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Shell-shocked pundits come crawling back to Hillary over Trump’s Iran belligerence… forgetting she’d have started war sooner

If you squint really hard, it’s ALMOST like she’s in the Oval Office…
RT | January 8, 2020

Social media sang praises of would-be US President Hillary Clinton as actual President Donald Trump seemed headed for all-out war with Iran – even though Clinton had been a much more enthusiastic participant in US wars.

After Iranian missiles struck several US bases Tuesday night, #Resistance twitter wasted no time disavowing the administration they blamed for the hostilities, running into the arms of his arch-rival with the #IVotedforHillaryClinton hashtag.

But claiming Clinton was the less warlike of the two candidates, or would have steered the country away from war with Iran, requires a serious divergence from history. The former Secretary of State once told an interviewer that “I want the Iranians to know that if I’m the president, we will attack Iran.”

That was during her 2008 campaign, and in the middle of a discussion about Iran possibly attacking Israel. Perhaps her stance on the Islamic republic had softened a bit by 2016, enough to justify viewing her as the lesser of two Iran hawks?

Nope. The months leading up to that election saw her parroting Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s decades-old talking points about Iran “racing toward a nuclear capability,” expanding “secret facilities,” and “defying their international obligations” before she swept in with the nuclear deal and solved all the problems.

Except the deal was negotiated after she was replaced as the top US diplomat by John Kerry. Clinton was on the same side as Trump, demanding ever more sanctions even as the nuclear deal took effect, this time as punishment for Iran’s ballistic missile program.

Beyond interventionist Democrats, she was courted by a bevy of neocons who couldn’t stomach Trump’s anti-interventionist rhetoric. Inveterate warmongers like Robert Kagan and Richard Armitage swooned over the ex-First Lady.

In short order, the infamous clip of Clinton mocking the brutal murder of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi – “we came, we saw, he died” – resurfaced on twitter. The so-called “humanitarian” intervention in Libya was largely a creation of Clinton’s State Department, complete with risible wartime propaganda about Gaddafi handing out Viagra so his soldiers could better commit mass rapes, and the continued chaos in that once-advanced state remains a testament to what the region (or world) might look like under her watch.

She wanted a repeat performance in Syria, calling for – and thankfully not getting – a no-fly zone, even while admitting it would “kill a lot of Syrians.”

While Trump lost the popular vote to Clinton, he handily beat her in the Electoral College, which ultimately decides who occupies the White House. Despite her massive advantage in political experience, his promises to bring US troops home attracted significant support. Nearly four years later, however, the US is poised on the brink of a catastrophic expansion of its Forever War.

January 9, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Justice at Last? ‘Panic’ in Israel as the ICC Takes ‘Momentous Step’ in the Right Direction

By Ramzy Baroud | Palestine Chronicle | January 8, 2020

At long last, Fatou Bensouda, the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has uttered the long-anticipated conclusion that “all the statutory criteria under the Rome statute for the opening of an investigation (into alleged war crimes in the Occupied Palestinian Territories) have been met”.

Bensouda’s verdict has been in the making for a long time and should, frankly, have arrived much earlier. The ICC preliminary investigations into Israeli war crimes began back in 2015. Since then, many more such war crimes have been committed, while the international community persisted in its moral inertia.

The ICC statement, issued on December 20, asserted that the court saw “no substantial reasons to believe that an investigation would not serve the interests of justice”.

But can the “interest of justice” be served while the United States government continues to wield a massive stick, using its diplomatic, political and financial clout to ensure Israel emerges unscathed from its latest legal scuffle?

There is little doubt that Michael Lynk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory, is absolutely right: A formal ICC criminal investigation into war crimes in Palestine is a “momentous step forward in the quest for accountability”.

He is also correct in his assessment, published in the United Nations Human Rights Officer of the High Commissioner website, that “accountability has, until now, been largely missing in action throughout the 52-year-old occupation.”

I would go even further and expand the timeline of the missing accountability to include the two decades prior to the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Otherwise, how is one to account for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1947-48, the numerous massacres and other wanton killings that accompanied and followed those defining years, or the fact that Israel was never held accountable for its violations of international and humanitarian laws between 1948 and 1967?

That issue notwithstanding, the Palestinian Authority and all political parties in Palestine should exploit this unprecedented opportunity of holding Israel accountable.

As soon as the ICC issued its statement, news reports surfaced conveying a sense of “panic” in Israel. The Times of Israel reported that an Israeli government meeting to discuss the ICC decision was held shortly after, with the aim of considering a proper response, including the possibility of preventing ICC investigators from reaching Israel.

This is eerily familiar. Israel has denied entry to – or refused to cooperate with – international investigators and observers on many occasions in the past.

Following a UN planned investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes in the Palestinian refugee camp of Jenin in 2002, the Israeli government quickly moved, and, sadly, succeeded in blocking the investigation altogether.

It has done so time and again, often demonizing the very individuals entrusted with the mission of examining the illegality of Israel’s behavior in the context of international law. Well-respected judges and international law experts, such as Richard Goldstone, Richard Falk, and John Dugard, were vehemently attacked by Israeli officials and media and, by extension, by the US government and media as well.

Israel has managed to survive dozens of United Nations Resolutions and countless legal reports and indictments by the UN and all UN-affiliated organizations, largely because of blind and unequivocal American support, which has shielded Israeli war criminals from ever answering to their horrific actions in Palestine.

