynn, Stefan Halper also acted with malice to destroy Svetlana Lokhova’s  professional career and business by asserting that she was not a real academic and that her research was provided by Russian intelligence on the orders of Vladimir Putin.

Thanks to Robert Mueller we have clear evidence of a conspiracy against Trump. Mueller’s investigation of Trump “collusion” with Russia prior to the 2016 Presidential election focused on eight cases:

Proposed Trump Tower Project in Moscow—

George Papadopolous—

Carter Page—

Dimitri Simes—

Veselnetskya Meeting at Trump Tower (June 16, 2016)

Events at the Republican Convention

Post-Convention Contacts with Russian Ambassador Kislyak

Paul Manafort

One simple fact emerges–six of the eight cases or incidents of alleged Trump Campaign interaction with the Russians investigated by the Mueller team, the pitch to “collude” with the Russian Government or Putin originated with FBI informants, MI-6 assets or people paid by Fusion GPS, not Trump or his people. There is not a single instance where Donald Trump or any member of his campaign team initiated contact with the Russians for the purpose of gaining derogatory information on Hillary or obtaining support to boost the Trump campaign. Not one.

Simply put, Trump and his campaign were the target of an elaborate, wide ranging covert action designed to entrap him and members of his team as an agent of Russia.

We do not need to say anything about Dmitri Simes, who was unfairly smeared by even being named as target in the investigation. And the “non” events at the Republican Convention, pure nonsense.

The other six cases “investigated” my Mueller and his team of clowns are damning.

THE PROPOSED TRUMP TOWER PROJECT IN MOSCOW, according to Mueller’s report, originated with an FBI Informant–Felix Sater. Mueller was downright dishonest in failing to identify Sater as an FBI informant. Sater was not just a private entrepreneur looking to make some coin. He was a fully signed up FBI informant. Sater’s status as an FBI snitch was first exposed in 2012. Sater also was a boyhood chum of Michael Cohen, the target being baited in this operation. Another inconvenient fact excluded from the Mueller report is that one of Mueller’s Chief Prosecutors, Andrew Weissman, signed the deal with Felix Sater in December 1998 that put Sater into the FBI Informant business.

All suggestions for meeting with the Russian Government, including Putin, originated with Felix Sater. The use of Sater on this particular project started in September 2015.

GEORGE PAPADOPOLOUS. Papadopolous was targeted by British and U.S. intelligence starting in late December 2015, when he is offered out of the blue a job with the London Centre of International Law and Practice Limited (LCILP) , which has all the hallmarks of a British intelligence front. It is Joseph Mifsud, working for LCILP, who introduces the idea of meeting Putin following a lunch with George in London.

And it is Mifsud who raises the possibility of getting dirt on Hillary. During Papadopolous’ next meeting with Mifsud, George writes that Mifsud:

leaned across the table in a conspiratorial manner. The Russians have “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, he tells me. “Emails of Clinton,” he says. “They have thousands of emails.”

More than three weeks before the alleged Russian hack of the DNC, Mifsud is peddling the story that the Russians have Clinton’s emails. Conspiracy?

CARTER PAGE. The section of the Mueller report that deals with Carter Page is a total travesty. Mueller and his team, for example, initially misrepresent Page’s status with the Trump campaign–he is described as “working” for the campaign, which implies a paid position, when he was in fact only a volunteer foreign policy advisor. Mueller also paints Page’s prior experience and work in Russia as evidence that Page was being used by Russian intelligence, but says nothing about the fact that Page was being regularly debriefed by the CIA and the FBI during the same period. In other words, Page was cooperating with US intelligence and law enforcement. But this fact is omitted in the Mueller report. The Christopher Steele dossier was used as “corroborating” intel to justify what was an illegal FISA warrant. The FBI lied about the veracity of that dossier. Conspiracy?

