TBR News October 22, 2016

Oct 22 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 22, 2016:”This has been the most depressing presidential election I have ever encountered. Clinton has the unqualified support of the oligarchs and the official machinery. As this includes the American press, we see a drumfire of anti-Trump material, praise for Hillary and criticism and dismissal of the flood of unpleasant documention pouring out from Wikileaks and other anti-establishment entities. Hillary’s people keep shrieking about the evil Russians somehow releasing the documents but they do not address the far more important aspect of the releases and that is the authenticity of them. No one questions that and the Hillary camp hopes the public will be fooled by the media. The print media in the United States has in essence shrunk to the point where it is not read any more. The bulk of the public get their news from the Internet. There are some Internet sites that lavishly praise Hillary and constantly denigrate Trump but there are far more with more balanced views.”

Germans Leaving Germany ‘In Droves’

October 20, 2016

by Soeren Kern

International Policy Council

More than 1.5 million Germans, many of them highly educated, left Germany during the past decade. — Die Welt.

Germany is facing a spike in migrant crime, including an epidemic of rapes and sexual assaults. Mass migration is also accelerating the Islamization of Germany. Many Germans appear to be losing hope about the future direction of their country.

“We refugees… do not want to live in the same country with you. You can, and I think you should, leave Germany. And please take Saxony and the Alternative for Germany (AfD) with you…. Why do you not go to another country? We are sick of you!” — Aras Bacho an 18-year-old Syrian migrant, in Der Freitag, October 2016.

A real estate agent in a town near Lake Balaton, a popular tourist destination in western Hungary, said that 80% of the Germans relocating there cite the migration crisis as the main reason for their desire to leave German

“I believe that Islam does not belong to Germany. I regard it as a foreign entity which has brought the West more problems than benefits. In my opinion, many followers of this religion are rude, demanding and despise Germany.” — A German citizen who emigrated from Gerany, in an “Open Letter to the German Government.

“I believe that immigration is producing major and irreversible changes in German society. I am angry that this is happening without the direct approval of German citizens. … I believe that it is a shame that in Germany Jews must again be afraid to be Jews.” — A German citizen who emigrated from Germany, in an “Open Letter to the German Government.”

“My husband sometimes says he has the feeling that we are now the largest minority with no lobby. For each group there is an institution, a location, a public interest, but for us, a heterosexual married couple with two children, not unemployed, neither handicapped nor Islamic, for people like us there is no longer any interest.” — “Anna,” in a letter to the Mayor of Munich about her decision to move her family out of the city because migrants were making her life there impossible.

A growing number of Germans are abandoning neighborhoods in which they have lived all their lives, and others are leaving Germany for good, as mass immigration transforms parts of the country beyond recognition.

Data from the German statistics agency, Destatis, shows that 138,000 Germans left Germany in 2015. More are expected to emigrate in 2016. In a story on brain drain titled, “German talent is leaving the country in droves,” Die Welt reported that more than 1.5 million Germans, many of them highly educated, left Germany during the past decade.

The statistics do not give a reason why Germans are emigrating, but anecdotal evidence indicates that many are waking up to the true cost — financial, social and cultural — of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to allow more than one million mostly Muslim migrants to enter the country in 2015. At least 300,000 more migrants are expected to arrive in Germany in 2016, according to Frank-Jürgen Weise, the head of the country’s migration office, BAMF.

Mass migration has — among many other problems — contributed to a growing sense of insecurity in Germany, which is facing a spike in migrant crime, including an epidemic of rapes and sexual assaults. Mass migration is also accelerating the Islamization of Germany. Many Germans appear to be losing hope about the future direction of their country.

t the height of the migrant crisis in October 2015, some 800 citizens gathered at a town hall meeting in Kassel/Lohfelden to protest a unilateral decision by the local government to set up migrant shelters in the city. The President of Kassel, Walter Lübcke, responded by telling those who disagree with the government’s open-door immigration policy that they are “free to leave Germany at any time.”

This attitude was echoed in an audacious essay published in October 2016 by the newspaper Der Freitag, (also published by Huffington Post Deutschland, which subsequently deleted the post). In the article, an 18-year-old Syrian migrant named Aras Bacho called on Germans who are angry about the migrant crisis to leave Germany. He wrote:

“We refugees… are fed up with the angry citizens (Wutbürger). They insult and agitate like crazy…. There are always these incitements by unemployed racists (Wutbürgern), who spend all their time on the Internet and wait until an article about refugees appears on the Internet. Then it starts with shameless comments….

“Hello, you unemployed angry citizens (Wutbürger) on the Internet. How educated are you? How long will you continue to distort the truth? Do you not know that you are spreading lies every day? What would you have done if you were in their shoes? Well, you would have run away!

“We refugees… do not want to live in the same country with you. You can, and I think you should, leave Germany. And please take Saxony and the Alternative for Germany (AfD) with you.

“Germany does not fit you, why do you live here? Why do you not go to another country? If this is your country, dear angry citizens (Wutbürger), then behave normal. Otherwise you can simply flee from Germany and look for a new home. Go to America to Donald Trump, he will love you very much. We are sick of you!”

In May 2016, the newsmagazine, Focus, reported that Germans have been moving to Hungary. A real estate agent in a town near Lake Balaton, a popular tourist destination in western Hungary, said that 80% of the Germans relocating there cite the migration crisis as the main reason for their desire to leave Germany.

An anonymous German citizen who emigrated from Germany recently wrote an “Open Letter to the German Government.” The document, which was published on the website Politically Incorrect, states:

“A few months ago I emigrated from Germany. My decision was not for economic gain but primarily because of my dissatisfaction with the current political and social conditions in my homeland. In other words, I think that I and especially my offspring may lead a better life somewhere else. ‘Better’ for me in this context is primarily a life of freedom, self-determination and decent wages with respect to taxation.

“I do not, however, want to close the door behind me quietly and just go. I would hereby like to explain in a constructive way why I decided to leave Germany.

  1. “I believe that Islam does not belong to Germany. I regard it as a foreign entity which has brought the West more problems than benefits. In my opinion, many followers of this religion are rude, demanding and despise Germany. Instead of halting the Islamization of Germany (and the consequent demise of our culture and freedom), most politicians seem to me to be more concerned about getting reelected, and therefore they prefer to ignore or downplay the Islam problem.
  2. “I believe that German streets are less secure than they should be given our technological, legal and financial opportunities.
  3. “I believe that the EU has a democratic deficit which limits my influence as a democratic citizen.
  4. “I believe that immigration is producing major and irreversible changes in German society. I am angry that this is happening without the direct approval of German citizens, but is being dictated by you to German citizens and the next generation.
  5. “I believe that the German media is increasingly giving up its neutrality, and that freedom of expression in this country is only possible in a limited way.
  6. “I believe that in Germany sluggards are courted but the diligent are scourged.
  7. “I believe that it is a shame that in Germany Jews must again be afraid to be Jews.”

