Category Archives: Uncategorized

julian doesn’t have to surrender his body to the torturers after all

Update:

White House: Assange tweet didn’t influence Manning decision
Kelly Cohen, Washington Examiner, Jan 17 2017

White House officials insisted on Tuesday that a tweet from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange had no bearing on Pres Obama’s decision to commute the sentence of Chelsea Manning. Last September, WikiLeaks said if Obama granted Manning clemency, “Assange will agree to pindo prison in exchange.” But White House officials said that apparent bargain didn’t have any impact on Obama’s decision. A White House official said:

President’s decision to offer commutation was not influenced by public comments by Mr Assange or the WikiLeaks organization. I have no insight into Mr Assange’s travel plans. I can’t speak to any charges or potential charges he may be facing from the Justice Dept. Chelsea Manning accepted responsibility for the crimes she committed and … served more than six years behind bars. The president believes those six years behind bars were sufficient.

When asked if Manning is a traitor, the official took a shot at President-elect Donald Trump. The official said:

Chelsea Manning is somebody who committed a serious crime, went through our criminal justice system, served more than six years behind bars, […] and after accepting responsibility for these crimes had her sentence commuted. As regards to who called her a traitor: That senator endorsed for president a candidate who encouraged a foreign government to hack his opponent.

That’s an apparent reference to Senator Tom Cotton, who released a statement Tuesday saying Manning is a traitor.

not just any old mollie hemingway – it’s mollie ziegler hemingway

Check out Glenn vs BBC ‘Court’ Jew Emily Maitlis – RB

Glenn Greenwald on the Trump memo, the CIA and Russia
BBC Newsnight, Jan 12 2017

Glenn Greenwald is scathing about the CIA as he speaks to Emily Maitlis about the publication of memos which claim that Russia has compromising material on Donald Trump.

Top-Level Intel Officers’ War Against Donald Trump Is Bad For The Country
Mollie Ziegler Hemingway, Federalist, Jan 17 2017

Dwight Eisenhower warned that if we didn’t stay vigilant, the military-industrial complex would start creeping into politics with pernicious motives all its own. The intelligence community’s war of leaks against Trump before he’s even taken office is just the latest questionably politicized action in the decades since Eisenhower’s farewell address. And it’s safe to say that the intelligence community pushing unproven and absurd allegations about a president-elect’s sexual perversions is probably way worse than anything Ike imagined. In order to understand how we got to this perilous place and get a handle on what’s going on, it’s worth taking a closer look at the motives and allegations of political operatives in intelligence agencies, as well as the basic timeline of allegations of Russian electoral interference in the last few months. Far from discrediting Trump, it paints a worrisome portrait of the deep state gone rogue, desperate to stop a man who, whatever his considerable flaws, is an outsider to Washington. Trump’s made emphatic promises to dramatically alter America’s foreign policy priorities and governmental operations. Given all the craziness, we have to ask ourselves: Does the intelligence community genuinely believe Trump is a real-live Manchurian candidate, or are they simply trying to protect their power and bureaucracy? And at this point, do they even know the difference?

Last week, Trump’s critics began warning him not to cast doubt on intelligence assessments or the motives of partisans in intelligence agencies. According to The Hill:

New Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said Tuesday that President-elect Donald Trump is “being really dumb” by taking on the intelligence community and its assessments on Russia’s cyber activities. Schumer told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow: “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you. So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.”

Presidential historian Timothy Naftali said on a CNN panel that Trump should stay “silent” lest harmful information be released against him. A former CIA operative warned Trump off on CNN as well:

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Former Bush 43 speechwriter David Frum said it, too:

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These political operatives were telling the truth about a terrifying reality about the power of intelligence agencies. They were admitting that intelligence agencies will use their position to retaliate for political reasons. This is a very curious way to get back at someone for saying that your work product is the result of political considerations more than objective reality. Following Trump’s suprise win in the 2016 election, the Left has struggled to accept reality. They have bounced around from raw riots and protests, to rage at FBI Director James Comey for publicly revealing the reopening of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, to a campaign to undermine the Electoral College, to an utterly bizarre obsession with something they called “fake news.” Democratic operatives and allies in the media also returned to a theme that they’d failed to make stick during the general election race, which was the allegation of Trump’s close ties to Russia. This is a fertile area for allegations, if for no other reason than Trump is reluctant to express even the faintest of criticism of the Putin regime, no matter how egregious the matter at hand. From the perspective of his team, this is best understood in the context of his desire to work with Russia on shared goals such as the fighting of Islamist terrorism and in general to forge a realigned posture toward the region. On Oct 7 2016, the ODNI officially blamed Russia for links to the hacking into the DNC’s email and the successful operation to get John Podesta to click on a link he shouldn’t have. Podesta clicking on a link he shouldn’t have resulted in embarrassing emails about the Clinton campaign being released through WikiLeaks. The hacked DNC information was also released on WikiLeaks. The official assessment reiterated that the shenanigans were typical behavior for the Russians and that there was little danger of the electoral system being compromised. An opposition research dump happened on Oct 31 or thereabouts. Franklin Foer published a story in Slate headlined “Was a Trump Server Communicating With Russia?” The story never quite explained what exactly was going on or why it was supposed to be disconcerting. Julia Ioffe (then at Politico, now at The Atlantic, and a regular writer on Russia) uncritically accepted the report:

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It turned out to be nothing. Like really nothing. Something like one computer trying to send marketing email to another. It was at this time that David Corn of Mother Jones also ran his report on the dossier that BuzzFeed published last week, a dossier that no one else ran with because it was so unverifiable. There were also two other stories published at the same time that dealt with anonymous leaks from intelligence officials about investigations into Trump and Russia. The coordinated opposition dump didn’t work out. The NYT and many other publications immediately debunked the server story, and the Corn report was taken as it was, a single source hit based on questionable information. But there was an attempt to resurrect the Russia talking point after the election. The general theme was that Russians were bad and in cahoots with Trump. For instance, a couple of weeks after the election, the WaPo‘s Craig Timberg put forth a serious allegation that “fake news” itself was a Russian operation designed to help Trump. From Columbia Journalism Review:

The WaPo’s Nov 24 report checked all the boxes: “The flood of ‘fake news’ this election season got support from a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign,” it began. Not only had Pindo voters been influenced by a deliberate misinformation operation, the story suggested, but the Kremlin was largely to blame. Journalists and Democrats still searching for answers after Donald Trump’s out-of-left-field win quickly launched the piece into an accelerating November jet stream of fake news paranoia. It became apparent soon after that the WaPo had itself fallen for shoddy information. The story relied heavily on a report by PropOrNot, an anonymous internet group that bills itself as “Your Friendly Neighborhood Propaganda Identification Service, Since 2016!” While its study claimed to show how a deliberate Russian effort had unduly influenced Pindo public opinion, it included in its calculations non-fake left-wing sites, like Naked Capitalism and Truthdig among others.

