TBR News May 27, 2017

May 27 2017

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C., May 27, 2017: “Amidst the hysteria in the left-wing shrinking media over Russian interference in the last Presidential election, there are a number of important questions that occur.

  • Who controls WikiLeaks?
  • For whom did Edward Snowden really work?
  • What did Snowden manage to download and pass to others?
  • What have those who control WikiLeaks managed to extract from believed secret US private and political sources?
  • What will WikiLeaks (and other entities of a similar stripe) release next?
  • Are rife rumors about very high-level US government officials using repulsive (and very illegal) Ukrainian child pornographic systems?

These are legitimate questions but will there ever be legitimate answers?”


Table of Contents

  • US President Can’t Escape Troubles on the Road
  • ‘Getting Trump’ with the New McCarthyism
  • Leaked Documents Reveal Counterterrorism Tactics Used at Standing Rock to “Defeat Pipeline Insurgencies”

Blessed Prozac Moments!

  • The Demented Detectives on Seth Rich’s Case
  • Portland’s City Council Votes to Give Furries the Right to Defecate, Mate in Dog Park
  • Bushes Lied – Watched JFK Die! Game Over!
  • The Pegasus Unit is Now Identified
  • Jon Rappoport

 US President Can’t Escape Troubles on the Road

Mired in a web of scandal and lies back home, Donald Trump embarked on his first international trip this week to the Middle East and Europe. It was seen by the administration as a possible new beginning. But it hasn’t worked out that way.

May 26, 2017

by Horst Friedrichs and Christoph Scheuermann


Perhaps the trip didn’t first begin on board Air Force One or with the King of Saudi Arabia, but instead back in the restroom at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, where a Fox News reporter exclaimed euphorically: “This is gonna be epic!”

Outside, an early summer thunderstorm poured down on Washington, the kind that is dazzling and loud, but which does little to bring down the stifling temperature. Some 60 journalists, camera crews and technicians, in addition to a handful of White House staffers and Secret Service agents, were waiting inside the terminal of the military airport. The president would first depart on Air Force One a day later, after the storm passed. But the press had to travel ahead on a charter jet in order to prepare for his arrival in Riyadh. The flight from Washington, with a stopover in Frankfurt, took 15 hours, but the New York Times wore a tie nonetheless.

Riyadh, Jerusalem, Rome, Brussels and, in the end, the G-7 summit in Sicily — five stops in nine days. Donald Trump is discovering the world. Expectations for the trip, it should be noted, weren’t particularly high. When it comes to Trump, a lot can happen, especially disasters. Recent weeks have shown just how unpredictable this man is, how thin-skinned and intractable — and how poor he is at gauging moods and people. But what happens if he meets with national leaders who don’t fawn over him? What if he feels as though he is on the defensive or has to deal with some kind of crisis that, for once, isn’t of his own making?

Trump’s hope had been to escape the Russia scandal and the ensuing turbulence — and to attempt a fresh start. As it turned out, that hope dried up during the trip. The new revelations about Trump aren’t slowing down and ongoing hearings in Congress continue to generate headlines.

It was a tour of the kind that few other presidents have undertaken. For Trump, a man who abhors anything foreign to him, detests anything unusual and would prefer to sleep in his own bed or at least one of his hotels, it has been a feat of endurance.

He reportedly even asked his advisers if the trip could be made shorter. Perhaps just five days instead of nine?

From the very beginning, Trump was the most unlikely of tourists. The man who wanted to prevent Muslims from traveling into the United States took part in a sword dance in the royal court of the King of Saudi Arabia. He joined the leaders of Kazakhstan, Burkina Faso and Somalia for a meal. The “America First” man who wanted to withdraw from conflicts promised peace to the Israelis and Palestinians. A man who swears by revenge met the pope in Rome before joining the leaders of the European Union in Brussels, an institution he hopes will fail. What could possibly go wrong?

Wall Street Journal, Saturday, May 20, Page 1:

‘Fired FBI Director James Comey To Testify in Public’

In Saudi Arabia, the king arrived in a golf cart as Donald Trump disembarked from Air Force One in Riyadh. It was shortly before 10 a.m., but the air was already hot and dry at 43 degrees Celsius (109 degrees Fahrenheit). The sound of cannons echoed over the runway and a military band played. For a few minutes, American domestic policy, the chaos in the White House and the Russian scandal, seemed to have evaporated in the shimmering heat. Military jets roared in from the left at a frighteningly low altitude. Trump looked to the skies and peered on as the aircraft trailed red, white and blue smoke. The message from King Salman to Trump was clear: You are safe here. Nobody will harm you. It was as though the king were welcoming an equal: King Donald.

Trump’s most recent scandal began two weeks ago when he fired the head of the FBI. James Comey had spent months investigating Russian influence on the U.S. presidential election, including contacts between Trump’s team and people close to Vladimir Putin. From Trump’s perspective, it made sense to can Comey because he thought it would mean one less problem for him. Unfortunately for Trump, however, the FBI director had written up notes after a meeting with Trump indicating the president had requested he suspend the investigation.

Three days before Trump departed on his trip, came the news of the appointment of a special counsel to conduct the investigation. The pressure on the president was increasing by the day. That was the background to this trip.

Washington Post, Sunday, May 21, Page 1: 

‘A GOP congressman from Kentucky wonders: Is ‘this Trump thing’ sustainable?’

Trump — a well-known critic of Islam — planned to give a speech in Riyadh outlining his approach to the religion. First, though, came the banquet and the appearances — as though in a theater — of the secondary characters in this drama. Stephen Bannon, Trump’s chief ideologist, sauntered through a side door into the auditorium of the King Abdullah Conference Center. He was followed by Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the glamorous couple. Then came Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer, a tragicomic figure if there ever was one — half liar and half court jester.

People reveal a lot about themselves when they enter a room that isn’t familiar to them. Spicer’s eyes were glassy and peering out at a middle distance. He held onto a black folder with several documents protruding from it. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner resembled Hugo Boss models as they floated by. The only person who appeared to be looking around with interest was Bannon, the man whose radicalism helped Trump win the election — and on whom Trump has soured, as has been the fate of so many others.

Trump thrives on chaos. His preferred working method is to have a dozen staffers in the Oval Office who he can summon or kick out at any time, like a petty king. No one is safe from his rage, not Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and not National Security Adviser Herbert Raymond McMaster, who also traveled with the delegation. Trump enjoys having people fight for his favor, even during this trip. And soon, Bannon would no longer be part of his traveling entourage.

Back in the conference center, though, his eyes were roaming across the white tables, where diplomats and leaders from Muslim countries were sitting in front of gold plates, silver bowls of chicken, roasted vegetables, rice in grape leaves, figs, tartlets and chocolate. All around the room, men could be seen in white robes, but there were no women at all. Bannon had paved the way for Trump’s “America First” strategy, and now, here he was, the White House’s most adamant hater of Islam, right in the heart of the Muslim world.

‘Not a Hint of a Protester’

He could see the Koran surahs on the walls, crystal chandeliers as heavy as small cars and the dome in the center. The expression on his face said: What the hell am I doing here?

Trump is not the first president to have sought refuge by traveling abroad. In 1974, Richard Nixon also traveled to Saudi Arabia and Israel in order to temporarily escape the Watergate scandal. The trip had been intended as a way to divert attention and present Nixon as a dignified statesman. But the plan failed miserably and he resigned not long after his return.

Trump was then invited up to the stage, where a number of men were seated in leather chairs. They included kings, princes, emirs and even a few democrats from 50 different countries in the Muslim world. A frown crept onto Trump’s face and his shoulders slouched forward. That morning at 9 a.m., he’d had a meeting with the King of Bahrain, followed by one with the Emir of Qatar. There were smiles, handshakes and small talk, something Trump hates. “Love your shoes. Boy, those shoes. Man,” Trump told Egypt’s president.

For trip preparation’s, Trump had relied more heavily than ever on his son-in-law. For months, Kushner had been in close contact with the Saudi royal house. He had worked almost obsessively to ensure that his father-in-law’s trip would be a success and to avoid the impression that it was a pleasure trip. In March, Kushner had invited the deputy crown prince to the White House. The prince now returned the favor with an opulent dinner in Riyadh.

Trump got up from his chair to give a speech on Islam, a rhetorical tight rope act. On one hand, he had to cater to a subset of people back in the United States who hate the Muslim religion. On the other, he had to avoid alienating Arabs with whom he would like to do business.

Stephen Miller, a 31-year-old adviser to Trump who, together with Bannon, had planned and implemented the entry ban for Muslims, wrote the speech. The big question had been whether or not Miller would be able to include the term “Islamist terrorism.” The term irks many Muslims because it directly ties their religion with terrorism. Kushner and McMaster also opposed using it.

