Author Archives: niqnaq

the pindo jew-nazis try to rule the world like the SS and the gestapo did

Russian Intelligence Intercepted Trucks of ICRC
Broken News, YouTube, Jan 17 2018

OMG!!! Can you believe this? Russian Intelligence intercepted 2 trucks of ICRC said to be containing medicines, but actually had $1b in cash in $100 bills meant for Daesh terror operations in Syria and Iraq. ICRC is a front for CIA terror !!

no talent bum stumbles through interview

Watch The State Dept Respond As Turkey Attacks SDF In Syria
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Jan 18 2018

Contradiction has become the norm for Pindo foreign policy over the past many years, an observation that is clear to anyone even remotely paying attention. On Tuesday, State Dept spox was asked during the daily press briefing about the obvious contradiction inherent in Pindo ally and NATO member Turkey shelling Pindo-backed Kurdish forces in Afrin, the Kurdish-held zone in northwest Syria near the Turkish border. It’s not the first time that a Pindo partner force has attacked another Pindo partner force in Syria (and then there’s this Vice News headline from 2016 indicating it’s sometimes gone three ways: “Three Pindo allies are now fighting each other in northern Syria”). Thus far Pentagon boxtops have sought to distance themselves from YPG/SDF operations in Afrin, while simultaneously promising to ramp up support for the YPG/SDF throughout the rest of northern Syria. Coalition spox Col Dillon said Tuesday of the Syrian Kurds in Afrin:

This was a clear case of the Pentagon trying to dance around the issue with old-fashioned doublespeak, pretending the Syrian Kurds themselves don’t see “Rojava” Kurds as a single entity. As a Pentagon spox recently told Defense One:

The Coalition is working jointly with the SDF to establish and train the new Syrian Border Security Force (BSF). Currently, there are approximately 230 individuals training in the BSF’s inaugural class, with the goal of a final force size of approximately 30,000.

Erdoğan said of the proposed BSF, which obviously is to be heavily Kurdish in composition, that it is akin to Pindostan hosting a “terror army” along Turkey’s border. Erdoğan has vowed “to strangle it before it’s even born.” Meanwhile, Turkey has amassed a huge invasion force to oust the YPG from Afrin Canton, and sporadic fighting and shelling is widely reported to have already begun. Tillerson has indicated that “Pindostan will remain in Syria” while continuing to train its SDF proxies and bolster its new “Syrian BSF.”

Watch as Heather Nauert fumbles through a response to an excellent and obvious question: What is the Pindo position as its NATO ally is shelling its number one ally in the fight against Daesh in Syria? Here is the exchange:

Q: The Turkish military began shelling Kurdish positions in Afrin province in northern Syria. What is the Pindo position as its NATO ally is shelling its number one ally in the fight against Daesh in Syria?
A: Okay. I’m afraid I don’t have anything for you on that.
Q: Can NATO–
Q: Can we move on, please?
A: Okay. Sir?
Q: So you, wait, so you are saying, does —
A: I don’t have a specific report on whether or not we can confirm that that has taken place. Okay.
Q: Okay. Well, along the same lines, there’s also been the announcement of a border force consisting primarily of Kurdish militias allied with Pindostan and the SDF along the Syrian-Turkish border, and Pres Erdogan called it a terror army and said he would strangle it before it’s born. So this is another place where there’s kind of a contradiction between two Pindo allies.
A: Yeah.
Q: So I’m just wondering if Pindostan has a position on this.
A: Well, Turkey is a very important and valued NATO ally. We have a lot of interactions with the Turkish Government. As you probably know, the foreign minister of Turkey is in Vancouver right now, where I believe he will be meeting or have some sort of a chat with Secretary Tillerson, or at least some of our representatives later today. So an important NATO ally. In terms of what is going on in Syria, Pindostan is in Syria to defeat Daesh. Any activities that we take part in with regard to the SDF is something that’s internal only, internal only to Syria, and I say that because it is important that we defeat Daesh, that we make sure, and when I say “we,” I say that not just on behalf of Pindostan, but the entire coalition, the 72 or 73-member coalition, the importance of not letting Daesh take root the way that they had before and further destabilize that country, so that what Pindostan is involved with with regard to the Syrian Democratic Forces or the SDF is that: to defeat Daesh. That is solely what it is for. The internal purpose is of defeating Daesh.
Q: But if Turkey does indeed attack the border force, what will Pindostan do?
A: I’m not going to get into any kind of hypothetical like that. Okay? Thank you.

Someone should inform the State Dept that this “hypothetical” is already fast becoming the new reality on the ground. But such a blatant contradiction in which a Pindo-backed force attacks another Pindo-backed force is nothing new in Syria, yet no less outrageous as when it began happening years ago in the Syrian conflict.

YPG/SDF call on International Community to stop Turkey’s shelling of Afrin as situation escalates
South Front, Jan 17 2018

On Jan 17, the YPG/SDF called on world powers to stop Turkey’s bombardment of Afrin city in the province of Aleppo in northern Syria. The YPG/SDF warned Turkey in the statement: “Afrin will not be alone in case of a Turkish attack.” Meanwhile, the Turkish Army deployed more armored units equipped with tanks and infantry fighting vehicles to the border with Syria north of Afrin, according to Turkish sources. The Turkish Army even deployed I-Hawk medium-range surface-to-air missiles in the Kirikhan and Yayladagı provinces of Hatay in southern Turkey. The recent tension around the SDF-held Afrin city erupted on Jan 13, when Erdogan said that the Turkish Army will launch a military operation against the Pindo-backed Kurdish militants in Afrin, if they don’t withdraw. Later on Jan 14, the tension increased when the Pindo-led coalition announced that it is working with the SDF to form a Border Security Force that will allow Kurdish fighters to control the Syrian border with Turkey, Iran and even the Euphrates Valley. Turkey condemned the Pindo-led coalition decision and began massing its troops along the border with Afrin area. Erdogan told a meeting of his party in Tokat province on Jan 14:

In the coming days, we will continue our operations in Afrin to clear our southern border.

Many experts warned the YOG/SDF that Pindostan will not protect the small Kurdish-held city that’s located away from the SDF heartland in eastern Syria. On Jan 16, CENTCOM spox Col R Dillon said that Pindostan does not support the YPG in Syria’s Afrin and the area was not a part of Pindo-led coalition operations against Daesh. The Pindo-led coalition statement apparently encouraged the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who announced on the same day that the expected Turkish military operation against Kurdish militias in northern Syria will not be limited to Afrin city and may be expanded to other areas. Observers now believe that a Turkish military operation against Kurdish militias in Afrin is highly possible. While many Kurdish activists claim that Afrin will not be an easy battle for the Turkish Army, the YPG/SDF is in a very complicated situation. Kurdish forces are already besieged by the Turkish Army from east, west and north. They also have complicated relations with the Damascus government that controls the southern flank because of the increased tensions between the Pindo-backed SDF and Damascus.