“Remember, it was (then-Secretary of State) Hillary Clinton who took pride in the fact that she personally killed the Goldstone Report,” said US author, Norman Finkelstein, in a recent interview with the news website Mondoweiss.

The Goldstone report was issued in the wake of the Israeli war on Gaza in 2009, dubbed ‘Operation Cast Lead’. The campaign of intimidation and pressure on Goldstone, personally, has forced the once-respected judge to retract his accusations of Israeli war crimes and the deliberate targeting of civilians.

While Clinton did her part in torpedoing the Goldstone Report, former US President, Barack Obama, according to Finkelstein, went to great lengths to “neutralize international law against settlements and other Israeli crimes in the occupied territories”.

Worse still, on September 14, 2016, Obama handed Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, himself accused of carrying out numerous war crimes against Palestinians, the largest US aid package to a foreign country in modern history, a whopping $38 billion over the course of ten years.

This is not a new phenomenon, where the US enables Israeli crimes and simultaneously shields Tel Aviv from any accountability for these crimes before the international community. All US administrations, whether Republican or Democrat, have honored the same sinister maxim, thus ensuring Israel, literally, gets away with murder.

A particular case in point was in 2001, when 28 Palestinian and Lebanese survivors of the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre attempted to try, in a Belgian court, late Israeli leader and accused war criminal, Ariel Sharon. Intense American pressures and a brazen intimidation campaign, targeting the Belgian government and the judicial system, resulted in the dismissal of the case in 2003. To deny Israel’s victims the opportunity to seek justice everywhere in the country, Belgium revised its very law, to the satisfaction of Israel and the United States.

The high level of the ICC investigations places the legal push against Israel at a whole new level. This is uncharted territory for Israel, the United States, Palestine, the ICC and the international community as a whole. There is little doubt that some joint Israeli-American effort is already underway to develop strategies aimed at countering if not altogether dismissing, the ICC investigation.

It is clear that justice for Palestinians in the face of Israeli aggression, itself fueled by unconditional American support, is not at all possible if it is not accompanied by regional and international unity, and a clear and decisive decision by all parties concerned that Israel, once and for all, must pay for its military occupation, racist apartheid laws, protracted siege on Gaza, and the many massacres in between.

Without this kind of international will, the ICC investigation could become another sad case of justice denied, a non-acceptable option for any justice-seeking individual, organization, and government anywhere in the world.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press, Atlanta). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), Istanbul Zaim University (IZU).

January 8, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | 2 Comments

Chelsea Clinton Gains $9 Mln from Corporate Board Position in Her Mother’s Friend Company – Report

Sputnik – 07.01.2020

Chelsea Clinton has reaped $9 million in compensation since 2011 for serving on the board of an internet investment company, according to Barron’s, a financial publication.

Barron’s reported Sunday that Clinton has profited as a board member for IAC/InterActiveCorp, a media and internet investment company that has an ownership stake in 150 well-known brands, such as Vimeo, Tinder, Angie’s List and Home Advisor. The only child of former President Bill Clinton and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has served on IAC’s board since 2011 and receives an annual $50,000 retainer and $250,000 worth of restricted IAC stock units, according to Barron’s.

She reported owning $8.95 million worth of IAC stock to the Securities and Exchange Commission at the end of December. According to Barron’s, IAC’s stock has risen 89 percent, 50 percent and 36 percent in 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively, in an extremely steep rise.

Clinton was also named to the board of Expedia Group in March of 2017, a position that typically earned $250,000 in 2015, according to a report at the time by The Guardian. Both IAC and Expedia are controlled by Barry Diller, a business and television mogul and, notably, a friend of Hillary Clinton.

January 7, 2020 Posted by | Corruption | , , | 1 Comment

The IG Report: Malfeasance, Lies, Threats and Denials

By Renée Parsons | OffGuardian | December 28, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Horowitz told the Senate panel:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper,

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

Comey responded:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pray, we await those revelations.

Renee Parsons has been a member of the ACLU’s Florida State Board of Directors and President of the ACLU Treasure Coast Chapter. She has been an elected public official in Colorado, an environmental lobbyist with Friends of the Earth and staff member in the US House of Representatives in Washington, DC. She can be found on Twitter @reneedove31.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Democratic obstruction of justice?

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

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

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

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

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

From Benghazi to Seth Rich

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hack versus Leak?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Because you’d be in jail”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Paul Sperry – RealClearInvestigations – December 12, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But Mueller struck out.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

State Department Shoots Itself in the Foot at Impeachment Hearings

By Peter Van Buren | We Meant Well | November 24, 2019

The State Department, where I worked 24 years as a Foreign Service Officer (FSO) and diplomat, reminds me a lot of my current hometown, New York City. Both places spend an inordinate amount of time telling outsiders how great they are while ignoring the obvious garbage piled up around them. It’s almost as if they’re trying to tell themselves more than others everything is OK.

Like NYC convincing itself the Broadway lights mean you won’t notice the wicked homeless problem and decaying infrastructure, the State Department fully misunderstands how it really appears to others. Across Facebook groups and internal channels, FSOs this week are sending each other little messages tagged #FSProud quoting Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch’s the closing soliloquy from her impeachment testimony. Yovanovitch’s testimony otherwise read like the HR complaint from hell, as if she was auditioning for a Disgruntled Employee poster child position to cap off her career. She had already been fired by the time the alleged impeachable act took place — during Trump’s July 25 phone call — and was stuck in a placeholder job far removed from Ukrainian policy. She witnessed nothing of the “high crimes and misdemeanors” the House is investigating, and basically used her time to complain she knew more than her boss did so he fired her.

