Blackwater Lobbyist Will Manage the House Intelligence Committee
Lee Fang, Republic Report, Dec 19 2014
After lobbyist-run SuperPACs and big money efforts dominated the last election, legislators are now appointing lobbyists to literally manage the day-to-day affairs of Congress. For the House Intelligence Committee, which oversees government intelligence operations and agencies, the changing of the guard means a lobbyist for Academi, the defense contractor formerly known as Blackwater, is now in charge. Congressman Devin Nunes, the incoming chairman of the Intelligence Committee when the House reconvenes in January, announced that Jeff Shockey will be the new Staff Director of the committee. As a paid representative of Academi, Shockey and his firm have earned $80k this year peddling influence on behalf of Academi. In previous years, the House Intelligence Committee has investigated Blackwater over secret contracts with the CIA. Now, the shoe is on the other foot. As Staff Director, the highest position on a committee for a staff member, Shockey will oversee the agencies that do business with his former employer. Shockey also represents a number of other companies with business before defense agencies: General Dynamics, Koch Industries, Northrop Grumman, United Launch Alliance, Innovative Defense Technologies and Boeing. The role reversal, for lobbyists to take brief stints in Congress after an election, has become a normalized. In a previous investigation for The Nation, we found that some corporate firms offer employment contracts with special bonuses for their staff to return to government jobs, ensuring the paycut the receive for passing through the revolving door to become public servants doesn’t have to alter their K Street lifestyle. Other committees are also hiring lobbyists. Congessman Jason Chaffetz, Darrell Issa’s replacement as chair of the Oversight Committee, just hired Podesta Group lobbyist Sean McLaughlin as his new Staff Director. McLaughlin’s client list includes the Business Roundtable, a trade association for corporate CEOs of large firms. Senator Rob Portman also hired a new chief of staff, Mark Isakowitz, who represents BP.
White House rejects North Korea offer of Sony probe
Justin Sink, The Hill, Dec 20 2014
The White House is rejecting North Korea’s offer for a joint investigation into allegations it was responsible for hacking Sony Pictures Entertainment. National Security Council spokesman Mark Stroh said:
As the FBI made clear, we are confident the North Korean government is responsible for this destructive attack. We stand by this conclusion. The North Korean government has a long history of denying responsibility for destructive and provocative actions. If the North Korean government wants to help, they can admit their culpability and compensate Sony for the damages this attack caused.
Earlier Saturday, an unidentified North Korean spokesperson told its state news agency that the government was not responsible for the hacking, which led to the release of thousands of Sony emails and business records. The movie studio subsequently canceled the release of the movie “The Interview” after hackers threatened 9/11-style violence against moviegoers who saw the comedy depicting the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. According to AP, the North Korean spokesman said:
We have a way to prove that we have nothing to do with the case, without resorting to torture as the CIA does.
North Korea warned that Pindostan would “face serious consequences” if it rejected the offer of a joint investigation and pursued “counter-measures” against the regime. On Friday, the FBI said it had discovered links to malware that North Korea had used in previous cyber-attacks, and the use of cyber-infrastructure that had previously been used by the regime. Obama on Friday vowed that Pindostan would retaliate over the attack, although he declined to specify in what manner. He said:
We will respond. We will respond proportionally and we will respond in a place and time and manner that we choose.
Official ban of Communism ideology – next step to the fascist state.
Konstantin, Trith from Ukraine, Dec 19 2014
Yesterday in the Ukrainian Parliament appear project of law “The banning the propaganda of communist ideology in Ukraine”. Author of this law is Alexander Turchinov, speaker of Ukrainian Parliament. He propose:
- Production and / or distribution and publicity communist symbols, including souvenir, promotion of communist ideology – shall be punishable by restraint of liberty for up to five years, or imprisonment for the same term with confiscation of property or without it.
- The actions specified in paragraph one of this article, if committed by a person who is a representative government, or repeated, or an organized group, or using media – punishable by imprisonment for a term of five to ten years with confiscation of property or without it.
