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[Politics] FBI serves a search warrant on Senator Richard Burr’s home over dumping of stocks The FBI served a search warrant last night on Senator Richard Burr’s home in DC over his dumping of stocks earlier this year before the pandemic: FOX NEWS – Federal agents on . . . Published:5/14/2020 8:13:14 AM
[Politics] FBI serves a search warrant on Senator Richard Burr’s home over dumping of stocks The FBI served a search warrant last night on Senator Richard Burr’s home in DC over his dumping of stocks earlier this year before the pandemic: FOX NEWS – Federal agents on . . . Published:5/14/2020 8:13:14 AM
[] Uh oh: FBI serves warrant on Burr over insider-trading allegations Published:5/14/2020 7:56:17 AM
[] 'This looks like a vendetta': Libs already questioning if President Trump is behind FBI seizure of Sen. Burr's cell phone, iCloud search warrant Published:5/14/2020 6:40:57 AM
[Markets] The "See-No-Evil" Phase of Russiagate The "See-No-Evil" Phase of Russiagate Tyler Durden Wed, 05/13/2020 - 23:25

Authored by Patrick Lawrence via ConsortiumNews.com,

The media spinfest following the collapse of this conspiracy theory suggests our troubled republic simply cannot accept its errors, leaving us unable to learn from them.

The long, destructive conspiracy theory known as Russiagate, the mother of them all, at last evaporates into thin air. No shred of it remains as of back-to-back disclosures over the past couple of weeks. Where does this leave us? What is to come of this momentous turn of events?

Among those not inclined toward hysteria or copious quaffs of Democratic Party Kool–Aid, it has long been a question how those who concocted and sustained the tales of Russian “meddling,” “collusion,” and mail hackery would manage their embarrassment — not to mention their potential legal liabilities — once their edifice-built-on-sand collapsed, as it was destined from the first to do.

The early signs are as some predicted: They will slither quietly off the stage without comment, they will deny their incessant, ever-vehement accusations, they will profess to weariness, they will insist there are more important things to think about now.

Here is a tweet from one Bob F published Saturday. Our Bob touches nearly all of the above-noted bases. His mentions of Matt Taibbi, Aaron Maté, and Jimmy Dore reference two journalists and a talk-show host who identified the fraud from the first and had the scruples not to surrender to the liberal totalitarianism we have suffered these past three years:

Yes, Bob, lets. This is a brilliant specimen of the flaccid cowardice we’re now to witness many times over. Reassuringly enough, a modest twitter storm followed. Here is a reply from Kathy Woods, a consistently insightful commentator in Twitterland:

For good measure, here is another response to Big Bob, this one addressing his implicit assertion of Democratic Party virtue in the Age of Trump:  

There is anger abroad as Russiagate finally unwinds, plainly. This is an excellent thing. And Ms. Woods is right: It is important to make the sun shine on what became, before the end, a scandal of historic proportions. There is a chance of achieving the “complete exposure” Woods asks for, but it remains a question, as of now, whether this will come to pass. 

Two weeks ago the Justice Department made public documents showing that when, in January 2017, prosecutors wanted to close the collusion case against Michael Flynn, who briefly served as President Donald Trump’s national security advisor, because they found “no derogatory information” against him, Peter Strzok, the philandering F.B.I. agent later found to be shaping an “insurance policy” against a Trump victory in the 2016 election, cajoled them into keeping it open — absence of evidence be damned.

Two Other Developments

Adam Schiff. (DonkeyHotey caricature via Flickr)

The Strzok revelations turned out to be prelude to the two other developments further demolishing the Russiagate narrative. Last Thursday Justice finally dropped its case against Flynn altogether. We now know he was the victim of a perjury trap when questioned about his contacts with Sergey Kislyak, Moscow’s ambassador to Washington in 2016. “Get him to lie so we can prosecute him,” was the FBI’s directive.

Yet worse, Flynn’s guilty plea was in response to prosecutors’ threats to indict his son if he pled otherwise. Tell me the difference, please, between this kind of stuff and the treatment of the accused in the postwar show trials in Eastern Europe.

On the same day the Justice Department dropped the charges against Flynn, the House Intelligence Committee released documents showing that the FBI had no evidence that Russia pilfered the Democratic National Committee’s email archives by hacking into its servers in mid–2016. The FBI had none because CrowdStrike, the patently corrupt cyber-security firm on which it (inexplicably) relied, never gave it any: It had none, either — contrary to its many claims otherwise.

The taker of cake here is that the documents also show that the House Intelligence Committee, chaired by the inimitable (thank goodness) Adam Schiff, knew there were no grounds to allege Russian involvement in what wasn’t a hack by anyone, but a leak, probably by someone with direct access to the DNC’s servers.

My Consortium News colleague Ray McGovern has just detailed the collapse of the “Russians-hacked-it” ruse.

No evidence anywhere along the line of collusion, none of Russians stealing mail. There is a simpler way to put this: No Russiagate.

In truth, there has been evidence aplenty of the Russiagate fraud for some time, due in part to the researches of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, VIPS, of which McGovern is a principal. The problem has been to secure official acknowledgement of three years’ worth of wrongdoing. We now have it, even if it arrives with no admission whatsoever of responsibility.

Enter Perception Management 

(PIxabay)

Now come the lies, the dissembling, and the media’s “perception management.”  Tucker Carlson, the Fox News presenter, offered a funny-but-not-funny catalog of the liars who now stand exposed, none more thoroughly than the egregious Schiff, who ought to resign over this, and Evelyn Farkas, another Obama-era holdover with absolutely no regard for the truth. Loretta Lynch, Obama’s A–G, will also have things to answer for, assuming answers for her misconduct are required of her.

Among the press and broadcasters, it has been a spinfest this past week — led, naturally, by The New York Times, given no one in the media dares venture a syllable for which the Times has not signaled prior approval. The paper’s report on the dismissal of the Flynn case marked the judgment down as “the latest example of Attorney General William P. Barr’s efforts to chisel away at the results of the Russia investigation.” I lost count of the mentions of Flynn’s “lying” and “guilty plea” after nine. No reference to the perjury trap set for Flynn, or the threat to indict his son.

The Times ran two further pieces hatcheting Flynn and Barr in Saturday’s editions, here and here, and a straight-out character assassination of Flynn on Sunday, casting him as some kind of pathological split personality. The Gray Lady doth protest too much, in my view.

The press vastly over-invested in the Russiagate narrative from the first, and now appears set to throw yet more money after all the bad. This is not a good sign. It suggests that our troubled republic simply cannot accept its errors, leaving us unable to learn from them. This is why America in its post-democratic phase cannot self-correct. It is why we have no assurance that another Russiagate, in whatever form, will not be visited upon us.

“Attorney General William P. Barr’s efforts to chisel away at the results of the Russia investigation”? Absolutely. We have to hope he gets somewhere. Committed Russiagaters now take to charging that Barr is corrupting an otherwise snow-white Justice Department. Say what? Given all we now know, this starts to tip into the zone of black humor.

Barr and his investigators are fully armed as of last week. They have all they need to get to the bottom of this dark ocean. They have it in their power to bring to justice the three architects of the Russiagate scam when it was in motion — ex–C.I.A. Director John Brennan, ex–Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, ex–F.B.I. Director James Comey — for what amounted to an attempt to depose a president in a bloodless coup. These are the Democratic Party’s answer to former President Richard Nixon’s infamous “plumbers,” if you ask me.

Whether Barr and his investigators get the task done is to a great extent a matter of politics and bureaucratic warfare that will at best be partially visible to us in coming months. It is a question of how far he will be permitted to go.

Succeed or fail, the record is at least and at last straight.

Published:5/13/2020 10:39:14 PM
[497e55c5-c0d8-5a05-9e64-babefb13e858] Von Spakovsky & Malcolm: Flynn judge disagrees with own rulings by letting outsiders fight dropping charges U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan’s order soliciting comments from outsiders opposed to the Justice Department’s motion to throw out charges of lying to FBI agents against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is highly unusual and contradicts earlier rulings by the judge. Published:5/13/2020 6:39:15 PM
[Markets] In Stunning Move, Flynn Judge Appoints Gotti Prosecutor To Argue Against DOJ Dismissal In Stunning Move, Flynn Judge Appoints Gotti Prosecutor To Argue Against DOJ Dismissal Tyler Durden Wed, 05/13/2020 - 19:05

The judge in the Michael Flynn case has gone full activist - refusing to dismiss the case after the Department of Justice requested to drop charges so that an outside party could file an opposition briefing known as a "friends-of-the-court", or "amicus" briefing.

Today, Judge Emmet Sullivan took things one step further, appointing former Gotti prosecutor and judge, John Gleeson, to argue against the dismissal.

As we noted earlier, What makes it bizarre is that the Judge, Emmet Sullivan, denied this type of third party intervention 24 times during the case - yet has suddenly changed his mind after an activist group which calls itself the "Watergate Prosecutors" moved to file an amicus brief, according to the Washington Examiner.

And as Trump ally and attorney Victoria Toensing noted, the Supreme Court ruled last week that entertaining outside interventions such as these was a "drastic departure" and an "abuse of discretion."

Earlier:

Flynn's lawyer, former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell, filed a six-page motion Tuesday evening slamming the decision, writing: "This Court has consistently — on 24 previous occasions — summarily refused to permit any third party to inject themselves or their views into this case," adding "the proposed amicus brief has no place in this court."

"No rule allows the filing, and the self-proclaimed collection of ‘Watergate Prosecutors’ has no cognizable special interest," the filing continues. "Separation of powers forecloses their appearance here. Only the Department of Justice and the defense can be heard."

Powell told the Washington Examiner that the judge had denied all previous third-party interventions "until DOJ moves to dismiss and begins to expose the wrongdoing of the Obama administration.”

Flynn's lawyers have touted recently released FBI records as being exculpatory evidence that was concealed from the defense team. The documents suggest that now-fired FBI agent Peter Strzok and the FBI’s “7th floor” leadership stopped the bureau from closing its investigation into Flynn in early January 2017, even though investigators had uncovered “no derogatory information," after intercepts of Flynn's communications with a Russian envoy emerged. Emails from later that month show Strzok, along with then-FBI lawyer Lisa Page and several others, sought out ways to continue investigating Flynn, including by deploying the Logan Act. -Washington Examiner

On Tuesday, Sullivan wrote in his order that "given the current posture of this case, the Court anticipates that individuals and organizations will seek leave of the Court to file amicus curiae briefs," adding - while quoting Roger Stone judge Amy Berman Jackson (there's a clue) in saying that "while there may be individuals with an interest in this matter, a criminal proceeding is not a free for all."

"Accordingly, at the appropriate time, the Court will enter a Scheduling Order governing the submission of any amicus curiae briefs."

Earlier in the case, however, Sullivan wrote of similar amicus brief requests: "The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure do not provide for intervention by third parties in criminal cases ... Options exist for a private citizen to express his views about matters of public interest, but the Court's docket is not an available option," adding "the docket is the record of official proceedings related to criminal charges brought by the United States against an individual who has pled guilty to a criminal offense" and "for the benefit of the parties in this case and the public, the docket must be maintained in an orderly fashion and in accordance with court rules."

Published:5/13/2020 6:08:19 PM
[] BREAKING: List of Obama Officials Who Sought to 'Unmask' Flynn Released Published:5/13/2020 2:39:20 PM
[Markets] From RussiaGate To ObamaGate & The End Of Boomerville From RussiaGate To ObamaGate & The End Of Boomerville

Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog,

From the beginning of the story RussiaGate was always about Barack Obama. I didn’t always see it that way, certainly. My seething hatred for all things Hillary Clinton is a powerful blind spot I admit to freely.

But, it’s clear that Obama was always the vector through which the entire investigation into Donald Trump pointed. He’s the only one with the power to have marshaled the forces arrayed against Trump for the past four years.

We’ve known this for a couple of years now but there were a seemingly endless series of distractions put in place to obfuscate the truth...

Donald Trump was not a Russian agent.

What’s clear now is the President Obama’s administration was regularly engaged in illegally using NSA database access to spy on Americans and political opponents. This operation pre-dates Trump by a few years.

It was de rigeur by the time the election cycle ramped up in 2016. The timing of events is during that time period paints a very damning picture. This article from Zerohedge by way of Conservative Treehouse lays out the timing, the activities and the shifts in the narrative that implicate Obama beyond any doubt.

On April 18, 2016, following the preliminary audit results, Director Rogers shut down all FBI contractor access to the database after he learned FISA-702 “about”(17) and “to/from”(16) search queries were being done without authorization. Thus begins the first discovery of a much bigger background story.

And that’s when everything changed. Because at that point, having lost access Obama’s spy team needed another way into the NSA database. Enter Fusion GPS, Christopher Steele and the ridiculous dossier used to issue FISA warrants on Carter Page and all the rest of it.

The details are all there for anyone with eyes willing to see, the question is whether anyone deep in the throes of Trump Derangement Syndrome will take their eyes off the shadow play in front of them long enough to look.

I’m not holding my breath.

Obama is guilty of the highest crimes a President can be guilty of, utilizing Federal law enforcement and intelligence services to spy on a political opponent during an election. This is after eight years of ruinous wars, coups both successful and not, drone-striking U.S. citizens and generally carrying on like the vandal he is.

ObamaGate arrives on the verge of the real 2020 election season, now that the DNC has circled the wagons around Joe Biden hiding in his Gimp Cellar because they have no one else to run who isn’t pure Kryptonite, with Obama coming out of the shadows to attack Trump’s handling of COVID-19.

Rumors abound as to whether he can be Hillary’s running mate if Biden can’t run. Their echo chamber is desperate to build up his wife Michelle as the VP candidate.

Why?

Because this is Obama’s way of running for a third term without being on the ballot.

Trump has to destroy what’s left of the Left’s Last Messiah before we get into the campaign season or he will be dealing with someone his equal on the campaign trail.

Why else would Hillary back Biden after spending the past year trying to clear the decks for her triumphal return after they trashed Trump’s economy with a fake pandemic, and even faker impeachment trial based on an even less real accusation of him being a Russian agent?

She knows that it’s time they bury the hatchet, circle the wagons and get rid of Trump the only way they can now, at the ballot box.

Because if they don’t the generations-long project for global control by The Davos Crowd on their terms will evaporate as Trump goes on a vindication tour of DC.

These people obviously missed the key point about Goebbels’ Big Lie theory of propaganda. For it to work there has to be a nugget of truth to wrap the lie in before you can repeat it endlessly to make it real.

And that’s why RussiaGate is dead. Long live ObamaGate.

Obama’s people have been covering for him for nearly four years now. They have been exposed as bald-faced liars by the transcripts of their impeachment testimonies to Adam Schiff and the House Intelligence Committee.

None of them were willing to testify under oath, and be guilty of perjury, to the effect that Trump was colluding with the Russians. But, they’d say it on TV, Twitter and anywhere else they could to attack Trump with patent nonsense.

Now that the heat is rising and the apparatus they used to control turns its attention to what they did, enough of them will roll over and give Attorney General William Barr what he wants. Some of them will fall on their sword for Obama.

But I don’t think Trump will be satisfied with that. He has to know that Obama is the key to truly draining the Swamp if that is, in fact, his goal. Because if he doesn’t attack Obama now, Obama will be formidable in October.

Both men are fighting for their lives at this point.

Trump was supposed to roll over and play nice. But Pat Buchanan rightly had him pegged at the beginning of this back in January of 2017, saying that Trump wasn’t like Nixon, he wouldn’t walk away to protect the office of the Presidency. He would fight to the bitter end because that’s who he is.

And here we are coming into the home stretch and the bitter end is staring these people in the face. They’ve lost all credibility, corrupted whole swaths of the Federal government beyond recognition and activated every resource they have in the media and the chattering classes to make manifest a bald-faced lie.

And it didn’t work.

Now the desperation sets in. The exoneration of Gen. Michael Flynn, the release of the transcripts and conflicting stories told by John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey and the rest all point to something beyond sinister.

You can smell the fear now. From Bill Kristol to John Brennan they can see the end of their project, whether it was for a New American Neocon Century or just the cynical push for a transnational oligarchy based around the European Union, their Utopian dreams have run into the immovable object of a people refusing to believe their lies anymore.

And if you look just a little farther into the future, once ObamaGate is behind us, one where Trump is re-elected you’ll see the end of something far bigger, the end of what I’m now calling Boomerville.

We’ve all been sucked into this fantasy of money for nothing and wars for free. That we can, as Ron Paul put it so elegantly for years, have both guns and butter.

Boomerville is that mythic image of a better world filled with unicorn farts and toxic egalitarianism and that we can issue endless debt we owe to ourselves to pay for it all.

It’s a Marxist world of power for power’s sake that lowers everyone’s status to that of worker drones while building them up to be heroes in a story only playing out in their own minds.

RussiaGate was the last ditch effort to kill off the Revolt of the Remnant, to take their Messiah, the Orange Jesus himself, Trump, and paint him as the worst thing possible.

They painted the picture that he was what they actually were.

And, by extension, us too. Those are fighting words folks.

It’s Alinsky 101, accuse your opponent of that which you are. Force them to defend themselves against the baseless and the false until they are either shamed into submission or crack under the pressure.

I warned for a long time that Trump wasn’t that guy. That his unique set of skills and personal faults — his vindictiveness, his narcissism and his disagreeableness — were his greatest strengths.

He could outlast RussiaGate and eventually turn it around onto the people who started it. And that’s where we are now. RussiaGate is now Obamagate and backed by an army who understand that his fight is their fight Trump needs to end this once and for all between now and November.

That’s where this ends, with Boomerville being over run by the Deplorables and the Resistance still trying to figure out why none of it worked.

*  *  *

Join My Patreon if you no longer want to live in Boomerville. Install the Brave Browser if you want to help others escape it.

Tyler Durden Wed, 05/13/2020 - 15:31
Published:5/13/2020 2:39:19 PM
[Politics] K.T. McFarland: FBI 'Ambushed' Me, Flynn, But Trump Was Real Target Former Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland, who served under Michael Flynn, said Wednesday they were both "ambushed" by the FBI, but the real target all along was incoming President Donald Trump.  Published:5/13/2020 11:35:53 AM
[Markets] John Brennan Concealed 'High-Quality' Intelligence That Russia Wanted Hillary Clinton To Win: Report John Brennan Concealed 'High-Quality' Intelligence That Russia Wanted Hillary Clinton To Win: Report

Former CIA director John Brennan suppressed intelligence which indicated that Russia wanted Hillary Clinton to win because "she was a known quantity," vs. the unpredictable Donald Trump, according to Fox News' Ed Henry.

During a Tuesday night discussion with Tucker Carlson, Henry said that Brennan "also had intel saying, actually, Russia wanted Hillary Clinton to win because she was a known quantity, she had been secretary of state, and Vladimir Putin’s team thought she was more malleable, while candidate Donald Trump was unpredictable."

Perhaps Russian President Vladimir Putin has fond memories of the time Bill Clinton hung out at his 'private homestead' during the same trip where he collected a $500,000 payday for a speech at a Moscow bank, right before the Uranium One deal was approved.

And as Breitbart's Joel Pollak notes, Henry's claim backs up a similar allegation by former National Security Council chief of staff Fred Fleitz, who said on April 22:

House Intelligence Committee staff told me that after an exhaustive investigation reviewing intelligence and interviewing intelligence officers, they found that Brennan suppressed high-quality intelligence suggesting that Putin actually wanted the more predictable and malleable Clinton to win the 2016 election.

Instead, the Brennan team included low-quality intelligence that failed to meet intelligence community standards to support the political claim that Russian officials wanted Trump to win, House Intelligence Committee staff revealed. They said that CIA analysts also objected to including that flawed, substandard information in the assessment.

Fox's Henry said that he has obtained independent confirmation of the pro-Clinton Russia claim made by Fleitz.

Brennan's concealment of this key information was yet another link in the chain of the Obama administration's plot to smear Donald Trump as a Russian asset - a hoax supported by the Clinton-funded Steele dossier, which the FBI knew was Russian disinformation (or, more likely, Steele's Russophobic fantasies) before they used it as a predicate to spy on Trump aide Carter Page during the 2016 election.

And now, Brennan is a contributor on MSNBC. How fitting.

Tyler Durden Wed, 05/13/2020 - 12:00
Published:5/13/2020 11:06:08 AM
[Government] FBI and DHS accuse Chinese hackers of targeting U.S. COVID-19 research In a rare joint public statement, the FBI and Homeland Security’s cybersecurity advisory unit CISA have accused top Chinese hackers of trying to steal U.S. research related to the coronavirus strain, known as COVID-19. The statement, published today, said that Chinese hackers “have been observed attempting to identify and illicitly obtain valuable intellectual property and […] Published:5/13/2020 10:06:38 AM
[World] FBI Accidentally Releases Name of Saudi Official Involved in 9/11 Attacks Published:5/13/2020 9:06:42 AM
[Adam Schiff] Hacks & the DNC hack (Scott Johnson) The famous hack of the Democratic National Committee email account during the 2016 campaign somehow escaped serious investigation by the FBI, but was nevertheless attributed by American intelligence authorities and others to the Russians in part because of the analysis performed by CrowdStrike for the DNC. Now Aaron Maté reports for RealClearInvestigations on the newly declassified testimony by CrowdStrike President Shawn Henry — testimony that Adam Schiff sought to kept Published:5/13/2020 9:06:42 AM
[Politics] Fmr. AG Matt Whitaker: Flynn Revelations 'Tip of Iceberg' The revelations about abuses in the FBI's investigation into Michael Flynn are "just the tip of the iceberg," former acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker told Newsmax TV on Tuesday. "I think it's becoming very clear as to what happened," Whitaker said during a Tuesday... Published:5/13/2020 7:08:14 AM
[Politics] What Did Obama Know and When Did He Know It? What did President Obama know and when did he know it? That famous formulation is emerging as the question in the wake of new disclosures in respect of a meeting that took place inside the Oval Office in the closing days of Mr. Obama's presidency. The meeting included not only his national security adviser, Susan Rice, and the head of the FBI, James Comey, but also Vice President Biden, now the prospective Democratic nominee. This is laid out in, among other places, a dispatch by Molli... Published:5/12/2020 9:21:12 AM
[Politics] Giuliani: Barr May Have Treason Case on Comey, Brennan Rudy Giuliani suggested that Attorney General William Barr has enough information to build a case against former FBI director James Comey and former CIA director John Brennan for treason in their attempts to overthrow President Donald Trump. Published:5/10/2020 6:47:51 PM
[Markets] Ehret: For Victory Day, It's Time To Think About Finally Winning WWII Ehret: For Victory Day, It's Time To Think About Finally Winning WWII

Authored by Matthew Ehret via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

75 years ago Germany surrendered to allied forces finally ending the ravages of the Second World War.

Today, as the world celebrates the 75th anniversary of this victory, why not think very seriously about finally winning that war once and for all?

If you’re confused by this statement, then you might want to sit down and take a deep breath before reading on. Within the next 12 minutes, you will likely discover a disturbing fact which may frighten you a little bit: The allies never actually won World War II…

Now please don’t get me wrong. I am eternally thankful for the immortal souls who gave their lives to put down the fascist machine during those bleak years… but the fact is that a certain something wasn’t resolved on the 9th of May, 1945 which has a lot to do with the slow re-emergence of a new form of fascism during the second half of the 20th century and the renewed danger of a global bankers’ dictatorship which the world faces again today.

It is my contention that it is only when we find the courage to really look at this problem with sober eyes, that we will be able to truly honor our courageous forebears who devoted their lives to winning a peace for their children, grandchildren and humanity more broadly.

The Ugly Truth of WWII

I’ll stop beating around the Bush now and just say it: Adolph Hitler or Benito Mussolini were never “their own men”.

The machines they led were never fully under their sovereign control and the financing they used as fuel in their effort to dominate the world did not come from the Banks of Italy or Germany. The technologies they used in petrochemicals, rubber, and computing didn’t come from Germany or Italy, and the governing scientific ideology of eugenics that drove so many of the horrors of Germany’s racial purification practices never originated in the minds of German thinkers or from German institutions.

Were it not for a powerful network of financiers and industrialists of the 1920s-1940s with names such as Rockefeller, Warburg, Montague Norman, Osborn, Morgan, Harriman or Dulles, then it can safely be said that fascism would never have been possible as a “solution” to the economic woes of the post-WWI order. To prove this point, let us take the strange case of Prescott Bush as a useful entry point.

The patriarch of the same Bush dynasty that gave the world two disastrous American presidents (and nearly a third had Donald Trump not annihilated Jeb at the last minute in 2016) made a name for himself funding Nazism alongside his business partners Averell Harrimen and Averell’s younger brother E. Roland Harriman (the latter who was to recruit Prescott to Skull and Bones while both studying at Yale). Not only did Prescott, acting as director of Brown Brothers Harriman, provide valuable loans to keep the bankrupt Nazi party afloat during Hitler’s loss of support in 1932 when the German population voted into office the anti-Fascist General Kurt von Schleicher as Chancellor, but was even found guilty for “Trading with the enemy” as director of Union Banking Corporation in 1942!

That’s right! As demonstrated in the 1992 Unauthorized Biography of George Bush, eleven months after America entered WWII, the Federal Government naturally conducted an investigation of all Nazi banking operations in the USA and wondered why Prescott continued to direct a bank which was so deeply enmeshed with Fritz Thyssen’s Bank voor Handel en Scheepvart of the Netherlands. Thyssen for those who are un-aware is the German industrial magnate famous for writing the book “I Paid Hitler”. The bank itself was tied to a German combine called Steel Works of the German Steel Trust which controlled 50.8% of Nazi Germany’s pig iron, 41.4% of its universal plate, 38.5% of its galvanized steel, 45.5% of its pipes and 35% of its explosives. Under Vesting Order 248, the U.S. federal government seized all of Prescott’s properties on October 22, 1942.

The U.S.-German Steel combine was only one small part of a broader operation as Rockefeller’s Standard Oil had created a new international cartel alongside IG Farben (the fourth largest company in the world) in 1929 under the Young Plan. Owen Young was a JP Morgan asset who headed General Electric and instituted a German debt repayment plan in 1928 that gave rise to the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) and consolidated an international cartel of industrialists and financiers on behalf of the City of London and Wall Street. The largest of these cartels saw Henry Ford’s German operations merging with IG Farben, Dupont industries, Britain’s Shell and Rockefeller’s Standard Oil. The 1928 cartel agreement also made it possible for Standard Oil to pass off all patents and technologies for the creation of synthetic gasoline from coal to IG Farben thus allowing Germany to rise from producing merely 300 000 tons of natural petroleum in 1934 to an incredible 6.5 million tons (85% of its total) during WWII! Had this patent/technology transfer not taken place, it is a fact that the modern mechanized warfare that characterized WWII could never have occurred.

Two years before the Young Plan began, JP Morgan had already given a $100 million loan to Mussolini’s newly established fascist regime in Italy- with Democratic Party kingmaker Thomas Lamont playing the role of Prescott Bush in Wall Street’s Italian operation. It wasn’t only JP Morgan who loved Mussolini’s brand of corporate fascism, but Time Magazine’s Henry Luce unapologetically gushed over Il Duce putting Mussolini on the cover of Time eight times between 1923 and 1943 while relentlessly promoting fascism as the “economic miracle solution for America” (which he also did in his other two magazines Fortune and Life). Many desperate Americans, still traumatized from the long and painful depression begun in 1929, had increasingly embraced the poisonous idea that an American fascism would put food on the table and finally find help them find work.

A few words should be said of Brown Brothers Harriman.

Bush’s Nazi bank itself was the spawn of an earlier 1931 merger which took place between Montagu Norman’s family bank (Brown Brothers) and Harriman, Bush and Co. Montague Norman was the Governor of the Bank of England from 1920 to 1944, leader of the Anglo-German Fellowship Trust and controller of Germany’s Hjalmar Schacht (Reichsbank president from 1923-1930 and Minister of Economy from 1934-1937). Norman was also the primary controller of the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) from its creation in 1930 throughout the entirety of WWII.

The Central Bank of Central Banks

Although the BIS was established under the Young Plan and nominally steered by Schacht as a mechanism for debt repayments from WWI, the Swiss-based “Central Bank of Central Banks” was the key mechanism for international financiers to fund the Nazi machine. The fact that the BIS was under the total control of Montagu Norman was revealed by Dutch Central Banker Johan Beyen who said “Norman’s prestige was overwhelming. As the apostle of central bank cooperation, he made the central banker into a kind of arch-priest of monetary religion. The BIS was, in fact, his creation.”

The founding members of the Board included the private central banks of Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Belgium as well as a coterie of 3 private American banks (JP Morgan, First National of Chicago, and First National of New York). The three American banks merged after the war and are today known as Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase.

In its founding constitution, the BIS, its directors and staff were given immunity from all sovereign national laws and not even authorities in Switzerland were permitted to enter its premises.

This story was conveyed powerfully in a 1998 History Channel documentary entitled Banking with Hitler.

A Word on Eugenics

Nazi support in the build up to, and during WWII didn’t end with finance and industrial might, but extended to the governing scientific ideology of the third Reich: Eugenics (aka: the science of Social Darwinism as developed by Thomas Huxley’s X Club associate Herbert Spencer and Darwin’s cousin sir Francis Galton decades earlier). In 1932, New York hosted the Third Eugenics Conference co-sponsored by William Draper Jr (JP Morgan banker, head of General Motors and leading figure of Dillon Read and co) and the Harriman family. This conference brought together leading eugenicists from around the world who came to study America’s successful application of eugenics laws which had begun in 1907 under the enthusiastic patronage of Theodore Roosevelt. Hiding behind the respectable veneer of “science” these high priests of science discussed the new age of “directed evolution of man” which would soon be made possible under a global scientific dictatorship.

Speaking at the conference, leading British Fascist Fairfield Osborn said that eugenics:

“aids and encourages the survival and multiplication of the fittest; indirectly, it would check and discourage the multiplication of the unfitted. As to the latter, in the United States alone, it is widely recognized that there are millions of people who are acting as dragnets or sheet anchors on the progress of the ship of state…While some highly competent people are unemployed, the mass of unemployment is among the less competent, who are first selected for suspension, while the few highly competent people are retained because they are still indispensable. In nature, these less-fitted individuals would gradually disappear, but in civilization, we are keeping them in the community in the hopes that in brighter days, they may all find employment. This is only another instance of humane civilization going directly against the order of nature and encouraging the survival of the un-fittest”.

The dark days of the great depression were good years for bigotry and ignorance as eugenics laws were applied to two Canadian provinces, and widely spread across Europe and America with 30 U.S. states applying eugenics laws to sterilize the unfit. Eugenics’ successful growth was due in large measure to the fierce financial support of the Rockefeller Foundation and the science magazine Nature which had been created in 1865 by T.H. Huxley’s X Club. The Rockefeller Foundation went onto fund German eugenics and most specifically the rising star of human improvement Joseph Mengele.

The Nazi Frankenstein Monster is Aborted

Describing his January 29, 1935 meeting with Hitler, Round Table controller Lord Lothian quoted the Fuhrer’s vision for Aryan co-direction of the New World Order saying:

“Germany, England, France, Italy, America and Scandinavia … should arrive at some agreement whereby they would prevent their nationals from assisting in the industrializing of countries such as China, and India. It is suicidal to promote the establishment in the agricultural countries of Asia of manufacturing industries”

While it is obvious that much more can be said on the topic, the Fascist machine didn’t fully behave the way the Dr. Frankensteins in London wished, as Hitler began to realize that his powerful military machine gave Germany the power to lead the New World Order rather than play second fiddle as mere enforcers on behalf of their Anglo masters in Britain. While many London and Wall Street oligarchs were willing to adapt to this new reality, a decision was made to abort the plan, and try to fight another day.

To do this a scandal was concocted to justify the abdication of pro-Nazi King Edward VIII in 1936 and an appeasing Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was replaced with Winston Churchill in 1940. While Sir Winston was a life long racist, eugenicist and even Mussolini-admirer, he was first and foremost a devout British Imperialist and as such would fight tooth and nail to save the prestige of the Empire if it were threatened. Which he did.

The Fascists vs Franklin Roosevelt

Within America itself, the pro-fascist Wall Street establishment had been loosing a war that began the day anti-fascist President Franklin Roosevelt was elected in 1932. Not only had their attempted February 1933 assassination failed, their 1934 coup d’etat plans were also thwarted by a patriotic General named Smedley Darlington Butler. To make matters worse, their efforts to keep America out of the war in the hopes of co-leading the New World Order alongside Germany, France and Italy was also falling apart. A As I outlined in my recent article How to Crush a Bankers’ Dictatorship, between 1933-1939, FDR had imposed sweeping reforms on the banking sector, thwarted a major attempt to create a global Bankers’ dictatorship under the Bank of International Settlements, and mobilized a broad recovery under the New Deal.

By 1941, Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor polarized the American psyche so deeply that resisting America’s entry into WWII as Wall Street’s American Liberty League had been doing up until then, became political suicide. Wall Street’s corporatist organizations were called out by FDR during a powerful 1938 speech as the president reminded the Congress of the true nature of fascism:

“The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism – ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power… Among us today a concentration of private power without equal in history is growing. This concentration is seriously impairing the economic effectiveness of private enterprise as a way of providing employment for labor and capital and as a way of assuring a more equitable distribution of income and earnings among the people of the nation as a whole.”

While America’s entry into WWII proved a decisive factor in the destruction of the fascist machine, the dream shared by Franklin Roosevelt, Henry Wallace and many of FDR’s closest allies across America, Canada, Europe, China and Russia for a world governed by large-scale development, and win-win cooperation did not come to pass.

Even though FDR’s ally Harry Dexter White led in the fight to shut down the Bank of International Settlements during the July 1944 Bretton Woods conference, the passage of White’s resolutions to dissolve BIS and audit its books were never put into action. While White, who was to become the first head of the IMF, defended FDR’s program to create a new anti-imperial system of finance, Fabian Society leader, and devout eugenicist John Maynard Keynes defended the Bank and pushed instead to redefine the post-war system around a one world currency called the Bancor, controlled by the Bank of England and BIS.

The Fascist Resurgence in the Post-War World

By the end of 1945, the Truman Doctrine and Anglo-American “special relationship” replaced FDR’s anti-colonial vision, while an anti-communist witch hunt turned America into a fascist police state under FBI surveillance. Everyone friendly to Russia was targeted for destruction and the first to feel that targeting were FDR’s close allies Henry Wallace and Harry Dexter White whose 1948 death while campaigning for Wallace’s presidential bid put an end to anti-colonialists running the IMF.

In the decades after WWII, those same financiers who brought the world fascism went straight back to work infiltrating FDR’s Bretton Woods Institutions such as the IMF and World Bank, turning them from tools of development, into tools of enslavement. This process was fully exposed in the 2004 book Confessions of an Economic Hit man by John Perkins.

The European banking houses representing the old nobility of the empire continued through this reconquering of the west without punishment. By 1971, the man whom Perkins exposed as the chief economic hit man George Schultz, orchestrated the removal of the U.S. dollar from the Gold-reserve, fixed exchange rate system director of the Office of Management of Budget and in the same year, the Rothschild Inter-Alpha Group of banks was created to usher in a new age of globalization. This 1971 floating of the dollar ushered in a new paradigm of consumerism, post-industrialism, and de-regulation which transformed the once productive western nations into speculative “post-truth” basket cases convinced that casino principles, bubbles and windmills were substitutes for agro-industrial economic practices.

So here we are in 2020 celebrating victory over fascism.

The children and grandchildren of those heroes of 1945 now find themselves attached to the biggest financial collapse in history with $1.5 quadrillion of fictitious capital ripe to explode under a new global hyperinflation akin to that which destroyed Weimar in 1923, but this time global. The Bank of International Settlements that should have been dissolved in 1945 today controls the Financial Stability Board and thus regulates the world derivatives trade which has become the weapon of mass destruction that has been triggered to unleash more chaos upon the world than Hitler could have ever dreamed.

The saving grace today is that the anti-fascist spirit of Franklin Roosevelt is alive in the form of modern anti-imperialists Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping and a growing array of nations united under the umbrella of the New Deal of the 21st Century which has come to be called the “Belt and Road Initiative”.

Had Prescott’s grandson Jeb (or Prescott’s spiritual grand daughter Hillary) found themselves in the position of President of the USA at this moment, it is unlikely that I would be writing this now, as I’m fairly certain WWIII would have already been launched. However, with President Trump having successfully survived nearly four years of Deep State subversion, and having called repeatedly for a positive alliance with Russia and China, a chance still exists to take the types of emergency actions needed at this moment of existential crisis to do what FDR had always intended, and win World War II.

Tyler Durden Sun, 05/10/2020 - 00:00
Published:5/9/2020 11:18:02 PM
[Politics] SUPERCUT: Garbage media caught with egg on their faces calling FBI setup of Flynn a “conspiracy theory” Grabien has put together a SUPERCUT video that should honestly go viral. It shows the media time and time again calling the FBI setup of Michael Flynn a ‘conspiracy theory’ and accusing . . . Published:5/8/2020 5:34:41 PM
[Politics] SUPERCUT: Garbage media caught with egg on their faces calling FBI setup of Flynn a “conspiracy theory” Grabien has put together a SUPERCUT video that should honestly go viral. It shows the media time and time again calling the FBI setup of Michael Flynn a ‘conspiracy theory’ and accusing . . . Published:5/8/2020 5:02:40 PM
[Media] FLASHBACK: MSNBC, CNN Derided Flynn as Treacherous Russian Asset

Pundits at MSNBC and CNN derided former National Security Adviser and retired Gen. Michael Flynn as treacherous and a possible Russian asset after he was charged with lying to the FBI about interactions with the Russian ambassador in 2016.

The post FLASHBACK: MSNBC, CNN Derided Flynn as Treacherous Russian Asset appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:5/8/2020 4:38:06 PM
[] Turley: McCabe's "bizarre" defense notwithstanding, the FBI had no business targeting Flynn Published:5/8/2020 3:40:26 PM
[fc367e7c-c121-563d-85f9-ddf8a569dbec] Tim Graham: Comey the hero -- Hollywood's fantasy collapses CBS has been preparing a miniseries based on former FBI Director James Comey's memoir, pompously titled "A Higher Loyalty." Published:5/8/2020 3:04:30 PM
[b59af813-3c0b-56ac-86e2-48a6fd223942] Ex-Acting AG Matthew Whitaker: DOJ's Flynn decision good start but there's much more to do The now revealed FBI effort to entrap Gen. Michael Flynn was shameful. Published:5/8/2020 1:01:43 PM
[] Ilhan Omar Blames 'White Privilege' for Michael Flynn's Exoneration Published:5/8/2020 11:30:53 AM
[7adc2176-9706-59d4-831e-53e9d95abcc1] Tucker Carlson: The Michael Flynn case was a setup from the start. How many other lives have the FBI destroyed? The FBI's treatment of Michael Flynn isn't about Michael Flynn. It's about you. Published:5/8/2020 8:31:48 AM
[] Barr: FBI set Flynn up in an illegitimate "perjury trap" -- directed by top brass Published:5/8/2020 8:00:42 AM
[Michael Flynn] Barr speaks (Scott Johnson) Attorney General Barr sat down with Catherine Herridge for an interview yesterday following the filing of the government’s motion to dismiss the Flynn case. CBS News has chopped the interview into bite-size bits, but it has published the transcript here. Highly recommended. At the time of the FBI interview of Flynn on January 24, 2017, the FBI had no bona fide counterintelligence investigation of Flynn open. Barr explains: On the Published:5/8/2020 7:31:38 AM
[Politics] Jeff Sessions to Newsmax TV: Justice Served for Gen. Flynn Justice was served Thursday when Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn had charges against him of lying to FBI investigators dropped, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions told Newsmax TV. Published:5/7/2020 9:00:34 PM
[Politics] Jeff Sessions to Newsmax: Justice Was Served for Michael Flynn Justice was served on Thursday when Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn had charges against him of lying to FBI investigators dropped, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions told Newsmax TV."I am happy for General Flynn. ... Published:5/7/2020 8:30:06 PM
[Politics] Clearing Flynn Should Also Help Clear the Air in the Election America's motion to dismiss the criminal charges it had handed up against General Michael Flynn strikes us as more than a vindication of President Trump's former national security adviser. It's also an important step toward a long-overdue acceptance of the results of the 2016 election. We'd like to think it will help clear the air as Americans prepare to go to the polls again five months hence. The move to drop the charges that General Flynn had lied to the FBI were not exactly a surprise... Published:5/7/2020 8:00:56 PM
[Entertainment] Original Content podcast: Waco offers a surprising look at a real-world tragedy “Waco,” a Paramount Network series that recently started streaming on Netflix, dramatizes the tragic real-life standoff between the FBI, the ATF and the Branch Davidians. A couple of your Original Content podcast hosts only had a fuzzy idea of what actually went down in Waco, Texas in 1993. And all of us were  surprised by […] Published:5/7/2020 5:25:39 PM
[] After His Self-Righteous Flynn Tweet, Someone Should Check Jim Comey for Burn Marks Published:5/7/2020 4:58:05 PM
[69d34da3-3c8e-5d95-85b9-508a45f3ac38] John Yoo: Dropping Flynn charges right call by Barr — important first step in FBI, DOJ clean up The revelations of FBI shenanigans by people whom the Trump administration has since fired or have resigned justified the extraordinary step of letting Flynn go. Published:5/7/2020 3:57:51 PM
[Uncategorized] DOJ Drops Case Against Michael Flynn After Considering ‘Newly Discovered and Undisclosed Information’ “The Government has concluded that the interview of Mr. Flynn was untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn.” Published:5/7/2020 2:26:06 PM
[Michael Flynn] What gives in the Flynn case? Finale (Scott Johnson) The conduct of the FBI and the Department of Justice in the Flynn case has been a complete and utter disgrace to both institutions. Earlier today Flynn Department of Justice prosecutor Brandon Van Grack withdrew from the case. Now comes news that the Department of Justice is moving to dismiss the case against Flynn, saving Judge Sullivan the necessity of ruling on Flynn’s pending motions. I believe I predicted this Published:5/7/2020 1:59:54 PM
[Politics] Most Republicans Want Comey Prosecuted for FBI Actions

Most Republicans still believe senior federal law enforcement officials acted illegally to try to stop Donald Trump’s election and think former FBI Director James Comey should be criminally prosecuted.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 63% of Likely Republican Voters consider it likely that senior federal law enforcement officials broke the law in an effort to prevent Trump from winning the presidency, with 48% who say it’s Very Likely. Thirty-nine percent (39%) of Democrats and 42% of voters not affiliated with either major party agree that criminal wrongdoing is likely. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted May 4-5, 2020 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Published:5/7/2020 9:25:59 AM
[Politics] Jim Jordan to Newsmax TV: Why Didn't We Hear From Wray if He Knew of Misconduct? Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, says he wants to hear from FBI Director Christopher Wray on when he personally knew of the agency's misconduct during James Comey's tenure.... Published:5/6/2020 9:20:11 PM
[Markets] Rosenstein Asked Mueller To Investigate Already-Discredited Steele Dossier Allegations, Memo Reveals Rosenstein Asked Mueller To Investigate Already-Discredited Steele Dossier Allegations, Memo Reveals

Authored by John Solomon via JustTheNews.com,

Allegations in August 2017 scoping memo instructing special prosecutor to investigate Carter Page came from dossier that had already been discredited...

Then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein instructed Special Counsel Robert Mueller in August 2017 to investigate allegations against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page that originated with the Steele dossier and had already been discredited by the FBI, a newly declassified memo showed Wednesday night.

The Justice Department's release of the unredacted version of Rosenstein's so-called investigative scoping memo provided the first declarative evidence that Mueller was asked to investigate widely suspect allegations from Christopher Steele's opposition research conducted for the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party back in 2016.

Specifically, Rosenstein's memo instucted Mueller to investigate "allegations that Carter Page committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials with respect to the Russian government's efforts to interfere with the 2016 election for President of the United States, in violation of United States law."

By the time that instruction was given, the FBI had fired Steele as an informant for leaking, interviewed Steele's sub-source who disputed information attributed to him and had ascertain that allegations Steele had given the FBI specifically about Page were inaccurate and likely came from Russian intelligence sources as disinformation, recently declassified evidence showed.

In addition, the CIA had informed the FBI repeatedly that Page was not a Russian stooge but rather a cooperating intelligence asset for the United States government.

Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, who long called for the release of the unredacted scoping memo, said Wednesday's development confirmed his worst suspicions. He accused prior officials of the Justice Department of unnecessarily hiding the evidence from Congress and the American people before Attorney General William Barr intervened.

“This information was redacted until now for one single reason - to hide the fact that false allegations from the Steele dossier were included in Mueller’s scoping memo," Nunes told Just the News.

"In other words, a bunch of lies paid for by the Democrats were used to engineer the appointment of a Special Counsel to drag the Trump administration through the mud for years. The Russia collusion hoax was a disgrace, and we can’t let anything like it ever be repeated.”

The degree to which the FBI had discredited Steele's intelligence reporting on Page -- including allegations he colluded with Russia -- only recently came into focus with the release of DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz's report on FBI abuses of the FISA surveillance that targeted Page. In addition, just-declassified evidence showed the FBI had learned by February 2017 that Steele's information on Page was likely disinformation from Russian intelligence planted with Steele.

"Most relevant to the Carter Page FISA applications, the specific substantive allegations contained in Reports 80, 94, 95, and 102, which were relied upon in all four FISA applications, remained uncorroborated and, in several instances, were inconsistent with information gathered by the team,” Horowitz wrote back in December in debunking key allegations against Page.

More recently, declassified footnotes made clear Steele's claim he had met with a senior Russian back in 2016 named Igor Sechin and had been offered a lucrative finders fee had been debunked by the FBI by February 2017, or months before Mueller was appointed. In fact Steele's own source challenged the veracity of the information attributed to him inside the dossier.

“The Primary Sub-source told the FBI that one of his/her sub-sources furnished information for that part of Report 134 through a text message, but said that the sub-source never stated that Sechin had offered a brokerage interest to Page,” Horowitz reported.

“The Primary Sub-Source also told the FBI at these interviews that the sub-source who provided the information about the Carter Page-Sechin meeting had connections to Russian Intelligence Services (RIS),” he added.

You can read the full scoping memo below:

Tyler Durden Wed, 05/06/2020 - 21:05
Published:5/6/2020 8:20:20 PM
[] Former FBI Agent: Michael Flynn was railroaded by the FBI Published:5/6/2020 4:18:27 PM
[Markets] Police Are Complicit In Politicians' Disregard For The Rule Of Law Police Are Complicit In Politicians' Disregard For The Rule Of Law

Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute,

People of a certain age might remember the old John Birch Society slogan "Support your local police!" The idea here is that your local policeman is a liberty-loving buddy of yours who would only ever support just laws and constitutional mandates. Only those bad guys in the FBI or BATF would ever consider violating your rights.

Now, obviously that has always been a rather naïve fantasy, but the notion certainly has a long history of support among American conservatives. The idea that unionized, well-paid government employees sympathize with the common man instead of with the government that signs the cops' checks apparently has long made sense (for some reason) to conservatives and many others.

But thanks to the ongoing "state of emergency" and the fact that state governors, mayors, and health officials now rule by decree, we're witnessing more and more how local law enforcement officers have no particular interest in the rule of law, the Bill of Rights, or basic human rights of any sort. Police have been at the forefront of arresting business owners for the "crime" of using their own private property, using city parks, and engaging in other peaceful activities.

As Judge Napolitano has noted, these "stay-at-home orders" - and the penalties that accompany them - aren't even real laws since they were never passed by a legislature or brought into being by any process other than on the authority of a single person who is usually a state governor or municipal official. By no definition of "rule of law" do these measures meet basic moral requirements for their imposition on peaceful citizens.

But the police are enthusiastically enforcing these edicts nonetheless, and using them as an excuse to harass the taxpayers.

Here are just a few examples from around the United States.

Keep in mind that no one is required to go near these places or interact with anyone involved. Those who wish to isolate themselves from these businesses and their clientele may freely do so. Yet these are just a handful of the many cases of police harassment involving citations, arrests, and other forms of coercion and intimidation brought against people who are just trying to live their lives. Nor should we assume that this is "as bad as it gets." Since there is no longer any due process or public legislative process subject to checks and balances, governors and mayors can unilaterally decide at any time to ramp up social distancing requirements and business closures. If the public appears uncooperative, public officials can simply order police to being making mass arrests. We have no reason to think the police would not comply with this order.

After all, police personnel, who do not have a particularly impressive record when it comes to stopping or investigating real crime, have plenty of resources to crack down on nonviolent "perpetrators."

The cases of New York and Odessa are instructive. Odessa law enforcement officers apparently have the extra time and resources to assemble a SWAT team in response to protests, but does this mean there is no real crime that needs investigating in Odessa? Of course not. According to the FBI's 2018 crime survey, Odessa had 1,049 violent crimes in 2018, including 118 rapes and 819 aggravated assaults. If late 2019 and early 2020 were at all similar, then we're talking about hundreds of violent crimes that Odessa-area police officials are ignoring in order to harass people for entering a tavern.

Indeed, if Odessa law enforcement agencies are anything like countless police agencies in other areas, only about half of violent crimes are "resolved" at all. That is,

only 45 percent of violent crime lead to arrest and prosecution. That is, less than half of violent crimes result in what is known as a "clearance" of the crime. Property crime clearances are much worse. Only 17 percent of burglaries, arsons, and car thefts are "cleared."

Among violent crimes, homicides experience the highest clearance rate by far, at 61 percent. Aggravated assault comes in at 53 percent, and rape at 34 percent.

But these are just cases where arrests are made and prosecutions are initiated. A smaller number of cases actually lead to convictions. A crime may be cleared even when the suspect is later exonerated.

New York is not exempt from these trends, yet the New York mayor recently dispatched one thousand cops to break up Jewish funerals and ensure that people don't have barbecues on warm spring days.

By the way, there were more than forty-six thousand violent crimes in New York in 2018. But don't fear, the police have extra personnel to come and break up your small backyard gathering.

There's nothing surprising here, however. Police have long shown a lack of enthusiasm for addressing real crime, knowing that business owners, small-time drug users, and loiterers won't fight back, and thus make for much better targets.