At the end of her testimony Yovanovitch unfurled a large metaphorical flag and wrapped herself and the entire Foreign Service in it. Her lines had nothing to do with Ukraine, and were boilerplate recruiting prose about how FSOs are non-partisan servants of the Constitution, how everyone lives in harm’s way, yada yada. She name checked diplomats from forty freaking years ago held hostage in Iran, and rolled in a couple of CIA contractors when tallying up the “State” death toll in Benghazi. She omitted the we-don’t-talk-about-that-one-death of FSO Anne Smedinghoff in Afghanistan, whose 25-year-old life was destroyed participating in a propaganda photo-op.

This is the false idol image the State Department holds dear of itself, and people inside the organization today proudly christened Ambassador Yovanovitch as its queen. Vanity Fair summed it up better than the long-winded FSOs bleating across social media: “A hero is born as Yovanovitch gives voice to widespread rage at State. ‘I think people are feeling huge pride in Masha,’ says a former ambassador.” Yovanovitch uses her Russian nickname, Masha, without media comment because of course she does.

And that’s the good part. Alongside Yovanovitch, bureaucrat-in-a-bow-tie George Kent issued pronouncements against Trump people he never met who ignored his tweedy advice. Ambassador Bill Taylor leaked hoarded text messages with Trump political appointees. Taylor’s deputy, David Holmes, appeared deus ex machina (Holmes had a photo of Yovanovitch as his Facebook page cover photo until recently!) to claim back in the summer he somehow overheard both sides of a phone conversation between Trump and political appointee ambassador Sondland. Holmes eavesdropped on a presidential call and dumped it in the Democrats’ lap and now he’s non-partisan #FSProud, too.

Interesting the major political events (scandals?) of the last few years have all criss-crossed the State Department: Clinton’s emails and Foundation shenanigans, the Steele Dossier and many things Russiagate, and now impeachment and Ukraine. And never mind two major Democratic presidential candidates-in-waiting, Clinton and Kerry, had a home there. That’s an awful lot of partisanship for an organization bragging about being non-partisan.

Gawd, I need to wash my hands. I am #FSProud that in my 24 years as a diplomat I never perjured myself, or claimed to or actually eavesdropped on someone else’s phone call, then spoon fed the info months later to my boss on TV to take down a president mid-campaign, all the while accepting cheers that I was non-partisan, and thinking my role as a snitch/boot licker was going to help people vision my organization as honorable.

FSOs see themselves as Marvel superheroes who will take down the Bad Orange Man. The organization flirted with the role before; a 2016 mid-election “dissent” was designed to force the winner into war in Syria. Then another “dissent” by State strayed close to insubordination opposing Trump’s so-called “Muslim Ban.” Everyone remembers the Department’s slow-walking the release of Hillary Clinton’s emails (after helping hide the existence of her private server for years.) The State Department turned a blind eye to Secretary Clinton’s nepotism hiring her campaign aides as State employees (remember Huma?), and use of America’s oldest cabinet position to create B-roll of herself helping women around the globe ahead of her soiled campaign. Hillary of course was handed the Secretary job itself by Barack Obama as a treat for dropping out of the race in 2008.

Maybe the State Department’s overt support for Candidate Clinton did not make clear enough what happens when the organization betrays itself to politics.

While FSOs are gleefully allowing themselves to be used today to impeach Trump, they fail to remember nobody likes a snitch. No matter which side you are on, in the end nobody will trust you, Democrat or Republican, after seeing what you really are. What White House staffer of any party will interact openly with his diplomats, knowing they are saving his texts and listening in on his calls, waiting? State thinks it is a pit bull waiting to bite on its master’s command when in fact it is an organization that has betrayed its golden nonpartisan glow and is out of control. Hey, in your high school, did anyone want to have the kids who lived to be hall monitors and teacher’s pet as their lunch buddies?

The real problems go much deeper, and are either the cause of or a reflection of the current state of things, or a little of both. A Government Accountability Office report showed more than one fourth of all Foreign Service positions were either unfilled or filled with below-grade employees. At the senior levels 36 percent of positions were vacant or filled with people of lower rank and experience pressed into service. At the crucial midranks, the number was 26 percent unfilled.

The thing is the report is from 2012, and showed similar results to one written in 2008. The State Department has danced with irrelevancy for a long time and its efforts to be The Resistance as a cure today feel more like desperation than heroism. State’s somnolent response, even during the legendary Clinton and Kerry years, to what should have been a crisis call (speculate on what the response might be to a report the military was understaffed by 36 percent) tells the tale. As the world changes, State still has roughly the same number of Portuguese speakers as it does Russian among its FSOs. No other Western country uses private citizens as ambassadors over career diplomats anywhere near the extent the United States does, doling out about a third of the posts as political patronage mainly because what they do doesn’t matter. The Secretary of State hands out lapel buttons reading “Swagger“; imagine a new Secretary of Defense doing the same and then being laughed out of office.

FSOs wade in the shallowest waters of the Deep State. Since the 1950s the heavy lifting of foreign policy, the stuff that ends up in history books, mostly moved into the White House and National Security Council. The increasing role of the military in America’s foreign relations further sidelined State. The regional sweep of the AFRICOM and CENTCOM generals, for example, paints State’s landlocked ambassadors weak.

