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TBR News March 8, 2017

Mar 08 2017

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C. March 8, 2017: “ No coup or popular rising has taken place in times of relative stability. It is only when the great middle-class awakens to find itself and its institutions under attack and undefended that the thought of self-defense becomes valid. Violent upheavals do not begin without warning. Before a volcano erupts, there are nearly always ominous signs of the impending disaster and very often, clear though these indications may be, they are ignored out of the fear of radical change found in the complacent throughout history.

Trotsky very clearly recognized this fear of change and took swift advantage of it when he seized power in Russia. By the time the public was aware of what had happened, it was almost too late to react, and by the time the population, most of whom were only interested in survival and creature comforts might have reacted, the militants were in power and increasing their control on a daily basis.

A conservative government might be dull but it does not, in general, attempt to exert control over its citizens, other than to maintain law and order. A radical government, on the other hand, cannot feel safe in its power until it has established an ever-intrusive control over its people. Control of weapons is certainly a prime goal for such an entity and this would work in tandem with discrediting, and eventually destroying, any institution that might be able to mount an attack on it. The first target would be any religious group who might find a moral, and hence religious, fault with its goals or techniques. The second target would be any other organization that could conceivably organize against it.”

Table of Contents

  • The Beltway Conspiracy To Break Trump
  • ‘CIA Has an “Impressive List” of Ways to Hack Into Your Smartphone, WikiLeaks Files Indicate
  • The Great Crimea Defeat
  • The Real Origins of the Cold War- 1948
  • Spygate: America’s Political Police vs. Donald J. Trump
  • Frankfurt used as remote hacking base for the CIA: WikiLeaks
  • 85% of world’s smart phones ‘weaponized’ by CIA
  • No getting out of this’: Major earthquake ‘certain’ to hit Southern California, study says
  • France drops electronic voting for citizens abroad over cybersecurity fears
  • US Judge rules against tribes seeking to stop Dakota Access Pipeline

 The Beltway Conspiracy To Break Trump

March 7, 2017

by Patrick J. Buchanan,

AntiWar

At Mar-a-Lago this weekend President Donald Trump was filled “with fury” says The Washington Post, “mad – steaming, raging, mad.”

Early Saturday the fuming president exploded with this tweet: “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”

The president has reason to be enraged. For what is afoot is a loose but broad conspiracy to break and bring him down, abort his populist agenda, and overturn the results of the 2016 election.

At its heart is the “deep state” – agents of the intel community, their media collaborators, and their amen corner in a Democratic party whose control of our permanent government is all but total.

At the heart of the case against Trump is what appears to be a Big Lie.

It is that Vladimir Putin and Russian intelligence hacked the DNC and John Podesta’s email account, then colluded with Trump’s friends or associates to systematically sabotage Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Therefore, Trump stole the election and is an illegitimate president. In this city, Trump is looked upon as a border-jumper, an illegal alien.

Yet let us consider the constituent components of the charge.

For months, we have heard that U.S. intel agencies agree that the Russians hacked the DNC and Clinton campaign, and gave the fruits of their cybertheft to WikiLeaks, because Putin wanted Trump to win.

For months, this storyline has been investigated by the FBI and the intelligence committees of both houses of Congress.

Yet where is the body of evidence that the Russians did this?

More critically, where is the evidence Trump’s people played an active role in the operation? Why is it taking the FBI the better part of a year to come up with a single indictment in this Trump-Putin plot?

Is this all smoke and mirrors?

In late February, The New York Times reported that Trump officials had been in regular touch with Russian intelligence officers.

The smoking gun had been found!

Yet, almost immediately after that report, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told Fox News “the top levels of the intelligence community” had assured him that the allegations of campaign contacts with Russia were “not only grossly overstated, but also wrong.”

If what Reince says is true, the real crime here is U.S. security officials enlisting their Fourth Estate collaborators, who enjoy First Amendment privileges against having to testify under oath or being prosecuted, to undermine the elected commander in chief.

Now we expect Russia to seek to steal our secrets as we steal theirs. After all, our NSA wiretapped Angela Merkel and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. Our National Endowment for Democracy pushes “color revolutions” to bring about regime change in the near abroad of Putin’s Russian Federation.

Our NGOs are being restricted, shut down, expelled from Russia, China, Israel and Egypt, because they have been caught interfering in the internal affairs of those countries.

There is talk that Putin use the pilfered emails as payback for Clinton’s urging demonstrators to take to the streets of Moscow to protest a narrow victory by his United Russia party in 2011.

As for the alleged wiretapping of Trump Tower, President Obama has denied ordering any such thing and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper assures us nothing of the sort was ever done.

Yet, there are other reports that intelligence officials got a warrant to surveil Trump campaign officials or the Trump Tower, and, though failing to succeed in the FISA court that authorizes such surveillance in June, they did succeed in October.

If true, this is a far more explosive matter than whether a Trump aide may have told the Russians, “You’re doing a great job!” when WikiLeaks blew DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz out of her job for tilting the playing field against Bernie Sanders in the primaries.

What needs to be done now?

The White House should tell the Justice Department to tell the FBI to expedite its investigation and file a report on what was done by the Russians. And if any Trump campaign official criminally colluded with the Russians, send the recommendation to indict to Justice.

The acting attorney general should instruct Director James Comey to run down, remove and recommend for prosecution any FBI or intel agent who has leaked the fruits of their investigation, or fake news, to the media. If Comey cannot find the source of the leaks, or lies, coming out of this investigation, a housecleaning may be needed at the bureau.

While President Obama may not have ordered any surveillance of Trump or his advisors, the real question is whether he or Attorney General Loretta Lynch were aware of or approved of any surveillance of Trump and his staff during the campaign.

Russian hacking of the DNC is a problem, not a scandal. The scandal is this: Who inside the government of the United States is trying to discredit, damage or destroy the President of the United States?

For these are the real subversives.

‘CIA Has an “Impressive List” of Ways to Hack Into Your Smartphone, WikiLeaks Files Indicate

March 7 2017

by Jenna McLaughlin

The Intercept

A concerted effort by the CIA produced a library of software attacks to crack into Android smartphones and Apple iPhones, including some that could take full control of the devices, according to documents in a trove of files released by WikiLeaks Tuesday.

