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Political Legitimacy Dies in 2020

By James Bovard | American Institute for Economic Research | July 28, 2020

The American political system may be on the eve of its worst legitimacy crisis since the Civil War. Early warning signals indicate that many states could suffer catastrophic failures in counting votes in November. The election will occur amidst the vast economic devastation inflicted by a political class that responded to COVID by seizing almost unlimited power. And Deep State federal agencies have already proven that they will trample the law to sabotage election results.

America could soon see a hundred-times worse replay of the Florida presidential balloting 20 years ago in the Bush-Gore showdown. Some Florida counties had antiquated voting equipment while others had harebrained ballot designs that confounded voters. The Florida Supreme Court ordered a manual recount of disputed votes but the Supreme Court, in a 5-to-4 decision, stopped the recount because it could result in “a cloud upon what [George W. Bush] claims to be the legitimacy of his election,” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote. Two days, the same Supreme Court majority blocked any subsequent recounting because it was “not well calculated to sustain the confidence that all citizens must have in the outcome of elections.” Unfortunately, “legitimacy via blocked recounts” may also be the epithet for the 2020 presidential election.

Because of the pandemic, many states are switching primarily to mail-in voting even though experiences with recent primaries were a disaster. In New York City, officials are still struggling to count mail-in ballots from the June primary. Up to 20% of ballots “were declared invalid before even being opened, based on mistakes with their exterior envelopes,” the Washington Post noted, thanks largely to missing postmarks or signatures. In Wisconsin, more than 20,000 “primary ballots were thrown out because voters missed at least one line on the form, rendering them invalid.”

Some states are mailing ballots to all the names on the voting lists, providing thousands of dead people the chance to vote from the grave. President Trump claims that the shift to mail-in voting could result in “the most corrupt vote in our nation’s history.” Trump is often wrong on issues but even a New York Daily News article tagged the recent primary results a “dumpster fire.” Delayed election results and potentially millions of disputed ballots could minimize support for whoever is designated the next president.

Elections supposedly choose which candidates are selected to follow the law and uphold the Constitution, but COVID shutdown dictates vividly how political power is now practically unlimited. Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer prohibited “all public and private gatherings of any size” (prohibiting people from visiting friends) and also prohibited purchasing seeds for spring planting in stores after she decreed that a “nonessential” activity. Oregon Governor Kate Brown banned the state’s four million residents from leaving their homes except for essential work, buying food, and other narrow exemptions, and also banned all recreational travel – even though much of her state had almost zero COVID cases.

In the name of reducing risks, politicians entitled themselves to destroy tens of millions of jobs. Permitting governors to shut down churches was not on the ballot but that didn’t stop many states from banning worship services at the same time politicians cheered mass protests that scorned “stay-at-home” orders.

The media has often whitewashed the damage from COVID power grabs in part because every restriction was supposedly justified by “science.” After New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo dictated that nursing homes must admit COVID patients, more than 6,000 elderly nursing home residents were killed by the coronavirus. Cuomo has yet to reveal which “science” textbook spawned this policy (which several other states also imposed). Were those state governments grossly incompetent or were they murderous? It doesn’t matter because Trump made rude comments about N.I.H. honcho and media darling Anthony Fauci. What’s the point of voting for politicians who merely need to invoke dubious statistical extrapolations to sow death and economic devastation?

Finally, does the presidential election even matter? Deep State federal agencies are a Godzilla that have established their prerogative to undermine if not overturn election results. The FBI has achieved saint-like status among many liberals for its efforts to topple Trump. For almost three years, the nation’s political life was roiled by an investigation driven by false allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 election. As George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley observed last week, the media continues to ignore “one of the biggest stories in decades. The Obama administration targeted the campaign of the opposing party based on false evidence.” Obama officials who exploited the CIA and other intelligence agencies to illicitly target Trump campaign officials have laughed all the way to million-dollar book advances.

During the Trump impeachment effort, the establishment media openly cheered the Deep State. New York Times columnist James Stewart assured readers that the secretive agencies “work for the American people,” New York Times editorial writer Michelle Cottle hailed the Deep State as “a collection of patriotic public servants,” and Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson captured the Beltway’s verdict: “God bless the Deep State!” The media has almost completely abandoned its watchdog role, and its veneration will make it easier for the FBI, CIA, and National Security Agency to ravage not just elections but also Americans’ rights and liberties in the coming years.

Even before the voting starts, surveys show that for the first time “a majority of Americans (55 percent) are dissatisfied with their system of government,” the Atlantic reported. The percentage of Americans who “expressed trust in government in Washington” has fallen from 73% in 1958 to only 17% now, according to the Pew Research Center. But those numbers could quickly become far more ominous for our political ruling class.

What happens if Trump continues to repel many if not most potential voters, and then Biden comes across in the presidential debates as clueless and doddering as did Special Counsel Robert Mueller in a congressional hearing last July? How many Americans will feel forced to choose between a scoundrel and an idiot?

Many pundits and professors presume that a Biden victory in November will magically re-legitimize the American political system. But almost all the problems of recent years will continue or intensify. The Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration, both of which horribly botched the nation’s response to COVID, will continue bollixing public health crises. U.S. foreign policy will continue to be reckless and self-defeating, with American pretensions to global hegemony becoming ever more ludicrous. Deficit spending will continue to spin out of control, spiraling closer to the day when the Federal Reserve’s sorcery fails to entrance financial markets. Unfortunately, both Democrats and Republicans appear willing to bankrupt the nation to perpetuate their own power.

Federal legitimacy hinges on the Constitution, but there is not a snowball’s chance in hell that either Trump or Biden will “make America constitutional again.” As Thomas Jefferson declared in 1786, “An elective despotism was not the government we fought for.” What’s the point of voting if “government under the law” is not a choice on Election Day? American political legitimacy will continue plummeting as long as politicians scorn any legal and constitutional limits on their power.

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

July 29, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception | , , , | Leave a comment

Cybereason Announces New Plans to “Accelerate” Access to US Govt Networks Ahead of 2020 Election

By Whitney Webb | The Last American Vagabond | July 27, 2020

A cybersecurity firm tied to Israeli intelligence’s Unit 8200 that simulated a series of terrorist attacks occurring on the U.S. 2020 election has announced a new hire with deep ties to the U.S. intelligence and defense communities with the goal of gaining greater access to U.S. government networks.

A cybersecurity company tied to Israeli intelligence and a series of unnerving simulations regarding cyber-terrorist attacks on the upcoming U.S. elections has recently announced a new hire who plans to aid the company in further penetrating the U.S. public sector. Last Wednesday, the company Cybereason announced that it had hired Andrew Borene as its Managing Director for its recently launched U.S. public sector business. Borene, who boasts longstanding ties to the U.S. intelligence community and the Pentagon, “will accelerate Cybereason’s partner and customer presence in the U.S. public sector,” according to a Cybereason press release.

“My goal is to build a strong business for Cybereason within the U.S. public sector and I am planning to recruit a group of direct support executives, veterans and alumni of the elite [U.S.] military units and agencies that have defended our nation in the information age. I’ll also work to establish a network of the best channel and delivery partners for federal, state and local governments,” Borene said per the press release.

