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The New York Times’ Preemptive Reporting on James Comey

By Ray McGovern • Consortium News • October 13, 2019

James Comey Would Like to Help: The former F.B.I. director wants an end to the Trump presidency. And yes, he knows you might think he caused it” is the headline atop an instructive article on Sunday by Matt Flegenheimer of The New York Times. His article makes clear the Times remains determined to support former FBI Director James Comey and sustain the discredited Russiagate narrative they share to the point of helping Comey and his partners avoid possible time in prison.

In late August, the Department of Justice decided to let Comey off with a slap on the wrist for leaking to the Times, through an intermediary, highly sensitive information from his talks with President Donald Trump. At that juncture, it was already a no-brainer to warn that the victory lap Comey chose to run was clearly premature.

Consequential leaks to the media by a former FBI director are serious enough. Now, however, we are talking about possible felonies. Comey is standing in such deep kimchi that he may drown — despite how tall he is, and despite preemptive puff pieces protesting a purity of the caliber of Caesar’s wife. This time, even with the Establishment media and Comey’s accomplices offering fulsome praise for him, there’s serious doubt whether he can wangle a Stay-Out-Of-Jail Card.

Why do they appear to be running so scared?

In Horror of Horowitz

Over the last year and a half, Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz has been investigating how Comey, his deputy Andrew McCabe, and three deputy attorneys general (Rod Rosenstein, Sally Yates, and Dana Boente) thought they could get away with signing applications for surveillance of former Trump associate Carter Page without disclosing that, as McCabe later testified, the application was based largely on the shabby, unverified “Steele dossier” paid for by the Democrats.

Providing incomplete, misleading information to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is a felony.

No problem, these top law enforcement officials probably thought at the time. Who would find out about their misconduct after Hillary Clinton — the odds-on favorite — became president? There would be encomia and promotions for help rendered, not indictments.

But now all of the above are squirming, and there is a paper trail. Only one of the FISA application signers is still in a key position to help from the inside — Boente. He was not demoted to working in the file room. He is the FBI general counsel, that is, its top attorney.

Is it About to Hit the Fan?

According Horowitz, Attorney General William Barr has had his draft IG report for over a month. Horowitz has said that his team “reviewed over one million records and conducted over 100 interviews, including several of witnesses who only recently agreed to be interviewed.” The team is “finalizing” the report prior to releasing it publicly.

Some pundits are now suggesting that the DOJ IG report may be published as early as this Friday.

Hold onto your hats.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC. He was a CIA analyst for 27 years and now serves on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

October 15, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment

The Campaign to Stop William Barr

By Daniel Lazare | Strategic Culture Foundation | October 5, 2019

The furor over Donald Trump’s July 25 phone call to Volodymyr Zelensky has not been easy to figure out. Contrary to initial reports, the president said nothing about a quid pro quo, and he didn’t push the Ukrainian president to “dig up dirt” on Joe Biden either. All he did according to the official transcript was ask Kiev to look into his activities, and all Zelensky did in response was guarantee that any such investigation “will be done openly and candidly.” An honest inquiry into a politician who cheerfully confessed to forcing out a prosecutor looking into his son’s company – what’s wrong with that?

But now the mystery is solved. The uproar is not about Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani investigating the former vice president. It’s about William Barr investigating Russiagate, which is far more important.

This became clear early this week when the New York Times reported that Trump had also phoned Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and asked him to cooperate with the attorney general. Suddenly, Giuliani and Biden were forgotten as the rest of corporate media screamed themselves hoarse. “Democrats’ worst fears about William Barr are proving correct,” declared the Washington Post. “AG Bill Barr finds himself ‘neck deep’ in Trump scandal,” said MSNBC. The Daily Beast called for his impeachment while the Guardian accused him of nothing less than attempting to “rewrite the history of the 2016 US presidential election.”

This was cheeky coming from a newspaper that tried to rewrite history itself by falsely accusing imprisoned whistleblower Julian Assange of meeting with Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort in connection with stolen Democratic Party emails.

But it was all nonsense. Trump’s crimes – waging war on Yemen, blockading Iran, attempting to starve Venezuela into submission, etc. – are almost beyond enumeration. But this is not one of them. Despite the cries of outrage, he did nothing wrong in phoning up Scott Morrison, and neither did Barr in flying to London and Rome to seek their cooperation. Indeed, both men would have been remiss if they didn’t.

The reason is that Australia, Italy, and the UK are as central to Russiagate, the pseudo-scandal that dominated US headlines for two and a half years, as the Ukraine is to l’Affaire Biden. After all, it was an Anglo-Maltese academic named Joseph Mifsud who told Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos that Russia had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails,” and it was Aussie diplomat Alexander Downer, a self-described “warrior for the Western alliance,” who elicited the news from Papadopoulos at a London wine bar and then triggered a formal investigation by informing the FBI.

It was an ex-British intelligence agent named Christopher Steele who sent the press into a frenzy when someone leaked his phony “golden showers” dossier in January 2017. It was ex-British intelligence chief Sir Richard Dearlove who coached Steele on how to spread word of his “findings,” and it was a long-time US intelligence agent named Stefan Halper, a colleague of Dearlove’s at Cambridge University, who flew Papadopoulos to London so he could pepper him with leading questions:

“It’s great that Russia is helping you and the campaign, right, George? George, you and your campaign are involved in hacking and working with Russia, right? It seems like you are a middleman for Trump and Russia, right? I know you know about the emails.”

“I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about,” Papadopoulos says he replied. If he had taken the bait on the other hand, the FBI might have charged him with collusion and forced him to wear a wire so he could entrap other Trump campaign officials as well.

As for Italy, that’s where Mifsud has reportedly been holed up since early 2017. Anyone wishing to get to the bottom of Russiagate would want to know who is protecting him – and hopefully Rome will now help Barr find out.

Russiagate was one of the most bizarre episodes in modern political history, a wide-ranging disinformation campaign aimed at driving a legally-elected president out of office. The Times, WaPo, MSNBC, and the Guardian were all neck deep in the scandal, and now they’re neck deep in the cover up by attempting to deep-six the official Department of Justice investigation into how Russiagate began before it is even completed. If they get away with it, the big loser will be the public– and democracy as well.

