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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #500 on: December 14, 2016, 09:02:58 PM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443034/russia-election-hacking-charge-vladimir-putin-influence-american-elections
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ccp
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« Reply #501 on: December 14, 2016, 09:35:38 PM »

http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/intelligence-agencies-refuse-brief/2016/12/14/id/764027/
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« Reply #502 on: December 15, 2016, 09:25:13 AM »

http://weaponsman.com/?p=37499


Cyber: the DNC Hack
   

The DNC maintains a creepily-lighted shrine with their locked Watergate file cabinet and their unsecured, formerly internet-connected server. Not the same thing, genius.

There’s been a lot of noise about the Russians and the DNC hack — mostly, it’s Democrats and the press (but we repeat ourselves) trying to delegitimize the incoming administration, and mostly, it’s been conducted through the F-6 sources of press reports with anonymous sole sources, like the Washington Post report that the Post and its political fellow travelers call “the CIA report,” while actually it’s a sole anonymous source telling the Post what the CIA supposedly said. (The Post, you may remember, used a [probably nonexistent] sole anonymous source, without plausible access to tell the story of “Jessica Lynch, Amazon woman.” The author of that piece, Dana Priest, has never admitted fabricating the story but never produced a source, either, leading to the inescapable conclusion that Priest fabricated the story. She has never been held accountable).

An interesting dynamic happened in 2015. The FBI warned both parties that they were under attack. According to then-RNC head Reince Priebus on Meet The Democratic Press, the RNC then invited the FBI to work with its own geeks to secure the RNC servers, and the Republicans were not hacked.

According to the Times, the Democrats dumped the FBI call to a low-ranking, unskilled contractor — then they left him on his own to handle it. They left their server unsecure. Result, compromise.

    When Special Agent Adrian Hawkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation called the Democratic National Committee in September 2015 to pass along some troubling news about its computer network, he was transferred, naturally, to the help desk.

    His message was brief, if alarming. At least one computer system belonging to the D.N.C. had been compromised by hackers federal investigators had named “the Dukes,” a cyberespionage team linked to the Russian government.

    Yared Tamene, the tech-support contractor at the D.N.C. who fielded the call, was no expert in cyberattacks.

OK, so what did he do, like a good DC Millennial? You got it, he googled, and then resumed slacking off.

    His first moves were to check Google for “the Dukes” and conduct a cursory search of the D.N.C. computer system logs to look for hints of such a cyberintrusion.

No, serious slacking off.

    By his own account, he did not look too hard even after Special Agent Hawkins called back repeatedly over the next several weeks — in part because he wasn’t certain the caller was a real F.B.I. agent and not an impostor.

“Like, how do I, like, know you’re a like real FBI agent, doooood? Thats what I tell girls in bars myself.”  Again, this loser is supposedly their cyber-D contractor. You know how to find out if somebody’s really from FBI? Ask for a meeting at the Field Office. Hey, even if you’re a plush-bottomed cyber Weeble unwilling to leave your Aeron chair, you can ask them to send you something from fbi.gov, and then check the headers to see if the address is forged. (If you don’t know how to forge a header and how to spot a forged header, you have no business within grenade range of a mail server).

From there, the Times story collapses into, mostly, the same unsourced stuff in the Post stories. If these guys make something up and repeat it to each other, they call that “corroboration.” That’s not how intelligence works.

It does come back to the tale of the incompetent Tamene and his incompetent 30-something supervisor, Andrew Brown. Tamene ran some over the counter tools — the DNC was not running an IDS, Intrusion Detection System — and thereafter decided that the FBI guy was a phony, lacking Tamene’s great wealth of knowledge, and wrote a couple of CYA memos, and quit taking calls.

    Mr. Tamene’s initial scan of the D.N.C. system — using his less-than-optimal tools and incomplete targeting information from the F.B.I. — found nothing. So when Special Agent Hawkins called repeatedly in October, leaving voice mail messages for Mr. Tamene, urging him to call back, “I did not return his calls, as I had nothing to report,” Mr. Tamene explained in his memo.

    In November, Special Agent Hawkins called with more ominous news. A D.N.C. computer was “calling home, where home meant Russia,” Mr. Tamene’s memo says, referring to software sending information to Moscow. “SA Hawkins added that the F.B.I. thinks that this calling home behavior could be the result of a state-sponsored attack.”

There are some Democrats quoted by name, generally about the bad feelz that resulted when their misconduct, lying, or biting the hands that fed them got aired in public.

    For the people whose emails were stolen, this new form of political sabotage has left a trail of shock and professional damage. Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress and a key Clinton supporter, recalls walking into the busy Clinton transition offices, humiliated to see her face on television screens as punditsdiscussed a leaked email in which she had called Mrs. Clinton’s instincts “suboptimal.”

    “It was just a sucker punch to the gut every day,” Ms. Tanden said. “It was the worst professional experience of my life.”

Well, you should probably either work for people you can say positive things about, or take care to stifle your impulses to criticize your lords and masters. Because anything put in writing is at the mercy of anyone who finds it. And anything put on an unsecured server — and from Hawkins’s phone call, the DNC knew they were unsecure, and they kept writing the sort of two-faced stuff they’re now angry about seeing in print.

Bear in mind that no fewer than five New York Times reporters were exposed in Wikileaks, coordinating their stories with the DNC or the Clinton campaign; and one non-Times hack, Glenn Thrush of Politico, who repeatedly gave Democrats the chance to shape his reporting, was hired as a Times hack as of this week. That’s what they’re looking for — partisan subservience. They seem to believe they have a right to collude, lie and slant their stories, and the people who exposed them (even if they’re Russians) are the only villains. Had the US lost the Cold War, every one of those would be licking the boots of their masters in the Soviet Ministry of Propaganda. If they didn’t aim higher than boots. (Hell, those who were old enough to be around pre-1991 probably spent the 70s and 80s doing it already).
Update

A British associate of Julian Assange says that it was not a hack, it was two separate insider leaks. Reported at ZeroHedge:

    Update: David Swanson interviewed [Briton Craig] Murray today, and obtained  additional information. Specifically, Murray told Swanson that: (1) there were twoAmerican leakers … one for the emails of the Democratic National Committee and one for the emails of top Clinton aide John Podesta; (2) Murray met one of those leakers; and (3) both leakers are American insiders with the NSA and/or the DNC, with no known connections to Russia.

The US Intelligence services consider Assange to be under Russian control, so it’s anybody’s guess whether Murray’s statement is a Russian smokescreen, or absolute truth, and whether or not the leaker(s) exist. The effort to find them itself has risks — an organization can be rendered ineffective completely by a mole hunt. Where does security consciousness end, and paranoia begin? And don’t even paranoids have real enemies.

For your consideration: Russian cyber operators are laughing their asses off at the USA right now — whether or not they had anything to do with the hack, it’s a win for them.
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« Reply #503 on: December 15, 2016, 09:51:47 AM »

Drain the Intelligence Swamp!
By G. Murphy Donovan

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper appeared on Public Television shortly before the presidential election for an extended interview with Charlie Rose. Mister Rose, like many of his peers these days, swings between hard news at dusk and bimbo chat at dawn. Indeed, Charlie is the very model of a Beltway double-dipper, a celebrity groupie who feeds at public and commercial troughs, PBS and CBS.

On any given day, Rose might be seen giggling with celebrities in the morning and then lofting softballs to political touts in the evening. The Council on Foreign Relations was the venue for the recent Clapper show. “Impartial, non-profit” think tanks are often used to provide the appropriate gravitas to administration spin. The Clapper performance, just before the November election, seemed to be of a piece with several other Intelligence officials who campaigned against Donald Trump.

And the Clapper interview, like many administration dog-and-pony shows, was not about transparency or openness or even information per se. In another day, any public chat with an Intelligence official might have been relegated to the desinformatsiya file. Today, Intelligence officials like Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan play other, and some might say sinister, if not partisan roles.

Whether the subject is Islamism, Vladimir Putin, or fake news; the name of the game at the moment is overtly political. Call it spin control.       

Clapper’s appearance on Public Television was a subtle version of partisan Intelligence spin. Michael Morell, former acting director of CIA and Michael Hayden, former director of NSA have been on the anti-Trump stump since the 2016 campaign began. Recall that Hayden (aka Elmer Fudd) presided over the worst warning failure in American history and that Morell was a principal in the Benghazi fiasco.

Clapper suggests that the world of Intelligence is binary, a world of secrets and mysteries.  Secrets are the knowable unknowns and mysteries are the secrets that might never be known, or at least not until disaster strikes. The Saudi kamikaze air force takes a bow here.

Alas, the “wilderness” of mirrors has other dimensions that Clapper didn’t mention. The third dimension of Intelligence “knowns” is those that are engineered for budget or policy reasons. The Putin bogeyman or the Russian phantasm might be examples.

