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[Markets] CJ Hopkins: Manufacturing Mass Fascism Hysteria

Authored (satirically) by C.J.Hopkins via The Unz Review,

If the neoliberal ruling classes expect to keep the American masses worked up into a white-eyed hysteria over “fascism” until November 2020, they’re going to need to get some better Nazis. The current Nazis are just not going to cut it. They are neither scary nor Nazi enough. OK, the militia ones look kind of scary, and that “Based Spartan” guy looks kind of … uh, weird, but most of them just look like regular old rednecks. How hard would it be to get them some brown shirts, or those khaki pants like they wore in Charlottesville, or some other type of Nazi-like uniform?

And some jackboots. People love those jackboots.

Seriously, the Resistance need to get their official narrative optics in order, and they need to do it without delay. Millions of liberals are standing by to be brainwashed into a year-long frenzy of manufactured mass “fascism” hysteria, but they are going to need some halfway convincing Nazis to spastically freak out over. A few hundred bozos in MAGA hats parading around with American flags does not exactly a Sturmabteilung make.

I’m referring, of course, to the latest “fascist invasion” of Portland that took place last Saturday, which, according to the corporate media, and Antifa, and local fascism experts, was supposed to be a veritable bloodbath. Heavily-armed white supremacist terrorists were flying in from around the country to indiscriminately murder as many “Black, Asian, Latino, indigenous, immigrant, Pacific islander, disabled, houseless, and LGBTQ persons” as possible. This white supremacist terrorist kill-fest was going to be revenge for the preventively self-defensive beating of Andy Ngo, “the most dangerous fascist grifter in America,” by Antifa militants earlier this month.

Ngo (who most people had never heard of until Antifa militants beat him senseless), although he poses as a legitimate journalist by writing for outlets like The Wall Street JournalThe New York PostQuillette, and so on, is allegedly a fascist intelligence asset in charge of compiling fascist “kill lists” consisting of the names of assorted well-known Portland anti-fascist figures (who most people had also never heard of until they claimed that Ngo had put them on his “kill list”).

Alexander Reid Ross, for example, an extremely influential “fascism expert,” outreach specialist, and geography teacher, who is hot on the trail of the Putin-Nazi plot to form a syncretic alliance of Assad-loving, Duginist, LaRouchian Nazis led by Max Blumenthal and Vanessa Beeley, or possibly Glenn Greenwald and Tucker Carlson … or something more or less along those lines (see Ross’ seminal paranoid ravings, which the SPLC was forced to retract by Blumenthal’s fascist legal counsel.) Ross reportedly remains in hiding in a safehouse in an undisclosed location somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, presumably protected by the FBI, while he continues his important work.

And then there are the notorious Proud Boys, a gang of self-described “Western chauvinists” who apparently haven’t been laid in years. According to the SPLC (which has designated them an official “hate group”):

There are three degrees of membership within the Proud Boys, and

to become a first degree in the “pro-West fraternal organization” a prospective member simply has to declare “I am a western chauvinist, and I refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.”

To enter the second degree, a Proud Boy has to endure a beating until they can yell out the names of five breakfast cereals (in order to demonstrate “adrenaline control”) and give up masturbation because, in theory, it will leave them more inclined to go out and meet women.

Those who enter the third degree have demonstrated their commitment by getting a Proud Boys tattoo. Any man — no matter his race or sexual-orientation — can join the fraternal organization as long as they “recognize that white men are not the problem.”

Such is the caliber of the cast the Resistance are featuring in their “fascism” fantasy. As you can see, it’s not exactly the A-list. If they’re going to stick with the “fascism” hysteria from now until November 2020 (which is really the only option they have left, what with “Russiagate” having blown up in their faces), the least they can do is get some real Nazis, and some semi-respectable Nazi hunters, and cut out this pathetic Portlandia nonsense.

The Resistance owes liberals at least that much, especially after making them look like fools by leading them on for three years with their ridiculous “Russiagate” hysteria. Sure, the “fascism” hysteria is an easier sell, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have to sell it. It’s not like they can just abruptly switch from the “Russiagate” narrative to the “fascism” narrative (as if their Russiagate hoax had not just been exposed) and expect liberals to go along with it like the members of some enormous cult.

Or, I don’t know … maybe they can. The New York Times certainly appears to think so. Check out this exchange between executive editor Dean Baquet and an anonymous staffer at an emergency in-house “town hall” meeting convened after The Times changed a page one headline because it didn’t paint Trump as racist enough. (The transcript is Slate’s; emphasis is mine.)

Staffer: I’m wondering what is the overall strategy here for getting us through this administration and the way we cover it … people don’t understand. I think they get confused as to what we’re trying to do.

BaquetOK. I mean, let me go back a little bit for one second to just repeat what I said in my in my short preamble about coverage. Chapter 1 of the story of Donald Trump, not only for our newsroom but, frankly, for our readers, was: Did Donald Trump have untoward relationships with the Russians, and was there obstruction of justice?That was a really hard story, by the way, let’s not forget that. We set ourselves up to cover that story. I’m going to say it. We won two Pulitzer Prizes covering that story. And I think we covered that story better than anybody else.

The day Bob Mueller walked off that witness stand, two things happened. Our readers who want Donald Trump to go away suddenly thought, “Holy shit, Bob Mueller is not going to do it.” And Donald Trump got a little emboldened politically, I think. Because, you know, for obvious reasons. And I think that the story changed. A lot of the stuff we’re talking about started to emerge like six or seven weeks ago. We’re a little tiny bit flat-footed. I mean, that’s what happens when a story looks a certain way for two years. Right?

I think that we’ve got to change. I mean, the vision for coverage for the next two years is what I talked about earlier: How do we cover a guy who makes these kinds of [racist] remarks? How do we cover the world’s reaction to him? How do we do that while continuing to cover his policies? How do we cover America, that’s become so divided by Donald Trump? How do we grapple with all the stuff you all are talking about? How do we write about race in a thoughtful way, something we haven’t done in a large way in a long time? That, to me, is the vision for coverage. You all are going to have to help us shape that vision. But I think that’s what we’re going to have to do for the rest of the next two years.

For anyone not entirely fluent in Pulitzer-winning Professional Journalism Speak, that translates roughly as “OK, no more Russia stuff. We’re switching to the fascism and racism stuff, and we’ll be hammering on it until Trump is history.”

Which is fine with me. I don’t like Donald Trump. And Americans are certainly racists … uh, working class Americans, that is. Sorry, white working class Americans, not Black people, or the staff of The New York Times, or the neoliberal ruling classes. Unless they’re disabled, or houseless, or Latino, or indigenous, or LGBTQ (i.e., the white working class Americans, not the ruling classes). In which case, they get a pass on the racism. But the rest of us are all white supremacists, and homophobic anti-Semites, and xenophobic racist transphobes, and … well, basically, a bunch of Nazis.

What? You don’t believe that most white Americans are Hitler-loving, Sieg-heiling Nazis who want to mass murder all the Jews and the Mexicans and re-enslave all the African Americans? How do you think Donald Trump got elected? Somebody stole the presidency from Clinton. If it wasn’t the Russians, it had to be the fascists! I mean, after all, who else is there?

Published:8/22/2019 11:04:29 PM
[Politics] BOMBSHELL! Overstock CEO says PETER STRZOK made him commit POLITICAL espionage!! Well. This is getting nuts. The former Overstock CEO went on Fox News and said he was told by the FBI to sleep with the convicted Russian spy Marina Butina. Then he . . . Published:8/22/2019 10:13:08 PM
[Politics] BOMBSHELL! Overstock CEO says PETER STRZOK made him commit POLITICAL espionage!! Well. This is getting nuts. The former Overstock CEO went on Fox News and said he was told by the FBI to sleep with the convicted Russian spy Marina Butina. Then he . . . Published:8/22/2019 10:13:08 PM
[Markets] Comey FBI Willfully Ignored "Highly Classified" Hillary Clinton Emails; Barr Radio Silent

President Obama's FBI, ran by disgraced former director James Comey, knew about - but purposefully ignored - "highly classified" evidence in the Hillary Clinton email investigation before they downgraded their initial assessment of her crime from a felony to a "grossly negligent" mistake. 

As The Hill's John Solomon reports, a Senate staff memo updating an ongoing inquiry by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) reveals that the FBI decided to back off their pursuit of this damning evidence "even though the agents believed access to the sensitive evidence was "necessary" to complete the investigation," writes Solomon. 

James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok

What's worse, Trump's DOJ has known about this egregious failure of justice since at least 2018 thanks to a classified report by the agency's Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who explained what happened in a briefing. 

But Johnson and Grassley have been unable to get answers for a year, even from Attorney General William Barr, about whether the FBI intends to look at the critical evidence it skipped back in 2016.

The Senate staff memo succinctly lays out just how egregious the FBI’s decision was in 2016.

The inspector general’s “appendix raised a number of serious questions because, as explained on page 154 of the unclassified DOJ IG report, the FBI decided not to seek access to certain highly classified information potentially relevant to the investigation despite members of the FBI case team referring to the review as a ‘necessary’ part of the investigation,” the Senate staff wrote. -The Hill

"As a result of the findings in that appendix, Senator Grassley wrote a classified letter to DOJ on October 17, 2018, which remains unanswered. On January 15, 2019, at Mr. Barr’s nomination hearing, Senator Grassley asked Mr. Barr if he would answer the letter, if confirmed, to which he attested, ‘Yes, Senator.’ On April 16, 2019, Senators Grassley, Johnson, and Graham sent a letter to Attorney General Barr reiterating the need for a written response to that letter," reads the note. 

Now-fired FBI agent Peter Strzok (who is now suing the DOJ over his ouster) was responsible for downgrading the language regarding Clinton's conduct from the criminal charge of "gross negligence" to "extremely careless."

"Gross negligence" is a legal term of art in criminal law often associated with recklessness. According to Black's Law Dictionary, gross negligence is “A severe degree of negligence taken as reckless disregard," and "Blatant indifference to one's legal duty, other's safety, or their rights.” "Extremely careless," on the other hand, is not a legal term of art - and is why Clinton got off scot-free. 

18 U.S. Code § 793 "Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information" specifically uses the phrase "gross negligence." Had Obama's FBI used the phrase, they would have essentially declared that Hillary had broken the law. 

Perhaps the FBI decided not to pursue Hillary's "highly classified" evidence in order to avoid having to stick with "gross negligence."

Notably, FBI General Counsel James Baker thought Clinton should face criminal prosecution, but was talked out of it at the last minute.  

Meanwhile, there's no doubt that the FBI's anti-Trump / pro-Clinton bias played a role in their decisions. 

And in a passage that often gets overlooked by reporters and pundits alike, IG Horowitz concluded in his final report about the Clinton email caper that the anti-Trump biases that FBI agent Strzok and bureau lawyer Lisa Page expressed in text messages may have affected their decision-making to focus more urgently on the now disproven Trump-Russia collusion allegations rather than to finish work on the former secretary of state’s email problems, an investigation code-named Midyear.

“In assessing the decision to prioritize the Russia investigation over following up on the Midyear-related investigative lead … we were particularly concerned about text messages sent by Strzok and Page that potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions they made were impacted by bias or improper considerations,” the Justice's watchdog wrote.

So the FBI’s chief lawyer originally thought Clinton should be indicted, and the bureau wrote a draft supporting the felony standard, but then walked back its decision. And agents focused more on unsubstantiated Trump collusion than Clinton emails in what the IG feared might be a sign of bias. -The Hill

And now Attorney General Bill Barr seems to be taking his sweet time formulating an answer as to what happened, and more importantly - what will come of this. We're not holding our breath. 

Published:8/22/2019 7:37:21 PM
[Markets] American Apocalypse: The Government's Plot To Destabilize The Nation Is Working

Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out ... without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable.” - H. L. Mencken

The U.S. government is working hard to destabilize the nation.

No, this is not another conspiracy theory.

Although it is certainly not far-fetched to suggest that the government might be engaged in nefarious activities that run counter to the best interests of the American people, doing so will likely brand me a domestic terrorist under the FBI’s new classification system.

Observe for yourself what is happening right before our eyes.

Domestic terrorism fueled by government entrapment schemes. Civil unrest stoked to dangerous levels by polarizing political rhetoric. A growing intolerance for dissent that challenges the government’s power grabs. Police brutality tacitly encouraged by the executive branch, conveniently overlooked by the legislatures, and granted qualified immunity by the courts. A weakening economy exacerbated by government schemes that favor none but a select few. An overt embrace of domestic surveillance tactics if Congress goes along with the Trump Administration’s request to permanently re-authorize the NSA’s de-activated call records program. Heightened foreign tensions and blowback due to the military industrial complex’s profit-driven quest to police and occupy the globe.

The seeds of chaos are being sown, and it’s the U.S. government that will reap the harvest.

Mark my words, there’s trouble brewing.

Better yet, take a look at “Megacities: Urban Future, the Emerging Complexity,” a Pentagon training video created by the Army for U.S. Special Operations Command.

The training video is only five minutes long, but it says a lot about the government’s mindset, the way its views the citizenry, and the so-called “problems” that the government must be prepared to address in the near future through the use of martial law.

Even more troubling, however, is what this military video doesn’t say about the Constitution, about the rights of the citizenry, and about the dangers of locking down the nation and using the military to address political and social problems.

The training video anticipates that all hell will break loose by 2030—that’s barely ten short years away—but the future is here ahead of schedule.

We’re already witnessing a breakdown of society on virtually every front.

By waging endless wars abroad, by bringing the instruments of war home, by transforming police into extensions of the military, by turning a free society into a suspect society, by treating American citizens like enemy combatants, by discouraging and criminalizing a free exchange of ideas, by making violence its calling card through SWAT team raids and militarized police, by fomenting division and strife among the citizenry, by acclimating the citizenry to the sights and sounds of war, and by generally making peaceful revolution all but impossible, the government has engineered an environment in which domestic violence is becoming almost inevitable.

The danger signs are screaming out a message:

The government is anticipating trouble (read: civil unrest), which is code for anything that challenges the government’s authority, wealth and power.

According to the Pentagon training video created by the Army for U.S. Special Operations Command, the U.S. government is grooming its armed forces to solve future domestic political and social problems.

What they’re really talking about is martial law, packaged as a well-meaning and overriding concern for the nation’s security.

The chilling five-minute training video, obtained by The Intercept through a FOIA request and made available online, paints an ominous picture of the future—a future the military is preparing for—bedeviled by “criminal networks,” “substandard infrastructure,” “religious and ethnic tensions,” “impoverishment, slums,” “open landfills, over-burdened sewers,” a “growing mass of unemployed,” and an urban landscape in which the prosperous economic elite must be protected from the impoverishment of the have nots.

And then comes the kicker.

Three-and-a-half minutes into the Pentagon’s dystopian vision of “a world of Robert Kaplan-esque urban hellscapes — brutal and anarchic supercities filled with gangs of youth-gone-wild, a restive underclass, criminal syndicates, and bands of malicious hackers,” the ominous voice of the narrator speaks of a need to “drain the swamps.”

Drain the swamps.

Surely, we’ve heard that phrase before?

Ah yes.

Emblazoned on t-shirts and signs, shouted at rallies, and used as a rallying cry among Trump supporters, “drain the swamp” became one of Donald Trump’s most-used campaign slogans.

Far from draining the politically corrupt swamps of Washington DC of lobbyists and special interest groups, however, the Trump Administration has further mired us in a sweltering bog of corruption and self-serving tactics.

Funny how the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Now the government has adopted its own plans for swamp-draining, only it wants to use the military to drain the swamps of futuristic urban American cities of “noncombatants and engage the remaining adversaries in high intensity conflict within.”

And who are these noncombatants, a military term that refers to civilians who are not engaged in fighting?

They are, according to the Pentagon, “adversaries.”

They are “threats.”

They are the “enemy.”

They are people who don’t support the government, people who live in fast-growing urban communities, people who may be less well-off economically than the government and corporate elite, people who engage in protests, people who are unemployed, people who engage in crime (in keeping with the government’s fast-growing, overly broad definition of what constitutes a crime).

In other words, in the eyes of the U.S. military, noncombatants are American citizens a.k.a. domestic extremists a.k.a. enemy combatants who must be identified, targeted, detained, contained and, if necessary, eliminated.

In the future imagined by the Pentagon, any walls and prisons that are built will be used to protect the societal elite—the haves—from the have-nots.

If you haven’t figured it out already, we the people are the have-nots.

Suddenly it all begins to make sense.

The events of recent years: the invasive surveillance, the extremism reports, the civil unrest, the protests, the shootings, the bombings, the military exercises and active shooter drills, the color-coded alerts and threat assessments, the fusion centers, the transformation of local police into extensions of the military, the distribution of military equipment and weapons to local police forces, the government databases containing the names of dissidents and potential troublemakers.

The government is systematically locking down the nation and shifting us into martial law.

This is how you prepare a populace to accept a police state willingly, even gratefully.

You don’t scare them by making dramatic changes. Rather, you acclimate them slowly to their prison walls.

Persuade the citizenry that their prison walls are merely intended to keep them safe and danger out. Desensitize them to violence, acclimate them to a military presence in their communities, and persuade them that there is nothing they can do to alter the seemingly hopeless trajectory of the nation.

Before long, no one will even notice the floundering economy, the blowback arising from military occupations abroad, the police shootings, the nation’s deteriorating infrastructure and all of the other mounting concerns.

It’s happening already.

The sight of police clad in body armor and gas masks, wielding semiautomatic rifles and escorting an armored vehicle through a crowded street, a scene likened to “a military patrol through a hostile city,” no longer causes alarm among the general populace.

Few seem to care about the government’s endless wars abroad that leave communities shattered, families devastated and our national security at greater risk of blowback.

The Deep State’s tactics are working.

We’ve allowed ourselves to be acclimated to the occasional lockdown of government buildings, Jade Helmmilitary drills in small towns so that special operations forces can get “realistic military training” in “hostile” territory, and  Live Active Shooter Drill training exercises, carried out at schools, in shopping malls, and on public transit, which can and do fool law enforcement officials, students, teachers and bystanders into thinking it’s a real crisis.

Still, you can’t say we weren’t warned about the government’s nefarious schemes to lock down the nation.

Back in 2008, an Army War College report revealed that “widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security.” The 44-page report went on to warn that potential causes for such civil unrest could include another terrorist attack, “unforeseen economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order, purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health emergencies, and catastrophic natural and human disasters.”

In 2009, reports by the Department of Homeland Security surfaced that labelled right-wing and left-wing activists and military veterans as extremists (a.k.a. terrorists) and called on the government to subject such targeted individuals to full-fledged pre-crime surveillance. Almost a decade later, after spending billions to fight terrorism, the DHS concluded that the greater threat is not ISIS but domestic right-wing extremism.

Meanwhile, the government has been amassing an arsenal of military weapons for use domestically and equipping and training their “troops” for war. Even government agencies with largely administrative functions such as the Food and Drug Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Smithsonian have been acquiring body armor, riot helmets and shields, cannon launchers and police firearms and ammunition. In fact, there are now at least 120,000 armed federal agents carrying such weapons who possess the power to arrest.

Rounding out this profit-driven campaign to turn American citizens into enemy combatants (and America into a battlefield) is a technology sector that has been colluding with the government to create a Big Brother that is all-knowing, all-seeing and inescapable. It’s not just the drones, fusion centers, license plate readers, stingray devices and the NSA that you have to worry about. You’re also being tracked by the black boxes in your cars, your cell phone, smart devices in your home, grocery loyalty cards, social media accounts, credit cards, streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, and e-book reader accounts.

All of this has taken place right under our noses, funded with our taxpayer dollars and carried out in broad daylight without so much as a general outcry from the citizenry.

And then you have the government’s Machiavellian schemes for unleashing all manner of dangers on an unsuspecting populace, then demanding additional powers in order to protect “we the people” from the threats.

Seriously, think about it.

The government claims to be protecting us from cyberterrorism, but who is the biggest black market buyer and stockpiler of cyberweapons (weaponized malware that can be used to hack into computer systems, spy on citizens, and destabilize vast computer networks)? The U.S. government.

The government claims to be protecting us from weapons of mass destruction, but what country has one the deadliest arsenals of weapons of mass destruction and has a history of using them on the rest of the world? The U.S. government. Indeed, which country has a history of secretly testing out dangerous weapons and technologies on its own citizens? The U.S. government.

The government claims to be protecting us from foreign armed threats, but who is the largest weapons manufacturer and exporter in the world, such that they are literally arming the world? The U.S. government. For that matter, where did ISIS get many of their deadliest weapons, including assault rifles and tanks to anti-missile defenses? From the U.S. government.

The government claims to be protecting the world from the menace of foreign strongmen, but how did Saddam Hussein build Iraq’s massive arsenal of tanks, planes, missiles, and chemical weapons during the 1980s? With help from the U.S. government. And who gave Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida “access to a fortune in covert funding and top-level combat weaponry”? The U.S. government.

The government claims to be protecting us from terrorist plots, but what country has a pattern and practice of entrapment that involves targeting vulnerable individuals, feeding them with the propaganda, know-how and weapons intended to turn them into terrorists, and then arresting them as part of an elaborately orchestrated counterterrorism sting? The U.S. government.

For that matter, the government claims to be protecting us from nuclear threats, but which is the only country to ever use a nuclear weapon in wartime? The United States.

Are you getting the picture yet?

The U.S. government isn’t protecting us from terrorism.

The U.S. government is creating the terror. It is, in fact, the source of the terror.

Just think about it for a minute: Cyberwarfare. Terrorism. Bio-chemical attacks. The nuclear arms race. Surveillance. The drug wars.

Almost every national security threat that the government has claimed greater powers in order to fight—all the while undermining the liberties of the American citizenry—has been manufactured in one way or another by the government.

Did I say Machiavellian? This is downright evil.

We’re not dealing with a government that exists to serve its people, protect their liberties and ensure their happiness. Rather, these are the diabolical machinations of a make-works program carried out on an epic scale whose only purpose is to keep the powers-that-be permanently (and profitably) employed.

It’s time to wake up and stop being deceived by government propaganda.

Mind you, by “government,” I’m not referring to the highly partisan, two-party bureaucracy of the Republicans and Democrats.

I’m referring to “government” with a capital “G,” the entrenched Deep State that is unaffected by elections, unaltered by populist movements, and has set itself beyond the reach of the law.

I’m referring to the corporatized, militarized, entrenched bureaucracy that is fully operational and staffed by unelected officials who are, in essence, running the country and calling the shots in Washington DC, no matter who sits in the White House.

Be warned: in the future envisioned by the government, we will not be viewed as Republicans or Democrats. Rather, “we the people” will be enemies of the state.

For years, the government has been warning against the dangers of domestic terrorism, erecting surveillance systems to monitor its own citizens, creating classification systems to label any viewpoints that challenge the status quo as extremist, and training law enforcement agencies to equate anyone possessing anti-government views as a domestic terrorist.

What the government failed to explain was that the domestic terrorists would be of the government’s own making, and that “we the people” would become enemy #1.

As I make clear in my book, Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we’re already enemies of the state.

You want to change things? Start by rejecting the political labels and the polarizing rhetoric and the “us vs. them” tactics that reduce the mass power of the populace to puny, powerless factions.

Find common ground with your fellow citizens and push back against the government’s brutality, inhumanity, greed, corruption and power grabs.

Be dangerous in the best way possible: by thinking for yourself, by refusing to be silenced, by choosing sensible solutions over political expediency and bureaucracy.

When all is said and done, the solution to what ails this country is really not that complicated: decency, compassion, common sense, generosity balanced by fiscal responsibility, fairness, a commitment to freedom principles, and a firm rejection of the craven, partisan politics of the Beltway elites who have laid the groundwork for the government’s authoritarian coup d’etat.

Let the revolution begin.

Published:8/21/2019 10:58:18 PM
[Markets] JPMorgan Spoofer Pleads Guilty To Gold Manipulation, Faces 11 Years In Jail

There was a time when the merest mention of gold manipulation in "reputable" media was enough to have one branded a perpetual conspiracy theorist with a tinfoil farm out back. That was roughly coincident with a time when Libor, FX, mortgage, and bond market manipulation was also considered unthinkable, when High Frequency Traders were believed to "provide liquidity", when the stock market was said to not be manipulated by the Fed, and when the ever-confused media, always eager to take "complicated" financial concepts at the face value set by a self-serving establishment, never dared to question anything.

All that changed last November when a former JPMorgan precious-metals trader admitted he engaged in a six-year spoofing scheme that defrauded investors in gold, silver, platinum, and palladium futures contracts. John Edmonds, then 36, pled guilty under seal in the District of Connecticut to commodities fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, commodities price manipulation, and spoofing. As FBI Assistant Director in Charge Sweeney explained that "with his guilty plea, Edmonds admitted he intended to introduce materially false and misleading information into the commodities markets."

“The Criminal Division is committed to prosecuting those who undermine the investing public’s trust in the integrity of our commodities markets through spoofing or any other illegal conduct.”

“By conspiring with his trading partners to place spoof orders, he blatantly attempted to profit off of an unfair market that he helped create.  The FBI will continue to work with our partners to insure financial markets remain a level playing field for all investors."

Then, one month ago, Corey Flaum, who worked as a trader at Bear Stearns and Bank of Nova Scotia, also admitted to precious metals manipulation, saying he placed thousands of bogus orders for futures contracts over a nine-year period.

Now it's #3.

Christiaan Trunz, another former JPMorgan metals trader, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to conspiracy and to manipulating prices in the precious-metals market as part of the U.S. government’s continuing crackdown on bogus spoofing trades.

Trunz, 34, admitted during a hearing in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, that he also used spoofing to manipulate precious metal prices and to extract a profit while he worked at Bear Stearns and at JPMorgan between 2007 to 2016. He pleaded guilty to in connection with a specific spoofing incident in June 2016.

While Trunz could face a maximum prison term of as long as 135 months when U.S. District Judge Pamela Chen sentences him in February, he will likely get away with a fine and a warning never to rig the precious metals market again.

As we discussed last November, this is how Edmonds and his fellow precious metals traders at the Bank - one of whom would turn out to be Trunz - spoofed the market :

This trading strategy was admittedly intended to inject materially false and misleading liquidity and price information into the precious metals futures contracts markets by placing the Spoof Orders in order to deceive other market participants about the existence of supply and demand. 

The Spoof Orders were designed to artificially move the price of precious metals futures contracts in a direction that was favorable to Edmonds and his co-conspirators at the Bank, to the detriment of other market participants. 

In pleading guilty, Edmonds admitted that he learned this deceptive trading strategy from more senior traders at the Bank, and he personally deployed this strategy hundreds of times with the knowledge and consent of his immediate supervisors.

Justice describes one such 'spoof' that occurred on October 12, 2012

"Edmonds knowingly executed the scheme and artifice by transmitting and causing to be transmitted to a CME Group server an offer to sell approximately 402 silver futures contracts ("Spoof Order"), with the intent, at the time the offer was entered, to cancel the offer before it could be executed, which fraudulently represented the state of the market, so that Edmonds could purchase approximately 6 silver futures contracts at a below-market price.

Edmond's 'Spoof Order' caused other market participants to react and trade at prices, quantities, and times at which they otherwise would not have traded, but for EDMONDS's Spoof Order."

 

It's not like 'manipulation' ever stopped however - one glance at the 'odd' price action almost every day around the time of the London Fix makes it clear, it is anything but a 'normal' market:

We'll give  U.S. Attorney Durham the last word (bearing the chart above in mind):

“The investigation of deceptive trading practices by others involved in this scheme is ongoing.”

The DoJ ends its statement with the following: "Individuals who believe that they may be a victim in these cases should visit the Fraud Section’s Victim Witness website for more information. "

Published:8/20/2019 12:48:46 PM
[2019 News] ‘Early buzz’ on report: Obama’s FBI willfully misled FISA court to commit ‘political surveillance’ of Trump ‘Early buzz’ on report: Obama’s FBI willfully misled FISA court to commit ‘political surveillance’ of Trump. Another day another ‘deadline’ missed for Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s final report.  Every week it’s “going to be released” according to this or that source. Now it’s pushed back to “late September or early October.” At this point we’ll […] Published:8/20/2019 9:48:14 AM
[Markets] Krieger: Believing Jeffrey Epstein Committed Suicide Is The Real Conspiracy Theory

Authored by Michael Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Is a murder committed more heinous than a suicide allowed? In its act, sure. In this context? NO.

An “unlucky accident” like this is the ONE THING that a non-corrupt State must prevent. It’s the non-corrupt State’s ONE JOB to keep Epstein alive for trial, and everyone knows that everyone knows this is their ONE JOB.

It is impossible to violate this common knowledge without premeditation and malice, without conspiracy and criminality aforethought. It is impossible to have an “unlucky accident” like this in a non-corrupt State.

– Ben Hunt, I’m a Superstitious Man

It’s entirely fitting that the death of Jeffrey Epstein is as disturbing, shady, bizarre and seemingly inexplicable as the rest of his life. It seems as if one could research this wretched man’s time on earth for years and still come up with more questions than answers. An unfortunate reality complicated by the fact we don’t have a mass media particularly interested in asking any of the big questions, such as:

  • Where is Ghislaine Maxwell? Why isn’t she in custody and was she a Mossad spy like her late father Robert Maxwell?

  • Explain the details of the relationship between Leslie Wexner and Jeffrey Epstein? Why does it seem as if Wexner helped set Epstein up with the appearance of extraordinary wealth, yet no one seems to know how Epstein actually came into all his money?

It appears sexually abusing children and accumulating associated blackmail on the rich and powerful was a full-time job for Epstein, so who was actually bankrolling/overseeing this operation? Was it Wexner, somebody else, or was it an intelligence agency as Alex Acosta claims he was told? Seems kind of important to get to the bottom of this.

I could go on and on, but then this would become a book. Rather, the purpose of this post is to highlight the outlandishness surrounding many of the details (or lack thereof) surrounding Epstein’s death a week ago in a Department of Justice operated New York City prison.

Indeed, what you’d have to believe in order to think this was a simple suicide is the actual conspiracy theory. 

Let’s begin with the initial attack, which happened three weeks before his death.

The Initial Attack

As everybody knows, on July 23, Jeffrey Epstein was found in a fetal position, semi-conscious, on the floor of his cell with neck injuries. His cellmate at the time was Nicholas Tartaglione, a former New York police officer who was arrested in December 2016 on charges of killing four men in a drug distribution conspiracy.

There was a giant haze surrounding this incident up until the moment of Epstein’s death, with everyone unsure whether he was attacked or if it was a suicide attempt. According to a report by NBC News, Tartaglione was subsequently cleared the day before Epstein was found dead. I suppose that means the initial attack was belatedly ruled a suicide attempt, but why did it take so long to figure that out? It took far less time to rule Epstein’s suspicious death a suicide.

Circumstances at the Prison Surrounding the Death

Either the stars all aligned perfectly for the most important prisoner in America to kill himself on that day, or he was somehow murdered to shield an extensive list of some of the most wealthy and powerful people on earth. Decide for yourself.

– One of Epstein’s Guards Was Not a Corrections Officer

The AP reported:

A person familiar with operations at the federal jail where Jeffrey Epstein killed himself says one of the two people guarding him the night he died wasn’t a correctional officer.

The person wasn’t authorized to disclose information about the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The person said Epstein hanged himself with a bedsheet, days after being taken off a suicide watch.

Federal prisons facing shortages of fully trained guards have resorted to having other types of support staff fill in for correctional officers, including clerical workers and teachers.

– Both of the Guards Fell Asleep at the Exact Same Time Giving Epstein a Chance to Die

Guards were supposed to have checked on Epstein every 30 minutes, but rather both of them fell asleep for 3 hours during the window of Epstein’s death.

Via Business Insider:

The two prison guards assigned to monitor Jeffrey Epstein in a high-security jail fell asleep for three hours, the night he died of an apparent suicide, The New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed officials…

According to reports, there were multiple breaches in protocol regarding the supervision of Epstein: prison guards were required to check on Epstein every 30 minutes, which they failed to do, officials told The Times, and Epstein was being housed alone after his cellmate was transferred and was not replaced.

– Epstein Guards Suspected of Falsifying Logs

AP reports:

A person familiar with the probe of Jeffrey Epstein’s death at a federal jail says guards are suspected of falsifying log entries to show they were checking on inmates in his unit every half hour, when they actually weren’t.

– Key People at the Prison Are Not Cooperating with the FBI

CNN reports

Even top officials in the department have been frustrated by their inability to get some answers from the prison, in part because initial answers turned out to be inaccurate in some cases…

The FBI probe is complicated by the fact that key people involved aren’t cooperating, people briefed on the matter say.

– Epstein Was Taken off Suicide Watch Less Than a Week After His Initial Suicide Attempt

New York Magazine reports:

Epstein was taken off of suicide watch on July 29 and returned to the MCC’s special housing unit after a psychiatric evaluation determined he was no longer at risk of harming himself. The Wall Street Journal reported that Epstein’s lawyers had requested he be removed from suicide watch.

– Epstein’s Cellmate Was Removed the Day Before Epstein Died

This makes no sense, unless you’re trying to create the perfect conditions for Epstein to die.

Via CNN:

In one instance over the weekend, officials believed the former Epstein cellmate had been released on bail. But it turns out he had been moved to another facility, one person briefed on the matter said. One of the first tasks for FBI agents this week was interviewing that former cellmate, who could provide information on Epstein’s behavior in the days before his suicide.

Who was Epstein’s cellmate before he died? After the first incident, it was revealed almost immediately who his cellmate was, but there’s been little to no details about the second cellmate. Who was he and what does he have to say?

Details Surrounding the Death Itself

– Epstein Hung Himself from a Bunkbed 

Via The Washington Post:

Epstein, 66, was found in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan on Saturday morning, and an official said he hanged himself with a bedsheet attached to the top of a bunk bed. Epstein was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The bunkbed was conveniently available due to the fact his cellmate was inexplicably moved a day before.

– Epstein Suffered Multiple Breaks in His Neck Bones, Which Is More Common in Homicides

Also via The Washington Post:

An autopsy found that financier Jeffrey Epstein suffered multiple breaks in his neck bones, according to two people familiar with the findings, deepening the mystery about the circumstances around his death.

Among the bones broken in Epstein’s neck was the hyoid bone, which in men is near the Adam’s apple. Such breaks can occur in those who hang themselves, particularly if they are older, according to forensics experts and studies on the subject. But they are more common in victims of homicide by strangulation, the experts said.

– Little to No Details About Prison Camera Footage 

I assume some narrative will emerge here, but it’s already been too long for my comfort. We had all sorts of details emerge in the days following Epstein’s death, but almost nothing regarding the crucial hallway camera footage in the prison. This is something investigators would likely check immediately so why didn’t they, or if they did, why is it taking so long to inform the public?

Even Epstein’s lawyers seem confused as to whether the video footage exists.

Here is part of a statement from Epstein’s attorneys via NBC News:

“It is indisputable that the authorities violated their own protocols. The defense team fully intends to conduct its own independent and complete investigation into the circumstances and cause of Mr. Epstein’s death including if necessary legal action to view the pivotal videos — if they exist as they should — of the area proximate to Mr. Epstein’s cell during the time period leading to his death.”

Finally, it’s worth pointing out that the NYC Medical Examiners Office, which ruled Epstein’s death a suicide, has a pretty sordid history.

Check out the following from a 2014 New York Post article, Lost Bodies, Wasted Money: Inside NYC’s Medical Examiner’s Office

The city Medical Examiner’s Office is a mess — plagued with errors, including bodies being lostmistakenly cremated or wrongly donated to science — while millions of taxpayer dollars have been spent on plans and equipment useful only in a mass disaster…

Meanwhile, insiders say ME chiefs, caught up in the glamor of disaster, neglect the agency’s primary mission.

“They can’t take care of day-to-day business. They play war games,” one said.

The ME’s Office, with 625 employees and a $63.6 million budget, has a history of criminality, waste and incompetence.

The ME’s former chief of management information systems, Natarajan “Raju” Venkataram, and his co-worker girlfriend, Rosa Abreu, were busted in 2005 for embezzling more than $9?million from a $11.4 million FEMA grant meant to track and identify remains of 9/11 victims.

And bosses take lavish taxpayer-funded trips to conferences and symposiums.

Frank DePaolo, assistant commissioner for emergency management, has traveled to Las Vegas, the Hague, Hong Kong and Israel. Chief of Staff Barbara Butcher has gone to Croatia and Thailand…

The number of investigators, who examine bodies at death scenes, was slashed from about 40 to 20, among other cuts, they said.

“We’re told to do more with less, but the work is suffering,” one said.

Here’s some more while we’re at it:

If after everything I’ve highlighted, you still believe this was a simple suicide that’s fine. Anything is possible, but it really doesn’t matter. Even if it was mere incompetence that allowed a suicide to occur, this still demonstrates without a shadow of a doubt that the federal government is incapable or unwilling to protect the public.

The Epstein case was and remains a matter of extreme public interest since this was a man who systematically sexually abused and trafficked children while closely associating with, and collecting blackmail on, a large slew of the most wealthy and powerful people on the planet. If the government can’t protect you from that, and it most certainly went out of its way to deny justice for this criminal over decades including within prison itself, then you can’t trust the government for anything. As such, whenever the feds claim they’re doing something extreme to protect you, whether it’s mass surveillance or encryption backdoors, you can be 100% sure it is a giant heap of stinking bullshit.

The narrative now being formed is that it was all just a lot of incompetence. That the guards were tired and overworked. We’re also being told that it’s normal for an inmate on suicide watch to come off after a few days, but Jeffrey Epstein was not a normal inmate. Epstein and the people around him belong to a class I refer to as super predators, which are the most dangerous predators in society because their elite connections allow them to get away with anything and everything.

It’s become completely clear that rather than stopping such people and their criminal rings, the U.S. government protects them and ensures no justice is ever served upon them, even up to their last breath.

Our government isn’t there to protect us, save us or dispense any justice. Instead, it seemingly exists to protect, serve and encourage the elite criminal rings operating around us in plain sight, whether it’s bank CEOs or pedophile sex traffickers with apparent intelligence links.

We are truly ruled by gangsters.

*  *  *

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Published:8/19/2019 10:23:41 PM
[Markets] Epstein Created $577 Million Trust Days Before His Death

Two days before his untimely death in a Manhattan jail, Jeffrey Epstein signed a will listing over $577 million in assets - around $18 million more than stated weeks ago in court filings. 

The assets were transferred to a trust as of August 8, ensuring that the details of how his fortune will be distributed are kept private. 

Epstein listed his brother Mark as the lone heir and his longtime lawyer Darren Indyke and close friend Richard Kahn as executors, according to the New York Post, which obtained a copy of the will and trust filed in the US Virgin Islands. 

That said, the document states that Mark only gets something if Jeffrey hadn't created the will. 

What's more, Epstein's heirs will have to split up whatever is left after a spate of accusers filed lawsuits against his estate. 

"It’s pretty boiler-plate — it’s what we call a ‘pour-over will," (embedded below) an estate planning lawyer told the Post, adding "It’s done that way for privacy reasons."

"What is more unusual is the date, the fact that all of this was done just days before he died," said the Post's anonymous source. "He probably knew he was going to take his own life" or may have thought "he could have been murdered in jail. He could have thought, ‘I need to get my ducks in a row.’"

Epstein's personal property is broken down as follows (via the Daily Mail): 

Once Epstein's other assets are factored in, his estate is likely to exceed $600 million. 

A few of those assets were noted in a court filing submitted by prosecutors for the Southern District of New York last month.

'After conferring with law enforcement agents who have reviewed the materials from the safe, the Government has learned that the safe contained more than $70,000 in cash,' read a filing by prosecutors arguing against granting Epstein bail.

'In addition, the safe contained 48 loose diamond stones, ranging in size from approximately 1 carat to 2.38 carats, as well as a large diamond ring.'

It then noted: 'The Government is currently unaware of whether the defendant maintains similar stashes of cash and/or jewels at his multiple properties, or in other locations. Such ready cash and loose diamonds are consistent with the capability to leave the jurisdiction at a moment’s notice.' -Daily Mail

Epstein's last days

According to the New York Times' Ali Watkins (of letting that now-fired Senate security guy bang her for scoops fame), Danielle Ivory and Christina Goldbaum - the wealthy pedophile was trying to game the system until his dying breath, which was ruled a suicide.

Jeffrey Epstein, inmate 76318-054, hated his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center. It was cramped, dank and infested with vermin, so Mr. Epstein, long accustomed to using his wealth to play by his own rules, devised a way out.

He paid numerous lawyers to visit the jail for as many as 12 hours a day, giving him the right to see them in a private meeting room. Mr. Epstein was there for so long that he often appeared bored, sitting in silence with his lawyers, according to people who saw the meetings. While they were there, he and his entourage regularly emptied the two vending machines of drinks and snacks.

It was shift work, all designed by someone who had infinite resources to try and get as much comfort as possible,” said a lawyer who was often in the jail visiting clients. -New York Times

Meanwhile, Epstein bought off other inmates by depositing money in their commissary accounts, according to the report. 

He also seldom bathed and remained unkempt according to the Times - except photos of Epstein from the day he died revealed a shaved mustache, so chalk that one up to fake news or a fake Epstein - take your pick. 

Epstein's photo from New York State Sex Offender Registry

The night of Epstein's death, there were 18 workers guarding the Manhattan Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC), which holds around 750 inmates. Ten of those workers were clocking overtime, and one post was vacant according to records. 

On 9 South, the special unit where Mr. Epstein was housed, there were two guards, one of whom was a former correctional officer who had volunteered for duty.

The two guards were supposed to check on Mr. Epstein every 30 minutes, but failed to do so for about three hours. At some point, the guards fell asleep, according to two Bureau of Prisons officials.

By the next morning, Mr. Epstein, 66, was dead. At 6:30 a.m., at least one of the guards discovered him in his cell, unresponsive and tinged blue, after he had hanged himself with a jail bedsheet, a prison official and a law enforcement official said. -New York Times

Once Epstein was discovered, a worker hit an body-worn alarm. Staff cut the sheets Epstein reportedly used to hang himself and attempted to administer CPR according to prison officials, however he was pronounced dead an hour later. 

Published:8/19/2019 6:14:07 PM
[Markets] Trump: Google Should Be "Sued" For Manipulating Election In Favor Of Hillary

President Trump tweeted Monday morning that Google parent Alphabet should be "sued" for artificially inflating the number of Hillary Clinton supporters from 2.6 million to 16 million - though he doesn't offer much context for the information.

The Tweet took some of the wind out of Alphabet's sails on a day where markets were broadly recovering.

Shortly before Trump's tweet, JW's head Tom Fitton tweeted about the organization's latest document dump after it obtained more documents on what the FBI knew about Bruce Ohr, his wide Nelly Ohr, and their relationship with the Ohr's.

Published:8/19/2019 11:13:34 AM
[Markets] Man Accused Of Placing Fake Subway Rice Cooker Bombs Held On $200,000 Bail

The West Virginia man who allegedly intentionally created a bomb scare on the NYC subway - one of the busiest, and poorest functioning mass transit hubs in the country - will be held on $200,000 bond following his arrest and Sunday arraignment, the NY Post reports.

Larry Griffin II, 26, is suspected of placing a pair of rice cookers in the Fulton Street subway station Friday. The incident occurred  at a time of heightened tensions, following a weekend of mass shootings,  and a motorcycle backfire in Times Square that nearly set off a panic.

Griffin was charged with two felonies: making a false bomb and placing of a false bomb for the incident, which led NYPD to temporarily shut down the busy Fulton Street subway station Friday, one of the hubs of transportation in lower Manhattan. He was also charged as a fugitive: Though the Manhattan DA didn't answer questions about  this.

Police later realized they weren't bombs.

The NYPD said it had no details about that case, and the FBI did not immediately respond to inquiries.

Griffin has an ongoing criminal case in West Virginia for allegedly sending a bestiality video to a minor. His lawyer didn't comment about that to the New York press.

Published:8/19/2019 5:10:36 AM
[Markets] "The Southern Poverty Law Center Is A Hate-Based Scam That Nearly Caused Me To Be Murdered"

Authored by Jessica Prol Smith, op-ed via USAToday.com,

After internal challenges with discrimination, the Southern Poverty Law Center can't call itself an arbiter of justice.

I’ll never forget the moment I learned we were on lockdown. It was Aug.15, 2012. My frustration mingled with fear. Trapped on the sixth floor, we knew someone had been shot. We knew we couldn’t leave yet. We knew little else.

While I was missing lunch, a crime scene played out in the office lobby below me. My coworker and friend Leo wasn’t armed, but he’d played the quick-thinking and inadvertent hero, disarming a young man on a mission to kill me and as many of my colleagues as possible. The gunman had packed his backpack with ammo and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches — later admitting that he’d planned to smear them on our lifeless faces as a political statement. Leo took a bullet in the arm but managed to disarm and hold the attacker until law enforcement arrived.

I wrote and edited for the Family Research Council, a public advocacy organization that promoted the principles I’d cared about since childhood: protecting the family, promoting the dignity of every human life and advocating for religious liberty. It reads like a tagline, but it’s also just what I believed and the way I chose to match my career with my convictions.

I never expected that everyone would celebrate or share my beliefs. But I did expect to be able to discuss and debate these differences without becoming a political target in an act of terrorism, the first conviction under Washington, D.C.’s 2002 Anti-Terrorism Act.

It was the type of violent incident that one could expect a group that purportedly monitors “hate,” like the Southern Poverty Law Center, to notice, research, and decry. In fact, we were on the center’s radar but for all the wrong reasons. The assailant acknowledged later in FBI testimony that he had selected our office precisely because the SPLC had labeled my employer a “hate group.”

It’s always been easier to smear people rather than wrestle with their ideas. It’s a bully who calls names and spreads lies rather than thoroughly reading a brief’s legal arguments or challenging the rationale underlying a policy proposal. The SPLC has chosen to take the easy path — to intimidate and mislead for raw political power and financial benefit.

For years, former employees revealed, local journalists reported and commentatorshave lamented: the Southern Poverty Law Center is not what it claims to be. Not a pure-hearted, clear-headed legal advocate for the vulnerable, but rather an obscenely wealthy marketing scheme. For years, the left-wing interest group has used its “hate group” list to promote the fiction that violent Neo-Nazis and Christian nonprofits peacefully promoting orthodox beliefs about marriage and sex are indistinguishable. Sometimes, it’s apologized to public figures; it’s smeared and recently paid out millions to settle a threatened defamation lawsuit.

The SPLC has its own troubles

These shameful secrets are no longer hidden in shadows. The New York TimesPoliticoNPR and a host of other mainstream publications are reporting on the corruption and widening credibility gap. The SPLC dismissed its co-founder, and its president resigned amidst numerous claims of sexual harassment, gender discrimination and racism within the organization — a parade of disgraces that vividly force the conclusion: The SPLC is hollow, rotten and failing at the very virtues it pretends to celebrate.

The criticism comes from many corners. There’s theCurrent Affairs editor who seems sympathetic to the center’s progressive mission but decries its “hate group” list as an “outright fraud” and a “willful deception designed to scare older liberals into writing checks to the SPLC.” 

There’s the retired investigative journalist who helped research and write an eight-part series on the center’s “litany of problems and questionable practices” in the mid-1990s. His Washington Post opinion piece reads with a thinly-veiled message: We nearly got a Pulitzer Prize for TELLING YOU SO. 

But perhaps most damning of all are the indictments leveled by former employee Bob Moser in The New Yorker. He remembers being welcomed to the “Poverty Palace” and recounts the heart-sinking reality of it all — being “pawns” in a “highly profitable scam.”

Jobs and years have passed, and I work now for Alliance Defending Freedom. ADF ranks among “the top performing firm(s]" litigating First Amendment cases, the “Christian legal powerhouse that keeps winning at the Supreme Court.” And yes, my new employer has also attracted one of the SPLC’s spurious hate labels. The label easily peels and fades away when one actually does the research and listens to truth before deciding to troll.

I won't be intimidated by the SPLC 

If the SPLC thought that their hate would intimidate or silence me and my colleagues, they’re sadly mistaken. I’m lucky — blessed, really — that I didn’t take a bullet for my beliefs back in 2012. But the center’s ugly slander and the gunman’s misguided attack have sharpened my resolve and deepened my faith in my Savior, who commands my destiny and shields me from the schemes of man. The same is true for my colleagues.

Fifty-one years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., fell to an assassin’s bullet. The SPLC pretends to carry his legacy but weaponizes hate labels instead. Unlike SPLC's name-calling, Dr. King’s words and vision stand the test of time. “Injustice anywhere,” he warned, “is a threat to justice everywhere.”

The SPLC, as an institution, has thoroughly disqualified itself as an arbiter of justice. But this country would be a better place if the center’s donors, lawyers and friends would truly believe and apply Dr. King’s legacy — his peaceful pursuit of justice and his love of neighbor.

Published:8/18/2019 8:39:05 PM
[Markets] Former CIA Spook: "Russian Hoax Coup & Epstein Are Interlocked"

Via Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com,

Former CIA Officer and whistleblower Kevin Shipp says the Russian hoax and attempted coup of President Trump and the sex trafficking case against Jeffery Epstein are linked together by the same Deep State players.

Shipp explains, “The FBI has completely raided his vault, and they have some pretty damning material..."

"I don’t know why it took so long, but they have raided Epstein’s island... So, there is a lot of damning information the FBI has now on certain people. At the top of the list, and the one who flew the most, was Bill Clinton. Then he lied about it. They are intertwined in that regard and with the Clinton Foundation that we know is a fraud. It is known around the world, and you’ve got these two intersections with Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Of course, Hillary Clinton is tied to the dossier in an attempt to get rid of Donald Trump. So, these webs interlocked with each other, and these people interlock with each other. Welcome to the global elite. Welcome to human trafficking. These things are connected, and with Epstein dead, there are a lot of prominent people breathing a sigh of relief—for now. Is Barr aggressive enough? He says he is going to pursue this case anyway. Is he going to call in the people seen on the CD’s, videos and photographs? That remains to be seen.”

