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FISA shocker: DOJ official warned Steele dossier was connected to Clinton, might be biased

By John Solomon | The Hill | January 16, 2019

When the annals of mistakes and abuses in the FBI’s Russia investigation are finally written, Bruce Ohr almost certainly will be the No. 1 witness, according to my sources.

The then-No. 4 Department of Justice (DOJ) official briefed both senior FBI and DOJ officials in summer 2016 about Christopher Steele’s Russia dossier, explicitly cautioning that the British intelligence operative’s work was opposition research connected to Hillary Clinton’s campaign and might be biased.

Ohr’s briefings, in July and August 2016, included the deputy director of the FBI, a top lawyer for then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and a Justice official who later would become the top deputy to special counsel Robert Mueller.

At the time, Ohr was the associate attorney general. Yet his warnings about political bias were pointedly omitted weeks later from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant that the FBI obtained from a federal court, granting it permission to spy on whether the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia to hijack the 2016 presidential election.

Ohr’s activities, chronicled in handwritten notes and congressional testimony I gleaned from sources, provide the most damning evidence to date that FBI and DOJ officials may have misled federal judges in October 2016 in their zeal to obtain the warrant targeting Trump adviser Carter Page just weeks before Election Day.

They also contradict a key argument that House Democrats have made in their formal intelligence conclusions about the Russia case.

Since it was disclosed last year that Steele’s dossier formed a central piece of evidence supporting the FISA warrant, Justice and FBI officials have been vague about exactly when they learned that Steele’s work was paid for by the law firm representing the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

A redacted version of the FISA application released last year shows the FBI did not mention any connection to the DNC or Clinton. Rather, it referred to Steele as a reliable source in past criminal investigations who was hired by a person working for a U.S. law firm to conduct research on Trump and Russia.

The FBI claimed it was “unaware of any derogatory information” about Steele, that Steele was “never advised … as to the motivation behind the research” but that the FBI  “speculates” that those who hired Steele were “likely looking for information to discredit” Trump’s campaign.

Yet, in testimony last summer to congressional investigators, Ohr revealed the FBI and Justice lawyers had no need to speculate: He explicitly warned them in a series of contacts, beginning July 31, 2016, that Steele expressed biased against Trump and was working on a project connected to the Clinton campaign.Ohr had firsthand knowledge about the motive and the client: He had just met with Steele on July 30, 2016, and Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS, the same firm employing Steele.

“I certainly told the FBI that Fusion GPS was working with, doing opposition research on Donald Trump,” Ohr told congressional investigators, adding that he warned the FBI that Steele expressed bias during their conversations.

“I provided information to the FBI when I thought Christopher Steele was, as I said, desperate that Trump not be elected,” he added. “So, yes, of course I provided that to the FBI.”

When pressed why he would offer that information to the FBI, Ohr answered: “In case there might be any kind of bias or anything like that.” He added later, “So when I provided it to the FBI, I tried to be clear that this is source information, I don’t know how reliable it is. You’re going to have to check it out and be aware.”

Ohr went further, saying he disclosed to FBI agents that his wife and Steele were working for the same firm and that it was conducting the Trump-Russia research project at the behest of Trump’s Democratic rival, the Clinton campaign.

“These guys were hired by somebody relating to, who’s related to the Clinton campaign and be aware,” Ohr told Congress, explaining what he warned the bureau.

Perkins Coie, the law firm that represented both the DNC and the Clinton campaign during the 2016 election, belatedly admitted it paid Fusion GPS for Steele’s work on behalf of the candidate and party and disguised the payments as legal bills when, in fact, it was opposition research.

When asked if he knew of any connection between the Steele dossier and the DNC, Ohr responded that he believed the project was really connected to the Clinton campaign.

“I didn’t know they were employed by the DNC but I certainly said yes that they were working for, you know, they were somehow working, associated with the Clinton campaign,” he answered.

“I also told the FBI that my wife worked for Fusion GPS or was a contractor for GPS, Fusion GPS.”

Ohr divulged his first contact with the FBI was on July 31, 2016, when he reached out to then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and FBI attorney Lisa Page. He then was referred to the agents working Russia counterintelligence, including Peter Strzok, the now-fired agent who played a central role in starting the Trump collusion probe.

But Ohr’s contacts about the Steele dossier weren’t limited to the FBI. He said in August 2016 — nearly two months before the FISA warrant was issued — that he was asked to conduct a briefing for senior Justice officials.

Those he briefed included Andrew Weissmann, then the head of DOJ’s fraud section; Bruce Swartz, longtime head of DOJ’s international operations, and Zainab Ahmad, an accomplished terrorism prosecutor who, at the time, was assigned to work with Lynch as a senior counselor.

Ahmad and Weissmann would go on to work for Mueller, the special prosecutor overseeing the Russia probe.

Ohr’s extensive testimony also undercuts one argument that House Democrats sought to make last year.

When Republicans, in early 2018, first questioned Ohr’s connections to Steele, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee sought to minimize the connection, insisting he only worked as an informer for the FBI after Steele was fired by the FBI in November 2016.

The memo from Rep. Adam Schiff’s (D-Calif.) team claimed that Ohr’s contacts with the FBI only began “weeks after the election and more than a month after the Court approved the initial FISA application.”

But Ohr’s testimony now debunks that claim, making clear he started talking to FBI and DOJ officials well before the FISA warrant or election had occurred.

And his detailed answers provide a damning rebuttal to the FBI’s portrayal of the Steele material.

In fact, the FBI did have derogatory information on Steele: Ohr explicitly told the FBI that Steele was desperate to defeat the man he was investigating and was biased.

And the FBI knew the motive of the client and did not have to speculate: Ohr told agents the Democratic nominee’s campaign was connected to the research designed to harm Trump’s election chances.

Such omissions are, by definition, an abuse of the FISA system.

Don’t take my word for it. Fired FBI Director James Comey acknowledged it himself when he testified last month that the FISA court relies on an honor system, in which the FBI is expected to divulge exculpatory evidence to the judges.

“We certainly consider it our obligation, because of our trust relationship with federal judges, to present evidence that would paint a materially different picture of what we’re presenting,” Comey testified on Dec. 7, 2018. “You want to present to the judge reviewing your application a complete picture of the evidence, both its flaws and its strengths.”

Comey claims he didn’t know about Ohr’s contacts with Steele, even though his top deputy, McCabe, got the first contact.

But none of that absolves his FBI, or the DOJ for that matter, from failing to divulge essential and exculpatory information from Ohr to the FISA court.

John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists’ misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He is The Hill’s executive vice president for video.

January 17, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

A Clinton Memo That Killed Half a Million People

By Daniel Lazare | Consortium News | January 11, 2019

A Hillary Clinton memo that Wikileaks made public in 2016 has not gotten the attention it deserves.

It takes us back to 2012 and the early phase of the Syrian war.

At that point, it was largely an internal affair, although Saudi arms shipments were playing a greater and greater role in bolstering rebel forces. But once the Obama administration decided in favor of intervention, the conflict was quickly internationalized as thousands of holy warriors flooded in from as far away as western China.

The 1,200-word memo by then-Secretary of State Clinton begins with the subject of Iran, an important patron of Syria.

She dismisses any notion that nuclear talks will stop Iran “from improving the crucial part of any nuclear weapons program—the capability to enrich uranium.” If it does get the bomb, it goes on, Israel will suffer a strategic setback since it will no longer be able to “respond to provocations with conventional military strikes on Syria and Lebanon, as it can today.” Denied the ability to bomb at will, Israel might leave off secondary targets and strike at the main enemy instead.

Consequently, Clinton argues that the U.S. should topple the Assad regime so as to weaken Iran and allay the fears of Israel, which has long regarded the Islamic republic as its primary enemy. As the memo puts it:

“Bringing down Assad would not only be a massive boon to Israel’s security, it would also ease Israel’s understandable fear of losing its nuclear monopoly. Then, Israel and the United States might be able to develop a common view of when the Iranian program is so dangerous that military action could be warranted.”

This document making the case to arm Syrian rebels may have been largely overlooked because of the dates, which appear to be inaccurate.

One line gives the time as “2001-01-01 03:00” even though Clinton was still a New York senator-elect at that point. That date is also out of synch with the timeline of nuclear diplomacy with Iran.

Another contains a State Department case and document number and a date of Nov. 30, 2015. But that’s incorrect as well since it postdates Clinton’s resignation as secretary of state by better than two and a half years.

Central to the Great Debate

Consequently, anyone stumbling across the memo in the Wikileaks archives would have no idea of how its rather loopy logic figures in the great debate about whether to use force to bring down Syrian President Bashir al-Assad.  But textual clues provide an answer. The second paragraph refers to nuclear talks with Iran “that began in Istanbul this April and will continue in Baghdad in May,” events that took place in 2012.  The sixth invokes an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour conducted with then-Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak “last week.” Since the interview took place on April 19, 2012, the memo can therefore be dated to the fourth week in April. This is shortly before Clinton joined forces with then-CIA Director David Petraeus to push for an aggressive program of rebel military aid.

