Doing Advance Work

News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Joseph Mifsud exemplifies stench of the so-called UK-US 'special relationship' in which UK political types apparently have no interest in their own country so are intricately involved assisting US shadow governments desperate to silence the American people. Our Deep State slave masters will pair with anyone these days-Disobedient Media

4/23/18, "A Conversation with Chris Blackburn on the Contradictions Surrounding Mifsud," Disobedient Media, Elizabeth Lea Vos (Chris Blackburn is a UK Political Analyst focusing on International Relations and Security)
 
"After the publication of Disobedient Media’s coverage of eclectic scholar’ Joseph Mifsud’s unexamined ties to UK intelligence officials, this author was contacted by Chris Blackburn, a UK Political Analyst focusing on International Relations and Security, whose Twitter post instigated this writer’s research into the matter.

This writer’s interest in Mifsud and in turn, the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, was heightened by a Twitter threadon the subject published by WikiLeaks Editor-In-Chief Julian Assange shortly before Ecuador cut off his connection to the outside world.

Mifsud and Claire Smith
(Image via 4/4/18, Disobedient Media: "Claire Smith standing with Joseph Mifsud, on the left side of the back row.")

Chris Blackburn’s initial Tweets on the matter included of a photograph showing UK Joint Intelligence Committee member Claire Smith and Joseph Mifsud together at LINK Campus in Rome, where they collaborated on a training program involving Italian military officials. Disobedient Media was able to confirm the photograph’s authenticity, finding that the program was organized by the London Academy of Diplomacy (LAD), which Mifsud directed. 

The event took place in 2012 a significant date because, at that time, Claire Smith was a member of the UK intelligence security vetting panel.

2017, Mifsud w. Boris Johnson
As Blackburn informed us, there is more to this story than is told by that single photograph, or by the October 2017 photograph of Mifsud standing with UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. The following discussion took place electronically."...

[Ed. note: Caption for image "at Brexit dinner" on 10/19/17 from UK Guardian, 11/11/2017 article: "Boris Johnson pictured at the dinner with the ‘London professor’, Joseph Mifsud (left) and Prasenjit Kumar Singh." Article, "Boris Johnson met 'London professor' linked to FBI's Russia investigation," "Fresh questions as photograph emerges of Joseph Mifsud and foreign secretary at Brexit dinner." Described as a "fundraising dinner."]

(continuing): ..............."Disobedient Media asked Chris [Blackburn] to explain the process of his research into Joseph Mifsud’s most important ties:

Chris Blackburn: “When Joseph Mifsud’s name was leaked by The Washington Post as being the ‘professor’ named in George Papadopoulos’ court papers, bloggers and journalists took to Twitter to try to understand who he was. Everyone was looking for connections to Russia. They quickly found them. The London Centre for International Law Practice (LCILP) had been working on hosting financial sanctions workshops, and LINK Campus in Rome and the London Academy of Diplomacy (LAD) had provided a vehicle for Mifsud to make connections with Russian universities and academics.”

“Before the story broke, I had heard of the London Centre for International Law Practice (LCILP) where George Papadopoulos and Mifsud both worked. The relatively new legal firm had been trying to move into the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) sector in the UK. They had done some research into ISIS territorial gains in the Middle East and wrote a widely circulated report on the group. They also hosted a few seminars with [UK] Foreign Office types on terrorism. LCILP had also tried to reach out to a couple of Bangladeshi activists working on the Bangladesh War Crimes Tribunals. I didn’t think much of it, but I couldn’t ignore it. Why would a suspected Russian intelligence front try to engage with Bangladesh’s War Crimes Tribunal from London?”... 

Mifsud worked with diplomats and NATO allies, so they would need to know the potential damage he had caused. I found that two of Joseph Mifsud’s closest colleagues, who the FBI would have designated as high-frequency, were Claire Smith and Gianni Pittella. They had followed him between LAD [London Academy of Diplomacy], Stirling University and LINK Campus in Rome. Claire Smith was a former member of Britain’s Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC). As a team, Smith and Mifsud trained Italian law enforcement on intelligence at LINK Campus in Rome. LINK Campus’ ties to the Italian Foreign Ministry and intelligence agencies had been quickly skimmed over by The Washington Post, The New York Times, Buzzfeed and The Guardian.”

Gianni Pittella has known Mifsud for a while. They met at the European Parliament and have collaborated on numerous projects together. In July 2016, Pittella gave a rousing speech at Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign launch in Philadelphia, calling Donald Trump ‘a virus’ which needed to be stopped, while his close collaborator Mifsud was supposedly helping Trump’s campaign to conspire with Russia. If the FBI had been doing a proper investigation into Joseph Mifsud, these two connections should have raised red flags immediately.”...

“While other researchers were looking into Mifsud’s academic links to Russia, I decided to conduct a more wide-ranging investigation. The London Academy of Diplomacy was being built up in the press as a shady operation. It wasn’t. British diplomats and Foreign Office ministers often visited LAD. Sir Tony Baldry, Alok Sharma MP and former Foreign Secretary William Hague all visited LAD or spoke at their conferences.” 

