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Medical Martial Law 2020

Corbett • 03/21/2020

As the lockdowns go into place and the military takes to the streets in country after country, the decades of preparation for medical martial law are finally paying off for the pandemic planners. Today on this emergency edition of The Corbett Report podcast, James lays out the steps that have led us to the brink of martial law and the steps that are being taken to implement it now. Please help to spread this important information and to raise awareness of the crisis that we are facing.

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SHOW NOTES
Episode 086 – Medical Martial Law

The Model State Emergency Health Powers Act

An Internal Pandemic Document Shows the Coronavirus Gives Trump Extraordinary Powers

Operations Plan for Pandemic Response

Trudeau announces restrictions on entry into Canada

Trudeau announces Canadians abroad will not be allowed entry to country if they exhibit symptoms of Covid-19

Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development (Lock Step Rockefeller Foundation scenario)

Episode 228 – How to Become a Billionaire (and what to do with it)

The Coronavirus and the New World Order. “War is in the Air”

What Bill Gates is afraid of

Ebola reporting on The Corbett Report

The Next Epidemic — Lessons from Ebola by Bill Gates

Operation Dark Winter Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4

Trump invokes rare powers to combat coronavirus outbreak he previously downplayed, calling it ‘war

New CDC pandemic quarantine powers enacted

Event 201 Pandemic Exercise: Highlights Reel

About Event 201

Prop Report special report Event 201 Agenda

Event 201 Call to Action (7 recommendations)

Facebook, Reddit, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube issue joint statement on misinformation

Facebook “Bug” Blocks News Articles About Covid-19 Pandemic

WHO warns of coronavirus ‘infodemic’ — an epidemic of too much information

Event 201 coronavirus plushies

Politifact “Fact Check” on plushies

Trump taps emergency powers as virus relief plan proceeds

Two temporary hospitals handed over to army medical team in Wuhan

Israeli military enters state of war amid nationwide curfew over COVID19

Italy braces for extended lockdown as COVID-19 death toll surpasses China

National Guard Deployed To Help Contain Coronavirus In NYC Suburb

The #NYCLockdown is About to Begin. Here’s What You Need to Know. 

What is martial law?

War, Martial Law, and the Economic Crisis by Peter Dale Scott

What’s the full extent of Trump’s disaster authority? That’s classified, security expert says

Here’s the latest National Guard mobilizations by state

Coronavirus vs. Constitution: What can government stop you from doing in a pandemic?

America’s national security machine stares down a viral threat

U.S. government, tech industry discussing ways to harness location data to combat coronavirus

Israel Joins Totalitarian States Using Coronavirus To Spy On Citizens

Coronavirus: Thousands of armed forces staff could be put on standby over COVID-19 spread

Coronavirus: How the Emergencies Act could help Canada’s struggling economy

New “Emergency Measures” Will Come From The QUARANTINE ACT!! This Is NOT Looking Good For Canada!!!

March 21, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | Leave a comment

WHY IS CROWDSTRIKE CONFUSED ON ELEVEN KEY DETAILS ABOUT THE DNC HACK?

By Larry C Johnson | Sic Semper Tyrannis | March 17, 2020

Here is the bottom-line—despite being hired in late April (or early May) of 2016 to stop an unauthorized intrusion into the DNC, CrowdStrike, the cyber firm hired by the DNC’s law firm to solve the problem, failed abysmally. More than 30,000 emails were taken from the DNC server between 22 and 25 May 2016 and given to Wikileaks. Crowdstrike blamed Russia for the intrusion but claimed that only two files were taken. And CrowdStrike inexplicably waited until 10 June 2016 to reboot the DNC network.

CrowdStrike, a cyber-security company hired by a Perkins Coie lawyer retained by the DNC, provided the narrative to the American public of the alledged hack of the DNC, But the Crowdstrike explanation is inconsistent, contradictory and implausible. Despite glaring oddities in the CrowdStrike account of that event, CrowdStrike subsequently traded on its fame in the investigation of the so-called Russian hack of the DNC and became a publicly traded company. Was CrowdStrike’s fame for “discovering” the alleged Russian hack of the DNC a critical factor in its subsequent launch as a publicly traded company?

The Crowdstrike account of the hack is very flawed. There are 11 contradictions, inconsistencies or oddities in the public narrative about CrowdStrike’s role in uncovering and allegedly mitigating a Russian intrusion (note–the underlying facts for these conclusions are found in Ellen Nakashima’s Washington Post story, Vicki Ward’s Esquire story, the Mueller Report and the blog of Crowdstrike founder Dmitri Alperovitch):

  1. Two different dates—30 April or 6 May—are reported by Nakashima and Ward respectively as the date CrowdStrike was hired to investigate an intrusion into the DNC computer network.
  2. There are on the record contradictions about who hired Crowdstrike. Nakashima reports that the DNC called Michael Sussman of the law firm, Perkins Coie, who in turn contacted Crowdtrike’s CEO Shawn Henry. Crowdstrike founder Dmitri Alperovitch tells Nakashima a different story, stating our “Incident Response group, was called by the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
  3. CrowdStrike claims it discovered within 24 hours the “Russians” were responsible for the “intrusion” into the DNC network.
  4. CrowdStrike’s installation of Falcon (its proprietary software to stop breaches) on the DNC on the 1st of May or the 6th of May would have alerted to intruders that they had been detected.
  5. CrowdStrike officials told the Washington Post’s Ellen Nakashima that they were, “not sure how the hackers got in” and didn’t “have hard evidence.”
  6. In a blog posting by CrowdStrike’s founder, Dmitri Alperovitch, on the same day that Nakashima’s article was published in the Washington Post, wrote that the intrusion into the DNC was done by two separate Russian intelligence organizations using malware identified as Fancy Bear (APT28) and Cozy Bear (APT29).
  7. But, Alperovitch admits his team found no evidence the two Russian organizations were coordinating their “attack” or even knew of each other’s presence on the DNC network.
  8. There is great confusion over what the “hackers” obtained. DNC sources claim the hackers gained access to the entire database of opposition research on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. DNC sources and CrowdStrike claimed the intruders, “read all email and chat traffic.” Yet, DNC officials insisted, “that no financial, donor or personal information appears to have been accessed or taken.” However, CrowdStrike states, “The hackers stole two files.”
  9. Crowdstrike’s Alperovitch, in his blog posting, does not specify whether it was Cozy Bear or Fancy Bear that took the files.
  10. Wikileaks published DNC emails in July 2016 that show the last message taken from the DNC was dated 25 May 2016. This was much more than “two files.”
  11. CrowdStrike, in complete disregard to basic security practice when confronted with an intrusion, waited five weeks to disconnect the DNC computers from the network and sanitize them.

