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19 March 2016

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johnf

Would anyone like to comment on the veracity of these Wikileak releases of Clinton emails on Israeli pressure on her to get her to topple Assad? Where they have been published online there have been claims that they have been forged or altered, but I'm not sure whether these claims are just the usual Borg-flak, or geniune points:

"At the same time, the fall of the House of Assad could well ignite a sectarian war between the Shiites and the majority Sunnis of the region drawing in Iran, which, in the view of Israeli commaders would not be a bad thing for Israel and its Western allies."

https://wikileaks.org/clinton-emails/emailid/12172#efmBbqBf9

"The best way to help Israel deal with Iran's growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad."

https://wikileaks.org/clinton-emails/emailid/18328#efmADMAFf

DC

The details as publicly reported are getting serious. Here's "The Hill"'s view of what might be in store for the Democrats:

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/273626-the-chaos-scenario-for-democrats

I think this is becoming a real possibility, or else The Hill would not be reporting it.

Andy

What's troubling is that this SCI information supposedly got to Clinton's unclassified email via Blumenthal - someone who isn't even a government employee. I have no doubt the FBI will try to get the bottom of how Blumenthal - a journalist, activist, writer and Clinton ally, is getting fed SCI level SIGINT. Someone else had to give it to him.

The same thing with all these classified emails that were basically transferred or transcribed to Clinton's email system - whoever did the transcription is (or should be) in a world of hurt.

Valissa

Naturally professional cartoonists have been having a field day with this... very few "supportive" cartoons (and those are typically are more focused on being anti-Republican)... which does say something about her public credibility.

http://bit.ly/1R5FYzI
http://bit.ly/1XCKeqQ
http://bit.ly/1R7pTrO
http://bit.ly/1R7pUMk

505th PIR

You can paint over rust, but it always finds a way to bubble forth. Even the zen master shape-shifter known as HRC cannot mute this law despite the help she may or may not be getting. It seems sadly, that we live in an age where lawbreaking (HRC and her deliberate mishandling of classified info) can only be exposed by more lawbreaking (leaks). When integrity is absent (in this case, the executive branch), the system breaks and a shadow system is left to police the wrong-doers. The shadow system of course, has no brakes, mandate or compass. It does however, have a real world impact on us all.

Kunuri

Hello all, sorry a bit off topic, but most of you may have heard of the suicide bombing in Istanbul. I live very close to where it happened, and our band performs at a venue on that very street. I was at that very corner Thursday night, where Balo Sokak crosses Istiklal. I am and our little colony of American and British expats are OK, for those who know I follow this site from Istanbul where I live and work. But it was very unsettling, too close for comfort. But we are not afraid or cowed, to a man or woman in out little community here we say bring it on, whoever it is, we will not yield to YOUR twisted vision of the world and reality.

Valissa

PL, according to the article, the wording was the same as in the classified reports. If it was chit-chat wouldn't the language style and working be different?

---------------
Currently serving NSA officials have told me they have no doubt that Mr. Blumenthal’s information came from their reports. “It’s word-for-word, verbatim copying,” one of them explained. “In one case, an entire paragraph was lifted from an NSA report” that was classified Top Secret / Special Intelligence.
------------------

Another question for you, based on a prior article about the Hillary emails...

Are the business dealings described in the excerpt below legal for someone in her position? And if they are legal, how common are they? It appears that there are strong financial incentives entwined in decision about war.

--------------------
Last Friday, the State Department released emails showing that Mr. Blumenthal had reached out to Ms. Clinton on behalf of Jonathan Powell, ex-chief of staff to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Mr. Powell proposed establishing “below the radar” channels between insurgents and governments and making money off of it through an NGO of Mr. Powell’s. Ms. Clinton was receptive to the idea, according to the Daily Caller.

... To cite another striking example, Mr. Blumenthal sent then-Secretary of State Ms. Clinton reports on the political situation in Libya written by a former senior CIA officer, the recently deceased Tyler Drumheller. Those reports, which Mr. Blumenthal emailed to her in 2011 and 2012, apparently were intended to influence American policy toward Libya in a way favorable to a business project with which Mr. Blumenthal and Mr. Drumheller were involved. http://observer.com/2015/11/just-who-is-sidney-blumenthal-the-clintons-closest-advisor/
----------------

Valissa

Kunuri... so glad to hear you and your friends are OK! I looked at a couple of news article to see if anyone has claimed responsibility. Do you think it's ISIL? PKK was mentioned by "Turkish sources" but that may have just been politics.

