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TBR News October 21, 2016

Oct 21 2016

A Compendium of Various Official Lies, Business Scandals, Small Murders, Frauds, and Other Gross Defects of Our Current Political, Business and Religious Moral Lepers.

“When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes… Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain.”- Napoleon Bonaparte, 1815

“Corrupted by wealth and power, your government is like a restaurant with only one dish. They’ve got a set of Republican waiters on one side and a set of Democratic waiters on the other side. But no matter which set of waiters brings you the dish, the legislative grub is all prepared in the same Wall Street kitchen”. – Huey Long

“I fired [General MacArthur] because he wouldn’t respect the authority of the President. That’s the answer to that. I didn’t fire him because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was, but that’s not against the law for generals. If it was, half to three-quarters of them would be in jail “- Harry S Truman

“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” -Thomas Jefferson.

“Democracy is the art of running the circus from the monkey cage”

– H.L. Mencken

“For a quarter of a century the CIA has been repeatedly wrong about every major political and economic question entrusted to its analysis.” 

-Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan

The New York Times, 1991.

 Don’t tell a lie! Some men I’ve known
Commit the most appalling acts,
Because they happen to be prone
To an economy of facts;
And if to lie is bad, no doubt
’Tis even worse to get found out!

 My children, never, never steal!
To know their offspring is a thief
Will often make a father feel
Annoyed and cause a mother grief;
So never steal, but, when you do,
Be sure there’s no one watching you.

 The Wicked flourish like the bay,
At Cards or Love they always win,
Good Fortune dogs their steps all day,
They fatten while the Good grow thin.
The Righteous Man has much to bear;

    The Bad becomes a Bullionaire!




The Voice of the White House  

Washington, D.C.  October 21, 2016:”On a Sunday, due to pressure from the United States government, the Bolivian Embassy in London shut down the computer system of Julian Assange, a computer expert being sought by the American government. This shut-down was to stop the release of documents that impacted negatively on the campagn of Hillary Clinton, the favored candidate of the Establishment. It is interesting to note that on the following Monday, another huge release of sensitive documente followed. It is also interesting to note that there was no comment on why, if the Bolivians has indeed shut Assange down,how such a posting could happen? One answer could well be that Julian Assange is a figurehead and that Wikileans is in the hands of, and under the control of other entities. Think about it.”

WikiLeaks releases yet more #PodestaEmails from Clinton campaign chair

October 21, 2016


The latest batch is the 14th release by WikiLeaks of Podesta’s mails. © Alex Wong / AFP

WikiLeaks has released a new batch of emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta.

The latest tranche comprises of around 1,577 mails, bringing the total released so far to 25,000. WikiLeaks has said it will release around 50,000 mails in total in the lead up to the presidential election on November 8.


Hard-Line Prosecutors Face Rejection From Voters in Elections Across the U.S.

October 20, 2016

by Jordan Smith

The Intercept

Campaigning this summer and into the fall, Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed that crime is plaguing American cities and what the country needs is a return to law and order — more cops, and consequently, more prosecutions. Aside from the fact that crime in most American cities remains at historic lows, voters in jurisdictions across the country seem to have something different in mind — a shift toward more progressive leadership within the criminal justice system, judging from recent district attorney elections.

In Chicago, a city Trump has repeatedly pointed to in his speeches, two-term incumbent Cook County prosecutor Anita Alvarez lost her March primary battle to Democratic challenger Kim Foxx. Alvarez was excoriated for her inaction in the wake of the Laquan McDonald shooting and has been criticized for her defiance and foot-dragging in wrongful conviction cases. “Our criminal justice system is profoundly broken,” Foxx said during a debate. And Alvarez “doesn’t even realize that it’s broken.”

In August, notorious Florida prosecutor Angela Corey — known for unsuccessfully prosecuting George Zimmerman for the death of Trayvon Martin; pursuing criminal charges against Marissa Alexander, who fired a gunshot into a wall as a warning to an abusive husband who had threatened to kill her; and prosecuting a 12-year-old as an adult, among other career lows — was toppled by an “unknown corporate lawyer” named Melissa Nelson.

These elections are part of a small but growing trend in district attorney races across the country in which voters are eschewing the traditional tough-on-crime narrative that has dominated prosecutor elections for decades in favor of more reform-minded candidates whose platforms include holding police more accountable and taking more seriously cases of wrongful conviction.

In November, it appears that at least one additional name could be added to the list of incumbent prosecutors ousted amid growing public attention on the excesses of the criminal justice system: Devon Anderson, Houston’s district attorney. Anderson won her first election for the Harris County seat in 2014 after framing herself as tough on crime while also trying to position herself as a change agent.

But the promise to reform an office long dominated by hard-nosed leaders has gone unfulfilled, with Anderson’s tenure as top law enforcer in the nation’s fourth-largest city punctuated by a series of scandals — including her office’s treatment of an emotionally vulnerable victim of sexual assault.

When Jane Doe took the witness stand in a Houston courtroom on December 8, 2015, she was emotionally unprepared to confront Keith Hendricks, a serial rapist who had violently attacked her two years earlier. She had a mental breakdown while testifying, fled the courtroom, and was found wandering in traffic. Doe — whose identity has not been made public — has bipolar disorder and symptoms of schizophrenia. She was admitted to a local hospital and the trial was recessed until January.

After she was discharged days later, the Harris County district attorney’s office had her arrested and jailed for more than a month — a move they said was necessary to ensure she would return to finish her testimony, and one that Doe’s attorneys argue in a federal lawsuit violated Texas law. And although the county’s jail has a mental health unit, Doe was housed in the general population where she was denied psychiatric care, viciously attacked by another inmate, and punched in the face by a guard.

News of Doe’s arrest made headlines this summer, and Devon Anderson went on the offensive, posting a video statement online against the advice of her general counsel. Jailing Doe was necessary, she said. How else could prosecutors be sure that a “homeless, mentally ill victim of an aggravated sexual assault would return to testify at the trial of her rapist when that victim was going through a life-threatening mental health crisis?” Unless she testified, Anderson said, the man would go free and Doe would be vulnerable on the streets.

The statement did not help. Mental health advocates noted that while Anderson acknowledged that Doe was in mental distress, she and her underlings did nothing to ensure that Doe would actually receive any mental health care while locked up. Victim advocates complained that prosecutors had only re-victimized Doe and worried that jailing a rape victim might deter others from reporting sexual assault. Still others noted that Anderson didn’t even have her facts straight: Doe had been homeless at the time of her attack, but she was now living with family in another county.