TRUMP TOWER MEETING (JUNE 9, 2016). This is another glaring example of a plant designed to entrap the Trump team. Mueller, once again, presents a very disingenuous account:

On June 9, 2016, senior representatives of the Trump Campaign met in Trump Tower with a Russian attorney expecting to receive derogatory information about Hillary Clinton from the Russian government. The meeting was proposed to Donald Trump Jr. in an email from Robert Goldstone, at the request of his then-client Emin Agalarov, the son of Russian real-estate developer Aras Agalarov.

The real problem is with what Mueller does not say and did not investigate. Mueller conveniently declines to mention the fact that Veselnitskaya was working closely with the firm Hillary Clinton hired to produce the Steele Dossier. Even the corrupt NBC News got these damning facts about Veselnitskaya on the record:

The information that a Russian lawyer brought with her when she met Donald Trump Jr. in June 2016 stemmed from research conducted by Fusion GPS, the same firm that compiled the infamous Trump dossier, according to the lawyer and a source familiar with the matter.

In an interview with NBC News, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya says she first received the supposedly incriminating information she brought to Trump Tower — describing alleged tax evasion and donations to Democrats — from Glenn Simpson, the Fusion GPS owner, who had been hired to conduct research in a New York federal court case.

Unfounded Conspiracy?

PAUL MANAFORT. If Paul Manafort had rebuffed Trump’s offer to run his campaign, he would be walking free today and still buying expensive suits and evading taxes along with his Clinton buddy, Greg Craig. Instead, he became another target for DOJ and intel community and the DNC, which were desperate to portray Trump as a tool of the Kremlin. Thanks to John Solomon of The Hill, we now know the impetus to target Manafort came from the DNC:

The boomerang from the Democratic Party’s failed attempt to connect Donald Trump to Russia’s 2016 election meddling is picking up speed, and its flight path crosses right through Moscow’s pesky neighbor, Ukraine. That is where there is growing evidence a foreign power was asked, and in some cases tried, to help Hillary Clinton.

In its most detailed account yet, Ukraine’s embassy in Washington says a Democratic National Committee insider during the 2016 election solicited dirt on Donald Trump’s campaign chairman and even tried to enlist the country’s president to help.

In written answers to questions, Ambassador Valeriy Chaly’s office says DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa sought information from the Ukrainian government on Paul Manafort’s dealings inside the country, in hopes of forcing the issue before Congress.

Manafort was not colluding, but the Clinton campaign and the Obama Administration were colluding with Ukraine.

GENERAL MICHAEL FLYNN. This is the biggest travesty. Flynn was being targeted by the intel community with the full collaboration of the FBI. Thanks to his new attorney, the Honey Badger Sidney Powell, there is an avalanche of evidence showing prosecutorial misconduct and an unjustified, coordinated effort by the Obama team to frame Flynn as catering to the Russians. It is a lie and that will be fully exposed in the coming weeks.

Any fair reporter with half a brain would see these events as pointing to a conspiracy. But not the liars at the New York Times. But the Times does tip us off to the upcoming mad scramble for life boats. It will it the FBI and DOJ against the DNI, the CIA and NSA. According to the Times :

It is not clear how many people Mr. Durham’s team has interviewed outside of the F.B.I. His investigators have questioned officials in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence but apparently have yet to interview C.I.A. personnel, people familiar with the review said. Mr. Durham would probably want to speak with Gina Haspel, the agency’s director, who ran its London station when the Australians passed along the explosive information about Russia’s offer of political dirt.

There is no abiding affection between the FBI and the CIA. They mix like oil and water. In theory the FBI only traffics in “evidence.” The CIA deals primarily with well-sourced rumors. But the CIA will argue they were offering their best judgement, not a factual conclusion. Brennan and Clapper will insist they were not in a position to determine the “truth” of what they were reporting. It is “intel” not evidence.

The Horowitz report will not deal with the CIA and NSA directly. Horowitz can only point out that the FBI folks insisted that they were relying on the intel community and had no reason not to trust them. This is likely to get ugly and do not be surprised to see the intel folks try to throw the FBI under the bus and vice versa. Grab the popcorn.

October 21, 2019 Posted by | Deception | , , , | 3 Comments