“If Mifsud was working with western intelligence agencies that would be rather pertinent in an espionage scandal. Italian journalists have been slow to pick up the story, but they are now calling LINK Campus the ‘007 university’ because Vincenzo Scotti, a former Italian Foreign Minister, and director at LINK University, has been trying to defend himself from suggestions he’s in Russia or the CIA’s pocket.”

The venue for the alleged acts of treachery involving Papadopoulos and Mifsud– LINK Campus Rome – should have set alarm bells ringing for the FBI’s counter-intelligence investigators. The CIA has a long history of working there. David Ignatius of The Washington Post even wrote about a CIA-sponsored event he attended at LINK Campus in 2004.”

“The FBI’s Legat [Legal Attache office] in Rome also sends its agents to train Italian and Maltese law enforcement at the small private campus. Mifsud had worked at LINK Campus for quite some time. Before the story broke in August last year, Mifsud had been working with CNN’s Freedom Project to host a televised debate on modern slavery. After Mifsud had been named, CNN continued with the event. Richard Quest hosted while one of Mifsud’s colleagues, Franco Frattini, acted as one of the panelists.”...

..............."Disobedient Media asked Chris for his thoughts on why multiple red flags easily spotted by due diligence may have been missed regarding Mifsud, intentionally or otherwise.

Chris Blackburn: “If Mifsud is a genuine Russian asset, he has been enabled by the United States’ most trusted allies. His relationship with senior intelligence and political leaders in Europe should constitute one of the greatest security breaches in decades. He had access to diplomats in training, sanctions targets and counter-terrorism strategy in the Middle East and South Asia. However, government reactions don’t show that. The FBI doesn’t appear to have warned their closest allies.”...

...............Disobedient Media asked Chris [Blackburn] to explain what conclusions can be drawn, or questions raised, by the evidence he’s shared.

Chris Blackburn: “There are too many contradictions and blatant omissions concerning Joseph Mifsud, in the media and the judicial system, to ignore. The NSA would have been monitoring Mifsud’s communications with the production crew that worked on the CNN Freedom Project before the George Papadopoulos indictment was made public. Why didn’t CNN Europe’s producers come out and say anything? It’s one of the greatest scandals in US history. Does CNN’s European division not read the news?”

“After Mifsud allegedly engaged George Papadopoulos in trying to set him up with allegedly stolen data, he went on to host conferences with US Treasury officials, ex-CIA agents, congressmen and State Department officials in numerous venues. If the investigation were genuine, US authorities would have alerted the British government and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mifsud would not have been able to get into a position to be photographed with the British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson if he was a security threat or an agent of influence.” 

“Mifsud still hasn’t been named by Special Counsel Robert Mueller or indicted by his team. The first time an official named him was when Rep. Adam Schiff (D), the minority chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), mentioned him in a rebuttal to the majority memo on FISA abuses in the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ).”

“There are enough red flags here to suggest that Mifsud was potentially tied to efforts to kick-start a phony investigation that was designed to be leaked to the American press. Peter Strzok, the counter-intelligence official that started the Joseph Mifsud investigation, has been demoted and removed from Mueller’s investigative team. Mifsud is a mystery to people that can’t be bothered to look, but many journalists are aware of his links.”

“They don’t want to ruin a narrative. Trump is a divisive figure, but if we let intelligence officials illegally taint and sabotage candidates in a democratic election, it sets a dangerous precedent. Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, has previously stepped into contemporary politics to malign Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition, and the Liberal Democrats during British elections. He guided Christopher Steele on his strategy with his infamous dossier. It’s a trend which needs to be addressed.”

“For those that still believe we are living in democratic, free and open societies it is sadly starting to look like fantasy. Democracies flourish when the checks and balances in the system are robust. We need them to work now more than ever.”

............[Elizabeth Vos] As a closing thought on Blackburn’s findings, it’s important to set the exposure of Mifsud’s ties to the UK establishment and intelligence community into context.

Julian Assange brought this matter to the public’s attention just before being silenced by the Ecuadorian government. Although this particular story is most likely not causative in terms of Assange being relegated to solitary confinement, it is important to remember Assange’s interest in Mifsud’s ties to UK intelligence. It is one among many subjects that Assange has been prevented from discussing at the time of writing.

Ultimately, Disobedient Media’s previous coverage of Mifsud’s links to UK intelligence and Chris Blackburn’s thorough research suggest that the same interests involved in the fabrication of Russian hacking fingerprints via the anonymous Guccifer 2.0 persona are associated with the concoction of faulty evidence for the Trump-Russia collusion narrative.

Even reports casting Mifsud as a Russian intelligence asset do not object to the conclusion that Mifsud worked as a spy. Their claim simply depicts him as working for the wrong master, and in so-doing, rests the beating heart of the Trump-Russia collusion scandal on a single inaccurate premise. In exposing this sleight of hand, Chris Blackburn, Julian Assange, and others have debunked a narrative which, if successful, could have fatally raised tensions between two nuclear powers already facing off on the geopolitical playing field.