Syria Vows To Shoot Down Turkish Jets, Erdogan Orders Putin “Do Not Oppose” Assault
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Jan 18 2018

According to AP, this morning Syria said it would shoot down any Turkish jets carrying out attacks inside Syria. This comes as preparations continue for an imminent large-scale Turkish attack on YPG/SDF groups currently holding Afrin near the Turkish border. Multiple regional outlets have confirmed a build-up of forces that could constitute the largest external intervening force thus far in the entirety of the Syrian war, including SOF, regular army units, Turkish-backed Syrian rebels and Turkey’s air force. In response to Erdoğan vowing military action to “destroy all terror nests” in Syria, a reference to the Pindo-backed YPG/SDF, which holds vast territory along Turkey’s border spanning into north-east Syria, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Feisal Meqdad told reporters Thursday that Syrian defense systems have regained full operational power and stand ready to destroy Turkish air targets in Syrian airspace should Afrin be attacked. Meqdad stated that Damascus would consider any Turkish attack on Afrin an act of aggression. Sporadic fighting and shelling has already occurred according to reports from the region. Though Turkish shelling of Kurdish positions along the border is nothing new in the conflict, should Turkey mobilize its air force in support of ground forces this would mark a dramatic escalation, especially given that both Russia and Pindostan operate over northern Syria, with Russia controlling the airspace over Afrin and Idlib. Whether the operation against Syrian Kurds moves forward into a full-scale Turkish assault by land and air or not depends in large part on Russia, which has administered deconfliction zones in the Afrin area and has sponsored trilateral talks with Turkey and Iran to wind down the war in Syria. Russia is also widely reported to have long had military advisors on the ground in Afrin, which have in the past helped coordinate the fight against Daesh.

Though it’s uncertain how Russia will interpret new Turkish statements and claims that it has Russian “coordination” in its impending Afrin campaign, Reuters reports:

Turkey said on Thursday Russia “should not oppose its operation in Syria’s Afrin” and that it will coordinate with Moscow on the situation of Russian observers there. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also told CNN Turk that Turkey will coordinate with Russia and Iran on an air operation in Afrin.

Thus far there’s been no confirmation of this coming out of the Russian Defense Ministry, and the statement has the tone of an ultimatum rather than an agreed-upon fact.

Turkey’s sabre-rattling and massive mustering of ground forces which has now been confirmed through video and verbal reports, is largely in response to recent Pindosi efforts to ramp up support for the YPG/SDF, which includes a new initiative to establish and train an approximately 30,000-strong Syrian “Border Security Force” in the words of Pentagon boxtops. Tillerson outlined his plan Wednesday for Pindo forces to stay in Syria indefinitely for the stated purposes of countering Iran, pressuring Assad, and conducting “stabilization initiatives in liberated areas.” This has Ankara concerned that Pindostan is effectively backing a de facto Syrian Kurdish state or autonomous zone. Last weekend Erdogan slammed Pindo plans for the YPG/SDF, saying during a speech in Ankara:

A country we call an ally is insisting on forming a terror army on our borders. Our mission is to strangle it before it’s even born.

oz & norway both stopped giving money to the clinton foundation, immediately hillary lost the election

FBI Investigating Millions Of “Mishandled” Dollars Funneled From Australian Govt To Clinton Foundation
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Jan 17 2018

The FBI has asked retired Australian policeman turned investigative journalist Michael Smith to provide information he has gathered detailing multiple allegations of the Clinton Foundation receiving tens of millions of mishandled taxpayer funds, according to LifeZette. Smith told LifeZette:

I have been asked to provide the FBI with further and better particulars about allegations regarding improper donations to the CF funded by Australian taxpayers.

Of note, the Clinton Foundation received some $88m from Australian taxpayers between 2006 and 2014, reaching its peak in 2012-2013, which was coincidentally Julia Gillard’s last year as PM. Smith names several key figures in his complaints of malfeasance, including Bill and Hillary Clinton and multiple Australian government boxtops including senior diplomat Alexander Downer, whose conversation with Trump aide George Papadopoulos that Russia had ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton allegedly launched the Trump-Russia investigation. Within hours of the NYT publication, the paper was immediately shredded, as the information Papadopoulous told Downer was already publicThe materials Smith is giving to the FBI focus on a 2007 MoU between the Clinton Foundation’s HIV/AIDs Initiative (CHAI) and the Australian government.

Smith claims the foundation received a “$25M financial advantage dishonestly obtained by deception” as a result of actions by Bill Clinton and Downer, who was then Australia’s minister of foreign affairs. Also included in the Smith materials are evidence he believes shows “corrupt Oct 2006 backdating of false tender advertisements purporting to advertise the availability of a $15m contract to provide HIV/AIDS services in Papua New Guinea on behalf of the Australian government after an agreement was already in place to pay the Clinton Foundation and/or associates.”

As a reminder, the Australian government announced that they would stop pouring millions of dollars into accounts linked to the Clinton charities in Nov 2016, right after Hillary Clinton lost the election.

The federal government confirmed to news.com.au it has not renewed any of its partnerships with the scandal-plagued Clinton Foundation, effectively ending 10 years of taxpayer-funded contributions worth more than $88m. The Clinton Foundation has a rocky past. It was described as “a slush fund”, is still at the centre of an FBI investigation and was revealed to have spent more than $50m on travel. Despite that, the official website for the charity shows contributions from both AUSAID and the Commonwealth of Australia each worth between $10m and $25m.

Norway, coincidentally, also reduced its $20m/yr donations to the Clinton Foundation right after Hillary’s loss. A third complaint by Smith revolves around a “$10m financial advantage dishonestly obtained by deception between Apr 1 2008 and Sep 25 2008 at Faschingstein, New York and Canberra, involving an MoU between the Australian government, the Clinton Climate Initiative and the purported Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute Inc.” When asked why the Clinton Foundation was chosen as a recipient of Australian taxpayer dollars, a spokesman for the Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade said that all funding was used “solely for agreed development projects” and Clinton charities have “a proven track record” in helping developing countries.

the war approaches

Canada joins Pindostan in stepping up threats against NK at Vancouver summit
Roger Jordan, WSWS, Jan 18 2018

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Pindo Sec State Rex Tillerson jointly hosted a meeting in Vancouver on Tuesday in what amounted to a war council against NK. The gathering brought together all of the participants on the Pindo side during the 1950–53 Korean War and excluded Russia and China, in itself an act of belligerence indicating that preparations for a catastrophic conflict on the Korean peninsula are far advanced. Freeland set the tone in her opening remarks to the one-day conference, declaring:

No true progress can be made in addressing instability on the Korean peninsula until North Korea commits to changing course and verifiably and irreversibly abandoning all its weapons of mass destruction.

Tillerson agreed, appealing for “increased pressure” to be applied to NK to compel it to engage in “credible negotiations” to dismantle its nuclear weapons. Addressing reporters after the summit, Tillerson ominously warned of the need to “recognize that the threat is growing.” He continued:

And if NK does not choose the path of engagement, of discussion, negotiations, then they themselves will trigger an option.

The talk of negotiations and securing a diplomatic solution is a smokescreen behind which preparations for military conflict are well advanced. On Monday, one day prior to the conference, a front-page article in the NYT revealed the advanced state of preparations within the Pindo military for an all-out onslaught on Pyongyang. These included the deployment of thousands of SOF to the Korean peninsula on the pretext of providing security for the Winter Olympics. Pres Trump has issued a series of bloodcurdling war threats against NK over recent months, from his August threat to rain down “fire and fury” on the country to his infamous declaration at the UNGA in Sep 2017 that the Pentagon was ready to “totally destroy” NK and its 25 million inhabitants.

