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December 13, 2019

Dec 12 2019

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. December 12, 2019:“Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.
When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.
I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.
He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.
He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.
It is becoming more and more evident to even the least intelligent American voter that Trump is vicious, corrupt and amoral. He has stated often that even if he loses the election in 2020, he will not leave the White House. I have news for Donald but this is not the place to discuss it.
Commentary for December 13: “They do it to us but we do it to them’ is the operating credo of a small but very powerful anti-government organization (which shall remain nameless for obvious reasons.)
In essence, one of their top-level computer experts has devised a deadly computer virus which is completely undetectable and is deliberately planted in the computer systems of U.S. government agencies that regularly spy on the American public.
There is a trigger for this program and when, not if, it is activated, the host site collapses and all its slyly gathered information is gone with the wind.
If the system has a backup that pre-dates the infection, all would be well and good for the system but if it does not pre-date the infection, the results will be monumental and catastrophic.
For the government, fortunately, and not its victims.
When will this happen?
One might ask this logically and with concern. In all probability, it will happen when a certain level of awareness of mass surveillance of a public’s most private world is reached so that the obliterating attacks will be greeted with universal joy and not universal anger.
Consider that Donald Trump has been, and is, a unifylng factor in some, very important, circles.”

The Table of Contents
• NSA Surveillance of the American Public- 2019
• The National Security Agency and its current medology for spying on all Americans and foreigners, including US and foreign intelligence messaging
• NSA’s Methodology for spying on all telephone and computer messaging both inside the US and from foreign origins
• Assassination as State Policy
• The Dump Trump Association’s latest send-out
• Fox host lambasts Trump over ‘most sustained assault on press freedom in US history’
• Britain Brexit bound as Johnson heads for big parliamentary majority
• The Inspector General’s Report on 2016 FBI Spying Reveals a Scandal of Historic Magnitude: Not Only for the FBI but Also the U.S. Media
• The Season of Evil

NSA Surveillance of the American Public- 2019
ACLU
The National Security Agency’s mass surveillance has greatly expanded in the years since September 11, 2001. Disclosures have shown that, until recently, the government regularly tracked the calls of hundreds of millions of Americans. Today, it continues to spy on a vast but unknown number of Americans’ international calls, text messages, web-browsing activities, and emails.
The government’s surveillance programs have infiltrated most of the communications technologies we have come to rely on. They are largely enabled by a problematic law passed by Congress — the FISA Amendments Act (FAA), which is set to expire this year — along with Executive Order 12,333, the primary authority invoked by the NSA to conduct surveillance outside of the United States. The.Patriot Act has also made it easier for the government to spy on Americans right here at home over the past 15 years. Although the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court oversees some of the government’s surveillance activities, it operates in near-total secrecy through one-sided procedures that heavily favor the government.
Our Constitution and democratic system demand that government be transparent and accountable to the people, not the other way around. History has shown that powerful, secret surveillance tools will almost certainly be abused for political ends.
The ACLU has been at the forefront of the struggle to rein in the surveillance superstructure, which strikes at the core of our rights to privacy, free speech, and association.
Surveillance Under the FISA Amendments Act
The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA) gives the NSA almost unchecked power to monitor Americans’ international phone calls, text messages, and emails — under the guise of targeting foreigners abroad. The ACLU has long warned that one provision of the statute, Section 702, would be used to eavesdrop on Americans’ private communications. In June 2013, The Guardian published documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden confirming the massive scale of this international dragnet. Recent disclosures also show that an unknown number of purely domestic communications are monitored, that the rules that supposedly protect Americans’ privacy are weak and riddled with exceptions, and that virtually every email that goes into or out of the United States is scanned for suspicious keywords.
In 2008, less than an hour after President Bush signed the FAA into law, the ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality. The case, Amnesty v. Clapper, was filed on behalf of a broad coalition of attorneys and organizations whose work requires them to engage in sensitive and sometimes privileged telephone and email communications with individuals located abroad. But in a 5–4 ruling handed down in February 2013, the Supreme Court held that the ACLU plaintiffs did not have “standing” to sue because they could not prove their communications had actually been surveilled under the law.
In March 2015, the ACLU filed Wikimedia Foundation v. NSA, a lawsuit challenging “Upstream” surveillance under the FAA. Through Upstream surveillance, the U.S. government copies and searches the contents of almost all international — and many domestic — text-based internet communications. The suit was brought on behalf of nine educational, legal, human rights, and media organizations, including the Wikimedia Foundation, operator of one of the most-visited websites on the internet. Collectively, the plaintiffs engage in more than a trillion sensitive internet communications every year, and each has been profoundly harmed by NSA surveillance.
Surveillance Under Executive Order 12,333
Executive Order 12,333, signed by President Reagan in 1981 and modified many times since, is the authority primarily relied upon by the intelligence agencies to gather foreign intelligence outside of the United States. Recent disclosures indicate that the U.S. government operates a host of large-scale programs under EO 12333, many of which appear to involve the collection of vast quantities of Americans’ information. These programs have included, for example, the NSA’s collection of billions of cellphone location records each day; its recording of every single cellphone call into, out of, and within at least two countries; and its surreptitious interception of data from Google and Yahoo user accounts as that information travels between those companies’ data centers located abroad.
In December 2013, the ACLU, along with the Media Freedom Information Access Clinic at Yale Law School, filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit demanding that the government release information about its use of EO 12,333 to conduct surveillance of Americans’ communications.
Surveillance Under the Patriot Act
For many years, the government claimed sweeping authority under the Patriot Act to collect a record of every single phone call made by every single American “on an ongoing daily basis.” This program not only exceeded the authority given to the government by Congress, but it violated the right of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment, and the rights of free speech and association protected by the First Amendment. For this reason, the ACLU challenged the government’s collection of our phone records under Section 215 of the Patriot Act just days after the program was revealed in June 2013 by The Guardian. In May 2015, a court of appeals found that the phone records program violated Section 215, and Congress allowed the provision to expire in June of that year. The program was reformed by the USA Freedom Act, which passed days later.
To bring greater transparency to the NSA’s surveillance under the Patriot Act, the ACLU filed two motions with the secretive FISC asking it to release to the public its opinions authorizing the bulk collection of Americans’ data by the NSA.
Our earlier work to reform the Patriot Act includes a number of successful challenges to the government’s use of and secrecy surrounding National Security Letters.
Bringing Transparency to the FISA Court
The ACLU has long fought to bring greater transparency and public access to the FISC — the secretive court that oversees the government’s surveillance programs. When the FISC was first established in 1978, it primarily assessed individual surveillance applications to determine whether there was probable cause to believe a specific surveillance target was an agent of a foreign power. In recent years, however, the FISC’s responsibilities have changed dramatically, and the FISC today oversees sweeping surveillance programs and assesses their constitutionality — all without any public participation or review.
The ACLU has been advocating and petitioning for access to the FISC for more than a decade, working with Congress and the executive branch, and appearing before the court itself to push for greater transparency. Days after the court’s Section 215 order was published in the press in June 2013, we filed a motion seeking access to the secret judicial opinions underlying the NSA’s mass call tracking program. We have since filed two other access motions in the FISC, seeking significant legal opinions authorizing bulk collection and those interpreting the government’s secret surveillance powers in the years after 9/11. We also signed a brief filed in the FISC in support of the First Amendment rights of the recipients of FISC orders, such as telephone and internet companies, to release information about the type and volume of national security requests they receive from the NSA and the FBI.
Secret law has no place in a democracy. Under the First Amendment, the public has a qualified right of access to FISC opinions concerning the scope, meaning, or constitutionality of the surveillance laws, and that right clearly applies to legal opinions interpreting Americans’ bedrock constitutional rights. We all have a right to know, at least in general terms, what kinds of information the government is collecting about innocent Americans, on what scale, and based on what legal theory.