In the Trump-Russia and Russian hacking narratives, American and UK intelligence agencies appear to have recklessly and deceptively acted in the interest of a single political candidate, Hillary Clinton.  

This singularity of purpose speaks to the insecurity and magnitude of the unelected Western power structure, equaled by the scale of lies propping up the Trump-Russia and Russian hacking narratives."






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Asia pollution is by far biggest contributor to smog in Western US, peer reviewed study. Tons of mercury, sulfates, ozone, and black carbon from Asia come to rest in California carried by Pacific winds




Image caption: "While much of the dust cloud remains over the Pacific Ocean, the leading edge has reached as far east as the American Midwest by April 13 (2001)," NASA, 5/17/2001

"China now emits more mercury than the United States, India, and Europe combined....“What’s different about China is the scale and speed of pollution and environmental degradation,” Turner says. It’s like nothing the world has ever seen.”" (p. 1)


3/1/2017 peer reviewed study: Asian air pollution is by far the biggest contributor to smog in the Western US
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3/18/2011, "Made in China: Our Toxic, Imported Air Pollution," Discover, by David Kirby, (April 2011 issue) 

"Mercury, sulfates, ozone, black carbon, flu-laced desert dust. Even as America 
tightens emission standards, the 
fast-growing economies of Asia 
are filling the air with hazardous components that 
circumnavigate the globe."

(p. 1): "Prevailing winds across the Pacific are pushing thousands of tons of other contaminants—including mercury, sulfates, ozone, black carbon, and desert dust—over the ocean each year. Some of this atmospheric junk settles into the cold waters of the North Pacific, but much of it eventually merges 
with the global air pollution pool that circumnavigates the planet. 

These contaminants are implicated in a long list of health problems, including neurodegenerative disease, cancer, emphysema, and perhaps even pandemics like avian flu. And when wind and weather conditions are right, they reach North America within days. Dust, ozone, and carbon can accumulate in valleys and basins, and mercury can be pulled to earth through atmospheric sinks that deposit it across large swaths of land. 

China in particular stands out because of its sudden role as the world’s factory, its enormous population, and the mass migration of that population to urban centers; 350 million people, equivalent to the entire U.S. population, will be moving to its cities over the next 10 years. China now emits more mercury than the United States, India, and Europe combined....(p. 1) 

“What’s different about China is the scale and speed of pollution and environmental degradation,” Turner [Jennifer, director of the China Environment Forum at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars] says. It’s like nothing the world has ever seen.”... 

"Jaffe’s colleagues considered it improbable that a concentration of pollutants high enough to significantly impact American air quality could travel thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean." (p.2)... 

(p. 7): "Perhaps the most counterintuitive traveling contaminant is ozone, commonly associated with ground-level pollution in cities. Volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides from Asian cars and industry mix in the atmosphere as they cross the Pacific Ocean and convert in sunlight into ozone, a main ingredient in smog, Jaffe explains. When air with high ozone concentrations touches down in North America, it can pose the classic dangers of urban smog: heart disease, lung disease, and death.

Jaffe recently coauthored a paper on Asian ozone coming to America. It found that ozone levels above western North America creep upward every spring. “When air was coming from Asia, the trend was strongest. That was the nail in the coffin,” Jaffe says. “The increase was estimated at 0.5 part per billion [ppb] per year. But that’s huge. In 10 years that’s another 5 ppb. Let’s say the epa orders a 5 ppb reduction and we achieve that, and yet, because of the growing global pool, in 10 years that gets wiped out. We’ll have to keep reducing our emissions just to stay even.”"... (p. 7)
 

(p. 8): "The United States has spent considerable effort over the past half-century trying to clean up its act. China is still much more focused on production.... 

(p. 9): "Asian mercury can reach western North America in as little as four days."
....................... 

Added: 

Mercury from China ends up in Oregon fish, rendering some unsafe to eat. ""Especially if China's share increases, Hope [Bruce Hope, sr. environmental toxicologist at Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality] says, Oregon can do little to reduce contamination of the river even by cracking down on emissions, eliminating mercury from products and segregating waste.

"Because of foreign sources, the kinds of management changes that would be acceptable would probably not be enough to let us eat the fish." Oregon officials have warned since issuing a 2001 advisory that Willamette bass and pikeminnow bear unsafe mercury levels."

11/24/2006, "Mercury's long trip to Oregon fish," The Oregonian, Richard Read














""At least one-third of California's fine particulate pollution --known as aerosol --has floated across from Asia, says Steve Cliff, an atmospheric scientist at the University of California at Davis.

"In May this year, almost all the fine aerosol present at Lake Tahoe came from China," says Tom Cahill, a UC Davis emeritus professor of atmospheric sciences. "So the haze that you see in spring at Crater Lake or other remote areas is in fact Chinese in origin.""

