12:05 PM 11/30/2017 – Donald Trump Attacks China For Having ‘No Impact On Little Rocket Man’

Spread the Knowledge
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Saved Stories

Saved Stories – None
Donald Trump Attacks China For Having ‘No Impact On Little Rocket Man’
Britain should demand an apology from Trump and cancel his state visit | Martin Kettle
Moscow mulls next move in escalating media spat with US – ABC News
Dianne Feinstein isn’t letting up on probe into Trump-Russia investigation – Sacramento Bee
Kremlin: US Trying To Set Russian Business Elite Against Putin Before Election – RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Cold War documents reveal forgotten radical Zionist attempt to attack UK government – Newsline
Trump’s tweets have consequences at home and abroad – NBCNews.com
Theresa May: Trump was ‘wrong’ to retweet far-right posts – BBC News
Theresa May says Trumps Britain First retweet was wrong
Israel & the South Caucasus – Georgia Today
It’s All but a Done Deal: Insiders Expect CIA Director Mike Pompeo to Take Over the State Department – Vanity Fair
The Latest: Attorney General Facing Committee Interview – U.S. News & World Report
Why Is There No Saudi-Gate? – Jacobin magazine
How Donald Trump uses tribal loyalty to drive economic optimism
Trump’s Hostile Takeover – RollingStone.com
Justices May Impose New Limits On Government Access To Cellphone Data – WABE 90.1 FM
‘Are you stupid?’ Donald Trump’s Tweets Just Gave These Lawyers Ammunition for Their Court Case Against His … – Newsweek
Trump Completely Botches New York Times Attack Over Tax Bill Tweets
Kushner’s Meeting With Mueller’s Team Reportedly Focused On Flynn – Newsy
‘Retweeting from Britain First was the wrong thing to do’, says May video
Theresa May ‘not afraid’ to criticise Donald Trump
British PM May meets Jordan’s King Abdullah II
‘Winter without food, firewood or diesel’ in Syria’s besieged towns
The Daily Vertical: Never Mind The Corruption, Here Comes The Apocalypse
Benghazi terrorist cleared of murder charges

 

Saved Stories – None
Donald Trump Attacks China For Having ‘No Impact On Little Rocket Man’

While offering no details of his own plan for North Korea, Trump has pinned much of the responsibility on China, which experts say will do little to solve the crisis.
Britain should demand an apology from Trump and cancel his state visit | Martin Kettle

The US presidents foul tweet aims a wrecking ball at Theresa May. It will do untold damage to the special relationshipWinston Churchill once wrote that the balances of world history can sometimes turn on what he called small agate points. Churchill had in mind the accidental shooting of the American civil war general Stonewall Jackson by his own men in 1863, without which, he speculated, the Confederate armies might have captured Washington DC, and the United States might have split into two. But he could have been talking of Donald Trumps latest tweets and their implications for British foreign policy after Brexit.Related: Special relationship? Theresa May discovers she has no friend in Donald Trump | Julian Borger

Related: By retweeting Britain First, Trump offends a decency he cannot understand | Brendan Cox

Continue reading…

Moscow mulls next move in escalating media spat with US – ABC News
 


Voice of America
Moscow mulls next move in escalating media spat with US
ABC News
The Kremlin voiced dismay Thursday over the withdrawal of a Russian state-funded TV station’s credentials in the U.S. and warned of a quick retaliation. A committee that governs Capitol Hill access for broadcast journalists on Wednesday withdrew 
Russian Network RT Loses US Capitol Hill CredentialsVoice of America
Congressional press office yanks RT’s credentialsCNNMoney
Russian Network RT Loses Capitol Hill CredentialsU.S. News & World Report
Business Standard
all 43 news articles »
Dianne Feinstein isn’t letting up on probe into Trump-Russia investigation – Sacramento Bee
 


Sacramento Bee
Dianne Feinstein isn’t letting up on probe into Trump-Russia investigation
Sacramento Bee
As revelations over alleged sexual misconduct by powerful men dominate legislative discussions in Sacramento and Washington, Sen. Dianne Feinstein isn’t letting up on another investigative bombshell the congressional probe into Russian meddling in 
Russia Investigation Concluding by End of the Year? That Would Be ‘A Surprise,’ Says Republican CongressmanNewsweek
Sessions to Take Fire From Both Parties in House Trump ProbeBloomberg
Gregg Jarrett: Mueller’s investigation imperils American-Russian  relations, jeopardizing lives Fox News
Business InsiderTorrington Register CitizenNPR
all 71 66 news articles »
Kremlin: US Trying To Set Russian Business Elite Against Putin Before Election – RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
 


RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Kremlin: US Trying To Set Russian Business Elite Against Putin Before Election
RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
The Kremlin has accused the United States of trying to set the Russian business elite against President Vladimir Putin before an election scheduled for next year. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on November 30 that he had received 
Moscow mulls next move in escalating media spat with USABC News

For some Russian oligarchs, sanctions risk makes Putin awkward to knowReutersall 32 23 news articles »

Cold War documents reveal forgotten radical Zionist attempt to attack UK government – Newsline
 

Cold War documents reveal forgotten radical Zionist attempt to attack UK government
Newsline
While further reports note that a year previous, French police stopped the group’s ambitious plot to cross the Channel in a plane to drop a bomb on the Houses of Parliament, though this was denied by French Sternists. Author of ‘Stern: The Man and His and more »

Trump’s tweets have consequences at home and abroad – NBCNews.com
 


NBCNews.com
Trump’s tweets have consequences at home and abroad
NBCNews.com
As NBC’s Hallie Jackson put it on Today this morning, Trump’s tweets have consequences. And this morning, Trump is tweeting about North Korea and Little Rocket Man, saying: The Chinese Envoy, who just returned from North Korea, seems to have had 
GOP doomsday is coming: How the dreadful tax bill exposes a Republican riftSalon
There’s too much tax increasing in Republican tax cut planUSA TODAY
Praising Donald Trump’s ‘wonderful leadership’ on the economyMacleans.caall 1,309 news articles »

Theresa May: Trump was ‘wrong’ to retweet far-right posts – BBC News
 


BBC News
Theresa May: Trump was ‘wrong’ to retweet far-right posts
BBC News
It’s clear at this point that Donald Trump won’t let a perceived slight or criticism go unanswered – even if it’s from a supposed friend. Even if it’s from the leader of the president’s closest international ally. So shock isn’t exactly the right word 
May says Trump was ‘wrong’ to share anti-Muslim videosCNN
Trump’s retweets elevate a tiny fringe group of anti-Muslim activists in BritainWashington Post
Trump Shares Inflammatory Anti-Muslim Videos, and Britain’s Leader Condemns ThemNew York Times
CNBC –NBCNews.com –CBS News
all 1,193 news articles »
Theresa May says Trumps Britain First retweet was wrong

US president widely condemned in Commons debate for retweeting anti-Muslim videos
Israel & the South Caucasus – Georgia Today
 


Georgia Today
Israel & the South Caucasus
Georgia Today
Moreover, the region is also a hotbed of ethnic fighting with three ongoing separatist conflicts in South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh further complicating political stability. However, the South Caucasus’ strategic location, which lies and more »

It’s All but a Done Deal: Insiders Expect CIA Director Mike Pompeo to Take Over the State Department – Vanity Fair
 


Vanity Fair
It’s All but a Done Deal: Insiders Expect CIA Director Mike Pompeo to Take Over the State Department
Vanity Fair
A State Department spokesperson referred me to previous comments dismissing widespread rumors that the secretary has imminent plans to leave. The C.I.A. did not respond to a request for comment. Pompeo’s own tenure has not been without controversy. The and more »

The Latest: Attorney General Facing Committee Interview – U.S. News & World Report
 


U.S. News & World Report
The Latest: Attorney General Facing Committee Interview
U.S. News & World Report
… of the intermediary he says he used to communicate with Assange during the campaign. Stone now says the intermediary was radio host Randy Credico. Stone tells the Associated Press that Credico verified for him “what Assange had said publicly.”U.S 
Gregg Jarrett: Mueller’s investigation imperils American-Russian relations, jeopardizing livesFox News
Intel committee subpoenas comedian who met with Julian Assange in Russia probeAOL
Dianne Feinstein isn’t letting up on probe into Trump-Russia investigationSacramento Bee
Torrington Register Citizen –Bloomberg
all 69 news articles »
Why Is There No Saudi-Gate? – Jacobin magazine
 


Jacobin magazine
Why Is There No Saudi-Gate?
Jacobin magazine
Take Robert Mueller, the current #Resistance hero leading an investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russiaand the director of the FBI at the time the 9/11 commission was undertaking its investigation. Andrew Cockburn learned that  

How Donald Trump uses tribal loyalty to drive economic optimism

Democrats beware: it might not be the economy, stupid after all
Trump’s Hostile Takeover – RollingStone.com
 


RollingStone.com
Trump’s Hostile Takeover
RollingStone.com
(Farage has been a particularly keen supporter of Trump’s and, with his ties to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, is reportedly a “person of interest” in the FBI’s investigation of connections between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence.) Underand more »

Justices May Impose New Limits On Government Access To Cellphone Data – WABE 90.1 FM
 


WABE 90.1 FM
Justices May Impose New Limits On Government Access To Cellphone Data
WABE 90.1 FM
Frankly, he continued, it seems to me that the normal expectation is that wireless providers have your cellphone data. I think everybody knows that, he observed, adding ruefully, If I know it, everybody knows it. Justice Stephen Breyer posed and more »

‘Are you stupid?’ Donald Trump’s Tweets Just Gave These Lawyers Ammunition for Their Court Case Against His … – Newsweek
 

‘Are you stupid?’ Donald Trump’s Tweets Just Gave These Lawyers Ammunition for Their Court Case Against His …
Newsweek
A lawyer who is suing the Department of Justice to gain information on whether President Donald Trump was surveilled by the Obama administration says the president’s tweets will help them win their case against the government. OMG, are you stupid? You  

Trump Completely Botches New York Times Attack Over Tax Bill Tweets

“The president is mistaken,” tweeted Clifford Levy, the paper’s deputy managing editor.
Kushner’s Meeting With Mueller’s Team Reportedly Focused On Flynn – Newsy
 


Newsy
Kushner’s Meeting With Mueller’s Team Reportedly Focused On Flynn
Newsy
Share Video. 00:00. 00:00. Kushner’s Meeting With Mueller’s Team Reportedly Focused On Flynn. By Katherine Biek November 30, 2017. ShareTweetEmail · SMS. By Katherine Biek November 30, 2017. Jared Kushner reportedly met with special counsel Robert 
Jared Kushner interviewed by special counsel’s officeCBS News
Special counsel delays grand jury testimony amid signs of Flynn deal talksCNNall 114 news articles »

‘Retweeting from Britain First was the wrong thing to do’, says May video

The British prime minister said even though the UK works with the US she is not afraid to say when they have got something wrong and retweeting Britain First was the wrong thing to do. May made her comments at a press conference in Jordan

Continue reading…

Theresa May ‘not afraid’ to criticise Donald Trump

British PM makes first personal response following US presidents retweeting of videos by far-right Britain First groupTheresa May has said she will not be afraid to criticise Donald Trump and the United States as she reiterated her criticism of his retweeting of the hateful far-right group Britain First.

Related: Theresa May says Trump retweeting Britain First was ‘wrong thing to do’ Politics live

Related: Britain should demand an apology from Trump and cancel his state visit | Martin Kettle

Continue reading…

British PM May meets Jordan’s King Abdullah II
 

From: AFP
Duration: 00:39

British Prime Minster Theresa May on Thursday met with Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Amman as part of her visit to the region. IMAGES

‘Winter without food, firewood or diesel’ in Syria’s besieged towns
 

From: AlJazeeraEnglish
Duration: 02:23

As winter approaches in Syria, many in the north of the country worry about how they will survive.

There is a lack of fuel and people living in besieged areas say they have already used most of the trees around them for firewood.

Al Jazeera’s Osama Bin Javaid reports from Gaziantep, on the Turkey-Syria border.

– Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe
– Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish
– Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera
– Check our website: http://www.aljazeera.com/

The Daily Vertical: Never Mind The Corruption, Here Comes The Apocalypse
 

From: rferlonline
Duration: 02:18

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.
Originally published at – https://www.rferl.org/a/daily-vertical-corruption-apocalypse/28888375.html

Benghazi terrorist cleared of murder charges
 

From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 06:13

Fox News contributor Jason Chaffetz comments on ‘Fox & Friend


Spread the Knowledge
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    27
    Shares
  • 27
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

10:49 AM 11/30/2017 – Pompeo has also chafed at the restrictions inherent in running the C.I.A., where he has been expected to be neither seen nor heard.

Spread the Knowledge
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Image result for mike pompeo

Pompeo has also chafed at the restrictions inherent in running the C.I.A., where he has been expected to be neither seen nor heard. “I think part of it is he has signaled his frustrations with his current job, which would make the transition much easier,” the second State Department staffer said. “He is already a willing participant to move over to state, which he sees as a much easier, much better job for him in terms of what he wants to do.”

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
mike pompeo – Google Search
Its All but a Done Deal: Insiders Expect C.I.A. Director Mike Pompeo to Take Over the State Department
It’s All but a Done Deal: Insiders Expect CIA Director Mike Pompeo to Take Over the State Department – Vanity Fair
Kushner Reportedly Met With Mueller’s Team (VIDEO)
Kushner’s Meeting With Mueller’s Team Reportedly Focused On Flynn – Newsy
Trump Completely Botches New York Times Attack Over Tax Bill Tweets
All-time rifle : See the iconic Kalashnikov 1948 prototype
Just Security
Trump-Russia: Jared Kushner ‘questioned about Michael Flynn’ – BBC News
Lavrov: Trump’s Russia policy similar to Obama’s – The Times of Israel
US financial intelligence collects data on foreign assets of Russian elite – https://en.crimerussia.com/
Hezbollah in America’s Backyard – Google Search
Hezbollah in America’s Backyard – Google Search
How Trump Is Going After Hezbollah in America’s Backyard – Politico
The Self-Destruction of American Democracy – New York Times
Nobodys President? Putin Enters the Era of Transition – Carnegie Moscow Center
Russian PM Says US-Russia Ties at Low Ebb but Trump ‘Friendly’ – U.S. News & World Report
The Morning Vertical, November 30, 2017 – RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
5:30 AM 11/30/2017 Is the “Trump-Russia affair” an elaborate Leftist plot? M.N.  | The Web World Times
Donald Trump tries to attack British Prime Minister Theresa May, accidentally attacks some other woman instead
Is the “Trump-Russia affair” an elaborate Leftist plot – Google Search
США для нового санкционного списка собирают сведения о десятках тысяч россиян
US actively collects data on foreign assets of Russian elite after Trumps new law on sanctions against Russia
Mitigating the Russian challenge
AP source: Grand jury testimony in Flynn case put off
Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
mike pompeo – Google Search

mikenova shared this story .

Image result for mike pompeo

Its All but a Done Deal: Insiders Expect C.I.A. Director Mike Pompeo to Take Over the State Department

mikenova shared this story .

Left, Mike Pompeo testifies on Capitol Hill in May; Right, Rex Tillerson during an event at the White House in October.

Left, from REX/Shutterstock; Right, by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Bloomberg/Getty Images.

The who’s-next-at-State soap opera appears to be moving to a denouement, with Mike Pompeoeclipsing Nikki Haley as Rex Tillerson’s likely successor, multiple current and former State Department staffers tell me. Diplomats are bracing themselves for the rumored shakeup that would see the current C.I.A. director supplant the former ExxonMobil executive as early as January. According to one source, there is already a candidate chosen to assume the helm of the spy agency in Pompeo’s stead.

While Tillerson has dismissed the narrative that he has considered resigning, his controversial 10-month tenure appears to have accelerated looming changes in Foggy Bottom. Several diplomats I spoke to believe that the cake is largely baked. “The working knowledge here is that Tillerson will be leaving in late January and Pompeo will be coming in as quickly as he can following that,” a current State Department staffer told me. Diplomats believe that the C.I.A. chief is more than open to the move. “I will call it all but a done deal,” one former diplomat said, adding that according to a source familiar with the conversations involving Pompeo, the C.I.A. chief’s replacement has already been selected. Though they declined to identify them by name, this person noted the expected nominee to lead the intelligence agency is a retired military officer who has not previously worked at the C.I.A.

A State Department spokesperson referred me to previous comments dismissing widespread rumors that the secretary has imminent plans to leave. The C.I.A. did not respond to a request for comment.

Pompeo’s own tenure has not been without controversy. The former Kansas congressman has faced accusations of politicizing the traditionally nonpartisan intelligence agency and prioritizing his loyalty to Donald Trump over the findings of the intelligence community. Notably, Pompeo came under fire for comments he made about Russian interference in the 2016 election and found himself publicly at odds with his predecessor John Brennan. (Pompeo did publicly break with the president on this issue, stating that he agrees with the conclusion of the U.S. intelligence community that the Kremlin sought to derail Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, but he has also entertained alternate conspiracy theories promoted by the president.)

Still, Pompeo could prove an improvement at the State Department, which Tillerson has been busy dismantling. Morale within the agency is at an all-time low: more than 100 senior diplomatic officershave left since January, and applications to the Foreign Service have fallen by more than 50 percent. Part of the hollowing-out has been at the direction of the White House, which has called for massive cuts to the State Department budget. But much of the agency’s listlessness is the result of Tillerson’s strained relationship with Trump. (Sources cited the decision not to send senior State Department officials to accompany the U.S. delegation to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India this week, led by First Daughter Ivanka Trump, as evidence of further tensions between Tillerson and the White House.) Pompeo, who is well-known on Capitol Hill and is friendly with Trump, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, might prove a more effective interlocutor and advocate.

Pompeo has also chafed at the restrictions inherent in running the C.I.A., where he has been expected to be neither seen nor heard. “I think part of it is he has signaled his frustrations with his current job, which would make the transition much easier,” the second State Department staffer said. “He is already a willing participant to move over to state, which he sees as a much easier, much better job for him in terms of what he wants to do.”

Appointing a retired military officer to serve as Pompeo’s successor at the spy agency also fits with a broader pattern of Trump tapping battle-tested officers to serve as his top advisers. As his administration has evolved, Trump has demonstrated an impulse to name individuals to his Cabinet with the appearance of being straight out of “central casting”—most notably in regards to his national security team. Kelly and Mattis are both retired four-star generals; Trump’s National Security Adviser, H.R. McMaster, is an active duty officer who boasts three stars; Mike Flynn, McMaster’s short-lived predecessor, was a retired three-star general, and Pompeo graduated first in his class at West Point before serving as an officer in the United States Army.

Of course, as with all rumblings of Trump administration shake-ups, this one should be taken with a grain of salt. Mere weeks ago, ambassador Haley was widely viewed as waiting in the wings to take over State. Only after a deluge of denials from Haley that she had her sights set on Tillerson’s post did Pompeo emerge as the reported front-runner for the job. And another senior State Department staffer is not yet putting too much stock in the Pompeo rumors. “The succession thing to me is just chatter at the moment,” they told me. But the source conceded that arguably any replacement would be an improvement. “I hate to say it, but I think almost anything would be better than what we have,” they added. “It is just where the bar is.”

It’s All but a Done Deal: Insiders Expect CIA Director Mike Pompeo to Take Over the State Department – Vanity Fair

mikenova shared this story from trump and intelligence community – Google News.


Vanity Fair
It’s All but a Done Deal: Insiders Expect CIA Director Mike Pompeo to Take Over the State Department
Vanity Fair
A State Department spokesperson referred me to previous comments dismissing widespread rumors that the secretary has imminent plans to leave. The C.I.A. did not respond to a request for comment. Pompeo’s own tenure has not been without controversy. The 

and more »

Kushner Reportedly Met With Mueller’s Team (VIDEO)

mikenova shared this story from Newsy Headlines.

Jared Kushner reportedly met with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team at some point in November.

Mueller is leading an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Sources told CNN that Mueller’s team spent the majority of the meeting asking Kushner questions about former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Flynn resigned in February after he misled Vice President Mike Pence about communications he had with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. before President Donald Trump took office.

Flynn appears to be a key part of Mueller’s investigation. The New York Times reports Mueller’s team questioned Kushner about a December 2016 meeting between him, Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Related StoryRobert Mueller's Team Has Requested Documents From The DOJRobert Mueller’s Team Has Requested Documents From The DOJ

It’s unknown how much of Mueller’s investigation — if any — is centering on Kushner. But he’s already been somewhat of a focus in other Russia investigations taking place on Capitol Hill.

He’s spoken with both the Senate and House intelligence committees, and he turned over documents from the campaign and the transition to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Kushner reportedly handed over similar documents to Mueller’s team.

Mueller’s office did not comment to media on the meeting. Kushner’s lawyer said in a statement that his client “has voluntarily cooperated with all relevant inquiries and will continue to do so.”

Kushner’s Meeting With Mueller’s Team Reportedly Focused On Flynn – Newsy

mikenova shared this story from Elections 2016 Investigation videos – Google News.


Newsy
Kushner’s Meeting With Mueller’s Team Reportedly Focused On Flynn
Newsy
Share Video. 00:00. 00:00. Kushner’s Meeting With Mueller’s Team Reportedly Focused On Flynn. By Katherine Biek November 30, 2017. ShareTweetEmail · SMS. By Katherine Biek November 30, 2017. Jared Kushner reportedly met with special counsel Robert 
Jared Kushner interviewed by special counsel’s officeCBS News
Special counsel delays grand jury testimony amid signs of Flynn deal talksCNN

all 114 news articles »

Trump Completely Botches New York Times Attack Over Tax Bill Tweets

mikenova shared this story from Donald Trump.

“The president is mistaken,” tweeted Clifford Levy, the paper’s deputy managing editor.

All-time rifle : See the iconic Kalashnikov 1948 prototype

mikenova shared this story from RussiaToday’s YouTube Videos.

From: RussiaToday
Duration: 01:27

CREDIT: KALASHNIKOV MEDIA
The development of the Kalashnikov assault rifle began in 1943. The Ministry of Defence a decided to make a series of weapons which provided the infantry with the possibility of effective fire at ranges of about 400 meters. The first part of the Kalashnikov assault rifle was manufactured in 1948.
RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air

Subscribe to RT! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=RussiaToday

Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnews
Follow us on VK https://vk.com/rt_international
Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_com
Follow us on Instagram http://instagram.com/rt
Follow us on Google+ http://plus.google.com/+RT
Listen to us on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/rttv

RT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.

Just Security

mikenova shared this story from Just Security.

Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.

NORTH KOREA

The U.S. called for the international community to suspend diplomatic ties with North Korea and further isolate the regime at an emergency U.N. Security Council session yesterday, following North Korea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (I.C.B.M.) on Tuesday, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley also said that the council could revoke Pyongyang’s U.N. privileges and voting rights, demand that countries expel North Korean laborers and impose sanctions on its crude oil imports. Farnaz Fassihi reports at the Wall Street Journal.

“We have never sought war with North Korea, and still today we do not seek it,” Haley said yesterday, adding that if a war comes “make no mistake – the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed.” Zachary Cohen reports at CNN.

Trump spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping by phone yesterday and urged Xi to apply more pressure on Pyongyang, Trump saying in a tweet after their conversation that “additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. This situation will be handled!” China’s state Xinhua news agency reported that Xi told Trump that China is committed to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Simon Denyer reports at the Washington Post.

“Little Rocket Man, he is a sick puppy,” Trump said yesterday at a public event in Missouri, referring derogatorily to the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Julian Borger reports at the Guardian.

Russia’s ambassador to the U.N. Vassily Nebenzia urged the U.S. and South Korea to refrain from holding military drills next month, saying at the Security Council session yesterday that all concerned parties should “stop this spiral of tension.” Reuters reports.

The U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called on North Korea to “desist from taking any further destabilizing steps,” in a statement issued on Tuesday by Guterres’ spokesperson, separately the top U.N. political affairs official urged all Security Council members yesterday to unite “to prevent an escalation.” The UN News Centre reports.

North Korea fired a “Hwasong-15” I.C.B.M. and its capabilities have caused alarm among missile experts, Anna Fifield explains at the Washington Post.

North Korea’s test of the Hwasong-15 I.C.B.M. appeared calibrated to avoid provoking a U.S. military response and was a demonstration of Pyongyang’s status as a nuclear armed state, analysts have said. Andrew Jeong and Jonathan Cheng explain at the Wall Street Journal.

The fact that North Korea fired the I.C.B.M. late at night suggests a broader strategy, demonstrating that it could launch a missile at any time and from anywhere with little warning, Adam Taylor observers at the Washington Post.

A U.S.-Canada hosted international meeting in January on North Korea would try to “come up with some better ideas” to deal with the threat, Canadian officials said yesterday, David Ljunggren reporting at Reuters.

President Trump is the “first president who’s been able to get the attention of the Chinese who are actually squeezing the North Koreans as we speak,” the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in an interview broadcast yesterday, praising the president for his handling of the situation and expressing hope that the U.S. could avoid a war in the region. Mallory Shelbourne reports at the Hill.

“Is it time to accept that North Korea will never give up its nuclear arms, and try to reach a deal to stop its arsenal growing further?” Mark Landler and Choe Sang-Hun explain at the New York Times that this is the question that must be addressed “sooner or later” by the U.S. and its allies following the latest missile test.

The toughest sanctions on North Korea have not yet been imposed and the latest U.N. sanctions are being slowly implemented, there is still more economic pressure that the U.S. can put on Pyongyang and China can do much more to rein in the regime. The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes.

The latest missile test could “signal a chance for a new diplomatic opening,” many have considered that North Korea would not enter into serious negotiations until the regime has achieved its nuclear ambitions, therefore now may be the chance to pursue dialogue. The New York Times editorial boardwrites.

A Cold War strategy of “mutually assured destruction” has a different dynamic when it comes to North Korea depending on what the U.S. seeks to achieve and what it prioritizes, nevertheless it has been made clear that Kim Jong-un has not been deterred by the increased pressure over the past few months and the direction of travel seems to be in favor of the U.S. accepting that North Korea would have nuclear capability. David E. Sanger writes at the New York Times.

The missile test has reiterated seven critical truths, including the fact that North Korea is a nuclear power now and probably has the ability to strike Washington D.C. and New York, Max Fisher explains at the New York Times.

The prospect of a new Korean war should be taken seriously, it is unlikely that more economic pressure would drastically change their behavior, it would be better to “try talking” to avoid a precarious situation. Nicholas Kristof writes at the New York Times.

TRUMP-RUSSIA

Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner met with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team earlier this month as part of Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to two sources familiar with the matter, and Mueller’s team questioned Kushner about the former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Gloria Borger, Pamela Brown, Evan Perez and Kara Scannell report at CNN.   Continue Reading »

Trump-Russia: Jared Kushner ‘questioned about Michael Flynn’ – BBC News

mikenova shared this story from trump and russia – Google News.


BBC News
Trump-Russia: Jared Kushner ‘questioned about Michael Flynn’
BBC News
President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has been questioned by special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators about former top White House aide Michael Flynn, US media reports say. The investigators reportedly wanted to know if Mr Kushner had 
Mueller’s Prosecutors Are Said to Have Interviewed Jared Kushner on Russia MeetingNew York Times
The latest TrumpRussia investigation news, explainedVox
Jared Kushner: Donald Trump’s son-in-law reportedly meets with Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation teamThe Independent
USA TODAY –The Guardian –CNN –Wall Street Journal
all 102 news articles »
Lavrov: Trump’s Russia policy similar to Obama’s – The Times of Israel

mikenova shared this story from putin won US 2016 election – Google News.


The Times of Israel
Lavrov: Trump’s Russia policy similar to Obama’s
The Times of Israel
But after the US Congress approved new economic sanctions against Moscow over its alleged meddling in the 2016 USpresidential electionPutin in July ordered drastic cuts in US staff in retaliation. In August, Trump grudgingly signed what he called a 

and more »

US financial intelligence collects data on foreign assets of Russian elite – https://en.crimerussia.com/

mikenova shared this story from Putin and the Russian Mafia – Google News.

US financial intelligence collects data on foreign assets of Russian elite
https://en.crimerussia.com/
As The CrimeRussia previously reported, the Ministry of Finance, in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence and the US Secretary of State, shoult provide an open report on the oligarchs and parastatal organizations of the Russian 

Hezbollah in America’s Backyard – Google Search

mikenova shared this story .

Image result for Hezbollah in America's Backyard

Hezbollah in America’s Backyard – Google Search

mikenova shared this story from Hezbollah in America’s Backyard – Google News.

Story image for Hezbollah in America's Backyard from Politico

How Trump Is Going After Hezbollah in America’s Backyard

Politico2 hours ago
The Trump administration is pushing back aggressively against what the intelligence community often refers to as the “Iran Threat Network” or ITN, and as part of that campaign it is especially keen to focus on the activities of Hezbollah, the pro-Iranian Lebanese militia, in Latin America. Now, new revelations …
Story image for Hezbollah in America's Backyard from Breitbart News

Terror Task Force Chair: Jihadists ‘Are Teaming Up with Violent …

Breitbart NewsNov 23, 2017
Hezbollah and other Islamic terrorist groups are joining forces with “violent drug lords” in Latin America to raise money to fund their nefarious activities, posing a “grave threat” to U.S. national security, warned Rep. … Islamic Terrorist are teaming up with violent drug lords located in America’s backyard.
Story image for Hezbollah in America's Backyard from Newsmax

Iran Plans Naval Excursion Into Western Hemisphere

NewsmaxNov 27, 2017
They have political support from some Latin American countries that purportedly offered them assistance with Iran’s Lebanese Shiite Muslim movement Hezbollah. The Middle East situation and Iran’s excursion into America’s backyard hold the classic elements for another Cold War between Russia and the …
Story image for Hezbollah in America's Backyard from Haaretz

While America’s AWOL on Coordinating anti-Iran Allies, Saudi …

HaaretzNov 18, 2017
In Yemen, Saudi Arabia faces a legitimate Iranian-sponsored threat in its backyard in the form of the Houthi rebels. The November 4 … Will such a Saudi-led strategy – toward a clearly legitimate objective – succeed in getting Hezbollah to reduce its involvement in regional affairs? Could it, on the way, spark …
How Trump Is Going After Hezbollah in America’s Backyard – Politico

mikenova shared this story from crime and terror – Google News.


Politico
How Trump Is Going After Hezbollah in America’s Backyard
Politico
In May 1996, the three border countries launched a Tripartite Command of the Tri-Border to coordinate their law enforcement and intelligence agencies to combat organized crime and terrorist activities in the area. The next monthjust days before 

The Self-Destruction of American Democracy – New York Times

mikenova shared this story from Putin and American political process – Google News.


New York Times
The Self-Destruction of American Democracy
New York Times
Add to Trump’s list of lies, his race baiting, his attacks on a free press, his charges of fake news, his efforts to instigate new levels of voter suppression, his undermining of the legitimacy of the electoral process, his disregard for the 

Nobodys President? Putin Enters the Era of Transition – Carnegie Moscow Center

mikenova shared this story from Carnegie Endowment for International Peace – Carnegie Publications.

The 2018 election in Russia is turning into a real political event. Putin is an undeclared candidate and Navalny is an unregistered one, who will have a real influence. The Kremlin is now run by regents around a diminished president, and discussion is already focusing on what the post-Putin era will look like.

The Russian political scene is entering a new phase. The official candidate for president in the election of March 2018 has not declared himself and is increasingly absent, while most discussion within the ruling elite focuses not on the next stage of the Putin era but on what will constitute the post-Putin era.

Political life has returned to Russia. Who would have expected last fall that Alexei Navalny, best known hitherto as an anti-corruption campaigner, would be able to launch a juggernaut of a pre-electoral campaign a full fifteen months before polling day? I didn’t. We had gotten so used to the idea that nobody can influence a Russian electoral campaign that we forgot that someone might simply try to fight one.

By the middle of the year it was clear that Navalny’s public meetings were more than civic activism, and that an active political election campaign was underway. Russia’s political stage was full of life, which made Putin’s absence from it all the more noticeable and his silence louder. The problem for the Kremlin is that the importance of the election of March 2018 that many were dismissing as a formality or an irrelevance has grown, while the comparable stature of President Putin has not. Navalny is posing a challenge and a double question to the Kremlin: What will you do with me? And what will you do with this election?

With the election less than four months away, Putin has not yet declared the candidacy that all expect. He is as visible as ever in the media, and yet he increasingly fails to convince that, as before, he is the author of Russia’s political activity, is still a leader who takes responsibility for everything. In short, the Kremlin writers who are putting together the script for 2018 now worry that Putin has become nobody’s leader, that he is now more akin to the centerpiece of the nation, a fixed entity against which other forces collide.

At the end of 2017, it is now possible to talk about a system that operates without Putin. He is not acting in sync with his inner circle. Each feels uncomfortable with the other, as the president grows more stingy about intervening to resolve the power struggles within the elite. Putin has never been interested in classical “politics,” seeing it as an empty term. That means that the apolitical president does not take definite positions on issues—making it easier for decisions to be taken in his name.

Nowadays, we increasingly have the impression that “the boss is away.” The management of Russia that is formally exercised by the president has been almost entirely taken over by his inner circle and the presidential administration, which has ceased being just a general staff and has turned into a player with its own special interests. To put it another way, the president himself has suddenly discovered that he is surrounded by “regents” with varying degrees of power. Russia is developing a regime of collective regency.

The higher we go in the presidential administration, the less we find administration and the more we see pure palace rule. The modern-day “court of his imperial majesty” regards anything that is in the state budget or can be made liquid as its property, whether that be governmental positions, territories, threats, people, or infrastructure. Meanwhile, Sergei Kiriyenko, first deputy head of the administration, is guarding Putin’s Russia until Putin returns. He is the overtime manager. He waits for orders but none come.

The system is not only functioning without a fully functional Putin, it also lacks any strategic direction. A lot of noise is made about “hiring younger people,” but in actual fact no political rejuvenation is taking place. The new staff don’t have a program they can work to and are strategically useless under the current model. Only when the political environment thaws will they acquire real power. We hear the word “technocrat” being used about young Russian government officials, but what that term really means is that these people are part of the transition into the post-Putin Russia.

