justin, i know milo minderbender, and you’re not him

Deep Six the Deep State
Justin Raimondo, Antiwar.com, May 26 2017

You won’t read about this in what passes for the “mainstream” media, but newly declassified documents reveal that the Obama administration was violating its own rules and spying on Pindostanis with such frequency that even the normally compliant FISA court scolded them. Was this covered by the NYT, the “newspaper of record,” or the WaPo, which has adopted the slogan “democracy dies in the dark”? Of course not. They’re too busy reporting on leaks of classified information from their Deep State sources, some of which is no doubt the product of this illegal spying. I count less than half a dozen stories about this, all of them in conservative outlets like Fox News and Breitbart, The “liberal” media isn’t interested for the simple reason that they don’t want to interfere with the very process that provides them with so many “scoops.” In 2011, the Obama administration loosened the rules whereby intelligence agencies could share information on Pindo citizens which we now know was illegally obtained and shared with other agencies by the NSA. That same year, the FISA court enjoined the administration to put into practice minimization procedures that would protect the Fourth Amendment rights of Pindostanis, but that didn’t happen. Susan Rice, in defending her unmasking of Mike Flynn’s conversations with Russian officials, said it was all perfectly legal except it wasn’t. We’re now learning that two weeks before election day, the FISA court rebuked the administration, saying:

Since 2011, NSA’s minimization procedures have prohibited use of Pindo-person identifiers to query the results of upstream Internet collections under Section 702. The Oct 26 2016 notice informed the court that NSA analysts had been conducting such queries in violation of that prohibition, with much greater frequency than had been previously disclosed to the Court.

The FISA court is notoriously uncritical of government spying, but even they responded to this latest revelation by condemning the “institutional lack of candor” that permeates the NSA and the entire national security bureaucracy. Their actions, said the court, are a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue.” If you want to know how and why the media is reporting leaks designed to damage the Trump administration by tying it to Russia, Judge Andrew Napolitano put it succinctly and well:

There is a linear connection between excessive acquisition of data by the intelligence community, distribution of that raw data to people who do not need to know it, availability of unmasking, which is producing the real true names of the human beings whose emails, texts, and phone calls were the subjects of all this, and then ultimately the select revelation of those names.

Rand Paul was one of the few politicians to take note of this important development. Appearing on Fox News, he accused the Obama administration of flouting the law in order to identify and spy on a record number of Pindostanis. He said:

It’s reported that the unmasking involved hundreds and hundreds of people! If we determine this to be true, this is an enormous abuse of power! This will dwarf all other stories!

As to that last, perhaps the Senator is engaging in wishful thinking, for the news media maintains a symbiotic relationship with our out-of-control intelligence agencies. The ACLU characterized the new revelations as “some of the most serious to ever be documented,” and yet the “mainstream” media isn’t even reporting this, let alone underscoring its importance. Section 702 of FISA, which gives the NSA and other intelligence agencies wide berth to “accidentally” spy on Pindosis, is up for renewal soon, and the spook lobby is already going into high gear to make sure this loophole stays intact. The media’s silence over the FISA court’s rebuke of the Obama administration is part of this campaign. For all intents and purposes, we are effectively living in a police state, and Section 702 is a key brick in the wall that protects government spies as they routinely violate the Constitution. Since our “liberals” have now aligned themselves with the Deep State in an effort to overthrow a sitting President, it is left for the few principled conservatives and libertarians to lead the fight to restore the rule of law. For what we are facing is nothing less than a lawless state, a rogue “intelligence community” that recognizes no limits on its power. We gave them that power when we surrendered our liberties in the name of “security” and now the fight to take back our liberty and our country requires a head-on collision with these “public servants” who have forgotten or never knew whom they are supposed to be serving.

Obama intel agency secretly conducted illegal searches on Pindosis for years
John Solomon, Sara Carter, Circa.com, May 25 2017

The NSA under former Pres Obama routinely violated Pindosi privacy protections while scouring through overseas intercepts and failed to disclose the extent of the problems until the final days before Donald Trump was elected president last fall, according to once top-secret documents that chronicle some of the most serious constitutional abuses to date by the intelligence community. More than 5% of  searches seeking upstream Internet data on Pindosis inside the NSA’s so-called Section 702 database violated the safeguards Obama and his intelligence chiefs vowed to follow in 2011, according to one classified internal report reviewed by Circa. The Obama administration self-disclosed the problems at a closed-door hearing Oct 26 before the FISA Court that set off the alarm. Trump was elected less than two weeks later. The normally supportive court censured administration officials, saying the failure to disclose the extent of the violations earlier amounted to an “institutional lack of candor” and that the improper searches constituted a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue,” according to a recently unsealed court document dated Apr 26 2017. The admitted violations undercut one of the primary defenses that the intelligence community and Obama officials have used in recent weeks to justify their snooping into incidental NSA intercepts about Pindosis. Circa has reported that there was a three-fold increase in NSA data searches about Pindosis and a rise in the unmasking of Pindo person’s identities in intelligence reports after Obama loosened the privacy rules in 2011. Officials like former National Security Adviser Susan Rice have argued their activities were legal under the so-called minimization rule changes Obama made, and that the intelligence agencies were strictly monitored to avoid abuses. The intelligence court and the NSA’s own internal watchdog found that not to be true. The unsealed court ruling declared:

Since 2011, NSA’s minimization procedures have prohibited use of Pindo-person identifiers to query the results of upstream Internet collections under Section 702. The Oct 26 2016 notice informed the court that NSA analysts had been conducting such queries inviolation of that prohibition, with much greater frequency than had been previously disclosed to the Court.