11/24/2006, "China's mercury flushes into Oregon's rivers," The Oregonian via pprc.info

Image source: "Bruce Hope, senior environmental toxicologist of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality"

Alternate link for above Oregonian article:


""The ozone on the West Coast in a few years will be controlled not by California and Oregon," Schnell (Russ, NOAA official) says. "It will be controlled by China." The incoming pollution bucks a U.S. trend toward cleaner skies and water."....

It's not just the Willamette that will be difficult to clean up because of mercury beyond local control. Scientists expected to find patterns of mercury pollution from nearby factories when they took sediment samples beneath lakes near Bellingham, Wash., that contain fish unsafe to eat. Instead, most of the industrial mercury came from global sources. 

"There's more mercury deposited in this country from outside our borders than from inside our borders," says Richard Scheffe, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency senior science adviser."...(subhead, Impact on cleanup)
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Added: 3/1/2017 peer reviewed study: Asian air pollution is by far the biggest contributor to smog in the Western US: "Asian anthropogenic emissions of ozone precursors tripled since 1990, contributing 65% to western US ozone increases in spring, outpacing ozone decreases attained via 50% US emission controls.”…Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

5/2/2017, “Air pollution in Asia is wafting into the USA, increasing smog in West,” USA Today, Doyle Rice

“Air pollution from China, India and several other Asian countries has wafted across the Pacific Ocean over the past 25 years, increasing levels of smog in the western U.S., a study finds. 

Smog, also known as ground-level ozone, is harmful to human health, because it can exacerbate asthma attacks and cause difficulty breathing. It also harms sensitive trees and crops. It’s different than the “good” ozone up in the stratosphere, which protects life on Earth from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. 

Scientists measured ozone levels recorded at springtime for the past 25 years in 16 national parks in the western U.S., including Yellowstone, Yosemite and Grand CanyonThe parks’ locations farther away from cities, where smog is typically expected, made them ideal spots for the study.

   
The team looked at levels in the spring when wind and weather patterns push Asian pollution across the Pacific Ocean, said Meiyun Lin, a scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who led the study. In the summer, when those weather patterns subside, ozone levels in the national parks remained well above normal.
   
Asian air pollution was, by far, the biggest contributor to smog in the West, the researchers found. The team also looked at other factors, such as wildfires and methane from livestock. Asian air pollution contributed as much as 65% of the western U.S. ozone increase, while wildfire emissions supplied less than 10% and methane about 15%.

Since 1992, Asia has tripled its emissions of smog-forming chemicals such as nitrogen oxides. Though China and India are the worst offenders, North and South Korea and Japan also contribute, said Lin, who is also a research scholar at Princeton University.

The smog levels in the western U.S. have increased each year despite a 50% reduction in U.S. emissions of smog-forming pollutants.

Twenty years ago [1997], scientists first speculated that rising Asian emissions would one day offset some of the United States’ domestic ozone reductions, said Owen Cooper, a senior research scientist at the University of Colorado and NOAA, who was not directly involved in the study. Now that prediction has come true, he said.

Asian pollution only slightly contributes to smog in the eastern U.S., the study found. Levels there typically spike during intense summer heat waves.

The study was published Wednesday in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.”
…………………….

Added: “Summary: Asian anthropogenic emissions of ozone precursors tripled since 1990, contributing 65% to western US ozone increases in spring, outpacing ozone decreases attained via 50% US emission controls.”…

3/1/2017,US surface ozone trends and extremes from 1980 to 2014: quantifying the roles of rising Asian emissions, domestic controls, wildfires, and climate,Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics


Meiyun Lin1,2, Larry W. Horowitz2, Richard Payton3, Arlene M. Fiore4, and Gail Tonnesen3 1Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
2NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
3US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8, Air Program, Denver, CO 80202, USA
4Lamont-Doherty Earth-Observatory and Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10964, USA
 


Received: 04 Dec 2016 – Discussion started: 07 Dec 2016
Revised: 02 Feb 2017 – Accepted: 06 Feb 2017 – Published: 01 Mar 2017

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Source for top image:

5/17/2001, "The Pacific Dust Express," science.nasa.gov. "A dust cloud from China crossed the Pacific Ocean recently and rained Asian dust from Alaska to Florida," NASA





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Friday, April 20, 2018

DNC caused its own embarrassment, is subject to lawsuits for knowingly disregarding warnings that its computers weren’t secure. DNC paid $60,000 for computer security assessment in 2015 then failed to act on a single one of dozens of recommendations. Malware was allowed to stay on DNC computers for nearly a year-Bloomberg, July 28, 2016

Cyber-security assessments can be a mixed blessing. Legal experts say some general counsels advise organizations against doing such assessments if they don’t have the ability to quickly fix any problems the auditors find, because customers and shareholders could have cause to sue if an organization knowingly disregards such warnings.

July 28, 2016, DNC Ignored Cybersecurity Advice that May Have Prevented Recent Breach,” Bloomberg, Michael Riley, via govtech.com

“The theft ultimately led to the release of almost 20,000 internal emails through WikiLeaks last week on the eve of the convention.” 

