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TBR News January 16, 2016

Jan 13 2016

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C. , January 13, 2016: “I am now in France looking into various matters of interest and will report upon my return.”

 

Conversations with the Crow

On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull Crowley, once a leader of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division, died in a Washington hospital of heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before the late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley’s widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill Drive in Washington and hauled away over fifty boxes of Crowley’s CIA files.

Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front Royal , Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always considered to be a potential major embarrassment. Three months before, July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md. After Corson’s death, Trento and his Washington lawyer went to Corson’s bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a manuscript entitled ‘Zipper.’ This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley’s involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever

After Crowley’s death and Trento’s raid on the Crowley files, huge gaps were subsequently discovered by horrified CIA officials and when Crowley’s friends mentioned Gregory Douglas, it was discovered that Crowley’s son had shipped two large boxes to Douglas. No one knew their contents but because Douglas was viewed as an uncontrollable loose cannon who had done considerable damage to the CIA’s reputation by his on-going publication of the history of Gestapo-Mueller, they bent every effort both to identify the missing files and make some effort to retrieve them before Douglas made any use of them.

Douglas had been in close contact with Crowley and had long phone conversatins with him. He found this so interesting and informative that he taped  and later transcribed them.

These
conversations have been published in a book: ‘Conversations with the Crow” and this is an excerpt.

http://www.amazon.com/Conversations-Crow-Gregory-Douglas-ebook/dp/B00GHMAQ5E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1450147193&sr=8-1&keywords=conversations+with+the+crow

 

 

 

Conversation No. 63

Date: Friday, February 7, 1997

Commenced: 11:55 AM CST

Concluded: 12:35 PM CST

 

RTC: Hello there, Gregory. I hope you’re feeling better than I am.

GD: You have a cold?

RTC: No, getting old. Some advice, Gregory. Don’t get old. The worst part isn’t forgetting things, it’s remembering. And knowing you are helpless to correct the present. But there still is correcting the past.

GD: Historians do that all the time. Hitler lost so Hitler was always wrong. Roosevelt won so Roosevelt was always right. Saints and sinners. It depends entirely on who wins.

RTC: True. I told you I once met Roosevelt, didn’t I? My father got me in to see him. Old and shaky, but still clever. Phony old bastard, one thing to the face and another to the back, but very shrewd in political circles. He set up a powerful movement, but as soon as he hit the floor, they started to dismantle it.

GD: Müller was filling me in on the anti-Communist activities he was involved in. McCarthy and all of that.

RTC: Well, Franklin put them all in, and Truman threw them all out. Most of them were Jewish so we were all accused of anti-Semitism, but we held all the cards then and they knew it, so criticism was muted. It wouldn’t be that way now, but times change.

GD: They always do and a smart man changes with them.

RTC: Some times the older forms are better.

GD: Yes, but people grow tired of old forms and want new ones. A revolution might mean more money and power for some and death or disgrace for others. The wheel does turn.

RTC: So it does. I wanted to give you a little background here, Gregory, about you. You see, at one time, these others wanted to set up a sort of private think tank. They wanted to call it after the oracle of Delphi. Tom Kimmel, Bill Corson, the Trento ménage, Critchfield and others. But they wanted me to be the honcho.

GD: And why you?

RTC: I have the connections with the business community. I could get big money people behind the idea. It was a sort of miniature Company if you will. Money and power. We always called it the Company because it was a huge business conglomerate. But anyway, this think tank would bring all of us lots of money. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel too happy with the make up of it. Kimmel is pompous and entirely too much obsessed with his late Grandfather; the Trentos are very lightweight, but aren’t really aware of it; and poor Bill is a perpetual wannabe, running around trying to sound like a great keeper of various unknown secrets. We tried Costello. Tom liked him because of his Pearl Harbor writings, but I never liked him. There was a screw loose in his brain somewhere. And of course being a fairy didn’t improve his objectivity. I gave up on John after his trip to Reno. He hated you, you know.

GD: My heart is breaking. I should have given him some of my old shorts to chew on.

RTC: Now do let’s be serious, Gregory. John was a spiteful person but I got the impression he thought you were much worse than he was and since he was hiding his perversions, he probably thought you could see through him. I think people get that impression: That you watch and see too much. Of course, it doesn’t help that you run your mouth and say terrible things about self-made saints. Anyway, I didn’t want John involved and then I began to have some interest in you. Of course, I couldn’t put you forward for the group because Kimmel detested you and Bill didn’t know where to turn. He liked you but always listened to others in making up his mind. When I ditched Costello and Bill knew you and I were talking, Kimmel went through the roof. He didn’t like me talking to you and spent much time getting his oafs at Justice to ring me up and tell me how terrible you were. Tom likes to get others to do his dirty work, I noticed long ago. The Trento family didn’t know you and Bill is actually afraid of you. So the private study group for profit more or less died a natural death. I wanted to include you but they did not so there it ended.

GD: I would have had no problem working with you but not with the others. Bill is a lightweight, Kimmel a gasbag and the one Trento book I tried to read was hopeless.

RTC: Yes.

GD: ‘And slime had they for mortar.’—Genesis 11:3.

RTC: Citing Scripture, Gregory? I thought the Devil did that.

GD: He does. Daily. Now we call him Pat Robertson.

RTC: Where’s your Christian charity?

GD: I sold it to buy a gun.

RTC: Yes. Well, to get back to the subject here, which is the fact that these gentlemen do not like you, but I do. They have stopped yapping about you because I told them to shut up, but no doubt they still run around behind my back and try to stab you in the back. Never to the face, but in the back.

GD: Not to change the subject, Robert, but why do you really call it the Company?

RTC: Because it’s a huge business. We are one of the most powerful businesses on the planet, Gregory. We make enormous sums of money, have established a tight and very complete control over the media, have the White House doing as we tell them to, overturn foreign governments if they dare to thwart our business ventures, and so on.

GD: Business ventures?

RTC: A generalized case in point. A left-wing nigger gets into power in the Congo. The Congo has huge uranium deposits. Will Moscow get the uranium? The Belgian businessmen come to us for help. We agree to help them and we get into a civil war and murder Lumumba. One of our men drove around with his rotting corpse in his trunk. The head of the UN starts to interfere in matters, so we have an aircraft accident that kills him very dead and stops the interference. We tell the President about the uppity nigger but not about poor dead Dag. We tell them what we want them to hear and nothing more.

GD: And the business aspect?