The fourth dimension of Intelligence is things that are known, yet so toxic that they are minimized, ignored, or dismissed. The Shia and Sunni Islamist threats are the premier examples of fourth dimension threats where books are regularly cooked to a fare-thee-well.

A fifth dimension is public relations, facts or fictions that might be spun to some institutional or regime advantage. Leon Trotsky, and later Goebbels, would have called the “fifth” dimension of Intelligence indoctrination or propaganda. If “fake news” is a problem in America, the US Intelligence Community could be its poster child.

Intelligence is a perennial lamb to the policy lion; indeed the Executive Branch is shepherd to the 16-agency Intelligence flock. The institutional product of Intelligence today is not objective or impartial truth so much as a version of reality helpful to politicians.

Truth in analysis, especially, is an avatar of truth in politics and journalism. Candor is inversely proportionate to the discomfort or pain truth might inflict. Bad news is never good news in politics.

Policy does not relish contradictions, either. If a spook or analyst raises too many problems, he becomes the problem. The tragic case of FBI agent/analyst John O’Neill is instructive. State Department knives made short work of O’Neill (see Barbara Bodine) and any aggressive pursuit of the USS Cole malefactors. Ironically, O’Neill subsequently died at ground zero during the Saudi 9/11 suicide attack.

Yemen is still burning. Libya and Benghazi are just echoes of the Aden Harbor fiasco, humiliations when inept cookie pushers called the shots.

Clapper also failed to tell Charlie Rose that Intelligence is both defense and offense. Collection and analysis are defensive functions. Espionage and propaganda are offensive functions. Of the four, three are immoral if not illegal; if not at home, then somewhere.

Intelligence officers, operational or analytical, are accomplished liars. It’s what they do. It’s what they get paid to do. Jim Clapper, John Brennan, Michael Morell, and Michael Hayden are no exceptions.

And propaganda, in all countries, has domestic and foreign consumers. When Jim Clapper talks to CPB about “speaking truth to power,” truth and power have very narrow definitions. Truth is usually whatever confirms that which a policymaker already believes. Power is a politician with enough juice to give an agent or analyst another line of work.

Some spooks never get to come in from the cold.

Indeed, to understand any public pronouncements from the refractive world of Intelligence, the listener must know a little about the speaker and a lot about what isn’t said.

James Clapper is an example, known to select apostles simply as “JC.” Clapper comes from the nerd cloister in the Intelligence Community. He has a technology and collection background.  Unlike, John Brennan at CIA, Clapper probably cares little about operations, espionage, or analysis. Worldview matters nonetheless.

John Brennan

Small wonder then that the DNI believes that the “cyber” threat ranks number one among Intelligence concerns. Moscow ranks second in the threat pantheon, followed by a litany of what JC likes to call “nefarious characters;” the Chinese, North Koreans, and a host undifferentiated culprits like terrorists, extremists, and criminals. The “environment” is also big on the nefarious list according to Clapper. The DNI is happy to indict the Russians and climate; but words like Islam, Mohammed, Muslim, Islamist, or Islamofascism seldom cross his lips.

To be fair, Intelligence is largely an echo of all things politically correct. Religious cults that chop off heads, abuse women, or molest children in the name of a “great” religion might transcend deplorable. However, when such heinous crimes are admitted in the name of Islam, Mohamed becomes an unmentionable.  It’s a little like discussing Hitler without mentioning Germans or discussing Quisling without mentioning Norwegians.

In any case, if the kinetic threat is to be ignored, it helps to have default or surrogate threats, especially if you’re justifying a deficit DOD budget. Vladimir Putin takes a bow here.

Of all the things that 16 intelligence agencies do, threat analysis is probably the shabbiest product. Indeed, intelligence “analysis” is a deductive, not an inductive process. Analysis seldom begins with a blank slate. The drill begins with existing policy and all the embedded assumptions that politics brings to the table. To be a successful intelligence or national security analyst today, two assumptions are etched in stone.

Russians are bad. Muslims are good.

Simplistic as it sounds, any analysis that contradicts these team Obama bedrock policy maxims today is a dead letter. Putin and the Kremlin are the tar and feathers of modern American politics for both sides of the political aisle. A casual observer only has to look at Russophobic smear tactics in the 2016 presidential campaign to appreciate these phenomena. In contrast, at least five barbaric Muslim small wars proceeded apace during the campaign season with hardly a policy tweet or a ripple above the fold.

Indeed, Clapper endorses “long war” speculations, administration euphemisms for jihad that suggest that terror and Muslim small wars will be a permanent feature of American futures.   

There is some comfort to be had with Jim Clapper compared to Michael Morell, Michael Hayden, and John Brennan. Recall that Brennan was the CIA chef who originally cooked the Islamic books while at the White House.   

Mike Hayden presided over 9/11, the worst Intelligence failure in American history.  He was promoted after the Saudi attack on 9/11. And recall that Morell was the ephemeral CIA director who presided over the Libya/Benghazi fiasco. Brennan now runs CIA. Hayden and Morell are prominent media front-runners for the political left and “Clinton Inc.”

If Intelligence meddling in American elections and politics is a fact, it’s a Washington, not a Moscow fact.

The tone for any administration is set at the top. The president-elect needs to send an unambiguous message to the righteous Right and the radical Left midst the national security elites, the same message that he so successfully communicated to voters. The name of the game is change, especially, one might suggest, for Intelligence and military policy and praxis.

It seems that General Mike Flynn will be on the "A" team, as national security advisor. Flynn is the kind of veteran who could make a difference in the Intelligence, military, and national security arenas.

Mister Trump doesn't need legislation or even a "100 days" to reorient the focus and direction of abysmal foreign/military/Intelligence policy vectors. He just needs to build a new and candid national security crew, a new leadership culture.

Trump supporters should welcome the so-called “bi-partisan” investigation of Kremlin meddling in US elections. In the process, such an inquiry might vet any CIA as well as FSB tampering. Indeed, taxpayers would surely appreciate an airing of all those black operations that underwrite failed regime changes and “humanitarian” intervention fiascos.

Withal, a lynch mob of senators led by extremist wing nuts like John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Chuck Schumer, is hardly impartial. All three were toxic critics of Trump the candidate as they are now hostile to Trump the president-elect.

Regime change and election tampering now seem to be a domestic conspiracies.

If you threw a rock from the Mall in Washington in any direction, that stone couldn’t fly for thirty miles without hitting a liberal bureaucrat. The federal work force is not Trump country. The District of Columbia and Maryland/Virginia bedroom communities voted monolithically for the Clinton left. Beltway apparatchiks, including the Intelligence Community and contractors, are the “crooked” establishment that Trump ran against.

Any inquiry led by Trump haters in the Senate or the IC has little to do with Putin and everything to do with discrediting the “wisdom of crowds,” the 2016 presidential election, the Electoral College, and Donald Trump.

So let the Intelligence Community bloodlettings begin anyway. Truth and sunshine are the best antiseptics, sure to provoke lethal blowback and more than a measure of poetic justice. Trump is a street fighter who relishes a good donnybrook.

The unofficial signal for change on any captain's halyard is a flag with a broom. The message is crystal clear.

All hands on deck for a "clean sweep!"

G. Murphy Donovan was the former Director of Research and Russian (nee Soviet) studies at USAF Intelligence when James Clapper was the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/12/drain_the_intelligence_swamp_.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #504 on: December 16, 2016, 04:02:09 AM »

Yes it is NBC, but worth the reading in order to see what the CIA's play is:


http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/u-s-officials-putin-personally-involved-u-s-election-hack-n696146
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #505 on: December 16, 2016, 04:06:10 AM »

Second post

http://www.wsj.com/amp/articles/republican-national-committee-security-foiled-russian-hackers-1481850043#i-6AE2F0D4-8676-4135-AEF8-16673B99CDA7
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #506 on: December 17, 2016, 06:52:11 PM »

https://www.thenation.com/article/why-are-the-media-taking-the-cias-hacking-claims-at-face-value/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #507 on: January 02, 2017, 01:18:53 PM »

The Fable of Edward Snowden
As he seeks a pardon, the NSA thief has told multiple lies about what he stole and his dealings with Russian intelligence.
0:00 / 0:00
Opinion Journal Video: Investigative Journalist Edward Jay Epstein on why the American spy doesn’t deserve a presidential pardon. Photo: Reuters
By Edward Jay Epstein
Updated Dec. 30, 2016 10:21 p.m. ET
827 COMMENTS

Of all the lies that Edward Snowden has told since his massive theft of secrets from the National Security Agency and his journey to Russia via Hong Kong in 2013, none is more provocative than the claim that he never intended to engage in espionage, and was only a “whistleblower” seeking to expose the overreach of NSA’s information gathering. With the clock ticking on Mr. Snowden’s chance of a pardon, now is a good time to review what we have learned about his real mission.

