Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intelligence

Gathered together in one place, for easy access, an agglomeration of writings and images relevant to the Rapeutation phenomenon.

Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:02 pm

How George W. Bush dissed the U.S. intelligence community. The likelihood is that the crimes of Bush, Cheney, Libby and Rove so far revealed are only the tip of the iceberg.
by Juan Cole
January 6, 2017

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Philip Mudd, former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency counter-terrorist center and FBI National Security Branch, has been on CNN maintaining that there was a big difference between how the intelligence agencies were treated by the Bush administration and how the PEOTUS is treating them. He said that he was grilled on Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction by the Republican congress, but that he was treated with respect. He complains that Donald J. Trump is being disrespectful to intelligence professionals.

With all due respect to Mr. Mudd (and I sincerely mean that), what he is saying makes no sense. Everyone knows that the Bush cabinet hated the CIA for not going along with its phony allegations of Iraqi biological and nuclear weapons. (The one lapse was a hastily assembled NIE produced under pressure from then vice president and unindicted felon Richard Bruce Cheney). Iraq didn’t have such weapons and in 2002 when the press for war was made, did not even have programs.

The main point is that while Bush and his cohort had a rule that they did not trash talk people in public, they displayed the utmost disrespect for intelligence professionals who would not turn weasel and tell them (and the public) what they wanted to hear. How could you disrespect intelligence professionals more than to set aside their analysis in favor of the talking points of Neoconservative hacks or to out them, putting their lives and those of their contacts in danger? And what more dangerous course than to go to war against the grain of the analysis of the trained professionals? The difference between Trump and Bush is only a matter of rhetorical style, and Trump hasn’t had the opportunity yet to endanger America the way Bush and the Neoconservatives did.

Here are four egregious examples of the Bush-Cheney (and especially Cheney) attack on CIA professionals:

1. A fraudulent document was circulated by former Italian and French intelligence officer with a businessman cover, Rocco Martino, purporting to be a purchase statement by the Niger government regarding an alleged buy of uranium by Saddam Hussein of Iraq. It was apparently taken seriously by British intelligence, but it was an obvious fraud, since the officials who allegedly signed it were not any longer in office on the date of the document. The whole thing may have been a project of Italian military intelligence, which has strong connections to surviving fascist circles in Italy, and is also connected to Michael Ledeen, Washington poobah who is now close to the Trumpies. (H/t to Josh Marshall who researched all this). My guess is that U.S. Neoconservatives used Ledeen as a conduit to the Italian intelligence Neofascists, and put in an order for such a hoax.

American CIA analysts looked at the document and quickly concluded that it was a fraud. Despite enormous pressure from Bush-Cheney officials, the Neoconservatives, the State Department and the CIA refused to go along with Bush’s desire to include a reference to the forgery in his 2003 State of the Union Address. Bush (or David Frum?) therefore put it this way: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”

This [was a] way of lying while seeming to tell the truth. What Bush really did was to disregard the State Department’s Intelligence and Research department and the CIA analysts and to find any alternative to this homegrown Washington expertise. In other words, Bush appealed to MI6 in just the way that Trump is appealing to Julian Assange. Both over-ruled their own intelligence professions.

Iraq war: the greatest intelligence failure in living memory. On the tenth anniversary of the Iraq war, Panorama's Peter Taylor reveals the sources close to Saddam Hussein whose intelligence could have changed the course of history.
by Peter Taylor
18 Mar 2013

Ten years on from the invasion, Iraq remains the most divisive war in recent history and the greatest intelligence failure in living memory.

Much of the key intelligence that was used to justify the war was based on fabrication, wishful thinking and lies - and as subsequent investigations showed, it was dramatically wrong. Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

But crucially, there was intelligence that proved to be right. And, as a forensic, six-month investigation we conducted for BBC Panorama has revealed, it came from two highly-placed human sources at the very top of Saddam’s regime.

Both said that Iraq had no active WMD. Both were ignored or dismissed.

The intelligence from the first source came just a week before the government published its controversial dossier on WMD on 24 September 2002.

In the introduction to this dossier (known to some as the “dodgy” dossier) Tony Blair confidently declared, ‘the assessed intelligence has established beyond doubt that Saddam has continued to produce chemical and biological weapons [and] that he continues in his efforts to develop nuclear weapons.’

Yet the two sources who produced the intelligence that Iraq had no WMD were the closest to Saddam Hussein that Western intelligence had ever got.

It was a remarkable achievement to have gained access at this level given the difficulty of recruiting any human source within Saddam’s secretive, paranoid and murderous regime.

The story of the first source comes straight out of the pages of a spy thriller.

In the spring of 2002, the CIA’s head of station in Paris, Bill Murray, was told by French intelligence, whose government had good links with the Iraqi regime, that a senior member of Saddam’s cabinet might want to defect with his family and had a great deal of intelligence that he might wish to share.

For the White House, such a defection offered the salivating prospect of a senior member of Saddam’s cabinet recanting on prime time television.

The source, Murray was informed, hated Saddam who had murdered his brother, and now seemed prepared to do business.

What made him even more attractive to Murray and the White House was that he had no blood on his hands and had never been accused of any involvement in murders or criminal activity. Compared with other members of Saddam’s blood-stained regime, the source was ‘Mr Clean’.

Murray was enthused: ‘He looked like a person of real interest, somebody who we should really be talking to.’ But a face-to-face meeting between a CIA agent and one of Saddam’s inner circle was out of the question as it was too risky.

The French suggested an intermediary, an Arab former journalist living in Paris, who had known the source for many years. They told Murray that he had worked with them for a number of years.

In the early summer of 2002, the financial bargaining began. The intermediary did not come cheap. His starting price was a staggering one million dollars. Murray, familiar with the ways of the Arab bazaar, haggled and finally got the price down to $200,000 which he handed over in cash in a paper bag. Murray explained it was to be used ‘to pay his expenses, to show that we were serious and also to provide some personal items for the source.’ He said it was never clear how much the intermediary wanted for himself and how much he was trying to stake out for the source.

However excessive the down payment might have seemed, it would have been worth every cent if the source came up with the goods on Saddam’s WMD. The source was none other than Iraq’s Foreign Minister, Naji Sabri.

With the down payment agreed, Murray submitted a detailed list of questions for the intermediary to put to him. WMD were top of the list. Naji Sabri was then to report back to Murray. That was the deal.

Through the summer months, there was radar silence. The intermediary had to pick his moment to meet the minister without arousing suspicion.

The opportunity came in mid-September 2002 when Naji Sabri was visiting New York to address the United Nations.

Again it was too risky for Murray to meet Naji Sabri face to face as most of the time the minister was being watched by a team of Saddam’s minders.

But the intermediary met him at the Iraqi Ambassador’s residence in New York. A secret sign was agreed to confirm to Murray that the meeting had taken place and that the minister was prepared to offer information.

The intermediary had arranged for a couple of hand-made suits to be made for the minister, presumably out of Murray’s $200,000 seed money ‘to pay his expenses’. Naji Sabri was to wear one of them when he addressed the UN General Assembly as a sign that he was on side. “It was part of the agreement to confirm the relationship between the intermediary and the source,” Murray explained,

The following day, Murray met the intermediary for a debriefing in a hotel room in New York. He was given the substance of the intelligence: ‘Saddam had intentions to have WMD, chemical, biological and nuclear, but the report was very clear about what he actually had at that point in time and he had virtually nothing.’

It was not what the White House wanted to hear. ‘I was told they were not happy.’

Murray made notes of the debriefing on a yellow pad and then, as he had to catch a plane back to Washington, sent them to the office in New York to be typed up as a formal report.
It was when he got to the airport that he saw Naji Sabri on a television screen addressing the UN, wearing his expensive, brand new suit. Murray was satisfied: ‘It was my new suit. It told me they were telling me the truth.’ Someone close to the story told me that President Bush had allegedly also seen the minister on television and pointed out that was the suit that he had paid for.

Murray says that he subsequently discovered that his account had been modified with a new introductory paragraph with which he was not happy. A Senate inquiry has since said it could find no documentary evidence of Murray’s account. What happened to his original text remains a mystery.

On 5 February 2004, after the fall of Saddam, CIA Director, George Tenet, delivered a speech at Georgetown University in which he referred to ‘what was going on in the fall of 2002’ - when Murray passed on his intelligence.

Tenet spoke of a source ‘with direct access to Saddam and his inner circle’ who had talked of Iraq “stockpiling chemical weapons” and “aggressively and covertly” developing a nuclear weapon that could be ready in 18 to 24 months. Tenet added that he could not have ignored or dismissed such reports. He stands by what he said. Murray maintains this did not reflect what he had written and passed on to New York. His report had referred to Saddam giving “stocks” of chemical weapons, left over from the early nineties, to friendly tribes and of Saddam’s scientists saying nuclear weapons could be ready in 18 to 24 months after they obtained the necessary material.

Murray says his key message was that Saddam did not have any serious, active current WMD stockpile or programmes.

Murray believes his report had been used selectively. By whom and at what level he does not know, but he thinks he knows why. He says the intelligence was cherry picked. ‘Very bad intelligence got to the leadership very quickly but other intelligence just didn’t make it.’


In the end Naji Sabri did not defect and give President Bush his moment of triumph in the glare of the cameras but he did manage to get out of Iraq. He went to teach communication studies at a university in the Gulf.

We tracked him down and asked him to comment. He dismissed Bill Murray’s story as ‘a complete fabrication’ and whilst admitting he met ‘an Arab ex-journalist living in France’ in New York, he says the meeting only lasted “a few minutes”.

I asked Bill Murray if MI6 got the intelligence from Naji Sabri. He assumed that it did. ‘Britain is a strategic ally and we share this kind of information with them regularly and rapidly and so it would have been soon after we acquired it.’

I wondered if Lord Butler, who chaired the original government Inquiry into the use of intelligence on WMD in the lead up to the Iraq war, was aware of what Iraq’s Foreign Minister was reported to have said? ‘No,’ he told me... If SIS (MI6) was aware of it, we should have been informed.’

He added by way of explanation that perhaps MI6 was not permitted to share intelligence that came from the CIA as it was not MI6’s to give.

Four months after Bill Murray debriefed the intermediary, another piece of dramatic intelligence came in, this time to MI6. In January 2003, now only three months before the war, a senior MI6 officer met another high-ranking member of Saddam’s inner circle, the head of Iraqi intelligence, Tahir Habbush Al Tikriti. After the invasion he became the Jack of Diamonds on America’s “Most Wanted” notorious Deck of Cards, with a reward of one million US dollars thought to be on offer. It appears the meeting took place on Habbush’s initiative. It was in Amman, Jordan.

It seems that the likely reason was an attempt by the regime to reach some kind of face-saving compromise that might avert the imminent invasion, perhaps by negotiating safe passage for Saddam out of Iraq. In the course of the discussion, Habbush told the MI6 officer that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction.


I asked Lord Butler if his Inquiry had been aware of the meeting and of what Habbush had said. ‘This was something which our review did miss.’ he said. ‘[There was] a mass of information, I think fifty thousand intelligence reports alone on Iraq. We were told [by MI6] that it was something designed by Saddam to mislead.”

Habbush is now thought to be living somewhere outside of Iraq, his escape allegedly organised by a Western intelligence agency.

Bill Murray gained no satisfaction when it emerged that the intelligence from Iraq’s Foreign Minister and Saddam’s Head of Intelligence turned out to be right. He felt let down and disappointed.

‘I thought we’d produced probably the best intelligence that anybody produced in the pre-war period, all of which came out in the long run to be accurate and the information was discarded and not used.’


Murray’s feelings about the use of misleading intelligence to justify the war reflect the way many in the UK probably still feel, that they were misled by their Prime Minister. Lord Butler agrees. “They’ve every right to feel that,” he said.


2. In late 2005, Bush closed the Alec Station, the unit within the CIA that was tasked with finding Bin Laden. Bush directed intelligence resources instead toward Iraq, which he had illegally invaded and occupied under false pretenses. The CIA was not happy. The former head of the unit reacted, “This will clearly denigrate our operations against Al Qaeda . . . These days at the agency, bin Laden and Al Qaeda appear to be treated merely as first among equals.” And of course al-Qaeda did experience a resurgence. Indeed, the Iraq al-Qaeda affiliate morphed into Daesh (ISIS, ISIL).