Eric Appel, Cybereason’s General Manager for North American Sales, stated that “We’re excited about Andrew joining Cybereason and the opportunity in the U.S. public sector for Cybereason to make a profound impact on helping the nation’s federal civilian, military, state and local government agencies…”

Borene will likely be successful in his ability to recruit a sales team of prominent alumni from the U.S. intelligence and defense communities to market Cybereason’s products throughout the U.S. government. Prior to joining Cybereason, Borene was a senior advisor to the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), the intelligence community’s “DARPA” equivalent that is housed within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). He served in that capacity on behalf of intelligence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Prior to that, Borene served as Associate Deputy General Counsel to the Pentagon and was previously a military intelligence officer for the U.S. Marine Corps.

Borene’s private sector experience is also significant, as he was a senior executive at IBM. Notably, the current Chief Information Officer for the CIA, Juliane Gallina, had served alongside Borene as a top IBM executive prior to taking her current position at the agency. In addition, Borene also boasts ties to Wall Street as a veteran of Wells Fargo’s investment banking division.

In addition, Borene has deep ties to Washington’s foreign policy establishment as a “life member” of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and to the national security-think tank nexus through his senior fellowship at the National Security Institute (NSI). NSI’s board includes former NSA directors, Keith Alexander and Michael Hayden (also a former CIA director); former Deputy Defense Secretary and “architect” of the Iraq War, Paul Wolfowitz; former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, David Shedd; and a variety of other former top intelligence and defense officials as well as Silicon Valley executives and venture capitalists.

Notably, Borene is the latest addition to Cybereason with ties to the U.S. intelligence and defense communities as the company’s advisors include Robert Bigman, former Chief Information Security Officer for the CIA as well as Peter Sherlock, the former Chief Operating Officer of MITRE corporation, a major intelligence and defense contractor connected to the Ptech-9/11 controversy.

Cybereason: a front for Israeli Military Intelligence

Cybereason’s announcement of its hire of Andrew Borene coincided with its launch of its new “U.S. public sector business,” meaning that Cybereason now seeks to have its cybersecurity software running on even more of the U.S. government’s most classified networks. Cybereason, for years, has already been running on several sensitive U.S. government networks through its partnerships with IT contractors for intelligence and defense, such as Lockheed Martin (also a Cybereason investor), WWT and Leidos. However, Borene’s hire and this new publicly announced pivot towards the U.S. public sector clearly demonstrates the company’s interest in further deepening its presence on U.S. government networks.

Cybereason’s pivot is concerning for several reasons. First, its co-founders are alumni of Israel’s Unit 8200, an elite unit of the Israeli Intelligence corps that is part of the IDF’s Directorate of Military Intelligence and is involved mainly in signal intelligence, surveillance, cyberwarfare and code decryption. It is also well-known for its surveillance of Palestinian civilians and for using intercepted communications as blackmail in order to procure informants among Palestinians living under occupation in the West Bank.

In addition, all three Cybereason co-founders, after leaving Unit 8200, went on to work for two private Israel-based tech/telecom companies with a notorious history of aggressive espionage against the U.S. government: Amdocs and Comverse Infosys (the latter is now known as Verint Systems Inc.). This raises the possibility that Cybereason software could potentially be used as a backdoor by unauthorized actors, given 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 aggressively spying on U.S. federal agencies.

Also notable is the fact that the company’s current CEO and co-founder Lior Div was much more than the average Unit 8200 officer during his time in the unit, as he “served as a commander [in Unit 8200] and carried out some of the world’s largest cyber offensive campaigns against nations and cybercrime groups. For his achievements, he received the Medal of Honor, the highest honor bestowed upon Unit 8200 members,” according to his biography. Troublingly, in an interview that Div gave to TechCrunch last year, Div stated that his work at Cybereason is “the continuation of the six years of training and service he spent working with the Israeli army’s 8200 Unit.”

This is particularly noteworthy given that Israel’s government has openly admitted that an on-going intelligence operation, first initiated in 2012 – the year Cybereason was founded, involves Israeli military intelligence and intelligence operations that had previously done “in house” (i.e. as part of Unit 8200, Mossad, etc.) being spun off into private companies, specifically start-ups in the “cyber” realm.

This operation is part of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “deliberate policy” to have former members of Israel’s “military and intelligence units … merge into companies with local partners and foreign partners” in order to make it all but impossible for major corporations and foreign governments to boycott Israel and to also to ensure that Israel becomes the world’s dominant “cyber power.”

One notable report on this policy, published by Israeli outlet Calcalist Tech, interviewed dozens of Israeli military, intelligence and government officials and noted that “since 2012, cyber-related and intelligence projects that were previously carried out in-house in the Israeli military and Israel’s main intelligence arms are transferred to companies that in some cases were built for this exact purpose.” The article also states that beginning in 2012, Israel’s intelligence and military intelligence agencies began to outsource “activities that were previously managed in-house, with a focus on software and cyber technologies.”

“Simulating” the Cancellation of the 2020 Election

In light of Cybereason’s background and the “acceleration” of their presence on U.S. government networks, the timing of their redoubled efforts to court the U.S. public sector add additional layers of concern given that it precedes the U.S. 2020 election by a matter of months. Since last year, Cybereason has conducted multiple simulations focused on the 2020 election, which were attended by federal officials from the FBI, DHS and the U.S. Secret Service and all of which ended in disaster. In those simulations, the 2020 election was ultimately canceled and martial law was then declared due to the chaos created by a group of hackers led by Cybereason employees.

Notably, Cybereason stood to gain nothing financially from the simulations given that their software could not have prevented the attacks waged against the U.S.’ electoral infrastructure in the exercise and the company framed their hosting of the simulations as merely “altruistic” because of their professed desire to help “protect” U.S. election infrastructure. The attacks conducted in the simulations by Cybereason employees included creating power grid blackouts, the use of deep fakes to sow confusion, creating havoc with municipal sewage systems and crashing self-driving cars into voters waiting in line to cast their ballots, killing 32 and injuring over a hundred people.

In the months since I first wrote about Cybereason and their 2020 “doomsday” simulations back in January, U.S. government officials and mass media alike have been warning that these same types of attacks that Cybereason simulated are likely to come to pass on this upcoming election day, scheduled for November 3rd of this year. More recently, in less than a week, headlines like “Election Security Experts Expect ‘Chaos’ Unless Action Taken,” “New York’s Pandemic Voting ‘Chaos’ Set to Go Nationwide in November,” and “Foreign adversaries ‘seeking to compromise’ presidential campaigns, intel warns,” among others, have been published in major U.S. media outlets.

While these narratives have asserted that China, Russia and/or Iran will be to blame for such attacks, it is worth noting that a tight-knit web of Israeli state-owned and private companies tied to Israeli military intelligence now run the software controlling key parts of the power grid in New York, California and elsewhere in the U.S.; are the main global producers of deep fakes; and the main providers of “security” software for self-driving and semi-self-driving cars, the quantity of which on U.S. streets has grown dramatically as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

With Cybereason’s newly announced push to run its software on critical U.S. government networks at both the federal and state levels, the company’s history of simulating terror attacks on critical U.S. infrastructure and their openly admitted and on-going ties to Israeli military intelligence deserve more scrutiny than ever as the U.S. election draws closer.