Valissa

Thanks PL! I remember you having mentioned that the Blumenthal's were hated by the Ziocons so I was curious as to how accurate these Ken Silverstein columns are and what deeper political games might be going on.

But I researched Ken a bit and he does not appear to be a Ziocon or have any obvious ties to Jewish organizations. He appears to be an investigative reporter so not sure what incentive he would have to lie about Sidney Blumenthal https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Silverstein

It is interesting to observe the personal networks of influence of the players at the high level of gov't and the various factions therein duking it out to achieve their ambitions.

johnf

Moon of Alabama reveals more of this under-the-counter dealings with Libya involving again Jonathan Powell.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2016/03/the-islamic-state-is-pretext-to-again-mug-libya.html#more

He quotes from a Times of Malta report on a dodgy court case in Malta over who should post-Ghaddafi control The Libya Investment Authority, worth $65 bn, which was to support libyan social services:

"First, there is the strange situation that [Britain’s Ambassador to Libya, Peter] Millett takes his orders from Britain’s Libya envoy, Jonathan Powell, a contractor to the FCO. Yes, the same Powell who, along with then prime minister Tony Blair, brokered the deal with Muammar Gaddafi to end his dictatorship’s isolation a decade ago - and lead to fat Blair consultancies with that same tyrant after the prime minister left office.

Among other beneficiaries of this new opening up of Gaddafi’s dictatorship was a massive property development contract handed out to a company chaired by none other than Powell’s brother, Lord Charles Powell, which also involved an array of colourful London-based, well-known Arab millionaires. Which makes Powell more of a close relative of an interested party."

"...The Valletta court battle for the public telecommunications company LPTIC highlighted the complicated split and a new tussle is underway for control of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), the Tobruk-appointed office of which is situated in Malta.

For now, the LIA battle is in London but in a bizarre twist the case was last week controversially stopped in mid flow on advice from Britain’s Foreign Office.

The judge making the order, which keeps both existing governments from getting their hands on this $65 billion asset, is none other than William Blair, brother of - you guessed it, Tony.

Never mind that Tony worked with the LIA in the latter Gaddafi years."

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20160316/opinion/UK-s-economy-with-truth.605785

rg

The Observer is owned by Trump's son-in-law, for whatever that's worth. In any event, the two big scenarios, not mutually exclusive, are the one in which the Republicans block Trump and he splits their vote by running independently or with another party; and the other in which Hillary is taken down by the FBI, possibly the DoJ, and possibly through revelations of other kinds. I tend to think that Trump will be denied the Presidency, one way or another, but the Republicans are really stuck, because Trump is probably already in position to divide the "conservative" vote if the party doesn't give him the nomination. And I've long believed that the Clintons are viewed by higher-ups as likely to be uncooperative if they get back into the White House, while Biden would be fine. Kerry would be, too, but Biden is an easier sell at this point. They might need to wait for some more primaries to take place and for Sanders to be further eclipsed before they move against Hillary, if indeed they plan to do so. The idea that Obama will pull out all the stops to help Hillary is way off the mark, in my view. If the plan is to install Biden, Obama will give it all he's got.

David Habakkuk

Valissa,

Jonathan Powell is the brother of Charles Powell, who was private secretary to Thatcher. The two of them, and Charles's son Hugh, appear to have played not insignificant roles in relation to the scandal about the al-Yamamah arms deal between Britain and the Saudis. This is a key 'can of worms' in British politics, which may be very relevant to American politics, which has never been properly explored.

The activities of the Powell brothers may be a non-trivial part of the story of now 'New Labour' were assimilated into the Borg.

(See http://www.powerbase.info/index.php/Charles_Powell .)

The reference to Jonathan Powell's new NGO 'starting work in Syria' in the March 2012 e-mail which Blumenthal forwarded to Hilary Clinton is interesting.

(See https://foia.state.gov/searchapp/DOCUMENTS/HRCEmail_OctWeb/245/DOC_0C05789609/C05789609.pdf .)

Valissa

PL, I have no agenda but the truth. I have no allegiances whatsoever in this matter. That should be obvious to you by now.