The atmosphere inside the government apparatus is becoming more fearful, and the rivalry with the security agencies is intensifying. Arrests taking place in Kremlin circles are not carried out according to “Putin’s plan,” ordered from above, but are rather a manifestation of competition for power.

If we are to understand Russia’s pre-election landscape, we must first understand the Kremlin’s 2018 agenda. The near-term political goal is not about getting to a post-Putin Russia, it is about planning a transition. But it’s worth noting that the discussions are all about preserving the system, not about preserving Putin. (Putin himself, it should be said, is sure to have his own opinion on this matter.) Unlike Putin, this is a system determined not to disappear, and it is run by champions in the art of survival.

The skills of the election strategists are now facing an especially stern test. For three presidential elections in a row, in the elections of 2004, 2008, and 2012, they have worked to make the campaigns a politics-free zone in which the outcome was fully predetermined. Navalny is now working hard to spoil this script and to make the forthcoming vote a real contest again. He has done this by choosing to put himself forward and resolving to fight to the end. Whether or not Navalny is registered as an official candidate, he has succeeded in making the election a proper political process once again.

Even if Navalny is not registered, it will still be a boost to his campaign, and he will be able to mobilize a wide range of people. In that case, he will face some difficult political questions: where to direct this powerful force and how to recommend that they vote. That’s where a political opening exists for the liberal socialite Ksenia Sobchak. If Navalny is refused registration, she may gain political momentum by winning over his electorate. However, there are big question marks over her political durability and as to whether she could do anything like Navalny has done in creating a national structure.

The start of the 2018–2024 presidential term will be the occasion for deal-making at the highest level. The deal will be about more than the interests of a tired older gentleman, nor can it rely solely on the Kremlin circle of “regents,” who have too great an interest in gaining control over Putin as he weakens.

The deal that is made will have to have a firmly fixed objective and a deadline, which may be 2024, for when a new kind of politics returns to Russia and there is real strategic planning for the future. That may even be the moment that Putin regains his own political face, a face he has rubbed away with years of bad decisions.

Even while Putin is an undeclared candidate and Navalny is an unregistered one, the race between them is approaching a culmination around the New Year period. Soon the state will either have to try to register Navalny for the election or refuse him. Either option could trigger a crisis.

In either eventuality, Putin will have to fight against the unregistered Navalny Party, which consists of tens and hundreds of thousands of Russian citizens. This will be the main conflict of the campaign—not the one between Putin and Navalny, but the one between Putin and Navalny’s supporters. These people are not just the supporters of their candidate but the most determined supporters of transition, of Russia’s passage into a post-Putin future.

Russian PM Says US-Russia Ties at Low Ebb but Trump ‘Friendly’ – U.S. News & World Report

mikenova shared this story from trump russian ties – Google News.


U.S. News & World Report
Russian PM Says US-Russia Ties at Low Ebb but Trump ‘Friendly’
U.S. News & World Report
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visit the Resurrection New Jerusalem Monastery at Istra, outside Moscow, Russia November 15, 2017. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS Reuters. MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian 

and more »

The Morning Vertical, November 30, 2017 – RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty

mikenova shared this story from Putinism – Google News.

The Morning Vertical, November 30, 2017
RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Is Pavlovsky right? There certainly are data points out there suggesting that he is. Arrests are taking place that do not appear to be sanctioned by Putin. Figures like Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov seem to be pursuing 

and more »

5:30 AM 11/30/2017 Is the “Trump-Russia affair” an elaborate Leftist plot? M.N.  | The Web World Times

mikenova shared this story from The Web World Times News and Opinions Review.

Image result for Is the "Trump-Russia affair" an elaborate Leftist plot

Is the “Trump-Russia affair” an elaborate Leftist plot, carried over directly from the “Obama Leftist plot”, and masquerading as the Rightist Alliance of Putin’s regime, Trump Republicans, and the European rightists? 

At the head of this plot might be the certain elements of the New Russian Left, visible and invisible, and including the various military-political circles, German (Stasi dominated) Intelligence, and the ubiquitous Chinese, practicing all kinds of deceptions against everybody, as their traditional “Art of War” is. 

A nice combination, well screwed-up little Leftist Bolt from the sky… 

M.N.  

11.30.17 

Quotes from “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu:

“Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.”

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. 

_____________________________

Donald Trump tries to attack British Prime Minister Theresa May, accidentally attacks some other woman instead

mikenova shared this story from FB-RSS feed for Palmer Report.

Donald Trump tries to attack British Prime Minister Theresa May, accidentally attacks some other woman instead

Donald Trump tries to attack British Prime Minister Theresa May, accidentally attacks some other woman instead

Trump tried to start World War III with Great Britain, and couldn’t even get it right

Is the “Trump-Russia affair” an elaborate Leftist plot – Google Search

mikenova shared this story .

Image result for Is the "Trump-Russia affair" an elaborate Leftist plot

США для нового санкционного списка собирают сведения о десятках тысяч россиян

mikenova shared this story from Росбалт.

Российские спецслужбы зафиксировали небывалую активность финансовой разведки США в странах Европы и ряде других государств. Связано это с тем, что в начале следующего года будет оглашен новый санкционный список.

Как рассказал «Росбалту» источник, знакомый с ситуацией, российские спецслужбы узнали, что последние месяцы страны Европы буквально забросали запросами из финансовой разведки США относительно россиян. «Речь идет о работниках госкомпаний, чиновниках,  их близких и дальних родственниках и т. д. Всего о десятках тысяч россиян», — рассказал собеседник агентства. По его словам, в ходе дальнейшей работы было установлено, что такая активность финразведки напрямую связана с расследованием ФБР и подготовкой Сенатом доклада о якобы имевшем место вмешательстве России в президентские выборы в США. Предполагается, что по итогам расследования будет оглашен новый список граждан России, в отношении которых вводятся санкции.

«У нас есть данные, что этот список будет беспрецедентно большим. Некоторые горячие головы в США предлагают ввести санкции чуть ли не в отношении более чем 50 тыс. граждан России», — отметил источник агентства.

Подробности читайте на сайте «Росбалта» в ближайшее время.

Самые интересные статьи «Росбалта» читайте на нашем канале в Telegram.

US actively collects data on foreign assets of Russian elite after Trumps new law on sanctions against Russia

mikenova shared this story .

A new sanctions list will be drawn up based on an open report, which will provide information on Russian oligarchs and key political figures.⁠

Russian special services hold an unprecedented activity of US financial intelligence in Europe and a number of other countries requesting data on Russians. This is due to the fact that at the beginning of next year a new sanction list will be announced, Rosbalt reports with reference to the source.

“We are talking about employees of state companies, officials, their close and distant relatives, etc. In total, about tens of thousands of Russians,” the source said. Such activity is directly related to the law on sanctions against Russia, signed by US President Donald Trump on Aug. 4, 2017, proposed by US congressmen. It deals primarily with collecting data on key political figures and oligarchs.

As The CrimeRussia previously reported, the Ministry of Finance, in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence and the US Secretary of State, shoult provide an open report on the oligarchs and parastatal organizations of the Russian Federation to relevant congressional committees not later than 180 days after the adoption of the law. It should provide information on key political figures of Russia and the oligarchs, the level of their proximity to Vladimir Putin and other members of the Russian ruling elite, their fortune and sources of income; moreover, a list of their relatives, including spouses, children, parents, their assets, including investments, business interests, property that generates income should be concluded; foreign companies affiliated with these persons have been identified too.”

In fact, by January 31, 2018, the Ministry of Finance should prepare a report on all significant politicians, businessmen and officials. The open document will reflect data on their assets, including foreign ones. In the future, the report will only be supplemented with new information and names. All these names will appear in the new sanctions list, which can number up to 50.000 Russian citizens.

According to experts who have already expressed their opinion on the new law, it is possible that later foreign accounts under the jurisdiction of countries that support sanctions against Russia can be frozen. Assets can be confiscated as property that is earned on criminal or illegal way. The Spanish authorities have the same experience, for example, Spain converts property of Russian mafia, accused of money laundering.

Please, read our material about the forthcoming report and how it threatens Russia.

Mitigating the Russian challenge

mikenova shared this story from News from EUobserver.

“It is time”, the USSR leader Mikhail Gorbachev said in a 1989 speech, “to consign to oblivion the Cold War postulates when Europe was viewed as an arena of confrontation divided into ‘spheres of influence’.”

In place of old rivalries, Gorbachev laid out his vision of a “common European home”. Russia and Europe, he declared optimistically, should work together “to transform international relations in the spirit of humanism, equality and justice”.

Fast forward to 2017, and it is clear that things have not quite gone according to plan.

Gorbachev is defending Russia’s takeover of Crimea. For the first time since the Cold War, Nato is opening new command centres in Europe.

The stakes involved in the EU-Russia relationship are still high.

The EU is the most important investor in Russia, as well as its largest trading partner. Moscow, for its part, remains a crucial energy and security player for Europe.

Yet at the core of the Russia-EU confrontation lies the fundamental disagreement over values and geopolitical zones of influence. Those differences are unlikely to be bridged soon.

The EU, built on the values of interdependence and liberal norms, is willing to engage with Moscow, but with strings attached. To access the community’s perks – closer economic links, visa-free travel – the Kremlin is expected to abide by international laws and embrace liberalisation at home.

To Russia’s leadership, those conditions are unacceptable. It sees its neighbourhood as the bulwark against Nato expansion and the wave of ‘colour’ revolutions. As for domestic liberalisation, it would destroy Vladimir Putin’s regime, or, at least, seriously undermine it.

It is against this context that Russia’s attempts to stoke troubles in Europe should be considered.

Carrot vs Stick

To deter Russia, the EU global strategy recommends, member-states, above all, must “strengthen the EU and enhance the resilience of our eastern neighbours”.

The conspicuity of this observation doesn’t render it any less relevant. Russian leadership values strength and preys on weakness.

Show the Kremlin that you cannot use a stick, and it will wrestle the carrot out of your hands.

Thus, the most obvious thing the EU can do is to enhance its defensive capabilities. That means protecting eastern flunk, while also improving military mobility. Boosting cyber defence, too, is crucial, given recent attacks on Europe’s infrastructure.

Response to Russian meddling in European politics, though, is a more nuanced challenge. Concerns over Moscow’s malignant campaign – via TV, social media and financing of populist parties – are valid.

Yet it is also crucial to keep cool when confronting Russian propaganda.

The Kremlin’s aim, as the US example showed, is to sow discord within Western politics, not necessarily to achieve a concrete electoral outcome.

That is why media panic – and attaching the ‘Putin’s stooge’ label to any anti-establishment cause – only plays into Moscow’s hands.

The best way to deal with the Kremlin’s meddling, therefore, is treating it more as a security issue than a political one.

Western agencies have learned about Russia’s web campaign, so they can tackle it with considerable success in future. Reforms to increase transparency in party financing, likewise, is a useful step.

To bring Russia around to the idea of a common future on European terms requires demonstrating calm resolve. Moscow must understand that, despite its tricks, the EU’s institutions will continue to work as normal.

Making cooperation pay

But while Europe must demonstrate firmness, it is equally important to show what Moscow can gain by cooperating.

A deterrence-only approach to the Kremlin will only amplify its exuberance, leading to an endless ‘action-response’ cycle.

So, how can Russia be induced to cooperate?

Firstly, the EU should retain clear conditions for lifting economic sanctions on Russia. As the economist Vladislav Inozemtsev observed, wherever economic sanctions worked – like South Africa or Yugoslavia – they came with clear instructions of their relaxation or removal.

Heeding that, any comprehensive plan to resolve the Ukraine crisis should include the roadmap for sanctions relief.

The economic card is the strongest ace in the EU’s deck. It must play it wisely.

Secondly, there is a need to communicate with Russia in the way that brings maximum utility. Putin’s regime is here to stay. Nonetheless, it can still be affected, even if incrementally.

To facilitate change, it may be worth raising commercial and human rights concerns with Moscow on diplomatic level rather than just in the media. This approach will assure the Kremlin that Western concerns are genuine, and not an attempt to embarrass it.

Before any progress is achieved with Russia, things may get even more muddled. To succeed, Europe must demonstrate strategic patience.

Evgeny Pudovkin is a journalist writing on European politics, Russia and foreign affairs

AP source: Grand jury testimony in Flynn case put off

mikenova shared this story .

Prosecutors working with special counsel Robert Mueller have postponed grand jury testimony related to the private business dealings of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, a person familiar with the ongoing investigation into Trump campaign associates and Russian election interference told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The reason for the postponement was not immediately clear, but it comes one week after attorneys for Flynn alerted President Donald Trump’s legal team that they could no longer share information about the case. That discussion between lawyers was widely seen as a possible indication that Flynn was moving to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation or attempting to negotiate a deal for himself.

An attorney for Flynn, Robert Kelner, did not immediately respond to email and phone messages Wednesday afternoon.

The testimony that had been scheduled for the coming days related to Flynn’s firm, Flynn Intel Group, its work with a public relations firm and interactions with congressional staff, according to a person who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation.

Sign up today for a free 30 day free trial of unlimited digital access.

Mueller and the FBI have been interested in hearing from employees at the public relations firm, SGR LLC, because of the firm’s work with Flynn Intel Group. SGR LLC, which does business as Sphere Consulting, did public relations work on a film Flynn Intel Group was working on about Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen. The film was never completed.

Mueller was appointed by the Justice Department in May to oversee an investigation into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. The investigation, which produced its first criminal charges last month against three former Trump campaign officials, incorporated an earlier FBI inquiry into Flynn’s lobbying and investigative research work on behalf of a Turkish businessman. Sphere employees have cooperated for months with the investigation, including by turning over documents requested by investigators and sitting for voluntary interviews.

The October 2016 meeting that was expected to be the subject of the grand jury testimony has been described as a bait-and-switch carried out on behalf of Flynn’s firm.

As the AP reported in March, Flynn’s business partner, Bijan Kian, invited a representative of the House Homeland Security Committee to Flynn Intel’s offices in Alexandria, Virginia, to discuss secure communications products. But after discussing the products, the session quickly turned into a lobbying pitch that mirrored Turkish government talking points. Kian and others involved were particularly interested in pushing for congressional hearings to investigate Gulen, whom the Turkish government has blamed for a botched coup and who has been living in exile in Pennsylvania. Gulen has denied any involvement.

The requests for congressional hearings went nowhere.

According to a filing with the Justice Department, an employee of Sphere consulting was present during the meeting.

CNN first reported the postponement.


Spread the Knowledge
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    27
    Shares
  • 27
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

10:39 AM 11/30/2017 – Expect CIA Director Mike Pompeo to Take Over the State Department

Spread the Knowledge
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Saved Stories

Saved Stories – None
It’s All but a Done Deal: Insiders Expect CIA Director Mike Pompeo to Take Over the State Department – Vanity Fair
The Latest: Attorney General Facing Committee Interview – U.S. News & World Report
Why Is There No Saudi-Gate? – Jacobin magazine
How Donald Trump uses tribal loyalty to drive economic optimism
Trump’s Hostile Takeover – RollingStone.com
Justices May Impose New Limits On Government Access To Cellphone Data – WABE 90.1 FM
‘Are you stupid?’ Donald Trump’s Tweets Just Gave These Lawyers Ammunition for Their Court Case Against His … – Newsweek
Trump Completely Botches New York Times Attack Over Tax Bill Tweets
Kushner’s Meeting With Mueller’s Team Reportedly Focused On Flynn – Newsy
‘Retweeting from Britain First was the wrong thing to do’, says May video
Theresa May ‘not afraid’ to criticise Donald Trump
British PM May meets Jordan’s King Abdullah II
‘Winter without food, firewood or diesel’ in Syria’s besieged towns
The Daily Vertical: Never Mind The Corruption, Here Comes The Apocalypse
Benghazi terrorist cleared of murder charges
Keane: NKorea clearly advancing their missile capabilities
TuckerTucker vs. Politico’s baffling argument on Islamic clerics
Look Who’s Talking: Marco Rubio
Tucker: Bakery that hired illegals a victim of its own scam
Outrage after college exhibits artwork by Gitmo detainees
National forecast for Thursday, November 30
Give back to families of the fallen this holiday season
All-time rifle : See the iconic Kalashnikov 1948 prototype
Former Argentine military officer jailed for life for crimes against humanity
North Korea Crisis: “US looks to pressure China as UN meets to discuss Pyongyang’s missile launch”

 

Saved Stories – None
It’s All but a Done Deal: Insiders Expect CIA Director Mike Pompeo to Take Over the State Department – Vanity Fair


Vanity Fair
It’s All but a Done Deal: Insiders Expect CIA Director Mike Pompeo to Take Over the State Department
Vanity Fair
A State Department spokesperson referred me to previous comments dismissing widespread rumors that the secretary has imminent plans to leave. The C.I.A. did not respond to a request for comment. Pompeo’s own tenure has not been without controversy. The 

and more »

The Latest: Attorney General Facing Committee Interview – U.S. News & World Report


U.S. News & World Report
The Latest: Attorney General Facing Committee Interview
U.S. News & World Report
… of the intermediary he says he used to communicate with Assange during the campaign. Stone now says the intermediary was radio host Randy Credico. Stone tells the Associated Press that Credico verified for him “what Assange had said publicly.”U.S 
Gregg Jarrett: Mueller’s investigation imperils American-Russian relations, jeopardizing livesFox News
Intel committee subpoenas comedian who met with Julian Assange in Russia probeAOL
Dianne Feinstein isn’t letting up on probe into Trump-Russia investigationSacramento Bee
Torrington Register Citizen –Bloomberg
all 69 news articles »
Why Is There No Saudi-Gate? – Jacobin magazine


Jacobin magazine
Why Is There No Saudi-Gate?
Jacobin magazine
Take Robert Mueller, the current #Resistance hero leading an investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russiaand the director of the FBI at the time the 9/11 commission was undertaking its investigation. Andrew Cockburn learned that 

How Donald Trump uses tribal loyalty to drive economic optimism

Democrats beware: it might not be the economy, stupid after all
Trump’s Hostile Takeover – RollingStone.com


RollingStone.com
Trump’s Hostile Takeover
RollingStone.com
(Farage has been a particularly keen supporter of Trump’s and, with his ties to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, is reportedly a “person of interest” in the FBI’s investigation of connections between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence.) Under

and more »

Justices May Impose New Limits On Government Access To Cellphone Data – WABE 90.1 FM


WABE 90.1 FM
Justices May Impose New Limits On Government Access To Cellphone Data
WABE 90.1 FM
Frankly, he continued, it seems to me that the normal expectation is that wireless providers have your cellphone data. I think everybody knows that, he observed, adding ruefully, If I know it, everybody knows it. Justice Stephen Breyer posed 

and more »

‘Are you stupid?’ Donald Trump’s Tweets Just Gave These Lawyers Ammunition for Their Court Case Against His … – Newsweek

‘Are you stupid?’ Donald Trump’s Tweets Just Gave These Lawyers Ammunition for Their Court Case Against His …
Newsweek
A lawyer who is suing the Department of Justice to gain information on whether President Donald Trump was surveilled by the Obama administration says the president’s tweets will help them win their case against the government. OMG, are you stupid? You 

Trump Completely Botches New York Times Attack Over Tax Bill Tweets

“The president is mistaken,” tweeted Clifford Levy, the paper’s deputy managing editor.

Kushner’s Meeting With Mueller’s Team Reportedly Focused On Flynn – Newsy


Newsy
Kushner’s Meeting With Mueller’s Team Reportedly Focused On Flynn
Newsy
Share Video. 00:00. 00:00. Kushner’s Meeting With Mueller’s Team Reportedly Focused On Flynn. By Katherine Biek November 30, 2017. ShareTweetEmail · SMS. By Katherine Biek November 30, 2017. Jared Kushner reportedly met with special counsel Robert 
Jared Kushner interviewed by special counsel’s officeCBS News
Special counsel delays grand jury testimony amid signs of Flynn deal talksCNN

all 114 news articles »

‘Retweeting from Britain First was the wrong thing to do’, says May video

The British prime minister said even though the UK works with the US she is not afraid to say when they have got something wrong and retweeting Britain First was the wrong thing to do. May made her comments at a press conference in Jordan

Continue reading…

Theresa May ‘not afraid’ to criticise Donald Trump

British PM makes first personal response following US presidents retweeting of videos by far-right Britain First group

Theresa May has said she will not be afraid to criticise Donald Trump and the United States as she reiterated her criticism of his retweeting of the hateful far-right group Britain First.

Related: Theresa May says Trump retweeting Britain First was ‘wrong thing to do’ Politics live

Related: Britain should demand an apology from Trump and cancel his state visit | Martin Kettle

Continue reading…

British PM May meets Jordan’s King Abdullah II

From: AFP
Duration: 00:39

British Prime Minster Theresa May on Thursday met with Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Amman as part of her visit to the region. IMAGES

‘Winter without food, firewood or diesel’ in Syria’s besieged towns

From: AlJazeeraEnglish
Duration: 02:23

As winter approaches in Syria, many in the north of the country worry about how they will survive.

There is a lack of fuel and people living in besieged areas say they have already used most of the trees around them for firewood.

Al Jazeera’s Osama Bin Javaid reports from Gaziantep, on the Turkey-Syria border.

– Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe
– Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish
– Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera
– Check our website: http://www.aljazeera.com/

The Daily Vertical: Never Mind The Corruption, Here Comes The Apocalypse

From: rferlonline
Duration: 02:18

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.
Originally published at – https://www.rferl.org/a/daily-vertical-corruption-apocalypse/28888375.html

Benghazi terrorist cleared of murder charges

From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 06:13

Fox News contributor Jason Chaffetz comments on ‘Fox & Friends First.’

Keane: NKorea clearly advancing their missile capabilities

From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 03:28

The Fox News military analyst reacts to the latest launch and how the U.S. and world should respond.

TuckerTucker vs. Politico’s baffling argument on Islamic clerics

From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 01:27

Tucker’s Thoughts: Politico argues the Trump travel ban is causing a shortage of Islamic clergy in America that’s dangerous because Muslims could turn to more dangerous, radical influences. Haven’t liberals told us for years foreign Islams are not dangerous and Islamic etremists are in the minority? #Tucker

Look Who’s Talking: Marco Rubio

From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 01:05

Florida senator calls for a child tax credit that will benefit working class voters who elected Trump.

Tucker: Bakery that hired illegals a victim of its own scam

From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 01:04

Tucker’s Thoughts: A Chicago bakery is now crying the blues because it lost a third of its workforce to an illegal immigration crackdown and is blaming the Trump administration. Cry me a river. #Tucker

Outrage after college exhibits artwork by Gitmo detainees

From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 04:17

On ‘Fox & Friends,’ Pete Hegseth sounds off on the exhibit at New York City’s John Jay College.

National forecast for Thursday, November 30

From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 01:26

‘Fox & Friends’ college associate Danielle Seat has your FoxCast.

Give back to families of the fallen this holiday season

From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 04:39

Folds of Honor founder Dan Rooney speaks out on fundraising efforts to send the children of America’s heroes to college.

All-time rifle : See the iconic Kalashnikov 1948 prototype

From: RussiaToday
Duration: 01:27

CREDIT: KALASHNIKOV MEDIA
The development of the Kalashnikov assault rifle began in 1943. The Ministry of Defence a decided to make a series of weapons which provided the infantry with the possibility of effective fire at ranges of about 400 meters. The first part of the Kalashnikov assault rifle was manufactured in 1948.
RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air

Subscribe to RT! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=RussiaToday

Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnews
Follow us on VK https://vk.com/rt_international
Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_com
Follow us on Instagram http://instagram.com/rt
Follow us on Google+ http://plus.google.com/+RT
Listen to us on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/rttv

RT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.

Former Argentine military officer jailed for life for crimes against humanity

From: Euronews
Duration: 02:11

Alfredo Astiz, known as the “Angel of Death” has been jailed for life for torture and murder during Argentina’s military dictatorship
READ MORE : http://www.euronews.com/2017/11/30/former-argentine-military-officer-jailed-for-life-for-crimes-against-humanity

What are the top stories today? Click to watch: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSyY1udCyYqBeDOz400FlseNGNqReKkFd

euronews: the most watched news channel in Europe
Subscribe! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=euronews

euronews is available in 13 languages: https://www.youtube.com/user/euronewsnetwork/channels

In English:
Website: http://www.euronews.com/news
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/euronews
Twitter: http://twitter.com/euronews
Google+: http://google.com/+euronews
VKontakte: http://vk.com/en.euronews

North Korea Crisis: “US looks to pressure China as UN meets to discuss Pyongyang’s missile launch”

From: france24english
Duration: 01:30

Subscribe to France 24 now:
http://f24.my/youtubeEN

FRANCE 24 live news stream: all the latest news 24/7
http://f24.my/YTliveEN

Visit our website:
http://www.france24.com

Subscribe to our YouTube channel:
http://f24.my/youtubeEN

Like us on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/FRANCE24.English

Follow us on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/France24_en


Spread the Knowledge
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    27
    Shares
  • 27
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

8:16 AM 11/30/2017 – Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks: Lavrov: Trump’s Russia policy similar to Obama’s – The Times of Israel

Spread the Knowledge
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Image result for Is the "Trump-Russia affair" an elaborate Leftist plot

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
Just Security
Trump-Russia: Jared Kushner ‘questioned about Michael Flynn’ – BBC News
US financial intelligence collects data on foreign assets of Russian elite – https://en.crimerussia.com/
Hezbollah in America’s Backyard – Google Search
Hezbollah in America’s Backyard – Google Search
How Trump Is Going After Hezbollah in America’s Backyard – Politico
The Self-Destruction of American Democracy – New York Times
Nobodys President? Putin Enters the Era of Transition – Carnegie Moscow Center
Russian PM Says US-Russia Ties at Low Ebb but Trump ‘Friendly’ – U.S. News & World Report
The Morning Vertical, November 30, 2017 – RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
5:30 AM 11/30/2017 Is the “Trump-Russia affair” an elaborate Leftist plot? M.N.  | The Web World Times
Donald Trump tries to attack British Prime Minister Theresa May, accidentally attacks some other woman instead
Is the “Trump-Russia affair” an elaborate Leftist plot – Google Search
США для нового санкционного списка собирают сведения о десятках тысяч россиян
US actively collects data on foreign assets of Russian elite after Trumps new law on sanctions against Russia
Mitigating the Russian challenge
AP source: Grand jury testimony in Flynn case put off
Turkish-Iranian Gold Trader Testifies at US Trial | Business News
Feinstein asks for Russia records from Trump campaign aides – The Hill
Rudy Giuliani – Google News: Turkish-Iranian Gold Trader Testifies at US Trial – U.S. News & World Report
Turkish-Iranian Gold Trader Testifies at US Trial – U.S. News & World Report
Lawsuit seeks details of Trump administration’s policies on surveilling journalists – Washington Post
Special counsel delays grand jury testimony amid signs of Flynn deal talks
Today’s Headlines and Commentary
Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
Just Security
 

mikenova shared this story from Just Security.

Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.

NORTH KOREA

The U.S. called for the international community to suspend diplomatic ties with North Korea and further isolate the regime at an emergency U.N. Security Council session yesterday, following North Korea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (I.C.B.M.) on Tuesday, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley also said that the council could revoke Pyongyang’s U.N. privileges and voting rights, demand that countries expel North Korean laborers and impose sanctions on its crude oil imports. Farnaz Fassihi reports at the Wall Street Journal.

“We have never sought war with North Korea, and still today we do not seek it,” Haley said yesterday, adding that if a war comes “make no mistake – the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed.” Zachary Cohen reports at CNN.

Trump spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping by phone yesterday and urged Xi to apply more pressure on Pyongyang, Trump saying in a tweet after their conversation that “additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. This situation will be handled!” China’s state Xinhua news agency reported that Xi told Trump that China is committed to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Simon Denyer reports at the Washington Post.

“Little Rocket Man, he is a sick puppy,” Trump said yesterday at a public event in Missouri, referring derogatorily to the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Julian Borger reports at the Guardian.

Russia’s ambassador to the U.N. Vassily Nebenzia urged the U.S. and South Korea to refrain from holding military drills next month, saying at the Security Council session yesterday that all concerned parties should “stop this spiral of tension.” Reuters reports.

The U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called on North Korea to “desist from taking any further destabilizing steps,” in a statement issued on Tuesday by Guterres’ spokesperson, separately the top U.N. political affairs official urged all Security Council members yesterday to unite “to prevent an escalation.” The UN News Centre reports.

North Korea fired a “Hwasong-15” I.C.B.M. and its capabilities have caused alarm among missile experts, Anna Fifield explains at the Washington Post.

North Korea’s test of the Hwasong-15 I.C.B.M. appeared calibrated to avoid provoking a U.S. military response and was a demonstration of Pyongyang’s status as a nuclear armed state, analysts have said. Andrew Jeong and Jonathan Cheng explain at the Wall Street Journal.

The fact that North Korea fired the I.C.B.M. late at night suggests a broader strategy, demonstrating that it could launch a missile at any time and from anywhere with little warning, Adam Taylor observers at the Washington Post.

A U.S.-Canada hosted international meeting in January on North Korea would try to “come up with some better ideas” to deal with the threat, Canadian officials said yesterday, David Ljunggren reporting at Reuters.

President Trump is the “first president who’s been able to get the attention of the Chinese who are actually squeezing the North Koreans as we speak,” the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in an interview broadcast yesterday, praising the president for his handling of the situation and expressing hope that the U.S. could avoid a war in the region. Mallory Shelbourne reports at the Hill.

“Is it time to accept that North Korea will never give up its nuclear arms, and try to reach a deal to stop its arsenal growing further?” Mark Landler and Choe Sang-Hun explain at the New York Times that this is the question that must be addressed “sooner or later” by the U.S. and its allies following the latest missile test.

The toughest sanctions on North Korea have not yet been imposed and the latest U.N. sanctions are being slowly implemented, there is still more economic pressure that the U.S. can put on Pyongyang and China can do much more to rein in the regime. The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes.

The latest missile test could “signal a chance for a new diplomatic opening,” many have considered that North Korea would not enter into serious negotiations until the regime has achieved its nuclear ambitions, therefore now may be the chance to pursue dialogue. The New York Times editorial boardwrites.

A Cold War strategy of “mutually assured destruction” has a different dynamic when it comes to North Korea depending on what the U.S. seeks to achieve and what it prioritizes, nevertheless it has been made clear that Kim Jong-un has not been deterred by the increased pressure over the past few months and the direction of travel seems to be in favor of the U.S. accepting that North Korea would have nuclear capability. David E. Sanger writes at the New York Times.

The missile test has reiterated seven critical truths, including the fact that North Korea is a nuclear power now and probably has the ability to strike Washington D.C. and New York, Max Fisher explains at the New York Times.

The prospect of a new Korean war should be taken seriously, it is unlikely that more economic pressure would drastically change their behavior, it would be better to “try talking” to avoid a precarious situation. Nicholas Kristof writes at the New York Times.

TRUMP-RUSSIA

Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner met with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team earlier this month as part of Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to two sources familiar with the matter, and Mueller’s team questioned Kushner about the former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Gloria Borger, Pamela Brown, Evan Perez and Kara Scannell report at CNN.   Continue Reading »

Trump-Russia: Jared Kushner ‘questioned about Michael Flynn’ – BBC News
 

mikenova shared this story from trump and russia – Google News.


BBC News
Trump-Russia: Jared Kushner ‘questioned about Michael Flynn’
BBC News
President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has been questioned by special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators about former top White House aide Michael Flynn, US media reports say. The investigators reportedly wanted to know if Mr Kushner had 
Mueller’s Prosecutors Are Said to Have Interviewed Jared Kushner on Russia MeetingNew York Times
The latest TrumpRussia investigation news, explainedVox
Jared Kushner: Donald Trump’s son-in-law reportedly meets with Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation teamThe Independent
USA TODAY –The Guardian –CNN –Wall Street Journal
all 102 news articles »
Lavrov: Trump’s Russia policy similar to Obama’s – The Times of Israel
 

mikenova shared this story from putin won US 2016 election – Google News.


The Times of Israel
Lavrov: Trump’s Russia policy similar to Obama’s
The Times of Israel
But after the US Congress approved new economic sanctions against Moscow over its alleged meddling in the 2016 USpresidential electionPutin in July ordered drastic cuts in US staff in retaliation. In August, Trump grudgingly signed what he called a and more »

US financial intelligence collects data on foreign assets of Russian elite – https://en.crimerussia.com/
 

mikenova shared this story from Putin and the Russian Mafia – Google News.

US financial intelligence collects data on foreign assets of Russian elite
https://en.crimerussia.com/
As The CrimeRussia previously reported, the Ministry of Finance, in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence and the US Secretary of State, shoult provide an open report on the oligarchs and parastatal organizations of the Russian  

Hezbollah in America’s Backyard – Google Search
 

mikenova shared this story .

Image result for Hezbollah in America's Backyard

Hezbollah in America’s Backyard – Google Search
 

mikenova shared this story from Hezbollah in America’s Backyard – Google News.

Story image for Hezbollah in America's Backyard from Politico

How Trump Is Going After Hezbollah in America’s Backyard

Politico2 hours ago
The Trump administration is pushing back aggressively against what the intelligence community often refers to as the “Iran Threat Network” or ITN, and as part of that campaign it is especially keen to focus on the activities of Hezbollah, the pro-Iranian Lebanese militia, in Latin America. Now, new revelations …

Story image for Hezbollah in America's Backyard from Breitbart News

Terror Task Force Chair: Jihadists ‘Are Teaming Up with Violent …

Breitbart NewsNov 23, 2017
Hezbollah and other Islamic terrorist groups are joining forces with “violent drug lords” in Latin America to raise money to fund their nefarious activities, posing a “grave threat” to U.S. national security, warned Rep. … Islamic Terrorist are teaming up with violent drug lords located in America’s backyard.

