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[] Catherine Herridge: Memo indicates Peter Strzok approved his own draft to open the Crossfire Hurricane investigation Published:9/14/2020 6:10:55 PM
[Markets] "Everyone In The City Was Ready For War" - Terrifying Eye-Witness Account Of The Kenosha Riots "Everyone In The City Was Ready For War" - Terrifying Eye-Witness Account Of The Kenosha Riots Tyler Durden Mon, 09/14/2020 - 19:00

Authored by Daisy Luther via The Organic Prepper blog,

Much has been written about surviving riots and civil unrest. But there’s nothing like a firsthand account to bring it to life.

We shared an eye-witness story from a National Guard member who told us about the Seattle riots. Another writershared her family’s experience during the Ferguson riots. We’ve seen brutal videos on YouTube and social media. The violence in our country is increasing dramatically.

Here’s a first-hand story of the Kenosha riots.

And now, a woman has shared on Facebook what her family recently experienced in the Kenosha, Wisconsin riots. In her post, the thing that stands out in my mind the most is that help was not on the way. The residents of Kenosha who stood their ground were completely on their own against the mobs rampaging through their neighborhoods. I’ve redacted some identifying information from her post – otherwise, the public post is exactly as she shared it on the social media outlet. All emphasis is mine.

The day of the worst destruction, fires, looting, assaults… all of us in Kenosha were able to watch live -via independent media. The entire start to finish. The worst of it happened on 22nd & 60th, and I live on [redacted], so to tell you I was terrified is an understatement. The majority of Kenosha was watching our two [redacted] live footage well until 3am… police scanners on… bracing for the worst. It was apparent from the beginning there was no help. No police, no fire trucks no ambulances. None. Structures burned to the ground, people hurt and attacked were loaded into cars and raced to any hospital they could get to, rioters just broke into businesses and took what they wanted.

And we all watched it happen. There was nothing we could do.

A sleepless night, we faced the next day with more fear. A massive clean up effort, we helped as many homes and buisnesses as we could, brace for the night, we started to get inundated with messages from individuals and groups … targeting violence to specific neighborhoods, schools, libraries.. with fires and destruction… lots of messages. Most specifically targeting LOCAL NEIGHBORHOODS… families!!!

Cars and buses were coming in to the city with no plates… caravans of groups. Again, no extra police or national guard.

But the rioters came to Kenosha that night again.

Our PD and any help it had was standing ground at the PD building and courthouse… and many rioters did not know… our PD was trying to keep them from burning these down, not only because it was our infrastructure but because right between those buildings were A LOT of local inmates that were currently there due to Covid closing our jail (HUBER).

Again live, we watched hundreds of rioters throwing Molotov cocktail?s at these buildings and burning our city garbage trucks and dump trucks to the ground that we were using to protect these buildings.

I was afraid for the small line of policemen there that night.

Everyone was urging me and Jim to take all of my animals and to leave the city… and let my house burn. To run far away from Kenosha. I love my home. Those who know me, know the pride we have taken in buying an (as-is) house and turning it into a home. And my business! Could I let it be destroyed?? Absolutely NOT!

We have dear friends with a popular business just 4 houses away… we spend at least once a week there… they packed up boarded up and closed.. terrified … it’s on the main road.

All of us were now under now a state of emergency curfew. Get home and off the streets! gas stations ordered to close and turn OFF all gas pumps..
the sirens and alerts on all of our phones coming in non- stop.

So we pulled out every firearm we owned. Loaded them up. And started to get ready… We were not leaving… Jim’s job told him to stay home and protect his family and home. ?Everyone in the city was getting ready for a war.

Are you starting to feel anxiety reading this?

Getting a grasp of how desperate we all were?

Knowing no law enforcement was helping? And I’m telling you… NO ONE was there.

I have a dear friend who lives in Gurnee. Has a home and a buisness there, and if she called me and Jim and told me her city was under attack, she was afraid for her LIFE and her store … I would help her. We would go to Gurnee and help her. Armed.

And that’s simply what happened. The residents started to realize this was on us. And we organized. Groups and individuals-On rooftop businesses -in the neighborhoods. I felt a little safer that night knowing we had some help.

So we watched again that night …live. Beginning to end.

At the lakefront… there was a small police presence again, where our courthouse and Pd is…. but the PD was nowhere else in the city. It was just us left to fend for ourselves, watching live feed again, Listening to the scanners … lights off, house alarm armed. Curtains drawn – guns ready as we listened to where the rioters were, which way they were headed. Despite the state of emergency curfew the city was flooded with cars driving around with no plates on, groups of people destroying our city. Not enough police to arrest or stop not ONE SINGLE PERSON.

Until the guard came to help… the entire city was left to its own defenses.

Hell… we ran out of plywood to board up!!!

I had the crates ready to throw the animals in and run… guns at every window and door. Constantly texting neighbors and friends around the city for updates.

When we say, if you don’t live here, you could not possibly know what was going on.. do you now understand? How afraid the whole city was?

The national guard FINALLY was called out – and did not mess around. The people who terrorized and destroyed Kenosha were not from Kenosha. Of all the arrests… most were from 44 other city’s. After our IDIOT governor finally asked, we got the help we should have had from DAY ONE. We had FBI and all the surrounding PD’s come to our aid.

If…you don’t live here… you could not possibly understand what we went thru. People should wait before they jump to conclusions. I just am disgusted beyond words at the judgement that’s happening. DISGUSTED

For those of you with children to protect, a business you put your heart and soul in… a home you struggled to own and pay for.. you have got to understand what we all went thru. The fear and the instinct to protect what you love, and what you worked so hard for is strong. I hope no one ever has to go thru anything like this. (source)

The damage in Kenosha is astounding.

Kenosha isn’t a huge city. It has a population of about 100,000 people. Until these riots, it was not considered a dangerous city. But things changed fast.

Here are some photos of the aftermath of the riots. Minus the damage from shells and sniper rifles, looks like a warzone to rival things I saw in Bosnia when I met with Selco and took one of his survival courses.

PHOTO CREDIT: By Lightburst – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=93638834

PHOTO CREDIT: By Lightburst – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=93638841

PHOTO CREDIT: By Lightburst – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=93638827

Is this the new America? If it’s this bad now, what’s going to happen after the election, particularly if the results are contested?

This is spreading across the country.

So many people are convinced this can never happen where they live. I see the denial all the time in the comments on my articles about this subject. And while it’s true that some parts of the country are more resistant to the riots and arson than others, it needs to be clearly understood that these are not locals perpetrating the damage. These are people being bussed in from other places. Time and time again, we see articles with local authorities claiming most of the arrests made were people from out of town.

This isn’t something you see coming a week ahead, like a hurricane on the horizon. One injustice, perceived or real, is all it takes to throw gasoline on a fire that is blazing across the country. It CAN happen to you, too.

A number of people in Minneapolis armed themselves to protect their families, businesses, and properties because they knew they were on their own. The story above only underlines that point. Literal battle zones are erupting across the nation. Armed conflict is already occurring and the writing is on the wall.

Be prepared for civil unrest and riots because you won’t have much warning should violence mobs deploy near you. Have a plan to leave if possible. And if that’s not possible, it cannot possibly be more clear that you must be personally prepared to defend your home, your family, and your business because the police won’t be able to do it for you.

Published:9/14/2020 6:10:55 PM
[Markets] Facebook And FBI Wage Infowar On West Coast Wildfire Arson "Conspiracy Theories" Facebook And FBI Wage Infowar On West Coast Wildfire Arson "Conspiracy Theories" Tyler Durden Sun, 09/13/2020 - 17:55

A top Facebook official tweeted Saturday it would delete posts alleging leftist organizations started wildfires in Oregon and other Western states after the FBI said arson reports are "conspiracy theories," reported RT News

"We are removing false claims that certain groups started the wildfires in Oregon. This is based on confirmation from law enforcement that these rumors are forcing local fire and police agencies to divert resources from fighting the fires and protecting the public," Andy Stone, policy communications manager at Facebook, tweeted on Saturday evening. 

Stone continued, "This is consistent with our past efforts to remove content that could lead to imminent harm given the possible risk to human life as the fires rage on." 

Stone's announcement came after several organizations, including the Douglas County Sheriff's Office in Oregon, published warnings on various social media channels about speculation that extremists ignited wildfires. 

"Rumors spread just like wildfire, and now our 9-1-1 dispatchers and professional staff are being overrun with requests for information and inquiries on an UNTRUE rumor that 6 Antifa members have been arrested for setting fires," the Douglas County Sheriff's Office said. "THIS IS NOT TRUE! Unfortunately, people are spreading this rumor and it is causing problems."

On Friday, the FBI Portland bureau said, "reports that extremists are setting wildfires in Oregon are untrue." 

The FBI even called some of the arson reports "conspiracy theories." 

As wildfires in Oregon and California have been labled nothing short of "historic" (see: here & here), Reuters notes arson investigators had been called to investigate the fires. Last week, Oregon State Trooper Ryan Burke tweeted a 36-year-old "Puyallup resident" who was arrested on Wednesday (Sept. 9) for starting a fire on the "median on SR-167." 

According to That Oregon Life, here are four other arson incidents across Oregon, Washington, and California: 

  1. Police arrested a man for arson over Sweet Creek Fires. Lane County Police announcement.  Oregonian notes "A 44-year-old man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of arson in a wildfire that has burned nearly 400 acres and prompted evacuations west of Eugene, deputies say." 

  2. Arson arrest in Spokane, WA:  KHQ-TV 6 News is reporting that police have arrested a woman for multiple arson incidences; "According to Spokane Police, Officer Mohondro arrived on scene he saw some grass and a pallet on fire outside of a commercial business… The same officer spotted another fire a few blocks away. SPD said the fire was next to an old oil drum under a tree which gave the fire the potential to explode into something much larger was very high."

  3. Arson arrest in California fire: San Fransisco Chronicle reports, "Ivan Geronimo Gomez, 31, of Fresno was arrested and booked into Monterey County Jail on Aug. 19 after state park rangers detained him near the fire's origin point, the Sheriff's Office said. Sheriff's detectives arrested him on suspicion of five charges, including arson of forestland, setting his bail at $2 million. Jail records list illegal marijuana cultivation as another charge, along with throwing objects at a vehicle with intent to cause great bodily harm, battery and exhibiting a deadly weapon that wasn't a gun."

  4. Police arrest a man in Lane County: The Hill reports, "Authorities in southern Oregon charged a 44-year-old man, Jason Maas, with first-degree arson after he allegedly started a fire in the woods near the frisbee golf course at Dexter State Recreation Area on Wednesday." 

Another arson incident? 

But, Facebook and the FBI have unleashed an infowar to make sure no left-leaning groups are blamed for the wildfires in the western US, this allows the liberal media to preserve the narrative that wildfires are a result of "climate damn emergencies" (and not due to La Nina's cyclical heatwave or environmentalism's impact on forest management).   

Meanwhile, on the ground - the threat of arson and looting appears to be such a significant threat that signs have been plastered across towns in Oregon, indicating "arsonist" and "looters" will be shot

In a separate incident, one Twitter user tweets

"Right wing militia members in Oregon who are convinced anti-fascists set fire to their town set up checkpoints with guns on roads ppl were using to flee. Who had this on their 2020 bingo card?" 

Finally, one wonders why Facebook and the FBI have been so quick and vociferous in shutting down any suggestion that these "climate fires" (as Gov Inslee has now taken to calling them) are being created by organized arson attacks... especially as numerous liberal media and political types raise the red flag of a "climate damn emergency" and "an angry mother earth" as being to blame (with legislation to combat the "climate crisis" among the top agenda items).

Published:9/13/2020 5:02:27 PM
[IJR] Former FBI Agent Strzok Claims Russian Officials Have ‘Leverage’ Over Trump "Russians have leverage over him and are able to influence his actions." Published:9/13/2020 2:04:15 PM
[Markets] LA Deputies Shot In Compton Ambush, Suspect At Large LA Deputies Shot In Compton Ambush, Suspect At Large Tyler Durden Sun, 09/13/2020 - 02:51

Two Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies are fighting for their lives after a Saturday night ambush at a train station in Compton, California.

The officers, a man and a woman, were both shot multiple times after a suspect walked up to their parked patrol car and fired at close range, according to the LA County Sheriffs Department, which tweeted "The gunman walked up on the deputies and opened fire without warning or provocation."

In a Saturday night news conference, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said that the two had graduated from the sheriff's training academy approximately 14 months ago. The female officer, 31, is the mother of a six-year-old boy, while the other officer is 24-years-old. At least one of them was able to radio for help, after which they were taken to nearby St. Francis Medical Center where they underwent surgery, according to NBC News.

Deputy Morgan Arteaga said the attack was reported about 7 p.m. at a train station in the city of Compton. The sheriff's department has a unit that patrols Los Angeles Metro trains; it's also contracted to police that city.

"They are still alive," Arteaga said.

The Metro Blue Line train station where Deputy Eric Ortiz said the attack took place is near the sheriff's Compton Station.

The department also tweeted: "They are both still fighting for their lives, so please keep them in your thoughts and prayers." -NBC News

According to the report, the FBI offered to assist the sheriff's department in the manhunt for the suspect.

"This is just a sober reminder it’s a dangerous job," said Villanueva. "Actions, words have consequence. And our job does not get any easier because people don’t like law enforcement."

President Trump weighed in following the shooting, tweeting "Animals that must be hit hard!"

Published:9/13/2020 1:55:28 AM
[Markets] DHS Proposes Massive Expansion Of "Biometric Modality" Collection DHS Proposes Massive Expansion Of "Biometric Modality" Collection Tyler Durden Sat, 09/12/2020 - 23:00

Does anyone really believe America is still the land of the free?

What first seemed like a gradual slide in the federal government's use of biometrics is quickly becoming supercharged in a post-pandemic world. 

Readers may recall since 9/11, DHS, the FBI, the CIA, and other alphabet soup agencies have transformed America into a surveillance state that could be on par with China in the coming years. 

Activity in DNA and biometric-gathering by the federal government is set to surge. The DHS recently announced a "notice of proposed rulemaking" that outlines the agency could enlarge its collection of biometrics data by at least 2 million submissions annually. 

The 328-page draft of the new rule (found here) proposes to amend existing DHS regulations "concerning the use and collection of biometrics in the enforcement and administration of immigration laws by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)."

The National Law Review highlights the key points in the forthcoming rule: 

  • Unless waived by DHS, any applicant, petitioner, sponsor, beneficiary, or individual filing or associated with an immigration benefit or request, including U.S. citizens, must appear for biometrics collection – regardless of age.

  • There will be new biometrics modalities, including iris scans, palm prints, and voiceprints.

  • DHS may require DNA results to prove the existence of a claimed genetic relationship.

  • Foreign nationals who are granted immigration benefits will be subject to continued and subsequent vetting and biometric evaluation until granted U.S. citizenship.

  • New forms will be produced, including the new biometrics requirements.

The DHS proposes to change the definition of the word "biometrics" to "the measurable biological (anatomical and physiological) or behavioral characteristics used for identification of an individual." 

Noted in the highlight section above, the DHS wants to add palm prints, photographs for facial recognition, voiceprints, iris images, and DNA to determine genetic similarities to its pre-existing biometric database, which include collecting fingerprints and signatures of immigrants.

The rule estimates the number of annual biometrics screenings will soar from 3.9 million to 6.07 million. The collection rate will rise from  46% to over 70%

The agency is interested in expanding its biometrics capabilities for family-based benefit requests, mostly for citizenship, immigration, refugee, and asylee relative forms.

"The rule will allow immediately for DHS, in its discretion, to request, require, or accept DNA or DNA test results, which include a partial DNA profile, for individual benefit requests requiring proof of a genetic relationship," the notice read.

The cost of the biometrics rule over the decade could range from $3.2 billion to nearly $5 billion, all dependent on how many collections are submitted. 

Could DHS' proposed biometrics expansion prelude the agencies eventual grab of "259 million people in its biometrics database by 2022"?

Published:9/12/2020 10:24:03 PM
[Markets] Mueller's 'Angry Democrats' Scrubbed Cell Phones After Russia Investigation Mueller's 'Angry Democrats' Scrubbed Cell Phones After Russia Investigation Tyler Durden Thu, 09/10/2020 - 18:20

Over two dozen phones belonging to members of Robert Mueller's special counsel team were wiped clean before they were handed over to the Inspector General, according to information contained in 87 pages of DOJ records released on Thursday.

Some of the phones were wiped using the Apple operating system's 'wrong-password' failsafe, where the wrong password must be entered ten times - after which the system wipes the drive.

Those who couldn't seem to remember their password 10 times in a row include 'attack dog' lawyer Andrew Weissman, who urged DOJ attorneys to go rogue and 'not' help US Attorney John Durham investigate FBI and DOJ conduct during the Trump investigation.

The malarkey continues (via National Review): 

A phone belong to assistant special counsel James Quarles “wiped itself without intervention from him,” the DOJ’s records state.

Andrew Weismann, a top prosecutor on Mueller’s team, “accidentally wiped” his cell phone, causing the data to be lost. Other members of the team also accidentally wiped their phones, the DOJ said.

Phones issued to at least three other Mueller prosecutors, Kyle Freeny, Rush Atkinson, and senior prosecutor Greg Andres were also wiped of data.

Additionally, the cell phone of FBI lawyer Lisa Page was misplaced by the special counsel’s office. While it was eventually obtained by the DOJ inspector general, by that point the phone had been restored to its factory settings, wiping it of all data. The phone of FBI agent Peter Strzok was also obtained by the inspector general’s office, which found “no substantive texts, notes or reminders” on it.

Published:9/10/2020 5:34:11 PM
[Markets] JPMorgan Finds Some Employees "Illegally Pocketed" Covid-Relief Funds JPMorgan Finds Some Employees "Illegally Pocketed" Covid-Relief Funds Tyler Durden Wed, 09/09/2020 - 19:20

Yesterday, when we first reported that JPMorgan was probing its employees' role in abuse of PPP funds following reports of "instances in which Covid-relief funds were misused by customers and is probing employees’ involvement in the potentially illegal activities", we said that it was about time the role of banks was put under the microscope because " while it was easy to blame the administration for rushing to hand out hundreds of billions in grants/loans (without which the US economy would still be in a depression), a key question is how and why did the private banks that were gatekeepers for all this capital, allow such abuse to take place."

Well, it now turns out that not only did JPM employees allegedly enable fraud by clients when obtaining PPP loans, the largest US bank also found that some of its employees themselves "improperly applied for and received", i.e. stole, Covid-relief money that was intended for legitimate U.S. businesses hurt by the pandemic, according to Bloomberg.

The bank discovered the actions, which were tied to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, "after noticing that suspicious amounts of money had been deposited into checking accounts owned by bank employees." The findings prompted an unusual all-staff message from JPMorgan Tuesday which according to Bloomberg "puzzled many across the industry for its candid admission of potentially illegal acts by some of its own while not describing what they had done."

What is odd, is that unlike with the Paycheck Protection Program, banks didn’t issue or underwrite the disaster loans and grants. Instead, loans or grants came directly from the SBA, which raises questions how employees of the largest US commercial bank intermediated themselves in a process that should have been streamlined without middle-men.

JPM's surprising findings of illegal employee activity come amid a broader sweep of individual accounts that received business aid. On July 22, the SBA warned banks to be on the lookout for suspicious deposits or activity as part of the EIDL program. The SBA's inspector general has also flagged evidence of fraud in the program, saying it identified more than $250 million in aid given to potentially ineligible recipients as well as $45.6 million in possibly duplicate payments. A Bloomberg analysis of SBA data last month identified $1.3 billion in suspicious payments.

As a result, prosecutors have brought charges against more than 20 businesses for fraud under the CARES Act, which authorized the PPP loan program, and a recent report by the House Committee on Oversight suggested that there could have been billions of dollars worth of fraud in the PPP program. Rep. James Clyburn, a Democrat from South Carolina, called on the inspectors general of the U.S. Treasury Department and SBA to investigate the program.

“The SBA does not comment on individual borrowers. Evidence of waste, fraud, and abuse with any of SBA’s loan programs is not tolerated and should be reported. ... The SBA successfully distributed 5.21 million loans and $525 billion to small businesses in an unprecedented amount of time, through the Paycheck Payment Program,” the SBA said, misstating the name of the Paycheck Protection Program.

"This is going to be the biggest fraud in government history, the magnitude of which we will not know for many years to come," said Vic Hartman, a former FBI agent and author of a 2019 book about fraud based on lessons from his career.

As such, it is hardly a surprise that banks are involved.

On Tuesday, JPM's leaders sent a memo to roughly 256,000 employees Tuesday in which senior leaders said they were probing whether any staffers helped people misuse aid programs including “Paycheck Protection Program Loans, unemployment benefits and other government programs.” The firm had said it identified conduct by customers that didn’t meet its principles and “may even be illegal” and that some employees had fallen short on ethical standards. The bank also asked employees to report any unethical activity they’d witnessed.

While the bank has identified rampant misuse of the EIDL program, only a small percentage of it has been tied to bank employees, said the person. The bank hasn’t found evidence of wrongdoing by employees related to the PPP program.

Published:9/9/2020 6:26:06 PM
[] Steele's FBI handler considered his behavior 'crazy' Published:9/9/2020 12:26:57 PM
[] Judicial Watch: Mueller may have lied to Congress about conflict of interest Published:9/9/2020 9:23:02 AM
[Markets] Whitney: Is BLM The Mask Behind Which The Oligarchs Operate? Whitney: Is BLM The Mask Behind Which The Oligarchs Operate? Tyler Durden Tue, 09/08/2020 - 23:40

Authored by Mike Whitney,

Here’s your BLM Pop Quiz for the day: What do “Critical Race Theory”, “The 1619 Project”, and Homeland Security’s “White Supremacist” warning tell us about what’s going on in America today?

  1. They point to deeply-embedded racism that shapes the behavior of white people

  2. They suggest that systemic racism cannot be overcome by merely changing attitudes and laws

  3. They alert us to the fact that unresolved issues are pushing the country towards a destructive race war

  4. They indicate that powerful agents — operating from within the state– are inciting racial violence to crush the emerging “populist” majority that elected Trump to office in 2016 and which now represents an existential threat to the globalist plan to transform America into a tyrannical third-world “shithole”.

Which of these four statements best explains what’s going on in America today?

If you chose Number 4, you are right. We are not experiencing a sudden and explosive outbreak of racial violence and mayhem. We are experiencing a thoroughly-planned, insurgency-type operation that involves myriad logistical components including vast, nationwide riots, looting and arson, as well as an extremely impressive ideological campaign. “Critical Race Theory”, “The 1619 Project”, and Homeland Security’s “White Supremacist” warning are as much a part of the Oligarchic war on America as are the burning of our cities and the toppling of our statues. All three, fall under the heading of “ideology”, and all three are being used to shape public attitudes on matters related to our collective identity as “Americans”.

The plan is to overwhelm the population with a deluge of disinformation about their history, their founders, and the threats they face, so they will submissively accept a New Order imposed by technocrats and their political lackeys. This psychological war is perhaps more important than Operation BLM which merely provides the muscle for implementing the transformative “Reset” that elites want to impose on the country. The real challenge is to change the hearts and minds of a population that is unwaveringly patriotic and violently resistant to any subversive element that threatens to do harm to their country. So, while we can expect this propaganda saturation campaign to continue for the foreseeable future, we don’t expect the strategy will ultimately succeed. At the end of the day, America will still be America, unbroken, unflagging and unapologetic.

Let’s look more carefully at what is going on.

On September 4, the Department of Homeland Security issued a draft report stating that “White supremacists present the gravest terror threat to the United States”. According to an article in Politico:

…all three draft (versions of the document) describe the threat from white supremacists as the deadliest domestic terror threat facing the U.S., listed above the immediate danger from foreign terrorist groups…. John Cohen, who oversaw DHS’s counterterrorism portfolio from 2011 to 2014, said the drafts’ conclusion isn’t surprising.

“This draft document seems to be consistent with earlier intelligence reports from DHS, the FBI, and other law enforcement sources: that the most significant terror-related threat facing the US today comes from violent extremists who are motivated by white supremacy and other far-right ideological causes,” he said….

“Lone offenders and small cells of individuals motivated by a diverse array of social, ideological, and personal factors will pose the primary terrorist threat to the United States,” the draft reads. “Among these groups, we assess that white supremacist extremists …will pose the most persistent and lethal threat.”..(“DHS draft document: White supremacists are greatest terror threat” Politico)

This is nonsense. White supremacists do not pose the greatest danger to the country, that designation goes to the left-wing groups that have rampaged through more than 2,000 US cities for the last 100 days. Black Lives Matter and Antifa-generated riots have decimated hundreds of small businesses, destroyed the lives and livelihoods of thousands of merchants and their employees, and left entire cities in a shambles. The destruction in Kenosha alone far exceeds the damage attributable to the activities of all the white supremacist groups combined.

So why has Homeland Security made this ridiculous and unsupportable claim? Why have they chosen to prioritize white supremacists as “the most persistent and lethal threat” when it is clearly not true?

There’s only one answer: Politics.

The officials who concocted this scam are advancing the agenda of their real bosses, the oligarch puppet-masters who have their tentacles extended throughout the deep-state and use them to coerce their lackey bureaucrats to do their bidding. In this case, the honchos are invoking the race card (“white supremacists”) to divert attention from their sinister destabilization program, their looting of the US Treasury (for their crooked Wall Street friends), their demonizing of the mostly-white working class “America First” nationalists who handed Trump the 2016 election, and their scurrilous scheme to establish one-party rule by installing their addlepated meat-puppet candidate (Biden) as president so he can carry out their directives from the comfort of the Oval Office. That’s what’s really going on.

DHS’s announcement makes it possible for state agents to target legally-armed Americans who gather with other gun owners in groups that are protected under the second amendment. Now the white supremacist label will be applied more haphazardly to these same conservatives who pose no danger to public safety. The draft document should be seen as a warning to anyone whose beliefs do not jibe with the New Liberal Orthodoxy that white people are inherently racists who must ask forgiveness for a system they had no hand in creating (slavery) and which was abolished more than 150 years ago.

The 1619 Project” is another part of the ideological war that is being waged against the American people. The objective of the “Project” is to convince readers that America was founded by heinous white men who subjugated blacks to increase their wealth and power. According to the World Socialist Web Site:

“The essays featured in the magazine are organized around the central premise that all of American history is rooted in race hatred—specifically, the uncontrollable hatred of “black people” by “white people.” Hannah-Jones writes in the series’ introduction: “Anti-black racism runs in the very DNA of this country.

This is a false and dangerous conception. DNA is a chemical molecule that contains the genetic code of living organisms and determines their physical characteristics and development….Hannah-Jones’s reference to DNA is part of a growing tendency to derive racial antagonisms from innate biological processes.where does this racism come from? It is embedded, claims Hannah-Jones, in the historical DNA of American “white people.” Thus, it must persist independently of any change in political or economic conditions...

...No doubt, the authors of The Project 1619 essays would deny that they are predicting race war, let alone justifying fascism. But ideas have a logic; and authors bear responsibility for the political conclusions and consequences of their false and misguided arguments.” 

- “The New York Times’s 1619 Project: A racialist falsification of American and world history”, World Socialist Web Site

Clearly, Hannah-Jones was enlisted by big money patrons who needed an ideological foundation to justify the massive BLM riots they had already planned as part of their US color revolution. The author –perhaps unwittingly– provided the required text for vindicating widespread destruction and chaos carried out in the name of “social justice.”

As Hannah-Jones says, “Anti-black racism runs in the very DNA of this country”, which is to say that it cannot be mitigated or reformed, only eradicated by destroying the symbols of white patriarchy (Our icons, our customs, our traditions and our history.), toppling the existing government, and imposing a new system that better reflects the values of the burgeoning non-Caucasian majority. Simply put, The Project 1619 creates the rationale for sustained civil unrest, deepening political polarization and violent revolution.

All of these goals conveniently coincide with the aims of the NWO Oligarchs who seek to replace America’s Constitutional government with a corporate Superstate ruled by voracious Monopolists and their globalist allies. So, while Hannah-Jones treatise does nothing to improve conditions for black people in America, it does move the country closer to the dystopian dream of the parasite class; Corporate Valhalla.

Then there is “Critical Race Theory” which provides the ideological icing on the cake. The theory is part of the broader canon of anti-white dogma which is being used to indoctrinate workers. White employees are being subjected to “reeducation” programs that require their participation as a precondition for further employment The first rebellion against critical race theory, took place at Sandia Labs which is a federally-funded research agency that designs America’s nuclear weapons. According to journalist Christopher F. Rufo:

“Senator @HawleyMO and @SecBrouillette have launched an inspector general investigation, but Sandia executives have only accelerated their purge against conservatives.”

Sandia executives have made it clear: they want to force critical race theory, race-segregated trainings, and white male reeducation camps on their employees—and all dissent will be severely punished. Progressive employees will be rewarded; conservative employees will be purged.” (“There is a civil war erupting at @SandiaLabs.” Christopher F Rufo)

It all sounds so Bolshevik. Here’s more info on how this toxic indoctrination program works:

“Treasury Department …

The Treasury Department held a training session telling employees that “virtually all White people contribute to racism” and demanding that white staff members “struggle to own their racism” and accept their “unconscious bias, White privilege, and White fragility.”

The National Credit Union Administration

The NCUA held a session for 8,900 employees arguing that America was “founded on racism” and “built on the blacks of people who were enslaved.” Twitter thread here and original source documents here.

Sandia National Laboratories

Last year, Sandia National Labs—which produces our nuclear arsenal—held a three-day reeducation camp for white males, teaching them how to deconstruct their “white male culture” and forcing them to write letters of apology to women and people of color. Whistleblowers from inside the labs tell me that critical race theory is now endangering our national security. Twitter thread hereand original source documents here.

Argonne National Laboratories

Argonne National Labs hosts trainings calling on white lab employees to admit that they “benefit from racism” and atone for the “pain and anguish inflicted upon Black people.” Twitter thread here.

Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security hosted a Training on “microaggressions, microinequities, and microassaults” where white employees were told that they had been “socialized into oppressor roles.” Twitter thread here and original source documents here.” (“Summary of Critical Race Theory Investigations”, Christopher F Rufo)

On September 4, Donald Trump announced his administration “would prohibit federal agencies from subjecting government employees to “critical race theory” or “white privilege” seminar...

“It has come to the President’s attention that Executive Branch agencies have spent millions of taxpayer dollars to date ‘training’ government workers to believe divisive, anti-American propaganda,” read a Friday memo from the Office of Budget and Management Director Russ Vought. “These types of ‘trainings’ not only run counter to the fundamental beliefs for which our Nation has stood since its inception, but they also engender division and resentment within the Federal workforce … The President has directed me to ensure that Federal agencies cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars to fund these divisive, un-American propaganda training sessions.”

The next day, September 5, Trump announced that the Department of Education was going to see whether the New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project was being used in school curricula and– if it was– then those schools would be ineligible for federal funding. Conservative pundits applauded Trump’s action as a step forward in the “culture wars”, but it’s really much more than that. Trump is actually foiling an effort by the domestic saboteurs who continue look for ways to undermine democracy, reduce the masses of working-class people to grinding poverty and hopelessness, and turn the country into a despotic military outpost ruled by bloodsucking tycoons, mercenary autocrats and duplicitous elites. Alot of thought and effort went into this malign ideological project. Trump derailed it with a wave of the hand. That’s no small achievement.

Bottom line: “Critical Race Theory”, “The 1619 Project”, and Homeland Security’s “White Supremacist” warning represent the ideological foundation upon which the war on America is based. The “anti-white” dogma is the counterpart to the massive riots that have rocked the country. These phenomena are two spokes on the same wheel. They are designed to work together to achieve the same purpose. The goal is create a “racial” smokescreen that conceals the vast and willful destruction of the US economy, the $5 trillion dollar wealth-transfer that was provided to Wall Street, and the ferocious attack on the emerging, mainly-white working class “populist” movement that elected Trump and which rejects the globalist plan to transform the world into a borderless free trade zone ruled by cutthroat monopolists and their NWO allies.

This is a class war dolled-up to look like a race war. Americans will have to look beyond the smoke and mirrors to spot the elites lurking in the shadows. There lies the cancer that must be eradicated.

Published:9/8/2020 10:48:50 PM
[Markets] Documents Show Former Officials "In Real Trouble" In Durham Investigation: Meadows Documents Show Former Officials "In Real Trouble" In Durham Investigation: Meadows Tyler Durden Tue, 09/08/2020 - 17:04

Authored by Zachary Steiber via The Epoch Times,

Newly reviewed documents show that former FBI agent Peter Strzok and other officials involved in the counter-intelligence probe against Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign are in trouble, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said.

U.S. Attorney John Durham is reviewing the origins of that investigation and landed his first guilty plea last month.

While he doesn’t have visibility into the timeline of Durham’s probe, Meadows said he’s reviewed additional documents that “say that a number of the players, the Peter Strzoks, the Andy McCabes, the James Comeys - and even others in the administration previously - are in real trouble because of their willingness to participate in an unlawful act.”

“And I use the word unlawful at best, it broke all kinds of protocols and at worst people should go to jail as I mentioned previously,” Meadows said during a virtual appearance on Fox Business’ “Mornings With Maria” on Monday.

Strzok, McCabe, and Comey are former high-level FBI officials.

Strzok, best known for exchanging biased text messages about Trump with an FBI lawyer he was having an affair with, was fired by FBI officials in 2018.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows speaks to members of the press outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington on Aug. 28, 2020. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The former agent sat down for an interview with CBS that ran over the weekend. He insisted that the counter-intelligence probe, dubbed Crossfire Hurricane, was opened on a legitimate basis.

Meadows said it was easy for Strzok to make claims when not under oath.

“In all of his interview, I can tell you this: It’s not backed up by the facts. It’s not backed up by documents that I’ve seen. And ultimately his house of cards will come falling down,” Meadows said.

The facts that have come out show that officials treated Trump “very differently, in an inappropriate way, and they must be held accountable,” he added.

Durham’s criminal investigation is being kept under tight wraps, prompting much speculation about when another development will come, or even if any other people will be charged.

United States Attorney John Durham (L) (Department of Justice) and Attorney General William Barr. (R) (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Trey Gowdy, a Fox News contributor who used to serve in the House of Representatives, said over the weekend that there’s concern that Durham “is dragging his feet.”

Durham, he said, “is going to access documents that the FBI never shared with Congress and he’ll write the definitive accounting of what happened.”

“Whether or not there’ll be more indictments or not, I don’t know and I like to assume that there will not be,” he said, adding: “That puts me in a small minority, but I’m assuming that the Clinesmith indictment will be the only one.”

Kevin Clinesmith recently pleaded guilty to altering an email to say Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser, was not a CIA asset when the CIA had said the exact opposite.

The altered email was used to obtain spy warrants against Page, enabling the FBI to conduct surveillance against Page and people he was linked to in the future and past.

Meadows, meanwhile, said Trump supports the declassification of all documents, along with full transparency.

“He has nothing to hide,” he said.

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said last week that he’s coordinating with Durham to declassify more documents.

Meanwhile, more lies exposed...

Published:9/8/2020 4:16:25 PM
[In The News] Strzok Reveals What He Told Mueller About Trump-Russia Collusion

By Chuck Ross -

Former FBI official Peter Strzok told Special Counsel Robert Mueller early in the Trump-Russia probe that he doubted the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government to influence the 2016 election, saying that the president’s associates were “a confederacy of dunces who were too dumb to collude” with the Kremlin. ...

Strzok Reveals What He Told Mueller About Trump-Russia Collusion is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:9/8/2020 9:45:02 AM
[National Security] Riots Likely Drove 2020’s Biggest Gun Sales Spike

In a record-breaking year for gun buying, the biggest spike in firearms purchases came as protests and riots broke out across the nation in June, a Washington Free Beacon analysis of FBI data indicates.

The post Riots Likely Drove 2020’s Biggest Gun Sales Spike appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:9/8/2020 4:11:26 AM
[Markets] Stockman Sidesteps 'Systemic Racism', Says Real Evil Is "Relentless Aggrandizement Of State Power" Stockman Sidesteps 'Systemic Racism', Says Real Evil Is "Relentless Aggrandizement Of State Power" Tyler Durden Mon, 09/07/2020 - 22:00

Authored by David Stockman via The Future of Freedom Foundation,

Law And Order Howling

When all else fails, Fake Republicans like Richard Nixon back in the day and Donald Trump today turn to “Law & Order” demagoguery to incite the electorate in their direction.

So doing, they conveniently abandon the real job of the Conservative Party in American democracy, which is to fight against the Government Party (usually the Dems) on behalf of free markets, fiscal rectitude, sound money, smaller government, federalism and maximum personal liberty.

Thus, when America was plagued with the short-term outbreak of riots in dozens of major American cities in 1968—Detroit, Cleveland, Newark, Gary, Chicago, Philadelphia—Tricky Dick Nixon put himself over the top at the polls in November by running for National Sherriff rather than as the scourge of Lyndon Johnson’s drastic ballooning of the state in the form of “guns and butter” finance and the eruption of Great Society spending programs.

As it happened, however, Nixon didn’t need an electoral mandate for Law and Order because the summer of 1968 eruptions in the urban ghettos quickly burned themselves out, while mainly harming the residents living therein.

More importantly, policing the big cities is not the job of the Federal government or the President, anyway; and is, in fact, one of the principal functions implicitly reserved to the states and their sub-units by the 10th Amendment to the Constitution.

Indeed, administration of local law and order is one of the main reasons we have 87,575 units of government separate from the Federal government, including the 50 states, 3,034 counties, 35,933 cities, towns, municipalities and townships and 48,558 other units including school districts and special purpose units of local government (e.g. police, fire, library districts etc).

Far more so than the giant Federal bureaucracies that have insinuated themselves into the law and order business, such as the FBI, DEA, BATF and the far-flung operations of the Homeland Security Department, the overwhelming share of these local government units are actually creatures of their respective electorates. If law and order breaks down or is wanting, therefore, the solution is to house clean at City Hall or the county courthouse, not import Federal money, laws, regulations and rhetorical posturing from Capitol Hill or the Oval Office.

And if the local electorate fails to clean house, it will bear the brunt of the adverse consequences of too many homicides, robberies or destructive attacks on private property within the jurisdiction in question. After all, most serious crime—especially homicides and violent assaults on persons and property—are the work of local residents, not regional or national crime rings.

Moreover, if the electorates of badly governed jurisdictions like Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis, Chicago, New York and Baltimore at the moment fail to remedy their own crime problems, the ultimate brilliance of Federalism comes powerfully into play: That is, on the margin residents and businesses vote with their feet, causing local economic decline and diminution of tax revenues, and thereby eventually generating electoral demands for corrective action.

At the same time, presidential Law & Order demagoguery by GOP presidents readily becomes a cover for betrayal on Federal policy matters that actually count. Until the Donald came along, of course, Tricky Dick Nixon was the poster boy for this kind of doctrinal perfidy.

The man’s policy sins are almost too egregious to reprise. Richard Nixon...

  • Famously abandoned sound money when he slammed the gold window shut at Camp David in August 1971;

  • Made a mockery of free markets when he imposed wage, price, rent and interest controls on the entire US economy shortly thereafter;

  • Fecklessly fueled the growth of Big Government by putting Federal bureaucrats in charge of domestic energy industries and employing subsidies and import controls to pursue the folly of national energy autarky;

  • Deeply wounded the cause of fiscal rectitude by adopting the specious Keynesian notion of “full employment budgeting”, which amounts to an excuse for chronic government deficits whenever an imaginary figure called “potential GDP” is not realized (most of the time);

  • Attempted to vastly expand the Welfare State through a guaranteed annual income (Family Assistance Plan) and an incipient form of national health insurance (Family Insurance Program);

  • Eroded Federalism through revenue sharing handouts from Washington and a vast expansion of federal grant-in-aid programs; and

  • Fueled a 50-year assault on the social and economic stability of the nation’s declining urban centers via the abomination of the the War on Drugs.

Needless to say, the latter betrayal gets us to the present moment. There is no more of a Law & Order crisis today that demands presidential attention and Washington intervention than there was in 1968.

The overwhelming bulk of the American electorate is not in any danger owing to the antics and defaults of the clowns running Portland, Minneapolis, Chicago or even New York City. In due time, their electorates will select better leadership or the citizens will flee for better governed environs.

But as we demonstrate below, there is an elevated and unnecessary level of friction between the police and citizens in the nation’s urban centers. The latter is overwhelmingly caused by and exacerbated by the War on Drugs and the criminalization of related social behaviors such as gambling, prostitution etc. that can be solved by repeal of bad laws, not costly and counter-productive efforts to get tough on crime; and most certainly not be sending Federal cops into cities which are wittingly or unwittingly abetting crime and riots and thereby bringing ruin upon themselves.

So just as in Nixon’s time, by relentlessly obsessing about crime ridden Democrat cities the Donald is abandoning his real job. If there is a real crisis in America, it is the crushing burden of debt and speculation on the main street economy, not any serious or long-lasting outbreak of serious crime.

Obviously, when it comes to crime, it doesn’t get more serious than homicide. Yet as shown below, the homicide rate per 100,000 in recent years has been barely half of what prevailed during the 1970-1995 period, and has continued to edge lower.

The same is true of total violent crimes, which also includes rape, robbery and aggravated assault, as well as homicides. As shown below, the rate per 100,000 in the most recent year was about half the early 1990s level.

Moreover, although not shown, preliminary FBI statistics indicate that neither the homicide rate nor the total violent crime rate appreciably changed in 2019.

Violent Crime Per 100,000

While the last full year for which FBI statistics are available is 2018, the preliminary data from the FBI for 2019 indicates that all four categories of violent crime were down versus prior year:

  • Homicide: -3.9%;

  • Forcible rape: -7.3%;

  • Robbery: -7.4%;

  • Aggravated assault: -0.3%.

To be sure, during 2020 to date there has been an upsurge of homicides in a handful of big cities owing to the BLM demonstrations and riots after the late May murder of George Floyd by the police in Minneapolis.

Still, even in the 25 largest US cities shown below, total violent crimes in 2020 YTD are essentially flat with 2019 (up 0.4% during the first 7 months) and property crimes are actually down by -7.7% year-to-date.

As to the surge in homicides, 80% of the 576 increase in cases over 2019 is attributable to just eight cities including Chicago (+173), NYC (+60), Philadelphia (+56), St. Louis (+42), Houston (+39), Atlanta (+30), Louisville (+27). and Los Angles (+25). By contrast, a nearly equal number of big cities, including Dallas, Newark, Baltimore, Miami, Las Vegas, Plano and Lincoln have experienced little change or even declines from 2019.

In short, notwithstanding the cable TV tsunami of coverage of urban protests and riots and the Donald’s false characterization of Law & Order as a national crisis, there is no break-out of homicides and other violent crimes, even in the big cities. For the nation as a whole, the downward trend in crime rates which has been in effect for nearly 20 years remains in place.

Needless to say, when it comes to the Donald’s real job as a Republican president, he has presided over what can only be described as a horror show. Owing to the total demise of fiscal rectitude and the last vestiges of sound money (the Fed’s belated, short-lived attempt at normalizing its balance sheet in 2017-2018) on his watch, the burden of total debt (public and private) grinding down the US economy has soared to $77.6 trillion.

In terms of of annual rates of gain, the blue bars below show that borrowing is again off to the races, vastly exceeding the egregiously large gains that were recorded during the Obama years, and at a time at the top of the longest business cycle in US history when the nation’s bloated burdens of debt should have actually been paid down.

The problem, of course, is that the Donald is not guided by anything which even remotely resembles policy or theosophical principles, let alone fundamentally conservative ones. For instance, he had a chance to appoint the majority of the Fed’s Board since taking office, but ended up putting Powell and other avid money-printers in the open Chairman’s role and other board seats.

Not surprisingly, the bloated, elephantine $4 trillion balance sheet the Donald inherited and which was supposed to be drastically retrenched after the financial crisis ended has now exploded to $7 trillion, and the Donald self-evidently wants to to grow to $10 trillion and beyond.

That’s capitalism-destroying financial-fraud, yet it lies at the heart of the Trumpian economic program.

Balance Sheet of the Federal Reserve:

At the end of the day, the Donald simply views the Federal government as a larger-scale version of the Trump Organization; and that as its Maximum Leader-CEO, it is his prerogative to steer things in whatever direction promises (by the Donald’s lights) to redound to his greater glory (and presently, his re-election).

At the present moment that means wasting a good crisis on the shrill partisanship of his blustery campaign against crime, riots, looting and plunder in the “Dem-controlled” big cities of America.

In fact, however, there is a very particular and different crime problem in the big cities than the one the Donald excoriates owing to the misbegotten

War on Drugs and the excessive criminalization of social life.

To wit, unlike the declining homicide rate in the US overall (brown line), the murder rate for black citizens in the 50 largest cities in the US has been flat since the turn of the century and has actually turned upward in recent yeas (dark blue line).