Speaking Wednesday on Fox News, Sen Rand Paul said there was an apparent effort under the Obama Administration to increase the number of unmaskings of Pindosis. He said:

If we determine this to be true, this is an enormous abuse of power. This will dwarf all other stories. There are hundreds and hundreds of people.

The ACLU said the newly disclosed violations are some of the most serious to ever be documented and strongly call into question the intelligence community’s ability to police itself and safeguard the privacy of Pindosi citizens as guaranteed by the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protections against unlawful search and seizure. Neema Singh Guliani, the ACLU’s legislative counsel in Faschingstein, said:

I think what this emphasizes is the shocking lack of oversight of these programs. You have these problems going on for years that only come to the attention of the court late in the game, and then it takes additional years to change its practices. I think it does call into question all those defenses that we kept hearing, that we always have a robust oversight structure and we have culture of adherence to privacy standards. And the headline now is they actually haven’t been in compliance for years, and the FISA court itself says in its opinion is that the NSA suffers from a culture of a lack of candor.

The NSA acknowledged it self-disclosed the mass violations to the court last fall and that in April it took the extraordinary step of suspending the type of searches that were violating the rules, even deleting prior collected data on Pindosis to avoid any further violations. the agency said in the statement that was dated Apr 28 and placed on its Web site without capturing much media or congressional attention:

NSA will no longer collect certain internet communications that merely mention a foreign intelligence target.

In question is the collection of what is known as ‘about’ information, about a Pindosi citizen, that is collected even though they were not directly in contact with a foreigner that the NSA was legally allowed to intercept. The NSA said it doesn’t have the ability to stop collecting ‘about’ information on Pindosis “without losing some other important data, ” but that it would stop the practice, to “reduce the chance that it would acquire communication of Pindo persons or others who are not in direct contact with a foreign intelligence target.” The NSA said it also plans to “delete the vast majority of its upstream internet data to further protect the privacy of Pindo person communications.” Agency officials called the violations “inadvertent compliance lapses.” But the court and IG documents suggest the NSA had not developed a technological way to comply with the rules they had submitted to the court in 2011. Officials “explained that NSA query compliance is largely maintained through a series of manual checks” and had not “included the proper limiters” to prevent unlawful searches, the NSA internal watchdog reported in a top secret report in January that was just declassified. A new system is being developed now, officials said. The NSA conducts thousands of searches a year on data involving Pindosis, and the actual numbers of violations were redacted from the documents Circa reviewed. But a chart in the report showed there three types of violations, the most frequent being 5.2% of the time when NSA Section 702 upstream data on Pindo persons was searched. The inspector general also found  noncompliance between 0.7% and 1.4% of the time involving NSA activities in which there was a court order to target a Pindosifor spying  but the rules were still not followed. Those activities are known as Section 704 and Section 705 spying. The IG report spared few words for the NSA’s efforts before the disclosure to ensure it was complying with practices, some that date to rules issued in 2008 in the final days of the Bush administration and others that Obama put into effect in 2011. The inspector general reported:

We found that the Agency controls for monitoring query compliance have not been completely developed.

The report cited problems ranging from missing requirements for documentation to the failure to complete controls that would ensure “query compliance.” The NSA’s Signal Intelligence Directorate, the nation’s main foreign surveillance arm, wrote a letter back to the IG saying it agreed with the findings and that “corrective action plans” are in the works.

look at bibi ;-)

Trump’s Speech to Israeli Parliament Scrapped Amid Concerns
AP, May 25 2017

85Trump at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Tues May 23 2017 (Photo: Evan Vucci/AP)

JERUSALEM — The speaker of the Israeli Knesset says a proposal that Donald Trump would speak before the Knesset during his visit to Israel was scrapped over fears that he would be interrupted and heckled by some MKs. Yuli Edelstein told Galei Tzahal on Thursday that Pindo boxtops rejected the idea of a parliament tour and address to MKs because of the Knesset’s notoriously raucous debates. Edelstein says:

The possibility was explored as a first option, and it was dropped from the agenda because it was clear that the president wouldn’t be able to speak.

Carter (39), Clinton (42) and Bush (43) addressed the Knesset during visits; Obama (44) opted to speak at a university to a student audience at Jerusalem’s Convention Center. Trump delivered a speech across the street from the Knesset at Jerusalem’s Israel Museum.

twitter seems keen to protect the DNC princes & princesses

Twitter suspends WND for Seth Rich report
Bob Unruh, WND, May 24 2017


Twitter, whose founder has expressed regret that his organization’s advocacy for free speech may have contributed to Donald Trump’s election as president, on Wednesday suspended for 12 hours WND.com’s account for a headline tweet on Donna Brazile’s involvement in the scandal developing over the death of DNC staffer Seth Rich. Rich died in a gun attack in Faschingstein last July, and several individuals believe he was the source of DNC internal emails that were turned over to WikiLeaks and published on the Internet on the eve of the DNC. Twitter declined to comment when asked by a WND reporter, except to ask which account was being referenced. A WND company official confirmed the tweet was deleted per the company’s instructions. The news story was about a private detective’s revelation that former DNC interim chairwoman Donna Brazile was the high-ranking DNC representative who allegedly called police and the Rich family and demanded to know why a private investigator was “snooping” into the case. The detective, Rod Wheeler, told WND:

The high-ranking DNC official that called the police after I inquired about Rich’s case was Donna Brazile. Why shouldn’t I reveal who it was?