Let us start with the very contradictory public accounts attributed to Crowdstrke’s founder, Dmitri Alperovitch. The 14 June 2016 story by Ellen Nakashima of the Washington Post and the October 2016 piece by Vicki Ward in Esquire magazine offer two different dates for the start of the investigation:

When did the DNC learn of the “intrusion”?

Ellen Nakashima claims it was the end of April:

DNC leaders were tipped to the hack in late April. Chief executive Amy Dacey got a call from her operations chief saying that their information technology team had noticed some unusual network activity. . . . That evening, she spoke with Michael Sussmann, a DNC lawyer who is a partner with Perkins Coie in Washington. Soon after, Sussmann, a former federal prosecutor who handled computer crime cases, called Henry, whom he has known for many years. Within 24 hours, CrowdStrike had installed software on the DNC’s computers so that it could analyze data that could indicate who had gained access, when and how.

Ward’s timeline, citing Alperovitch, reports the alert came later, on 6 May 2016:

At six o’clock on the morning of May 6, Dmitri Alperovitch woke up in a Los Angeles hotel to an alarming email. . . . late the previous night, his company had been asked by the Democratic National Committee to investigate a possible breach of its network. A CrowdStrike security expert had sent the DNC a proprietary software package, called Falcon, that monitors the networks of its clients in real time. Falcon “lit up,” the email said, within ten seconds of being installed at the DNC: Russia was in the network.

This is a significant and troubling discrepancy because it marks the point in time when CrowdStrike installed its Falcon software on the DNC server. It is one thing to confuse the 30th of April with the 1st of May. But Alperovitch gave two different reporters two different dates.

What did the “hackers” take from the DNC?

Ellen Nakashima’s reporting is contradictory and wrong. Initially, she is told that the hackers got access to the entire Donald Trump database and that all emails and chats could be read. But then she is assured that only two files were taken. This was based on Crowdstrike’s CEO’s assurance, which was proven subsequently to be spectacularly wrong when Wikileaks published 35,813 DNC emails. How did Crowdstrike miss that critical detail? Here is Nakashima’s reporting:

Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to the entire database of opposition research on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to committee officials and security experts who responded to the breach.

The intruders so thoroughly compromised the DNC’s system that they also were able to read all email and chat traffic, said DNC officials and the security experts. . . .

The DNC said that no financial, donor or personal information appears to have been accessed or taken, suggesting that the breach was traditional espionage, not the work of criminal hackers.

One group, which CrowdStrike had dubbed Cozy Bear, had gained access last summer (2015) and was monitoring the DNC’s email and chat communications, Alperovitch said.

The other, which the firm had named Fancy Bear, broke into the network in late April and targeted the opposition research files. It was this breach that set off the alarm. The hackers stole two files, Henry said. And they had access to the computers of the entire research staff — an average of about several dozen on any given day. . . .

CrowdStrike is continuing the forensic investigation, said Sussmann, the DNC lawyer. “But at this time, it appears that no financial information or sensitive employee, donor or voter information was accessed by the Russian attackers,” he said.

The DNC emails that are posted on the Wikileaks website and the metadata shows that these emails were removed from the DNC server starting the late on the 22nd of May and continuing thru the 23rd of May. The last tranche occurred late in the morning (Washington, DC time) of the 25th of May 2016. Crowdstrike’s CEO, Shawn Henry, insisted on the 14th of June 2016 that “ONLY TWO FILES” had been taken. This is demonstrably not true. Besides the failure of Crowdstrike to detect the removal of more than 35,000 emails, there is another important and unanswered question—why did Crowdstrike wait until the 10th of June 2016 to start disconnecting the DNC server when they allegedly knew on the 6th of May that the Russians had entered the DNC network?

Crowdstrike accused Russia of the DNC breach but lacked concrete proof.

Ellen Nakashima’s report reveals that Crowdstrike relied exclusively on circumstantial evidence for its claim that the Russian Government hacked the DNC server. According to Nakashima:

CrowdStrike is not sure how the hackers got in. The firm suspects they may have targeted DNC employees with “spearphishing” emails. These are communications that appear legitimate — often made to look like they came from a colleague or someone trusted — but that contain links or attachments that when clicked on deploy malicious software that enables a hacker to gain access to a computer. “But we don’t have hard evidence,” Alperovitch said.

There is a word in English for the phrases, “Not sure” and “No hard evidence”–that word is, “assumption.” Assuming that the Russians did it is not the same as proving, based on evidence, that the Russians were culpable. But that is exactly what CrowdStrike did.

The so-called “proof” of the Russian intrusions is the presence of Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear?

At first glance, Dmitri Alperovitch’s blog posting describing the Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear “intrusions” appears quite substantive. But cyber security professionals quickly identified a variety of shortcomings with the Alperovitch account. For example, this malware is not unique nor proprietary to Russia. Other countries and hackers have access to APT28 and have used it.