It was not the first time that Anderson seemed flat-footed in response to criticism. “If you have two doors right now, and number one is the right one and number two is the wrong one, she has a real knack for choosing number two, the wrong door,” said Tyler Flood, president of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association. “There’s been so many bombs that have been falling and they keep exploding in her lap.”

Anderson has also come under fire for declining to initiate an investigation or file a state bar grievance against a former prosecutor who withheld critical alibi evidence from lawyers defending Alfred Dewayne Brown, who spent more than 10 years behind bars — most of them on death row — for the killing of a police officer before finally being freed last year. She has been lambasted for declining to allow a new sentencing hearing for another death row inmate, Duane Buck, whose original hearing was tainted by racially charged testimony. And, amid an ongoing scandal involving the destruction of some 21,000 pieces of evidence — potentially impacting more than 1,000 criminal cases — came the revelation that Anderson had known about the problem for months but failed to tell prosecutors handling the affected cases — allowing them to continue to secure plea deals with individuals in cases where there was no evidence to support the charges. “It’s a big problem; a big problem,” said Flood.

Anderson was appointed DA in 2013 by then-Gov. Rick Perry to fill the vacancy caused by the unexpected death of the sitting, elected DA, who happened to be Anderson’s husband. In 2014, in a special election to cover her husband’s unexpired term, Anderson won handily in the Republican-leaning county with 53 percent of the vote over her Democratic challenger, former prosecutor Kim Ogg. With the 2016 regular election now less than a month away, however, Anderson’s future in the office is uncertain, and Ogg, who is again running against her on a reform-minded platform, appears poised to win.

Unchecked Power and No Transparency

Elected prosecutors enjoy unparalleled power in the criminal justice system, while facing little oversight outside the electoral process — and even there, it appears they scarcely face real scrutiny. “You basically have unchecked power and no transparency,” said Daniel Medwed, a professor at Northeastern University School of Law who studies wrongful convictions.

Prosecutors generally have great job security. Overall, 63 percent have been on the job for five years or more — in larger offices, that number is 70 percent, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ 2007 report on the nation’s prosecutors. And when seeking re-election, incumbent prosecutors win 95 percent of the time, according to research done by Wake Forest University School of Law professor Ronald Wright, who tracked electoral outcomes from 1996-2006. “This evidence shows that voters rarely vote against incumbent prosecutors; more importantly, incumbents face a challenge far less often than incumbents in legislative races,” Wright wrote in a 2009 article for the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law. “In such a setting, prosecutors have little reason to expect that they will have to explain their choices and priorities to the voters. The outcomes, in sum, demonstrate that elections produce low turnover and few challenges.”

But recent elections suggest that may be changing, said Medwed and David Alan Sklansky, a professor at Stanford Law School. A former prosecutor himself, Sklansky notes that traditionally there have been two lines of thinking about prosecutor elections. The first is that they’re “totally useless” and “superficial.” The second is that “they’re just a terrible idea … because why would you ever want prosecutors elected? You don’t want prosecutors thinking about politics, you want them thinking about justice.” But the recent spate of high-profile ousters of prosecutors from office may be “casting both of those old stories about prosecutor elections into doubt,” he said. “And that also provided fuel for the hope that prosecutors could be the engines of criminal justice reform.”

While advocates for reform have long believed that prosecutors hold enough sway to move the needle on reform, recent elections suggest that shift may finally be happening — a shift that, arguably, began with the 2013 election of Ken Thompson, Brooklyn’s first black district attorney, who died suddenly of cancer this month.

Thompson readily defeated incumbent Charles Hynes, who had enjoyed a more than two-decade run as the Kings County DA. This was no small feat, considering that no one had unseated an incumbent DA in Brooklyn for more than a century, as Sklansky notes in a paper to be published next year.

While it’s true that Hynes himself had once been considered fairly progressive — he set up the office’s conviction integrity unit to review and consider possible cases of wrongful conviction — he was eventually embroiled in controversy. Accusations of cronyism, prosecutorial misconduct, and preferential treatment dogged him. Thompson ran on a platform focused on equity, telling a reporter, “I’m going to make sure that the people who work for me know that the fundamental role of the DA is to do justice and we cannot have innocent people going to prison for murders that they did not commit.”

A Trend, Not a Blueprint

In his recent paper, Sklansky analyzes eight recent races where DAs have lost their re-election bids. He sees a trend — but not one political blueprint for victory.

For example, 26-year veteran Mississippi prosecutor Forrest Allgood (a perfervid defender of an infamous medical examiner and discredited bite-mark evidence) was ousted last fall by Scott Colom, a young attorney who ran a campaign centered on reforming the system. Voters have also unseated Tim McGinty, the Ohio prosecutor whose jurisdiction includes Cleveland. McGinty was elected as a reformer in 2012, Sklansky notes, and his undoing seems almost entirely attributable to his failure to indict the police officer who killed Tamir Rice in a city park in November 2014.

Holding police accountable was also a factor in prosecutor races in New Mexico and Baltimore, where Marilyn Mosby ran on a more traditional tough-on-crime platform, but also criticized the incumbent for being too closely aligned with the police department and for failing to indict officers after their fatal encounter with Tyrone West. Mosby has since been criticized for her handling of the prosecution of officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray.

Several races have focused more closely on prosecutorial misconduct, or on failings in the death penalty system, and some have been fueled by out-of-state campaign donations, notably by the billionaire George Soros. In other words, behind each victory there is a unique and myriad assortment of issues at play.

Still, notes Sklansky, the recent upsets are not geographically pigeonholed or confined to larger jurisdictions. And although they represent a fraction of the 2,500 prosecutor offices across the country, the fact that incumbent prosecutors generally enjoy such great job security suggests they are significant. “This is a small trend, but it is a trend. Maybe a dozen or so over the last few years, and it is steadily growing,” Sklansky said. “I think that suggests that there is a possibility [for reform] that 15 years ago didn’t seem to exist.”

In Houston, it isn’t clear what will happen on November 8. Major publications in the state have highlighted Anderson’s missteps, including the Houston Chronicle, which has strongly urged its readers to vote for Ogg. “Why should Kim Ogg replace Devon Anderson as district attorney?” the editorial board began its endorsement. “Let us count the ways.” In addition to jailing Jane Doe and stonewalling in the Alfred Dewayne Brown case, the paper noted instances of prosecutorial misconduct and Anderson’s “stoking” of “racial tension” in the aftermath of the killing of a local sheriff’s deputy by a mentally ill man.