On Epstein’s officially ruled suicide while in prison, Shipp says, “Epstein tries to commit ‘suicide,’ and his cellmate, a four-time convicted murderer, said he didn’t see (or hear) it because he had his headphones on. Attorney General William Barr was in charge of the safety of Jeffery Epstein. There should have been an entire contingent of U.S. Marshals to protect this huge witness, but there were none... Why is that? ..."

"It is just unbelievable how they left this huge witness to die in prison. The prison guards were off, as we know. The cameras were not functioning. He was taken off of suicide watch and on and on we go. There are so many things that add up to this not being a suicide that it is remarkable. . . ...

We are all still hoping that Attorney General Barr will do his job and people are charged, but this is starting to bother me a little bit. A major witness that was connected to high level people in government and finance was left alone to die in prison, and I think he was murdered. This was all left to happen by William Barr. The pieces to this just don’t add up...

We’ve got so many strange things going on here that do not add up, and Attorney General Barr is ultimately responsible for this happening.”

Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with former CIA Officer and author of the top selling book about the Deep State called “From the Company of Shadows.

*  *  *

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Published:8/18/2019 7:38:16 PM
[In The News] Lindsey Graham: FISA Abuse Report Will Be ‘Ugly And Damning’ For DOJ, FBI

By Chuck Ross -

Lindsey Graham slams democrats for unethical behavior -4

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said he expects the inspector general’s report into FBI surveillance of the Trump campaign will be “ugly and damning” for the agency and the Department of Justice. In an interview on Fox News, Graham also said that he wants to find out what role the ...

Lindsey Graham: FISA Abuse Report Will Be ‘Ugly And Damning’ For DOJ, FBI 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:8/18/2019 3:38:52 PM
[In The News] FBI: Marijuana Legalization Leading to Increase in Public Corruption

By R. Mitchell -

The FBI says that public corruption is on the increase in states that have legalized marijuana. “As an increasing number of states change their marijuana legislation, the FBI is seeing a public corruption threat emerge in the expanding cannabis industry,” Department of Justice Public Affairs Specialist Mollie Halpern said during ...

FBI: Marijuana Legalization Leading to Increase in Public Corruption 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:8/18/2019 8:10:49 AM
[Markets] It Took A Billionaire Pedophile To Die In Jail For Media To Finally Report On Elite Child Sex Trafficking

Authored by Matt Agorist via The Free Thought Project,

Adult and child sex trafficking is an unfortunate and horrifying reality that plagues countries around the world—including the United States. As TFTP has reported, people have been arrested attempting to purchase children as young as three-months-old to abuse them, including police officers. Even former child sex slaves have come forward to tell their stories and provide insight into the elite sickos who have the money and resources to deal in the lives of children. This has been ongoing for decades, yet the media and Americans alike, have largely ignored it, until now.

The arrest of Jeffery Epstein and his subsequent demise in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York has catapulted the massive problem of elite child sex trafficking into the limelight. Naturally, politicians on both sides — including the president — are attempting to use Epstein’s death for political advantage which has skewed the discourse. However, for the first time, Americans are actually talking about the problem of child sexual abuse among the elite, and this is healthy.

While some Americans are hearing Epstein’s name for the first time, TFTP has been reporting on his special treatment and ties to the elite for years. The child trafficking scandal doesn’t stop at the White House either, it crosses the pond and implicates the royal family too. Last year, a photo of the Queen’s son, Prince Andrew, surfaced as evidence during legal proceedings, showing him with his arm around one of the underage victims.

Epstein is a convicted child molester and sexually abused no less than 40 underage girls. Despite this fact, Alexander Acosta protected him while serving as a U.S. Attorney in Florida. After letting an admitted pedophile off with a wrist slap, instead of being fired, Acosta was then appointed to Trump’s labor secretary in 2017 before resigning last month amid the Epstein controversy.

Instead of going to prison for life, as he should’ve considering the evidence against him, Epstein only got 13 months and was allowed to stay in the Palm Beach County Jail in his own private cell where he was allowed to leave the prison six days a week for “work release”.

Epstein was forced to register as a sex offender for life, but with his money and his connections he wasn’t too bothered—until last month.

Despite the left and the right pitting Epstein against their political foes, this pedophile was tied to all sides of the political spectrum.

As a report in the Miami Herald noted:

The eccentric hedge fund manager, whose friends included former President Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Prince Andrew, was also suspected of trafficking minor girls, often from overseas, for sex parties at his other homes in Manhattan, New Mexico and the Caribbean, FBI and court records show.

However, he was never held accountable until last month - only after his victims and dedicated reporters pushed for justice for nearly a decade.

Now, as a tornado of conspiracy theories over Epstein’s death continues to travel across the internet like wildfire, the media can no longer ignore the problem, nor Epstein’s connections.

Maybe now, as the DOJ investigates, the media may start to actually report on this massive problem. This is not the first time high profile figures have been arrested for sick crimes against children and let off with a wrist slap, but it is the first time the media is giving it so much attention—because this sicko is now dead.

As TFTP reported, in April of 2016, Dennis Hastert, former Speaker of the House under Clinton and Bush — and admitted child rapist — was sentenced to 15 months in prison after he was caught paying his victims to keep quiet. However, he was released in 2017 — two months before finishing his already insultingly lenient sentence.

Hastert was sentenced, not for raping children, but for illegally structuring bank transactions in an effort to cover up his sexual abuse of young boys.

Just like Epstein, Hastert was an admitted serial child rapist, yet because he is a well-connected politician and former Speaker of the House, this vile man’s victims received no justice. In fact, Hastert attempted to sue his victims for speaking out after he paid them to stay silent about their abuse.

As TFTP has reported, Washington D.C. not only protects sex abusers but they use your tax dollars to silence their victims. Sadly, most people ignore at least half of all the abuse because blowhards in the media try to turn sex abuse into a partisan issue. Those on the left ignore the crimes of their party, just like those on the right claim sex abuse is a liberal issue. But as we’ve shown, there is no difference between a blue child rapist and a red one.

As the Free Thought Project has previously reported, the problem of child sex trafficking goes all the way to the top in the UK as well. Sir Edward Heath, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was found by the police chief to be a pedophile. Just like what happens in the US, his vile crimes against children were allegedly ‘covered up by the establishment.’

Unfortunately, pedophilia and human trafficking is all too common among those in power. Sadly, however, those who attempt to draw attention to this problem are labeled as conspiracy nuts or perpetrators of fake news. Hopefully, as the truth comes out in regard to Jeffrey Epstein, the establishment will have a harder time protecting society’s worst.

Published:8/17/2019 7:33:06 PM
[Markets] Portland Braces For Violent Clashes Between Antifa And Proud Boys; Trump Puts Mayor On Notice

Portland, Oregon is preparing for more violence between the right-wing group Proud Boys and leftists from Antifa - a group of black-clad left-wing extremists who have instigated several bloody brawls with conservatives. 

Police learned of the unlicensed protest and the Antifa counter-protest by monitoring social media, according to NBC News, which notes that based on what has been observed, there is concern over possible violence (where masked 100lb basement-dwelling Antifa soy boys get knocked into the next dimension). 

In recent years, Portland has become a magnet for protests, some of them turning ugly. Several groups from the far-left and far-right said they will converge in the city's downtown. Police said its nearly 1,000 member force will be on duty.

"We recognize these events can cause alarm, anxiety and even fear for certain members of our community," said Lieutenant Tina Jones. -NBC News

Last year: 

In a Saturday tweet, President Trump put Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler on notice. 

"Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an “ORGANIZATION OF TERROR.” Portland is being watched very closely. Hopefully the Mayor will be able to properly do his job!"

"I think they come to Portland because it gives them a platform," said Wheeler of why right-wing groups are protesting in Portland. "They know that if they come here conflict is almost guaranteed."

In 2017, a riot between the groups left the city with shattered windows and other property destruction.

"It's sad to me because I think that a lot of people that come here to protest don't actually live here or share a lot of values that I believe Portland stands for," said resident Drew Edwards. 

The FBI will be on scene out of an abundance of caution, reports NBC

 

Published:8/17/2019 1:01:42 PM
[Markets] Cover Up? Epstein Shipped $100K Cement Mixer To 'Pedo Island' Weeks Before Crushing Exposé

Approximately three weeks before a series of damning articles hit in the Miami Herald, Jeffrey Epstein paid up front to have a $100,000 cement mixer express-shipped to his infamous Little St. James 'pedo island' at great expense, according to the Daily Mail

The pedophile, who was found dead by apparent suicide on Saturday while awaiting trial for sex trafficking, got the Carmix 5.5 XL self loading concrete mixer delivered to Little St. James on November 7 last year.

Epstein was in such a hurry that he paid for the machine up front so it would arrive sooner - even though it meant being responsible if it got damaged in transit.

Three weeks later the Miami Herald published a series of articles called 'Perversion of Justice' on November 28, which eventually led to Epstein being arrested in July.

Shipping experts told DailyMailTV that the possibility that it was 'used to literally cover up evidence cannot be discounted'. -Daily Mail

The mixer can be seen in a drone video taken by YouTube user Rusty Shackleford. It appears buried in a storage warehouse behind some other equipment, however its barrel drum and other distinctive features can be made out. 

While Epstein's extensive construction on the island is no secret, the timing of the cement mixer shipment - and the fact that it was express shipped, raises suspicion. 

"While the purchase of the cement mixer on its own is not suspicious, particularly given the reported and approved repair of cisterns on Little St. James, both the timing of the shipment and the fact that it's the only item in our records shipped with an express bill of lading do raise concerns," said shipping data analyst William George. 

"The shipment arrived Epstein's island on November 7th of 2018, 21 days before Julie Brown's expose was published in the Miami Herald and 23 days before Epstein allegedly began to try to pay off witnesses. Considering both the scope of Brown's article and the urgency of the shipment, the possibility that the cement mixer was used to literally cover up evidence cannot be discounted.

Many have speculated that Epstein had underground tunnels or facilities on his island, while the drone footage reveals what appear to be several hill-side doors. 

The Mail also notes that Epstein had a complete dentist's chair shipped to the island, while many have observed from Shackleford's videos that Epstein had an ambulance as well - which seems odd for such a small island with no known medical facilities. 

Perhaps due to the heat on from the Miami Herald reports, which Manhattan police said was instrumental in their investigation, Epstein sold his infamous 'lolita express' Boeing 727-200 just weeks before his arrest according to court filings.  

Epstein, who was arrested on July 6 after returning from Paris on his Gulfstream G550 per Bloombergsold "the other jet" in June, 2019 - prior to his arrest

On other words, it looks like the financier unloaded the potentially 'evidence-rich' aircraft - said to have had a bed installed where passengers reportedly had group sex with young girls - right before the hammer came down. 

According to investigative journalist Conchita Sarnoff - who first revealed the former president's extensive flights on Epstein's "lolita express" in a 2010 Daily Beast exposé - former president Bill Clinton flew on the 'lolita express' no fewer than 27 times. 

Via Radar Online

Clinton claimed in a July statement that he only took "a total of four trips on Jeffrey Epstein's airplane" in 2002 and 2003, and that Secret Service accompanied him at all times - which Sarnoff told Fox News was a total lie

On Monday, the FBI and NYPD raided Little St. James island last week, packing up evidence - however as Rusty Shackelford's videos reveal, some of it had already been moved prior to the raid. (before, after - note the computer on the right is gone).

Perhaps they should have raided the island the same day he was arrested?

Published:8/17/2019 11:34:37 AM
[In The News] Clinton IT Aide Who Defied Subpoena Created Cryptic Gmail Account and Sent It Nearly All Of Hillary’s Emails

By Luke Rosiak -

All but four of Hillary Clinton’s 30,000 emails were copied, likely secretly, to a Gmail address called CarterHeavyIndustries@gmail.com, according to a new Senate report. The FBI says that the account was linked to Paul Combetta, an IT aide Clinton hired who used BleachBit to destroy emails after they were subpoenaed ...

Clinton IT Aide Who Defied Subpoena Created Cryptic Gmail Account and Sent It Nearly All Of Hillary’s Emails 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:8/16/2019 9:23:29 AM
[Media] WATCH: Former FBI Special Agent Likens Trump Supporters to Terrorists

The following article, WATCH: Former FBI Special Agent Likens Trump Supporters to Terrorists, was first published on Godfather Politics.

According to Frank, you voted for Trump because you are a mind-numbed member of a brainwashed terror cell.

Continue reading: WATCH: Former FBI Special Agent Likens Trump Supporters to Terrorists ...

Published:8/16/2019 8:53:40 AM
[Entertainment] The Real-Life Serial Killers Haunting Mindhunter's Second Season Jonathan Groff, Mindhunter"You know, there's a lot more like me," Edmund Kemper warned FBI Special Agent Holden Ford in the Netflix series Mindhunter. Back for a second season, the haunting,...
Published:8/16/2019 8:23:32 AM
[Markets] Why Were Hillary Clinton's Emails Blind-Copied To Gmail Address Named After Chinese Firm? 

Authored by Ivan Pentchoukov via the Epoch Times 

All but four of the 30,490 emails from Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized email server were forwarded to a private Google email address featuring the name of a Chinese company, according to documents released on Aug. 15.

Virtually every email which was sent to and received on the Clinton server was forwarded to “carterheavyindustries@gmail.com,” the documents show.

Frank Rucker, the intelligence community inspector general (ICIG) investigator who spotted the anomaly, searched Google for “Carter Heavy Industries” and came up with results for Shandong Carter Heavy Industry Co., Ltd, a Chinese manufacturer of excavators and heavy machinery, according to the documents.

Rucker and ICIG attorney Jeanette McMillian told the FBI about the anomaly on Feb. 18, 2016, at a meeting which included Peter Strzok, who had just taken over as the section chief heading the probe. Rucker told Congress that Strzok was “aloof and dismissive” and didn’t ask many questions.

Strzok has since gained notoriety for text messages he exchanged with FBI attorney Lisa Page, with whom he was having an extramarital affair. The pair expressed bias against then-candidate Donald Trump and in favor of Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign.

McMillian told Congress that her understanding of the Carter Heavy Industries email address was that it was a “drop box” to which the emails from the Clinton server were sent in real time.

Even if you didn’t address an email to this address, the email went to it anyway,” McMillian said.

McMillian and Rucker were interviewed by the Senate Finance and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees on Dec. 4, 2018, in response to media reports that cited anonymous sources claiming that China gained access to Clinton’s emails. The committees released unclassified versions of those transcripts (pdf) along with several sets of supporting documents on Aug. 14.

The documents include several emails from Clinton and her staffers with message metadata showing the Carter Heavy Industries email address as a recipient.

Inspector General Inquiry

Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz was aware of the ICIG’s referral to the FBI but did not address it in his 568-page report on the FBI and DOJ handling of the Clinton-email inquiry. Horowitz had promised Congress a year ago to look into and report on what the FBI did to investigate the matter. The newly released documents include the results of Horowitz’s inquiry in the form of an April 9, 2019, letter to senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.)

In the letter, Horowitz and Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson write that the Carter Heavy Industries email account was created by Platte River Networks employee Paul Combetta, who managed Clinton’s email server. Combetta allegedly created the Carter Heavy Industries email on Aug. 20, 2012, to serve as a “dummy email.” Combetta then used the email in order to transfer messages archived on Clinton’s second private server to the Platte River Networks server in early 2014.

What Combetta did with the email account between 2012 and 2014 and who else had access to it before and after the transfer remains a mystery. Neither the DOJ or the ICIG inspector generals provide any details on whether the FBI ever examined the matter.

Combetta’s use of this email account is addressed in Horowitz’s report, although it is referred to as a “dummy email” instead of revealing the actual address. Horowitz and Atkinson do not explain how Combetta came to pick the email address. Combetta’s lawyer told Horowitz that the Carter Heavy Industries email was a made-up name and that Combetta had no connection to Shandong Carter Heavy Industry Co., Ltd.

Combetta, through an attorney, refused to be interviewed by the DOJ inspector general about the matter, according to the letter. He also said he had no documents responsive to subpoena about the issue.

Horowitz wrote that his office did not find any evidence to contradict the claims of Combetta’s lawyer.

“Accordingly, other than the similarity discussed above between the dummy email address and the name of a Chinese company identified by the former ICIG analyst and former Inspector General McCullough during a Google search, the ICIG and the DOJ OIG are unaware of any information that links Combetta or the dummy email address that he created with the Chinese government or a Chinese-owned company,” Horowitz and Atkinson wrote.

Follow Ivan on Twitter: @ivanpentchoukov

Published:8/15/2019 4:28:45 PM
[Crime and punishment] Probable Cause And A Coup — RussiaGate Facts Tell A Story

With Bruce Ohr’s 302’s and Kathleen Kavalec’s memo available, the full picture of the agency machinations behind RussiaGate looks just like a coup. If the FBI and DOJ undertook the Trump Russia collusion investigation without probable cause, then the question becomes whether it was a coup by the government with a thumb on the scale, […]

The post Probable Cause And A Coup — RussiaGate Facts Tell A Story appeared first on Bookworm Room.

Published:8/15/2019 3:50:55 PM
[2016 Election] COLLUSION: Obama DOJ Operative Bruce Ohr Gave Wife’s Fusion GPS Research To The FBI

The following article, COLLUSION: Obama DOJ Operative Bruce Ohr Gave Wife’s Fusion GPS Research To The FBI, was first published on Godfather Politics.

Here's your collusion!

Continue reading: COLLUSION: Obama DOJ Operative Bruce Ohr Gave Wife’s Fusion GPS Research To The FBI ...

Published:8/15/2019 11:47:40 AM
[Markets] Did Epstein Own An 'Extremely Sexual' Portrait Of Bill Clinton In A Blue Dress?

While Little St. James, aka Jeffrey Epstein's 'Orgy Island', has attracted the bulk of the media's attention since the convicted pedophile/alleged financier was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell Saturday morning, as it turns out, one of the most interesting posthumous Epstein stories comes from his Manhattan Townhouse.

According to the Daily Mail, which has reported on FBI agents searching Epstein's island (including the creepy 'Temple' that some believe was used to house Epstein's sex slaves) and also revealed the location of Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's companion and purported madam who reportedly helped him recruit underage girls, one visitor to Epstein's Manhattan mansion witnessed a truly twisted work of art: A photo of President Bill Clinton wearing a blue dress and red heels in the Oval Office.

The DM can't say for sure that the portrait hung in Epstein's home, but it apparently found multiple sources to back up the story, and was also given a snap of the portrait by one of its sources.

Clinton and Epstein were friends (even if Clinton denounced any association with Epstein after his first sex-charge investigation) for a while during the aughts, and Epstein even flew him on his planes more than 20 times.

The Daily Mail's anonymous tipster managed to surreptitiously snap a photo of the Clinton portrait, and she shared it with the Mail.

Though Clinton has insisted that he never visited Epstein's island, one of Epstein's accusers, Virginia Roberts, claims she saw Clinton on the island for a dinner held in his honor shortly after he left office.

As for the "extremely sexual" portrait which obviously recalls Monica Lewinsky's infamous blue dress, the source of the photo said she was inside Epstein's home for around an hour and a half for a meeting, which had been arranged by the pedophile's then-assistant Lesley Groff.

Groff has been named as a possible accomplice in the New York case - AG William Barr has said the DoJ would prosecute alleged Epstein accomplices. She was granted immunity in Epstein's controversial plea deal in 2008.

"We had been in communication with Lesley Groff. She was the person who coordinated our meeting," the Mail's source said.

"We were met at the door of Epstein's penthouse by a butler. He had a real butler - an old gentleman who walked with a limp. He led us to Lesley's circular office. She was beautiful and fabulous and so nice and bubbly."

"Then she led us into Epstein's private quarters which is when we passed by the open door and the portrait."

"We went into his dining room and spoke to him about the proposal."

The source said she immediately got a creepy vibe from Epstein, and hoped she wouldn't end up doing business with him.

"He came out in pajamas. He wasn't messy but he had on a white t-shirt, pajama bottoms and bare feet. He was very grey and he looked creepy."

"He looked like a villain to me. I immediately knew we didn't want to do business with him, despite wanting the contract."

"I knew he would bury us if something went wrong."

But fortunately, the proposal fell through and she never worked with the billionaire.

Published:8/14/2019 6:48:02 PM
[Opinion] If the FBI Shut Down the KKK Once, Can’t They Do It Again?

By Amanda Alverez -

Has anyone else had enough of the insane threats, accusations, intimidation, hate speech, stabbings, drive-bys, and shootings? How much more senseless harm and blood must be shed before the FBI does something? When ‘hate crime’ legislation was passed by Congress, they assured Americans this would end hatred in America, or ...

If the FBI Shut Down the KKK Once, Can’t They Do It Again? 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:8/14/2019 6:20:46 PM
[] FBI Spy Stefan Halper: I'm Not Saying I'm a Paid FBI Informant, But If I Were a Paid FBI Informant, I Would Have Sovereign Immunity Against a Lawsuit for My Libel Against a Russia Collusion Conspiracy Target Oh. There?s an interesting lawsuit playing out involving a woman Svetlana Lokhova and Steven Halper. Halper was one of the ?informants? that the FBI ran against Trump campaign associates, including Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and Sam Clovis. In fact, it... Published:8/14/2019 12:42:34 PM
[US News] NEW: FBI investigating after report says Epstein’s guards ‘fell asleep’ and ‘falsified records’

Whoa. The New York Times is reporting that the two guards who were supposed to check on Jeffrey Epstein every 30 minutes were actually asleep for 3 hours and then “falsified records” to cover it up: BREAKING: The two guards who were allegedly responsible for monitoring Jeffrey Epstein when he committed suicide reportedly "fell asleep" […]

The post NEW: FBI investigating after report says Epstein’s guards ‘fell asleep’ and ‘falsified records’ appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:8/14/2019 8:41:38 AM
[The Blog] FBI: Someone purposely shot at ICE offices in San Antonio

Not helping.

The post FBI: Someone purposely shot at ICE offices in San Antonio appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:8/14/2019 7:41:26 AM
[Markets] Who Protected Epstein For Decades, And Why?

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

Or perhaps "Epstein was an intelligence asset" is just a tissue-thin cover for a much more destructive reality: those at the top of the American state have no moral compass at all.

Let's start by stipulating that the Jeffrey Epstein story is so sordid and outlandish that it's like a made-for-TV movie about the evil proprietor of a nightmarish enclave of private perversion and sexual exploitation, Lolita Island.

For Epstein's victims, the nightmare was all too real.

Next, let's stipulate that in a nation with a functioning system of justice, every individual who knew about Epstein's degenerate empire and did nothing to stop it should be ushered into a Federal prison cell to ponder their sins against the exploited girls and against the nation.

Yes, as in treason, as in "throw them in prison and let them rot" treason. As I have explained, corruption and debauchery undermine the legitimacy of the state, and so doing nothing while Epstein et al. gratified the desires of the rich and powerful for degenerate debauchery was treasonous: the American state will collapse not from military conflict but from moral decay, and every individual who enabled (or made use of) that moral decay is guilty of treason.

Which leads us to the basic questions of the case: who protected Epstein for decades, and why? There are several explanations floating around for the why: those in power enjoyed their diabolically exploitive visits to Lolita Island and wanted to continue their criminal gratifications.

The second explanation is that Epstein was a spy for a "friendly" foreign intelligence agency and therefore off-limits. ("Friendly" is in quotes because when it comes to intelligence, one's "friends" can do more damage than one's worst enemies.)

Let's say this turns out to be true. Wouldn't the NSA, CIA and FBI know of Epstein's activities and connections to a foreign intelligence service? Of course they would. So at a minimum, we can infer the NSA, CIA and FBI enabled Epstein's operation to continue for some benefit, perhaps relating to "honeypot" blackmail and control of "assets," unwilling or willing.

This narrative is the "explanation" for Epstein's wrist-slap conviction a decade ago: he was supposedly an "asset" of US intelligence.

So exploiting vulnerable girls served the "national interests" and therefore it's all OK. If we're supposed to believe this is the heart of the matter, how is America any different from a corrupt developing-world kleptocracy organized to gratify a handful of oligarchs and their cronies?

Or perhaps the "he was an intelligence asset" is just a tissue-thin cover for a much more destructive reality: those at the top of the American state have no moral compass at all. That honeypots and blackmail are standard-issue tools of spycraft targeting individuals in the employee of other nations is a given, but presumably the CIA doesn't recruit 14-year girls as bait (although nothing should surprise us at this point).

But Lolita island (a.k.a. Orgy Island) was not spycraft; it was a privately operated wholesale exploitation of underage girls for the gratification of the Western world's male elites. That some enterprising agency recruited (or blackmailed) Jeffrey Epstein was predictable, as the treasure trove of compromising videos could yield all sorts of useful leverage on highly placed individuals.

Many of us sense an existential crisis is close at hand, and the U.S. is ill-prepared for such a crisis. Possibilities broached by others include a global war, a break-up of the U.S. into regional states, or a civil war of some sort.

My bet is on a moral and financial crisis in which the ruling elites and the federal state lose their legitimacy, i.e. the consent of the governed. As their Federal Reserve "money" loses value and the corruption of the ruling elites and the government they control reaches extremes, the citizenry will no longer heed their corrupt, self-serving "leaders."

If America's ruling elites will not let justice be done, then they guarantee a revolt against the elites that could track a very grim path if that is the only option left open to the citizenry.

Once again I turn to The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats for a poetic evocation of the coming crisis:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

*  *  *

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($6.95 ebook, $12 print, $13.08 audiobook): Read the first section for free in PDF format. My new mystery The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake is a ridiculously affordable $1.29 (Kindle) or $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF). My book Money and Work Unchained is now $6.95 for the Kindle ebook and $15 for the print edition. Read the first section for free in PDF format. If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com. New benefit for subscribers/patrons: a monthly Q&A where I respond to your questions/topics.

Published:8/14/2019 7:12:33 AM
[Markets] Seth Rich's Ghost Won't Go Away

Authored by Ray McGovern via ConsortiumNews.com,

As if it weren’t enough of a downer for Russiagate true-believers that no Trump-Russia collusion was found, federal judges are now demanding proof that Russia hacked into the DNC in the first place.

It is shaping up to be a significant challenge to the main premise of the shaky syllogism that ends with “Russia did it.”

If you’re new to this website, grab onto something, as the following may come as something of a shock. Not only has there never been any credible evidence to support the claim of Russian cyber interference, there has always been a simple alternative explanation that involves no “hacking” at all — by Russia or anyone else.

As most Consortium News habitués are aware, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (which includes two former NSA technical directors), working with independent forensic investigators, concluded two years ago that what “everyone knows to be Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee” actually involved an insider with physical access to DNC computers copying the emails onto an external storage device — such as a thumb drive. In other words, it was a leak, not a hack.

VIPS based its conclusion on the principles of physics applied to metadata and other empirical information susceptible of forensic analysis.

But if a leak, not a hack, who was the DNC insider-leaker? In the absence of hard evidence, VIPS refuses “best-guess”-type “assessments” — the kind favored by the “handpicked analysts” who drafted the evidence-impoverished, so-called Intelligence Community Assessment of Jan. 6, 2017.

Dulles: Wielded “conspiracy theorist” as a weapon.

Conspiracy Theorists

Simply letting the name “Seth Rich” pass your lips can condemn you to the leper colony built by the Washington Establishment for “conspiracy theorists,” (the term regularly applied to someone determined to seek tangible evidence, and who is open to alternatives to “Russia-did-it.”)

Rich was a young DNC employee who was murdered on a street in Washington, DC, on July 10, 2016. Many, including me, suspect that Rich played some role in the leaking of DNC emails toWikiLeaks. There is considerable circumstantial evidence that this may have been the case. Those who voice such suspicions, however, are, ipso facto, branded “conspiracy theorists.”

That epithet has a sordid history in the annals of U.S. intelligence. Legendary CIA Director Allen Dulles used the “brand-them-conspiracy-theorists” ploy following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy when many objected — understandably — to letting him pretty much run the Warren Commission, even though the CIA was suspected of having played a role in the murder. The “conspiracy theorist” tactic worked like a charm then, and now. Well, up until just now.

Rich Hovers Above the Courts

U.S. Courts apply far tougher standards to evidence than do the intelligence community and the pundits who loll around lazily, feeding from the intelligence PR trough. This (hardly surprising) reality was underscored when a Dallas financial adviser named Ed Butowsky sued National Public Radio and others for defaming him about the role he played in controversial stories relating to Rich.On August 7, NPR suffered a setback, when U.S. District Court Judge Amos Mazzant affirmed a lower court decision to allow Butowsky’s defamation lawsuit to proceed.

Judge Mazzant ruled that NPR had stated as “verifiable statements of fact” information that could not beverified, and that the plaintiff had been, in effect, accused of being engaged in wrongdoing without persuasive sourcing language.

Isikoff: Russians started it. (Wikipedia)

Imagine! — “persuasive sourcing” required to separate fact from opinion and axes to grind! An interesting precedent to apply to the ins and outs of Russiagate. In the courts, at least, this is now beginning to happen. And NPR and others in similarly vulnerable positions are scurrying around for allies.??The day after Judge Mazzant’s decision, NPR enlisted help from discredited Yahoo! News pundit Michael Isikoff (author, with David Corn, of the fiction-posing-as-fact novel Russian Roulette). NPR gave Isikoff 37 minutes on its popular Fresh Air program to spin his yarn about how the Seth Rich story got started. You guessed it; the Russians started it. No, we are not making this up.

It is far from clear that Isikoff can be much help to NPR in the libel case against it. Isikoff’s own writings on Russiagate are notably lacking in “verifiable statements of fact” — information that cannot be verified. Watch, for example, his recent interview with Consortium News Editor Joe Lauria on CN Live!

Isikoff admitted to Lauria that he never saw the classified Russian intelligence document reportedly indicating that three days after Rich’s murder the Russian SVR foreign intelligence service planted a story about Rich having been the leaker and was killed for it. This Russian intelligence “bulletin,” as Isikoff called it, was supposedly placed on a bizarre website that Isikoff admitted was an unlikely place for Russia to spread disinformation. He acknowledged that he only took the word of the former prosecutor in the Rich case about the existence of this classified Russian document.

In any case, The Washington Post, had already debunked Isikoff’s claim (which later in his article he switched to being only “purported”) by pointing out that Americans had already tweeted the theory of Rich’s murder days before the alleged Russian intervention.

Persuasive Sourcing’ & Discovery??

Butowsky’s libel lawsuit can now proceed to discovery, which will include demands for documents and depositions that are likely to shed light on whatever role Rich may have played in leaking to WikiLeaks. If the government obstructs or tries to slow-roll the case, we shall have to wait and see, for example, if the court will acquiesce to the familiar government objection that information regarding Rich’s murder must be withheld as a state secret? Hmmm. What would that tell us?

Butowsky: Suit could reveal critical information. (Flickr)

During discovery in a separate court case, the government was unable to produce a final forensic report on the “hacking” of the Democratic National Committee. The DNC-hired cyber firm, CrowdStrike, failed to complete such a report, and that was apparently okay with then FBI Director James Comey, who did not require one.

The incomplete, redacted, draft, second-hand “forensics” that Comey settled for from CrowdStrike does not qualify as credible evidence — much less “persuasive sourcing” to support the claim that the Russians “hacked” into the DNC. Moreover, CrowdStrike has a dubious reputation for professionalism and a well known anti-Russia bias.

The thorny question of “persuasive sourcing,” came up even more starkly on July 1, when federal Judge Dabney Friedrich ordered Robert Mueller to stop pretending he had proof that the Russian government was behind the Internet Research Agency’s supposed attempt to interfere via social media in the 2016 election. Middle school-level arithmetic can prove the case that the IRA’s use of social media to support Trump is ludicrous on its face.

Russia-gate Rubble

As journalist Patrick Lawrence put it recently: “Three years after the narrative we call Russiagate was framed and incessantly promoted, it crumbles into rubble as we speak.” Falling syllogism! Step nimbly to one side.

The “conspiracy theorist” epithet is not likely to much longer block attention to the role, if any, played by Rich — the more so since some players who say they were directly involved with Rich are coming forward.

In a long interview with Lauria a few months ago in New Zealand aired this month on CN Live!, Kim Dotcom provided a wealth of detail, based on what he described as first-hand knowledge, regarding how Democratic National Committee documents were leaked to WikiLeaks in 2016.

The major takeaway: the evidence presented by Dotcom about Seth Rich can be verified or disproven if President Trump summons the courage to order the director of NSA to dig out the relevant data, including the conversations Dotcom says he had with Rich and Rich may have had with WikiLeakspublisher Julian Assange. Dotcom said he put Rich in touch with a middleman to transfer the DNC files to WikiLeaks. Sadly, Trump has flinched more than once rather than confront the Deep State — and this time there are a bunch of very well connected, senior Deep State practitioners who could faceprosecution.

Another sign that Rich’s story is likely to draw new focus is the virulent character assassination indulged in by former investigative journalist James Risen.

Not Risen to the Challenge

Risen: Called Binney a “conspiracy theorist.” (Flickr)

On August 5, in an interview on The Hill’s“Rising,” Risen chose to call former NSA Technical Director Bill Binney — you guessed it — a “conspiracy theorist” on Russia-gate, with no demurral, much less pushback, from the hosts.

The having-done-good-work-in-the-past-and-now-not-so-much Risen can be considered a paradigm for what has happened to so many Kool-Aid drinking journalists. Jim’s transition from investigative journalist to stenographer is, nonetheless unsettling. Contributing causes? It appears that the traditional sources within the intelligence agencies, whom Risen was able to cultivate discreetly in the past, are too fearful now to even talk to him, lest they get caught by one or two of the myriad surveillance systems in play.

Those at the top of the relevant agencies, however, are only too happy to provide grist. Journalists have to make a living, after all. Topic A, of course, is Russian “interference” in the 2016 election. And, of course, “There can be little doubt” the Russians did it.

“Big Jim” Risen, as he is known, jumped on the bandwagon as soon as he joined The Intercept, with a fulsome article on February 17, 2018 titled Is Donald Trump a Traitor?” Here’s an excerpt:

“The evidence that Russia intervened in the election to help Trump win is already compelling, and it grows stronger by the day.

“There can be little doubt now that Russian intelligence officials were behind an effort to hack the DNC’s computers and steal emails and other information from aides to Hillary Clinton as a means of damaging her presidential campaign. … Russian intelligence also used fake social media accounts and other tools to create a global echo chamber both for stories about the emails and for anti-Clinton lies dressed up to look like news.

“To their disgrace, editors and reporters at American news organizations greatly enhanced the Russian echo chamber, eagerly writing stories about Clinton and the Democratic Party based on the emails, while showing almost no interest during the presidential campaign in exactly how those emails came to be disclosed and distributed.” (sic)

Poor Jim. He shows himself just as susceptible as virtually all of his fellow corporate journalists to the epidemic-scale HWHW virus (Hillary Would Have Won) that set in during Nov. 2016 and for which the truth seems to be no cure. From his perch at The Intercept, Risen will continue to try to shape the issues. Russiagaters major ally, of course, is the corporate media which has most Americans pretty much under their thumb.

Incidentally, neither The New York Times, The Washington Post, nor The Wall Street Journal has printed or posted a word about Judge Mazzant’s ruling on the Butowsky suit.

Mark Twain is said to have warned, “How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again!” After three years of “Russia-Russia-Russia” in the corporate — and even in some “progressive” — media, this conditioning will not be easy to reverse.

Here’s how one astute observer with a sense of humor described the situation last week, in a comment under one of my recent pieces on Consortium News:

“… One can write the most thought-out and well documented academic-like essays, articles and reports and the true believers in Russiagate will dismiss it all with a mere flick of their wrist. The mockery and scorn directed towards those of us who knew the score from day one won’t relent. They could die and go to heaven and ask god what really happened during the 2016 election. God would reply to them in no uncertain terms that Putin and the Russians had absolutely nothing to do with anything in ‘16, and they’d all throw up their hands and say, ‘aha! So, God’s in on this too!’ It’s the great lie that won’t die.” 

I’m not so sure. It is likely to be a while though before this is over. 

Published:8/13/2019 6:38:51 PM
[Markets] Buchanan: China, Not Russia, Is The Greatest Threat

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,

Ten weeks of protests, some huge, a few violent, culminated Monday with a shutdown of the Hong Kong airport.

Ominously, Beijing described the violent weekend demonstrations as “deranged” acts that are “the first signs of terrorism,” and vowed a merciless crackdown on the perpetrators.

China is being pushed toward a decision it does not want to make: to use military force, as in Tiananmen Square 30 years ago, to crush the uprising. For that would reveal the character of President Xi Jinping’s Communist dictatorship, as well as Beijing’s long-term plans for this semi-autonomous city of almost 7.5 million.

Yet this is not the only internal or border concern of Xi’s regime.

Millions of Muslim Uighurs in China’s west are in concentration camps undergoing “re-education” to change their way of thinking on loyalty, secession and the creation of a new East Turkestan.

In June, a Chinese vessel rammed and sank a Philippine fishing boat, leaving its 22 crewmen to drown. The fishermen were rescued by a Vietnamese boat.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s reluctance to resist China’s fortification in the South China Sea of the rocks and reefs Manila claims are within its own territorial waters has turned Philippine nationalism anti-China.

China’s claim to Taiwan is being defied by Taipei, which just bought $2.2 billion in U.S. military equipment including Abrams tanks and Stinger missiles.

Any Taiwanese declaration of independence, China has warned, means war.

While Taiwan’s request to buy U.S. F-16s has not yet been approved, in a rare visit, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen stopped over in the U.S. recently, before traveling on to Caribbean countries that retain diplomatic relations with Taipei. Beijing has expressed its outrage at the U.S. arms sales and Tsai’s unofficial visit.

The vaunted Chinese economy is growing, at best, at half the double-digit rate of a decade ago, not enough to create the jobs needed for hundreds of millions in the countryside seeking work.

And talks have been suspended in the U.S.-China trade dispute, at the heart of which, says White House aide Peter Navarro, are Beijing’s “seven deadly sins” in dealing with the United States:

China steals our intellectual property via cybertheft, forces U.S. companies in China to transfer technology, hacks our computers, dumps into our markets to put U.S. companies out of business, subsidizes state-owned enterprises to compete with U.S. firms, manipulates its currency, and, despite our protests, ships to the USA the fentanyl drug that has become a major killer of Americans.

Such practices have enabled China to run up annual trade surpluses of $300 billion to $400 billion at our expense, and, says Navarro, have caused the loss of 70,000 factories and 5 million manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

Moreover, China has used the accumulated wealth of its huge trade surpluses to finance its drive for hegemony in Asia and beyond.

With President Donald Trump threatening 10% tariffs on $300 billion more in Chinese exports to the U.S., Xi must decide if he is willing to end his trade-war tactics against the U.S., which have gone on during the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. If he refuses, will he accept the de-coupling of our two economies?

Only Trump has taken on the Middle Kingdom.

If the American people and Congress are willing to play hardball and accept sacrifices, we can win this face-off. The U.S. buys five times as much from China as we sell to China. The big loser in this confrontation, if we stay the course, will not be the USA.

For three years, the U.S. establishment has not ceased to howl about Russia’s theft of emails of the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign.

Yet the greatest cybercrime of the century was Beijing’s theft in 2014 of the personnel files of 22 million applicants and employees of the U.S. government, many of them holding top-secret clearances.

Compromised by this theft, said then FBI Director James Comey, was a “treasure trove of information about everybody who has worked for, tried to work for, or works for the United States government.”

“A very big deal from a national security … and counterintelligence perspective,” said Comey. And Xi’s China, not Putin’s Russia, committed the crime. Yet America’s elites appear to have forgotten this far graver act of cyberaggresion.

Undeniably, Russia is a rival. But Putin’s economy is the size of Italy’s while China’s economy challenges our own. And China’s population is 10 times that of Russia, and four times that of the USA.

Manifestly, China is the greater menace.

Are Americans willing to make the necessary sacrifices to force China to abide by the rules of reciprocal trade?

Or will Trump be forced by political realities to accept the long-term and ruinous relationship we have followed since granting China permanent MFN status in 2001?

This issue is likely to decide the destiny of our relations and the future of Asia, if not the world.

Published:8/13/2019 11:32:50 AM
[Markets] Red Flag Laws (Or How To Repeal The Second Amendment Soviet-Style Without A Pesky Vote)

Authored by John Wilder via WilderWealthyWise.com,

“Now, you see all these red flags?  Trouble spots.  Southeastern Asia.  The Caribbean.  The Congo.  I’ll give you one guess as to who’s responsible.” – Doctor Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine

I look much better after I’ve had a cup of coffee.  And after I’ve found my axe.

I know that you, gentle reader, have thoughts about guns that are probably pretty similar to mine, so I’d like to take you on a short walk through history, specifically the history of politics and psychiatry.  I promise, it will make more sense than the lyrics to the Manfred Mann song Blinded by the Light.  What the hell is a go-cart Mozart, and why is he checking out the weather chart, anyway?

(Related:  Civil War Weather Reports – Civil War II Weather Report: Spicy Time ComingCivil War Weather Report #2, Censorship, Stalin, and a Bunch of Links, and Civil War Weather Report #3: Violence, China, and Lots of Links)

The history of psychiatry is tied directly to the political.

I have seen a person suffering from schizophrenia to such a degree that they were sure that MTV® video stars were stealing songs directly from their brain and that they were also a surgeon who regularly performed operations on world leaders and stored their organs in the freezer for safe keeping.

If no one has ever told you that there are human organs belonging to world leaders in their fridge in a completely matter-of-fact “would you like a glass of water” voice, well, all I can tell you is that my first thought was one of complete disbelief that I had heard them right.  Yes, I asked for them to repeat that statement.  Twice.

I walked over and checked their freezer.   Thankfully the only things in it were some frozen pizzas and ancient ice cubes.  I assure you I was talking to their shrink that afternoon and they were involuntarily committed by 5PM.  They were helped, and after being put on some appropriately industrial levels of anti-psychotic medication, did okay enough to be released back into the wild.  As long as they stayed on their meds.

I know that there are actually crazy people that really need help.

But I also know this:  psychiatry is still the most politically abused medical profession.

Okay, if Depp isn’t crazy, why does he keep starring in movies like this? 

Examples of political abuse of psychiatry?  There are many.  When I mentioned this topic to The Mrs., she immediately said, “the Soviet Union.”  And that’s the example I thought of first, too.  The Soviets systematically used diagnosis of psychological disorders such as “philosophical intoxication” and “sluggish schizophrenia” to put people who didn’t like Marxism into mental institutions.  And, no, those diagnoses aren’t lame jokes – those were really Soviet-era diagnoses.

How many were caught up in the psychological gulags?

We really don’t know since those records are still secret, but in 1978 at least 4.5 million Soviet citizens were listed as having mental health problems.  In 1988, perhaps thinking that they might face their own version of Soviet Nuremburg Trials for Crimes Against Humanity, Soviet leaders had over 800,000 thousand patients removed from the list of the mentally ill.  Paperwork error, surely?

Okay, with all those red flags, how did they not see the collapse of communism coming?

Did the Soviets condemn thousands with false diagnosis?  Nearly certainly.  Hundreds of thousands?  Very likely.

Millions?

Probably.  Think of it, millions of people falsely diagnosed with a mental illness due to political beliefs and sent to asylums and work camps.  Certainly some were executed.

The Soviets allowed ownership of smoothbore weapons for hunting.  Except when they didn’t.  Which was most of the time.  Oh, and the definition of sweet summer child is:  a person who doesn’t know the hardships of winter, often used when someone has no experience with a particular (stressful) thing, which may describe a generation that rhymes with perennial.

Okay, it was just the Soviet Union, right?

No.  Cuba did the same thing.  There is evidence that China is still doing it, and likely on scale similar to that of the Soviet Union.  Thankfully the World Psychiatric Association took the lead in investigations.  Oh, they didn’t?  The World Psychiatric Association pretty much ignored it and said that people associated with Falun Gong are nuts and that putting them in asylums run by the state security apparatus (not the medical directorate) was perfectly normal?

One flew east, one flew west, one flew over the cuckoo’s nest . . . and if you haven’t see the movie, you should, it’s a lighthearted comedy and perfect for a first date.

Okay, that’s just China.  Thankfully this would never happen in the United States.

Oh, it did?

Sure.  In the 1920’s dissidents (like one who protested the trial of Sacco and Vanzetti) were put into asylums.  In the 1960’s members of the American Psychological Association smeared presidential candidate Barry Goldwater in the press by diagnosing him.  But that wasn’t political, right?

Thankfully it isn’t happening now.

Oh, in 2012 a whistleblower with the NYPD was railroaded on mental health?  Ouch.  But New York is corrupt.

It would never happen based on political motives, right?

Dinesh D’Souza, author and filmmaker on the Right was convicted of a crime based on giving too much money to a political campaign.  He admitted he was wrong.  The Federal Judge involved in the case sentenced D’Souza not only to prison, he sentenced D’Souza to years of mental health counselling despite a licensed psychologist saying that D’Souza was just fine mentally.

So, yes.  Psychiatry is a political weapon.  It’s not like the Left has sentenced political opponents to chemotherapy, but I hear that they’re working on it.

Yes, this is a common sense way to use psychiatry!

This corrupt branch of medicine is the background of the Red Flag Laws.

The idea is that we’ll create laws to remove rights from people without due process, with the presumption that individuals should lose a right guaranteed by the Constitution®.  A single accuser, with no evidence can result in gun confiscation to a law-abiding citizen.  Sadly this already happens – people with contested domestic restraining orders (a standard tactic in divorces nowadays) lose their rights, although I’ve heard of people fighting these orders and winning – at least there is a pretense at due process.

The claim that the ability to strip people of rights won’t be abused is laughable.  In every country that’s been infected by psychiatry, it has been twisted to meet political ends.  Yes, there are crazy people.  I’ve seen one as I related above.  And, if you did a brain scan, there is a physical basis for schizophrenia.  It’s real.  It is a medical condition.  But remember, these are the same psychiatrists that would diagnose me as nuts if I believed I was be five years older than I really am, but are perfectly fine with children younger than the age of five claiming they are a different sex than their genetics have made them.

Furthermore, the medical profession as a whole is maybe a bit, well, mental*.  In one study it was claimed that 50% of female doctors could be diagnosed with a mental disease.  I wonder again why my ex didn’t take up medicine?  (*Aesop LINK excluded, unless pimp-slapping in the comments section is classified as a mental disorder.)

Oh, and psychologists have nearly the highest rates of suicide of any profession.  Yes, any profession, including the people who make balloon animals in Mauschwitz Disneyland® for chubby children with hands sticky from chocolate ice cream.  Perfectly stable.  And this is also the same profession whose international governing body (WPA) was just fine with political repression in the name of psychiatry.

Besides being oppressive, the Red Flag laws would not have helped in latest shootings – these people lawfully and legally got their rifles. 

But they will form the basis for taking away guns for...

  • Conspiracy Theories – Believing anything other than the Official Narrative® will become a basis for exclusion of lawful firearms ownership, despite the fact that throughout history, many conspiracy theories have been proven true. Google® MKULTRA.    That happened.  But the FBI® is now warning that you are a danger if you don’t believe the Official Narrative©.

  • Antisocial Behavior – Ever not want to hang around people? You’re antisocial, and that’s dangerous, citizen.  No AR for you!

  • Websites Visited – Going to unapproved sites? Thinking unapproved thoughts?  Glockblock™!

  • Comments Made When You Were 16 – Wow, did you really say that maybe the Crusades weren’t all bad? No pew-pew for you, hater.

  • Not Believing in the Easter Bunny Socialism – Well, I think I covered that above.

The irony is this will have the impact of keeping people away from mental health professionals.  This will keep people from seeking help when they’re a little depressed, because the consequences of having a “health record” might prevent them from future opportunity – the only safe way to live life would be to stay away from health professionals – and not answer certain questions your M.D. might have for you with a polite BFYTW when asked why you’re not answering.  Oh, but that probably puts you on the antisocial list.

Texas may or may not be your cup of tea, but they certainly got some things right once upon a time.

Psychiatry is on pretty iffy ground in many cases already.  As an experiment, a group of doctors sent people to a psychiatrist with one symptom – they heard a voice.  No other symptom.  They were perfectly normal, mentally healthy people.  In one case, the person was committed to a mental health facility (as I recall) for several weeks with zero symptoms.  I tried to look it up, but, surprise, most Google® searches right now link commitment to . . . violence.  Even that’s not a comfortable thought.

Soviet mental health nurse.  Not shown:  tenth guard, who is now an inmate.

The single scariest thing to me is watching a human mind erode – what was once a rational human disappears.  It’s what makes (to me) zombies scary.  They look like humans.  They used to be a normal human.  But that rational human being is now gone, replaced by someone who has no real tie to reality while the external form remains.

I realize that there is a time and a place for psychiatric care.

But psychiatrists are already owned by the Left.  The Left sees you as crazy already.  The Left views your dissent from their agenda as a mental disorder, one punishable by death, if need be.

I’ll leave the last word to Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who is really pictured above while in the gulag:  “I’ll take Solzhenitsyn on Gun Control for $1000, Alex.  Oh, look – the Daily Double®!”

“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking:  what would things have been like if every security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family?  Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?  [They] would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!  If . . . if . . . we didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation . . . .  We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

Published:8/12/2019 11:12:39 PM
[Markets] Overstock CEO Turned Over Docs To DOJ "In Greatest Political Scandal In US History"

Via SaraACarter.com,

Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne delivered to the Department of Justice a number of documents, including emails and text messages, in April, regarding both the origins of the Russian investigation, and an FBI operation into Hillary Clinton with which he was personally involved during the first months of 2016, according to a U.S. official who spoke SaraACarter.com.

