Gay Patriot Header Image

The mess in Syria

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 11:38 am - June 19, 2017.
Filed under: National Security,War On Terror,World War III

U.S. Shoots Down Syrian Aircraft for First Time.

The U.S. military on Sunday shot down a Syrian Air Force fighter jet that bombed local forces aligned with the Americans in the fight against Islamic State militants…

According to a statement from the Pentagon, pro-Syrian regime forces attacked the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces-held town of Ja’Din, south of Tabqah in northern Syria, wounding a number of SDF fighters and driving the SDF from the town.

Coalition aircraft conducted a show of force and stopped the initial pro-regime advance toward the town, the Pentagon said…

A few hours later, the Syrian SU-22 dropped bombs near SDF fighters and, “in collective self-defense of coalition-partnered forces,” was immediately shot down by a U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet, the Pentagon said.

“The coalition’s mission is to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria,” the Pentagon said, using an abbreviation for the Islamic State group. “The coalition does not seek to fight Syrian regime, Russian or pro-regime forces partnered with them…”

And that’s what doesn’t make sense. ISIS and the so-called “moderate, democratic” opposition to the Syrian government are much the same people. There is a flow of people, weapons and training between them.

Just as no one can “have their cake and eat it, too”, the U.S. must choose between defeating Syria’s Assad regime and defeating ISIS. To attempt both, is to stick with a losing position.

UPDATE: Krauthammer tries to explain it. According to him:

  • ISIS is doomed – will be gone within 6-12 months.
  • Russia, Iran and Syria are working to “inherit” northern Iraq for Iran (the new Persian Empire), and likewise to have all of Syria in the hands of Assad-Russia-Iran-Shiites.
  • Meanwhile, the U.S. is working to defeat all that; especially to have a de facto division of Syria along ethnic lines, in which the western half of Syria will be Sunni-dominated and Saudi-friendly. (And northern Iraq, ??? Not sure.)

It still sounds hokey to me, with too much danger of an accidental war with Russia. But I wanted to acknowledge that the side favoring U.S. involvement in Syria might have a strategy in mind.

We’ve been hearing a long time that energy pipelines (especially liquid natural gas) might be involved in all this. Pipelines to Europe, that need to run through Syria. The Russia-Iran version would tend to make Europe more dependent on them, while the U.S.-Saudi version would do the reverse (or preserve Europe’s dependence on the U.S. and Saudi Arabia).

Oliver Stone making sense?

Color me shocked.

YouTube Preview Image

His new series, _The Putin Interviews_, is controversial – meaning that the Left hates it, because it doesn’t tell them exactly what they want to hear. A couple of articles on it:

  • Rolling Stone, 10 Most WTF Things We Learned From Oliver Stone’s Putin Interviews.

    Pans the series – splutters with outrage over Stone lobbing too many softball questions and bad-mouthing Hillary Clinton as a war-mongering neo-con – but covers some interesting tidbits along the way.

  • Forbes’ take. Along the way, they go into some of the hacking / cybercrime issues, and the fact that the U.S. has interfered in Ukraine elections in a manner FAR beyond anything the American Left fantasizes with TrumpRussia.

Left and Right, we should be willing to watch these Putin interviews, if only on the principle of “Know your enemy”.

We may as well note the Kurt Eichenwald thing

It’s been all over. Here’s the summary.

  • Eichenwald is an unstable tool.
    • He spreads rumors about President Trump, then falls apart on TV when challenged.
    • The linked video is something to behold. Like one of our lefties, he stonewalls, picks at weeds, changes the subject, grandstands about others doing all that to him (supposedly), dissolves into babble.
  • MSNBC says “Yeah we want that!”, hires him.
  • Eichenwald keeps up the ranting instability on Twitter.
  • He happens to post a screenshot of his computer.
  • Yup. Lurking in the background, is a browser tab for Hentai (Japanese cartoon porn). Fine. Whatever.
  • But then, embarrassed, Eichenwald tweets “…my kids and I were trying to convince my wife that ‘tentacle porn’ existed. I tried to find some to show her it was real. But I couldn’t find any.”

I believe his “kids” are over 18, but still…Yuck. Either surfing porn with his kids is his idea of a wholesome family afternoon, or he uses his kids as props in ridiculous lies.

UPDATE: As long as we’re talking about unstable tools. That leaker, Reality Winner, has been denied bail. She has praised the Taliban and written “I want to burn the White House down.” Your basic anti-American loon with a security clearance.

They arrested a leaker

…for a very recent offense. I would expect a more arrests to come. But for now, and via Breitbart, this one leaker:

Reality Leigh Winner, a 25-year old contractor with Pluribus International Corporation, was charged in federal court Monday for allegedly leaking a National Security Agency (NSA) report on Russian Election hacking to left-wing news site The Intercept…

She was caught only when [The Intercept] asked the [NSA] to comment on the document last Tuesday. Upon realizing the document was, in fact, classified material, the agency quickly enlisted the FBI for an internal investigation that pointed to Reality Winner…

Each count of 18 U.S.C. §793, the crime with which Ms. Winner is charged, carries a penalty of up to ten years in federal prison.

By the way, The Intercept is into Fake News, such as fake hate crimes:

Intercept writer Juan Thompson was fired last year for fabricating stories about the racially-charged tragedy at South Carolina’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, apparently to play up stereotypes of racist white southerners and smear Donald Trump supporters. This March, Thompson was the first person arrested for calling in threats to Jewish community centers as part of a nationwide intimidation campaign that was also widely [ed: falsely] blamed by the media on Trump supporters.