July 27, 2020 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

More willful blindness by the media on spying by Obama administration

By Jonathan Turley | The Hill | July 25, 2020

The Washington press corps seems engaged in a collective demonstration of the legal concept of willful blindness, or deliberately ignoring the facts, following the release of yet another declassified document which directly refutes prior statements about the investigation into Russia collusion. The document shows that FBI officials used a national security briefing of then candidate Donald Trump and his top aides to gather possible evidence for Crossfire Hurricane, its code name for the Russia investigation.

It is astonishing that the media refuses to see what is one of the biggest stories in decades. The Obama administration targeted the campaign of the opposing party based on false evidence. The media covered Obama administration officials ridiculing the suggestions of spying on the Trump campaign and of improper conduct with the Russia investigation. When Attorney General William Barr told the Senate last year that he believed spying did occur, he was lambasted in the media, including by James Comey and others involved in that investigation. The mocking “wow” response of the fired FBI director received extensive coverage.

The new document shows that, in summer 2016, FBI agent Joe Pientka briefed Trump campaign advisers Michael Flynn and Chris Christie over national security issues, standard practice ahead of the election. It had a discussion of Russian interference. But this was different. The document detailing the questions asked by Trump and his aides and their reactions was filed several days after that meeting under Crossfire Hurricane and Crossfire Razor, the FBI investigation of Flynn. The two FBI officials listed who approved the report are Kevin Clinesmith and Peter Strzok.

Clinesmith is the former FBI lawyer responsible for the FISA surveillance conducted on members of the Trump campaign. He opposed Trump and sent an email after the election declaring “viva the resistance.” He is now under review for possible criminal charges for altering a FISA court filing. The FBI used Trump adviser Carter Page as the basis for the original FISA application, due to his contacts with Russians. After that surveillance was approved, however, federal officials discredited the collusion allegations and noted that Page was a CIA asset. Clinesmith had allegedly changed the information to state that Page was not working for the CIA.

Strzok is the FBI agent whose violation of FBI rules led Justice Department officials to refer him for possible criminal charges. Strzok did not hide his intense loathing of Trump and famously referenced an “insurance policy” if Trump were to win the election. After FBI officials concluded there was no evidence of any crime by Flynn at the end of 2016, Strzok prevented the closing of the investigation as FBI officials searched for any crime that might be used to charge the incoming national security adviser.

Documents show Comey briefed President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on the investigation shortly before the inauguration of Trump. When Comey admitted the communications between Flynn and Russian officials appeared legitimate, Biden reportedly suggested using the Logan Act, a law widely seen as unconstitutional and never been used to successfully convict a single person, as an alternative charge against Flynn. The memo contradicts eventual claims by Biden that he did not know about the Flynn investigation. Let us detail some proven but mostly unseen facts.

First, the Russia collusion allegations were based in large  part on the dossier funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The Clinton campaign repeatedly denied paying for the dossier until after the election, when it was confronted with irrefutable evidence that the money had been buried among legal expenditures. As New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman wrote, “Folks involved in funding this lied about it and with sanctimony for a year.”

Second, FBI agents had warned that dossier author Christopher Steele may have been used by Russian intelligence to plant false information to disrupt the election. His source for the most serious allegations claims that Steele misrepresented what he had said and that it was little more than rumors that were recast by Steele as reliable intelligence.

Third, the Obama administration had been told that the basis for the FISA application was dubious and likely false. Yet it continued the investigation, and then someone leaked its existence to the media. Another declassified document shows that, after the New York Times ran a leaked story on the investigation, even Strzok had balked at the account as misleading and inaccurate. His early 2017 memo affirmed that there was no evidence of any individuals in contact with Russians. This information came as the collusion stories were turning into a frenzy that would last years.

Fourth, the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller and inspectors general found no evidence of collusion or knowing contact between the Trump campaign and Russian officials. What inspectors general did find were false statements or possible criminal conduct by Comey and others. While unable to say it was the reason for their decisions, they also found statements of animus against Trump and his campaign by the FBI officials who were leading the investigation. Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testified he never would have approved renewal of the FISA surveillance and encouraged further investigation into such bias.

Finally, Obama and Biden were aware of the investigation, as were the administration officials who publicly ridiculed Trump when he said there was spying on his campaign. Others, like House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, declared they had evidence of collusion but never produced it. Countless reporters, columnists, and analysts still continue to deride, as writer Max Boot said it, the spinning of “absurd conspiracy theories” about how the FBI “supposedly spied on the Trump campaign.”

Willful blindness has its advantages. The media covered the original leak and the collusion narrative, despite mounting evidence that it was false. They filled hours of cable news shows and pages of print with a collusion story discredited by the FBI. Virtually none of these journalists or experts have acknowledged that the collusion leaks were proven false, let alone pursue the troubling implications of national security powers being used to target the political opponents of an administration. But in Washington, success often depends not on what you see but what you can unsee.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can find his updates online @JonathanTurley.

July 27, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Trump, Kennedy, and the Russia Collusion Delusion

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | July 15, 2020

President Trump’s commutation of Roger Stone’s jail sentence has brought the Russia collusion delusion back into the limelight.

Special prosecutor (and former FBI Director) Robert Mueller, the lawyer in charge of conducting an in-depth investigation into whether Trump colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 presidential election, immediately fired a salvo against Trump’s commutation in an op-ed defending his investigation that was published in the Washington Post.

Mueller’s op-ed was then followed by an op-ed by one of his senior prosecutors, Andrew Weismann, in yesterday’s New York Times, which called for summoning Stone before a grand jury to force him to tell the truth about why he lied. Weissmann’s idea is that if Stone fails to tell the truth again, he should again be prosecuted and punished for perjury, preferably after Trump is defeated in November.

What about Clapper?

Mueller and Weissmann can wax eloquent all they want about the importance of testifying truthfully to Congress or federal investigators. But their words ring hollow given what happened to James R. Clapper Jr., the former director of national intelligence. He knowingly, deliberately, and intentionally testified falsely to Congress about the mass secret surveillance that the NSA was conducting on the American people. U.S. prosecutors turned a blind eye toward his perjury and did nothing to indict or prosecute him. Why go after Stone (or, for that matter, Martha Stewart) and do nothing against Clapper?

The Russia collusion delusion

What is really going on here? It’s the Russia collusion delusion that is at the center of this entire controversy. Mueller, Weissmann, and their Inspector Clouseau cohorts were convinced from the beginning that there was a conspiracy between Donald Trump and the Russians to rig the U.S. presidential election in favor of Trump. Even worse, they, along with members of the FBI and the national-security establishment, obviously convinced themselves that as part of the deal, Trump may well have become an unregistered covert agent of the Russian government.

Anyone who thinks that the U.S. Cold War mindset ended with the dismantling of the Soviet Union in 1989 is loving in la la land. Sure, the Berlin Wall came crashing down, Soviet troops withdrew from Eastern Europe, and the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union dismantled. But the anti-Soviet, anti-Russian mindset that afflicted U.S. officials for 45 years, especially those in the national-security establishment, never disappeared. As long as Russia has maintained a sense of independence from U.S. control, it has continued to be considered a grave threat to U.S. “national security.”

The fact is that the U.S. national-security establishment — or what President Eisenhower referred to as the military-industrial-congressional complex — will never permit a U.S. president to establish normal and friendly relations with Russia. And any president who does so will automatically be considered suspect, just as Trump has been. If he goes too far in that direction, he runs the risk of being considered a grave threat to “national security.”

Kennedy: a threat to “national security?