Mr. Snowden’s theft of America’s most closely guarded communication secrets occurred in May 2013, according to the criminal complaint filed against him by federal prosecutors the following month. At the time Mr. Snowden was a 29-year-old technologist working as an analyst-in-training for the consulting firm of Booz Allen Hamilton at the regional base of the National Security Agency (NSA) in Oahu, Hawaii. On May 20, only some six weeks after his job there began, he failed to show up for work, emailing his supervisor that he was at the hospital being tested for epilepsy.

This excuse was untrue. Mr. Snowden was not even in Hawaii. He was in Hong Kong. He had flown there with a cache of secret data that he had stolen from the NSA.

This was not the only lie Mr. Snowden told. As became clear during my investigation over the past three years, nearly every element of the narrative Mr. Snowden has provided, which reached its final iteration in Oliver Stone’s 2016 movie, “Snowden,” is demonstrably false.

This narrative began soon after Mr. Snowden arrived in Hong Kong, where he arranged to meet with Laura Poitras, a Berlin-based documentary filmmaker, and Glenn Greenwald, a Brazil-based blogger for the Guardian. Both journalists were longtime critics of NSA surveillance with whom Mr. Snowden (under the alias Citizen Four) had been in contact for four months.

To provide them with scoops discrediting NSA operations, Mr. Snowden culled several thousand documents out of his huge cache of stolen material, including two explosive documents he asked them to use in their initial stories. One was the now-famous secret order from America’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court requiring Verizon to turn over to the NSA its billing records for its phone users in the U.S. The other was an NSA slide presentation detailing its ability to intercept communications of non-American users of the internet via a joint program with the FBI code-named Prism.

These documents were published in 2013 on June 5 and 6, followed by a video in which he identified himself as the leaker and a whistleblower.

At the heart of Mr. Snowden’s narrative was his claim that while he may have incidentally “touched” other data in his search of NSA files, he took only documents that exposed the malfeasance of the NSA and gave all of them to journalists.

Yet even as Mr. Snowden’s narrative was taking hold in the public realm, a secret damage assessment done by the NSA and Pentagon told a very different story. According to a unanimous report declassified on Dec. 22 by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the investigation showed that Mr. Snowden had “removed” (not merely touched) 1.5 million documents. That huge number was based on, among other evidence, electronic logs that recorded the selection, copying and moving of documents.

The number of purloined documents is more than what NSA officials were willing to say in 2013 about the removal of data, possibly because the House committee had the benefit of the Pentagon’s more-extensive investigation. But even just taking into account the material that Mr. Snowden handed over to journalists, the December House report concluded that he compromised “secrets that protect American troops overseas and secrets that provide vital defenses against terrorists and nation-states.” These were, the report said, “merely the tip of the iceberg.”

The Pentagon’s investigation during 2013 and 2014 employed hundreds of military-intelligence officers, working around the clock, to review all 1.5 million documents. Most had nothing to do with domestic surveillance or whistle blowing. They were mainly military secrets, as Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified before the House Armed Services Committee on March 6, 2014.

It was not the quantity of Mr. Snowden’s theft but the quality that was most telling. Mr. Snowden’s theft put documents at risk that could reveal the NSA’s Level 3 tool kit—a reference to documents containing the NSA’s most-important sources and methods. Since the agency was created in 1952, Russia and other adversary nations had been trying to penetrate its Level-3 secrets without great success.

Yet it was precisely these secrets that Mr. Snowden changed jobs to steal. In an interview in Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post on June 15, 2013, he said he sought to work on a Booz Allen contract at the CIA, even at a cut in pay, because it gave him access to secret lists of computers that the NSA was tapping into around the world.

He evidently succeeded. In a 2014 interview with Vanity Fair, Richard Ledgett, the NSA executive who headed the damage-assessment team, described one lengthy document taken by Mr. Snowden that, if it fell into the wrong hands, would provide a “road map” to what targets abroad the NSA was, and was not, covering. It contained the requests made by the 17 U.S. services in the so-called Intelligence Community for NSA interceptions abroad.

On June 23, less than two weeks after Mr. Snowden released the video that helped present his narrative, he left Hong Kong and flew to Moscow, where he received protection by the Russian government. In much of the media coverage that followed, the ultimate destination of these stolen secrets was fogged over—if not totally obscured from the public—by the unverified claims that Mr. Snowden was spoon feeding to handpicked journalists.

In his narrative, Mr. Snowden always claims that he was a conscientious “whistleblower” who turned over all the stolen NSA material to journalists in Hong Kong. He has insisted he had no intention of defecting to Russia but was on his way to Latin America when he was trapped in Russia by the U.S. government in an attempt to demonize him.

For example, in October 2014, he told the editor of the Nation, “I’m in exile. My government revoked my passport intentionally to leave me exiled” and “chose to keep me in Russia.” According to Mr. Snowden, the U.S. government accomplished this entrapment by suspending his passport while he was in midair after he departed Hong Kong on June 23, thus forcing him into the hands of President Vladimir Putin’s regime.

None of this is true. The State Department invalidated Mr. Snowden’s passport while he was still in Hong Kong, not after he left for Moscow on June 23. The “Consul General-Hong Kong confirmed that Hong Kong authorities were notified that Mr. Snowden’s passport was revoked June 22,” according to the State Department’s senior watch officer, as reported by ABC news on June 23, 2013.

Mr. Snowden could not have been unaware of the government’s pursuit of him, since the criminal complaint against him, which was filed June 14, had been headline news in Hong Kong. That the U.S. acted against him while he was still in Hong Kong is of great importance to the timeline because it points to the direct involvement of Aeroflot, an airline which the Russian government effectively controls. Aeroflot bypassed its normal procedures to allow Mr. Snowden to board the Moscow flight—even though he had neither a valid passport nor a Russian visa, as his newly assigned lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, said at a press conference in Russia on July 12, 2013.

By falsely claiming his passport was invalidated after the plane departed Hong Kong—instead of before he left—Mr. Snowden hoped to conceal this extraordinary waiver. The Russian government further revealed its helping hand, judging by a report in Russia’s Izvestia newspaper when, on arrival, Mr. Snowden was taken off the plane by a security team in a “special operation.”

Nor was it any kind of accident. Vladimir Putin personally authorized this assistance after Mr. Snowden met with Russian officials in Hong Kong, as Mr. Putin admitted in a televised press conference on Sept. 2, 2013.

To provide a smokescreen for Mr. Snowden’s escape from Hong Kong, WikiLeaks (an organization that the Obama administration asserted to be a tool of Russian intelligence after the hacking of Democratic Party leaders’ email in 2016) booked a dozen or more diversionary flight reservations to other destinations for Mr. Snowden.

WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange also dispatched Sarah Harrison, his deputy at WikiLeaks, to fly to Hong Kong to pay Mr. Snowden’s expenses and escort him to Moscow. In short, Mr. Snowden’s arrival in Moscow was neither accidental nor the work of the U.S. government.

Mr. Snowden’s own narrative asserts that he came to Russia not only empty-handed but without access to any of the stolen material. He wrote in Vanity Fair in 2014 that he had destroyed all of it before arriving in Moscow—the very data that he went to such lengths to steal a few weeks earlier in Hawaii.

As it turns out, this claim is also untrue. It is belied by two Kremlin insiders who were in a position to know what Mr. Snowden actually brought with him to Moscow. One of them, Frants Klintsevich, was the first deputy chairman of the defense and security committee of the Duma (Russia’s parliament) at the time of Mr. Snowden’s defection. “Let’s be frank,” Mr. Klintsevich said in a taped interview with NPR in June 2016, “Mr. Snowden did share intelligence. This is what security services do.”

The other insider was Anatoly Kucherena, a well-connected Moscow lawyer and Mr. Putin’s friend. Mr. Kucherena served as the intermediary between Mr. Snowden and Russian authorities. On Sept. 23, 2013, Mr. Kucherena gave a long interview to Sophie Shevardnadze, a journalist for Russia Today television.

When Ms. Shevardnadze directly asked him if Mr. Snowden had given all the documents he had taken from the NSA to journalists in Hong Kong, Mr. Kucherena said Mr. Snowden had only given “some” of the NSA’s documents in his possession to journalists in Hong Kong. “So he [Mr. Snowden] does have some materials that haven’t been made public yet?” Ms. Shevardnadze asked. “Certainly,” Mr. Kucherena answered.

This disclosure filled in a crucial piece of the puzzle. It explained why NSA documents that Mr. Snowden had copied, but had not given to the journalists in Hong Kong—such as the embarrassing revelation about the NSA targeting the cellphone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel—continued to surface after Mr. Snowden arrived in Moscow, along with NSA documents released via WikiLeaks.