3. In late 2005, someone on the Bush National Security Agency attempted to enlist the Director of National Intelligence and the CIA in violating the Agency’s charter by having them investigate and smear a U.S. citizen on American soil (me). A group of analysts who objected to the whole episode later blew the whistle on it, including Glenn L. Carle, the bravest man in Washington. They went public because they knew that what had been done, having the agency tasked to operate on U.S. soil with regard to an innocent American, could have deeply damaged it. The irony is that in those days I was trying to help destroy al-Qaeda and frequently gave briefings and presentations to inter-agency audiences that included CIA analysts (and no, I was never an agent), attempting to help get them up to speed on the particulars of the challenge. And the Bushies stabbed us all in the back the same way they did Valerie Plame (see #4).

Meet Professor Juan Cole, Consultant to the CIA
by John V. Walsh
August 30, 2011

Juan Cole is a brand name that is no longer trusted. And that has been the case for some time for the Professor from Michigan. After warning of the “difficulties” with the Iraq War, Cole swung over to ply it with burning kisses on the day of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. His fervor was not based on Saddam Hussein’s fictional possession of weapons of mass destruction but on the virtues of “humanitarian imperialism.”

Thus on March 19, 2003, as the imperial invasion commenced, Cole enthused on his blog: “I remain (Emphasis mine.) convinced that, for all the concerns one might have about the aftermath, the removal of Saddam Hussein and the murderous Baath regime from power will be worth the sacrifices that are about to be made on all sides.” Now, with over 1 million Iraqis dead, 4 million displaced and the country’s infrastructure destroyed, might Cole still echo Madeline Albright that the price was “worth it”? Cole has called the Afghan War “the right war at the right time” and has emerged as a cheerleader for Obama’s unconstitutional war on Libya and for Obama himself.

Cole claims to be a man of the left and he appears with painful frequency on Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now as the reigning “expert” on the war on Libya. This is deeply troubling – on at least two counts. First, can one be a member of the “left” and also an advocate for the brutal intervention by the Great Western Powers in the affairs of a small, relatively poor country? Apparently so, at least in Democracy Now’s version of the “left.” Second, it appears that Cole’s essential function these days is to convince wavering progressives that the war on Libya has been fine and dandy. But how can such damaged goods as Cole credibly perform this marketing mission so vital to Obama’s war?

Miraculously, Cole got just the rehabilitation he needed to continue with this vital propaganda function when it was disclosed by the New York Times on June 15 that he was the object of a White House inquiry way back in 2005 in Bush time.
The source and reason for this leak and the publication of it by the NYT at this time, so many years later, should be of great interest, but they are unknown. Within a week of the Times piece Cole was accorded a hero’s welcome on Democracy Now, as he appeared with retired CIA agent Glenn Carle who had served 23 years in the clandestine services of the CIA in part as an “interrogator.” Carl had just retired from the CIA at the time of the White House request and was at the time employed at the National Intelligence Council, which authors the National Intelligence Estimate.

It hit this listener like a ton of bricks when it was disclosed in Goodman’s interview that Cole was a long time “consultant” for the CIA, the National Intelligence Council and other agencies. Here is what nearly caused me to keel over when I heard it (From the Democracy Now transcript.):

AMY GOODMAN: So, did you know Professor Cole or know of him at the time you were asked? And can you go on from there? What happened when you said you wouldn’t do this? And who was it who demanded this information from you, said that you should get information?

GLENN CARLE: Well, I did know Professor Cole. He was one of a large number of experts of diverse views that the National Intelligence Council and my office and the CIA respectively consult with to challenge our assumptions and understand the trends and issues on our various portfolios. So I knew him that way. And it was sensible, in that sense, that the White House turned to my office to inquire about him, because we were the ones, at least one of the ones—I don’t know all of Mr. Cole’s work—who had consulted with him. (Emphases mine.)


That seems like strange toil for a man of the “left.” But were the consultations long drawn out and the association with the CIA a deep one? It would appear so. Again from the transcript:

AMY GOODMAN: Well, the way James Risen (the NYT reporter) writes it, he says, “Mr. Carle said [that] sometime that year, he was approached by his supervisor, David Low, about Professor Cole. [Mr.] Low and [Mr.] Carle have starkly different recollections of what happened. According to Mr. Carle, [Mr.] Low returned from a White House meeting one day and inquired who Juan Cole was, making clear [that] he wanted [Mr.] Carle to gather information on him. Mr. Carle recalled [his] boss saying, ‘The White House wants to get him.'”

GLENN CARLE: Well, that’s substantially correct. The one nuance, perhaps, I would point out is there’s a difference between collecting information actively, going out and running an operation, say, to find out things about Mr. Cole, or providing information known through interactions. (Emphasis mine.) I would characterize it more as the latter.


And later in the interview Carle continues:

On the whole, Professor Cole and I are in agreement. The distinction I make is it wasn’t publicly known information that was requested; it was information that officers knew of a personal nature about Professor Cole, which is much more disturbing. There was no direct request that I’m aware, in the two instances of which I have knowledge, for the officers actively to seek and obtain, to conduct—for me to go out and follow Professor Cole. But if I knew lifestyle questions or so on, to pass those along. (Emphasis mine.)That’s how I—which is totally unacceptable.


It would seem then that the interaction between the CIA operatives and Cole was long standing and sufficiently intimate that the CIA spooks could be expected to know things about Cole’s lifestyle and personal life. It is not that anyone should give two figs about Cole’s personal life which is more than likely is every bit as boring as he claims. But his relationship with the CIA is of interest since he is an unreconstructed hawk. What was remarkable to me at the time is that Goodman did not pick up on any of this. Did she know before of Cole’s connections? Was not this the wrong man to have as a “frequent guest,” in Goodman’s words, on the situation in the Middle East?

This is not to claim that Cole is on a mission for the CIA to convince the left to support the imperial wars, most notably at the moment the war on Libya. Nor is this a claim that the revelation about the White House seeking information on Cole was a contrived psyops effort to rehabilitate Cole so that he could continue such a mission. That cannot be claimed, because there is as yet no evidence for it. But information flows two ways in any consultation, and it is even possible that Cole was being loaded with war-friendly information in hopes he would transmit it.

Cole is anxious to promote himself as a man of the left as he spins out his rationale for the war on Libya. At one point he says to Goodman (3/29), “We are people of the left. We care about the ordinary people. We care about workers.” It is strange that a man who claims such views dismisses as irrelevant the progress that has come to the people of Libya under Gaddafi, dictator or not. (Indeed what brought Gaddafi down was not that he was a dictator but that he was not our dictator.) In fact Libya has the highest score of all African countries on the UN’s Human Development Index (HDI) and with Tunisia and Morocco the second highest level of literacy. The HDI is a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education and standards of living for countries worldwide.

Whither the Left on the Question of Intervention?

None of this is all too surprising given Cole’s status as a “humanitarian” hawk. But it is outrageous that he is so often called on by Democracy Now for his opinion. One of his appearances there was in a debate on the unconstitutional war in Libya, with CounterPunch’s estimable Vijay Prashad taking the antiwar side and Cole prowar. It would seem strange for the left to have to debate the worth of an imperial intervention. Certainly if one goes back to the days of the Vietnam War there were teach-ins to inform the public of the lies of the U.S. government and the truth about what was going on in Vietnam. But let us give Democracy Now the benefit of the doubt and say that the debate was some sort of consciousness raising effort. Why later on invite as a frequent guest a man who was the pro-war voice in the debate? That is a strange choice indeed.

This writer does not get to listen to Democracy Now every day. But I have not heard a full-throated denunciation of the war on Libya from host or guests. Certainly according to a search on the DN web site, Cynthia McKinney did not appear as a guest nor Ramsey Clark after their courageous fact finding tour to Libya. There was only one all out denunciation of the war – on the day when the guests were Rev. Jesse Jackson and Vincent Harding who was King’s speechwriter on the famous speech “Beyond Vietnam” in 1967 in which King condemned the U.S. war on Vietnam. Jackson and the wise and keenly intelligent Harding were there not to discuss Libya but to discuss the MLK Jr. monument. Nonetheless Jackson and Harding made clear that they did not like the U.S. war in Libya one bit, nor the militarism it entails.

If one reads CounterPunch.org, Antiwar.com or The American Conservative, one knows that one is reading those who are anti-interventionist on the basis of principle. With Democracy Now and kindred progressive outlets, it’s all too clear where a big chunk of the so-called “left” stands, especially since the advent of Obama. In his superb little book Humanitarian Imperialism Jean Bricmont criticizes much of the left for falling prey to advocacy of wars, supposedly based on good intentions. And Alexander Cockburn has often pointed out that many progressives are actually quite fond of “humanitarian” interventionism. Both here and in Europe this fondness seems to be especially true of Obama’s latest war, the war on Libya. It is little wonder that the “progressives” are losing their antiwar following to Ron Paul and the Libertarians who are consistent and principled on the issue of anti-interventionism.

Democracy Now, quo vadis? Wherever you are heading, you would do well to travel without Juan Cole and his friends.

John V. Walsh can be reached at John.Endwar@gmail.com After wading through Cole’s loose prose and dubious logic to write this essay, the author suspects that the rejection of Cole by the Yale faculty was the result of considerations that had little to do with neocon Bush/Cheney operatives.


4. Bush-Cheney even went so far as to deliberately out a serving CIA field officer with a non-official cover (a NOC, who would be disavowed if captured by the enemy; unfortunately she was captured by Bush-Cheney). Younger readers may not know the Valerie Plame story, so here is a reprint edition from February 10, 2006, of it. [Valerie’s later thrillers are well worth reading.]

Cheney Authorized Libby to Disclose Classified Documents

Once upon a time, a former agent of Italian military intelligence named Rocco Martino, who had had some experience in the African country of Niger, came into possession of some forged, fraudulent documents.

These alleged Iraqi purchases of yellowcake uranium in 1999. In fact, the signatures were of Nigerian officials who had been in power a decade earlier, in the late 1980s.


So they were clumsy forgeries. Martino passed them on to the Italian magazine Panorama, which passed them to the U.S. embassy.

Tantalizingly, President George W. Bush’s chief political adviser, Karl Rove, has an indirect connection to Italian intelligence.

Rove’s chief adviser on Iran policy is Neoconservative wildman and notorious warmonger Michael Ledeen, who has a longstanding connection to the darker corners of Italian intelligence.

Vice President Richard Bruce Cheney heard of the alleged uranium purchase.

Cheney asked George Tenet to look into the allegation.

The issue went to the Directorate of Operations secret unit on counter-proliferation. Among the field officers there was Valerie Plame Wilson, who had spent her life fighting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction under cover of a dummy corporation.

Valerie Plame Wilson was married to former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson IV, who had served bravely as acting ambassador in Iraq in 1990, and when threatened by Saddam he showed up to a press conference wearing a hanging noose instead of a necktie. President George H. W. Bush highly praised him.

Joe Wilson had not only served in Iraq, he also had been ambassador to the West African countries of Gabon and Sao Tome, and spoke fluent French. When Plame Wilson’s superiors brought up the possibility of sending him as a private citizen to look into the plausibility of the report that Saddam had bought Nigerian uranium, she was consulted and agreed (she was not part of the decision loop).

He went, and soon saw that the uranium industry in Niger was actually under the control of French companies and was strictly monitored.

There was no possibility of corrupt Nigerian officials selling it off under the table.

A separate military mission led by Marine General Carlton Fulford, Jr, deputy commander of the United States European Command (EUCOM), went to Niger the same month, February 2002.

Fulford quickly came to the same conclusion as Wilson, that it was implausible that al-Qaeda or anyone else could secretly buy uranium from Niger.

Wilson came back and was orally debriefed by people who wrote a report for Tenet, expecting that Tenet would pass it on to the high officials of the Bush administration.

Wilson was amazed when the Niger uranium story was put into Bush’s State of the Union address.