That is, of course, what happened with President Kennedy. After the Cuban Missile Crisis, he made no bones about it. He threw the gauntlet down to the U.S. national security establishment. In his famous Peace Speech at American University 3 1/2 months before he was assassinated, he suddenly announced that he was declaring an end to the Cold War. He also stated that he intended to establish a relationship of peaceful co-existence with the Soviet Union and the communist world. He told the audience and the world that despite philosophical differences, there was no reason why America and Russia could not work together with a peaceful and friendly relationship. He then entered into secret personal negotiations to that end with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.

As part of his plan, Kennedy announced a partial withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam. He told aides that as soon as he won the 1964 election, he would pull out the rest. He also entered into a nuclear test-ban treaty with the Soviets. He proposed a joint trip to the moon, which would have meant sharing rocket technology with the Soviets. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what the next logical step was going to be — the dismantling of the Cold War apparatus and a restoration of a limited-government republic.

Imagine how all of that went over with the U.S. national-security establishment, which was already convinced that there was a communist conspiracy based in Moscow to take over the world, including the United States. The notion that the free world could live in peaceful harmony with the communist world was considered naive folly at best and treason at worst. In the eyes of the U.S. national security establishment, ending the Cold War, which likely would have led to the dismantling of the U.S. national security state, was equivalent to simply surrendering the United States to the communists.

After all, don’t forget that this was the very reason why the U.S. government was converted after World War II into a national-security state — to enable U.S. officials to exercise the same omnipotent, dark-side powers employed by the communists in order to prevent their supposed conspiracy from succeeding.

Don’t forget also that sympathy and empathy with communism or the Russians was precisely the reason U.S. national-security state officials initiated regime change operations against foreign presidents and prime ministers both before and after the Kennedy assassination: Mossadegh in Iran, Arbenz in Guatemala, Lumumba in Congo, Castro in Cuba, and Allende in Chile.

How could U.S. national-security state officials just ignore a U.S. president who suddenly had become a threat to national security, a much graver threat in fact than the foreign officials they had ousted from power in regime-change operations.

Given their conviction that Kennedy’s actions were going to result in a communist takeover of the United States, what were U.S. officials supposed to do — just let it happen? For all they knew, Kennedy had become a covert agent of the Soviets, just as U.S. officials in our time have become convinced that Trump became a covert agent of the Russians.

What Kennedy was doing was certainly not an impeachable offense, and so they couldn’t remove him from office that way, as they tried to do with Trump. Moreover, it was clear that Kennedy would almost certainly defeat Barry Goldwater in the 1964 election.

What to do? Follow the Constitution and let America fall to the communists? Or do here in the United States what had to be done in Iran, Guatemala, Congo, Cuba, and Chile to protect “national security”?

See also:

JFK’s War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated by Douglas Horne

The Kennedy Autopsy by Jacob Hornberger

The Kennedy Autopsy 2: LBJ’s Role in the Assassination by Jacob Hornberger

Regime Change: The JFK Assassination by Jacob Hornberger

The CIA, Terrorism, and the Cold War: The Evil of the National Security State by Jacob Hornberger

CIA & JFK: The Secret Assassination Files by Jefferson Morley

The National Security State and JFK,” a FFF conference featuring Oliver Stone and ten other speakers

Altered History: Exposing Deceit and Deception in the JFK Assassination Medical Evidence,” a five-part video by Douglas P. Horne

The JFK Assassination,” a video series by Jacob Hornberger

July 16, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

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

By Whitney Webb | Unlimited Hangout | July 15, 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-upsthat 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 partnerwho 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.

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).

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.

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 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.

July 15, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Russophobia | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New evidence shows the FBI knew General Flynn was not ‘agent of Russia’ but prosecuted him anyway

RT | July 10, 2020

President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser Michael Flynn was “not acting as an agent of Russia” by the FBI’s own determination, yet the Mueller probe was based on that claim and his legal odyssey still continues.

New evidence provided by the Justice Department to Flynn’s legal team this week, and made public on Friday as part of a court filing, shows that the FBI determined Flynn wasn’t a Russian agent, and believed he did not deliberately lie to agents during his January 2017 interview.

A handwritten document shows the officials believed there were no reasonable grounds for prosecution under the Logan Act, an arcane old law prohibiting US citizens from engaging in foreign policy.

After the Washington Post published fragments of leaked information from the FBI suggesting the opposite, however, Flynn was forced to resign in February 2017, and later that year faced perjury charges from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into ‘Russian collusion’ by the Trump campaign.

What makes these revelations particularly egregious is the fact that the scope memo for Mueller’s probe, written by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in May 2017 and kept classified for years, cited the Logan Act as one of the predicates for going after Flynn.

The fourteen pages of additional evidence provided by the government on July 7 demonstrate Flynn’s innocence, the “absence of any crime,” as well as “government misconduct” in investigating Flynn and “prosecutorial misconduct in the suppression of evidence favorable to the defense,” his legal team said in a statement.

Flynn initially pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI, but later changed legal counsel and claimed prosecutorial misconduct. A steady drip of evidence from the DOJ ever since has revealed the plot to catch him in a perjury trap, the role of disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok in keeping the case improperly open, and that Flynn did nothing wrong in his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak – among other things.

Despite the overwhelming evidence against the prosecutors, US District Judge Emmet Sullivan has refused to approve the DOJ motion to drop the case. Instead, he appointed a retired judge who had just denounced the DOJ in the Washington Post to help him challenge it as amicus curiae.

Flynn’s lawyers took their case to the appeals court, which ruled on June 24 that Sullivan had to dismiss the charges. He refused, asking for a full-bench (en banc) review, with Flynn and the government now given ten days to respond.

The entire process is without precedent in Washington, but is hardly surprising given the political implications of the trial. Mueller’s probe was supposed to get Trump impeached and invalidate the 2016 presidential election, and though it failed the mainstream media and Democrats continue to insist on ‘Russiagate collusion.’ As the new documents show, all of it rests on the prosecution of Flynn, and falls apart entirely if he walks.

July 10, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception | , | 1 Comment

Are the Democrats a Political Party or a CIA-Backed Fifth Column?

By Mike Whitney • Unz Review • July 5, 2020

How do the Democrats benefit from the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests?

While the protests are being used to paint Trump as a race-bating white supremacist, that is not their primary objective. The main goal is to suppress and demonize Trump’s political base which is comprised of mainly white working class people who have been adversely impacted by the Democrats disastrous free trade and immigration policies. These are the people– liberal and conservative– who voted for Trump in 2016 after abandoning all hope that the Democrats would amend their platform and throw a lifeline to workers who are now struggling to make ends meet in America’s de-industrialized heartland.

The protests are largely a diversion aimed at shifting the public’s attention to a racialized narrative that obfuscates the widening inequality chasm (created by the Democrats biggest donors, the Giant Corporations and Wall Street) to historic antagonisms that have clearly diminished over time. (Racism ain’t what it used to be.) The Democrats are resolved to set the agenda by deciding what issues “will and will not” be covered over the course of the campaign. And– since race is an issue on which they feel they can energize their base by propping-up outdated stereotypes of conservatives as ignorant bigots incapable of rational thought– the Dems are using their media clout to make race the main topic of debate. In short, the Democrats have settled on a strategy for quashing the emerging populist revolt that swept Trump into the White House in 2016 and derailed Hillary’s ambitious grab for presidential power.

