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GSA Gave FBI, Mueller ‘Secret Access’ To Trump Records

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 10/24/2020

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the General Services Administration (GSA) undermined the Trump transition team by violating a memorandum of understanding between the Trump transition team and the GSA – when they complied with requests from the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller’s office to provide private records on members of Trump’s team, according to a Senate report released on Friday.

As Just the News notes:

The majority staff report from both the Senate Committee on Finance and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs claims that officials from both the FBI and Mueller’s office “secretly sought and received access to the private records of Donald J. Trump’s presidential transition team, Trump for America, Inc.

“They did so,” the report continues, “despite the terms of a memorandum of understanding between the Trump transition team and the General Services Administration...—the executive agency responsible for providing services to both candidates’ transition teams—that those records were the transition team’s private property that would not be retained at the conclusion of the transition.”

According to the report, the GSA – without notifying the White House – reached out to the FBI following Michael Flynn’s resignation as national security adviser and offered to retain records from the Trump transition team in early 2017. The records compiled eventually made their way into Mueller’s office, according to the report.

“At bottom,” continues the report, “the GSA and the FBI undermined the transition process by preserving Trump transition team records contrary to the terms of the memorandum of understanding, hiding that fact from the Trump transition team, and refusing to provide the team with copies of its own records.”

These actions have called into question the GSA’s role as a neutral service provider, and those doubts have consequences,” the report reads. “Future presidential transition teams must have confidence that their use of government resources and facilities for internal communications and deliberations—including key decisions such as nominations, staffing, and significant policy changes—will not expose them to exploitation by third parties, including political opponents.”

October 25, 2020 Posted by | Deception | , , | Leave a comment

Why the FBI and CIA Are the Real Threats to “National Security”

By Cynthia Chung for the Saker Blog | October 19, 2020

Today we see the continuation of the over seven decade’s long ruse, the targeting of individuals as Russian agents without any basis, in order to remove them from the political arena. The present effort to declassify the Russiagate papers and exonerate Michael Flynn, so that he may freely speak of the intelligence he knows, is not a threat to national security, it is a threat to those who have committed treason against their country.

On Oct. 6th, 2020, President Trump ordered the declassification of the Russia Probe documents along with the classified documents on the findings concerning the Hillary Clinton emails. The release of these documents threatens to expose the entrapment of the Trump campaign by the Clinton campaign with help of the US intelligence agencies.

The Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe released some of these documents recently, including former CIA Director John Brennan’s handwritten notes for a meeting with former President Obama, the notes revealing that Hillary Clinton approved a plan to “vilify Donald Trump by stirring up scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service.”

Trey Gowdy, who was Chair of the House Oversight Committee from June 13th, 2017 – Jan. 3rd, 2019, has stated in an interview on Oct. 7th, 2020 that he has never seen these documents. Devin Nunes, who was Chair of the House Intelligence Committee from Jan. 3rd, 2015 – Jan. 3rd, 2019, has also said in a recent interview that he has never seen these documents.

And yet, both the FBI and CIA were aware and had access to these documents and sat on them for four years, withholding their release from several government-led investigations that were looking into the Russiagate scandal and who were requesting relevant material that was in the possession of both intelligence bureaus.

Do these intelligence bureaus sound like they are working for the “national security” of the American people?

The CIA’s Long Battle against “Soviet propaganda”

In order to combat the “threat” of Soviet “propaganda” entering the U.S. and seducing Americans, Operation Mockingbird was created as a form of “control” over information dissemination during the period of McCarthyism. Operation Mockingbird was an “alleged” CIA program that was started in the early 1950s in order to control the narrative of the news. Though this role has never been confirmed entirely, in the CIA Family Jewels report compiled in the mid-1970s, it is confirmed that Project Mockingbird did exist as a CIA operation and that it was guilty of wire-tapping journalists in Washington.

At the helm of this project was none other than CIA Director Allen Dulles, an enemy of JFK, who by the early 1950s “allegedly” oversaw the media network and had major influence over 25 newspapers and wire agencies. Its function was to have the CIA write reports that would be used by a network of cooperating “credible” reporters. By these “credible” reporters spreading the CIA dictated narrative, it would be parroted by unwitting reporters (mockingbirds) and a successful echo chamber would be created across the world.

The Office of Policy Coordination (OPC), originally named Office of Special Projects but that was thought too conspicuous, was a covert operation wing of the CIA and was created by the United States National Security Council (NSC). For those who are unfamiliar with the origins of the NSC and its close relationship with the CIA, who was born on the same day, refer to my paper on the subject.

According to Deborah Davis’ biography of Katherine Graham (the owner of Washington Post ), the OPC created Operation Mockingbird in response to addressing Soviet propaganda and included as part of its CIA contingency respected members from Washington Post, The New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and others.

The Family Jewels report was an investigation made by the CIA to investigate… the CIA, spurred in response to the Watergate Scandal and the CIA’s unconstitutional role in the whole affair. The investigation of the CIA would include any other actions that were deemed illegal or inappropriate spanning from the 1950s-mid 1970s.

We are told “most” of the report was declassified on June 25, 2007 (30 years later) hoping that people would have lost interest in the whole brouhaha. Along with the release of the redacted report was included a six-page summary with the following introduction:

“The Central Intelligence Agency violated its charter for 25 years until revelations of illegal wiretapping, domestic surveillance, assassination plots, and human experimentation led to official investigations and reforms in the 1970s.” [emphasis added]

The most extensive investigation of the CIA relations with news media was conducted by the Church Committee, a U.S. Senate select committee in 1975 that investigated the abuses committed by the CIA, NSA, FBI, and IRS. The Church Committee report confirmed abundant CIA ties in both foreign and domestic news media.

It is very useful that there exists an official recognition that false news was not only being encouraged by the CIA under the overseeing of the NSC during the Cold War period, but that the CIA was complicit in actually detailing the specific narrative that they wanted disseminated, and often going so far as to write the narrative and have a “credible” reporter’s name stamped on it.

But the question begs, “Did the Cold War ever end?” and if not, why should we believe that the CIA’s involvement in such activities is buried in its past and that it has “reformed” its old ways?

Henry Kissinger’s Purge of American Intelligence: The Deep State is Born

For us to get a better understanding of how we ended up in this situation, that is so stark that Devin Nunes, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, has recently stated that the intelligence bureaus may need to be overhauled due to withholding evidence from federal inquiries, we need to go back a few decades and review how Henry Kissinger largely set this whole affair into motion.

From the moment Kissinger assumed the post of National Security Advisor to Nixon, he set out to centralize all intelligence estimates, diplomatic initiatives, and covert operations over figuratively and sometimes literal dead bodies of members of the CIA, Joint Chiefs of Staff, State Department and Congress.

According to John Ranelagh in his book The Agency: The Rise and Decline of the CIA:

“Very early in the Nixon administration, it became clear that the President wanted Henry Kissinger to run intelligence for him and that the NSC staff in the White House under Kissinger would control the intelligence community. This was the beginning of a shift of power away from the CIA to a new center: the growing NSC staff.”

Kissinger would use the Watergate scandal, where the CIA was caught by Congress directly implicated in treasonous activities, as the impetus needed to form a new CIA, a secret branch away from the scrutiny of Congress.

In 1978, Kissinger would launch the Intelligence Reorganization and Reform Act, which essentially worked to “clean house” of the intelligence community.

In 1982, under the direction of Kissinger, President Reagan would sign NSDD 77 under Cold War duress, which would launch Project Democracy, a sardonic name for a Trojan Horse.

NSDD 77 allowed Project Democracy the reins over “covert action on a broad scale” as well as overt public actions later to be associated with the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The directive ordered the CIA to stay out of both the overt and covert part of Project Democracy, thus giving free reign to the Kissingerian “NSC apparatus”.

Almost one year later, the uninformed and naïve Congress passed the NED Act in Oct 1983, and effectively signed off on wrapping duct tape around their heads.

The structure of the NED essentially functions as a private CIA political operations arm of an invisible, secret government beyond accountability and beyond the reach of the law.

Kissinger’s purge of American intelligence would be the last purge of sane patriotic leadership within the intelligence community, left to the hyenas and jackals to run from thenceforth, those who still had a degree of humanity as members of the intelligence community, and had survived the Kissinger purge, were simply kept in the dark about the cloak and dagger operations of the secret government branch.

In a 1991 interview, then NED President David Ignatius arrogantly stated “a lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA… The biggest difference is that when such activities are done overtly, the flap potential is close to zero. Openness is its own protection”.

