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03 April 2017

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The Twisted Genius

The FBI is setting up a special section based at its Washington headquarters to coordinate its investigation of Russian activities to influence the 2016 election. It's expected to start operating next month with 20 or so CI agents. This is going to be a long, slow and methodical process so I suggest we all pace ourselves.

Jack

This is the same Susan Rice who claimed she knew nuttin about any unmasking couple weeks ago on the PBS NewsHour.

http://www.dailywire.com/news/15057/susan-rice-denies-unmasking-flynn-robert-kraychik

Fred

Steve,

No steve, I'm just asking a question. To use your logic Hilary needs to explain why one of her major donors is helping Russian supporters of Putin get rich in America:
http://euromaidanpress.com/2014/09/01/nhl-stars-support-the-war-against-ukraine/#arvlbdata

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dc-sports-bog/wp/2016/10/11/ted-leonsis-explains-why-hes-hosting-a-hillary-clinton-fundraiser/?utm_term=.a2a357a0d25b

Now that's what I call innuendo. Never happen with Trump, it's all fire and no smoke with that guy. If I try a bit harder I can even find my two senators meeting with the owner of the Detroit Red Wings who hired a number of Russians and made them rich. A few are also named in that euromaidanpress article above.

Fred

Babak,

the hope and change utopians think all one needs do is step off the plane at JFK or Heathrow and look at all the civilization laying around. Understand it, create it? There's no need. I think Ortega pointed out the fallacy of that idea in his book "Revolt of the Masses" in the 1930s.

Eric Newhill

Fred,
And our own TTG is a big fan of Ovechkin. Start the investigation! Possible double agent!

Babak Makkinejad

While I generally agree with your comments, I must point out that JFK is in such a state of disrepair and decay that one hope that no one would take it as an exemplary instance of a great airport.

Valissa

I found a link to an article about this http://freebeacon.com/issues/report-fbi-creating-special-unit-coordinate-russia-investigation/
The new team will consist of 20 agents from around the United States and will be led by an FBI counter-intelligence officer. If the group operates in the same manner as similar units in the past daily updates will be given to James Comey, the director of the FBI, and Andrew McCabe, the deputy director, according to the Times.
Andrew McCabe, who helped in the investigation into Clinton's email practices, has come under fire in the past for his wife's ties to Clinton allies.

Jill McCabe, Andrew's wife, unsuccessfully ran for a state senate seat in Virginia. In 2015, McCabe's campaign received $467,500 from Common Good VA, Gov. Terry McAuliffe's political action committee. The Virginia Democratic party provided $207,788 worth of mailers to McCabe's campaign, the Wall Street Journal reported.

... The Washington Examiner reported Sunday that Sen. Charles Grassley (R., Iowa), the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, recently sent a letter to FBI Director James Comey on the FBI's previous plan to pay the author of an unsubstantiated Trump dossier. Grassley's letter focused heavily on McCabe.

Clinton campaign supporters had paid a former British spy, Christopher Steele, to investigate Trump, the Washington Post reported. "A few weeks before the election," the FBI said they would pay Steele to "continue his work" on Trump. The bureau did not pay Steele.

"The idea that the FBI and associates of the Clinton campaign would pay Mr. Steele to investigate the Republican nominee for president in the run-up to the election raises further questions about the FBI's independence from politics, as well as the Obama administration's use of law enforcement and intelligence agencies for political ends," Grassley wrote in the letter.
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Given that various heads of the IC have already lied to the public, and been obviously willing to play political games throughout both the Bush (WMDs anyone?) and Obama administrations, as well as employees who are Obama supporters being willing to lie to damage Trump, please explain why you think such a report will be credible. Especially if it is full of redactions like the 9/11 report.

The so-called reports that have already come out about so-called Russian influence to assist Trump have all been heavily criticized by most of the right (except for the neocons) and the anti-Hillary left. It has been said about those reports that they could not release info that might reveal how our intelligence agencies are able to detect Russian influence so that's why no proof so far. That's not encouraging for definitive proof being revealed in any future revelations.

Also, you are saying the goal is to prove "influence". That's a vague word so therefore a vague goal. That word will have to be more clearly defined.