Skip Folden offers one of the best comprehensive analyses of the problems with the Alperovitch explanation:

No basis whatsoever:

APT28, aka Fancy Bear, Sofacy, Strontium, Pawn Storm, Sednit, etc., and APT29, aka Cozy Bear, Cozy Duke, Monkeys, CozyCar,The Dukes, etc., are used as ‘proof’ of Russia ‘hacking’ by Russian Intelligence agencies GRU and FSB respectively.

There is no basis whatsoever to attribute the use of known intrusion elements to Russia, not even if they were once reverse routed to Russia, which claim has never been made by NSA or any other of our IC.

On June 15, 2016 Dmitri Alperovitch himself, in an Atlantic Council article, gave only “medium-level of confidence that Fancy Bear is GRU” and “low-level of confidence that Cozy Bear is FSB.” These assessments, from the main source himself, that either APT is Russian intelligence, averages 37%-38% [(50 + 25) / 2].

Exclusivity:

None of the technical indicators, e.g., intrusion tools (such as X-Agent, X-Tunnel), facilities, tactics, techniques, or procedures, etc., of the 28 and 29 APTs can be uniquely attributed to Russia, even if one or more had ever been trace routed to Russia. Once an element of a set of intrusion tools is used in the public domain it can be reverse-engineered and used by other groups which precludes the assumption of exclusivity in future use. The proof that any of these tools have never been reverse engineered and used by others is left to the student – or prosecutor.

Using targets:

Also, targets have been used as basis for attributing intrusions to Russia, and that is pure nonsense. Both many state and non-state players have deep interests in the same targets and have the technical expertise to launch intrusions. In Grizzly Steppe, page 2, second paragraph, beginning with, “Both groups have historically targeted …,” is there anything in that paragraph which can be claimed as unique to Russia or which excludes all other major state players in the world or any of the non-state organizations? No.

Key Logger Consideration:

On the subject of naming specific GRU officers initiating specific actions on GRU Russian facilities on certain dates / times, other than via implanted ID chips under the finger tips of these named GRU officers, the logical assumption would be by installed key logger capabilities, physical or malware, on one or more GRU Russian computers.

The GRU is a highly advanced Russian intelligence unit. It would be very surprising were the GRU open to any method used to install key logger capabilities. It would be even more surprising, if not beyond comprehension that the GRU did not scan all systems upon start-up and in real time, including key logger protection and anomalies of performance degradation and data transmissions.

Foreign intelligence source:

Other option would be via a foreign intelligence unit source with local GRU access. Any such would be quite anti-Russian and be another nail in the coffin of any chain of evidence / custody validity at Russian site.

Stated simply, Dmitri Alperovitch’s conclusion that “the Russians did it” are not supported by the forensic evidence. Instead, he relies on the assumption that the presence of APT28 and APT29 prove Moscow’s covert hand. What is even more striking is that the FBI accepted this explanation without demanding forensic evidence.

Former FBI Director James Comey and former NSA Director Mike Rogers testified under oath before Congress that neither agency ever received access to the DNC server. All information the FBI used in its investigation was supplied by CrowdStrike. The Hill reported:

The FBI requested direct access to the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) hacked computer servers but was denied, Director James Comey told lawmakers on Tuesday.

The bureau made “multiple requests at different levels,” according to Comey, but ultimately struck an agreement with the DNC that a “highly respected private company” would get access and share what it found with investigators.

The foregoing facts raise major questions about the validity of the Crowdstrike methodology and conclusions with respect to what happened on the DNC network. This is not a conspiracy theory. It is a set of facts that, as of today, have no satisfactory explanation. The American public deserve answers.

March 18, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , , , | Leave a comment

Email Scandal: Hillary Clinton Ordered to Provide Deposition In Person After ‘Preposterous’ Defence

Sputnik – March 3, 2020

The almost six-year-long saga relates to Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for government business while secretary of state. Although the FBI investigation resulted in no charges, it still remains to be seen whether her unusual email practices were meant to avoid Freedom of Information Act requests.

A federal judge has ordered Hillary Clinton to provide a sworn deposition in person about her private email server.

The order, issued on Monday by US District Court Judge Royce Lamberth, grants the request of conservative watchdog Judicial Watch to depose Clinton about her correspondence and documents related to the 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

The court also ordered the deposition of Clinton’s former chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, and two other State Department officials. It also allowed Judicial Watch to subpoena Google for documents and records associated with Clinton’s emails during her time at the State Department from 2009 to 2014.

Republican officials and members of Congress had accused then-Secretary of State Cinton of failing to prevent the attack, which left four Americans dead. She defended her handling of the episode.

Judicial Watch’s lawsuit seeking Benghazi-related records led to a scandal in 2015 when it helped discover that Clinton had repeatedly used her own private email server, rather than a government-issued one, during her time as Secretary of State. Records of official correspondence must be kept under federal law, and Clinton’s reliance on a private account sparked concerns that she was seeking to sidestep that requirement.

Clinton email controversy

The email scandal haunted Clinton’s presidential campaign and was weaponised against her by then-Republican candidate Donald Trump.

The FBI concluded in July 2016 that she had been “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information”. Although Clinton insisted that she had never received or sent classified material, the FBI discovered that she had send out over a hundred emails that should have been regarded as classified.

Around 30,000 emails, deemed to be work-related, were provided to the State Department; her aides had also deleted around 32,000 emails, which they claimed to be non-work related, before any subpoenas were issued.

The bureau, however, recommended bringing no criminal charges against Clinton and referred the case to the Justice Department, which closed it with no charges. The FBI reopened its probe just days before the November election after new emails were discovered.

Questions still remain

“Judicial Watch argued that Secretary Clinton’s existing testimony has only scratched the surface of the inquiry into her motives for setting up and using a private server,” Judge Lamberth said in the 11-page ruling. “Secretary Clinton has repeatedly stated that convenience was the main reason for using a private server, but Judicial Watch justifiably seeks to explore that explanation further.”Clinton previously explained her use of a private server in a sworn written statement, but this deposition would be the first time she had to answer questions on the case in person.

