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Agitprop Is Not News


Forget about sharks. In their Valentine’s Day editorial: Why Does Trump Ignore Top Officials’ Warnings on Russia?, The New York Times jumped several blue whales (all the ones left on earth), a cruise ship, a subtropical archipelago, a giant vortex of plastic bottles, and the Sport’s Illustratedswimsuit shoot. The lede said:

The phalanx of intelligence chiefs who testified on Capitol Hill delivered a chilling message: Not only did Russia interfere in the 2016 election, it is already meddling in the 2018 election by using a digital strategy to exacerbate the country’s political and social divisions.

Hmmm…. After almost two years of relentless public paranoia about Russia and US elections, don’t you suppose these Ruskie gremlins would find some other way to make mischief in our world — maybe meddle in the NHL playoffs, or hack WalMart’s bookkeeping department, or covertly switch out the real Dwayne Johnson with a robot? I kind of completely and absolutely doubt that they’ll bother with our elections.

Let’s face it, the United States is doing a stellar job of destroying itself with bad ideas, foolish ideologies, and pervasive self-deceit. If I was running the Russian intel services, I’d just pay to send a few Nebraska county commissioners to Disneyland — that would keep our seventeen US intel agencies busy until kingdom come trying to figure out the angle. And it would cheaper than spending a hundred grand to fuck with Facebook.

Actually the Times’s editorial seems to have CIA / NSA fingerprints all over it, or at least Deep State paw prints. By stating that the Russians are already “meddling” in 2018 elections that haven’t happened yet, aren’t our own security agencies setting up the public to lose faith in the electoral process and fight over election results? Oh, by the way, the Times presented no evidence whatsoever that this alleged “meddling” is taking place. They just assert it, as if it were already adjudicated.

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

U.S. Intelligence Crisis Poses a Threat to the World

U.S. Intelligence Crisis Poses a Threat to the World

Privatized and politicized intelligence is undermining the mission of providing unbiased information to both high-level decision makers and the American public, explains George Eliason in this first of a three-part series.


Back in 1991, during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the general consensus of the intelligence community was that America needed a strong Russia. Russians bore the weight of dismantling the Soviet Union and an internally strong and stable Russia was considered the biggest stable democratic government in the hemisphere.

Intelligence Community logo

A strong Russia provides stability throughout the region. Without a strong and stable Russia, the massive Russian Federation would descend into small nationalist countries. Warring nations and instability would be the norm and not the exception.

For its part, Russia also needs an internally and externally strong America, as does the world. A weak America that is susceptible to overthrow would be the largest threat that nobody wants to talk about. Such a strong America requires professional and competent intelligence services.

On the other hand, if U.S. intelligence are questionable and untrustworthy, there is no single greater threat to the planet today. Members of an intelligence community who try to circumvent the democratic process should be prosecuted no matter who they are or who they are trying to undermine.

This three-part article series is a top-down look at the deep state. Its purpose isn’t to identify every company and every player. Instead, this lead-in is a primer showing the layout of the land at the highest levels and why things have gone so very wrong inside the intelligence community.

The second part will show how the top level relates to the next level down with contractors and companies that deal with public issues, public policy, and commit illegal actions.

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

Will Congress Face Down the Deep State?

Will Congress Face Down the Deep State?

The House Intelligence Committee’s vote on Monday to release a memorandum describing alleged malfeasance at the DOJ and the FBI could test constitutional principles, writes Ray McGovern.


With the House Intelligence Committee vote yesterday to release its four-page memorandum reportedly based on documentary evidence of possible crimes by top Justice Department and FBI leaders, the die is cast. Russia-gate and FBI-gate are now joined at the hip.

The coming weeks will show whether the U.S. intelligence establishment (the FBI/CIA/NSA, AKA the “Deep State”) will be able to prevent its leaders from being held to account. Past precedent suggests that the cabal that conjured up Russia-gate will not have to pick up a “go-to-jail” card. This, despite the widespread guilt suggested by the abrupt way that several senior-echelon DOJ and FBI rats have already jumped ship. Not to mention the manner in which FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, was unceremoniously pushed overboard yesterday, after Director Christopher Wray was given a look at the extra-legal capers described in the House Intelligence Committee memorandum.