Byrne has also confirmed the account.

Byrne claims the documents, which have not been made public and are currently under investigation by the DOJ, are allegedly communications he had with the FBI concerning both the Clinton investigation and the origins of the Russian investigation. SaraACarter.comdid not review the documents, which are now under review by law enforcement.

He approached the DOJ and met with lawyers on April 5th and 30th. The first meeting was without counsel in Washington D.C. A source directly familiar with the interviews confirmed Byrne’s account of the meetings.

DOJ officials said they could not comment on Byrne’s allegations.

“I gave to the DOJ documents concerning both the origin of the Russian probe and the probe into Hillary Clinton, both of which I was involved in, and both of which turned out to be less about law enforcement than they were about political espionage,” Byrne told SaraACarter.com Monday.

He noted that the communications will prove that the FBI also had an operation into Clinton Foundation that he was directly involved in.

“This is going to become the greatest political scandal in US history,” he said.

“If we survive it, and if Rule of Law returns to America, it will be due to one man: Bill Barr.”

Several weeks ago, FBI officials told SaraACarter.com that they declined to comment on Byrne’s allegations.

Byrne said the investigation into Clinton was one of the main reasons he came forward. This reporter first published Byrne’s story about his relationship with now convicted Russian gun right’s activist Maria Butina. She pleaded guilty in 2018 for failing to register as a foreign agent in the U.S. and is now serving out her sentence, which ends in October.

Byrne’s claims regarding the Clinton Foundation investigation are not without parallel. According to numerous officials the FBI had an ongoing investigation. Whistleblower and former government informant William Campbell was interviewed in 2018, by bureau agents from the Little Rock, Arkansa’s field office. According to Campbell, who first spoke to this reporter in 2017, he was asked by FBI agents whether donations to the Clintons charitable organization from Russia were used to influence U.S. nuclear policy during the Obama Administration. Specifically, he was asked about the sale of 20 percent of Uranium One.

As also reported in 2018, by John Solomon with The Hill, the “agents questioned him extensively about claims the Russians made to him that they had routed millions of dollars to an American lobbying firm in 2010 and 2011 with the expectation it would be used to help President Clinton’s charitable global initiative while major uranium decisions were pending before Hillary Clinton’s State Department.”

Byrne, told SaraACarter.com that the FBI was also investigating Clinton’s charitable organizations in the first half of 2016, and that he was directly involved in one of the operations being conducted by the FBI. He did not give details regarding the operation saying but said it directly dealt with Clinton and whether or not there was pay for play.

On Monday, Byrne appeared on Fox Business Network with David Asman, revealing his claims about the Clinton investigation.

“I ended up in the center of the Russian and the Clinton investigations,” said Byrne.

“I have all the answers. I have been sitting on them waiting for America to get there. Last summer I figured out… what they all are is all about political espionage. It had nothing to do with law enforcement, it was all political espionage. Here’s the bottom line. There is a deep state like a submarine lurking just beneath the waves of the periscope depth watching our shipping lanes. And a nuclear ice breaker called the USS Bill Barr has snuck up on them and is about to ram midship.”

“That’s about to happen and I think we’re about to see the biggest scandal in American history as a result. But it was all political. Everything you think you know about Russia and Clinton investigations is a lie,” Byrne told Atman.

“It’s all a cover-up. It was all political espionage.”

Connecticut attorney John Durham, who has been appointed by Justice Department investigator Attorney General William Barr is probing the FBI’s handling of the investigation into Russia probe, and according to several sources is investigating the full extent of Byrne’s claims and the documentation he provided in April.

Published:8/12/2019 10:33:17 PM
[Markets] Everyone's A Conspiracy Theorist, Whether They Know It Or Not

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

Plutocratic propaganda outlet MSNBC has just run a spin segment on the breaking news that the medical examiner’s determination of the cause of Jeffrey Epstein’s death is “pending further information”.

“Our sources are still saying that it looks like suicide, and this is going to set conspiracy theorists abuzz I fear,” said NBC correspondent Ken Dilanian.

“NBC News has been hearing all day long that there are no indications of foul play, and that this looks like a suicide and that he hung himself in his cell.”

Dilanian, who stumbled over the phrase “conspiracy theorists” in his haste to get it in the first soundbyte, is a known asset of the Central Intelligence Agency. This is not a conspiracy theory, this is a well-documented fact. A 2014 article in The Intercept titled “The CIA’s Mop-Up Man” reveals email exchanges obtained via Freedom of Information Act request between Dilanian and CIA public affairs officers which “show that Dilanian enjoyed a closely collaborative relationship with the agency, explicitly promising positive news coverage and sometimes sending the press office entire story drafts for review prior to publication.” There is no reason to give Dilanian the benefit of the doubt that this cozy relationship has ended, so anything he puts forward can safely be dismissed as CIA public relations.

When I mentioned Dilanian’s CIA ties on MSNBC’s Twitter video, MSNBC deleted their tweet and then re-shared it without mentioning Dilanian’s name. Here is a screenshot of the first tweet followed by an embedded link to their current one (which I’ve archived just in case):

Up until the news broke that Epstein’s autopsy has been unable to readily confirm suicide, mass media headlines everywhere have been unquestioningly blaring that that was known to have been the cause of the accused sex trafficker’s death. This despite the fact that the FBI’s investigation has been explicitly labeling it an apparent suicide”, and despite the fact that Epstein is credibly believed to have been involved in an intelligence-tied sexual blackmail operation involving many powerful people, any number of whom stood plenty to gain from his death.

So things are moving in a very weird way, and people are understandably weirded out. The response to this from mass media narrative managers has, of course, been to berate everyone as “conspiracy theorists”.

“Jeffrey Epstein: How conspiracy theories spread after financier’s death” reads a BBC headline.

Epstein Suicide Conspiracies Show How Our Information System Is Poisoned” reads one from the New York Times.

Conspiracy Theories Fly Online in Wake of Epstein Death” warns The Wall Street Journal.

Financier Epstein’s Death Disappoints Victims, Launches Conspiracy Theories” reads the headline from US government-funded Voice of America.

These outlets generally match Dilanian’s tone in branding anyone who questions the official story about Epstein’s death as a raving lunatic. Meanwhile, normal human beings all across the political spectrum are expressing skepticism on social media about the “suicide” narrative we’re all being force-fed by the establishment narrative managers, many of them prefacing their skepticism with some variation on the phrase “I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but…”

“I’m not a conspiracy theorist but there are an awful lot of very powerful people who would like to see this Epstein thing go away. Is anyone investigating the guard on duty?” tweeted actor Patricia Heaton.

“I am not into conspiracy theories. But Epstein had destructive information on an extraordinary number of extraordinarily powerful people. It is not easy to commit suicide in prison. Especially after being placed on suicide watch. Especially after already allegedly trying,” tweeted public defender Scott Hechinger.

Journalist Abi Wilkinson summed up the silliness of this widespread preface very nicely, tweeting, “‘“I’m not a conspiracy theorist’ is such a weird assertion when you think about it, the idea there’s a binary between believing all conspiracies and flat out rejecting the very concept of conspiracy in all circumstances.”

Indeed, I think it’s fair to say that everyone is a conspiracy theorist if they’re really honest with themselves.

Not everyone believes that the official stories about 9/11 and the JFK assassination are riddled with plot holes or what have you, but I doubt that anyone who really sat down and sincerely grappled with the question “Do powerful people conspire?” would honestly deny it. Some are just more self-aware than others about the self-evident reality that powerful people conspire all the time, and it’s only a question of how and with whom and to what extent.

The word “conspire” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “to join in a secret agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act or an act which becomes unlawful as a result of the secret agreement”. No sane person would deny that this is a thing that happens, nor that this is likely a thing that happens to some extent among the powerful in their own nation. This by itself is a theory about conspiracy per definition, and it accurately applies to pretty much everyone. Since it applies to pretty much everyone, the label is essentially meaningless, either as a pejorative or as anything else.

The meaningless of the term has been clearly illustrated by Russiagate, whose adherents react with sputtering outrage whenever anyone points out that they’re engaged in a conspiracy theory, despite the self-evident fact that that’s exactly what it is: a theory about a band of powerful Russian conspirators conspiring with the highest levels of the US government. Their objection is not due to a belief that they’re not theorizing about a conspiracy, their objection is due to the fact that a highly stigmatized label that they’re accustomed to applying to other people has been applied to them. The label is rejected because its actual definition is ignored to the point of meaninglessness.

The problem has never been with the actual term “conspiracy theory”; the problem has been with its deliberate and completely meaningless use as a pejorative. The best way to address this would be a populist move to de-stigmatize the label by taking ownership of it. Last month Cornell University professor Dave Callum tweeted, “I am a ‘conspiracy theorist’. I believe men and women of wealth and power conspire. If you don’t think so, then you are what is called ‘an idiot’. If you believe stuff but fear the label, you are what is called ‘a coward’.” This is what we all must do. The debate must be forcibly moved from the absurd question of whether or not conspiracies are a thing to the important question of which conspiracy theories are valid and to what degree.

And we should probably hurry. Yahoo News reported earlier this month that the FBI recently published an intelligence bulletin describing “conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists” as a growing threat, and this was before the recent spate of US shootings got establishment narrative-makers pushing for new domestic terrorism laws.

This combined with the fact that we can’t even ask questions about extremely suspicious events like Jeffrey Epstein’s death without being tarred with this meaningless pejorative by the mass media thought police means we’re at extreme risk of being shoved into something far more Orwellian in the near future.

*  *  *

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 hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book 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 or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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Published:8/12/2019 10:03:44 PM
[Democrats] Bruce Ohr Speaks (John Hinderaker) Judicial Watch has obtained the FBI’s “302” forms summarizing agents’ conversations with former associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr. You can read the reports here, and I have also embedded them at the bottom of this post. The 302 forms relate to a considerable number of interviews that the FBI conducted with Ohr between December 19, 2016, and May 16, 2017. The reports can be viewed in two ways: you Published:8/12/2019 8:33:14 PM
[Markets] 5 Theories About The "Death" Of Jeffrey Epstein

Authored by Daisy Luther and Dagny Taggart via The Organic Prepper blog,

Nobody was really surprised when it was reported last weekend that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his jail cell of an apparent “suicide.” And also, nobody really believed the official story. I find it heartening to know that the American people no longer swallow the stories without question.

The results of our informal poll over the weekend show that hardly any of our readers believe that an egomaniacal narcissist like Epstein would have voluntarily killed himself.

You can still pop over to go vote in this poll.

So what happened to Jeffrey Epstein? Here are 5 theories aside from the official story.

1. Russia, of course.

The Russia hysteria that swept through the election of Donald Trump shows little sign of abating and some people even think that the Russians were responsible for the death of Epstein.

Joe Scarborough, host of Morning Joe on MSNBC got the ball rolling with this offhand tweet:

After a whole bunch of outraged tweets, it turned out he was just kidding.

Marco Rubio thinks the Russians are involved but only because the Russians are blaming the Clintons.

This leads us to our next theory.

2. The Clintons, of course.

There are a lot of powerful people who wouldn’t want the world hearing what Epstein had to say about their unsavory sexual predilections. Topping that list could be a guy with frequent flier miles on the Lolita Express.

A trending hashtag on Twitter right now is #ClintonBodyCount. And we’ve got to be honest, there are a lot and we mean a lot of bodies that have fallen in the wake of Bill and Hil, so many that the term “Arkancide” is listed in Urban Dictionary. Totally unrelated, we’re sure, despite what this book on Amazon or this documentary says.

RationalWiki, recently updated with information on how the Clintons didn’t kill Jeffrey Epstein, also says they didn’t kill these people either.

And there was fury on Twitter (when isn’t there fury on Twitter?) when President Trump retweeted this theory.

It’s complete with video.

But don’t worry, none of this Clinton stuff could possibly be true because Snopes has debunked it.

Instead, it’s obviously another political leader. One who tried to point the finger at the always-innnocent-and-benevolent Clintons.

3. Trump, of course.

#TrumpBodyCount is trending on Twitter, and the people making such Tweets are accusing Donald Trump of playing a role in Epstein’s supposed death.

The people writing those Tweets seem to be ignoring the substantial documented ties Bill Clinton has to Epstein. Yes, Trump had a past relationship with Epstein, as evidenced by photographs and comments Trump made about Epstein in a 2002 interview: “I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy,” Trump booms from a speakerphone. “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”

Donald Trump reportedly cut off contact with Epstein in 2004 after a real estate squabble. It has also been reported that Trump banned Epstein from Mar-a-Lago (where Virginia Roberts Giuffre allegedly met Epstein when she was 16). Last month, Trump said he knew Epstein “like everybody in Palm Beach knew him” and “I had a falling out with him a long time ago, I don’t think I’ve spoken to him for 15 years. I wasn’t a fan…I was not a fan of his…I feel very badly actually for Secretary Acosta.”

However, Bradley J. Edwards, the lawyer for several of Epstein’s alleged victims, said in an interview that Trump was the only high-powered person who was willing to talk to him when Edwards served subpoenas and notices to high-profile individuals connected to Epstein.

That being said, one can’t help but wonder why Trump selected Alexander Acosta as his Secretary of Labor and William Barr as Attorney General, considering their questionable ties to Epstein. Of course, none of this means that Trump or his administration had anything to do with Epstein’s death.

4. The Mossad killed him, of course.

You’ve probably heard the theory that Epstein may have an operator for the Mossad, getting all sorts of dirt on powerful perverts in order to strongly urge them to comply when asked for favors in the future. Dagney Taggart reported:

The Epstein case is filled with bizarre details that are difficult to unravel.

Maurene Comey, daughter of fired FBI Director James Comey, is reportedly one of the prosecutors in the Jeffrey Epstein case. She is an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the SDNY who has worked on cases involving alleged racketeering, drugs and weapons offenses, embezzlement, obstruction of justice, and robbery.

Robert Mueller led the FBI at the time of the original charges against Epstein.

There are additional bizarre details in the Epstein story, as Michael Krieger explains in The Jeffrey Epstein Rabbit Hole Goes a Lot Deeper Than You Think. Krieger works through a series of connections (to read them, click on the link to his article – his points are made in a series of Tweets) and eventually forms a theory that Epstein’s entire operation was designed to ensnare the rich and powerful – and that the billionaire may be funded by Israeli spy agency Mossad. (source)

Another interesting source believes that not only was Epstein Mossad, but that the Mossad could be involved in a cover-up surrounding his death. (Or “death” if you prefer.) Philip Giraldi, a former CIA operative writes:

As a former intelligence officer myself, there is little doubt in my mind that what Epstein did and how he did it was an intelligence operation. There is no other viable explanation for his filming of prominent politicians and celebrities having sex with young girls. And as for the question of whom Epstein might have been working for, the most likely answer is Mossad. The CIA would have had no interest in compiling dossiers on prominent Americans, but American movers and shakers like Bill Clinton, with his 26 trips on the Lolita Express, former Governor Bill Richardson, or former Senator George Mitchell are precisely the types of “agents of influence” that the Mossad would seek to coerce or even blackmail into cooperation…

…Epstein is now dead. But the key questions go unanswered including was he a spy for Israel? And what about the Krischer-Dershowitz connection that kept him from being punished commensurate with his crimes? Did those instructions also come from Israel or from its friends in the U.S. Justice Department? Will the three simultaneous investigations currently taking place even continue and ask the right questions now that the target of the investigation is gone? Given the high stakes in the game, quite likely, there will be a cover-up both of how Epstein lived and how he died. We the public will never know what Epstein was all about. (source)

5. He’s not actually dead, of course.

Is there a chance that Epstein is not actually dead?

Maybe he’s in witness protection. A whole lot of people have BIG reasons to want him dead. Maybe one of his excessively wealthy and powerful friends helped him escape and he’s somewhere drinking mojitos and laughing at the coverage of his untimely demise.

There are some mysteries about how he could have managed to commit suicide or be murdered in his recent situation.

  1. He tried to commit suicide 2 weeks ago.

  2. Or maybe a bodybuilder-murderer-ex-cop-cellmate tried to take Epstein out in a hit although the bodybuilder-murderer-ex-cop-cellmate says he saved him.

  3. He was taken off suicide watch despite allegedly trying to kill himself two weeks previously. It is now being reported that he was removed from suicide watch at the request of his attorneys.

  4. “Epstein” was carted out in an open body bag so the paparazzi could get a good look at someone “who looked like Epstein” being dead. Specifically, “A gurney carrying a man who looked like Epstein was wheeled into New York Downtown Hospital around 7:30 a.m. A call for a reported cardiac arrest came in at 6:38 a.m., Fire Department sources said,” reported NY Post.

  5. The autopsy is apparently complete but the coroner apparently requires more information. “The New York City medical examiner’s office said Sunday that it had completed an autopsy on the financier and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein but that it needed more information before determining the cause of death,” reported NBC News.

So maybe, just maybe, the guy isn’t actually dead but in the witness protection program, because if ever a witness would require protection, it would be this one. Is it possible that the DoJ wants to build a case against even bigger fish than Epstein?

Or maybe he is free as a bird in the most outrageous jailbreak in American history. The world my never know.

What do you think happened to Jeffrey Epstein?

Published:8/12/2019 8:33:14 PM
[The Blog] Ohhhh yes: FBI raids Epstein’s Pedophile Island

Secrets.

The post Ohhhh yes: FBI raids Epstein’s Pedophile Island appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:8/12/2019 6:02:24 PM
[Markets] FBI Raids Jeffrey Epstein's 'Orgy Island' Days After Apparent Suicide

Even in death, Jeffrey Epstein continues to confound the authorities. According to the Daily Mail, FBI agents were spotted raiding the deceased pedophile/financier's private island in the US Virgin Islands, Little St. James - or "Pedophile Island", as it's become known.

The Daily Mail captured footage of a dozen officers arriving on speedboats at the island's peer, before decamping on golf carts to explore the property just two days after the billionaire's suicide. Some agents were spotted on top of Epstein's luxury home. All officials wore jackets with the letters 'FBI' in clear view.

The search follows the unsealing of 2,000 pages of documents by the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. The documents detail some of the beyond lurid behavior that Epstein and his compatriots engaged in with young women.

A group of onlookers initially tipped off the Mail.

"I'm on a boat charter with guests. We are the only guests out here at the moment."

"We were enjoying lunch when we saw over a dozen people getting off their speedboats and landing on the island."

"When we looked harder, we could see the FBI logo on the backs of their shirts."

"It didn't take long for us to realize they must be conducting a raid on Epstein's house."

Epstein's home, which has alternatively been called 'Pedophile Island' and 'Orgy Island' was allegedly home to a haram of underage sex slaves who serviced Epstein and his wealthy and famous friends.

The disgraced financier recently purchased the larger neighboring island - dubbed Great St. James - and had planned extensive renovations, which had only just begun.

Other officials with 'FBI' lettering on clear display were later seen overlooking the crystal blue sea from the top of Epstein's remote luxury home off the coast of St Thomas.

The search comes after 2,000 pages of documents detailing the lurid allegations of his sexual abuse of underage girls were unsealed to the public on Friday, adding more fuel to the fire of the government's case of sex trafficking against Epstein.

Of particular interest to certain corners of the Internet that have long suspected Epstein as the head of an international community of child abusers, is the island's temple, which according to Internet lore, was a sort of barracks for Epstein's sex slaves.

The island was listed at Epstein's primary residence, though he owned some $150 million in property, including a tony Manhattan townhouse that was raided shortly after his arrest. Police reportedly found a trove of photos of underaged women.

While it's unclear what investigators are looking for, AG William Barr made it clear in a statement delivered after Epstein's death that the investigation is shifting to those who helped Epstein carry out his nefarious schemes, including his alleged 'madame', socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, whose whereabouts are unknown.

Published:8/12/2019 5:33:09 PM
[US News] Report: A dozen FBI agents have raided Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Pedophile Island’

What's the chance the FBI will find everything wiped, like with a cloth or something?

The post Report: A dozen FBI agents have raided Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Pedophile Island’ appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:8/12/2019 4:33:13 PM
[c941d462-8e2b-55b5-b9ce-8696130bc403] Gregg Jarrett: Comey's FBI was running a secret counterintelligence operation against Trump, new docs show Newly obtained documents confirm that James Comey’s FBI was running a secret and corrupt counterintelligence operation against the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016 and repeatedly deceiving the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) thereafter in order to wiretap a Trump campaign associate.  Published:8/12/2019 4:33:13 PM
[] Integrity Theater: FBI Agents Raid Jeffrey Epstein's Pedo Island, Now That He's Dead, With Eye-Catching Speedboats Is this all a bit theatrical, or am I just being too cynical? FBI agents were seen raiding Jeffrey Epstein's US Virgin Island - Little St. James - on Monday morning and afternoon, exclusive DailyMailTV footage shows At least a... Published:8/12/2019 4:01:38 PM
[Markets] Epstein's Death May Be A "Turning Point In The Public's Willingness To Accept Official Bullshit"

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

He Did What??!!...

The only trouble with the conspiracy theory that hundreds of prominent and powerful people wanted Jeffrey Epstein dead is that Jeffrey Epstein might have wanted Jeffrey Epstein dead even more than they did. But that’s mere conjecture. His mind is beyond being read. Of course, the evidence of his alleged crimes didn’t die — the “meticulous” records he kept live on, along with the names of Mr. Epstein’s patrons, clients, marks, however you might classify the celebs drawn into the pulsating estrogenic bubble of his life, humming that old tune “Thank Heaven for Little Girls….”

I’m a little surprised that Attorney General William Barr didn’t have a heart attack upon learning the news. With Mr. Barr already fully engaged cleaning up the mighty mess in the Department of Justice, the FBI, and elsewhere — considerably aggravated by Robert Mueller’s bungled operations — another stink bomb leaves federal law enforcement beskunked, bothered, and bewildered. And now the FBI is being sent into investigate? That’s rich. America’s Deep State looks like a re-make of that marvelous 2018 movie The Death of Stalin, a fabulous burlesque of people in high places acting like dishonorable idiots.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons has some ‘splainin’ to do, and they didn’t bother doing much of that on Sunday after the news came out. They failed entirely at every critical point of responsibility for keeping the DOJ’s number one criminal suspect alive: took him off suicide watch a week after he tried to off himself (if that‘s what it was); failed to keep him on observation; failed to provide a cell-mate who might have alerted the guards; and failed to deploy viable video cameras to record the doings in his cell.

That’s a pretty sensational fail. You really can’t blame the public for feeling a little paranoid about the rot at the center of government. The death of Mr. Epstein may be a turning point in the public’s willingness to accept any more official bullshit. A great many Americans — those who don’t rely on Rachel Maddow and The New York Times to do their reality testing for them — already must be impatient with the (so far) utter lack of accountability among officials implicated in that other Keystone Kops episode, the RussiaGate fiasco.

Like the sordid case of Jeffrey Epstein, RussiaGate was an affair with the tentacles of Hillary Clinton entangled through it. It was an astounding feat of legerdemain that Mr. Mueller managed to spend two years investigating the matter, and then put out 400-plus pages of a report, without ever noticing that Mrs. Clinton’s chief campaign oppo ops contractor, Glenn Simpson, was the originator of the whole thing. It may have been a too-fine point for the moiling multitudes in Flyover-land, but surely some of the spellbound Muellerites among the coastal thinking class were taken aback when the Great Man fumbled it so abysmally in his recent performance before the House Intelligence Committee.

Jeffrey Epstein is the first character in this multi-thread melodrama to turn up dead suspiciously - if you don’t count the unresolved murder of DNC employee Seth Rich, the possible conduit of those now-legendary DNC emails to Wikileaks. Rich was found on a Washington DC sidewalk with two bullets in his back and his wallet and cell phone both still on his person at the murder scene. The allegations connecting Seth Rich to the leak are supposedly “debunked,” only with no evidence, really, one way or the other, just the say-so of interested parties. It is often averred that Julian Assange could answer that riddle definitively, but Mr. Assange has not played that card (and Mr. Mueller never interviewed him).

In any case, Mr. Epstein’s supposed suicide has rocked the establishment again. The shock was palpable across the news-scape yesterday in the dearth of information the media managed to scare up in the first twenty-four hours about the most obvious questions. As I write, there’s still no “definitive” cause-of-death from the New York City medical examiner. What might they be looking for? Signs of a struggle, suggesting that Mr. E’s suicide was assisted, shall we say? Chemical analysis of his blood? Who knows what’s holding back the info? And even if foul play can’t be demonstrated, the fishy incident spreads ever more odium across US officialdom.

Meanwhile, any number of disgraced federal officials, whose misdeeds are richly documented in the public record, remain on the loose. Andrew McCabe, Bruce, Ohr, Peter Strzok, James Comey, John Brennan, James Clapper, and many more — once the cream of the upper echelons of federal authority! The Epstein debacle puts more pressure on William Barr, John Durham, and Michael Horowitz to get on with their jobs. All these unresolved mysteries give Americans a reason to want to arm themselves against a recklessly rogue and sinister government.

*  *  *

Support Jim's writing here at Patron

Published:8/12/2019 2:01:30 PM
[Congressional Hall Monitor] Chuck Schumer Wants a Background Check for Bulletproof Vest Sales

By Whitney Tipton -

Chuck Schumer

Democratic New York Sen. Chuck Schumer announced plans Sunday to introduce a bill requiring the FBI to approve body armor sales to civilians. The legislation would establish approval standards overseen by the FBI for civilians to purchase body armor, which includes bulletproof vests, which the gunman wore in the Dayton, ...

Chuck Schumer Wants a Background Check for Bulletproof Vest Sales 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:8/12/2019 12:32:14 PM
[Markets] Moscow Mitch, Secret Russian Subs... And Russophobia Derangement

Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Arch Republican Senator Mitch McConnell is being taunted by major US media outlets and at political rallies as a “Russian asset”. Meanwhile, Britain’s Daily Telegraph reports on “super-secret” Russian submarines which are “operating unseen” in British territorial waters.

The collapse in rational thinking among American and British political mainstream circles is highlighted by the rampant Russophobia.

Such thinking is delusional, paranoid and ultimately horrifying at a time of heightened international tensions between nuclear superpowers.

First, let’s deal with the farcical furore over Senator McConnell being labelled a Russian asset. The Senate majority leader has been dubbed by US news channel MSNBC and the Washington Post as “Moscow Mitch” and “doing Putin’s bidding”. The monikers followed McConnell’s blocking of legislation aimed at tightening security of electoral systems ostensibly to prevent “foreign meddling”.

It’s not clear why McConnell objected to the proposed legislation. It seems he doesn’t agree with extra federal controls over state-level electoral systems. Also, he claims that hundreds of millions of dollars have already been spent upgrading electoral systems, and therefore additional expenditure is not warranted. He is a fiscal hawk after all.

Nonetheless, it is a preposterous leave of senses when paranoid Russophobia in US politics and media are inferring that McConnell’s opposition to the proposed electoral legislation is “evidence” that he is a Russian agent, by allegedly enabling Russian hacking into US elections.

At a recent political event in his home state of Kentucky, McConnell was heckled and booed by Democrat supporters chanting “Moscow Mitch, Moscow Mitch!” The protesters were wearing T-shirts and brandishing placards with images of McConnell donning a Cossack hat with Soviet-era hammer and sickles.

Understandably, the 77-year-old senator has reacted with aghast over the political attacks. He called it “modern-day McCarthyism” harking back to the Cold War years of Red Baiting. He even said it was worse that the past McCarthyism. And he has a point there.

McConnell’s exasperation is borne out of the complete irrational vacuousness of the accusations. The six-time elected lawmaker is the longest-serving Republican senator. He is a grandee of the traditionally rightwing party, with an “impeccable” record of being hawkish towards Russia and President Vladimir Putin.

How anyone can construe that good ole boy McConnell is a Russian stooge is too absurd for words. What the accusations do betray is the total derangement and politically illiterate condition of mainstream American political and media culture.

As Princeton Professor Stephen Cohen remarked in a recent interview Russophobia and paranoia over alleged interference in US politics has become a permanent mindset among too many American politicians, pundits, military-intelligence agencies and Democrat supporters. Cohen rightly deplores how the whole baseless narrative of “Russia-gate” continues with a life of its own, having not been finally made redundant after the two-year Mueller probe spectacularly failed to provide any substantive details or evidence.

Still, however, former FBI chief Robert Mueller in recent hearings before Congress was permitted to reiterate hollow accusations that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential elections and, he asserted, Moscow will do so again in the 2020 elections. This is simply doctrinal thinking which is, in turn, accepted as “fact” that Russia’s President Putin ordered an “interference campaign” to subvert American democracy. (Moscow has always vehemently rejected that.)

That’s why when someone as antipathetic towards Russia as Senate leader Mitch McConnell exercises relative sanity by rejecting the alleged need for more electoral security systems to “prevent foreign meddling” he is then assailed with hysterical accusations of being a “Russian asset”. The utter irrationality is self-reinforcing because of unhinged delusions about Russian malignancy. No evidence is required. It’s “true” because “we believe it is true”.

McConnell has hit back at his detractors by calling them “leftwing hacks” and “communists”. He made that conclusion by referring to the Democrats’ policy of seeking to expand free healthcare for American citizens. He proudly called himself the “Grim Reaper” who would protect America from a “socialist agenda”.

This inane back and forth demonstrates how dumbed down American political culture is. Increasingly bitter partisan accusations and slander are flying around based on no facts, no evidence, no reason, nor any intelligent understanding about policy, history or political philosophy.

But, lamentably, at bottom the crazed political discourse relies on an embedded Russophobia. Russia is viewed as evil and malicious, by both sides of the political coin. Rather than addressing inherent problems in American society, the discourse finds a common false explanation – blame it on Russia or association with presumed communism. The Cold War nihilism of American politics and propaganda has never stopped. It’s just become more delusional and divorced from any semblance of reality. In this context, the modern-day Russophobia is perhaps more dangerous because of its irrationality and evidence-free doctrinal thinking.

Which brings us to the “super-secret” Russian submarines that are stalking Britain, according to the Daily Telegraph. The so-called report (more accurately, psy-ops piece) is a must-read for exposing the delusional anti-Russia paranoia that the British political class have in common with the Americans.

“A new breed of super quiet Russian submarines are feared [sic] to be operating unseen [sic] in British territorial waters, according to military sources [sic],” the Telegraph claimed.

The sources were, as usual, anonymous, betraying that the Telegraph was being used, as it often is, as a conduit for British intelligence propaganda.

Not one scrap of evidence was presented to substantiate these “fears” of “unseen” Russian submarines. Supposedly, the “unseen” vessels are “proof” of how dastardly and stealthy those damn Russians are. The point of the article was to deliver a public message for more military spending on Britain’s Royal Navy.

What makes it possible for the Daily Telegraph to publish such bogeyman rubbish is because of the systematic inculcation of Russophobia among many, but not all, Britons.

As with its American counterpart, British political culture has become degenerate and depraved. It is the equivalent of medieval sorcery and “magical thinking”. Standards of proof, reason and due process have been abandoned. It’s like a regression to pre-Enlightenment times. The fact that the US and Britain possess nuclear arsenals aimed at Russia makes the deranged thinking of their political class a truly frightening prospect for the entire world.

Published:8/11/2019 9:01:14 PM
[Markets] Clinton Mentioned In Epstein Documents Just Hours Before Alleged 'Suicide'

As more information trickles out about the suspicious death of Jeffrey Epstein, AG General William Barr asked the Justice Department's inspector general on Saturday to launch its own investigation, while the FBI also launched an inncs, as the FBI conducts an investigation of its own.

Law enforcement officials previously said Epstein, 66, hanged himself and was found in a jail cell Saturday morning at roughly 7:30 am. Previously, on July 23, "Epstein was found passed out in his jail cell with marks on his neck.

Epstein was under extra security in a special unit of Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan - but he wasn't under suicide watch, a prison official told the Times. Bernie Kerek, former commissioner of the New York City Department of Correction, wrote an op-ed for The Hill raising serious doubts about Epstein's suicide...

[T]he most basic question, in my mind, is why Epstein was in solitary confinement in the first place — something so totally inappropriate for a prisoner already at risk of suicide...

He tried to commit suicide less than two weeks ago and, we were told, was placed in solitary confinement and under a suicide watch.

So how in the world could he commit suicide?

...

There is nothing worse than taking a suicidal prisoner and sticking him into a solitary confinement cell. Common sense and any psychologist, any corrections professional, will tell you that — so why was it done in this instance?

In solitary confinement there is a 15-minute “watch” rule, but that is not the same as a “suicide watch.” A prisoner can asphyxiate himself in 90 seconds and, after eight minutes or so, he will be brain dead.

That’s exactly why around-the-clock supervision is necessary when a prisoner is classified as suicidal. And it requires constant supervision, in person or by technology — cameras.

Just days before his death, revelations about many of the rich and famous individuals who were serviced by his pedophile ring began to emerge; all raising serious suspicions about his death and just what Epstein was ready to make public.

John McAfee had a quit shot across the bow...

President Trump indirectly raised his doubts, retweeting the following tweet, pointing the finger at one key figure who pops up time and time again...

As The Federalist reports, former President Bill Clinton visited the island of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who happened to committed suicide after the documents were unveiled.

The documents that detailed the former president’s trips to the island known as Pedo island were reported on Friday and Epstein committed suicide on Saturday.

“Jeffrey Epstein told prison guards and fellow inmates that he believed someone had tried to kill him weeks before his death, a source has revealed,” The Mail said.

The allegations came from Epstein’s alleged "sex slave," said Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who remembered one trip by the former president to the island.

"Epstein did invite two young brunettes to a dinner which he gave on his Caribbean island for Mr. Clinton shortly after he left office," the deposition said.

"I’d have been about 17 at the time. I flew to the Caribbean with Jeffrey and then Ghislaine Maxwell went to pick up Bill in a huge black helicopter that Jeffrey had bought her.”

"I remember she was very excited because she got her license around the first year we met. I used to get frightened flying with her but Bill had the secret service with him and I remember him talking about what a good job she did."

Even the Washington Post had some questions about the suspicious nature of Epstein's death:

First, consider the MCC itself. It is a high-rise, forbidding administrative detention facility in the south of Manhattan. Its population consists almost entirely of prisoners, like Epstein, awaiting trial in federal court in Manhattan. It has been referred to as the “Guantanamo of New York” for its stringent security measures. It is the facility of choice for notorious federal defendants, often in special administrative segregation units, having previously housed John Gotti, Bernard Madoff, Omar Abdel Rahman and, recently, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

In other words, it is the very place to put a high-profile and potentially suicidal defendant such as Epstein.

Second, consider the BOP’s suicide prevention protocol. Epstein was found last month unconscious in his MCC cell with marks on his neck. If he was not on suicide watch, it would be astonishing. Yet if he were on suicide watch, his death would be virtually inconceivable.

The BOP’s suicide prevention protocol entails, first and foremost, human eyes on the prisoner 24 hours a day. It also requires a strict deprivation of anything — shoelaces, sheets, pillowcases — that could possibly be used to hang oneself. It also requires disabling anything that could be used to tie a noose — vents, sprinkler heads, etc.

Finally, we are not talking about inexperienced yokels. BOP personnel, especially at MCC, are the best professionals in the corrections industry, and they receive special training in administrating suicide prevention. Who better to guard against such a horrific development?

As a reminder, here's a timeline of the Epstein debacle, from the very beginning, text courtesy of Axios

Timeline:

The earliest allegations date back to 2002. They include sexual abuse and exploitation of underage girls and young women, as well as requesting some of the women to recruit others, per the New York Times.

In a 2002 interview with New York Magazine, Trump said he enjoyed Epstein's company, and, "It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side." Per the Washington Post, Trump has since minimized his friendship with Epstein.
And Trump wasn't the only president Epstein socialized with. "In his eyes, [Bill] Clinton as a species represents the highest evolutionary form of the political animal," noted New York Magazine.

2005

A teenage girl's parents told the Palm Beach police that she had been molested by Epstein in March, according to the Miami Herald and the New York Times.
By October, law enforcement had identified more than 20 possible victims.

2006

In May, the Palm Beach County state attorney referred Epstein's case to a grand jury, resulting in a single charge of soliciting prostitution.
The FBI opened an investigation in July.
2007

Email records indicate Epstein's attorneys and prosecutors, led by then-U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Alexander Acosta, discussed a possible plea deal.
2008

A federal grand jury indicted Epstein on minor prostitution charges.
In a deal with federal prosecutors on June 30, federal charges were dropped in exchange for Epstein pleading guilty to state charges — a single count of solicitation of prostitution with a minor. According to the Miami Herald, "Among the terms agreed upon: that the victims would not be notified, that the deal would be kept under seal and all grand jury subpoenas would be cancelled."

Epstein began an 18-month sentence in the Palm Beach County stockade in July. He was released 6 days a week to work from his officeTwo of Epstein's victims filed a lawsuit against the federal government, accusing them of violating their rights, per the New York Times.

2009

Epstein was released in July, 5 months early.
His nonprosecution deal was made public in September.

2011

Two of Epstein's victims filed a motion in March accusing federal prosecutors of violating their rights by keeping the deal secret, the New York Times reports.

2017

Acosta was confirmed as U.S. labor secretary in April.

The Miami Herald began an investigation of Acosta’s nonprosecution agreement from 2007, discovering that Acosta negotiated a plea deal that granted Epstein immunity from federal sex-trafficking charges.

Reporter Julie Brown pored through records, files and court documents and found more than 80 alleged victims.

2018

Brown's investigative report was published in November.

2019

A judge ruled in February that prosecutors had broken the law in reaching the previous plea bargain.
Epstein was charged in federal court in Manhattan with sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy. He pleaded not guilty and was held without bail. He was flagged as "an extraordinary risk of flight and danger," the New York Times writes.
Investigators seized a series of nude photos depicting underage girls from Epstein's New York City townhouse, according to the New York Times.

In July, House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) requested Acosta's testimony regarding his role in Epstein's 2008 plea deal.

Acosta defended his handling of the sex-trafficking case involving Epstein. Acosta resigned in mid-July.

The intrigue: "Even though the criminal prosecution of Mr. Epstein ended this morning, there remained questions about co-conspirators," Paul Butler, a Georgetown University law professor, told the Washington Post.

Epstein led a "mysterious yet ultra-opulent lifestyle," writes Axios' Felix Salmon.

He also had a collection of "powerful pals," including private equity billionaire Leon Black, per Axios' Dan Primack. The Miami Herald reports Clinton, Prince Andrew and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak were in his social circle.

*  *  *

So what's next?

The criminal case against Epstein ends with his death, but accusers' lawyers are still seeking justice for their clients. Civil rights attorney Lisa Bloom on Saturday called for the administrators of Epstein’s estate to "freeze all his assets and hold them for his victims who are filing civil cases."

Of course, with The FBI's recent ruling that anyone discussing conspiracy theories is a potential domestic terrorist, it would appear everyone is a 'domestic terrorist' now... As one Twitter wit noted:

Me before Epstein’s death: Conspiracy theories are facile misdirections favored by people who crave simplistic explanations to soothe their own feelings of powerlessness.

Me now: The Illuminati whacked Epstein.

Everything’s on the table.

The bottom line is simple - instead of ending the conspiracy, Epstein's death has brought new questions about the accusations, investigations and the broader implications.

Published:8/11/2019 3:00:03 PM
[2019 News] JUDICIAL WATCH: FBI 302 INTERVIEWS WITH BRUCE OHR ON SPYGATE RELEASED TO JUDICIAL WATCH JUDICIAL WATCH: FBI 302 INTERVIEWS WITH BRUCE OHR ON SPYGATE RELEASED TO JUDICIAL WATCH. Why these people aren’t all sharing a cell with Jeffrey Epstein is beyond us. Published:8/8/2019 9:12:13 PM
[Markets] Lead US Prosecutor In Epstein's 2008 Case Unexpectedly Resigns

Something big is about to hit in the Jeffrey Epstein drama, which in recent days has quietly slipped to the last page in the local media.

Moments ago, the Miami Herald whose reporting in 2018 reincarnated the Epstein pedogate scandal, reported that Marie Villafaña, the lead federal prosecutor who helped negotiate the controversial plea deal for accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, has submitted her resignation to the Justice Department.

Villafaña’s lawyer, Jonathan Biran, confirmed her resignation to the Miami Herald, saying that she has long planned to transition to a legal career in healthcare, and now plans to join the federal Department of Health and Human Services, because allegedly, she handled a number of healthcare fraud cases in South Florida in recent years.

Assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of Florida. Marie Villafaña

Her shocking departure comes amid a sprawling federal probe into the role she and other federal prosecutors, including her former boss, Alexander Acosta, had in sidelining the 53-page indictment against the wealthy New York schmoozer and convicted pedophile in favor of a state plea to minor prostitution charges in 2008. Epstein, 66, was accused of molesting dozens of underage girls, most of them 14 to 16 years old, at his Palm Beach mansion more than a decade ago. He is now facing federal sex trafficking charges involving minors brought against him last month by prosecutors in the Southern District of New York.

The DOJ's Office of Professional Responsibility is probing whether Acosta, who resigned his cabinet post as Trump's secretary of labor last month — and other U.S. prosecutors involved in the 2007-2008 case — committed misconduct in negotiating the secret pact with Epstein. A federal judge in February ruled that the prior deal was illegally negotiated because Epstein and federal prosecutors concealed it from his victims in violation of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act.

Villafaña, 51, has worked in the Southern District of Florida, mostly based in West Palm Beach, for the past 18 years. She is the last member of the federal prosecution team that handled Epstein’s case in 2008 still employed by the Department of Justice. The other members of the team, including Acosta, left in the years after Epstein’s case was closed.

Palm Beach Sheriff Ric Bradshaw’s role in the case is also under scrutiny the Herald reports, since under his watch he permitted Epstein liberal work release privileges that allowed the multimillionaire to be chauffeured by his valet from the jail to his office in West Palm Beach six days a week, 12 hours a day.  Even when Epstein was in his cell at night, sheriff’s deputies reportedly allowed him to keep his door open.

* * *

While there is no specific reason to doubt the motive behind her resignation, a much more likely reason behind Villafana's abrupt departure is that several people involved in the Epstein case have been questioned by the Justice Department in recent weeks as part of its ongoing OPR investigation, and something unexpected "popped up."

Villafaña has never spoken publicly about the case. Sources close to her have said that she disagreed with Acosta’s decision granting Epstein and others involved in his activities immunity from federal charges.

Those close to Villafaña said that in the end, she was a loyal career prosecutor who toed the line of her boss while focusing her efforts on a provision in Epstein’s agreement that forced him to pay restitution to his victims. At the time of the deal, the FBI had identified 34 underage victims, most of them middle and high school girls who came from underprivileged backgrounds.

Recently released documents revealed that Villafaña strenuously objected to Epstein’s work release, and wrote a letter to the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office in December 2008 pointing out that the crimes he committed were not accurately reflected in his work release paperwork and that those records contained “omissions” that should have disqualified him for the program.

Biran said Villafaña’s resignation had nothing to do with the Epstein matter, and that she has recently completed a two-year training program on healthcare compliance. Most of her career has been spent advocating for the rights of victims, and she has received numerous awards for her work, he added.

“Ms. Villafaña is confident that, when DOJ’s internal investigation has been concluded, the department will find that she acted properly in all respects as the lead prosecutor in the federal investigation of Jeffrey Epstein,’’ Biran said.

Her departure is unlikely to derail OPR's probe according to Michael R. Bromwich, a former federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York. "There is no reason that they couldn’t continue the investigation, especially in a case like this where there is broad public interest in knowing what happened,’’ said Bromwich, a former inspector general for the Justice Department. He added that it’s important for the department to make its findings public given that so much secrecy has surrounded the Epstein case.

Meanwhile, Epstein was denied bail and remains jailed in Manhattan pending his trial, tentatively set for next June. Many have speculated that it is unlikely that he will survive that long.

Published:8/8/2019 7:41:31 PM
[Politics] Ex-FBI official Andrew McCabe sues over his firing

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, a frequent target of President Trump's ire, has sued the FBI and the Justice Department over his firing.

Published:8/8/2019 3:45:31 PM
[In The News] Andrew McCabe Sues FBI, DOJ Over Firing

By Chuck Ross -

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe sued the Justice Department and FBI on Thursday for his firing last year, which he says was politically-motivated retribution for failing to support President Trump. In the complaint, McCabe accuses the Justice Department and FBI of “unlawful retaliation for his refusal to pledge allegiance ...

Andrew McCabe Sues FBI, DOJ Over Firing 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:8/8/2019 3:45:31 PM
[In The News] Justice Dept Recovers 103 Children, Arrests 67 Traffickers in Nationwide Child Sex Operation

By R. Mitchell -

The Department of Justice announced today the FBI-led recovery or identification of 103 child victims and the arrest of 67 sex traffickers through Operation Independence Day.  This initiative — a revamping of a previously successful program — was executed during the month of July through 161 operations conducted nationwide. Operation ...

Justice Dept Recovers 103 Children, Arrests 67 Traffickers in Nationwide Child Sex Operation 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:8/8/2019 1:40:00 PM
[Law] FBI Fires 4 for Leaks, Investigates 10 Other Employees Since 2016

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has investigated at least 14 employees since 2016 for unauthorized disclosures of bureau information and fired at least four, documents... Read More

The post FBI Fires 4 for Leaks, Investigates 10 Other Employees Since 2016 appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:8/8/2019 12:42:39 PM
[Politics] Booker, Durbin to DOJ: 'Attack White Supremacist Terrorism' Democrat Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Richard Durbin of Illinois urged the Justice Department and FBI to deal with the threat of white nationalism with the same intensity the agencies used against international terrorism after the Sept. 11 attacks . . . Published:8/8/2019 12:09:38 PM
[Markets] MAGA Supporters Clean 12 Tons Of Trash From West Baltimore Streets

Update: Who could have guessed? The left is angry that a Trump-supporter would dare to visit Baltimore and help improve the situation

Presler was quick to reply:

"I can't even imagine what would cause a person to be mad at us for helping to clean up Baltimore.

Instead of criticizing us, how about putting on some gloves to pick up trash"

*  *  *

As we deatiled earlier, hundreds of MAGA supporters participated in a massive cleanup effort earlier this week in West Baltimore, inspired by President Trump's tweets, along with a conservative activist who organized the event in Rep. Elijah Cummings' district.

According to WBAL-TV Baltimore, 300 volunteers on Aug. 5 took to the streets of northwest Baltimore, cleaning up trash from alleyways in an "Americans Helping Americans" event organized by conservative activist Scott Presler.

Starting at 7 am at the intersection of North Fulton Avenue and Westwood Avenue (highest per capita homicide rate in the country), hundreds gathered to lend a hand in "Making Baltimore Great Again." About 12 hours later, volunteers collected more than 12 tons of trash, almost 1 ton per hour, in a massive cleanup effort in hopes to revive the dying city.

Many of the volunteers were from other states, such as Ohio, and North Carolina, and most of them traveled from abroad because they heard about the cleanup effort on Presler's social media channels.

"I never intended it to turn into a national event. It was never supposed to be this big," Presler told The Epoch Times.

Presler, who said he is proud to wear the MAGA hat, is a grassroots right-wing activist who has several hundred thousand followers on social media.

"I'm a big Trump supporter, but I wanted people to know that's not the reason we're coming here today. This is not a pro-Trump rally, and this is not an anti-Rep. Cummings rally," Presler said. "This is truly the community coming together."

Some Baltimoreans were thankful for the cleanup effort since they said the city had neglected their neighborhoods for decades.

Presler spoke with community members about the deteriorating city. He said, "the people of Baltimore love their country and love their city and 'they're proud to live there," but the government isn't doing anything to resolve the trash problem.

He put out a tweet on July 28 to his followers on Twitter, asking for help in the cleanup effort. By the 29th, he had nearly 100 volunteers from across the country.

Presler kept the details of the cleanup effort secret, for fear that the far-left Antifa group might show up and cause trouble.

He said there were no incidents during the event itself, apart from the fact that the cleanup team needed more dumpsters.

Presler said city officials wouldn't grant him a permit to store dumpsters on the street.

"For 3 days, we respectfully called the office asking for an update," he said in an Aug. 7 tweet. "The city of Baltimore never approved the permits, so we did it, anyway."

Presler said a second cleanup effort in the city could be imminent and already has 30 volunteers. People have been reaching out to him in deindustrialized areas across the country who want to start similar efforts.

While President Trump blames the demise of Baltimore on Democrats, which certainly can be the case, one must understand by the late 1950s, Baltimore was nearly 1 million strong in population. By 2019, the population stood at 600,000, which is a 33% decline in six decades. The breakdown started not because of a political party, but rather corporate elitists who decided to shift labor and resources out of the industrial hub to regions around the world where it was cheaper to manufacture goods. Then, of course, the Democrats jumped on board and have controlled City Hall ever since. Their economic and social policies were no match for the rapid decay that consumed vast swaths of the city. In reality, Democrat or Republican, no policy whatsoever could have thwarted Baltimore's descent into chaos, which is the same decay that is seen across many deindustrialized cities across America.

President Trump's constant government propaganda of "the greatest economy ever" and his claim that he's done more for African Americans than any other president is merely a farce. To see if his debt-fueled tax cuts and constant stock market pumping have lifted all tides, come to Baltimore and pick up some trash. You'll break out of the MAGA matrix and see America for what it is: a dying nation.

Baltimore, like many other cities across the country, cannot be fixed in a presidential term, the effort of revival could take decades.