The plan, however, does have its shortcomings, for example, Democrats have offered nearly blanket support for protests that have inflicted massive damage on cities and towns across the country. In the eyes of many Americans, the Dems support looks like a tacit endorsement of the arson, looting and violence that has taken place under the banner of “racial justice”. The Dems have not seriously addressed this matter, choosing instead to let the media minimize the issue by simply scrubbing the destruction from their coverage. This “sweep it under the rug” strategy appears to be working as the majority of people surveyed believe that the protests were “mostly peaceful”, which is a term that’s designed to downplay the effects of the most ferocious rioting since the 1970s.

Let’s be clear, the Democrats do not support Black Lives Matter nor have they made any attempt to insert their demands into their list of police reforms. BLM merely fits into the Dems overall campaign strategy which is to use race to deflect attention from the gross imbalance of wealth that is the unavoidable consequence of the Dems neoliberal policies including outsourcing, off-shoring, de-industrialization, free trade and trickle down economics. These policies were aggressively promoted by both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama as they will be by Joe Biden if he is elected. They are the policies that have gutted the country, shrunk the middle class, and transformed the American dream into a dystopian nightmare.

They are also the policies that have given rise to, what the pundits call, “right wing populism” which refers to the growing number of marginalized working people who despise Washington and career politicians, feel anxious about falling wages and dramatic demographic changes, and resent the prevailing liberal culture that scorns their religion and patriotism. This is Trump’s mainly-white base, the working people the Democrats threw under the bus 30 years ago and now want to annihilate completely by deepening political polarization, fueling social unrest, pitting one group against another, and viciously vilifying them in the media as ignorant racists whose traditions, culture, customs and even history must be obliterated to make room for the new diversity world order. Trump touched on this theme in a speech he delivered in Tulsa. He said:

“Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children. Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities.”

Author Charles Burris expanded on this topic in an article at Lew Rockwell titled America’s Monumental Existential Problem:

“The wave of statue-toppling spreading across the Western world from the United States is not an aesthetic act, but a political one, the disfigured monuments in bronze and stone standing for the repudiation of an entire civilization. No longer limiting their rage to slave-owners, American mobs are pulling down and disfiguring statues of abolitionists, writers and saints in an act of revolt against the country’s European founding, now re-imagined as the nation’s original sin, a moral and symbolic shift with which we Europeans will soon be forced to reckon.”

The statue-toppling epidemic is vastly more disturbing than the the looting or arson, mainly because it reveals an ideological intensity aimed at symbols of state power. By tearing down the images of the men who created or contributed to our collective history, the vandals are challenging the legitimacy of the nation itself as well as its founding “enlightenment” principles. This is the nihilism of extremists whose only objective is destruction. It suggests that the Democrats might have aspirations that far exceed a mere presidential victory. Perhaps the protests and riots will be used to justify more sweeping changes, a major reset during which traditional laws and rules are indefinitely suspended until the crisis passes and order can be restored. Is that at all conceivable or should we dismiss these extraordinary events as merely young people “letting off a little steam”?

Here’s how General Michael Flynn summed up what’s going on on in a recent article:

“There is now a small group of passionate people working hard to destroy our American way of life. Treason and treachery are rampant and our rule of law and those law enforcement professionals are under the gun more than at any time in our nation’s history… I believe the attacks being presented to us today are part of a well-orchestrated and well-funded effort that uses racism as its sword to aggravate our battlefield dispositions. This weapon is used to leverage and legitimize violence and crime, not to seek or serve the truth…. The dark forces’ weapons formed against us serve one purpose: to promote radical social change through power and control.”

I agree. The toppling of statues, the rioting, the looting, the arson and, yes, the relentless attacks on Trump from the day he took office, to Russiagate, to the impeachment, to the insane claims about Russian “bounties”, to the manipulation of science and data to trigger a planned demolition of the US economy hastening a vast restructuring to the labor force and the imposition of authoritarian rule; all of these are cut from the same fabric, a tapestry of lies and deception concocted by the DNC, the Intel agencies, the elite media, and their behind-the-scenes paymasters. Now they have released their corporate-funded militia on the country to wreak havoc and spread terror among the population. Meanwhile, the New York Times and others continue to generate claims they know to be false in order to confuse the public even while the people are still shaking off months of disorienting quarantine and feelings of trepidation brought on by 3 weeks of nonstop social unrest and fractious racial conflict. Bottom line: Neither the Democrats nor their allies at the Intel agencies and media have ever accepted the “peaceful transition of power”. They reject the 2016 election results, they reject Donald Trump as the duly elected president of the United States, and they reject the representative American system of government “by the people.”

So let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: Which political party is pursuing a radical-activist strategy that has set our cities ablaze and reduced Capitol Hill to a sprawling war zone? Which party pursued a 3 year-long investigation that was aimed at removing the president using a dossier that they knew was false (Opposition research), claiming emails were hacked from DNC computers when the cyber-security company that did the investigation said there was no proof of “exfiltration”? (In other words, there was no hack and the Dems knew it since 2017) Which party allied itself with senior-level officials at the FBI, CIA, NSA and elite media and worked together collaboratively to discredit, surveil, infiltrate, entrap and demonize the administration in order to torpedo Trumps “America First” political agenda, and remove him from office?

Which party?

No one disputes the Democrats right to challenge, criticize or vigorously oppose a bill or policy promoted by the president. What we take issue with is the devious and (possibly) illegal way the Democrats have joined powerful elements in the Intelligence Community and the major media to conduct a ruthless “dirty tricks” campaign that involved spying on members of the administration in order to establish the basis for impeachment proceedings. This is not the behavior of a respected political organization but the illicit conduct of a fifth column acting on behalf of a foreign (or corporate?) enemy. It’s worth noting that an insurrection against the nation’s lawful authority is sedition, a felony that is punishable by imprisonment or death. Perhaps, the junta leaders should consider the possible consequences of their actions before they make their next move.

What we need to know is whether the Democrat party operates independent of the Intel agencies with which it cooperated during its campaign against Trump? We’re hopeful that the Durham investigation will shed more light on this matter. Our fear is that what we’re seeing is an emerging Axis–the CIA, the DNC, and the elite media– all using their respective powers to terminate the Constitutional Republic and establish permanent, authoritarian one-party rule. As far-fetched as it might sound, the country appears to be slipping inexorably towards tyranny.

July 5, 2020 Posted by | Economics, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , | 3 Comments

So it wasn’t ‘by the book’? Strzok notes reveal Obama & Biden were involved in FBI going after General Flynn

RT | June 24, 2020

New evidence shows that the decision to send the FBI after General Michael Flynn, president-elect Donald Trump’s top adviser, came from President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and wasn’t “by the book” at all.

Biden was the one to raise the Logan Act, while Obama instructed FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates to have “the right people” on the case during a White House meeting, according to a handwritten note from FBI Agent Peter Strzok.

The note was provided by the DOJ earlier this week to Flynn’s attorneys, who submitted it to the court as evidence on Wednesday.

While Strzok’s hard-to-read note does not mention names, it refers to people by letters – P for president, VP for vice-president, DAG for Yates, D for Director Comey, etc. – according to the court filing.