Then Libby wanted Secretary of State Colin Powell to make allegations about Saddam and al-Qaeda before the United Nations Security Council. Powell was also pressed by someone to bring up the Niger uranium story.

Powell is said to have exclaimed, “I’m not reading this bullshit!”

Libby appears to have been a big influence on the speech Powell gave, almost every detail of which was inaccurate, and at which United Nations officials who heard it openly laughed.

After the war, Wilson wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times in which he revealed his mission and again called into question the Bush administration assertion that Iraq had an active nuclear weapons program.

Cheney was extremely upset by Wilson’s op-ed. He saw it as an allegation that he had personally sent Wilson and then ignored Wilson’s report. Or at least that was the spin. But Wilson had said no such thing in the article. He simply said that Cheney had asked Tenet to look into the story, which Cheney probably did.

Cheney was afraid that if the American public became convinced that there had been no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the war effort would collapse, along with all those billions of no-bid uncompetitive contracts for Halliburton.

Cheney, it has now come out, then authorized Libby to leak the classified 2002 National Intelligence Estimate to the press.

The NIE, which may have been produced under pressure from Cheney himself, had incorrectly suggested that Iraq was only a few years from having a nuclear weapon. In fact, Iraq did not have an active weapons program at all after the early 1990s when it was dismantled by the UN inspectors. The pre-war NIE in any case was just old bad intelligence, which was contradicted by David Kay’s team on the ground in post-war Iraq, which just wasn’t finding much.


10/4/02: Asked by Sen. Graham to make gist of NIE public, Tenet produces 25-page document titled "Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs." It says Saddam has them and omits dissenting views contained in the classified NIE....

12/21/02: Asked by Bush if there's any reason to doubt existence of WMD, Tenet says: "It's a slam-dunk case." [Date the public knew: 4/17/04]

2/4/03: Powell asks Tenet to personally assure intel for speech is good. Tenet does. [Date the public knew: 6/25/06]


-- Lie by Lie: How Our Leaders Used Fear and Falsehood To Dupe Us Into a Mideast Quaqmire: A Timeline , by Tim Dickinson & Jonathan Stein


Aftermath - After the completion of the National Intelligence Estimate, the Bush administration will continue to make allegations concerning Iraq’s weapons capabilities and ties to militant Islamic groups, but will include none of the qualifications and nuances that are present in the classified NIE. After excerpts from the classified version of the NIE are published in the press in July of 2003 (see 3:09 p.m. July 11, 2003), administration officials will claim that neither Bush, Rice, nor other top officials were informed about the alternative views expressed by the DOE, INR, and the Air Force intelligence agency. They will also assert that the dissenting views did not significantly undermine the overall conclusion of the NIE that Iraq was continuing its banned weapons program despite UN resolutions. [WASHINGTON POST, 7/19/2003; NEW YORK TIMES, 7/19/2003; WASHINGTON POST, 7/27/2003]

-- Context of 'January 2003: Classified Intelligence Assessments Warn of Dire Consequences to Iraq Invasion', by History Commons


Libby now began telling reporters that Wilson’s wife was a CIA operative, itself classified information, since she was an undercover operative.

Karl Rove engaged in the same routine. Apparently Cheney, Rove and Libby (and Bush?) believed that Wilson’s credibility would be undermined if the Washington press corps could have it intimated to them that his story was a CIA plant.

Robert Novak used the information given him by the White House staff to out Valerie Plame Wilson as an undercover operative. Her career was ruined. All her contacts in the global South were burned, and their lives put in danger. The CIA’s careful project combating weapons of mass destruction collapsed.

The same administration that alleges it should be able to listen to our phone calls at will for national security purposes deliberately undermined U.S. security for petty political purposes, making us all much less safe.

The likelihood is that the crimes of Bush, Cheney, Libby and Rove so far revealed are only the tip of the iceberg.
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Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Mon Jan 30, 2017 5:03 am

The Democratic Party line that could torch civil liberties … and maybe help blow up the world. We should reject the guidance of politicians and commentators who are all too willing to throw basic tenets of civil liberties overboard.
by Norman Solomon
January 4, 2017

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Many top Democrats are stoking a political firestorm. We keep hearing that Russia attacked democracy by hacking into Democratic officials’ emails and undermining Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Instead of candidly assessing key factors such as longtime fealty to Wall Street that made it impossible for her to ride a populist wave, the party line has increasingly circled around blaming Vladimir Putin for her defeat.

Of course, partisan spinners aren’t big on self-examination, especially if they’re aligned with the Democratic Party’s dominant corporate wing. And the option of continually fingering the Kremlin as the main villain of a 2016 morality play is clearly too juicy for functionary Democrats to pass up – even if that means scorching civil liberties and escalating a new cold war that could turn radioactively hot.

Much of the current fuel for the blame-Russia blaze has to do with the horrifying reality that Donald Trump will soon become president. Big media outlets are blowing oxygen into the inferno. But the flames are also being fanned by people who should know better.

Consider the Boston Globe article that John Shattuck – a former Washington legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union – wrote in mid-December. “A specter of treason hovers over Donald Trump,” the civil libertarian wrote. “He has brought it on himself by dismissing a bipartisan call for an investigation of Russia’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee as a ‘ridiculous’ political attack on the legitimacy of his election as president.”

As quickly pointed out by Mark Kleiman, a professor of public policy at New York University, raising the specter of treason “is simply wrong” – and “its wrongness matters, not just because hyperbole always weakens argument, but because the carefully restricted definition of the crime of treason is essential to protecting free speech and the freedom of association.”

Is Shattuck’s piece a mere outlier? Sadly, no. Although full of gaping holes, it reflects a substantial portion of the current liberal zeitgeist. And so the argument that Shattuck made was carried forward into the new year by Robert Kuttner, co-editor of The American Prospect, who approvingly quoted Shattuck’s article in a Jan. 1 piece that flatly declared: “In his dalliance with Vladimir Putin, Trump’s actions are skirting treason.”

The momentum of fully justified loathing for Trump has drawn some normally level-headed people into untenable – and dangerous – positions. (The “treason” approach that Shattuck and Kuttner have embraced is particularly ironic and misplaced, given that Trump’s current course will soon make him legally deserving of impeachment due to extreme conflicts of interest that are set to violate the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.)

Among the admirable progressives who supported Bernie’s presidential campaign but have succumbed to Russia-baiting of Trump are former Labor Secretary Robert Reich and Congressman Keith Ellison, who is a candidate for chair of the Democratic National Committee.

Last week, in a widely circulated post on his Facebook page, Reich wrote: “Evidence continues to mount that Trump is on Putin’s side.” But Reich’s list of “evidence” hardly made the case that Trump “is on Putin’s side,” whatever that means.

A day later, when Trump tweeted a favorable comment about Putin, Rep. Ellison quickly echoed Democratic Party orthodoxy with a tweet: “Praising a foreign leader for undermining our democracy is a slap in the face to all who have served our country.”

Some of Putin’s policies are abhorrent, and criticizing his regime should be fair game as much as criticizing any other. At the same time, “do as we say, not as we do” isn’t apt to put the United States on high moral ground. The U.S. government has used a wide repertoire of regime change tactics including direct meddling in elections, and Uncle Sam has led the world in cyberattacks.

Intervention in the election of another country is categorically wrong. It’s also true that – contrary to conventional U.S. wisdom at this point – we don’t know much about a Russian role in last year’s election. We should not forget the long history of claims from agencies such as the CIA that turned out to be misleading or downright false.

Late last week, when the Obama administration released a drum-rolled report on the alleged Russian hacking, Democratic partisans and mainline journalists took it as something akin to gospel. But the editor of ConsortiumNews.com, former Associated Press and Newsweek reporter Robert Parry, wrote an assessment concluding that the latest report “again failed to demonstrate that there is any proof behind U.S. allegations that Russia both hacked into Democratic emails and distributed them via WikiLeaks to the American people.”

Even if the Russian government did intervene in the U.S. election by hacking emails and publicizing them, key questions remain. Such as:

Do we really want to escalate a new cold war with a country that has thousands of nuclear weapons?

Do we really want a witch-hunting environment here at home, targeting people with views that have some overlap with Kremlin positions?

Can the president of Russia truly “undermine our democracy” – or aren’t the deficits of democracy in the United States overwhelmingly self-inflicted from within the U.S. borders?

It’s so much easier to fixate on Putin as a villainous plotter against our democracy instead of directly taking on our country’s racist and class biases, its structural mechanisms that relentlessly favor white and affluent voters, its subservience to obscene wealth and corporate power.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about refusing to normalize the Trump presidency. And that’s crucial. Yet we should also push back against normalizing the deflection of outrage at the U.S. political system’s chronic injustices and horrendous results – deflection that situates the crux of the problem in a foreign capital instead of our own.

We should reject the guidance of politicians and commentators who are all too willing to throw basic tenets of civil liberties overboard, while heightening the risks of brinkmanship that could end with the two biggest nuclear powers blowing up the world.
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Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:09 am

Key Democratic Officials Now Warning Base Not To Expect Evidence of Trump/Russia Collusion
By Glenn Greenwald
March 16, 2017

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FROM MSNBC POLITICS shows to town hall meetings across the country, the overarching issue for the Democratic Party’s base since Trump’s victory has been Russia, often suffocating attention for other issues. This fixation has persisted even though it has no chance to sink the Trump presidency unless it is proven that high levels of the Trump campaign actively colluded with the Kremlin to manipulate the outcome of the U.S. election — a claim for which absolutely no evidence has thus far been presented.

The principal problem for Democrats is that so many media figures and online charlatans are personally benefiting from feeding the base increasingly unhinged, fact-free conspiracies — just as right-wing media polemicists did after both Bill Clinton and Obama were elected — that there are now millions of partisan soldiers absolutely convinced of a Trump/Russia conspiracy for which, at least as of now, there is no evidence. And they are all waiting for the day, which they regard as inevitable and imminent, when this theory will be proven and Trump will be removed.

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Key Democratic officials are clearly worried about the expectations that have been purposely stoked and are now trying to tamp them down. Many of them have tried to signal that the beliefs the base has been led to adopt have no basis in reason or evidence.

The latest official to throw cold water on the MSNBC-led circus is President Obama’s former acting CIA chief Michael Morell. What makes him particularly notable in this context is that Morell was one of Clinton’s most vocal CIA surrogates. In August, he not only endorsed Clinton in the pages of the New York Times but also became the first high official to explicitly accuse Trump of disloyalty, claiming, “In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”

But on Wednesday night, Morell appeared at an intelligence community forum to “cast doubt” on “allegations that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.” “On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire at all,” he said, adding, “There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark. And there’s a lot of people looking for it.”

Obama’s former CIA chief also cast serious doubt on the credibility of the infamous, explosive “dossier” originally published by BuzzFeed, saying that its author, Christopher Steele, paid intermediaries to talk to the sources for it. The dossier, he said, “doesn’t take you anywhere, I don’t think.”

Morell’s comments echo the categorical remarks by Obama’s top national security official, James Clapper, who told Meet the Press last week that during the time he was Obama’s DNI, he saw no evidence to support claims of a Trump/Russia conspiracy. “We had no evidence of such collusion,” Clapper stated unequivocally. Unlike Morell, who left his official CIA position in 2013 but remains very integrated into the intelligence community, Clapper was Obama’s DNI until just seven weeks ago, leaving on January 20.

Perhaps most revealing of all are the Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee — charged with investigating these matters — who recently told BuzzFeed how petrified they are of what the Democratic base will do if they do not find evidence of collusion, as they now suspect will likely be the case. “There’s a tangible frustration over what one official called ‘wildly inflated’ expectations surrounding the panel’s fledgling investigation,” BuzzFeed’s Ali Watkins wrote.

Moreover, “several committee sources grudgingly say, it feels as though the investigation will be seen as a sham if the Senate doesn’t find a silver bullet connecting Trump and Russian intelligence operatives.” One member told Watkins: “I don’t think the conclusions are going to meet people’s expectations.”