State’s sad little attempt during the Bush years to stake out a new role in nation building failed in Iraq, failed in Afghanistan, and failed in Haiti. The organization’s Clinton-Kerry era joblet promoting democracy through social media was a flop. Trade policy has its own bureaucracy outside Foggy Bottom. What was left for State was reporting, its on-the-ground viewpoint that informs policy makers. Even there the intelligence community has eaten State’s sandwiches with the crusts cut off lunch — why hear what some FSO thinks the Prime Minister will do when the NSA can provide the White House with real time audio of him explaining it in bed to his mistress? The uber revelation from the 2010 Wikileaks dump of documents was most of State’s vaunted reporting is of little practical value. State struggled through the Chelsea Manning trial to convince someone actual harm was done to national security by the disclosures. Some nine years later there hasn’t even been a good book written from them.

That leaves for the understaffed Department of State pretty much only the role of concierge abroad, the one Ambassadors Taylor, Yovanovitch and their lickspittles Kent and Holmes complained about as their real point during the impeachment hearings. Read their testimony and you learn they had no contact with principals Trump, Giuliani, and Pompeo (which is why they were useless “witnesses,” they didn’t see anything first hand) and bleated about being cut out of the loop, left off calls, not being on the inside. They testified instead based on overheard calls and off screen voices. Taylor complained he had to contact the NSC, not State, to find out if policy had changed, and whined Pompeo ignored his reports.

Meanwhile, America’s VIPs need their hands held abroad, their motorcades organized, and their receptions handled, all tasks that fall squarely on the Department of State. That is what was really being said underneath it all at the impeachment hearings. It is old news, but it found a greedy audience as it was repurposed to take a whack at Trump. State thinks this is its moment to shine, but all that is happening is a light is being shined on the organization’s partisaness and pettiness in reaction to its own irrelevance.

Nice bow tie on George Kent though, shows he’s “with it.”

November 25, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

Trump’s Democratic Critics Want it Both Ways on Biden, Clinton

By Thomas L. Knapp | The Garrison Center | November 14, 2019

US president Donald Trump “elevated his political interest above the national interest and demanded foreign interference in an American election,” Peter Beinart asserts at The Atlantic. “What’s received less attention is what the scandal reveals about Joe Biden: He showed poor judgment because his staff shielded him from hard truths. If that sounds faintly familiar, it’s because that same tendency underlay Hillary Clinton’s email woes in 2016.”

Beinart admits that Joe Biden’s son Hunter’s service as a very well-paid member on the board of a Ukrainian energy company at the same time his father’s portfolio included “fighting corruption in the Ukrainian energy industry” was “a problem.”

But it’s not Joe’s fault, see? His staffers didn’t want to confront him about the conflict of interest. They “feared the vice president’s wrath,” and thought him “too fragile” after one son’s death to hear “upsetting news” about the other’s conduct.

Ditto Hillary Clinton. As Secretary of State, she was briefed on (and signed papers agreeing to abide by) State Department protocols on the handling of classified information and the use of non-government email systems.  But Beinart lets Clinton off the hook because her chief of staff and other aides failed to “forcefully convey” her obligations to her.

Here’s Beinart’s case — one also made by other Democratic partisans — boiled down to its essentials:

When Republicans act criminally and/or corruptly, it’s because they’re criminal and/or corrupt.

When Democrats act criminally and/or corruptly, it’s because they’re just poor, temperamental, out-of-their-element naifs who of course have no criminal or corrupt intent, but whose staffers — whether negligently, or out of concern for feelings or fear of offending — neglect to button their winter coats for them, take them by their little mittened hands, and carefully walk them across all those busy, dangerous legal/ethical streets.

There are two obvious problems with this double standard.

One is that for the last three years we’ve been told over and over (by, among others, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden) that Trump is a loose cannon, an eternal man-child who lacks “adults in the room” to help him navigate the intricacies of governing. So why shouldn’t Trump receive the same “Blame the Aides and Get Out of Jail Free Card” that Beinart tries to play on behalf of the other two?

The other is that in arguing that Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton aren’t responsible for their actions because they’re too stupid to discern right from wrong and too simultaneously mean and emotionally delicate to be TOLD right from wrong, Beinart is necessarily also arguing that Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton were and are, by definition, unfit to entrust with responsibilities as weighty as those that go with, say, the presidency of the United States.

Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org).

November 14, 2019 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , | 1 Comment

John Brennan’s CIA Trump Task Force

Could it become Obamagate?

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • November 12, 2019

There is considerable evidence that the American system of government may have been victimized by an illegal covert operation organized and executed by the U.S. intelligence and national security community. Former Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and former FBI Director Jim Comey appear to have played critical leadership roles in carrying out this conspiracy and they may not have operated on their own. Almost certainly what they may have done would have been explicitly authorized by the former President of the United States, Barack Obama, and his national security team.

It must have seemed a simple operation for the experienced CIA covert action operatives. To prevent the unreliable and unpredictable political upstart Donald Trump from being nominated as the GOP presidential candidate or even elected it would be necessary to create suspicion that he was the tool of a resurgent Russia, acting under direct orders from Vladimir Putin to empower Trump and damage the campaign of Hillary Clinton. Even though none of the alleged Kremlin plotters would have expected Trump to actually beat Hillary, it was plausible to maintain that they would have hoped that a weakened Clinton would be less able to implement the anti-Russian agenda that she had been promoting. Many observers in both Russia and the U.S. believed that if she had been elected armed conflict with Moscow would have been inevitable, particularly if she moved to follow her husband’s example and push to have both Georgia and Ukraine join NATO, which Russia would have regarded as an existential threat.