RTC: The drugs, of course, bring in astronomical amounts of loose money. And if some rival group cuts into the business, we get them removed. Ever read about huge heroin busts somewhere? Our rivals going down for the third time. All of this is part and parcel of the Plan.

GD: Sounds like the Templar’s Plan.

RTC: Ah, you know about this, do you? Which one of the seven dwarves enlightened you? Not Kimmel, but probably Bill.

GD: Actually no. I was speaking of the Plan of the Templars…

RTC: Ah, you see, you do know that. You knew Allen was an initiate, didn’t you?

GD: Well, not in so many words. Didn’t the Templars get disbanded for having too much money? I think they killed DeMolay…

RTC: Now don’t change the subject here. They were never really disbanded, but they went underground. Do you know how much money they had? The French only got a little bit of it. Now let me know, who told you?

GD: You did, actually. Just now. I was thinking of Umberto Eco’s excellent Foucault’s Pendulum and his discussion of the survival of the Templars.

RTC: I missed that one. Is that an old book?

GD: No. Late ‘80s, if I remember. Brilliant historical pastiche. Eco’s an Italian scholar and the book is wonderful, although I doubt very few people in America would understand a word of it. They don’t teach history in our public schools, only political correctness. You can no longer look for the chink in someone’s armor anymore because Asians are terribly offended and you dare not call a spade a spade.

RTC: Yes, yes, I know all that. Stunts the mind.

GD: It’s my impression, based on my visits to your town, that they don’t have any minds to stunt.

RTC: Don’t forget, Gregory, that I was in government service as well.

GD: There are always exceptions, Robert.

RTC: Many thanks for your kindness, Gregory. The Templars have always had money but they have been an underground power for so long, they are set in their ways. We are public and they are not, so there is a sort of joint partnership here. As I said, Dulles was taken in when he was in Switzerland. One of the Jung people, as I remember. They can open doors, Gregory, don’t ever think they can’t, but they are always out of the sunlight.

GD: Like the mythic vampires.

RTC: Custom and usage, as they say. We have common interests, believe me.

GD: Catholic group?

RTC: Not anymore.

GD: Well, I had an ancestor in the Teutonic Knights, and they really never went away. And the Knights of Malta still have some influence in Papal matters. Interesting about the Templars, though. I thought Eco was just a good story teller. Could be. Secret societies have always intrigued parts of the public. The dread Masons, for example. Of course, before the French Revolution, they had a great deal of clandestine power in France, but now I think they’re just a high class fraternal organization. Müller told me that the Nazis were obsessed with the Masons, but when the Gestapo got around to really investigating them, they found nothing sinister at all. Just a social organization and nothing more.

RTC: You know quite a bit about so many interesting things. I can see why you got on with the kraut and why the rat pack here hates you. I must ask you please not to discuss this business with anyone. I would also ask you not to put it into anything you write concerning me. The Kennedy business is bad enough, but no one would believe a word of the other business.

GD: I agree, Robert. But if I have to give up a really interesting story, can I get more information on Kennedy?

RTC: Yes, I can send you more. I did give Bill a copy of the Russian report, but nothing more. He started bragging about this, so I basically shut him down. Of course, it doesn’t really say anything, but once is enough when someone starts to leak out material they have sworn to keep silent about.

GD: And have you tested me?

RTC: I don’t need to. You aren’t trying to make points with the bosses like they are. I hate to say it because I am friendly with all of them, but they are just a bunch of useless ass kissers. You certainly are not.

GD: No, I am not. I don’t trust anyone in the establishment. My God, you ought to listen to what the Landreth people were telling me, [I want to wet myself,] that they can put me on the cover of Time magazine. Of course I really believe them and I would like nothing better than to have my picture on the cover of Time magazine. It used to be a good news magazine but now it’s worse than People Magazine which sells very well in the supermarket checkout lines. And right next to the National Enquirer which is probably written by the same people.

RTC: I think the day of the printed paper or magazine is dying. We still have our hand in on that game. We moved to television, but that is also losing out, so we are moving into the Internet. But don’t ask me about that, because I know nothing about it. We view the Internet as very dangerous because we can’t begin to control it. Set up a few people with money and push them. Hope for the best, you know. but doubtful.

GD: The Templars story is interesting, mainly because I read Eco and know something about their early days.

RTC: When the conspiracy idiots babble on about secret societies, they don’t have any idea what they’re talking about. They go on about the CFR and the Masons but they don’t know the half of it.

GD: Did you ever read Mills’ The Power Elite? Came out in ’54 and is a little out of date but very good.

RTC: Can’t say as I have. Didn’t you mention this once? No matter. I might have but years ago. Speculative?

GD: Concrete, realistic and so on. The reason why the American public is so wrapped up in conspiracy theories is because they have lost all faith in their government and most of our major institutions such as banks, the press, mainline religion and so on. I remember the so-called OPEC panic when the price of gas at the pump went up every ten minutes. There was no OPEC crisis, but just the oil companies creating a panic so they could make huge profits. Ever notice, Robert, how the price of gas at the pump soars just at the beginning of summer when everyone drives on trips and then comes down in winter when no one drives? And how the price of fuel oil drops off in summer when no one needs it but then shoots up every winter when everyone does? Tell me, are these accidents?

RTC: Of course not, Gregory, of course not.

GD: I’m surprised that people don’t pick up on this.

RTC: They won’t pick up on anything at all and what if they did? A little talk here and there and they pay the bills.

GD: And the sheep get shorn again.

RTC: Yes, if you want to put it that way. That’s why they’re there, isn’t it?

 

(Conclusion at 12:35 PM CST)

 

 

Muslim Immigrnts as Rapists

by Harry von Johnston

Swedish girls Malin and Amanda were on their way to a party on New Year’s Eve when they were assaulted, raped and beaten half to death by four Somali immigrants. Sweden’s largest newspaper has presented the perpetrators as “two men from Sweden, one from Finland and one from Somalia”, a testimony as to how bad the informal censorship is in stories related to immigration in Sweden. Similar incidents are reported with shocking frequency, to the point where some observers fear that law and order is completely breaking down in the country. The number of rape charges in Sweden has tripled in just above twenty years. Rape cases involving children under the age of 15 are six – 6 – times as common today as they were a generation ago. Most other kinds of violent crime have rapidly increased, too. Instability is spreading to most urban and suburban areas.