Story image for Hezbollah in America's Backyard from Newsmax

Iran Plans Naval Excursion Into Western Hemisphere

NewsmaxNov 27, 2017
They have political support from some Latin American countries that purportedly offered them assistance with Iran’s Lebanese Shiite Muslim movement Hezbollah. The Middle East situation and Iran’s excursion into America’s backyard hold the classic elements for another Cold War between Russia and the …

Story image for Hezbollah in America's Backyard from Haaretz

While America’s AWOL on Coordinating anti-Iran Allies, Saudi …

HaaretzNov 18, 2017
In Yemen, Saudi Arabia faces a legitimate Iranian-sponsored threat in its backyard in the form of the Houthi rebels. The November 4 … Will such a Saudi-led strategy – toward a clearly legitimate objective – succeed in getting Hezbollah to reduce its involvement in regional affairs? Could it, on the way, spark …
How Trump Is Going After Hezbollah in America’s Backyard – Politico
 

mikenova shared this story from crime and terror – Google News.


Politico
How Trump Is Going After Hezbollah in America’s Backyard
Politico
In May 1996, the three border countries launched a Tripartite Command of the Tri-Border to coordinate their law enforcement and intelligence agencies to combat organized crime and terrorist activities in the area. The next monthjust days before  

The Self-Destruction of American Democracy – New York Times
 

mikenova shared this story from Putin and American political process – Google News.


New York Times
The Self-Destruction of American Democracy
New York Times
Add to Trump’s list of lies, his race baiting, his attacks on a free press, his charges of fake news, his efforts to instigate new levels of voter suppression, his undermining of the legitimacy of the electoral process, his disregard for the  

Nobodys President? Putin Enters the Era of Transition – Carnegie Moscow Center
 

mikenova shared this story from Carnegie Endowment for International Peace – Carnegie Publications.

The 2018 election in Russia is turning into a real political event. Putin is an undeclared candidate and Navalny is an unregistered one, who will have a real influence. The Kremlin is now run by regents around a diminished president, and discussion is already focusing on what the post-Putin era will look like.

The Russian political scene is entering a new phase. The official candidate for president in the election of March 2018 has not declared himself and is increasingly absent, while most discussion within the ruling elite focuses not on the next stage of the Putin era but on what will constitute the post-Putin era.

Political life has returned to Russia. Who would have expected last fall that Alexei Navalny, best known hitherto as an anti-corruption campaigner, would be able to launch a juggernaut of a pre-electoral campaign a full fifteen months before polling day? I didn’t. We had gotten so used to the idea that nobody can influence a Russian electoral campaign that we forgot that someone might simply try to fight one.

By the middle of the year it was clear that Navalny’s public meetings were more than civic activism, and that an active political election campaign was underway. Russia’s political stage was full of life, which made Putin’s absence from it all the more noticeable and his silence louder. The problem for the Kremlin is that the importance of the election of March 2018 that many were dismissing as a formality or an irrelevance has grown, while the comparable stature of President Putin has not. Navalny is posing a challenge and a double question to the Kremlin: What will you do with me? And what will you do with this election?

With the election less than four months away, Putin has not yet declared the candidacy that all expect. He is as visible as ever in the media, and yet he increasingly fails to convince that, as before, he is the author of Russia’s political activity, is still a leader who takes responsibility for everything. In short, the Kremlin writers who are putting together the script for 2018 now worry that Putin has become nobody’s leader, that he is now more akin to the centerpiece of the nation, a fixed entity against which other forces collide.

At the end of 2017, it is now possible to talk about a system that operates without Putin. He is not acting in sync with his inner circle. Each feels uncomfortable with the other, as the president grows more stingy about intervening to resolve the power struggles within the elite. Putin has never been interested in classical “politics,” seeing it as an empty term. That means that the apolitical president does not take definite positions on issues—making it easier for decisions to be taken in his name.

Nowadays, we increasingly have the impression that “the boss is away.” The management of Russia that is formally exercised by the president has been almost entirely taken over by his inner circle and the presidential administration, which has ceased being just a general staff and has turned into a player with its own special interests. To put it another way, the president himself has suddenly discovered that he is surrounded by “regents” with varying degrees of power. Russia is developing a regime of collective regency.

The higher we go in the presidential administration, the less we find administration and the more we see pure palace rule. The modern-day “court of his imperial majesty” regards anything that is in the state budget or can be made liquid as its property, whether that be governmental positions, territories, threats, people, or infrastructure. Meanwhile, Sergei Kiriyenko, first deputy head of the administration, is guarding Putin’s Russia until Putin returns. He is the overtime manager. He waits for orders but none come.

The system is not only functioning without a fully functional Putin, it also lacks any strategic direction. A lot of noise is made about “hiring younger people,” but in actual fact no political rejuvenation is taking place. The new staff don’t have a program they can work to and are strategically useless under the current model. Only when the political environment thaws will they acquire real power. We hear the word “technocrat” being used about young Russian government officials, but what that term really means is that these people are part of the transition into the post-Putin Russia.

The atmosphere inside the government apparatus is becoming more fearful, and the rivalry with the security agencies is intensifying. Arrests taking place in Kremlin circles are not carried out according to “Putin’s plan,” ordered from above, but are rather a manifestation of competition for power.

If we are to understand Russia’s pre-election landscape, we must first understand the Kremlin’s 2018 agenda. The near-term political goal is not about getting to a post-Putin Russia, it is about planning a transition. But it’s worth noting that the discussions are all about preserving the system, not about preserving Putin. (Putin himself, it should be said, is sure to have his own opinion on this matter.) Unlike Putin, this is a system determined not to disappear, and it is run by champions in the art of survival.

The skills of the election strategists are now facing an especially stern test. For three presidential elections in a row, in the elections of 2004, 2008, and 2012, they have worked to make the campaigns a politics-free zone in which the outcome was fully predetermined. Navalny is now working hard to spoil this script and to make the forthcoming vote a real contest again. He has done this by choosing to put himself forward and resolving to fight to the end. Whether or not Navalny is registered as an official candidate, he has succeeded in making the election a proper political process once again.

Even if Navalny is not registered, it will still be a boost to his campaign, and he will be able to mobilize a wide range of people. In that case, he will face some difficult political questions: where to direct this powerful force and how to recommend that they vote. That’s where a political opening exists for the liberal socialite Ksenia Sobchak. If Navalny is refused registration, she may gain political momentum by winning over his electorate. However, there are big question marks over her political durability and as to whether she could do anything like Navalny has done in creating a national structure.

The start of the 2018–2024 presidential term will be the occasion for deal-making at the highest level. The deal will be about more than the interests of a tired older gentleman, nor can it rely solely on the Kremlin circle of “regents,” who have too great an interest in gaining control over Putin as he weakens.

The deal that is made will have to have a firmly fixed objective and a deadline, which may be 2024, for when a new kind of politics returns to Russia and there is real strategic planning for the future. That may even be the moment that Putin regains his own political face, a face he has rubbed away with years of bad decisions.

Even while Putin is an undeclared candidate and Navalny is an unregistered one, the race between them is approaching a culmination around the New Year period. Soon the state will either have to try to register Navalny for the election or refuse him. Either option could trigger a crisis.

In either eventuality, Putin will have to fight against the unregistered Navalny Party, which consists of tens and hundreds of thousands of Russian citizens. This will be the main conflict of the campaign—not the one between Putin and Navalny, but the one between Putin and Navalny’s supporters. These people are not just the supporters of their candidate but the most determined supporters of transition, of Russia’s passage into a post-Putin future.

Russian PM Says US-Russia Ties at Low Ebb but Trump ‘Friendly’ – U.S. News & World Report
 

mikenova shared this story from trump russian ties – Google News.


U.S. News & World Report
Russian PM Says US-Russia Ties at Low Ebb but Trump ‘Friendly’
U.S. News & World Report
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visit the Resurrection New Jerusalem Monastery at Istra, outside Moscow, Russia November 15, 2017. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS Reuters. MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian and more »

The Morning Vertical, November 30, 2017 – RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
 

mikenova shared this story from Putinism – Google News.

The Morning Vertical, November 30, 2017
RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Is Pavlovsky right? There certainly are data points out there suggesting that he is. Arrests are taking place that do not appear to be sanctioned by Putin. Figures like Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov seem to be pursuing and more »

5:30 AM 11/30/2017 Is the “Trump-Russia affair” an elaborate Leftist plot? M.N.  | The Web World Times
 

mikenova shared this story from The Web World Times News and Opinions Review.

Image result for Is the "Trump-Russia affair" an elaborate Leftist plot

Is the “Trump-Russia affair” an elaborate Leftist plot, carried over directly from the “Obama Leftist plot”, and masquerading as the Rightist Alliance of Putin’s regime, Trump Republicans, and the European rightists? 

At the head of this plot might be the certain elements of the New Russian Left, visible and invisible, and including the various military-political circles, German (Stasi dominated) Intelligence, and the ubiquitous Chinese, practicing all kinds of deceptions against everybody, as their traditional “Art of War” is. 

A nice combination, well screwed-up little Leftist Bolt from the sky… 

M.N.  

11.30.17 

Quotes from “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu:

“Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.”

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. 

_____________________________

Donald Trump tries to attack British Prime Minister Theresa May, accidentally attacks some other woman instead
 

mikenova shared this story from FB-RSS feed for Palmer Report.

Donald Trump tries to attack British Prime Minister Theresa May, accidentally attacks some other woman instead

Donald Trump tries to attack British Prime Minister Theresa May, accidentally attacks some other woman instead

Trump tried to start World War III with Great Britain, and couldn’t even get it right

Is the “Trump-Russia affair” an elaborate Leftist plot – Google Search
 

mikenova shared this story .

Image result for Is the "Trump-Russia affair" an elaborate Leftist plot

США для нового санкционного списка собирают сведения о десятках тысяч россиян
 

mikenova shared this story from Росбалт.

Российские спецслужбы зафиксировали небывалую активность финансовой разведки США в странах Европы и ряде других государств. Связано это с тем, что в начале следующего года будет оглашен новый санкционный список.

Как рассказал «Росбалту» источник, знакомый с ситуацией, российские спецслужбы узнали, что последние месяцы страны Европы буквально забросали запросами из финансовой разведки США относительно россиян. «Речь идет о работниках госкомпаний, чиновниках,  их близких и дальних родственниках и т. д. Всего о десятках тысяч россиян», — рассказал собеседник агентства. По его словам, в ходе дальнейшей работы было установлено, что такая активность финразведки напрямую связана с расследованием ФБР и подготовкой Сенатом доклада о якобы имевшем место вмешательстве России в президентские выборы в США. Предполагается, что по итогам расследования будет оглашен новый список граждан России, в отношении которых вводятся санкции.

«У нас есть данные, что этот список будет беспрецедентно большим. Некоторые горячие головы в США предлагают ввести санкции чуть ли не в отношении более чем 50 тыс. граждан России», — отметил источник агентства.

Подробности читайте на сайте «Росбалта» в ближайшее время.

Самые интересные статьи «Росбалта» читайте на нашем канале в Telegram.

US actively collects data on foreign assets of Russian elite after Trumps new law on sanctions against Russia
 

mikenova shared this story .

A new sanctions list will be drawn up based on an open report, which will provide information on Russian oligarchs and key political figures.⁠

Russian special services hold an unprecedented activity of US financial intelligence in Europe and a number of other countries requesting data on Russians. This is due to the fact that at the beginning of next year a new sanction list will be announced, Rosbalt reports with reference to the source.

“We are talking about employees of state companies, officials, their close and distant relatives, etc. In total, about tens of thousands of Russians,” the source said. Such activity is directly related to the law on sanctions against Russia, signed by US President Donald Trump on Aug. 4, 2017, proposed by US congressmen. It deals primarily with collecting data on key political figures and oligarchs.

As The CrimeRussia previously reported, the Ministry of Finance, in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence and the US Secretary of State, shoult provide an open report on the oligarchs and parastatal organizations of the Russian Federation to relevant congressional committees not later than 180 days after the adoption of the law. It should provide information on key political figures of Russia and the oligarchs, the level of their proximity to Vladimir Putin and other members of the Russian ruling elite, their fortune and sources of income; moreover, a list of their relatives, including spouses, children, parents, their assets, including investments, business interests, property that generates income should be concluded; foreign companies affiliated with these persons have been identified too.”

In fact, by January 31, 2018, the Ministry of Finance should prepare a report on all significant politicians, businessmen and officials. The open document will reflect data on their assets, including foreign ones. In the future, the report will only be supplemented with new information and names. All these names will appear in the new sanctions list, which can number up to 50.000 Russian citizens.

According to experts who have already expressed their opinion on the new law, it is possible that later foreign accounts under the jurisdiction of countries that support sanctions against Russia can be frozen. Assets can be confiscated as property that is earned on criminal or illegal way. The Spanish authorities have the same experience, for example, Spain converts property of Russian mafia, accused of money laundering.

Please, read our material about the forthcoming report and how it threatens Russia.

Mitigating the Russian challenge
 

mikenova shared this story from News from EUobserver.

“It is time”, the USSR leader Mikhail Gorbachev said in a 1989 speech, “to consign to oblivion the Cold War postulates when Europe was viewed as an arena of confrontation divided into ‘spheres of influence’.”

In place of old rivalries, Gorbachev laid out his vision of a “common European home”. Russia and Europe, he declared optimistically, should work together “to transform international relations in the spirit of humanism, equality and justice”.

Fast forward to 2017, and it is clear that things have not quite gone according to plan.

Gorbachev is defending Russia’s takeover of Crimea. For the first time since the Cold War, Nato is opening new command centres in Europe.

The stakes involved in the EU-Russia relationship are still high.

The EU is the most important investor in Russia, as well as its largest trading partner. Moscow, for its part, remains a crucial energy and security player for Europe.

Yet at the core of the Russia-EU confrontation lies the fundamental disagreement over values and geopolitical zones of influence. Those differences are unlikely to be bridged soon.

The EU, built on the values of interdependence and liberal norms, is willing to engage with Moscow, but with strings attached. To access the community’s perks – closer economic links, visa-free travel – the Kremlin is expected to abide by international laws and embrace liberalisation at home.

To Russia’s leadership, those conditions are unacceptable. It sees its neighbourhood as the bulwark against Nato expansion and the wave of ‘colour’ revolutions. As for domestic liberalisation, it would destroy Vladimir Putin’s regime, or, at least, seriously undermine it.

It is against this context that Russia’s attempts to stoke troubles in Europe should be considered.

Carrot vs Stick

To deter Russia, the EU global strategy recommends, member-states, above all, must “strengthen the EU and enhance the resilience of our eastern neighbours”.

The conspicuity of this observation doesn’t render it any less relevant. Russian leadership values strength and preys on weakness.

Show the Kremlin that you cannot use a stick, and it will wrestle the carrot out of your hands.

Thus, the most obvious thing the EU can do is to enhance its defensive capabilities. That means protecting eastern flunk, while also improving military mobility. Boosting cyber defence, too, is crucial, given recent attacks on Europe’s infrastructure.

Response to Russian meddling in European politics, though, is a more nuanced challenge. Concerns over Moscow’s malignant campaign – via TV, social media and financing of populist parties – are valid.

Yet it is also crucial to keep cool when confronting Russian propaganda.

The Kremlin’s aim, as the US example showed, is to sow discord within Western politics, not necessarily to achieve a concrete electoral outcome.

That is why media panic – and attaching the ‘Putin’s stooge’ label to any anti-establishment cause – only plays into Moscow’s hands.

The best way to deal with the Kremlin’s meddling, therefore, is treating it more as a security issue than a political one.

Western agencies have learned about Russia’s web campaign, so they can tackle it with considerable success in future. Reforms to increase transparency in party financing, likewise, is a useful step.

To bring Russia around to the idea of a common future on European terms requires demonstrating calm resolve. Moscow must understand that, despite its tricks, the EU’s institutions will continue to work as normal.

Making cooperation pay

But while Europe must demonstrate firmness, it is equally important to show what Moscow can gain by cooperating.

A deterrence-only approach to the Kremlin will only amplify its exuberance, leading to an endless ‘action-response’ cycle.

So, how can Russia be induced to cooperate?

Firstly, the EU should retain clear conditions for lifting economic sanctions on Russia. As the economist Vladislav Inozemtsev observed, wherever economic sanctions worked – like South Africa or Yugoslavia – they came with clear instructions of their relaxation or removal.

Heeding that, any comprehensive plan to resolve the Ukraine crisis should include the roadmap for sanctions relief.

The economic card is the strongest ace in the EU’s deck. It must play it wisely.

Secondly, there is a need to communicate with Russia in the way that brings maximum utility. Putin’s regime is here to stay. Nonetheless, it can still be affected, even if incrementally.

To facilitate change, it may be worth raising commercial and human rights concerns with Moscow on diplomatic level rather than just in the media. This approach will assure the Kremlin that Western concerns are genuine, and not an attempt to embarrass it.

Before any progress is achieved with Russia, things may get even more muddled. To succeed, Europe must demonstrate strategic patience.

Evgeny Pudovkin is a journalist writing on European politics, Russia and foreign affairs

AP source: Grand jury testimony in Flynn case put off
 

mikenova shared this story .

Prosecutors working with special counsel Robert Mueller have postponed grand jury testimony related to the private business dealings of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, a person familiar with the ongoing investigation into Trump campaign associates and Russian election interference told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The reason for the postponement was not immediately clear, but it comes one week after attorneys for Flynn alerted President Donald Trump’s legal team that they could no longer share information about the case. That discussion between lawyers was widely seen as a possible indication that Flynn was moving to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation or attempting to negotiate a deal for himself.

An attorney for Flynn, Robert Kelner, did not immediately respond to email and phone messages Wednesday afternoon.

The testimony that had been scheduled for the coming days related to Flynn’s firm, Flynn Intel Group, its work with a public relations firm and interactions with congressional staff, according to a person who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation.

Sign up today for a free 30 day free trial of unlimited digital access.

Mueller and the FBI have been interested in hearing from employees at the public relations firm, SGR LLC, because of the firm’s work with Flynn Intel Group. SGR LLC, which does business as Sphere Consulting, did public relations work on a film Flynn Intel Group was working on about Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen. The film was never completed.

Mueller was appointed by the Justice Department in May to oversee an investigation into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. The investigation, which produced its first criminal charges last month against three former Trump campaign officials, incorporated an earlier FBI inquiry into Flynn’s lobbying and investigative research work on behalf of a Turkish businessman. Sphere employees have cooperated for months with the investigation, including by turning over documents requested by investigators and sitting for voluntary interviews.

The October 2016 meeting that was expected to be the subject of the grand jury testimony has been described as a bait-and-switch carried out on behalf of Flynn’s firm.

As the AP reported in March, Flynn’s business partner, Bijan Kian, invited a representative of the House Homeland Security Committee to Flynn Intel’s offices in Alexandria, Virginia, to discuss secure communications products. But after discussing the products, the session quickly turned into a lobbying pitch that mirrored Turkish government talking points. Kian and others involved were particularly interested in pushing for congressional hearings to investigate Gulen, whom the Turkish government has blamed for a botched coup and who has been living in exile in Pennsylvania. Gulen has denied any involvement.

The requests for congressional hearings went nowhere.

According to a filing with the Justice Department, an employee of Sphere consulting was present during the meeting.

CNN first reported the postponement.

Turkish-Iranian Gold Trader Testifies at US Trial | Business News
 

mikenova shared this story .

In this courtroom sketch, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Denton points at defendant Mehmet Hakan Atilla, right, during opening arguments of a trial, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017, in New York federal court. Denton said Atilla, deputy CEO of Halkbank, was the architect of a “massively successful” scheme to dupe U.S. banks into letting Iran move money around the world. Judge Richard Berman is seated at the bench, background left. (Elizabeth Williams via AP) The Associated Press

By TOM HAYS and LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — A Turkish-Iranian gold trader testified at a New York trial Wednesday that he paid over $50 million in bribes to Turkey’s finance minister in 2012 to overcome a banker’s fears he was too popular in Turkey to launder Iranian money and evade U.S. sanctions.

Reza Zarrab, 34, calmly described his 2012 encounters with one of Turkey’s most important public officials as he began what will be several days on the witness stand at the trial of Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla, who is charged in a conspiracy that involved bribes and kickbacks to high-level officials.

Zarrab’s decision to cooperate with U.S. investigators — revealed Tuesday — was a surprise twist in a prosecution that seemed in jeopardy just months earlier after Zarrab tried to free himself by hiring prominent and politically connected American attorneys to try to arrange a prisoner transfer between Turkey and the United States.

Zarrab said he began cooperating after efforts by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey failed. In the spring, prosecutors seemed alarmed after learning that Giuliani and Mukasey would meet with Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and top U.S. officials to try to broker a deal.

With Zarrab as a powerful addition to their arsenal of evidence, prosecutors wasted no time in getting him to name names and muddy reputations in the banking industry and in government.

Testifying with an American flag behind him, Zarrab answered questions from Assistant U.S. Attorney Sidhardha Kamaraju as the prosecutor elicited details of what the United States has said was a well-orchestrated conspiracy to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran and enable $1 billion in Iranian oil proceeds to move through international banking markets.

Zarrab said he ran into resistance from a Halkbank executive when he approached the Turkey government-owned bank in late 2011 or early 2012 to try to gain access to Iranian money through trades in gold.

The executive, he said, feared that Zarrab’s marriage to Turkish pop star and TV personality Ebru Gundes made him too popular and transparent to make gold trades.

Feeling unjustly rejected, he said he met with Zafer Caglayan, Turkey’s finance minister. He said Caglayan told him he would broker gold trades in return for half the profits.

Zarrab said he paid Caglayan over $50 million to broker the trades and that Caglayan’s involvement overcame the bank’s resistance.

Caglayan is indicted in the case. The indictment describes his alleged role in the gold-transfer scheme and in another scheme in which he and other Turkish government officials supposedly approved of and directed the movement of Iranian oil proceeds by claiming they were in connection with the sale of food and medicine to Iran from Dubai.

Erdogan has called on American authorities to “review” the decision to indict Caglayan, saying the former minister had not engaged in any wrongdoing because Turkey had not imposed sanctions on Iran, an important trade partner.

Zarrab took the stand wearing tan scrubs a month after pleading guilty to seven crimes, including conspiracy, violating U.S. sanctions, bank fraud, money laundering and paying a bribe to a prison guard to get alcohol and the use of a cellphone.

Atilla, a 47-year-old former deputy CEO of Halkbank, has pleaded not guilty. A lawyer for Atilla attacked Zarrab’s credibility Tuesday during opening statements, saying the trial is about Zarrab’s crimes.

As he testified, Zarrab described his 2016 arrest as he arrived in the U.S. for a trip to Disney World with his wife and daughter.

He said he initially lied to U.S. authorities when he was confronted with crimes.

“I did not know what I was facing and after a long trip I was shocked and I couldn’t give the right answers,” Zarrab said. “I was afraid.”

The prosecution in Manhattan has been major news in Turkey, where Erdogan has repeatedly asked the U.S. to release Zarrab.

Turkey’s deputy prime minister recently said Zarrab was a “hostage” being forced to testify against Turkey’s government.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Feinstein asks for Russia records from Trump campaign aides – The Hill
 

mikenova shared this story from trump russian ties – Google News.


The Hill
Feinstein asks for Russia records from Trump campaign aides
The Hill
Clovis came under fire in late October after documents from March revealed that he encouraged a young Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, to meet with Russian officials in an effort to help improve the relations between Moscow and the campaign …
Mueller’s TrumpRussia Probe May Be Only One That Leads to AnswersOr HandcuffsNewsweek
Dianne Feinstein wants more documents from former Trump campaign officials as part of Russia probeWashington Examiner
The TrumpRussia Story Is Coming Together. Here’s How to Make Sense of ItTruth-Out
Tribune-Review
all 52 news articles »
Rudy Giuliani – Google News: Turkish-Iranian Gold Trader Testifies at US Trial – U.S. News & World Report
 

mikenova shared this story from 1. Trump Circles: Elections from mikenova (16 sites).


U.S. News & World Report
Turkish-Iranian Gold Trader Testifies at US Trial
U.S. News & World Report
Those lawyers included former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey. Kamaraju asked him if the talks, which included a meeting with Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, were successful. “No,” Zarrab answered 
The Odyssey of a Turkish Trader Now Spilling His Secrets in USBloombergall 42 news articles »

 Rudy Giuliani – Google News

Turkish-Iranian Gold Trader Testifies at US Trial – U.S. News & World Report
 

mikenova shared this story from Rudy Giuliani – Google News.


U.S. News & World Report
Turkish-Iranian Gold Trader Testifies at US Trial
U.S. News & World Report
Those lawyers included former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey. Kamaraju asked him if the talks, which included a meeting with Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, were successful. “No,” Zarrab answered 
The Odyssey of a Turkish Trader Now Spilling His Secrets in USBloombergall 42 news articles »

Lawsuit seeks details of Trump administration’s policies on surveilling journalists – Washington Post
 

mikenova shared this story from Trump FBI file – Google News.


Washington Post
Lawsuit seeks details of Trump administration’s policies on surveilling journalists
Washington Post
Two media organizations planned to sue the Trump administration on Wednesday for details of government policies on surveillance of journalists, which remain hidden despite the groups’ public records requests. The Knight First Amendment Institute at and more »

Special counsel delays grand jury testimony amid signs of Flynn deal talks
 

mikenova shared this story .

Additional witnesses were expected to be questioned soon including a public relations consultant hired by Flynn’s lobbying firm who was given an early December date deadline to appear before the grand jury, according to a person at the company.

Ahead of the delay, the impression was that the testimony needed to happen soon, the source said.

“Time seems to be of the essence,” said the source at Sphere Consulting, the PR firm where the consultant worked.

The grand jury testimony was postponed, the person said, with no reason given. There could be many reasons for a delay, including scheduling issues.

close dialog

The consultant’s expected testimony comes as the investigation into Trump’s former national security adviser’s business dealings has taken a new turn.

Flynn’s attorney told Trump’s legal team last week that he would no longer share information about the investigation, a move that signals Flynn is beginning conversations with the government that could involve a plea deal or a cooperation agreement.

 ABC News reported

 that Flynn’s attorney met with special counsel’s attorneys on Monday.

Sphere’s government relations arm, SGR LLC Government Relations and Lobbying, is one of several companies Flynn Intel Group hired to work for Inovo BV, a Netherlands-based company owned by Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin, according to filing made by Flynn Intel Group under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Inovo hired Flynn to research Fethullah Gulen, an exiled Turkish cleric who Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused of being behind the 2016 attempted military coup to overthrow him, the filing said.

Inovo paid Flynn’s group $530,000 for the research, which was supposed result in a video documentary but it was never finished. Sphere’s SGR was paid $40,000.

Sphere has been cooperating for months with the investigation. The inquiry was originally opened before the appointment of the special counsel, according to the source. Sphere, which was subpoenaed around June, was described as “a cooperating witness at best.” Sphere has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

Interviews conducted by special counsel investigators have included questions about the

business dealings of Flynn and his son

 such as their firm’s reporting of income from work overseas, two witnesses interviewed by the team told CNN. The Foreign Agents Registration Act requires people acting as agents of foreign entities to publicly disclose their relationship with foreign countries or businesses and financial compensation for such work.

Another area of interest to Mueller’s team is Flynn’s alleged participation in discussions about the idea of removing Gulen, who has been living in exile in Pennsylvania, sources said. In the past, a spokesman for Flynn has denied that such discussions occurred. Flynn’s attorney, Robert Kelner, has called reports of an alleged kidnapping scheme “outrageous” and “false.” Kelner could not be reached for comment.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel, declined to comment.

Flynn disclosed its work for Inovo in a lobbying disclosure form in September 2016. Months later, in March 2017, it filed a FARA disclosure form stating “because of the subject matter of the engagement, Flynn Intel Group’s work for Inovo could be construed to have principally benefitted from the Republic of Turkey.”

Sphere entered the assignment in August 2016 when it was approached by Bijan Kian, Flynn’s business partner, to publicize the proposed documentary to promote investing in Turkey, according to the Sphere source. At Flynn’s direction Sphere created a Gulen-themed Monopoly graphic, according to Flynn’s FARA disclosure. A lawyer for Kian declined to comment. No explanation was given for why the graphic was created.

Two other consultants hired by Flynn, journalists David Enders and Rudi Bakhtiar, a former CNN anchor, were brought in to work on the documentary, according to the FARA form. The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the investigation, reported the Federal Bureau of Investigation has contacted Enders and Bakhtair to set up interviews. Enders and Bakhtiar have not responded to CNN’s requests for comment.

The documentary was never completed. But Sphere did place Flynn’s election day op-ed on Gulen in The Hill newspaper, according to the source at the company and the FARA filing. Flynn’s FARA filing distances that op-ed from the work he did for Inovo acknowledging it was shared with Inovo but: “To the best of our knowledge, Inovo did not communicate with the Republic of Turkey regarding the op-ed or provide the draft op-ed to the government.”

Through Flynn and Kian, Sphere met Alptekin, the Turkish businessman, who wanted Sphere to do PR work to get Gulen extradited, according to the source at Sphere.

According to a memo sent to Flynn’s firm, Sphere told Alptekin in November, when the firm first met with him, that none of this should be done through a publicity campaign, but rather should pursued through lawsuits.

Today’s Headlines and Commentary
 

mikenova shared this story from Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices.

North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile in a test that demonstrated the Kim regimes longest potential range capability yet. The Hwasong-15 missile could reach all of the continental United States, the New York Times reported. The missiles 53-minute flight took the projectile 2,800 miles into space before landing in the Sea of Japan 600 miles east of its launch site. Experts said the test flight showed a potential range of 8,000 miles. President Donald Trump, the leaders of Japan and South Korea, and the U.N. secretary-general condemned the launch, the Washington Post reported. The United Nations Security Council will meet on Wednesday to discuss Pyongyangs latest provocation.

The Syrian government agreed to a Russian plan for a ceasefire in a rebel-held region near Damascus,the BBC reported. Syrian forces had besieged rebels in the Eastern Ghouta area, and in recent weeks Russian airstrikes and Syrian artillery fire have killed dozens of civilians. The ceasefire came as Syrian government and opposition negotiators met for U.N.-led peace talks in Geneva.

The FBI is investigating the murders of a Syrian-American journalist and her mother in Turkey, ABC News reported. Halla Barakat and her mother Orouba both reported on abuses by the Syrian regime. Their killer strangled and stabbed them to death in their apartment in Istanbul in September. Turkish prosecutors have arrested a man who says he killed them because of a dispute about money, but the prosecutors suspect the man acted on orders from the Assad regime to assassinate the women.

Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, promoted a private scheme to build nuclear reactors across the Middle East while he was in office, the Wall Street Journal reported. Flynn consulted for the companies proposing the plan during the presidential transition. After coming into office, he directed a National Security Council staffer to prepare a memo about the plan for Trump to approve. The staffer continued to promote the plan after Flynn resigned in February until his own ouster in July.

Special Counsel Robert Muellers investigation of Michael Flynn may now cover Flynns tenure as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), BuzzFeed News reported. The DIA cited ongoing law enforcement investigative activities to justify refusing a reporters three-year old request for information about Flynns two-year tenure as director from 2012 to 2014. The Obama administration forced Flynn to retire early.

A jury in Washington, D.C. convicted Ahmed Abu Khatallah, the alleged mastermind of the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, on terrorism charges, the Post reported. The jury in federal district court acquitted Khatallah on murder charges for the deaths of four U.S. diplomats at Benghazi. U.S. commandos captured Khatallah in 2014 in Libya and brought him to the U.S. to face criminal prosecution. He faces a sentence of up to life in prison.

Shooting broke out in Sanaa, Yemens capital, between rival factions of the Houthi movement, Reuters reported. Forces loyal to Yemens former president Ali Abdullah Saleh fought allies of another key Houthi leader, threatening to fracture the Houthi rebel movement. A Saudi-led coalition backing Yemens internationally-recognized government is fighting the Houthis for control of the country.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson defended his redesign of the State Department, the Post reported. There is not hollowing out, Tillerson said in remarks at the Wilson Center, a Washington think tank. Dozens of senior diplomats have resigned or been fired since the beginning of the administration. Tillersons redesign plan has sparked widespread opposition in the department. Tillerson said reports of a depleted department are not accurate and that his redesign would improve the working environment for the nations diplomatic corps. The official overseeing the redesign quit on Tuesday after three months on the job, Bloomberg reported.

A Belgian court blocked the deportation of an imam at the countrys largest mosque, according to the Post. Belgian immigration and asylum officials said Abdelhadi Sewif threatened national security. The court found that officials had provided no evidence that Sewif posed a specific security risk. Belgiums investigation into the 2016 terror attacks on the Brussels airport has put pressure on Sewifs mosque for its connections to foreign backers.

A Bosnian-Croat military commander died after taking poison at the U.N. war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Reuters reported. Slobodan Praljak drank from a glass that he said contained poison as a U.N. judge upholding his 20-year prison sentence for war crimes related to plan to carry out ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Bosnia.

 

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Clare Duncan detailed Yemens recent history in a primer on its civil war.

Nicholas Weaver emphasized the seriousness of the danger from autonomous weapons systems such as slaughterbots.

J. Dana Stuster updated the Middle East Ticker, covering the Sinai attack, U.S.-Turkey tensions and the fallout from the Saudi power play.

Yishai Schwartz summarized the Nov. 13 military commission hearing in U.S. v. al-Nashiri.

Robert Chesney and Steve Vladeck shared the National Security Law Podcast, featuring discussion of Carpenter v. U.S. and the hearing in ACLU v. Mattis.

 

Email the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for additional commentary on these issues. Sign up to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Visit our Events Calendar to learn about upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings on our Job Board.