Trump’s surprising victory forced a pivot, with Clapper, Brennan and Comey adjusting the narrative to make it appear that Trump the traitor may have captured the White House due to help from the Kremlin, making him a latter-day Manchurian Candidate. The lesser allegations of Russian meddling were quickly elevated to devastating assertions that the Republican had only won with Putin’s assistance.

No substantive evidence for the claim of serious Russian meddling has ever been produced in spite of years of investigation, but the real objective was to plant the story that would plausibly convince a majority of Americans that the election of Donald Trump was somehow illegitimate.

The national security team acted to protect their candidate Hillary Clinton, who represented America’s Deep State. In spite of considerable naysaying, the Deep State is real, not just a wild conspiracy theory. Many Americans nevertheless do not believe that the Deep State exists, that it is a politically driven media creation much like Russiagate itself was, but if one changes the wording a bit and describes the Deep State as the Establishment, with its political power focused in Washington and its financial center in New York City, the argument that there exists a cohesive group of power brokers who really run the country becomes much more plausible.

The danger posed by the Deep State, or, if you choose, the Establishment, is that it wields immense power but is unelected and unaccountable. It also operates through relationships that are not transparent and as the media is part of it, there is little chance that its activity will be exposed.

Nevertheless, some might even argue that having a Deep State is a healthy part of American democracy, that it serves as a check or corrective element on a political system that has largely been corrupted and which no longer serves national interests. But that assessment surely might have been made before it became clear that many of the leaders of the nation’s intelligence and security agencies are no longer the people’s honorable servants they pretend to be. They have been heavily politicized since at least the time of Ronald Reagan and have frequently succumbed to the lure of wealth and power while identifying with and promoting the interests of the Deep State.

Indeed, a number of former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Directors have implicitly or even directly admitted to the existence of a Deep State that has as one of its roles keeping presidents like Donald Trump in check. Most recently, John McLaughlin, responding to a question about Donald Trump’s concern over Deep State involvement in the ongoing impeachment process, said unambiguously “Well, you know, thank God for the ‘deep state’… With all of the people who knew what was going on here, it took an intelligence officer to step forward and say something about it, which was the trigger that then unleashed everything else. This is the institution within the U.S. government… is institutionally committed to objectivity and telling the truth. It is one of the few institutions in Washington that is not in a chain of command that makes or implements policy. Its whole job is to speak the truth — it’s engraved in marble in the lobby.”

Well, John’s dedication to truth is exemplary but how does he explain his own role in support of the lies being promoted by his boss George “slam dunk” Tenet that led to the war against Iraq, the greatest foreign policy disaster ever experienced by the United States? Or Tenet’s sitting in the U.N. directly behind Secretary of State Colin Powell in the debate over Iraq, providing cover and credibility for what everyone inside the system knew to be a bundle of lies? Or his close friend and colleague Michael Morell’s description of Trump as a Russian agent, a claim that was supported by zero evidence and which was given credibility only by Morell’s boast that “I ran the CIA.”

Beyond that, more details have been revealed demonstrating exactly how Deep State associates have attempted, with considerable success, to subvert the actual functioning of American democracy. Words are one thing, but acting to interfere in an electoral process or to undermine a serving president is a rather more serious matter.

It is now known that President Barack Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan created a Trump Task Force in early 2016. Rather than working against genuine foreign threats, this Task Force played a critical role in creating and feeding the meme that Donald Trump was a tool of the Russians and a puppet of President Vladimir Putin, a claim that still surfaces regularly to this day. Working with James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, Brennan fabricated the narrative that “Russia had interfered in the 2016 election.” Brennan and Clapper promoted that tale even though they knew very well that Russia and the United States have carried out a broad array of covert actions against each other, including information operations, for the past seventy years, but they pretended that what happened in 2016 was qualitatively and substantively different even though the “evidence” produced to support that claim was and still is weak to nonexistent.

The Russian “election interference” narrative went on steroids on January 6, 2017, shortly before Trump was inaugurated, when an “Intelligence Community Assessment” (ICA) orchestrated by Clapper and Brennan was published. The banner headline atop The New York Times, itself an integral part of the Deep State, on the following day set the tone for what was to follow: “Putin Led Scheme to Aid Trump, Report Says.”

With the help of the Establishment media, Clapper and Brennan were able to pretend that the ICA had been approved by “all 17 intelligence agencies” (as first claimed by Hillary Clinton). After several months, however Clapper revealed that the preparers of the ICA were “handpicked analysts” from only the FBI, CIA, and NSA. He explained rather unconvincingly during an interview on May 28, 2017, that “the historical practices of the Russians, who typically, are almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique,” adding later that “It’s in their DNA.”

Task Force Trump was kept secret within the Agency itself because the CIA is not supposed to spy on Americans. Its staff was pulled together by invitation-only. Specific case officers (i.e., men and women who recruit and handle spies overseas), analysts and administrative personnel were recruited, presumably based on their political reliability. Not everyone invited accepted the offer. But many did because it came with promises of promotion and other rewards.