Although he said he was not there to lecture, Trump did say that Muslim nations “must be willing to take on the burden, if we are going to defeat terrorism.” He also sharply criticized Iran, a country that has just re-elected moderate President Hassan Rohani. Trump spoke of a “battle between good and evil.” Then he said that “Islamist extremism” must be confronted. The fact that he avoided the formulation the hardliners had wanted indicated that he was seeking to strike a milder tone.

The most surprising thing about Trump’s speech was its harmlessness. He emphasized the war on terror and sought to build trust. George W. Bush could have given the same speech. The problem is that for every sentence uttered by Trump, you can find a polar opposite statement from the campaign trail. In Riyadh, he described Islam as “one of the great faiths.” But last year, speaking of the United States, he said, “Islam hates us.” That’s indicative not of fickleness, but of a lack of interest in politics.

The fact that Trump is leading an administration centered around his family is something that appeals to people in the Persian Gulf. The Saudis value the fact that the new American president isn’t as bothered by human rights as some of his predecessors. Trump needed success and the leaders in the Gulf region have money. In the end, he left with $110 billion in defense contracts in his hands. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates also promised to provide $100 million for Ivanka Trump’s proposed Women Entrepreneurs Fund, which is to be administered by the World Bank.

The visit went excellently. “Not a single hint of a protester,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said, pleased. The fact that protests are prohibited in Saudi Arabia didn’t even seem to cross his mind.

New York Times, Monday, May 22, Page 1:

‘Comey Drama’

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin laughed as Trump descended the gangway in Tel Aviv. “We are happy to see that America is back in the area,” he said. Many of Rivlin’s compatriots have not forgotten how, during his first visit to the Middle East as president, Obama visited Saudi Arabia and Egypt, but snubbed Israel.

During the trip, a change became palpable in Trump. He appeared to become more secure and more disciplined — and he held back any possible outbursts, initially at least. Instead of the threats he often tweets out, this time he stuck to links to his speeches. His advisers seem to have him under better control when traveling. Besides, to this point, he had largely been well-received with little criticism, aside from a few newspaper editorials that criticized his weapons deals and what they saw as his excessive closeness with the Saudi ruling family.

But when he spoke, Trump’s voice sounded is if he were on Valium. It wasn’t that long ago that he criticized Obama for using a teleprompter, saying nobody wanted a scripted president. But it is Trump who is the teleprompter man now — and he seldom goes off script.

Regardless, even if his staff is learning from his mistakes, they still haven’t succeeded in making Trump eloquent. After his short tour through the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, he wrote in the guestbook: “So amazing & will never forget!” It’s something he could have written of a visit to Disneyland.

Breaking News, Politico, Tuesday, May 24:

‘Former FBI Director John Brennan: Russia may have successfully recruited Trump campaign aides.’

The Palestinians also know how to win Trump over. Like the Saudis, they hung up huge banners prior to the U.S. president’s visit showing him and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas flanking the slogan: “The city of peace welcomes the man of peace.” They were clearly visible to Trump as he drove in his convoy to Bethlehem, past a wall of the kind he would like to build on the American border with Mexico. Once in the city, he visited the Church of the Nativity and announced his intention to help the Palestinians boost their economy and combat terrorism.

The afternoon found him, arms crossed, on a podium in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was standing at the lectern next to him, gushing with praise for his new friend, but Trump seemed absent. He turned his head from side to side, squinted into the audience and rocked back and forth in his chair. The corners of his mouth curled up into a smile, which vanished just as suddenly as it had appeared. As always happens when he is forced to sit by as attention is lavished elsewhere, Trump was getting restive. He tapped his fingertips together and looked as though he had to exert significant amounts of self-control to prevent himself from jumping up and shoving Netanyahu aside.

When it was finally his turn to step up to the microphone, Trump’s agitation disappeared. He expressed gratitude for the Israeli premier’s hospitality, saying we had “a very unforgettable dinner. We had a great time. We talked about a lot of very, very important things.” He added that the bond between the U.S. and Israel was “unshakable” — and was forced to pause several times during his speech because of the applause.

Trump and his delegation didn’t make the preparations for this stage of his journey easy. First, it was announced that Trump would speak at Masada, the historic Jewish fortress on the Dead Sea. But when it became clear that he would be unable to land at the site in his helicopter, the visit was called off, apparently because Trump didn’t want to have to ride in the cable car to the mountaintop citadel. Later, the Americans abruptly cancelled a dinner that the Israeli defense minister had planned for Monday. And then it emerged that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had had to order his cabinet to appear on the tarmac for the arrival of Air Force One after some members had indicated they would not attend.

Back in the museum, Trump said that the Palestinians were ready for peace. “I know you’ve heard it before. I am telling you — that’s what I do. They are ready to reach for peace.” Suddenly, the audience wasn’t clapping quite as enthusiastically as it had been before. The appearance demonstrated just how dependent Trump is on applause, how eagerly he laps up approval. He is almost like a junkie whose euphoria and pleasure at the apex of his high knows no bounds, but once it quickly begins to fade, he immediately needs a new fix.

What, though, is the mood like on board Air Force One? “Good,” says the Los Angeles Times. “Okay,” says Reuters.

A dozen reporters have been allowed to ride along in the president’s official plane, the so-called pool, which includes news agencies and the largest newspapers and television channels. The rest of the press travels ahead in a chartered plane, in which there is a clear pecking order. In the front the plane to the left of the aisle, correspondents from CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox News and CNN can be found. On the right are the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, AFP, AP and Reuters. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the deputy White House press secretary, usually sits in seat 4D, across from the restroom and next to the Bloomberg correspondent. Sean Spicer is traveling on Air Force One. Everybody else has seats further back, including Sky News, Politico and Vanity Fair, along with technicians, camera operators and foreign media representatives. The costs for the charter are divided up among the journalists, with everybody paying the same price regardless of where they sit.

Fantastic for Sales

Attitudes toward Trump on board range between skepticism and hostility. The prevailing view seems to be that, for democracy, the administration is a catastrophe, but from a journalistic perspective, it is a fantastic story, measurable in rising click rates, circulation and television ratings. Indeed, the New York Times had its best quarter in years at the end of 2016, with over 276,000 new digital subscriptions. Trump is fantastic for sales.

The problem is that most of the journalists traveling along with Trump hardly ever get any facetime with the president. Those who aren’t part of the 13-member media pool that constantly accompanies Trump sit in a windowless press room and watch CNN or read Twitter, along with the summaries of fellow reporters who are closer to the action. They only realize they are in a different country when the hotel personnel greet them with “buon giorno” instead of “salam aleikum.”

On one evening at about 10 p.m., a young man stuck his head through the door of the hotel press room. He was wearing a perfectly cut suit and looked as though he had just stepped out of an ice bath following two hours of ab training. “Hey guys, how are you? Still jetlagged?” Jared Kushner asked. “How’s the trip so far? Are you enjoying it?”

He then spoke of short-term and long-term possibilities, ambitious goals and paradigm shifts in the Middle East. He sounded like his own Power Point presentation. Leaning against the wall to the right was Ivanka Trump, clutching her handbag. After about 10 minutes, she gave a thumb’s up, the Trump family’s favorite gesture, and disappeared with Jared into the night.

Donald Trump is a creation of the media age: Without journalists and television, he would never have become famous and likely would not have ascended to the presidency. As a result, Trump’s relationship to the media is obsessive. It is his mirror, into which he gazes several times each day, his echo chamber, the justification for his existence. He watches a lot of television, showing a distinct preference for Fox News, and reads newspapers primarily to confirm his suspicion that they write nothing but tripe.

Trump’s White House predecessors used to hold regular press conferences during extended trips to keep journalists informed. But Trump’s team has decided that the risk is too great that their boss might lose his temper in the face of an uncomfortable question. Breitbart and other right-wing news outlets that are fans of Trump, after all, remained at home in the United States. Softball questions wouldn’t be likely.

New York Times, Wednesday, May 24: 

‘Top Russian Officials Discussed How to Influence Trump Aides Last Summer’

And then she did it again. As Melania Trump stepped out of Air Force One at her husband’s side in Rome, she pulled her hand away from him just as she had done in Tel Aviv. It looked as though she was trying to avoid holding hands with the president. It was just a brief scene, lasting hardly even a second, and it wasn’t even particularly noticeable.

But the First Lady usually exhibits impeccable self-control. It seems unlikely that she simply forgot that half the world was watching. Perhaps it was intentional, a signal to demonstrate that she isn’t the kind of woman who can be ordered around. But her husband won’t likely have been particularly pleased by such images. Still, the trip had gone largely according to plan to that point. The Saudi Arabians were taken by the first lady’s dignified demeanor and, of course, by the fact that she constantly remained in the background and left the stage to her husband. Her appearance in a dress that was rather short for Saudi tastes seemed of little concern.