Published:8/8/2019 9:08:56 AM
[Markets] Paul Craig Roberts Slams The FBI's "Open Invitation To Tyranny"

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

The FBI has published a document that concludes that “conspiracy theories” can motivate believers to commit crimes.

Considering the growing acceptance of pre-emptive arrest, that is, arresting someone before they can commit a crime that they are suspected of planning to commit, challenging official explanations, such as those offered for the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King or the official explanation for 9/11, can now result in monitoring by authorities with a view to finding a reason for pre-emptive arrest.  Presidents George W. Bush and Obama created the police state precedents of suspension of habeas corpus and assassination of citizens on suspicion alone without due process.  If Americans can be preemptively detained indefinitely and preemptively assassinated,  Americans can expect to be preemptively imprisoned for crimes that they did not commit. 

As Lawrence Stratton and I explained in our book, The Tyranny of Good Intentions, the historic achievement of forging law into a shield of the people is being reversed in our time as law is being reforged into a weapon in the hands of the government. 

The FBI document says that conspiracy theories “are usually at odds with official or prevailing explanations of events.”  Note the use of “official” and “prevailing.”  Official explanations are explanations provided by governments.  Prevailing explanations are the explanations that the media repeats.  Examples of official and prevailing explanations are: Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, Assad’s use of chemical weapons, Iranian nukes, Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the official explanation by the US government for the destruction of Libya.  If a person doubts official explanations such as these, that person is a “conspiracy theorist.”  

Official and prevailing explanations do not have to be consistent with facts.  It is enough that they are official and prevailing.  Whether or not they are true is irrelevant.  Therefore, a person who stands up for the truth can be labeled a conspiracy theorist, monitored, and perhaps pre-emptively arrested. 

Consider 9/11.  No forensic investigation of 9/11 was ever officially conducted.  Instead the destruction of the buildings was blamed on Osama bin Laden, and scenarios and simulations were created to support the allegation, not to find the truth.  Architects, engineers, scientists, pilots, and first responders on site cannot reconcile the official prevailing explanation with the facts.  The scientific and testimonial evidence that they have produced is dismissed as “conspiracy theory.”  It is those experts who stand on the evidence who are defined as conspiracy theorists, not those who created the story of Osama bin Laden’s 9/11 conspiracy.

Consider Russiagate.  Here we have an alleged conspiracy between Trump and Russia that was the official prevailing explanation.  Yet, to believe in the Russiagate conspiracy did not make one a conspiracy theorist as this conspiracy was the official prevailing explanation.  But to doubt the Russiagate conspiracy did make one a conspiracy theorist.

What the FBI report does, intentionally or unintentionally, is to define a conspiracist as a person who doubts official explanations.  In other words, it is a way of preventing any accountability of government.  Whatever the government says, no matter how obvious a lie, will have to be accepted as fact or we will be put on a list to be monitored for preemptive arrest.

In effect, the FBI’s document reduces the First Amendment, that is, free speech, to the right to repeat official and prevailing explanations.  Any other speech is a conspiratorial belief that can lead to the commission of a crime.

Every American should be greatly concerned that the government in Washington does not see this FBI document as an open invitation to tyranny, repudiate it, and demand its recall.

Published:8/7/2019 11:09:10 PM
[Markets] The Mainstream Media Wants The Mifsud Story To Just Go Away

Authored by Brian Cates via The Epoch Times,

While many mainstream media journalists have been spinning fantasies for more than two years, based on Russian collusion stories being handed to them by anonymous sources, crack reporter John Solomon of The Hill has been pursuing real leads and uncovering actual evidence.

Now, Solomon is reporting that an audiotape containing professor Joseph Mifsud’s deposition has been given to both U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigators and to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“I can report absolutely that the Durham investigators have now obtained an audiotape deposition of Joseph Mifsud, where he describes his work, why he targeted George Papadopoulos, who directed him to do that, what directions he was given, and why he set that entire process of introducing Papadopoulos to Russia in motion in March of 2016, which is really the flashpoint the starting point of this whole Russia collusion narrative,” Solomon told Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

“I can also confirm that the Senate Judiciary Committee has also obtained the same deposition,” he said.

Mifsud, who I have written about extensively in previous columns, is the key that turns the lock to the lid of this Pandora’s box that we refer to as “Spygate.”

So I’m wondering why Solomon appears to be the only mainstream reporter pursuing this Mifsud story.

I suspect it’s because many DNC Media outlets, after having fallen deeply and passionately in love with the Trump-Russia collusion hoax, are reluctant to call attention to something that would be the final nail in its coffin.

The last thing the mainstream media wants right now would be for Mifsud to go on the record with both Durham’s investigative team and with Congress to say he was working for the FBI and was only pretending to be a Russian agent.

If Mifsud was an FBI asset sent to entrap Papadopoulos, then there are no real Russian agents anywhere in this entire Trump-Russia collusion story.

Foreign policy advisor to US President Donald Trump's election campaign, George Papadopoulos goes through security at the US District Court for his sentencing in Washington, DC on Sept. 7, 2018. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

Ponder what that means for a minute.

You can’t save the Russian collusion narrative, if you can’t find any real Russians anywhere in the story. The FBI under James Comey will then be seen as having engaged in an operation to entrap people, and “Russian agents” turn out to be fakes working for the FBI and who were making fake offers of Russian help to the Trump campaign.

Some of these news media outlets are still - at this late date - claiming there’s some life left in the Russian collusion narrative. Mifsud is literally the last dying hope for these people that somewhere in all of this there is a real Russian asset and real collusion. They literally need Mifsud to be a real asset of the Putin government. And if Mifsud goes on the record to officially affirm he was working for the FBI, then the media’s last dying hope is gone forever.

To hear the mainstream media tell it, Mifsud turning out to be a fake Russian agent working for the FBI is a “conspiracy theory” created by “right-wing zealots” such as Reps. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

To have to admit that the story was actually right, while they themselves were still peddling the Trump-Russia collusion hoax, would be a most bitter pill for many of these ‘legitimate’ news outlets to swallow.

Which likely explains why Solomon appears to be just about the only mainstream reporter pursuing the Mifsud story. If there are any other major news outlet reporters out there avidly pursuing the facts about Mifsud and his reported contacts and testimony to Justice Department investigators, they’re being pretty quiet about it.

What are the mainstream news reporters who are ignoring the Mifsud story telling themselves, anyway?

“I can’t pursue this new information on Mifsud, because it’s taking the story where I don’t want it to go!”?

That’s a thought process that happens only to a political activist disguised as a reporter. No real reporter would ever think that way.

And yet when it comes to recent developments about Mifsud, a key player in this Trump-Russia collusion narrative, many mainstream reporters appear indifferent at best, or outrightly hostile at worst to these latest developments.

While many of these mainstream media reporters have been desperately trying to find some way to save the Trump/Russian collusion narrative, the last thing they want to have to report is that the supposed key Russian agent that started this whole Spygate thing wasn’t really a Russian agent, but was instead an FBI asset pretending to be a Russian agent.

These selfsame media reporters have spent more than two years mocking the idea that Mifsud is an FBI asset as something straight out of the right-wing fever swamp of convoluted nonsense conspiracy theories. This is why so many political activists masquerading as journalists are desperately hoping that somehow the Mifsud story will just go away and die on its own.

My instinct says they’re going to be massively disappointed soon.

Published:8/7/2019 9:50:34 PM
[The Blog] Judicial Watch: Does the FBI take leaks seriously?

"Collectively, these documents show lenient treatment for evident criminal activity."

The post Judicial Watch: Does the FBI take leaks seriously? appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:8/7/2019 7:35:37 PM
[Politics] MSNBC Analyst Uses Numerology to Link Trump’s Flag Decision to Neo-Nazism

A former FBI assistant director used numerology on MSNBC to link neo-Nazism to President Donald Trump’s decision to fly the federal government’s flags at half-staff... Read More

The post MSNBC Analyst Uses Numerology to Link Trump’s Flag Decision to Neo-Nazism appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:8/7/2019 4:35:26 PM
[] Brian Williams and Robert Mueller's Pick to Lead Entire FBI Counterintelligence Division: Trump's Choice of Dates to Mourn the Deaths of the Shooting Victims Is Actually a Secret Neo-Nazi "Numerology" Code Batshit, bugfuck insane. And this is the former FBI assistant director and Muller's handpicked choice to lead the Counterintelligence division. "Numerology." A former FBI assistant director used numerology on MSNBC Monday to link neo-Nazism to President Donald Trump's decision to... Published:8/7/2019 1:05:57 PM
[Markets] USA Today Headquarters Evacuated After Reports Of Man With Weapon

Police say that they are responding to reports of a man with a weapon at Gannett Headquarters in Tyson's Corner, Virginia.

USA Today's offices have been evacuated.

White House & Election Security Reporter at WUSA9 reports that FBI officials confirm that the USA Today incident is not a shooting.

There is reportedly a major police presence.

Developing...

Published:8/7/2019 12:03:20 PM
[Law] FBI Says Gilroy Shooter’s ‘Target List’ Included Religious Institutions

The shooter who killed three people and injured 13 in Gilroy, California, July 28 was exploring “violent ideologies” and had a “target list,” the FBI... Read More

The post FBI Says Gilroy Shooter’s ‘Target List’ Included Religious Institutions appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:8/7/2019 12:03:20 PM
[FBI] Strzok strikes back (Scott Johnson) The FBI fired disgraced agent Peter Strzok last year for violating bureau policies. Yesterday he filed a complaint in District of Columbia federal district court seeking reinstatement, backpay, and damages. The AP covers Strzok’s lawsuit here, the New York Times here, the Wall Street Journal here. I have embedded the 27-page complaint below via Scribd. Strzok’s lawsuit asserts three claims. He alleges that (1) the FBI’s termination of his employment Published:8/7/2019 11:04:24 AM
[In The News] MSNBC Analyst Uses Numerology To Link Trump’s Decision To Fly Flags At Half-Mast To Neo-Nazism

By Chuck Ross -

A former FBI assistant director used numerology on MSNBC Monday to link neo-Nazism to President Donald Trump’s decision to fly flags at half-mast to honor the victims of shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Frank Figluizzi floated the unsubstantiated conspiracy theory during an interview with Brian Williams. Figluizzi, ...

MSNBC Analyst Uses Numerology To Link Trump’s Decision To Fly Flags At Half-Mast To Neo-Nazism 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:8/7/2019 8:32:42 AM
[Markets] We're All Enemies Of The State: Draconian Laws, Precrime & The Surveillance State

Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.” - H.L. Mencken

We’ve been down this road many times before.

If the government is consistent about any one thing, it is this: it has an unnerving tendency to exploit crises and use them as opportunities for power grabs under the guise of national security.

As David C. Unger, a foreign affairs editorial writer for the New York Times, explains, “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have given way to permanent crisis management: to policing the planet and fighting preventative wars of ideological containment, usually on terrain chosen by, and favorable to, our enemies. Limited government and constitutional accountability have been shouldered aside by the kind of imperial presidency our constitutional system was explicitly designed to prevent.”

Cue the Emergency State, the government’s Machiavellian version of crisis management that justifies all manner of government tyranny in the so-called name of national security.

Terrorist attacks, mass shootings, “unforeseen economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order, purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health emergencies, and catastrophic natural and human disasters”: the government has been anticipating and preparing for such crises for years now.

It’s all part of the grand plan for total control.

The government’s proposed response to the latest round of mass shootings—red flag gun laws, precrime surveillance, fusion centers, threat assessments, mental health assessments, involuntary confinement—is just more of the same.

These tactics have been employed before, here in the U.S. and elsewhere, by other totalitarian regimes, with devastating results.

It’s a simple enough formula: first, you create fear, then you capitalize on it by seizing power.

For instance, in his remarks on the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, President Trump promised to give the FBI “whatever they need” to investigate and disrupt hate crimes and domestic terrorism.

Let that sink in a moment.

In a post-9/11 America, Trump’s promise bodes ill for whatever remnants of freedom we have left. With that promise, flippantly delivered without any apparent thought for the Constitution’s prohibitions on such overreach, the president has given the FBI the green light to violate Americans’ civil liberties in every which way.

This is how the Emergency State works, after all.

Although the damage wrought by these power grabs has been most evident in recent presidential administrations—under Trump, Obama, Bush and Clinton—the seeds of this present madness were sown, according to Unger, in 1940, when President Roosevelt, the “founding father of modern extraconstitutional presidential war-making, the military-industrial complex, and covert federal surveillance of lawful domestic political activity,” declared a national emergency.

So what does the government’s carefully calibrated response to this current crisis mean for freedom as we know it? Compliance and control.

For starters, consider Trump’s embrace of red flag gun laws, which allow the police to remove guns from people “suspected” of being threats, will only add to the government’s power.

As The Washington Post reports, these laws “allow a family member, roommate, beau, law enforcement officer or any type of medical professional to file a petition [with a court] asking that a person’s home be temporarily cleared of firearms. It doesn’t require a mental-health diagnosis or an arrest.

Be warned: these laws, growing in popularity as a legislative means by which to seize guns from individuals viewed as a danger to themselves or others, are yet another Trojan Horse, a stealth maneuver by the police state to gain greater power over an unsuspecting and largely gullible populace.

Seventeen states, plus the District of Columbia, now have red flag laws on their books. That number is growing.

In the midst of what feels like an epidemic of mass shootings, these gun confiscation laws—extreme risk protection order (ERPO) laws—may appease the fears of those who believe that fewer guns in the hands of the general populace will make our society safer.

Of course, it doesn’t always work that way.

Anything—knives, vehicles, planes, pressure cookers—can become a weapon when wielded with deadly intentions.

With these red flag gun laws, the intention is to disarm individuals who are potential threats.

We need to stop dangerous people before they act”: that’s the rationale behind the NRA’s support of these red flag laws, and at first glance, it appears to be perfectly reasonable to want to disarm individuals who are clearly suicidal and/or pose an “immediate danger” to themselves or others.

However, consider what happened in Maryland after a police officer attempted to “enforce” the state’s new red flag law, which went into effect in Oct. 2018.

At 5 am on a Monday, two police officers showed up at 61-year-old Gary Willis’ house to serve him with a court order requiring that he surrender his guns. Willis answered the door holding a gun. (In some states, merely answering the door holding a gun is enough to get you killed by police who have a tendency to shoot first and ask questions later.) Willis initially set his gun aside while he spoke with the police. However, when the police attempted to serve him with the gun confiscation order, Willis reportedly became “irate” and picked up his gun again. At that point, a struggle ensued, causing the gun to go off. Although no one was harmed by the struggle, one of the cops shot and killed Willis.

According to the Anne Arundel County police chief, the shooting was a sign that the red flag law is needed. What the police can’t say with any certainty is what they prevented by shooting and killing Willis.

Therein lies the danger of these red flag laws, specifically, and pre-crime laws such as these generally, especially when you put the power to determine who is a potential danger in the hands of government agencies, the courts and the police.

After all, this is the same government that uses the words “anti-government,” “extremist” and “terrorist” interchangeably.

This is the same government that, in 2009, issued a series of Department of Homeland Security reports on Rightwing and Leftwing “Extremism,” which broadly define extremists as individuals, military veterans and groups “that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely.”

This is the same government that, as first reported by the Wall Street Journal, tracks military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and characterizes them as extremists and potential domestic terrorist threats because they may be “disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering from the psychological effects of war.”

This is the same government that keeps re-upping the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which allows the military to detain and imprison American citizens with no access to friends, family or the courts if the government believes them to be a threat.

This is the same government that has a growing list—shared with fusion centers and law enforcement agencies—of ideologies, behaviors, affiliations and other characteristics that could flag someone as suspicious and result in their being labeled potential enemies of the state.

For instance, if you believe in and exercise your rights under the Constitution (namely, your right to speak freely, worship freely, associate with like-minded individuals who share your political views, criticize the government, own a weapon, demand a warrant before being questioned or searched, or any other activity viewed as potentially anti-government, racist, bigoted, anarchic or sovereign), you could be at the top of the government’s terrorism watch list.

Moreover, as a New York Times editorial warns, you may be an anti-government extremist (a.k.a. domestic terrorist) in the eyes of the police if you are afraid that the government is plotting to confiscate your firearms, if you believe the economy is about to collapse and the government will soon declare martial law, or if you display an unusual number of political and/or ideological bumper stickers on your car.

According to the FBI’s latest report, you might also be classified as a domestic terrorism threat if you espouse conspiracy theories, especially if you “attempt to explain events or circumstances as the result of a group of actors working in secret to benefit themselves at the expense of others” and are “usually at odds with official or prevailing explanations of events.”

Additionally, according to Michael C. McGarrity, the FBI’s assistant director of the counterterrorism division, the bureau now “classifies domestic terrorism threats into four main categories: racially motivated violent extremism, anti-government/anti-authority extremism, animal rights/environmental extremism, and abortion extremism.”

In other words, if you dare to subscribe to any views that are contrary to the government’s, you may well be suspected of being a domestic terrorist and treated accordingly.

Where many Americans go wrong is in assuming that you have to be doing something illegal or challenging the government’s authority in order to be flagged as a suspicious character, labeled an enemy of the state and locked up like a dangerous criminal.

That is not the case.

All you really need to do is question government authority.

With the help of artificial intelligence, a growing arsenal of high-tech software, hardware and techniques, government propaganda urging Americans to turn into spies and snitches, as well as social media and behavior sensing software, government agents are spinning a sticky spider-web of threat assessments, behavioral sensing warnings, flagged “words,” and “suspicious” activity reports aimed at snaring potentialenemies of the state.

It’s the American police state’s take on the dystopian terrors foreshadowed by George Orwell, Aldous Huxley and Phillip K. Dick all rolled up into one oppressive pre-crime and pre-thought crime package.

What’s more, the technocrats who run the surveillance state don’t even have to break a sweat while monitoring what you say, what you read, what you write, where you go, how much you spend, whom you support, and with whom you communicate. Computers guided by artificial intelligence now do the tedious work of trolling social media, the internet, text messages and phone calls for potentially anti-government remarks—all of which is carefully recorded, documented, and stored to be used against you someday at a time and place of the government’s choosing.

This is the world that science fiction author Philip K. Dick envisioned for Minority Report in which the government is all-seeing, all-knowing and all-powerful, and if you dare to step out of line, dark-clad police SWAT teams will crack a few skulls in order to bring the populace under control.

In Dick’s dystopian police state, the police combine widespread surveillance, behavior prediction technologies, data mining and precognitive technology to capture would-be criminals before they can do any damage: precrime.

In the film Minority Report, the technology that John Anderton, Chief of the Department of Pre-Crime in Washington, DC, relies on for his predictive policing proves to be fallible, identifying him as the next would-be criminal and targeting him for preemptive measures. Consequently, Anderton finds himself not only attempting to prove his innocence but forced to take drastic measures in order to avoid capture in a surveillance state that uses biometric data and sophisticated computer networks to track its citizens.

With every passing day, the American police state moves that much closer to mirroring the fictional pre-crime prevention world of Minority Report.

For instance, police in major American cities have been using predictive policing technology that allows them to identify individuals—or groups of individuals—most likely to commit a crime in a given community. Those individuals are then put on notice that their movements and activities will be closely monitored and any criminal activity (by them or their associates) will result in harsh penalties. 

In other words, the burden of proof is reversed: you are guilty before you are given any chance to prove you are innocent.

Dig beneath the surface of this kind of surveillance/police state, however, and you will find that the real purpose of pre-crime is not safety but control.

Red flag gun laws merely push us that much closer towards a suspect society where everyone is potentially guilty of some crime or another and must be preemptively rendered harmless.

Again, where many Americans go wrong is in naively assuming that you have to be doing something illegal or harmful in order to be flagged and targeted for some form of intervention or detention.

In fact, U.S. police agencies have been working to identify and manage potential extremist “threats,” violent or otherwise, before they can become actual threats for some time now.

In much the same way that the USA Patriot Act was used as a front to advance the surveillance state, allowing the government to establish a far-reaching domestic spying program that turned every American citizen into a criminal suspect, the government’s anti-extremism program renders otherwise lawful, nonviolent activities as potentially extremist.

In fact, all you need to do these days to end up on a government watch list or be subjected to heightened scrutiny is use certain trigger words (like cloud, pork and pirates), surf the internet, communicate using a cell phone, limp or stutterdrive a car, stay at a hotel, attend a political rally, express yourself on social mediaappear mentally ill, serve in the militarydisagree with a law enforcement officialcall in sick to work, purchase materials at a hardware store, take flying or boating lessons, appear suspicious, appear confused or nervous, fidget or whistle or smell bad, be seen in public waving a toy gun or anything remotely resembling a gun (such as a water nozzle or a remote control or a walking cane), stare at a police officer, question government authority, or appear to be pro-gun or pro-freedom.

Be warned: once you get on such a government watch list—whether it’s a terrorist watch list, a mental health watch list, a dissident watch list, or a red flag gun watch list—there’s no clear-cut way to get off, whether or not you should actually be on there.

You will be tracked wherever you go.

You will be flagged as a potential threat and dealt with accordingly.

This is pre-crime on an ideological scale and it’s been a long time coming.

The government has been building its pre-crime, surveillance network in concert with fusion centers (of which there are 78 nationwide, with partners in the corporate sector and globally), 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 which life experiences alter one’s genetic makeup).

If you’re not scared yet, you should be.

Connect the dots.

Start with the powers amassed by the government under the USA Patriot Act, note the government’s ever-broadening definition of what it considers to be an “extremist,” then add in the government’s detention powers under NDAA, the National Security Agency’s far-reaching surveillance networks, and fusion centers that collect and share surveillance data between local, state and federal police agencies.

To that, add tens of thousands of armed, surveillance drones and balloons that are beginning to blanket American skies, facial recognition technology that will identify and track you wherever you go and whatever you do. And then to complete the picture, toss in the real-time crime centers being deployed in cities across the country, which will be attempting to “predict” crimes and identify so-called criminals before they happen based on widespread surveillance, complex mathematical algorithms and prognostication programs.

Hopefully you’re starting to understand how easy we’ve made it for the government to identify, label, target, defuse and detain anyone it views as a potential threat for a variety of reasons that run the gamut from mental illness to having a military background to challenging its authority to just being on the government’s list of persona non grata.

There’s always a price to pay for standing up to the powers-that-be.

Yet as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, you don’t even have to be a dissident to get flagged by the government for surveillance, censorship and detention.

All you really need to be is a citizen of the American police state.

Published:8/6/2019 11:29:41 PM
[Markets] The Mind Of A Mass Shooter Or Why Gun Control Won't Work

Authored by Leesa Donner via Liberty Nation,

Let’s use statistics and psychological profiles, not inflamed rhetoric, to craft meaningful violence-control legislation...

In these troubled times, American politicians tend to worship at the altar of feelings – especially following inexplicable violent events like El Paso and Dayton. Therefore, it’s critical for them to stop, listen, and learn. In a rush to legislate away these problems, the political elite appears primed to emphasize the wrong syllable, which will result only in more harm than good. Thus, the American people are wise to understand this teachable moment and attempt to educate their lawmakers.

Surprisingly little has been done in recent years to examine the mind of a mass shooter. This is perhaps because most of them die during the catastrophe they initiate. Criminologists are then left to perform little more than a psychological autopsy. Still, forensic psychiatrists can and should shed light on these American tragedies because legislation without the foundation of knowledge often makes the situation worse.

Wisdom From James Joyce

Irish author James Augustine Aloysius Joyce once wrote, “In the particular is contained the universal.” Mining the gold of “the particular” can be especially helpful when seeking to understand a seemingly incomprehensible event. In the Dayton, OH, incident, an examination of 24-year-old Connor Betts reveals a psychological profile startlingly similar to that of other shooters:

  • He is a single male.

  • He was a troubled teen.

  • He once drew up a “hit list” of students he wanted to kill or maim.

  • He experienced serial rejection from the opposite sex.

A leading forensic psychiatrist and expert in mass murders, Dr. James Knoll, says that “most perpetrators are young males who act alone after carefully planning the event,” according to Psychology Today. These people, Knoll asserts, are “injustice” collectors – that is, they spend a good deal of time living in a world of rejection and past “humiliations,” real or imagined. In other words, these men are world-class grudge-holders fueled by “social persecution or envy.” They are lonely loners searching for significance:

“Aggrieved and entitled, he longs for power and revenge to obliterate what he cannot have. Since satisfaction is unobtainable lawfully and realistically, the mass murderer is reduced to violent fantasy and pseudo-power. He creates and enacts an odious screenplay of grandiose and public retribution. Like the child who upends the checkerboard when he does not like the way the game is going, he seeks to destroy others for apparent failures to recognize and meet his needs. Fury, deep despair, and callous selfishness eventually crystallize into fantasies of violent revenge on a scale that will draw attention. The mass murderer typically expects to die and frequently does in what amounts to a mass homicide-personal suicide. He may kill himself or script matters so that he will be killed by the police.”

Unfortunately, and not surprisingly, Psychology Today uses this information to assert that the best we can do is limit such a person’s access to firearms. However, this conclusion belies a shooter’s psychological profile. What would make the magazine conclude that a violent, deranged man with homicidal tendencies would rein in his emotional and psychological angst to follow the rules and deprive his itchy trigger finger of a gun?

It is illogical at best to believe these people will follow the rules like law-abiding citizens. Moreover, an FBI report on active-shooter incidents that occurred in 2016 and 2017 concluded:

  • In ten incidents, citizens confronted the shooter.

  • In eight of those incidents, one or more citizens safely and successfully acted to end the shooting.

  • In four incidents, citizens possessing valid firearms permits successfully stopped the shooter.

  • In two incidents, citizens exchanged gunfire with the shooter.

  • In two incidents, the citizens held the shooter at gunpoint until law enforcement arrived.

 Statistics in high-crime inner-city neighborhoods consistently demonstrate that gun control is an ineffective means of reducing the homicide rate. The American people, as well as their representatives, should be aware that the facts and figures, as well as the psychological make-up of the perpetrators, tell a vital story. As LN’s Graham Noble recently pointed out, if fewer guns meant less violence, Baltimore and Chicago would be the safest cities on the planet.

But they’re not, are they?

Thus, it seems only sensible that those who wield the power of the pen and represent us in government not haul off on an emotional bender to prescribe ineffective and useless methods to heal gun violence. The available statistics and psychological profiles of shooters are not simply tea leaves; within them lie the ability to better understand the root of the problem. In the wake of mass shootings, the inflamed and knee-jerk cries for Draconian gun legislation heightens the concerns of law-abiding citizens, who are the ones stifled. Gun owners deprived of the capacity to stop violent acts in progress or defend themselves know this only fuels the ability of homicidal maniacs to turn their fantasies into reality.

Published:8/6/2019 8:29:05 PM
[Politics] Peter Strzok is SUING the DOJ and FBI for being fired because of Trump! The former FBI agent who was fired over anti-Trump texts is now suing the DOJ and the FBI. He says that his personal opinions didn’t get in the way of his job, . . . Published:8/6/2019 7:29:42 PM
[Politics] Peter Strzok is SUING the DOJ and FBI for being fired because of Trump! The former FBI agent who was fired over anti-Trump texts is now suing the DOJ and the FBI. He says that his personal opinions didn’t get in the way of his job, . . . Published:8/6/2019 7:29:42 PM
[The Blog] Peter Strzok sues FBI, DOJ over firing

"Strzok’s lawsuit accuses the agencies of violating his First and Fifth Amendment rights by firing him over the texts..."

The post Peter Strzok sues FBI, DOJ over firing appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:8/6/2019 4:29:38 PM
[] Peter Strzok Sues the Government, Claiming He Was Fired for "Political Reasons" Chuck Ross: In the lawsuit, filed against Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray, Strzok also alleged that his privacy was violated due to leaks of his text messages to the media. ... On Aug. 8, 2016, Strzok... Published:8/6/2019 2:00:22 PM
[Markets] Another Mass Shooting Leaves 9 Dead, 16 Injured In Dayton, Ohio Bar District

Just hours after the mass shooting in an El Paso, Texas mall, nine people are dead after a shooting in Dayton, Ohio, according to police. At least 16 were hospitalized with injuries.

The gunman was taken out by officers responding to the incident.

CNN reports that the Dayton shooting took place around 1 a.m. outside on East 5th Street in the city's Oregon district, a popular downtown area, Dayton Deputy Director and Assistant Chief of the Police Lt. Col. Matt Carper told reporters early Sunday morning.

"As bad as this is, it could have been much, much worse, as I think everyone will become aware of here as more information unfolds," Carper said.

Though many people were killed or injured, Carper said that the incident was over quickly, because officers were already patrolling in the vicinity when the gunshots started.

Dayton police said the shooter used some kind of a long gun in the attack and most likely acted alone. They said they were working on identifying the gunman and establishing the motives behind his rampage.

"I’m heartbroken," Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley tweeted Sunday morning.

"Thank you to our first responders for all that you’ve done. We will share updates as we have more information."

Footage from the scene showed a heavy police presence in the Oregon District. According to the police, the FBI is assisting in the investigation.

Elizabeth Long, spokeswoman at Kettering Health Network, which operates several Dayton area hospitals including Kettering Medical Center and Grandview Medical Center told CNN that 13 people were taken to three of the network's hospitals, many with gunshot wounds to the "lower extremities." At least one person was shot in the abdomen and at least two people were taken into surgery. She did not give an age range for the injured.

Published:8/4/2019 6:43:38 AM
[National Security] Texas Police Seek Clues to Explain Walmart Shooting That Killed 20

Police and FBI investigators in Texas searched for clues on Sunday to explain what drove a young gunman from the Dallas area to kill 20 people at a Walmart store hundreds of miles away in the border city of El Paso.

The post Texas Police Seek Clues to Explain Walmart Shooting That Killed 20 appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:8/4/2019 6:16:23 AM
[Markets] Taibbi: The Over-Hyped Rise & Sudden Fall Of 'Superhero' Robert Mueller

Authored by Matt Taibbi,

The testimony of Robert Mueller should have marked the end of a national nightmare. Instead, a new legend was born...

The change came in the space of a single news cycle. Beginning before and ending after the congressional testimony of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the depth of America’s faith-based mania was laid bare. The Russiagate press managed to turn reality all the way around.

In the moment, while the event was being broadcast live, the assessment of the ex-FBI director’s performance as a congressional witness was nearly unanimous. Mueller was a confused, vulnerable human being, not an indefatigable force. 

“Very, very painful,” said longtime Democratic strategist David Axelrod.

“I don’t know what the #Dems were expecting from #RobertMueller, but this probably isn’t it,” tweeted Howard Fineman.

“Mueller is struggling,” former prosecutor and Mueller subordinate Glenn Kirchner commented during the event. “It strikes me as a health issue.”

This was a monstrous indictment of media. The Special Counsel’s inability to follow questions or remember key details (he was “not familiar” with oppo firm Fusion-GPS!) exploded two years of hype.

Mueller was sold in hundreds of articles and TV features as earth’s most competent human, a real-life superhero. His close-lipped manner and razor intellect supposedly presented a living antidote to our blabbermouth numbskull president, Donald Trump. He was as a character straight out of Team America, an ex-Marine FBI chief by way of St. Paul’s, Princeton, and a grad program at the University of Awesome. Batman is back to save America,” his former FBI second Timothy Murphy said in a typical story from two years ago, describing Mueller as “the hero America needs.”

This myth died on television.

It happened by mistake, the kind that’s always a risk when you’re dealing with live broadcasts, as even censorious societies like the Soviet Union have found. Congressional Democrats like House Judiciary chief Jerrold Nadler and Adam Schiff of the Intelligence committee thought a TV show would bring the Mueller report “to life.”

How these two goofs didn’t know, or bother to find out, that Mueller was not up for the task of following difficult questions is hard to understand. Nadler and Schiff are both lawyers. A first-year law student wouldn’t put a witness on stand blind like that for a minute, let alone seven nationally-televised hours.

But they pressed on, convinced the Special Counsel could breathe new life into a case they believed had waned only because Mueller’s long report was a “dry, prosecutorial work product” that the public couldn’t or wouldn’t digest.

This in itself was crazy. Hopeful blue-staters across the country for months have indulged in readings of Mueller’s report like it was the word of God – with celebrity jackasses like Annette Bening, John Lithgow and Kevin Kline donning Rick Perry-style smart glasses to conduct televised deliverance of the gospel.

The report has been hyped plenty. It’s sold hundreds of thousands of copies and has now been on the New York Times bestseller list for thirteen weeks. In #Resistance America it’s as ubiquitous as Gideon’s Bible. What Nadler and Schiff seem to have wanted was something beyond familiarity with the work, like video of Mueller calling Trump a crook that could be used in commercials.  

Instead, they revealed something no one expected. Now we understood why the Special Counsel avoided live exchanges across two years of being one of the most famous people on earth.

When Mueller’s morning session in Nadler’s committee ended, NBC’s studio seemed like a funeral parlor.

“If, uh, Democrats were looking for a pristine ten to fifteen second sound bite that made the point they wanted to make, uh, it probably didn’t happen,” said Lester Holt.

Chuck Todd, who along with colleague Rachel Maddow has been one of the most energetic Russigate torchbearers, offered that on the bringing-Mueller-to-life front, the testimony was “a complete failure.” He added it “didn’t do anything to help” impeachment arguments.

Within 48 hours, national consensus was completely reversed. It was breathtaking.

“Mueller didn’t fail. The country did,” wrote Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post. Her key passage, which would become a point stressed by many, complained about the over-focus on “optics”:

The “failure” is not of a prosecutor who found the facts but might be ill equipped to make the political case, but instead, of a country that won’t read his report and a media obsessed with scoring contests rather than focusing on the damning facts at issue.

In a heartbeat this idea spread everywhere. “Robert Mueller and the tyranny of ‘optics’” blared The Atlantic.  “Forget the theater criticism – Mueller’s conclusions are the real news,” wrote colleague David Graham. “Jeffries dismisses optics: We wanted testimony from Mueller, not Robert de Niro,” chimed in The Hill.

It became a de rigeur media and social media observation to say the hearing wasn’t a disaster, that Mueller in fact moved the ball forward, his mighty reputation intact. He’d been in a difficult position, you see, and fighting evil, not movie acting, is his thing. The Daily Beast said so with this headline and lede:

Robert Mueller, Trump Hunter

Really, there were Democrats angry with Special Counsel Robert Mueller for being Robert Mueller Wednesday morning before the House Judiciary Committee? Are we so unaccustomed to a modest public servant speaking honestly in a measured voice that it enrages us…?

Writer Margaret Carlson insisted Mueller had been asked to deliver the impossible, tasked with “saving the big game with Hail Mary passes in the fourth quarter.” However, she said, he “was never going to throw the long ball” (metaphor production has soared in the Mueller period). The problem wasn’t with Mueller, but with us, for failing to “manage expectations.”

As such, Mueller was not merely Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, but also “Moses on the Mount, delivering the Ten Commandments but not dramatizing them.” Moreover, in a predictable development, pundits insisted the rumors of Mueller’s disappointing testimony were vicious lies perpetrated by Republicans in league with (or “on their knees” for) Trump.

Mueller was back to being both a sacred figure and superhero (in America, the prophet is always also an ass-kicking leading man). This took two days. Three days after his testimony, Kathleen Parker was arguing in the Washington Post that Mueller’s “forbearance” on the stand made him deserving of the Medal of Honor. The following passage was actually published by someone self-identifying as a journalist:

The close-up of Mueller’s face was a portrait of rare depth, the sort one is more likely to find on a Leonardo da Vinci canvas with all its shadows, hollows and his soulful, nearly weeping eyes. I found myself thinking of paintings of the Agony in the Garden, showing Jesus’ upturned face as he prayed.

Mueller on the stand was a potted plant. Reporters saw Moses and Jesus.  If you need evidence we’re in a religious mania, look no further. This was a pure exercise in restoring an idol for worship.

It was also a metaphor for the Russiagate narrative. Mueller’s legend was built without any of his hagiographers demanding to speak to the man. Virtually the whole of it was constructed on the word of confederates or anonymous sources. In the manner of priests everywhere since the beginning of time, these sources interpreted for us the secret beliefs, conclusions, and desires of the unavailable man above.   

“It is instructive to hear friends and former colleagues talk about Robert Swan Mueller III,” wrote Time when giving the Mueller third place in its Person of the Year issue. Mueller was a figure of such great gravity, we were told, he does not deign to speech:

Mueller, they say, is the kind of man who flicks the lights off and on at his home to inform guests that it’s time to leave a social gathering…

Citizens were urged to find truth, justice, and integrity not in Mueller’s words, but in his hair.Mueller’s hair is one little shining piece of sanity in a sea of madness,” a portrait artist told the AP. “So precise and sober and straightforward and without deceit…”

The same article interviewed a woman named Alicia Barrett whose son bought a Labrador puppy for Christmas:

“The strong, silent type,” Barnett observed. And then she named him Mueller, an homage to the stoic special prosecutor appointed to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election…

Mueller’s silence turned out to be more genuinely Labrador-like than Barnett and everyone else was led to believe. A media legend of immense dimensions was built without anyone first making sure there was a there there. Sound familiar?

Fellow journalists who think they’re aiding an anti-Trump resistance by keeping the empty piñata of Russiagate raised to the rafters couldn’t be more wrong. This story is Trump’s best friend. As opposed to the Mueller probe, which was an immediate legal threat to the president and his family, Trump on some level must be dying for impeachment.

Heading into an election year, nothing would suit him more than the protracted media spectacle of Democrats trying to break down the walls of the White House with a noodle.

Instead of spending next year campaigning against a policy wonk like Elizabeth Warren or a populist like Bernie Sanders (it’s safe to say Trump would look forward to a run against verbal mistake-factory Joe Biden), he’ll be running against a parade of fourth-raters in and around the party who spent Trump’s presidency rejecting real-world concerns of voters and throwing political capital into a dead-end conspiracy theory.

Less than 1% of voters now consider “the Russia situation” the most serious issue facing the country. This isn’t a new development. Polls consistently showed this to be the case across the last few years, including earlier this winter, before Mueller’s probe ended without further indictments.

In other words, even when voters in both parties knew charges could be filed at any moment, this issue rated below the economy, immigration, civil rights, health care, and other concerns. In mid-March, just before Mueller’s probe wrapped up, CNN found a whopping zero percent of Americans identified “Russian investigation” as their primary concern heading into 2020. The network wrote (emphasis mine):

The CNN poll…  asked respondents to describe one issue that would be the most important to them when deciding whom to support in next year’s presidential election. The Russia investigation didn’t register in the results.

The above was the fifteenth paragraph in CNN’s story. Talk about burying the lede! Instead of Poll: Americans Don’t Give a Shit About Russiagate, the headline read, “Americans want Mueller’s report release and approve of his work. But their minds are made up about Trump.”

The only people who really care about this story are DC politicians, Twitter, people who don’t have bills to worry about (like Hollywood actors), and the news media, which continues to put this story front and center. Ratings are one reason, but people like Jake Tapper and Chris Cuomo have probably also seen Red Sparrow too many times.*

The conspiracy tale has validated every Trump criticism about both crooked media and the deep state. The whole narrative is the brainchild of Clinton hacks, a handful of overzealous intelligence nuts, and a subset of the Democratic Party’s weakest elected minds, in particular murine ex-prosecutor Schiff, a man who should be selling Buicks back in his hometown Burbank.

Take a good look at Schiff, at our paranoid outpatient of an ex-CIA chief John Brennan, and at excuse-making Clinton campaign chief Robby Mook (a.k.a. the captain of the Democratic Titanic), and ask if you really want to be re-writing history for those people.

They’re making the press accomplices in the most imbecilic effort at political opposition in recent American history. Hence the desperate public comments and the string of wacked-out stunts, like putting Mueller under oath. Impeachment will be the next adventure in doubling down blind.

A significant portion of the original conspiracy theory vanished via a series of under-circulated news reports just in the months since the end of the Mueller probe. Remember the Southern District of New York campaign finance probe that arose in connection with Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, the one described as a “major danger” to Trump? Remember all that talk about how “Trump can’t run the Mueller playbook on the New York feds?” Experts told us that the Cohen probe posed a “significant threat” of new indictments for Trump and his family.

When that investigation closed with no new charges the same week Mueller testified, the commentariat barely noticed. Same with the Democrats v. Earth lawsuit/publicity stunt, in which the Democratic National Committee sued Trump, the Russian government, and Wikileaks under a RICO claim.

Plaintiffs charged the Trump campaign conspired to steal and release DNC emails. But a federal judge tossed the suit on the grounds that the Trump campaign “did not participate in the theft.” Moreover, the Clinton-appointed judge said published documents were “of public concern” and therefore protected like any other journalistic work product. The judge also ruled that allegations about all the non-Russian defendants (including Wikileaks) were “insufficient to hold them liable” for any illegality involved in obtaining DNC emails.

The end of this years-long gambit only drew a few brief stories in response. The same happened when Mueller in testimony dismissed a zany story about “human activity” detected between a secret server between Trump and Alfa-Bank. Over a dozen news stories covered this tale in length on the way up the news cycle, but dispositive information on the way down drew a shrug.

Russiagate should be dead. Instead, it’s gaining new life, with impeachment looking like the New Testament phase of the religion.

Until Russiagate, Robert Mueller was mainly known to the DC press corps as one of many imperious stiffs who made up George W. Bush’s War on Terror bureaucracy. At the outset of our glorious WMD hunt and in defense of the sweeping surveillance programs we likely still wouldn’t know about if not for Edward Snowden, Mueller effortlessly pushed official lies, conveying the impression of a man who wouldn’t wipe his ass with a congressional oversight committee.

Pious would have been a good word for him even pre-2017. Not many people could take two years of being portrayed as a Godhead on magazine covers and in comedy shows, but the role fit Mueller’s starchy Northeast celibate image like a glove.

The undisguised nature of the religiosity is amazing to look at now. GQ, describing Mueller as someone who embodied the “boy scout ideal” of “the absolute fairness of the lawful good,” wrote the following:

We may decide, in the end, that we do not want to know Robert Mueller; we may even take comfort in the fact that there may not be much of Robert Mueller to know.

This was the old “We’re not worthy!” routine from Wayne’s World. People did not want to find out Mueller was human in any way.

Newspapers and cable framed coverage of the investigation as a fable of coming deliverance. “Mueller knows” was one cliché. Reading “bread crumbs” or “puzzle pieces” dropped from above also became a regular fixation, as reporters sought to “read between the lines” of court filings.

By early this year, “waiting for Mueller” assumed enormous significance. The coming report was hyped as a judgment day. It was an article of faith with pundits and reporters that the verdict would contain all the expected evidence, as a fulfillment of prophecy. 

The New York Times ran a multi-part audio series titled, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting (The Mueller Report).” The Atlantic meanwhile worried what the Trump opposition would do once Mueller finished his investigation. Would they be able to “grapple with a new world”?

Like the original Great Disappointment (Christ failing to come down to earth to dispense justice according to the Millerite prediction on October 22nd, 1844), the Mueller watch came to an abrupt cat-fart of an end.

Late on a March evening (coincidentally on the 22nd) the collusion narrative died, with news of the Mueller probe concluding without new indictments. This colossal bummer for Russiagate hopefuls forced poor Rachel Maddow to cut short her trout fishing vacation, and do a somber broadcast reassuring viewers that a concluded Mueller probe was “the start of something, not the end of something.”

There is a false narrative even about this sequence of events, as I have the misfortune to know personally. A common trope is that the death of the collusion narrative was a Trumpian falsehood, issued via hated Attorney General William Barr’s letter summarizing the Mueller report on March 24th.

As one of a handful of reporters who spoke about loony Russiagate coverage from the start, I began receiving emails or tweets on a daily or hourly basis from people accusing me of “believing Barr’s lies.” But like others who spoke out that day, I published my jeremiad about Russiagate being the next WMD on March 23rd, a day before Barr released his letter.

The end of the collusion/conspiracy narrative had nothing to do with Barr. It was officially over in the days before, as saddened media write-ups hereherehere, and here (“Russian collusion is a dead end,” conceded USA Today) attest.

The lack of charges was immediately spun by some as meaning nothing (Mueller found conspiracy but didn’t charge it because Manafort already had a prison sentence! Mueller found conspiracy but didn’t charge it because the evidence was classified! And so on). It all became a new story, about Barr lying about what those non-indictments meant.

On a more meta level, editorialists began plotting a rhetorical course that abandoned the search for conspiracy between Trump and Russia, and focused instead on obstruction of justice as the big reveal.

Legal analysts like Jeffrey Toobin were put back to work building the public case. We were reminded frequently that a charge of obstruction does not legally require an underlying offense. These arguments by themselves essentially admitted the previous two years of speculation about criminal Trump-Russia conspiracies involving blackmail, bribery, election fixing, espionage, even treason - all the theories about pee tapes and secret servers and five year cultivation plans and meetings with hackers in Prague and bribes from Rosneft — had been dead ends.

The precedent now would be impeachment of a sitting president for his response to a politically-charged investigation into crimes he didn’t commit, the same logic that rightly enraged Democrats in the Ken Starr days (articles of impeachment were filed against Bill Clinton, too, for obstruction, for coaching Monica Lewinsky and assistant Betty Currie). It wasn’t as good as a collusion case, but why not? Proponents pressed on, as if this had been their goal all along.

By the time Schiff and Nadler came up with their harebrained religious revival scheme, Russiagate had come full circle. Adherents were now back to making the same arguments editorialists were making in July and August of 2016: Donald Trump was simply too willing to be a partner to Putin. The crime was no longer any overt act of conspiracy, but in the mental state of being amenable to cooperation with the evil one.

This is how Vox reimagined “collusion” after the release of Mueller’s report:

What the report finds is not clear-cut evidence of a quid-pro-quo. Instead, what we see is a series of bungled and abortive attempts to create ties between the two sides…

Does that rise to the level of “collusion?” It’s a slippery term. But if “collusion” refers to a willingness to cooperate with Russian interference in the 2016 US election and actively taking steps to abet it, it seems to me that the Mueller report does in fact establish that it took place…

Schiff in his opening statement before Mueller’s testimony took this all a step further. He said Trump “knew a foreign power was intervening in our election and welcomed it,” a crime he described as “Disloyalty to our country.”

Noting that this offense “may not be criminal” (a fact Schiff hastened to blame on destruction of evidence and “the use of encrypted communications”), he went on to insist that, “disloyalty to country violates the very oath of citizenship,” and is therefore unconstitutional, and a “violation of law.” That this concept was originally dreamed up in the Red Scare era (McCarthy also accused members of Truman’s administration of disloyalty) seemed not to bother anyone.

Russiagate isn’t just about bad reporting. It was and is a dangerous political story about rallying the public behind authoritarian maneuvers in an effort to achieve a political outcome. Republicans who battered Mueller with questions weren’t wrong. Investigators in the Russia probe made extravagant use of informants abroad (in the less-regulated counterintelligence context), lied to the FISA court, leaked classified information for political purposes, opened the cookie jar of captured electronic communications on dubious pretexts, and generally blurred the lines between counterintelligence, criminal law enforcement, and private political research in ways that should and will frighten defense lawyers everywhere.

Proponents cheered the seizure of records from Trump’s lawyer Cohen, sending a message that attorney-client privilege is a voluntary worry if the defendant is obnoxious enough. The public likewise shrugged when prosecutors trashed Maria Butina as a prostitute, because Butina a) is Russian, and b) palled around with the NRA. This case has seen would-be liberals embracing guilt by association, guilt by nationality, guilt by accusation, entrapment, secret evidence, and other concepts that were considered an anathema to progressives as recently as the War on Terror period. In the name of preventing the “sowing of discord,” they’ve even embraced censorship.

Finally, in an effort to milk the Mueller report for maximum effect, Democrats – ostensibly the party of card-carrying ACLU members – are trying to uphold a vicious new legal concept, “not exonerated.” In a moment that provided a window into the authoritarian tendencies Mueller once expressed with more fluency, the Special Counsel declined under questioning by Ohio Republican Michael Turner to reject the idea that in our legal system, “there is not power or authority to exonerate.”

This was equivalent to no-commenting a question about whether people are innocent until proven guilty. In America, prosecutors don’t declare you exonerated, you are exonerated, until someone proves otherwise. Efforts to reverse this understanding are dangerous, Trump or no Trump. It’s appalling that Democrats are backing this idea.

All these excesses have been excused on the grounds that Trump must be stopped at all costs. But you don’t challenge someone for being racist and an enemy of immigrants, the poor, and the environment by turning the federal security apparatus into a Franz Kafka theme park. It’s fighting bad with worse.

Published:8/3/2019 1:08:21 PM
[Corruption] Report: FBI Agents Retrieved Secret Memo At Comey’s House AFTER He Was Fired

The following article, Report: FBI Agents Retrieved Secret Memo At Comey’s House AFTER He Was Fired, was first published on Godfather Politics.

New documents show FBI agents retrieved a “secret” memo from former FBI director James Comey’s home that was written one month after his termination.

Continue reading: Report: FBI Agents Retrieved Secret Memo At Comey’s House AFTER He Was Fired ...

Published:8/3/2019 8:37:35 AM
[Markets] The Rise Of The American Gestapo

Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

Adolf Hitler is alive and well in the United States, and he is fast rising to power.”

- Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, on the danger posed by the FBI to our civil liberties

Despite the finger-pointing and outcries of dismay from those who are watching the government discard the rule of law at every turn, the question is not whether Donald Trump is the new Adolf Hitler but whether the American Police State is the new Third Reich.

For those who can view the present and past political landscape without partisan blinders, the warning signs are unmistakable: the Deep State’s love affair with totalitarianism began long ago.

Indeed, the U.S. government so admired the Nazi regime that following the second World War, it secretly recruited Hitler’s employees, adopted his protocols, embraced his mindset about law and order, implemented his tactics in incremental steps, and began to lay the foundations for the rise of the Fourth Reich.