What makes all of this most significant is that officials like Clapper and Morell are trained disinformation agents; Clapper in particular has proven he will lie to advance his interests. Yet even with all the incentive to do so, they are refusing to claim there is evidence of such collusion; in fact, they are expressly urging people to stop thinking it exists. As even the law recognizes, statements that otherwise lack credibility become more believable when they are ones made “against interest.”

Media figures have similarly begun trying to tamp down expectations. Ben Smith, the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, which published the Steele dossier, published an article yesterday warning that the Democratic base’s expectation of a smoking gun “is so strong that Twitter and cable news are full of the theories of what my colleague Charlie Warzel calls the Blue Detectives — the left’s new version of Glenn Beck, digital blackboards full of lines and arrows.” Smith added: “It is also a simple fact that while news of Russian actions on Trump’s behalf is clear, hard details of coordination between his aides and Putin’s haven’t emerged.” And Smith’s core warning is this:

Trump’s critics last year were horrified at the rise of “fake news” and the specter of a politics shaped by alternative facts, predominantly on the right. They need to be careful now not to succumb to the same delusional temptations as their political adversaries, and not to sink into a filter bubble which, after all, draws its strength not from conservative or progressive politics but from human nature.

And those of us covering the story and the stew of real information, fantasy, and — now — forgery around it need to continue to report and think clearly about what we know and what we don’t, and to resist the sugar high that comes with telling people exactly what they want to hear.


For so long, Democrats demonized and smeared anyone trying to inject basic reason, rationality, and skepticism into this Trump/Russia discourse by labeling them all Kremlin agents and Putin lovers. Just this week, the Center for American Progress released a report using the language of treason to announce the existence of a “Fifth Column” in the U.S. that serves Russia (similar to Andrew Sullivan’s notorious 2001 decree that anyone opposing the war on terror composed an anti-American “Fifth Column”), while John McCain listened to Rand Paul express doubts about the wisdom of NATO further expanding to include Montenegro and then promptly announced: “Paul is working for Vladimir Putin.”

But with serious doubts — and fears — now emerging about what the Democratic base has been led to believe by self-interested carnival barkers and partisan hacks, there is a sudden, concerted effort to rein in the excesses of this story. With so many people now doing this, it will be increasingly difficult to smear them all as traitors and Russian loyalists, but it may be far too little, too late, given the pitched hysteria that has been deliberately cultivated around these issues for months. Many Democrats have reached the classic stage of deranged conspiracists where evidence that disproves the theory is viewed as further proof of its existence, and those pointing to it are instantly deemed suspect.

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A formal, credible investigation into all these questions, where the evidence is publicly disclosed, is still urgently needed. That’s true primarily so that conspiracies no longer linger and these questions are resolved by facts rather than agenda-driven anonymous leaks from the CIA and cable news hosts required to feed a partisan mob.

It’s certainly possible to envision an indictment of a low-level operative like Carter Page, or the prosecution of someone like Paul Manafort on matters unrelated to hacking, but the silver bullet that Democrats have been led to expect will sink Trump appears further away than ever.

But given the way these Russia conspiracies have drowned out other critical issues being virtually ignored under the Trump presidency, it’s vital that everything be done now to make clear what is based in evidence and what is based in partisan delusions. And most of what the Democratic base has been fed for the last six months by their unhinged stable of media, online, and party leaders has decisively fallen into the latter category, as even their own officials are now desperately trying to warn.
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Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:34 am

Full Clapper: "No Evidence" of Collusion Between Trump and Russia
Interview with James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence
by Chuck Todd, Meet The Press
March 5, 2017

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CHUCK TODD:

We're going to pause the conversation and pick it up, I have a feeling, on the other side of the half hour. But coming up is a man who may know more than anyone about Russia's efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. It's the former Director of National Intelligence, Jim Clapper. He joins me next.

***COMMERCIAL BREAK***

CHUCK TODD:

Welcome back. Earlier this week, the New York Times reported that, in the dying days of the Obama presidency, White House officials took steps to spread information about Russia's attempt to undermine the presidential election. Why? Well, one reason given was to make it easier for government investigators, and in particular, Congress, to uncover that truth.

Well, James Clapper, a career intelligence officer, was the Director of National Intelligence for more than six years under President Obama, he spearheaded the report that was released in January that concluded that Russians hacked the Democrat National Committee e-mails and interfered with the 2016 election. And Mr. Clapper joins me now. Welcome, sir, to Meet the Press.

JAMES CLAPPER:

Thanks, Chuck, for everything.

CHUCK TODD:

Let me start with the President's tweets yesterday, this idea that maybe President Obama ordered an illegal wiretap of his offices. If something like that happened, would this be something you would be aware of?

JAMES CLAPPER:

I would certainly hope so. I can't say-- obviously, I'm not, I can't speak officially anymore. But I will say that, for the part of the national security apparatus that I oversaw as DNI, there was no such wiretap activity mounted against-- the president elect at the time, or as a candidate, or against his campaign. I can't speak for other Title Three authorized entities in the government or a state or local entity.

CHUCK TODD:

Yeah, I was just going to say, if the F.B.I., for instance, had a FISA court order of some sort for a surveillance, would that be information you would know or not know?

JAMES CLAPPER:

Yes.

CHUCK TODD:

You would be told this?

JAMES CLAPPER:

I would know that.

CHUCK TODD:

If there was a FISA court order--

JAMES CLAPPER:

Yes.

CHUCK TODD:

--on something like this.

JAMES CLAPPER:

Something like this, absolutely.

CHUCK TODD:

And at this point, you can't confirm or deny whether that exists?

JAMES CLAPPER:

I can deny it.

CHUCK TODD:

There is no FISA court order?

JAMES CLAPPER:

Not-- not to know my knowledge.

CHUCK TODD:

Of anything at Trump Tower?

JAMES CLAPPER:

No.

CHUCK TODD:

Well, that's an important revelation at this point. Let me ask you this. Does intelligence exist that can definitively answer the following question, whether there were improper contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian officials?

JAMES CLAPPER:

We did not include any evidence in our report, and I say, "our," that's N.S.A., F.B.I. and C.I.A., with my office, the Director of National Intelligence, that had anything, that had any reflection of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians. There was no evidence of that included in our report.

CHUCK TODD:

I understand that. But does it exist?

JAMES CLAPPER:

Not to my knowledge.

CHUCK TODD:

If it existed, it would have been in this report?

JAMES CLAPPER:

This could have unfolded or become available in the time since I left the government.

CHUCK TODD:

At some--

JAMES CLAPPER:

But at the time, we had no evidence of such collusion.


CHUCK TODD:

There's a lot of smoke, but there hasn't been that smoking gun yet. At what point should the public start to wonder if this is all just smoke?

JAMES CLAPPER:

Well, that's a good question. I don't know. I do think, though, it is in everyone's interest, in the current President's interests, in the Democrats' interests, in the Republican interest, in the country's interest, to get to the bottom of all this. Because it's such a distraction. And certainly the Russians have to be chortling about the success of their efforts to sow dissention in this country.

CHUCK TODD:

So you feel like your report does not get to the bottom-- you admit your report that you released in January doesn't get to the bottom of this?

JAMES CLAPPER:

It did-- well, it got to the bottom of the evidence to the extent of the evidence we had at the time. Whether there is more evidence that's become available since then, whether ongoing investigations will be revelatory, I don't know.

CHUCK TODD:

There was a conclusion that said, "It's clear that the Russians interfered and did so in an attempt to help Donald Trump." Do you still believe that conclusion?

JAMES CLAPPER:

Yes, I do.

CHUCK TODD:

But at this point, what's not proven is the idea of collusion.

JAMES CLAPPER:

That's correct.


CHUCK TODD:

When you see these parade of officials that were associated with the Trump campaign, first they deny any conversations, now we're hearing more, does that add to suspicion? Or do you think some of this is circumstantial?

JAMES CLAPPER:

Well, I can't say what the nature of those conversations and dialogues were, for the most part. Again, I'd think it would be very healthy to completely clear the air on this subject. And I think it would be in everyone's interest to have that done.

CHUCK TODD:

Can the Senate Intelligence Committee-- what are we going to learn from their investigation, do you think, that will move beyond what you were able to do?

JAMES CLAPPER:

Well, I think they can look at this from a broader context than we could. And at this point, I do have confidence in the Senate intelligence Committee and their effort. It is underway, in contrast to the House Intelligence Committee, which just last week agreed on their charter.

And importantly, in the case of the Senate Intelligence Committee, this appears to me to be a truly bipartisan effort. And so I think that needs to play out. If, for some reason, that proves not to be satisfactory in the minds of those who make those decisions, then perhaps then move on to a special prosecutor.

CHUCK TODD:

The New York Times, earlier this week, and as I was introducing you, this idea that they sort of left a trail, maybe lowered classif-- can you walk us through how that would work? Did they lower classification levels on certain information? Was that a fair read of what was done in the last few weeks of the administration?

JAMES CLAPPER:

Actually not. Because of the sensitivity of much of the information in this report, our actual effort was to protect it and not to spread it around, and certainly not to dumb it down, if I can use that phrase, in order to disseminate it more widely. We were under a preservation order from both our oversight committees to preserve and protect all the information related to that report, in any event.

CHUCK TODD:

Let me ask you one other final question on the infamous dossier that was put together by this former British operative named Christopher Steele. Why did you feel the need to brief the president on that at the time?

JAMES CLAPPER:

We felt that it was important that he know about it, that it was out there. And that, without respect to the veracity of the contents of the dossier, that's why it was not included as a part of our report. Because much of it could not be corroborated. And importantly, some of the sources that Mr. Steele drew on, second and third order assets, we could not validate or corroborate.


So for that reason, at least in my view, the important thing was to warn the president that this thing was out there. The Russians have a term, an acronym, called Kompromat, which they will either generate, if it's truthful or if it's contrived. And it's important, we felt, that he knew of the existence of this dossier.

CHUCK TODD:

Have you done this with other presidents? Have you had to brief them about unverified intelligence?

JAMES CLAPPER:

Yes, I’ve had occasion in the six and a half years I was DNI to tell President Obama certain things that we could not corroborate or validate, but that we just thought he ought to know it was out there.

CHUCK TODD:

All right. James Clapper, I have a feeling-- do you expect to have to testify on Capitol Hill among these things?

JAMES CLAPPER:

Oh, I don't think there's any doubt.

CHUCK TODD:

All right. Mr. Clapper, then I have a feeling we will see you on T.V. some time soon. And hopefully you'll come back here on Meet the Press. Thanks for coming on and sharing your views, sir.

JAMES CLAPPER:

Thanks very much, Chuck.
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Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:34 am

Clinton Ally Says Smoke, But No Fire: No Russia-Trump Collusion
by Ken Dilanian
NBC News
March 16, 2017

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Former Acting CIA Director Michael Morell, who endorsed Hillary Clinton and called Donald Trump a dupe of Russia, cast doubt Wednesday night on allegations that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

Morell, who was in line to become CIA director if Clinton won, said he had seen no evidence that Trump associates cooperated with Russians. He also raised questions about the dossier written by a former British intelligence officer, which alleged a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.

His comments were in sharp contrast to those of many Clinton partisans — such as former communications director Jennifer Palmieri — who have stated publicly they believe the Trump campaign cooperated with Russia’s efforts to interfere in the election against Clinton.

Morell said he had learned that the former officer, Christopher Steele, paid his key Russian sources, and interviewed them through intermediaries.

"On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all," Morell said at an event sponsored by the Cipher Brief, an intelligence web site.

"There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark. And there’s a lot of people looking for it."


Morell pointed out that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on Meet the Press on March 5 that he had seen no evidence of a conspiracy when he left office January 20.

"That’s a pretty strong statement by General Clapper," Morell said.

About the dossier, Morell said, "Unless you know the sources, and unless you know how a particular source acquired a particular piece of information, you can’t judge the information — you just can’t."

The dossier "doesn’t take you anywhere, I don’t think," he said.

He continued: "I had two questions when I first read it. One was, How did Chris talk to these sources? I have subsequently learned that he used intermediaries.