The failure of the nation state is not a natural phenomenon but rather is the outcome of a fascist coup; involving a banker’s dictatorship, economic looting and permanent warfare (the Cold War never ended) to hinder national industrial growth.

Among the most effective strategies towards this end has been color revolutions, which just so happens to be the NED’s specialty practice and has included, to name a few, the nations of Yugoslavia, Belarus, Georgia, Iraq, Lebanon, Burma, Iran, Egypt, Thailand, Ukraine and the Hong Kong protests.

Wherever this strategy has unfolded, the target state is told by the international community that it has no right to intervene and is told to stand by as its nation is ransacked by locusts and its government ‘reorganised’.

Secret Intelligence’s Countering of “Anti-American” Propaganda

The Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act is a bipartisan bill that was passed into law in December 2016, it was initially called Countering Information Warfare Act. It was included together with the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This bill was brought into effect just weeks before Trump was to enter office…. hmmm, foreshadowing much?

Soon after the 2016 U.S. election, the Washington Post led the charge asserting that it was due to Russian propaganda that the U.S. elections turned out the way it did, that is, that Hillary had somehow, inconceivably, lost to Donald Trump and that the American people had been turned against her like a child caught in the middle of a messy divorce case. But there is no need here to set the record straight on Hillary, when Hillary herself has done sufficient damage to any illusion of credibility she once had. That ultimately not even Hillary could hide the fact that her closet full of skeletons turned out to be the size of a catacomb.

But we are told that citizens do not know what is best for one’s self. That they cannot be trusted with “sensitive” information and in accordance act in a “responsible” manner, that is, to have a strong enough stomach to do what is “best” for their country.

And therefore, fear not subjects of the land, for the Global Engagement Center (GEC) is here to make those hard decisions for you. Don’t know what to think about a complicated subject? GEC will tell you the right way!

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would allow for the Secretary of State to collaborate with the Secretary of Defense, and other Federal agencies in the year 2017 to create the Global Engagement Center (GEC). The GEC’s purpose in life is to fight propaganda from foreign governments and publicize the nature of ongoing foreign propaganda and disinformation operations against the U.S. and other countries.

Let us all take a moment to thank the GEC for such a massive task in the cause for justice all around the world.

The GEC had a very slow start in its first year, however, it has been gaining momentum in the last year under Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who seems especially excited over the hiring of Lea Gabrielle as special envoy and coordinator of GEC.

Mike Pompeo was the CIA Director from 2017-2018. On April 15, 2019, Pompeo participated in a discussion at the Texas A&M University where he voluntarily offered the admission that though West Points’ cadet motto is “You will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do.”, his training under the CIA was the very opposite, stating “I was the CIA Director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. It was like we had entire training courses. (long pause) It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment”.

This is apparently the man for the job of dealing with matters of “truth” and “justice”.

Lea Gabrielle was approved for her position by Mike Pompeo, what are her “qualifications”? Well, Gabrielle is also CIA trained, and while assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), she “directed and conducted global clandestine strategic intelligence collection operations.” Gabrielle also “deployed in tactical anti-terrorist operations in hostile environments”. After 12 years of active duty service, Lea Gabrielle became a television news journalist, who worked at NBC and FOX News.

The CIA really does not have the best track record for their role in “managing” foreign wars and counter-insurgency activities. In fact, they have been caught rather red handed in fueling such crisis situations. And these are the people who are deciding what information is fit for the American public, and western public in general, and what is not fit for their ears.

When the Matter of “Truth” Becomes a Threat to “National Security”

When the matter of truth is depicted as a possible threat to those that govern a country, you no longer have a democratic state. True, not everything can be disclosed to the public in real time, but we are sitting on a mountain of classified intelligence material that goes back more than 60 years.

How much time needs to elapse before the American people have the right to know the truth behind what their government agencies have been doing within their own country and abroad in the name of the “free” world?

From this recognition, the whole matter of declassifying material around the Russigate scandal in real time, and not highly redacted 50 years from now, is essential to addressing this festering putrefaction that has been bubbling over since the heinous assassination of President Kennedy on Nov. 22nd, 1963 and to which we are still waiting for full disclosure of classified papers 57 years later.

If the American people really want to finally see who is standing behind that curtain in Oz, now is the time.

These intelligence bureaus need to be reviewed for what kind of method and standard they are upholding in collecting their “intelligence,” that has supposedly justified the Mueller investigation and the never-ending Flynn investigation which have provided zero conclusive evidence to back up their allegations and which have massively infringed on the elected government’s ability to make the changes that they had committed to the American people.

Just like the Iraq and Libya war that was based off of cooked British intelligence (refer here and here), Russiagate appears to have also had its impetus from our friends over at MI6 as well. It is no surprise that Sir Richard Dearlove, who was then MI6 chief (1999-2004) and who oversaw and stood by the fraudulent intelligence on Iraq stating they bought uranium from Niger to build a nuclear weapon, is the very same Sir Richard Dearlove who promoted the Christopher Steele dossier as something “credible” to American intelligence.

In other words, the same man who is largely responsible for encouraging the illegal invasion of Iraq, which set off the never-ending wars on “terror,” that was justified with cooked British intelligence is also responsible for encouraging the Russian spook witch-hunt that has been occurring within the U.S. for the last four years… over more cooked British intelligence, and the FBI and CIA are knowingly complicit in this.

Neither the American people, nor the world as a whole, can afford to suffer any more of the so-called “mistaken” intelligence bumblings. It is time that these intelligence bureaus are held accountable for at best criminal negligence, at worst, treason against their own country.


Cynthia Chung writes for Strategic Culture Foundation and is the President and co-founder of the Rising Tide Foundation.”

The author can be reached at cynthiachung@tutanota.com

October 20, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

FBI Informant Was ‘One Of The Most Active Leaders’ Pushing ‘Crackpot’ Whitmer Kidnapping Plot: Defense

By Chris Menahan | InformationLiberation | October 13, 2020

An FBI informant was “one of the most active leaders” in the alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov Gretchen Whitmer, according to a defense attorney for one of the accused.

From the Detroit Free Press :

There was no real plan to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, but only “military wannabes” who engaged in “big talk” and played with guns in the woods, defense lawyers argued in court Tuesday.

As one defense lawyer suggested, the case appears to be one of “big talk between crackpots,” or “people who talk a lot … but are never going to do anything.”

“Have you ever dealt with big talkers?” defense attorney Scott Graham asked an FBI agent on cross examination, adding: “There’s kind of a military-wanna-be theme that runs between the militias.”

[…] Defense lawyers contend that there was no probable cause to arrest and charge the suspect, arguing, among other things, that the suspects had no operational plan to do anything, were engaged in all legal activities — including talking in encrypted group chats and practicing military exercises with lawfully owned guns — and that it was the informants and undercover agents who “pushed” others to do illegal things.

“One of the most active leaders was your informant,” Graham said.

If this was another FBI frame-up job certainly it wouldn’t be the first and it won’t be the last.

The FBI’s affidavit revealed they had multiple informants and undercover agents involved in this operation going all the way back to June.

They could have arrested these saps months ago but likely chose to wait until right before the election for maximum political impact.

October 14, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , , | Leave a comment

FBI used MEDIA REPORTS seeded by British spy to ‘corroborate’ Steele Dossier, declassified spreadsheet shows

By Nebojsa Malic | RT | October 13, 2020

The FBI sought to ‘verify’ information in the notorious dossier at the heart of Russiagate by using media articles seeded by the actual dossier author, British spy Christopher Steele, newly released evidence has shown.

The so-called Steele Dossier is the centerpiece of ‘Russiagate,’ the conspiracy theory that Donald Trump “colluded” with Moscow in the 2016 US presidential election. The dossier’s most bombastic claim was that Russia had “kompromat” on him in the form of sex tapes from a Moscow hotel involving urinating prostitutes.

Steele compiled the dossier for Fusion GPS, a DC-based firm paid by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign through the DNC. The FBI then used it to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page in October 2016, and extended it three times well into 2017.

A 94-page spreadsheet made public on Monday, however, shows the FBI relied heavily on media reports to corroborate Steele’s claims – in many cases, the very same reports Steele had planted himself.

According to analyst Stephen McIntyre, footnotes listed in the spreadsheet show that 39 percent of the footnotes lead to Washington, DC media outlets, another 29 percent are redacted, and Steele himself was cited on 18 occasions, somehow self-verifying his own work.

In one instance, McIntyre notes, the FBI triple counted an article from the Daily Beast as three separate sources. Other media outlets named in the document are CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Yahoo News and Mother Jones.

The FBI had actually decided to fire Steele as a paid informant in September 2016 – before obtaining the Page warrant – because he leaked to the media, specifically Yahoo and Mother Jones, but that never raised any red flags either with the warrant or the corroboration, apparently.