Sounds far-fetched? Read on. It’s all documented.

As historian Robert Gellately recounts, “After five years of Hitler’s dictatorship, the Nazi police had won the FBI’s seal of approval.” The Nazi police state was initially so admired for its efficiency and order by the world powers of the day that J. Edgar Hoover, then-head of the FBI, actually sent one of his right-hand men, Edmund Patrick Coffey, to Berlin in January 1938 at the invitation of Germany’s secret police—the Gestapo.

The FBI was so impressed with the Nazi regime that, according to the New York Times, in the decades after World War II, the FBI, along with other government agencies, aggressively recruited at least a thousand Nazis, including some of Hitler’s highest henchmen.

All told, thousands of Nazi collaborators—including the head of a Nazi concentration camp, among others—were given secret visas and brought to America by way of Project Paperclip. Subsequently, they were hired on as spies and informants, and then camouflaged to ensure that their true identities and ties to Hitler’s holocaust machine would remain unknown. All the while, thousands of Jewish refugees were refused entry visas to the U.S. on the grounds that it could threaten national security.

Adding further insult to injury, American taxpayers have been paying to keep these ex-Nazis on the U.S. government’s payroll ever since. And in true Gestapo fashion, anyone who has dared to blow the whistle on the FBI’s illicit Nazi ties has found himself spied upon, intimidated, harassed and labeled a threat to national security.

As if the government’s covert, taxpayer-funded employment of Nazis after World War II wasn’t bad enough, U.S. government agencies—the FBI, CIA and the military—have fully embraced many of the Nazi’s well-honed policing tactics, and have used them repeatedly against American citizens.

Indeed, with every passing day, the United States government borrows yet another leaf from Nazi Germany’s playbook: Secret police. Secret courts. Secret government agencies. Surveillance. Censorship. Intimidation. Harassment. Torture. Brutality. Widespread corruption. Entrapment. Indoctrination. Indefinite detention.

These are not tactics used by constitutional republics, where the rule of law and the rights of the citizenry reign supreme. Rather, they are the hallmarks of authoritarian regimes, where the only law that counts comes in the form of heavy-handed, unilateral dictates from a supreme ruler who uses a secret police to control the populace.

That danger is now posed by the FBI, whose laundry list of crimes against the American people includes surveillance, disinformation, blackmail, entrapment, intimidation tactics, harassment and indoctrination, governmental overreach, abuse, misconduct, trespassing, enabling criminal activity, and damaging private property, and that’s just based on what we know.

Whether the FBI is planting undercover agents in churches, synagogues and mosques; issuing fake emergency letters to gain access to Americans’ phone records; using intimidation tactics to silence Americans who are critical of the government; recruiting high school students to spy on and report fellow students who show signs of being future terrorists; or persuading impressionable individuals to plot acts of terror and then entrapping them, the overall impression of the nation’s secret police force is that of a well-dressed thug, flexing its muscles and doing the boss’ dirty work of ensuring compliance, keeping tabs on potential dissidents, and punishing those who dare to challenge the status quo.

Whatever minimal restrictions initially kept the FBI’s surveillance activities within the bounds of the law have all but disappeared post-9/11. Since then, the FBI has been transformed into a mammoth federal policing and surveillance agency that largely operates as a power unto itself, beyond the reach of established laws, court rulings and legislative mandates.

Consider the FBI’s far-reaching powers to surveil, detain, interrogate, investigate, prosecute, punish, police and generally act as a law unto themselves—much like their Nazi cousins, the Gestapo—and then try to convince yourself that the United States is still a constitutional republic.

Just like the Gestapo, the FBI has vast resources, vast investigatory powers, and vast discretion to determine who is an enemy of the state.

Today, the FBI employs more than 35,000 individuals and operates more than 56 field offices in major cities across the U.S., as well as 400 resident agencies in smaller towns, and more than 50 international offices. In addition to their “data campus,” which houses more than 96 million sets of fingerprints from across the United States and elsewhere, the FBI has also built a vast repository of “profiles of tens of thousands of Americans and legal residents who are not accused of any crime. What they have done is appear to be acting suspiciously to a town sheriff, a traffic cop or even a neighbor.” The FBI’s burgeoning databases on Americans are not only being added to and used by local police agencies, but are also being made available to employers for real-time background checks.

All of this is made possible by the agency’s nearly unlimited resources (its minimum budget alone in fiscal year 2015 was $8.3 billion), the government’s vast arsenal of technology, the interconnectedness of government intelligence agencies, and information sharing through fusion centers—data collecting intelligence agencies spread throughout the country that constantly monitor communications (including those of American citizens), everything from internet activity and web searches to text messages, phone calls and emails.

Much like the Gestapo spied on mail and phone calls, FBI agents have carte blanche access to the citizenry’s most personal information.

Working through the U.S. Post Office, the FBI has access to every piece of mail that passes through the postal system: more than 160 billion pieces are scanned and recorded annually. Moreover, the agency’s National Security Letters, one of the many illicit powers authorized by the USA Patriot Act, allows the FBI to secretly demand that banks, phone companies, and other businesses provide them with customer information and not disclose those demands to the customer. An internal audit of the agency found that the FBI practice of issuing tens of thousands of NSLs every year for sensitive information such as phone and financial records, often in non-emergency cases, is riddled with widespread constitutional violations.

Much like the Gestapo’s sophisticated surveillance programs, the FBI’s spying capabilities can delve into Americans’ most intimate details (and allow local police to do so, as well).

In addition to technology (which is shared with police agencies) that allows them to listen in on phone calls, read emails and text messages, and monitor web activities, the FBI’s surveillance boasts an invasive collection of spy tools ranging from Stingray devices that can track the location of cell phones to Triggerfish devices which allow agents to eavesdrop on phone calls.  In one case, the FBI actually managed to remotely reprogram a “suspect’s” wireless internet card so that it would send “real-time cell-site location data to Verizon, which forwarded the data to the FBI.” Law enforcement agencies are also using social media tracking software to monitor Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts. Moreover, secret FBI rules also allow agents to spy on journalists without significant judicial oversight.

Much like the Gestapo’s ability to profile based on race and religion, and its assumption of guilt by association, the FBI’s approach to pre-crime allows it to profile Americans based on a broad range of characteristics including race and religion.

The agency’s biometric database has grown to massive proportions, the largest in the world, encompassing everything from fingerprints, palm, face and iris scans to DNA, and is being increasingly shared between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in an effort to target potential criminals long before they ever commit a crime. This is what’s known as pre-crime. Yet it’s not just your actions that will get you in trouble. In many cases, it’s also who you know—even minimally—and where your sympathies lie that could land you on a government watch list. Moreover, as the Intercept reports, despite anti-profiling prohibitions, the bureau “claims considerable latitude to use race, ethnicity, nationality, and religion in deciding which people and communities to investigate.”

Much like the Gestapo’s power to render anyone an enemy of the state, the FBI has the power to label anyone a domestic terrorist.

As part of the government’s so-called ongoing war on terror, the nation’s de facto secret police force has begun using the terms “anti-government,” “extremist” and “terrorist” interchangeably. Moreover, the government continues to add to its growing list of characteristics that can be used to identify an individual (especially anyone who disagrees with the government) as a potential domestic terrorist. For instance, you might be a domestic terrorist in the eyes of the FBI (and its network of snitches) if you:

  • express libertarian philosophies (statements, bumper stickers)

  • exhibit Second Amendment-oriented views (NRA or gun club membership)

  • read survivalist literature, including apocalyptic fictional books

  • show signs of self-sufficiency (stockpiling food, ammo, hand tools, medical supplies)

  • fear an economic collapse

  • buy gold and barter items

  • subscribe to religious views concerning the book of Revelation

  • voice fears about Big Brother or big government

  • expound about constitutional rights and civil liberties

  • believe in a New World Order conspiracy

Much like the Gestapo infiltrated communities in order to spy on the German citizenry, the FBI routinely infiltrates political and religious groups, as well as businesses.

As Cora Currier writes for the Intercept: “Using loopholes it has kept secret for years, the FBI can in certain circumstances bypass its own rules in order to send undercover agents or informants into political and religious organizations, as well as schools, clubs, and businesses...” The FBI has even been paying Geek Squad technicians at Best Buy to spy on customers’ computers without a warrant.

Just as the Gestapo united and militarized Germany’s police forces into a national police force, America’s police forces have largely been federalized and turned into a national police force.

In addition to government programs that provide the nation’s police forces with military equipment and training, the FBI also operates a National Academy that trains thousands of police chiefs every year and indoctrinates them into an agency mindset that advocates the use of surveillance technology and information sharing between local, state, federal, and international agencies.

Just as the Gestapo’s secret files on political leaders were used to intimidate and coerce, the FBI’s files on anyone suspected of “anti-government” sentiment have been similarly abused.

As countless documents make clear, the FBI has no qualms about using its extensive powers in order to blackmail politicians, spy on celebrities and high-ranking government officials, and intimidate and attempt to discredit dissidents of all stripes. For example, not only did the FBI follow Martin Luther King Jr. and bug his phones and hotel rooms, but agents also sent him anonymous letters urging him to commit suicide and pressured a Massachusetts college into dropping King as its commencement speaker.

Just as the Gestapo carried out entrapment operations, the FBI has become a master in the art of entrapment.

In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks the FBI has not only targeted vulnerable individuals but has also lured or blackmailed them into fake terror plots while actually equipping them with the organization, money, weapons and motivation to carry out the plots—entrapment—and then jailing or deporting them for their so-called terrorist plotting. This is what the FBI characterizes as “forward leaning—preventative—prosecutions.” In addition to creating certain crimes in order to then “solve” them, the FBI also gives certain informants permission to break the law, “including everything from buying and selling illegal drugs to bribing government officials and plotting robberies,” in exchange for their cooperation on other fronts. USA Todayestimates that agents have authorized criminals to engage in as many as 15 crimes a day. Some of these informants are getting paid astronomical sums: one particularly unsavory fellow, later arrested for attempting to run over a police officer, was actually paid $85,000 for his help laying the trap for an entrapment scheme.

When and if a true history of the FBI is ever written, it will not only track the rise of the American police state but it will also chart the decline of freedom in America, in much the same way that the empowerment of Germany’s secret police tracked with the rise of the Nazi regime.

How did the Gestapo become the terror of the Third Reich?

It did so by creating a sophisticated surveillance and law enforcement system that relied for its success on the cooperation of the military, the police, the intelligence community, neighborhood watchdogs, government workers for the post office and railroads, ordinary civil servants, and a nation of snitches inclined to report “rumors, deviant behavior, or even just loose talk.”

In other words, ordinary citizens working with government agents helped create the monster that became Nazi Germany. Writing for the New York Times, Barry Ewen paints a particularly chilling portrait of how an entire nation becomes complicit in its own downfall by looking the other way:

In what may be his most provocative statement, [author Eric A.] Johnson says that ‘‘most Germans may not even have realized until very late in the war, if ever, that they were living in a vile dictatorship.’’ This is not to say that they were unaware of the Holocaust; Johnson demonstrates that millions of Germans must have known at least some of the truth. But, he concludes, ‘‘a tacit Faustian bargain was struck between the regime and the citizenry.’’ The government looked the other way when petty crimes were being committed. Ordinary Germans looked the other way when Jews were being rounded up and murdered; they abetted one of the greatest crimes of the 20th century not through active collaboration but through passivity, denial and indifference.

Much like the German people, “we the people” have become passive, polarized, gullible, easily manipulated, and lacking in critical thinking skills.  Distracted by entertainment spectacles, politics and screen devices, we too are complicit, silent partners in creating a police state similar to the terror practiced by former regimes.

Had the government tried to ram such a state of affairs down our throats suddenly, it might have had a rebellion on its hands.

Instead, the American people have been given the boiling frog treatment, immersed in water that slowly is heated up—degree by degree—so that they’ve fail to notice that they’re being trapped and cooked and killed.

“We the people” are in hot water now.

The Constitution doesn’t stand a chance against a federalized, globalized standing army of government henchmen protected by legislative, judicial and executive branches that are all on the same side, no matter what political views they subscribe to: suffice it to say, they are not on our side or the side of freedom.

From Clinton to Bush, then Obama and now Trump, it’s as if we’ve been caught in a time loop, forced to re-live the same thing over and over again: the same assaults on our freedoms, the same disregard for the rule of law, the same subservience to the Deep State, and the same corrupt, self-serving government that exists only to amass power, enrich its shareholders and ensure its continued domination.

Can the Fourth Reich happen here?

As I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, it’s already happening right under our noses.

Published:8/2/2019 11:10:07 PM
[Markets] Do You Believe In "Conspiracy Theories?" An FBI Report Says You're A Potential Domestic Terrorist

Authored by Daisy Luther via The Organic Prepper blog,

The FBI has released a 15-page document warning of the dangers of “anti-government, identity-based, and fringe conspiracy theories.” The law enforcement agency says that these are “very likely to motivate some domestic extremists to commit criminal, sometimes violent activity.” The document seems to recommend increased social media and web censorship.

The FBI assesses anti-government, identity-based, and fringe political conspiracy theories very likely motivate some domestic extremists, wholly or in part, to commit criminal and sometimes violent activity. The FBI further assesses in some cases these conspiracy theories very likely encourage the targeting of specific people, places, and organizations, thereby increasing the Iikelihood of violence against these targets. These assessments are made with high confidenced, based on information from other law enforcement agencies, open-source information, court documents, human sources with varying degrees of access and corroboration, and FBI investigations.

One key assumption driving these assessments is that certain conspiracy theory narratives tacitly support or legitimize violent action. The FBI also assumes some, but not all individuals or domestic extremists who hold such beliefs will act on them. The FBI assesses these conspiracy theories very likely will emerge, spread, and evolve in the modem information marketplace, occasionally driving both groups and individual extremists to carry out criminal or violent acts. Indicators that may lead to revised judgements or cause a change in the confidence level assoc iated with this assessment include a lack of conspiracy theory-driven criminal or violent activity in the near to long term or significant efforts by major social media companies and websites to remove, regulate, or counter potentially harmful conspiratorial content.

So what do they consider conspiracy theories? A few of the theories and topics mentioned in the document are QAnon, Pizzagate, the New World Order, various child-sex trafficking ring theories, and racial extremists. Interestingly, there is no specific mention in this document of Antifa and their theories, despite the fact that they’re decidedly anti-government and confirmably violent.

The FBI believes the internet causes anti-government theories to spread.

The internet brings people together in forums, on social media, in private online chatrooms, and via email. The document released by the FBI seems to consider that this is part of the problem.

Although conspiracy theory-driven crime and violence is not a new phenomenon, today’s information environment has changed the way conspiracy theories develop, spread, and evolve. The advent of the Internet and social media has enabled promoters of conspiracy theories to produce and share greater volumes of material via online platforms that larger audiences of consumers can quickly and easily access.

Based on the increased volume and reach of conspiratorial content due to modern communication methods, it is logical to assume that more extremist-minded individuals will be exposed to potentially harmful conspiracy theories, accept ones that are favorable to their views, and possibly carry out criminal or violent actions as a result. The Internet has also enabled a ‘crowd-sourcing’ effect wherein conspiracy theory followers themselves shape a given theory by presenting information that supplements, expands, or localizes its narrative.

The examples above demonstrate how crowd-sourced conspiracy theories can influence which entities extremists choose to target. These examples also substantiate concerns expressed by some researchers who believe a rise of conspiracism, fostered in part by the Internet, may be accompanied by a search for scapegoats-those believed to be the conspirators’ allies, henchmen, or collaborators.

This is worrisome, as censorship of any alternative view is already at an all-time high, with a coordinated purge of alternative media websites from social media outlets and a major search engine. It seems as though this could potentially lead to even more censorship. Maybe that’s what it’s actually for – to give social media outlets even more justification for cracking down on free yet unpopular speech.

How does the FBI define “conspiracy theory?”

The document notes the FBI’s definition of “conspiracy theories.”

Although many conspiracy theories appear benign or inconsequential, others create serious risks. Throughout history, such conspiracy theories have fueled prejudice, witch-hunts, genocide, and acts of terrorism.’ In the context of domestic terrorism, extremists often view the activities of alleged conspirators as an existential threat that can only be stopped through drastic, or even violent means…

…A conspiracy theory is an attempt to explain events or circumstances as the result of a group of actors working in secret to benefit themselves at the expense of othersr. Conspiracy theories typically allege wrongdoing by powerful others (for example, public officials, business executives, scientists) or societally marginalized groups (for example, Muslims, Jews), and are most prevalent among individuals with extreme political viewsg. Some conspiracy theories point to weak circumstantial evidence, but ignore stronger evidence that would refute their claims.

Consequently, they are usually at odds with official or prevailing explanations of events) While a conspiracy theory refers to an allegation that may or may not be true, a conspiracy is a true causal chain of events. Real conspiracies involving illegal, antidemocratic, or harmful activities by high­ level government officials and political elites have been exposed in the past and it has been argued that such plots have encouraged conspiracism in society.

Relying on the premises that nothing happens by accident, nothing is as it seems, and everything is connected, conspiracy theorists tend to view every bad outcome as the result of an intentional decision by an evil actor, dismiss disconfirming evidence as “fabricated” by the conspirators, and connect a wide range of seemingly unrelated occurences to suggest a larger plot. Despite sharing key characteristics and at times featuring similar themes and intersecting plots, conspiracy theories vary greatly in their scope. Some are narrowly focused on a particular event or set of events whereas others suggest broad, expansive narratives that link multiple conspiracies in complex ways to portray a group of evil actors working to manipulate society on a global scale.

So, does this definition mean that anyone who disagrees with the official story about anything is a dangerous conspiracy theorist?

What theories are the FBI worried about?

The FBI document mentions numerous arrests, some of which were not widely publicized. The document also provided a list of conspiracy theories that they find particularly worrisome in Appendix B.

The conspiracy theories referenced in this intelligence bulletin have been categorized as anti­ government, identity-based, or fringe political because they assert secretive, malevolent acts either by an allegedly hostile and tyrannical federal government, by racial, religious, or social minority groups, or by political opponents.

Anti-Government

(U) NWO: A group of international elites controls governments, industry, and media organizations, instigates major wars, carries out secret staged events, and manipulates economies with the goal of establishing global rule.

(U) UN: The UN is being used by an evil global cabal to erode American sovereignty, strip away individual liberties, and bring foreign troops to American soil in order to replace democracy with global tyranny.”

(U) False Flags: The official story surrounding a given terrorist attack or mass shooting is a lie; the event was staged or conducted by the government to justify encroachments on civil liberties.

Identity-Based

(U) Zionist Occupied Government: Jewish agents secretly control the governments of Western states and are conspiring to achieve world domination.

(U) Islamberg: The small Muslim community near Hancock, New York known as Islamberg is a terrorist training camp; its residents, who pose as peaceful Muslims, are in fact Islamic radicals operating as a terrorist sleeper cell.

Fringe Political

(U) Pizzagate: High ranking democratic officials are or were involved in a child sex trafficking ring centered at the Comet Ping Pong pizza restaurant in Washington, DC.’

(U) QAnon: An anonymous government official known as “Q” posts classified information online to reveal a covert effort, led by President Trump, to dismantle a conspiracy involving “deep state” actors and global elites allegedly engaged in an international child sex trafficking ring.’

The thing one might find particularly ironic is that the arrest of Jeffrey Epstein has brought out a massive amount of information about…well…child sex trafficking and global elite pedophiles. (See this articlethis articlethis one, and this one.)

Why the FBI believes conspiracy theorists are violent

Beginning on page 2 of the document, the FBI cites numerous cases of violence based on conspiracy theories.

The FBI assesses anti-government, identity-based, and fringe political conspiracy theories very likely motivate some domestic extremists, wholly or in part, to engage in criminal or violent activity. This assessment is based on events in which individuals committed crimes, plotted attacks, or successfully carried out deadly violence and who – either before or after their arrests -attributed their actions to their conspiratorial beliefs. These events include instances in which the perpetrators intended to kill groups identified by such theories as hostile and malevolent, or to simply carry out dangerous, unlawful acts in an effort to draw attention to or expose a perceived conspiracy.

Most people who question the status quo would not be surprised if this document is just the beginning of a crackdown on anyone who refuses to accept the mainstream explanations because they might “engage in criminal or violent activity.”

While some of the theories mentioned are pretty far-fetched, the First Amendment protects free speech – and that includes conspiracy theories. Most people who believe that there are pedophiles in our government or who question the official reports of heinous events will never become violent. But now, it appears they may become targets of suspicion based on their thought crimes.

And when this FBI report is combined with the recently introduced Threat Assessment, Prevention, and Safety Act of 2019, which focuses on developing “a national strategy to prevent targeted violence through behavioral threat assessment and management, and for other purposes,” it certainly could make critical thinkers a little bit nervous.

Published:8/2/2019 6:36:48 PM
[In The News] DOJ To Release Some Bruce Ohr Documents ‘Imminently’

By Chuck Ross -

The Justice Department will release FBI documents early next week related to Bruce Ohr, the Justice Department official who met with dossier author Christopher Steele. In a court filing submitted last Thursday, Justice Department lawyers said the agency will provide FBI notes of interviews conducted with Ohr to Judicial Watch, ...

DOJ To Release Some Bruce Ohr Documents ‘Imminently’ 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:8/2/2019 10:04:27 AM
[037fd741-9ad0-5d13-9c38-c2144560d40c] Joe diGenova: Barr's Comey decision was the right call. But this is just the beginning Attorney General Bill Barr's decision not to prosecute former FBI Director James Comey over his deliberate leaks to the media isn’t a sign of weakness or lack of will, but of the professionalism and well-reasoned restrain. Published:8/2/2019 8:31:23 AM
[Markets] UK "Up To Its Neck" In RussiaGate Affair, Secret Texts Reveal British Role In Trump Coup Effort

While hysteria raged about possible Russian “interference” in the 2016 US election, British intelligence officials were secretly playing a “key role” in helping instigate investigations into Donald Trump, secret texts have shown.

“Turns out it was Britain that was the foreign country interfering in American affairs,” former MP George Galloway told RT, speaking about the new revelations published by the Guardian about early British involvement in the ‘Russiagate’ investigation.

The Guardian reported on texts between former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe and Jeremy Fleming, his then counterpart at MI5, who now heads GCHQ. The two men met in 2016 to discuss “our strange situation” – an apparent reference to Russia’s alleged interference in US domestic politics.

British intelligence “appears to have played a key role in the early stages,” the report said.

Galloway told RT that the revelation was not surprising because people “already knew” that British intelligence had played a part in the Russia-related investigations in the US. He recalled that it was former British spy Christopher Steele who drew up the now-infamous Steele dossier, which made multiple unverifiable and salacious claims about Trump and has since been largely discredited.

Britain is “up to its neck in the whole Russiagate affair,” he said.

The texts also reveal that the Brexit vote was viewed by some in the FBI as something that had been influenced by Russia.

Asked what the UK stood to gain by trying to implicate Russia in a US election scandal at a time when then-foreign secretary Boris Johnson was dismissing baseless claims of Russian interference in the Brexit campaign, Galloway noted that Johnson’s comments on Russia have appeared to strangely sway between friendly and antagonistic.

Johnson is like “a sofa that bears the impression of the last person to sit upon him,” the former MP quipped. What happens next will depend on who is leading the tango, “the orange man in Washington or the blonde mop-head in London.”

In June 2016, the FBI opened a covert investigation codenamed ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ into Trump’s now disproven collusion with Moscow, which was later taken over by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Ultimately, the two-year-long probe that followed came up short, producing no evidence to prove a conspiracy or collusion between Trump campaign officials and Russia.

Published:8/2/2019 4:31:22 AM
[In The News] FBI Identifies QAnon, Pizzagate as Domestic Terror Threats: Report

By Mary Margaret Olohan -

The Federal Bureau of Investigation reportedly described conspiracy theorists as a domestic terrorist threat in a document obtained by Yahoo News. A May 30 FBI intelligence bulletin from FBI’s Phoenix field office says that “conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists” are growing threats according to Yahoo News. The document adds that the ...

FBI Identifies QAnon, Pizzagate as Domestic Terror Threats: Report 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:8/1/2019 9:58:42 PM
[Markets] Mass Surveillance: Half Of All Americans Already In Government Facial Recognition Database

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

The mass surveillance of innocent Americans continues as George Orwell’s 1984becomes more of a reality with each passing day. “All told, we are barreling toward a future where every ritual of public life carries implicit consent to be surveilled,” writes Sidney Fussell for The Atlantic.

A new report from Georgetown Law‘s Center on Privacy & Technology (CPT) suggests that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may be using the rampant problem of illegal immigration as a type of cover to track and spy on Americans in violation of their Fourth Amendment rights. Three years ago, the center revealedthat nearly half of all U.S. adults are already in the FBI’s facial-recognition database, which is largely sourced from DMV photos.

ICE has apparently requested special access to Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) databases in at least three states – Utah, Washington State, and Vermont – which the federal agency plans to use in conjunction with facial-recognition technology to scan people’s drivers’ license photos and match them against criminal and residency databases, all without their knowledge or consent.

The documents uncovered this week are the first confirmation that states have granted ICE specifically, not just the FBI, access to those databases.

This Vigilant Solutions database facilitates ICE’s efforts to track people’s movements by allowing the agency to analyze data on where their license plates have been spotted by Vigilant’s network of license plate-reading spy cameras, which are present not only on roadways but also at malls.

To American patriots still thinking inside the box, granting ICE access to such data might seem like nothing but a good thing, seeing as how at least 22 million illegal aliens are currently living in America without permission. But once this pandora’s box of privacy is breached in the name of fighting illegal immigration, it can very quickly be abused as a means to violate the privacy rights of all Americans. –Natural News

The same is true for any other law enforcement agency that’s given access to things like people’s private DMV information, which can very easily be abused for the purpose of conducted searches without a probable cause or a proper warrant. “In effect, these license databases have become criminal databases, each search justified by the chance that someone documented there is guilty of crime,” Fussell contends.

“Everyone in them has become a suspect.”

Written 70 years ago, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, his dystopian vision of a government that will do anything to control the narrative is timelier than ever…

The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.

Published:8/1/2019 6:28:51 PM
[Markets] FBI: Conspiracy Theories Are Now A Domestic Terrorism Threat

Do you believe in an elite cabal of untouchable oligarchs guiding the course of history via false flags, perpetual war, and covertly funded militant groups? Do you share these beliefs online?

You might just be engaging in domestic terrorism according to the FBI.

A May 30 intelligence bulletin posted by the bureau's Phoenix field office describes "conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists" as a growing threat, reports Yahoo News

Does the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory peddled by leading Democrats and amplified by the MSM for over two straight years count?

Apparently not, as the document singles out QAnon - "a shadowy network that believes in a deep state conspiracy against President Trump, and Pizzagate, the theory that a pedophile ring including Clinton associates was being run out of the basement of a Washington, D.C., pizza restaurant (which didn’t actually have a basement)," according to the report. 

(Except they do according to a quote from the owner, James Alefantis, in this 2015 Metro Weekly article)

The report points to the case of Edgar Maddison Welch, who opened fire in the Comet Ping Pong pizza restaurant at the center of Pizzagate. Welch, who worked for his father's film company - "Forever Young Productions" - walked through the door with an AR-15, "shot off the lock to an inside door, sending a bullet into a computer tower," and told authorities he was there to 'rescue children' (by shooting at a door they might be behind) according to the Washington Post

"The FBI assesses these conspiracy theories very likely will emerge, spread, and evolve in the modern information marketplace, occasionally driving both groups and individual extremists to carry out criminal or violent acts," reads the FBI document, which adds that conspiracy theory-driven extremism is likely to increase during the 2020 presidential election cycle

The FBI said another factor driving the intensity of this threat is “the uncovering of real conspiracies or cover-ups involving illegal, harmful, or unconstitutional activities by government officials or leading political figures.” The FBI does not specify which political leaders or which cover-ups it was referring to.

President Trump is mentioned by name briefly in the latest FBI document, which notes that the origins of QAnon is the conspiratorial belief that “Q,” allegedly a government official, “posts classified information online to reveal a covert effort, led by President Trump, to dismantle a conspiracy involving ‘deep state’ actors and global elites allegedly engaged in an international child sex trafficking ring.” -Yahoo News

Nevermind that 'global elite' hobnobber Jeffrey Epstein is currently sitting in a jail cell, accused of literal child sex trafficking, and may have been the subject of an attempted hit last week. 

FBI Director Christopher Wray has addressed domestic terrorism on multiple occasions over the past several weeks - though he hasn't mentioned conspiracy theories. 

 In a contentious hearing last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee, FBI Director Christopher Wray faced criticism from Democrats who said the bureau was not focusing enough on white supremacist violence. “The term ‘white supremacist,’ ‘white nationalist’ is not included in your statement to the committee when you talk about threats to America,” Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., said. “There is a reference to racism, which I think probably was meant to include that, but nothing more specific.” -Yahoo News

After coming under fire for identifying "black identity extremists," Wray told lawmakers that the FBI eliminated separate categories for black identity extremists and white supremacists - saying that the agency is instead focusing on "racially motivated" violence in general. 

"I will say that a majority of the domestic terrorism cases that we've investigated are motivated by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence," he added. 

told Congress the bureau now “classifies domestic terrorism threats into four main categories: racially motivated violent extremism, anti-government/anti-authority extremism, animal rights/environmental extremism, and abortion extremism,” a term the bureau uses to classify both pro-choice and anti-abortion extremists." data-reactid="38" type="text">In May, Michael C. McGarrity, the FBI’s assistant director of the counterterrorism division, told Congress the bureau now “classifies domestic terrorism threats into four main categories: racially motivated violent extremism, anti-government/anti-authority extremism, animal rights/environmental extremism, and abortion extremism,” a term the bureau uses to classify both pro-choice and anti-abortion extremists.

The new focus on conspiracy theorists appears to fall under the broader category of anti-government extremism. “This is the first FBI product examining the threat from conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists and provides a baseline for future intelligence products,” the document states. -Yahoo News

The FBI says that while conspiracy theory-driven violence is not new, it's gotten worse as the world has become more connected in an "increasingly partisan political landscape in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election," according to the report. 

"The advent of the Internet and social media has enabled promoters of conspiracy theories to produce and share greater volumes of material via online platforms that larger audiences of consumers can quickly and easily access," reads the FBI document, which says it's intent is to "inform discussions within law enforcement as they relate to potentially harmful conspiracy theories and domestic extremism."

What about conspiracy theories that turn out to be true?

Between the looming threats posed by 'deepfakes', Russians, Saudis, and conspiracy theories, is anyone safe from anything anymore? 

Published:8/1/2019 5:26:48 PM
[Bits and Pieces] Comey Skates Through Round 1

The DOJ has opted not to prosecute former FBI Director James Comey for leaking memos about his interactions with President Trump with the intent that they be made public.  James Comey is a corrupt man who, in tandem with the Obama DOJ, conducted the whitewash of Hillary Clinton’s criminal mishandling of reams of classified information.  […]

The post Comey Skates Through Round 1 appeared first on Bookworm Room.

Published:8/1/2019 4:39:48 PM
[Politics] Justice Department decides not to prosecute James Comey over release of his memos

Former FBI Director James B. Comey won't be charged with mishandling confidential memos he wrote documenting his interactions with President Trump.

Published:8/1/2019 4:39:48 PM
[] FBI Document: The New Terrorist Threat That Endangers Our Very Republic Is... Internet Conspiracy Theories That Were Not Invented and Propagated by Us Conspiracy theories are terrorism? Why aren't you assholes in jail yet? The FBI for the first time has identified fringe conspiracy theories as a domestic terrorist threat, according to a previously unpublicized document obtained by Yahoo News. (Read the document... Published:8/1/2019 2:57:17 PM
[Politics] JUST IN: Justice Department decides NOT to prosecute James Comey It’s being reported now that the DOJ has decided not to prosecute former FBI Director James Comey for leaking classified information via his infamous Comey memos: FOX NEWS – The Justice Department . . . Published:8/1/2019 1:31:16 PM
[Politics] JUST IN: Justice Department decides NOT to prosecute James Comey It’s being reported now that the DOJ has decided not to prosecute former FBI Director James Comey for leaking classified information via his infamous Comey memos: FOX NEWS – The Justice Department . . . Published:8/1/2019 12:56:44 PM
[] John Solomon: IG Report Will Conclude James Comey Committed Crimes but Barr Will Decline to Prosecute Sigh. The Justice Department's chief watchdog is preparing a damning report on James Comey?s conduct in his final days as FBI director that likely will conclude he leaked classified information and showed a lack of candor after his own agency... Published:8/1/2019 12:30:35 PM
[The Blog] Judicial Watch: FBI found leaked memos at Comey’s house just before admission to Congress

Question the timing.

The post Judicial Watch: FBI found leaked memos at Comey’s house just before admission to Congress appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:8/1/2019 10:26:08 AM
[2019 News] FBI clears Michael Flynn in probe linking him to Russia FBI clears Michael Flynn in probe linking him to Russia. More Democrat Russia-Russia-Russia down the crapper. Schiff must be crying in his diaper. Published:7/31/2019 7:53:45 PM
[Markets] Nunes: FBI/CIA's Actions Against Trump Campaign Overseas Must Be Investigated

Authored By Sara Carter via SaraACarter.com (emphasis ours)

The top Republican with the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Devin Nunes told SaraACarter.com there is insurmountable evidence of the FBI’s malfeasance regarding the bureau’s probe into President Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia, but what must be investigated is the FBI’s actions overseas into the campaign.

Those questions will also naturally involve the CIA and any relationship the clandestine agency had with the bureau during the Russia probe, Nunes said.

What has been revealed during the course of nearly three years of investigations by the Intelligence Committee and others, is that the FBI had informants spying on the campaign. The most damning information was that the FBI had specifically targeted volunteers with the Trump campaign: Carter Page, George Papadopolous, as well as others who traveled outside the United States. Once they were overseas, the FBI had continuing operations and received information from informants to build an investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia.

The details of what actually took place and when the investigation by the bureau actually began, however, remain murky. Nunes said there needs to be a thorough investigation into the role of the FBI and CIA regarding the Trump probe.

There are so many unanswered questions about what happened in Cambridge, where numerous people were making strange unexplained attempts to contact Trump associates,” Nunes told SaraACarter.com. “We already know the FBI committed a lot of abuses in this investigation, and we want to discover whether more were being committed overseas.”

Nunes is referring to the University of Cambridge in London, ‘Cambridge Intelligence Seminar,’ where employees made successful attempts in contacting members with the  Trump campaign in 2016, including Carter and Papadopolous.

The CIA And FBI

Nunes also spoke with Maria Bartiromo Sunday on Fox News saying that former CIA Director John Brennan still needs to answer questions. He said it’s important for DOJ investigators to know whether it was the FBI or CIA, or both, that lined up confidential sources to contact the Trump campaign.

“Well, as you know, we have jurisdiction over both FBI and CIA and what they do overseas,” Nunes told Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures. “We have lots of information about FBI people going overseas and doing things, we don’t really have any information from CIA.”

So far, they’ve really come clean. I would say the only one who has questions to answer is John Brennan, because we now know that John Brennan briefed Harry Reid on the dossier in August 2016. At the same time he never briefed me or Paul Ryan who was the speaker of the House at the time.”

Nunes has also been pushing for the public release of currently declassified documents turned over by President Trump to the DOJ’s Attorney General William Barr. Those documents are expected to reveal details of the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign. In particular information regarding Page and Papadopolous, which sources say will expose that the FBI withheld exculpatory information from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

According to several sources some of those documents could come as early as this week or next. But Barr has received fierce pushback from some in the intelligence community, including Brennan. After Trump ordered the intelligence community to cooperate with Barr the New York Times reported that if Barr declassifies the documents he would reveal one of the agencies most trusted assets in Russia.

According to the New York Times the asset is “close to [Vladimir] Putin” and someone who gave the CIA “information about [Putin’s] involvement” in U.S. election interference.

However, according to sources that spoke with SaraACarter.com, who have knowledge of the documents, Barr would not reveal any information that would harm U.S. national security.

The Professors: Mifsud And Halper

Durham’s investigation is also looking into Professor Joseph Mifsud, who made direct contact with Papadopolous. Mifsud shared information with the young campaign volunteer suggesting the Kremlin had the missing Hillary Clinton emails during the  2016 campaign. Mifsud’s attorney has told The Hill’s John Solomon, that his client was a “longtime cooperator of western intel.” This claim is huge because it is thoroughly missing from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report and begs the question: Why would a source connected to western intelligence be giving a Trump campaign official information from Russian’s suggesting they had Clinton’s emails?

Mueller’s report contends that Papadopolous contact with Mifsud was the reason the bureau initiated the investigation into the Trump campaign at the end of July, 2016. The bureau dubbed the investigation ‘Crossfire Hurricane,’ as the New York Times first reported.

Further, there are questions regarding Mifsud’s contacts with others at Link University in Rome and the London Center of International Law Practice (LCILP). Both of these policy institutes have ties to western intelligence.

The task of investigating the actions of the bureau and CIA overseas DOJ appointed prosecutor John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, and simultaneously Inspector General Michael Horowitz will not be easy, “as they navigate the various agencies and contend with classified information and sources,” said one former U.S. intelligence official, familiar with Russia.

Durham Questioning CIA Officers

Durham is also believed to be questioning senior CIA personnel, according to a recent New York Times report.   According to The Times Durham’s inquiry is directly related to the Russia investigation and “focused partly on the intelligence agencies’ most explosive conclusion about the 2016 election: that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia intervened to benefit Donald J. Trump.”

More importantly, the inquiry shows the expansive nature of the Justice Department’s probe into the FBI and it’s handling of the case.

Durham’s inquiry reveals that the DOJ is investigating every aspect of the Russia Trump probe and the connection the FBI had with the agency.

There is no possible way that Brennan didn’t know what was going on during the FBI’s investigation, particularly when agents were working with sources overseas in London and Italy,” the official said. “The agency would have been well aware of the issue, particularly because it involved a presidential candidate.”

Another major player in the DOJ’s investigation is former Cambridge Professor Stefan Halper, who was outed as an informant for the bureau, as previously reported. Halper was the director of American studies in the Department of Politics and International Studies at Cambridge. There, he taught classes and worked on research papers for Chatham House in London, the Center for Strategic and International Studies in D.C., and the U.S. Naval War College. He also has a close working relationship with former MI6 Director Sir Richard Dearlove. Dearlove was the director from 1999 to 2004. His extended family was also tightly connected to the agency.

Grassley’s Inquiry Into The DOD Payments To Halper

Currently, Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is investigating financing that was provided by the Department of Defense’s Office of Net Assessment to Halper. He sent a letter early this month asking DOD Acting Secretary Mark Esper for more information regarding contracts awarded to Halper.

Grassely, R- Iowa, stated that the information be provided no later than July 25. He also requested a full in person briefing with his committee staff on all of Halper’s contracts with the DoD.

Grassley’s committee asked for the information after an audit was released by the DoD’s Inspector General’s showed that there was failure to conduct appropriate oversight of contracts awarded under the DOD. Halper had long career in the U.S. government under several GOP administrations. His connections to the CIA and FBI are extensive and he had been awarded multiple contracts with the DOD totaling $411,000 by Washington Headquarters Services on Sept. 26, 2016, for a contract that ran until this March, 2018, according to USASpending.gov.

Published:7/31/2019 5:51:26 PM
[US News] Judicial Watch: FOIA’d docs show FBI went to James Comey’s house to collect Trump-related memos after he was fired (2 were ‘missing’)

Hmm.

The post Judicial Watch: FOIA’d docs show FBI went to James Comey’s house to collect Trump-related memos after he was fired (2 were ‘missing’) appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:7/31/2019 4:54:10 PM
[Markets] Secret McCabe Texts With MI-5 Counterpart Emerge, Spotlighting UK's Early Role In 'Russiagate'

Newly surfaced text messages between Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and his counterpart at MI-5, the UK's domestic security service, have cast new light on Britain's role in the FBI's 2016 'Russiagate' investigation, according to The Guardian

Two of the most senior intelligence officials in the US and UK privately shared concerns aboutour strange situation” as the FBI launched its 2016 investigation into whether Donald Trump’s campaign was colluding with Russia, the Guardian has learned.

Text messages between Andrew McCabe, the deputy director of the FBI at the time, and Jeremy Fleming, his then counterpart at MI5, now the head of GCHQ, also reveal their mutual surprise at the result of the EU referendum, which some US officials regarded as a “wake-up call”, according to a person familiar with the matter. -The Guardian

McCabe and Flemming's texts were "infrequent and cryptic," but "occurred with some regularity" after the June 2016 Brexit referendum. 

In his text message about the August 2016 meeting, Fleming appeared to be making a reference to Peter Strzok, a senior FBI official who travelled to London that month to meet the Australian diplomat Alexander Downer. Downer had agreed to speak with the FBI about a Trump campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, who had told him that Russia had dirt on Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee in the race. -The Guardian

In 2017, The Guardian reported that Britain's spy agencies had played a key role in alerting their American counterparts of communications between members of the Trump campaign and "suspected Russian agents," which was passed along to the US in what was characterized as a "routine exchange of information." 

UK begged Trump not to declassify

In May, President Trump issued a sweeping declassification order on materials related to the DOJ/FBI Russia investigation - leaving it in the hands of Attorney General William Barr to determine exactly what happened to Trump and his campaign before and after the 2016 US election. 

"For over a year, people have asked me to declassify. What I've done is declassified everything," said Trump, adding "He can look and I hope he looks at the UK and I hope he looks at Australia and I hope he looks at Ukraine." 

Published:7/31/2019 8:51:04 AM
[World] BOOK REVIEW: 'The Birth of the FBI'

Most people credit the birth of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to its first and longest-serving director, J. Edgar Hoover, but as Willard M. Oliver notes in his book, “The Birth of the FBI: Teddy Roosevelt, the Secret Service, and the Fight Over America’s Law Enforcement Agency,” it was actually ... Published:7/30/2019 5:16:23 PM

[Markets] There's Blood On The Streets Of Baltimore, Homicides Flare-Up, Could See Record Year

Out of control gun violence continues to plague Baltimore through mid-Summer, extending a years-long surge in shootings.

As of Tuesday morning, 196 people have been killed, if that was from a gunshot wound, stabbing, blunt force, and or asphyxiation.

Baltimore's revival started in the early 2000s, primarily when Under Armour based their global headquarters in the Inner Harbor. But everything changed when Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man, was arrested by Baltimore Police and died in police custody in 2015. Riots broke out shortly after, causing more than $10 million in damage, as cars and buildings burned to the ground, reminding everyone what a mess Baltimore has become.

Since the riots, Baltimore homicides have surpassed 300 each year from 2015 through 2018, and 2019 could soon be one of the worst years ever.

Cumulative homicide trends show 2019 could be following the path of 2017 homicides, which would mean 300-342 murders by year-end.

Homicides ticked higher through spring and have exploded during the summer months. It seems that Baltimore has a gun problem.

A vast majority of the murders occurred in the Southwestern, Western, Eastern, and Northwestern districts (basically the entire city).

Crime statistics published by the FBI ranked Baltimore's homicide rate in 2017, the highest of any large American city. The 342 homicides in 2017 represented a "homicide rate of 56 per 100,000 people."

While homicides in Baltimore continue to gain momentum, killings declined nationally through 1H19. New York City's murders declined 13.5% and Chicago's decline of more than 7%.

Despite being 14x larger than Baltimore, New York has lower overall killings per year.

"I'm not happy about it, and neither should any citizen in Baltimore be happy," Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young said in early July. "It's disheartening to be labeled the most violent city in America."

And with three days (as of Monday) of tweets by President Donald Trump blasting Democratic U.S. Rep. Elijah Cumming for his "disgusting, rat and rodent-infested" Baltimore district," the national debate about race, urban poverty, and homicides becomes mainstream.

What is most puzzling to us is that President Trump continues to tout low black unemployment and the "best economy ever" for these low-income folks, but points out the horrid conditions in Baltimore (something must be amiss in the black unemployment data).

But let's take a step back decades ago, when Baltimore had nearly 1 million in total population back in the late 1950s, ever since, the population has crashed to 100-year lows last year, now around 600,000.

It wasn't Democrats that started the demise of Baltimore, and like many other industrial cities across America, it was the corporate elitist, who reallocated resources and labor out of America over the last five decades to other regions of the world, all to enrich shareholders while American inner cities imploded.

It was the big pharma companies, who in the last two decades pumped millions and millions of legal opioid pills onto the streets of Baltimore - destroying the millennial youth.

Baltimore is a failure of all levels of government, both political parties, after all, it's located just 40 miles north of Washington, D.C.

The more time politicians blame one another, the less time we have in finding productive measures that could lay the groundwork for a potential revival. Coming up with a solution for Baltimore will serve as a blueprint to revive deindustrialized areas across the country. Judging by the progress, this revival is decades out. The "greatest economy ever" is a hoax.

Enjoy reality: "Cause it's ruthless, and don't tell me you're ruthless too. When there is blood on the streets of Baltimore." 

Published:7/30/2019 11:13:58 AM
[The Blog] Report: FBI, US Olympic Committee knew about Nassar’s serial abuse for a year or more — and did nothing

"Top people ... need to be held accountable."

The post Report: FBI, US Olympic Committee knew about Nassar’s serial abuse for a year or more — and did nothing appeared first on Hot Air.

Published:7/30/2019 8:13:02 AM
[Markets] Capital One Admits Massive Data Breach: 100 Million Americans Affected, Seattle Woman Arrested

Just a few short days after the Equifax data breach settlement - which affected 147 million Americans - Capital One Financial has just issued a statement confirming that on July 19th 2019, there was unauthorized access by an outside individual who obtained certain types of personal information relating to people who had applied for its credit card products and to Capital One credit card customers.

Based on their analysis, this event affected approximately 100 million individuals in the United States and approximately 6 million in Canada.

"While I am grateful that the perpetrator has been caught, I am deeply sorry for what has happened," said Richard D. Fairbank, Chairman and CEO.

"I sincerely apologize for the understandable worry this incident must be causing those affected and I am committed to making it right."

As The Washington Post reports, The FBI has arrested Paige A. Thompson, a Seattle area woman, on a charge of computer fraud and abuse, court records say. Thompson, who authorities say used the name “erratic” in online conversations, is suspected of “exfiltrating and stealing information, including credit card applications and other documents, from Capital One,” according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court. She was ordered to remain in jail pending a detention hearing scheduled for Thursday, according to court records.

It is unusual in a major hacking case for a suspect to be apprehended so quickly, and in this case, that was apparently due to boasts made online. In one online posting, “erratic” wrote:

“I’ve basically strapped myself with a bomb vest, [expletive] dropping capitol ones dox and admitting it,” according to the complaint.

The Capital One press release concludes:

We will notify affected individuals through a variety of channels. We will make free credit monitoring and identity protection available to everyone affected.

Safeguarding our customers' information is essential to our mission and our role as a financial institution. We have invested heavily in cybersecurity and will continue to do so. We will incorporate the learnings from this incident to further strengthen our cyber defenses.

We are very thankful to the FBI's Seattle Field Office and Special Agent Joel Martini, to U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran, and to Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steven Masada and Andrew Friedman of the Western District of Washington for the speed with which they responded to this incident and apprehended the responsible party.

For more information about this incident and what Capital One is doing to respond, visit www.capitalone.com/facts2019. In Canada, information can be found at www.capitalone.ca/facts2019 and www.capitalone.ca/facts2019/fr. The investigation is ongoing and analysis is subject to change. As we learn more, we will update these websites to provide additional information.

Bloomberg reports that in court on Monday, Thompson broke down and laid her head down on the defense table during the hearing. She is charged with a single count of computer fraud and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Published:7/29/2019 6:40:31 PM
[Law] Maria Butina’s Attorney Says Feds Withheld Exculpatory Information Provided by FBI Informant

A lawyer for Maria Butina is accusing federal prosecutors of withholding exculpatory information that the CEO of a multibillion-dollar company provided the FBI about the... Read More

The post Maria Butina’s Attorney Says Feds Withheld Exculpatory Information Provided by FBI Informant appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:7/29/2019 6:40:31 PM
[a3e4eb1f-e972-518c-a34f-257b51d0afbe] Real ‘Mindhunter’ John Douglas says he believes serial killer Todd Kohlhepp murdered more victims in doc Former FBI special agent John Douglas, the inspiration behind Netflix’s true-crime drama “Mindhunter,” believes serial killer Todd Kohlhepp when he says there are more bodies to be discovered. Published:7/29/2019 4:08:21 AM
[Markets] No Accountability In Washington. The CIA Wants To Hide All Its 'Assets'

Authored by Philip Giraldi via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Government that actually serves the interests of the people who are governed has two essential characteristics: first, it must be transparent in terms of how it debates and develops policies and second, it has to be accountable when it fails in its mandate and ceases to be responsive to the needs of the electorate.

Over the past twenty years one might reasonably argue that Washington has become less a “of the people, by the people and for the people” and increasingly a model of how special interests can use money to corrupt government. The recent story about how serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein avoided any serious punishment by virtue of his wealth and his political connections, including to both ex-president Bill Clinton and to current chief executive Donald Trump, demonstrates how even the most despicable criminals can avoid being brought to justice.

This erosion of what one might describe as republican virtue has been exacerbated by a simultaneous weakening of the US Constitution’s Bill of Rights, which was intended to serve as a guarantee of individual liberties while also serving as a bulwark against government overreach. In recent cases in the United States, a young man had his admission to Harvard revoked over comments posted online when he was fifteen that were considered racist, while a young woman was stripped of a beauty contest title because she refused to don a hijab at a college event and then wrote online about her experience. In both cases, freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment was ruled to be inadmissible by the relevant authorities.

