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Why Dems, MSM Ignore FBI Whistleblower’s Revelations on the Clintons’ Links to the Uranium One Deal

By Ekaterina Blinova – Sputnik – 28.01.2020

While US lawmakers and media pundits are busy discussing Donald Trump’s impeachment process, the Clinton Foundation’s alleged misdeeds, including its supposed role in the Uranium One deal, remain neglected, says Wall Street analyst Charles Ortel, referring to a mid-January public interview with an FBI whistleblower.

On 15 January, FBI whistleblower Nate Cain told OAN’s investigative journalist Richard Pollock that he possesses classified documents implicating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation with regard to the Uranium One deal. However, he added that he would never release them unless he receives approval from the appropriate federal authorities.

According to Cain, who joined the FBI in 2016, he overheard major concerns voiced by top brass FBI officials who purportedly came across damning evidence about the Clinton Foundation’s role in the Uranium One deal. The whistleblower said that having reviewed the materials, he had been sure that the Clintons would be indicted.

However, the case was apparently swept under the rug after then-FBI chief James Comey recommended no criminal charges for Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified emails in 2016.

Being a protected whistleblower under US law, Cain delivered 450 pages of documents concerning the deal to Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz in June 2018. However, in November, 16 FBI agents raided Cain’s Maryland home, accused him of possessing “stolen federal property” and ignored his argument about whistleblower protection, as The Daily Caller revealed on 29 November 2018.

Uranium One Case Remains Undeservingly Neglected

According to Charles Ortel, a Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist who has been looking into the Clinton Foundation’s alleged fraud for the past few years, the Uranium One issue still remains undeservedly neglected both by the American authorities and media pundits.

“It strikes me that President Trump needs to make sure that his senior team finally addresses long-unanswered questions concerning Uranium One anyway,” he underscores.

In his interview with OAN, Cain asserted that former FBI chief James Comey had been aware about the agency’s concerns with regard to the deal. One might ask how this happened that the former agency’s boss “overlooked” the supposed “damning evidence”.

“This question needs to be considered alongside questions about others who tried to inform James Comey concerning suspected mishandling by Hillary Clinton of classified information,” the Wall Street analyst notes.

He recalls that Cain wasn’t the only one whistleblower who stepped forward to shed light on the Clinton Foundation’s alleged role in the uranium deal: another one was William Campbell and his claims “to date, do not seem to have been considered carefully enough”, according to the analyst.

On 7 February 2018, Republican and Democratic staff from the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence interviewed Campbell. However, the summary of the interview released on 8 March 2018 said that Campbell “provided no evidence” of alleged quid pro quo involving Hillary Clinton or the Clinton Foundation in arranging and approving the Uranium One deal.

“It certainly seems as if Comey was determined not to examine core issues involving mishandling – one imagines that one reason for this could be that numerous senior Obama administration officials might be implicated in potential wrongdoing, and that these officials were determined and remain determined not to let the truth out in advance of the pivotal election of 2016 and the looming one this year,” Ortel suggests.

The Wall Street analyst presumes that it was no coincidence that the Uranium One case was buried when Comey announced that he would not recommend charging Hillary Clinton over mishandling classified government emails.

“I do not believe in coincidences when it comes to this matter,” Ortel says. “More likely, President Obama’s Justice Department had made decisions to bottle up Comey’s ‘investigation’ and remained ‘all-in’ to support Hillary Clinton through the 2016 election contest.”

Whistleblowers & Double Standard Approach

The Wall Street analyst also emphasises the apparent double standard approach exercised by the FBI and DoJ towards Cain, Campbell and the unnamed whistleblower whose complaint to IG Michael K. Atkinson became the trigger for the impeachment process against Donald Trump.

According to Ortel, one can hardly “reconcile the protection given to the whistleblower who even now cannot be named (in theory) with the aggressive tactics allegedly taken by elements within the US government against Campbell and Cain”.

“It certainly seems to me that the aggressive handling of the ‘impeachment case’ by Democrats in the House and Senate and mainstream media stands in stark contrast to the lack of interest by too many in understanding what really has been going in and around the Clinton Foundation, including with Uranium One and other projects where Clinton donors, and possibly the Clinton family, may have derived personal benefits in projects where US government approvals and/or financial support were involved,” the investigative journalist concludes.

The controversy over the Uranium One deal, which envisaged a partial sale of Canadian company Uranium One to Tenex, a subsidiary of Russia’s nuclear company Rosatom which was approved by the Obama administration in 2011, erupted ahead of the 2016 elections. In his 5 May 2015 book, “Clinton Cash” American author Peter Schweitzer wrote that at the time the uranium deal was arranged, former US President Bill Clinton received thousands in speaking fees in Russia; the Clinton Foundation got substantive donations from firms interested in the deal; while then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton oversaw the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. However, Hillary Clinton and Obama administration officials denied the accusations, insisting that neither Russians nor the foundation’s sponsors had been involved in any wrongdoing and that at the time there was no security reason to axe the deal.

January 28, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | Leave a comment

How Expansive is FBI Spying?

By Ron Paul | January 20, 2020

Cato Institute Research Fellow Patrick Eddington recently filed several Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to find out if the Federal Bureau of Investigation ever conducted surveillance of several organizations dealing with government policy, including my Campaign for Liberty. Based on the FBI’s response, Campaign for Liberty and other organizations, including the Cato institute and the Reason Foundation, may have been subjected to FBI surveillance or other data collection.

I say “may have been” because the FBI gave Mr. Eddington a “Glomar response” to his FOIA requests pertaining to these organizations. A Glomar response is where an agency says it can “neither confirm nor deny” involvement in a particular activity. Glomar was a salvage ship the Central Intelligence Agency used to recover a sunken Soviet submarine in the 1970s. In response to a FOIA request by Rolling Stone magazine, the CIA claimed that just confirming or denying the Glomar’s involvement in the salvage operation would somehow damage national security. A federal court agreed with the agency, giving federal bureaucrats, and even local police departments, a new way to avoid giving direct answers.

The Glomar response means these organizations may have been, and may still be, subjected to federal surveillance. As Mr. Eddington told Reason magazine, “We know for a fact that Glomar invocations have been used to conceal actual, ongoing activities, and we also know that they’re not passing out Glomars like candy.”

Protecting the right of individuals to join together in groups to influence government policy is at the very heart of the First Amendment. Therefore, the FBI subjecting such groups to surveillance can violate the constitutional rights of everyone involved with the groups.

The FBI has a long history of targeting Americans whose political beliefs and activities threaten the FBI’s power or the power of influential politicians. The then-named Bureau of Investigation participated in the crackdown on people suspected of being communists in the post-World War I “Red Scare.” The anti-communist crackdown was headed by a young agent named J. Edgar Hoover who went on to become FBI director, a position he held until his death. Hoover kept and expanded his power by using the FBI to collect blackmail material on people including politicians.

In the 1930s and 1940s, the FBI spied on supporters of the America First movement, including several Congress members. Two of the most famous examples of FBI targeting individuals based on their political activities are the harassment of Martin Luther King Jr. and the COINTELPRO program. COINTELPRO was an organized effort to spy on and actively disrupt “subversive” organizations, including antiwar groups

COINTELPRO officially ended in the 1970s. However, the FBI still targets individuals and organizations it considers “subversive,” including antiwar groups and citizen militias.

Congress must hold hearings to determine if the FBI is currently using unconstitutional methods to “monitor” any organizations based on their beliefs. Congress must then take whatever steps necessary to ensure that no Americans are ever again targeted for surveillance because of their political beliefs and activities.

January 20, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , , | Leave a comment

How an Israeli Spy-Linked Tech Firm Gained Access to the US Gov’t’s Most Classified Networks

Graphic by Claudio Cabrera
By Whitney Webb | MintPress News | January 14, 2020

If the networks of the U.S. military, the U.S. intelligence community and a slew of other U.S. federal agencies were running the software of a company with deep ties, not only to foreign companies with a history of espionage against the U.S. but also foreign military intelligence, it would — at the very least — garner substantial media attention. Yet, no media reports to date have noted that such a scenario exists on a massive scale and that the company making such software recently simulated the cancellation of the 2020 election and the declaration of martial law in the United States.

Earlier this month, MintPress News reported on the simulations for the U.S. 2020 election organized by the company Cybereason, a firm led by former members of Israel’s military intelligence Unit 8200 and advised by former top and current officials in both Israeli military intelligence and the CIA. Those simulations, attended by federal officials from the FBI, DHS and the U.S. Secret Service, ended in disaster, with the elections ultimately canceled and martial law declared due to the chaos created by a group of hackers led by Cybereason employees.

The first installment of this three part series delved deeply into Cybereason’s ties to the intelligence community of Israel and also other agencies, including the CIA, as well as the fact that Cybereason stood to gain little financially from the simulations given that their software could not have prevented the attacks waged against the U.S.’ electoral infrastructure in the exercise.

Also noted was the fact that Cybereason software could be potentially used as a backdoor by unauthorized actors, a possibility strengthened by the fact that the company’s co-founders all previously worked for firms that have a history of placing backdoors into U.S. telecommunications and electronic infrastructure as well as aggressive espionage targeting U.S. federal agencies.

The latter issue is crucial in the context of this installment of this exclusive MintPress series, as Cybereason’s main investors turned partners have integrated Cybereason’s software into their product offerings. This means that the clients of these Cybereason partner companies, the U.S. intelligence community and military among them, are now part of Cybereason’s network of more than 6 million endpoints that this private company constantly monitors using a combination of staff comprised largely of former intelligence operatives and an AI algorithm first developed by Israeli military intelligence.

