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Syria Spinmeisters Fumble Attempts To Narrative Manage OPCW Leaks

Syria Spinmeisters Fumble Attempts To Narrative Manage OPCW Leaks

It’s been over 72 hours since The Grayzone published new leaks further exposing how the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has been lying about its investigation into an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria two years ago.

These new documents make it abundantly clear that OPCW leadership were just plain lying when they claimed that a ballistics expert named Ian Henderson was not a part of the Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) in Douma and played only a “minor supporting role” there. Henderson disagrees with the organisation’s official findings implicating the Syrian government in a chlorine gas attack, finding instead that the gas cylinders on the scene were “manually placed”, indicating that the crime scene was staged and the dozens of civilians killed were the victims of a still-unsolved mass murder.

The silence on these revelations from the OPCW and its usual narrative managers has been deafening.


Peter Hitchens✔@ClarkeMicah

No reply yet from “OPCW public affairs, to my query about Greyzone allegations,m devastating if true both to official position of OPCW and to lapcat @Bellingcat. : https://thegrayzone.com/2020/05/06/opcw-douma-whistleblower/ …Exclusive: OPCW chief made false claims to denigrate Douma whistleblower, documents reveal  | The…The Grayzone has obtained documents exposing numerous falsehoods and misleading claims by OPCW Director General Fernando Arias to degrade the…thegrayzone.com


Peter Hitchens, one of the only high-visibility journalists to cover the OPCW scandal, tweeted when the documents first emerged: “I have today formally requested OPCW public affairs to comment on these allegations, which call into question an important statement made by the organisation’s chief and retailed by lapcat Bellingcat about the status of Inspector Ian Henderson.”

“No reply yet from OPCW public affairs, to my query about Greyzone allegations, devastating if true both to official position of OPCW and to lapcat Bellingcat,” Hitchens tweeted a day later.

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

Amid Internal Investigation Over Leaks to Media, The Centre for American Progress Fires Two Staffers

The logo for the Center for American Progress in seen, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at their office in Washington. The major liberal policy group is raising the ante on the health care debate with a new plan that builds on Medicare to guarantee coverage for all. Called “Medicare Extra for All,” the proposal to be released Feb. 22, 2018, by the Center for American Progress gives politically energized Democrats more options to achieve a long-sought goal. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
The Center for American Progress office in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 21, 2018. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

AMID INTERNAL INVESTIGATION OVER LEAKS TO MEDIA, THE CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS FIRES TWO STAFFERS

“He is a consummate team player who will raise whatever concerns he has through proper channels, but at the end of the day, he’s on board with the team.”

One of those fired, Ken Gude, was a senior national security staffer. He worked at CAP since 2003 and previously served as the progressive think tank’s chief of staff. The notion that he would have leaked the exchange just doesn’t square with his time at CAP, said one of the sources close to the situation. “Ken loves CAP and has dedicated 15 years of his life to the organization,” said the source. “He is a consummate team player who will raise whatever concerns he has through proper channels, but at the end of the day, he’s on board with the team.”

A CAP spokesperson acknowledged two employees were fired as a result of the leak investigation, but said that the leak was not the reason they were fired: “We are not going to discuss internal personnel matters, but no one was fired at CAP for leaking or whistleblowing.” Internally, however, multiple members of CAP leadership have used the leak as the leading rationale for the firings in multiple settings, sources said. Gude did not return requests for comment.

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

DOJ, Rosenstein Working To Better Spy On Journalists, Target Leakers

Over the past few months, the Department of Justice has been quietly engaged an effort to revise its guidelines governing the rules for seizing records from journalists – especially when it comes to leak cases, reports The Hill‘s John Solomon.

The effort has the potential to touch off a First Amendment debate with a press corps that already has high degrees of distrust of and disfunction with the Trump administration. –The Hill

Current guidelines were established during the Clinton Administration – “long before WikiLeaks was a twinkle in Julian Assange’s eye,” and were designed to balance a journalist’s First Amendment rights and the investigative interests of law enforcement. They require prosecutors in most cases to exhaust all obvious investigative methods for identifying leaks before they go after a journalist’s records – and free-speech rights.