Needless to say, this unfortunate trend is not the result of systematic racism; it’s the consequence of bad laws and the resulting excessive friction between law enforcement officers and the urban neighborhoods where inappropriately criminalized activities are more prevalent owing to lack of jobs, the disaster of public education and the prevalence of broken homes, which now encompasses more than 70% of children born into black households.

Rather than overt racism or even simmering racial animosity, the real evil is the relentless aggrandizement of state power. Among its many ills is the rise of the Nanny State—a conflation of too many laws, crimes, cops, arrests and thereby opportunities for frictions between the state and its citizenry and for abuse by the gendarmes vested with legal use of violence.

The nation has now been enthrall for several months to an emotionally charged symptom of this rogue Nanny State—the unjustified murder of unarmed black citizens by the police. Among the most recent notorious cases, of course, are George Floyd for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill, Eric Garner (NYC 2014) for selling un-taxed cigarettes, and Rayshard Brooks for falling asleep drunk in his car at a subsequently incinerated Wendy’s in Atlanta.

Nor are these notorious cases aberrations. During the recent past there were 38 such police killings of unarmed black citizens in 2015, and then 19, 21, 17 and 9 during 2016 through 2019, respectively. That’s 104 black lives lost to the ultimate abuse of police powers.

Of course, the number should be zero. There is no conceivable excuse for heavily armed cops—-usually working in pairs or groups—to murder lone, unarmed civilians, regardless of race or anything else.

And the fact is, being non-black is no guarantee against the same unjust fate. During the same period, a total of 127 unarmed white lives were wasted by the police, as well. That included 32 white killings in 2015 followed by 22, 31, 23 and 19 in 2016 through 2019, respectively.

Overall, 302 unarmed citizens were killed by the police during the last five years, with the balance in the chart below accounted for by 71 deaths among Hispanic and other victims. That is, the real issue is illegal and excessive police violence, not racial victimization.

Indeed, the fact that 34% of these police killings involved black citizens compared to their 12% share of the population is not primarily a sign of racism among police forces. It’s actually evidence that the Nanny State, and especially the misbegotten War on Drugs, is designed to unnecessarily ensnare a distinct demographic— young, poor, often unemployed urban citizens— in confrontations with the cops, too many of which become fatal.

Alas, young black males are disproportionately represented among this particular in-harms’-way demographic, and that’s the reason they are “disproportionately” represented in the two charts below.

Stated differently, the Nanny State tends to be racist in effect, even if that is not necessarily the intent of the crusaders and zealots who have launched the state into anti-liberty wars on drugs, vice and victimless inequities and peccadillos.

Then again, the charts above and below are only part of the story. As it happened, a total of 4,558 citizens were actually killed by police over that period, but according to the DOJ statistics, fully 93% or 4,256 of them were armed.

So viewed in context, the unarmed/I can’t breathe victims account for only a small fraction of lethal violence between citizens and police, and there really isn’t much difference in the unarmed/armed ratio among racial groups. To wit, over the 2015-2019 period as a whole—

  • 1,164 black citizens were killed by police—of which 104 or just 8.9% were unarmed;

  • 2,151 white citizens were killed by police—of which 127 or just 5.9% were unarmed;

  • 1,243 Hispanic and other citizens were killed by police—of which 71 or just 5.7% were unarmed;

But here’s the thing. This data does not really support either the Sean Hannity/Law & Order fulminations of the Foxified Right or the 400 years of racism and victimization mantra of the CNN/progressive Left.

Contrary to the Left, 93.4% of the dead victims of police violence were themselves armed; and the 91.1% incidence among blacks is not meaningfully different than the 95% rate among whites and Hispanics. The chart below shows the inverse—the share of victims of police deaths who were not armed.

At the same time, the above statistics do not prove that the cops were mostly right or justified, either, as per the Donald’s Law and Order Howling.

As we shall explore below, the real issue is did 4,558 citizens end-up on the losing end of police fire because they were hardened criminals and sociopathic threats to society or were they set-up by an overreaching legal system that puts too many citizens and police officers alike in harms’ way?

But preliminary to that, it needs be said that the rightwing mantra about police as heroic victims of criminal violence doesn’t wash, either. They have the overwhelming firepower in these instances of police-on-citizen violence as attested to be the facts regarding felonious deaths of law enforcement officers during the same five year span.

It turns out that during 2015 through 2019 there occurred 256 police deaths in the line of fire, bringing the total of police and citizen deaths in these encounters to 4,814. That is to say, the cops won 95% of the time, as well they might given their overwhelming superiority in arms, training, back-up support and legal immunity from being too quick on the trigger finger.

In this context, it should be noted that police deaths are sometimes reported at much higher levels - a total of 492 over the last five years rather than the 256 indicated above. However, exactly half of that larger total is considered accidental or non-felonious and includes traffic cops stepping into the wrong lane and even heart attacks in the squad car resulting from too many stops at Dunkin’ Donuts.

So the question recurs as to why there were 4,814 fatal encounters between police and citizens during the past five years.

We think the answer starts with a staggering statistic. Namely, the fact that there were 10,310,960 arrests in the US during the most recent year (2018) excluding traffic violations.

That’s 3,153 arrests per 100,000 population including babies, grannies, toddlers, tweeners, the disabled, the infirm and religious leaders including nuns, priests, preachers, rabbis and imams.

So when you talk about the subset of the population which actually get arrested with high frequency and accounts for most of these arrest totals–—young men between 16 and 35 years—the true arrest rate is far higher; it’s upwards of 15,000 per 100,000 population.

Either way, these arrests rates are far out whacko. Americans are not nearly that lawless, even when you allow for the chronic rotten apples in the population and the anti-social propensities of some young men.

And that hints at the real problem: We have way too many crimes and way too many cops who are way too heavily armed attempting to enforce laws that are not really the business of the state in the first place. In the most egregious kind of example, Eric Garner was apprehended and killed for selling “loosies”, or cigarettes one a time.

In fact, there are an estimated 300,000 Federal laws and regulations whose violation can lead to prison time; and when you throw in state and local jurisdictions, which historically have had an affinity for outlawing victimless crimes and the infinite forms of human vice, the total number of criminal offenses in America is surely well into the millions.

That’s why a disaggregation of the FBI’s UCR (Uniform Crime Reports) arrest statistics for 2018 tell you all you need to know about why the nation’s police forces are way over-funded and why a huge amount of confrontation and friction—including violent encounters––between citizens of all races are unnecessary.

In a word, some citizens sometimes can’t breathe their last breath because in far too many instances liberty can’t breath in today’s unhinged Nanny State, either.

Self-evidently, the legitimate law enforcement function of the state is protection of the life and property of its citizens. But when you look at the FBI’s own national arrest data for 2018, it appears that only about one-quarter of arrests were clearly pursuant to those core functions, meaning that the overwhelming bulk of arrests–-7,621,232-–were for drugs, gambling, prostitution, disorderly conduct and the like.

Among the core law enforcement functions, the 26% of all arrests broke out as follows:

  • 521,103 arrests for violent crimes against persons (5% of total);

  • 1,000,329 arrests for driving under the influence (DUI), a clear threat to the lives and property of other drivers (9.7%);

  • 1,167,296 arrests for crimes against property (11.3% of total)

Even when you drill down in these categories, however, the reality of way too many cops is evident. There were just 11,970 arrests for murder and negligent manslaughter in 2018 across the entire USA at all levels of law enforcement. Clearly, these are the most violent and heinous of violent crimes, yet they amounted to just 2.2% of all “violent crimes” reported via the UCR and a mere 0.1% of all arrests by the police.

Next in order of severity were arrests for rape, armed robbery under threat of violence to persons and aggravated assault. There were 25,205, 88,128 and 395,800 arrests in these categories, respectively, amounting to 0.2%, 0.9% and 3.9% of all 10.3 million recorded arrests.

Thus, these four categories are the core of violent crime arrests and totaled 521,103 arrests in 2018 or just 5.0% of total arrests That compares to 850,000 sworn law enforcement officers in the USA, of which about 750,000 are employed by the 18,000 units of state and local government.

To be sure, nearly 1.6 cops for every annual arrest in these four core functions sounds more than a bit lop-sided, but there are some additional arrests that add to the legitimate work loads of the police. These include the following crimes and their share of total arrests:

  • burglary: 178,611 (1.7%);

  • larceny-theft: 887,622 (8.6%);

  • motor vehicle theft: 91,676 (0.8%);

  • arson: 9,387 (0.09%).

  • DUI: 1,167,296 (11.3%)

Needless to say, these are all serious crimes that need to be enforced for the protection of life and property. But by their very nature, the vast bulk of the arrests in the above five categories do not ordinarily involve violent criminals, nor does their enforcement require combat-strength arms and tactics among police forces.

DUI arrests, for example, overwhelmingly involve citizens engaging in socially reckless behavior, but not habitual criminal activity. A detailed study awhile back, for example, showed that 65% of arrests resulted in no correctional supervision at all and another 27% of cases consisted of individuals sentenced to probation or jail who had no prior arrest records for crimes other than DUI. By contrast just 8% of DUI arrestees had prior non-DUI criminal records, and even then most of them were for lesser offenses.

Likewise, the FBI’s UCR system defines larceny-theft as follows:

The unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another. Examples are thefts of bicycles, motor vehicle parts and accessories, shoplifting, pocket-picking, or the stealing of any property or article that is not taken by force and violence or by fraud.

Nevertheless, larceny-theft accounts for 76% of all crimes against property reported in the UCR arrest data for 2018.

So the question recurs. If the nation’s huge and heavily armed police forces are involved in the arrests of core criminal in just 5% of their apprehensions and are dealing with serious but mainly non-violent criminals in another 21% of arrests dealing mainly with burglaries, drunk drivers, car thieves and arsonists, what are they doing the rest of the time?

Here is a spoiler alert. The single largest category of arrests in 2018 was for drug abuse violations, which totaled 1,654,282.

In fact, while total arrests in 2018 were no higher than they were in 1977 despite a 100 million/50% growth in the US population, and had actually dropped from a peak of nearly 13 million in 2006, the opposite trend was extant in the case of War on Drugs arrests.

As shown by the chart below, arrest in 2018 were nearly at peak levels and were up by more than 171% since 1977—the vast majority of which are made for drug possession generally, and marijuana possession most often.

War on Drugs Arrests, 1980-2016

Not surprisingly, the next largest arrest category after drugs is one called “other assaults” for which 1,063,535 arrests were made in 2018. Yet the FBI’s own definitions raise considerable doubts as to why these are even a matter of law enforcement by the state:

Other assaults (simple)?Assaults and attempted assaults where no weapon was used or no serious or aggravated injury resulted to the victim. Stalking, intimidation, coercion, and hazing are included.

Then, of course, we have all the victimless and vice crimes, including the following number of arrests::

  • Prostitution and commercialized vice: 31,147;

  • Sex offenses excluding rape and prostitution: 46,937;

  • Gambling: 3,323;

  • Liquor law offenses: 173,152;

  • Curfew and loitering law violations: 22,031;

  • Vagrancy: 23,546;

  • Public drunkenness: 328,772;

  • Disorderly conduct: 329,152;

  • Forgery and counterfeiting: 50,072;

  • Weapons carrying and possession: 168,403;

  • All other offenses: 3,231,700.

The latter huge number tells you all you need to know. The UCR lists 27 enumerated categories of crime including all of those itemized above–plus the usual suspects like fraud and embezzlement for which there were about 135,000 arrests in 2018. Yet when the whole lists is exhausted, 32% of arrests occurred for crimes that are so minor even the FBI is embarrassed to enumerate them:

All other offenses—All violations of state or local laws not specifically identified as Part I or Part II offenses.

So, yes, we do think there is way, way to many crimes and cops, and that de-criminalizing and de-funding law enforcement are the only route to reducing police violence.

Indeed, over the past four decades, the constant dollar cost of policing in the U.S. has almost tripled, from $42.3 billion in 1977 to $114.5 billion in 2017, according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data conducted by the Urban Institute. Yet that 171% gain compares to only a 20% increase in violent crimes from 1.0 million in 1977 to 1.2 million in 2017.

That is, real police spending per violent crime is up from $42,300 in 1977 to $95,400 in 2017.

Better that police did not spend 90% of their time on matters other than protecting the life and property of the citizenry; and in the process turning the Nanny State into an instrument of violence against citizens, and especially the young, poor and minorities who become ensnared in its vast over-reach.

*  *  *

This article was originally published at David Stockman’s Contra Corner.

Published:9/7/2020 9:10:25 PM
[Markets] "It Was Like Stepping On My D*ck": Jake Tapper Reamed Buzzfeed Ben For Steele Dossier Upstage "It Was Like Stepping On My D*ck": Jake Tapper Reamed Buzzfeed Ben For Steele Dossier Upstage Tyler Durden Mon, 09/07/2020 - 20:00

Hours after CNN reported the existence of the now-infamous Steele Dossier on January 10, 2017 - choosing to withhold key details because they hadn't been "independently corroborated," BuzzFeed's Ben Smith decided to kick the door in - publishing the salacious and unverified document funded by Hillary Clinton and the DNC.

The decision seriously pissed off CNN's Jake Tapper - who emailed Smith later that day, writing "I think your move makes the story less serious and credible[.] I think you damaged its impact," according to emails released Friday and reported by the Daily Caller's Chuck Ross.

The emails were released in response to a federal judge’s order to unseal documents from a lawsuit against BuzzFeed, which was sued in February 2017 by a Russian businessman who was accused in the dossier of being a Russian agent.

Lawyers for the Russian, Aleksej Gubarev, picked out the Tapper-Smith exchange in hopes of showing BuzzFeed failed to do its due diligence before publishing the dossier, which was funded by Democrats and compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele. -Daily Caller

"That was pretty uncollegial[.] Not to mention irresponsible[.] No one has verified this stuff," Tapper continued.

Smith replied, saying that publishing the dossier was "not an easy call," to which Tapper responded "Collegiality wise it was you stepping on my dick," adding "You could have waited til morning."

"Professionally this is unverified info[.] Your guys unlike us don’t even seem to know who the former agent i[s]," Tapper continued, seemingly referring to dossier author Christopher Steele.

Smith replied that "of course" he knew who wrote the dossier.

Three years and many investigations later, the Dossier was proven to be a hoax, the FBI was revealed to have spied on Trump's campaign, manipulated evidence, and lied to the FISA court - and Democrats pivoted to Ukraine in their unsuccessful attempt to remove Trump from office.

Published:9/7/2020 7:09:33 PM
[Politics] Strzok: Trump Still 'Vulnerable' With Russia President Donald Trump is in a vulnerable place with other countries heading into the November election, particularly with Russia, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, a leader in the "Crossfire Hurricane" investigation into the president's 2016 campaign, is claiming. "Without... Published:9/7/2020 9:04:05 AM
[Markets] Greenwald Exposes Journalism's New Propaganda Tool: Using "Confirmed" To Mean Its Opposite Greenwald Exposes Journalism's New Propaganda Tool: Using "Confirmed" To Mean Its Opposite Tyler Durden Sat, 09/05/2020 - 15:50

Authored by Glenn Greenwald via The Intercept,

Outlets claiming to have “confirmed” Jeffrey Goldberg’s story about Trump’s troops comments are again abusing that vital term...

ONE OF THE MOST HUMILIATING journalism debacles of the Trump era played out on December 8, 2017, first on CNN and then on MSNBC. The spectacle kicked off on that Friday morning at 11:00 a.m. when CNN, deploying its most melodramatic music and graphics designed to convey that a real bombshell was about to be dropped, announced that anonymous sources had provided the network with a smoking gun proving the Trump/Russia conspiracy once and for all: during the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump, Jr. had received a September 4 email with a secret encryption key that gave him advanced access to WikiLeaks’ servers containing the DNC emails which the group would subsequently release to the public ten days later. Cable news and online media spontaneously combusted, as is their wont, in shock, hysteria and awe over this proof that WikiLeaks and Trump were in cahoots.

CNN has ensured that no videos of the festivities are available on YouTube for anyone to watch. That’s because the claim was completely false in its most crucial respect. CNN misreported the date of the smoking gun email Trump, Jr. received: rather than being sent to him on September 4 - ten days prior to WikiLeaks’ public release, thus enabling secret access - the email was merely sent by a random member of the public after the public release by WikiLeaks (September 14), encouraging Trump, Jr. to look at those now-public emails.

Though the original false report cannot be viewed any longer (except in small snippets from other networks, principally Fox, discussing CNN’s debacle), one can view the cringe-inducing video of CNN’s Senior Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju explaining, after the Washington Post debunked the story, that “we are actually correcting” the reporting, doing his best to downplay what a massive blunder this was (though the whole thing is fantastic, my favorite line is when Raju says, with no small amount of understatement: “this appears to change the understanding of this story,” followed by: “perhaps the initial understanding of what this email was, perhaps is not as significant based on what we know now”: perhaps):

The CNN page which originally published the blockbuster story contains this rather significant correction at the top:

Washington (CNN) Correction: This story has been corrected to say the date of the email was September 14, 2016, not September 4, 2016. The story also changed the headline and removed a tweet from Donald Trump Jr., who posted a message about WikiLeaks on September 4, 2016.

So mistakes happen in journalism, even huge and embarrassing ones. Other than some petty schadenfreude, why is this worth remembering? The reason is that that sorry episode reflects a now-common but highly corrosive tactic of journalistic deceit.

Very shortly after CNN unveiled its false story, MSNBC’s intelligence community spokesman Ken Dilanian went on air and breathlessly announced that he had obtained independent confirmation that the CNN story was true. In a video segment I cannot recommend highly enough, Dilanian was introduced by an incredibly excited Hallie Jackson — who urged Dilanian to “tell us what we’ve just now learned,” adding: “I know you and some of our colleagues have confirmed some of this information: what’s up?” Dilanian then proceeded to explain what he had learned:

That’s right, Hallie. Two sources with direct knowledge of this are telling us that Congressional investigators have obtained an email from a man named “Mike Erickson” — obviously they don’t know if that’s his real name — offering Donald Trump and his son Donald Trump, Jr. access to WikiLeaks documents… It goes to the heart of the collusion question….. One of the big questions is: did [Trump Jr.] call the FBI?

MSNBC, December 8, 2017

How could that happen? How could MSNBC purport to confirm a false story from CNN? Shortly after, CBS News also purported to have “confirmed” the same false story: that Trump, Jr. received advanced access to the WikiLeaks documents. It’s one thing for a news outlet to make a mistake in reporting by, for instance, mis-reporting the date of an email and thus getting the story completely wrong. But how is it possible that multiple other outlets could “confirm” the same false report?

It’s possible because news outlets have completely distorted the term “confirmation” beyond all recognition. Indeed, they now use it to mean the exact opposite of what it actually means, thereby draping themselves in journalistic glory they have not earned and, worse, deceiving the public into believing that an unproven assertion has, in fact, been proven. With this disinformation method, they are doing the exact opposite of what journalism, at its core, is supposed to do: separate fact from speculation.

CNN ultimately blamed its anonymous sources for this error, but refused to out them by insisting that it was a somehow a good faith mistake rather than deliberate disinformation (how did multiple “good faith” sources all “accidentally misread” an email date in the same way? CNN, in the spirit of news outlets refusing to provide the accountability and transparency for themselves that they demand from others, refuses to this very day to address that question).

But what is clear is that the “confirmation” which both MSNBC and CBS claimed it had obtained for the story was anything but: all that happened was that the same sources which anonymously whispered these unverified, false claims to CNN then went and repeated the same unverified, false claims to other outlets, which then claimed that they “independently confirmed” the story even though they had done nothing of the sort.

IT SEEMS THE SAME MISLEADING TACTIC is now driving the supremely dumb but all-consuming news cycle centered on whether President Trump, as first reported by the Atlantic’s editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg, made disparaging comments about The Troops.

Goldberg claims that “four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day” — whom the magazine refuses to name because they fear “angry tweets” — told him that Trump made these comments. Trump, as well as former aides who were present that day (including Sarah Huckabee Sanders and John Bolton), deny that the report is accurate.

So we have anonymous sources making claims on one side, and Trump and former aides (including Bolton, now a harsh Trump critic) insisting that the story is inaccurate. Beyond deciding whether or not to believe Goldberg’s story based on what best advances one’s political interests, how can one resolve the factual dispute? If other media outlets could confirm the original claims from Goldberg, that would obviously be a significant advancement of the story.

Other media outlets — including Associated Press and Fox News — now claim that they did exactly that: “confirmed” the Atlantic story. But if one looks at what they actually did, at what this “confirmation” consists of, it is the opposite of what that word would mean, or should mean, in any minimally responsible sense.

AP, for instance, merely claims that “a senior Defense Department official with firsthand knowledge of events and a senior U.S. Marine Corps officer who was told about Trump’s comments confirmed some of the remarks to The Associated Press,” while Fox merely said “a former senior Trump administration official who was in France traveling with the president in November 2018 did confirm other details surrounding that trip.”

In other words, all that likely happened is that the same sources who claimed to Jeffrey Goldberg, with no evidence, that Trump said this went to other outlets and repeated the same claims — the same tactic that enabled MSNBC and CBS to claim they had “confirmed” the fundamentally false CNN story about Trump Jr. receiving advanced access to the WikiLeaks archive. Or perhaps it was different sources aligned with those original sources and sharing their agenda who repeated these claims. Given that none of the sources making these claims have the courage to identify themselves, due to their fear of mean tweets, it is impossible to know.

But whatever happened, neither AP nor Fox obtained anything resembling “confirmation.” They just heard the same assertions that Goldberg heard, likely from the same circles if not the same people, and are now abusing the term “confirmation” to mean “unproven assertions” or “unverifiable claims” (indeed, Fox now says that “two sources who were on the trip in question with Trump refuted the main thesis of The Atlantic’s reporting”).

It should go without saying that none of this means that Trump did not utter these remarks or ones similar to them. He has made public statements in the past that are at least in the same universe as the ones reported by the Atlantic, and it is quite believable that he would have said something like this (though the absolute last person who should be trusted with anything, particularly interpreting claims from anonymous sources, is Jeffrey Goldberg, who has risen to one of the most important perches in journalism despite (or, more accurately because of) one of the most disgraceful and damaging records of spreading disinformation in service of the Pentagon and intelligence community’s agenda).

But journalism is not supposed to be grounded in whether something is “believable” or “seems like it could be true.” Its core purpose, the only thing that really makes it matter or have worth, is reporting what is true, or at least what evidence reveals. And that function is completely subverted when news outlets claim that they “confirmed” a previous report when they did nothing more than just talked to the same people who anonymously whispered the same things to them as were whispered to the original outlet.

Quite aside from this specific story about whether Trump loves The Troops, conflating the crucial journalistic concept of “confirmation” with “hearing the same idle gossip” or “unproven assertions” is a huge disservice. It is an instrument of propaganda, not reporting. And its use has repeatedly deceived rather than informed the public. Anyone who doubts that should review how it is that MSNBC and CBS both claimed to have “confirmed” a CNN report which turned out to be ludicrously and laughably false. Clearly, the term “confirmation” has lost its meaning in journalism.

Published:9/5/2020 2:51:36 PM
[Markets] Police Arrest 27 After Another Violent Protest In Portland Police Arrest 27 After Another Violent Protest In Portland Tyler Durden Sat, 09/05/2020 - 14:35

Portland police made multiple arrests overnight on Friday during what one independent journalist described as a "violent Antifa riot". Nearly 100 days have passed since the unrest started, and it looks like the seemingly professional class of demonstrators keeping the unrest alive aren't slowing down at all.

The night after the suspect in a fatal shooting - a suspect who once described himself on camera as "100% Antifa" - was himself gunned down after pulling a gun on the cops who came to arrest him, violent rioters in Portland once again came out to attack federal property.

According to Reuters, police arrested 27 people, mostly on charges of interfering with law enforcement or disorderly conduct. Many were arrested for throwing projectiles at officers.

"Officers began to make targeted arrests and in some cases moved the crowd back and kept them out of the street,” according to a press released issued on Saturday.

Here's a more in-depth description of the protest from the AP, which said a few hundred demonstrators participated. The demonstrators ultimately tried to target the Portland Police Association building.

A few hundred demonstrators had met at Kenton Park before making their way to the Portland Police Association building, where officers warned protesters to stay off the streets and private property. Those who refused could be subject to citation, arrest, the use of tear gas, crowd-control agents or impact munitions, police said.

Around midnight, police ran down the street, pushing protesters out of the area, knocking people down and arresting those who they say were not following orders — as some people were being detained, they were pinned to the ground and blood could be seen marking the pavement. Law enforcement officers used smoke devices and shot impact munitions and stun grenades while trying to get the crowd to disperse, The Oregonian reported.

The Portland Police Bureau issued a statement Saturday morning, saying some officers reported that rocks, a full beverage can and water bottles had been thrown at them, prompting police to declare the gathering an unlawful assembly.

Police said at one woman who was detained was bleeding from an abrasion on her head, and she was treated by medics at the scene before being transported by an ambulance. The Portland Police Bureau said she jumped out of the ambulance and ran away before it left the scene, however.

Most of those arrested were arrested on suspicion of interfering with a peace officer or disorderly conduct, police said.

Portland wasn't alone: violence, vandalism and looting swept across Rochester and NYC last night, too.

But protesters claimed they had a right to keep coming out following the new revelations of the killing of Daniel Prude revealed on Wednesday, while President Trump signed a memo threatening to cut federal funding to “lawless” cities, including Portland, unless they bring the street violence under control.

And Ngo, the faithful chronicler of the unrest sweeping across the US since the killing of George Floyd, shared video of the latest round of protests from last night, including one scene where protesters nearly hit their "comrades" with thrown projectiles as they were being taken into custody.

One woman who was arrested at the "violent" protest reportedly escaped from an ambulance.

And for all the 'blue checks' who insist on soliciting donations to "bail funds", here's where that money is going to.;

We imagine they'll be back again on Saturday, as the cycle of unrest continues and Democratic mayors move to "defy" President Trump over his threat to cut federal funding.

Finally, as we've said before, it's important to remember that the violence we are seeing is in mostly white cities by mostly white people. Minneapolis is 19% black. Seattle is 7% black and Portland is 6% black. Kenosha is 10% black and close to 80% white. Even LA, which has a larger population of blacks, hasn't seen riots erupt like Portland, even after the city suffered yet another police shooting of a black man.

Published:9/5/2020 1:48:05 PM
[Politics] Peter Strzok: Attacks From Trump 'Outrageous' and 'Cruel' Peter Strzok spent his FBI career hunting Russian and Chinese spies, but after news broke of derogatory text messages he had sent about President Donald Trump, he came to feel like he was the one being hunted. Published:9/5/2020 12:50:25 PM
[Markets] FBI Raids Pennsylvania Nursing Home Which Saw A Whopping 447 COVID-19 Infections FBI Raids Pennsylvania Nursing Home Which Saw A Whopping 447 COVID-19 Infections Tyler Durden Sat, 09/05/2020 - 11:20

A nursing home which has seen at least 73 residents die of COVID-19 and more than 400 residents and staff infected has been raided by the FBI late this week after being flagged for rampant health violations, including administering experimental doses of hydroxychloroquine to about half its 435 residents in an attempt to stave off the outbreak, despite not having state health authorities or families' approval to do so.

Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center, located northeast of Pittsburgh, drove headlines last spring into the summer for seeing the single biggest coronavirus outbreak numbers of any facility in the state. 

Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in Brighton Township, Pa. Image: AP

Over three weeks ago Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro launched a criminal investigation related to unsafe “conditions and practices” of the nursing home, namely according to a prior statement, that it failed to meet a “high threshold of certain circumstances when the caretaker of a person fails to properly provide for their health, safety and welfare.”

In other press statements “neglect” of patients has been central to the allegations, including abandoning patients for long periods of time, without access to clean clothes, or simple needs like tissues and enough water to drink. 

According to police records, local law enforcement had at some point stopped responding to calls to the facility, given the danger to police of potentially catching the virus.

Investigators from the Pennsylvania Attorney's general office assisted in Thursday's FBI raid, including at another nearby hard hit care center, the Mt. Lebanon Rehabilitation and Wellness Center outside Pittsburgh.

Essentially all of Brighton's elder residents caught the disease as well as many staff over a few month period, totaling a whopping 447 residents and staff testing positive, according to Pennsylvania Department of Health data. One staff member had died as well in addition to the 73 deceased residents.

FBI at the facility Thursday, KDKA/CBS-2 Pittsburgh

In April NBC News wrote that the entirety of the residents and staff were "presumed infected":

The Pennsylvania nursing home where all 750 residents and staffers may be infected with the coronavirus was hit last year with a "below average grade" by state inspectors who warned that lax sanitary conditions could lead to the "spread of infection and diseases," Medicare records revealed.

Even months prior to the coronavirus pandemic, health authorities were investigating the facility over widespread reports that patients were living in filth and being mistreated:

The report [from Sept. 2019] "identified repeated deficiencies related to proper infection control procedures not maintained during dressage change, improper storage of soiled linens and failure to provide appropriate facilities for hand washing which created the potential for cross contamination and the potential spread of infections and diseases."

The facility in reaction to the investigation appeared to point the finger at the failed response of state and federal health officials, however, stating: “We will leave the readers to determine why some politicians seek 'investigations' into people and facilities instead of looking at governmental response to better their directives.”

Published:9/5/2020 10:47:29 AM
[Markets] Nigerian Meddling: 80 Charged By FBI In "Massive Conspiracy" To Steal Millions Using Online Scams Nigerian Meddling: 80 Charged By FBI In "Massive Conspiracy" To Steal Millions Using Online Scams Tyler Durden Fri, 09/04/2020 - 19:25

80 people have been charged by the FBI in a "massive conspiracy" to defraud millions of dollars from businesses, the elderly and vulnerable women, according to Oxygen. Most of those charged were Nigerian nationals, according to the report.

Those charged were accused of using various online scams to deceive targets and convince them to hand over "at least $6 million". The group "attempted to steal another $40 million" after that.

The suspects were said to have used both "romance scams" and "business schemes" that allowed them to hack into company escrow accounts. U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna said: “We believe this is one of the largest cases of its kind in US history.”

One scheme uncovered was a Japanese woman who thought she had been conversing with a U.S. Army captain stationed in Syria.

The two were pen pals before the relationship turned romantic and the man - we swear we are not making this up - "claimed he had discovered a bag of diamonds in Syria." He sought the woman's help and asked her to send money. The woman borrowed from family, friends and even her ex-husband, before sending over $200,000 to the man over the course of 10 months. 

Authorities later revealed the scheme was being run by "two Nigerian men based in Los Angeles" who relied on associates in Nigeria and other countries to assist them. The woman was "extremely depressed and angry about these losses," the federal complaint against the men stated.

About a week ago, the United State’s Attorney’s Office Central District of California unsealed a 252-count federal grand jury indictment charging 80 people in the “massive conspiracy.” The two ringleaders of the group, Valentine Iro, 31, and Chukwudi Chrisogunus Igbokwe, 38, oversaw an "extensive money laundering network," the complaint says. 

They are among 17 who have been arrested by authorities. Many other suspects live in other countries and Federal authorities are seeking to work to extradite those charged. They face conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to launder money, and aggravated identity theft charges. 

Hanna concluded: “This case is part of our ongoing efforts to protect Americans from fraudulent online schemes and to bring to justice those who prey upon American citizens and businesses. Today, we have taken a major step to disrupt criminal networks that use BEC schemes, romance scams and other frauds to fleece victims. This indictment sends a message that we will identify perpetrators – no matter where they reside – and we will cut off the flow of ill-gotten gains.”

Published:9/4/2020 6:43:09 PM
[Markets] Smith & Wesson Reports "Record" Gun Sales As Violent Crime Soars  Smith & Wesson Reports "Record" Gun Sales As Violent Crime Soars  Tyler Durden Fri, 09/04/2020 - 13:30

Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. reported on Thursday after the cash close that its quarterly firearm revenue doubled, compared to the same quarter last year, as the virus pandemic, social unrest/violent crime, and crashed economy fuelled unprecedented demand for guns and ammo by first-time buyers.

The Springfield, Mass. based gun company's firearm segment reported a record $230 million in gross sales for the quarter ending in July, a massive 141% increase compared with the quarter a year ago. Net income soared to $55 million over the period, or 97 cents per diluted share, compared to $1.7 million in 2Q19, or about 3 cents per diluted share.

Chief Executive Officer Mark Smith credited the jump in quarterly sales to the increase in first-time gun owners, along with the company's ability to quickly scale up and handle the rise in demand over the three months. 

"Today, I am pleased to report record-breaking first-quarter financial results for Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc.," Smith wrote in the quarterly report. 

He said, "Our record revenue and unit sales during the quarter demonstrates our ability to rapidly respond to increased demand through our flexible manufacturing model and our state-of-the-art distribution facility, delivering outstanding products that resonate with the firearms consumer."

Smith continued, "With the successful spin-off of our Outdoor Products & Accessories segment last week, we have now returned to our heritage as a pure-play firearms company, with a focus on organic growth and returning excess capital to our stockholders.  As such, our Board of Directors has authorized the company to declare a regular, quarterly cash dividend of $0.05 per share. Our first quarterly dividend will be payable on October 1, 2020, to shareholders of record as of the market close on September 17, 2020."  

During an earnings call with analysts, the CEO said, "the current increase in consumer demand for firearms is, in many ways, unparalleled." 

Smith & Wesson shares have surged 421% since the start of lockdowns in mid-March. 

Smith nor the quarterly report specifically mentions social unrest as a driving force behind the company's sales. As readers know, gun and ammo manufacturers have been riding a massive wave of consumer fear that has led to one of the most massive gun demand spikes in years. 

Handguns, particularly the M&P9 SHIELD EZ semiautomatic pistol has been a popular weapon sold to first-time buyers over the last six months. We noted on several occasions that surging demand for pistols has led to a 9mm shortage.

The latest FBI background check data shows 3.1 million checks were logged in August, with total checks this year at a record high of 28.4 million. 

Smith said the fastest-growing groups of new weapon purchases are African-Americans and women. 

At least 5 million Americans, for the first time, bought a gun(s) this year as a socio-economic 'bomb' explodes across major US cities.

Published:9/4/2020 12:42:07 PM
[World] The FBI’s ‘Civil Liberties Training’ is a Farce

If they want to really train their agents, they should thoroughly examine the Bureau's own past abuses.

The post The FBI’s ‘Civil Liberties Training’ is a Farce appeared first on The American Conservative.

Published:9/4/2020 12:12:25 PM
[Markets] It's Being Projected That Over 50 Million Americans Will Be Fighting Hunger By Year-End It's Being Projected That Over 50 Million Americans Will Be Fighting Hunger By Year-End Tyler Durden Fri, 09/04/2020 - 09:25

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

Has there ever been a time in your life when you haven’t had enough food to make it through the week?  If you have never experienced this, you are extremely fortunate.  Even during the best of times, millions of Americans struggle with hunger, and these definitely are not the best of times.  Because of all the crazy things that have happened so far in 2020, large numbers of people have been forced into dramatic lifestyle changes.  Many Americans have deeply cut their food budgets due to a lack of income, others are now only eating one or two meals a day, and we are seeing more demand at food banks around the country than we ever have before. 

It is quite obvious that massive numbers of people are really hurting, and Bloomberg is reporting that it is being projected that the number of Americans that are “fighting hunger” will rise to “more than 50 million” by the end of this calendar year…

The ranks of Americans fighting hunger are projected to swell some 45% this year to more than 50 million.

To me, that is an absolutely staggering figure.

Right now, the U.S. has a total population of about 328 million people, and so that figure that Bloomberg quoted represents a sizable chunk of the country.

And we certainly don’t have to wait until the end of the year for the numbers to get really, really bad.  In fact, it is being reported that one recent survey found that approximately one-tenth of all U.S. households “haven’t had enough food in a given week”

During the pandemic, about a 10th of American households reported they haven’t had enough food in a given week. That’s a shocking figure for the world’s richest country. It’s more than double pre-Covid figures and the highest since comparable government data starts in 1995.

I feel especially bad for the children that are going hungry.

Can you imagine how bad parents must feel when their children tell them that they are hungry and the parents have nothing to provide?

And this is just the beginning.  Food prices are going to continue skyrocketing over the coming year, and that is just going to stretch family budgets even more.

A few days ago, I strongly urged my readers to stockpile food for the chaotic times that are ahead.  Food prices are only going to go higher, and economic conditions are going to continue to deteriorate.

In fact, some more major job cuts were just announced.  For example, Ford just announced that it will be eliminating “1,400 white collar jobs”

Ford is looking to cut 1,400 white collar jobs in a cost-savings move.

The automaker sent out letters to employees Wednesday saying that salaried staff eligible for retirement would be getting early retirement offers next week. Those who take the offer by October 23 would be leaving the company by the end of the year.

And United Airlines just announced that they will be furloughing more than 16,000 workers

With no air travel rebound or new federal help in sight, United Airlines says it will furlough about 20% of its frontline employees in less than a month’s time.

In a new memo to its employees, United (UAL) says that 16,370 employees will be furloughed when payroll restrictions attached to a federal bailout expire October 1.

Because most Americans live paycheck to paycheck, a job loss can plunge a family into dire straits very rapidly.  All over the U.S., we are seeing long lines of people driving very nice vehicles waiting for up to six hours to get food at local food banks.

Over the past 23 weeks, more than 58 million Americans have filed initial claims for unemployment benefits, and many of them have “suddenly” found themselves in need of food.  For a lot of them, it is the first time something like this has ever happened to them.

And so many people that I talk to believe that what we have experienced so far is just the tip of the iceberg and that much worse is coming.  There is such a sense of urgency in the air, and gun sales just keep setting record after record.  In fact, we just learned that gun sales during the month of August were 57 percent higher than last year

The Washington Free Beacon reported Tuesday that the U.S. saw more gun sales in August 2020 than any other August since the FBI has been logging data on the subject. According to the outlet’s analysis of FBI background check data, there were at least 1.6 million firearm purchases during the past month, a 57% increase compared to August of last year.

Other Americans are responding to our current circumstances by wallowing in depression and despair.  According to the Daily Mail, the number of Americans reporting symptoms of depression has “tripled over the last eight months”…

Researchers found that the percentage of US adults reporting mild, moderate or severe symptoms tripled over the last eight months.

And as things get even worse, a ton of people out there simply are not going to be able to handle what is happening.

That is why I really wanted my new book to be a book of hope.  Yes, we are entering a chapter of history that is going to be far more horrible than most people would dare to imagine.  But I believe that there is hope in understanding what is happening, there is hope in getting prepared, and there is hope in trusting that God has everything in His hands.

So many people out there still have so much faith in the system, but when things really get crazy the government is not going to be delivering big baskets of food to your door for you and your family.

Tonight, millions upon millions of American families do not have enough food to eat, and more jobs are being lost with each passing day.

You might think that your job is safe, and hopefully that is true, but millions of others also thought their jobs were secure right before they were let go.

Recently, I have had a lot of people ask me about gold and silver, and I have always thought very highly of precious metals.

But you can’t eat gold or silver.  Before you ever focus on precious metals, make sure that you have enough food stored up for yourself, your family, your friends and your neighbors, because having enough food is going to be absolutely critical during the times that we are moving into.

Published:9/4/2020 8:40:52 AM
[Markets] "We Just Passed A Guy In A Jet Pack": FBI Investigating After Pilots Report Sighting At 3,000 Feet "We Just Passed A Guy In A Jet Pack": FBI Investigating After Pilots Report Sighting At 3,000 Feet Tyler Durden Wed, 09/02/2020 - 15:20

The FBI is now involved after an American Airlines pilot claims he saw a man in a jet pack on Sunday night while he was on final approach near Los Angeles International Airport, according to the LA Times. The flight was American Airlines Flight 1997 from Philadelphia. 

“Tower, American 1997. We just passed a guy in a jet pack,” the pilot is heard telling the tower at LAX.

The tower responded:

“American 1997, OK, thank you. Were they off to your left or right side?”

The pilot responded:

“Off the left side, maybe 300 yards or so, about our altitude.”

A second pilot from a Jet Blue flight also confirmed seeing the person: “We just saw the guy pass us by in the jet pack.”

“Only in L.A.,” the tower muttered

Seth Young, a pilot and a professor of aviation at Ohio State University, told the NY Times: “The risk is obviously having a collision with that airplane or getting a drone, or the person getting ingested into an engine. We have these issues with birds flying within congested airspace, as well.”

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said:

 “The FBI is aware of the reports by pilots on Sunday and is working to determine what occurred.”

The agency confirmed on Tuesday that it was now involved in an investigation.  

The FAA said it had also confirmed the report, telling the LA Times: “Two airline flight crews reported seeing what appeared to be someone in a jet pack as they were on their final approach to LAX around 6:35 p.m. Sunday. The FAA alerted local law enforcement to the reports and is looking into these reports."

You can listen to the audio of the air traffic control conversation here.

Published:9/2/2020 2:24:56 PM
[World] FBI Warns Chicago Cops of Gang Pact to 'Shoot on-Sight Any Cop' Published:9/2/2020 8:26:13 AM
[2020 Election] August Shatters Another Gun Sales Record

August 2020 saw more gun sales than any other August on record as Americans continue to rush to gun stores at a record pace. A Washington Free Beacon analysis of FBI data released on Tuesday found a 57 percent increase in sales compared to August 2019. There were at least 1.6 million sales in August ...

The post August Shatters Another Gun Sales Record appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:9/1/2020 5:48:49 PM
[] Russia's Internet Research Agency created a far-left, anti-U.S. news site but it couldn't compete with the real thing Published:9/1/2020 4:23:22 PM
[Markets] Carter Page’s FISA Related 'Woods File' Docs Disappear Carter Page’s FISA Related 'Woods File' Docs Disappear Tyler Durden Tue, 09/01/2020 - 17:06

Authored by Sara Carter via saraacarter.com (emphasis ours)

The original Woods file on former campaign advisor Carter Page  went missing more than two years ago, and according to sources who spoke to SaraACarter.com, those documents had to be recreated by the FBI and former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team in 2018 from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Application used by the bureau to obtain the warrant on Page. That FISA was used in part to investigate President Donald Trump’s campaign and the now-debunked theory that it colluded with Russia during the 2016 election, according to several sources, with knowledge, who spoke to this reporter.

The woods file procedure, which was overseen by FBI Supervisory Special Agent Joe Pientka, and ultimately former FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok, was used to verify the contents in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act application that was used to obtain a warrant to spy on Page.

Moreover, during Pientka’s numerous interviews with investigators from the DOJ’s Inspector General’s office, who likely have worked for both Michael Horowitz and Connecticut prosecutor John Durham – the fact that it was a recreated Wood’s file was never disclosed.

In fact, it had been missing for an unknown period of time, possibly up to two years and officials did not become aware it had disappeared until last week during a closed-door Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.

Pientka attended the closed-door hearing, along with other FBI officials, according to sources familiar with the proceedings.

“The real story here is how does the FBI, Special Counsel’s Office and Inspector General figure out if the Wood’s file went missing through malice or through incompetence,” said a source with knowledge if the circumstances.

Pientka has so far been cleared by the Justice Department and not charged with any wrongdoing. According to sources, he has been speaking and cooperating with Justice Department officials and members of Congress. He still maintains active employment with the FBI, unlike Strzok, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former Assistant Director Bill Priestap, among others.

 

The fact that the investigation was run as a ‘special’ out of FBI Headquarters is not unique,” said a person familiar with the situation. “However, running an investigation like that out of headquarters causes all sorts of problems including access to control and sensitive items, improper storage and handling of those sensitive items, and the ability for individuals to become involved in things or gain access to information that they should never rightly have.”

The real story here is how does the FBI, Special Counsel’s Office and Inspector General figure out if the Wood’s file went missing through malice or though incompetence,” the source added. “Either answer doesn’t reflect well on this investigation.”

FBI officials did not respond by close of business after being contacted several hours earlier. However, this story will be updated once a response is received.

Justice Department spokesperson Kerri Kupec could not be reached by phone or email for comment.

The information regarding Carter Page’s woods file also comes on the heels of an announcement Tuesday by Justice Department Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray that they are rolling out a series of new reforms and procedures for seeking approval of intelligence-related surveillance of campaign staff and officials.

These reforms “will empower the FBI to build a more robust internal compliance program … that will ensure, among other things, the accuracy of [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] applications, as well as the active oversight of applications targeting federal elected officials, candidates for federal elected office, and their staffs,” the news release stated.

Carter Page, author of the new book “Abuse and Power: How an Innocent American Was Framed in an Attempted Coup Against a President,” sent a statement to SaraACarter.com saying, “after years of waiting for basic level of accountability in the U.S. intelligence community and the Democratic party, the crooks continue to roam free in Washington.

He noted that as “we approach the next presidential election, these latest small steps by the DOJ and FBI have not yet sufficiently addressed the criminal acts by ruthlessly partisan political actors in the swamp.”

“The cancerous abuses by the once-respected National Security Division have still not found an effective remedy, following the destruction of so many loyal American citizens,” he added.

In fact, Carter Page’s life was turned upside down when members of the intelligence community and federal law enforcement apparatus began leaking false information to the media. They used the unverified FISA application, that was later discovered to have numerous errors and omissions that were purposefully done to obtain the warrant to spy on him.