Cybereason, thus far, has disclosed the following groups as lead investors in the company: Charles River Ventures (CRV), Spark Capital, Lockheed Martin and SoftBank. Charles River Ventures (CRV) was among the first to invest in Cybereason and has been frequently investing in other Israeli tech start-ups that were founded by former members of the elite Israeli military intelligence Unit 8200 over the last few years. Spark Capital, based in California, appears to have followed CRV’s interest in Cybereason since the venture capitalist who co-founded Spark and led its investment in Cybereason is a former CRV partner who still has close ties to the firm.

While CRV and Spark Capital seem like just the type of investors a company like Cybereason would attract given their clear interest in similar tech start-ups coming out of Israel’s cyber sector, Cybereason’s other lead investors — Lockheed Martin and SoftBank — deserve much more attention and scrutiny.

Cybereason widely used by US Government, thanks to Lockheed

“A match made in heaven,” trumpeted Forbes at the news of the Lockheed Martin-Cybereason partnership, first forged in 2015. The partnership involved not only Lockheed Martin becoming a major investor in the cybersecurity company but also in Lockheed Martin becoming the largest conduit providing Cybereason’s software to U.S. federal and military agencies.

Indeed, as Forbes noted at the time, not only did Lockheed invest in the company, it decided to integrate Cybereason’s software completely into its product portfolio, resulting in a “model of both using Cybereason internally, and selling it to both public and private customers.”

Cybereason CEO and former offensive hacker for Israeli military intelligence — Lior Div — said the following of the partnership:

Lockheed Martin invested in Cybereason’s protection system after they compared our solution against a dozen others from the top industry players. The US firm was so impressed with the results they got from Cybereason that they began offering it to their own customers – among them most of the top Fortune 100 companies, and the US federal government. Cybereason is now the security system recommended by LM to its customers for protection from a wide (sic) malware and hack attacks.”

Rich Mahler, then-director of Commercial Cyber Services at Lockheed Martin, told Defense Daily that the company’s decision to invest in Cybereason, internally use its software, and include the technology as part of Lockheed Martin’s cyber solutions portfolio were all “independent business decisions but were all coordinated and timed with the transaction.”

How independent each of those decisions actually was is unclear, especially given the timing of Lockheed Martin’s investment in Cybereason, whose close and troubling ties to Israeli intelligence as well as the CIA were noted in the previous installment of this investigative series. Indeed, about a year prior to their investment in the Israeli military intelligence-linked Cybereason, Lockheed Martin opened an office in Beersheba, Israel, where the IDF has its “cyberhub”. The office is focused not on the sales of armaments, but instead on technology.

Marilyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin’s CEO, said the following during her speech that inaugurated the company’s Beersheba office:

The consolidation of IDF Technical Units to new bases in the Negev Desert region is an important transformation of Israel’s information technology capability… We understand the challenges of this move. Which is why we are investing in the facilities and people that will ensure we are prepared to support for these critical projects. By locating our new office in the capital of the Negev we are well positioned to work closely with our Israeli partners and stand ready to: accelerate project execution, reduce program risk and share our technical expertise by training and developing in-country talent.”

Beersheba not only houses the IDF’s technology campus, but also the Israel National Cyber Directorate, which reports directly to Israel’s Prime Minister, as well as a high-tech corporate park that mostly houses tech companies with ties to Israel’s military intelligence apparatus. The area has been cited in several media reports as a visible indicator of the public-private merger between Israeli technology companies, many of them started by Unit 8200 alumni, and the Israeli government and its intelligence services. Lockheed Martin quickly became a key fixture in the Beersheba-based cyberhub.

Not long before Lockheed began exploring the possibility of opening an office in Beersheba, the company was hacked by individuals who used tokens tied to the company, RSA Security, whose founders have ties to Israel’s defense establishment and which is now owned by Dell, a company also deeply tied to the Israeli government and tech sector. The hack, perpetrated by still unknown actors, may have sparked Lockheed’s subsequent interest in Israel’s cybersecurity sector.

Soon after opening its Beersheba office, Lockheed Martin created its Israel subsidiary, Lockheed Martin Israel. Unlike many of the company’s other subsidiaries, this one is focused exclusively on “cybersecurity, enterprise information technology, data centers, mobile, analytics and cloud” as opposed to the manufacture and design of armaments.

Marillyn Hewson, center, poses with Israeli gov. officials at the opening of Lockheed Martin’s facility in Beersheba. Photo | Diego Mittleberg

Haden Land, then-vice president of research and technology for Lockheed Martin, told the Wall Street Journal that the creation of the subsidiary was largely aimed at securing contracts with the IDF and that the company’s Israel subsidiary would soon be seeking partnership and investments in pursuit of that end. Land oversaw the local roll-out of the company’s Israel subsidiary while concurrently meeting with Israeli government officials. According to the Journal, Land “oversees all of Lockheed Martin’s information-systems businesses, including defense and civilian commercial units” for the United States and elsewhere.

Just a few months later, Lockheed Martin partnered and invested in Cybereason, suggesting that Lockheed’s decision to do so was aimed at securing closer ties with the IDF. This further suggests that Cybereason still maintains close ties to Israeli military intelligence, a point expounded upon in great detail in the previous installment of this series.

Thus, it appears that not only does Lockheed Martin use Cybereason’s software on its own devices and on those it manages for its private and public sector clients, but it also decided to use the company’s software in this way out of a desire to more closely collaborate with the Israeli military in matters related to technology and cybersecurity.

The cozy ties between Lockheed Martin, one of the U.S. government’s largest private contractors, and the IDF set off alarm bells, then and now, for those concerned with U.S. national security. Such concern makes it important to look at the extent of Cybereason’s use by federal and military agencies in the United States through their contracting of Lockheed Martin’s Information Technology (IT) division. This is especially important considering Israeli military intelligence’s history of using espionage, blackmail and private tech companies against the U.S. government, as detailed here.

While the exact number of U.S. federal and military agencies using Cybereason’s software is unknown, it is widespread, with Lockheed Martin’s IT division as the conduit. Indeed, Lockheed Martin was the number one IT solutions provider to the U.S. federal government up until its IT division was spun off and merged with Leidos Holdings. As a consequence, Leidos is now the largest IT provider to the U.S. government and is also directly partnered with Cybereason in the same way Lockheed Martin was. Even after its IT division was spun off, Lockheed Martin continues to use Cybereason’s software in its cybersecurity work for the Pentagon and still maintains a stake in the company.

The Leidos-Lockheed Martin IT hybrid provides a litany of services to the U.S. military and U.S. intelligence. As investigative journalist Tim Shorrock noted for The Nation, the company does “everything from analyzing signals for the NSA to tracking down suspected enemy fighters for US Special Forces in the Middle East and Africa” and, following its merger with Lockheed and consequential partnership with Cybereason, became “the largest of five corporations that together employ nearly 80 percent of the private-sector employees contracted to work for US spy and surveillance agencies.” Shorrock also notes that these private-sector contractors now dominate the mammoth U.S. surveillance apparatus, many of them working for Leidos and — by extension — using Cybereason’s software.

Leidos’ exclusive use of Cybereason software for cybersecurity is also relevant for the U.S. military since Leidos runs a number of sensitive systems for the Pentagon, including its recently inked contract to manage the entire military telecommunications infrastructure for Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). In addition to maintaining the military telecom network, Cybereason is also directly partnered with World Wide Technologies (WWT) as of this past October. WWT manages cybersecurity for the U.S. Army, maintains DISA’s firewalls and data storage as well as the U.S. Air Force’s biometric identification system. WWT also manages contracts for NASA, itself a frequent target of Israeli government espionage, and the U.S. Navy. WWT’s partnership is similar to the Lockheed/Leidos partnership in that Cybereason’s software is now completely integrated into its portfolio, giving the company full access to the devices on all of these highly classified networks.

Many of these new partnerships with Cybereason, including its partnership with WWT, followed claims made by members of Israel’s Unit 8200 in 2017 that the popular antivirus software of Kaspersky Labs contained a backdoor for Russian intelligence, thereby compromising U.S. systems. The Wall Street Journal was the first to report on the alleged backdoor but did not mention the involvement of Unit 8200 in identifying it, a fact revealed by the New York Times a week later.

Notably, none of the evidence Unit 8200 used to blame Kaspersky has been made public and Kaspersky noted that it was actually Israeli hackers that had been discovered planting backdoors into its platform prior to the accusation levied against Kaspersky by Unit 8200. As the New York Times noted:

Investigators later discovered that the Israeli hackers had implanted multiple back doors into Kaspersky’s systems, employing sophisticated tools to steal passwords, take screenshots, and vacuum up emails and documents.”

Unit 8200’s claims ultimately led the U.S. government to abandon Kaspersky’s products entirely in 2018, allowing companies like Cybereason (with its own close ties to Unit 8200) to fill the void. Indeed, the very agencies that banned Kaspersky now use cybersecurity software that employs Cybereason’s EDR system. No flags have been raised about Cybereason’s own collaboration with the very foreign intelligence service that first pointed the finger at Kaspersky and that previously sold software with backdoors to sensitive U.S. facilities.

SoftBank, Cybereason and the Vision Fund

While its entry into the U.S. market and U.S. government networks is substantial, Cybereason’s software is also run throughout the world on a massive scale through partnerships that have seen it enter into Latin American and European markets in major ways in just the last few months. It has also seen its software become prominent in Asia following a partnership with the company Trustwave. Much of this rapid expansion followed a major injection of cash courtesy of one of the company’s biggest clients and now its largest investor, Japan’s SoftBank.