This is why police are often found to run and hide from truly violent criminals while the victims must fend for themselves, as in the case of the Parkland shooting or the case of the stabbing of Joseph Lozito.

Police are always careful to use the legal defense that they are not obligated to actually protect anyone from anything. The courts agree with this defense, and it is now well established legally that although you have an obligation to pay the police to "protect and serve," the police have no obligation to actually provide protection.

But police officers and their bosses have convinced themselves that the really important policing right now involves hauling dog groomers off to jail and collecting revenue from parkgoers who are only standing five feet from the next person.

But if you have a problem with real crime? You're likely out of luck.

Tyler Durden Wed, 05/06/2020 - 17:05
Published:5/6/2020 4:18:26 PM
[Politics] The Flynn Case: Liberal Press Fails To Speak Up for Its Own Principles Who was Brady, anyhow? We ask because of the incredible evidence "suggesting," as the Wall Street Journal puts it, that the FBI withheld exculpatory information from General Michael Flynn when President Trump's first national security adviser was being maneuvered into the guilty plea that he is now trying to withdraw. The obligation of prosecutors to disclose exculpatory material is called the "Brady Rule." Hence our question. It turns out that John Leo Brady was a 25-year-old murderer... Published:5/3/2020 9:31:12 PM
[Markets] Did FBI Operative's Lie Launch Flynn Investigation, And Did IG Horowitz Run Cover? Did FBI Operative's Lie Launch Flynn Investigation, And Did IG Horowitz Run Cover?

For those who haven't been paying attention, recently unsealed materials in the case against former Trump National Security Advisor Mike Flynn all but prove that the FBI set him up with a perjury trap (a 'squeeze' which even Bloomberg's Eli Lake says 'undermines the rule of law').

And as the case against Flynn continues to unravel, perhaps the most important dots have been connected by investigative researcher @JohnWHuber, better known as "Undercover Huber" on Twitter, who makes a cogent argument that Stefan Halper - the portly spy who the FBI used to conduct espionage on the Trump campaign during the 2016 US election - may have sparked the Flynn investigation after lying to the FBI.

What's more, IG Michael Horowitz's report makes no mention of the lie, or the recently-learned fact that the FBI tried to close the Flynn case, dubbed 'Crossfire Razor', in Jan. 2017, only for agent Peter Strzok to go 'off the rails' and demand it not be closed.

Thread by Undercover Huber

Continued (emphasis ours):

  • According to the IG, Stefan Halper (referred to as “Source 2”) met with the Crossfire Hurricane team twice (in Aug 11 and 12, 2016) and told them “he had been previously acquainted with @GenFlynn”. *This was immediately before the FBI opened a case on Flynn on Aug 15, 2016*
  • The IG report is silent on anything Source 2 might have said specifically about Flynn. It’s also silent on the fact the Washington Field Office of the FBI tried to close the Flynn case on 01/04/2017. Both are going to be important in a second.
  • We now know from the FBI’s draft “Electronic Communication” dated 01/04/2017 (trying to close the Flynn CI case, stopped by Strzok at the direction of Comey, McCabe or both) confirms the “CH” team “contacted an established FBI CHS to query about” Gen Flynn & held a “debriefing”
  • Except that story is a *lie*. Halper wasn’t at that event. He witnessed nothing, because he wasn’t there. And the cab ride almost certainly didn’t happen either, because @RealSLokhova says she was picked up from the event by her Husband. And she’s willing to say that under oath.
  • There are multiple pictures of that Cambridge Seminar event (attended by about 20 people). Flynn was there, as was Richard Dearlove (former head of MI6), and Christopher Andrew (then mentor of @RealSLokhova and “unofficial” historian of MI5). But Halper wasn’t. Not in any photos.
  • Halper’s lawyers never challenged that statement. Even when the federal Judge dismissed @RealSLokhova’s case (for other reasons), he did not challenge that claim, only saying that “even assuming it was false” that Halper “attended” the dinner, it wasn’t defamatory to claim he did
  • And the FBI trying to close the case on Flynn is great evidence Halper’s “attendance” at this event so he could see this suspicious cab ride is false. The FBI never tried to interview @RealSLokhova, or anyone at the dinner. Why? Because it would have proven their own source lied.
  • FYI, WaPo, WSJ and NYT have all published stories claiming that Halper attended that Feb 2014 event. None have any evidence that’s true. All the stories are anonymously sourced to Halper or Halper’s buddies. There never will be any evidence Halper was there, because he wasn’t.
  • So when Halper told the FBI that he was “previously acquainted” with Flynn, and “witnessed” this suspicious cab ride, HE WAS LYING TO THE FBI. And at the time, he was a paid Confidential Human Source - the only one cited in the @carterwpage
     FISA, other than Steele.

    That’s big.

  • But what’s arguably bigger is WHEN Halper told this lie about Flynn. When else could Halper claimed to have been “acquainted” with Flynn if not this Feb 2014 dinner (the only time Flynn attended the Cambridge seminar Halper helped organize)?

  • Now, maybe Halper told the FBI about the dinner after the CI case was opened. But that’s NOT in the IG report, despite Halper’s other meetings with the FBI being in there. In fact the IG report says nothing about Halper and Flynn, other than what I quoted

  • In addition, FBI’s Jan 4, 2017 draft Closing EC doesn’t say when this “debriefing” with Halper happened  either. The wording sort of implies it was after the case was opened, but never says it

    So it is possible that a lie from Halper actually triggered opening the case on Flynn?

  • What else did the FBI have? Their own laughable “predicate” appears to be that Flynn worked for Trump, attended an RT dinner (at the time, @RepAdamSchiff
     had previously appeared on RT!), and was “linked” to Russians (Er, he was the former head of DIA under “Russian reset” Obama)

  • Ah, but all of those things were already true between Aug 1 and Aug 10, 2016, which is when the FBI opened cases on Page, Papadopoulos and Manafort - BUT NOT FLYNN. That didn’t happen until Aug 15. He’s the odd one out.

  • Flynn obviously already worked for Trump. He already had these “links”, and he’d already attended the RT dinner long ago. The thin gruel of Russian “links” and working for Trump was enough to open cases on all the others, but NOT Flynn.

  • But what did the FBI have extra before they opened the case? Stefan Halper telling them about being “previously acquainted” with Flynn - which almost certainly refers to that Feb 2014 Cambridge dinner, where he was never “acquainted” with Flynn at all.

  • Oh, & even if Halper told this lie *after* the case was opened on Flynn, the FBI mustn’t have found it credible because they never tried to properly investigate it, and then even tried to close the case anyway. So that means at best the lie came between Aug 15, 2016 & Jan 4, 2017

  • What else was happening between Aug 16 & Jan 17? Oh yeah, the FBI was using a person they should have suspected of lying to dirty people up - Halper - as a CHS wearing a wire on @carterwpage, @GeorgePapa19 and others, AND relying on Halper as “Source #2” in the FISA warrant apps

  • Then, incredibly after their own source lies to them about Flynn to dirty him up, the FBI have the audacity to charge Flynn with lying to them! Corrupt dirty cops isn’t an adequate description. And for all we know, Halper is STILL on Wray’s FBI books as a paid confidential source

  • Finally, IG Horowitz blew this line of inquiry, and didn’t mention anything about the FBI trying to close the case on Flynn in Jan 2017. Horowitz also admitted hasn’t seen any evidence that any of Halper’s information was ever corroborated during his entire time as an FBI source

  • Durham can do what the IG didn’t, and solve this mystery quite easily with a few interviews and record checks.

    Or, the DOJ/USG can keep Halper on his retainer and ignore this. Either way, we’ll know what’s up

    /ENDS

Tyler Durden Sun, 05/03/2020 - 14:25
Published:5/3/2020 1:28:04 PM
[] Undercover Huber’s must-read thread on the 1 thing MISSING from Crossfire Hurricane/Flynn docs most damning of all Published:5/3/2020 9:58:11 AM
[] 'Wake up': Chris Wallace's take on the FBI playing hardball with Michael Flynn systematically dismantled Published:5/2/2020 6:53:38 PM
[Law] 5 Keys to Understanding the Tangled Michael Flynn Case

The twists and turns in the prosecution of intelligence expert Michael Flynn have revealed a string of actions by known bad actors in the FBI... Read More

The post 5 Keys to Understanding the Tangled Michael Flynn Case appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:5/2/2020 11:52:12 AM
[Markets] Why Michael Flynn Was Set Up Why Michael Flynn Was Set Up

Authored by Roger Simon via The Epoch Times,

The more we learn about the evils done to Michael Flynn, and they increase day by day, the more the FBI comes to resemble the KGB.

Or is it the earlier version, the NKVD, whose leader Lavrentiy Beria famously declared “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.”

James Comey - the head of the FBI during this period of extraordinary moral turpitude - never said anything anywhere near that pithy or memorable but he did Beria one better. He, with Peter Strzok, whose feckless emails to his paramour continue to amaze, and various other bit players - some revealed others yet to be revealed - of this sorry saga, didn’t just find a crime, they invented one.

In all fairness, the Soviets, pre and post-Beria, often did the same, putting the darkness in “Darkness at Noon” with forced confessions as in the Metro-Vickers Affair (1933) when innocent Brits took the hit for the failure of Stalin’s “Five-Year Plan.”

What was really going on with what was essentially the “forced confession” of Michael Flynn?

Attorney Andrew C. McCarthy said on Tucker Carlson Thursday night that Flynn wasn’t the target. It was Trump. Flynn was just a “seasoned intelligence professional” (McCarthy’s words) who had to be implicated and put out of the way in order to reach the president, the real bull’s eye.

That’s likely true, but it’s also likely that wasn’t the only reason. Flynn was by himself a target.

During the transition, it is said Obama gave Trump two pieces of advice on whom he considered to be the current greatest threats to the United States, so the new president could be forearmed—Kim Jong-un and Michael Flynn.

Michael Flynn? (I’d add several exclamation points and question marks, but it’s tacky.). Why would he be of anywhere near that importance to be put in the same conversation as the nuclear-armed dictator of North Korea?

The answer, I believe, is a four letter word: Iran.

The Iran Deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) was, with the Affordable Care Act, one of the twin pillars of Obama’s presidency on which he wanted to base his legacy.

I’m not going into here the many theories of why, beyond that legacy, Obama was so attached to the JCPOA, but, by the time Trump was elected, it was already under heavy criticism due to the Islamic Republic’s violent activities in the Syrian civil war and elsewhere, arming Hezbollah, Hamas, the Houthis and other proxies with moneys that came via America and—naive as it now sounds—were supposed to be for the improvement of the lives of the Iranian people.

Flynn was known to have been one of the most adamant opponents of the Iran Deal within the Obama administration in the first place and, with his military record as a three-star general plus aforementioned intelligence expertise, perhaps the most powerful one.

So bringing down Flynn was a two-for, striking a blow at the new president while hopefully helping to preserve the Iran Deal. The second part didn’t work, but the first did… for a while.

It’s therefore not totally surprising—what is these days?—that the newly-revealed documents have “SCO “ (Special Counsels Office) scrawled on them, among other incriminating notes indicating a “setup” was in the cards for Flynn.

That means these statements exculpating Trump’s newly-appointed National Security Adviser went to Mueller’s office where someone (Mueller? Weissman?) ignored them and continued with what Trump has colloquially, and I think too loosely, branded a “hoax.” It was far more than that. It was a form of defenestration.

When we look for the Mr. Big in all this, as we are tempted to do as—we can be more confident now— more rolls out, we should not settle for James Comey, as culpable as he may be. This bizarre character who self-identified on Twitter as the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr is not the end to the story.

We are looking at a Netflix series with a plot that gets increasingly complicated. It goes past Comey and into the intelligence agencies and the State Department—a real life version of “Scandal” with, I regret to tell show runner Shonda Rhymes, the liberals and progressives almost always the villains.

When it reaches Brennan and Obama, it may not even end there. Maybe even John Durham doesn’t know. (Kidding. I hope.)

Tyler Durden Fri, 05/01/2020 - 22:00
Published:5/1/2020 9:18:32 PM
[Politics] Alan Dershowitz to Newsmax TV: 'FBI Abused Its Power' in Flynn Case On Newsmax TV's "Spicer & Co.," attorney and emeritus professor of law at Harvard Law School Alan Dershowitz told host Sean Spicer that the FBI "abused its power" in its investigation of former national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn. Published:5/1/2020 7:47:42 PM
[1ab25f92-786d-5668-aa14-efa2f14fd3f5] KT McFarland: Michael Flynn didn’t commit a crime – he was set up by Deep State to cripple Trump presidency I was National Security Adviser Michael Flynn;s deputy. He was the victim of a plot by a cabal of senior leaders at the FBI opposed to President Trump. Published:5/1/2020 6:17:07 PM
[Politics] Scalise: FBI 'Dirty Cops' Strzok and Page 'Set a Trap' for Flynn Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., on Friday accused "anti-Trumper" agent Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page of being "dirty cops" who tried to "set a trap" for former national security adviser Michael Flynn... Published:5/1/2020 3:46:47 PM
[Politics] Probe Building 'Serious Case' Against Officials in Flynn Case Files released earlier this week that show FBI officials made a concerted effort to pin down former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to “get him to lie” or “get him fired” have been reviewed by U.S. Attorney for Connecticut John Durham. Published:5/1/2020 2:45:48 PM
[Markets] Is This The End Of The Deep-State-Sponsored "Anything Goes, Nothing Matters" Culture? Is This The End Of The Deep-State-Sponsored "Anything Goes, Nothing Matters" Culture?

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

Slouching Towards Resolution

The people of this land have enough trouble in mind - what with livelihoods, careers, businesses, marriages, hopes and dreams circling the drain in the new insta-depression - but let’s hope they have just a little attention left over for the whirlwind denouement of the odious RussiaGate affair, now finally shredding the last defenses of the Deep State’s rogue Intel forces after years of deceit, treachery, and juridical depravity. The beginning of the end is at hand in the malicious prosecution of General Michael Flynn, and, as that’s revealed for the criminal plot it was, all the other threads in this vast tapestry of sedition will unravel.

Why does that even matter anymore, you may wonder?

Because so many of our current troubles are mostly due to the culture of pervasive dishonesty America retreated into to avoid the mandates and rigors of reality in the 21st century. It operated in every area of our national life from the racketeering in medicine and higher-ed, to the games we played with our national debt, to the stupendous grift of politics, the futile wars we prosecuted, the idiotic gender conflict and race hustling, and, most flamboyantly, to the lawlessness around the CIA, FBI, and Department of Justice during and after the 2016 election. This was the culture of Anything Goes and Nothing Matters. It has to be defeated if we expect to go on as a credible nation.

General Flynn had been an irritant to the Obama administration in his role as chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He disagreed with a lot going on around him and he said so, especially the nuclear deal that was percolating with Iran. Mr. Obama canned General Flynn in 2014. Afterward, CIA chief John Brennan and DNI James Clapper put him under surveillance and played entrapment games with him, using some of the same shady characters (Stefan Halper, Richard Dearlove) who later showed up as RussiaGate players.

In early 2016, Gen. Flynn joined the Trump campaign as a foreign affairs advisor and that summer made the mistake of leading the “Lock her up,” chant to a delirious crowd at the Republican Convention. Perhaps he knew a thing or two about the activities of the Clinton Foundation. Perhaps he also knew what Jeffrey Epstein was up to. Then Mr. Trump shocked the world and won the election. Gen. Flynn was soon appointed incoming National Security Advisor. One can imagine the anxiety crackling through a Democrat-controlled Deep State on the verge of surrendering power to its enemies. The alarm bells that went off through the vast US Intel underground must have been deafening.

In a panic, the Intel Community set in motion a suite of operations to get rid of both Flynn and Trump. On December 29, late in the transition-of-power, President Obama lit up a diplomatic flare by confiscating country retreat properties in Maryland and Long Island owned by the Russian embassy and expelling 35 embassy employees, supposedly as payback for Russia “interfering in the 2016 election.” This prompted a conversation between incoming National Security Advisor Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. That cued the FBI to entrap General Flynn. The news media played along with the preposterous falsehood that high American officials should not communicate with diplomats posted to the USA. The shady gotcha interview about that with Flynn, conducted by FBI officers Peter Strzok and Joseph Pientka, has been dissected to death, so I’ll spare you that, except to say that it was carried out in obvious bad faith.

The court case over all that has dragged out for more than three years now, though anyone could see from the get-go that it was a malicious prosecution. (I said as much more than once in this blog years ago.) Presiding Judge Emmet Sullivan has overlooked flagrant misconduct by DOJ prosecutors, led by Brandon Van Grack. FBI Director Christopher Wray has concealed exculpatory evidence of FBI and DOJ misconduct that favored General Flynn for three years. General Flynn’s previous attorneys from the DC law firm of Covington and Burling ­­­­­­­­— where Mr. Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder is a partner — represented Gen. Flynn poorly, and did so apparently on-purpose. In spite of all that, the case is unraveling thanks to the diligence of Gen. Flynn’s new attorney, Sidney Powell, who cuts through government bullshit like a samurai sword through tofu.

The case is now moving swiftly to a climax, perhaps due to William Barr appointing Missouri federal attorney Jeffrey Jensen to review the matter. Someone, perhaps new Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, has pried bales of previously hidden documents from FBI Director Wray’s sweaty hands. They amount to clear evidence of a scheme to lawlessly railroad Gen. Flynn. If Judge Sullivan doesn’t dismiss the case in another two weeks, he will look like a fool and a scoundrel. He probably cares about his reputation. Any fair reading of this case would have this judge cite the DOJ lawyers for criminal contempt at a minimum.

The question arises: why has Attorney General Barr allowed this to go on and on. My guess is that he thinks the best course would be for Judge Sullivan to be forced by the weight of evidence to do his duty and move to dismiss the case against Gen. Flynn. After all, the objective is to restore the rule-of-law, and that includes getting the federal courts to operate honestly and fairly. If Mr. Barr took the extraordinary action of intervening, it would signify that the court could not be trusted, and that will not restore the rule-of-law. The same applies to a presidential pardon.

In the background looms federal attorney John Durham who has been at work for year looking into the matrix of suspicious conduct around all aspects of the RussiaGate hoax, the greatest scandal in US history. Mr. Barr has been accused of allowing quite a few culpable DOJ higher-ups to remain in their jobs this whole time,including FBI Director Wray, despite the shade thrown on them by the drip-drip-drip revelations of their misdeeds. I think both Mr. Barr and Mr. Trump have resisted the temptation to intervene in order to 1) steer clear of malign RussiaGate collaborators in Congress and the news media, and 2) for reasons similar to the process involving Gen. Flynn ­— to reestablish the regular wheels of justice and faith in the system.

RussiaGate and all its subsidiary mischief amounted to a seditious conspiracy by several agencies of government against the chief executive. It was explicitly an effort to overthrow a president by illegitimate means. The conspiracy extended to members of congress, who are not privileged with immunity against felony crimes, by the way.

The partial list of government officials, current or former, who may be subject to prosecution in these matters should include Barack Obama, Susan Rice, John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Rod Rosenstein, John Carlin, Mary McCord, Michael Atkinson, James Baker (DOJ), James Baker (DOD), Loretta Lynch, Sally Yates, Dana Boente, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Joseph Pientka, William Priestap, Bruce Ohr, Kevin Clinesmith, Robert Mueller, Andrew Weissmann, Aaron Zebley, Jeanie Rhee, David Lauffman, Senator Mark Warner, Senator Richard Burr, James Wolfe, Rep. Adam Schiff, Eric Ciaramella, Col. Alexander Vindman. Players outside government include Glenn Simpson, Nellie Ohr, Christopher Steele, Stefan Halper, Sidney Blumenthal, Cody Shearer, David Kramer. The following media figures might be named as unindicted co-conspirators: Dean Baquet, Martin Baron, Jeff Zucker, Andrew Lack, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, Chris Cuomo, Joe Scarborough, David Corn, David Ignatius, and Ari Melber.

*  *  *

Note: The New York Times has not covered this week’s developments in the General Michael Flynn case. So, there is no record of this epic injustice in the newspaper-of-record. Therefore, it is no longer the newspaper-of-record.

Tyler Durden Fri, 05/01/2020 - 15:30
Published:5/1/2020 2:45:48 PM
[Politics] Bernie Kerik to Newsmax TV: Investigate FBI Director Christopher Wray Former New York City police commissioner Bernie Kerik told Newsmax TV on Friday that President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Burr should "take a very serious look" at FBI Director Christopher Wray. Kerik, in an interview with "National Report," said that... Published:5/1/2020 2:15:55 PM
[Politics] Guy Reschenthaler to Newsmax TV: FBI's Actions Should 'Shock All Americans' Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pa., told Newsmax TV on Friday that recent reports about the FBI's conduct and intentions in interviewing former national security adviser Michael Flynn should "shock all Americans." Reschenthaler told "National Report" that "when it comes to... Published:5/1/2020 12:46:05 PM
[FBI] What gives in the Flynn case? (6) (Scott Johnson) The government produced a few more documents to General Flynn’s counsel Sidney Powell yesterday. I have embedded the cover letter and accompanying documents below. John Solomon reports on the documents in his Just the News column “FBI found no ‘derogatory’ Russia evidence on Flynn, planned to close case before leaders intervened.” Sean Davis reports on them in the Federalist column “FBI Closed Flynn Case, Dubbed ‘Crossfire Razor,’ In Early 2017, Published:5/1/2020 9:44:43 AM
[] 'The ppl deserve answers': Sen. Chuck Grassley has some Mueller-related questions about the new Flynn documents (based on what's stamped on them) Published:4/30/2020 8:50:57 PM
[Politics] Joe diGenova to Newsmax TV: 'Gen. Flynn Was Framed' Speaking on "Greg Kelly Reports" on Newsmax TV, Joe diGenova, former US Attorney for the District of Columbia, leveled strong blasts at former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI agent Peter Strzok and Sally Yates, former deputy attorney general in the Obama... Published:4/30/2020 8:16:33 PM
[Politics] Flynn fights for exoneration two years after pleading guilty

Trump's first national security advisor, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI in the Russia investigation. But now he insists his case should be thrown out and the alleged injustice has become a rallying cry for Trump supporters.

Published:4/30/2020 6:15:53 PM
[Politics] Text Messages Reveal Peter Strzok Intervened FBI’s Planned Closure of Michael Flynn Investigation

Former FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok intervened at the last minute in early 2017 to stop the bureau from closing an investigation into Michael Flynn,... Read More

The post Text Messages Reveal Peter Strzok Intervened FBI’s Planned Closure of Michael Flynn Investigation appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:4/30/2020 4:10:24 PM
[Politics] Newly Revealed Texts Show Strzok, Page Altered Flynn Interview Notes Yet another bombshell development emerged Thursday in the case of former National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn: te release of additional exculpatory evidence FBI officials had withheld from the courts and the defense for three years.Crucially, this includes evidence... Published:4/30/2020 4:10:24 PM
[] Documents: FBI Found No Derogatory Information On Michael Flynn and Ordered the Investigation Into Him to Be Closed.Then Trump Deranged Political Operative Peter Strzok Ordered the Case Be Reopened to Find Anything. Necks need to be stretched. Note that the documents refer to Flynn under the codename "CROSSFIRE RAZOR" or the abbreviated version, "Razor." Sean Davis at The Federalist: According to the FBI document, the federal law enforcement agency also asked a... Published:4/30/2020 1:42:31 PM
[] FBI notes: Hey, how do we trap Flynn in a lie and get him fired -- or prosecuted? Published:4/30/2020 11:42:18 AM
[] FBI notes: Hey, how do we trap Flynn in a lie and get him fired -- or prosecuted? Published:4/30/2020 11:09:52 AM
[Politics] Trump weighs in on the new FBI revelations regarding Michael Flynn Trump is tweeting this morning about the new FBI revelations regarding Michael Flynn that came out yesterday: What happened to General Michael Flynn, a war hero, should never be allowed to happen . . . Published:4/30/2020 9:16:18 AM
[Politics] Trump weighs in on the new FBI revelations regarding Michael Flynn Trump is tweeting this morning about the new FBI revelations regarding Michael Flynn that came out yesterday: What happened to General Michael Flynn, a war hero, should never be allowed to happen . . . Published:4/30/2020 8:41:16 AM
[FBI] What gives in the Flynn case? (5) (Scott Johnson) The sealed documents produced by the government to counsel for General Flynn this past Friday were unsealed last night. They include handwritten FBI notes documenting internal discussion on the day of the interview of Flynn by agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka. The author of the notes (identified elsewhere as assistant counterintelligence division director Bill Priestap) questioned whether the goal of the Flynn interview was “Truth/Admission” (regarding Flynn’s supposed violation Published:4/30/2020 7:42:37 AM
[] Trump: 'CNN and Others Should Pay for What They've Done to General Flynn' Published:4/30/2020 5:07:01 AM
[Politics] Unsealed FBI notes suggests they were trying to go Flynn to LIE Several FBI notes have just been unsealed and made public, and the most revealing thing about the notes is one of the comments made by an agent going to interview Flynn, asking . . . Published:4/29/2020 8:06:57 PM
[Markets] Unsealed FBI Handwritten Notes, Emails Reveal Agents Plotted Perjury Trap On Flynn Unsealed FBI Handwritten Notes, Emails Reveal Agents Plotted Perjury Trap On Flynn

Update (2030ET): Are we finally going to see some consequences for a deep state lackey?

Shortly after the post below was completed, US Congresswoman Elise Stefanik tweeted the following:

Devastating flashback clip of Comey just aired on @marthamaccallum show.

When asked who went around the protocol of going through the WH Counsel’s office and instead decided to send the FBI agents into White House for the Flynn perjury trap...

...Comey smugly responds “I sent them.”

Here is the clip:

Will Comey do time?

*  *  *

Via SaraACarter.com,

U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan unsealed four pages of stunning FBI emails and handwritten notes Wednesday, regarding former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, which allegedly reveal the retired three star general was targeted by senior FBI officials for prosecution, stated Flynn’s defense attorney Sidney Powell. Those notes and emails revealed that the retired three-star general appeared to be set up for a perjury trap by the senior members of the bureau and agents charged with investigating the now-debunked allegations that President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia, said Sidney Powell, the defense lawyer representing Flynn.

Moreover, the Department of Justice release 11 more pages of documents Wednesday afternoon, according to Powell.

“What is especially terrifying is that without the integrity of Attorney General Bill Barr and U.S. Attorney Jensen, we still would not have this clear exculpatory information as Mr. Van Grack and the prosecutors have opposed every request we have made,” said Powell.

It appears, based on the notes and emails that the Department of Justice was determined at the time to prosecute Flynn, regardless of what they found, Powell said.

“The FBI pre-planned a deliberate attack on Gen. Flynn and willfully chose to ignore mention of Section 1001 in the interview despite full knowledge of that practice,” Powell said in a statement.

“The FBI planned it as a perjury trap at best and in so doing put it in writing stating ‘what is our goal? Truth/ Admission or to get him to lie so we can prosecute him or get him fired.”

The documents, reviewed and obtained by SaraACarter.com, reveal that senior FBI officials discussed strategies for targeting and setting up Flynn, prior to interviewing him at the White House on Jan. 24, 2017. It was that interview at the White House with former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok and FBI Special Agent Joe Pientka that led Flynn, now 61, to plead guilty after months of pressure by prosecutors, financial strain and threats to prosecute his son.

Powell filed a motion earlier this year to withdraw Flynn’s guilty plea and to dismiss his case for egregious government misconduct. Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017, under duress by government prosecutors, to lying to investigators about his conversations with Russian diplomat Sergey Kislyak about sanctions on Russia. This January, however, he withdrew his guilty plea in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. He stated that he was “innocent of this crime” and was coerced by the FBI and prosecutors under threats that would charge his son with a crime. He filed to withdraw his guilty plea after DOJ prosecutors went back on their word and asked the judge to sentence Flynn to up to six months in prison, accusing him of not cooperating in another case against his former partner. Then prosecutors backtracked and said probation would be fine but by then Powell, his attorney, had already filed to withdraw his guilty plea.

The documents reveal that prior to the interview with Flynn in January, 2017 the FBI had already come to the conclusion that Flynn was guilty and beyond that the officials were working together to see how best to corner the 33-year military veteran and former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency. The bureau deliberately chose not to show him the evidence of his phone conversation to help him in his recollection of events, which is standard procedure. Even stranger, the agents that interviewed Flynn later admitted that they didn’t believe he lied during the interview with them.

Powell told this reporter last week that the documents produced by the government are “stunning Brady evidence’ proving Flynn was deliberately set up and framed by corrupt agents at the top of the FBI to target President Trump.

She noted earlier this week in her motion that the evidence “also defeats any argument that the interview of Mr. Flynn on January 24 was material to any ‘investigation.’ The government has deliberately suppressed this evidence from the inception of this prosecution—knowing there was no crime by Mr. Flynn.”

Powell told this reporter Wednesday that the order by Sullivan to unseal the documents in Exhibit 3 in the supplement to Flynn’s motion to dismiss for egregious government conduct is exposing the truth to the public. She said it’s “easy to see that he was set up and that Mr. Flynn was the insurance policy for the FBI.” Powell’s reference to the ‘insurance policy,’ is based on one of the thousands of texts exchanged by former FBI lawyer Lisa Page and her then-lover former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok.

In an Aug. 15, 2016, text from Strzok to Page he states, “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s (former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe) office — that there’s no way he gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before 40.”

The new documents were turned over to Powell, by U.S. Attorney Timothy Shea. They were discovered after an extensive review by the attorneys appointed by U.S. Attorney General William Barr to review Flynn’s case, which includes U.S. Attorney of St. Louis, Jeff Jensen.

In one of the emails dated Jan. 23, 2017, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who at the time was having an affair with Strzok and who worked closely with him on the case discussed the charges the bureau would bring on Flynn before the actual interview at the White House took place. Those email exchanges were prepared for former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who was fired by the DOJ for lying multiple times to investigators with DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s office.

Former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired by President Trump for his conduct, revealed during an interview with Nicolle Wallace last year that he sent the FBI agents to interview Flynn at the White House under circumstances he would have never done to another administration.

“I probably wouldn’t have done or maybe gotten away with in a more organized investigation, a more organized administration,” Comey said. “In the George W. Bush administration … or the Obama administration, two men that all of us, perhaps, have increased appreciation for over the last two years.”

In the Jan 23, email Page asks Strzok the day before he interviews Flynn at the White House:

“I have a question for you. Could the admonition re 1001 be given at the beginning at the interview? Or does it have to come following a statement which agents believe to be false? Does the policy speak to that? (I feel bad that I don’t know this but I don’t remember ever having to do this! Plus I’ve only charged it once in the context of lying to a federal probation officer). It seems to be if the former, then it would be an easy way to just casually slip that in.

“Of course as you know sir, federal law makes it a crime to…”

Strzok’s response:

I haven’t read the policy lately, but if I recall correctly, you can say it at any time. I’m 90 percent sure about that, but I can check in the am.

In the motion filed earlier this week, Powell stated “since August 2016 at the latest, partisan FBI and DOJ leaders conspired to destroy Mr. Flynn. These documents show in their own handwriting and emails that they intended either to create an offense they could prosecute or at least get him fired. Then came the incredible malfeasance of Mr. Van Grack’s and the SCO’s prosecution despite their knowledge there was no crime by Mr. Flynn.”

Attached to the email is handwritten notes regarding Flynn that are stunning on their face. It is lists of how the agents will guide him in an effort to get him to trip up on his answers during their questioning and what charges they could bring against him.

“If we get him to admit to breaking the Logan Act, give facts to DOJ & have them decide,” state the handwritten notes.

“Or if he initially lies, then we present him (not legible) & he admits it, document for DOJ, & let them decide how to address it.”

The next two points reveal that the agents were concerned about how their interview with Flynn would be perceived saying “if we’re seen as playing games, WH (White House) will be furious.”

“Protect our institution by not playing games,” the last point on the first half of the hand written notes state.

From the handwritten note:

Afterwards:

  • interview

  • I agreed yesterday that we shouldn’t show Flynn (redacted) if he didn’t admit

  • I thought @ it last night, I believe we should rethink this

  • What is (not legible) ? Truth/admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?

  • we regularly show subjects evidence, with the goal of getting them to admit their wrongdoing

  • I don’t see how getting someone to admit their wrongdoing is going easy on him

  • If we get him to admit to breaking the Logan Act, give facts to DOJ & have them decide

  • Or if he initially lies, then we present him (not legible) & he admits it, document for DOJ, & let them decide how to address it

  • If we’re seen as playing games, WH will be furious

  • Protect our institution by not playing games

(Left column)

  • we have case on Flynn & Russians

  • Our goal is to (not legible)

  • Our goal is to determine if Mike Flynn is going to tell the truth or if he lies @ relationship w/ Russians

  • can quote (redacted)

  • Shouldn’t (redacted

Review (not legible) stand alone

It appears evident from an email from former FBI agent Strzok, who interviewed Flynn at the White House to then FBI General Counsel James Baker, who is no longer with the FBI and was himself under investigation for leaking alleged national security information to the media.

The email was a series of questions to prepare McCabe for his phone conversation with Flynn on the day the agents went to interview him at the White House. These questions would be questions that Flynn may ask McCabe before sending the agents over to interview  him.

Email from Peter Strzok, cc’d to FBI General Counsel James Baker: (January 24, 2017)

I’m sure he’s thought through these, but for DD’s (referencing Deputy Director Andrew McCabe) consideration about how to answer in advance of his call with Flynn:

Am I in trouble?

Am I the subject of an investigation?

Is it a criminal investigation?

Is it an espionage investigation? Do I need an attorney? Do I need to tell Priebus? The President?

Will you tell Priebus? The President? Will you tell the WH what I tell you?

What happens to the information/who will you tell what I tell you? Will you need to interview other people?

Will our interview be released publically? Will the substance of our interview be released?

How long will this take (depends on his cooperation – I’d plan 45 minutes)? Can we do this over the phone?

I can explain all this right now, I did this, this, this [do you shut him down? Hear him out? Conduct the interview if he starts talking? Do you want another agent/witness standing by in case he starts doing this?]

Thanks,
Pete

Tyler Durden Wed, 04/29/2020 - 20:45
Published:4/29/2020 8:06:57 PM
[In The News] FBI Official Questioned Whether Goal Of Michael Flynn Interview Was ‘To Get Him To Lie’
Michael Flynn

By Chuck Ross -

FBI notes unsealed on Wednesday show that bureau officials discussed whether the goal of an interview with Michael Flynn just days into the Trump administration was “to get him to lie” in order to get him fired or in legal jeopardy, Flynn’s lawyers say. “What is our goal? Truth/Admission or ...

FBI Official Questioned Whether Goal Of Michael Flynn Interview Was ‘To Get Him To Lie’ is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:4/29/2020 7:39:07 PM
[Politics] Unsealed FBI notes suggests they were trying to go Flynn to LIE Several FBI notes have just been unsealed and made public, and the most revealing thing about the notes is one of the comments made by an agent going to interview Flynn, asking . . . Published:4/29/2020 7:39:07 PM
[Markets] New FOIA Emails Reveal Close Relationship Between WaPo Reporter And Pentagon Director Accused Of Leaking Flynn Call New FOIA Emails Reveal Close Relationship Between WaPo Reporter And Pentagon Director Accused Of Leaking Flynn Call

The Pentagon's current Director of the Office of Net Assessment had extensive communications with Washington Post reporter and deep-state conduit David Ignatius during the Russiagate fiasco, according to 143 pages of new records from the Department of Defense obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by legal watchdog group Judicial Watch.

James Baker (not the Obama FBI's top attorney with the same name) was alleged in a November 1, 2019 court filing by Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn's attorneys to be "the person who illegally leaked" transcripts of Flynn's calls with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak to Ignatius - who published the calls on January 12, 2017, "setting in motion a chain of events that lead to Flynn’s February 13, 2017, firing as National Security Advisor and subsequent prosecution for making false statements to the FBI about the calls," according to Judicial Watch.

Baker was also accused by Flynn's legal team of being obese spy Stefan Halper's handler, acting as a cutout to leak information to Ignatius information that would be damaging to Trump regarding false rumors that Flynn had a romantic relationship with a Russian academic, Svetlana Lokhova, as part of a smear campaign.

Read the rest via Judicial Watch:

Lawyers for Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn alleged in a November 1, 2019, court filing that Baker “is believed to be the person who illegally leaked” to Ignatius the transcripts of Flynn’s December 29, 2016, telephone calls with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. The Washington Post published Ignatius’ account of the calls on January 12, 2017, setting in motion a chain of events that lead to Flynn’s February 13, 2017, firing as National Security Advisor and subsequent prosecution for making false statements to the FBI about the calls. U.S. Attorney John Durham is reportedly investigating the leak of information targeting Flynn.

Citing “the government’s bad faith, vindictiveness and breach of the plea agreement,” in January 2020 Flynn’s attorney, Sidney Powell, moved to withdraw Flynn’s 2017 guilty plea during the Mueller investigation. Flynn claims he felt forced to plead guilty “when his son was threatened with prosecution and he exhausted his financial resources.” Last week, prosecutors provided Flynn’s defense team with documentation of this threat, according to additional papers Flynn’s lawyers filed April 24, 2020, in support of the motion to withdraw.

Judicial Watch obtained the records in a November 2019 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the DOD failed to respond to a September 2019 request (Judicial Watch v. Department of Defense (No. 1:19-cv-03564)). Judicial Watch seeks:

  • All calendar entries of Director James Baker of the Office of Net Assessment.
  • All records of communications between ONA Director James Baker and reporter David Ignatius.

The time frame for the requested records was May 2015 through September 25, 2019.

The records include an exchange on February 16, 2016, with the subject line “Ignatius,” in which Baker tells Pentagon colleague Zachary Mears, then-deputy chief of staff to Obama Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, that he has “a long history with David” and talks with him regularly.

In an email exchange on October 1, 2018, in a discussion about artificial intelligence, Baker tells Ignatius: “David, please, as always, our discussions are completely off the record. If any of my observations strike you as worthy of mixing or folding into your own thinking, that is as usual fine.” Ignatius replies, “Understood. Thanks for talking with me.”

Ignatius and Baker’s email exchanges per year are summarized below: 

  • In 2015, Ignatius and Baker had a total of seven email conversations to set up meetings or calls, two simply to compliment one another and one exchange where Ignatius invited Baker to speak at the Aspen Strategy Group conference.
  • In 2016, Ignatius and Baker had a total of 10 email exchanges to set up meetings or calls and two to compliment each other.
  • In 2017, Ignatius and Baker had a total of 10 email exchanges to set up meetings, one exchange where Ignatius forwarded one of his articles, and one exchange where Ignatius asks Baker for his thoughts on the JCPOA (the Iran nuclear deal), because Baker wasn’t available on the phone.
  • In 2018, Ignatius and Baker had a total of nine email exchanges to set up meetings, four where Ignatius forwarded articles and one where Ignatius asks Baker for tips on what to say at a quantum computing conference where he was speaking.

“These records confirm that Mr. Baker was an anonymous source for Mr. Ignatius,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Mr. Baker should be directly questioned about any and all leaks to his friend at the Washington Post.”

In a related case, in October 2018, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Defense seeking information about the September 2016 contract between the DOD and Stefan Halper, the Cambridge University professor identified as a secret FBI informant used by the Obama administration to spy on Trump’s presidential campaign. Halper also reportedly had high-level ties to both U.S. and British intelligence.

Government records show that the DOD’s Office of Net Assessment (ONA) paid Halper a total of $1,058,161 for four contracts that lasted from May 30, 2012, to March 29, 2018. More than $400,000 of the payments came between July 2016 and September 2017, after Halper reportedly offered Trump campaign volunteer George Papadopoulos work and a trip to London to entice him into disclosing information about alleged collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.

Flynn’s attorney told the court that Baker was Halper’s “handler” in the Office of Net Assessment in the Pentagon.

Tyler Durden Wed, 04/29/2020 - 15:30
Published:4/29/2020 2:40:41 PM
[] Does a new court filing point to Michael Flynn's exoneration -- and prosecutorial misconduct by Mueller's office? Published:4/28/2020 1:29:42 PM
[Markets] "What Else Has The FBI Buried?" - Stunning Newly-Disclosed Docs Exonerate Gen. Mike Flynn "What Else Has The FBI Buried?" - Stunning Newly-Disclosed Docs Exonerate Gen. Mike Flynn

Via SaraACarter.com,

Stunning documents withheld for years from former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s defense reveal that the retired three-star general did not commit any crimes, as suggested by Department of Justice prosecutors in former Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation, his attorney said.

Embattled Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn has hired well known defense attorney Sidney Powell to represent him before his sentencing hearing in Washington D.C.’s federal court.

Flynn, who fired his attorney’s last week, will still fully cooperate with the government in all cases pending, Powell told SaraACarter.com.

The new evidence was turned over to Sidney Powell, Flynn’s defense lawyer, by U.S. Attorney Timothy Shea, who obtained the information after an extensive review by attorneys appointed by U.S. Attorney General William Barr to review Flynn’s case. Barr’s team included United States attorney in St. Louis, Jeff Jensen, who is handling the Flynn matter, along with prosecutors from the office of the deputy attorney general, Jeffrey A. Rosen.

The documented evidence was sent to Powell by Shea but is under court seal.

“The enclosed documents were obtained and analyzed by USA EDMO in March and April 2020 and are provided to you as a result of this ongoing review; additional documents may be forthcoming. These materials are covered by the Protective Order entered by the Court on February 21, 2018,” Shea’s letter to Powell states.

Powell, who could not discuss the exact contents of the Brady material she has now obtained but has been fighting for since taking Flynn’s case, told SaraACarter.com the material exonerates her client.

“What else has the FBI buried,” said Powell to this reporter Friday.

“Where’s the original 302? And obviously some of the good agents are finally stepping up.”

In the supplement to Flynn’s motion to dismiss his case for egregious government misconduct Powell stated Friday that “this afternoon, the government produced to Mr. Flynn stunning Brady evidence that proves Mr. Flynn’s allegations of having been deliberately set up and framed by corrupt agents at the top of the FBI.”

“It also defeats any argument that the interview of Mr. Flynn on January 24 was material to any ‘investigation.’ The government has deliberately suppressed this evidence from the inception of this prosecution—knowing there was no crime by Mr. Flynn,” she added.

According to the documents produced by the government Powell “has found further evidence of misconduct by Mr. Van Grack specifically,” referring to the DOJ prosecutor in Flynn’s case, Brandon Van Grack.

“Not only did he make baseless threats to indict Michael G. Flynn, he made a side deal not to prosecute Michael G. Flynn as a material term of the plea agreement, but he required that it be kept secret between himself and the Covington attorneys expressly to avoid the requirement of Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150 (1972). Exs. 1, 2,” she states in the motion.

“Since August 2016 at the latest, partisan FBI and DOJ leaders conspired to destroy Mr. Flynn,” Powell argued to the court in the motion.

“These documents show in their own handwriting and emails that they intended either to create an offense they could prosecute or at least get him fired. Then came the incredible malfeasance of Mr. Van Grack’s and the SCO’s prosecution despite their knowledge there was no crime by Mr. Flynn.”

“All this new evidence, and the government has advised there is more to come, proves that the crimes were committed by the FBI officials and then the prosecutors,” Powell’s motion to dismiss Flynn’s case states.

“The government’s misconduct in this case is beyond shocking and reprehensible.  It mandates dismissal.”

“Furthermore, this Court should order the government immediately to provide the defense with unredacted copies of the documents we have filed under seal solely in an abundance of caution because the government produced them under the protective order, and we request that they be unsealed as provided herein as Exhibit 3,” the motion states.

Powell, who has had a long battle to obtain the evidence and is still fighting to obtain information from FBI Director Christopher Wray, who replaced fired FBI Director James Comey said, “this Court must dismiss this concocted prosecution of General Flynn in full recognition of the travesty of justice that it is.”

This story is developing...

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/25/2020 - 13:00
Published:4/25/2020 12:11:44 PM
[Markets] How The "West Point Mafia" Runs Washington How The "West Point Mafia" Runs Washington

Authored by Danny Sjursen via TomDispatch.com,

Every West Point class votes on an official motto. Most are then inscribed on their class rings. Hence, the pejorative West Point label “ring knocker.” (As legend has it, at military meetings a West Pointer “need only knock his large ring on the table and all Pointers present are obliged to rally to his point of view.”) Last August, the class of 2023 announced theirs: “Freedom Is Not Free.” Mine from the class of 2005 was “Keeping Freedom Alive.” Each class takes pride in its motto and, at least theoretically, aspires to live according to its sentiments, while championing the accomplishments of fellow graduates.

But some cohorts do stand out. Take the class of 1986 (“Courage Never Quits”). As it happens, both Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are members of that very class, as are a surprisingly wide range of influential leaders in Congress, corporate America, the Pentagon, the defense industry, lobbying firms, big pharma, high-end financial services, and even security-consulting firms. Still, given their striking hawkishness on the subject of American war-making, Esper and Pompeo rise above the rest. Even in a pandemic, they are as good as their class motto. When it comes to this country’s wars, neither of them ever quits.

Once upon a time, retired Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute (Class of ’75), a former US Ambassador to NATO and a senior commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, taught both Esper and Pompeo in his West Point social sciences class. However, it was Pompeo, the class of ’86 valedictorian, whom Lute singled out for praise, remembering him as “a very strong student—fastidious, deliberate.” Of course, as the Afghanistan Papers, released by The Washington Post late last year, so starkly revealed, Lute told an interviewer that, like so many US officials, he “didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking in Afghanistan.” Though at one point he was President George W. Bush’s “Afghan war czar,” the general never expressed such doubts publicly and his record of dissent is hardly an impressive one. Still, on one point at least, Lute was on target: Esper and Pompeo are smart, and that’s what worries me (as in the phrase “too smart for their own good”).

Esper, a former Raytheon lobbyist, had particularly hawkish views on Russia and China before he ever took over at the Pentagon and he wasn’t alone when it came to the urge to continue America’s wars. Pompeo, then a congressman, exhibited a striking pre–Trump era foreign policy pugnacity, particularly vis-à-vis the Islamic world. It has since solidified into a veritable obsession with toppling the Iranian regime.

Their militarized obsessions have recently taken striking form in two ways: The secretary of defense instructed US commanders to prepare plans to escalate combat against Iranian-backed militias in Iraq, an order the mission’s senior leader there, Lt. Gen. Robert “Pat” White, reportedly resisted; meanwhile, the secretary of state evidently is eager to convince President Trump to use the Covid-19 pandemic, now devastating Iran, to bomb that country and further strangle it with sanctions. Worse yet, Pompeo might be just cunning enough to convince his ill-informed, insecure boss (so open to clever flattery) that war is the answer.

The militarism of both men matters greatly, but they hardly pilot the ship of state alone, any more than Trump does (whatever he thinks). Would that it were the case. Sadly, even if voters threw them all out, the disease runs much deeper than them. Enter the rest of the illustrative class of ’86.

As it happens, Pompeo’s and Esper’s classmates permeate the deeper structure of imperial America. And let’s admit it, they are, by the numbers, an impressive crew. As another ’86 alumnus, Congressman Mark Green (R-TN), bragged on the House floor in 2019, “My class [has] produced 18 general officers…22-plus presidents and CEOs of major corporations…two state legislators…[and] three judges,” as well as “at least four deans and chancellors of universities.” He closed his remarks by exclaiming, “Courage never quits, ’86!”

However, for all his gushing, Green’s list conceals much. It illuminates neither the mechanics nor the motives of his illustrious classmates; that is, what they’re actually doing and why. Many are key players in a corporate-military machine bent on, and reliant on, endless war for profit and professional advancement. A brief look at key ’86ers offers insight into President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s military-industrial complex in 2020—and it should take your breath away.

THE WEST POINT MAFIA

The core group of ’86 grads cheekily refer to themselves as “the West Point Mafia.” And for some, that’s an uplifting thought. Take Joe DePinto, CEO of 7-Eleven. He says that he’s “someone who sleeps better at night knowing that those guys are in the positions they’re in.” Of course, he’s an ’86 grad, too.

Back when I called the academy home, we branded such self-important cadets “toolbags.” More than a decade later, when I taught there, I found my students still using the term. Face facts, however: those “toolbags,” thick as thieves today, now run the show in Washington (and despite their busy schedules, they still find time to socialize as a group).

Given Donald Trump’s shady past—one doesn’t build an Atlantic City casino-and-hotel empire without “mobbing it up“—that “Mafia” moniker is actually fitting. So perhaps it’s worth thinking of Mike Pompeo as the president’s latest consigliere. And since gangsters rarely countenance a challenge without striking back, Lieutenant General White should watch his back after his prudent attempt to stop the further escalation of America’s wars in Iraq and Iran in the midst of a deadly global pandemic. Worse yet for him, he’s not a West Pointer (though he did, oddly enough, earn his Army commission on the very day that class of ’86 graduated). White’s once promising career is unlikely to be long for this world.

In addition to Esper and Pompeo, other Class of ’86 alums serve in key executive branch roles. They include Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Joseph Martin, the director of the Army National Guard, the commander of NATO’s Allied Land Command, the deputy commanding general of Army Forces Command, and the deputy commanding general of Army Cyber Command. Civilian-side classmates in the Pentagon serve as: deputy assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy, and environment; a civilian aide to the secretary of the Army; and the director of stabilization and peace operations policy for the secretary of defense. These Pentagon career civil servants aren’t, strictly speaking, part of the “Mafia” itself, but two Pompeo loyalists are indeed charter members.

Pompeo brought Ulrich Brechbuhl and Brian Butalao, two of his closest cadet friends, in from the corporate world. The three of them had, at one point, served as CEO, CFO, and COO of Thayer Aerospace, named for the “father” of West Point, Colonel Sylvanus Thayer, and started with Koch Industries seed money. Among other things, that corporation sold the Pentagon military aircraft components.

Brechbuhl and Butalao were given senior positions at the CIA when Pompeo was its director. Currently, Brechbuhl is the State Department’s counselor (and reportedly Pompeo’s de facto chief of staff), while Butalao serves as under secretary for management. According to his official bio, Butalao is responsible “for managing the State Department on a day-to-day basis and [serving as its] Chief Operating Officer.” Funny, that was his exact position under Pompeo at that aerospace company.