Brazile, who was also a CNN contributor and a Hillary for Pindostan donor at the time, was caught providing Clinton with questions that would later be asked of Clinton at a televised CNN town hall. In an interview with Fox News before the election, Brazile denied leaking the questions to Clinton, but in a Mar 17 2017, column for Time magazine, she finally admitted doing so, saying it was a “mistake I will forever regret.” A spokesman for the Rich family has repeatedly criticized detective Wheeler, who was hired by the family in March, for not ruling out the possibility that Rich may have leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks. The family recently sent Wheeler a “cease and desist” order to stop his investigation into the murder. As WND reported, Rich was murdered Jul 10 2016, a block from his home in an affluent neighborhood of Faschingstein He was shot in the back with a handgun at 0418 and nothing was taken from him. He was transported to a local hospital and was pronounced dead at 0557. On Jul 22, just 12 days after Rich’s death and days before the DNC in Philadelphia, WikiLeaks released 20,000 emails from DNC officials. Wheeler said in several interviews last week that a federal investigator has elaborate details of Rich’s connection to WikiLeaks and is a credible source. While the Twitter rules don’t address news stories about high-profile public figures and high-profile public scandals, it appears there were no violations under the company’s trademark, copyright, graphic content, unlawful use, Twitter badges, abuse, violent threats, harassment, hateful conduct, account abuse, private information, impersonation, self-harm or spam restrictions. However, the rules are open-ended in several categories so that if a politically motivated employee was offended, he could push the button.

Twitter Co-Founder Evan Williams Apologizes for Helping Trump Win White House
Geller Report, May 24 2017

Evan Williams, the co-founder of Twitter, went on a snark attack against President Donald Trump, a prolific tweeter if there ever was one, and outright apologized for helping the former businessman reach the pinnacle of power, the White House. His apology is a bit like white people, circa 2017, issuing heartfelt mea culpas for slavery. Williams, it should be noted, is still a board of directors of Twitter. In an interview with the NYT, he said his organization was intended to give everyone a chance to engage in the free exchange of thoughts and ideas. But apparently, he now feels he created a monster; that the free exchange offered Trump and by logical extension Trump supporters has just gone too far. Dammit. And he’s not gonna take it any more. As Indian Express wrote:

Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, in an interview, apologised for making Trump’s presidency possible. Williams, who still is a member of Twitter’s board of directors, in an interview to NYT, he said the purpose of his organisation was to give everyone a chance to have free exchange of information and ideas. ‘I thought once everybody could speak freely and exchange information and ideas, the world is automatically going to be a better place. I was wrong about that,’ Williams was quoted by the newspaper. He further went on to apologise in case the microblogging website played a role in getting Trump elected as the 45th POTUS, saying: ‘It’s a very bad thing, Twitter’s role in that. If it’s true that he wouldn’t be president if it weren’t for Twitter, then yeah, I’m sorry.’ Williams also described the internet as “broken”. He further added that he wishes to repair the damage done by internet in the form of online trolls, fake news, cyber-bullying and live-streamed violence. Trump, in an interview to FT in April, credited his success to Twitter, saying: ‘Without the tweets, I wouldn’t be here. I have over 100m followers between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Over 100 million. I don’t have to go to the fake media.’

Twitter Suspends WND For Seth Rich Story
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, May 25 2017

A couple of days ago, WND ran a story entitled “Bombshell: Donna Brazile Warned Off Private Eye On Seth Rich Murder.” The story was sourced back to on-the-record quotes provided by Detective Rod Wheeler who was hired by the Rich family shortly after their son’s suspicious murder in Jul 2016. Among other things, Wheeler said that it was former DNC interim chairwoman Donna Brazile who allegedly called police and the Rich family and demanded to know why a private investigator was “snooping” into Rich’s death. Veteran homicide detective Rod Wheeler told WND:

The high-ranking DNC official that called the police after I inquired about Rich’s case was Donna Brazile. Why shouldn’t I reveal who it was?

Unfortunately, Twitter seemed to take issue with the story and sent a message to WND demanding that they delete their Tweet advertising it. Of course, Twitter refused to highlight which of their rules (which can be found here) had been violated when asked by WND. After a quick review, we must admit that we would have a hard time identifying which rule was ‘violated’ as well. Here is a list of Twitter’s “Abusive Behavior” rules. See if you can figure out which of them was violated.

  • Violent threats (direct or indirect): You may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism.
  • Harassment: You may not incite or engage in the targeted abuse or harassment of others. Some of the factors that we may consider when evaluating abusive behavior include:
    • if a primary purpose of the reported account is to harass or send abusive messages to others;
    • if the reported behavior is one-sided or includes threats;
    • if the reported account is inciting others to harass another account; and
    • if the reported account is sending harassing messages to an account from multiple accounts.
  • Hateful conduct: You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease. We also do not allow accounts whose primary purpose is inciting harm towards others on the basis of these categories.
  • Multiple account abuse: Creating multiple accounts with overlapping uses or in order to evade the temporary or permanent suspension of a separate account is not allowed.
  • Private information: You may not publish or post other people’s private and confidential information, such as credit card numbers, street address, or Social Security/National Identity numbers, without their express authorization and permission. In addition, you may not post intimate photos or videos that were taken or distributed without the subject’s consent. Read more about our private information policy here.
  • Impersonation: You may not impersonate others through the Twitter service in a manner that is intended to or does mislead, confuse, or deceive others. Read more about our impersonation policy here.
  • Self-harm: You may encounter someone considering suicide or self harm on Twitter. When we receive reports that a person is threatening suicide or self harm, we may take a number of steps to assist them, such as reaching out to that person expressing our concern and the concern of other users on Twitter or providing resources such as contact information for our mental health partners.