October 5, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

What If the President Is a Threat to National Security?

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | October 2, 2019

Last January, the Washington Post carried an interesting article by a person named Asha Rangappa, who is a former FBI agent. The article explored what would happen if a U.S. president became a threat to national security. She wrote her article in the context of suspicions that President Trump might be acting as a covert agent for Russia. She began her article as follows:

In the opening sentence of her article, she pointed out, “When President Trump fired then-FBI Director James B. Comey in 2017, the bureau opened a counterintelligence investigation into whether Trump was secretly working on behalf of Russia. As a former FBI agent who conducted investigations against foreign intelligence services, I know that the bureau would have had to possess strong evidence that Trump posed a national security threat to meet the threshold for opening such an investigation.”

Rangappa pointed out that the FBI has methods that address a suspected threat to national security within the federal bureaucracy, such as cutting off a person’s access to secret information. But she observed, “Unfortunately, none of these are feasible options if the national security threat is the president of the United States.”

She concludes that the only feasible option for a president who becomes a threat to national security is “exposure,” followed by impeachment, conviction, and removal from office.

While Rangappa raises an important issue, unfortunately she fails to understand that under our system of government, there is another way to deal with a president who becomes a threat to national security. It isn’t a method that is outlined in the Constitution. Nonetheless, owing to the governmental structure under which we live, it is a de facto means of dealing with any president, both foreign and domestic, who becomes a threat to national security.

Our country was founded on a type of governmental structure called a limited-government republic. While there was a relatively small army, there was no vast military establishment, CIA, NSA, and FBI. Governmental operations were for the most part transparent. For more than 150 years, there was no concept of “national security.”

All that changed after World War II. The U.S. government was converted into a governmental structure known a “national-security state.” It consists of a gigantic, permanent, powerful, and ever-growing military-intelligence establishment. America’s national-security state is composed of the Pentagon, the vast military-industrial complex, the CIA, the NSA and, to a certain extent, the FBI.

A national-security state is a type of totalitarian governmental structure. North Korea is a national-security state. So is China. Egypt. Russia. And post-WW2 United States.

Why did U.S. officials convert the federal government to a national-security state? After World War II, they said that America now faced an enemy that was an even bigger threat than Nazi Germany. That enemy was the Soviet Union, which, ironically, had been America’s wartime partner and ally.

U.S. officials maintained that there was an international communist conspiracy based in Moscow, Russia. The aim of the conspiracy, they said, was to take over the world, including the United States.

America’s limited-government structure, they believed, was insufficient to prevent the communists from taking over America. To prevail in this new Cold War, it would be necessary, they believed, to have a governmental structure similar to that of communist regimes, one that could wield the same totalitarian-like powers wielded by communist regimes, including assassination.

The overriding principle of a national-security state is, needless to say, “national security.” The idea is that anything can and should be done to eradicate threats to national security.

But who decides what “national security” means? More important, who decides what constitutes a threat to national security? The Constitution doesn’t speak to those issues because the Constitution never called a national-security state type of governmental structure into existence.

By default and sheer force of power, the national-security branch of the federal government became the final arbiter for determining threats to national security and taking the necessary measures to eradicate them.

The assumption of such power was acceded to early on by both Congress and the Supreme Court, both of which decided that they would defer to the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA on matters relating to “national security.” These other two branches had the perfect justification for making that decision: it is the national-security branch that naturally possesses the particular expertise for ascertaining threats to national security.

Ordinarily, the president, who represents the executive branch, and the national-security branch work together to protect national security and to eradicate threats to national security. If we consider, for example, the regime-change operations in Iran, Guatemala, Cuba, and Chile in the 1960s and ’70s, we see both the executive branch and the national security branch working together to oust foreign leaders, including democratically elected presidents, from office through coup, invasion, or assassination because they were considered to be threats to U.S. national security. We also find a steadfast policy in the federal judiciary to not interfere with those operations.

But the question naturally arises, the one that Rangappa raises in her Washington Post article: What happens if the national-security branch concludes that the president himself is a threat to national security?

There is no question about the answer: Even though the Constitution doesn’t provide for it, the fact is that, as a practical matter, the national-security branch is the final arbiter of the issue. That is not only because of its particular expertise on matters relating to national security, it’s also because, as a practical matter, the other branches of the government lack the power to interfere with operations to protect national security carried out by the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA.

Rangappa raises the prospect of a president who becomes a conscious agent of a foreign power. Unfortunately, she fails to recognize another possibility: a president whose philosophy and policies take America in a direction that the national-security branch considers a threat to national security.

Suppose, for example, that a U.S. president at the height of the Cold War decided that the Cold War was a bunch of baloney. What if he decided that the national-security state type of governmental structure was itself a bigger threat to America than international communism? What if he entered into secret negotiations with the leaders of the Soviet Union and Cuba to bring an end to hostilities and to establish friendly and peaceful relations, just as the ousted leaders of Guatemala, Cuba, and Chile did?

What if the national-security branch concluded that this different direction would spell the end of the United States as an independent, sovereign, and free country? What if the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA were absolutely certain that such policies would bring about a communist takeover of the United States?

What then? Rangappa’s solution of exposure, followed by impeachment and conviction obviously wouldn’t work because the president wouldn’t be doing anything illegal that would justify impeachment and removal from office. Moreover, waiting for the next election would be too late to prevent the catastrophe. Following the Constitution by simply letting the president lead the nation into disaster would be national suicide.

What would the national-security branch do? There is no question about it. It would do what it is charged with doing. It would do what was necessary to protect national security. And the nation would be exhorted to move on.

October 2, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 3 Comments

Trump-Zelensky-Ukraine: What is really going on here?

By Tony Kevin | OffGuardian | October 2, 2019

I have over several days reflected on the official White House record of the Trump-Zelensky conversation on Ukraine-US relations on 25 July 2019, a conversation held soon after Zelensky’s confirmed election victory, and declassified by Trump’s presidential order of 24 September 2019.

I have also been reflecting on the more recent Democratic Party decision to explore possibilities for impeachment of Trump, a decision fortified by the so-called ‘CIA whistleblower’ and his/her rather unimpressive revelations.

Here is my hypothesis of what may be going on here. As always, it is a complex mixture of domestic US politics, and Trump’s and Zelensky’s foreign policy goals. And a footnote follows on Downer.