The Democratic National Committee was warned last fall [2015] that its computer network was susceptible to attacks but didn’t follow the security advice it was given, according to three people familiar with the matter. 

The missed opportunity is another blow to party officials already embarrassed by the theft and public disclosure of emails that have disrupted their presidential nominating convention in Philadelphia and led their chairwoman to resign. 

Computer security consultants hired by the DNC made dozens of recommendations after a two-month review, the people said. Following the advice, which would typically include having specialists hunt for intruders on the network, might have alerted party officials that hackers had been lurking in their network for weeks — hackers who would stay for nearly a year. 

Instead, officials didn’t discover the breach until April [2016]. The theft ultimately led to the release of almost 20,000 internal emails through WikiLeaks last week on the eve of the convention. The e-mails have devastated party leaders. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC chairwoman, has agreed to resign at the end of this week’s convention. She was booed off the stage on opening day after the leaked emails showed that party officials tried to undermine the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders in favor of Hillary Clinton, who was formally nominated on Tuesday evening. Party officials are supposed to remain neutral on presidential nominations.... 


The consultants briefed senior DNC leaders on the security problems they found, the people familiar with the matter said. It’s unclear whether Wasserman Schultz was present. Now, she is likely to face criticism over not only the content of the emails — including one in which a party official proposes pushing stories in the news media questioning Sanders’s Jewish faith — but also the failure to take steps to stop the theft in the first place. 

Shame on them. It looks like they just did the review to check a box but didn’t do anything with it,” said Ann Barron-DiCamillo, who was director of US-Cert, the primary agency protecting U.S. government networks, until last February. If they had acted last fall [2015], instead of those thousands of emails exposed it might have been much less.”

The assessment by Good Harbor Security Risk Management, headed by the former Clinton and Bush administration official Richard Clarke, occurred over two months beginning in September 2015, the people said. It included interviews with key staff members and a detailed review of the security measures in place on the organization’s network, they said.

The review found problems ranging from an out-of-date firewall to a lack of advanced malware detection technology on individual computers, according to two of the people familiar with the matter. The firm recommended taking special precautions to protect any financial information related to donors and internal communications including emails, these people said.

The DNC paid $60,000 for the assessment, according to federal filings. 

Mark Paustenbach, a spokesman for the DNC, declined to comment on the Good Harbor report. Emilian Papadopoulos, president of Washington-based Good Harbor, said he couldn’t comment on work done for a specific client.

The security review commissioned by the DNC w,as perhaps the most detailed of a series of missed warnings. Officials at both the Republican National Committee and the DNC received government briefings on espionage and hacking threats beginning last year, and then received a more specific briefing this spring, according to another person familiar with the matter.

Cyber-security assessments can be a mixed blessing. Legal experts say some general counsels advise organizations against doing such assessments if they don’t have the ability to quickly fix any problems the auditors find, because customers and shareholders could have cause to sue if an organization knowingly disregards such warnings….

The firm typically recommends that clients conduct a so-called breach assessment to determine whether hackers are already lurking in the network, Papadopoulos said. He wouldn’t confirm whether such a recommendation was among those delivered to the DNC. 

“We give recommendations on governance, policies, technologies and crisis management,” he said.
“For organizations that have not had a compromise assessment done, that is one of the things we often recommend.”

It isn’t certain a breach assessment would have spotted the hackers, according to Barron-DiCamillo, but it would have increased the chances. “Why spend the money to have Good Harbor come in and do the recommendations and then not act on them?” she asked.”



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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Sorry, John Brennan, IG review of former FBI employee McCabe began a week before Trump was sworn in. IG referred McCabe for criminal consideration to US attorney “some time ago”-Turley.org, Washington Post

Update: 4/19/18, Criminal referral for McCabe: “Inspector general referred findings on McCabe to U.S. attorney for consideration of criminal charges, Washington Post,  

The referral to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia occurred some time ago.Inspector general concluded McCabe had lied to investigators or his boss, then-FBI Director James B. Comey, on four occasions, three of them under oath.”… 

……...........

“The report confirms that [Horowitz] opened this review [on Jan. 12, 2016] a week before Trump was sworn in.” 

4/16/18, “After The Inspector General Report, Questions Grow Over The Lack Of A Criminal Referral For McCabe,JonathanTurley.org 

“Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz has released his watchdog report on the conduct of former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and it is scathing…. 

“At issue is the leak to The Wall Street Journal about an FBI probe of the Clinton Foundation. 

Notably, the report itself belies the allegation of McCabe that he was victim of a witch hunt loyalists. Not only was Horowitz an Obama appointee but his staff were all career officials. More importantly, the report confirms that [Horowitz] opened this review [on Jan. 12, 2016] a week before Trump was sworn in. It preceded and had no connection to Mueller. 

The report takes apart McCabe’s spin with clinical precision.  It found that McCabe, 50, lied or misled investigators on not one but four occasions. It also found that these lies were clearly meant to help McCabe alone. McCabe said that he had full authority to make the disclosures.  The IG found no evidence to support those claims. It also found that there was no evidence that then FBI Director James Comey was informed by McCabe…. 