Many Germans have noted the trend toward reverse integration, in which German families are expected to adapt to the customs and mores of migrants, rather than the other way around.

On October 14, the Munich-based newspaper Tageszeitung published a heartfelt letter from “Anna,” a mother of two, who wrote about her decision to move her family out of the city because migrants were making her life there impossible. In the letter, addressed to Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter, she wrote:

“Today I want to write you a kind of farewell letter (Abschiedsbrief) about why I and my family are leaving the city, even though probably no one cares.

“I am 35 years old, living here with my two young sons and my husband in an upscale semi-detached house with parking. So you could say we are very well off for Munich standards…. We live very well with plenty of space and next to a green park. So why would a family like us decide to leave the city? ….

“I assume that your children do not use public facilities, that they do not use public transportation, and that they do not attend public schools in “problem areas.” I also assume that you and other politicians rarely if ever go for walks here.

“So on a Monday morning I attended a neighborhood women’s breakfast that was sponsored by the City of Munich. Here I met about 6-8 mothers, some with their children. All of the women wore headscarves and none of them spoke German. The organizers of the event quickly informed me I will probably find it hard to integrate myself here (their exact words!!!). I should note that I am German. I speak fluent German and I do not wear a headscarf. So I smiled a little and said I would try to integrate myself. Unfortunately, I brought a salami and ham sandwich to the breakfast, to which everyone was asked to bring something. So of course I had even less chance of integrating.

“I was not able to speak German to anyone at this women’s breakfast, which is actually supposed to promote integration, nor was anyone interested in doing so. The organizers did not insist on anyone speaking German, and the women, who appeared to be part of an established Arab-Turkish group, simply wanted to use the room.

“I then asked about the family brunch…. I was advised that the brunch would be held in separate rooms. Men and women separately. At first I thought it was a bad joke. Unfortunately, it was not. ….

“So my impression of these events to promote integration is miserable. No interchange takes place at all!!! How can the City of Munich tolerate such a thing? In my view, the entire concept of these events to promote integration must be called into question…. I was informed that I am not allowed to include pork in my child’s lunchbox!!! Hello?! We are in Germany here! ….

“In summary, I find conditions here that make me feel that we are not really wanted here. That our family does not really fit in here. My husband sometimes says he has the feeling that we are now the largest minority with no lobby. For each group there is an institution, a location, a public interest, but for us, a heterosexual married couple with two children, not unemployed, neither handicapped nor Islamic, for people like us there is no longer any interest.

“When I mentioned at my son’s preschool that we are considering moving out of the city and I told them the reasons why, I was vigorously attacked by the school’s leadership. Because of people like us, they said, integration does not work, precisely because we remove our children. At least two other mothers have become wildly abusive. The management has now branded me “xenophobic.”

“This is exactly the reason why people like me lose their patience and we choose to vote for other political parties…. Quite honestly, I have traveled half the world, have more foreign friends than German and have absolutely no prejudices or aversions to people because of their origin. I have seen much of the world and I know that the way integration is done here will cause others to come to the same conclusion as we have: either we send our children to private schools and kindergartens, or we move to other communities. Well then, so long!”

Family Ties

by Harry von Johnston, PhD

There have been rumors that Hillary Clinton came from a Polish Jewish family, rumors fueled by the marriage of her brother to the daughter of Barbara Boxer in a Jewish ceremony and the later marriage of her daughter Chelsea to a Marc Mezvinsky

The Rodham family was not, in fact Jewish, but German, originally from northern Germany near Hamburg. A direct ancestor, Karl-Heinz Radomski emigrated to England in the 1870s, following the Franco Prussian war, and settled in Birmingham. He, his wife and three children then came to the United States in 1901 when their name was changed at Ellis Island to ‘Rodham.’

The same Radomski family remaining in Germany produced another member who bears discussion.

This was one Paul Otto Radomski

SS-Sturmbannführer Paul Otto Radomski (21 September 1902 – 14 March 1945) was an SS officer and concentration camp commander. Radomski was an “Old Fighter” of the Nazi Party, and one of the early companions of the feared security chief Reinhard Heydrich, then in Hamburg.

Radomski served six months in prison in 1932 for political killing. He was considered brutal even by his fellow SS officers. The SS judge, Sturmbannführer Wehser called him a drunkard and “a primitive in all his thoughts”.

Radomski was the holder of the NSDAP Golden Party Badge

His SS number was 2,235 and his Nazi Party number was 96,942. He was appointed SS-Sturmbannführer 30. January, 1942. He was the commander of the Syretsky camp (or Syrets camp). It was situated at the north-western edge of Kiev, in the place called Syrets, today a suburb of that city. The Syretsky concentration camp was created in spring of 1942.

As commander of the Syrets concentration camp near Kiev he led a terror regime, ordering severe punishments for the smallest infractions, a habit he carried over at Haidari concentration camp in Greece. Aside from his hatred for all Jews, Radomski also hated Russians and personally shot at least thirty Russian prisoners of war and over fifty Ukrainians several of them children under the age of 10.

On November 28, 1943, Radomski was appointed commandant of Haidari concentration camp, near Athens, Greece.

Under Radomski, the camp inmates were put to labor in two four-hour shifts each day except Sundays. The inmates were divided into groups of 100 men. However, the labor was not intended for any productive purposes, but merely to break the prisoners’ morale: they were made to dig holes and then refill them, build walls and then break them down.

The first execution in the camp was carried out on 7 December, when Radomski personally executed a Greek Jewish reservist lieutenant of the Greek army, Israeli Levi of Ioannina, in front of the prisoners because he “attempted to escape during his arrest”. This execution was to serve not only as a warning to the others, but, according to post-war psychological research, to “put the inmates in constant fear of their lives”. In total, in the camp’s one year of operations, about 1,800 people were executed, while another 300 died as a result of torture either at Haidari or in the Gestapo headquarters at Merlin street in central Athens. These numbers included 30 women, 104 invalids, and 230 students.

Radomski was relieved of his post in February 1944, after he threatened to shoot his own adjutant while he was drunk.

After the war track of Radomski was lost until 2005, when the Hamburg prosecutor announced that the Ukrainian authorities, investigating crimes in the concentration camp Syrez, had reported that Radomski had been killed in action on 14 March 1945 in the vicinity of Székesfehérvár in Hungary.