Needless to say, Clinton’s skepticism about negotiating with Iran proved to be unwarranted since Iran eventually agreed to shut down its nuclear program.  The memo thus illustrates her hawkishness along with her conviction that Israeli security trumps all other considerations even if it means setting fire to a region that’s been burned over more than once.

But the memo illustrates much else besides: Clinton’s recklessness, her lack of realism and her almost mystical belief that everything will fall neatly into place once the United States flexes its muscle. Overthrowing Assad would be nothing less than “transformative,” she writes:

“… Iran would be strategically isolated, unable to exert its influence in the Middle East. The resulting regime in Syria will see the United States as a friend, not an enemy. Washington would gain substantial recognition as fighting for the people in the Arab world, not the corrupt regimes. For Israel, the rationale for a bolt from the blue attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities would be eased. And a new Syrian regime might well be open to early action on the frozen peace talks with Israel. Hezbollah in Lebanon would be cut off from its Iranian sponsor since Syria would no longer be a transit point for Iranian training, assistance and missiles.”

It was “a low-cost high-payoff approach,” she writes, that would eliminate one enemy, weaken two more, and generate such joy among ordinary Syrians that peace talks between Damascus and Tel Aviv will spring back to life. The risks were nil. Since “the Libyan operation had no long-lasting consequences for the region,” the memo says, referring to the overthrow of strongman Muammer Gaddafi six months earlier, the Syrian operation wouldn’t either:

“Some argue that U.S. involvement risks a wider war with Russia. But the Kosovo example [in which NATO bombed Russian-ally Serbia] shows otherwise. In that case, Russia had genuine ethnic and political ties to the Serbs, which don’t exist between Russia and Syria, and even then Russia did little more than complain. Russian officials have already acknowledged they won’t stand in the way if intervention comes.”

So, there was nothing to worry about. Sixty-five years of Arab-Israeli conflict would fall by the wayside while Russia remains safely marginalized.

How it Turned Out

Needless to say, that’s not how things turned out. At that moment, Libya seemed under control. But three or four months later, it would explode as Western-backed Islamist militias blasted away at one another, imposing strict Sharia law, re-instituting slavery and rolling back decades of social progress. Once President Barack Obama approved a modified version of the Clinton-Petraeus plan, Syria would plunge into the same abyss as jihadis funded by Saudi Arabia and the other oil monarchies spread sectarian violence and fear.

Clinton’s assumption that the U.S. could neatly and cleanly decapitate the Syrian government without having to worry about broader consequences was little short of deluded.

The notion that ordinary Syrians would fall to their knees in gratitude was ludicrous while her disregard for the intricacies of Syrian politics was astonishing.

Then there’s the memo’s blithe suggestion that Washington “work with regional allies like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar to organize, train, and arm Syrian rebel forces.”

In late 2009, Clinton wrote in another diplomatic memo made public by Wikileaks that “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.” So what made her think two years later that the kingdom would not fund Syrian jihadis of precisely the same ilk?

The 2009 memo slammed Qatar for allowing Al Qaeda, the Taliban and other terrorist groups to use the sheikdom “as a fundraising locale.” So what made her think that a pro-Al Qaeda autocracy would now help Syrians “fight for their freedom,” as the memo puts it? Wouldn’t Qatar be more likely to remove what little freedom Syrians had left? Of course, it would.

There is a remarkable continuity between the Syria policy that Clinton was proposing and earlier policies in Afghanistan and Libya. In the first, U.S. military aid wound up flowing to the notorious warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a religious sectarian and raging anti-western xenophobe who nonetheless was “the most efficient at killing Soviets,” as Steve Coll put it in “Ghost Wars,” his bestselling 2004 account of the CIA’s love affair with jihad.

Hekmatyar’s cutthroats wound up with the lion’s share of American arms. More or less the same thing happened in Libya once Clinton persuaded Qatar to join the anti-Gaddafi coalition. The sheikhdom seized the opportunity to distribute some $400 million to various rebel militias, many of them Islamist. The Obama administration said nothing in response.

British Fighters with International Freedom Battalion in northern Iraq. (Wikimedia)

British Fighters with International Freedom Battalion in northern Iraq. (Wikimedia)

Once again, U.S. arms and materiel flowed to the most reactionary elements. The same would happen in Syria where U.S. and Saudi arms went to the local Al Qaeda affiliate, known as Jabhat al-Nusra, and even to ISIS, as a meticulous report by Conflict Armament Research, a Swiss and EU-funded study group in London, has shown. (See “Did Obama Arm Islamic State Killers?” Consortium News, Dec. 21, 2017.)

Insurgency Mix  

By August 2012, a secret Defense Intelligence Agency report found that Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Al Qaeda were already “the major forces driving the insurgency” and that the U.S. and Gulf states backed them regardless. Speechwriter Ben Rhodes summed up the problem of “moderate” rebels who were indistinguishable from Al Qaeda in his White House memoir, “The World As It Is.” In that, he writes that “Al Nusra was probably the strongest fighting force within the opposition, and while there were extremist elements in the group, it was also clear that the more moderate opposition was fighting side by side with al Nusra. I argued that labeling al Nusra as terrorists would alienate the same people we want to help, while giving al Nusra less incentive to avoid extremist affiliations.”

The problem was how to separate the “good” Al Qaeda fighters from the “bad.” Rhodes later complained when Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he and his fellow Obama officials were “trying to climb a spruce tree naked without scratching our ass.” This was “smug,” Rhodes says. But Putin was merely using a colorful expression to say that the policy made no sense; which it didn’t.

The cost, half a dozen years after the Clinton email, is staggering. As many as 560,000 people have died, half the population has been displaced, while the World Bank has estimated total war damage at $226 billion, roughly six years’ income for every Syrian man, woman, and child. A cockeyed memo thus unleashed a real-life catastrophe that refuses to go away. It’s a nightmare from which President Donald Trump is struggling to escape in his confused and deluded way and that the Deep State – everyone from arch-neocon John Bolton to “liberal” Nancy Pelosi– is determined to renew.

January 11, 2019 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The War on Populism

CJ Hopkins | Consent Factory | January 10, 2018

Remember when the War on Terror ended and the War on Populism began? That’s OK, no one else does.

It happened in the Summer of 2016, also known as “the Summer of Fear.” The War on Terror was going splendidly. There had been a series of “terrorist attacks,” in Orlando, Nice, Würzberg, Munich, Reutlingen, Ansbach, and Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, each of them perpetrated by suddenly “self-radicalized” “lone wolf terrorists” (or “non-terrorist terrorists“) who had absolutely no connection to any type of organized terrorist groups prior to suddenly “self- radicalizing” themselves by consuming “terrorist content” on the Internet. It seemed we were entering a new and even more terrifying phase of the Global War on Terror, a phase in which anyone could be a “terrorist” and “terrorism” could mean almost anything.

This broadening of the already virtually meaningless definition of “terrorism” was transpiring just in time for Obama to hand off the reins to Hillary Clinton, who everyone knew was going to be the next president, and who was going to have to bomb the crap out of Syria in response to the non-terrorist terrorist threat. The War on Terror (or, rather, “the series of persistent targeted efforts to dismantle specific networks of violent extremists that threaten America,” as Obama rebranded it) was going to continue, probably forever. The Brexit referendum had just taken place, but no one had really digested that yet … and then Trump won the nomination.

Like that scene in Orwell’s 1984 where the Party switches official enemies right in the middle of the Hate Week rally, the War on Terror was officially canceled and replaced by the War on Populism. Or … all right, it wasn’t quite that abrupt. But seriously, go back and scan the news. Note how the “Islamic terrorist threat” we had been conditioned to live in fear of on a daily basis since 2001 seemed to just vanish into thin air. Suddenly, the “existential threat” we were facing was “neo-nationalism,” “illiberalism,” or the pejorative designator du jour, “populism.”

Here we are, two and a half years later, and “democracy” is under constant attack by a host of malevolent “populist” forces …. Russo-fascist Black vote suppressors, debaucherous eau de Novichok assassins, Bernie Sanders, the yellow-vested French, emboldened non-exploding mail bomb bombers, Jeremy Corbyn’s Nazi Death Cult, and brain-devouring Russian-Cubano crickets. The President of the United States is apparently both a Russian intelligence operative and literally the resurrection of Hitler. NBC and MSNBC have been officially merged with the CIA. The Guardian has dispensed with any pretense of journalism and is just making stories up out of whole cloth. Anyone who has ever visited Russia, or met with a Russian, or read a Russian novel, is on an “Enemies of Democracy” watch list (as is anyone refusing to vacation in Israel, which the Senate is now in the process of making mandatory for all U.S. citizens). Meanwhile, the “terrorists” are nowhere to be found, except for the terrorists we’ve been using to attempt to overthrow the government of Bashar al Assad, the sadistic nerve-gassing Monster of Syria, who illegally invaded and conquered his own country in defiance of the “international community.”