He [McCabe] further showed no contrition and allegedly falsely implicated his superior in the improper leaking of information to the media.”…





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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

With no sign of significant cyber attack or change in behavior from Russia, US and UK “allies” say Russia is hostile adversary in cyber space, is “pre-positioning.” But US and UK are doing identical “pre-positioning” in Russia-BBC, Corera, Security Correspondent

“So far, there has not been any sign of a significant cyber-attack or change of behaviour from Russia.US and UK say Russia ispre-positioning.” “It is worth saying that Britain and the US will be carrying out almost identical activities in Russia, pre-positioning in Russian networks to be able to respond.” 

4/16/18, “Could Russia and West be heading for cyber-war?” BBC, Gordon Corera, Security Correspondent 

“The latest warning of Russian intrusions is another sign that cyber-space is becoming one of the focal points for growing tension between Russia and the West.

But so far, much of the talk about cyber-war remains hypothetical rather than real. 

It is true that Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is on high alert for the possibility of some kind of Russian activity.

More people and resources have been devoted to monitoring and investigation. 

There has also been outreach to companies to warn them on what to look out for and what to do. 

“Russia is our most capable hostile adversary in cyber-space, so dealing with their attacks is a major priority for the National Cyber Security Centre and our US allies,” NCSC chief Ciaran Martin said in a statement. 

But so far, there has not been any sign of a significant cyber-attack or change of behaviour from Russia. 

That is not to say that officials are not seeing any Russian activity. Quite the opposite, the reality is that they are almost always seeing Russian activity and they have done for close to 20 years. 

Russian espionage-the theft of information-dates back at least to the late 1990s. 

More recently, in the past few years, officials in the UK and US have said they have seen Russia pre-positioning in networks that are part of the critical infrastructure in a way that could be used for destructive acts of sabotage, for instance taking down parts of the electricity grid. 

It is possible that Russian intrusions may be increasing. But it is too early to know for sure if this is the case, since it takes time to spot this-if it is spotted at all-and to be sure it is Russian. 

The crucial thing is whether Russia actually employs its offensive capability to actually do something destructive. 

So far, there has been relatively little sign of this in the US or UK, although Russia is accused of launching destructive attacks against Ukraine, which spilled over into companies that did business there. 

It is worth saying that Britain and the US will be carrying out almost identical activities in Russia, pre-positioning in Russian networks to be able to respond. 

What no-one is quite sure of is whether this creates a deterrent a bit like mutually assured nuclear destruction in the Cold War.

Or if the fact that cyber-attacks are harder to trace and at least partially deniable – unlike a nuclear missile – makes the threshold for action much lower. 

It was notable though that the head of GCHQ last week made public reference to the use of Britain’s offensive cyber-capability. 

“For well over a decade, starting in the conflict in Afghanistan, GCHQ has pioneered the development and use of offensive cyber-techniques, said Jeremy Fleming.”… 

[Ed. note: Pathetic. A 17 year, never ending “conflict” in Afghanistan that does nothing but impoverish Americans is your idea of something to brag about?] 

(continuing):“And by that I mean taking action online that has direct real world impact.” 

In this case, Mr Fleming was talking about activities targeting the Islamic State group. 

“We may look to deny service, disrupt a specific online activity, deter an individual or a group, or perhaps even destroy equipment and networks,” he said. 

Talking publicly about the capability is also likely to be seen as a means of warning Russia that Britain could respond if it was targeted. 

One possibility is that Russia could take action primarily in the information space. 

It has already been accused of unleashing bots and trolls to push its narrative of the Salisbury poisoning, although such activity does not fall under the traditional definition of a cyber-attack. 

But it could use cyber-intrusions to steal compromising data and then release this into the public domain to punish those it is opposing. 

This tactic was used with information stolen from sporting anti-doping bodies…. 

Such activity is a reminder that cyber-space should not be seen as somehow completely separate from other fields of activity – whether information flows or traditional military activity.”... 

[Ed. note: For example, Obama’s 2010 Stuxnet cyber attacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities achieved the same results as an actual bombing: The United States “repeatedly used cyber weapons to cripple another country’s infrastructure, achieving, with computer code, what until then could be accomplished only by bombing a country or sending in agents to plant explosives.”

6/1/2012, Obama Order Sped Up Wave of Cyberattacks Against Iran, NY Times, David E. Sanger (“This article is adapted from Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power, [by David E. Sanger of the New York Times] to be published by Crown on Tuesday.” (June, 2012)] 

(continuing): “Particularly in the Russian doctrine of hybrid warfare, it is simply part of a continuum. 

But as the field that is newest, the rules in cyber-space of what constitutes war and an attack are much less clear. And that may be the danger, as miscalculation could lead to escalation.” 

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Added: Obama effectively bombing Iran via computer in 2010 meant the US should expect to be attacked in return: 

This is the first attack of a major nature in which a cyber attack was used to effect physical destruction, said former CIA chief Michael V. Hayden. “No country’s infrastructure is more dependent on computer systems, and thus more vulnerable to attack, than that of the United States. It is only a matter of time, most experts believe, before it [the United States] becomes the target of the same kind of weapon that the Americans have used, secretly, against Iran.” 