Hillary the Hawk closing in on the White House

October 21, 2016

by Timothy P. Carney

Washington Examiner

Hillary Clinton can change her views in an instant on trade, guns, gay marriage, and all sorts of issues, but she’s consistent in this: she wants war.

The Democratic nominee in the final debate reiterated her bellicose stance towards Syria. Combined with her 2003 vote for war in Iraq, and her central role in getting the U.S. into the 2011 war in Libya, Clinton could become the most hawkish candidate elected president in most Americans’ lifetimes.

“I am going to continue to push for a no-fly zone and safe havens within Syria,” Clinton said Wednesday night. Totally separate from the fight against ISIS, Clinton’s “no-fly zones and safe havens” are U.S. military intervention in the bloody and many-sided conflict between Syria’s brutal government, terrorist groups, and rebel groups.

Enforcing a no-fly zone is “basically an act of war,” Michael Knights, a no-fly-zone expert at the Washington Institute told me in the run up to the Libyan war. Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified before the Senate that a no-fly zone created “the potential of a direct conflict with the Syrian integrated air defense system or Syrian forces or, by corollary, a confrontation with the Russians.”

Defense Secretary Ash Carter testified in the same hearing that “safe zones” would require significant U.S. boots on the ground.

So while Hillary says she doesn’t want war with Russia or Syria, or boots on the ground in Syria, she pushes policies that the Pentagon says risk war and require boots on the ground.

Hillary showed that same cavalier attitude toward war earlier this decade, laughingly declaring “we came, we saw, he died.” This was her version of George W. Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” moment, and Libya was her smaller — and less legal — version of Bush’s Iraq War.

“Hillary’s War,” was the Washington Post’s headline for a flattering feature on the Secretary of State’s central role in driving the U.S. to intervene in Libya’s civil war in 2011.

Clinton staff, published emails have shown, worked hard to get Clinton credit for the war. Clinton’s confidante at the State Department Jake Sullivan drafted a memo on her “leadership/ownership/stewardship of this country’s Libya policy from start to finish.”

Sullivan listed, point-by-point, how Clinton helped bring about and shape the war. Before Obama’s attack on Moammar Gadhafi, “she [was] a leading voice for strong UNSC action and a NATO civilian B5 protection mission,” the memo explained.

Hillary’s war was illegal—because the administration never obtained congressional authorization for it—and it was also disastrous. “Libya is in a state of meltdown,” John Lee Anderson wrote in the Atlantic last summer.

ISIS has spread, no stable government has arisen, and the chaos has led to refugee and terrorism crises.

Clinton nevertheless calls her war “smart power at its best,” declaring during the primary season, “I think President Obamamade the right decision at the time.”

Yet somehow, through three general election debates, she never got a single question on Libya. Consider that: a former Secretary of State touted a war as a central achievement of hers, is running on her foreign-policy chops, and she is escaping accountability for that disastrous war.

Clinton, of course, also voted for the Iraq War in 2003. She says now she thinks that war was a mistake because it destabilized region. But somehow she doesn’t apply that supposed lesson to Libya or to Syria.

The pattern is clear: Hillary Clinton is consistently and maybe blindly pro-war. She is now the clear frontrunner to become our next president. The antiwar movement that flourished under President George W. Bush has disappeared under President Obama. Will it revive under Hillary? Will Republicans have the power or the desire to check her ambitious interventionism.

If Hillary wins big and sweeps in a Senate majority with her, we could be in for four more years of even more war.

Most Americans want Hillary indicted for email scandal – poll

October 22, 2016


Over half of American voters surveyed in a recent poll disagree with the FBI’s decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton over her emails scandal.

A survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted on October 18 and 19 by the polling company Rasmussen Reports. Voters were asked whether they agreed with the FBI’s decision not to file criminal charges against Hillary Clinton, despite acknowledging that she had been reckless and potentially exposed classified information to hostile countries. The results were released on Friday.

Out of the voters surveyed, 65 percent broadly agreed that Clinton had broken the law by storing confidential emails on her private server, but only 53 percent believe the FBI should have filed charges, while 39 percent agreed with the decision not to. When split between Republican and Democratic voters, the survey found that 85 percent of Clinton supporters stood by the FBI’s decision not to prosecute.

However, 92 percent of Donald Trump supporters disagreed, mirroring the opinion of their candidate, who has been vocal in criticizing Clinton for deleting 30,000 of her emails rather than handing them over to the FBI. At one point, he even promised his rival that she “would be in jail.”

“If I win,” Trump said at the presidential debate held on October 9, “I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation.”

When asked if the emails scandal was important to their vote, 70 percent of survey respondents replied that it was, out of which 49 percent said that it was very important. Only 27 percent said the issue was not important to them at all.

According to the latest data from Rasmussen Reports, Donald Trump is slightly ahead with a 43 to 41 percent margin over Hillary Clinton. However, other polls have put Hillary in the lead.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted from October 14 to 20 gave Hillary 44 percent support, versus 40 for Trump. Rasmussen has been criticized for overestimating the popularity of Republican candidates in the 2010 and 2012 mid-term and presidential elections, and been accused of showing bias towards the GOP.

The 2016 presidential campaign has been an eventful one. In recent weeks, Trump has lost some supporters over remarks of a sexual nature made back in 2005, but has fired back with claims that the election system is “rigged.” If Hillary wins, some 70 percent of Republican voters believe it will be because the election was rigging by Democrats, according to the results of a Reuters poll released on Friday. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has accused the Russian government of attempting to tamper with the Democratic campaign, a charge Moscow strongly denies.

Turkey says it has ‘other options’ if EU closes its doors to membership

Turkish Prime Minister Yildirim has warned the EU that it has other alternatives to membership in the bloc. Yildirim did not name any options, but critics suspect Turkey could be hinting at closer relations with Russia.

October 22, 2016


“Turkey always has alternatives. Europe should not forget: too much coyness can make love fed up,” Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said during a meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

“Turkey has been working for over half a century for its European Union membership and has done more than what it should. Now the decision is the EU’s,” he added.

Ankara formally launched its bid to enter the EU in 2005. Since then, only 16 chapters of the 35 chapter accession process have been opened.

Talks were sped up in March, when the two sides signed a multi-billion-dollar deal in which Turkey agreed to hold back migrants from Syria and Iraq who were planning to go to Europe. In return, Turkey demanded that its citizens be allowed to visit the Schengen Area without a visa.

However, negotiations on that front failed, with the EU demanding that Turkey change its draconian anti-terror laws – also a prerequisite for the country’s membership in the EU.