The National Security Agency and its current medology for spying on all Americans and foreigners, including US and foreign intelligence messaging
December 12, 2019
by The Watchbird

The information sharing between American domestic surveillance programs is performed by the so-called “Five Eyes”, a term referring to the following English-speaking western democracies and their respective intelligence agencies:
• The Defence Signals Directorate of Australia
• The Communications Security Establishment of Canada
• The Government Communications Security Bureau of New Zealand
• The Government Communications Headquarters of the United Kingdom, which is widely considered to be a leader in traditional spying due to its influence on countries that were once part of the British Empire.
• The National Security Agency of the United States, which has the biggest budget and the most advanced technical abilities among the “five eyes”.
Other government agencies have cooperated extensively with the “Five Eyes”:
• The Politiets Efterretningstjeneste (PET) of Denmark, a domestic intelligence agency, exchanges data with the NSA on a regular basis, as part of a secret agreement with the United States.
• The Bundesnachrichtendienst (Federal Intelligence Service) of Germany systematically transfers metadata from German intelligence sources to the NSA. In December 2012 alone, Germany provided the NSA with 500 million metadata records The NSA granted the Bundesnachrichtendienst access to X-Keyscore, in exchange for Mira4 and Veras. In early 2013, Hans-Georg Maaßen, President of the German domestic security agency BfV, made several visits to the headquarters of the NSA. According to classified documents of the German government, Maaßen had agreed to transfer all data collected by the BfV via XKeyscore to the NSA. In addition, the BfV has been working very closely with eight other U.S. government agencies, including the CIA.
• The SIGINT National Unit of Israel routinely receives raw intelligence data (including those of U.S. citizens) from the NSA: Memorandum of understanding between the NSA and Israel
• The Algemene Inlichtingen en Veiligheidsdienst (General Intelligence and Security Service) of the Netherlands has been receiving and storing user information gathered by U.S. intelligence sources such as PRISM.
• The Defence Ministry of Singapore and its Security and Intelligence Division have been secretly intercepting much of the fibre optic cable traffic passing through the Asian continent. Information gathered by the Government of Singapore is transferred to the Government of Australia as part of an intelligence sharing agreement. This allows the “Five Eyes” to maintain a “stranglehold on communications across the Eastern Hemisphere”
• The National Defence Radio Establishment of Sweden (codenamed Sardines) has been working extensively with the NSA, and it has granted the “five eyes” access to underwater cables in the Baltic Sea.
• The Federal Intelligence Service (FSI) of Switzerland regularly exchanges information with the NSA, based on a secret agreement. In addition, the NSA has been granted access to Swiss monitoring facilities in Leuk (canton of Valais) and Herrenschwanden (canton of Bern)
• Independent American surveillance agencies
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
United States Department of Defense
• Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)
• National Security Agency (NSA)
• National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
• National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)
• Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
• Twenty-Fifth Air Force (25 AF)
• Military Intelligence Corps (MI)
• Marine Corps Intelligence Activity (MCIA)
• Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI)
United States Department of Energy
• Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence (OICI)
United States Department of Homeland Security
• Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A)
• Coast Guard Intelligence (CGI)
United States Department of Justice
• Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Office of National Security Intelligence (ONSI)
United States Department of State
• Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR)
United States Department of the Treasury
• Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI)

NSA’s Methodology for spying on all telephone and computer messaging both inside the US and from foreign origins

Method 1: Your Phone Records
The Patriot Act allows the U.S. government to keep phone records. The NSA doesn’t keep the records of specific individuals, but the agency has records of every international and domestic telephone call made in the United States. If you called your uncle last week, NSA spying was in full force. The NSA has a record of the time you made the call, how long you were on the phone, and the telephone number you dialed.
Method 2: Internet Services Must Cooperate with the Government
Google, Facebook, and other top online services have stated that the government has forced them to pass on records about customers. The PRISM program has much to do with this. For instance, Facebook can pass on messages, emails, and documents to the NSA.
Method 3: Device Hacking
Insofar as security on mobile phones is concerned, there are all sorts of doorways out there that the NSA has created. It can hack into IT systems and electronic devices anytime. This isn’t true for every device, however, because the FBI had an issue hacking an Apple iPhone belonging to the San Bernardino terrorists. A great deal of controversy came about because creating a “backdoor” to the iPhone for the FBI would create a vulnerability that hackers could use to hack these extremely secure devices.
Method 4: Security Devices Aren’t Foolproof
The NSA has talked manufacturers into making some of their products vulnerable so that those devices can be accessed. This is very similar to what the FBI wanted Apple to do, but the demand was made after the iPhone was manufactured without such vulnerabilities. In this case, the NSA has gotten electronics companies to create backdoors.
Method 5: Cell Towers Do More Than Relay Calls
A cell tower looks rather simple. We all know them to be necessary for making cell phone calls. These towers also give you the capability to connect to the internet, which means the NSA is keeping a record of where you are. When you make a call, your cell phone company knows it’s you. Once upon a time, detailed calling was necessary (some customers still request it). The wireless company would send a bill detailing all calls and texts made on the account. The government has this same information because of the unique identifier in your phone that tells the cell tower that you are permitted to make a call.
Method 6: Internet Lines Are Tapped Around the World
Even if you leave the U.S., you’re still being tracked. The NSA has managed to track people no matter where they are. Consider that there are massive fiber-optic cables under the sea. The amount of data that moves through these cables is amazing. The NSA can work with other intelligence agencies around the world to gather desired data about anyone.
Method 7: Foreign Companies Get Hacked
Companies in other countries are getting hacked. Everything from major credit card networks to wire transfer companies can be breached so data can be gathered about a person. An example of data that can be gathered by hacking a foreign company is an email you may have sent it. The NSA can also look at financial transactions within foreign financial networks.
Method 8: Your Spending Habits Are Tracked
NSA monitoring also goes as far as tracking your spending habits. This is how the purchases of a criminal can be tracked so quickly. Between credit card and bank account transactions, everything you spend can be tracked. The NSA even knows how you get your money. This is especially true if you carry out your transactions online.
Method 9: Email Isn’t Foolproof
Gmail and Yahoo are among the free email services that have been hacked. This means that the contents of the emails have been viewed. In fact, Yahoo just revealed that all 3 billion accounts on its servers were hacked in 2013. That means someone out there has personal details and so much more. This is disturbing because that information could be used in many ways. Unfortunately, the NSA already can quickly access private email accounts unless they are encrypted. If the NSA encounters encrypted email, even it isn’t advanced enough to decipher the contents of the email.
How to Protect Yourself from Government Spying on Internet Activity
To protect yourself online from NSA surveillance, you can do several things, such as use a VPN. There are affordable solutions online that mask your IP. This can help when you want to keep activities and details private.
You also want to be careful when sharing where you are. For instance, a Facebook check-in can reveal where you are. Logging out of Google is also a smart idea because Google tracks your location. If you log into your Google account and go to Google Maps, there is a feature called Google Maps Timeline that tells you where you have been and when you were there. This history goes back years. If you aren’t logged into Google, this activity isn’t tracked. You can also stop Google Maps Tracking.
Lastly, be careful about doing financial transactions online. Get a prepaid card not attached to other accounts or refrain from making the transactions at all.