Tyler Flood, the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association president, says it is clearly time for a change in the Houston DA’s office. In fact, he said, his organization is currently in the process of preparing a state bar grievance against Anderson, citing her conduct in connection with the evidence destruction scandal.

Germany reforms its main intelligence service

The German parliament has subjected the country’s intelligence service, the BND, to increased government scrutiny. But critics object that it also gives the BND wide-ranging new powers to spy on foreign nationals.

October 21, 2016


Germany’s lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, has passed a comprehensive reform of the country’s main intelligence service, the BND. The new legislation strengthens government monitoring of intelligence activities while explicitly allowing the BND to carry out certain types of surveillance activities.

The reform comes in the wake of the 2013 revelations by American whistleblower Edward Snowden that a number of national intelligence services, including the BND, had spied on behalf of the US National Security Agency (NSA) and that the NSA had spied on its allies. That prompted the formation of a German parliamentary committee to draft intelligence agency reforms.

The new legislation subjects the BND to monitoring by an “independent panel” of two judges and a federal prosecutor and a “permanent commissioner” from the Interior Ministry. It stipulates that surveillance of international communications networks must be authorized by the Chancellor’s Office rather than by the BND itself and explicitly prohibits economic and industrial espionage.

The new laws also provide for better protection for whistleblowers within intelligence services and subjects the BND to annual public hearings instead of private ones, as has been the case.

Explicit permissions

On the other hand, the reforms explicitly allow the BND to direct espionage operations at EU institutions and other EU member states, if they are aimed at gathering “information of significance for [Germany’s] foreign policy and security.”

The reform also permits the BND to cooperate with foreign intelligence services like the NSA if it serves specific purposes, including fighting terrorism, supporting the German military on foreign missions or collecting information concerning the safety of Germans abroad.

The legislation was passed with the votes of the governing Conservative-Social Democratic coalition, which said that the reforms address the concerns raised by the Snowden leaks while allowing the BND to use 20th century means to ensure Germany’s security.

“How else is the BND supposed to protect us against terrorism other than listening in on conversations between people outside of Germany?” said Clemens Binninger of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, the chairman of the Bundestag’s NSA parliamentary committee.

Extra-legal spaces?

The opposition Left Party and the Greens voted against the legislation, saying that instead of reining in the BND it rewards the German intelligence service with new powers and will lead to the infringement of the rights of people outside Germany.

Binninger disputed that interpretation.

“To say that we now allow something that used to be forbidden is in my view almost intellectually dishonest,” Binninger told Deustche Welle after the Bundestag vote.

Green Party spokesman for Internet policy Konstantin von Notz called the legislation unconstitutional and predicted that it would be rejected by Germany’s highest court.

“Three years after Snowden, and after three years of the parliamentary committee, the grand coalition has delivered nothing to improve protection of people’s rights on the Internet,” Notz told Deutsche Welle. “Constitutional experts, UN human rights specialists, Reporters Without Borders, German public television and many people who have intensively investigated the topic say that this is an unconstitutional law. The intelligence services treat the Internet as an extra-legal space. That’s unconstitutional.”

Notz added that the reform violated article 10 of the German constitution, which guarantees the privacy of communication, and that ninety percent of surveillance operations had nothing to do with terrorism.

“The law will only lead to the further discrediting of the BND,” Notz said.  “The politicians always pass on responsibility to the intelligence service, although the politicians are the ones responsible.”

Mrs. Clinton’s anti-Russian hysterics are crazy – and dangerous

October 21, 2016

by Justin Raimondo


Is the Iraqi city of Mosul on the border with Syria, as Mrs. Clinton averred during the third presidential debate?

No way.

Exactly no one has called her out on this. I guess you have to be Gary Johnson, rather than a former Secretary of State, for the mainstream media to start mocking you over your lack of geographical knowledge. And this was no inconsequential error: it’s supposedly key to her strategy that after “we” take Mosul we’re going to “press into Syria.”

Did seventeen US intelligence agencies say that the Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee’s server and John Podesta’s inbox, as Hillary Clinton asserted Wednesday night?


Mrs. Clinton’s claim here is worth going into in some depth. It came in the context of a question from Chris Wallace about her speech to a gaggle of bankers in which she said “My dream is a hemispheric common market with open trade and open borders.” She defended herself, not very convincingly, by saying that she was only talking about energy, but this seems disingenuous at best. In any case, what’s interesting about this is that in order to change the subject quickly she pivoted to one of the most disturbing diatribes ever uttered in the course of a presidential contest:

“But you are very clearly quoting from WikiLeaks. And what’s really important about WikiLeaks is that the Russian government has engaged in espionage against Americans. They have hacked American websites, American accounts of private people, of institutions. Then they have given that information to WikiLeaks for the purpose of putting it on the Internet.

“This has come from the highest levels of the Russian government, clearly, from Putin himself, in an effort, as 17 of our intelligence agencies have confirmed, to influence our election.

“So I actually think the most important question of this evening, Chris, is, finally, will Donald Trump admit and condemn that the Russians are doing this and make it clear that he will not have the help of Putin in this election, that he rejects Russian espionage against Americans, which he actually encouraged in the past? Those are the questions we need answered. We’ve never had anything like this happen in any of our elections before.

“WALLACE: [to Trump] Well?

“TRUMP: That was a great pivot off the fact that she wants open borders, OK? How did we get on to Putin?”

How indeed.

The mainstream media, playing out its role as Hillary’s cheering squad, is bloviating about how “unprecedented” this election is, and they don’t mean that in a good way. Their latest tack is solemnly lecturing us that it’s an “existential threat to our democracy” for a candidate of a major party to call the integrity of our elections into question – a bit of overreaching, since all Trump said was that he’d wait until the votes are counted before committing to accept the alleged result. And please recall that, after the Supreme Court decided that George W. Bush and not Al Gore was the duly elected President, Hillary said the former had been “selected, not elected.”