“To argue that the Court now has enough information to determine whether [the] State [Department] conducted an adequate search is preposterous,” Lamberth wrote. “Even years after the FBI investigation, the slow trickle of new emails has yet to be explained.”

He stressed that some of the questions remain to date: “How did she arrive at her belief that her private server emails would be preserved by normal State Department processes for email retention? … Did she realise State was giving ‘no records’ responses to her FOIA requests for emails? … And why did she think that using a private server to conduct State Department business was permissible under the law in the first place?”

March 3, 2020 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , | Leave a comment

A Key FBI Photo Analysis Method Has Serious Flaws, Study Says

By Ryan Gabrielson | ProPublica | February 25, 2020

A study published this week casts doubt on the reliability of a technique the FBI Laboratory has used for decades to identify criminals by purporting to match their bluejeans with those photographed in surveillance images, potentially undermining evidence used to win numerous convictions.

The FBI’s method, used principally in bank robbery cases, matches denim pants by the light and dark patches along their seams, called wear marks. An FBI examiner’s scientific journal article on bluejeans identification in 1999 argued that wear marks create, effectively, a barcode that is unique on every pair. That article provided a legal foundation for the FBI to use an array of similar techniques to assert matches for clothes, vehicles, human faces and skin features.

After a ProPublica investigation raised questions about the technique, Hany Farid, a University of California, Berkeley, computer science professor and leading forensic image analyst, and Sophie Nightingale, a postdoctoral researcher in image science, tested the bureau’s method and found several serious flaws. Their study, published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first known independent research on the technique’s reliability, even though the courts have allowed bluejeans identifications as trial evidence for years.

The new study determined that seams on different pairs of bluejeans are often highly similar. Separately, multiple pictures of the same pant seam, taken under varying conditions, can appear starkly different from one another.

Taken together, the authors write, these deficiencies show “identification based on denim jeans should be used with extreme caution, if at all.”

The FBI declined to comment on the study.

In its articles last year, ProPublica revealed that FBI examiners have tied defendants to crimes in thousands of cases over the past half-century by using crime-scene pictures in unproven ways and, at times, have given jurors baseless statistics to say the risk of errors in their analyses was extremely low. In several cases, the FBI’s most prominent image examiner contradicted the original conclusions and results in his lab reports when presenting evidence to criminal courts, FBI records and legal filings show.

The FBI’s issues with image analysis echo earlier controversies over other forensic techniques. The bureau’s lab technicians and scientists had long testified in court that they could determine what fingertip left a print and which scalp grew a hair “to the exclusion of all others.” Research and exonerations by DNA analysis have repeatedly disproved those claims, and the U.S. Department of Justice no longer permits its forensic scientists to make such unequivocal statements.

ProPublica found that examiners on the Forensic Audio, Video and Image Analysis Unit, based at the FBI Lab in Quantico, Virginia, continue to use similarly flawed methods and to testify to the precision of these methods, according to a review of court records and examiners’ written reports and published articles. At ProPublica’s request, several statisticians and forensic science experts reviewed the unit’s methods. The experts identified numerous instances of examiners overstating their techniques’ precision and said some of their assertions defied logic.

In response to ProPublica’s reporting, Nightingale and Farid said they decided to test the FBI’s photo comparison techniques, starting with bluejeans identification.

The researchers purchased 100 pairs of jeans from local second-hand stores and collected images of more than 100 additional pairs of jeans through Mechanical Turk, the Amazon service that provides workers to complete tasks. The researchers used four high-resolution pictures of the seams on each pant leg.

They documented wear marks in the same manner FBI examiners do. But the researchers used what is known as signal analysis to digitally convert the patterns into numeric values and calculate how similar the jeans in different images were to each other.

Images of bluejeans seams showing wear collected by the researchers. (Courtesy of Sophie J. Nightingale and Hany Farid)

The authors were consistently able to mark the same features, suggesting the first step in the bureau’s process works as intended.

But then the analysis measured wear mark patterns and found the FBI Lab’s method struggled to match images of the same pant seam, which were frequently no more similar to one another than to seams from different pairs.

Nightingale and Farid hypothesize that denim jeans are too flexible, as the material easily stretches and shrinks, changing how wear marks appear, even moment to moment.

The technique failed to correctly match images of the same bluejeans in most cases unless they allowed for a high rate of false positives. When inaccurate matches were limited to one in 10,000, it identified less than 30% of the true matches.

Ultimately, comparing bluejeans seams is relatively useless, Farid said. “If you’re willing to tolerate that only one in four times this will be useful, OK, fine, use the analysis.”

Brandon Garrett, a Duke University law professor who studies the reliability of forensic science, agreed the study’s results cast serious doubt on the accuracy of jeans identifications, similar to the problems earlier research found in hair fiber and tool mark evidence.

“This is one of many studies uncovering non-trivial error rates for forensic techniques,” Garrett said. “Any lawyer or any judge in a case involving this discipline should, at minimum, hear about the error rates. Many people assume that these techniques are perfect.”

The error rates found in the study are probably the best-case scenario, the researchers said. Every image used in the study was taken in a controlled setting, under good lighting and with the pant seams flattened against a hard surface.

FBI examiners often analyze low-quality images from security cameras and “it is reasonable to expect that the reliability of this technique may degrade under real-world imaging conditions,” the authors wrote.

They argue that all image pattern analysis should undergo validation tests, performed by researchers independent of the FBI and other forensic laboratories. “Mistakes in these identifications are costly, resulting in an innocent person being accused or sentenced and a guilty person walking free.”

While further research is critical, Garrett argued that alone isn’t sufficient. He said this study and scores of others make clear the federal government should regulate the work of forensic scientists in the same manner they do clinical laboratories, setting rules and constantly testing their accuracy.

“We’ve known about the need for national regulation for over a decade now,” Garrett said, “and we haven’t seen it.”