The attacks allow for varying levels of access — many powerful enough to allow the attacker to remotely take over the “kernel,” the heart of the operating system that controls the operation of the phone, or at least to have so-called “root” access, meaning extensive control over files and software processes on a device. These types of techniques would give access to information like geolocation, communications, contacts, and more. They would most likely be useful for targeted hacking, rather than mass surveillance. Indeed, one document describes a process by which a specific unit within the CIA “develops software exploits and implants for high priority target cellphones for intelligence collection.”

The WikiLeaks documents also include detailed charts concerning specific attacks the CIA can apparently perform on different types of cellphones and operating systems, including recent versions of iOS and Android — in addition to attacks the CIA has borrowed from other, public sources of malware. Some of the exploits, in addition to those purportedly developed by the CIA, were discovered and released by cybersecurity companies, hacker groups, and independent researchers, and purchased, downloaded, or otherwise acquired by the CIA, in some cases through other members of the intelligence community, including the FBI, NSA, and the NSA’s British counterpart GCHQ , the documents indicate.

One borrowed attack, Shamoon, is a notorious computer virus capable of stealing data and then completely destroying hardware. Persistence, a tool found by the CIA, allows the agency control over the device whenever it boots up again. Another acquired attack, SwampMonkey, allows CIA to get root privileges on undisclosed Android devices.

“This is a very impressive list,” tweeted former GCHQ analyst Matt Tait, noting that at least some of the attacks appeared to still be viable.

Matt Green, cryptographer at Johns Hopkins University, agreed the leak was “impressive,” but concluded there weren’t many “technically surprising” hacks. This lack of originality may have stemmed from a desire on the part of the agency to avoid detection, judging from one document contained in the trove, in which apparent CIA personnel discuss an NSA hacking toolkit known as Equation Group and its public exposure. It was also previously known that the CIA was targeting smartphones; drawing on top-secret documents, The Intercept in 2015 reported on an agency campaign to crack into the iPhone and other Apple products.

In addition to the CIA’s efforts, an FBI hacking division, the Remote Operations Unit, has also been working to discover exploits in iPhones, one of the WikiLeaks documents, the iOS hacking chart, indicates. Last February, while investigating the perpetrator of a mass shooting in San Bernardino, the FBI attempted argued in court that Apple was obligated to give the FBI access to its phones by producing a weakened version of the device’s operating system. If the WikiLeaks documents are authentic, it would appear FBI and other elements of the intelligence community are already deeply involved in discovering their own way into iPhones. The compromise of the documents also calls into question government assurances in the San Bernardino case that any exploit developed by Apple to allow the FBI access to the killer’s phone would never be exposed to criminals or nation states.

The CIA and FBI hacking revelations originate with a trove of more than 8,000 documents released by WikiLeaks, which said the files originated from a CIA network and date from 2013 to 2016. The CIA declined to comment on the documents, which also disclose techniques the CIA allegedly developed to turn so-called smart televisions into listening devices. Apple did not respond to a request for comment, and Google declined to comment, though indicated it was actively investigating the revelations.

It’s unclear who might have given WikiLeaks access to the documents; a summary of the material hosted on the site implies it came from a whistleblower who “wishes to initiate a public debate about the security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons.” But the leaker could also be an outsider, including one employed by a foreign power.

“This could be as much about Russia as CIA or WikiLeaks,” tweeted Jason Healey, Senior Research Scholar at Columbia University’s School for International and Public Affairs “A continuation of teardown of U.S. government.”

German iOS security researcher Stefan Esser, according to a chart in the file database, developed an iOS exploit named “Ironic,” which gives access to the operating system kernel — though the hack “died” when iPhones were updated to iOS8, the chart appears to indicate. Esser, in an email to The Intercept, said he is not one to comb through classified documents or comment on them — but noted CIA had apparently “used public research of mine about a vulnerability that Apple required four attempts at fixing” in iOS. Esser’s bug was already public when CIA included it in its database. He also noted that a training slide he presented during a security conference in 2015 was also included in the dump.

WikiLeaks discussed, without referring to any specific document, access levels CIA has to encrypted applications, including popular Open Whisper Systems’ application Signal — though the documents do not indicate CIA has broken the app’s end-to-end encryption. Rather, it suggests the CIA can “bypass” the encryption by hacking into the phone itself, then reading everything on it, including data stored within any app — including messages from Telegram, WhatsApp, and other secure messaging apps. If a phone itself is compromised, there’s little to be done to prevent an attacker from accessing what’s on it.

Some of the attacks are what are known as “zero days” — exploitation paths hackers can use that vendors are completely unaware of, giving the vendors no time — zero days — to fix their products. WikiLeaks said the documents indicate the CIA has violated commitments made by the Obama administration to disclose serious software vulnerabilities to vendors to improve the security of their products. The administration developed a system called the Vulnerabilities Equities Process to allow various government entities to help determine when it’s better for national security to disclose unpatched vulnerabilities and when it’s better to take advantage of them to hunt targets.

At least some civil liberties advocates agree with the WikiLeaks assessment. “Access Now condemns the stockpiling of vulnerabilities, calls for limits on government hacking and protections for human rights, and urges immediate reforms to the Vulnerabilities Equities Process,” Nathan White, senior legislative manager for digital rights group Access Now, wrote in response to the new leak in a press release.

The Great Crimea Defeat

March 8, 2017

by Anonymous

Crimea became part of the Russian Empire in 1783.

In 1954, the Crimean Oblast was transferred from Russia to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic by Nikita Khrushchev

In January of 2014, pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych, of the Party of Regions, suspended the signing of the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement.

Yanukovych had won the 2010 presidential election with strong support from voters in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

Because of his pro-Russian and anti-American attitudes, the CIA instigated a rebellion against Yanunkoych and overthrew him.

On February 22, 2014 Russian President Vladimir Putin convened an all-night meeting with Russian security service chiefs to discuss the rescue of the deposed Viktor Yanukovych, and at the conclusion of that meeting, Putin remarked that “we must start working on returning Crimea to Russia.”

On  February 27, 2014, Russian special forces seized the headquarters of both the Supreme Council of Crimea and the Council of Ministers in Simferopol.