SoftBank first invested in Cybereason in 2015, the same year Lockheed Martin initially invested and partnered with the firm. It was also the year that SoftBank announced its intention to invest in Israeli tech start-ups. SoftBank first injected $50 million into Cybereason, followed by an additional $100 million in 2017 and $200 million last August. SoftBank’s investments account for most of the money raised by the company since it was founded in 2012 ($350 million out of $400 million total).

Cybereason CEO Lior Div speaks at a SoftBank event in Japan, July 21, 2017. Photo | Cybereason

Prior to investing, Softbank was a client of Cybereason, which Ken Miyauchi, president of SoftBank, noted when making the following statement after Softbank’s initial investment in Cybereason:

SoftBank works to obtain cutting edge technology and outstanding business models to lead the Information Revolution. Our deployment of the Cybereason platform internally gave us firsthand knowledge of the value it provides, and led to our decision to invest. I’m confident Cybereason and SoftBank’s new product offering will bring a new level of security to Japanese organizations.”

SoftBank — one of Japan’s largest telecommunications companies — not only began to deploy Cybereason internally but directly partnered with it after investing, much like Lockheed Martin had done around the same time. This partnership resulted in SoftBank and Cybereason creating a joint venture in Japan and Cybereason creating partnerships with other tech companies acquired by SoftBank, including the U.K.’s Arm, which specializes in making chips and management platforms for Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

SoftBank’s interest in Cybereason is significant, particularly in light of Cybereason’s interest in the 2020 U.S. election, given that SoftBank has significant ties to key allies of President Trump and even the president himself.

Indeed, SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son was among the first wave of international business leaders who sought to woo then-president-elect Trump soon after the 2016 election. Son first visited Trump Tower in December 2016 and announced, with Trump by his side in the building’s lobby, that SoftBank would invest $50 billion in the U.S. and create 50,000 jobs. Trump subsequently claimed on Twitter that Son had only decided to make this investment because Trump had won the election.

Son told reporters at the time that the investment would come from a $100 billion fund that would be created in partnership with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund as well as other investors. “I just came to celebrate his new job. I said, ‘This is great. The US will become great again,’” Son said, according to reports.

Then, in March of 2017, Son sent top SoftBank executives to meet with senior members of Trump’s economic team and, according to the New York Times, “the SoftBank executives said that because of a lack of advanced digital investments, the competitiveness of the United States economy was at risk. And the executives made the case, quite strongly, that Mr. Son was committed to playing a major role in addressing this issue through a spate of job-creating investments.” Many of SoftBank’s investments and acquisitions in the U.S. since then have focused mainly on artificial intelligence and technology with military applications, such as “killer robot” firm Boston Dynamics, suggesting Son’s interest lies more in dominating futuristic military-industrial technologies than creating jobs for the average American.

After their initial meeting, Trump and Son met again a year later in June 2018, with Trump stating that “His [Son’s] $50 billion turned out to be $72 billion so far, he’s not finished yet.” Several media reports have claimed that Son’s moves since Trump’s election have sought to “curry favor” with the President.

Through the creation of this fund alongside the Saudis, SoftBank has since become increasingly intertwined with Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (MBS), a key ally of President Trump in the Middle East known for his authoritarian crackdowns on Saudi elites and dissidents alike. The ties between Saudi Arabia and SoftBank became ever tighter when MBS took the reins in the oil kingdom and after SoftBank announced the launch of the Vision Fund in 2016. SoftBank’s Vision Fund is a vehicle for investing in hi-tech companies and start-ups and its largest shareholder is the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. Notably, Son decided to launch the Vision Fund in Riyadh during President Trump’s first official visit to the Gulf Kingdom.

Masayoshi Son, left, signs a deal related to the Vision Fund with Bin Salman in March 2018. Photo | SPA

In addition, the Mubadala Investment Company, a government fund of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), gave $15 billion to the Vision Fund. UAE leadership also share close ties to the Trump administration and MBS in Saudi Arabia.

As a consequence, SoftBank’s Vision Fund is majority funded by two Middle Eastern authoritarian governments with close ties to the U.S. government, specifically the Trump administration. In addition, both countries have enjoyed the rapid growth and normalization of ties with the state of Israel in recent years, particularly following the rise of current Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman and Jared Kushner’s rise to prominence in his father-in-law’s administration. Other investments in the Vision Fund have come from Apple, Qualcomm and Oracle’s Larry Ellison, all tech companies with strong ties to Israel’s government.

The Saudi and Emirati governments’ links to the Vision Fund are so obvious that even mainstream outlets like the New York Times have described them as a “front for Saudi Arabia and perhaps other countries in the Middle East.”

SoftBank also enjoys close ties to Jared Kushner, with Fortress Investment Group lending $57 million to Kushner Companies in October 2017 while it was under contract to be acquired by SoftBank. As Barron’s noted at the time:

When SoftBank Group bought Fortress Investment Group last year, the Japanese company was buying access to a corps of seasoned investors. What SoftBank also got is a financial tie to the family of President Donald Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.”

According to The Real Deal, Kushner Companies obtained the financing from Fortress only after its attempts to obtain funding through the EB-5 visa program for a specific real estate venture were abandoned after the U.S. Attorney and the Securities and Exchange Commission began to investigate how Kushner Companies used the EB-5 investor visa program. A key factor in the opening of that investigation was Kushner Companies’ representatives touting Jared Kushner’s position at the White House when talking to prospective investors and lenders.

SoftBank also recently came to the aid of a friend of Jared Kushner, former CEO of WeWork Adam Neumann. Neumann made shocking claims about his ties to both Kushner and Saudi Arabia’s MBS, even asserting that he had worked with both in creating Kushner’s long-awaited and controversial Middle East “peace plan” and claimed that he, Kushner and MBS would together “save the world.” Neumann previously called Kushner his “mentor.” MBS has also discussed on several occasions his close ties with Kushner and U.S. media reports have noted the frequent correspondence between the two “princelings.”

Notably, SoftBank invested in Neumann’s WeWork using money from the Saudi-dominated Vision Fund and later went on to essentially bail the company out after its IPO collapse and Neumann was pushed out. SoftBank’s founder, Masayoshi Son, had an odd yet very close relationship with Neumann, perhaps explaining why Neumann was allowed to walk with $1.7 billion after bringing WeWork to the brink of collapse. Notably, nearly half of SoftBank’s approximately $47 billion investments in the U.S. economy since Trump’s election, went to acquiring and then bailing out WeWork. It is unlikely that such a disastrous investment resulted in the level of job creation that Son had promised Trump in 2016.

Given that it is Cybereason’s top investor and shareholder by a large margin, SoftBank’s ties to the Trump administration and key allies of that administration are significant in light of Cybereason’s odd interest in 2020 U.S. election scenarios that end with the cancellation of this year’s upcoming presidential election. It goes without saying that the cancellation of the election would mean a continuation of the Trump administration until new elections would take place.

Furthermore, with Cybereason’s close and enduring ties to Israeli military intelligence now well-documented, it is worth asking if Israeli military intelligence would consider intervening in 2020 if the still-to-be-decided Democratic contender was strongly opposed to Israeli government policy, particularly Israel’s military occupation of Palestine. This is especially worth considering given revelations that sexual blackmailer and pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who targeted prominent U.S. politicians, mostly Democrats, was in the employ of Israeli military intelligence.

Notably, Cybereason’s doomsday election scenarios involved the weaponization of deep fakes, self-driving cars and the hacking Internet of Things devices, with all of those technologies being pioneered and perfected — not by Russia, China or Iran — but by companies directly tied to Israeli intelligence, much like Cybereason itself. These companies, their technology and Cybereason’s own work creating the narrative that U.S. rival states seek to undermine the U.S. election in this way, will all be discussed in the conclusion of MintPress’ series on Cybereason and its outsized interest in the U.S. democratic process.

Whitney Webb is a MintPress News journalist based in Chile. She has contributed to several independent media outlets including Global Research, EcoWatch, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has made several radio and television appearances and is the 2019 winner of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism.

January 14, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

US establishment preemptively blames Russia for Biden’s election flop, setting the stage for a crackdown on dissent

By Helen Buyniski | RT | January 10, 2020

The American political establishment is already lining up excuses for losing the 2020 election, blaming a Russian “disinfo” campaign –again!– for the flailing campaign of Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden.

As Biden, once the solid favorite in Democrat primary polls, continues to tank, the usual suspects are emerging to pin his fall from grace on the Kremlin, and not Biden’s own mouth, problematic family members, or uninspiring policies.

The former vice president’s once-certain status as the establishment favorite for the nomination has faded, with even CNN taking shots at him recently after he lied about his early and enthusiastic support for the Iraq war. Institutional Russophobes would have voters believe their growing disillusionment with the moderate centrist was implanted by Kremlin propaganda, however.

“US intelligence and law enforcement officials” are already probing whether Biden is the target of a Russian “disinformation” campaign, according to two anonymous officials who spoke to Bloomberg on Friday.

Putting aside the insult implicit in telling voters who dislike Biden that their opinions are not their own, the claim – unsupported by evidence in the manner of most ‘Russian meddling’ allegations – suggests that Democrats are already bracing for the loss of the 2020 election and rushing to get the narrative scaffolding in place to explain away a second Trump victory.