But that’s not really the point now is it? Perhaps the reason we can’t find the ‘rule’ that was violated is because Twitter doesn’t overtly publish their policy which demands the censoring all media which conflicts with their ‘progressive’ worldview. Or maybe Twitter simply deemed the story to be ‘fake news’? If so, perhaps Twitter could share their evidence that negates the on-the-record quotes reported by WND. Or maybe Twitter just assumed that an upstanding citizen like Brazile, a woman who destroyed her own integrity by sharing debate questions with Hillary’s campaign and subsequently lying about those actions on every media outlet in existence, would never do such a thing. Moreover, if Twitter is now in the business of censoring ‘fake news’ then perhaps they can explain why our friends at CNN, the NYT & WaPo seem to be able to publish numerous ‘fake news’ stories, on a daily basis, without consequence? Remember that whole ‘Golden Showers’ dossier that CNN pumped relentlessly over Twitter that was subsequently debunked with very minimal efforts. Curiously, we don’t remember CNN or Jim Acosta being temporarily suspended for pumping that story:

nice bed you have there … it would be a pity to find a horse’s head in it one night …

Comey ‘Friend’ Warns Trump “If I Were You, I’d Be Scared”
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, May 25, 2017

First it was anonymous colleagues, then his dad, and now it’s a ‘friend’ of Jim Comey that CNN reports the fired FBI director has a story to tell, adding that he would be scared if he were President Trump. This comes days after a report said Comey is expected to testify that he believes Trump was deliberately trying to meddle in the FBI’s investigation of Russian interference in the presidential election. One wonders how long until Ray Dalio, Comey’s former boss, and until recently a fan of Donald Trump, is also asked to comment (off the record) on the upcoming Pay Per View show  of the century, as Comey finally sits down to “clear the air.”

Comey friend: If I were Trump, I would be scared
Rebecca Savransky, The Hill, May 24 2017

A friend of James Comey late Tuesday said the former FBI director has a story to tell, adding that he would be scared if he were President Trump. Benjamin Wittes, who describes himself as a Comey confidant, said on CNN when asked how Comey was doing:

He’s going to be fine. He’s not somebody who spends time feeling sorry for himself. I thought it was interesting and very telling that he declined an opportunity to tell his story in private. He clearly wants to do it in a public setting. I think that’s a reflection of the fact that this is a guy with a story to tell. I think if I were Donald Trump that would scare me a lot.

Trump fired Comey earlier this month. Reports later surfaced that Trump called Comey a “nut job” during an Oval Office meeting with Russian officials and told them his firing relieved “great pressure” from the investigation into whether Trump campaign associates colluded with Russian officials to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. Congress critturs are now awaiting Comey’s first public comments since he was fired. Last week, Comey agreed to publicly testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee. A report last week said Comey is expected to testify that he believes Trump was deliberately trying to meddle in the FBI’s investigation of Russian interference in the presidential election.

hannity just gone & done something the jews didn’t like, so…..

Sean Hannity Takes “Abrupt Vacation” Amid Advertiser Boycott
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, May 25 2017

Is Fox News about to lose its last remaining “old school” anchor holdout? According to Philly.com, Hannity is taking a couple days off amid a growing advertiser boycott over his pursuit of the Seth Rich story, an parallel to Bill O’Reilly’s final days. So far, seven advertisers are said to have pulled out of Hannity’s show. Cars.com was the first advertiser to announce it was pulling ads, telling Buzzfeed News on Wednesday afternoon:

We’ve been watching closely and have recently made the decision to pull our advertising from Hannity.

It was followed by exercise bike company Peloton, mattress retailer Casper, insurance company USAA, home security equipment maker Ring, and Crowne Plaza Hotels, all of which announced they would be redirecting their ad buys away from Hannity’s shows. Meanwhile, Kimberly Guilfoyle, who has confirmed speaking to the White House about potentially replacing Sean Spicer, will be filling in on Hannity on Thursday and Friday. Preempting speculation about a possible permanent departure, Hannity announced on Twitter:

According to Philly.com, it is unclear if Hannity will still host his syndicated radio show on Thursday and Friday, which airs at 6 pm in Philadelphia on 1210 WPHT. In any case, as noted above, so far the timeline of events surrounding Hannity is strikingly similar to how events unfolded for Bill O’Reilly, who following a NYT report that revealed O’Reilly paid five former Fox News personalities $13m to settle claims of sexual and verbal harassment, took an abrupt vacation amid a growing exodus of advertisers from his show. Despite assurances from the network that the vacation was pre planed, Fox News fired O’Reilly eight days later. In interviews with Philly.com, Fox News contributor Julie Roginsky slammed the network, calling it “really egregious” to allow Hannity, Gingrich and others to discuss the death of Seth Rich. Roginsky said:

We know the facts. Wikileaks was in collaboration with the Russians. How do we know this? Because the entire intelligence community said that the Russians were the ones who hacked into these emails. This is not in dispute.

