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TBR News August 10, 2016

Aug 10 2016

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C. August 10, 2016:”The American neo-cons are frantically supporting Hillary because she totally supports their anti-Russian plans and, in addition, is an even stronger supporter of Israel’s expansionist plans in the Middle East. Hillary is deceitful, suffers from blackouts (a number of which have been seen by millions on television) and savage in her behavior to her staff and to anyone who dares to contradict her or thwarts her plans. The troubled waters of the Middle East should have quieting oil poured onto them, not having the oil set on fire. As the campaign progresses, more and more negative and very accurate, information about Clinton is certain to emerge. Her personal emails, some of which are starting to circulate, sound like advertisements for X-Hamster.”

Facebook to impose ads on ad-blocking users ‘out of principle’

August 9, 2016


Facebook will force ads on all of its users, including those who use ad-blocking programs to avoid them, by changing the way ads are loaded into its desktop website, the company said, claiming it is doing so more out of principle than for profit.

The social media giant will make advertisements indistinguishable from other content on its desktop website by removing the signifiers in digital ads that ad blockers detect.

Facebook believes that such a move will force ad blockers to resort to analyzing the content of ads and other materials posted on Facebook, which is a too costly and laborious process, ultimately meaning that the company will now freely deliver ads to its users despite their efforts to avoid them.

Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, Facebook’s vice president of engineering for advertising and pages, stressed in a statement that Facebook is a free service “and ads support our mission of giving people the power to share and making the world more open and connected.”

In the meantime, the move is not expected to boost Facebook’s ad revenues much, as, according to the company’s 2016 second quarter earnings report, 84 percent of its advertising revenues are garnered from mobile devices, which are subjected to ad blocking to a lesser extent than the desktop website.

In its report, Facebook also says that its “ad load” – the number of ads a user typically sees – is “in a good zone,” meaning that there is not much space left for new ads to be added to those that users already see.

“This isn’t motivated by inventory; it’s not an opportunity for Facebook from that perspective. We are doing it more for the principle of the thing. We want to help lead the discussion on this,” Bosworth said, as quoted by Wall Street Journal.

He also noted that ad blockers are “certainly bad for the publications who are robbed of half of the value exchange between users and publishers,” as reported by the New York Times.

At the same time, Facebook plans to make ads more personalized and relevant by giving users more control over which ones they see. To this end, the company is introducing an overhauled version of its ad preferences tool, which allows people to choose what kinds of ads they want to see.

“I don’t think the all or nothing approach that ad blockers end up taking is really the best way forward,” Bosworth said, as quoted by the USA Today. “Our approach is to find a middle ground. So instead of all or nothing, we want to partner with consumers through tools like ad preferences that allow them to work with us to see ads that are more relevant to their interests and that don’t interrupt their experience.”

Some critics say that the social network is just bowing to the demands of its largest advertisers, from which the company reaps the majority of its profits, as the vast majority of Facebook’s revenues come from paid advertising.

On the other hand, the move was praised by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), an organization that develops industry standards and provides legal support for online advertising.

“Facebook should be applauded for its leadership on preserving a vibrant value exchange with its users,” Randall Rothenberg, president and chief executive of the IAB, said in a statement, as quoted by the NY Times.

“For hundreds of years, advertising and marketing have been central to the delivery of entertainment and services that are otherwise free to consumers,” he added.

Meanwhile, the use of ad-blocking programs is on the rise. About 200 million people use such software on their PCs worldwide, according to estimates provided by PageFair, an anti-ad-blocking start-up. An additional 420 million use ad blockers on their smartphones.

The number of people using ad blockers in the US increased by 35 percent in 2016, reaching almost 70 million people, according to the eMarketer research firm, which said that these figures are expected to rise by another 24 percent, to almost 90 million people, in 2017.

Facebook admitted in its 2016 quarterly report that ad blocking is a threat. “Revenue generated from the display of ads on personal computers has been impacted by these technologies from time to time,” Facebook said in the filing. “As a result, these technologies have had an adverse effect on our financial results and, if such technologies continue to proliferate, in particular with respect to mobile platforms, our future financial results may be harmed.”

The rise in the use of ad blocking programs signifies a growing backlash from users who are tired of disruptive ads that obscure content, cause pages to load slowly, drain batteries, consume too much mobile data, or pose risks to security or privacy.

Some 69 percent of users use ad blockers to avoid disruptive ads, while 58 percent do so because advertising slows down their browsers and 56 percent fear security and malware risks from ads, a study conducted for Facebook by Ipsos Connect found.

At the same time, publishers and advertisers complain that such programs lead to declining advertising revenues, costing them billions of dollars in losses per year. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal said their ad revenues had fallen due to ad blockers, and some digital publishers such as Wired, Forbes, and The Times have even resorted using anti-ad-blocking programs.

FBI Agent Goaded Garland Shooter to “Tear Up Texas,” Raising New Alarms About Bureau’s Methods

August 9, 2016

by Murtaza Hussain

The Intercept

The revelation that an undercover FBI agent encouraged a would-be terrorist to “Tear up Texas” shortly before he opened fire on a “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, last year raises new concerns about FBI counterterrorism efforts that were already under fire for manufacturing terrorism cases rather than halting them.

According to an affidavit filed in a related case last week, Elton Simpson — one of two men who donned body armor and fired assault weapons before being shot dead by a Garland police officer — had been corresponding with an undercover FBI agent. And in a text message roughly a week before the attack, as they discussed the cartoon contest, the agent had exhorted Simpson to “Tear up Texas.”

The FBI, in the affidavit, explained the comment as “an effort to continue their dialogue” with the suspect.

But testing the willingness of suspects to take certain steps in a conspiracy is one thing; actively encouraging them to commit a violent, criminal act is another.

“The FBI uses informants and undercover agents to pressure suspected ISIS sympathizers into committing acts of violence, so that they can then be prosecuted. The Garland shooter case is the most striking illustration yet of the dangers of this approach,” says Arun Kundnani, a lecturer on terrorism studies at New York University. “Essentially, it suggests the government may be manufacturing the very threat it is supposed to be countering.”