Be that as it may, governmental lack of transparency and accountability is a more serious matter when the government itself becomes a serial manipulator of the truth as it seeks to protect itself from criticism. Reports that the Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.) is seeking legislation that will expand government ability to declare it a crime to reveal the identities of undercover intelligence agents will inevitably lead to major abuse when some clever bureaucrat realizes that the new rule can also be used to hide people and cover up malfeasance.

A law to protect intelligence officers already exists. It was passed in 1982 and is referred to as the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (I.I.P.A.). It criminalizes the naming of any C.I.A. officer under cover who has served overseas in the past five years. The new legislation would make the ban on exposure perpetual and would also include Agency sources or agents whose work is classified as well as actual C.I.A. staff employees who exclusively or predominantly work in the United States rather than overseas.

The revised legislation is attached to defense and intelligence bills currently being considered by Congress. If it is passed into law, its expanded range of criminal penalties could be employed to silence whistle blowers inside the Agency who become aware of illegal activity and it might also be directed against journalists that the whistleblowers might contact to tell their story.

The Agency has justified the legislation by claiming in a document obtained by The New York Times that “hundreds of covert officers [serving in the United States] have had their identity and covert affiliation disclosed without authorization… C.I.A. officers place themselves in harm’s way in order to carry out C.I.A.’s mission regardless of where they are based. Protecting officers’ identities from foreign adversaries is critical.”

Some Congressmen are disturbed by the perpetual nature of the identification ban, while also believing that the proposed legislation is too broad in general. Senator Ron Wyden expressed had reservations over how the C.I.A. provision would apply indefinitely. “I am not yet convinced this expansion is necessary and am concerned that it will be employed to avoid accountability,” he wrote.

Agency insiders have suggested that the new law is in part a response to increasing leaks of classified information by government employees. It is also a warning shot fired at journalists in the wake of the impending prosecution of Julian Assange of WikiLeaks under the seldom used Espionage Act of 1918. Covert identities legislation is less broad that the Espionage Act, which is precisely why it is attractive. It permits prosecution and punishment solely because someone either has revealed a “covert” name or is suspected of having done so.

But up until now, government prosecutors have only used the 1982 identities law twice. The first time was a 1985 case involving a C.I.A. clerk in Ghana and the second time was the 2012 case of John Kiriakou, a former C.I.A. officer who pleaded guilty to providing a reporter with the name of an under-cover case officer who participated in the agency’s illegal overseas interrogations. Kiriakou has always claimed that he had not in fact named anyone, in spite of his plea, which was agreed to as a plea bargain. The covert officer in question had already been identified in the media.

John Kiriakou also observes how the I.I.P.A. has been inevitably applied selectively. He describes how “These two minor prosecutions aside, very few revelations of C.I.A. identities have ever led to court cases. Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage famously leaked Valerie Plame’s name to two syndicated columnists. He was never charged with a crime. Former C.I.A. Director David Petraeus leaked the names of 10 covert C.I.A. operatives to his adulterous girlfriend, apparently in an attempt to impress her, and was never charged. Former C.I.A. Director Leon Panetta revealed the name of the covert SEAL Team member who killed Osama bin Laden. He apologized and was not prosecuted.”

Kiriakou also explains how the “…implementation of this law is a joke. The C.I.A. doesn’t care when an operative’s identity is revealed — unless they don’t like the politics of the person making the revelation. If they cared, half of the C.I.A. leadership would be in prison. What they do care about, though, is protecting those employees who commit crimes at the behest of the White House or the C.I.A. leadership.” He goes on to describe how some of those involved in the Agency torture program were placed under cover precisely for that reason, to protect them from prosecution for war crimes.

Even team player Joe Biden, when a Senator, voted against the I.I.P.A., explaining in an op-ed in The Christian Science Monitor in 1982 that, “The language (the I.I.P.A.) employs is so broadly drawn that it would subject to prosecution not only the malicious publicizing of agents’ names, but also the efforts of legitimate journalists to expose any corruption, malfeasance, or ineptitude occurring in American intelligence agencies.” And that was with the much weaker 1982 version of the bill.

The new legislation is an intelligence agency dream, a get out of jail card that has no expiry date. And if one wants to know how dangerous it is, consider for a moment that if it turns out that serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was indeed a C.I.A. covert source, which is quite possible, he would be covered and would be able to walk away free on procedural grounds.

Published:7/28/2019 9:06:56 PM
[Markets] Russia Probe Twist: The FBI, A Convicted Russian Agent, & A Billionaire American CEO

Via SaraCarter.com,

If what you already know about the FBI’s investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia has you wondering what can come next, “make sure you are sitting down because it’s about to get worse,” said Patrick Byrne, the philanthropist and CEO of the mega online retail chain Overstock.com.

Byrne revealed never published details about his intimate relationship with the Russian gun right’s activist and libertarian, Maria Butina, who is now serving out her sentence after pleading guilty in 2018 to working as a foreign agent in the U.S. without registering.

In an interview several weeks ago, Byrne recounted first meeting Butina at Freedom Fest 2015. He described the relationship that developed between the two and revealed that he  had initiated contact in July, 2015 with the FBI after his first meeting with Butina. He also disclosed that he met twice with Justice Department attorneys in April, 2019 giving a total of seven hours of interviews on the separate occasions. A source directly familiar with the interviews, confirmed those meetings took place.

Butina’s lawyer, Robert Driscoll, also confirmed the relationship between Byrne and Butina. Driscoll stated that he also had relayed the information to the FBI and prosecutors earlier during his trial, and asked repeatedly about any Brady material -exculpatory information – that the bureau may have collected from Byrne on Butina, to no avail. The bureau denied it had any information regarding Byrne and Butina’s relationship, said Driscoll.

On Thursday, Driscoll sent a letter to United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut John Durham, who was appointed by Attorney General William Barr to investigate the FBI’s handling of the Russia investigation; Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who is conducting an investigation into the bureau’s origins of the Trump probe and Corey Amundson, with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility.

“In writing, the government denied the existence of any such Brady material,” Driscoll stated in his letter.

“Orally, during debrief sessions with Maria, I directly told the government that I believed Patrick Byrne, Chief Executive of Overstock.com, who had a sporadic relationship with Maria over a period of years prior to her arrest, was a government informant. My speculation was flatly denied. My associate Alfred Carry made similar assertions in a separate debrief that he covered and was also rebuffed.”

Mr. Byrne has now contacted me and has confirmed that he, indeed, had a ‘non-standard arrangement’ with the FBI for many years, and that beginning in 2015 through Maria’s arrest, he communicated and assisted government agents with their investigation of Maria. During this time, he stated he acted at the direction of the government and federal agents by, at their instruction, kindling a manipulative romantic relationship with her. He also told me that some of the details he provided the government regarding Maria in response was exculpatory - that is, he reported to the government that Maria’s behavior and interaction with him was inconsistent with her being a foreign agent and more likely an idealist and age-appropriate peace activist.”

“As an adjunct university professor and CEO of a public company, Mr. Byrne is a credible source of information, who from my view has little to gain but much to lose by disclosing a sporadic relationship with Maria. His claims are worthy of investigation. Indeed, he has much to say about the government’s handling of Maria’s case that go far beyond the Brady issue I raise in this letter. Regardless of these other issues, which I suggest you pursue directly with him, I was told the following by Mr. Byrne,” Driscoll’s letter states.

Full letter below:

Overstock.Com

Byrne’s decision to come forward didn’t come lightly. However, he said it was necessary after watching what had transpired between the FBI, the intelligence community and the probe into President Trump’s campaign over the past several years.

“It was something I knew I had to do,” he told this reporter.

“Those running the operation were not honest and in the end I realized I was being used in some sort of soft coup.”

Familiar with the possible backlash he will face, he made the decision to go public after speaking to his mentor and longtime friend billionaire Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. Buffett, whom Byrne describes as his ‘Rabbi,’ sent SaraACarter.com a statement Tuesday night confirming his meeting with Byrne at his home in Omaha, Nebraska several weeks ago.

“I’ve known Patrick and his family for more than 40 years,” Buffett said in an email to this reporter.

“His father, Jack Byrne, saved GEICO in 1976 and I met his three boys when they were teenagers. Both Mark, the middle son, and Patrick, the youngest, worked for Berkshire Hathaway. Patrick helped the company without pay in solving a difficult business problem. Patrick is very intelligent and patriotic. He comes by Omaha periodically to see me. At the most recent visit – a few weeks ago – though I know nothing about the subject he was describing, I told him to follow his conscience.”

Byrne’s Reveal

There are only several other reporters with knowledge of what you are about to read and another who is aware of the situation with Byrne. Byrne recounted his story of his involvement with the FBI and DOJ on video during the private meeting he arranged with this reporter, and several others.

The meeting between Byrne and the journalists took place in New York City. It was a little more than three hours long, for the most part completely on the record and videotaped. He told his story in seven parts.

He said his motivation is to get the truth to the American people about his role with the FBI and what transpired. There were allegations that Byrne revealed regarding other aspects of his involvement with the FBI that could not be verified.

This reporter relayed the full extent of Byrne’s allegations to the FBI last week. On Wednesday the FBI declined to comment on Byrne’s allegations.

Byrne, who is not the typical CEO, is a  is familiar with big public battles. A Libertarian with a doctorate in philosophy, Byrne took on Wall Street in 2005. Byrne launched a massive campaign against hedge fund market manipulation and the possibility they were going to crash Wall Street. Some financial giants, along with members of the media, were chomping at the bit to destroy him, he recalled. It wasn’t until the market crashed in 2008 and he won his battle in court that those enemies backed off. But at the time, enemies of Byrne on Wall Street flooded the news with stories making him out to be crazy, “even a picture with a UFO coming out of my head,” said Byrne.

Byrne said he didn’t come forward sooner about his contacts with the FBI, which he describes as a ‘non standard’ relationship with the government, because he wanted to be “judicious and let the system play out,” he said, referring to the government’s ongoing investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Russia Trump probe.

“But I can’t trust that’s what’s going to happen,” he said.

I’ve been holding my breath for more than 12 months watching everything unfold. I’ve never met Trump, never gave the guy money, as soon as he said the stuff about John McCain I stopped listening at the time. This isn’t about Trump, it’s about what’s right for the American people. The public should know the truth.”

Earlier this year Byrne approached the DOJ and met with lawyers on April 5th and 30th. The first meeting was without counsel in Washington D.C. A source directly familiar with the interviews confirmed Byrne’s account of the meetings.

DOJ officials said they could not comment on Byrne’s allegations.

Driscoll noted that the information provided by Byrne should be investigated by Durham.

“Subsequent to Maria’s arrest, incarceration, plea, and sentencing, Byrne has felt remorse for the role he played in Maria’s situation. In view of recent reports of other alleged government misconduct, he has also expressed a fear that political motives may have influenced the government’s handling of Maria’s case,” Driscoll told Durham in his letter.

Byrne’s “recollection of certain conversations with government agents would appear to validate his concern,” Driscoll said.

Byrne Reveals Details About Butina To FBI

In those interviews with Justice Department attorneys, Byrne revealed details about his intimate relationship with the Russian gun right’s activist Butina. Byrne was a keynote speaker on July, 8, 2015 at Freedom Fest, a yearly Libertarian gathering that hosts top speakers in Las Vegas. Shortly after his address, Butina approached him. She was flattering and repeatedly told him she was a fan of his, saying she was a graduate student that had studied the famous libertarian Militon Friedman.

He spoke to her shortly and “brushed her off.”

The young redheaded Russian graduate student then approached him again over the course of the conference and explained that she worked for the Vice Chairman of the Central Bank of Russia and sent by them to make contact with Byrne.

She also said “did you know you’re a famous man in Russia, we watch videos about you and your relationship with Milton Freeman.”

She said she was appointed to lead Russia’s gun right’s group by Lieutenant-General Mikhail Kalashnikov, who was a Russian general, most notably known for his AK-47 machine gun design. The designation by Kalashnikov is considered a huge honor and Byrne then had an “extensive conversation about Russian history and I understood her designation about Kalishnikov was significant.”

She wanted to invite Byrne to Russia to speak at the Central Bank before dignitaries. The speaking engagement would be at a major resort for three days. Butina told Byrne the event would offer him the opportunity to meet senior Russian officials and oligarchs. He didn’t accept the offer because of his security clearance. He then reported Butina and her offer to the FBI.

Communication In Disguise Of A Romantic Relationship

She told Byrne “we will communicate in disguise of a romantic relationship, I wish to make arrangements with you for this to happen.”

Butina had to have a reason to be texting Byrne and believed that “she was being monitored and proposed that we disguise our discussions as a romantic relationship,” Byrne said.

He admitted he was intrigued by Butina’s intelligence and believed that she if anything could’ve been a great contact and possible opportunity for peace.

“I have been involved with three peace efforts in my life, and stranger things have happened than that someone positive came from such an encounter. However, I was also keenly aware that she might be a Red Sparrow instead.”

Interestingly, then-candidate Donald Trump (who had only  recently announced his candidacy for president), was also a keynote speaker at the 2015 event. During a public question and answer, Butina asked Trump several questions, as has been extensively reported by numerous outlets. Byrne had already left Las Vegas by the day Trump spoke and has never communicated with Trump.

Low Level Security Clearance Related To Work At Council On Foreign Relations.

Byrne said he had received a low level security clearance early in his career and “after something like this happens, there’s a number you call and I called that number and said there is something interesting, or note worthy going on.”

When he contacted the FBI and then subsequently for the next few months “instead what I got was vague instructions that it would be ok to get to know her better.”

He said there was very little response from the FBI after his initial contact, until Butina asked him to come meet her in New York City. He told the FBI he didn’t want any vague instructions on whether to meet Butina or not because “I didn’t want my security clearance to get pulled.”

At that point the FBI gave him an explicit “green light” to meet with her. He rented a hotel room with two bedrooms because he was under the impression that the romantic texts were simply her way to cover for communicating with him. However, she arrived at the hotel beforehand, occupied the room before Byrne’s arrival, and when he arrived,  she made clear that her flirtatious texts were not simply a disguise.

Byrne said that the FBI agents made clear they were skeptical that Butina might be of interest, dismissing her as simply a normal 26 year old Russian graduate student.  Over time, Byrne and Butina developed an intimate relationship but at the same time he alleges he was continuously reporting on Butina to the FBI in an effort to convince them that it might be worthwhile to introduce her to some of his contacts at the Council on Foreign Relations. He also noted he reported to the FBI his interactions more frequently with Butina starting in December, 2015, both out of a desire not to lose the possibility of something good coming from this encounter, but also, because Butina was starting to speak more frequently of meeting with big shots in Republican circles.

Butina’s lawyer, Robert Driscoll, told this reporter that Byrne’s disclosure regarding his contact with bureau agents is significant, revealing and should be investigated by the DOJ.

“Patrick Byrne is publicly saying that he was dealing with the government in regards to Maria and I would suspect that the FBI has reports or information regarding these meetings,” said Driscoll, who noted that he repeatedly asked the FBI for all documentation collected on Butina, including interviews with witnesses, notes and any other form of documentation. The FBI, however, repeatedly told Driscoll that there was no exculpatory information to give.

“It would be a Brady violation,” said Driscoll.

“I would have to see if we have to go to court or not. I will have to go the the Office of Professional Responsibility. We’ve asked for the Brady material repeatedly and from the sound of it, it looks like there should be Brady material. We need an explanation to why they didn’t turn any information over to us with regard to Byrne.”

In 2018, Butina pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government without registering. U.S. prosecutors had to walk back accusations they had made during the trial that she was a Russian spy using sex as a tool to gain influence and access. Prosecutors did have evidence that she was passing information to her confidant,  high-level Russian official, Alexander Torshin, who headed a Russian bank linked to the Kremlin. Butina is currently serving out her sentence in Florida’s FCI Tallahassee minimum security prison, which ends on Oct. 25. The guilty plea was not an admission that Butina was a Russian spy but a failure to register herself as a Russian citizen working on behalf of her country, Driscoll said.

Byrne’s relationship with Butina was confirmed by a source directly involved in Butina’s investigation. The source confirmed that “she had a relationship with Byrne, they did meet at Freedom Fest in 2015 and had met at various points afterwards in different places. She had nothing negative to say, he always treated her well.”

Oddly, Byrne’s name was not disclosed by prosecutors in the case or by the FBI. And despite the government’s earlier efforts to paint Butina as a Russian spy attempting to infiltrate Republican circles she was never investigated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, which charged 25 Russian agents with interfering in the U.S. election. Further, the FBI, unlike convicted Russian bombshell spy Anna Chapman, did nothing to stop Butina from meeting with high level Republican and conservative figures. The bureau also didn’t warn those conservative figures she had made contact with,  even though they had her under surveillance and allegedly Byrne had been reporting on her during that time. As noted in a column by The Hill’s John Solomon Chapman’s actions were handled differently than Butina. When one of Chapman’s associates, who went by the name of Cynthia Murphy, made contact with Alan Patricof, a major Democratic donor close to Hillary Clintonthe FBI acted swiftly to arrest the entire cell.

Driscoll said there was suspicion that the FBI did not disclose all the information it had on Butina and he stated that he believed “Patrick is not the only one” who was giving information to the FBI.

“We’ve thought of several possibilities and some we are more confidant than others. I’m firmly convinced,” said Driscoll, who shared numerous letters and emails with this reporter that he exchanged with the FBI.

Byrne, the FBI and Butina 

Although, Byrne was then concerned about Butina’s possible motives, he eventually became convinced that she was an intellectual being used by both the Russians and American intelligence apparatus. She was stuck between two highly contentious and secretive governments, he claimed. He relayed those concerns to the FBI, he said.

“From January through March, in 2016 and I was telling (the FBI) I was 50/50, that this was a real opportunity and 50 that it was Red Sparrow,” said Byrne, referencing the American film about Russian spy’s who are trained to use sex as a tool to retrieve information from sources. He said he believed more in the possibility that Butina could be someone with the right connections to be an opportunity for U.S. officials to better understand Russia.

“I actually think that back then I was two-thirds, one-third.  It was two-thirds opportunity and maybe one-third, threat. As those months went on, those odds shifted, he said. “She had insisted to me that she was not a spy,” said Byrne. “Yet the more she swanked around in political circles, the more concerned I became that she would get herself in trouble.”

“I was surprised that there was  no appetite in letting me connect her to people I know at CFR who are qualified to take such a meeting, but in fact the  ‘men in black’ were telling me that was absolutely ridiculous,” said Byrne, who noted that their refusal to even consider pursuing  the prospect was something he found “odd.”

“Eventually, her conversations became less about philosophy and it became clear that she was doing things that made me quite uncomfortable,” stated Byrne. “She was basically schmoozing around with the political class and eventually she said to me at one point I want to meet anyone in the Hillary campaign, the Cruz, the Rubio campaigns.”

Butina had also told Byrne, that Torshin, the Russian politician who she had been assisting while she was in the U.S., had sent her to the United States to meet other libertarians and build relations with political figures. She repeated to him numerous times that she was not a spy, even when he directly asked her.

Byrne said he warned Butina: “Maria the United States is not like Russia” and knowing powerful people ‘like oligarchs and politicians’ won’t help if the FBI believes a line has been crossed. Byrne believed Butina was naive but not blameless. He said during the interview if “you’re reporting to any Russian official and you’re doing this stuff and not disclosing yourself, there are these men in black here and they don’t really give a shit who you know here -that’s not going to save you.”

Driscoll noted in his letter to Durham and Horowitz the extent of Byrne’s relationship with the FBI.

At some point prior to the 2016 election, when Byrne’s contact with Maria diminished or ceased, the government asked and encouraged him to renew contact with her and he did so, continuing to inform the government of her activities. Byrne states he was informed by government agents that his pursuit and involvement with Maria (and concomitant surveillance of her) was requested and directed from the highest levels of the FBI and intelligence community.”

“As time passed, Byrne became more and more convinced that Maria was what she said she was—an inquisitive student in favor of better U.S.-Russian relations—and not an agent of the Russian government or someone involved in espionage or illegal activities. He states he conveyed these thoughts and the corroborating facts and observations about Maria to the government.”

Published:7/28/2019 1:05:12 PM
[Markets] Buchanan: After Mueller Debacle, Where Do Democrats Go?

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,

The Democrats who were looking to cast Robert Mueller as the star in a TV special, “The Impeachment of Donald Trump,” can probably tear up the script. They’re gonna be needing a new one.

For six hours Wednesday, as three cable news networks and ABC, CBS and NBC all carried live the hearings of the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, the Mueller report was thoroughly trashed.

The special counsel stood by his findings. His investigation was not a “hoax” or “witch hunt,” he said. He admitted that he had found no Trump-Russia conspiracy. He denied he exonerated Trump of obstruction of justice.

All this we knew, and all of it we have heard for months.

What was new, what was dramatic, what was compelling was how the House Republicans arrived with their war paint on and ripped Mueller and his investigation to such shreds that viewers were feeling sorry for the special counsel at the end of his six hours of grilling.

The Republicans exposed him as only vaguely conversant with his own report. They revealed that he had probably not written his own statement challenging the depiction of his findings by Attorney General Bill Barr.

Mueller’s staff of lawyers, Republicans showed, reads like a donors list for Hillary Clinton. The FBI contingent that started the investigation was a cabal so hateful of Trump that some had to be fired.

Republicans raised questions about the origins of the investigation, tracing it back to early 2016 when Maltese intelligence agent Joseph Mifsud leaked to a staffer of the Trump campaign, George Papadopoulos, that Russia had Clinton’s emails. That and subsequent meetings have all the marks of an intel agency set-up.

Repeatedly, Republicans brought up the dossier written by British spy Christopher Steele, who fed Russian-sourced disinformation to Clinton campaign-financed intel firm, Fusion GPS, who passed it on to the FBI, which used it as evidence to justify warrants to spy on Trump’s campaign.

To many in the TV audience, this was fresh and startling stuff.

Yet Mueller’s response to all such allegations was that they were outside his purview and that other agencies were looking into them.

Wednesday’s hearings often proved painful to watch.

Mueller, a 74-year-old decorated Marine veteran of Vietnam and a former director of the FBI, sat mumbling his dissents as one charge after another was fired at him, his associates and his investigation.

For this disaster, the Democrats are alone to blame.

Mueller had wanted to file his report and leave it to the attorney general and Congress to act, or not act, on its contents. His job was done, and he did not want to testify publicly.

Democrats, desperate for impeachment hearings, wanted him to recite for the TV cameras every charge against the president.

What Democrats hoped would be a recital of Trump’s sins, Republicans turned into an adversarial proceeding that ended Mueller’s public career in a humiliating spectacle lasting a full day.

Where do Democrats go from here?

Their goal from the outset has been to persuade the nation that Trump colluded with Putin’s Russia to steal the 2016 election, and that the progressives are the true patriots in seeking to impeach and remove an illegitimate president and prosecute him for acts of treason.

The Republican position is that, for all his flaws and failings, Trump won the 2016 election fairly and squarely. He is our president, and the drive to impeach and remove him is an attempted constitutional coup d’etat by a “deep state” terrified that it cannot win against him in 2020.

The rival narratives are irreconcilable.

The Republican message of Wednesday: Proceed with hearings to impeach and there will be blood on the floor.

Democrats are in a hellish bind.

Should they proceed with hearings on impeachment, they will divide their party, force their presidential candidates to cease talking health care and start talking impeachment, and probably fail.

Impeachment hearings would fire up the Republican base and energize the GOP minority to prepare for combat in a Judiciary Committee where they are already celebrating having eviscerated the prosecution’s star witness.

If Democrats vote impeachment in committee, they will have to take it to the House floor, where their moderates, who won in swing districts, will be forced to vote on it, splitting their own bases in the run-up to the 2020 election.

If Democrats lose the impeachment vote on the House floor, it would be a huge setback. But if they vote impeachment in the House, the trial takes place in a Senate run by Mitch McConnell.

Trump would go into the 2020 battle against a Democratic Party that failed to overthrow the president in a radical coup that it attempted because it was afraid to fight it out with the president in a free and fair election.

Published:7/28/2019 8:48:20 AM
[World] America's long history of collusion

Robert Mueller testified last week before two House committees about his investigation into charges that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia during the 2016 presidential election and that the president engaged in obstruction of justice by trying to impede the FBI’s efforts to learn the truth about those charges.

Mr. ... Published:7/27/2019 10:57:10 AM

[Markets] The Five Faulty Premises Of Russiagate

Authored by Doug “Uncola” Lynn via TheBurningPlatform.com,

Having watched some of the questions to former Special Counsel Robert Mueller by congress on Wednesday July 24, 2019, as well as Mueller’s dithering deflections – it was obvious the entire affair was another distraction; more of the same ongoing circus show.

Of course, no minds were changed. Those on the Left still consider Trump to be a comprised capitalist pig guarding his tax returns with all the fervor of any good Manchurian Candidate and those on the Right still viewing Mueller as a tyrannical tool of the Deep State.

After Mueller’s live testimony, this blogger listened to roughly thirty Americans calling into CNN with their comments. Of those callers, only three were in support of Trump and with the rest of them effusively expressing gratitude to Mueller for his service in revealing Trump’s threat to American Democracy.

Many conservatives, including talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh and some his callers, agreed that Mueller didn’t seem familiar with the contents of his report, let alone the Steele Dossier, Fusion GPS, and other points-of-factbrought up by the Republicans as they were grilling the former special counsel. To be sure, Limbaugh commented on Mueller’s less-than-stellardemeanor and lack of preparedness – even going so far as to say Mueller deserved absolutely zero sympathies for his contributory efforts in the never-ending farce that the former special counsel has perpetrated on the American people.

But, at the same time, L-Rushbo painted a picture of Mueller simply being (for lack of better terminology) parochial in his search for justice; as if Mueller was simply a Never-Trumper like Mittens Romney or John Kasich.

In fact, at the close of the Mueller hearing, even House Republican Devin Nunes complimented Mueller, thanked him for his service, and refused to scorch the doddering old fool in the end.

Unfortunately, a majority of Americans today, including many conservatives, have swallowed hookline, and sinker one or more of the following five (5) faulty premises of Russiagate:

1.)  The Russians actually hacked the 2016 elections

The Mueller Report, as well as most of the Democrats who questioned Robert Mueller on July 24, 2019 claimed Russia interfered in the 2016 Presidential Election in a “sweeping and systematic fashion”.

This is not true.  It did not happen; at least not sweepingly or systematically.

What did happen one year ago, on July 13, 2018, was Mueller’s boss at the time, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, announced the Mueller Investigation’s single indictment of Twelve Russian intelligence officers for alleged election hacking under President Obama’s watch.  Of course, this was done in an effort to divert publicity away from the July 12, 2018 Capitol Hill testimony of disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok and to subvert President Trump’s impending Russian summit on July 16, 2018.

Even so, in his very conveniently-timed press conference, Rosenstein acknowledged  that “no American was a knowing participant” in the Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election and there was “no allegation in the indictment of any effect on the outcome of the election”.

In other words, much ado about nothing, in the same way the Mueller Report offered zero forensic evidence other than the reliance of the two (2) now discredited Democratic National Committee (DNC) contractors:  CrowdStrike and “Russian dossier compiler Christopher Steele”.

Furthermore, other so-called “established” and “confirmed” claims in Mueller’s bogus report cited the Russian company, Concord Management, as “sowing discord” throughout U.S. social media prior to the 2016 Presidential Election – and this was shot down by U.S. District Judge Dabney L. Friedrich’s May 28, 2019 ruling which concluded that Mueller had “no evidence”.

Did you get that?  No evidence.

Squat.  Zip. Nada.  Zilch.

2.)  Wikileaks was affiliated with Russia

Another key premise of Democrats, the U.S. Corporate Media, and The Mueller Report, is that Russian Intelligence hacked into the DNC servers and provided stolen e-mails to WikiLeaks through (according to the Mueller Report) “fictitious online personas including DCLeaks” and Guccifer 2.0”.

Again, this did not happen because reporting as far back as 2017 indicated that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange possessed the DNC e-mails beforeDCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 were created, yet Assange used these entities to obfuscate his true source.

Veteran intelligence whistleblowers also reported in 2017 on how the Democratic National Committee (DNC) servers were not hacked by Guccifer 2.0 and released to WikiLeaks but, instead, the data actually originated via an external storage device.

All of this means the “fictitious online personas” allegedly linked to Russian intelligence, according to the Mueller Report, were created after-the-fact in order to conceal the true source of the DNC leaks.

Additionally, when WikiLeaks released the password to Vault 7, also known as: “The Largest Publication of Confidential CIA Documents Ever”, a program entitled UMBRAGE was revealed. This was a formerly top-secret initiative whereby American intelligence agencies could mimic internet hacks from other countries, including Russia.

Yet, none of that information was revealed in Robert Mueller’s report, was it?  Why?  Probably, for the same reason Team Mueller refused to interview Julian Assange.  Because, had Mueller done so, he might have been asked later by congress why WikiLeaks offered a $20,000 reward for information in the case involving Seth Rich.  Rich was the former voter expansion data director for the DNC who was murdered in Washington DC on July 10, 2016.

But Team Mueller didn’t care about any of that and, instead, disseminated false conclusions regarding Russian election meddling.

Are you surprised?

3.) Robert Mueller is an honorable guy

Even in light of Robert Mueller’s doddering downfall on Congressional Hill, there are those on both sides of the political aisle who consider him, still, as an ethical and honorable man.

He is neither.

Former Texas State Court judge, and now sitting Congressman, Louis Buller Gohmert Jr  (R-Texas), has unmasked Mueller’s “long and sordid history of illicitly targeting innocent people that is a stain upon the legacy of American jurisprudence”, citing 18 specific examples, including:

– Collusion with Boston mobster Whitey Bulger in criminality and framing innocent men for murder that resulted eventually in the release of innocent parties and 100 million dollars in compensation for DOJ Boston Office misconduct.

– The FBI with Mueller as director harassed and hounded Congressman Curt Weldon in revenge for criticizing FBI failures related to 9-11.

– Dishonest prosecutions of Senator Ted Stevens.

– Prosecutorial abuses in the anthrax murder investigations post 9-11, producing one suicide and one award of 6.8 million dollars to the other innocent target.

– Mueller’s unethical acceptance of the special prosecutor position when he was conflicted by his longtime personal and professional relationship with James Comey.

– Mueller hired extremely partisan, biased, and conflicted attorneys for his special counsel team.

– Mueller’s investigation ignored that FISA applications evidence presented to justify warrants to surveil Trump associates were not verified and thus a fraud on the court and illegal.

As was adequately revealed by the Republicans who grilled Robert Mueller during his congressional hearing, the entire special counsel investigation (and it’s ensuing report) amounted to little more than political opposition research on behalf of the Democratic Party; and a concerted effort to gaslight the American public via it’s bizarre, and even Orwellian, deceptions.

Congressman Tom McClintock (R-California) asked Mueller why he couldn’t provide connecting evidence of Russian trolls to the Russian government.  Chris Stewart (R-Utah) questioned Mueller on why his team of angry Democrats always leaked information detrimental to Trump but never a single leak of anything placing Trump in a positive light.  And other Republicans wondered why Hillary Clinton’s “Dirty Dossier” received such extra-special “kid-glove” treatment by Team Mueller.

Indeed, we now know the following:  In spite of the Mueller probe breaking multiple prosecutorial rules that ensured justice, they were “outfoxed” by Trump’s legal team beginning as far back as June, 2018 – when none other than William Barr sent a 19-page memorandum to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein checkmating Mueller’s apparent “interpretation of a single subsection of a single obstruction-of-justice statute:18 U.S.C. § 1512(c)(2)“.  It was Barr’s contention that Trump could not have violated that particular statute because “he [Trump] was not accused of engaging in any wrongful act of evidence impairment”.

In his memo to Rosenstein, Barr also claimed Mueller was giving the statute a “new unbounded interpretation” that “would have potentially disastrous implications” for the Executive Branch of government.

Oh, that Robert Mueller.  What a guy. He folded on collusion and conspiracy before upping the stakes on obstruction via volume two of his report which presented like a legal Chinese finger-trap or Gordian Knot.  Mueller’s “not exonerating” Trump inverted “innocent until proven guilty” into “guilty until proven innocent” and demonstrated the special counsel investigation’s very palpable political prejudice – which was further proven by the specific misrepresentations and selective editing in the final Mueller Report.

Even, now, if it appears Robert Mueller was a moderately senile figurehead for Andrew Weissmann & Company’s attempted takedown of a sitting president, certainly, history will not be kind to the former special counsel who lent his name to the farce. Undeniably, the former special counsel’s recent fiasco before congress was just the beginning of his once illustrious and ill-deserved reputation becoming a national joke.

4.) The Democrats actually care about Democracy

The Democratic Party does not have a political platform beyond Santa Clausian economic initiatives, genitalia, skin color, and disproven conspiracy theories rooted in fraudulent Russiaphobia.  They do not care to secure American elections.  On the contrary.  Why else would they be seeking to turn Texas into a blue state via ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION?  Right?

In truth, the Socialist Party cares only about power; even (as the Mueller hearing demonstrated) to the point of weaponizing their own hypocrisy.

All throughout The Robert Mueller Show on Wednesday, the former special counsel’s bias and the hypocrisy of the Democrats and sycophants in the media, could not have been more obvious. Mueller’s appearance was meant to provide amplification on behalf of Trump’s political opponents for impeachment, more hearings, and additional investigations.

Although Mueller received top billing, the Dems and their enablers in the media were always going to be the stars. Mueller was called to testify in order to expand the audience in order to resurrect the dying efforts of Trump’s enemies.

And it all backfired yugely.

Even so, during his testimony, Mueller “included some stark warnings” of how the Russians were already attempting to interfere in the 2020 elections.  This allowed the Democrats to continue their Chicken Little cries of how the “sky is falling” while citing Trump’s lackadaisicalness as proof of the president’s political puppetry under Putin.

Yet, if the Democrats were concerned in the least over alleged Russian election hacking, then why are they not interviewing those who allowed it to happen under the Obama Administration’s watch?  They won’t because they don’t care about democracy or to secure America’s elections.  Instead, they desire to undermine the U.S. electoral process.

The Democrats currently serving in congress are liars who seek America’s demise.  Sadly, that is the truth.

5.) Intelligence Agencies under the Obama Administration were working to ensure secure elections

Anyone even remotely paying attention over the past few years knows that Hillary Clinton and the DNC financed the Russian Dossier on Trump.  According to former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the dossier was then used to obtain the FISA warrant required to spy on Team Trump.  A 90-day surveillance warrant on Carter Page was then renewed three times and this was done in order to dig up political dirt and diminish Trump’s chances of winning the 2016 Presidential Election.  Then, later, the FISA warrants were illegally issued to undermine Trump’s presidency.

At the same time, the now well-known culprits in the Obama Administration (i.e. James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr) were actively concealing the multifarious crimes of Hillary Clinton.

A mole in Trump’s campaign was also later revealed as Stefan Halper, a 73-year-old Oxford University professor and former U.S. government official who was paid over $1 million by the Obama administration including $411,575 that was made in two payments by September 26, 2016.  That date was three days after a Yahoo News article was published by Michael Isikoff on Trump aide, Carter Page; which the FBI later illicitly used as supporting evidence in the FISA warrant application for Page.

Then, after Trump won the election, the phony Russian conspiracy was utilized:

–  By online social networks to censor the alternative media

–  By President Obama to sign into law the “Countering Disinformation And Propaganda Act”

–  By Obama’s National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, to feloniously unmaskTrump administration officials

–  By Democrats and the Media to pressure the new president’s National  Security Advisor to resign and the nation’s new Attorney General to recuse himself from the Russia investigation

–  By deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, to appoint his trusted, dear friend and collaborator, Robert Mueller, as Special Counsel to investigate President Trump’s non-existent collusion with Russia

–  By Robert Mueller to transition the imaginary Russiagate Collusion into illusions of Obstruction of Justice against Trump

– By Robert Mueller to obtain minor process crimes on Paul Manafort(Trump’s former campaign chairman), Rick Gates (business associate of Manafort), George Papadopoulos (Trump’s former foreign policy advisor) and Michael Flynn (Trump’s former national security advisor) and others

–  By AP reporters and FBI agents to collude in a conspiracy against Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort

– By Team Mueller to falsely accuse Russia of meddling in order to undermine the trust of Americans in their electoral process

– In order to summarily rescind a sitting president’s attorney-client privilege; as well as his presumption of innocence through the special counsel’s “lack of exoneration”.

– To allow the Democratic candidates in the 2018 Midterm Elections to leverage the issue of election hacking and illegitimately win key senate races as well as control of the U.S. House

All this from America’s “heroes” who swore an oath to defend America’s constitution.

Thanks for nothing, you treasonous tribe of traitors.

Conclusion

As long as even some of the premises of those who oppose the U.S. Constitution are swallowed hookline, and sinker by a significant percentage of the U.S. body politic – then these may, in the end, present as evidence in the historical record delineating the downfall of our once-great republic.

One would like to believe this sordid chapter of corruption will result in the ultimate draining of the American swamp.  The nation now awaits reports from Inspector General Michael Horwitz on FISA Abuse and corruption in the Department of Justice; U.S. Attorney John Huber on Clinton Foundation illegalities; and U.S. Attorney John Durham on the malevolent origins of Russiagate.

Godspeed gentlemen. Because a very significant percentage of the American public is growing more impatient by the day. Time is of the essence.  Tick tock.

Published:7/26/2019 9:54:11 PM
[Markets] Epstein's Not The Only Predatory Sex Offender In The News: Here's How Shockingly Prevalent This Has Become

Authored by Dagny Taggart via The Organic Prepper blog,

Lately, the news has been flooded with horrifying updates about the case of registered sex offender and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

You can read our Epstein coverage at the following links:

An Unbiased Look at What We Know About the Epstein Scandal So Far

More CONFIRMED Information on Jeffrey Epstein, His Homes, and His Powerful Friends

These Prominent People Must Be PANICKING About What the Epstein Case Will Reveal

Singer R. Kelly, 52, is being held without bond in Chicago on charges that include producing child pornography and coercing minors to engage in sex. He faces similar federal charges in New York.

Unfortunately, Epstein and R. Kelly are not the only alleged sexual predators in the news.

Reader discretion is advised. This article contains information that may be upsetting for some people.

Here are various reports of recent sexual abuse cases in the US.

Colorado

More than three dozen suspected online child sex offenders were arrested in Aurora, Colorado, during Operation Broken Heart. The nationwide operation was led by the US Department of Justice and resulted in nearly 1,700 arrests during April and May. On June 11, 2019, the DOJ announced that its “task forces identified 308 offenders who either produced child pornography or committed child sexual abuse, and 357 children who suffered recent, ongoing or historical sexual abuse or were exploited in the production of child pornography.”

The operation targeted suspects who: (1) produce, distribute, receive and possess child pornography; (2) engage in online enticement of children for sexual purposes; (3) engage in the sex trafficking of children; and (4) travel across state lines or to foreign countries and sexually abuse children. (source)

The Colorado Sentinel reports 32-year-old Raymond Fredericks was sentenced to 22 years in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to a felony sex trafficking charge in May.

Florida

Todd Bush, a 42-year-old former teacher, was arrested in an undercover sting on July 18 after agreeing to pay $100 to who he thought was the mother of an 11-year-old girl for sex with her daughter, authorities said. He was charged with human trafficking of a child, obscene communication, and traveling to meet a minor for sex. Bush was already a registered sex offender and was on probation for a 2011 incident when he was busted in the sting last week.

Maryland

On July 18, a federal jury in Baltimore convicted Ryan Russell Parks, 26, on two counts of sex trafficking a minor and one count of using the internet to promote a prostitution business.

Parks faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison for each of the two counts of sex trafficking a minor, and a maximum of five years in prison for using the Internet to promote a business enterprise involving prostitution.

The case was investigated by the FBI-led Maryland Child Exploitation Task Force (MCETF), created in 2010 to combat child prostitution, with members from 10 state and federal law enforcement agencies. (source)

Minnesota

A two-day undercover operation in Minneapolis–Saint Paul earlier this month resulted in the arrests of 11 people on sex trafficking charges:

Three people were arrested for sex trafficking and promotion of prostitution while eight people were arrested for solicitation of a minor or solicitation of prostitution under 16 years of age.

In the operation, 18 trafficking victims were recovered from trafficking situations and offered help through victim services. (source)

Nebraska

A former first-grade teacher at an Omaha elementary school has been given 50 to 100 years in prison for sexually assaulting students. Douglas County District Court records show that 31-year-old Gregory Sedlacek was sentenced Tuesday. He’d pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault of a child.

New Hampshire

Yesterday, New Hampshire’s attorney general launched an investigation into the state youth detention center after two former counselors were charged with raping a teenage boy 82 times, at least once at gunpoint, in the late 1990s.

New York

Last month, the head of a sex cult was found guilty on multiple charges in New York, reports NPR:

The leader of NXIVM, a group that espoused a philosophy of self-improvement but was accused of recruiting, grooming and even branding an inner circle of female sex slaves, was found guilty Wednesday by a federal jury in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Keith Raniere, who was known as “Vanguard,” was convicted on all charges, including sex trafficking, forced labor conspiracy, human trafficking and multiple counts of racketeering — including sexual exploitation of a child. (source)

North Carolina

The victims of sexual assaults by a former North Carolina teacher are filing a class-action lawsuit against the school district:

News outlets report the victims of Michael Kelly filed the complaint Tuesday against him, the New Hanover County Board of Education and others.

Kelly pleaded guilty last month to child sex charges. Investigators say Kelly abused nearly 20 victims. He’s worked for New Hanover Schools since 1992. (source)

Ohio

Earlier this month, two concurrent Human Trafficking Task Force operations were conducted in the Cleveland region. A total of 49 arrests were made, and some of the individuals are facing felony charges of Attempted Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor, Importuning, Possess Criminal Tools, and Attempting Corruption with Drugs, reports Richland Source.

You can read more about recent arrests on the DOJ’s dedicated page: Human Trafficking.

Cases of child sexual abuse by clergy continue to be reported.

Thousands of allegations of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests, nuns, and members of religious orders have been made over the last few decades. Many investigations, trials, and convictions – and revelations about decades of attempts by Church officials to cover up reported incidents – have resulted. These offenses are not limited to clergy in the US – cases have occurred all over the world.

I think it is important to note here that my family is Catholic, so I know how painful this subject can be for some followers.

According to a 2009 report, the founder of a religious order that treats Roman Catholic priests who molest children concluded decades ago that offenders were unlikely to change and should not be returned to ministry:

As early as the mid-1950s, decades before the clergy sexual-abuse crisis broke publicly across the U.S. Catholic landscape, the founder of a religious order that dealt regularly with priest sex abusers was so convinced of their inability to change that he searched for an island to purchase with the intent of using it as a place to isolate such offenders, according to documents recently obtained by NCR.

Fr. Gerald Fitzgerald, founder of the Servants of the Paracletes, an order established in 1947 to deal with problem priests, wrote regularly to bishops in the United States and to Vatican officials, including the pope, of his opinion that many sexual abusers in the priesthood should be laicized immediately. (source)

Yesterday, a Florida minister and registered sex offender was arrested after authorities found child pornography on his home computer, reports the Associated Press:

Sarasota County Sheriff’s officials tell news outlets that 66-year-old Charles Andrews was arrested Tuesday. He’s charged with 500 felony counts of possession of child pornography and three counts of failing to meet sex offender requirements.

Andrews is a pastor at Osprey Church of Christ. Andrews also is a registered sex offender who was convicted in 2006 of second-degree sexual abuse in Alabama. Now he’s in jail, his bond set at more than $5 million. (source)

The Associated Press has a Sexual Abuse by Clergy page that is dedicated to coverage of cases.

Here is a sampling of recent cases they have documented:

  • In Kansas, state authorities have opened more than 70 investigations into alleged sexual abuse by Catholic clergy after receiving over 100 abuse reports in less than six months, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation said Tuesday.

  • Also in Kansas, a priest has been charged with one count of possessing child pornography.

  • St. Norbert Abbey in Wisconsin has released the names of 22 priests who faced “credible” allegations of sexually abusing minors. The abbey says an independent review deemed more than 40 allegations credible.

  • Last week, a former Alabama youth pastor was sentenced to 20 years in prison for sexually abusing a young girl.

  • The Diocese of Crookston in Minnesota has reached a $5 million settlement with 15 people who were children when they were sexually abused by priests.

  • Texas jury has sentenced a former Roman Catholic priest to 18 years in prison for sexually assaulting an altar server over several years.

  • Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has charged a 57-year-old Detroit-area priest with sexually abusing a minor.

  • Last Monday, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, released a list of clerics, religious order priests and deacons it deems to have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children.

  • In Illinois, a priest was removed from pastoral duties in the wake of allegations of sexual abuse that took place two decades ago.

The Vatican has been in the news this week for a very disturbing reason.

A genetics expert retained by the family of a girl who went missing in 1983 said Saturday that a cavernous underground space near a Vatican cemetery holds thousands of bones that appear to be from dozens of individuals, both “adult and non-adult.”

The expert, Giorgio Portera, said the “enormous” size of the collection under the Teutonic College was revealed when Vatican-appointed experts began cataloguing the remains, which were discovered last week .

“We didn’t expect such an enormous number” of bones and other remains which “had been thrown into a cavity,” Portera said. “We want to know why and how” the bones ended up there. (source)

Victims of abuse by religious and institutional authorities (priests, ministers, bishops, deacons, nuns, coaches, teachers, and others) can find support here: SNAPBishopAccountability.org has an Abuse Tracker page that provides links to media coverage of clergy abuse.

How prevalent is child sexual abuse?

While Epstein’s arrest has increased awareness of predatory behavior by the elite, the wealthy and powerful are not the only ones committing such heinous acts.

According to The National Center for Victims of Crime, the prevalence of child sexual abuse (CSA) is difficult to determine because it is often not reported. Experts agree that the incidence is far greater than what is reported to authorities.

Statistics below represent some of the research done on child sexual abuse.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau report Child Maltreatment 2010 found that 9.2% of victimized children were sexually assaulted (page 24).

Studies by David Finkelhor, Director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, show that:

  • 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse;

  • Self-report studies show that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident;

  • During a one-year period in the U.S., 16% of youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;

  • Over the course of their lifetime, 28% of U.S. youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;

  • Children are most vulnerable to CSA between the ages of 7 and 13.

According to Darkness to Light, a non-profit committed to empowering adults to prevent child sexual abuse, only about one-third of child sexual abuse incidents are identified, and even fewer are reported.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children operates the CyberTipline, a national mechanism for the public and electronic service providers to report instances of suspected child sexual exploitation.

In 2018 the CyberTipline received more than 18.4 million reports, most of which related to:

  • Apparent child sexual abuse images.

  • Online enticement, including “sextortion.”

  • Child sex trafficking.

  • Child sexual molestation.

Since its inception, the CyberTipline has received more than 48 million reports.

Those statistics are grim.

Sex trafficking is a serious global issue.

There are various types of sex offenders and sex crimes, and that topic is beyond the scope of this article. Because sex trafficking and the vulnerability of minors are crucial issues, we will focus on them here.

US federal law refers to sex trafficking as any commercial sex act that is “induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age.”

A recent report from Insider sheds light on just how many people are victims of sex trafficking.

The statistics are alarming and heartbreaking:

It’s estimated that there are around 4.5 million victims of sex trafficking across the world. And though it’s difficult to know just how many people are involved in sex trafficking in the US, the Polaris Project, a non-profit dedicated to ending human trafficking, received more than 34,000 reports of sex trafficking on its Human Trafficking Hotline between 2007 and 2017.

End Slavery Now, an anti-human trafficking and slavery organization, estimates many of those trafficked into the US come from countries like Mexico, the Philippines, Thailand, Honduras, Guatemala, India and El Salvador. But experts say that plenty of sex trafficking victims are from the US, too. (source)

The conclusion of the Insider report is chilling:

But the millions sex trafficked around the world don’t look like they do in movies. These people, often minors, can lead normal lives and pass through normal places, jobs, and homes.

The sex trafficking that goes on in the US largely takes place in a criminal underbelly ubiquitous in US cities and communities, which millions of Americans, for whatever reason, turn a blind eye to daily. (source)

There are various factors that motivate sexual predators.

Power, anger, and revenge are common motivators for sex offenders, according to Criminal Justice School Info:

It is mistakenly believed that sexual offenders are solely motivated by sexual gratification when they commit their crimes. Dr. Nicholas Groth developed three typologies to describe the motivations of rapists, two of which suggest sexual gratification is secondary. Anger rapists are fueled by rage towards their victims and rape is their way of seeking violent revenge. According to the Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM), these rapists may actually be extremely discontent with another area in their lives and thus take out their frustration on their victims. “Anger rapists tend to use a significant amount of physical force when they subdue their victims – in most cases, far more force than is necessary to perpetrate the abuse,” adds the CSOM. Verbal abuse is also a common component of these types of violations that are generally impulsive – not planned.

Power rapists on the other hand are less impulsive and rely on psychological manipulation more so than physical violence to subdue and sexually assault their victims. “The power rapist was motivated by his need to control and dominate his victim, and inversely, to avoid being controlled by [the victim],” describes Dr. Lisak. Those who rape their domestic partners are often characterized as power rapists. There are also sadistic rapists who receive sexual or erotic gratification from exerting power and control over the victims they rape. “Because they have an erotic response to power and control, extreme violence and torture often characterize their assaults,” says the CSOM. “In many cases, victims of sadistic rapists are murdered during the assaults”. The CSOM adds that these types of rapes are least common and account for between 2% and 5% of cases in the United States. (source)

Repeat sex offenders do not necessarily target only one category of victim or offend in the same manner, that report explains:

Dr. Lisak explains that a proportion of sexual offenders are ‘non-specialists’. “Multiple studies have now documented that between 33% and 66% of rapists have also sexually attacked children; that up to 82% of child molesters have also sexually attacked adults; and that between 50% and 66% of incest offenders have also sexually attacked children outside their families,” states Dr. Lisak.