As this was a critical discrepancy in Mr. Snowden’s narrative, I went to Moscow in October 2015 to see Mr. Kucherena. During our conversation, Mr. Kucherena confirmed that his interview with Ms. Shevardnadze was accurate, and that Mr. Snowden had brought secret material with him to Moscow.

Mr. Snowden’s narrative also includes the assertion that he was neither debriefed by nor even met with any Russian government official after he arrived in Moscow. This part of the narrative runs counter to findings of U.S. intelligence. According to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence report, Mr. Snowden, since he arrived in Moscow, “has had, and continues to have, contact with Russian intelligence services.” This finding is consistent with Russian debriefing practices, as described by the ex-KGB officers with whom I spoke in Moscow

Mr. Snowden also publicly claimed in Moscow in December 2013 to have secrets in his head, including “access to every target, every active operation. Full lists of them.” Could Mr. Snowden’s Russian hosts ignore such an opportunity after Mr. Putin had authorized his exfiltration to Moscow? Mr. Snowden, with no exit options, was in the palm of their hands. Under such circumstances, as Mr. Klintsevich pointed out in his June NPR interview: “If there’s a possibility to get information, they [the Russian intelligence services] will get it.”

The transfer of state secrets from Mr. Snowden to Russia did not occur in a vacuum. The intelligence war did not end with the termination of the Cold War; it shifted to cyberspace. Even if Russia could not match the NSA’s state-of-the-art sensors, computers and productive partnerships with the cipher services of Britain, Israel, Germany and other allies, it could nullify the U.S. agency’s edge by obtaining its sources and methods from even a single contractor with access to Level 3 documents.

Russian intelligence uses a single umbrella term to cover anyone who delivers it secret intelligence. Whether a person acted out of idealistic motives, sold information for money or remained clueless of the role he or she played in the transfer of secrets—the provider of secret data is considered an “espionage source.” By any measure, it is a job description that fits Mr. Snowden.

Mr. Epstein’s book, “How America Lost Its Secrets: Edward Snowden, the Man and the Theft,” will be published by Knopf in January.
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« Reply #508 on: January 08, 2017, 01:27:19 PM »

https://www.cato.org/blog/hypocrisy-election-interference?utm_content=buffer42543&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer
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« Reply #509 on: January 09, 2017, 12:01:29 PM »

http://www.speroforum.com/a/TKASWPDQOL49/79727-Trump-calls-out-White-House-stonewall-on-intelligence-leak-to-NBC?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=SNULSAXHOK41&utm_content=TKASWPDQOL49&utm_source=news&utm_term=Trump+calls+out+White+House+stonewall+on+intelligence+leak+to+NBC#.WHPPv3rcC-A
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« Reply #510 on: January 17, 2017, 11:47:49 AM »

http://ijr.com/opinion/2016/12/262666-cia-director-john-brennan-politicized-intelligence-undermine-president-elect-trump/


He voted for Communist candidate in 1980:
https://pjmedia.com/ronradosh/2016/09/21/cia-brennan-voted-for-communist/1/

https://spectator.org/john-brennan-the-insubordinate-spook/

Driector of CIA emails hacked:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/john-brennan-emails_us_56280454e4b08589ef4aaf01

Brennan , "we don't steal secrets"
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/brennan-joking-when-he-says-cia-spies-doesn-t-steal-n529426
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« Reply #511 on: January 17, 2017, 12:34:36 PM »

http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/local/national-interest/100431-trump-vs-spooks-sabotaging-his-own-presidency
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« Reply #512 on: January 17, 2017, 02:17:48 PM »

BD:

In quoting Mike Morell it would have been appropriate to mention his role in the Benghazi talking points, and in the vigor of his advocacy for Hillary for President, etc.
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« Reply #513 on: January 17, 2017, 02:48:00 PM »

BD:

In quoting Mike Morell it would have been appropriate to mention his role in the Benghazi talking points, and in the vigor of his advocacy for Hillary for President, etc.


And his book: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/michael-morell/the-great-war-of-our-time/9781455585663/
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« Reply #514 on: February 02, 2017, 09:05:58 PM »


By Michael Allen
Jan. 31, 2017 7:24 p.m. ET
16 COMMENTS

Don’t believe the hype: Trying to reform the intelligence community is not akin to attacking it. Americans should welcome the news that the Trump administration is considering reforms to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, an important but beleaguered agency in need of direction. Mr. Trump’s director-designate, Dan Coats, would be much better off leading an organization with a clear mandate—and the strong backing of the intelligence consumer in chief.

After the Central Intelligence Agency was formed in 1947, its director became the nominal head of the “intelligence community,” a confederation of intelligence offices lodged in different departments and agencies. Yet most intelligence agencies saw the CIA’s role as only symbolic. The CIA director was not empowered in law to have real influence over other giant intelligence organs like the National Security Agency or the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Then came Sept. 11. The chief failings that preceded the attack—the inability to fuse CIA intelligence collected abroad with FBI information gathered at home, as well as delays in placing suspected terrorists on watch lists—were addressed by the creation of a National Counterterrorism Center in 2004. But the same year, the 9/11 Commission recommended creating the director of national intelligence, and Congress hastily followed that advice.

The 9/11 Commission posited that the CIA couldn’t coordinate the intelligence community because it was too busy with its core missions of covert action and human intelligence. The 9/11 Commission hoped a director of national intelligence would be a true leader, empowered to set budgets, move money and personnel to meet new threats, and lead joint intelligence centers.

But the director of national intelligence had only slightly more power over the other 16 intelligence agencies than the CIA previously had. Meanwhile, Congress mandated that the DNI be housed independently—depriving it of a natural power base. As the myth of a strong quarterback flourished, Congress, the Bush administration and even the Iraq Intelligence Commission saddled the new agency with dozens of stubborn problems to solve. For example, it was tasked with improving an antiquated security-clearance process and fixing intelligence analysis after Iraq. Successive directors of national intelligence sought to bolster their staff to cope with a daunting agenda.

There is a profound mismatch between the responsibilities given to the agency and the actual authorities in law. The DNI has become a mere coordinator of bureaucratic positions, required to seek permission and maintaining only indirect control over funding.

Despite the hurdles, the agency has achieved some success. The DNI has provided strategic direction to the intelligence community’s disparate agencies to confront shared challenges that individual agencies are unwilling or unable to tackle alone. Think cost-saving on common information technology or policies to facilitate information sharing. In 2008, the DNI led the effort to modernize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Faced with sharply declining budgets in recent years, the office mitigated automatic cuts to personnel, research and development, and cyber capabilities. The DNI prioritized balancing the preservation of current capabilities against future investments.

Although there has never been a president quite like Mr. Trump, it’s normal for a new president to seek intelligence-community reforms. One of George W. Bush’s first acts in office was to order two competing reviews of the management of intelligence. They followed dozens of similar reports ordered by other presidents. Now it’s time for another review: The U.S. has been operating under the current system for over 12 years, and criticism has rarely gone beyond the conventional wisdom of “bloated bureaucracy.”

The coming review should be guided by what has happened since 9/11. Did the U.S. truly create an all-powerful “spymaster” equipped to remake the intelligence for a new era and new enemies? The Trump administration should consider the enormous to-do list foisted upon the director of national intelligence and ask how he could make decisive progress.

The U.S. is dealing with worsening national-security threats, a democratization of dangerous technologies, and serious cyber attacks. Worse, the intelligence community has been accused of politicizing intelligence gathering. Mr. Trump should complete a swift, top-down review of the intelligence community. Once finished, the president can set clear priorities for Mr. Coats and offer unwavering support as he pursues his agenda.

Mr. Allen, a former congressional and White House national-security staffer, is managing director of Beacon Global Strategies and author of “Blinking Red: Crisis and Compromise in American Intelligence after 9/11” (Potomac, 2013).
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« Reply #515 on: February 02, 2017, 09:09:29 PM »

second post:

Haven't listened to this yet , , ,

http://www.nationalenquirer.com/videos/donald-trump-intelligence-agencies-scandals/
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« Reply #516 on: February 12, 2017, 11:48:08 PM »

Let's use this thread for this subject:

I do not know the author or his motivations-- it may well be a piece of complete disintel-- but a very disconcerting piece nonetheless:

http://observer.com/2017/02/donald-trump-administration-mike-flynn-russian-embassy/
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« Reply #517 on: February 15, 2017, 02:40:02 AM »


http://freebeacon.com/national-security/former-obama-officials-loyalists-waged-campaign-oust-flynn/


Caroline Glick comments

The less you know the better you sleep.

Then again, there is an upside of the Flynn resignation.