According to a new study from the Crime Prevention Council, Brå, it is four times more likely that a known rapist is born abroad, compared to persons born in Sweden. Resident aliens from Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia dominate the group of rape suspects. According to these statistics, almost half of all perpetrators are immigrants. In Norway and Denmark, we know that non-Western immigrants, which frequently means Muslims, are grossly overrepresented on rape statistics. In Oslo, Norway, immigrants were involved in two out of three rape charges in 2001. The numbers in Denmark were the same, and even higher in the city of Copenhagen with three out of four rape charges. Sweden has a larger immigrant, including Muslim, population than any other country in northern Europe. The numbers there are likely to be at least as bad as with its Scandinavian neighbors. The actual number is thus probably even higher than what the authorities are reporting now, as it doesn’t include second generation immigrants. Lawyer Ann Christine Hjelm, who has investigated violent crimes in Svea high court, found that 85 per cent of the convicted rapists were born on foreign soil or by foreign parents.

A group of Swedish teenage girls has designed a belt that requires two hands to remove and which they hope will deter would-be rapists. “It’s like a reverse chastity belt,” one of the creators, 19-year-old Nadja Björk,said, meaning that the wearer is in control, instead of being controlled. Björk and one of her partners now plan to start a business to mass produce the belts and are currently in negotiations with potential partners. “But I’m not doing this for the money,” she said. “I’m really passionate about stopping rape. I think it’s terrible.” In an online readers’ poll from the newspaper Aftonbladet, 82% of the women expressed fear to go outside after dark. There are reports of rapes happening in broad daylight. 30 guests in a Swedish public bath watched as 17 girl was raped recently, and nobody did anything. The girl was first approached by 16-year-old boy. He and his friends followed her as she walked away to the grotto, and inside the grotto he got her blocked in the corner, ripped off her bikini and raped her, while his friend held her firm.

There are even reports of Swedish girls being attacked and cut with knives on the dance floor. A 21-year-old man who came to Sweden a couple of years ago admits that he has a low opinion of Swedish females –or “whores” as he calls them. He is now prosecuted, suspecteded of cutting eight girls in several pubs. He is also charged with raping a girl at a private party, and with sexually harassing another girl in the apartment. Several witnesses claim that the 21 year old has said that he hates Swedish women.

Some Muslim immigrants admit their bias quite openly. An Islamic Mufti in Copenhagen sparked a political outcry after publicly declaring that women who refuse to wear headscarves are “asking for rape.” Apparently, he’s not the only one thinking this way. “It is not as wrong raping a Swedish girl as raping an Arab girl,” says Hamid. “The Swedish girl gets a lot of help afterwards, and she had probably fucked before, anyway. But the Arab girl will get problems with her family. For her, being raped is a source of shame. It is important that she retains her virginity until she marries.” It was no coincidence that it was a Swedish girl that was gang raped in Rissne – this becomes obvious from the discussion with Ali, Hamid, Abdallah and Richard. All four have disparaging views on Swedish girls, and think this attitude is common among young men with immigrant background. “It is far too easy to get a Swedish whore…… girl, I mean;” says Hamid, and laughs over his own choice of words. “Many immigrant boys have Swedish girlfriends when they are teenagers. But when they get married, they get a proper woman from their own culture who has never been with a boy. That’s what I am going to do. I don’t have too much respect for Swedish girls. I guess you can say they get fucked to pieces.”

The number of rapes committed by Muslim immigrants in Western nations are so extremely high that it is difficult to view them only as random acts of individuals. It resembles warfare. Muhammad himself had forced sex (rape) with several of his slave girls/concubines. This is perfectly allowed, both in the sunna and in the Koran. If you postulate that many of the Muslims in Europe view themselves as a conquering army and that European women are simply war booty, it all makes perfect sense and is in full accordance with Islamic law. Western women are not so much regarded by most Muslims as individuals, but as “their women,” the women who “belong” to hostile Infidels. They are booty, to be taken, just as the land of the Infidels someday will drop, it is believed, into Muslim hand. This is not mere crime, but ideologically-justified crime or rather, in Muslim eyes, attacks on Infidels scarcely qualify as crime. Western women are cheap and offensive. We Muslims are here, here to stay, and we have a right to take advantage of this situation. It is our view of the matter that should prevail. Western goods, like the land on which we now live, belong to Allah and to the best of men—his Believers. Western women, too, essentially belong to us—our future booty. No wonder there is a deep and increasing suspicion against Muslims in the Swedish and European public.

 

3year old boy allegedly ‘gang raped’ at Norwegian refugee center

January 13, 2016

RT

Norwegian police are investigating an alleged rape of a three-year-old boy at a center housing asylum seekers in Stavanger, the country’s third-largest city. Precise details of the case are scarce, but police said multiple perpetrators may have been involved.

The alleged assault happened at the Forus Akuttinnkvartering center on January 6, but remained unreported until Wednesday.

The police were called by the center’s personnel, who received a tip from a telephone located outside of the facility.

“We are investigating the case as if the worst thing has happened, we are talking about the rape of a child,” police superintendent Bjorn Kare Dahl told Stavanger Aftenblad. “We have no suspects yet.”

The police did not disclose the nationality of the boy, but Norway’s TV2 reported that the boy was living at the center with his family. He was driven to a rape crisis clinic with his mother and then to the children’s ward at Stavanger University Hospital, the Local reported.

The police said they questioned the alleged victim and several other people and sent forensic specialists to collect evidence at the center.

Forus is currently providing accommodation for 781 men, women and children, a spokesman for the center, Lars Petter Einarsson, said.

“We had many people at work, both sanitation workers and security guards, but nobody saw anything,” he said.

He added that they reported to the police right after receiving the phone tip on Wednesday.

Sex crimes allegedly committed by asylum seekers hosted by European countries are a highly sensitive issue, after dozens of such assaults on women have been reported in Germany and other nations after New Year’s Eve.

The revelation that the authorities hesitated to report the spree of crimes to avoid anti-immigrant sentiments sparked a scandal.

 

Cologne attacks on Muslims show incompatibility of cultures

January 13, 2016

by Shamil Shams

DW

 

Cologne’s xenophobic assaults on Muslims are disgraceful. But DW’s Shamil Shams feels that they just show how Germans feel increasingly threatened by a culture that is not compatible with their norms

As a Pakistani journalist working in Germany, I have been very skeptical about the German government’s decision to allow thousands of refugees into the country without much scrutiny of their backgrounds.

Of course, I am empathetic towards the plight of the people who are fleeing war-torn countries like Syria, who are facing immense oppression and violence at the hands of Islamic militants as well as President Bashar Assad. I understand their woes, the pain of losing their loved ones, their homes and livelihoods in a civil war that continues to ravage the once peaceful country.

But at the same time, I was sure that the migrants’ influx would ultimately disturb the harmony and balance of German society. I feel that Islamic culture and European norms are not compatible.