Freeland’s attempt to portray Pyongyang as the aggressor is a flat-out lie. The war danger on the Korean peninsula is being incited by Faschingstein and its vassals, Canada chief among them. Ottawa has avoided any criticism of Faschingstein’s provocative role throughout the Korean crisis, even when Trump made his incendiary remarks to the UNHA. This is part of the broader agenda of Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government to deepen Canada’s already extensive and long-standing military-strategic partnership with Faschingstein. Canada has been a key participant in virtually all of Pindo imperialism’s wars of aggression over the past quarter-century, and the current government has made clear it intends to continue such policies by hiking military spending by a massive 70% over the coming decade. In her keynote foreign policy address last June, which accompanied the announcement of the defence spending increase, Freeland explicitly praised the “outsized role” played by Pindostan in stabilizing the “global order” in the post-war period, something she argued had to be defended against “threats” such as the rise of China. The character of the Vancouver meeting as a war council was made clear beforehand by the decision to include only those nations who fought alongside Pindostan during the Korean War, or provided logistical support like Japan. From the standpoint of NK, which suffered millions of casualties in the conflict and had 18 of its cities razed to the ground, the meeting can been seen as nothing other than a provocation. In comments Monday, Sergei Lavrov attacked the decision to hold a meeting that excluded his country and China, saying:

We openly said that we think this meeting is harmful.

Even some Canadian and Pindo analysts acknowledged that the presence of China and Russia at any meeting discussing sanctions on NK would be essential if the sanctions were to be effective. The implication, as CBC correspondent Murray Brewster suggested, is that talk of diplomacy is largely for public consumption and the discussions have already moved on to military action, including the use of warships to stop trading vessels bound for NK. This made the absence of China and Russia from Tuesday’s meeting “more understandable and possibly chilling.” A defence analyst who testified to a House of Commons committee recently summed up the growing war fever, writing in Maclean’s:

I believe that despite the risks, Pindostan and its vassals must consider a resumption of the Korean War in order to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. There is a brief window of perhaps one year in which allies have ‘good’ military options, meaning options that would not result in global mass destruction, to permanently eliminate NK’s nuclear arsenal.

Estimates are that a war on the Korean peninsula fought “only” with conventional weapons would lead to the deaths of 300,000 people within a matter of hours. The conflict would rapidly draw in other states such as China and Russia, raising the spectre of the “good military option” turning into a global inferno, with catastrophic consequences not only for the population of the Korean peninsula but for billions in East Asia and around the world. The Vancouver meeting was preceded by a number of incidents pointing to just how far advanced discussions are on the Canadian ruling elite’s participation in a military conflict. General Jonathan Vance, chief of the defence staff, declared that the Royal Canadian Navy has sufficient personnel to join in the proposed interdiction of naval shipping transporting goods to NK. The seriousness of Vance’s remarks is shown by the fact that the Canadian Navy currently has a submarine, HMS Chicoutimi, stationed off the coast of Japan, and participated with two frigates in a series of exercises with Pindo and SK navies. Marine interdiction would go even further than the UNSCR passed last month that called on states to impound ships in their territorial waters carrying elicit goods to NK. The adoption of an interdiction policy would raise the prospect of a direct confrontation with Russian or Chinese ships, creating a potential flashpoint that could trigger a much broader military conflict.

The night before the meeting, Freeland and Tillerson had a ministerial dinner with Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Mad Dog Mattis. Although the topics of their discussions were not made public, one can well imagine the aggressive options the four ministers considered. The Globe and Mail, the Canadian bourgeoisie’s “newspaper of record,” published an editorial on its website on the day of the conference urging the Liberal government to seize the opportunity presented by the Korean crisis to open talks on joining Faschingstein’s ballistic missile defence shield. Notwithstanding its name, BMD was developed to make the waging of a nuclear conflict by Pindostan “winnable.” Alleging that Canadian cities face a real risk of being targeted by a missile from NK, the Globe advised the Liberal government to “find out what’s on the table and open discussions about joining the missile defence program.” The Globe asserted that Canada was still committed to a diplomatic solution, before declaring:

Sometimes you have to conduct diplomacy while wearing a bulletproof vest.

The Canadian ruling elite’s desire to join the BMD goes well beyond the issue of NK. In 2005, the Liberal government of Paul Martin was forced to abandon Ottawa’s participation in the BMD in the face of widespread popular opposition to the Bush 43 administration’s illegal invasion of Iraq. The military and intelligence establishment have never accepted this decision, seeing it as a barrier to Canada’s strategic partnership with Pindo imperialism. From their standpoint, Canada’s involvement in the BMD would assist in the assertion of Canadian imperialist interests around the globe, including in the Arctic, where two major competitors for control over the sea lanes rapidly opening up due to global warming are Russia and China.

stand by for thought control

Facebook and Google outline unprecedented mass censorship at Senate hearing
Andre Damon, WSWS, Jan 18 2018

Behind the backs of the Pindosi and world populations, social media companies have built up a massive censorship apparatus staffed by an army of “content reviewers” capable of seamlessly monitoring, tracking, and blocking millions of pieces of content. The character of this apparatus was detailed in testimony Wednesday from representatives of Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, chaired by John Thune. The hearing was called to review what technology companies are doing to shut down the communications of oppositional political organizations, and represented a significant escalation of the campaign supported by both main parties to establish unprecedented levels of censorship and control over the Internet. Armed with increasingly powerful artificial intelligence systems, these technology companies are free to remove and block the communications of their users at the behest of the government, in a seamless alliance between Silicon Valley and the major spy agencies. Monika Bickert of Facebook told the critturs that the social media giant now employs a security team of 10,000 people, 7,500 of whom “assess potentially violating content,” and that, “by the end of 2018 we will more than double” the security team. This group includes “a dedicated counter-terrorism team” of “former intelligence and law-enforcement officials and prosecutors who worked in the area of counter-terrorism.” In other words, there is a revolving door between the technology giants and the state intelligence and police forces, with one increasingly indistinguishable from the other. Bickert pointed to the growing use of artificial intelligence to flag content, saying:

Facebook does not wait for these bad actors to upload content to Facebook before placing it into our detection systems. Much of the propaganda removed is content that we identify ourselves before anybody else. We have partnered with over a dozen other companies to develop a blacklist of content based on unique digital fingerprints.

This means that if a piece of content is flagged by any one of these companies, whether a video, image, or written statement, it will be banned from all social media. This database now includes some 50,000 pieces of content and is constantly growing. In other words, the technology giants have created an all-pervasive system of censorship in which machines trained to collaborate with the CIA, FBI and other intelligence agencies are able to flag and block content even before it is posted. Juniper Downs, global head of Public Policy and Government Relations at YouTube, boasted:

Google uses a mix of technology and humans to remove content. YouTube relies on a trusted flagger program to provide actionable flags based on the flaggers’ experience with issues like hate speech and terrorism.