Even after the “Russia hacked the 2016 election” narrative fell apart with the ignominious “no further indictments” conclusion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, boomeranging into an Inspector General inquiry and a criminal probe of the FBI malfeasance that kicked off the whole affair, the American political elite don’t seem to be able to resist the temptation to blame Russia yet again.

Bloomberg’s breathless report blames Russia for promoting Biden’s own Ukrainian scandal while Trump was being impeached over allegedly withholding military aid to pressure Kiev into restarting a probe of the natural gas firm where Biden’s son was a director. The case against Trump was shaky from the start, and only Democrats’ white-hot hatred for the president pushed it to the level of an impeachable offense.

Yet the much more solid quid-pro-quo case against Biden – who publicly bragged about bullying Ukraine into firing its chief prosecutor by withholding $1 billion in IMF loan guarantees – went largely ignored in the US media, except for conservative outlets. This is hardly “disinformation,” unless Bloomberg is using the Newspeak definition floated in a recent academic paper that includes “truths arranged to serve a particular purpose.”

It is simply assumed Russia would want Trump to be president for four more years, even though he scrapped arms treaties and piled more sanctions on the country, and nearly led the US into a catastrophic war with Iran. Nevertheless, former FBI agent Clint Watts – one of the minds behind the notorious Hamilton 68 “Russian bot” dashboard – nevertheless insists “a second term of Trump would be great” for Moscow. National Counterintelligence and Security Center director William Evanina warns Russian “influence campaigns” will only grow, commandeering “new vectors of disinformation” to hoodwink the American public.

Biden has repeatedly bragged “Vladimir Putin doesn’t want me to be president,” accusing the Russian president of sending an “army of bots” after him. Like Hillary Clinton before him, Biden has focused more on demonizing Trump than touting his own record, possibly because his service in an administration that turned two wars into seven, left Libya a failed state, and allowed a huge amount of wealth to “trickle up” from the working class to the rich diverges wildly from even the tepidly pro-middle class, pro-peace positions outlined on his campaign website.

Even when he’s not making what the media has decided to politely call “gaffes,” bursting blood vessels in his eye on live TV, or sniffing little girls’ hair, Biden offers little more than reheated Obama-era policies without Barack Obama’s smooth stage presence. Evidence shows it is the Democratic Party’s insistence on embracing middle-of-the-road candidates ideologically indistinguishable from most Republicans – not “Russian disinformation” – that is hurting them at the polls.

Pinning Biden’s failure on Russia, however, has repercussions that reach much further than just a single candidate’s campaign, or a single election. With the first primaries rapidly approaching, intelligence agencies are pushing the “election meddling” story hard, hoping to make lemonade out of the lemon that a second Trump victory would be.

Not only Russia, but China and Iran will “seek to interfere in the voting process or influence voter perceptions,” a joint statement from seven agencies in November warned. Literally anything could be construed as “influencing voter perceptions,” and that’s the point: to retroactively paint perfectly innocent reporting as agitprop. This paves the way for a major crackdown on alt-media and other forms of dissent – one that has arguably already begun.

January 11, 2020 Posted by | Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

The IG Report: Malfeasance, Lies, Threats and Denials

By Renée Parsons | OffGuardian | December 28, 2019

It is no surprise that when the Inspector General’s Report was released in early December, the corporate media, which itself has been knee-deep and complicit in spreading the false Russiagate narrative, chose to focus on one narrow conclusion: that, given DOJ’s ‘lax guidelines,’ the IG found no bias related to opening the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.

Ergo, once the Media labels the IG Report, all dutiful subscribers and readers fall in line with its dictates, nodding in concurrence, as those who refuse to do their own homework get on board and accept the hogwash they are being fed. Once the Media hypes the repetitive drone that there was ‘no bias,’ the phrase becomes embedded into the collective unconscious and the disinformation becomes gospel.

The question has yet to be asked what role the FISA Court played in its own debasement by blindly accepting the majority of surveillance requests and by lax procedures that allow its own credibility to be violated.

What remains uncertain is exactly how Crossfire Hurricane was born.  While it is known that the Clinton campaign (via the DNC) hired GP Fusion (which hired DOJ deputy AG Bruce Ohr’s wife) to dig dirt on a Republican candidate for President and we know that former MI6 asset Christopher Steele became involved with creating a salacious Dossier – but the specific links tying those diverse parts to the FBI remains enigmatic.

An almost immediate response to the ‘no bias’ allegation came from AG William Barr stating that…

The Inspector General’s report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken.”

… with Special Investigator US Attorney John Durham adding that he:

advised the IG that he did not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.”

Both responses were highly unusual and may be interpreted as affirmation of a deeper level of complicity than the IG discovered although his investigation was limited to DOJ employees and to the FISA Court process.

It was not until IG Horowitz’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the true scathing impact of the full Report was understood; thus revealing the true depth of the FBI’s embedded systemic problems.

Horowitz told the Senate panel:

We found and are deeply concerned that so many basic and fundamental errors were made by three separate handpicked investigative teams on one of the most sensitive FBI investigations after the matter had been briefed to the highest levels within the FBI even though the information sought through the use of FISA authority related so closely to an on-going Presidential campaign and even though those involved with the investigations knew that their actions would likely be subjected to close scrutiny. The circumstances reflect the failure not just by those who prepared the applications but also by the managers and supervisors in the Crossfire Hurricane chain of command including FBI senior officials who were briefed as the investigation progressed”

In dialogue with Sen. Crapo about FBI misconduct as ‘mind-numbing’, Horowitz responded “there is such a range of conduct here that is inexplicable and the answers we got were not satisfactory that we’re left trying to understand how could all these errors occur over a nine month period or so…”

In other words, the FBI, with a tainted history of deeply embedded corruption, has been out of control for decades with an aggressive pursuit of political opponents, corruption of its Forensic Lab and a COINTEL program against American citizens.

It is ironic that some of the FBI’s Congressional supporters are now recipients of that corruption.

In response to Barr’s statement regarding the IG Report, former Attorney General Erik Holder who once referred to himself as “still Obama’s wing man so i’m there with my boy,” wrote a divisive op ed for the Washington Post provocatively entitled “Eric Holder: William Barr is Unfit to be Attorney General.

In a classic example of covering one’s butt, it can be assumed that Holder is still protecting Obama’s wing as he took cheap shots at Barr for a “series of public statements and taken actions that are so plainly ideological, so nakedly partisan and so deeply inappropriate” making him ‘unfit to lead the Justice Department.

Suffering a partisan anxiety attack, Holder has clearly been directed to slander a successor who exhibits more candor and principle than he himself demonstrated as AG.

Given the IG report’s otherwise thorough analysis, the Hope and Change crowd may be feeling the heat that those morning tete a tete intel briefings in the Oval Office may have included updates on Crossfire Hurricane.

Holder’s condescension, as if he had special privilege to pontificate on “career public servants,” falls flat with his thinly veiled threat to Durham:

I was troubled by his unusual statement disputing the inspector general’s findings. Good reputations are hard-won in the legal profession, but they are fragile; anyone in Durham’s shoes would do well to remember that, in dealing with this administration, many reputations have been irrevocably lost.”

With focus now on whether Durham will succumb to Holder’s warning may instead boomerang, inspiring Durham to dig deeper than he had previously planned.

The IG Report cited former FBI Director Jim Comey for “clearly and dramatically” departing from department norms in the investigation of HRC’s email server and that he made a “serious error of judgment” in sending a letter to Congress announcing the re-opening of the Clinton probe. Comey was fired from the FBI for ‘insubordinate’ acts and ‘dangerous’ behavior in deceiving the FISA Court.

When asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper,

“When you read what the report said, do you think this is a vindication

Comey responded:

It is. The FBI has had to wait two years while the President and his supporters lied about the institution, finally the truth gets told.”

Apparently Comey had not read the Report in its entirety, not listened to Horowitz’s testimony to the Senate or he continues to live under a rock.

In a recent interview with NBC News Pete Williams, Barr explained that

“One of the problems in the IG investigation is that Comey refused to sign back up for his security clearance and therefore could not be questioned (by the IG) on classified matters.…so someone like Durham can compel testimony.”

In other words, Comey is shrewd enough to know how to deliberately avoid pertinent questions from Horowitz without implicating himself but the day will come when Durham has the legal authority to demand Comey’s full participation.

In a Fox News Sunday interview with Chris Wallace, Comey refused to accept and was significantly at odds with many of the IG most significant findings including denial of any personal role in Crossfire. “I didn’t know, As Director I am not kept informed on the details of an investigation. 

I didn’t know the particulars with an agency of 38,000 people ‘seven layers below.” Wallace repeatedly pushed back with Comey remaining smooth as silk, carefully coached, as he slipped around every iota that he had any responsibility for the investigation of a President and its constitutional screw ups.

When asked if he would resign if all these misdeeds were revealed under his watch, Comey replied “No, I don’t think so. There are other mistakes I consider more consequential than this during my tenure.”

Pray, we await those revelations.

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 in the US House of Representatives in Washington, DC. She can be found on Twitter @reneedove31.

 

December 28, 2019 Posted by | Deception | , , , | 1 Comment

‘Because You’d Be in Jail!’ The Real Reason Democrats Are Pushing Trump Impeachment?

By Robert Bridge | Strategic Culture Foundation | December 28, 2019

In the time-honored tradition of Machiavellian statecraft, all of the charges being leveled against Donald Trump to remove him from office – namely, ‘abuse of power’ and ‘obstruction of congress’ –are essentially the same things the Democratic Party has been guilty of for nearly half a decade: abusing their powers in a non-stop attack on the executive branch. Is the reason because they desperately need a ‘get out of jail free’ card?