"And then I asked myself, why did these guys provide this information, what was their motivation? And I subsequently learned that he paid them. That the intermediaries paid the sources and the intermediaries got the money from Chris. And that kind of worries me a little bit because if you’re paying somebody, particularly former FSB officers, they are going to tell you truth and innuendo and rumor, and they’re going to call you up and say, ‘hey, let’s have another meeting, I have more information for you,’ because they want to get paid some more.

"I think you’ve got to take all that into consideration when you consider the dossier."

Another former CIA officer in the room pointed out that the CIA also pays its sources.

"But we know who the source is and we know how they got the information," Morell responded.

In August, Morell accused Trump of being an "unwitting agent of the Russian Federation."

Morell said Wednesday that he continues to believe that the Russian campaign of hacking, leaking and fake news, which the CIA says was designed to hurt Clinton and help Trump, was a hugely consequential action to which the U.S. has not sufficiently responded.

Putin, he said, has suffered no consequence for his unprecedented interference in the U.S. election.

"This has never happened before in American history on this scale, never not even close. And Putin did not pay any price for this — nothing, zero."
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Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:32 pm

Hillary Clinton’s Deceptive Blame-Shifting
by Robert Parry
June 1, 2017

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Exclusive: While complaining about “fake news” that undercut her campaign, Hillary Clinton continued her own “fake news” falsehood about the U.S. intelligence assessment on Russian election “meddling,” reports Robert Parry.

Hillary Clinton has grown even more insistent that she was not at fault for her stunning election defeat last November, claiming that 1,000 Russian “agents” and their American collaborators were a decisive factor, a bizarre twist that further locks the Democrats into their evidence-light “Russia-gate” obsession.

In comments at a California technology conference on Wednesday, Clinton also repeated one of her favorite falsehoods – that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies unanimously concluded that Russia hacked Democratic emails and ran a covert influence campaign against her.

Referring to a report released by President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence (DNI) on Jan. 6, Clinton asserted that “Seventeen agencies, all in agreement, which I know from my experience as a Senator and Secretary of State, is hard to get. They concluded with high confidence that the Russians ran an extensive information war campaign against my campaign, to influence voters in the election. They did it through paid advertising we think; they did it through false news sites; they did it through these thousand agents; they did it through machine learning, which you know, kept spewing out this stuff over and over again. The algorithms that they developed. So that was the conclusion.”

But Clinton’s statement is false regarding the unanimity of the 17 agencies and misleading regarding her other claims. Both former DNI James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan acknowledged in sworn testimony last month that the Jan. 6 report alleging Russian “meddling” did not involve all 17 agencies.

Clapper and Brennan stated that the report was actually the work of hand-picked analysts from only three agencies – the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation – under the oversight of the DNI’s office. In other words, there was no consensus among the 17 agencies, a process that would have involved some form of a National Intelligence Estimate (or NIE), a community-wide effort that would have included footnotes citing any dissenting views.


Instead, as Clapper testified before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on May 8, the Russia-hacking claim came from a “special intelligence community assessment” (or ICA) produced by selected analysts from the CIA, NSA and FBI, “a coordinated product from three agencies – CIA, NSA, and the FBI – not all 17 components of the intelligence community,” the former DNI said.

And, as Clapper explained, the “ICA” was something of a rush job beginning on President Obama’s instructions “in early December” and completed by Jan. 6. Clapper continued: “The two dozen or so analysts for this task were hand-picked, seasoned experts from each of the contributing agencies.”

However, as any intelligence veteran will tell you, if you hand-pick the analysts, you are really hand-picking the conclusion since the agency chiefs would know who was, say, a hardliner on Russia and who could be trusted to deliver the desired product.


On May 23, in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, former CIA Director John Brennan confirmed Clapper’s account about the three agencies involved.

“It wasn’t a full inter-agency community assessment that was coordinated among the 17 agencies, and for good reason because of the nature and the sensitivity of the information trying, once again, to keep that tightly compartmented,” Brennan said.

In other words, Clinton’s beloved claim that all 17 intelligence agencies were in agreement on the Russian “hacking” charge – an assertion that the “fact-checking” group Politifact has certified as “true” and that has been repeated endlessly by the mainstream U.S. news media – is not true. It is false. Gee, you might even call it “fake news.”


The Mysterious ‘Agents’

But Clinton’s false claim about the intelligence consensus was not her only dubious assertion. Her reference to the 1,000 Russian “agents” is not contained in the Jan. 6 report, either. It apparently derived from unconfirmed speculation from Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, who mentioned this claim at a news conference on March 30, admitting that he didn’t know if it was true.

Warner, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said: “We know about the hacking, and selective leaks, but what really concerns me as a former tech guy is at least some reports – and we’ve got to get to the bottom of this – that there were upwards of a thousand internet trolls working out of a facility in Russia, in effect taking over a series of computers which are then called botnets, that can then generate news down to specific areas.

“It’s been reported to me, and we’ve got to find this out, whether they were able to affect specific areas in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, where you would not have been receiving off of whoever your vendor might have been, Trump versus Clinton, during the waning days of the election, but instead, ‘Clinton is sick’, or ‘Clinton is taking money from whoever for some source’ … fake news.”


Of course, many stories about Clinton being sick or her taking money from special interests weren’t “fake news.” In late 2012, she suffered from a blood clot and – during the 2016 campaign – she was staggered by a bout of pneumonia. She also was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for speeches to Wall Street and other groups.

Warner didn’t specify where his information about the “trolls” came from but it paralleled a claim by freelance journalist Adam Chen who asserted in a podcast with Longform that Russian “trolls” began writing favorably about Trump in late 2015. (The CIA/FBI/NSA report also apparently alluded to the same report without mentioning the name of the journalist or specifying the number of alleged “trolls.”)

“I created this list of Russian trolls when I was researching,” Chen said, referring to a 2015 reporting project that he turned into a rather thinly sourced New York Times Magazine article accusing a Russian oligarch of funding a professional “troll” operation in St. Petersburg, Russia.
“I check on it once in a while, still. And a lot of them have turned into conservative accounts, like fake conservatives. I don’t know what’s going on, but they’re all tweeting about Donald Trump and stuff.”

Although such “troll” and “hacking” complaints are treated as a one-way street – coming only from the evil Russians – the reality is that U.S. intelligence agencies, their allies and U.S.-government-funded “non-governmental organizations” have mounted similar operations against Russia and other targets.

It is always difficult to nail down precisely where such operations are originating, but the Russians have cited previous cases of malicious hacking aimed at senior officials, including Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, whose accounts were hacked in 2013 and 2014 including publication of a false resignation and a confession of wrongdoing.

In 2015, the “Panama Papers,” a vast trove of documents purloined from a Panamanian law firm, became an investigative project that involved a USAID-funded news outlet and led to attacks on President Vladimir Putin for corruption even though his name did not appear in the documents.

So, this high-tech spy-vs.-spy game – if that’s what it is – does not appear to be originating entirely from the Russian side of the street. But the U.S. intelligence community is not going to divulge what it knows about the attacks against Russia, only what it can “assess” about Russia’s possible attacks against Western targets.

No Self-Criticism

Neither, of course, are Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party eager to engage in a serious self-criticism about how they managed to blow an extremely winnable race against an extraordinarily flawed candidate in Donald Trump. Rather than look at their own missteps and misjudgments, they are presenting themselves as innocent victims.

In Wednesday’s interview – after misrepresenting what the Jan. 6 report actually said – Clinton suggested that the Trump campaign must have colluded with the Russians in “weaponizing” the data.

“How did they know what messages to deliver?” Clinton asked. “Who told them? Who were they coordinating with, or colluding with? … [The Russians] were conveying this weaponized information and the content of it. … So the Russians — in my opinion and based on the intel and the counterintel people I’ve talked to — could not have known how best to weaponize that information unless they had been guided. … Guided by Americans and guided by people who had polling and data information.”

Although Clinton lacked any proof of this convoluted accusation, she cited as her “best example” the fact that “within one hour, one hour of the ‘Access Hollywood’ tapes being leaked [in which Trump was caught boasting about groping women], within one hour, the Russians — let’s say WikiLeaks, something — dumped the John Podesta emails.”

However, if you changed the context of this claim slightly – and made a similar jump in logic – you would surely be labeled a nutty conspiracy theorist, but instead Clinton has drawn nods of agreement for this wholly unsubstantiated speculation.


Yet, besides blaming the Russians and WikiLeaks for her loss, Clinton spread the blame even wider, for instance, to The New York Times for focusing too much on her decision to use a private email server while Secretary of State – “they covered it like it was Pearl Harbor” – and for the Times’ Nate Silver publishing optimistic odds on her chances for victory. “I also think I was the victim of a very broad assumption I was going to win,” she said.

Clinton also placed blame on the Democratic National Committee for lacking money and sophisticated technology. “I get the nomination. So I’m now the nominee of the Democratic Party. I inherit nothing from the Democratic Party,” she said. “I mean it was bankrupt; it was on the verge of insolvency; its data was mediocre to poor, nonexistent, wrong. I had to inject money into it.”

Yet, when Clinton was asked about some of her own “misjudgments,” she slipped back into the defensive posture that contributed to her troubles as a presidential candidate.

There is a lot of policy positions that we should give an extra scrub with Policy.

*CLINTON ADMITS SHE IS OUT OF TOUCH*
*CLINTON SAYS YOU NEED TO HAVE A PRIVATE AND PUBLIC POSITION ON POLICY*
*CLINTON TALKS ABOUT HOLDING WALL STREET ACCOUNTABLE ONLY FOR POLITICAL REASONS*
*CLINTON SUGGESTS WALL STREET INSIDERS ARE WHAT IS NEEDED TO FIX WALL STREET*
*CLINTON ADMITS NEEDING WALL STREET FUNDING*
*CLINTON TOUTS HER RELATIONSHIP TO WALL STREET AS A SENATOR*
*CLINTON TALKS ABOUT THE CHALLENGES RUNNING FOR OFFICE*
*CLINTON SUGGESTS SHE IS A MODERATE*
*CLINTON IS AWARE OF SECURITY CONCERNS AROUND BLACKBERRIES*
*CLINTON REMARKS ARE PRO KEYSTONE AND PRO TRADE*
*CLINTON IS MORE FAVORABLE TO CANADIAN HEALTH CARE AND SINGLE PAYER*

-- HRC Paid Speeches, by Tony Carrk


For instance, regarding why she gave lucrative speeches to Goldman Sachs between her time leaving the State Department and announcing her White House run, she answered coyly, “They paid me.”

[R]unning for office in our country takes a lot of money, and candidates have to go out and raise it. New York is probably the leading site for contributions for fundraising for candidates on both sides of the aisle, and it’s also our economic center. And there are a lot of people here who should ask some tough questions before handing over campaign contributions to people who were really playing chicken with our whole economy.” [Goldman Sachs AIMS Alternative Investments Symposium, 10/24/13]

-- HRC Paid Speeches, by Tony Carrk


When pressed on the point, Clinton retreated behind the sanctity of the 9/11 terror attack and the issue of women’s rights. Reminded that “you’re not somebody who needed that money for the next week’s shopping, and you knew you might run, so why do it?” – she responded:

“The most common thing that I talked about in all those speeches was the hunt for Bin Laden. You know, that was one of the central missions that I felt from the time the towers fell on 9/11 as a Senator from New York.”