Assassination as State Policy
The Broken Encirclement Plan: Nato in Eastern Europe
The first serious, and successful, U.S. direct interference in Russian leadership policies was in 1953.
An ageing Josef Stalin, suffering from arteriosclerosis and becoming increasingly hostile to his subordinates, was poisoned by Laverenti P. Beria, head of his secret police.
Beria, a Mingrelian Jew, very ruthless and a man who ordered and often supervised the executions of people Stalin suspected of plotting against him, had fallen out of favor with Stalin and had come to believe that he was on the list of those Stalin wished to remove.
With his intelligence connections, Beria was contacted by the American CIA through one of his trusted agents in Helskinki and through this contact, Beria was supplied dosages of warfarin
The first drug in the class to be widely commercialized was dicoumarol itself, patented in 1941 and later used as a pharmaceutical. potent coumarin-based anticoagulants for use as rodent poisons, resulting in warfarin in 1948. The name warfarin stems from the acronym WARF, for Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation + the ending -arin indicating its link with coumarin. Warfarin was first registered for use as a rodenticide in the US in 1948, and was immediately popular; although it was developed by Link, the WARF financially supported the research and was assigned the patent.
Warfarin was used by a Lavrenti Beria to poison Stalin. Stalin’s cooks and personal bodyguards were all under the direct control of Beria. He acknowledged to other top Soviet leaders that he had poisoned Stalin, according to Molotov’s memoirs, Nikita Khrushchev and others.
Warfarin is tasteless and colorless, and produces symptoms similar to those that Stalin exhibited.
Stalin collapsed during the night after a dinner with Beria and other Soviet leaders, and died four days later on March 5, 1953.
Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, in his political memoirs (published posthumously in 1993), claimed that Beria told him that he had poisoned Stalin. “I took him out,” Beria supposedly boasted. And after Stalin was found unconscious, medical care was not provided for many hours. Other evidence of the murder of Stalin by Beria associates was presented by Edvard Radzinsky in his biography of Stalin. It has been suggested that warfarin was used; it would have produced the symptoms reported.
After the fall of Gorbachev and his replacement by Boris Yeltsin, a known CIA connection, the Russian criminal mob was encouraged by the CIA to move into the potentially highly lucrative Russian natural resource field.
By 1993 almost all banks in Russia were owned by the mafia, and 80% of businesses were paying protection money. In that year, 1400 people were murdered in Moscow, crime members killed businessmen who would not pay money to them, as well as reporters, politicians, bank owners and others opposed to them. The new criminal class of Russia took on a more Westernized and businesslike approach to organized crime as the more code-of-honor based Vory faded into extinction.
The Izmaylovskaya gang was considered one of the country’s most important and oldest Russian Mafia groups in Moscow and also had a presence in Tel Aviv, Berlin, Paris, Toronto, Miami and New York City. It was founded during the 1980s under the leadership of Oleg Ivanov and was estimated to consist of about 200 active members (according to other data of 300–500 people). In principle, the organization was divided into two separate bodies—Izmailovskaya and Gol’yanovskaya which utilized quasi-military ranks and strict internal discipline. It was involved extensively in murder-for-hire, extortions, and infiltration of legitimate businesses.
The gangs were termed the Oligarchy and were funded by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Israeli-owned Bank of New York all with the assistance of the American government.
The arrival of Vladimir Putin as the new leader of Russia was at first ignored in Washington. A former KGB Lt. Colonel who had been stationed in East Germany, Putin was viewed as inconsequential, bland and colorless by the purported Russian experts in both the Department of State and the CIA.
Putin, however, proved to be a dangerous opponent who blocked the Oligarchs attempt to control the oil fields and other assets, eventual control of which had been promised to both American and British firms.
The Oligarchs were allowed to leave the country and those remaining behind were forced to follow Putin’s policies. Foreign control over Russian natural resources ceased and as both the CIA, various foreign firms and the American government had spent huge sums greasing the skids, there was now considerable negative feelings towards Putin.
The next serious moves against Russia came with a plan conceived by the CIA and fully approved by President George W. Bush, whose father had once been head of the CIA.
This consisted of ‘Operation Sickle’ which was designed to surround the western and southern borders of Russia with states controlled by the United States through the guise of NATO membership. Included in this encirclement program were the Baltic States, Poland, the Czech Republic, Georgia and a number of Asiatic states bordering southern Russia. It was the stated intention of the NATO leadership to put military missiles in all these countries.
The so-called “Orange Revolution” funded and directed by the CIA, overthrew the pro-Moscow government in the Ukraine, giving the United States theoretical control over the heavy industrialized Donetz Basin and most importantly, the huge former Soviet naval base at Sebastopol.
The Georgia Train and Equip Program (GTEP) was an American-sponsored 18-month, $64-million program aimed at increasing the capabilities of the Georgian armed forces by training and equipping four 600-man battalions with light weapons, vehicles and communications. The program enabled the US to expedite funding for the Georgian military for Operation Enduring Freedom.
On February 27, 2002, the US media reported that the U.S. would send approximately two hundred United States Army Special Forces soldiers to Georgia to train Georgian troops. The program implemented President Bush’s decision to respond to the Government of Georgia’s request for assistance to enhance its counter-terrorism capabilities and addressed the situation in the Pankisi Gorge.
The program began in May 2002 when American special forces soldiers began training select units of the Georgian Armed Forces, including the 12th Commando Light Infantry Battalion, the 16th Mountain-Infantry Battalion, the 13th “Shavnabada” Light Infantry Battalion, the 11th Light Infantry Battalion, a mechanized company and small numbers of Interior Ministry troops and border guards.
Eventually, responsibility for training Georgian forces was turned over to the US Marine Corps in conjunction with the British Army. British and American teams worked as part of a joint effort to train each of the four infantry battalion staffs and their organic rifle companies. This training began with the individual soldier and continued through fire team, squad, platoon, company, and battalion level tactics as well as staff planning and organization. Upon completing training, each of the new Georgian infantry battalions began preparing for deployment rotations in support of the Global War on Terrorism
The CIA were instrumental in getting Mikhail Saakashvili, an erratic politician, pro-West, into the presidency of Georgia but although he allowed the country to be flooded with American arms and “military trainers” he was not a man easily controlled and under the mistaken belief that American military might supported him, commenced to threaten Moscow. Two Georgian provinces were heavily populated by Russians and objected to the inclusion in Georgia and against them, Saakashvili began to make threatening moves.
The 2008 South Ossetia War or Russo-Georgian War (in Russia also known as the Five-Day War) was an armed conflict in August 2008 between Georgia on one side, and Russia and separatist governments of South Ossetia and Abkhazia on the other.
During the night of 7 to 8 August 2008, Georgia launched a large-scale military offensive against South Ossetia, in an attempt to reclaim the territory. Georgia claimed that it was responding to attacks on its peacekeepers and villages in South Ossetia, and that Russia was moving non-peacekeeping units into the country. The Georgian attack caused casualties among Russian peacekeepers, who resisted the assault along with Ossetian militia.
Georgia successfully captured most of Tskhinvali within hours. Russia reacted by deploying units of the Russian 58th Army and Russian Airborne Troops in South Ossetia, and launching airstrikes against Georgian forces in South Ossetia and military and logistical targets in Georgia proper. Russia claimed these actions were a necessary humanitarian intervention and peace enforcement.
When the Russian incursion was seen as massive and serious, U.S. president George W. Bush’s statement to Russia was: “Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century.” The US Embassy in Georgia, describing the Matthew Bryza press-conference, called the war an “incursion by one of the world’s strongest powers to destroy the democratically elected government of a smaller neighbor”.
Initially the Bush Administration seriously considered a military response to defend Georgia, but such an intervention was ruled out by the Pentagon due to the inevitable conflict it would lead to with Russia. Instead, Bush opted for a softer option by sending humanitarian supplies to Georgia by military, rather than civilian, aircraft. And he ordered the immediate evacuation of all American military units from Georgia. The huge CIA contingent stationed in the Georgian capital fled by aircraft and the American troops, mostly U.S. Marines, evacuated quickly to the Black Sea where they were evacuated by the U.S. Navy.
British and Israeli military units also fled the country and all of them had to leave behind an enormous amount of military equipment to include tanks, light armored vehicles, small arms, radio equipment, and trucks full of intelligence data they had neither the time nor foresight to destroy.
The immediate result of this demarche was the defection of the so-called “NATO Block” eastern Europeans from the Bush/CIA project who saw the United States as a paper tiger that would not, and could not, defend them against the Russians. In a sense, the Russian incursion into Georgia was a massive political, not a military, victory.
The CIA was not happy with the actions of Vladimir Putin and when he ran for reelection, they poured money into the hands of Putin’s enemies, hoping to reprise the Ukrainian Orange Revolution but the effort was in vain.
On September 6, 2016, Vladimir Putin’s state limousine, travelling on a Moscow highway, was slammed into by a car which jumped the median strip.
Putin’s driver was killed but Putin was not in the car at the time.
Shortly after this incident, a WikiLeaks release disclosed the CIA’s ability to get control of a car’s computer system and cause it to go out of control

The ‘Dump Trump’ Association’s latest send-out
Note: This group consists of a small but very, very important group of power-brokers and influential American businessmen and their avowed goal is to oust Trump from his high office at best or to throughly discredit him with the voting public as second. If Trump discovered the names, and positions, social, business and political, of the Association’s membership list, he would have a fatal heart attack on the spot.