Kundnani called for “an independent congressional investigation of the FBI’s tactics.”

The extensive role played by the undercover agent was first reported by the Daily Beast.

Though sting operations are generally seen as an appropriate tool for infiltrating criminal organizations or conspiracies, their use is more problematic in contemporary terrorism cases involving isolated individuals. In those cases, the concern is that the informant or undercover agent could plant the idea to actually conduct an attack in the mind of a suggestible or unstable person.

“These cases always have a lot of gray area and there has always been a question of how far the FBI should go when they get involved in these sting operations,” said Karen Greenberg, director of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School. “But if you’re going to target potentially unstable, vulnerable individuals in undercover sting operations, you have to examine the potential consequences of having these types of discussions with them.”

The utility of sting operations has changed in the era of Islamic State, Greenberg said. Terrorist groups in the past, including al Qaeda, tended to have more coherent plots and mature conspirators. “There are several factors which make it harder to control a situation with informants in ISIS cases, including the instability, vulnerability, and, frequently, the young age of most ISIS recruits,” Greenberg said. “Not only is there often a lack of a specific plot in mind, there tends to be a real sense of suicidal thinking and self-hatred in their motivations that can make it more difficult to control a situation.”

“We just don’t know what happened in this case, but it’s a real warning sign that the foreseeable consequences of acts are now unknown,” she adds. In none of the previous cases is the FBI known to have actively encouraged violence, nor dealt with anyone equipped and prepared to carry out an imminent, violent act. Here they seemingly did both.

FBI Director James Comey has said there are active investigations of suspected ISIS sympathizers ongoing “in all 50 states.” But little is known about the nature of the individuals held under suspicion or what methods the FBI is using to investigate them.

The New York Times reported in June that since February 2015, two thirds of terrorism prosecutions related to Islamic State have involved undercover operatives.

And in recent years a number of plots have materialized involving seemingly unstable individuals interacting with government informants. This January, a 25-year-old man with a history of psychiatric problems was arrested after attempting to attack an upstate New York bar with a machete — with the assistance of a government informant who helped provide him with the machete. And in October 2014, a former army recruit was introduced to FBI informants after being released from of a mental institution. Months later, he was arrested for plotting to attack a military facility — with a fake bomb provided by the informants.

Although more than 100 alleged Islamic State plots have been documented in the United States since 2014, it’s unclear how many would have materialized without the involvement of informants or undercover agents. Such cases nevertheless help inflate the public fear of terrorism and feed the misconception that terrorist sleeper cells are ubiquitous in the United States.

The escalation of FBI tactics to actively encouraging violent actors in these investigations would be a dangerous step.

Many of the targets of prior terrorism investigations did not demonstrate any ability to prepare for an actual attack without the FBI providing their equipment. But the Garland shooters did.

And had they been more competent in their assault, the result could have been one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in recent U.S. history – an attack that was encouraged by the FBI.


The Diminishing Numbers of Purported Murdered Jews in Auschwitz Camp.

by Harry von Johnston, PhD

Now that the Pope has recently visited Auschwitz, we see pages of sad information about the enormous number of Jews that were allegedly put to death there between the camp’s opening in 1941 and its closing in 1944.

Here are some of the figures and commentary:


Source: Cited by the French documentary, ‘Night and Fog’, which has been shown to millions of school students worldwide.


Source: The French War Crime Research Office, Doc. 31, 1945.


Source: Also cited by the French War Crime Research Office.


Source: Cited in the book ‘Auschwitz Doctor’ by Miklos Nyiszli. It has since been proven that this book is a fraud and the “doctor” was never even at Auschwitz, even though the book is often cited by historians.

5,000,000 to 5,500,000

Source: Cited in 1945 at the trial of Auschwitz commander Rudolf Höss, based on his confession which was written in English, a language he never spoke.


Source: Cited on April 20, 1978 by the French daily, Le Monde. Also cited on January 23, 1995 by the German daily Die Welt. By September 1, 1989, Le Monde reduced the figure to 1,433,000.


Source: In 1945 this figure was cited by another witness at the aforementioned Höss trial.


Source: Cited by a Soviet document of May 6, 1945 and officially acknowledged by the Nuremberg War Crimes trial. This figure was also reported in The New York Times on April 18, 1945, although 50 years later on January 26, 1995, The New York Times and The Washington Post slashed the figure to 1,500,000 citing new findings by the Auschwitz Museum officials. In fact, the figure of 4,000,000 was later repudiated by the Auschwitz museum officials in 1990 but the figure of 1,500,000 victims was not formally announced by Polish President Lech Walesa until five years after the Auschwitz historians had first announced their discovery.


Source: Cited in the 1991 edition of the Dictionary of the French Language and by Claude Lanzmann in 1980 in his introduction to Filip Muller’s book, ‘Three Years in an Auschwitz Gas Chamber. ‘


Source: Cited in a forced confession by Rudolf Höss, the Auschwitz commander who said this was the number of those who had died at Auschwitz prior to Dec. 1, 1943. Later cited in the June 7, 1993 issue of Heritage, the most widely read Jewish newspaper in California, even though three years previously the authorities at the Auschwitz museum had scaled down the figure to a minimum of 1,100,000 and a maximum of 1,500,000. (see below).


Source: Cited by Rudolf Vrba (an author of various fraudulent accounts of events he claims to have witnessed at Auschwitz) when he testified on July 16, 1981 for the Israeli government’s war crimes trial of former SS official Adolf Eichmann.


Source: Cited by Leon Poliakov (1951) writing in ‘Harvest of Hate’; Georges Wellers, writing in 1973 in ‘The Yellow Star at the Time of Vichy’; and Lucy Dawidowicz, writing in 1975 in ‘The War Against the Jews.’