And this was not a CIA-only operation. Personnel from the FBI also were assigned to the Task Force with the approval of then Director James Comey. Former MI-6 agent Christopher Steele’s FBI handler, Michael Gaeta, may have been one of those detailed to the Trump Task Force. Steele, of course, prepared the notorious dossier that was surfaced shortly before Donald Trump took office. It included considerable material intended to tie Trump to Russia, information that was in many cases fabricated or unsourced.

So, what kind of things would this Task Force do? The case officers would work with foreign intelligence services such as MI-6, the Italians, the Ukrainians and the Australians on identifying intelligence collection priorities that would implicate Trump and his associates in illegal activity. And there is evidence that John Brennan himself would contact his counterparts in allied intelligence services to obtain their discreet cooperation, something they would be inclined to do in collegial fashion, ignoring whatever reservations they might have about spying on a possible American presidential candidate.

Trump Task Force members could have also tasked the National Security Agency (NSA) to do targeted collection. They also would have the ability to engage in complicated covert actions that would further set up and entrap Trump and his staff in questionable activity, such as the targeting of associate George Papadopoulos. If he is ever properly interviewed, Maltese citizen Joseph Mifsud may be able to shed light on the CIA officers who met with him, briefed him on operational objectives regarding Papadopoulos and helped arrange monitored meetings. It is highly likely that Azra Turk, the woman who met with George Papadopoulos, was part of the CIA Trump Task Force.

The Task Force also could carry out other covert actions, sometimes using press or social media placements to disseminate fabrications about Trump and his associates. Information operations is a benign-sounding euphemism for propaganda fed through the Agency’s friends in the media, and computer network operations can be used to create false linkages and misdirect inquiries. There has been some informed speculation that Guccifer 2.0 may have been a creation of this Task Force.

In light of what has been learned about the alleged CIA whistleblower there should be a serious investigation to determine if he was a part of this Task Force or, at minimum, reporting to them secretly after he was seconded to the National Security Council. All the CIA and FBI officers involved in the Task Force had sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, but nevertheless were involved in a conspiracy to first denigrate and then possibly bring down a legally elected president. That effort continues with repeated assertions regarding Moscow’s malevolent intentions for the 2020 national elections. Some might reasonably regard the whole Brennan affair, to include its spear carriers among the current and retired national security state leadership, as a case of institutionalized treason, and it inevitably leads to the question “What did Obama know?”

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

November 12, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tulsi Gabbard Demands Clinton Retract ‘Defamatory’ Russia Smear

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 11/11/2019

Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) on Monday demanded that Hillary Clinton retract ‘defamatory’ comments alleging that the 2020 presidential candidate is a favorite of the Russians, according to The Hill.

“Your statement is defamatory, and we demand that you retract it immediately,” wrote Gabbard’s attorneys in a letter, demanding that Clinton do so both verbally and via Twitter.

Last month Clinton peddled the conspiracy theory that Gabbard is being ‘groomed’ to split the Democratic party as a third party candidate, and that she’s the Kremlin’s top pick in 2020.

Speaking with former Obama 2008 campaign manager David Plouffe on his podcast, “Campaign HQ with David Plouffe,” Clinton said – without mentioning Gabbard by name: “I’m not making any predictions but I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She’s the favorite of the Russians.”

Of course, that’s “assuming Jill Stein will give it up – because she’s also a Russian asset,” Clinton continued.

“It appears you may now be claiming that this statement is about Republicans (not Russians) grooming Gabbard,” Gabbard’s lawyer wrote in the letter. “But this makes no sense in light of what you actually said. After you made the statement linking Congresswoman Gabbard to the Russians, you (through your spokesman) doubled down on it with the Russian nesting dolls remark,” referring to comments by Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill.

Gabbard has repeatedly denied that she will run in a third party bid for the White House.

November 11, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia | , | 1 Comment

The Clinton-Silsby Trafficking Scandal And How The Media Covered It Up

By William Craddick – Disobedient Media – January 25, 2017

Contrary to reports in the media, the crowd sourced investigation labeled by some as “Pizzagate” did not begin with internet sleuths digging through the Wikileaks Podesta Files releases looking for pizza parlors and encoded language discussing human trafficking. It began with the shocking discovery that Hillary and Bill Clinton provided assistance to convicted child trafficker, Laura Silsby, resulting in a reduced sentence for child trafficking.

Silsby was arrested at the Haitian border attempting to smuggle 33 children out of Haiti without documentation. Her sentence and charges were reduced after an intervention by Bill Clinton. In the aftermath of Silsby’s arrest, her originally retained lawyer Jorge Puello was arrested in connection with an international smuggling ring accused of trafficking women and minors from Central America and Haiti. The revelation of this news in November was either ignored by the Western media or attacked by Clinton controlled publications.

I. Hillary Clinton Intervened Politically on Behalf of Laura Silsby

Laura Silsby is the former director of The New Life Children’s Refuge. Emails from her organization can be found in Wikileaks’ Hillary Clinton Email Archive discussing the NGO before her arrest. Silsby’s organization also appears in Clinton’s emails, soliciting donations for their “ministry.” The Refuge was founded by Silsby and Charisa Coulter, both attendees of the Central Valley Baptist Church in Meridian, Idaho. Silsby was reported to have a history of bad debts and unpaid wages.

Laura had claimed she planned to build an orphanage in the Dominican Republic, but a State Department diplomatic cable revealed that authorities in the country said she never submitted an application for this purpose. They instead located to Haiti.