An editor’s note was appended backing away from the report, some two weeks later. In late December, the WaPo‘s Juliet Eilperin and Adam Entous ran an even more incendiary story alleging that Russian hackers had penetrated the Pindosi electricity grid. A Forbes discussion of how this story promulgated falsehoods without journalistic due diligence began:

On Friday the WaPo sparked a wave of fear when it ran the breathless headline “Russian hackers penetrated Pindosi electricity grid through a utility in Vermont, boxtops say,” commencing: “A code associated with the Russian hacking operation dubbed Grizzly Steppe by the Obama administration has been detected within the system of a Vermont utility, according to Pindo boxtops … While the Russians did not actively use the code to disrupt operations of the utility, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss a security matter, the penetration of the nation’s electrical grid is significant because it represents a potentially serious vulnerability.” Yet, it turns out this narrative was false …

In fact, by Jan 2 the story had turned into:

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As in, it turned out to be a lone laptop, unconnected to the grid, that had some random malware on it. The overt participation in the Russia narrative by intelligence operatives was noticed on Dec 9, which was 10 days prior to the Electoral College vote, when high-ranking intelligence officers leaked information to the WaPo about a report it had put together regarding Russia’s involvement with WikiLeaks. “Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House,” read the headline. It credited the leak to “a senior Pindo boxtop briefed on an intelligence presentation made to Pindo senators.” Prominent Democrats ran with it. Here’s Hillary Clinton on Dec 16:

Vladimir Putin himself directed the covert cyber-attacks against our electoral system, against our democracy, apparently because he has a personal beef against me!

Holy schneike! Democrats would be forgiven for believing that a “cyber-attack against our electoral system” happened when Clinton herself said it and no one in the media pushed back that it was completely and utterly false. A CNN report accompanying the statement didn’t note that her statement was false, not even in the storied chyron used to allege or note falsehoods by Trump, but just treated it as a totally legitimate thing to say. Presumably because this was all a rather obvious and coordinated effort to hype Russia’s effect on the election in pursuit of delegitimizing his stunning victory, Trump fought back. His transition team said:

These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.’

In general, Trump has responded to the leak campaign by belittling the top partisans at intelligence agencies. They responded by putting out reports designed to convince people of serious Russian meddling when they didn’t just take their word in the initial leak to the WaPo. In late December, for instance, the DHS and FBI put out a 13-page report touted as definitive proof of Russian state involvement in the DNC server hack and spearphishing of John Podesta. It was remarkably paltry: vague and non-specific in a way that really didn’t help shape Pindo opinion on the precise nature of Russia’s involvement. Cyber-warfare expert Jeffrey Carr said the report “adds nothing to the call for evidence that the Russian government was responsible” for the campaign hacks. He said it merely listed every threat ever reported on by a commercial cyber-security company that is suspected of being Russian-made, and lumped them under the heading of Russian Intelligence Services without providing any supporting evidence that such a connection exists. Former Air Force cyber-warfare officer Robert Lee said the report is of limited use to security professionals, in part because of poor organization and lack of crucial details. Senior intelligence appointees tried again in early January, with a report from the ODNI. It was also lacking in specifics. Trump kept pushing back on what he likely continued to interpret as a rather clumsy and obvious attempt by Obama operatives to delegitimize his election. As Trump kept responding to the paltry reports with dismissals and a few begrudging admissions of minor Russian involvement, critics warned him partisans at intelligence agencies would retaliate. Last week came the big reveal. “Intel chiefs presented Trump with claims of Russian efforts to compromise him,” blared the headline from CNN. This one was a doozy. Well-placed sources were spilling the goods that the current administration’s top intelligence appointees had briefed Obama, Biden, and Trump all about that Mother Jones dossier. And it sounded really bad, as the headline indicates. “Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump” we learned. And this:

The allegations came in part from memos compiled by a former British intelligence operative whose past work Pindo intel boxtops consider credible. The FBI is investigating the credibility and accuracy of these allegations, which are based primarily on information from Russian sources, but has not confirmed many essential details in the memos about Mr Trump.

We learned that the briefings were done by DNI Clapper, FBI Director Comey, DCI Brennan and NSA Director Rogers. The CNN report, which carried four bylines, said “it has not independently corroborated the specific allegations” in the 35-page dossier, an important point to remember. Within an hour, BuzzFeed went and published the dossier that had been floating around. And it was just as explosive as CNN hinted. According to this report, the one that intelligence agencies were taking very seriously, a senior advisor to Trump and three of his colleagues had met with Kremlin operatives in Prague in late August or early September to undermine the Clinton campaign. And the Russians had a file of “kompromat” on Trump, including an amazing story about him renting a hotel room that the Obamas had used and paying prostitutes to urinate on the bed. Further reports on the ex-spy make him sound like a highly partisan nutcase, for what it’s worth. And that spy was hired by a Democrat opposition research firm called Fusion GPS, which received attention in 2012 for its dumpster-diving in pursuit of damaging information on Republican donors that Obama had personally called out. But with the BuzzFeed publication, the story deflated. That’s because people could see for themselves how ridiculous, how preposterous, and how immediately debunkable some of the most important claims were. For instance, it turned out that Michael Cohen, the lawyer alleged to have gone to Prague for a clandestine meeting with Kremlin operatives, had never been to Prague. In fact, no media organization has been able to confirm a single, solitary claim made in the dossier that BuzzFeed published. The revelation of how fever-dreamed and sophomoric the dossier was, at least in major parts, cast doubt on the wisdom of the top political brass at intelligence agencies, much less their propriety and ability to handle information with any discretion. Obviously they were leaking like sieves in an ongoing war against the president-elect. BuzzFeed pulled the curtain back, showing how the partisan appointees at political agencies (to be clear, not the intelligence officers who do good work) use the media to punish or destroy their political enemies or advance a political agenda. It’s really not such a great look! The big reveal was the dossier operation. But it kept going. On Friday, the WaPo‘s David Ignatius dropped what many in the media decided was a bombshell about Trump’s choice for national security adviser Lt-Gen Flynn:

According to a senior Pindosi government official, Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec 29, the day the Obama administration announced the expulsion of 35 Russian officials as well as other measures in retaliation for the hacking. What did Flynn say, and did it undercut the sanctions? The Logan Act (though never enforced) bars Pindo citizens from correspondence intending to influence a foreign government about “disputes” with Pindostan. Was its spirit violated? The Trump campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

I had trouble finding record of David Ignatius raising concerns of Logan Act violations when members of the Barack Obama transition team, up to and including the president-elect and vice-president elect themselves, were calling countless foreign leaders and dignitaries in preparation of the peaceful transition of power from Bush 43 to Obama 44. Even before he was elected president in 2008, Obama’s advisors reached out to Pres Assad to notify him they’d be changing Pindostan’s approach to the country. Perhaps Ignatius did raise Logan Act violation concerns, though I suspect he’s far too serious of a person to make such a preposterous claim at any other time. Even mentioning the Logan Act is utterly bizarre and downright silly here, since it’s not been enforced since it was passed in 1799, and is widely considered to be unconstitutional. There are a thousand reasons why members of the Trump transition would be calling Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December, from condolences for recent tragedies hitting the nation, to discussions of a peace conference regarding Syria that is take place just a few days after inauguration. In fact, there are so many non-nefarious reasons why Flynn might be talking to Kislyak at this time, that the only interesting thing about this story becomes “a senior Pindo government official” trying to plant the idea that the call had to do with an effort to undermine sanctions when, if that senior Pindo government official had any evidence whatsoever that the call was about that, one could safely assume he’d lead with that information. Surveilling the phone calls of Russian ambassadors is beyond expected. Given his background in intelligence, Flynn would know that. So we’re left with very little other than yet another data point that our top levels of the intelligence agencies are leaking information to friendly journalists in an attempt to discredit the incoming administration. CIA #101, basically. But it is somewhat surprising that more journalists aren’t just kind of acknowledging that, no? Instead we got headlines such as:

NBC News: “White House: We Didn’t Coordinate Flynn Call to Russian Ambassador”
CNN: “Sen. Coons: Flynn call with Russia ‘very suspicious’”

Journalists and anti-Trump political operatives on Twitter suggested that these allegations were explosive:

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Incidentally, Trump officials responded to the story by saying that while sanctions weren’t discussed, other things were, such as the assassination of a Russian ambassador by a terrorist in Ankara, the downing of a Russian plane carrying a choir to Syria, the beginning of plans for a Trump-Putin conversation, and an invitation for a Trump administration official to visit Kazakhstan shortly after the inauguration. Which, you know, actually makes sense. Was the framing of sanction talk provided by the high-ranking intelligence officer in order to support a false narrative as part of a political campaign of delegitimization? Was it something more? Do our media care? It would be one thing if this were the only anti-Trump leak, presented in just-so fashion, to emanate from the political appointees at intelligence agencies. It’s more like the 100th. It increasingly seems like part of a campaign on the part of Democratic political operatives inside and outside the administration.

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In his press conference last week, a reporter asked Trump:

But why did you spend weeks undermining the Pindosi intelligence community before simply getting the facts and then making a public statement?

Trump responded by talking about how he knows how political some intelligence officials are and also how bad they are at their main job of keeping secrets. Here’s what he said:

Well, I think it’s pretty sad when intelligence reports get leaked out to the press. I think it’s pretty sad. First of all, it’s illegal. You know, these are classified and certified meetings and reports. I’ll tell you what does happen. I have many meetings with intelligence. And every time I meet, people are reading about it. Somebody’s leaking it out. So there’s — maybe it’s my office. Maybe it’s my office, because I have a lot of people, a lot of great people. Maybe it’s them. And what I did is, I said, I won’t tell anybody. I’m going to have a meeting, and I won’t tell anybody about my meeting with intelligence. And what happened is, I had my meeting. Nobody knew, not even Rhona, my executive assistant for years. She didn’t know. I didn’t tell her. Nobody knew. The meeting was had, the meeting was over, they left, and immediately the word got out that I had a meeting. So I don’t want that. I don’t want that. It’s very unfair to the country. It’s very unfair to our country, what’s happened.

Yes, our president-elect ran a successful sting operation to learn where leaks were coming from. This wasn’t even big news in Pindostan, though it did attract notice at foreign media outlets. This weekend, Trump responded to DCI Brennan’s emotional interview against Trump on Fox News Sunday by reminding Brennan of various intelligence failures during the Obama administration and asking if he was “the leaker of Fake News.” Clapper and Brennan are high-profile political opponents of Trump. Both have denied being leakers. Technically, Clapper said he does “not believe the leaks came from within the IC,” meaning “intelligence community.” Then again, knowledgeable observers say that at least one of these two men appears credited or uncredited in most stories related to the leaks. Clapper is also known for lying to Congress about whether he was spying on them, and lying under oath about whether intelligence agencies were collecting any kind of data on hundreds of millions of Pindosis. He said they weren’t. They were. Here’s Senator Ron Wyden on Clapper’s “deception spree” while serving as a top Obama official in intelligence agencies. The bottom line is that these leaks are almost certainly coming from a very small pool of Obama political appointees at intelligence agencies. On Dec 12, President Obama said on the Comedy Channel Daily Show of the Russian efforts:

None of this should be a big surprise. This was reported on before the election. I don’t think there was any doubt among anybody in the media or among members of Congress as to who was being advantaged or disadvantaged by the political gossip that was being put out in drip-drip-drip fashion leading up to the election. … Russia trying to influence our elections dates back to the Soviet Union. What they did here, hacking some emails and releasing them, is not a particularly fancy brand of espionage or propaganda. We were frankly more concerned in the run-up to the election to the possibilities of vote tampering, which we did not see evidence of and we’re confident we can guard against. But Trevor, I think what everybody has to reflect on is what is it about our political eco-system, what is it about the state of our democracy where the leaks of what were frankly not-very-interesting emails that didn’t have any explosive information in them, ended up being an obsession. And the fact that the Russians were doing this was not an obsession.