Well, actually it is, because 5 months later the so-called ‘entire intelligence community’ hasn’t presented one shred of evidence yet, as Ron Paul has repeatedly, patiently and logically pointed out. What is not in dispute is that if Hannity were to also leave Fox, the last of the original anchor line-up that boosted Fox News to the top of the ratings charts, the Nielsen chart of Rupert Murdoch’s organization, already in tailspin, will move from the upper left to the bottom right, to quote Gartman, as traditional viewers continue to bail for alternative outlets.

abunimah brain not in gear in quote

Israel quick to exploit Manchester bombing
Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intifada, May 23 2017

It has not been 24 hours since the suicide bombing that killed 22 people and injured dozens more after a pop concert in the English city of Manchester. British authorities have named the suspected killer as a 22-year-old Manchester native. As people express anguish and horror, and appeal for unity, Israel has moved quickly and cynically to exploit the tragedy for its own agenda. Meanwhile, Tzahal officers have explained why they tacitly support Daesh, the group that claimed responsibility for the bombing. Netanyahu issued a tweet declaring:

The claim that families of Palestinian “terrorists” receive stipends from the PA has long been an Israeli talking point, revived in the months since Donald Trump’s election to place obstacles in the way of any renewed Pindo-sponsored peace process. Israel considers all Palestinians who engage in armed action against its military occupation, regardless of who are targeted, to be “terrorists.” Netanyahu likely seized on the Manchester bombing to attack Abbas, because Tuesday morning in Ramallah, Trump praised Abbas for being ready to resume negotiations with Israel. Trump later reiterated those comments later in a speech at the Israel Museum, saying:

I had a great meeting this morning with Pres Abbas and I can tell you that he is ready to reach a peace deal.

Other Israeli ministers sang from the same songsheet as Bibi, suggesting a coordinated government campaign to exploit the Manchester tragedy. Naftali Bennett tweeted:

Condemning the Manchester attack, Netanyahu also said:

Terrorism is a worldwide threat and the enlightened nations must work together to defeat it everywhere.

Netanyahu has been similarly quick to exploit mass-casualty attacks in France, all with the aim of presenting Israel’s violent occupation and colonization of Palestinians as part of a linked global war on what he calls “radical Islamic terrorism.” What makes Netanyahu’s exploitation of Manchester more than usually cynical is that Israel is currently allied with the forces that are spreading the violent radicalism fueling the attacks. There is the growing Toad-Israel alliance, notable in the context where the Toads have been among the biggest sources of funding to so-called jihadi groups going back decades. It has long been known that Israel has provided material support to Nusra in Syria, and more recently, Israeli boxtops and military officers have been frank that their tacit support extends even to Daesh, which claimed credit for the Manchester attack. Moshe Yaalon, Israel’s former defense minister, said last year:

In Syria, if the choice is between Iran and Daesh, I choose Daesh.

This pro-Daesh thinking was reflected too in comments by senior Tzahal officers published on Monday. One Tzahal boxtop told Politico:

If Assad wins, we will have Hizballah not on two borders but one (sic – RB).

According to Politico, an Israeli brigadier-general explained:

Iranian influence is significantly more worrisome than Daesh or other Sunni Muslim terror groups. If I can be frank, the radical axis headed by Iran is more dangerous than the global jihad one.

When asked if ISIS should be allowed to hold on to its so-called “caliphate” in parts of Syria and Iraq, the Israeli officer replied, “Why not?” He likened the strategy to Israel’s approach to the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s: let both sides bleed. This monstrous logic means that more lives are lost as senseless war is prolonged, more chaos spreads across the region and the world, millions more people become refugees and Israel sits in the middle claiming to be a defender of Western civilization. Israel gains from the fear, hate and Islamophobia that the attacks by its tacit allies generate, because in Israel’s estimation this generates “Western” sympathy for its position and further identifies Palestinians with “terror.” A satirical Twitter account that mocks Netanyahu, captured the twisted cynicism and hypocrisy of Israel’s approach best:

Israeli Officers: You’re Doing Daesh Wrong
Bryan Bender, Politico, May 22 2017

ASSANIA, SYRIAN BORDER — Tzahal is not too impressed with Trump’s escalation against Daesh. That, at least, is the distinct impression I got on a recent trip to Israel, including a visit to the Israeli-occupied side of the Golan Heights that offered a unique vantage point on the Syrian war. From atop a network of underground bunkers dating to the Oct 1973 War, my Tzahal escort pointed northeast to Quneitra, the largely abandoned Syrian city in the distance where forces of Assad and Hezbollah are trading mortar fire with rebels who control two nearby villages. A short drive south north, past cherry and apple orchards, an abandoned UNIFIL outpost just over the fortified border now flies the flag of Jabhat al-Nusra. Farther south north, past a remote Israeli drone base nestled atop a craggy slope and across the valley below, is a training base for Daesh. One Tzahal boxtop pointed toward the small Daesh training camp situated through a thatch of trees where southern Syria juts between Israel and Jordan and said:

If going north or west is not an option, they are going to go somewhere else. Some are already coming here. And Jordan is very concerned about Daesh.