Still, this Mafia trio can’t run the show by themselves. The national security structure’s tentacles are so much longer than that. They reach all the way to K Street and Capitol Hill.

FROM CONGRESS TO K STREET: THE ENABLERS

Before Trump tapped Pompeo to head the CIA and then the State Department, he represented Wichita, Kansas, home to Koch Industries, in the House of Representatives. In fact, Pompeo rode his ample funding from the political action committee of the billionaire Koch brothers straight to the Hill. So linked was he to those fraternal right-wing energy tycoons and so protective of their interests that he was dubbed “the congressman from Koch.” The relationship was mutually beneficial. Pompeo’s selection as secretary of state solidified the previously strained relationship of the brothers with President Trump.

The ’86 Mafia’s current congressional heavyweight, however, is Mark Green. An early Trump supporter, he regularly tried to shield the president from impeachment as a minority member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee. The Tennessee representative nearly became Trump’s secretary of the Army, but ultimately withdrew his nomination because of controversies that included his sponsoring gender-discrimination bills and commenting that “transgender is a disease.”

Legislators like Green, in turn, take their foreign policy marching orders from the military’s corporate suppliers. Among those, Esper, of course, represents the gold standard when it comes to “revolving door” defense lobbying. Just before ascending the Pentagon summit, pressed by Senator Elizabeth Warren during his confirmation hearings, he patently refused to “recuse himself from all matters related to” Raytheon, his former employer and the nation’s third-largest defense contractor. (And that was even before its recent merger with United Technologies Corporation, which once employed another Esper classmate as a senior vice president.) Incidentally, one of Raytheon’s “biggest franchises” is the Patriot missile defense system, the very weapon being rushed to Iraq as I write, ostensibly as a check on Pompeo’s favored villain, Iran.

Less well known is the handiwork of another ’86 grad, longtime lobbyist and CNN paid contributor David Urban, who first met the president in 2012 and still recalls how “we clicked immediately.” The consummate Washington insider, he backed Trump “when nobody else thought he stood a chance” and in 2016 was his senior campaign adviser in the pivotal swing state of Pennsylvania.

Esper and Urban have been close for more than 30 years. As cadets, they served in the same unit during the Persian Gulf War. It was Urban who introduced Esper to his wife. Both later graced The Hill’s list of Washington’s top lobbyists. Since 2002, Urban has been a partner and is now president of a consulting giant, the American Continental Group. Among its clients: Raytheon and 7-Eleven.

It’s hard to overstate Urban’s role. He seems to have landed Pompeo and Esper their jobs in the Trump administration and was a key go-between in marrying class of ’86 backbenchers and moneymen to that bridegroom of our moment, The Donald.

GREASING THE MACHINE: THE MONEYMEN

Another ’86er also passed through that famed military-industrial revolving door. Retired Col. Dan Sauter left his position as chief of staff of the 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command for one at giant weapons maker Lockheed Martin as business developer for the very systems his old unit employed. Since May 2019, he’s directed Lockheed’s $1.5 billion Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) program in Saudi Arabia. Lockheed’s THAAD systems have streamed into that country to protect the kingdom, even as Pompeo continually threatens Iran.

If such corporate figures are doing the selling, it’s the Pentagon, naturally, that’s doing the buying. Luckily, there are ’86 alumni in key positions on the purchasing end as well, including a retired brigadier general who now serves as the Pentagon’s principal adviser to the under secretary for acquisition, technology, and logistics.

Finally, there are other key consultants linked to the military-industrial complex who are also graduates of the class of ’86. They include a senior vice president of Hillwood—a massive domestic and international real estate development company, chaired by Ross Perot Jr.—formerly a consultant to the government of the United Arab Emirates. The Emiratis are US allies in the fight against Pompeo’s Iranian nemesis and, in 2019, awarded Raytheon a $1.5 billion contract to supply key components for its Air Force missile launchers.

Another classmate is a managing partner for Patriot Strategies, which consults for corporations and the government but also separately lands hefty defense contracts itself. His previous “ventures” included “work in telecommunications in the Middle East…and technical security upgrades at U.S. embassies worldwide.”

Yet another grad, Rick Minicozzi, is the founder and CEO of Thayer Leader Development Group (TLDG), which prides itself on “building” corporate leaders. TLDG clients include: 7-Eleven, Cardinal Glass, EMCOR, and Mercedes-Benz. All either have or had ’86ers at the helm. The company’s CEO also owns the Thayer Hotel located right on West Point’s grounds, which hosts many of the company’s lectures and other events. Then there’s the retired colonel who, like me, taught on the West Point history faculty. He’s now the CEO of Battlefield Leadership, which helps corporate leaders “learn from the past” in order to “prepare for an ever-changing business landscape.”

A CLASS-WIDE CONFLICT OF INTEREST

Don’t for a moment think these are all “bad” people. That’s not faintly my point. One prominent ’86 grad, for instance, is Lt. Gen. Eric Wesley, the deputy of Army Futures Command. He was my brigade commander at Fort Riley, Kansas, in 2009 and I found him competent, exceptionally empathetic, and a decidedly decent man, which is probably true of plenty of ’86ers.

So what exactly is my point here? I’m not for a second charging conspiracy or even criminal corruption. The lion’s share of what all these figures do is perfectly legal. In reality, the way the class of ’86 has permeated the power structure only reflects the nature of the carefully crafted, distinctly undemocratic systems through which the military-industrial complex and our political world operate by design. Most of what they do couldn’t, in fact, be more legal in a world of never-ending American wars and national security budgets that eternally go through the roof. After all, if any of these figures had acted in anything but a perfectly legal fashion, they might have run into a classmate of theirs who recently led the FBI’s corruption unit in New Jersey—before, that is, he retired and became CEO of a global security consulting firm. (Sound familiar?)

And that’s my point, really. We have a system in Washington that couldn’t be more lawful and yet, by any definition, the class of ’86 represents one giant conflict of interest (and they don’t stand alone). Alums from that year are now ensconced in every level of the national security state: from the White House to the Pentagon to Congress to K Street to corporate boardrooms. And they have both power and a deep stake, financial or otherwise, in maintaining or expanding the (forever) warfare state.

They benefit from America’s permanent military mobilization, its never-ending economic war footing, and all that comes with it. Ironically, this will inevitably include the blood of future West Point graduates, doomed to serve in their hopeless crusades. Think of it all as a macabre inversion of their class motto in which it’s not their courage but that of younger graduates sent off to this country’s hopeless wars that they will never allow to “quit.”

Speaking of true courage, lately the only exemplar we’ve had of it in those wars is Gen. “Pat” White. It seems that he, at least, refused to kiss the proverbial rings of those Mafia men of ’86.

But of course, he’s not part of their “family,” is he?

*  *  *

Danny Sjursen is a retired U.S. Army major and former history instructor at West Point. He served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now lives in Lawrence, Kansas. He has written a memoir of the Iraq War, Ghost Riders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge, and his forthcoming book, Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War, is available for pre-order. Follow him on Twitter at @SkepticalVet and check out his podcast "Fortress on a Hill."

Tyler Durden Fri, 04/24/2020 - 23:55
Published:4/24/2020 11:06:56 PM
[] Wiped, Like With a Cloth? Christopher Steele Testifies He Cannot Produce Records Of His Alleged Conversations With His Alleged Single Source Because They've All Been... Wiped Oh. Wiped. Lot of that goin' round, huh? Looks like Christopher Steele has no evidence to support the dossier. It's all been mysteriously 'wiped.' Looking a lot like a scam on the FBI, media, and the American political system. A... Published:4/24/2020 1:35:18 PM
[Markets] US Intel Officials Believe Chinese Diplomats May Have Spread Fake Texts To Cause Social Unrest US Intel Officials Believe Chinese Diplomats May Have Spread Fake Texts To Cause Social Unrest

Authored by Steve Watson via Summit News,

US intelligence officials have claimed that Chinese agents attempted to stoke panic and social unrest in the US by spreading text messages in March warning of coming curfews and martial law with troops on the streets.

The New York Times highlighted the claims from six intelligence officials from different agencies that people acting on behalf of the Chinese communist government worked to spread the rumours, with advice to take as much money out of bank accounts as possible and fill up on gas.

Many of the messages claimed to have knowledge from people inside the Pentagon, National Security Council or FBI, with one specifically warning that nationwide curfews would be announced “as soon as they have troops in place to help prevent looters and rioters.”

Another text referred to a military source as saying “he got the call last night and was told to pack and be prepared for the call today with his dispatch orders.

The texts also appear to have been designed to promote panic buying, with one claiming a government source “said things are going to be crazy tomorrow, and its [sic] probably best to get some serious groceries before the afternoon announcement tomorrow.”

When the messages went viral in mid-March, The National Security Council labelled them “FAKE.”

US officials believe that while the Chinese agents did not create the messages, they used WhatsApp and similar encrypted messaging platforms to ensure they spread quickly.

The Times report also notes that intelligence officers are investigating whether Chinese diplomats inside the US were responsible for spreading the panic.

The Chinese government has, of course, denied the claims as “complete nonsense and not worth refuting.”

Meanwhile, the State Department has also warned that China, Russia, and Iran are actively spreading anti-American theories about the origin of the virus, including that the disease is an US bioweapon.

Politico reports that the countries are pushing various conspiracy theories including “that the novel coronavirus is an American bioweapon, that the US is scoring political points off the crisis, that the virus didn’t come from China, that U.S. troops spread it, that America’s sanctions are killing Iranians, that China’s response was great while the US’ was negligent, that [Russian, Iranian and Chinese] governments are managing the crisis well, and that the US economy can’t bear the toll of the virus.”

Tyler Durden Thu, 04/23/2020 - 15:25
Published:4/23/2020 2:29:29 PM
[Markets] Human Lab Rats: The US Government's Secret History Of Grisly Experiments Human Lab Rats: The US Government's Secret History Of Grisly Experiments

Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

“They were monsters with human faces, in crisp uniforms, marching in lockstep, so banal you don't recognize them for what they are until it's too late.”

- Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

I have never known any government to put the best interests of its people first, and this COVID-19 pandemic is no exception.

Now this isn’t intended to be a debate over whether COVID-19 is a legitimate health crisis or a manufactured threat. Such crises can—and are—manipulated by governments in order to expand their powers. As such, it is possible for the virus to be both a genuine menace to public health and a menace to freedom.

Yet we can’t afford to overlook the fact that governments the world over, including the U.S. government, have unleashed untold horrors upon the world in the name of global conquest, the acquisition of greater wealth, scientific experimentation, and technological advances, all packaged in the guise of the greater good.

While the U.S. government is currently looking into the possibility that the novel coronavirus spread from a Chinese laboratory rather than a market, the virus could just as easily have been created by the U.S. government or one of its allies.

After all, grisly experiments, barbaric behavior and inhumane conditions have become synonymous with the U.S. government, which has meted out untold horrors against humans and animals alike.

For instance, did you know that the U.S. government has been buying hundreds of dogs and cats from “Asian meat markets” as part of a gruesome experiment into food-borne illnesses?

The cannibalistic experiments involve killing cats and dogs purchased from Colombia, Brazil, Vietnam, China and Ethiopia, and then feeding the dead remains to laboratory kittens, bred in government laboratories for the express purpose of being infected with a disease and then killed.

It gets more gruesome.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has been removing parts of dogs’ brains to see how it affects their breathing; applying electrodes to dogs’ spinal cords (before and after severing them) to see how it impacts their cough reflexes; and implanting pacemakers in dogs’ hearts and then inducing them to have heart attacks (before draining their blood). All of the laboratory dogs are killed during the course of these experiments.

It’s not just animals that are being treated like lab rats by government agencies.

“We the people” have also become the police state’s guinea pigs: to be caged, branded, experimented upon without our knowledge or consent, and then conveniently discarded and left to suffer from the after-effects.

Back in 2017, FEMA “inadvertently” exposed nearly 10,000 firefighters, paramedics and other responders to a deadly form of ricin during simulated bioterrorism response sessions. In 2015, it was discovered that an Army lab had been “mistakenly” shipping deadly anthrax to labs and defense contractors for a decade.

While these particular incidents have been dismissed as “accidents,” you don’t have to dig very deep or go very back in the nation’s history to uncover numerous cases in which the government deliberately conducted secret experiments on an unsuspecting populace—citizens and noncitizens alike—making healthy people sick by spraying them with chemicals, injecting them with infectious diseases and exposing them to airborne toxins.

At the time, the government reasoned that it was legitimate to experiment on people who did not have full rights in society such as prisoners, mental patients, and poor blacks.

In Alabama, for example, 600 black men with syphilis were allowed to suffer without proper medical treatment in order to study the natural progression of untreated syphilis. In California, older prisoners had testicles from livestock and from recently executed convicts implanted in them to test their virility. In Connecticut, mental patients were injected with hepatitis.

In Maryland, sleeping prisoners had a pandemic flu virus sprayed up their noses. In Georgia, two dozen “volunteering” prison inmates had gonorrhea bacteria pumped directly into their urinary tracts through the penis. In Michigan, male patients at an insane asylum were exposed to the flu after first being injected with an experimental flu vaccine. In Minnesota, 11 public service employee “volunteers” were injected with malaria, then starved for five days.

In New York, dying patients had cancer cells introduced into their systems. In Ohio, over 100 inmates were injected with live cancer cells. Also in New York, prisoners at a reformatory prison were also split into two groups to determine how a deadly stomach virus was spread: the first group was made to swallow an unfiltered stool suspension, while the second group merely breathed in germs sprayed into the air. And in Staten Island, children with mental retardation were given hepatitis orally and by injection to see if they could then be cured.

As the Associated Press reports, “The late 1940s and 1950s saw huge growth in the U.S. pharmaceutical and health care industries, accompanied by a boom in prisoner experiments funded by both the government and corporations. By the 1960s, at least half the states allowed prisoners to be used as medical guinea pigs … because they were cheaper than chimpanzees.”

Moreover, “Some of these studies, mostly from the 1940s to the '60s, apparently were never covered by news media. Others were reported at the time, but the focus was on the promise of enduring new cures, while glossing over how test subjects were treated.”

Media blackouts, propaganda, spin. Sound familiar?

How many government incursions into our freedoms have been blacked out, buried under “entertainment” news headlines, or spun in such a way as to suggest that anyone voicing a word of caution is paranoid or conspiratorial?

Unfortunately, these incidents are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the atrocities the government has inflicted on an unsuspecting populace in the name of secret experimentation.

For instance, there was the U.S. military’s secret race-based testing of mustard gas on more than 60,000 enlisted men. As NPR reports, “All of the World War II experiments with mustard gas were done in secret and weren't recorded on the subjects' official military records. Most do not have proof of what they went through. They received no follow-up health care or monitoring of any kind. And they were sworn to secrecy about the tests under threat of dishonorable discharge and military prison time, leaving some unable to receive adequate medical treatment for their injuries, because they couldn't tell doctors what happened to them.”

And then there was the CIA’s MKULTRA program in which hundreds of unsuspecting American civilians and military personnel were dosed with LSD, some having the hallucinogenic drug slipped into their drinks at the beach, in city bars, at restaurants. As Time reports, “before the documentation and other facts of the program were made public, those who talked of it were frequently dismissed as being psychotic.”

Now one might argue that this is all ancient history and that the government today is different from the government of yesteryear, but has the U.S. government really changed?

Has the government become any more humane, any more respectful of the rights of the citizenry?

Has it become any more transparent or willing to abide by the rule of law? Has it become any more truthful about its activities? Has it become any more cognizant of its appointed role as a guardian of our rights?

Or has the government simply hunkered down and hidden its nefarious acts and dastardly experiments under layers of secrecy, legalism and obfuscations? Has it not become wilier, more slippery, more difficult to pin down?

Having mastered the Orwellian art of Doublespeak and followed the Huxleyan blueprint for distraction and diversion, are we not dealing with a government that is simply craftier and more conniving that it used to be?

Consider this: after revelations about the government’s experiments spanning the 20th century spawned outrage, the government began looking for human guinea pigs in other countries, where “clinical trials could be done more cheaply and with fewer rules.”

In Guatemala, prisoners and patients at a mental hospital were infected with syphilis, “apparently to test whether penicillin could prevent some sexually transmitted disease.” In Uganda, U.S.-funded doctors “failed to give the AIDS drug AZT to all the HIV-infected pregnant women in a study… even though it would have protected their newborns.” Meanwhile, in Nigeria, children with meningitis were used to test an antibiotic named Trovan. Eleven children died and many others were left disabled.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Case in point: back in 2016, it was announced that scientists working for the Department of Homeland Security would begin releasing various gases and particles on crowded subway platforms as part of an experiment aimed at testing bioterror airflow in New York subways.

The government insisted that the gases released into the subways by the DHS were nontoxic and did not pose a health risk. It’s in our best interests, they said, to understand how quickly a chemical or biological terrorist attack might spread. And look how cool the technology is—said the government cheerleaders—that scientists can use something called DNATrax to track the movement of microscopic substances in air and food. (Imagine the kinds of surveillance that could be carried out by the government using trackable airborne microscopic substances you breathe in or ingest.)

Mind you, this is the same government that in 1949 sprayed bacteria into the Pentagon’s air handling system, then the world’s largest office building. In 1950, special ops forces sprayed bacteria from Navy ships off the coast of Norfolk and San Francisco, in the latter case exposing all of the city’s 800,000 residents.

In 1953, government operatives staged “mock” anthrax attacks on St. Louis, Minneapolis, and Winnipeg using generators placed on top of cars. Local governments were reportedly told that “‘invisible smokescreen[s]’ were being deployed to mask the city on enemy radar.” Later experiments covered territory as wide-ranging as Ohio to Texas and Michigan to Kansas.

In 1965, the government’s experiments in bioterror took aim at Washington’s National Airport, followed by a 1966 experiment in which army scientists exposed a million subway NYC passengers to airborne bacteria that causes food poisoning.

And this is the same government that has taken every bit of technology sold to us as being in our best interests—GPS devices, surveillance, nonlethal weapons, etc.—and used it against us, to track, control and trap us.

So, no, I don’t think the government’s ethics have changed much over the years. It’s just taken its nefarious programs undercover.

The question remains: why is the government doing this? The answer is always the same: money, power and total domination.

It’s the same answer no matter which totalitarian regime is in power.

The mindset driving these programs has, appropriately, been likened to that of Nazi doctors experimenting on Jews. As the Holocaust Museum recounts, Nazi physicians “conducted painful and often deadly experiments on thousands of concentration camp prisoners without their consent.”

The Nazi’s unethical experiments ran the gamut from freezing experiments using prisoners to find an effective treatment for hypothermia, tests to determine the maximum altitude for parachuting out of a plane, injecting prisoners with malaria, typhus, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, yellow fever, and infectious hepatitis, exposing prisoners to phosgene and mustard gas, and mass sterilization experiments.

The horrors being meted out against the American people can be traced back, in a direct line, to the horrors meted out in Nazi laboratories. In fact, following the second World War, the U.S. government recruited many of Hitler’s employees, adopted his protocols, embraced his mindset about law and order and experimentation, and implemented his tactics in incremental steps.

Sounds far-fetched, you say? Read on. It’s all documented.

As historian Robert Gellately recounts, the Nazi police state was initially so admired for its efficiency and order by the world powers of the day that J. Edgar Hoover, then-head of the FBI, actually sent one of his right-hand men, Edmund Patrick Coffey, to Berlin in January 1938 at the invitation of Germany’s secret police, the Gestapo.

The FBI was so impressed with the Nazi regime that, according to the New York Times, in the decades after World War II, the FBI, along with other government agencies, aggressively recruited at least a thousand Nazis, including some of Hitler’s highest henchmen.

All told, thousands of Nazi collaborators—including the head of a Nazi concentration camp, among others—were given secret visas and brought to America by way of Project Paperclip. Subsequently, they were hired on as spies, informants and scientific advisers, and then camouflaged to ensure that their true identities and ties to Hitler’s holocaust machine would remain unknown. All the while, thousands of Jewish refugees were refused entry visas to the U.S. on the grounds that it could threaten national securi

Adding further insult to injury, American taxpayers have been paying to keep these ex-Nazis on the U.S. government’s payroll ever since. And in true Gestapo fashion, anyone who has dared to blow the whistle on the FBI’s illicit Nazi ties has found himself spied upon, intimidated, harassed and labeled a threat to national security.

As if the government’s covert, taxpayer-funded employment of Nazis after World War II wasn’t bad enough, U.S. government agencies—the FBI, CIA and the military—have since fully embraced many of the Nazi’s well-honed policing tactics, and have used them repeatedly against American citizens.

It’s certainly easy to denounce the full-frontal horrors carried out by the scientific and medical community within a despotic regime such as Nazi Germany, but what do you do when it’s your own government that claims to be a champion of human rights all the while allowing its agents to engage in the foulest, bases and most despicable acts of torture, abuse and experimentation?

When all is said and done, this is not a government that has our best interests at heart.

This is not a government that values us.

Perhaps the answer lies in The Third Man, Carol Reed’s influential 1949 film starring Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles. In the film, set in a post-WW II Vienna, rogue war profiteer Harry Lime has come to view human carnage with a callous indifference, unconcerned that the diluted penicillin he’s been trafficking underground has resulted in the tortured deaths of young children.

Challenged by his old friend Holly Martins to consider the consequences of his actions, Lime responds, “In these days, old man, nobody thinks in terms of human beings. Governments don’t, so why should we?

“Have you ever seen any of your victims?” asks Martins.

“Victims?” responds Limes, as he looks down from the top of a Ferris wheel onto a populace reduced to mere dots on the ground. “Look down there. Tell me. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you twenty thousand pounds for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money, or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare? Free of income tax, old man. Free of income tax — the only way you can save money nowadays.”

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, this is how the U.S. government sees us, too, when it looks down upon us from its lofty perch.

To the powers-that-be, the rest of us are insignificant specks, faceless dots on the ground.

To the architects of the American police state, we are not worthy or vested with inherent rights. This is how the government can justify treating us like economic units to be bought and sold and traded, or caged rats to be experimented upon and discarded when we’ve outgrown our usefulness.

To those who call the shots in the halls of government, “we the people” are merely the means to an end.

“We the people”—who think, who reason, who take a stand, who resist, who demand to be treated with dignity and care, who believe in freedom and justice for all—have become obsolete, undervalued citizens of a totalitarian state that, in the words of Rod Serling, “has patterned itself after every dictator who has ever planted the ripping imprint of a boot on the pages of history since the beginning of time. It has refinements, technological advances, and a more sophisticated approach to the destruction of human freedom.”

In this sense, we are all Romney Wordsworth, the condemned man in Serling’s Twilight Zone episode “The Obsolete Man.”

The Obsolete Man” speaks to the dangers of a government that views people as expendable once they have outgrown their usefulness to the State. Yet—and here’s the kicker—this is where the government through its monstrous inhumanity also becomes obsolete. As Serling noted in his original script for “The Obsolete Man,” “Any state, any entity, any ideology which fails to recognize the worth, the dignity, the rights of Man...that state is obsolete.

How do you defeat a monster? You start by recognizing the monster for what it is.

Tyler Durden Thu, 04/23/2020 - 00:00
Published:4/22/2020 11:24:22 PM
[Markets] Techno-Tyranny: How The US National Security State Is Using COVID-19 To Fulfill An Orwellian Vision Techno-Tyranny: How The US National Security State Is Using COVID-19 To Fulfill An Orwellian Vision

Authored by Whitney Webb via TheLastAmericanVagabond.com,

LAST YEAR, A GOVERNMENT COMMISSION CALLED FOR THE US TO ADOPT AN AI-DRIVEN MASS SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM FAR BEYOND THAT USED IN ANY OTHER COUNTRY IN ORDER TO ENSURE AMERICAN HEGEMONY IN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE. NOW, MANY OF THE “OBSTACLES” THEY HAD CITED AS PREVENTING ITS IMPLEMENTATION ARE RAPIDLY BEING REMOVED UNDER THE GUISE OF COMBATING THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS.

Last year, a U.S. government body dedicated to examining how artificial intelligence can “address the national security and defense needs of the United States” discussed in detail the “structural” changes that the American economy and society must undergo in order to ensure a technological advantage over China, according to a recent document acquired through a FOIA request. This document suggests that the U.S. follow China’s lead and even surpass them in many aspects related to AI-driven technologies, particularly their use of mass surveillance. This perspective clearly clashes with the public rhetoric of prominent U.S. government officials and politicians on China, who have labeled the Chinese government’s technology investments and export of its surveillance systems and other technologies as a major “threat” to Americans’ “way of life.”

In addition, many of the steps for the implementation of such a program in the U.S., as laid out in this newly available document, are currently being promoted and implemented as part of the government’s response to the current coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis. This likely due to the fact that many members of this same body have considerable overlap with the taskforces and advisors currently guiding the government’s plans to “re-open the economy” and efforts to use technology to respond to the current crisis.

The FOIA document, obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), was produced by a little-known U.S. government organization called the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI). It was created by the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and its official purpose is “to consider the methods and means necessary to advance the development of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and associated technologies to comprehensively address the national security and defense needs of the United States.”

The NSCAI is a key part of the government’s response to what is often referred to as the coming “fourth industrial revolution,” which has been described as “a revolution characterized by discontinuous technological development in areas like artificial intelligence (AI), big data, fifth-generation telecommunications networking (5G), nanotechnology and biotechnology, robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), and quantum computing.”

However, their main focus is ensuring that “the United States … maintain a technological advantage in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other associated technologies related to national security and defense.” The vice-chair of NSCAI, Robert Work – former Deputy Secretary of Defense and senior fellow at the hawkish Center for a New American Security (CNAS)described the commission’s purpose as determining “how the U.S. national security apparatus should approach artificial intelligence, including a focus on how the government can work with industry to compete with China’s ‘civil-military fusion’ concept.”

The recently released NSCAI document is a May 2019 presentation entitled “Chinese Tech Landscape Overview.” Throughout the presentation, the NSCAI promotes the overhaul of the U.S. economy and way of life as necessary for allowing the U.S. to ensure it holds a considerable technological advantage over China, as losing this advantage is currently deemed a major “national security” issue by the U.S. national security apparatus. This concern about maintaining a technological advantage can be seen in several other U.S. military documents and think tank reports, several of which have warned that the U.S.’ technological advantage is quickly eroding.

The U.S. government and establishment media outlets often blame alleged Chinese espionage or the Chinese government’s more explicit partnerships with private technology companies in support of their claim that the U.S. is losing this advantage over China. For instance, Chris Darby, the current CEO of the CIA’s In-Q-Tel, who is also on the NSCAI, told CBS News last year that China is the U.S.’ main competitor in terms of technology and that U.S. privacy laws were hampering the U.S.’ capacity to counter China in this regard, stating that:

“[D]ata is the new oil. And China is just awash with data. And they don’t have the same restraints that we do around collecting it and using it, because of the privacy difference between our countries. This notion that they have the largest labeled data set in the world is going to be a huge strength for them.”

In another example, Michael Dempsey – former acting Director of National Intelligence and currently a government-funded fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations – argued in The Hill that:

“It’s quite clear, though, that China is determined to erase our technological advantage, and is committing hundreds of billions of dollars to this effort. In particular, China is determined to be a world leader in such areas as artificial intelligence, high performance computing, and synthetic biology. These are the industries that will shape life on the planet and the military balance of power for the next several decades.”

In fact, the national security apparatus of the United States is so concerned about losing a technological edge over China that the Pentagon recently decided to join forces directly with the U.S. intelligence community in order “to get in front of Chinese advances in artificial intelligence.” This union resulted in the creation of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC), which ties together “the military’s efforts with those of the Intelligence Community, allowing them to combine efforts in a breakneck push to move government’s AI initiatives forward.” It also coordinates with other government agencies, industry, academics, and U.S. allies. Robert Work, who subsequently became the NSCAI vice-chair, said at the time that JAIC’s creation was a “welcome first step in response to Chinese, and to a lesser extent, Russian, plans to dominate these technologies.”

Similar concerns about “losing” technological advantage to China have also been voiced by the NSCAI chairman, Eric Schmidt, the former head of Alphabet – Google’s parent company, who argued in February in the New York Times that Silicon Valley could soon lose “the technology wars” to China if the U.S. government doesn’t take action. Thus, the three main groups represented within the NSCAI – the intelligence community, the Pentagon and Silicon Valley – all view China’s advancements in AI as a major national security threat (and in Silicon Valley’s case, threat to their bottom lines and market shares) that must be tackled quickly.

TARGETING CHINA’S “ADOPTION ADVANTAGE”

In the May 2019 “Chinese Tech Landscape Overview” presentation, the NSCAI discusses that, while the U.S. still leads in the “creation” stage of AI and related technologies, it lags behind China in the “adoption” stage due to “structural factors.” It says that “creation”, followed by “adoption” and “iteration” are the three phases of the “life cycle of new tech” and asserts that failing to dominate in the “adoption” stage will allow China to “leapfrog” the U.S. and dominate AI for the foreseeable future.

The presentation also argues that, in order to “leapfrog” competitors in emerging markets, what is needed is not “individual brilliance” but instead specific “structural conditions that exist within certain markets.” It cites several case studies where China is considered to be “leapfrogging” the U.S. due to major differences in these “structural factors.” Thus, the insinuation of the document (though not directly stated) is that the U.S. must alter the “structural factors” that are currently responsible for its lagging behind China in the “adoption” phase of AI-driven technologies.

Chief among the troublesome “structural factors” highlighted in this presentation are so-called “legacy systems” that are common in the U.S. but much less so in China. The NSCAI document states that examples of “legacy systems” include a financial system that still utilizes cash and card payments, individual car ownership and even receiving medical attention from a human doctor. It states that, while these “legacy systems” in the US are “good enough,” too many “good enough” systems “hinder the adoption of new things,” specifically AI-driven systems.

Another structural factor deemed by the NSCAI to be an obstacle to the U.S.’ ability to maintain a technological advantage over China is the “scale of the consumer market,” arguing that “extreme urban density = on-demand service adoption.” In other words, extreme urbanization results in more people using online or mobile-based “on-demand” services, ranging from ride-sharing to online shopping. It also cites the use of mass surveillance on China’s “huge population base” is an example of how China’s “scale of consumer market” advantage allowing “China to leap ahead” in the fields of related technologies, like facial recognition.

In addition to the alleged shortcomings of the U.S.’ “legacy systems” and lack of “extreme urban density,” the NSCAI also calls for more “explicit government support and involvement” as a means to speed up the adoption of these systems in the U.S. This includes the government lending its stores of data on civilians to train AI, specifically citing facial recognition databases, and mandating that cities be “re-architected around AVs [autonomous vehicles],” among others. Other examples given include the government investing large amounts of money in AI start-ups and adding tech behemoths to a national, public-private AI taskforce focused on smart city-implementation (among other things).

With regards to the latter, the document says “this level of public-private cooperation” in China is “outwardly embraced” by the parties involved, with this “serving as a stark contrast to the controversy around Silicon Valley selling to the U.S. government.” Examples of such controversy, from the NSCAI’s perspective, likely include Google employees petitioning to end the Google-Pentagon “Project Maven,” which uses Google’s AI software to analyze footage captured by drones. Google eventually chose not to renew its Maven contract as a result of the controversy, even though top Google executives viewed the project as a “golden opportunity” to collaborate more closely with the military and intelligence communities.

The document also defines another aspect of government support as the “clearing of regulatory barriers.” This term is used in the document specifically with respect to U.S. privacy laws, despite the fact that the U.S. national security state has long violated these laws with near complete impunity. However, the document seems to suggest that privacy laws in the U.S. should be altered so that what the U.S. government has done “in secret” with private citizen data can be done more openly and more extensively. The NSCAI document also discusses the removal of “regulatory barriers” in order to speed up the adoption of self-driving cars, even though autonomous driving technology has resulted in several deadly and horrific car accidents and presents other safety concerns.

Also discussed is how China’s “adoption advantage” will “allow it to leapfrog the U.S.” in several new fields, including “AI medical diagnosis” and “smart cities.” It then asserts that “the future will be decided at the intersection of private enterprise and policy leaders between China and the U.S.” If this coordination over the global AI market does not occur, the document warns that “we [the U.S.] risk being left out of the discussions where norms around AI are set for the rest of our lifetimes.”

The presentation also dwells considerably on how “the main battleground [in technology] are not the domestic Chinese and US markets,” but what it refers to as the NBU (next billion users) markets, where it states that “Chinese players will aggressively challenge Silicon Valley.” In order to challenge them more successfully, the presentation argues that, “just like we [view] the market of teenagers as a harbinger for new trends, we should look at China.”

The document also expresses concerns about China exporting AI more extensively and intensively than the U.S., saying that China is “already crossing borders” by helping to build facial databases in Zimbabwe and selling image recognition and smart city systems to Malaysia. If allowed to become “the unambiguous leader in AI,” it says that “China could end up writing much of the rulebook of international norms around the deployment of AI” and that it would “broaden China’s sphere of influence amongst an international community that increasingly looks to the pragmatic authoritarianism of China and Singapore as an alternative to Western liberal democracy.”

WHAT WILL REPLACE THE US’ “LEGACY SYSTEMS”?

Given that the document makes it quite clear that “legacy systems” in the U.S. are impeding its ability to prevent China from “leapfrogging” ahead in AI and then dominating it for the foreseeable future, it is also important to examine what the document suggests should replace these “legacy systems” in the U.S.

As previously mentioned, one “legacy system” cited early on in the presentation is the main means of payment for most Americans, cash and credit/debit cards. The presentation asserts, in contrast to these “legacy systems” that the best and most advanced system is moving entirely to smartphone-based digital wallets.

It notes specifically the main mobile wallet provider in India, PayTM, is majority owned by Chinese companies. It quotes an article, which states that “a big break came [in 2016] when India canceled 86% of currency in circulation in an effort to cut corruption and bring more people into the tax net by forcing them to use less cash.” At the time, claims that India’s 2016 “currency reform” would be used as a stepping stone towards a cashless society were dismissed by some as “conspiracy theory.” However, last year, a committee convened by India’s central bank (and led by an Indian tech oligarch who also created India’s massive civilian biometric database) resulted in the Indian government’s “Cashless India” program.

Regarding India’s 2016 “currency reform,” the NSCAI document then asserts that “this would be unfathomable in the West. And unsurprisingly, when 86% of the cash got cancelled and nobody had a credit card, mobile wallets in India exploded, laying the groundwork for a far more advanced payments ecosystem in India than the US.” However, it has become increasingly less unfathomable in light of the current coronavirus crisis, which has seen efforts to reduce the amount of cash used because paper bills may carry the virus as well as efforts to introduce a Federal Reserve-backed “digital dollar.”

In addition, the NSCAI document from last May calls for the end of in-person shopping and promotes moving towards all shopping being performed online. It argues that “American companies have a lot to gain by adopting ideas from Chinese companies” by shifting towards exclusive e-commerce purchasing options. It states that only shopping online provides a “great experience” and also adds that “when buying online is literally the only way to get what you want, consumers go online.”

Another “legacy system” that the NSCAI seeks to overhaul is car ownership, as it promotes autonomous, or self-driving vehicles and further asserts that “fleet ownership > individual ownership.” It specifically points to a need for “a centralized ride-sharing network,” which it says “is needed to coordinate cars to achieve near 100% utilization rates.” However, it warns against ride-sharing networks that “need a human operator paired with each vehicle” and also asserts that “fleet ownership makes more sense” than individual car ownership. It also specifically calls for these fleets to not only be composed of self-driving cars, but electric cars and cites reports that China “has the world’s most aggressive electric vehicle goals….and seek[s] the lead in an emerging industry.”

The document states that China leads in ride-sharing today even though ride-sharing was pioneered first in the U.S. It asserts once again that the U.S. “legacy system” of individual car ownership and lack of “extreme urban density” are responsible for China’s dominance in this area. It also predicts that China will “achieve mass autonomous [vehicle] adoption before the U.S.,” largely because “the lack of mass car ownership [in China] leads to far more consumer receptiveness to AVs [autonomous vehicles].” It then notes that “earlier mass adoption leads to a virtuous cycle that allows Chinese core self-driving tech to accelerate beyond [its] Western counterparts.”

In addition to their vision for a future financial system and future self-driving transport system, the NSCAI has a similarly dystopian vision for surveillance. The document calls mass surveillance “one of the ‘first-and-best customers’ for AI” and “a killer application for deep learning.” It also states that “having streets carpeted with cameras is good infrastructure.”

It then discusses how “an entire generation of AI unicorn” companies are “collecting the bulk of their early revenue from government security contracts” and praises the use of AI in facilitating policing activities. For instance, it lauds reports that “police are making convictions based on phone calls monitored with iFlyTek’s voice-recognition technology” and that “police departments are using [AI] facial recognition tech to assist in everything from catching traffic law violators to resolving murder cases.”

On the point of facial recognition technology specifically, the NSCAI document asserts that China has “leapt ahead” of the US on facial recognition, even though “breakthroughs in using machine learning for image recognition initially occurred in the US.” It claims that China’s advantage in this instance is because they have government-implemented mass surveillance (“clearing of regulatory barriers”), enormous government-provided stores of data (“explicit government support”) combined with private sector databases on a huge population base (“scale of consumer market”). As a consequence of this, the NSCAI argues, China is also set to leap ahead of the U.S. in both image/facial recognition and biometrics.

The document also points to another glaring difference between the U.S. and its rival, stating that: “In the press and politics of America and Europe, Al is painted as something to be feared that is eroding privacy and stealing jobs. Conversely, China views it as both a tool for solving major macroeconomic challenges in order to sustain their economic miracle, and an opportunity to take technological leadership on the global stage.”

The NSCAI document also touches on the area of healthcare, calling for the implementation of a system that seems to be becoming reality thanks to the current coronavirus crisis. In discussing the use of AI in healthcare (almost a year before the current crisis began), it states that “China could lead the world in this sector” and “this could lead to them exporting their tech and setting international norms.” One reason for this is also that China has “far too few doctors for the population” and calls having enough doctors for in-person visits a “legacy system.” It also cited U.S. regulatory measures such as “HIPPA compliance and FDA approval” as obstacles that don’t constrain Chinese authorities.

More troubling, it argues that “the potential impact of government supplied data is even more significant in biology and healthcare,” and says it is likely that “the Chinese government [will] require every single citizen to have their DNA sequenced and stored in government databases, something nearly impossible to imagine in places as privacy conscious as the U.S. and Europe.” It continues by saying that “the Chinese apparatus is well-equipped to take advantage” and calls these civilian DNA databases a “logical next step.”

WHO ARE THE NSCAI?

Given the sweeping changes to the U.S. that the NSCAI promoted in this presentation last May, it becomes important to examine who makes up the commission and to consider their influence over U.S. policy on these matters, particularly during the current crisis. As previously mentioned, the chairman of the NSCAI is Eric Schmidt, the former head of Alphabet (Google’s parent company) who has also invested heavily in Israeli intelligence-linked tech companies including the controversial start-up “incubator” Team8. In addition, the committee’s vice-chair is Robert Work, is not only a former top Pentagon official, but is currently working with the think tank CNAS, which is run by John McCain’s long-time foreign policy adviser and Joe Biden’s former national security adviser.

Other members of the NSCAI are as follows:

  • Safra Catz, CEO of Oracle, with close ties to Trump’s top donor Sheldon Adelson

  • Steve Chien, supervisor of the Artificial Intelligence Group at Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Lab

  • Mignon Clyburn, Open Society Foundation fellow and former FCC commissioner

  • Chris Darby, CEO of In-Q-Tel (CIA’s venture capital arm)

  • Ken Ford, CEO of the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition

  • Jose-Marie Griffiths, president of Dakota State University and former National Science Board member

  • Eric Horvitz, director of Microsoft Research Labs

  • Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services (CIA contractor)

  • Gilman Louie, partner at Alsop Louie Partners and former CEO of In-Q-Tel

  • William Mark, director of SRI International and former Lockheed Martin director

  • Jason Matheny, director of the Center for Security and Emerging Technology, former Assistant director of National Intelligence and former director of IARPA (Intelligence Advanced Research Project Agency)

  • Katharina McFarland, consultant at Cypress International and former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition

  • Andrew Moore, head of Google Cloud AI

As can be seen in the list above, there is a considerable amount of overlap between the NSCAI and the companies currently advising the White House on “re-opening” the economy (Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Lockheed Martin, Oracle) and one NSCAI member, Oracle’s Safra Katz, is on the White House’s “economic revival” taskforce. Also, there is also overlap between the NSCAI and the companies that are intimately involved in the implementation of the “contact tracing” “coronavirus surveillance system,” a mass surveillance system promoted by the Jared Kushner-led, private-sector coronavirus task force. That surveillance system is set to be constructed by companies with deep ties to Google and the U.S. national security state, and both Google and Apple, who create the operating systems for the vast majority of smartphones used in the U.S., have said they will now build that surveillance system directly into their smartphone operating systems.

Also notable is the fact that In-Q-Tel and the U.S. intelligence community has considerable representation on the NSCAI and that they also boast close ties with Google, Palantir and other Silicon Valley giants, having been early investors in those companies. Both Google and Palantir, as well as Amazon (also on the NSCAI) are also major contractors for U.S. intelligence agencies. In-Q-Tel’s involvement on the NSCAI is also significant because they have been heavily promoting mass surveillance of consumer electronic devices for use in pandemics for the past several years. Much of that push has come from In-Q-Tel’s current Executive Vice President Tara O’Toole, who was previously the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and also co-authored several controversial biowarfare/pandemic simulations, such as Dark Winter.

In addition, since at least January, the U.S. intelligence community and the Pentagon have been at the forefront of developing the U.S. government’s still-classified “9/11-style” response plans for the coronavirus crisis, alongside the National Security Council. Few news organizations have noted that these classified response plans, which are set to be triggered if and when the U.S. reaches a certain number of coronavirus cases, has been created largely by elements of the national security state (i.e. the NSC, Pentagon, and intelligence), as opposed to civilian agencies or those focused on public health issues.

Furthermore, it has been reported that the U.S. intelligence community as well as U.S. military intelligence knew by at least January (though recent reports have said as early as last November) that the coronavirus crisis would reach “pandemic proportions” by March. The American public were not warned, but elite members of the business and political classes were apparently informed, given the record numbers of CEO resignations in January and several high-profile insider trading allegations that preceded the current crisis by a matter of weeks.

Perhaps even more disconcerting is the added fact that the U.S. government not only participated in the eerily prescient pandemic simulation last October known as Event 201, it also led a series of pandemic response simulations last year. Crimson Contagion was a series of four simulations that involved 19 U.S. federal agencies, including intelligence and the military, as well as 12 different states and a host of private sector companies that simulated a devastating pandemic influenza outbreak that had originated in China. It was led by the current HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Robert Kadlec, who is a former lobbyist for military and intelligence contractors and a Bush-era homeland security “bioterrorism” advisor.

In addition, both Kadlec and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, which was intimately involved in Event 201, have direct ties to the controversial June 2001 biowarfare exercise “Dark Winter,” which predicted the 2001 anthrax attacks that transpired just months later in disturbing ways. Though efforts by media and government were made to blame the anthrax attacks on a foreign source, the anthrax was later found to have originated at a U.S. bioweapons lab and the FBI investigation into the case has been widely regarded as a cover-up, including by the FBI’s once-lead investigator on that case.

Given the above, it is worth asking if those who share the NSCAI’s vision saw the coronavirus pandemic early on as an opportunity to make the “structural changes” it had deemed essential to countering China’s lead in the mass adoption of AI-driven technologies, especially considering that many of the changes in the May 2019 document are now quickly taking place under the guise of combatting the coronavirus crisis.

THE NSCAI’S VISION TAKES SHAPE

Though the May 2019 NSCAI document was authored nearly a year ago, the coronavirus crisis has resulted in the implementation of many of the changes and the removal of many of the “structural” obstacles that the commission argued needed to be drastically altered in order to ensure a technological advantage over China in the field of AI. The aforementioned move away from cash, which is taking place not just in the U.S. but internationally, is just one example of many.

For instance, earlier this week CNN reported that grocery stores are now considering banning in-person shopping and that the U.S. Department of Labor has recommended that retailers nationwide start “‘using a drive-through window or offering curbside pick-up’ to protect workers for exposure to coronavirus.” In addition, last week, the state of Florida approved an online-purchase plan for low income families using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Other reports have argued that social distancing inside grocery stores is ineffective and endangering people’s lives. As previously mentioned, the May 2019 NSCAI document argues that moving away from in-person shopping is necessary to mitigate China’s “adoption advantage” and also argued that “when buying online is literally the only way to get what you want, consumers go online.”

Reports have also argued that these changes in shopping will last far beyond coronavirus, such as an article by Business Insider entitled “The coronavirus pandemic is pushing more people online and will forever change how Americans shop for groceries, experts say.” Those cited in the piece argue that this shift away from in-person shopping will be “permanent” and also states that “More people are trying these services than otherwise would have without this catalyst and gives online players a greater chance to acquire and keep a new customer base.” A similar article in Yahoo! News argues that, thanks to the current crisis, “our dependence on online shopping will only rise because no one wants to catch a virus at a shop.”

In addition, the push towards the mass use of self-driving cars has also gotten a boost thanks to coronavirus, with driverless cars now making on-demand deliveries in California. Two companies, one Chinese-owned and the other backed by Japan’s SoftBank, have since been approved to have their self-driving cars used on California roads and that approval was expedited due to the coronavirus crisis. The CPO of Nuro Inc., the SoftBank-backed company, was quoted in Bloomberg as saying that “The Covid-19 pandemic has expedited the public need for contactless delivery services. Our R2 fleet is custom-designed to change the very nature of driving and the movement of goods by allowing people to remain safely at home while their groceries, medicines, and packages are brought to them.” Notably, the May 2019 NSCAI document references the inter-connected web of SoftBank-backed companies, particularly those backed by its largely Saudi-funded “Vision Fund,” as forming “the connective tissue for a global federation of tech companies” set to dominate AI.

California isn’t the only state to start using self-driving cars, as the Mayo Clinic of Florida is now also using them. “Using artificial intelligence enables us to protect staff from exposure to this contagious virus by using cutting-edge autonomous vehicle technology and frees up staff time that can be dedicated to direct treatment and care for patients,” Kent Thielen, M.D., CEO of Mayo Clinic in Florida stated in a recent press release cited by Mic.

Like the changes to in-person shopping in the age of coronavirus, other reports assert that self-driving vehicles are here to stay. One report published by Mashable is entitled “It took a coronavirus outbreak for self-driving cars to become more appealing,” and opens by stating “Suddenly, a future full of self-driving cars isn’t just a sci-fi pipe dream. What used to be considered a scary, uncertain technology for many Americans looks more like an effective tool to protect ourselves from a fast-spreading, infectious disease.” It further argues that this is hardly a “fleeting shift” in driving habits and one tech CEO cited in the piece, Anuja Sonalker of Steer Tech, claims that “There has been a distinct warming up to human-less, contactless technology. Humans are biohazards, machines are not.”

Another focus of the NSCAI presentation, AI medicine, has also seen its star rise in recent weeks. For instance, several reports have touted how AI-driven drug discovery platforms have been able to identify potential treatments for coronavirus. Microsoft, whose research lab director is on the NSCAI, recently put $20 million into its “AI for health” program to speed up the use of AI in analyzing coronavirus data. In addition, “telemedicine”– a form of remote medical care – has also become widely adopted due to the coronavirus crisis.

Several other AI-driven technologies have similarly become more widely adopted thanks to coronavirus, including the use of mass surveillance for “contact tracing” as well as facial recognition technology and biometrics. A recent Wall Street Journal report stated that the government is seriously considering both contact tracing via phone geolocation data and facial recognition technology in order to track those who might have coronavirus. In addition, private businesses – like grocery stores and restaurants – are using sensors and facial recognition to see how many people and which people are entering their stores.

As far as biometrics go, university researchers are now working to determine if “smartphones and biometric wearables already contain the data we need to know if we have become infected with the novel coronavirus.” Those efforts seek to detect coronavirus infections early by analyzing “sleep schedules, oxygen levels, activity levels and heart rate” based on smartphone apps like FitBit and smartwatches. In countries outside the U.S., biometric IDs are being touted as a way to track those who have and lack immunity to coronavirus.

In addition, one report in The Edge argued that the current crisis is changing what types of biometrics should be used, asserting that a shift towards thermal scanning and facial recognition is necessary:

“At this critical juncture of the crisis, any integrated facial recognition and thermal scanning solution must be implemented easily, rapidly and in a cost-effective manner. Workers returning to offices or factories must not have to scramble to learn a new process or fumble with declaration forms. They must feel safe and healthy for them to work productively. They just have to look at the camera and smile. Cameras and thermal scanners, supported by a cloud-based solution and the appropriate software protocols, will do the rest.”

Also benefiting from the coronavirus crisis is the concept of “smart cities,” with Forbes recently writing that “Smart cities can help us combat the coronavirus pandemic.” That article states that “Governments and local authorities are using smart city technology, sensors and data to trace the contacts of people infected with the coronavirus. At the same time, smart cities are also helping in efforts to determine whether social distancing rules are being followed.”

That article in Forbes also contains the following passage:

“…[T]he use of masses of connected sensors makes it clear that the coronavirus pandemic is–intentionally or not–being used as a testbed for new surveillance technologies that may threaten privacy and civil liberties. So aside from being a global health crisis, the coronavirus has effectively become an experiment in how to monitor and control people at scale.”

Another report in The Guardian states that “If one of the government takeaways from coronavirus is that ‘smart cities’ including Songdo or Shenzhen are safer cities from a public health perspective, then we can expect greater efforts to digitally capture and record our behaviour in urban areas – and fiercer debates over the power such surveillance hands to corporations and states.” There have also been reports that assert that typical cities are “woefully unprepared” to face pandemics compared to “smart cities.”