March 2, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , | Leave a comment

Seth Rich, Julian Assange and Dana Rohrabacher – Will We Ever Know the Truth About the Stolen DNC Files?

Seth Rich, Julian Assange and Dana Rohrabacher. Credit: Public domain/Gage Skidmore/ Flickr
By Philip Giraldi | American Herald Tribune | February 29, 2020

The media is doing its best to make the  story go away, but it seems to have a life of its own, possibly due to the fact that the accepted narrative about how Rich died makes no sense. In its Iatest manifestation, it provides an alternative explanation for just how the information from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer somehow made its way to Wikileaks. If you believe that Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide and that he was just a nasty pedophile rather than an Israeli intelligence agent, read no farther because you will not be interested in Rich. But if you appreciate that it was unlikely that the Russians were behind the stealing of the DNC information you will begin to understand that other interested players must have been at work.

For those who are not familiar with it, the backstory to the murder of apparently disgruntled Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, who some days before may have been the leaker of that organization’s confidential emails to Wikileaks, suggests that a possibly motiveless crime might have been anything but. The Washington D.C. police investigated what they believed to be an attempted robbery gone bad but that theory fails to explain why Rich’s money, credit cards, cell phone and watch were not taken. Wikileaks has never confirmed that Rich was their source in the theft of the proprietary emails that had hitherto been blamed on Russia but it subsequently offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to resolution of the case and Julian Assange, perhaps tellingly, has never publicly clarified whether Rich was or was not one of his contacts, though there is at least one report that he confirmed the relationship during a private meeting.

Answers to the question who exactly stole the files from the DNC server and the emails from John Podesta have led to what has been called Russiagate, a tale that has been embroidered upon and which continues to resonate in American politics. At this point, all that is clearly known is that in the Summer of 2016 files and emails pertaining to the election were copied and then made their way to WikiLeaks, which published some of them at a time that was damaging to the Clinton campaign. Those who are blaming Russia believe that there was a hack of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) server and also of John Podesta’s emails that was carried out by a Russian surrogate or directly by Moscow’s military intelligence arm. They base their conclusion on a statement issued by the Department of Homeland Security on October 7, 2016, and on a longer assessment prepared by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on January 6, 2017. Both government appraisals implied that there was a U.S. government intelligence agency consensus that there was a Russian hack, though they provided little in the way of actual evidence that that was the case and, in particular, failed to demonstrate how the information was obtained and what the chain of custody was as it moved from that point to the office of WikiLeaks. The January report was particularly criticized as unconvincing, rightly so, because the most important one of its three key contributors, the National Security Agency, had only moderate confidence in its conclusions, suggesting that whatever evidence existed was far from solid.

An alternative view that has been circulating for several years suggests that it was not a hack at all, that it was a deliberate whistleblower-style leak of information carried out by an as yet unknown party, possibly Rich, that may have been provided to WikiLeaks for possible political reasons, i.e. to express disgust with the DNC manipulation of the nominating process to damage Bernie Sanders and favor Hillary Clinton.

There are, of course, still other equally non-mainstream explanations for how the bundle of information got from point A to point B, including that the intrusion into the DNC server was carried out by the CIA which then made it look like it had been the Russians as perpetrators. And then there is the hybrid point of view, which is essentially that the Russians or a surrogate did indeed intrude into the DNC computers but it was all part of normal intelligence agency probing and did not lead to anything. Meanwhile and independently, someone else who had access to the server was downloading the information, which in some fashion made its way from there to WikiLeaks.

Both the hack vs. leak viewpoints have marshaled considerable technical analysis in the media to bolster their arguments, but the analysis suffers from the decidedly strange fact that the FBI never even examined the DNC servers that may have been involved. The hack school of thought has stressed that Russia had both the ability and motive to interfere in the election by exposing the stolen material while the leakers have recently asserted that the sheer volume of material downloaded indicates that something like a higher speed thumb drive was used, meaning that it had to be done by someone with actual physical direct access to the DNC system. Someone like Seth Rich.

What the many commentators on the DNC server issue choose to conclude is frequently shaped by their own broader political views, producing a result that favors one approach over another depending on how one feels about Trump or Clinton. Or the Russians. Perhaps it would be clarifying to regard the information obtained and transferred as a theft rather than either a hack or a leak since the two expressions have taken on a political meaning of their own in the Russiagate context. With all the posturing going on, the bottom line is that the American people and government have no idea who actually stole the material in question, though the Obama Administration was extraordinarily careless in its investigation and Russian President Vladimir Putin has generally speaking been blamed for what took place.

The story currently bouncing around the media concerns an offer allegedly made in 2017 by former Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher to imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. According to Assange’s lawyers, Rohrabacher offered a pardon from President Trump if Assange were to provide information that would attribute the theft or hack of the Democratic National Committee emails to someone other than the Russians. He was presumably referring to Seth Rich.

Assange did not accept the offer, but it should be noted that he has repeatedly stated in any event that he did not obtain the material from a Russian or Russian-linked source. In reality, he might not know the original source of the information. Since Rohrabacher’s original statement, both he and Trump have denied any suggestion that there was a firm offer with a quid pro quo for Assange. Trump claims to hardly know Rohrabacher and also asserts that he has never had a one-on-one meeting with him.

The U.S. media’s coverage of the story has emphasized that Assange’s cooperation would have helped to absolve Russia from the charge of having interfered decisively in the U.S. election, but the possible motive for doing so remains unclear. Russian-American relations are at their lowest point since the Cold War and that has largely been due to policies embraced by Donald Trump, to include the cancellation of START and medium range missile agreements. Trump has also approved NATO military maneuvers and exercises right up to the Russian border and has provided lethal weapons to Ukraine, something that his predecessor Barack Obama balked at. He has also openly confronted the Russians in Syria.