The Logan Act is an old law that bans private citizens from conducting foreign policy, but it did not apply to Flynn, since he was an incoming national security adviser to the president-elect. Even Comey admitted that his telephone conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak “appear legit[imate],” but was nonetheless told to pursue a case, according to Strzok’s note.

This directly contradicts the narrative about the meeting put forth by Obama’s security adviser Susan Rice, who wrote a strange memo to herself on the eve of Trump’s inauguration repeatedly saying that Obama wanted the investigation to be “by the book.”

Strzok’s note is undated, but the filing says it appears to be referring to a meeting on January 4, 2017 – the same date Strzok intervened to keep the FBI background case against Flynn open, though it had been scheduled to close due to lack of evidence of any wrongdoing. Strzok would later be one of the agents to interview Flynn, and admitted in texts to heavily editing the memorandum of that interview – which has not been made available as evidence.

Earlier in the day, the Washington, DC Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the federal judge in charge of Flynn’s case to immediately agree to the government motion to drop the charges. Last month, Judge Emmet Sullivan responded to the DOJ motion to dismiss charges – in light of evidence revealing the prosecution of Flynn was improperly predicated – by appointing a hostile ex-judge to evaluate the motion and hiring a private attorney to represent himself, at taxpayers’ expense. Flynn’s team reacted by seeking a writ of mandamus from the appeals court.

Flynn was the first casualty of the ‘Russiagate’ probe targeting Trump for alleged “collusion” with Russia in the 2016 election. The adviser was forced to resign after less than two weeks on the job, after the Washington Post accused him of lying to the FBI based on yet-unidentified leaks. He was charged by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in late 2017, and pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI under pressure, but has been fighting the charges after getting a new legal counsel in 2018.

President Trump reacted to the news by wondering if Comey and the FBI, or Mueller and his prosecutors, or Obama and Biden, will apologize to Flynn and others caught up in the probe.

Mueller’s investigation ended in May 2019 finding no evidence of any collusion anywhere, forcing Democrats to claim Trump had abused power by withholding aid from Ukraine as a pretext to impeach him.

June 24, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , , , , | 2 Comments

‘Russiagate’ case against ex-Trump adviser Michael Flynn effectively OVER, as DC appeals court orders to close it

RT | June 24, 2020

An appeals court in Washington, DC, ruled that the case against President Trump’s one-time national security adviser, Michael Flynn, must end. The Justice Department had dropped charges against Flynn, but his case remained open.

In a ruling issued on Wednesday, the Washington DC Circuit Court of Appeals effectively ended the case against Flynn, ordering federal judge Emmet Sullivan to heed the Justice Department’s advice and close the case. Sullivan had attempted to keep the case active, even though the Justice Department dropped its charges against Flynn last month.

The appeals battle was a last-ditch showdown between Flynn and the Justice Department on one side, and Sullivan on the other. Though reporters as recently as last week reckoned the appeals court would side with Sullivan, they were proven wrong on Wednesday morning.

Of course, Sullivan may appeal again, but with the government and prosecution in agreement, his chances of breathing life into the Flynn case – ongoing for more than two years – is slim.

Appointed national security advisor following Trump’s election win in 2016, Flynn quickly became the first and most prominent White House official caught up in the FBI’s ‘Russiagate’ investigation. He was fired in early 2017 and later pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

However, the case was dropped last month, after it emerged that the charges against him were baseless.

Before he was interviewed by FBI agents in January 2017, FBI brass knew they had “no derogatory information” on the retired General, yet then-FBI Director James Comey ordered the interview to proceed regardless, breaching agency protocol. Disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok urged his superiors to keep the case against Flynn open, and plotted with other agents to “get him to lie” during the interview. Furthermore, Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page edited the transcript of the interview to incriminate Flynn.

All of this information was revealed last month, when acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell declassified a trove of ‘Russiagate’ documents. According to the document dump, a host of Obama administration officials dug into Flynn’s intelligence records as the FBI were attempting to entrap him in the interview.

President Trump, who has long accused the FBI and Obama administration of orchestrating a plot to take down his presidency, retweeted a call from his son last week for Flynn to “sue the FBI and it’s corrupt actors for all they’re worth.”

June 24, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

The Spirit of Hoover’s FBI is Revived under New Cyber-Warfare Protocols

By Matthew Ehret | American Herald Tribune | June 11, 2020

This week, the Grayzone’s Gareth Porter exposed an important strategy led by the FBI to purge the internet of alternative media outlets who question the mainstream narratives being used to shepherd society into an Orwellian post-COVID world order.

Although FBI propagandists strewn throughout mainstream media have attempted to project the idea that the corrupt days of America’s internal Gestapo operation led by J. Edgar Hoover are a thing of the past, the reality is that its days of COINTEL PRO, MK Ultra, assassinations and media manipulation of the 1960s and 1970s not only didn’t go away but only amplified their influence during the modern age of cyberwarfare.

Porter’s Insight into the FBI’s Censorship Agenda

In his June 5, 2020 article entitled ‘FBI Launches Open Attack on ‘Foreign’ Alternative Media Outlets Challenging US Foreign Policy’, Porter exposed the FBI’s recent counter-intelligence strategy which was launched in the wake of the 2016 defeat of Hillary Clinton.

Knowing that alternative media was a decisive factor in the downfall of Hillary (and her neocon backers), a vast operation was put into motion designed to convince Americans that the elections were never really legitimate in the first place because… Russia.

Four years of Russiagate contaminated the American political landscape ultimately producing both a multi-million dollar nothing burger and also one of the most dangerous reforms in counter-intelligence operations that currently threatens to render what little remains of the first amendment forever obsolete.

Countering Malign Foreign Influences in the Media

In his article, Porter begins by describing the creation of the October 2017 creation of the FBI’s Foreign Influence Counter-Intelligence Task Force which generated a new procedure for extending internet censorship to any media outlet that could be labelled a “malign foreign influence” if connected in any way to America’s major adversaries of Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.

Porter describes how Facebook, Google, Twitter and Instagram promptly interfaced with the Task Force and began deleting accounts and pages of alternative media outlets who were labelled puppets of foreign actors. The biggest purge occurred in 2018 as Facebook deleted 559 pages and 251 accounts including Anti-media, the Free Thought Project and Naked Empire due to their supposed “coordinated inauthentic behaviour” tied to shadowy “malign foreign influences”.

While the American Herald Tribune was not officially listed as one of the targets during this operation, it’s de-platforming over Facebook, Instagram and Google was later admitted to have been part of the purge (more to be said on that below).

Shadowy Enemies and New Protocols

In an April 26, 2019 speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, FBI director Christopher Wray described “malign foreign influence” to be “the fairly aggressive campaign we saw in 2016 and that has continued pretty much unabated, is the use of social media, fake news, propaganda, false personas etc… to spin us up, pit us against each other, sow divisiveness and discord, and undermine America’s faith in democracy”.

According to Wray (and echoed in recent days by former Obama advisor Susan Rice), such divisiveness and discord as we see across America’s protests now have less to do with the systemic corruption, economic injustice (or even George Soros’ moneybags fueling the fires of chaos)… but rather Russia, China and Iranian fake news campaigns.