2,000,000 to 4,000,000

Source: Cited by Yehuda Bauer in 1982 in his book, ‘A History of the Holocaust.’ However, by 1989 Bauer revised his figure to 1,600,000.


Source: This is a 1989 revision by Yehuda Bauer of his earlier figure in 1982 of 2,000,000 to 4,000,000, Bauer cited this new figure on September 22, 1989 in The Jerusalem Post, at which time he wrote “The larger figures have been dismissed for years, except that it hasn’t reached the public yet.”


Source: In 1995 this was the number of Auschwitz deaths announced by Polish President Lech Walesa as determined by those at the Auschwitz museum. This number was inscribed on the monument at the Auschwitz camp at that time, thereby “replacing” the earlier 4,000,000 figure that had been formally repudiated (and withdrawn from the monument) five years earlier in 1990. At that time, on July 17, 1990 The Washington Times reprinted a brief article from The London Daily Telegraph citing the “new” figure of 1,500,000 that had been determined by the authorities at the Auschwitz museum. This new figure was reported two years later in a UPI report published in the New York Post on March 26, 1992. On January 26, 1995 both The Washington Post and The New York Times cited this 1,500,000 figure as the new “official” figure (citing the Auschwitz Museum authorities).


Source: This is a 1983 figure cited by Georges Wellers who (as noted previously) had determined, writing in 1973, that some 2,000,000 had died.


Source: This figure was cited on September 1, 1989 by the French daily, Le Monde, which earlier, on April 20, 1978, had cited the figure at 4,000,000.


Source: In the book, ‘The Destruction of the European Jews’, by Raul Hilberg (1985).

1,100,000 to 1,500,000

Source: Sources for this estimate are Yisrael Gutman and Michael Berenbaum in their 1984 book, ‘Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp’. This estimate was later also cited by Walter Reich, former director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, writing in The Washington Post on September 8, 1998. The upper figure of 1,500,000 is (the new) “official” figure as now inscribed at Auschwitz, with the earlier figure of 4,000,000 having been removed from the memorial at the site of the former concentration camp.


Source: Jean-Claude Pressac, writing in his 1989 book’ Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers.’ This is interesting since he wrote his book to repudiate so-called “Holocaust deniers” who were called that precisely because they had questioned the numbers of those who had died at Auschwitz.


Source: Reported on August 3, 1990 11, by Aufbau, a Jewish newspaper in New York.

800,000 to 900,000

Source: Reported by Gerald Reitlinger in his book, ‘The Final Solution.

775,000 to 800,000

Source: Jean-Claude Pressac’s revised figure, put forth in his 1993 book, ‘The Crematoria of Auschwitz: The Mass Murder’s Machinery’, scaling down his earlier claim of 1,000,000 dead.

630,000 to 710,000

Source: In 1994 Pressac scaled his figure down somewhat further; this is the figure cited in the German language translation of Pressac’s 1993 book originally published in French. Again, this is substantially less than Pressac’s 1989 figure of 1,000,000.

Using all available wartime records from the various camps it has been estimated that between 400,000 and 500,000 people of all denominations and nations, died in the German concentration camp system (from all causes)between the years 1935-1945.

Note: All of the above information was suppositional, based on myths, legends and political expedience. The following official and documented information is the actual listing of the concentration camp system run by the Germans as well as an exact record of all inmates lodged in Auschwitz camp from the beginning to the end from the complete German records now in Russian archives.

Now, having seen the gradual reduction in the Auschwitz death tolls, we turn next to the official camp records now in the Russian State Archives and available on microfilm to the public. Each month, the commandant of each concentration camp was required to send a monthly report to camp headquarters in Berlin. The actual figures from every camp, starting in 1935, differ sharply from the ones invented for what can best be termed as profitable fiction

These are official German figures, taken directly from the camp records. ,

From July, 1941 through October, 1944

Total number of Jewish prisoners in the Auschwitz camp system: 173,000

Total number of Jewish prisoners who died of typhus: 58,240

Total number of Jewish prisoners who died of natural causes: 2,064

Total number of Jewish prisoners transferred to other camps: 100,743

Total number of Jewish prisoners executed: 117

Total number of Jewish prisoners in camp after German evacuation on January 15, 1945:  11,839

Sources: CSA No. 187603: Roll 281-1940: Frames 107-869-Roll 282-1940-41: Frames 001-875-Roll 283-1941-42: Frames 001-872-Roll 284-1942-43: Frames 003-862-Roll 285-1943-44: Frames 019-852- Roll 286-1945: Frames 001-329.


Who Got Us Into These Endless Wars?

August 9, 2016

by Patrick J. Buchanan


“Isolationists must not prevail in this new debate over foreign policy,” warns Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations. “The consequences of a lasting American retreat from the world would be dire.”

To make his case against the “Isolationist Temptation,” Haass creates a caricature, a cartoon, of America First patriots, then thunders that we cannot become “a giant gated community.”

Understandably, Haass is upset. For the CFR has lost the country.

Why? It colluded in the blunders that have bled and near bankrupted America and that cost this country its unrivaled global preeminence at the end of the Cold War.

No, it was not “isolationists” who failed America. None came near to power. The guilty parties are the CFR crowd and their neocon collaborators, and liberal interventionists who set off to play empire after the Cold War and create a New World Order with themselves as Masters of the Universe.

Consider just a few of the decisions taken in those years that most Americans wish we could take back.

After the Soviet Union withdrew the Red Army from Europe and split into 15 nations, and Russia held out its hand to us, we slapped it away and rolled NATO right up onto her front porch.

Enraged Russians turned to a man who would restore respect for their country. Did we think they would just sit there and take it?

How did bringing Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia into NATO make America stronger, safer and more secure? For it has surely moved us closer to a military clash with a nuclear power.

In 2014, with John McCain and U.S. diplomats cheering them on, mobs in Independence Square overthrew a pro-Russian government in Kiev that had been democratically elected and installed a pro-NATO regime.