Table of Contents:

AWKWARD ........................................................ 3
BENGHAZI/LIBYA .............................................. 3
BIG GOVERNMENT ........................................... 5
BUDGET ............................................................. 5
CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS .......................... 5
CHINA ................................................................. 7
CLINTON FOUNDATION .................................. 10
GIUSTRA, FRANK ............................................... 11
CRUZ, TED ....................................................... 11
CUBA ................................................................ 11
CYBERSECURITY ........................................... 12
DEBT LIMIT ...................................................... 13
EDUCATION .................................................... 13
EGYPT .............................................................. 13
EQUAL PAY ..................................................... 16
EMAIL ............................................................... 17
EMANUEL, RAHM ............................................ 18
ENERGY ........................................................... 19
CONTINUING TO USE FOSSIL FUELS ..................... 19
DOMESTIC GAS PRODUCTION .............................. 20
KEYSTONE PIPELINE ........................................... 23
NUCLEAR POWER .............................................. 23
PROMOTING FRACKING GLOBALLY ....................... 23
REDUCING EMISSIONS ........................................ 25
EUROPE ........................................................... 25
GOVERNMENT SURVEILLANCE .................... 26
GUNS ................................................................ 29
HAITI ................................................................. 29
HEALTH CARE ................................................. 30
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT ..................................... 30
EMPLOYER-BASED MODEL .................................. 31
IMPROVING ON THE FEE-FOR-SERVICE MODEL ...... 32
LOWERING COSTS .............................................. 32
MEDICAL DEVICES ............................................. 33
RX .................................................................. 33
SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH CARE ............................. 33
UNIVERSAL COVERAGE ....................................... 34
CANADA ........................................................... 35
HELPING CORPORATIONS ............................ 35
HOUSING ......................................................... 38
IMMIGRATION ................................................. 39
AMERICAN JOBS ................................................ 40
SECURITY ........................................................ 40
VISAS .............................................................. 40
INCOME INEQUALITY ...................................... 41
IRAN ................................................................. 43
ISLAM ............................................................... 46
ISRAEL ............................................................. 46
JAPAN .............................................................. 47
MARIJUANA .................................................... 47
MEXICO ............................................................ 48
MEDIA .............................................................. 48
NORTH KOREA ................................................ 48
PERSONAL STORIES ...................................... 49
MARINE RECRUITERS ......................................... 49
IMMIGRANT GRANDPARENTS ................................ 49
FATHER’S FOOTBALL SCHOLARSHIP ..................... 49
PERSONAL WEALTH ...................................... 49
PIVOT TO ASIA ................................................ 50
POLITICS ......................................................... 50
PRO-FREE TRADE ........................................... 55
REDUCING REGULATIONS ............................ 58
REFUGEES ...................................................... 59
RUSSIA ............................................................ 59
SHANGHAI EXPO ............................................. 61
SIMPSON-BOWLES ......................................... 62
SYRIA ............................................................... 63
TAXES .............................................................. 68
CORPORATE TAXES ............................................ 69
SIMPLIFYING TAX CODE ...................................... 70
TECHNOLOGY/NEW ECONOMY .................... 70
TERRORISM .................................................... 70
UNPAID INTERNSHIPS .................................... 71
WALL STREET ................................................ 71
BLAME FOR FINANCIAL CRISIS ............................. 71
FUTURES MARKETS ............................................ 71
GOALS OF WALL STREET .................................... 72
PRAISING WALL STREET ..................................... 72
DODD-FRANK ................................................... 74
REGULATORS FROM WALL STREET ...................... 75
REPRESENTING WALL STREET ............................ 75
WAL-MART ...................................................... 76

-- HRC Paid Speeches, by Tony Carrk


Then, Clinton added, “you know, men got paid for the speeches they made. I got paid for the speeches I made. And it [the paid-speech issue] was used, and I thought it was unfairly used.”

Blocking Witnesses

So, while the Democrats dig themselves deeper into the so-far empty pit of blaming Russia for their electoral disaster, the Russia-gate investigation continues to take on other curious aspects, such as an unwillingness to hear from some of Donald Trump’s advisers who have been named in accusations and who have volunteered to testify publicly.

On Wednesday, Carter Page, a Navy veteran and businessman who had lived in Russia, announced that his plans to defend himself in testimony next week before the House Intelligence Committee had been placed on hold by the Democrats.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the committee and a major sparkplug powering the investigation, offered a curious denial of Page’s complaint while confirming the truth of it.

The New York Times, which has been another advocate for blaming Russia, phrased the postponement of Page’s testimony as if Page were the unreasonable one, reporting:

“Representative Adam Schiff … dismissed accusations from Carter Page, another Trump adviser who is under scrutiny, that the committee is preventing him from testifying. Mr. Schiff …. said the investigation would first review relevant documents before interviewing witnesses.”

In other words, Page, who has been portrayed via intelligence leaks to the news media as essentially a traitor, won’t be given the opportunity to defend his reputation until Schiff and the other Democrats decide the time is ripe.

Yet, it’s not as if the House Intelligence Committee has not taken public testimony about Russia-gate. For instance, former CIA Director Brennan was allowed to speak indirectly about Page and other possibly treasonous Americans amid media reports naming Page as one of those suspected Russian “agents.”

Normal investigations grant the people under attack at least the opportunity to defend themselves and their reputations in a timely fashion, rather than make them live under the cloud of suspicion without having a chance to state their case.

If their sworn testimony is later undermined by evidence developed by investigators, the witnesses can be called back and called out on possible perjury. So, it’s not as if Schiff and the other Democrats are surrendering prerogatives by letting Page testify now rather than later. Indeed, Page would be putting himself in legal jeopardy if he is caught lying.

Even the Republican-driven “Benghazi investigation,” which also had the look of an over-the-top “witch hunt,” gave Secretary of State Clinton and other Obama administration officials multiple opportunities to explain their response to the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate.

But, so far, a similar courtesy has not been extended to the targets of the Russia-gate investigation.


Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).
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Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:02 pm

New Cracks in Russia-gate ‘Assessment’
by Robert Parry
May 23, 2017

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Exclusive: President Obama’s ex-intelligence chiefs admit they limited input into the Russia-gate “assessment,” which was handled by “hand-picked” analysts, raising the specter of politicized intelligence, Robert Parry reports.

At the center of the Russia-gate scandal is a curious U.S. intelligence “assessment” that was pulled together in less than a month and excluded many of the agencies that would normally weigh in on such an important topic as whether Russia tried to influence the outcome of a U.S. presidential election.

The Jan. 6 report and its allegation that Russia “hacked” Democratic emails and publicized them through WikiLeaks have been treated as gospel by the mainstream U.S. media and many politicians of both parties, but two senior Obama administration intelligence officials have provided new information that raises fresh doubts about the findings.

On Tuesday, former CIA Director John Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee that only four of the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies took part in the assessment, relying on analysts from the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the oversight of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Brennan said the report “followed the general model of how you want to do something like this with some notable exceptions. It only involved the FBI, NSA and CIA as well as the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. It wasn’t a full inter-agency community assessment that was coordinated among the 17 agencies, and for good reason because of the nature and the sensitivity of the information trying, once again, to keep that tightly compartmented.”


But Brennan’s excuse about “tightly compartmented” information was somewhat disingenuous because other intelligence agencies, such as the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), could have been consulted in a limited fashion, based on their areas of expertise. For instance, INR could have weighed in on whether Russian President Vladimir Putin would have taken the risk of trying to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s campaign, knowing that – if she won as expected and learned of the operation – she might have sought revenge against him and his country.

The Jan. 6 report argued one side of the case – that Putin had a motive for undermining Clinton because he objected to her work as Secretary of State when she encouraged anti-Putin protests inside Russia – but the report ignored the counter-argument that the usually cautious Putin might well have feared infuriating the incoming U.S. President if the anti-Clinton ploy failed to block her election.

A balanced intelligence assessment would have included not just arguments for believing that the Russians did supply the Democratic emails to WikiLeaks but the reasons to doubt that they did.

Pre-Cooked Intelligence

However, the restricted nature of the Jan. 6 report – limiting it to analysts from CIA, NSA and FBI – blocked the kind of expertise that the State Department, the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies might have provided. In other words, the Jan. 6 report has the look of pre-cooked intelligence.

That impression was further strengthened by the admission of former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on May 8 that “the two dozen or so analysts for this task were hand-picked, seasoned experts from each of the contributing agencies.”

Yet, as any intelligence expert will tell you, if you “hand-pick” the analysts, you are really hand-picking the conclusion. For instance, if the analysts were known to be hard-liners on Russia or supporters of Hillary Clinton, they could be expected to deliver the one-sided report that they did.


In the history of U.S. intelligence, we have seen how this approach has worked, such as the determination of the Reagan administration to pin the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II and other acts of terror on the Soviet Union.

CIA Director William Casey and Deputy Director Robert Gates shepherded the desired findings through the process by putting the assessment under the control of pliable analysts and sidelining those who objected to this politicization of intelligence.

The point of enlisting the broader intelligence community – and incorporating dissents into a final report – is to guard against such “stove-piping” of intelligence that delivers the politically desired result but ultimately distorts reality.

Another painful example of politicized intelligence was President George W. Bush’s 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq’s WMD that removed INR’s and other dissents from the declassified version that was given to the public.


Lacking Evidence

The Jan. 6 report – technically called an Intelligence Community Assessment (or ICA) – avoided the need to remove any dissents by excluding the intelligence agencies that might have dissented and by hand-picking the analysts who compiled the report.

However, like the declassified version of the Iraq NIE, the Russia-gate ICA lacked any solid evidence to support the conclusions. The ICA basically demanded that the American public “trust us” and got away with that bluff because much of the mainstream U.S. news media wanted to believe anything negative about then-President-elect Trump.

Because of that, the American people were repeatedly – and falsely – informed that the findings about Russian “hacking” reflected the collective judgment of all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies, making anyone who dared question the conclusion seem like a crackpot or a “Russian apologist.”

Yet, based on the testimonies of Clapper and Brennan, we now know that the ICA represented only a hand-picked selection of the intelligence community – four, not 17, agencies.


There were other biases reflected in the ICA, such as a bizarre appendix that excoriated RT, the Russian television network, for supposedly undermining Americans’ confidence in their democratic process.

This seven-page appendix, dating from 2012, accused RT of portraying “the US electoral process as undemocratic” and offered such “proof” as RT’s staging of a debate among third-party presidential candidates who had been excluded from the Republican-Democratic debates between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.

“RT broadcast, hosted and advertised third-party candidate debates,” the report said, as if allowing political figures in the United States who were not part of the two-party system to express their views, was somehow anti-democratic, when you might think that letting Americans hear alternatives was the essence of democracy.

“The RT hosts asserted that the US two-party system does not represent the views of at least one-third of the population and is a ‘sham,’” the report continued. Yet, polls have shown that large numbers of Americans would prefer more choices than the usual two candidates and, indeed, most Western democracies have multiple parties, So, the implicit RT criticism of the U.S. political process is certainly not out of the ordinary.

The report also took RT to task for covering the Occupy Wall Street movement and for reporting on the environmental dangers from “fracking,” topics cited as further proof that the Russian government was using RT to weaken U.S. public support for Washington’s policies (although, again, these are topics of genuine public interest).

Assessing or Guessing

But at least the appendix offered up some “evidence” – as silly as those examples might have been. The main body of the report amounted to one “assessment” after another with no verifiable evidence included, at least in the unclassified version that the American people were allowed to see.

The report also contained a warning about how unreliable these “assessments” could be: “Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation, and precedents.”

In other words, “assessing” in intelligence terms often equates with “guessing” – and if the guessers are hand-picked by political appointees – it shouldn’t be surprising that they would come up with an “assessment” that would please their bosses, in this case, President Obama and his appointees at CIA, NSA, FBI and ODNI.


The timing and speed of the Jan. 6 report also drew some attention at Tuesday’s House Intelligence Committee hearing, where Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-New York, noted that President Obama requested the ICA on Dec. 9 and the last entry was dated Dec. 29.

“This report was produced in just 20 days in December,” Stefanik said, adding: “It’s of concern to me that there was a two-month lag” between when Obama’s intelligence agencies first alleged Russian “hacking” of Democratic emails and when Obama ordered the ICA.

Of course, the ICA’s flaws do not mean that Russia is innocent or that WikiLeaks is telling the truth when it asserts that the two batches of Democratic emails – one from the Democratic National Committee and the other from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta – did not come from the Russians.

But the Jan. 6 report has served as the foundation for a series of investigations that have hobbled the Trump administration and could lead to the negation of a U.S. presidential election via the impeachment or forced resignation of President Trump.

The seriousness of that possibility would seem to demand the most thorough examination and the fullest vetting of the evidence. Even just the appearance that the ICA might be one more case of politicized intelligence would do more to destroy Americans’ faith in their democratic system than anything that Putin might dream up.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).
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Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:03 pm

Dmitry Medvedev Twitter account hacked: Hoaxers post messages saying Russian PM is resigning to become a photographer, and subverting Crimea hashtag
Alec Luhn in Moscow
14 August 2014

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Image

The Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev's well-known love for technology led to embarrassment on Thursday as hackers reportedly accessed his Twitter account and unleashed a barrage of hoax tweets.