Yet, beyond many of the NSCAI’s specific concerns regarding mass AI adoption being conveniently resolved by the current crisis, there has also been a concerted effort to change the public’s perception of AI in general. As previously mentioned, the NSCAI had pointed out last year that:

“In the press and politics of America and Europe, Al is painted as something to be feared that is eroding privacy and stealing jobs. Conversely, China views it as both a tool for solving major macroeconomic challenges in order to sustain their economic miracle, and an opportunity to take technological leadership on the global stage.”

Now, less than a year later, the coronavirus crisis has helped spawn a slew of headlines in just the last few weeks that paint AI very differently, including “How Artificial Intelligence Can Help Fight Coronavirus,” “How AI May Prevent the Next Coronavirus Outbreak,” “AI Becomes an Ally in the Fight Against COVID-19,” “Coronavirus: AI steps up in battle against COVID-19,” and “Here’s How AI Can Help Africa Fight the Coronavirus,” among numerous others.

It is indeed striking how the coronavirus crisis has seemingly fulfilled the NSCAI’s entire wishlist and removed many of the obstacles to the mass adoption of AI technologies in the United States. Like major crises of the past, the national security state appears to be using the chaos and fear to promote and implement initiatives that would be normally rejected by Americans and, if history is any indicator, these new changes will remain long after the coronavirus crisis fades from the news cycle. It is essential that these so-called “solutions” be recognized for what they are and that we consider what type of world they will end up creating – an authoritarian technocracy. We ignore the rapid advance of these NSCAI-promoted initiatives and the phasing out of so-called “legacy systems” (and with them, many long-cherished freedoms) at our own peril.

Tyler Durden Wed, 04/22/2020 - 22:40
Published:4/22/2020 9:54:43 PM
[Markets] AG Barr Blocks Release Of 9/11 Documents Despite Promises To Victims' Families AG Barr Blocks Release Of 9/11 Documents Despite Promises To Victims' Families

Authored by Derrick Broze via TheMindUnleashed.com,

On Monday, U.S. Attorney General William Barr, acting director of national intelligence Richard Grenell, and other senior officials called on a federal judge to prevent the disclosure of files related to the role of the government of Saudi Arabia in the September 11 attacks. The officials told the judge in the civil case that the release of the files would endanger national security.

The files are being sought by families of the 9/11 victims who have spent the last two decades attempting to uncover the truth about the attacks. The families filed a lawsuit in federal district court in New York in 2017 as part of their effort to uncover the role of the Saudi government. What is publicly known is that the alleged 9/11 hijackers had a relationship with Saudi government officials. As Pro Publireported, at the 2019 White House September 11 memorial, U.S. President Donald Trump promised the families he would help them uncover the truth about 9/11. He made similar promises while he was campaigning for president.

“He looked us in the eye on 9/11, he shook our hands in the White House and said, ‘I’m going to help you - it’s done’,” Brett Eagleson, a banker whose father was killed in the World Trade Center, told Pro Publica.

 “I think the 9/11 families have lost all hope that the president is going to step up and do the right thing. He’s too beholden to the Saudis.”

The Trump Administration stated that the national security threat was so great that even sharing the reasoning behind the request for secrecy could cause harm. According to Pro Publica, AG Barr told the court that public discussion of the issue “would reveal information that could cause the very harms my assertion of the state secrets privilege is intended to prevent.”

Pro Publica notes that four statements from FBI and Justice Department officials were also under seal and can not be seen by the public. Another five statements from FBI, Justice Department, and CIA officials were only seen by the judge and could not even be shared with the families’ lawyers. Steven Pounian, a lawyer for the families also suggested that “there must be some deep, dark secret that they’re still trying very hard to hide after almost 20 year,” and that it “might be a Saudi government secret.”

But how can these be secrets that still need to be kept from the American people after all this time?

- Steven Pounian, attorney for the 9/11 victims families

The call for secrecy was questioned by three Senators who asked the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate why the FBI has refused to release information about Saudi connections. The information is being sought as part of a subpoena filed by the 9/11 families in 2018. Senators  Charles Grassley of Iowa, Charles Schumer of New York, and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut questioned the FBI’s decision to keep the files classified.

“The September 11 attacks represent a singular and defining tragedy in the history of our Nation. Nearly 20 years later, the 9/11 families and the American public still have not received the full and transparent accounting of the potential sources of support for those attacks to which they are entitled,” the senators wrote to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

Barr stated that Justice Department guidelines set down by the Obama administration in 2009 prevented the government from asserting a state secrets claim as a method of concealing illegal behavior or embarrassing actions. Barr told the judge that he believed these guidelines had been met. Unfortunately, in the absence of any further information the American public is resigned to trusting Barr, Trump, and anonymous FBI and CIA agents.

Unfortunately, William Barr does not have a record of trustworthy actions. As far back as 1989 Barr discussed his belief that the FBI could legally abduct people in foreign countries without the consent of the foreign government. The opinion was revealed in a leaked legal memo authored by Barr while he was serving as the head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). Barr chose to withhold the full memo and asked the public to trust his conclusion.

In the weeks after 9/11, when the U.S. government began to seize powers to roundup foreign citizens, spy on Americans, and torture anyone accused of terrorism, Newsweek noted that Barr had played a role in paving the way for such actions:

“Now the Bush administration and Congress seemed primed to do just about anything to foil future attacks. Justice Department lawyers have been told to take a fresh look at “everything,” one official said. Perhaps the most startling idea under examination would be a new presidential order authorizing secret military tribunals to try accused terrorists. The idea first occurred to former attorney general William Barr after the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988. Barr, at the time chief of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, got the idea after learning that his office was used during World War II to try—in secret—German saboteurs who were later hanged. The idea was rejected, but it’s being revived on the theory that terrorists are de facto military “combatants” who don’t deserve the full run of constitutional rights.”

More recently, Barr has been involved in perpetuating the myth that encryption is a tool that only terrorists and dangerous criminals use and launching an “orwellian pre-crime program.” In October 2019, MintPress News reported that Barr had recently laid the groundwork for this new program:

“Indeed, since becoming Attorney General under President Trump, Barr has spearheaded numerous efforts to this end, including pushing for a government backdoor into consumer apps or devices that utilize encryption and for a dramatic increase of long-standing yet controversial warrantless electronic surveillance programs.

On July 23rd, Barr gave the keynote address at the 2019 International Conference on Cyber Security (ICCS) and mainly focused on the need for consumer electronic products and applications that use encryption to offer a “backdoor” for the government, specifically law enforcement, in order to obtain access to encrypted communications as a matter of public safety.”

Barr would go on to issue a memorandum to all U.S. attorneys, law enforcement agencies, and high level Justice Department officials calling for the implementation of a new “national disruption and early engagement program” aimed at detecting potential mass shooters before they commit any crime. This memo called for the DOJ and FBI to “refine our ability to identify, assess and engage potential mass shooters before they strike.” Barr called for the pre-crime program to be implemented in early 2020.

The blocking of state secrets related to the September 11 attacks is just the latest in a long line of cover ups and corrupt practices by Attorney General William Barr.

Tyler Durden Sun, 04/19/2020 - 12:15
Published:4/19/2020 11:23:50 AM
[2016 Presidential Election] A historic travesty: Primary documents (Scott Johnson) You may recall that Attorney General Barra has characterized the FBI investigation of the Trump campaign and of President Trump as a historic travesty. “My own view,” he stated in his recent interview with Laura Ingraham, “is that the evidence shows that we’re not dealing with just mistakes or sloppiness. There is something far more troubling here, and we’re going to get to the bottom of it. And if people Published:4/18/2020 9:17:50 AM
[Markets] FBI Says Foreign States Hacked US Research Centers Seeking COVID-19 Breakthroughs  FBI Says Foreign States Hacked US Research Centers Seeking COVID-19 Breakthroughs 

A top FBI official has warned that foreign governments are seeking to break into American companies' cyber systems where crucial coronavirus research data is stored. 

"We certainly have seen reconnaissance activity, and some intrusions, into some of those institutions, especially those that have publicly identified themselves as working on COVID-related research," FBI Deputy Assistant Director for the FBI Cyber Division Tonya Ugoretz told an Aspen Institute online panel discussion.

Coronavirus research at US Army Medical Research and Development Command at Fort Detrick in Frederick, MD. Image source: AP

The FBI official described the spike in state-backed hacking cases comes as several Western bio-research companies could be on the cusp of developing breakthrough treatments and potentially a vaccine related to the ongoing pandemic, which over the past weeks has been ravaging the United States as the new global epicenter. 

The flipside to companies publicizing their research, Ugoretz said in her comments this week, "is that it kind of makes them a mark for other nation-states that are interested in gleaning details about what exactly they're doing and maybe even stealing proprietary information that those institutions have."

"For example, if we see that a secure institution is a victim or has been targeted, we, of course, go out and work with them," Ugoretz continued. "Ideally, what we are doing is talking to healthcare institutions and research institutions before they have been a victim so that we can use the intelligence we have to identify the trends and identify who else is in the same category of the victims."

She noted the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center currently receives some 3,000 to 4,000 calls per day. Prior to the pandemic crisis hitting North America this figure was at 1,000.

Tonya Ugoretz, deputy assistant director for the FBI Cyber Division, via BankInfoSecurity/Twitter.

The official did not name specific countries or bad actors; however, it follows a report from the WHO earlier this month, which described "a sustained digital bombardment" by hackers described as seeking internal information on the deadly coronavirus, further said to be "more than doubled" amid the pandemic crisis.

Western intelligence sources in early April fingered Iran as being behind the bulk of recent alleged hacks of international health organizations, including the UN.

Bill Evanina, Director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, was cited by Reuters in the latest report as saying:

"Medical research organizations and those who work for them should be vigilant against threat actors seeking to steal intellectual property or other sensitive data related to America’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic."

“Now is the time to protect the critical research you’re conducting,” he added.

The FBI further declined to comment on specific pending investigations. It's unclear whether the message was intended as purely a warning against potential future hacks, or the degree to which US companies have already experienced data thefts. The FBI's Ugoretz did say there were confirmed "intrusions" into "some" research institutions, however.

Tyler Durden Fri, 04/17/2020 - 21:00
Published:4/17/2020 8:13:52 PM
[In The News] Steele Source Voiced ‘Strong Support’ For Hillary Clinton, Had Ties To Kremlin

By Chuck Ross -

A source for information that ended up in the Steele dossier voiced “strong support” for Hillary Clinton and also had contacts to someone who worked in the Russian Presidential Administration, or Kremlin.  The bombshell information was declassified and released on Wednesday.  Other evidence released Wednesday shows that the FBI was ...

Steele Source Voiced ‘Strong Support’ For Hillary Clinton, Had Ties To Kremlin is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:4/17/2020 10:44:12 AM
[Markets] Irony Defined - Adam Schiff Blasts Grenell For 'Politicizing The Intelligence Community' Irony Defined - Adam Schiff Blasts Grenell For 'Politicizing The Intelligence Community'

Authored by Sara Carter via SaraACarter.com,

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff accused acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell last week of ‘undermining critical intelligence functions’ but nothing could be further from the truth. Why? Because Grenell is restructuring an agency that should have been overhauled years ago.

In the four page letter Schiff sent to Grenell, which by the way was just 14 minutes before Schiff gave it to the press...

...he charged the acting DNI with politicizing the intelligence community. Schiff accused Grenell of allowing his staff to "interfere with the production and briefing of intelligence information" on election security that was given to Congress.

"If accurate, this politicization of intelligence would constitute a grave breach of your duty as Acting DNI to preserve the independence of the IC, protect the integrity of U.S. elections, and keep the Congress fully and currently informed of intelligence activities," Schiff wrote.

The organizational changes being made by Grenell are far from political.

In fact, they are absolutely necessary and he has every authority under the purview of the executive branch to do so. Grenell is working vigorously, according to sources, to consolidate the agency, reduce unnecessary complexity and eliminate redundant work.

These implementations should have happened years ago. Moreover, during the past 24 months the ODNI has conducted four internal studies that have identified opportunities to eliminate duplicate work already being done by other intelligence agencies. Further, the restructuring will allow the ODNI to combine offices within the intelligence agencies to make missions more coherent. More importantly, dozens of positions that have gone unfilled for years may be eliminated.

Intelligence officials and analysts, who spoke to SaraACarter.com, have said that for years employees of the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies have complained that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has become bureaucratically bloated. These officials stressed that the office, which was established in 2004 under the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission, has strayed from its original mandate to ensure that all intelligence agencies coordinating, verifying critical intelligence and sharing that intelligence.

Instead, the office has become more of a competitor to the agencies they are supposed to oversee. The ODNI is competing for resources, employees and budgetary allocations that in fact, are repeating much of the same work being conducted by the CIA, FBI, and so forth, say sources.

Currently the ODNI has some 1800 staff employees, plus nearly as many contractors, a number that is far larger than intended when it was first established, intelligence officials added.

“America’s intelligence agencies need leadership and coordination, which is the purpose of ODNI,” said a U.S. Intelligence official, directly familiar with the restructuring.

“By implementing carefully considered reforms recommended by prior studies, ODNI can refocus on doing what it needs to do while rolling back duplication of effort and freeing up personnel to fill critical gaps inside the intelligence agencies.  This will make American intelligence stronger.

Daniel Hoffman, who spent more than three-decades in the CIA clandestine service and a three-time station chief abroad, told this reporter that although many people in the CIA “recognized the value of having a partner that could collaborate with the agencies, there was concern that the DNI itself, was a bureaucracy and was going to grow and become bloated.”

This is what happened over the years with the ODNI, added Hoffman, who was at the CIA when the ODNI was established.

He said that the decision to reorganize the ODNI by Grenell is far from the political accusations raised by Schiff.

“You’ll find the majority of intelligence officers and pundits would agree with the fact that the DNI needs to be reduced in size and that goes far beyond whether you think Rick Grenell is the right guy for the job,” said Hoffman, who is known for his nonpartisan stance in issues related to national security.

“I don’t think you can find an intelligence agency director that would be against the restructuring. We don’t have an unlimited number of people to do the jobs and our foreign counterparts see this bloated bureaucracy and wonder who they should go to? Who do they talk to and who they need to deal with directly.”

“The reality is the ODNI is taking people from other agencies to fill the slots and you risk that the mission will suffer when this happens,” said Hoffman, who added that the reforms that are being implemented are necessary.

Hoffman compared what Grenell is doing at the ODNI to what is being done at the National Security Council by National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien. Last year, in October, O’Brien announced plans to reduce the staff, which had ballooned to over 200 people by the end of the Obama administration. Concerns regarding internal leaks of classified information and politicization of the agency may have instigated O’Brien’s actions but regardless it was a necessary measure just based on the history of the NSC. For example, during President Eisenhower’s administration the staff was at a maximum of 50 people. Later, President John F. Kennedy reduced the staff to 20 people, which stayed the same during Lyndon Johnson’s presidency.

Those numbers roughly stayed the same during Nixon’s presidency and then went up to 50 during the first Bush administration, then to 100 during President Bill Clinton and then to 136 during the second Bush administration. Those numbers then jumped to over 200 during the Obama administration.

“Grenell is doing what should’ve been done long ago,” said a former CIA clandestine officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the nature of their ongoing work.

The ODNI isn’t going to be negatively effected by these changes, in fact, just the opposite – the restructuring of the ODNI will set our intelligence agencies back on track and back where they should be.”

Tyler Durden Fri, 04/17/2020 - 10:05
Published:4/17/2020 9:12:21 AM
[] 'FBI likely planned to hide this to keep using Steele dossier': Undercover Huber’s newest thread even MORE damning for FBI Published:4/17/2020 8:10:52 AM
[] Russian Operative "Penetrated" Steele's Organization;"Dossier" Itself Might Have Been Russian Op to Influence Campaign Collusion. Two Russian intelligence operatives knew that former British spy Christopher Steele was investigating the Donald Trump for President campaign as early as July of 2016. The information was in a footnote to a Justice Department report on FBI actions... Published:4/16/2020 4:36:16 PM
[Markets] COMEX Bombshell: Most 'Eligible' Vaulted-Gold Has Nothing To Do With COMEX COMEX Bombshell: Most 'Eligible' Vaulted-Gold Has Nothing To Do With COMEX

Authored by Ronan Manly via BullionStar.com,

In the midst of the ongoing fractures in the paper gold markets that have triggered bullion bank panic from London to New York, forcing their public fronts, the LBMA and CME Group (COMEX) to rush out damage control statements claiming “healthy gold stocks in New York and London”, we have consistently reminded those interested in the topic that the claims of the LBMA-COMEX do not stand up to scrutiny, in regards to both the London gold float, and the deliverable gold inventories in the COMEX approved New York vaults, especially when it comes to ‘Eligible gold’.

To wit, from recent BullionStar articles:

3 April – “Eligible gold just means any gold which happens to be in the approved COMEX vaults that is in the form of 1 kilo bars or 100 oz bars. Essentially, this could be anything. It is gold that is already owned by random entities, which would include mints, refiners, and jewellery companies, so eligible gold may have absolutely nothing to do with COMEX or CME.

9 April – ”CME refers to 9.2 million ozs ( 287 tonnes) of gold held in its approved vaults, with irrelevant claims that 5.6 million ozs of this is eligible gold. Eligible gold is gold which just happens to be in the form that satisfies the deliverable unit of the contracts (1 kg bars or 100 oz bars).”

31 March – “In COMEX parlance, registered gold means gold currently in the approved vaults that COMEX approved whose vault operators previously attached warrants to as part of the COMEX futures delivery process. On the other hand, eligible gold is unrelated to COMEX gold futures trading, and could be owned by anyone, for example mints, refineries, jewellery companies, investment funds, banks or individuals.”

Gold Pool 20.20 – Joint message from CME Group and LBMA, 01 April. Misleadingly not explaining Eligible gold. Source

‘Healthy Gold Stocks’ –  On Life Support

While consistently pointing out these ‘eligible gold’ facts to anyone who would listen, the paper market apologists are not in this camp, with LBMA CEO, Ruth Crowell, painting over the cracks last week on 9 April, claiming “I’m happy to report that [gold] stocks are very healthy“, and cheerleaders from the likes of the impotent World Gold Council, who should know better, choosing to disregard the compositional definitions of said gold holdings while cheerleading some more.

50% Haircut – Now you see it, now you don’t

It was therefore intriguing to discover private COMEX correspondence to COMEX regulator Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), dated 9 April 2020 (the same day that LBMA claimed very healthy gold stocks in New York), that covers a detailed discussion about deliverable gold supply from the COMEX (the Exchange), and most importantly that:

“The Exchange recognizes that gold is used as an investment vehicle and as such some gold stock may be held as a long-term investment.

Because of this, the letter continues:

the Exchange, in an effort to represent a conservative deliverable supply that may be readily available for delivery, made a determination at this time to discount from its estimate of deliverable supply 50% of its reported eligible gold at this time."

Not only that, but the CME concedes that:

surveys conducted indicated no clear consensus as to how much gold is dedicated to long term investments.

Said another way, no clear consensus means they don’t know. So the CME does not even know how much of the eligible gold in the COMEX approved vaults is held as long term-investments. Why then even assume 50% of the eligible gold is part of deliverable supply? Why not choose 30%, or 20%? Why even include any eligible gold at all as deliverable supply? With this new bombshell, in one foul swoop, the CME admission now casts doubt on the entire ‘Eligible gold’ category.

Why should any of this matter, you may ask? Because simply put, ‘gold price’ discovery is jointly driven by bullion bank trading of COMEX gold futures  and London unallocated spot, with the two venues accounting for the majority of global ‘gold’ trading volume, but with synthetic and cash-settled positions having almost nothing to do with physical gold inventories, while dominating the formation of the ‘international gold price’. But when physical gold demand in an environment of constrained supply starts to make its influence felt, as is happening right now, the paper gold markets that run on fumes operated by the bullion bank cartel and fronted by the LBMA and COMEX, need to do all that they can to prevent the paper gold markets from imploding.

The importance of this CME admission cannot be overstated. What the COMEX has now revealed to the CFTC is that there is far less physical gold available in the New York vaults that can be used for gold futures contract deliveries, because the CME, in its own estimate revision, has just slashed the largest deliverable supply category by half.

But it’s even more serious, since the CME goes even further, telling the CFTC that it may in the future increase the discount/haircut level above “50% of reported eligible gold when calculating deliverable supply estimates“, bringing implied deliverable supply to less than 50% of eligible gold inventories.

And just like that, with this bombshell, there is a new market reality. What will the cheerleaders at the World Gold Council think now? How will the LBMA spin this revelation? Given that “gold is used as an investment vehicle and as such some gold stock may be held as a long-term investment“, should the LBMA CEO not now order a 50% haircut to be applied to the London gold float, which would immediately cut that float from circa 1000 tonnes to somewhere around 500 tonnes?

More importantly, how will COMEX gold futures holders who plan to stand for delivery in New York now process this new information on reduced deliverable supply?

Page 2 of CME (COMEX) letter to CFTC, 9 April. Source 

From Approved to Unapproved

But wait. There’s an even bigger bombshell buried in the CME’s letter to the CFTC. For in what can only be described as outright panic about the precarious levels of gold inventories in the COMEX approved gold vaults in New York City and Delaware (which are the vaults of HSBC, JP Morgan, Scotia, Brinks, Lommis, Malca-Amit, MTB, IDS Delaware, and Delaware Depository), the COMEX has also signaled to the CFTC of a plan to count gold stored in unapproved vaults (i.e. outside the entire COMEX gold vault system) as part of deliverable supply. For the same letter says that:

“The Exchange does not currently account for Exchange grade gold stock stored at un-approved depositories that can be moved economically into Exchange-approved facilities. The Exchange may, at a later date, determine to account for such stock when calculating deliverable supply estimates."  

Yes, you read that correctly, Such is the level of panic in the paper gold market that COMEX is considering claiming to have access to gold that is not even in the COMEX vaults network. Such a move would crystalize the growing belief that COMEX is running on gold fumes, and bring LBMA – COMEX panic stations to the proverbial ‘Code Red’ status.

50% Haircut – Revising COMEX vault holdings

So how does this 50% haircut to eligible gold look when applied to the actual claimed gold vault holdings in approved COMEX vaults?

The latest daily COMEX gold vault inventory report, dated April 15, for gold vault holdings April 14 (COMEX Gold_Stocks April 15), claims that for COMEX’s flagship liquid 100 oz gold futures contract, the COMEX approved vaults hold just 142.3 tonnes of registered gold (4.57 million troy ounces) and 277.8 tonnes of eligible gold (8.93 million ounces), for a total of exactly 420 tonnes (13.5 million ounces).

Uninformed parties, cheerleaders, or the LBMA, might at this point try to claim that the amount of gold available for COMEX gold deliveries in 420 tonnes. However, that would be incorrect. Applying the CME’s 50% reduction to eligible gold immediately chops the eligible gold total down to 138.9 tonnes, giving a revised total of just 281 tonnes, i.e. 142.3 tonnes registered + 138.9 tonnes eligible). You can see that under this revision the eligible total of 138.9 tonnes is actually now less than the registered total. In other words, under the CME assumptions, over half the deliverable gold supply is already under warrant.

400 oz gold bars – Another 50% Haircut

But wait. There’s more. As part of the recent moves by the LBMA-CME axis to keep the paper gold show on the road a while longer, the duo recently colluded to launch a new COMEX (Enhanced Delivery) gold futures contract (4GC), which because of a lack of confidence in the availability of physical gold in New York, claims to allow settlement in 400 oz gold bars as well as the existing gold bars sizes of 100 oz and 1 kilo, although in practice it will be used for inter-contract spread trading to try to reign in the 100 oz contract price (GC) closer to spot.

While the details of this new contract, as well as its use of paper fractional entitlements called Accumulated Certificates of Exchange (ACE) can be read here, the important point to note is that the COMEX daily gold vault reports now have a new category called “Enhanced Delivery (400 oz AND eligible brands)" which covers vaulted gold that is eligible for the new 4GC contract but not eligible for the existing GC (100) contract.

The first time this new 400 oz category appeared on the COMEX daily gold vault report was Monday March 30, at which time none of the 9 vaults in the COMEX vault network reported having any 400 oz gold bars in their vaults. When BullionStar pointed out this fact the same day, CME promptly removed the new version of the report from its website on March 31 and re-uploaded a version of the report that had deleted of a 400 oz bar category. Then a week later on April 6, CME published a daily vault report which again had an Enhanced Delivery (400 oz and eligible brands) category. Of the 9 COMEX vaults, 5 have zero gold bar holdings in this category, Brinks had 1.21 tonnes in the eligible gold category, Loomis had 0.76 tonnes in eligible gold, HSBC claimed to hold 21.5 tonnes in the eligible gold, while JP Morgan claimed a sizeable 126.8 tonnes of 400 oz bars in the eligible gold category. Note that all reported holdings were in the eligible gold category. The totals were 38,874 ozs (Brinks), 24,404.7 ozs (Loomis), 691,811.8 ozs (HSBC), and 4,078,063.4 ozs (JP Morgan) respectively, adding up to 4,833,154 ozs for the four vaults as of April 6.

Given that JP Morgan New York hardly had 126.8 tonnes of London Good Delivery gold bars already sitting in its New York vault before April 6, since New York is not a center of 400 oz gold bar storage, the appearance of this gold at the JP Morgan vault under Chase Manhattan Plaza is probably some type of gold swap between London and New York, and possibly involving the New York Fed and Bank of England.

Fast-forward to today and the COMEX gold vault report dated April 15, for activity April 14, and the status of vault reporting for the new 400 oz gold bar category is pretty much as it was on April 6, with the Brinks and Loomis vaults claiming to hold between them 1.97 tonnes of ‘eligible gold’, HSBC claiming to hold 19.44 tonnes as eligible gold (which is 2 tonnes less than last week), and JP Morgan still claiming to hold the exact same amount of 126.8 tonnes (or 4,078,063 ounces) as ‘eligible gold’.

Adding the JP Morgan, HSBC, and Brinks and Loomis claimed holdings under the 400 oz bar category gives a total of 4,573,579 ozs (or 148.3 tonnes).  Applying CME’s 50% discount which assumes that half of this eligible gold is not part of deliverable supply leaves just 74.15 tonnes of gold as eligible in this category.

It’s not just speculation that the 400 oz gold also gets a 50% haircut. The CME actually does the same haircut in its April 9 letter to the CFTC, where it quotes the 4,833,154 ozs said to be held across the JP Morgan, HSBC, Brinks and Loomis vaults, stating that half of this equals 2,416,600 ozs, or 24,166 GC 100 oz contracts:

“Further, the current level of inventory for 400 troy ounce gold bars and eligible brands in Exchange approved vaults as of April 7, 2020, was 4,833,154 troy ounces or 24,166 contract equivalents after accounting for a 50% reduction, meaning that the combined inventory for all gold deliverable against the Gold Enhanced Delivery Futures (4GC) contract is 70,063 contract equivalents." – source: bottom of page 3 of CME letter to CFTC, April 9

Adding this remaining 74.15 tonnes to the 281 tonnes of deliverable supply for the 100 oz gold futures contracts, gives a grand total of just 355.15 tonnes of deliverable supply on the COMEX (or 11.4 million ounces), a far cry from the 563 tonnes (18.27 million ounces) reported without the 50% eligible haircut. Overall the 50% eligible gold haircut takes 213 tonnes of gold off the COMEX market, which is nearly 40% of all the gold bars which COMEX claims are in its approved vaults.

The daily link to the COMEX New York vault report file (which changes daily) can be opened here.

COMEX scenario plan – Inclusion of unapproved vaults in deliverable supply, and CORE PRINCIPLES – Page 4 of CME (COMEX) letter to CFTC, 9 April. Source  

CFTC – Asleep at the wheel

Finally, the COMEX letter to the CFTC wraps up with some brazen and hilarious claims by the CME that COMEX gold futures contracts are “Not Readily Subject to Manipulation" due to “the deep liquidity and robustness of the underlying physical markets." You can’t make this up. The CME letter makes these claims after saying it tested them against the Core Principles” of the Commodity Exchange Act.

These are the same gold futures contracts that the US Department of Justice (DoJ) last September referred to when it charged JP Morgan precious metals traders, including JP Morgan Chase head global precious metals, and then LBMA Board member, Michael Nowak, with “alleged participation in a racketeering conspiracy and other federal crimes", after an investigation by the FBI New York Field Office in which, wait for it, the CFTC Division of Enforcement provided assistance.

These are the same gold futures that starred in the DoJ charges of racketerring under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO Act), wire fraud, bank fraud, and “widespread spoofing, market manipulation and fraud".

And also placing “deceptive orders for gold, silver, platinum and palladium futures contracts traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange Inc. (NYMEX) and Commodity Exchange Inc. (COMEX), which are commodities exchanges operated by CME Group Inc." 

This is the same JP Morgan which now claims to hold 126.8 tonnes of gold in its New York vault that has been accepted as backing the new hastily introduced Gold Futures (Enhanced Delivery) 400 oz contract hatched by the LBMA and CME. Surely JP Morgan should have nothing to do with any gold market trading or continue to be a member of the LBMA and COMEX after its traders have been charged with the above. Where is the CFTC in all of this?

That’s right, the CFTC is the recipient of the CME letter, which probably went into the trash can as soon as it was received. After all, the CME proves in its letter that the entire regulatory framework is a rubber stamping exercise which had already been agreed with the CFTC since the increased “speculative position limits for the Contracts as demonstrated in this submission are consistent with the Commission’s guidance.

For those who want to see what the Core Principles of the Commodity Exchange Act were designed to do when first enacted, you can look at SEC. 5. ø7 U.S.C. 7¿ DESIGNATION OF BOARDS OF TRADE AS CONTRACT MARKETS on page 112 here, where there are such gems as:

(3) CONTRACTS NOT READILY SUBJECT TO MANIPULATION.— board of trade shall list on the contract market only contracts that are not readily susceptible to manipulation.

(4) PREVENTION OF MARKET DISRUPTION.—The board of trade shall have the capacity and responsibility to prevent manipulation, price distortion, and disruptions of the delivery or cash-settlement process through market surveillance, compliance, and enforcement practices and procedures. 

Conclusion – Audit the COMEX

The COMEX claims that under its rules, all approved gold depositories (i.e. all 9 of its approved vaults in New York City and Delaware ) are required to conduct an independent inventory audit each year, and then submit the audit reports to the Exchange within 30 days of the completion of the audit.

Page 2 of CME (COMEX) letter to CFTC, 9 April. Source  

Yet not one of these COMEX vault audit reports has ever been published by the CME / COMEX nor by any of the vault providers. Why have they never published these audit reports, and why has the regulator, the CFTC, never directed that they do so?

COMEX Delivery Facilities and Procedures – Section 703 (a), 6. Source

In contrast, gold-backed Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) such as the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) conduct bi-annual physical independent audits of gold bar inventory and publish these reports on their websites. The gold-backed ETFs even go as far as publishing their gold bar lists on a daily basis, such as GLD here.

In comparison, Excel spreadsheets of claimed gold vault holdings in New York such as in the vaults of JP Morgan, are not worth the proverbial paper they’re written on. If COMEX is to have any credibility in the global gold market, it needs to immediately publish the annual audit reports from all approved COMEX gold depositories, including date audits conducted and auditor documents, in a similar fashion to the gold ETF audit documents.

COMEX should also then be required by the regulator to publish an industry standard weight list of all Registered gold all and Eligible gold in its approved vaults (of which the deliverable supply is a subset), showing bar serial number and refiner brand for all 100 oz gold bars and 1 kilo gold bars held across all vaults, and for 400 oz bars, the bar serial number, refiner brand gross weight, and fine weight.

Of course, given that the COMEX is part of the bullion bank swamp that gets FOIA exemptions from the CFTC to hide crucial facts about the market maker program of its new collusive LBMA – CME gold price contract, neither COMEX nor the CFTC are never going to do this. And so with the CME, CFTC, JP Morgan and LBMA in continued panic mode about vaulted and physical gold stocks in New York and in London, it will be a further case of spin, misinformation, manipulation and outright ‘whatever it takes’ to keep the paper markets as the dominant source of gold price discovery.

In that case, perhaps the CME – COMEX should at least take note of point 6 of the Core Principles of the Commodity Exchange Act which covers Emergency Authority, and get a draft copy ready for the next joint LBMA-CME ‘nothing to see here‘ press release, as Emergency Authority seems like the next logical step in the bullion bank toolkit as the price of physical continues to detach from the paper pyramid:

(6) EMERGENCY AUTHORITY.—The board of trade, in consultation or cooperation with the Commission, shall adopt rules to provide for the exercise of emergency authority, as is necessary and appropriate, including the authority—

(A) to liquidate or transfer open positions in any contract;

(B) to suspend or curtail trading in any contract; and

(C) to require market participants in any contract to meet special margin requirements.

*  * *

* For the record, the letter in question referred to and linked to above, dated April 9, is from CME MD and Chief Regulatory Counsel Christopher Bowen to well-known Secretary of the CFTC Christopher J. Kirkpatrick, (COMEX letter to CFTC 20-184 – April 9, 2020) and has been submitted to the CFTC as part of the application for increased position limits and position accountability for gold futures (GC, 4GC and Micro Gold) and gold options, where position limits are being doubled from 3000 to a massive 6000 contracts, while position accountability limits are seeing a 33% hike from 6000 to 8000 contracts. The discussion in the letter about COMEX gold depositories and gold stocks reporting requirements is part of the CME’s feedback loop ‘justification’ to the CFTC to implement these speculative position limit increases.

Tyler Durden Thu, 04/16/2020 - 13:25
Published:4/16/2020 12:35:10 PM
[2016 Presidential Election] Steele’s Russian disinformation (2) (Scott Johnson) From the first moment I read the version of the Steele Dossier posted by BuzzFeed in January 2017, assuming the dossier is what it purports to be, I thought that it was the product of Russian disinformation. You’d have to be a fool not to see it. How could CIA Director John Brennan, FBI Director James Comey and all the rest who worked with it somehow overlook that? Steele’s Russian Published:4/16/2020 9:05:47 AM
[Markets] Declassified Horowitz Footnotes Show Obama Officials Knew Steele Dossier Was Russian Disinfo Designed To Target Trump Declassified Horowitz Footnotes Show Obama Officials Knew Steele Dossier Was Russian Disinfo Designed To Target Trump

Authored by Sara Carter via SaraACarter.com,

Systemic FBI Effort To Legitimize Steele and Use His Information To Target POTUS

Newly declassified footnotes from Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s December FBI report reveals that senior Obama officials, including members of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane team knew the dossier compiled by a former British spy during the 2016 election was Russian disinformation to target President Donald Trump.

Further, the partially declassified footnotes reveal that those senior intelligence officials were aware of the disinformation when they included the dossier in the Obama administration’s Intelligence Communities Assessment (ICA).

As important, the footnotes reveal that there had been a request to validate information collected by British spy Christopher Steele as far back as 2015, and that there was concern among members of the FBI and intelligence community about his reliability. Those concerns were brushed aside by members of the Crossfire Hurricane team in their pursuit against the Trump campaign officials, according to sources who spoke to this reporter and the footnotes.

The explosive footnotes were partially declassified and made public Wednesday, after a lengthy review by the Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell’s office. Grenell sent the letter Wednesday releasing the documents to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa and Sen. Ron Johnson, R- Wisconsin, both who requested the declassification.

“Having reviewed the matter, and having consulted the heads of the relevant Intelligence Community elements, I have declassified the enclosed footnotes.” Grenell consulted with DOJ Attorney General William Barr on the declassification of the documents.

Grassley and Johnson released a statement late Wednesday stating “as we can see from these now-declassified footnotes in the IG’s report, Russian intelligence was aware of the dossier before the FBI even began its investigation and the FBI had reports in hand that their central piece of evidence was most likely tainted with Russian disinformation.”

“Thanks to Attorney General Barr’s and Acting Director Grenell’s declassification of the footnotes, we know the FBI’s justification to target an American Citizen was riddled with significant flaws,” the Senator stated. “Inspector General Michael Horowitz and his team did what neither the FBI nor Special Counsel Mueller cared to do: examine and investigate corruption at the FBI, the sources of the Steele dossier, how it was disseminated, and reporting that it contained Russian disinformation.”

The Footnotes 

A U.S. Official familiar with the investigation into the FBI told this reporter that the footnotes “clearly show that the FBI team was or should have had been aware that the Russian Intelligence Services was trying to influence Steele’s reporting in the summer of 2016, and that there were some preferences for Hillary; and that this RIS [Russian Intelligence Services] sourced information being fed to Steele was designed to hurt Trump.”

The official noted these new revelations also “undermines the ICA on Russian Interference and the intent to help Trump. It undermines the FISA warrants and there should not have been a Mueller investigation.”

Russian’s Appeared To Have Preferred Clinton

The footnotes also reveal a startling fact that go against Brennan’s assessment that Russia was vying for Trump, when in fact, the Russians appeared to be hopeful of a Clinton presidency.

“The FBI received information in June, 2017 which revealed that, among other things, there were personal and business ties between the sub-source and Steele’s Primary Sub-source, contacts between the sub-source and an individual in the Russian Presidential Administration in June/July 2016 [redacted] and the sub source voicing strong support for candidate Clinton in the 2016 U.S. election. The Supervisory Intel Analyst told us that the FBI did not have a Section 702 vicarage on any other Steele sub-source.”

Steele’s Lies

The complete four pages of the partially redacted footnotes paint a clear picture of the alleged malfeasance committed by former FBI Director James Comey, former DNI James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan, who were all aware of the concerns regarding the information supplied by former British spy Christopher Steele in the dossier. Steele, who was hired by the private embattled research firm Fusion GPS, was paid for his work through the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee. The FBI also paid for Steele’s work before ending its confidential source relationship with him but then used Obama DOJ Official Bruce Ohr as a go between to continue obtaining information from the former spy.

In footnote 205, for instance, payment documents show that Steele lied about not being a Confidential Human Source.

“During his time as an FBI CHS, Steele received a total of $95,000 from the FBI,” the footnote states. “We reviewed the FBI paperwork for those payments, each of which required Steele’s Signed acknowledgement. On each document, of which there were eight, was the caption ‘CHS payment’ and ‘CHS Payment Name.’ A signature page was missing for one of the payments.”

Footnote 350

In footnote 350, Horowitz describes the questionable Russian disinformation and the FBI’s reliance on the information to target the Trump campaign as an attempt to build a narrative that campaign officials colluded with Russia. Further, the timeline reveals that Comey, Brennan and Clapper were aware of the disinformation by Russian intelligence when they briefed then President-elect Trump in January, 2017 on the Steele dossier.

“[redacted] In addition to the information in Steele’s Delta file documenting Steele’s frequent contacts with representatives for multiple Russian oligarchs, we identified reporting the Crossfire Hurricane team received from [redacted] indicating the potential for Russian disinformation influencing Steele’ election reporting,” stated the partially declassified footnote 350. “A January 12, 2017 report relayed information from [redacted] outlining an inaccuracy in a limited subset of Steele’s reporting about the activities of Michael Cohen. The [redacted] stated that it did not have high confidence in this subset of Steele’s reporting and assessed that the referenced subset was part of a Russian disinformation campaign to denigrate U.S. foreign relations.

A second report from the same [redacted] five days later stated that a person named in the limited subset of Steele’s reporting had denied representations in the reporting and the [redacted] assessed that the person’s denials were truthful. A USIC report dated February 27, 2017, contained information about an individual with reported connections to Trump and Russia who claimed that the public reporting about the details of Trump’s sexual activities in Moscow during a trip in 2013 were false, and that they were the product of RIS (Russian Intelligence Services) ‘infiltrate[ing] a source into the network’ of a  [redacted] who compiled a dossier of that individual on Trump’s activities. The [redacted] noted that it had no information indicating that the individual had special access to RIS activities or information,” according to the partially declassified footnote.

Looming Questions

Another concern regarding Steele’s unusual activity is found in footnote 210, which states “as we discuss in Chapter Six, members of the Crossfire Hurricane Team were unaware of Steele’s connections to Russian Oligarch 1.”

The question remains that “Steele’s unusual activity with 10 oligarch’s led the FBI to seek a validation review in 2015 but one was not started until 2017,” said the U.S. Official to this reporter. “Why not? Was Crossfire Hurricane aware of these concerns? Was the court made aware of these concerns? Didn’t the numerous notes about sub sources and sources having links or close ties to Russian intelligence…so why didn’t this set off alarm bells?”

More alarming, it’s clear, Supervisory Intelligence Agent Jonathan Moffa says in June 17, that he was not aware of reports that Russian Intelligence Services was aware of Steele’s election reporting and influence efforts.

“However, he should have been given the reporting by UCIS” which the U.S. Official says, goes back to summer 2016.

Footnote 342 makes it clear that “in late January, 2017, a member of the Crossfire Hurricane team received information [redacted] that RIS [Russian Intelligence Services] may have targeted Orbis.”

Tyler Durden Thu, 04/16/2020 - 10:00
Published:4/16/2020 9:05:46 AM
[Politics] Declassified footnotes from IG report show FBI was warned multiple times that Steele dossier might be Russian disinfo… The FBI either didn’t care or didn’t put much stock in warnings they received that Christopher Steele’s Trump dossier might be filled with Russian disinformation. I’m guesssing the former. From Catherine Herridge: . . . Published:4/15/2020 9:02:46 PM
[Politics] Declassified footnotes from IG report show FBI was warned multiple times that Steele dossier might be Russian disinfo… The FBI either didn’t care or didn’t put much stock in warnings they received that Christopher Steele’s Trump dossier might be filled with Russian disinformation. I’m guesssing the former. From Catherine Herridge: . . . Published:4/15/2020 9:02:46 PM
[Markets] Google Subpoenaed For Hillary Clinton Emails Believed To Contain Backup To Records Scrubbed With "Bleachbit" Google Subpoenaed For Hillary Clinton Emails Believed To Contain Backup To Records Scrubbed With "Bleachbit"

Google has been ordered to turn over all Hillary Clinton emails from a Gmail account believed to contain backups to communications from her personal server which her IT specialist, Paul Combetta, reportedly scrubbed using BleachBit.

Combetta allegedly used the Google account to transfer Clinton's emails from a laptop to a server at Platte River Networks, after which BleachBit was used to remove all traces from the device.

On Wednesday, watchdog group Judicial Watch announced that Google had been served with a subpoena seeking all Clinton email from January 21, 2009 until February 1, 2013 from her time at the Obama State Department where she served as Secretary of State.

The Google subpoena comes in a Judicial Watch’s lawsuit that seeks records concerning “talking points or updates on the Benghazi attack” (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01242)). Judicial Watch famously uncovered in 2014 that the “talking points” that provided the basis for Susan Rice’s false statements were created by the Obama White House. This Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit led directly to the disclosure of the Clinton email system in 2015. -Judicial Watch

The issue of Gmail backups was raised during an August, 2019 hearing by US District Court Judge Royce Lamberth, who ordered JW to "shake this tree" and pursue the issue. Lamberth referenced a report released by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in which he said he had some 'very troubling information' about Combetta - who was granted immunity by the Obama Justice Department.

To the point - on March 25, 2015, Combetta had a "conference call with President Clinton's staff."  Apparently, in the days following that call, he (Combetta) had an "'oh shit' moment" when he realized he had forgotten to wipe the PRN server clean as he had been instructed to do back in December by Cheryl Mills

Therefore, sometime within the 6 days after a call with "President Clinton's Staff," that PRN server was wiped clean using BleachBit despite the subpoena from the House Select Committee on Benghazi received weeks earlier on March 4, 2016. 

Here is a quick summary of the timeline of events:

  • February 2013 – Hillary resigns from State Department
  • Spring 2013 – Hillary aide Monica Hanley backs up Pagliano Server to Apple MacBook and a thumb drive
  • February 2014 – Monica Hanley attempts to upload Hillary email archives to new Platte River Networks (PRN) server but encounters technical issues
  • Early 2014 – Monica Hanley mails Apple MacBook to Combetta to upload Hillary email archives to new PRN server.  Undisclosed PRN Staff Member then uploads Hillary’s emails to a gmail account and then transfers them over to the new PRN server.  Combetta deletes most of the emails from gmail but indvertently leaves 940.
  • Early 2014Monica Hanley advises Combetta to wipe the Apple MacBook clean after uploading Hillary’s emails to the new PRN server but he forgets to do it
  • Early 2014 - Combetta allegedly mails Apple MacBook back to Clinton and it is promptly lost
  • December 2014 – Hillary delivers 55,000 emails to State Department
  • December 2014 / January 2015Heather Samuelson and Cheryl Mills request emails be deleted from their computer using BleachBit
  • December 2014 / January 2015“Unknown Clinton staff member” (Combetta) instructs PRN to remove archives of Clinton emails from PRN server
  • March 2, 2015 - NYT releases an article showing that Hillary used a personal email server in violation of State Department rules
  • March 4, 2015Hillary receives subpoena from House Select Committee on Benghazi instructing her to preserve and deliver all emails from her personal servers
  • March 25, 2015 – Combetta has a conference call with “President Clinton’s Staff”
  • March 25 – 31, 2015 – Combetta has “oh shit” moment and realizes he forgot to wipe Hillary’s email archive from the PRN server back in Decemberwhich he promptly does using BleachBit despite later admitting he "was aware of the existence of the preservation request and the fact that it meant he should not disturb Clinton's e-mail data on the PRN server."
  • June 2016 – FBI discovers that Combetta forgot to erase 940 emails from the gmail account he created to help with the PRN server upload

It will be interesting to see what Google turns over - if anything. Maybe they'll simply smash their servers with hammers?

Tyler Durden Wed, 04/15/2020 - 18:25
Published:4/15/2020 5:30:23 PM
[] Barr: Durham's focused on indictments, not a report Published:4/10/2020 9:01:15 AM
[Markets] Former Flynn Defense Counsel "Just Now Found Additional Docs" In File Former Flynn Defense Counsel "Just Now Found Additional Docs" In File

Via SaraACarter.com,

Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s previous defense team turned over recently discovered emails and handwritten notes Wednesday to his new counsel, suggesting that the delay in turning over the documents were due to technical issues since being ordered by the presiding federal judge six months ago to turn over all documents.

On July 25, 2019 presiding Federal Judge Emmet T. Sullivan, ordered the well-known law firm of Covington and Burling LLP to ‘promptly turn over the entire file’ on Flynn to his new defense attorney Sidney Powell. The order was made under threat of a hearing before the District of Columbia Ethics Counsel. The law firm turned over what is described as a ‘voluminous’ amount of documents but it apparently wasn’t all the documents.

On Wednesday, the law firm turned over more documents and suggested in a supplemental notice filed with the court that there may be even be more documents not yet produced.

“In reviewing materials in response to the Court’s March 6, 2020 Order (Doc. 174) to respond to Mr. Flynn’s specific allegations in his Supplemental Motion to Withdraw Plea of Guilty, however, we have found emails and two pages of handwritten notes that were not previously transferred to successor counsel,” the notice submitted by Flynn’s former lawyers Robert Kelner and Stephan P. Anthony stated.

“With respect to the emails, this appears to have resulted from errors in the process of collecting and searching electronic materials that were not contained in the working case file. The two pages of notes appear to have been inadvertently missed during the file transfer process.”

Flynn’s new defense team is combing through the new trove of documents, suggesting that the appropriate action by the DOJ would be to dismiss Flynn’s case entirely based on egregious government misconduct.

“It’s an interesting new production of documents from the Flynn file. It will be even more interesting to see what the firm has to say about them. We are really looking forward to a hearing in court on all the issues that will exonerate General Flynn,” said Powell, who spoke to SaraACarter.com.

“Meanwhile, the government still refuses to produce the original 302 and the DOJ memo of January 30, 2017 that exonerated him of any Russia issue, and it still refuses to dismiss the case because of the egregious government misconduct from the inception of this persecution—including slipping an FBI Agent secretly into a presidential briefing in August 2016—before the election—to collect information on nominee Trump and General Flynn,” she added.

The country and Justice would be best served if the DOJ would take responsibility for these outrageous actions and the deliberate attempted destruction of an honorable man. The agents who interviewed him knew he was honest with them.  They later altered the 302 until it was approved by Andrew McCabe.”

Last week, a status report was filed by prosecutors to delay the anticipated April 3 status report hearing to April 24. Justice Department prosecutors contend that the documents provided by Flynn’s former legal counsel “are voluminous, span numerous topics that arose during Covington’s 30-month representation of Mr. Flynn, and include many pages of sometimes difficult-to-decipher handwritten notes.”

“The government needs additional time to digest this information and any additional information that Covington may provide,” the status report stated.

“In order to allow the government adequate time to review the materials that have been produced and to request, receive, and review any follow-up information or documents, the government respectfully asks this Court to allow the government three additional weeks to provide a further status update and, if feasible, a proposed briefing schedule,” the prosecutors stated.

Tyler Durden Fri, 04/10/2020 - 09:35
Published:4/10/2020 9:01:15 AM
[Markets] 9/11 Truth: Under Lockdown For Nearly Two Decades 9/11 Truth: Under Lockdown For Nearly Two Decades

Authored by Max Parry via The Unz Review,

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary” 

- H.L. Mencken

As the global pandemic grips world attention, completely unnoticed by mainstream media was the release of a final report of an academic study pertaining to another previously calamitous event of international significance.

On March 25th, the conclusion of a four year investigation by researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks was published which determined that the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 on September 11th, 2001 was not caused by fire. The peer-reviewed inquiry was funded by Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, a nonprofit organization composed of more than 3,000 building architects and engineers who are a signatory to the group’s formal appeal calling for a new investigation into the three — not two — WTC skyscrapers destroyed on 9/11. The researchers infer that the collapse of Building 7 was actually the result of a controlled demolition:

“The principal conclusion of our study is that fire did not cause the collapse of WTC 7 on 9/11, contrary to the conclusions of NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) and private engineering firms that studied the collapse. The secondary conclusion of our study is that the collapse of WTC 7 was a global failure involving the near-simultaneous failure of every column in the building.”