Spread the Knowledge
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    27
    Shares
  • 27
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

10:40 AM 11/29/2017 – Latest Missile Launch From North Korea Appears To Put Entire Continental U.S. In Range

Spread the Knowledge
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Saved Stories

Saved Stories – None
Wednesday’s Morning Email: Latest Missile Launch From North Korea Appears To Put Entire Continental U.S. In Range
Sarah Huckabee Sanders ‘Reveals’ Melania Trump’s Dream Job To Seth Meyers In Spoof Presser
More and More Hotels Are Dropping Trump Branding – TheStreet.com
‘Be advised he is an active shooter’: Police radio traffic reveals Costco terror – Kansas City Star
Trump’s alternate reality includes lingering birther beliefs – MSNBC
The Russian billionaire next door: Putin ally is tied to one of DC’s swankiest mansions – Washington Post
Trump retweets inflammatory and unverified anti-Muslim videos
The latest Trump-Russia investigation news, explained – Vox
The craziest moments in the sordid history of Trump SoHo, the five-star hotel and condo building the Trumps are … – Business Insider
Jim Mattis is Americas person of the year
Dont Fall for the Hype: How the FBIs Use of Section 702 Really Works
The Early Edition: November 29, 2017
Mueller may be looking at Flynn’s time as DIA chief: report – The Hill
Robert Mueller gets ready to play the Art of No Deal
Trump telling friends Mueller probe will be done by end of year: report – The Hill
New Reports Suggest Trump Might Not Be a Liar at All, But Truly Delusional – New York Magazine
Sarah Sanders Gleeful That CNN Won’t Be A Guest At White House Christmas Party
Suspect in New York truck attack pleads not guilty to murder and terrorism charges – PBS NewsHour
Donald Trump is saying racist things about President Obama again, as Trump-Russia scandal panic sets in
Victorious Trump moves to reshape consumer bureau – Politico
Russia Investigation Concluding by End of the Year? That Would Be ‘A Surprise,’ Says Republican Congressman – Newsweek
Threat From North Korea No Longer Hypothetical, Arms Experts Warn
Donald Trump finally realizes hes a goner
The FBI is racist and horrible and I am angry – The Daily Princetonian
North Korea says successfully launched new missile that can reach all US – Arab News

 

Saved Stories – None
Wednesday’s Morning Email: Latest Missile Launch From North Korea Appears To Put Entire Continental U.S. In Range

Experts warn this is no longer a hypothetical.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders ‘Reveals’ Melania Trump’s Dream Job To Seth Meyers In Spoof Presser

“Late Night” continues to ask the questions that need to be asked.

More and More Hotels Are Dropping Trump Branding – TheStreet.com

More and More Hotels Are Dropping Trump Branding
TheStreet.com
Some of the original financing for the building came from Russia, that Russian native and former Bayrock Managing DirectorFelix Sater was part of the original SoHo team –Bayrock even had an office in Trump Tower in New York, according to the New York …

‘Be advised he is an active shooter’: Police radio traffic reveals Costco terror – Kansas City Star


Kansas City Star
‘Be advised he is an active shooter’: Police radio traffic reveals Costco terror
Kansas City Star
The first dispatch alerting police to Costco in Lenexa Sunday asked patrol officers to investigate a suspicious suspect But then the dispatcher added: The caller advises he is armed with a gun. Radio traffic captured by Broadcastify over the next 

and more »

Trump’s alternate reality includes lingering birther beliefs – MSNBC


MSNBC
Trump’s alternate reality includes lingering birther beliefs
MSNBC
But if 2016 was about Donald Trump’s efforts to create an alternative reality for the electorate, 2017 may be about the president’s efforts to create an alternative reality for himself. The New York Times reported over the weekend that Trump has

and more »

The Russian billionaire next door: Putin ally is tied to one of DC’s swankiest mansions – Washington Post


Washington Post
The Russian billionaire tycoon next door: Putin ally is tied to one of DC’s swankiest mansions
Washington Post
In a pending lawsuit in New York related to another Russian-born businessman’s claims that Deripaska owes him money, Deripaska has argued that his contact with the United States is too minimal for the state’s courts to assert jurisdiction over him. His 

Trump retweets inflammatory and unverified anti-Muslim videos

Trump retweets inflammatory and unverified anti-Muslim videos

President Trump Wednesday shared three inflammatory anti-Muslim videos on Twitter posted by a far-right British activist. The videos whose authenticity could not be independently verified were first shared by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First, which bills itself a political party but has been widely condemned as an extremist group that […]

The latest Trump-Russia investigation news, explained – Vox


Vox
The latest Trump-Russia investigation news, explained
Vox
It’s been a relatively quiet period for the TrumpRussia investigation since news of its first indictments dropped in late October but a series of recent reports could give some clues about what special counsel Robert Mueller might do next. First 
Today’s Impeach-O-Meter: Could Flynn Flip Topple Trump Over Russia Ruse?Slate Magazine (blog)
A key witness in Mueller’s Russia probe had ‘a lengthy conversation’ with Trump at Mar-a-LagoAOL
Why I Think Trump Is Finished (And My Work Is Done)GQ Magazine
National Review –The Ring of Fire Network
all 33 news articles »
The craziest moments in the sordid history of Trump SoHo, the five-star hotel and condo building the Trumps are … – Business Insider


Business Insider
The craziest moments in the sordid history of Trump SoHo, the five-star hotel and condo building the Trumps are…
Business Insider
Last week, the news broke that the Trump Organization would end its contract with the real estate investment firm that owns Trump SoHo. The cofounder of the development firm that the Trump Organization worked with on Trump SoHo, Felix Sater, is

and more »

Jim Mattis is Americas person of the year

The Pentagon chiefs role is to offer reassurance abroad and educate Donald Trump
Dont Fall for the Hype: How the FBIs Use of Section 702 Really Works

All the cool kids these days oppose the FBIs so-called backdoor search loophole, which allows it to query information obtained under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).  Lawmakers have jumped on the bandwagon: As Section 702 approaches its end-of-the-year expiration date, some members of Congress have introduced renewal legislation that would require the FBI to obtain a search warrant supported by probable cause before the FBI can view the contents of these communications.

At first glance, this might seem perfectly reasonable. Unfortunately, though, this proposal like almost of all critiques of the FBIs use of 702 data rest on incorrect factual premises of how 702 data is actually obtained, maintained, and accessed by the FBI, and on a lack of understanding of how FBI investigations work in general. This gap in understanding can have devastating consequences for both existing and new FBI cases. Let me tell you why.

The What.

The first thing to understand is what kind of 702 information the FBI actually has. Section 702 of FISA allows the NSA to conduct a programmatic surveillance program called PRISM. The parameters of PRISM, including how the NSA may target individuals and what can be shared with the CIA and FBI, are presented to and approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) and renewable annually.  PRISM allows the NSA to target non-U.S. persons reasonably believed to be located abroad based on selectors like an email address or a phone number (but not keywords or names) which will reasonably return foreign intelligence information.  In collecting these communications, the NSA will, by necessity, collect incidental communications, which include communications with non-target parties. Some of these incidental communications may include parties who are U.S. persons (USPERs), which under FISA are defined as U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents.

Only a subset of the total communications collected under PRISM is passed on to the FBI. Specifically, the NSA passes on to the FBI information collected on selectors associated with Full Investigations opened by the FBI. Full Investigations are the most serious class of investigations within the Bureau, and require the most stringent predicate to open: There must be an articulable factual basis that a federal crime has occurred or is occurring or a threat to national security exists.  (Two other investigative classifications, Preliminary Investigations and Threat Assessments, have lower thresholds to open and shorter time limits to remain open.) In other words, the NSA provides the FBI with communications from selectors that are directly linked to the most serious crimes or threats to national security currently being investigated by the FBI. According to FBI Director Christopher Wray, the FBI receives about 4.3 percent of the NSAs total collection and since not every incidental communication will necessarily involve an USPER, the number of communications involving Americans are likely less than that.

The Where.

The second critical aspect in understanding the FBIs use of 702 data is how it is maintained and accessed by agents. Most criticisms of the FBIs backdoor loophole include language referencing the FBIs ability to search its 702 database. In this paradigm, there is presumably a stand-alone computer in the middle of each FBI office with a big sign that reads 702 DATABASE  and which agents can casually query on their way to and from the water cooler. As I have written previously, this is not how it works.

Any proper attempt to reform the FBIs access of 702 data must begin by recognizing that the FBI uses one database for all of its investigative functions. Beginning in 2011, the FBI developed a system called the Data Integration and Visualization System, or DIVS. The purpose of DIVS is to aggregate information from a number of different government databases into a single system, allowing for one-stop shopping across all government-collected data. For instance, visa applications and issuances from the Department of State, or information collected by the Department of Homeland Security, can now be accessed through DIVS, rather than having the FBI send time-consuming requests to each department (which, as I learned in practice, could disappear or simply end up in a bureaucratic pile somewhere and never processed). This followed from the 9/11 Commissions recommendation that the members of the Intelligence Community unify their knowledge in a network-based information sharing system that transcends traditional government boundaries. The point is for the government to have the ability to quickly connect the dots between information collected by various agencies on a single individual or related cases something that, had it been possible to do prior to 9/11, might have prevented that tragedy from taking place

As the DOJ explained to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in 2015, Section 702 data provided to the FBI is included in DIVS and comingled with all other data that the FBI has the ability to query. Importantly, however, Section 702 data, is federated within DIVS: This means that while a query may return a 702 hit i.e., an indication that FISA-related information related to the queried selector exists neither the metadata nor the content of that communication is immediately accessible to all agents. Only agents who work national security cases, have gone through FISA training, and have the appropriate clearance levels may continue to access the full 702 data at this stage. Agents working ordinary criminal cases, who do not have this training and clearance, would need to have an agent with the appropriate FISA clearance access the 702 data, and only after obtaining approval from both her own supervisor and the national security agents supervisor to rerun the query.

Two important points follow from this system. First, when an agent conducts a query, she uses the DIVS system, which includes a host of non-702related information there is no such thing as doing an independent, 702-only  search, even just for surface connections between non-content selectors, or metadata. Second, and even more importantly, at the point at which the agent conducts the query, she does not know whether or not the search will result in a 702 hit.  These points are critical because any requirement that imposes an a priori restriction or hurdle on determining whether a subject is even associated with 702 metadata will, by definition, affect every query conducted by the FBI. Failure to understand this point can result in misguided policy proposals: Jake Laperruque, for example, has argued that the FBI should show a court that a metadata query is relevant to an ongoing investigation before conducting a search that might return even 702 metadata. This fails to recognize that not only is there no such thing as a metadata query, but adopting his policy would require the FBI to go to court for every single search its 14,000 agents conduct each day.

The How.

Lets now turn to how investigations work in practice. Its worth emphasizing here that unlike the CIA or NSA, whose primary mission is to collect and analyze intelligence, the FBI is a law enforcement agency. Although it may collect intelligence, that function is ancillary and supportive to its primary job of investigating and preventing violations of federal law and threats to national security.

Querying DIVS is, quite literally, the first and most basic thing the FBI does in its investigative sequence. Depending on the kind of information the search returns, an agent will then take the next prescribed step as outlined in the FBIs Domestic and Investigative Operations Guide (DIOG)until a case is either opened for further investigation, or the matter is resolved in the negative and closed. Every query, furthermore, is documented and placed in a case file. (If we learned anything from James Comey, its that the FBI puts everything down on paper.) In fact, every query conducted by the FBI is recorded and must be traceable back to an authorized purpose and a case file.  Agent queries are routinely audited, and a failure of an agent to provide an authorized purpose for conducting a query can be grounds for sanctions, suspension, or even termination.

Much of the criticism of the FBIs use of 702 centers around the fact that agents can query subjects in their databases even if there is no evidence of criminal wrongdoing. However, as any law enforcement official will tell you, criminals and spies dont show up on the doorstep of law enforcement with all of their evidence and motives neatly tied up in a bow. Cases begin with leads, tips, or new information obtained in the course of other cases. Often, the discrete pieces of information the FBI receives may not in and of themselves constitute criminal acts and the identifying information provided to the FBI may be incomplete. However, anytime the FBI receives a credible piece of information that could indicate a potential violation of the law or a threat to national security, it has a legal duty determine whether a basis for further investigation exists. It is for this reason that a query of its existing databases is essential before proceeding further.

A very basic example can help illustrate this in practice.  Lets say the FBI receives a call (as it did before 9/11) from an instructor at a flight school. The instructor advises the FBI agent taking the call that one of the students taking a flight class is behaving strangely: In particular, this student has paid the $8,000 tuition in all-cash, has no pilots license or commercial flight experience, and is only interested in learning how to take off, but not in how to land. (In case its not evident, none of these things are illegal, but taken together could indicate a motive for using an aircraft for other than its intended purpose including as a weapon of mass destruction.)  The caller provides the agent with the name of the student, and an email address and cell phone number the student used to register.

To investigate this lead, an agent will first document the lead (in this case, on a form called an FD-71). She will then query DIVS based on the information provided to see what, if any, data the FBI already has on this individual. The purpose of the query is to find out, among other things: Have other complaints ever been filed on this individual? Has this person ever been the subject of another case, or ever been interviewed by the FBI? Has this person been on the radar of another agency for any reason? Did this person enter the US on a visa, and if so, when was it issued and for how long?

As in this example, an agent may not even know, based on the limited information provided, whether or not the subject is a USPER at the time of making the initial query. (The agent may still not know after the results are returned.) Further, as noted above, because DIVS is an integrated system there is no way for an agent to know, at this stage, what kind of hits the query will return whether it is from Section 702, another agency, or its own case files. Lastly, any information returned from the query must be documented even if nothing turns up that warrants further action, the agent must write up the result and file it appropriately.

But lets take this example a step further. Lets say the initial query does return information. In particular, while the name turned up too many hits to correctly identify the individual (very common for names without a date of birth or social security number) and the cell phone returned no hits at all, the email address returns a 702 hit. What this tells the agent is that the email address used by the flight student is also linked to a Full Investigation the FBI has opened. The agent, however, cannot view the contents of the 702 data or the particular case or cases that individual may be linked to unless she is trained and has the clearance to look at FISA-related information, or two supervisors make a determination that the content of the 702 data will reasonably provide foreign intelligence or evidence of a crime related to their case.

The When.

Despite the checks, approvals, documentation, and firewalls that exist in the FBIs process, it is here where 702 critics (and pending legislation) argue that the FBI should go to a court and obtain a warrant before viewing the 702 communications. However, ask any lawyer whether an affidavit for a search warrant that says Target, who may or may not be a U.S. person, is behaving suspiciously in flight school and may be linked to another, unknown investigation in the FBI will constitute probable cause for a search warrant. The resounding answer youll get is: No. There is simply not enough evidence at this stage to demonstrate probable cause that the individual has committed or is committing a crime, and a warrant should rightly not issue.

In fact, phrases like just get a warrant fail to grasp that a warrant would never issue at such an early stage of any investigation. Search warrants are an investigative tool that is used after months, and sometimes years, of investigative activity this is why in the FBI they are only authorized for Full Investigations. FBI agents spend hundreds of hours interviewing witnesses and contacts, conducting surveillance, digging through trash, using undercover informants, and obtaining third-party records, among other techniques, to obtain evidence of a crime (or in the case of individual FISAs, acting as a foreign agent). Agents and prosecutors then spend weeks drafting affidavits that detail the evidence gathered to present to a court.  Ironically, a search warrant requirement for Section 702 suggests that agents should build a case and use even more aggressive and intrusive tactics against an individual simply to view a discrete set of communications it already has and that might ultimately be benign or even exculpatory. And if agents ever managed to get a warrant, the value of the 702 data which is that it provides real-time intelligence and case connections would be obviated by the time they looked at it anyway.

Essentially, a warrant requirement would effectively block the FBI from knowing the nature of the connection between a new lead and another serious crime or national security threat currently under investigation under its own roof. At the same time, the lead may not be pursued much further without knowing the contents of the 702 communications. By sealing off the contents of the 702 data, the FBI may not be legally able to do much more than some very limited additional checks on the complaint within a short period of time (this would be a Threat Assessment, also outlined in the DIOG). Unless these checks uncovered something significant enough to form a predicate to open an investigation, the matter would be closed. Reviewing the nature and content of the 702 communication, on the other hand, might open up several further investigative avenues: The new lead might provide a missing piece of information for the existing Full Investigation, for example, or identify connections across individuals not previously known, or suggest that the new subject could be a valuable intelligence source.

The truth is that few 702 hits are likely to come from over-the-transom tips like the one described above. They are more likely to come in the course of investigating new leads in already-open cases on criminal enterprises, terrorist networks, or foreign intelligence activity the kinds of cases where contacts with foreign targets are most likely to occur. Even as I write this, I have no doubt that the agents working on the investigation into Russia interference in the 2016 election are relying at least in part on 702 data provided to the FBI to establish links between individuals in the United States and ongoing Russian counterintelligence investigations. Nevertheless, regardless of where in an ongoing investigation a new lead surfaces, an agent will always begin with a DIVS query it is the initial building block of FBI investigations.

A search warrant requirement for the FBI to view the contents of 702 data returned in the course of a standard investigative query would stymie cases like Muellers and other investigations currently open in the FBI.  Most importantly, it would leave the FBI in a position where one hand is unaware of what the other is doing, even within its own agency. This was precisely the kind of situation known then as the wall that led to the intelligence failures of 9/11 and that the Intelligence Community, under presidents of both parties, has sought to break down since. Adding unnecessary hurdles, based on a mischaracterization of the FBIs handling of this data and rudimentary understanding of its investigative process, would resurrect a new, and very dangerous, wall in the FBI.

Read on Just Security »

The Early Edition: November 29, 2017

Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Heres todays news.

NORTH KOREA

North Korea launched an advanced intercontinental ballistic missile (I.C.B.M.) yesterday, according to North Korean state television the new missile was a Hwasong-15 and the test was personally ordered by the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Kim was quoted as saying that the success of the launch signaled the realization of the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, Jonathan Cheng reports at the Wall Street Journal.

With this system, we can load the heaviest warhead and strike anywhere in the mainland United States, North Korean state television stated, a claim that falls in line with experts calculations about the latest launch, which achieved a longer flight time than any previous North Korean missile test and could theoretically reach Washington D.C.. Anna Fifield reports at the Washington Post.

The I.C.B.M. reached a height higher than any North Korean missile had done before and was the first test since September 15, undermining hopes that the Pyongyang regime has been heeding the warnings of President Trump. James Griffiths reports at CNN.

It is a situation that we will handle, Trump said in response to the launch, the Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was more alarmist in his assessment, noting that the I.C.B.M. reached an unprecedented height and that it constituted a continued effort to build a threat a threat that endangers world peace, regional peace, and certainly, the United States. Mark Landler, Choe Sang-Hun and Helene Cooper report at the New York Times.

South Korea fired pinpoint missiles into the sea in response to Pyongyangs test, Mattis explained yesterday, the South Korean launch was confirmed by an official with South Koreas Joint Chiefs of Staff. Josh Delk reports at the Hill.

North Korea has not yet shown that it can mount a miniaturized nuclear warhead on a long-range missile, however Pyongyangs development of its technology strengthens the countrys hand in any future negotiations. Justin McCurry and Julian Borger report at the Guardian.

China is seriously concerned about and opposed to the latest missile launch, Chinas foreign ministry spokesperson said today, adding that it strongly urges Pyongyang to abide by U.N. Security Council resolutions and that all parties should act with caution. The AP reports.

The U.S. and Canada will convene a meeting of the U.N. Command to discuss a non-military solution to the crisis on the Korean Peninsula, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced yesterday, saying in a statement that diplomatic options with North Korea remain viable and open, for now. Brett Samuels reports at the Hill.

The U.N. Security Council is due to hold an emergency session following the latest test which contravened international sanctions imposed on North Koreas nuclear weapons and missile programs. The BBC reports.

South Koreas President Moon Jae-in said in a phone call yesterday to President Trump that Pyongyangs missile technology seems to have improved, after the latest launch landed in waters off Japan. Reuters reports.

This is a further breach of multiple U.N. Security Council Resolutions, the Secretary General of N.A.T.O., Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement yesterday, condemning Pyongyangs actions. Reuters reports.

Were headed toward a war if things dont change, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, warned yesterday, saying that every test puts North Korea closer to conflict. Cristiano Lima reports at POLITICO.

Trump tried to connect the latest launch to domestic politics in a tweet yesterday however, in general, the presidents response was relatively muted in comparison to previous comments about the Pyongyang regime. Stephen Collinson provides an analysis at CNN.

The risk of war is greater than the public appreciates, Adam B. Ellick and Jonah M. Kessel warn at the New York Times, writing about the crisis following their recent trip to North Korea.

China should send troops to North Korea to reassure the country about resisting an attack and threats to overthrow the Pyongyang regime, a deployment that would mirror the position of U.S. troops in South Korea, and creating a constructive and symmetrical stance that would reduce the likelihood of war. Alton Frye writes at Foreign Policy.

SYRIA

The Syrian government yesterday agreed to a Russia proposed ceasefire in the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta area near the capital of Damascus, following two weeks of intense bombardment that has led to dozens of civilian deaths. The BBC reports.

The report of the Eastern Ghouta ceasefire deal came as opposition delegates gathered in Geneva for U.N.-backed talks on the Syrian peace process, representatives of the Syrian government are expected to arrive in Geneva today. Al Jazeera reports.

Turkey said that it would consider expanding its military operations in Syria to Western Aleppo and Afrin provinces, in a statement by Turkeys National Security Council yesterday, this would potentially bring its forces into confrontation with U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters. Reuters reports.

Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (P.Y.D.) forces attacked a Turkish border post in Afrin province in Syria yesterday, according to private broadcaster C.N.N. Turk. The Syrian Kurdish Y.P.G. militia are affiliated to the P.Y.D. and Turkey views the groups as offshoots of the Kurdistan Workers Party (P.K.K.), which is designated as a terrorist group in Turkey, the U.S. and the E.U., Reuters reports.

The previous rounds of U.N.-backed talks have been consistently disrupted, allowing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to score key military victories and, in each instance, Russia has provided cover for Assad, an example of how Russia has been dominating in its calculations while the U.S. has been absent if there are any breakthroughs in Geneva this week they would pave the way for Assads success as a result of immense Russian cynicism dressed up as realpolitik. Nic Robertson writes at CNN.

U.S.-led airstrikes continue. U.S. and coalition forces carried out 11 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq between November 24 and November 26. [Central Command]

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION FOREIGN POLICY

There is no hollowing out, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said yesterday in response to criticisms about his reorganization of the State Department, saying that were keeping the organization fully staffed and adding that the reports of the restructuring made it sound like the sky was falling, which was offensive to employees at the department. Carol Morello reports at the Washington Post.

Tillersons defense of the restructuring came after increasingly vocal complaints from Republican and Democratic lawmakers, the secretary of state saying that many of the reports about the loss of diplomatic personnel are just false. Nahal Toosi reports at POLITICO.

Russia has been using malicious tactics against the U.S. and European allies, Tillerson said yesterday, saying that Russias actions are not the behaviors of a responsible nation and said any reset of relations would be out of reach while the situation in the Ukraine remains unaddressed. Carol Morello reports at the Washington Post.

President Trump is actively considering when and how to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Vice President Mike Pence said yesterday at an event commemorating the U.N. vote leading to the creation of the state of Israel, the move was promised by Trump throughout the 2016 campaign however a relocation would represent a break with longstanding U.S. policy. Jordan Fabian reports at the Hill.

Trumps foreign policy is conducted with a view to a domestic audience based on celebrity populism, however this approach does not serve the nations interests, eschews the principles of postwar presidents of both parties, most Americans do not agree with the approach, and patriotic Republican and Democratic leaders must challenge Mr. Trumps foreign-policy destruction. The former World Bank president, U.S. trade representative and deputy secretary of state Robert B. Zoellick writes at the Wall Street Journal.

MICHAEL FLYNN

Trumps former national security adviser Michael Flynn promoted a controversial nuclear-power proposal in the Middle East within the White House, according to interviews with current and former government officials, individuals from the private-sector and documents describing the plan. Christopher S. Stewart and Rob Barry report at the Wall Street Journal.

Flynns advocacy for the proposal shortly after Trumps inauguration was being pushed by a company that Flynn said he had advised during the 2016 campaign and transition, creating a potential conflict of interest. Greg Jaffe, Carol D. Leonnig, Michael Kranish and Tom Hamburger report at the Washington Post.

It appears that special counsel Robert Muellers investigation into Flynn includes his activities as the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (D.I.A.) during the Obama administration, he was ousted from the D.I.A. in 2014. Thomas Frank and Jason Leopold report at BuzzFeed News.

The Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab yesterday pleaded guilty to violating U.S. sanctions on Iran, his testimony may have implications for Flynn due to Flynns dealings with the Turkish government and an alleged agreement with Turkey to kidnap the exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen, who is accused of being the mastermind behind last years failed coup in Ankara. Katie Zavadski observes at The Daily Beast.

LIBYA

Ahmed Abu Khatalla, the Libyan man who was accused of being the mastermind behind the assault on the U.S. mission in Benghazi in 2012, was found guilty of terrorism charges but was not found guilty of murder, Spencer S. Hsu and Ann E. Marimow report at the Washington Post.

The reports of apparent slave auctions in Libya have shone a spotlight on the country, highlighting the instability in the country since the collapse of Muammar Gaddafis regime in 2011Ishaan Tharoor provides an analysis at the Washington Post.

IRAN

Saudi Arabia paints Iran as enemy because it wants to cover up their defeats in Qatar, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said yesterday, making the comments after the Saudi Crown Prince called Irans Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei the new Hitler of the Middle East. Reuters reports.

The Saudi minister for Gulf affairs Thamer al-Sabhan has been a key figure in the campaign to counter Iran, it is believed that he was behind the unexpected resignation of the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Nov. 4 which Hariri claimed was because of the destructive influence of Iran and its Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah ally and the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmans hawkish approach towards Iran is largely embodied and amplified in al-Sabhan. Bassem Mroue and Aya Batrawy explain at the AP.

The Trump administration is pushing a false pretext about Irans connections to al-Qaeda in a similar way to the Bush administrations lie about Iraqi President Saddam Husseins links to Osama bin Laden, and Trump is beating the drum for war in the Middle East. Mehdi Hasan writes at the New York Times.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

The Trump administrations new Afghanistan strategy increases the risks to U.S. troops as they are deployed to accompany Afghan army forces in an advisory role, the commander of the U.S. and N.A.T.O. forces in Afghanistan Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr. said yesterday. Missy Ryan reports at the Washington Post.

The man accused of carrying out last months attack in New York has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and terrorism, Sayfullo Saipov entered his plea deal yesterday, the BBC reports

The Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi called on his military to secure and stabilize Sinai within the next three months, in a speech today, adding that the forces can use all brute force necessary to combat the Islamist insurgency. Reuters reports.

Any attempts by the U.S. to impose further U.N. sanctions against South Sudan would likely be vetoed by Russia, the U.S. threatened to take further action yesterday however Russia said such a move would be counterproductive. Michelle Nichols reports at Reuters.

Saudi Arabia has been preparing to release Yemenis who were formerly detained in Guantánamo Bay, a move likely to be met by consternation by Trump, Molly OToole explains at Foreign Policy.

China has been quiet but relentless in its pursuit of becoming a global superpower, and its project has been aided by Trumps America First strategy, David Ignatius writes at the Washington Post.

Read on Just Security »

Mueller may be looking at Flynn’s time as DIA chief: report – The Hill


The Hill
Mueller may be looking at Flynn’s time as DIA chief: report
The Hill
Special counsel Robert Mueller, who is conducting the criminal investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election, has previously been reported to be looking into Flynn’s activities since leaving the DIA in 2014. In particular, he is probing Flynn’s 
Citing probes, military agency bars access to Flynn recordsFox News
Mueller’s Russia Probe May Now Include Flynn’s DIA TenureBuzzFeed News

all 29 news articles »

Robert Mueller gets ready to play the Art of No Deal

Donald Trump once famously released a book (ghostwritten entirely by someone else) called Art of the Deal. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is about to play a different game entirely, called the Art of No Deal. He gave a favorable deal to George Papadopoulos to get the ball rolling. He’s in the process of giving a deal to Michael Flynn because he’s so valuable. Now a whole lot of other people are suddenly going to want a deal, and some of them are going to be very disappointed.

Robert Mueller only has two goals: to make Donald Trump answer for his crimes, and make sure justice is served when it comes to the overall Trump-Russia criminal scandal. Mueller will hand out as many plea deals as necessary in order to make sure Trump is nailed. He has to sell Trump’s guilt to the court of public opinion, so he’ll surely aim for redundancy. But that doesn’t mean he’s simply going to hand out a deal to anyone who wants one. In fact, each time Mueller hands out a deal, it means he needs the next cooperating witness all that much less. So who’s about to lose in all this?

In general, every player in the Trump-Russia scandal has less bargaining power now than they would have if they’d offered to cut a deal a week ago. Michael Flynn’s cooperation gets Mueller a long way toward proving that Donald Trump was conspiring with Russia to alter the outcome of the election. Some of the other people who fit the same description are probably screwed, because they can only offer Mueller what Flynn is already offering, and less of it.

The people most likely to get deals at this point are those who can prove Donald Trump guilty of additional crimes. Robert Mueller is trying hard to nail Trump for obstruction of justice, so there’s a good deal waiting for anyone who conspired with Trump to try to sabotage the investigation. Of course half a dozen or more advisers fit that description, and Mueller only needs one of them maybe two if he wants redundancy. Some of these people are simply screwed.

The post Robert Mueller gets ready to play the Art of No Deal appeared first on Palmer Report.

Trump telling friends Mueller probe will be done by end of year: report – The Hill


The Hill
Trump telling friends Mueller probe will be done by end of year: report
The Hill
Last month, Mueller indicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and a former Manafort associate, Richard Gates, on money laundering charges. George Papadapoulos, a former Trump campaign adviser, has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

and more »

New Reports Suggest Trump Might Not Be a Liar at All, But Truly Delusional – New York Magazine


New York Magazine
New Reports Suggest Trump Might Not Be a Liar at All, But Truly Delusional
New York Magazine
The prevailing interpretation of Donald Trump, shared by all his enemies and many of his allies, is that he is a con man. It is a theory that explains both his career in business and politics, and has carried through his many reversals of position and 
Will Trump ever have to answer to the women who say he harassed and assaulted them?Los Angeles Times 
Donald Trump Reportedly Claims Access Hollywood Tape Wasn’t Authentic411mania.com

Does Trump Think The ‘Access Hollywood’ Tape Is Fake? Here’s Every Single Thing He’s Said About ItBustle 
Donald Trump Reportedly Claims Access Hollywood Tape Wasn’t Authentic411mania.com
New York Times
all 174 
Raw Story
all 166
 news articles »
Sarah Sanders Gleeful That CNN Won’t Be A Guest At White House Christmas Party

“Christmas comes early!” wrote the White House press secretary.

Suspect in New York truck attack pleads not guilty to murder and terrorism charges – PBS NewsHour


PBS NewsHour
Suspect in New York truck attack pleads not guilty to murder and terrorism charges
PBS NewsHour
It’s also the first time RICO which is usually employed in organized crime cases has been used in any of the 135 ISIS-related prosecutions in the U.S since 2014. The Saipov indictment describes the Islamic State’s terrorism enterprise whose 
MANHATTAN BIKE ATTACK WAS FUELED BY ISIS EmpireStateNews.net
Crime NewsABC News
ISIS claims responsibility for New York City terror attack that killed 8CBS News

all 54 EmpireStateNews.net

all 42 news articles »

Donald Trump is saying racist things about President Obama again, as Trump-Russia scandal panic sets in

In the five days since he learned that Michael Flynn is in the process of cutting a devastating plea deal against him, Donald Trump has unwittingly revealed that he’s in a total panic over the Trump-Russia scandal. We know this because he’s reached a new level of desperation when it comes to creating a distraction whether it be good or bad for himself in the hope of distracting the public, and maybe himself, from what’s about to happen to him. Now he’s circling back to his original line of nonsense.

When Donald Trump dusted off the Access Hollywood “grab em by the…” tape earlier this week by suddenly questioning whether it was really his voice on that tape, it turns out that was merely a warm up act. Trump is now laying the groundwork for bringing back his earlier claim about President Obama having been secretly born in Kenya. No really, he’s going there.

Trump has begun privately questioning the authenticity of President Obama’s birth certificate, according to a New York Times profile (link). More importantly, Trump’s own trusted confidantes are making a point of leaking this to the media. Trump’s team wants this to be a thing again, even though it worked against Trump in the general election, and he ultimately had to publicly admit that the controversy was never real. So why is Team Trump bringing this back?

The answer is fairly straightforward. Donald Trump, or at least his team, now believes that things are about to get very ugly – so ugly, in fact, that any sort of distraction is a welcome one. They’re dusting off Trump’s worst moments, from Access Hollywood to racist birtherism. That way, once the real scandals start hitting the headlines, whether it be from Flynn’s deal or something even uglier, those stories will have to fight for headline space with the nonsense he’s dredging up.

The post Donald Trump is saying racist things about President Obama again, as Trump-Russia scandal panic sets in appeared first on Palmer Report.

Victorious Trump moves to reshape consumer bureau – Politico


Politico
Russia Investigation Concluding by End of the Year? That Would Be ‘A Surprise,’ Says Republican Congressman – Newsweek


Newsweek
Russia Investigation Concluding by End of the Year? That Would Be ‘A Surprise,’ Says Republican Congressman
Newsweek
The investigation into Russia’s alleged attempt to influence the outcome of the U.S. election is unlikely to conclude before the end of the year, according to a GOP representative. Congressman Mike Conaway reportedly said he it would be a surprise if 
Competing Trump Probe Reports Are Said to Be Planned in HouseBloomberg
6 Months In, No End In Sight: Who’s Who In The Vast Russia ImbroglioNPR

Professor linked to Russian ‘dirt on Clinton’ quits Stirling university roleThe Times

all 24 17 news articles »

Threat From North Korea No Longer Hypothetical, Arms Experts Warn

“Its the next logical step that we were expecting.”

Donald Trump finally realizes hes a goner

Up until a week ago, it had been widely reported that Donald Trump’s handlers were keeping him in a protective bubble so he wouldn’t go fully off the deep end. They told him that Special Counsel Robert Mueller wasn’t investigating him personally, and that the entire Trump-Russia probe would be over soon. But now that Michael Flynn has decided to cut a deal, Trump has finally figured out that he’s a goner and he’s given that away by what he’s suddenly dredging up.