Additionally, many of us tend to think a sex offender will keep on offending until he or she is caught. While in reality, recidivism does happen, it may not be as common as we think. According to Arkowitz and Lilienfeld, approximately 14% of sexual offenders reoffend within a five to six year period and 24% within a 15 year period. While this suggests recidivism is less often the case, it does suggest the longer it takes law enforcement to track down a sexual predator or criminal, the more likely he or she will reoffend. (source)

Not everyone who sexually abuses children is a pedophile, as Darkness to Light explains:

Child sexual abuse is perpetrated by a wide range of individuals with diverse motivations. It is impossible to identify specific characteristics that are common to all those who molest children. Situational offenders tend to offend at times of stress and begin offending later than pedophilic offenders. They also have fewer victims (often family), and have a general preference for adult partners.

Pedophilic offenders often start offending at an early age and often have a large number of victims (frequently not family members).

70% of child sex offenders have between one and 9 victims, while 20% have 10 to 40 victims. (source)

Often, sexual predators are people you know and trust.

It is important to understand that there are people who have or will sexually abuse children in churches, schools, and youth sports leagues, as Darkness to Light explains:

Abusers can be neighbors, friends, and family members. People who sexually abuse children can be found in families, schools, churches, recreation centers, youth sports leagues, and any other place children gather.

Significantly, abusers can be and often are other children.

About 90% of children who are victims of abuse know their abuser. Only 10% of sexually abused children are abused by a stranger.

Approximately 30% of children who are sexually abused are abused by family members. The younger the victim, the more likely it is that the abuser is a family member. Of those molesting a child under six, 50% were family members. Family members also accounted for 23% of those abusing children ages 12 to 17.

About 60% of children who are sexually abused are abused by the people the family trusts. (source)

Here’s how to keep your loved ones (and yourself) safe.

Sexual abuse is a challenging topic to discuss. It can be even more difficult when you’re talking about protecting your own children. Families can take steps to keep their children safe and give them the tools to speak up when something isn’t right.

Here is a list of resources that can help you keep your family safe.

Essential Self-Defense Tactics ANY Woman Can Learn

Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane)

The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us From Violence

Child Safety resources from Gavin de Becker and Associates

National Resources for Sexual Assault Survivors and their Loved Ones

Darkness to Light – End Child Sexual Abuse

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Alliance to Rescue Victims of Trafficking

Published:7/26/2019 7:57:29 PM
[Markets] Barr's Russiagate Origin Probe Pivots To 'Smoking Gun' Tapes With Exculpatory Evidence

A DOJ internal review of the Russia investigation is now focusing on transcripts of (not-so) covertly recorded conversations between former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos and 'at least one government source' during an overseas conversation in 2016. 

In particular, DOJ investigators are focusing on why certain exculpatory (or exonerating) evidence from the transcripts was not included in subsequent FBI surveillance warrant applications, according to Fox News, citing two sources familiar with the review. 

"A source told Fox News that the "exculpatory evidence" included in the transcripts is Papadopoulos denying having any contact with the Russians to obtain the supposed "dirt" on Clinton," according to the report. 

And while Fox doesn't name the 'government source,' it's undoubtedly Australian diplomat and Clinton ally Alexander Downer, who was "idiotic enough" to spy on Papadopoulos with his phone, according to the former Trump aide. 

But Papadopoulos did not only meet with Mifsud and Downer while overseas. He met with Cambridge professor and longtime FBI informant Stefan Halper and his female associate, who went under the alias Azra Turk. Papadopoulos told Fox News that he saw Turk three times in London: once over drinks, once over dinner and once with Halper. He also told Fox News back in May that he always suspected he was being recorded. Further, he tweeted during the Mueller testimony about "recordings" of his meeting with Downer. -Fox News

"These recordings have exculpatory evidence," one source told Fox, adding "It is standard tradecraft to record conversations with someone like Papadopoulos—especially when they are overseas and there are no restrictions."

The recordings in question pertain to conversations between government sources and Papadopoulos, which were memorialized in transcripts. One source told Fox News that Barr and Durham are reviewing why the material was left out of applications to surveil another former Trump campaign aide, Carter Page.

I think it’s the smoking gun,” the source said. -Fox News

Also under review  by AG Barr and US Attorney John Durham of Connecticut is the actual start date of the original FBI investigation into the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the US election. 

Former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) first revealed the existence of transcripts documenting the secretly recorded conversations earlier this year. 

"If the bureau’s going to send in an informant, the informant’s going to be wired, and if the bureau is monitoring telephone calls, there’s going to be a transcript of that," Gowdy said on Fox News in May. 

"Some of us have been fortunate enough to know whether or not those transcripts exist. But they haven’t been made public, and I think one, in particular ... has the potential to actually persuade people," he continued, adding "Very little in this Russia probe I’m afraid is going to persuade people who hate Trump or love Trump. But there is some information in these transcripts that has the potential to be a game-changer if it’s ever made public."

According to the report, the transcripts are currently classified - however President Trump's May order to approve declassification at AG Barr's discretion means they may see the light of day. And even if not, the declassification allowed Barr to barge in on DNI Director Dan Coats' office and demand the files

A source told Fox News that without the declassification order signed by Trump, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was not going to give anyone access to the files—over concerns for protecting sources and methods. But another source told Fox News in May that Coats, along with CIA Director Gina Haspel and FBI Director Chris Wray, are all working “collaboratively” with Barr and Durham on the review.

Barr and Durham are also trying to pinpoint the actual “start date” of the investigation, according to a source. -Fox News

As passionately laid out by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) during this week's Mueller testimony, the FBI officially opened the Russia investigation after Papadopoulos told Downer about a rumor (told to him by Clinton Foundation member Joseph Mifsud) that Russia had 'dirt' on Hillary Clinton. 

That said, some have suggested that the FBI probe began long before Downer's report to intelligence agencies

On Wednesday, House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., challenged former Special Counsel Mueller over when the investigation started.

"The FBI claims the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign began on July 31, 2016, but in fact, it began before that," Nunes said. "In June 2016, before the investigation was officially opened, Trump campaign associates Carter Page and Stephen Miller were invited to attend a symposium at Cambridge University in July 2016. Your office, however, did not investigate who was responsible for inviting these Trump associates to the symposium." -Fox News

"Maybe a better course of action is to figure out how the false accusations started," said Jordan on Wednesday, adding "Here’s the good news—that’s exactly what Bill Barr is doing and thank goodness for that." 

Published:7/26/2019 4:23:58 PM
[Markets] Mueller, The Mayor Of Munchkin-land, & Democrat Misadventures

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

Who imagined that in the climactic scene of the blockbuster RussiaGate fantasy, when the curtain was ripped away, the Wizard at the controls would turn out to be… Captain Queeg! We need not rehash all the depressing particulars of Robert Mueller’s six-hour public humiliation in two House committee hearings in order to reach a set of conclusions about the conduct of his rogue investigation and the perfidious report issued in his name.

One is that Robert Mueller could not have run his investigation. There is even reason to question that he was briefed on the day-to-day developments by the people who did run it — since, for instance, he apparently never heard the phrase “Fusion GPS,” that is, the swarm of flying monkeys who delivered the whole shebang’s predicate documents known as the Steele Dossier simultaneously to the FBI, The Washington Post, and The New York Times beginning in 2016. By his testimony Wednesday, Mr. Mueller gives new meaning to the term useful idiot.

The two-year inquisition was run by attorneys Andrew Weissmann and Jeanie Rhee, two arch Hillary Clinton partisans (the latter a lawyer for the Clinton Foundation), leading now to the conclusion that the Mueller Investigation itself was no less a Clinton operation than the Steele Dossier. I wonder if it will become known whether Mrs. Clinton herself was in regular communication with Weissmann and Rhee during these years, or who were the intermediaries between them. Surely federal attorney John Durham has the mojo to seize phone records of the Mueller Team and find out exactly who was checking in with whom.

I, for one, even doubt that the lingering assertion of Russian “interference” in the 2016 election — taken as dictum by too many dupes — has any merit at all. Rather it was just a foggy byproduct of the mighty gaslighting effort by experienced Intel Community specialists working the zealously biased and credulous news media into a lather of bad faith. All of the Russians and “Russian agents” lassoed into narrative appear to have professional connections to either the CIA, the FBI, the US State department, or Mrs. Clinton’s various networks of myrmidons in the DNC, the Obama administration, and Fusion GPS. These relationships were all sedulously ignored by the Special Counsel’s office — and now they can’t be.

Hence, it is easy to imagine that Attorney General Barr and his lead investigator, Mr. Dunham, must now entertain the unappetizing prospect of examining the roles of Mrs. Clinton and the foregoing cast of characters in this melodrama for the purpose of discovering whether this was actually the seditious conspiracy that it appears to have been — with rather horrific possible consequences of grave charges and severe punishments.

In all this long and excruciating public playing-out of dark schemes, Mr. Trump, first candidate and now president, seems to have acted as little more than a tackling dummy for the Mueller Team and its backstage confederates. He tweeted childishly about the deeply partisan composition of the Mueller Team when he should have mounted a forceful legal opposition to the effrontery of their selection in the first place.

It’s interesting to follow the pronouncements of the bit-players in this spectacle, now that Mr. Mueller has inadvertently destroyed the basis of the sacred narrative. Rep. Jerold Nadler turned up yakking with Anderson Cooper on CNN last night, looking every inch like the Mayor of Munchkin Land, bloviating against the supposed imminent Russian takeover of America (read: by witches) and the now-receding fool’s errand of impeachment, which would only further expose the criminal culpability of his own Democratic Party in this sordid misadventure. Mr. Cooper looked deeply pained by the chore, and yet his own professional credibility is on the line after two years of allowing himself to be played like a flugelhorn by the folks who matter in this country, and he contested nothing in Mr. Nadler’s mendacious pratings.

And now a fretful silence will descend around this colossal goddamned mess as the momentum of history shifts against the perpetrators of it, and the true machinery of American justice is brought to bear upon them. The playing-out of Act Three will probably coincide with epic global financial disorder in the months ahead, further obscuring what people and nations can do to arrest the collapse of Modernity and its sidekick Human Progress.

Published:7/26/2019 1:52:45 PM
[Markets] Dershowitz: Is This The End Of The Office Of Special Counsel?

Authored by Alan Dershowitz via The Gatestone Institute,

Robert Mueller's performance in front of Congressional committees should mark the end of special counsels, special prosecutors, independent counsels and the like. These hearings demonstrated, if any further demonstration was required, how dangerous it was to go outside of the normal processes of criminal justice.

Ordinary prosecutors are not allowed to comment about why they decided not to prosecute the subject of an investigation. The Mueller Report, when made public, violated that salutary tradition. It contained negative information about people, including the president, who will have no opportunity to respond in a legal proceeding.

The report and the testimony introduced the novel and dangerous concept into our legal vocabulary: "Not exonerated." This concept, which finds no basis in the rules of the Justice Department or the Special Counsel, is a variation on the nefarious theme articulated by the disgraced former FBI director, James Comey, when he went beyond announcing that Hillary Clinton would not be prosecuted, and expressed his opinion that she had been extremely careless in her treatment of emails. This statement said, in effect, that Hillary Clinton was not being exonerated.

Mueller's testimony was confused and confusing on many scores. He couldn't explain why he had reached a formal decision on conspiracy with Russia but had failed to reach a formal conclusion about obstruction of justice. He had to pull back on his answer to whether the decision not to charge the President was based on a Justice Department policy against indicting a sitting president. There was no explainable pattern as to why he chose to answer some questions while declining to answer others. He seemed not to be familiar with the contents of the Report that bears his name. It was almost as if he had signed his name to the Report without carefully reading or understanding it.

The night before Mueller's testimony, I was asked on a TV show whether it was a Hail Mary pass thrown by the Democrats. I predicted that it would be an intercepted pass. I was right. Even many Democratic stalwarts viewed the Mueller testimony as harmful to their cause. As a liberal Democrat, I share that view and it doesn't please me. But as a patriotic American, I care far more about the implications of the Mueller testimony for all Americans and for the rule of law.

The only good that can come from this testimony is that the millions of Americans who watched, or who will see and read excerpts, will come to understand how dangerous the Office of Special Counsel is to the rule of law. From day one, I proposed an alternative: namely the appointment of a nonpartisan expert commission whose job it is to investigate the role of Russia in trying to influence American elections and to influence our American democratic processes. Like the 9/11 Commission, this Russia Commission would not be pointing prosecutorial fingers for past derelictions, but would be focused primarily on preventing Russia from continuing to influence our American political processes. Prosecutors, like the Special Counsel, operate behind closed doors and in secret. They hear only one side of the story. They are restricted in what Grand Jury information can be made public. Non-partisan expert commissions, on the other hand, operate primarily in public (except when hearing classified material) and hear all sides of every issue in an effort to hear the whole truth.

So let's rethink how we deal with problems such as those that were the subject of the Mueller Report and Mueller's testimony. Let's learn from our mistakes and let's stop weaponizing our criminal justice system for partisan ends. Congress and the Justice Department should abolish the Office of Special Counsel, just as they abolished the Office of Independent Counsel after the fiasco of the Starr Report.

Published:7/26/2019 12:51:37 PM
[Robert Mueller] Beyond his purview (Scott Johnson) Tucker Carlson had former FBI deputy assistant director Terry Turchie on for a brief segment last night to discuss what I have been calling the Mueller miasma. Turchie holds that the testimony of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees this past Wednesday confirmed the existence of a hostile intelligence operation against Donald Trump (video below). Suffice it to say that Turchie takes up issues Published:7/26/2019 7:22:24 AM
[Markets] The Tyranny Of The Police-State Disguised As Law-And-Order

Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

“But these weren’t the kind of monsters that had tentacles and rotting skin, the kind a seven-year-old might be able to wrap his mind around - they were monsters with human faces, in crisp uniforms, marching in lockstep, so banal you don’t recognize them for what they are until it’s too late.”

- Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Enough already.

Enough with the distractions. Enough with the partisan jousting.

Enough with the sniping and name-calling and mud-slinging that do nothing to make this country safer or freer or more just.

We have let the government’s evil-doing, its abuses, power grabs, brutality, meanness, inhumanity, immorality, greed, corruption, debauchery and tyranny go on for too long.

We are approaching a reckoning.

This is the point, as the poet W. B. Yeats warned, when things fall apart and anarchy is loosed upon the world.

We have seen this convergence before in Hitler’s Germany, in Stalin’s Russia, in Mussolini’s Italy, and in Mao’s China: the rise of strongmen and demagogues, the ascendency of profit-driven politics over deep-seated principles, the warring nationalism that seeks to divide and conquer, the callous disregard for basic human rights and dignity, and the silence of people who should know better.

Yet no matter how many times the world has been down this road before, we can’t seem to avoid repeating the deadly mistakes of the past. This is not just playing out on a national and international scale. It is wreaking havoc at the most immediate level, as well, creating rifts and polarities within families and friends, neighborhoods and communities that keep the populace warring among themselves and incapable of presenting a united front in the face of the government’s goose-stepping despotism.

We are definitely in desperate need of a populace that can stand united against the government’s authoritarian tendencies.

Surely we can manage to find some common ground in the midst of the destructive, disrupting, diverting, discordant babble being beamed down at us by the powers-that-be? After all, there are certain self-evident truths—about the source of our freedoms, about the purpose of government, about how we expect to be treated by those we appoint to serve us in government offices, about what to do when the government abuses our rights and our trust, etc.—that we should be able to agree on, no matter how we might differ politically.

Disagree all you want about healthcare, abortion and immigration—hot-button issues that are guaranteed to stir up the masses, secure campaign contributions and turn political discourse into a circus free-for-all—but never forget that our power as a citizenry comes from our ability to agree and stand united on certain principles that should be non-negotiable.

For instance, for the first time in the nation’s history, it is expected that the federal deficit will surpass $1 trillion this year, not to mention the national debt which is approaching $23 trillion. There’s also $21 trillion in government spending that cannot be accounted for or explained. For those in need of a quick reminder: “A budget deficit is the difference between what the federal government spends and what it takes in. The national debt is the result of the federal government borrowing money to cover years and years of budget deficits.” Right now, the U.S. government is operating in the negative on every front: it’s spending far more than what it makes (and takes from the American taxpayers) and it is borrowing heavily (from foreign governments and Social Security) to keep the government operating and keep funding its endless wars abroad. Meanwhile, the nation’s sorely neglected infrastructure—railroads, water pipelines, ports, dams, bridges, airports and roads—is rapidly deteriorating.

Yet no matter how we might differ about how the government allocates its spending, surely we can agree that the government’s irresponsible spending, which has saddled us with insurmountable debt, is pushing the country to the edge of financial and physical ruin.

That’s just one example of many that shows the extent to which the agents of the American police state are shredding the constitutional fabric of the nation, eclipsing the rights of the American people, and perverting basic standards of decency.

Let me give you a few more.

Having been co-opted by greedy defense contractors, corrupt politicians and incompetent government officials, America’s expanding military empire is bleeding the country dry at a rate of more than $15 billion a month (or $20 million an hour)—and that’s just what the government spends on foreign wars. The U.S. military empire’s determination to police the rest of the world has resulted in more than 1.3 million U.S. troops being stationed at roughly 1000 military bases in over 150 countries around the world. That doesn’t include the number of private contractors pulling in hefty salaries at taxpayer expense. In Afghanistan, for example, private contractors outnumber U.S. troops three to one

No matter how we might differ about the role of the U.S. military in foreign affairs, surely we can agree that America’s war spending and commitment to policing the rest of the world are bankrupting the nation and spreading our troops dangerously thin.

All of the imperial powers amassed by Barack Obama and George W. Bush—to kill American citizens without due process, to detain suspects indefinitely, to strip Americans of their citizenship rights, to carry out mass surveillance on Americans without probable cause, to suspend laws during wartime, to disregard laws with which they might disagree, to conduct secret wars and convene secret courts, to sanction torture, to sidestep the legislatures and courts with executive orders and signing statements, to direct the military to operate beyond the reach of the law, to operate a shadow government, and to act as a dictator and a tyrant, above the law and beyond any real accountability—were inherited by Donald Trump. These presidential powers—acquired through the use of executive orders, decrees, memorandums, proclamations, national security directives and legislative signing statements and which can be activated by any sitting president—enable past, president and future presidents to operate above the law and beyond the reach of the Constitution.

Yet no matter how we might differ about how success or failure of past or present presidential administrations, surely we can agree that the president should not be empowered to act as an imperial dictator with permanent powers.

Increasingly, at home, we’re facing an unbelievable show of force by government agents. For example, with alarming regularity, unarmed men, women, children and even pets are being gunned down by twitchy, hyper-sensitive, easily-spooked police officers who shoot first and ask questions later, and all the government does is shrug and promise to do better. Just recently, in fact, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals cleared a cop who aimed for a family’s dog (who showed no signs of aggression), missed, and instead shot a 10-year-old lying on the ground. Indeed, there are countless incidents that happen every day in which Americans are shot, stripped, searched, choked, beaten and tasered by police for little more than daring to frown, smile, question, or challenge an order. Growing numbers of unarmed people are being shot and killed for just standing a certain way, or moving a certain way, or holding something—anything—that police could misinterpret to be a gun, or igniting some trigger-centric fear in a police officer’s mind that has nothing to do with an actual threat to their safety.

No matter how we might differ about where to draw that blue line of allegiance to the police state, surely we can agree that police shouldn’t go around terrorizing and shooting innocent, unarmed children and adults or be absolved of wrongdoing for doing so.

Nor can we turn a blind eye to the transformation of America’s penal system from one aimed at protecting society from dangerous criminals to a profit-driven system that dehumanizes and strips prisoners of every vestige of their humanity. For example, in Illinois, as part of a “training exercise” for incoming cadets, prison guards armed with batons and shields rounded up 200 handcuffed female inmates, marched them to the gymnasium, then forced them to strip naked (including removing their tampons and pads), “bend over and spread open their vaginal and anal cavities,” while male prison guards promenaded past or stood staring. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the entire dehumanizing, demoralizing mass body cavity strip search—orchestrated not for security purposes but as an exercise in humiliation—was legal. Be warned, however: this treatment will not be limited to those behind bars. In our present carceral state, there is no difference between the treatment meted out to a law-abiding citizen and a convicted felon: both are equally suspect and treated as criminals, without any of the special rights and privileges reserved for the governing elite. In a carceral state, there are only two kinds of people: the prisoners and the prison guards.

No matter how we might differ about where to draw the line when it comes to prisoners’ rights, surely we can agree that no one—woman, man or child—should be subjected to such degrading treatment in the name of law and order.

In Washington, DC, in contravention of longstanding laws that restrict the government’s ability to deploy the military on American soil, the Pentagon has embarked on a secret mission of “undetermined duration” that involves flying Black Hawk helicopters over the nation’s capital, backed by active-duty and reserve soldiers. In addition to the increasing militarization of the police—a de facto standing army—this military exercise further acclimates the nation to the sight and sounds of military personnel on American soil and the imposition of martial law.

No matter how we might differ about the deference due to those in uniform, whether military or law enforcement, surely we can agree that America’s Founders had good reason to warn against the menace of a national police force—a.k.a. a standing army—vested with the power to completely disregard the Constitution.

We labor today under the weight of countless tyrannies, large and small, disguised as “the better good,” marketed as benevolence, enforced with armed police, and carried out by an elite class of government officials who are largely insulated from the ill effects of their actions. For example, in Pennsylvania, a school district is threatening to place children in foster care if parents don’t pay their overdue school lunch bills. In Florida, a resident was fined $100,000 for a dirty swimming pool and overgrown grass at a house she no longer owned. In Kentucky, government bureaucrats sent a cease-and-desist letter to a church ministry, warning that the group is breaking the law by handing out free used eyeglasses to the homeless. These petty tyrannies inflicted on an overtaxed, overregulated, and underrepresented populace are what happens when bureaucrats run the show, and the rule of law becomes little more than a cattle prod for forcing the citizenry to march in lockstep with the government.

No matter how we might differ about the extent to which the government has the final say in how it flexes it power and exerts its authority, surely we can agree that the tyranny of the Nanny State—disguised as “the better good,” marketed as benevolence, enforced with armed police, and inflicted on all those who do not belong to the elite ruling class that gets to call the shots— should not be allowed to pave over the Constitution.

At its core, this is not a debate about politics, or constitutionalism, or even tyranny disguised as law-and-order. This is a condemnation of the monsters with human faces that have infiltrated our government.

For too long now, the American people have rationalized turning a blind eye to all manner of government wrongdoing—asset forfeiture schemes, corruption, surveillance, endless wars, SWAT team raids, militarized police, profit-driven private prisons, and so on—because they were the so-called lesser of two evils.

Yet the unavoidable truth is that the government has become almost indistinguishable from the evil it claims to be fighting, whether that evil takes the form of terrorism, torture, drug traffickingsex trafficking, murder, violence, theft, pornography, scientific experimentations or some other diabolical means of inflicting pain, suffering and servitude on humanity.

No matter how you rationalize it, the lesser of two evils is still evil.

So how do you fight back?

How do you fight injustice? How do you push back against tyranny? How do you vanquish evil?

You don’t fight it by hiding your head in the sand.

We have ignored the warning signs all around us for too long.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the government has ripped the Constitution to shreds and left us powerless in the face of its power grabs, greed and brutality.

What we are grappling with today is a government that is cutting great roads through the very foundations of freedom in order to get after its modern devils. Yet the government can only go as far as “we the people” allow.

Therein lies the problem.

The consequences of this failure to do our due diligence in asking the right questions, demanding satisfactory answers, and holding our government officials accountable to respecting our rights and abiding by the rule of law has pushed us to the brink of a nearly intolerable state of affairs.

Intolerable, at least, to those who remember what it was like to live in a place where freedom, due process and representative government actually meant something. Having allowed the government to expand and exceed our reach, we now find ourselves on the losing end of a tug-of-war over control of our country and our lives.

The hour grows late in terms of restoring the balance of power and reclaiming our freedoms, but it may not be too late. The time to act is now, using all methods of nonviolent resistance available to us.

“Don’t sit around waiting for the two corrupted established parties to restore the Constitution or the Republic,” Naomi Wolf once warned. Waiting and watching will get us nowhere fast.

If you’re watching, you’re not doing.

Easily mesmerized by the government’s political theater—the endless congressional hearings and investigations that go nowhere, the president’s reality show antics, the warring factions, the electoral drama—we have become a society of watchers rather than activists who are distracted by even the clumsiest government attempts at sleight-of-hand.

It’s time for good men and women to do something. And soon.

Wake up and take a good, hard look around you. Start by recognizing evil and injustice and tyranny for what they are. Stop being apathetic. Stop being neutral. Stop being accomplices. Stop being distracted by the political theater staged by the Deep State: they want you watching the show while they manipulate things behind the scenes. Refuse to play politics with your principles. Don’t settle for the lesser of two evils.

As British statesman Edmund Burke warned, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [and women] to do nothing.”

Published:7/25/2019 11:21:57 PM
[Markets] Ron Paul: Forget Russiagate, Look At FBI-gate Instead

Via 21stCenturyWire.com,

Yesterday, the Democratic Congress had their big moment – the testimony of Russiagateprobe figurehead Robert Mueller, whose 448-page report detailing the findings of his nearly-two-year-long investigation into alleged “Trump-Russian collusion” and alleged “Russian interference” in the US 2016 elections.

After no evidence of collusion or interference could be found, the remit was then shifted over to “possible obstruction of justice. ” And when no evidence of obstruction could be unearthed, the Democrat and Mueller position then became, ‘the Mueller Report has not cleared Trump of obstruction,’ or the report does not exoneration of the President. Here they are trying to prove a negative, something which could be said about about any unproven accusation leveled against anyone – which makes that spurious declaration meaningless.

Even the most ardent Never Trump partisan journalists, like NBC News political director Chuck Todd, admitted that the former special counsel Robert Mueller’s performance in front of the House Judiciary Committee hearing was a “disaster” and did nothing to advance the cause for impeachment.

As the dust subsides from yesterday’s debacle, the real issues are finally coming into focus.

Former US Congressman Dr Ron Paul highlights some of the deeper,  fundamental problems with the Russiagate fiasco. RT International reports...

The Democrats’ dream of impeaching President Trump over the Russiagate scandal has “totally failed,” its fate confirmed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s disastrous showing in Congress, former congressman Ron Paul told RT.

The utterly anticlimactic hearing saw the ex-special counsel serving up reheated details of his two-year probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, reminding both the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees that there was no proof that members of the Trump campaign conspired with Russia.

Hopefully, this will end it all, because Mueller did not have any evidence,” Paul said.

"I think we should never use the word Russiagate again. I think we ought to use the FBIgate because there was a conspiracy to try to frame Trump."

If they have impeachment hearings next year, it is going to backfire on them, just as I think this hearing today backfired on the Democrats,” Paul said, suggesting that lawmakers should instead investigate the origins of the Russia probe – in particular the Steele dossier, which was partially funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic Party. The document, produced by Fusion GPS, was full of unsubstantiated tales about Trump and helped to kick off the FBI probe, yet when pressed on the key role of the opposition research firm, Mueller didn’t even appear to be familiar with the organization.

Both parties have much bigger problems, Paul pointed out, marveling at how Democrats and Republicans are “bosom buddies,” marching in lockstep on “more debt, more interference, more involvement overseas, more welfare-ism,” yet “they hate each other’s guts when it comes to power.”

"The empire’s broke, the empire’s in trouble, yet [both parties] don’t want to talk about that."

Published:7/25/2019 9:18:02 PM
[Markets] "Clinton Body Count" Is Trending On Twitter, The Establishment Blames Russia

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

Americans waking up to check Twitter this morning were greeted with the trending hashtag “#ClintonBodyCount.” This hashtag is referencing a long-running theory that the Clintons have been responsible for multiple murders to keep their corruption secret.

But the re-emergence of the trending hashtag has, of course, been blamed on “Russian bots.”

The phrase has since been used to link the mysterious deaths of people who were connected to Bill and Hillary Clinton in some fascinating ways. For example, the 1993 suicide of White House Deputy Counsel Vince Foster, and the fatal armed robbery of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich in 2016.

Many Twitter users are asking others to check their own morality before defending the Clintons.

Making matters worse for the Clintons, the “Clinton Body Count” phrase was originally coined by writer Danny Casolaro in the late 1980s. Casolaro “committed suicide” in 1991, while working on a story supposedly involving an international cabal.

The establishment is rapidly attempting to place the blame on Russia for the hashtag’s popularity claiming that this is the work of Russian bots."

The elitists are currently trying to spin this into some kind of Russian conspiracy. It goes something like this: Russian President Vladimir Putin was so incensed by the knockout testimony given by former special counsel Robert Mueller on Wednesday that he cranked up the output of his troll farms and swamped Twitter with the hashtag as a distraction, according to RT.

It also didn’t take long for offended leftists to call for censorship and for Jack Dorsey to shut down the #ClintonBodyCount hashtag.

As RT further pointed out, Mueller did a good enough job failing to give Democrats the answers they were hoping for.  No amount of sneaky Russian meddling is needed to distract from Mueller’s testimony. Stammering through answers, seemingly forgetting key details from his report, and declining to answer any questions outside its scope, Mueller did a pretty good job deflating the expectations of Democrats hoping for some new Russiagate revelations.

Nonetheless, leftists are wholly attempting to keep the Russiagate hoax alive and well and if it takes blaming the newest trending hashtag on Russian bots, you can bet they’ll do it.

Published:7/25/2019 8:48:07 PM
[Markets] The Failure Of Impeachment Regime Change

Authored by Jacob Hornberger via The Future of Freedom Foundation,

With what most everyone is calling a stunningly disjointed and extremely disappointing presentation before Congress by Special Counsel and former FBI Director Robert Mueller, it is becoming increasingly clear that the effort to achieve regime change through impeachment is going to fail. Democrats are going to have to rely on the traditional electoral means to remove President Trump from office in 2020.

This is the way it should be. Achieving regime change through impeachment would have converted the United States into a standard banana republic.

Ever since Trump became the GOP nominee for president, Democrats, the national-security establishment, and the liberal elements of the mainstream press did everything they could to ensure that his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, was elected president.

Once Trump became president, however, his opponents refused to accept the electoral outcome and began trying to remove him from office through impeachment.That’s where the anti-Russia brouhaha came into play.

During the campaign, it was increasingly clear that Trump and Clinton were on opposite sides of the Russia controversy. Trump desired to establish friendly relations with Russia, which was exactly what Russia wanted.

But that’s not what the national-security establishment wanted. Ever since the sudden and unexpected end of the Cold War, the Pentagon, CIA, and NSA — the three principal components of the national-security state — did everything they could to make Russia, once again, an official enemy of the United States. Clinton was squarely on the side of the national-security establishment.

That’s why the Pentagon, CIA, and NSA kept the Cold War dinosaur NATO in existence instead of dismantling it. It’s also why they had NATO begin absorbing former members of the Warsaw Pact, enabling U.S. forces and missiles to be stationed ever closer to the Russian border, violating assurances that U.S. officials had given Russia not to expand toward Russia. That’s what the effort to absorb Ukraine into NATO was all about, knowing full well that Russia would respond by protecting its longtime military base in Crimea.

Everything was oriented toward making certain that the United States and Russia would never be on friendly terms. Everything was instead oriented toward making Russia, once again, another Cold War official enemy of the United States.

Why is that the goal of the national-security establishment? Because it needs a justification for its own existence and its own ever-growing power and influence. That justification comes in the form of official enemies, ones that can keep Americans fearful. In that way, the Pentagon, CIA, and NSA can say, “Keep flooding us with U.S. taxpayer money because we are the ones who are keeping you safe from America’s official enemies. Keep giving us totalitarian-like powers over you so that we can keep you safe.”

Of course, Russia isn’t the only official enemy. There is also China, which increasingly is being presented as a Cold War-like “hegemon” that is supposedly threatening U.S. “national security.”

And then there are the smaller official enemies, like Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Syria, the Taliban, the Muslims, the terrorists, ISIS, the drug dealers, and the illegal immigrants, all of which, we are told, are threats to “national security.”

As a candidate, Trump was threatening to upend this racket, at least with respect to Russia and perhaps also by threatening to bring an end to America’s forever wars and its policy of regime-change wars. That posed a grave threat to the national-security establishment, which had been grafted onto America’s federal governmental system after World War II to fight the Cold War against the Soviet Union, America’s World War II partner and ally whose principal member was Russia.

Trump’s friendly attitude toward Russia could not be permitted to stand, not as a presidential candidate and especially not as a U.S. president. That’s when the anti-Russia brouhaha was launched, which accused Trump of being an agent of the Russians, just as some people accused President Eisenhower of being a communist agent of the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

It was a ridiculous accusation from the get-go but its primary purpose was to enable Trump’s opponents to remove him from office long before the next election in 2020. It was designed to be regime change through impeachment.

Once Mueller’s investigative team, despite years of intense investigation, was unable to come up with convincing evidence of a Trump-Russia conspiracy, however, Trump’s detractors fell back on a secondary plan for regime change though impeachment — “obstruction of justice,” a federal crime that is so nebulous and subjective that it is the federal version of “disorderly conduct,” a “crime” that local officials use to target people they don’t like. The sham nature of this alternative theory for regime change was exposed through its supporters refusal to seek Trump’s impeachment for real crimes, such as killing people overseas through illegal undeclared wars and illegal assassinations. With Mueller’s dismal performance before Congress, this alternative attempt at regime change appears to be dead in the water as well.

While Trump’s enemies have been unsuccessful in removing him from office through impeachment, they have, unfortunately, been successful in having him become an opponent of Russia, China, and all of the other official enemies of the U.S national-security state. Not only has Trump continued the forever wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East, he has kept up hostile relations with Russia, initiated a destructive trade war with China, and ratcheted up the U.S. wars on Muslims, the terrorists, the illegal immigrants, the drug dealers, ISIS, and the Taliban. He has also ensured that ever-increasing taxpayer-funded largess continues flooding into the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA, no matter how much more debt this adds onto the backs of American taxpayers.

In other words, Trump, like George W. Bush and Barack Obama, has been absorbed into the national-security state blob. They have won. Trump has become one of them. That’s the real success of the unsuccessful effort to remove Trump from office through impeachment regime change.

Published:7/25/2019 7:59:52 PM
[Markets] Sean Davis Sums Up Lies And Revelations From The Failed Effort To Take Down Donald Trump

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's doddering performance on Wednesday in front of two House panels really put a bow on what a farce the effort to take down Donald Trump has been from the start. 

After listening to Mueller stammer his way through simple questions regarding his own 448-page report on Russian interference, it's abundantly clear that the former FBI Director was nothing more than a paper tiger whose hand-picked team of 'attack dog' Democrat attorneys drew as much blood as they possibly could - yet were unable to find evidence to support the grand lies we've been forced to endure for nearly three years. 

Summing up the last three years is a Twitter thread by The Federalist co-founder and former congressional staffer, Sean Davis. 

No wonder the Democrats are waffling on impeachment. 

Published:7/25/2019 6:18:48 PM
[Markets] After Mueller Miasma, Stockman Says "Real Election Meddling" Probe Can Begin

Via David Stockman's Contra Corner,

At his wrap-up press conference in May, Robert Mueller sternly underscored what he called "the central allegation" of the two-year Russia probe. Namely, that the Russian government engaged in

"multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election, and that allegation deserves the attention of every American."

Yesterday’s gong show on Capitol Hill presented him with innumerable opportunities to defend that heavy duty proposition.

Indeed, he had a massive TV audience before which to fortify the entire foundation on which the Russia meddling/collusion story is based and on which a concerted effort have been made by a goodly part of the Washington establishment to invalidate the 2016 election on the grounds that the Kremlin threw it to Trump.

But nothing doing. Instead, Mueller ducked, dodged and demurred – hiding behind the words of his 448-page report. Yet the latter doesn’t even attempt to "prove" this "central allegation" at all; it just asserts it based on purportedly classified information that the unwashed voters and most of their elected representatives are not allowed to see.

More crucially, both before and since the Report’s release, even its squishy nods and heavily qualified inferences implicating Russian state agents have been essentially refuted by evidence now on the public record.

The two tent poles of the whole RussiaGate affair are the social media campaigns of the St. Petersburg troll farm and the alleged hack of the DNC computers by Russian state operatives. That’s not our view but the claim of the Mueller report itself which said the alleged Russian interference occurred “principally through two operations.”

Yet both poles are so flimsy that they can’t be taken seriously by anybody who examines the facts with even a half-open, adult mind.

In a word, the troll farm’s efforts at using US social media were an amateurish joke which were well and truly lost in the sea of noise and trivia which washes through Facebook, Twitter et. al, and which had no relationship to the Kremlin in any event (see below). Likewise, the overwhelming evidence on the public record says the DNC emails were leaked by a disgruntled insider not hacked by Russian agents operating over the internet thousands of miles away.

We have buttressed both of these conclusions at length previously, and the essence is summarized below. But the implications go way beyond knocking the RussiaGate hoax into a cocked-hat.

What the two flimsy tent poles if RussiaGate really show is the extreme danger of statism and the inherent infirmities of Big Government itself.

That’s because in today’s world of relentless 24/7 communications and messaging, haphazard information, random facts and mere factoids can be drafted into the service of a narrative that serves partisan ends, and then can be repeated with such monumental frequency and plenary breadth as to give the aura of truth to what amounts to self-serving nonsense.

That is to say, scratch a Washington pol, Deep State apparatchik or MSM journalist who embraces the "central allegation" of RussiaGate and you essentially have a Never Trumper who finds the Donald and that for which he stands so loathsome that they, perforce, must believe he was elected only by virtue of Kremlin intervention.

To RussiaGate believers, the alternative is not even thinkable. To wit, that 62 million voters knowingly preferred the Donald over Hillary – notwithstanding all his warts of character and his querulous denunciations of establishment policy and its officialdom.

Accordingly, the evidence needed to validate the Russian interference narrative was never examined deeply or subjected to skeptical assessment and challenge; it was just lined-up and recited endlessly as if the mere repetition of factoids, irrelevancies and sheer foolishness proved the truth of the narrative.

Still, if a proposition as grave as "multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election" can be embraced by a major section of the governing apparatus on such threadbare evidence as the two poles of the RussiaGate story how is it possible for Imperial Washington to rule the entire world or to micro-manage the very warp and woof of domestic economic and social life?

Indeed, if there was ever a case for free markets, small government, maximum individual liberty and minimal politicization of society at home and strict non-interventionism abroad, the RussiaGate Hoax is exactly that.

What yesterday’s gong show really proved is that the governing classes and their media megaphones in America today cannot even chew bubble gum and walk a straight line at the same time. So why in the world do we want them to rule where no rulers are needed?

In any event, the St. Petersburg troll farm narrative is now deader than a doornail. Mueller and his posse have actually been prohibited from even asserting in public that it was a Kremlin operation by a US District judge.

That’s right. Because they didn’t have a shred of evidence to support their insinuation!

That was proven in open court when much to Mueller’s surprise, the operation involved – the Internet Research Agency (IRS) – chose to defend itself and the 13 clueless ham sandwiches Mueller indicted and in so doing elicited a stern admonition from the presiding judge.

Thus, the first pole of the RussiaGate tent – the allegation that IRA was a part of the Russian government’s “sweeping and systematic” interference campaign – has already tumbled to the ground. Mueller’s team has been forced to admit in court that this was a false insinuation.

Aaron Mate, an intrepid and honest leftwing journalist for the Nationmagazine, recently summarized the matter as well as anyone:

US District Judge Dabney Friedrich noted that Mueller’s February 2018 indictment of the IRA “ does not link the {IRA} to the Russian government" and alleges “only private conduct by private actors.”

Jonathan Kravis, a senior prosecutor on the Mueller team, acknowledged that this is the case. “[T]he report itself does not state anywhere that the Russian government was behind the Internet Research Agency activity,” Kravis told the court.

Mueller also goes to great lengths to paint it as a sophisticated operation that “had the ability to reach millions of US persons.” Yet, as we already know, most of the Russian social media content was juvenile clickbait that had nothing to do with the election (only 7 percent of IRA’s Facebook posts mentioned either Trump or Clinton). There is also no evidence that the political content reached a mass audience, and to the extent it reached anyone, most of it occurred after the election.

Indeed, the IRA was such a belly-splitting joke that they only thing it proved is that prosecutor Mueller did actually indict 13 Russian-speaking ham sandwiches.

Actually, the IRA was the relatively harmless Hobby Farm of a fanatical Russian oligarch and ultra-nationalist, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who has a great big beef against Imperial Washington’s demonization of Russia and Vlad Putin. Apparently, the farm was (it’s apparently been disbanded) the vehicle through which he gave Washington the middle finger and buttered up his patron.

Prigozhin is otherwise known as "Putin’s Cook" because he made his fortune in St. Petersburg restaurants that Putin favored and via state funded food service operations at Russian schools and military installations.

Like most Russian oligarchs not in jail, he apparently tithes in gratitude to the Kremlin: In this case, by bankrolling the rinky-dink operation at 55 Savushkina Street in St. Petersburg that was the object of Mueller’s pretentious foray into the flotsam and jetsam of social media low life.

Prigozhin’s trolling farm was grandly called the Internet Research Agency (IRA), but what it actually did was hire (apparently) unemployed 20-somethings at $4-8 per hour to pound out ham-handed political messaging on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube etc. They banged away twelve hours at a shift on a quota-driven paint-by-the-Internet-numbers basis where their output was rated for engagements, likes, retweets etc.

Whatever these keyboard drones might have been, they were not professional Russian intel operators. And the collection of broken English postings strewn throughout Mueller’s indictment were not one bit scary.

The pure grandstanding nature of this blow against the purported election meddling of the nefarious Russians is more than evident in the 3,000 ads IRA bought on Facebook for about $100,000 – more than half of which were posted after the election.

Yet here’s a typical example of how the Russians stormed into America’s sacred election space – even if according to Facebook this particular ad got less than 10,000 "impressions" and the mighty sum of 160 "shares".

For crying out loud, it didn’t take any nefarious Russian intelligence agent to post this kind of cartoonish Islamophobia. There are millions of American xenophobes more than happy to do it with their own dime, time and bile.

Still, the fact that these Facebook ads and the St. Petersburg troll farm were taken seriously shows how insidious the Deep State’s RussiaGate campaign had become. In order to prove that their writ and rule will not be denied by the American electorate, they cynically fostered a mindless public hysteria that makes the work of Joe McCarthy appear benign by comparison.

And during a period, by the way, when the 80,000 Facebook posts attributable to IRA were up against the 33 trillion messages posted on that fetid network by its billions of users.

Indeed, talk about shooting fish in a barrel. Even Keeping Up With The Kardashians voters would get a pretty good yuck from the example displayed below.

A post called "Power to the people!" was typed out by some troll farm operative in St. Petersburg, whose $4 per hour pay probably was not worth the effort: It was shared by the grand some of 20 people, who might well have been algos, anyway!

The fact is, the "evidence" for Russian meddling via the IRA social media operation was always complete nonsense.

Needless to say, of course, if there was no "meddling", how could there have been Trump campaign "collusion" to accomplish something which didn’t happen?

As to the DNC emails, the notion that the Russian GRU (intelligence service) hacked the DNC emails and handed them off to WikiLeaks has now been equally discredited.

William Binney, who is the father of modern NSA Internet spying technologies, says that the DNC emails were leaked on a thumb-drive and couldn’t have been hacked as a technical matter; and equally competent analysts have shown that Guccifer 2.0 is almost surely a NSA contrived fiction based on the oldest trick in the police precinct station house – planting evidence, in this case telltale Cyrillic letters and the name of a notorious head of the Soviet secret police.

Indeed, if the Russians did it via a nefarious hacking operation, the digital fingerprints would be all over the computers and servers involved. Moreover, the National Security Agency (NSA) would have a record of the breach stored at one of its server farms because it does capture and store everything that comes into the US over the Internet

Said record, of course, would amount to the Smoking Intercept. So the only thing Mueller really needed to do at the get-go was to call the head of NSA and request the NSA intercept – something he obviously didn’t do or it would have leaked long ago.

In the alternative, if NSA has no such record, he could have confiscated the DNC computers and servers – which had never even been inspected by the FBI, let alone taken into custody – to determine whether William Binney is right.

That didn’t happen, either. In fact, the whole case is based on a redacted draft report from an anti-Russian cyber-security outfit called CrowdStrike that was on the DNC payroll and had every incentive to find secret evidence of Russian hacking that has never been made public – or even available to Mueller and his posse of alleged criminal sleuths.

So what we are left with is the fact that Binney, a NSA veteran and actually the father of much of today’s NSA Internet spying capability, says that the recorded download speed of the DNC emails could only have been done by plugging a thumb-drive into the machines on site. That is, nothing downloads across 5,000 miles of digital expanse at the recorded 22.7 megabytes per second.

In short, if the Russians hacked them, the evidence is all there in the hard drives; and if they didn’t, the entire RussiaGate hoax should have been shutdown long ago.

That’s because the only thing that remotely smacks of untoward meddling by the Kremlin is the DNC emails – and even then, they only concerned intra-party squabbles between the Clinton and the Sandernista factions of the Dem party that were already well advertised and known to the American electorate.

Left-wing investigator Aaron Mate has distilled the same facts we have examined and come to the same conclusions.

- But a close examination of the report shows that none of those headline assertions are supported by the report’s evidence or other publicly available sources. They are further undercut by investigative shortcomings and the conflicts of interest of key players involved:

- The report uses qualified and vague language to describe key events, indicating that Mueller and his investigators do not actually know for certain whether Russian intelligence officers stole Democratic Party emails, or how those emails were transferred to WikiLeaks.

- The report’s timeline of events appears to defy logic. According to its narrative, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange announced the publication of Democratic Party emails not only before he received the documents but before he even communicated with the source that provided them.

- There is strong reason to doubt Mueller’s suggestion that an alleged Russian cutout called Guccifer 2.0 supplied the stolen emails to Assange.

- Mueller’s decision not to interview Assange – a central figure who claims Russia was not behind the hack – suggests an unwillingness to explore avenues of evidence on fundamental questions.

- US intelligence officials cannot make definitive conclusions about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee computer servers because they did not analyze those servers themselves. Instead, they relied on the forensics of CrowdStrike, a private contractor for the DNC that was not a neutral party, much as “Russian dossier” compiler Christopher Steele, also a DNC contractor, was not a neutral party. This puts two Democrat-hired contractors squarely behind underlying allegations in the affair – a key circumstance that Mueller ignores.

- Further, the government allowed CrowdStrike and the Democratic Party’s legal counsel to submit redacted records, meaning CrowdStrike and not the government decided what could be revealed or not regarding evidence of hacking.

At the end of the day, there can be nothing more pitiful after 22 months of prosecutorial scorched earth on the Russian collusion file than Mueller’s list of indictments. To remind once again, they include:

- 13 Russian college kids for essentially practicing English as a third language at a St. Petersburg troll farm for $4 per hour;

- 12 Russian intelligence operatives who might as well have been picked from the GRU phonebook;

- Baby George Papadopoulos for mis-recalling an irrelevant date by two weeks;

- Paul Manafort for standard Washington lobbyist crimes committed long before he met Trump;

- Michael Cohen for shirking taxes and running Trump’s bimbo silencing operation;

- Michael Flynn for doing his job talking to the Russian Ambassador and confusing the confusable Mike Pence on what he said and didn’t say about Obama’s idiotic 11th hour Russian sanctions;

- Rick Gates for helping Manafort shakedown the Ukrainian government and other oily Washington supplicants.;

- Sam Patten, another Manafort operative who forget to register correctly as a foreign agent;

- Richard Pinedo, a grifter who never met Trump and got caught selling forged bank accounts on-line to Russians for a couple bucks each;

- Alex van der Zwaan, a Dutch lawyers who wrote a report for Manafort in 2012 and misreported to the FBI what he told Gates about it.

That’s all she wrote and it’s about as pathetic as it gets. Mueller should have been guffawed out of town on account of this tommyrot long before belatedly delivering a report that proved exactly that.

And yesterday he said exactly nothing to alter that conclusion.

Perhaps there is a silver lining, however. Maybe now the RussiaGate "investigation" can turn to the real election meddling – the Deep State conspiracy lead by CIA director John Brennan and the anti-Trump cabal at the FBI to thwart Trump’s candidacy and then discredit his Presidency once he was elected to the nation’s highest office.

We will have more to say about the real assault on American democracy from within in the future, but if you do not believe that the entire Russian influence investigation was motivated by rank political animus against the GOP’s presidential candidate because he advocated the sensible path of rapprochement with Russia, just consider the paragraph below.

It tells you all you need to know about why RussiaGate happened; why the Mueller investigation dragged on for two years and still pollutes the media airways; and, most importantly, how the so-called progressive party in America in its grief over losing the 2016 election to an incompetent megalomaniacal bully like Donald Trump has become a pathetic handmaid of the Warfare State.

'I do always hate the Russians,' Lisa Page, a senior FBI lawyer on the Russia case testified to Congress in July 2018. 'It is my opinion that with respect to Western ideals and who it is and what it is we stand for as Americans, Russia poses the most dangerous threat to that way of life.'

As he opened the FBI’s probe of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russians in July 2016, FBI agent peter Strzok texted Page: 'fu*k the cheating motherfu*king Russians… Bastards. I hate them… I think they’re probably the worst. Fu*king conniving cheating savages.' Speaking to NBC News in May 2017, former director of national intelligence James Clapper explained why US officials saw interactions between the Trump camp and Russian nationals as a cause for alarm: 'The Russians,' Clapper said, 'almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique. So we were concerned.'