• Trump is not an honest man by any stretch of the imagination. He has a long record of bankruptcies, business failures, very dubious business practices and extraordinarily negative behavior to staff and other employees. To catalogue the full sweep of a flood of patently dishonest business allegations against Donald Trump would require thousands of words and lump together the trivial, the blatently criminal with the truly scandalous.
• Certainly, the psychological personal profile of Donald Trump could hardly be better tailored to being easily turned by a hostile intelligence agency.
• The concept of Trump taking bribes from the Russians (or the PRC) is completely understandable if one applies the concept of Occam’s Razor to the tumult and disruption he is deliberately causing both domestically and in foreign areas.
• Russian intelligence agencies are known to have highly compromising and often bizarre sexual material on him going back more than 30 years and they have used Trump and his elaborate network of business entites as a funnel for laundering dirty money from the Russian mafia and from post-Soviet oligarchs. The Russians are well-known to have more than enough compromising material on Trump to bend him to their will.
• Trump has constantly been engaged in bribings and manipulations and does this through second parties such as Cohen his former lawyer or Manafort, his recently convicted campaign manager during the election.
• Following Mr.Trump’s bankruptcies in the 1990s he borrowed very large sums of operating capital from Russian sources. He also obtained large loans from the Deutsche Bank (over 640 million dollars)
• Other big banks, domestic and foreign, have long refused to lend to him, coining the term “the Donald risk” to refer to his repeated bankruptcies and failures to repay loans. However, Deutsche Bank, whose real-estate division continued to lend him hundreds of millions of dollars to finance his projects, seemed to have a greater risk appetite. There is a solid connection and on-going business between this bank and two Russian-based banks.
• 1,300 Trump condominiums have been sold to Russian-connected buyers. Even a cheap Trump condo costs over a million dollars, so there over 1,300 condos that meet all the criteria for what is normally called money laundering. Russian intelligence is using Trump real estate to launder money
• Also, it is certain that Trump has been working closely with known Russian drug dealers, helping them to find headquarters in his various real estate holdings and laundering their drug profits for them in exchange for a percentage.
• In 2008 his son, Donald Trump Jr., said that Russia was an important source of money for the Trump businesses.
• Trump and his entourage have made a significant number of trips to Russia in the past (a list of these along with Russian personages he was in contact with can easily be found on Google), seeking financing and permission to build luxury hotels in that country
• ,Russian intelligence owns Wikileaks entirely and released the damning, and authentic, ‘Podesta papers’ concurrent with Hillary Clinton’s campaign in coordinated agreement with the Trump people. This did serious damage to her campaign and was a major contributory factor to her narrow defeat and Trump’s election to the presidency.
• ,Trump’s actions, as President, are deliberate efforts to alienate both the putative allies of the US such as Germany, France, and Canada and, to a lesser degree, Mexico. Also, the tariffs suggested by Trump against China would result in retaliation by that country and many retail outlets in the United States would be forced to close because they would be unable to purchase Chinese-made goods, the bulk of their stock.
• Trump has deliberately launched pointless, and destructive, attacks against Mexican and Muslim immigrants, as well as Canadian, Chinese and German imports. All this has done is to create a highly negative image of his persona primarily and secondarily, the global image of the United States. This is only to the benefit of Putin’s Russia, not the United States.
• Trump’s tariffs, and threats of tariffs, have engendered counter-tariffs that will, when implemented, create serious economic problems for American businessmen and, eventually, the American public.
• Trump’s politically foolish but calculated support of the Israeli far right has done, and is doing, serious damage to the US image in the Middle East. It should be noted that Russian influence in the Shiite areas of the Middle East, is growing. Also note that Iran, and parts of Iraq, both Shiite, have extensive oil reserves and that Saudi Arabia, a Sunni state, once America’s primary source of badly-need oil, is running dry. Further, his aggressive support of Israel is resulting in increasing antisemitism in the United States.
• The Middle East areas where Russia now has growing influence, have oil and if Russia sets itself up as major oil merchandising source, this will give them tremendous economic leverage vis a vis the United States which is the world’s largest consumer of oil and its by-products.
• By alienating America’s allies and disrupting that country’s social structure, Trump benefits only Russia and its interests.
• ,When he is caught at this, and it is common knowledge that the FBI was deeply interested in his Russian connections long before he ran for President, either the American public will have to deal with another Dallas or Trump will suffer a fatal heart attack. Vice-President Pence, a Christian fanatic, would then have to be told to mind his manners or suffer similar terminal problems.
• ,Trump is very well aware of the ongoing and growing official investigation into his denied but completely genuine Russian connections and is certainly also well aware of what they can find, and probably have already uncovered, so he initially fired the head of the FBI and even now, according to a very reliable source, is determined to replace the FBI with the cooperative CIA (their former head, Pompeo, is now Secretary of State) as the sole foreign and domestic intelligence agency. He, and his Russian intelligence handlers, want to nip any FBI revelations in the bud so that Trump can continue on his course of castrating the United States as a global power to the benefit of Putin’s Russia.
• There was a full page ad that he took out in the New York Times, the Boston Globe and the Washington Post in 1988, putting forth foreign policy points that could have been dictated by Vladimir Putin. It was an assault against NATO, and the European Union, both anathema to Russia
• In 2015, Western European intelligence agencies in France and Germany began picking up solid evidence of communications between the Russian government and people in Donald Trump’s orbit. In April 2016, one of the Baltic States shared with then–CIA director John Brennan an audio recording of Russians discussing funneling money to the Trump campaign. In the summer of 2016, Robert Hannigan, head of the U.K. intelligence agency GCHQ, flew to Washington to brief Brennan on intercepted communications between the Trump campaign and Russia.
• ,During the Soviet era, Russian intelligence cast a wide net to gain leverage over influential figures abroad. (The practice continues to this day.) The Russians would lure or entrap not only prominent politicians and cultural leaders, but also people whom they saw as having the potential for gaining prominence in the future. In 1986, Soviet ambassador Yuri Dubinin met Trump in New York, flattered him with praise for his building exploits, and invited him to discuss a building in Moscow. Trump visited Moscow in July 1987. He stayed at the National Hotel, in the Lenin Suite, which certainly was known to be bugged
• Throughout his career, Trump has always felt comfortable operating at or beyond the ethical boundaries that constrain typical businesses. In the 1980s, he worked with La Cosa Nostra, which controlled the New York cement trade, and later employed Michael Cohen and Felix Sater, both of whom have links to the Russian Mafia. Trump habitually refused to pay his counter parties, and if the people he burned (or any journalists) got in his way, he bullied them with threats. He also used LLCs which he created for the purpose of swindling firm who, for example, laid new carpet in one of his hotels. The vendor billed the LLC which promptly went bankrupt. This has been a favorite gambit of Trump.
• Trump continually acts like a man with a great deal to hide: declining to testify to anything under oath, dangling Presidential pardons to keep potential witnesses and former employees from incriminating him, publicly chastising his attorney general for not quashing the whole Russian investigation, and endorsing Russia’s claims that it had nothing to do with the election. (“Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!” he tweeted last month, contradicting the conclusion of every U.S. intelligence and counter-intelligence agency.) Trump’s behavior toward Russia looks exactly like that of an accessory after the fact.
• ,When, and not if, it becomes public knowledge that the President of the US is an agent of a foreign power, it would be the worst scandal in American history, far surpassing Tea Pot Dome or Watergate.
• In conclusion, it is clearly obvious that President Trump was jobbed into his office with the full cooperation of Russian intelligence and that he is currently engaged in efforts to carry out their political global programs which, if allowed to continue, will wreak economic and political havoc on the American government, business community and public.
• ,And consider that the United States has been harassing Vladimir Putin’s Russia economically and causing considerable problems for that country. Mr. Putin’s reactive countermeasures aganst the United States are certainly in response to these actions and in the long view, far more effective than sanctions and hysterical threats.