Okay, so it’s possible that Donald Trump really is too far gone to have any idea what’s going on, and it’s his advisers doing the dredging. But in the five days since Flynn revealed he’s selling Trump out, take a look at what Trump is suddenly focusing on. He’s suddenly pushing Hillary Clinton’s emails for the first time in a month. More tellingly, he’s suddenly pushing President Obama’s birth certificate for the first time in more than a year. There’s a reason why.

Trump originally got a lot of mileage out of these fake scandals, before he gradually backed away from them because they were starting to lose their effectiveness. He’s reverting to them now because, well, it’s all he’s got. It takes a lot of time, patience and repetition to get a fake scandal about your opponent to stick in the minds of the general public. It took Trump years to get the birth certificate nonsense to stick. It took the Republican Party years to get the email nonsense to take hold.

Now that Donald Trump’s back is against the wall, he can’t simply start manufacturing new phony scandals; he no longer has that kind of time and he knows it. He’s reverting back to his original phony controversies, as worn out as they may be, because it’s all he has left to dredge up on short notice. It’s a sign that Trump has finally figured out he’s a goner, and that it’s going to happen sooner than later.

The post Donald Trump finally realizes he’s a goner appeared first on Palmer Report.

The FBI is racist and horrible and I am angry – The Daily Princetonian

The FBI is racist and horrible and I am angry
The Daily Princetonian
The revelation about the FBI fits into a narrative that has been developing in the news since the 2016 election (but has been a recurrent theme in the United States since the first Europeans landed on the continent) the people in power can and will 

North Korea says successfully launched new missile that can reach all US – Arab News


Arab News
North Korea says successfully launched new missile that can reach all US
Arab News
Seoul’s presidential office said Wednesday that Moon said during a National Security Council meeting that it would be important to prevent a situation where North Korea miscalculates and threatens the South with nuclear weapons or the US considers a 

and more »


Spread the Knowledge
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    27
    Shares
  • 27
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

9:23 AM 11/29/2017 – Jim Mattis is Americas person of the year – The Pentagon chiefs role is to offer reassurance abroad and educate Donald Trump

Spread the Knowledge
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Saved Stories

Saved Stories – None

Jim Mattis is Americas person of the year

Dont Fall for the Hype: How the FBIs Use of Section 702 Really Works
The Early Edition: November 29, 2017
Mueller may be looking at Flynn’s time as DIA chief: report – The Hill
Robert Mueller gets ready to play the Art of No Deal
Trump telling friends Mueller probe will be done by end of year: report – The Hill
New Reports Suggest Trump Might Not Be a Liar at All, But Truly Delusional – New York Magazine
Sarah Sanders Gleeful That CNN Won’t Be A Guest At White House Christmas Party
Suspect in New York truck attack pleads not guilty to murder and terrorism charges – PBS NewsHour
Donald Trump is saying racist things about President Obama again, as Trump-Russia scandal panic sets in
Victorious Trump moves to reshape consumer bureau – Politico
Russia Investigation Concluding by End of the Year? That Would Be ‘A Surprise,’ Says Republican Congressman – Newsweek
Threat From North Korea No Longer Hypothetical, Arms Experts Warn
Donald Trump finally realizes hes a goner
The FBI is racist and horrible and I am angry – The Daily Princetonian
North Korea says successfully launched new missile that can reach all US – Arab News
Report: Trump continues to question Obama’s birth certificate – CNN
The Birther’s Back: Trump Reportedly Reignites Racist Lie About Obama
Trump touts ‘tax cuts,’ trumpets win in legal fight over consumer agency – The Hill
Dershowitz: Trump Needs to Aggressively Challenge Mueller – LifeZette
In White House, Flynn Pitched Nuclear Plan From Company He’d Advised: Reports
John Kelly shows up at Capitol Building in middle of night
Trump Russia Collusion Scandal: Russian Cyber Expert Bragged In 2016 Facebook Posts About Helping Trump Win – The Inquisitr
Republican plutocrats’ greed could outlast Trump – Financial Times
Russia’s lies are aimed at undermining European democracies – Keyser Mineral Daily News Tribune

 

Saved Stories – None
Jim Mattis is Americas person of the year

The Pentagon chiefs role is to offer reassurance abroad and educate Donald Trump
Dont Fall for the Hype: How the FBIs Use of Section 702 Really Works
 

All the cool kids these days oppose the FBIs so-called backdoor search loophole, which allows it to query information obtained under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).  Lawmakers have jumped on the bandwagon: As Section 702 approaches its end-of-the-year expiration date, some members of Congress have introduced renewal legislation that would require the FBI to obtain a search warrant supported by probable cause before the FBI can view the contents of these communications.

At first glance, this might seem perfectly reasonable. Unfortunately, though, this proposal like almost of all critiques of the FBIs use of 702 data rest on incorrect factual premises of how 702 data is actually obtained, maintained, and accessed by the FBI, and on a lack of understanding of how FBI investigations work in general. This gap in understanding can have devastating consequences for both existing and new FBI cases. Let me tell you why.

The What.

The first thing to understand is what kind of 702 information the FBI actually has. Section 702 of FISA allows the NSA to conduct a programmatic surveillance program called PRISM. The parameters of PRISM, including how the NSA may target individuals and what can be shared with the CIA and FBI, are presented to and approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) and renewable annually.  PRISM allows the NSA to target non-U.S. persons reasonably believed to be located abroad based on selectors like an email address or a phone number (but not keywords or names) which will reasonably return foreign intelligence information.  In collecting these communications, the NSA will, by necessity, collect incidental communications, which include communications with non-target parties. Some of these incidental communications may include parties who are U.S. persons (USPERs), which under FISA are defined as U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents.

Only a subset of the total communications collected under PRISM is passed on to the FBI. Specifically, the NSA passes on to the FBI information collected on selectors associated with Full Investigations opened by the FBI. Full Investigations are the most serious class of investigations within the Bureau, and require the most stringent predicate to open: There must be an articulable factual basis that a federal crime has occurred or is occurring or a threat to national security exists.  (Two other investigative classifications, Preliminary Investigations and Threat Assessments, have lower thresholds to open and shorter time limits to remain open.) In other words, the NSA provides the FBI with communications from selectors that are directly linked to the most serious crimes or threats to national security currently being investigated by the FBI. According to FBI Director Christopher Wray, the FBI receives about 4.3 percent of the NSAs total collection and since not every incidental communication will necessarily involve an USPER, the number of communications involving Americans are likely less than that.

The Where.

The second critical aspect in understanding the FBIs use of 702 data is how it is maintained and accessed by agents. Most criticisms of the FBIs backdoor loophole include language referencing the FBIs ability to search its 702 database. In this paradigm, there is presumably a stand-alone computer in the middle of each FBI office with a big sign that reads 702 DATABASE  and which agents can casually query on their way to and from the water cooler. As I have written previously, this is not how it works.

Any proper attempt to reform the FBIs access of 702 data must begin by recognizing that the FBI uses one database for all of its investigative functions. Beginning in 2011, the FBI developed a system called the Data Integration and Visualization System, or DIVS. The purpose of DIVS is to aggregate information from a number of different government databases into a single system, allowing for one-stop shopping across all government-collected data. For instance, visa applications and issuances from the Department of State, or information collected by the Department of Homeland Security, can now be accessed through DIVS, rather than having the FBI send time-consuming requests to each department (which, as I learned in practice, could disappear or simply end up in a bureaucratic pile somewhere and never processed). This followed from the 9/11 Commissions recommendation that the members of the Intelligence Community unify their knowledge in a network-based information sharing system that transcends traditional government boundaries. The point is for the government to have the ability to quickly connect the dots between information collected by various agencies on a single individual or related cases something that, had it been possible to do prior to 9/11, might have prevented that tragedy from taking place

As the DOJ explained to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in 2015, Section 702 data provided to the FBI is included in DIVS and comingled with all other data that the FBI has the ability to query. Importantly, however, Section 702 data, is federated within DIVS: This means that while a query may return a 702 hit i.e., an indication that FISA-related information related to the queried selector exists neither the metadata nor the content of that communication is immediately accessible to all agents. Only agents who work national security cases, have gone through FISA training, and have the appropriate clearance levels may continue to access the full 702 data at this stage. Agents working ordinary criminal cases, who do not have this training and clearance, would need to have an agent with the appropriate FISA clearance access the 702 data, and only after obtaining approval from both her own supervisor and the national security agents supervisor to rerun the query.

Two important points follow from this system. First, when an agent conducts a query, she uses the DIVS system, which includes a host of non-702related information there is no such thing as doing an independent, 702-only  search, even just for surface connections between non-content selectors, or metadata. Second, and even more importantly, at the point at which the agent conducts the query, she does not know whether or not the search will result in a 702 hit.  These points are critical because any requirement that imposes an a priori restriction or hurdle on determining whether a subject is even associated with 702 metadata will, by definition, affect every query conducted by the FBI. Failure to understand this point can result in misguided policy proposals: Jake Laperruque, for example, has argued that the FBI should show a court that a metadata query is relevant to an ongoing investigation before conducting a search that might return even 702 metadata. This fails to recognize that not only is there no such thing as a metadata query, but adopting his policy would require the FBI to go to court for every single search its 14,000 agents conduct each day.

The How.

Lets now turn to how investigations work in practice. Its worth emphasizing here that unlike the CIA or NSA, whose primary mission is to collect and analyze intelligence, the FBI is a law enforcement agency. Although it may collect intelligence, that function is ancillary and supportive to its primary job of investigating and preventing violations of federal law and threats to national security.

Querying DIVS is, quite literally, the first and most basic thing the FBI does in its investigative sequence. Depending on the kind of information the search returns, an agent will then take the next prescribed step as outlined in the FBIs Domestic and Investigative Operations Guide (DIOG)until a case is either opened for further investigation, or the matter is resolved in the negative and closed. Every query, furthermore, is documented and placed in a case file. (If we learned anything from James Comey, its that the FBI puts everything down on paper.) In fact, every query conducted by the FBI is recorded and must be traceable back to an authorized purpose and a case file.  Agent queries are routinely audited, and a failure of an agent to provide an authorized purpose for conducting a query can be grounds for sanctions, suspension, or even termination.

Much of the criticism of the FBIs use of 702 centers around the fact that agents can query subjects in their databases even if there is no evidence of criminal wrongdoing. However, as any law enforcement official will tell you, criminals and spies dont show up on the doorstep of law enforcement with all of their evidence and motives neatly tied up in a bow. Cases begin with leads, tips, or new information obtained in the course of other cases. Often, the discrete pieces of information the FBI receives may not in and of themselves constitute criminal acts and the identifying information provided to the FBI may be incomplete. However, anytime the FBI receives a credible piece of information that could indicate a potential violation of the law or a threat to national security, it has a legal duty determine whether a basis for further investigation exists. It is for this reason that a query of its existing databases is essential before proceeding further.

A very basic example can help illustrate this in practice.  Lets say the FBI receives a call (as it did before 9/11) from an instructor at a flight school. The instructor advises the FBI agent taking the call that one of the students taking a flight class is behaving strangely: In particular, this student has paid the $8,000 tuition in all-cash, has no pilots license or commercial flight experience, and is only interested in learning how to take off, but not in how to land. (In case its not evident, none of these things are illegal, but taken together could indicate a motive for using an aircraft for other than its intended purpose including as a weapon of mass destruction.)  The caller provides the agent with the name of the student, and an email address and cell phone number the student used to register.

To investigate this lead, an agent will first document the lead (in this case, on a form called an FD-71). She will then query DIVS based on the information provided to see what, if any, data the FBI already has on this individual. The purpose of the query is to find out, among other things: Have other complaints ever been filed on this individual? Has this person ever been the subject of another case, or ever been interviewed by the FBI? Has this person been on the radar of another agency for any reason? Did this person enter the US on a visa, and if so, when was it issued and for how long?

As in this example, an agent may not even know, based on the limited information provided, whether or not the subject is a USPER at the time of making the initial query. (The agent may still not know after the results are returned.) Further, as noted above, because DIVS is an integrated system there is no way for an agent to know, at this stage, what kind of hits the query will return whether it is from Section 702, another agency, or its own case files. Lastly, any information returned from the query must be documented even if nothing turns up that warrants further action, the agent must write up the result and file it appropriately.

But lets take this example a step further. Lets say the initial query does return information. In particular, while the name turned up too many hits to correctly identify the individual (very common for names without a date of birth or social security number) and the cell phone returned no hits at all, the email address returns a 702 hit. What this tells the agent is that the email address used by the flight student is also linked to a Full Investigation the FBI has opened. The agent, however, cannot view the contents of the 702 data or the particular case or cases that individual may be linked to unless she is trained and has the clearance to look at FISA-related information, or two supervisors make a determination that the content of the 702 data will reasonably provide foreign intelligence or evidence of a crime related to their case.

The When.

Despite the checks, approvals, documentation, and firewalls that exist in the FBIs process, it is here where 702 critics (and pending legislation) argue that the FBI should go to a court and obtain a warrant before viewing the 702 communications. However, ask any lawyer whether an affidavit for a search warrant that says Target, who may or may not be a U.S. person, is behaving suspiciously in flight school and may be linked to another, unknown investigation in the FBI will constitute probable cause for a search warrant. The resounding answer youll get is: No. There is simply not enough evidence at this stage to demonstrate probable cause that the individual has committed or is committing a crime, and a warrant should rightly not issue.

In fact, phrases like just get a warrant fail to grasp that a warrant would never issue at such an early stage of any investigation. Search warrants are an investigative tool that is used after months, and sometimes years, of investigative activity this is why in the FBI they are only authorized for Full Investigations. FBI agents spend hundreds of hours interviewing witnesses and contacts, conducting surveillance, digging through trash, using undercover informants, and obtaining third-party records, among other techniques, to obtain evidence of a crime (or in the case of individual FISAs, acting as a foreign agent). Agents and prosecutors then spend weeks drafting affidavits that detail the evidence gathered to present to a court.  Ironically, a search warrant requirement for Section 702 suggests that agents should build a case and use even more aggressive and intrusive tactics against an individual simply to view a discrete set of communications it already has and that might ultimately be benign or even exculpatory. And if agents ever managed to get a warrant, the value of the 702 data which is that it provides real-time intelligence and case connections would be obviated by the time they looked at it anyway.

Essentially, a warrant requirement would effectively block the FBI from knowing the nature of the connection between a new lead and another serious crime or national security threat currently under investigation under its own roof. At the same time, the lead may not be pursued much further without knowing the contents of the 702 communications. By sealing off the contents of the 702 data, the FBI may not be legally able to do much more than some very limited additional checks on the complaint within a short period of time (this would be a Threat Assessment, also outlined in the DIOG). Unless these checks uncovered something significant enough to form a predicate to open an investigation, the matter would be closed. Reviewing the nature and content of the 702 communication, on the other hand, might open up several further investigative avenues: The new lead might provide a missing piece of information for the existing Full Investigation, for example, or identify connections across individuals not previously known, or suggest that the new subject could be a valuable intelligence source.

The truth is that few 702 hits are likely to come from over-the-transom tips like the one described above. They are more likely to come in the course of investigating new leads in already-open cases on criminal enterprises, terrorist networks, or foreign intelligence activity the kinds of cases where contacts with foreign targets are most likely to occur. Even as I write this, I have no doubt that the agents working on the investigation into Russia interference in the 2016 election are relying at least in part on 702 data provided to the FBI to establish links between individuals in the United States and ongoing Russian counterintelligence investigations. Nevertheless, regardless of where in an ongoing investigation a new lead surfaces, an agent will always begin with a DIVS query it is the initial building block of FBI investigations.

A search warrant requirement for the FBI to view the contents of 702 data returned in the course of a standard investigative query would stymie cases like Muellers and other investigations currently open in the FBI.  Most importantly, it would leave the FBI in a position where one hand is unaware of what the other is doing, even within its own agency. This was precisely the kind of situation known then as the wall that led to the intelligence failures of 9/11 and that the Intelligence Community, under presidents of both parties, has sought to break down since. Adding unnecessary hurdles, based on a mischaracterization of the FBIs handling of this data and rudimentary understanding of its investigative process, would resurrect a new, and very dangerous, wall in the FBI.

Read on Just Security »

The Early Edition: November 29, 2017

Spread the Knowledge
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    27
    Shares
  • 27
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

9:00 AM 11/29/2017 – The Early Edition: November 29, 2017 Mueller may be looking at Flynn’s time as DIA chief: report – The Hill

Spread the Knowledge
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Were headed toward a war if things dont change, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, warned yesterday…

Saved Stories

Saved Stories – None

The Early Edition: November 29, 2017

Mueller may be looking at Flynn’s time as DIA chief: report – The Hill

Robert Mueller gets ready to play the Art of No Deal
Trump telling friends Mueller probe will be done by end of year: report – The Hill
New Reports Suggest Trump Might Not Be a Liar at All, But Truly Delusional – New York Magazine
Sarah Sanders Gleeful That CNN Won’t Be A Guest At White House Christmas Party
Suspect in New York truck attack pleads not guilty to murder and terrorism charges – PBS NewsHour
Donald Trump is saying racist things about President Obama again, as Trump-Russia scandal panic sets in
Victorious Trump moves to reshape consumer bureau – Politico
Russia Investigation Concluding by End of the Year? That Would Be ‘A Surprise,’ Says Republican Congressman – Newsweek
Threat From North Korea No Longer Hypothetical, Arms Experts Warn
Donald Trump finally realizes hes a goner
The FBI is racist and horrible and I am angry – The Daily Princetonian
North Korea says successfully launched new missile that can reach all US – Arab News
Report: Trump continues to question Obama’s birth certificate – CNN
The Birther’s Back: Trump Reportedly Reignites Racist Lie About Obama
Trump touts ‘tax cuts,’ trumpets win in legal fight over consumer agency – The Hill
Dershowitz: Trump Needs to Aggressively Challenge Mueller – LifeZette
In White House, Flynn Pitched Nuclear Plan From Company He’d Advised: Reports
John Kelly shows up at Capitol Building in middle of night
Trump Russia Collusion Scandal: Russian Cyber Expert Bragged In 2016 Facebook Posts About Helping Trump Win – The Inquisitr
Republican plutocrats’ greed could outlast Trump – Financial Times
Russia’s lies are aimed at undermining European democracies – Keyser Mineral Daily News Tribune
The White House Reporter For A Pro-Trump News Site Was Arrested After Allegedly Accosting A Woman – BuzzFeed News
Canadian faces prison for conspiring with Russians in hacking scheme – IT World Canada

 

Saved Stories – None
The Early Edition: November 29, 2017
 

Pouneh Ahari
Pouneh Ahari

Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Heres todays news.

NORTH KOREA

North Korea launched an advanced intercontinental ballistic missile (I.C.B.M.) yesterday, according to North Korean state television the new missile was a Hwasong-15 and the test was personally ordered by the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Kim was quoted as saying that the success of the launch signaled the realization of the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, Jonathan Cheng reports at the Wall Street Journal.

With this system, we can load the heaviest warhead and strike anywhere in the mainland United States, North Korean state television stated, a claim that falls in line with experts calculations about the latest launch, which achieved a longer flight time than any previous North Korean missile test and could theoretically reach Washington D.C.. Anna Fifield reports at the Washington Post.

The I.C.B.M. reached a height higher than any North Korean missile had done before and was the first test since September 15, undermining hopes that the Pyongyang regime has been heeding the warnings of President Trump. James Griffiths reports at CNN.

  • It is a situation that we will handle, Trump said in response to the launch, the Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was more alarmist in his assessment, noting that the I.C.B.M. reached an unprecedented height and that it constituted a continued effort to build a threat a threat that endangers world peace, regional peace, and certainly, the United States. Mark Landler, Choe Sang-Hun and Helene Cooper report at the New York Times.

South Korea fired pinpoint missiles into the sea in response to Pyongyangs test, Mattis explained yesterday, the South Korean launch was confirmed by an official with South Koreas Joint Chiefs of Staff. Josh Delk reports at the Hill.

North Korea has not yet shown that it can mount a miniaturized nuclear warhead on a long-range missile, however Pyongyangs development of its technology strengthens the countrys hand in any future negotiations. Justin McCurry and Julian Borger report at the Guardian.

China is seriously concerned about and opposed to the latest missile launch, Chinas foreign ministry spokesperson said today, adding that it strongly urges Pyongyang to abide by U.N. Security Council resolutions and that all parties should act with caution. The AP reports.

The U.S. and Canada will convene a meeting of the U.N. Command to discuss a non-military solution to the crisis on the Korean Peninsula, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced yesterday, saying in a statement that diplomatic options with North Korea remain viable and open, for now. Brett Samuels reports at the Hill.

The U.N. Security Council is due to hold an emergency session following the latest test which contravened international sanctions imposed on North Koreas nuclear weapons and missile programs. The BBC reports.

South Koreas President Moon Jae-in said in a phone call yesterday to President Trump that Pyongyangs missile technology seems to have improved, after the latest launch landed in waters off Japan. Reuters reports.

This is a further breach of multiple U.N. Security Council Resolutions, the Secretary General of N.A.T.O., Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement yesterday, condemning Pyongyangs actions. Reuters reports.

  • Were headed toward a war if things dont change, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, warned yesterday, saying that every test puts North Korea closer to conflict. Cristiano Lima reports at POLITICO.

Trump tried to connect the latest launch to domestic politics in a tweet yesterday however, in general, the presidents response was relatively muted in comparison to previous comments about the Pyongyang regime. Stephen Collinson provides an analysis at CNN.

  • The risk of war is greater than the public appreciates, Adam B. Ellick and Jonah M. Kessel warn at the New York Times, writing about the crisis following their recent trip to North Korea.

China should send troops to North Korea to reassure the country about resisting an attack and threats to overthrow the Pyongyang regime, a deployment that would mirror the position of U.S. troops in South Korea, and creating a constructive and symmetrical stance that would reduce the likelihood of war. Alton Frye writes at Foreign Policy.

SYRIA

The Syrian government yesterday agreed to a Russia proposed ceasefire in the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta area near the capital of Damascus, following two weeks of intense bombardment that has led to dozens of civilian deaths. The BBC reports.

The report of the Eastern Ghouta ceasefire deal came as opposition delegates gathered in Geneva for U.N.-backed talks on the Syrian peace process, representatives of the Syrian government are expected to arrive in Geneva today. Al Jazeera reports.

  • Turkey said that it would consider expanding its military operations in Syria to Western Aleppo and Afrin provinces, in a statement by Turkeys National Security Council yesterday, this would potentially bring its forces into

    confrontation

    with U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters. Reuters reports.

 

  • Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (P.Y.D.) forces attacked a Turkish border post in Afrin province in Syria yesterday, according to private broadcaster C.N.N. Turk. The Syrian Kurdish Y.P.G. militia

    areaffiliated to the P.Y.D. and Turkey views the groups as offshoots of the Kurdistan Workers Party (P.K.K.), which is designated as a terrorist group in Turkey, the U.S. and the E.U., Reuters reports.

The previous rounds of U.N.-backed talks have been consistently disrupted, allowing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to score key military victories and, in each instance, Russia has provided cover for Assad, an example of how Russia has been dominating in its calculations while the U.S. has been absent if there are any breakthroughs in Geneva this week they would pave the way for Assads success as a result of immense Russian cynicism dressed up as realpolitik. Nic Robertson writes at CNN.

U.S.-led airstrikes continue. U.S. and coalition forces carried out 11 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq between November 24 and November 26. [Central Command]

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION FOREIGN POLICY

  • There is no hollowing out, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said yesterday in response to criticisms about his reorganization of the State Department, saying that were keeping the organization fully staffed and adding that the reports of the restructuring made it sound like the sky was falling, which was offensive to employees at the department. Carol Morello reports at the Washington Post.

Tillersons defense of the restructuring came after increasingly vocal complaints from Republican and Democratic lawmakers, the secretary of state saying that many of the reports about the loss of diplomatic personnel are just false. Nahal Toosi reports at POLITICO.

  • Russia has been using malicious tactics against the U.S. and European allies, Tillerson said yesterday, saying that Russias actions are not the behaviors of a responsible nation and said any reset of relations would be out of reach while the situation in the Ukraine remains unaddressed. Carol Morello reports at the Washington Post.
  • President Trump is actively considering when and how to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Vice President Mike Pence said yesterday at an event commemorating the U.N. vote leading to the creation of the state of Israel, the move was promised by Trump throughout the 2016 campaign however a relocation would represent a break with longstanding U.S. policy. Jordan Fabian reports at the Hill.
  • Trumps foreign policy is conducted with a view to a domestic audience based on celebrity populism, however this approach does not serve the nations interests, eschews the principles of postwar presidents of both parties, most Americans do not agree with the approach, and patriotic Republican and Democratic leaders must challenge Mr. Trumps foreign-policy destruction. The former World Bank president, U.S. trade representative and deputy secretary of state Robert B. Zoellick writes at the Wall Street Journal.

MICHAEL FLYNN

  • Trumps former national security adviser Michael Flynn promoted a controversial nuclear-power proposal in the Middle East within the White House, according to interviews with current and former government officials, individuals from the private-sector and documents describing the plan. Christopher S. Stewart and Rob Barry report at the Wall Street Journal.
  • Flynns advocacy for the proposal shortly after Trumps inauguration was being pushed by a company that Flynn said he had advised during the 2016 campaign and transition, creating a potential conflict of interest. Greg Jaffe, Carol D. Leonnig, Michael Kranish and Tom Hamburger report at the Washington Post.
  • It appears that special counsel Robert Muellers investigation into Flynn includes his activities as the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (D.I.A.) during the Obama administration, he was ousted from the D.I.A. in 2014. Thomas Frank and Jason Leopold report at BuzzFeed News.
  • The Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab yesterday pleaded guilty to violating U.S. sanctions on Iran, his testimony may have implications for Flynn due to Flynns dealings with the Turkish government and an alleged agreement with Turkey to kidnap the exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen, who is accused of being the mastermind behind last years failed coup in Ankara. Katie Zavadski observes at The Daily Beast.

LIBYA

Ahmed Abu Khatalla, the Libyan man who was accused of being the mastermind behind the assault on the U.S. mission in Benghazi in 2012, was found guilty of terrorism charges but was not found guilty of murder, Spencer S. Hsu and Ann E. Marimow report at the Washington Post.

The reports of apparent slave auctions in Libya have shone a spotlight on the country, highlighting the instability in the country since the collapse of Muammar Gaddafis regime in 2011Ishaan Tharoor provides an analysis at the Washington Post.

IRAN

Saudi Arabia paints Iran as enemy because it wants to cover up their defeats in Qatar, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said yesterday, making the comments after the Saudi Crown Prince called Irans Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei the new Hitler of the Middle East. Reuters reports.

The Saudi minister for Gulf affairs Thamer al-Sabhan has been a key figure in the campaign to counter Iran, it is believed that he was behind the unexpected resignation of the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Nov. 4 which Hariri claimed was because of the destructive influence of Iran and its Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah ally and the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmans hawkish approach towards Iran is largely embodied and amplified in al-Sabhan. Bassem Mroue and Aya Batrawy explain at the AP.

The Trump administration is pushing a false pretext about Irans connections to al-Qaeda in a similar way to the Bush administrations lie about Iraqi President Saddam Husseins links to Osama bin Laden, and Trump is beating the drum for war in the Middle East. Mehdi Hasan writes at the New York Times.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

The Trump administrations new Afghanistan strategy increases the risks to U.S. troops as they are deployed to accompany Afghan army forces in an advisory role, the commander of the U.S. and N.A.T.O. forces in Afghanistan Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr. said yesterday. Missy Ryan reports at the Washington Post.

  • The man accused of carrying out last months attack in New York has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and terrorism, Sayfullo Saipov entered his plea deal yesterday, the BBC reports

The Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi called on his military to secure and stabilize Sinai within the next three months, in a speech today, adding that the forces can use all brute force necessary to combat the Islamist insurgency. Reuters reports.

Any attempts by the U.S. to impose further U.N. sanctions against South Sudan would likely be vetoed by Russia, the U.S. threatened to take further action yesterday however Russia said such a move would be counterproductive. Michelle Nichols reports at Reuters.

Saudi Arabia has been preparing to release Yemenis who were formerly detained in Guantánamo Bay, a move likely to be met by consternation by Trump, Molly OToole explains at Foreign Policy.

China has been quiet but relentless in its pursuit of becoming a global superpower, and its project has been aided by Trumps America First strategy, David Ignatius writes at the Washington Post.

Read on Just Security »

Mueller may be looking at Flynn’s time as DIA chief: report – The Hill
 


The Hill
Mueller may be looking at Flynn’s time as DIA chief: report
The Hill
Special counsel Robert Mueller, who is conducting the criminal investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election, has previously been reported to be looking into Flynn’s activities since leaving the DIA in 2014. In particular, he is probing Flynn’s 
Citing probes, military agency bars access to Flynn recordsFox News
Mueller’s Russia Probe May Now Include Flynn’s DIA TenureBuzzFeed Newsall 29 news articles »
Robert Mueller gets ready to play the Art of No Deal

Donald Trump once famously released a book (ghostwritten entirely by someone else) called Art of the Deal. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is about to play a different game entirely, called the Art of No Deal. He gave a favorable deal to George Papadopoulos to get the ball rolling. He’s in the process of giving a deal to Michael Flynn because he’s so valuable. Now a whole lot of other people are suddenly going to want a deal, and some of them are going to be very disappointed.Robert Mueller only has two goals: to make Donald Trump answer for his crimes, and make sure justice is served when it comes to the overall Trump-Russia criminal scandal. Mueller will hand out as many plea deals as necessary in order to make sure Trump is nailed. He has to sell Trump’s guilt to the court of public opinion, so he’ll surely aim for redundancy. But that doesn’t mean he’s simply going to hand out a deal to anyone who wants one. In fact, each time Mueller hands out a deal, it means he needs the next cooperating witness all that much less. So who’s about to lose in all this?In general, every player in the Trump-Russia scandal has less bargaining power now than they would have if they’d offered to cut a deal a week ago. Michael Flynn’s cooperation gets Mueller a long way toward proving that Donald Trump was conspiring with Russia to alter the outcome of the election. Some of the other people who fit the same description are probably screwed, because they can only offer Mueller what Flynn is already offering, and less of it.The people most likely to get deals at this point are those who can prove Donald Trump guilty of additional crimes. Robert Mueller is trying hard to nail Trump for obstruction of justice, so there’s a good deal waiting for anyone who conspired with Trump to try to sabotage the investigation. Of course half a dozen or more advisers fit that description, and Mueller only needs one of them maybe two if he wants redundancy. Some of these people are simply screwed.

The post Robert Mueller gets ready to play the Art of No Deal appeared first on Palmer Report.

Trump telling friends Mueller probe will be done by end of year: report – The Hill
 


The Hill
Trump telling friends Mueller probe will be done by end of year: report
The Hill
Last month, Mueller indicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and a former Manafort associate, Richard Gates, on money laundering charges. George Papadapoulos, a former Trump campaign adviser, has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.and more »
New Reports Suggest Trump Might Not Be a Liar at All, But Truly Delusional – New York Magazine
 


New York Magazine
New Reports Suggest Trump Might Not Be a Liar at All, But Truly Delusional
New York Magazine
The prevailing interpretation of Donald Trump, shared by all his enemies and many of his allies, is that he is a con man. It is a theory that explains both his career in business and politics, and has carried through his many reversals of position and 
Will Trump ever have to answer to the women who say he harassed and assaulted them?Los Angeles Times 
Donald Trump Reportedly Claims Access Hollywood Tape Wasn’t Authentic411mania.com

Does Trump Think The ‘Access Hollywood’ Tape Is Fake? Here’s Every Single Thing He’s Said About ItBustle 
Donald Trump Reportedly Claims Access Hollywood Tape Wasn’t Authentic411mania.com
New York Times
all 174 
Raw Story
all 166
 news articles »
Sarah Sanders Gleeful That CNN Won’t Be A Guest At White House Christmas Party

“Christmas comes early!” wrote the White House press secretary.
Suspect in New York truck attack pleads not guilty to murder and terrorism charges – PBS NewsHour
 


PBS NewsHour
Suspect in New York truck attack pleads not guilty to murder and terrorism charges
PBS NewsHour
It’s also the first time RICO which is usually employed in organized crime cases has been used in any of the 135 ISIS-related prosecutions in the U.S since 2014. The Saipov indictment describes the Islamic State’s terrorism enterprise whose 
MANHATTAN BIKE ATTACK WAS FUELED BY ISIS EmpireStateNews.net
Crime NewsABC News
ISIS claims responsibility for New York City terror attack that killed 8CBS News
all 54EmpireStateNews.netall 42news articles »

Donald Trump is saying racist things about President Obama again, as Trump-Russia scandal panic sets in

In the five days since he learned that Michael Flynn is in the process of cutting a devastating plea deal against him, Donald Trump has unwittingly revealed that he’s in a total panic over the Trump-Russia scandal. We know this because he’s reached a new level of desperation when it comes to creating a distraction whether it be good or bad for himself in the hope of distracting the public, and maybe himself, from what’s about to happen to him. Now he’s circling back to his original line of nonsense.When Donald Trump dusted off the Access Hollywood “grab em by the…” tape earlier this week by suddenly questioning whether it was really his voice on that tape, it turns out that was merely a warm up act. Trump is now laying the groundwork for bringing back his earlier claim about President Obama having been secretly born in Kenya. No really, he’s going there.Trump has begun privately questioning the authenticity of President Obama’s birth certificate, according to a New York Times profile (link). More importantly, Trump’s own trusted confidantes are making a point of leaking this to the media. Trump’s team wants this to be a thing again, even though it worked against Trump in the general election, and he ultimately had to publicly admit that the controversy was never real. So why is Team Trump bringing this back?The answer is fairly straightforward. Donald Trump, or at least his team, now believes that things are about to get very ugly – so ugly, in fact, that any sort of distraction is a welcome one. They’re dusting off Trump’s worst moments, from Access Hollywood to racist birtherism. That way, once the real scandals start hitting the headlines, whether it be from Flynn’s deal or something even uglier, those stories will have to fight for headline space with the nonsense he’s dredging up.

The post Donald Trump is saying racist things about President Obama again, as Trump-Russia scandal panic sets in appeared first on Palmer Report.