Given all of that back story, it would be odd to find Trump making an offer that focuses only on one issue and does not actually refute the broader claims of Russian interference, which are based on a number of pieces of admittedly often dubious evidence, not just the Clinton and Podesta emails. Which brings the tale back to Seth Rich. If Rich was indeed responsible for the theft of the information and was possibly killed for his treachery, it most materially impacts on the Democratic Party as it reminds everyone of what the Clintons and their allies are capable of. It will also serve as a warning of what might be coming at the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee in July as the party establishment uses fair means or foul to stop Bernie Sanders. How this will all play out is anyone’s guess, but many of those who pause to observe the process will be thinking of Seth Rich.

Philip M. Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer who served nineteen years overseas in Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Spain. He was the CIA Chief of Base for the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and was one of the first Americans to enter Afghanistan in December 2001. Phil is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a Washington-based advocacy group that seeks to encourage and promote a U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East that is consistent with American values and interests.

February 29, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rohrabacher, Mueller, and Assange

By Daniel Lazare | Strategic Culture Foundation | February 26, 2020

Reports that Donald Trump offered to pardon WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange if he could prove that Russia didn’t hack Democratic National Committee caused a good-sized media storm when they came out in a British court last week. But then Dana Rohrabacher, the ex-US congressman supposedly serving as a go-between, issued an all-points denial, and the tempest blew over as fast as it arose.

But that doesn’t mean that the Russia-WikiLeaks story is kaput. To the contrary, it’s still brimming with unanswered questions no matter how much the corporate media wishes they would go away.

The most important question is the simplest: why didn’t Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller sit down with Julian Assange and ask him about the 20,000 DNC emails himself?

It’s not as if Assange would have said no.  According to Craig Murray, the former British diplomat who serves as an unofficial WikiLeaks spokesman, he “was very willing to give evidence to Mueller, which could have been done by video-link, by interview in the [Ecuadorean] Embassy, or by written communication.” While Assange refuses as a matter of policy to disclose his sources, he had already made a partial exception in the case of the DNC by declaring, “Our source is not a state party.” Conceivably, he had more to say along such lines, information that Mueller might have then used to determine what role, if any, Russia played in the email release.

But he didn’t bother. Without making the slightest effort to get Assange’s side of the story, he assembled page after page of evidence purporting to show that WikiLeaks had collaborated with Russian intelligence in order to disseminate stolen material. Rather than an organization dedicated to exposing official secrets so that voters could learn what their government was really up to, WikiLeaks, in the eyes of the special prosecutor, was the opposite: an organization seeking to help Russia pull the wool over people’s eyes so they would vote for Donald Trump.

This is the super-sensational charge that has roiled US politics since 2016.  Yet there is little to back it up.

Even though Mueller is confident that the Russian military intelligence agency known as the GRU routed the emails to WikiLeaks, for instance, he still hasn’t figured out how. “Both the GRU and WikiLeaks sought to hide their communications, which has limited the [Special Prosecutor’s] Office’s ability to collect all of the communications between them,” his report confesses on page 45. “The Office cannot rule out that stolen documents were transferred to WikiLeaks through intermediaries who visited during the summer of 2016,” it adds on page 47. “For example, public reporting identified Andrew Müller-Maguhn as a WikiLeaks associate who may have assisted with the transfer of these stolen documents to WikiLeaks.”

But Müller-Maguhn, a German cyber-expert who has worked with WikiLeaks for years, dismisses any such suggestion as “insane,” a claim the Mueller report makes no effort to rebut. The public is thus left with a blank where a dotted trail the GRU and WikiLeaks ought to be. Then there’s the issue of chronology. The Mueller report says that a GRU website known as DCLeaks.com reached out to WikiLeaks on June 14, 2016, with an offer of “sensitive information” related to Hillary Clinton. Considering that WikiLeaks would release a treasure trove of DNC emails on July 22, less than seven weeks later, the implication that the GRU was the source does not, at first glance, seem implausible.

But hold on. Although the report doesn’t mention it, Assange told a British TV station on June 12: “We have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton, which is great.” Either he was amazingly clairvoyant in foreseeing an offer that the GRU would make two days hence or he got the material from someone else.

To be sure, the Mueller report adds that an alleged Russian intelligence “cutout” known as Guccifer 2.0 sent WikiLeaks an encrypted data file on July 14, which is to say eight days prior to publication. But since WikiLeaks didn’t confirm opening the file until July 18, this means that it would have had just four days to vet thousands of emails and other documents to insure they were genuine and unaltered. If just one had turned out to be doctored, its hard-earned reputation for accuracy would have been in shreds. So the review process had to be painstaking and thorough, and four days would not be remotely enough time.

Nothing about the Mueller account – timing, plausibility, the crucial question of how the stolen DNC emails made their way to WikiLeaks – adds up.  Yet Mueller went public with it regardless. Which leads to another question: why?

One reason is because he knew he could get away with it, at least temporarily, since it was clear that corporate media howling for Trump’s scalp would accept whatever he put out as gospel. But another is that he’s a dutiful servant of the ruling class. After all, Mueller is the person who, as FBI director from 2001 to 2013, spent much of his time covering up Saudi Arabia’s not-inconsiderable role in 9/11, as investigative reporter James Ridgeway has pointed out on a number of occasions. Mueller is also the man who assured the Senate Intelligence Committee in February 2003 that “Iraq’s WMD program poses a clear threat to our national security,” a claim that the upcoming Iraqi invasion would reveal as fraudulent to the core.

Toeing the official line is therefore more important in his book than telling the truth. This is why he didn’t sit down with Assange – because he was afraid of what he might tell him.  In January 2017, the CIA, NSA, and FBI officially reported that “Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016” and “that Russian military intelligence … used the Guccifer 2.0 persona and DCLeaks.com” to relay stolen computer data to WikiLeaks. Four months later, then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo went even farther by describing WikiLeaks as “a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.”