All this madness has something to do with “populism,” although it isn’t clear what. The leading theory is that the Russians are behind it. They’ve got some sort of hypno-technology (not to be confused with those brain-eating crickets) capable of manipulating the minds of … well, Black people, mostly, but not just Black people. Obviously, they are also controlling the French, who they have transformed into “racist, hate-filled liars” who are “attacking elected representatives, journalists, Jews, foreigners, and homosexuals,” according to French President Emmanuel Macron, the anointed “Golden Boy of Europe.” More terrifying still, Putin is now able to project words out of Trump’s mouth in real-time, literally using Trump’s head as a puppet, or like one of those Mission Impossible masks. (Rachel Maddow conclusively proved this by spending a couple of hours on Google comparing the words coming out of Trump’s mouth to words that had come out of Russian mouths, but had never come out of American mouths, which they turned out to be the exact same words, or pretty close to the exact same words!) Apparently, Putin’s master plan for Total Populist World Domination and Establishment of the Thousand Year Duginist Reich was to provoke the global capitalist ruling classes, the corporate media, and their credulous disciples into devolving into stark raving lunatics, or blithering idiots, or a combination of both.

But, seriously, all that actually happened back in the Summer of 2016 was the global capitalist ruling classes recognized that they had a problem. The problem that they recognized they had (and continue to have, and are now acutely aware of) is that no one is enjoying global capitalism … except the global capitalist ruling classes. The whole smiley-happy, supranational, neo-feudal corporate empire concept is not going over very well with the masses, or at least not with the unwashed masses. People started voting for right-wing parties, and Brexit, and other “populist” measures (not because they had suddenly transformed into Nazis, but because the Right was acknowledging and exploiting their anger with the advance of global neoliberalism, while liberals and the Identity Politics Left were slow jamming the TPP with Obama and babbling about transgender bathrooms, and such).

The global capitalist ruling classes needed to put a stop to that (i.e, the “populist” revolt, not the bathroom debate). So they suspended the Global War on Terror and launched the War on Populism. It was originally only meant to last until Hillary Clinton’s coronation, or the second Brexit referendum, then switch back to the War on Terror, but … well, weird things happen, and here we are.

We’ll get back to the War on Terror, eventually … as the War on Populism is essentially just a temporary rebranding of it. In the end, it’s all the same counter-insurgency. When a system is globally hegemonic, as our current model of capitalism is, every war is a counter-insurgency (i.e., a campaign waged against an internal enemy), as there are no external enemies to fight. The “character” of the internal enemies might change (e.g., “Islamic terrorism,” “extremism,” “fascism,” “populism,” “Trumpism,” “Corbynism,” et cetera) but they are all insurgencies against the hegemonic system … which, in our case, is global capitalism, not the United States of America.

The way I see it, the global capitalist ruling classes now have less than two years to put down this current “populist” insurgency. First and foremost, they need to get rid of Trump, who despite his bombastic nativist rhetoric is clearly no “hero of the common people,” nor any real threat to global capitalism, but who has become an anti-establishment symbol, like a walking, talking “fuck you” to both the American and global neoliberal elites. Then, they need to get a handle on Europe, which isn’t going to be particularly easy. What happens next in France will be telling, as will whatever becomes of Brexit … which I continue to believe will never actually happen, except perhaps in some purely nominal sense.

And then there’s the battle for hearts and minds, which they’ve been furiously waging for the last two years, and which is only going to intensify. If you think things are batshit crazy now (which, clearly, they are), strap yourself in. What is coming is going to make COINTELPRO look like the work of some amateur meme-freak. The neoliberal corporate media, psy-ops like Integrity Initiative, Internet-censoring apps like NewsGuard, ShareBlue and other David Brock outfits, and a legion of mass hysteria generators will be relentlessly barraging our brains with absurdity, disinformation, and just outright lies (as will their counterparts on the Right, of course, in case you thought that they were any alternative). It’s going to get extremely zany.

The good news is, by the time it’s all over and Trump has been dealt with, and normality restored, and the working classes put back in their places, we probably won’t remember that any of this happened. We’ll finally be able to sort out those bathrooms, and get back to paying the interest on our debts, and to living in more or less constant fear of an imminent devastating terrorist attack … and won’t that be an enormous relief?

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Photo: Zakaria Abdelkafi – AFP

January 10, 2019 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

With Golan at Stake, Netanyahu, Bolton Set Trump Straight on US Syria Withdrawal Plan

By Whitney Webb | Mint Press News | January 7, 2019

The state of Israel seems to share at least some of the responsibility for the latest shift of U.S. Syria policy — as National Security Adviser John Bolton announced on Sunday that President Donald Trump’s call to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria would now be “coordinated” with Israel, after meeting with top Israeli officials including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel’s main motivation in preventing a swift U.S. exit from Syria was also made explicit by Netanyahu, who openly stated on Twitter that Israel’s push to obtain sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights – which is internationally recognized as part of Syria – was the driving factor behind Israel’s recent efforts to dramatically slow down Trump’s plan for an “immediate” withdrawal of U.S. troops currently occupying Syrian territory illegally.

As MintPress noted at the time of Trump’s withdrawal announcement, Israel’s influence on Trump’s Middle East policy and Israel’s push towards containing “Iranian influence” in Syria would mean that Trump’s plan to withdraw troops over the alleged defeat of ISIS would likely never materialize if it was opposed by Tel Aviv.

This was apparently and not surprisingly the case as, soon after Trump’s announcement that he planned to bring U.S. troops home from Syria last month, Israel’s government announced that it would dramatically rev up its direct involvement in the Syrian conflict in the U.S.’ absence. That involvement had so far been limited to hundreds of unilateral airstrikes on Syrian government and military targets over the course of the nearly eight-year-long war. Israel’s threat of escalation revealed Israel’s unwillingness to see foreign pressure on Damascus reduced.

Israel’s military — currently headed by Netanyahu, who is also serving as Israel’s defense minister — made good on this promise to increase its military involvement in Syria soon after, using civilian airplanes as cover to launch airstrikes on Syria on Christmas Day.

However, Israel’s reaction to Trump’s announcement appears to have been much more extensive than its decision to increase its airstrikes targeting Syrian territory. After meeting with Netanyahu and the director of Israeli intelligence, Bolton noted on Twitter that the “U.S. drawdown in Syria” would now be “coordinated” with Israel. Also on Sunday, Bolton announced that the U.S. had no timetable for troop withdrawal from Syria and that the troop withdrawal was also conditional.

This is just the latest indication that the state of Israel is acquiring unprecedented influence over U.S. troop deployments in the region, as the commander of U.S. European Command (EURCOM) noted last year that Israeli generals — not American generals — have the power to deploy U.S. troops to Israel to fight on Israel’s behalf. Now, Bolton — after meeting with Israeli officials — has stated that Israel’s government will also wield tremendous influence over whether or not U.S. troops will be leaving Syria.

Spotlight on the Golan Heights

In publicly discussing his meeting with Bolton on Twitter, Netanyahu noted that a key topic of ongoing discussion with Bolton regarding Syria would involve Israel’s claim to the Golan Heights, a plateau bordering Israel, Lebanon and Syria that Israel has occupied since 1967 and later annexed in 1981.

Netanyahu announced that he and Bolton would be traveling together to the area on Monday and added:

The Golan Heights is tremendously important for our security. When you’re there you’ll be able to understand perfectly why we’ll never leave the Golan Heights and why it’s important all countries recognize Israel’s sovereignty over it.”

As MintPress has noted in the past, understanding the significance of the Golan Heights is in many ways key to understanding why the Syrian conflict was engineered by foreign powers in the first place. This is because, with the Golan Heights in mind, Israel hatched a plan in 2006 to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by creating sectarian strife in the country with the hopes that whoever succeeded Assad would be willing to relinquish Syria’s claim to the territory.

Yet, this plan was never designed to be enacted by Israel but instead by the United States. The U.S. eventually adopted the plan and the communications of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton revealed it was a driving factor in U.S. policy leading up to the genesis of the Syrian conflict. One of her leaked emails, published by WikiLeaks, stated that “the best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad.”

That same email also noted that “a successful intervention in Syria would require substantial diplomatic and military leadership from the United States.” It added that “arming the Syrian rebels and using Western air power to ground Syrian helicopters and airplanes is a low-cost high-payoff approach.”

Unsurprisingly, official recognition of Israel’s annexation of the Golan was prominent among the regime-change promises touted by Syrian “rebels.” Over the course of the war, rebels have,  in their bid to overthrow Assad, offered to “trade” or sell the Golan Heights to Israel in exchange for military aid or an Israeli-imposed “no-fly zone.”

This also helps explain why Israel was so eager to fund, arm and aid “rebel” groups along the Syria-Israel border, as it offered the justification for the Israeli occupation of a “buffer zone” that, according to Syrian opposition sources and Israeli-American NGOs, was “intended to keep the Syrian army and its Iranian and Lebanese allies as far away from Israel’s border as possible, as well as solidify Israel’s control over the occupied Golan Heights.” However, the success of the Syrian military’s efforts in southern Syria forced Israel to abandon its buffer zone and seek other means to strengthen its claim to the territory.