During the visit to Pope Francis, however, Melania wore a black veil over her hair, making her look like a widow attending her deceased husband’s funeral. And the pope wore a facial expression as though he were standing across from the devil incarnate. It was just Donald Trump. It was the moment at which the president must have realized that the pleasant, uncomplicated portion of his trip had come to an end. Now, he was in Europe, and he could no longer be sure that everybody he met actually liked him. Not after the campaign he ran and not after the delight he expressed following last year’s Brexit referendum.

Trump’s daughter Ivanka, his son-in-law Jared Kushner and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson were also on hand for the meeting with the pope. Missing, however, was Sean Spicer, who is Catholic and who had reportedly been greatly looking forward to the opportunity to kiss the pope’s ring. His absence was apparently a bit of diplomatic spitefulness on the part of the Holy See. Steve Bannon and Reine Priebus had been sent back to Washington earlier.

Pope Francis presented Trump with three books upon departure, one on family, another on the joy of the gospel and, finally, a copy of his 2015 encyclical on the need for urgent measures to combat climate change. “Well, I’ll be reading them,” said Trump, a man who has bragged in the past of having only ever read a single book to completion in his life — his own.

How was your meeting with the pope, Mr. President? an AP journalist called out to him during a photo op. “He is something,” Trump replied. “We had a fantastic meeting.”

Report on CNN.com, Thursday, May 25:

‘AG Sessions did not disclose Russia meetings in security clearance form, DOJ says.’

On Thursday morning, Trump arrived at a place he never wanted to be. He climbed out of his armored Cadillac and stepped into the 320-million-euro Europa Building in Brussels, where the European Council meets — the heart of the EU. His trip back to reality was now complete, following his brief excursion to the Orient, where people received him as a savior — or at least as someone who could sell high-quality weapons of war.

Trump was there for a meeting with Council President Donald Tusk and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, held in a nondescript conference room. The two Europeans were eager to elaborate to Trump on how they see the world and the trio talked for three-quarters of an hour behind closed doors. Later, Tusk would say that there was broad agreement on many issues, but he added: “I’m not 100 percent sure that we can say today — we, meaning Mr. President and myself — that we have a common position, common opinion about Russia.” He said that he had wanted to deliver a message to Trump, that the friendship between Europe and the U.S. is based on values such as freedom, human rights and the respect for human dignity. It was a diplomatic slap in the face, similar to the one German Chancellor Angela Merkel had delivered shortly after Trump’s election.

Afterward, Trump joined newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron, of all people, for lunch. Trump, after all, had seemed to support Macron’s opponent, right-wing populist Marine Le Pen, in the election. When the two men shook hands for a closing photo op, the Frenchman grabbed Trump’s hand and squeezed hard. Trump squeezed back. For a moment, they looked like opponents locked in a wrestling match. Trump wanted to let go, but Macron squeezed even harder until his knuckles turned white.

Not long later, the two met again for the opening ceremony of NATO’s new headquarters. Behind him was a piece of twisted metal from the World Trade Center while next to him stood Angela Merkel. While Merkel gave a ceremonious speech about the historical importance of NATO, Trump spoke again about alliance funding — about the “massive amounts of money” that 23 of the 28 NATO member states allegedly owe the United States. He then said: “I never asked once what the new NATO headquarters cost. I refuse to do that. But it is beautiful.” The others stood next to him like schoolchildren. Merkel repeatedly looked at the ground while Macron grinned. The applause was reserved. To make sure that he was in the front row for the joint photo following the event, Trump rudely shoved aside the prime minister of Montenegro.

The leaders then enjoyed a meal together before Trump flew onward to Sicily in the evening for the G-7 summit starting on Friday. Prior to departure, Trump received word that a U.S. federal appeals court had refused to lift a temporary block on his revised travel ban for Muslims.

It was a reminder that he really can’t get home quickly enough. There is plenty to do in Washington.

‘Getting Trump’ with the New McCarthyism

Many Democrats and progressives are embracing a New McCarthyism in their drive to negate last November’s election and remove President Trump from office, but is that right?

May 24, 2017

by Robert Parry


Yes, I get it. A lot of people want to remove Donald Trump from the presidency for a lot of understandable reasons: his breathtaking incompetence, his relentless narcissism, his destructive policies, etc. But he was elected under the U.S. constitutional system. He may have lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by nearly three million ballots but he did prevail in the Electoral College.And, unlike George W. Bush, who also lost the popular vote, Trump didn’t have to steal Florida – and thus the White House – by enlisting Republican justices on the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the vote count prematurely. We now know that if all the ballots considered legal under Florida law had been counted Al Gore would have won regardless of which standard of “chad” was used. But Trump didn’t have to resort to such bald-faced cheating.

And, yes, of course, there were many other problems with the election, such as Republican efforts to suppress African-American and other minority votes. But it’s not as if the U.S. electoral process has ever been the gold standard of democracy that some Americans like to believe. The system has now – and always has had – serious shortcomings, but it also has enabled the diverse United States to function for more than two centuries without major political violence, with the exception of the Civil War when the process broke down over the South’s insistence on slavery.

So, whether one likes it or not – and many people really don’t like it – Donald Trump is the constitutionally elected President of the United States. And, despite the many imperfections in that electoral process, the idea of negating a presidential election is very serious business.

Whatever the hurt feelings of the editors at The New York Times and The Washington Post, whatever snarky jokes are told on late-night TV, whatever connect-the-dots conspiracy theories are popular on MSNBC, the idea of telling 63 million Americans that their votes don’t count, that the elites know best, that the President who won under the rules of the game must be ridden out of Washington on a rail will not go down as easily as some people think.

New McCarthyism

National Democrats and many progressives are also embracing a troubling New McCarthyism to justify what amounts to a “soft coup” against Trump.

In a normal world – after Tuesday’s testimony before the House Intelligence Committee – former CIA Director John Brennan would have been led away in a straitjacket or given the role of General Jack D. Ripper in a remake of the Cold War dark comedy, “Dr. Strangelove.” Instead, Brennan’s Russo-phobic ramblings were made the lead story in the Times, the Post and other major American newspapers.

While General Ripper worried about Russian operatives polluting our “precious bodily fluids,” Brennan warned that any conversation with a Russian or some Russian intermediary might put Americans on a treasonous path even if they “do not even realize they are on that path until it gets too late.”

He also testified, “I know what the Russians try to do. They try to suborn individuals and try to get individuals, including U.S. individuals, to act on their behalf, wittingly or unwittingly.” In other words, any American who has some contact with Russia or Russians may be a spy or mole whether he or she knows it or not. Subversion or possible subversion is everywhere. Trust no one.

Yes, I’m sure those devious Russ-kies do what all intelligence agencies, including the CIA, seek to do. And, in many cases, there is nothing wrong with the process. Unofficial give-and-take between adversaries can increase understanding – and that can be especially important to the future of humankind when the United States and Russia are still armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons.

Indeed, such informal contacts may have helped avert nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis when Washington-based KGB station chief Aleksandr Feklisov approached ABC News correspondent John Scali with a plan to dismantle missile bases in Cuba in return for a U.S. pledge not to invade Cuba. Though there remain historical questions about the significance of that initiative, it shows the value that such contacts can have despite the alarmist concerns raised by the likes of Brennan. In the New Cold War, we’d have to investigate Scali’s loyalty.

Despite the paranoid fantasies, Brennan’s testimony was widely praised as he suggested that any dealing with Russia or Russians or Russian businesses or possible Russian cutouts could put an American under counterintelligence suspicions because, hey, you never know.

“We see that Russian intelligence agencies do not hesitate at all to use private companies and Russian persons who are unaffiliated with the Russian government to support their objectives,” Brennan warned.

No Edward R. Murrow

There was a time when some Democrats, some Republicans and a few courageous journalists objected to this kind of broad-brush challenge to the patriotism of American citizens. CBS News correspondent Edward R. Murrow famously stood up to Sen. Joe McCarthy and his Red Scare in the 1950s. It was then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton who chastised President George H.W. Bush during a 1992 presidential debate for making an issue of Clinton’s student trip to Moscow during the Cold War.

After Bush referenced Clinton’s Moscow visit, Clinton hit back: “When Joe McCarthy went around this country attacking people’s patriotism, he was wrong. He was wrong, and a senator from Connecticut stood up to him, named Prescott Bush. Your father was right to stand up to Joe McCarthy. You were wrong to attack my patriotism.”

But that was then. These days, Hillary Clinton and her Democratic allies have led the smearing of Trump supporters as possible Kremlin agents, albeit without proof of the so-called “collusion” or even clear evidence that Russia did “meddle” in last November’s election.

And the backdrop for this New Cold War is that since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 – and the end of the Old Cold War – many Americans have done business in Russia and many Russians have invested in the United States. A Russian oligarch, Mikhail Prokhorov, even owns the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association.

The recent tensions are also not entirely the making of Russia or its President Vladimir Putin. The past several U.S. administrations have exploited the disarray from the Soviet collapse to push NATO up to Russia’s borders.