Let’s start with the foreign policy goals.  Both Trump and Zelensky are operating in highly constrained and threatening foreign policy environments at home. At the time of their phone call, Trump still had the warmonger Bolton to deal with inside the house: and even now he is still under the watchful scrutiny of the Russophobe imperial state figure of his Secretary of State Pompeo, closely though undeclaredly linked to the Washington imperial party on Ukraine-Russia as on other East-West issues.

Zelensky is similarly constrained and threatened in Kiev by the anti-Russian fanaticism that has been indoctrinated in large sections of the Ukrainian population by decades of nationalist, often neo-Nazi, Russophobe propaganda.

It is a tribute to the instinctive good sense of the Ukrainian electorate that Zelensky was able to defeat in the polls the discredited NATO stooge Poroshenko so comprehensively and decisively. The maturity of this vote gives me renewed hope for Ukraine. But there is a long way to go still towards political normalisation and economic recovery there.

Zelensky is smart enough to see that his country must achieve a normalisation of relations with Russia, but knows that he cannot yet say this openly. Putin wants this also, very much. But both men know it will take a very long time after the accumulated bitter grievances on both sides over recent decades, and especially since the lethal and destructive civil war on Eastern Ukraine that was begun by Poroshenko in April 2014 – no doubt on American advice.

This war has had terrible human consequences: loss of life, wounded and disabled casualties, destroyed communities, massive forced refugee outflows. Neither side can get over this easily or quickly.

The reciprocal prisoner release on 7 September was an essential symbolic action. Putin’s release of the navy crews who took part in the provocative and foolish Ukrainian raid on the Kerch Strait bridge a year ago was a key part of building Ukrainian confidence and trust in Zelensky’s leadership.

Russophobes in the West are in consternation at new green shoots of possible hope for progress towards Kiev-Moscow normalisation under the Normandy diplomacy format.

They are desperate to derail this hope, by proposing impossible conditions for normalisation: in particular that any self-determination elections for Donbass (while remaining within  sovereign Ukraine) could only be held under an ‘internationally supervised’ election and with ‘international peacekeepers’ in charge.

See for example this recent piece by a European analyst, Gustav Gressel. East Ukrainians rightly see such a formula as a sure recipe for US infiltration and black regime change operations in Donbass. So it will not happen.

As I interpret the Trump-Zelensky conversation, both leaders were cautiously but in a friendly way exploring the boundaries of what might be possible for each of them as presidents to revisit the troubled history of the past few years. I see nothing dishonourable or intimidating in this conversation. Trump critics are reading into it only what they want to read.

Here I turn to the US domestic politics aspect.

Trump is still bitterly opposed by the US imperial state represented by people like Biden, Clinton, Bolton and McFaul  (and increasingly, I suspect, by Obama), but also the FBI-CIA national security dissident faction represented by people like Brennan, Comey and Clapper. These people have learned nothing from the embarrassing failure of the Mueller investigation to prove the false Russiagate allegations.

They are keen still to bring Trump down by whatever possible means.

They see the threat to the credibility of their cause if Trump and Zelensky should together succeed in finding evidence of Ukrainian underpinnings of the 2016-17 Russiagate conspiracy against Trump. They are desperate to have a last bash at Trump before he might finally expose any such improprieties, through evidence from Ukraine (or, for that matter, Australia – see below).

They were powerful enough in the Democratic Party to finally overcome the experienced Nancy Pelosi’s prudent and well-founded resistance to their plans. She knows that this impeachment process could destroy any Democratic Party hopes for power next year.

But these fanatics are ready to go for broke, in their rage and despair against Trump. The ‘CIA whistleblower’, whoever he or she may be, is their last desperate throw.

The pathetic, compromised figure of Joe Biden, with his damning Ukrainian nationalist connections, is their unlikely standard-bearer. Elizabeth Warren is a possible backstop.

For these folk, either Sanders or Gabbard would be a disaster as a candidate – because neither shares the imperial agenda, and both are morally strong enough to resist it.

Nancy Pelosi and Tulsi Gabbard know the realities. I suspect Bernie Sanders does too, but is awaiting his moment to speak out on this.

The US liberal print media led by the New York Times and Washington Post, and more sympathetic networks like MSNBC and CNN, are trying to keep the impeachment fire alive. Other networks like FoxNews are standing back from it more sceptically.

I predict – analytically – that Trump will survive this latest impeachment wave and come out even stronger for the 2020 election as a result. His indignant base will be energised to vote in strategically important numbers sufficient to regain for him the US presidency for four more years.

This is good news for prospects for peace between Ukraine and Russia, however problematical it may be in other areas of the world diplomatic arena (and I am no supporter of Trump).

But I do not expect early miracles in Ukraine, rather a slow normalisation and contact-building process between these two closely related nations.

* * *

And a late footnote on Trump, Morrison and Downer: with exquisite timing, Trump has now put the acid on Morrison to give his Attorney-General Barr access to Australian intelligence files on Downer’s alleged attempt to collect intelligence from, and possibly incriminate, George Papadopoulos in their alleged wine rooms encounter in London, while Downer was still Australian High Commissioner.

It would seem, according to the allegations, that Downer was trying to collect intelligence to support the Russiagate allegations against Trump.

Morrison is now between a rock and a hard place. He cannot reject Trump’s request outright. (As Australian Labor figures are thoughtlessly urging him to do). But nor can he pursue Trump’s request enthusiastically enough to expose any alleged anti-Trump secret activities of Australian intelligence agencies, who were under pressure at the time from visiting figures in the US FBI and intelligence world – Comey, Clapper and Brennan – to help them build the Russiagate case against Trump in the first year of his presidency.

A Five-Eyes operational dilemma indeed, that will test Morrison’s loyalties.

October 2, 2019 Posted by | Russophobia | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Impeachment… or CIA Coup?

By Ron Paul | September 30, 2019

You don’t need to be a supporter of President Trump to be concerned about the efforts to remove him from office. Last week House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced impeachment proceedings against the President over a phone call made to the President of Ukraine. According to the White House record of the call, the President asked his Ukrainian counterpart to look into whether there is any evidence of Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 election and then mentioned that a lot of people were talking about how former US Vice President Joe Biden stopped the prosecution of his son who was under investigation for corruption in Ukraine.