Heck, on Aug 2, President Obama said:

I don’t think that it (the hacking) wildly swings what is a tough difficult relationship that we have with Russia right now.

Unfortunately, President Obama’s political appointees in intelligence agencies seem to be following different orders about how to litigate the issue domestically. The Russia information operation, in which different parts are played by high-ranking Democrats inside and outside intelligence agencies with the help of a compliant media, has caused something approaching hysteria. There have been so many headlines and so many tweets and so many minutes spent discussing Russia that by late December, more than half of Democrats believed the following proposition:

Russia tampered with vote tallies in order to get Donald Trump elected President.

I repeat, a majority of Democrats believe that Russia stole the election for Donald Trump. This is crazier than the craziest heights of birtherism. Yet it’s being aided by major media and high levels of political operatives. It’s classic “stray voltage,” the Obama method summed up as:

Controversy sparks attention, attention provokes conversation, and conversation embeds previously unknown or marginalized ideas in the public consciousness.

On the one hand, this effort at delegitimization of Trump has been successful in some regard. The Left is currently in stage 12 of an unending cycle of refusing to deal with the reality that Donald Trump will be the next POTUS. But the price in this case was to further tarnish the credibility of intelligence agencies, already suffering from a history of politicizing information. “Don’t disparage the integrity of the intelligence agency or they will unethically leak info and destroy you!” is a message that doesn’t necessarily hurt Trump, but it does hurt the intelligence agencies. The campaign in which the media are too compliant also can hurt the media’s efforts to hold Trump accountable because it causes people who aren’t already histrionic about the president-elect to tune out a media establishment they see as overly compliant in pushing partisan political narratives. Also, oddly enough, it could serve to scandal-proof Trump. Pushing outlandish suggestions that are proven false makes it more difficult to convince the Pindo creeple of any real threats or scandals that could arise. Heckuva job, everyone.

note: FSB security chief sacked & his deputy under investigation

Russia Responds To Pindosi Threats Of Retaliation Over Cyber-Attacks
Jeffrey Carr, Medium.com, Jan 17 2017

While the Russian government has consistently denied and even mocked claims of interference with the Pindo election, it has taken threats of a Pindo response seriously as indicated by the following three events.

  1. Dec 6 2016: Russia issues a new Information Security doctrine; an important document that informs that nation’s national security strategy across every strata of society, from intelligence and military affairs to intellectual property theft and financial crime. Section 12 specifically calls out foreign interference:

    (12) The scale is being expanded of the use of assets by intelligence services of individual states for conducting information and psychological operations aimed at destabilizing internal political and social situations in various regions of the world leading to undermining the sovereignty and violating the territorial integrity of other states. Religious, ethnic, human rights and other organizations are engaged in this activity, as well as individual groups of citizens, and the capabilities of information technologies are being widely used. A trend is being noted in the increase of the volume of materials in foreign mass media containing a prejudicial assessment of the state policies of the Russian Federation. Russian mass media overseas are often subjected to open discrimination and obstacles are created for Russian journalists that prevent them from performing their professional activities. Information attacks on the population of Russia are being expanded, primarily against the youth for the purposes of eroding traditional Russian spiritual and moral values.

  2. Dec 14 2016: Duma member Alexei Chepa of the FAIR RUSSIA party gives a speech about the new doctrine and specifically ties it to the Pindosi government’s intention to launch cyber-attacks against Russia. He specifically refers to the Russian elections of 2018, saying:

    In mid-October, Vice Pres Joe Sixpack called on to give a symmetrical response to Russia’s actions and commit cyber-attacks to Russian government agencies, his quote: “At the right time and with the greatest effect.” A little later, the media reported that the administration announced the preparation of such attacks. I see this as a veiled order to carry out the possible preparation of the impact on the system of counting votes, the Central Election Commission of Russia, thus putting into question the results of the will of our citizens in the elections of the Russian President in 2018, which could then be used as an argument for denying international recognition held elections. I urge the authorities to take seriously such statements by senior US officials and to consider such risks in the preparation of elections in 2018. In addition, I believe that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation should act in the UN with the initiative equating implementation of information technology impact on public institutions of a foreign State in acts of aggression, the implementation of which is contrary to the UN Charter and principles of international law.

  3. Jan 13 2017: Kommersant announces that Andrew V. Gerasimov, head of the FSB’s Information Security Center (Vch 64829) has been asked to take an early retirement (i.e. resign) while one of his deputies is being investigated. The cause of the investigation isn’t clear. Andre Soldatov speculated that the FSB was cleaning house. In brief, the Russian government is taking steps to identify and tag its scientific assets and information infrastructure as critical to its national security, and views cyber attacks on those targets as an aggressive use of force. Since the U.S. isn’t in a position to defend its own critical infrastructure from attack, the Trump administration should be very cautious in approving any cyber operations against Russia.

sam departs to hell, still muttering imprecations

Sam Power says Russia tearing down world order
Yeganeh Torbati, Reuters, Jan 17 2017

FASCHINGSTEIN – Russia is engaging in aggressive and destabilizing actions that are threatening the rules-based international order, Sam Power said on Tuesday, speaking to the Atlantic Council in her last major speech as Pindo ambassador to the UN. In a blistering and detailed lengthy & venomous critique of Russia’s foreign and military policies, Power called for maintaining Pindosi sanctions on Moscow and supporting the NATO alliance. Power, cited Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, support of the Syrian government in the country’s civil war and efforts to influence elections in Pindostan and other Western democracies. She concluded:

Russia’s actions are not standing up a new world order. They are tearing down the one that exists.