The upside is that it gives President Trump the opportunity to clean out the stables in the intel community as part of a criminal probe into the leakers responsible for divulging highly classified information to the reporters that smeared Flynn.
If Trump seizes this opportunity, and replaces Flynn with someone else who is equally willing to fight, then this sad, miserable tale will have been worth it. 
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« Reply #518 on: February 15, 2017, 11:31:36 PM »

From a post I made on Facebook:

==========================================

a) Agreed they can listen BUT serious privacy legal protection attaches to the other party to the conversation (when an American citizen?)-- in this case General Flynn,

THIS IS AN IMPORTANT PROTECTION IN THE ERA OF THE MODERN SURVEILLANCE STATE!!!

Apparently in its waning days, Obama (and Ben Rhodes?) modified the rules so that the intel could be shared with over one dozen other countries before the privacy protection attached. In other words, the privacy protection provided by the law is made a joke simply by asking one of these other governments to see that the info breaking the privacy of individual came out.

The , , , ahem , , , "Resistance", and other useful idiots of the Deep State howl about the dangers of Trump fascism as the Deep State uses the tools of the Orwellian State.

b) But much more directly, it appears that people privy to the highest levels of our SIGINT (i.e. the CIA and its brethren), who are  obligated by the strictest of security clearance laws, etc. have committed serious felonies by divulging this SIGINT to their toadies in the pravdas.

Read this with care:
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/798

Remember too that the President's phone calls with the Mexican President and the Australian PM were leaked as well.

Seems to me a fair case can be made that the Deep State is using the technological capabilities of the Surveillance State and by so doing are "going rogue"-- apparently in an attempt to bring down the Commander in Chief.

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« Reply #519 on: February 17, 2017, 12:09:29 AM »

https://pjmedia.com/trending/2017/02/16/general-flynn-and-colonel-mustard-lets-piece-together-clues-about-the-leak/


General Flynn and Colonel Mustard: Let's Piece Together Clues About the Leak
By Charlie Martin February 16, 2017
chat 246 comments
Checkpoint Charlie sign from Wikipedia

The most recent big scandal is LTG Michael Flynn's resignation from the position of national security advisor -- and just as an aside, I've heard at least three media people claim he'd resigned as director of the NSA, and no, being NSA isn't the same as being DIRNSA. The Trump administration promptly complained about the leaks, to the mass amusement of the usual suspects.

But -- is that amusement justified? Or is this more interesting than the usual suspects believe? Let's give it a look.

There's a phrase that comes up over and over when talking about classification of intelligence information: "sources and methods." In fact, it comes up so often that it's become one of those buzzword cliches that runs past -- sourzeznmethdz -- without people really hearing or thinking about it. So, just for once, let's think about it.

Obviously, it breaks down into sources and methods: sources are where the information comes from, and methods are how we illicitly obtained the information. (Strictly it isn't always illicit, since we derive useful intelligence from newspapers, but it's also not interesting to know the CIA reads Russian newspapers.)
Sponsored

Now, we have a big scandal that is based on leaked reports of phone calls between LTG Flynn and the Russian ambassador, which apparently came from intercepts of the phone calls. But let's look at this through the "sources and methods" lens for a minute: we have an overt leak that our intelligence services have intercepted communications of the Russian ambassador (a source) by "wire tapping" or something similar their phone calls (a method). What's more, the other party to the call was LTG Michael Flynn. Technically, Flynn in this case is a United States Person ("U.S. Person") under 50 USC 1801. Here's the definition:

    (i)“United States person” means a citizen of the United States, an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence (as defined in section 1101(a)(20) of title Cool, ... .

Here's a link to all of 50 US Code Subchapter I, which contains the whole section on FISA courts. I won't go through the whole thing, but the gist is that there must be a FISA Court order to allow an intercept of a U.S. Person's communications; if a U.S. Person's communications are intercepted by accident, by law the U.S. Person's communications must be "minimized" in such a way that information identifying the U.S. Person isn't stored or disseminated except under some special conditions.

It looks like that rule was, shall we say, applied less than diligently here with these leaks.

But let's go back to "sources and methods" -- what we have here is "communications intelligence," COMINT. This isn't super sensitive -- as a friend pointed out, it's not like it's a big secret the U.S. is listening to the Russians -- but it still meets the qualifications to be something like CONFIDENTIAL and special compartmented intelligence: CONFIDENTIAL//SI. (You can read more details, if you're interested, in my pieces on Hillary's Air Gap Problem, on how It's Not Classified because It's Marked; It's Marked because It's Classified, and on L'Affaire Snowden and Computer Security.)

But the point for now is simply that this stuff must be classified at least CONFIDENTIAL//SI, which puts it under the Espionage Act; revealing it without authorization is a violation of 18 USC 793 (and some other sections. Again, the link is to the containing chapter). This is the same chapter that would have been used to indict Hillary Clinton if she hadn't had friends in high places.

Finally, let's ask the question that should be on every critical thinker's mind at all times: Cui bono? Who benefits? Add to that: who could have been involved?

Probably not the Trump people (plus they wouldn't have known to have access to it). Not the Russians. Decisions involving this kind of material are made in the executive branch (CIA, FBI, NSA are all in the executive branch). What's more, very few people are going to have need to know on this stuff, even if it's only CONFIDENTIAL: we don't want to let the Russians know exactly what conversations we've actually intercepted.

The final piece of the puzzle here is that we know these calls were intercepted before the inauguration. Which means they were authorized during the Obama administration.
Sponsored

So now, like Colonel Mustard with a lead pipe in the library, pieces have come together: this has to have been authorized under the Obama administration, by someone pretty high up (or else they wouldn't have access to the compartmented information), and leaked by someone pretty high up, also, almost certainly, either a civil service permanent employee held over from the Obama administration or a political appointee very high in the intelligence community. One who was pretty confident they also have friends in high places.

Why? It seems it must have been to make trouble for the incoming Trump administration.

This is going to get a lot more interesting.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 12:15:41 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #520 on: February 17, 2017, 12:29:39 AM »

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/02/15/515437291/intelligence-official-transcripts-of-flynns-calls-dont-show-criminal-wrongdoing?utm_campaign=storyshare&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social
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« Reply #521 on: February 17, 2017, 06:29:41 PM »

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/02/reports-national-guard-fake-memo-ploy-smoke-leaker/
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« Reply #522 on: February 17, 2017, 10:55:47 PM »

Hillary Clinton, The “Insider Threat”

 You don’t have to take my word for it that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s sloppy email practices were an egregious breech of national security.  An expert in the Department of Defense thought so as well.

This week we released a U.S. Department of the Army OpSec (Operational Security) PowerPoint  presentation that depicts Clinton as an example of “insider threats. ” The presentation, produced as part of a lecture on cybersecurity, also includes General David Petraeus, terrorist Nidal Hassan, Bradley (Chelsea) Manning, Edward Snowden, and Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis.
 
We obtained the documents in response to a January 11, 2017, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking the PowerPoint presentation on operational security delivered to soldiers at Fort Leonard Wood (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Defense (No. 1:17-cv-00060)). We sued after the Department of Defense failed to respond to our August 22, 2016, FOIA request (the lawsuit is now over, since we got what we wanted).

The presentation warns against “Critical Information Compromises” involving material such as the “itineraries of … senior executive service (SES)” and “very important persons (VIPs),” any of which can result in “Attack, Kidnapping, Publicity.” It also cites “unsecure email” as an error that can lead to an enemy being able to “Kill, Counter, Clone.” Judicial Watch’s investigations into Clinton’s email practices while she was secretary of state repeatedly  produced examples of Clinton aide Huma Abedin sharing the schedule and travel plans of Clinton on an unsecure email system.
 
The operational security brief was reportedly leaked, and then posted on the Facebook page “U.S. Army W.T.F! moments.” Administrators of the Facebook page said a picture came from a service member stationed at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.

Clinton and Petraeus are cited as examples of “Careless or disgruntled employees.” Former Secretary Clinton conducted official government business using a non-state.gov email account, which was hosted on a server in her home in Chappaqua, New York. JW’s extensive FOIA litigation pried loose Clinton email records, which proved she sent and received classified information on an unsecure server while serving as secretary of state.

Gen. Petraeus is a retired four-star general and the former director of the CIA who pled guilty in federal court to a charge of unauthorized removal of classified information. At the time, Petraeus was having an affair with his biographer to whom he provided classified information while serving as Director of the CIA.  (I see he is up for potential appointment to President Trump’s National Security Advisor post.  For obvious reasons, this would seem to be a big mistake.)

