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Julian Assange and the Conservative Press


Rembrandt van RIjn A Woman Standing with a Candle c.1631
To be honest, I didn’t think it would ever happen, even though it’s been so obvious for so long. But all of a sudden, the conservative voices questioning the Russia collusion narrative and all the investigations that followed from it, are finally figuring out that those behind that narrative and all that resulted from it, are the same people who have been chasing down Julian Assange for many years.

And that to get to the bottom of the hunt for Trump by the DNC, Clinton campaign, US intelligence and last but not least the media in their pockets, the NYT, WaPo, MSNBC, CNN et al, they will have to take a much closer look at what happened to Assange. If they don’t they will never understand. How do we know it’s starting to dawn on them? Look at this illustration at the Last Refuge site yesterday. More on them later.

Note: the mostly left wing Assange supporters would do good to consider the same thing: they in turn must look into the RussiaRussia Trump collusion stories, much as they may not like the president. Because those stories are why Assange has been chased down like so much roadkill. And because the right win of America is their best chance at getting him pardoned/released. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, to put it bluntly. Sometimes you need blunt.

As I’ve pointed out countless times, the Mueller investigation of the Trump campaign -and presidency- may have come up glaringly empty, but the report they issued maintained that “13 Russians” and Julian Assange were responsible for hacking DNC emails. There is no proof of this, but since none of the “accused” can speak out, the report make the claim, and did.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

They Only Serve Themselves


Caspar David Friedrich The Monk by the Sea c1809
“The Kremlin” poisoned their “fierce rival” Navalny with the infamous deadly agent novichok. That is the headline. Only, the German accusation in that direction doesn’t say novichok, its says a “cholinesterase inhibitor”, of which novichok is just one example, was used. The news outlets must be thinking that at least after the Skripal case, enough people will recognize the term, and let’s not confuse them.The Germans claim they have “unequivocal proof” (eindeutiger Beweis) for this. While the Russian doctors who initially treated Navalny after he fell ill on a flight from Tomsk to Omsk (or was that the other way around?!) said he showed zero signs of poisoning. But yeah, they’re Russians, so they can’t be trusted, right? They all squander their Hippocratic oaths at the feet of the great malevolent dictator Trump Putin. You’re familiar with the parable about “all Cretans lie”?

“Merkel spokesman Seibert said the German government will inform its partners in the European Union and NATO about the test results..” NATO? What do they have to do with anything? How does the alleged poisoning of a two-bit (2% in the polls) Russian “politician” link to NATO? Is Navalny himself linked to NATO? Where does NATO come in to the conversation? How much does the CIA pay Navalny anyway?

The thing, the problem, is that it makes no difference anymore even if this particular instance has a kernel of truth in it. Because there have been so many of them, and they’re all “based” on non-evidence, circumstantial “evidence”, stuff that you wouldn’t get a conviction on in any western court. For good reason.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Intelligence

Intelligence

Sometimes I think I can only do this work properly if I’m angry all the time 24/7. But I don’t want to be angry all the time; what kind of life is that? Still, there are days when I just can’t help it. The British intelligence services (please let find another word for that, so as to not insult actually smart people) came out with a couple anti-Putin press releases today, and there we go again.

We can only guess at what they want this time, whether it to keep the UK’s own “RussiaRussia Putin is Hitler” flame alive, or are they seeking to help their US counterparts to rise from the ashes of their fully discredited years-long Orange Man Bad narratives, but boy, is this nauseating. What’s even worse is that people eat it up like candy.

Guys, this is your own highly paid snoops lying to you -along with your government(s)- like there’s no tomorrow, and you’re just sitting there worrying about wearing a face mask next time you go to a store. Know what that makes you? Sheep. I know y’all still know what those look like, and how they behave. So what’s the attraction?

Here’s BIGLY revelation no. 1 per the BBC. Do note the “almost certain” in both pieces, they need an easy way out if the story doesn’t stick. It also means that obviously they’re not at all certain, they’re just making it up.

Russian Hackers Target COVID19 Vaccine Research

Russian hackers are targeting organisations trying to develop a coronavirus vaccine, a group of national security services has warned. The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said the hackers “almost certainly” operated as “part of Russian intelligence services”. It said the group used malware to try and steal information relating to Covid-19 vaccine development. NCSC director of operations Paul Chichester said it was “despicable”. The hackers are part of a group called APT29, also known as “the Dukes” or “Cozy Bear”.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Warning Mr. Trump

Warning Mr. Trump

Pablo Picasso Crucifixion 1930

President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500.

Mr. President,

I write to you because I’m seeing something unfold that concerns you, and I have no way of knowing if you’re aware of it, nor have I seen anyone else mention it. That is, sir, you are being set up, a trap is being set for you, and unless you are aware of it, you may well walk into that trap eyes wide open.