Fox host lambasts Trump over ‘most sustained assault on press freedom in US history’
Chris Wallace, admired for breaking ranks with some in the conservative network, drew applause with most stinging critique yet
December 11, 2019
by David Smith in Washington
The Guardian
Donald Trump ‘has done everything he can to undercut the media’ says Fox News host Chris Wallace. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
A leading host on Fox News, a conservative network notorious for its loyalty to the White House, has lambasted Donald Trump for mounting the most direct attack on press freedom in American history.
Chris Wallace, widely admired for breaking ranks from Fox colleagues by putting tough questions to administration officials, delivered his most stinging critique yet of the US president at an event celebrating the first amendment.
“I believe that President Trump is engaged in the most direct sustained assault on freedom of the press in our history,” Wallace said to applause at the Newseum, a media museum in Washington, on Wednesday night.
“He has done everything he can to undercut the media, to try and delegitimise us, and I think his purpose is clear: to raise doubts when we report critically about him and his administration that we can be trusted. Back in 2017, he tweeted something that said far more about him than it did about us: ‘The fake news media is not my enemy. It is the enemy of the American people.’”
Wallace recalled that retired admiral Bill McRaven, a navy Seal for 37 years, had described Trump’s sentiment as maybe “the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime” because, unlike even the Soviet Union or Islamic terrorism, it undermines the US constitution.
The veteran broadcaster added: “Let’s be honest, the president’s attacks have done some damage. A Freedom Forum Institute poll, associated here with the Newseum, this year found that 29% of Americans, almost a third of all of us, think the first amendment goes too far. And 77%, three quarters, say that fake news is a serious threat to our democracy.”
Wallace is a rare dissenting voice at the Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox News, where opinion hosts such as Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham are fiercely pro-Trump. Longtime anchor Shep Smith, who was also praised for his independence, stepped down in October and warned that “intimidation and vilification of the press is now a global phenomenon. We don’t have to look far for evidence of that.”
Wallace, son of distinguished journalist Mike Wallace, conducts some of the sharpest grillings of any of America’s long running Sunday politics shows. When he recently took House minority whip Steve Scalise to task, Trump responded with a tweet that called Wallace “nasty” and “obnoxious”.
But at Wednesday’s event, a farewell to the Newseum which is closing down after nearly 12 years at its current location, Wallace also warned the media against overreach. “I think many of our colleagues see the president’s attacks, his constant bashing of the media as a rationale, as an excuse to cross the line themselves, to push back, and that is a big mistake,” he said.
“I see it all the time on the front page of major newspapers and the lead of the evening news: fact mixed with opinion, buzzwords like ‘bombshell’ and ‘scandal’. The animus of the reporter and the editor as plain to see as the headline.”

Britain Brexit bound as Johnson heads for big parliamentary majority
December 12, 2019
by David Milliken and Alistair Smout
Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party will win a resounding victory in Britain’s election with a parliamentary majority of 86 seats, an exit poll showed on Thursday, empowering him to deliver Brexit on Jan. 3
The survey showed Johnson’s Conservatives would win a landslide of 368 seats, more than enough for a very comfortable majority in the 650-seat parliament and the biggest Conservative national election win since Margaret Thatcher’s 1987 triumph.
If the exit poll is accurate and Johnson’s bet on a snap election has paid off, he will move swiftly to ratify the Brexit deal he struck with the European Union so that the United Kingdom can leave on Jan. 31 – 10 months later than initially planned.
“I hope you enjoy a celebration tonight,” Johnson told supporters in an email. “With any luck, tomorrow we’ll be getting to work.”
Sterling surged more than 2% against the dollar and the euro on Thursday as traders piled into the pound. By 2225 GMT, the pound had rocketed as much as 2.5% to $1.3510 GBP=D3 – its biggest one day gain since January 2017.
Labour were forecast by the poll to win 191 seats, the worst result for the party since 1935. The Scottish National Party would win 55 seats and the Liberal Democrats 13, the poll said. The Brexit Party were not forecast to win any.
Official results will be declared over the next seven hours.
In the last five national elections, only one exit poll has got the outcome wrong – in 2015 when the poll predicted a hung parliament when in fact the Conservatives won a majority, taking 14 more seats than forecast.
John McDonnell, the second most powerful man in the Labour Party, said the election had been dominated by Brexit which has divided the country since 2016.
“What’s clearly come through I think in these results is that this was the Brexit election,” he said. “We were hoping a wider range of issues would cut though and have a debate, I don’t think that has been the case.”
BREXIT FAR FROM OVER
While a majority will allow Johnson to lead the United Kingdom out of the club it first joined in 1973, Brexit is far from over: He faces the daunting task of negotiating a trade agreement with the EU in just 11 months.
After Jan. 31 Britain will enter a transition period during which it will negotiate a new relationship with the remaining 27 EU states.
This can run until the end of December 2022 under the current rules, but the Conservatives made an election promise not to extend the transition period beyond the end of 2020.
A large majority could give him the political security to extend the trade talks beyond 2020.
Johnson called the first Christmas election since 1923 to break what he said was the paralysis of Britain’s political system after more than three years of crisis over how, when or even if to leave the European Union.
The face of the “Leave” campaign in the 2016 referendum, 55-year-old Johnson fought the election under the slogan of “Get Brexit Done”, promising to end the deadlock and spend more on health, education and the police.
The exit poll was produced by three broadcasters – the BBC, ITV and Sky – who teamed up to jointly produce similar surveys in the last three elections, held in 2010, 2015 and 2017.
In 2010 and 2017, their exit polls accurately predicted the overall outcome and were close to forecasting the correct number of seats for the two main parties.
Johnson’s strategy was to breach Labour’s so-called “Red Wall” of seats across the Brexit-supporting areas of the Midlands and northern England where he cast his political opponents as the out-of-touch enemies of Brexit.
Reporting by Alistair Smout, David Milliken, Kate Holton, Kylie MacLellan, Andy Bruce, Paul Sandle, William James, Michael Urquhart and Andy MacAskill; Writing by Guy Faulconbridge and Michael Holden; Editing by William Maclean