Most Germans have responded to the refugee crisis with exemplary humanism. My European friends got angry when I warned them against Chancellor Merkel’s migrant-friendly policy. I found it very naïve that many Germans believed that all Middle Eastern and South Asian refugees would conform to their way of life and values. I told my friends that their understanding of the Muslim world was limited and flawed. They didn’t pay much attention to my arguments.

My worst fears came true when hundreds of young men allegedly from Middle Eastern and North African countries sexually assaulted German women in Cologne on New Year’s Eve. Many say it was a pre-planned attack, as the Muslim men groped and touched the women’s private parts shamelessly. And now the Germans are finally debating whether it was a good idea to be so open to embracing people from alien cultures.

 

Actually, I never felt more ashamed in my life.

I am a person from a Muslim background who has been living in Germany for many years, and have always been treated with respect and humility. I have always felt safer in Germany than in Pakistan. I have many German friends and I never felt alienated in the society.

But the New Year’s Eve assault made me realize that I, too, in a way feel responsible for the heinous act: What happened in Cologne happens regularly in my homeland, Pakistan. The men are never ashamed, never feel guilty, never show remorse about the way they treat women in that part of the world.

The men who sexually harassed girls in Cologne were not demented; they knew what they were doing. And I am sure they did it with absolute contempt for the European culture, its norms and its people.

More than retaliation

Now we see a backlash from the far-right German groups. On Sunday evening, a group of 20 people attacked six Pakistanis and a Syrian national near Cologne’s central station – a place where I have often walked freely even after midnight. Some people were seriously injured and had to be taken to hospital. The German media described the attackers as “bikers, hooligans and bouncers.” It was a shameful and reactionary act, but what else would you expect from the right-wing groups?

I could have been one of the Pakistanis beaten up by the hooligans. They wouldn’t have interviewed me before throwing a punch at me or hurling an insult. They wouldn’t have known that I am an atheist who has been writing critically about Islamic extremism for over 15 years. They wouldn’t have been bothered about all this. For them, I would have been just another Muslim, another South Asian, bent on changing their way of life.

The attackers might be politically motivated, but their fear can not be ignored.

German society is changing, with right-wing Christian as well as Islamic groups getting stronger by the day. It is an alarming situation for the majority of secular people in Germany and Europe.

If the German government wants to protect the country’s secular foundations, it must increase checks on the people it intends to integrate into its society. Integration is not only about learning the German language.

I know many Muslims who have been living in Germany for decades, speak fluent German, yet they harbor deep resentment against secularism and Western values.

The rise of Salafism in Germany has given more impetus to right-wing movements in the country. Pegida is just one example.

What happened on New Year’s Eve could change the way Germans live and treat foreigners forever. The government must make sure this doesn’t happen.

And I, as a foreigner, also have a responsibility in this regard.

 

Oregon militia to discuss ‘when we will be leaving’ wildlife refuge

Group signals occupation of Malheur facility could be approaching resolution as spokesman says they will meet with local community on Friday

January 13, 2016

by Sam Levin

The Guardian

The militiamen occupying the Malheur national wildlife refuge in eastern Oregon said on Tuesday that they intended to tell the public soon “when we will be leaving”, signalling that the takeover could be heading toward a resolution.

At a press conference at the refuge, LaVoy Finicum, an Arizona rancher and one of the main spokesmen of the armed militia, announced that on Friday, the occupiers planned to meet with the local community of Burns, the closest town to the wildlife sanctuary, located 30 miles away. “We will be going into town and holding a meeting with the community, to explain to the community … why we’re here and when we will be leaving. And that will be important,” he said. “We invite all to attend.”

The announcement is significant given that, if they follow through with the plan, the 7pm Friday event will mark the first time the occupiers enter Burns and formally communicate with local residents, who have increasingly called on the militia to end the siege and leave Oregon.

Although numerous Harney County officials and many Burns residents have condemned the armed occupation led by Arizona rancher Ammon Bundy, militia members have continued to claim that their local support is growing and that they will back out once they can transfer their efforts to Burns residents.

Bundy and his out-of-state crew say they want the federal government to give local ranchers control of public land in rural Oregon – and that they plan to stay put until they are confident that Burns residents are in a good position to advocate for their land-use rights.

Jerry DeLemus, a 61-year-old New Hampshire resident who was at the refuge until Monday and has helped Bundy coordinate meetings with nearby ranchers, said the occupation has made significant progress in recent days and could soon be ready to leave.

“It probably won’t take too long,” said DeLemus, who is also a co-chair for US presidential candidate Donald Trump’s veterans’ coalition in New Hampshire. “There’s so much local support rallying behind what Ammon and those at the refuge are doing.”

The news of a potential end to the occupation, which began on 2 January, comes one day after the militia significantly escalated its protests by destroying part of a US Fish and Wildlife Service fence – in an effort, they say, to let cattle graze on federally controlled land. County law enforcement leaders and some local ranchers strongly condemned Bundy for removing the fence – even though many said they supported the push to increase county access to local land.

For Burns residents who oppose the militia, Friday’s meeting and the subsequent departure of Bundy’s crew can’t come soon enough – especially considering that some officials have estimated that the occupation is costing the county $75,000 a day.

Harney County sheriff Dave Ward last week offered to peacefully escort Bundy and the rest of the militia off the refuge and out of state. But on Monday night, he repeated his demand that the militia go home – this time more forcefully. “There’s an hourglass and it’s running out.”

He said that Bundy is working to have a newly formed so-called Harney County Committee of Safety, run by local residents, take over the fight against federal regulations.

 

US intelligence director’s phone account was hacked, office says

  • Top spy James Clapper apparently latest official to become hacking victim
  • Calls allegedly set to be forwarded to Free Palestine Movement

January 13, 2016

by Danny Yadron

The Guardian

The top US spy had his phone account hacked, his office confirmed Tuesday.

James Clapper, the director of national intelligence (DNI), appears to have become the latest government official who had a personal account accessed by a hacker. In October, CIA director John Brennan said he was “outraged” after a still-anonymous hacker or hackers broke into his AOL email account and posted files online.

We are aware of the matter and have notified the appropriate authorities,” DNI spokesman Brian Hale said in a written statement.

A group of self-described teenagers claimed credit for the Brennan incident. Motherboard, a tech site run by Vice Media, published Tuesday an account of the Clapper hack based on a source claiming to be linked to the Brennan hack.