Multiple sources familiar with the ongoing DOJ review tell me that it has two main goals. The first is to lower the threshold that prosecutors must meet before requesting subpoenas for journalists’ records; the second is to eliminate the need to alert a media organization that Justice intends to issue a subpoena. –The Hill

Supervised by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s office following the departure of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the revisions are not yet finalized according to Solomon’s sources – who note that Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker is aware of the effort but has not been given a final recommendation.

“Sources close to Whitaker say he will await final judgment but, in recent days, has developed reservations about proceeding with the plan,” writes Solomon.

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

“The Criminals Who Run The Deep State Will Be Exposed”: Kim Dotcom Teases “Next Round Of Leaks”

Hacker and serial entrepreneur Kim Dotcom is out with a new prediction for 2019:

Get ready for the next round of leaks.


I smile every day watching the aftermath of preventing Hillary.
Deep State exposed.
Fake news exposed.
DOJ & FBI exposed.
I’m happy youu are more informed than ever. 2019 will reveal so much more. Get ready for the next round of leaks. Monumental stuff

😎


Dotcom then tweeted “This year the criminals who run the Deep State will be exposed,” adding “The shareholders profiting from war and chaos. The billionaires who turn democracy into an illusion. They own politicians, judges and all your data. They are the biggest pirates in history. Want to know who they are?



For those paying attention, Dotcom dropped massive breadcrumbs going all the way back to 2015 regarding the WikiLeaks release of Hillary Clinton’s emails during the 2016 US election.

And while he’s has made headlines for years, in February Dotcom boldly stated that the DNC “hack” which kicked off the Russian election interference narrative was bogus, tweeting: “Let me assure you, the DNC hack wasn’t even a hack. It was an insider with a memory stick. I know this because I know who did it and why.” 

Dotcom says he offered to produce evidence to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, twice, and they never even replied to him.

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

Safety Officials Order Partial Shutdown of Sabine Pass LNG Export Facility After Discovering 10-Year History of Leaks

Safety Officials Order Partial Shutdown of Sabine Pass LNG Export Facility After Discovering 10-Year History of Leaks

Sabine Pass LNG Export Facility

Sabine Pass, the only liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility in the country, has reportedly been experiencing safety issues for the past decade, and yet federal safety officials were only informed of this history while investigating the terminal’s latest leak in January. Owned by Cheniere Energy, Sabine Pass is located on the Gulf Coast on the border of Texas and Louisiana.

Regulators became aware of the export facility’s issues after the most recent accident and leak at an LNG storage tank. As NOLA.com reported:

“Supercold liquefied natural gas leaked into a space between inner and outer walls of a major storage tank at the Sabine Pass LNG export facility in Cameron Parish on Jan. 22, and its minus 260-degree temperature created numerous 1-foot to 6-foot cracks in the carbon steel outer tank wall, allowing some of the gas to escape.”

As a result of this recent leak, Alan Mayberry, associate administrator for the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) sent a Corrective Action Order to Cheniere. The contents of this communication were not encouraging:

“To date, Sabine has been unable to correct the long-standing safety concerns described above involving the affected tanks, cannot validate the exact source or amount of the LNG that may have leaked into the annulus of the affected tanks, and cannot identify the circumstances that allowed the LNG to escape containment in the first place.”

According to PHMSA, the operators of the Sabine Pass facility don’t know how much LNG has leaked, don’t know how it happened, and can’t fix the problem, which seems like reasons for concern, especially considering problems with this and another tank began in 2008:

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

Former CIA Director compared prosecuting leakers under the Espionage Act to “driving tacks with a sledge hammer”

Former CIA Director compared prosecuting leakers under the Espionage Act to “driving tacks with a sledge hammer”

Declassified report called journalists “patriotic,” argued for more appropriate responses to leaks.

Just months before the government’s first successful use of the Espionage Act against someone for leaking to the media, a declassified report written by then-CIA Director William Casey argued that just such an act would be irresponsible.