Moreover, the Bureau knew in December 2016 that the “primary sub-source” (PSS) for the dossier was a Russian national they had investigated as a foreign agent in 2009, but the investigation was abandoned without explanation and this fact was never flagged. Even after interviewing the PSS in January 2017, and establishing that most of the dossier was fabricated outright, the FBI continued to use it at the FISA court to extend the Page warrant.

Another source the FBI used to corroborate Steele was Cody Shearer, a long-time Clinton operative who produced a memo alleging that Russian intelligence had a sex tape of Trump. That amounts to more circular reporting, however, as Steele was reportedly given the Shearer dossier by State Department official Jonathan Winer, and then handed it over to his FBI contacts in October 2016.

The spreadsheet is the first confirmation that the FBI actually used the ‘Shearer Dossier,’ whose existence was first reported by the Guardian in January 2018, as part of a push by Democrats to show that the Steele dossier wasn’t the sole grounds for the FISA warrants.

Just last week, however, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe declassified notes from then-CIA chief John Brennan, who said he warned the Obama administration about a plan by Hillary Clinton to smear Trump with allegations of ‘Russian collusion’ as a means of “distracting the public from her use of a private email server” before the 2016 election.

The two-year probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller came up with zero evidence of “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia, much less Trump himself – and while it argued that Moscow “meddled” in US elections, it offered no evidence beyond its own assertions contained in indictments that were subsequently dropped when challenged in court.

While all these revelations have amounted to an indictment of the entire ‘Russiagate’ affair, the media that gave each other awards for their coverage of ‘collusion’ has never apologized for any of it. To this day, millions of Americans continue to believe their president is a “Russian agent.”

October 13, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Russophobia | , , , , | Leave a comment

Two Types of Terror in Michigan

By James Bovard | American Institute for Economic Research | October 9, 2020

#StopTrumpsTerror is one of the hottest trending topics on Twitter, with more than 90,000 tweets. Yesterday, the FBI announced the arrest of six people in a plot (perhaps government-hatched) to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and put her on trial for treason for destroying the state’s economy with the lockdowns she imposed. Seven other individuals were arrested and charged with violating Michigan’s anti-terrorism law.

Trump had no connection to the plot, and at least one of the alleged plotters denounced Trump as a “tyrant” and “the enemy.” But Trump’s condemnations of lockdowns was enough for Gov. Whitmer to denounce Trump yesterday as “complicit” with the plotters. She derided Trump for spending “the past 7 months denying science, ignoring his own health experts, stoking distrust, fomenting anger and giving comfort to those who spread fear and hatred and division.” Former FBI official Frank Figliuzzi told MSNBC that Donald Trump should be investigated for “aiding and abetting” the Michigan plot.

Whitmer, one of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s favorite governors, enraged many Michiganders by locking down the state after the outbreak of Covid-19. Whitmer placed almost the entire state under house arrest, dictating a $1,000 fine for anyone who left their home to visit family or friends. Business owners faced up to three years in prison for refusing to close their operations. Whitmer severely restricted what stores could sell and prohibited purchasing seeds for spring planting after she decreed that a “nonessential” activity. (Purchasing state lottery tickets was still an “essential” activity.) Though Covid infections were concentrated in the Detroit metropolitan area, Whitmer shut down the entire state — including northern counties with few cases, boosting unemployment to 24 percent statewide. In a tweet yesterday, Trump said Whitmer “has done a terrible job. She locked down her state for everyone, except her husband’s boating activities.”

Whitmer’s actions infuriated many Michiganders and no informants were necessary to spur much of the anti-government rhetoric recited in the federal indictment yesterday. Plenty of hotheads say things online or in allegedly encrypted messages that look menacing or idiotic in cold print afterwards. Threatening violence against government officials – or anyone else – is reprehensible. But how far did those guys move to actually carrying out their plot? Last month, some of the conspirators “drove to the area surrounding the [Whitmer vacation] residence and discussed detonating explosives to divert police — even checking the underside of a bridge for spots to place a charge,” as the Washington Post summarized the indictment.

The FBI admits that it paid one informant $8,600, and there may be other payments that are revealed in the coming days or weeks. FBI agents have been taught that subjects of FBI investigations “have forfeited their right to the truth,” which helps explain the vast increase in federal entrapment operations in recent decades. Trevor Aaronson, author of The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism, estimated that only about 1% of the 500 people charged with international terrorism offenses in the decade after 9/11 were bona fide threats. Thirty times as many were induced by the FBI to behave in ways that prompted their arrest. The bureau’s informant program extends far beyond Muslims. It bankrolled an extremist right-wing New Jersey blogger and radio host for five years before his 2009 arrest for threatening federal judges. A long-term FBI informant organized the Ku Klux Klan rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in July 2017.

The alleged Michigan plot is almost too idiotic to believe. The alleged conspirators purportedly planned to kidnap Gov. Whitmer and take her to Wisconsin for a private trial. This is on par with the 2006 FBI-fabricated terror plot of the Liberty City Seven, where an informant swayed a bunch of dimwits to babble about blowing up government buildings. That group was so knuckle-headed that they asked the informant for military uniforms and wanted to conduct a parade.

The Michigan conspirators are receiving vastly more coverage than a recent Michigan Supreme Court decision, which effectively labeled Whitmer a lawless dictator who had extended a “state of emergency” far beyond what an unconstitutional state law allowed. Instead of obeying the ruling of the highest state court, Whitmer responded by having the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issue “new COVID-19 emergency orders that are nearly identical to her invalidated emergency orders,” as the Mackinac Center noted.

Four months earlier, the Michigan Court of Claims condemned Whitmer for contorting a Michigan workplace safety law to unjustifiably inflict additional penalties on businesses and individuals who failed to submit to her pandemic commands.

But, according to the media, locking down Michigan isn’t tyranny – it is public service.

Anyone who protests or heartily condemns lockdowns will also be presumed collectively guilty with the Michigan plotters. The same media moral framework will likely be used to exonerate new lockdowns that may be imposed in the name of curbing Covid-19. Earlier this week, many pundits denounced Trump as a would-be Mussolini for his statement on the White House balcony after he returned from Walter Reed Hospital. Commentators were horrified that Trump, who was standing outside not close to anyone, removed his facemask.

If Biden is elected president and fulfills his promise to impose a national facemask mandate or dictates a national shutdown of the economy, such actions will be portrayed as benevolence at its best, rather than the most foolhardy federal interventions since the 55 mile per hour speed limit.

Will the Michigan plot be touted by the media to valorize every government official who placed any American under house arrest in response to the pandemic? It is possible to heartily condemn both nitwit conspirators and oppressive politicians. Unfortunately, the media will likely pay far more attention to the bluster of boneheads than to actual devastation produced by unjustified shutdowns.

James Bovard is the author of ten books, including Public Policy Hooligan, Attention Deficit Democracy, The Bush Betrayal, and Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty. He has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Playboy, Washington Post, New Republic, Reader’s Digest, and many other publications. He is a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors, a frequent contributor to The Hill, and a contributing editor for American

October 10, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, False Flag Terrorism | , , , | Leave a comment

When Will the Truth About the Bidens’ Ukraine Deals & Financial Bonanza Come Out?

By Ekaterina Blinova – Sputnik – 10.10.2020

Despite the US mainstream media and the FBI appearing uninterested in the latest GOP study concerning Hunter Biden’s financial transactions and occupations during his father’s vice presidency, the investigation may go full throttle if Joe Biden is defeated in the 2020 campaign, suggests US investigative journalist George Eliason.

The FBI has refused to either confirm or deny the existence of any ongoing investigations concerning Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, The Federalist reported on 8 October, citing an exclusively obtained bureau letter written in response to a 24 September request by Republican Congressman Jim Jordan, the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee.

Why FBI Unlikely to React Before the Election

On 24 September, Jordan sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray asking what investigative steps – if any – the intelligence agency had taken in response to the GOP report detailing misconduct and suspicious financial transactions involving Hunter Biden, his family, and his associates.

Nevertheless, the FBI has yet to respond to Jordan’s questions concerning potential inquiries into:

·         Hunter Biden receiving millions of dollars from foreign nationals with questionable background and funding individuals “involved in human trafficking and organised prostitution”;

·         Hunter’s Chinese transactions “involv[ing] potential criminal activity”;

·         a bribe allegedly paid by Ukrainian gas firm Burisma’s owner to the country’s officials to stop investigations against him while Hunter served on the company’s board.