Personally I no longer believe anything that is publicly stated by any of the intelligence agencies. That is based on my studies of history as well as current events. This does not mean I'm not willing to consider that a given report may be truthful, just that I've been lied to so much by my gov't (regardless of which party is in power) that I have become very suspicious and skeptical.

John_Frank

On the topic of Iran:

Boeing signs $3 billion deal to sell planes to Iran airline
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2017/04/04/boeing-co-says-signed-new-deal-iranian-airline/100013846/

As to Egypt, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates:

Following a press release issued on Friday, March 24 by the State Department, on Thursday, March 30, the following notice was filed with the Federal Register:

State Department Imposes Sanctions Under Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2017-06225

The sanctions are effective from March 21. 30 foreign entities and individuals in 10 countries were named and sanctioned.

It is worth taking the time to read the entire notice.

Would the list of sanctioned entities and individuals, as well as the home countries involved raise eye brows among the general public, if the information was widely disseminated by the media?

For whatever reason, and even though the initial press release highlighted the sanctions imposed on 12 Chinese entities and individuals, and the spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry subsequently kicked up a fuss about the sanctions imposed on 7 Russian entities on Sunday, March 26, the story has received scant coverage both in the corporate and alternative media. Why?

As to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the notice names "Special Defense Research Center (SDRC) (Egypt) and any successor, sub-unit, or subsidiary thereof;" along with "Mabrooka Trading (United Arab Emirates) and any successor, sub-unit, or subsidiary thereof;" as well as "Madar Yara Medical Company (Saudi Arabia) and any successor, sub-unit, or subsidiary thereof."

Sudan is an ally of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the fight in Yemen. Two entities "Giad Heavy Industries (GHI) (Sudan) and any successor, sub-unit, or subsidiary thereof;" as well as "Military Industries Corporation (MIC) (Sudan) and any successor, sub-unit, or subsidiary thereof;" were sanctioned, along with one individual Muhammad al-Husayn Yusuf (Sudanese individual).

In addition, the "Eritrean Navy (Eritrea) and any successor, sub-unit, or subsidiary thereof" was sanctioned, as well as "Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) (Iran) and any successor, sub-unit, or subsidiary thereof;" along with "Saeng Pil Trading Corporation (SPTC) (North Korea) and any successor, sub-unit, or subsidiary thereof;" as well as "Ministry of Defense Directorate of Defense Industries (DDI) (Burma) and any successor, sub-unit, or subsidiary thereof."

Turning to Russia

On March 31, Secretary of Defense Mattis was in London, UK. The Defense Department published a report on his remarks. Buried in the report is the following:

The United States and Russia no longer have a cooperative engagement, but the U.S. would be interested in engaging with Russia on a political or diplomatic level, Mattis explained.

"Right now, Russia is choosing to be a strategic competitor," Mattis said. "We're finding that we can only have very modest expectations at this point in areas that we can cooperate with Russia, contrary to how we were just 10 years ago [or] five years ago."

Mattis Discusses U.S. Concerns About North Korean, Russian Actions
https://www.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/1137687/mattis-discusses-us-concerns-about-north-korean-russian-actions

Also on March 31, and despite the anti-Russian hysteria in certain circles in Washington, D.C., realclearpolitics.com re-published the following piece by Pat Buchanan:

Is Putin the 'Preeminent Statesman' of Our Times?
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2017/03/31/is_putin_the_preeminent_statesman_of_our_times_133485.html

That article is his summary of a longer opinion piece by Christopher Caldwell of the Weekly Standard, which was published in the March issue of Imprimis:

How to Think About Vladimir Putin
https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/think-vladimir-putin/

Interesting thought piece by Mr. Caldwell which certainly runs contrary to the "wisdom" espoused by Senator John McCain.

Kooshy

I hope one day, preferably a black American ( or as now politicly correct a person of color) can explain to me what exactly Obama' administration did for the blacks of this country that others before him refused to do for the blacks. I would hope it doesn't sum up to zero.

English Outsider


Stephanie,

This is foreign politics for me, so I may well be misunderstanding you, but you seem to be saying that your President was dishonest in his business dealings and that for various reasons - not least that it renders him vulnerable to pressure - this incapacitates him for public office.