Due to the non-stop action in Washington of late, few believe that the present state of affairs between the Democrats and Donald Trump are exclusively due to a telephone call between the US leader and the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. That is only scratching the surface of a story that is practically boundless.

Back in April 2016, before Trump had become the Republican presidential nominee, talk of impeachment was already in the air.

“Donald Trump isn’t even the Republican nominee yet,” wrote Darren Samuelsohn in Politico. Yet impeachment, he noted, is “already on the lips of pundits, newspaper editorials, constitutional scholars, and even a few members of Congress.”

The timing of Samuelsohn’s article is not a little astonishing given what the Department of Justice (DOJ) had discovered just one month earlier.

In March 2016, the DOJ found that “the FBI had been employing outside contractors who had access to raw Section 702 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) data, and retained that access after their work for the FBI was completed,” as Jeff Carlson reported in The Epoch Times.

That sort of foreign access to sensitive data is highly improper and was the result of “deliberate decision-making,” according to the findings of an April 2017 FISA court ruling (footnote 69).

On April 18, 2016, then-National Security Agency (NSA) Director Adm. Mike Rogers directed the NSA’s Office of Compliance to terminate all FBI outside-contractor access. Later, on Oct. 21, 2016, the FBI and the DOJ’s National Security Division (NSD), and despite they were aware of Rogers’s actions, moved ahead anyways with a request for a FISA warrant to conduct surveillance on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The request was approved by the FISA court, which, apparently, was still in the dark about the violations.

On Oct. 26, following approval of the warrant against Page, Rogers went to the FISA court to inform them of the FBI’s non-compliance with the rules. Was it just a coincidence that at exactly this time, the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter were suddenly calling for Roger’s removal? The request was eventually rejected. The next month, in mid-November 2016 Rogers, without first notifying his superiors, flew to New York where he had a private meeting with Trump at Trump Towers.

According to the New York Times, the meeting – the details of which were never publicly divulged, but may be guessed at – “caused consternation at senior levels of the administration.”

Democratic obstruction of justice?

Then CIA Director John Brennan, dismayed about a few meetings Trump officials had with the Russians, helped to kick-start the FBI investigation over ‘Russian collusion.’ Notably, these Trump-Russia meetings occurred in December 2016, as the incoming administration was in the difficult transition period to enter the White House. The Democrats made sure they made that transition as ugly as possible.

Although it is perfectly normal for an incoming government to meet with foreign heads of state at this critical juncture, a meeting at Trump Tower between Michael Flynn, Trump’s incoming national security adviser and former Russian Ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, was portrayed as some kind of cloak and dagger scene borrowed from a  John le Carré thriller.

Brennan questioning the motives behind high-level meetings between the Trump team and some Russians is strange given that the lame duck Obama administration was in the process of redialing US-Russia relations back to the Cold War days, all based on the debunked claim that Moscow handed Trump the White House on a silver platter.

In late December 2016, after Trump had already won the election, Obama slapped Russia with punitive sanctions, expelled 35 Russian diplomats and closed down two Russian facilities. Since part of Trump’s campaign platform was to mend relations with Moscow, would it not seem logical that the incoming administration would be in damage-control, doing whatever necessary to prevent relations between the world’s premier nuclear powers from degrading even more?

So if it wasn’t ‘Russian collusion’ that motivated the Democrats into action, what was it?

From Benghazi to Seth Rich

Here we must pause and remind ourselves about the unenviable situation regarding Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, who was being grilled daily over her use of a private computer to communicate sensitive documents via email. In all likelihood, the incident would have dropped from the radar had it not been for the deadly 2012 Benghazi attacks on a US compound.

In the course of a House Select Committee investigation into the circumstances surrounding the attacks, which resulted in the death of US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other US personnel, Clinton handed over some 30,000 emails, while reportedly deleting 32,000 deemed to be of a “personal nature”. Those emails remain unaccounted for to this day.

By March 2015, even the traditionally tepid media was baring its baby fangs, relentlessly pursuing Clinton over the email question. Since Clinton never made a secret of her presidential ambitions, even political allies were piling on. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), for example, said it’s time for Clinton “to step up” and explain herself, adding that “silence is going to hurt her.”

On July 24, 2015, The New York Times published a front-page story with the headline “Criminal Inquiry Sought in Clinton’s Use of Email.” Later, Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post candidly summed up Clinton’s rapidly deteriorating status with elections fast approaching: “Democrats still show no sign they are willing to abandon Clinton. Instead, they seem to be heading into the 2016 election with a deeply flawed candidate schlepping around plenty of baggage — the details of which are not yet known.”

Moving into 2016, things began to look increasingly complicated for the Democratic front-runner. On March 16, 2016, WikiLeaks launched a searchable archive for over 30 thousand emails and attachments sent to and from Hillary Clinton’s private email server while she was Secretary of State. The 50,547-page treasure trove spans the dates from June 30, 2010 to August 12, 2014.

In May, about one month after Clinton had officially announced her candidacy for the US presidency, the State Department’s inspector general released an 83-page report that was highly critical of Clinton’s email practices, concluding that Clinton failed to seek legal approval for her use of a private server.

“At a minimum,” the report determined, “Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.”

The following month brought more bad news for Clinton and her presidential hopes after it was reported that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, had a 30-minute tête-à-tête with Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, whose department was leading the Clinton investigations, on the tarmac at Phoenix International Airport. Lynch said Clinton decided to pay her an impromptu visit where the two discussed “his grandchildren and his travels and things like that.” Republicans, however, certainly weren’t buying the story as the encounter came as the FBI was preparing to file its recommendation to the Justice Department.

The summer of 2016, however, was just heating up.

Hack versus Leak?

On the early morning of July 10, Seth Rich, the director of voter expansion for the Democratic National Committee (DNC), was gunned down on the street in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, DC. Rich’s murder, said to be the result of a botched robbery, bucked the homicide trend in the area for that particular period; murders rates for the first six months of 2016 were down about 50 percent from the same period in the previous year.

In any case, the story gets much stranger. Just five days earlier, on July 5th, the computers at the DNC were compromised, purportedly by an online persona with the moniker “Guccifer 2.0” at the behest of Russian intelligence. This is where the story of “Russian hacking” first gained popularity. Not everyone, however, was buying the explanation.

In July 2017, a group of former U.S. intelligence officers, including NSA specialists, who call themselves Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) sent a memo to President Trump that challenged a January intelligence assessment that expressed “high confidence” that the Russians had organized an “influence campaign” to harm Hillary Clinton’s “electability,” as if she wasn’t capable of that without Kremlin support.

“Forensic studies of ‘Russian hacking’ into Democratic National Committee computers last year reveal that on July 5, 2016, data was leaked (not hacked) by a person with physical access to DNC computer,” the memo states (The memo’s conclusions were based on analyses of metadata provided by the online persona Guccifer 2.0, who took credit for the alleged hack). “Key among the findings of the independent forensic investigations is the conclusion that the DNC data was copied onto a storage device at a speed that far exceeds an Internet capability for a remote hack.”

In other words, according to VIPS, the compromise of the DNC computers was the result of an internal leak, not an external hack.

At this point, however, it needs mentioned that the VIPS memo has sparked dissenting views among its members. Several analysts within the group have spoken out against its findings, and that internal debate can be read here. Thus, it would seem there is no ‘smoking gun,’ as of yet, to prove that the DNC was not hacked by an external entity. At the same time, the murder of Seth Rich continues to remain an unsolved “botched robbery,” according to investigators. Meanwhile, the one person who may hold the key to the mystery, Julian Assange, is said to be withering away Belmarsh Prison, a high-security London jail, where he is awaiting a February court hearing that will decide whether he will be extradited to the United States where he faces 18 charges.

Here is a question to ponder: If you were Julian Assange, and you knew you were going to be extradited to the United States, who would you rather be the sitting president in charge of your fate, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump? Think twice before answering.

“Because you’d be in jail”

On October 9, 2016, in the second televised presidential debates between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Trump accused his Democratic opponent of deleting 33,000 emails, while adding that he would get a “special prosecutor and we’re going to look into it…” To this, Clinton said “it’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country,” to which Trump deadpanned, without missing a beat, “because you’d be in jail.”

Now if that remark didn’t get the attention of high-ranking Democratic officials, perhaps Trump’s comments at a Virginia rally days later, when he promised to “drain the swamp,” made folks sit up and take notice.

At this point the leaks, hacks and everything in between were already coming fast and furious. On October 7, John Podesta, Clinton’s presidential campaign manager, had his personal Gmail account hacked, thereby releasing a torrent of inside secrets, including how Donna Brazile, then a CNN commentator, had fed Clinton debate questions. But of course the crimes did not matter to the mendacious media, only the identity of the alleged messenger, which of course was ‘Russia.’

By now, the only thing more incredible than the dirt being produced on Clinton was the fact that she was still in the presidential race, and even slated to win by a wide margin. But perhaps her biggest setback came when authorities, investigating Anthony Weiner’s abused laptop into illicit text messages he sent to a 15-year-old girl, stumbled upon thousands of email messages from Hillary Clinton.

Now Comey had to backpedal on his conclusion in July that although Clinton was “extremely careless” in her use of her electronic devices, no criminal charges would be forthcoming. He announced an 11th hour investigation, just days before the election. Although Clinton was also cleared in this case, observers never forgave Comey for his actions, arguing they cost Clinton the White House.

Now James Comey is back in the spotlight as one of the main characters in the Barr-Durham investigation, which is examining largely out of the spotlight the origins of the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory that dogged the White House for four long years.