Gareth Porter cites the important February 2020 remarks by the FBI’s Assistant Section for the Foreign Influence Task Force David Porter, who described the foreign operations which “seek to weaken an adversary from within” using “information confrontation to target the perceptions of their adversaries’ population”. These methods then “erode confidence in democratic values and institutions, encourage negative sentiment, apathy and mistrust of government.” One of the most dangerous by-products for agent David Porter is that the public loses confidence in the “credibility of an established, free and independent news media” pushing “consumers towards alternative news sources of news media where of course it is much easier to introduce false narratives.”

David Porter focuses his discourse on Russia and China explaining that the two nations differ in their methods of information warfare in the following manner: Where China “confines its manipulation to its geostrategic economic goals” and “wants to manage our gradual economic decline over the course of generations”, Russia is more vicious and just “wants to see us tear ourselves apart”.

How does the FBI decide who is guilty of “malign foreign influence”? Not by wasting their time “chasing content” or looking at what websites actually say, but rather by “attribution”. In laymen’s terms, “attribution” merely implies using behavioral pattern recognition logarithms to de-platform and censor alt media accounts. Evidence of actual funding by a foreign government or even systemic lying need not be considered under this sort of attribution. Merely having shared a server with a company that “at some point may have” hosted a website affiliated with a foreign government, or publishing narratives that are critical of the western establishment are sufficient proof to remove and blacklist you under this new digital McCarthyism.

The Targeting of the American Herald Tribune

Gareth Porter takes the time to showcase the important case study of American Herald Tribune as an example of the FBI’s brazen abuse of this loosely defined standard of “attribution”. Just days after the August 2018 takedown of the Tribune’s pages on Facebook (and Google’s cancellation of the site’s ad service which act as a vital revenue stream for any alternative media agency), Christopher Wray admitted to have provided social media companies with the “specific threat indicators” used to justify censorship… although they did not openly admit to targeting the American Herald Tribune at this time.

It was only on January 24, 2020 that Facebook finally confirmed publicly in the form of a CNN report) that American Herald Tribune was taken down due to Wray’s counter-intelligence program. The January 24 CNN article cited by Porter asserted that a Facebook spokesperson asserted that the Cybersecurity company FireEye (which is highly enmeshed in all branches of American intelligence agencies) found the AHT’s links to the Iran government’s larger influence operation “with moderate confidence”.

For anyone familiar with the modern newspeak of the FBI’s lexicon, “moderate confidence” means little more than “we feel that there may be some connection but have no actual evidence.”

Illustrating the Tribune’s great sin, the CNN article in question stated that “The articles posted to American Herald Tribune are largely in line with the views of Iran’s ruling establishment. It publishes stories criticizing American foreign policy and attacking President Donald Trump and Israel. Often the criticism is not unlike viewpoints expressed on authentic US-based independent websites, especially ones with an anti-establishment perspective.”

Here we have the essence of what the FBI considers the Tribune’s great crime: Permitting anti-establishment views to be published critical of American foreign policy. It’s really that simple.

The Strategic Reality of the Fight: A Word from Anthony Hall

Grayzone’s expose should be studied in tandem with a powerful report written by American Herald Tribune Editor in Chief Anthony Hall published on June 8 entitled COVID-19, Antifa, and Black Lives Matter: The Battle for Control of the Internet. In this important article, Hall explains that the current convergent of major global developments has come to a historic head.

As we move into and through this turbulent phase of history, the speed of world events has accelerated to unprecedented levels exemplified from the quick change of focus from one controlled fallacious narrative featuring Gates as the star performer Global Pandemic show to a new Soros-managed narrative of controlled chaos across America under the Black Lives Matter/Antifa show.

In his article, Hall points out: “In recent days the focus suddenly shifted from COVID-19 and compulsory vaccines to insurrection and anarchy from within. Suddenly the vaccine czar, Bill Gates, has been swept from the center stage of current events. Suddenly multi-billionaire Gates has been upstaged by multi-billionaire George Soros.”

In both cases of COVID-19 and Soros-financed mass anarchy, the target is the same thing: The free access to information on the internet which has become a focal point for the battle ground for the future of the human race. As Hall points out, “the drama of these cataclysmic times is serving to highlight the importance of the Internet not only as a medium for reporting events but as a vehicle that is instrumental in the shaping of events; in determining what actually happens or not.”

In the case of the current controlled chaos agenda, this battle is playing out over President Trump’s recent Executive Order invoking Section 230 of the Communications and Decency Act of 1996 in defense of a free and uncensored internet. On this point, Hall writes: “Love him or hate him, Donald Trump has recently moved forward with the most significant anti-censorship initiative in the history of the Internet. Trump is seeking to stop the takeover of humanity’s most vital infrastructure of communications by a cabal of extremists.”

Trump’s Executive Order stands in direct opposition to those forces of the Anglo-American Five Eyes empire which seeks nothing less than to turn humanity into a society of sheepish zombies as pliable as the mobs of Ancient Rome who would as soon cheer for Pompei one day as they would Julius Caesar, Brutus or Marc Antony the next… as long as blood and wine continued to flow in the gladiator arenas.

It is important to emphasize here that no one is safe from this new age of post-2016 cyberwarfare.

Whether you place yourself on the “left” or on the “right” of America’s political spectrum, the chances are that if your conscience is intact, then you don’t want your nation to become a dictatorship, you prefer the constitution not be shredded and you certainly don’t want the American Military Industrial Complex to blow up the world. If this is the case, then you would do well to pay attention to any FBI-run protocols which demand that the population be kept fearful and confused enough to willingly renounce their liberties, free speech and very constitution upon which so many people gave their lives, in exchange for a Deep State bureaucrat’s definition of “security”.

Matthew J.L. Ehret is a journalist, lecturer and founder of the Canadian Patriot Review.

June 11, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment

FBI launches open attack on ‘foreign’ alternative media outlets challenging US foreign policy

By Gareth Porter | Grayzone Project | June 5, 2020

The FBI has publicly justified its suppression of dissenting online views about US foreign policy if a media outlet can be somehow linked to one of its adversaries. The Bureau’s justification followed a series of instances in which Google and other social media platforms banned accounts following consultations with the FBI.

In a particularly notable case in 2018, the FBI encouraged Facebook, Instagram and Google to ban the American Herald Tribune (AHT), an online journal that published critical opinion articles on US policy toward Iran and the Middle East. The bureau has never offered a clear rationale, however, despite its private discussions with Facebook on the ban.

The FBI’s first step toward intervening against dissenting views on social media took place in October 2017 with the creation of a Foreign Influence Task Force (FTIF) in the bureau’s Counterintelligence Division. Next, the FBI defined any effort by states designated by the Department of Defense as major adversaries (Russia, China, Iran and North Korea) to influence American public opinion as a threat to US national security.

In February 2020, the FBI defined that threat in much more specific terms and implied that it would act against any online media outlet that was found to fall within its ambit. At a conference on election security on February 24, David K. Porter, who identified himself as Assistant Section Chief of the Foreign Influence Task Force, defined what the FBI described as “malign foreign influence activity” as “actions by a foreign power to influence US policy, distort political sentiment and public discourse.”

Porter described “information confrontation” as a force “designed to undermine public confidence in the credibility of free and independent news media.” Those who practice this dark craft, he said, seek to “push consumers to alternative news sources,” where “it’s much easier to introduce false narratives” and thus “sow doubt and confusion about the true narratives by exploiting the media landscape to introduce conflicting story lines.”