​Although Republican congressmen are urging the FBI to look into the Bidens’ potential misconduct, there is little if any chance of the Senate pressuring Wray into launching a formal investigation before the November election, believes George Eliason, a Donbass-based American investigative journalist.

“The last thing the Senate will do is make any move that looks partisan or trying to influence the election”, Eliason stresses. “After the election it is possible, if Biden loses. On the chance of a Biden win, the investigation will be mute”.GOP Report Sheds Light on Hunter Biden’s Gains

The GOP report indicates that Hunter Biden’s financial gains from foreign sources substantially increased during his father’s tenure as US vice president and after, citing a potential conflict of interest.

Referring to Treasury records, the document also alleges “potential criminal activity relating to transactions among and between Hunter Biden, his family, and his associates with Ukrainian, Russian, Kazakh and Chinese nationals”.

Several days before the release of the committee’s findings, Just the News reported that the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the US Treasury Department, had “flagged several foreign transactions to Hunter Biden-connected businesses as ‘suspicious’ during the end of the Obama administration and the beginning of the Trump administration”. These findings were highlighted in the agency’s Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) which, according to the media outlet, “is [per se] not evidence of wrongdoing, but it is usually a starting point for investigation”.

In addition to receiving $4 million in “questionable financial transactions” with foreign financiers, Hunter Biden was spotted sending funds to individuals “linked to what ‘appears to be an Eastern European prostitution or human trafficking ring'”, the GOP report reads.

Republican investigators specifically turned the spotlight on Hunter Biden’s role in the Ukrainian gas firm Burisma when his father served as the Obama administration’s “public face” of its policy towards the Eastern European state. In May 2014, Hunter joined the firm’s board of directors, despite having no experience in energy, and was paid as much as $50,000 per month.

“The Bidens were in the front seat [of the Obama administration’s Ukraine politics] the entire time”, Eliason recollects. “Joe Biden’s support for the Ukrainian diaspora and fulfilling their wants in Ukraine has been unwavering. The fact that Ukraine became a cash cow for his family that early makes it very clear”.

Thus, in December 2014, the owner of Burisma, Mykola Zlochevsky, reportedly gave a $7 million bribe to Ukrainian officials to have the case against him closed and his $23-million assets in the UK unfrozen while Hunter Biden was on Burisma’s board. According to the GOP document, the case was reported to the FBI by a DOJ official at the US Embassy in Kiev in 2015, but no action seemingly followed. While US State Department officials considered Zlochevsky “corrupt” at the time, then Vice President Biden avoided denouncing the Ukrainian oligarch, the document says.

More Facts May Emerge After 2020 Campaign

While the FBI keeps silent, the US left-leaning mainstream media have downplayed the study, saying that it does not show whether Hunter Biden’s actions influenced US government policy in any way.

CBS News, in particular, has drawn attention to the fact that “the report does not assert that the former vice president pushed for the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor in order to protect Burisma, a central claim made by President Trump and his allies”. For its part, the Biden campaign denounced the GOP research as a political attack amid the 2020 presidential campaign.

“The MSM has been firmly behind Biden and has to step back further than is now possible with credibility”, says Eliason referring to the mainstream media’s previous efforts to bury the anti-Biden sexual harassment allegations put forward by Tara Reade, a former staff assistant in Biden’s US Senate office. “As far as not affecting US policy, it’s a fogging ploy to relieve Biden from any culpability in crimes the evidence is very strong pointing to his involvement”.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian probe into the alleged Biden-Poroshenko tapes, concerning the ouster of then Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin – who was investigating Burisma Holdings – in exchange for a $1 billion loan, is still ongoing, the journalist emphasises.

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova confirmed in mid-September that the tapes are being examined: “We are waiting for the results of the research. We will react only where it is prescribed by law … Ukraine does not interfere in the affairs of other states. We remain in the field of criminal justice”, she stated on Savik Shuster’s YouTube podcast on 12 September.

Eliason believes that more facts concerning the Bidens may surface when the presidential campaign is over, as it will no longer be seen as an attempt to interfere in the elections. Furthermore, in case Biden loses and Trump retains office, the situation “would be cut and dry”, which would help US investigators to eventually sort things out.

October 10, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , , | Leave a comment

The American deep state revives its tired allegations of Russian interference in November’s presidential elections

By Scott Ritter | RT | September 23, 2020

CIA and FBI officials, helped by MSM chums, allege the Kremlin’s running a campaign to denigrate Joe Biden. But where’s the evidence? The real threat to US democracy isn’t Russia, but the anonymous sources behind the claims.

There have been a spate of reports recently, alleging Russian interference in the 2020 US presidential election, specifically the charge that Russian President Vladimir Putin is seeking to “sow divisiveness and discord” to “denigrate” the Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, and undermine public confidence in the legitimacy of the electoral process.

While allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election continue to be bandied about by those who believe that President Donald Trump’s victory over Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton was solely due to Russian malfeasance, the new allegations arise from a separate set of facts unique to this year’s race.

These are the efforts of Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and the Republican chairmen of the Senate Homeland Security and Finance Committees (Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley, respectively) to uncover evidence of corruption on the part of Joe Biden and his son Hunter regarding the latter’s relationship with Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company. These efforts have led to the release of an 87-page joint report, titled ‘Hunter Biden, Burisma, and Corruption: The Impact on U.S. Government Policy and Related Concerns’, published by Senator’s Johnson and Grassley on September 22.

There is nothing substantively new in the report that has not already been publicly disclosed previously. The difference is that Giuliani, Johnson, and Grassley have made extensive use of information provided to them by a pro-Russian member of the Ukrainian Parliament, Andriy Derkach, in fleshing out the allegations of corruption leveled against Joe and Hunter Biden. The information contained in the report does not significantly further the case against either Joe or Hunter Biden and, if left to its own devices, the report would most likely have been ignored by the voting public.

But the Derkach angle has caught the eye of elements within the US intelligence community and the FBI, who have used the connection between Giuliani, Johnson, and Grassley on the one hand, and Derkach on the other, to promote their own conspiracy theories linking the Russian government to the revelations. This linkage was furthered by the fact that Derkach was singled out by the US Department of Treasury in August for being “an active Russian agent for over a decade,” who employed “manipulation and deceit to attempt to influence elections in the United States.”

Derkach’s activities were also the subject of a classified CIA assessment published on August 31 in the CIA World Intelligence Review. But the CIA took it a step further, stating: “We assess that President Vladimir Putin and the senior-most Russian officials are aware of and probably directing Russia’s influence operations aimed at denigrating the former U.S. Vice President, supporting the U.S. President and fueling public discord ahead of the U.S. election in November.”

Details of this classified CIA assessment were shared with Josh Rogin, an opinion columnist with the Washington Post (and vehement opponent of Trump), who published them in a column that appeared in his newspaper on September 22. According to Rogin, the information about the CIA assessment came from two unnamed sources “familiar with” the report. Rogin claims he withheld details about the intelligence used to form the assessment at the request of his sources to protect them and their methods.

Rogin’s ‘scoop’ comes on the heels of similar claims put forward in written testimony to Congress by the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, William Evanina, in early August. “We assess that Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia ‘establishment,’” Evanina wrote. “This is consistent with Moscow’s public criticism of him when he was Vice President for his role in the Obama administration’s policies on Ukraine and its support for the anti-Putin opposition inside Russia.”

Evanina’s concerns were echoed by FBI Director Christopher Wray, who testified before the House Homeland Security Committee on September 17. “We certainly have seen very active, very active efforts by the Russians to influence our election in 2020 … to both sow divisiveness and discord and … to denigrate Vice President Biden,” Wray said.

Both Evanina and Wray drew heavily on the efforts by Derkach to assist Giuliani, Johnson, and Grassley in their aim of digging up dirt on Joe and Hunter Biden. Wray’s testimony, when viewed in conjunction with the Rogin revelations about the CIA’s assessment, appears to be timed to pre-empt the impact of the Johnson-Grassley report.

If that’s true, then the FBI director, together with whomever in the intelligence community leaked the details of the CIA’s assessment to Rogin, are guilty of the kind of politicization of intelligence that undermines public confidence in the US system of government far more than any thinly sourced allegations about Russian interference.

One can scour the government’s organizational charts, looking in vain for an entity that describes itself as the ‘deep state’, and the efforts will be in vain. But the deep state exists. It exists in the form of so-called intelligence professionals who craft analysis about alleged foreign interference in domestic American politics, derived from secret ‘sources and methods’, which is then leaked to a willing recipient in the press who publishes it for the sole purpose of undermining a sitting president on the eve of a national election, without disclosing what these ‘sources and methods’ are.