Getting back to Reality Winner: Please let me know your thoughts in the comments. I have mixed feelings. I do think that leaks can be in the public interest. Example: the DNC and Podesta emails that came out in 2016, via WikiLeaks.

Another example: Edward Snowden, who has said that he would be willing to return to the U.S. and stand trial, provided that he will be allowed to mount a public-interest defense (which a jury could then accept or reject).

Should Reality Winner be tried on similar terms – that is, should she be allowed to mount a public-interest defense? Why? Or, lock her up and throw away the key? Again why?

UPDATE: I missed this last week, but it seems relevant. DOJ has gotten a FISA warrant to surveil journalists who have been receiving leaks.

The journalists are not the target…Instead, the Trump administration is looking for the leaker. Who could it be?

Some in the administration are focusing on a retired, high-ranking military officer who held important posts in the intelligence service, according to the source.

The possibly high-ranking leaker was getting some of his information from people inside the White House who were holdovers from the Obama administration, the source said.

Cernovich claims that the retired officer is former CIA Director Petraeus, passing along information from his alleged ally, current NSA McMaster. If true, that would be some messed-up stuff. Game of Thrones-level intrigue.

Flashback: Hillary’s Big Russia Deal

…in which Our Brrrrrrrrave Gal approved the transfer of 20% of the U.S. ongoing supply of uranium to Russian control, while taking millions in Russian- and/or deal-related donations.

I’m following this New York Times article from April 2015:

…the Russian atomic energy agency, Rosatom, [took] over a Canadian company with uranium-mining stakes stretching from Central Asia to the American West. The deal…brought Mr. Putin closer to his goal of controlling much of the global uranium supply chain…

At the heart of the tale are several men, leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have been major donors to the charitable endeavors of former President Bill Clinton and his family. Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One.

…the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States…the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among [them] was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

At the time, both Rosatom and the United States government made promises intended to ease concerns…Those promises have been repeatedly broken, records show…

Whether the donations played any role in the approval of the uranium deal is unknown. [ed: Riiiiiight.] But the episode underscores the special ethical challenges presented by the Clinton Foundation, headed by a former president who relied heavily on foreign cash to accumulate $250 million in assets even as his wife helped steer American foreign policy as secretary of state, presiding over decisions with the potential to benefit the foundation’s donors…

The article continues with pages of details. One tiny sample:

The path to a Russian acquisition of American uranium deposits began in 2005 in Kazakhstan, where the Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra orchestrated his first big uranium deal, with Mr. Clinton at his side.

…several months later, Mr. Giustra had donated $31.3 million to Mr. Clinton’s foundation.

Did the Clintons hide some large donations, possibly showing consciousness of guilt? Yes. Example:

To judge from [Clinton] disclosures…the only Uranium One official to give to the Clinton Foundation was Mr. Telfer, the chairman, and the amount was relatively small: no more than $250,000, and that was in 2007, before talk of a Rosatom deal began percolating.

But a review of tax records in Canada, where Mr. Telfer has a family charity called the Fernwood Foundation, shows that he donated millions of dollars more, during and after the critical time when the foreign investment committee was reviewing his deal with the Russians.

By the way, I didn’t know that “While the United States gets one-fifth of its electrical power from nuclear plants, it produces only around 20 percent of the uranium it needs, and most plants have only 18 to 36 months of reserves…”

Exit questions:

  1. Why would NYT publish such an article? Why in April 2015? On whose hidden agenda?

    To be clear: I’m glad they gave us the info. But NYT is usually pro-Hillary. Why would they do something that undercuts her? Because Schweizer’s book was about to come out anyway?

  2. Why has no Special Counsel ever been appointed to look into all this?

UPDATE: Do the Clintons profit personally from the Clinton Foundation? (more…)

More Obama-NSA abuses

Yet another story that should be all over the media, but I haven’t seen it much. (If you have, let me know.)

Why wouldn’t it be covered? I find that it reflects great discredit on the Establishment (both political parties, Deep State and Controlled Media). As I started to say yesterday, they have ways to decide what you’re going to hear about. For as long as they can, they will bury stories that don’t fit their agenda.

To review some background:

  • Under the 4th Amendment, the government isn’t supposed to spy on U.S. people without a court-ordered warrant.
  • “The FISA Court” is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 “to oversee requests for surveillance warrants against foreign spies inside the United States by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies.” (Wiki)
    Note, foreign.
  • But FISA Court hearings are secret and only the government and the court judge are present, like a kangaroo court. The adversarial system is abandoned.
  • As such, FISA tends to be very lenient to the government. Over time, they have created a secret body of law that gives the government sweeping powers to do domestic warrantless surveillance under an alleged “special needs exception” to the 4th Amendment.
    • One example – In 2013, Edward Snowden leaked a FISA order that requires phone companies to provide a daily, ongoing feed of everyone’s phone call data to the NSA. Super invasive!
  • Even so, FISA isn’t toothless and doesn’t approve everything – as you shall see. They need to preserve respectability, at least in their own eyes.
  • FISA judges are appointed solely by the Chief Justice of the United States. In this regard, Establishment Republicans control the FISA court.

That’s just background. Now for the news, as reported by John Solomon and Sara Carter at Circa.com.

Under President Obama, the NSA secretly conducted years of surveillance and searches on Americans that not even the secret, super-lenient FISA Court would approve.