Last month, FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith pleaded guilty to altering an email that would have cleared any suspicion about Page conspiring with Russians. The email was verification that Page was acting on behalf of the CIA and had cooperated with the U.S. government on numerous occasions.

In fact, the Woods file procedure, which was named after FBI Special Agent Michael Woods and instituted in 2001, is to ensure that there are no inaccuracies and that all the information in a FISA application is verified. The application can only be presented to the court once it is verified.

With original Wood’s file missing, investigators now will be unable to properly determine where or how the information presented to the FISC was verified, altered or omitted, according to multiple sources.

The FISA, however, also relied on a shoddy dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, who was paid by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC to dig up dirt on Trump. The dossier has now been discovered to be bogus but it was used as a supporting piece of evidence in the FISA to get the warrant.

The investigation into Trump and his campaign, however, was known as a ‘special’ and bureau kept the investigation at headquarters where “the odds of leaks were believed to be less likely,” said one source. However, FBI headquarters in Washington D.C., unlike the FBI’s 56 field offices, is incapable of appropriately storing and securing information in investigations.

Strzok and Lisa Page Discuss Expediting Woods procedure and FISA Before 2016 Election

The history behind the FBI’s FISA application to obtain a warrant to spy on Page is long, murky and scattered in documents obtained by Congressional investigations that have taken years to complete.

Those texts and emails are invaluable to understanding what transpired. In one exchange durning October, 2016, Strzok emails Page, about the FISA. The back and forth included former FBI Deputy Director McCabe and how they would get him to push the DOJ to. sign off on the warrant to spy on Carter Page.

McCabe, like Strzok, was fired for lying numerous times to the DOJ’s Inspector General investigators under then Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

In the email with the subject line, “Crossfire FISA” – referring to the FBI’s code name for its probe into the Trump campaign’s 2016 election and the bureau’s now debunked theory members conspired with Russia – the pair discussed what they would tell McCabe regarding the FISA.

“At a minimum, that keeps the hurry the F up pressure on him,” said Strzok to Page on Oct. 14, 2016.

“Still an expedite?” one of the emails stated. The reason they were expediting the process was because the election was only months away and the agents were desperate to have access to Carter Page’s communications.

“Any idea what time he can have it woods-ed by?” said Strzok to Page. “I know it’s not going to matter because DOJ is going to take the time DOJ wants to take. I just don’t want this waiting on us at all.”

However, without the Woods procedure files we may not ever know what transpired and what information was actually used to target Carter Page.

The truth, however, resides in all the agents and former senior Obama officials with knowledge of the FBI’s role and their role in handling the case.

The malfeasance ran deep and straight to the top of the bureau. Attorney General Barr and Durham shouldn’t leave any stone unturned and expose what happened to the American public.

There is no way that a file of that significance can go missing in an investigation into a Presidential campaign and then a President of the United States.

The next question we should be asking is “why didn’t anyone know until now?”

Published:9/1/2020 4:23:21 PM
[Uncategorized] FBI Warns Gangs May be Targeting Chicago Police Officers

Is it any wonder police forces nationwide are experience mass retirement and resignation?

The post FBI Warns Gangs May be Targeting Chicago Police Officers first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.

Published:9/1/2020 2:30:40 PM
[Markets] 'Shoot On-Site': Chicago Gangs Form Pact To Execute Cops Who Draw Weapons On Suspects, Says FBI 'Shoot On-Site': Chicago Gangs Form Pact To Execute Cops Who Draw Weapons On Suspects, Says FBI Tyler Durden Mon, 08/31/2020 - 23:55

The FBI has warned Chicago-area law enforcement that nearly three-dozen street gangs "have formed a pact to 'shoot on-site any cop that has a weapon drawn on any subject in public'," according to ABC7.

According to an August 26 'situation information report' from Chicago-based FBI officials, "members of these gang factions have been actively searching for, and filming, police officers in performance of their official duties. The purpose of which is to catch on film an officer drawing his/her weapon on any subject and the subsequent 'shoot on-site' of said officer, in order to garner national media attention."

Alerts based on police intelligence, no matter how unspecific, are frequently distributed to law enforcement agencies according to investigators, especially when they involve threats to officers. The FBI's "Potential Activity Alert" is from "a contact whose reporting is limited and whose reliability cannot be determined." That could mean the information came from a police street source, a cooperating witness in an ongoing case, or from discussions overheard on a wiretap or other surveillance recording. -ABC7

According to CPD Superintendent David Brown, there is an overall "sense of lawlessness" felt by local police, and the 'danger to police officers is real and increasing.'

"I think it's bigger than a suggestion," said Brown. "I think 51 officers being shot at or shot in one year, I think that quadruples any previous year in Chicago's history. So I think it's more than a suggestion that people are seeking to do harm to cops."

The alleged pact comes amid national protests over several high-profile incidents between black suspects and police officers which has resulted in arson, looting, murder and other violent acts in cities across the country sparked by the death of George Floyd - a black suspect who died in police custody after an officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes.

As ABC7 notes, the warning comes after 54 people were shot in the windy city - including two Chicago PD officers who are expected to live, while 10 victims died according to the report. That said, there is no indication that the officers were targeted as part of the alleged gang assassination pact described in the FBI alert.

The FBI alert, headlined "Pact Made by People Nation Gang Factions to 'Shoot On-Site' Any Police Officer with a Weapon Drawn" lists street gangs that have become well-known in Chicago the past five decades, from the Latin Kings and Vice Lords to the El Rukns and Black P Stones.

Supt. Brown said on Monday the spike in attacks on police makes it clear to him that "people are seeking to do harm to cops."

"We need police officers and as community members we need to push back fervently against lawlessness," Brown said. -ABC7

Chicago PD told the outlet that they are aware of the gang threat, and take all threats to officers' safety seriously. Federal authorities have not provided additional information. 

Published:8/31/2020 11:10:47 PM
[Markets] Oregon State Police Are Back In Portland - And This Time They Will Be Sticking Around Oregon State Police Are Back In Portland - And This Time They Will Be Sticking Around Tyler Durden Mon, 08/31/2020 - 21:05

While progressives, anarchists, socialists, agitators and their 'woke' enablers in the mainstream press blame right-wing - or 'white supremacist' - groups like 'Patriot Prayer' for the murder of one of the group's own members, the reality is that Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler left an opening for violence to escalate when they pulled out the state police.

Regular readers may remember that President Trump and Department of Homeland Security acting Secretary Chad Wolf finally withdrew federal troops from Portland after reaching a deal for the State Police to protect a federal courthouse in the city. Soon after, Oregon's leading Democrats pulled the reinforcements. But now that a man has been killed, they're realizing the downside of pandering to unstable anarchists.

So - in accordance with the plan released by Brown Sunday night - Oregon's State Police are returning to Portland on Monday, and this time, it looks like they'll be there for a while. At least until the protests, which have endured for 3.5 months, quiet down.

In order to try and make it seem like the police surge is intended to fight crime in the community, rather than serving as a 'dangerous occupying force' (as progressive critics will inevitably label it), Brown has secured "additional resources" from the FBI and the US Attorney's office.

Governor Kate Brown, a Democrat, released a plan Sunday night in response to violence that she said was stoked by an armed right-wing group called Patriot Prayer. In addition to bringing in state police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorney would commit more resources to prosecuting criminal offenders.

"Every Oregonian has the right to freely express their views without fear of deadly violence. I will not allow Patriot Prayer and armed white supremacists to bring more bloodshed to our streets," Brown said in a statement.

The locals - and the professional agitators from out of town - gave the state troopers a hero's welcome Monday night by pelting the with eggs and other projectiles. Police said 29 people were arrested at the "unlawful gathering" in northeastern Portland. Two of those arrested had loaded handguns on their persons. Others had knives, and rocks.

While Brown, Wheeler and other Democrats continue to focus their rhetoric on dangerous "white supremacist" groups, the man identified as the shooter in Saturday's fatal shooting described himself as "100% Antifa" during a recent interview.

Gov. Brown underscored her kinder, gentler approach to policing Portland by confirming a new superintendent of the Oregon State Police.

Her name is Terri Davie, and she's a 24-year veteran of law enforcement in the state, according to the Oregonian.

"Terri brings a wealth of law enforcement experience to this role and a strong record of leading by example," Brown said during a statement. "She brings a focus on inclusivity and is dedicated to listening to community voices - including Oregon’s Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and Tribal communities - as we work towards a more fair and just law enforcement system in Oregon."

Meanwhile, as backlash to the shooting crystallizes national opposition to the professional protester class, a large group of agitators who have been heavily trading on their first amendment right to peaceably assemble, Eric Weinstein responded to a clip of one agitator gloating over the killing of the man on Saturday.

Now that's some sad commentary.

Published:8/31/2020 8:10:00 PM
[132305d8-e338-5759-ae0e-751cc08b0f04] Retired cop recalls horrifying encounter with 'deadliest' serial killer Samuel Little in doc: 'He's a monster' Wayne Spees was a rookie in the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) when he and his partner came face-to-face with the man the FBI calls “the deadliest serial killer in U.S. history.” Published:8/31/2020 5:08:35 PM
[Politics] Book: John Kelly Turned Down FBI Job Over Trump Loyalty Pledge President Donald Trump asked his former chief of staff John Kelly to serve as FBI director if he would provide a loyalty pledge, but Kelly refused, according to a new book. Axios reported that in "Donald Trump v. The United States," journalist Michael Schmidt wrote that Kelly turned... Published:8/31/2020 8:35:58 AM
[Markets] How Germany's Lockdowns Have Fostered Resentment & Violence Among The Nation's Youth How Germany's Lockdowns Have Fostered Resentment & Violence Among The Nation's Youth Tyler Durden Mon, 08/31/2020 - 05:00

Authored by Maurus Adam via The Mises Institute,

Riots against police have not only occurred in the US. Two events have spurred a public debate in Germany recently.

On the night of June 20, police officers in Stuttgart stopped a 17-year-old to check for drugs in an area popular with young partygoers. Two to three hundred people in the crowd of bystanders sympathized with the young man and attacked the police. The situation escalated into riots and lootings. Forty stores were damaged, 9 looted, and 32 police officers were injured. The damage is estimated at between six and seven figures. Police believe that as many as five hundred people participated in the riots. Twenty-five arrests were made the same night; 12 of the arrested were German citizens and 3 of them had an immigrant background. The rest were citizens of other EU and non-EU countries. On the night of July 18, police officers in Frankfurt were attacked in front of the opera. Five police officers were injured, several vehicles damaged. Witnesses reported that the crowd of five to eight hundred people cheered when bottles hit the police. Thirty-nine people were arrested. All but one woman were young men between the ages of 17 and 23; most of them had an immigration background.

These events seem small compared to the riots in the USA, but there are important similarities: young people united against the police after several months of covid-19 restrictions. The events in Stuttgart and Frankfurt were found to be spontaneous outbreaks of violence without a political motivation. This is despite the fact that there have been Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Germany as well against alleged racism in the police, which were followed by riots in the US. These demonstrations may just have served as a catalyst for built-up anger. The root cause of this violence is the government’s massive interference in personal liberties through drug prohibition and the lockdowns.

The Drug War and Racism

Twelve percent of German residents are non-Germans. In 2018, the latest year of available official statistics, 27 percent of the suspects in drug offenses (all nonviolent) were non-Germans. Non-Germans do not have German citizenship. Suspects with German citizenship and an immigration background are treated as Germans. There are no numbers on this group, and there are no numbers on police checks on the street. There is, however, a general sentiment that police target people perceived as foreigners more than "ethnic" Germans, that they check people with an immigrant background more than those without one. This has caused skeptical to downright hostile sentiment against the police, not only in this group but among their peers.

The above statistics need to be read with care. The Bundeskriminalamt (equivalent to the FBI) reports on suspects, not convicted offenders, here. There is also no data on spontaneous checks. But there is one very important aspect to this data: 11 percent of the suspects were boys between 14 and 18 years old, 16 percent were young men between 18 and 21, and 61 percent were men above 21. There is no data on the older age groups, but it is clear that overwhelming majority of suspects are male, and most probably of  a younger age.

The Effects of the Lockdown

People in Germany have seen massive restrictions of their personal freedom unseen in West Germany since the end of World War II. Businesses were closed, factories shut down, and meeting people outside your household was banned for a while and limited later. How could the government enforce such drastic measures? Etienne de la Boetie (The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude) has argued that all governments rest on the consent of their citizens. In this case, the government has bought this consent by promising to save lives and save the economy with huge spending financed by public debt so that no one will have to pay more taxes. A key group of supporters of the government is public employees. In September 2019, before covid-19, 45.28 million people in Germany were employed. The state (all levels) employed 4.8 million, or 10.6 percent. In addition to that, there were around 18 million retirees (18.2 million in 2017). They also receive their income from the state. This means that there is a very large group of people whose financial well-being was not sacrificed during the lockdowns. But who did not get this payoff? According to the union of public employees, only 2.7 percent of public employees are under the age of 25.

Young people did not get these massive handouts from the state. On the contrary, they are the ones who will have to pay back the €156 billion public debt that the state has taken on to provide "relief." Their schools and universities have been closed, lectures are mainly online now, which can decrease the quality of teaching. Beyond that, they are the ones who will then have to pay the pensions of the older generation that did receive the handouts. In Germany, the currently employed pay the pensions of the retired. Demographic development will increase the amount that the employed generation has to pay. Right now there are 2.1 employed people for every person who is retired. The younger generation faces economic distress right now and in the future.

This situation is aggravated by banning social contact and closing places where younger people meet with their peers. Third places outside the home and the workplace are essential for communicating values and boundaries. For several months, there have been no outlets for the prevention violence in young men through boxing gyms, etc. They were locked up for weeks, which leads to aggression and is especially bad for young men who would naturally be rebellious. If testosterone-laden boys cannot meet with their friends (and, probably more important, their girlfriends), cannot release energy at the gym, and are not receiving any value-oriented education, there are solid conditions for escalating violence.

The Way Forward

The violence against the police is an outbreak of anger against the state, a state that has continuously interfered with their personal liberty and property. A group of mayors from the green party, the Social Democrats, and the Christian conservatives in an open letter appealed to the government to support a policy in which all young people in Germany would be forced to work for one year in what they called "basic social service" (gesellschaftlicher Grunddienst), similar to the mandatory "social year" we had before. Some media commentators enthusiastically embraced this idea. This is the wrong way forward. One really wonders about the sensibility of these politicians, who write in the same letter:

Young people do not learn respect, acceptance, tolerance on Wikipedia, Facebook, and Instagram, but in the interaction with others. At the place of apprenticeship. In the [sports] club. During everyday life. Here one practices the discourse and contact with others….These social training places are becoming less and less.

The way forward is not in complaining about such social places becoming less, because that is not the problem. The way forward is to stop threatening further restrictions, to stop advocating "a new normal" without social interaction, and to stop harassing young people for every decision they want to make for themselves. The federal police already implicitly recognizes drug offenses as victimless crimes (it collects statistics only on offenders, not victims, in contrast to their data for violent crimes). They should stop treating them as crimes outright. After all, 60 percent of the drug offenses are related to cannabis alone. Leave the young people alone. Let them make friends. Let them learn. End the government intrusion in their lives.

Published:8/31/2020 4:04:17 AM
[Markets] Suddenly Fear Of Social Unrest Is Everywhere Suddenly Fear Of Social Unrest Is Everywhere Tyler Durden Sun, 08/30/2020 - 14:10

Authored by Adam Taggart via PeakProsperity.com,

In a year that has experienced a global pandemic, Depression-level job losses, a bevy of large-scale natural disasters from wildfires to Cat 4 hurricanes to derechos, the #1 current concern we’re now hearing from our readers isn’t any of these.

Instead, it’s the danger of social unrest breaking out in their local community.

Anyone with eyes can see that the mercury is rising across America. The riots that follow the deaths of folks like George Floyd and now Jacob Blake, the current violence in Kenosha, Seattle’s lawless autonomous zone, the movement to ‘defund the police’, the anger behind the surge of ‘cancel culture’ — the nation’s social fabric is suddenly stretched taut and starting to tear at the seams.

Is it any surprise that gun sales are up 72%(!) vs last year, with first-time buyers driving a material percentage of that increase:

According to a report by the Washington Post, the National Sports Shooting Foundation says that first-time gun buyers played a heavy role in the increase.  Women and black Americans have also shown interest in arming themselves this year.

Nearly 5 million Americans purchased a firearm for the very first time in 2020NSSF surveyed firearm retailers which reported that 40% of sales were conducted to purchasers who have never previously owned a firearm,” the organization said in its analysis, which tracked background checks associated with the sale of a firearm reported by the FBI’s National Instant Background Check System.

“This is a tectonic shift in the firearm and ammunition industry marketplace and complete transformation of today’s gun-owning community,” said Lawrence G. Keane, a senior vice president at the foundation. “These first-time buyers represent a group of people who, until now, were agnostic regarding firearm ownership. That’s rapidly changing…

(Source)

This rise in public ire is something we’ve been warning of for years here at PeakProsperity.com. While there are many serious injustices that exist in today’s society, we believe the root cause for the majority of them lies in the misguided and frequently immoral policies perpetrated by the Federal Reserve and Congress — policies that reward the already-rich at the expense of the general public.

2020 has revealed this truth clearly in the response to the covid-19 pandemic. With the $5+ trillion unleashed between the monetary and fiscal “rescue” stimulus efforts, the battle cry from our “leaders” has been: Defend the rich! 

Despite an unprecedented decline in economic activity, asset prices have more than recovered their losses and many are now back at all-time-highs in what has been the shortest-lived bear market history:

We have been referring to these detrimental policies as the Leave No Billionaire Behind (#LNBB) program, as they’ve resulted in a massive boom for the uber-wealthy, while the rest of America has lost tens of millions of jobs and received meager to no assistance.

To get a sense of the gargantuan disparity between the haves and the have-nots, watch this 2-minute video:

And these policies aren’t going away. In fact, as Fed Chairman Jerome Powell stated yesterday, our leaders are doubling- and tripling-down on them.

In my recent interview with former Fed insider Danielle DiMartino-Booth, she interprets Powell’s comments yesterday as nothing less than a public commitment to “do even more” of what the Fed has been doing since 2009.

So if you think creating a zombie economy that enriches the elites while screwing the rest of us has been bad, boy, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet…

This is why my fellow co-founder Chris Martenson and I share this quote by Plutarch so often. If we continue the status quo trajectory, history is extremely clear on what will follow:

There is a line of intolerance that, once crossed, will turn the desperate masses against the small few benefitting so vastly from today’s system.

Skeptical it could happen? History begs to differ. Its list of social revolutions, uprisings and rebellions is so long it makes your head spin. Even the number that have happened just within the past decade is staggeringly large

And with an upcoming US Presidential election as divisive as this one? Not only will a large part of America be angry at the outcome, whomever wins, imagine what would happen should the results be contested in a protracted dispute (as has already been hinted at by both parties)? It would be the equivalent of tossing a grenade into the already-overstuffed powder keg.

So, are there steps you can today to reduce your vulnerability should unrest and the threat of violence/looting come to your community?

The answer is fortunately: yes.

In Part 2: Protecting Yourself, Your Loved Ones, Your Home & Your Money From Social Unrest, we’ve compiled the most effective, practical actions and best practices for you to consider taking now to safeguard your loved ones, your home, and your wealth from “mob threat”.

If you’re as concerned about social unrest as many of our readers, you need to assess your biggest areas of vulnerability and actively decide which are worth taking action on today.

Because only those preparations you’ve already put in place are the ones available once crisis hits.

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access).

Published:8/30/2020 1:30:08 PM
[FBI] What Was “The Sensitive Application”? (John Hinderaker) Over a period of several years, Judicial Watch has performed the invaluable service of prying documents loose from the Department of Justice through Freedom of Information Act requests and lawsuits. The process is painfully slow. Tom Fitton writes that “The FBI is only processing the records at a rate of 500 pages per month and has refused to process text messages. At this rate, the production of these emails will Published:8/29/2020 6:53:42 PM
[] UCLA: Chinese visiting college researcher arrested, charged with destroying evidence Published:8/29/2020 4:55:10 PM
[Markets] UCLA Researcher Arrested, Charged With Destroying Evidence In China Espionage Probe UCLA Researcher Arrested, Charged With Destroying Evidence In China Espionage Probe Tyler Durden Sat, 08/29/2020 - 15:25

Authored by Jon Street via Campus Reform,

Chinese national and University of California-Los Angeles researcher has been arrested for allegedly throwing away a damaged hard drive while the FBI was investigating him for transferring sensitive U.S. data to China’s National University of Defense Technology. 

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday that 29-year-old Guan Lei "falsely den[ied] his association with the Chinese military" during interviews with federal law enforcement officials. Lei has since admitted that he participated in Chinese military training. 

According to authorities, one of Lei's faculty advisors in China also served in the Chinese military.

"Guan later admitted that he had participated in military training and wore military uniforms while at NUDT...

...NUDT is suspected of procuring U.S.-origin items to develop supercomputers with nuclear explosive applications," the Justice Department said. 

The Justice Department further alleged that Lei hid digital files from federal law enforcement and lied about having contact with the Chinese consulate during his time in the U.S. 

An FBI affidavit said the hard drive "was irreparably damaged and that all previous data associated with the hard drive appears to have been removed deliberately and by force."

Lei faces one felony count of destruction of evidence, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. 

UCLA did not return a request for comment from Campus Reform in time for publication.

The Justice Department's announcement comes just days after it announced the arrest of a Texas A&M professor for his alleged ties to China.

In recent months, Campus Reform has covered multiple arrests of college professors and researchers who have been arrested over their alleged connections to the Chinese Communist Party. 

*  *  *

Read Campus Reform's full coverage of the China threat to U.S. college campuses by visiting CampusReform.org/China

Published:8/29/2020 2:26:31 PM
[] Critical Race Theory at a nuclear lab, at the FBI and . . . [KT] Christopher F. Rufo: SCOOP: The @FBI is now holding weekly "intersectionality" workshops. Let me say it plainly: critical race theory is a toxic, pseudoscientific, and racist ideology that is taking over our public institutions--and will be weaponized against the... Published:8/29/2020 10:24:10 AM
[Markets] : Elon Musk confirms Tesla gigafactory was target of foiled cyberattack Elon Musk confirmed Thursday that the Tesla Inc. gigafactory in Nevada was the target of a cyberattack that was thwarted by the FBI.
Published:8/27/2020 8:06:17 PM
[Politics] 3 Key Points in Newly Released FBI Documents on Foreign Bid to Influence Clinton Campaign

The Senate Judiciary Committee released declassified documents this week that showed a major difference in how the FBI—under the leadership of then-Director James Comey—treated investigations... Read More

The post 3 Key Points in Newly Released FBI Documents on Foreign Bid to Influence Clinton Campaign appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:8/26/2020 3:28:35 PM
[Politics] Schiff: FBI Hasn't Investigated Trump's Financial Ties Abroad National security risks associated with President Donald Trump's financial ties abroad do not appear to have been investigated by the FBI's counterintelligence division, the House Intelligence Committee said Wednesday in a newly released legal analysis, Politico reported. Published:8/26/2020 2:57:22 PM
[Markets] Kenosha Sheriff Says Arrests Are Coming After 2 Killed During 3rd Night Of Mayhem Kenosha Sheriff Says Arrests Are Coming After 2 Killed During 3rd Night Of Mayhem Tyler Durden Wed, 08/26/2020 - 10:55

Update (1030ET): A second cell phone video of the officer-involved shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake on Sunday has emerged, showing the incident in a slightly new light.

The footage showed Blake fighting with officers before he took off and ran to the driver’s door of his vehicle with police on his heels (video showed). The video suggests he may indeed have had a knife, and had ignored orders to drop it, before being shot.

It also suggested that Blake's girlfriend lied to police when she claimed he hadn't been hostile.

Another witness filmed part of the encounter between Kenosha police and Blake on his cell phone from across the street, but that video didn't show any scuffle with police.

* * *

Update (0950ET): Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth held another press conference Wednesday morning to discuss the deadly shootings, and other crimes committed across the city during a third night of violence.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that police expect to make an arrest in a case stemming from the shootings "soon", and that the FBI has been "assisting" local investigators, implying that the shooter will likely be taken into custody.

No one has been apprehended, but Beth said he believed at least one person would be taken into custody soon based on video footage police have reviewed.

"I feel very confident we’ll have him in a very short time," Beth said.

Beth attributed the progress to the "resources" provided by the FBI.

The investigation of the latest shooting is being conducted by the Kenosha Police Department with the assistance of the FBI, Beth said.

“We’ve got a lot of resources that are helping us pull this stuff together,” Beth said of the shooting investigation.

Roughly 250 law enforcement officers and 250 National Guard members were on hand Tuesday night to try and quell the unrest, and property damage was much less intense during the third night of unrest - however, clashes between militia groups and hard-core progressive groups that resembled street violence appeared to play out in the streets of Kenosha.

The shooter

Two of the three men who were shot in one photo

The shooting took place right in the heart of the city, according to  MJS.

The incident happened on Sheridan Road in the heart of Kenosha near the Froedert South hospital building. Many people were still on the streets in protest just before the shooting, walking up and down Sheridan Road, where protesters had been driven after being expelled from Civic Center Park.

Here are some more interesting tidbits from the report.

A Journal Sentinel reporter earlier in the evening observed a group of armed men with long guns standing guard at a dry cleaning business on Sheridan Road near 59th Street, some on the roof.

Police told them to get off the roof and a person shouted back: "Officer, this is our business." Police did not ultimately order them off the roof. Police did not ultimately make them get off the roof.

[...]

It is unclear if the men seen by the reporter were members of the Kenosha Guard, or whether Beth, in his comments, was referring to that group, or similar groups of people.

Before the shooting, someone from Kenosha suggested to Beth that he deputize ordinary citizens to help contain the unrest. Beth said he refused.

"I said, 'There’s no way I’m doing that,'" Beth said.

Meanwhile, GOP Senator Ron Johnson, who represents Wisconsin in the Senate alongside Democrat Tammy Baldwin (who hasn't said much of anything), urged Democratic Gov Tony Evers to accept President Trump's offer for federal reinforcements.

* * *

Already, the riots in Kenosha inspired by the police shooting of unarmed Jacob Blake, who was shot in the back while trying to enter a car with his children in the back seat (Blake was hit by 4 of the 7 shots, some reports said he had been armed at one point), have led to the deaths of at least 2 people.

Despite the governor's decision to declare a state of emergency after a second night of violence, police and the national guard were once again largely absent in a stream of horrifying video from last night's riots, which at times devolved into open street warfare between groups of rioters and armed people allegedly there to protect property.

Several videos of at least one of the fatal shootings flooded Twitter last night.

While video of the other, allegedly involving the same shooter, who was confronted by several other armed citizens.

Police confirmed to the press that they responded to two fatal shootings and at least one non-fatal shooting during the third night of protests inspired by the shooting of Blake.

Evers said he authorized 250 Wisconsin National Guard troops to protect critical infrastructure and assist Kenosha authorities, but once again, these reinforcements stayed clear of local businesses and offered almost no assistance in the protection of private property.

Kenosha officials said another 100 law enforcement officers from surrounding areas were brought in to assist local police. An 8pm curfew was in effect for the area.

“We will continue to work with local, state and federal law enforcement in holding those criminals who are destroying our city responsible,” Kenosha Mayor John Antamarian said in a statement.

And former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani had a response.

Kenosha police said early Wednesday that they had responded to a report of multiple gunshots just before midnight. Authorities said two people were killed in the shooting, and a third gunshot victim was transported to the hospital with serious, a story that is more or less consistent with the videos we shared above. 

An investigation into the shooting is reportedly ongoing. Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth told the NYT that police are investigating whether the shooting resulted from a conflict between demonstrators and a group of armed men there to protect local businesses. CNN reported that armed riot police fired tear gas and pepper spray into the crowd, while Blake's family pleaded for calm on Tuesday.

One Twitter user shared what she alleged was an interview with the shooter (who can be seen above being chased by another man with a gun) from before the attack. In the interview he can be heard saying he is armed with live ammunition.

The protests have triggered gatherings of armed citizens, some of whom said they were protecting property against looting. Videos shared widely on social media have shown storefront after storefront ablaze, along with dozens of cars - rampant, indefensible, mayhem. And if the government won't stop it - for whatever reason - sometimes people take responsibility into their own hands, which is one of the reasons the second amendment was enshrined in the constitution via the Bill of Rights.

Published:8/26/2020 9:57:55 AM
[Markets] The Russiagate Hoax Is Dead... But The Fake News Media Can't Admit It The Russiagate Hoax Is Dead... But The Fake News Media Can't Admit It Tyler Durden Tue, 08/25/2020 - 20:05

Authored by Brian Cates via The Epoch Times,

It’s nothing short of amazing watching the usual “fake news media” suspects still flogging the long-dead Russiagate Hoax when U.S. Attorney John Durham has begun rolling out indictments from it.

Anybody who thinks this stops with the conviction of former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith hasn’t followed SpyGate at all for the past three years like I have.

Think about what the Clinesmith indictment reveals: It reveals that Durham and his investigators are going right to the very heart of the fraud perpetrated on the FISA Court.

This very first indictment shows the FBI Crossfire Hurricane team and the Mueller Special Counsel team were well aware by June 2017 of the compelling necessity of hiding from the FISA Court Carter Page’s longstanding relationship with the CIA.

Why did they need to hide that relationship from the court?

Because their “evidence” for the warrant alleging Page was a Russian agent came from a political propagandist named Christopher Steele who was

1) being paid by the Clinton campaign, and

2) misrepresenting the key source providing the Page allegations (who turned out to be a low-level research assistant at the Brookings Institute named Igor Danchenko).

What if the FBI admits to the FISA Court all the relevant facts that

1) Steele is a paid employee of the Clinton campaign,

2) who is using a Brookings research assistant disguised as a top Russian intelligence official as his source,

3) but that the CIA itself says Page is not a Russian agent but is instead a CIA intelligence asset reporting all his Russian contacts to their agency?

FBI Knew Steele’s Fake Evidence Would Not Withstand Real Examination

The moment the FISA Court was alerted to the fact the CIA claimed Page as one of their own, the judge would have had to take a closer look at the Steele information. If that happened, the entire carefully managed fraud would begin unraveling.

How could Page be a Russian agent if he’s been keeping the CIA up to date about his contacts with top Russian officials, the very same contacts the FBI is attempting to use in this warrant in order to claim he is working for the Russians?

If that happened, Steele’s hearsay allegations against Page would be exposed and the FBI was very likely not going to get the warrant approved.

So not only did the FBI end up hiding at least three key relevant facts from the FISA Court to get the original warrant, they kept the fraud going all through the three subsequent renewals of the warrant.

Durham Will Prove Most Involved in the Fraudulent Warrants Knew the Truth About Carter Page and the CIA

Clinesmith altered the key email that stated Page was a CIA source so that it read he wasn’t a source. Clinesmith’s motivation for doing that is readily apparent: Admitting Page was a CIA good guy destroys the entire basis for the surveillance warrant.

Clinesmith altered the one copy of the CIA email that was being sent up to the FISA Court for the fourth renewal in June 2017 while he was also sending other FBI/Mueller team members accurate copies of the same email.

Guess what that’s going to allow Durham to prove?

It’s going to allow Durham to prove with documentary evidence that, just like Clinesmith, other FBI/Mueller team members knew the truth about Carter Page, and yet they still hid this from the court as they continued to obtain warrants through what can only be described as acts of deliberate fraud.

It’s right there in the Department of Justice IG Michael Horowitz’s FISA abuse report from last December that FBI Special Supervisory Agent (SSA) Stephen Somma deliberately hid several things from the FISA Court to get the Page warrant—including Page’s relationship with the CIA.

According to the Daily Caller:

“The report identifies six areas where the agent withheld information that contradicted the FBI’s working theory that Page was an agent of Russia. According to the report, Case Agent 1 withheld exculpatory statements that Page and another Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, made to [Stefan] Halper. The agent also withheld information from Justice Department attorneys about Page’s longstanding relationship with the CIA.”

There’s a section in that report that details six separate issues where Somma deliberately withheld evidence to ensure the original warrant and its three renewals were granted.

It’s Not Possible to Limit the Russiagate Hoax to Only Clinesmith

It simply isn’t possible to say that prosecutions for deliberately withholding evidence to fool the FISA Court into granting a warrant based on acts of deliberate fraud can be limited only to Clinesmith. There’s far too much evidence that’s already gone public that clearly shows this goes far beyond and above just him.

Durham is starting his prosecutions by demonstrating that many of the officials involved in this Russiagate Hoax knew from the beginning the basis for claiming Page was a traitor to his country was based on fraud, and they knew they were deliberately framing a CIA source as a Russian agent.

You’re about to see over the next several months the DNC Media propagandists disguised as journalists suffer from cognitive dissonance as they keep trying to claim the Russiagate Hoax is still alive and well even as U.S. Attorney Durham is rolling out indictments of the people that perpetrated it.

Published:8/25/2020 7:21:43 PM
[Markets] Texas A&M Prof, NASA Researcher Arrested For Alleged China Ties Texas A&M Prof, NASA Researcher Arrested For Alleged China Ties Tyler Durden Mon, 08/24/2020 - 18:25

Authored by Ben Zeisloft via Campus Reform,

Texas A&M professor and NASA researcher Zhengdong Cheng was arrested Sunday for alleged conspiracy, false statements, and wire fraud.

According to a United States Department of Justice press release, Cheng allegedly “willfully took steps to obscure his affiliations and collaboration with a Chinese University and at least one Chinese-owned company.”

Cheng’s research grant barred him from collaborating with Chinese entities.

Cheng allegedly provided false information to Texas A&M and NASA, allowing him to receive federal funds for a research grant. Cheng is associated with Guangdong University of Technology in China and other foreign institutions of higher education. He gained access to what the DOJ called “increased access to unique NASA resources, such as the International Space Station,” resulting in better positioning at Guangdong and other universities.

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers explained that “Once again, we have witnessed the criminal consequences that can arise from undisclosed participation in the Chinese government’s talent program.” He said the Department of Justice will work to “expose the exploitation of our nation and our prized research institutions."

Alan Kohler, assistant director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, said that Cheng allegedly “knowingly deceived NASA officials about his association with Chinese owned companies and universities, willingly accepted U.S. government funding, and defrauded his university.”

FBI Houston Special Agent Perrye Turner stated that Texas A&M has provided “significant assistance through their partnership with us throughout this case.”

"We worked closely with the FBI on this case, and we gladly will work with them again as needed,” Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp said in a statement Monday.

No one in higher education takes security as seriously as we do at The Texas A&M University System. In fact, we have received several awards from the Department of Defense’s Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency, including one just last month.”

Campus Reform has reported on a series of similar criminal charges against professors with ties to China. 

In late July, a professor at the University of Arkansas was indicted for receiving funds from China and failure to disclose ties to Chinese companies. Additionally, a researcher at the University of California-Davis was detained by American officials after it was discovered that she was an alleged active member of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

Published:8/24/2020 5:43:21 PM
[Markets] Catapulting Russian-Meddling Propaganda Catapulting Russian-Meddling Propaganda Tyler Durden Sat, 08/22/2020 - 23:20

Authored by Ray McGovern via ConsortiumNews.com,

The New York Times is leading the full-court press to improve on what it regards as Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s weak-kneed effort to blame the Russians for giving us Donald Trump...

The fresh orgy of anti-Russian invective in the lickspittle media (LSM) has the feel of fin de siècle. The last four reality-impaired years do seem as though they add up to a century. And no definitive fin is in sight, as long as most people don’t know what’s going on.

The LSM should be confronted: “At long last have you left no sense of decency?” But who would hear the question — much less any answer? The corporate media have a lock on what Americans are permitted or not permitted to hear. Checking the truth, once routine in journalism, is a thing of the past.

Thus the reckless abandon with which The New York Times is leading the current full-court press to improve on what it regards as Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s weak-kneed effort to blame the Russians for giving us Donald Trump. The press is on, and there are no referees to call the fouls.

The recent release of a 1,000-page, sans bombshells and already out-of-date report by the Senate Intelligence Committee has provided the occasion to “catapult the propaganda,” as President George W. Bush once put it.

As the the Times‘s Mark Mazzetti put it in his article Wednesday:

“Releasing the report less than 100 days before Election Day, Republican-majority senators hoped it would refocus attention on the interference by Russia and other hostile foreign powers in the American political process, which has continued unabated.”

Mazzetti is telling his readers, soto voce: regarding that interference four years ago, and the “continued-unabated” part, you just have to trust us and our intelligence community sources who would never lie to you. And if, nevertheless, you persist in asking for actual evidence, you are clearly in Putin’s pocket.

Incidentally, Mueller’s report apparently was insufficient, only two years in the making, and just 448 pages. The Senate committee’s magnum opus took three years, is almost 1,000 pages — and fortified. So there.

Iron Pills

Recall how disappointed the LSM and the rest of the Establishment were with Mueller’s anemic findings in spring 2019. His report claimed that the Russian government “interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion” via a social media campaign run by the Internet Research Agency (IRA) and by “hacking” Democratic emails. But the evidence behind those charges could not bear close scrutiny.

You would hardly know it from the LSM, but the accusation against the IRA was thrown out of court when the U.S. government admitted it could not prove that the IRA was working for the Russian government. Mueller’s ipse dixit did not suffice, as we explained a year ago in “Sic Transit Gloria Mueller.”

The Best Defense …

… is a good offense, and the Senate Intelligence Committee’s release of its study — call it “Mueller (Enhanced)” — and the propaganda fanfare — come at a key point in the Russiagate/Spygate imbroglio. It also came, curiously, as the Democratic Convention was beginning, as if the Republican-controlled Senate was sending Trump a message.

Durham

One chief worry, of course, derives from the uncertainty as to whether John Durham, the US Attorney investigating those FBI and other officials who launched the Trump-Russia investigation will let some heavy shoes drop before the election. Barr has said he expects “developments in Durham’s investigation hopefully before the end of the summer.”

FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith already has decided to plead guilty to the felony of falsifying evidence used to support a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to surveillance to spy on Trump associate Carter Page. It is abundantly clear that Clinesmith was just a small cog in the deep-state machine in action against candidate and then President Trump. And those running the machine are well known. The president has named names, and Barr has made no bones about his disdain for what he calls spying on the president.

The cognoscenti and the big fish themselves may be guessing that Trump/Barr/Durham will not throw out heavier lines for former FBI Director James Comey, his deputy Andrew McCabe, CIA Director John Brennan, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, for example. But how can they be sure? What has become clear is that the certainty they all shared that Hillary Clinton would be the next president prompted them not only to take serious liberties with the Constitution and the law, but also to do so without taking rudimentary steps to hide their tracks.

The incriminating evidence is there. And as Trump becomes more and more vulnerable and defensive about his ineptness — particularly with regard to Covid-19 — he may summon the courage to order Barr and Durham to hook the big fish, not just minnows like Clinesmith. The neuralgic reality is that no one knows at this point how far Trump will go. To say that this kind of uncertainty is unsettling to all concerned is to say the obvious.

So, the stakes are high — for the Democrats, as well — and, not least, the LSM. In these circumstances it would seem imperative not just to circle the wagons but to mount the best offense/defense possible, despite the fact that virtually all the ammunition (as in the Senate report) is familiar and stale (“enhanced” or not).

Black eyes might well be in store for the very top former law enforcement and intelligence officials, the Democrats, and the LSM — and in the key pre-election period. So, the calculation: launch “Mueller Report (Enhanced)” and catapult the truth now with propaganda, before it is too late.

No Evidence of Hacking

The “hacking of the DNC” charge suffered a fatal blow three months ago when it became known that Shawn Henry, president of the DNC-hired cyber-security firm CrowdStrike, admitted under oath that his firm had no evidence that the DNC emails were hacked — by Russia or anyone else.

(YouTube)

Henry gave his testimony on Dec. 5, 2017, but House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff was able to keep it hidden until May 7, 2020.

Here’s a brief taste of how Henry’s testimony went: Asked by Schiff for “the date on which the Russians exfiltrated the data”, Henry replied, “We just don’t have the evidence that says it actually left.”

You did not know that? You may be forgiven — up until now — if your information diet is limited to the LSM and you believe The New York Times still publishes “all the news that’s fit to print.”  I am taking bets on how much longer the NYT will be able to keep Henry’s testimony hidden; Schiff’s record of 29 months will be hard to beat.

Putting Lipstick on the Pig of Russian ‘Tampering’

Worse still for the LSM and other Russiagate diehards, Mueller’s findings last year enabled Trump to shout “No Collusion” with Russia. What seems clear at this point is that a key objective of the current catapulting of the truth is to apply lipstick to Mueller’s findings.

After all, he was supposed to find treacherous plotting between the Trump campaign and the Russians and failed miserably. Most LSM-suffused Americans remain blissfully unaware of this, and the likes of Pulitzer Prize winner Mazzetti have been commissioned to keep it that way.

In Wednesday’s article, for example, Mazzetti puts it somewhat plaintively:

“Like the special counsel … the Senate report did not conclude that the Trump campaign engaged in a coordinated conspiracy with the Russian government — a fact that the Republicans seized on to argue that there was ‘no collusion’.”

How could they!

Mazzetti is playing with words. “Collusion,” however one defines it, is not a crime; conspiracy is.

‘Breathtaking’ Contacts: Mueller (Enhanced)

Mark Mazzetti (YouTube)

Mazzetti emphasizes that the Senate report “showed extensive evidence of contacts between Trump campaign advisers and people tied to the Kremlin,” and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), the intelligence committee’s vice chairman, said the committee report details “a breathtaking level of contacts between Trump officials and Russian government operatives that is a very real counterintelligence threat to our elections.”

None of that takes us much beyond the Mueller report and other things generally well known — even in the LSM. Nor does the drivel about people like Paul Manafort “sharing polling data with Russians” who might be intelligence officers. That data was “mostly public” the Times itself reported, and the paper had to correct a story that the data was intended for Russian oligarchs, when it was meant for Ukrainian oligarchs instead. That Manafort was working to turn Ukraine towards the West and not Russia is rarely mentioned.

Recent revelations regarding the false data given the FISA court by an FBI lawyer to “justify” eavesdropping on Trump associate Carter Page show the Senate report to be not up to date and misguided in endorsing the FBI’s decision to investigate Page. The committee may wish to revisit that endorsement — at least.

On the Steele Dossier, the committee also missed a ruling by a British judge against Christopher Steele, labeling his dossier an attempt to help Hillary Clinton get elected. Consortium News explained back in October 2017 that both CrowdStrike and Steele were paid for by the Democratic Party and Clinton campaign to push Russiagate.

Also missed by the intelligence committee was a document released by the Senate Judiciary Committee last month that revealed that Steele’s “Primary Subsource and his friends peddled warmed-over rumors and laughable gossip that Steele dressed up as formal intelligence memos.”

Smearing WikiLeaks

The Intelligence Committee report also repeats thoroughly debunked myths about WikiLeaks and, like Mueller, the committee made no effort to interview Julian Assange before launching its smears. Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi, who partnered with WikiLeaks in the publication of the Podesta emails, described the report’s treatment of WikiLeaks in this Twitter thread:

2. the description of #WikiLeaks‘ publishing activities by this #SenateIntelligenceCommittee‘s Report appears a true #EdgarHoover‘s disinformation campaign to make a legitimate media org completely radioactive

3. Clearly, to describe #WikiLeaks and its publishing activities the #SenateIntelligenceCommittee’s Report completely rely on #US intelligence community+ #MikePompeo’s characterisation of #WikiLeaks. There is not even any pretense of an independent approach

4. there are also unsubstantiated claims like:
– “[WikiLeaks’] disclosures have jeopardized the safety of individual Americans and foreign allies” (p.200)
– “WikiLeaks has passed information to U.S. adversaries” (p.201)

5. it’s completely false that “#WikiLeaks does not seem to weigh whether its disclosures add any public interest value” (p.200) and any longtime media partner like me could provide you dozens of examples on how wrong this characterisation [is].

Titillating

Mazzetti did add some spice to the version of his article that dominated the two top right columns of Wednesday’s Times with the blaring headline: “Senate Panel Ties Russian Officials to Trump’s Aides: G.O.P.-Led Committee Echoes Mueller’s Findings on Election Tampering.”

Those who make it to the end of Mazzetti’s piece will learn that the Senate committee report “did not establish” that the Russian government obtained any compromising material on Mr. Trump or that they tried to use such materials [that they didn’t have] as leverage against him.” However, Mazzetti adds,

“According to the report, Mr. Trump met a former Miss Moscow at a party during one trip in 1996. After the party, a Trump associate told others he had seen Mr. Trump with the woman on multiple occasions and that they ‘might have had a brief romantic relationship.’

“The report also raised the possibility that, during that trip, Mr. Trump spent the night with two young women who joined him the next morning at a business meeting with the mayor of Moscow.”

This is journalism?

Another Pulitzer in Store?