6/1/2012, Obama Order Sped Up Wave of Cyberattacks Against Iran, NY Times, David E. Sanger (“This article is adapted from Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power,” [by David E. Sanger of the New York Times] to be published by Crown on Tuesday.”)
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Added: Military man close to Obama admits leaking Stuxnet details to NY Times’ David E. Sanger: 

10/17/2016, Obama’s General’ Pleads Guilty to Leaking Stuxnet Operation [to David E. Sanger of the NY Times],”  Foreign Policy
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Added: In Jan. 2017 Obama pardoned his friend who lied to the FBI and leaked Stuxnet details to NY Times:

1/17/2017, “Obama Pardons James Cartwright, General Who Lied to F.B.I. in Leak,” NY Times




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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Trump bombs Middle Class who elected him on his pledge of non-interventionism, doubles down by merging with so-called UK “allies,” the same “allies” who “kickstarted” efforts to defeat Trump by sending their US intel pals alleged anti-Trump spy info. Trump thrills War Industry by citing World War I into which US soldiers went to their death based on Euro lies, as Trump re-enacts today-AntiWar.com, Raimondo

April 13, 2017, British spies were first to spot Trump team’s [alleged] links with Russia, UK Guardian, Luke Harding, Stephanie Kirchgaessner, Nick Hopkins 

“Exclusive: GCHQ [UK Government Communications Headquarters] is said to have alerted US agencies after becoming aware of contacts in 2015....Britain’s spy agencies played a crucial role in alerting their counterparts in Washington to contacts between members of Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives, the Guardian has been told."

“Both UK and UK intelligence sources acknowledge that GCHQ played an early, prominent role in kickstarting the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation which began in late July 2016….One source called the British eavesdropping agency the “principal whistleblower”."
...................

4/16/18, Syria and the Revolt of the ‘Deplorables’,original.Antiwar.com, Justin Raimondo

“Trump bombs his base."

“Surely there has never been a presidential peroration as filled with contradictions – not to mention regrettable rhetoric – as President Donald J. Trump’s speech to the nation explaining why he backtracked on his campaign promise to get us out of Syria. 

Particularly striking was this bit of doubletalk: 

“To Iran and to Russia, I ask: What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women, and children? 

“The nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep. No nation can succeed in the long run by promoting rogue states, brutal tyrants and murderous dictators.”

 This was being said even as the Saudis, our close allies, were bombing civilians in Yemen – with our active assistanceand blockading the country into one of the worst famines on record.

Ah yes, “the friends they keep” – wasn’t that Trump and Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin, the bloodthirsty tyrant who tortured his victims in an “anti-corruption” campaign and is being hailed by our media as a brave “reformer”? Here is the Prince posing with Jeff Bezos, owner of the warmongering Washington Post and Trump’s archenemy. In the swamp, however, there’s only so much room, and the creatures slither around each other out of necessity.

Our “friends” the Saudis, who assisted Mohammed Atta and his fellow hijackers – the majority of them Saudis – when they rammed a plane into the World Trade Center and attacked the Pentagon. Does Trump really want to be judged by the friends he keeps? 

Trump’s speechwriter had the nerve to invoke World War I as the point in history where atrocities involving poison gas were outlawed: this is nonsense. As recently as the Iran-Iraq war, our then-ally Saddam Hussein used poison gas, killing thousands, while the United States looked on approvingly. Agent Orange was used by US forces in the Vietnam war, to horrific effect.

Furthermore, the invocation of the Great War brings to mind the shameless British propaganda that lured us into a conflict that we should never have entered: those Belgian babies impaled on bayonets were one of the earliest examples of what Trump likes to call “fake news.” This time around the same sort of crude war propaganda – spread by the British government and its media allies, as well as the Saudis and the Israelis – blanketed the American media landscape in the run up to Trump’s folly. Perfidious Albion strikes again!

The reality is that there’s no credible evidence Bashar al-Assad’s forces dropped poison gas – an improbable “mixture” of chlorine and sarin – by helicopter no less. The “allies” make assertions but they offer no proof. It’s the sloppiest propaganda campaign since the last time Syria’s Islamist rebels used faked videos of alleged Assadist atrocities to lure us into their civil war. A child wouldn’t be fooled by it: however, it’s not surprising that they succeeded with Trump, since he’s operating on a much lower mental-emotional level than your average adolescent. Not that he’s stupid: it’s just that he craves the adulation of the media, which he pretends to hate and yet caters to incessantly – and certainly he was rewarded, at least momentarily, in that regard.

Yet the thrill will be brief. It won’t be long – indeed it’s already happening – before the NeverTrumpers who are hailing him as “presidential” will be demanding more “action” to finally take out Assad and install their favored Islamist head-choppers in power. And then no doubt we’ll see yet another alleged “gas attack” by the Assad forces, complete with videos of choking children and women – no men ever seem to be victims of these phony attacks – and New York Times editorials demanding full-scale “humanitarian” intervention.