With or without a pandemic, it is likely corporate media would have ignored the study anyway, just as they have anything that contradicts the official story of 9/11. However, it is notable that many have drawn parallels between the COVID-19 outbreak and the 9/11 attacks based on the widespread changes to daily life as a result of the crisis going forward. Already there is talk of nationwide lockdowns as a “new normal” with many rightly expressing concerns over civil liberties, press freedoms, the surveillance state, and other issues just as there were following 9/11. By the same measure, a false dichotomy is being established by political gatekeepers in order to silence those who dare challenge the official account as to how the coronavirus began. It is a stigmatization that is all too familiar to those who have never believed the conventional narrative that 19 Arab hijackers loyal to Osama bin Laden armed only with box-cutters were solely responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on that fateful day.

There is a common misconception that to believe in so-called “conspiracy theories” is to somehow lose sight of the bigger picture or systemic problems. Behind this phenomenon is a mistakenly presumed conflict between understanding the broader, overarching system versus the sinister motives of those in power who administer it?—?when they are inextricably linked. Political scientist Michael Parenti, who drew the ire of many of his fellow left-wing colleagues for his work on the Kennedy assassination, refers to it in his lecture “Understanding Deep Politics” as a perceived incompatibility between “the structural and the functional.” The anti-conspiracists wrongly assume that the more impersonal or wider the lens, the more profound an analysis. By this logic, the elite are absolved of conscious intent and deliberate pursuit of nefarious self-interest, as if everything is done by incidental chance or out of incompetence. Not to say efficacy applies without exception, but it has become a required gesture to disassociate oneself from “conspiracies” to maintain credibility?—?ironically even by those who are often the target of such smears themselves.

This applies not only to mainstream media and academics, but even leading progressive figures who have a mechanical, unthinking resistance to assigning intent or recognizing the existence of hidden agendas. As a result, it disappears the class interests of the ruling elite and ultimately assists them in providing cover for their crimes. With the exception of the Kennedy assassination — coincidentally the subject of a new epic chart-topping song by Bob Dylan — nowhere has there been more hostility to ‘conspiracism’ than regarding the events of 9/11. Just as they assailed Parenti, David Talbot and others for challenging the Warren Commission’s ‘lone gunman’ theory, leading figures on the left such as Noam Chomsky and the late Alexander Cockburn railed against the 9/11 Truth movement and today it is often wrongly equated with right-wing politics, an unlikely trajectory given it occurred under an arch-conservative administration but an inevitable result of the pseudo-left’s aversion to “conspiracies.” If polls are any indication, the average American certainly disagrees with such elitist misleaders as to the believability of the sham 9/11 Commission findings, yet another example of how out-of-touch the faux-left is with ordinary people.

A more recent example was an article by left-wing journalist Ben Norton proclaiming that to call 9/11 a false flag or an “inside job” is “fundamentally a right-wing conspiracy”, in complete disregard of the many dedicated truther activists on the left since its inception. Norton insists the 9/11 attacks were simply “blowback”, or an unintended consequence of previous U.S. foreign policy support for the mujahideen in Afghanistan against the Soviets during the 1980s which later gave birth to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Norton argues “Al-Qaeda’s unofficial strategic alliance with the US eventually broke down” resulting in 9/11 as retaliation, completely overlooking that Washington was still supporting jihadist factions during the 1990s in Bosnia (two of which would be alleged 9/11 hijackers) and Kosovo in the Yugoslav wars against Serbia, even while the U.S. was ostensibly pursuing bin Laden for the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998 and the USS Cole in 2000.

A 1997 Congressional document by the Republican Policy Committee (RPC) throws light on how Washington never discontinued its practice in Afghanistan of using jihadist proxies to achieve its foreign policy goals in the Balkans. Although it was a partisan GOP attack meant to discredit then-U.S. President Bill Clinton, nevertheless the memo accurately presents how the U.S. had “turned Bosnia into a Militant Islamic Base”:

“In short, the Clinton administration’s policy of facilitating the delivery of arms to the Bosnian Muslims made it the de facto partner of an international network of governments and organizations pursuing their own agenda in Bosnia: the promotion of Islamic revolution in Europe. That network not only involves Iran but Brunei, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan (a key ally of Iran), and Turkey, together with front groups supposedly pursuing humanitarian and cultural activities. For example, one such group about which details have come to light is the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA), a Sudan-based, phoney humanitarian organization which has been a major link in the arms pipeline to Bosnia. TWRA is believed to be connected with such fixtures of the Islamic terror network as Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman (the convicted mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) and Osama Bin Laden , a wealthy Saudi émigré believed to bankroll numerous militant groups…”

It was also in Bosnia where a raid was conducted in 2002 by local police at the Sarajevo branch of a Saudi-based purported charitable organization, Benevolence International Foundation, which was discovered to be a front for Al-Qaeda. Seized on the premises was a document, dubbed the “Golden Chain”, which listed the major financial sponsors of the terrorist organization to be numerous Saudi business and government figures, including some of Osama bin Laden’s own brothers. By the 9/11 Commission Report’s own admission, this same fake Islamic charity “supported the Bosnian Muslims in their conflict with Serbia” at the same time as the CIA.

It cannot go without mentioning that the common link between Al-Qaeda and subsequent extremist groups like ISIS/Daesh and Boko Haram is the doctrine of Wahhabism, the puritanical sect of Sunni Islam practiced in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and founded in the 18th century by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the religious leader who formed an alliance with the founder of the first Saudi state, Muhammad bin Saud, whose descendants make up the House of Saud royal family. The ultra-orthodox teachings of Wahhabism were initially rejected in the Middle East but reestablished by British colonialism which aligned with the Saud family in order to use their intolerant strain of Islam to undermine the Ottoman empire in a divide-and-conquer strategy. In a speech to the House of Commons in 1921, Winston Churchill admitted the Saudis to be “intolerant, well-armed and bloodthirsty.”

This did not stop the British from supporting the House of Saud so long as it was in the interest of Western imperialism, an unholy alliance which continues to this day. However, U.S.-Saudi relations did come under scrutiny when the infamous 28 redacted pages of the December 2002 report of the “Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001” conducted by the Senate and House Select Committees on Intelligence were finally disclosed in 2016. The section revealed not only the numerous U.S. intelligence failures in the lead-up to the attacks but the long suspected culpability of Saudi Arabia, whose nationals were not the focus of counterterrorism because of Riyadh’s status as a U.S. ally. The declassified pages show that some of the hijackers, 15 of them Saudi citizens, received financial and logistical support from individuals linked to the Saudi government, which FBI sources believed at least two of which to be Saudi intelligence officers. One of those Saudi agents received large payments from Princess Haifa, the wife of Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, a stipend from the latter’s bank account which inevitably went from the go-betweens to the sleeper cell.

President George W. Bush and Prince Bandar bin Sultan at Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas in 2002

A key member of the House of Saud and then-Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., Prince Bandar has such a long and close relationship to the Bush family he was given the nickname “Bandar Bush.” For obvious reasons, when the congressional joint inquiry report was first published in 2003, the 28-page portion on the Saudi ties to the attacks was completely censored at the insistence of the Bush administration. Yet the Bush family’s connection to the Gulf state kingdom is not limited to the ruling monarchy but includes one of the petrodollar theocracy’s other wealthiest families—?the bin Laden family itself. While Michael Moore’s film Fahrenheit 9/11 mostly whitewashed the real conspiracy of 9/11 it did reveal that numerous unquestioned members of the bin Laden family were given special treatment and suspiciously evacuated on secret flights out of the U.S. shortly after the attacks in coordination with the Saudi government.

The Bush-bin Laden connection goes all the way back to the beginning of George W. Bush’s business career prior to his political involvement in 1976 with the founding of an oil drilling company, Arbusto Energy, whose earliest investors included a Texas businessman and fellow reservist in the Texas Air National Guard, James R. Bath, who oddly enough was the American liaison for Salem bin Laden, Osama’s half brother. To put it differently, the bin Laden family and its construction fortune helped finance Bush’s start in the oil industry, a relationship that would continue through the 1990s with Harken Energy, later the recipient of an offshore oil contract in Iraq’s reconstruction alongside Dick Cheney’s Halliburton. The Bush dynasty’s financial ties to both the Saudi royals and bin Laden family went on as co-investors in the Carlyle Group private equity firm where the elder Bush’s previous government service contacts were exploited for financial gain. In fact, on the morning of 9/11, Bush Sr. just happened to be attending a Carlyle business conference where another bin Laden sibling was the guest of honor in what we are supposed to believe is another astounding coincidence. Just days later, Shafiq bin Laden would be spirited off on a chartered flight back to Saudi Arabia in an exodus overseen by Prince Bandar himself.

Osama bin Laden himself also got an evacuation of sorts when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001. It was legendary Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh who first reported that bin Laden and thousands of other Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters were suspiciously allowed to escape to Pakistan in an evacuation dubbed the ‘airlift of evil.’ This was corroborated in a leaked 2009 Hillary Clinton State Department email published by WikiLeaks regarding a Senate report on the Battle of Tora Bora and bin Laden’s escape where Clinton advisor Sidney Blumenthal is shown discussing the controversial airlift as having been requested by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and approved by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney — but don’t dare call it a conspiracy:

“Gary Berntsen, the head of the CIA armed operation in eastern Afghanistan, is a major source for the report. I am in contact with him and have heard his entire story at length, key parts of which are not in his book, Jawbreaker, or in the Senate report. In particular , the story of the Kunduz airlift of the bulk of key AQ and Taliban leaders, at the request of Musharaff and per order Cheney/Rumsfeld, is absent.”

Could it have anything to do with just a few years earlier the Taliban visiting Texaswhen Bush was Governor to discuss with the Unocal Corporation the construction of a gas pipeline through Afghanistan into Pakistan? It is also well known that the Pakistani government and its Inter-Services Intelligence Agency (ISI) had supported the Taliban for decades and during the 1980s had been the CIA’s main conduit for supplying arms to the Afghan mujahideen, including bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri’s Maktab al-Khidamat, the organizational precursor to Al-Qaeda. As shown in the documentary 9/11: Press for Truth, little in their relations changed in the years between the Afghan-Soviet war and 9/11, as ISI director Mahmud Ahmed was reportedly busted wiring $100,000 to alleged hijacker ringleader Mohamed Atta not long before the WTC attacks. Throughout 2001 both before and after 9/11, General Ahmed had repeatedly visited the U.S. and met with top Pentagon and Bush administration officials, including CIA Director George Tenet, making Prince Bandar not the only figure to have been caught financing the operation and where a direct line can be drawn between the White House and the hijackers.

While Bandar has thus far eluded justice, one year after the release of the 28 pages a lawsuit was filed on behalf of the families of the victims against the government of Saudi Arabia which presented new evidence that two years prior to the attacks in 1999, the Saudi Embassy paid for the flights of two Saudi agents living undercover in the U.S. to fly from Phoenix to Washington “in a dry run for the 9/11 attacks” where they attempted to breach the cockpit and test flight security. This means the Saudi government was likely involved in planning the attacks from the very beginning, in addition to providing the subsidies and patsy hijacker personnel for the smokescreen of blaming Al-Qaeda and making bin Laden the fall guy, whose links to 9/11 are tenuous at best. After all, the “confession” from supposed planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was extracted only after his being water-boarded 183 times while bin Laden himself initially denied any role in the attacks before questionable videos were released of his admittance.

The Saudi nationals who participated in the hijacking rehearsal were posing as students. However, the Sunni dictatorship was not the only country conducting a mass espionage operation in the U.S. prior to 9/11 under such a front. In the first half of 2001, several U.S. federal law enforcement agencies documented more than 130 different instances of young Israelis impersonating “art students” while aggressively trying to penetrate the security of various government and military facilities as part of a Mossad spy ring. Several of the Israelis were found to be living in locations within the near vicinity of the hijackers as if they were eavesdropping on them. The discovery of the Israeli operation raised many questions, namely whether Mossad had advanced knowledge or involvement in 9/11. Ironically, Fox News of all places was one of the few outlets to cover the story in a four-part series which never re-aired and was eventually scrubbed from the network website.

The Israeli “art student” mystery never gained traction in the rest of the media, much like another suspicious case in the “Dancing Israelis”, a smaller group of Mossad spies posing as furnishing movers who were arrested in New Jersey on the morning of 9/11 taking celebratory pictures with the twin towers burning in the background of the Manhattan skyline. The five men were not only physically present at the waterfront prior to the first plane impact but found with thousands of dollars in cash, box-cutters, fake passports, and Arab clothing after they were reported for suspicious behavior and intercepted at the Lincoln tunnel heading into Manhattan. Initially misreported as Arabs by the media, the men were connected to Mossad by an FBI database and held for five months before their deportation to Israel while the owner of the front moving company fled to Jerusalem before further questioning. It should be noted that if Israel were to have participated in a ‘false flag’ attack on the U.S., it would not have been the first time. During the Six-Day War in 1967, the Israeli Air Force and Navy launched an unprovoked attack on the USS Liberty, a U.S. Navy spy ship that was surveilling the Arab-Israeli conflict from international waters in the Mediterranean, an “accidental” assault which killed 34 Americans in an attempt to blame Egypt and provoke U.S. intervention.

If Israel turned out to be co-conspirators with the Saudis, it too is not as unlikely a scenario as it may seem. Wrongly assumed to be sworn enemies, it is an open secret that the two British-created states have maintained a historical covert alliance since the end of World War I when the first monarch of the modern Saudi state, King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, defeated his rival the Sharif of Mecca who opposed the Balfour Declaration. Authored by British Foreign Secretary Lord Balfour and presented to Zionist leader Baron Rothschild, the 1917 letter guaranteed a Jewish homeland in Palestine by colonization with European Jews. Once Sharif was out the way, the Zionist movement had the green light to move forward with its colonial project. Although Ibn Saud publicly opposed Zionism, behind the scenes he negotiated with them through an intermediary in his advisor, British agent St. John Philby, who proposed a £20 million compensation to the Saudi king for delivering Palestine to the Jews.

Ibn Saud communicated his willingness to compromise in a 1940 letter from Philby to Chaim Weizmann, the president of the World Zionist Organization and later the first Israeli president. However, Philby himself was an anti-Zionist and sabotaged the plan by leaking it to other Arab leaders who voiced their vehement opposition and it was only after this exposure that the Saudi king claimed to have turned down the bribe, something the Zionists would only solicit if they thought he would accept. Ever since, the ideologies of Saudi Wahhabism and Israeli Zionism have been center to the West’s destabilization of the Middle East which contrary to misperceptions was not uniquely plagued by conflict historically more than the Occident until the West nurtured Salafism and Zionism. Predictably, discussing either the Saudi or Israeli role in 9/11 has been strictly forbidden in corporate media, since both are among Washington’s geo-strategic allies and each hold immense lobbying power over large media institutions.

Less than five months after 9/11, Bush notoriously declared the nations of Iran, Iraq and North Korea as comprising an “axis of evil” in his 2002 state of the union address. In reality, the phrase is better suited to describe the tripartite of Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the U.S. government itself who are likely the real trio of conspirators behind 9/11. The infamous choice of words were attributed to neoconservative pundit and Bush speechwriter, David Frum, who claimed to have taken inspiration from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “a date that will live infamy” speech given the day after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. It was a continuation of a theme present in the manifesto of the neoconservative cabal authored one year prior to 9/11?—?“Rebuilding America’s Defenses” by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) think tank, whose members included Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Jeb Bush. The strategic military blueprint called for a massive increase in U.S. defense spending in order to “fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theatre wars”before ominously predicting:

“The process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event — like a new Pearl Harbor.

Ten members of PNAC would be subsequently appointed to positions in the Bush White House where their vision of a “new Pearl Harbor” conveniently materialized. Then again, there is plenty of evidence that Pearl Harbor itself was a ‘false flag’, or that U.S. intelligence and President Franklin D. Roosevelt had foreknowledge of an impending Japanese attack on the naval base in Oahu, Hawaii, on December 7th, 1941. As pointed out by the film Loose Change, it is probable that Roosevelt allowed it to happen on purpose in order to win public support for a U.S. entry into the European theatre of World War II, a move opposed by a majority of Americans prior to the ‘surprise’ Japanese attack. Given what is known about Pearl Harbor and the abandoned Operation Northwoods, which proposed both fabricating and committing terrorist attacks on civilian aircraft to be pinned on Fidel Castro in order to justify a U.S. invasion of Cuba in 1962, there are no grounds to assume that such false flag operations were ever phased out of military procedure before 9/11 or since.

Loose Change also made a useful historical analogy between 9/11 and the Reichstag fire, the 1933 arson attack on the German parliament building that occurred a month after Adolf Hitler was inaugurated as Chancellor and pinned on a 24-year old half-blind Dutch communist named Marinus van der Lubbe. While there is no denying the incident was used a pretext by the Nazi regime to consolidate power and suspend law and order, there is still a heated debate between historians as to whether van der Lubbe was the real culprit. However, it was coincidentally in 2001 when a group of historians uncovered evidence that a Nazi stormtrooper who died under mysterious circumstances in 1933 had previously confessed to prosecutors that members of Hitler’s Storm Detachment had set fire to the edifice under orders from paramilitary leader Karl Ernst, lending credence to the widely held suspicion that it was a Nazi-engineered ‘false flag’ all along.

Most Americans are unaware that a similar coup d’etat nearly took place during the same year in the United States in an attempt to remove President Franklin D. Roosevelt and install an authoritarian government modeled on Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany as part of a scheme hatched by an inner circle of right-wing bankers otherwise known as the the ‘Business Plot.’ It was a conspiracy that only became public after it was heroically thwarted by a whistleblower in decorated Marine Corps veteran turned anti-imperialist, Major General Smedley Butler, after he was recruited to form the junta. Incredibly, one of the prominent business figures implicated in the putsch was none other than future Connecticut Senator Prescott Bush, George H.W. Bush’s father and George W. Bush’s grandfather, who at the time was the director and shareholder of a bank owned by German industrialist and prominent Nazi financier Fritz Thyssen seized by the U.S. government under the Trading with the Enemy Act.

After his transformation, in 1935 Smedley Butler famously penned War is a Racketand there is perhaps no better phrase that would sum up the so-called ‘War on Terror’ today. Not only did the American Reichstag fire of 9/11 trigger a domestic police state transformation that overrode the U.S. constitution in an American equivalent of the 1933 Enabling Act and the Heimatschutz (“homeland protection”) defense forces with the passing of the USA-Patriot Act and founding of the Department of Homeland Security, but it fulfilled the prophecy of political scientist Samuel Huntington’s The Clash of Civilizations in a face-off between Islam and Christianity abroad. The prediction that religion and culture would be the primary source of geopolitical conflict in the post-Cold War world was an apocalyptic paradigm envisioned by right-wing orientalist philosophers like Huntington and Bernard Lewis which the PNAC neocon ideologues put into practice. Today, the ongoing COVID-19 crisis appears likely to have similar broad and long-term political, social and economic consequences and those who have doubts about the official explanation for the pandemic can hardly be blamed for their distrust given this history unless the lessons of 9/11 have gone unlearned.

Tyler Durden Thu, 04/09/2020 - 23:20
Published:4/9/2020 10:29:15 PM
[Law] FBI Ratchets Up Efforts to Combat Crimes Exploiting COVID-19 Fears

The country is (rightly) laser-focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, and the president’s daily press briefings with the coronavirus task force led by Vice President Mike... Read More

The post FBI Ratchets Up Efforts to Combat Crimes Exploiting COVID-19 Fears appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:4/9/2020 4:54:05 PM
[Markets] Former Baltimore Mayor Pugh Headed For Alabama Prison Former Baltimore Mayor Pugh Headed For Alabama Prison

Convicted former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh has been assigned to an Alabama women's prison, expected to report to jail by the end of April, reported CBS Baltimore, citing new court documents. 

Pugh was sentenced on February 27 to three-years after pleading guilty to tax evasion and fraud-related charges to the "Healthy Holly" children's book scandal. She was expected to report to prison on April 13, has since received an extension until April 27 so she could spend time with her niece. 

According to the court documents, Pugh has pending state perjury charges, which are expected to be resolved before she reports to prison. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the court system in Baltimore and pushed the hearing out to May 14. Pugh's attorney is asking the court to delay when she reports to federal prison until early June: 

"To require the Defendant to surrender to BOP [Bureau of Prisons] custody in Alabama, only to then have to be immediately returned to Maryland for the final adjudication of her state law charges, serves no legitimate purpose, unduly burdens the United States Marshals Service in having to unnecessarily transport the Defendant back to Maryland, could cause undue delays in the state court proceedings, and frustrates the Defendant's access to BOP programs that she can benefit from while serving her sentence in a designated facility," Pugh's attorney Andy White wrote in a filing. 

Court documents said Pugh was assigned to the Federal Correctional Institution in Aliceville, Alabama, a medium-security federal prison. Her attorney argues against her assignment to the facility, indicating it violates recommendations in the First Step Act. White says Pugh would preferably spend her sentence in West Virginia.

"An extension of the current surrender date would allow the Defendant time to petition the BOP to change her designation to a facility consistent with the First Step Act's requirement that BOP' place [a] prisoner in a facility as close as practicable to the prisoner's primary residence, and to the extent practicable, in a facility within 500 driving miles of that residence,'" White wrote.

The 70-year-old's political unraveling began in March 2019 when The Baltimore Sun uncovered a shady deal she made with the University of Maryland Medical System, where she sat on the board of directors, to purchase upwards of 100,000 copies of her Healthy Holly books for $500,000. By April 2019, the FBI and IRS raided her home, and days later, she went missing. Prosecutors say the former mayor netted $850,000 off the book deal. 

Pugh is a veteran Democratic politician that became mayor in 2016 and resigned in May 2019. Now she's headed to federal prison for hard time. 

Tyler Durden Thu, 04/09/2020 - 13:05
Published:4/9/2020 12:24:43 PM
[e984dfe8-c895-5501-825b-883f21f4cd77] Lori Loughlin prosecutors deny allegations of entrapment in college admissions scandal The prosecution in Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli’s case has denied their claims that the FBI entrapped them as unwitting participants in the college admissions scandal after failing to turn over key evidence.  Published:4/9/2020 9:52:52 AM
[Markets] CNN Suggests Wearing A Face-Mask In Public Is Racist CNN Suggests Wearing A Face-Mask In Public Is Racist

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

CNN has published a lengthy article suggesting that wearing face masks to guard against coronavirus is racist due to African-Americans not being able to wear them over fears they will be treated like criminals.

Yes, really.

Noting that the CDC has encouraged all Americans to wear face masks in the fight against COVID-19, Trevor Logan, an economics professor at Ohio State University, says he “will not be following this guidance.”

“We have a lot of examples of the presumed criminality of black men in general,” Logan, who presumably isn’t knowledgable about FBI crime statistics, told CNN.

“And then we have the advice to go out in public in something that … can certainly be read as being criminal or nefarious, particularly when applied to black men,” he adds, noting how a black man wearing a face mask “looks like almost every criminal sketch of any garden-variety black suspect.”

CNN Fernando Alfonso III then references how on social media “a number of people of color — activists, academics and ordinary Americans — expressed fears that homemade masks could exacerbate racial profiling and place blacks and Latinos in danger.”

In other words, the government advising Americans to wear face masks is discriminatory because blacks and hispanics who wear them may be mistaken for criminals.

Whether that is more closely related to institutional racism or the fact that black people and hispancis are overrepresented in crime statistics, I’ll leave to the reader to decide.

*  *  *

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Tyler Durden Tue, 04/07/2020 - 14:35
Published:4/7/2020 1:41:18 PM
[Markets] COVID-19 & China's Colossal Cover-Up COVID-19 & China's Colossal Cover-Up

Authored by Giulio Meotti via The Gatestone Institute,

We have been paying dearly for China's lies.

"This is one of the worst cover-ups in human history, and now the world is facing a global pandemic," said Rep. Michael T. McCaul, the ranking Republican member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, before the US intelligence community concluded, in a classified report to the White House, that China has concealed the origin and extent of the catastrophic global coronavirus outbreak.

The Chinese Communist Party's "failure has unleashed a global contagion killing thousands", wrote Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, president of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences, on April 1. "As we survey the damage done to lives around the world, we must ask who is responsible?"

"... there is one government that has primary responsibility for what it has done and what it has failed to do, and that is the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] regime in Beijing. Let me be clear — it is the CCP that has been responsible, not the people of China... Lies and propaganda have put millions of lives around the world in danger... In recent years, we have seen an intense crackdown on freedom of expression in China. Lawyers, bloggers, dissidents and civil society activists have been rounded up and have disappeared."

One more person has just disappeared: Ai Fen, a Chinese physician who was head of the emergency department at Wuhan Central Hospital, had worked with the late Dr. Li Wenliang. Ai, who claimed that her bosses silenced her early warnings about coronavirus, appears to have vanished. Her whereabouts, according to 60 Minutes Australia, are unknown. The journalists who saw what happened inside Wuhan have also disappearedCaixin Global reported that the laboratories which sequenced the coronavirus in December were ordered by Chinese officials to hand over or destroy the samples and not release their findings.

"If I had known what was to happen, I would not have cared about the reprimand, I would have fucking talked about it to whoever, where ever I could", Ai Fen said in an interview in March. Those were her last recorded words.

There is no record at all, however, about how this pandemic began. Wet market? A cave full of batsPangolins? Or a bio-weapons laboratory? No foreign doctors, journalists, analysts or international observers are present in Wuhan. Why, if the virus came out of a wet market or a cave, did China suppress inquiries to such an extent? Why, in December, did Beijing order Chinese scientists to destroy proof about the virus? Why did Chinese officials claim that US soldiers brought the virus to Wuhan? Why should it be scandalous that a US President calls a virus that began in China a "Chinese virus"?

Who announced on January 11 that Wuhan's wet market was the origin of this epidemic? The Chinese regime. It was later discovered that the first known case of coronavirus traced back to November 17, 2019.

The same Chinese regime later claimed that this coronavirus "may not have originated in China". What respected scientist or institution can now trust anything that comes out of China?

Many leading scientists have dismissed the claim that the Covid-19 virus was an engineered pathogen. This conclusion was seemingly based on the fact that Wuhan has two major virus research labs: the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which is apparently less than a mile from the market, and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) laboratory, handling the world's most deadly pathogens, located just seven miles from the market. The story was immediately and emphatically trashed as a "conspiracy theory".

Those scientists claim that the virus likely originated among wildlife before spreading to humans, possibly through a food market in Wuhan. They say that, through genetic sequencing, they have identified the culprit for Covid-19 as a bat coronavirus. End of story? Science, thankfully, begins by asking questions and then seeking answers.

Bats were not, it seems, sold at Wuhan's wet market. The Lancet noted in a January study that the first Covid-19 case in Wuhan had no connection to the market. The Lancet's paper, written by Chinese researchers from several institutions, detailed that 13 of the 41 first cases had no link to the market. "That's a big number, 13, with no link," commented Daniel Lucey, an infectious disease specialist at Georgetown University. So how did the epidemic start?

"Now it seems clear that [the] seafood market is not the only origin of the virus, but to be honest we still do not know where the virus came from now", notes Bin Cao, pulmonary specialist at Capital Medical University, and the corresponding author of the Lancet article.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that China's Communist Party is withholding information about the coronavirus.

If we do not know, it is necessary be open to all possibilities.

"Less than 300 yards from the seafood market is the Wuhan branch of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention" wrote David Ignatius of the Washington Post.

"Researchers from that facility and the nearby Wuhan Institute of Virology have posted articles about collecting bat coronaviruses from around China, for study to prevent future illness. Did one of those samples leak, or was hazardous waste deposited in a place where it could spread?".

"Collecting viruses" presumably does not exclude the possibility of a "leaked virus". Worse, if China is not able to protect its laboratories, it needs to be held accountable and made to pay for the devastating global damage.

"Experts know the new coronavirus is not a bioweapon. They disagree on whether it could have leaked from a research lab", stated The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Professor Richard Ebright of Rutgers University's Waksman Institute of Microbiology, and a major biosecurity expert, agreed with the Nature Medicine authors' argument that the coronavirus was not manipulated by humans. But Ebright does think it possible that the Covid-19 started as an accidental leak from a laboratory, such as one of the two in Wuhan, which are known to have been studying bat viruses:

"Virus collection or animal infection with a virus having the transmission characteristics of the outbreak virus would pose substantial risk of infection of a lab worker, and from the lab worker, the public."

Ebright has also claimed that bat coronaviruses are studied in Wuhan at Biosafety Level 2, "which provides only minimal protection" compared with the top BSL-4.

"We don't know what happened, but there are a lot of reasons to believe that this indeed was a release of some sort", China expert Gordon Chang said to Die Weltwoche.

"No one has been able to study it. How can you say it's not a release from a lab if you can't go to the lab? Indeed, we have seen Beijing do its best to prevent virologists and epidemiologists from actually going to Wuhan. The World Health Organization team went to Wuhan for like half a day with only part of the team."

That is another major problem. The potential major investigator of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic's origin, the World Health Organization (WHO), is now accused of being "China's coronavirus' accomplice". As late as January 14, the WHO quoted Chinese health officials claiming there had been no human transmissions of the coronavirus within the country yet.

China poses a biosecurity risks for the entire planet. One year before the first coronavirus case was identified in Wuhan, US Customs and Border Protection agents at Detroit Metro Airport stopped a Chinese biologist with three vials labeled "Antibodies" in his luggage. According to an unclassified FBI tactical intelligence report obtained by Yahoo News:

"Inspection of the writing on the vials and the stated recipient led inspection personnel to believe the materials contained within the vials may be viable Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) materials."

Why is China trafficking in dangerous viruses in the first place?

According to Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations:

"A safety breach at a Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention lab is believed to have caused four suspected SARS cases, including one death, in Beijing in 2004. A similar accident caused 65 lab workers of Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute to be infected with brucellosis in December 2019. In January 2020, a renowned Chinese scientist, Li Ning, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for selling experimental animals to local markets".

In February, Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao, from Guangzhou's South China University of Technology, wrote in a research paper:

"In addition to origins of natural recombination and intermediate host the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan. Safety level [sic] may need to be reinforced in high risk biohazardous laboratories".

Xiao later told the Wall Street Journal that he had withdrawn the paper because it "was not supported by direct proofs".

Chinese laboratory mistakes have happened before. By 2010, researchers published as fact: "The most famous case of a released laboratory strain is the re-emergent H1N1 influenza-A virus which was first observed in China in May of 1977 and in Russia shortly thereafter". The virus may have escaped from a lab attempting to prepare a vaccine in response to the U.S. swine flu pandemic alert.

In 1999 the most senior defector in the US from the Soviet biological warfare program, Ken Alibek, revealed that Soviet officials concluded that China had suffered a serious accident at one of its secret biological plants, causing two major epidemics of fever that had swept China in the late 1980s. "Our analysts", Alibek stated in his book, Biohazard, "concluded that they were caused by an accident in a lab where Chinese scientists were weaponizing viral diseases".

In 2004, the World Health Organization disclosed that the latest outbreak of "severe acute respiratory syndrome" (SARS) in China involved two researchers who were working with the virus in a Beijing research lab. The WHO denounced Chinese breaches of safety procedures, and director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Li Liming, resignedScience magazine also stated that "for the third time in less than a year, an outbreak of SARS seems to have originated from a failure in laboratory containment".

Moreover, three years ago, when China opened the laboratory in Wuhan, Tim Trevan, a Maryland biosafety specialist, told Nature that he worried about the safety of the building because "structures where everyone feels free to speak up and openness of information are important." Free speech and open information: exactly what Chinese regime fought against in December and January.

A Chinese video about a key researcher in Wuhan, Tian Junhua, which was released a few weeks before the outbreak in Wuhan, shows Chinese researchers handling bats that contained viruses. In the video (produced by China Science Communication, run by the China Association for Science and Technology), Tian says:

"I am not a doctor, but I work to cure and save people... I am not a soldier, but I work to safeguard an invisible national defense line".

Tian is also reported as having said:

"I can feel the fear: the fear of infections and the fear of getting lost. Because of the fear, I take every step extremely cautiously. The more scared I feel, the more care I take in executing every detail. Because the process of you finding the viruses is also when you can be exposed to them the easiest. I do hope these virus samples will only be preserved for scientific research and will never be used in real life".

For a month, the Chinese Communist Party, instead of fighting the contagion, did everything possible to censor all information about the Covid-19 outbreak. After President Xi Jinping declared "a people's war" on the epidemic on January 20, Chinese security services pursued 5,111 cases of "fabricating and deliberately disseminating false and harmful information". The Chinese Human Rights Defenders documented several types of punishment, including detention, disappearance, fines, interrogations, forced confessions and "educational reprimand".

After that, China lied about the real number of deaths. There are photographs of long lines of stacked urns greeting family members of the dead at funeral homes in Wuhan. Outside one funeral home, trucks shipped in 2,500 urns. According to Chinese official figures, 2,548 people in Wuhan have died of the Covid-19. According to an analysis by Radio Free Asia, seven funeral homes in Wuhan were each handing out 500 funeral urns containing remains for 12 days, from March 23 to the traditional tomb-sweeping festival of April 5, a time that would indicate up to 42,000 urns, or ten times higher than the official figure.

In February, it was reported that Wuhan crematoriums were working around the clock to cope with the massive influx of infected bodies. Wuhan's officials are apparently pushing relatives of the victims to bury the dead "quickly and quietly".

"Natural virus" does not exclude its fallout from a laboratory where pathogens are collected and studied. The Nature Medicine authors "leave us where we were before: with a basis to rule out [a coronavirus from] a lab construct, but no basis to rule out a lab accident", Professor Ebright commented.

"Debate may rage over which center it is, but at this point it seems undeniable that a center has been directly involved with research on viruses, although not necessarily on the creation of a virus" wrote Father Renzo Milanese, a longtime Catholic missionary in Hong Kong.

"In other words, the virus passed from a research center in Wuhan early on. More importantly there is also no question that the authorities were aware of the dangerousness of the virus, that they did not inform anyone and that they tried to keep the facts hidden".

US Senator Josh Hawley has introduced a resolution calling for an international investigation into China's handling of the spread of the virus. According to Hawley:

"The Chinese Communist Party was aware of the reality of the virus as early as December but ordered laboratories to destroy samples and forced doctors to keep silent. It is time for an international investigation into the role their cover-up played in the spread of this devastating pandemic".

Admitting a fault, as the Japanese did after the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011, might be one way for a country to be accepted again by the international community. Censoring, denying and covering up, as China is doing, will not.

"China claims that the deadly virus did not escape from its biolab," said a China specialist with the Population Research Institute, Steven W. Mosher.

"Fine. Prove it by releasing the research records of the Wuhan lab".

Tyler Durden Sun, 04/05/2020 - 23:00
Published:4/5/2020 10:01:42 PM
[Markets] On The Precipice Of Martial Law On The Precipice Of Martial Law

Authored by Matthew Ehret via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

In my recent paper Why Assume There Will Be a 2020 Election?, I took the opportunity of today’s multifaceted crisis in order to revisit an important Wall Street funded coup d’état effort of 1933-34.

As I explained in that location, this bankers’ coup was luckily exposed by a patriotic general named Smedley Darlington Butler during one of the darkest moments of America and profoundly changed the course of history.

The Deep State Plot Against JFK

The danger of World War and a military coup arose again during the short lived administration of John F. Kennedy who found himself locked in a life or death struggle not with Russia, but with the Military Industrial Complex that had become dominated by the many Dr. Strangeloves of the Joint Chief of Staff and CIA who fanatically believed that America could win a nuclear war with Russia.

Kennedy’s valiant efforts to achieve dialogue with his Soviet counterparts, move towards peace in Vietnam, support of colonial liberation, promotion of space exploration and advocacy of a Nuclear Test Ban treaty made him a target of the Deep State of his time. During this period, this effort was led from the top by JFK’s two most powerful American opponents: Allan Dulles (director of the CIA) and General Lyman Lemnitzer (head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), both of whom were proponents of pre-emptive nuclear war, architects of the Bay of Pigs regime change trap and advocates of Operation Northwoods (an ultimate “inside job” precursor to 9/11 which JFK subverted).

As historian Anton Chaitkin recently reported:

“Lemnitzer had displayed what his faction viewed as his qualifications for this role back in August 1960, when, as Army chief of staff, he announced that the Army was all ready to “restore order” in the United States after a nuclear war with the Soviet Union—to bring back normalcy just as the military does after a flood or a riot”

This plot was detailed in a quasi-fictional book written by investigative journalists Fletcher Knebel and Charles Bailey published in 1962 entitled Seven Days in May and swiftly made into a famous film with unprecedented support by JFK himself who gave the film crew and director John Frankenheimer full access to the White House, advisors and materials for the film which he believed every American should see.

In the story, a patriotic lieutenant discovers the plans for the coup which is scheduled to take place during a vast military drill whereby a President who is close to finalizing a de-armament treaty with Russia will be incapacitated in a bunker while a military regime takes over America.

Tragically, where the lieutenant is able to expose the plot and save the nation in the story, by the time of the film’s 1964 release, JFK had been deposed by other means.

Now 56 years later, history has begun to repeat itself with distinctly 21st century characteristics… and a viral twist.

 

The Stage is Again Set for Martial Law

Another President resistant to regime change and nuclear confrontation with Russia and China finds himself today in the White House in the form of Donald Trump.

As in 1933, today’s financial collapse threatens to rip the social and economic fabric of America to shreds, and just as in 1963 a powerful military industrial complex and private banking system manages a web of power which is devoted to overturning the 2016 election (and 1776 revolution) by any means.

The biggest difference today is that a global coronavirus pandemic threatens to be the catalyzer used to justify military dictatorship in America and broader nuclear confrontation with Russia and China.

Instead of names like “Dulles”, or “Lemnitzer”, today’s coup directors feature such names as “Pompeo” and “O’Shawnessy”… both Deep State assets highly positioned in 3rd and 4th place to take over the Presidency at the drop of a hat.

Terrence O’Shawnessy: The Man Who Could Be President

Having slipped silently under the radar four weeks ago, the American Government passed a new emergency protocol into law which vastly expands powers and procedures of Martial Law under “Continuity of Government” which must be taken very seriously.

These new protocols deal at length with the triggering of Martial Law should the nation become ungovernable through a variety of foreseeable scenarios that COVID-19 has unleashed, such as “unwanted violence” caused by “food shortage, financial chaos” or also if the President, Vice President and Secretary of State all become incapacitated for any reason.

Even though this act was classified “Above Top Secret” a surprisingly in depth March 18 Newsweek report by William Arkin documented how the “Combat Commander” of U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) will immediately take power as a part of the “Continuity of Government” procedures which took on monstrous dimensions under the control of Dick Cheney in the wake of 9/11. According to Newsweek, the new regulation drafted by the Joint Chiefs states that the military may take control where “duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation” even when “authorization by the President is impossible”. Arkin describes the new protocols for “devolving” leadership to second-tier officials in remote and quarantined locations.

General O’Shawnessy, (former Deputy of UN Command in Korea) currently doubles as the head of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and has devoted his past 14 months to the promotion of a military confrontation over the Arctic which he has described as “the new frontline of our homeland defense” against Russia and China who are “determined to exploit the region’s economic and strategic potential”.

NORTHCOM went operational on October 1, 2002 as part of the Neocon takeover of America. This neocon coup which came to full fruition with 9/11 was governed by a manifesto entitled the Project for a New American Century  which laid out a Pax Americana of police state measures at home, regime change abroad and containment of a rising China and Russia under a religious belief in a unipolar world order.

This continental organization interfaces closely with both FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security, and was given a wide jurisdiction embracing not only the USA but also Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas, acting as “primary defender of an invasion of America”. NORTHCOM interfaces closely with the deep state by hosting personnel from the FBI, CIA, NSA and Defense Intelligence Agency in its headquarters and is responsible for the protection of the President, Vice President and Secretary of State.

Most recently, RT has reported on March 28 that O’Shawnessy has ordered teams of “essential staff” deep into vast bunkers 650 meters below the surface in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado to “wait out the COVID-19 crisis”. Announcing this secretive mission, the General tweeted “Our dedicated professionals of the NORAD and NORTHCOM Command and control watch have left their homes, said goodbye to their families and are isolated from everyone to ensure they can stand watch each and every day to defend our homeland.”

Other military personnel have been banned from travelling and commanded to stay near their bases ready for action and as of March 30, over 14 600 National Guard forces have been deployed to all 50 states. Although they cannot currently engage in policing due to the 1878 US Posse Comitatus Act, Martial Law would render that provision null and void.

It is also noteworthy that only one day after the Coronavirus was labelled an “international public health emergency” by the World Health Organization on January 30, Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved nationwide pandemic plans and warned NORTHCOM to “prepare to deploy”.

This author doesn’t believe it to be a coincidence that patriotic voices who would typically be opposed to such a Martial Law agenda have been taken out of public life due to chaos emerging from the Coronavirus with Senator Ron Paul’s March 22 COVID-19 diagnosis forcing him into quarantine and the politically naive Tulsi Gabbard’s dropping out of the presidential race in order “to be prepared for the national guard duties”. It isn’t very hard to imagine a COVID-19 diagnosis, real or fabricated to take the President and other members of the government out of office at a moment’s notice.

Time is running out for America and only bold, decisive action taken courageously and swiftly can change the course of self-annihilation upon which the republic now finds itself.

Presidents Xi Jinping and Putin have opened their arms to welcome America and other western nations into their new multipolar system which is built not upon a worship of money or militarism, but rather cooperation and creative mutual growth. Project Airbridge collaboration between China and the USA has begun as a part of the Health Silk Road bringing millions of medical supplies to America.

Meanwhile a brilliant coalition of former Latin American heads of State called for the creation of a new just economic order and debt jubilee as a response to the failure of the neoliberal system which shines a principled light out of the current threefold danger of economic collapse, war and Martial Law.

Tyler Durden Sun, 04/05/2020 - 19:40
Published:4/5/2020 7:02:23 PM
[Markets] As COVID-19 Forces Classes Online, Colleges Face New Challenge: "Zoombombing" As COVID-19 Forces Classes Online, Colleges Face New Challenge: "Zoombombing"

Authored by Blair Nelson via CampusReform.org,

A new disturbing trend has emerged among Zoom conference calls called “zoombombing.” 

Due to the coronavirus, colleges and businesses have had to relocate their classes and meetings onto online video conferencing platforms, such as Zoom. According to the FBI, many Zoom video conference calls have been subjected to some form of hijack.

“The FBI has received multiple reports of conferences being disrupted by pornographic and/or hate images and threatening language.”

There have been several incidents of this happening in various college courses and meetings. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, for example, a mandatory diversity workshop called I-connect was hijacked recently. An individual appeared in the Zoom call showing a swastika on their forehead. This led to a series of mass emails that were sent to students who attended these sessions.

“During these workshops, online participants engaged in patterns of disruptive behavior, which culminated in hateful interruptions by a number of individuals using racist and derogatory slurs, showing images of swastikas, and making threats of violence,” said one of the mass emails.

The school said that it would report the incident to the Office of Student Conflict, as well as the Bias Assessment Response Team. 

"Any behavior deemed to be a legal violation will also be reported to the University of Illinois Police Department" UIUC added.

Incidents like this have occurred at other schools across the country. One notable instance happened during a Student Government meeting at the University of Florida. “BREAKING: the Senate livestream was just 'zoom bombed,' or crashed,” said University of Florida Student Government Reporter Chasity Maynard. “Multiple unknown people joined the meeting and wrote offensive comments, drew swastikas. The meeting ended abruptly after one person 'mooned' the camera.”

Maynard later issued a "correction," saying that "the Zoom meeting ended after images of genitalia and sex acts were displayed on the screen, but the meeting was not officially called to a close." 

"Genitalia, naked butts and swastikas flashed across the screens of Student Government senators and guests tonight as they attempted to attend their weekly meeting over Zoom," Maynard added.

Some UCLA lectures hosted via Zoom were subject to similar hijacks. According to the Daily Bruin, many classes at UCLA were interrupted by individuals yelling vulgar words or typing vulgar messages.

One student, Jessica Jackson, recorded the incident and posted it on her Twitter. Speaking to the Daily Bruin, Jackson said, “About five minutes into the lecture, someone was presenting as if they had a question, … and then finally, when the professor acknowledged the person, he just immediately jumped out with the N-word and was calling him that repeatedly.”

“Over time, I got my phone and started recording what was happening,” Jackson said.

“It just then spiraled out of control – chaos,” said Jackson.

The FBI has issued some tips to avoid these kinds of incidents:

  • Do not make meetings or classrooms public. In Zoom, there are two options to make a meeting private: require a meeting password or use the waiting room feature and control the admittance of guests.

  • Do not share a link to a teleconference or classroom on an unrestricted publicly available social media post. Provide the link directly to specific people.

  • Manage screensharing options. In Zoom, change screensharing to “Host Only.”

  • Ensure users are using the updated version of remote access/meeting applications. In January 2020, Zoom updated their software. In their security update, the teleconference software provider added passwords by default for meetings and disabled the ability to randomly scan for meetings to join.

  • Lastly, ensure that your organization’s telework policy or guide addresses requirements for physical and information security.

The FBI also encourages those who were victims of these incidents to report them to the FBI. 

”If you were a victim of a teleconference hijacking, or any cyber-crime for that matter, report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov," the FBI encourages online users. 

Tyler Durden Sun, 04/05/2020 - 14:40
Published:4/5/2020 2:00:25 PM
[Markets] "Medical Supply Arbitrage": How Hordes Of Middle Men, Profiteers & Scammers Massively Inflated Prices Of N95s "Medical Supply Arbitrage": How Hordes Of Middle Men, Profiteers & Scammers Massively Inflated Prices Of N95s

Americans hear it every day now during Gov. Andrew Cuomo's press briefings. In the middle of a crushing pandemic, New York and other states are being grossly gouged as they shop around for medical supplies. With most of their regular relationships exhausted, states are competing against each other, a nonsensical and costly "bidding war" that Cuomo has blamed on President Trump.

N95 masks, which are now among the most prized commodities on the planet, are in such short supply, that some hospitals in NYC simply don't have them to provide to workers, forcing them to improvise. Cuomo says masks that recently cost just 40 or 50 cents are now being sold for $7 a pop, a roughly 13x markup.

While the administration's failure to better prepare for the epidemic certainly hasn't helped, the New York Times on Friday pointed out another, bigger factor that's greatly contributed to this problem. Complex globalized supply chains have been disrupted by the outbreak, and with production largely centered in China, producers are effectively using the masks as political chits: Beijing has given them to Italy, and the UK - and even a few to the US.

But beyond that, the chaos caused by the outbreak caused such a mad scramble to buy up these supplies, that brokers are selling them at crazy markups, many because they bought them at already-crazy markups, and are now either trying to make a sliver of profit, or just break even. Even wannabe 'Good Samaritans' have fallen prey to this cycle, as the dogooders ask simply to be reimbursed for their costs, or just accept that they will lose money, which is hard to do during a time of looming economic catastrophe. At a certain point, it almost becomes difficult to differentiate the scammers from the do-gooders.

Others are exploiting relationships to act as 'brokers', middle-manning N95 masks and other supplies - the masks especially will become even more scarce and costly once the White House and CDC inevitably advise people to wear them in public - for modest profits.

Rampant crisis profiteering has already been well-documented by the press, as have the efforts by states and the federal government to police it. Earlier this week, AG Barr got up at the White House's daily press conference and warned that federal prosecutors would be cracking down. And many have been publicly shamed.

But even as Amazon bans the sale of masks to the general public, next-level 'brokers' are using the power of the internet to deal with hospital systems and other health-care providers who have essentially been forced to participate in the shadowy grey market to acquire essential supplies at a time when people's lives - even the lives of young, healthy people - are very much on the line.

One of the details that most stood out to us in Friday's New York Times story was the description of the practice as "medical supply arbitrage." Here's how it works, according to NYT:

Not every new entrant to the market is a good Samaritan. Groups on Facebook, WhatsApp and Telegram are teeming with posts hawking thousands of masks at inflated prices.

Some are wholesalers who bought pallets of masks from China or in liquidation sales and then marked them up. Many more are simply middlemen who call themselves brokers. They scour the groups for masks advertised for a relatively low price, and then repost the offer for a few thousand dollars more. They don’t handle the masks or put up their own money.

Yaear Weintroub is one of those brokers. A 22-year-old community college student from Brooklyn, he typically sells wholesale electronics to Amazon sellers. But the online forums he searches for deals became flooded with listings for masks last month, so he now spends his days trying to connect buyers and sellers for a bit of medical-supply arbitrage.

In a recent interview, he said he was working with a partner to close a deal for 280,000 surgical masks that would increase their price 20 percent and net the pair a roughly $40,000 profit. He said many of the brokers sold to other brokers, each one marking up the price, until the masks presumably make it to a nursing home or a hospital. He said he would prefer to sell directly to hospitals.

"They’re just more serious," he said. "So if I have the goods, I want a serious buyer for them. And besides, it’s a morally good reason."

To these sellers, medical supplies are simply another hot product to flip for a profit. Avraham Eisenberg, a New York wholesaler who is trying to ship masks from China, compared the rush for masks to the fad several years ago for fidget spinners.

As prosecutors crack down on re-sellers of medical supplies, the line between what constitutes 'gouging' and simple sales of products that aren't illegal to sell to the general public is becoming more difficult to discern. Barr's press conference appearance aside, last month, the DoJ said it would investigate people manipulating the medical-supply market. Then, five days later, federal authorities charged a Brooklyn man with lying about price gouging after he tried to sell 1,000 masks and other supplies to a doctor for $12,000 (he was also charged with assault for coughing on one of the agents).

It might still be legal, but anybody who's still doing this should watch their backs.

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/04/2020 - 19:55
Published:4/4/2020 6:57:01 PM
[Markets] Trump Fires Ukrainegate Inspector General Who Helped Initiate Impeachment Trump Fires Ukrainegate Inspector General Who Helped Initiate Impeachment

President Trump on Friday fired the intelligence community inspector general, Michael Atkinson, who brought a hearsay whistleblower complaint to Congressional Democrats, kicking off President Trump's impeachment. 

Atkinson's closed-door testimony was so troubling to House Republicans that they launched an investigation into his role into what President Trump and his allies coined the 'impeachment hoax.'

Ranking member of the House Intelligence Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes (R-CA) told SarahCarter.com that transcripts of Atkinson's secret testimony would expose that he either lied or needs to make corrections to his statements to lawmakers.

Trump notified the Senate and House Intelligence Committees of his decision to fire Atkinson, according to Politico, citing two congressional officials and a copy of a letter dated April 3.