In early December, Justice Department’s independent inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, released the 400-page IG report that revealed a long list of omissions, mistakes and inconsistencies in the FBI’s applications for FISA warrants to conduct surveillance on Carter Page. Although the report was damning, both Barr and Durham noted it did not go far enough because Horowitz did not have the access that Durham has to intelligence agency sources, as well as overseas contacts that Barr provided to him.

With the AG report due for release in early spring, needless to say some Democrats are very nervous as to its finding. So nervous, in fact, that they might just be willing to go to the extreme of removing a sitting president to avoid its conclusions.

Whatever the verdict, 2020 promises to be one very interesting year.

December 28, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception | , , | Leave a comment

They’re STILL After Your Fingerprints! – #PropagandaWatch

Corbett • 12/23/2019

Watch this video on BitChute / Minds.com / YouTube

Remember when we looked at J. Edgar Hoover’s lame attempt to get the public to voluntarily send in their fingerprints to the FBI back in 1937? Well guess what? They’re baaaaaaack, and they’re at the post office this time. Find out about the FBI’s latest stupid attempt to steal your fingerprints on this week’s edition of #PropagandaWatch.

SHOW NOTES:

First they came for your fingerprints…

The FBI Teams Up With The Post Office To Get Your Fingerprints

FBI tweet and replies

December 23, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | 1 Comment

NSA has been ‘lying to the courts all along,’ says whistleblower, as judges give warrantless surveillance the thumbs-up

National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters in Ft. Meade, Maryland © Reuters / Larry Downing
RT | December 21, 2019

The National Security Agency can gather the data of US citizens without a warrant – as long as it gathers this data by mistake, a court has ruled. However, this suits the agency just fine, whistleblower William Binney told RT.

The NSA is permitted to gather data on US citizens abroad, or “foreign connected” Americans at home. The dragnet surveillance operation necessary to gather this information also sucks up data on millions of Americans with no foreign contacts, a process critics say is unconstitutional.

On Wednesday, the 2nd Court of Appeals in New York declared this “incidental collection” of information permissible. The NSA has maintained that it is incapable of separating properly and improperly gathered data, but former NSA Technical Director William Binney told RT that this is simply untrue.

“They’ve been lying to the courts all along,” Binney said. “They’ve had the capability to sort that stuff out. It’s just that they don’t want to.”

“This gives them power over everyone, the ability to look into political opponents like they did with President Trump,” he continued.

While the court ruling gives the NSA free rein to suck up data on Americans’ phone and internet communications, it did not authorize the US’ other intelligence and law enforcement agencies to dig through this data. However, according to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court ruling issued last year, the FBI accessed this data trove some 3.1 million times in 2017.

December 21, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , , , | 1 Comment

Trump Impeachment… Slapstick Diversion From Reality

By Finian Cunningham | Strategic Culture Foundation | December 20, 2019

Fittingly for the jolly season, the House of Representatives’ vote to impeach Trump was more pantomime than serious politics.

“Oh yes, he is!.. Oh no, he isn’t!..” and so it went on for nearly 10 hours of to-and-fro between Democrats and Republicans. Eventually, the finale came when black-clad Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi hammered the gavel, announcing President had been impeached – only the third-ever in two-and-half centuries of 45 presidents.

It was a foregone conclusion given the Democrat majority in the House. The next step in the impeachment process goes to the Republican controlled Senate next month where Trump will almost certainly be acquitted.

For all the grandstanding drama and feverish media coverage, the storyline – like all pantos – is scant in credibility. The accusations against Trump of abusing his office in a phone call with the Ukrainian president and of obstructing subsequent Congressional inquiry are light on evidence while heavy on innuendo. For all his flaws, Trump and the Republicans are right in their call that the Democrats and anti-Trump media are hamming it up in a desperate bid to overturn the 2016 election. For the past three years, Washington has been fixated with Trump Derangement Syndrome.

With faux solemnity, Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi said the impeachment vote was a “sad and tragic day” for US democracy. Then she had to quickly check Democrats from bursting into cheers and applause when the impeachment vote was announced. So much for a “sad day”! The Democrats were elated that their three-year plan to oust Trump was at last happening – albeit for a short-lived period until the Senate takes up the matter.

What was truly sad, however, is how the impeachment fiasco dominated other news, thereby drawing the curtain on several far more significant events.

On the same day as the House brouhaha, over in the Senate Inspector General Michael Horowitz was continuing to give withering testimony from his report into FBI wiretapping of the Trump election campaign back in 2016. The misconduct by the FBI in carrying out surveillance on private American citizens is a shocking abuse of power by the intelligence agency. All the implications suggest that the Obama administration engaged with secret services to sabotage the election campaign of Donald Trump in 2016 with phony allegations about Russia collusion. The constitutional violations by the FBI are colossal.

Knowing the murky past of the FBI and its dirty tricks, we shouldn’t be surprised by Horowitz’s findings. A follow-up report by attorney John Durham promises to be even more damning. But what is so astounding is how the US media, by and large, had their focus on the impeachment debacle instead of this far bigger show of grave importance. Perhaps not really astounding given that major media outlets like CNN, New York Times, MSNBC and Washington Post have invested so much capital in whipping up the Russia claims. Their ignoring the FBI misconduct is vital for self-preservation by avoiding accountability for their “Russia collusion” fantasies.

Another blockbuster story roundly ignored was the unfolding scandal at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The number of whistleblowers from the UN body has grown to 20, according to Wikileaks. They allege that an OPCW report published in 2018 into a purported chemical weapon incident in Syria was “doctored” to wrongly incriminate the Assad government for carrying out an attack on civilians. As a result of the incident on April 7, 2018, the United States, Britain and France days later launched over 100 air strikes against Syria in apparent revenge. President Trump labeled Assad “an animal”. According to the whistleblowers, the OPCW report later in 2018 was deliberately suppressed by senior officials in the organization’s headquarters in The Hague under pressure from the American government. The implication is that the US, British and French air strikes against Syria were naked aggression based on false information. Indeed, the incident on April 7 has the hallmarks of a false-flag operation carried out by Western-backed anti-government militants.

Despite the urgent public interest of this scandal, the Western corporate media have largely ignored the matter, apart from notable exceptions, such as Tucker Carlson at Fox and Peter Hitchens in Britain’s Mail newspaper.

Surely on any objective scale, the OPCW scandal is worth far more media attention than the turgid proceedings in the House. But then again invoking objectivity is a naive request when the polarized politics in the US have become so hyper-subjective.

Other important stories that got sidelined this week include the appeal by 100 Australian doctors demanding the release of Julian Assange from prison in Britain. They reiterated similar concerns expressed by Nils Melzer, the UN special rapporteur, warning that Assange could die in prison if he is not given immediate medical care. The Wikileaks founder is awaiting extradition to the US where he faces 175 years in jail for “espionage”. As the leaks this week from Wikileaks regarding corruption at the OPCW demonstrate the real “offense” committed by Assange is his exposure of war crimes by the US and its Western allies. He is being tortured for telling the truth by Western governments that claim to be bastions of democracy and law. Why aren’t Western media covering this bombshell?

Still another huge story to be buried this week under the avalanche of impeachment popcorn was the report that over 90 US companies on the Fortune 500 list paid zero tax in the year 2018, despite having made combined profits of $100 billion. The companies include Amazon, Bank of American, Chevron, General Motors, Goodyear, Honeywell, JP Morgan Chase, Starbucks, and Verizon, to mention only a few. These companies were able to reduce their federal tax bill to zero because of corporate tax breaks and accounting loopholes introduced by President Trump in 2017.

If the Democrat party was a genuine political opposition to Trump then it should be taking up issues that really matter to ordinary citizens. Issues like abuse of power by unelected state agencies that spy illegally on civilians. But the Democrats this month voted for the latest edition of the Patriot Act extending such powers. They also voted for a record $738 billion spend on the US military, instead of deploying some of that for public good in healthcare and education.

If the Democrat party was a genuine political opposition, then it would be highlighting the crimes of illegal wars the US carries out on foreign countries with impunity. It would be defending the rights of whistleblowers like Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden who have exposed systematic state crimes.

If the Democrat party was a genuine political opposition, it would be campaigning for US corporations to pay their fair share of taxes so that working families can benefit from a decent society. They would be going after Trump for aiding and abetting the corporate kleptocracy that America has become.

But they don’t. Because the Democrats – most of them anyway – are part of the same bipartisan corporate feeding trough and war machine that is Washington.

The obscenity is so disgraceful that’s why the need for an impeachment pantomime. And the corporate media dutifully obliges.

December 20, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Democrats Target Own Population by Trump Impeachment – Paul Craig Roberts

Sputnik -December 20, 2019

WASHINGTON  – The Democrats are targeting their own population by impeaching President Donald Trump, former US Assistant Treasury Secretary Paul Craig Roberts said.

On Wednesday, Trump became the third president in US history to be impeached when the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives voted to find him guilty of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress after investigations concluding he invited foreign meddling in the American electoral process.

“The impeachment circus is a political act by the House Democrats. It is a political orchestration without any evidence or credible testimony,” Roberts said. “What is disturbing about the impeachment… is that these orchestrated actions are an attempt to overturn a democratic election. The US now engages in actions against its own population like the actions Washington recently engaged in against Venezuela, Bolivia, Honduras, and Ukraine.”

The Democratic Party, Roberts added, decided to fabricate a scandal with Ukraine after Russiagate fell apart.