Russia has repeatedly used a “deny and lie” strategy to evade responsibility for misdeeds on the international stage, Power said. Power urged against lifting Pindosi sanctions too quickly. She said:

Easing punitive measures on the Russian government when they haven’t changed their behavior will only embolden Russia.

Pindostan escalates Russia tensions on eve of Trump inauguration
Bill Van Auken, WSWS, Jan 18 2017

Over 300 Pindo combat Marines arrived in Norway Monday as part of an increasingly provocative Pindo-NATO buildup on Russia’s borders in the immediate run-up to Friday’s inauguration of Donald Trump as president. The deployment, carried out under the pretext of training Pindo Marines for combat in Arctic conditions, represents a radical break with nearly 70 years of Norway foreswearing the deployment of foreign troops on its soil in order to maintain peaceful relations with first the Soviet Union and then the Russian Federation. As in Eastern Europe, Faschingstein is maintaining the pretense that the deployment does not violate the pledge that NATO made to Moscow in the run-up to the Stalinist bureaucracy’s dissolution of the USSR that it would not permanently deploy “significant” combat forces near Russia’s borders. It accomplishes this by establishing a system of rotation in which the 330 Marines deployed Monday will be replaced by a different unit of the same size within six months. The Marines will be joined in March by British troops for what has been dubbed “Joint Viking” exercises with the Norwegian military. The clear aim is to escalate military pressure from NATO’s northernmost border with Russia. The deployment in Norway, which Marine Maj-Gen Niel Nelson described as a demonstration by Faschingstein to its allies of “our willingness to support and defend them and NATO,” is part of a far larger buildup against Russia, which over the weekend saw the deployment of some 4,000 troops in Poland, backed by tanks, artillery and armored cars. These forces are to be stationed across seven Eastern European countries, including the former Soviet Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, all of which share borders with Russia. This larger deployment, which was set to take effect at the end of January, was speeded up with the apparent aim of having the troops in place before Friday’s inauguration as part of a bid to cut across Trump’s avowed intentions to make “some good deals with Russia.”

The stationing of Pindo Marines on Norwegian territory has been prepared by a drastic realignment of Norwegian foreign and military policy under the right-wing government of Pres Erna Solberg. Before joining NATO in 1949, Norway entered a so-called base agreement with Moscow, pledging that it would not bring foreign troops to its military bases unless it faced an imminent threat or was attacked. Until now, the country has allowed Pindostan and NATO to stockpile arms and ammunition in tunnels dug under the Norwegian mountains. In advance of the Marine deployment, these stockpiles have reportedly been beefed up with the latest weaponry. In addition to allowing in the Pindo Marines, the Norwegian government is deploying hundreds of additional troops to the Finnmark region bordering Russia in the country’s far north. Norwegian Defense Ministry spokesman Audum Halvorsen told the British daily The Independent:

We do not consider Russia a direct threat to Norway today. But we pay close attention to Russian military activity in the High North.

In addition, the Norwegian government has reversed its earlier abstention from the bid by Pindostan and NATO to establish a ballistic missile defense system surrounding Russia. Solberg’s government has indicated that it will now participate, including with the deployment of advanced radar systems near the Russian border and on Norwegian frigates close to the home base of Russia’s strategic submarines in the Murmansk region. Moscow considers the anti-missile system part of a Pindo attempt to create conditions in which it could limit any Russian response to a Pindo nuclear strike. With little more than two days until Trump takes office, the Obama administration continues to supplement the military provocations on Russia’s borders with a barrage of propaganda painting Moscow as a threat and an aggressor. Samantha Power, the Pindo ambassador to the UN and the standard bearer for the Obama administration’s hypocritical policy of “human rights” imperialism, delivered what she described as her last speech in office to the Atlantic Council, a Pindo-based think tank and unofficial arm of NATO, in which she described Russia as a “major threat” and “core threat” to Pindostan. While heaping on the usual denunciations of Russia for “aggression” in Ukraine, “war crimes” in Syria, “hacking” and having “interfered in our presidential election,” Power insisted that Moscow’s alleged crimes went beyond “any particular actions” and were the product of a “broader strategy” of “weakening the rules-based order” imposed by Faschingstein in the aftermath of WW2. Joe Sixpack made his last foreign trip as Vice-Pres to Ukraine, in order to further escalate the war threats against Russia. Speaking in Kiev Tuesday, he stated:

The ‘international community’ must continue to stand as one against Russian aggression and coercion. (We) trained your national guard, conventional military forces, as well as special forces; (we) helped you increase your readiness and make your force interoperable with NATO.

Placing the entire blame for the conflict in eastern Ukraine on Moscow, he insisted that sanctions against Russia must remain in place. Toward the conclusion of his remarks, he warned:

This next year is going to be a very, very telling year! A very telling year!

And finally, Obama spox J Earnest told a White House press conference that it appeared that Vladimir Putin was using the “talking points” of the “incoming administration.” The remark came in response to a speech in which Putin charged the incumbent administration with attempting to “delegitimize” the Trump presidency with false allegations. Earnest went on to describe Trump as “deeply misguided” in criticizing the Pindo intelligence agencies and in particular DCI Brennan, who on Monday criticized Trump for lacking a “full appreciation of Russian capabilities, Russia’s intentions.” Earnest said:

Particularly to call into question the integrity of somebody like John Brennan, somebody who has served at the CIA for three decades, somebody who has served the country in dangerous locations around the world to try to keep us safe, I’m offended by it!