It may not be in your briefing this morning, but the WikiLeaks organization has reported that high-ranking Ecuadorean state officials have told them Julian Assange will be expelled from their London embassy in a matter of “hours to days”. Now, I don’t know what your personal opinion is of Mr. Assange, maybe you think he deserves punishment for leaking secret files to the public.

Your personal opinion of Mr. Assange, however, is not the most important issue here, no offense. What’s most important to your own situation, as well as that of Mr. Assange, is that the people who are after him are the very same people who have been after you for 3 years, and who will double their efforts after suffering a huge loss due to Robert Mueller’s No Collusion report.

What the trap set for you consists of is that if you let these -largely anonymous- deep state actors get their hands on Mr. Assange, you will greatly empower them (even further). But, sir, his enemies inside US intelligence are the same as yours, and empowering one’s enemies is not the way to do battle.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Exclusive: They Spy With Their Little Eye

Exclusive: They Spy With Their Little Eye

The Five Eyes, a part of what the NSA calls internally its “global network,” have their dirty fingerprints all over the latest spying scandal engulfing New Zealand, writes exiled Kiwi journalist and activist Suzie Dawson.

NZ Spy Scandal:  Elephants In The Room; US Used NZ Spies to Spy on Third Countries, Including France; US Army Ready for Unrest


I’ve spent six years alternately begging major NZ journalists to investigate state-sponsored spying on activists including me, and, out of sheer necessity, reporting extensively on it myself from within the vacuum created by their inaction. So it is somewhat bemusing to now observe the belated unfolding of what ex-Member of Parliament and Greenpeace NZ Executive Director Russel Norman is describing as New Zealand’s “Watergate moment“.

In the wake of the bombshell release of a State Services Commission report into the affair, Norman wrote: “My key takeaway is that under the previous government, no one was safe from being spied on if they disagreed with government policy.”

This is a remarkable statement from Norman, who once sat on the very government committee tasked with oversight of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies. The futility of that lofty position was reflected in my 2014 piece “Glenn Greenwald and the Irrelevance of Electoral Politics“ which quoted Greenwald, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s leaks, saying of Norman:

“You had the Green Party leader here in New Zealand say in an interview that I watched that he was on the committee that oversees the GCSB [ Government Communications Security Bureau – NZ’s electronic spying agency] and yet he learned far more about what the agency does by reading our stories than he did in briefings. They really have insulated themselves from the political process and have a lot of tools to ensure that they continue to grow and their power is never questioned.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Pakistan Suspends Military And Intelligence Cooperation With US

In the wake of President Trump’s twitter outburst last week, alleging that Pakistan has given the U.S. “nothing but lies and deceit” accompanied by the suspension of US financial aid, Defense Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan declared that military and intelligence cooperation with the United States are suspended, during an address at the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad on Tuesday.

Khan, who was speaking at a seminar titled: “Contours of Security Environment of Pakistan,’ said the U.S. is now facing defeat in Afghanistan after a 16-year war, despite spending billions of dollars. With defeat imminent, he claims the U.S. is using Pakistan as a ‘scapegoat,’ rather than defending and securing the Pak-Afghan border.

“Pakistan does not want to put a price on its sacrifices but wants them to be recognized,” Khan added that Pakistan would not allow Afghanistan’s war to be fought on Pakistani soil.

Military relations between Pakistan and the United States have stretched as far back as 1947. The Afghan-Pakistan Center of Excellence is a division of United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), with military operations sometimes jointly focused on Afghanistan and Pakistan. It’s widely known that CIA drone bases and U.S. military logistical operations for Afghanistan are located in the country.

Kahn emphasized, “a wide field of intelligence cooperation and defense cooperation have been suspended,” but added the supply lines for NATO troops in Afghanistan would remain open. There was little mention of the fate of CIA drone bases operating in the country.

Khan stated, “you see the facilities that we have extended to them (Americans) are still in operation. We have not suspended them. But there is also a wide field of intelligence cooperation and defense cooperation which we have suspended.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“Cloak Of Darkness” Grows As US Widens Surveillance Dragnet To ‘Homegrown Violent Extremists’

“Cloak Of Darkness” Grows As US Widens Surveillance Dragnet To ‘Homegrown Violent Extremists’ 

In the last months of President Obama’s ‘reign’, Reuters reports that, thanks to a presidential executive order, bypassing congressional and court review, a Department of Defense manual on procedures governing its intelligence activities permits the collection of information about Americans for counterintelligence purposes even “when no specific connection to foreign terrorist(s) has been established.”