It exists in the form of an organization, the FBI, that is already stinging from the public disclosure of its massive failings on issues related to allegations of Russian collusion on the part of a sitting president (the Mueller Report fiasco, the disaster that was the Steele Dossier, and the incompetence manifested in the Carter Page FISA warrant process, to name but a few) suddenly seeking relevance – and, one might say, revenge – by speculating on the domestic impact of the same allegations put forward by the intelligence community.

The only purpose one can ascribe to these actions is the denigration of President Trump for the purpose of sowing divisiveness and discord regarding the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election – the very charge that those who embrace the CIA and FBI allegations about Russian interference have levelled against Moscow.

A reasonable person can conclude that President Trump, by questioning the legitimacy of mail-in ballots and openly speculating about voter fraud, is actively engaging in a politically motivated ploy to undermine public confidence in the election for the purpose of preparing the public for an inevitable challenge if the results point to a Biden victory.

While this is not conduct that any politician seeking elected office should engage in, it isn’t being done in the shadows, as part of a vast secret conspiracy, but rather out in the open, for all the public to see and, by extension, to opine on come election day.

That’s the difference between what Trump and his supporters are doing, and the actions of the deep state. Both are destroying public confidence in whatever the outcome may be on election night, to make the case that their candidate has the more legitimate claim to electoral victory.

Two wrongs don’t make a right, but the fact that one side – the supporters of Donald Trump – are conducting their work with complete transparency, while the other side hides behind the impenetrable walls the deep state affords them, does serve as a discriminator.

America does not need any help in undermining the foundations of democratic rule, nor does it need help in destroying public confidence in the notion of a free and fair election. The actions of both political parties have shown they are collectively and individually more than capable of accomplishing this in their own right; all an outside power need do is sit back and watch the show.

There is nothing to gain for Putin, were he to orchestrate a campaign designed to attack Joe Biden, and everything to lose. If there wasn’t an Andriy Derkach, Rudy Giuliani and Senator Johnson would have found someone just like him. The Hunter Biden/Burisma story is to Republican operatives like chum is to sharks – irresistible.

It wasn’t manufactured by Putin and co behind the Kremlin walls, but was rather the by-product of Hunter and Joe Biden’s own words and deeds. The American electorate is sophisticated enough to sort through the chaff to get to the wheat. Nothing Giuliani or Johnson did was in secret – and they most certainly don’t hide behind secret ‘sources and methods’ when making their allegations.

One cannot say the same thing for the intelligence community, the FBI, or the partisan mainstream media. At the end of the day, the information they describe as being at the heart of the alleged Russian interference – the Derkach papers – contains the same fact set as does the report published by Senators Johnson and Grassley.

The big difference, however, is how this information is packaged and marketed. The Republicans have taken the path of full transparency, where every voter is capable of discerning whether this is a matter of legitimate national concern, or a political witch hunt. Most important of all is the fact that both Johnson and Grassley are elected officials who, at the end of the day, are accountable to their respective constituencies for their conduct while in office.

The deep state, however, has taken a different path – one of secret allegations about foreign manipulation of American democratic processes. The deep state seeks to distract from the political reality of what the Republicans have done – namely, to put it all on the line for the American people to see whether the Hunter Biden/Burisma story holds water, or to conclude that the Republicans have behaved poorly.

The Republicans have given the American voter a choice – one the deep state seeks to obviate by tainting it with unfounded allegations of Russian interference. Moreover, the deep state has put forward its case in an opaque way and in a manner where those making the case cannot be held accountable to the American public because they were never elected in the first place, and have opted to keep their identities a secret.

And it is destroying American democracy as we speak.

Scott Ritter is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and author of ‘SCORPION KING: America’s Suicidal Embrace of Nuclear Weapons from FDR to Trump.’ He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector. Follow him on Twitter @RealScottRitter

September 23, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

Betrayal. Infuriating, Betrayal

By Mike Whitney • Unz Review • September 23, 2020

“The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.” Joseph Conrad

Here’s your political puzzler for the day: Which of these two things poses a greater threat to the country:

  1. An incompetent and boastful president who has no previous government experience and who is rash and impulsive in his dealings with the media, foreign leaders and his critics?
  2. Or a political party that collaborates with senior-level officials in the Intel agencies, the FBI, the DOJ, the media, and former members of the White House to spy on the new administration with the intention of gathering damaging information that can be used to overthrow the elected government?

The answer is “2”, the greater threat to the country is a political party that engages in subversive activity aimed at toppling the government and seizing power. In fact, that’s the greatest danger that any country can face, an enemy from within. Foreign adversaries can be countered by diplomatic engagement and shoring up the nation’s military defenses, but traitors–who conduct their activities below the radar using a secret network of contacts and connections to inflict maximum damage on the government– are nearly unstoppable.

What the Russiagate investigation shows, is that high-ranking members of the Democrat party participated in the type of activities that are described above, they were part of an illicit coup d’etat aimed at removing Donald Trump from office and rolling back the results of the 2016 elections. It is a vast understatement to say that the operation was merely an attack on Donald Trump when, in fact, it was an attack on the system itself, a full-blown assault on the right of ordinary people to choose their own leaders. That’s what Russiagate is really all about; it was an attempt to torpedo democracy by invoking the flimsy and unverifiable claim that Trump was an agent of the Kremlin.

None of this, of course, has been discussed in a public forum because those platforms are all privately-owned media that are linked to the people who executed the junta. But for those who followed events closely, and who know what actually happened, there has never been a more serious crime in American history. What we discovered was that the permanent bureaucracy, the media and the Democrat party are riddled with strategically-placed quislings and collaborators that are willing to sabotage their own government if they are so directed. The question that immediately comes to mind is this: Who concocted this plot, who authorized the electronic eavesdropping, the confidential informants, the widespread spying, the improperly obtained warrants, the fake news, and the endless leaks to the media? Who?

What we witnessed was not just an attempted coup, it was a window into the inner-workings of a secret government operating independently from within the state. And the sedition was not confined to a few posts at the senior levels of the FBI, CIA, NSA, or DOJ. No. The corruption has saturated the entire structure, seeping down to the lower levels where career bureaucrats eagerly perform tasks that are designed to damage or incriminate elected officials. How did it ever get this bad?

And who is calling the shots? We still don’t know.

Let me pose a theory: The operation might have been concocted by former CIA-Director John Brennan, but Brennan surely is not the prime instigator, nor is Clapper, Comey or even Obama. The real person or persons who initiated the coup will likely never be known. These are the Big Money guys who operate in the shadows and who have a stranglehold on the Intelligence agencies. These are the gilded Mandarins who have their tentacles wrapped firmly around the entire state-power apparatus and who dictate policy from their leather-bound chairs at their high-end men’s clubs. These are the people who decided that Donald Trump “had to go” whatever the cost. They pulled out all the stops, engaged their assets across the bureaucracy, and launched a desperate 3 and half year-long regime change operation that blew up in their faces leaving behind a trail carnage from Washington, DC to Sydney, Australia. In contrast, Trump somehow slipped the noose and escaped largely unscathed. He was pummeled mercilessly in the media, disparaged by his political rivals, and raked over the coals by the chattering classes, but — at the end of the day– it was Trump who was left standing. Trump– who took on the entire political establishment, the Intel agencies, the FBI, the mainstream media, and the Democratic party– had beaten them all at their own game. Go figure??

Keep in mind, the Democrats have known that the Mueller probe was a fraud from as early as 2017 when the President of Crowdstrike, Shawn Henry, (who provided cyber security for the DNC) admitted to Congress that there was no forensic evidence that the DNC emails had been hacked by Russia or anyone else.

Think about that for a minute: The entire Mueller investigation was based on the assumption that Russia hacked into the DNC servers and stole the emails. We now know that never happened. The cyber-security team that conducted the investigation of the DNC computers admitted in sworn testimony before Congress that there was no evidence of “exfiltration” or pilfering of any kind. Repeat: There was no proof of hacking, no proof of Russian involvement, and no proof of foul play. The entire foundation upon which the Russia investigation was built, turned out to be false. More importantly, Democrat members of the Intelligence Committee knew it was false from the get-go, but opted to let the charade continue anyway. Why?

Because the truth didn’t matter, what mattered was getting rid of Trump by any means necessary. That’s why they used “opposition research” (Note– “Oppo” research is the hyperbolic nonsense political parties use to smear a political opponent.) to illegally obtain warrants to spy on members of the Trump team. It’s because the Democrat leadership will do anything to regain power.