“The Democrats are after power. They were frustrated by the Russiagate failure, and orchestrated a hoax that, even if it were true, would not be an impeachable event,” he said.

Roberts continued to say that the House Democrats are able to “get away with this hoax” because the American media is against Trump.

“It is disturbing also because it demonstrates that there is no integrity in the media or the security agencies,” he explained. “Without the support of the media and security agencies, the Democrats would not be able to orchestrate such obvious hoaxes.”

Roberts believes that the impeachment proceedings are not hurting Trump’s election chances, and even help him.

“As the impeachment proceedings unfolded, the public turned against the proceedings, recognizing them as a purely political action,” Roberts said. “The Democrats hoped that some of the mud would stick to Trump and reduce his reelection chances, but it seems the impeachment is helping Trump.”

The president will have to face trial in the US Senate but is unlikely to be removed from power as the higher legislative decision-making body is controlled by members of his Republican party, who have made it clear that they viewed his impeachment as a sham.

“The Senate will not convict Trump of the charges, unless enough Republican senators can be blackmailed by the FBI, CIA, and NSA, police state institutions that have spy folders on everyone, or unless the military/security complex can bribe the Republicans with large sums of money to vote against Trump,” Roberts said. “I think this is unlikely as it would be too obvious even for insouciant Americans not to notice.”

Roberts also said that Russiagate and the impeachment “have radicalized” and divided the United States.

“The population is now split in a new way. On the one hand we have the people who elected Trump, ordinary traditional Americans now demonized as “racists” and “white supremacists,” Roberts said. “On the other hand we have the Democrats, no longer the party of the working people.”

House Democrats launched their impeachment inquiry in September to probe whether Trump tried to pressure Ukraine into investigating his political rival Joe Biden, the current Democratic front-runner in the presidential primaries. Lawmakers initiated the inquiry after a whistleblower sent a complaint to the Congress claiming that Trump threatened to withdraw military aid for Ukraine if Kiev failed to investigate Biden and his son Hunter over the latter’s business dealings in the country.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing, repeatedly dismissing the impeachment inquiry as a witch hunt aimed at reversing the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

Commenting on Wednesday’s vote, the president said that “this lawless, partisan impeachment” was “political suicide” for the Democratic Party. He also expressed confidence that he would be fully exonerated by the Senate, pledging to “continue to work tirelessly to address the needs and priorities of the American people.”

December 20, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , , , , | Leave a comment

You Can’t Fool All the People All the Time

By Daniel Lazare | Strategic Culture Foundation | December 18, 2019

You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time. So said Abraham Lincoln – maybe. But whoever it was forgot to mention an important corollary: fun as it may be to pull the wool over people’s eyes, you’ll writhe in agony for an equal period once the truth emerges and the fraud is exposed.

This is the significance of Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s devastating report on the FBI investigation of Russiagate suspect Carter Page.

For years, the FBI and its allies in the Democratic Party have had a grand time pillorying Page as the centerpiece of a gigantic Kremlin conspiracy to help Trump win the White House and bend America to its will. Thousands of headlines about this or that bombshell revelation, scores of talking heads proclaiming that “the walls are closing in” – it was all so much fun that revelers barely paused when Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller announced last March that he was unable to “establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government.”

Sure, a few Democrats perked up. But they quickly decided that even though Mueller didn’t come up with enough evidence to prove collusion, that didn’t mean that he came up with no evidence at all. So the myth continued unabated.

But payback time is now upon us.  The Horowitz report is not some ordinary rebuke, but an epic assault that has left the FBI reeling. After fawning over the bureau for years, the New York Times tried to salvage a shred of self-respect by declaring that even though it “painted a bleak portrait of the FBI as a dysfunctional agency,” all was not lost because the inspector general uncovered “no evidence that the mistakes were intentional or undertaken out of political bias.”

This was incorrect. Horowitz made it clear in his Dec. 11 appearance before the Senate judiciary committee that while there was “no evidence that the initiation of the investigation was motivated by political bias,” the question gets “murkier” when it comes to subsequent FBI actions like withholding or doctoring evidence. Considering that FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith, the man who allegedly falsified evidence against Page, is a never-Trumper who once texted “viva le resistance,” it’s hard to see how bias could not have been a factor.

The inspector general lists seventeen “significant errors” the bureau made in applying for a secret surveillance warrant. It failed to inform the court that Page had been a CIA informant for years and had been found to have been truthful throughout; that he told an undercover agent that he “literally never met” or “said one word to” Paul Manafort, his alleged co-conspirator, and that Manafort had never responded to any of his emails; that a source for ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele’s famous “golden showers” dossier was known to be a “boaster” and an “egoist” who may “engage in some embellishment”; and that professional associates of Steele said he “[d]emonstrates lack of self-awareness [and] poor judgment” and “pursued people with political risk but no intelligence value.”

Steele, the man who turned US politics upside down, was a flake in other words while Page was more likely on the up and up. Yet the FBI assumed the opposite. Perhaps the most amazing section in Horowitz’s report concerns a Steele informant who confessed that reports of Trump’s sexual escapades in the Moscow Ritz Carlton were “just talk,” conversations he or she “had with friends over beers,” and statements made in “jest.” Yet the Steele dossier reported them as a real, and a credulous press lapped them all up. Steele’s supposed high-level Kremlin contacts, the source added, were individuals “who may have had access” – and, then again, may not have. Corroboration of Steele’s findings was meanwhile “zero.”

Yet this is the document that the FBI continued using to pursue Page and Trump and convince the public that collusion was genuine.

As devastating as all this is, US Attorney John Durham’s long-awaited report on the origins of Russiagate promises to be broader and even harder-hitting. On Dec. 9, he issued an unusual statement saying that he disagreed with Horowitz’s finding that the FBI was legally warranted in launching an investigation. This implies that maybe – just maybe – he’s come up with evidence that the intelligence agencies concocted the whole episode from the outset as skeptics have long suspected.

If so, the agony of those responsible for the Russiagate fiasco can only intensify while, for the rest of us, the fun has just begun. So lean back and enjoy the show. It going to be a doozy.

December 18, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Russophobia | , | 2 Comments

The Carter Page/Ukraine Lie That Kept On Lying for Mueller and the FBI

By Paul Sperry – RealClearInvestigations – December 12, 2019

The FBI and Special Counsel Robert Mueller repeatedly kept alive a damning narrative that investigators knew to be false: namely, that a junior Trump campaign aide as a favor to the Kremlin had “gutted” an anti-Russia and pro-Ukraine plank in the Republican Party platform at the GOP’s 2016 convention.

Federal authorities used this claim to help secure spy warrants on the aide in question, Carter Page, suggesting to the court that he was “an agent of Russia” – even though investigators knew that Page was working for U.S., not Russian, intelligence, and that they had learned from witnesses, emails and other evidence that Page had no role in drafting the Ukraine platform plank.

The revelation is buried in the Justice Department watchdog’s just-released report on FISA surveillance abuses. RealClearInvestigations fleshed out this unreported story with footnotes from the Mueller report and exclusive interviews with Trump campaign officials who worked on the convention platform.

Of all the Trump-Russia rumors, insinuations and falsehoods – from secret payments for shadowy hackers, to videotaped prostitutes with active bladders, to a clandestine rendezvous with Kremlin figures in Prague – the supposedly pro-Russia Ukraine platform alteration stands out. It seemed to offer early, public, concrete evidence of an actual bending of prospective U.S. policy to suit Moscow. The false narrative is also significant because it was initially pushed not by Democrats, but by associates of Republican Sen. John McCain and other so-called Never Trumpers. As a bipartisan red flag, it helped build momentum around a narrative of Trump treachery with, then as now, Ukraine playing a central role. It also shows how the Russia and Ukraine controversies were linked from the beginning by Trump’s foes.

This episode loomed so large that the first person Mueller’s team interviewed after taking over the Russia investigation in May 2017 was Rachel Hoff, who was serving as McCain’s policy adviser on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Like her boss, Hoff was no fan of President Trump. Agents sought to confirm with her reports that the Trump campaign had “gutted” the GOP’s platform plank on Ukraine to favor Russia during the party’s convention in Cleveland in early July 2016.

As a disgruntled convention delegate, Hoff got the story started by putting Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin in touch with another Never Trump delegate, Diana Denman, who had lost her bid to amend the GOP plank to call for providing “lethal” weapons to Ukraine to help fend off Russian incursions, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter. Instead, the platform called for “appropriate assistance to the armed forces of Ukraine.”

Denman was overruled because heavily arming Ukraine was out of step with the GOP consensus at the time – to say nothing of the Obama administration’s policy, which refused to arm the Ukrainians. And it was at odds with Trump’s stated position, which sought to avoid military escalation in the region, while encouraging the European Union to take a larger peacekeeping role.

On July 18, 2016, the Post ran Rogin’s sensational story under the misleading headline, “Trump Campaign Guts GOP’s Anti-Russia Stance on Ukraine.” Pushing the narrative that Trump was doing the Kremlin’s bidding, it quoted Hoff warning that Trump “would be dangerous for America and the world.” The story left out the key part of the final Trump-approved plank pledging aid “to the armed forces of Ukraine.” Reached by phone, Rogin declined comment.

This story was quickly amplified in the Steele dossier, the series of now-debunked opposition research memos alleging Trump-Russia collusion. Compiled by ex-British intelligence officer Christopher Steele for the Clinton campaign, those memos became a foundation for the FBI and Mueller probes even though – as this week’s IG report established – bureau agents knew that the material in them included demonstrably false assertions and exaggerated gossip dismissed as nonsense by Steele’s own purported source.