The new manual, released in August 2016, now permits the collection of information about Americans for counterintelligence purposes “when no specific connection to foreign terrorist(s) has been established,” according to training slides created last year by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI).

Executive order 12333, signed by former President Ronald Reagan in 1981 and later modified by former President George W. Bush, establishes how U.S. intelligence agencies such as the CIA are allowed to pursue foreign intelligence investigations. The order also allows surveillance of U.S. citizens in certain cases, including for activities defined as counterintelligence.

Under the previous Defense Department manual’s definition of counterintelligence activity, which was published in 1982, the U.S. government was required to demonstrate a target was working on behalf of the goals of a foreign power or terrorist group.

In August 2016, during the final months of former President Barack Obama’s administration, a Pentagon press release announced that the department had updated its intelligence collecting procedures but it made no specific reference to “homegrown violent extremists.”

 The revision was signed off by the Department of Justice’s senior leadership, including the attorney general, and reviewed by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, a government privacy watchdog.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

NGO Publishes Names of 2,300+ RT Guests, Labels Them ‘Useful Idiots Who Undermine Western Democracy’

An NGO called the European Values Think-Tank has published a report on RT featuring an extensive list of US and European public figures who have been accused of “undermining western democracy” just by appearing in RT shows.

The report, claiming to be an “overview of RT’s editorial strategy and evidence of impact,”  comes with an Excel list of 2,327 people who have appeared on RT over the last four years. The names are carefully arranged in seven categories, including US politicians, UK politicians, European politicians and so on, and are arranged in alphabetical order. The list mentions the shows the guests appeared on, the total number of their appearances, and gives hyperlinks to all the relevant episodes.

The report states that appearing on the network is counterproductive and makes the guest a “useful idiot” to a “hostile foreign power.”Expressing one’s opinion on RT is considered by the NGO as equivalent to “complicity with the Russian propaganda machine.”

Although the list looks like a really thorough effort at cataloguing all of the RT guests, it’s got a number of strikingly weird blunders. For example, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is there, but only the link attached leads to a satirical show featuring someone impersonating him. Meanwhile, US Senator John McCain’s daughter is mistaken for the senator himself and “Politicking with Larry King” is unexpectedly referred to as “Politicking with Larry David.”

The report generally claims that RT is “an instrument of hostile foreign influence,” which has the sole purpose of “undermining public confidence in the viability of liberal democracy.”

It repeatedly discourages any public figures from potentially appearing on any of RT’s shows in the future, as those on the list are accused of boosting RT’s “credibility as a legitimate news network.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Even Wikileaks Haters Shouldn’t Want It Labeled a “Hostile Intelligence Agency”

IT USED TO be easy to cheer on WikiLeaks. But since 2010, many (myself included) have watched with dismay as WikiLeaks slid from the outlet courageous enough to host Chelsea Manning’s data dump to a murky melange of bad-faith propagandizing and newsworthy disclosures. At a time when WikiLeaks and its founder are willing to help push “Pizzagate,” and unable to tweet about sunglasses sans conspiracy-think, it’s not unfair to view Julian Assange as being motivated as much by his various axes to grind as he is by a zeal for transparency. But even the harshest WikiLeaks critics should resist the Senate’s attempt to brand the website a “non-state hostile intelligence service” in the 2018 intelligence authorization bill.

Ron Wyden isn’t a friend of WikiLeaks. In May, the Oregon senator’s office tweeted that it was an “established fact” that “Trump actively encouraged Russians & WikiLeaks to attack our democracy,” and pointed out, with suspicion, President Donald Trump’s praise for WikiLeaks during the campaign. Like his Democratic colleagues on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Wyden embraced the tough language on Russian meddling that had been folded into the nation’s spy budget, but unlike them he voted against the reauthorization bill because of this sentence: “It is the sense of Congress that WikiLeaks and the senior leadership of WikiLeaks resemble a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors and should be treated as such a service by the United States.”

So, what’s a “non-state hostile intelligence service”? That’s a great question, given that an “intelligence service” is a spy agency, and spy agencies are the tools of governments, and therefore not stateless.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Ex-White House Officials Criticize Vague Rules Around Disclosure of Hacking Tools

WHEN U.S. GOVERNMENT officials discover a new vulnerability they can use to hack into people’s computers, they have a decision to make: Should they keep it to themselves? Or should they warn the world?

Exactly how they make that decision is a mystery.

Now, two top former White House cybersecurity officials are recommending in a report that the administration be more transparent about how it deals with those vulnerabilities when it discovers them or buys tools to exploit them from the private sector.