Victorious Trump moves to reshape consumer bureau – Politico
 


Politico
Russia Investigation Concluding by End of the Year? That Would Be ‘A Surprise,’ Says Republican Congressman – Newsweek
 


Newsweek
Russia Investigation Concluding by End of the Year? That Would Be ‘A Surprise,’ Says Republican Congressman
Newsweek
The investigation into Russia’s alleged attempt to influence the outcome of the U.S. election is unlikely to conclude before the end of the year, according to a GOP representative. Congressman Mike Conaway reportedly said he it would be a surprise if 
Competing Trump Probe Reports Are Said to Be Planned in HouseBloomberg
6 Months In, No End In Sight: Who’s Who In The Vast Russia ImbroglioNPR

Professor linked to Russian ‘dirt on Clinton’ quits Stirling university roleThe Timesall 24 17 news articles »
Threat From North Korea No Longer Hypothetical, Arms Experts Warn

“Its the next logical step that we were expecting.”
Donald Trump finally realizes hes a goner

Up until a week ago, it had been widely reported that Donald Trump’s handlers were keeping him in a protective bubble so he wouldn’t go fully off the deep end. They told him that Special Counsel Robert Mueller wasn’t investigating him personally, and that the entire Trump-Russia probe would be over soon. But now that Michael Flynn has decided to cut a deal, Trump has finally figured out that he’s a goner and he’s given that away by what he’s suddenly dredging up.Okay, so it’s possible that Donald Trump really is too far gone to have any idea what’s going on, and it’s his advisers doing the dredging. But in the five days since Flynn revealed he’s selling Trump out, take a look at what Trump is suddenly focusing on. He’s suddenly pushing Hillary Clinton’s emails for the first time in a month. More tellingly, he’s suddenly pushing President Obama’s birth certificate for the first time in more than a year. There’s a reason why.Trump originally got a lot of mileage out of these fake scandals, before he gradually backed away from them because they were starting to lose their effectiveness. He’s reverting to them now because, well, it’s all he’s got. It takes a lot of time, patience and repetition to get a fake scandal about your opponent to stick in the minds of the general public. It took Trump years to get the birth certificate nonsense to stick. It took the Republican Party years to get the email nonsense to take hold.Now that Donald Trump’s back is against the wall, he can’t simply start manufacturing new phony scandals; he no longer has that kind of time and he knows it. He’s reverting back to his original phony controversies, as worn out as they may be, because it’s all he has left to dredge up on short notice. It’s a sign that Trump has finally figured out he’s a goner, and that it’s going to happen sooner than later.

The post Donald Trump finally realizes he’s a goner appeared first on Palmer Report.

The FBI is racist and horrible and I am angry – The Daily Princetonian
 

The FBI is racist and horrible and I am angry
The Daily Princetonian
The revelation about the FBI fits into a narrative that has been developing in the news since the 2016 election (but has been a recurrent theme in the United States since the first Europeans landed on the continent) the people in power can and will 
North Korea says successfully launched new missile that can reach all US – Arab News
 


Arab News
North Korea says successfully launched new missile that can reach all US
Arab News
Seoul’s presidential office said Wednesday that Moon said during a National Security Council meeting that it would be important to prevent a situation where North Korea miscalculates and threatens the South with nuclear weapons or the US considers a and more »
Report: Trump continues to question Obama’s birth certificate – CNN
 


CNN
Report: Trump continues to question Obama’s birth certificate
CNN
Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump has continued to question the legitimacy of former President Barack Obama’s birth certificate during private conversations in recent months, The New York Times reported, citing advisers who discussedTrump’s 
Report: Trump Still Pushing Obama BirtherismDaily Beast
all 15 
Trump still privately questions Obama’s birth certificate: reportThe Hill
all 14 news articles »
The Birther’s Back: Trump Reportedly Reignites Racist Lie About Obama

The former president was born in the United States, period.
Trump touts ‘tax cuts,’ trumpets win in legal fight over consumer agency – The Hill
 


The Hill
Trump touts ‘tax cuts,’ trumpets win in legal fight over consumer agency
The Hill
President Trump on Tuesday night praised the Republican Party for advancing its tax-reform agenda and trumpeted a judge’s decision to side with his administration in a legal battle over who’s in charge of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).and more »
Dershowitz: Trump Needs to Aggressively Challenge Mueller – LifeZette
 


LifeZette
Dershowitz: Trump Needs to Aggressively Challenge Mueller
LifeZette
“This is supposed to be a narrow investigation about whether or not there was illegal, unlawful collusion with Russia,” said Dershowitz. “Collusion itself is not a crime. But now they are going after people for the equivalent of jaywalking. Did they and more »
In White House, Flynn Pitched Nuclear Plan From Company He’d Advised: Reports

New details have emerged on how the former national security adviser allegedly lobbied for a foreign business deal.
John Kelly shows up at Capitol Building in middle of night

In the midst of a week already filled with over the top storylines and unprecedented levels of attempted distractions, things just managed to get even weirder. General John Kelly, the White House Chief of Staff for Donald Trump has arrived at the U.S. Capitol Building for a meeting in the middle of the night. That’s right, we’ve fully reached the cloak and dagger stage of whatever this is all about.John Kelly arrived at the Capitol well after dark on Tuesday night, according to CNN reporter Manu Raju, who matter-of-factly tweeted “John Kelly arrives in Capitol for late-night meeting.” What’s going on? No one knows for sure. But considering the sheer number of cartoonish storylines currently playing out around Donald Trump’s impending demise, a few distinct possibilities come to mind.The biggest story surrounding Congress right now is the Republican Party’s attempt at ramming through a tax scam for the wealthy, and it’s looking like the deciding vote will come down to John McCain. John Kelly has little influence over Congress in general, particularly on these kinds of issues, but is it possible he’s trying to use their shared military background to win McCain over? That seems like maybe a stretch. Is Kelly there to try to convince Congress to give Trump a declaration of war against North Korea? That seems unlikely, considering Kelly’s primary goal seems to be preventing Trump from starting a disastrous war. So what does that leave?It’s been clear for a few days that Donald Trump thinks his time is growing short. Since it was revealed that Michael Flynn is cutting a plea deal against him in the Russia scandal, Trump has gone berserk even by his standards. He’s throwing everything at the wall, from the Access Hollywood tape to a renewed stab at birtherism against President Obama. Is it possible John Kelly is at the Capitol to negotiate Trump’s resignation? That might be a stretch as well. But at this point, any explanation for Kelly turning up at the Capitol in the middle of the night is going to end up being an odd one.

The post John Kelly shows up at Capitol Building in middle of night appeared first on Palmer Report.

Trump Russia Collusion Scandal: Russian Cyber Expert Bragged In 2016 Facebook Posts About Helping Trump Win – The Inquisitr
 


The Inquisitr
Trump Russia Collusion Scandal: Russian Cyber Expert Bragged In 2016 Facebook Posts About Helping TrumpWin
The Inquisitr
The man who made the posts, Kremlin propagandist Konstantin Rykov, may even have a connection to the supposed Trumppee tape described in the Steele Dossier, the private intelligence document alleging deep ties between Trump and Russia. … Klyushin and more »
Republican plutocrats’ greed could outlast Trump – Financial Times
 


Financial Times
Republican plutocrats’ greed could outlast Trump
Financial Times
Donald Trump has been in office for slightly more than 10 months and despite the fact that during that time no meaningful legislation has been enacted he has managed, with the unqualified support of the Republican party and its Fox News propaganda 
Russia’s lies are aimed at undermining European democracies – Keyser Mineral Daily News Tribune
 

Russia’s lies are aimed at undermining European democracies
Keyser Mineral Daily News Tribune
Delegates heard from Laurinavicius that the Putin administration in Moscow is a kind of C-suite of corruption, built around the old KGB (where Putin was No. 2 in East Germany), mixed with the Russian mafia and collaborating oligarchs. Taken together, a …
The White House Reporter For A Pro-Trump News Site Was Arrested After Allegedly Accosting A Woman – BuzzFeed News
 

The White House Reporter For A Pro-Trump News Site Was Arrested After Allegedly Accosting A Woman
BuzzFeed News
In a post about Wintrich’s arrest, the Gateway Pundit declared that a “far left mob” had shut down the event. An update to the post stated that Wintrich was “missing” and that “police took him away and we have NO IDEA where they are holding him!” The and more »
Canadian faces prison for conspiring with Russians in hacking scheme – IT World Canada
 


Wccftech
Canadian faces prison for conspiring with Russians in hacking scheme
IT World Canada
A Canadian faces a U.S. prison sentence after admitting to hacking more than 11,000 Yahoo, Google and other webmail accounts for alleged members of Russia’s federal police and other customers for four years. … Where a foreign law enforcement or 
Canadian Hacker Pleads Guilty to Conspiring with Russian Agents in Massive Yahoo HackWccftechall 57 46 news articles »

Spread the Knowledge
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    27
    Shares
  • 27
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

9:17 AM 11/28/2017 – M.N. This observation is consistent with the previous ones, made by many observers: excessive, demonstrative “loudness” – Odds Are, Russia Owns Trump – NYT

Spread the Knowledge
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

__________________________________

M.N. This observation, once again, is consistent with the previous ones, made by many observers: excessive, demonstrative “loudness” (in Comey’s words: “They were unusually loud in their intervention. It is as almost they didn’t care that we knew, or they wanted us to see what they do. They were very noisy in their interventions…” – 2:48:55 on C-SPAN tape), almost the theatrical, entertainment quality and aspect of this affair, which might be the cognitive, diagnostic, investigative clue, in and by itself. It probably points to the “made”, pre-arranged, pre-designed, and the pre-engineered, “for the show”, quality and aspect of it. The hypothetical culprits or “playwrights” in this situation include the familiar actors mentioned in the previous posts: Germany, China, Russia. Israel would not have any direct interest in this “show” (the belittling of Trump, and by the associational extension, America, in the eyes of the world, because it does not coincide with her interest in strong America, and her interest in the demonstrating the strong America, her defender, to the world), beyond the direct and open anti-Clinton and anti-Obama sentiments. The “Israeli connection” might be less “formal” one, through the Russian-Jewish, “Red” Mafia. 

______________________________

The U.S. needs to come to terms with substantial evidence that the  president is in thrall to a foreign power, Michelle Goldberg writes at the New York Times, pointing to the cast of shady characters surrounding the president and the evidence of cooperation with the Kremlin documented in Luke Hardings new book Collusion.

Odds Are, Russia Owns Trump – New York Times
 


New York Times
Odds Are, Russia Owns Trump
New York Times
One uncanny aspect of the investigations into Trump’s Russia connections is that instead of too little evidence there’s too much. It’s impossible to keep it straight without the kind of chaotic wall charts that Carrie Mathison of Homeland assembled and more »
russian organized crime in us – Google News: Odds Are, Russia Owns Trump – New York Times
 


New York Times
Odds Are, Russia Owns Trump
New York Times
The next day, The New York Times published excerpts from emails between Felix Sater, a felon with ties to Russian organized crime, and Michael Cohen, one of Donald Trump’s lawyers and Sater’s childhood friend, about the project. Sater was … He was 
Will Michael Flynn Plead Guilty And Cooperate To Protect His Son?Forbes
Contact PlanetsavePlanetSave.com
A Split From Trump Indicates That Flynn Is Moving to Cooperate With MuellerNew York Timesall 178 news articles »

 russian organized crime in us – Google News

Trump’s and Putin’s connections with organized crime – Google News: Odds Are, Russia Owns Trump – New York Times
 


New York Times
Odds Are, Russia Owns Trump
New York Times
The next day, The New York Times published excerpts from emails between Felix Sater, a felon with ties to Russian organized crime, and Michael Cohen, one of Donald Trump’s lawyers and Sater’s childhood friend, about the project. Sater was apparently an 
Contact PlanetsavePlanetSave.comall 180 178 news articles »

 Trump’s and Putin’s connections with organized crime – Google News

Odds Are, Russia Owns Trump

1 Share
 –

Trump tells Turkish president U.S. will stop arming Kurds in Syria – The Washington Post

1 Share

President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, shown in May, have agreed that the United States will stop providing arms to Kurdish fighters in Syria. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

The Trump administration is preparing to stop supplying weapons to ethnic Kurdish fighters in Syria, the White House acknowledged Friday, a move reflecting renewed focus on furthering a political settlement to the civil war there and countering Iranian influence now that the Islamic State caliphate is largely vanquished.

Word of the policy change long sought by neighboring Turkey came Friday, not from Washington but from Ankara. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters at a news conference that President Trump had pledged to stop arming the fighters, known as the YPG, during a phone call between Trump and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“Mr. Trump clearly stated that he had given clear instructions, and that the YPG won’t be given arms and that this nonsense should have ended a long time ago,” the Associated Press quoted Cavusoglu as saying to reporters following the call.

Initially, the administration’s national security team appeared surprised by the Turks’ announcement and uncertain what to say about it. The State Department referred questions to the White House, and hours passed with no confirmation from the National Security Council.

In late afternoon, the White House confirmed the weapons cutoff would happen, though it provided no details on timing.

Armed fighters of the People’s Protection Units, known as the YPG, gather in Kobane, Syria. The militia is made up of ethnic Kurds. (Ahmed Deeb/AFP/Getty Images)

“Consistent with our previous policy, President Trump also informed President Erdogan of pending adjustments to the military support provided to our partners on the ground in Syria, now that the battle of Raqqa is complete and we are progressing into a stabilization phase to ensure that ISIS cannot return,” the White House statement said, referring to the recent liberation of the Syrian city that had served as the Islamic State’s de facto capital.

The decision to stop arming the Kurds will remove a major source of tension between the United States and Turkey, a NATO ally. But it is likely to further anger the Kurds, who already feel betrayed since the United States told them to hand over hard-won territory to the Syrian government.

Turkey has pointed to the YPG’s affiliation with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party — a Kurdish rebel group that has fought the Turkish state for decades — as evidence of its terrorist ties. The YPG, which formed amid the chaos of the Syrian civil war, has worked with U.S. forces to oust the Islamic State from key areas there.

The Obama administration began arming the Syrian Democratic Forces, which is dominated by the Kurdish YPG militia, because they were considered the most effective fighters against Islamic State militants.

The phone call between Trump and Erdogan followed a summit on Syria held this week in Sochi, Russia. It was attended by Erdogan, Russian President Vladi­mir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Both Russia and Iran backed the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and helped Syrian forces to rout the Islamic State.

The two powers, along with Turkey, have forged an alliance that is advancing its own peace plan, in which the United States would play little role beyond being an observer. They have said U.S. troops should leave Syria now that the Islamic State’s defeat appears imminent.

false
subscribe
The story must be told.
Your subscription supports journalism that matters.

But a U.S. withdrawal without a peace plan well on its way would be victory for Assad, and by extension, Iran and Russia.

So U.S. officials have said they plan to keep American troops in northern Syria — and continue working with Kurdish fighters — to pressure Assad to make concessions during peace talks brokered by the United Nations in Geneva, stalemated for three years now. “We’re not going to just walk away right now,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said last week.

James Jeffrey, the U.S. ambassador to Turkey from 2008 to 2010, said the decision to cease supplying weapons to the Kurds appears to reflect an evolving strategy to keep playing a productive role in Syria and weaken Iranian-backed militias and Hezbollah, both of which fought alongside Syrian forces to regain territory from the militants.

“Fighting ISIS was such a priority, we had to focus on that before other things,” he said, using a common acronym for the Islamic State. “Now as the conventional fight is over, we’re trying to come up with a bigger policy. We can’t do it without Turkey. It’s pure geography. We have to mend fences with the Turks if we want to remain in Syria.”

Read the whole story
· · · · · · ·

Pentagon ‘taking a look’ at halting weapons for Syrian Kurds as Turkey presses ban | TheHill

1 Share
Pentagon 'taking a look' at halting weapons for Syrian Kurds as Turkey presses ban

The Defense Department on Monday said it is reviewing the process it uses to provide equipment and weapons to Kurdish fighters with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) but has not halted sending weapons.

Pentagon spokesman Col. Robert Manning told reporters that the department is “reviewing pending adjustments to the military support provided to our Kurdish partners in as much as the military requirements of our defeat-[Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] and stabilization efforts will allow us to prevent ISIS from returning.”

Turkey’s foreign minister said Friday that President Trump committed to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the United States would no longer supply arms to Syrian Kurdish fighters.

Turkey considers the SDF Kurds, known as the YPG, to be an extension of outlawed Kurdish insurgents within its country, the Kurdistan Workers Party.

“Mr. Trump clearly stated that he had given clear instructions and that the YPG won’t be given arms, and that this nonsense should have ended a long time ago,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in a news conference last week.

The White House later released a statement that confirmed the topic was touched on but would not commit to a full-on ban.

“Consistent with our previous policy, President Trump also informed President Erdogan of pending adjustments to the military support provided to our partners on the ground in Syria, now that the battle of Raqqa is complete and we are progressing into a stabilization phase to ensure that ISIS cannot return,” the White House statement read.

The U.S. military in May began providing the Kurds with equipment and weapons to aid in the SDF fight against ISIS after Trump signed off on the plan to help retake the Syrian city of Raqqa.

When asked about a potential weapons halt, Manning said the Pentagon had not yet implemented such a measure and is only “taking a look at it right now.”

“We’ve been clear with Turkey that weapons provided to the Syrian Democratic Forces — which include Kurdish elements of the SDF — would be limited, mission specific, and provided incrementally to achieve our objectives, and those objectives are targeting ISIS,” Manning said.

Read the whole story
· · ·

The Early Edition: November 28, 2017 

1 Share

Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.

SYRIA

A new round of U.N.-backed Syria peace talks in Geneva are scheduled to start today, ahead of the talks the U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura called for “real” diplomacy and for Syrians to “begin to find some common ground.” The UN News Centre reports.

The talks are expected to focus primarily on a new constitution and elections, however there is little optimism that the talks would lead to a political solution to the Syrian conflict and there are questions over the ability of the groups opposed to the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to put on a united front. Barbara Bibbo reports at Al Jazeera.

“Our goal in the negotiation will be the departure of Bashar al-Assad from the beginning of the transition, Nasr Hariri, the head of the Syrian High Negotiations Committee (H.N.C.), which constitutes the opposition delegation, said yesterday. Stephanie Nebehay reporting at Reuters.

The Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim warned that Turkey could renege on its agreement with the E.U. on refugees if the U.S. and E.U. grant the Y.P.G. a role in the Geneva talks, saying after a meeting with the British Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday that Turkey sees the Y.P.G. “as a terrorist organization and [it] has no place in the peace process.” Patrick Wintour reports at the Guardian.

The Pentagon stopped short of saying that it would halt the supply of weapons to Syrian Kurdish (Y.P.G.) militia after Turkey’s foreign ministry said on Friday that Trump had pledged to stop providing weapons to the group which heads the Syrian Democratic Forces (S.D.F.), with Pentagon spokesperson Col. Robert Manning saying yesterday that the Defense Department would be “reviewing pending adjustments to the military support provided to our Kurdish partners.” Ellen Mitchell reports at the Hill.

Russia proposed a two-day ceasefire yesterday in the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta area near the capital of Damascus following reports of civilian deaths, the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights saying that 18 were killed by bombing over the past two days. Reuters reports.

The shelling of the Eastern Ghouta area has been less intense following the Russian ceasefire proposal, according to witnesses and a war monitor, however there have been no indications that a ceasefire has been agreed. Reuters reports.

Russia’s defense ministry yesterday denied reports that it carried out airstrikes on the Islamic State-held village of Al Shafah in the Deir al-Zour province after the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 53 civilians were killed by Russian strikes, the ministry saying in a statement that Russian forces target “areas outside population centers, and only facilities of the international terrorist groups.” The BBC reports.

The Syrian opposition’s stance is seen by Assad and his allies as being unrealistic as pro-Syrian government forces have achieved a series of military victories and the rebels have almost been defeated, while the opposition have accused the Syrian government of refusing to seriously engage. Angus McDowall explains at Reuters why there is little prospect of success at the Geneva talks.

The image of Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin hugging in the Russian city of Sochi last week symbolizes the power dynamics in the Syrian conflict and Russia’s success in supporting the Assad regime, with Putin having been able to marginalize the U.S. and enlist the support of Turkey and Iran in his plan for Syria – Russia’s achievements signaling an “acceleration of the collapse of U.S. global leadership.” The Washington Post editorial board writes.

NORTH KOREA

“[We] cannot rule out the possibility Pyongyang may declare the completion of their nuclear program in a year,” South Korea’s Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said today, Reuters reporting.

Japan has detected radio signals that signal the preparations for a possible North Korean ballistic missile launch, a Japanese government source said today, however noting that the signals are not unusual and are not enough to determine if there would be a launch soon. Reuters reports.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister welcomed the fact that North Korea has not tested any weapons for more than two months during a visit to South Korea yesterday, however the pause in testing may be “seasonal, rather than strategic” and a full resumption may come in February. Adam Taylor observes at the Washington Post.

The U.S. and China must bridge gaps on key questions regarding North Korea before any lasting resolution the crisis becomes likely, including their approach to the Pyongyang regime and how they intend to bring North Korea to the negotiation table. Krishnadev Calamur writes at the Atlantic.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION FOREIGN POLICY

Trump’s foreign policy reflects current realities because it acknowledges what many experts have not yet grasped: “that America’s post-Cold War national strategy has run out of gas.” Walter Russell Mead writes at the Wall Street Journal, arguing that Trump’s approach understands the limitations of U.S.’s role, however the president must do more than “demolish the old.”

The Foreign Service “is facing perhaps its greatest crisis,” as the U.S. juggles with a plethora of national security challenges and complicated dynamics in conflicts in the Middle East, the Trump administration has weakened the Foreign Service “by a series of misguided decisions since taking office.” Former ambassadors Nicholas Burns and Ryan C. Crocker write at the New York Times, warning about the impact of deep cuts at the State Department.

The dynamics of power in the Middle East may provide Trump with the “zero-sum game” that he has wanted, however nuance regarding Saudi Arabia and Iran’s respective influence in the region is needed to try and defuse tensions. Ishaan Tharoor provides an analysis at the Washington Post.

The possibility of the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump becoming the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. is not as preposterous as it would initially seem, the current ambassador Nikki Haley did not have expertise on the U.N. but has proven to be capable, Ivanka Trump could prove similarly capable and has some of the qualities to make a good ambassador. Richard Gowan writes at POLITICO Magazine.

TRUMP-RUSSIA

Lawyers for Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn met with members of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team yesterday, raising the possibility that Flynn is preparing to negotiate a plea deal with prosecutors, however a member of Trump’s legal team said that no one “should draw the conclusion that this means anything about Gen. Flynn cooperating against the president.” Matthew Mosk, Mike Levine and Brian Ross report at ABC News.

Flynn was involved in a project to build nuclear power plants in Egypt and Israel in partnership with Russia interests in June 2015, revealing another instance where Flynn may have had a personal interest in a project while he was advising Trump during the campaign for the presidency, and creating further potential legal questions in the wide-ranging investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Michael Kranish, Tom Hamburger and Carol D. Leonnig report at the Washington Post.

The U.S. “needs to come to terms with substantial evidence that the president is in thrall to a foreign power,” Michelle Goldberg writes at the New York Times, pointing to the cast of shady characters surrounding the president and the evidence of cooperation with the Kremlin documented in Luke Harding’s new book “Collusion.”

RUSSIA

A Russian interception of a U.S. aircraft at the weekend was “unsafe,” a spokesperson for the Pentagon said yesterday, adding that the “U.S. aircraft was operating in international airspace and did nothing to provoke this Russian behavior.” Ryan Browne reports at CNN.

Trump’s tweets at the weekend attacking C.N.N. came hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law requiring certain U.S. media outlets working in Russia to register as foreign agents, there are concerns about the implications of the requirement to register. Michael M. Grynbaum observes at the New York Times.

The Trump administration has two differing approaches to Russia, and is incoherent on Russia’s role in Ukraine, U.S.-Russia relations, Russia’s strategy in Syria and on a host of other issues. Susan B. Glasser writes at POLITICO Magazine referring to her interview of the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Kurt Volker.

LEBANON

The Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said yesterday that he does not wish to discuss the details of the events following his resignation announcement on Nov. 4 from the Saudi capital of Riyadh, having now deferred his decision to resign. There has been intense speculation surrounding the situation and Hariri cited the destructive role of Iran and its Lebanese Shi’ite Hezbollah ally as the reason for his resignation. Al Jazeera reports.

“Lebanon cannot resolve a question like Hezbollah which is in Syria, Iraq, everywhere because of Iran,” Hariri also said yesterday, adding that he would stay on as Prime Minister if Hezbollah accepted to stick by Lebanon’s policy of staying out of regional conflicts. Reuters reporting.

EGYPT

The residents of the village of Rawda in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula had been expecting an attack after months of increased threats, however they did not expect an attack as savage as the massacre on the mosque on Friday which killed at least 305 people. Sudarsan Raghavan and Heba Farouk Mahfouz explain at the Washington Post.

The mosque that was attacked had a Sufi character, many of the media reports have misrepresented Sufism’s qualities and its role within mainstream Islamic thought. H.A. Hellyer writes at the Guardian, saying that the rhetoric deployed by many purist Salafis that push narratives about Sufism should be addressed if there is to be a “counter-extremism” approach.

IRAQ

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a suicide attack southeast of Baghdad yesterday, killing 35 members of the Shi’ite paramilitary Popular Mobilization Forces, Reuters reports.

U.S.-led airstrikes continue. U.S. and coalition forces carried out 11 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq between November 24 and November 26. [Central Command]

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

The Pentagon was unable to explain inconsistencies regarding the number of U.S. troops in conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere yesterday, the spokesperson Col. Robert Manning attempted to set out why there are discrepancies between official statements and statistics available on government-operated websites. Alex Horton reports at the Washington Post.

U.S. airstrikes on the Islamic State group in northeast Somalia killed one militant, the U.S. military said yesterday, Rebecca Kheel reports at the Hill.

Broadcasts on Iranian state T.V. of a U.S. citizen and a British-Iranian citizen at the weekend suggest that Tehran has been trying to pressure the U.S. and U.K., the two detainees have been sentenced on espionage charges. Carol Morello reports at the Washington Post.

“Today we are discovering a ‘fifth estate’ that makes claims but up until now does not want to take any social responsibility,” the head of Germany’s domestic agency said yesterday, criticizing tech giants like Facebook for hiding behind legal privileges to avoid taking over “editorial verification of their content.” Reuters reporting.

The Islamic State may regroup in the Philippines since it has suffered territorial losses in Syria and Iraq, Patrick B. Johnston and Colin P. Clarke write at Foreign Policy, saying that the siege of the Philippine city of Marawi by militants supportive of the terrorist group may be a taste of things to come.

Read on Just Security »

Read the whole story
· · · · · · · ·

Turkey, United States ‘on same wavelength’

1 Share

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday his talks with US President Donald Trump last week were the first occasion in a long time the two Nato allies were “on the same wavelength” and they would speak against this week.

Diplomatic ties between Ankara and Washington have been strained by several disagreements, particularly over the United States’ support for the YPG Syrian Kurdish militia, which Ankara regards as a terrorist group.

“The telephone call which we had with Trump on Friday was the first in a long time in which we got on the same wavelength,” Erdogan said in a speech to deputies from his ruling AK Party in parliament.

He said discussions would continue in the coming days on the issues of the YPG, defence industry cooperation and the fight against the network of a US-based cleric whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating last year’s failed coup in Turkey.

According to Turkey‘s foreign minister, Trump on Friday told Erdogan he had issued instructions that weapons should not be provided to the Syrian Kurdish YPG.

However, the Pentagon said on Monday it was reviewing “adjustments” in arms for Syrian Kurdish forces, but it stopped short of halting weapons transfers, suggesting such decisions would be based on battlefield requirements.

Speaking to reporters in parliament after his speech, Erdogan said the Pentagon statement would be discussed at Turkey‘s National Security Council (MGK) meeting later on Tuesday.

He also said that Trump indicated that another call may happen this week.

“If he doesn’t call, I’ll call,” Erdogan said.

The YPG spearheads the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias fighting Islamic State with the help of a US-led coalition.

Turkey regards the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has fought a decades-long insurgency in Turkey and is designated a terrorist group by Ankara, the United States and European Union.

The post Turkey, United States ‘on same wavelength’ appeared first on Cyprus Mail.

Read the whole story
· · ·

Russian jet intercepts US aircraft over Black Sea – Google Search

1 Share

Story image for Russian jet intercepts US aircraft over Black Sea from Fox News

Russian jet buzzes US Navy spy plane over Black Sea

Fox News12 hours ago
Russian jet buzzes US Navy spy plane over Black Sea … strike, were intercepted merely 80 miles away from the ship, said Navy officials.

Media image for Russian jet intercepts US aircraft over Black Sea from Anadolu Agency

Anadolu Agency

Media image for Russian jet intercepts US aircraft over Black Sea from CNN

CNN

Media image for Russian jet intercepts US aircraft over Black Sea from TASS

TASS

Media image for Russian jet intercepts US aircraft over Black Sea from Newsweek

Newsweek

Media image for Russian jet intercepts US aircraft over Black Sea from Stars and Stripes

Stars and Stripes

Media image for Russian jet intercepts US aircraft over Black Sea from Business Insider

Business Insider
Read the whole story
· · ·
Next Page of Stories
Loading…
Page 2

Pentagon says will continue arming PKK/YPG

1 Share

Despite a pledge by U.S. President Donald Trump to his Turkish counterpart President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a phone call on Friday to stop providing weapons to the People’s Protection Units (YPG), Pentagon spokesman Col. Robert Manning told reporters on Monday that Washington would continue to support and arm the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The YPG is the military wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)-affiliated Democratic Union Party (PYD), and dominates the SDF.

Col. Manning said that the U.S. Defense Department was “reviewing pending adjustments to the military support provided” to the PKK/YPG.

The pentagon spokesman stated that the measure of halting military support to the group was not implemented.

Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ on Monday said that weapons provided by the U.S. to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)-affiliated People’s Protection Units (YPG) must be collected.Following a telephone call between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump on Friday, Trump said that Washington would not give weapons to the PKK/PYD terror group anymore.“The call marked a turning point in strained relations between the two countries, but Washington must honor a pledge to end weapons provisions to the terrorists,” Bozdağ said.US pledges to end arming PKK/PYD terroristsThe YPG is the armed wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States. Since the PKK launched its terror campaign in Turkey in 1984, tens of thousands of people have been killed.Bozdağ said the United States would be deceiving the world if it did not halt the weapons supplies to the PKK/YPG.Over 4,000 trucks of ammunition, hundreds of armored vehicles and weapons were sent to the PKK/PYD by the U.S.Erdoğan-Trump discussionThe White House said on Friday that Trump said that he had informed Erdoğan that Washington was “adjusting” military support to partners on the ground in Syria.Before his call with Erdoğan, Trump tweeted about the U.S. presence in the Middle East saying: “What a mistake, in lives and dollars (6 trillion), to be there in the first place!”President Erdoğan shared a photograph taken during the call his on Twitter account. It was seen that the call was conducted in his study of the Presidential Palace complex. Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, National Intelligence Organization Undersecretary Hakan Fidan, Presidential Spokesman İbrahim Kalın, Chief of Cabinet Hasan Doğan and Senior Advisor Hamdi Kılıç were photographed.PM Yıldırım: US must end partnership with PKK/PYDUS wants to use Zarrab case to impose sanctions on AnkaraBozdağ said that the U.S. wanted to use the trial in New York of a Turkish gold trader to impose sanctions on Ankara. Bozdağ stated that the U.S. had pressured the trader, Reza Zarrab, to sign off on accusations against Turkey.”They may have told Zarrab, ‘Either you will remain in prison until you die, or you will sign under what we tell you,’ and they threatened him with retributions to sign off on accusations,” Bozdağ said.’The US interfered with Turkish trade relations’

“Weapons provided to the Syrian Democratic Forces, which include Kurdish elements of the SDF, would be limited, mission specific, and provided incrementally to achieve our objectives,” Col. Manning said.

In a Friday phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Trump “clearly stated that weapons will not be given to the YPG anymore and said that essentially this nonsense should have been ended before,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Friday.

While recognizing the PKK as a terrorist group, the U.S. has treated the PKK/PYD/YPG as an ally using Daesh as a pretext, despite its PKK ties as documented by Turkey.

Since the PKK launched its terror campaign in Turkey in 1984, tens of thousands of people have been killed.