The Times appends a note reminding us that Mazzetti was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for reporting on Donald Trump’s advisers and their connections to Russia.

And that’s not the half of it. In September 2018, Mazzetti and his NYT colleague Scott Shane wrote a 10,000-word feature, “The Plot to Subvert an Election,” trying to convince readers that the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA) had successfully swayed U.S. opinion during the 2016 election with 80,000 Facebook posts that they said had reached 126 million Americans.

That turned out to be a grotesquely deceptive claim. Mazzetti and Shane failed to mention the fact that those 80,000 IRA posts (from early 2015 through 2017, meaning about half came after the election), had been engulfed in a vast ocean of more than 33 trillion Facebook posts in people’s news feeds – 413 million times more than the IRA posts. Not to mention the lack of evidence that the IRA was the Russian government, as Mueller claimed.

In exposing that chicanery, prize-winning investigative reporter Gareth Porter commented:

“The descent of The New York Times into this unprecedented level of propagandizing for the narrative of Russia’s threat to U.S. democracy is dramatic evidence of a broader problem of abuses by corporate media … Greater awareness of the dishonesty at the heart of the Times’ coverage of that issue is a key to leveraging media reform and political change.”

Nothingburgers With Russian Dressing: the Backstory

The late Robert Parry.

“It’s too much; it’s just too much, too much”, a sedated, semi-conscious Robert Parry kept telling me from his hospital bed in late January 2018 a couple of days before he died. Bob was founder of Consortium News.

It was already clear what Bob meant; he had taken care to see to that. On Dec. 31, 2017 the reason for saying that came in what he titled “An Apology & Explanation” for “spotty production in recent days.” A stroke on Christmas Eve had left Bob with impaired vision, but he was able to summon enough strength to write an Apologia — his vision for honest journalism and his dismay at what had happened to his profession before he died on Jan. 27, 2018. The dichotomy was “just too much”.

Parry rued the role that journalism was playing in the “unrelenting ugliness that has become Official Washington. … Facts and logic no longer mattered. It was a case of using whatever you had to diminish and destroy your opponent … this loss of objective standards reached deeply into the most prestigious halls of American media.”

What bothered Bob most was the needless, dishonest tweaking of the Russian bear. “The U.S. media’s approach to Russia,” he wrote, “is now virtually 100 percent propaganda. Does any sentient human being read The New York Times’ or The Washington Post’s coverage of Russia and think that he or she is getting a neutral or unbiased treatment of the facts? … Western journalists now apparently see it as their patriotic duty to hide facts that otherwise would undermine the demonizing of Putin and Russia.”

Parry, who was no conservative, continued:

“Liberals are embracing every negative claim about Russia just because elements of the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency produced a report last Jan. 6 that blamed Russia for ‘hacking’ Democratic emails and releasing them to WikiLeaks.”

Bob noted that the ‘hand-picked’ authors “evinced no evidence and even admitted that they weren’t asserting any of this as fact.”

It was just too much.

Robert Parry’s Last Article

Peter Strzok during congressional hearing in July 2018. (Wikimedia Commons)

Bob posted his last substantive article on Dec. 13, 2017, the day after text exchanges between senior FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were made public. (Typically, readers of The New York Times the following day would altogether miss the importance of the text-exchanges.)

Bob Parry rarely felt any need for a “sanity check.” Dec. 12, 2017 was an exception. He called me about the Strzok-Page texts; we agreed they were explosive. FBI Agent Peter Strzok was on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s staff investigating alleged Russian interference, until Mueller removed him.

Strzok reportedly was a “hand-picked” FBI agent taking part in the Jan 2017 evidence-impoverished, rump, misnomered “intelligence community” assessment that blamed Russia for hacking and other election meddling. And he had helped lead the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s misuse of her computer servers. Page was Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s right-hand lawyer.

His Dec. 13, 2017 piece would be his fourth related article in less than two weeks; it turned out to be his last substantive article.  All three of the earlier ones are worth a re-read as examples of fearless, unbiased, perceptive journalism. Here are the links.

Bob began his article on the Strzok-Page bombshell:

“The disclosure of fiercely anti-Trump text messages between two romantically involved senior FBI officials who played key roles in the early Russia-gate inquiry has turned the supposed Russian-election-meddling “scandal” into its own scandal, by providing evidence that some government investigators saw it as their duty to block or destroy Donald Trump’s presidency.?

“As much as the U.S. mainstream media has mocked the idea that an American ‘deep state’ exists and that it has maneuvered to remove Trump from office, the text messages between senior FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok and senior FBI lawyer Lisa Page reveal how two high-ranking members of the government’s intelligence/legal bureaucracy saw their role as protecting the United States from an election that might elevate to the presidency someone as unfit as Trump.”

Not a fragment of Bob’s or other Consortium News analysis made any impact on what Bob used to call the Establishment media. As a matter of fact, eight months later during a talk in Seattle that I titled “Russia-gate: Can You Handle the Truth?”, only three out of a very progressive audience of some 150 had ever heard of Strzok and Page.

And so it goes.

Lest I am accused of being “in Putin’s pocket,” let me add the explanatory note that we Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity included in our most explosive Memorandum for President Trump, on “Russian hacking.”

Full Disclosure: Over recent decades the ethos of our intelligence profession has eroded in the public mind to the point that agenda-free analysis is deemed well nigh impossible. Thus, we add this disclaimer, which applies to everything we in VIPS say and do: We have no political agenda; our sole purpose is to spread truth around and, when necessary, hold to account our former intelligence colleagues.

We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental. The fact we find it is necessary to include that reminder speaks volumes about these highly politicized times.

Published:8/22/2020 10:29:07 PM
[Markets] Pentagon Report Deems "Covert Surveillance" Aircraft Flown Over George Floyd Protests Legal Pentagon Report Deems "Covert Surveillance" Aircraft Flown Over George Floyd Protests Legal Tyler Durden Sat, 08/22/2020 - 12:05

The Pentagon is defending its use of military aircraft to conduct surveillance on the large crowds of demonstrators and in some cases riots which enveloped multiple cities connected with George Floyd's death. A new investigation has exonerated the National Guard after allegations it illegally gathered intelligence on Americans.

It was previously revealed that the National Guard used reconnaissance planes to fly over at least four US cities in order to gather data on growing protests in late May and early June, crucially at a moment President Trump was urging greater action in ensuring law and order in the protest and vandalism-hit cities.

RC-26 spy plane with infrared and electro-optical cameras flew over protests Washington, DC, and Las Vegas on June 2 in the United States. Source: Al Jazeera via EFE/EPA

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he never personally approved of the program to fly the reconnaissance aircraft over the protests, but National Guard officials say they didn't need higher approval given it was just for observing crowd sizes and to probe if any emergencies such as large fires were unfolding, according to their account.

The Associated Press reported of the new Pentagon findings out Friday - the result of an Air Force inspector general investigation ordered by Esper:

The investigation by the Air Force inspector general found that the planes were used to gather information about crowd size, crowd flows and fires but they did not monitor individuals. The probe was ordered by Defense Secretary Mark Esper in response to questions within the department and Congress about whether the military illegally conducted surveillance of American citizens during the unrest after the death of George Floyd.

It's certainly an interesting distinction that's somewhat disturbing in terms of precedent, regardless of the fact that in many instances the protests produced dangerous and deadly riots and caused widespread destruction (which, it should be noted, is a matter for local and state authorities, and even the FBI - but not military intelligence). 

Via AP/VOA: This image from video released by the Department of Defense show a scene on a street as captured by a RC-26 flying over Minneapolis, on June 4, 2020.

Essentially the argument appears to be that protests can be monitored using national intelligence means and assets so long as it is groups or crowds being observed, and not individuals.

The AP continues:

The investigation reviewed seven flights by the aircraft in Minnesota, Arizona, California and Washington, D.C. If found that while the sensors on the aircraft could show buildings and vehicles, they “were not capable of identifying any distinguishing features of people” and they did not have the capability of collecting information from cellphones or radios.

The legal argument also appears centered on the technological capabilities outfitted on the aircraft, with the conclusion that if domestic communications can't be picked up, it's permitted.

Specifically the aircraft involved was the RC-26 spy plane, but there were also widespread reports that federal and local agencies used drones, including the US Drug Enforcement Agency, which was authorized to "conduct covert surveillance" of the protests, according to the Trump administration. 

Regardless of the issue being protested, this creates a disturbing precedent. Recall for example, the large-scale protests against Obama's preparations to bomb Syria in August and September of 2013. Should there be any future mass anti-war demonstrations which gain steam in the US, for example, will the Pentagon conduct intelligence gathering missions on these too?

Published:8/22/2020 11:25:27 AM
[In The News] Prosecutor Interviewed John Brennan For 8 Hours About CIA’s Trump-Russia Activities, Adviser Says

By Chuck Ross -

Former CIA Director John Brennan was interviewed for eight hours on Friday as part of the investigation led by U.S. Attorney John Durham.  Durham is conducting a wide-ranging investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe and the CIA and FBI’s intelligence-gathering activities.  According to an adviser for Brennan, Durham ...

Prosecutor Interviewed John Brennan For 8 Hours About CIA’s Trump-Russia Activities, Adviser Says is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:8/22/2020 11:01:45 AM
[Politics] CAR BOMB THREAT: After night of fires, vandalism, attacks on cops, Portland Federal bldgs CLOSE as FBI looks at THREAT The FBI is investigating the latest escalation in Portland, and they may not yet have determined officially who is to blame for the threat to detonate a car bomb at a federal . . . Published:8/21/2020 5:19:53 PM
[Politics] CAR BOMB THREAT: After night of fires, vandalism, attacks on cops, Portland Federal bldgs CLOSE as FBI looks at THREAT The FBI is investigating the latest escalation in Portland, and they may not yet have determined officially who is to blame for the threat to detonate a car bomb at a federal . . . Published:8/21/2020 5:19:53 PM
[Markets] Why Brennan, Strzok, & DOJ Needed Julian Assange Arrested; And Why UK Officials Obliged... Why Brennan, Strzok, & DOJ Needed Julian Assange Arrested; And Why UK Officials Obliged... Tyler Durden Fri, 08/21/2020 - 02:00

Authored by 'sundance' via TheConservativeTreehouse.com,

According to reports in November of 2019, U.S Attorney John Durham and U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr were spending time on a narrowed focus looking carefully at CIA activity in the 2016 presidential election. One recent quote from a media-voice increasingly sympathetic to a political deep-state notes:

“One British official with knowledge of Barr’s wish list presented to London commented that “it is like nothing we have come across before, they are basically asking, in quite robust terms, for help in doing a hatchet job on their own intelligence services””. (Link)

It is interesting that quote came from a British intelligence official, as there appears to be  evidence of an extensive CIA operation that likely involved U.K. intelligence services. In addition, and as a direct outcome, there is an aspect to the CIA operation that overlaps with both a U.S. and U.K. need to keep Wikileaks founder Julian Assange under tight control. In this outline we will explain where corrupt U.S. and U.K. interests merge.

To understand the risk that Julian Assange represented to CIA interests, it is important to understand just how extensive the operations of the CIA were in 2016. It is within this network of foreign and domestic operations where FBI Agent Peter Strzok is clearly working as a bridge between the CIA and FBI operations.

By now people are familiar with the construct of CIA operations involving Joseph Mifsud, the Maltese professor now generally admitted/identified as a western intelligence operative who was tasked by the CIA (John Brennan) to run an operation against Trump campaign official George Papadopoulos in both Italy (Rome) and London. {Go Deep}

In a similar fashion the CIA tasked U.S. intelligence asset Stefan Halper to target another Trump campaign official, Carter Page. Under the auspices of being a Cambridge Professor Stefan Halper also targeted General Michael Flynn. Additionally, using assistance from a female FBI agent under the false name Azra Turk, Halper also targeted Papadopoulos.

The initial operations to target Flynn, Papadopoulos and Page were all based overseas. This seemingly makes the CIA exploitation of the assets and the targets much easier.

One of the more interesting aspects to the Durham probe is a possibility of a paper-trail created as a result of the tasking operations. We should watch closely for more evidence of a paper trail as some congressional reps have hinted toward documented evidence (transcripts, recordings, reports) that are exculpatory to the targets (Page & Papadop). HPSCI Ranking Member Devin Nunes has strongly hinted that very specific exculpatory evidence was known to the FBI and yet withheld from the FISA application used against Carter Page that also mentions George Papadopoulos. I digress…

However, there is an aspect to the domestic U.S. operation that also bears the fingerprints of the CIA; only this time due to the restrictive laws on targets inside the U.S. the CIA aspect is less prominent. This is where FBI Agent Peter Strzok working for both agencies starts to become important.

Remember, it’s clear in the text messages Strzok has a working relationship with what he called their “sister agency”, the CIA. Additionally, Brennan has admitted Strzok helped write the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) which outlines the Russia narrative; and it is almost guaranteed the July 31st, 2016, “Electronic Communication” from the CIA to the FBI that originated FBI operation “Crossfire Hurricane” was co-authored from the CIA by Strzok…. and Strzok immediately used that EC to travel to London to debrief intelligence officials around Australian Ambassador to the U.K. Alexander Downer.

In short, Peter Strzok appears to be the very eager, profoundly overzealous James Bond wannabe, who acted as a bridge between the CIA and the FBI. The perfect type of FBI career agent for CIA Director John Brennan to utilize.

Fusion-GPS founder Glenn Simpson hired CIA Open Source analyst Nellie Ohr toward the end of 2015; at appropriately the same time as “FBI Contractors” were identified exploiting the NSA database and extracting information on a specific set of U.S. persons.

It was also Fusion-GPS founder Glenn Simpson who was domestically tasked with a Russian lobbyist named Natalia Veselnitskya. A little reported Russian Deputy Attorney General named Saak Albertovich Karapetyan was working double-agents for the CIA and Kremlin. Karapetyan was directing the foreign operations of Natalia Veselnitskaya, and Glenn Simpson was organizing her inside the U.S.

Glenn Simpson managed Veselnitskaya through the 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr. However, once the CIA/Fusion-GPS operation using Veselnitskaya started to unravel with public reporting… back in Russia Deputy AG Karapetyan fell out of a helicopter to his death (just before it crashed).

Simultaneously timed in late 2015 through mid 2016, there was a domestic FBI operation using a young Russian named Maria Butina tasked to run up against republican presidential candidates. According to Patrick Byrne, Butina’s handler, it was FBI agent Peter Strzok who was giving Byrne the instructions on where to send her. {Go Deep}

All of this context outlines the extent to which the CIA was openly involved in constructing a political operation that settled upon anyone in candidate Donald Trump’s orbit.

International operations directed by the CIA, and domestic operations seemingly directed by Peter Strzok operating with a foot in both agencies. [Strzok gets CIA service coin]

Recap: ?Mifsud tasked against Papadopoulos (CIA). ?Halper tasked against Flynn (CIA), Page (CIA), and Papadopoulos (CIA). ?Azra Turk, pretending to be Halper asst, tasked against Papadopoulos (FBI). ?Veselnitskaya tasked against Donald Trump Jr (CIA, Fusion-GPS). ?Butina tasked against Trump, and Donald Trump Jr (FBI).

Additionally, Christopher Steele was a British intelligence officer, hired by Fusion-GPS to assemble and launder fraudulent intelligence information within his dossier. And we cannot forget Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch, who was recruited by Asst. FBI Director Andrew McCabe to participate in running an operation against the Trump campaign and create the impression of Russian involvement. Deripaska refused to participate.

All of this engagement directly controlled by U.S. intelligence; and all of this intended to give a specific Russia impression. This predicate is presumably what John Durham is currently reviewing.

The key point of all that background is to see how committed the CIA and FBI were to the constructed narrative of Russia interfering with the 2016 election. The CIA, FBI, and by extension the DOJ, put a hell of a lot of work into it. Intelligence community work that Durham is now unraveling.

We also know specifically that John Durham is looking at the construct of the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA); and talking to CIA analysts who participated in the construct of the January 2017 report that bolstered the false appearance of Russian interference in the 2016 election. This is important because it ties in to the next part that involves Julian Assange and Wikileaks.

On April 11th, 2019, the Julian Assange indictment was unsealed in the EDVA. From the indictment we discover it was under seal since March 6th, 2018:

(Link to pdf)

On Tuesday April 15th more investigative material was released. Again, note the dates: Grand Jury, *December of 2017* This means FBI investigation prior to….

The FBI investigation took place prior to December 2017, it was coordinated through the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) where Dana Boente was U.S. Attorney at the time. The grand jury indictment was sealed from March of 2018 until after Mueller completed his investigation, April 2019.

Why the delay?

What was the DOJ waiting for?

Here’s where it gets interesting….

The FBI submission to the Grand Jury in December of 2017 was four months after congressman Dana Rohrabacher talked to Julian Assange in August of 2017: “Assange told a U.S. congressman … he can prove the leaked Democratic Party documents … did not come from Russia.”

(August 2017, The Hill Via John Solomon) Julian Assange told a U.S. congressman on Tuesday he can prove the leaked Democratic Party documents he published during last year’s election did not come from Russia and promised additional helpful information about the leaks in the near future.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican who is friendly to Russia and chairs an important House subcommittee on Eurasia policy, became the first American congressman to meet with Assange during a three-hour private gathering at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks founder has been holed up for years.

Rohrabacher recounted his conversation with Assange to The Hill.

“Our three-hour meeting covered a wide array of issues, including the WikiLeaks exposure of the DNC [Democratic National Committee] emails during last year’s presidential election,” Rohrabacher said, “Julian emphatically stated that the Russians were not involved in the hacking or disclosure of those emails.”

Pressed for more detail on the source of the documents, Rohrabacher said he had information to share privately with President Trump. (read more)

Knowing how much effort the CIA and FBI put into the Russia collusion-conspiracy narrative, it would make sense for the FBI to take keen interest after this August 2017 meeting between Rohrabacher and Assange; and why the FBI would quickly gather specific evidence (related to Wikileaks and Bradley Manning) for a grand jury by December 2017.

Within three months of the grand jury the DOJ generated an indictment and sealed it in March 2018. The EDVA sat on the indictment while the Mueller probe was ongoing.

As soon as the Mueller probe ended, on April 11th, 2019, a planned and coordinated effort between the U.K. and U.S. was executed; Julian Assange was forcibly arrested and removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and the EDVA indictment was unsealed (link).

As a person who has researched this three year fiasco; including the ridiculously false 2016 Russian hacking/interference narrative: “17 intelligence agencies”, Joint Analysis Report (JAR) needed for Obama’s anti-Russia narrative in December ’16; and then a month later the ridiculously political Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) in January ’17; this timing against Assange is too coincidental.

It doesn’t take a deep researcher to see the aligned Deep State motive to control Julian Assange because the Mueller report was dependent on Russia cybercrimes, and that narrative is contingent on the Russia DNC hack story which Julian Assange disputes.

This is critical. The Weissmann/Mueller report contains claims that Russia hacked the DNC servers as the central element to the Russia interference narrative in the U.S. election. This claim is directly disputed by WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, as outlined during the Dana Rohrabacher interview, and by Julian Assange on-the-record statements.

The predicate for Robert Mueller’s investigation was specifically due to Russian interference in the 2016 election. The fulcrum for this Russia interference claim is the intelligence community assessment; and the only factual evidence claimed within the ICA is that Russia hacked the DNC servers; a claim only made possible by relying on forensic computer analysis from Crowdstrike, a DNC contractor.

The CIA holds a massive conflict of self-interest in upholding the Russian hacking claim. The FBI holds a massive interest in maintaining that claim. All of those foreign countries whose intelligence apparatus participated with Brennan and Strzok also have a vested self-interest in maintaining that Russia hacking and interference narrative.

Julian Assange is the only person with direct knowledge of how Wikileaks gained custody of the DNC emails; and Assange has claimed he has evidence it was not from a hack.

This Russian “hacking” claim is ultimately so important to the CIA, FBI, DOJ, ODNI and U.K intelligence apparatus…. Well, right there is the obvious motive to shut Assange down as soon intelligence officials knew the Mueller report was going to be public.

Now, if we know this, and you know this; and everything is cited and factual… well, then certainly AG Bill Barr knows this.

The $64,000 dollar question is: will they say so publicly?

Published:8/21/2020 1:16:36 AM
[Markets] Obama State Department Official Destroyed Records At Christopher Steele's Request Obama State Department Official Destroyed Records At Christopher Steele's Request Tyler Durden Thu, 08/20/2020 - 15:05

In January 2017, former State Department official Jonathan Winer destroyed several years worth of reports from former UK spy Christopher Steele, at Steele's request, according to the Daily Caller, citing a report released Tuesday.

Winer, a former legislative assistant to former Sen. John Kerry who became the State Department's Special Envoy for Libya when Kerry was Secretary of State - was Steele's contact at the State Department, and received the now-debunked reports claiming that President Trump had been compromised by the Russians.

According to the Senate report, Winer disclosed that he destroyed reports that Steele had sent him over the years. The Senate report also says that Winer failed to reveal when asked in his first interview with the committee that he had arranged the meeting for Steele at the State Department months earlier. -Daily Caller

"After Steele’s memos were published in the press in January 2017, Steele asked Winer to make note of having them, then either destroy all the earlier reports Steele had sent the Department of State or return them to Steele, out of concern that someone would be able to reconstruct his source network," reads the Senate report, which quote sWiner as saying "So I destroyed them, and I basically destroyed all the correspondence I had with him."

In total, Winer had received over 100 intelligence reports from Steel between 2014 and 2016.

Emails that The Daily Caller News Foundation obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit show that Winer shared Steele’s reports with a small group of State Department officials. The Senate report says that the State Department was able to provide the committee with Steele’s reports from 2015 and 2016, though most from 2014 are missing. -Daily Caller

In March, Steele told a UK court that he had "wiped" all of his dossier-linked correspondence in December, 2016 and January, 2017, and had no records of communications with his primary dossier source, Igor Danchenko.

In addition to receiving reports from Steele, Winer gave Steele various anti-Trump memos from Clinton operative Sidney Blumenthal, which originated with Clinton "hatchet man" Cody Shearer. Winer claims he didn't think Steele would share the Clinton-sourced information with anyone else in the government.

“But I learned later that Steele did share them — with the FBI, after the FBI asked him to provide everything he had on allegations relating to Trump, his campaign and Russian interference in U.S. elections,” Winer wrote in a 2018 Op-Ed.

Steele was paid $168,000 by opposition research firm Fusion GPS to produce his anti-Trump dossier, which was funded in part by Hillary Clinton and the DNC, who used law firm Perkins Coie as an intermediary. 

Read the rest of the Daily Caller report here.

Published:8/20/2020 2:09:59 PM
[Markets] Ilargi Meijer: Do The Dems Want To Win? Ilargi Meijer: Do The Dems Want To Win? Tyler Durden Thu, 08/20/2020 - 10:55

Authored by Raul Ilargi Meijer via The Automatic Earth blog,

No, no matter how much I read and watch, I can’t shake the idea (less so as I go along, actually) that the Democrats don’t really, honestly, want to win the 2020 presidential election.

Obviously, there are many in the party who do, and voters too, but not the ones pushing the levers and pulling the strings. Those, whoever they may be, that are picking candidates, setting policy, maintaining media contacts, doctoring spins.

Because is there anyone among you who has ever seen a worse candidate than Joe Biden? I’m not just talking about his dementia and gaffes, but you’d be very hard-pressed to find anyone who can use Biden and enthusiasm -let alone inspiration, or even better: exhilaration- in one sentence that doesn’t include the word “no”. And isn’t that the #1 requirement for a candidate?

They ostensibly went with Kamala Harris to provide some of that, if we may believe the press. She’ll whip up the voters into wild bouts of inspiring enthusiasm! Only, Kamala bowed out of the primaries even before 2020 started, after spending $40 million -part of which is still not paid off- because she was stuck at 2% support and couldn’t generate … any enthusiasm.

What you got is a really old man who couldn’t get a toddler excited about ice cream, and a token black woman who nobody even in her own party likes. Mix those ingredients into a convention that attracts just half the viewers of the 2016 one and generates the excitement level of an infomercial for kitchen appliances, and is it any wonder I doubt that the “behind the curtain party” is in this to win?

As for the political program, the agenda, there is really only one item on it: Donald Trump. And no matter how many millions of times it may be repeated in speeches and news articles, NOT being something is in the end NOT a positive message. You’re supposed to win on your own merit, not someone else’s perceived lack of merit. Newsflash: “MOST BIDEN SUPPORTERS SAY THEIR VOTE IS AGAINST TRUMP RATHER THAN FOR BIDEN – WSJ/NBC News poll”.

This bit from the Guardian on Monday sums it up nicely, and it veers into late night comedy territory while doing it (what more can one ask for?):

Virtual Democratic Convention Kicks Off With Emphasis On Unity

The Democratic national convention begins on Monday with a star-studded lineup and heavy emphasis on unity aimed at presenting Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the US’s best hope for healing a deeply divided nation[..]

The Dems have a hard enough time uniting their own party, let alone the nation. And there’s not a Trump supporter who would move into their camp – other than the odd washed up GOP politician.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on the eve of the convention found Biden with a nine-point lead over Trump nationally [..] According to the survey, Biden holds a wide advantage over Trump on nearly every issue except the economy, which voters say is a priority this election.


[..] Biden’s selection of Harris has exhilarated supporters, who showered the campaign with a stunning $48m in the 48 hours after she was announced as his running mate.[..]

What, so now they’re only $50 million or so behind?

Democrats anticipate the excitement around Harris’s historic candidacy as the first Black woman nominated for national office by a major party, will build momentum around the convention [..] Adrianne Shropshire, the executive director of BlackPac, a super Pac focused on Black Democrats: “I think there is also real relief that there is a ticket people can believe in, and get behind and push over the finish line.”

Excitement, exhilaration are words that don’t seem to mean anymore what they used to.

[..] the people who were in the Bernie campaign, the people in the Biden campaign, and people outside of both of those campaigns – have really worked hard to create an effective and genuine popular front against Donald Trump,” Weaver said, adding: “Trump is a very unifying factor.”


[..] Howard Dean, a former chair of the DNC who has attended every party convention since 1980, said the new format could work in Biden’s favor. Unlike Trump, who feeds off the energy of crowds at rallies but can look wooden and uncomfortable when reading from a teleprompter, Biden, Dean said, “does better on television than he does at a podium”. “This helps him because he will be on TV projecting calmness, reasonableness and thoughtfulness,” he said. “And that’s what people are desperate for right now.”

Isn’t it great that not feeling comfortable reading from a teleprompter 24/7 in your basement has now become a negative quality? I know, it’s hard to keep up.

But then there was the reality check from CNN on Sunday. Double digit leads vanished (coincidence?) just as Kamala caused all that exhilarating excitement:

Biden and Trump Matchup Tightens As Enthusiasm Hits New High

[..] on the eve of the party conventions, a majority of voters (53%) are “extremely enthusiastic” about voting in this year’s election [..] 50% of registered voters back the Biden-Harris ticket, while 46% say they support Trump and Pence, right at the poll’s margin of error [..]

Among the 72% of voters who say they are either extremely or very enthusiastic about voting this fall, Biden’s advantage over Trump widens to 53% to 46%.

It is narrower, however, among those voters who live in the states that will have the most impact on the electoral college this fall. Across 15 battleground states, the survey finds Biden has the backing of 49% of registered voters, while Trump lands at 48%.

The movement in the poll among voters nationwide since June is concentrated among men (they split about evenly in June, but now 56% back Trump, 40% Biden), those between the ages of 35 and 64 (they tilt toward Trump now, but were Biden-leaning in June) and independents (in June, Biden held a 52% to 41% lead, but now it’s a near even 46% Biden to 45% Trump divide).

The picture painted, especially amongst the most dedicated anti-Trumpers, is of course that Biden can’t lose; that’s what they all want, right?

Well, think about it: CNN lives off of Trump, and so does a large part of the MSM. But then again, they made their beds and they’ll have to lie in them. The Democratic Party, however, does not. They are free to sabotage their own campaign.

And as I said above, there are many signs that MAY indicate that they are doing just that. The selection of Joe Biden, the basement strategy, the subsequent “appointment” of Kamala Harris, the near-dead convention. Do appreciate, please, that we have no idea how Biden and Kamala were “selected”. How did Biden all of a sudden rise to the top of the crop from seemingly nowhere? Where did Kamala come from post-primary mayhem? Did Joe personally pick her? Do you believe that?

But okay, if you don’t think that they would sabotage their own campaign, flip things around: if they WOULD have wanted to make sure they’d lose the election, what would they have done, you know, the donors behind the veil, plus maybe the Obamas and Clintons? Wouldn’t they perhaps have picked Biden and Kamala, whom very few people appeared to actually like, find sympathetic, prior to them being selected for their respective roles? Why not select people that DO resonate with voters without you having to forcefully shove them down their throats?

Why would a bunch of power-hungry folk (as all politicians and their sponsors are) want to screw up their own chance at obtaining power?

Well, the lack of good candidates may well be a factor, but there’s something much bigger: the US economy, like most if not all western economies, is wobbling precariously on a precipice, and about to fall off. As I labeled it recently: The Bottom Is Falling Out.

Our entire present reality is still somewhat new, the COVID pandemic, its fallout, the bailouts, the government checks, the sick and the dead, but at some point it will all start to become a “normal” part of life. That doesn’t mean, however, that the economy will return to “normal” (whatever anybody ever thought that meant).

An enormous number of businesses will never reopen, entire fields will be obliterated, re: tourism, airlines, a large swath of retail stores. The unemployment that generates will be with us for many years. The Great Depression will become a mere footnote in most history books.

And the parties in charge in various countries, including the GOP in America, will be the ones blamed for most of the ensuing problems. If you’re a Democrat behind-the-curtain wizard, wouldn’t you at least consider saying: I think I’ll pass for this round, and let Trump take the heat?

Just so, you know, you can continue your cooperation with CNN, NYT, WaPo, FBI, and blame Trump every single day and 1000 times on Sunday for everything that falls apart, while continuing to generate clickbait profits ? If all you got to show for your grand ambitions is Joe Biden, it must seem a really appealing course of action.

Besides, you don’t appear to have any better candidates than Biden -at least not centrist ones-, but don’t forget that neither do the Republicans once Trump is gone. Da Donald is set to leave a huge hole behind where he once pontificated. And just about any Democrat except for Joe Biden could step right into that hole (pun intended).

*  *  *

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Published:8/20/2020 10:09:19 AM
[In The News] Ex-FBI Lawyer Kevin Clinesmith Pleads Guilty In Durham Probe

By Chuck Ross -

Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith pleaded guilty in federal court in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday to making false statements by altering an email related to former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. John Durham, the U.S. attorney for Connecticut, filed a criminal complaint against Clinesmith on Friday, alleging that he altered ...

Ex-FBI Lawyer Kevin Clinesmith Pleads Guilty In Durham Probe is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:8/19/2020 7:34:58 PM
[] Nothing to see here, just the FBI's Information Management Division being 'WILDLY IRRESPONSIBLE' with notorious anti-Semitic hoaxes Published:8/19/2020 2:33:27 PM
[Politics] Ex-FBI Lawyer Admits to False Statement During Russia Probe A former FBI lawyer pleaded guilty Wednesday to altering a document related to the secret surveillance of a former Trump campaign adviser during the Russia investigation. Published:8/19/2020 1:37:45 PM
[Markets] Stolen Mailboxes? Don't Fall For Dems' Latest Conspiracy Theory Stolen Mailboxes? Don't Fall For Dems' Latest Conspiracy Theory Tyler Durden Wed, 08/19/2020 - 08:18

Authored by Liz Harrington via RealClearPolitics.com,

Democrats and the media are meddling in our elections again. But this is getting absurd...

Joe Biden peddles fake stories of “tractor trailers picking up mailboxes.” Members of Congress threaten to throw the postmaster general in jail. Soviet-style propaganda posters of mailboxes propagate on social media. Prominent Democrats share grainy photos tweeted by has-been actresses with crackpot theories of MAGA-hat wearing postmen out to steal the election.

Never mind every major Postal Service union has endorsed Biden, including the American Postal Workers Union and the National Association of Letter Carriers, which together represent 520,000 active and retired USPS employees. The APWU recently said 2020 is “shaping up to be a major election for our Union,” and view President Trump as a “serious threat.”

Details.

But it can’t be a vast conspiracy theory without Hillary Clinton’s projection. “Nothing stops the mail,” the Chardonnay enthusiast tweeted. Except when USPS partnered with unions to allow mail carriers to take time off to try to get Clinton elected, in “systematic violation” of the law.

There was no Russia collusion in 2016. There were no Julie Swetnick “train rapes” in 2018. And there are no disappearing post boxes in 2020.

KATU, the local ABC affiliate in Portland, discovered the bombshell reason mailboxes were on that truck:

“To replace them because they're old.”

Whoops.

The truth never stops them whipping up a mob.

Susan Rice, always the reliable spreader of Democrat disinformation, is very concerned, despite the fact the Obama administration took at least 12,000 post office boxes off the streets.

“Where have all the collection boxes gone?” the USPS inspector general asked in September 2016. Democrats were too busy hawking their fake dossier to bother noticing Obama and Biden were, by today’s Democrat standards, “trying to dismantle American democracy.”

Louis DeJoy is their new Gen. Michael Flynn. Just someone to project their hysterical political fantasies onto, no matter the collateral damage. Flynn is an American hero, not a Russian asset. (Neither was Carter Page, as Kevin Clinesmith can attest). DeJoy is a logistics professional who successfully ran multibillion-dollar supply chains, not a mail hatchet man. He wasn’t appointed by President Trump, but was unanimously approved by members of the USPS Board of Governors, including a Democrat, after an extensive search. DeJoy will be smeared because he’s a Republican. Never mind Megan Brennan, the former postmaster general he replaced, is a Democrat.

Democrats’ politicization of the mundane is troubling. The media is trying to taint routine maintenance, like transferring equipment to meet demand. Like everything else, the pandemic has required businesses to adapt, and the post office is no exception. But it’s Democrats who contend we must rest our election results on a service that was losing billions every quarter – before the virus hit. Both Donald Trump and Barack Obama have complained about the post office for years. What’s not routine? Sending millions more ballots out when voters never requested them.

Democrats don’t need to invent conspiracies to find problems with vote-by-mail. They could read the local papers. Or open their eyes.

  • In Indianahundreds of ballot applications were sent with the Democrat box already checked.

  • In Fulton County, Ga., and Washington, D.C., ballots went missing.

  • In Clark County, Nev., Democrats sent out 1,325,934 ballots and “nearly as many were undeliverable as returned: 223,469 and 305,000.” The other 797,465? Many ended up piled in apartment buildings and the trash.

  • The “train wreck” in New York, where it took six weeks to get results few have confidence in.

  • And of course, there is New Jersey. Republicans received ballots with no Republican candidates to choose from. In Paterson, ballots were stolen out of mailboxes, people who never received ballots had votes cast in their name, and the dead voted. Statewide, roughly 10% of ballots were rejected. What Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy calls a “success.” He’s moving forward with mailing over six million ballots in November anyway, and will count them even if they’re returned a week after Election Day. The four indicted for fraud in Paterson were each charged with “unauthorized possession of ballots,” including approaching voters “and collecting their official mail-in ballots” which were not theirs.

There’s another term for this: ballot harvesting.

They wouldn’t have been charged in California, where it’s legal for anyone to possess as many ballots as they want. That’s what Speaker Nancy Pelosi snuck in her legislation masquerading as coronavirus relief and what Marc Elias and left-wing groups are trying to force through the courts in a dozen battleground states.

The media keeps claiming there’s no evidence of fraud, but immediately hopped on the Democrats’ next conspiracy theory wagon about a “war” on the Postal Service, with no evidence. 

The real assault is what Democrats are doing to election integrity with a forced transition to vote by mail overnight. It took the state of Washington five years to switch to vote by mail. How do they prevent fraud? Every voter has to present a photo I.D. to be registered. Safeguards Democrats fight against.

Another fraud: this is all about our health.

Contrary to fearmongering, in-person voting in Wisconsin did not lead to an outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control found social distancing and personal protective equipment works at polling stations. Dr. Anthony Fauci says there is no reason why Americans can’t vote in person in November.

Voting by mail doesn’t prevent you from contracting the Wuhan coronavirus, either. In Wisconsin, there were more cases found in people who voted absentee than in person.

There are many lessons to glean from Democrats’ descent into angry, third-rate conspiracy theorists.

One thing the mob banging pots and pans outside the postmaster general’s door teaches us: they’re not afraid to cast a ballot in person. 

Published:8/19/2020 7:33:44 AM
[Politics] Ex-FBI Lawyer to Plead Guilty to Doctoring Email in Russia Probe of Trump Campaign Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith is expected to plead guilty on Wednesday in federal court to falsifying a document as part of the bureau's early-stage probe into whether President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign colluded with the Russian government. Published:8/19/2020 6:30:29 AM
[Markets] Watch DNC Night 2 Live: Can Bill Clinton And AOC Salvage Night 1 Ratings Disaster? Watch DNC Night 2 Live: Can Bill Clinton And AOC Salvage Night 1 Ratings Disaster? Tyler Durden Tue, 08/18/2020 - 20:45

Scroll down to watch live...

After Monday night's kickoff of the Democratic National Convention was an abysmal ratings failure (and who doesn't like a good three-hour, pretaped infomercial), Democrats are looking to kick it up a notch on Tuesday.

Fresh out of the pages of today's Daily Mail because of an 'innocent' 2002 neck-rub by an Epstein accuser is former President Bill Clinton, who was probably looking forward to four years without Hillary in the house back in 2016. 

Also featured in tonight's prerecorded parade of progressives will be squadmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), the plucky environmentalist who recently suggested a national tree-killing pen-pal campaign to support the US Postal Service.

Apparently they're slipping Colin Powell's spiel in before Clinton.

Lastly, Cindy McCain will describe her late husband's close friendship with Joe Biden, and is expected to offer her endorsement for the former VP.

Not entirely surprising, all things considered...

Here's the full roster for Tuesday night:

Watch Live:

Hopefully their closer is just as interesting so we have something to talk about tomorrow...

Published:8/18/2020 7:57:05 PM
[Politics] Carter Page: Clinesmith Indictment 'First Step' on 'Road to Justice' Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page said Tuesday the recent indictment of former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith was the "first step on the road to justice." Published:8/18/2020 3:25:05 PM
[Markets] Senate Panel Releases Final Report On Russian Interference In 2016, Says Manafort Posed "Grave Counterintelligence Threat" Senate Panel Releases Final Report On Russian Interference In 2016, Says Manafort Posed "Grave Counterintelligence Threat" Tyler Durden Tue, 08/18/2020 - 11:22

The Senate Intelligence Committee has released a 966 page final report on Russian election interference in the 2016 presidential election, and outlines "Counterintelligence Threats and Vulnerabilities" during the race.

The panel interviewed over 200 witnesses and reviewed over 1 million pages of documents, according to The Hill - finding that while Russia made efforts to interfere in the election through disinformation and cyber campaigns, there was insufficient evidence that the Trump campaign 'colluded' with the Kremlin, as we were promised was the case by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and the MSM over the course of three years.

"No probe into this matter has been more exhaustive," said acting Senate Intelligence Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) in a statement, adding "We can say, without any hesitation, that the Committee found absolutely no evidence that then-candidate Donald Trump or his campaign colluded with the Russian government to meddle in the 2016 election."

Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the Committee's Vice Chairman, had a different interpretation - saying "At nearly 1,000 pages, Volume 5 stands as the most comprehensive examination of ties between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign to date — a breathtaking level of contacts between Trump officials and Russian government operatives that is a very real counterintelligence threat to our elections."

And while there was no evidence of coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, the panel found that Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's contacts with 'Kremlin-linked' officials (as the Washington Post describes them) posed a "grave counterintelligence threat."

The volume, released Tuesday, states that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort worked with a Russian intelligence officer “on narratives that sought to undermine evidence that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election,” including the idea that Ukrainian election interference was of greater concern. -WaPo

"One of the Committee’s most important — and overlooked — findings is that much of Russia’s activities weren’t related to producing a specific electoral outcome, but attempted to undermine our faith in the democratic process itself," said Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC).

The report also found that Trump-hating Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya - who was granted a visa under "extraordinary circumstances" by the Obama DOJ to lobby and defend a client in the United States after she was initially rejected - had "significant connections" to the Kremlin.

That said, the panel also found that the FBI's conduct during the 2016 election was "flawed," and that the agency gave "unjustified credence" to allegations of Trump's ties to Russia contained in the infamous Steele dossier, and that it was "based on an incomplete understanding of Steele's past reporting record."

And of course, as The Hill notes, "The conclusion of the Senate committee’s probe comes as security officials and experts are warning that Russia will likely seek to interfere in the upcoming presidential election — as well as other countries."

So, the red menace is out there, lurking, and may strike again - despite the Kremlin's failure to impact the outcome of the 2016 election.

Published:8/18/2020 10:23:46 AM
[Markets] Prosecutors Working For Kamala-Mentored DA Committed "Substantial Abuses" During Smollett Investigation Prosecutors Working For Kamala-Mentored DA Committed "Substantial Abuses" During Smollett Investigation Tyler Durden Tue, 08/18/2020 - 09:10

Before the pandemic, we had Jussie Smollett - the former "Empire" star whose racist 2019 hate-crime hoax destroyed his career, stoked racial tensions nationwide, and cost Chicago taxpayers a reported $130,000 in police overtime thanks the MSM and prominent liberals who breathlessly reported Smollett's lies as fact.

And according to findings by a special prosecutor tasked with investigating what looked like a massive cover-up by the Cook County DA's office, State's Attorney Kim Foxx and her assistant prosecutors committed 'substantial abuses of discretion,' but did not break the law.

To review, Smollett claimed that two white Trump supporters in MAGA hats assaulted him on a freezing cold January night at 2 a.m., calling him racist and homophobic slurs before beating him up and leaving a noose around his neck (which he was wearing when police arrived). The actor said he chased the two white men off after the alleged 'hate crime.'

Kamala Harris - who mentored Cook County DA Kim Foxx and was coincidentally working on an anti-lynching bill at the time with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), called it a 'modern day lynching.'

Except, the 'attackers' turned out to be Smollett's twin, drug-dealing, Nigerian bodybuider brothers from Nigeria - one of whom he was in a sexual relationship with. The brothers later told police Smollett paid them to stage the attack, while Smollett says they're lying.

Trouble in paradise

Despite overwhelming evidence, including the brothers confession and video of them buying rope, Foxx's office dropped a 16-count Grand Jury indictment against Smollett after Michelle Obama's former Chief of Staff, Tina Tchen, called in a favor - asking that Smollett's case be placed in the hands of the FBI.

"Spoke to the Superintendent Johnson," Foxx told Tchen in a Feb. 1 email obtained by the Chicago Tribune, in reference to Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. "I convinced him to Reach out to FBI to ask that they take over the investigation."

Tchen, who has denied trying to affect the outcome of the case, admitted to contacting Foxx and later evaded a subpoena in the case.

Did we mention Smollett's sisters worked for the 2008 and 2012 Obama campaigns? Or that Smollett and Kamala Harris attended a 2018 protest together?

Jussie Smollett, Kamala Harris at 2018 protest

'Substantial abuses'

In a Wednesday statement following the conclusion of his investigation into the Smollett case, special prosecutor Dan Webb said that Foxx and her assistant prosecutors severely mishandled the case - which was marked by chaos and false or misleading statements, as well as a legally meaningless recusal by Foxx.

To review, straight from the horse's mouth (emphasis ours):

*  *  *

The OSP developed evidence that establishes three substantial abuses of discretion and failures by the CCSAO in prosecuting and resolving the Initial Smollett Case.