What’s really unprecedented, however, is how a major party candidate has accused her opponent of being, in effect, an agent of a foreign power. This has never happened – no, not ever. During the cold war, to be sure, there were some Republicans who accused the Democrats of being “soft” on Communism, but here Mrs. Clinton is clearly accusing Trump of enabling and “encouraging” “Russian espionage,” to use her phrase. Mr. Trump, says Hillary, is a traitor to his country. And our “fact-checking” media is silent, except for this guy – who, at any rate, has few compunctions about “going down that road.” I doubt he’ll like what he finds at the end of it. But by then, of course, it will be too late.

This whole nonsensical and very dangerous campaign theme of Hillary’s – that the Russians are behind the alleged hacking of the DNC and Podesta, and that therefore Trump is their conscious agent – is based on the scientific equivalent of vaporware. The reality is that no one knows a) How WikiLeaks obtained the documents it is publishing and b) How they were procured in the first place. That’s because, in spite of the “scientific” pretensions of the cyber-warfare industry, there is no way for anyone to know for sure if it was hackers (as opposed to insiders) or, if it was hackers, who they are  – not unless the perpetrators come out and admit it, or unless they are caught in the act by someone looking over their shoulder.

But that hasn’t stopped some US intelligence officials from straining their already dubious credibility by repeating nonsense in the interests of pushing Hillary over the finish line.

This debate was really a low point for Mrs. Clinton, who, at the very nadir of the evening, started screeching that Trump is a “puppet” – of Putin, naturally.

This is crazy enough – but what’s even worse is that the media is backing her up on this. Hardly a day goes by without some new “revelation” of an alleged Russian plot to undermine US national security, infiltrate Europe, or otherwise subvert our precious bodily fluids.

Yes, we are headed down a road that can only have one destination: a military conflict with Russia. And with President Hillary Strangelove’s finger on the nuclear button, it cannot end well. The proof is Hillary’s non-answer to the following question from debate moderator Chris Wallace on her proposal for a “no fly zone” in Syria:

“General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says you impose a no-fly zone, chances are you’re going to get into a war – his words – with Syria and Russia. So the question I have is, if you impose a no-fly zone – first of all, how do you respond to their concerns? Secondly, if you impose a no-fly zone and a Russian plane violates that, does President Clinton shoot that plane down?”

After evading for a couple of hundred words, Mrs. Clinton finally got around to saying this:

“I think we could strike a deal and make it very clear to the Russians and the Syrians that this was something that we believe was in the best interests of the people on the ground in Syria, it would help us with our fight against ISIS.”

We couldn’t even strike a deal with the Russians in order to bring about a ceasefire. And with President Hillary at the helm, how amenable would Moscow be to any such arrangement? After making her campaign theme “The Russians are coming!” I’d be surprised if they didn’t stop talking to us completely.

And you’ll note that she didn’t answer the question: would she shoot down a Russian plane over Syrian airspace?

I’ll leave it to your imagination to come up with an answer, but remember: this is a person who believes it’s perfectly okay to give voice to one opinion in public and hold an entirely different opinion in private.

The Democrats’ Joe McCarthy Moment

To shield Hillary Clinton from criticism of her Wall Street speeches, the Democrats are engaging in a new McCarthyism for the New Cold War, suggesting that Donald Trump is in league with the Russians

October 10, 2016

by Robert Parry


My first book, Fooling America, examined Washington’s excited “conventional wisdom” around the Persian Gulf War of 1990-91 when nearly the entire political-punditry elite was thrilled about bombing the heck out of Iraq, inflicting heavy civilian casualties in Baghdad and slaughtering tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers as they fled from Kuwait.

Ironically, one of the few dissenters from this war lust was right-wing commentator Robert Novak, who actually did some quality reporting on how President George H.W. Bush rejected repeated peace overtures because he wanted a successful ground war as a way to instill a new joy of war among the American people.

Bush recognized that a brief, victorious ground war would – in his words – “kick the Vietnam Syndrome once and for all,” i.e. get Americans to forget their revulsion about foreign wars, a hangover from the bloody defeat in Vietnam.

So Novak, the anti-communist hardliner who often had baited other pundits for their “softness” toward “commies,” became on this occasion a naysayer who wanted to give peace a chance. But that meant Novak was baited on “The Capital Gang” chat show for his war doubts.

To my surprise, one of the most aggressive enforcers of the pro-war “group think” was Wall Street Journal Washington bureau chief Al Hunt, who had often been one of the more thoughtful, less warmongering voices on the program. Hunt dubbed Novak “Neville Novak,” suggesting that Novak’s interest in avoiding war in the Middle East was on par with British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Adolf Hitler before World War II.

Months later when I interviewed Hunt about his mocking of Novak’s anti-war softness, Hunt justified his “Neville Novak” line as a fitting rejoinder for all the times Novak had baited opponents for their softness against communism. “After years of battling Novak from the left, to have gotten to his right, I enjoyed that,” Hunt said.

At the time, I found this tit-for-tat, hah-hah gotcha behavior among Washington’s armchair warriors troubling because it ignored the terrible suffering of people in various countries at the receiving end of American military might, such as the Iraqi civilians including women and children who were burned alive when a U.S. bomb penetrated a Baghdad bomb shelter, as well as the young Iraqi soldiers incinerated in their vehicles as they fled the battlefield.

In the 100-hour ground war, U.S. casualties were relatively light, 147 killed in combat and another 236 killed in accidents or from other causes. “Small losses as military statistics go,” Gen. Colin Powell wrote later, “but a tragedy for each family.” In Official Washington, however, the dead were a small price to pay for a “feel-good” war that let President Bush vanquish the psychological ghosts of the Vietnam War.

I also had the sickening sense that this “popular” war – celebrated with victory parades and lavish firework displays – was setting the stage for more horrors in the future. Already, neoconservative pundits, such as The Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer, were demanding that U.S. forces must go all the way to Baghdad and “finish the job” by getting rid of Saddam Hussein. A dangerous hubris was taking hold in Washington.

As we have seen in the decades since, the euphoria over the Persian Gulf victory did feed into the imperial arrogance that contributed to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. At that moment, when the neocons in George W. Bush’s administration were concocting excuses for finally marching to Baghdad, there were almost no voices among the big-shot commentators who dared repeat Robert Novak’s “mistake” of 1991.

Playing Joe McCarthy

I mention all this now because we are seeing something similar with the Democrats as they lead the charge into a dangerous New Cold War with Russia. The Democrats, who bore the brunt of the Red-baiting during the earlier Cold War, are now playing the roles of Senators Joe McCarthy and Richard Nixon in smearing anyone who won’t join in the Russia-bashing as “stooges,” “traitors” and “useful idiots.”

When Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has one of his few lucid moments and suggests that the U.S. should cooperate with Russia rather than provoke more confrontations, he is denounced from many political quarters. But these attacks against Trump are most feverish from Democrats looking to give Hillary Clinton a boost politically and a diversionary excuse for her Wall Street speeches that she tried so hard to keep hidden until they were released by WikiLeaks from hacked emails of her longtime adviser John Podesta.

The Obama administration’s intelligence community has claimed, without presenting evidence, that Russian intelligence was behind the Democratic Party hacks as a way to influence the U.S. election, a somewhat ironic charge given the long history of the U.S. government (and its intelligence community) engaging in much more aggressive actions to block the election of disfavored politicians abroad and even to overthrow democratically elected leaders who got in Washington’s way.

Rather than seeking to explain Clinton’s paid speeches to Wall Street bigwigs and other special interests, Podesta and other Democrats have simply piled on the Russia-bashing with suggestions that Trump is consorting with America’s enemies. In Wednesday night’s debate, Clinton referred to Trump as Vladimir Putin’s “puppet.”

While the Democrats may consider this strategy very clever – a kind of karmic payback for the Republican red-baiting of Democrats during the Cold War – it carries even greater dangers than Al Hunt’s putting down Robert Novak for trying to save lives in the Persian Gulf War.

By whipping up a new set of whipping boys – the “evil” Russians and their “ultra-evil” leader Vladimir Putin – the Democrats are setting in motion passions that could spin out of control and cause a President Hillary Clinton to push the two nuclear powers into a crisis that – with a simple misjudgment on the part of either nation – could end life on the planet.

Duterte didn’t really mean ‘separation’ from U.S., Philippine officials say

October 21, 2016


Philippine officials sought on Friday to play down comments by President Rodrigo Duterte who announced his “separation” from the United States a day earlier, saying their country will maintain U.S. trade and economic ties.

Duterte made his comments in Beijing, where he was paving the way for what he calls a new commercial alliance as relations with long-time ally Washington deteriorate.

He told Chinese and Philippine business people at a forum in the Great Hall of the People that America had “lost now”.

“I’ve realigned myself in your ideological flow and maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world – China, Philippines and Russia. It’s the only way.

“With that, in this venue, your honors, in this venue, I announce my separation from the United States. Both in military, not maybe social, but economics also.”

Duterte’s efforts to engage China, months after a tribunal in the Hague ruled that Beijing did not have historic rights to the South China Sea in a case brought by the previous administration in Manila, marks a reversal in foreign policy since the 71-year-old former mayor took office on June 30.

Trade Minister Ramon Lopez sought to explain Duterte’s comments.

“Let me clarify. The president did not talk about separation,” Lopez told CNN Philippines in Beijing.

“In terms of economic (ties), we are not stopping trade, investment with America. The president specifically mentioned his desire to strengthen further the ties with China and the ASEAN region which we have been trading with for centuries,” he said, referring to the Association of South East Asian Nations.

He said the Philippines was “breaking being too much dependent on one side”.

“But we definitely won’t stop the trade and investment activities with the West, specifically the U.S.”

Duterte’s spokesman, Ernesto Abella, said the president’s announcement was a “restatement” on his bid to chart an independent foreign policy.

Duterte wanted to “separate the nation from dependence on the U.S. and the West and rebalance economic and military relations with Asian neighbors” like China, Japan and South Korea, Abella said in statement.

Underscoring that, the Chinese and Philippines defense ministers meet in Beijing on the sidelines of Duterte’s visit, and pledged to restore security ties, China’s Defence Ministry said.


Duterte’s tone toward China is in stark contrast to the language he has used against the United States, after being infuriated by U.S. criticism of his bloody war on drugs.

He has called U.S. President Barack Obama a “son of a bitch” and told him to “go to hell”. On Wednesday, about 1,000 anti-U.S. protesters gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Manila calling for the removal of U.S. troops from a southern island.

Hundreds of left-wing demonstrators burned a replica of the U.S. flag at a rally in Manila on Friday as they called for an end to U.S. military agreements.

The United States, a former colonial power, has seen Manila as an important ally in its “rebalance” to Asia in the face of a rising China. The U.S. Embassy press attache in Manila, Molly Koscina, said Duterte’s statements were creating uncertainty.

“We’ve seen a lot of this sort of troubling rhetoric recently,” she told Reuters in an email.

“We have yet to hear from the Philippine government what Duterte’s remarks on ‘separation’ might mean, but it is creating unnecessary uncertainty.”

She also said the United States would honor alliance commitments and treaty obligations with the Philippines.

“And, of course, we expect the Philippines to do the same.”

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Washington intended to keep to its alliance commitments to the Philippines.

“Obviously any relationship is one of mutuality and we will continue to discuss that with our Philippine counterparts,” he told reporters on a flight to Turkey.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, asked in Beijing about Duterte’s comments, said countries should not resort to win-lose mentalities.

“We should not have Cold War thinking, it’s either you or me, you win I lose, that kind of zero-sum game,” she told a regular press briefing.

“We have always developed relations with other countries in the spirit of openness, inclusiveness, mutually win-win, not aimed at, not excluding and not affecting other countries developing normal relations with each other.”

Wrangling over territory in the South China Sea, where Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims, has consumed China-Philippines relations in recent years.

China claims most of the waters through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year, and in 2012 it seized the disputed Scarborough Shoal and denied Philippine fishermen access to its fishing grounds.

In a statement issued by China’s Xinhua news agency, China and the Philippines said it was important to address differences in the South China Sea “without resorting to the threat or use of force”.

(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales in Manila, Phil Stewart in Ankara, and Michael Martina in Beijing; Writing by Nick Macfie)

 Russian warships pass through Channel watched by Royal Navy

Ships including aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov expected to leave British waters later on Friday en route to Syria

October 21, 2016

by Rowena Mason

The Guardian

Royal Navy vessels are monitoring Russian warships as they pass through the Channel potentially bringing supplies to the bombing campaign against the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, promised this week that the Russian fleet would be marked “every inch of the way”. No 10 confirmed that the Russian vessels, including the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, were being shadowed by the navy as they headed towards the eastern Mediterranean via the Dover Strait. The ships are expected to leave British territorial waters later on Friday.