The National Security Agency under former President Barack Obama routinely violated American privacy protections while scouring through overseas intercepts and failed to disclose the extent of the problems until the final days before Donald Trump was elected president last fall, according to once top-secret documents that chronicle some of the most serious constitutional abuses to date by the U.S. intelligence community…

The Obama administration self-disclosed the problems at a closed-door hearing Oct. 26 before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that set off alarm…

The normally supportive court censured administration officials, saying the failure to disclose the extent of the violations earlier amounted to an “institutional lack of candor” and that the improper searches constituted a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue,” according to a recently unsealed court document dated April 26, 2017.

The admitted violations undercut one of the primary defenses that the intelligence community and Obama officials have used in recent weeks to justify their snooping into incidental NSA intercepts about Americans.

Circa has reported that there was a three-fold increase in NSA data searches about Americans and a rise in the unmasking of U.S. person’s identities in intelligence reports after Obama loosened the privacy rules in 2011.

Officials like former National Security Adviser Susan Rice have argued their activities were legal under the so-called minimization rule changes Obama made, and that the intelligence agencies were strictly monitored to avoid abuses.

The intelligence court and the NSA’s own internal watchdog found that not to be true…

The American Civil Liberties Union said the newly disclosed violations are some of the most serious to ever be documented and strongly call into question the U.S. intelligence community’s ability to police itself…

RTWT. Naturally, the NSA is scrambling to reassure people that it has fixed the problem. Riiiiiiiight. And Susan Rice didn’t lie and none of the surveillance data was ever misused against Obama opponents or improperly unmasked. Riiiiiiiight.

To people who understand civil liberties and limited government, all this is a huge deal that shows how far out of control the U.S. “intelligence community” (Deep State) has gotten. Chris Farrell at Judicial Watch compares it to President Lincoln’s suspension of habeus corpus during the U.S. Civil War.

Where is the Special Counsel on this?

Or the media coverage? Bush’s NSA did some illegal surveillance in the 2000s – and in 2005, was duly slammed by The New York Times. A large kerfuffle. “But that was then.” It served the interests of someone powerful – someone in deep alliance with, or control of, The New York Times – to weaken Bush. Not so much with Obama, eh?

See the FISA Court’s declassified order spanking the Obama administration, here. By the way, note how large sections of the relevant law and dockets are blacked out, showing how the FISA system has created secret law that the citizens aren’t supposed to know about. That’s horrible.

Also from Circa: Comey’s FBI was neck deep in the abuses.

The FBI has illegally shared raw intelligence about Americans with unauthorized third parties and violated other constitutional privacy protections, according to newly declassified government documents that undercut the bureau’s public assurances…

Some stuff that some people probably think we should acknowledge

Consider this an open thread to talk about anything listed here, or not listed here.

  • Eric Clanton has been arrested by Berkeley police.

    Score one for the good guys. This is the Nutty Professor who was allegedly assaulting people with bike locks on behalf of Antifa, during those riots in Berkeley.

    “His work in political philosophy also centers on mass incarceration and the prison system,” Clanton’s former faculty page read. “He is currently exploring restorative justice from an anti-authoritarian perspective.”

    I hope Prof. Clanton will be finding out a lot about mass incarceration, the prison system, restorative justice, and authority.

  • The 4th Circuit has blocked Trump’s travel suspension.

    I find this a bit of a yawner. President Trump’s orders on the suspension (sometimes called a “Muslim Ban” by our biased media) have been pretty reasonable. The opinions blocking the suspension have been mostly ridiculous. There’s nothing I can do about it except hope it goes to the Supreme Court. And SCOTUS will do whatever they’re going to do, one way or the other.

  • The Gianforte matter. Again, yawns from me. If Gianforte committed assault, let the police/justice system take care of it and let him rot in jail. That’s what the police/justice system is for. Let it work. There, I just condemned Gianforte (provided he’s guilty).
  • NYT reporting that Russian officials discussed how they might influence Trump. Again: Yawn. Does anyone think that Russian officials hadn’t spent the previous 8 years discussing how they might influence Hillary and Obama?
  • This is more interesting. The Washington Post discusses how Russians may or may not have tipped off the FBI that Obama’s AG Loretta Lynch was planning to block any prosecution of Hillary Clinton in her e-mail scandal.

    So…Hillary Clinton(‘s campaign) colluded with the Obama administration, to block investigation and/or prosecution? And Russia had spies, in the Obama administration? Or somebody fooled them with phony tips? Sorry, my head is spinning from all the Inside Baseball.

How the Establishment uses “special counsels”

The Obama administration used the IRS to target their domestic political opponents. AND they used the intelligence agencies as well (“unmasking”, “distributing” and leaking data from the U.S. surveillance apparatus) to target U.S. opponents.

Why has no special counsel ever been appointed, to investigate all that?

Or the Clinton Foundation corruption?

Or the innumerable classified-info leaks of recent months, many likely to be from Obama holdovers in the government?

Trump-Russia has been Fake News from minute one. My first reaction when a special counsel was appointed there was “Fine, let them spin their wheels on nothing”. That was too sanguine of me. It is indeed bad, for a couple of reasons.

First, as it is a witch hunt, they will keep looking until they entrap somebody in the Trump administration into a “process” crime. A la Scooter Libby, in the Plame affair. He ended up in jail, even though it was Richard Armitage who had illegally leaked Plame’s name.

Second and probably more important, it consumes DOJ and FBI resources that could and should be used to look elsewhere. And that’s the point of the thing. Democrats want to make sure no one will look at their horrific scandals.

Having a special counsel on the comparatively scandal-free President Trump, instead of themselves, is a huge coup. As in, coup d’etat against a lawfully elected President.