Granted, at first glance Deep State’s efforts to undercut candidate Donald Trump at first seem so risky and audacious as to be unbelievable. By now, though, Americans should be able to wrap their heads around, one, the dire threat that outsider Trump was seen to be posing to the Deep State and to the ease with which it held sway under President Barack Obama; and, two, expected immunity from prosecution if Deep State crimes were eventually discovered after the election, since “everybody knew” Hillary Clinton was going to win. Oops.

Accountability This Time?

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

Foxes in Charge of Intelligence Hen House

Foxes in Charge of Intelligence Hen House

Recent revelations of “inadvertent” deletions of electronic data at the FBI and NSA relating to alleged felonies are being described as a “foul-up,” but the intelligence agencies’ track record suggests a possibly more nefarious explanation, explains Ray McGovern in this op-ed.


We learned in recent days that the FBI and the National Security Agency “inadvertently” deleted electronic messages relating to reported felonies, but one noxious reality persists: No one in the FBI or NSA is likely to be held to account for these “mistakes.”

NSA Headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland

It is a 70 year-old tradition. Today’s lack of accountability is enabled by (1) corruption at the top of intelligence agencies; (2) the convenient secrecy behind which their leaders hide; (3) bureaucratic indignities and structural flaws in the system; (4) the indulgence/complicity of most of the “mainstream media;” and (5) the eunuchs leading the Congressional “oversight” committees, who — history shows — can be bullied by threats, including blackmail, a la former longtime FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.

It is a safe bet, though, that neither the FBI nor NSA have deleted their holdings on key Congressional leaders — including House Democratic minority leader Nancy Pelosi, who used to boast about her very long tenure as head of the House Intelligence Committee, only to complain later that “they [intelligence officials] mislead us all the time.”

In fact, Pelosi was briefed by the NSA and CIA on all manner of crimes, including warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens, in violation of the Fourth Amendment, and torture.

The lack of intelligence accountability has created a kind of perfect storm, enabling felonies and lesser mischief ordered by those sitting atop the intelligence community. While press reports indicate that the Congressional oversight committees now have “explosive” documentary proof — not yet deleted — of such crimes, it remains to be seen whether the committees will have the courage to do their duty under the law.

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

Intelligence Insider Warns Of Imminent War: “Likely In The Next 12 Weeks… The Director Of The CIA Told Me”

Intelligence Insider Warns Of Imminent War: “Likely In The Next 12 Weeks… The Director Of The CIA Told Me”

nuclear-war-missile

Having worked closely with U.S. intelligence agencies over the last two decades, James Rickards was once asked to simulate asymmetric economic attacks on the U.S. financial system. He is an expert at escalation scenarios and end games, and in a recent article at The Daily Reckoning he warns that the geopolitical situation on the Korean Peninsula will soon come to a head.

According to Rickards, author of The Road To Ruin: The Global Elites Secret Plan For The Next Financial Crisiswhile the world concerns itself with stock bubbles, bitcoin and debt, the most imminent threat we face is military confrontation with North Korea.

And while the rogue state has been an ongoing  threat for many years, the first half of 2018 will likely see the trigger that sets the whole powder keg off:

The most important financial or geopolitical issue in the world today is a coming war between the U.S. and North Korea, probably in the next twelve weeks.

How can I be so sure about the timing? The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency told me.

In a private conclave in Washington DC on October 20, 2017, CIA Director Mike Pompeo told a small think tank group (including me) that it would be imprudent to assume it would take North Korea more than ‘five months’ to have a reliable arsenal of nuclear-armed ICBM missiles. These could strike U.S. cities and kill millions of Americans.

Five months from October 20, 2017 is March 20, 2018. That’s an outside date but the war will likely begin before then.