I wonder, reading the statements you make about your President that you clearly believe, whether you know what you're caught up in and whether you know where it could be heading.

In England, few mavericks dare put their head above the parapet and run for office since they know that if they do they will be torn to pieces. There's always something, in their private life or in their business dealings, that can be made to look dubious, whether it is or not. The code of omerta that covers "approved" politicians doesn't cover them.

It's particularly a problem since in practice ethics no longer squares with the law. We can no longer say "he hasn't been convicted" and take that as proof of innocence. Since we know or suspect that most politicians are dishonest then, whether he's been before a court or not, we're very ready to believe any assertion that the maverick is dishonest. They all are, so why not him?

Deprived of that protection of omerta that, as I have said, is extended to the "approved" politician the maverick is therefore very unlikely to make headway.

"Approved" by whom? Those already in power, of course, together with the media apparatus that supports those in power. This means that the maverick is excluded and the only politicians we're going to get are those from the status quo. So the only policies we're going to get are those that have already been tried and have failed.

At a time when the status quo is unsatisfactory it's unfortunate if the mavericks are excluded. It means that the system cannot be self-adjusting. In Trump's case it happened that the maverick got elected unforeseen, so the process of exclusion is in full spate after the election rather than before. Comes to much the same thing. Keep out or disable the maverick and the system remains rigid and unaltered.

What can't bend must break. Perhaps the only rule in politics that is fixed. It's a rule that Mrs May in my country seems to be pondering at the moment, and at the very least she has the sense to seem to bend rather than attempting to bulldoze her way through as her predecessor did. But even that minimal instinct for self-preservation seems to be lacking in the US political establishment at present. The present extraordinary political and press campaign against Trump may exclude or incapacitate him - I wouldn't know about that. But if it does, I wouldn't like to be around for the breaking.


Keith Harbaugh

Again, my question was:
"Who, other than the president, has the power to change the rules governing dissemination of NSA-collected information"?

Colonel Lang, do you know who authorizes those rules?
I find it hard to believe that the national security adviser has the power to change those rules.

Let us recall that NSA was created by a presidential order.
I would presume that the rules governing its on-going operations are similarly grounded.

So it seems to me that blaming the rules change on "the Obama administration" is a manifest cover-up of responsibility.

Eric Newhill

TTG,
I'm a little more cynical. I see this your long, slow and methodical process as a political move, as opposed to a real investigation. It means that the Borg gets to hang a cloud over the Trump admin into perpetuity. That is its purpose. It's very destructive.

Meanwhile Rice, who denied knowing anything about requesting unmasking the other day, is now admitting she requested unmasking....but, but...IT WASN'T POLITICAL!

Now they double down with Assad poison gas again. The IC and the Borg are disgracing themselves 24/7.

I don't think you should be proud or pleased with any of this this. The nation is self destructing. For real. The best thing that could happen is that the "investigation" wrap up quickly with a statement that says Russian attempts to influence the election were minimal and no impact and Trump was not involved. Put it to rest and move on to accepting Trump as POTUS and taking care of the needs of the people.

turcopolier

KH

POTUS is the ultimate authority on classification, de-classification and dissemination but he routinely delegates this authority down the chain of authority. Thus a lowly, SES-4 like me ended up with a lot of power in those areas in material I controlled. pl

Valissa

Speaking of Turley (I also appreciate his blog)... he has a great post on this topic today!

“I Know Nothing About This”: Rice Accused Of Ordering Unmasking Of Trump Aides and Then Lying About Her Knowledge [UPDATED]https://jonathanturley.org/2017/04/04/i-know-nothing-about-this-rice-accused-of-ordering-unmasking-of-trump-aides-and-then-lying-about-her-knowledge/
The story emerging suggests the White House learned last month that Rice requested the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports involving Trump staff inadvertently intercepted.  There were reportedly dozens of such requests, suggesting a comprehensive and ongoing effort to unmask aides.  That would constitute a serious privacy abuse and raise troubling questions about the use of intelligence operations for political purposes.