“Information confrontation”, however, is simply the literal Russian translation of the term “information warfare.” Its use by the FTIF appears to be aimed merely at justifying an FBI role in seeking to suppress what it calls “alternative news sources” under any set of circumstances it can justify.

While expressing his intention to target alternative media, Porter simultaneously denied that the FBI was concerned about censoring media. The FITF, he said “doesn’t go around chasing content. We don’t focus on what the actors say.” Instead, he insisted that “attribution is key,” suggesting that the FTIF was only interested in finding hidden foreign government actors at work.

Thus the question of “attribution” has become the FBI’s key lever for censoring alternative media that publishes critical content on US foreign policy, or which attacks mainstream and corporate media narratives. If an outlet can be somehow linked to a foreign adversary, removing it from online platforms is fair game for the feds.

The strange disappearance of American Herald Tribune

In 2018, Facebook deleted the Facebook page of the American Herald Tribune, a website that publishes commentary from an array of notable authors who are harshly critical of US foreign policy. Gmail, which is run by Google, quickly followed suit, along with the Facebook-owned Instagram.

Tribune editor Anthony Hall reported at the time that the removals occurred at the end of August 2018, but there was no announcement of the move by Facebook. Nor was it reported by the corporate news media until January 2020, when CNN elicited a confirmation from a Facebook spokesman that it had indeed done so in 2018. Furthermore, the FBI was advising Facebook on both Iranian and Russian sites that were banned during that same period of a few days. As Facebook’s chief security officer Alex Stamos noted on July 21, 2018, “We have proactively reported our technical findings to US law enforcement, because they have much more information than we do, and may in time be in a position to provide public attribution.”

On August 2, a few days following the removal of AHT and two weeks after hundreds of Russian and Iranian Pages had been removed by Facebook, FBI Director Christopher Wray told reporters at a White House briefing that FBI officials had “met with top social media and technology companies several times” during the year, “providing actionable intelligence to better enable them to address abuse of their platforms by foreign actors.” He remarked that FBI officials had “shared specific threat indicators and account information so they can better monitor their own platforms.”

Cybersecurity firm FireEye, which boasts that it has contracts to support “nearly every department in the United States government,” and which has been used by Department of Homeland Security as a primary source of “threat intelligence,” also influenced Facebook’s crackdown on the Tribune. CNN cited an unnamed official of FireEye stating that the company had “assessed” with “moderate confidence” that the AHT’s website was founded in Iran and was “part of a larger influence operation.”

The CNN author was evidently unaware that in US intelligence parlance “moderate confidence” suggests a near-total absence of genuine conviction. As the 2011 official “consumer’s guide” to US intelligence explained, the term “moderate confidence” generally indicates that either there are still differences of view in the intelligence community on the issue or that the judgment ”is credible and plausible but not sufficiently corroborated to warrant higher level of confidence.”

CNN also quoted FireEye official Lee Foster’s claim that “indicators, both technical and behavioral” showed that American Herald Tribune was part of the larger influence operation. The CNN story linked to a study published by FireEye featuring a “map” showing how Iranian-related media were allegedly linked to one another, primarily by similarities in content. But CNN apparently hadn’t bothered to read the study, which did not once mention the American Herald Tribune.

Finally, the CNN piece cited a 2018 tweet by Daily Beast contributor Josh Russell which it said provided “further evidence supporting American Herald Tribune’s alleged links to Iran.” In fact, his tweet merely documented the AHT’s sharing of an internet hosting service with another pro-Iran site “at some point in time.” Investigators familiar with the problem know that two websites using the same hosting service, especially over a period of years, is not a reliable indicator of a coherent organizational connection.

CNN did find evidence of deception over the registration of the AHT. The outlet’s editor, Anthony Hall, continues to give the false impression that a large number of journalists and others (including this writer), are contributors, despite the fact that their articles have been republished from other sources without permission.

However, AHT has one characteristic that differentiates it from the others that have been kicked off Facebook: The American and European authors who have appeared in its pages are all real and are advancing their own authentic views. Some are sympathetic to the Islamic Republic, but others are simply angry about US policies: Some are Libertarian anti-interventionists; others are supporters of the 9/11 Truth movement or other conspiracy theories.

One notable independent contributor to AHT is Philip Giraldi, an 18-year veteran of the CIA’s Clandestine Service and and an articulate critic of US wars in the Middle East and of Israeli influence on American policy and politics. From its inception in 2015, the AHT has been edited by Anthony Hall, Professor Emeritus at University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada.

In announcing yet another takedown of Iranian Pages in October 2018, Facebook’s Gleicher declared that “coordinated inauthentic behavior” occurs when “people or organizations create networks of accounts to mislead others about who they are what they’re doing.” That certainly doesn’t apply to those who provided the content for the American Herald Tribune.

Thus the takedown of the publication by Facebook, with FBI and FireEye encouragement represents a disturbing precedent for future actions against individuals who criticize US foreign policy and outlets that attack corporate media narratives.

Shelby Pierson, the CIA official appointed by then director of national intelligence in July 2019 to chair the inter-agency “Election Executive and Leadership Board,” appeared to hint at differences in the criteria employed by his agency and the FBI on foreign and alternative media.

In an interview with former acting CIA Director Michael Morrell in February, Pierson said, “[P]articularly on the [foreign] influence side of the house, when you’re talking about blended content with First Amendment-protected speech… against the backdrop of a political paradigm and you’re involving yourself in those activities, I think that makes it more complicated” (emphasis added).

Further emphasizing the uncertainty surrounding the FBI’s methods of online media suppression, she added that the position in question “doesn’t have the same unanimity that we have in the counterterrorism context.”

Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist who has covered national security policy since 2005 and was the recipient of Gellhorn Prize for Journalism in 2012. His most recent book is The CIA Insider’s Guide to the Iran Crisis co-authored with John Kiriakou, just published in February.

June 6, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Russophobia | , , , , , | 5 Comments

MSNBC hires former FBI attorney Lisa Page as legal analyst

RT | June 6, 2020

Lisa Page, the FBI lawyer whose leaked anti-Trump text messages with another federal agent indicated deep-seated bias in the Russiagate probe, has been hired as an analyst at MSNBC, drawing jeers and praise alike.

Announcing the move on Friday, MSNBC said Page had been brought on as a national security and legal analyst after making her debut on the channel’s ‘Deadline: White House’ program. Wasting little time before weighing in on the decision, President Donald Trump deemed it a “total disgrace!”

Page rose to fame in 2017 after a series of text messages with FBI agent Peter Strzok – with whom she was then having an affair – were leaked, showing the two bureau employees disparaging Donald Trump, who had not yet won the Oval Office at the time. In one of the messages, Strzok told Page that “we can’t… risk” a Trump presidency, describing an “insurance policy” that was apparently meant either to guarantee he never got elected or to have a back-up plan in case he did. Due to his apparent bias, Strzok was removed from the special counsel probe into Trump’s alleged ties to Moscow following the leaks, while Page later left the bureau on her own accord.

Much like the president, critics online have also castigated MSNBC for the hiring decision, with some poking fun at her credentials as a “non-partisan” and “impartial” analyst.

Page is not the first MSNBC hiree to feature prominently in the Trump-Russia probe following the 2016 election, with jobs also handed to Obama-era CIA Director John Brennan and Andrew Weissmann – who the New York Times described as former special counsel Robert Mueller’s “pit bull.”

June 6, 2020 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 3 Comments