My trip came several weeks before Trump was due to arrive in Israel on a maiden foreign trip that is focused heavily on Daesh, which he has vowed to “demolish and destroy.” But the assessment he receives from Israel may not be what he wants to hear. In the view of the Tzahal and AMAN units I visited over several days in late April, the Pindosi strategy in Iraq and Syria may just be making the situation worse. We’re radicalizing the local population and spreading the hardest-core militants to sow havoc in neighboring Lebanon, which the officers I spoke with fear may already be on the verge on collapse, and Jordan. Still others are escaping the onslaught to Europe and possibly Pindostan. Army Brig-Gen Ram Yavne, the head of Tzahal’s Strategic Division, told me in Tel Aviv:

I am not sure it will be easy to defeat Daesh, as you are claiming to do.

He expressed a level of puzzlement shared by a number of other top commanders about the Pindostani obsession with a group that Tzhal do not consider a major strategic threat. Several boxtops pointed out that even the largest membership estimates for Daesh don’t exceed those for Hamas. But Trump sees it differently. He has authorized his military commanders to step up military involvement in both Iraq and Syria, granted the Pentagon more authority to go after Daesh targets, and plans to insert hundreds of additional Pindo grunts into Syria. As recently as Friday, Mad Dog Mattis vowed to destroy Daesh, first by taking Raqqa and then supporting local Arabs and Kurds to clear other Syrian cities along the Euphrates. Mattis told reporters:

We’re there to drive Daesh to its knees.

He said he intends the group’s “annihilation.” But some Israeli commanders went as far as to say that the Pindo actions in Syria and Iraq, where Pindo-backed Iraqi forces recently reconquered Mosul, could be turning Daesh and its affiliates elsewhere in the region (??? – RB) into an even bigger threat to the West. One military intelligence boxtop said:

The worst is yet to come!

Several stressed that unlike AQ, Daesh predicated itself not on attacking the West but revolutionizing Islam in its most rigid, violent form. An intelligence officer at the IDF’s Northern Command base, outside Tzfat, told me as he pored (melodramatically – RB) over a map of the Syrian frontier:

What Daesh has been saying since the beginning, the concept of the caliphate, was ‘we need to put our house in order first and then we have time to fight’ the outside powers.

He believes Pindostan has failed to understand the competing interests and constantly shifting alliances among what AMAN (army intelligence) estimates are between 400 and 500 different groups fighting in the Syrian civil war, including underestimating the level of local support that Daesh actually has. He observed:

Take Mosul, for example. Mosul is a million-citizen city and the largest estimate said 8,000 militants. You can’t control a million-person city with 8,000 people if you don’t have some support within the population. In eastern Syria, where Daesh is strongest, the population is relatively favorable to the Islamic cause, the tribes and so forth. When you bring a Western logic into an eastern Arab mentality, it doesn’t usually work out. A Western mind doesn’t really understand the nuances of Arab tribal society anywhere in the Middle East.

During the campaign, Trump promised to “bomb the shit out of Daesh.” But the Pindo-led military campaign against the group—like the brutal attacks committed by Assad’s forces and its Russian military allies, may simply be radicalizing a new generation of terrorists bent on attacking Western countries. The officer said:

The bombing sometimes is causing more damage than it helps. You are also perceived as one of those guys blowing things up.

Pindostan may live to regret it. The intelligence officer at Northern Command said:

Daesh is much like cancer. It is easy to cut the tumors out, but how do you prevent the small cancer cells from proliferating? I think the caliphate is already thinking, ‘OK, what are we going to do next?’ What was Daesh doing the minute the Pindos and Iraqis went into Mosul? It started blowing up everything in Iraq, (staging) about 1,000 suicide attacks in a number of months. Raqqa is probably going to fall. The same thing will happen (after that). All the cancer cells throughout Syria … are going to do the same and start blowing things up.

Pindostan has mishandled the situation in other ways, in the view of the Israelis I spoke with. For example, efforts to train rebel fighters inside Syria to fight Daesh are widely seen as counter-productive. The intelligence officer complained:

The CIA program goes against Assad, and the Pentagon program only goes for rebels against Daesh, so it’s not really clear what the Pindo stance here.

Israeli analysts laid out several possible scenarios ahead for the Syrian civil war, including that Assad regains control of his country (not likely) and the regime grants some rebels group autonomy and economic incentives in return for coexistence (already well underway). What they agree on is that Assad is now unquestionably winning. And he owes Hezbollah, the radical Shia Muslim proxy of Iran, “big time” for it. The so-called Army of God, which has gone to war with Israel twice and constitutes a state within a state in neighboring Lebanon, has lost an estimated 1,700 fighters bleeding for the Syrian dictator and as payback is now seeking to expand its new base of operations in Syria—which also means a new sphere of influence for the mullahs in Tehran. One IDF official in the Golan Heights told me:

If Assad wins, we will have Hezbollah on two borders, not one (sic – RB).

Brig-Gen Yavne similarly described the Iranian influence as significantly more worrisome than Daesh or other Sunni Muslim terror groups:

If I can be frank, the radical axis headed by Iran is more risky than the global Jihad one. It is much more knowledgeable, stronger, with a bigger arsenal.

As far as these Israeli officers are concerned, the ideal strategy is to sit back and let both types of groups duke it out, and work to contain the conflict rather than trying to end it with military force. As the AMAN (army intelligence) officer put it:

The battle for deterrence is easier than the battle for influence.