Democrats, who spent more than two years convinced that “Russiagate” would enable them to remove Trump from office only to have their hopes dashed by the Mueller Report, now believe they have their smoking gun in this phone call.

It this about politics? Yes. But there may be more to it than that.

It may appear that the Democratic Party, furious over Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss, is the driving force behind this ongoing attempt to remove Donald Trump from office, but at every turn we see the fingerprints of the CIA and its allies in the US deep state.

In August 2016, a former acting director of the CIA, Mike Morell, wrote an extraordinary article in the New York Times accusing Donald Trump of being an “agent of the Russian Federation.” Morell was clearly using his intelligence career as a way of bolstering his claim that Trump was a Russian spy – after all, the CIA should know such a thing! But the claim was a lie.

Former CIA director John Brennan accused President Trump of “treason” and of “being in the pocket of Putin” for meeting with the Russian president in Helsinki and accepting his word that Russia did not meddle in the US election. To this day there has yet to be any evidence presented that the Russian government did interfere. Brennan openly called on “patriotic” Republicans to act against this “traitor.”

Brennan and his deep state counterparts James Comey at the FBI and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper launched an operation, using what we now know is the fake Steele dossier, to spy on the Trump presidential campaign and even attempt to entrap Trump campaign employees.

Notice a pattern here?

Now we hear that the latest trigger for impeachment is a CIA officer assigned to the White House who filed a “whistleblower” complaint against the president over something he heard from someone else that the president said in the Ukraine phone call.

Shockingly, according to multiple press reports the rules for CIA whistleblowing were recently changed, dropping the requirement that the whistleblower have direct, first-hand knowledge of the wrongdoing. Just before this complaint was filed, the rule-change allowed hearsay or second-hand information to be accepted. That seems strange.

As it turns out, the CIA “whistleblower” lurking around the White House got the important things wrong, as there was no quid pro quo discussed and there was no actual request to investigate Biden or his son.

The Democrats have suddenly come out in praise of whistleblowers – well not exactly. Pelosi still wants to prosecute actual whistleblower Ed Snowden. But she’s singing the praises of this fake CIA “whistleblower.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer once warned Trump that if “you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.” It’s hard not to ask whether this is a genuine impeachment effort… or a CIA coup!

Copyright © 2019 by RonPaul Institute.

September 30, 2019 Posted by | Deception | , , , | 4 Comments

Secret FBI Subpoenas For Personal Data Go Far Beyond Previously Known

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 09/22/2019

Secret subpoenas issued by the FBI for personal data go far deeper than previously known, according to new documents obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, according to the New York Times

The agency says the sweeping requests are crucial to counterterrorism efforts – however the new records reveal that the FBI requests go far beyond Silicon Valley; “encompassing scores of banks, credit agencies, cellphone carriers and even universities,” according to the report.

The demands can scoop up a variety of information, including usernames, locations, IP addresses and records of purchases. They don’t require a judge’s approval and usually come with a gag order, leaving them shrouded in secrecy. Fewer than 20 entities, most of them tech companies, have ever revealed that they’ve received the subpoenas, known as national security letters. –New York Times

This is a pretty potent authority for the government,” said University of Texas law professor, Stephen Vladeck. “The question is: Do we have a right to know when the government is collecting information on us?”

According to the documents – which contain information covering about 750 of the subpoenas “representing a small but telling fraction of the half-million issued since 2001” – credit agencies Experian, TransUnion and Equifax received a large number of national security letters. Also included were Western Union and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Equifax, Experian and AT&T received the most termination letters: more than 50 each. TransUnion, T-Mobile and Verizon each received more than 40. Yahoo, Google and Microsoft got more than 20 apiece. Over 60 companies received just one. -NYT

Aside from these new names – we’ve long known about tech companies receiving national security letters, including Verizon, AT&T, Google and Facebook “which have acknowledged receiving the letters in the past” per the Times.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation determined that information on the roughly 750 letters could be disclosed under a 2015 law, the USA Freedom Act, that requires the government to review the secrecy orders “at appropriate intervals.”

The Justice Department’s interpretation of those instructions has left many letters secret indefinitely. Department guidelines say the gag orders must be evaluated three years after an investigation starts and also when an investigation is closed. But a federal judge noted “several large loopholes,” suggesting that “a large swath” of gag orders might never be reviewed.

According to the new documents, the F.B.I. evaluated 11,874 orders between early 2016, when the rules went into effect, and September 2017, when the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group, requested the information. –New York Times

“We are not sure the F.B.I. is taking its obligations under USA Freedom seriously,” said EFF lawyer Andrew Crocker. “There still is a huge problem with permanent gag orders.”

National Security letters have been the subject of controversy for decades. Issued since the 1980s, the agency is required to show “specific and articulable facts” that the target of such letters was an agent of a foreign power. That criterion has since been eroded to a target simple needing to be “relevant” to a terrorism, counterterrorism or a leak investigation.

“NSLs are an indispensable investigative tool,” said the DOJ while replying to the FOIA case – adding that information contained in the letters both helps identify criminals while clearing the innocent of suspicion.

September 23, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment

Trump the Russian Puppet. A Story That Just Will Not Die

By Philip Giraldi | Strategic Culture Foundation | September 12, 2019

Certainly, there are many things that President Donald Trump can rightly be criticized for, but it is interesting to note how the media and chattering classes continue to be in the grip of the highly emotional but ultimately irrational “Trump derangement syndrome (TDS).” TDS means that even the most ridiculous claims about Trump behavior can be regurgitated by someone like Jake Tapper or Rachel Maddow without anyone in the media even daring to observe that they are both professional dissemblers of truth who lie regularly to enhance their professional resumes.

There are two persistent bogus narratives about Donald Trump that are, in fact, related. The first is that his campaign and transition teams collaborated with the Russian government to defeat Hillary Clinton. Even Robert Mueller, he of the famous fact-finding commission, had to admit that that was not demonstrable. The only government that succeeded in collaborating with the incoming Trumpsters was that of Israel, but Mueller forgot to mention that or even look into it.