The Golan: What’s in it for Israel?

Israel created this plan to weaken or overthrow the Syrian state largely because it is eager to cement its claim to the Golan Heights. In order to accomplish that, regime change in Syria is essential, as the international community still refuses to recognize Israel’s seizure and continued occupation of the Golan as legal. This bars Israel from commercially developing the area’s rich resources, which explains Israel’s willingness to go to war over a seemingly small and insignificant tract of land. However, a new Syrian government, one more “friendly” to Israeli interests, could officially relinquish Syria’s claim to the Golan, paving the way for the complete and official annexation of the territory by Israel.

At the time the plan was created, the main motivator for Israel was the Golan’s freshwater reserves, as the Golan is one of three sources of freshwater available to the Israeli state — and is the largest in size and most abundant, as it includes the mountain streams that feed Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) and the headwaters of the Jordan river.

This makes this area even more important to Israel, given that Israel is in its sixth year of a drought so massive that a NASA study called it the worst drought in the region in nearly 900 years. Thus, the water resources of the Golan Heights are essential to Israel’s existence as well as its expansionist ambitions.

Though recent Israeli investment in desalination plants have since reduced its dependence on Golan water resources, the discovery of oil in the Golan in 2015 dramatically strengthened Israel’s resolve to gain complete sovereignty over the occupied territory.

The oil reserve discovered in the Golan Heights is estimated to contain “billions of barrels” of crude oil that could turn Israel – which currently imports the vast majority of its fuel – into a net oil exporter. Yet, because the Golan Heights are internationally recognized as being under occupation and not an official part of Israel, the commercial extraction and export of this vast oil reserve cannot move forward — until this status changes.

As a result, only exploratory wells have been drilled, mostly by a division of Genie Energy Co., a U.S.-based oil company connected to Rupert Murdoch, Jacob Rothschild, Dick Cheney and former CIA Director James Woolsey, among other powerful individuals in the U.S. and the U.K. The involvement of such influential figures in future oil extraction endeavors in the Golan Heights – dependent as they are on Israel acquiring sovereignty over the territory — likely explains why the U.S., as well as the U.K., has been so willing to help initiate and then perpetuate the Syrian conflict, which is soon to enter its eighth year.

Geopolitics First: The America-Israel Mideast axis

While Netanyahu’s statements show that the Golan Heights is a key driver for Israel in its refusal to let the Syrian conflict wind down, it is important to note that Israel and its allies abroad are also interested in the partitioning of Syria in order to keep the country weak and conflict-ridden for the foreseeable future. This call to partition Syria as well as other countries in the region, such as Iraq, dates back to the Yinon Plan that was developed in 1982 and seeks to partition and weaken other regional states through the engineering of sectarianism, in order to allow Israel to emerge as the region’s sole superpower.

This is worth pointing out, given Israel’s recent effort to take control of the U.S. troop pull-out (or lack thereof) from Syria, as the U.S. State Department is also promoting a plan as of this past weekend that would push for the partition of northeastern Syria were U.S. troops to begin to withdraw from Syrian territory.

Thus, the announcement that the troop “withdrawal” will now be coordinated with Israel and that the U.S.’ new policy for northeastern Syria will involve partition shows that another “America First” Trump policy has quickly morphed instead into an “Israel First” plan.

Whitney Webb is a staff writer for MintPress News and a contributor to Ben Swann’s Truth in Media. Her work has appeared on Global Research, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has also made radio and TV appearances on RT and Sputnik. She currently lives with her family in southern Chile.

January 8, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How the War Party Lost the Middle East

By Pat Buchanan • Unz Review • January 1, 2019

“Assad must go, Obama says.”

So read the headline in The Washington Post, Aug. 18, 2011.

The story quoted President Barack Obama directly:

“The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way. … the time has come for President Assad to step aside.”

France’s Nicolas Sarkozy and Britain’s David Cameron signed on to the Obama ultimatum: Assad must go!

Seven years and 500,000 dead Syrians later, it is Obama, Sarkozy and Cameron who are gone. Assad still rules in Damascus, and the 2,000 Americans in Syria are coming home. Soon, says President Donald Trump.

But we cannot “leave now,” insists Sen. Lindsey Graham, or “the Kurds are going to get slaughtered.”

Question: Who plunged us into a Syrian civil war, and so managed our intervention that were we to go home after seven years our enemies will be victorious and our allies will “get slaughtered”?

Seventeen years ago, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan to oust the Taliban for granting sanctuary to al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden.

U.S. diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad is today negotiating for peace talks with that same Taliban. Yet, according to former CIA director Mike Morell, writing in The Washington Post today, the “remnants of al-Qaeda work closely” with today’s Taliban.

It would appear that 17 years of fighting in Afghanistan has left us with these alternatives: Stay there, and fight a forever war to keep the Taliban out of Kabul, or withdraw and let the Taliban overrun the place.

Who got us into this debacle?

After Trump flew into Iraq over Christmas but failed to meet with its president, the Iraqi Parliament, calling this a “U.S. disregard for other nations’ sovereignty” and a national insult, began debating whether to expel the 5,000 U.S. troops still in their country.

George W. Bush launched Operation Iraq Freedom to strip Saddam Hussein of WMD he did not have and to convert Iraq into a democracy and Western bastion in the Arab and Islamic world.

Fifteen years later, Iraqis are debating our expulsion.

Muqtada al-Sadr, the cleric with American blood on his hands from the fighting of a decade ago, is leading the charge to have us booted out. He heads the party with the largest number of members in the parliament.

Consider Yemen. For three years, the U.S. has supported with planes, precision-guided munitions, air-to-air refueling and targeting information, a Saudi war on Houthi rebels that degenerated into one of the worst humanitarian disasters of the 21st century.

Belatedly, Congress is moving to cut off U.S. support for this war. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, its architect, has been condemned by Congress for complicity in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the consulate in Istanbul. And the U.S. is seeking a truce in the fighting.

Who got us into this war? And what have years of killing Yemenis, in which we have been collaborators, done to make Americans safer?

Consider Libya. In 2011, the U.S. attacked the forces of dictator Moammar Gadhafi and helped to effect his ouster, which led to his murder.

Told of news reports of Gadhafi’s death, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joked, “We came, we saw, he died.”

The Libyan conflict has since produced tens of thousands of dead. The output of Libya’s crucial oil industry has collapsed to a fraction of what it was. In 2016, Obama said that not preparing for a post-Gadhafi Libya was probably the “worst mistake” of his presidency.

The price of all these interventions for the United States?

Some 7,000 dead, 40,000 wounded and trillions of dollars.

For the Arab and Muslim world, the cost has been far greater. Hundreds of thousands of dead in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Libya, civilian and soldier alike, pogroms against Christians, massacres, and millions uprooted and driven from their homes.

How has all this invading, bombing and killing made the Middle East a better place or Americans more secure? One May 2018 poll of young people in the Middle East and North Africa found that more of them felt that Russia was a closer partner than was the United States of America.

The fruits of American intervention?

We are told ISIS is not dead but alive in the hearts of tens of thousands of Muslims, that if we leave Syria and Afghanistan, our enemies will take over and our friends will be massacred, and that if we stop helping Saudis and Emiratis kill Houthis in Yemen, Iran will notch a victory.

In his decision to leave Syria and withdraw half of the 14,000 troops in Afghanistan, Trump enraged our foreign policy elites, though millions of Americans cannot get out of there soon enough.

In Monday’s editorial celebrating major figures of foreign policy in the past half-century, The New York Times wrote, “As these leaders pass from the scene, it will be left to a new generation to find a way forward from the wreckage Mr. Trump has already created.”

Correction: Make that “the wreckage Mr. Trump inherited.”

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2019 Creators.com.

January 1, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Influencing Foreigners Is What Intelligence Agencies Do

By Philip M. GIRALDI | Strategic Culture Foundation | 20.12.2018

The Rand Corporation defines America’s influence operations as… “the coordinated, integrated, and synchronized application of national diplomatic, informational, military, economic, and other capabilities in peacetime, crisis, conflict, and post-conflict to foster attitudes, behaviors, or decisions by foreign target audiences that further US interests and objectives. In this view, influence operations accent communications to affect attitudes and behaviors but also can include the employment of military capabilities, economic development, and other real-world capabilities that also can play a role in reinforcing these communications.”

In a world where communications and social networks are global and accessible to many ordinary people, influence operations are the bread-and-butter of many intelligence agencies as a means of waging low intensity warfare against adversaries. During the past week there have been two accounts of how influencing foreign audiences has worked in practice, one relating to Russia and one to Great Britain.

The Russian story is part of the continuing saga of Russiagate. On Monday, the Senate Intelligence Committee released two reports on Russian operations before during and after the 2016 election to influence targeted groups, to include African-Americans, evangelical Christians and Second Amendment supporters to confuse voters about what the candidates stood for. Russia Internet Research Agency, headed by Yevgeny V. Prigozhin, alleged to be a friend of President Vladimir Putin, reportedly coordinated the effort.