It never ends. And that’s a lesson many of Trump’s supporters in the media are beginning to learn. The night before the attack Tucker Carlson spoke for the “deplorables” with a remarkable opening monologue that challenged the War Party on every level. Take a listen:…

He was joined by Laura Ingraham, the next day, as missiles flew: her takedown of the comic-opera warmonger Sebastian Gorka, recently kicked out of the White House, is one of those memorable moments that will live on the internet forever.

Trumpist radio host Michael Savage denounced the attack: “He bombed his base,” said Savage.

Savage is quite correct: the Trump base didn’t vote for this.

The key states Trump won and that gave him the margin of victory were won due to his anti-interventionist campaign rhetoric. Now they see that this was a fraud and they are bound to desert him in droves as their daughters and sons are sent to Syria to fight for – what? An Islamist state? Good media reviews from the New York Times for a childishly insecure President? 

While the left hails the Trumpist turn toward “humanitarian intervention,” the right is increasingly “isolationist,” i.e., committed to a policy of minding our own damned business and solving our many problems right here at home. This is the opening I’ve been talking about for many years, the great switching of polarities that occurs every 40 years or so: and now it is upon us, brought about by an accidental figure – Trump – who nevertheless unleashed forces he neither understands nor controls. 

Those forces – a populist movement that has rallied to the banner of “America First” – are a mass movement that rejects the Empire and longs to restore our old republic. They reject neoconservatism and the old leadership of the GOP, which is interventionist to its rotten core, which is why they put Trump in the White House. Now they must learn from his betrayal – and our job, here at Antiwar.com, is to teach them that lesson.

That’s why all the sectarians who flew into a rage when I pointed out Trump’s value to the anti-interventionist movement were dead wrong and are still wrong. As I put it in this space months ago:

“Yes, the Trump administration will take many actions that contradict the promise of their victory: that is already occurring. And we are covering that in these pages, without regard for partisan considerations: and yet it is necessary to step back and see the larger picture, looking past the journalistic details of the day-to-day news cycle. In short, it is necessary to take the long view and try to see what the ideological victory that was won this past November augurs for the future.

“If we look past Trump and his administration and scout out what the road ahead looks like, the view is encouraging: the obstacles that loomed large in the past – the neoconservative hegemony in the GOP, the war hysteria that dominated the country post-9/11, the public’s largely unquestioning acceptance of what the “mainstream” media reported – have been swept away. What’s more, a global rebellion against regnant elites is threatening the status quo. All the elements that make for the restoration of our old republic are in place, including a growing mass movement in this country that rejects the old internationalist dogma.

“Ideas rule the world: not politicians, not parties, not range-of-the-moment fluctuations in public opinion. This isn’t about Trump, the politician, or the journalistic trivia of the moment: we are engaged in a battle of ideas – and, slowly but surely, we are winning.”

The “deplorables” had to go through this betrayal before they could begin to understand the real nature of US foreign policy – and the fact that the War Party is their greatest enemy. The virtue-signaling Beltway “libertarians,” who are even now jumping on the anti-Russian cold war bandwagon – and refusing to challenge the evidence-free claims of the US government and its British allies – are clueless as usual. They don’t care to dirty their pristine hands by joining with the Trump voters of flyover country: they’re concerned exclusively with impressing their Washington cronies with how “woke” they are – not at all like those Ron Paul-loving hillbillies!

The Beltway quasi-libertarians never cared about building a grassroots movement: they just wanted to build a box-like monstrosity of a glass-and-steel headquarters in order to impress their donors and the Washington Post. It’s a monument to their towering self-regard….

Non-interventionist foreign policy is the first thing defectors from the liberty movement throw overboard in their journey to join the Washington “mainstream.” As they merge with the political class, they acquire the social as well as the political-ideological orientation of their new allies, in this case contempt for those “deplorable” Trump voters and media figures who are in open rebellion against globalism.

This isn’t just about politics – it’s about culture. It’s Middle America versus the deracinated decadents who inhabit the Beltway. I know what side I’m on. Do you?" 

==========  

Added: UK was thrilled to “kickstart” efforts to defeat Trump by sending "crucial" anti-Trump spy data to US intel "counterparts" in Obama admin.:

April 13, 2017, British spies were first to spot Trump team’s [alleged] links with Russia, UK Guardian, Luke Harding, Stephanie Kirchgaessner, Nick Hopkins 

“Exclusive: GCHQ [UK Government Communications Headquarters] is said to have alerted US agencies after becoming aware of contacts in 2015....Britain’s spy agencies played a crucial role in alerting their counterparts in Washington to contacts between members of Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives, the Guardian has been told.“…

“Both UK and UK intelligence sources acknowledge that GCHQ played an early, prominent role in kickstarting the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation which began in late July 2016….One source called the British eavesdropping agency the “principal whistleblower”.”…



 
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I'm the daughter of an Eagle Scout (fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Mets) and a Beauty Queen.