The hacker allegedly accessed Clapper’s Verizon account so that calls to the director would be forwarded to the Free Palestine Movement. The hacker also claimed to have accessed Clapper’s wife’s personal email account.

The incident is rudimentary by hacker standards. As the director of national intelligence, Clapper has authorized hacking operations that are much more sophisticated for foreign intelligence operations.

But stopping a computer intrusion is much harder than launching one. In this case, the hackers would have had to guess his password or trick him into revealing it.

What it does is to underscore just how vulnerable people are to those who want to cause harm,” Brennan, the CIA director, said after his breach, according to a CNN report. “We really have to evolve to deal with these new threats and challenges.”

 

 

U.S. Media Condemns Iran’s “Aggression” in Intercepting U.S. Naval Ships — in Iranian Waters

January 13, 2016

by Glenn Greenwald

The Intercept

News broke last night, hours before President Obama’s State of the Union address, that two U.S. Navy ships “in the Persian Gulf” were “seized” by Iran, and the 10 sailors on board were “arrested.” The Iranian government quickly said, and even the U.S. government itself seemed to acknowledge, that these ships had entered Iranian waters without permission, and were thus inside Iranian territory when detained. CNN’s Barbara Starr, as she always does, immediately went on-air with Wolf Blitzer to read what U.S. officials told her to say: “We are told that right now, what the U.S. thinks may have happened, is that one of these small boats experienced a mechanical problem . . . perhaps beginning to drift . . . it was at that point, the theory goes right now, that they drifted into Iranian territorial waters.”

It goes without saying that every country has the right to patrol and defend its territorial waters and to intercept other nations’ military boats that enter without permission. Indeed, the White House itself last night was clear that, in its view, this was “not a hostile act by Iran” and that Iran had given assurances that the sailors would be promptly released. And this morning they were released, exactly as Iran promised they would be, after Iran said it determined the trespassing was accidental and the U.S. apologized and promised no future transgressions.

Despite all of this, most U.S. news accounts last night quickly skimmed over – or outright ignored – the rather critical fact that the U.S. ships had “drifted into” Iranian waters. Instead, all sorts of TV news personalities and U.S. establishment figures puffed out their chest and instantly donned their Tough Warrior pose to proclaim that this was an act of aggression – virtually an act of war: not by the U.S., but by Iran. They had taken our sailors “hostage,” showing yet again how menacing and untrustworthy they are. Completely typical was this instant analysis from former Clinton and Bush Middle East negotiator Aaron David Miller, now at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars:

Isn’t it such a mystery – given “even-handed” diplomats like this – why the U.S. failed to facilitate an Israel/Palestine peace deal and is perceived around the world as hopelessly biased toward Israel?] Miller’s proclamation – issued when almost no facts were known – was immediately re-tweeted by New York Times columnist Nick Kristof to his 1.7 million followers [amazingly, when numerous people pointed out that Miller issued this inflammatory claim without any facts whatsoever, he lashed out at critics with the condescension and limitless projection typical of US establishment elites: “Twitter is an amazing vehicle: it allows instant and at times inaccurate analysis but always intemperate and ad hominem responses”; by “instant and at times inaccurate analysis,” he meant his critics, not his own fact-free claim]. Nick Kristof himself then added:

Iranian hardliners have been systematically trying to undermine Rouhani and damage US-Iranian relations. Seizing sailors, that’ll do it.

The truly imbecilic Joe Scarborough of MSNBC turned himself into an instant self-parody of a pseudo-tough-guy compensating for all sorts of inadequacies:

Hey Iran, you have exactly 300 days left to push a US president around. Enjoy it while you can. After that, there will be hell to pay.

But, as usual, the most alarmist, jingoistic coverage came from the always-war-hungry CNN. For hours, they emphasized in the most alarmist of tones that the sailors had been picked up by the Revolutionary Guard which, in the words of Starr, is “one of the most aggressive elements of the military and national security apparatus in that country.” CNN host Erin Burnett intoned at the top of her prime-time show: “Next, breaking news: American sailors seized by Iran. The revolutionary guard arresting ten American sailors in the Persian Gulf.”

For hours, CNN anchors and guests all but declared war on Iran, insisting that this behavior demonstrated how aggressive and menacing they were, while warning that this could turn into another “hostage crisis.” Immediately after her opening headline-alarm, here is how Burnett “explained” the situation to CNN viewers:

Ten American navy sailors, nine men and one woman seized by Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the Persian Gulf tonight. The Americans ran two boats, each equipped with three 50 caliber machine gun. Iran’s news agency announcing those sailors are under arrest. U.S. officials say the sailors were simply on a training mission traveling from Kuwait to Bahrain. It is a major embarrassment for the Obama administration coming just hours before the President will be here delivering his final State of the Union Address.

Notice what’s missing? The fact that the ships had entered Iranian waters. Instead, they were “simply on a training mission traveling from Kuwait to Bahrain” when the Iranian Revolutionary Guard “seized” them. That is Baghdad-Bob-level propaganda.

They then brought on CNN national security reporter Jim Sciutto. Throughout the show, Burnett kept implying that Iran did this on purpose to humiliate Obama and the U.S. during his State of the Union speech: “Iran is acutely aware of important events in American politics tonight,” she told Sciutto. Only then did Sciutto mention that the ships were in Iranian waters as he gently pointed out the blatantly irrational nature of her conspiracy theory: “Who could have predicted that you would have two U.S. small navy boats, one of which either had a mechanical problem or a navigational error that put it into Iran’s territorial waters?” He then added: “But you know, I don’t like the sound, it sounds like a cliché to say the timing, whether accidental or not couldn’t be worse.”

CNN then brought on its White House correspondent Jim Acosta to say: “this is sort of like an October surprise right before the State of the Union Address.” They then spoke to a former U.S. intelligence official who, citing Iran’s language, suggested that “what that means is that the Geneva Convention protections that are established by international law may not be invoked by the Iranians”: in other words, they may abuse and even torture the sailors. Former CIA operative Robert Baer warned viewers: “I’m not saying that’s going to happen but it could be another hostage crisis which would very much cloud this administration’s foreign policy in a very, very ugly way.” David Gergen warned that this was part of a broader trend showing Iranian aggression: “We have understood that with the nuclear agreement it not only would contain their nuclear program but they would start behaving themselves constructively. And that is exactly what they are not doing now.”