The New York Times, slanted its coverage of the story, claiming that Moscow was “weaponizing” social media and that it was intended to support the candidacy of Donald Trump who “had a Russian blind spot and an army of supporters willing to believe convenient lies and half-truths.” They also dubbed it “a singular act of aggression that ushered in an era of extended conflict.” Of course, one might note that in 2016 the Times itself had a blind spot regarding Hillary Clinton compounded by a bias against Trump and his “deplorable” supporters, while one must also point out that Russian intentions are unknowable unless one were a fly on the wall inside the Kremlin when the US election was under discussion, so one might conclude that the newspaper is itself spreading something like disinformation.

It is undoubtedly true that Russia had a vital national interest in opposing Clinton, whose malevolent intentions towards Moscow were well known. It is also undoubtedly true that there was a campaign of manipulation of social networks by the Kremlin and its proxies to influence readers and also to assess the development of the two major party campaigns. But it also should be observed that the claim that it was seeking to suppress Democratic voters is not really borne out given the other much more conservative demographics that were also targeted. Indeed, involvement by Russia did not alter the outcome of the election and may have had virtually no impact whatsoever, so the claims by the Times that the world is seeing a new form of warfare is clearly exaggerated to reflect that paper’s editorial stance.

The fact that the Times is trying to make the news rather than reporting it is clearly indicted by its sheer speculation that “The Internet Research Agency appears to have largely sat out the 2018 midterm elections, but it is likely already trying to influence the 2020 presidential election, in ways social media companies may not yet understand or be prepared for. And Russia is just the beginning. Other countries, including Iran and China, have already demonstrated advanced capabilities for cyberwarfare, including influence operations waged over social media platforms.” It is certainly convenient to have all one’s enemies collectivized in two sentences, but the Times manages that quite neatly.

The second story, much less reported in the US media, relates to how the British intelligence services have been running their own disinformation operations against Russia, also using social networks and the internet. The British government has been financing a program that was given the name Integrity Initiative. It has been tasked with creating and disseminating disinformation relating to Russia in order to influence the people, armed forces and governments of a number of countries that Moscow constitutes a major threat to the west and its institutions.

Former British intelligence officer and established Russo-phobe Christopher Nigel Donnelly (CND) is the co-director of The Institute for Statecraft and founder of its offshoot Integrity Initiative. The Initiative ironically claims to “Defend Democracy Against Disinformation.” According to leaked documents, the Initiative plants disinformation that includes allegations about the “Russian threat” to world peace using what are referred to as journalists ‘clusters’ in place both in Europe and the United States.

Even though the Institute and Initiative pretend to be independent Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), they are both actually supported financially by the British government, NATO and what are reported to be other state donors, possibly including the United States.

The Integrity Initiative aside, the United States has also long been involved in influence operations, sometimes also referred to as perception management. Even before 9/11 and after the breakup of the Soviet Union the State Department, Pentagon and National Security Agency were all active on the internet in opposing various adversaries, to include terrorist groups. The CIA has been spreading disinformation using paid journalists and arranging foreign elections since 1947. Sometimes US federal government agencies are operating openly, but more often they are using covert mechanisms and cover stories to conceal their identities. America’s internet warriors are adept at spreading misinformation aimed at target audiences worldwide.

The fact is that spreading disinformation and confusion are what governments and intelligence services do to protect what they consider to be vital interests. It is naïve for the US Senate and America’s leading newspapers to maintain that intelligence probing and other forms of interference from Russia or China or Iran or even “friend” Israel occur in a vacuum. Everyone intrudes and spreads lies and everyone will continue to do it because it is easy to understand and cheap to run. In the end, however, its effectiveness is limited. In 2016 the election result was determined by a lack of trust on the part of the American people for what the establishment politicians have been offering, not because of interference from Moscow.

December 20, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

UK and US PSYOP Collusion

By Margaret Kimberly | Black Agenda Report | December 19, 2018

Russiagate hysteria is an international conspiracy, with British spooks spreading lies on three continents. Now Black Americans are slandered as “dupes” of Moscow.

For more than two years the corporate media, elite think tanks, NATO leaders, and most Democratic Party politicians have insisted that Russia interferes in American and European elections. The charge doesn’t withstand scrutiny but the lies are repeated. There is proof that surveillance state meddling in the affairs of democratic nations is real, but Russia isn’t the culprit. It is the United Kingdom and the United States who lead in skullduggery and meddling with the rights they claim to uphold.

Thanks to the Anonymous hacker community the work of the Integrity Initiative  has been exposed to the public. The Integrity Initiative is a British “charity” founded in 2015. Its mission is to “bring to the attention of politicians, policy-makers, opinion leaders and other interested parties the threat posed by Russia to democratic institutions in the United Kingdom, across Europe and North America.” That mission is suspect in and of itself, a phony trope meant to cover up its own imperialist wrong doing. The Integrity Initiative is an arm of the British government and has received more than $2 million in funding from the British Foreign Office and Defense department. It has also raised money from NATO, Facebook and rightwing foundations.

The Integrity Initiative is a means of undermining the sovereignty of the British people by manipulating them with lies. It engaged in numerous efforts to libel Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and prevent him from ever being elected prime minister. Corbyn has been accused of Soviet era espionage, anti-Semitism and anything else his enemies choose to use against him. Academics and writers who spoke out against UK involvement in attacks on Syria were likewise targeted by The Timesand other influential British media. The reporters involved were part of this Integrity Initiative campaign. The attacks are consistent and are obviously coordinated at a very high level.

Integrity Initiative director Christopher Donnelly  is a former member of the British Army Intelligence Corps. He also helped to create the U.S. Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office at Fort Leavenworth, and served as an advisor to several Secretaries General at NATO. After the NATO instigated coup against the elected Ukrainian government Donnelly recommended placing mines in the Sevastopol harbor, an obvious provocation.

When Integrity Initiative isn’t planning to start wars it plots to interfere in the affairs of other countries through orchestrated “clusters” of journalists and academics. The Spanish cluster  quashed the appointment of a new defense secretary through the use of a coordinated social media campaign. They were also involved in subverting the Catalan independence vote.

Clusters are operating not just in the UK and Spain but in France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway and Lithuania. After Julian Assange revealed the extent of interference in Spain the cluster targeted the Ecuadorean government to end his asylum.

There is evidence that the Integrity Initiative sent an operative into the Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. An Englishman named Simon Bracey-Lane  got much media attention for volunteering in the Sanders Iowa caucus campaign. Bracey-Lane is now a research fellow at the Institute for Statecraft, the Integrity Initiative’s parent company. There was foreign meddling in the 2016 election but it came from British spooks like Christopher Steele and undercover operatives, not Russian agents.

The only Americans aware of the Integrity Initiative are those who use social media to gather information outside of the corporate media bubble. The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and MSNBC haven’t covered this story. They repeat what Robert Mueller says about crooked and amateurish Trump allies who cheat on taxes or pay off porn stars. They repeat flimsy evidence of Russian collusion while America’s allies in the UK cheat their own citizens of their rights. It is miraculous when the people are able to find out anything they need to know.

These miracles occur when Wikileaks or Anonymous steal secrets the powerful want to keep hidden. Americans wouldn’t know about the existence of the FBI Counter Intelligence Program if a group of activists hadn’t stolen the documentary evidence. That is why the leakers and the hackers deserve support from anyone who wants to live in a truly democratic society.

While British spies operate covertly, their American counterparts work in the open as they make a profit off of their disinformation campaigns. The story of a Russian troll farm swaying Americans to vote for Donald Trump was relegated to old news but it was resurrected by a Silicon Valley surveillance state operation.

New Knowledge  is a tech firm created with venture capital cash and founders who are former operatives from the National Security Agency, U.S. military, and State Department. New Knowledge was hired by the Senate Intelligence Committee and tasked with finding out the extent of supposed Russian influence on social media.

As expected, they produced a report claiming not only that the Russians meddled in the election but that African Americans were the most targeted group . This is a rehash of the discredited story that click bait  ad selling schemes amounted to espionage. It also confuses with claims of millions of online interactions  that are a drop in the bucket in comparison with American political sites.

Of course phony concern for black people is the last refuge of many scoundrels. Now that there has been no evidence presented of Russian government collusion with Donald Trump, the rehashing will be more frequent. The Democratic Party and the corporate media cannot let this story die. They depend upon it and they must keep covering up their own lies. Russiagate is the gift that keeps on giving.

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee and their establishment supporters are responsible for the Donald Trump presidency. They were more concerned with covering up her scandals, attracting Republican voters and raising corporate money than they were about getting out the black vote that they always rely upon for victory. Despite raising more than $1 billion they presided over one of the worst debacles in American political history. Any outrage about the Trump presidency must be pointed in their direction.

No one should fear terms like conspiracy theory when there are proven conspiracies operating at the highest levels of government and media. There are no coincidences when certain people suddenly come under attack. There is every reason to be paranoid because collusion is quite real. But the stories we’re told about it are the most fake news of all.

December 19, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , , | 1 Comment

Is Canada Huawei Arrest Attempt to Sabotage Trump Xi Talks?