By the way, we also have evidence that the warrants that were used to spy on Trump were obtained illegally. The FISA court was deliberately misled so the FBI could carry out its vendetta on Trump. Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith “did willfully and knowingly make and use a false writing and document, knowing the same to contain a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement and entry in a matter before the jurisdiction of the executive branch and judicial branch of the Government of the United States.” Bottom line: Clinesmith deliberately altered emails so that FISA applications could be renewed and the spying on the Trump campaign could continue.

So, let’s summarize:

  1. The Democrats knew there was no proof the emails were stolen; thus, they knew the Russia probe was a hoax.
  2. The Democrats knew that their fraudulent “opposition research” was being used to illegally obtain warrants to spy on the Trump camp. This makes them accessory to a crime.
  3. Finally, the Democrats continue to spread (virtually) the same Russia-Trump collusion allegations today that they did before the Mueller investigation released its report. The lies and disinformation have persisted as if the “nation’s most expensive and exhaustive investigation” had never taken place. What does this tell us about the Democrats?

On a superficial level, it tells us that they can’t be trusted because they don’t tell the truth. But on a deeper level, it expresses the party’s Ruling Doctrine, which is to control the public by means of deceit, disinformation, propaganda and lies. Only the powerful and well-connected are entitled to know the truth, everyone else must be subjected to fabrications that are crafted in a way that best coincides with the overall objectives of ruling elites. That’s why the Democrats stick with the shopworn mantra that Trump is in bed with Russia. It doesn’t matter that the theory has been thoroughly discredited and disproved. It doesn’t even matter that the theory was never the slightest bit believable to begin with. What matters is that party leaders are preventing ordinary people from knowing the truth, which is an essential part of their governing doctrine. It’s surprising that this doesn’t piss-off more Democrats, after all, it’s the ultimate expression of contempt and condescension. When someone lies to your face relentlessly, repeatedly and shamelessly, they are expressing their loathing for you. Can’t they see that?

But maybe you think this is overstating the case? Maybe you think the Dems are just trying to “cover their backside” on a matter that is purely political?

Okay, but answer this: Were the Democrats involved in a plot to overthrow the President of the United States?

Yes, they were.

Is that treason?

Yes, it is.

Then, are we really prepared to say that treason is “purely political”?

No, especially since Russiagate was not a one-off, but just the first shocking example of how the Democrats operate. If we examine the Dems approach to the Covid-19 crisis, we see that their policy is actually more destructive than the 4-year Russia fiasco.

For example, which party has imposed the most brutal, economy-eviscerating lockdowns and the most punitive mask mandates, while steadily ratcheting up the fearmongering at every opportunity? Which states suffered the most catastrophic economic damage due in large part to the edicts issued by their Democrat governors? Which party is using a public health emergency to advance the global “Reset” agenda announced at the World Economic Forum (WEF)? Which party is using the Covid-19 fraud to crash the economy, eliminate 40 million jobs, roll-back basic civil liberties and turn the United States into a NWO slave-state ruled by Wall Street bankers, Silicon Valley technocrats and Davos elites? Which party?

And which party has aligned itself with Black Lives Matter, the faux-social justice organization that is funded by foreign oligarchs that are working tirelessly to crush the emerging populist movement that supports “America First” ideals? Which party applauded while American cities burned and small businesses across the country were looted and razed by masses of hooligans engaged in an orgy of destruction? Which party’s mayors and governors rejected federal assistance to put down the riots and reestablish order so ordinary people could get back to work to provide for themselves and their families? And which party now is threatening widespread social unrest and anarchy if the upcoming presidential election does not produce the result that they or their globalist puppet-masters seek?

The Democrat party has undergone a sea-change in the last four years. There’s no trace of the party that was once headed by progressive-thinking idealists like John F Kennedy. What’s left now is a shell of its former self; a cynical, self-aggrandizing, cutthroat organization that has betrayed its base, the American people, and the country. Indeed, for all its many failings, it is the ‘betrayal’ that is the most infuriating.

September 23, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Reds Plot to Control America!

By Peter Van Buren | WeMeantWell | September 19, 2020

Like me, you got most of your news from PeaceData.net. It was what you looked to to form your opinions, including the all-important one about which way to vote. What you missed on PeaceData you caught up with via Facebook memes and Tweets from people you do not know.

Or maybe not. Maybe like nearly everyone on planet earth you have no idea what I’m talking about and have never looked at the PeaceData site. That reality should pretty much end the discussion but this is 2020. So you must know by now Facebook claims an unvisited and now defunct web site named PeaceData was actually a Russian influence operation posing as an independent news outlet targeting voters in the United States. Including in their sneaky tactics were hiring American freelance “journalists” to write about US politics and racial tensions from their parents’ basements.

PeaceData operated 13 Facebook accounts, now suspended, supposedly using fake identities and “coordinated inauthentic behavior” by people with some kind of link “to individuals associated with past activity by the Internet Research Agency,” the Russkie company which US intelligence officials say was part of Comrade Trump’s 2016 win.

Yep, that old story, Russians, social media, blah. To say Peacedata itself truly does not matter, especially in relation to the attention it has received in death, gives too much credit to not mattering. What does matter is how the intel community, quasi-private tech firms, the media, and the Democrats worked together to exaggerate the threat and create the narrative outcome of “foreign influence.” Pay attention; this is the magician revealing how the trick is done.

It seems the Russians have gotten so good at influencing cow-like Americans that only five percent of English-language articles on PeaceData actually directly concerned the US election, out of over 700 articles published. You’d think no one would have even noticed they existed. However, some sneaky company called Graphika nonetheless told Facebook to conclude “this facet of the operation suggests an attempt to build a left-wing audience and steer it away from Biden’s campaign.” See, the conclusion from Graphika is by making almost no impact whatsoever, PeaceData was actually “trying harder and harder to hide.” Graphika found most of the English-language posts achieved only single-digit engagement.

Who funds net nanny Graphika? Their venture capital was raised privately, in two tranches of about three million dollars each, in 2014 and 2019. We do know who they work with. Their current “Innovation Officer” is Camille François, who once worked for Google’s analytics offshoot Jigsaw before quitting to run a secretive project for the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, alongside now Graphika CEO John Kelly (no relation to the Marine.) Their December 2018 reporting helped “prove” how the Russians used social media networks like Facebook and Twitter to influence the 2016 election. Graphika also has ties to the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Defense Department’s Minerva Initiative. If you pay to look at their stuff you realize they write like spooks, talk like spooks, and snitch out news sites like spooks. So you can decide if they’re involved in all this again because they are just good at proving Russian stuff or because they are tied to a corporate-quasi government structure alongside the intel community.

What is missing from Graphika’s work is any evidence whatsoever of any actual influence on the only thing that matters: how people vote. Graphika offers nothing quantitative, claiming only that by using American freelancers PeaceData was part of the “fabric” of communities and this made them credible. A step up from 2016 efforts, which relied on what Graphika said were foreign “trolls who typically researched American life so they could more effectively pose as US citizens online. One key trick was to watch American TV shows like House of Cards.”

One is inclined to imagine here the customer service rep with a south Indian accent who asks you to call him “Mike” and wonders “How it goes my man in that American town of Iowa?” Older readers, please substitute Boris and Natasha voices.

So who are these nefarious America writers unknowingly selling out their country? The New York Times tracked down one freelancer who ended up writing for no money somehow, though PeaceData rates of $75-$200 per article fluttered below average (lots of unknown sites recruit freelancers for small payouts; PeaceData used Guru.) This particular PeaceData journalist also once played Rusty in Starlight Express before selling insurance. One of his recent articles outlines his battle with dementia. Sorry to pick on the poor guy, but the NYT profiled him and it seems using such services to influence an election may not be the best use of those rubles.

He did write a nice piece claiming Susan Rice would have made a fine Vice President. One point in her favor was “I challenge anyone to find a video, or statement which shows Susan Rice raising her temper, shouting, acting hysterical or making comments.” Rice of course is known for her signature profanity and temper; here’s the Washington Post calling her out for describing Lindsey Graham as a “piece of sh*t.” Her f-bombs are legend. She famously flipped the bird at Richard Holbrooke, told France’s U.N. ambassador “you’re not going to drag us into your sh*tty war” and drew complaints of disrespect from allies on the U.N. Security Council.

But before just calling a Susan Rice-like bullsh*t on this whole sad attempt to frighten Americans into believing foreigners are here to steal our precious bodily Internet fluids, let’s go have a look at some of what else PeaceData had to say.

For example, here’s a quote from a PeaceData article about Q-Anon: “The effort to mainstream conspiracy is meant to distract from the true mechanisms of exploitation and alienation, while allowing for the continued consolidation of capital and upending norms with power grabs. As liberal institutions fail and capitalism continues to deliver uncertainty, the extension of a false mythos — that promises to yield revolutionary change and free the masses — gives allure to desperately confused people.”