Putin’s response: Secure Russia’s naval base at Sevastopol by retaking Crimea, and support pro-Russian Ukrainians in Luhansk and Donetsk who preferred secession to submission to U.S. puppets.

Fortunately, our interventionists failed to bring Georgia and Ukraine into NATO. Had they succeeded, we almost surely would have been in a shooting war with Russia by now.

Would that have made us stronger, safer, more secure?

After the attack on 9/11, George W. Bush, with the nation and world behind him, took us into Afghanistan to eradicate the nest of al-Qaida killers.

After having annihilated some and scattered the rest, however, Bush decided to stick around and convert this wild land of Pashtuns, Hazaras, Tajiks and Uzbeks into another Iowa.

Fifteen years later, we are still there.

And the day we leave, the Taliban will return, undo all we have done, and butcher those who cooperated with the Americans.

If we had to do it over, would we have sent a U.S. army and civilian corps to make Afghanistan look more like us?

Bush then invaded Iraq, overthrew Saddam, purged the Baath Party, and disbanded the Iraqi army. Result: A ruined, sundered nation with a pro-Iranian regime in Baghdad, ISIS occupying Mosul, Kurds seceding, and endless U.S. involvement in this second-longest of American wars.

Most Americans now believe Iraq was a bloody trillion-dollar mistake, the consequences of which will be with us for decades.

With a rebel uprising against Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, the U.S. aided the rebels. Now, 400,000 Syrians are dead, half the country is uprooted, millions are in exile, and the Damascus regime, backed by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, is holding on after five years.

Meanwhile, we cannot even decide whether we want Assad to survive or fall, since we do not know who rises when he falls.

Anyone still think it was a good idea to plunge into Syria in support of the rebels? Anyone still think it was a good idea to back Saudi Arabia in its war against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, which has decimated that country and threatens the survival of millions?

Anyone still think it was a good idea to attack Libya and take down Moammar Gadhafi, now that ISIS and other Islamists and rival regimes are fighting over the carcass of that tormented land?

“The Middle East is arguably the most salient example of what happens when the U.S. pulls back,” writes Haass.

To the CFR, the problem is not that we plunged headlong into this maelstrom of tyranny, tribalism and terrorism, but that we have tried to extricate ourselves.

Hints that America might leave the Middle East, says Haass, have “contributed greatly to instability in the region.”

So, must we stay indefinitely?

To the CFR, America’s role in the world is to corral Russia, defend Europe, contain China, isolate Iran, deter North Korea, and battle al-Qaida and ISIS wherever they may be, bleeding our country’s military.

Nor is that all. We are also to convert Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Afghanistan into pro-Western preferably democratic countries, and embrace “free trade,” accepting the imported merchandise of all mankind, even if that means endless $800 billion trade deficits, bleeding our country’s economy.

Otherwise, you are just an isolationist.


From the FAS Project on Government Secrecy

Volume 2016, Issue No. 65

August 9, 2016


Reports of the Congressional Research Service are predicated on the belief that readers in Congress or elsewhere care about the minutia of government policy. But if this was ever true, is it still the case today?

The members of CRS’s presumed target audience have not yet made up their minds about any number of issues, and they eagerly look forward to weighing the competing arguments pro and con. Are there such people?

To Congress, CRS reports must be treated as a controlled substance. CRS is literally prohibited from making them directly available to the public. If anybody were able to get their hands on them, who knows what might happen?

Let’s find out. New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that have been withheld from public distribution in the last few days include the following.

How Much Slack Remains in the Labor Market?, CRS Insight, August 5, 2016

Evolution of the Meaning of “Waters of the United States” in the Clean Water Act, August 8, 2016

Implementing Bills for Trade Agreements: Statutory Procedures Under Trade Promotion Authority, August 8, 2016

Clean Power Plan: Legal Background and Pending Litigation in West Virginia v. EPA, updated August 8, 2016

Overview of Funding Mechanisms in the Federal Budget Process, and Selected Examples, August 4, 2016

Automakers Seek to Align Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas Regulations, CRS Insight, August 8, 2016

Al Qaeda’s Syria Affiliate Declares Independence, CRS Insight, August 5, 2016

Trafficking in Persons and U.S. Foreign Policy Responses in the 114th Congress, August 5, 2016

Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress, updated August 8, 2016

Russia says it thwarts ‘armed Ukrainian incursion’ into Crimea

Russia’s Federal Security Service says it has foiled attempts by Ukrainian forces to carry out attacks in Crimea. Ukraine has denied the allegations.

August 10, 2016


Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Wednesday that Ukrainian special forces had attempted to enter Crimea with two groups of “saboteurs” over the weekend, but that the incursions had been thwarted.

It said a Russian soldier and a FSB employee had been killed in clashes on the night of August 6-7.

The alleged attempted incursions, which it described as “terrorism,” were meant to target critical infrastructure, the FSB said. The FSB is Russia’s principal security agency and the main successor agency to the Soviet-era KBG.

“The aim of this subversive activity and terrorist acts was to destabilize the socio-political situation in the region ahead of preparations and the holding of elections,” an FSB statement said.

It said that 20 homemade explosive devices, ammunition and other armaments were found, describing them as weapons commonly used by Ukrainian special forces.

Ukrainian denial

A spokesman for Ukrainian defense intelligence denied the Russian accusations, telling Reuters news agency it was “false information.”

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014 shortly after Ukraine’s change of government. Russia subsequently arranged a referendum among Crimean residents in which they voted in favor of becoming a part of Russia, citing this as legimitation.

Ukraine, along with the United Nations and many other countries, regards the annexation as a violation of international law. The Russian move triggered US and European Union sanctions.

New batch of Hillary Clinton emails obtained by legal group

State department releases emails Democratic nominee failed to turn over, and include interactions with lobbyists and donors as secretary of state

August 10, 2016


Washington-The US state department has turned over 44 previously unreleased Hillary Clinton email exchanges that the Democratic presidential nominee failed to include among the 30,000 private messages she turned over to the government last year. They show her interacting with lobbyists, political and Clinton Foundation donors and business interests as secretary of state.