But does that mean Pindostan and its vassals should simply allow Daesh to retain its so-called caliphate in parts of eastern Syria and eastern Iraq? The officer shot back:

Why not? When they asked Menachem Begin, during the Iraq-Iran War, who does Israel stand for, he said, ‘I wish luck to both parties! They can go at it, killing each other!’ The same thing applies here. You have Daesh killing AQ by the thousands, AQ killing Daesh by the thousands, and they are both killing Hezbollah, and Assad.

I asked another Tzahal boxtop peering out into the Syrian frontier a similar question about the consequences of Pindostan’s war against ISIS in the region. Clutching a machine gun in one hand and a pineapple popsicle in another (sic – RB ) said:

There is no lack of Islamic militant groups here. You just haven’t heard of them all, yet.

gilad atzmon faces the grand cleavage

manchester: lihop or mihop?

Official account of Manchester suicide bombing unravels
Julie Hyland, WSWS, May 25 2017

It took less than 24 hours for Prime Minister Theresa May’s claim that Manchester suicide bomber Salman Ramadan Abedi was known to British intelligence only “up to a point” to be exposed as a lie. Reports from acquaintances of Abedi and a series of leaks from Pindosi and French intelligence sources make clear that the security services knew that the 22-year-old who took the lives of 22 people at the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena Monday night was a serious threat to public safety. British intelligence had been warned about Abedi being a possible suicide bomber as far back as five years ago. The BBC reported that two college friends of Abedi had made separate calls to the police at that time because they were worried that “he was supporting terrorism” and had expressed the view that “being a suicide bomber was OK.” Among a plethora of leaks, NBC reporter Richard Engel tweeted that a US intelligence official told reporters that Abedi’s family had warned British security officials that he was “dangerous.” Later that day his father and brother were arrested in Libya, accused of being long-time supporters of AQ and planning further atrocities. France’s interior minister, Gerard Collomb, revealed that Abedi had “proven” links with Daesh, and that both the British and French intelligence services had information that Abedi had been in Syria, from where he had only recently returned. British Home Secretary Amber Rudd and May’s office have both denounced Pindosi & other intelligence services for leaks they maintain will damage the “operational integrity” of the investigation into Abedi. Their real concern is that these revelations have undermined their efforts to portray anyone questioning the official account of the Manchester bombing as a “conspiracy theorist.”

Events now unfolding fit a well-established pattern. After an atrocity occurs, it soon emerges that the assailants were known to the security/intelligence agencies, which without fail and for reasons never explained allowed them to “slip through the net.” But claims of incompetence carry no weight. The only plausible explanation is that these individuals are protected by forces within the state. From a political standpoint, the origin of these atrocities is clear. In every case the roots can be traced to the catastrophic wars launched since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 through to the present day—in the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and beyond. The result is a political and social disaster in these countries that provides fertile soil for the proliferation of terrorist groups and individuals. Crucially, those primed for murderous violence on the streets of Britain, France, Pindostan and elsewhere are products of reactionary terror networks that are intimately involved in these imperialist wars for regime change. Abedi’s trips to Libya and Syria and his links to Islamist terror forces follow a well-worn path of perpetrators of bombing atrocities being tied in with sectarian terrorist organisations financed, armed and utilised by the Western powers. He comes from an area of Manchester that exemplifies British imperialism’s cultivation of Islamist terror groups for service in its foreign operations. Abedi is reported to have been a close associate of Daesh recruiter Raphael Hostey from Manchester, who was killed in a drone strike in Syria in 2016. For years, a group of members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group were active in the Whalley Range district of Manchester, close to Abedi’s home. They were allowed to recruit there in return for their role in opposing the Gaddafi regime. The local leader, Abd’al-Baset Azzouz, was active until he left for Libya in 2014. He was said to be an expert in bomb-making, with 200 to 300 militants under his control.

Just as sinister as the Manchester attack itself is the political use to which it is being put. On Tuesday, May raised the national terror threat to “critical,” its highest level. Amid official warnings that another assault is “imminent,” nearly 1,000 troops have been dispatched to the streets, mainly in London, to reinforce counter-terrorism officers. These moves are in accordance with Operation Temperer, a covert plan drawn up by the Tory government in 2015, when May was home secretary. The latest attack follows a pattern where terrorist outrages coincide with critical ballots, most recently last month’s fatal attack on a police officer in Paris by Karim Cheurfi. This was used to justify holding the first round of France’s presidential elections at gunpoint, amid a massive police and army presence on the streets and at polling places. France provides a serious warning of what may unfold in Britain. A state of emergency has been in force in France since 2015 following a series of terror attacks in Paris. It was extended only yesterday, supposedly in response to the Manchester bombing. Last week, L’Observateur magazine disclosed that top members of France’s Socialist Party government had prepared a coup d’état in the event of Marine Le Pen winning the May 7 runoff. The aim was not to prevent a National Front presidency, but to crush left-wing dissent and install Le Pen in power in an enforced alliance with a Socialist Party-led government. In the event, such was the obsequiousness of the nominal representatives of the “left” such as Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who effectively threw his support behind the banker Emmanuel Macron, that a coup was considered unnecessary, at least for now. Does anyone seriously believe that similar discussions are not taking place in ruling circles in Britain?