"This is to advise that I am exercising my power as president to remove from office the inspector general of the intelligence community, effective 30 days from today," wrote Trump, who added that he "no longer" has the fullest confidence in Atkinson.

"As is the case with regard to other positions where I, as president, have the power of appointment, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, it is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as inspectors general," Trump wrote. "That is no longer the case with regard to this inspector general."

Trump knocked Atkinson on January, noting that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff's (D-CA) decision to withhold Atkinson's testimony was a "major problem."

Democrats had a fit at the news, with Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) calling Atkinson's firing "unconscionable" while accusing Trump (with a straight face?) of an ongoing effort to politicize intelligence.

"In the midst of a national emergency, it is unconscionable that the president is once again attempting to undermine the integrity of the intelligence community by firing yet another intelligence official simply for doing his job," wrote Warner in a statement.

Warner's House counterpart, Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) called Atkinson's firing "retribution" in the "dead of night" - adding that it's "yet another blatant attempt by the president to gut the independence of the intelligence community and retaliate against those who dare to expose presidential wrongdoing."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck 'six ways from Sunday' Schumer (D-NY) said Atkinson's firing was evidence that Trump "fires people for telling the truth," according to Politico.

Whistleblower lawyer and Disneyland aficionado Mark Zaid - who once bragged about getting security clearances for pedophiles, called the firing "delayed retaliatory action" for Atkinson's "proper handling of a whistleblower complaint."

"This action is disgraceful and undermines the integrity of the whistleblower system," said Zaid. "It is time GOP members of the Senate stand up for the rule of law and speak out against this president."

The whistleblower complaint effectively kicked off the House’s impeachment inquiry, which began in late September amid allegations that Trump had solicited foreign interference in the 2020 election when he asked Ukraine’s president to investigate his political opponents, including Joe Biden.

Atkinson opposed the decision by then-acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire to withhold the whistleblower complaint from the House and Senate intelligence committees — in particular, Maguire’s decision to seek guidance on the issue from the Justice Department, rather than turn it over to Congress as required by law. -Politico

To learn more about Atkinson, read here and here.

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/04/2020 - 00:10
Published:4/3/2020 11:21:54 PM
[Markets] America, We Have To End The Wars Now America, We Have To End The Wars Now

Authored by Scott Horton via The Libertarian Institute,

Can anyone think what our society might have spent six and a half trillion dollars on instead of 20 years of war in the Middle East for nothing? How about the trillion dollars per year we keep spending on the military on top of that?

Invading, dominating and remaking the Arab world to serve the interests of the American empire and the state of Greater Israel sounds downright quaint at this point. Iraq War II, as Senator Bernie Sanders said in the debate a few weeks ago, while letting Joe Biden, one of its primary proponents, off the hook for it, was “a long time ago.” Actually, Senator, we still have troops there fighting Iraq War III 1/2 against what’s left of the ISIS insurgency, and our current government continues to threaten the launch of Iraq War IV against the very parties we fought the last two wars for. This would almost certainly then lead to war with Iran.

The U.S.A. still has soldiers, marines and CIA spies in Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Mali, Tunisia, Niger, Nigeria, Chad and only God and Nick Turse know where else.

Worst of all, America under President Donald Trump is still “leading from behind” in the war in Yemen Barack Obama started in conspiracy with Saudi then-Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman back in 2015. This war is nothing less than a deliberate genocide.

It is a medieval-style siege campaign against the civilian population of the country. The war has killed more than a quarter of a million innocent people in the last five years, including at least 85,000 children under five years old. And, almost unbelievably, this war is being fought on behalf of the American people’s enemies, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

These are the same guys that bombed the USS Cole in the port of Aden in 2000, helped to coordinate the September 11th attack, tried to blow up a plane over Detroit with the underpants bomb on Christmas Day 2009, tried to blow up another plane with a package bomb and launched the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, France since then. In fact, CENTCOM was helping the Houthi regime in the capital of Sana’a target and kill AQAP as late as January 2015, just two months before Obama stabbed them in the back and took al Qaeda’s side against them. So the war is genocide and treason.

As Senator Rand Paul once explained to Neil Cavuto on Fox News back before he decided to become virtually silent on the matter, if the U.S.-Saudi-UAE alliance were to succeed in driving the Houthi regime from power in the capital city, they could end up being replaced by AQAP or the local Muslim Brotherhood group, al-Islah. There is zero chance that the stated goal of the war, the re-installation of former dictator Mansur Hadi on the throne, could ever succeed. And yet the war rages on. President Trump says he’s doing it for the moneyThat’s right. And he’s just recently sent the Marines to intervene in the war on behalf of our enemy-allies too.

We still have troops in Germany in the name of keeping Russia out 30 years after the end of the Cold War and dissolution of the Soviet Empire, even though Germany is clearly not afraid of Russia at all, and are instead more worried that the U.S. and its newer allies are going to get them into a fight they do not want. The Germans prefer to “get along with Russia,” and buy natural gas from them, while Trump’s government does everything in its power to prevent it.

America has expanded our NATO military alliance right up to Russia’s western border and continues to threaten to include Ukraine and former-Soviet Georgia in the pact right up to the present day. As the world’s worst hawks and Russiagate Hoax accusers have admitted, Trump has been by far the worst anti-Russia president since the end of the last Cold War.

Obama may have hired a bunch of Hitler-loving Nazis to overthrow the government of Ukraine for him back in 2014, but at least he was too afraid to send them weapons, something Trump has done enthusiastically, even though he was actually impeached by the Democrats for moving a little too slowly on one of the shipments.

We still have troops in South Korea to protect against the North, even though in economic and conventional terms the South overmatches the North by orders of magnitude. Communism really doesn’t work. And the only reason the North even decided to make nukes is because George W. Bush put a gun to their head and essentially made them do it. But as Cato’s Doug Bandow says, we don’t even need a new deal. The U.S. could just forget about North Korea and it wouldn’t make any difference to our security at all.

And now China. Does anyone outside of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps really care whether the entire Pacific Ocean is an American lake or only 95% of it? The “threat” of Chinese dominance in their own part of the world exists only in the heads of hawkish American policy wonks and the Taiwanese, who should have been told a long time ago that they are on their own and that there’s no way in the world the American people or government are willing to trade Los Angeles and San Francisco for Taipei.

Perhaps without the U.S. superpower standing behind them, Taiwanese leaders would be more inclined to seek a peaceful settlement with Beijing. If not, that’s their problem. Not one American in a million is willing to sacrifice their own home town in a nuclear war with China over an island that means nothing to them. Nor should they. Nor should our government even dream they have the authority to hand out such dangerous war guarantees to any other country in such a reckless fashion.

And that’s it. There are no other powers anywhere in the world. Certainly there are none who threaten the American people. Our government claims they are keeping the peace, but there are approximately two million Arabs and Pashtuns who would disagree except that they’ve already been killed in our recent wars and so are unavailable for comment.

The George W. Bush and Barack Obama eras are long over. We near the end, or half-way point, of the Trump years, and yet our former leaders’ wars rage on.

Enough already. It is time to end the war on terrorism and end the rest of the American empire as well. As our dear recently departed friend Jon Basil Utley learned from his professor Carroll Quigley, World Empire is the last stage of a civilization before it dies. That is the tragedy. The hope is that we can learn from history and preserve what’s left of our republic and the freedom that made it great in the first place, by abandoning our overseas “commitments” and husbanding our resources so that we may pass down a legacy of liberty to our children.

The danger to humanity represented by the Coronavirus plague has, by stark relief, exposed just how unnecessary and therefore criminal this entire imperial project has been. We could have quit the empire 30 years ago when the Cold War ended, if not long before.

We could have a perfectly normal and peaceful relationship with Iraq, Iran, Syria, Korea, Russia, China, Yemen and any of the other nations our government likes to pretend threaten us. And when it comes to our differences, we would then be in the position to kill them with kindness and generosity, leading the world to liberty the only way we truly can, voluntarily, on the global free market of ideas and results.

That is what the world needs and the legacy the American people deserve.

Tyler Durden Fri, 04/03/2020 - 22:00
Published:4/3/2020 9:18:41 PM
[Markets] Texas Case Could Produce One Of The First COVID-19 Hate-Crime Charges Texas Case Could Produce One Of The First COVID-19 Hate-Crime Charges

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

Jose L. Gomez, 19, may have the dubious distinction of being the first person charged and convicted of a Corona hate crime.

Gomez is accused of stabbing three members of a family of four inside a Sam’s Club. The family is Asian and police say that he was trying to stop them from spreading the virus. His victims included a 2-year-old and 6-year-old child. While other anti-Asian hate crimes have been reported in the pandemic, this one could result in an early plea or conviction.

The FBI report states:

“The suspect indicated that he stabbed the family because he thought the family was Chinese, and infecting people with coronavirus.”

The report itself confirms that federal prosecutors are considered federal hate crime charges. He is currently charged with three counts of attempted capital murder and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

There is a hero in this story.

A store employee, Zack Owen, intervened, tackled Gomez and brought him to the ground. Owen was stabbed in the leg and cut on the hand as a result of his brave action. Off-duty Border Patrol Agent, Bernie Ramirez was fortunately also present and rushed forward to place Gomez into custody. He also credited Owen for his bravery.

Most criminal defense lawyers would be asking for an immediate psychiatric evaluation and ultimately some form of plea bargain. This is not a case that you want to ever see the inside of a jury trial.

Tyler Durden Thu, 04/02/2020 - 22:05
Published:4/2/2020 9:16:45 PM
[Markets] Is America Preparing For Civil War? Is America Preparing For Civil War?

"The jump has no precedent in recorded history..." is how one analyst described the stunning surge in estimated firearm sales indicated by data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System latest report.

While actual gun purchases aren’t tracked in the U.S., the FBI system is largely considered a proxy for sales by the firearms industry and the table shows a 41% surge year-over-year (and a 33% spike month-over-month).

Jurgen Brauer, chief economist at Small Arms Analytics, told Bloomberg News, that handgun sales increased 91.1% year-over-year, per Brauer’s analysis, and long-gun sales were up 73.6%.

“We expect continued positive headline growth numbers in coming months as Covid-19 uncertainty lingers,” Brett Andress, a firearms industry analyst at KeyBank Capital, wrote in a note on Wednesday afternoon, according to Bloomberg.

What does that look like?

The last time demand for protection even came close to this was the last three months of 2015 as a spate of mass shootings in the US put tougher gun controls back in the national spotlight.

The motivation for this sudden surge is evidently a concern that the current (and expanding) lockdown being enforced across The Land of The Free is rapidly transformed into a far more tyrannical control over Americans' constitutional rights.

“The government is trying to do everything it can to keep society intact. But if society is unraveling, it’s up to us to protect ourselves,” said Andrew Dominguez, 36, a real estate agent in Pacifica who waited near the end of the slow-moving line to buy ammo for his shotgun.

John Chen, 40, agreed. He lives in Oakland but has construction outlets around the Bay Area, including in Pacifica. He was at City Arms to buy his first pistol for personal defense.

“This virus gave me the motivation,” Chen said.

“I’ve always wanted to have a gun, but I’ve been lazy. I see the news now, and the outbreak and the chaos.”

Jackson Lu, 24, came bounding out of the gun store, carrying a new $500 Glock 19 in its black plastic case. He wasn’t about to open it to show it off, though.

“I feel like there’s a lot of crazy stuff happening around the world,” he said. “I want to feel safe.”

Don't think it could happen?

As a reminder, just last week, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva attempted to shutdown all gun stores (on the basis of safety concerns).

However, facing a lawsuit over his controversial decision, he has now changed his mind, citing a federal ruling that gun stores are considered “essential.”

The post-COVID-19 future is looking grim: economic collapse, censorship, production control, soaring surveillance, and increasingly martial law. So which dystopian future are we headed for?

It’s not like we weren’t warned humanity was heading south, however, and there’s a lot more doomsaying to explore beyond Orwell and Huxley...and, as Helen Boyniski notes, our curious historical moment owes just as much to some lesser-known nightmare futures, and since we’re all stuck indoors under coronavirus quarantine, we might as well get familiar with the ins and outs of some of these lesser-known dystopias.

At the very least, it will prepare us for what might be in store post-pandemic. 

As we detailed earlier, it's only matter of time before this lockdown of American - leaving citizens jobless, broke, and without options - become the flashpoint that leads to an explosion of civil unrest and violent crime.

Tyler Durden Wed, 04/01/2020 - 21:45
Published:4/1/2020 9:06:47 PM
[Coronavirus] March Shatters Monthly Gun Sales Record as U.S. Faces Down Threat of Coronavirus

March 2020 set the record for most gun sales of any month in the history of the FBI's background check system, according to an industry analysis released Wednesday.  Industry group Small Arms Analytics and Forecasting (SAAF) estimates that more than 2.5 million firearms were sold in the United States in March as fears over the effects of the coronavirus spread. The buying craze marked the busiest month on record for gun stores, even as some faced shutdown orders from state and local authorities, according to the analysis.  

The post March Shatters Monthly Gun Sales Record as U.S. Faces Down Threat of Coronavirus appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:4/1/2020 4:35:33 PM
[Security] Don’t Fall Prey to Cybercriminals Exploiting COVID-19 Pandemic

As though things weren’t bad enough, now we learn that hackers are using the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis to attack individuals and organizations. The FBI has... Read More

The post Don’t Fall Prey to Cybercriminals Exploiting COVID-19 Pandemic appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:4/1/2020 3:35:39 PM
[FBI] Deep rot at the FBI (and the Times) (Scott Johnson) Eli Lake takes a look at the latest Department of Justice Inspector General report on the rot at the FBI in the Bloomberg column “The FBI Can’t Be Trusted With the Surveillance of Americans.” Subhead: “An inspector general report finds that the bureau has been systematically unscrupulous.” I posted a copy of Horowitz’s OIG “memorandum” here yesterday. It is not hard to believe how pervasive the rot at the FBI Published:4/1/2020 10:35:37 AM
[Uncategorized] DOJ IG Report: “We do not have confidence that the FBI” acted “in compliance with FBI policy” on FISA applications "a deficiency in the FBI’s efforts to support the factual statements in FISA applications" Published:3/31/2020 8:03:51 PM
[Markets] FBI Report: Border Agents Stopped A Chinese Biologist Sneaking Viable SARS, MERS Viruses Into US Airport FBI Report: Border Agents Stopped A Chinese Biologist Sneaking Viable SARS, MERS Viruses Into US Airport

Another bombshell "conspiracy" raising serious questions over the coronavirus pandemic and China's biological weapons research and espionage programs goes mainstream.

A now viral investigative report based on a newly released FBI document authored by no less than the Chemical and Biological Intelligence Unit of the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate (WMDD) finds that a Chinese scientist was caught under extremely suspicious circumstances transporting vials believed to contain the deadly MERS and SARS viruses into the United States.

Illustrative file image via USA Today

“In late November 2018, just over a year before the first coronavirus case was identified in Wuhan, China, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at Detroit Metro Airport stopped a Chinese biologist with three vials labeled 'Antibodies' in his luggage,” the lengthy report by Yahoo News begins.

“Inspection of the writing on the vials and the stated recipient led inspection personnel to believe the materials contained within the vials may be viable Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) materials,” the report reads.

The unnamed scientist claimed he was asked to deliver the vials to a US institute, though the FBI report also fails to identify the recipient. “But the FBI concluded that the incident, and two other cases cited in the report, were part of an alarming pattern,” Yahoo News reports.

“The Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate assesses foreign scientific researchers who transport undeclared and undocumented biological materials into the United States in their personal carry-on and/or checked luggage almost certainly present a US biosecurity risk,” the FBI report states.

“The WMDD makes this assessment with high confidence based on liaison reporting with direct access,” the FBI report adds.

The report cites US military experts who speculate it could be part of a broader Chinese program aimed at stealing US state secrets and research, and further that such foreign nationals caught with the materials might be unwitting mules, but regardless the case is part of an "alarming pattern". 

Other additional and more recent instances detailed in the report, such as in September 2019, detailed a separate case of a Chinese national's attempt to sneak vials of H1N1 influenza samples into Dallas.

Needless to say, as we reviewed precisely in past reporting related to the Wuhan Institute of Virology and its 'coincidental' proximity to the market where COVID-19 is claimed to have first emerged, the potential for deadly pathogens to 'escape' through mishandling during such haphazard airport trips by individuals trying to sneak vials across borders is high

And this is where the Yahoo News report pivots to the subject and main questions of our own reporting of two months ago, which readers may remember, was deeply triggering for Buzzfeed and others who set themselves up as gatekeepers policing and ensuring acceptance of only what they narrowly deem 'acceptable' analysis and questions: "the FBI appears to be concerned with dual-use research that would be used for bioterrorism," the report emphasizes.

Digging deeper into what we were all told is supposed to be a mere deranged conspiracy theory the Yahoo News authors then make the direct connection between COVID-19 and the aforementioned potential for bioterrorism: 

The report, which came out more than two months before the World Health Organization learned of a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan that turned out to be COVID-19, appears to be part of a larger FBI concern about China’s involvement with scientific research in the U.S. While the report refers broadly to foreign researchers, all three cases cited involve Chinese nationals.

And just to underscore further potentially what we're dealing with in terms of likely threats, the FBI itself said it approached and investigated the Detroit MERS/SARS airport case and others ultimately out of biosecurity and bioterrorism concerns.

"The FBI report refers to both biosecurity, which typically refers to the intentional misuse of pathogens, such as for bioterrorism, and biosafety, which covers accidental release. The FBI declined to comment on the report," it continues.

So it now appears the FBI itself has long been closely following Chinese military bioweapons research as well as dangerous pathogens' mishandling and 'misuse' in relation to unique deadly respiratory viruses, and asking the relevant and obvious questions. Glad to know we're not alone.

Tyler Durden Tue, 03/31/2020 - 17:45
Published:3/31/2020 4:59:41 PM
[Markets] Alleged 'Crisis Profiteer' Arrested For Coughing On FBI Agents And Claiming He Had Tested Positive For COVID-19 Alleged 'Crisis Profiteer' Arrested For Coughing On FBI Agents And Claiming He Had Tested Positive For COVID-19

We're not the first to remark that the novel coronavirus outbreak has exposed the worst of humanity, from spring-breaker 'covidiots' to unscrupulous 'entrepreneurs' who hit every Costco and Wal-Mart in a 60 mile radius to stock up on cleaning supplies and medical supplies.

They then turned around and sold those same products on Amazon and eBay at ridiculous mark-ups. Some might call it 'entrepreneurship', others would call it 'crisis profiteering'. Despite governors and AGs taking steps to prioritize prosecution of these 'coronantrepreneurs' - after all, many big box stores across the northeast and other parts of the country are still out of toilet paper - they persist, and sometimes, many try to act like what they're doing isn't a crime.

A south Brooklyn man was arrest last week for allegedly "coughing" on FBI agents who tried to arrest him after investigating him for selling medical supplies including N95 masks at illegal markups. The arrest was one of the first cases of profiteering in the New York area, though other incidences of "coughing" have occurred. One "knucklehead" is even facing terror charges.

The suspect, Baruch Feldheim, 43, was charged with assaulting federal officers and lying to them about his accumulation and sale of medical supplies, the U.S. Attorney’s office in New Jersey said in a statement released Monday, Bloomberg reports.

Ultimately, Feldheim wasn’t charged with profiteering, only with the charges stemming from assaulting the agents. The agents had been staking out Feldheim’s residence in Brooklyn, watching people leave with what appeared to be medical supplies. Prosecutors said that Feldheim sold supplies at markups as high as 700% to doctors and nurses.

Agents confronted Feldheim outside his home on Sunday (March 29). The FBI agents approached Feldheim outside his house, identified themselves and asked him to stay at a safe distance. In response, the agents said Feldheim "coughed in their direction without covering his mouth" and shouted that he had been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Hospitals in New York, New Jersey and elsewhere are running so short on masks and other vital medical gear that doctors and nurses are being forced to reuse disposable masks for days at a time. One doctor in New Jersey contacted Feldheim on March 18 through a WhatsApp chat group called “Virus2020!” and arranged to buy about 1,000 N95 masks and other goods for $12,000.

Tyler Durden Tue, 03/31/2020 - 15:20
Published:3/31/2020 2:29:31 PM
[] Major Errors Found In All 29 of the FISA Warrants The IG Has Reviewed The best and the brightest straight-shooting paladins. Trust your government masters. The Justice Department?s Office of the Inspector General has a "lack of confidence" in the FBI's procedures to validate information used to obtain spy warrants on American citizens, the... Published:3/31/2020 2:00:37 PM
[Markets] 'No Confidence': Problems Found In Dozens More FBI Spy Warrants 'No Confidence': Problems Found In Dozens More FBI Spy Warrants

DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz notified FBI Director Christopher Wray on Monday that he "did not have confidence" that the agency was providing appropriate supporting documentation to back up assertions, after violations were found following a review of more than two dozens Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant applications, according to a publicly released memo.

"As a result of our audit work to date and as described below, we do not have confidence that the FBI has executed its Woods Procedures in compliance with FBI policy," wrote Horowitz in a Management Advisory Memorandum addressed to Way.

"Specifically, the Woods Procedures mandate compiling supporting documentation for each fact in the FISA application. Adherence to the Woods Procedures should result in such documentation as a means toward achievement of the FBI’s policy that FISA applications be 'scrupulously accurate.'"

Horowitz discovered these additional problems after visiting eight FBI field offices and reviewing a selected sample of 29 FISA applications that were tied to both counterintelligence and counterterrorism investigations between October 2014 and September 2019. 

Horowitz said he chose broaden his review of FISA applications following the release of a sprawling report in December that found "fundamental and serious errors in the agents’ conduct" as it related to the Woods Procedures.

That report, which was particularly focused on the wiretap warrant FBI officials sought to surveil former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, identified numerous occasions where federal officials did not include the documentation to back up their assertions. -The Hill

"As a result of these findings, in December 2019, my office initiated an audit to examine more broadly the FBI’s execution of, and compliance with, its Woods Procedures relating to U.S. Persons covering the period from October 2014 to September 2019," reads Horowitz's letter. 

That said, Horowitz did not make a determination as to whether the identified issues had a material impact on the entire surveillance application.

"During this initial review, we have not made judgments about whether the errors or concerns we identified were material. Also, we do not speculate as to whether the potential errors would have influenced the decision to file the application or the FISC’s decision to approve the FISA application."

Tyler Durden Tue, 03/31/2020 - 13:50
Published:3/31/2020 1:01:02 PM
[FBI] Horowitz audits the FBI (Scott Johnson) Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz has just issued his follow-up audit on the FBI’s compliance with procedures intended to confirm the accuracy of its FISA applications. I have embedded the report below via Scribd. Based on the FBI’s execution of the four Carter Page warrant applications on which Horowitz previously reported, Horowitz had his doubts that all was well. This is a sideshow to the FBI’s investigation of Published:3/31/2020 12:29:05 PM
[Politics] BREAKING: Justice Dept audit finds WIDESPREAD flaws in FBI surveillance of American citizens Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz found major problems with the FBI’s surveillance of Carter Page in December of last year and promised he would do an audit of other FISA applications . . . Published:3/31/2020 11:02:21 AM
[Politics] BREAKING: Justice Dept audit finds WIDESPREAD flaws in FBI surveillance of American citizens Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz found major problems with the FBI’s surveillance of Carter Page in December of last year and promised he would do an audit of other FISA applications . . . Published:3/31/2020 11:02:21 AM
[In The News] ‘Lack Of Confidence’: DOJ Watchdog Finds More Problems With FBI’s FISA Procedures

By Chuck Ross -

The Justice Department office of the inspector general has a “lack of confidence” in the FBI’s procedures to validate information used to obtain spy warrants on American citizens, the watchdog said in a report released on Tuesday. The office of the inspector general (OIG) found errors in all 29 of ...

‘Lack Of Confidence’: DOJ Watchdog Finds More Problems With FBI’s FISA Procedures is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:3/31/2020 11:02:21 AM
[Markets] Despite "No Information", Homeland Security Fearmongers That "Violent Extremists" Will Exploit Public's Virus Fears  Despite "No Information", Homeland Security Fearmongers That "Violent Extremists" Will Exploit Public's Virus Fears 

Alarmists at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are now suggesting, in a new memo, first seen by ABC News, that terrorists could soon attack critical infrastructure on US soil, plunging the country into deeper turmoil during the COVID-19 outbreak

Besides the threat of a pandemic that forced tens of millions of people to panic hoard toilet paper, non-perishable food, hand sanitizer, and virus masks at Costco stores and other big-box retailers, DHS officials are attempting to convince Americans that a terrorist attack is imminent (talk about unprecedented stress for a society that is heavily medicated): 

"Violent extremists probably are seeking to exploit public fears associated with the spread of COVID-19 to incite violence, intimidate targets, and promote their ideologies, and we assess these efforts will intensify in the coming months," a DHS memo read. 

The memo was sent on Monday to police forces across the country by the DHS Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office. It continued to say that there is "no information indicating any active plotting is underway," but noted intelligence reports that suggest foreign and or domestic groups could cripple the US health care system. 

ABC said the memo comes after FBI Director Chris Wray told agents in a video message that they must be extra vigilant for terrorists amid the pandemic unfolding across the country.  

"With all the worry and uncertainty out there, we want the public to know that there are still things they can count on: We're here, and we're going to stay here, to protect them, no matter what," Wray said. "Because our criminal and national security adversaries sure aren't going to take a day off -- whether that's for the coronavirus or, for that matter, anything else."

DHS also warned about an ISIS newsletter that called for supporters to carry out attacks on overburdened health care systems in the Western world. 

ABC said the FBI's New York field office had intel of neo-Nazis groups encouraging members who were infected by the virus, to spread it to Jewish people and law enforcement officers.

With a pandemic already unraveling society and crashing the economy into a depression for the second quarter, and now the imminent threat of a terrorist attack as per DHS' new memo -- it should now make sense why the government is rolling out National Guard troops across the country. Is Martial Law coming? 

Tyler Durden Fri, 03/27/2020 - 13:25
Published:3/27/2020 12:34:34 PM
[8639772f-aff0-516e-8091-67a981ccdc55] Bennett & Leibsohn: Here's what nation must ask itself The measures being undertaken to fight the coronavirus will have far-reaching and potentially disastrous consequences Published:3/24/2020 4:13:20 AM
[Markets] "Travel Papers" & The Pandemic Patriot Act 2.0 "Travel Papers" & The Pandemic Patriot Act 2.0

Authored by Daisy Luther via The Organic Prepper blog,

Did you ever think we’d reach the point in the United States where you had to have papers to freely travel from one place to another? It appears we’re at the point.

The MTA issued “travel papers” to their workers

On March 17th, a few days before New York issued a shelter in place order, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority issued “travel papers” to their employees to prepare for a potential coronavirus curfew. The NY Daily News reports:

If non-emergency travel is restricted, workers can show law enforcement officials the letter if they’re stopped on the way to work.

“This letter along with current New York CIty Transit identification identifies this individual as an essential employee who is required to travel during the curfew imposed due to the Coronavirus emergency,” states the letter, which is signed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Police Department’s acting chief Joseph McGrann. “Please give this individual due consideration during this crisis.”

MTA spokeswoman Abbey Collins said the letter was distributed on Monday to a “limited number of NYCT bus employees living in New Jersey” because the state’s Gov. Murphy suggested imposing a statewide curfew between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. (source)

Clearly, the wheels have been in motion for several days. And it’s not just the MTA.

Your papers, please.

For everyone who thought the article about the Lockdown of America was a “hysterical overstatement” and that they could still do whatever they wanted because it wasn’t really being enforced, what are you thinking now that “travel papers” are being handed out? To me, this sounds like the lockdowns I wrote of yesterday were just the first incremental step toward a society that nobody hopes to see.

Yesterday, readers sent me photos of “travel papers” provided to them by employers so they could get to and from work. These are employees who work in industries like healthcare, pharmacies, and foodservice, as well as those who work in the production, transport, and sales of essential supplies.

One reader wrote, “We were told to show these if we got stopped on the way to or from work and that if the authorities gave us any trouble, to not argue and just go back home.”

Here are some of the papers that people sent. Identifying information has been redacted.

Papers that people sent were from Pennsylvania, New York, Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Kansas, New Jersey, West Virginia, Virginia, Oregon, Florida, Louisiana, and Ohio. Industries mentioned in the papers were trucking, grocery stores, medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, city transit workers, railroads, food production plants, pharmacies, gas stations, stores like Target and Walmart, and automotive repair facilities.

Most people were given their papers on Friday or Saturday and told they’d need them to get to and from work starting the week ahead.

I wonder who’s going to be checking your “travel papers.”  Will it be the local PD? The National Guard? The military? Maybe it’ll be all those TSA agents who are currently out of work but already accustomed to molesting innocent travelers.

What does this mean for those told they’d be able to go to the store?

We’ve been repeatedly told during task force press conferences that nobody needs to worry about buying extra supplies because the stores will remain open. We were chastised about stocking up and “hoarding” supplies. But if you need travel papers just to get to work, how will a person get to the store when they need to pick up some groceries? Will these papers only be required during certain hours?

It’s easy to prove you just went to the store when you have a bag of groceries in hand, but how do you prove you are going to the store? Will they just begin distributing the food to us as opposed to allowing people to shop for their own food?

A little clarity and less subterfuge would go a lot further toward preventing concern that we’re about to go full Wuhan here in America.

If I didn’t have supplies already, I would head to the store today and get enough for a couple of extra weeks at the very least. Here are some ideas for finding supplies amidst the picked-over inventory that remains.

So, what happens if you get caught without your papers? I’m glad you asked.

It seems like the DoJ is itching to suspend the Constitution.

At this point, the “Department of Justice” sounds like one of those other phrases the government uses to mean the complete opposite. Like the “Patriot Act” which is as far from patriotic as it gets.

And speaking of the Patriot Act, the government is now introducing what I’d like to dub the Pandemic Patriot Act 2.0.

The DoJ has secretly asked Congress to draft legislation allowing them to indefinitely detain people without due process during the coronavirus pandemic. Because who doesn’t want to add a little spice to our economic crisis with the added threat of indefinite detention?

Documents reviewed by POLITICO detail the department’s requests to lawmakers on a host of topics, including the statute of limitations, asylum and the way court hearings are conducted. POLITICO also reviewed and previously reported on documents seeking the authority to extend deadlines on merger reviews and prosecutions…

…In one of the documents, the department proposed that Congress grant the attorney general power to ask the chief judge of any district court to pause court proceedings “whenever the district court is fully or partially closed by virtue of any natural disaster, civil disobedience, or other emergency situation.”

The proposal would also grant those top judges broad authority to pause court proceedings during emergencies. It would apply to “any statutes or rules of procedure otherwise affecting pre-arrest, post-arrest, pre-trial, trial, and post-trial procedures in criminal and juvenile proceedings and all civil process and proceedings,” according to draft legislative language the department shared with Congress. In making the case for the change, the DOJ document wrote that individual judges can currently pause proceedings during emergencies, but that their proposal would make sure all judges in any particular district could handle emergencies “in a consistent manner.” (source)

What the heck are “pre-arrest” procedures, anyway? Is that the part where government investigators go and set someone up to commit a crime like all those “bombing plots” the FBI keeps saving us from?

I wouldn’t be surprised to see another 300-page legislation like the original Patriot Act that was rolled out just weeks after 911, giving us the TSA, indefinite detention, and all sorts of other dystopian nonsense.

Never let a serious crisis go to waste.

In the infamous words of Rahm Emmanuel, the former mayor of Chicago, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

It looks like the government is taking those words to heart with travel papers and new draconian laws.

Since I wrote the article about America locking down yesterday, more states have joined in. Now New York, California, Illinois, Connecticut, and New Jersey are all under restriction.

Is your state coming soon? Are these lockdowns being rolled out incrementally, starting out gently (sure you can walk your dog!) and then moving on to the point where you can’t leave your house without “travel papers?”

So far, 2020 has brought us an out-of-control deadly pandemic, an economic collapsestatewide lockdowns, and now travel papers and a potential new law to eradicate the Fifth Amendment.

I hesitate to ask what’s next.

Tyler Durden Mon, 03/23/2020 - 19:25
Published:3/23/2020 6:43:12 PM
[Markets] Why Is CrowdStrike Confused On 11 Key Details About The DNC 'Hack'? Why Is CrowdStrike Confused On 11 Key Details About The DNC 'Hack'?

Authored by Larry Johnson via Sic Semper Tyrannis blog,

Here is the bottom-line - despite being hired in late April (or early May) of 2016 to stop an unauthorized intrusion into the DNC, CrowdStrike, the cyber firm hired by the DNC's law firm to solve the problem, failed abysmally. More than 30,000 emails were taken from the DNC server between 22 and 25 May 2016 and given to Wikileaks. Crowdstrike blamed Russia for the intrusion but claimed that only two files were taken. And CrowdStrike inexplicably waited until 10 June 2016 to reboot the DNC network. 

CrowdStrike, a cyber-security company hired by a Perkins Coie lawyer retained by the DNC, provided the narrative to the American public of the alledged hack of the DNC, But the Crowdstrike explanation is inconsistent, contradictory and implausible. Despite glaring oddities in the CrowdStrike account of that event, CrowdStrike subsequently traded on its fame in the investigation of the so-called Russian hack of the DNC and became a publicly traded company. Was CrowdStrike’s fame for “discovering” the alleged Russian hack of the DNC a critical factor in its subsequent launch as a publicly traded company?

The Crowdstrike account of the hack is very flawed. There are 11 contradictions, inconsistencies or oddities in the public narrative about CrowdStrike’s role in uncovering and allegedly mitigating a Russian intrusion (note--the underlying facts for these conclusions are found in Ellen Nakashima's Washington Post storyVicki Ward's Esquire story, the Mueller Report and the blog of Crowdstrike founder Dmitri Alperovitch):

  1. Two different dates—30 April or 6 May—are reported by Nakashima and Ward respectively as the date CrowdStrike was hired to investigate an intrusion into the DNC computer network.

  2. There are on the record contradictions about who hired Crowdstrike. Nakashima reports that the DNC called Michael Sussman of the law firm, Perkins Coie, who in turn contacted Crowdtrike’s CEO Shawn Henry. Crowdstrike founder Dmitri Alperovitch tells Nakashima a different story, stating our “Incident Response group, was called by the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

  3. CrowdStrike claims it discovered within 24 hours the “Russians” were responsible for the “intrusion” into the DNC network.

  4. CrowdStrike’s installation of Falcon (its proprietary software to stop breaches) on the DNC on the 1st of May or the 6th of May would have alerted to intruders that they had been detected.

  5. CrowdStrike officials told the Washington Post’s Ellen Nakashima that they were, “not sure how the hackers got in” and didn’t “have hard evidence.”

  6. In a blog posting by CrowdStrike’s founder, Dmitri Alperovitch, on the same day that Nakashima’s article was published in the Washington Post, wrote that the intrusion into the DNC was done by two separate Russian intelligence organizations using malware identified as Fancy Bear (APT28) and Cozy Bear (APT29).

  7. But, Alperovitch admits his team found no evidence the two Russian organizations were coordinating their “attack” or even knew of each other’s presence on the DNC network.

  8. There is great confusion over what the “hackers” obtained. DNC sources claim the hackers gained access to the entire database of opposition research on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. DNC sources and CrowdStrike claimed the intruders, “read all email and chat traffic.” Yet, DNC officials insisted, “that no financial, donor or personal information appears to have been accessed or taken.” However, CrowdStrike states, “The hackers stole two files.”

  9. Crowdstrike’s Alperovitch, in his blog posting, does not specify whether it was Cozy Bear or Fancy Bear that took the files.

  10. Wikileaks published DNC emails in July 2016 that show the last message taken from the DNC was dated 25 May 2016. This was much more than “two files.”

  11. CrowdStrike, in complete disregard to basic security practice when confronted with an intrusion, waited five weeks to disconnect the DNC computers from the network and sanitize them.

Let us start with the very contradictory public accounts attributed to Crowdstrke’s founder, Dmitri Alperovitch. The 14 June 2016 story by Ellen Nakashima of the Washington Post and the October 2016 piece by Vicki Ward in Esquire magazine offer two different dates for the start of the investigation: 

When did the DNC learn of the “intrusion”?

Ellen Nakashima claims it was the end of April: 

“DNC leaders were tipped to the hack in late April. Chief executive Amy Dacey got a call from her operations chief saying that their information technology team had noticed some unusual network activity... That evening, she spoke with Michael Sussmann, a DNC lawyer who is a partner with Perkins Coie in Washington. Soon after, Sussmann, a former federal prosecutor who handled computer crime cases, called Henry, whom he has known for many years. Within 24 hours, CrowdStrike had installed software on the DNC’s computers so that it could analyze data that could indicate who had gained access, when and how.

Ward’s timeline, citing Alperovitch, reports the alert came later, on 6 May 2016:

At six o'clock on the morning of May 6, Dmitri Alperovitch woke up in a Los Angeles hotel to an alarming email. . . . late the previous night, his company had been asked by the Democratic National Committee to investigate a possible breach of its network. A CrowdStrike security expert had sent the DNC a proprietary software package, called Falcon, that monitors the networks of its clients in real time. Falcon "lit up," the email said, within ten seconds of being installed at the DNC: Russia was in the network.

This is a significant and troubling discrepancy because it marks the point in time when CrowdStrike installed its Falcon software on the DNC server. It is one thing to confuse the 30th of April with the 1st of May. But Alperovitch gave two different reporters two different dates. 

What did the “hackers” take from the DNC?

Ellen Nakashima's reporting is contradictory and wrong. Initially, she is told that the hackers got access to the entire Donald Trump database and that all emails and chats could be read. But then she is assured that only two files were taken. This was based on Crowdstrike's CEO's assurance, which was proven subsequently to be spectacularly wrong when Wikileaks published 35,813 DNC emails. How did Crowdstrike miss that critical detail? Here is Nakashima's reporting:

Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to the entire database of opposition research on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to committee officials and security experts who responded to the breach.

The intruders so thoroughly compromised the DNC’s system that they also were able to read all email and chat traffic, said DNC officials and the security experts. . . .

The DNC said that no financial, donor or personal information appears to have been accessed or taken, suggesting that the breach was traditional espionage, not the work of criminal hackers.

One group, which CrowdStrike had dubbed Cozy Bear, had gained access last summer (2015) and was monitoring the DNC’s email and chat communications, Alperovitch said.

The other, which the firm had named Fancy Bear, broke into the network in late April and targeted the opposition research files. It was this breach that set off the alarm. The hackers stole two files, Henry said. And they had access to the computers of the entire research staff — an average of about several dozen on any given day. . . .

CrowdStrike is continuing the forensic investigation, said Sussmann, the DNC lawyer. “But at this time, it appears that no financial information or sensitive employee, donor or voter information was accessed by the Russian attackers,” he said.

The DNC emails that are posted on the Wikileaks website and the metadata shows that these emails were removed from the DNC server starting the late on the 22nd of May and continuing thru the 23rd of May. The last tranche occurred late in the morning (Washington, DC time) of the 25th of May 2016. Crowdstrike’s CEO, Shawn Henry, insisted on the 14th of June 2016 that “ONLY TWO FILES” had been taken. This is demonstrably not true. Besides the failure of Crowdstrike to detect the removal of more than 35,000 emails, there is another important and unanswered question—why did Crowdstrike wait until the 10th of June 2016 to start disconnecting the DNC server when they allegedly knew on the 6th of May that the Russians had entered the DNC network?

Crowdstrike accused Russia of the DNC breach but lacked concrete proof. 

Ellen Nakashima’s report reveals that Crowdstrike relied exclusively on circumstantial evidence for its claim that the Russian Government hacked the DNC server.  According to Nakashima:

CrowdStrike is not sure how the hackers got in. The firm suspects they may have targeted DNC employees with “spearphishing” emails. These are communications that appear legitimate — often made to look like they came from a colleague or someone trusted — but that contain links or attachments that when clicked on deploy malicious software that enables a hacker to gain access to a computer. “But we don’t have hard evidence,” Alperovitch said.

There is a word in English for the phrases, "Not sure" and "No hard evidence”--that word is, "assumption." Assuming that the Russians did it is not the same as proving, based on evidence, that the Russians were culpable. But that is exactly what CrowdStrike did.

The so-called "proof" of the Russian intrusions is the presence of Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear?

At first glance, Dmitri Alperovitch’s blog posting describing the Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear “intrusions” appears quite substantive. But cyber security professionals quickly identified a variety of shortcomings with the Alperovitch account. For example, this malware is not unique nor proprietary to Russia. Other countries and hackers have access to APT28 and have used it.

Skip Folden offers one of the best comprehensive analyses of the problems with the Alperovitch explanation:

No basis whatsoever:

APT28, aka Fancy Bear, Sofacy, Strontium, Pawn Storm, Sednit, etc., and APT29, aka Cozy Bear, Cozy Duke, Monkeys, CozyCar,The Dukes, etc., are used as ‘proof’ of Russia ‘hacking’ by Russian Intelligence agencies GRU and FSB respectively.

There is no basis whatsoever to attribute the use of known intrusion elements to Russia, not even if they were once reverse routed to Russia, which claim has never been made by NSA or any other of our IC.

On June 15, 2016 Dmitri Alperovitch himself, in an Atlantic Council article, gave only “medium-level of confidence that Fancy Bear is GRU” and “low-level of confidence that Cozy Bear is FSB.” These assessments, from the main source himself, that either APT is Russian intelligence, averages 37%-38% [(50 + 25) / 2].

Exclusivity:

None of the technical indicators, e.g., intrusion tools (such as X-Agent, X-Tunnel), facilities, tactics, techniques, or procedures, etc., of the 28 and 29 APTs can be uniquely attributed to Russia, even if one or more had ever been trace routed to Russia. Once an element of a set of intrusion tools is used in the public domain it can be reverse-engineered and used by other groups which precludes the assumption of exclusivity in future use. The proof that any of these tools have never been reverse engineered and used by others is left to the student - or prosecutor.

Using targets:

Also, targets have been used as basis for attributing intrusions to Russia, and that is pure nonsense. Both many state and non-state players have deep interests in the same targets and have the technical expertise to launch intrusions. In Grizzly Steppe, page 2, second paragraph, beginning with, “Both groups have historically targeted ...,” is there anything in that paragraph which can be claimed as unique to Russia or which excludes all other major state players in the world or any of the non-state organizations? No.

Key-Logger Consideration:

On the subject of naming specific GRU officers initiating specific actions on GRU Russian facilities on certain dates / times, other than via implanted ID chips under the finger tips of these named GRU officers, the logical assumption would be by installed key logger capabilities, physical or malware, on one or more GRU Russian computers.

The GRU is a highly advanced Russian intelligence unit. It would be very surprising were the GRU open to any method used to install key logger capabilities. It would be even more surprising, if not beyond comprehension that the GRU did not scan all systems upon start-up and in real time, including key logger protection and anomalies of performance degradation and data transmissions.

Foreign intelligence source:

Other option would be via a foreign intelligence unit source with local GRU access. Any such would be quite anti-Russian and be another nail in the coffin of any chain of evidence / custody validity at Russian site.

Stated simply, Dmitri Alperovitch's conclusion that "the Russians did it" are not supported by the forensic evidence. Instead, he relies on the assumption that the presence of APT28 and APT29 prove Moscow's covert hand. What is even more striking is that the FBI accepted this explanation without demanding forensic evidence. 

Former FBI Director James Comey and former NSA Director Mike Rogers testified under oath before Congress that neither agency ever received access to the DNC server. All information the FBI used in its investigation was supplied by CrowdStrike. The Hill reported:

The FBI requested direct access to the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) hacked computer servers but was denied, Director James Comey told lawmakers on Tuesday.

The bureau made “multiple requests at different levels,” according to Comey, but ultimately struck an agreement with the DNC that a “highly respected private company” would get access and share what it found with investigators.

The foregoing facts raise major questions about the validity of the Crowdstrike methodology and conclusions with respect to what happened on the DNC network. This is not a conspiracy theory. It is a set of facts that, as of today, have no satisfactory explanation. The American public deserve answers.

Tyler Durden Sat, 03/21/2020 - 21:20
Published:3/21/2020 8:28:45 PM
[Markets] Liberal NPCs Hate Russia, Conservative NPCs Hate China Liberal NPCs Hate Russia, Conservative NPCs Hate China

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

The hashtag #ChinaLiedPeopleDied was recently sent trending on Twitter by “new right” pundit Michael Courdrey with the amplification of all the usual Trump bootlickers and their sheep-like followers, further feeding into the anti-China cold war hysteria conservatives have been aggressively pushing with increasingly frenetic urgency lately. Which is hilarious, since these are the same people who’ve spent the last three years making fun of liberals and calling them NPCs for doing the exact same thing with Russia.

And when I say the exact same thing, I mean literally the exact same thing. The frenzied, shrieking hysteria I’m witnessing right now among Trump’s base regarding China looks and moves in the exact same way the mental zombification of Russia hysteria looked and moved when it began tearing through rank-and-file Democrats in late 2016 and early 2017. The seething, screaming vitriol I get from the MAGA crowd on social media when I talk about this is identical to what I got during that period from Democrats: just as irrational, just as vituperative, and just as emotion-driven.

The 2020 outbreak of China hysteria is so identical to the 2016/2017 outbreak of Russia hysteria that as of this writing if you do a Twitter live search right now for the word “wumao” or “CCP paying you” you’ll see an endless stream of Trump supporters running around bleating accusations of being a paid troll for the Chinese Communist Party at anyone who disputes their hysterical China narratives.

Anyone who’s ever shared anti-establishment ideas on social media will immediately recognize this as identical to accusations which come from the pussyhatted #Resistance crowd of brainwashed MSNBC liberals, who accuse anyone who questions establishment narratives of being a paid troll conducting propaganda for the Russian government. These “How much is the CCP paying you for this?” accusations which have been cluttering up my social media notifications for the last 24 hours are indistinguishable from the “How’s the weather in St Petersburg, Ivan?” McCarthyite accusations I’ve been receiving from rank-and-file Democrats for the last three years.

Just like the froth-mouthed victims of media-induced Russia hysteria, the victims of media-induced China hysteria are always unable to justify their sudden Beijing anxiety in a way that makes any coherent sense. I’ve spent the last few days debating these poor wretches online, because that’s what I do whenever a new sociopathic establishment narrative surfaces to gain an understanding of how it works, and I have yet to encounter a single one which can coherently reconcile the sudden uptick in shrieking China hysteria with the thing that China has always been throughout its historical existence.

They’ll tell me it’s because China lied about the virus and made errors in the early days of the outbreak, but can’t lucidly explain how screaming about this helps fix any problem, and can’t justify the fact that lying about the virus and making errors is exactly what their president just spent weeks doing. They’ll tell me it’s because China is authoritarian, but can’t explain the sudden uptick in outrage over this since China has always had an authoritarian government and that has nothing to do with the virus. They’ll parrot establishment narratives about Uighurs and organ harvesting, but, again, can’t explain how this has any connection to the virus.

When I point out that there are extremely powerful government agencies which stand much to gain from manufacturing consent for new escalations against America’s primary geostrategic rival I mostly get more outraged, incoherent sputtering, but once in a while a more thoughtful China Derangement Syndrome victim will say they don’t want any escalations against China, they just want to end an economic relationship between China and the US which they perceive as unfair. But, again, this has nothing to do with the virus, and also it’s a mighty interesting coincidence that they’ve formed this opinion about the one nation who just so happens to be America’s primary geopolitical foe.

This inability to draw a rational straight line from the facts in evidence to their hysterical anti-China bleating tells you that they are not rending their garments over China because of facts in evidence, they’re reacting emotionally to recent propaganda narratives they’ve been spoon fed and then listing off the things they’ve heard about China in an attempt to justify their irrational behavior.

In reality these people are rallying behind the campaign to blame China for the health crisis they’re now facing because they understand that otherwise the blame will land squarely on the shoulders of their president, who’s running for re-election this year. Deep down they know full well that this isn’t really about China, but about protecting their president. But what they are actually doing, unwittingly, is manufacturing consent for an agenda which is far bigger and far more consequential than who wins the election in November. And it’s no accident that they’re being shepherded in this direction with the help of right-wing establishment narrative managers.

More than two years ago I wrote an article titled “Russiagate Isn’t About Trump, And It Isn’t Even Ultimately About Russia”, about how all these Russia escalations (and the propaganda used to justify them) are ultimately not really about Russia at all, but China. Here’s an excerpt:

This is what Russiagate is ultimately about. Democrats think it’s about impeaching Trump and protecting the world from a nigh-omnipotent supervillain in Vladimir Putin, Trump’s supporters think it’s a “deep state coup” to try and oust their president, but in reality this has nothing to do with Trump, and ultimately not a whole lot to do with Russia either. When all is said and done, Russiagate is about China.

In an essay titled “Russia-China Tandem Changes the World”, US-Russia relations analyst Gilbert Doctorow explains how the surging economic power China depends upon Russia’s willingness to go head-to-head with America and its extensive experience with US attempts to undermine the USSR during the Cold War. Alone both nations are very vulnerable, but together their strengths are complementary in a way that poses a direct threat to America’s self-appointed role as world leader.

And now we’re seeing one of America’s two mainstream factions cheerleading for increased hostility toward America’s primary rival, while the other faction cheerleads for increased hostility against that rival’s right arm. This two-pronged propaganda campaign has enabled the establishment via the Trump administration to escalate tensions not just with China but with Russia as well.

This tracks with something I’ve been pointing to for a while now, which I described in an article from last year titled “37 Tips For Navigating A Society That Is Full Of Propaganda And Manipulation”:

Notice how the manipulators like to split the population in two and then get them arguing over how they should serve the establishment. Arguing over whether it’s better to vote Democrat or Republican, arguing over whether it’s better to increase hostilities with Iran and Venezuela or with Syria and Russia, over whether you should support the US president or the FBI, arguing over how internet censorship should happen and whom should be censored rather than if censorship should happen in the first place. The longer they can keep us arguing over the best way to lick the imperial boot, the longer they keep us from talking about whether we want to lick it at all.