Relations nosedived after the putsch to depose President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on July 15, with Turkey attacking Brussels for not showing much support after the coup bid. The EU also criticized Ankara for its crackdown on suspected coup plotters and supporters.

Tens of thousands of teachers, soldiers, police officers and employees in the judiciary have been arrested or fired from their jobs since then. Erdogan’s government has also vowed to rid the country of Kurdish militancy in Turkey’s south and southeast.

It Isn’t Just Donald Trump. The Bush Campaign Plotted to Reject Election Results in 2000

October 21 2016

by Jon Schwarz

The Intercept

Donald Trump is being pilloried for refusing to say that he will accept the results of the election on November 8.

However, this is not new behavior for the GOP. While it’s almost forgotten now, the George W. Bush campaign was planning to challenge the results of the 2000 vote if he lost the electoral vote, but won the popular vote. His campaign hoped to spark a national movement to pressure members of the Electoral College in states where the popular vote went for Al Gore to ignore that and instead vote in line with the national popular vote — thus making Bush president.

In the end, the reverse happened. Bush won the Electoral College vote while losing the popular vote.

But in the weeks before the November 7, 2000, election, it seemed more likely that Gore would get a majority of electoral votes, while Bush, buoyed by a wide margin in his home state of Texas, would have the most votes by actual people. This possibility was widely discussed, including in the Boston Globe and Christian Science Monitor and in an Associated Press polling analysis.

Gore was even preemptively criticized for winning under these circumstances. It “would be an outrage” said Rep. Ray LaHood, R.-Ill. NBC’s Chris Matthews said that “knowing him as we do, [Gore] may have no problem taking the presidential oath after losing the popular vote to George W. Bush.” (Matthews lost interest in this issue when the opposite occurred. He later said that he himself had voted for Bush in 2000.)

On November 1, Michael Kramer, formerly Time’s political columnist, wrote about the Bush campaign’s plans in the New York Daily News, where he was managing editor:

So what if Gore wins such crucial battleground states as Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania and thus captures the magic 270 electoral votes while Bush wins the overall nationwide popular vote?

“The one thing we don’t do is roll over,” says a Bush aide. “We fight.”

How? The core of the emerging Bush strategy assumes a popular uprising, stoked by the Bushies themselves, of course.

In league with the campaign – which is preparing talking points about the Electoral College’s essential unfairness – a massive talk-radio operation would be encouraged. “We’d have ads, too,” says a Bush aide, “and I think you can count on the media to fuel the thing big-time. Even papers that supported Gore might turn against him because the will of the people will have been thwarted.”

Local business leaders will be urged to lobby their customers, the clergy will be asked to speak up for the popular will and Team Bush will enlist as many Democrats as possible to scream as loud as they can. “You think ‘Democrats for Democracy’ would be a catchy term for them?” asks a Bush adviser.

The universe of people who would be targeted by this insurrection is small – the 538 currently anonymous folks called electors, people chosen by the campaigns and their state party organizations as a reward for their service over the years.

On November 3, the Boston Herald reported that if Bush won the popular vote, his campaign “would likely challenge the legitimacy of a Gore win, casting it as an affront to the people’s will and branding the Electoral College as an antiquated relic.”

Then on November 5, two days before the election, the Atlanta Journal Constitution wrote that the possibility of a split popular and electoral vote decision “has strategists in the Bush and Gore camps mapping out preliminary game plans for a national protest, should either wind up victorious in the eyes of the voters only to be vanquished before the Electoral College.”

The Daily News article had also quoted an anonymous Gore campaign official as claiming that if Gore won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College that “we’d be doing the same thing Bush is apparently getting ready for. … They’re just further along in their contingency thinking than we are.”

However, this was clearly wrong, since Gore did not do “the same thing.” The day after the election, he stated that “Despite the fact that Joe Lieberman and I won the popular vote, under our Constitution it is the winner of the Electoral College who will be the next president. Our Constitution is the whole foundation of our freedom and it must be followed faithfully.”

Likewise, when the Supreme Court stopped the Florida recount, making Bush the winner of the Electoral College even though Gore had won the popular vote, Gore conceded in a notably generous speech.

In a book published in 2001, CNN commentator Jeff Greenfield described something quite similar to the original Daily News report. “At least two conservative commentators,” wrote Greenfield, “were specifically briefed by the Bush campaign shortly before taking to the airwaves about the line of attack to be taken in the event that Bush wound up losing the electoral count despite a popular vote lead.”

Greenfield also quoted Kenneth Duberstein, one-time chief of staff for Ronald Reagan, as saying that the illegitimacy of a Gore presidency based only on an Electoral College victory “was part of the talking points” for GOP surrogates.

For what it’s worth, Karl Rove later denied that the Bush campaign had done anything like this.

Of course, it is true that the Electoral College is unfair and an antiquated relic. But the time to change it is not the day after an election. Candidates make decisions about where to campaign and place resources based on the Electoral College rules. It would be disastrous to allow one party to play Calvinball with the U.S. presidential election and change the rules at the end of the game just because they lost. That the Bush campaign was seriously considering doing so in 2000 demonstrates how forcefully and how long the GOP has rejected democratic norms.

The good news is that in Trump the GOP has nominated such a disastrous candidate that he can make whatever contingency plans he wants, and it won’t matter.

Moscow to retaliate against BBC after NatWest closed Russia Today account

Russian spokeswoman says closure of English-language broadcaster’s bank accounts ‘reeked of’ BBC

October 21, 2016

by Patrick Wintour

The Guardian

Russia has hinted it will take reprisals against the BBC after National Westminster Bank withdrew its services from Russia’s English-language broadcaster, RT.

Maria Zakharova, the foreign ministry spokeswoman, wrote on social media that the British bank’s decision earlier this week to close RT’s bank accounts “reeked of” the BBC – implying the British state broadcaster may have been pressing for the closure of Russia Today.

On Tuesday, Zakharova told reporters that Moscow would retaliate in kind if necessary, prompting speculation that a British media organisation operating in Russia could encounter problems.

In her post on Friday, Zakharova pointed out that the BBC’s Russian service had recently run what she dismissed as an empty investigation into RT’s UK activities.

“Why did they do this?” she wrote. “So that a nasty taste stayed behind. I wish the BBC Russian service luck. They will need it now, because digging stuff up can be a diverting and unpredictable business.”

Russian diplomatic sources in the UK claimed the attack on RT was part of an attempt to squeeze Russian thinking out of Britain, and said that the action against RT was prompted by the bank, and its owner – a reference to the UK government.

The sources said that four other Russian news agencies have had their accounts closed in London and been prevented from finding other sources of financial support.