By F. William Engdahl – New Eastern Outlook – 19.12.2018

The arrest of the CFO of the China’s largest telecoms equipment company, Huawei, carries hallmarks of deep state or behind-the-scenes sabotage designed to rupture recent progress between US President Trump and China President Xi Jinping on strategic issues. Here are some elements of the case that smack of insider sabotage from the US side, with complicity of Five Eyes member Canada.

After months of trade tariff clashes between USA and China, US President Donald Trump met with China President Xi Jinping during the Buenos Aires G-20 Summit. There the two issued a positive joint statement in which it was stated that the US on January 1 will impose a “cease-fire” and freeze current tariffs at 10% on the $200 billion of Chinese imports to the US, not raising it to 25% as scheduled. For his part, Xi agreed to resume buying US soybeans and other agriculture and energy products to cut the trade imbalance. Most interesting and little-discussed in western media coverage, on the US request, Xi also agreed to list the controversial chemical Fentanyl as a Controlled Substance, meaning that people selling Fentanyl to the United States will be subject to China’s maximum penalty under the law.

As well, they agreed to immediately begin negotiations on key US issues including forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft, services and agriculture to be completed within 90 days or face resumption of the planned 25% tariff raise.

The offer by Xi to control Fentanyl, one of the most deadly synthetic drugs that has caused tens of thousands of deaths in the USA, was notable. According to U.S. law enforcement and drug investigators, China is the main supplier of fentanyl to the United States. There criminal organizations mix the Fentanyl powder with heroin. Also according to the US DEA, China companies ship Fentanyl to key points in Canada and Mexico. From Mexico it is usually repackaged by the Mexican drug cartels and smuggled into the US.

Canada Surprise?

In other words China had agreed to open strategic issues in bilateral relations that could have major positive implications for resolving the trade conflicts and other issues not public. On December 5 in Vancouver Canadian authorities arrested Meng Wanzhou, the CFO and board member of China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd. She is also daughter of the founder and CEO.

The arrest, reportedly on charges of illegal activities in regard to US sanctions on Iran, is unprecedented. In August the US President signed an order banning Huawei hardware in US government communications networks on grounds of national security. Huawei is at the heart of China’s vigorous effort to dominate the emerging 5G communications networks. The company is today the world’s second largest smartphone maker after Samsung and ahead of Apple and the world’s largest manufacturer of telecom network equipment with $92 billion in sales. US President Trump in August authorized a ban on the company’s hardware in US government networks, citing national security concerns – particularly in relation to the rollout of 5G networks.

That there have been growing conflicts between China and Washington over Huawei is clear. What is bizarre about the Canadian arrest of Meng, now on bail and awaiting extradition to the US, is the fact that it took place on the same day Trump and Xi in Buenos Aires were engaged in critical trade talks. According to Trump National Security adviser, John Bolton, the President was not informed beforehand of the Canadian arrest plan.

Whatever the case with many charges of hidden espionage devices embedded in Huawei technology, or Iran sanctions violations, the Canadian arrest of CFO Meng Wanzhou is having explosive consequences inside China. The CCP People’s Daily, in an editorial, wrote on December 9, “To treat a Chinese citizen like a serious criminal, to roughly trample their basic human rights, and to dishonor their dignity, how is this the method of a civilized country? How can this not make people furious?”

In an unusual step, in the midst of the fray, Donald Trump announced that if necessary to conclude positive China trade talks, he would be ready to intervene with the US Justice Department into the controversy. On December 12 in a Reuters interview Trump stated, “Whatever’s good for this country, I would do. If I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made – which is a very important thing – what’s good for national security – I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary.”

Beijing Response

So far there are more unanswered questions than answers. However, it appears that Beijing is being extremely careful not to allow the affront–ordinarily a huge face loss for the Chinese to have one of their national champion company senior people treated so–to disrupt relations with the Trump Administration. Rather than retaliate by going after the many top US executives in China, it arrested a former Canadian diplomat in Beijing on suspicion of “endangering national security,” as well as a Canadian entrepreneur with business ties to North Korea.

The connections of that former Canadian diplomat are more than interesting.

Michael Kovrig previously worked as a Canadian diplomat in Beijing, Hong Kong and the United Nations. Chinese national security police took him into custody on December 10 in Beijing. Kovrig is officially listed as “North East Asia adviser” for something called the International Crisis Group. 

The International Crisis Group is an NGO with a knack for being involved in key conflict zones such as Myanmar. The magazine Third World Quarterly in a peer-reviewed article in 2014 accused the ICG of “manufacturing” crises.

It was founded by Trump nemesis and Hillary Clinton supporter, George Soros. The Trustees of Kovrig’s employer, the International Crisis Group, include some very notable names. One is of course founder and funder, George Soros. Another trustee is a Canadian billionaire, Frank Guistra. Make a note of the name as it is likely to appear in the news in coming weeks as details emerge of FBI and other US investigations into illegal or shady dealings of the tax-exempt Clinton Foundation. Frank Giustra President & CEO, Fiore Financial Corporation, is a big donor to the Clinton Foundation where he also sits on the board.

His Giustra Foundation works with Elevate Social Businesses, formerly Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, the International Crisis Group, Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative, and other partners. Guistra’s UrAsia Energy Ltd. appears in the investigation of the infamous Uranium One scandal during Hillary Clinton’s term as Secretary of State, which some believe is the real “Russiagate” scandal. Soon we will know more as litigation in the US proceeds.

In sum, it appears that Xi Jinping has chosen a highly interesting target for retaliation in the Canadian arrest of Huawei’s CFO. To date it appears that, if it were the aim of certain dark networks in US and Canadian governments and intelligence to sabotage any constructive USA-China dialogue by the unprecedented arrest of the Huawei senior executive, it may have backfired. The next weeks will tell more.

December 19, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Economics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Turkey and Russia Push Towards a Resolution in Syria

By Tom LUONGO | Strategic Culture Foundation | 19.12.2018

Turkish-US relations are terrible and deteriorating by the day despite bromides to the contrary. Actions speak louder than words. And that has been all President Trump seems capable of anymore, words not actions.

Since the beginning of l’affair Khashoggi Turkey has been extracting concession after concession from the US as the Trump administration tries to salvage its soon-to-be-unveiled Middle East peace plan.

The latest concession may be the biggest. There’s a report out now that the Trump administration is readying the extradition of cleric Fethulah Gulen, who President Erdogan believes was behind the coup attempt against him in July of 2016.

The US has protected Gulen well beyond any reasonable measure for someone not in their pay so Erdogan’s claims ring true enough. I’ve always thought he was a US intelligence asset and that the US were the ones truly behind the coup attempt.

And since the Trump administration has been desperate to get the Turks to stop leaking details of the Khashoggi murder, Erdogan has pretty much had a free hand to conduct business as he’s seen fit for the past two-plus months.

Whether the US ever returns Gulen to Ankara or not is actually irrelevant; keeping it a sore spot open is its biggest value while Turkey prepares an assault against US-backed YPG forces in Manbij, Syria.

It helps raise Turkey’s position with the other countries involved in the Astana peace process for Syria while keeping Trump, his foreign policy mental midgets and Saudi Arabia on their collective back foot.

Turkey has grown increasingly restless about the US’s lack of movement in turning Manbij over to them. And have now unleashed attacks on Kurdish forces in Northern Iraq to hamper them further.

All of this is making the US presence in eastern Syria more untenable over time while the Saudis struggle with falling oil prices and no longer want to pay the bill for the US’s proxy war.

Don’t kid yourself, the US is struggling to keep its financial pressure up on Iran.

If these things weren’t enough Turkish Prime Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said recently that Ankara was now willing to work with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad if he survives “democratic and credible” elections. This is rich coming from Turkey, but whatever.

The importance of this statement, however, cannot be overstated. Turkey was one of the major partners in the mission to destroy Syria. And now they have joined with Russia, Iran and China in negotiating the peace process.

They have gone from “Assad must go!” to “Assad can stay.” It is an admission that the US plan for balkanization of Syria will eventually fail and that their best bet is putting maximum pressure on the US to give up its regional plans.

Russia, of course, stands behind Turkey in this and they themselves are now upping the costs on the US and the Israelis. Because, it is now Russian policy to assist Syrian Arab Army forces in proportional retaliation against Israeli aggression in Syrian territory, according to Elijah Magnier.

No longer will the Russians stand aside and allow Israel a free hand over bombing what it says are Hezbollah and Iranian targets within Syria. The SAA will now strike back with a proportional response.

An airport for an airport, as it were.

What started as a State Department operation to install a puppet government and sow chaos in Syria under Hillary Clinton then became one to drain Russian and Iranian resources by wasting their time under John Kerry.

Today, that US/Israeli/Saudi strategy has been turned on its head.

It is now the US and the Saudis that are feeling the pinch of yet another quagmire without end. Moreover, the Israeli security situation is now worse than it was before all of this started in the first place. This necessitates an even more unhinged response from Washington which it cannot defend to the American people as to why we need to stay in Syria forever.

None of this is what President Trump campaigned on. None of this is what candidate and citizen Trump argued for.