By  March 2, 2014 Russian troops moving from the country’s naval base in Sevastopol and reinforced by specialty troops, armor, and military aircraft from Russia established total physical control over the Crimean peninsula.

A Crimean referendum was held on March 16, 2014, in which separation from Kiev was favored by a large majority of voters

By these actions, Russia acquired not just the Crimean territory but also a significant offshore maritime zone more than three times the size of the Crimean peninsula that included the rights to underwater oil and gas deposits potentially worth trillions of dollars.

Russia portrayed the takeover as reclamation of its rightful territory, carefully drawing no attention to the oil and gas development efforts by American and British oil companies who had been promised exclusive drilling rights by the CIA-installed pro-American Ukrainian government.

The Russian successful coup extended Russia’s maritime boundaries, giving Russia dominion over vast oil and gas reserves while dealing a crippling blow to Ukraine’s hopes for energy independence on the one hand and an equally crippling blow to American and British oil companies.

Under an international accord that gives nations sovereignty over areas up to 230 miles from their shorelines, Russia had achieved a major strategic victory. Earlier, Russia had tried, unsuccessfully, to gain access to energy resources in the same territory in a pact with Ukraine less than two years earlier. Their efforts had been blocked by CIA pressure in Kiev.

March 2014, Crimean authorities announced that they would nationalize Naftogaz, the Ukrainian controlled company and the new Crimean deputy prime minister Rustam Temirgaliev said that Russia’s Gazprom would be the new owner

Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell and other major oil companies had already explored the Black Sea areas and their petroleum analysts said its potential rivalled that of the North Sea. That North Sea development, which began in the 1970s, lifted the economies of Britain, Norway and other European countries.

Gazprom now has licenses for 17 fields, including 11 gas fields, four oil fields and two gas condensate fields. It licenses for offshore fields include Odeske, Shtormove, Prykerchenske, Holitsynske, Arkhangelske, Bezimenne, Subbotinske, and Strilkove. In addition it owns licenses for Jankoy and Semenwckoye onshore fields. Its total reserves of all fields are estimated at 58.6 billion cubic meters (2.07×1012 cu ft) of natural gas, 1.231 million tons of natural-gas condensate, and 2.53 million tons of crude oil.

In 2013, Chornomornaftogaz produced 1.651 billion cubic metres (58.3×109 cu ft) of natural gas In 2012, it produced 1.174 billion cubic metres (41.5×109 cu ft) of natural gas, 62,800 tons of natural-gas condensate, and 8,900 tons of crude oil.

The research group IHS reported that in 2013 Chornomorneftegaz accounted for 7.9% of Ukraine’s gas production and 2.4% of its oil production

Nations divide up the world’s potentially lucrative waters according to guidelines set forth by the 1982 Law of the Sea Treaty.

The agreement lets coastal nations claim what are known as exclusive economic zones that can extend up to 200 nautical miles (or 230 statute miles) from their shores. Inside these zones, countries can explore, exploit, conserve and manage deep natural resources, living and nonliving.

The countries with shores along the Black Sea have long seen its floor as a potential energy source, mainly because of modest oil successes in shallow waters.

The prospects for huge payoffs soared when a giant ship drilling through deep bedrock off Romania found a large gas field in waters more than half a mile deep.

Russia moved fast.

In April 2012, Mr. Putin, then Russia’s prime minister, presided over the signing of an accord with Eni, the Italian energy giant, to explore Russia’s economic zone in the northeastern Black Sea.  The size of the zone before the Crimean annexation was roughly 26,000 square miles, about the size of Lithuania.

In August 2012, Ukraine announced an accord with an Exxon-led group to extract oil and gas from the depths of Ukraine’s Black Sea waters. The Exxon team had outbid Lukoil, a Russian company. Ukraine’s state geology bureau said development of the field would cost up to $12 billion.

Russia’s subsequent control of Crimean oil and gas assets altered the direction their South Steam pipeline had initially been planned. This pipeline had been intended to be laid in the center of the Black Sea in order to connect Russian oil and gas assets to southeastern Europe. This route involved Turkey and that country, as a major factor in Nato, was in a position to delay or block the South Stream project. It is known that the United States had been in collusion with Turkey to sabotage Russian plans and that these efforts became known to Moscow due to information leaks high in the Turkish government

In short, to avoid a pro-American Ukraine’s official maritime zone, Russia was initially compelled to project a far more expensive pipeline south of this zone and into Turkish waters.

It should be noted that subsequent political upheavals in Turkey, increased Kurdish guerrilla actions against Turkey and a cut-off of Syrian oil to Turkey by the actions of the Russian military are all part of what Russia calls a significant reorientation of Turk-Russo relations.

The United States had tried to thwart Russian controlled development of the Crimean oil fields and once Russia had become the de facto owner of these areas, there was anger in Washington, a ratcheting- up of contrived anti-Russian propaganda and various economic sanctions put on Russia to teach her a lesson in pragmatic politics.

These actions were far too little and certainly far too late.

The Real Origins of the Cold War- 1948

March 8, 2017

by Harry von Johnston, PhD

In 1948, Stalin sent troops into Czechoslovakia after a minority but efficient communist coup which overthrew the Western-oriented government. This act, in February of 1948, combined with the blockade of West Berlin, then occupied by the British, French and Americans in June of the same year, gave a group of senior American military leaders a heaven-sent opportunity to identify a new and dangerous military enemy—an enemy which could and would attack Western Europe and the United States in the immediate future.

To facilitate the acceptance of this theory, Gehlen was requested to produce intelligence material that would bolster it in as authoritative a manner as possible.

This Gehlen did and to set the parameters of this report, Gehlen, General Stephen Chamberlain, Chief of Intelligence of the US Army General Staff, and General Lucius D. Clay, US commander in occupied Germany met in Berlin in February of 1948, immediately after the Czech occupation but before the blockade.

After this meeting, Gehlen drew up a lengthy and detailed intelligence report which categorically stated that 175 fully-equipped Soviet divisions, many armored, were poised to attack. General Clay forwarded this alarming example of creative writing to Washington and followed up with frantic messages indicating his fear that the Soviets were about to launch an all-out land war on the United States.