U.S. President Donald Trump recently told his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in clear terms that it was “wrong” to supply weapons to the PKK/YPG, the Turkish prime minister has confirmed.Binali Yıldırım’s comments came during an interview with BBC World.”Mr. Trump understood what is important for Turkey,” Yıldırım said, in reference to Trump’s pledge to Erdoğan in a Friday phone call on ending the supply of arms to the terrorist PKK/PYD and PKK/YPG in Syria.”They [the U.S.] said this [cooperation with YPG or PYD] is not a choice. This is a necessity… Ok. We understand, although we do not accept. It is a temporary relation. Now, it is time to finish because Daesh is already defeated,” the premier said.”So, President Trump said it is wrong to provide weapons. This is clearly mentioned.”Stating that Turkish policy on fighting against Daesh had been quite “clear” since the beginning, Yıldırım said it was important to “choose the right partner” to fight Daesh.”You are not able to fight a terror organization using another terror organization,” he added.The U.S. later said it is “reviewing pending adjustments to the military support provided to our Kurdish partners in as much as the military requirements of our defeat-ISIS and stabilization efforts will allow to prevent ISIS from returning,” referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, another name for Daesh.”We have always been clear with Turkey that the weapons provided to the SDF, to include its Kurdish elements, would be limited, mission-specific and provided incrementally to achieve military objectives,” Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon told Anadolu Agency. He said the U.S. would “continue our partnership with the Syrian Democratic Forces to complete the military defeat of ISIS”.Pentagon says will continue arming PKK/YPGAt the White House, spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said even though a complete defeat of Daesh is in sight, “that doesn’t mean stopping all support of those individual groups”.”Once we started winning the campaign against ISIS, the plan and part of the process is to always wind down support for certain groups,” she said. “Now that we’re continuing to crush the physical caliphate, we’re in a position to stop providing military equipment to certain groups.”No doubt about Gulen’s links to coup bidIn response to a question whether Turkey had submitted evidence to Washington showing Fetullah Gülen, the U.S-based leader of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), had links to last year’s defeated coup attempt, Yıldırım said the necessary documents had been submitted.”For us, it is obvious. We have no hesitation. We have no doubt about it,” he said, referring to Gulen’s role in the defeated coup bid.FETÖ and Gülen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which martyred 250 people and injured nearly 2,200 others.FETÖ is also behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.Yıldırım also answered a question on accusations about the detentions since the defeated coup attempt.”This kind of accusation is there. I accept. But those who are accusing us should think about what happened on July 15,” he said.”Our parliament building [was] bombed. And their bombs killed 250 innocent people and [left] 2,194 heavily injured. What can we do then? We have to find [those] who committed crime. This is the situation in Turkey,” Yıldırım said.”We don’t detain people without evidence. This is for sure,” he said, adding the rule of law prevailed in Turkey.The Turkish premier called on Turkey’s critics to show “empathy” instead.”Did you face this kind of thing? If you face this kind of thing, then we will see what you are going to do,” he said.Yıldırım also dismissed accusations that Erdoğan had been becoming an “authoritarian” leader.”Erdoğan is not deciding who is going to jail or who is going to [be] freed. The court is deciding,” he said, adding there was freedom of the press in Turkey.”We have a free press,” he said. “Even the pro-PKK paper is published.”Video: Turkish PM meets with British foreign secretary

The deputy chairman of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said on Monday that the U.S. will need Turkey’s backing for staying in Syria after Daesh is defeated in the region.Speaking to journalists in the parliament, Ozturk Yilmaz called on the U.S. to cooperate with Turkey ahead of the Syrian peace talks in Geneva.“The U.S. will need Turkey and Turkey’s backing for staying in Syria after Daesh,” said Yilmaz.He added that this could lead to diffusing of tensions between the two countries.US must collect weapons distributed to PKK/YPG: Deputy PMThirty-six members of Syrian opposition’s High Negotiations Committee will attend the peace talks in Geneva this week.Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi to discuss Syria, last week.During the meeting, the three leaders agreed to gather a congress of Syrian groups to advance a political solution for the war-torn nation.Ozturk Yilmaz recalled that Iran, the Bashar al-Assad regime and Hezbollah did not want the presence of the U.S. in Syria’s future.Russian air strikes kill over 50 civilians in eastern SyriaHe added that only PKK/PYD/YPG terrorist group wants U.S. presence in Syria “which will not be at the solution table” in Geneva.”For this reason, the U.S. needs a powerful regional partner, which is Turkey,” said Yilmaz.Yilmaz also urged Turkey and the U.S. to take a joint step for the territorial integrity of Syria.The PYD and its military wing YPG are Syrian branches of the PKK terrorist network, which has waged war against Turkey for more than 30 years.While recognizing the PKK as a terrorist group, the U.S. has treated the PKK/PYD as an ally in its anti-Daesh efforts.Syrian child escapes death after playing with bombSyria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating civil war that began in early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the fighting and more than 10 million displaced, according to claims by the UN.

Read the whole story
· · · · · ·

FBI gave heads-up to fraction of Russian hackers’ US targets – The Washington Post

1 Share

Traffic along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington streaks past the Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters building Wednesday night, Nov. 1, 2017. Scores of U.S. diplomatic, military and government figures were not told about attempts to hack into their emails even though the FBI knew they were in the Kremlin’s crosshairs, The Associated Press has learned. (J. David Ake/Associated Press)

 

November 27 at 9:21 PM

WASHINGTON — The FBI failed to notify scores of U.S. officials that Russian hackers were trying to break into their personal Gmail accounts despite having evidence for at least a year that the targets were in the Kremlin’s crosshairs, The Associated Press has found.

Nearly 80 interviews with Americans targeted by Fancy Bear, a Russian government-aligned cyberespionage group, turned up only two cases in which the FBI had provided a heads-up. Even senior policymakers discovered they were targets only when the AP told them, a situation some described as bizarre and dispiriting.

“It’s utterly confounding,” said Philip Reiner, a former senior director at the National Security Council, who was notified by the AP that he was targeted in 2015. “You’ve got to tell your people. You’ve got to protect your people.”

FBI policy calls for notifying victims, whether individuals or groups, to help thwart both ongoing and future hacking attempts. The policy, which was disclosed in a lawsuit filed earlier this year against the FBI by the nonprofit Electronic Privacy Information Center, says that notification should be considered “even when it may interfere with another investigation or (intelligence) operation.”

Last week, the FBI declined to discuss its investigation into Fancy Bear’s spying campaign, but did provide a statement that said in part: “The FBI routinely notifies individuals and organizations of potential threat information.”

Three people familiar with the matter — including a current and a former government official — said the FBI has known for more than a year the details of Fancy Bear’s attempts to break into Gmail inboxes. A senior FBI official, who was not authorized to publicly discuss the hacking operation because of its sensitivity, declined to comment on when it received the target list, but said that the bureau was overwhelmed by the sheer number of attempted hacks.

“It’s a matter of triaging to the best of our ability the volume of the targets who are out there,” he said.

In the face of a tidal wave of malicious phishing attempts, the FBI sometimes passes on information about the attacks to service providers and companies, who can then relay information to clients or employees, he added.

The AP, which acquired a list of about 4,700 targeted email accounts, has reported in recent weeks on the global reach of the hacking operation and strategy used to break into emails of the Democratic Party and presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton. Tens of thousands of those emails were leaked online in advance of the November election. U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Fancy Bear works for the Russian government and meant to push the election in favor of Donald Trump. The Russian government has denied interfering.

The AP did its own triage, dedicating two months and a small team of reporters to go through a hit list of Fancy Bear targets provided by the cybersecurity firm Secureworks.

Previous AP investigations based on the list have shown how Fancy Bear worked in close alignment with the Kremlin’s interests to steal tens of thousands of emails from the Democratic Party . The hacking campaign disrupted the 2016 U.S. election and cast a shadow over the presidency of Donald Trump, whom U.S. intelligence agencies say the hackers were trying to help . The Russian government has denied interfering in the American election.

The Secureworks list comprises 19,000 lines of targeting data . Going through it, the AP identified more than 500 U.S.-based people or groups and reached out to more than 190 of them, interviewing nearly 80 about their experiences.

Many were long-retired, but about one-quarter were still in government or held security clearances at the time they were targeted. Only two told the AP they learned of the hacking attempts on their personal Gmail accounts from the FBI. A few more were contacted by the FBI after their emails were published in the torrent of leaks that coursed through last year’s electoral contest. But to this day, some leak victims have not heard from the bureau at all.

Charles Sowell, who previously worked as a senior administrator in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and was targeted by Fancy Bear two years ago, said there was no reason the FBI couldn’t do the same work the AP did.

“It’s absolutely not OK for them to use an excuse that there’s too much data,” Sowell said. “Would that hold water if there were a serial killer investigation, and people were calling in tips left and right, and they were holding up their hands and saying, ‘It’s too much’? That’s ridiculous.”

___

“IT’S CURIOUS”

The AP found few traces of the bureau’s inquiry as it launched its own investigation two months ago.

In October, two AP journalists visited <a href=”http://THCServers.com” rel=”nofollow”>THCServers.com</a> , a brightly lit, family-run internet company on the former grounds of a communist-era chicken farm outside the Romanian city of Craiova. That’s where someone registered <a href=”http://DCLeaks.com” rel=”nofollow”>DCLeaks.com</a>, the first of three websites to publish caches of emails belonging to Democrats and other U.S. officials in mid-2016.

DCLeaks was clearly linked to Fancy Bear. Previous AP reporting found that all but one of the site’s victims had been targeted by the hacking group before their emails were dumped online.

Yet THC founder Catalin Florica said he was never approached by law enforcement.

“It’s curious,” Florica said. “You are the first ones that contact us.”

THC merely registered the site, a simple process that typically takes only a few minutes. But the reaction was similar at the Kuala Lumpur offices of the Malaysian web company Shinjiru Technology , which hosted DCLeaks’ stolen files for the duration of the electoral campaign.

The company’s chief executive, Terence Choong, said he had never heard of DCLeaks until the AP contacted him.

“What is the issue with it?” he asked.

Questions over the FBI’s handling of Fancy Bear’s broad hacking sweep date to March 2016, when agents arrived unannounced at Hillary Clinton’s headquarters in Brooklyn to warn her campaign about a surge of rogue, password-stealing emails.

The agents offered little more than generic security tips the campaign had already put into practice and refused to say who they thought was behind the attempted intrusions, according to a person who was there and spoke on condition of anonymity because the conversation was meant to be confidential.

Questions emerged again after it was revealed that the FBI never took custody of the Democratic National Committee’s computer server after it was penetrated by Fancy Bear in April 2016. Former FBI Director James Comey testified this year that the FBI worked off a copy of the server, which he described as an “appropriate substitute.”

___

“MAKES ME SAD”

Retired Maj. James Phillips was one of the first people to have the contents of his inbox published by DCLeaks when the website made its June 2016 debut.

But the Army veteran said he didn’t realize his personal emails were “flapping in the breeze” until a journalist phoned him two months later.

“The fact that a reporter told me about DCLeaks kind of makes me sad,” he said. “I wish it had been a government source.”

Phillips’ story would be repeated again and again as the AP spoke to officials from the National Defense University in Washington to the North American Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado.

Among them: a former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, retired Lt. Gen. Patrick Hughes; a former head of Air Force Intelligence, retired Lt. Gen. David Deptula; a former defense undersecretary, Eric Edelman; and a former director of cybersecurity for the Air Force, retired Lt. Gen. Mark Schissler.

Retired Maj. Gen. Brian Keller, a former director of military support at the Geospatial Intelligence Agency, was not informed, even after DCLeaks posted his emails to the internet. In a telephone call with AP, Keller said he still wasn’t clear on what had happened, who had hacked him or whether his data was still at risk.

“Should I be worried or alarmed or anything?” asked Keller, who left the spy satellite agency in 2010 and now works in private industry.

Not all the interviewees felt the FBI had a responsibility to alert them.

“Perhaps optimistically, I have to conclude that a risk analysis was done and I was not considered a high enough risk to justify making contact,” said a former Air Force chief of staff, retired Gen. Norton Schwartz, who was targeted by Fancy Bear in 2015.

Others argued that the FBI may have wanted to avoid tipping the hackers off or that there were too many people to notify.

“The expectation that the government is going to protect everyone and go back to everyone is false,” said Nicholas Eftimiades, a retired senior technical officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency who teaches homeland security at Pennsylvania State University in Harrisburg and was himself among the targets.

But the government is supposed to try, said Michael Daniel, who served as President Barack Obama’s White House cybersecurity coordinator.

Daniel wouldn’t comment directly on why so many Fancy Bear targets weren’t warned in this case, but he said the issue of how and when to notify people “frankly still needs more work.”

___

“CLOAK-AND-DAGGER”

In the absence of any official warning, some of those contacted by AP brushed off the idea that they were taken in by a foreign power’s intelligence service.

“I don’t open anything I don’t recognize,” said Joseph Barnard, who headed the personnel recovery branch of the Air Force’s Air Combat Command.

That may well be true of Barnard; Secureworks’ data suggests he never clicked the malicious link sent to him in June 2015. But it isn’t true of everyone.

An AP analysis of the data suggests that out of 312 U.S. military and government figures targeted by Fancy Bear, 131 clicked the links sent to them. That could mean that as many as 2 in 5 came perilously close to handing over their passwords.

It’s not clear how many gave up their credentials in the end or what the hackers may have acquired.

Some of those accounts hold emails that go back years, when even many of the retired officials still occupied sensitive posts.

Overwhelmingly, interviewees told AP they kept classified material out of their Gmail inboxes, but intelligence experts said Russian spies could use personal correspondence as a springboard for further hacking, recruitment or even blackmail.

“You start to have information you might be able to leverage against that person,” said Sina Beaghley, a researcher at the RAND Corp. who served on the NSC until 2014.

In the few cases where the FBI did warn targets, they were sometimes left little wiser about what was going on or what to do.

Rob “Butch” Bracknell, a 20-year military veteran who now works in Norfolk, Virginia, said an FBI agent visited him about a year ago to examine his emails and warn him that a “foreign actor” was trying to break into his account.

“He was real cloak-and-dagger about it,” Bracknell said. “He came here to my work, wrote in his little notebook and away he went.”

Left to fend for themselves, some targets have been improvising their cybersecurity.

Retired Gen. Roger A. Brady, who was responsible for American nuclear weapons in Europe as part of his past role as commander of the U.S. Air Force there, turned to Apple support this year when he noticed something suspicious on his computer. Hughes, a former DIA head, said he had his hard drive replaced by the “Geek Squad” at a Best Buy in Florida after his machine began behaving strangely. Keller, the former senior spy satellite official, said it was his son who told him his emails had been posted to the web after getting a Google alert in June 2016.

A former U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, who like many others was repeatedly targeted by Fancy Bear but has yet to receive any warning from the FBI, said the lackluster response risked something worse than last year’s parade of leaks.

“Our government needs to be taking greater responsibility to defend its citizens in both the physical and cyber worlds, now, before a cyberattack produces an even more catastrophic outcome than we have already experienced,” McFaul said.

___

Donn reported from Plymouth, Massachusetts. Associated Press writers Vadim Ghirda in Carcea, Romania, Chad Day in Washington, Frank Bajak in Houston, Justin Myers in Chicago and Lori Hinnant in Paris contributed to this report.

___

Satter, Donn and Butler can be reached at:

true
subscribe
The story must be told.
Your subscription supports journalism that matters.

<a href=”http://raphaelsatter.com” rel=”nofollow”>http://raphaelsatter.com</a> , <a href=”https://twitter.com/jadonn7″ rel=”nofollow”>https://twitter.com/jadonn7</a> and <a href=”https://twitter.com/desmondbutler” rel=”nofollow”>https://twitter.com/desmondbutler</a>

___

EDITOR’S NOTE — Raphael Satter’s father, David Satter, is an author and Russia specialist who has been critical of the Kremlin. His emails were published last year by hackers and his account is on Secureworks’ list of Fancy Bear targets. He was not notified by the FBI.

EDITOR’S NOTE _ One in a series of stories on the findings of an Associated Press investigation of the Russian hackers who disrupted the U.S. presidential election in 2016

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read the whole story
· · · · · · · · · · · · ·

Russian Intelligence services – Google News: FBI gave heads-up to fraction of Russian hackers’ US targets – Washington Post

1 Share

Washington Post
FBI gave heads-up to fraction of Russian hackers’ US targets
Washington Post
Tens of thousands of those emails were leaked online in advance of the November election. U.S.intelligence agencies have concluded that Fancy Bear works for the Russian government and meant to push the election in favor of Donald Trump. The Russian …
FBI leaves US targets of Russian hackers in the darkABC News
FBI hides dozens of Russian hackers’ attempts to gain access to US officials’ datahttps://en.crimerussia.com/all 103 news articles »

 Russian Intelligence services – Google News

1:21 PM 11/27/2017 – Flynn could implicate any number of Trump officials and Trump himself – Washington Post

1 Share
Saved Stories Saved Stories – None Flynn could implicate any number of Trump officials and Trump himself – Washington Post The pathetic neediness of Trump – Washington Post Trump’s decision to meet with Putin ‘drew literal groans’ from his staff: report – Raw Story McCain: Trump Has No ‘Principles and Beliefs,’ Just ‘Takes Advantage of … Continue reading “1:21 PM 11/27/2017 – Flynn could implicate any number of Trump officials and Trump himself – Washington Post”

Michael Flynn’s lawyer meets with members of special counsel’s team, raising specter of plea deal – ABC News

1 Share

POLITICO Magazine
Michael Flynn’s lawyer meets with members of special counsel’s team, raising specter of plea deal
ABC News
The lawyer for President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn met Monday morning with members of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team — the latest indication that both sides are discussing a possible plea deal, ABC News 
Turkey’s Torrid Love Affair With Michael FlynnPOLITICO Magazine
Flipping Michael Flynn: The real and imagined damage of a Mueller dealThe Hill
Mueller and NY AG Schneiderman teaming up on Mike Flynn as Turkey hangs him out to dryRaw Story
The Week Magazine –HuffPost –Napa Valley Register –New York Times
all 160 news articles »

Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: Today’s Headlines and Commentary 

1 Share

Egyptian security forces targeted militants in the Sinai peninsula after an attack on a mosque in a local village killed 305 people, the New York Times reported. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi pledged to get vengeance against a group of 25-30 armed men that Egyptian authorities said carried an Islamic State flag during their massacre at the mosque in Bir al-Abed. According to Egyptian security officials, warplanes struck vehicles associated with the fighters. The attack is the latest escalation in the long-brewing conflict in Sinai, where the Egyptian military has struggled to contain an insurgency that took hold after the 2013 coup in which President Sisi took power.

Pakistan’s justice minister will step down after accusations of blasphemy against him sparked protests and violence from Islamic fundamentalist groups, the Times reported. After Zahid Hamid, the law minister, attempted to change religious language in an oath that Pakistani lawmakers take upon entering parliament, protests erupted that have paralyzed Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, for weeks. Following military-led negotiations, Hamid agreed to step down, and a hard-line Islamic party promised not to issue an edict of blasphemy against him, an accusation that has led to killings in the past.

Pope Francis met the head of Myanmar’s military during an official visit, as the pontiff faces pressure to address the violence against the Rohingya Muslim population, Reuters reported. The pope discussed religious freedom and the country’s transition to democracy with General Min Aung Hlaing. Advisers have warned the pope against even using the word “Rohingya,” as Myanmar’s government says they are not a separate ethnic group. The pope will meet with Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s civilian leader, on Tuesday.

Michael Flynn’s lawyers told President Donald Trump’s legal team they were halting their correspondence about the special counsel’s investigation, according to the Times. Flynn’s lawyers cancelled an agreement concluded between Trump and Flynn’s legal teams to share information about the investigation and their responses. Trump’s lawyers said this development suggested Flynn was working on a deal with the special counsel. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team is looking into Flynn’s work on a Turkish documentary film, the Wall Street Journal reported. Flynn paid consultants to create a currently unfinished film attacking exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen. The FBI is probing Flynn’s business connections to the Turkish government in connection with the film. Separately, Congressional officials referred allegations about Flynn’s role in a scheme to provide nuclear power to Middle East countries to the special counsel’s investigation, the Washington Post reported. Rep. Trey Gowdy sent a letter to Mueller referring congressional democrats’ concerns about Flynn’s sponsorship of a plan to build nuclear reactors across the Middle East while he was in office.

The U.S. will cease arming Kurdish fighters in Syria, CBS News reported. President Trump told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the U.S. would stop its arms shipments to the YPG, a Kurdish group that forms an integral part of the U.S-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. Turkey has called the YPG a terrorist organization because of its connections to rebel groups in Turkey’s eastern mountains. The White House did not explicitly confirm the change in policy, but Turkish officials called on the U.S. to uphold its pledge, according to Reuters.

Aid shipments entered Yemen for the first time in the weeks since the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels blockaded major ports, the Times reported. A shipment of flour reached the seaport at Al Hudaydah and aid planes landed at Sanaa, Yemen’s capital. The U.N. said the Saudi coalition must continue to allow supplies to arrive as Yemen faces a devastating famine and health crisis. A cholera epidemic has threatened vulnerable members of Yemen’s population  as over 17 million people lack reliable access to food.

The FBI failed to inform dozens of current and former U.S. officials that the Russian hacking operation Fancy Bear had targeted their email accounts, the AP reported. Of more than 80 officials whose emails the Russian group aimed to compromise, the FBI notified only two of the potential threat. Many former intelligence and military officials learned about the attempted hacking only when journalists contacted them about the matter.

The head of the European Parliament asked the Polish government to take steps to ensure the security of Polish parliamentarians after far-right groups staged mock hangings of the politicians, Reuters reported. Extremists hanged the portraits of Polish representatives to Brussels who backed a resolution condemning a Polish far-right march in early November as fascist. The head of the European Parliament asked the Polish government to condemn the attacks on the politicians.

The Pentagon is likely to admit that there are over 2,000 U.S. soldiers in Syria, revising upwards its previously estimate of 500 troops on the ground, according to Reuters. The Department of Defense is expected to announce the revised number to reflect a more accurate accounting of troops present in Syria and not to announce an increase in troop commitments.

 

ICYMI: This holiday weekend on Lawfare

Benjamin Wittes posted the “Mother May I Launch a Missile” edition of Rational Security.

Orin Kerr argued that the Fourth Amendment does not guarantee a general right to be secure against government surveillance.

Vanessa Sauter shared the Lawfare Podcast, featuring an interview between Alina Polyakova and Arkady Ostrovsky on Russia’s far east.

In the Foreign Policy Essay, Kim Cragin argued that foreign fighters who are transferred to third countries that are not their homes are a major security risk.

 

Email the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for additional commentary on these issues. Sign up to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Visit our Events Calendar to learn about upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings on our Job Board.

 Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices

Read the whole story
· · · ·
Next Page of Stories
Loading…
Page 3

Russia Is Returning to Growth. (Just in Time for an Election.)

1 Share

Figures discussed on Friday at Mr. Putin’s meeting with government and central bank officials showed strong consumer demand, a main driver of the growth. Retail sales for the month increased 3 percent compared with a year before, according to the state statistics service. The Finance Ministry projects the overall economy to grow 2.1 percent for the year. That would be Russia’s first full year of economic growth since a recession began in 2014.

Other economic indicators have been trending in the same direction. Inflation is expected to be about 4 percent for 2017, low by recent Russian standards. As recently as 2015, official figures showed consumer prices were rising more than 15 percent, and ordinary Russians were feeling the pinch. The cost of Russian staples was rising: The price of bread, an important product because of its mythologized status in the Soviet period as a symbol of well being, increased about 11 percent a year during the recession, according to the state statistics agency.

But as the price of oil, a major export commodity, has recovered from multiyear lows in 2014, Russia’s central bank has resumed purchases of hard currency. It has been replenishing the reserves its uses to maintain the long-term stability of the ruble.

“It’s a broad recovery, and it will continue,” said Vladimir Osakovsky, chief Russia economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “There is strong fundamental support.”

The country certainly faces challenges, Mr. Osakovsky and other analysts say. It remains vulnerable to swings in the price of oil and natural gas, for example. The two commodities account for about 60 percent of export revenue and 50 percent of the federal government’s tax base, and a sudden drop in prices could expose wider issues with the economy.

Experts also worry that Russia’s banking system is vulnerable. The central bank had to nationalize two midsize private lenders this year, and several banks lost money betting against the ruble in recent years, according to Vladimir Tikhomirov, chief economist at BCS Global Markets, an investment bank.

“So far, the central bank has managed to keep the banking system working,” Mr. Tikhomirov said. But, he added, “the cost of saving these banks is growing.”

Still, positive news has been trickling in.

In September, Fitch, the credit rating agency, revised its outlook for Russian sovereign debt to positive from stable. Through the year, foreign investors have piled into Russian government bonds, raising the share of Russian debt held by foreigners to more than 30 percent, up from 5 percent.

Also helping the recovery was government spending on major infrastructure projects, including a bridge across the Kerch Strait to Crimea, a major gas pipeline to China called the Power of Siberia, and soccer stadiums for the World Cup, which Russia will host next year.

That has helped the country overcome Western sanctions imposed during the Ukraine crisis and over meddling by Moscow in the 2016 election in the United States. These “smart sanctions” were in any case narrowly targeting companies and businessmen aligned with Mr. Putin, meant to affect Kremlin insiders and not to slow the overall economy or hasten political change.

Mr. Putin now finds himself in a more favorable economic environment before next year’s election. And even though Russians have taken a considerable hit to their pocketbooks in recent years — real income, or wages adjusted for inflation, declined through the recession — he remains the overwhelming favorite. In an October survey conducted by the Levada Center, an independent polling organization, two-thirds of likely voters said they would cast their ballots for Mr. Putin.

Spurring growth beyond the 2 percent region forecast by the government will not be easy, though.

The country will very likely have to agree a series of major economic overhauls in order to bolster its long-term growth potential. The retirement age — currently 55 years for women and 60 years for men — will have to be raised, economists say. Without such changes, expansion will remain capped at its current levels, Russia’s central bank chairwoman, Elvira S. Nabiullina, warned this month.

“Without reform,” Mr. Tikhomirov said, “the future for Russia will be fairly bleak.”

Continue reading the main story

Read the whole story
· · ·

Russia in Syria: ‘Victory’ in war but can Moscow win the peace?

1 Share

Russia has emerged from the Syrian crisis with its military and diplomatic reputation significantly enhanced. But this has been achieved amid huge controversy over the means used and amid much international criticism.

It has ensured the survival of the Assad regime at the same time expanding its own small military footprint in the country. But the diplomatic ramifications too have been considerable.

It, not the United States, is the “go to” player. Russia is marshalling a loose alliance of Iran and Turkey to try to plot Syria’s future. Even the Saudis have had to beat a path to Moscow’s door.

Russia drew its own lessons from a series of Western military interventions over the past two decades. It watched with alarm as the US and its allies hailed the upheavals of the Arab Spring as the dawn of a new era of democracy in the Middle East.

Russia’s conclusions were more pragmatic and more pessimistic. And it subsequently applied those lessons in Syria.

Russia did not see the popular rebellion there as the positive harbinger of a new democratic order. Rather it was seen as part of a wider tide of instability rising across the region that threatened to lap over Russia’s own borders.

Crucially, it made a pragmatic assessment of the situation. It chose to stick with its long-time ally, Mr Assad. It defined its strategic goals quite narrowly and, crucially, it deployed sufficient military force to carry them out. In short, it saw an opportunity and acted.

Russian air power, special forces and equipment gave a military backbone to President Assad’s crumbling forces, with Iran’s allies like Hezbollah and various other Shia militias providing badly needed foot soldiers.

Together they allowed President Assad to defeat both rebel forces and so-called Islamic State across a significant part of the country. Syrian government forces and their allies have taken back all of Syria’s major population centres.

The opposition is not totally destroyed but it is largely demoralised.

As Prof Joshua Landis, a Syrian expert at the University of Oklahoma, told me: “There remain a number of militias that have not given up and continue to win foreign backing, but they are almost uniquely arranged along the border with Turkey.

“They will continue to give Assad a hard time, until he crushes them or comes to terms with Turkey about their disposition.

“Otherwise,” he argues, “the opposition has been largely dismantled. It is possible that secret cells will try to carry on with strikes on government buildings and explosions in crowded markets, but the Assad government demonstrated considerable skill and ruthlessness in rolling up such terror organisations before the uprising broke out.”

Russia has achieved this “victory” – if you want to call it that – by the simple exercise of realpolitik with little concern about what its many critics would call the morality of its actions.

Russia sided with a regime that many people believe was not just turning its guns on its own people but was carrying out war crimes. It has shielded the Syrian government from pressure over strongly based allegations that it has used banned sarin gas and other chemical weapons.

The Russian air campaign obeyed its own rules and typically used large numbers of “dumb” or unguided bombs and missiles.

The US and its allies have tended to use largely precision-guided weapons in their operations over Iraq and Syria. (These, of course, still kill innocent civilians, often far more than the military spokesmen are prepared to admit.)

But the fact remains that Western air power, mindful, not least, of public opinion at home, does go to great lengths to minimise civilian casualties as far as possible. Russia’s leaders have no such constraints.

And to the extent that Russian domestic opinion is a factor, Mr Putin has achieved success in Syria with relatively few Russian casualties and with a relatively limited military deployment.

So is it all over for the Syrian opposition? Prof Landis says that “it will be very hard for those that live in exile to maintain a serious military option in the future so long as Syria’s neighbours are unwilling to sponsor them and provide them safe havens as they were in the past.

“Of course,” he notes, “millions of Syrian opposition members now living as refugees or outside the country revile Putin and Russia and continue to look to Western governments to destroy the Syrian regime and return them to their country.

“Like the White Russians of 100 years ago, (the exiled conservative opponents of the Bolshevik Revolution) they are likely to be disappointed.”

Russia has secured a military victory but can it win the “peace”? Well it emerges from this crisis with its diplomatic hand strengthened. In many ways it outplayed the Obama administration – Washington’s efforts to build and arm a coherent Syrian opposition collapsed a number of times – and it has run rings round President Trump’s team.

Some of Washington’s allies like Turkey, who had long called for President Assad’s removal, ultimately decided that they needed to secure their own strategic interests. For Ankara this is the prevention of the emergence of any autonomous Kurdish entity and thus they have thrown in their lot with Moscow and Tehran.

The Trump administration is yet to elaborate a coherent policy towards Syria or indeed for its broader goal of containing Iran’s rising regional influence. It has few levers to pull. The only successful element of US strategy has been its support for and arming of Kurdish fighters.

If the US maintains its support for the Kurds then Joshua Landis says Washington “will be able to beggar the Syrian government and maintain leverage in the region. The US has helped the Kurds take control of most of Syria’s oil and gas fields. This means that Syria will have a much harder time rebuilding.

“The US effort to keep Damascus weak and poor”, he says, “will also limit the victory of both Russia and Iran in the region. But strategically, by choosing to side with the Kurds, Washington will continue to alienate Turkey, Syria and Iraq.”

But Mr Trump’s stance towards the Kurds seems clouded in uncertainty with reports emerging that he has assured the Turks that arms supplies to Kurdish fighters will now be halted in the wake of IS’s defeat. As so often with this presidency the news seems to have caught other members of the administration off balance. Such a stance may help to pacify Ankara but it will be seen as a betrayal by the Kurds and may weaken them if the Syrian government decides to go onto the offensive.

Russia too may face diplomatic problems ahead. Moscow, Damascus, Ankara and Tehran may be united for now, but their medium-term strategic goals may differ.

Russia is under pressure from the Israelis to curb Iran’s influence in Syria. Israel may not be able to bring much diplomatic pressure to bear on Moscow but it clearly has the military power to seek to influence developments in Syria if it feels threatened. And will Turkey, Russia and Iran continue to see eye-to-eye ?

Russia’s real plans for Syria’s future are unclear. It has assiduously worked with some opposition groups to bring them into local ceasefire arrangements. But this is essentially short-term. Will these hold?

Will the Syrian regime have the manpower to maintain its control over the areas it has recaptured? Will the Shia militias and Hezbollah remain in the country? And whose interests will they be serving, Syria’s or Iran’s?

Russia’s “victory” – if you want to call it that – is far from complete. If Moscow really has a plan for Syria, few details have been provided so far.

Russia certainly has a whip hand over the developing peace process, but its goals remain opaque. Will President Assad himself remain a fixture or merely the regime that he represents?

For now though, Mr Putin has many achievements that he can bank. Russia has been shown to be a reliable ally. Its military forces have shown their ability to mount a complex expeditionary operation. Syria has provided a “shop-window” for many of Russia’s most modern weapons systems.

Russia is again a significant diplomatic player in the Middle East in a way that it has not been since the early 1970s. Indeed then it was probably already a waning force. Today it is a rising one facing a US diplomatic effort that is largely incoherent.

Russia is back on the world stage. And if you set aside the misery and suffering in Syria to which all of the external actors have contributed, that ranks as an achievement in Mr Putin’s playbook.

Read the whole story
· · · · · ·

Flipping Michael Flynn: The real and imagined damage of a Mueller deal | TheHill

1 Share
Flipping Michael Flynn: The real and imagined damage of a Mueller deal
© Getty Images

News that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is talking to special counsel Robert Mueller has Trump critics virtually hyperventilating with excitement. Indeed, the prospect of flipping Flynn has led some to all but declare the end of the Trump administration as we know it.

Former Obama administration ethics chief Norman Eisen declared on Twitter, “BAD NEWS FOR TRUMP. Flynn may or may not have dirt on the Prez, but he surely will roll over on Kush, who will flip like a pancake on daddy-in-law’s [obstruction]. They are gonna have to start frisking Jared for a wire in the Oval.” He ominously noted about Mueller, “When I was at State & he was at FBI we worked together on an investigation, & he loves surprises. Kushner, Donnie Jr. and the rest of the Trump crime family better keep their overnight bags handy. Pack shoes with no laces guys.”

While this case may be endlessly entertaining for some and Mueller may “love surprises,” these people, including Trump himself, are not props in some progressive fantasy production. Before Mueller has some major delicious “surprise,” he will need a crime other than those committed by Flynn himself. The effort to flip Flynn is the most predictable development in this investigation. First, he has clear allegations of criminal conduct in his work as a foreign agent. Second, his crimes are the type that prosecutors would have few qualms in trading away for good testimony. Third, he was in a high position that could allow him to produce “deliverables” on higher ranking individuals.Finally, and most importantly, he has a kid in the mix: Michael Flynn Jr., who served as chief of staff to the Flynn Intel Group. As I previously discussed with regards to Trump himself, there is a danger in enlisting family in political work, and this is one of them. It makes you profoundly vulnerable when investigators come knocking. Mueller’s people have been circling “junior” and this withdrawal may indicate that he is the one price that Flynn is not willing to pay. Flynn’s son could now be the subject of a “third-party credit” in exchange for his father turning government witness.

It is important not to make any assumptions about the status of Flynn. Withdrawal is necessary even at the start of negotiations due to the conflict presented with other potential defendants. Any such deal could fall apart. Flynn is not some low hanging fruit. He is a major player and would be a trophy defendant for Mueller to add to his current indictment of former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort. He has to produce something more valuable than himself for any real deal.

Nevertheless, Flynn could have counted on a potential presidential pardon if he remained loyal. Trump’s controversial pardon of former sheriff Joe Arpaio showed everyone that the president is willing to use this power despite overwhelming criticism. Becoming a cooperating witness could close off this avenue, and Flynn would have to believe that what Mueller is threatening is more significant than what Trump might offer.