Russia’s ambassador Alexander Yakovenko said the closure of RT’s accounts would challenge the UK’s image as an upholder of the freedom of expression.

“This is a problem of free speech in this country. The clear conclusion is that the Russian alternative point of view is not welcome here. Their aim is to make the work of this channel impossible in this country,” he said.

Asking if there would be any reciprocal measure, the ambassador quoted Sergey Lavrov, the foreign minister, saying: “Never do to others what you don’t want them to do to you.”

The closure of RT’s accounts would challenge the UK’s image as an upholder of free speech, the sources said.

In a previous statement, the Russian embassy in London said: “This openly political decision follows many similar acts of harassment and intimidation against Russian news outlets in UK (others affected include Rossiya Segodnya).

“Russia Today itself has been subjected to a plethora of unsubstantiated Ofcom investigations. This policy amounts to squeezing alternative voices out of UK media space.”

In Moscow, three pro-Kremlin senators in the upper house of parliament have already urged Russian authorities to hit back by closing the BBC’s bank accounts in Russia, the RIA news agency reported on Monday.

RBS Group – parent of NatWest – which is owned by the British state, has said it is reviewing the situation and will contact RT to discuss the matter further.

The move against RT is seen by Russian diplomatic sources as part of a pattern of harassment by British officials, including long-running efforts to make the professional life of the embassy more difficult.

Sources claim the embassy is being reduced to 40 full-time staff owing to British delays in providing visas to its staff, meaning that vacancies cannot be filled.

The same sources also claimed that the British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, was behind the demonstration due to take place on Saturday in protest at the bombing of eastern Aleppo by Syrian and Russian war planes.

Celebrities including Carey Mulligan, star of The Great Gatsby and global ambassador for War Child, are due to join hundreds of people expected to rally at the gates of Downing Street on Whitehall. Children will lay a pile of 200 teddy bears, reflecting the number of children who have died during bombing raids in Aleppo since the ceasefire broke down last month.

Protesters will also deliver an open letter urging Theresa May to take robust action to stop the bombs – signed by many of the world’s leading charities and campaigning organisations – to the door of No 10.

The protest comes after Johnson called for demonstrations against the bombing outside the Russian embassy. Rather than appeal to the Russians, the rally is targeted at May and Johnson himself, calling on them to set out clearly the steps the British government will take to protect civilians in Syria.

The $5 trillion wars

October 17, 2016

by Linda Bilmes

Boston Globe

This October marks 15 years since American troops entered Afghanistan. It was a precursor to the occupation of Iraq and is the longest military conflict in US history. Yet the trillions of dollars and thousands of lives expended in these wars have rated barely a mention in the presidential campaign.

The most recent estimates suggest that war costs will run to nearly $5 trillion — a staggering sum that exceeds even the $3 trillion that Joseph Stiglitz and I predicted back in 2008.

Yet the cost seems invisible to politicians and the public alike. The reason is that almost all of the spending has been financed through borrowing — selling US Treasury Bonds around the world — leaving our children to pick up the tab. Consequently, the wars have had little impact on our pocketbooks.

In earlier wars, the government routinely raised taxes, slashed nonmilitary spending, and sold war bonds. Taxes were raised to pay for the Spanish-American War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, and World War I and World War II. Top rates of federal income taxes climbed to 70 percent during Vietnam and to over 90 percent during the Korean War. These policies were all part of an explicit strategy of engaging the American public in the war efforts. In sharp contrast, the George W. Bush administration cut taxes after the invasion of Afghanistan, in 2001 and again, in 2003, when we invaded Iraq. Most Americans pay lower taxes now than they did 15 years ago.

Congress has also managed to avoid painful budgetary choices. Since 2001, Congress has employed a series of so-called “temporary special appropriations” to authorize hundreds of billions of dollars for war spending, bypassing the regular spending process. Despite President Obama’s pledge to end such “gimmicks,” they have continued throughout his presidency. Thus the money appropriated for the post-9/11 wars did not have to be traded off against other spending priorities. The war appropriation also gets far less scrutiny than the regular defense budget. Consequently, the war budget has become a magnet for pet nonwar spending projects that senators and congressmen want to slip in under the radar. As a consequence, the reported war cost per troop deployed has ballooned from $1 million per year at the peak of the fighting in 2008 to $4.9 million today.

Besides ducking the immediate financial burden, most of us are also shielded from the risks and hardships of military service. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars were the first major US conflicts fought entirely by an “all-volunteer” military force. Less than 1 percent of the adult US population was deployed to the combat zones — the smallest percentage at any time since the short peacetime period between the two World Wars. Instead, our small volunteer army is supplemented by a large shadow force of private contractors. In Afghanistan, contractors outnumber US troops by 3 to 1, performing critical roles in virtually every area of military activity. More than two-thirds of them are recruited from other countries, including the Philippines and Nepal.

As a result, the post-9/11 conflicts have become a “spectator war,” as Andrew Bacevich of Boston University put it, in which most Americans are neither engaged nor involved.

All of this accounts for the absence of any real political discussion about how we will fund huge costs of the war that are still to be paid — for example, the $1 trillion in lifetime disability compensation that we have awarded to 960,000 recent veterans. Worse, no one is asking whether the current approach in Afghanistan is working. Last month the US special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, John Sopko, reported that corruption in Afghanistan is far more widespread than before the 2001 US invasion, due to US policies that “unintentionally aided and abetted corruption.” But his investigations get barely a mention in the media.

As long as the cost of the war remains hidden from public view, there is no pressure to reexamine our military strategy. Donald Trump says his secret plan is to “ask the generals.” But the Pentagon should be focused on tactics, not on deciding our national purpose. Assuming Hillary Clinton wins, she cannot lead a national conversation unless the public is paying attention.

This will change only if we are obliged to pay for war operations as we go, and to set aside money now to support and care for our veterans in the future. This is not simply about sound fiscal budgetary policy. Rather, it is about shouldering the burden of our wars and, in doing so, being open to learn from our mistakes. We all want to continue to “support our troops.” Sweeping the costs under the carpet is not the right way to do it.

Linda J. Bilmes is a senior lecturer in public policy at Harvard University and coauthor, with Joseph E. Stiglitz, of “The Three Trillion Dollar War.”

 A Precarious Alliance Takes on Islamic State

The battle for Mosul, a key city for Islamic State, has begun. On one side, a fragile alliance with conflicting political goals, and on the other, a ruthless enemy who might go to extreme lengths to defend the Iraqi metropolis — incluing chemical weapons.