“The principles guiding these decisions, as well as a high-level map of the process that will be used to make such decisions, can and should be public,” wrote Ari Schwartz and Robert Knake in a new report for Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

Members of the intelligence community have an obvious incentive to hold on to undiscovered cyber flaws so they can keep using them to hack their targets. But failing to tell a company about a flaw in its product — so it can be fixed — puts users at risk from other hackers.

The White House’s continued refusal to explain how it balances the priorities of intelligence versus cybersecurity for Americans is leading to a lack of public trust, the authors suggest.

In 2015, White House officials begrudgingly released heavily redacted guidelines for disclosing cyber threats, which they call the Vulnerabilities Equities Process, to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. They also issued a vague White House blog post.

But as the public becomes more aware of the government’s ability to go on the technological offensive — hacking against adversaries — consumer advocates are asking how that capability is regulated.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Intelligence Community Olive Branch on Data Sharing Greeted With Skepticism

TOP INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY lawyer Robert Litt has offfered a rare olive branch to privacy advocates on Wednesday, in the form of information.

In a post on one of their favorite blogs on Wednesday, Litt, general counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, outlined new intelligence data-sharing guidelines that he said will be released soon.

The post, on Just Security, was essentially a response to reporting last month from the New York Times’s Charlie Savage that the NSA would soon be sharing with other government agencies the raw, unfiltered intelligence from the depths of its massive overseas spying programs.

“There has been a lot of speculation about the content of proposed procedures that are being drafted to authorize the sharing of unevaluated signals intelligence,” Litt wrote.

The New York Times story raised concerns that the data, which inevitably includes information about Americans, would become too easily accessible by intelligence agencies including the FBI, potentially leading to fishing expeditions.

Litt provided his assurances that “these procedures are not about law enforcement, but about improving our intelligence capabilities.”

He also emphasized that there would be no additional collection of information—and that all the same privacy protections that currently exist will apply.

Privacy advocates and policy analysts interviewed by The Intercept were pleased Litt made the effort to reach out, noting some positive features of his announcement—like the possible restriction on sharing intelligence with state and local law enforcers.

Nathan White, senior legislative manager for digital rights organization Access Now, had entreated the intelligence community just the day before for more information on how the FBI would get access. “I hope that Litt replied to my op-ed means they’re taking these concerns seriously,” White wrote in a message to The Intercept.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Stingrays: A Secret Catalogue of Gear for Spying on Your Cellphone

Stingrays: A Secret Catalogue of Gear for Spying on Your Cellphone

THE INTERCEPT HAS OBTAINED a secret, internal U.S. government catalogue of dozens of cellphone surveillance devices used by the military and by intelligence agencies. The document, thick with previously undisclosed information, also offers rare insight into the spying capabilities of federal law enforcement and local police inside the United States.

The catalogue includes details on the Stingray, a well-known brand of surveillance gear, as well as Boeing “dirt boxes” and dozens of more obscure devices that can be mounted on vehicles, drones, and piloted aircraft. Some are designed to be used at static locations, while others can be discreetly carried by an individual. They have names like Cyberhawk, Yellowstone, Blackfin, Maximus, Cyclone, and Spartacus. Within the catalogue, the NSA is listed as the vendor of one device, while another was developed for use by the CIA, and another was developed for a special forces requirement. Nearly a third of the entries focus on equipment that seems to have never been described in public before.

The Intercept obtained the catalogue from a source within the intelligence community concerned about the militarization of domestic law enforcement. (The original is here.)

A few of the devices can house a “target list” of as many as 10,000 unique phone identifiers. Most can be used to geolocate people, but the documents indicate that some have more advanced capabilities, like eavesdropping on calls and spying on SMS messages. Two systems, apparently designed for use on captured phones, are touted as having the ability to extract media files, address books, and notes, and one can retrieve deleted text messages.

Above all, the catalogue represents a trove of details on surveillance devices developed for military and intelligence purposes but increasingly used by law enforcement agencies to spy on people and convict them of crimes.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

‘Five Eyes’ countries to meet on anti-terrorism fight: Canada

‘Five Eyes’ countries to meet on anti-terrorism fight: Canada

OTTAWA (Reuters) – The five nations that make up the world’s leading intelligence-sharing network will meet in London next month to confer on strategies to fight terrorism in the wake of the Paris attacks, Canada said on Tuesday.

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney said the so-called Five Eyes – the United States, Australia, Canada, Britain and New Zealand – had scheduled a meeting for Jan 22.

A Canadian government official later said the five would actually meet in London some time in February.

Blaney’s comments were unusual, since members of the Five Eyes network rarely talk about its activity.

“We’re going to have a meeting with our Five Eyes allies in London … and this is serious stuff. Terrorism will be there” on the agenda, he told CTV television.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

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