This was the official narrative that Mueller felt dutybound to defend when he was appointed special prosecutor a month after Pompeo made his remarks. Even though the CIA account would not hold up to close inspection, his self-perceived mission was to disregard certain facts and cherry-pick others in order to convince the public that it was true.

This leads us to a third question: how do Americans get themselves out of the hole that Mueller has dug for them? Not only does Assange face 170 years in prison for espionage, but the impact in terms of freedom of the press will be devastating. The prosecution’s case rests on an explosive theory that receiving inside information is effectively the same  thing as supplying it. Just as a fence encourages people to steal, the idea is that a journalist encourages insiders to hack computers and rifle through file cabinets by offering to publish what they come up with. If upheld, it means that journalists would have to think twice before even talking to an inside for fear of incurring a similar penalty. Armed with such a legal instrument, Richard Nixon would have had no trouble dealing with Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. He would merely have charged them with espionage and locked them away until the break-in was forgotten.

If Assange goes down, in other words, democracy will take a major hit. Yet by labeling him a Russian agent, Mueller has seen to it that liberals are as unsympathetic to his plight as the most militant conservative, if not more so.  He transformed Assange into the perfect scapegoat for Democrats and Russians to bash with bipartisan glee.

This is why a defense based purely on the First Amendment will not do. Rather, it’s important to deal with the charge of Russian collaboration that – completely unjustly – has turned him into an object of public opprobrium. It’s time to give the Mueller report the scrutiny it deserves before its collective falsehoods undermine democracy even more than they already have.

February 26, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Russophobia | , , , , | Leave a comment

Blago Is Free

By Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. | LewRockwell.com | February 20, 2020

On Tuesday, February 18, President Trump with excellent judgment commuted the 14 year prison sentence of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, aka “Blago.”

“We have commuted the sentence of Rod Blagojevich,” Trump said. “He’ll be able to go back home with his family after serving eight years in jail. That was a tremendously powerful, ridiculous sentence in my opinion. And in the opinion of many others.”

The President thus brought to an end a disgraceful episode in American politics. After Barack Obama was elected President in 2008, his seat as Senator from Illinois became vacant. Blago was charged with trying to sell the seat.

If in fact Blago tried to sell the seat, he was just  practicing the dirty, rotten business of politics in the normal crooked fashion for Chicago and America. But out of all the corrupt pols, why did a federal prosecutor target a sitting governor, wiretap him, not allow him to use the wiretaps to defend himself, and send him to jail for 14 years?  His real “crime”, in the eyes of the monstrous Obama and his henchman Rahm Emmanuel, was that he refused to appoint the man Obama picked as his successor.

The indictment against Blago was unconstitutional. As the distinguished historian and authority on the Constitution Kevin Gutzman pointed out in an article written for LRC on January 6, 2009, “Interestingly, one might note that the statute Fitzgerald is enforcing against the governor bases Congress’s claim of power to criminalize corruption in state office on the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. One really wonders at the idea that conspiring to sell Jesse Jackson, Jr. a Senate seat is interstate commerce. No one takes this idea seriously; rather, it is based on a common lawyers’ corruption — yes, corruption — of language. On simple federal arrogation of state power. This corruption has far more far-reaching consequences than anything Blagojevich is accused of having done.”

The indictment and trial were gross miscarriages of justice, as President Trump has said. Harvey Silverglate in an article written in 2011 gave the best analysis of the whole rotten business: “The most controversial charge Blagojevich faced was that he planned to sell Barack Obama’s US Senate seat. But Fitzgerald decided to come out swinging, terminated the wiretaps on Blagojevich’s home and office, arrested the then-sitting governor, held a sensational press conference, and called it a wrap before this alleged sale would have even taken place. Fitzgerald was obviously unwilling to wait out the unfolding situation to see if the governor was really serious about “selling” the seat to the highest bidder.

Had Blagojevich actually followed through with the sale of a Senate seat, Fitzgerald’s heavy-handed prosecutorial approach might have been justified. But in light of the fact that no seat was sold, and that these appointments are regularly used for political benefit, the reasonable doubt that a crime was actually committed would appear to be overwhelming. For a US Attorney who is known for “crossing his T’s and dotting his I’s,” you have to wonder why Fitzgerald didn’t spring into action after the sale of the seat, once the dirty deal was done. Blagojevich’s own writing may give us a clue. Blagojevich claims in his memoir, “The Governor,” that the goal of the Senate appointment was to get a political opponent out of the way, not to sell the seat for cash. If this scenario is to be believed, then Fitzgerald went forward with the case when he did because, had he waited until after the seat was filled, there would not have been a case since the seat would have been awarded not for cash, but for quite traditional political advantage.

One of the most shocking, and seemingly damning, sound bites that came from the wiretaps was Blagojevich’s assertion that Obama’s Senate seat was “a [expletive] valuable thing. You don’t just give it away for nothing.” A US Attorney whose last few cases ended unfavorably might be interested in spinning this quote to seem as though a cash transaction was being arranged in exchange for the Senate seat. However, if Blagojevich were looking to use the seat for his political benefit, then his statement would be crass, but would also be evidence that he was operating within the parameters of the law. The type of political maneuvering engaged in by the then-governor may seem to the average citizen (or juror, for that matter), to be less than wholesome, perhaps even a bit sneaky, but if every unwholesome or sneaky maneuver were a crime, we would not be able to build the prisons quickly enough to meet demand.”

Why didn’t Fitzgerald wait? Joe Hall, writing on February 19 in Gateway Pundit has a good explanation. He says that Blago was set up by Mueller, Comey, and the Deep State Gang and that President Trump’s release of Blago may be intended to send the Gang the message that he will fight them. Hall cites investigative reporter Marty Waters, who said last August “that the Deep State, led by Comey and Mueller, did the same thing with the fraudulent Mueller investigation sham as they did in the past.  They create distraction, diversion and disinformation. In the early 2000’s they created Plamegate to distract and divert from the billions lost in Iraq and the weapons of mass destruction narrative that got the US into the war.  In the mid-2000’s, they created the Rezco/Blagogate scandals to cover up for Obama’s corrupt actions early in his administration and while in the US Senate. The Mueller investigation distracted from the many crimes involving Obama and the Clintons and was in the same mold as the prior sham investigations.”