Although the sequence of events might indicate that Clay was involved in an attempt to mislead US leaders, in actuality, he was misled by Chamberlain and Gehlen. They managed to thoroughly frighten General Clay and used him as a conduit to Washington. He was not the last to fall victim to the machinations of the war party.

The Gehlen fictional papers were deliberately leaked to Congress and the President. This resulted in the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States. This was not a historical first by any means. Elements in England at the beginning of the 20th century, alarmed at the growing economic threat of a united Germany, commenced a long public campaign designed to frighten the British public and their leaders into adopting a bellicose re-armament program based on a fictional German military threat.

Gehlen and his organization were considered vital to US interests. As long as the General was able to feed the re-armament frenzy in Washington with supportive, inflammatory secret reports, then his success was assured.

The only drawback to this deadly farce was that the General did not have knowledge of current Soviet situations in the military or political fields. He could only bluff his way for a short time. To enhance his military staffs, Gehlen developed the use of former SS Sicherheitsdienst (SD) and Gestapo people, brought to him by Krichbaum, his chief recruiter.

At the same time, a joint British-American project called “Operation Applepie” was launched with the sole purpose of locating and employing as many of the former Gestapo and SD types then being employed by Gehlen.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all.

The uncovered files on “Applepie” are of such interest that they will be the subject of a further in-depth publication. Other document series of equal importance will include the so-called Robinson papers and a series of reports on the British use of certain former Gestapo and SD personnel in Damascus, Syria by John Marriott of the Security Intelligence Middle East (SIME). Robinson (or Robinsohn as he was known to the Gestapo officials) was a high-level Soviet agent captured in France as a result of the Rote Kapelle investigations.

Robinson’s files reveal an extensive Soviet spy ring in Great Britain. Such highly interesting and valuable historical records should also encompass the more significant intercepts made of Soviet messages by the Gestapo from Ottawa, Canada to Moscow throughout the war. These parallel the so-called Venona intercepts which have been fully translated and are extraordinarily lengthy.

In 1948, control of the Gehlen organization was assumed by the new CIA and put under the direction of Colonel James Critchfield, formerly an armored unit commander and now a CIA section chief.

At this point, Gehlen had a number of powerful sponsors in the US military and intelligence communities. These included General Walter Bedell Smith, former Chief of Staff to General Eisenhower and later head of the CIA; General William Donovan, former head of the OSS; Allen Welch Dulles, former Swiss station chief of the OSS and later head of the CIA; Rear Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter, first head of the CIA; General Edwin Sibert of US Army military intelligence and Generals Chamberlain and Clay.

American military intelligence officers were well aware that the Soviet Army threat was hollow and that the Soviets’ act of dismantling the eastern German railroad system was strong proof that an attack was not in the offing, but they were strongly discouraged by their superiors from expressing their views.

In 1954, General Arthur Trudeau, chief of US military intelligence, received a copy of a lengthy report prepared by retired Lt. Colonel Hermann Baun of Gehlen’s staff.

Baun, who had originally been assigned to the German High Command (OKW) as an Abwehr specialist on Russia, eventually ended up working for Gehlen’s Foreign Armies East which was under the control of the Army High Command (OKH). Baun was an extremely competent, professional General Staff officer who, by 1953, had taken a dim view, indeed, of the creatures foisted on him by Gehlen.

Baun detested Gehlen who had forced him out of his post-war intelligence position with the West. Baun’s annoyance was revealed in a lengthy complaint of Gehlen’s Nazi staff members which set forth, in detail, their names and backgrounds.

General Trudeau was so annoyed with this report that in October of 1954, he took West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer aside as Adenauer was making an official visit to Washington, Trudeau passed much of this information to the horrified Adenauer, who had spent time in a concentration camp during the war. Adenauer, in turn, raised this issue with American authorities and the matter was leaked to the press. Allen Dulles, a strong Gehlen backer and now head of the CIA, used his own connections and those of his brother, John, Eisenhower’s Secretary of State, to effectively silence Trudeau by transferring him to the remote Far East.

Trudeau’s warning to Adenauer did not have a lasting effect and on April 1, 1956, former General Reinhard Gehlen was appointed as head of the new West German Federal Intelligence Service, the Bundesnachrichtendiesnt or BND.

In this case, as in so many other similar ones, virtue is certainly not its own reward.

Who, then, were the Gehlen organization people Colonel Baun took exception to working with?

The first person on the list was former SS-Oberführer or Senior Colonel, Willi Krichbaum. Krichbaum was an associate of Müller and later the Deputy Chief of the Gestapo. Krichbaum was in charge of the deportation of the Hungarian Jews in 1944—a deportation that took nearly 300,000 lives.

Krichbaum was also the man who shot Raoul Wallenberg.

The Geheime Feld Polizei or the Secret Field Police which Krichbaum had commanded was responsible for all manner of atrocities, including the killing of Soviet prisoners of war. Although Russia was not a member of the Geneva Convention, Germany was a signator and this Convention forbade the execution of prisoners of war. Krichbaum was Gehlen’s chief recruiter, mostly of former Gestapo and SD people.

Krichbaum continued to work for Gehlen, according to an interview with Colonel Critchfield, until at least 1956 when the West German government took over control of the group.

The second name on the list was SS-Standartenführer or Colonel Walter Rauff who had a most interesting career. In 1942, Walter Rauff was chief of the SD units attached to the AOK Afrika, Rommels’ Afrikakorps. In 1943, after the collapse of the DAK, Rauff worked in Italy as the chief of the SD in Milan. In this capacity, Rauff was involved with SS General Karl Wolff’s negotiations to surrender the German troops in Italy in 1945. This was a pet project of Allen Dulles and was called “Operation Sunrise.” During the course of the negotiations, Dulles became very friendly with Rauff. Consequently, as the new Gehlen organization was formed, Dulles was instrumental in acquiring Rauff for an advisory position with them.

In 1941, Rauff had been involved with the SD anti-partisan activities in the captured areas of the Soviet Union. Rauff conceived, constructed and personally supervised the use of gas vans. These vans had the exhaust pipes vented inside the rear compartments which were then filled with Jews who died of carbon monoxide poisoning. While it spared some SD men from the guilt associated with murdering large numbers of civilians, it did have certain negative aspects—the collection of bodies in the back of the van. When the rear door was opened to remove the dead, the stench proved to be a serious occupational hazard. An ingenious man, Rauff had a special fitting constructed that helped alleviate this unfortunate problem. A lengthy file on Rauff’s gas vans is stored at the National Archives.