The conservative legal group Judicial Watch obtained the emails as part of its lawsuit against the state department. They cover Clinton’s first three months as secretary of state in early 2009, a period for which Clinton did not turn over any emails to the state department last year. The government found the newly disclosed messages during a search of agency computer files from longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

In one instance, Clinton exchanged messages with a senior Morgan Stanley investment executive whom she met with later that year at her office in Washington. They were among 246 pages of Abedin messages turned over to Judicial Watch.

Clinton campaign officials did not immediately answer questions about the issue.

The emails are separate from a larger batch of several thousand work-related emails that FBI officials recovered from Clinton’s private server. Clinton’s legal team turned over more than 30,000 emails from her server to the state department last March but only after deleting another 30,000 messages that Clinton’s team deemed private and personal. The FBI plans to turn over the reconstructed Clinton emails to the state department for public release.

The new Clinton emails include a February 2009 message to her from Stephen Roach, then-chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, saying he planned to testify to Congress that week and was “happy to help in any way I can”. Roach later met with Clinton over the summer for 30 minutes, according to Clinton calendars obtained by the Associated Press.

In another email, Clinton’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, informed her that National Security Agency (NSA) and state department officials discussed an attempt to develop a modified Blackberry for Clinton that might be used when she worked in a restricted State Department office that did not allow private phones.

Clinton called the development “good news”, but she continued using a private Blackberry tied to her private server.

We Live in Dangerous Times

And it’s getting worse by the day

August 10, 2016

by Justin Raimondo


We are sitting atop a volcano that could erupt at any moment. Indeed, the only question is not whether it will explode, but when – and where. For this impending seismic event has multiple pathways to the surface, spread across no less than three continents.

Europe – The long peace that has prevailed in Europe is coming to an end. Ukraine is a battlefield between East and West, where a proxy war between a US-backed regime and an insurgent movement that seeks separation from Kiev is tearing the country apart – and threatens to involve both the Western powers and the Kremlin.

The fighting has escalated, with increased casualties on both sides – and civilian deaths are rising at an alarming rate. The Ukrainian military has sent in some of its elite units, and as this bit of propaganda from the Voice of America makes all too clear, the Ukrainian commanders at the front are champing at the bit for a more aggressive approach by their political leaders.

The Ukrainian public relations machine is very active in the West, with outlets like Newsweek running their propaganda verbatim and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her surrogates accusing her Republican opponent of being a “useful idiot” of the Kremlin for opposing US military aid to Kiev.

The political atmosphere in Ukraine itself is provoking the regime to bypass the Minsk peace process and seek a military solution. The coup leaders in Kiev – who came to power by overthrowing the democratically-elected President – are losing support rapidly, with a tanking economy and widespread corruption and criminality: the Secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council, Oleksandr Turchynov, recently announced that a declaration of martial law is in the works. This is just what the Kiev regime needs to silence its critics and crush rising internal opposition.

North Africa – The return of US bombers to Libya shows every sign of being but the first phase of an extended campaign. With the complete destabilization of the country resulting from Hillary’s War, the US has been planning phase two of its Libyan adventure for quite some time – and now with the “request” by the UN-backed “unity” government (one of three rival Libyan governments), it has a quasi-legal cover to do so.

French and Italian troops are already on the ground, and it’s only a matter of time before American soldiers join them in a “multi-national” force to keep the nonexistent “peace.” This is a mission that has no logical endpoint. As in Iraq, we’ll keep returning to the scene of the crime, trying to undo what cannot be undone.

Middle East – Speaking of Iraq, US troops are once more on the move into that war-torn country, with very little notice being given in the US media. Thirteen years after the disastrous decision to topple Saddam Hussein, the body count is rising again.

These four flashpoints are just waiting to ignite – and it doesn’t look like any of the candidates likely to occupy the Oval Office next year will do anything but increase the probability that we’ll be locked in yet another unwinnable unjustifiable military conflict sometime next year – if not sooner.

A couple of years ago, Young Americans for Liberty launched a public campaign which they dubbed “A Generation of War,” pointing out that young people today have never known what peacetime is like. And as yet more war clouds gather on the horizon, the prospects for peace fade to near invisibility.

I don’t believe the American people want that: whenever they’ve had the chance to choose between war and peace they’ve chosen the latter –as they did when Obama announced he was going to bomb Syria and the congressional phone lines lit up with protest.

But the people need to be educated, and kept up to date on what the War Party is planning. They have to be exposed to something other than the pro-war line of the “mainstream” media. And that’s our mission at Antiwar.com.

But we can’t do it without your support. We don’t get funding from eccentric billionaires or big foundations. We depend on you, our readers and supporters, for the resources we need to continue our mission.

We are living in some pretty dangerous times – and the danger increases by the day

More than 26,000 detained over attempted coup in Turkey: minister

August 9, 2016


Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Tuesday a total of more than 26,000 people have been detained in connection with last month’s failed coup attempt.

He was speaking in an interview with state-run Anadolu Agency, broadcast live on Turkish television channels.

Lawsuit: How a quiet Kansas home wound up with 600 million IP addresses and a world of trouble

August 10, 2016

by Travis M. Andrews

The Washington Post

A two-hour drive from the geographic center of the United States sits a quiet farmhouse near Potwin, Kansas. Joyce Vogelman Taylor’s grandfather built the house in 1902, and her father spent 85 years living in it.

She remembered a moment in 1942 — the end of World War II not yet in sight — when he purchased a Delco electric generator, light bulbs and a toaster. It was a massive technological upgrade for the house.

More than 70 years later, technology made the 82-year-old’s life — and those of her renters James and Theresa Arnold — a digital age horror story.

For reasons soon to be explained, the little house in the center of the country became the crossroads of the Internet, with unimaginable consequences, also soon to be explained.