I wrote more about the way the establishment manipulators get the mainstream factions arguing over which nation should be targeted with aggression, rather than if any nations should be targeted at all, in a January 2020 article titled “On The Idiotic Partisan Debate Over Regime Change In Iran Or Syria”:

It is truly, deeply and profoundly stupid because the agenda to topple Iran’s government and the agenda to topple Syria’s government are not two separate agendas. They are the same. Supporting one while opposing the other is like wanting to shoot someone in the head but being morally opposed to shooting them in the heart.

Syria and Iran are allies. Eliminating one government necessarily hurts the other. Iran has been helping Syria to win the war against foreign-backed extremist proxy fighters who nearly succeeded in toppling Damascus before its allies stepped in, and should Syria succeed in rebuilding itself (something the Trump administration is actively preventing it from doing) we can be sure it would return the favor when called upon.

We are now seeing this exact same two-pronged approach used with Russia and China. We’ve actually been seeing it for years, like in this affectionate debate between former CIA Director James Woolsey and Fox News’ Laura Ingraham over which of the two nations America should be more aggressive toward, but it’s kicked into high gear now.

The end result being that you have America’s two mainstream parties arguing over which establishment agenda should be advanced and how establishment interests should be served, and hardly anyone in mainstream circles ever questioning if the establishment should be served at all. Which is just how the establishment likes it.

America has two war parties. The Overton window of acceptable mainstream debate has been ripped away from those who simply want peace and a healthy planet altogether, and now the only permitted arguments are about which wars should occur first.

This is gravely disordered, and it cannot continue.

*  *  *

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics onTwitter, checking out my podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemit, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon orPaypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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Tyler Durden Fri, 03/20/2020 - 18:05
Published:3/20/2020 5:21:53 PM
[Issues] ‘Craziest I Have Ever Seen It’: Gun Sales Surge Amid Coronavirus Fears

The coronavirus pandemic has put a strain on the gun and ammunition industry, as well as the FBI's background check system, due to surging demand.

The post ‘Craziest I Have Ever Seen It’: Gun Sales Surge Amid Coronavirus Fears appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Published:3/20/2020 12:21:14 PM
[ccfbbd2e-9816-55b1-b398-4b4b4a799ccd] Eric Shawn: I tracked down one of last living Jimmy Hoffa suspects. Here's what happened next Gabe Briguglio, who was known as "Gabe Bugs," is now in his 80's, but in 1976 he made it to suspect number 5 on the FBI's famed "Hoffex Memo" list, the detailed, confidential 1976 bureau report about the legendary labor leader's disappearance. Eric Shawn tracked him down. Published:3/20/2020 8:19:56 AM
[Markets] Detect, Deter, & Annihilate: How The American Police State Will Deal With The Outbreak Detect, Deter, & Annihilate: How The American Police State Will Deal With The Outbreak

Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

“Fear is a primitive impulse, brainless as hunger, and because the aim of horror fiction is the production of the deepest kinds of fears, the genre tends to reinforce some remarkably uncivilized ideas about self-protection. In the current crop of zombie stories, the prevailing value for the beleaguered survivors is a sort of siege mentality, a vigilance so constant and unremitting that it’s indistinguishable from the purest paranoia.”

- Terrence Rafferty, New York Times

What do zombies have to do with the U.S. government’s plans for dealing with a coronavirus outbreak?

Read on, and I’ll tell you.

The zombie narrative was popularized by the hit television series The Walking Dead, in which a small group of Americans attempt to survive in a zombie-ridden, post-apocalyptic world where they’re not only fighting off flesh-eating ghouls but cannibalistic humans.

For a while there, zombies could be found lurking around every corner: wreaking havoc at gun shows, battling corsets in movies such as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and running for their lives in 5K charity races.

Understandably, zombie fiction plays to our fears and paranoia, while allowing us to “envision how we and our own would thrive if everything went to hell and we lost all our societal supports.” Yet as journalist Syreeta McFadden points out, while dystopian stories used to reflect our anxieties, now they reflect our reality, mirroring how we as a nation view the world around us, how we as citizens view each other, and most of all how our government views us.

Indeed, the U.S. government has spent a lot of time and energy in recent years using zombies as the models for a variety of crisis scenarios not too dissimilar from what we are currently experiencing.

For instance, back in 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put together a zombie apocalypse preparation kit “that details everything you would need to have on hand in the event the living dead showed up at your front door.” The CDC, in conjunction with the Dept. of Defense, even used zombies to put government agents through their paces in mock military drills.

Fear the Walking Dead—AMC’s spinoff of its popular Walking Dead series—drove this point home by dialing back the clock to when the zombie outbreak first appears and setting viewers down in the midst of societal unrest not unlike our own experiences of recent years (“a bunch of weird incidents, police protests, riots, and … rapid social entropy”). Then, as Forbes reports, “the military showed up and we fast-forwarded into an ad hoc police state with no glimpse at what was happening in the world around our main cast of hapless survivors.”

Forbes found Fear’s quick shift into a police state to be far-fetched, but anyone who has been paying attention in recent years knows that the groundwork was laid long ago for the government—i.e., the military—to intervene and lock down the nation in the event of a national disaster.

We’re seeing this play out now as the coronavirus contagion spreads.

What we have yet to experience (although it may only be a matter of time) is that the government through the imposition of martial law could pose a greater threat to our safety (and our freedoms) than any virus.

As the Atlantic noted about Fear the Walking Dead: “The villains aren’t the zombies, who rarely appear, but the U.S. military, who sweep into an L.A. suburb to quarantine the survivors. Zombies are, after all, a recognizable threat—but Fear plumbs drama and horror from the betrayal by institutions designed to keep people safe.”

Indeed, zombie fiction perfectly embodies the government’s paranoia about the citizenry as potential threats that need to be monitored, tracked, surveilled, sequestered, deterred, vanquished and rendered impotent.

Why else would the government feel the need to monitor our communications, track our movements, criminalize our every action, treat us like suspects, and strip us of any means of defense while equipping its own personnel with an amazing arsenal of weapons?

For years now, the government has been carrying out military training drills with zombies as the enemy. In 2011, the DOD created a 31-page instruction manual for how to protect America from a terrorist attack carried out by zombie forces. In 2012, the CDC released a guide for surviving a zombie plague. That was followed by training drills for members of the military, police officers and first responders.

As journalist Andrea Peyser reports:

Coinciding with Halloween 2012, a five-day national conference was put on by the HALO Corp. in San Diego for more than 1,000 first responders, military personnel and law enforcement types. It included workshops produced by a Hollywood-affiliated firm in…overcoming a zombie invasion. Actors were made up to look like flesh-chomping monsters. The Department of Homeland Security even paid the $1,000 entry fees for an unknown number of participants…

“Zombie disaster” drills were held in October 2012 and ’13 at California’s Sutter Roseville Medical Center. The exercises allowed medical center staff “to test response to a deadly infectious disease, a mass-casualty event, terrorism event and security procedures”… 

[In October 2014], REI outdoor-gear stores in Soho and around the country are to hold free classes in zombie preparedness, which the stores have been providing for about three years.

The zombie exercises appeared to be kitschy and fun—government agents running around trying to put down a zombie rebellion—but what if the zombies in the exercises were us, the citizenry, viewed by those in power as mindless, voracious, zombie hordes?

Consider this: the government started playing around with the idea of using zombies as stand-ins for enemy combatants in its training drills right around the time the Army War College issued its 2008 report, warning that an economic crisis in the U.S. could lead to massive civil unrest that would require the military to intervene and restore order.

That same year, it was revealed that the government had amassed more than 8 million names of Americans considered a threat to national security, to be used “by the military in the event of a national catastrophe, a suspension of the Constitution or the imposition of martial law.” The program’s name, Main Core, refers to the fact that it contains “copies of the ‘main core’ or essence of each item of intelligence information on Americans produced by the FBI and the other agencies of the U.S. intelligence community.”

Also in 2008, the Pentagon launched the Minerva Initiative, a $75 million military-driven research project focused on studying social behavior in order to determine how best to cope with mass civil disobedience or uprisings. The Minerva Initiative has funded projects such as “Who Does Not Become a Terrorist, and Why?” which “conflates peaceful activists with ‘supporters of political violence’ who are different from terrorists only in that they do not embark on ‘armed militancy’ themselves.”

In 2009, the Dept. of Homeland Security issued its reports on Rightwing and Leftwing Extremism, in which the terms “extremist” and “terrorist” were used interchangeably to describe citizens they perceived to be disgruntled or anti-government.

Meanwhile, a government campaign was underway to spy on Americans’ mail, email and cell phone communications. News reports indicate that the U.S. Postal Service has handled more than 150,000 requests by federal and state law enforcement agencies to monitor Americans’ mail, in addition to photographing every piece of mail sent through the postal system.

Fast forward a few years more and local police were being transformed into extensions of the military, taught to view members of their community as suspects, trained to shoot first and ask questions later, and equipped with all of the technology and weaponry of a soldier on a battlefield.

The Obama administration then hired a domestic terrorism czar whose job is to focus on anti-government American “extremists” who have been designated a greater threat to America than ISIS or al Qaeda. As part of the government’s so-called war on right-wing extremism, the Obama administration agreed to partner with the United Nations to take part in its Strong Cities Network program, which is training local police agencies across America in how to identify, fight and prevent extremism.

Nothing has changed for the better under the Trump Administration.

Those who believe in and exercise their rights under the Constitution (namely, the right to speak freely, worship freely, associate with like-minded individuals who share their political views, criticize the government, own a weapon, demand a warrant before being questioned or searched, or any other activity viewed as potentially anti-government, racist, bigoted, anarchic or sovereign), continue to be promoted to the top of the government’s terrorism watch list.

“We the people” or, more appropriately, “we the zombies” are the enemy in the eyes of the government. This coronavirus merely ups the ante.

So when presented with the Defense Department’s battle plan for defeating an army of the walking dead, you might find yourself tempted to giggle over the fact that a taxpayer-funded government bureaucrat actually took the time to research and write about vegetarian zombies, evil magic zombies, chicken zombies, space zombies, bio-engineered weaponized zombies, radiation zombies, symbiant-induced zombies, and pathogenic zombies.

However, in an age of extreme government paranoia, this is no laughing matter.

The DOD’s strategy for dealing with a zombie uprising, outlined in “CONOP 8888,” is for all intents and purposes a training manual for the government in how to put down a citizen uprising or at least an uprising of individuals “infected” with a dangerous disease or dangerous ideas about freedom.

Rest assured that the tactics and difficulties outlined in the “fictional training scenario” are all too real, beginning with martial law.

As the DOD training manual states:

“zombies [stand-ins for “we the people”] are horribly dangerous to all human life and zombie infections have the potential to seriously undermine national security and economic activities that sustain our way of life. Therefore having a population that is not composed of zombies or at risk from their malign influence is vital to U.S. and Allied national interests.”

So how does the military plan to put down a zombie (a.k.a. citizen) uprising?

The strategy manual outlines five phases necessary for a counter-offensive: shape, deter, seize initiative, dominate, stabilize and restore civil authority. Here are a few details:

  • Phase 0 (Shape): Conduct general zombie awareness training. Monitor increased threats (i.e., surveillance). Carry out military drills. Synchronize contingency plans between federal and state agencies. Anticipate and prepare for a breakdown in law and order.

  • Phase 1 (Deter): Recognize that zombies cannot be deterred or reasoned with. Carry out training drills to discourage other countries from developing or deploying attack zombies and publicly reinforce the government’s ability to combat a zombie threat. Initiate intelligence sharing between federal and state agencies. Assist the Dept. of Homeland Security in identifying or discouraging immigrants from areas where zombie-related diseases originate.

  • Phase 2 (Seize initiative): Recall all military personal to their duty stations. Fortify all military outposts. Deploy air and ground forces for at least 35 days. Carry out confidence-building measures with nuclear-armed peers such as Russia and China to ensure they do not misinterpret the government’s zombie countermeasures as preparations for war. Establish quarantine zones. Distribute explosion-resistant protective equipment. Place the military on red alert. Begin limited scale military operations to combat zombie threats. Carry out combat operations against zombie populations within the United States that were “previously” U.S. citizens.

  • Phase 3 (Dominate): Lock down all military bases for 30 days. Shelter all essential government personnel for at least 40 days. Equip all government agents with military protective gear. Issue orders for military to kill all non-human life on sight. Initiate bomber and missile strikes against targeted sources of zombie infection, including the infrastructure. Burn all zombie corpses. Deploy military to lock down the beaches and waterways.

  • Phase 4 (Stabilize): Send out recon teams to check for remaining threats and survey the status of basic services (water, power, sewage infrastructure, air, and lines of communication). Execute a counter-zombie ISR plan to ID holdout pockets of zombie resistance. Use all military resources to target any remaining regions of zombie holdouts and influence. Continue all actions from the Dominate phase.

  • Phase 5 (Restore civil authority): Deploy military personnel to assist any surviving civil authorities in disaster zones. Reconstitute combat capabilities at various military bases. Prepare to redeploy military forces to attack surviving zombie holdouts. Restore basic services in disaster areas.

Notice the similarities?

Surveillance. Military drills. Awareness training. Militarized police forces. Martial law.

As I point out in my book, Battlefield America: The War on the American People, if there is any lesson to be learned, it is simply this: whether the threat to national security comes in the form of imaginary zombies, actual terrorists, American citizens infected with the coronavirus, or disgruntled American citizens infected with dangerous ideas about freedom, the government’s response to such threats remains the same: detect, deter and annihilate.

Tyler Durden Tue, 03/17/2020 - 23:10
Published:3/17/2020 10:13:56 PM
[Markets] Man Charged After Threatening To Kill Adam Schiff Man Charged After Threatening To Kill Adam Schiff

US Attorney John Durham charged a Connecticut man with threatening to kill Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) in November, when the California lawmaker was spearheading the impeachment of President Trump, according to the Justice Department.

"I want to kill you with my bare hands and smash your sick little round fat lying face in," said 62-year-old Robert M. Phelps in an online meeting request sent to Schiff's office. For the date requested, Phelps wrote "Measure your Coffin day."

The FBI ultimately traced the message to Mr. Phelps in Torrington, Conn. When investigators interviewed him in December, he told them he was a Republican, he had a right to contact members of Congress and he needed to protect Mr. Trump, the documents said. He also suggested to investigators Democrats who were involved in Mr. Trump’s impeachment hearings be arrested.

Mr. Phelps was arrested Friday and released on bond. A lawyer for the man couldn’t be reached for comment. A spokesman for Mr. Schiff declined to comment. -WSJ

As chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Schiff led the majority of the House Democrats' inquiry that led to President Trump's impeachment in the House in December. He also served as the lead impeachment manager in the Senate trial. From 1987 to 1993 Schiff was an Assistant US Attorney in the Central District of California.

Trump was acquitted by the GOP-controlled Senate in February, rejecting House findings that Trump abused his office when he asked Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the case against Phelps was brought by Connecticut US attorney John Durham, who is currently leading a wide-ranging investigation into the origins of the FBI operation against the Trump campaign in 2016 to determine whether there were any ties to a Kremlin interference campaign.

Phelps faces up to 10 years for threatening to assault and murder a US official, and five years for making interstate threats. The matter is being investigated by the FBI.

Tyler Durden Tue, 03/17/2020 - 09:29
Published:3/17/2020 8:32:28 AM
[Markets] DOJ Files To Drop Charges Against Russian 'Bot Farms' That Fought Mueller Indictment DOJ Files To Drop Charges Against Russian 'Bot Farms' That Fought Mueller Indictment

Less than a year after a US District court judge dealt a blow to the "Russian active measures" talking point when she ruled that Robert Mueller failed to link them to the Kremlin, the Justice Department has moved to drop all charges against the shell companies accused of interfering in the 2016 US election.

Mueller charged the companies, Concord Management and Concord Consulting in 2018 - along with 13 Russians and another company, the Internet Research Agency - in what prosecutors claimed was a sophisticated scheme to "knowingly and intentionally"  divide America through disinformation and election interference.

To Mueller's surprise, Concord actually showed up to a Washington courtroom to fight the charges - which Mueller's team tried to delay by claiming that Concord never served in the case, as they didn't 'properly' answer the special counsel's summons. When Concord argued that they appeared as provided by the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, US District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich agreed.

I don’t think anyone (including Mueller) anticipated that any of the defendants would appear in court to defend against the charges. Rather, the Mueller prosecutors seem to have obtained the indictment to serve a public relations purpose, laying out the case for interference as understood by the government and lending a veneer of respectability to the Mueller Switch Project.

One of the Russian corporate defendants nevertheless hired counsel to contest the charges. In April two Washington-area attorneys — Eric Dubelier and Kate Seikaly of the Reed Smith firm — filed appearances in court on behalf of Concord Management and Consulting. Josh Gerstein covered that turn of events for Politico here. -Powerline Blog

Prosecutors fought tooth and nail to keep confidential information out of Concord's hands - arguing that the defendants would obtain details about the government's sources and methods. Judge Friedrich, however, ruled last September that it was "significant and prejudicial that the government itself drew a link between these defendants and the Russian government," adding "In short, the Court concludes that the government violated Rule 57.7 by making or authorizing the release of public statements that linked the defendants' alleged activities to the Russian government..."

So, with trial approaching next month, prosecutors recommended that the Justice Department drop the charges against the companies in order to preserve national security interests and, as the New York Times describes it, "prevent Russia from weaponizing delicate American law enforcement information." Another factor was that the defendants - even if found guilty, would be difficult to meaningfully punish in the United States.

"Concord has been eager and aggressive in using the judicial system to gather information about how the United States detects and prevents foreign election interference," prosecutors said in a Monday court filing.

Of note, the day the charges were levied against the Russians which included allegations of a wide-ranging influence campaign over social media, former Facebook then-VP of advertising Rob Goldman admitted in a series of tweets that the majority of advertising purchased by Russians on Facebook occurred after the election - and their strategy was to "sow discord and divide Americans", as opposed to help Donald Trump win.

Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, paid a former UK spy to use Russian sources in a sham dossier, which the Obama FBI used to obtain a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign - while rumors of the Trump colluding with Russia were seeded to the media a month before the election by said operative. Meddlingly.

Tyler Durden Tue, 03/17/2020 - 07:52
Published:3/17/2020 7:01:06 AM
[Markets] Event 201 Unfolds: Covid-19 Action Platform = Global Government Event 201 Unfolds: Covid-19 Action Platform = Global Government

In late January we noted Event 201's significance: 

Only three months ago, John Hopkins, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Economic Forum (a hive of self-professed globalists) ran a "pandemic simulation" called "Event 201" specifically focused on Coronavirus.  Not Ebola, or Swine Flu or even Avian Flu - but CORONAVIRUS.  The simulation features the spread of coronavirus in South America, blamed on animal to human transmission (pigs).  The conclusion of the exercise was that national governments were nowhere near ready, scoring 40 out of 100 on their preparedness scale.  The simulation projected over 65 million deaths worldwide.

Event 201 played out almost exactly as it has been in China today.  Some very disingenuous or perhaps rather stupid people have been arguing that this kind of thing is "normal", claiming that we are "lucky" that the elites have been running simulations in advance in order to "save us" from a coronavirus outbreak.  I assert that Event 201 was not a simulation but a war-game to study the possible outcomes of an event the globalists already knew was coming.  Set aside the fact that before almost every major crisis event and terrorist attack for the past few decades authorities were running simulations for that exact event right before it happened; does anyone really believe that Event 201 is pure coincidence?

And warned that while it was still hard to say with certainty, this appears to be the “black swan” that the globalists were waiting for (or planning) all along. 

In the discussion below, Derrick Broze discusses a recent announcement by the World Health Organization, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control regarding the Event 201 pandemic exercise and the new COVID Action Platform. What does this mean for liberty?

But what do globalists have to gain directly from a coronavirus pandemic beyond simple chaos that can be exploited?

As Max Parry asks and answers below, is the global pandemic a product of the elites' Mathusian agenda and US biowarfare?

On March 11th, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to be a global pandemic, the first since the H1N1 swine flu in 2009. Initially reported in the city of Wuhan in Central China in December, just four months later there are now over 150,000 cases in more than 130 countries which has put many on total lockdown while the world economy has been brought to a virtual standstill. While the People’s Republic of China was the first country to report COVID-19, there has been a widespread presumption that the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) must have emerged in the capital of Hubei province that has not been held under sufficient scrutiny by Western corporate media.

The question of whether the COVID-19 coronavirus could have come from the U.S. army was controversially raised by China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Liljian Zhao, who tweeted an article from the Center for Research on Globalization website which subsequently went viral. Feigning concern over the spread of “disinformation”, Western media coverage uniformly avoided sourcing the article Zhao had shared on social media while predictably dismissing the claim as a “conspiracy theory.” Meanwhile, Iran’s Civil Defense Chief also said the coronavirus could be a biological attack on China and Iran, as the Islamic Republic has been the third-most impacted nation with more than 12,000 cases including many at the highest levels of its government with multiple senior officials infected. Contrary to such mainstream media scaremongering, it is completely reasonable and should be permitted to speculate about the origins of the virus. That Zhao’s posing of the theory received such a hostile response from the U.S. establishment is telling of how delicate their propaganda echo chamber is.

?Although the disease is widely assumed to have been first transmitted through zoonosis because the earliest grouping of cases were linked to a Wuhan seafood market trading exotic wildlife in late December, the actual first known case was traced to the beginning of the month and may not have been originally passed through an animal. Many on the political right have even suggested the coronavirus is an effect of Chinese biological warfare which unexpectedly leaked from a lab in Wuhan, a theory disseminated in the pages of propaganda rags like The Washington Times, a newspaper owned by the founder of the right-wing Korean Unification Church cult, Sun Myung Moon, as well as The Epoch Times of the similarly fascistic religious sect of Chinese expatriates, the CIA-linked Falun Gong. In spite of that, it is true that the Wuhan Institute of Virology has close ties to the Galveston National Laboratory in the University of Texas, one of the Pentagon’s largest biological defense lab programs. Whereas no evidence exists that the Chinese government is responsible for COVID-19, nor does the PRC have a history of engaging in bio-warfare, there is an abundance of proof that the U.S. government has long been involved in the manufacturing and use of biological weapons since the Korean war.

When the accusations were first made by North Korea and China that the U.S. was using biological and germ warfare in the 1950–1953 Korean War, they were rejected outright by Washington as a hoax and rebuffed by the Western-biased WHO. In the decades since, the U.S. has maintained its denial while scholarly debate on the subject is divided. However, an unredacted report from 1952 from an investigation sponsored by the World Peace Council and conducted by an International Scientific Commission headed by Sir Joseph Needham, a highly reputable British biochemist of his era, was unearthed in 2018 and presents ample substantiation of the allegations, including eyewitness testimony, photographic evidence and documented confessions by American POWs. More disturbingly, the investigation indicates direct links between the U.S. biological warfare program and the germ warfare program of Unit 731, a clandestine bio and chemical warfare unit of Imperial Japan during World War II. During the Cold War, the Japanese researchers were secretly given immunity and recruited by the U.S. in exchange for their knowledge in human experimentation, along with many “former” Nazi scientists in Operation Paperclip.

Unit 731 of the Japanese Imperial Army collected data not only through performing deadly experiments on humans but environmentally testing “plague bombs” by dropping them on Chinese cities to see whether they could start disease outbreaks. Many of these tactics were continued by the U.S. in the Korean War. According to Stephen Kinzer, journalist and author of Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control, the CIA’s Project MK-ULTRA which was coordinated with the U.S. Army Biological Warfare Laboratories was:

“…Essentially a continuation of work that began in Japanese and Nazi concentration camps. Not only was it roughly based on those experiments, but the CIA actually hired the vivisectionists and the torturers who had worked in Japan and in Nazi concentration camps to come and explain what they had found out so that we could build on their research.”

Frank Olson one of the biowarfare scientists and CIA employees in the program who died under mysterious circumstances in 1953, is the subject of the Netflix docu-drama series Wormwood, directed by Errol Morris and featuring renowned journalist Seymour Hersh, which reveals Olson may have been a potential government whistleblower on the CIA’s activities and U.S. bio-war crimes. It is worth noting that the usage of such agents in the Korean War included Chinese targets, the last and only major armed conflict between the U.S. and China, so if the COVID-19 pandemic were proven to be a product of U.S. biowarfare against Beijing, it would not be the first time.

Officially, the U.S. is said to have abandoned its bioweapons program in 1969, but its installation in Fort Detrick, Maryland, has continued conducting research into deadly pathogens and viruses on the stated purpose of bio-defense, as well as fighting disease outbreaks, developing vaccines, and other public health concerns. Yet just last year, research into fatal viruses and bioweapons were suspended amid concerns they could be accidentally be released. The last time Fort Detrick’s germ warfare research was suspended was in 2009 after the Pentagon found discrepancies in the inventory of its infectious agents, the same year as the last pandemic of the H1N1 swine flu outbreak.

Fort Detrick has been under tighter restrictions since the 2001 anthrax attacks were traced to Bruce Ivins, a senior biodefense researcher at the facility. The suspected perpetrator and army biologist committed suicide in 2008 after learning the FBI was going to charge him with terrorism, which if proven to be true would mean that the Pentagon’s own biodefense research itself had led to rather than protected the American public from bioterrorism — though there is plenty of evidence suggesting Ivins was framed by the feds. As journalist Whitney Webb uncovered, the U.S. Army’s Medical Research branch headquartered in Maryland has cooperated with the Wuhan Institute of Virology mentioned previously for decades.

Toying around with organisms that can produce disease is a regular practice for the Pentagon. In 2005, U.S. scientists announced that they had even successfully recreated the avian influenza flu virus in a lab which killed at least 50 million people worldwide in 1918, widely known as the ‘Spanish flu.’ The name is actually a misnomer, as it was disproportionately attributed to Spain which was neutral in World War I and was not subject to the same wartime censorship of the press to upkeep morale like in Germany, the UK, France and the U.S. whose media initially underreported the pandemic’s effects in their respective countries. The geographic source of the Spanish flu is still the subject of much debate, but the first observation of the disease was at a U.S. military installation in Fort Riley, Kansas in 1918. Needless to say, the risks involved with resurrecting a disease that wiped out more than a quarter of the world’s population are not trivial, but this did not prevent the U.S. Armed Forces Institute of Pathology from extracting the genetic coding of the Spanish flu from the exhumed corpse of a Native Alaskan woman frozen in the ground who died of the disease in an Inuit town in 1918.

Soldiers ill with the Spanish flu at Fort Riley, Kansas, in 1918

There is no direct evidence showing that the 2009 swine flu said to have originated in Mexico through zoonosis from pigs was any leak of the restored Spanish flu, but the previous swine flu outbreak of 1976 began at a U.S. army base in Fort Dix, New Jersey, just like the Spanish flu of 1918. After the Gerald R. Ford administration jumped the gun and announced a flu epidemic was pending following the death of a single soldier, a subsequent mass immunization program without proper testing for side effects was administered to a staggering 45 million people, exactly a quarter of the entire U.S. population at the time, which ended up killing more Americans than the disease itself. The scandal forever sowed the seeds of public distrust regarding inoculation after more than 450 people developed Guillain-Barré Syndrome and 25 died from the immunization before it was halted.

If such a mandatory vaccination program were to be implemented again in the U.S. for COVID-19, the government would have to reassure the public its previous negligence of such side effects would not be repeated, an unlikely scenario after the corporate breach of trust exposed on Wall Street in recent years involving large pharmaceutical firms. Regardless, Big Pharma is already partnering with the U.S. army to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus which would have to be tested and evaluated before licensing by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and recommended for use by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), both of which partner with the WHO whose largest financial contributor is the U.S. government.

One of the WHO’s other largest benefactors is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with whom it has a partnership on vaccinations. The billionaire Microsoft Corporation founder has used his enormous wealth to dodge paying taxes under the guise of philanthropy and his ‘charitable’ private ventures have mostly focused on producing vaccines for developing countries and purportedly tackling global poverty, especially in Africa. On the surface this may appear to be benevolent work, but like many so-called altruistic projects it is a scheme which allows ultra-wealthy plutocrats like Gates to influence global policy and obtain political power with no accountability by investing in “fixing” the social problems caused by the very system which made them rich, with the expansion of neoliberalism as their real agenda. The consequences of this can be seen with charitable projects involving Gates in the Congo which forced its local agribusiness into using GMO seeds which only benefited private companies like Monsanto.

More disturbing is that in regards to environmental concerns about man-made climate change, Gates has made public his views on curbing human population growth as a solution. At a 2010 TED Conference, Gates stated:

“First we got population. The world today has 6.8 billion people. That’s headed up to about 9 billion. Now if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent.”

To put it another way, one of the world’s wealthiest men admitted in public he believes vaccines should be used for depopulation, just as he is financially investing in both developing and delivering them to countries in the global south. The misanthropic myth of ‘overpopulation’ pushed by Gates and the elite not only suggests that depopulation is a solution for slowing the warming of the climate but retains the logic of an essential component of eugenics with the implicit idea that the quality of life for the human species can be improved by discouraging human reproduction. Since developing countries have the highest child mortality rates, families are more likely to be larger because children are less likely to survive. Hence, the inherent racism and classism in such a misconception.

Given that the vast majority of carbon emissions are produced by a short list of fossil fuel companies and the world’s largest polluter is the U.S. military, promoting this dangerous fallacy is the perfect way for the ruling elite to shift the responsibility for climate change onto the world’s poor. Unfortunately, this dangerous falsehood has been popularized in the mainstream environmental movement and pseudo-left with examples such as BirthStrike, a group of mostly female activists protesting the lack of regulations on the ecological crisis by refusing to bear children that has been irresponsibly endorsed by popular “progressive” politicians such as U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). ‘AOC’ is also the face of the Democratic Party’s Green New Deal which has troubling ties to the United Nations Agenda 21 sustainable development program that calls for “achieving a more sustainable population.”

The false notion of “overpopulation” became a misguided cornerstone of the modern day environmental movement thanks to the publication of German scientist Paul Ehrlich’s best-selling book The Population Bomb in 1968 , an alarmist diatribe that has in the years since become famous for its inaccurate doomsday predictions as a result of the mistaken belief which never came to fruition. Today’s doom merchants regarding the climate, no doubt a serious issue, are in many respects channeling Ehrlich’s false prophecies which are considered a modern rehash of the influential 18th century British economist and philosopher, Thomas Malthus. No single scholar was more loathed by Karl Marx and and the working class movement than Malthus, whose pseudo-scientific theories about demography were thought to have been intellectually defeated until they found new life in Ehrlich’s eco-fascism. As much as today’s ‘population bombers’ like Bill Gates may shun the more explicitly racist Malthusian ideas that the global north should contain the population of developing countries, they still tacitly endorse them by arguing that the size of the population itself is a source a poverty and climate change.

Bill Gates has cited business tycoon John D. Rockefeller, the richest man in American history who had an even greater monopoly on the oil business as Gates had at one time on the computer industry, as an inspiration in using his wealth to invest in medical research as a focus of his philanthropy. However, Gates has something else in common with the Rockefeller family in his views on population, as the Rockefeller Foundation was the single largest donor to the American eugenics movement in the 1920s and 30s and helped establish its German branch, even subsidizing the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics that Nazi physician Josef Mengele worked in prior to his wartime experiments. Despite the fact that a line can be traced from the American eugenics movement to the Nazi regime’s programs, which Nuremberg defendants even tried to use as justification for their atrocities in court, Rockefeller’s grandson John Rockefeller III continued the family legacy of interest in demography with the founding of the Population Council NGO which conducts research in “reproductive health” (sterilization) in developing countries. The Nazi government was also the first to ever pass legislation safeguarding the environment which they equated with German national identity, another unexpected intersection between brown and green politics.

In an astonishing coincidence, the Gates Foundation hosted an event just last October with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and the World Economic Forum called Event 201, a pandemic simulation which gathered elite figures in government, business and health expertise to plan for the possibility of a worldwide outbreak. Gates himself has warned of pandemics for years and ominously wrote that the world should “prepare for epidemics the way the military prepares for war.” The Event 201 fictional scenario just so happened to be a coronavirus called CAPS from Brazilian pigs which infected people globally and after a year and half in the exercise caused tens of millions of deaths and set off a worldwide financial crash. Since the outset of the real COVID-19 coronavirus, Gates himself has stepped down from Microsoft to focus on his philanthropy while his foundation is busy working on a vaccine.

Many have observed that some characteristics of COVID-19 bear a resemblance to HIV that could not have happened organically. The recent documentary Cold Case Hammarskjöld, which won an award at last year’s Sundance film festival puts forth a chilling theory that a South African white supremacist organization deliberately spread HIV/AIDS among black Africans through vaccines in previous decades. The film begins as an investigation of the mysterious plane crash in Northern Rhodesia which killed Swedish diplomat and United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld in 1961. In 1998, a document authored by a shadowy paramilitary organization called the South African Institute for Maritime Research (SAIMR) was uncovered by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission justice assembly in post-apartheid South Africa which indicated that Hammarskjöld was the victim of an assassination. Not only do the filmmakers discover in their inquiry the distinct likelihood that the plane was shot down by a Belgian mercenary employed by SAIMR which was operating under orders from MI6 and the CIA, but the more stunning revelation is a recorded confessionfrom a former SAIMR soldier to having deliberately spread HIV/AIDS to black Africans through immunization. If what is claimed about SAIMR is true and that they were connected with Western intelligence, that the COVID-19 virus could be something deliberately spread is not outside the realm of possibility.

Maybe it will prove to be the case that the yellow press’s version of the coronavirus beginning with the zoonotic transfer of the disease after the consumption of a pangolin or wild bat by a ‘patient zero’ in Wuhan is accurate. Nevertheless, the pandemic should be a chilling reminder of the elite’s eco-fascist agenda and the continuous danger that the military-industrial complex puts the world’s population in by continuing to conduct dangerous research into deadly pathogens where the risk vastly outweighs the benefits. If the outbreak has led many to be suspicious of the official story, it is exactly because of the history of U.S. biological warfare and the elite’s potentially genocidal and pessimistic worldview that the only way to prevent the demise of humanity is by thinning the herd.

Tyler Durden Mon, 03/16/2020 - 23:50
Published:3/16/2020 10:58:34 PM
[Markets] Coronavirus Bill Stalls As GOP Lawmakers Demand Corrections, Transparency Coronavirus Bill Stalls As GOP Lawmakers Demand Corrections, Transparency

House Democrats' coronavirus package which was passed on Saturday has become a point of contention, as Republican lawmakers continue to pick apart the bill negotiated between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Speaker Nancy Pelosi which garnered a late endorsement from President Trump, according to The Hill.

The bill faces two primary hurdles. First, technical changes had to be dealt with between House Democratic leadership and the White House - which they had hoped to have hammered out on Monday to no avail.

Second, with House lawmakers on a vacation of indefinite length over coronavirus concerns, any agreement will need to clear the house by consent - which isn't guaranteed at this point

Republicans have also demanded more transparency, with Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) insisting that the technical corrections be read on the House floor before he'll let it move to the upper chamber, according to House aides on both sides of the aisle.

"He's concerned and wants all of the changes to be made public before the vote," one GOP aide told The Hill.

If Gohmert isn’t satisfied, he could stall the revamped House coronavirus bill until Pelosi is able to bring the chamber back to Washington to vote a second time.

I cannot in good conscience give my consent to something that has not been finished or made available to members of Congress before it is up for a vote,” Gohmert told CNN about the holdup.

The measure, which passed 363-40 on Saturday, includes provisions that would ensure some workers can take paid sick or family leave, bolster unemployment insurance, and guarantee that all Americans can get free diagnostic testing for the coronavirus. -The Hill

GOP Senators have criticized the bill for not doing enough to protect small businesses, or help struggling Americans cover short-term costs while the coronavirus epidemic takes a toll on the economy.

"I and a lot of the other senators who I’ve spoken to over the weekend are worried that we’re not doing enough to get cash in the hands of affected workers and families quickly, so we’re going to be focused this week on how to do just that," Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) told Fox News in a Monday interview.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) also pushed back against the House bill during a Monday interview with Wisconsin radio station WTMJ, according to The Hill. "Nancy Pelosi is going to make businesses give paid leave when people aren’t working. The businesses are going to pay for that."

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) also signaled opposition, saying he wants to insert additional protections for small businesses into the House bill.

Another potential roadblock was removed on Monday after Senate GOP leaders cut a deal to extend three USA Freedom Act provisions for 77 days, along with allowing a handful of amendment votes once they adopt the deal passed by the House last week.

The House bill pairs an extension of the intelligence programs with certain changes to the court created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Recall this is the same court which the Obama FBI tricked into granting a surveillance warrant on a Trump adviser during the 2016 US election, only to issue slaps on the wrist all around and carry on with business as usual.

"We’re working on trying to process both of these measures. Those discussions have been underway over the weekend, and we’re hoping to move with dispatch on both the House-passed bill, once we get it, and some way to move forward with the FISA issue as well," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters.

Senators have urged leadership to agree to a short-term extension so they can turn their immediate attention to the coronavirus legislation.

Senators in both parties had urged leadership to agree to a short-term extension so they can focus on the coronavirus package.

The FISA program can also be extended with Senator [Mike] Lee’s [R-Utah] proposal for a 45-day extension and future consideration of the House bill with six amendment votes. That could all be done by [unanimous consent] as well. Given this pandemic, time is of the essence and we should not delay,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said in a statement.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, indicated that he could support a short-term extension.

If the alternative is staying dark, I’ll take an extension,” Warner said. 

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) added that the FISA program needs broader reviews and that the Senate should instead pivot to the coronavirus legislation.

FISA needs to be carefully reviewed. That takes time. That can wait. The emergency response to #coronavirus should be the first order of business in the Senate tomorrow. There is no reason for this to take days & days,” Hawley tweeted on Sunday. -The Hill

McConnell faces greater pressure from within his own party over the coronavirus legislation - as any amendments would mean the bill is bounced back to the House, which is now on the aforementioned indefinite break.

Tyler Durden Mon, 03/16/2020 - 21:50
Published:3/16/2020 8:57:24 PM
[Politics] Senate Passes Extension of Key FBI Surveillance Powers The Senate on Monday passed a 77-day extension of key surveillance powers the FBI uses in national security investigations, reports The Hill.The move comes after the Senate last Thursday failed to vote to renew the surveillance tools ... Published:3/16/2020 6:57:22 PM
[] As FBI "Loses Records" on General Flynn, Trump Says He Is "Strongly Considering a Full Pardon" Good. So now it is reported that, after destroying his life & the life of his wonderful family (and many others also), the FBI, working in conjunction with the Justice Department, has ?lost? the records of General Michael Flynn. How... Published:3/16/2020 3:27:18 PM
[2019 News] FBI claims they lost documents that would clear Flynn

FBI claims they “lost” documents that would clear Flynn. Ever notice how often the FBI loses things that happen to tell a story inconveniently different from the FBI’s story? Janna Davis’s Oklahoma City bombing documents… the eyewitness interviews from TWA Flight 800… the door from the Waco compound… the text messages between Strzok and Page… […]

The post FBI claims they lost documents that would clear Flynn appeared first on IHTM.

Published:3/16/2020 9:55:06 AM
[Uncategorized] Trump “strongly considering” a “Full Pardon” of Michael Flynn Trump: "So now it is reported that, after destroying his life & the life of his wonderful family (and many others also), the FBI, working in conjunction with the Justice Department, has “lost” the records of General Michael Flynn. How convenient." Published:3/15/2020 2:51:07 PM
[Politics] BREAKING: Trump considering full pardon of General Michael Flynn Trump just tweeted that he’s considering a full pardon of General Michael Flynn, who was targeted by the FBI and caught up in the Mueller investigation in 2017: So now it is . . . Published:3/15/2020 1:52:58 PM
[US News] Trump ‘Strongly Considering’ A Full Pardon For Michael Flynn

By Chuck Ross -

President Donald Trump said Sunday that he is “strongly considering” a pardon for Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser who pleaded guilty in the special counsel’s probe to lying to the FBI. Trump cited an unspecified report that the FBI and Justice Department “lost” records related to Flynn, a ...

Trump ‘Strongly Considering’ A Full Pardon For Michael Flynn is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:3/15/2020 1:52:58 PM
[Politics] BREAKING: Trump considering full pardon of General Michael Flynn Trump just tweeted that he’s considering a full pardon of General Michael Flynn, who was targeted by the FBI and caught up in the Mueller investigation in 2017: So now it is . . . Published:3/15/2020 1:20:00 PM
[Markets] A 70-Year War On "Propaganda" Built By The CIA A 70-Year War On "Propaganda" Built By The CIA

Authored by Cynthia Chung via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here”

– William Shakespeare (The Tempest Act 1 Scene 2)

War has always depended on a reliable system to spread its propaganda. The Arthashastra written by Chankya (350-283 BCE) who was chief advisor to the Emperor Chandragupta (the first ruler of the Mauryan Empire) discusses propaganda and how to disperse and apply it in warfare. It is one of the oldest accounts of the essentialism of propaganda in warfare.

Propaganda is vital in times of war because it is absolutely imperative that the people, who often need to make the greatest sacrifices and suffer the most, believe that such a war is justified and that such a war will provide them security. To the degree that they believe this to be true, the greater the degree of sacrifice and suffering they are willing to submit themselves for said “promised security”.

It is crucial that when the people look at the “enemy” they see something sub-human, for if they recognise that said “enemy” has in fact humanity, the jig is up so to speak.

And thus we are bombarded day after day, hour after hour of reminders as to why the “enemy” is not human like us, not compassionate like us, not patient, just and wise like us.

No doubt, war has been a necessary response when tyranny has formed an army to fight for its cause, but I would put forth that most wars have been rather unnecessary and downright manipulated for the design of a small group of people.

During WWI, on Dec 25th 1914, something rather unexpected occurred and a series of widespread unofficial ceasefires along the Western Front took place between the French/British soldiers and the German soldiers. Some even ventured into “no man’s land”, given its name since none left it alive, to mingle with the “enemy” and exchange food and souvenirs. There were joint burial ceremonies and prisoner swaps. A game of football took place as well. It is said that these truces were not unique to the Christmas period but that they were much more widespread during the holiday season.

These fraternisations would understandably make it quite difficult to return to combat against one another…for no apparently good reason. Some units needed to be relocated since they had developed friendships with the opposing side and now refused to fight them.

The lesson was quickly learned and propaganda was heavily pumped down the throats of the Allied countries, and by the course of just a few years, they no longer viewed the Germans as human.

The CIA’s Family Jewels and Operation Mockingbird

For us to understand the implications of modern propaganda and how it is used in warfare today, our story starts post-WWII with Churchill’s announcement of the “Iron Curtain” which launched the Cold War and has kept the East and West divided to this day.

Quickly after the Cold War was announced by Churchill, it was necessary to create a fervor of fear and paranoia amongst the American people in order to have them quickly forget the fact that the Russians were their greatest allies during both WWI and WWII, and to replace it with the image of a ghoulish race of boogeymen.

If Americans were to remember that the Russians had fought valiantly during WWII and had paid by far the largest sacrifice to the cause, that they had in fact been their comrades in arms against the brutality of fascism, if this were remembered then the Cold War division could never occur, and that was something that could not be tolerated by Churchill and the Empire. Thus terror was unleashed on the American people and McCarthyism was given precedence over the people’s right to question and form conclusions for themselves. That sort of thing could not be tolerated when the “enemy” could be anywhere; they could be your neighbour, your child’s teacher, your co-worker…your partner.

In order to combat the “threat” of Soviet “propaganda” entering the U.S. and seducing Americans, Operation Mockingbird was created as a form of “control” over information dissemination during the period of McCarthyism. Operation Mockingbird was an “alleged” CIA program that was started in the early 1950s in order to control the narrative of the news. Though this role has never been confirmed entirely, in the CIA Family Jewels report compiled in the mid-1970s, it is confirmed that Project Mockingbird did exist as a CIA operation and that it was guilty of wire-tapping journalists in Washington.

At the helm of this project was none other than CIA Director Allen Dulles, an enemy of JFK, who by the early 1950s “allegedly” oversaw the media network and had major influence over 25 newspapers and wire agencies. Its function was to have the CIA write reports that would be used by a network of cooperating “credible” reporters. By these “credible” reporters spreading the CIA dictated narrative, it would be parroted by unwitting reporters (mockingbirds) and a successful echo chamber would be created across the world.

The Office of Policy Coordination (OPC), originally named Office of Special Projects but that was thought to conspicuous, was a covert operation wing of the CIA and was created by the United States National Security Council (NSC). For those who are unfamiliar with the origins of the NSC and its close relationship with the CIA, who was born on the same day, refer to my paper on the subject.

According to Deborah Davis’ biography of Katherine Graham (the owner of Washington Post), the OPC created Operation Mockingbird in response to addressing Soviet propaganda and included as part of its CIA contingency respected members from Washington PostThe New York TimesNewsweekCBS and others.

The Family Jewels report was an investigation made by the CIA to investigate…the CIA, spurred in response to the Watergate Scandal and the CIA’s unconstitutional role in the whole affair. The investigation of the CIA would include any other actions that were deemed illegal or inappropriate spanning from the 1950s-mid 1970s.

We are told “most” of the report was declassified on June 25, 2007 (30 years later) hoping that people would have lost interest in the whole brouhaha. Along with the release of the redacted report was included a six-page summary with the following introduction:

“The Central Intelligence Agency violated its charter for 25 years until revelations of illegal wiretapping, domestic surveillance, assassination plots, and human experimentation led to official investigations and reforms in the 1970s.”

The most extensive investigation of the CIA relations with news media was conducted by the Church Committee, a U.S. Senate select committee in 1975 that investigated the abuses committed by the CIA, NSA, FBI, and IRS. The Church Committee report confirmed abundant CIA ties in both foreign and domestic news media.

It is very useful that there exists an official recognition that false news was not only being encouraged by the CIA under the overseeing of the NSC during the Cold War period, but that the CIA was complicit in actually detailing the specific narrative that they wanted disseminated, and often going so far as to write the narrative and have a “credible” reporter’s name stamped on it.

But the question begs, “Did the Cold War ever end?” and if not, why should we believe that the CIA’s involvement in such activities is buried in its past and that it has “reformed” its old ways?

Western Journalists for Hire: How the CIA Buys News

In order to answer this question, let us visit the sad case of Udo Ulfkotte. Udo Ulfkotte is a well-known German journalist and author of numerous books. He worked for 25 years as a journalist, 17 of which were for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), including his role as editor. In his 2014 book “Journalists for Hire: How the CIA Buys News” Ulfkotte goes over how the CIA along with German Intelligence (BND) were guilty of bribing journalists to write articles that either spun the truth or were completely fictitious in order to promote a pro-western, pro-NATO bent, and that he was one of those bought journalists.

In an interview, Ulfkotte describes how he finally built up the nerve to publish the book, after years of it collecting dust, in response to the erupting crisis in Ukraine stating “I felt that the right time had come to finish it and publish it, because I am deeply worried about the Ukrainian crisis and the possible devastating consequences for all of Europe and all of us…I am not at all pro-Russia, but it is clear that many journalists blindly follow and publish whatever the NATO press office provides. And this type of information and reports are completely one-sided”.

In another interview Ulfkotte stated:

it is clear as daylight that the agents of various Services were in the central offices of the FAZ, the place where I worked for 17 years. The articles appeared under my name several times, but they were not my intellectual product. I was once approached by someone from German Intelligence and the CIA, who told me that I should write about Gaddafi and report how he was trying to secretly build a chemical weapons factory in Libya. I had no information on any of this, but they showed me various documents, I just had to put my name on the article. Do you think this can be called journalism? I don’t think so.

Ulfkotte has publicly stated: “I am ashamed of it. The people I worked for knew from the get-go everything I did. And the truth must come out. It’s not just about FAZ, this is the whole system that’s corrupt all the way.

Udo Ulfkotte has since passed away. He died January 2017, found dead in his home, it is said by a hear t attack. His body was quickly after cremated and thus prevented any possibility of an autopsy occurring.

You Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

The Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act is a bipartisan bill that was passed into law in December 2016, it was initially called Countering Information Warfare Act. It was included together with the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This bill was brought into effect just weeks before Trump was to enter office….hmmm, foreshadowing much?

Soon after the 2016 U.S. election, the Washington Post led the charge asserting that it was due to Russian propaganda that the U.S. elections turned out the way it did, that is, that Hillary had somehow, inconceivably, lost to Donald Trump and that the American people had been turned against her like a child caught in the middle of a messy divorce case. But there is no need here to set the record straight on Hillary, when Hillary herself has done suffice damage to any illusion of credibility she once had. That ultimately not even Hillary could hide the fact that her closet full of skeletons turned out to be the size of a catacomb.

But we are told that citizens do not know what is best for one’s self. That they cannot be trusted with “sensitive” information and in accordance act in a “responsible” manner, that is, to have a strong enough stomach to do what is “best” for their country.

And therefore, fear not subjects of the land, for the Global Engagement Center (GEC) is here to make those hard decisions for you. Don’t know what to think about a complicated subject? GEC will tell you the right way!

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would allow for the Secretary of State to collaborate with the Secretary of Defense, and other Federal agencies in the year 2017 to create the Global Engagement Center (GEC). The GEC’s purpose in life is to fight propaganda from foreign governments and publicize the nature of ongoing foreign propaganda and disinformation operations against the U.S. and other countries.

Let us all take a moment to thank the GEC for such a massive task in the cause for justice all around the world.

The GEC had a very slow start in its first year, however, it has been gaining momentum in the last year under Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who seems especially excited over the hiring of Lea Gabrielle as special envoy and coordinator of GEC.

Mike Pompeo was the CIA Director from 2017-2018. On April 15, 2019, Pompeo participated in a discussion at the Texas A&M University where he voluntarily offered the admission that though West Points’ cadet motto is “You will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do.”, his training under the CIA was the very opposite, stating “I was the CIA Director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. It was like we had entire training courses. (long pause) It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment”.

This is apparently the man for the job of dealing with matters of “truth” and “justice”.

Lea Gabrielle was approved for her position by Mike Pompeo, what are her “qualifications”? Well, Gabrielle is also CIA trained, and while assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), she “directed and conducted global clandestine strategic intelligence collection operations.” Gabrielle also “deployed in tactical anti-terrorist operations in hostile environments”. After 12 years of active duty service, Lea Gabrielle became a television news journalist, who worked at NBC and FOX News.