In the formerly SECRET paper, the Director stated that using the Espionage Act against media leakers was like “driving tacks with a sledge hammer” – grossly excessive. Months later, the government did just that, setting a precedent which is still used today. Two years later, Reagan’s war against leakers had pushed Casey into the even more aggressive position of threatening not just leakers with prosecution – but the Washington Post, the Washington Times, the New York Times, Time and Newsweek as well.

Far from minimizing the potential harm of national security leaks, Casey emphasized the damage that they could do. However, none of the five examples provided by Casey in his report resulted in any actual harm. Two examples “could have” resulted in adversary adjusting their techniques, though the language implies that hadn’t happened. A third and fourth example resulted in potential damage which forced the Agency to cut off contact with a human source lest that danger be amplified. While endangering human sources is never a good thing and disrupting HUMINT operations was unlikely to have been the intention, the report again indicates that no actual harm came to anyone. A fifth example placed someone in danger of being discovered, again a possibility which hadn’t come to pass, though it “could possibly have an adverse effect on U.S. relations” with an unknown group.

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

Whistleblowing Is Not Just Leaking — It’s an Act of Political Resistance

Whistleblowing Is Not Just Leaking — It’s an Act of Political Resistance

“I’VE BEEN WAITING 40 years for someone like you.” Those were the first words Daniel Ellsberg spoke to me when we met last year. Dan and I felt an immediate kinship; we both knew what it meant to risk so much — and to be irrevocably changed — by revealing secret truths.

One of the challenges of being a whistleblower is living with the knowledge that people continue to sit, just as you did, at those desks, in that unit, throughout the agency, who see what you saw and comply in silence, without resistance or complaint. They learn to live not just with untruths but with unnecessary untruths, dangerous untruths, corrosive untruths. It is a double tragedy: What begins as a survival strategy ends with the compromise of the human being it sought to preserve and the diminishing of the democracy meant to justify the sacrifice.

But unlike Dan Ellsberg, I didn’t have to wait 40 years to witness other citizens breaking that silence with documents. Ellsberg gave the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times and other newspapers in 1971; Chelsea Manning provided the Iraq and Afghan War logs and the Cablegate materials to WikiLeaks in 2010. I came forward in 2013. Now here we are in 2016, and another person of courage and conscience has made available the set of extraordinary documents that are published in The Assassination Complex, the new book out today by Jeremy Scahill and the staff of The Intercept. (The documents were originally published last October 15 in The Drone Papers.)

We are witnessing a compression of the working period in which bad policy shelters in the shadows, the time frame in which unconstitutional activities can continue before they are exposed by acts of conscience.

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

Neil Macdonald: Government sensitivity over you hearing about ‘sensitive’ information

Neil Macdonald: Government sensitivity over you hearing about ‘sensitive’ information

Deputy minister calls in the RCMP after media leaks at her department

Canadian democracy has, we are told, been maliciously undermined at Citizenship and Immigration, and the department’s top public servant is determined to set things right, on behalf of the Canadian people.

Deputy Minister Anita Biguzs has declared herself “deeply concerned.” What has happened, she says, is an ethical erosion of the very cornerstone of the trust and democratic function of government.

Now, before you go leaping to conclusions, Biguzs was not talking about the prime minister’s political staff overriding the professionals in her department who were choosing which Syrian refugees will be lucky enough to end up in Canada.

Anita Biguzs

Anita Biguzs, deputy minister of citizenship and immigration, has called in the RCMP to investigate leaks from her department to the media. (Citizenship and Immigration Canada)

Nor is she talking about the near-total absence of public transparency in her department, which has made it nearly impossible for a member of the public to reach anything other than a voice mail message. (“If we started taking public calls, we’d never get any work done,” a departmental spokeswoman told me a few weeks ago, with no evident irony.)

No, what has provoked Bigusz’s anger, and determination for a reckoning, is that someone under her command apparently had the gall to tell a journalist — and thereby the Canadian public — about the PMO overriding the professionals in her department.

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

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