Hall sums up and concludes: “Of course Mueller was the Head of the FBI throughout most of the 2000’s and before Comey took over the now corrupted institution. Also, Comey claimed Fitzgerald was his attorney after it was suspected that Comey shared classified information with Fitzgerald during the Russian hoax scandal.”

After Trump commuted Blago’s sentence, Governor of Illinois J.B. Pritzker condemned the President’s decision. He said; “Illinoisans have endured far too much corruption, and we must send a message to politicians that corrupt practices will no longer be tolerated. President Trump has abused his pardon power in inexplicable ways to reward his friends and condone corruption, and I deeply believe this pardon sends the wrong message at the wrong time.”

Pritzker’s self-righteous moralizing is ironic. According to a story in the Chicago Tribune published May 31, 2017, “Pritzker, a billionaire businessman with political ambitions, told Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich he was “really not that interested” in the US Senate seat the governor was dealing in late 2008. Instead, Pritzker offered his own idea: Would Blagojevich make him Illinois treasurer?”

Blago is no angel, but I can’t help liking him. I admire his spirit. He refused to cave to Obama and the higher-ups. Now that he is out, he is free to tell us where the bodies are buried. You can be sure he knows a lot and with the commutation, the Feds can’t shut him up anymore. Blago has Obama on the ropes, and fortunately for those of us who care about truth, he is a skilled boxing champ.

February 20, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 1 Comment

Andrew McCabe’s case shows hypocrisy of Democrats claiming ‘No one is above the law’

By Nebojsa Malic | RT | February 15, 2020

After months of hearing that President Donald Trump must be impeached because “no one is above the law,” America found out that this talking point doesn’t actually apply to Democrats such as ex-FBI deputy director Andy McCabe.

As his lawyers triumphantly announced on Friday, the Department of Justice decided not to press criminal charges against McCabe “after careful consideration” of the inspector-general’s report that said he lied to investigators and leaked to the media.

“Based on the totality of the circumstances and all of the information known to the Government at this time, we consider the matter closed,” said the DOJ letter. It sent waves of glee through the ‘Resistance’ establishment, which set up and propagated for years the ‘Russiagate’ hysteria aimed at removing Trump from office.

One of the people who cheered “Andy” was Lisa Page, the FBI lawyer who famously discussed an “insurance policy” in case Trump gets elected in McCabe’s office with agent Peter Strzok, with whom she was carrying on an extramarital affair. Strzok, Page and McCabe’s fingerprints are all over the FISA scandal – in which the FBI spied on Trump’s campaign, fishing for dirt to tie him to Russia.

Though he was fired from the FBI, McCabe was hired by CNN back in August, joining former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper – two other ‘Russiagate’ pushers – in the lucrative land of political punditry.

In fact, precisely zero people involved with setting up and conducting the three-year “witch hunt” of Trump – unprecedented in the history of the American republic, by any measure – have suffered any adverse consequences for it. Even Michael Avenatti – the sleazy lawyer who has apparently defrauded and embezzled multiple clients in pursuit of political ambition – has only been convicted of attempting to extort Nike, rather than, say, lying to the Senate during the confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh.

Compare that to how anyone even remotely associated with Trump has been treated by the long arm of the law. Former campaign manager Paul Manafort was imprisoned over matters entirely unrelated to the 2016 election. Trump’s first national security adviser, General Michael Flynn, was fired after just two weeks on the job and bullied into pleading guilty for “lying to FBI agents” (one of whom turned out to be Strzok) – which he is now contesting. Campaign aide George Papadopoulos went to jail because he made a remark about Hillary Clinton’s private email server that was used to claim Trump was “colluding” with Russia. Political operative Roger Stone is currently facing the possibility of dying in prison for tripping into a perjury trap.

Trump has done little or nothing to help any of his former staff or associates. Admittedly, Democrats and the media both shrieked “abuse of power” when he merely tweeted about Stone’s proposed sentence being too harsh – showing once again that it’s never about the what, only about the who/whom.

Having come to Washington on a promise to “drain the swamp,” Trump has instead meekly submitted to the very same swamp’s endless lawfare. Yet that kind of restraint has not stopped his critics from declaring him a fascist, tyrant and dictator. In fact, the more he let them off the hook, the more they shrieked about how he seeks to subvert justice!

The case of Andrew McCabe – and his boss Jim Comey before him – is the perfect illustration that there are people effectively above the law. That there are in fact two sets of laws in America: one for Trump’s enemies, who have gotten away with a coup, and another for the “deplorables” who got punished for supporting him.

Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done. There is a point at which restraint turns into stupid magnanimity.

On more than one occasion, Trump has used ‘Game of Thrones’ memes. If he actually watched the show from the beginning, he might remember that Ned Stark’s naivete about the impartiality of King’s Landing law enforcement ended with his head on a pike outside the Red Keep.

Nebojsa Malic is a Serbian-American journalist, blogger and translator, who wrote a regular column for Antiwar.com from 2000 to 2015, and is now senior writer at RT. Follow him on Twitter @NebojsaMalic

February 15, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

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

By Ekaterina Blinova – Sputnik – 28.01.2020

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

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

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

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

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

Uranium One Case Remains Undeservingly Neglected

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Whistleblowers & Double Standard Approach

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

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

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

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

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

How Expansive is FBI Spying?

By Ron Paul | January 20, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cybereason widely used by US Government, thanks to Lockheed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SoftBank, Cybereason and the Vision Fund

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Helen Buyniski | RT | January 10, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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