In a May interview with Lawfare, former FBI general counsel Jim Baker, who helped oversee the Russia probe, explained the origins of the investigation as follows: 'It was about Russia, period, full stop.… When the [George] Papadopoulos information comes across our radar screen, it’s coming across in the sense that we were always looking at Russia.… we’ve been thinking about Russia as a threat actor for decades and decades.'

Indeed, all along it was all about War Party policy on Russia. Per the NYT:

Mr. Trump had caught the attention of F.B.I. counterintelligence agents when he called on Russia during a campaign news conference in July 2016 to hack into the emails of his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Mr. Trump had refused to criticize Russia on the campaign trail, praising President Vladimir V. Putin. And investigators had watched with alarm as the Republican Party softened its convention platform on the Ukraine crisis in a way that seemed to benefit Russia.

Trump’s July 2016 comment was a joke, and the story about the GOP platform change was overblown, while the policy change made all the sense in the world. Even then, it was later undermined in practice when Trump sold weapons to Ukraine – a move that even Obama had opposed.

Published:7/25/2019 5:18:02 PM
[Markets] Welcome, Comrade Mueller, To America's Soviet-Style Show-Trials!

Authored by Robert Bridge,

Any hope that the interrogation of prosecutor, Robert Mueller, would provide some closure to the endless spectacle of Russiagate was dashed. As long as Donald Trump is in power, the show must go on.

When Mueller, 74, was led into the lion’s den of the congressional coliseum on Wednesday to defend his 22-month, multi-million-dollar investigation from the slings and arrows of partisan power-brokers, the temptation to feel some pity for the man was surprisingly strong.

The former special counsel appeared frail, disheveled and, as many others have acknowledged, well past his prime. His demeanor resembled that of a powerful official who had just been yanked from bed at gunpoint to appear before a midnight military tribunal. The flimsy shield he hid behind when confronted with any serious question regarding his 448-page report was deference to “the ongoing investigation.”

The Republicans drew blood early. Jim Jordan, veteran House member and former wrestling champ, maneuvered Mueller into an inescapable lock-hold. Jordan pressed Mueller as to why the ‘witch hunt’ hauled away half a dozen Trump-connected cohorts to prison – including Roger Stone, a former adviser to the president, who was arrested in a crack-of-dawn FBI raid that was all-too conveniently filmed by a CNN camera crew – yet nobody affiliated with the Democratic Party suffered equally harsh measures.

Jordan reminded the mute Mueller that the FBI, with the blessing of the Democratic Party, had pulled off a historic first when they spied on two members of the Trump campaign, Carter Page and George Papadopoulos. That brazen act of espionage should have been at the heart of Mueller’s probe, but strangely it went missing in action.

Here’s where things get really dark. In the course of the FBI’s undercover work, a mysterious Maltese professor by the name of Joseph Mifsud – who purportedly lied three times to investigators – passed along ‘secret information’ to Mr Papadopolous that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Papadopolous then informed a diplomat about the claim, which was then – thanks to the notoriously bad plumbing inside of the nation’s capital – leaked to the media. That single drop of fake news put into motion not only the bogus Steele dossier, complete with a bizarre reference to golden showers in Moscow, but the entire Russiagate hoax.

Jordan demanded to know why Mifsud, who was once photographed alongside Boris Johnson, the newly elected British prime minister, was not dragged in for questioning as were so many Republicans. Mueller’s silence on the matter was deafening.

There were other glorious moments for the Republicans in this made-for-TV reality show. Rep. Mike Turner, for example, resorted to props as he argued over a single word that appeared at the end of the Mueller Report: “exonerate.” The termwas found in the very last sentence of the report: “Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.That controversial statement has attracted much ire from the Republican camp, not to mention Trump himself.

Turner, with law books piled high on his pulpit, together with a copy of the US Constitution, lectured Mueller that neither he nor the attorney general has any power to exonerate the president of the United States, since ‘exonerate’ is not a legally binding term. The inclusion of that word, Turner argued, “colored the report,” thereby allowing US news channels to run with the ‘breaking news’ that “Trump was not exonerated.It was a very clever way of demonstrating how the mainstream media can frame a story according to its political bias, which is known to lean heavily liberal and Democrat.

Devin Nunes, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, echoed those sentiments when he said “the Russia investigation was never about finding the truth. It’s always been a simple media operation… this operation continues in this room today.”

The Democrats, meanwhile, were also fixated with words, first and foremost ‘obstruction.’ Since they failed to nail Trump to the cross of collusion, their next best approach was to accuse him of preventing Mueller from carrying out his assigned duties, which is a federal offense.

When asked by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler if “the report did not conclude that [the president] did not commit obstruction of justice,” Mueller responded: “That is correct.”

It was obvious to everyone watching where Nadler’s line of inquiry was leading, and that was to the explosive I-word: impeachment. Yet no amount of coaxing and fawning by the Democrats could get Mueller to spit out the one word that has been the wet dream material of every liberal voter since the debacle of the 2016 presidential election. So now the Democrats, if they decide to press forward with impeachment proceedings, will have to do so without the solemn consent of Robert Mueller, a veteran Washington insider with considerable standing and influence in the swamp. That makes the idea of impeaching Trump downright risky to the point that it has reportedly unhinged the Democrats down the middle.

According to Politico, Nadler suggested that several House committee chairs could start “drafting articles of impeachment against Trump.” Speaker Nancy Pelosi, meanwhile, called the idea “premature, according to anonymous sources.

So now the Democrats find themselves in a very precarious situation as the United States prepares to enter what promises to be one of the most momentous, not to mention tempestuous, presidential election seasons of all time. If they proceed with impeachment proceedings against Trump, they risk alienating a large segment of their constituents, many of whom are suffering ‘probe fatigue’ and are anxious to turn the page.

At the same time, however, many high-ranking Democrats may feel they have no choice but to make a major effort to dislodge Trump from the Oval Office due to one nagging consideration: Attorney General William Barr is actively investigating the many players involved in the ‘Russiagate’ saga and what he may unearth – specifically as to who was responsible for launching the greatest conspiracy theory of modern times – has certainly got a lot of Democrats extremely concerned. 

If Barr discovers that there was no legal basis for spying on the Trump campaign, some very influential people may find themselves – like Roger Stone – the target of early morning FBI raids at the behest of a Republican inquest.  

What this means is that the Democrats, by pushing for the impeachment of Trump, are in reality engaging in their own form of obstruction of justice, and that is justice over their own possible crimes.

In other words, fasten your seat-belts and start the popcorn because ‘Russiagate’ is not over; in fact, it has only just begun.

Published:7/25/2019 2:16:07 PM
[Opinion] Mueller Testified Before Two Committees Today – It Was Just the Circus You Expected

By Jim Clayton -

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller testified before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees on Russian Collusion in the last election and involvement in the Trump campaign on Wednesday, July 24th. Heading the Judiciary Committee was rep. Gerald Nadler who has been a constant critic of Trump and led off with ...

Mueller Testified Before Two Committees Today – It Was Just the Circus You Expected 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:7/24/2019 7:00:59 PM
[] Mueller Panel 2 Round 2;When Mueller Is Asked Directly If His Office Leaked the Timing of the FBI Black-Ops Raid on Roger Stone, Mueller Answers "I can't speak to that" Can't or won't? Two friends note: While saying "I can't speak to that," Mueller also denied the leak of a document exclusively possessed by his office came from his office, and also that the FBI is refusing to hand over... Published:7/24/2019 1:29:26 PM
[Uncategorized] ‘Convenient’: Robert Mueller says he won’t answer questions on the Steele dossier or the beginning of the FBI investigation

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller just finished his opening statement and stated that he will not be answering any questions on the Steele dossier or the beginning of the FBI investigation: Mueller makes clear he has no plans to discuss the origin of the FBI investigation before his appointment or the Steele dossier, despite GOP […]

The post ‘Convenient’: Robert Mueller says he won’t answer questions on the Steele dossier or the beginning of the FBI investigation appeared first on twitchy.com.

Published:7/24/2019 8:24:06 AM
[Markets] Watch Live: Robert Mueller Testifies Before Congress

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller is testifying before two Congressional committees today, offering his first public testimony since submitting his 448-page report on the 2016 US election. Testimony is scheduled to begin in the House Judiciary Committee at 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., followed by the smaller House Intelligence Committee from noon to 2 p.m. 

Watch live:

Mueller is expected follow guidance from the Justice Department and stick to the 'four corners' of his report, and he has made clear that he won't answer hypothetical questions. That said, as a private citizen there is nothing stopping Mueller from answering questions outside the report. 

What to watch for

House Democrats - looking for anything they can use to launch an impeachment, will undoubtedly focus on having Mueller refute President Trump's oft-repeated "no collusion, no obstruction" claim. While the Mueller report did not find evidence of collusion, he left the question of obstruction to Attorney General William Barr and former Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein - who found no collusion. 

The Mueller report contains at least 10 alleged acts by Trump that could constitute obstruction of his investigation, which Democrats will likely push for him to elaborate on. 

Mueller may provide fresh momentum for congressional Democrats to open proceedings to impeach the president. Impeachment is an option that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has resisted so far because of her belief it would prove futile, and politically damaging to her party, unless dramatic new evidence emerges that would lead to Trump’s removal from office by the Republican-controlled Senate. -Bloomberg

Republicans, meanwhile, will likely focus on the origins of the Russia investigation - as well as the anti-Trump text messages exchanged between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who were key investigators of both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. GOP House members will also likely ask about the so-called Steele dossier which contains salacious and unverified allegations about President Trump and his aides. 

Published:7/24/2019 7:32:23 AM
[8c6e764f-554b-5e1f-a4e7-9387f317eca6] Solomon Wisenberg: Mueller should be asked these 25 questions when he testifies Republican have the right to seek answers from Mueller to disturbing questions about how the FBI probe of alleged Trump-Russia collusion was launched and enabled. Here are 25 questions they should ask. Published:7/23/2019 11:52:48 PM
[Markets] MH17 Evidence-Tampering Exposed: Cover-Ups, Hiding Records, Witness Misreporting, & FBI Seizures

Authored by John Helmer,

A new documentary from Max van der Werff, the leading independent investigator of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 disaster, has revealed breakthrough evidence of tampering and forging of prosecution materials;  suppression of Ukrainian Air Force radar tapes;  and lying by the Dutch, Ukrainian, US and Australian governments. An attempt by agents of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to take possession of the black boxes of the downed aircraft is also revealed by a Malaysian National Security Council official for the first time.

The sources of the breakthrough are Malaysian - Prime Minister of Malaysia Mohamad Mahathir; Colonel Mohamad Sakri, the officer in charge of the MH17 investigation for the Prime Minister’s Department and Malaysia’s National Security Council following the crash on July 17, 2014; and a forensic analysis by Malaysia’s OG IT Forensic Services of Ukrainian Secret Service (SBU) telephone tapes which Dutch prosecutors have announced as genuine.

The 298 casualties of MH17 included 192 Dutch; 44 Malaysians; 27 Australians; 15 Indonesians.  The nationality counts vary because the airline manifest does not identify dual nationals of Australia, the UK, and the US. 

The new film throws the full weight of the Malaysian Government, one of the five members of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), against the published findings and the recent indictment of Russian suspects reported by the Dutch officials in charge of the JIT; in addition to Malaysia and The Netherlands, the members of the JIT are Australia, Ukraine and Belgium. Malaysia’s exclusion from the JIT at the outset, and Belgium’s inclusion (4 Belgian nationals were listed on the MH17 passenger manifest), have never been explained. 

The film reveals the Malaysian Government’s evidence for judging the JIT’s witness testimony, photographs, video clips, and telephone tapes to have been manipulated by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), and to be inadmissible in a criminal prosecution in a Malaysian or other national or international court.

For the first time also, the Malaysian Government reveals how it got in the way of attempts the US was organizing during the first week after the crash to launch a NATO military attack on eastern Ukraine. The cover story for that was to rescue the plane, passenger bodies, and evidence of what had caused the crash. In fact, the operation was aimed at defeating the separatist  movements in the Donbass, and to move against Russian-held Crimea.

The new film reveals that a secret Malaysian military operation took custody of the MH17 black boxes on July 22, preventing the US and Ukraine from seizing them.  The Malaysian operation, revealed in the film by the Malaysian Army colonel who led it, eliminated the evidence for the camouflage story, reinforcing the German Government’s opposition to the armed attack, and forcing the Dutch to call off the invasion on July 27.  

The 28-minute documentary by Max van der Werff and Yana Yerlashova has just been released. Yerlashova was the film director and co-producer with van der Werff and Ahmed Rifazal. Vitaly Biryaukov directed the photography. Watch it in full here

The full interview with Prime Minister Mahathir was released in advance; it can be viewed and read here

Mahathir reveals why the US, Dutch and Australian governments attempted to exclude Malaysia from membership of the JIT in the first months of the investigation. During that period, US, Dutch, Australian and NATO officials initiated a plan for 9,000 troops to enter eastern Ukraine, ostensibly to secure the crash scene, the aircraft and passenger remains, and in response to the alleged Russian role in the destruction of MH17 on July 17; for details of that scheme, read this.  

Although German opposition to military intervention forced its cancellation, the Australians sent a 200-man special forces unit to The Netherlands and then Kiev. The European Union and the US followed with economic sanctions against Russia on July 29.

Malaysian resistance to the US attempts to blame Moscow for the aircraft shoot-down was made clear in the first hours after the incident to then-President Barack Obama by Malaysia’s Prime Minister at the time, Najib Razak. That story can be followed here and here

In an unusual decision to speak in the new documentary, Najib’s successor Prime Minister Mahathir announced:

They never allowed us to be involved from the very beginning.  This is unfair and unusual. So we can see they are not really looking at the causes of the crash and who was responsible. But already they have decided it must be Russia. So we cannot accept that kind of attitude. We are interested in the rule of law, in justice for everyone irrespective of who is involved. We have to know who actually fired the missile, and only then can we accept the report as the complete truth.”

On July 18, in the first Malaysian Government press conference after the shoot-down, Najib (right) announced agreements he had already reached by telephone with Obama and Petro Poroshenko, the Ukrainian President.

‘Obama and I agreed that the investigation will not be hidden and the international teams have to be given access to the crash scene.’ [Najib] said the Ukrainian president ?has pledged that there would be a full, thorough and independent investigation and Malaysian officials would be invited to take part. ‘He also confirmed that his government will negotiate with rebels in the east of the country in order to establish a humanitarian corridor to the crash site,’ said Najib. He also said that no one should remove any debris or the black box from the scene. The Government of Malaysia is dispatching a special flight to Kiev, carrying a Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team, as well as a medical team. But we must – and we will – find out precisely what happened to this flight. No stone can be left unturned.”

The new film reveals in an interview with Colonel Mohamad Sakri, the head of the Malaysian team, what happened next.  Sakri’s evidence, filmed in his office at Putrajaya, is the first to be reported by the press outside Malaysia in five years. A year ago, Sakri gave a partial account of his mission to a Malaysian newspaper

Source: https://www.youtube.com/

“I talked to my prime minister [Najib],” Colonel Sakri says. “He directed me to go to the crash site immediately.” At the time Sakri was a senior security official at the Disaster Management Division of the Prime Minister’s Department. Sakri says that after arriving in Kiev, Poroshenko’s officials blocked the Malaysians. “We were not allowed to go there…so I took a small team to leave Kiev going to Donetsk secretly.” There Sakri toured the crash site, and met with officials of the Donetsk separatist administration headed by Alexander Borodai

With eleven men, including two medical specialists, a signalman, and Malaysian Army commandos, Sakri had raced to the site ahead of an armed convoy of Australian, Dutch and Ukrainian government men. The latter were blocked by Donetsk separatist units. The Australian state press agency ABC reported   their military convoy, prodded from Kiev by the appearance of Australian and Dutch foreign ministers Julie Bishop and Frans Timmermans, had been forced to abandon their mission. That was after Colonel Sakri had taken custody of the MH17 black boxes in a handover ceremony filmed at Borodai’s office in Donetsk on July 22.

US sources told the Wall Street Journal  at the time “the [Sakri] mission’s success delivered a political victory for Mr. Najib’s government… it also handed a gift to the rebels in the form of an accord, signed by the top Malaysian official present in Donetsk, calling the crash site ‘the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic.’…That recognition could antagonize Kiev and Washington, which have striven not to give any credibility to the rebels, whose main leaders are Russian citizens with few ties to the area. State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a briefing Monday that the negotiation ‘in no way legitimizes’ separatists.”

The Australian state radio then reported the Ukrainian government as claiming the black box evidence showed “the reason for the destruction and crash of the plane was massive explosive decompression arising from multiple shrapnel perforations from a rocket explosion.” This was a fabrication – the evidence of the black boxes, the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder, first reported six weeks later in September by the Dutch Safety Board, showed nothing of the kind; read what their evidence revealed

Foreign Minister Bishop,  in Kiev on July 24, claimed she was negotiating with the Ukrainians for the Australian team in the country to carry arms. “I don’t envisage that we will ever resort to [arms],” she told her state news agency, “but it is a contingency planning, and you would be reckless not to include it in this kind of agreement. But I stress our mission is unarmed because it is [a] humanitarian mission.”

In Kiev on July 24, 2014, left to right: Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop; Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin. Source: https://www.alamy.com/ The NATO intervention plan was still under discussion, but the black boxes were already under Malaysian control.

By the time she spoke to her state radio, Bishop was concealing that the plan for armed intervention, including 3,000 Australian troops, had been called off.  She was also concealing that the black boxes were already in Colonel Sakri’s possession.  

The document signed by Sakri for the handover of the black boxes is visible in the new documentary. Sakri signed himself and added the stamp of the National Security Council of Malaysia.


Col. Sakri says on film the Donetsk leaders expressed surprise at the delay of the Malaysians in arriving at the crash site to recover the black boxes. “Why are you so late”, [Borodai] said…I think [that was] very funny.”

Source:  https://www.youtube.com/Min. 05:47.

Sakri goes on to say he was asked by the OSCE’s special monitoring mission for Ukraine to hand over the black boxes; he refused. He was then met by agents of the FBI (Min 6:56). “They approached me to show them the black box. I said no.” He also reports that in Kiev the Ukrainian Government tried “forcing me to leave the black boxes with them. We said no. We cannot. We cannot allow.”


The handover ceremony in Donetsk, July 22, 2014: on far left, the two black boxes from MH17; in the centre, shaking hands, Alexander Borodai and Mohamad Sakri.

Permission for Colonel Sakri to speak to the press has been authorized by his superiors at the prime ministry in Putrajaya, and his disclosures agreed with them in advance.  

Subsequent releases from the Kiev government to substantiate the allegation of Russian involvement in the shoot-down have included telephone tape recordings. These were presented last month by the JIT as their evidence for indictment of four Russians; for details, read this.

Van der Werff and Yerlashova contracted with OG IT Forensic Services,  a Malaysian firm specializing in forensic analysis of audio, video and digital materials for court proceedings, to examine the telephone tapes.  The Kuala Lumpur firm has been endorsed by the Malaysian Bar.  The full 143-page technical report can be read here

The findings reported by Akash Rosen and illustrated on camera are that the telephone recordings have been cut, edited and fabricated. The source of the tapes, according to the JIT press conference on June 19 by Dutch police officer Paulissen, head of the National Criminal Investigation Service of The Netherlands, was the Ukrainian SBU. Similar findings of tape fabrication and evidence tampering are reported on camera in the van der Werff film by a German analyst, Norman Ritter.


Left: Dutch police chief Paulissen grins as he acknowledged during the June 19, 2019, press conference of JIT that the telephone tape evidence on which the charges against the four accused Russians came from the Ukrainian SBU.   Minute 16:02 Right: Norman Ritter presented his analysis to interviewer Billy Sixt to show the telephone tape evidence has been forged in nine separate “manipulations”.  One of the four accused by the JIT last month, Sergei Dubinsky, testifies from Min. 17 of the documentary. He says his men recovered the black boxes from the crash site and delivered them to Borodai at 2300 hours on July 17; the destruction of the aircraft occurred at 1320. Dubinsky testifies that he had no orders for and took no part in the shoot-down. As for the telephone tape-recording evidence against him, Dubinsky says the calls were made days before July 17, and edited by the SBU. “I dare them to publish the uncut conversations, and then you will get a real picture of what was discussed.” (Min. 17:59).  

Van der Werff and Yerlashova filmed at the crash site in eastern Ukraine. Several local witnesses were interviewed, including a man named Alexander from Torez town, and Valentina Kovalenko, a woman from the farming village of Red October. The man said the missile equipment alleged by the JIT to have been transported from across the Russian border on July 17 was in Torez at least one, possibly two days before the shoot-down on July 17; he did not confirm details the JIT has identified as a Buk system.

Kovalenko, first portrayed in a BBC documentary three years ago (starting at Min.26:50) as a “unique” eye-witness to the missile launch, clarifies more precisely than the BBC reported where the missile she saw had been fired from.


BBC documentary, “The Conspiracy Files. Who Shot Down MH17” -- Min. 27:00. The BBC broadcast its claims over three episodes in April-May 2016. For a published summary, read this

This was not the location identified in press statements by JIT. Van der Werff explains: “we specifically asked [Kovalenko] to point exactly in the direction the missile came from. I then asked twice if maybe it was from the direction of the JIT launch site. She did not see a launch nor a plume from there. Notice the JIT ‘launch site’ is less than two kilometres from her house and garden. The BBC omitted this crucial part of her testimony.”

According to Kovalenko in the new documentary, at the firing location she has now identified precisely, “at that moment the Ukrainian Army were there.”

Kovalenko also remembers that on the days preceding the July 17 missile firing she witnessed,  there had been Ukrainian military aircraft operating in the sky above her village. She says they used evasion techniques including flying in the shadow of civilian aircraft she also saw at the same time.

On July 17, three other villagers told van der Werff they had seen a Ukrainian military jet in the vicinity and at the time of the MH17 crash.

Concluding the documentary, van der Werff and Yerlashova present an earlier interview filmed in Donetsk by independent Dutch journalist Stefan Beck, whom JIT officials had tried to warn off visiting the area. Beck interviewed Yevgeny Volkov, who was an air controller for the Ukrainian Air Force in July 2014. Volkov was asked to comment on Ukrainian Government statements, endorsed by the Dutch Safety Board report into the crash and in subsequent reports by the JIT, that there were no radar records of the airspace at the time of the shoot-down because Ukrainian military radars were not operational.

Volkov explained that on July 17 there were three radar units at Chuguev on “full alert” because “fighter jets were taking off from there;” Chuguev is 200 kilometres northwest of the crash site.  He disputed that the repairs to one unit meant none of the three was operating. Ukrainian radar records of the location and time of the MH17 attack were made and kept, Volkov said. “There [they] have it. In Ukraine they have it.”

Last month, at the JIT press conference in The Netherlands on June 19, the Malaysian representative present,  Mohammed Hanafiah Bin Al Zakaria,  one of three Solicitors-General of the Malaysian Attorney General’s ministry,  refused to endorse for the Malaysian Governnment the JIT evidence or its charges against Russia. “Malaysia would like to reiterate our commitment to the JIT seeking justice for the victims,” Zakaria said.  “The objective of the JIT is to complete the investigations and gathering of evidence of all witnesses for the purpose of prosecuting the wrongdoers and Malaysia stands by the rule of law and the due process.” [Question: do you support the conclusions?] “Part of the conclusions [inaudible] – do not change our positions.”

Published:7/23/2019 10:22:07 PM
[Markets] These Questions For Mueller Show Why Russiagate Was Never The Answer

Authored by Aaron Maté via TheNation.com,

The former special counsel still has a lot he can clarify...

“For two years, Democrats have waited on Robert Mueller to deliver a death blow to the Trump presidency,” The New York Times observed on July 20.

“On Wednesday, in back-to-back hearings with the former special counsel, that wish could face its final make-or-break moment.”

The very fact that Democrats had to subpoena Mueller in order to create this final moment should in fact be the final reminder of what a mistake it was for Democrats to have waited on him. If Mueller had incriminating information yet to share, or had been stymied from doing his work, or if Attorney General William Barr had somehow misrepresented his findings, then it stands to reason that Mueller would be welcoming the opportunity to appear before Congress, not resisting it. The reality is that Mueller’s investigation did not indict a single person for collusion with Russia, or even for anything related to the 2016 election. Mueller’s report found no evidence of a Trump-Russia conspiracy, and even undermined the case for it.

That said, there are unresolved matters that Mueller’s testimony could help clarify. Mueller claimed to have established that the Russian government conducted “a sweeping and systematic” interference campaign in order to elect Trump, yet the contents of his report don’t support that allegation. The Mueller report repeatedly excludes countervailing information in order to suggest, misleadingly, that the Trump campaign had suspect “links” and “ties” to people connected with Russia. And Mueller and other intelligence officials involved in the Russia probe made questionable investigative decisions that are worthy of scrutiny. To address these issues, here are some questions that Mueller could be asked.

I should note that missing from my list is anything related to obstruction. This topic will surely dominate Democrats’ line of questioning, but I view it as secondary and more appropriate for a law school seminar. The core issue of the Mueller investigation is alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign’s potential coordination with it. The obstruction issue only began to dominate after it was clear that Mueller had found no such conspiracy. Although the report does show examples of Trump’s stated intent to impede the Mueller investigation, the probe itself was unhindered.

There is also the fact that Mueller himself declined to make a call on obstruction, and even presented arguments that could be used to refute it. The obstruction section of the report notes that Trump was not “involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference.” Although not dispositive, Mueller says that “the absence of that evidence affects the analysis of the President’s intent and requires consideration of other possible motives for his conduct.” In a joint statement with Barr, Mueller also made clear that “he was not saying that, but for the [Office of Legal Counsel] opinion, he would have found the President obstructed justice.” Accordingly, I see no reason why Congressional Democrats are so confident that Mueller found otherwise.

1. Why did you suggest that juvenile clickbait from a Russian troll farm was part of a “sweeping and systematic” Russian government interference effort?

The Mueller report begins by declaring that “[t]he Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.” A few paragraphs later, Mueller tells us that Russian interference occurred “principally through two operations.” The first of these operations was “a social media campaign that favored presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaged presidential candidate Hillary Clinton,” carried out by a Russian troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency (IRA).

The inference here is that the IRA was a part of the Russian government’s “sweeping and systematic” interference campaign. Yet Mueller’s team has been forced to admit in court that this was a false insinuation. Earlier this month, a federal judge rebuked Mueller and the Justice Department for having “improperly suggested a link” between IRA and the Kremlin. U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich noted that Mueller’s February 2018 indictment of the IRA “does not link the [IRA] to the Russian government” and alleges “only private conduct by private actors.” Jonathan Kravis, a senior prosecutor on the Mueller team, acknowledged that this is the case. “[T]he report itself does not state anywhere that the Russian government was behind the Internet Research Agency activity,” Kravis told the court.

Kravis is correct. The Mueller report did not state that the Kremlin was behind the social media campaign; it only disingenuously suggested it. Mueller also goes to great lengths to paint it as a sophisticated operation that “had the ability to reach millions of U.S. persons.” Yet, as we already know, most of the Russian social media content was juvenile clickbait that had nothing to do with the election (only 7 percent of IRA’s Facebook posts mentioned either Trump or Clinton). There is also no evidence that the political content reached a mass audience, and to the extent it reached anyone, most of it occurred after the election.

2. Are you still convinced that the GRU stole Democratic Party emails and transferred them to Wikileaks?

Between the initial July 2018 indictment of 12 GRU officers for the DNC email theft and Mueller’s March 2019 report, some wiggle room appears. As I wrote this month for RealClearInvestigations, Mueller’s report uses qualified, vague language to describe the alleged GRU theft of Democratic Party emails, offers an implausible timeline for when Wikileaks may havereceived the emails from the GRU, and acknowledges that Mueller has not actually established how WikiLeaks acquired the stolen information.

3. Why didn’t you interview Julian Assange?

The uncertainty in Mueller’s account of how WikiLeaks received the stolen emails could possibly have been cleared up had Mueller attempted to interview Julian Assange. The WikiLeaks founder insists that the Russian government was not his source, and has repeatedly offered to speak to US investigators. Given that Assange received and published the stolen emails at the heart of Mueller’s investigation, his absence from Mueller’s voluminous witness sheet is a glaring omission.

4. Why did you imply that key figures were Russian agents, and leave out countervailing information, including their (more) extensive Western ties?

In the report, Mueller goes to great lengths to insinuate—without directly asserting—that two key figures in the Trump-Russia affair, Konstanin Kilimnik and Joseph Mifsud, acted as Kremlin agents or intermediaries. In the process, he omits or minimizes extensive evidence that casts doubt on their supposed Russia connections or makes clear their far more extensive Western ties. Mueller ignores the fact that the State Department described Kilimnik as a “sensitive source” who was regularly supplying inside information on Ukrainian politics. And Mueller emphasizes that Mifsud “had connections to Russia” and “maintained various Russian contacts,” but doesn’t ever mention that he has deep connections in Western intelligence and diplomatic circles.

Stephan Roh, a Swiss lawyer who has previously represented Mifsud, has maintained that Mifsud “is not a Russian spy but a Western intelligence co-operator.” Whatever the case, it is puzzling that Mueller emphasized Mifsud’s “connections to Russia” but ignored his connections to governments in the West. It’s also baffling that none of this was clarified when the FBI interviewed Mifsud in February 2017—which raises a whole new question for Mueller.

5. Why did you indict several Trump officials for perjury, but not Joseph Mifsud?

Adding to the puzzle surrounding Mifsud is Mueller’s revelation that Mifsud made false statements to FBI investigators when they interviewed him in February 2017. (Mifsud was in Washington, DC, for a conference sponsored by the State Department, yet one more Western “connection” that has gone overlooked). If Mifsud really was a Russian agent, then it was always a mystery why he was not arrested then, nor indicted since. And given that Mueller indicted others for lying to the FBI—foremost George Papadopoulos and Michael Flynn—it is unclear why Mifsud was not.

6. Why did you omit the fact that Rob Goldstone’s offer to Donald Jr.—”official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia” as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump”—was “publicist puff” (in other words, a lie)?

Mueller devotes a 13-page section to the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, where Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort met with Russian nationals after Trump Jr. was promised “official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia.” Mueller says that “the meeting showed that the Campaign anticipated receiving information from Russia that could assist candidate Trump’s electoral prospects,” but acknowledges that the Russians present “did not provide such information.”

What Mueller conspicuously does not acknowledge is that the information “that the Campaign anticipated receiving from Russia” was in fact fictional, and not from Russia. The offer came from British music publicist Rob Goldstone, who was tasked with securing the meeting at the request of his Russian pop star client, Emin Agalarov. In an act of what he called “publicist puff,” Goldstone said he about “Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump” that would later be widely described as “the smoking gun” for collusion.

Goldstone told me this week that he was disappointed that Mueller chose to omit that critical part of his testimony. “I told them that I had used my PR, puffed-up flourish in order to get Don Jr.’s attention,” Goldstone said. Mueller’s decision to exclude that, Goldstone added, is a “shame… It would have been opportunity to have closure on that.”

7. Did the Trump campaign receive any Russian government offers of assistance from anyone actually acting on behalf of the Russian government?

The Mueller report obscures the absence of contacts between Trump and Russian government intermediaries with ambiguous, suggestive assertions that the investigation “identified numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign,” or “identified numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign.”

But the cases of Konstantin Kilimnik, Joseph Mifsud, and Rob Goldstone underscore a rather inconvenient fact for proponents of the theory that the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government: There are zero documented cases of Trump officials interacting with actual Kremlin intermediaries making actual offers of assistance. The only Kremlin officials or representatives shown to interact with the Trump camp in any significant way before the election are the Russian ambassador having routine encounters and a Kremlin assistant who declined Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s request for assistance on the failed Trump Tower Moscow project.

8. Were US intelligence officials compromised by Russophobia?

Key US officials behind the Russia investigation have made no secret of their animus towards Russia. “I do always hate the Russians,” Lisa Page, a senior FBI lawyer on the Russia probe, testified to Congress in July 2018. “It is my opinion that with respect to Western ideals and who it is and what it is we stand for as Americans, Russia poses the most dangerous threat to that way of life.” As he opened the FBI’s probe of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russians in July 2016, FBI agent Peter Strzok texted Page: “fuck the cheating motherfucking Russians… Bastards. I hate them… I think they’re probably the worst. Fucking conniving cheating savages.” Speaking to NBC News in May 2017, the former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper explained why US officials saw interactions between the Trump camp and Russian nationals as a cause for alarm: “The Russians,” Clapper said, “almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique. So we were concerned.” In a May interview with Lawfare, former FBI General Counsel Jim Baker, who helped oversee the Russia probe, explained the origins of the investigation as follows: “It was about Russia, period, full stop… When the [George] Papadopoulos information comes across our radar screen, it’s coming across in the sense that we were always looking at Russia… we’ve been thinking about Russia as a threat actor for decades and decades.”

The fixation with Russia was so great that, as The New York Times revealed in January, on top of the FBI’s initial probe in the summer of 2016, the bureau opened a second probe in May of 2017 over whether or not Trump himself was “working on behalf of Russia against American interests.” TheNew York Times story makes no allusion to any evidence underlying the FBI’s concern. Instead, we learn that FBI was “disquieted” by a “constellation of events,” all public:

Mr. Trump had caught the attention of F.B.I. counterintelligence agents when he called on Russia during a campaign news conference in July 2016 to hack into the emails of his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Mr. Trump had refused to criticize Russia on the campaign trail, praising President Vladimir V. Putin. And investigators had watched with alarm as the Republican Party softened its convention platform on the Ukraine crisis in a way that seemed to benefit Russia.

This account is remarkable not just because it shows that the FBI opened up an extraordinary investigation of the president of the United States as agent of Russia based on their interpretation of public events. It also shows that their interpretation of those public events involved several errors—Trump’s July 2016 comment was a joke, and the story about the GOP platform change was overblown (and later undermined in practice when Trump sold the weapons to Ukraine, a move President Obama had opposed).

The fact that so many key officials carry such xenophobic animus toward Russia - to the point where they felt compelled to act on erroneous interpretations of public events - raised legitimate questions about whether their personal biases influenced their professional decisions.

The same could be asked about the influential media and political voices who, despite the absent evidence and sheer absurdity of their conspiracy theory, elevated Russiagate as the dominant political issue of the Trump presidency. Whatever questions they may have left for Mueller, the now former special counsel and savior figure has made clear that he is not the answer.

Published:7/23/2019 8:51:10 PM
[Politics] Ted cruz sends letter to AG Barr, FBI Director, urging them to investigate Antifa – [FULL LETTER] Ted Cruz today wrote a letter to the Justice Department and the FBI urging them to investigate the left-wing anarchist terrorist organization, otherwise known as Antifa, for RICO violations: Today I penned . . . Published:7/23/2019 6:23:04 PM
[Politics] Ted cruz sends letter to AG Barr, FBI Director, urging them to investigate Antifa – [FULL LETTER] Ted Cruz today wrote a letter to the Justice Department and the FBI urging them to investigate the left-wing anarchist terrorist organization, otherwise known as Antifa, for RICO violations: Today I penned . . . Published:7/23/2019 6:23:04 PM
[Politics] Comey: If Trump Weren't President He Would Be Indicted President Donald Trump would have been indicted on charges of obstruction if he were not president, according to fired FBI Director James Comey. Published:7/23/2019 5:21:24 PM
[Markets] LAPD Spied On And Infiltrated Anti-Trump Protesters

The Los Angeles Police Department spied on anti-Trump protesters and even infiltrated an activist group that was planning anti-Trump protests, according to the Guardian.

An informant working for the LAPD secretly infiltrated a group called "Refuse Fascism" in 2017, recording multiple meetings that the group held. LAPD transcripts that were submitted in a criminal case against activists who blocked a California freeway during an anti-Trump rally were the first admissions that the informant existed.

The undercover officer was equipped with a hidden recording device and attended "Refuse Fascism" gatherings at a local church “in an attempt to elicit information regarding the closure” of the freeway and to express interest in being involved “in any such future activities,” according to the LAPD. 

One of the activists who was monitored and recorded as well as charged with misdemeanors, Miguel Antonio, said he would not let the surveillance stop him from organizing:

 “We’re not scared. We’re not going to back down in the face of repression. You’re in a church, and you’re meeting about organizing a peaceful protest, and you’re running the risk of being charged with conspiracy or these petty crimes.”

Similar incidents have also taken place across the US. In Sacramento, police pursued cases against left-wing activists at a white supremacist rally. In Berkeley, police collaborated with a "violent pro Trump demonstrator" to prosecute a left-wing group. There have also been similar controversies in Washington DC and Oregon.

The LAPD surveillance was "striking", given documented evidence of violence from the far right as well as the far left.

Mike German, a former FBI agent and expert on local extremist groups, said: 

“This case seems to fall into a pattern of police agencies viewing anti-fascist organizing as terrorism, while overlooking the far more deadly and frequent violence perpetrated by white supremacists and other far-right militants.”

The LAPD reportedly didn’t conduct similar spying operations on far right groups.

The LAPD police chief, Michel Moore, reportedly “ordered a top-to-bottom review to determine whether the department’s stringent requirements for the use of confidential informants were followed”.

On September 27, 2017, Antonio was arrested after he shut down a freeway in downtown LA to protest Trump a year after his election. Shortly thereafter, the LAPD had an informant approach Antonio at a meeting.

During an 11 October meeting, the informant approached Antonio and said, “Are we gonna do like any freeway things again…or major things like that?”, according to a transcript of a secret recording.

“I’m not sure,” Antonio responded.

The informant then said he was interested in joining future activities: “I thought the freeway thing was pretty good.”

At one point, the informant caught someone on a recording say: “That’s an awfully hot coffeepot, should I drop it on Donald Trump?”

Damon Alimouri, Antonio’s lawyer, said:

"The LAPD surveillance was unjust and outrageous. [I] suspect this type of spying [is] likely to escalate across the country. The further left that younger people go, we will continue to see law enforcement infiltrating these groups secretly. To a certain extent, it might intimidate some, and I think that’s the intention of the LAPD.”

Frank Wulf, the pastor of the church, said: “The government is interfering with the rights of protest in America,” he said, adding that he worried about a chilling effect: “You never know if the person sitting next to you is a police informant or not.”

Published:7/22/2019 10:20:12 PM
[Markets] FBI Raids LA's Department Of Water & Power, City Hall

Rumors about a federal investigation into Los Angeles city hall have been circulating for months now, and on Monday, the Los Angeles Times reported that the FBI carried out a search of the Department of Water and Power and City Hall.

Power

A spokesman for the FBI confirmed the search.

"There is a search taking place at the DWP building. The affidavit in support of the search warrant is under seal by the court," said Rukelt Dalberis, an FBI spokesman in Los Angeles. Law enforcement sources said the FBI was also at Los Angeles City Hall.

A champagne-colored van was parked outside the DWP headquarters with a placard saying "FBI" and "Official Business."

An FBI van was parked outside City Hall East, which serves as the headquarters for City Atty. Mike Feuer ‘s office and several government agencies.

A spokesman for the City Attorney's Office refused to confirm whether the FBI agents had entered the City Attorney's office.

The mayor's office released a statement saying Eric Garcetti's office welcomed the investigation.

Alex Comisar, a spokesman for Mayor Eric Garcetti, said in a statement: "We were notified earlier this morning that federal search warrants were being executed today. The mayor believes that any criminal wrongdoing should be investigated and prosecuted. His expectation is that any city employee asked to cooperate will do so fully and immediately."

DWP Commissioner Christina Noonan declined to comment, saying she had been advised to refer all questions to a department spokesman.

LADWP spokesman Joe Romallo did not return multiple calls seeking comment.

Federal investigators have cast a wide net for information about foreign investment in Los Angeles real estate developments. Among those named in the warrant were Councilman Jose Huizar, Curren Price, the former head of he Department of Building and Safety and high-level appointees of Garcetti and Council President Herb Wesson.

Recently, the developers of projects in Councilman Jose Huizar's district have received grand jury subpoenas demanding they turn over communications with the councilman and other current and former staffers.

The DWP has been struggling with its own series of scandals, including the fallout from a billing system that sent out wildly inaccurate bills to customers, prompting a flood of lawsuits.

The warrant also named executives of Chinese firms bankrolling new residential and hotel towers on Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles. It doesn't say whether the FBI has gathered evidence of criminal activity.

Published:7/22/2019 9:46:18 PM
[Markets] The Non-Hack That Hurt Hillary - On The 3rd Anniversary Of WikiLeaks Release Of The DNC Emails

Authored by Ray McGovern via ConsortiumNews.com,

Three years ago Monday WikiLeaks published a trove of highly embarrassing emails that had been leaked from inside the Democratic National Committee. As has been the case with every leak revealed by WikiLeaks, the emails were authentic. These particular ones, however, could not have come at a worse time for top Democratic Party officials.

The emails made it unmistakably clear that the DNC had tipped the scales sharply against Democratic insurgent Bernie Sanders, giving him a snowball’s chance in hell for the nomination. The posting of the DNC emails is also widely seen as having harmed the the electoral prospects of Hillary Clinton, who could not escape responsibility completely, while a handful of the very top DNC officials were forced to immediately resign.

Relatively few Americans read the actual emails, their attention diverted to the incessant media-fostered question: Why Did the Russians Hack the DNC to Hurt Hillary? For the millions of once enthusiastic Democrats who favored Sanders, however, the disclosure that the nomination process had been fixed came as a bitter pill, leaving a sour taste in their mouths and a passive-aggressive reluctance to promote the candidacy of one they considered a usurper. Having had a huge stake in Bernie’s candidacy, they had little trouble seeing through the diversion of attention from the content of the emails.

Clinton Prevails

A mere four days after the WikiLeaks release, a well orchestrated Democratic Convention nominated Clinton, while many Sanders supporters loudly objected. Thus, she began her campaign under a cloud, and as more and more Americans learned of the fraud that oozed through the DNC email correspondence — including the rigging of the Democratic primaries — the cloud grew larger and darker.

On June 12, 2016, six weeks before the convention, WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange had announcedin an interview on British TV, “We have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton … We have emails pending publication.”

Independent forensic investigations demonstrated two years ago that the DNC emails were not hacked over the Internet, but had been copied onto an external storage device — probably a thumb drive. Additional work over recent months has yielded more evidence that the intrusion into the DNC computers was a copy, not a hack, and that it took place on May 23 and 25, 2016.

The DNC almost certainly knew what had happened — not only that someone with physical access to DNC computers had copied thousands of emails, but also which ones they had copied, and thus how prejudicial to the Clinton campaign they would be when they saw the light of day.

And so, candidate Clinton, the DNC, and the mainstream media (forever quoting anonymous “current and former intelligence officials”) appear to have colluded, deciding the best defense would be a good offense. No one knew how soon WikiLeaks would publish the emails, but the DNC offense/defense would surely have to be put in place before the convention scheduled to begin on July 25. That meant there were, at most, six weeks to react. But it only took two days. As early as July 24, about 48 hours after the leaks were published, and a day before the convention, the DNC first blamed Russia for hacking their emails and giving them to WikiLeaks to sabotage Clinton.

A Magnificent Diversion

Granted, it was a stretch — and the DNC would have to hire a pliable cybersecurity firm to back up their claim. But they had good reason to believe that CrowdStrike would perform that service. It was the best Clinton campaign manager Robbie Mook and associates could apparently come up with. If they hurried, there would be just enough time to prepare a PR campaign before the convention and, best of all, there was little doubt that the media could be counted on to support the effort full bore.

Clinton: Already blaming the Russians at DNC 2016 convention. (Wikipedia)

When WikiLeaks published the emails on July 22, 2016, just three days before the Democratic convention, the propagandists were ready to deflect attention from the damning content of the DNC emails by repeating incessantly that the Russians hacked the emails and gave them to WikiLeaks to hurt Clinton.

It pretty much worked like a charm. The late Senator John McCain and others were quick to call the Russian “hack” an “an act of war.” Evidence? None. For icing on the cake, then-FBI Director James Comey decided not to seize and inspect the DNC computers. Nor, as we now know, did Comey evenrequire a final report from CrowdStrike.

Eight months after the convention, in remarks at the Clinton/Podesta Center for American Progress on April 6, 2017, Clinton’s PR director, Jennifer Palmieri, could scarcely contain her pride that, after a difficult start, she was ultimately successful in keeping the Russian bear front and center.

Transcribed below (verbatim) are some of Palmieri’s more telling remarks when asked to comment, from her insider perspective, on “what was actually going on in late summer/early fall.”

“…I did appreciate that for the press to absorb … the idea that behind the stage that the Trump campaign was coordinating with Russia to defeat Hillary Clinton was too fantastic for people to, um, for the press to process, to absorb…. But then we go back to Brooklyn and heard from the — mostly our sources were other intelligence, with the press who work in the intelligence sphere, and that’s where we heard things and that’s where we learned about the dossier and the other story lines that were swirling about … And along the way the administration started confirming various pieces of what they were concerned about what Russia was doing. … [Emphasis added.]

“And we did finally get to the point on October 7, when the administration came out with a very stunning [memorandum]. How stunning it was for both the Director of National Intelligence and the Director of Homeland Security to put out a statement – a long statement – that said with high confidence that Russia was interfering in the election and they were also directing the timing of the leaks. And it named the institutions – WikiLeaks, DC Leaks, and Guccifer – as being Russian-led, and how stunning that was to be that certain and that public. … So I do think that the answer for the Democrats now … in both the House and the Senate is to talk about it more and make it more real ….”

And so, the Magnificent Diversion worked as intended.

Recognizing Liminal Time

But not all journalists fell for it.

Patrick Lawrence (once of The Nation, now of Consortium News) was onto the ruse from the start. He says he had “fire in the belly” on the morning of July 25, 2016, the day the Democratic convention began, and that he dashed off an article “in one long, furious exhale” within 12 hours of when the media started really pushing the “the Russians-did-it” narrative. The title of his article, pointed out to me a few months ago by VIPS member Todd Pierce, was “How the DNC fabricated a Russian hacker conspiracy to deflect blame for its email scandal … a disturbing resemblance to Cold War red-baiting.”

Lawrence’s off-the-cuff ruminations, which Salon published the next day are extraordinarily prescient and worth reading in full. He instinctively recognized the email disclosure-cum-media-obfuscation campaign as a liminal event. Here are some excerpts, reprinted here with Lawrence’s permission:

”Now wait a minute, all you upper-case “D” Democrats. A flood light suddenly shines on your party apparatus, revealing its grossly corrupt machinations to fix the primary process and sink the Sanders campaign, and within a day you are on about the evil Russians having hacked into your computers to sabotage our elections … Is this how lowly you rate the intelligence of American voters? …

The Sanders people have long charged that the DNC has had its fingers on the scale … in favor of Hillary Clinton’s nomination. The prints were everywhere … Last Friday WikiLeaks published nearly 20,000 DNC email messages providing abundant proof that Sanders and his staff were right all along. The worst of these, involving senior DNC officers, proposed Nixon-esque smears having to do with everything from ineptitude within the Sanders campaign to Sanders as a Jew in name only and an atheist by conviction. …

The caker came on Sunday, when Robby Mook … appeared on ABC’s “This Week” and … CNN’s “State of the Union” to assert that the D.N.C.’s mail was hacked “by the Russians for the purpose of helping Donald Trump.” He knows this … because “experts” — experts he will never name — have told him so.

the Clinton campaign now goes for a twofer. Watch as it advances the Russians-did-it thesis on the basis of nothing, then shoots the messenger, then associates Trump with its own mess — and, finally, gets to ignore the nature of its transgression (which any paying-attention person must consider grave). Preposterous, readers. Join me, please, in having absolutely none of it. There is no “Russian actor” at the bottom of this swamp, to put my position bluntly. You will never, ever be offered persuasive evidence otherwise. …[Emphasis added.]

Trump, to make this work, must be blamed for his willingness to negotiate with Moscow. This is now among his sins. Got that? Anyone who says he will talk to the Russians has transgressed the American code. … I am developing nitrogen bends … Which way for a breath of air?”

Sad Sequel

A year later Lawrence was commissioned by The Nation to write an investigative report on the so-called “Russian hack.” On August 9, 2017, after he interviewed several Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, among others, The Nation published his findings in an article entitled “A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year’s DNC Hack.” Lawrence wrote, “Former NSA experts, now members of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), say it wasn’t a hack at all, but a leak—an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system.”

Again, Lawrence got it right — this time relying less on his own experience and intuition than on applied science as practiced by real technical experts with no axes to grind. But, sadly, that cut across the grain of the acceptable Russia-gate narrative, and a furor erupted among Hillary followers still licking their wounds over her loss. It proved simply too much for them to entertain the notion that Clinton was quite capable, with help from the likes of Mook, to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory — without any help from Vladimir Putin.

Published:7/22/2019 9:19:35 PM
[Markets] Schiff Says Inspector General's Work 'Tainted' Ahead Of Report On Surveillance Abuses

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) has pivoted from 'deepfake doom' influencing the 2020 election, to downplaying an upcoming watchdog report by the DOJ's Inspector General due sometime in September. 

Speaking at the Aspen Security Conference (where he had a pow-wow with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson last July), Schiff claims that DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz was co-opted into a scheme to protect President Trump by instigating a "fast track" report last year at Trump's behest, according to the Washington Examiner's Daniel Chaitin. 

Schiff claimed the president wanted McCabe, who briefly took over as acting FBI director after Trump fired James Comey in May 2017, investigated and his pension taken away and suggested someone such as former Attorney General Rod Rosenstein obliged the president by making a referral.

"The inspector general fo