These are words that imply that these “trusted flaggers” are connected to the intelligence agencies. Downs said:

Machine learning is now helping our human reviewers remove nearly five times as many videos as they were before. This year there will be 10,000 people across Google working to address content that might violate our policies. Since June YouTube has removed 160,000 videos and terminated 30,000 channels for violent extremism. We have reviewed over two million videos, in collaboration with law enforcement, government and NGOs. We are actively engaged in promoting counter-speech. Google’s Jigsaw program is deploying targeted ads and YouTube videos to disrupt online radicalization, and redirecting users to other relevant content.

The hearing also featured the testimony of Clint Watts, a former FBI official and army officer, now fellow at the German Marshall Fund and a leading promoter of social media censorship, who presented the hearing with an unhinged justification for what these massive powers might be used for, in a hypothetical scenario he dubbed “Anwar Awlaki meets PizzaGate.” He said:

The greatest concern moving forward might likely be a foreign intelligence service posing as Pindosis on social media, infiltrating one or both political extremes in Pindostan and then recruiting unwitting Pindosis to undertake violence against a target of the foreign power’s choosing.

In this formulation, social opposition, what he calls the “political extremes,” including left-wing politics, is the product of foreign intervention and therefore treasonous. It is also defined as “terrorist” in content and therefore criminal. Watts expressed extreme fear over the widespread growth of opposition to the policies of US imperialism. He arrogantly decried:

Lesser-educated populations around the world predominately arriving in cyberspace via mobile phones will be particularly vulnerable to social media manipulation.

The content of Thursday’s testimony points the far-advanced preparations for the establishment of police state forms of rule. The effort to control speech online is driven by a ruling elite that is immensely fearful of social opposition. Amid growing social inequality and the ever-mounting threat of world war, broad sections of the population, and in particular the working class, are increasingly disillusioned with the capitalist system. Having no social reform to offer, the ruling elites see censorship as the only means to prop up their rule. Given the explosive content of the statements made at Thursday’s hearing, it is extraordinary that they received no significant coverage in either the print or broadcast media. The hearing took place just one day after the WSWS carried its live webinar, “Organizing Resistance to Internet Censorship,” featuring WSWS chairperson David North and journalist Chris Hedges.

Facebook widens probe into alleged Russian meddling in Brexit
David Ingram, Reuters, Jan 17 2018

SAN FRANCISCO – Facebook said on Wednesday it would conduct a new comprehensive search of its records for possible propaganda that Russian operatives may have spread during the run-up to Britain’s 2016 referendum on EU membership. Some British MPs had complained that the world’s largest social media network had done only a limited search for evidence that Russians manipulated the network and interfered with the referendum debate. Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube have been under intense pressure in Pindostan & Eurostan to stop nations from using tech services to meddle in another country’s elections, and to investigate when evidence of such meddling arises. Facebook’s new search in Britain will require the company’s security experts to go back and analyse historical data, Simon Milner, Facebook’s UK policy director, wrote in a letter on Wednesday to Damian Collins, chair of the British parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee. Milner wrote:

We would like to carry out this work promptly and estimate it will take a number of weeks to complete.

Facebook said in December that it had found just 97 cents worth of advertising by Russia-based operatives ahead of Britain’s vote to leave the EU. Its analysis, though, involved only accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency, a suspected Russian propaganda service. Collins last month described Facebook’s initial Brexit-related search as inadequate, and said on Wednesday he welcomed the company’s latest response. He said in a statement:

They are best placed to investigate activity on their platform. I look forward to seeing the results of this investigation, and I‘m sure we will want to question Facebook about this when we know the outcome.

Facebook told congress critturs last year that it had found 3,000 ads bought by suspected Russian agents posing as Pindosis and seeking to spread divisive messages in Pindostan about race, immigration and other political topics. In France last year, Facebook suspended 30,000 accounts in the days before the country’s presidential election to try to stop the spread of fake news, misinformation and spam.

don & rex go gastric

Tillerson: Evidence sanctions ‘really starting to hurt’ NK
David Brunnstrom, Reuters, Jan 17 2018

Rex Tillerson on Wednesday accused Russia of not implementing NK-related UNSCRs. Pres Trump told Reuters in an interview earlier on Wednesday that Russia was helping NK evade international sanctions and that Pyongyang was getting closer every day to being able to deliver an LRBM to the CONUS. Tillerson told reporters the Russian failure to comply with the UNSCRs “primarily” concerned fuel, “but some other areas potentially as well.” He did not provide details. He said he was confident the pressure would eventually bring NK to the negotiating table over its nuclear and missile programs. Citing intelligence and anecdotal evidence from defectors, Tillerson said:

We are getting a lot of evidence that these sanctions are really starting to hurt.

He said Japan told a conference on NK in Vancouver on Tuesday that more than 100 NK fishing boats had drifted into its waters and two-thirds of those aboard them had died. He said:

What they learned is that they are being sent out in the winter time because there’s food shortages and they are being sent out to fish with inadequate fuel to get back.

China did not attend the Vancouver meeting, where 20 nations agreed to step up sanctions pressure on NK, but Tillerson highlighted Beijing’s role. SK Pres Moon Jae-in had attributed NK’s recent willingness to talk to SK to the pain of sanctions, Tillerson said, but he suspected Russia may not only be failing to implement some sanctions but “frustrating” some of the effort to press NK. Tillerson said aboard his top-secret suction-driven aircraft while returning from Vancouver:

It’s apparent to us that they’re not implementing all the sanctions and there’s some evidence they may be frustrating some of the sanctions. We have never had Chinese support for sanctions like we’re getting now. Russia’s a slightly different issue, but the Chinese have leaned in hard on the NKs.

Asked whether there was a humanitarian concern that sanctions were hurting ordinary NKs, he said:

That’s a choice the regime’s making. The regime gets to decide how they allocate their available resources. We are not going to take any responsibility for the fact that he is choosing to make his own people suffer.

Asked if he was concerned that SK might resume some humanitarian aid to NK as part of the resumption of NK/SK talks this month, thereby weakening sanctions, Tillerson said:

Countries will have to make their own choice, but we would be very sceptical that aid that goes into the country will necessarily relieve the suffering of the people.

Tillerson said that while NK had a record of seeking to drive a wedge between Pindostan and its vassals through charm offensives, Faschingstein was supportive of the NK/SK dialogue. Tillerson said of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un:

He knows how to reach me, if he wants to talk. But he’s got to tell me he wants to talk. We’re not going to chase him.

He said he was confident the sides would eventually get to the negotiating table and he wanted NK to know that, when that happened, Pindostan had “very, very strong military options standing behind me.” The Trump administration has said repeatedly that all options are available, including military ones, in forcing NK to give up its development of nuclear missiles capable of reaching the CONUS, although it prefers a diplomatic solution.

Trump accuses Russia of helping NK evade sanctions
Steve Holland, Roberta Rampton, Jeff Mason, Reuters, Jan 17 2018

FASCHINGSTEIN – Pres Trump complained on Wednesday that Russia was helping NK to evade international sanction. Trump said during an Oval Office interview with Reuters:

Russia is not helping us at all with NK. What China is helping us with, Russia is denting. In other words, Russia is making up for some of what China is doing.