Flynn could be facing serious claims of false statements to investigators under the U.S. Code and other laws. He is accused of misrepresenting meetings, including one with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak that Flynn is accused of misrepresenting to Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PencePreet Bharara: Helping Mueller probe might be only ‘sane’ move for Flynn Mueller grand jury to question Flynn associate: report White House military personnel reassigned after ‘incident’ on Trump’s Asia trip: report MORE and others. He also failed to register as a foreign agent. While only a handful of such cases have ever been prosecuted, Mueller charged Manafort under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, including allegations that he gave false information and sought to hide money derived from his work.

Flynn faces analogous alleged violations, including the cycling of payments through a Dutch firm, Inovo, that is owned by Ekim Alptekin, chairman of the Turkish American Business Council and close ally of President Erdoğan. Some of Flynn’s contacts with the Russians may have been captured by U.S. intelligence agencies, and he reportedly sought to gain access to damaging hacked emails on Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSusan Sarandon: ‘It wouldn’t be much smoother’ with Hillary Clinton as president GOP chief: Voters will be ‘judge and jury’ in Alabama Senate race Dem on Flynn: ‘Karma can be very difficult’ MORE. Flynn could shed light on a June 2016 meeting with Russians to obtain disparaging information about Clinton as well as the influence of people like George Papadopoulos and Carter Page in establishing Russian ties.

Flynn also faces some more sensational claims, including alleged discussion of the effective kidnapping and delivery of Erdoğan critic Fethullah Gülen to Turkey for presumed torture and execution. At a meeting at the 21 Club in New York, Flynn was reportedly offered $15 million to arrange for Gülen to be taken on a private plane to a Turkish prison island. Flynn was also allegedly involved in a virtual propaganda film meant to discredit Gülen. The timing of these meetings is important because some communications occurred in December, when Flynn was assuming the role of acting national security adviser. If Flynn continued to be paid for such work in January, bribery charges could be alleged.

The most serious threat of flipping Flynn might be to Manafort, former CIA director James Woolsey, or Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner. Woolsey reportedly participated in the meeting on the kidnapping or “rendition” of Gulen and has been named as involved in some of these lucrative arrangements with foreign entities. Of course, there is always the possibility of damaging testimony involving President Trump. Such testimony would have heightened value to Mueller given Trump’s own statements. By trying to pressure Comey to “let Flynn go,” the president created his own damning narrative. With James Comey ready to testify that Trump’s overtures made him feel uncomfortable, leading to his famous memos, a witness on the other side could box in the president.

None of this means a perp walk down the White House driveway anytime soon. There is still no evidence of criminal conduct by Trump nor Kushner revealed in public court papers. Flynn is clearly a live torpedo in the water. However, while he has the range, it is not clear if he has the load to do serious damage to anyone in the White House. Rather, the concern should be that he and Mueller may be seeking a target of mutual interest, and if he hits, there will be nothing speculative or subtle about it.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

Read the whole story
· · · · ·

Spread the Knowledge
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    27
    Shares
  • 27
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

8:25 AM 11/28/2017 – The Early Edition: November 28, 2017 |  China’s Military Is Getting Stronger and Could ‘Leapfrog’ over America |  Turkey, United States on same wavelength |  Pentagon says reviewing adjustments to arms for Syrian Kurdish YPG |  Russia launches second rocket from new cosmodrome |  Presidential spokesperson says Turkish National Security Council will discuss Pentagon statement on cooperation with YPG |  Radically difficult: the problem of home-grown terrorism in Europe |  Trump admits it is wrong to provide arms to YPG: Turkish PM Yıldırım |  Turkish army destroys 41 PKK targets in northern Iraq |  Russia scrambles fighter jet after detecting US spy plane: Moscow

Spread the Knowledge
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Saved Stories

Saved Stories – None

The Early Edition: November 28, 2017 | 

China’s Military Is Getting Stronger and Could ‘Leapfrog’ over America | 

Turkey, United States on same wavelength | 

Pentagon says reviewing adjustments to arms for Syrian Kurdish YPG | 

Russia launches second rocket from new cosmodrome | 

Presidential spokesperson says Turkish National Security Council will discuss Pentagon statement on cooperation with YPG | 

Radically difficult: the problem of home-grown terrorism in Europe | 

Trump admits it is wrong to provide arms to YPG: Turkish PM Yıldırım | 

Turkish army destroys 41 PKK targets in northern Iraq | 

Russia scrambles fighter jet after detecting US spy plane: Moscow

Tchaikovskys iconic score wins Christmas
Chinese general kills himself after facing graft probe
Israel pushes on with law seen protecting PM under criminal probe
#Russian jet intercepts #US aircraft over #BlackSea http://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/russian-jet-intercepts-us-aircraft-over-black-sea-2829394 pic.twitter.com/ZHHHeCh5WF
Russian Intelligence services – Google News: FBI gave heads-up to fraction of Russian hackers’ US targets – Washington Post
Palmer Report: Michael Flynn Jr doesnt seem too happy about his fathers plea deal against Donald Trump
At Harvard, Maine senator says he thinks the Russians will be back – The Boston Globe
trump, russia and the mob – Google News: Fox’s Gregg Jarrett slams Trump/Russia investigators in DOJ as a “syndicate,” and “cartel, the equivalent of the mob” – Media Matters for America
Donald Trump – Google News: Seth Meyers: Donald Trump Will Go Down As Neediest And Most Insecure President – Deadline
Palmer Report: Hope Hicks is days away from selling out Donald Trump
Russian Intelligence services – Google News: The Unbelievable Story of How the CIA Helped Foil a Russian Spy Ring in London – Politico
Palmer Report: Stephen Miller is suddenly in huge trouble in Trump-Russia scandal
trump electorate – Google News: Readers’ Forum, Nov. 28, 2017: For sake of US, Trump must go – Terre Haute Tribune Star
Donald Trump: Democratic Congressman Luis Gutiérrez Won’t Seek Re-Election: Reports
Rudy Giuliani – Google News: Rep. Devin Nunes Demolishes The Russian Collusion Delusion – FrontPage Magazine

 

Saved Stories – None
The Early Edition: November 28, 2017
 

Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Heres todays news.

SYRIA

A new round of U.N.-backed Syria peace talks in Geneva are scheduled to start today, ahead of the talks the U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura called for real diplomacy and for Syrians to begin to find some common ground. The UN News Centre reports.

The talks are expected to focus primarily on a new constitution and elections, however there is little optimism that the talks would lead to a political solution to the Syrian conflict and there are questions over the ability of the groups opposed to the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to put on a united front. Barbara Bibbo reports at Al Jazeera.

Our goal in the negotiation will be the departure of Bashar al-Assad from the beginning of the transition, Nasr Hariri, the head of the Syrian High Negotiations Committee (H.N.C.), which constitutes the opposition delegation, said yesterday. Stephanie Nebehay reporting at Reuters.

The Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim warned that Turkey could renege on its agreement with the E.U. on refugees if the U.S. and E.U. grant the Y.P.G. a role in the Geneva talks, saying after a meeting with the British Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday that Turkey sees the Y.P.G. as a terrorist organization and [it] has no place in the peace process. Patrick Wintour reports at the Guardian.

The Pentagon stopped short of saying that it would halt the supply of weapons to Syrian Kurdish (Y.P.G.) militia after Turkeys foreign ministry said on Friday that Trump had pledged to stop providing weapons to the group which heads the Syrian Democratic Forces (S.D.F.), with Pentagon spokesperson Col. Robert Manning saying yesterday that the Defense Department would be reviewing pending adjustments to the military support provided to our Kurdish partners. Ellen Mitchell reports at the Hill.

Russia proposed a two-day ceasefire yesterday in the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta area near the capital of Damascus following reports of civilian deaths, the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights saying that 18 were killed by bombing over the past two days. Reuters reports.

The shelling of the Eastern Ghouta area has been less intense following the Russian ceasefire proposal, according to witnesses and a war monitor, however there have been no indications that a ceasefire has been agreed. Reuters reports.

Russias defense ministry yesterday denied reports that it carried out airstrikes on the Islamic State-held village of Al Shafah in the Deir al-Zour province after the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 53 civilians were killed by Russian strikes, the ministry saying in a statement that Russian forces target areas outside population centers, and only facilities of the international terrorist groups. The BBCreports.

The Syrian oppositions stance is seen by Assad and his allies as being unrealistic as pro-Syrian government forces have achieved a series of military victories and the rebels have almost been defeated, while the opposition have accused the Syrian government of refusing to seriously engage. Angus McDowall explains at Reuters why there is little prospect of success at the Geneva talks.

The image of Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin hugging in the Russian city of Sochi last week symbolizes the power dynamics in the Syrian conflict and Russias success in supporting the Assad regime, with Putin having been able to marginalize the U.S. and enlist the support of Turkey and Iran in his plan for Syria Russias achievements signaling an acceleration of the collapse of U.S. global leadership. The Washington Post editorial board writes.

NORTH KOREA

[We] cannot rule out the possibility Pyongyang may declare the completion of their nuclear program in a year, South Koreas Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said today, Reuters reporting.

Japan has detected radio signals that signal the preparations for a possible North Korean ballistic missile launch, a Japanese government source said today, however noting that the signals are not unusual and are not enough to determine if there would be a launch soon. Reuters reports.

Russias Deputy Foreign Minister welcomed the fact that North Korea has not tested any weapons for more than two months during a visit to South Korea yesterday, however the pause in testing may be seasonal, rather than strategic and a full resumption may come in February. Adam Taylor observes at the Washington Post.

The U.S. and China must bridge gaps on key questions regarding North Korea before any lasting resolution the crisis becomes likely, including their approach to the Pyongyang regime and how they intend to bring North Korea to the negotiation table. Krishnadev Calamur writes at the Atlantic.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION FOREIGN POLICY

Trumps foreign policy reflects current realities because it acknowledges what many experts have not yet grasped: that Americas post-Cold War national strategy has run out of gas. Walter Russell Mead writes at the Wall Street Journal, arguing that Trumps approach understands the limitations of U.S.s role, however the president must do more than demolish the old.

The Foreign Service is facing perhaps its greatest crisis, as the U.S. juggles with a plethora of national security challenges and complicated dynamics in conflicts in the Middle East, the Trump administration has weakened the Foreign Service by a series of misguided decisions since taking office. Former ambassadors Nicholas Burns and Ryan C. Crocker write at the New York Times, warning about the impact of deep cuts at the State Department.

The dynamics of power in the Middle East may provide Trump with the zero-sum game that he has wanted, however nuance regarding Saudi Arabia and Irans respective influence in the region is needed to try and defuse tensions. Ishaan Tharoor provides an analysis at the Washington Post.

The possibility of the presidents daughter Ivanka Trump becoming the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. is not as preposterous as it would initially seem, the current ambassador Nikki Haley did not have expertise on the U.N. but has proven to be capable, Ivanka Trump could prove similarly capable and has some of the qualities to make a good ambassador. Richard Gowan writes at POLITICO Magazine.

TRUMP-RUSSIA

Lawyers for Trumps former national security adviser Michael Flynn met with members of special counsel Robert Muellers team yesterday, raising the possibility that Flynn is preparing to negotiate a plea deal with prosecutors, however a member of Trumps legal team said that no one should draw the conclusion that this means anything about Gen. Flynn cooperating against the president. Matthew Mosk, Mike Levine and Brian Ross report at ABC News.

Flynn was involved in a project to build nuclear power plants in Egypt and Israel in partnership with Russia interests in June 2015, revealing another instance where Flynn may have had a personal interest in a project while he was advising Trump during the campaign for the presidency, and creating further potential legal questions in the wide-ranging investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Michael Kranish, Tom Hamburger and Carol D. Leonnig report at the Washington Post.

The U.S. needs to come to terms with substantial evidence that the president is in thrall to a foreign power, Michelle Goldberg writes at the New York Times, pointing to the cast of shady characters surrounding the president and the evidence of cooperation with the Kremlin documented in Luke Hardings new book Collusion.

RUSSIA

A Russian interception of a U.S. aircraft at the weekend was unsafe, a spokesperson for the Pentagon said yesterday, adding that the U.S. aircraft was operating in international airspace and did nothing to provoke this Russian behavior. Ryan Browne reports at CNN.

Trumps tweets at the weekend attacking C.N.N. came hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law requiring certain U.S. media outlets working in Russia to register as foreign agents, there are concerns about the implications of the requirement to register. Michael M. Grynbaum observes at the New York Times.

The Trump administration has two differing approaches to Russia, and is incoherent on Russias role in Ukraine, U.S.-Russia relations, Russias strategy in Syria and on a host of other issues. Susan B. Glasser writes at POLITICO Magazine referring to her interview of the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Kurt Volker.

LEBANON

The Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said yesterday that he does not wish to discuss the details of the events following his resignation announcement on Nov. 4 from the Saudi capital of Riyadh, having now deferred his decision to resign. There has been intense speculation surrounding the situation and Hariri cited the destructive role of Iran and its Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah ally as the reason for his resignation. Al Jazeera reports.

Lebanon cannot resolve a question like Hezbollah which is in Syria, Iraq, everywhere because of Iran, Hariri also said yesterday, adding that he would stay on as Prime Minister if Hezbollah accepted to stick by Lebanons policy of staying out of regional conflicts. Reuters reporting.

EGYPT

The residents of the village of Rawda in Egypts Sinai Peninsula had been expecting an attack after months of increased threats, however they did not expect an attack as savage as the massacre on the mosque on Friday which killed at least 305 people. Sudarsan Raghavan and Heba Farouk Mahfouz explain at the Washington Post.

The mosque that was attacked had a Sufi character, many of the media reports have misrepresented Sufisms qualities and its role within mainstream Islamic thought. H.A. Hellyer writes at the Guardian, saying that the rhetoric deployed by many purist Salafis that push narratives about Sufism should be addressed if there is to be a counter-extremism approach.

IRAQ

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a suicide attack southeast of Baghdad yesterday, killing 35 members of the Shiite paramilitary Popular Mobilization Forces, Reuters reports.

U.S.-led airstrikes continue. U.S. and coalition forces carried out 11 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq between November 24 and November 26. [Central Command]

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

The Pentagon was unable to explain inconsistencies regarding the number of U.S. troops in conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere yesterday, the spokesperson Col. Robert Manning attempted to set out why there are discrepancies between official statements and statistics available on government-operated websites. Alex Horton reports at the Washington Post.

U.S. airstrikes on the Islamic State group in northeast Somalia killed one militant, the U.S. military said yesterday, Rebecca Kheel reports at the Hill.

Broadcasts on Iranian state T.V. of a U.S. citizen and a British-Iranian citizen at the weekend suggest that Tehran has been trying to pressure the U.S. and U.K., the two detainees have been sentenced on espionage charges. Carol Morello reports at the Washington Post.

Today we are discovering a fifth estate that makes claims but up until now does not want to take any social responsibility, the head of Germanys domestic agency said yesterday, criticizing tech giants like Facebook for hiding behind legal privileges to avoid taking over editorial verification of their content. Reuters reporting.

The Islamic State may regroup in the Philippines since it has suffered territorial losses in Syria and Iraq, Patrick B. Johnston and Colin P. Clarke write at Foreign Policy, saying that the siege of the Philippine city of Marawi by militants supportive of the terrorist group may be a taste of things to come.

Read on Just Security »

China’s Military Is Getting Stronger and Could ‘Leapfrog’ over America

Malcolm DavisSecurity, Asia

Think A2/AD 2.0.

Chinas military modernization remains a key concern for the US and its allies. Crucial in that regard has been Chinas development of forces geared towards preventing uncontested access to its air and maritime approaches by potential adversaries. Such anti-access and area denial (A2AD) capabilities are designed either to prevent an adversarys access to a particular region (anti-access) or to contest its freedom of movement within that theater (area denial).

The US isnt standing still. It faces a more challenging task in projecting power into the western Pacific than China does in defending its near and middle seas. Defense is always easier than offense. The US is counting on its third offset strategythe development of next-generation technologiesto preserve its militarytechnological edge in this contest. Yet the third offset may be little more than wishful thinking in any practical sense. And it would be risky to assume that the US will win this race, because several factors may undermine its ability to respond to Chinese developments.

Recommended: This Video Shows What Happens if Washington, D.C. Is Attacked with Nuclear Weapons

The US faces the dilemma of whether to direct investment towards modernizing its forces or towards ensuring the sustainment and readiness of existing forces. That problem is acute because, as a global superpower, the US faces immediate global challenges. China doesnt, so it can focus its investment on future East Asia contingencies, including developing more effective A2AD.

Recommended: 8 Million People Could Die in a War with North Korea

Read full article

Turkey, United States on same wavelength

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday his talks with US President Donald Trump last week were the first occasion in a long time the two Nato allies were “on the same wavelength” and they would speak against this week.

Diplomatic ties between Ankara and Washington have been strained by several disagreements, particularly over the United States’ support for the YPG Syrian Kurdish militia, which Ankara regards as a terrorist group.

“The telephone call which we had with Trump on Friday was the first in a long time in which we got on the same wavelength,” Erdogan said in a speech to deputies from his ruling AK Party in parliament.

He said discussions would continue in the coming days on the issues of the YPG, defence industry cooperation and the fight against the network of a US-based cleric whom Ankara accuses of orchestrating last year’s failed coup in Turkey.

According to Turkey‘s foreign minister, Trump on Friday told Erdogan he had issued instructions that weapons should not be provided to the Syrian Kurdish YPG.

However, the Pentagon said on Monday it was reviewing “adjustments” in arms for Syrian Kurdish forces, but it stopped short of halting weapons transfers, suggesting such decisions would be based on battlefield requirements.

Speaking to reporters in parliament after his speech, Erdogan said the Pentagon statement would be discussed at Turkey‘s National Security Council (MGK) meeting later on Tuesday.

He also said that Trump indicated that another call may happen this week.

“If he doesn’t call, I’ll call,” Erdogan said.

The YPG spearheads the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias fighting Islamic State with the help of a US-led coalition.

Turkey regards the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has fought a decades-long insurgency in Turkey and is designated a terrorist group by Ankara, the United States and European Union.

The post Turkey, United States ‘on same wavelength’ appeared first on Cyprus Mail.

Pentagon says reviewing adjustments to arms for Syrian Kurdish YPG

The Pentagon said on Nov. 27 that it was reviewing “adjustments” in arms for the Syrian Kurdish YPG, but it stopped short of halting weapons transfers, suggesting such decisions would be based on battlefield requirements.
Russia launches second rocket from new cosmodrome

Russia launched a second rocket from its new Vostochny cosmodrome in the far east on Nov. 28, as Moscow seeks to ease dependence on Baikonur in Kazakhstan.
Presidential spokesperson says Turkish National Security Council will discuss Pentagon statement on cooperation with YPG

Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın has said Turkeys National Security Council will discuss the Pentagons statement on continuing the U.S.s cooperation with the Syrian Kurdish Peoples Protection Units (YPG).
Radically difficult: the problem of home-grown terrorism in Europe

The day after Salah Abdeslam was arrested during a police raid on his apartment in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek, Aziz Benhamou, a 15-year-old schoolboy from the same neighborhood, was on the street below the jihadists home speaking about soccer player Lionel Messi.Seguir leyendo.

Trump admits it is wrong to provide arms to YPG: Turkish PM Yıldırım

U.S. President Donald Trump recently told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in clear terms that it İs wrong to supply weapons to the Syrian Kurdish Peoples Protection Units (YPG), Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has stressed.
Turkish army destroys 41 PKK targets in northern Iraq

More than 40 outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets were destroyed in airstrikes carried out in northern Iraq, the Turkish military stated on Nov. 28.
Russia scrambles fighter jet after detecting US spy plane: Moscow

The Russian military scrambled a fighter jet after a U.S. spy plane was detected approaching the Russian border, Russia Today reported on Nov. 28, citing Russian Defense Ministry.
Tchaikovskys iconic score wins Christmas

Some of us might not want to face it but Christmas Day is only an advent calendar away. That means listening to Whams Last Christmas, watching Love Actually and the thousands of adaptations of Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol, and for the Nutcracker to make his way into our lives, in some shape or form.

The shape he will take this year will be in the form of ballet to be performed at the Satiriko Theatre in Nicosia on Friday and at the Pattichio Theatre in Limassol on Saturday.

The ballet, with music by Tchaikovsky and choreography by Yury Grigorovich for the Bolshoi ballet, will be performed by stars from the Bolshoi Theatre and Art Devotion Dancers.

The two-act story, which is based on the book The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by ETA Hoffman, brings to the stage the universal themes of power, love and evil, together with a fairy-tale setting and enchanting costumes.

Set on Christmas Eve, the story tells of a young girl who receives a nutcracker doll as a gift. After being broken by her brother, she cares for the wounded nutcracker, who later comes to life to save her from the evil Mouse King and is then transformed into a heroic prince. Together the prince and girl travel to an enchanted island where celebrations, hosted by the Sugar Plum Fairy, are held in their honour.

The performance is directed by Irina Lazareva, a tutor at the Bolshoi Theatre.

The Nutcracker
Performance of the ballet with stars from the Russian Ballet. December 1. Satiriko Theatre, Vladimiros Kafkarides Cultural Centre, 11-15 Vladimiros Kafkarides Street, Aglantzia, Nicosia. 7.30pm. 20/25/30/35. Tel: 22-312940
December 2. Pattihio Theatre, Limassol. 7.30pm. 20/25/30/35. Tel: 25-377277

The post Tchaikovskys iconic score wins Christmas appeared first on Cyprus Mail.

Chinese general kills himself after facing graft probe

A Chinese general has killed himself in his Beijing home after becoming the latest top official ensnared by President Xi Jinping’s sweeping anti-corruption campaign, state media said on Nov. 28.
Israel pushes on with law seen protecting PM under criminal probe

The Israeli parliament voted on Nov. 27 in favor of a draft law barring police from publicizing its conclusions in criminal probes — legislation seen as shielding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is under investigation for corruption.
#Russian jet intercepts #US aircraft over #BlackSea http://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/russian-jet-intercepts-us-aircraft-over-black-sea-2829394 pic.twitter.com/ZHHHeCh5WF
 

 jet intercepts  aircraft over  http://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/russian-jet-intercepts-us-aircraft-over-black-sea-2829394 … 

Russian Intelligence services – Google News: FBI gave heads-up to fraction of Russian hackers’ US targets – Washington Post
 


Washington Post
FBI gave heads-up to fraction of Russian hackers’ US targets
Washington Post
Tens of thousands of those emails were leaked online in advance of the November election. U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Fancy Bear works for the Russian government and meant to push the election in favor of Donald Trump. TheRussian
FBI leaves US targets of Russian hackers in the darkABC News
FBI hides dozens of Russian hackers’ attempts to gain access to US officials’ datahttps://en.crimerussia.com/ 
Donald TrumpCNET
International Business Times UKAP NewsAP News
all 103 news articles »

 Russian Intelligence services – Google News

Palmer Report: Michael Flynn Jr doesnt seem too happy about his fathers plea deal against Donald Trump

The younger Michael Flynn appears to have quite a high opinion of his father, to the point that he calls himself “Michael Flynn Jr” even though he has a different middle name. However, now that the elder Michael Flynn has signaled he’s cutting a plea deal against Donald Trump, the younger Flynn doesn’t appear to be too happy about the matter even though dad is cutting the deal to keep his son out of prison.Michael Flynn will plead guilty to reduced charges and rat out everyone involved in the Trump-Russia scandal, including Donald Trump himself, in order to get a free pass for his own son. Junior was caught up in some of the more bizarre Flynn Intel Group plots, including an alleged kidnapping conspiracy. Once Flynn formalizes that deal, his son will have to agree to be a part of it and he will, because the other option would be to end up in prison. But for now, Junior doesn’t seem too pleased about what’s going down.

Michael Flynn Jr has continued to use his Twitter account to tweet and retweet far-right conspiracy theories from the likes of Sean Hannity and the Pizzagate guy. Earlier today he tweeted an image of Hillary Clinton’s face on toilet paper, which is repugnant, but it’s unlikely to cause any trouble for the deal being negotiated. But then Junior did something far more reckless: he retweeted Julian Assange, the leader of Russian-controlled cyberterrorist group WikiLeaks.

There is no evidence that Michael Flynn or Michael Flynn Jr was involved in the Donald Trump campaign’s conspiracy with WikiLeaks to illegally rig the election in Trump’s favor. However, Flynn was knee-deep in other Trump campaign conspiracies with Russia. His son knows this full well. Junior’s decision to retweet the WikiLeaks terrorist can only be interpreted as a sign of rebellion against the deal his father is negotiating. But in the end, it’s not up to him.

The post Michael Flynn Jr doesn’t seem too happy about his father’s plea deal against Donald Trumpappeared first on Palmer Report.

 Palmer Report

At Harvard, Maine senator says he thinks the Russians will be back – The Boston Globe
 


The Boston Globe
At Harvard, Maine senator says he thinks the Russians will be back
The Boston Globe
Maine Senator Angus King said Monday he had no doubt that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election and warned that the Kremlin would try to interfere in future US elections, according to the Harvard Gazette. Speaking at a Harvard University  

trump, russia and the mob – Google News: Fox’s Gregg Jarrett slams Trump/Russia investigators in DOJ as a “syndicate,” and “cartel, the equivalent of the mob” – Media Matters for America
 


Media Matters for America
Fox’s Gregg Jarrett slams Trump/Russia investigators in DOJ as a “syndicate,” and “cartel, the equivalent of themob”
Media Matters for America
… the equivalent of the mob. It’s composed of that man Andrew Weissmann, Robert Mueller, James Comey who has now lost his job and Rod Rosenstein who is the Deputy Attorney General. And the fact that all four of them are involved in theTrump/Russia …and more »

 trump, russia and the mob – Google News

Donald Trump – Google News: Seth Meyers: Donald Trump Will Go Down As Neediest And Most Insecure President – Deadline
 


Deadline
Seth Meyers: Donald Trump Will Go Down As Neediest And Most Insecure President
Deadline
President Donald Trump is now all-in on backing the accused sexual predator running for the Senate in Alabama, with the White House arguing they need his vote to give corporations a giant tax cut, Seth Meyers said to open Monday night’s Late Night …and more »

 Donald Trump – Google News

Palmer Report: Hope Hicks is days away from selling out Donald Trump

Who is Hope Hicks? She’s a high ranking adviser in the Trump White House who keeps a low public profile. She’s long been the conduit for anyone in the campaign or administration who has wanted to get a message to Donald Trump. She’s the one who made the decision what to tell Trump about his campaign’s collusion with WikiLeaks and other Russians. She’s also days away from selling Donald Trump out.Special Counsel Robert Mueller will interview Hope Hicks by the end of November, according to reports from multiple major news outlets. November ends this Thursday. So we’re just days away from Hicks sitting down to be grilled by Mueller and his agents. If she outright lies about anything, she’s guilty of a felony. If she purposely leaves anything out that she knows is relevant, she risks being charged with obstruction of justice.

It always seemed likely that Hicks would sell Trump out when it came down to it, because she’s still in her twenties and she has her entire life ahead of her, and there’s no good reason for her to throw it away. Moreover, if she doesn’t quickly give Mueller what he wants, she’ll end up getting stuck with the kind of massive and prolonged legal bills that she can’t afford to pay. So the odds already seemed stacked in favor of Hicks giving up Trump to protect herself. Then Michael Flynn happened.

Flynn decided last week to begin negotiating a plea deal with Robert Mueller. This means Flynn will end up ratting out everyone about everything that went on between the campaign and Russia. It will give Mueller the knowledge he needs to nail people like Hope Hicks for lying, or for leaving out important details. Hicks hasn’t gotten this far at this young of an age by being stupid. She knows that Flynn’s deal leaves her no choice but to sell Donald Trump out when Mueller comes calling and that’s now just days away.

The post Hope Hicks is days away from selling out Donald Trump appeared first on Palmer Report.

 Palmer Report

Russian Intelligence services – Google News: The Unbelievable Story of How the CIA Helped Foil a Russian Spy Ring in London – Politico
 


Politico
The Unbelievable Story of How the CIA Helped Foil a Russian Spy Ring in London
Politico
This story is revealed in remarkable tranche of records declassified on Tuesday by the British Security Service, better known as MI5, about a major Russian spy network that operated in Britain in the post-war years, known as the Portland Spy Ring. Itsand more »

 Russian Intelligence services – Google News

Palmer Report: Stephen Miller is suddenly in huge trouble in Trump-Russia scandal

To the public at large, Stephen Miller is best known as the Donald Trump adviser with the big forehead who periodically steps forward to say racist things before receding back into his shadowy life as a human goblin. Within the context of the Trump-Russia scandal, Miller is the guy who had the bad luck to draw the short straw and now he’s suddenly in deep trouble no matter how he’s decided to handle things behind the scenes.As far as the media and the public are aware, Stephen Miller is the only current Trump White House senior adviser who has been interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. It’s a bad sign in general when the prosecutor decides to single you out first, because it means the prosector thinks he has something on you that can force you to quickly cut a deal and cooperate. That “something” is likely the confession from Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, who named Miller among those he kept informed of his own efforts to conspire with the Russian government. But it just got much, much worse than that for Miller.

Over the holiday weekend, former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn decided to negotiate a plea deal with Robert Mueller. This makes things difficult for any White House adviser who is interviewed by Mueller going forward, because if they lie or omit anything, they know Flynn’s testimony will trip them up, and they could be charged with lying to a federal agent or obstruction of justice. But at least they’ll go into their interviews knowing that Flynn is ratting them all out.

Then there’s Stephen Miller, who had the misfortune to be interviewed by Robert Mueller before learning that Michael Flynn was going to flip. If Miller lied to Mueller or left out anything important, and Flynn’s confession exposes it, he’s screwed. If Miller was fully honest in his testimony, it might leave him in the clear legally. But in such case he’ll have helped to take Donald Trump down, meaning that his own White House job will vanish when Trump is ousted. This will be a familiar no-win pattern going forward for Trump’s people. Miller just had the bad luck to draw the short straw first.

The post Stephen Miller is suddenly in huge trouble in Trump-Russia scandal appeared first on Palmer Report.

 Palmer Report

trump electorate – Google News: Readers’ Forum, Nov. 28, 2017: For sake of US, Trump must go – Terre Haute Tribune Star
 

Readers’ Forum, Nov. 28, 2017: For sake of US, Trump must go
Terre Haute Tribune Star
Let’s hope that the electorate will not allow a contest like we had last time. The two presidential candidates we had were controversial and destined to be ineffectual if elected due to the nature of the electorate criticisms. Donald Trump has and more »

 trump electorate – Google News

Donald Trump: Democratic Congressman Luis Gutiérrez Won’t Seek Re-Election: Reports

The prominent pro-immigrant, anti-Trump representative was first elected in 1992.

 Donald Trump

Rudy Giuliani – Google News: Rep. Devin Nunes Demolishes The Russian Collusion Delusion – FrontPage Magazine
 


FrontPage Magazine
Rep. Devin Nunes Demolishes The Russian Collusion Delusion
FrontPage Magazine
So I get on the airplane and, I’m not kidding you, it’s Donald Trump, it’s Priebus, it’s Rudy Giuliani, a couple other guys, his Twitter guy, and that was it on the whole plane other than security. And so I said, “Oh my gosh. I’ve never seen a campaign  

 Rudy Giuliani – Google News


Spread the Knowledge
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    27
    Shares
  • 27
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

8:06 AM 11/28/2017 – Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks: Russian jet performs ‘unsafe’ intercept of US Navy plane – Stars and Stripes

Spread the Knowledge
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
Russian jet intercepts US aircraft over Black Sea – Google Search

mikenova shared this story from Russian jet intercepts US aircraft over Black Sea – Google News.

Story image for Russian jet intercepts US aircraft over Black Sea from Fox News

Russian jet buzzes US Navy spy plane over Black Sea

Fox News12 hours ago
Russian jet buzzes US Navy spy plane over Black Sea … strike, were intercepted merely 80 miles away from the ship, said Navy officials.

Russian jet performs ‘unsafe’ intercept of US Navy plane
Stars and Stripes2 hours ago

Media image for Russian jet intercepts US aircraft over Black Sea from Anadolu Agency

Anadolu Agency

Media image for Russian jet intercepts US aircraft over Black Sea from CNN

CNN

Media image for Russian jet intercepts US aircraft over Black Sea from TASS

TASS

Media image for Russian jet intercepts US aircraft over Black Sea from Newsweek

Newsweek

Media image for Russian jet intercepts US aircraft over Black Sea from Stars and Stripes

Stars and Stripes

Media image for Russian jet intercepts US aircraft over Black Sea from Business Insider

Business Insider

Spread the Knowledge
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share
  •  
    27
    Shares
  • 27
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

7:06 AM 11/28/2017 – Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks: Pentagon says will continue arming PKK/YPG

Spread the Knowledge
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

US to continue arming PKK/YPG despite Trump’s pledge

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks

Pentagon says will continue arming PKK/YPG

FBI gave heads-up to fraction of Russian hackers US targets – The Washington Post
Russian Intelligence services – Google News: FBI gave heads-up to fraction of Russian hackers’ US targets – Washington Post
1:21 PM 11/27/2017 Flynn could implicate any number of Trump officials and Trump himself Washington Post
Michael Flynn’s lawyer meets with members of special counsel’s team, raising specter of plea deal – ABC News
Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: Today’s Headlines and Commentary
Russia Is Returning to Growth. (Just in Time for an Election.)
Russia in Syria: ‘Victory’ in war but can Moscow win the peace?
Flipping Michael Flynn: The real and imagined damage of a Mueller deal | TheHill
Ex-Russian minister says he thought bag with $2 million cash was gift of alcohol
McCain: Trump doesnt have any principles and beliefs | TheHill
Putin and United Russia Have Some Very Liberal Moscow Neighbors
LGBT hate crimes double in Russia after ban on ‘gay propaganda’
: Технологии и медиа :: РБК
Под предлогом инкассации из банка в центре Москвы вынесли 5 миллионов долларов
В Москве эвакуировали Центральный детский магазин :: Общество :: РБК
Улюкаев обвинил Сечина в лжесвидетельстве
Chechen leader, amid reshuffles, says ready to die for Putin
ANALYSIS: The ball is rolling in Syria, against Iran