At the end of the war, Rauff was imprisoned in Italy. He later emerged in Germany, happily working for the Gehlen group. Unfortunately for him, his presence became known to the wrong people, and he found it necessary to move to Syria where he continued to represent Gehlen’s interests. As the stress of discovery there became too much for Gehlen to bear, it was decided that Rauff should move to Chile. His friend and later protector, Allen Dulles, ordered that he be given new identity papers and funds for travel and relocation.

While in Chile, the loyal Rauff continued to provide intelligence reports to Gehlen and his other protectors.

Another senior Gehlen aide was former SS-Oberführer Dr. Franz Six. Six was an intellectual academic, Professor of Political Science at Königsberg University. Six joined the SS on April 20, 1935 and became a member of the SD. In 1941, Six was in command of an Einsatzgruppe and was directly responsible for the murder of the Jews in the Russian city of Smolensk. Following this military triumph, Six was made the head of Section VII of the RSHA. In 1943 he was sent to the Foreign Ministry where he was in charge of the Cultural Division.

In 1946, Dr. Six was an early member of the Gehlen organization but was eventually tracked down and his supporters were unable to prevent his standing trial in April of 1948 for his actions. He received a sentence of 25 years. However, US authorities interceded on his behalf and on September 30, 1952, Six was released and at once returned to his duties with Gehlen.

SS-Sturmbannführer (Major) Alois Brunner was a Gestapo official who worked directly under Adolf Eichmann in the deportation department. Ambitious and energetic, Brunner was an instigator of the notorious razzia carried out in France in 1942 against the Jews of Paris.

Brunner was transferred to Sofia in Bulgaria. He was sentenced to death by a French court, in absentia because Brunner had gone to Damascus, Syria, as Gehlen’s resident agent. He used a number of names including “Georg Fischer” and “Waldo Munk.” Brunner was later made a part of a CIA-directed program to train the security forces of Abdel Nasser and Israeli agents attempted to blow him up with a letter bomb but failed.

In addition to the French death sentence, Brunner was also on the wanted list of the CIC.

Probably the worst offender of all was SS-Gruppenführer Odlio Globocnik, once the Gauleiter of Vienna until fired by Hitler for theft and pillage. Globocnik went on to run the Lublin camps in Poland where he stole millions more and was responsible for the gassing of large numbers of Jews and Poles. His stolen millions saved him from prosecution. After working for a time for the British, he eventually ended up as an American resource, also in Damascus. The name of the program that sent him there was called “Argos.”

Like its Biblical counterpart, the 20th century road to Damascus was traveled by converts to the new religion of the West.

There were many more individuals connected with the Gestapo or SD who openly worked for Gehlen including SS-Standartenführer Frederich Panziger. Panziger was not responsible for wartime atrocities but was a key player in the break-up of the Rote Kapelle, a Russian spy ring considered to be of great value to Gehlen.

If retired Lt. Colonel Hermann Baun had thought to damage his nemesis Gehlen, he was in error. His lengthy and detailed report only made Gehlen more popular with the US intelligence agency that ran him and, through them, with the US-controlled puppet government of West Germany—a government that did exactly what it was told and clicked its heels together while doing it.

What did the CIA and those in the more elevated US positions of command know about the flawed membership of their prize German possession? Was the quickly suppressed Baun report the only indicator that had surfaced between 1948 and 1956?

If there was any substantive material on this subject, it certainly would never be made available to anyone and would, undoubtedly, be sequestered in some remote place in Arizona or perhaps even somewhere on the grounds of an academic institution closer to hand.

And the Gehlen Org’s morphing into the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) did not remove it from CIA control. To this day, the BND is little more than the German branch of the CIA.

Spygate: America’s Political Police vs. Donald J. Trump

Deep State’s dirty tricks revealed

March 8, 2017

by Justin Raimondo,

AntiWar

Everyone is suddenly talking about the Deep State – the configuration of spy agencies, career bureaucrats, and overseas spooks whose murky omnipresence has been brought to light by President Trump’s contention that he was “wiretapped” by his predecessor.

With his usual imprecision, Trump managed to confuse the issue by ascribing the surveillance to Barack Obama, and so naturally spokesmen for the former President had no trouble batting this charge away. But as a former Obama speechwriter put it:  “I’d be careful about reporting that Obama said there was no wiretapping. Statement just said that neither he nor the [White House] ordered it.”

And then there’s the word “wiretapping”: this brings to mind the old-fashioned physical “bug” that our spooks used to plant on their target’s phone lines, installed in the dead of night. But that isn’t how it’s done anymore. As Edward Snowden revealed, the National Security Agency (NSA) scoops up everyone’s communications, and stores them in a database for later retrieval. Loosely-observed “rules” are supposed to make it hard (but not impossible) for the spooks to spy on American citizens, but the reality is that there are plenty of times when such information is scooped up “incidentally,” and in those cases the identities of those spied on must be redacted.

Except not anymore.

As the New York Times reported on January 12:

“In its final days, the Obama administration has expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.

“The new rules significantly relax longstanding limits on what the N.S.A. may do with the information gathered by its most powerful surveillance operations, which are largely unregulated by American wiretapping laws. These include collecting satellite transmissions, phone calls and emails that cross network switches abroad, and messages between people abroad that cross domestic network switches.

“The change means that far more officials will be searching through raw data…”

And it looks like Obama administration officials made good use of this loosening of the rules after Trump’s victory. As the Times reported on March 1, after Trump won they were combing through the unredacted raw data looking for evidence of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign:

“In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election – and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians – across the government.”

Their goal: “to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators.” And they apparently didn’t wait for the investigators, as a stream of reportage about “intercepts” involving Trump associates, such as former National Security Council advisor Michael Flynn communicating with Russian officials, found its way onto the front pages of the nation’s newspapers. The source of this intelligence is the key to understanding what happened. The Times tells us:

“American allies, including the British and the Dutch, had provided information describing meetings in European cities between Russian officials – and others close to Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin – and associates of President-elect Trump, according to three former American officials who requested anonymity in discussing classified intelligence.