China and Russia both signed onto the latest rounds of UNSCRs against NK imposed last year. During a 53-minute interview, Trump said he was considering a big “fine” as part of an investigation into China’s alleged theft of intellectual property, and declined to clear up conflicting reports about his use of the phrase “shithole countries” in a White House meeting, which caused an international outcry. With NK persisting as the major global challenge facing Trump this year, he cast doubt on whether talks with Kim Jong Un would be useful, though in the past he has not ruled out direct talks with him. He said:

I’d sit down, but I‘m not sure that sitting down will solve the problem.

He pointed out that past negotiations with NK by his predecessors had failed to rein in its nuclear and missile programs. He blamed Clinton 42, Bush 43 and Obama 44 for failing to resolve the crisis, and suggested he had the mental acuity to solve it. He declined to comment when asked whether he had
communicated at all with Kim. Trump said:

I hope this can be fixed in a peaceful way, but it’s very possible that it can’t. Pyongyang is steadily advancing in its ability to deliver a missile to the CONUS. They’re not there yet but they’re close, and they get closer every day.

Asked whether he thought that Pindostan needs more missile defense systems, he said:

Yes, yes I do. We’re ordering more missile defense and we’re ordering more missile offense also.

Trump praised China for its efforts to restrict oil and coal supplies to NK but said Beijing could do much more to help constrain Pyongyang. The White House last week welcomed news that imports to China from NK plunged in December to their lowest in dollar terms since at least the start of 2014.
Trump said Russia appears to be filling in the gaps left by the Chinese. He said of Putin:

He can do a lot, but unfortunately we don’t have much of a relationship with Russia, and in some cases it’s probable that what China takes back, Russia gives. So the net result is not as good as it could be.

Andrew Weiss of the Carnegie Endowment said:

Moscow does not share the depth of Pindo concerns over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs. It’s simply not the case that even if Trump’s hands were not tied on Russia, that he and Putin could magically work together to solve the Korea crisis.

Trump said he welcomed talks between NK and SK over the Winter Olympics to be held in SK next month and said this could be an initial phase in helping defuse the crisis. He would not say whether Pindostan has been considering a limited, pre-emptive attack to show NK that Pindostan means business. He said:

We’re playing a very, very hard game of poker and you don’t want to reveal your hand.

Trump also gave the clearest indication yet that his administration will take retaliatory trade action against China. Trump and his economic adviser Gary Cohn, who was also in the Oval Office, said China had forced Pindo companies to transfer their intellectual property to China as a cost of doing business there. Pindostan has started a trade investigation into the issue, and Cohn said the Pindo Trade Rep would be making recommendations about it soon. Trump said:

We have a very big intellectual property potential fine going, which is going to come out soon.

Trump said the damages could be high, without elaborating on how the numbers were reached or how the costs would be imposed. Trump was also asked about a private gathering with a bipartisan group of senators last week at which he was reported to have used a vulgar term to describe Haiti and African nations. He would not confirm whether he had said “shithole countries,” but described it as a “tough-talking” meeting. He said he had “lost all trust” in Demagog Sen Dick Durbin, one of the participants who later talked publicly about Trump’s comments during the meeting.

the pentagon continues to call all the shots

Pindostan to maintain open-ended presence in Syria, Tillerson says
Julian Borger, Patrick Wintour, Karim Shahin, Graun, Jan 17 2018

Pindostan intends to maintain an open-ended military presence in Syria, not only to fight Daesh & AQ but also to provide a bulwark against Iranian influence, ensure the departure of the Assad regime and create conditions for the return of refugees, Tillerson said on Wednesday. The new Syria policy outlined by Tillerson in a speech at Stanford University represents a significant expansion of Pindo aims in the country, which the Trump administration previously defined as counter-terrorism. It had been unclear for some time how counter-terrorism squared with Trump’s stated goal of containing Iranian influence, or how it would give Pindostan clout at negotiations over Syria’s political future. Tillerson’s speech suggested that as Russia drew down its military presence, Pindostan would expand its own. How far it is ready to risk troops and invest resources in the policy remains far from clear. Tillerson’s comments came as the number of internal refugees fleeing fighting in Idlib has more than doubled in the last week, to 212,000 people, in an escalating humanitarian crisis that officials have warned could spur a new migration wave. In his Stanford speech, Tillerson laid out five Pindo goals in Syria:

  1. the defeat of Daesh and AQ;
  2. a Geneva-imposed change of regime for Syria that involves Assad’s departure;
  3. a curb on Iran;
  4. conditions for the safe return of refugees and
  5. the complete elimination of remaining chemical weapons.

The Trump administration has vacillated on whether regime change had be part of any political process. In this speech, Tillerson signalled the US would insist on Assad’s departure. While the focus of US military effort thus far has been on Isis, Tillerson warned:

AQ is still a grave threat and is looking to reconstitute in new and powerful ways. Additionally, a total withdrawal of Pindo personnel at this time would restore Assad and continue his brutal treatment of his own people. A murderer of his own people cannot generate the support required for long-term stability. A stable, unified and independent Syria ultimately requires post-Assad leadership in order to be successful.

Tillerson also made clear for the first time that one of the objectives of a sustained military presence would be to disrupt what Pindostan, Israel and their vassals see as an Iranian strategy to control a large swath of the Middle East, from Afghanistan to Lebanon, in which Syria is key. Tillerson said:

Pindo disengagement from Syria would provide Iran the opportunity to further strengthen its position in Syria. As we have seen from Iran’s proxy wars and public announcements, Iran seeks dominance in the Middle East. As a destabilised nation and one bordering Israel, Syria presents an opportunity that Iran is all too eager to exploit.

Although he denied that Pindostan was about to embark once more on nation-building, Tillerson acknowledged that as long as Syrian refugees did not feel safe enough to go home, the Syrian conflict would continue to destabilise the Middle East and Europe. Thus, the Pindo presence would also be geared to creating the conditions for safe return. Tillerson said:

It will be impossible to ensure stability on one end of the Mediterranean, in Europe, if chaos and injustice prevail on the other end, in Syria.

The UN’s special Syria envoy, Staffan de Mistura, announced he is convening two days of talks between the regime and opposition in Vienna on Thursday and Friday next week, in a move designed to test the willingness of the Syrian government delegation to negotiate. In a statement, Mistura said he expected both sides to have “substantive engagement” with him. The planned UN talks next week are designed as an assertion of the primacy of the UN in the peace process and a pointed warning to Russia not to think that it can run an alternative peace track through its proposed national dialogue conference in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. Meanwhile, new UN figures showed that tens of thousands of people have continued to flee a government assault on Idlib, Syria’s last rebel-held province. The number of internal refugees escaping more than doubled in a week from 99,000 to 212,000, amid the bombardment of civilian centers, including several hospitals, schools and civil defense rescue centers. The latest report by the UN’s office for the coordination of human affairs shows that the majority of people fleeing the fighting have taken refuge in Dana, a district just across the border from Turkey, with nearly 60,000 people seeking shelter there. Turkey’s prime minister, Binali Yildirim, warned at the weekend that the bombing campaign in Idlib could be the catalyst for a “new wave of migration”, a prospect that will alarm European countries that negotiated a deal with Ankara to limit the number of people fleeing to Europe through the Aegean Sea from Turkey. Activists said the bombing of towns and villages in Idlib continued into Wednesday.

my claim is that daesh is a product of israel & the toads, excluding CIA from the region

Who is he? An ‘Investment consultant” of parts! “Elijah Magnier is a Senior Political Risk Analyst with over 32 years’ experience covering Europe & the Middle East. He has in-depth experience, robust contacts and political knowledge of Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan and Syria, specialising in political assessments, strategic planning and political networks. Magnier has more than three decades of experience dealing with intrinsically difficult situations in a broad spectrum of situations, interacting with leaders and fundamentalist movements in war zones and areas of growing instability.” – RB

Was Daesh Really Strong or Just the Consequence of Stupidity and Fear,
Plus Effective Propaganda? What Future for the Daesh Myth?