The bitter internecine struggles within the ruling establishment in the run-up to Trump’s inauguration express deep divisions over strategic aims. While Pindo intelligence agencies and the Obama administration are demanding a continuation and intensification of the military buildup against Russia, employing McCarthyite rhetoric to counter any opposition, the incoming Trump administration has indicated its intention to shift toward a more direct confrontation with China. Both policies threaten humanity with the prospect of nuclear war.

the dems are just irrelevant rich fools

The DNC Hands the Democrat Party Over to David Brock and Billionaire Donors
Michael Sainato, Counterpunch, Jan 17 2017

The Democrat Party establishment has responded to Hillary Clinton’s election loss the same way they would have responded had Hillary Clinton won, by changing absolutely nothing. Clinton’s overt embrace of wealthy donors and establishment figures from both political parties repelled thousands of voters toward third parties, voting for Trump, or apathy. This trend embodied by Clinton’s candidacy has resulted in Democrats losing over 900 state legislature seats and failing to recoup majorities in both houses of Congress. Instead of figuring out how to reconnect with working and middle class voters across the country, Democrats are handing the keys of the party directly over to wealthy billionaire donors while attempting to maintain the facade they care about the common voter. Despite formal complaints, a lawsuit, and ethical concerns, billionaire donor and close ally to former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Stephen Bittel was elected by the Florida Democrat Party establishment to serve as its new Chair on Jan 14. Next weekend in Florida, billionaire donors will gain even more ground in the Democrat Party at a private retreat hosted by Clinton propagandist David Brock, where each candidate for the new DNC Chair will participate in a forum to woo support from the Democrat Party’s donors.

David Brock became notorious after his attacks on Anita Hill, who accused 1991 Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment, and passed a polygraph test in addition to testifying in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Thomas was confirmed anyways, and David Brock became rich off a book he wrote smearing Anita Hill. In 2001, Brock admitted he based the book on lies, part of his transition from Republican hit man to Hillary Clinton’s propaganda henchman. Now that Hillary Clinton’s machine has broken down, Brock is depending on bundling his donor network with that of billionaire George Soros’ Democracy Alliance to push back against the direction Bernie Sanders and his supporters want to pull the party in, away from wealthy donors, with the support of the Democrat Party establishment. The DNC has allowed Brock’s Super-Pac, American Bridge, to develop strategy for a “Trump War Room,” and the next DNC Chair will likely be chosen by billionaire donors at the private retreat Brock is hosting under the distraction veil afforded by Trump’s Inauguration Ceremony.

If Democrats want to constructively hold Donald Trump accountable and recoup, they need to disavow themselves from David Brock’s incompetence. Relying on smear campaigns, propaganda, and hyperbolic attacks, in an attempt to portray a stark contrast between Republicans and Democrats will backfire as it did for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election. The Clinton Campaign, David Brock, and the mainstream narrative focused their campaign on manufacturing outrage toward Donald Trump rather than try to make meaningful connections with working and middle class voters, especially in areas like the rust belt that have suffered increasing economic anxiety over the past decade. David Brock won’t be a part of any viable solution for the Democrat Party. As Bernie Sanders Aide Michael Briggs said during the Democrat Primaries, Hillary Clinton “should be ashamed of her association with Brock.” The same goes for the Democrat Party if they continue to provide Brock a platform and network to perpetuate his awful ideas and strategies along with out-of-touch wealthy donors.  Alex Presswrote for Jacobin in November:

Their top-down approach to politics — a service model animated by an unwavering belief in their own superior intelligence — leaves us defenseless in the face of Trump and the right-wing forces he’s empowered. Their existential dread of radical change renders them suspicious of precisely the policies that could unite workers of all races and blunt Trump’s appeal. In short, the rich can’t save us.

just cxraz`iness

Desperate: Democrat calls for Trump impeachment, claims Russia fed him the term ‘crooked Hillary’
Steve Watson, Infowars, Jan 17 2017

A Democrat Congresswoman has called for Donald Trump to be impeached on the grounds that he coined the term ‘crooked Hillary’ in collusion with the Russian government, even suggesting that the Kremlin was feeding Trump such lines to use during his campaign. California Congresswoman Maxine Waters was egged on by MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews to explain why Trump’s presidency is ‘not legitimate.’ Matthews and Waters then engaged in some of the most dumb speculation ever aired on a broadcast. Matthews suggested that the Russian government engaged in “collusion” with the Trump campaign, and asked Waters “Does that make Trump subject to impeachment? Waters struggled to find a valid answer, so went with the following remarkable utterance:

If we discover that Donald Trump or his advocates played a role to help provide strategy — if they’re the ones who came up with ‘Crooked Hillary,’ if they’re the ones who came up with, ‘she’s ill, something’s wrong with her energy,’ and the way that he basically described her during the campaign — I think that is something that would put the question squarely on the table whether or not he should be impeached.

Waters went as far as to suggest that the nicknames Trump used against all his political opponents, even Republicans, were fed to him by Russia. Matthews probed further:

So, you think you can commit an impeachable offense before you take office?

Waters said, not answering the question:

Well, I think that at the point that investigations discover and confirm and can document any of that role in helping to strategize — they had a role in attempting to determine the outcome.

She attempted further reasoning on the fly, again failing to deliver any logical conclusion, suggesting:

… In many ways they used the information they got when they hacked into emails etc — if that was used against Hillary Clinton in some way, yes I think that’s impeachable.

Matthews also suggested:

Russian television was running a lot of propaganda that Hillary was mentally and physically impaired. That was their—That was the propaganda message.

Matthews then asked, despite the fact that the story was revealed to be totally fake last week:

Do you believe that Trump is somehow being held hostage by Vladimir Putin because of information on his behavior?

Waters replied:

You know, what we have heard, not in the classified briefing, but in this information about the dossier that has been collected by the man in London on him. It talks about some things that appears to ring true based on what we have learned about Trump.

That’s right, MSNBC are STILL pushing fake news about Trump as if it’s real. In fact, Matthews himself admitted last week that the dossier was complete “misinformation.” Nevertheless, Waters continued to bring the crazy, declaring:

Ok, what I have learn or heard about the dossier, it’s about his involvement with women. It’s probably prostitutes that are involved and those kinds of things. And he has sounded that way. He has acted that way, and it gives you reason to think maybe something is to this and we need to find out more.