October 22, 2016

by Christoph Reuter


A thundercloud, heavy and dark gray. That is what it looks like from a distance. But the closer you get to Mosul from the south, the bigger and darker this cloud becomes. Instead of floating in the sky, it grows out of the ground, ultimately becoming a towering, opaque wall that swallowing entire villages, making them disappear into the darkness.

Driving to Mosul is a drive into the apocalypse. Or at least that’s what it feels like, with the gigantic clouds of smoke coming from burning oil wells, reservoirs and ditches — laid out by Islamic State over the last two years and now set alight one after the other. Although it would normally be a sunny midday in fall, the military jeeps coming from the other direction have their lights on.

The dark curtain is meant to keep the attackers’ jets and helicopters at bay; the smoke irritates the throat and causes headaches. An armada of over 30,000 soldiers and fighters from at least a half-dozen countries began a major offensive against the de-facto capital of the “caliphate” in northern Iraq last Monday. It is not only the biggest coalition to have assembled in the fight against Islamic State (IS), it is also the least predictable.

The jihadists can be expected to commit any number of heinous acts in the hopes of holding onto their most important city, which is home of many of its leaders. The attackers, meanwhile, are part of an extremely fragile alliance: The US Air Force and Special Forces are contributing enormous firepower that can react quickly to realities on the ground. On the ground, meanwhile, the two strongest forces eye each other with suspicion: The Peshmerga fighters from the Kurdish Regional Government and the primarily Shiite militias of the so-called Popular Mobilization Forces. They forces were recently declared by decree to be Iraqi state troops, but are ultimately controlled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. The Shiite militias are feared, and have been accused of systematically expulsing, torturing and killing Sunnis. Furthermore, under the guise of fighting IS, they are suspected of conducting large-scale sectarian cleansing.

Officially, the Mosul operation is being led by the Iraqi army, which has been trained and equipped by the US since its collapse in 2014. But it can neither give orders to the other parties involved in the attack on Mosul nor is it militarily as strong. And then there are the 2,000 Turkish soldiers who have taken up position near Mosul, despite fierce objections from Baghdad — and an unknown number of Kurdish fighters from the PKK in Turkey and Syria, troops who are actually at war with the Turkish army. Both contingents are kept apart by Iraqi-Kurdish generals.

It is a bizarre blend of low tech and high tech: American attack helicopters circle above the hazy landscape while Humvees belonging to the Iraqi army drive in a column with the Kia compacts belonging to the Kurdish fighters along with oil police patrol cars. On a pick-up flying the green-gold-black flag of the Shiites, a militia member jumps up and down to blaring music on the seat in front of his machine gun as the vehicle speeds down the road. Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and government soldiers need several interpreters to communicate with each other. It is a joint mission, they all insist, but they haven’t even coordinated their radio communication.

Attack Could Get Nasty

Even so, Iraqi and American officials say that the first days of the attack, repeatedly pushed back for year now, were successful. Every day, they say, more villages are being liberated. Shakuli is one of them. On the edge of the village, near the military camp Khazir in the east, there is still the shredded, burnt-out wreckage of one of the monstrous vehicles that have proven to be one of IS’s most horrifying tactical weapons: armored 20-ton trucks whose drivers can only peer out through a slit in the steel plating and whose beds holds several tons of TNT to blow up both the vehicle and the enemy.

“Nothing stops them, not machine guns, not even Russian anti-tank weapons,” says a Kurdish officer on the edge of the village, “nothing except the Milan rockets provided by Germany.”

But Shakuli is nothing more than a handful of houses on a slope that were abandoned by their inhabitants a year ago. A Kurdish artillery position on a hill a few hundred meters away bombarded the village for months while the jihadists took shelter in trenches and tunnels.

“Three or four of them are still there,” says the Kurdish officer, adding that the village is now being filled with smoke from burning tires in order to drive them out. He doesn’t want to risk his men on such a mission. The bodies of seven IS fighters lie, rapidly buried, where they died — a dark-colored hand still protrudes from one of the piles of dirt.

Thus far, the expected mass exodus from Mosul has not come to pass because IS is holding the civilian population hostage: It has mined roads and is shooting people who attempt to flee. Two men, who were able to escape their IS-held village, cough as they list the names of villages from which inhabitants have been forced by IS at gunpoint towards Mosul: “Safina, Arfeila, Nusf Tell, Tuweiba, Tulu Nasr.” And the list goes on, 14 villages in the immediate vicinity alone.

“Anyone who doesn’t want to go is shot. Or they take their children and threaten to shoot them. They took four people from my family alone,” one of the men says. They were marched closer to the city to be used as human shields and deter the jets from attacking.

Others say that hostages were taken. A group of soldiers from the 15 Division discusses whether the inhabitants might have gone of their own accord, but the surveillance officer shakes his head: “No. It is the same pattern everywhere. The civilians are being driven closer to Mosul.”

Mosul itself is only about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the southern front and only 15 km from the eastern front. But news from the city is thin, fragmentary and contradictory: Not long ago, it is said, unknown people began putting small notes into Korans in mosques with the words “Kill the Daeshis!”, as IS followers are called in Arabic.

One source claims a general uprising has broken out. Another says everything is calm and that IS men are patrolling on motorcycles to avoid becoming easy targets for air strikes. A third reports that civilians are grouping together, armed with knives, and killing any IS fighters they encounter.

What’s true? Nobody knows for sure. It’s not even clear how many people are trapped in the city, formerly Iraq’s second-largest metropolis with 2 million inhabitants. Is it 700,000 people? Or more than a million, as aid groups and the Iraqi government claim?

Chemical Threat

As well as the advance of the disparate allied forces has gone in the first few days, things could still turn bad. Thus far, IS has only used part of its arsenal: it has mined streets, bridges and houses, has posted snipers and has dialed in its artillery. But there’s one type weapon it has yet to use: chemical weapons. In August 2015, IS fighters fired mustard-gas shells on the town of Marea, north of Aleppo. Peshmerga units in northern Iraq were later attacked with mustard gas and chlorine.

But where did Islamic State get these weapons? Chlorine, an industrial chemical, is easy to manufacture in large amounts. But mustard gas?

“There are several possible sources,” says British chemical weapons expert Hamish de Bretton-Gordon. “It could come from Syrian stocks, or from old Iraqi stocks.” There is evidence for both: The last reserves of the Iraqi chemical weapons program were secretly buried in the early 1990s. And the same circle of high-ranking secret service officers who supervised this operation is now connected to IS leadership. They are the ones most likely to know where the deadly shells were hidden.