The discovery was made by Kashmir Hill of Fusion, who broke the story in April.

Last week, the Arnolds filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Kansas against MaxMind, a digital company that maps IP addresses and who the Arnolds claim is responsible for turning their pastoral home into a digital age horror story.

The first time Taylor realized something was amiss was when she received a call in 2011 from a small business owner who angrily blamed her for his customers’ email problems.

The conversation shocked Taylor. She owned a Gateway computer, which she used almost like a typewriter — for composing Sunday school lessons and letters. She barely browsed the Internet, much less used it to overload a small business’s email servers.

“The first call I got was from Connecticut,” Taylor told Fusion. “It was a man who was furious because his business internet was overwhelmed with emails. His customers couldn’t use their email. He said it was the fault of the address at the farm. That’s when I became aware that something was going on.”

After that initial strange call to Taylor, complaints started pouring in, often with distressing and sometimes criminal accusations aimed at the Arnolds, the Wichita Eagle reported.

In May 2011 police and sheriff’s officers knocked on their door, looking for a stolen truck.

“This scenario repeated itself countless times over the next five years,” the lawsuit stated.

Officers would show up, accusing them of harboring runaway children. Of keeping girls in the house to make pornographic films. Ambulances appeared, prepared to save suicidal persons. FBI agents, federal marshals and IRS collectors have all appeared on their doorstep. So have angry Internet users, who claimed they were ripped off by the Arnolds.

“Law enforcement officials came to the residence all hours of the day or night,” the lawsuit stated.

At least once, the Arnolds were doxxed, meaning hackers posted their names and personal details across the Internet, Fusion reported.

One day, a broken toilet was left in the driveway without explanation.

Neither the Arnolds nor Taylor had any idea of what was happening.

The genesis of what actually happened was 2002, when a company called MaxMind was founded. It maps IP addresses, a notoriously unreliable practice. Many can’t be directly linked to an address, only a state or even a country.

For its tech to work, MaxMind matched each IP address to a set of coordinates. This presented a problem when the company didn’t have an exact location.

Sometimes, it could only determine than an IP address was in the U.S. In those cases, the company mapped that address to a specific set of coordinates: 38°N 97°W or, in the parlance of digital maps, 38.0000,-97.0000.

That just happens to be the front yard of the house where the Arnolds resided.

More than 600 million IP addresses were mapped to that yard.

And no one connected with the farmhouse knew this until Fusion’s reporter Kasmir Hill, who had been investigating the practice of mapping IP addresses, searched through MaxMind’s database, discovered the 600 million IP addresses at the Kansas location and gave Taylor, the owner, a call.

Mapping the digital world

To fully understand what happened, it’s important to understand how Internet protocol addresses — colloquially IP addresses — work.

Most devices we use are connected to a network via Internet protocol. To do so, it requires an IP address. Thus every smartphone, computer, laptop, tablet and anything else that connects to the Internet has one.

The IP address’ primary purpose is to allow these devices to interact with one another. But the IP address of your personal computer is generally not seen by other devices when connecting to the Web.

Instead, that IP address is used to connect to a router, which then uses its own specific IP address to connect to the Internet.

Sometimes, that can mean your IP address is linked to just you (e.g. if you live alone and use a personal, password-protected wireless router). It can also mean that your IP address is shared by many (e.g. every user connecting to the wireless Internet at a coffee shop or in an office likely displays the same IP address).

Since networks can span buildings, blocks or even cities (in the case of public WiFi), it’s not always simple to pin down the exact geographical address of an IP address. (The term “address” in IP address is a bit of a misnomer in that regard.)

Add in the fact that there are readily available, free programs that can mask IP addresses, and mapping them becomes an even murkier proposition.

Sometimes, MaxMind could only get information linking an IP address to the country.

The reason why it chose the Arnolds’ front yard as its “default location” in those instances is another can of worms. It was going to map them to the geographic center of the U.S., which is located at 39°50′N 98°35′W. That translates awkwardly into digital parlance, though, so the number was rounded off to 38°N 97°W.

One blogger created a heatmap of Internet usage in the U.S. according to MaxMind’s data from April 2011. Most might be shocked to find that Potwin, Kansas is responsible for more Web usage than even New York City or Silicon Valley.

“The default location in Kansas was chosen over ten years ago when the company was started,” MaxMind’s co-founder Thomas Mather told Fusion. “At that time, we picked a latitude and longitude that was in the center of the country, and it didn’t occur to us that people would use the database to attempt to locate people down to a household level. We have always advertised the database as determining the location down to a city or zip code level. To my knowledge, we have never claimed that our database could be used to locate a household.”

Law enforcement and IP addresses

Though it’s not always possible to perfectly locate IP addresses, they’re often used (imperfectly) in different ways, from tracking analytics to advertising firms attempting to geotarget potential customers to record labels sending cease-and-desist letters to pirates.

Law enforcement also often uses IP addresses to link users to certain devices. A Montgomery County school bus driver was dismissed in 2011 after authorities linked him to an IP address that had downloaded child pornography. And, in February, a 12-year-old from Fairfax, Va., was charged with threatening her school after posting an Instagram message of a gun, bomb and a knife.

Again, though, it’s an inexact science. Many argue that IP addresses should not be used as any sort of evidence (particularly since adept digital criminals can mask them, which is likely what happened in more than one of the cases that led police to the Arnolds’ door).

Following Hill’s extraordinary piece in Fusion, MaxMind shifted its default “United States” location to the center of a lake, west of Wichita.

Users have to update their database for the shift to take effect, but the nightmare, in effect, was over for the Arnolds.

That wasn’t quite enough for the family, though, who filed a lawsuit Friday seeking “compensatory and punitive damages in excess of $75,000,” “plus their costs.”

“My clients have been through digital hell,” the Arnolds’ attorney Randall Rathbun told The Guardian. “The most vile accusations have been made against them – such as that they’ve been involved in child pornography. What impact would it have on your life if someone accused you of being in child pornography? Obviously it’s horrendous.”