Ok, that was too easy, somebody just held on to their Socialism 101 textbook. From a PeaceData article on the post office is lifted idea-for-idea from the NYT : “One way or another, the truth always comes out and with President Donald Trump, his motives were especially apparent after a news conference in the White House Briefing Room. He admitted on Thursday he opposed additional funding for the United States Postal Service (USPS) in order to make it more difficult to deliver mail-in ballots. Trump’s desire to not expand on voting by mail further sent society into a chaotic state amidst a pandemic.” Actually the NYT said “President Trump stirred new questions on Thursday about whether he would seek to hold up new money to the Postal Service to impede mail-in voting this fall in the middle of the pandemic.” Kinda the same thing but one is Russkie propaganda and the other is the New York Times.

It is very unclear whether any of this is illegal. Foreign organizations hire American writers all the time. And the line between “taking an editorial stance” and “influencing an election” lies closer to how paranoid you are than anything in the law. That did not stop the FBI from telling social media to act against PeaceData based on Graphika tattling. The action Facebook (and Twitter, who called PeaceData “Russian state actors” and blocked them) took against PeaceData was based entirely on so-called violations of Terms of Service. It allows the social media giants to show off how they are doing something to whatever, save democracy. If the Founders were alive today they would be editing Terms of Service instead of creating a Bill of Rights. Facebook was not asked to return the $480 in advertising money Peacedata spent on the site.

PeaceData doesn’t matter by itself. The real value in this fluffy jihad against a no-name site is to allow the MSM and Democrats to announce again Trump is being helped by a foreign power, that our electoral process is corrupt if Trump wins, and to revive whatever distant wet memories the faithful had in Russiagate ending the Trump presidency. A fantasy, a little day dreaming maybe the old tricks will work this time where they have failed ever before.

No big deal, just a glimpse behind the scenes where under the cover of blaming foreign collusion, corporate America, the intel community, and the media hide their own collusion, here, in the Twilight Zone of democracy.

September 21, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , , , , | 1 Comment

On Russia, Joe Biden’s mouth is writing checks the US can’t afford to cash

By Scott Ritter | RT | September 18, 2020

Joe Biden’s tough rhetoric on Russia, fueled by politically motivated FBI testimony alleging continued Russian electoral interference, may play well to his base. But if US allies act on it, it could mean war.

Joe Biden talks a good show. “I believe Russia is an opponent, I really do,” he said at a CNN town hall Thursday night. Biden’s statement was in response to a question from the moderator, Anderson Cooper, as to whether Biden viewed Russia as “an enemy.”

In the world of politicized semantics as used by Joe Biden, the difference between an “opponent” (someone who competes against or fights another; a rival or adversary) and an “enemy” (a person who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something) knows no differentiation between mens rea (the intention or knowledge of wrongdoing), as opposed actus reus (the actual action or conduct). Both are elements of a crime and, according to Biden, Russia’s actions violate both principles.

“Putin’s overwhelming objective is to break up NATO,” Biden told the made-for-television audience, “to fundamentally alter the circumstance in Europe so he doesn’t have to face an entire NATO contingent.”

Mens Rea.

Biden also called Russia’s alleged election meddling, which FBI Director Christopher Wray recently testified before Congress was “ongoing,” as a “violation of our sovereignty.”

Actus Reus.

The problem here is that while Biden seeks to soften his hardline stance on Russia by using the lesser descriptor “opponent,” the actions he is accusing Russia and its leader, President Vladimir Putin, of committing are de facto elements of a crime, meaning that to anyone listening to Biden’s words, Russia is transformed into an “enemy.”

“Opponents” engage in genteel debates; “enemies” seek to undermine your security and destroy your democracy.

Biden can play fast and loose with words, but at the end of the day, words have meaning, and the picture painted by Biden in his town hall meeting is of a Russian threat to America, and a Russian threat to him personally. “There will be a price to pay,” Biden said of Russia’s actions. “And Putin knows – the reason he doesn’t want me as president, he knows me, and he knows I mean it.”

The personalization of actions which, if true, could be construed as constituting an attack on the United States, is itself disturbing, since it links the political fate of Biden to America’s willingness to stand idle in the face of such perfidy.

Biden is not alone in making such claims. FBI Director Wray appeared to be channeling the Democratic nominee when he told Congress that Russia’s interference in the 2020 presidential race relies heavily on disinformation and agitation designed to make some Americans so angry they support a preferred candidate (Trump) and others so angry and disaffected they don’t vote for another (Biden).

Biden and Wray are both playing to a domestic American audience, and both for political reasons. Biden’s motives are that of a seasoned politician seeking to exploit a predisposition amongst a certain element of the American electorate to accept at face value anything negative said about Russia and/or its president.

Christopher Wray’s motives are more complicated, rooted as they are in the need to restore the FBI’s reputation in the aftermath of the Mueller Report fiasco, the Christopher Steele disaster, and the FISA warrant scandal. By reasserting as fact allegations of Russian political interference in the 2020 presidential election, and claiming ongoing Russian “active measures” in the form of unspecified “disinformation”, Wray seeks to soften the blow of FBI incompetence and malfeasance by resurrecting the Russian threat in a manner designed to make Americans believe that the FBI’s past errors were at least made in good faith while confronting a real enemy… or opponent.

The danger here is not that the United States under a Biden administration would do anything precipitous when it came to dealing with Russia. As Biden himself stated, he knows Russia, and he knows President Putin, and as such he knows the reality of the limits to which Russia can be pushed. Russia is not some petulant child to be punished haphazardly, but a grown man capable of giving as good, or better, than it takes. Joe knows.

But others are listening to the rhetoric who might be fooled into believing that there is substance behind the bluster. Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, and Georgia – all of these lesser powers today play an oversized role in shaping the US-Russian dynamic, whether by anointing a “true president” in Belarus, dragging their feet on peace in the Donbas, or reigniting the dream of NATO membership by playing host to US forces in large scale military exercises designed to mimic a NATO-like reality.

All it would take in the early weeks and months of a future Biden administration would be for one of these lesser powers to overplay their hand, transitioning the rhetoric of “opposition” into the reality of “war” by pushing Russia too hard. Then Joe Biden would be left holding the bag, having talked the talk, and now being called upon to walk the walk.

But the reality is, Joe Biden’s mouth is writing checks the United States can ill afford to cash. “I don’t mean war,” he told the town hall when talking about how he would respond to alleged Russian perfidy. “But they’ll pay a price… There’ll be an economic price.”

Not if Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine and Georgia can help it.

Scott Ritter is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and author of ‘SCORPION KING: America’s Suicidal Embrace of Nuclear Weapons from FDR to Trump.’ He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector. Follow him on Twitter @RealScottRitter

September 19, 2020 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | 3 Comments

FBI director says Russia is engaged in ‘very active efforts’ to sink Biden & rehashes 2016 claims… but provides no evidence

RT | September 17, 2020

Russia is reprising its still-unproven 2016 election meddling efforts, this time targeting Democratic challenger Joe Biden, according to FBI Director Christopher Wray, who gave no evidence to support his crowd-pleasing claims.

Wray told the House of Representatives that Russia is taking a “very active” role in the 2020 US election, claiming Moscow “continues to try to influence our elections, primarily through what we call malign foreign influence” during a Thursday hearing on national security threats.

According to the FBI director, the Russians’ primary goal seems to be not only to “sow divisiveness and discord,” but to trash Democratic nominee Joe Biden – along with “what the Russians see as a kind of anti-Russian establishment” – through social media, “use of proxies,” state-run media, and “online journals.”

Wray contrasted 2020’s alleged meddling with that of 2016, which he claimed involved “an effort to target election infrastructure,” presenting no evidence to back up either current or past claims – other than that the FBI or other intelligence agencies had made the same claims in the past. There is no actual evidence that Russia interfered with election infrastructure in 2016.

While four years of similarly flavored conspiracy theories blaming Russia for Donald Trump’s 2016 win have come up empty-handed, the paucity of real-world evidence for ‘Russian meddling’ has not stopped Wray and other US intel officials from hyping it up as a major threat to the integrity of the democratic process.

The National Counterintelligence and Security Center suggested last month that, while Russia would interfere in the election in favor of Trump, China and Iran would meddle on behalf of Biden – implying Americans couldn’t vote at all without doing the bidding of a foreign nation.

Former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats even suggested Congress create another election integrity body to supervise the vote in November, apparently concerned the existing authorities – all 54 of them, one for each state plus four federal entities tasked with keeping meddlers, foreign and domestic, shut out – weren’t enough.