Over and over, CNN’s on-air personalities emphasized the Revolutionary Guard angle and barely acknowledged, or outright ignored, that the ships had entered Iranian waters. This was how Sciutto “reported” the event on Jake Tapper’s The Lead:

TAPPER: Jim, you have some new details on who precisely may be behind this?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: This is a key detail. Iran’s state Fars News Agency is reporting that the U.S. sailors were picked up by boats from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. This is very much tied to the hard-line camp in Iran, which has, in effect, its own military, including its own navy really in the Persian Gulf, which has contested U.S. ships before, U.S. aircraft carrier a couple of weeks ago.

To be clear, that is a hard line camp that is opposed to detente in effect with the U.S. and certainly opposed to the nuclear deal, which is meant to be implemented in the next several days. . . .

TAPPER: Obviously, we are praying for those ten sailors. Thank you so much, Jim Sciutto.

Just imagine what would happen if the situation had been reversed: if two Iranian naval ships had entered U.S. waters off the East Coast of the country without permission or notice. Wolf Blitzer would have declared war within minutes; Aaron David Miller would have sprained one his fingers madly tweeting about Iranian aggression and the need to show resolve; and Joe Scarborough would have videotaped himself throwing one of his Starbucks cups at a picture of the mullahs to show them that they cannot push America around and there “will be hell to pay.” And, needless to say, the U.S. government would have – quite rightly – detained the Iranian ships and the sailors aboard them to determine why they had entered U.S. waters (and had they released the Iranians less than 24 hours later, the U.S. media would have compared Obama to Neville Chamberlain).

But somehow, the U.S. media instantly converted the invasion by U.S. ships into Iranian waters into an act of aggression by Iran. That’s, in part, because the U.S. political and media establishment believes the world is owned by the United States (recall how the U.S., with a straight face, regularly condemned Iran for “interference” in Iraq even while the U.S. was occupying Iraq with 100,000 troops). Thus, the U.S. military has the absolute right to go anywhere it wants – even into Iranian waters – and it’s inherently an act of “aggression” for anyone else to resist. That was the clear premise of the bulk of the U.S. commentary last night.

The reaction is also explained in part by the permanent narrative that any countries adverse to the U.S. are inherently evil and aggressive. The U.S. is constantly depicted as a victim of Iranian aggression even as the U.S. spends more on its military than the next seven countries combined, and Iran spends less than 3% of what the U.S. does. The U.S.’s top ally in the region after Israel, Saudi Arabia, spends more than five times than Iran on its military. For the last 15 years, Iran has been almost completely encircled by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and U.S. military bases extremely close to Iranian borders. But in the tale told by the U.S. media, it’s Iran that is aggressively threatening the U.S.

But the media reaction last night is also explained by the fact their self-assigned role in life is to instantly defend their government and demonize any governments that defy it. Even when the White House was saying they did not yet regard the Iranian conduct as an act of aggression, American journalists were insisting that it was. The U.S. does not officially have state TV; it has something much better and more effective: journalists who are nominally independent, legally free to say what they want, who are voluntarily even more nationalistic and jingoistic and government-defending than U.S. government spokespeople themselves.

 

The Oil Pricequake: Political Turmoil in a Time of Low Energy Prices

January 13, 2016

by Michael T. Klare

TomDispatch

 

As 2015 drew to a close, many in the global energy industry were praying that the price of oil would bounce back from the abyss, restoring the petroleum-centric world of the past half-century.  All evidence, however, points to a continuing depression in oil prices in 2016 — one that may, in fact, stretch into the 2020s and beyond.  Given the centrality of oil (and oil revenues) in the global power equation, this is bound to translate into a profound shakeup in the political order, with petroleum-producing states from Saudi Arabia to Russia losing both prominence and geopolitical clout.

To put things in perspective, it was not so long ago — in June 2014, to be exact — that Brent crude, the global benchmark for oil, was selling at $115 per barrel.  Energy analysts then generally assumed that the price of oil would remain well over $100 deep into the future, and might gradually rise to even more stratospheric levels. Such predictions inspired the giant energy companies to invest hundreds of billions of dollars in what were then termed “unconventional” reserves: Arctic oil, Canadian tar sands, deep offshore reserves, and dense shale formations. It seemed obvious then that whatever the problems with, and the cost of extracting, such energy reserves, sooner or later handsome profits would be made. It mattered little that the cost of exploiting such reserves might reach $50 or more a barrel.

As of this moment, however, Brent crude is selling at $33 per barrel, one-third of its price 18 months ago and way below the break-even price for most unconventional “tough oil” endeavors. Worse yet, in one scenario recently offered by the International Energy Agency (IEA), prices might not again reach the $50 to $60 range until the 2020s, or make it back to $85 until 2040. Think of this as the energy equivalent of a monster earthquake — a pricequake — that will doom not just many “tough oil” projects now underway but some of the over-extended companies (and governments) that own them.

The current rout in oil prices has obvious implications for the giant oil firms and all the ancillary businesses — equipment suppliers, drill-rig operators, shipping companies, caterers, and so on — that depend on them for their existence. It also threatens a profound shift in the geopolitical fortunes of the major energy-producing countries. Many of them, including Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Venezuela, are already experiencing economic and political turmoil as a result. (Think of this, for instance, as a boon for the terrorist group Boko Haram as Nigeria shudders under the weight of those falling prices.) The longer such price levels persist, the more devastating the consequences are likely to be.

A Perfect Storm

Generally speaking, oil prices go up when the global economy is robust, world demand is rising, suppliers are pumping at maximum levels, and little stored or surplus capacity is on hand.  They tend to fall when, as now, the global economy is stagnant or slipping, energy demand is tepid, key suppliers fail to rein in production in consonance with falling demand, surplus oil builds up, and future supplies appear assured.

During the go-go years of the housing boom, in the early part of this century, the world economy was thriving, demand was indeed soaring, and many analysts were predicting an imminent “peak” in world production followed by significant scarcities.  Not surprisingly, Brent prices rose to stratospheric levels, reaching a record $143 per barrel in July 2008.  With the failure of Lehman Brothers on September 15th of that year and the ensuing global economic meltdown, demand for oil evaporated, driving prices down to $34 that December.

With factories idle and millions unemployed, most analysts assumed that prices would remain low for some time to come.  So imagine the surprise in the oil business when, in October 2009, Brent crude rose to $77 per barrel.  Barely more than two years later, in February 2011, it again crossed the $100 threshold, where it generally remained until June 2014.

Several factors account for this price recovery, none more important than what was happening in China, where the authorities decided to stimulate the economy by investing heavily in infrastructure, especially roads, bridges, and highways.  Add in soaring automobile ownership among that country’s urban middle class and the result was a sharp increase in energy demand.  According to oil giant BP, between 2008 and 2013, petroleum consumption in China leaped 35%, from 8.0 million to 10.8 million barrels per day.  And China was just leading the way.  Rapidly developing countries like Brazil and India followed suit in a period when output at many existing, conventional oil fields had begun to decline; hence, that rush into those “unconventional” reserves.