MaxMind has not commented on the lawsuit.

The Coming MERS Scandal

August 10, 2016

by Harry von Johnston, PhD

This is rapidly becoming a decade of official deceit and public disillusion.

The issue under discussion here is MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration System).

MERS, set up by the government  in 1995, now claims to be a privately-held company and their official function is stated to be ‘keeping track of a confidential electronic registry of mortgages and the modifications to servicing rights and ownership of the loans.’  MERS is actually a U.S. government initiated organization like Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac and its current shareholders include AIG, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, WaMu, CitiMortgage, Countrywide, GMAC, Guaranty Bank, and Merrill Lynch. All of these entities have been intimately, and disastrously, involved with the so-called “housing bubble,” and were subsequently quickly bailed out by the supportive Bush administration

In addition to its publicly stated purpose of simplifying mortgage registration MERS was also set up to assist in the creation of so-called Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs) and Structured investment Vehicles (SIV). The CDOs is a type of structured asset-backed security (ABS) whose value and payments are derived from a portfolio of fixed-income underlying assets. CDOs securities are split into different risk classes, or tranches, which permits these entities to be minced into tiny tranches and sold off by the big investment banks to pensions, foreign investors and retail investors. who in turn have discounted and resold them over and over.

It is well-known inside the American banking institutions that these highly questionable, potentially unsafe investment packages were deliberately marketed to countries, such as China and Saudi Arabia, that are not in favor with elements of the American government and banking industry and were, and are, marketed with full knowledge of their fragility.

The basic problem with this MERS system that while it does organize the mortgage market, it also knowingly permits fiscal sausage-making whereby a huge number of American domestic and business mortgages, (59 million by conservative estimate) are sliced up, put into the aforesaid “investment packages” and sold to customers both domestic and foreign.

This results in the frightening fact that the holders of mortgages, so chopped and packed, are not possible to identify by MERS or anyone else, at any time and by any agency. This means that any property holder, be they a domestic home owner or a business owner, is paying their monthly fees for property they can never own. Because of the diversity of the packaging, it is totally and completely impossible to ascertain what person or organization owns a specific mortgage and as a result, a clear title to MERS-controlled property is impossible to get at any time, even if a mortgage is fully paid. No person or entity, has been, or never can be, identified who can come forward and legally release the lien on the property once the loan is paid.

In short, MERS conceals this fact from the public with the not-unreasonable assumption that by the time the owner of the home or business discovers that they have only been paying rent on property they can never get clear title to, all the primary parties; the banks, the government agencies, the mortgage companies, or the title companies, will be dead and gone. MERS is set up to guarantee this fact but, gradually, little by little, mostly by word of mouth, the public is beginning to realize that their American dream of owning a house is nothing but a sham and a delusion.

The solution to this is quite simple. If a home or business American mortgage payer, goes to the property offices in their county and looks at their registered property, they can clearly see if MERS is the purported holder of the mortgage. This is fraudulent – MERS has never advanced any funds in the transaction and owns nothing. It is merely a registry. If MERS is the listed holder, the mortgage payers will never, ever, get clear title to their property.

In this case, the property occupier has two choices: They can either turn the matter over to a real estate attorney or simply continue pouring good money after bad. And is there relief? Indeed there is. In case after case (95% by record) if the matter is brought to the attention of a court of law, Federal or state, the courts rule that if the actual owner of the mortgage cannot be located after a reasonable period of time, the owner receives a clear title from the court and does not need to make any further payments to an unidentified creditor! It will stop any MERS based foreclosure mid process and further, any person who was fraudulently foreclosed by MERS, which never held their mortgage, and forced from their home can sue MERS and, through the courts, regain their lost homes.

Big bucks & politics are why Russia is labeled US #1 threat again’

August 9, 2016


Russia is doing nothing to provoke American officials to call it the biggest threat to the US. Russians are just responding to America’s provocative behavior of putting missiles in Eastern Europe, former US diplomat Jim Jatras told RT’s Ed Schultz.

US Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told Fox News that Russia is the number one threat to America and that it could pose an “existential threat”.

RT: Why do US authorities keep pointing the finger at Russia without providing any concrete details?

Jim Jatras: I think they are doing it for a number of reasons… Let’s look at Ms. James background. She was with SAIC [Science Applications International Corporation] – between the time she was with the Clinton Pentagon and the time now she is the Secretary of the Air Force.

Let’s face it; Eisenhower’s military industrial complex is on steroids. There is no money in fighting terrorism. Look, what is going on in Europe – in France, in Germany. What is NATO doing about that – not much. But if you’re building big budgets: you want new aircraft, you want to deploy missiles in Eastern Europe – that is where the big bucks are. I think that is part of it, and the other part of this is politics. We hear today about the 50 officials that came out against Trump and said he was reckless. Bill Kristol has found his perfect candidate now; there is fellow Evan McMullin who is former Goldman Sachs, former CIA… We have an apparatus here of global hegemony that is tight to a lot of money.

RT: Are you suggesting that Russia is being used as a tool to supply more funding to the Defense Department?

JJ: I think that is a huge part of it, but unfortunately that is not the only part of it. It also ties in too a much broader – as I say, deep state oligarchy that really controls the establishment of both parties for which Hillary Clinton is one face, Jeb Bush was the other face – they want the 1980’s back.

RT: What is Russia doing that would provoke the Air Force Secretary to say this?

JJ: They are not doing anything, they are responding to what from my point of view, as an American, as a conservative, I consider very provocative behavior – putting these missiles in Eastern Europe supposedly against the Iranian weapons that don’t exist and nobody is calling to be defended from. And the Russians are saying: “Look, we don’t know what you’re putting in those sites. That could be anything. And what, we’re supposed to rely on your word?” If they did that to us, in the neighboring country to us, how would we respond? Would we talk about putting our forces in the Baltic, in Black Sea within just a few dozen miles of major naval bases of the Russian Navy? How do we expect them to respond?