  • First Finding of Abuse of Discretion: The CCSAO's process and decision-making for resolving the Initial Smollett Case were a substantial abuse of discretion and represented a major failure of the operations of the CCSAO, including in the following ways:
    • On March 26, 2019, 19 days after filing the indictment against Mr. Smollett, the CCSAO dismissed the entire indictment against Mr. Smollett on the following terms: (1) complete dismissal of the 16-count felony indictment against Mr. Smollett; (2) no requirement that Mr. Smollett plead guilty to any criminal offense under Illinois law; (3) no requirement that Mr. Smollett admit any guilt of his wrongdoing (in fact, following the court proceedings on March 26, 2019, Mr. Smollett publicly stated he was completely innocent); (4) the only punishment for Mr. Smollett was to perform 15 hours of community service that had no relationship to the charged conduct; (5) only requiring Mr. Smollett to forfeit his $10,000 bond as restitution to the City of Chicago (a figure amounting to less than 10% of the $130,106.15 in police overtime pay that the City alleges it paid solely due to Mr. Smollett's false statements to police); and (6) no requirement that Mr. Smollett participate in the CCSAO's Deferred Prosecution Program (Branch 9) ("DPP"), which would have required a one-year period of court oversight over Mr. Smollett. 
    • Almost across the board, lawyers who currently work in or previously worked in the CCSAO's criminal division who were interviewed by the OSP—including State's Attorney Foxx—were "surprised" or "shocked" by at least some facet of the dismissal terms.
    • The CCSAO decision-makers on the Initial Smollett Case (Acting State's Attorney Joseph Magats and Lead Prosecutor Risa Lanier) did not learn of any new evidence between when the CCSAO filed a 16-count indictment against Mr. Smollett on March 7, 2019, when the CCSAO believed it had a strong case against Mr. Smollett, and March 26, 2019, when the entire indictment was dismissed, as described above.
    • The CCSAO decision-makers on the Initial Smollett Case have significantly and meaningfully divergent explanations for how the resolution was reached, including who negotiated the terms, whether Mr. Smollett was offered the opportunity to participate in the DPP, and whether the terms of the resolution were modeled after the requirements of the DPP.
    • The terms of Mr. Smollett's resolution do not track the requirements of the DPP.
    • The CCSAO did not screen Mr. Smollett's case to determine if he was eligible for referral to the DPP.
    • The CCSAO did not rely upon any specific similar CCSAO cases when resolving the Initial Smollett Case. 
    • The CCSAO's decision to advance the Initial Smollett Case from April 17, 2019 to March 26, 2019 to dismiss it minutes before conducting the dismissal hearing did not provide notice to the media or public, despite knowing there was significant interest in the case, including that the media had filed a petition to have cameras in the courtroom.  
    • Ms. Lanier read a statement during the dismissal hearing that she drafted in conjunction with Mr. Smollett's counsel, which was atypical.
    • The CCSAO did not consult with the CPD about the terms of the resolution and intentionally chose not to alert the CPD that the case would be dismissed until minutes before the hearing, despite all of the diligent and hard work the CPD put into investigating the case and the fact that many CCSAO interviewees would have considered the CPD a victim of Mr. Smollett's alleged crimes and/or for purposes of restitution.
  • Second Finding of Abuse of Discretion: The CCSAO engaged in a substantial abuse of discretion and breached its obligations of honesty and transparency by making false and/or misleading statements to the public regarding the nature and reasons for the dismissal of the Initial Smollett Case.  Specifically:
    • The CCSAO issued a press statement on March 26, 2019 (the day of the dismissal) that stated: "In the last two years, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office has referred more than 5,700 cases for alternative prosecution.  This is not a new or unusual practice.  An alternative disposition does not mean that there were any problems or infirmities with the case or the evidence…This outcome was met under the same criteria that would occur for and is available to any defendant with similar circumstances."  State's Attorney Foxx and Mr. Magats made similar statements during interviews with reporters on March 26 and 27, 2019 respectively.  However, the evidence the OSP developed makes it clear that there are fundamental facts that are inconsistent with the CCSAO, Mr. Magats, and State's Attorney Foxx's messaging in at least two ways:
      • The Initial Smollett Case did not fit the criteria the CCSAO's Chief Data Officer used to identify the cited 5,700 figure because all of those cases were referred to a diversion program, unlike Mr. Smollett's case; therefore, the resolution of the Initial Smollett Case was meaningfully different from how those 5,700 cases were resolved.
      • There were not thousands of (or, arguably any) similar cases that the CCSAO resolved in a similar way to the Initial Smollett Case.  The CCSAO could not identify any specific similar CCSAO cases it relied upon when resolving the Initial Smollett Case. 
    • The CCSAO and State's Attorney Foxx made false public statements representing that $10,000 was the most Mr. Smollett could have been ordered to pay in restitution under the law when there is no such cap under the provision of the disorderly conduct statute under which Mr. Smollett was charged, 720 ILCS 5/26-1(a)(4).
    • The CCSAO and State's Attorney Foxx made false public statements representing that Mr. Smollett had no criminal background, though the CCSAO specifically stated at Mr. Smollett's bond hearing that Mr. Smollett has a prior misdemeanor conviction out of California from September 22, 2007 for DUI, driving without a license, and giving false information to the police, for which he was placed on 24 months of probation. 
    • After telling reporters on March 27, 2019 that the CCSAO had a strong case and would have prevailed at trial, State's Attorney Foxx published an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune on March 29, 2019 where she falsely represented that the "office believed the likelihood of securing a conviction was not certain."
  • Third Finding of Abuse of Discretion: The CCSAO engaged in a substantial abuse of discretion and breached its obligations of honesty and transparency by making false and/or misleading statements to the public regarding State's Attorney Foxx's recusal.

Yet, much like the Horowitz report, everyone gets a slap on the wrist for misconduct which 'didn't rise to the level of criminal charges' - except Smollett, who was sued on April 12, 2019 by the city of Chicago for $130,105.15 in overtime that the Chicago PD says they spent chasing down Smollett's lie. The actor has filed a counter-suit against the city, claiming that he was the victim of "mass public ridicule and harm."

Then, in February of this year Smollett was re-indicted on six counts related to making false police reports.

Published:8/18/2020 8:23:58 AM
[Markets] Gold... In Case AG Barr's 'Rule Of Law Rescue Plan' Fails Gold... In Case AG Barr's 'Rule Of Law Rescue Plan' Fails Tyler Durden Mon, 08/17/2020 - 23:10

Via DKAnalytics.com,

AG Barr to the rule of law rescue?

In a nutshell, don’t hold your breath.  Leading conservative/constitutionalist radio talk show host Mark Levin had a fine interview with Mr. Barr on his “Life, Liberty and Levin” TV show last weekend.  It was a pivotal discussion about how destructive, violent, anarchist, un-American, uncivil, and rogue the left has become in its efforts to fundamentally transform America.  That transformation is away from an erstwhile codified citadel of liberty to an increasingly Marxist nation featuring iron-fisted tyranny (for flavor, consider the Corona virus policy responses, especially in blue states, where prolonged lockdowns have led to serious and widespread behavioral issues).  This effort, of course, is being led by the party of slavery, the party of segregation, the party of re-segregation, the party of the KKK, the party of internment of Japanese Americans, the party opposed to civil rights, and the party that led to unbridled third world amnesty which fueled ever growing voter disenfranchisement, Balkanization, and stagnant US jobs (for Americans).  I’m talking, of course, about the  power-obsessed, “Constitution, Americans, and America-be-damned” Democratic party. 

So far, so good.  It’s a great thing that Barr and his Department of Justice (DOJ) are at least calling the left out.  But there is a huge fly in the ointment, in my view.  It isn’t just about restoring law and order in America’s crime-infested, burning cities under racist/Marxist BLM and Antifa siege with local, state-level, and national Democratic power holders either approving or enabling rank lawlessness, and RINOs generally too intimidated to speak out against it.  

It is also about going after the very lawless elected officials and bureaucrats that have made a mockery of the rule of law while the same cast of characters has often set the stage for the anarchy and destruction that law-abiding urban Americans have faced, and are currently facing in unprecedented terms, from coast to coast, especially in Democratically-run cities (the vast majority of them).  This prosecution of rogue of former and current public officials is precisely what isn’t happening.  That is the devastating fly in the ointment.

I addressed this in an email with a friend of mine who who initially drew Barr’s interview on Mark Levin’s TV show to my attention. 

Here is what I wrote my friend: 

Got a chance to listen.  GREAT interview.  Barr nails it, as does obviously Mark.  Allow me a criticism or two; you may well consider it “majoring in minors,” but I think it goes to the heart of any honest system of government, and that starts with telling the truth. 

Barr mentioned that Trump’s economy until recently saw virtually zero percent unemployment, and that this will recur.  This is disingenuous at best.  Trump himself called the unemployment rate fake as a candidate when it was around 5% (U3, or the most flattering measure).  Furthermore, Trump mentioned, as a candidate, that real world unemployment was likely north (if not well north) of 20%.  Translation: take the U3 measure, turn it into the U6 measure, and then add back all the discouraged workers that have been looking for a job for more than a year and were conveniently taken out of the job seeker category back in the Slick Willy (Clinton) administration, and you a get “real world” US unemployment rate of around 30%.  Today!

One more point, arguably an even much, much  bigger one concerning honest government – a government run by people that are not above the law.  Here we are, some 3.5 years into the Trump administration.  Barr has (thankfully) been on board since February of 2019, or about 1.5 years.  We have mountains of evidence of treasonous and felonious acts by the heads/the top brass of former Obama and early Trump administration politicians and bureaucrats ranging from Hillary to the former Obama AGs to the top brass of the FBI and the CIA to the judges that recklessly (or worse!) issued warrants to spy on Americans, a clear Bill of Rights violation if there ever was one.  Former FBI head Comey, in the summer of 2016, not only still “toiled” as the top (bad) cop of America, but he also put on a judge’s hat and effectively told America, after reading a litany of indictable charges against Madam Clinton, that Hillary “didn’t really mean any harm,” but if the average American acted in such a manner, then the full force of the law would come down on him Comey even wagged his finger “at us” as he issued his stern warning for us little people.

Have we seen ANYONE of at least a few handfuls of high level top brass bureaucratic and elected criminals even get indicted by the supposedly lawful, ethical DOJ that supposedly eminently capable, rule-of-law man Barr heads?  Should we wait until Biden assumes the presidency to finally indict these varied disgusting, oath-shredding, Constitution-curdling crooks??  What a freakin’ pathetic banana republic with above the law power brokers running free and making millions in the MSM and by giving speeches!  Yet everyday Americans get fined for not wearing masks, wanting to run their businesses only to find that they’re forced to shut down or that their power and water have been shut off (L.A.).  Yet everyday Americans get treated by the IRS like quasi criminals (or worse) if they fall short in terms of filing or declarations or payments.  And don’t try to defend your home in red state America; just accept the violence and destruction of often organized rioters and then call 911, but no one may answer because your police force is being defunded.

Now I know a lot of the harassment, intimidation, and Bill of Rights violations are state-based affairs (I’d argue that the 14th Amendment should offer state like Bill of Rights protections), but I’m trying to make a bigger point: Mark Levin and AG Barr and others can talk the big talk, but until our governing elites are no longer above the law (the Constitution), all this is a bunch of talk with precious little “here’s the beef” walk as far as everyday Americans are concerned — and rightly so.  No wonder governmental institutions are often held in such low esteem.

Are all these mega crooks that have abused their elected or appointed positions of power going to skate?  Are sorely needed indictments going to be pushed aside by all the sickening diversions the left is continuing to cook up for us from Russia Gate to Ukraine Gate to the virus policy scam to Marxists/anarchists tearing the crap out of the fabric of both our cities and society?  And will this BR style “looking askance policy” be thanks to neither Trump or Barr or the man from Connecticut having enough guts to finally go after these above the law creeps?  Or could it be that both sides of the aisle are so steeped in corruption and so eager to sustain their power, prestige, and crony/fascist advantages that this is just all a big, bad, throw us a bone of hope pretend game that we fall for until we realize we’ve been had again?

I, for one, won’t be holding my breath.  Less talk, just walk, 3.5 years into the Trump admin, on this VITAL, no one is supposed to be above the law front.  And Barr definitely knows the ropes, so why hasn’t he had  the decency and guts to start the process of trying to show the country that DC ain’t above the law while he still has the chance?

Here is how my friend responded:

Of course, I agree completely that Barr is not the be all and end all, or even close, for the reasons you mention, and more. The biggest one to me, because it (not the unemployment rate) is squarely in his wheelhouse is the lack of any prosecutions of arguably the biggest political criminals in the country’s history – i.e., starting with Hillary, Comey, Brennan, McCabe and… yes, Obama, the messiah himself.

That said, he is very refreshingly honest in a relative sense. Could and should he (and countless other bureaucrats, representatives and putative “leaders”) be 500% better? Absolutely. The closest one to that ideal that I can think of is probably Ted Cruz, but I have no doubt that if he were president, on the SCOTUS and/or AG, he’d disappoint as well.

So I basically agree with your critique but as many have said, politics is the art of the possible. That is the framework within which he exists, and that inevitably skews and corrupts. Right now, he’s light years better than Sessions was, and Universes better than Holder or Lynch were. Am I 100% happy with him? No, not even close. But am I much happier with him than many/ most other currently available alternatives? Absolutely.

To which I responded:

Your first paragraph says it all, as far as I am concerned.  Politics is indeed the art of the possible.  Yet for a man of conscience (Barr), a man that self-identifies as a rule of law constitutionalist, a man who has had under his “wheelhouse belt” the “machinery” with which to prosecute “arguably the biggest criminals in the country’s history” for about 1.5 years yet has prosecuted no such person … — this speaks sobering volumes about his true dedication to a system in which no one is above the law, else you can’t have the rule of law. 

To me, this is sadly less than politics being the art of the possible, and more about rank dereliction of duty, dereliction of the oath he took, and, perhaps most stunningly and destructively of all, sustaining the very “Department of Injustice” that he inherited from the mega crooks Holder and Lynch and the absolutely incompetent, scared crapless Jeff Sessions.

Sure, Barr is 100x better than hapless Jeff and extremely crooked Holder and Lynch, but what good is that if he doesn’t take a potentially rapidly fleeting opportunity to at least attempt to yank America back from its B.R. status in which way too many elites are above the law crooks and way too many of us law-abiding citizens often get treated as if we were crooks by the an alphabet soup of un-elected, unrepresentative, untouchable federal and state bureaucrats that have long and unconstitutionally issued the vast majority of our de facto legislation, thousands upon thousands of often effectively cloaked regulations (how can anyone keep up with 72,561 Federal Register pages?) frequently featuring stout fines and even incarceration teeth?”

President Trump, despite some of his beyond the pale assertions, especially as a candidate and early into his presidency, has often displayed the very uncanny knack for sharing “the resonating bottom line” with Americans that won him the 2016 election.  In this regard, here is what he recently said

Attorney General William Barr could go down in history as “the greatest attorney general” or just as “an average guy,” but that will depend on what U.S. Attorney John Durham reveals from his investigation into the origins of the Russia probe, President Donald Trump said Thursday. 

“Bill Barr and Durham have a chance to be — Bill Barr is great most of the time, but if he wants to be politically correct, he’ll be just another guy,” Trump said during an extensive interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo. He said he hopes Durham is “not going to be politically correct.”

“I hope he’s doing a great job,” Trump said. “[President Barack] Obama knew everything. Vice President [Joe] Biden, as dumb as he may be, knew everything, and everybody else knew.”

Trump added that former FBI Director James Comey, ex-CIA Director John Brennan, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper “were all terrible and they lied to Congress.”

Is the first Ex-FBI lawyer pleading guilty for falsifying documents to investigate the Trump campaign a hopeful sign? 

Or, is this just a token, “orchestrated prosecution” by the bigwigs in both parties to throw citizens a middle management bureaucratic “sacrifice” before the top echelon power brokers revert back to widespread, bi-partisan corruption, and cronyism, also called B.R. business as usual?

A recent appeals court decision to overturn the Hillary Clinton deposition order that Judicial Watch won under the Freedom of Information Act suggests the heads of the above-the-law fish are as foul as ever.  Said differently, the jury is still out whether we will sustain an arbitrary, capricious, rapacious, despotic rule of man system over a rule of law system based on the US Constitution.  If only “the jury” got to decide such cases, for if it is ultimately principally up to leftist circuit (appeal) courts or to the Supreme Court of America, any remaining fidelity to our Constitution and the associated Bill of Rights won’t just be hanging by an ever thinner thread, but these seminal documents will have fallen deeply into a grave with dirt being rapidly heaped on top, quickly replacing daylight that was already rapidly dimming.

What if AG Barr falls short?

As you can surmise, I think this is much more likely than not. 

If we cannot bring back fidelity to the rule of law for our elitist politicians and bureaucrats, how can we expect to rein in increasingly “green-lighted” anarchy, racism, and destruction?  How can we address the highly destructive “cancel culture”* (OURS) and “virtue signalling“* that is increasingly making policy in the US for all of us if our leaders act lawlessly and destructively? 

The short answer is, we can’t. 

In such an unraveling world, how can we reconstitute free market capitalism, stouter property right protections, smaller government, balanced budgets, and sound money, the elixirs of invention, productivity enhancement, deflationary growth, and a wealth of nations trajectory lifting more boats and generating more happiness than any other system? 

The short answer is, we can’t. 

With our toxic public policy stew run, in essence, by lockdown fascists in bed with anarchistic and racist hoodlums, we threaten to careen further and further into stagflation, revisited — this time laced with with record debt, unmatched public sector and pension deficits, unparalleled financial repression, plummeting productivity (prior to an even stronger embrace of “not so green” energy), and an increasingly threatening loss of a functioning (civil) society.  Not exactly confidence-inspiring.  Not exactly a “wealth of nations” trajectory, shutting down supply and printing money like never before.  More like 1970s’ style stagflation on steroids laced with rising civil unrest and destruction.  

In plain English, eventually our asset bubbles, especially in global bonds and US stocks, will be pierced, ending over four decades of bull markets as reversion beyond the mean gets really mean, and screaming buys proliferate.  This will not only reflect unheralded and expanding balance sheet weakness, a secular reduction in corporate earnings power stated in today’s currency terms, and hugely rising monetary inflation risks, but it will also reflect plummeting confidence in the currency in which those increasingly unsound, overvalued assets are based.   In short, we will have a stability-eviscerating and purchasing power-crushing fiat currency crisis led by the currency that has been abused the longest and the most flagrantly, the US dollar.  This is how the end of a financial system is spelled.

In such a world, people and investors have always resorted to safe haven, purchasing power-protecting real money, which is physical gold and silver.  It won’t be different this time.  If the central bankers/central planners want to keep from being rendered fully academic (which history suggested would be wonderful), they will have to again back their currencies with a stout amount of gold — around 40%.  As so much fiat money has been printed, and gold (and silver) remain very limited, we could easily be looking at $11,500 gold per Troy ounce and over $230 silver per Troy ounce (history coupled with a bit of simple math as in “15:1” silver-to-gold ratio suggests silver could reach into the $700 range per Troy ounce).  Those precious metals dollar prices would be prior to even more money supply expansion both domestically and abroad.  In this regard, note that the US money supply has rising at a 42% annual rate in  M1 terms.  

While an adequate allocation to physical precious metals in your own possession at current price levels will help to take the economic and financial edge off of what will likely prove tumultuous times ahead, they can’t address our increasingly dysfunctional political and societal systems.  But, as the saying goes, it’s better to be relatively well-off financially during hard times than poor.  Plus, someday, when Blue Chip crony plays will again be trading for a sub-10 P/E with a 6 – 8% dividend yield (a blast from the not too distant 1970s past), you will likely have the PM purchasing power to “back up the truck” to avail yourself of a possibly once-in-a-lifetime buying opportunity, i.e., if our current fascist system doesn’t morph into full-blown communism, where there is no more private property.

But with rising gold and silver prices, don’t wait too long to get adequate precious metals diversification, especially not with Big Warren of Berkshire Hathaway wading into gold stock(s), which will make it suddenly acceptable for all the Wall Street lemmings to embrace the very gold the talking financial news heads have long been panning (together with Warren) as a barbarous relic earning not a dime of interest.   Well, with negative real interest rates abounding and with goods and services inflation on the rise, physical gold and silver in your own discreet possession don’t look so bad.  Meanwhile, precious metals stocks have tremendous operating and financial leverage to rising precious metals prices with which to fatten your dividend income. Pretty salivating, those barbarous relics …

Conclusion: go for the PM “bar” instead of placing too much trust in Barr (and our heavily compromised system)

Hope you found this post of interest!

Greetings,

Dan

*- In case these psychobabble terms confuse you, let me cut to the chase: cancel culture and virtue signalling express what amounts to kindergarten bullies enforcing the alpha male’s tyranny, which they have voluntarily subjected themselves to and now insist that everyone else also has to abide by.  THAT is what is really going on.  Welcome back to kindergarten.  Where are the cops?

Published:8/17/2020 10:20:41 PM
[] ew Paul Sperry @paulsperry_ DEVELOPING: Texts suggest Andrew McCabe's relationship with Lisa Page was not limited to FBI business I have a feeling that Peter Strzok's extracurriculars also weren't limited to just horseyfaced gumline Lisa Page.... Published:8/17/2020 7:21:24 PM
[Markets] "Gosh Almighty": Democrats Call To End Durham Investigation Despite Proven Criminal Conduct "Gosh Almighty": Democrats Call To End Durham Investigation Despite Proven Criminal Conduct Tyler Durden Mon, 08/17/2020 - 19:50

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

Below is my column in the Hill on the announced criminal plea by former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith and the continued calls by Democratic leaders to end the John Durham investigation. This week I discussed the call of Andrew Weissmann, one of the top prosecutors with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, for DOJ lawyers to refuse to help in the investigation despite his own conflict of interest. When the Clinesmith plea was announced, Weissmann proceeded to deride the charge and make spurious legal and factual claims about its basis.  The Weissmann call for DOJ lawyers to hinder this investigation is unprofessional and unwarranted but hardly uncommon in this rage-filled environment.

Here is the column:

"Gosh almighty.”

Those words from former Vice President Joe Biden sum up plenty about the announced criminal plea by former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith. Of course, Biden was not referring to the implications of the FBI lawyer who lied to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court for the efforts to continue the surveillance of an adviser to the campaign of Donald Trump. Nor was he referring to growing evidence that the Russia investigation was launched based on false and flawed evidence.

Biden was referring to the federal investigation by United States Attorney John Durham that led to the criminal plea by Clinesmith. Like most other Democrats, Biden previously denounced the investigation and the effort to look into criminality. Now that criminality has been found, Democrats and commentators still insist there are no reasons to continue it.

From the start, Democrats overwhelmingly condemned the investigation despite admitting Durham is a respected prosecutor. Leaders like House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff deemed the investigation “tainted” and “political.” Biden mocked the very idea of an “investigation of the investigators” and added, “Give me a break. Gosh almighty.”

These are the same figures who repeatedly cited plea agreements in the special counsel investigation by Robert Mueller as proof that real crimes were waiting to be found. When the plea by former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn was announced, it was seen as the critical development even though FBI agents said they did not believe Flynn had intentionally lied about his conversations with Russian diplomats.

Many in the media cited the plea by Flynn to disprove the insistence by Trump that the Mueller investigation was a hoax. But they are not citing the plea by Clinesmith to disprove the statement by Biden. Indeed, they have barely covered it. It does not appear to matter that Clinesmith said “viva la resistance” after the 2016 election or that, after claiming he was devastated by the victory of Trump, he lamented that “my god damned name was all over those legal documents investigating his staff.”

But several Democrats and commentators maintained there was never a targeting of the campaign before the special counsel appointment. That was untrue. Declassified documents show that an agent was used with a national security briefing of Trump and his aides during the campaign to gather information for the Russia investigation. Who did the agent report to? Clinesmith and Peter Strzok at the FBI, who infamously referred to his own “insurance” with the chance that Trump might be elected.

This is a plea agreement so it is not known what information Clinesmith may have shared. Moreover, this is just the first public move by Durham, just as Flynn was the early salvo for Mueller. But the date of this criminal false statement is key. In September 2016, administration officials leaked the existence of the classified investigation in the midst of the campaign and suggested Trump adviser Carter Page was a Russian agent.

This secret surveillance started the next month, based on that allegation against Page, when he was in fact an American asset. The FISA court was never told that information in the surveillance application was derived in part from the dossier, or that it was paid for by the opposition campaign. Nor was it told that at the time, FBI agents challenged both the bias and credibility for the dossier author and past British spy Christopher Steele, who was known to have given interviews for the media and claimed that he was trying to defeat Trump and assist the Clinton campaign.

In January 2017, Trump was inaugurated and FBI agents had sought to end their investigation of Flynn, citing no evidence of a crime. However, Strzok evidently wanted the collusion investigation to remain open and, later that month, Clinesmith also sought to renew that surveillance order over Page. His FISA application expressly cited the Steele dossier and described it as credible, despite knowing the different findings by FBI agents.

In February 2017, there were more leaks about alleged collusion by Trump officials with the Russians, a claim that even Strzok said was unsupported. The FBI was finding no evidence of collusion, while there was pressure to end the investigation. In June 2017, Clinesmith falsified an email in a third FISA application. What he was able to hide from the court was incredible. The court was told that Page might be a Russian asset for a conspiracy to influence the election as Clinesmith was told that Page was an American asset who was working by meeting with Russians. Clinesmith altered one critical email to state otherwise and extend the investigation.

When Clinesmith took this criminal action, the Russia collusion theory had already fallen apart. Both former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates declared they would never have signed off on all the surveillance applications if they knew then what they know today. Rosenstein called for the Durham investigation to finish, while Yates called for accountability for all of the misconduct.

With news of the criminal plea by Clinesmith, one might expect the media and our members of Congress to demand the same vigorous investigation from Durham as they did from Mueller. The collusion allegations that were noted to launch the Russia investigation were after all ultimately rejected. Durham is by contrast investigating the bias and misconduct.

So we have a collusion investigation that was shown to be based on false or unreliable information. It was launched and maintained by officials who were accused by an inspector general of misconduct, false statements, or procedural errors. Today we have the actual criminal guilty plea. However, many voices in Washington continue to insist that there are no reasons for Durham to continue digging.

As Biden says, “Gosh almighty.”

Published:8/17/2020 6:55:45 PM
[Politics] Ex-FBI/Mueller Probe Lawyer Clinesmith in Court This Week A former FBI lawyer accused of altering an email used to justify surveillance on a 2016 Trump campaign official will make his first court appearance later this week, The Washington Times reported citing a court order issued Monday. Published:8/17/2020 5:21:23 PM
[Markets] Air Force One Almost Hit By Small Drone As It Landed In DC Air Force One Almost Hit By Small Drone As It Landed In DC Tyler Durden Mon, 08/17/2020 - 18:10

It's emerging on Monday that Trump's plane had a near-miss with a small drone on Sunday as it approached Washington DC for landing.

Multiple people on board Air Force One reported seeing a yellow and black device flying nearby, said to be shaped like a cross, which came just off the right side of the aircraft soon before touching down at 5:54pm.

Air Force One, file image: AP

President Trump was returning from his golf club in Bedminster New Jersey when it happened.

Several reporters traveling as part of the press pool were eyewitnesses, with Senior Bloomberg News correspondent Jennifer Jacobs commenting just after landing that "Multiple people on AF1 saw what appeared to be a drone just below the plane as we were descending toward Joint Base Andrews. We came very close to hitting it."

The AFP's Sebastian Smith was the first eyewitness to report it, saying the object came "remarkably close to the president's plane" and that it "resembled a drone".

The Secret Service didn't comment, according to Bloomberg but it typically doesn't acknowledge active investigations.

It's the second major security incident involving Andrews Air Force Base and its sensitive high-secured aircraft with the month.

Last week an Air Force helicopter on a training exercise out of Andrews was shot at from the ground while flying near Mannassas, Virginia. A pilot was injured and forced to make an emergency landing. The FBI has since been searching for the shooter and it remains unknown whether it was intentional.

Published:8/17/2020 5:21:23 PM
[Law] FBI’s Ex-Counterintel Chief Scrutinized Over Briefing on Anti-Trump Dossier

Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is investigating the FBI’s probe of the Trump campaign, on Friday accused former FBI counterintelligence chief Bill Priestap of providing misleading... Read More

The post FBI’s Ex-Counterintel Chief Scrutinized Over Briefing on Anti-Trump Dossier appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:8/17/2020 1:54:35 PM
[Politics] Sen. Wyden: 'Deeply Concerned' FBI Isn't Sharing Information With Dems Sen. Ron Wyden told FBI Director Christopher Wray that he is "deeply concerned" the agency isn't supplying Democrats with information it is giving to Republicans investigating the Obama administration, The Hill reports. The Oregon lawmaker is the top Democrat on the Senate... Published:8/17/2020 12:48:01 PM
[IJR] Democratic Lawmakers Call on FBI to Investigate Trump’s Postmaster General Two Democratic lawmakers want the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to look into the alleged efforts to “dismantle” the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) by Postmaster… Published:8/17/2020 11:47:27 AM
[Media Bias] About Kevin Clinesmith (John Hinderaker) So far we have said nothing about Kevin Clinesmith’s guilty plea, which illustrates the fact that these days, the news is impossible to keep up with. Clinesmith, as you probably remember, was an FBI lawyer, an assistant general counsel assigned to the Bureau’s National Security and Cyber Law branch in Washington. In that capacity, he supported FBI investigations, including Crossfire Hurricane. Clinesmith was instrumental in submitting some, at least, of Published:8/16/2020 9:43:39 PM
[Markets] The Most Revealing Poll Of All: Gun Sales The Most Revealing Poll Of All: Gun Sales Tyler Durden Sun, 08/16/2020 - 22:30

Authored by Patricia McCarthy via AmericanThinker.com,

For decades, the Democratic party has wanted to abrogate the Second Amendment, to ban the sale of guns of any and all calibers, sizes, shapes and potential uses.  They have long sought to limit the amount of ammo per gun and were just foiled again on that score.  

The left has yet to realize the obvious, that criminals do not obey laws of any kind, least of all gun laws.  So deluded are the gun-banning Democrats, they do not believe that Americans have the right to defend themselves against said criminals.  These Democrats who want to run our lives all have armed security themselves, but we peons are, in their warped view, are to be forever denied the rights they bestow upon themselves.  

Like the imbecilic Beto O’Rourke before her, Kamala Harris advocates gun confiscation; she wants the tyrannical government she and Joe are promoting to go into our homes and seize our legally-obtained weapons of self-defense.  

Like Hitler, Stalin and Mao, seizing the firearms of the citizenry is the first step toward despotism.  But the left misjudges the spirit of Americans who have escaped being indoctrinated by the anti-American, anti-constitutionalism that the left in academia and the media have been pushing for decades.  Most of us take the Constitution and its accompanying Bill of Rights very seriously.  Both have served this nation well for two-hundred and forty-four years.  No self-righteous, virtue-signaling political lefty elitist is going to convince Americans who support the Constitution that the government has the right to confiscate their guns.  

Well before Biden’s selection of Harris as his running mate, in the first half of 2020, gun sales have increased by 95%, (ten million guns), ammunition sales are up by 139%.  

The numbers eclipse all of 2019.  The highest increase is among black men and women, 58.2%.  

Can you blame them?  

The wanton violence that has plagued Democrat-run cities like Minneapolis, Portland, Chicago (homicides up 139%),  New York (13% increase in shooting incidents, 23% increase in homicides), Seattle, D.C., Los Angeles, Atlanta, etc. over the past several months with the blessings of the Democrat governors and mayors that run them has taught law-abiding blacks that the police are being driven from these cities, betrayed by the elected leaders charged with enforcing the law.  Violent crime has spiked in all those places.  And to this day, no Democrat has spoken out against Antifa or Black Lives Matter, or the catastrophic damage they have wrought upon those communities, apparently in the mistaken belief that a majority of Americans are sympathetic to the specious causes of the vandals.  The massive increase in gun sales would seem to belie that tenet.  

While it has long been mostly republicans who support gun rights and the NRA, the enormous expansion of gun ownership most certainly includes former Democrats who will not likely vote for Biden/Harris, both of whom favor confiscation like the rest of the left.  For that reason and for her other past prosecutorial policies, not all blacks support Harris.  So it is safe to conclude that the colossal increase in gun sales is perhaps the most telling poll of all.  Guns and ammo are expensive and these numbers represent legal sales and do not account for the illegal acquisitions of guns.  Bottom line?  People no longer  feel safe in their own communities and they are seeing the police they respect and rely upon be demeaned, defunded and directed to stand down while rioters and looters destroy their small businesses and downtowns.  And through all this monstrous violence,  the democrats insist on calling the vandals “peaceful protesters.” They are anything but peaceful.  They are well-funded fascist groups who mean to destroy the United States as founded. The death of George Floyd was the spark that lit the fires, covid19 the gift that has kept on giving to those working hard to sabotage our great nation

The rise in gun ownership has spiked more than any previous time period and is the highest since the FBI began recording the statistics 22 years ago.  

The alleged lead by Biden in the polls most likely does not account for the huge number of Americans who may have voted Democrat in the past but are not going to vote Democrat again if it means being stripped of the guns they’ve only recently purchased and now feel they need for self-defense.  And all the while, the left has promoted and blessed the violence.  They have actually encouraged it, they’ve emboldened the rioters by refusing to call what they do by its name:  brutal insurrection.

From day one of the violence in Seattle and Portland, President Trump offered federal help but those cities’ mayors and each of the others whose cities were being ravaged declined his offer.  As a result, half of all black-owned businesses in the affected cities have been destroyed by the rioting or lost to the lockdown.  It is hard to take seriously the mantra that “black lives matter” when in fact they have become a mere political tool of the left.  Most of the media failed to report on the cold-blooded murder of a five-year-old boy by his adult neighbor.  Why?  The child was white, the murderer black which does not fit the left’s narrative of the day.  Mayors Bill de Blasio of New York and Muriel Bowser of Washington, D.C. are all hat, no cattle, when it comes to actually caring about the lives being devastated by the disorder they have willingly allowed.  As President Trump said last week, “this election will determine the future of private gun ownership in the United States.”   

Biden is clearly lost in a fog of confusion due to his mental decline and will say anything his handlers put on the teleprompter but Kamala Harris is as far left a candidate who has ever run for high office; she is Bernie Sanders in a dress.  She and her fellow “progressives”  mean what they say;  they mean to effect a defenseless society.  

Will a majority of Americans choose to be disarmed like the Germans under Hitler, the Russians under Stalin and the Chinese under Mao or will they vote to preserve their constitutional right to bear arms?  The astronomical surge in gun ownership these past months tells us that no, they will not vote to lose their Second Amendment right.  Self-defense is a human right.  

“The right of self-defense never ceases.  It is among the most sacred, and alike necessary to nations and to individuals.“ --James Monroe  

The left, thoroughly deranged by Trump’s 2016 victory, will gladly see our once civil society destroyed if its destruction will see Trump defeated.  Their plan is doomed to failure.   If gun sales translate to votes, it will ensure his re-election.

Published:8/16/2020 9:43:39 PM
[FBI] About Kevin Clinesmith (John Hinderaker) So far we have said nothing about Kevin Clinesmith’s guilty plea, which illustrates the fact that these days, the news is impossible to keep up with. Clinesmith, as you probably remember, was an FBI lawyer, an assistant general counsel assigned to the Bureau’s National Security and Cyber Law branch in Washington. In that capacity, he supported FBI investigations, including Crossfire Hurricane. Clinesmith was instrumental in submitting some, at least, of Published:8/16/2020 8:13:15 PM
[Markets] Mueller Aide Weissmann Urges DOJ Attorneys 'Not' To Help On Investigations Mueller Aide Weissmann Urges DOJ Attorneys 'Not' To Help On Investigations Tyler Durden Sun, 08/16/2020 - 20:30

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

recently wrote a column discussing how Democratic leaders, including Vice President Joe Biden, have argued against continuing the investigation by U.S. Attorney John Durham despite growing evidence of misconduct by Justice Department officials and now the first guilty plea by former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith.

Now, Andrew Weissmann, one of the top prosecutors with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, has derided the Clinesmith plea while actually calling on Justice Department attorneys to refuse to help on ongoing investigations that could implicate aspects of his own prior work.

I was among those who expressed concern when Mueller selected Weissmann due to his history of controversial prosecutorial decisions, including a pattern of prosecutorial overreach in the Enron litigation.

Weissmann’s recent statements (made before the release of his new book on the Russian investigation) have only served to reaffirm those concerns.

Recently, Weissmann wrote an extraordinary and disturbing New York Times op-ed (with former Defense Department special counsel Ryan Goodman). In the column, he appeared to call on Justice Department lawyers to undermine the Durham investigation as well as the investigation by U.S. Attorney John Bash’s investigation into the “unmasking” requests by Obama administration officials. They wrote “Justice Department employees in meeting their ethical and legal obligations, should be well advised not to participate in any such effort.”

Consider that line for a moment...

Weissmann is openly calling on attorneys to refuse to help on investigations that could raise questions about his own decisions.  Durham is looking at a pattern errors, false statements, bias, and now criminal conduct in the Russian investigation. There is obviously overlap with the Mueller investigation which discussed many of the same underlying documents and relied on work by some of the same individuals.  The failure to address misconduct, bias, or criminal conduct by such individuals would be embarrassing to both Weissmann and Mueller. Despite that obvious conflict of interest, Weissmann is calling on attorneys to stand down.

It is the same troubling position that was once taken by Sally Yates, who told an entire federal agency not to assist the President in his travel ban.

After Weissmann called on Justice Department attorneys not to assist investigations by the Justice Department, Durham disclosed that the first guilty plea would be entered by Clinesmith. That would ordinarily cause embarrassment for someone who was calling for DOJ lawyers to effectively hinder the investigation.  Not Weissmann.  He has now attacked the criminal plea.

Weissmann mocked Attorney General Bill Barr to explain the difference between the Flynn plea and the Clinesmith plea.

Weissmann tweeted:

“Question for Barr: how are Flynn’s confessed lies to the FBI (repeated to the VP) not a crime, but Clinesmith changing an email (the full version of which he also sent to DOJ) is?

Clinesmith is charged with adding the words ‘not a source’ to an email about Carter Page, but no where does the charge say that is false, i.e. that Page was a source for the CIA. Without that, how is the addition ‘materially’ false?”

Here is Durham theory: even though Clinesmith gave the complete and accurate email to DOJ to use in the Page FISA, when asked by an FBI agent if the CIA had represented IN WRITING that Page was not a source, Clinesmith said yes, when CIA had not said so explicitly in writing. no where is it alleged that Page was in fact a CIA source or, if so, that Clinesmith knew that. How is any of this false or material to the Page FISA, using Barr’s new Flynn materiality standard. It’s not. Two systems of justice at play.”

“Clear from Durham charge that the FBI supervisor wanted to know if CIA confirmed “in writing” that Page was not a source because of distrust of CIA — but whether in writing or not, no allegation that Clinesmith lied about the fact Page was not a source. That’s a federal crime?”

The tweets reveal more about Weissmann than Clinesmith or this guilty plea.

First, Weissmann is completely distorting both the law and the facts to disregard the significance of this guilty plea. The fact that Page was a source for the CIA is not disputed. The Horowitz investigation and various congressional investigations have confirmed that the CIA made clear to Clinesmith that Page was working for United States intelligence, a fact that critically undermined the basis for the original application for secret surveillance. The statement that “no where does the charge say that is false, i.e. that Page was a source for the CIA” is bizarre. The charge is that Clinesmith made this false statement to the court and there is a wealth of evidence to support that charge. It was clearly enough to prompt Clinesmith to take a plea and enter into what appears a cooperative agreement with prosecutors.

Second, the claim that “Clinesmith gave the complete and accurate email to DOJ” would not negate the charge. It was the false information that he gave to the court that mattered. Prosecutorial misconduct often involves telling courts something different from what is known or discussed by prosecutors.  Moreover, the implications of such a contrast adds to the need for the investigation that Weissmann has sought to hinder.  If other DOJ attorneys and investigators knew that the court was being given false material information, the concerns are magnified not reduced for the Durham investigation.  Indeed, it means that this investigation dragged on for many months despite other attorneys knowing that the original claims of Page being a Russian assets were directly contradicted by American intelligence and never disclosed to the Court.

What is astonishing is that the FISA court itself as well as Horowitz have flagged this as a serious matter of false or misleading information. Weissmann however is actively seeking to convince Justice Department lawyers to refuse to help on the investigation.

Weissmann also misrepresents the law and the position of the Justice Department in Flynn.  I have been one of the most vocal critics of the plea.  It is true that Flynn gave false answers to the investigators.  However, he fought the allegations until the Mueller team drained him of his savings and threatened to prosecute his son.

Keep in mind that Flynn was the incoming National Security Adviser and held entirely lawful discussions with Russian diplomats. Even James Comey told President Obama that the discussions were “legit.” Moreover, in December 2016, investigators had found no evidence of any crime by Flynn. They wanted to shut down the investigation; they were overruled by superiors, including FBI special agent Peter Strzok, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Director James Comey. Strzok told the investigators to keep the case alive, and McCabe is described as “cutting off” another high-ranking official who questioned the basis for continuing to investigate Flynn. All three officials were later fired, and all three were later found by career officials to have engaged in serious misconduct as part of the Russia investigation. Recently disclosed material indicate that Obama, Biden, and other discussed the use of the Logan Act as a pretense for a criminal charge. The Logan Act criminalizes private negotiations with foreign governments. The Logan Act is widely viewed as unconstitutional and has never been used successfully against any U.S. citizen since the earliest days of the Republic.

Then, in February 2017, Comey circumvented long-standing protocols and ordered an interview with Flynn. Comey later bragged that he “probably wouldn’t have … gotten away with it” in other administrations, but he sent “a couple guys over” to question Flynn, who was settling into his new office as national security adviser. Indeed, Yates recently agreed that Comey “went rogue” on the Flynn matter.

This history is what was detailed to the court in the Flynn motion to dismiss the charge. The materiality point reflected the governing law that indictments require more than mere “relevance” or relatedness but rather a statement that is “reasonably likely to influence the tribunal in making a determination required to be made.” United States v. Weinstock, 231 F.2d 699, 701 (D.C. Cir. 1956) (emphasis added). The distinction with Clinesmith is obvious. Clinesmith lied to the Court in an investigation to influence a “determination required to be made” by the court.

Imagine if this were not the rule. It would mean that any prosecutor could intentionally lie to a court to secure warrants or other actions without the risk of a criminal charge.  Yet, Weissmann is mocking the very notion that Clinesmith could be charged while insisting that his office was correct in prosecuting Flynn despite the absence of an ongoing federal case and the fact that the agents themselves did not believe Flynn intentionally lied. There is no question the Clinesmith lied and that the lie was critical to the court’s consideration of the FISA application.

Weissmann’s public effort to derail the Durham investigation and his distortion of the Clinesmith guilty plea only reinforces the view of many of us that the Durham investigation must be completed and made public. Despite saying that I did not believe that Mueller would find crimes of collusion or conspiracy with the Russians, I supported the Special Counsel investigation. I also supported the Horowitz investigation and the Durham investigation. The reason is the same. I believe that the public needs to have a full and transparent account of what happened in the Russian investigation on both sides. Like many, Weissmann would like transparency on only one side and to shutdown the Durham investigation despite Horowitz referring matters for criminal investigation and finding a host of false statements, errs, and professional misconduct.  Even the addition of a criminal plea has not stopped Weissmann from denouncing this investigation.

For years, I have criticized Weissmann’s record of dubious prosecutorial judgment, bias, and overreach. However, that case against Weissmann is not nearly as powerful as the case he is making against himself.

Published:8/16/2020 7:43:09 PM
[Politics] Rep. Louie Gohmert to Newsmax TV: Clinesmith Might Be Flipped Witness Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith is either the "fall guy" for the Obama administration's spying on the Trump campaign or a flipped witness to expose it all, according to Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, on Newsmax TV. Published:8/15/2020 11:34:10 AM
[Politics] Alan Dershowitz to Newsmax TV: Durham at Tip of Deep Iceberg The news of a plea deal coming from former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith is not the iceberg, it is just the tip of it, and it likely runs deep, according to legal expert Alan Dershowitz on Newsmax TV. Published:8/15/2020 10:33:57 AM
[Markets] FBI Lied To FISA Court After Concealing Carter Page's CIA Work: Clinesmith Charging Docs FBI Lied To FISA Court After Concealing Carter Page's CIA Work: Clinesmith Charging Docs Tyler Durden Sat, 08/15/2020 - 11:30

The FBI was aware that Carter Page was a CIA asset months before the agency concealed that fact from the FISA court, which granted permission to spy on the former Trump campaign aide.

After withholding this information during the application and two subsequent renewals, top FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith altered documents to specifically say Page wasn't a CIA source during a third warrant renewal, according to a 5-age federal charging document reviewed by The Federalist.

Clinesmith agreed to plead guilty to altering an email which helped justify surveillance of Page to specifically deny that Page was an "operational contact" for the CIA - helping the agency investigate suspected Russian intelligence figures for five years.

The world learned of Clinesmith's crime after Inspector General Michael Horowitz issued a criminal referral following his 434-page report on FBI malfeasance during and after the 2016 US election.

As The Federalist notes, the MSM was hard at work spinning Clinesmith's guilty plea to suggest that there was "no evidence of a broad anti-Trump conspiracy among law enforcement officials."

Au contraire...

In fact, contrary to the unsubstantiated assertion from the Times, the charging documents highlight that all four of the applications to spy on Carter Page painted a false picture of the Trump affiliate. While the fourth application included outright falsified evidence regarding Page helping the CIA during the relevant time period, the other three withheld that information even though it was known to the Crossfire Hurricane team within days of opening an investigation on the Trump campaign and months before the first application to spy on Carter Page was granted. -The Federalist

And so, while the Times tries to suggest that Clinesmith was some sort of rogue employee who took it upon himself to ensure the FBI got their spy warrants, IG Horowitz's report reveals that this framing is absurd.

"We found that, although this information [of Page’s cooperation with the CIA] was highly relevant to the FISA application, the Crossfire Hurricane team did not engage with the other agency regarding this information," wrote Horowitz, adding that the "factual basis supporting probable cause" to spy on Page relied upon Page's contacts with known Russian intelligence officers - which he conducted from under the umbrella of the CIA.