That would create an element of surprise — and avoid the surprise of a faster than expected deployment of strategic weapons by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Source: The Daily Reckoning via Survival and Prosperity

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

Edward Snowden Asks Ron Paul If Intelligence Reports Ever Swayed His Vote

Edward Snowden Asks Ron Paul If Intelligence Reports Ever Swayed His Vote

During an appearance on the Liberty Report last week, Dr. Ron Paul interviewed former NSA contractor Edward Snowden about the rise of the Deep State and how intelligence agencies are threatening Americans’ freedom. But in the closing moments of that interview, Snowden surprised Paul with an unexpected request:

“I was thinking I could ask you a question Dr. Paul, again about the intelligence stuff…I think it’d be interesting to people and I don’t think we’ve ever heard it from your perspective…”

As a former intelligence analyst and operative, Snowden wondered how well the intelligence community had performed in its mission to keep US policymakers informed on important world events, given that Paul had for more than two decades been a “consumer” of the intelligence community’s products.

“In the intelligence community at the working level, not the policy level, everyone is taught that the work that they do is to inform policy makers…to understand what the facts are so they can make the best decisions.”

“You were in Congress for an extraordinary time…and one question I’ve always wondered is during all your time in Congress, how many times did the intelligence community provide some reports that they briefed to you…and the material was so impactful…so valuable that they’d been breaking all these laws to get it…how many times did it impact your vote?”

Paul’s response? Not once.

Paul says he was almost never provided with unadulterated intelligence reports, and on the one occasion when he attended a briefing with the intelligence agencies, the information more closely resembled propaganda than credible intelligence.

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

What Could Go Wrong?

“Things fall apart; the center cannot hold.” Yeats wrote. The funny thing is, we didn’t seem to miss the center all that much after it was gone. America is perfectly satisfied hunkering down at the margins these days. Especially the margins of thinking.

One thing that used to occupy the center was public discussion, debate, and argumentation. Now and again, it featured a coherent exchange of ideas. These days, the main political factions are sunk in hysteria of one kind or another. Their primitive promptings hardly add up to ideas but rather limbic spasms of fear and rage. And then there is the shadow partner of the two parties called the Deep State, led by the quaintly dubbed “Intelligence Community.” These birds, many of them lifers, are dedicated to making the public discussion of anything as incoherent as possible so as to prevent any change in policy that might curtail the growth of the Deep State, a sort of cancer of the body politic.

Case in point, the recent Syrian aerial gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun. Elected officials were all over the cable networks selling the NSA’s story that Syrian president Bashar Assad bombed women and children with Sarin gas three days after State Department declared that it had a new policy of letting Assad remain in power after decades of sedulously scheming to shove him out. That might have led to the end of the six-year-long Syrian civil war, which Assad seemed to be winning, finally — with Russian assistance.

But instead the incident has led to new official calls to shove Assad out… to be replaced by what…?

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

Red Hysteria Engulfs Washington

Red Hysteria Engulfs Washington

Red Hysteria Engulfs Washington

President Dwight Eisenhower’s warning about the dangers of the military-industrial complex made half a century ago ring as loud and clear today. The soft coup being mounted against the Trump government by America’s ‘deep state’ reached a new intensity this week as special interests battled for control of Washington.

The newly named national security advisor, Lt Gen Michael Flynn, was ousted by Trump over his chats with Russia’s ambassador and what he may or may not have told Vice President Pence. The defenestration of Flynn appeared engineered by our national intelligence agencies in collaboration with the mainstream media and certain Democrats.

Flynn’s crime? Talking to the wicked Russians before and after the election. Big, big deal. That’s what security advisors are supposed to do: keep an open back channel to other major powers and allies. This is also the job of our intelligence agencies.

There is no good or bad in international affairs. The childish concept of ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’ comes from the Bush era when simple-minded voters had to be convinced that America was somehow in grave danger from a bunch of angry Mideast goat herds.

The only nations that could threaten America’s very existence are nuclear powers Russia, China, India, France, Britain and Israel (and maybe Pakistan) in that order.

Russia has thousands of nuclear warheads targeted on the US mainland. Any real war with Russia would invite doom for both nations. Two near misses are more than enough. Remember the 1962 Cuban missile confrontation and the terrifying 1983 Able Archer scare – near thermonuclear war caused by Ronald Reagan’s anti-Russian hysteria and Moscow’s panicked response.

Margolis’ #1 rule of international relations: make nice and keep on good terms with nations that have nuclear weapons pointed at you. Avoid squabbles over almost all matters. Intelligence agencies play a key role in maintaining the balance of nuclear terror and preventing misunderstandings that can cause war.