U.S. officials also encouraged the violent 2014 putsch in Ukraine that overthrew elected President Viktor Yanukovych. Actively involved in Yanukovych’s overthrow were senior U.S. officials, including Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, and Sen. John McCain. Several weeks before the coup, Nuland and Pyatt were caught on an unsecure phone line discussing who should take over the Ukrainian government and musing how to “midwife” or “glue this thing.”

The coup also followed the specific targeting of Ukraine as “the biggest prize” by neocon Carl Gershman, the president of the U.S.-government-funded National Endowment for Democracy, which sponsored scores of political and media operations inside Ukraine. (Gershman is now calling for regime change in Russia.)

But the U.S. mainstream media essentially ignored this evidence of U.S. complicity in the Ukraine coup and accepted the State Department’s propaganda line that the post-coup resistance to Yanukovych’s overthrow among ethnic Russians in Crimea and eastern Ukraine was simply the result of “Russian aggression.” The New York Times even denied that there had been a coup in an article that studiously ignored the evidence that there had been a coup, including the Nuland-Pyatt phone call.

Swallowing U.S. Propaganda

Similarly, the mainstream U.S. media has swallowed every evidence-free claim from the Obama administration’s intelligence agencies without any skepticism. Indeed, the MSM has hyped those claims beyond even what the Obame team says by ignoring factual admissions from former CIA Director Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper about the limited nature of the intelligence “assessment” on Russian election interference.

The MSM has so enjoyed claiming that the Russian “meddling” allegations are the consensus judgment of all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies that a blind eye and a deaf ear have been turned to Brennan and Clapper contradicting that beloved groupthink.

In recent testimony, Clapper and Brennan acknowledged that the Jan. 6 report alleging Russian “meddling” was actually the work of hand-picked analysts from only four agencies – the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation under the oversight of the DNI’s office. But that fact continues to be ignored by the MSM, with the Post on Wednesday castigating Trump for refusing “to fully accept the unanimous conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies.”

If a non-MSM news outlet had published such a misleading claim from a different perspective – after U.S. senior officials had denied it – we would be hearing charges of “fake news” or perhaps accusations of “Russian disinformation.” But clearly the Post doesn’t want to give up on this formulation of unanimity among the 17 intelligence agencies even if it’s not true.

The Post must feel that it’s less impressive to say that the Russia-did-it conclusion was reached by “hand-picked” analysts at four agencies while other intelligence agencies, which could have supplied important context, such as the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, were excluded.

What has also been remarkable about the months-long investigations into alleged Russian “meddling” is how little evidence has been evinced to support the accusations. While there has been a parade of Obama appointees testifying before Congress – making broad accusations while demurring whenever evidence is requested on the grounds of secrecy or privacy – we haven’t heard from any of the people accused of having these untoward contacts with Russians, even though some have volunteered to testify.

“I’m not going to identify the individuals [under suspicion] because this is information that, again, is based on classified sources and intelligence,” Brennan said on Tuesday, although the identities of the suspected “traitors” have been widely publicized through leaks to the major U.S. news media.

Speaking Up

One of those Americans, onetime Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page, responded to Brennan’s testimony in a letter to the House Intelligence Committee.

Page noted he was “an unpaid, informal” adviser to the campaign and “throughout my interactions with the Russians in 2016, I consistently made it crystal clear that all of my benign statements and harmless actions in Moscow as well as elsewhere overseas were solely made as a scholar and a business person speaking only on behalf of myself. In other words, in no way connected to then-candidate Trump. Both in Russia and in countries around the world, this was precisely the same position I had maintained stretching back over a decade.”

Regarding Brennan’s demurral about naming names, Page pointed out that it has been widely reported that he was put under a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant. According to press accounts, that was, in part, because of a speech he made in Moscow in 2016. His identity, in communications intercepted by U.S. intelligence, had already been “unmasked” or exposed to the public, but whatever evidence there is against him has been hidden.

Page wrote: “underscoring what a complete mockery this process has become, my identity has already been publicly revealed in the wake of the felonies committed [by the Obama administration, including] baseless FISA warrant, Male-1 unmasking, etc.).

“Serving as a loyal Clinton/Obama regime surrogate, Brennan’s spineless practice of hiding behind this lame confidentiality excuse rather than taking any responsibility for their illegal actions only stirs up more misunderstanding and illegitimate fears which continue to damage our great country. This further underscores the urgent need for the public disclosure of these related documents.”

Joining the Stampede

Yet, congressional Democrats have recognized the political gain that they can extract from this New McCarthyism, as reflected in an exchange between Rep. Jim Himes, D-Connecticut, and Brennan at Tuesday’s hearing. Himes cited a report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a leading think tank for the Military-Industrial Complex.

Himes said: “I want to use my five minutes to try to paint a more specific picture around the methods and mechanisms that the Russians used to suborn … our democracy and our electoral process. And I want to start with a quote by a report I know you’re familiar with, CSIS’ report, ‘The Kremlin Playbook’ in which they say that Russia, quote, ‘Seeks to corrode democracy from within by deepening political divides,’ unquote.

“The Russians stir the pot, heighten anxieties and know that when they trigger chaos, even if it ends up negatively affecting them, that they are serving the purpose of weakening us. I want to talk about people because you made reference to people and I don’t want to do it specifically, I want to do it in the abstract.

“‘The Kremlin Playbook’ … says further that Russia looks to corrode democracy by, quote, ‘Investing in rising politicians, cultivating relationships with prominent businessmen, or helping to ensure that its business affiliates become well-positioned in government.’

“Mr. Brennan, assuming that you agree with that, how specifically has the Kremlin gone about cultivating relationships with key Americans in an effort … to influence our policy?”

Brennan: “It is traditional intelligence collection tradecraft … to identify individuals that you think are either very influential or rising stars, and you will try to develop a relationship with them and the Russians frequently will do that through cutouts or through false-flag operations. They won’t identify themselves as Russians or as members of Russian government. They will try to develop a personal relationship and then over time they will try to get individuals to do things on their behalf.

“And that’s why again, having been involved in a lot of counterintelligence cases over the years and seeing this pattern over and over again, my radar goes up when I see that the Russians are actively involved in a particular intelligence operational campaign and that U.S. persons are being contacted by Russian officials. … these are contacts that might’ve been totally, totally innocent and benign as well as those that might have succumbed somehow to those Russian efforts. …”

Himes: “do Americans who are suborned in such a way … do they necessarily need to know that they are doing Russia’s bidding?”

Brennan: “No, many times they do not. They do not even know that the person that they’re interacting with is a Russian. Many times they know that individuals may be Russian officials, but they don’t know that there is an intelligence connection or intelligence motive for behind it. …”

No Doubts

Himes: “There’s hardly anyone left today who doubts that Russia attacked us, but we have to realize the true thrust of the Russian attack is what they have triggered in us, the partisanship. Every time we refuse to face facts, every time we attack the messenger rather than confront the actions that happened, every time we undercut our allies in our alliances and our values, I think we’re playing precisely in the Russians fondest hopes.

We’re doing something about that in my opinion, the gray, cold warriors, be it Ronald Reagan or Harry Truman would never have allowed.”

Responding to Hines’s comments, Page wrote: “This offers a precise depiction of the Clinton/Obama regime’s playbook based on their continued false evidence regarding former Trump campaign supporters such as myself, in the wake of their sad disappointment as sore losers. Immediate disclosure of their falsified FISA warrant documents upon which these same tactics were based last year is an essential way to cease this process which has been weakening all Americans.”

Page added, “Other gray, cold warriors of bygone eras had J. Edgar Hoover and Joseph McCarthy to do precisely this dirty work: attacking the messengers. In other words, attacking those who wanted to see positive changes in their country’s policies based on realistic strategies which can benefit all citizens while creating a viable pathway to increased peace around the world.”

A core problem with what Brennan and other Obama administration officials have set in motion is that the suspicions are so vague at this point – even some 10 months into the investigation – that a paranoia has taken over. There is a McCarthyistic element to these allegations, including guilt by association regarding any contact with any Russian or even some intermediary who might somehow be a Russian “false-flag.” Anyone or everyone might be a Russian “mole.”

So, yes, I get the desire to get rid of Trump because of his unfitness and ineptness. But the “Russia thing” – as Trump calls it – is unleashing an ugliness that many of us thought was a thing of the past, an era of evidence-free accusations of disloyalty and a crazed hostility toward the other nuclear superpower that could end in a miscalculation that could end life on the planet. Is this really what Democrats and progressives want to embrace?