The other key evidence the FBI used to support their warrant applications is the debunked Steele dossier, which the Federalist describes as "a collection of drunken brainstorming and unsubstantiated gossip that was used as part of an anti-Trump operation of the Hillary Clinton campaign."

In other words, the FBI had nothing on Page so they simply lied.

Page, a Naval Academy graduate who was accused in the media of sedition against his country, had candidly discussed those contacts with an FBI asset and the CIA had told the Crossfire Hurricane team that on August 17, 2016. Horowitz listed this failure to inform the spy court of these facts that undermined their probable cause claim as the first of 17 major omissions and errors that corrupted the FBI’s spying on the Trump campaign.

The Justice Department already admitted that two of the application renewals were illicit. Informed observers speculate the first application and first renewal to spy on the Trump ally may suffer the same fate. Durham’s charging document, along with the exhaustive IG report, show that Clinesmith’s deception was part of a broader conspiracy against Page. -The Federalist

Beyond Clinesmith

Also noted by The Federalist is the fact that Horowitz highlighted the errors of many other agents - including "Case Agent 1," which is believed to be agent Steven Somma.

"When Case Agent 1 was explicitly asked in late September 2016 by the Attorney assisting on the FISA application about Page’s prior relationship with this other agency, Case Agent 1 did not accurately describe the nature and extent of the information the FBI received from the other agency," wrote Horowitz.

"Case Agent 1 was primarily responsible for some of the most significant errors and omissions in the FISA applications," the IG report continues - noting Somma's mischaracterization of Steele's prior reporting as credible - as well as omitting the fact that Steele's claim of a "well-developed conspiracy of cooperation between Trump and Russia" were contradicted by statements made by another former Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos. Somma also excluded the fact that Steele's claim that Page met with Russian businessman Igor Sechin and Russian official Igor Divyekin were disputed.

Read the rest of the report here.

 

Published:8/15/2020 10:33:56 AM
[] FBI lawyer to plead guilty to doctoring email used to justify surveillance of Carter Page Published:8/14/2020 2:00:19 PM
[Politics] Ex-FBI lawyer to plead guilty in deal with prosecutors reviewing Russia probe

A former FBI lawyer plans to plead guilty to making a false statement in the first criminal case arising from an investigation into the Russia probe.

Published:8/14/2020 2:00:19 PM
[Politics] BREAKING: FBI Lawyer to plead guilty for altering Carter Page evidence for FISA warrant An FBI lawyer will plead guilty to altering Carter Page evidence in order to support FISA warrant in 2016: Just In: A former FBI lawyer will plead guilty to making a false . . . Published:8/14/2020 12:02:09 PM
[Politics] BREAKING: FBI Lawyer to plead guilty for altering Carter Page evidence for FISA warrant An FBI lawyer will plead guilty to altering Carter Page evidence in order to support FISA warrant in 2016: Just In: A former FBI lawyer will plead guilty to making a false . . . Published:8/14/2020 12:02:09 PM
[National Security] Brookings Institution Partnered With Shanghai Policy Center Under Scrutiny for Spying

The Brookings Institution, a prominent Washington, D.C., think tank, partnered with a Shanghai policy center that the FBI has described as a front for China’s intelligence and spy recruitment operations, according to public records and federal court documents.

The post Brookings Institution Partnered With Shanghai Policy Center Under Scrutiny for Spying appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:8/14/2020 4:55:22 AM
[Entertainment] YouTube Star Jake Paul Breaks His Silence on FBI Raid and Slams ''Absurd'' Rumors Jake PaulJake Paul is playing defense. Exactly one week after the FBI executed a federal search warrant at the controversial YouTube star's Calabasas, Calif. home on Aug. 5, he addressed the...
Published:8/12/2020 7:48:29 PM
[News] China’s Houston Consulate Had Long Been on FBI Radar: Justice Department Official Demers, the Assistant U.S. Attorney General for National Security, said that Houston was "not chosen at random" when the administration of President Donald Trump last month moved to shut down the consulate. Published:8/12/2020 5:46:22 PM
[Markets] New Memos Reveal Aggressive US Lobbying Campaign By Hunter Biden's Corrupt Ukrainian 'Friends' New Memos Reveal Aggressive US Lobbying Campaign By Hunter Biden's Corrupt Ukrainian 'Friends' Tyler Durden Wed, 08/12/2020 - 11:40

New memos obtained by Just the News and the Southern Foundation reveal that Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma conducted an aggressive lobbying campaign directed at the US State Department throughout the 2016 US election, with the goal of pressuring the Obama administration to lean on Kiev to drop corruption allegations.

"They keep trying through every channel they can," said one State Department official in the summer of 2016, referring to Burisma's relentless lobbying - efforts which appear to include over $3 million collected by Hunter Biden's firm from Burisma while his father supervised Obama's Ukraine policy.

The new memos, released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reveal "far more contact between Burisma and the U.S. embassy in Kiev than was acknowledged by witnesses during President Trump's impeachment proceedings," according to the report.

"We have been so frustrated in our attempt to get the documentation that we need before we can sit down and interview people, and as I understand it, the documents you just obtained in your FOIA request we haven't received unbelievably," Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) said on the John Solomon Reports podcast.

"I cannot tell you how frustrated and ticked off, I'll use that word, ticked off about where we are here. So yeah, I subpoenaed the FBI. And, you know, expect additional subpoenas to be forthcoming," he added.

The memos show Burisma's lobbying efforts were led by a Democratic firm called Blue Star Strategies and aided by the nonprofit Atlantic Council foreign policy think tank, stretching from the State Department's executive suite in Washington at the start of the election to the U.S. embassy in Kiev in the waning days of the Obama administration.

Burisma representatives repeatedly pressed for meetings, at times invoking Hunter Biden's name, starting with a Blue Star conversation with then-Undersecretary of State Catherine Novelli in January 2016 before turning their attention to U.S. diplomats on the ground in Kiev, the memos show.

By summer 2016 — their mission to clear Burisma's name still incomplete — Blue Star officials pigeonholed the new U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, during her Senate confirmation hearing and then attended a private reception where she was honored, according to the memos. -Just the News

"We had already offered our regrets to Blue Star. But they keep trying through every channel they can," State Department official Catherine Croft wrote July 29, 2016 to official George Kent, a key player at the US embassy in Kiev.

Blue Star, meanwhile, attended a private reception honoring former Kiev ambassador and Trump impeachment witness Marie Yovanovitch in August 2016 before she departed for Ukraine.

When their efforts to approach the State Department directly failed, Burisma tried a different approach - former US diplomat John Herbst who was then working at the Atlantic Council, had dinner with Kent to discuss Burisma and other matters.

Kent would brief Yovanovich on Herbst's attempts.

Meanwhile, during the same month, American attorney John Buretta wrote Yovanovitch a lengthy letter suggesting that accusations against Burisma were unwarranted, and requesting that the Untied States reconsider their views on the company.

Then, on January 13, 2017 - days before Trump took office, Kent was notified by Herbst that the Atlantic Council had accepted a large donation from Burisma, which was celebrating their successful pressure campaign to shut down the corruption probes.

"George, I wanted you to know before it becomes public that the Atlantic Council decided to accept support for its program from Burisma," wrote Herbst. "We looked at the matter closely and waited for over a month. Information provided to us by the Cravath lawyer for Burisma in the London case was an important factor, although some uneasiness remains."

Johnson said even before the release of the new memos this week, his committee already had plenty of evidence to show that Joe Biden engaged in a prohibited conflict of interest as vice president by continuing to oversee U.S.-Ukraine policy while his son worked for and was enriched by Burisma.

That appearance issue, Johnson said, was made worse when Joe Biden pressured Ukraine in March 2016 to fire the prosecutor overseeing the Burisma probe. Biden has said he sought the firing because he thought the prosecutor was ineffective and not because of the Burisma probe.

Johnson said media reports suggesting there was no wrongdoing by the Bidens in Ukraine are simply wrong. -Just the News

"The public has to be aware of this what I call glaring conflict of interest. The media is covering for Joe Biden. They're part and parcel of the Democratic Party," said Johnson.

Published:8/12/2020 10:46:22 AM
[Politics] Sen. Johnson: Subpoenaed FBI Because I 'Ran Out of Patience' Republican Sen. Ron Johnson said Tuesday he subpoenaed the FBI and its director Christopher Wray because he "ran out of patience" after the FBI continued to slow-walk his committee's requests for documents dating back several years. "My committee granted me the subpoena... Published:8/11/2020 2:08:06 PM
[b4a39238-7d7c-53d6-b3bc-880ca4f9feb5] Gregg Jarrett: Trump Russia Hoax fallout — what happens now that FBI lies have been exposed The FBI wove a tangled web of deceit. U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is nearing the end of his criminal investigation, is tasked with straightening it out. Published:8/11/2020 6:49:20 AM
[Markets] Senate Chairman Subpoenas FBI Director Wray For Russiagate Records; Puts Bidens On Notice Over Ukraine Dealings Senate Chairman Subpoenas FBI Director Wray For Russiagate Records; Puts Bidens On Notice Over Ukraine Dealings Tyler Durden Mon, 08/10/2020 - 10:50

FBI Director Christopher Wray has been subpoenaed by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs to produce "all documents related to the Crossfire Hurricane Investigation," which includes "all records provided or made available to the Inspector General" regarding the FISA probe, as well as documents regarding the 2016-2017 presidential transition, according to Politico.

The subpoena was issued by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) as part of his investigation into the origins of Russiagate. It gives Wray until 5 p.m. on Aug. 20 to produce the documents.

Johnson also released a lengthy letter on Monday in which he defended his Committee's investigation and accused Democrats of initiating "a coordinated disinformation campaign and effort to personally attack" himself and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in order to distract from evidence his committee has gathered on Joe and Hunter Biden's Ukraine dealings.

"We didn't target Joe and Hunter Biden for investigation; their previous actions had put them in the middle of it," reads the Monday letter, which outlines the timeline and connections between Joe Biden's policy actions in Ukraine and his son Hunter's relationship with Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural gas company, according to Just The News.

"Many in the media, in an ongoing attempt to provide cover for former Vice President Biden, continue to repeat the mantra that there is 'no evidence of wrongdoing or illegal activity' related to Hunter Biden's position on Burisma's board," wrote Johnson. "I could not disagree more."

Johnson noted evidence gathered by his committee showed Joe Biden met with his son's business partner, Devon Archer, in April 2014 and within a month the vice president then visited Ukraine and both his son Hunter and the business partner were put on the Burisma board as the firm faced multiple corruption investigations.

"Isn't it obvious what message Hunter's position on Burisma's board sent to Ukrainian officials?" Johnson asked. "The answer: If you want U.S. support, don't touch Burisma. It also raised a host of questions, including: 1) How could former Vice President Biden look any Ukrainian official (or any other world leader) in the face and demand action to fight corruption? 2) Did this glaring conflict of interest affect the work and efforts of other U.S. officials who worked on anti-corruption measures?" -Just The News

Johnson also denied that he had been on contact with, or received documents from, Russian-tied Ukrainians.

"The only problem with their overblown handwringing is that they all knew full well that we have been briefed repeatedly, and we had already told them that we had NOT received the alleged Russian disinformation," wrote Johnson. "The very transparent goal of their own disinformation campaign and feigned concern is to attack our character in order to marginalize the eventual findings of our investigation."

According to the report, Johnson's committee has secured testimony from at least one State Department official who worked in Ukraine, and says the Bidens' conduct created the appearance of a conflict of interest.

"The appearance of family profiteering off of Vice President Biden’s official responsibilities is not unique to the circumstances involving Ukraine and Burisma," wrote Johnson. "Public reporting has also shown Hunter Biden following his father into China and coincidentally landing lucrative business deals and investments there.

"Additionally, the former vice president's brothers and sister-in-law, Frank, James and Sara Biden, also are reported to have benefited financially from his work as well. We have not had the resources to devote investigatory time to these other allegations, but I point them out to underscore that Ukraine and Burisma seem more of a pattern of conduct than an aberration."

Johnson also announced that a subpoena was in process for former Obama State Department official Jonathan Winer - who had numerous contacts with debunked dossier author Christopher Steele.

"Mr Winer's counsel has not responded since Thursday as to whether he would accept service of the subpoena," Johnson wrote. "If he does not respond by tomorrow, we will be forced to effect service through the U.S. Marshals. More subpoenas can be expected to be issued in the coming days and weeks."

Johnsons subpoena of Wray comes one day after Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) fumed on Fox News, after his committee released a document revealing that the FBI misled the Intelligence Committee during the Russia probe when it claimed that Christopher Steele's salacious dossier was backed up by one of its primary sources.

"Somebody needs to go to jail for this," Graham told Fox's Maria Bartiromo, adding "This is a second lie. This is a second crime. They lied to the FISA court. They got rebuked, the FBI did, in 2019 by the FISA court, putting in doubt all FISA applications."

Published:8/10/2020 10:06:48 AM
[FBI] For Senator Graham (Scott Johnson) Maria Bartiromo’s Sunday Morning Futures is the only such gabfest I can take any more. The rest have all assimilated themselves to the leftist blob. Maria’s show is actually worth watching. Yesterday morning Maria had Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham on to talk about a false 2018 briefing given by the FBI to the Senate Intelligence Committee on the Steele Dossier. Senator Graham’s press release on the newly declassified Published:8/10/2020 7:46:05 AM
[Politics] GOP Sen. Ron Johnson Subpoenas FBI Over Russia, Defends Biden Probe Republican Sen. Ron Johnson said Monday that he has subpoenaed the FBI to produce documents to his committee related to the Trump-Russia investigation.The Wisconsin senator also defended a separate investigation he is leading into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden... Published:8/10/2020 6:29:16 AM
[Markets] "Somebody Needs To Go To Jail": Graham Erupts After Document Reveals FBI Lied To Congress "Somebody Needs To Go To Jail": Graham Erupts After Document Reveals FBI Lied To Congress Tyler Durden Sun, 08/09/2020 - 22:15

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was furious during a Sunday appearance with Fox News' "Sunday Futures with Maria Bartiromo," after his committee released a document revealing that the FBI misled the Intelligence Committee during the Russia probe when it claimed that Christopher Steele's salacious dossier was backed up by one of its primary sources.

"Somebody needs to go to jail for this," Graham told Bartiromo, adding "This is a second lie. This is a second crime. They lied to the FISA court. They got rebuked, the FBI did, in 2019 by the FISA court, putting in doubt all FISA applications."

"A year before, they're lying to the Senate Intel Committee. It's just amazing the compounding of the lies," he added.

According to John Solomon of Just The News:

The document in question contains the draft talking points the FBI used to brief the Senate Intelligence Committee in February 2018, including an assessment that the primary sub-source of the information contained in the Steele dossier had backed up the former MI-6 agent's reporting.

The primary sub-source “did not cite any significant concerns with the way his reporting was characterized in the dossier to the extent he could identify it,” the FBI memo claimed. "...At minimum, our discussions with [the Primary Sub-source] confirm that the dossier was not fabricated by Steele.”

What's more, FBI agents were told by Steele's primary sub-source that much of the content attributed to him in the dossier was in "jest" or uncorroborated.

The agency was also warned by the CIA that the memos contained Kremlin disinformation - and had even assembled a spreadsheet which debunked, or could not corroborate most of the claims.

And according to Graham, the document is so misleading that he wants FBI Director Christopher Wray to identify those involved in the congressional briefing.

"They misled the hell out of them," he added.

More from Just The News:

There is widespread evidence released by the Judiciary Committee and the DOJ inspector general contradicting the February 2018 FBI briefing memo including that the primary sub-source:

  • told the FBI that he "has no idea" where some of the language attributed to him came from or that his contacts and "never mentioned" some information attributed to him.
  • told the FBI he "did not know the origins" or "did not recall" other information contained in the dossier that was supposedly from his contacts
  • alleged that Steele used “incorrect source characterization” for one of his contacts. told the FBI that the corroboration for the dossier was “zero” and that he takes what the sources for the dossier told him with “a grain of salt.”
  • claimed much of what he told Steele was second-hand or even in jest and never intended it to be treated as intelligence because if was “word of mouth and hearsay” and “conversation that [he] had with friends over beers.”

Published:8/9/2020 9:18:48 PM
[Markets] Whistleblower Exposes "The Spies Who Hijacked America" Whistleblower Exposes "The Spies Who Hijacked America" Tyler Durden Sun, 08/09/2020 - 19:20

Authored by Steven P. Scrage, PhD via Matt Taibbi Substack (emphasis ours),

Global scandals now labeled Russiagate, Spygate, and what President Trump calls “Obamagate” shook the political world, but hit me closer to home.

I’m the reason the so-called FBI “spy” at the center of Spygate, Stefan Halper, met Carter Page, the alleged “Russian Asset” in Russiagate’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation. 

On May 19, 2018, this realization blindsided me in London as I was about to fly out for my wedding. The New York TimesNBC News and other sources had outed my PhD supervisor, Stefan Halper, as a spy known to the UK’s MI6 intelligence service as “The Walrus.”

It didn’t seem real. Could a former professor I once trusted as a mentor have betrayed his word, profession, and country to start these disasters? I had moved to England to pursue an academic career and leave DC’s politics behind, only to have my PhD supervisor throw me back into the most outrageous political firestorms I could imagine. Just my luck. Then an even worse question began nagging at me. Did I unintentionally light the match that started it all?

As I started to piece together what happened over the next few months, I realized something. The stories that The New York Times, Washington Post,and others were pushing didn’t add up. Many seemed planted to cover up or advance the agendas of several individuals whose tentacles secretly ran through these scandals, and who each had longstanding ties to intelligence services like the FBI, CIA, and MI6. I call these individuals the Cambridge Four. 

Strangely, all four were linked through that sleepy British academic town thousands of miles from the alleged “ground zeroes” of Russiagate’s conspiracies, Moscow and DC. In addition to the central “Spygate” figure Halper, they include the central source of “Russiagate’s” fake conspiracy theories, Christopher Steele; former MI6 Director Sir Richard Dearlove; and Halper’s and Dearlove’s partner in a Cambridge Intelligence Seminar linked to titillating — but false — tales of a “Russian spy” seducing Trump’s top national security advisor. My years of work with Halper provided an inside view of how their four networks interconnected. The more I dug up new pieces of this puzzle, the more I saw how these individuals’ seemingly separate acts might fit together in an absurd picture of how these scandals really started.

Armed with first-hand knowledge and evidence, I quietly sought to help federal investigators uncover these scandals’ mysteries. It wasn’t my first rodeo. After witnessing the plane that hit the Pentagon on 9/11, I led G8 and State Department international crime and terrorism efforts with Department of Justice (DOJ), FBI, and intelligence officials and had worked for decades in White House, Congressional, and presidential campaign roles. This helped me keep a stiff upper lip when I was falsely accused in 2019 by the House Intelligence Committee’s Ranking Republican and others on television as being part of a secret anti-Trump cabal. As much as I wanted to defend myself, I knew our best shot of exposing the real forces behind these scandals was for me to remain publicly silent and not let those under investigation know what I knew or was willing to say. 

To continue reading, click here...

Published:8/9/2020 6:29:16 PM
[Markets] Nancy Pelosi Admits On CNN: "China Would Prefer Joe Biden" Nancy Pelosi Admits On CNN: "China Would Prefer Joe Biden" Tyler Durden Sun, 08/09/2020 - 16:25

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just admitted during a live interview on CNN's "State of the Union" that the threats posed by Russia and China during the upcoming presidential election "aren't equivalent" - because Russia is pulling for Trump, and China is pulling for Biden.

In an interview that was notably thin on details and heavy on rhetoric, Pelosi insisted that the American people's lack of an "understanding" about the reality of "foreign influence" in US elections is unquestionably the Trump Administration's fault. While administration officials, including the head of the FBI, have spoken out about steps being taken by the administration to root out foreign interference, Pelosi dismissed these attempts as not nearly hysteria-inducing enough.

While Pelosi couldn't give out too many details - "I can't divulge information that's classified" - but insinuated that this is part of an international plot to bend the election, just like last time.

But at one point, Pelosi accidentally let slip that Russia isn't the only state actor trying to influence the election. China is ramping up its efforts, too. And while Russia is standing by its man, China is pouring resources into pulling for Joe Biden (just like the rest of the American mainstream media).

"China would prefer Joe Biden..but .Russia is actively 24/7 interfering in our election, they did so in 2016 and they're doing so now, and [the administration says] that to a certain extent, but they need to tell the people more."

Watch the full clip below:

So if, in theory, TikTok starts using its platform to boost pro-Biden content in key swing states to try and sway the election, just like it has done to promote Chinese interests in the US, would Pelosi speak out about this as well?

She then bemoaned the threat of "Vladimir Putin" choosing the next president "for us".

Just like he did last time, remember?

Conservatives on Twitter immediately latched on to Pelosi's rare burst of honesty.

Meanwhile, White House Spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany wonders aloud why Biden, who claims to care deeply about the millions of Americans desperately in need of extended benefits, won't intercede and ask Pelosi and Schumer not to stand in the way of Trump's executive order to extend the benefits.

And the mainstream media is touting the latest poll results suggesting Biden's "lead" on handling COVID-19 "blows away" Trump's lead on the economy.

But we can't help but wonder: how many Americans can really say they're "confident" in Biden's ability to lead during a crisis like this. He has literally spent the last 5 months hiding in a basement, hardly even speaking up to challenge the federal response, except to do some political pandering. At the very least, Trump is there. He is leading the country through this. His administration has been accused of making many mistakes, some of those criticisms are probably warranted. But he still keeps showing up, day after day, to tackle the worst outbreak in the world.

Published:8/9/2020 3:33:48 PM
[] FBI Lied to the Senate About the Steele Dossier. Graham Says, 'Somebody Needs to Go to Jail' Published:8/9/2020 2:56:04 PM
[CIA] The spies who hijacked America (Scott Johnson) On FOX News this morning Maria Bartiromo hosted Steven Schrage on her Sunday Morning Futures. Schrage is the gentleman who first connected Carter Page with FBI informant Stefan Halper at Cambridge in 2016. The interview runs just under nine minutes (video below). Take it in along with Schrage’s long narrative account “The spies who hijacked America.” Schrage provides this preview of coming attractions: There is far too much to tell Published:8/9/2020 1:55:15 PM
[Markets] Two Ex-Green Berets Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison For "Rogue" Venezuela Op Two Ex-Green Berets Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison For "Rogue" Venezuela Op Tyler Durden Sun, 08/09/2020 - 12:15

A Venezuealan court stopped short of handing down the maximum sentence to two former United States Army Special Forces soldiers for their role in a botched raid last May that didn't get past the beach after they were apprehended disembarking from boats.

Luke Denman and Airan Berry, who previously described they'd been hired and trained to lead the Venezuelan people in an armed coup by ex-Green Beret Jordan Goudreau and his private, Florida-based security firm Silvercorp USA, have each received 20-years in prison by a Caracas court.

The two ex-US special forces soldiers shown after their apprehension attempting to sneak in from Colombia.

Each was facing a maximum of 30 years for the bizarre operation which grabbed headlines at the time, and left the Trump administration on the defensive, saying the US had nothing to do with the half-baked military operation doomed to failure from the beginning. 

Venezuelan officials and media said they confessed. "They admitted their responsibility for the facts," the country's chief prosecutor Tarek William Saab said Friday.

They were found guilty of charges including terrorism, conspiracy, and illicit arms trafficking. The FBI has reportedly been investigating Jordan Goudreau, said to be laying low in Florida, for his role in the fiasco.

Days after the Americans were paraded in front of Venezuelan TV cameras, President Trump said in a Fox News interview: “If I wanted to go into Venezuela, I wouldn’t make a secret about it. I wouldn’t send a small little group, it’d be called an Army,” and again denied that it was an official or sanctioned op on any level.

Indeed all evidence which emerged later appeared to point to a poor-planned "rogue" effort by a group of mercenaries working with Venezuelan dissidents.

Since then there's been limited diplomatic efforts to obtain the release of Denman and Berry, but to know avail.

The State Department has appeared cool on the whole matter, also given it was deeply embarrassing to the United States, and given it gave the Maduro government greater negotiating leverage, considering they now have two American citizens being held for what all agree are legitimate crimes. 

Published:8/9/2020 11:27:26 AM
[] NPR: Brennan's not a target in Durham's probe of Crossfire Hurricane after all Published:8/8/2020 1:47:41 PM
[Markets] Russia Hoax: Are We All Being Played? Put Up Or Shut Up! Russia Hoax: Are We All Being Played? Put Up Or Shut Up! Tyler Durden Fri, 08/07/2020 - 21:05

Authored by Sara Carter via SaraACarter.com,

Many people have asked me why I haven’t written a book since the start of my reporting on the FBI’s debunked investigation into whether President Donald Trump’s campaign conspired with Russia.

I haven’t done so because I don’t believe the most important part of the story has been told: indictments and accountability. I also don’t believe we actually know what really happened on a fundamental level and how dangerous it is to our democratic republic. That will require a deeper investigation that answers the fundamental questions of the role played by former senior Obama officials, including the former President and his aides.

We’re getting closer but we’re still not there.

Still, the extent of what happened during the last presidential election is much clearer now than it was years ago when trickles of evidence led to years of what Fox News host Sean Hannity and I would say was peeling back the layers of an onion. We now know that the U.S. intelligence and federal law enforcement was weaponized against President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and administration by a political opponent. We now know how many officials involved in the false investigation into the president trampled the Constitution.

I never realized how terrible the deterioration inside the system had become until four years ago when I stumbled onto what was happening inside the FBI. Those concerns were brought to my attention by former and current FBI agents, as well as numerous U.S. intelligence officials aware of the failures inside their own agencies. But it never occurred to me when I first started looking into fired FBI Director James Comey and his former side kick Deputy Director Andrew McCabe that the cultural corruption of these once trusted American institutions was so vast.

I’ve watched as Washington D.C. elites make promises to get to the bottom of it and bring people to justice. They appear to make promises to the American people they never intended to keep. Who will be held accountable for one of the most egregious abuses of power by bureaucrats in modern American political history? Now I fear those who perpetuated this culture of corruption won’t ever really be held accountable.

These elite bureaucrats will, however, throw the American people a bone. It’s how they operate.

They expect us to accept it and then move on.

One example is the most recent decision by the Justice Department to ask that charges be dropped on former national security advisor Michael Flynn. It’s just a bone because we know now these charges should have never been brought against the three-star general but will anyone on former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team have to answer for ruining a man’s life. No, they won’t. In fact, Flynn is still fighting for his freedom.

Think about what has already happened? From former Attorney General Jeff Session’s appointment of Utah Prosecutor John Huber to the current decision by Attorney General William Barr to appoint Connecticut prosecutor John Durham to investigate the malfeasance what has been done? Really, nothing at all. No one has been indicted.

The investigation by the FBI against Trump was never predicated on any real evidence but instead, it was a set-up to usurp the American voters will. It doesn’t matter that the establishment didn’t like Trump, in 2016 the Americans did. Isn’t that a big enough reason to bring charges against those involved?

His election was an anomaly for the Washington elite. They were stunned when Trump won and went into full gear to save their own asses from discovery and target anyone who supported him. The truth is they couldn’t stand the Trump and American disruptors who elected him to office.

Now they will work hand in fist to ensure that this November election is not a repeat win of 2016. We’re already seeing that play out everyday on the news.

But Barr and Durham are now up against a behemoth political machine that seems to be operating more like a steam roller the closer we get to the November presidential elections.

Barr told Fox News in June that he expects Durham’s report to come before the end of summer but like always, it’s August and we’re still waiting.

Little is known about the progress of Durham’s investigation but it’s curious as to why nothing has been done as of yet and the Democrats are sure to raise significant questions or concerns if action is taken before the election. They will charge that Durham’s investigation is politically motivated. That is, unless the charges are just brought against subordinates and not senior officials from the former administration.

I sound cynical because I am right now. It doesn’t mean I won’t trying to get to the truth or fighting for justice.

But how can you explain the failure of Durham and Barr to actually interview key players such as Comey, or former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, or former CIA Director John Brennan. That is what we’re hearing from them.

If I am going to believe my sources, Durham has interviewed former FBI special agent Peter Strzok, along with FBI Special agent Joe Pientka, among some others. Still, nothing has really been done or maybe once again they will throw us bone.

If there are charges to be brought they will come in the form of taking down the subordinates, like Strzok, Pientka and the former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who altered the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act application against short term 2016 campaign advisor Carter Page.

Remember DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report in December, 2019: It showed that a critical piece of evidence used to obtain a warrant to spy on Page in 2016 was falsified by Clinesmith.

But Clinesmith didn’t act alone. He would have had to have been ordered to do such a egregious act and that could only come from the top. Let’s see if Durham ever hold those Obama government officials accountable.

I don’t believe he will.

Why? Mainly because of how those senior former Obama officials have behaved since the troves of information have been discovered. They have written books, like Comey, McCabe, Brennan and others, who have published Opinion Editorials and have taken lucrative jobs at cable news channels as experts.

It’s frankly disgusting and should anger every American. We would never get away with what these former Obama officials have done. More disturbing is that the power they wield through their contacts in the media and their political connections allows these political ‘oligarchs’ unchallenged power like never before.

Here’s one of the latest examples.

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s top prosecutor Andrew Weissmann just went after Barr in a New York Times editorial on Wednesday. He went so far as to ask the Justice Department employees to ignore any direction by Barr or Durham in the Russia investigations. From Weissmann’s New York Times Opinion Editorial:

Today, Wednesday, marks 90 days before the presidential election, a date in the calendar that is supposed to be of special note to the Justice Department. That’s because of two department guidelines, one a written policy that no action be influenced in any way by politics. Another, unwritten norm urges officials to defer publicly charging or taking any other overt investigative steps or disclosures that could affect a coming election.

Attorney General William Barr appears poised to trample on both. At least two developing investigations could be fodder for pre-election political machinations. The first is an apparently sprawling investigation by John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, that began as an examination of the origins of the F.B.I. investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The other, led by John Bash, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas, is about the so-called unmasking of Trump associates by Obama administration officials. Mr. Barr personally unleashed both investigations and handpicked the attorneys to run them.

But Justice Department employees, in meeting their ethical and legal obligations, should be well advised not to participate in any such effort.

I think Barr and Durham need to move fast if they are ever going to do anything and if they are going to prove me wrong. We know now that laws were broken and our Constitution was torched by these rogue government officials.

We shouldn’t give the swamp the time-of-day to accuse the Trump administration of playing politics or interfering with this election. If the DOJ has evidence and is ready to indict they need to do it now.

If our Justice Department officials haven’t done their job to expose the corruption, clean out our institutions and hold people accountable then it will be a tragedy for our nation and the American people. I’m frankly tired of the back and forth. I’m tired of being toyed with and lied to. I believe they should either put up or shut up.

Published:8/7/2020 8:14:16 PM
[Markets] Steele's Source Met With Russian Official Days Before Dossier Fabrication Began Steele's Source Met With Russian Official Days Before Dossier Fabrication Began Tyler Durden Fri, 08/07/2020 - 18:05

Christopher Steele's primary dossier source - alcoholic Russian national Igor Danchenko, who worked at Brookings with a Trump impeachment witness, met with a Russian energy official just four days before Steele produced the first of 17 memos which comprise his infamous opposition research on the Trump campaign.

Notably, Steele's first memo contained the salacious allegation that the Kremlin was blackmailing President Trump over a video of prostitutes urinating on each other at the Moscow Ritz Carlton in 2013 in a room which the Obamas had previously stayed.

The debunked accusation has made fake news headlines for years, as propagandists such as the New York Times have squeezed as much mileage as possible out of the dossier's absurd claims.

According to the Daily Caller's Chuck Ross, Danchenko met with Sergey Abyshev - who was a deputy-director in the energy ministry, as well as the editor-in-chief of a Russian finance website, Ivan Vorontsov. The meeting was documented in a Facebook post by Vorontsov, and confirmed by Abyshev.

It is unclear what they talked about - but it occurred as Danchenko was in the thick of his work with Christopher Steele, who the Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign and the DNC paid to cook up opposition research on President Trump's campaign. The dossier was a key component of several FISA warrants issued to spy on former campaign aide Carter Page and his contacts, and was widely distributed by US media outlets in a campaign to discredit Trump.

Danchenko, a Russian national who lives in Washington, D.C., told the FBI in January 2017 that Steele, a former MI6 officer, tasked him in June 2016 to dig up dirt on Trump. Steele was hired in May 2016 by Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm working for the Clinton campaign and DNC.

Vorontsov posted a photo on June 16, 2016 from the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), an annual business conclave, saying he had met the prior evening with Danchenko and Abyshev.

The night before was so nice with Sergey Abyshev and Igor Danchenko,” Vorontsov wrote. -Daily Caller

According to Abyshev, the encounter with Danchenko was "an almost accidental meeting in the center of Moscow with three ‘cheerful’ guys," adding "As a result, I had to listen to a lecture on investment opportunities for about 20 minutes."

Read the rest of the report here.

Published:8/7/2020 5:15:22 PM
[Law] 4 Points in Understanding China’s Goal for Meddling in US Elections

FBI Director Christopher Wray reportedly provided a detailed classified briefing to the Senate Intelligence Committee last week on election meddling by China.  The communist regime’s... Read More

The post 4 Points in Understanding China’s Goal for Meddling in US Elections appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:8/7/2020 4:13:38 PM
[Markets] Ex-Colleagues See Durham Dropping Bombshells Before Labor Day Ex-Colleagues See Durham Dropping Bombshells Before Labor Day Tyler Durden Fri, 08/07/2020 - 11:32

By Paul Sperry of Real Clear Investigations

While much speculation inside the Beltway says U.S. Attorney John Durham will punt the results of his so-called Spygate investigation past the election to avoid charges of political interference, sources who have worked with Durham on past public corruption cases doubt he'll bend to political pressure — and they expect him to drop bombshells before Labor Day.

Durham’s boss, Attorney General Bill Barr, also pushed back on the notion his hand-picked investigator would defer action. Under Democratic questioning on Capitol Hill last week, he refused to rule out a pre-election release.

AG William Barr was asked, "Under oath, do you commit to not releasing any report by Mr. Durham before the November election?” His reply: "No.'

"Under oath, do you commit to not releasing any report by Mr. Durham before the November election?” Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-Fla.) asked Barr, citing longstanding Justice Department policy not to announce new developments in politically sensitive cases before an election.

“No,” the attorney general curtly replied.

Justice Department policy prohibits prosecutors from taking overt steps in politically charged cases typically within 60 days of an election. Accordingly, Durham would have to make a move by the Friday before Labor Day, or Sept. 4. 

A low-profile prosecutor, Durham has kept a tight lid on his investigation into the origins of the specious Russiagate investigation of Donald Trump and his 2016 campaign, leading to rampant speculation about who he might prosecute and whether he would take action ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

That could well be of historic consequence, since his probe involves both the Trump administration and high-level officials in the previous administration, including Trump's presumptive Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. Recently declassified FBI notes show Biden offered input into the investigation of Trump adviser Michael Flynn in early January 2017. Another declassified document reveals that Biden was among those who requested Flynn’s identity be “unmasked” in foreign intelligence intercepts around that same time.

Former Vice President Joe Biden: Durham's probe involves officials in  two administrations, including Trump's presumptive Democratic opponent.

If Durham announces criminal indictments or plea agreements involving former officials operating under the Obama-Biden administration, or releases a report documenting widespread corruption, independent voters could sour on Biden and sympathize with Trump.  On the other hand, kicking the ball past the election could dispirit Trump’s base.

“I would find it hard to believe that he punts under any circumstances,” said former assistant FBI director Chris Swecker, who knows Durham personally and has worked with the hard-nosed prosecutor on prior investigations.

He pointed out that Durham would risk throwing away 16 months of investigative work if he delayed action beyond the election.

“There’s no question that if Biden is elected, everything Durham has done at that point will be canceled out,” Swecker explained, adding that Biden would replace Barr and possibly even Durham. But by putting indictments and reports "into the public arena” before the election, Durham would put a Biden administration in the position of either taking further action or closing down his probe.

“It would make it very difficult for Biden’s appointees to undo his charges or bury the results of his probe,” he said. “John knows this and I fully expect he will take action before the election.”

Swecker, who’s also a former prosecutor, anticipates Durham will deliver criminal charges, a written report or some combination of the two around the first week in September, if not sooner. “He must get his work done and out to the public by Labor Day,” he said. "That way he avoids any accusations that he was trying to impact the election.”

Democracy 21, a liberal Washington watchdog group, has already cited the department policy in recent complaints to Barr demanding he suspend Durham's investigation and place on hold any further actions or public comments about it until after the election.

“If Barr allows indictments from the Durham investigation to come out during the presidential election campaign, he would be abandoning longstanding DOJ policy by misusing the department’s prosecutorial power to support Trump's reelection campaign,” Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer argued.

Swecker, who served 24 years with the FBI before retiring as assistant director of the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division, said he expects Durham to take more action “than just issuing a report” similar to the 500-page document issued in December by Justice’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz. The IG made criminal referrals to Durham, including against an FBI attorney accused of altering evidence used to support a surveillance warrant on a former Trump adviser.

“I know John Durham. I worked under him on the Whitey Bulger case, which resulted in indictments of [corrupt FBI] agents,” Swecker said. “I don’t think he’s the least bit squeamish about bringing indictments if there is criminal exposure.”

Swecker says he’s confident Durham has uncovered crimes. “He's onto something, I’m convinced of it, otherwise he would have folded up his tent by now,” he asserted in a RealClearInvestigations interview.

The lack of media leaks coming from Durham's office is another sign he is building a serious corruption case, Swecker said. Targets and witnesses have largely been kept in the dark about the scope and direction of his investigation, encouraging cooperation and possible plea deals. And the secrecy of grand jury proceedings has been fiercely protected.

“I’m impressed with the discipline his team has shown,” Swecker said. "There’s been no leaks. The investigation has been very close-hold.”

Durham, a Republican, has been known to threaten to polygraph investigators whenever he suspected a leak.

His team is led by his deputy, Nora Dannehy, who specializes in the prosecution of complex white-collar and public corruption cases. A Democrat with a reputation for integrity, she left a high-paying corporate job to rejoin Durham’s office in March 2019, the month after Barr was confirmed.

Barr officially announced in May 2019 that he had put Durham in charge of looking into what he called the government's “spying" on the Trump campaign in 2016. Was that surveillance justified? Or was it done to smear Trump and sink his campaign -- and when that failed, his presidency? Durham is exploring a host of other questions, including: What role did the CIA play? Did it monitor Trump advisers overseas? Were U.S. laws restricting spying on U.S. citizens broken? Did the spy agency slant U.S. intelligence on Russian election interference to justify the anti-Trump operation?

“As a former CIA analyst, Barr recognized that this is the biggest thing since Watergate in terms of the abuse of the intelligence community,” Swecker said. “This is a huge, huge intelligence scandal."

Swecker named former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith among officials most vulnerable to possible criminal charges in Durham’s investigation of the investigators. Justice’s watchdog made a criminal referral pertaining to his conduct – specifically, that Clinesmith forged an email in a way that hid the fact that former Trump adviser Carter Page had been a cooperating CIA source on Russia. The information, if disclosed to the FISA court, would have weakened the FBI’s case that Page was a “Russian agent.”

On the other hand, Swecker does not expect Durham to indict former FBI Director James Comey, nor former CIA Director John Brennan or Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. None of these central figures in the scandal has been interviewed by Durham’s office, according to recent published reports, though Durham reportedly is working out details with Brennan’s lawyer for a pending interview. Durham’s investigators have already reviewed Brennan's emails, call logs and other records.

John Brennan: Indictments of the CIA boss, James Comey and James Clapper are not expected. Says ex-FBI official Swecker: “It’s hard to prove criminal intent at their level, and unless there’s a smoking gun, like an email or text, they’ll probably get off with a damning report about their activities.”

“It’s hard to prove criminal intent at their level, and unless there’s a smoking gun, like an email or text, they’ll probably get off with a damning report about their activities,” Swecker said.

Durham’s portfolio also includes exploring the extent to which Ukraine played a role in the counterintelligence operation directed at the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. Officials from Kiev, the Democratic National Committee and the Obama administration reportedly coordinated efforts to dig up dirt on Trump – and Biden was Obama’s point man in Ukraine at the time.

Though Biden may factor into Durham’s probe, don’t expect him to appear in any pre-election report. Another longtime Durham colleague noted that political candidates cannot be part of indictments or any report on investigative findings, according to Barr’s own rules.

“The policy says you can’t indict political candidates or use overt investigative methods targeting them in the weeks before an election,” said the former federal prosecutor, who requested anonymity.

Barr has publicly acknowledged the policy. “The idea is you don’t go after candidates,” he said in an April radio interview. “You don’t indict candidates or perhaps someone that’s sufficiently close to a candidate within a certain number of days before an election.”

The former prosecutor, who’s worked with Durham, said his old colleague may start revealing developments from his case weeks in advance of the 60-day cut-off, or ideally right after the political conventions. The GOP convention, which follows the Democrats’ gathering, ends Aug. 27.

“They are nervous about affecting the election, so timing is everything,” he said. “It will be tricky."

At the same time, the former Justice official said Durham could exploit a loophole in the department rule, memorialized in memos dating to 2008, that allows for action closer to the election. It states that “law enforcement officers and prosecutors may never select the timing of investigative steps or criminal charges for the purpose of affecting any election, or for the purpose of giving an advantage or disadvantage to any candidate or political party. Such a purpose is inconsistent with the Department’s mission.” (Emphasis added.)

The operative phrase – “for the purpose of” – leaves leeway for actions close to an election that aren’t taken “for the purpose” of affecting the election. In other words, Durham wouldn’t necessarily have to lie low for the two months in the run-up to the election.

Testing that loophole with an "October surprise” would almost certainly send Democrats and the Washington media into high dudgeon.

Some are skeptical Durham will deliver at all, regardless of the deadline, while others question his reputation as a fierce prosecutor. They point to his nearly three-year investigation of CIA officials who destroyed videos of terrorist detainees allegedly being “tortured.” Congress had sought the evidence, but Durham closed the case in 2012 without filing any criminal charges. And his final report about what he found remains classified. In a 2018 criminal case, moreover, he cleared Comey’s general counsel, James Baker, of unauthorized leaks to the media.

The Senate’s top FBI watchdog, Chuck Grassley, has grown frustrated with Durham’s lack of progress. “Durham sh[ou]ld be producing some fruit of his labor,” the Iowa senator groused in a recent tweet.

Swecker attributes the sluggish pace of Durham’s sprawling probe to the COVID-19 health scare, which has restricted travel and grand jury meetings in the D.C. area. Durham’s team of investigators, who include retired FBI agents, has been operating out of his New Haven, Conn., offices. Besides Washington, they have taken trips abroad. Before the coronavirus outbreak, they interviewed authorities and other sources in Italy, Britain and Australia.

In addition, Durham’s agents have been slowed by an avalanche of subpoenaed electronic media, including emails, texts and direct messages, “which are incredibly difficult and time-consuming to sort through,” Swecker said. Such evidence is not limited to FBI, Justice and CIA officials. Durham also has reportedly obtained, for instance, data and meta-data contained on two BlackBerry cellphones used by Joseph Mifsud, a shadowy Maltese professor who some believe was used by the FBI to create a predicate to open the original case against the Trump campaign.

During last week’s House hearing, Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., asked Barr if he would be able to "right this wrong” against Trump before the election.

“I really can’t predict that,” the attorney general answered. "John Durham is looking at all these matters. COVID did delay that action for a while. But he's working very diligently.”

Added Barr: "Justice is not something you can order up on a schedule like you're ordering a pizza.”

McClintock warned Barr that if he is succeeded by a Biden appointee, Durham’s investigation will simply go away.

"I understand your concern,” Barr sighed.

 

Published:8/7/2020 10:42:23 AM
[] Retaliation? Project Veritas founder sues FBI after blacklisting for firearm purchases Published:8/6/2020 7:06:40 PM
[Politics] BREAKING: James O’Keefe suing the FBI for taking away his 2nd Amendment rights James O’Keefe is unable to exercise his 2nd Amendment rights to purchase a gun because the FBI has put him on the NICS background check system as a convicted felon. Of course . . . Published:8/6/2020 2:05:27 PM
[Politics] BREAKING: James O’Keefe suing the FBI for taking away his 2nd Amendment rights James O’Keefe is unable to exercise his 2nd Amendment rights to purchase a gun because the FBI has put him on the NICS background check system as a convicted felon. Of course . . . Published:8/6/2020 2:05:27 PM
[In The News] Sally Yates Says Comey Went ‘Rogue’ By Setting Up Michael Flynn Interview

By Chuck Ross -

James Comey looking down

Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates said in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday that she was upset that Former FBI Chief James Comey arranged a White House interview with former national security adviser Michael Flynn without first consulting her. “I was upset that Director Comey didn’t coordinate that ...