On January 29, 2010, Silsby was arrested with nine other American nationals attempting to steal 33 children from the country, most of whom were not even orphans and had families according to some reportsCNN reported on February 9, 2010 that this was not the first time Silsby had attempted to traffic children out of Haiti. Haitian police acting on a tip had intercepted Silsby in an earlier, separate attempt to remove 40 children out of the country. She was turned back at the Haitian border. For a brief period, Haitian authorities were considering adding a new kidnapping charge based on this evidence.

Hillary and Bill Clinton took an extraordinary interest in Silsby’s case from the moment she was arrested and almost immediately stepped in on her behalf. The Harvard Human Rights Journal stated that one of Bill Clinton’s first acts as special envoy for the United Nations in Haiti “was to put out the fire of a child abduction scandal involving American citizens.” On February 7th, 2010, The Sunday Times reported that Bill Clinton had intervened to strike a deal with the Haitian government, securing the release of all co-conspirators except for Silsby. Prosecutors ultimately sought a six-month sentence in Silsby’s case, reducing charges for conspiracy and child abduction to mere “arranging irregular travel.” A shockingly light penalty given the circumstances of her arrest, which would likely not have been possible but for the intervention of the Clintons in Silsby’s case.

On February 9th, 2010 Hillary Clinton consulted with Counselor Cheryl Mills and other attorneys in an email discussing the U.S. Government’s “options” regarding the arrested Americans. The heavily redacted memo attached to that email does not reveal what these “options” consisted of. However, the State Department’s American Citizens Services is only authorized to offer lists of local, English speaking attorneys to Americans arrested or detained abroad. To go beyond that authorization is a severe violation of protocol and is illegal. Additional emails reveal that the State Department was involved with making statements on the Silsby scandal and preparing to assist Silsby’s co-conspirators with their return to the United States, although this is consistent with State Department protocol in these situations.

II. Silsby’s Lawyer and His Wife Were Both Arrested For Involvement in Human Sex Trafficking of Minors and Women

On February 11th, the New York Times reported that Silsby’s original lawyer, Jorge Puello, was suspected of leading an international human trafficking ring involving women and minors. According the the Harvard Human Rights Journal Puello was ultimately arrested in an investigation being lead by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in connection with the ring. He was wanted in the United States, El Salvador and Costa Rica for his involvement with a network trafficking Central Americans and Haitians. 

At the time of his arrest, his wife was already imprisoned in El Salvador and “faced charges of presumed sexual exploitation of minors and women.” Puello was ultimately sentenced to three years in federal prison for “alien smuggling.” Another surprisingly light sentence given the original charges he was sought for. It is not known at this time whether or not Laura Silsby was associated with Puello’s criminal enterprise.

III. The Daily Beast Engaged in an Illicit Cover Up Operation of the Above Information

On November 3rd, 2016, this author made a post to Reddit containing preliminary research and information on the above story. The post was made to the pro-Trump subreddit r/the_donald due to the forum’s reputation as the only outlet on Reddit where news was not being censored during the U.S. Presidential Election. The same day, Wikileaks tweeted a link to the Reddit post labeling it as a “significant, if partisan, find.”

On November 4th, 2016 The Daily Beast wrote a non-factual and intentionally misleading article covering the Clinton-Silsby scandal. They accused Wikileaks of publicizing a “Reddit conspiracy theory” which was “riddled with incorrect information.” The author, Ben Collins neglected to do basic research on the totality of the links presented in the post as evidence. Mr. Collins attacked the policies of r/the_donald towards freedom of speech and accused the forum of being racist without citing extensive or definitive proof. At no point did The Daily Beast provide proof that the allegations were not true, and did not disprove any of the evidence submitted. A link to an extensive study of the case by the Harvard Human Rights Journal which clearly linked Bill Clinton to the scandal was totally ignored. They similarly failed to acknowledge or address emails published by Wikileaks between Hillary Clinton and her legal counsel which may potentially indicate that she violated State Department policy for the treatment of U.S. citizens arrested or detained abroad.

The Daily Beast is a holding of American media conglomerate InterActiveCorp. Chelsea Clinton, Vice President of the Clinton Foundation and daughter of Hillary and Bill Clinton, sits on InterActiveCorp’s Board of Directors. The proximity of the Clinton family to the organization responsible for oversight and direction of The Daily Beast raises questions about the publication’s journalistic independence and their commitment to factual and ethical reporting on current events and topics of public interest. Given their slanderous and incorrect reporting on the Clinton-Silsby scandal, it seems clear that they do not hold these values in high regard.

Since her release from detention in Haiti, Laura Silsby has returned to Idaho. In 2015, she married and took the last name Gayler. Silsby is currently employed by software company AlertSense as their Vice President of Marketing. AlertSense works with the Federal Government on FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS). One of IPAWS functions is to issue Amber Alerts during kidnapping events.

Update: It appears that since the time of publication, Laura Silsby-Gayler is no longer listed as a member of Alert Sense’s Leadership Team.

November 1, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , | 2 Comments

Killing Julian Assange: Justice Denied When Exposing Official Wrongdoing

By Philip Giraldi | Strategic Culture Foundation | October 31, 2019

The hideous treatment of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange continues and many observers are citing his case as being symptomatic of developing “police state” tendencies in both the United States and in Europe, where rule of law is being subordinated to political expediency.