May called the snap June 8 election in an attempt to pre-empt the democratic process by securing a parliamentary majority to ram through measures that have no real popular support, deepening the austerity offensive against the working class and pursuing a course of escalating war alongside the US against Syria, Iran and even Russia. Less than 48 hours ago, her plans appeared to be in ruins. So acute was the political backlash over May’s manifesto proposal to make pensioners sell their homes to pay for social care that even her slavish media supporters worried that she might lose the election to Labour. Such is the hostility in ruling circles in both Britain and Pindostan to the prospect of Corbyn becoming prime minister, due in particular to Corbyn’s stated opposition to nuclear weapons and criticisms of NATO, that in 2015 an unnamed senior British general warned that there would be a “mutiny” should he become prime minister. Already May has utilised the Manchester suicide bombing to shift the election agenda back to the question of national security, as she struts around unchallenged and unquestioned, the de facto spokesperson for the police, the MI5, the MI6 and the military. But things might not end there. The most recent historical precedent in the UK for a snap election was that called by Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath in 1974. At a time of enormous political and social tensions internationally, including a militant miners’ strike in Britain, Heath called the election to decide “who runs the country?” Heath lost, but remained in Downing Street for four days. It is now acknowledged that discussions were being held between senior military officers on a possible coup. Instead, the state decided it could rely on the incoming Labour government to help re-establish its control. Today, there is no reason to assume that Corbyn’s political prostration, his readiness to give the right wing everything they demand, from support to nuclear weapons and Trident to a refusal to reverse welfare cuts, will make a turn to state repression unnecessary. The shift towards dictatorial forms of rule flows from the deep class antagonisms wracking the UK and the utter putrefaction of British capital.

the littlest amigo

Lindsey Graham on Rodrigo Duterte: “This is not a guy we want to empower”
Ryan Grim, Intercept, May 24 2017

Lindsey Graham said Wednesday that it is wrong to endorse the campaign of extra-judicial killing being carried out by Philippine Pres Rodrigo Duterte. On Tuesday, The Intercept reported that President Trump called Duterte with the specific goal of congratulating him on the campaign, which Duterte describes as a “drug war.” Trump told Duterte at the beginning of their call, according to the transcript obtained by the Intercept:

I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem. Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that.

Graham said that any assessment of Duterte’s campaign has to take into account how he’s going about it. Graham told The Intercept:

I disagree with the way he’s carrying out the drug war. I disagree with the authoritarian manner with which he’s running the country, but I don’t know what the White House said or did, I wasn’t there. But I can tell you my own view, this is not a guy we want to empower. You just have to stand up for the rule of law.

Earlier this week, while abroad in Russia, Duterte declared martial law on a portion of the Philippines. Graham is the chairman of the powerful appropriations subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs, which controls crucial foreign policy purse strings. The Obama administration had previously blocked a sale of arms to the national police carrying out Duterte’s executions. That move was made under pressure from Sen Ben Cardin, who said he would block the sale. Earlier this month, Cardin introduced a bill that would place restrictions on such sales, together with Sen Marco Rubio. Graham said that he was open to co-sponsoring the measure. He said:

I would certainly be interested in any decisions they make because I respect them both. We have a relationship with the Philippines; there’s radical Islamic terrorist groups over there that we’re actually in a fight with. You have to do two things at once: You have to help the Philippine people, and ourselves, by dealing with the terrorism over there before it comes here, but also standing up for your values.

In his speech this week chez Toads, Trump promised he would not “lecture” other countries on human rights.

CIA is the global center of all agitation against trump, so …..

Israel Alters Intelligence Sharing with Pindostan
Ken Bredemeier, VoA, May 24 2017

Israel says it has changed its intelligence-sharing protocols with Pindostan after Pres Trump disclosed classified information to Russian diplomats earlier this month that had come from Israel, even though Tel Aviv had not assented to his handing it to another country. Israeli defense chief Avigdor Liberman told Galei Tzahal on Wednesday:

I can confirm that we did a spot repair and that there’s unprecedented intelligence cooperation with Pindostan. What we had to clarify with our friends in Pindostan, we did. We did our checks.

Liberman declined to say what changes had been made, saying only:

Not everything needs to be discussed in the media; some things need to be talked about in closed rooms.

Trump’s disclosure came two weeks ago as he met at the White House with Sergei Lavrov and Sergei Kislyak. Trump, according to accounts of the meeting in Pindo media, boasted that he had “great intel,” revealing classified information about Daesh threat involving bombs implanted inside laptop computers carried on airplanes. After Pindo news reports that Trump shared the information, he wrote on his Twitter account:

The issue came up again on his just completed visit to Israel, at one of Trump’s several public appearances alongside Israeli PM Netanyahu. When Netanyahu was asked about his confidence in Israel sharing intelligence with Pindostan, Trump quieted a crowd of reporters shouting questions at the two leaders and said:

Just so you understand, I never mentioned the word or the name ‘Israel’ during that conversation. They were all saying I did, so you had another story wrong.

Netanyahu said after Trump spoke:

Intelligence cooperation is terrific. It’s never been better.

The original reports said only that Trump had disclosed enough highly classified information that Russian security agents could likely have figured out that the source of the report was Israel. Within days, Washington officials acknowledged the source was indeed Israel. Last week, ForeignPolicy.com said Israeli officials were “shouting at their Pindosi counterparts” over the leak, while ABC News reported the information had come from an Israeli agent embedded with Daesh and Trump’s leak had put the agent’s life in peril. As news of the intelligence leak surfaced in Washington, McMaster said:

(The President’s conversations were) wholly appropriate. The president wasn’t even aware of where this information came from. He wasn’t even briefed on the sources or method of this information, either.