Sally Yates Says Comey Went ‘Rogue’ By Setting Up Michael Flynn Interview is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:8/6/2020 8:05:00 AM
[Politics] Sen. Graham: Comey 'Radioactive' to Obama Officials Obama administration officials are suddenly and conspicuously quick to distance themselves now from former FBI Director James Comey, according to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on Wednesday. Published:8/5/2020 9:30:35 PM
[Markets] Yates Throws "Rogue" Comey Under The Bus Over Flynn Investigation Yates Throws "Rogue" Comey Under The Bus Over Flynn Investigation Tyler Durden Wed, 08/05/2020 - 21:20

Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates threw former FBI Director James 'higher loyalty' Comey under the bus on Wednesday, telling the Senate Judiciary Committee that the FBI's January, 2017 interview of former national security adviser Michael Flynn was done without her authorization - and she was upset when she found out about it.

"I was upset that Director Comey didn't coordinate that with us and acted unilaterally," Yates said.

We would note that Yates wasn't too upset to warn the incoming Trump administration about Flynn just 48 hours after the FBI launched a perjury trap against him.

Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) asked Yates: "Did Comey go rogue?" - to which Yates replied "You could use that term, yes."

Yates said she also took issue with Comey for not telling her that Flynn's communications with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were being investigated and that she first learned about this from President Barack Obama during an Oval Office meeting. Yates said she was "irritated" with Comey for not telling her about this earlier.

That meeting, which took place on Jan. 5, 2017, was of great interest to Graham, who wanted to know why Obama knew about Flynn's conversations before she did. Graham and other Republicans have speculated that Obama wanted Flynn investigated for nefarious purposes. Yates claimed that this was not the case, and explained why Obama was aware of the calls at the time. -Fox News

Yates testified that Obama wanted to find out why the Kremlin suddenly backed down from threats to retaliate against sanctions over 2016 election meddling, leading to the DOJ's discovery of the communications between Flynn and the ambassador, Sergei Kislyak.

"The purpose of this meeting was for the president to find out whether – based on the calls between Ambassador Kislyak and Gen. Flynn – the transition team needed to be careful about what it was sharing with Gen. Flynn," said Yates - who suggested that the meeting was not about influencing an investigation, which she added would have "set off alarms for me."

Logan Act

Yates was also asked whether former VP Joe Biden brought up the 1799 Logal Act at a January 5 Oval Office meeting about the Flynn investigation, which prohibits American citizens from communicating with foreign governments or officials without authorization "in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States."

Yates said she couldn't recall if Biden mentioned it - but had a vague recollection of Comey bringing it up either at the Oval Office meeting or later.

FISA Fiasco

Later during testimony, Yates said that she had no idea that the FISA applications to spy on the Trump campaign were riddled with false evidence - and also denied knowledge that her own deputy, Bruce Ohr, had facilitated meetings between the FBI and UK operative Christopher Steele, who assembled the infamous Clinton-funded dossier which was used to support the FISA warrant against former campaign aide Carter Page.

Yates claimed that if she knew this was the case, she wouldn't have signed off on the warrant.

Meanwhile, Sen. Hawley called for a "cleaning of house" at the FBI and DOJ. 

Published:8/5/2020 8:34:05 PM
[cb824d6d-1b70-5155-93dc-65e9e62aa5e4] Jake Paul raid in connection with Scottsdale investigation, feds say, as firearms reportedly seized from home Details regarding the Wednesday morning FBI raid of YouTube star Jake Paul's Calabasas home have surfaced. Published:8/5/2020 8:00:41 PM
[Law] 4 Takeaways From Top Obama DOJ Official’s Testimony on ‘Rogue’ FBI

A top Obama Justice Department official told a Senate committee Wednesday that she wasn’t aware of many aspects of the FBI’s initial investigation of any... Read More

The post 4 Takeaways From Top Obama DOJ Official’s Testimony on ‘Rogue’ FBI appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:8/5/2020 6:01:01 PM
[Entertainment] YouTube Star Jake Paul's Home Raided by FBI Jake PaulJake Paul's home has been searched by the FBI. On Wednesday, Aug. 5, the agency executed a federal search warrant at the 23-year-old YouTube star's Calabasas, Calif. home. The...
Published:8/5/2020 1:58:07 PM
[2020 Election] FBI Escalates Investigation Into Ukrainian Oligarch Tied to Florida Democrat

The FBI on Tuesday raided two business entities owned by a Ukrainian oligarch who is closely tied to the husband of freshman Democratic congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.

The post FBI Escalates Investigation Into Ukrainian Oligarch Tied to Florida Democrat appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:8/5/2020 12:32:59 PM
[Politics] WATCH: Obama Deputy AG Sally Yates admits that Comey went ROGUE with Flynn investigation Former Deputy AG under the Obama administration admitted to Lindsey Graham this morning that former FBI Director James Comey went rogue with the Michael Flynn investigation: Sen. LIndsey Graham asks if former . . . Published:8/5/2020 11:31:44 AM
[Politics] WATCH: Obama Deputy AG Sally Yates admits that Comey went ROGUE with Flynn investigation Former Deputy AG under the Obama administration admitted to Lindsey Graham this morning that former FBI Director James Comey went rogue with the Michael Flynn investigation: Sen. LIndsey Graham asks if former . . . Published:8/5/2020 11:31:44 AM
[94bbfb46-0747-576d-80a2-3223677d08db] YouTube star Jake Paul's California home raided by FBI in connection with ongoing federal investigation The FBI executed a raid on the Calabasas home of YouTube star Jake Paul on Wednesday morning, Fox News confirmed.  Published:8/5/2020 10:30:25 AM
[Markets] P Is For Predator State: The Building Blocks Of Tyranny From A To Z P Is For Predator State: The Building Blocks Of Tyranny From A To Z Tyler Durden Wed, 08/05/2020 - 00:05

Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

“When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; a culture-death is a clear possibility.”

- Professor Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Discourse in the Age of Show Business

While mainstream America continues to fixate on the drama-filled reality show scripted by the powers-that-be, directed from the nation’s capital, and played out in high definition across the country, the American Police State has moved steadily forward.

Nothing has changed.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a convenient, traumatic, devastating distraction.

The American people, the permanent underclass in America, have allowed themselves to be so distracted and divided that they have failed to notice the building blocks of tyranny being laid down right under their noses by the architects of the Deep State.

Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton: they have all been complicit in carrying out the Deep State’s agenda. Unless something changes to restore the balance of power, the next president—the new boss—will be the same as the old boss.

Frankly, it really doesn’t matter what you call the old/new boss—the Deep State, the Controllers, the masterminds, the shadow government, the corporate elite, the police state, the surveillance state, the military industrial complex—so long as you understand that no matter who occupies the White House, it is a profit-driven, an unelected bureaucracy that is actually calling the shots.

If our losses are mounting with every passing day—and they are—it is a calculated siege intended to ensure our defeat at the hands of a totalitarian regime.

Free speech, the right to protest, the right to challenge government wrongdoing, due process, a presumption of innocence, the right to self-defense, accountability and transparency in government, privacy, media, sovereignty, assembly, bodily integrity, representative government: all of these and more are casualties in the government’s war on the American people.

Set against a backdrop of government surveillance, militarized federal police, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture, overcriminalization, armed surveillance drones, whole body scanners, stop and frisk searches, and the like—all of which have been sanctioned by Congress, the White House and the courts—our constitutional freedoms are being steadily chipped away at, undermined, eroded, whittled down, and generally discarded.

As a result, the American people have been treated like enemy combatants, to be spied on, tracked, scanned, frisked, searched, subjected to all manner of intrusions, intimidated, invaded, raided, manhandled, censored, silenced, shot at, locked up, and denied due process.

None of these dangers have dissipated in any way.

They have merely disappeared from our televised news streams.

It’s time to get educated on what’s really going on. Thus, in the interest of liberty and truth, here’s an A-to-Z primer that spells out the grim realities of life in the American Police State that no one seems to be talking about anymore.

A is for the AMERICAN POLICE STATE. A police state “is characterized by bureaucracy, secrecy, perpetual wars, a nation of suspects, militarization, surveillance, widespread police presence, and a citizenry with little recourse against police actions.”

B is for our battered BILL OF RIGHTS. In the militarized police culture that is America today, where you can be kicked, punched, tasered, shot, intimidated, harassed, stripped, searched, brutalized, terrorized, wrongfully arrested, and even killed by a police officer, and that officer is rarely held accountable for violating your rights, the Bill of Rights doesn’t amount to much.

C is for CIVIL ASSET FORFEITURE. This governmental scheme to deprive Americans of their liberties—namely, the right to property—is being carried out under the guise of civil asset forfeiture, a government practice wherein government agents (usually the police and now TSA agents) seize private property they “suspect” may be connected to criminal activity. Then, whether or not any crime is actually proven to have taken place, the government keeps the citizen’s property and it’s virtually impossible to get it back.

D is for DRONES. It was estimated that at least 30,000 drones would be airborne in American airspace by 2020, part of an $80 billion industry. Although some drones will be used for benevolent purposes, many will also be equipped with lasers, tasers and scanning devices, among other weapons—all aimed at “we the people.”

E is for EMERGENCY STATE. From 9/11 to COVID-19, we have been the subjected to an “emergency state” that justifies all manner of government tyranny and power grabs in the so-called name of national security. The government’s ongoing attempts to declare so-called national emergencies in order to circumvent the Constitution’s system of checks and balances constitutes yet another expansion of presidential power that exposes the nation to further constitutional peril.

F is for FASCISM. A study conducted by Princeton and Northwestern University concluded that the U.S. government does not represent the majority of American citizens. Instead, the study found that the government is ruled by the rich and powerful, or the so-called “economic elite.” Moreover, the researchers concluded that policies enacted by this governmental elite nearly always favor special interests and lobbying groups. In other words, we are being ruled by an oligarchy disguised as a democracy, and arguably on our way towards fascism—a form of government where private corporate interests rule, money calls the shots, and the people are seen as mere economic units or databits.

G is for GRENADE LAUNCHERS and GLOBAL POLICE. The federal government has distributed more than $18 billion worth of battlefield-appropriate military weapons, vehicles and equipment such as drones, tanks, and grenade launchers to domestic police departments across the country. As a result, most small-town police forces now have enough firepower to render any citizen resistance futile. Now take those small-town police forces, train them to look and act like the military, and then enlist them to be part of the United Nations’ Strong Cities Network program, and you not only have a standing army that operates beyond the reach of the Constitution but one that is part of a global police force.

H is for HOLLOW-POINT BULLETS. The government’s efforts to militarize and weaponize its agencies and employees is reaching epic proportions, with federal agencies as varied as the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration stockpiling millions of lethal hollow-point bullets, which violate international law. Ironically, while the government continues to push for stricter gun laws for the general populace, the U.S. military’s arsenal of weapons makes the average American’s handgun look like a Tinker Toy.

I is for the INTERNET OF THINGS, in which internet-connected “things” monitor your home, your health and your habits in order to keep your pantry stocked, your utilities regulated and your life under control and relatively worry-free. The key word here, however, is control. This “connected” industry propels us closer to a future where police agencies apprehend virtually anyone if the government “thinks” they may commit a crime, driverless cars populate the highways, and a person’s biometrics are constantly scanned and used to track their movements, target them for advertising, and keep them under perpetual surveillance.

J is for JAILING FOR PROFIT. Having outsourced their inmate population to private prisons run by private corporations, this profit-driven form of mass punishment has given rise to a $70 billion private prison industry that relies on the complicity of state governments to keep their privately run prisons full by jailing large numbers of Americans for petty crimes.

K is for KENTUCKY V. KING. In an 8-1 ruling, the Supreme Court ruled that police officers can break into homes, without a warrant, even if it’s the wrong home as long as they think they may have a reason to do so. Despite the fact that the police in question ended up pursuing the wrong suspect, invaded the wrong apartment and violated just about every tenet that stands between the citizenry and a police state, the Court sanctioned the warrantless raid, leaving Americans with little real protection in the face of all manner of abuses by law enforcement officials.

L is for LICENSE PLATE READERS, which enable law enforcement and private agencies to track the whereabouts of vehicles, and their occupants, all across the country. This data collected on tens of thousands of innocent people is also being shared between police agencies, as well as with government fusion centers and private companies. This puts Big Brother in the driver’s seat.

M is for MAIN CORE. Since the 1980s, the U.S. government has acquired and maintained, without warrant or court order, a database of names and information on Americans considered to be threats to the nation. As Salon reports, this database, reportedly dubbed “Main Core,” is to be used by the Army and FEMA in times of national emergency or under martial law to locate and round up Americans seen as threats to national security. There are at least 8 million Americans in the Main Core database.

N is for NO-KNOCK RAIDS. Owing to the militarization of the nation’s police forces, SWAT teams are now increasingly being deployed for routine police matters. In fact, more than 80,000 of these paramilitary raids are carried out every year. That translates to more than 200 SWAT team raids every day in which police crash through doors, damage private property, terrorize adults and children alike, kill family pets, assault or shoot anyone that is perceived as threatening—and all in the pursuit of someone merely suspected of a crime, usually possession of some small amount of drugs.

O is for OVERCRIMINALIZATION and OVERREGULATION. Thanks to an overabundance of 4500-plus federal crimes and 400,000 plus rules and regulations, it’s estimated that the average American actually commits three felonies a day without knowing it. As a result of this overcriminalization, we’re seeing an uptick in Americans being arrested and jailed for such absurd “violations” as letting their kids play at a park unsupervised, collecting rainwater and snow runoff on their own property, growing vegetables in their yard, and holding Bible studies in their living room.

P is for PATHOCRACY and PRECRIME. When our own government treats us as things to be manipulated, maneuvered, mined for data, manhandled by police and other government agents, mistreated, and then jailed in profit-driven private prisons if we dare step out of line, we are no longer operating under a constitutional republic. Instead, what we are experiencing is a pathocracy: tyranny at the hands of a psychopathic government, which “operates against the interests of its own people except for favoring certain groups.” Couple that with the government’s burgeoning precrime programs, which will use fusion centers, data collection agencies, behavioral scientists, corporations, social media, and community organizers and by relying on cutting-edge technology for surveillance, facial recognition, predictive policing, biometrics, and behavioral epigenetics in order to identify and deter so-called potential “extremists,” dissidents or rabble-rousers. Bear in mind that anyone seen as opposing the government—whether they’re Left, Right or somewhere in between—is now viewed as an extremist.

Q is for QUALIFIED IMMUNITY. Qualified immunity allows police officers to walk away without paying a dime for their wrongdoing. Conveniently, those deciding whether a cop should be immune from having to personally pay for misbehavior on the job all belong to the same system, all cronies with a vested interest in protecting the police and their infamous code of silence: city and county attorneys, police commissioners, city councils and judges.

R is for ROADSIDE STRIP SEARCHES and BLOOD DRAWS. The courts have increasingly erred on the side of giving government officials—especially the police—vast discretion in carrying out strip searches, blood draws and even anal and vaginal probes for a broad range of violations, no matter how minor the offense. In the past, strip searches were resorted to only in exceptional circumstances where police were confident that a serious crime was in progress. In recent years, however, strip searches have become routine operating procedures in which everyone is rendered a suspect and, as such, is subjected to treatment once reserved for only the most serious of criminals.

S is for the SURVEILLANCE STATE. On any given day, the average American going about his daily business will be monitored, surveilled, spied on and tracked in more than 20 different ways, by both government and corporate eyes and ears. A byproduct of the electronic concentration camp in which we live, whether you’re walking through a store, driving your car, checking email, or talking to friends and family on the phone, you can be sure that some government agency, whether the NSA or some other entity, is listening in and tracking your behavior. This doesn’t even begin to touch on the corporate trackers that monitor your purchases, web browsing, Facebook posts and other activities taking place in the cyber sphere.

T is for TASERS. Nonlethal weapons such as tasers, stun guns, rubber pellets and the like have been used by police as weapons of compliance more often and with less restraint—even against women and children—and in some instances, even causing death. These “nonlethal” weapons also enable police to aggress with the push of a button, making the potential for overblown confrontations over minor incidents that much more likely. A Taser Shockwave, for instance, can electrocute a crowd of people at the touch of a button

U is for UNARMED CITIZENS SHOT BY POLICE. No longer is it unusual to hear about incidents in which police shoot unarmed individuals first and ask questions later, often attributed to a fear for their safety. Yet the fatality rate of on-duty patrol officers is reportedly far lower than many other professions, including construction, logging, fishing, truck driving, and even trash collection.

V is for VIRUSES AND FORCED VACCINATIONS. What started out as an apparent effort to prevent a novel coronavirus from sickening the nation (and the world) has become yet another means by which world governments (including the U.S.) can expand their powers, abuse their authority, and further oppress their constituents. With millions of dollars in stimulus funds being directed towards policing agencies across the country, the federal government plans to fight this COVID-19 virus with riot gear, gas masks, ballistic helmets, drones, and hi-tech surveillance technology. The road we are traveling is paved with lockdowns, SWAT team raids, mass surveillance and forced vaccinations. Now there’s talk of mobilizing the military to deliver forced vaccinations, mass surveillance in order to carry out contact tracing, and heavy fines and jail time for those who dare to venture out without a mask, congregate in worship without the government’s blessing, or re-open their  businesses without the government’s say-so.

W is for WHOLE-BODY SCANNERS. Using either x-ray radiation or radio waves, scanning devices and government mobile units are being used not only to “see” through your clothes but to spy on you within the privacy of your home. While these mobile scanners are being sold to the American public as necessary security and safety measures, we can ill afford to forget that such systems are rife with the potential for abuse, not only by government bureaucrats but by the technicians employed to operate them.

X is for X-KEYSCORE, one of the many spying programs carried out by the National Security Agency that targets every person in the United States who uses a computer or phone. This top-secret program “allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals.”

Y is for YOU-NESS. Using your face, mannerisms, social media and “you-ness” against you, you are now be tracked based on what you buy, where you go, what you do in public, and how you do what you do. Facial recognition software promises to create a society in which every individual who steps out into public is tracked and recorded as they go about their daily business. The goal is for government agents to be able to scan a crowd of people and instantaneously identify all of the individuals present. Facial recognition programs are being rolled out in states all across the country.

Z is for ZERO TOLERANCE. We have moved into a new paradigm in which young people are increasingly viewed as suspects and treated as criminals by school officials and law enforcement alike, often for engaging in little more than childish behavior or for saying the “wrong” word. In some jurisdictions, students have also been penalized under school zero tolerance policies for such inane "crimes" as carrying cough drops, wearing black lipstick, bringing nail clippers to school, using Listerine or Scope, and carrying fold-out combs that resemble switchblades. The lesson being taught to our youngest—and most impressionable—citizens is this: in the American police state, you’re either a prisoner (shackled, controlled, monitored, ordered about, limited in what you can do and say, your life not your own) or a prison bureaucrat (politician, police officer, judge, jailer, spy, profiteer, etc.).

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the reality we must come to terms with is that in the post-9/11 America we live in today, the government does whatever it wants, freedom be damned.

We have moved beyond the era of representative government and entered a new age.

You can call it the age of authoritarianism. Or fascism. Or oligarchy. Or the American police state.

Whatever label you want to put on it, the end result is the same: tyranny.

Published:8/4/2020 11:29:26 PM
[Markets] Understanding The Gravity Of The Russia Hoax Understanding The Gravity Of The Russia Hoax Tyler Durden Tue, 08/04/2020 - 22:05

Authored by Andrea Widburg via AmericanThinker.com,

One of the claims Democrats love to tout about the Obama administration is that it was “scandal free.” For those who paid attention to the IRS targeting, Benghazi, Fast & Furious, and the cash smuggled to Iran, to name just a few illegal and/or immoral activities, that was always a peculiar boast. The Obama administration was up to its eyeballs in scandals. It was Obama who finally said what had really happened, which was that “We didn’t have a scandal that embarrassed us.”

In other words, the issue wasn’t that the administration was scandal-free. The issue was that the media protected the administration from voters’ wrath should they learn about those scandals.

The Russia Hoax has benefitted from the media’s continued unwillingness to report on Obama-era scandals. When it looked as if the Russia Hoax could achieve a coup against the Trump presidency, members of the press developed a form of Tourette syndrome that saw them obsessively mouth “Russia, Russia, Russia” all day, every day.

However, when Robert Mueller’s handpicked Democrat-friendly team, despite two years and 35 million dollars, was unable to find a smidgen of proof that Trump or his administration had colluded with the Russians, leftists inside and outside of the media fell silent. Sure, they’ll still raise the fact that Trump, at a press conference, said, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 [Hillary Clinton] emails that are missing,” but their hearts aren’t in it.

They know that normal people understand that Trump was making a pointed joke about the fact that the Russians, the Chinese, and every other hacker on earth had read through Hillary’s emails for years. Aside from leftists being utterly humorless, the media learned that raising this statement periodically was chum to the true believers but not very interesting to anyone else.

When it came to burying the whole Russia Hoax, the Democrats and their media lackeys were helped by the fact that the story is so gosh-darned complicated. It involved dozens of people (some genuinely bad actors and some useful idiots), several countries, thousands of pages of cryptic papers, and a dizzying timeline. It’s hard to get people who aren’t political junkies excited about something like that, and even harder to arouse them to a sense of outrage over what the Obama administration did.

And that’s where Andrew C. McCarthy’s latest column comes in. His columns are always interesting because they help explain each new revelation about the hoax. This time, though, McCarthy has opted to open with an overview of the entire scandal and why it matters. With unusual clarity, he explains how the Obama administration used the vast power of the intelligence agencies to spy on an opposition candidate and then try to commit a coup.

I’ve cherry-picked a few relevant paragraphs, but I urge you to read the whole thing. Once you’ve read it, you’ll understand why the Russia Hoax isn’t just an inside politics thing that ultimately doesn’t matter:

As I contended in Ball of Collusion, my book on the Trump-Russia investigation, the target of the probe spearheaded by the FBI - but greenlighted by the Obama White House, and abetted by the Justice Department and U.S. intelligence agencies - was Donald Trump. Not the Trump campaign, not the Trump administration. Those were of interest only insofar as they were vehicles for Trump himself. The campaign, which the Bureau and its apologists risibly claim was the focus of the investigation, would have been of no interest to them were it not for Trump.

[snip]

You don’t like Donald Trump? Fine. The investigation here was indeed about Donald Trump. But the scandal is about how abusive officials can exploit their awesome powers against any political opponent. And the people who authorized this political spying will be right back in business if, come November, Obama’s vice-president is elected president — notwithstanding that he’s yet to be asked serious questions about it.

[snip]

Congress’s investigation was stonewalled. The more revelation we get, the more obvious it is that there was no bona fide national-security rationale for concealment. Documents were withheld to hide official and unofficial executive activity that was abusive, embarrassing, and, at least in some instances, illegal (e.g., tampering with a document that was critical to the FBI’s presentation of “facts” to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court).

[snip]

The Obama administration and the FBI knew that it was they who were meddling in a presidential campaign - using executive intelligence powers to monitor the president’s political opposition. This, they also knew, would rightly be regarded as a scandalous abuse of power if it ever became public. There was no rational or good-faith evidentiary basis to believe that Trump was in a criminal conspiracy with the Kremlin or that he’d had any role in Russian intelligence’s suspected hacking of Democratic Party email accounts.

[snip]

In the stretch run of the 2016 campaign, President Obama authorized his administration’s investigative agencies to monitor his party’s opponent in the presidential election, on the pretext that Donald Trump was a clandestine agent of Russia. Realizing this was a gravely serious allegation for which there was laughably insufficient predication, administration officials kept Trump’s name off the investigative files. That way, they could deny that they were doing what they did. Then they did it . . . and denied it.

It is to be hoped that John Durham releases his long-promised investigative report sooner, rather than later. The American people need to understand just how scandalous the Obama administration and its holdovers were.

Published:8/4/2020 9:25:02 PM
[Politics] Review of Surveillance Applications Reveals Nearly All Errors Were Minor Nearly all the inaccuracies and omissions cited by an internal watchdog report of the Justice Department and FBI of their practices for seeking approval of intelligence-related surveillance were minor or involved paperwork problems, a review has concluded. Politico noted that... Published:8/4/2020 8:19:35 AM
[Coronavirus] July Breaks Gun Sales Record

One of the country's leading gun makers saw earnings triple as gun sales once again shattered previous records for the month of July. July 2020 saw an estimated 1,795,602 gun sales—a new record and an increase of 133% over July 2019, according to a Washington Free Beacon analysis of FBI data. July is the fifth ...

The post July Breaks Gun Sales Record appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:8/3/2020 12:16:39 PM
[Markets] Susan Rice's Testimony On Being Out Of Russiagate Loop Doesn't Add Up Susan Rice's Testimony On Being Out Of Russiagate Loop Doesn't Add Up Tyler Durden Fri, 07/31/2020 - 23:25

Authored by Eric Felten via RealClearInvestigations.com,

Susan Rice, the vice presidential contender with a high-profile history of questionable public statements, has another dubious claim in her past that until now has escaped scrutiny. Rice swore under oath that as President Obama’s national security adviser she was never told about the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation. But former FBI Director James Comey testified that Rice was present when he informed Obama all about Crossfire Hurricane just weeks after the investigation was launched.

James Comey: His account of telling the White House about Crossfire Hurricane differs markedly from Susan Rice's. She testified: "We were not informed by Director Comey or the attorney general that there was an active investigation of anybody in the Trump orbit.” (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

The contradiction could lead to charges that Rice lied to Congress about a topic still of intense interest to investigators: How actively involved in the effort to spy on the Trump campaign was the inner circle of the Obama White House, including the president himself? More immediately, the question of whether Rice told the truth on Capitol Hill might damage her bid to join Joe Biden on the Democratic presidential ticket.

Rice earned a reputation for shading the truth after the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. She was famously dispatched to five different Sunday morning news shows to repeat false talking points: that the mob that killed four Americans – including Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens – was merely reacting to an obscure YouTube video mocking Islam.

Questions about her forthrightness were redoubled when Senate investigators found that, in the waning minutes of the Obama administration, Rice wrote a curious “memo to the file.” She sent an email to herself on the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration, and in it claimed that Obama had insisted that everything to do with Russia, whether law enforcement or counterintelligence, be done “by the book.”

President Obama and Rice: Both were present at a meeting where, the FBI's Comey said, the Trump-Russia probe was discussed at its outset. She denied knowing about it. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Asked about that memo later, Rice insisted she knew nothing about the FBI’s counterintelligence probe regarding Trump and Russia, let alone anything that could be characterized as spying on the incoming administration. She had her lawyer, Kathryn Ruemmler, write a letter to Sens. Charles Grassley, Dianne Feinstein, Lindsey Graham, and Sheldon Whitehouse. “While serving as National Security Advisor, Ambassador Rice was not briefed on the existence of any FBI investigation into allegations of collusion between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia,” Ruemmler wrote, “and she later learned of the fact of this investigation from Director Comey’s subsequent public testimony” – testimony that didn’t occur until March 20, 2017

On Wednesday, September 8, 2017, Rice repeated that she knew nothing of the FBI’s investigation while in the White House. This time she made the claim under oath.

Rice was at the Capitol, sitting in a secure room used by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The official reason for the interview was to ask what the Obama administration had done to thwart Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Behind those questions was a different query: Had Barack Obama’s team used the power of the presidency to spy on and smear the Trump campaign?

With the expectation of facing unfriendly questions, Rice arrived with two attorneys from the law firm Latham & Watkins.

Adam Schiff: “... [W]ould Director Comey brief you on the progress of his investigation?” he asked Rice. “No,” replied Rice under oath. (Scott Applewhite)

 The Republican staffer running the interview emphasized to Rice the importance of telling the truth: “You are reminded that it is unlawful to deliberately provide false information to members of Congress or staff.” She was asked to raise her right hand and take an oath: “Madam Ambassador, do you swear or affirm that the testimony you're about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?”

“I do,” Rice said.

The Democrats at the interview weren’t looking to trip Rice up. But it was questions from two California Democrats in the room that Rice may regret. Rep. Adam Schiff cited the former head of the FBI: “Director Comey testified that, in July of last year [2016], he began a counterintelligence investigation into people associated with the Trump campaign and what contacts they may have had with Russia.

“That investigative responsibility,” Schiff asked Rice, “wasn't part of your portfolio, I take it?”

“No, not at all.”

“And would Director Comey brief you on the progress of his investigation?”

“No,” said Rice. And then she elaborated. “I think it's important for everybody to understand: We were not informed by Director Comey or the attorney general that there was an active investigation of anybody in the Trump orbit,” she said. “[I]n the Obama White House, we maintained scrupulously the firewall between people in the While House and contacts with Justice about potential or actual criminal matters. The only communication that was sanctioned in that vein was between the White House counsel and the Justice Department or the FBl.”

Eric Swalwell: “ls it fair to say that, as the national security adviser, you were not read in on active, ongoing investigations that the Department of Justice or the FBI were conducting?” Rice's reply under penalty of perjury: “Absolutely, that's the case.”  AP Photo/Alex Brandon

If that weren’t definitive enough, Rice added, “And Director Comey did not volunteer to us, not only then but through the duration of the administration, that there was an active investigation of anybody in the Trump orbit. I knew he was looking at this issue, that he was concerned about it. But he never specifically shared with me or others, to my knowledge, that such an investigation was ongoing. And I learned about it formally in the public domain after I left office.”

A little later in the closed-door Capitol Hill interview, Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell came back to the question that Rice had already answered so definitively: “Speaking of investigations, you talked about Director Comey and the FBl,” Swalwell said to Rice. “ls it fair to say that, as the national security adviser, you were not read in on active, ongoing investigations that the Department of Justice or the FBI were conducting?”

If Rice were concerned that she might have misspoken earlier, she was presented with the opportunity to correct her testimony. She didn’t take it.

“Absolutely, that's the case,” Rice replied. “Those were law enforcement matters. They were not things that I was privy to unless the Justice Department chose to share them with me. The Justice Department's normal contact in the White House, at least in the Obama administration, for anything to do with law enforcement, criminal stuff, was the White House counsel.”

Rice’s testimony took place two years before the inspector general for the Justice Department, Michael Horowitz, released his report on the origins of the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation. In that report is an admission from James Comey that contradicts Rice’s sworn statements. According to testimony obtained from Comey by Horowitz, the Obama team knew about the FBI’s investigation from nearly the start, and in detail.

Above, a footnote from the IG report undercuts Susan Rice's claim of no knowledge of Crossfire Hurricane.

DoJ Office of the Inspector General

“Crossfire Hurricane,” as the counterintelligence investigation was called, was officially launched at the end of July 2016. Sometime in August – just weeks into the secret, “close-hold” probe – Comey was at the White House for a meeting, he told Horowitz.

“When we asked Comey about meetings with the White House concerning Crossfire Hurricane” Horowitz writes, the former FBI director said “he did not brief the White House about the investigation.”

Michael Horowitz: In his report on the origins of Trump-Russia, the Justice Department inspector general listed the attendees at a White House meeting where the probe was discussed, including Rice and President Obama. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Comey may not have considered it an official “briefing” but that doesn’t mean he didn’t share the information. Comey told Horowitz that in August 2016 “he did mention to President Obama and others at a meeting in the Situation Room that the FBI was trying to determine whether any U.S. person had worked with the Russians in their efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election.”

Comey claimed that he wasn’t eager at that White House meeting to share specifics of the inquiry, but he had done so nonetheless.

“[A]lthough [Comey] did not recall exactly what he said,” Horowitz writes, “he may have said there were four individuals with ‘some association or connection to the Trump campaign.’” This revelation failed to strike anyone at the meeting as remarkable: “Comey stated that after he provided this information, no one in the Situation Room responded or followed up with any questions.”

Who were the strangely incurious officials who remained mum when they were told four individuals associated with the Trump campaign were being investigated on suspicion of conspiring with Russians to interfere in the election? Comey provided Horowitz with a list of those at the meeting. The inspector general shares that list in footnote 194 to his report: President Obama was there, as well as his chief of staff, Dennis McDonough; also present were James Clapper, John Brennan, Michael Rogers and Susan Rice.

So Rice was among those told by James Comey about Crossfire Hurricane within weeks of the investigation’s launch. Yet she told the House Intelligence Committee under oath that “I think it's important for everybody to understand: We were not informed by Director Comey or the Attorney General that there was an active investigation of anybody in the Trump orbit.”

Reached by RealClearInvestigations, Rice spokesperson Erin Pelton said that Rice’s testimony was true:

“As Ambassador Rice wrote in her book and stated to Congress, she was not briefed by the FBI or the Department of Justice on the existence of an FBI investigation into allegations of collusion between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia, nor was she informed of any FISA applications sought by the FBI in its investigation.” Pelton said Rice “only learned of the fact of this investigation after leaving office, when FBI Director Comey testified before Congress to that effect.”

The spokesperson offered no comment, however, about Comey’s assertion to the inspector general that he had told Obama, Rice, and the others about Crossfire Hurricane shortly after the investigation’s launch in the summer of 2016.

Published:7/31/2020 10:27:35 PM
[Markets] When Corporate Power Is Your Real Government, Corporate Media Is State Media When Corporate Power Is Your Real Government, Corporate Media Is State Media Tyler Durden Fri, 07/31/2020 - 19:25

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

The New York Times published an astonishingly horrible article the other day titled “Latin America Is Facing a ‘Decline of Democracy’ Under the Pandemic” accusing governments like Venezuela and Nicaragua of exploiting Covid-19 to quash opposition and oppress democracy.

The article sources its jarringly propagandistic claims in multiple US government-funded narrative management operations like the Wilson Center and the National Endowment for Democracy-sponsored Freedom House, the extensively plutocrat-funded Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the United States Naval Academy.

The crown jewel of this piece of State Department stenography reads as follows:

“Adding to these challenges, democracy in Latin America has also lost a champion in the United States, which had played an important role in promoting democracy after the end of the Cold War by financing good governance programs and calling out authoritarian abuses.”

Whoa, nelly.

The fact that America’s most widely regarded newspaper feels perfectly comfortable making such a spectacularly in-your-face lie on behalf of the US government tells you everything you need to know about what the mass media in America really are and what they do.

The United States has never at any time been a champion of democracy in Latin America, before or since the Cold War. It has intervened hundreds of times in the continent’s affairs throughout history with everything from murderous corporate colonialism to deadly CIA regime change operations to overt military invasions. It is currently trying to orchestrate a coup in Venezuela after failing to stage one during the Bush administration, it’s pushing regime change in Nicaragua, and The New York Times itself admitted this year that it was wrong to promote the false US government narrative of electoral shenanigans in Bolivia’s presidential race last year, a narrative which facilitated a bloody fascist coup.

This is propaganda. There is no other word for it. And yet the only time western politicians and news reporters use that word is to talk about nations like Russia and China.

Why is propaganda used in an ostensibly free democracy with an ostensibly free media? Why are its news media outlets so consistently in alignment with every foreign policy objective of US government agencies no matter how destructive and inexcusable? If the media and the government are two separate institutions, why do they so consistently function as though they are not separate?

Well, that’s easy. It’s because they aren’t separate. The only thing keeping this from being seen is the fact that America’s real government isn’t located where people think it is.

In a corporatist system of government, where no hard lines are drawn between corporate/financial power and state power, corporate media is state media. Since bribery is legal in the US political system in the form of corporate lobbying and campaign donations, America’s elected government is controlled by wealthy elites who have money to burn and who benefit from maintaining a specific status quo arrangement.

The fact that this same plutocratic class also owns America’s media, which is now so consolidated that it’s almost entirely run by just six corporations, means that the people who run the government also run the media. This allows America’s true rulers to set up a system which promotes narratives that are favorable to their desired status quo.

Which means that the US has state propaganda. They just don’t call it that themselves.

Strip away the phony two-handed sock puppet show of US electoral politics and look at how power actually moves in that country, and you just see one more tyrannical regime which propagandizes its citizens, brutally cracks down on protestersdeliberately keeps its populace impoverished so they don’t get powerful enough to change things, and attacks any nation which dares to disobey its dictates.

Beneath the thin layer of narrative overlay about freedom and democracy, the US is just one more despotic, bloodthirsty empire. It’s no better than any of the other despotic, bloodthirsty empires throughout history. It just has good PR.

Plutocrats not only exert control over America’s media and politics, they also form alliances with the secretive government agencies whose operators remain amid the comings and goings of the official elected government. We see examples of this in the way new money tech plutocrats like Jeff BezosPeter Thiel and Pierre Omidyar have direct relationships with the CIA and its proxies.

We also see it in the sexual blackmail operation which was facilitated by the late Jeffrey Epstein in connection with billionaire Leslie Wexner and Israeli intelligence, along with potentially the FBI and/or other US intelligence agencies. Today the internet is abuzz as newly unsealed court documents relating to Epstein and his co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell reveal witness testimony regarding underage sex trafficking, with such high-profile names appearing in the documents as Alan DershowitzBill Clinton, and Prince Andrew.

The Overton window of acceptable political discourse has been shrunk into such a narrow spectrum of debate that talking about even well-known and extensively documented facts involving the real nature of America’s government and media will get you laughingly dismissed as a conspiracy theorist, which is itself a symptom of tight narrative control by a ruling class which much prefers Americans thinking they live in a free democracy whose government they control with their votes.

In the old days you used to be able to tell who your rulers were because they’d sit on thrones and wear golden crowns and make you bow before them. Human consciousness eventually evolved beyond the acceptability of such brazen indignities, so it became necessary for rulers to take on more of a background role while the citizenry clap and cheer for the illusory puppet show of electoral politics.

But the kings are still among us, just as cruel and tyrannical as ever. They’ve just figured out how to mask their tyranny behind the facade of freedom.

But 2020 has been a year of revelations, a trend which seems likely to continue accelerating. Truth cannot stay hidden forever.

* * *

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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Published:7/31/2020 6:27:01 PM
[Markets] 17 Year Old Tampa Teen Among 3 People Charged With 30 Counts For Recent Twitter Hack 17 Year Old Tampa Teen Among 3 People Charged With 30 Counts For Recent Twitter Hack Tyler Durden Fri, 07/31/2020 - 15:21

Update 7/31/2020 1520ET: The Department of Justice has also noted that 2 additional individuals have been charged, including a 19 year old from the UK and a 22 year old from Orlando, Florida, according to Bloomberg:

*DOJ: THREE CHARGED FOR ALLEGED ROLES IN TWITTER HACK
*DOJ: 19-YEAR-OLD FROM UK, 22-YEAR-OLD FROM ORLANDO CHARGED
*DOJ: 3RD INDIVIDUAL IS JUVENILE WHO WON'T BE FURTHER IDENTIFIED

--

Before Democrats even had time to blame the Twitter hack on Russians and meddling in the upcoming election, a 17 year old from Tampa has stolen their thunder. 

The teenager, 17-year-old Graham Clark, is being hailed as the "mastermind" behind the hack that rocked Twitter weeks ago, when major celebrity accounts like Bill Gates and Barack Obama were hacked and then used to request Bitcoin from their followers.

Unfortunately for Democrats, Clark's name doesn't even sound Russian.

Regardless, Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren filed 30 felony charges against Clark this week for “scamming people across America” in connection with the hack, according to NBC Tampa.

Clark is facing "one count of organized fraud, 17 counts of communications fraud, one count of fraudulent use of personal information with over $100,000 or 30 or more victims, 10 counts of fraudulent use of personal information and one count of access to computer or electronic device without authority."

He was booked into jail at about 6:30am Friday morning. The state attorney's office said: “As a cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is difficult to track and recover if stolen in a scam. These crimes were perpetrated using the names of famous people and celebrities, but they’re not the primary victims here. This ‘Bit-Con’ was designed to steal money from regular Americans from all over the country, including here in Florida. This massive fraud was orchestrated right here in our backyard, and we will not stand for that.”

Clark was found after a "complex nationwide" investigation. Warren concluded: “I want to congratulate our federal law enforcement partners – the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, the FBI, the IRS, and the Secret Service – as well as the Florida Department of Law enforcement. They worked quickly to investigate and identify the perpetrator of a sophisticated and extensive fraud.”

“This defendant lives here in Tampa” and “he committed the crime here,” Warren stated. You can watch the state attorney general's press conference here:

Recall, just moments ago we noted that Twitter had blamed the hack on "spear-phishing", which is a targeted attack to trick people into simply handing out their passwords. 

Twitter staff were targeted through their phones, according to a new report from the BBC. The attacks then allowed hackers the ability to Tweet from celebrity Twitter accounts. Twitter has said it was "taking a hard look" at how it could improve its permissions and processes.

"The attack on July 15, 2020, targeted a small number of employees through a phone spear phishing attack. This attack relied on a significant and concerted attempt to mislead certain employees and exploit human vulnerabilities to gain access to our internal systems," Twitter wrote on Wednesday.

We had also reported about two weeks ago that the FBI had launched an official inquiry into the massive security breach. For the full details on the hack, you can read our report on it here

We only have one question left: where is the more than $100,000 in Bitcoin he received? 

We would guess probably in his Robinhood account, invested in Tesla call options.

Published:7/31/2020 2:25:11 PM
[Markets] Twitter Says "Human Error" And "Spear-Phishing Attack" Responsible For Massive Bitcoin Hack Twitter Says "Human Error" And "Spear-Phishing Attack" Responsible For Massive Bitcoin Hack Tyler Durden Fri, 07/31/2020 - 14:53

Twitter suffered from a major hack about two weeks ago and has now said that its staff was tricked by "spear-phishing", which is a targeted attack to trick people into simply handing out their passwords. 

Twitter staff were targeted through their phones, according to a new report from the BBC. The attacks then allowed hackers the ability to Tweet from celebrity Twitter accounts. Twitter has said it was "taking a hard look" at how it could improve its permissions and processes.

"The attack on July 15, 2020, targeted a small number of employees through a phone spear phishing attack. This attack relied on a significant and concerted attempt to mislead certain employees and exploit human vulnerabilities to gain access to our internal systems," Twitter wrote on Wednesday.

Twitter also said the direct messages of 36 accounts were accessed.

Recall, just days ago we reported that Twitter has had trouble controlling the number of its employees with the ability to reset user accounts. In fact, Jack Dorsey and Twitter's board were warned about the growing problem "multiple times since 2015", according to four former Twitter security employees and "a half dozen" other people close to the company.

The problem is so well known that contractors reportedly made a game out of creating bogus help-desk inquiries in 2017 and 2018 so they could open up celebrity accounts - giving them access to personal data and IP addresses. In other words, Twitter is stalking its users...

Recall, we reported about two weeks ago that Twitter had said 130 accounts were compromised during the hack. We also noted that the FBI had launched an official inquiry into the massive security breach, according to Reuters.

The FBI said two weeks ago:  “We are aware of today’s security incident involving several Twitter accounts belonging to high profile individuals. The accounts appear to have been compromised in order to perpetuate cryptocurrency fraud.”

Twitter had initially commented that there was "no evidence that attackers accessed the passwords of its users".

The massive hack allegedly originated from a Twitter employee with access to the company's user management panel. The hack affected hundreds of billionaires and politicians, including Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Kanye West, Elon Musk, Wiz Khalifa, Apple, Uber, Jeff Bezos and Benjamin Netanyahu.

Tweets urged people to send money to a Bitcoin address; over $113,000 was sent. 

For the full details on the hack, you can read our report on it here. In addition to the hack, a subplot emerged when we reported that sources "close to or inside" the underground hacking community leaked a screenshot of what is allegedly an internal software panel used by Twitter to interact with user accounts. 

Source: Vice

The tool was said to be used to help change ownership of popular accounts and, in the case of the hack, was said to play a role in usurping the high profile accounts involved. Screenshots of the supposed internal software are being aggressively pursued and deleted from Twitter by Twitter itself, with the company claiming that they violate the platform's rules.

Of particular interest are the buttons labeled "SEARCH BLACKLIST" and "TRENDS BLACKLIST".

We asked earlier this month: Could these be tools actively used by Twitter to censor what Tweets and topics appear during searches and on its trends page?

Published:7/31/2020 1:54:02 PM
[2020 News] The Real Bad Guys in the Epstein Case Uncovered – DIRECTOR ROBERT MUELLER’S FBI!

The Real Bad Guys in the Epstein Case Uncovered – DIRECTOR ROBERT MUELLER’S FBI! People allegedly involved include Bill Clinton. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardon, Alan Dershowitz, Prince Andres, JeanLuc Brunel, Heidi Klum, Naomi Campbell, Al Gore, and Matt Groenig.  That’s probably just a start. Wait. Was pedophile Jeffrey Epstein an informant for Mueller's FBI? […]

The post The Real Bad Guys in the Epstein Case Uncovered – DIRECTOR ROBERT MUELLER’S FBI! appeared first on IHTM.

Published:7/31/2020 12:26:07 PM
[Markets] Israel Rolls Out Dystopian "Cyber Espionage Award" For US-Backed Digital Saboteurs Israel Rolls Out Dystopian "Cyber Espionage Award" For US-Backed Digital Saboteurs Tyler Durden Wed, 07/29/2020 - 02:00

Authored by Raul Diego via MintPressNews.com,

A “mastermind in the field of cyber espionage” will be awarded a lifetime achievement by the state of Israel in September. The “Israel Defense Award” ceremony is slated to take place in the residence of President Reuven Rivlin, himself a former member of the IDF’s intelligence corps, Haman, which is tasked with “collecting, disseminating, and publishing intelligence information.” In addition, prizes will also be handed out to members of three secret cybersecurity projects developed by Mossad, the IDF, the Shin Bet and MAFAT (Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure) that have made a “long-standing contribution to national security and for initiating many technological solutions”, not to mention the forging of close ties to the U.S. National Security state.