No wonder it took a lawsuit to extract this damning Pentagon analysis, which recognizes Hillary Clinton as an “insider threat” to national security. The Trump Justice Department should take note and proceed with an appropriate investigation.
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« Reply #523 on: February 20, 2017, 12:04:49 AM »

A serious, detailed discussion of the law as pertains to the FBI's actions with regard to Flynn:

 
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/445045/general-michael-flynn-national-security-adviser-fbi-investigation-phone-call-russian-ambassador
« Last Edit: February 20, 2017, 10:42:18 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #524 on: February 20, 2017, 07:48:54 PM »

Obama legacy outrage:

http://www.breitbart.com/jerusalem/2017/02/20/klein-obama-admin-politicized-intel/
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« Reply #525 on: February 22, 2017, 12:04:33 AM »

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/i-didnt-think-id-ever-leave-the-cia-but-because-of-trump-i-quit/2017/02/20/fd7aac3e-f456-11e6-b9c9-e83fce42fb61_story.html?tid=a_inl&utm_term=.119ffcf4e257
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« Reply #526 on: February 22, 2017, 07:58:00 AM »


Is he one of the leakers or did he merely forget to condemn his nine colleagues who committed espionage felonies in order to sabotage the new president and his new staff?

 Good Riddance, deep state.  Clean house, drain the swamp.
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ccp
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« Reply #527 on: February 22, 2017, 09:32:10 AM »

"Is he one of the leakers or did he merely forget to condemn his nine colleagues who committed espionage felonies in order to sabotage the new president and his new staff?"

Good question.

If he is a leaker he needs to
"forfeit any pension or other benefits coming to him"
and
" go to jail"
" felony on his record"

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« Reply #528 on: February 23, 2017, 12:57:56 AM »


By Michael B. Mukasey
Feb. 20, 2017 7:03 p.m. ET
320 COMMENTS

The promiscuous release of classified information that preceded and accompanied the resignation of Mike Flynn as national security adviser makes it almost quaint to recall a time when the World War II slogan “loose lips sink ships” was taken seriously.

Much has happened to erode standards regarding national secrets. Oddly, those standards seem to have remained intact when it comes to giving sensitive information secretly to an adversary of the United States. The list runs from Benedict Arnold, whose frustrated ambition led him to offer defense plans to the British during the Revolution; to Julius Rosenberg, whose ideology drove him to provide details of atomic-bomb design to the Soviet Union; to Robert Hanssen,Aldrich Ames and John Walker, who betrayed their country for money and disclosed information that cost the lives of American spies. Whether or not their actions met the legal definition of treason (and only Arnold’s did), they generally are regarded as traitors.

Yet when secrets are released to the public under some claim of principle, outrage is muted to say the least. Sometimes, as with the Pentagon Papers leaked by Daniel Ellsberg in 1971, the potential damage might have been overstated and the secrecy unwarranted. But in other cases the damage was comparable to the injury inflicted by outright espionage.

Take the New York Times’s disclosure in 2006 that after 9/11 the U.S. government had been monitoring international funds transfers through the Swift system, used by banks world-wide. By tracking cash flows to terrorists, the program had helped frustrate numerous plots and catch their organizers. Its disclosure by the Times was a serious blow to counterterrorism efforts. Although this monitoring program was entirely lawful, the newspaper and its reporters justified the exposure with two assertions: that the public had a right to know about it, and the account was “above all else an interesting yarn,” as one of the reporters put it.

“The right to know” is a trope so often repeated, it may come as a surprise that the Constitution mentions no such right. That omission is hardly surprising given the circumstances in which the Constitution was drafted in 1787—with doors and windows closed even in the stifling summer heat to prevent deliberations from being overheard, and with the delegates sworn to secrecy. Although the Constitution directs the chambers of Congress to keep and publish a journal of their proceedings, it excepts from the publication requirement “such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy.”

The choice to disclose matters that public officials have determined should remain secret is often a singularly antidemocratic act. Public officials are elected—or appointed by those elected—to pursue policies for which they answer to the voters at large. Those who disclose national secrets assert a right to override these democratic outcomes.

There are also criminal statutes that bear on such disclosures. Debate over high-profile missteps—David Petraeus and Hillary Clinton come to mind—has made those laws familiar. They range from the misdemeanor of putting classified information in a nonsecure location, to felony statutes carrying penalties up to 10 years for disclosing classified information about communications activities of the United States, such as surveillance of foreign diplomats.

Some violations of the law are hard to deter, given the asserted motive. Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning and Edward Snowden claim their systematic disclosures served a higher interest by promoting a necessary debate about the propriety of government conduct and secrecy.

The most recent leaks of confidential information, however, seem to come from decidedly different motives. Consider Mr. Flynn’s situation. It has been disclosed that U.S. intelligence agencies taped conversations last year between Mr. Flynn and the Russian ambassador. After Mr. Flynn falsely denied to the vice president and the FBI that he had discussed sanctions with the ambassador, Sally Yates, then acting attorney general, warned the White House that Mr. Flynn was opening himself up to Russian blackmail. Making all of this public seems designed principally to damage Mr. Flynn.

The propriety of his having been questioned at all by the FBI is open to serious doubt. Some suggest that a discussion of sanctions with the Russian ambassador might have violated the Logan Act, which bars unauthorized negotiation with any foreign government in a dispute with the U.S.

The Logan Act was passed in 1799 and has never successfully prosecuted, but even a technical violation here is doubtful. When the conversations in question took place, even if some were before the election, Mr. Flynn was consulting with Donald Trump on what national security policies he would follow. The U.S. government provides funds to the nominees of both parties for transition planning. Since such conversations are financed by the government, it’s hardly plausible to claim they are conducted without authority from the government.

Leaks like the ones about Mr. Flynn—not to mention of conversations between President Trump and the leaders of Mexico and Australia—have an obvious source: a small group within the bureaucracy who have no higher cause to which they can appeal. They ought to be identifiable easily enough. Using a grand jury to investigate and prosecute one or two such people could have a salutary effect. That might bring us closer to a time when “loose lips sink ships” had some purchase.

Mr. Mukasey served as U.S. attorney general (2007-09) and a U.S. district judge (1988-2006). 
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ccp
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« Reply #529 on: February 23, 2017, 09:50:31 AM »

Every time I read about government intelligence gathering being a threat to us I ask what about the Facebooks, the Amazons, the Microsofts, the Googles, and Apples that gather every thing they can about us?  Who is protecting us from them ?  Answer - no one.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/02/23/andrew-napolitano-chickens-have-come-home-to-roost.html
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« Reply #530 on: March 01, 2017, 08:14:40 PM »

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/01/us/politics/obama-trump-russia-election-hacking.html?emc=edit_na_20170301&nl=breaking-news&nlid=49641193&ref=cta&_r=0


Obama Administration Rushed to Preserve Intelligence of Russian Election Hacking
By MATTHEW ROSENBERG, ADAM GOLDMAN and MICHAEL S. SCHMIDTMARCH 1, 2017


WASHINGTON — In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government. Former American officials say they had two aims: to ensure that such meddling isn’t duplicated in future American or European elections, and to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators.

American allies, including the British and the Dutch, had provided information describing meetings in European cities between Russian officials — and others close to Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — and associates of President-elect Trump, according to three former American officials who requested anonymity in discussing classified intelligence. Separately, American intelligence agencies had intercepted communications of Russian officials, some of them within the Kremlin, discussing contacts with Trump associates.

Then and now, Mr. Trump has denied that his campaign had any contact with Russian officials, and at one point he openly suggested that American spy agencies had cooked up intelligence suggesting that the Russian government had tried to meddle in the presidential election. Mr. Trump has accused the Obama administration of hyping the Russia story line as a way to discredit his new administration.

At the Obama White House, Mr. Trump’s statements stoked fears among some that intelligence could be covered up or destroyed — or its sources exposed — once power changed hands. What followed was a push to preserve the intelligence that underscored the deep anxiety with which the White House and American intelligence agencies had come to view the threat from Moscow.

It also reflected the suspicion among many in the Obama White House that the Trump campaign might have colluded with Russia on election email hacks — a suspicion that American officials say has not been confirmed. Former senior Obama administration officials said that none of the efforts were directed by Mr. Obama.


Sean Spicer, the Trump White House spokesman, said, “The only new piece of information that has come to light is that political appointees in the Obama administration have sought to create a false narrative to make an excuse for their own defeat in the election.” He added, “There continues to be no there, there.”

As Inauguration Day approached, Obama White House officials grew convinced that the intelligence was damning and that they needed to ensure that as many people as possible inside government could see it, even if people without security clearances could not. Some officials began asking specific questions at intelligence briefings, knowing the answers would be archived and could be easily unearthed by investigators — including the Senate Intelligence Committee, which in early January announced an inquiry into Russian efforts to influence the election.