Noticing a pattern?

The CIA really does not have the best track record for their role in “managing” foreign wars and counter-insurgency activities. In fact, they have been caught rather red handed in fueling such crisis situations. And these are the people who are deciding what information is fit for the American public, and western public in general, and what is not fit for their ears.

Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, See No Evil

On March 5, 2020, Lea Gabrielle testified on the role of GEC in countering state-sponsored and non-state propaganda and disinformation. Gabrielle states: “We have the full support of Secretary Pompeo who is committed to deploying a broad suite of tools to stop America’s adversaries from using disinformation, malign propaganda, and other tools to undermine free societies.” She goes on to acknowledge that the hearing is focused on countering Russian government and CCP disinformation and propaganda. She then goes on to outline her criticisms of both governments with no factual detail or evidence but rather generalised accusations and criticisms, obviously pulling from her experience as a news journalist for NBC.

Following this, Gabrielle proceeds to outline her “rules of engagement” in countering this offensive with what seems to be the beginnings of McCarthyism 2.0, amounting to a threat to anyone who dares not take a hard stance against Russia and China, that such a person will be considered complicit in essentially committing treason. Hell, if Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard (who was unconstitutionally prohibited from participating in the final democratic presidential debates) have both already been accused of being a Russian agent, what can we expect for the average Joe?

Gabrielle concludes,Both the Russian government and the CCP view censorship, media manipulation, and propaganda as appropriate tools to control public opinion. Both exploit open, democratic societies to further their own ends while tightening controls around their own countries.”

Don’t worry, the CIA will eventually admit that they are elbow deep in all of the above, it just won’t be released until 30 years from now…In the meantime, I wouldn’t believe everything you read in the newspaper to stoke the fires for another war.

Tyler Durden Sun, 03/15/2020 - 00:20
Published:3/14/2020 11:47:02 PM
[89474c8f-c045-51d7-b099-c12346ddaa4f] Kimberley Strassel: Adam Schiff's surveillance state Lawmakers are debating ways to prevent the FBI from abusing its surveillance authority again, and they have an obligation to address their own privacy transgressor, Rep. Adam Schiff. Published:3/12/2020 8:35:10 PM
[Politics] Trump signals he may veto FISA bill after many House Republicans vote in favor of it…. Amidst all the uproar over the coronavirus, the House yesterday passed the FISA bill with “broad bipartisan support”: The newly formed legislation to reauthorize FBI crime-fighting tools, which were set to expire . . . Published:3/12/2020 10:30:21 AM
[Politics] Trump signals he may veto FISA bill after many House Republicans vote in favor of it…. Amidst all the uproar over the coronavirus, the House yesterday passed the FISA bill with “broad bipartisan support”: The newly formed legislation to reauthorize FBI crime-fighting tools, which were set to expire . . . Published:3/12/2020 10:30:21 AM
[Law] House OKs FISA Reforms in Wake of FBI’s Carter Page Fiasco

Two words: Carter Page. That’s who drove the House, including members of both parties, to pass major reforms Wednesday evening to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance... Read More

The post House OKs FISA Reforms in Wake of FBI’s Carter Page Fiasco appeared first on The Daily Signal.

Published:3/12/2020 10:30:21 AM
[Markets] 22 Year Old FX Trader Pleads Guilty To Fraud He Started While In His Teens 22 Year Old FX Trader Pleads Guilty To Fraud He Started While In His Teens

22 year old FX trader Kevin Perry has pleaded guilty to defrauding his investors in an FX scam that started when he was just a teenager.

A release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Northern District of Georgia on Friday said that "Perry led investors to believe that his investment company, Lucrative Pips, was successfully earning substantial profits by investing in the foreign currency (or “forex”) market."

He told investors' that their initial investments were secure from loss, but his company was never even registered as a commodity pool operator with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Department of Justice said in their complaint. 

He falsified historical returns that he represented to investors while turning around and using investor cash to enrich himself or pay off his other investors. He also falsely promised an undercover agent that an investment of $10,000 would return a profit of $19,000 to $25,000 per month.

U.S. Attorney Byung J. Pak said: “Clients that invested with Perry’s company were assured they were secure from loss. Actually, Perry was enriching himself and paying off other investors.  We encourage citizens to be cautious with investments, and to remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta said: “This guilty plea will be little solace to the victims who lost their savings because of Perry’s personal greed. The FBI is determined to root out and prosecute anyone who undermines investor confidence at the expense of innocent victims.” 

 

Tyler Durden Wed, 03/11/2020 - 23:25
Published:3/11/2020 10:27:09 PM
[Markets] US Prosecutors Seeking Legal "Options" Against Epstein "Co-Conspirator" Prince Andrew US Prosecutors Seeking Legal "Options" Against Epstein "Co-Conspirator" Prince Andrew

Authored by John Vibes via TheMindUnleashed.com,

The FBI has spent months trying to get an interview with Prince Andrew about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, but investigators have had no luck getting him to speak on the record about the case.

New York prosecutors told the press this week that the prince has “completely shut the door” on cooperating with authorities. They are now considering what further legal action can be taken.

Andrew continues to deny any wrongdoing or knowledge of Epstein’s many crimes, despite a growing body of evidence indicating that he was involved.

Manhattan Attorney Geoffrey Berman described the prince as a “co-conspirator.”

“Contrary to Prince Andrew’s very public offer to cooperate with our investigation into Epstein’s co-conspirators, an offer that was conveyed via press release, Prince Andrew has now completely shut the door on voluntary cooperation and our office is considering its options,” Berman said, according to the Guardian.

Andrew has previously promised to help investigators with the case, but has since removed himself from public life. He has also refused requests for interviews that investigators have sent him.

When asked about the recent statement from New York prosecutors, a spokesperson for the palace told the Guardian“The issue is being dealt with by the Duke of York’s legal team.”

Virginia Giuffre, one of the many girls trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein, has become one of his most outspoken victims. She has also accused the prince of raping her while she was underage. Giuffre has appeared on dozens of interviews with broadcasters around the world to share her story.

Andrew has made no public comments on the matter since promising to speak with investigators after his BBC interview where he made numerous claims that were later exposed as lies.

Most notably, the prince claimed that he never met Giuffre or even heard the name before. A leak of private emails where he mentioned Virginia Giuffre surfaced just days after the interview, proving his claims false.

During his BBC interview, Prince Andrew claimed that he was at a Pizza Express in Woking on the night Giuffre says he raped her after the pair visited a nightclub together. However, eyewitnesses have now come forward to support Giuffre’s claims about being at the club with him on the evening in question.

Andrew was also found in the flight logs of Epstein’s notorious private airplane, booked on flights that went to his property in the Virgin Islands, where the Attorney General for the territory has claimed that Epstein “held underage girls captive” as recently as 2018.

Tyler Durden Wed, 03/11/2020 - 22:25
Published:3/11/2020 9:27:15 PM
[Politics] FBI power to eavesdrop on Americans likely to be curtailed

The FBI may lose some power to eavesdrop on Americans under changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act backed by a bipartisan coalition and President Trump.

Published:3/11/2020 4:27:40 PM
[Congressional Hall Monitor] House Strikes Deal On Surveillance Bill, Addressing Some Problems From Carter Page FISA Report

By Chuck Ross -

Lawmakers in the House reached an agreement Tuesday to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, with some proposed reforms aimed at addressing some problems the Justice Department’s inspector general found with the FBI’s surveillance of Trump campaign aide Carter Page. The proposed bill comes just days before the surveillance law, ...

House Strikes Deal On Surveillance Bill, Addressing Some Problems From Carter Page FISA Report is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:3/11/2020 7:53:52 AM
[Markets] Wikipedia: A Disinformation Operation? Wikipedia: A Disinformation Operation?

Via Swiss Propaganda Research,

Wikipedia is generally thought of as an open, transparent, and mostly reliable online encyclopedia. Yet upon closer inspection, this turns out not to be the case.

In fact, the English Wikipedia with its 9 billion worldwide page views per month is governed by just 500 active administrators, whose real identity in many cases remains unknown.

Moreover, studies have shown that 80% of all Wikipedia content is written by just 1% of all Wikipedia editors, which again amounts to just a few hundred mostly unknown people.

Obviously, such a non-transparent and hierarchical structure is susceptible to corruption and manipulation, the notorious “paid editors” hired by corporations being just one example.

Indeed, already in 2007, researchers found that CIA and FBI employees were editing Wikipedia articles on controversial topics including the Iraq war and the Guantanamo military prison.

Also in 2007, researchers found that one of the most active and influential English Wikipedia administrators, called “Slim Virgin”, was in fact a former British intelligence informer.

More recently, another highly prolific Wikipedia editor going by the false name of “Philip Cross” turned out to be linked to UK intelligence as well as several mainstream media journalists.

In Germany, one of the most aggressive Wikipedia editors was exposed, after a two-year legal battle, as a political operative formerly serving in the Israeli army as a foreign volunteer.

Even in Switzerland, unidentified government employees were caught whitewashing Wikipedia entries about the Swiss secret service just prior to a public referendum about the agency.

Many of these Wikipedia personae are editing articles almost all day and every day, indicating that they are either highly dedicated individuals, or in fact, operated by a group of people.

In addition, articles edited by these personae cannot easily be revised, since the above-mentioned administrators can always revert changes or simply block disagreeing users altogether.

The primary goal of these covert campaigns appears to be pushing Western and Israeli government positions while destroying the reputation of independent journalists and politicians.

Articles most affected by this kind of manipulation include political, geopolitical and certain historical topics as well as biographies of non-conformist academics, journalists, and politicians.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, a friend of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and a “Young Leader” of the Davos forum, has repeatedly defended these operations.

Speaking of Davos, Wikimedia has itself amassed a fortune of more than $160 million, donated in large part not by lazy students, but by major US corporations and influential foundations.

Moreover, US social media and video platforms are increasingly referring to Wikipedia to frame or combat “controversial” topics. The revelations discussed above may perhaps help explain why.

Already NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed how spooks manipulate online debates, and more recently, a senior Twitter executive turned out to be a British Army “psyops” officer.

To add at least some degree of transparency, German researchers have developed a free web browser tool called WikiWho that lets readers color code just who edited what in Wikipedia.

In many cases, the result looks as discomforting as one might expect.

Tyler Durden Tue, 03/10/2020 - 00:05
Published:3/9/2020 11:15:59 PM
[Markets] Trial Of Alleged "Vault 7" CIA Leaker Ends In Hung Jury Trial Of Alleged "Vault 7" CIA Leaker Ends In Hung Jury

The trial of a former CIA computer engineer accused of the largest leak of classified information in the spy agency's history has ended with a hung jury.

On Monday, a federal jury in Manhattan could not agree on whether to convict 31-year-old Joshua Schulte on eight counts, including illegal gathering and transmission of national defense information, according to the New York Times. Schulte was convicted on two other counts; contempt of court and making false statements to the FBI.

The motivation for the alleged theft, prosecutors said, was Mr. Schulte’s belief that C.I.A. management did not take his workplace complaints seriously. His feuding with co-workers led to his resignation in November 2016 to join Bloomberg L.P. as a software engineer.

The partial verdict came after six days of chaotic deliberations. One juror was dismissed in the middle of the discussions because she violated the judge’s orders by researching the case, and the lawyers involved, on her own, and then shared that information with the jury. The judge declined to replace her with an alternate, leaving a panel of 11 people. -New York Times

The jury reportedly complained about one juror who was not cooperating with the rest, causing concern over "her attitude." One juror described the deliberations as a "horrible experience" - her eyes welling with tears as she finished talking to reporters.

Schulte, who created malware for the U.S. Government to break into adversaries computers, was named as the prime suspect in the cyber-breach one week after WikiLeaks published the "Vault 7" series of classified files.

As we noted in 2018, Vault 7 - a series of 24 documents which were released beginning on March 7, 2017 - revealed that the CIA had a wide variety of tools to use against adversaries, including the ability to "spoof" its malware to appear as though it was created by a foreign intelligence agency, as well as the ability to take control of Samsung Smart TV's and surveil a target using a "Fake Off" mode in which they appear to be powered down while eavesdropping.

The CIA's hand crafted hacking techniques pose a problem for the agency. Each technique it has created forms a "fingerprint" that can be used by forensic investigators to attribute multiple different attacks to the same entity.

...

The CIA's Remote Devices Branch's UMBRAGE group collects and maintains a substantial library of attack techniques 'stolen' from malware produced in other states including the Russian Federation.

With UMBRAGE and related projects the CIA cannot only increase its total number of attack types but also misdirect attribution by leaving behind the "fingerprints" of the groups that the attack techniques were stolen from.

UMBRAGE components cover keyloggers, password collection, webcam capture, data destruction, persistence, privilege escalation, stealth, anti-virus (PSP) avoidance and survey techniques. -WikiLeaks

Vault 7 also revealed:

In addition to its operations in Langley, Virginia the CIA also uses the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt as a covert base for its hackers covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

CIA hackers operating out of the Frankfurt consulate ( "Center for Cyber Intelligence Europe" or CCIE) are given diplomatic ("black") passports and State Department cover. 

  • Instant messaging encryption is a joke.

These techniques permit the CIA to bypass the encryption of WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Wiebo, Confide and Cloackman by hacking the "smart" phones that they run on and collecting audio and message traffic before encryption is applied.

  • The CIA laughs at Anti-Virus / Anti-Malware programs.

CIA hackers developed successful attacks against most well known anti-virus programs. These are documented in AV defeatsPersonal Security ProductsDetecting and defeating PSPs and PSP/Debugger/RE Avoidance. For example, Comodo was defeated by CIA malware placing itself in the Window's "Recycle Bin". While Comodo 6.x has a "Gaping Hole of DOOM".

  • iPads / iPhones / Android devices and Smart TV’s are all susceptible to hacks and malware. The agency's "Dark Matter" project reveals that the CIA has been bugging “factory fresh” iPhones since at least 2008 through suppliers. Another, "Sonic Screwdriver" allows the CIA to execute code on a Mac laptop or desktop while it's booting up.

Schulte previously worked for the NSA before joining the CIA, then "left the intelligence community in 2016 and took a job in the private sector," according to a statement reviewed in May of 2018 by The Washington Post.

The verdict showed that the jury had doubts about the government’s most important evidence, which came from a C.I.A. server. Trial witnesses guided jurors through a complicated maze of forensic analysis that, according to prosecutors, showed Mr. Schulte’s work machine accessing an old backup file one evening in April 2016.

He did so, prosecutors said, by reinstating his administrator-level access that the C.I.A. had removed after his workplace disputes. The file matched the documents posted by WikiLeaks nearly a year later, according to the government.

The defense argued that the C.I.A. computer network had weak passwords and widely known security vulnerabilities, and that it was possible other C.I.A. employees or foreign adversaries had breached the system. -New York Times

As the Times notes, Schulte's legal troubles are far from over, as the government could retry the case. He also faces a separate trial after federal agents found over 10,000 images and videos of child pornography on electronic devices in his home.

Tyler Durden Mon, 03/09/2020 - 23:05
Published:3/9/2020 10:15:34 PM
[Markets] Jussie Smollett's Attempt To Have Case Tossed Rejected By Illinois Supreme Court Jussie Smollett's Attempt To Have Case Tossed Rejected By Illinois Supreme Court

Jussie Smollett's career may be over, but his legal troubles have just been renewed for another season.

On Friday, the Illinois Supreme Court rejected the former "Empire" star's request to throw out charges accusing him of staging a racist hate crime hoax in Chicago, after Cook County special prosecutor Dan Webb slapped him with a six-count indictment last month.

Smollett's lawyers had filed an emergency petition claiming that Cook County Circuit Judge Michael Toomin overstepped his authority and erred when appointed Webb to investigate the case, according to Fox News. The State Supreme Court did not elaborate on why they rejected Smollett's arguments.

Smollett. 37, was initially accused by Cook County prosecutors of falsely reporting to police that the alleged phony attack was real. Sixteen counts of disorderly conduct originally filed against him were dismissed and Toomin found Smollett’s first prosecution was invalid.

After another investigation by special prosecutor Dan Webb, six counts of the same charges we filed against Smollett, to which he pleaded not guilty last week.

Smollett, who is black and gay, told police that two masked men attacked him as he was walking home in the early hours of Jan. 29, 2019. He said they made racist and homophobic insults, beat him and looped a noose around his neck before fleeing, and that at least one of his attackers was a white man who told him he was in “MAGA country,” a reference to President Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.” -Fox News

As we noted in Feburary, Smollett - whose sisters worked for President Obama, was originally slapped with a 16-count indictment for lying to the police, however the Cook County State Attorney's office suddenly dropped the charges after  Michelle Obama's former Chief of Staff, Tina Tchen, pressured Chicago's top prosecutor, Kim Foxx, to transfer the case to the FBI. When that wasn't done, Foxx's office decided not to pursue the case

Explaining their decision to drop the case, Foxx's office said: "After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case, including Mr. Smollet’s volunteer service in the community and agreement to forfeit his bond to the City of Chicago, we believe this outcome is a just disposition & appropriate resolution."

And now it's back on... Seems like things are just heating up for Jussie in 'MAGA country.'

Tyler Durden Sun, 03/08/2020 - 09:15
Published:3/8/2020 8:40:17 AM
[e8b3599f-0928-5a0e-917a-00a411d0c7d1] 'FBI' star Derek Hedlund nearly loses leg in New Jersey crab attack "FBI star Derek Hedlund nearly died after being cut by a crab.  Published:3/7/2020 3:32:34 PM
[Markets] The Siege Of Waco & The Deep State The Siege Of Waco & The Deep State

Authored by John Wilder via WilderWealthyWise.com,

“There’s a reason you separate military and the police.  One fights the enemies of the state, the other serves and protects the people.  When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people.”

– Battlestar Galactica (New One)

Don’t worry, Leftists, all those people at Waco were here legally.

The Waco Siege started 27 years ago.  It started as a raid by the ATF – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.  The ATF was formed after the Gun Control act of 1968.  In researching the ATF, I was amazed that its history consists of nothing more than an unending series of scandals and heartache visited upon (mainly) people with no criminal intent who had no idea that they were violating some extremely technical law.  And that’s on a good day.

How bad is the ATF?  Here’s what a Senate subcommittee said:  “Based upon these hearings it is apparent that ATF enforcement tactics made possible by current federal firearms laws are constitutionally, legally, and practically reprehensible.”  From that, it actually got worse.

The ATF was involved (besides Waco) in the Ruby Ridge disaster (which netted a body count that included a 14 year old boy and a mother holding a baby) as well as operation Fast and Furious where guns were intentionally illegally sold to Mexican drug criminals.  It’s okay selling guns to drug cartels because Fast and Furious was named after a Vin Diesel movie, and who doesn’t like him?

It appears that most of the actually useful things that the ATF does revolve around databases that attempt to match weapons to crimes.  Keeping close to computer screens and away from actual A, T, and F might be a good idea, since they’ve lost (in just one audit) over 76 firearms, plus hundreds of laptops.  Oops.  Too much A?  And this is the group that reveres Elliot Ness and the famous Untouchables as their forefathers.

Looks like the Deputy Director really wanted to win the pie eating contest with the FBI, so they hired Karen.

In an existence consisting of repugnant, objectionable, and odious events the Waco Siege is probably their crowning achievement.  Waco is certainly the worst single thing the ATF has ever done.  The fact that it’s not the only bad thing people talk about when they bring up the ATF tells you just how incompetent they are.

What did the ATF do that was so bad at Waco?

They launched a military-style raid against a church, the Branch Davidians, for no real discernible crime other than being a great target for a raid that could get publicity right before Congressional budgets were set.  Oh, and ATF agents knowingly lied in order to get military support, indicating that there were illegal drugs at the church when there was no evidence at all.  And this is just for starters.

On the morning of the attack, the agents shot the dogs, then engaged in a firefight with the members of the church.  The ATF says they didn’t shoot first.  The surviving Branch Davidians say the ATF did shoot first.  Since the ATF was recording the raid for use in public relations, it seems odd that they don’t have footage of that.  Almost as if the tapes were . . . conveniently lost?  Nah.

The ATF may be evil, but they make up for it partly by being incompetent.  After 45 minutes of exchanging gunfire with the Branch Davidians, the ATF asked for a do-over, since they had shot all of their ammunition.  The church allowed and honored a ceasefire when they could have easily killed every single ATF agent as they tried to withdraw.  But the folks in the church didn’t.  Once the threat of attack had passed, they let the agents leave in piece.  Did I mention that the Branch Davidians called 911 when they were first attacked?

ATF agents are notoriously bad at knock-knock jokes.

The Waco Siege then spiraled into a circus.  The press, FBI, and the Texas National Guard all showed up.  When a group of moms and kids surrendered, the moms were immediately arrested and the kids placed in state custody, which made the remaining kids not want to leave.  Funny, that.  The FBI hostage negotiators sent in a camcorder so the Davidians could show they weren’t being coerced into staying.  The FBI refused to allow the tape to be given to the media.  Why?

It might make people sympathetic to the Branch Davidians, which wouldn’t do because the FBI needed them to be the villain.

During the standoff, the FBI continually ramped up the stress through lights at night, and horrible sounds during the day – which is probably a questionable strategy when dealing with an end-of-the-world cult.  The FBI then decided that broadcasting “This is not an assault” over a loudspeaker while using a tank to demolish the structure and pump in flammable tear gas.  If that’s not an assault, I’m not sure what is, especially since there are infrared recordings that may show muzzle flashes on the morning of the attack – muzzle flashes of people outside shooting into the compound.   Apparently, this sort of behavior isn’t an assault – it’s just the non-threatening way that FBI agents normally great each other.

I will warn you, the FBI can leave a mess.

Malcolm Gladwell tallied the forces in his article for the New Yorker: 

“Outside the Mount Carmel complex, the FBI assembled what has been called probably the largest military force ever gathered against a civilian suspect in American history:  10 Bradley tanks, two Abrams tanks, four combat-engineering vehicles, 668 agents in addition to six U.S. Customs officers, 15 U.S. Army personnel, 13 members of the Texas National Guard, 31 Texas Rangers, 131 officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety, 17 from the McLennan County sheriff’s office, and 18 Waco police, for a total of 899 people.” 

Those were just the ground forces – there were helicopters and other flying surveillance, too.

The Siege ended in tragedy after the tanks went in – a total of 76 dead in that final “not an assault.”  The church members perished horribly in a fire that may or may not have been started by the government.

I don’t want to give the impression that the leader of the Branch Davidians, David Koresh, was a hero.  He clearly wasn’t.  Outside of his taking wives that were very young (though still within Texas marriage age at the time, per the Sheriff), Koresh had the opportunity to end the standoff without tragedy.  That still doesn’t absolve the government, because if Koresh felt he wouldn’t get a fair deal, it looks like he was right.

Almost immediately after the first catastrophic attack by the ATF, the involved agents started writing reports on what happened.  And were stopped even though writing reports doesn’t allow them to use what is apparently their only skill – bungling operations and getting people killed.  Someone from Washington, D.C. noticed that the agents were writing things that could be used by the Davidians to prove themselves innocent, which must violate some sort of ATF policy.

Thankfully, the evidence remaining from the fire was at least carefully cataloged so Americans could have faith that the justice system would produce a fair result?  No.  The entire site was bulldozed within two weeks after the fire, destroying valuable evidence.

Evidence?  Why would you need that?

His courthouse is in the basement of the Alamo.

I mentioned that I was going to write about Waco to The Mrs.  We discussed it for a while, but she opened with, “Well, I guess that’s another list you’ll be on.”

We continued to talk about it.  Her position was that Waco started the Right/Left split in the country.  From one standpoint, she was correct.  If you look at the Pew® data from back in 1994 (LINK), we weren’t that split as a country, but by 2017 the split was in force.  Waco happened right at the front of the polarization of American politics.

I blame the vegans, ruining Thanksgiving with their stupid tofu turkey.

The Mrs. and I continued discussing the Waco Siege.  We both agreed that Waco was also the most blatant display of the Deep State back before the year 2000, and she felt it was the blow that really split the country.  How so?

  • The search warrant for the raid was based on multiple lies.

  • The Branch Davidians had phone lines cut with the outside world so they couldn’t plead their case except through the FBI.

  • Evidence was “lost” including physical evidence as well as video evidence.

  • Agents writing routine reports after the failed first raid were stopped from creating reports because their stories didn’t match and the government didn’t want to provide evidence that the Branch Davidians could use to be found innocent. Innocence is for government agents, silly.

  • Stories of agents never actually matched with each other, being inconsistent as late as 6 years after the raid.

  • Physical evidence (as was available) contradicted agent testimony or suggested agents may have lied.

  • In the end, every charge that could be brought against the survivors was brought, but there were no charges brought against a single Federal agent. Perhaps 9 (from the data I could find) ATF personnel either retired early (presumably with full benefits and honors) or were “under scrutiny” which probably means that they wouldn’t get promoted again for a year or two.

  • There were lasting career consequences, though: one FBI leader was demoted from a very high position, and the rest of his life was horrible.  Just kidding.  He moved from one high paying executive job in the private sector to another.

  • Leftist Senators (most prominently Charles Schumer) bent over backwards to justify what the ATF did during the Senate hearings on the Siege. I can say this with confidence:  Chuck Schumer is the ATF of the Senate.

The parallels to the Deep State today are similar:

  • Hillary Clinton can intentionally violate the law related to storage of classified information. No charge.

  • The FISA affidavit that started the Mueller investigation could be based on . . . lies. No charge.

  • Andrew McCabe could lie to Congress. No charge.

  • John Brennan could lie to Congress. No investigation.

  • Roger Stone could lie to Congress. No investigation.  Just kidding.  Hammered as if by the fist of an angry god, and convicted of a crime.

  • General Flynn made non-consequential misstatements of fact when he was in a “friendly chat” with FBI agents. No charge.  Just kidding.  Hounded like he had stolen Satan’s bra and convicted of a crime.

Certainly I could come up with more examples.  But the point is clear – the Deep State protects itself first.  Members can commit murder, and there will be no charges.  Members can lie to cover each other and be immune.  Members can destroy evidence without consequence.  Members can get in the 10 item only line with 12 items.  No consequences.

When I think about why the Deep State would go so far to protect its own, my first question is, why?  You see this as a regular fixture with almost any member.  Some of those being protected aren’t important.  The on-scene director at Waco – why protect him?

The answer is fairly simple:  these people know things.  They know of the activities that the Deep State wants to hide.  They’re the ones who know the real secrets, both on you and me but more importantly on each other.

Why could Waco not be ended peacefully?  Because it would give Koresh a victory.  And a victory, no matter how small would, they felt, make them less powerful, less respected.  There is a reason that the ATF and FBI posed in pictures on the still-smoldering remains of the Branch Davidian compound.  There is a reason that after the fire took down the Branch Davidian flag, the ATF raised an ATF flag at Waco.

Nothing says reasonable like a selfie on top of ashes!

That reason is the Deep State’s deepest desire.  What does the Deep State want?

Power, both personal power, and power to the organizations they serve.  Make no mistake, the Deep State is partisan, and loves all of those who like state control.  Why else would they militarize a Federal Bureau that was less effective than Soviet situation comedy writers?  You could look into the sneering, mocking weasel face of Peter Strzok while he was giving testimony to Congress and see it in his eyes.  Contempt.  Contempt for those that weren’t of his Deep State pedigree, and a smugness borne of the thought that there was nothing that could ever be done to him.

Would you trust this man with your secrets?

He had become like the hero of the ATF, Elliot Ness.

He was Untouchable.

Tyler Durden Fri, 03/06/2020 - 23:45
Published:3/6/2020 10:57:47 PM
[Markets] Surveillance Court Bans FBI and DOJ Officials Who Erred in Carter Page Wiretap Applications Surveillance Court Bans FBI and DOJ Officials Who Erred in Carter Page Wiretap Applications

Authored by Ivan Pentchoukov via The Epoch Times,

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) on March 5 effectively barred FBI and Justice Department officials involved in the infamous application to surveil former Trump campaign associate Carter Page.

Carter Page

The chief justice of the secret court, James Boasberg, ordered the ban in a 19-page opinion, the latest in a series of developments triggered by the release of the condemning report by the Office of Inspector General (OIG), which examined the four Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) applications the FBI used to spy on Page.

Boasberg wrote, “No DOJ or FBI personnel under disciplinary or criminal review relating to their work on FISA applications shall participate in drafting, verifying, reviewing, or submitting such applications to the court.”

Boasberg also accepted a detailed plan put forth by the FBI to prevent the kinds of significant omissions and misstatements that made their way into the Page FISA applications despite significant vetting by top officials at the bureau and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The court is encouraged by the government’s responses to the OIG report and its orders, as the FBI and DOJ have each indicated that the flaws identified in the OIG Report require significant and systemic remedial action,” Boasberg wrote.

The DOJ inspector general released a report in December that found a number of serious omissions and misstatements in the FISA applications on Page. For example, the FBI failed to disclose that Page had a relationship with the CIA, that the agency had approved Page as an operational contact from 2008 to 2013, that Page notified the agency about his contacts with Russians, and that the CIA had assessed that Page was truthful about describing his contacts.

Exacerbating the omission, an FBI attorney altered an email to say that Page was “not a source.”

Boasberg ordered the FBI and DOJ to include in future applications to the court a statement saying that they contain “all information that might reasonably call into question the accuracy of the information or the reasonableness of any F.B.I. assessment in the application, or otherwise raise doubts about the requested findings.”

On the heels of the release of the OIG report, the FISC issued a scathing order, calling on the FBI to explain what is being done to rectify the malpractice flagged by the inspector general. Boasberg also appointed an independent monitor to assess the FBI’s response. The bureau responded with a menu of procedural, training, and oversight reforms, some of which are already being implemented. Boasberg’s order calls for information and status updates on several of the items.

Boasberg filed his order as lawmakers are considering reforming the FISA act. President Donald Trump told Republican lawmakers in a private meeting on March 3 that he would not sign an extension of the surveillance law without reforms, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told reporters.

In addition to the issues identified in the wiretap applications, some of the key officials involved in the investigation of the Trump campaign were found to have expressed intense bias against Trump and in favor of his 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton. The inspector general found no evidence to suggest that the bias motivated the malpractice.

Follow Ivan on Twitter: @ivanpentchoukov

Tyler Durden Fri, 03/06/2020 - 19:05
Published:3/6/2020 6:26:15 PM
[FBI] We now know: FISA court must go (5) (Scott Johnson) I had reached part 4 in my series We now know: FISA court must go” when events permitted a break. Today I return on the occasion of the Opinion and Order entered by FISA court Chief Judge James Boasberg (embedded below). Under the terms of the order, as Catherine Herridge and Mellissa Quinn report in their CBS News story, “Surveillance court judge bars some DOJ and FBI officials from warrant Published:3/6/2020 5:54:37 AM
[Markets] One Of The Most Powerful Labor Leaders In The US Has Been Charged With Conspiring To Steal Union Money One Of The Most Powerful Labor Leaders In The US Has Been Charged With Conspiring To Steal Union Money

Former UAW President Gary Jones, a labor leader who until recently held the same job that made Jimmy Hoffa a national icon (before his untimely murder/disappearance) has been charged by federal prosecutors with conspiring to embezzle union funds, WSJ reports.

Prosecutors claimed Jones used union funds to finance "trips, liquor and other luxuries" despite presenting himself as a labor leader and man of the people who eschewed the lifestyles of the fat-cat auto execs sitting across from him at the bargaining table.

Jones is now the highest-ranking former UAW official to be charged in the years-long federal investigation of the union.

Back in November, we reported Jones's resignation, which came just weeks after the union struck a deal with General Motors to end one of the longest labor strikes in history. Jones had already been on 'leave' for a few weeks when he left. 10 others - mostly former union officials - have pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges as part of the investigation. Jones was initially believed to not be facing charges, though he was allegedly identified as "UAW official A" in the indictment of another union official.

Over the summer, the FBI raided Jones's home, which we reported at the time.

If he hadn't resigned, Jones would have been facing a 'union trial' over the alleged misuse of funds, though it's believed he won't be facing the proceeding now that he has resigned.

Around the same time, GM sued Fiat Chrysler alleging the auto manufacturer bribed top UAW officials to secure better terms during a labor negotiation. The investigation is believed to have initiated over the bribes, which encouraged the union leadership to screw over the workers to whom they were responsible to brazenly enrich themselves.

It's just another reminder to always be skeptical of those who portray themselves as 'champions of the working man'.

Tyler Durden Thu, 03/05/2020 - 15:20
Published:3/5/2020 2:21:06 PM
[] New IG report: FBI still deficient on investigating home-grown terrorists despite repeated failures -- and deaths Published:3/5/2020 1:22:41 PM
[In The News] Spy Court Sidelines FBI And DOJ Officials Who Wiretapped Carter Page

By Chuck Ross -

FBI and Justice Department employees involved in the process of wiretapping Carter Page were barred Wednesday from taking part in other investigations involving surveillance warrants while they are under disciplinary or criminal review. The order, from Judge James Boasberg, who presides over the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), is the latest ...

Spy Court Sidelines FBI And DOJ Officials Who Wiretapped Carter Page is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust - Conservative News Website for U.S. News, Political Cartoons and more.

Published:3/5/2020 9:51:06 AM
[] Consequences: FISA court disqualifies FBI agents linked to Carter Page warrants Published:3/5/2020 8:18:16 AM
[Markets] Who Or What Started The Wuhan Coronavirus Epidemic? Who Or What Started The Wuhan Coronavirus Epidemic?

Authored by Professor Anthony Hall via AHTribune.com,

On the Condemnation of "Conspiracy Theories" as a Device for Protecting Officialdom’s Lies, Disinformation, and Obfuscation.

The Wuhan Coronavirus epidemic of 2019-20 is moving many markers where life merges into death, where truth merges into lies. At age 34, Dr. Li Wenliang drew attention in Wuhan to these moving markers. The disease Dr. Li sought to warn against ended up taking his life as the epidemic gained fatal traction.

Before going down himself in the line of duty, Dr. Li faced a harsh reprimand from representatives of the Chinese Communist Party. Dr. Li was accused of spreading rumors and illegally threatening the social order with his tweets and posts and personal interventions. Nevertheless, Dr. Li was soon vindicated in calling attention to the coming plague.

It did not take long before the appalling force of the illness demonstrated that Dr. Li was anything but a wayward conspiracy theorist. Instead, the evidence proved him right even as it proved his powerful detractors were both wrong and negligent in the face of a genuine menace.

Dr. Li Wenliang is a martyr. It remains to be seen, however, how far the shadow of Dr. Li’s martyrdom will be cast.

The Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, is cutting a broad and deep swath though epidemiological history with uncertain impact on the viability of many families, communities, institutions, economies, and even countries starting with the most heavily populated nation on earth. Many fates are hanging in the balance, not the least of which is that of the communist government that has ruled China since the Maoist Revolution brought it to power in 1949.

The new strain of Coronavirus has added novel genetic features to the same family of pathogens that brought the world the SARS crisis in 2002-3 and, a decade later, the less lethal MERS outbreak. This Novel Coronavirus strain, COVID-19, is showing itself to be much more contagious and lethal than was SARS and MERS.

Some have anticipated that, if not dramatically countered, the Wuhan Coronavirus epidemic could be headed in the direction of the Spanish flu outbreak of 1918. This prediction flows from the assessment of, for instance, Prof. Gabriel Leung, Chair of Public Health Medicine at Hong King University. Looking at the very fast rate of COVID-19’s spread from human to human through the air, Dr. Leung challenged any residual sense of complacency. He anticipated a possible 60 per cent infection rate of the world’s entire population with deaths numbering in the many tens of millions.

The so-called Spanish flu has set the bar for how severe and widespread a contagious plague can become. The pandemic of 1918 took more lives in one year than all deaths due to World War II. The Spanish flu of 1918 engendered more mortality in one year than the four peak years of the notorious Black Death Bubonic Plague that decimated Europe in the middle years of the fourteenth century. The worldwide pandemic of 1918 infected over a quarter of all people on earth. About 65 million people died from the illness.

News reports from the ground zero area of the Wuhan Coronavirus epidemic demonstrate that the effects of the viral infection cut far and wide. Every facet of Chinese society is being challenged to the limit by a fast-spreading plague disseminating germs of destruction disrupting many biological, political, economic, and knowledge systems simultaneously.

Questions about how to interpret the epidemic and how to explain to the public what is known or not known are quickly coming into focus. Who should be believed? Who is credible and who is not credible as the epidemic unfolds. What should be the role of social media and of whistle blowers in the process of deciding how to respond? What happens when genuine whistle blowers like Dr. Li are too quickly dismissed and reprimanded by ruling authorities as “conspiracy theorists”?

An essential task that must be faced in this initial phase of this crisis is to develop an accurate explanation of where contagion came from and how the first victims of the Novel Coronavirus came to be infected. The need for some degree of certainty about the origins of the virus and its subsequent genesis is absolutely essential to the development of sound and appropriate responses. It would be highly irresponsible to rush ahead with the development of an overall strategy for dealing with the plague without making an honest attempt to get at the truth of how the contagion first came into existence.

The importance of getting to the factual roots of what happened to put humanity on this epidemiological trajectory should be especially clear after the debacle of September 11, 2001. Without any sustained investigation of the 9/11 crimes, Americans were rushed into cycles of seemingly perpetual warfare abroad, police state and surveillance state interventions at home. This cycle of fast responses began within a month of 9/11 with a full-fledge military invasion of Afghanistan, an invasion that continues yet.

When two US Senators, Patrick Leahy and Tom Daschle, sought to slow the rush of the US executive into emergency measures and war, they and the US Congress they served were hit hard by a military grade bioweapon, anthrax. The violent tactic of the saboteurs proved effective in easing aside close scrutiny that might have slowed down the fast approval by the end of October of Congress’s massive Patriot Act. 

Since then a seemingly endless cycle of military invasions has been pushed forward in the Middle East and Eurasia. The emergency measure powers claimed by the executive branch of the US government extended to widespread illegal torture, domestic spying, media censorship and a meteoric rise in extrajudicial murders especially by drones. This list is far from complete.

All of these crimes against humanity were justified on the basis of an unproven official explanation of 9/11.  Subsequent scholarly investigations have demonstrated unequivocally for the attentive that officialdom’s explanations of what transpired on the fateful day in September were wrong, severely wrong. The initial interpretations are strongly at variance with the evidentiary record available on the public record.

We must not allow ourselves to be hoodwinked in the same manner once again. The stakes are too large, maybe even larger than was the case in 2001. The misinterpreted and misrepresented events of 9/11 were exploited in conformity with the “Shock Doctrine,” a strategy for instituting litanies of invasive state actions that the public would not otherwise have accepted.

The conscientious portion of humanity, many of whose members have done independent homework of their own on the events of 9/11, will well understand the importance of identifying the actual originating source of the Wuhan Coronavirus epidemic. 

No less than in the wake of the 9/11 debacle, there are grave dangers entailed in being too quick or too naïve or too trustful in immediately accepting as gospel fact the Chinese government’s initial explanations of the COVID-19 outbreak. Why not take the time to investigate and test the current interpretations of the authorities that proved themselves to be so wrong in their decision to reprimand Dr. Li?

Especially when the stakes are extremely high, the need is great for objective, third-party adjudication to establish what really happened irrespective of official interpretations. History provides abundant evidence to demonstrate that official interpretations of transformative events often veer away from the truth in order to serve and protect the interests of entrenched power.

All semblance of due process and the rule of law can quickly evaporate when powerful institutions advance interpretations of catastrophic events used to justify their own open-ended invocation of unlimited emergency measure powers. The well-documented examples of the misrepresentation and exploitation of the 9/11 debacle demonstrate well the severity of the current danger. The origins of the Wuhan Coronavirus epidemic have yet to be adequately addressed and explained by a panel of genuinely independent investigators.

The Chinese Ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, acknowledged on Feb. 9 on CBS’s Face the Nation that there is no certainty about the origins of COVID-19. When asked by CBS’s Margaret Brennan where the virus came from, the Chinese Ambassador responded, “We still don’t know yet.”

Although media giants like the Washington Post have run interference to justify the claims of established authority in this fiasco, there is still a high level of uncertainty about what COVID-19 is, where it came from, and why it spread so quickly. What factors resulted in the genetic modifications determining the biological structure of the new Coronavirus strain? What happened in the biological journey from the SARS Coronavirus to the Coronavirus strain that triggered the epidemiological bombshell starting in Wuhan?

Did the Chinese communist government have a role in creating COVID-19 either purposely or inadvertently? What did the Chinese government know when did its leadership know it? Such basic questions have yet to be objectively considered by a panel of genuinely independent experts not beholden to any centers of established authority, funding, publicity and political networking. 

The need to transcend all conflict of interest in the formal investigation of this matter must somehow be realized if objectivity is to prevail in the process of unearthing, organizing and assessing the evidence. The primary objective of this process must be to bring out the truth, no matter how embarrassing such illuminations might be to the interests of entrenched power. A process must be initiated without any pandering to the political biases of institutions and individuals with much to protect, with major interests in determining the outcome of the investigations.

One version of events is that the contagion began when some mutated viral disease strain jumped from a bat or a snake into the biological workings of one of more humans. This animal to human leap is supposed to have taken place in the precincts of Wuhan’s open-air traditional food market where bats, snakes, cats, raccoons, fish, possums and the like can be bought and sold.

A growing perception of disbelief is developing in the face of the idea that all this mayhem started with a few people chomping down on some fatally infected critters purchased an open-air market. In fact, this explanation is becoming the subject of much satire and ridicule even as the horrifying nature of the unfolding of events is intensifying.  

Another possible source of the contagion is the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory, one of China’s most high-tech installations designed for biological research into the most deadly forms of viruses known to humankind. This research facility, with top level 4 containment capacities, emerged from the expansion and elaboration of an older agency known as the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

*(Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory)

As shall be demonstrated, the Wuhan Institute of Virology is thought by some experts, including a prestigious group at the South China Technological University in Guangzhou, to be the probable source of the contaminant. As shall be demonstrated below, the Wuhan Institute of Virology and its outgrowth, The National Biosafety Laboratory, are thought by some to be integrated with more secretive sites where the military operations of China’s alleged biological warfare program are centered.

A focus on the kind of procedures that take place at the Wuhan Institute of Virology begs the question of whether an accidental viral escape from this agency forms the primary origin of the epidemic. Another possibility is that some sort of power play within China’s ruling elite might have led to the decision to create and release a bioweapon in the heart of one of the most heavily populated zones on earth.

Yet another possibility is that the Wuhan Coronavirus epidemic is part of some agenda of “hybrid warfare” by the US government against China. Speculation surrounding this scenario emphasizes that hundreds of US soldiers were in Wuhan in late October of 2019 for the World Military Games.

As Mark Episkopos has argued in The National Interest, the theory that the US government is behind the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus has been well reported in some mainstream media venues in Russia. This “rumor” is also one that Chinese Ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, specifically referred on CBS’s Face the Nation when he fended off the allegation that China’s biological warfare program was somehow implicated in the epidemic’s origins.

One of those interviewed on the subject is Igor Nikulin. Mr Nikulin has argued, “Wuhan was chosen for the attack [by US military officials] because the local presence of the Wuhun Institute of Virology offers the Pentagon and CIA a convenient cover story about bio-experiments gone awry.”

If it turns out the source of the Novel Coronavirus epidemic is a biological warfare weapon, yet another question concerns whether the attack germ is genetically engineered to target a specific ethnic group. Drawing on his observations of US biological research in some of the former republics of the Soviet Union, Nikulin remarked,

the supposedly Pentagon-funded U.S. laboratories in Eurasia have been collecting and treating genetic material from Russian and Chinese populations to allegedly create an “ethnically specific” virus that only targets certain peoples.

Episkopos adds that Nikulin’s observation are consistent with the position of Russian military expert, Viktor Baranets. Baranets has affirmed that biological warfare has become a new weapon “in the American fight for global supremacy against its main adversaries.” There is much evidence to indicate that one of the main thrusts of genetic research in biological warfare has long involved efforts to target specific ethnic groups for sickness and death. There are obvious reasons why those engaged in the development of biological weaponry would want to narrow their aim to envisaged enemies rather than breed germs to kill indiscriminately all humans in their path whether friend or foe.

Lance Welton covers some supposedly unmentionable yet nevertheless contested topics in an article entitled, “Asians Far More Susceptible to Coronavirus Than Other Races, More Likely to Die.”

Welton leaves aside the question of why it is that the COVID-19 seems to pack a much more virulent and lethal punch when it comes to the targeting of people sharing Chinese-Asian ancestry. The other side of the same coin is people of predominately European ancestry seem statistically to be much less at risk when it comes to succumbing to the epidemiological force of COVID-19.

Welton has observed how difficult it is has become in the Occident even to raise issues publicly concerning the different vulnerabilities of different ethnic groups to certain diseases. He cites anecdotal evidence that, so far at least, all the deaths outside China have mostly taken the lives of ethnic Chinese people. From this observation Welton concludes that racial characteristics are a significant factor in determining vulnerability to COVID-19-inflicted disease.

The fact that this subject is being so assiduously ignored by those engaged in the quest for political correctness leads Welton to comment,

“It only goes to show how pathological our taboo on “race” has become. Race denial is so strong that possible race differences in the incidence of a disease cannot be mentioned, or even suggested.”

Establishing New Domains of Hybrid Warfare

The Wuhan Coronavirus epidemic of 2020 is causing the once-firm ground beneath many established institutions to shake uncontrollably. One of those institutions, the Chinese communist government, is encountering its Chernobyl moment.

There are many consequences and implications of the epidemic that are already extending beyond China to the whole world. The epidemic is having significant implications for, for instance, the state of the Chinese and global economy, the future of the transportation industry, the future of tourism, the conditions of international relations, the state of censorship, the interaction between academic and military research, as well as the ongoing breakdown of trust in government. This list is far from complete.

The remainder of this 6 part essay highlights the implications of the COVID-19 crisis for communicative interactions, especially in the public sphere. The issues to be addressed extend across social media and mainstream media. They touch on public education and different conceptions of the public interest.

The analysis of the breakdown in public health raises questions about law enforcement. It raises related questions about the governance of professional associations, academic institutions as well as the public and private agencies with significant responsibilities in the arenas of certification and scientific publication.

One of the primary areas of professional contention arising from the COVID-19 crisis involves the close connections between biological research aimed at finding preventions and cures for diseases and research aimed at creating biological weapons. Biological weapons can be designed with the goal of bringing about indiscriminate mass murder. They can also be used to bring about the targeted murder of specific human populations sharing common genetic attributes.

Gradually a portion of the public is becoming aware that a conflict of interests exists between the military and public health applications of the microbiology field within the so-called life sciences. How many practitioners of the so-called life sciences are really devoting themselves to the death sciences? The public has reason to question, for instance, the procedures involved in the production of vaccines by an industry with one foot in the health care field and another foot in military research.

Why should the public not fear that some practitioners in the field of microbiology might confuse their dual responsibilities in projects aimed at both saving and killing people? What is to be said of the development of vaccines, in some cases by the same people involved in genetically engineering the very diseases that vaccines are meant to protect against?

Similarly, why should the public trust that we are being well served by systems of research primarily driven by the quest for lucrative patents to enrich their owners? Why shouldn’t the public suspect that we are being used as guinea pigs in experiments on human beings that continue to be perpetuated in the course of applied medical research regardless of the prohibitions that have been enacted? Did the Wuhan Coronavirus epidemic begin as an experiment on human subjects that got out of control?

How many times can the public trust be betrayed before the habit ceases of giving possible professional offenders, including those in white lab coats, the benefit of the doubt? Where does the protection of the public interest and the common good fit into this complex and internally contradictory picture? 

Where is there genuine accountability to a public required to support with our tax dollars scientific research that can result in both good and bad outcomes? Why does the financial return on this public investment so often end up in corporate and private hands whereas the liabilities and collateral damages accrued are expected to be absorbed by the public?  

The fact that ground zero of the Novel Coronavirus is Wuhan, home of China’s newest and most sophisticated microbiology laboratory, naturally casts a shadow of doubt over narratives minimizing the role of human agency in creating the new strain of Coronavirus. Wuhan's important role as a major Chinese research center, much of it secret and covert, has to be taken into account. Moreover, Wuhan just happens also to be the medical headquarters of the People’s Liberation Army.

The possible bioweapon was originally labeled 2019-nCoV. Then the UN’s World Health Organization changed the formal name to COVID-19. Is the World Health Organization a PR adjunct of Big Pharma? How tight is the relationship between the WHO and the Chinese Communist Party?

In an era of proliferating genetic engineering, how are governments and their Big Pharma partners dividing up the field of microbiology? How are they handling the divide between initiatives done in the name of public health and initiatives done to produce biological weapons for national governments including those of the United States, China, and Israel? How are the partners handling the apportionment of new wealth derived from securing patents?

These issues are finding expressions in the many legitimate questions that are coming to light in the course of the Novel Coronavirus emergency. Some of these questions arise because of a history of largely unexplained relations between the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory and the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada (NML). It has been well reported that both institutions share the same top-level 4 certification assigned to containment facilities in research labs where staff can pursue high-level studies of the most dangerous pathogens known to humankind.

Built with French assistance between 2015 and 2017, the Wuhan facility at ground zero of the current epidemic is one of the premier pathogen research facilities in a country that is thought by some to be developing significant capacities for biological warfare. Similarly, the federal research facility in Winnipeg may well have an attending or indirect role in military research to advance capacities for biological warfare in collaboration with Canada’s two main allies, Israel and the United States.

Immunologist and Medical Doctor, Xiangguo Qiu, is the principal professional link at the nexus of relations between the Wuhan and Winnipeg facilities. Until recently Dr. Qiu was the head of the Vaccine Development and Antiviral Therapies Section of the Special Pathogens Programme of the NML. The NML in Winnipeg is administered by Canada’s federal Public Health Agency.

*(Qiu Xiangguo was one of the first scientists to develop a treatment for Ebola. Credit: Handout) 

Dr. Qiu received her medical