“Separately, American intelligence agencies had intercepted communications of Russian officials, some of them within the Kremlin, discussing contacts with Trump associates.”

Forget about looking for a FISA court application to spy on Trump & Co.: it wasn’t necessary. Such archaic remnants of a free society as a warrant were blithely bypassed: “Seventeen different government agencies shouldn’t be rooting through Americans’ emails with family members, friends and colleagues, all without ever obtaining a warrant,” warned American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Patrick Toomey at the time the NSA rules were thrown out.

But nobody was listening – including Trump and his supporters, who generally approve of government spying in the name of “national security.”And so the way was cleared for the anti-Trump coup plotters to do their dirty work. As the January 12 Times story reported:

“Under the new system, agencies will ask the N.S.A. for access to specific surveillance feeds, making the case that they contain information relevant and useful to their missions. The N.S.A. will grant requests it deems reasonable after considering factors like whether large amounts of Americans’ private information might be included and, if so, how damaging or embarrassing it would be if that information were ‘improperly used or disclosed.’”

All the leakers had to do was comb through the material gathered by the NSA and cherry-pick what looked incriminating – although, to be sure, if they had a smoking gun we would surely have known about it by now. But the lack of such was no obstacle to their goal, which was to give the #NeverTrump cause a banner around which to rally post-election – “The Russians did it!” – and create a dark cloud of suspicion over Trump’s presidency as being somehow illegitimate.

The new rules on disseminating raw NSA intercepts went into effect on January 3, after then Attorney General Loretta Lynch signed on: the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had previously signed on December 12. And if we look at the reportage coming out of the media, that’s when the stories detailing the content of intercepts and other intelligence started hitting the front pages.

It’s difficult to see how anyone could deny that the Surveillance State did a number on Trump. Two days after the loosened NSA rules went into effect, the Washington Post ran a story headlined “US Intercepts Capture Senior Russian Officials Celebrating Trump Win”:

“Senior officials in the Russian government celebrated Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton as a geopolitical win for Moscow, according to U.S. officials who said that American intelligence agencies intercepted communications in the aftermath of the election in which Russian officials congratulated themselves on the outcome.”

Citing “intercepted messages and conversations among senior Russian officials in Putin’s inner circle” a January 6 Reuters report informed us that:

“The CIA has identified Russian officials who fed material hacked from the Democratic National Committee and party leaders to WikiLeaks at the direction of Russian President Vladimir Putin through third parties, according to a new US intelligence report, senior US officials said on Thursday.”

On January 20, the day Trump took power, the New York Times ran a front page story headlined: “Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides”:

“American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said.”

On February 9, the New York Times reported on the conversations between Flynn and the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kisylak:

“Weeks before President Trump’s inauguration, his national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, discussed American sanctions against Russia, as well as areas of possible cooperation, with that country’s ambassador to the United States, according to current and former American officials.”

The story cites the transcript of the conversation. How did the Times reporters get hold of this information? They cite “Federal officials who have read the transcript of the call.” How did those officials get hold of the transcript of a private conversation of an American citizen who was not yet a government employee? The new rules governing raw unredacted NSA intercepts made possible an interagency effort to disseminate and examine intercepts and other material, and there was a concerted effort to uncover anything that could be used against Trump.

On January 19, the McClatchy news service reported on the “get Trump” campaign launched by US law enforcement agencies:

“The FBI and five other law enforcement and intelligence agencies have collaborated for months in an investigation into Russian attempts to influence the November election, including whether money from the Kremlin covertly aided President-elect Donald Trump, two people familiar with the matter said.

“The agencies involved in the inquiry are the FBI, the CIA, the National Security Agency, the Justice Department, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and representatives of the director of national intelligence, the sources said.”

To be clear: during the election, six law enforcement agencies were engaged in a systematic attempt to undermine the Trump campaign, at a certain point utilizing unredacted raw intelligence collected by the NSA and other agencies, all the while leaking like a sieve to their media camarilla.

And this campaign was international in scope, as pro-Clinton nutbag Kurt Eichenwald reported on February 15 in a story headlined: “US Allies Conduct Intelligence Operation Against Trump Staff, Intercepted Communications”:

“The Western European intelligence operations began in August, after the British government obtained information that people acting on behalf of Russia were in contact with members of the Trump campaign. Those details from the British were widely shared among the NATO allies in Europe. The Baltic nation has been gathering intelligence for at least that long, and has conducted surveillance of executives from the Trump Organization who were traveling in Europe.”

In a panic that their free ride would be over if Trump’s “America First” agenda was implemented, our European NATO “allies” worked in close coordination with the Washington cabal to subvert the US election process far more effectively than any Russian effort. And they didn’t need a FISA court to approve their spying on the Trump campaign.

Which brings up an important issue: there has been much ado about reports of a FISA court application, supposedly denied, and one that was narrowed and allegedly approved: the BBC, the Guardian, and the lunatic “reporter” Louise Mensch have all maintained that this was the case. Yet, as I have shown above, no such approval by the FISA court was ever required, although it would have a) made it much easier for the coup plotters to do their dirty work, and b) would have shielded them from any legal consequences. However, the fly in the ointment is that this would leave a paper trail that, once elected, Trump could simply declassify.

So the FISA issue is, I believe, a false trail, a distraction away from what really happened. They didn’t need the FISA court. They didn’t need a warrant. They simply opened a “back door” that, contrary to reports, had not been closed by the “USA Freedom Act,” and – unleashed by the relaxation of the rules previously governing dissemination of NSA intercepts – simply went through it.

Finally, we have another interesting “coincidence”: the brouhaha over NSA chief Admiral Michael Rogers, who top Obama administration officials wanted to fire, which started because Rogers traveled to Trump Tower to meet with the President-elect. The ostensible reasons given – various breaches of security – were odd: after all, why fire him just as Obama was leaving office? In short, the intensity of the campaign to fire him was out of all proportion to his alleged misdeeds. Aside from the security issue, the very fact that he was visiting Trump was supposedly a major issue: we were told “There’s only one President at a time.” But why shouldn’t someone who might be asked to continue to serve meet with the President-elect?