The Inspector General’s Report on 2016 FBI Spying Reveals a Scandal of Historic Magnitude: Not Only for the FBI but Also the U.S. Media
by Glenn Greenwald
December 12 2019,
The Intercept
Just as was true when the Mueller investigation closed without a single American being charged with criminally conspiring with Russia over the 2016 election, Wednesday’s issuance of the long-waited report from the Department of Justice’s Inspector General reveals that years of major claims and narratives from the U.S. media were utter frauds.
Before evaluating the media component of this scandal, the FBI’s gross abuse of its power – its serial deceit – is so grave and manifest that it requires little effort to demonstrate it. In sum, the IG Report documents multiple instances in which the FBI – in order to convince a FISA court to allow it spy on former Trump campaign operative Carter Page during the 2016 election – manipulated documents, concealed crucial exonerating evidence, and touted what it knew were unreliable if not outright false claims.
If you don’t consider FBI lying, concealment of evidence, and manipulation of documents in order to spy on a U.S. citizen in the middle of a presidential campaign to be a major scandal, what is? But none of this is aberrational: the FBI still has its headquarters in a building named after J. Edgar Hoover – who constantly blackmailed elected officials with dossiers and tried to blackmail Martin Luther King into killing himself – because that’s what these security state agencies are. They are out-of-control, virtually unlimited police state factions that lie, abuse their spying and law enforcement powers, and subvert democracy and civic and political freedoms as a matter of course.
In this case, no rational person should allow standard partisan bickering to distort or hide this severe FBI corruption. The IG Report leaves no doubt about it. It’s brimming with proof of FBI subterfuge and deceit, all in service of persuading a FISA court of something that was not true: that U.S. citizen and former Trump campaign official Carter Page was an agent of the Russian government and therefore needed to have his communications surveilled.
Just a few excerpts from the report should suffice to end any debate for rational persons about how damning it is. The focus of the first part of the IG Report was on the warrants obtained by the DOJ, at the behest of the FBI, to spy on Carter Page on the grounds that there was probable cause to believe he was an agent of the Russian government. That Page was a Kremlin agent was a widely disseminated media claim – typically asserted as fact even though it had no evidence. As a result of this media narrative, the Mueller investigation examined these widespread accusations yet concluded that “the investigation did not establish that Page coordinated with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.”
The IG Report went much further, documenting a multitude of lies and misrepresentations by the FBI to deceive the FISA court into believing that probable cause existed to believe Page was a Kremlin agent. The first FISA warrant to spy on Page was obtained during the 2016 election, after Page had left the Trump campaign but weeks before the election was to be held.
About the warrant application submitted regarding Page, the IG Report, in its own words, “found that FBI personnel fell far short of the requirement in FBI policy that they ensure that all factual statements in a FISA application are ‘scrupulously accurate.’” Specifically, “we identified multiple instances in which factual assertions relied upon in the first FISA application were inaccurate, incomplete, or unsupported by appropriate documentation, based upon information the FBI had in its possession at the time the application was filed.”
It’s vital to reiterate this because of its gravity: we identified multiple instances in which factual assertions relied upon in the first FISA application were inaccurate, incomplete, or unsupported by appropriate documentation, based upon information the FBI had in its possession at the time the application was filed.
The specifics cited by the IG Report are even more damning. Specifically, “based upon the information known to the FBI in October 2016, the first application contained [] seven significant inaccuracies and omissions.” Among those “significant inaccuracies and omissions”: the FBI concealed that Page had been working with the CIA in connection with his dealings with Russia and had notified CIA case managers of at least some of those contacts after he was “approved as an ‘operational contact’” with Russia; the FBI lied about both the timing and substance of Page’s relationship with the CIA; vastly overstated the value and corroboration of Steele’s prior work for the U.S. Government to make him appear more credible than he was; and concealed from the court serious reasons to doubt the reliability of Steele’s key source.
Moreover, the FBI’s heavy reliance on the Steele Dossier to obtain the FISA warrant – a fact that many leading national security reporters spent two years denying occurred – was particularly concerning because, as the IG Report put it, “we found that the FBI did not have information corroborating the specific allegations against Carter Page in Steele’s reporting when it relied upon his reports in the first FISA application or subsequent renewal applications.”
To spy on a U.S. citizen in the middle of an election, one who had just been working with one of the two major presidential campaigns, the FBI touted a gossipy, unverified, unreliable rag that it had no reason to believe and every reason to distrust, but it hid all of that from the FISA court, which it knew needed to believe that the Steele Dossier was something it was not if it were to give the FBI the spying authorization it wanted.
In 2017, the FBI decided to seek reauthorization of the FISA warrant to continue to spy on Page, and sought and obtained it three times: in January, April and June, 2017. Not only, according to the IG Report, did the FBI repeat all of those “seven significant inaccuracies and omission,” but added ten additional major inaccuracies. As the Report put it: “In addition to repeating the seven significant errors contained in the first FISA application and outlined above, we identified 10 additional significant errors in the three renewal applications, based upon information known to the FBI after the first application and before one or more of the renewals.”
Among the most significant new acts of deceit was that the FBI “omitted the fact that Steele’s Primary Subsource, who the FBI found credible, had made statements in January 2017 raising significant questions about the reliability of allegations included in the FISA applications, including, for example, that he/she did not recall any discussion with Person 1 concerning Wikileaks and there was ‘nothing bad’ about the communications between the Kremlin and the Trump team, and that he/she did not report to Steele in July 2016 that Page had met with Sechin.”
In other words, Steele’s own key source told the FBI that Steele was lying about what the source said: an obviously critical fact that the FBI simply concealed from the FISA court because it knew how devastating that would be to being able to continue to spy on Page. As the Report put it, “among the most serious of the 10 additional errors we found in the renewal applications was the FBI’s failure to advise [DOJ] or the court of the inconsistences, described in detail in Chapter Six, between Steele and his Primary Sub-source on the reporting relied upon in the FISA applications.”
The IG Report also found that the FBI hid key information from the court about Steele’s motives: for instance, it “omitted information obtained from [Bruce] Ohr about Steele and his election reporting, including that (1) Steele’s reporting was going to Clinton’s presidential campaign and others, (2) [Fusion GPS’s Glenn] Simpson was paying Steele to discuss his reporting with the media, and (3) Steele was “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being the U.S. President.”
If it does not bother you to learn that the FBI repeatedly and deliberately deceived the FISA court into granting it permission to spy on a U.S. citizen in the middle of a presidential campaign, then it is virtually certain that you are either someone with no principles, someone who cares only about partisan advantage and nothing about basic civil liberties and the rule of law, or both. There is simply no way for anyone of good faith to read this IG Report and reach any conclusion other than that this is yet another instance of the FBI abusing its power in severe ways to subvert and undermine U.S. democracy. If you don’t care about that, what do you care about?
* * * * *
But the revelations of the IG Report are not merely a massive FBI scandal. They are also a massive media scandal, because they reveal that so much of what the U.S. media has authoritatively claimed about all of these matters for more than two years is completely false.
Ever since Trump’s inauguration, a handful of commentators and journalists – I’m included among them – have been sounding the alarm about the highly dangerous trend of news outlets not merely repeating the mistake of the Iraq War by blindly relying on the claims of security state agents but, far worse, now employing them in their newsrooms to shape the news. As Politico’s media writer Jack Shafer wrote in 2018, in an article entitled “The Spies Who Came Into the TV Studio”:
In the old days, America’s top spies would complete their tenures at the CIA or one of the other Washington puzzle palaces and segue to more ordinary pursuits. Some wrote their memoirs. One ran for president. Another died a few months after surrendering his post. But today’s national-security establishment retiree has a different game plan. After so many years of brawling in the shadows, he yearns for a second, lucrative career in the public eye. He takes a crash course in speaking in soundbites, refreshes his wardrobe and signs a TV news contract. Then, several times a week, waits for a network limousine to shuttle him to the broadcast news studios where, after a light dusting of foundation and a spritz of hairspray, he takes a supporting role in the anchors’ nighttime shows. . . .
[T]he downside of outsourcing national security coverage to the TV spies is obvious. They aren’t in the business of breaking news or uncovering secrets. Their first loyalty—and this is no slam—is to the agency from which they hail. Imagine a TV network covering the auto industry through the eyes of dozens of paid former auto executives and you begin to appreciate the current peculiarities.
In a perfect television world, the networks would retire the retired spooks from their payrolls and reallocate those sums to the hiring of independent reporters to cover the national security beat. Let the TV spies become unpaid anonymous sources because when you get down to it, TV spies don’t want to make news—they just want to talk about it.
It’s long been the case that CIA, FBI and NSA operatives tried to infiltrate and shape domestic news, but they at least had the decency to do it clandestinely. In 2008, the New York Times’ David Barstow won the Pulitzer Prize for exposing a secret Pentagon program in which retired Generals and other security state agents would get hired as commentators and analysts and then – unbeknownst to their networks – coordinate their messaging to ensure that domestic news was being shaped by the propaganda of the military and intelligence communities.
But now it’s all out in the open. It’s virtually impossible to turn on MSNBC or CNN without being bombarded with former Generals, CIA operatives, FBI agents and NSA officials who now work for those networks as commentators and, increasingly, as reporters.