Elijah Magnier, Jan 15 2018 (Arabic original, al-Rai Media)

Terrorism and counter-terrorism experts and analysts, the genuine ones plus the hundreds of others who mushroomed during the last years of the war in Syria, rushed to explain Daesh’s power and ability to expand. This biased its beginning, disregarded its real defeat, and most importantly downplayed the major role played by Faschingstein, which supported the proliferation of this terrorist group in the past and continues to do so in the present. Those terror analysts live off the promotion of Daesh’s capability, celebrating its “rebirth” and advertising its “expansion.” They recall the 2009-2011 period in Iraq when the group was reduced to few hundred militants only, and how Daesh managed to occupy large territories in Iraq and Syria few years later. This is exactly where this article will start and argue that Daesh was merely a capable opportunistic group, not a strong group. It benefitted from many elements and opportunities but is much weaker than the world believes. Hence Daesh’s fall was quick and miserable, revealing the reality behind the group’s apparent power. It all began with Afghanistan in 1979 when Russia invaded the country and Pindostan thought it could defeat Moscow without considering that it needed a strategy that could not backfire against the world and itself later. The Pindo Ambassador to the Toads, Hume Alexander Horan, confirmed:

Pindostan and the Toads financed, trained and equipped Mujahedeen in Afghanistan to stand against Russia. The problem manifested itself when Russia pulled out, and both the Pindostan and the Toads were left with a dilemma, how to integrate young warriors when these return home from Afghanistan.

Indeed, AQ is the product of what the Pindostan and the Toads believed in the 80’s to be a genial idea to defeat Russia. An Iraqi branch of the organisation metamorphosed into Daesh later on. Neither Pindostan nor the Toads bothered to think about predict the consequences. In point of fact Pindostan believed that whatever the consequences, these were the  Middle East’s problems to deal with. They were certainly not considered at the time to be the West’s problem … until 9/11. Following the defeat of Russia, another Pindo foreign policy decision created a boomerang effect and increased the spread of terrorism through its ally the Toads. When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in Aug 1990, the Toads felt the direct menace and called upon Pindo forces for protection. The holders of the Wahhabi doctrine dominating the Toads were totally against this move. To appease radical Toads at home, outraged by the presence of Pindo forces on what is considered a the most sacred Islamic territory, the late King Fahed gave a free hand to radicals and conservatives and largely financed madrassas proliferating radicalism throughout the world to spread their religious extremism and hate-speech outside the country. More was to come. Following the Pindo invasion of Iraq in 2003, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (the Jordanian Ahmad Fadhil Nazzal al-Khalayla) joined AQ, the leader of Ansar al-Islam in the Kurdish-controlled area of northern Iraq prior to 2003, and became its franchisee in Iraq. He was not the only one carrying out insurgency against the Pindo occupation forces in Mesopotamia, against the Shia, and against his Sunni opponents. There were also many other Iraqi nationalists, Baathists, Tribes and Shia groups attacking the Pindo forces. Insurgency was not exclusive to AQ in Iraq.

Zarqawi was notorious for his brutality, to the extent that when Osama bin Laden was still around, he called him “Sheikh of the Slaughterers” (Sheikh al-Thab’bahin). His group was estimated at around100 fighters, plus several thousand Saddam Hussein loyalists. In fact, his first ‘spectacular’ attacks were registered in Aug 2003 against the UN envoy Sergio de Mello in Baghdad and Sayyed Mohamad Baqer al-Hakim in Najaf. Not only had the media contributed to raising the level of interest in Zarqawi following his beheading of Nick Berg in 2004 on video, but the Bush 43 administration ignored opportunities to kill him and blew up Zarqawi’s profile so much out of proportion that he managed to attract even more recruits to his group raising his prestige. Throughout the Pindo “war on terror” in Iraq, Pindo forces engaged in the shameful Abu Ghreib prison tortures and the exercise of the lowest level of human behaviour against suspects: randomly arrested Iraqi criminals and security detainees. This particular story went viral- to be forgotten years later and join the pages of a history book. The world brushed aside the fact that this particular loss of human values by a superpower, itself advocating democracy and human rights, was the main trigger and incitement to terrorism recruitment for angry Muslims around the world. Paul Bremer’s decision of de-Baathification pushed tens of thousands of army and security forces members to become jobless, without any future. These, as we have discovered throughout these years, were the elite of Daesh command and militants. But that was not everything. Pindostan formed a “University for Jihadis” which proliferated at Buca, Cropper and Taji Camps in Iraq. This is where most potential terrorist leaders met, graduated from, and recruited their future army. In these camps there were Sharia courts to judge and condemn prisoners who refused to join the radicals. This is typical behaviour of the group that later changed its name but not its tactics, to impose itself by intimidation and menace.

Again, a few years down the line, Pindostan facilitated the rise of Daesh and its plan to move to Syria, (a country rendered fragile when the world supported the push for a regime change) and it armed, trained and financed Jihadis. AQ in Iraq took the advice of Ayman al-Zawahiri to the letter by prematurely declaring a “Islamic State” in Iraq. Zawahiri had meant in his message to Zarqawi and his successors that the ultimate aim would be an Islamic Emirate, as it is for every non-state religious actor in the Middle East. Nevertheless, the ambitious Zarqawi and after him all those who led the group, wanted a higher status than to be merely part of AQ. They aimed to be independent and recruit youth from all over the world. The Jihadis in Iraq were counting on much support from surrounding countries and also from Pindostan’s mistaken foreign policy. Competent researchers try to minimize or even airbrush Pindostan’s main responsibility for the growth of extremist religious groups, blaming the Iraqi Shia leaders who were supported in the first years of the Pindo occupation by the same Pindo Viceroy of Iraq. There is no doubt that the rise of Jihadi groups in Iraq was not exclusively the result of Pindo mistakes, the rulers of Iraq also contributed by supporting Pindo policy and Pindo mistakes in Iraq. Both (but not only the Iraqi politicians, as analysts like to project) led to the benefits for the Jihadis.