The identity of the “legendary” Israeli spy who is slated to receive the official commendation has not been revealed and has only been referred to as “Aleph”; said to be in his forties and well-known both in Israeli and American intelligence circles. He is described as a “phenomenon” of the cyber field who turned down a lucrative career in the tech industry in order to serve the national interest. The mystery-man was credited with creating a “significant part” of the work in Israeli cybersecurity by an unnamed acquaintance.

Current Israeli Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister, Benny Gantz announced the winners and heaped praise on Israel’s “human capital,” whose work proves that there are “no borders in the war on Israel’s security.” Indeed, this statement by the IDF’s former chief of staff can be corroborated by taking a look at the corporate partners who are a part of the winning projects; the first of which is a joint collaboration between the Israeli national intelligence agency, Mossad, the Rafael Company, the Israeli Air Force and a new IDF Intelligence Unit 9900, which “provided the IDF with unique capabilities” and “technological breakthroughs.” The Rafael Company, (Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.), is also involved in the second project to be recognized by the Israeli state, along with Elbit Systems. Both of these companies have major cybersecurity contracts outside of Israel and the U.S., in particular.

Critical infrastructure

Elbit Systems received a contract from the U.S. government last year to build an “integrated” surveillance system across the Arizona-Mexico border spanning over 200 linear miles. They have since deployed dozens of “sophisticated” cameras on towers along the border and have also secured multi-million dollar contracts to equip an unnamed Southeast Asian navy’s ships with their AI-enabled technology for “complex reconnaissance missions.”

The Rafael Company, meanwhile, is a major player in international weapons systems development and is the principal creator of the “Iron Dome” anti-missile technology through a  subsidiary company, mPrest. The Iron Dome software is currently running on “critical infrastructure systems” in the United States and has been a recent subject of concern for the U.S. military, who refused to integrate the software into its air defense systems after the Israeli company failed to provide the source code, resulting in the loss of a $600 million-dollar contract for the Tel-Aviv-based company.

The Rafael Company subsidiary, nevertheless, has partnered with several American utility companies, providing “mission-critical monitoring” services to sectors of the U.S. power grid. mPrest’s “System of Systems” has been integrated by San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Southern Company – the second-largest utility company in the United States – and others. The New York Power Authority (NYPA) entered into a partnership with the Israeli company in 2017 to deploy their technology in a number of utility plants across the state.

In the official statement issued by Gantz announcing the prize winners, he gave special attention to the fact that their work “was done in secret,” while President Rivlin lauded the “long nights, days, weeks and months of exhausting and grueling work” put forward by the recipients of the Eliyahu Golomb award, named after the commander and chief architect of the Haganah (the Defence) militia – a paramilitary organization that would eventually become the IDF after the founding of the Jewish state and progenitor of terrorist organizations like Irgun and the Stern Gang.

Old collaborators

The history of the Haganah provides a unique look into the permanent relationship between certain U.S. interests and the state of Israel, dating back to its gestation period during the British mandate of Palestine, as well as a direct link to Israel’s present-day cybersecurity technology apparatus through a young RCA engineer from New York, Dan Fliderblum, who was recruited by the Zionist guerilla to set up a “network of secret radio transmitters in Palestine” to protect their illegal arms smuggling operation. Fliderblum would later change his name to David Avivi and pioneer the Isreali electronics industry.

At the time, an organized crime association comprised of the Sicilian and Jewish mafias, often referred to as “Murder, Inc.” controlled the Port of New York. Meyer Lansky, as leader of the New York crime families, was approached by Haganah operative and close aid to Ben-Gurion, Yehuda Arazi, to help move weapons to Palestine. Arazi was an underground agent who had been doing Ben-Gurion’s bidding throughout Europe for years and was sent to the United States by the future first Prime Minister of Israel to procure heavy armaments, including “aircraft, artillery pieces, tanks [and] antiaircraft guns.”

Jewish mobsters in the United States would henceforth play a pivotal role in obtaining and providing financial and other resources to the Haganah. Notorious Jewish gangsters, like Bugsy Siegel, Longy Zwillman, and Moe Dalitz, met with another Haganah agent every week in 1946 in the back of a Los Angeles restaurant to arrange or deliver money to finance the ongoing war in Palestine.

The extent of the mob’s involvement in these operations came to light when the FBI seized a B-25 bomber obtained by the “syndicate” was forced to return to Newark by bad weather, causing the entire shipment of aircraft, which included twenty AT-6 airplanes, to be confiscated.

As for the man whose name dons the prize Israel will award its undisclosed cyber-tech heroes in a few months’ time, it was his arguments in favor of a “much more extensive and orderly defensive force,” that convinced Ben-Gurion to move ahead with the creation of the IDF and, along with it, the establishment of less suspect partnerships that wouldn’t hinder the social advancement of the Jews involved, like the case of Miami mob figure Sam Kay, who it is claimed, was motivated to aid the Haganah’s arms-smuggling operation to “clean up” his own image and help his daughter marry up.

The candidates

The partners of today’s IDF-linked tech initiatives read more like a blue-chip investment portfolio than a police rap sheet, but the scope of the crimes dwarf those that occurred in the days of jukeboxes and trench coats. The myriad cybersecurity, AI, and IoT startups emerging out of Israel’s state-funded organizations have extensive ties to Fortune 100 companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, and many others. The vast majority of these startups originate in military outfits like Unit 8200, which has been the center of offensive cyber warfare technology like Stuxnet, co-developed with the United States to take down an Iranian nuclear facility in 2010, among other covert operations and initiatives.

The Natanz enrichment facility was significantly damaged by a 'mystery' fire early this month, via Iran Atomic Energy Organization/AFP

While Israel won’t reveal the names of the winners selected for the Israel Defense prize awarded every year for the past six decades, we can take a few educated guesses as to who might have been some of the finalists. People like Lior Div come to mind; founder of a cybersecurity company called Cybereason, which has been running simulations on behalf of the U.S. government of a foreign-hacked 2020 general election. The table-top exercise predicted dozens of dead Americans, hundreds injured, and an election that never happens.

Div fits the age-range given for the winner of the lifetime achievement award but would be eliminated from consideration if we take the claim seriously that the recipient shied away from the millions he could have made in the private sector. Lior Div’s company is currently valued at just over $1 billion and his own net worth can be assumed to be near that, at least.

There are other potential nominees, such as Amit Yoran, who certainly fits the bill of an individual who is “known in [the Israeli] and the American intelligence community” as reported in several pieces about the mysterious “Aleph.” Yoran fits the age profile, as well, and as former Cybersecurity chief at DHS has the credentials to be recognized in both the halls of the Mossad and CIA’s Langley headquarters. But, he too has thrown his hat into the private sector many times and is currently CEO of a cybersecurity firm called Tenable, which offers solutions to address “vulnerabilities and misconfigurations in your modern IT environment.”

If lifetime achievement is the true criteria, then former head of Mossad, Tamir Pardo, might be considered as the potential candidate that could claim that a “not insignificant part of [Israel’s Defense] work was created by him personally due to his special talent.” Pardo served under Bibi Netanhayu’s brother, Yoni’s military command, and has been a member of Israel’s top brass for a very long time. Pardo once described Mossad as a “criminal organization with a license.” But, far from a critique, Pardo followed his controversial statement by admitting it was “the fun part.”

Published:7/29/2020 1:08:49 AM
[4dfa5471-0e65-566a-a3ff-3f27fb559a62] Gregg Jarrett: Disgraced fired FBI officials Comey, McCabe and Strzok profit from a pathology of lies Three top FBI officials fired for their abuse of power, corrupt acts, and suspected lies are now earning big bucks by writing self-serving books, profiting handsomely from their misdeeds. Published:7/28/2020 6:04:38 PM
[Politics] McConnell: No Room for New FBI Building in Virus Aid Bill The Senate's top Republican says he opposes a push by President Donald Trump to include in a new coronavirus aid package nearly $1.8 billion to rebuild the FBI headquarters on its current site in downtown Washington. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters he... Published:7/28/2020 3:02:58 PM
[Markets] American "Stormtroopers" - A Bright Shining Lie American "Stormtroopers" - A Bright Shining Lie Tyler Durden Tue, 07/28/2020 - 14:59

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,

With the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse under nightly siege from violent radicals, and Portland’s police hard-pressed to protect it, President Trump sent in federal agents to secure the building.

The reaction from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi:

“The use of stormtroopers under the guise of law and order is a tactic that is not appropriate to our country in any way.”

Majority Whip James Clyburn endorsed the speaker’s equating of the U.S. law enforcement officers to Ernst Rohm’s SA thugs being deployed to do the dirty work of Adolph Hitler.

“Nobody asked the federal government to come into Portland. Nobody asked them to come to Seattle,” ranted Clyburn.

“This is something that’s made up of whole cloth by this administration as an excuse for sending in stormtroopers to incite the people.”

Clyburn had earlier compared the U.S. officers sent to Portland to Heinrich Himmler’s Nazi secret police: “This president and this attorney general seem to be doing everything they possibly can to impose Gestapo activities on local communities, and this is what I’ve been warning about for a long time.”

His Gestapo comparison recalls Sen. Abe Ribicoff’s denunciation of the Chicago police of Mayor Richard J. Daley during the 1968 Democratic National Convention, after police clashed with radicals in Grant Park: “With George McGovern, we wouldn’t have Gestapo tactics in the streets of Chicago!”

What do the men and women of the FBI, DEA, ICE, DHS, CBP and the U.S. Marshals Service think of congressional leaders who equate them with Nazi stormtroopers and the Gestapo?

Outraged that Trump sent in federal agents to protect a building they had under siege for weeks, the Portland mob came out in even greater numbers and rioted through the weekend. Saturday night, there were solidarity riots with Portland in Seattle, Oakland, Austin, Richmond, and other cities.

Consider the depth of hatred of Trump that would cause leaders of the Democratic Party to compare U.S. law enforcement to Nazis.

Still, to date, no apologies have been heard.

Yet, as police are again being cursed and showered with debris, it is hard to see how this country reunites, and around what, no matter which party prevails in November.

In addition to the reigniting of protests and riots in urban centers there has come, in tandem with demands to “defund the police,” a surge in violent crime. Last week, Trump offered some staggering statistics:

“In New York City, over 300 people were shot in the last month alone, a 277 … percent increase over the same period of a year ago. Murders this year have spiked 27 percent in Philadelphia and 94 percent in Minneapolis compared to the same period in 2019.

“Perhaps no citizens have suffered more from the menace of violent crime than the wonderful people of Chicago … At least 414 people have been murdered in the city this year, a roughly 50 percent increase over last year. More than 1,900 people have been shot. These are numbers that aren’t even to be believed.”

As Black Lives Matter protests revive, ostensibly for greater justice for black folks, a vastly disproportionate number of victims of these urban shootings and killings are black, as are a disproportionate number of the criminals doing the shooting and killing.

The New York Times suggests that a new “Silent Majority” of 2020, unlike Richard Nixon’s Silent Majority of 1969, backs the protesters and their causes.

A dissent: While the country was disgusted and outraged at George Floyd’s death from that cop kneeling on his neck, and supported the protests and the calls for police reform, two months of leftist rampages have taken their toll.

When the protests turned into riots, when the looting and arson began, when the statues began to be pulled down, when the rampages went on and on for weeks and months after Floyd’s death, support began to wane. And it is dissipating quickly.

The country is not going to sit still for three more months of this. At some point soon, America is going to say: Enough is enough.

Moreover, Trump has turned a permanent presidential spotlight on a real outrage: The shootings and killings that go on year in and year out, and are now escalating, especially in poor black neighborhoods of major cities, and are accepted as normal by the same liberal Democrats who have misruled those cities for decades.

Trump has put this issue on the table for the indefinite future. And the ferocity of the liberal reaction testifies to the validity of the issue and the terror of the left that a consistent stand for law and order — and with the cops who guarantee it against the mobs that threaten it — might turn the tide in Middle America back to where it naturally resides.

The majority of Americans believe, and rightly so, that this is a good country. And they will eventually tune out radicals who visibly hate its heroes and history and have on offer nothing but their own inchoate rage.

Published:7/28/2020 2:02:18 PM
[Politics] Peter Strzok coming out with book to claim Trump is ‘compromised’ by Russia The despicable, anti-Trump former FBI operative Peter Strzok is publish a book in order to push the debunked claim that Trump is compromised by Russia: DC EXAMINER – Peter Strzok has written . . . Published:7/28/2020 1:33:53 PM
[Politics] Peter Strzok coming out with book to claim Trump is ‘compromised’ by Russia The despicable, anti-Trump former FBI operative Peter Strzok is publish a book in order to push the debunked claim that Trump is compromised by Russia: DC EXAMINER – Peter Strzok has written . . . Published:7/28/2020 1:33:53 PM
[] BOOM! Maria Bartiromo goes OFF while Valerie Jarrett squirms, avoids answering questions on new evidence around Steele dossier (watch) Published:7/28/2020 10:02:59 AM
[Markets] Watch Live: Attorney General William Barr Squares Off With House Democrats Over Protests, Russiagate Watch Live: Attorney General William Barr Squares Off With House Democrats Over Protests, Russiagate Tyler Durden Tue, 07/28/2020 - 09:50

Attorney General William Barr is appearing before Rep. Jerry Nadler's (D-NY) House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday at 10 a.m. ET, where he is expected to discuss topics ranging from the ongoing protests over the killing of George Floyd, to the Russia investigation, to his warnings over voter fraud.

Things may get heated, as Democrats on the Judiciary Committee have levied a series of accusations and criticisms against Barr, including his role in surging federal agents into Democratic-led cities such as Portland, Chicago and Kansas to control violent riots - which should be fun since Chairman Nadler thinks the violence in Portland is a 'myth.'

Republicans on the panel will likely back Barr, whose view his intervention in the protests as considered necessary to protect the police and federal property against 'trained Marxists.'

In his prepared remarks, Barr will warn that "violent rioters and anarchists have hijacked legitimate protests to wreak senseless havoc and destruction" across the country, according to the NYT

"We should all be able to agree that there is no place in this country for armed mobs that seek to establish autonomous zones beyond government control, or tear down statues and monuments that law-abiding communities chose to erect, or to destroy the property and livelihoods of innocent business owners."

House Democrats are also expected to drill Barr over his handling of the Russia report - in particular Barr's summary of the Mueller report which Democrats have characterized as misleading.

Since then, the attorney general has directed a criminal prosecutor to scrutinize the F.B.I. inquiry into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia and stepped in to reverse key prosecutorial decisions stemming from the investigation.

Specifically, Democrats will ask about his intervention to recommend a shorter prison sentence for Mr. Trump’s longtime friend Roger J. Stone Jr. on seven felony crimes — a sentence Mr. Trump has since commutedand to drop charges against the former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn even though he had pleaded guilty. -NYT

Flynn withdrew his guilty plea of lying to federal investigators after new evidence revealed the FBI sought to entrap him over his perfectly legal (and expected) conversations with the former Russian ambassador to the United States, where Flynn asked the Kremlin not to overreact to the Obama administration's sanctions over alleged election interference.

Questions over Durham

Republicans on the panel are expected to query Barr over the status of prosecutor John Durham's investigation into actions the Obama administration took against President Trump and his campaign during and after the 2016 US election - which Barr has characterized as 'spying.'

Watch Live:

Published:7/28/2020 9:06:59 AM
[Markets] Has China's Military Deeply Infiltrated US Medical Research? Has China's Military Deeply Infiltrated US Medical Research? Tyler Durden Sat, 07/25/2020 - 23:50

Submitted by Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel, who previously worked at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and conducted basic and clinical research in the pharmaceutical industry. He is a member of the Citizens Commission on National Security.

It is a widely accepted fact that China has stolen U.S. intellectual property worth billions of dollars.

The U.S. government recently ordered the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas, which Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) described as a “central node of the Communist Party’s vast network of spies & influence operations in the United States.”

At virtually the same time, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted two Chinese nationals for seeking to steal COVID-19 vaccine research and hacking hundreds of companies in the United States and abroad, including defense contractors.

Now, Juan Tang, 37, who had been a visiting cancer researcher at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine for several months, has been arrested by the FBI  after hiding in the Chinese consulate in San Francisco.

She is one of four Chinese researchers charged by federal authorities in recent days with lying about their background to gain entrance into the United States.

A federal criminal complaint filed in court in Sacramento charges Juan Tang with lying about her connections to the Chinese military when she applied for a nonimmigrant visa on Oct. 28, 2019.

The FBI criminal complaint shows Juan Tang in Chinese military uniforms and her scientific affiliations are listed as the National Translational Science Center for Molecular Medicine & Department of Cell Biology, The Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an 710032, China.

According to Andy Fell, a spokesman for the University of California, Davis, Juan Tang was a visiting researcher in the School of Medicine’s Department of Radiation Oncology. Her research was funded by the Chinese Scholarship Council, “a study-based exchange program affiliated with the China’s Ministry of Education and Xijing Hospital in China.”

Yes, but why the University of California, Davis?

It may be because Jian-Jian Li, who received his M.D. degree in 1984 from China’s Fourth Military Medical University in Xi’an, is a professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine and, like Juan Tang’s position in China’s National Translational Science Center for Molecular Medicine, Dr. Li is Director of Translational Research at the University of California, Davis.

Dr. Li received a Ph.D. in 1994 from the Department of Radiation and Free Radical Biology, University of Iowa and was trained at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health from 1995 to 1998.

Over many years, Dr. Li has maintained extensive collaboration with scientists in China, some of whom work at the Fourth Military Medical University.

It seems highly unlikely that Dr. Li did not know of Juan Tang’s affiliation with China’s Fourth Military Medical University.

The arrests of the four Chinese nationals mentioned in this article represent only a tiny proportion of the Chinese students, postdoctoral researchers and full-time medical scientists, many of whom are supported by U.S. taxpayer dollars, and may be actively assisting China’s military obtain U.S. secrets and proprietary information, medical research being the softest of the soft espionage targets.

The time is long past for a comprehensive investigation of the medical research exchange programs between the U.S. and China.

Published:7/25/2020 11:19:05 PM
[In The News] A Russia Analyst Living In the US Has Been Identified As Christopher Steele’s Primary Dossier Source

By Chuck Ross -

The mystery of the primary source for dossier author Christopher Steele has finally been solved.  Igor Danchenko, a Russia analyst living in the U.S., has been identified as Steele’s primary source of information in the dossier.  Danchenko, who previously worked at the Brookings Institution, told the FBI in January 2017 ...

A Russia Analyst Living In the US Has Been Identified As Christopher Steele’s Primary Dossier Source is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:7/25/2020 6:53:56 PM
[Uncategorized] FBI arrests Chinese researcher who initially hid at consulate in San Francisco FBI arrests three other Chinese nationals for suspected military ties, and U.S. officials won’t reveal if they will comply with China order to close Chengdu consulate. Published:7/25/2020 5:53:33 PM
[Markets] Steele's "Primary Subsource" Was Alcoholic Russian National Who Worked With Trump Impeachment Witness At Brookings Steele's "Primary Subsource" Was Alcoholic Russian National Who Worked With Trump Impeachment Witness At Brookings Tyler Durden Sat, 07/25/2020 - 16:50

Authored by Paul Sperry via RealClearInvestigations.com,

The mysterious “Primary Subsource” that Christopher Steele has long hidden behind to defend his discredited Trump-Russia dossier is a former Brookings Institution analyst -- Igor “Iggy” Danchenko, a Russian national whose past includes criminal convictions and other personal baggage ignored by the FBI in vetting him and the information he fed to Steele, according to congressional sources and records obtained by RealClearInvestigations. Agents continued to use the dossier as grounds to investigate President Trump and put his advisers under counter-espionage surveillance.

The 42-year-old Danchenko, who was hired by Steele in 2016 to deploy a network of sources to dig up dirt on Trump and Russia for the Hillary Clinton campaign, was arrested, jailed and convicted years earlier on multiple public drunkenness and disorderly conduct charges in the Washington area and ordered to undergo substance-abuse and mental-health counseling, according to criminal records.

Fiona Hill: She worked at the Brookings Institution with dossier "Primary Subsource" Igor “Iggy” Danchenko (top photo), and testified against President Trump last year during impeachment hearings. AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

In an odd twist, a 2013 federal case against Danchenko was prosecuted by then-U.S Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who ended up signing one of the FBI’s dossier-based wiretap warrants as deputy attorney general in 2017.

Danchenko first ran into trouble with the law as he began working for Brookings - the preeminent Democratic think tank in Washington - where he struck up a friendship with Fiona Hill, the White House adviser who testified against Trump during last year's impeachment hearings. Danchenko has described Hill as a mentor, while Hill has sung his praises as a “creative” researcher.

Hill is also close to his boss Steele, who she’d known since 2006. She met with the former British intelligence officer during the 2016 campaign and later received a raw, unpublished copy of the now-debunked dossier.

It does not appear the FBI asked Danchenko about his criminal past or state of sobriety when agents interviewed him in January 2017 in a failed attempt to verify the accuracy of the dossier, which the bureau did only after agents used it to obtain a warrant to surveil Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The opposition research was farmed out by Steele, working for Clinton's campaign, to Danchenko, who was paid for the information he provided.

A newly declassified FBI summary of the FBI-Danchenko meeting reveals agents learned that key allegations in the dossier, which claimed Trump engaged in a “well-developed conspiracy of cooperation” with the Kremlin against Clinton, were largely inspired by gossip and bar talk among Danchenko and his drinking buddies, most of whom were childhood friends from Russia.

The FBI memo is heavily redacted and blacks out the name of Steele’s Primary Subsource. But public records and congressional sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirm the identity of the source as Danchenko.

In the memo, the FBI notes that Danchenko said that he and one of his dossier sources “drink heavily together.” But there is no apparent indication the FBI followed up by asking Danchenko if he had an alcohol problem, which would cast further doubt on his reliability as a source for one of the most important and sensitive investigations in FBI history.

The FBI declined comment. Attempts to reach Danchenko by both email and phone were unsuccessful.

The Justice Department’s watchdog recently debunked the dossier’s most outrageous accusations against Trump, and faulted the FBI for relying on it to obtain secret wiretaps. The bureau’s actions, which originated under the Obama administration, are now the subject of a sprawling criminal investigation led by special prosecutor John Durham.

Rod Rosenstein: In an odd twist, a 2013 drunkenness case against Danchenko was prosecuted by then-U.S Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who ended up signing one of the FBI’s dossier-based wiretap warrants as deputy attorney general in 2017. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP)

One of the wiretap warrants was signed in 2017 by Rosenstein, who also that year appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller and signed a “scope” memo giving him wide latitude to investigate Trump and his surrogates. Mueller relied on the dossier too. As it happens, Rosenstein also signed motions filed in one of Danchenko’s public intoxication cases, according to the documents obtained by RCI.

In March 2013 — three years before Danchenko began working on the dossier — federal authorities in Greenbelt, Md., arrested and charged him with several misdemeanors, including “drunk in public, disorderly conduct, and failure to have his [2-year-old] child in a safety seat,” according to a court filing. The U.S. prosecutor for Maryland at the time was Rosenstein, whose name appears in the docket filings.

The Russian-born Danchenko, who was living in the U.S. on a work visa, was released from jail on the condition he undergo drug testing and “participate in a program of substance abuse therapy and counseling,” as well as “mental health counseling,” the records show. His lawyer asked the court to postpone his trial and let him travel to Moscow “as a condition of his employment.” The Russian trips were granted without objection from Rosenstein. Danchenko ended up several months later entering into a plea agreement and paying fines.

In 2006, Danchenko was arrested in Fairfax, Va., on similar offenses, including "public swearing and intoxication," criminal records show. The case was disposed after he paid a fine.

At the time, Danchenko worked as a research analyst for the Brookings Institution, where he became a protégé of Hill. He collaborated with her on at least two Russian policy papers during his five-year stint at the think tank and worked with another Brookings scholar on a project to uncover alleged plagiarism in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s doctoral dissertation — something Danchenko and his lawyer boasted about during their meeting with FBI agents. (Like Hill, the other scholar, Clifford Gaddy, was a Russia hawk. He and Hill in 2015 authored “Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin,” a book strongly endorsed by Vice President Joe Biden at the time.)

“Igor is a highly accomplished analyst and researcher,” Hill noted on his LinkedIn page in 2011.

“He is very creative in pursuing the most relevant of information and detail to support his research.”

Strobe Talbott of Brookings with  Hillary  Clinton:  He connected with Christopher Steele and passed along a copy of his anti-Trump dossier to Fiona Hill. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Hill also vouched for Steele, an old friend and British intelligence counterpart. The two reunited in 2016, sitting down for at least one meeting. Her boss at the time, Brookings President Strobe Talbott, also connected with Steele and passed along a copy of his anti-Trump dossier to Hill. A tough Trump critic, Talbott previously worked in the Clinton administration and rallied the think tank behind Hillary. 

Talbott’s brother-in-law is Cody Shearer, another old Clinton hand who disseminated his own dossier in 2016 that echoed many of the same lurid and unsubstantiated claims against Trump. Through a mutual friend at the State Department, Steele obtained a copy of Shearer’s dossier and reportedly submitted it to the FBI to help corroborate his own.

In August 2016, Talbott personally called Steele, based in London, to offer his own input on the dossier he was compiling from Danchenko’s feeds. Steele phoned Talbott just before the November election, during which Talbott asked for the latest dossier memos to distribute to top officials at the State Department. After Trump’s surprise win, the mood at Brookings turned funereal and Talbott and Steele strategized about how they “should handle” the dossier going forward.

During the Trump transition, Talbott encouraged Hill to leave Brookings and take a job in the White House so she could be “one of the adults in the room” when Russia and Putin came up. She served as deputy assistant to the president and senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council from 2017 to 2019.

She left the White House just before a National Security Council detailee who’d worked with her, Eric Ciaramella, secretly huddled with Democrats in Congress and alleged Trump pressured the president of Ukraine to launch an investigation of Biden and his son in exchange for military aid. Democrats soon held hearings to impeach Trump, calling Hill as one of their star witnesses.

Congressional investigators are taking a closer look at tax-exempt Brookings, which has emerged as a nexus in the dossier scandal. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, the liberal think tank is prohibited from lobbying or engaging in political campaigns. Gryffindor/Wikimedia

Under questioning by Republican staff, Hill disclosed that Steele reached out to her for information about a mysterious individual, but she claimed she could not recall his name. She also said she couldn’t remember the month she and Steele met.

“He had contacted me because he wanted to see if I could give him a contact to some other individual, who actually I don’t even recall now, who he could approach about some business issues,” Hill told the House last year in an Oct. 14 deposition taken behind closed doors. 

Congressional investigators are reviewing her testimony, while taking a closer look at tax-exempt Brookings, which has emerged as a nexus in the dossier scandal.

Registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, the liberal think tank is prohibited from lobbying or engaging in political campaigns. Specifically, investigators want to know if Brookings played any role in the development of the dossier.

“Their 501(c)(3) status should be audited, because they are a major player in the dossier deal,” said a congressional staffer who has worked on the investigation into alleged Russian influence.

Hill, who returned to Brookings as a senior fellow in January, could not be reached for comment. Brookings did not respond to inquiries.

Ghost Employee

As a former member of Britain’s secret intelligence service, Steele hadn’t traveled to Russia in decades and apparently had no useful sources there. So he relied entirely on Danchenko and his supposed “network of subsources,” which to its chagrin, the FBI discovered was nothing more than a “social circle.”

It soon became clear over their three days of debriefing him at the FBI’s Washington field office - held just days after Trump was sworn into office - that any Russian insights he may have had were strictly academic.

Danchenko confessed he had no inside line to the Kremlin and was “clueless” when Steele hired him in March 2016 to investigate ties between Russia and Trump and his campaign manager.

Christopher Steele, former British spy, leaving a London court this week in a libel case brought against him by a Russian businessman. Dossier source Danchenko's drinking pals fed him a tissue of false “rumor and speculation” for pay— which Steele, in turn, further embellished with spy-crafty details and sold to his client as “intelligence.” (Victoria Jones/PA via AP)

Desperate for leads, he turned to a ragtag group of Russian and American journalists, drinking buddies (including one who’d been arrested on pornography charges) and even an old girlfriend to scare up information for his London paymaster, according to the FBI’s January 2017 interview memo, which runs 57 pages. Like him, his friends made a living hustling gossip for cash, and they fed him a tissue of false “rumor and speculation” — which Steele, in turn, further embellished with spy-crafty details and sold to his client as “intelligence.”

Instead of closing its case against Trump, however, the FBI continued to rely on the information Danchenko dictated to Steele for the dossier, even swearing to a secret court that it was credible enough to renew wiretaps for another nine months.

One of Danchenko’s sources was nothing more than an anonymous voice on the other end of a phone call that lasted 10-15 minutes.

Danchenko told the FBI he figured out later that the call-in tipster, who he said did not identify himself, was Sergei Millian, a Belarusian-born realtor in New York. In the dossier, Steele labeled this source “an ethnic Russian close associate of Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump,” and attributed Trump-Russia conspiracy revelations to him that the FBI relied on to support probable cause in all four FISA applications for warrants to spy on Trump adviser Carter Page -- including the Mueller-debunked myth that he and the campaign were involved in “the DNC email hacking operation.”

Danchenko explained to agents the call came after he solicited Millian by email in late July 2016 for information for his assignment from Steele. Millian told RCI that though he did receive an email from Danchenko on July 21, he ignored the message and never called him.

“There was not any verbal communications with him,” he insisted. “I’m positive, 100%, nothing what is claimed in whatever call they invented I could have said.”

Millian provided RCI part of the email, which was written mostly in Russian. Contact information at the bottom of the email reads:

Igor Danchenko
Business Analyst
Target Labs Inc.
8320 Old Courthouse Rd, Suite 200
Vienna, VA 22182
+1-202-679-5323

At the time, Danchenko listed Target Labs, an IT recruiter run by ethnic-Russians, as an employer on his resumé. But technically, he was not a paid employee there. Thanks to a highly unusual deal Steele arranged with the company, Danchenko was able to use Target Labs as an employment front.

It turns out that in 2014, when Danchenko first started freelancing regularly for Steele after losing his job at a Washington strategic advisory firm, he set out to get a security clearance to start his own company. But drawing income from a foreign entity like Steele’s London-based company, Orbis Business Intelligence, would hurt his chances. 

So Steele agreed to help him broker a special “arrangement" with Target Labs, where a Russian friend of Danchenko’s worked as an executive, in which the company would bring Danchenko on board as an employee but not put him officially on the payroll. Danchenko would continue working for Steele and getting paid by Orbis with payments funneled through Target Labs. In effect, Target Labs served as the “contract vehicle” through which Danchenko was paid a monthly salary for his work for Orbis, the FBI memo reveals.

Though Danchenko had a desk available to use at Target Labs, he did most of his work for Orbis from home and did not take direction from the firm. Steele continued to give him assignments and direct his travel. Danchenko essentially worked as a ghost employee at Target Labs.

Asked about it, a Target Labs spokesman would only say that Danchenko “does not work with us anymore.”

Brian Auten: He wrote the memo on the FBI's interview with the Primary Subsource, which is silent about Danchenko’s criminal record. Patrick Henry College

Some veteran FBI officials worry Moscow’s foreign intelligence service may have planted disinformation with Danchenko and his network of sources in Russia. At least one of them, identified only as “Source 5” in the FBI memo, was described as having a Russian “kurator,” or handler.

"There are legions of ‘connected' Russians purveying second- and third-hand — and often made-up -- due diligence reports and private intelligence,” said former FBI assistant director Chris Swecker. "Putin's intelligence minions use these people well to plant information.”

Danchenko has scrubbed his social media account. He told the FBI he deleted all his dossier-related electronic communications, including texts and emails, and threw out his handwritten notes from conversations with his subsources.

In the end, Steele walked away from the dossier debacle with at least $168,000, and Danchenko earned a large undisclosed sum.

The FBI interview memo, which is silent about Danchenko’s criminal record, was written by FBI Supervisory Intelligence Analyst Brian Auten, who was called out in the Justice inspector general report for ignoring inconsistencies, contradictions, errors and outright falsehoods in the dossier he was supposed to verify.

It was also Auten’s duty to vet Steele and his sources. Auten sat in on the meetings with Danchenko and also separate ones with Steele. He witnessed firsthand the countless red flags that popped up from their testimony. Yet Auten continued to tout their reliability as sources, and give his blessing to agents to use their dossier as probable cause to renew FISA surveillance warrants to spy on Page.

As RCI first reported, Auten teaches a national security course at a Washington-area college on the ethics of such spying.

Published:7/25/2020 3:55:37 PM
[FBI] Extracts from a subsource, cont’d (Scott Johnson) Who was that mysterious “primary subsource” to whom Christopher Steele turned for the good stuff in his infamous dossier? Paul Sperry reports for RealClearInvestigations: The mysterious “Primary Subsource” that Christopher Steele has long hidden behind to defend his discredited Trump-Russia dossier is a former Brookings Institution analyst — Igor “Iggy” Danchenko, a Russian national whose past includes criminal convictions and other personal baggage ignored by the FBI in vetting him Published:7/25/2020 9:19:52 AM
[Politics] KT McFarland: 'Simply Extraordinary' That FBI Used Briefing to Spy Former White House deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland Friday called the news that an FBI briefing on election interference in 2016 to then-candidate Donald Trump, Gov. Chris Christie, and Michael Flynn was instead a fishing mission to gather information on them... Published:7/24/2020 2:07:55 PM
[Markets] More Than 1,000 People Could Access Twitter's "God Mode" More Than 1,000 People Could Access Twitter's "God Mode" Tyler Durden Fri, 07/24/2020 - 12:25

Authored by Joshua Mapperson via CoinTelegraph.com,

The admin panel used by hackers to access over one hundred accounts can be used by over 1,000 twitter employees — two former Twitter employees revealed.

image courtesy of CoinTelegrpah

More than 1,000 Twitter employees and contractors had access to the internal admin panel that enabled last week’s Twitter hack of 130 high profile accounts.

According to Reuters on July 24, two former employees have shed light on just how vulnerable Twitter’s security was — and may still be. They said that, in addition to employees, contractors like Cognizant could also have access.

Former chief security officer at AT&T Edward Amoroso, told Reuters that such powerful controls should not be available to so many people.

“That sounds like there are too many people with access,” he said, adding that staff should have limited rights with responsibilities split up as well as multiple checks and balances in place for adjusting sensitive information.

“In order to do cyber security right, you can’t forget the boring stuff.”

What happened?

On July 15 attackers accessed Twitter’s admin panel allowing them to take control of any Twitter account, post tweets from them and access personal information including private messages.

They posted scam Bitcoin (BTC) ‘giveaways’, by promising to send back double any sum received. All told, the scammers got away with around 12 BTC.

High profile accounts taken over include Tesla founder Elon Musk, former United States President Barack Obama, Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice-President Joe Biden. Other celebrities, politicians and top business personalities also lost control of their accounts.

Twitter and the FBI are working together to investigate the breach, with regular updates from Twitter on their findings. On Jul 23, the company revealed that in “up to 36 of the 130 targeted accounts, the attackers accessed the DM inbox, including 1 elected official in the Netherlands.”

Twitter has also revealed they are looking for a new security head in order to improve security and employee training.

Security experts are concerned that the required upgrades to Twitter’s security and processes may not be complete before the U.S. elections on Nov. 3 with other countries potentially having the ability to manipulate the outcome through social media account take-overs.

Network security company Tenable founder Ron Gula asked:

“Does Twitter do enough to prevent account takeovers for our presidential candidates and news outlets when faced with sophisticated threats that leverage whole-of-nation approaches?”

 

 

 

 

Published:7/24/2020 11:38:13 AM
[2016 Presidential Election] When the FBI spied on Trump (Scott Johnson) Newly declassified FBI documents disclose how the agency used a so-called defensive briefing of the Trump campaign on August 17, 2016, to spy on and collect information about Donald Trump himself. Michael Flynn and Chris Christie also attended the briefing. The Federalist’s Sean Davis has posted the documents via Scribd together with his story on them. I have embedded the documents below. Davis notes that the documents were formally declassified Published:7/24/2020 9:05:10 AM
[Politics] Rep. Collins: News of 2016 FBI 'Cover' Briefing Not a Surprise Rep. Doug Collins said Friday he's not that an FBI briefing on election interference to the Trump campaign in August 2016 had allegedly been a "cover" used to monitor then-candidate Donald Trump and his eventual first national security adviser, Michael Flynn.  Published:7/24/2020 7:38:03 AM
[Markets] Cold Wars & Profit Cold Wars & Profit Tyler Durden Fri, 07/24/2020 - 02:00

Authored by Craig Murray via ConsortiumNews.com,

If an asteroid runs into the earth, any surviving press will blame it on Russia...

The Guardian a few days ago carried a very strange piece  [which has since been removed] under the heading “Stamps celebrating Ukrainian resistance in pictures.” The first image displayed a stamp bearing the name of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA).

The UPA was, without any shadow of a doubt, responsible for the slaughter of at least 200,000 Polish civilians; they liquidated whole Polish communities in Volhynia and Galicia, including the women and children. The current Polish government, which is as anti-Russian and pro-NATO as they come, nevertheless has declared this a genocide.

It certainly was an extremely brutal ethnic cleansing. There is no doubt either that at times between 1942 and 1944 the UPA collaborated with the Nazis and collaborated in the destruction of Jews and Gypsies. It is simplistic to describe the UPA as fascist or an extension of the Nazi regime; at times they fought the Nazis, though they collaborated more often.

There is a real sense in which they operated at the level of medieval peasants, simply seizing local opportunities to exterminate rural populations and seize their land and assets, be they Polish, Jew or Gypsy. But on balance any reasonable person would have to conclude that the UPA was an utterly deplorable phenomenon. To publish a celebration of it, disguised as a graphic art piece, without any of this context, is no more defensible than a display of Nazi art with no context.

In fact, The Guardian’s very brief text was still worse than no context.

“Ukrainian photographer Oleksandr Kosmach collects 20th-century stamps issued by Ukrainian groups in exile during the Soviet era.

Artists and exiles around the world would use stamps to communicate the horrors of Soviet oppression. “These stamps show us the ideas and values of these people, who they really were and what they were fighting for,” Kosmach says.”

That is so misleadingly partial as a description of the art glorifying the UPA movement as to be deeply reprehensible. It does however fit with the anything- goes stoking of Russophobia, which is the mainstay of government and media discourse at the moment. Even at the height of the Cold War, we never saw such a barrage of unprovable accusations leveled at Russia through the media by “security service sources.”

Attack on UK Vaccine Research

A whole slew of these were rehearsed by Andrew Marr on his flagship BBC1 morning show. The latest is the accusation that Russia is responsible for a cyber attack on Covid-19 vaccination research. This is another totally evidence-free accusation. But it misses the point anyway.

Andrew Marr, center, in 2014. (Financial Times, Flickr)

The alleged cyber attack, if it happened, was a hack not an attack — the allegation is that there was an effort to obtain the results of research, not to disrupt research. It is appalling that the U.K. is trying to keep its research results secret rather than share them freely with the world scientific community.

As I have reported before, the U.K. and the USA have been preventing the WHO from implementing a common research and common vaccine solution for Covid-19, insisting instead on a profit driven approach to benefit the big pharmaceutical companies (and disadvantage the global poor). 

What makes the accusation that Russia tried to hack the research even more dubious is the fact that Russia had just bought the very research specified. You don’t steal things you already own.

Evidence of CIA  Hacks

If anybody had indeed hacked the research, we all know it is impossible to trace with certainty the whereabouts of hackers. My VPNs [virtual private networks] are habitually set to India, Australia or South Africa depending on where I am trying to watch the cricket, dodging broadcasting restrictions.

More pertinently, WikiLeaks’ Vault 7 release of CIA material showed the specific programs for the CIA in how to leave clues to make a leak look like it came from Russia. This irrefutable evidence that the CIA do computer hacks with apparent Russian “fingerprints” deliberately left, like little bits of Cyrillic script, is an absolutely classic example of a fact that everybody working in the mainstream media knows to be true, but which they all contrive never to mention.

Thus when last week’s “Russian hacking” story was briefed by the security services —that former Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn deployed secret documents on U.K./U.S. trade talks which had been posted on Reddit, after being stolen by an evil Russian who left his name of Grigor in his Reddit handle —there was no questioning in the media of this narrative. Instead, we had another round of McCarthyite witch-hunt aimed at the rather tired looking Corbyn. 

Personally, if the Russians had been responsible for revealing that the Tories are prepared to open up the NHS “market” to big American companies, including ending or raising caps on pharmaceutical prices, I should be very grateful to the Russians for telling us. Just as the world would owe the Russians a favor if it were indeed them who leaked evidence of just how systematically the DNC rigged the 2016 primaries against Bernie Sanders.

But as it happens, it was not the Russians. The latter case was a leak by a disgusted insider, and I very much suspect the NHS U.S. trade deal link was also from a disgusted insider. 

When governments do appalling things, very often somebody manages to blow the whistle.

Crowdstrike’s Quiet Admission  

If you can delay even the most startling truth for several years, it loses much of its political bite. If you can announce it during a health crisis, it loses still more. The world therefore did not shudder to a halt when the CEO of Crowdstrike admitted there had never been any evidence of a Russian hack of the DNC servers. 

Crowdstrike’s Shawn Henry presenting at the International Security Forum in Vancouver, 2009.
(Hubert K, Flickr)

You will recall the near incredible fact that, even through the Mueller investigation, the FBI never inspected the DNC servers themselves but simply relied on a technical report from Crowdstrike, the Hillary Clinton-related IT security consultant for the DNC.

It is now known for sure that Crowdstrike had been peddling fake news for Hillary. In fact, Crowdstrike had no record of any internet hack at all. There was no evidence of the email material being exported over the internet. What they claimed did exist was evidence that the files had been organized preparatory to export.

Remember the entire “Russian hacking” story was based ONLY on Crowdstrike’s say so. There is literally no other evidence of Russian involvement in the DNC emails, which is unsurprising as I have been telling you for four years from my own direct sources that Russia was not involved. Yet finally declassified congressional testimony revealed that Shawn Henry stated on oath that “we did not have concrete evidence” and “There’s circumstantial evidence , but no evidence they were actually exfiltrated.”

This testimony fits with what I was told by Bill Binney, a former technical director of the National Security Agency (NSA), who told me that it was impossible that any large amount of data should be moved across the internet from the USA, without the NSA both seeing it happen in real time and recording it. If there really had been a Russian hack, the NSA would have been able to give the time of it to a millisecond.

That the NSA did not have that information was proof the transfer had never happened, according to Binney. What had happened, Binney deduced, was that the files had been downloaded locally, probably to a thumb drive. 

Bill Binney. (Miquel Taverna / CCCB via Flickr)

So arguably the biggest news story of the past four years — the claim that Putin effectively interfered to have Donald Trump elected U.S. president —turns out indeed to be utterly baseless. Has the mainstream media, acting on security service behest, done anything to row back from the false impression it created? No it has doubled down.

Anti-Russia Theme  

The “Russian hacking” theme keeps being brought back related to whatever is the big story of the day.

  • Brexit? Russian hacking.

  • U.K. general election 2019? Russian hacking

  • Covid-19 vaccine? Russian hacking.

Then we have those continual security service briefings. Two weeks ago we had unnamed security service sources telling The New York Times that Russia had offered the Taliban a bounty for killing American soldiers. This information had allegedly come from interrogation of captured Taliban in Afghanistan, which would almost certainly mean it was obtained under torture. 

It is a wildly improbable tale. The Afghans have never needed that kind of incentivization to kill foreign invaders on their soil. It is also a fascinating throwback of an accusation – the British did indeed offer Afghans money for, quite literally, the heads of Afghan resistance leaders during the first Afghan War in 1841, as I detail in my book “Sikunder Burnes.”

Taliban in Herat, Afghanistan, 2001. (Wikipedia)

You do not have to look back that far to realize the gross hypocrisy of the accusation. In the 1980s the West was quite openly paying, arming and training the Taliban — including Osama bin Laden – to kill Russian and other Soviet conscripts in their thousands. That is just one example of the hypocrisy.

The U.S. and U.K. security services both cultivate and bribe senior political and other figures abroad in order to influence policy all of the time. We work to manipulate the result of elections — I have done it personally in my former role as a U.K. diplomat. A great deal of the behavior over which Western governments and media are creating this new McCarthyite anti-Russian witch hunt, is standard diplomatic practice.

My own view is that there are malign Russian forces attempting to act on government in the U.K. and the USA, but they are not nearly as powerful as the malign British and American forces acting on their own governments.

The truth is that the world is under the increasing control of a global elite of billionaires, to whom nationality is irrelevant and national governments are tools to be manipulated. Russia is not att