"I'm resigning. I'm ashamed by the actions of the government. Forgive me," read one message from Medvedev's account that was retweeted thousands of times before it was removed.

The tweets also purported to reveal that the prime minister planned to become a freelance photographer (Medvedev is a keen amateur), as well as what he really thinks of Vladimir Putin, for whom he kept the presidential seat warm from 2008 to 2012: "I've wanted to say this for a long time. Vova, you're wrong!"

Another tweet read: "#CrimeaIsNotOurs please retweet," playing on the Russian-language hashtag #CrimeaIsOurs that became popular after Moscow annexed the Ukrainian peninsula. Medvedev and Putin are currently on an official visit to Crimea.


The government's press service said on Thursday that Medvedev's account had been hacked and that the account's security had since been strengthened.

"It's obvious that this was a hooligan hacker prank," the presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on the radio station Ekho Moskvy. "It shows once again the need to constantly observe the necessary level of security."

A group called Shaltay Boltay ("Humpty Dumpty" in Russian) appeared to claim credit, tweeting a screenshot of Medvedev's resignation tweet with the caption: "Ahha, well you understood ;)".

Image
Shaltay Boltay @b0ltai
Ахха, ну вы поняли ;)
11:14 PM - Aug 13, 2014


Last month, Shaltay Boltay published leaked emails that it said came from the account of the deputy prime minister and former Medvedev aide Arkady Dvorkovich, after which Russia's communications watchdog blocked its blog and Twitter account.

The group also claimed to have "several emails including a Gmail and the contents of three iPhones of a certain prime minister", and tweeted photographs of a government meeting from the vantage point of where Medvedev would have chaired it.

Image
Shaltay Boltay @b0ltai
Совершенно случайно эти интересные фото попали к нам. Видимо из личного айфона кем-то взломанного @MedvedevRussia
12:27 AM - Aug 14, 2014


In a subsequent blogpost, it published emails from several accounts that it said belonged to Medvedev, including receipts for technology purchases and a picture of him in a peasant shirt.

While Putin is a proud luddite, saying he doesn't own a mobile phone and rarely goes on the internet, Medvedev is famous for embracing social media and gadgets. He first joined Twitter on a visit to the company's headquarters in Silicon Valley in 2010.

In 2013, Medvedev's page on the Russian social network VKontakte was broken into and songs full of obscenities were posted to it.

In the wake of the Dvorkovich emails leak, the Russian parliament has been discussing legislation to make sending official information through non-governmental email services a crime.

Anton Nosik, a blogger and web entrepreneur, said it would not have been difficult for someone to steal the password to Medvedev's account, since it was likely that several staffers had access to it and did not use additional security measures linked to one person's phone number.

He said Shaltay Boltay could be claiming credit for publicity purposes. While the group may have obtained data from Medvedev's email accounts and iPhones, Nosik said some other phishing operation probably hacked the Twitter account, since the jokes seemed spontaneous and the damage was easy to reverse.

"They illegally access info and share it. What they never do is deface something," Nosik said, comparing the group to whistleblowers like Julian Assange. "They have access to many accounts. If they were into impersonation, they could have impersonated the entire government. They have usernames and passwords and access to the emails to which those accounts are registered."

Nosik was sceptical of attempts to improve security by forcing officials to use a government email system. "Once you are using servers that are not compatible with the rest of world and maintained by federal agencies, you are offering an unidentified number of our homegrown spies a chance to spy on you," he said. "I believe [officials are] more afraid of their rivals within than they're afraid of the NSA and so forth."
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Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:17 pm

‘Getting Trump’ with the New McCarthyism
by Robert Parry
May 24, 2017

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Special Report: Many Democrats and progressives are embracing a New McCarthyism in their drive to negate last November’s election and remove President Trump from office, but is that right, asks Robert Parry.

Yes, I get it. A lot of people want to remove Donald Trump from the presidency for a lot of understandable reasons: his breathtaking incompetence, his relentless narcissism, his destructive policies, etc. But he was elected under the U.S. constitutional system. He may have lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by nearly three million ballots but he did prevail in the Electoral College.

Image
Sen. Joseph McCarthy with lawyer Roy Cohn (right).

And, unlike George W. Bush, who also lost the popular vote, Trump didn’t have to steal Florida – and thus the White House – by enlisting Republican justices on the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the vote count prematurely. We now know that if all the ballots considered legal under Florida law had been counted Al Gore would have won regardless of which standard of “chad” was used. But Trump didn’t have to resort to such bald-faced cheating.

And, yes, of course, there were many other problems with the election, such as Republican efforts to suppress African-American and other minority votes. But it’s not as if the U.S. electoral process has ever been the gold standard of democracy that some Americans like to believe. The system has now – and always has had – serious shortcomings, but it also has enabled the diverse United States to function for more than two centuries without major political violence, with the exception of the Civil War when the process broke down over the South’s insistence on slavery.

So, whether one likes it or not – and many people really don’t like it – Donald Trump is the constitutionally elected President of the United States. And, despite the many imperfections in that electoral process, the idea of negating a presidential election is very serious business.

Whatever the hurt feelings of the editors at The New York Times and The Washington Post, whatever snarky jokes are told on late-night TV, whatever connect-the-dots conspiracy theories are popular on MSNBC, the idea of telling 63 million Americans that their votes don’t count, that the elites know best, that the President who won under the rules of the game must be ridden out of Washington on a rail will not go down as easily as some people think.


New McCarthyism

National Democrats and many progressives are also embracing a troubling New McCarthyism to justify what amounts to a “soft coup” against Trump.

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Gen. Jack D.Ripper, played by actor Sterling Hayden in “Dr. Strangelove.”

In a normal world – after Tuesday’s testimony before the House Intelligence Committee – former CIA Director John Brennan would have been led away in a straitjacket or given the role of General Jack D. Ripper in a remake of the Cold War dark comedy, “Dr. Strangelove.” Instead, Brennan’s Russo-phobic ramblings were made the lead story in the Times, the Post and other major American newspapers.

While General Ripper worried about Russian operatives polluting our “precious bodily fluids,” Brennan warned that any conversation with a Russian or some Russian intermediary might put Americans on a treasonous path even if they “do not even realize they are on that path until it gets too late.”

He also testified, “I know what the Russians try to do. They try to suborn individuals and try to get individuals, including U.S. individuals, to act on their behalf, wittingly or unwittingly.” In other words, any American who has some contact with Russia or Russians may be a spy or mole whether he or she knows it or not. Subversion or possible subversion is everywhere. Trust no one.

Yes, I’m sure those devious Russ-kies do what all intelligence agencies, including the CIA, seek to do. And, in many cases, there is nothing wrong with the process. Unofficial give-and-take between adversaries can increase understanding – and that can be especially important to the future of humankind when the United States and Russia are still armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons.

Indeed, such informal contacts may have helped avert nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis when Washington-based KGB station chief Aleksandr Feklisov approached ABC News correspondent John Scali with a plan to dismantle missile bases in Cuba in return for a U.S. pledge not to invade Cuba. Though there remain historical questions about the significance of that initiative, it shows the value that such contacts can have despite the alarmist concerns raised by the likes of Brennan. In the New Cold War, we’d have to investigate Scali’s loyalty.

Despite the paranoid fantasies, Brennan’s testimony was widely praised as he suggested that any dealing with Russia or Russians or Russian businesses or possible Russian cutouts could put an American under counterintelligence suspicions because, hey, you never know.

“We see that Russian intelligence agencies do not hesitate at all to use private companies and Russian persons who are unaffiliated with the Russian government to support their objectives,” Brennan warned.

No Edward R. Murrow

There was a time when some Democrats, some Republicans and a few courageous journalists objected to this kind of broad-brush challenge to the patriotism of American citizens. CBS News correspondent Edward R. Murrow famously stood up to Sen. Joe McCarthy and his Red Scare in the 1950s. It was then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton who chastised President George H.W. Bush during a 1992 presidential debate for making an issue of Clinton’s student trip to Moscow during the Cold War.

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Legendary CBS News’ correspondent Edward R. Murrow.

After Bush referenced Clinton’s Moscow visit, Clinton hit back: “When Joe McCarthy went around this country attacking people’s patriotism, he was wrong. He was wrong, and a senator from Connecticut stood up to him, named Prescott Bush. Your father was right to stand up to Joe McCarthy. You were wrong to attack my patriotism.”

But that was then. These days, Hillary Clinton and her Democratic allies have led the smearing of Trump supporters as possible Kremlin agents, albeit without proof of the so-called “collusion” or even clear evidence that Russia did “meddle” in last November’s election.

And the backdrop for this New Cold War is that since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 – and the end of the Old Cold War – many Americans have done business in Russia and many Russians have invested in the United States. A Russian oligarch, Mikhail Prokhorov, even owns the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association.

The recent tensions are also not entirely the making of Russia or its President Vladimir Putin. The past several U.S. administrations have exploited the disarray from the Soviet collapse to push NATO up to Russia’s borders.

U.S. officials also encouraged the violent 2014 putsch in Ukraine that overthrew elected President Viktor Yanukovych. Actively involved in Yanukovych’s overthrow were senior U.S. officials, including Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, and Sen. John McCain. Several weeks before the coup, Nuland and Pyatt were caught on an unsecure phone line discussing who should take over the Ukrainian government and musing how to “midwife” or “glue this thing.”

The coup also followed the specific targeting of Ukraine as “the biggest prize” by neocon Carl Gershman, the president of the U.S.-government-funded National Endowment for Democracy, which sponsored scores of political and media operations inside Ukraine. (Gershman is now calling for regime change in Russia.)

But the U.S. mainstream media essentially ignored this evidence of U.S. complicity in the Ukraine coup and accepted the State Department’s propaganda line that the post-coup resistance to Yanukovych’s overthrow among ethnic Russians in Crimea and eastern Ukraine was simply the result of “Russian aggression.” The New York Times even denied that there had been a coup in an article that studiously ignored the evidence that there had been a coup, including the Nuland-Pyatt phone call.


Swallowing U.S. Propaganda

Similarly, the mainstream U.S. media has swallowed every evidence-free claim from the Obama administration’s intelligence agencies without any skepticism. Indeed, the MSM has hyped those claims beyond even what the Obame team says by ignoring factual admissions from former CIA Director Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper about the limited nature of the intelligence “assessment” on Russian election interference.

The MSM has so enjoyed claiming that the Russian “meddling” allegations are the consensus judgment of all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies that a blind eye and a deaf ear have been turned to Brennan and Clapper contradicting that beloved groupthink.

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Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (right) talks with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, with John Brennan and other national security aides present. (Photo credit: Office of Director of National Intelligence)

In recent testimony, Clapper and Brennan acknowledged that the Jan. 6 report alleging Russian “meddling” was actually the work of hand-picked analysts from only four agencies – the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation under the oversight of the DNI’s office. But that fact continues to be ignored by the MSM, with the Post on Wednesday castigating Trump for refusing “to fully accept the unanimous conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies.”

If a non-MSM news outlet had published such a misleading claim from a different perspective – after U.S. senior officials had denied it – we would be hearing charges of “fake news” or perhaps accusations of “Russian disinformation.” But clearly the Post doesn’t want to give up on this formulation of unanimity among the 17 intelligence agencies even if it’s not true.

The Post must feel that it’s less impressive to say that the Russia-did-it conclusion was reached by “hand-picked” analysts at four agencies while other intelligence agencies, which could have supplied important context, such as the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, were excluded.

What has also been remarkable about the months-long investigations into alleged Russian “meddling” is how little evidence has been evinced to support the accusations. While there has been a parade of Obama appointees testifying before Congress – making broad accusations while demurring whenever evidence is requested on the grounds of secrecy or privacy – we haven’t heard from any of the people accused of having these untoward contacts with Russians, even though some have volunteered to testify.