UPDATE: We could also talk about other types of investigation, such as complaints to the House Ethics Committee. Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch asks, “Why the double standard?” against Rep. Devin Nunes.

  • Rep. Devin Nunes chairs the House Intelligence Committee. He blew the whistle on the Obama administration’s illicit “unmasking” of surveillance data. Democrats responded by filing an ethics complaint on him.
  • Rep. Adam Schiff, ranking Democrat of the same committee, has been all over the media for months, possibly leaking classified information (or at least confirming leaked info, improperly). Judicial Watch filed an ethics complaint on him.
  • Guess Which the Ethics committee is acting on? And why?

I’ll say why: This is how the U.S. power structure works. By manufacturing (or at least spreading) one narrative; burying another. What you hear about, from investigations and the Controlled Media, is decided behind the scenes. Someone decides which thing you’ll hear about, and they decide because they have the hidden political power and it suits their agenda.

In this case, the House Ethics committee is run by Establishment Republicans. As such, they’re part of The Swamp; they are bedfellows to Democrats and the Deep State. Nunes sinned by bringing out a (true) story that strengthens Trump’s position. They would rather intimidate, mislead or weaken Trump into “playing ball”.

With every Deep State investigation and every Controlled Media “narrative”, you should ask: Why this one, not that other one? And why now?

(NB: Added and rewrote a lot, after first publication. Will stop now.)

Trump and Saudi Arabia

Probably more than any other country, Saudi Arabia has “hacked our democracy”. I keep meaning to write a post on their ownership share of U.S. media, and why they would be on board with a “Trump is a Russian agent!” narrative.

During the election, Trump rightly criticized Hillary for taking money from the world’s worst country for women and gays. And he had a nasty Twitter exchange with a Saudi prince.

What a difference a year makes. First, the new US-Saudi arms deal:

According to a statement just issued by the White House, Trump “has just completed largest single arms deal in US history, negotiating a package totaling more than $109.7 billion” which will boost Saudi Arabia’s defense capabilities, bolstering equipment and services in the face of extreme terrorist groups and Iran. The White House added that the deal will create defense jobs while also reaffirming America’s commitment to Saudi Arabia…

According to estimates cited by The Independent, including restocking and future commitments over the next ten years, the deal could balloon to $350 billion worth of arms…

I’m not at all sure this is good news.

  • How is it different from what any pet of the Deep State would have done? (Obama, Hillary, Jeb Bush, Lindsay McCain?) I don’t know.
  • Does it boost U.S. jobs as much as Trump says? I don’t know.
  • I know it will help Saudi Arabia to conquer its neighbor Yemen and gain control of its oil reserves. (Not necessarily good.)
  • Does it put U.S. defense technology in the hands of people who hate us? Probably.
  • Does it mean that Saudi-controlled elements of U.S. media will ease their war on Trump? I don’t know.

I do know that Trump’s speech in Riyadh was epic. As Bruce Bawer puts it:

It was gag-inducing to hear him praise the “magnificent kingdom” of Saudi Arabia, “the splendor of your country,” “the grandeur of this remarkable place,” and so on…But then something happened…

…he began mixing the ethereal praise with realistic businessman-type talk about the value of international partnership…[and] underscored the fact that in order for such a partnership to work, something would have to change. And it would have to change a lot. The Islamic world, he insisted, had to turn into a place where young Muslims could grow up “innocent of hatred.”

And then he spelled out the results of that hatred, presenting first a roll call of some of the “barbaric attacks” on America – 9/11, Boston, San Bernardino, Orlando – and then a list of other places (“Europe, Africa, South America, India, Russia, China, and Australia”) where that hatred has manifested itself.

However delicately he worked his way around to it, it was nothing less than an accusation.

No, he didn’t explicitly charge Muslim leaders with funding terrorism – but he told them, in no uncertain terms, that they needed to cut off funds to terrorists…And, yes, he spoke of “Islamic” (not “Islamist” or “radical Islamic”) terror. And he made it clear he wasn’t just talking about terrorism – he was talking about Islam itself. He condemned “the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews, and the slaughter of Christians.”

Kudos, Mr. President!

Full video here (scroll down). Short excerpts here and here. Full text here. Addressing Saudi princes, telling them to their faces, “Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death…Drive them out of this Earth!”

NYT: China hacked (at) our CIA

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 11:03 am - May 22, 2017.
Filed under: National Security

From The New York Times:

The Chinese government systematically dismantled C.I.A. spying operations in the country starting in 2010, killing or imprisoning more than a dozen sources over two years and crippling intelligence gathering there for years afterward.

Current and former American officials described the intelligence breach as one of the worst in decades…investigators were bitterly divided over the cause. Some were convinced that a mole within the C.I.A. had betrayed the United States. Others believed that the Chinese had hacked the covert system the C.I.A. used to communicate with its foreign sources. Years later, that debate remains unresolved.

My thoughts:

  • This happened on Obama’s and Hillary’s watch. Although she was over at State, she surely had CIA material on the e-mail server in her bathroom. Did Chinese counterintelligence glean some info from that?
  • Come to think of it, The Clintons have a long history of letting China hack our democracy. (And Saudi Arabia – a separate post.)
  • I’m amazed the NYT would publish this. Oh, wait, it’s just their Asia edition. The Controlled Media has a pattern of still publishing some real news – buried deep on page A37.

Comey’s dirty track record

Former FBI Director James Comey once served the Bush administration and is supposed to be a “registered Republican”. But some gay guys marry women and are supposed to be straight. Sometimes, the declaration doesn’t matter – or is there for cover.