One of the reasons I come to SST is to understand how the gov't really works versus all the ideological and idealistic crap out there. I am interested in human nature as a driving force, how human systems work, and how groups protect themselves, fight among themselves, etc (the sociological part of it). I find it all fascinating, in the educational sense. About it all I attempt to practice "detachment."

One of my friends once asked me how I thought the government should work (re: political ideology), and I told her it was a ridiculous question and a waste of my mental time and energy to even think about it. At the risk of being banal... governments are what they are, imperfect human attempts to control and organize the world they live in. They will never be anything else.

Margaret Steinfels

FYI: Today's NYTimes (3/19/16, page A7, metropolitan edition) has a full-page ad, "Hillary Clinton must disavow here anti-Israel advisors." Those advisors are! Sidney Blumenthal and...Max his son, who has written a critical book about Israel. S. Blumenthal's e-mails referenced here open up the ad, but quickly move to Max Blumenthal and his anti-Zionist writings.

The ad was paced by WORLDVALUES.US, Rabbit Shmule Boteach, Exec. Dir.

What is going on here?

turcopolier

Margaret

It is clear. On the one hand there are the federal police and intelligence agencies who are in their professional ranks outraged by her haughty disdain for the law and the national interest in protecting sources, and on the other hand there are the Ziocons who wish to destroy the Blumenthals. pl

Valissa

Yes, it's all very strange Margaret. Many consider Hillary to be a Ziocon. Please note I'm not saying that I do, just observing the label usage. She certainly has always been very loyal to Israel from what I can tell. But I don't expect all Ziocons (or neocons, or whatever) to agree with each other on the details any more than within any other group. There are always factions within groups.

Babak Makkinejad

Lots of foreign tourists in those areas as well - many from Arab countries.

DC

Colonel: what exactly did US SIGINT intercept overseas? Was the private server the equivalent of a public library for spooks? Thanks if you care to clarify.

Babak Makkinejad

Alfred Lilienthal is dead now but he was smeared in his time.

Jack

Sir

Your point highlights that in this era of massive IO one has to be highly skeptical of "news" reports. Who is playing whom is hard to discern.

It would seem that since the Ziocons are after the Blumenthals, that if the allegation in the story that Sidney emailed Hillary a near verbatim NSA report is true, they would be going after him hard.

Margaret Steinfels

"Your point highlights that in this era of massive IO one has to be highly skeptical of "news" reports. Who is playing whom is hard to discern."

Exactly so. As I saw the NYT ad this morning, I had not read this post on Hillary and the NSA. So when I saw the Sid Blumenthal comments here, I wondered if Israeli intelligence might have given him the NSA documents? But why would they? Who is playing whom?

My apologies for the misspellings, especially "Rabbit" for Rabbi. Botech is a show boater, but I didn't mean to demean his calling.

VietnamVet

Colonel,

The Observer article seemed realistic when I read it. I agree with the comments that the ruling establishment is shook-up. Bernie Sanders has to go. Donald Trump could be a traitor to their class. Clinton is acceptable but her balloon could blow up any second allowing them or Ted Cruz to stomp all over their gravy train. Joe Biden is the only acceptable democratic alternative. Paul Ryan would be his perfect opponent. Democracy would be put down.

Today this is all about good old fashion court politics. The anchor of the government doing good for the people has been thrown overboard. Government is run by and for corporations.

Two articles closer to home about water and bees.
http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/michigan/flint-water-crisis/2016/03/15/hearing-epa/81805068/
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/was-a-usda-scientist-muzzled-because-of-his-bee-research/2016/03/02/462720b6-c9fb-11e5-a7b2-5a2f824b02c9_story.html

Not being able to assure safe drinking water or an abundant food supply are sure signs that the Washington DC House of Cards is collapsing.

Kunuri

An Iranian, Babak, among the dead, as well as three Israelis.

Fingerprints of ISIS so far, but we will know soon enough.

So random, I could have been there, makes one to step back for a moment and think. All that we all write and opine here is maybe not just a glass bead game, but actually stuff that happens to have the potential that can affect us all, individually, wherever we happen to live in.

Kunuri

I have my ear out Valissa, just as curious as you are as to who has done it. One clear fact is that Saturday morning before noon is the least busy time of the whole week on that popular street, any other time would have been extremely catastrophic. So, why not go for a big bang and body count? This is a calling card/message event. I don't know from whom and where.

Babak Makkinejad

The dead are: 3 Israelis, one Iranian, and one Kurd (the bomber).

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