The Iraqi Shia were not used to ruling: they had been under the thumb of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship for decades. They wanted to enjoy the overwhelming wealth Iraq produces and wanted to command power in the country. And they oppressed the Sunni even as the Sunni had oppressed the Shia throughout the years. It was a naïve vision of democracy that Pindostan imported to the country, and to high profile individuals that had been oppressed, even on an individual basis, for years). Its birth was so much premature that it was, unsurprisingly, stillborn. I met Sheikh Jalal-ed’Din al-Saghir when he was distributing newspapers in the streets of Lebanon, when he was in exile during Saddam’s era. I also saw Nuri al-Maliki on endless occasions in worse situations prior the fall of Saddam Hussein. One day, I found myself in Iraq along with many officials during a religious ceremony in Karbalaa. Vice-President at that time Adel Abd’el-Mahdi said in the presence of several ministers and myself:

We should clean out our offices in Damascus where we used to advertise for the fall of Saddam Hussein. We know how to run an opposition campaign but we have no clue how to run a country.

He was indeed correct. The Iraqi leaders were confused. Jihadists in Iraq took advantage of this confusion and therefore aimed to create a sectarian war to add as many followers as possible to their ranks. Some Shia leaders fell into this sectarian trap and the Pindos watched as elements of their creation fought it out. When Daesh declared its Caliphate in 2014, it was not, as so often advertised, the group that took control of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Local tribes, several Sunni groups, and Baathist deserters were already present in the city, trying to prepare the ground for the uprising. Indeed, it was not a Daesh “plan, command, and control.” Many neighbouring countries (and Iraqi Kurdish leader Massud Barzani) supported what they defined in 2014 as a “Sunni upraising and revolution” against Baghdad. Nuri al-Maliki was Prime Minister then. It was only when Daesh turned against these countries and their local Iraqi allies that it became their enemy. The Speicher massacre was not done exclusively by Daesh, even if advertised as such by the group media and reported by mainstream media, but by local Salah-ed’Din and Anbar tribes, even though the footage was hijacked by Daesh and claimed as its own. In fact, Daesh used the same old style they used at Buca camp: whoever is not with us is against us. One of the contributors in the occupation of Mosul in 2014, and an active insurgent group against the Pindo and Iraqi forces throughout the invasion of Iraq, was the Naqshbandi Army. Their members fled Iraq several months after the occupation of Mosul, for fear of Daesh, which used the media and internet effectively and adequately to its advantage, manipulating information and disproportionately blowing up its size to a point where enemies, friends and observers were all convinced that it was a giant force.

When Daesh moved to Syria, Abu Mohammad al-Golani, sent from Baghdad (a leader from Quneitra, hence his toponym – RB) found enough courage to challenge Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Al-Golani knew the real size of Daesh and his own size at the moment he challenged al-Baghdadi. During the process of partition between Daesh and Golani (who joined AQ willingly, surprising his new Emir Ayman al-Zawahiri), many foreign fighters were divided between old AQ and new Daesh. This of course gave more power to Daesh but certainly not to the level of becoming the “almighty” advertising itself in 2014-2016. Daesh effectively used the vulnerability of the Syrian government, engaged in so many battles on so many fronts; it used the mainstream media to widen the distribution of its message, and social media, Twitter and Facebook to inflate its size. Most importantly, it stunned most observers with its “stylish death methods,” which included drowning, burning, beheading, throwing from elevated buildings as a death sentence, stoning, executing prisoners by driving a tank over their bodies while alive, using explosives in a car with condemned prisoners. It also used special visual effects and computer games to attract the eyes of tens of thousands of viewers. Daesh managed to project fear into the hearts of its enemies. Its strategy was so successful that thousands of Iraqis fled Baghdad, Najaf and Karbala before Daesh’s arrival. It was not until the Iraqi Army and the PMUs in Iraq, and ideologues Shi’ites in Syria fighting alongside the SAA, decided to stand up to Daesh that the quality the armament of the group was defined: car bombs, suicide individuals and snipers are Daesh’s only real weapons. Iraq fought back and recovered its entire country in a year or so. Syria postponed the confrontation with Daesh because the priority was to stop AQ and other rebels supported by countries of the region and by many western countries. Many commanders on the ground in Syria told me:

Daesh is an orphan group and can be defeated any time. AQ is much more dangerous, more courageous and better equipped to fight and stand firm on the battlefield.

Daesh was defeated by Iraq and Syria the moment the Iraqi and Syrian leaders decided to end the control of the group over their territories. Only a few pockets remain today, including north-east Syria under Daesh protection. To judge by Daesh’s track record, Pindostan has been using Daesh for its own purposes ever since its creation in Iraq, when Bush 43 refused to kill its leader Zarqawi and put an end to it. What Pindostan are planning in the future for Daesh is not yet very clear. Many researchers predict the return of Daesh even strongly than before, perhaps in another form. Daesh is only good in hit-and-run situations. It failed disastrously when it came to organizing and governing. Its failed experience has buried any possible “Islamic State” project for decades to come and has irreparably damaged the Islamic cause as understood by AQ or any other similar group. No society will give it shelter, only sporadic hideouts. There is doubtless some finance hidden secretly, in the same style as Saddam Hussein, that can buy a few people to provide some sort of assistance, but Daesh is too weak to be reborn again, as it was in 2014. If only terrorism experts and researchers would stop fearing for their own bread and butter and cease predicting and therefore encouraging its return! The demise of Daesh doesn’t mean terrorism will cease, but there is no need to inflate its danger. The numinous world would be in a much better state, and we could sleep more easily in our beds. This is one side of the problem. The real problem is the use of terrorist groups by liberal democratic countries for their own interests, and to advance their own foreign policy. This is the loophole Daesh could exploit in order to grow again.

d b schultz covered for them, remember

Inspector General: Awans Used “Unauthorized Access” To Transfer Congress’ Data To Stolen Server
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Jan 17 2018

  • An internal House probe concluded that Pakistani IT aides Imran Awan along with four other individuals inappropriately accessed House servers and moved data
  • They impersonated at least 15 House members they did not work for and the Demagog Caucus, using their credentials to gain access to the system, a federal offense.
  • Data was migrated from several servers onto a single server, which disappeared while being monitored by police
  • The Awans engaged in a “pattern of login activity” which suggest steps were taken to conceal their activity
  • House Democrats in turn misrepresented the issue to their own members as solely a matter of theft
  • No criminal charges have been filed related to the data breaches or a number of other violations

 
In what must surely warrant a Special Counsel by now, an internal House investigation concluded that Pakistani IT aides Imran Awan and wife Hina Alvi, along with Imran’s brothers Abid and Jamal and a friend, impersonated at least 15 House members for whom they did not work, using their credentials to log into Congressional servers, before migrating data to a single server, which was stolen during the investigation, all while covering their tracks, reports Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller. This and much more is detailed in a presentation assembled the House’s internal watchdog, the Office of the Inspector General, after a four-month internal probe.

The presentation, written by the House’s Office of the Inspector General, reported under the bold heading “UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS” : “5 shared employee system administrators have collectively logged into 15 member offices and the Demagog Caucus although they were not employed by the offices they accessed.” One systems administrator logged into a member’s office two months after he was terminated from that office. There are strong indications that many of the 44 members’ data, including personal information of constituents seeking help, was entirely out of those members’ possession, and instead was stored on the House Demagog Caucus server. The aggregation of multiple members’ data would mean all that data was absconded with, because authorities said that entire server physically disappeared while it was being monitored by police.