This is more or less where things stood in early 2014, when the price pendulum suddenly began swinging in the other direction, as production from unconventional fields in the U.S. and Canada began to make its presence felt in a big way.  Domestic U.S. crude production, which had dropped from 7.5 million barrels per day in January 1990 to a mere 5.5 million barrels in January 2010, suddenly headed upwards, reaching a stunning 9.6 million barrels in July 2015.  Virtually all the added oil came from newly exploited shale formations in North Dakota and Texas.  Canada experienced a similar sharp uptick in production, as heavy investment in tar sands began to pay off. According to BP, Canadian output jumped from 3.2 million barrels per day in 2008 to 4.3 million barrels in 2014.  And don’t forget that production was also ramping up in, among other places, deep-offshore fields in the Atlantic Ocean off both Brazil and West Africa, which were just then coming on line.  At that very moment, to the surprise of many, war-torn Iraq succeeded in lifting its output by nearly one million barrels per day.

Add it all up and the numbers were staggering, but demand was no longer keeping pace.  The Chinese stimulus package had largely petered out and international demand for that country’s manufactured goods was slowing, thanks to tepid or nonexistent economic growth in the U.S., Europe, and Japan.  From an eye-popping annual rate of 10% over the previous 30 years, China’s growth rate fell into the single digits. Though China’s oil demand is expected to keep rising, it is not projected to grow at anything like the pace of recent years.

At the same time, increased fuel efficiency in the United States, the world’s leading oil consumer, began to have an effect on the global energy picture.  At the height of the country’s financial crisis, when the Obama administration bailed out both General Motors and Chrysler, the president forced the major car manufacturers to agree to a tough set of fuel-efficiency standards now noticeably reducing America’s demand for petroleum.  Under a plan announced by the White House in 2012, the average fuel efficiency of U.S.-manufactured cars and light vehicles will rise to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, reducing expected U.S. oil consumption by 12 billion barrels between now and then.

In mid-2014, these and other factors came together to produce a perfect storm of price suppression.  At that time, many analysts believed that the Saudis and their allies in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would, as in the past, respond by reining in production to bolster prices.  However, on November 27, 2014 — Thanksgiving Day — OPEC confounded those expectations, voting to maintain the output quotas of its member states.  The next day, the price of crude plunged by $4 and the rest is history.

A Dismal Prospect

In early 2015, many oil company executives were expressing the hope that these fundamentals would soon change, pushing prices back up again. But recent developments have demolished such expectations.

Aside from the continuing economic slowdown in China and the surge of output in North America, the most significant factor in the unpromising oil outlook, which now extends bleakly into 2016 and beyond, is the steadfast Saudi resistance to any proposals to curtail their production or OPEC’s.  On December 4th, for instance, OPEC members voted yet again to keep quotas at their current levels and, in the process, drove prices down another 5%.  If anything, the Saudis have actually increased their output.

Many reasons have been given for the Saudis’ resistance to production cutbacks, including a desire to punish Iran and Russia for their support of the Assad regime in Syria.  In the view of many industry analysts, the Saudis see themselves as better positioned than their rivals for weathering a long-term price decline because of their lower costs of production and their large cushion of foreign reserves.  The most likely explanation, though, and the one advanced by the Saudis themselves is that they are seeking to maintain a price environment in which U.S. shale producers and other tough-oil operators will be driven out of the market.  “There is no doubt about it, the price fall of the last several months has deterred investors away from expensive oil including U.S. shale, deep offshore, and heavy oils,” a top Saudi official told the Financial Times last spring.

Despite the Saudis’ best efforts, the larger U.S. producers have, for the most part, adjusted to the low-price environment, cutting costs and shedding unprofitable operations, even as many smaller firms have filed for bankruptcy. As a result, U.S. crude production, at about 9.2 million barrels per day, is actually slightly higher than it was a year ago.

In other words, even at $33 a barrel, production continues to outpace global demand and there seems little likelihood of prices rising soon, especially since, among other things, both Iraq and Iran continue to increase their output.  With the Islamic State slowly losing ground in Iraq and most major oil fields still in government hands, that country’s production is expected to continue its stellar growth.  In fact, some analysts project that its output could triple during the coming decade from the present three million barrels per day level to as much as nine million barrels.

For years, Iranian production has been hobbled by sanctions imposed by Washington and the European Union (E.U.), impeding both export transactions and the acquisition of advanced Western drilling technology.  Now, thanks to its nuclear deal with Washington, those sanctions are being lifted, allowing it both to reenter the oil market and import needed technology.  According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Iranian output could rise by as much as 600,000 barrels per day in 2016 and by more in the years to follow.

Only three developments could conceivably alter the present low-price environment for oil: a Middle Eastern war that took out one or more of the major energy suppliers; a Saudi decision to constrain production in order to boost prices; or an unexpected global surge in demand.

The prospect of a new war between, say, Iran and Saudi Arabia — two powers at each other’s throats at this very moment — can never be ruled out, though neither side is believed to have the capacity or inclination to undertake such a risky move. A Saudi decision to constrain production is somewhat more likely sooner or later, given the precipitous decline in government revenues. However, the Saudis have repeatedly affirmed their determination to avoid such a move, as it would largely benefit the very producers — namely shale operators in the U.S. — they seek to eliminate.

The likelihood of a sudden spike in demand appears unlikely indeed.  Not only is economic activity still slowing in China and many other parts of the world, but there’s an extra wrinkle that should worry the Saudis at least as much as all that shale oil coming out of North America: oil itself is beginning to lose some of its appeal.

While newly affluent consumers in China and India continue to buy oil-powered automobiles — albeit not at the breakneck pace once predicted — a growing number of consumers in the older industrial nations are exhibiting a preference for hybrid and all-electric cars, or for alternative means of transportation.  Moreover, with concern over climate change growing globally, increasing numbers of young urban dwellers are choosing to subsist without cars altogether, relying instead on bikes and public transit.  In addition, the use of renewable energy sources — sun, wind, and water power — is on the rise and will only grow more rapidly in this century.

These trends have prompted some analysts to predict that global oil demand will soon peak and then be followed by a period of declining consumption.  Amy Myers Jaffe, director of the energy and sustainability program at the University of California, Davis, suggests that growing urbanization combined with technological breakthroughs in renewables will dramatically reduce future demand for oil.  “Increasingly, cities around the world are seeking smarter designs for transport systems as well as penalties and restrictions on car ownership. Already in the West, trendsetting millennials are urbanizing, eliminating the need for commuting and interest in individual car ownership,” she wrote in the Wall Street Journal last year.