Meanwhile, the Syrian chief negotiators who were supposed to have opened all storage spaces and laboratories after 2013, in addition to turning in all of the country’s stockpiles didn’t do so. According to an unreleased report by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the regime has primarily retained warheads filled with mustard gas. Experts speak of around 100 to 200 tons of mustard gas shells — precisely the kind that have been launched by IS in the past.

Bretton-Gordon was once the commander for the British Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiation and Nuclear Regiment. He has recently travelled to Syria several times on the search for proof that the Assad regime used chlorine gas in attacks. There is, he believes, a third possibility for the origin of IS’ mustard gas, one he believes to be the most likely: “We are now certain that IS is capable of producing mustard gas on its own. It has a slightly different composition than army stock, and is delivered in powder, not in liquid, form. Chemically, its production isn’t that complicated.” The site of production: “Probably Mosul.”

Still, the homemade chemical weapons are not the most ominous threat, the expert says: “About 40 kilometers south of Mosul is the gigantic al-Mishraq sulfur plant. If IS blows that up, it could create a cloud of deadly sulfur-hydrogen compounds. It would be an Iraqi Bhopal,” a reference to the 1984 disaster in Bhopal when thousands of people died after tons of poisonous materials were released from an Indian chemical plant.

On Saturday, reports emerged that Islamic State had indeed set fire to sulfur stocks the plant, triggering a cloud of toxic smoke with Reuters reporting on Saturday afternoon that a hospital south of Mosul says nearly 1,000 people have been admitted with breathing problems as a result.

Fragile Alliance

Anything could happen at any time: IS leaders and those who believe the propaganda about the coming apocalyptic war could set off doomsday by themselves. But the rumors from inside IS could also be true — that discreet escape corridors to Syria may have been kept open in exchange for IS refraining from committing mass murder with chemical weapons. Observers from rebel groups in IS-held Syrian territory report having seen convoys of packed jeeps in the past several nights, and even during the day, arriving in Syria from Iraq.

Fighting might also break out in Mosul between those who would prefer to destroy everything than give it up — and those who want to prevent a total destruction of the city. Informants are reporting that such fights are already taking place — and the survival of hundreds of thousands of people could depend on the outcome.

Regardless how monstrously IS wants to deal with its military defeat in Mosul, its result could play into the jihadists’ hands on the long term. Already, the allies on the frontlines are eyeing each other with suspicion. The only thing uniting them seems to be their common enemy and the goal of driving it from Mosul. Once that has happened, the allies of today could become the enemies of tomorrow. Several times, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi has angrily told the Turkish army to pull out of Iraq.

Ankara’s troops came in order to install the allied militia belonging to the former governor of Mosul, with its more than 3,000 fighters, as the city’s rulers. Shiite militias, meanwhile, have announced their intention to attack the Turkish contingent — though their orders come from Tehran, not from Baghdad. Mosul has become a playing field for various powers.

Officially, only the army and the federal police are supposed to enter the city itself, but the leader of the Shiite militias has repeatedly announced that he also wants to capture Mosul.

“We are afraid of everybody,” said a man inside the city several months ago. “Afraid of the Daishis who occupy us. Afraid that the Shiite militias want to expel and kill us.”

Tellingly, a blogger named Mosul Eye is hoping that Mosul will remain part of Iraq, but only under international oversight. Because, he says, you can’t trust anybody in this country.

Mosul battle: US troops mask up against toxic fumes

October 22, 2016

BBC News

US soldiers at a base near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul have donned protective masks against toxic fumes from a sulphur plant set alight in fighting with so-called Islamic State.

They took the precaution after the wind blew smoke from the fire towards Qayyarah air field.

In Baghdad, Turkish attempts to join the offensive against IS were rebuffed.

Meanwhile, advancing Iraqi forces entered the town of Qaraqosh, 32km (20 miles) south of Mosul, the IS capital.

Qaraqosh, Iraq’s largest Christian town before the war, is said to be largely empty but IS has laid landmines on the approaches to Mosul.

The militants have been attacking with suicide bombers elsewhere, driving vehicles laden with explosives at high speed towards government lines.

Friday’s IS attack on the city of Kirkuk, 170km (105 miles) south-east of Mosul, now appears to be over, leaving at least 35 people dead and 120 wounded, according to medical sources.

‘Two dead’

Qayyarah acts as the main US hub for supporting the Iraqi government offensive to drive IS out of their Mosul stronghold.

The fire began two days ago, when IS fighters reportedly set the sulphur plant alight in Mishraq, south of Mosul.

“The winds have actually shifted south, so, as a precautionary measure, the troops at Qayyara West have donned their personal protective equipment – continuing their operations at this point in time,” an official told Reuters news agency, speaking on condition of anonymity.

An Iraqi commander, Qusay Hamid Kadhem, told AFP news agency two civilians had died from the fumes and “many others” had been injured.

A similar fire at the Mishraq plant in 2003 burnt for weeks, sending huge amounts of sulphur dioxide into the air. It caused respiratory problems for local people and damaged the environment.

How harmful can sulphur dioxide be?

Sulphur dioxide gas is toxic when inhaled or when the skin or eyes are exposed.

When inhaled, it causes irritation to the nose and throat. Exposure to high concentrations causes nausea, vomiting, stomach pain and corrosive damage to the airways and lungs.

Skin contact causes stinging pain, redness of the skin and blisters, while eye contact causes watering and, in severe cases, may cause blindness.

Turkey rebuffed

US Defence Secretary Ash Carter made an unscheduled visit to Baghdad on Saturday after talks with Turkish leaders in Ankara on Friday on how they might play a part in the Mosul operation.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told Mr Carter: “I know that the Turks want to participate, we tell them thank you, this is something the Iraqis will handle. If help is needed, we will ask for it from Turkey or from other regional countries.”

Differences between Iraq and Turkey have come to the fore since hundreds of Turkish soldiers began training Sunni Muslim fighters at a base in northern Iraq last year.

The Sunni Turks fear the liberation of Mosul may be spearheaded by Shia Muslims and Kurds. Turkey says Kurdish fighters in Syria and Iraq have ties to the Kurdish militant PKK in Turkey.

The presence of the Turkish military has also drawn protests among radical Shia in Baghdad.

Mr Carter, who is in Iraq for the third time this year, has overseen a steady increase in US troop numbers there.

More than 4,800 US soldiers are in Iraq and at least 100 US special operations personnel are operating with Iraqi units.

The offensive against Mosul, which began on Monday, is a two-pronged operation, with Iraqi government forces attacking from the south and Kurdish fighters advancing from the east.

Advance continues

Reports on Tuesday that Qaraqosh had been liberated caused an outpouring of joy among Christians who had fled to Kurdish areas when IS swept into Mosul in June 2014.