Leaked Documents Reveal Counterterrorism Tactics Used at Standing Rock to “Defeat Pipeline Insurgencies”

May 27, 2017

by Alleen Brown, Will Parrish and Alice Speri

The Intercept

A shadowy international mercenary and security firm known as TigerSwan targeted the movement opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline with military-style counterterrorism measures, collaborating closely with police in at least five states, according to internal documents obtained by The Intercept. The documents provide the first detailed picture of how TigerSwan, which originated as a U.S. military and State Department contractor helping to execute the global war on terror, worked at the behest of its client Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline, to respond to the indigenous-led movement that sought to stop the project.

Internal TigerSwan communications describe the movement as “an ideologically driven insurgency with a strong religious component” and compare the anti-pipeline water protectors to jihadist fighters. One report, dated February 27, 2017, states that since the movement “generally followed the jihadist insurgency model while active, we can expect the individuals who fought for and supported it to follow a post-insurgency model after its collapse.” Drawing comparisons with post-Soviet Afghanistan, the report warns, “While we can expect to see the continued spread of the anti-DAPL diaspora … aggressive intelligence preparation of the battlefield and active coordination between intelligence and security elements are now a proven method of defeating pipeline insurgencies.”

More than 100 internal documents leaked to The Intercept by a TigerSwan contractor, as well as a set of over 1,000 documents obtained via public records requests, reveal that TigerSwan spearheaded a multifaceted private security operation characterized by sweeping and invasive surveillance of protesters.

As policing continues to be militarized and state legislatures around the country pass laws criminalizing protest, the fact that a private security firm retained by a Fortune 500 oil and gas company coordinated its efforts with local, state, and federal law enforcement to undermine the protest movement has profoundly anti-democratic implications. The leaked materials not only highlight TigerSwan’s militaristic approach to protecting its client’s interests but also the company’s profit-driven imperative to portray the nonviolent water protector movement as unpredictable and menacing enough to justify the continued need for extraordinary security measures. Energy Transfer Partners has continued to retain TigerSwan long after most of the anti-pipeline campers left North Dakota, and the most recent TigerSwan reports emphasize the threat of growing activism around other pipeline projects across the country.

The leaked documents include situation reports prepared by TigerSwan operatives in North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, and Texas between September 2016 and May 2017, and delivered to Energy Transfer Partners. They offer a daily snapshot of the security firm’s activities, including detailed summaries of the previous day’s surveillance targeting pipeline opponents, intelligence on upcoming protests, and information harvested from social media. The documents also provide extensive evidence of aerial surveillance and radio eavesdropping, as well as infiltration of camps and activist circles.

TigerSwan did not respond to a request for comment. Energy Transfer Partners declined to comment, telling The Intercept in an email that it does not “discuss details of our security efforts.”

Additional documents, obtained via public records requests, consist of communications among agents from the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Justice Department, the Marshals Service, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, as well as state and local police. The “Intel Group,” as its members refer to it, closely monitored anti-Dakota Access protests in real time, scooped up information on the water protectors from social media, and shared intelligence.

Included among the documents obtained via public records requests were “daily intelligence updates” developed by TigerSwan that were shared with law enforcement officers, thus contributing to a broad public-private intelligence dragnet. In the internal situation reports, TigerSwan operatives comment frequently about their routine coordination and intelligence sharing with law enforcement. The intel group went so far as to use a live video feed from a private Dakota Access security helicopter to monitor protesters’ movements. In one report, TigerSwan discusses meeting with investigators from North Dakota’s Attorney General’s Office.

North Dakota’s Attorney General’s Office declined to comment.

TigerSwan’s internal reports and the intelligence briefings shared with law enforcement name dozens of DAPL opponents. Some of those named are well-known activists, while others have minimal public affiliation with the water protector movement. The reports’ authors often comment on camp dynamics, including protester morale and infighting, and speculate about violent or illegal actions specific individuals might take and weapons they might carry. The documents reveal the existence of a “persons of interest” list as well as other databases that included identifying information such as photographs and license plate numbers.

The situation reports also suggest that TigerSwan attempted a counterinformation campaign by creating and distributing content critical of the protests on social media.

The Intercept is publishing a first set of TigerSwan’s situation reports from September 2016, which describe the company’s initial operations. We are also publishing two additional situation reports dated October 16 and November 5, along with PowerPoint presentations shared with law enforcement that correspond to the same dates. The names of private individuals whose actions are not already in the public record, or whose authorization we did not obtain, have been redacted to protect their privacy. The Intercept will publish the remaining situation reports in the coming weeks.

In addition, The Intercept is publishing a selection of communications, obtained by public records requests, detailing coordination between a wide range of local, state, and federal agencies, which confirm that the FBI participated in core Dakota Access-related law enforcement operations starting soon after protests began last summer. Finally, we are publishing two additional documents, also in the public record, that detail TigerSwan’s role spearheading Energy Transfer Partner’s multipronged security operation.

The FBI did not respond to a request for comment.

A Public-Private Partnership

Beginning in April of last year, indigenous activists calling themselves water protectors and their allies spent months attempting to block construction of the 1,172-mile Dakota Access Pipeline, which runs near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota and traverses three other states. DAPL opponents were met with a heavily militarized police apparatus including local and out of state police and sheriff’s deputies, as well as Bureau of Indian Affairs police and National Guard troops. The police became notorious for their use of so-called less than lethal weapons against demonstrators, including rubber bullets, bean bag pellets, LRAD sound devices, and water cannons.

But it was the brutality of private security officers that first provoked widespread outrage concerning the pipeline project. On Labor Day weekend of 2016, Democracy Now! captured footage of pipeline security guards attacking peaceful protesters with dogs.

In the aftermath of that incident, Energy Transfer Partners turned to TigerSwan — a company with a deep background in counterterrorism operations — to oversee the work of the other security companies contracted to protect the pipeline. Other security firms working along the pipeline included Silverton, Russell Group of Texas, 10 Code LLC, Per Mar, SRC, OnPoint, and Leighton, documents show.

Based in Apex, North Carolina, TigerSwan was created by retired Army Col. James Reese during the height of the war in Iraq. Reese, a former commander in the elite Army special operations unit known as Delta, entered into the exploding private security and intelligence industry hoping to compete with Blackwater, then the most successful of the private military companies supporting U.S. war efforts in the Middle East and Afghanistan. TigerSwan has an estimated 350 employees and maintains offices in Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, India, Latin America, and Japan.

Records from the North Dakota Private Investigation and Security Board show that TigerSwan has operated without a license in North Dakota for the entirety of the pipeline security operation, claiming in a communication with the board, “We are doing management and IT consulting for our client and doing no security work.” In September, the licensing board learned about the company’s position as a Dakota Access contractor and wrote a letter to its North Carolina headquarters requesting that it submit a license application.

TigerSwan then did so, but the board denied the application on December 19. After James Reese wrote a letter objecting to the decision, the security board’s executive director responded on January 10 that “one reason for the denial concerns your failure to respond to the Board’s request for information as to TigerSwan’s and James Reese’s activities within the State of North Dakota.” Neither TigerSwan nor the board responded to questions regarding the current status of the company’s license.

The leaked situation reports indicate that during the company’s first weeks working on the pipeline, TigerSwan operatives met with law enforcement in Iowa and North Dakota, including Sheriff Dean Danzeisen of Mercer County, North Dakota, who “agreed to sharing of information.” (In the report, TigerSwan misspells the sheriff’s name as “Denzinger.”) By September 13, the documents indicate, TigerSwan had placed a liaison inside the law enforcement “joint operation command” in North Dakota. The fusion of public and private intelligence operations targeting water protectors was underway.

One of TigerSwan’s lines of communication with law enforcement was via intelligence briefings that echo the company’s internal situation reports. The briefings obtained by The Intercept were sent by TigerSwan’s deputy security director Al Ornoski to a variety of recipients, including the Gmail account of Sheriff Danzeisen. Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier, who was regularly involved in policing the protests, also received at least one of the TigerSwan briefings.

Danzeisen did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for the Morton County Sheriff’s Department wrote in an email to The Intercept that the department “did maintain communication with TigerSwan security in order to understand when and where DAPL construction activities were taking place. This gave law enforcement situational awareness in order to monitor and respond to illegal protest activity.”

TigerSwan also aided prosecutors in building cases against pipeline opponents. According to an October 16 document obtained via a records request, the security team’s responsibilities included collecting “information of an evidentiary level” that would ultimately “aid in prosecution” of protesters.

A leaked report dated September 14, 2016, indicates that TigerSwan met with the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation “regarding video and still photo evidence collected for prosecution.” The same document describes plans to “continue building Person of Interest (POI) folders and coordination with [law enforcement] intelligence.” TigerSwan’s situation reports also describe conversations between the company’s operatives and FBI agents on at least four occasions.