The Changing World Power Equation

Many countries that get a significant share of their funds from oil and natural gas exports and that gained enormous influence as petroleum exporters are already experiencing a significant erosion in prominence.  Their leaders, once bolstered by high oil revenues, which meant money to spread around and buy popularity domestically, are falling into disfavor.

Nigeria’s government, for example, traditionally obtains 75% of its revenues from such sales; Russia’s, 50%; and Venezuela’s, 40%.  With oil now at a third of the price of 18 months ago, state revenues in all three have plummeted, putting a crimp in their ability to undertake ambitious domestic and foreign initiatives.

In Nigeria, diminished government spending combined with rampant corruption discredited the government of President Goodluck Jonathan and helped fuel a vicious insurgency by Boko Haram, prompting Nigerian voters to abandon him in the most recent election and install a former military ruler, Muhammadu Buhari, in his place. Since taking office, Buhari has pledged to crack down on corruption, crush Boko Haram, and — in a telling sign of the times — diversify the economy, lessening its reliance on oil.

Venezuela has experienced a similar political shock thanks to depressed oil prices.  When prices were high, President Hugo Chávez took revenues from the state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela S.A., and used them to build housing and provide other benefits for the country’s poor and working classes, winning vast popular support for his United Socialist Party.  He also sought regional support by offering oil subsidies to friendly countries like Cuba, Nicaragua, and Bolivia.  After he died in March 2013, his chosen successor, Nicolas Maduro, sought to perpetuate this strategy, but oil didn’t cooperate and, not surprisingly, public support for him and for Chávez’s party began to collapse.  On December 6th, the center-right opposition swept to electoral victory, taking a majority of the seats in the National Assembly.  It now seeks to dismantle Chávez’s “Bolivarian Revolution,” though Maduro’s supporters have pledged firm resistance to any such moves.

The situation in Russia remains somewhat more fluid.  President Vladimir Putin continues to enjoy widespread popular support and, from Ukraine to Syria, he has indeed been moving ambitiously on the international front.  Still, falling oil prices combined with economic sanctions imposed by the E.U. and the U.S. have begun to cause some expressions of dissatisfaction, including a recent protest by long-distance truckers over increased highway tolls. Russia’s economy is expected to contract in a significant way in 2016, undermining the living standards of ordinary Russians and possibly sparking further anti-government protests.  In fact, some analysts believe that Putin took the risky step of intervening in the Syrian conflict partly to deflect public attention from deteriorating economic conditions at home.  He may also have done so to create a situation in which Russian help in achieving a negotiated resolution to the bitter, increasingly internationalized Syrian civil war could be traded for the lifting of sanctions over Ukraine.  If so, this is a very dangerous game, and no one — least of all Putin — can be certain of the outcome.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s leading oil exporter, has been similarly buffeted, but appears — for the time being, anyway — to be in a somewhat better position to weather the shock.  When oil prices were high, the Saudis socked away a massive trove of foreign reserves, estimated at three-quarters of a trillion dollars.  Now that prices have fallen, they are drawing on those reserves to sustain generous social spending meant to stave off unrest in the kingdom and to finance their ambitious intervention in Yemen’s civil war, which is already beginning to look like a Saudi Vietnam.  Still, those reserves have fallen by some $90 billion since last year and the government is already announcing cutbacks in public spending, leading some observers to question how long the royal family can continue to buy off the discontent of the country’s growing populace.  Even if the Saudis were to reverse course and limit the kingdom’s oil production to drive the price of oil back up, it’s unlikely that their oil income would rise high enough to sustain all of their present lavish spending priorities.

Other major oil-producing countries also face the prospect of political turmoil, including Algeria and Angola.  The leaders of both countries had achieved the usual deceptive degree of stability in energy producing countries through the usual oil-financed government largesse.  That is now coming to an end, which means that both countries could face internal challenges.

And keep in mind that the tremors from the oil pricequake have undoubtedly yet to reach their full magnitude.  Prices will, of course, rise someday.  That’s inevitable, given the way investors are pulling the plug on energy projects globally.  Still, on a planet heading for a green energy revolution, there’s no assurance that they will ever reach the $100-plus levels that were once taken for granted.  Whatever happens to oil and the countries that produce it, the global political order that once rested on oil’s soaring price is doomed.  While this may mean hardship for some, especially the citizens of export-dependent states like Russia and Venezuela, it could help smooth the transition to a world powered by renewable forms of energy.

 

SECRECY NEWS

From the FAS Project on Government Secrecy

Volume 2016, Issue No. 5

January 13, 2016

THE FEDERAL CYBERSECURITY WORKFORCE, AND MORE FROM CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has withheld from online public distribution include the following.

The Federal Cybersecurity Workforce: Background and Congressional Oversight Issues for the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, January 8, 2016

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): In Brief, updated January 8, 2016

American Agriculture and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, January 8, 2016

Cuba: Issues for the 114th Congress, updated January 11, 2016

Guatemala: One President Resigns; Another Elected, to Be Inaugurated January 14, CRS Insight, updated January 11, 2016

China’s Recent Stock Market Volatility: What Are the Implications?, CRS Insight, updated January 9, 2016

Navy John Lewis (TAO-205) Class Oiler Shipbuilding Program: Background and Issues for Congress, updated January 8, 2016

Navy Ship Names: Background for Congress, updated January 8, 2016 (This report explains that “John Lewis (TAO-205) class oilers, previously known as TAO(X)s, are being named for people who fought for civil rights and human rights.” An oiler is a fuel resupply vessel that is used to transfer fuel to surface ships at sea.)

Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress, updated January 8, 2016

Free Riders or Compelled Riders? Key Takeaways as Court Considers Major Union Dues Case, CRS Legal Sidebar, January 12, 2016

Unauthorized Aliens, Higher Education, In-State Tuition, and Financial Aid: Legal Analysis, updated January 11, 2016

The TRIO Programs: A Primer, updated January 11, 2016

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016: Effects on Budgetary Trends, CRS Insight, January 11, 2016

President Obama Announces Executive Actions to “Reduce Gun Violence”, CRS Legal Sidebar, January 8, 2016

Juvenile Justice Funding Trends, updated January 8, 2016

Community Services Block Grants (CSBG): Background and Funding, updated January 8, 2016

 

 

 

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