Theresa May’s deputy official spokesman rejected suggestions that it was a sign of weakness that Russia felt able to send its ships via this route.

The type-45 destroyer HMS Duncan sailed from Portsmouth on Tuesday to “man-mark” the Kuznetsov group, and the type-23 frigate HMS Richmond escorted the group from the Norwegian Sea as it steamed south.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said the British vessels were keeping a distance of about five miles from the Russians.

“It really depends. If they’re really flying you’ll keep well away; if they’re not flying you’ll get a bit closer,” the spokesman said. “It’s just about manners, really. They know you’re there if you’re at 10 miles, same as they do if you’re at one mile. They’ll put themselves at a distance that makes it obvious that they’re there but without making it either dangerous or annoying.”

According to a senior Nato diplomat quoted by Reuters, the Russian ships were likely to pass from the Channel towards Gibraltar and into the Mediterranean, heading for the Syrian coast. The source said the warships were carrying fighter bombers expected to join the attack on Aleppo.

The diplomat said: “They are deploying all of the northern fleet and much of the Baltic fleet in the largest surface deployment since the end of the cold war. This is not a friendly port call. In two weeks, we will see a crescendo of air attacks on Aleppo as part of Russia’s strategy to declare victory there.”

Russia’s defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, said in September that the Admiral Kuznetsov and other ships would be joining a taskforce in the Mediterranean.

The Feds Already Have Your Face in a Database

October 18, 2016

by Adam Clark Estes


Look to your left. Look to your right. Do you see two people? Congrats on being social today. One of those two people is probably included in the FBI’s massive facial recognition database. A new Georgetown report says there are 117 million Americans in the database. That’s about 50 percent of the population.

Don’t freak out. This FBI project isn’t exactly news. In fact, the agency has been slowly building this database—with the help of a couple dozen state laws and regulations—for years. The current status quo has the researchers at Georgetown Law’s Center of Privacy and Technology concerned. But the issue is actually much larger than that.

Facial recognition technology has made tremendous progress in recent years. Some computer companies would have you think that it’s the most dependable biometric data point short of a retina scan. So it should be obvious that law enforcement would be interested in keeping this data on file, much like police have kept fingerprints on file for years. The trouble is, you have to sit down and give your fingerprints, often when you’re having a bad night that ended in the police station. With facial recognition, any camera with the right software can save your picture for future identification.

That’s exactly why the FBI has faced years of criticism for building this Orwellian database of Americans’ faces. Less than a year after finishing the project that made it easy for the feds to identify suspects with facial recognition technology, news emerged that the software hadn’t even been tested for accuracy. Nevertheless, the FBI can legally use the software to search databases of drivers license photos in at least 26 states. This is where Georgetown’s research group basically ended up with that 117 million Americans number.

Unravelling this legally complex privacy battle is complicated. However, the obvious abundance of biometric data provided by facial recognition software is undeniable. The government’s been consolidating this data for years, and so have social media companies like Snapchat, Google, and Facebook. How else do you think that cute puppy feature works? And what about the private security industry that’s been able to install face-reading software for ages?

Are these two big powerful groups using this data in the same way? Almost certainly not. We can only hope that the FBI taps into its facial recognition technology only when agents need to solve a crime. We can assume that social media companies just use the data for fun gimmicks like that Snapchat puppy thing. But it’s important to remember that this software is getting very good and very pervasive.

None of this means you should wear a mask when you leave your house. (Please don’t—it’s extremely creepy.) But the idea that the government and big companies have databases full of our faces is a reality in 2016. It’s fine. It’s probably not going to devolve into some over-cited scene from Minority Report. It’s probably fine.


A Bird or a Decoy?

by Harry von Johnston, PhD

Note: This is rather long and convoluted but is interesting reading. It comes from one of those secret blog spots and is typical. It explains so much that we could only guess at before.

In the Tulsa World (1-11-94), there was a small article entitled: “Weapons Designers Win Secret Award”. It said this: “The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory won an award. The staff is very proud. The award is on display. But, they can’t say what the honor was for. It’s a secret. .Its 21 member “Project Woodpecker” team was cited. It won the Intelligence Community Seal Medallion. That’s an award from the CIA and National Security Agency. The citation says the award was for solving complex problems.”

PROJECT WOODPECKER pertains to the “Electron Cyclotron Resonance Heating Method” now being used to alter the earth’s magnetic field—in order to modify weather,  create or trigger earthquakes and volcanoes, spread  viruses, create the phenomenon known as “electromagnetic pulse”, and, to modify behavior control among the populous. The HAARP (i.e. High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) transmitter site, that is located NE of Gakona, AK, is large enough to cover most of the Northern Hemisphere. It is however but one of other such sites (some of which are known as “Ionospheric Research Instruments”) scattered around the world. And, many of them here in the U.S.are able to tie into the much smaller GWEN (i.e. Ground Wave Emergency Network) remotely controlled transmitter sites that have been built all over the U.S. in a grid pattern, with their antennas spaced about every 200 miles or so.

The original research concerning the “Electron Cyclotron Resonance Heating Method” was done by Nickola Tesla, and later expanded upon by not only Soviet scientists, but also by U.S. scientists, such as Bernard J. Eastland—a scientist who was associated with ARCO (Atlantic Richfield Oil Co.).

ARCO has traditionally been controlled by members of the CFR (i.e. Council on Foreign Relations). Eastland, who was the “front man”, now resides at 6615 Chancellor Drive; Spring, TX. He transferred the patent rights to APTI, Inc. (i.e. ARCO Power Technologies Industry, Inc.) in the late 1980s, which was a Los Angeles, CA subsidiary of ARCO. APTI, Inc. then sold out to “E-Systems” on June 10, 1994, which company has pretty much, over the years, been under the control and influence of the CIA. On April 3, 1995, “E-Systems” sold out to the still larger Raytheon Corp. I don’t know what has happened, by way of “transfers” since that time.

The U.S. and the Soviet Union first began secret cooperation on world weather engineering in about 1971. On July 4, 1976, the Soviets began generating powerful electromagnetic transmissions, that were dubbed “The Russian Woodpecker” by western ham radio operators. On June 18, 1977, the US government OFFICIALLY became covert partners with the Soviets in these operations by sending them sophisticated scientific material and equipment for further research and development. The secret code name given US operations was Project Woodpecker. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory located at Livermore, CA was and is the main research center for US development of the Project. Covert funding for the Project was funneled through the CIA and the National Security Agency. The DOD and NASA have, of course, been cooperating in the Project from the beginning stages.