I’ll provide some highlights of Comey’s career, then details. First, the highlights. Or should I say lowlights? As I realized everything that Comey has been into and how political he is, my jaw dropped.

  • Comey helped the Clintons to escape justice over Bill’s pardon of Marc Rich.
  • Comey appointed Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate the Valerie Plame affair. (A bizarre mess that ended in the prosecution of Scooter Libby, and the political tar-and-feathering of the Bush administration.)
  • Comey prosecuted Martha Stewart. (This may be OK; but I will show that it sets up the irony/hypocrisy of his later saving Hillary from prosecution.)
  • Comey helped the Clintons in the Sandy Berger investigation, by limiting its scope.
  • Comey limited the government’s actions to punish a corrupt auditor, KPMG.
  • Comey obstructed the Bush administration’s post-9/11 efforts to do warrantless surveillance. That could be a great thing; except that
    1. his actions were surrounded by allegations of lying and usurpation of power; and
    2. he went on to happily serve an Obama presidency that did far worse things than Bush, in terms of warrantless surveillance.
  • Comey served as General Counsel of a scandal-ridden defense contractor, then a Director of a scandal-ridden bank. (I don’t have anything strong here; mentioned for completeness.)
  • And then as FBI Director, of course, Comey knew Hillary was guilty but usurped authority and blocked her prosecution, turning the statutes on their head in the process.

If I missed anything, please let us know in the comments. For example, did Comey play any part in Hillary’s Uranium One fiasco? (UPDATE: Yes, indirectly. It involved Clinton Foundation corruption. Charles Ortel points out that Comey has repeatedly been on-point to investigate that corruption and has refused to do so, giving it a pass.)

Some of Comey’s actions might be defensible. But looking at the overall pattern: I personally conclude that Comey is a longtime Democrat operative, as well as a liar-when-it-suits-him.

Now for details. (more…)

Some scandal updates

Anthony Weiner is to plead guilty “to a single charge of transferring obscene material to a minor, pursuant to a plea agreement…”

This is the same Anthony Weiner who

  • is still married to Hillary Clinton’s top aide, Huma Abedin
  • had thousands of Hillary Clinton’s illegally-handled emails on the same laptop that he used to commit his sex crimes with minors
  • caused former FBI Director Comey to reappear in the news last October, which many Democrats believe (probably wrongly) to be the cause of Hillary’s election loss.

It’s sad how Clintonites deflect the blame to Comey and Russia for all that, rather than putting it where it belongs on Weiner, Abedin and the Clintons themselves.

“A likely result of the plea is that Mr. Weiner would end up as a registered sex offender, although a final determination has yet to be made…”

UPDATE: Huma has finally just filed for divorce.


In other news, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange Rape Investigation Is Dropped in Sweden.

The accusations were always of a “he said, she said” nature, with Assange saying that he had met the alleged victim several times amicably, for consensual sex.

The announcement represents a victory for Mr. Assange, 45, an Australian…

[but] In Britain, he still faces a warrant for failing to appear in court, and the Metropolitan Police in London said on Friday that they would arrest Mr. Assange, who has maintained his innocence, if he were to try to leave the [Ecuadorian] embassy…

[U.S.] Prosecutors have long been exploring the idea of charging Mr. Assange as a conspirator in the underlying offense of illegal theft of documents…

[but] The Obama-era Justice Department, which had gone as far as to present some evidence about WikiLeaks to a grand jury in Alexandria, Va., was deterred from pursuing the case further because it proved difficult to distinguish what WikiLeaks had done in publishing the classified information provided by Ms. Manning from what The New York Times and many other mainstream news organizations do.

Most news organizations that cover national security and foreign affairs regularly publish information from sources that is considered classified by the United States government. By long-established tradition, however, only the government officials who provide such information have been prosecuted, not the journalists who publish it.


IN STILL OTHER NEWS: Evidence has emerged that, while still just a candidate, the President conspired with Iranian mullahs to undermine the foreign policy of the existing administration. Which meets a reasonable definition of treason!

Oh, wait – it was President Obama, while still just a candidate, conspiring with Iranian mullahs to undermine the foreign policy of the Bush administration. And lefties haven’t given the tiniest crap about it.

Let the DOJ appoint another special counsel

…to look into the Obama administration’s surveillance of its political opponents.

  • whether it was truly “incidental” to legitimate (other) concerns, and/or done under FISA warrants
  • whether FISA warrants were obtained properly (rather than relying on, say, a “dossier” hacked together by a foreign intelligence agency as a political favor)
  • whether NSA Susan Rice, an Obama White House operative who apparently ordered the “unmasking” of Trump associates’ names in the surveillance data, did so for honest and legal reasons
  • whether the subsequent distribution of the “unmasked” intelligence was necessary, legal and proper
  • and who leaked it (along with Trump campaign information) to the media and/or the Hillary campaign, possibly committing felonies in the process.

Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander. We, the American people, need to know exactly what the Obama administration was up to with its domestic spying on Americans and especially on its political opponents.

And if illegal unmasking, distribution or leaking occurred: let there be indictments.

UPDATE: Tucker Carlson has a point: President Trump could have blocked the DOJ’s special counsel for Russia. And President Hillary would have (for anything connected to her). She would be too afraid of where an independent investigator might go. Trump isn’t.

I notice Trump calling it a witch hunt, but that’s a slag on the Left’s hysteria; not on the DOJ or Director Mueller.

Cernovich on the intel leaks

This refers to Monday’s drama where The Washington Post alleged that President Trump had inappropriately leaked intelligence to the Russians.