The real war of attrition was never about physical resources and money. It was always about time. The Iranians and Russians have played for time. Time brought out the truth about the Syrian invasion. It exposed the real causes of the conflict.

The hope now for the US is that financial pressure will get Iran to knuckle under. But, look at what is happening. Oil prices are in freefall as the global economy slows down thanks to debt saturation, a rising dollar and increasing opposition in the West to neoliberalism and globalism.

Trump whines about this because it upsets his mercantilist plans to corner the energy markets while weaponizing the use of the dollar.

EU technocrats who fancy themselves the inheritors of a waning US empire, bristle under Trump’s plans. They will build an alternative payment vehicle to buy goods and services from sanctioned entities. This is about much more than Iranian oil.

So, while Trump, Bolton, Mnuchin and Pompeo, the Four Horsemen of the Foreign Policy Apocalypse, think they are winning this war on commerce, all they are doing is falling into the very trap Putin, Xi and Rouhani have set for them.

Again, they playing for time. The dollar is the US’s strength and also its Achilles’ heel. And if you are playing for time it is to build alternative channels for trade, oil, gas and whatever else the US deems against its interests without need for dollars.

Trump’s energy dominance plan is as transparent as his narcissism. More likely the sanctions exemptions for buying Iranian oil will be extended in May because he can’t have a global crisis be his fault as he prepares for re-election in 2020.

But, that’s exactly what he’s setting up.

So, now back to Syria.

Those who were set up to be scapegoats – namely Qatar and Turkey – washed their hands of the operation quickly, made deals with Russian President Vladimir Putin and charted their own independent paths. By the time the truth about US involvement in Syria was exposed they were long gone and only the real perpetrators left holding onto poor positions and worse arguments.

All Trump can do now is openly admit that we’re there on behalf of Israel and Saudi Arabia to get Iran. That’s it. He can sell that to part of his base. But, not enough of them to win re-election.

His peace plan is DOA. It died along with the 15 Russian airmen on that IL-20 back in August. I’ll be surprised if it is ever actually announced. That one event set us on this path. It permanently poisoned Russian/Israeli relations as Netanyahu overplayed his hand assisting NATO in a needless provocation which nearly sparked a wider war.

Reports are that Putin doesn’t return his phone calls and now dictates to Bibi what happens next. This also tells me Putin now has control over his Israeli fifth columnists within the Kremlin otherwise this order would never have been issued and made public.

Now Netanyahu is hemmed in on all sides and the Saudis are political pawns between the warring factions of the US government – Trump who wants an Arab NATO and the Deep State that wants him on a platter. Their benefactor, Trump, is in an increasingly untenable position who will soon be forced to choose between hot war and impeachment.

Meanwhile, Iran, Turkey and Russia will continue to bleed out the US forces in Syria while sanctions prove to be increasingly less effective. Simultaneously, the Astana process moves forward with all groups trying to reach out to each other around the sclerotic reach of the US and put an end to this shameful period of US foreign policy insanity.

December 19, 2018 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christopher Steele Admits He Was Hired To Help Hillary Challenge 2016 Election

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 12/17/2018

Former UK spy Christopher Steele admitted in a London court that he was hired to help Hillary Clinton contest the results of the 2016 election in case Trump won, according to the Washington Times.

Steele assembled an anti-Trump “dossier” of opposition research investigative firm Fusion GPS, which was in turn hired by DNC law firm Perkins Coie LLP. The document used “a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure,” and “a former top level intelligence officer still active in the Kremlin,” according to Vanity FairIn other words, Hillary Clinton – through Steele and other intermediaries – was working with Russians against Donald Trump.

He said the law firm Perkins Coie wanted to be in a position to contest the results based on evidence he unearthed on the Trump campaign conspiring with Moscow on election interference.

His scenario is contained in a sealed Aug. 2 declaration in a defamation law suit brought by three Russian bankers in London. The trio’s American attorneys filed his answers Tuesday in a libel lawsuit in Washington against the investigative firm Fusion GPS, which handled the former British intelligence officer.

In an answer to interrogatories, Mr. Steele wrote: “Fusion’s immediate client was law firm Perkins Coie. It engaged Fusion to obtain information necessary for Perkins Coie LLP to provide legal advice on the potential impact of Russian involvement on the legal validity of the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election.

“Based on that advice, parties such as the Democratic National Committee and HFACC Inc. (also known as ‘Hillary for America’) could consider steps they would be legally entitled to take to challenge the validity of the outcome of that election.” – Washington Times

During the election, Clinton told voters that Donald Trump would “threaten democracy” if he didn’t promise to accept the results of the 2016 election – after Trump suggested he might not accept the results of a “rigged” contest.

Now listen to Hillary when she thought she was going to win the election:

Meanwhile Clinton was open to challenging the election more than ten months after her historic loss – if only there were a way. “There are scholars, academics, who have arguments that it would be, but I don’t think they’re on strong ground. But people are making those arguments. I just don’t think we have a mechanism,” Clinton told NPR in September 2017.

The dossier Steele produced was used as the basis for an FBI FISA surveillance warrant application to spy on members of the Trump campaign. Notably, the agency never told the FISA court that the dossier their application hinged on was paid for by the DNC and Clinton’s campaign, although it did indicate that it was opposition research.

The mainstream media used still-unverified key claims within the dossier to fuel a conspiracy theory that President Trump conspired with the Russian government to win the 2016 US election.

Meanwhile, as we reported earlier Monday, FBI and CIA sources told a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter that they didn’t believe a key claim contained in the “Steele Dossier,” the document the Obama FBI relied on to obtain a surveillance warrant on a member of the Trump campaign.

The Post‘s Greg Miller told an audience at an October event that the FBI and CIA did not believe that former longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen visited Prague during the 2016 election to pay off Russia-linked hackers who stole emails from key Democrats, reports the Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross.

“We’ve talked to sources at the FBI and the CIA and elsewhere — they don’t believe that ever happened,” said Miller during the October event which aired Saturday on C-SPAN.

We literally spent weeks and months trying to run down… there’s an assertion in there that Michael Cohen went to Prague to settle payments that were needed at the end of the campaign. We sent reporters to every hotel in Prague, to all over the place trying to – just to try to figure out if he was ever there, and came away empty. -Greg Miller

Meanwhile, Trump is still living under the spectre of Russian collusion, while Hillary Clinton actually colluded Russians in her plan to challenge the 2016 election.

December 18, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Progressive Hypocrite | , , | Leave a comment

Why the United States Has Not Won a Real War Since 1945

By Philip Giraldi | American Herald Tribune | December 16, 2018

If anyone is still wondering why the United States has not won a real war since 1945, I offer up the example of retired U.S. Army Colonel Wes Martin, who writes for Town Hall and reportedly also has appeared as an expert commentator on Fox. Town Hall is a purveyor of a certain type of “American conservatism.” It was founded by the Heritage Foundation on the principle that the United States is ordained by God as uber alles. Though it features many good writers and even genuine conservatives it occasionally goes off the rails. Its latest incarnation features an article entitled “Obama-loving country music star Tim McGraw partners with terror-sponsoring communists.”

Colonel Martin’s bio includes his service as the Senior Antiterrorism Officer for all Coalition Forces in Iraq and Commander of Camp Ashraf, which is where the military arm of the Mojahedin e Khalq (MEK) terrorist group was camped while Saddam Hussein was still in power. MEK, consisting of Iranian dissidents, was being used by Saddam to carry out low-intensity warfare against Iran. It was placed under American military protection after the fall of Baghdad in 2003.

Martin’s latest foray in Mullah-bashing is a December 10th article entitled “Iran’s Continuing Misinformation Campaign.” It is a defense of MEK, which he describes as a victim of Iranian propaganda. Martin frames his argument around a critique of a November 9th report entitled “Terrorists, cultists – or champions of Iranian democracy? The wild, wild story of the MEK” that appeared in The Guardian, but, in reality, most of his piece is about himself. The Guardian article, written by Arron Merat, provides an in-depth analysis of MEK, how it developed, and what it is doing today. It does, to be sure, come down on the side of MEK being both a cult and a terror organization, which is what Martin disputes.

Martin’s article, like all of his pieces appearing on Town Hall, is nearly unreadable. It includes gems like “The Iranian dissidents have a primary target of the ayatollahs misinformation campaign” and also “This was the first time in U.S. history, and perhaps world history, where one country was invaded and with it came the entrapment of a large military force dedicated to the removal of a third of the country’s leadership.” I’m sure Colonel Martin actually meant something in those two sentences but I am at a loss to figure out what it might be.

Martin reports that MEK first came on to his “radar” in 2003 after the invasion of Iraq by U.S. forces, which is part of his problem, which might be described as seeing what one wants to see. He conducted “an assessment on the MEK and determined they were not a threat.” But other evidence, which Martin should have considered, suggests that MEK was not just a group of Iranian dissidents. A study prepared by the Rand Corporation for the U.S. government conducted interviews at Camp Ashraf and concluded that there were present “many of the typical characteristics of a cult, such as authoritarian control, confiscation of assets, sexual control (including mandatory divorce and celibacy), emotional isolation, forced labor, sleep deprivation, physical abuse and limited exit options.”