On Jan. 10, 1985 there was officially filed of record a Patent No. 4,686,605 entitled: a “Method and Apparatus for Altering a Region in the Earth’s Atmosphere, Ionosphere, and/or Magnetosphere”. The

Patent was approved on Aug. 11, 1987. This Patent explains and describes the “Electron Cyclotron

Resonance Heating” method that is presently being covertly and cooperatively used by the two super powers to help bring about their coveted NEW WORLD ORDER, which is a “One World Government”.

In 1993, researchers announced that they had discovered (back as early as perhaps 1985) a never before seen network of rivers, some of which flow for thousands of miles ABOVE earths surface, that transport as much water in the form of vapor as the Amazon River. Apparently, these narrow streams of

ATMOSPHERIC rivers are transient, but at any given time, there are at least a few of them in the atmosphere, typically around five in each Hemisphere. The longest of them runs for about 4800 miles. They are generally about 150 miles wide (the largest being almost 500 miles wide), and about a mile deep, with some 364 million pounds of vapor flowing past a given spot each SECOND—which is comparable to an average flow of the Amazon River. These atmospheric rivers are flowing at an altitude of no more than 1.9 miles above the earth’s surface, which makes them readily reachable by low pressure weather cells. In general, the atmospheric rivers head for the poles, but on the way, they can get deflected by the earth’s Jet Stream Their flow originates from along the equator. These vapor rivers sometimes get sucked into low pressure systems, and are the major sources of the massive flows of water that rains out of the storms and into the sky river’s counterparts on land. US and Soviet scientists are now cooperatively “tracking” these atmospheric rivers for use in covert activities of Project Woodpecker.

In order to fully understand how the conspirators are able to use high powered r.f. transmissions to trigger  earthquakes and/or volcanoes, one must have some knowledge of the “principle of sympathetic vibratory  resonance”. Von Nostrand’s SCIENTIFIC ENCYCLOPEDIA (Seventh Edition) defined RESONANCE: “Every physical system (i.e. all bodies, structures, mediums, etc.) has one or more NATURAL (or Fundamental) VIBRATION FREQUENCIES, characteristic of the system itself and deterrmined by constants pertaining to the system.If such a system is given impulses with some arbitrary frequency, it will necessarily vibrate with that frequency, even though it is not one of those NATURAL to it.” These “forced vibrations” may be very feeble, but if the impressed frequency is varied, the response becomes rapidly more vigorous whenever any one of the NATURAL (i.e. Fundamental or a harmonic of that Fundamental) frequencies is approached. Its amplitude often increasing many fold as an exact synchronism (i.e. or at a harmonic of the NATURAL) frequency is reached. This effect is known as RESONANCE. The greatest vibration will be induced in a system at its NATURAL or FUNDAMENTAL frequency (or at a harmonic thereof).

The Earth’s NATURAL (or Fundamental) frequency (also sometimes referred to as the Schumann Resonance) is about 10 Hz. This appears to be the Resonant Frequency of our Galaxy, so, all bodies, structures, mediums, etc. within our particular Galaxy will be found to be RESONANT at either this Natural frequency or around 10 Hz, or at a harmonic thereof.

In the triggering of Earthquakes or Volcanoes, the trick is in determining the unique resonant frequency of the Earth’s mantle AT THAT PARTICULAR SPOT (or target!) ON THE EARTH. Once the conspirators determine this, they can unleash an ELF carrier frequency through the earth, and then SUPERIMPOSE the harmonic frequency of the “target zone” using a second set of transmitters. This might be called: “Selective Targeting”. Of course, the conspirators will also have predetermined that the target zone will have built up enough stress within the zone to be “ripe” for activation.

This system of using ELF radio waves as a technique has many other applications. Not only is it being used to artificially trigger earthquakes and volcanoes, to develop high and low pressure weather cells that are used to steer the Jet Streams, to transport and deposit microscopic entities such as viruses and chemical agents, but, they are able to create a phenomenon known as an earth damaging “electromagnetic pulse” (EMP).

To understand how they do it, one must have at least some knowledge about the earth’s magnetic field. The earth’s magnetic field is comprised of atoms which are gyrating about a magnetic field line as its guiding center. The atoms are comprised of negatively charged electrons and positively charged protons. If you would look at a cross section of earth at the equator, you would see a solid core at the center, ringed by a liquid layer of molten iron, which is in turn surrounded by the solid mantle and crust. Within the liquid layer are several constantly circulating streams of iron called convection cells which workl ike oval conveyor belts. Driven by heat from the core, material in these cells rises towards the mantle, where it cools and sinks back down, until the heat pushes it up again. Geologists believe, that after these cells formed, early in the earth’s history, the weak magnetic field that permeates the galaxy generated in them an electric current which in turn generated the earth’s “magnetic field”.

Now, in order for you to understand how the magnetic field lines of our earth work, you must understand the basic principal of how a simple “magnet” works. And, the way that most of us learned it back in our earlier school years, was WRONG WRONG WRONG! There is a “old concept” and, a “new concept” of the laws of magnetism. In the “new concept”, you will note that  there is a “NEGATIVELY charged NORTH MAGNETIC POLE, and, a POSITIVELY charged SOUTH MAGNETIC POLE. (Draw it out on a piece of paper). The atom leaves the South Magnetic Pole spinning to the right (or clockwise). It then dips to the surface of the earth (at its Equator), and changes its spin (or phase relationship) by 180 degrees. When it leaves the Magnetic Equator of the Earth, it travels with a left (or counterclockwise) spin to reenter the earth at the North Magnetic Pole. The negatively charged electrons and positively charged protons both follow helical paths around a field line, but they rotate at a certain gyromagnetic or ‘CYCLOTRON FREQUENCY’ in opposite directions. There is therefore linear movement along the earth’s magnetic field lines. Thus, one can see, that this change in phase relationship between electrons and protons creates a different potential of magnetic energy in the Northern as compared to the Southern Hemisphere. By way of analogy, winds in low pressure weather cells circulate counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, but they circulate clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.