At intelligence agencies, there was a push to process as much raw intelligence as possible into analyses, and to keep the reports at a relatively low classification level to ensure as wide a readership as possible across the government — and, in some cases, among European allies. This allowed the upload of as much intelligence as possible to Intellipedia, a secret wiki used by American analysts to share information.

There was also an effort to pass reports and other sensitive materials to Congress. In one instance, the State Department sent a cache of documents marked “secret” to Senator Benjamin Cardin of Maryland days before the Jan. 20 inauguration. The documents, detailing Russian efforts to intervene in elections worldwide, were sent in response to a request from Mr. Cardin, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee.

“This situation was serious, as is evident by President Obama’s call for a review — and as is evident by the United States response,” said Eric Schultz, a spokesman for Mr. Obama. “When the intelligence community does that type of comprehensive review, it is standard practice that a significant amount of information would be compiled and documented.”

The opposite happened with the most sensitive intelligence, including the names of sources and the identities of foreigners who were regularly monitored. Officials tightened the already small number of people who could access that information. They knew the information could not be kept from the new president or his top advisers, but wanted to narrow the number of people who might see the information, officials said.

More than a half-dozen current and former officials described various aspects of the effort to preserve and distribute the intelligence, and some said they were speaking to draw attention to the material and ensure proper investigation by Congress. All spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were discussing classified information, nearly all of which remains secret, making an independent public assessment of the competing Obama and Trump administration claims impossible.

The F.B.I. is conducting a wide-ranging counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s meddling in the election, and is examining alleged links between Mr. Trump’s associates and the Russian government.

Separately, the House and Senate intelligence committees are conducting their own investigations, though they must rely on information collected by the F.B.I. and intelligence agencies.

At his confirmation hearing on Wednesday, former Senator Dan Coats, Mr. Trump’s nominee for director of national intelligence, told the Senate Intelligence Committee that “I think it’s our responsibility to provide you access to all that you need.”


Some Obama White House officials had little faith that a Trump administration would make good on such pledges, and the efforts to preserve the intelligence continued until the administration’s final hours. This was partly because intelligence was still being collected and analyzed, but it also reflected the sentiment among many administration officials that they had not recognized the scale of the Russian campaign until it was too late.

The warning signs had been building throughout the summer, but were far from clear. As WikiLeaks was pushing out emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee through online publication, American intelligence began picking up conversations in which Russian officials were discussing contacts with Trump associates, and European allies were starting to pass along information about people close to Mr. Trump meeting with Russians in the Netherlands, Britain and other countries.

But what was going on in the meetings was unclear to the officials, and the intercepted communications did little to clarify matters — the Russians, it appeared, were arguing about how far to go in interfering in the presidential election. What intensified the alarm at the Obama White House was a campaign of cyberattacks on state electoral systems in September, which led the administration to deliver a public accusation against the Russians in October.

But it wasn’t until after the election, and after more intelligence had come in, that the administration began to grasp the scope of the suspected tampering and concluded that one goal of the campaign was to help tip the election in Mr. Trump’s favor. In early December, Mr. Obama ordered the intelligence community to conduct a full assessment of the Russian campaign.

In the weeks before the assessment was released in January, the intelligence community combed through databases for an array of communications and other information — some of which was months old by then — and began producing reports that showed there were contacts during the campaign between Trump associates and Russian officials.


The nature of the contacts remains unknown. Several of Mr. Trump’s associates have done business in Russia, and it is unclear if any of the contacts were related to business dealings.

The New York Times, citing four current and former officials, reported last month that American authorities had obtained information of repeated contacts between Mr. Trump’s associates and senior Russian intelligence officials. The White House has dismissed the story as false.

Since the Feb. 14 article appeared, more than a half-dozen officials have confirmed contacts of various kinds between Russians and Trump associates. The label “intelligence official” is not always cleanly applied in Russia, where ex-spies, oligarchs and government officials often report back to the intelligence services and elsewhere in the Kremlin.

Steven L. Hall, the former head of Russia operations at the C.I.A., said that Mr. Putin was surrounded by a cast of characters, and that it was “fair to say that a good number of them come from an intelligence or security background. Once an intel guy, always an intel guy in Russia.”

The concerns about the contacts were cemented by a series of phone calls between Sergey I. Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, and Michael T. Flynn, who had been poised to become Mr. Trump’s national security adviser. The calls began on Dec. 29, shortly after Mr. Kislyak was summoned to the State Department and informed that, in retaliation for Russian election meddling, the United States was expelling 35 suspected Russian intelligence operatives and imposing other sanctions. Mr. Kislyak was irate and threatened a forceful Russia response, according to people familiar with the exchange.

But a day later, Mr. Putin said his government would not retaliate, prompting a Twitter post from Mr. Trump praising the Russian president — and puzzling Obama White House officials.

On Jan. 2, administration officials learned that Mr. Kislyak — after leaving the State Department meeting — called Mr. Flynn, and that the two talked multiple times in the 36 hours that followed. American intelligence agencies routinely wiretap the phones of Russian diplomats, and transcripts of the calls showed that Mr. Flynn urged the Russians not to respond, saying relations would improve once Mr. Trump was in office, according to multiple current and former officials.

Beyond leaving a trail for investigators, the Obama administration also wanted to help European allies combat a threat that had caught the United States off guard. American intelligence agencies made it clear in the declassified version of the intelligence assessment released in January that they believed Russia intended to use its attacks on the United States as a template for more meddling. “We assess Moscow will apply lessons learned,” the report said, “to future influence efforts worldwide, including against U.S. allies.”

Follow Matthew Rosenberg on Twitter @AllMattNYT, Michael S. Schmidt at @nytmike, and Adam Goldman at @adamgoldmanNYT

Matt Apuzzo and Mark Mazzetti contributed reporting.

Get politics and Washington news updates via Facebook, Twitter and in the Morning Briefing newsletter.
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« Reply #531 on: March 01, 2017, 08:43:13 PM »

This is going to set off a big stink!  angry

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/sessions-spoke-twice-with-russian-ambassador-during-trumps-presidential-campaign-justice-officials-say/2017/03/01/77205eda-feac-11e6-99b4-9e613afeb09f_story.html?utm_term=.561a6a3809eb

Buried down in the article is this:

"Justice officials said Sessions met with Kislyak on Sept. 8 in his capacity as a member of the armed services panel rather than in his role as a Trump campaign surrogate.

“He was asked during the hearing about communications between Russia and the Trump campaign — not about meetings he took as a senator and a member of the Armed Services Committee,” Flores said.

"She added that Sessions last year had more than 25 conversations with foreign ambassadors as a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, including the British, Korean, Japanese, Polish, Indian, Chinese, Canadian, Australian and German ambassadors, in addition to Kislyak."
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« Reply #532 on: March 02, 2017, 09:52:25 AM »

If true, this is HUUUGELY embarrassing!  Bigly!!!!

http://theseattletribune.com/trumps-unsecured-android-device-believed-to-be-source-of-recent-white-house-leaks/
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« Reply #533 on: March 04, 2017, 05:36:47 PM »

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/03/source-ex-cia-officer-who-faced-extradition-freed-after-intervention-from-trump-administration.html
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« Reply #534 on: March 05, 2017, 10:44:23 AM »

Hat tip to Big Dog for this one:

https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/10/16/fisa-judge-denies-surveillance-court-offers-rubber-stamp
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« Reply #535 on: March 06, 2017, 03:10:01 AM »

Per Bretbart

Binney stated of the NSA:
If they weren’t behind it, they certainly had the data. Now the difference here is that FBI and CIA have direct access inside the NSA databases. So, they may be able to go directly in there and see that material there. And NSA doesn’t monitor that. They don’t even monitor their own people going into databases.
So, they don’t monitor what CIA and FBI do. And there’s no oversight or attempted oversight by any of the committees or even the FISA court. So, any way you look at it, ultimately the NSA is responsible because they are doing the collection on everybody inside the United States. Phone calls. Emails. All of that stuff.


http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=95689436

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« Reply #536 on: March 07, 2017, 05:40:42 AM »

 By William McGurn
March 6, 2017 7:42 p.m. ET
45 COMMENTS

Robert Bork saw it all coming.

Not, of course, today’s clash of recriminations, between a sitting Republican president who’s accused his Democratic predecessor of having tapped his phones even as the other side accuses this same Republican’s campaign team of having colluded with Moscow to steal the November election. For all his wisdom, the late judge and onetime Supreme Court nominee could not have predicted this.