First, why should anyone care what Mike Cernovich thinks? Because lately, he’s been breaking stories. He seems to have sources. His claims are outlandish; and then they turn out to be on the right track (though not 100% on all details).

So, here he is on the WaPo story. It’s a long video. Listening at 1.5x speed helps. Or I can just tell you his key points. Disclaimer – take this as his opinion and speculation. I’m interested mainly to see if it’s going to come true again?

  • Whoever leaked the story to WaPo, leaked way more classified information than Trump did.
  • At most, Trump revealed a location where some intelligence had happened. But WaPo was given far more detailed classified information, by its source(s).
  • As such, the leaks to WaPo were highly illegal, and have done far more damage to American security.
    • Because WaPo computers/networks can be hacked (and probably are).
  • White House and NSC staff have been on lockdown while they figure out who is the leaker. Cernovich’s top candidates:
    1. David Laufman, chief of counter-intelligence at the FBI. Obama donor. Was in charge of investigating Hillary’s emails; i.e., helped whitewash her. Has been involved in previous leaks. Fits the profile of someone who was not present at the meeting with Russians, but who nonetheless saw the meeting notes and all kinds of other classified info.
    2. NSA McMaster. Has a troubled relationship with Trump; potential motive would be to create a disaster, then be the hero who gets Trump out of it.
    3. Kris Bauman, a pro-Hamas / anti-Israel hire of McMaster’s; potential motive would be to disrupt the U.S. relationship with Israel.
  • One way or another, people will be going to prison over this episode.

As to Seth Rich: Per Cernovich,

  • Rich was the DNC leaker. (again Mike’s opinion/speculation – although I agree)
  • He was one of that rare breed: a Democrat staffer who was an American patriot. He was outraged by the Democrats’ rigged primary.
  • The Rich family spokesperson who denies all this (Bauman) is a political consultant paid by the DNC (not the Rich family).
  • When the DNC reported the hacking, FBI agents asked to look at the hacked servers – and the DNC refused. DNC hired CrowdStrike to concoct the narrative that DNC wanted (Russia hacking).

I do recall that former FBI Director Comey has been a strong supporter of CrowdStrike and their report; for example in his testimony before Congress. It is remarkable how many different actions of Comey’s over the years have helped Democrats and/or Clintons.

Another media football

The Washington Post claims that President Trump leaked classified info in a meeting with Russians.

NSA McMaster then denied the story. “The story that came out tonight, as reported, is false.”

I’m not sure what to make of this. (So, feel free to tell me in the comments.)

From what I can gather, Trump was discussing a particular threat posed by ISIS. He is accused – by anonymous, off-the-record sources – of letting slip a certain city name that, in Allahpundit’s words, would “let the Russians figure out how a U.S. ally was getting its information on ISIS. He didn’t reveal who the source was or how that info was obtained and WaPo isn’t claiming that he did.”

Legally (and again following Allahpundit), leaking even such a small detail would be a big deal for anyone else in the government, “but because the president has the power to declassify classified information, he can blab all he wants…” If that’s true, then there’s no legal issue. But that does not answer the substantive questions:

  • Did Trump let something slip, that he shouldn’t have?
  • Or is The Washington Post merely extending its campaign of “Russia!” innuendo in trying to destroy a constitutionally-elected President?
  • Or perhaps both? (Picture every President being prone to an occasional indiscretion; and then The Washington Post choosing to bury the story if it’s Obama, but make a huge story if it’s Trump. I mean, for political reasons. What were Obama’s slips, that they never told us about?)

IF this story reflects something that really happened: Is McMaster now saving Trump’s rear end? Would McMaster, reportedly a proponent of the U.S. invading Syria, then gain an upper hand in the Trump administration?

UPDATE: Yes, for the Left to fuss is hypocritical. In the past, CIA Director Leon Panetta and Vice President Joe Biden have blurted out classified information, resulting in deaths.

… it was [Panetta’s] loose talk after the Osama bin Laden raid that exposed a Pakistani doctor, Shakil Afridi, who helped locate the Al Qaeda leader. As a result, Afridi was imprisoned on fabricated charges and will live under fear of assassination for the rest of his life…

Panetta did not reveal that critical intelligence in a private meeting with a foreign emissary, but to the entire world, on CBS News’ 60 Minutes.

Even worse was the Obama White House’s decision to reveal that it was U.S. Navy SEAL Team 6 that carried out the bin Laden raid.

As Jeffrey Kushner recalled in the Washington Times: “On May 3, at an event in Washington, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. did the unthinkable: He publicly revealed the identity of the special-operations unit responsible for bin Laden’s killing…”

The response came on August 6, 2011, when the Taliban shot down a Chinook helicopter in Afghanistan, killing 30 soldiers. Among the dead: 15 members of SEAL Team 6. Years later, the fallen heroes’ families remain outraged at the Obama administration: “In releasing their identity, they put a target on their backs,” one of the fathers told U.S. News and World Report in 2013.

Sometimes it’s fun to watch

Has Oliver Stone, the conspiracy-minded filmmaker, committed high crimes of HERESY and TREASON by questioning the Russia narrative?

“Mr. Putin is one of the most important leaders in the world and in so far as the United States has declared him an enemy – a great enemy – I think it’s very important we hear what he has to say.”

“[Stone’s new Putin documentary] opens up a whole viewpoint that we as Americans haven’t heard,” Stone said. “We went to see him four different times over two years.”

When questioned about allegations made by Democrats and the political left that President Trump has direct connections to Russia, Stone replied: “That’s a path that leads nowhere to my mind.”