But the reports turned out to be premature as snipers impeded the progress of government forces.

In Kirkuk, the governor, Najmiddin Karim, said “all” of the IS attackers had been killed by the security forces.

However, Kurdish forces controlling the city detained a number of suspected IS members on Saturday, according to an AFP photographer who recorded the arrests.

Photos of damaged buildings in the city show the full ferocity of Friday’s combat, with facades peppered by gunfire.

Concern for the fate of civilians in Mosul increased on Friday after reports that IS was herding villagers into the city, possibly to use them as human shields.

The UN is also investigating reports 40 people were shot dead by IS fighters in one village.

Hackers Used New Weapons to Disrupt Major Websites Across U.S.

October 21, 2016

by Nicole Perlroth

The New York Times

SAN FRANCISCO — Major websites were inaccessible to people across wide swaths of the United States on Friday after a company that manages crucial parts of the internet’s infrastructure said it was under attack.

Users reported sporadic problems reaching several websites, including Twitter, Netflix, Spotify, Airbnb, Reddit, Etsy, SoundCloud and The New York Times.

The company, Dyn, whose servers monitor and reroute internet traffic, said it began experiencing what security experts called a distributed denial-of-service attack just after 7 a.m. Reports that many sites were inaccessible started on the East Coast, but spread westward in three waves as the day wore on and into the evening.

And in a troubling development, the attack appears to have relied on hundreds of thousands of internet-connected devices like cameras, baby monitors and home routers that have been infected — without their owners’ knowledge — with software that allows hackers to command them to flood a target with overwhelming traffic.

A spokeswoman said the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security were looking into the incident and all potential causes, including criminal activity and a nation-state attack.

Kyle York, Dyn’s chief strategist, said his company and others that host the core parts of the internet’s infrastructure were targets for a growing number of more powerful attacks.

“The number and types of attacks, the duration of attacks and the complexity of these attacks are all on the rise,” Mr. York said.

Security researchers have long warned that the increasing number of devices being hooked up to the internet, the so-called Internet of Things, would present an enormous security issue. And the assault on Friday, security researchers say, is only a glimpse of how those devices can be used for online attacks.

Dyn, based in Manchester, N.H., said it had fended off the assault by 9:30 a.m. But by 11:52 a.m., Dyn said it was again under attack. After fending off the second wave of attacks, Dyn said at 5 p.m. that it was again facing a flood of traffic.

A distributed denial-of-service attack, or DDoS, occurs when hackers flood the servers that run a target’s site with internet traffic until it stumbles or collapses under the load. Such attacks are common, but there is evidence that they are becoming more powerful, more sophisticated and increasingly aimed at core internet infrastructure providers.

Going after companies like Dyn can cause far more damage than aiming at a single website.

Dyn is one of many outfits that host the Domain Name System, or DNS, which functions as a switchboard for the internet. The DNS translates user-friendly web addresses like fbi.gov into numerical addresses that allow computers to speak to one another. Without the DNS servers operated by internet service providers, the internet could not operate.

In this case, the attack was aimed at the Dyn infrastructure that supports internet connections. While the attack did not affect the websites themselves, it blocked or slowed users trying to gain access to those sites.

Mr. York, the Dyn strategist, said in an interview during a lull in the attacks that the assaults on its servers were complex.

“This was not your everyday DDoS attack,” Mr. York said. “The nature and source of the attack is still under investigation.”

Later in the day, Dave Allen, the general counsel at Dyn, said tens of millions of internet addresses, or so-called I.P. addresses, were being used to send a fire hose of internet traffic at the company’s servers. He confirmed that a large portion of that traffic was coming from internet-connected devices that had been co-opted by type of malware, called Mirai.

Dale Drew, chief security officer at Level 3, an internet service provider, found evidence that roughly 10 percent of all devices co-opted by Mirai were being used to attack Dyn’s servers. Just one week ago, Level 3 found that 493,000 devices had been infected with Mirai malware, nearly double the number infected last month.

Mr. Allen added that Dyn was collaborating with law enforcement and other internet service providers to deal with the attacks.

In a recent report, Verisign, a registrar for many internet sites that has a unique perspective into this type of attack activity, reported a 75 percent increase in such attacks from April through June of this year, compared with the same period last year.

The attacks were not only more frequent, they were bigger and more sophisticated. The typical attack more than doubled in size. What is more, the attackers were simultaneously using different methods to attack the company’s servers, making them harder to stop.

The most frequent targets were businesses that provide internet infrastructure services like Dyn.

“DNS has often been neglected in terms of its security and availability,” Richard Meeus, vice president for technology at Nsfocus, a network security firm, wrote in an email. “It is treated as if it will always be there in the same way that water comes out of the tap.”

Last month, Bruce Schneier, a security expert and blogger, wrote on the Lawfare blog that someone had been probing the defenses of companies that run crucial pieces of the internet.

“These probes take the form of precisely calibrated attacks designed to determine exactly how well the companies can defend themselves, and what would be required to take them down,” Mr. Schneier wrote. “We don’t know who is doing this, but it feels like a large nation-state. China and Russia would be my first guesses.”

It is too early to determine who was behind Friday’s attacks, but it is this type of attack that has election officials concerned. They are worried that an attack could keep citizens from submitting votes.

Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia allow internet voting for overseas military and civilians. Alaska allows any Alaskan citizen to do so. Barbara Simons, the co-author of the book “Broken Ballots: Will Your Vote Count?” and a member of the board of advisers to the Election Assistance Commission, the federal body that oversees voting technology standards, said she had been losing sleep over just this prospect.

“A DDoS attack could certainly impact these votes and make a big difference in swing states,” Dr. Simons said on Friday. “This is a strong argument for why we should not allow voters to send their voted ballots over the internet.”

This month the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, and the Department of Homeland Security accused Russia of hacking the Democratic National Committee, apparently in an effort to affect the presidential election. There has been speculation about whether President Obama has ordered the National Security Agency to conduct a retaliatory attack and the potential backlash this might cause from Russia.

Gillian M. Christensen, deputy press secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, said the agency was investigating “all potential causes” of the attack.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said on the NBC News program “Meet the Press” this month that the United States was prepared to respond to Russia’s election attacks in kind. “We’re sending a message,” Mr. Biden said. “We have the capacity to do it.”

But technology providers in the United States could suffer blowback. As Dyn fell under recurring attacks on Friday, Mr. York, the chief strategist, said such assaults were the reason so many companies are pushing at least parts of their infrastructure to cloud computing networks, to decentralize their systems and make them harder to attack.

“It’s a total wild, wild west out there,” Mr. York said.

Erin McCann contributed reporting from New York






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