Nevertheless, Russia as a major contributing element in the Trump victory continues to be cited in the mainstream media, seemingly whenever Trump is mentioned, as if it were demonstrated fact. The fact is that whatever Russia did was miniscule and did not in any way alter the outcome of the election. Similarly, allegations that the Kremlin will again be at it in 2020 are essentially baseless fearmongering and are a reflection of the TDS desire to see the president constantly diminished in any way possible.

The other narrative that will not die is the suggestion that Donald Trump is either a Russian spy or is in some other, possibly psychological fashion, controlled by Russian President Vladimir Putin. That spy story was first floated by several former senior CIA officers who were closely tied to the Hillary Clinton campaign, apparently because they believed they would benefit materially if she were elected.

Former CIA Acting Director Michael Morell was the most aggressive promoter of Trump as Russian spy narrative. In August 2016, he wrote a New York Times op-ed entitled “I Ran the CIA. Now I’m endorsing Hillary Clinton.” Morell’s story began with the flat assertion that “Mrs. Clinton is highly qualified to be commander in chief. I trust she will deliver on the most important duty of a president – keeping our nation safe… Donald J. Trump is not only unqualified for the job, but he may well pose a threat to our national security.”

In his op-ed, Morell ran through the litany of then GOP candidate Trump’s observed personality and character failings while also citing his lack of experience, but he delivered what he thought to be his most crushing blow when he introduced Vladimir Putin into the discussion. Putin, it seems, a wily ex-career intelligence officer, is “trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them. That is exactly what he did early in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump’s vulnerabilities… In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”

How can one be both unwitting and a recruited agent? Some might roll their eyes at that bit of hyperbole, but Morell, who was a top analyst at the Agency but never acquired or ran an actual spy in his entire career, goes on to explain how Moscow is some kind of eternal enemy. For Morell that meant that Trump’s often stated willingness to work with Putin and the nuclear armed state he headed was somehow the act of a Manchurian Candidate, seen by Morell as a Russian interest, not an American one. So much for the presumed insider knowledge that came from the man who “ran the CIA.”

The most recent “former intelligence agents’” blast against Trump appeared in the Business Insider last month in an article entitled “US spies say Trump’s G7 performance suggests he’s either a ‘Russian asset’ or a ‘useful idiot’ for Putin.” The article cites a number of former government officials, including several from the CIA and FBI, who claimed that Trump’s participation at the recent G7 summit in Biarritz France was marked by pandering to Putin and the Kremlin’s interests, including a push to re-include Russia in the G-7, from which it was expelled after the annexation of Crimea.

One current anonymous FBI source cited in the article described the Trump performance as a “new low,” while a former senior Justice Department official, labeled Trump’s behavior as “directly out of the Putin playbook. We have a Russian asset sitting in the Oval Office.” An ex-CIA officer speculated that the president’s “intent and odd personal fascination with President Putin is worth serious scrutiny,” concluding that the evidence is “overwhelming” that Trump is a Russian asset, while other CIA and NSA veterans suggested that Trump might be flattering Putin in exchange for future business concessions in Moscow.

Another recently retired FBI special agent opined that Trump was little more than “useful idiot” for the Russians, though he added that it would not surprise him if there were also Russian spies in Trump’s inner circle.

The comments in the article are almost incoherent. They come from carefully selected current and former government employees who suffer from an excess of TDS, or possibly pathological paranoia, and hate the president for various reasons. What they are suggesting is little more than speculation and not one of them was able to cite any actual evidence to support their contentions. And, on the contrary, there is considerable evidence that points the other way. The US-Russia relationship is at its lowest point ever according to some observers and that has all been due to policies promoted by the Trump Administration to include the continuing threats over Crimea, sanctions against numerous Russian officials, abrogation of existing arms treaties, and the expansion of aggressive NATO activity right up to the borders with Russia.

Just this past week, the United States warned Russia against continuing its aerial support for the Syrian Army advance to eliminate the last major terrorist pocket in Idlib province. Once against, Washington is operating on the side of terrorists in Syria and against Russia, a conflict that the United States entered into illegally in the first place. Either Donald Trump acting as “the Russian agent” actually thinks threatening a Moscow that is pursuing its legitimate interests is a good idea or the labeling of the president as a “Putin puppet” or “useful idiot” is seriously misguided.

September 12, 2019 Posted by | Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

9/11 and the American Orwellian Nightmare

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By James Bovard | Future of Freedom Foundation | September 6, 2019

Next week will mark the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Politicians and bureaucrats wasted no time after that carnage to unleash the Surveillance State on average Americans, treating every citizen like a terrorist suspect.   Since the government failed to protect the public, Americans somehow forfeited their constitutional right to privacy. Despite heroic efforts by former NSA staffer Edward Snowden and a host of activists and freedom fighters, the government continues ravaging American privacy.

Two weeks after the 9/11 attacks, Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo sent a secret memo to the Bush White House declaring that the Constitution’s prohibition on unreasonable searches was null and void: “If the government’s heightened interest in self-defense justifies the use of deadly force, then it also certainly would justify warrantless searches.” Yoo is best known for writing a harebrained memo on why presidents can order torture but he also helped sanctify the wholesale demolition of privacy.

Two of the largest leaps towards an American “1984” Orwellian nightmare began in 2002. Though neither the Justice Department’s Operation TIPS nor the Pentagon’s Total Information Awareness program was brought to completion, perverse parcels and precedents from each program profoundly influenced subsequent federal policies.

In July 2002, the Justice Department unveiled Operation TIPS — the Terrorism Information and Prevention System. According to the Justice Department website, TIPS would be “a nationwide program giving millions of American truckers, letter carriers, train conductors, ship captains, utility employees, and others a formal way to report suspicious terrorist activity.” TIPSters would be people who, “in the daily course of their work, are in a unique position to serve as extra eyes and ears for law enforcement.” The feds aimed to recruit people in jobs that “make them uniquely well positioned to understand the ordinary course of business in the area they serve, and to identify things that are out of the ordinary.” Homeland Security boss Tom Ridge said that observers in certain occupations “might pick up a break in the certain rhythm or pattern of a community.” The feds planned to enlist as many as 10 million people to watch other people’s “rhythms.” Best of all, TIPsters could gather and report personal information on people without the nuisance of acquiring a search warrant.