Activists on the ground were tracked by a Dakota Access helicopter that provided live video coverage to their observers in police agencies, according to an October 12 email thread that included officers from the FBI, DHS, BIA, state, and local police. In one email, National Security Intelligence Specialist Terry Van Horn of the U.S. attorney’s office acknowledged his direct access to the helicopter video feed, which was tracking protesters’ movements during a demonstration. “Watching a live feed from DAPL Helicopter, pending arrival at site(s),” he wrote. Cecily Fong, a spokesperson for law enforcement throughout the protests, acknowledged that an operations center in Bismarck had access to the feed, stating in an email to The Intercept that “the video was provided as a courtesy so we had eyes on the situation.”

Asked about the intel group, Fong replied, “The Intelligence Group was formed from virtually the beginning. It involved personnel from our [State and Local Intelligence Center], the BIA, FBI, and Justice” consisting of “around 7 people who monitored social media in particular, in this case, because that was the medium most if not all of the protestors were using.”

“I’m honored that they felt that we were a big enough threat to go to this level of intervention,” Ed Fallon, an activist mentioned several times in the TigerSwan documents, told The Intercept.

As the water protector movement expanded from North Dakota to other states, so did the surveillance. A report dated March 29, for instance, points to a meeting between TigerSwan and “the Des Moines Field Office of the FBI, with the Omaha and Sioux Falls offices joining by conference call. Also in attendance were representatives of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, Department of Homeland Security, Iowa Department of Emergency Services, Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Iowa Department of Wildlife. Topics covered included the current threat assessment of the pipeline, the layout of current security assets and persons of interest. The FBI seemed were [sic] very receptive to the information presented to them, and follow-up meetings with individuals will be scheduled soon.”

TigerSwan’s relationship with public police agencies was not always harmonious. The situation reports describe TigerSwan’s frustration with the amount of leeway some law enforcement gave protesters in Iowa and the company’s efforts to convince officers to use more punitive tactics.

In a situation report dated October 16, TigerSwan applauds a recent increase in bail in Lee County, Iowa, calling it “significant because this may impede protestors from risking arrest due to the high cost to be released from bail.” The document contrasts that county’s tactics to those used by others. “Calhoun, Boone and Webster county law enforcement are not supportive of DAPL Security’s mission” the report says, noting those agencies’ “reluctance to arrest or cite trespassing individuals.”

“We need to work closer with Calhoun, Boone, and Webster county [law enforcement] to ensure future protestors will at least be fined, if not arrested,” the analyst notes. “Alternatively, we could request Lee County LE speak to other counties about tactics that are working.”

Contacted for comment, recently elected Lee County Sheriff Stacy Weber said he hadn’t discussed TigerSwan with the previous sheriff. “As far as I knew, the protest stuff was over with, and we haven’t had any protests since,” he said. In fact, Weber hadn’t heard of the company until earlier this week, when a TigerSwan program manager named Don Felt stopped by the office. “He dropped his card off and said he wanted to say hello,” Weber said.

Find, Fix, Eliminate

TigerSwan’s internal files describe its utilization of aerial surveillance, including use of helicopters and drones to photograph and monitor the pipeline opponents. The September 12 situation report notes that an operation by construction workers was “over-watched by a predator on loan to the JEJOC from Oklahoma.” The TigerSwan contractor who provided the Intercept with the situation reports said he did not believe the company ever operated a predator drone, but metadata in images he shared pointed to a camera used by a commercially available Phantom 4 drone. One of the daily intelligence updates notes plans to obtain night-vision goggles, LRADs, body armor, and FLIR (forward looking infrared) cameras.

The reports also reveal a widespread and sustained campaign of infiltration of protest camps and activist circles. Throughout the leaked documents, TigerSwan makes reference to its intelligence-gathering teams, which infiltrated protest camps and activist groups in various states. TigerSwan agents using false names and identities regularly sought to obtain the trust of protesters, which they used to gather information they reported back to their employer, according to the TigerSwan contractor.

The September documents make numerous references to Silverton personnel, who were overseen by TigerSwan, attending protests in Iowa. Silverton did not respond to a request for comment.

Covert operations are implicit in many of the other situation reports, which are filled with details that only individuals with close and consistent access to the protesters’ communities could have gathered. On a few occasions, however, the reports make that presence more explicit, for instance by referring to “sources in the camp.”

For example, the November 5 situation report describes the “exploitation of documents found at Camp 1.” Apparently, they didn’t contain much revealing material. “Of most concern,” the situation report says, “were the ‘Earth First’ magazines found on the camp. These magazines promote and provide TTP’s [tactics, techniques, and procedures] for violent activity.”

In an October 3 report, TigerSwan discusses how to use its knowledge of internal camp dynamics: “Exploitation of ongoing native versus non-native rifts, and tribal rifts between peaceful and violent elements is critical in our effort to delegitimize the anti-DAPL movement.” On February 19, TigerSwan makes explicit its plans to infiltrate a Chicago protest group. “TigerSwan collections team will make contact with event organizers to embed within the structure of the demonstration to develop a trusted agent status to be cultivated for future collection efforts,” the report notes, later repeating its intent to “covertly make contact with event organizers.”

“At every action I went to, they had their own people walking around with a video camera getting in people’s faces,” Ian Souter, a protester who was described as a “person of interest” in a TigerSwan report, told The Intercept.

Perhaps one of the most striking revelations of the documents is the level of hostility displayed by TigerSwan toward the water protectors. TigerSwan consistently describes the peaceful demonstrators using military and tactical language more appropriate for counterterrorism operations in an armed conflict zone. At times, the military language verges on parody, as when agents write of protesters “stockpiling signs” or when they discuss the “caliber” of paintball pellets. More often, however, the way TigerSwan discusses protesters as “terrorists,” their direct actions as “attacks,” and the camps as a “battlefield,” reveals how the protesters’ dissent was not only criminalized but treated as a national security threat. A March 1 report states that protesters’ “operational weakness allows TS elements to further develop and dictate the battlespace.”

In one internal report dated May 4, a TigerSwan operative describes an effort to amass digital and ground intelligence that would allow the company to “find, fix, and eliminate” threats to the pipeline — an eerie echo of “find, fix, finish,” a military term used by special forces in the U.S. government’s assassination campaign against terrorist targets.

TigerSwan pays particular attention to protesters of Middle Eastern descent. A September 22 situation report argues that “the presence of additional Palestinians in the camp, and the movement’s involvement with Islamic individuals is a dynamic that requires further examination.” The report acknowledges that “currently there is no information to suggest terrorist type tactics or operations,” but nonetheless warns that “with the current limitation on information flow out of the camp, it cannot be ruled out.”

Haithem El-Zabri, a Palestinian-American activist singled out in the reports, was shocked to hear his name mentioned in that context. “As indigenous people, Palestinians stand in solidarity with other indigenous people and their right to land, water, and sovereignty,” he told The Intercept. “To insinuate that our assumed faith is a red flag for terrorist tactics is another example of willful ignorance and the establishment’s continued attempts to criminalize nonviolent protest and justify violence against it.”

Such ethnic and religious profiling of protesters was not unusual. An October 12 email thread shared among members of the intel group provides a striking example of how TigerSwan was able to cast suspicion on specific individuals and communicate it to law enforcement officials. Cass County Sheriff’s Deputy Tonya Jahner emailed several other officers, including two FBI agents, with an overview of information provided by “company intel.” The information pertained to a woman whom Jahner labeled as a “strong Shia Islamic” with a “strong female Shia following.” The woman had “made several trips overseas,” Jahner wrote.

TigerSwan agents also regularly tracked individuals’ movements across state lines.

On November 4, according to one of TigerSwan’s internal documents, a white SUV pulled up to a pipeline valve site in South Dakota. Approached by a security guard, the driver introduced himself as Gary Tomlin and informed the official that he was a freelance reporter covering the pipeline. In an interview, 63-year-old Tomlin, who covers the local school board for the Galesburg, Illinois, Register-Mail, said he had set out to travel the length of the pipeline and write a story about it as a freelancer. “I had time and the ability to do it, and I thought, well, I’ll go look at that sucker,” he said.

A situation report from that day notes, “This is the same individual identified in the SITREP a few days ago in Illinois and Iowa.” The security company, OnPoint, quickly contacted TigerSwan Intel “for an assessment of Gary Tomlin” and notified the guard in the next “sector” that Tomlin was on his way. “Movement of Spread Team 6 was conducted so as to intercept and/or observe Gary Tomlin’s movement throughout the South Dakota Sector,” the document states. “It is my belief,” the analyst adds, “that Gary Tomlin is hiding his true intentions and that he has a plethora of information to provide to the protesters. It is estimated that he will arrive in North Dakota on the evening of the 4th or morning of the 5th.”

Tomlin laughed at the notion that he was working with protesters. When he arrived at the camps in North Dakota, few people would talk openly with him. “They were highly aware of infiltrators,” he said. “I fit the profile of those security people — I’m a white old man.”

Cody Hall, a prominent native activist whose movements are tracked closely in the TigerSwan reports, told The Intercept he knew he was being followed whenever he left the camp.