The National Security Council’s senior director for intelligence, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, reportedly discovered Rice’s multiple requests to unmask U.S. persons and raised it with the White House.

... However, just last month, Rice  was asked on the “PBS NewsHour” about reports that Trump transition officials, including Trump himself, were swept up in incidental intelligence collection, Rice said: “I know nothing about this,” adding, “I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that account today.”

That would seem to magnify the importance of the story. Yet, it has received relatively little attention on some networks.  It raises past concerns with media largely ignoring proven lies from Democratic officials.

... Fox News has reported that unmasked names of Trump aides were given to officials at the National Security Council (NSC), the Department of Defense, James Clapper, President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, and John Brennan, Obama’s CIA Director.  However, Clapper has also denied any such knowledge.
------------

More evidence that people in leadership or high level positions are more interested in saying words that help their team in the political battle, than in providing truthful information to citizens that might make them or their team look bad. Therefore there is no basis for the citizenry to believe their pronouncements.

The Twisted Genius

Eric Newhill and Fred,

It's not just Ovi. I'm pretty fond of Kuznetsov and Orlov as well. And to think of all those lacquer boxes from Palekh, Fedoskino, Kholui, and Mstera that I bought from the trunks of Ladas on the back streets of Berlin. God help me if they ever find out I saluted the Russian guards at the Tiergarten Soviet War Memorial.

BTW, have you seen Ovi's reaction to the NHL announcement that they won't let their players play in the 2018 Olympics? He doesn't care what those Mudaks say, he's playing for Russia in 2018. Ted Leonsis, the Caps owner, said he'll support Ovi. Old Ted better watch out himself.

Fred

Tyler,

I thought it was right wing derangement syndrome. Apparently there's a cure for that, take two frog legs and go gigging for more in the morning.

Fred

Babak,

That just proves Ortega's point. That and the DC Metro system, which was really a shining jewel when it first opened.

The Twisted Genius

Eric Newhill,

You're absolutely right in saying this will have a corrosive effect on the Trump administration and the Republic. The investigation isn't political, but it's effect certainly is. It won't look at the effect, if any, that the Russian info op had on the election. Comey made that clear during his House testimony.

You do realize Trump has bought in to the Assad gassed his own people thing. He issued the obligatory statement of outrage against Assad and also blamed Obama for not bombing the shit out of Assad when he had the chance. Tillerson put out a statement condemning Moscow and Tehran along with Damascus. I don't know where this all came from.

Jack

Valissa

"Personally I no longer believe anything that is publicly stated by any of the intelligence agencies."

I am exactly where you are. Been lied to far too many times. And Clapper's and,Alexander's lie under oath on mass surveillance sealed the deal.

You make a very important point, what is the definition of "influenced the election"? While we should definitely try to understand the methods used by the Russians, I love the holier than thou attitude as the pot calls the kettle black.

Ivan

If Susan Rice swings in the wind, there will be a lot of people smiling at the course of natural justice. An all round unpleasant woman.

Sam Peralta

Man, that's some daft response!

Seriously. You believe there were no private discussions prior to, during and after the community organizer was traipsing through the ME & Europe? Yeah, that was to discuss that Dear Leader had sushi for breakfast. Did you notice any meeting schedule of Dear Leader's campaign team published on their website? And what about the meeting schedule of John Podesta & the Borg Queen? One does not need to be a brain surgeon to figure out from the leaked emails that the Borg Queen had many private meetings with Saudi & Qatari sheikhs. Oh! that was to discuss falconry!

You guys are getting sillier by the day.

TonyL

Tyler,

News for you: the people on this forum know full well that the Borgs include both the Right and the Left.

Priam's Crazy Daughter

Another grasping at straws attempt, it seems. This event happened after the election and involved the brother of Betsy De Vos. (Please, everyone, don't even think of associating me with my own brother's beliefs. He's a good guy generally, but has no clue about how to connect to real people.)

Fred

TTG,

I saw that story about the NHL and the Olympics. They must be trying to ruin their image with a bunch of pc nonsense. Good for Ovi and Leonsis. BTW I hope nobody asks why there's a photo of me standing in front of the Eiffel Tower wearing a Datsuyk jersey. Taken by a Russian tourist no less.

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