The Justice Department provided no definition of “suspicious behavior” to guide its vigilantes. But the notion of recruiting millions of run-a-muk informants spurred protests; even the U.S. Postal Service briefly balked at participating in the program. Ridge insisted that TIPS “is not a government intrusion.” He declared, “The last thing we want is Americans spying on Americans. That’s just not what the president is all about, and not what the TIPS program is all about.” Ridge refrained from christening the program with the motto: “Those who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear.”

When Attorney General John Ashcroft was cross-examined by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on TIPS at a Judiciary Committee hearing on July 25, he insisted that “the TIPS program is something requested by industry to allow them to talk about anomalies that they encounter.” But, when President Bush had initially portrayed the program as an administration initiative. Did thousands of Teamsters Union members petition 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to join the fight against fellow citizens’ “anomalies”? Senator Leahy asked whether reports to the TIPS hotline would become part of a federal database with millions of unsubstantiated allegations against American citizens. Ashcroft told Leahy, “I have recommended that there would be none, and I’ve been given assurance that the TIPS program would not maintain a database.” But Ashcroft could not reveal which federal official had given him the assurance.

The ACLU’s Laura Murphy observed, “This is a program where people’s activities, statements, posters in their windows or on their walls, nationality, and religious practices will be reported by untrained individuals without any relationship to criminal activity.” San Diego law professor Marjorie Cohn observed, “Operation TIPS … will encourage neighbors to snitch on neighbors and won’t distinguish between real and fabricated tips. Anyone with a grudge or vendetta against another can provide false information to the government, which will then enter the national database.”

On August 9, the Justice Department announced it was fine-tuning TIPS, abandoning any “plan to ask thousands of mail carriers, utility workers, and others with access to private homes to report suspected terrorist activity,” the Washington Post reported. People who had enlisted to be TIPSters received an email notice from Uncle Sam that “only those who work in the trucking, maritime, shipping, and mass transit industries will be eligible to participate in this information referral service.” But the Justice Department continued refusing to disclose to the Senate Judiciary Committee who would have access to the TIPS reports.

After the proposal created a fierce backlash across the political board, House Majority Leader Richard Armey (R-Tex.) attached an amendment to homeland security legislation that declared, “Any and all activities of the federal government to implement the proposed component program of the Citizen Corps known as Operation TIPS are hereby prohibited.” But the Bush administration and later the Obama administration pursued the same information roundup with federally funded fusion centers that encouraged people to file “suspicious activity reports” for a bizarre array of innocuous behavior such as taking photos, waiting too long for a bus, having “Don’t Tread on Me” bumper stickers. Those reports continue to be dumped into secret federal databases that can vex innocent citizens in perpetuity.

Operation TIPS illustrated how the momentum of intrusion spurred government to propose programs that it never would have attempted before 9/11. If Bush had proposed in August 2001 to recruit 10 million Americans to snitch on any neighbors they suspected of being potential troublemakers, the public might have concluded the president had gone berserk. Instead, the federal government proceeded to vacuum up info like the Home Owners Association From Hell.

Total Information Awareness: 300 million dossiers

The USA PATRIOT Act created a new Information Office in the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). In January 2002, the White House chose retired admiral John Poindexter to head the new office. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer explained, “Admiral Poindexter is somebody who this administration thinks is an outstanding American, an outstanding citizen, who has done a very good job in what he has done for our country, serving the military.” It was unclear whether the Bush administration chose Poindexter because of or in spite of his five felony convictions for false testimony to Congress and destruction of evidence during the investigation of the Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages exchange. Poindexter’s convictions were overturned by a federal appeals court, which cited the immunity Congress granted his testimony.

Poindexter committed the new Pentagon office to achieving Total Information Awareness (TIA). TIA’s mission is “to detect, classify and identify foreign terrorists — and decipher their plans — and thereby enable the U.S. to take timely action to successfully preempt and defeat terrorist acts,” according to DARPA. According to Undersecretary of Defense Pete Aldridge, TIA would seek to discover “connections between transactions — such as passports; visas; work permits; driver’s licenses; credit cards; airline tickets; rental cars; gun purchases; chemical purchases — and events — such as arrests or suspicious activities and so forth.” Aldridge agreed that every phone call a person made or received could be entered into the database. With “voice recognition” software, the actual text of the call could also go onto a permanent record.

TIA would also strive to achieve “Human Identification at a Distance” (HumanID), including “Face Recognition,” “Iris Recognition,” and “Gait Recognition.” The Pentagon issued a request for proposals to develop an “odor recognition” surveillance system that would help the feds identify people by their sweat or urine — potentially creating a wealth of new job opportunities for deviants.

TIA’s goal was to stockpile as much information as possible about everyone on Earth — thereby allowing government to protect everyone from everything. New York Times columnist William Safire captured the sweep of the new surveillance system: “Every purchase you make with a credit card, every magazine subscription you buy and medical prescription you fill, every Web site you visit and e-mail you send or receive, every academic grade you receive, every bank deposit you make, every trip you book, and every event you attend — all these transactions and communications will go into what the Defense Department describes as ‘a virtual, centralized grand database.’” Columnist Ted Rall noted that the feds would even scan “veterinary records. The TIA believes that knowing if and when Fluffy got spayed — and whether your son stopped torturing Fluffy after you put him on Ritalin — will help the military stop terrorists before they strike.”

Phil Kent, president of the Southeastern Legal Foundation, an Atlanta-based public-interest law firm, warned that TIA was “the most sweeping threat to civil liberties since the Japanese-American internment.” The ACLU’s Jay Stanley labeled TIA “the mother of all privacy invasions. It would amount to a picture of your life so complete, it’s equivalent to somebody following you around all day with a video camera.” A coalition of civil-liberties groups protested to Senate leaders, “There are no systems of oversight or accountability contemplated in the TIA project. DARPA itself has resisted lawful requests for information about the Program pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.”

Bush administration officials were outraged by such criticisms. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld declared, “The hype and alarm approach is a disservice to the public…. I would recommend people take a nice deep breath. Nothing terrible is going to happen.” Poindexter promised that TIA would be designed to “preserve rights and protect people’s privacy while helping to make us all safer.” (Poindexter was not under oath at the time of his statement.)