“It was obvious, they were driving in trucks, SUVs, they would be right behind me, right next to me … it was like, damn, man, it’s like you’re getting an escort,” he said. “That was always the scary thing: How did they know that I was coming?”

Social Engagement Plan

A document dated October 16, obtained via a public records request, lays out the mission of the TigerSwan-led security team working in North Dakota: In addition to protecting the pipeline workers, machinery, and construction material, the company was also expected to “protect the reputation of DAPL.” The public relations mission quickly became a priority for the firm, documents show. As a leaked situation report from early September puts it, success would require “strategic messaging from the client that drives the message that we are the good guys, tell the real story and address the negative messaging with good counter messaging.”

On numerous occasions, TigerSwan agents stressed the need to change the public narrative established by protestors and to swing public support in favor of the pipeline. As accounts of protest repression garnered nationwide support for the NoDAPL movement, the firm’s agents painstakingly collected and analyzed media coverage, warning their client about how certain incidents might be received by the public.

“This article is only in the Huffington post, but the expansion of the tribe’s narrative outside of the Native American community media outlets is of concern,” an October 3 report notes. TigerSwan agents regularly describe protesters’ accounts of events as “propaganda.”

But TigerSwan personnel did not limit themselves to monitoring the narrative — they also t

In a report dated September 7, TigerSwan agents discuss the need for a “Social Engagement Plan.” On September 22, they discuss the development of an information operations campaign run by the company’s North Carolina-based intel team and Robert Rice, who without disclosing his TigerSwan affiliation posed as “Allen Rice” in a series of amateurish videos in which he provided commentary critical of the protests. The videos, posted on the Facebook pages “Defend Iowa” and “Netizens for Progress and Justice,” were removed after The Intercept contacted TigerSwan, Rice, and the pages’ administrators for comment. None responded.

With the Dakota Access Pipeline construction nearing completion, TigerSwan might have found itself out of a lucrative contract. But in the months leading up to the first oil delivery through the pipeline, the company made sure to stress the continued need for security.

“Everyone must be concerned of the lone wolf,” a TigerSwan operative wrote in a March 7 report. “Should we slip from that conscience, we may all be amiss. I cannot afford this in my duties, nor will We/I allow or accept this. I cannot thank everyone for enough for their support during this entire process, However, the movement continues, and We/I will not stop. That’s not in my vocabulary. We will always over-watch as the protectors what is in the best interest for ETP, as we are the guardians.”

In recent weeks, the company’s role has expanded to include the surveillance of activist networks marginally related to the pipeline, with TigerSwan agents monitoring “anti-Trump” protests from Chicago to Washington, D.C., as well as warning its client of growing dissent around other pipelines across the country.

In a March 24 report discussing the likely revival of protests as summer approaches, TigerSwan writes, “Much like Afghanistan and Iraq, the ‘Fighting Season’ will soon be here with the coming warming temperatures.”

Blessed Prozac Moments!

The Demented Detectives on Seth Rich’s Case

May 26, 2017

by Anna Merlan

New York Times

Seth Rich died on the night of July 10, 2016. The conspiracy theories were born days later. The process by which these baseless theories about his death snaked from Reddit to Twitter to Fox News illustrates just how thin the membrane has become between the conspiracy world and the mainstream.

Police say that Mr. Rich, a 27-year-old on the staff of the Democratic National Committee, most likely died in a botched robbery. But by July 13, alternate explanations emerged: A site called WhatDoesItMean.com claimed he was on his way to the F.B.I. to testify against Hillary Clinton.

Conspiracy theories help people who feel politically disempowered respond to a perceived loss of control. So it made sense, when Mrs. Clinton’s win seemed assured, that supporters of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders were convinced that Mr. Rich’s death showed ruthless corruption in the Democratic Party.

Conspiracy theories have been widespread among Americans for years, but they found particular prominence in the 2016 election because many people felt locked out of the process and distrustful of the news media. Mr. Trump, who repeatedly said that the press was dishonest and that the election would be “rigged” against him, fed and fed off this attitude.

But the Rich theories wouldn’t have gone beyond WhatDoesItMean.com and Reddit without the help of prominent backers. In August, Julian Assange insinuated that Mr. Rich could have been the source of the D.N.C. emails put out by WikiLeaks and offered a $20,000 reward for information on Mr. Rich’s death, despite the fact that a hacking persona going by Guccifer 2.0 claimed responsibility. Mr. Assange says that WikiLeaks doesn’t reveal its sources, but if Mr. Rich leaked the emails, he would be able to distance himself from accusations that he’d acted as a funnel for a Russian intelligence operation.

This is how the modern conspiracy ecosystem works. Theories are hijacked by the self-interested. Mr. Assange was trying to protect his reputation. For others, the motive is financial. Alex Jones, the founder of Infowars, claims fluoride is put in the water supply to control people — and then sells a Fluoride Shield supplement. Often the motives are partisan: Both Pizzagate and Spirit Cooking — wild theories that accused Democratic insiders of engaging in satanic rituals and child sex abuse — were shared by right-wing outlets like Drudge Report and The Washington Times to discredit Democrats.

Mr. Assange’s insinuations broke a dam: Before long, private “investigators” emerged, offering their dubious help to the Rich family. A Republican lobbyist named Jack Burkman offered more reward money, walking through Washington neighborhoods with posters reading, “Do you know who murdered Seth Rich?”

That pattern of attention-seekers attaching themselves to the case repeated itself again and again. Robbin Young, a former Playboy model who’s claimed to be in contact with Guccifer 2.0, has implied that she fears being killed as a result of her own “investigating.” Mike Cernovich, a far-right blogger, has also gotten involved. Even the Russian embassy in London tweeted “#WikiLeaks informer Seth Rich murdered in US but MSM was so busy accusing Russian hackers to take notice.”

The biggest fish in this foul pond, though, is Sean Hannity of Fox News, who recently latched onto the Rich story, promoting it on his popular prime-time show and on social media. Mr. Hannity, a fierce Trump partisan, seemed aware that his speculation about Mr. Rich’s death could deflect attention away from the multitude of disasters dogging the White House and at his own scandal-plagued network. And he surely knew that the story would play well with his audience, which was eager to see the news about the Trump team’s Russia connections as a mainstream media smoke screen and Mr. Rich’s murder as the real fire.

After vigorous public shaming — including a Washington Post op-ed essay by Mr. Rich’s parents — and pressure from his show’s advertisers, Mr. Hannity announced that he would stop discussing the murder (“for now,” he added). Fox even retracted a story from its website. He’s still tweeting, though, pledging that he’s close to finding “the truth.”

But the theories aren’t going away. Mr. Rich’s death has now become lodged firmly in the conspiracy firmament. Infowars proclaimed that Mr. Rich was a victim of the “deep state,” using his death as proof that the swamp is so murky that even Mr. Trump can’t drain it. And devotees of Pizzagate have written that they believe that the resolution of the Rich case will help explain a grand unified theory of diabolical government misdeeds. The demented detectives won’t stop.

The ceaseless churn of increasingly unhinged theories — and Fox News’ willingness to put them on air — torments the Rich family. “It is a travesty that you would prompt false conspiracy theories and other people’s agendas,” Aaron Rich, Seth’s brother, wrote in a letter to Mr. Hannity’s producers, “rather than work with the family to learn the truth.”

Portland’s City Council Votes to Give Furries the Right to Defecate, Mate in Dog Park

May 4, 2016

by R. Hobbus

PORTLAND, Or. – Portland’s city council on Wednesday voted 3 to 1 in favor of the Equal Use Act, a new resolution granting individuals who identify as furries the same rights afforded to dogs and their respective owners who frequent popular off-leash areas and dog parks in the greater Portland area.

The decision comes on the heels of a four-day sit-in organized by PDX Furs, a regional furry community based in the Portland metro area, which staged the protest at Portland’s city council offices on Milwaukie Avenue last weekend. “This is a huge victory,” said Bo Kirkman. “Not just for furries here in Portland but furries living all across the United States.”

Bo, a former kindergarten teacher and self-described furry rights advocate, told the Portland Tribune that he identifies as a dog. “It’s one thing to say you can’t bring your cat or your ferret or whatever to the off-leash areas because obviously they’re not dogs. But if I want to go to the park and play with my owner, well as a canine, that should be my right.”

Now, thanks to the City of Portland, Bo and his fellow furries can take advantage of the city’s designated off-leash areas. “Provided they respect and adhere to the posted rules and regulations at our city parks,” said Public Affairs commissioner Dan Saltzman who sits on the city council and voted in favor of the resolution.

According to the City of Portland’s official website, dog park visitors are expected to pick up and dispose of their pet’s waste and are advised to leave sick animals at home. “In an effort to prevent the spread of disease, we ask that owners refrain from allowing their dogs – or furries – drink from standing water,” Saltzman said.