“That’s an internal war of politics in the US in which the Democratic party has taken a suicide pact or something to blow him up; in other words, to completely de-legitimise him and in so doing blow up the US essentially,” he said. “What they’re doing is destroying the trust that exists between people and government. It’s a very dangerous position to make accusations you cannot prove.”

I’m old enough to remember when the Left stood for peace (or thought it did) and “understanding the Russians” was mandatory, as was “respecting the results of elections”. Stone is old enough, too. It will be fun to see if they’re going to turn on him.

CIA vs. WikiLeaks: It’s Awn

Of course the fight between them was already on; I’ll get to that in a moment.

President Trump’s CIA director, Mike Pompeo:

CIA Director Mike Pompeo, in his first speech since taking over the agency, lambasted WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange — calling the group a “non-state hostile intelligence service” that is often abetted by “state actors like Russia.”

Speaking Thursday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Pompeo called Assange a “fraud,” someone with no “moral compass” and a “narcissist who has created nothing of value.”

He asserted that Assange and former National Security Agency staffer and famed leaker Edward Snowden “seek to use that information to make a name for themselves” and they “care nothing about the lives they put at risk or the damage they cause to national security.”

Asked why he would focus on WikiLeaks rather than other issues, Pompeo said he felt it was vital to inform the American people about the threat they pose.

There’s more. RTWT.

Some of Pompeo’s claims are absurd, and others are all too real. First, the absurd: That Snowden did it to make a name for himself.

The guy is almost a prisoner – in Russia, of all places. If he comes back to the U.S., he faces trial. Snowden agrees that he should face trial, and says that he will do so – when he is allowed to mount a public-interest defense (presenting his side of it, that he acted in the public interest when he revealed masses of NSA classified info). But I digress. The point is: Snowden has given up so much to reveal what he revealed, that saying he did it for the fame is ridiculous.

Similar thoughts would apply to Assange, who is almost a prisoner in Ecuador’s embassy in London. While no one is ever perfect, both of these men have acted from their ideals. In denying that so crudely, Pompeo counts on his audience to be stupid.

As to what’s real in Pompeo’s speech: There is no question that both Snowden’s revelations and WikiLeaks make the job of U.S. intelligence agencies much harder. That has to be a bad thing, in many respects. The question is whether, in some other respects, it might also be a good thing?

What has been revealed, first by Snowden and more recently by WikiLeaks Vault 7, is: massive surveillance programs whereby U.S. intelligence agencies spy not only on enemies, but on allies and on ordinary Americans. Really unconstitutional programs and capabilities. So unconstitutional and invasive that they destroy U.S. moral authority and make us understandably hated by the rest of the world.

Until recently, Pompeo’s boss, President Trump, was pro-WikiLeaks (see here – Trump literally said “I love WikiLeaks!”). And against excessive surveillance, such as the Obama administration’s surveillance on Trump before, during and after the 2016 election. Likewise with Pompeo himself. But their love for WikiLeaks was before the Vault 7 revelations and more to come, which could be ugly enough to destroy the CIA as an institution.

In the past, I’ve blogged on my ambivalence about Snowden (example, see here). But, in the last year, I’ve come more to his side; glad that he and Assange did what they do. The more so because of news headlines in the last 5 months: I believe that some leaders of the U.S. intelligence community have tried to damage (if not overthrow) a duly elected President, with a campaign of “intelligence leaks” that are so empty and misleading as to be lies-in-effect. That would be a separate issue. But one that proves the said leaders’ bad faith and anti-constitutional intentions.

In short, we’re at a sad juncture where several issues point to the same conclusion: the U.S. intelligence community is way out of control and in great need of investigation and cleanup.

As always, feel free to disagree or state your view, in the comments. (As always, I’m looking for “agreeable disagreement” and exchange; don’t expect me to come instantly to your viewpoint.)

More conspiracy theories become fact – partly, sort of

On April 8, Cernovich Media claimed that National Security Advisor “H. R. McMaster [is] Manipulating Intelligence Reports to Trump, Wants 150,000 Ground Soldiers in Syria”.

Today, Eli Lake at Bloomberg confirms that McMaster wants to send up to 50,000 ground troops to Syria. And “has been quietly pressing his colleagues to question the underlying assumptions of a draft war plan against the Islamic State that would maintain only a light U.S. ground troop presence in Syria…to facilitate a better interagency process to develop Trump’s new strategy to defeat [ISIS].”

The real news is that Trump has said no to McMaster – at least for the time being. Kudos to those GP commenters who advised me, more or less, that Trump is his own man and wouldn’ t automatically go with McMaster.

As to the rest: it sounds like Cernovich dropped the nuances and exaggerated what was left, but still got much of the essence. And ahead of Bloomberg. Here’s a similar example, this one with Judge Napolitano.

In March, Napolitano claimed that, in spying on Trump, Obama went around U.S. laws that would restrict such spying by having a British intelligence agency access the U.S. NSA surveillance databases, then pass along findings. Obama and the British denied it vehemently.

Today, CNN confirms that “British intelligence passed Trump associates’ communications with Russians on to US counterparts.” CNN suggests that the British did the surveilling themselves, a difference from Napolitano’s story. Still, the British did it under intelligence-sharing agreements and to me, it sounds like Napolitano was in the ballpark.

The real news is that CNN still has no substantive Russian collusion to report against Trump.

Democrats’ Psychotic Desire for War with Russia

I never thought I’d live in a world where Democrats – having been “peace loving” shills for the old Soviet Union, for so many decades – are eager for bellicose confrontation with Russia. But, here we are.

When Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D – HI), an Iraq war veteran, cautioned her fellow Democrats to slow down and remember the Iraq-WMD situation (such as the Left remembers it), Howard Dean called her a “disgrace” who “should not be in Congress”. So much for the Democrats’ brrrrave fight against misogyny.

Or, as Tucker Carlson put it last night:

Democrats are now the reflexive party of war — all wars, except those with an obvious benefit to us here in the United States. If there is a humanitarian quagmire on the other side of the globe, they are all for committing troops. And you better be for it, too, or they will denounce you.

One of Tucker’s guests was a Democrat strategist, Alfred Mottur. Video, some here and some here. After Mottur claims to be “heartened” by the rising tensions and that Russia “undoubtedly” or “aggressively” “interfered with our elections”, this exchange:

[Carlson] In what sense does this confrontation with Russia now ongoing make our country safer or more prosperous?

[Mottur] With respect to our elections, it makes us safer in our democratic processes to make sure that their integrity is preserved.

Got it? We must destroy American democracy in a potentially-nuclear conflict with Russia, in order to save it.

But note that when China, Saudi Arabia, or our own Deep State “interfere with our elections”, we don’t need to be confrontational with them. Or even talk about them. Oh no, don’t talk about their interference! Only Russia.

Some Democrats’ desire for war with Russia is as bad as some Republicans’ desire for war in Syria (that would likely lead to war with Russia).

The sad irony is that, as I posted a few days ago, Russia didn’t interfere with anything.

  1. Whoever hacked the DNC and Podesta e-mails did us all a favor. (Given that it resulted in 100% true and relevant information coming to the voters.)
  2. Plus, it probably wasn’t Russia. (See the links in that post.)

It seems that today’s Democrats are such psychotic babies that they would rather take us into confrontation with Russia than admit that they lost the 2016 election fairly, after they ran an awful candidate.

And IMO, it appears also as though Deep State’s “intelligence” leaks – all those NothingBurgers meant to make people think that Russia attacked our election, Russia colluded with President Trump who is Putin’s agent, etc. – could have been intentional War propaganda.

NB: I just corrected the spelling of Mottur’s name and improved the video links & transcript.

Syria: Whom do you trust?

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 11:45 am - April 12, 2017.
Filed under: National Security,War On Terror,World War III

As former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter has put it:

…chemical attacks had been occurring inside Syria on a regular basis… International investigations of these attacks produced mixed results, with…the majority being attributed to anti-regime fighters, in particular those affiliated with Al Nusra Front, an Al Qaeda affiliate.

Some sort of chemical event took place in Khan Sheikhoun; what is very much in question is who is responsible…

A critical piece of information that has largely escaped the reporting in the mainstream media is that Khan Sheikhoun is ground zero for the Islamic jihadists who have been at the center of the anti-Assad movement…

The Russian Ministry of Defense has claimed that Liwa al-Aqsa [anti-Assad jihadists] was using facilities in and around Khan Sheikhoun to manufacture crude chemical shells and landmines…

Al Nusra has a long history of manufacturing and employing crude chemical weapons; the 2013 chemical attack on Ghouta made use of low-grade Sarin nerve agent locally synthesized, while attacks in and around Aleppo in 2016 made use of a chlorine/white phosphorous blend.

If…the building bombed in Khan Sheikhoun on the morning of April 4, 2017 was producing and/or storing chemical weapons, the probability that viable agent and other toxic contaminants were dispersed into the surrounding neighborhood, and further disseminated by the prevailing wind, is high.

Emphasis added. Although the article is at PuffHo and written by a sex offender (teenage girls), it’s a detailed article and worth reading in full.

So, there’s that. The whole thing could have been an accident, when a Syrian government jet did a conventional attack on a facility where the rebels were storing their own, illegal, home-grown(?) chemical weapons.

On the other hand, we have Defense Secretary Mattis stating, “The Syrian regime attacked its own people with chemical weapons. I have personally reviewed the intelligence and there is no doubt the Syrian regime is responsible for the decision to attack and for the attack itself.”

Fifteen years ago, deciding whether to believe the U.S. defense secretary would have been easy: Just believe him! But, disturbingly, Mattis’ briefing gave almost no supporting details – for a story which makes little sense on its surface.

And a lot has changed, in the last 15 years. We now know to a certainty that the U.S. intelligence agencies get things wrong or even mislead on purpose.

  • Most recently, the proverbial “17 intelligence agencies” supported highly doubtful claims of Russian election hacking.
  • Also, they leaked surveillance information in an effort to stoke fires of McCarthyism (hysteria) against a newly-elected President – who, it seemed at the time, wouldn’t go along with the agencies’ desire to attack Syria.

As such, I’m not comforted to know that Mattis “personally reviewed the intelligence” (a fancy way of saying just that he read the agency reports). I remain a skeptic of the official story. As always, feel free to disagree or to tell me what I missed, in the comments.

As to the larger picture: Trump says, “We’re not going into Syria.” But… Spicer is comparing Assad to Hitler and Nikki Haley is still talking Syria regime change. As is McCain. Yuck.

UPDATE: Zero Hedge lists more reasons to question the official story, including:

  • Evidence that it was anhydrous ammonia or chlorine, not sarin. Supposedly, the “first responders” handled the victims without gloves, which should have killed them (if it was sarin).
  • A statement from Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), claiming that local U.S. Army officers in Syria agree with the accidental-release theory (mainly faulting the rebels).