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

Someone Has Officially Called the CIA’s Bluff over Russia

In the article, “Obama Must Declassify Evidence Of Russian Hacking,” Scahill and Jon Schwartz called out U.S. intelligence agencies for their record of deceit, asserting that the American people are not going to simply “take their word for it.”

U.S. intelligence agencies have repeatedly demonstrated that they regularly both lie and get things horribly wrong,” the article argues. But when it comes to the CIA’s case against Russia’s alleged interference with the latest U.S. presidential elections, it’s impossible to claim the hearsay is based on facts if evidence is not made available to support the agency’s claims.

Nevertheless, Scahill and Schwartz argue, it’s possible that Russia may have pulled some strings. But even if the Kremlin had its reasons and acted on them, America is the country with the long history of election meddling — not Russia.

Take Hillary Clinton’s comments on the Palestinian elections, for instance. A leaked audio recording from 2006 revealed then-senator Clinton advocated doing “something to determine who was going to win” in Palestine’s elections. And yet here she is, hoping to use the “Russia did it” talking point to give censorship a boost. The CIA has its own history of meddling in foreign elections.

In order to give Barack Obama’s administration that extra push to release any “proof” the CIA has that the 2016 U.S. elections were “rigged,” the Intercept’s duo encouraged feds or whistleblowers to use the publication’s secure drop link, where a “patriotic whistleblower” within the U.S. intelligence community may drop the leak that proves Russia is behind President-elect Donald Trump’s win. “[W]e will verify its legitimacy and publish it,” they added.

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

Mass surveillance programs futile in fighting terror – Snowden

Mass surveillance programs futile in fighting terror – Snowden

 Edward Snowden © AutoTracking / YouTube
Bulk data gathering programs used by US intelligence have no effect in combating terrorism and have failed to prevent any attacks in their 10 years of operation, whistleblower and former NSA contactor Edward Snowden, claims in a recent interview.

In the wake of the revelations of mass surveillance the [US] president [Barack Obama] appointed two independent commissions to review the efficiency of these [surveillance] programs, what they really did and what effect they had in combating terrorism. [The commissions comprised] the highest priests of these programs, they found these programs had never stopped a single terrorist attack and never made a concrete difference in a terrorist investigation,” Snowden told Spanish TV channel .

The whistleblower went on saying, that “they [the NSA, CIA] violated the constitution and the rights of 330 million Americans for 10 years. We have to ask ourselves: was it ever worth it?”He also stated that despite being justified by preventing terrorist attacks, surveillance programs are more often used for completely different purposes.

It was diplomatic manipulation, economic spying and social control. It was about power, and there is no doubt that mass surveillance increases the power of the government.

Read more

Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden © Vincent Kessler

Snowden stressed that bulk data collection is “more aggressive and invasive today than it was before. Law enforcement and intelligence structures do not any longer bother to pick up a suspect and hack his cell phone, they cut in into all lines and communications […] at the heart of the society.

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

Spy Chief’s ‘Unusual’ Contact With Military Official Raises Concerns About Intelligence Manipulation

Spy Chief’s ‘Unusual’ Contact With Military Official Raises Concerns About Intelligence Manipulation

    Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. (Partnership for Public Service / CC BY 2.0)

James Clapper—Barack Obama’s director of national intelligence—is said to be in what a former intelligence official called frequent and “highly, highly unusual” contact with a ranking junior intelligence officer who sits at the center of a growing scandal over rosy portrayals of the Pentagon’s war against Islamic State.

Clapper’s interlocutor—Army Brig. Gen. Steven Grove, head of U.S. Central Command’s intelligence wing—is said to be implicated in a Pentagon inquiry into manipulated war intelligence.

Spencer Ackerman reports at The Guardian:

In communications, Clapper, who is far more senior than Grove, is said to tell Grove how the war looks from his vantage point, and question Grove about Central Command’s assessments. Such a situation could place inherent pressure on a subordinate, sources said.

Knowledgeable former officials are doubtful that Clapper directly intends to manipulate intelligence. And they do not say that the director of national intelligence – who apologized to his Senate overseers in 2013 for publicly misleading Congress on the scope of domestic surveillance – ordered Grove or anyone else to change the command’s assessment of the war.