However, not everyone is celebrating the new resolution.. “I think it’s rediculous,” said council-member Amanda Fritz who sits on the Portland Parks Board and voted against the proposal. “We’re allowing people in costumes to frolic about and fornicate to their heart’s content in our public parks.”

Mrs. Fritz may be alone in her sentiments. Portland mayor Charlie Hales told the Daily Journal of Commerce that the Equal Use Act is synonymous with Portland’s unofficial slogan. “Keep Portland weird,” quoted Mayor Hales before adding, “That is precisely what we intend to do.”

Comment: The furry fandom is a subculture interested in fictional anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics. Examples of anthropomorphic attributes include exhibiting human intelligence and facial expressions, the ability to speak, walk on two legs, and wear clothes. Furry fandom is also used to refer to the community of people who gather on the Internet and at furry conventions. In short, strange people who like to dress up in comic animal suits and mate and defecate in public parks. Very educational for small children indeed!


Bushes Lied – Watched JFK Die! Game Over!

March 13, 2017

by Brian Hyland

Conspiracy Daily Update

Stew Webb and Tom Heneghan just put out huge new information on why G.W. Bush is so public right now on the fake TV news shows.  He’s just been fingered as being in Dealey Plaza when John F. Kennedy was assassinated!  His father was also there and many people report he was running the operation to kill JFK.  Stew Webb reports the Bush Clinton Crime syndicate began to wrap their tentacles around the United States after this day.  Stew and Tom claim one $100 Trillion can now be clawed back when the Crime Syndicate is brought to justice.   Below you will see a 17 year old George W. Bush walking in front of a motorcycle in Dealey Plaza on 11/22/63  at the time JFK was fatally wounded by a coordinated crossfire involving many gunmen.  Next you will see George H.W. Bush standing in front of the book depository as JFK was taken out!  Stew reports French Intelligence sources provided this picture many years ago when H.W. Bush said he didn’t recall where he as the day JFK was shot!  Tom Heneghan reports there is a grand jury in Washington DC investigating many crimes by the Bushes. Clintons and Obamas!

Let’s pray justice be done!

Spread the word around the world!

The Bushes know that if justice is done, they will hang for treason. That’s’ why Bush Jr is on television shows saying that Trump’s Russian ties must be investigated!  It’s all a HUGE con!  Don’t let them get away with it!  Tell everybody the Bushes were both there in Dallas and watched super patriot John F. Kennedy get taken out so the Federal Reserve could continue raping America for decades

Comment: Stew Webb is a highly entertaining conspiracy writer who, among other rampant fictions, accuses his ex-wife’s father, Leonard Y. Millman, of being the Denver regional head of the “Knights Templar Satanist Bush Crime Family” which, he alleges, conduct human sacrifices every summer and winter solstice in Sedalia, Colorado.They originally intended to sacrifice virgins but as these proved to be almost non-existent in Colorado, they settled on besotted winos instead.

The Pegasus Unit is Now Identified!

May 20, 2017

by Tom Heneghan

International Intelligence Expert

UNITED States of America  –  It can now be reported that French Intelligence, European INTERPOL, Russian Intelligence and U.S. Defense Department Intel have identified the Pegasus Unit (controls 70% of the U.S. CIA and the United States Department of Justice) as the operational and financial lynchpin that coordinates worldwide terrorist networks and cells with an emphasis on western Europe, the Middle East, as well as the United States.

The Pegasus Unit has also been fingered in the training of Chechnyan rebels that have been linked to terrorist attacks against Orthodox churches, Jewish synagogues and elementary schools inside the Russian Federation.

It gets worse!

The Pegasus Unit has also been combining these Chechnyan cells into assassination teams that are currently being funded by the U.S. State Department to assassinate pro-Russian resistance in the now NAZI Paperclip U.S. government occupied nation of Ukraine.

Note:  This all ties in to the nation of Yemen.

The Pegasus Unit, which operates in duality with the U.S. NSA, specializes in conducting worldwide espionage and scripting worldwide financial and geopolitical events.

Reference:  Massive financial worldwide currency manipulation and scripted false flag terrorist attacks that benefit proprietary trading of crooked worldwide banks.

The Pegasus Unit also specializes in the use of algorithms and scalar technology, which attacks elements of the human brain (the Medulla) with electromagnetic radiation waves that use power lines, GWEN towers for ELF, satellites and cell phones as the weapons of attack.

P.S.  We can now also divulge that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is trying to frame and indict former U.S. military General David Petreaus for allegedly leaking classified info dealing with, you guessed it, the Pegasus Unit of the CIA involvement in the Benghazi, Libya terrorist attack against the U.S. Consulate aka outpost that led to the assassination of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and patriots Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.

P.P.S. We can also report at this hour worldwide banks remain hopelessly cross-collateralized to each other in trillions of dollars of undermargined derivatives, mainly naked short positions tied to the Japanese yen.

It is therefore no coincidence that the current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe is about to present his budget tonight.

Note:  The current Japanese Prime Minister has a close association with the Pegasus Unit.

Accordingly, it is no coincidence that the terrorist attacks in Paris, France took place within hours before the worldwide foreign currency bank derivatives were about to go hybrid.

P.P.P.S.  In summation, the terrorist attacks in Paris, France have two elements:

  1. A huge financial rally in both U.S. and Japanese equity markets took place after the events in France began to unravel.
  2. The terrorist attacks in France began within three days after revelations by former Florida U.S. Senator Bob Graham, Democrat of Florida, concerning the continued cover up of the 9/11 ‘Black Op’ by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder reference his failure to release Graham’s own Congressional 9/11 Report concerning 28 redacted pages still being illegally classified by Holder as national security.

Again, as reported in our last intelligence briefing, Holder is withholding documents reference former year 2000 illegal pResident occupant BushFRAUD conspiring with then Saudi Prince Bandar on the night of 9/11 itself (recorded on tape by Naval Intelligence) to fly all of Osama bin Laden’s family out of the United States and discussing the use of Guantanamo Bay as a torture chamber for 9/11 witnesses that knew too much about the Bush-Saudi TREASON.

Redacted documents also show that BushFRAUD’s NAZI Paperclip brother, Jeb Bush, illegally obstructed justice and refused to cooperate with the FBI when he illegally seized the flight school records of the alleged hijackers; the records showing that none of these alleged hijackers aka patsies had the ability to fly commercial aircraft that allegedly crashed into the Twin Towers.

The redacted documents also include testimony from numerous United Airlines and American Airlines pilots who testified before U.S. Senator Graham’s Congressional inquiry that it would be physically impossible based on basic physics to angle and steer these commercial aircraft into the Twin Towers.

In closing, I have a special message to our greatest and oldest ally, the Republic of France:

Je suis Francais.

We regret what took place in your nation, which was clearly an act of war against your Republic coordinated by this treasonous filth.

Accordingly, identify the enemy and eradicate it:  It is the nation of Yemen (in which the Pegaus Unit operates cells and networks).

The nuclear aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle sets sail tonight.

Objective:  Turning Yemen into an ashtray (translation: cendrier)

Jon Rappoport

May 21, 2014

The American Loons

Jon Rappoport is a deliriously insane “independent researcher” and blogger. According to his bio, he “has lectured extensively all over the US on the question: Who runs the world and what can we do about it?” For the last decade, however, he has “operated largely away from the mainstream” because, as he puts it, “[m]y research was not friendly to the conventional media.” Indeed. His independent research encompasses “deep politics, conspiracies, alternative health, the potential of the human imagination, mind control, the medical cartel, symbology, and solutions to the takeover of the planet by hidden elites.”

He is, for instance, a germ theory denialist, and in his post “Germ theory and depopulation” he argues that “[i]n general, so-called contagious diseases are caused, not by germs, but by IMMUNE SYSTEMS THAT ARE TOO WEAK TO FIGHT OFF THOSE GERMS” (yes, the capitalization is in the original). Indeed, “GERMS ARE A COVER STORY. What do they cover up? The fact that immune systems are the more basic target for depopulation and debilitation of populations.” The main tool is of course vaccines, which are weapons the nefarious powers that be use to kill off, well, it is a bit hard to see, partially because Rappoport’s post is mostly all-caps from there. At least HIV is a cover story as well.

He has a similar screed on flu vaccines on whale.to if that’s the kind of stuff you fancy reading. It is barely grammatical, but at least he gets his enthusiastic anger across rather well.

Currently Rappoport seems to write on various topics for InfoWars. Recently, for instance, Rappoport and InfoWars dubbed Rep. Tim Murphy’s bill seeking to reform the way the government addresses mental health services a “diabolical legislative package,” since Rappoport thought the legislation would require almost all children to take “psychiatric meds,” and that the bill will ultimately give the federal government “a monopoly of the mind.” Yeah, that’s the way he rolls.

Diagnosis: Hysterically crazy; and his influence is probably not quite as limited as his level of crazy should suggest

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