Matthews then spent the rest of the broadcast fawning over outgoing president Obama with fake news guru Brian Williams in tow, commenting on how “cool” and “young he looks,” and how “smooth” he is for singing Al Green songs while in office.

Former Black Panther To Tucker Carlson: Congressman John Lewis “Presided Over The Destruction of Black America”
ZeroPointNow, Zero Hedge, Jan 17 2017

Vietnam veteran and former Berkeley Black Panther turned conservative author, Mason Weaver, appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight with some harsh words for Civil Rights icon Rep John Lewis (D-Ga), who recently referred to Pres-elect Trump as illegitimate. Weaver considers Lewis a turncoat who has been “collaborating with the Democrat party to oppress Black America.” Weaver begins with a short history lesson:

In the early 70’s and late 60’s, we were demonstrating and protesting for the right to compete as adult citizens of America, we were not demonstrating to be taken care of. Congressman Lewis, he walked across the Pettus bridge and they beat him and ran over him, but those were Democrats. It was Democrat George Wallace stood in the schoolhouse door, it was Democrat Bull Connor that oppressed folks … he was fighting Democrats, but after they beat his behind on that bridge and ran over him and stomped him in the ground, he got up and turned and joined them!

Weaver then went on to describe how Democrat leadership has destroyed black communities:

Every district they own and control is a ghetto hell-hole, is a place that no one wants to go to. They’re in control of every inner city school system, every inner city police, every inner city jail. They produce nothing but drugs and misery. They should be ashamed of themselves. I don’t understand why any Black person could be a Democrat. The Democrat party has always been the party of abuse, the party of the Klan, the party that went to war to keep slaves, the party that’s always been the destruction of black people. Mr Lewis, you have presided over the destruction of Black America, and you owe us an apology.

I’ll just chuck this in here:

big leg ella

UK students say union leader involved in Israel lobby plot must go
Shahd Abusalama, Electronic Intifada, Jan 14 2017

screen-shot-2017-01-17-at-23-28-13Ella Rose, filmed crying in the al-Jazeera expose, shows how brave she is. Previously UJS president, Ella Rose went on to work at the Israeli embassy, then for the Jewish Labour Movement. – RB

There are growing calls in the UK’s National Union of Students for one of its vice presidents to resign after he was caught on camera plotting to overthrow the union’s own elected president. “I could never have” Malia Bouattia as leader, Richard Brooks tells an undercover reporter in the al-Jazeera film, The Lobby. Brooks admits:

(Union rules) don’t usually allow a vice president to go and publicly criticize your president on national radio, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Brooks did later criticize Bouattia in an interview on BBC radio, the film shows. Brooks tells “Robin,” the undercover reporter, that he had held “little secret purpose meetings” with two other pro-Israel student activists about “how to get moderate people with good politics” elected. Brooks also tells Robin that he had been “helping organize” people in the NUS to oppose Bouattia. Robin had been posing as a Labour Party activist close to embassy agent Shai Masot. The film has already led to the resignation of Masot from his position as senior political officer at the Israeli embassy in London, and has prompted Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to demand a government investigation of Israeli interference in UK politics. Shelly Asquith, another NUS vice president and a supporter of Bouattia, has tweeted:

Bouattia, the first Black and Muslim president of NUS, is a vocal supporter of BDS. Palestinian students in the UK are now calling on Brooks to resign as vice president “with immediate effect.” They say:

Bouattia has been targeted based on her politics and principled opposition to Israel’s regime of apartheid and settler-colonialism. This constitutes a massive betrayal of the trust placed within Richard Brooks by the students who elected him, in addition to demonstrating his misplaced and misguided priorities, none of which should include colluding with the Israeli embassy.

NUS vice president Asquith adds in her condemnation of Brooks’ actions:

Policy and protocol have been breached, then boasted about.

She notes that the effort to oust Bouattia came amid “racist, sexist coverage” of the NUS president in the media last year. Members of the NUS national executive had called for an emergency meeting, according to Asquith. One of the people Brooks mentions as being in his “secret purpose meetings” was Ella Rose (photo above), an officer of the Union of Jewish Students, an organization that has received funding from the Israeli embassy. UJS sends many delegations on propaganda trips to Israel, one of which Brooks joined. Brooks says in the film:

(It made me) confident enough to start talking about some of the stuff more seriously.

Brooks’ secret meetings were also attended by Michael Rubin, the parliamentary officer of the LFI, admits in the film:

We work really closely together. But a lot of it is behind the scenes.

The National Union of Students has long been a high-profile target for the Israeli government. After the union voted to back the BDS movement in 2015, Netanyahu smeared it as a supporter of ISIS. Brooks responded in a statement that he had referred himself to the NUS for investigation and that he expected to be “fully exonerated.”

Part one of The Lobby can be viewed in the video above. All four parts of the film are now available online.

“particularly to call into question someone like john brennan, i’m offended by that,” says pansy earnest

White House Press Secretary Suggests Putin Taking Cues From Trump Team
Alexander Mallin, ABC ‘News’, Jan 17 2017

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest suggested that Vladimir Putin, who said the Obama Administration is seeking to “delegitimize” the president-elect, may be taking its cues from the Trump team. Putin suggested the outgoing Obama administration was trying to undermine Trump by spreading “fake” rumors despite Trump’s “convincing” victory. Earnest told ABC News’ Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl:

First of all it seems like he got his copy of the talking points. From who? Well, I don’t know. It certainly sounds a lot like what the incoming administration’s team is saying.

The response from Trump and his team to a leaked dossier with unsubstantiated allegations that Russia holds compromising info on the president-elect has been swift, dismissing the claims as “fake news” and “nonsense.” Trump suggested that intelligence agencies “allowed” the dossier to be leaked, despite DNI Clapper saying:

This document is not a Pindo IC product, and I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC. It had been circulated for months before the intelligence community became aware of it.

The spat became a war of words between Trump and DCI Brennan, who Trump suggested Sunday evening could be the “leaker” behind the document. Earnest said Trump’s “deeply misguided” comments lined up almost directly with Putin’s accusations. He said like the pansy he is:

Particularly to call into question the integrity of somebody like John Brennan, somebody who has served at the CIA for three decades, somebody who has served the country in dangerous locations around the world to try to keep us safe… I’m offended by it.