RT: Recently Russia has made an alliance with the Iranians on a number of different fronts. There has also been somewhat of a laid out cooperation with China. How troublesome is this to the US?

JJ: I think it just shows a complete lack of strategic vision on part of the establishment of both parties. You would think it would be good strategic sense to be friendly with both Moscow and Beijing than they are with each other. If we had sat down and come up with a plan to try to drive them together, we could not be doing a better job.

RT: What is the resolution to this? We’ve got a lot of different hotbeds around the world right now. Shouldn’t there be a pretty critical analysis of President Obama’s foreign policy?

JJ: Absolutely. To my mind it is just simply George Bush lied, or George Bush with drones instead of renditions. It is the same policy. We should be looking about how to cooperate with countries where our national interest coincide, and not provoke conflict unnecessarily.

RT: Should the US be concerned about the modernization of the Russian military?

JJ: I think we should be in the sense that we should not be taking steps ourselves that are calculated to incentivize them to do that. In itself it doesn’t do that anymore than modernization of our military should be a threat to them if we were to keep it in a defensive posture, which increasingly we’re not doing.

Germany has curbed open-door policy for migrants, government data shows

August 9, 2016

by Andreas Rinke


Germany appears to have drastically curtailed its open-door policy for migrants in 2016, turning away 13,000 people without valid documentation in the first six months, already 4,000 more than in the whole of 2015, official data showed on Tuesday.

Around 117,500 migrants were admitted in the same period, compared to a record of more than one million migrants entering the country last year, mainly across the border from Austria.

The bulk of the rejections happened at land entry points and Afghans, Syrians and Iraqis made up the three largest groups of the total, the Interior Ministry data published at the request of the hard-left Die Linke party showed.

Chancellor Angela Merkel last month interrupted her summer break to defend her government’s migration policy after two Islamist attacks by asylum seekers, saying that those fleeing conflicts and persecution have the right to asylum in Germany.

More than 2,500 Afghans, 1,300 Syrians and 1,000 Iraqis were declined entry at border crossings in the January-June period, the ministry said. Iranians, Moroccans, Nigerians, Pakistanis, Gambians, Somalis and Algerians made up the rest of the top 10.

The number of people seeking asylum in Germany dropped drastically this year as a result of border closures in the Balkans, an EU-Turkey deal to stop sea arrivals in Greece and tougher asylum rules in Germany.

In July, 4,500 migrants arrived in Germany, less than half of the daily arrivals at the peak of the crisis in the fall of last year, German police said earlier this month, bringing the number of arrivals in the first seven months of the year to 122,000.

Migrants who arrive in Germany are first registered at reception centres where they have to wait for months before they can officially file an asylum application, creating a huge backlog and putting strain on civil servants.

The influx has dented the popularity of Merkel’s ruling conservatives and prompted the rise of an anti-immigration party.

Turkey has threatened to suspend its migrants agreement with the European Union if there is no deal to grant visa-free travel to Turks. The number of migrants reach Italy in boats from Libya has also been rising.

(Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

Ex-CIA Director Who Endorsed Clinton Calls for Killing Iranians and Russians in Syria

August 9, 2016

by Murtaza Hussain

The Intgercept

Former acting CIA Director Michael Morell said in an interview Monday that U.S. policy in Syria should be to make Iran and Russia “pay a price” by arming local groups and instructing them to kill Iranian and Russian personnel in the country.

Morell was appearing on the Charlie Rose show on PBS in the wake of his publicly endorsing Hillary Clinton on the New York Times opinion pages.

Clinton has expressed support for increased military intervention in Syria against Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian government. Iran and Russia are backing Assad.

“What they need is to have the Russians and Iranians pay a little price,” Morell said. “When we were in Iraq, the Iranians were giving weapons to the Shia militia, who were killing American soldiers, right? The Iranians were making us pay a price. We need to make the Iranians pay a price in Syria. We need to make the Russians pay a price.”

Morell said the killing of Russians and Iranians should be undertaken “covertly, so you don’t tell the world about it, you don’t stand up at the Pentagon and say ‘we did this.’ But you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran.”

Morell also proposed that U.S. forces begin bombing Syrian government installations, including government offices, aircraft and presidential guard positions. The former acting CIA director said that he wanted to “scare Assad.” Morell clarified that he wasn’t actually calling for Assad’s assassination.

He compared his proposal to American support for groups that targeted Russian forces in Afghanistan during the 1980’s — efforts that later helped incubate al Qaeda. He seemed unconcerned about how other parties might respond to such actions, beyond speculating that they might provide leverage for future negotiations.

If put into effect, Morell’s plans would entail a massive escalation of American covert military involvement in Syria that would bring the United States much closer to direct confrontation with Russia and Iran.

Morell’s endorsement of Clinton was quickly seen as a sign that he was interested in a role in a possible Clinton administration. He wrote that Clinton would be a “highly qualified commander in chief” and a “strong proponent of a more aggressive approach” to the conflict in Syria.

Morell told Rose that he had not discussed his proposal to kill Russian and Iranian personnel in Syria with Clinton, though he believed she was supportive of efforts to gain “diplomatic leverage.”

After leaving the CIA in 2013, Morell authored a memoir entitled “The Great War of Our Time.” The book was widely criticized for defending detainee torture in the post-9/11 era. Morell was also a co-author of a “rebuttal” to the Senate Intelligence Committee torture report.

Last week, CBS announced that Morell had left his role as a network news analyst so that he could begin publicly supporting Clinton’s run. During his interview with Rose, Morell continued to heap praise on Clinton’s perspective on U.S. relations with Syria, Russia and Iran.

This weekend, Hillary Clinton touted Morell’s endorsement on her Twitter page.

In other circles, Morell’s op-ed generated criticism of his role in defending torture, and the Times‘s failure to identify his employment at a consulting firm with strong ties to Clinton.



























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