What Bork did appreciate, and more keenly than almost anyone else at the time, is that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act at the root of this mess—i.e., whether or not there were such warrants on Donald Trump or his associates—was not a reform but an abuse. He outlined his objections in a prescient op-ed for this newspaper on March 9, 1978, shortly before the Senate passed the bill. In particular, he argued, the courts set up by this law would work to obscure the responsibility the “reform” was meant to ensure:
–– ADVERTISEMENT ––

“When an attorney general must decide for himself, without shield of a warrant, whether to authorize surveillance, and must accept the consequences if things go wrong, there is likely to be more care taken. The statute, however, has the effect of immunizing everyone, and sooner or later that fact will be taken advantage of.” In other words, if administration officials could not hide behind court approvals, they would think long and hard about their surveillance decisions.

Thirty-nine years later, on the biggest story of the day, no one is even clear about exactly what happened. We don’t, for example, know whether there was a FISA warrant for Mr. Trump or any members of his campaign team. Notwithstanding all the innuendo, we also don’t have any evidence the Trump team collaborated with the Russians to influence the election.

Each side is demanding hearings. But in today’s Washington, neither is likely to get a satisfactory accounting. In the midst of all the shouting, it’s worth taking a step back and reviewing the present crisis in light of Bork’s warnings back when this law was passed.

Like so much else America would have been better off without—the Education Department, federal subsidies for ethanol, the idea that there are limits to growth—FISA and the courts it created are a legacy of Jimmy Carter. The legislation, introduced by Sen. Ted Kennedy in 1977, was a byproduct of the Church Committee hearings into intelligence abuses and the general anti-Nixon fever. The animating idea was to clip a president’s wings by introducing judges into the surveillance equation.

Bork characterized it as “moralistic overreaction.” Not only would these courts infringe on a president’s surveillance authority—which for nearly two centuries had been deemed part of a president’s national-security powers as commander in chief—judges lacked the skills and experience “to make the sophisticated judgments required.” If they responded by deferring to those who do, Bork noted, they would raise other questions about what their oversight really amounted to.

Bork further argued that “the law would almost certainly increase unauthorized disclosures of sensitive information simply by greatly widening the circle of people with access to it.” How timely that seems today. Just ask Mike Flynn, the national security adviser who saw classified parts of his private conversations with the Russian ambassador leaked.

On the left there is great distrust of the FISA courts, which grew after 9/11 and the Bush administration. But the preferred progressive “solutions” are generally things that would make the process even more cumbersome. Some, for example, hope to introduce into the FISA process an advocate to challenge the government as it makes its case.

Once again, the Bork approach is more promising. As he pointed out, the intelligence abuses that led to FISA “were uncovered through existing processes of investigation.” This process contributed to President Nixon’s resignation. And if he hadn’t resigned, he would have been impeached.

Andrew McCarthy, a former U.S. attorney who has written three pieces for National Review on the latest in the Trump wiretap charges, argues, with Bork, that the Constitution’s primary solution for government failure and overreach is political accountability to the American people. Progressives are not nearly as enthusiastic, partly because the modern left prefers the unelected to the elected, and partly because they don’t really trust the people.

It would be nice to think we’ll eventually get clear answers from whatever investigations emerge. In the meantime, we could do worse than return to Bork’s original concerns about a system that establishes “a group of judges who must operate largely in the dark and create rules known only to themselves.”

Surely it says something about where we are today that the ideal reform—to abolish the FISA courts altogether—is unlikely because presidents and lawmakers of both parties are unwilling to challenge an arrangement that fuzzes up accountability even as they complain about it.
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« Reply #537 on: March 07, 2017, 05:52:11 AM »

http://www.businessinsider.com/michael-hayden-trump-media-non-fact-based-world-view-2017-3

Sure Hayden.  Who conveniently ignores bias in the MSM or the likes of Salon, BuzzFeed , Huffington Post and the rest.

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« Reply #538 on: March 07, 2017, 06:34:32 AM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/445522/russian-election-hacking-fbi-not-investigating-trump-campaign?utm_campaign=trueanthem

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-06/top-nsa-whistleblower-intelligence-agencies-did-spy-trump
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« Reply #539 on: March 07, 2017, 07:21:54 AM »

"A lot of smoke" regarding Trump russia connection.  And he sites the totally unreliable Roger Stone as an example!  I have posted about Roger Stone before and nothing he says can be believed or even backed up.

Yet this partisan Hayden seems to Not see smoke with regards to Trumps claims

Hayden is not an honorable man period

https://www.yahoo.com/news/ex-cia-director-on-trumps-possible-ties-to-russia-theres-a-lot-of-smoke-212505508.html
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« Reply #540 on: March 07, 2017, 10:48:35 PM »

Breitbart frequently is irresponsible, but there seem to be many citations in this particular article:

http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2017/03/07/cia-can-spy-virtually-device-even-switched-off/
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« Reply #541 on: March 08, 2017, 11:56:06 AM »


Updated March 7, 2017 7:49 p.m. ET
179 COMMENTS

Tuesday’s WikiLeaks dump of a major chunk of what it claims is the CIA’s “hacking arsenal” ought to be an eye-opener for anyone still laboring under the delusion that WikiLeaks’s Julian Assange or former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden are not out to weaken the United States. This leak of CIA documents appears to disclose for America’s enemies a key advantage against the asymmetric threats of this new century: better technology that provides better intelligence.

WikiLeaks says the 8,761 documents and files were ripped off “from an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence” in Virginia. It further says these documents were “circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors”—and that one of them shared the info with WikiLeaks. So far former government officials quoted in news reports say the leaked information looks genuine, and the WikiLeaks press release promised more to come.

Much of this WikiLeaks dump deals with ways the CIA has found to get into electronic devices such as iPhones and Android phones. These methods include—as Edward Snowden clarified in a tweet—end runs around the encryption of such popular apps as Signal or WhatsApp without having to crack the apps themselves.

The leaks also expose other areas of CIA interest such as an agency effort to hack into the control panels of cars and trucks. Another tool exposed by the leaks turned Samsung Smart TVs into microphones that could then relay conversations back to the CIA even when the owner believed the set was off.

The losses from this exposure are incalculable. These tools represent millions of dollars of investment and man-hours. Many will now be rendered moot as terrorists or foreign agents abandon traceable habits. Merely because America’s enemies are barbaric—think al Qaeda or Islamic State—does not mean they are stupid. One reason it took so long to hunt down Osama bin Laden is because he took pains to establish a sophisticated communications system to evade U.S. intelligence tracking.

The costs will also include the time and effort U.S. intelligence agencies will now have to expend investigating how the information was lost. This includes retracing any missed computer hacks and trying to find out who stole and released the secrets.

Some on the political left and right want to treat Messrs. Snowden and Assange as heroes of transparency and privacy. But there is no evidence that U.S. spooks are engaging in illegal spying on Americans. The CIA’s spying tools are for targeting suspected terrorists and foreign agents. As for WikiLeaks, note how it never seems to disclose Chinese or Russian secrets. The country they loathe and want to bring low is America.
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« Reply #542 on: March 08, 2017, 03:21:31 PM »

http://www.computerworld.com/article/2496237/cloud-computing/steven-j--vaughan-nichols--the-cia-and-the-cloud.html
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« Reply #543 on: March 16, 2017, 04:26:48 PM »

Ex-CIA Officer's Case Shows How to Get Things Done in D.C.
IPT News
March 16, 2017
http://www.investigativeproject.org/5853/ex-cia-officer-case-shows-how-to-get-things-done
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« Reply #544 on: March 19, 2017, 01:46:33 PM »

Am I to understand that the conservatives on this forum are willing to excuse Russian interference into the U.S. presidential election? If I am reading this correctly, consider me stunned.



https://theintercept.com/2017/03/16/key-democratic-officials-now-warning-base-not-to-expect-evidence-of-trumprussia-collusion/

Key Democratic Officials Now Warning Base Not to Expect Evidence of Trump/Russia Collusion

Glenn Greenwald
March 16 2017, 8:41 a.m.
FROM MSNBC POLITICS shows to town hall meetings across the country, the overarching issue for the Democratic Party’s base since Trump’s victory has been Russia, often suffocating attention for other issues. This fixation has persisted even though it has no chance to sink the Trump presidency unless it is proven that high levels of the Trump campaign actively colluded with the Kremlin to manipulate the outcome of the U.S. election — a claim for which absolutely no evidence has thus far been presented.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But with serious doubts — and fears — now emerging about what the Democratic base has been led to believe by self-interested carnival barkers and partisan hacks, there is a sudden, concerted effort to rein in the excesses of this story. With so many people now doing this, it will be increasingly difficult to smear them all as traitors and Russian loyalists, but it may be far too little, too late, given the pitched hysteria that has been deliberately cultivated around these issues for months. Many Democrats have reached the classic stage of deranged conspiracists where evidence that disproves the theory is viewed as further proof of its existence, and those pointing to it are instantly deemed suspect.
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« Reply #545 on: March 28, 2017, 04:49:46 PM »

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/modern-art-was-cia-weapon-1578808.html
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