Wray insisted the FBI was not only working closely with its state and federal counterparts, but also interfacing on a daily basis with social media companies – though he did not go into detail regarding what information the tech giants were handing over to law enforcement (or vice versa).

During his testimony before Congress, Wray also broke with the Trump administration’s viewpoint on the subject of Antifa, insisting the often-violent leftist group was “more of an ideology than an organization.” However, he admitted “we have seen folks who subscribe or identify with the Antifa movement, who coalesce regionally into small groups or nodes, and they are certainly organized at that level.” Trump has called for Antifa to be declared a terrorist organization.

September 17, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , , | 2 Comments

Dark web voter database report casts new doubts on Russian election hack narrative

By Gareth Porter | Grayzone | September 13, 2020

A new report showing that US state-level voter databases were publicly available calls into question the narrative that Russian intelligence “targeted” US state election-related websites in 2016.

A September 1 report in the Moscow daily Kommersant on a “dark web” site offering a database of personal information on millions of registered American voters undermines one of the central themes of the Russia hysteria pervading US politics.

Democratic politicians and corporate media pundits have long accepted it as fact that Russian intelligence “targeted” US state election-related websites in 2016. But the Kommersant report shows that those state registered voter databases were already available to anyone in the public domain, eliminating any official Russian motive for hacking state websites.

Kommersant reported that a user on a dark web Forum known as Gorka9 offered free access to databases containing the information of 7.6 million Michigan voters, along with the state voter databases of Connecticut, Arkansas, Florida and North Carolina.

There are differences between the Michigan database described by Gorka9 and the one that the State of Michigan releases to the public upon request. Tracy Wimmer, the spokesperson for the Michigan Secretary of State, said in an e-mail to Grayzone that when the Michigan voter registration database is released to the public upon request, the state withholds “date of birth (year of birth is included), driver’s license number, the last four digits of someone’s social security number, email address and phone number….”  However, Gorka9’s description of the Michigan data includes driver’s license numbers, full dates of birth, social security numbers and emails.

In fact both un-redacted and redacted state voter files are obviously widely available on the dark web as well as elsewhere on the internet. Meduza, a Russian-language news site based in Riga, Latvia, published the Kommersant story along with an “anonFiles” download portal for access to the Michigan voter database and a page from it showing that it is the officially redacted version. The DHS and the FBI both acknowledged in response to the Kommersant story that “a lot of voter registration data is publicly available or easily purchased.”

Criminal hackers have been seeking to extract such personal information from online state personal databases for many years — not only from voter registration databases but from drivers license, health care and other databases. Oregon’s chief information security officer, Lisa Vasa, told the Washington Post in September 2017 that her team blocks “upwards of 14 million attempts to access our network every day.”

Ken Menzell, the legal counsel to the Illinois state Board of Elections, told this writer in a 2017 interview that the only thing new about the hack of the state’s voter database in 2016, in which personal data on 200,000 Illinois registered voters was exfiltrated, was that the hackers succeeded. Menzell recalled that hackers had been “trying constantly” to get into every Illinois personal database ever since 2006.

The motive for the hackers was simple: as observed by Andrey Arsentiev, the head of analytics and special projects at the private security partnership, Infowatch, databases can be mined for profits on the dark web, primarily by selling them to scam artists working on a mass scale. Gorka9 was offering state voter files for free because the owner had already squeezed all the potential profit out of selling them.

For the Russian government, on the other hand, such databases would be of little or no value. When FBI counterintelligence chief Bill Priestap was asked by a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee in June 2017 how Moscow might use personal voter registration data, the only explanation he could come up with was that the Russian government and its intelligence agencies were completely ignorant of the character of U.S. state voter databases. “They took the data to understand what it consisted of,” Priestap declared.

Priestap was obviously unaware of the absurdity of the suggestion that the Russian government had no idea what was in such databases in 2016. After all, the state voter registration databases had already been released by the states themselves into the public domain, and had been bought and sold on the dark web for many years. The FBI has steered clear of the embarrassing suggestion by Priestap ever since.

Priestap’s inability to conjure up a plausible reason for Russia to hack U.S. election sites points to the illogical and baseless nature of the claims of a Russian threat to the U.S. presidential election.

DHS creates the Russian cyber campaign against state election sites

Back in 2016, the Department of Homeland Security did its best to market the narrative of Russian infiltration of American voting systems. At the time, the DHS was seeking to increase its bureaucratic power by adding election infrastructure to its portfolio of cybersecurity responsibilities, and exploiting the Russian factor was just the ticket to supercharge their campaign.

In their prepared statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee in June 2017, two senior DHS officials, Samuel Liles and Jeanette Manfra, referred to an October 2016 intelligence report published by the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis. They stated it had “established that Internet-connected election-related networks, including websites, in 21 states were potentially targeted by Russian government cyber actors.” That “potentially targeted” language gave away the fact that DHS didn’t have anything more than suspicion to back up the charge.

In fact DHS was unable to attribute any attempted election site hack to the Russian government. On October 7, 2016, in fact, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper stated explicitly that they could not do so. Liles and Manfra appeared to imply such an attribution, however, by associating DHS with a joint assessment by CIA, FBI and NSA released January 7, 2017, that contained the statement, the “Russian intelligence obtained and maintained access to elements of multiple US state or local electoral boards.”

But the meaning of that language was deliberately vague, and the only additional sentence related to it stated, “Since early 2014, Russian intelligence has researched US electoral processes and related technology and equipment.” That was far from any finding that Russia had scanned or hacked election-related websites.

In September 2017, under pressure from governors, DHS finally notified state governments about the cyber incidents that it had included in its October 2016 intelligence report as examples of “potential” Russian targeting. Now, it abandoned its ambiguous language and explicitly claimed Russian responsibility.

One state election official who asked not to be identified told this writer in a 2018 interview that “a couple of guys from DHS reading from a script” had informed him that his state was “targeted by Russian government cyber actors.”

DHS spokesman Scott McConnell issued a statement on September 28, 2017 that DHS “stood by” its assessment that 21 states “were the target of Russian government cyber actors seeking vulnerabilities and access to U.S. election infrastructure.” But McConnell also revealed that DHS had defined “targeting” so broadly that any public website that a hacker scanned in a state could be included within that definition.

The dishonest tactics the DHS employed to demonstrate plausible evidence of “targeting” was revealed by Arizona Secretary of State Michelle Reagan’s spokesperson Matt Roberts, who told this writer in an interview, “When we pressed DHS on what exactly was targeted, they said it was the Phoenix public library’s computer system.” Another 2016 hacking episode in Arizona, which the FBI originally believed was a Russian government job, was later found to be a common criminal hack. In that episode, a hacker had targeted a local official with a phishing scheme and managed to steal their username and password.

Ironically, DHS had speculated in its initial intelligence report “that cyber operations targeting election infrastructure could be intended or used to undermine public confidence in electoral processes and potentially the outcome.”

That speculation, reiterated by corporate media, became a central feature of the Russiagate hysteria that electrified the Democratic Party’s base. None of the journalists and politicians who repeated the narrative stopped to consider how unsubstantiated claims by the DHS about Russian penetration of the US election infrastructure was doing just that – lowering public confidence in the democratic process.

The hysteria surrounding the supposed Russian threat to elections is far from over. The Senate Intelligence Committee report released in July 2019 sought to legitimize the contention by former Obama cyber security adviser Michael Daniel that Russia “may have” targeted all fifty states for cyber attacks on election-related sites.  In explaining his reasoning to the Senate committee’s staff, Daniel said: “My professional judgment was we have to work on the assumption [Russians] tried to go everywhere, because they’re thorough, they’re competent, they’re good.”

The New York Times eagerly played up that subjective and highly ideological judgment in the lede of a story headlined, ‘Russia Targeted Election Systems in All 50 States, Report Finds.’

As for DHS, it appeared to acknowledge by implication in an October 11, 2018 assessment excerpted in the Senate Committee report that it could not distinguish between a state-sponsored hack and a criminal hack. This August, the senior cybersecurity adviser for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Matthew Masterson, said, “We are not and have not seen specific targeting of those election systems that has been attributable to nation-state actors at this time….  We do see regular scanning, regular probing of election infrastructure as a whole, what you’d expect to see as you run IT systems.”

Despite these stunning admissions, DHS has faced no official accountability for deliberately slanting its intelligence assessment to implicate Russia for common criminal hacking activity. No matter how shoddy its origins and development have proven to be, the narrative remains too politically useful to be allowed to die.

September 16, 2020 Posted by | Russophobia | , , , | 1 Comment