But one former intelligence official said Clapper “has to be careful of the Cheney effect, going over to the CIA and how does that affect people” – a reference to pressure felt by CIA analysts before the 2003 Iraq invasion to portray Saddam Hussein as posing a more dire threat than he actually did, following then Vice President Dick Cheney’s direct interaction with far more junior analysts and officials. …

More than 50 intelligence analysts, both those within Central Command and their seconded Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) colleagues, have registered complaints about manipulated or skewed data, the Daily Beast reported on Wednesday. Analysts object to internal portrayals, said to come ultimately from Grove and Ryckman, of a war proceeding better than Isis’s persistent hold over large swaths of Iraq and Syria suggests. The existence of the Pentagon inquiry was first reported last month by the New York Times. …

 

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

Are You Ready for the e-PATRIOT Act?

Are You Ready for the e-PATRIOT Act?

Are You Ready for the e-PATRIOT Act?

On June 4, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) revealed that hackers had penetrated its networks, possibly for many months. The data thieves stole personal information of up to 18 million current and former federal government applicants and employees.

There’s a good chance the attack is even worse than what you’ve read about. The OPM hack included a database holding security clearance information on hundreds of thousands of federal employees and contractors. This database contains details of applicants’ financial and investment records, family members, and even names of neighbors and close friends.

Another database that may have been breached includes criminal history, psychological records, and information about past drug use. The hackers might even have acquired detailed personal and sexual profiles obtained through lie detector tests.

With all the talk of Edward Snowden and the supposed “irreparable” damage he did to US interests, this theft is a lot worse. While OPM doesn’t hold personnel records for the CIA, it does for other US intelligence agencies. The hackers now know the identity of hundreds of thousands of federal employees with security clearances. Not only that, they also have sensitive background information on each of them, which they could easily use for blackmail.

Oh, and get this – the breach wasn’t actually discovered by the OPM. It was only uncovered during a sales demonstration by a security company named CyTech Services.

So what does the Obama administration want to do to solve the problem?

For starters, it’s proposed “economic sanctions” against China, which it holds responsible for the attack. We’ve seen how effective those were against Russia after the US imposed them last year in the wake of its takeover of Crimea. There’s no reason to think that sanctions against China will be any more effective.

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

 

Pentagon report says West, Gulf states and Turkey foresaw emergence of ‘IS’

Pentagon report says West, Gulf states and Turkey foresaw emergence of ‘IS’ 

A US intelligence report reveals that Western support for Syria’s rebels aided and abetted the rise of the ‘Islamic State’ – and the Pentagon won’t deny it

A newly declassified Pentagon report provides startling high-level confirmation that the US-led strategy in Syria contributed directly to the rise of the Islamic State (IS).

The secret US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) document, obtained by Washington DC law firm Judicial Watch, reveals that the emergence of an “Islamic State” across Iraq and Syria was foreseen by the Pentagon, as early as three years ago.

According to the internal report, which was distributed throughout the US intelligence community, this was seen as a likely consequence of the West’s efforts to destabilise Bashir al-Assad’s regime in Syria.

Despite that, Western governments continued to coordinate financial, military and logistical support to largely Islamist militant rebel groups in Syria, through allies Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Jordan and Turkey, among others.

A sectarian insurgency

Dated August 2012, the report states that the “major forces driving the insurgency in Syria” comprise “the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [al-Qaeda in Iraq].”

Immediately after, the document states that these forces are being supported by a Western-led coalition: “The West, Gulf countries and Turkey support the opposition.”

Throughout, the document does not suggest a distinction between “moderate” Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels and Islamist militant groups, nor between the insurgency and the opposition.

Rather, the document shows that opposition forces engaged in fighting the Assad regime consisted of a combination of overlapping Islamist forces. Singling out al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), the document says the terror group “supported the Syrian opposition from the beginning” due to its belief that Assad was “targeting Sunnis”.

The report further describes the insurgency as a “sectarian uprising,” whose increasingly sectarian character attracts “volunteers” from across the region to “support the Sunnis in Syria”.

– See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/pentagon-confirms-west-gulf-states-and-turkey-created-islamic-state-608321312#sthash.acNMhXkJ.dpuf

 

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