By this law any village, town, city, any media and any company must to delete during 6 months all symbols of Communist ideology. They must to change name of streets too and other titles too. Because big part of property was built in the time of USSR, it have Soviet/Communist symbolic. Ukrainian puppet regime sure that it is vital for Ukrainian economy. For sure it is attempt to distract people from collapse of economy and searching for them internal enemies. So, welcome Western “democracy”… Before Ukraine same kind of law adopted puppet regime in the Libya. They sentenced to life imprisonment anyone who’ll talk good things about government of Gaddafi. Ukraine is close to Europe, so here people would get just 5 years, thanks God we’re not in Africa or Middle East… But because our “revolutionaries of honour” are same as Libyan or Syrian, people who could come to prisons by this democracy law be tortured to death, as well as people in Libya or Syria. Just because instructors of revolutionaries are same, from “civilized world”. Link to project in official site of Ukrainian Parliament, here.
Zakharchenko has been placed under arrest, Plotnitsky taken to Russia: activist
UNIAN, Dec 19 2014
Now it holds one of the military units “DND” by order of the curators from Moscow. The reason for the detention was the alleged disappearance of a shipment of weapons sent to the “new Russia”, said Lugansk activist Dmitry Snegirev. Also according to him, yesterday morning, Dec 18, in the Russian Federation were taken “head LNR” Igor Plotnitsky. Snegirev wrote in Facebook:
I note that yesterday there was to be a meeting of the “Council of Ministers LNR” under the guidance of Plotnitsky, but it was not held due to the lack of “leader.
According to Snegirev, Plotnitsky was charged with attempt to take control of the smuggling of fuel from Russia, in particular in Krasnodon, where the transit base smuggling of fuels and lubricants. So, yesterday coordinator Information resistance Dmitry Timchuk wrote:
In Krasnodon there is a conflict between armed gangs “LNR”. The cause of the conflict in the capture of one of the groups of terrorists secret base (the militants call it “transit warehouse”) contraband goods owned by another gang. “Holders” of contraband goods demand the return of seized property under threat of tanks (to this end, the city entered 2 tanks). Between the parties to the conflict are intense negotiations.
Plotnitsky actually wanted to block the channel Family of ex-President Viktor Yanukovych, which is the “donor” “LNR” and “DND” and which were fed all the illegal military formations of the Russian officials and corrupt Ukrainian officials/
El Murid, Dec 20 2014 18:40
Joint partly-owned areas DND and LNR militia and Ukrainian military can begin Dec 28. In order not to frighten immediately, the Ukrainian military are hiding under the abbreviation of “Joint control centre”, however, the headquarters of the Center is in Debaltsevo, which is located in the control zone of the APU. Neutral it is reported that in the work of the centre attended military DND, LNR and Russia, however, participation in the work is very vague. Today participate, tomorrow is not. I remember when this information was announced two months ago, supporters of all sorts of cunning plans angrily condemned her: “It can’t be because it cannot be.” As it turns out – can. We are talking about the fact that Kiev is primarily intends to take control of the entire border through joint patrols, from which the militia will be quietly and without much publicity dismissed. So we are talking about the translation of all border crossings under the control of the Ukrainian border guard and customs. Further developments will be no less than everyday and work – militia should be the local police, which will come under the Kiev administration, then the police will be diluted by local workers – but already directed “the other side” and loyal, of course, her well, and then reorganizing and shaking up States. With the dismissal of all questionable and unprofessional staff. Apparently, the vacationers on the territory of the DND and LNR, and also near the border, now perform a certain task – keep the situation under control and, if necessary, can suppress any rebellion and performances militias. Anyway, in the current situation it is difficult to find a different application. This does not exclude provocation on the part of Kyiv, as well as some desperate action on the part of the militia that can understand what all this is about – but so far everything is moving in the specified in early autumn the direction of the Kremlin guaranteed its commitment to a unified and indivisible Ukraine, and gradually performs all its obligations. After the transfer of the territories under Kiev will pay for the restoration of the destroyed and hope for the celebration of the victory of the Nazis will forget about the Crimea, and satisfied with the complaisance of Russia, the West will lift all sanctions.
According to the press service of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Zaporozhye region, the explosion occurred on Dec 17 around 16:40 at a cafe down the street Zachinyaeva in Zaporozhye. First, witnesses drew attention to the man who is sitting at the table, drinking alcohol and twisted in the hands of object resembling a grenade. A worker places ran out of the room, and at that time there was an explosion. The police officers also found that other visitors at that time the institution was not, and the building has not undergone destruction. The dead was a 48-year-old resident of Zaporozhye.