The past three years of “Russiagate” reporting – for which U.S. journalists have lavished themselves with Pulitzers and other prizes despite a multitude of embarrassing and dangerous errors about the Grave Russian Threat – has relied almost exclusively on anonymous, uncorroborated claims from Deep State operatives (and yes, that’s a term that fully applies to the U.S.). The few exceptions are when these networks feature former high-level security state operatives on camera to spread their false propaganda, as in this enduringly humiliating instance.
All of this has meant that U.S. discourse on these national security questions is shaped almost entirely by the very agencies that are trained to lie: the CIA, the NSA, the Pentagon, the FBI. And their lying has been highly effective.
For years, we were told by the nation’s leading national security reporters something that was blatantly false: that the FBI’s warrants to spy on Carter Page were not based on the Steele Dossier. GOP Congressman Devin Nunes was widely vilified and mocked by the super-smart DC national security reporters for issuing a report claiming that this was the case. The Nunes memo in essence claimed what the IG Report has corroborated: that embedded within the FBI’s efforts to obtain FISA court authorization to spy on Carter Page was a series of misrepresentations, falsehoods and concealment of key evidence.
As the Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi – one of the few left/liberal journalists with the courage and integrity to dissent from the DNC/MSNBC script on these issues – put it in a detailed article: “Democrats are not going to want to hear this, since conventional wisdom says former House Intelligence chief Devin Nunes is a conspiratorial evildoer, but the Horowitz report ratifies the major claims of the infamous ‘Nunes memo.’”
That the Page warrant was based on the Steele Dossier was something that the media servants of the FBI and CIA rushed to deny. Did they have any evidence for those denials? That would be hard to believe, given that the FISA warrant applications are highly classified. It seems far more likely that – as usual – they were just repeating what the FBI and CIA (and the pathologically dishonest Rep. Adam Schiff) told them to say, like the good and loyal puppets that they are. But either way, what they kept telling the public – in highly definitive tones – was completely false, as we now know from the IG Report.
Over and over, the IG Report makes clear that, contrary to these denials, the Steele Dossier was indeed crucial to the Page eavesdropping warrant. “We determined that the Crossfire Hurricane team’s receipt of Steele’s election reporting on September 19, 2016 played a central and essential role in the FBI’s and Department’s decision to seek the FISA order,” the IG Report explained. A central and essential role.
It added: “in support of the fourth element in the FISA application-Carter Page’s alleged coordination with the Russian government on 2016 U.S. presidential election activities, the application relied entirely on the following information from Steele Reports 80, 94, 95, and 102.”
Just compare the pompous denials from so many U.S. national security reporters at the nation’s leading news outlets – that the Page warrant was not based on the Steele Dossier – to the actual truth that we now know: “in support of the fourth element in the FISA application-Carter Page’s alleged coordination with the Russian government on 2016 U.S. presidential election activities, the application relied entirely on the following information from Steele Reports 80, 94, 95, and 102″ (emphasis added).
Indeed, it was the Steele Dossier that led FBI leadership, including Director James Comey and Deputy Diretor Andrew McCabe, to approve the warrant application in the first place despite concerns raised by other agents that the information was unreliable. Explains the IG Report:
FBI leadership supported relying on Steele’s reporting to seek a FISA order on Page after being advised of, and giving consideration to, concerns expressed by Stuart Evans, then NSD’s Deputy Assistant Attorney General with oversight responsibility over QI, that Steele may have been hired by someone associated with presidential candidate Clinton or the DNC, and that the foreign intelligence to be collected through the FISA order would probably not be worth the ‘risk’ of being criticized later for collecting communications of someone (Carter Page) who was “politically sensitive.”
The narrative manufactured by the security state agencies and laundered by their reliable media servants about these critical matters was a sham, a fraud, a lie. Yet again, U.S. discourse was subsumed by propaganda because the U.S. media and key parts of the security state have decided that subverting the Trump presidency is of such a high priority – that their political judgment outweighs the results of the election – that everything, including outright lying even to courts let alone the public, is justified because the ends are so noble.
As Taibbi put it: “No matter what people think the political meaning of the Horowitz report might be, reporters who read it will know: Anybody who touched this nonsense in print should be embarrassed.” No matter how dangerous you believe the Trump presidency to be, this is a grave threat to the pillars of U.S. democracy, a free press, an informed citizenry and the rule of law.
* * * * *
Underlying all of this is another major lie spun over the last three years by the newly-minted media stars and liberal icons from the security state agencies. Ever since the Snowden reporting – indeed, prior to that, when the New York Times’ Eric Lichtblau and Jim Risen (now with the Intercept) revealed in 2005 that the Bush-era NSA was illegally spying on U.S. citizens without the warrants required by law – it was widely understood that the FISA process was a rubber-stamping joke, an illusory safeguard that, in reality, offered no real limits on the ability of the U.S. Government to spy on its own citizens. Back in 2013 at the Guardian, I wrote a long article, based on Snowden documents, revealing what an empty sham this process was.
But over the last three years, the strategy of Democrats and liberals – particularly their cable outlets and news sites – has been to venerate and elevate security state agents as the noble truth-tellers of U.S. democracy. Once-reviled-by-liberal sites such as Lawfare – composed of little more than pro-NSA and pro-FBI apparatchiks – gained mainstream visibility for the first time on the strength of a whole new group of liberals who decided that the salvation of U.S. democracy lies not with the political process but with the dark arts of the NSA, the FBI and the CIA.
Sites like Lawfare – led by Comey-friend Benjamin Wittes and ex-NSA lawyer Susan Hennessey – became Twitter and cable news stars and used their platform to resuscitate what had been a long-discredited lie: namely, that the FISA process is highly rigorous and that the potential for abuse is very low. Liberals, eager to believe that the security state agencies opposed to Trump should be trusted despite their decades of violent lawlessness and systemic lying, came to believe in the sanctity of the NSA and the FISA process.
The IG Report obliterates that carefully cultivated delusion. It lays bare what a sham the whole FISA process is, how easy it is for the NSA and the FBI to obtain from the FISA court whatever authorization it wants to spy on any Americans they want regardless of how flimsy is the justification. The ACLU and other civil libertarians had spent years finally getting people to realize this truth, but it was wiped out by the Trump-era veneration of these security state agencies.
In an excellent article on the fallout from the IG Report, the New York Times’ Charlie Savage, long one of the leading journalistic experts on these debates, makes clear how devastating these revelations are to this concocted narrative designed to lead Americans to trust the FBI and NSA’s eavesdropping authorities:
At more than 400 pages, the study amounted to the most searching look ever at the government’s secretive system for carrying out national-security surveillance on American soil. And what the report showed was not pretty.
The Justice Department’s independent inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, and his team uncovered a staggeringly dysfunctional and error-ridden process in how the F.B.I. went about obtaining and renewing court permission under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, to wiretap Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser.
“The litany of problems with the Carter Page surveillance applications demonstrates how the secrecy shrouding the government’s one-sided FISA approval process breeds abuse,” said Hina Shamsi, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project. “The concerns the inspector general identifies apply to intrusive investigations of others, including especially Muslims, and far better safeguards against abuse are necessary.”…
His exposé left some former officials who generally defend government surveillance practices aghast.
“These errors are bad,” said David Kris, an expert in FISA who oversaw the Justice Department’s National Security Division in the Obama administration. “If the broader audit of FISA applications reveals a systematic pattern of errors of this sort that plagued this one, then I would expect very serious consequences and reforms”….
Civil libertarians for years have called the surveillance court a rubber stamp because it only rarely rejects wiretap applications. Out of 1,080 requests by the government in 2018, for example, government records showed that the court fully denied only one.
Defenders of the system have argued that the low rejection rate stems in part from how well the Justice Department self-polices and avoids presenting the court with requests that fall short of the legal standard. They have also stressed that officials obey a heightened duty to be candid and provide any mitigating evidence that might undercut their request. . .
But the inspector general found major errors, material omissions and unsupported statements about Mr. Page in the materials that went to the court. F.B.I. agents cherry-picked the evidence, telling the Justice Department information that made Mr. Page look suspicious and omitting material that cut the other way, and the department passed that misleading portrait onto the court.
This system of unlimited domestic spying was built by both parties, which only rouse themselves to object when the power lies in the other side’s hands. Just last year, the vast majority of the GOP caucus joined with a minority of Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff to hand President Trump all-new domestic spying powers while blocking crucial reforms and safeguards to prevent abuse. The spying machinery that Edward Snowden risked his life and liberty to expose always has been, and still is, a bipartisan creation.
Perhaps these revelations will finally lead to a realization about how rogue, and dangerous, these police state agencies have become, and how urgently needed is serious reform. But if nothing else, it must serve as a tonic to the three years of unrelenting media propaganda that has deceived and misled millions of Americans into believing things that are simply untrue.
None of these journalists have acknowledged an iota of error in the wake of this report because they know that lying is not just permitted but encouraged as long as it pleases and vindicates the political beliefs of their audiences. Until that stops, credibility and faith in journalism will never be restored, and – despite how toxic it is to have a media that has no claim on credibility – that despised status will be fully deserved.