TIA was defended on the basis that “nobody has been searched” until the feds decide to have him arrested on the basis of data the feds snared. Undersecretary Aldridge declared, “It is absurd to think that DARPA is somehow trying to become another police agency. DARPA’s purpose is to demonstrate the feasibility of this technology. If it proves useful, TIA will then be turned over to the intelligence, counterintelligence, and law-enforcement communities as a tool to help them in their battle against domestic terrorism.” The FBI joined the fun, working on a memorandum of understanding with the Pentagon “for possible experimentation” with TIA. Assistant Defense Secretary for Homeland Security Paul McHale later confirmed that the Pentagon would turn TIA over to law-enforcement agencies once the system was ready to roll.

In response to its paranoid critics, DARPA removed the spooky Information Awareness Office logo from the program’s website. That logo showed a giant green eye atop a pyramid, covering half the globe with a peculiar yellow haze and the motto “Scientia est Potentia” (Knowledge is Power). DARPA received no credit for refraining from using a more honest maxim such as “You’re Screwed.”

In April 2003, DARPA program manager Lt. Col. Doug Dyer publicly announced that Americans are obliged to sacrifice some privacy in the name of security: “When you consider the potential effect of a terrorist attack against the privacy of an entire population, there has to be some trade-off.” But nothing in the U.S. Constitution entitled the Pentagon to decree how much privacy or liberty American citizens deserve.

In September 2003, Congress passed an amendment abolishing the Pentagon’s Information Office and ending TIA funding. But by that point, DARPA had already awarded 26 contracts for dozens of private research projects to develop components for TIA and a working protype already existed. The facial recognition software now being deployed at the U.S. border and at airports may be one legacy of that program.

While specific policies or proposals have been rebuffed since 9/11, there has been no turning of the tide against the Orwellian nightmare federal agencies have spawned. From the TSA to the National Security Agency to the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, our privacy continues to be ravaged in ways that would have mortified earlier generations of Americans.  But nothing happened on 9/11 that made the federal government more trustworthy.

James Bovard is the author of Attention Deficit Democracy, The Bush Betrayal, Terrorism and Tyranny, and other books. Bovard is on the USA Today Board of Contributors. He is on Twitter at @jimbovard. His website is at www.jimbovard.com

September 6, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

In Search of a Russiagate Scalp: The Entrapment of Maria Butina

By John Kiriakou | Consortium News | August 28, 2019

Much has been written about Maria Butina, the Russian “spy” who was accused of seeking to infiltrate the National Rifle Association and other organizations to try to gain a foothold in the Trump campaign and, later, in the White House. Much of it turned out to be nonsense. Butina wasn’t a spy. She wasn’t charged with spying. She wasn’t accused of being a spy. But that’s how the media branded her. The important thing is that there actually were spies around her. And they weren’t who you might have thought.

In the Butina case, the FBI and the Justice Department needed a scalp in the midst of the frenzy about the ultimaely unproven collusion theory of “Russiagate,” and so Butina was charged and convicted of “conspiracy to fail to register as an agent of a foreign government.” Seriously. Let me explain what that means. The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) was passed into law in 1938. It “requires persons acting as agents of foreign principals in a political or quasi-political capacity to make periodic public disclosure of their relationship with the foreign principal, as well as activities, receipts, and disbursements in support of those activities.” The law, the registration, and the database are meant to keep track of foreign lobbyists. Nothing more.

Butina: Unregistered agent falsely portrayed as a spy

In realistic terms it means this: In 2008, I was hired by the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce to write a series of op-eds in support of doing business in the city. I wrote four op-eds and they paid me a fee. But I had to go to the Justice Department’s FARA website and register as a “foreign agent,” meaning that I was being paid by a foreign government. No problem. It didn’t mean that I was a “secret agent” for Abu Dhabi. It just meant that I was temporarily in the employ of a foreign government.

Washington attorneys and lobbyists do this kind of thing every day. And more often than not, they don’t register, either because they are too busy, they don’t realize that they have to, or they don’t believe, as in the current case of Washington super lawyer Greg Craig, that they have to. They are very rarely prosecuted.

Anybody can go to the FARA website and do a records search. I did one for the purpose of this article to search for people I know—attorneys, friends, acquaintances—and found many of them taking money from the governments of Libya, Chad, Jordan, Saudi Arabia (lots of them), Greece and other countries. It’s no big deal. It’s just a paperwork exercise.

In the case of Maria Butina, though, the paperwork was the hook to arrest her and to use her failure to register under FARA as leverage to get her to testify about her “work.” The problem, at least for the FBI, was that she wasn’t a spy. As things turned out, she really was just an overly-aggressive Russian grad student at American University who really, really loved guns and was trying to ingratiate herself with the NRA. But the Justice Department came down on her like a ton of bricks, forced her into taking a plea, and sentenced HER to 18 months in a federal prison: for conspiring to fail to fill out a form. The federal sentencing guidelines for a first-time offender violating this law is 0-6 months in a minimum-security work camp and a fine of up to $5,000. That, apparently, was never an option for Butina.

Forgive me if this is burying the lede, but I also want to talk about how Maria Butina got into this predicament in the first place. We know that she was very active in the gun rights movement in both Russia and the U.S. and that she sought to improve contact between gun groups in both countries. We also know that she met and began dating Patrick Byrne, the founder and CEO of Overstock.com. We learned recently, thanks to Byrne himself, that he was a longtime FBI source and that the FBI directed him to begin dating Butina. He did so. And he reported back to the FBI that she was simply a graduate student. That wasn’t good enough for the FBI, though and, according to Byrne, he was instructed to go back to Butina, to begin a sexual relationship with her, and to again report back to the FBI. He did that, too.

In the end, the Justice Department accused her publicly of “trading sexual favors” for access, an accusation that prosecutors had to withdraw. It was patently untrue. But that didn’t stop them from accusing her in the press of being a Russian spy, which she was not. And it didn’t stop the judge from giving her three times the maximum sentence called for by the sentencing guidelines.

I will ask your forgiveness again if I sound like a broken record. But this is how the FBI makes their cases. They entrap people. I’ve written extensively about how the FBI brazenly carried out a sting operation against me (unsuccessfully) that could have resulted in an espionage conviction and as much as 30 years in prison. They did the same thing to Butina.