Trump’s transition team did not immediately respond to ABC ‘News’ request for comment.

lo szemiti

There Is No Anti Semitism in Britain
Gilad Atzmon, Jan 17 2017

Full video:

In the end of Oct 2016, we learned from the British Jewish media that police were called to University College London (UCL) amid claims of common assault and verbal intimidation by “pro-Palestinian protestors” at an event with an Israeli speaker. We had to wait another three months for a single honest Jew (Jerry Lewis of Hampstead Synagogue) to admit in front of the notorious ultra-Zionist Board of Deputies that the event at UCL was actually provoked by Jewish groups that have nothing to do with the Jewish student community. At least one of those Jewish groups is funded by Israel, according to Lewis. These groups invoke ‘hatred’ against Jews, because that is how they justify their existence and sustain their funding. Following the recent Al Jazeera expose, the foreign office must expel the Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev. The police and MI5 better look into Lewis’ claims.

both pindostani political parties are equal warmongers, i think

Putin says those behind Trump dossier are ‘worse than prostitutes’
from Shaun ‘the Graun’ Walker in Moscow

Six-minute highlight:

Full half hour:


Vladimir Putin has dismissed the dossier published last week about alleged links between Moscow and Donald Trump, saying he doubted Trump would use sex workers and describing the people who ordered the dossier as “worse than prostitutes.” In his first comments on the dossier since its publication, the Russian president said claims that Trump was essentially a Russian intelligence asset were nonsense. He said:

I’ve never met him. I don’t know what he’ll do on the world stage. So I have no reason either to criticise him, or to defend him.

Putin dismissed as an “obvious fake” the idea that Trump could have been compromised during a 2013 trip to Moscow for the Miss Universe competition, saying:

This is an adult, and a man who for years organised beauty contests and spoke with the most beautiful women in the world. I can hardly believe that he ran off to meet with our girls of low social morals. Although of course ours are the best in the world. The people who order these fakes which are being spread against the president-elect of America and use them in the political battle are worse than prostitutes. They have no moral limits.

Earlier, Sergei Lavrov dismissed the dossier as a “crude provocation” and referred to Steele as a “fugitive crook from MI6.” Putin said it was absurd to think Russian special services would be interested in Trump, given that at the time he was not involved in politics. He said:

When Trump came to Moscow he was not a political figure, he was just a businessmen, one of the rich people of Pindostan. Do they think our special services follow every Pindo billionaire?

Lavrov, during his annual press conference on Tuesday, denied that Russian hackers had targeted the Pindo election or planned to target European elections in future. He said:

It’s not for me to prove any of this is false. As far as I know there is a presumption of innocence, so it’s up to you to prove it’s true. Russia stands for pragmatism and national interests understood in a sensible way, and not messianic foreign policy and the attempt to spread values across the world. We hope that under President Trump, Pindo foreign policy will move closer towards Russia’s ideal. In prioritising domestic business interests and the fight against terrorism, Pres Trump’s stated foreign policy priorities are exactly what Pres Putin sees as the priorities for Russian foreign policy.

However, Lavrov denied reports that a summit between Trump and Putin was scheduled to take place in his first weeks as Pindo president, potentially in Reykjavik, saying:

It is not true, and there has been no contact to discuss such plans.

He did confirm that officials from the Trump administration had been invited to participate next week in Syria peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, and said Russia wanted to work with the new Pindo government on global issues. Pindo officials have complained about an unprecedented level of harassment from Russian authorities, including home break-ins, being followed and intimidation. Lavrov denied this on Tuesday, and said Pindo spies were using diplomatic cover for activity within Russia, employing wigs, fake eyebrows and occasionally cross-dressing in their attempts to avoid detection. Lavrov claimed Pindo diplomats in disguise had been spotted at opposition protests and that they used hire cars, rather than diplomatic vehicles, to drive around the country in the hope of avoiding detection. He also claimed Pindo counter-intelligence had been more active in recent years in its attempts to recruit Russian diplomats based in Pindostan as double agents. He alleged that one diplomat had been approached with an attempt to turn him while picking up medicines from a doctor’s surgery, while another had $10k in cash placed in his car by Pindosi agents as an offer to begin cooperation.

Putin Warns Of “Maidan-Style” Attempt To Delegitimize Trump; Calls Trump Dossier Creators “Worse Than Prostitutes”
Tyler Durden, Jan 17 2017

Warning that a “soft coup” is being waged against Donald Trump, Pres Putin said that he sees attempts in Pindostan to “delegitimize” Pres-elect Donald Trump using “Maidan-style” methods. Putin said he doesn’t believe that Donald Trump met with prostitutes in Russia, calling the accusations part of a campaign to undermine the election result, and suggested that an internal political struggle is underway in Pindostan despite the fact that the presidential election is over, and added that reports of alleged Russian dossier on Trump are fake as “our security services do not chase every Pindo billionaire.” Unsubstantiated allegations made against Trump are “obvious fabrications,” Putin told reporters in the Kremlin on Tuesday. He said:

People who order fakes of the type now circulating against the POTUS-elect, who concoct them and use them in a political battle, are worse than prostitutes because they don’t have any moral boundaries at all.

The Russian president, cited by BBG, said that Trump wasn’t a politician when he visited Moscow in the past, and Russian officials weren’t aware that he held any political ambitions. Putin did not stop there. He said that the compromising report compiled on Trump was a “hoax” and those who ordered the Trump dossier are “worse than prostitutes. Putin, who reiterated he had never met Trump, said he hoped that Moscow and Faschingstein could eventually get their troubled relations back to normal, adding he has no reasons to “attack or defend him.” He said:

I don’t know Mr. Trump personally, I have never met him and don’t know what he will do on the international arena. So I have no grounds to attack him or criticize him for anything, or protect him or whatever. By the way, there is a category of people who leave without saying goodbye, out of respect for the present situation, while others say goodbye all the time, but do not go away. The outgoing administration, in my opinion, belongs to the second category.