“I’m not going to identify the individuals [under suspicion] because this is information that, again, is based on classified sources and intelligence,” Brennan said on Tuesday, although the identities of the suspected “traitors” have been widely publicized through leaks to the major U.S. news media.

Speaking Up

One of those Americans, onetime Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page, responded to Brennan’s testimony in a letter to the House Intelligence Committee.

Page noted he was “an unpaid, informal” adviser to the campaign and “throughout my interactions with the Russians in 2016, I consistently made it crystal clear that all of my benign statements and harmless actions in Moscow as well as elsewhere overseas were solely made as a scholar and a business person speaking only on behalf of myself. In other words, in no way connected to then-candidate Trump. Both in Russia and in countries around the world, this was precisely the same position I had maintained stretching back over a decade.”

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Former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

Regarding Brennan’s demurral about naming names, Page pointed out that it has been widely reported that he was put under a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant. According to press accounts, that was, in part, because of a speech he made in Moscow in 2016. His identity, in communications intercepted by U.S. intelligence, had already been “unmasked” or exposed to the public, but whatever evidence there is against him has been hidden.

Page wrote: “underscoring what a complete mockery this process has become, my identity has already been publicly revealed in the wake of the felonies committed [by the Obama administration, including] baseless FISA warrant, Male-1 unmasking, etc.).

“Serving as a loyal Clinton/Obama regime surrogate, Brennan’s spineless practice of hiding behind this lame confidentiality excuse rather than taking any responsibility for their illegal actions only stirs up more misunderstanding and illegitimate fears which continue to damage our great country. This further underscores the urgent need for the public disclosure of these related documents.”

Joining the Stampede

Yet, congressional Democrats have recognized the political gain that they can extract from this New McCarthyism, as reflected in an exchange between Rep. Jim Himes, D-Connecticut, and Brennan at Tuesday’s hearing. Himes cited a report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a leading think tank for the Military-Industrial Complex.

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CIA Director John Brennan addresses officials at the Agency’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia. (Photo credit: CIA)

Himes said: “I want to use my five minutes to try to paint a more specific picture around the methods and mechanisms that the Russians used to suborn … our democracy and our electoral process. And I want to start with a quote by a report I know you’re familiar with, CSIS’ report, ‘The Kremlin Playbook’ in which they say that Russia, quote, ‘Seeks to corrode democracy from within by deepening political divides,’ unquote.

“The Russians stir the pot, heighten anxieties and know that when they trigger chaos, even if it ends up negatively affecting them, that they are serving the purpose of weakening us. I want to talk about people because you made reference to people and I don’t want to do it specifically, I want to do it in the abstract.

“‘The Kremlin Playbook’ … says further that Russia looks to corrode democracy by, quote, ‘Investing in rising politicians, cultivating relationships with prominent businessmen, or helping to ensure that its business affiliates become well-positioned in government.’

“Mr. Brennan, assuming that you agree with that, how specifically has the Kremlin gone about cultivating relationships with key Americans in an effort … to influence our policy?”

Brennan: “It is traditional intelligence collection tradecraft … to identify individuals that you think are either very influential or rising stars, and you will try to develop a relationship with them and the Russians frequently will do that through cutouts or through false-flag operations. They won’t identify themselves as Russians or as members of Russian government. They will try to develop a personal relationship and then over time they will try to get individuals to do things on their behalf.

“And that’s why again, having been involved in a lot of counterintelligence cases over the years and seeing this pattern over and over again, my radar goes up when I see that the Russians are actively involved in a particular intelligence operational campaign and that U.S. persons are being contacted by Russian officials. … these are contacts that might’ve been totally, totally innocent and benign as well as those that might have succumbed somehow to those Russian efforts. …”

Himes: “do Americans who are suborned in such a way … do they necessarily need to know that they are doing Russia’s bidding?”

Brennan: “No, many times they do not. They do not even know that the person that they’re interacting with is a Russian. Many times they know that individuals may be Russian officials, but they don’t know that there is an intelligence connection or intelligence motive for behind it. …”

No Doubts

Himes: “There’s hardly anyone left today who doubts that Russia attacked us, but we have to realize the true thrust of the Russian attack is what they have triggered in us, the partisanship. Every time we refuse to face facts, every time we attack the messenger rather than confront the actions that happened, every time we undercut our allies in our alliances and our values, I think we’re playing precisely in the Russians fondest hopes.

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A scene from “Dr. Strangelove,” in which the bomber pilot (played by actor Slim Pickens) rides a nuclear bomb to its target in the Soviet Union.

“We’re doing something about that in my opinion, the gray, cold warriors, be it Ronald Reagan or Harry Truman would never have allowed.”

Responding to Hines’s comments, Page wrote: “This offers a precise depiction of the Clinton/Obama regime’s playbook based on their continued false evidence regarding former Trump campaign supporters such as myself, in the wake of their sad disappointment as sore losers. Immediate disclosure of their falsified FISA warrant documents upon which these same tactics were based last year is an essential way to cease this process which has been weakening all Americans.”

Page added, “Other gray, cold warriors of bygone eras had J. Edgar Hoover and Joseph McCarthy to do precisely this dirty work: attacking the messengers. In other words, attacking those who wanted to see positive changes in their country’s policies based on realistic strategies which can benefit all citizens while creating a viable pathway to increased peace around the world.”

A core problem with what Brennan and other Obama administration officials have set in motion is that the suspicions are so vague at this point – even some 10 months into the investigation – that a paranoia has taken over. There is a McCarthyistic element to these allegations, including guilt by association regarding any contact with any Russian or even some intermediary who might somehow be a Russian “false-flag.” Anyone or everyone might be a Russian “mole.”

So, yes, I get the desire to get rid of Trump because of his unfitness and ineptness. But the “Russia thing” – as Trump calls it – is unleashing an ugliness that many of us thought was a thing of the past, an era of evidence-free accusations of disloyalty and a crazed hostility toward the other nuclear superpower that could end in a miscalculation that could end life on the planet. Is this really what Democrats and progressives want to embrace?

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).
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Re: Our Man in London: The Scandal of the 35-Page ‘Intellige

Postby admin » Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:49 pm

Poll: Mass Media Has Duped Democrats Into Believing Russia Hacked Voting Machines
by Caitlin Johnstone
May 30, 2017

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


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A recent YouGov poll shows that most Democrats believe it is “definitely true” or “probably true” that Russia tampered with vote tallies in order to get Donald Trump elected. These poll results have been out for more than a week, so naturally one could expect a Google search to turn up a bunch of articles by the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN and other mainstream media outlets hastening to correct this widespread misinformation.

Right?

Of course not. There are precisely zero establishment outlets correcting this completely evidence-free belief that has become so widespread, despite the fact that corporate media outlets have been directly responsible for its promulgation by their repeated use of the phrase “election hacking” in their headlines and reports in the months following the November election.

WikiLeaks ✔ @wikileaks
59% of Democrats say that Russia tampered with vote tallies despite no evidence and FBI, DHS denials #journalism http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cu ... Report.pdf
6:28 AM - May 27, 2017


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This proves intent. These corporate media outlets fell all over themselves last week in a mad scramble to make sure that everyone in America felt dirty and ashamed if they took any interest in the Seth Rich case, but they have expended exactly zero energy correcting an outrageous, xenophobia-inducing fact-free conspiracy theory that they themselves helped promulgate, and which is far more widespread than interest in the Seth Rich case has ever been. This proves beyond a doubt that the false belief that Russia literally hacked America’s voting system has been intentionally inflicted upon the public by the mass media propaganda machine.

In late 2003, half a year after US and coalition forces invaded Iraq, a poll by USA Today found that 70 percent of Americans still believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11. They didn’t believe this because the mass media was directly saying “Saddam did 9/11”; they would have lost the public’s trust if they’d directly promulgated such an outrageous falsehood. The public subscribed to this false belief because corporate media reporters consistently mentioned the September 11 terrorist attacks in the same breath as they mentioned the falsified intelligence reports stating that the Iraqi government had weapons of mass destruction and intended to facilitate their use on American soil. This misperception successfully manufactured public support for a regime change invasion that claimed the lives of a million innocent Iraqis.

In exactly the same way, reports and headlines marrying the words “election” and “hacking” have deliberately created this misperception among liberal Americans. Establishment politicians have been using their mass media-aided platforms to advance this false narrative as well, with corporate Democrats like Cory Booker openly claiming that Russia directly undermined the ability of Americans to express their opinions at the polls, as in this Facebook video which received over a million views:



Mass media outlets could correct this widespread false perception, but they choose not to. The fact that a week has gone by without a single mainstream outlet lifting a finger to address the misperception that this poll highlighted should prove to any doubters that these mass media corporations are not your friend. They don’t publish reports to help create an informed citizenry, they publish reports to manipulate the public into consenting to the establishment agenda. They weren’t telling us to shut up about Seth Rich because they love us and don’t want people to be misguided, they were telling us to shut up about Seth Rich because it was an unauthorised story outside the establishment narrative. They aren’t telling us that Putin is out to get us because they want us to know what’s going on, they’re telling us that Putin is out to get us because they don’t want us to know what’s going on.

America’s unelected power establishment has been trying to get its shriveled corporatist dick into Syria for a long, long time, and Russia’s direct military involvement in that strategically crucial nation has thrown a major monkey wrench in those plans. The fact that Putin is taking such bold actions, as well as annexing the strategically valuable Crimean peninsula from America’s puppet regime in Ukraine and collaborating with China to undermine the hegemony of the US dollar in the east means the US power establishment must push for regime change not just in Damascus, but in Moscow as well. And it is openly admitting to its desire to do this; Congressman Eric Swalwell told Fox’s Tucker Carlson in March that the plan for Russia is to “squeeze their economy” with “tougher sanctions” to the point that it “cuts off Russia from the rest of the world” in order to “hurt [Putin’s] popularity”.



In order to escalate tensions with a nuclear superpower for nothing but geopolitical power that benefits no one other than a few plutocrats, America’s power establishment needs to manufacture the consent of the governed. Without that consent, they’d be dealing with 320 million angry, heavily-armed Americans who’ve got a problem with the way their government is risking their lives by playing nuclear brinkmanship with NATO troop amassment long the Russian border and a needless military presence in Syria.

Without the mass media propaganda machine, it would never in a million years occur to any American that any of this is normal. It would never occur to normal Americans that they should worry about some icy potato patch on the other side of the planet unless the media was constantly telling them it’s attacking their democracy. It would never occur to normal Americans that their government should be involving itself in the affairs of other nations while they themselves face growing poverty and go without healthcare. The insane behaviors of the US oligarchs would never be consented to without the constant assurance of the oligarch-owned media conglomerates that this is all a perfectly normal and healthy way to go about life.

Caitlin Johnstone @caitoz
If you live in a corporatist state like the US, then corporate media IS state media. The ruling class controls the media. It is propaganda.
6:57 AM - May 19, 2017


The majority of Democrats believe that Russia directly manipulated America’s vote tallies because the ruling class wants the majority of Democrats to believe that Russia directly manipulated America’s vote tallies. The more fear and hostility they can generate toward Russia, the more escalation and confrontation the public will unquestioningly consent to.



Neoconservatism first emerged in the 1970s in the US because some Americans wanted a more hawkish stance toward the USSR, and it originally surfaced within the Democratic party. Using the mass media, the American deep state has successfully pulled the Democratic party back into neoconservatism and pointed it right back at Russia, right where they were a few decades ago. Using a nonstop barrage of mass media psy-ops, they’ve successfully transformed liberal Democrats into a bunch of McCarthyist, xenophobic neocons who unquestioningly support insane world-threatening escalations.

The alternative media threatens the establishment’s ability to do things like this, which is why they completely lose their shit whenever the public gets interested in a narrative that the establishment didn’t authorize, like pedogate or Seth Rich. If the American people should ever become capable of deciding for themselves what the major story of the day should be, the ability of the mass media machine to corral them all into a specific narrative will fall apart. So let’s keep refusing to play along with their stories and keep pushing what we want to talk about. They will push back hard, and it will force them to overextend themselves, where they’ll make mistakes and expose gaping plot holes. Join the media war and help bring these unelected bastards down.
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