The OIG also concluded that the Awans’ behavior appeared to be a “classic method for insiders to exfiltrate data from an organization,” as well as indications that a House server was “being used for nefarious purposes and elevated the risk that individuals could be reading and/or removing information,” and “could be used to store documents taken from other offices,” the Caller reports. A House committee staffer close to the probe told the Daily Caller: “The data was always out of their possession. It was a breach.” The second presentation shows that shortly before the election, their alleged behavior got even worse. The internal document also shoots down any notion that the access was for some legitimate purpose. The presentation reads:

They were using the House Demagog Caucus as their central service warehouse. All 5 of the shared employee system administrators collectively logged onto the Caucus system 5,735 times, an average of 27 times per day… This is considered unusual since computers in other offices managed by these shared employees were accessed in total less than 60 times. There was possible storage of sensitive House information outside of the House. Dropbox is installed on two Caucus computers used by the shared employees. Their user accounts had thousands of files on each computer in their Dropbox folders. This pattern of login activity suggests steps were being taken to conceal their activity. During Sep 2016, shared employees continued to use Demagog Caucus computers in anomalous ways:

  • Logged onto laptops as system administrators;
  • Changed identity and logged onto Demagog Caucus servers using 17 other user account credentials;
  • Some credentials belonged to members;
  • The shared employees did not work for 9 of the 17 offices to which these user accounts belonged.

Under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, simply accessing a computer and obtaining information carries a sentence of up to 10 years for more than one conviction of the same abuse. Trespassing on a government computer also carries a 10-year sentence. While each violation above carries its own penalties, the punishment under 18 USC § 1030 is up to 20 years in prison for each violation. House Demagog leadership has been downplaying the alleged breach by pointing to recent bank fraud charges the Awans were slapped with after Imran Awan was arrested at Dulles International Airport attempting to flee the country.

Rep Ted Lieu of California, who employed Abid Awan and is a member of the foreign affairs committee, said as far as he was concerned it was a simple issue of bank fraudHe told a TV station: “The staffer that I used, there was no allegation. If you look at the charge of the brother, he was charged with bank fraud. That has nothing to do with natsec.”

The only Demagog who appears to have attempted to intervene with the Awans’ access is Rep Xavier Becerra, who ran the House Demagog Caucus server. He knew about the unauthorized access, and tried to stop them according to the OIG report. However “the suspect defied him.” That said, Bacerra does not appear to have warned other offices that might have been affected. The OIG report reads: “The Caucus Chief of Staff requested one of the shared employees to not provide IT services or access their computers. This shared employee continued.” Unfortunately, while police were keeping tabs on the server as a primary piece of evidence in their ongoing investigation, they discovered in January that it was taken from under their noses and replaced with a different computer.” To read more about the Awans, take a look at the extensive reporting below by Luke Rosiak’s Continuing DCNF Investigative Group Series:

dis a war crime

Gazans fear for the worst as Trump severs aid to Palestinian refugees
Ahmad Kabariti, Mondoweiss, Jan 17 2018

The UNRWA depot (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

The Trump administration informed the UN yesterday it would cut aid for Palestinian refugees by more than half, withholding $65m in funds. The announcement was made by an official with the State Dept who said:

It is time other countries, some of them quite wealthy, step in and do their part to advance regional security and stability.

For Halima Abu Hendi, 40, a Palestinian living in the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, Trump’s steep cut could mean that her pantry will be empty next month. Halima survives off of food assistance from UNRWA that comes in the form of parcels she picks up from a distribution center every 90 days. At the moment, her stock is already running low, with under a pound of chickpeas, sugar and rice, and nearly out of milk powder to feed her husband and herself, and their seven children. Halima explained the UNRWA staples fill up 90% of her family’s diet. She said:

We rely on chickpea to prepare Falafel for the three daily meals, and could replace it with sweetened noodles or canned tuna.

Halima Abu Hendi (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

Halima and her husband Abd’el-Baset Abu Hendi, 44, were both born in Jabalia camp. Last year, Pindostan contributed $368m to UNRWA, of which over $100m went to services in Syria. UNRWA provides services to 5.3 million Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. The refugees in Gaza live in eight UNRWA-run camps, constitute 70% of the local population of nearly 2 million. Abd’el-Baset does not expect he can make up the coming food shortages. Although he is a tailor, Abd’el-Baset says he has not sewed for months.

Abd’el-Baset Abu Hendi (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

Gaza’s economy is depressed and unemployment is a staggering 42%, the highest in the world. A few days before the Trump administration made the announcement to hold the UN funds, he told Mondoweiss:

I use my UN ID card to receive canned tuna, frying oil, flour … Refilling the pantry is a festive moment for my family! (They await) the aroma of sweetened noodles and fried falafel!

At that time, the couple said most of their updates on the flow of UN goods came from casual conversations, which had turned worrisome in recent days. Halima said:

We do not know anything. Concern is endless and the feeling has taken control over this camp. It is in our daily conversations with neighbors who meet each day and night by our front doors.

Aside from food aid, many Palestinians relay entirely on UNRWA’s health services. The UN runs nearly 200 health clinics for Palestinian refugees. UNRWA provides services for more than nine million patients visits at health care facilities in the region.

Mariam Oraif (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

In Western Gaza City, Mariam Oraif, 74, waits at an UNRWA’s health center to pick up her insulin and get weekly treatment. Aside from diabetes she has high blood pressure. Mariam was not aware of the then impending cuts to UNRWA. When asked what she will do if this clinic is no longer able to provide her with medication, Mariam said of Trump:

He wants to kill us! I can’t afford to pay 5 shekels for a pack of paracetamol tablets! What will I do if I am forced to buy these drugs from a pharmacy? Are you kidding me? I’m talking about $80! I never had such cash in my wallet!

Wijdan Dahman (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

Wijdan Dahman, 28, was in the same clinic. Her infant was getting the Polio vaccination. She too was surprised to learn of the coming funding cut, and asked:

Is this two-month-old infant politically involved? Do they want a disabled or sick generation? Is it not enough to be a refugee in camps? Why should such baby pay the price for this foolish policy?

Sufian al-Wadiya (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

Near the parking leading to the clinic, Sufian al-Wadiya, 38, a municipal employee, said:

Stopping UNRWA’s services is more dangerous than launching a war with jets and tanks! If they do this, it would be a war against patients, and schoolchildren who will be forced to turn into thieves to survive!

More than 500,000 Palestinian children are enrolled in 700 UNRWA schools across the region. In front of the UNRWA headquarters in Gaza, teacher Nadia Abu Ta’ima and her pupil, 9-year-old Hanan protested ahead of the Trump administration’s announcement. Nadia was among dozens of educators demanding pay increases. Hanan carried a banner saying:

Miss Nadia must get a fixed-term contract.

Nadia said:

Can you imagine the feeling of being a teacher who instructs around 50 pupils in one classroom and you might get a call one day that you no longer will come into school anymore?

Hanan chimed in:

I do not understand why they might want fire miss Nadia! Is UNRWA bankrupt? My friends and I can collect money to pay our teacher!

3-1-580x387Nadia & Hanan (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

UNRWA was established in 1949 to provide aid in the wake of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, which left hundreds of thousands of Palestinians displaced in the Middle East. UNRWA was initially intended to be a temporary agency, but it has continued to provide support for Palestinian refugees for the better part of 60 years.