When side-by-side earth magnetic field lines are “altered” by speeding up one line’s flow of negatively charged electrons, the magnetic field strength will combine to form a larger and stronger field. If the electron flow around one line is reversed or slowed down, the magnetic field strength between any two lines can be made to oppose each other and tend to cancel or lessen the magnetic field strength. The “force of gravity” in that particular local can thus be made to increase or decrease.

The atmospheric media that is being crossed by the earth’s magnetic field lines is itself comprised of  various molecules whose elements have different energy levels and which gyrate at different frequencies.  Relatively recent discoveries have established that there are naturally occurring radiation belts (sometimes referred to as the Van Allen belts) of trapped ionized particles, which particles bounce or oscillate back and forth at a specific cyclotron frequency, between so-called magnetic mirrowed boundaries, along the earth’;s magnetic field lines. The scientific conspirators have also discovered that they can artificially increase the density of the charged particles within these radiation belts, and even create a radiation belt where none had existed, by injecting large clouds of gases—such as lithium, barium, hydrogen, etc.—from orbiting satellites or from earth launched rockets. These injected gases become ionized by the ultraviolet light of the sun, and by injecting them at a certain critical velocity. The procedure is enhanced when they are injected during periods of so-called “high tidal forces”—such as at New or Full Moon. And, when the Moon is at “perigee” and/or when it is over the “Equator”. Also, when the Sun is directing large Solar Flares and/or Coronal Ejections towards the Earth.

By using extremely high powered radio transmitters to transmit a “tuned circular polarized ELF radio wave along or parallel to selected earth magnetic field lines, the charged electrons within that radiation belt will become “excited” or “heated”. This causes the charged particles to move outward in a “plum” out of their mirrowed boundaries. The plume of heated rising plasma is replaced by new plasma within the radiation belt. The aforementioned Patent states that temperature within the target radiation belt can be raised by hundreds of degrees, which incidentally issufficient to cause an air glow or a phenomenon known as aurela boralis. This might be the only way that you might know that such covert operations are taking place. There may also be a sonic boom or noise that might occur from the rf bombardment. To continue: The kinetic energy of the moving particles so developed is on the same order of magnitude as the total kinetic energy of stratospheric winds known to exist. These changes in temperature and winds aloft gives rise to the creation of high and/or low pressure weather cells that can alter the paths of the earth’s Jet Streams. By using multiple transmitters, these weather cells can be made to move or hover over selective locations on earth, thus causing torrential damaging moisture to occur in some areas, while devastating droughts are made to occur in other areas. When the electromagnetic energy is suddenly released (by DECREASING the earth’s magnetic field strength along that specific earth magnetic field line), the low pressure cell with its rising plume of air can be made to collapse—thus dumping the high winds and moisture that was present in that particular cell. This would be called a microburst by the weather guys reporting on your local TVs. These damaging hurricane strength winds would be “straight line winds”.

When the rf bombardment of a target radiation belt is extremely powerful, the negatively charged electrons and positively charged protons can be forcibly made to separate. This will cause an earth damaging electromagnetic pulse to occur, that is similar to lightning. This EMP will couple to surface antennas and power transmission lines, which will destroy sensitive electronic equipment. Thus, power outages can be so induced over selective targets.

Spotify, Twitter among major sites to suffer outages due to cyber-attack

October 21, 2016


Some of the world’s biggest websites including Twitter, SoundCloud, Spotify and Shopify are experiencing technical problems due to a reported DDOS attack.

According to Hacker News, a “Massive Dyn DNS outrage” has caused Twitter, Etsy, Github, SoundCloud and Spotify, among others, to go down.

Other sites reportedly affected include Airbnb, Reddit and Vox Media. Users say they had a variety of issues, depending on their location, Tech Crunch reports.

DDoS stands for a ‘distributed denial-of-service’ attack where a machine or network source is made unavailable for users by overwhelming the targeted website’s traffic bandwidth.

“Starting at 11:10 UTC on October 21th [sic]-Friday 2016 we began monitoring and mitigating a DDoS attack against our Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure. Some customers may experience increased DNS query latency and delayed zone propagation during this time. Updates will be posted as information becomes available,” said Dyn, one of the world’s biggest internet performance management companies, posted on its website.

The company said the attack is primarily affecting the “US East,” but engineers are looking to resolve the issue.

In a tweet posted Friday, Spotify has said it is “having some issues right now and investigating,” while GitHub has described the attack as “a global event” that is “affecting an upstream DNS provider.”

“GitHub services may be intermittently available at this time,” the site tweeted.

SoundCloud also tweeted that the site is experiencing “playback issues on iOS” but engineers are “investigating the cause.”

NSA contractor to face espionage charges for alleged data theft

October 20, 2016

by Dustin Volz


Washington-Government lawyers on Thursday said they would prosecute a former National Security Agency contractor accused of stealing classified information under an espionage law, a move carrying far more severe penalties than previously announced charges.

Harold Thomas Martin spent over two decades pilfering classified information from multiple government agencies, federal prosecutors said in a new filing made in a U.S. District Court in Baltimore. They expected to bring charges that included violations of the Espionage Act, the filing said.

The amount of stolen data is estimated to be at least fifty terabytes, enough to fill dozens of hard drives, prosecutors said, adding that the alleged criminal conduct “is breathtaking in its longevity and scale.” Some officials have said the trove may amount to the largest heist of classified government information in history.

An attorney representing Martin was not immediately available for comment.

Among the material allegedly stolen by Martin included a top secret document that contained “specific operational plans against a known enemy of the United States and its allies,” the prosecutors said.

U.S. officials announced in a criminal complaint earlier this month that Martin, 51, was taken into custody in Maryland in August and charged with felony theft of classified government material. It did not allege a motive.

The FBI is investigating possible links between Martin and the leak online this summer of secret NSA hacking tools used to break into the computers of adversaries such as Russia and China, U.S. officials said.

Martin was employed with Booz Allen Hamilton, the same consulting firm that employed Edward Snowden when he gave documents to journalists that exposed NSA surveillance practices in 2013.

Booz Allen said in a statement earlier in October that the company immediately fired Martin when it learned of the FBI’s arrest.

Martin is scheduled to appear in court for a detention hearing on Friday. Prosecutors will argue he should not be released on bail because he is a flight risk and a threat to national security and the safety of others.

A conviction under the Espionage Act can include prison time of up to 10 years on each count. The Obama administration has prosecuted more people, including Snowden, under the law than all previous presidents combined.

(Reporting by Dustin Volz; Editing by Andrew Hay)

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