Butina wasn’t committing a crime, so they just made something up, leaked it to the press, allowed it to influence the public and the judge, and hoped she would cave and take a plea. She did. Byrne went on CNN last week to say that two of the three people who instructed him to do all of this were James Comey, Peter Strzok, and another as-yet-unnamed individual. The operation was hatched at the top. The whole story sickens me.

With the deck stacked the way it was, there was probably nothing that Butina or her attorneys could have done to save her. The fix was in. I wish I had been able to convey to her something that one of my attorneys said to me on the day that I finally took a plea to a greatly reduced charge in 2012: “Do you know what your problem is? Your problem is that you think this is about justice. It’s not about justice. It’s about mitigating damage.” Nice system we have.

John Kiriakou is a former CIA counterterrorism officer and a former senior investigator with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. John became the sixth whistleblower indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act — a law designed to punish spies. He served 23 months in prison as a result of his attempts to oppose the Bush administration’s torture program.

August 28, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , , , | Leave a comment

What the OKC Investigation Missed with Roger G. Charles

Corbett • 05/04/2012

Veteran investigative journalist Roger G. Charles joins us to discuss the new book which he has co-authored, Oklahoma City: What the Investigation Missed and Why It Still Matters. We investigate some of the anomalies, discrepancies and holes in the official account of the OKC bombing, including the bombing itself, the role of Andreas Strassmeier at Elohim City, the numerous forewarnings, and much more.

August 27, 2019 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | 1 Comment

‘Crime does pay’: CNN hires disgraced ex-FBI director Andrew McCabe

RT | August 23, 2019

What does one get for leaking to the media, lying to federal investigators about it, and allegedly participating in a plot to derail an American election? If you answered jail time, too bad. The correct answer is a job at CNN.

That is at least the case for Andrew McCabe, the former acting FBI director and one of the people deeply involved in the ‘Trump-Russia’ investigation before it was taken over by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. CNN announced on Friday it was hiring McCabe as a contributor.

Just a day earlier, however, the network was in full meltdown over former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders getting hired by Fox News, and her predecessor Sean Spicer appearing on Dancing With the Stars – arguing that both were liars who did not deserve gainful employment.

Yet they have no problem with McCabe, who was fired from the FBI in March 2018 – just days before he could claim a $60,000 annual federal pension – because an internal report found that he “made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor – including under oath – on multiple occasions.”

“Lacking candor” is the federal government euphemism for lying.

McCabe going to CNN is “truly a match made in FakeNews heaven,” declared Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, adding that CNN has long stopped being a news organization. “They’re now a fully integrated anti-Trump propaganda network and they don’t even try hiding it anymore.”

A number of Republican lawmakers, including Senators John Cornyn (Texas), Josh Hawley (Missouri), and Representatives Lee Zeldin (New York) and Mark Meadows (North Carolina) also weighed in on CNN’s employment choice and journalistic standards.

“I guess crime does pay,” added Matt Wolking, a spokesman for the Trump2020 campaign.

Meanwhile, left-wing journalist Aaron Mate offered a reminder that the gullible #Resistance raised over half a million dollars on GoFundMe for McCabe after he was fired.

McCabe joins nine other former national security officials already on CNN’s payroll, including ex-top spy James Clapper. MSNBC has hired five more, including former CIA chief John Brennan. The one thing they all have in common is outspoken opposition to President Trump.

As James Comey’s right hand at the Bureau, McCabe was intimately involved with investigating both Hillary Clinton’s private email server and the so-called ‘Trump-Russia collusion’ that later spawned a special counsel probe – as well as spying on the Trump campaign under questionable pretexts. His name was brought up on several occasions in text messages between agent Peter Strzok and attorney Lisa Page, including the exchange about an “insurance policy” in case Trump got elected.

The president and his supporters have long argued that this was the real scandal about the 2016 election, calling it ‘Spygate,’ and demanding a reckoning. However, no charges have been leveled – yet – against any of the officials involved, including McCabe and his boss Comey.

Yet it is McCabe who is demanding a reckoning in court, arguing that his firing was politically motivated and part of Trump’s “ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the Special Counsel” to investigate his ties with Russia. That Robert Mueller delivered his report months ago and found nothing doesn’t seem to faze him in the slightest.

In other words, he’ll fit right in at CNN.

August 23, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 1 Comment

FBI Starts Going After US Citizens Who Attend Iran-linked Conference – Reports

Sputnik – August 11, 2019

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is going after American citizens who have already attended or plan to attend the New Horizon Conference (NHC) held by an Iranian media expert to discuss major global issues.

A Virginia-based ex-Pentagon official said FBI agents were knocking at his door at 6:30 am in May, cited by Medium.com. Michael Maloof had travelled to Mashhad in northeast Iran to attend last year’s NHC and was one of the guests invited to the next conference which is to be held in the Lebanese capital of Beirut in September. The agents, however, warned him of consequences if he decides to attend.

In July, the FBI reportedly sent agents to the Florida home of Scott Rickard, a former translator with the US Air Force and the US National Security Agency (NSA) who once attended New Horizon, also warning him to skip the conference or face arrest.

The bureau also reportedly approached former State Department diplomat J. Michael Springmann, asking him over the phone to attend a meeting and answer a few questions about the conference, but he turned down the request. Vernellia Randall, an African American academic who wrote the book “Dying while Black,” and who attended the conference in Tehran in 2015, was also visited by the FBI.

Hicks said the FBI’s intimidation techniques set a “new low” in America’s approach to its relationship with Tel Aviv, where it has constantly backed the regime despite its many atrocities against the people of Palestine, Lebanon and more recently Syria. Later Hicks told Press TV that the FBI turned up at his door and warned him that New Horizon was being held by what they called “Iranian intelligence” without giving any evidence.

Nader Talebzadeh, the renowned Iranian intellectual and journalist who chairs the New Horizon organization, has filed a petition with the Treasury, appealing the decision.

“The consequence of your highly inaccurate and inflammatory allegations have had the result of seriously damaging our reputation, costing us a major loss of business and longtime friendships,” he wrote in the petition, adding that the NHC is a forum for free thought and expression of these thoughts.

See also:

Israeli elements behind US ban on New Horizon; FBI harassment of guests: Ex-diplomat

August 11, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 1 Comment