Julian Assange was the founder and editor-in-chief of the controversial news and information site WikiLeaks. As the name implies, after 2006 the site became famous, or perhaps notorious, for its publication of materials that have been leaked to it by government officials and other sources who consider the information to be of value to the public but unlikely to be accepted by the mainstream media, which has become increasingly corporatized and timid.

WikiLeaks became known to a global audience back in 2010 when it obtained from US Army enlisted soldier Bradley Manning a large quantity of classified documents relating to the various wars that the United States was fighting in Asia. Some of the material included what might be regarded as war crimes.

WikiLeaks again became front page news over the 2016 presidential election, when the website released the emails of candidate Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager John Podesta. The emails revealed how Clinton and her team collaborated with the Democratic National Committee to ensure that she would be nominated rather than Bernie Sanders. It should be noted that the material released by WikiLeaks was largely documentary and factual in nature, i.e. it was not “fake news.”

Because he is a journalist ostensibly protected by the First Amendment guarantee of free speech, the handling of the “threat” posed by journalist Assange is inevitably somewhat different than a leak by a government official, referred to as a whistleblower. Assange has been vilified as an “enemy of the state,” likely even a Russian agent, and was initially pursued by Swedish authorities after claims of a rape, later withdrawn, were made against him. To avoid arrest, he was given asylum by a friendly Ecuadorean government seven years ago in London. The British police had an active warrant to arrest him immediately as he had failed to make a bail hearing after he obtained asylum, which is indeed what took place when Quito revoked his protected status in April.

As it turned out, Julian Assange was not exactly alone when he was in the Ecuadorean Embassy. All of his communications, including with his lawyers, were being intercepted by a Spanish security company hired for the purpose allegedly by the CIA. There apparently was also a CIA plan to kidnap Assange. In a normal court in a normal country, the government case would have been thrown out on constitutional and legal grounds, but that was not so in this instance. The United States has persisted in its demands to obtain the extradition of Assange from Britain and London seems to be more than willing to play along. Assange is undeniably hated by the American political Establishment and even much of the media in bipartisan fashion, with the Democrats blaming him for Hillary Clinton’s loss while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has labeled him a “fraud, a coward and an enemy.” WikiLeaks itself is regarded by the White House as a “hostile non-government intelligence service.” Sending Julian Assange to prison for the rest of his life may be called justice, but it is really revenge against someone who has exposed government lies. Some American politicians have even asserted that jail is too good for Assange, insisting that he should instead be executed.

The actual charges laid out in the US indictment are for alleged conspiracy with Chelsea Manning to publish the “Iraq War Logs,” the “Afghan War Logs” and the US State Department cables. On May 23rd, the United States government further charged Assange with violating the Espionage Act of 1917, which criminalizes any exposure of classified US government information anywhere in the world by anyone. Its use would create a precedent: any investigative journalist who exposes US government malfeasance could be similarly charged.

Assange is currently incarcerated in solitary confinement at high-security Belmarsh prison. It is possible that the Justice Department, after it obtains Assange through extradition, will attempt to make the case that Assange actively colluded with the Russian government, a conspiracy to “defraud the United States” to put it in legalese. Assange is unlikely to receive anything approaching a fair trial no matter what the charges are.

Assange’s prison term ended on September 22nd, but an earlier procedural hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court had already decided that a full hearing on extradition to the US would not begin until February 25th, 2020. District Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled that Assange would not be released even though the prison term had ended, because he was a flight risk. His status in the prison system was duly changed from a serving prisoner to a person facing extradition and his final hearing would be at the high security Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court rather than in a normal civil court. Belmarsh is where terrorists are routinely tried and the proceedings there permit only minimal public and media scrutiny.

Most recently, on October 21st, 2019, Assange was again in Westminster Magistrates’ Court for a “case management hearing” regarding his possible extradition to the US, Judge Baraitser denied a defense team request for a three-month delay so that they could gather evidence in light of the fact that Assange had been denied access to his own papers and documents in order to prepare his defense. British government prosecutor James Lewis QC and the five US “representatives” present opposed any delay in the extradition proceedings and were supported by Judge Baraitser, denying any delay in the proceedings.

Another procedural hearing will take place on December 19th followed by the full extradition hearing in February, at which time Assange will presumably be turned over to US Marshalls for transportation to the Federal prison in Virginia to await trial. That is, of course, assuming that he lives that long as his health has visibly deteriorated and there have been claims that he has been tortured by the British authorities.

Former British Ambassador Craig Murray, who knows Julian Assange well, was present when he appeared in court on the 21st. Murray was shocked by Assange’s appearance, noting that he had lost weight and looked like he had aged considerably. He was walking with a pronounced limp and when the judge asked him questions, to include his name and date of birth, he had trouble responding. Murray described him as a “shambling, incoherent wreck” and also concluded that “one of the greatest journalists and most important dissidents of our times is being tortured to death by the state, before our eyes.”

The British court was oblivious to Assange’s poor condition, with Judge Baraitser telling the clearly struggling prisoner that if he were incapable of following proceedings, then his lawyers could explain what had happened to him later. Objections to what was happening made by both Assange and his lawyers were dismissed by the Crown’s legal representatives, often after discussions with the American officials present, a process described in full by Murray, who, after describing the miscarriage of justice he had just witnessed observed that Julian Assange is being “slowly killed in public sight and arraigned on a charge of publishing the truth about government wrongdoing.” He concluded that “Unless Julian is released shortly he will be destroyed. If the state can do this, then who is next?” Indeed.

October 31, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , | 1 Comment