Steele also embellished the GOP convention story by claiming that Carter Page had played a key role in drafting the Ukraine plank as part of a commitment he had allegedly made to his Kremlin handlers “to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue.”

None of this was true. And the FBI — and Mueller — knew it, the Justice inspector general reveals in his report.

Still, the FBI presented the Steele dossier’s smear, cataloged as “Steele Report 95,” as key evidence in all four of its warrant applications to obtain wiretaps to eavesdrop on Page, according to the IG report.

To keep renewing the spy warrants, the FBI had to produce fresh evidence for FISA judges to support suspicions Page was “an agent of Russia.” Just a few weeks before the FISA warrant was set to expire in June 2017, Mueller had his investigators interview Hoff, as his first witness, followed by Denman, hoping they could provide fresh details to keep building an espionage case against Page and the Trump campaign.

But Mueller struck out.

According to agents’ notes documenting their June 2017 interview, as revealed in the IG report, Denham told the FBI that Page was not involved in the drafting of the Ukraine plank. But Mueller’s team did not update its fourth and final FISA warrant application on Page with this exculpatory information. Instead, it recited the same baseless claim that he had shaped the Ukraine policy with guidance from Russia. And the court renewed the warrant that June to electronically monitor Page, allowing the government to continue vacuuming up all of his emails, phone calls, text messages and other communications for another 90 days.

“Although the FBI did not develop any information that Carter Page was involved in the Republican Platform Committee’s change, the FBI did not alter its assessment of Page’s involvement in the FISA applications,” Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz noted in his 476-page report released Monday.

Added Horowitz: “We found that, other than this information from Report 95 [of the Steele dossier], the FBI’s investigation did not reveal any information to demonstrate that Page had any involvement with the Republican Platform Committee.” Yet, “all four FISA applications relied upon information in the Steele reporting” alleging Page’s role in drafting the Republican plank on Ukraine and Russia.

A former U.S. Navy lieutenant, Page was never charged with espionage or any crime. He told RealClearInvestigations that he has received “numerous death threats that directly resulted from the false allegations” that he was a traitor.

The FBI and Mueller failed to correct the record about Page in their FISA warrant applications even after they identified the Trump campaign officials who actually had a hand in influencing the GOP plank, J.D. Gordon and Matt Miller. A July 14, 2016, email from Gordon confirmed what Page had personally told the FBI in an interview — that he had not taken part in the decision. The FBI knew about the email since at least March 2017, when agents sat down with Page. (Gordon and Page were chatting by email about the convention, and it’s clear from Page’s responses he had no idea what Gordon had done in the Ukraine-Russia platform drafting sessions. IG Horowitz published the relevant excerpt in his report and noted the FBI had the email in its possession.)

Still, Horowitz found, “The FBI never altered the assessment.”

Horowitz further concluded that the FBI should not have included the dossier’s rumor even in its original October 2016 application for a FISA warrant targeting Page, let alone its three renewals, because a confidential source the FBI assigned to spy on Page at the time found no basis for it. In the IG report, Horowitz noted that during that same month of October 2016, the FBI informant met with Page and tape-recorded him denying he was involved in the drafting of the Ukraine plank. Page told the informant, Stefan Halper, that he “stayed clear of that.”

Horowitz’s investigators established that the informant’s recorded statements were sent to the FBI agent assigned at the time to Page’s case, and were copied to a supporting team of other agents, supervisors and analysts. Yet the FBI also withheld that critical exculpatory evidence from the FISA court in the initial application for a warrant on Page (and then continued to deny the court the information in subsequent requests to monitor Page).

The lead case agent, unnamed in the report, told investigators the FBI was operating on a “belief” that Page was involved in the Ukraine and Russia platform, and that he and the FISA team were “hoping to find evidence of that” from the wiretaps. Despite all the snooping on Page, the FBI never collected the hoped-for proof.

The lead supervisor, also unidentified, told investigators “he did not recall why Page’s denial was not included.”

Horowitz reports that the exculpatory documents were also sent to a Justice Department attorney before the warrant was renewed for the first time in January 2017, “[y]et, the information remained unchanged in the renewal applications.”

Added Horowitz: “The attorney told us that he did not recall the circumstances surrounding this, but he acknowledged that he should have updated the descriptions in the renewal applications to include Page’s denials.”

The FBI also failed to inform surveillance court judges that Page was an “operational contact” for the CIA for several years, according to the Horowitz report. In 2013, Page also volunteered as a cooperating witness in an FBI espionage case, and helped put away a real Russian agent in 2016. This was additional exculpatory evidence the FBI kept from the FISA court, as RealClearInvestigations first reported last year.

Peter Strzok, then the FBI’s top counterintelligence official, rode herd on the Page wiretap requests and reported back to FBI attorney Lisa Page (no relation to Carter), who in turn, updated then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

Text messages previously uncovered by Horowitz and shared with Mueller revealed that Strzok and Page, who were having an affair, rooted for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign and held Trump in complete contempt. In one exchange, they discussed the need to “stop” Trump from winning the election. And the two of them had also huddled with McCabe in his office to devise an “insurance policy” in the “unlikely event” Trump ended up winning.

The inspector general’s report points out that it was McCabe who urged investigators to look at the Clinton-funded dossier. The previous year, his Democratic politician wife, Jill, received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations arranged by Clinton ally and Virginia’s governor at the time, Terry McAuliffe.

Strzok remained central to the investigation well into 2017 – until Mueller was forced to kick him off his team when the anti-Trump bias was revealed. The bureau fired him in 2018, the same year Lisa Page resigned from the FBI. In spite of their anti-Trump political bias, Horowitz said he found “no evidence” their bias influenced their investigative decisions.

Lawyers for Strzok and McCabe did not respond to requests for comment. The FBI and a spokesman for Mueller declined comment.

Putting Carter Page under surveillance starting in October 2016 effectively let the FBI spy on the Trump campaign since its beginnings, because it allowed the bureau to scoop up all of Page’s prior communications. Former Trump officials who have reviewed Horowitz’s new findings confirmed their view that the bureau was trying to make it look like Page and the Trump campaign were doing something sinister to help Russia.

“Page actually had no role in the platform, whatsoever,” Gordon, the Trump campaign’s director of national security, told RCI. “Failing to include the exculpatory information in the FISA application is horrifying.”

While it’s true that Trump sought better relations with Russia, Gordon said, there was nothing nefarious about the drafting of the Ukraine platform. He said the FBI simply assumed it was watered down as a favor to Russia based on a false narrative driven by liberal media outlets like the Post and Never Trumpers such as Rachel Hoff. He said the FBI, under the direction of McCabe, Mueller and former FBI Director James Comey, also wanted to believe the worst about Trump, whom they simply did not like.

Gordon noted that, except for the two Never Trump delegates, nobody in the platform drafting sessions raised a fuss about the Ukraine plank — not even the press.

“The media was present in the room, yet not one person wrote about the Ukraine issue,” he said — until, that is, the Never Trumpers went to the Washington Post that July and helped launch the Trump-Russia “collusion” myth.

Moreover, the narrative was untrue even on its own terms – without the spurious inclusion of Carter Page. Internal platform committee documents show the Ukraine plank could not have been weakened as claimed, because the “lethal” weapons language was never part of the GOP platform in the first place. The final language actually strengthened the platform by pledging direct assistance not just to the country of Ukraine, but to its military in its struggle against Russian-backed forces.

Far from “gutting” assistance, the Trump administration approved the transfer of tank-busting Javelin missiles to Kiev — something the Obama administration refused to do. More than 200 of those weapons have been sold to Ukraine since Trump took office. And the sale and delivery of Javelins never stopped even during this year’s temporary suspension of military aid to Ukraine that is now the subject of the Democrats’ impeachment proceedings.

The final draft of the Ukraine plank also branded Russia a menace, and pledged to stand against “any territorial change imposed by force in Ukraine.” Yet Mueller and his prosecuting staff of mostly Democratic donors still suspected collusion, and they dispatched FBI agents to grill Gordon about the drafting of the platform three times between 2017 and 2019. They also got a grand jury to subpoena his phone records.

In the end, the Mueller report found no Russian influence in the platform.

But the false narrative – that the Ukraine plank stood as early proof of the “extensive conspiracy” between the Trump campaign and Moscow that Steele alleged in his now-debunked dossier – has persisted.

Earlier this year, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler demanded Gordon provide additional documents, and he has complied. Nadler is now marking up articles of impeachment against Trump over a request he lodged with Ukraine’s new president this summer to help investigate the former Clinton-friendly regime’s attempts to “sabotage” Trump’s election bid in 2016. Trump also asked Kiev to look into possible corruption involving former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter and a Ukrainian energy oligarch.

Meanwhile, Nadler’s impeachment partner, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, continues to insist that the Trump team “softened” the GOP platform to accommodate “Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.”

A retired Navy commander and former Pentagon spokesman, Gordon said he has run up a five-figure legal bill defending against what he calls a “hoax” perpetrated by Never Trumpers, the media, Comey, Mueller, and now congressional Democrats.

“In the vicious frenzy to destroy President Trump and his associates at all costs, they attempted to turn a routine foreign policy debate in conjunction with the four-year renewal of the GOP platform into a crime scene,” Gordon said in an interview with RCI.

“Incredibly,” he added, “the GOP platform change hoax [later] became the very first order of business in Mueller’s nearly two-year investigation.”

December 16, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , , | 1 Comment