The Season of Evil
by Gregory Douglas

Preface
This is in essence a work of fiction, but the usual disclaimers notwithstanding, many of the horrific incidents related herein are based entirely on factual occurrences.
None of the characters or the events in this telling are invented and at the same time, none are real. And certainly, none of the participants could be considered by any stretch of the imagination to be either noble, self-sacrificing, honest, pure of motive or in any way socially acceptable to anything other than a hungry crocodile, a professional politician or a tax collector.
In fact, the main characters are complex, very often unpleasant, destructive and occasionally, very entertaining.
To those who would say that the majority of humanity has nothing in common with the characters depicted herein, the response is that mirrors only depict the ugly, evil and deformed things that peer into them
There are no heroes here, only different shapes and degrees of villains and if there is a moral to this tale it might well be found in a sentence by Jonathan Swift, a brilliant and misanthropic Irish cleric who wrote in his ‘Gulliver’s Travels,”
“I cannot but conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most odious race of little pernicious vermin that Nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.”
Swift was often unkind in his observations but certainly not inaccurate.

Frienze, Italy
July 2018-August 2019

Chapter 26

By nine that night, the new van was packed with suitcases, a neat stack of expensive blankets from the apartment linen closet, three pillows, a chest of sandwiches and soft drinks ensconced in ice, a box of maps, travel guides and an itinerary, a small package containing fake driver’s licenses and Social Security cards for Chuck, two bulky boxes of Lars’ family home tapes, all of Gwen’s new clothing and some of the old, several expensive watches and other pieces of jewelry from the Brentwood shop, three handguns and six boxes of ammunition, two dozen bottles of expensive wine and assorted medicines, magazines and candy bars.
All of their money was hidden in an extra spare tire.
The large vehicle was luxurious without ostentation. There were two very comfortable, adjustable seats in front and two similar ones behind that were covered with genuine leather and in the back was a seat like a couch on which Chuck had neatly stacked the pillows and blankets. The windows were tinted so that no one could see inside and the vehicle had an excellent air conditioning system and small television set in the back that was installed at the factory, a radar detector and police scanner that were installed by Chuck and two decks of playing cards just in case someone got bored.
The final addition was the VCR and a small color television set from one of the bedrooms. Chuck reasoned that all of these items, as well as the silver and china, were inventoried on the original lease package and since he now had it in his briefcase, he might as well take what he needed because he would never get his deposit back.
He was the last one out, closing the back door behind him.
They backed out of the parking space with the lights off and drove around the complex to the rear where there was a locked gate that was used by service vehicles.
Chuck unlocked the gate with his lock picks and by nine thirty, they were driving up the highway towards the junction with US 80. This route would take them to Des Moines and from there they would head due north to Minneapolis.
By now, it was dark and the traffic was light as they crossed the San Mateo Bridge and headed east. Chuck was driving, something he preferred, Lars was sitting in the passenger’s seat and Gwen was in the back reading a fashion magazine with the aid of a reading light attached to the wall of the van. It focused a small beam of light directly onto the pages of the magazine and did not interfere with the driver’s vision.
They passed through the fringes of Sacramento and headed up into the Sierras around eleven thirty. Chuck looked at his map and made an announcement.
“I think we can spent the night at Auburn. That way we can get some sleep and get on the road about eight. Any problems?”
Gwen was dozing in her chair and Eric was enjoying a music tape on his Walkman so Chuck shrugged and began to look for the motel he had found in the AAA travel book.
They checked in as Mr. and Mrs. Stanley MacIntyre from Merced and got a room with two king beds. None of the information on the registration card was accurate. Chuck had a fake license in the name of MacIntyre but the very tired desk clerk was not interested in it. The room was paid for in cash and they were able to park well out of sight of the office.
It was still hot outside but cooler than the Santa Clara valley and everyone was happy to get inside the air-conditioned room.
There then followed an interesting discussion about who would sleep where and with whom. Gwen thought they should all sleep in the same bed, just for fun, but in the end, she slept alone in one big bed and the men shared the other one.
“Lars, just leave your shorts on, OK?” Chuck said as he put on a pair of pajama bottoms. “I don’t relish sleeping with a naked guy if you don’t mind.”
“I wouldn’t mind at all,” said Gwen and Chuck threw a pillow at her
It took Chuck some time to get to sleep, even after a hot shower. The room air conditioner rattled and Lars snored spasmodically.
He worried about almost everything and until he finally fell asleep, he kept wondering if there were any problems in Santa Clara. Had they found bruises on Connie’s jaw? He knew he had smashed Tolliver’s nose but perhaps the authorities decided it had occurred during the alleged by-play in the pool. In fact, this is exactly what had happened and the file was now closed and put away in storage. Connie herself was due to be cremated, as was Tolliver. Both were too far advanced in decomposition to embalm and no one could locate responsible relatives for either. Tolliver’s ashes were eventually sent back to England where a nephew promptly flushed them down the toilet. Connie remained in the storage room of the mortuary until her sister was released from jail and eventually ended up in the back of a closet along with drug paraphernalia and a wooden box with the ashes of her husband’s favorite pit bull.
If Chuck had known of this, he would have said Sic transit gloria Mundi but by the time Connie ended up in the closet, Chuck was engaged in other matters of greater importance.
Gwen was the first to wake up and she looked at her neighbors before taking her morning shower. Asleep, they looked like two small children at a slumber party, both of them momentarily much younger, faces filled with an innocence she knew neither possessed.
There was breakfast in a neighboring coffee shop, the ice chest was drained of water, new ice and soft drinks added and after filling the tank, they were off to go up and over the mountains.
The trip to Donner summit was a slow ascent through tall pines with vistas of gray peaks, some still touched with snow although the summer had been hot. Chuck was driving and ignored the beauty. He drove carefully and always within the speed limit because he did not want to be stopped or ticketed. As a result, they were passed by nearly every car or truck that appeared behind them.
It was much cooler outside and Chuck turned off the air conditioner and slid the front windows down.
Gwen sniffed the air.
“It smells so nice up here. You know, Chuck, California really stinks. I mean it actually smells bad. Like the inside of a garage.”
“Yes. Too many cars and too many people. It is nice up here and if I had my way about it, I would like to live in the high mountains. ‘Get thee up into the high mountain.’ Isaiah. That’s Old Testament, dear. The New is nothing but fairy tales and propaganda.”
“Chuck, you’ve ruined my whole day. Don’t you believe in Jesus?”
“The Celestial Easter Bunny? No. I do believe in God once in a while but the New Testament is filled with nonsense. It was grafted onto the older version more or less to give some weight to something that would never stand alone. We’re coming to Truckee in about ten minutes. On the right is Donner Lake where the Donner party starved to death when they got caught in the early snow. There was cannibalism then but I don’t suppose any of them were decent cooks. A really good sauce will do wonders for a joint of tough meat.”
Gwen made a face.
“That’s such a cruel thing to say, Chuck. Are you really that cold blooded?”
“Yes. But I don’t eat people.”
“I don’t know about that, dear. You did a neat job on me not too long ago.”
“Don’t get cute, Gwen. I don’t eat dead bodies and you certainly are not dead.”
“Oh thank you so much! The sign back there said Reno. Are we going to stop there?”
“Why?”
“Maybe we could gamble a little. Just a little.”
Chuck sighed.
“We have a schedule to keep, dear. Well, let me see what can be done. Lars, would you like to gamble?”
Lars looked up from his magazine.
“What?”
“Gwen wants to stop and gamble. Would you like that?”
“Sure, I guess so.”
After leaving Truckee, the highway wound down through narrow canyons towards the flat plains of Nevada and they came to signs announcing the fact that one was leaving California.
Chuck made an obscene gesture with one hand.
“Fuck California! I hope it falls into the ocean with the next quake.”
They turned off the road before Reno appeared.
“Where are we going now, Chuck?” Gwen asked, looking at the map that lay on the small shelf between the front seats.
“This is called Boomtown, dear. It started out as a truck stop and it still caters to long distance truckers but we can eat the buffet, which is not at all bad as I recall, and there is a nice casino so you can have some fun.”

(Continued)

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