In retrospect, the visit – and the disproportionate anger it provoked from the Obama crowd – makes perfect sense. If the NSA was being used as a source for the campaign to delegitimize Trump, and build a case that the President-elect is a “Russian puppet,” as Hillary Clinton put it, then Rogers’ may have been trying to distance himself from the effort: “It wasn’t me, Boss!”

The campaign to frame up and discredit Trump and his associates is characteristic of how a police state routinely operates. A national security apparatus that vacuums up all our communications and stores them for later retrieval has been utilized by political operatives to go after their enemies – and not even the President of the United States is immune. This is something that one might expect to occur in, say, Turkey, or China: that it is happening here, to the cheers of much of the media and the Democratic party, is beyond frightening.

The irony is that the existence of this dangerous apparatus – which civil libertarians have warned could and probably would be used for political purposes – has been hailed by Trump and his team as a necessary and proper function of government. Indeed, Trump has called for the execution of the person who revealed the existence of this sinister engine of oppression – Edward Snowden. Absent Snowden’s revelations, we would still be in the dark as to the existence and vast scope of the NSA’s surveillance.

And now the monster Trump embraced in the name of “national security” has come back to bite him.

We hear all the time that what’s needed is an open and impartial “investigation” of Trump’s alleged “ties” to Russia. This is dangerous nonsense: does every wild-eyed accusation from embittered losers deserve a congressional committee armed with subpoena power bent on conducting an inquisition? Certainly not.

What must be investigated is the incubation of a clandestine political police force inside the national security apparatus, one that has been unleashed against Trump – and could be deployed against anyone.

This isn’t about Donald Trump. It’s about preserving what’s left of our old republic. I don’t want to live in a country where anonymous spooks with access to my most personal information can collect it and release it to their friends in our despicable media – do you?

Frankfurt used as remote hacking base for the CIA: WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks documents reveal CIA agents were given cover identities and diplomatic passports to enter the country. The base was used to develop hacking tools as part of the CIA’s massive digital arsenal.

March 7, 2017

DW

WikiLeaks released a trove of CIA documents on Tuesday that it claimed revealed details of its secret hacking arsenal.

The release included 8,761 documents that it claimed revealed details of “malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized ‘zero day’ exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation.”

The leaks purportedly revealed that a top secret CIA unit used the German city of Frankfurt am Main as the starting point for numerous hacking attacks on Europe, China and the Middle East.

Frankfurt base

WikiLeaks reported that the group developed trojans and other malicious software in the American Consulate General Office, the largest US consulate in the world. The programs focused on targets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The documents revealed that CIA experts worked in the building under cover and included advice for life in Germany.

“Do not leave anything electronic or sensitive unattended in your room,” it told employees, also advising them to enjoy Lufthansa’s free alcohol “in moderation.”

The Frankfurt hackers, part of the Center for Cyber Intelligence Europe, were said to be given diplomatic passports and a State Department identity. It instructed employees how to safely enter Germany. A WikiLeaks tweet published an section of the Frankfurt information.

The consulate was the focus of a German investigation into US intelligence capabilities following the 2013 revelation that NSA agents had tapped Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone.

German daily “Süddeutsche Zeitung” reported the building was known to be home to a vast network of intelligence personnel including CIA agents, NSA spies, military secret service personnel, Department of Homeland Security employees and Secret Service employees. It reported the Americans had also established a dense network of outposts and shell companies in Frankfurt.

Televisions turned into bugs

An intelligence expert who examined the dump, Rendition Infosec founder Jake Williams, told news agency Associated Press the documents appeared legitimate.

Bob Ayers, a retired US intelligence official currently working as a security analyst told AP the release was “real bad” for the agency.

Jonathan Liu, a spokesman for the CIA, told AP: “We do not comment on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents.”

According to WikiLeaks the documents revealed that the CIA could remotely activate certain Samsung smart televisions equipped with cameras and microphones to turn them into bugs.

Smartphones hacked

WikiLeaks also claimed that if the CIA had hacked a cell phone, it could then bypass encryption methods used by popular chat programs such as Whatsapp, Telegram, Signal and Confide. This prompted some concern at first online that all such messaging “Apps” were no longer effectively encrypted – but the exploit only applied to people whose phones are already compromised. According to the leaks, the CIA has undocumented exploits on popular smartphone models.

In a series of tweets NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said deliberately leaving vulnerabilities in software and hardware open left public users susceptible to attacks.

Snowden said the documents appeared to be genuine.

The documents also revealed that the CIA had the ability to conduct false flag attacks using malware stolen from other nations.

According to WikiLeaks the trove showed that the CIA had lost control of its arsenal of hacking tools.

WikiLeaks said it was given the files by an anonymous source who wanted to shed public light on the hacking programs.

The collection of documents vastly outnumbered the trove on the NSA released by Snowden.

85% of world’s smart phones ‘weaponized’ by CIA

March 7, 2017

DW

The majority of the world’s smartphones have been “weaponized,” according to WikiLeaks, which revealed in its latest leak that the CIA went to extreme measures to utilize the Android OS for spying.

Google’s Android operating system, used in 85 percent of the world’s smart phones, including Samsung and Sony, was found to have 24 ‘zero days’ – the code name used by the CIA to identify and exploit vulnerabilities for the purpose of secretly collecting data on individuals

The techniques allow the CIA to access data from social messaging platforms, including WhatsApp, Weibo and Clockman before encryption, according to WikiLeaks.

Both audio and message data were vulnerable to the exploit through the CIA’s exploitation of gaps in the OS.

WikiLeaks claims the source of their latest release acted to create a public debate about the “security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons.”

The leak revealed details of massive surveillance by the CIA, including ‘Weeping Angel’ – a surveillance technique which infiltrates smart TVs, transforming them into microphones

In one of the documents, users of antivirus software Comodo, who did not install a flawed upgrade, were described as “paranoid bastards.”

The CIA appear to be aware that version 6.X of the software isn’t as good as its predecessor, which they described as a “a colossal pain in the posterior.”

“Comodo’s user base, paranoid bastards that they are, has apparently caught wind of this and lots of them haven’t upgraded to 6.X.  Kind of a shame, cuz this is a hole you could drive a very large wheeled freight carrying vehicle through,” the document reads.

No getting out of this’: Major earthquake ‘certain’ to hit Southern California, study says

March 7, 2017

RT

It is simply a matter of time before a major earthquake hits Southern California, according to a new study by the US Geological Survey (USGS), which examined patterns of historic quakes. The only question is how long it will be before the ‘Big One’ strikes.

The study – the most extensive of its kind – examined a section of the San Andreas fault that runs along Interstate 5, near Frazier Mountain in northeast Kern County.

“One of the reasons why this location is of importance is because in Southern California, the Big Bend, Carrizo, and Mojave sections of the San Andreas Fault accommodate 50-70% of plate motion. This means that the seismic hazard is high,” according to Temblor.

To understand the size and likelihood of future earthquakes striking the area, the researchers looked into the past, by digging more than 30 trenches to trace ancient temblors.

“To get 1,200 years of records, we have to do lots of excavations and go quite deep,” said the study’s lead author, USGS research geologist Kate Scharer, as quoted by the Los Angeles Times.

Scharer and her team found 10 major earthquakes over a 1,000-year period. They were able to date the temblors by examining charcoal and plant remains found at each horizon.

The most common magnitude found at the site was 7.5.

A 7.9 earthquake in 1857 – the last major temblor to strike – was so powerful that it caused the soil to liquify and trees to sink and uproot. The shaking lasted between one and three minutes.

Since then, land on either side of the fault has been pushing against the other at a rate of more than 1in per year, accumulating energy which will be suddenly released in a major earthquake that would move land along the fault line by many feet.

A repeat of the 1857 quake could move the land as much as 20ft, damage aqueducts that ferry water into Southern California from the north, disrupt transmission lines, and damage Interstate 5.

Although the researchers noted that a big earthquake is certain, they couldn’t predict when it will happen because they “don’t happen like clockwork.”

For instance, while there was once a gap of just 20 years between two temblors, another pair saw a gap of 200 years between them.

The average interval between quakes was found to be approximately 100 years, meaning the gap separating today from the 1857 earthquake is already 60 years more than the average.

“Longer gaps have happened in the past, but we know they always do culminate in a large earthquake. There’s no getting out of this,” Scharer said.

She went on to urge similar studies to take place so that scientists can gain a greater understanding of the San Andreas Fault, in order to “properly design infrastructure, like highways, water, and power lines, so that it can survive the next earthquake.”

The San Andreas Fault extends roughly 1,300km (800 miles) through California. It has three segments, each with a varying degree of earthquake risk. The most significant is the southern segment, which passes within about 56km (35 miles) of Los Angeles.

France drops electronic voting for citizens abroad over cybersecurity fears

March 6, 2015

Reuters

France’s government has dropped plans to let its citizens abroad vote electronically in legislative elections in June because of concern about the risk of cyber attacks, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

The National Cybersecurity Agency believed there was an “extremely high risk” of cyber attacks. “In that light, it was decided that it would be better to take no risk that might jeopardize the legislative vote for French citizens residing abroad,” the ministry said in a statement.

Concern about foreign interference in western elections has surged amid allegations of Russian hacking – which Moscow denies – in the U.S. presidential ballot.

Since 2012, French citizens abroad had been allowed to vote electronically inlegislative elections, but not in the presidential vote. France will elect a new president in a two-round ballot in April and May.

The legislative election will be held in two rounds on June 11 and 18. France’s 1.3 million citizens abroad are represented in the lower house of parliament by 11 electoral districts.

In the presidential race, frontrunner Emmanuel Macron’s camp has said he is being targeted by Russian media and internet attacks from within Russia with the goal of helping the campaigns of his pro-Moscow rivals, allegations that Russian media and the Kremlin deny.

Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said last month that France would take retaliatory measures against any country that interfered in the presidential election.

 (Reporting by Marine Le Pennetier, writing by Leigh Thomas; editing by John Stonestreet)

 US Judge rules against tribes seeking to stop Dakota Access Pipeline

March 7, 2017

RT

A federal judge has denied the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe’s request to block the final phase of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. The tribe had argued that the presence of the pipeline desecrated its sacred land and water. The final leg of the pipeline is set to be built under Lake Oahe in North Dakota. The Cheyenne River Sioux sought a preliminary injunction against the construction because they use the lake for sacred ceremonies. They argued that the project would interfere with their religious practices.

US District Judge James Boasberg dismissed the tribe’s arguments on Tuesday.

“Cheyenne River’s religious-exercise claim … involves a government action — granting an easement to Dakota Access to build and operate a pipeline — regarding the use of federal land —the land under Lake Oahe — that has an incidental, if serious, impact on a tribe’s ability to practice its religion because of spiritual desecration of a sacred site,” he wrote in his 38-page decision.

Dakota Access, the company building the pipeline, had already “modified the pipeline workspace and route more than a hundred times in response to cultural surveys and Tribes’ concerns regarding historic and cultural resources,” Boasberg wrote, adding that rerouting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) around the lake “would be more costly and complicated than it would have been months or years ago.”

The problem with rerouting is that it would not just be a simple change of plans, but would requiring the company to abandon “part of a near-complete project and redoing the construction elsewhere,” he continued.

While the tribe argued that its treaties with the United States provided access to fresh water, Boasberg countered that legal precedent defined that access in terms of agriculture, irrigation and drinking water, not access for religious purposes.

It is not the first time Boasberg has ruled against Native Americans fighting the pipeline. In mid-February, he dismissed a request by a group of tribes to stop the construction of the final link, which was also made on religious grounds. In that dismissal, Boasberg stated there was no imminent harm to the tribes’ religious practices as oil is not flowing through the pipeline yet.

He also rejected a request to block the project in September. However, that ruling was superseded by the Obama administration’s decision in December to delay construction, pending an environmental review.

One of President Donald Trump’s first acts in office in January was to sign a presidential memoranda ordering the removal of obstacles to the construction of both the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone XL, which was also halted under the previous administration.

The ruling will allow Dakota Access, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners, to finish the final 1,100ft (335m) connection, completing the $3.8 billion, 1,170 mile pipeline.

 

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