MEK made the transition from terrorist group to “champions of Iranian democracy” by virtue of intensive lobbying of Iran haters. The Guardian article also describes how “A stupendously long list of American politicians from both parties were paid hefty fees to speak at events in favor of the MEK, including Giuliani, John McCain, Newt Gingrich and former Democratic party chairs Edward Rendell and Howard Dean – along with multiple former heads of the FBI and CIA. John Bolton, who has made multiple appearances at events supporting the MEK, is estimated to have received upwards of $180,000. According to financial disclosure forms, Bolton was paid $40,000 for a single appearance at the Free Iran rally in Paris in 2017.”

It apparently never occurred to Martin that the group had a whole lot of history before he appeared on the scene and it began buying American politicians. It may not have been an active threat in 2003, when confronted by overwhelming U.S. military force, but it sure was anti-American back in the 1970s, to include the assassination of at least six U.S. Air Force officers and civilian defense contractors. The ambush in which two air force officers were murdered by MEK was reenacted for each incoming class at the Central Intelligence Agency training center in the late 1970s to illustrate just how a terrorist attack on a moving vehicle might take place.

Colonel Martin is inevitably a harsh critic of President Barack Obama, mentioning in passing that “Unfortunately, the State Department policy under the Obama administration was intent on appeasing the Iran regime.” It is an assertion for which there is scant evidence apart from Obama’s clearly expressed reasonable desire to negotiate an end to any possible Iranian nuclear weapons program. In fact, Obama’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton removed the group from the State Department terror list in 2012, and then arranged for its relocation to a safe site in Albania, where it still resides.

In another article on “evil” Iran, obviously an obsession with Martin, he states that “The fundamentalists in Tehran were almost overthrown during the vast national uprisings of 2009 (predating the Arab Spring). While former President Obama and former Secretary Clinton stayed silent, in favor of their nuclear deal with the regime…” Martin is dead wrong that the regime was almost overthrown. It was never threatened. And, of course, it would have been difficult for Obama to have remained silent in 2009 over the “nuclear deal” which was not signed until 2015.

Martin also has problems with the Guardian article’s assertion that MEK derives from an “Islamist-Marxist” ideology. He observes “In other words, the MEK is composed of God-fearing atheists. He needs to pick one or the other, because Islam and Marxism do not mix.” Actually Marxism, as a primarily social and economic framework, is not necessarily anti-religious, particularly when religion inspires the workers as part of the class struggle. Political Marxism and religious zealotry can coexist. The communist Tudeh Party of pre-revolutionary Iran was reportedly full of Islamists. And MEK does indeed have both Marxist and Islamic roots. It helped to overthrow the Shah in 1979 through cooperation with the religious parties but then turned against the clerics after they had succeeded in assuming control of the revolution.

Martin also completely ignores MEK’s anti-American, anti-capitalist and anti-colonialist roots. It began as a radicalized student group in Iran in the 1970s that attacked U.S. businesses and was viscerally opposed to the United States presence. The Guardian article describes how one of its songs went “Death to America by blood and bonfire on the lips of every Muslim is the cry of the Iranian people. May America be annihilated.”

Colonel Martin saves his best for last as he fulminates “Iran, the number one nation-state exporter of terrorism, is also the number one exporter of propaganda. Iran’s MOIS [Ministry of Intelligence and Security] will fight the truth with lies, deceit, and manipulation of facts. MOIS expends great effort to neutralize the MEK as the primarily threat to the Iranian regime.”

That Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism is often asserted by folks like Colonel Martin and John Bolton but rarely elaborated on, particularly given the fact that the United States operates worldwide with intelligence officers, special ops and drones that kill lots of people on a regular basis without any declarations of war. Who has Iran killed lately? And when it comes to propaganda, no one does it better or more aggressively that the U.S. and Israel, even if no one believes any of it anymore.

What it comes down to is that people like Colonel Wes Martin, unfortunately proliferating in the U.S. government, hate Iran for a whole lot of reasons that have nothing to do with national security. Israel and its lobby are certainly an element as is the need for enemies to feed the paranoia that drives and funds the military industrial complex. Martin reveals his ignorance when he objects to what he believes to be Iranian government efforts to “neutralize the MEK as the primarily (sic) threat to the Iranian regime.” That claim is complete nonsense. MEK worked with Saddam Hussein to kill Iranians, just as it earlier killed Americans. It is hated in Iran and has little support inside the country. It is a terrorist group, currently being used by the CIA and Israel’s Mossad to assassinate and otherwise kill still more Iranians. This is why luminaries like Mike Pompeo and John Bolton and Colonel Martin love it, not because it is poised to bring democracy to Iran.

December 16, 2018 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Mattis Tells All Without Any Evidence

By Philip M. GIRALDI | Strategic Culture Foundation | 06.12.2018

The insanity runs deep in Washington but it has also briefly surfaced at Simi Valley in California at the Reagan National Defense Forum, which ran through last weekend. United States Secretary of Defense James “Mad Dog” Mattis was the keynote speaker on Saturday. He had a few interesting things to say, the most remarkable of which was the assertion that Russia had again sought to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections, which were completed last month.

Mattis, a Marine general who is sometimes considered to be the only adult in the room when the White House national security team meets, claimed that the bilateral relationship between Washington and Moscow had “no doubt” deteriorated still further due to the Russian activity, which he described as the Kremlin “try[ing] again to muck around around in our elections last month, and we are seeing a continued effort along those lines” with Russian President Vladimir Putin making “continued efforts to try to subvert democratic processes that must be defended. We’ll do whatever is necessary to defend them.”

Mattis did not address President Donald Trump’s cancellation of a meeting with Putin at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a move which he reportedly supported. The cancellation was reportedly based on what has been described as an act of aggression committed by the Russian military against three Ukrainian naval vessels seeking to transit the Kerch Strait, which since the annexation of Crimea has been completely controlled by Moscow. The Ukrainians were aware of the Russian protocols for transiting through the area and chose to ignore them to create an incident, possibly as part of a plan to disrupt the Trump-Putin discussions. If that is so, they were successful.

Mattis was somewhat taciturn relating to his accusation regarding Moscow’s meddling. He provided absolutely no evidence that Russia had been interfering in the latest election and there have been no suggestions from either federal or state authorities that there were any irregularities involving foreigners. There was, however, considerable concern over possible ballot and voting manipulation at state levels carried out by the major political parties themselves, suggesting that if Mattis is looking for subversion of democratic processes he might start looking a lot closer to home.

The U.S. government has issued a general warning that “Americans should be aware that foreign actors — and Russia in particular — continue to try to influence public sentiment and voter perceptions through actions intended to sow discord.” Law enforcement and intelligence agencies have reportedly been working with private sector internet social networking companies, to include Twitter and Facebook, to shut down Russian and Iranian accounts in attempt to forestall any interference in either the campaigning or voting processes. Some Russians have even been indicted in absentia based on flimsy evidence but as they are in Russia they cannot be tried. One Russian student, Maria Butina, is still in jail in Virginia based on conflicting and flimsy evidence and it is not clear when she will be able to defend herself in court.

Beyond the general anti-Russia hysteria being encouraged by the media and congress, there are a number of problems with the Mattis assertion. First of all, beyond the fact that no actual evidence has been presented, it is irrational to assume that Russian intelligence services would waste their effort and burn their resources to attempt to accomplish absolutely nothing. Russia was not on the ballot last month and no candidates were running on any platform that would benefit Moscow in the slightest. To get caught “mucking around” would invite more sanctions and justify an increasingly hostile response from Washington, hardly a price that Putin would be willing to pay for little or nothing tangible.

Second, the intense investigations being carried out by the Robert Mueller Special Counsel’s office have to this point developed no information suggesting that Russia did anything in 2016 beyond the low-level probing and manipulating that every major intelligence agency does routinely to get a window into what an adversary is up to. To be sure, several Team Trump associates will likely be going to jail, but their crimes so far have consisted of perjury or tax fraud. Some, like former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen are seeking desperately to find a way to implicate the president in some grander scheme, but if there is anything actually there it has yet to be identified to the public.

Third, based on the evidence produced so far, the only two countries that may have cooperated with either Trump or the Deep State to influence the results of the 2016 election are Israel, which sought Trump intercession at the United Nations, and Britain, which may have engaged in a plot by the British intelligence and security services to conspire with CIA Director John Brennan to elect Hillary Clinton.

So, there we go again. Another vague accusation against Russia to convince the American public that there is a powerful enemy out to get us. And lest there be any shortage of enemies Mattis also mentioned always dangerous Iran, saying “… we cannot deny the threat that Iran poses to all civilized nations.” And, by the way, Mattis in his speech strongly supported an increased “defense” budget to deal with all the threats, saying somewhat obscurely that “Fiscal solvency and strategic solvency can co-exist.” Sure. In the wonderful world of Washington, more money can fix anything.

December 6, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment