Left and Right, Black and White  

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Left and Right, Black and White

The history and the present state of the Soviet – Russian espionage and subversion in the US. 

“Russian Intelligence is an Equal Opportunity recruiter: “Left and Right, Black and White…”

"Russian Intelligence is an Equal Opportunity recruiter: "Left and Right, Black and White..."
Link Exposed Between Charleston Killer And Haters’ Convention In Russia | Report: Russia’s right wing is egging on Texas’ secessionist movement

Russia’s intelligence war against the West

Russia's intelligence war against the West
“Across Europe and the Euro-Atlantic area, Russia’s intelligence offensive is being conducted with increasing determination and sophistication. This is a smart and modern war that goes well beyond the traditional intelligence requirements of “need to know” concerning the intentions of enemy countries, which in President Vladimir Putin’s mind includes any country opposed to his expansionist ambitions. It draws on a Russian intelligence tradition that stretches back to the Tsarist era and includes techniques of political warfare in addition to regular intelligence gathering. The Bolshevik secret police, the Cheka, called these “active measures” and used them to promote its revolutionary goals abroad. They included everything from political assassination to the covert use of propaganda.” – Russia’s silent war against the west | News Review

M.N.

Permanent Global Multidimensional Warfare As Russian Military-Political Strategy – Review

Permanent Global Multidimensional Warfare As Russian Military-Political Strategy - Review
General Valery Gerasimov, the current Russian Chief of the General Staff: “The very “rules of war” have changed. The role of nonmilitary means of achieving political and strategic goals has grown, such new-type conflicts are comparable with the consequences of any real war. The focus of applied methods of conflict has altered in the direction of of the broad use of political, economic, informational, humanitarian, and other nonmilitary measures – applied in coordination with the protest potential of the population.” 

Dark Flows The Red Stix

Dark Flows The Red Stix
“We hear a lot about the Russian Mafia and its links with the Russian State. Remember how the US State Department’s Wikileaks transcript described Russia as a Mafia State? What we don’t hear so much about is how it operates and what is being done about tackling it. Is enough being done, and if not, why not? – Tackling Russian Trans National Organised Crime” – GRU (Russian Military Intelligence Service) and International Organised Crime – Web Review 

US Mass Shootings, “Mind Control”, and “Special Operations”

US Mass Shootings, "Mind Control", and "Special Operations"
“The number of incidents in which a shooter opens fire on a crowd of people more than doubled over the past seven years compared with the previous seven, the FBI found in a study made public Wednesday. The Federal Bureau of Investigation analyzed 160 “active shooter” incidents from 2000 through 2013 to look for common elements that might guide law enforcement officers in preventing the shootings or responding more effectively.” ‘Active shooter’ incidents on the rise – Web Review – by Mike Nova

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THE TROJANS – KGB plan to destroy America from within by sending Russian immigrants

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THE TROJANS

KGB plan to destroy America from within by sending Russian immigrants. 

Mark, Maloy“:

“All of you will be the “Toast of the Hudson” – that’s the new “writing on the wall” for you.” (Conveyed by this recent “accident”. This is also an allusion, a reference to 9/11.)

Also: “Trojan ounce”: Word is silver, silence is gold. 

And by the way, that  US – Russian lesbian affair did not go that well… 

M.N. 

Troy, New York – Wikipedia

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Troy is a city in the U.S. State of New York and the seat of Rensselaer County. The city is located on the western edge of Rensselaer County and on the eastern bank of the Hudson River. Troy has close ties to the nearby cities of Albany and Schenectady, forming a region popularly called the Capital District. The city is one of the three major centers for the Albany Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which has a population of 1,170,483. At the 2010 census, the population of Troy was 50,129. Troy’s motto is Ilium fuit. Troja est, which means “Ilium was, Troy is”.[3] 

The KGB Playbook for Turning Russians Worldwide Into Agents – Daily Beast

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Daily Beast
The KGB Playbook for Turning Russians Worldwide Into Agents
Daily Beast
This is the third and last article in a series based on never-before-published training manuals for the KGB, the Soviet intelligence organization that Vladimir Putin served as an operative, and that shaped his view of the world. (Part 1 can be found and more »

6:50 PM 12/28/2017 – The Administration Claims Crime Is on the Rise. So Why Did the FBI Delete Key Crime Data? – Mother Jones 

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Christopher Wray – Google News The Administration Claims Crime Is on the Rise. So Why Did the FBI Delete Key Crime Data? – Mother Jones 06:05 Christopher Wray – Google News The Administration Claims Crime Is on the Rise. So Why Did the FBI Delete Key Crime Data? – Mother Jones Today, December 28th 06:05 Today, … Continue reading “6:50 PM 12/28/2017 – The Administration Claims Crime Is on the Rise. So Why Did the FBI Delete Key Crime Data? – Mother Jones”

6:58 AM 12/27/2017 – Troy and Trojans News: Maloy said all four deaths are being treated as suspicious… “It’s horrible. Terrible. Sad — sad especially at this time of year,” DeWolf said. “We’re going to do everything we can to look into this and get to the bottom of what happened here.” – 4 People Found Dead in Basement in Troy, N.Y. – By JAMIE DUCHARME and ELI MEIXLER Updated: December 26, 2017 9:50 PM ET | And other “Accidents” 

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Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks Yesterday, December 26th 16:56 · top stories Shared by 1 person Houston Chronicle 4 people dead in home; police say deaths appear suspicious Houston Chronicle Troy police investigate multiple deaths at 158 Second Ave. on Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017, in Troy, N.Y. Police say four people have been found dead and may have … Continue reading “6:58 AM 12/27/2017 – Troy and Trojans News: Maloy said all four deaths are being treated as suspicious… “It’s horrible. Terrible. Sad — sad especially at this time of year,” DeWolf said. “We’re going to do everything we can to look into this and get to the bottom of what happened here.” – 4 People Found Dead in Basement in Troy, N.Y. – By JAMIE DUCHARME and ELI MEIXLER Updated: December 26, 2017 9:50 PM ET | And other “Accidents””

The Administration Claims Crime Is on the Rise. So Why Did the FBI Delete Key Crime Data? – Mother Jones

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Mother Jones
The Administration Claims Crime Is on the Rise. So Why Did the FBI Delete Key Crime Data?
Mother Jones
The decision to remove the data hampers the ability of criminologists and journalists to analyze crime trends at the same time that the administration is transforming the justice system to respond to rising violent crime rates. There’s little clarity 
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TASS: Society & Culture – Thirteen injured in St. Petersburg blast

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© Alexander Demyanchuk/TASS

MOSCOW, December 28. /TASS/. A total of 13 people have been injured in an explosion in a supermarket in St. Petersburg, according to the latest data, eight of them remain in hospitals, the city’s Vice-Governor in charge of social issues Anna Mityanina reported on Thursday.

Earlier reports said the blast had left ten people injured.

“As of 08:00 (on December 28, 2017), the total number of people injured in the blast in a supermarket in Kondratyevsky Avenue is 13. Of these, five refused to be taken to hospital. Five of those remaining in hospitals are in a moderately grave condition, while three are in a satisfactory condition” she wrote on Twitter.

There are no children among those injured, the press service of the city’s healthcare committee said.

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An explosion at a supermarket in St. Petersburg’s Kondratyevsky Avenue was reported at about 18.30 Moscow Time on Wednesday. According to preliminary reports, an unidentified explosive device was detonated in the Gigant-Hall entertainment center on the first floor near self-storage lockers of the Perekrestok supermarket.

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st petersburg – Google Search

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Story image for st petersburg from NPR

Putin Says StPetersburg Blast Was Terrorism

NPR3 hours ago
Russian President Vladimir Putin says an explosion at a StPetersburg supermarket on Wednesday was a terrorist act, and that another attack in the city had been foiled by the country’s security service. A bomb went off in a branch of the Perekrestok supermarket, wounding at least 13 shoppers in Putin’s …
After Supermarket Blast, Putin Says Terror Suspects Should Be …
In-DepthRadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty7 hours ago
Thirteen injured in StPetersburg blast
InternationalTASS12 hours ago

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6:38 AM 12/29/2017 – The KGB Playbook for Turning Russians Worldwide Into Agents – Daily Beast

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Saved Stories

Saved Stories – None
New Robot Teaches Autistic Adults to Navigate Office Politics

The KGB Playbook for Turning Russians Worldwide Into Agents – Daily Beast

Analysis: Trump’s ‘America First’ foreign policy isolates US – NBCNews.com
S.Korea Seizes Hong Kong-flagged Ship Suspected of Sending Oil to N.Korea
Песков вновь описал отношения с США фразой «танго нужно танцевать вдвоем» – РБК
Bongino on Mueller Probe: ‘Justice Right Now Is Blind to Democrats … – Fox News Insider
6:50 PM 12/28/2017 The Administration Claims Crime Is on the Rise. So Why Did the FBI Delete Key Crime Data? Mother Jones
Leave Robert Mueller alone – Washington Post
Trump Says Russia Inquiry Makes US ‘Look Very Bad’ – New York Times
Looking for Mueller’s red meat main course – Washington Times
The sane way to view the Mueller probe and politics – New York Post
Trump talks Mueller, Sessions, China and Moore – Axios
The Latest: Trump says he thinks Mueller ‘will be fair’ – Sacramento Bee
Trump rails against North Korea and China, says Mueller will be ‘fair,’ during wide-ranging interview – Fox News
Records: FBI’s wiretaps widespread in corruption probe – The Detroit News
Trump made a revealing, off-the-cuff comment that could explain why he hasn’t fired Mueller – Business Insider
Rooftop Snipers. Helicopters. A Hostage Team. Las Vegas Gears Up for New Years Eve.
Trump Presidency Is Tainted, Not FBI, Says Watergate Reporter Carl Bernstein – Newsweek
As Republicans Attack FBI, Agents Association Flooded With Donations – Newsweek
6:58 AM 12/27/2017 Troy and Trojans News: Maloy said all four deaths are being treated as suspicious Its horrible. Terrible. Sad sad especially at this time of year, DeWolf said. Were going to do everything we can to look into this and get to the bottom of what happened here. 4 People Found Dead in Basement in Troy, N.Y. By JAMIE DUCHARME and ELI MEIXLER Updated: December 26, 2017 9:50 PM ET | And other Accidents
Ex-Watergate prosecutor: Trump FBI attacks may amount to obstruction of justice – The Hill
Former Bush ethics lawyer: Trump’s McCabe tweet ‘a very stupid thing for him to do’ – The Hill
Mueller investigation has nation on edge – The San Diego Union-Tribune
Trump May Be ‘Obstructing Justice’ With FBI Attacks, Former Watergate Prosecutor Says – Newsweek
Trump Is Running A ‘Criminal Enterprise’ And Mueller Is ‘On the Track of It,’ Says Former DNC Chair – Newsweek

 

Saved Stories – None
New Robot Teaches Autistic Adults to Navigate Office Politics
Autism is on the rise in many developed countries, and the reasons why are still unclear. But more autistic children mean that, one day, more autistic adults will be entering the workforce. A new robot is trying to help these workers navigate the emotional elements on the job. VOA’s Bronwyn Benito narrates this report by Kevin Enochs.
The KGB Playbook for Turning Russians Worldwide Into Agents – Daily Beast
 


Daily Beast
The KGB Playbook for Turning Russians Worldwide Into Agents
Daily Beast
This is the third and last article in a series based on never-before-published training manuals for the KGB, the Soviet intelligence organization that Vladimir Putin served as an operative, and that shaped his view of the world. (Part 1 can be found and more »

Analysis: Trump’s ‘America First’ foreign policy isolates US – NBCNews.com
 

Analysis: Trump’s ‘America First’ foreign policy isolates US
NBCNews.com
Trump has positioned himself, at home and abroad, as the disruptor in chief, a political insurgent throwing stones at the establishment on behalf of the people who elected him. He relishes it. But as a result, the U.S. is standing alone on more keyand more »

S.Korea Seizes Hong Kong-flagged Ship Suspected of Sending Oil to N.Korea

South Koreas foreign ministry says the country has seized a Hong Kong-flagged ship that transferred oil to a North Korean vessel in international waters despite United Nations Security Council sanctions. Yonhap, the South Korean news agency, reports South Korean custom officials say the Lighthouse Winmore vessel transferred 600 tons of refined petroleum to a North Korean ship October 19. South Korea seized the Lighthouse Winmore on November 24 when it sailed into South Koreas Yeosu Port, the news agency says. Yonhap reports the Lighthouse Winmore was chartered by the Billions Bunker Group, a Taiwanese company. The news agency said the ships claimed destination was in Taiwan, but instead the ship transferred oil to a North Korean ship, Sam Jong 2, and three other non-North Korean vessels in international waters in the East China Sea. The Lighthouse Winmore is reportedly on the list of ships the U.S. has proposed blacklisting for their prohibited trade with North Korea. Yonhap reported that South Korea informed the U.S. about its detection of the illegal transaction. Trump accusations U.S. President Donald Trump accused China Thursday of facilitating oil shipments into North Korea, despite Chinas insistence it has not violated United Nations sanctions limiting oil shipments to the rogue nation. A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, on Friday again denied any Chinese involvement in smuggling goods into or out of North Korea. A South Korean newspaper reported earlier Thursday that Chinese and North Korean ships had illicitly connected at sea to get oil into North Korea. Latest UN sanctions The U.N. Security Council last week imposed new sanctions designed to limit North Korea access to oil in response to the countrys recent long-range missile test. In November, it test-launched its latest intercontinental ballistic missile, which many U.S. experts have warned would be capable of striking anywhere on U.S. soil. The sanctions seek to bar 90 percent of refined oil exports to North Korea by capping them at 500,000 barrels a year and limit crude oil exports at 4 million barrels annually. China has repeatedly said it is enforcing all resolutions against Pyongyang, despite doubts in the U.S., South Korea and Japan that loopholes continue to exist. When asked at a recent media briefing whether Chinese ships were illegally loading oil on North Korean vessels, Defense Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang repeated that China and its military are strictly enforcing U.N. resolutions on North Korea. The situation you have mentioned absolutely does not exist, Ren said.
Песков вновь описал отношения с США фразой «танго нужно танцевать вдвоем» – РБК
 


РБК
Песков вновь описал отношения с США фразой «танго нужно танцевать вдвоем»
РБК
Отсутствие прогресса в отношениях России и США не может не вызывать сожаление. Об этом журналистам заявил пресс-секретарь президента России Дмитрий Песков, передает «РИА Новости». «Конечно, российско-американские отношения, скажем так, та позиция, которую занимает Вашингтон в отношении нашей 
Песков назвал российско-американские отношения главным разочарованием годаИнтерфакс
Песков: состояние отношений РФ и США можно отнести к числу главных разочарований годаТАСС
Кремль назвал одно из главных разочарований 2017 годаРосбалт.RU
Lenta.ru –Московский Комсомолец –Коммерсантъ –Вести.Ru
Все похожие статьи: 91 »
Bongino on Mueller Probe: ‘Justice Right Now Is Blind to Democrats … – Fox News Insider
 


TPM
Bongino on Mueller Probe: ‘Justice Right Now Is Blind to Democrats …
Fox News Insider
At least two House Republicans, Matt Gaetz and Andy Biggs, are calling for Robert Mueller to be fired, arguing the investigation has been compromised by a bias against President Trump.
Echoes Of Trump: GOP Rep. Accuses Mueller Of Leading ‘Witch Hunt’TPM
Rep. Biggs: Full Story of Mueller, Clinton Will Be ‘Scandal of a Lifetime’Newsmaxall 10 news articles »

6:50 PM 12/28/2017 The Administration Claims Crime Is on the Rise. So Why Did the FBI Delete Key Crime Data? Mother Jones

Christopher Wray – Google News The Administration Claims Crime Is on the Rise. So Why Did the FBI Delete Key Crime Data? – Mother Jones 06:05 Christopher Wray – Google News The Administration Claims Crime Is on the Rise. So Why Did the FBI Delete Key Crime Data? – Mother Jones Today, December 28th 06:05 Today, … Continue reading“6:50 PM 12/28/2017 – The Administration Claims Crime Is on the Rise. So Why Did the FBI Delete Key Crime Data? – Mother Jones”
Leave Robert Mueller alone – Washington Post
 


Washington Post
Leave Robert Mueller alone
Washington Post
Despite the fact that government employees are entitled to have political opinions (so long as they do not interfere with their work, and there was no evidence of this), Mueller promptly removed this official. Additionally, Mueller has chosen poorly  
Trump made a revealing, off-the-cuff comment that could explain why he hasn’t fired MuellerBusiness Insider
Trump Criticizes Russia Probe But Says Mueller Will Be Fair: NYTBloomberg
Trump tells NYT he thinks Mueller will ‘be fair’ – CNNPoliticsCNN
New York PostNew York MagazineNew York Times
all 213 
The Mueller Distraction AttackHuffPost
Here’s where special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe stands heading into 2018CNBC
Mueller’s team to question former RNC officials on Russia – AxiosAxios
NPRThe HillYahoo NewsTwitter
all 460
 news articles »
Trump Says Russia Inquiry Makes US ‘Look Very Bad’ – New York Times
 


New York Times
Trump Says Russia Inquiry Makes US ‘Look Very Bad’
New York Times
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. President Trump said Thursday that he believes Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel in the Russia investigation, will treat him fairly, contradicting some members of his party who have waged a weekslong campaign to try to and more »

Looking for Mueller’s red meat main course – Washington Times
 


Washington Times
Looking for Mueller’s red meat main course
Washington Times
The conspiracy theorists are hungry, and Robert Mueller owes them dinner. His pantry is apparently barren of groceries, and he has spent nearly $7 million of the grocery money. So far he has only served up a cheese plate. We deserve a little red meat 

The sane way to view the Mueller probe and politics – New York Post
 


New York Post
The sane way to view the Mueller probe and politics
New York Post
Mueller doesn’t seem to have come up with evidence Trump colluded with the Russians during the campaign. All he’s produced thus far are pleas to technical offenses from underlings, people like Michael Flynn, who committed the Martha Stewart offence of and more »

Trump talks Mueller, Sessions, China and Moore – Axios
 


Axios
Trump talks Mueller, Sessions, China and Moore
Axios
President Trump told the NY Times’ Michael Schmidt that he expects Robert Mueller to treat him fairly, but that the investigation “makes the country look very bad, and it puts the country in a very bad position.” Trump also claimed 16 times that  
Mueller Probe Outgrows Its ‘Witch Hunt’ PhaseHuffPost

Trump Says Russia Inquiry Makes US ‘Look Very Bad’New York Times 
How Ivanka Trump Is a Walking Billboard for Her Namesake Fashion BusinessWall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
all 384 all 659

 news articles »

The Latest: Trump says he thinks Mueller ‘will be fair’ – Sacramento Bee
 


Sacramento Bee
The Latest: Trump says he thinks Mueller ‘will be fair’
Sacramento Bee
The Latest on President Donald Trump in Florida (all times local):. 9:35 p.m.. President Donald Trump says he believes special counsel Robert Mueller “will be fair” to him, because “everybody knows that there was no collusion” between Trump’s and more »

Trump rails against North Korea and China, says Mueller will be ‘fair,’ during wide-ranging interview – Fox News
 


Fox News
Trump rails against North Korea and China, says Mueller will be ‘fair,’ during wide-ranging interview
Fox News
In addition to China and North Korea, Trump spoke to The Times about several other topics that have shadowed his first year in the White House, including special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. Trump said he believed he was going to be treated and more »

Records: FBI’s wiretaps widespread in corruption probe – The Detroit News
 


The Detroit News
Records: FBI’s wiretaps widespread in corruption probe
The Detroit News
Detroit FBI agents spent years listening to the phone calls of more than a dozen people, including some politicians and businessmen, as part of a widening investigation of public corruption in Metro Detroit, according to sealed federal court records 

Trump made a revealing, off-the-cuff comment that could explain why he hasn’t fired Mueller – Business Insider
 


Business Insider
Trump made a revealing, off-the-cuff comment that could explain why he hasn’t fired Mueller
Business Insider
… exchanged by FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page during the campaign that expressed disdain for Trump and other political leaders. Strzok, a veteran counterintelligence agent, was among those overseeing the investigation into former Secretary 
GOP lawmaker calls for Mueller recusal: ‘His witch hunt must end’The Hill
GOP congressman explains his call for FBI ‘purge’CNN
Why are all these Florida Republicans attacking Bob Mueller? – SalonSalon
GoLocalProv –Lasentinel –PennLive.com –Yahoo News
all 214 news articles »
Rooftop Snipers. Helicopters. A Hostage Team. Las Vegas Gears Up for New Years Eve.

More than 300,000 people are expected to descend on the Strip for the citys biggest night, three months after its worst mass shooting.
Trump Presidency Is Tainted, Not FBI, Says Watergate Reporter Carl Bernstein – Newsweek
 


Newsweek
Trump Presidency Is Tainted, Not FBI, Says Watergate Reporter Carl Bernstein
Newsweek
Trump has also gone on the attack against the law enforcement agency’s director Andrew McCabe, the Hill reported. The president has accused McCabe of being a puppet of Hillary Clinton, ostracizing the director over his reported plans to retire in March 
Ex-Watergate prosecutor: Trump FBI attacks may amount to obstruction of justiceThe Hill
Ex-Watergate Prosecutor: Trump FBI Attacks ‘Possible Obstruction of Justice’Newsmaxall 4 news articles »

As Republicans Attack FBI, Agents Association Flooded With Donations – Newsweek
 


Newsweek
As Republicans Attack FBI, Agents Association Flooded With Donations
Newsweek
As right-wing commentators and the president himself stepped up their attacks on the FBI in December, donations to an FBI-linked charity soared, the group said this week. The FBI Agents Association, a membership organization of more than 14,000 current 
Analysis: The quiet probe into Clinton email investigation could be a landmine for Robert MuellerUSA TODAY
WATCH: Washington Post columnist warns of ‘extraordinary collateral damage’ from Trump’s FBI attacksRaw Story
Louie Gohmert: Robert Mueller would ‘love to get Trump’s scalp’Washington Examiner
Fox News Insider
all 91 news articles »
6:58 AM 12/27/2017 Troy and Trojans News: Maloy said all four deaths are being treated as suspicious Its horrible. Terrible. Sad sad especially at this time of year, DeWolf said. Were going to do everything we can to look into this and get to the bottom of what happened here. 4 People Found Dead in Basement in Troy, N.Y. By JAMIE DUCHARME and ELI MEIXLER Updated: December 26, 2017 9:50 PM ET | And other Accidents

Mike Novas Shared NewsLinks Yesterday, December 26th 16:56 · top stories Shared by 1 person Houston Chronicle 4 people dead in home; police say deaths appear suspicious Houston Chronicle Troy police investigate multiple deaths at 158 Second Ave. on Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017, in Troy, N.Y. Police say four people have been found dead and may have Mike Novas Shared NewsLinks 4 Dead in Potential Homicide in Troy, N.Y., Basement Weapons sale to Ukraine Google Search House Probe Looks Into Corruption, Criminal Behavior at FBI, DOJ The New American Moscow bus Google Search Andrew McCabe, F.B.I.s Embattled Deputy, Is Expected to Retire Using Billions in Continue reading“6:58 AM 12/27/2017 Troy and Trojans News: Maloy said all four deaths are being treated as suspicious Its horrible. Terrible. Sad sad especially at this time of year, DeWolf said. Were going to do everything we can to look into this and get to the bottom of what happened here. 4 People Found Dead in Basement in Troy, N.Y. By JAMIE DUCHARME and ELI MEIXLER Updated: December 26, 2017 9:50 PM ET | And other Accidents” ET”
Ex-Watergate prosecutor: Trump FBI attacks may amount to obstruction of justice – The Hill
 


The Hill
Ex-Watergate prosecutor: Trump FBI attacks may amount to obstruction of justice
The Hill
On Saturday, Trump swiped at multiple agency officials in a string of tweets, in which he suggested FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe may have been compromised by political donations and ripped former FBI Director James Comey as a leaker. Special 
As Republicans Attack FBI, Agents Association Flooded With DonationsNewsweek
Analysis: The quiet probe into Clinton email investigation could be a landmine for Robert MuellerUSA TODAY
GOP’s smear campaign against the FBI is exactly what Putin wantsShareblue Media
Raw Story –Fox News Insider
all 97 news articles »
Former Bush ethics lawyer: Trump’s McCabe tweet ‘a very stupid thing for him to do’ – The Hill
 


The Hill
Mueller investigation has nation on edge – The San Diego Union-Tribune
 


The San Diego Union-Tribune
Mueller investigation has nation on edge
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Re Liberals blind to bias on Mueller’s legal team (Dec. 25): In his letter, Ed Harrington offers a critique of liberals as ignoring the massive bias in the special prosecutor’s team and calls upon all liberals to use their caring about honesty  

Trump May Be ‘Obstructing Justice’ With FBI Attacks, Former Watergate Prosecutor Says – Newsweek
 


Newsweek
Trump May Be ‘Obstructing Justice’ With FBI Attacks, Former Watergate Prosecutor Says
Newsweek
Wine-Banks’ recent remarks echoed what she said earlier this month. On December 4, she said there could be evidence of Trump obstructing justice after the president tweeted apparent knowledge of former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s lies to 
Carl Bernstein: FBI isn’t tainted, Trump’s presidency is | TheHillThe Hill
Trump’s FBI Diss Is Making People Donate To The Agency In A Big WayBustle
Ex-Watergate Prosecutor: Trump FBI Attacks ‘Possible Obstruction of Justice’Newsmax
Fox News Insider –Mediaite
all 20 news articles »
Trump Is Running A ‘Criminal Enterprise’ And Mueller Is ‘On the Track of It,’ Says Former DNC Chair – Newsweek
 


Newsweek
Trump Is Running A ‘Criminal Enterprise’ And and Mueller Is ‘On the Track of It,’ Says Former DNC Chair
Newsweek
Plenty, according to former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, who says President Donald Trump is using his office not to benefit the American people, but to personally enrich himself as part of a “criminal enterprise.” “The promotion and more »

The KGB Playbook for Turning Russians Worldwide Into Agents

1 Share

This is the third and last article in a series based on never-before-published training manuals for the KGB, the Soviet intelligence organization that Vladimir Putin served as an operative, and that shaped his view of the world. (Part 1 can be found here; and Part 2 here.)

Reacting to the first installment in the series, John McLaughlin, a former deputy director of Central Intelligence, drew a direct line between what’s contained in these manuals and the cases being examined by special counsel Robert Mueller: “This is classic spycraft from Sun Tzu (6th century BC) till today. A shadowy mosaic of cut-outs, access agents, plausible denial, gossamer webs. Whether or not Mueller proves collusion, Russia clearly took its best shot.”

This article looks at the way KGB operatives were taught to use Soviet citizens abroad, whether they were willing or not, for the organization’s own purposes.

IT WAS THE TRANSPOSITION of two letters that furnished the easy excuse for dismissing the entirety of the accusation as “fake news.”

Russian diplomat Mikhail Kulagin, the story went, had been yanked from the Russian Embassy on Wisconsin Avenue owing to fears in Moscow that the American press was onto him as something other than a mere diplomat. Kulagin was about to be unmasked for his “heavy involvement in the U.S. presidential election operation,” according to a secret document about to be made public, to much fanfare and controversy. Namely, he’d been part of a complex scheme funneling cash to Russian émigrés in America as compensation for a “two-way flow of intelligence and information concerning the activities of prominent Russian oligarchs and their families.”

This fee-for-service arrangement allegedly relied on “Russian diplomatic staff in key cities such as New York, Washington, D.C. and Miami,” the document stated, who “were using the emigre pension distribution system as cover. The operation therefore depended on key people in the US Russian emigre community for its success. Tens of thousands of dollars were involved.”

Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, could laugh this one off easily. For one thing, there was no Mikhail Kulagin at the Russian Embassy. There was a Mikhail Kalugin and while it was true that he had concluded a six-year posting in August 2016 and returned to Moscow, it wasn’t because he was any kind of spy about to be found out. Rather, his tenure was up and he had simply gone home, as he’d planned to do for about six months beforehand.

Another wrinkle in the story was that Miami hasn’t got any diplomatic staff because it hasn’t got a consulate. Although you’d be forgiven for thinking it should, given its sizable Russian émigré community and its borderline-cliché popularity as a dolce vita vacation spot for Russian billionaires, many of whom own pied-à-terres in South Beach, occasionally even in their own names.

So, did the typo and misapprehension about Russian mission cities in America mean that Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier, got everything wrong about Kalugin? Not exactly.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Kalugin arrived in Washington in 2010 and served for two years in the political section at the Russian Embassy, after which he spent the next four years as head of the economic section. His previous overseas posting, before the United States, had been in Lithuania where he served as the Russian Embassy’s press secretary on bilateral issues. Sources who did meet and know him a little in Washington say that he would often sit in on meetings with Baltic counterparts and present himself as more superior than his nominally higher-grade colleagues from the embassy.

“He rarely spoke on economic matters,” one European diplomat recalls. “I cannot imagine he’d be well prepared to do that kind of work. Probably he was doing something else.” Also, the diplomat adds, it was “very impressive” for someone to go from being a lowly media flack in Vilnius to the head of the economic section at the embassy in Washington, the most important Russian mission on the planet, even with pit-stop postings in the Russian Finance and Foreign Affairs ministries, where Kalugin served in between his Lithuanian and American deployments.

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Mark Galeotti, a Prague-based specialist on Russia’s security services, agrees that Kalugin’s true role in the states extended well beyond trade deals and GDP comparisons. “My sources in Russia have told me that Kalugin’s apparent lack of interest in economic matters was because he was otherwise employed at the embassy,” Galeotti says, “and that typically means being an intelligence officer.”

The McClatchy news service reported in February that Kalugin had in fact been “under scrutiny” by U.S. intelligence as part of a multi-agency investigation into Russian interference in the last presidential election. Kalugin was suspected of helping to finance the email hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

Kalugin flat-out denied any involvement in the cyber-espionage or in running a complicated slush fund for hackers via Russian pensioners in America. “I had nothing to do with the distribution of retirement payments to the Russian citizens in the United States,” he told McClatchy. Any mention of him in the Steele dossier or subsequent inquiries into his work constituted a “continuous stream of lies and fake news about my person.”

IT DOESN’T TAKE an opposition research dossier, much less a Senate subcommittee, to see that Russian spies have long taken a keen interest in the views and behavior of Russians in the diaspora, especially those with outspoken hostile attitudes toward the Kremlin and its long-entrenched masters. Two of the most astounding crimes of the last and current centuries attest to the intensity of that interest.

When Ramon Mercader plunged an ice-axe into the skull of Leon Trotsky in Mexico City in 1940, just as the Old Man of the Soviet opposition perused an article written by a supposed acolyte who was really an undercover assassin, it was the culmination of a plot personally put into motion by Josef Stalin himself and carefully organized by Pavel Sudoplatov, the head of the Administration for Special Tasks, then one of two arms of Stalin’s foreign intelligence apparatus.

Not long after the founder of the Red Army was killed in Mexico, and the same year as World War II ended, one of Stalin’s military intelligence officers turned over a freshet of documentary evidence showing just how extensive the Soviet penetration of the West had been, even during the anti-Nazi alliance.

“When Igor Gouzenko, a GRU cipher clerk, defected to Canada in 1945 with a cache of top secret documents, the West suddenly realized the extent of the Soviet effort to recruit sympathizers to its cause,” says Amy Knight, the author of How the Cold War Began: The Igor Gouzenko Affair and the Hunt for Soviet Spies. “Soviet spies, disguised as diplomats, had infiltrated western governments and their atomic bomb enterprizes on an impressive scale. The West went on high alert and the Cold War was officially started.”

It arguably began anew in 2006, when Alexander Litvinenko, a former officer of the FSB, the successor organ of the KGB, quaffed a cup of green tea at the Pine Bar at the Millennium Hotel in London, the city to which he and his family defected a few years before. He unwittingly swallowed an exponentially lethal dose of polonium-210, a radiological poison slipped to him by two men who worked for his former service, which he had since denounced for its corruption, its ties to organized crime, and its acts of state terrorism. Polonium-210 is manufactured in exactly one place on earth: in the Russian city of Sarov, at a plant closely guarded by the FSB.

“Virtual mafia state”—that unforgettable phrase from the U.S. State Department cables published by WikiLeaks—was actually a reference to Litvinenko’s own appraisal of the Russian government’s close integration with the Russian mob, as relayed to Spanish intelligence, to which Litvinenko was subcontracted by his new employer, Britain’s MI6.

Gangsters had long operated in the USSR, usually in opposition to it, which is why the uppermost echelon of non-political criminal prisoners in the gulag were known as vory v zakone, or “thieves in law.” But organized crime proliferated with the demise of communism, and its functionaries spread across Europe like spoors, from Latvia to London.

“Litvinenko had come to believe that mobsters were functioning as quasi-state institutions unto themselves.”

By the 2000s, Litvinenko had come to believe that mobsters were functioning as quasi-state institutions unto themselves. They could murder and steal with impunity because they were also tasked with doing so by the FSB and SVR, the Russian foreign intelligence operation, which sought to outsource such undertakings to unsavory characters more accustomed to claim credit for them. (To this day, hitmen are contracted by the siloviki to dispose of insurgent veterans from the Caucasus now domiciled in Turkey.)

Litvinenko’s thesis became his end. After having been a marked man for at least three years before he ingested the polonium, he was murdered not for ideological subversion, as in the bad old days, or even as the result of some hysterical purge of the security organs. His “modern assassination was about money,” as the British journalist Luke Harding has written in A Very Expensive Poison, his definitive book on the snuffing of the Russian spy and the attendant British wrangle to get to the bottom of it. “He threatened the revenue streams of some very powerful people. So they killed him.”

Just how powerful these people were had long been known to Westminster, which, out of fear of what the case might do to relations with the Kremlin (not to mention the steady stream of rubles pouring each year into the London real estate and commercial markets) never quite laid blame for this extrajudicial murder on the men who sanctioned it. Then last year came a much-publicized public inquiry headed by High Court Judge Sir Robert Owen. Litvinenko’s assassination, Owen concluded, was likely ordered by the then-head of the FSB, Nikolai Patrushev, himself acting at the instruction of his more famous predecessor, Vladimir Putin.

The man who was and still is Russia’s president had his own commercial ties to the underworld, according to Karen Darwisha, author of Putin’s Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?, a recent work of scholarship that ably synthesizes the encyclopedic history post-Soviet graft and racketeering. One of the syndicates Litvinenko had been tracking in Spain was the Tambov Gang, which notoriously monopolized gasoline sales in St. Petersburg for a time in the 1990s. Putin, who worked in the city’s mayoral office, “granted” the mob that monopoly, Darwisha writes.

FOR SOMEONE WHO fetishizes the concept of “sovereignty” when it suits him—usually when he doesn’t want the United States interfering in foreign countries he prefers to interfere in—national borders ceased to exist for Putin when they attempt to circumscribe the metaphysical orphans of a fallen empire or the traitors to its glorious resurrection.

It is often forgotten that he cited as the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century the collapse of the Soviet Union. “For the Russian people, it became a real drama,” Putin said. “Tens of millions of our fellow citizens and compatriots found themselves outside Russian territory.”

Russia is thus honor-bound to come to the fraternal assistance of its “compatriots” whenever necessary, and even if they haven’t asked for it. According to John Sipher, the former CIA station chief in Moscow and the former head of the agency’s Russia operations, “Putin’s policy has always been: where there are Russians, that is where Russia is.” For Sipher, the notion that the Kremlin might thus turn to a handful of Russian émigrés in to facilitate a clandestine financial pipeline from the motherland to vested U.S. political interests tracks with stated Kremlin policy.

The term encompassing this is Russkiy mir, the “Russian world,” which denotes a global sodality defined by the shared inheritances of culture, language, and the Orthodox Christian religion. Putin cynically couched his invasion and annexation of Crimea as a prophylactic measure to rescue peninsular Russians from certain annihilation at the hands of a “fascist junta” in Kiev, which supposedly swept to power in wake of the Maidan Revolution in 2014.

Elsewhere his non-military interventions have seized upon similar pretexts in other former Soviet satellite countries.

For instance, the cultural organization Rossotrudnichestvo, run by Sergei Lavrov’s Foreign Ministry, has financed any number of European governmental nongovernmental organizations—“GONGOs”—dealing with this mythical double-headed beast of resurgent Nazism and Russian persecution, from Tallinn to Tbilisi. In some inspired cases, Russian neo-Nazis have stolen across the border to appear as Estonian neo-Nazis, for the purpose of furnishing fresh “evidence” for these GONGOs where little or none may naturally exist.

If Christopher Steele is to be believed, Rossotrudnichestvo also served another underhanded function in the 2016 election: Its facilities in Prague were used to host a secret liaison between Trump attorney Michael Cohen and Kremlin officials in August 2016, a dossier allegation that Cohen has vehemently denied and has never been proven.

PUTIN WILL NO DOUBT have been taught at the Andropov Red Banner Institute in Moscow, where he was trained as a KGB case officer in the ’70s, the service’s primary interest in the diaspora was twofold: either recruit them as agents or informants, or ferret them out as agents or informants of the West. Sometimes it was difficult to tell which was which.

The third and final set of intercepted KGB documents given to The Daily Beast by a European intelligence service shows just how paranoid Moscow Center was about Russian exiles. “The Use of the Soviet Committee for Cultural Ties with Fellow Countrymen Abroad in the Interests of State Security Agencies,” as it’s called, resembles the previous two documents in its thoroughgoing obsession with counterintelligence threats and botched operations. Where this document deviates from the other two is that it delves into greater anecdotal detail about some of those screw-ups and even names names—or codenames, anyway.

Such added color may owe to the fact that unlike the other two, which were produced in the late ’80s, this file was published for internal KGB use in 1968, an annus horribilis for the Soviet spy services, which failed to predict and preempt the Prague Spring. Surely an excellent time to fret about what “compatriots” were getting up to everywhere inside and outside of the Warsaw Pact’s jurisdiction.

In a sense, this relic of Cold War tradecraft is as much a monument to the West’s nimble manipulation of émigré circles as it is a manual on how to recruit them for Moscow.

We learn, for instance, that in 1965, a “small patriotic group”—a euphemism for a Soviet front—was established in Hanover, West Germany, by a man called Simeonov, described in the document as a “traitor to the Motherland, sentenced in his day by a Soviet court to severe punishment,” but in absentia.

Despite Simeonov’s ideological black record at home, the KGB allowed his group to establish contact with the Representative Office of the Soviet Committee for Cultural Ties in East Berlin. Trips were then arranged for members of this group to travel into the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) to meet with committee officials.

In “talks with these emissaries, the impression was formed that the Simeonov group was well-organized, regularly conducted patriotic meetings with fellow countrymen, and had launched work to attract other émigrés to the organization who lived in Hanover [Germany] and its suburbs.”

Suspicions were duly allayed. Eventually, Simeonov himself went to East Berlin and, although still supposedly subject to immediate detention because of the outstanding verdict against him, was allowed to move freely through the city, then return home and continue expanding his fifth column.

The committee and by extension the KGB, which supervised its work, believed the information that Simeonov and his cohort passed along about the activities of their fellow émigrés in Hanover was genuine. It wasn’t.

The entire group was rife with West German moles. The KGB only became aware of the deception when it discovered that the “patron” of the group was a Catholic priest who generously loaned space in his church to host gatherings, which he often attended. “A check of the priest through operational lists indicated that we were dealing with a former Hitlerite officer… who maintained a connection to the local police agencies.” (Whether the priest was in fact a former Nazi officer or simply described as one is unclear; the Soviets had a propensity for labeling anti-Communist clerics, even those who had stood up to Hitler, as stooges of National Socialism.)

Simeonov, too, wasn’t quite the rehabilitated “patriot” he appeared to be even under surveillance in East Berlin. He was found to be a “provocateur” working for his adoptive fatherland, West Germany. But rather than cut ties, the KGB shifted the operation from trying to run the group to using it to try to reverse-engineer the network of West German agents who had penetrated it. The Russians even went so far as to gauge the possibility of poaching some of these German assets. The takeaway in the instruction manual, however, was to emphasize the need not only to influence émigrés through the dissemination of ideology but of owning and controlling them outright, lest they fall prey to hostile intelligence forces.

“Counterintelligence planted a man known as ‘Khameleon’ among this community in the role of middleman filing petitions for travel to the USSR.”

The Ukrainian diaspora in Canada apparently merited special attention during the late ’60s as a hotbed of anti-Soviet skulduggery. According to this text, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police counterintelligence planted a man known as “Khameleon” among this community in the role of middleman filing petitions for travel to the USSR. Khameleon told Ukrainians in Canada that the petitions had to be filled out in Russian, giving him a pretext to meet with scores looking to travel to Kiev or Odessa as tourists or businessmen.

Khameleon was doing for Ottawa what Moscow would have liked him to do for them: studying these expatriates for recruitment or surveillance, sketching personality profiles of them, gauging their dispositions toward the USSR, and determining what if any affiliations they might have to “progressive” (read: pro-Soviet) organizations in Canada. All this information was then sent back to Khameleon’s Mountie handlers.

“Bekker” was part of the Belgian-based Union of Soviet Citizens (SSG), an émigré association, whose members regularly visited the USSR and even met with officials in the Soviet Committee on Cultural Ties. Belgian counterintelligence learned that Bekker was planning such a trip back to the USSR and had him called into a local police station. He was interrogated about the “state of affairs in the SSG, his intentions regarding the trip,” and then he was made an offer of recruitment—one the Belgians thought he couldn’t refuse.

They blackmailed him using undisclosed material in the form of a “bulging dossier,” as the KGB manual puts it. Bekker refused to collaborate. He was let go, with the phone number of the officer who tried to blackmail him and instructions to be in touch in case “any difficulties arose” with regard to his trip. Bekker instead walked straight into the Soviet Embassy in Brussels and sang about what had just happened to him.

In America, where Russian émigrés had generally thrived and didn’t look back to what they’d left behind because they’d left it behind for good reason, they and their children could work their ways up into sensitive positions in business, government, and the military, making them of course prime targets for the Soviet Committee’s very special “outreach.”

The document recounts the case of “Kapitan,” who was involved in “secret work in the U.S. Army.” Kapitan’s uncle, codenamed “Stary,” had written a letter to the Soviet Committee on Cultural Ties explaining what he, his family and friends were up to in the States. Presumably out of carelessness, he mentioned his nephew’s job.

The Soviet organs seized upon this enticing morsel as a reason to obtain more information on Kapitan through continued correspondence with Stary. Several letters were changed, the ones from Moscow “carefully encoded” with indirect questions. Through this method, Kapitan’s address and other “basic data” about him were obtained. Soon, the rezidentura confirmed that Kapitan was actually an officer in Air Force intelligence, the KGB stopped writing to Stary and began trying to develop his nephew. But the plan failed, this time owing to the KGB’s own carelessness:

“When our agent visited Stary, through whom access to Kapitan was intended, introduced himself as a Soviet citizen, Stary immediately warned that his correspondence with the Soviet Committee was known to the FBI which was in the process of holding all these letters. He said that he had the assignment to immediately inform the FBI about people who came to him and would be interested in Kapitan. Stary advised our person not to visit him any more to avoid unpleasantness.”

The FBI had intercepted the committee’s correspondence and deciphered the “encoded” messages to Stary, after all. This operation could have turned out much worse, however. Kapitan’s uncle refused to give up the Soviet agent who had come to call on him seeking an introduction to his more important nephew.

“ORIGINALLY YOU HAD the diaspora, which involved a lot of Russian Jews who were escaping and routinely receiving American visas because of the repression of Soviet Jewry,” Steven Hall says. “By the same token, the Russian intelligence services took a strategic view of other waves in the diaspora. A lot of them realized what was going to happen and in some cases did happen: Those who had difficulties resettling in the West began to long for home.

“Give it a few years, and a KGB officer under cultural attaché cover knocks on your door and brings a bottle of vodka or has a cup of tea talking about how great life was. The Soviets always saw these exiles as a target for operational use even though they’d fled.”

Contrast that with the present-day. There are hardly any travel restrictions into and out of Russia, providing you haven’t fled because of political pressure. There is a greater and faster accumulation of wealth by Russians, much of it kept (or stashed) abroad by a generation of billionaire oligarchs reared on the domestic oil and gas industry who have lately moved into international finance, real estate, sports team ownership, and much more.

Such fabulously wealthy Russians may not be émigrés in the traditional sense—plenty still live, at least part of the time, in Moscow—but they are seen as public exponents of Putin’s regime, cultural diplomats intended to put a nice face on a deeply corrupt kleptocracy. Are they being monitored? In today’s world the KGB’s heirs needn’t bank on fond memories from childhood; they can bank on something far more persuasive: money.

Read the whole story
· · · · · · · · · · · · · ·

The KGB Playbook for Turning Russians Worldwide Into Agents – Daily Beast

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The KGB Playbook for Turning Russians Worldwide Into Agents
Daily Beast
This is the third and last article in a series based on never-before-published training manuals for the KGB, the Soviet intelligence organization that Vladimir Putin served as an operative, and that shaped his view of the world. (Part 1 can be found 

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Daily Beast
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Just as he put his name on buildings he helped build, just as he got himself not one but two “trophy wives,” he looks atAmerica now as his trophy country. The job of Congress, of the media, of his own nominee to the Supreme Court, is not to display 
Waters Leads 171 Dems in Letter of Support for Special Counsel Robert MuellerLasentinel

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Bloomberg
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The attack came after Putin thanked U.S. President Donald Trump last week for information passed on by the Central Intelligence Agency that he said helped break up an Islamic State cell plotting to bomb St. Petersburg’s Kazan Cathedral and other 
Putin says St. Petersburg explosion was terror attackABC News
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America and the Great Abdication – The Atlantic


The Atlantic
America and the Great Abdication
The Atlantic
Russia under Vladimir Putin is a country with a narrowly based economy that is focused on retaining power at home, reestablishing Russian influence in the Middle East and Europe, and interfering in the internal politics of Western democracies. It is 

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With more to come, new JFK documents offer fresh leads 54 years later

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The Oil and Gas Sector Is Changing and So Is Geopolitics – New York Times


New York Times
The Oil and Gas Sector Is Changing and So Is Geopolitics
New York Times
Such units are now helping countries in Central and Eastern Europe receive gas from abroad, lessening their dependence onRussia for energy and creating a more globally integrated energy system. No longer dependent on continental pipelines, countries 

The Long Rise and Fast Fall of New York’s Black Mafia – Daily Beast


Daily Beast
The Long Rise and Fast Fall of New York’s Black Mafia
Daily Beast
In 1974, it looked like the Godfather model was fading amid indictments and hits on its leaders and as middle-class white residents poured out of America’s inner cities. That was when Francis A.J. Ianni published Black Mafia: Ethnic Succession in

Preparing for Putin, round five – The Japan Times


USA TODAY
Preparing for Putin, round five
The Japan Times
U.S. President Donald Trump appears to have genuine affinity for Putin and Russia, the one constant in his chaotic foreign policy. He wants to work with Putin and to give him space to solve problems, a process that would extend Russian influence 
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Russia’s latest accusation against the United States is its most ironic yetSalon
Troll So Hard: Russia Accuses US Of ‘Direct Interference’ In Its Prez ElectionTPM

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Putin Trump – Google News: Preparing for Putin, round five – The Japan Times


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Preparing for Putin, round five
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U.S. President Donald Trump appears to have genuine affinity for Putin and Russia, the one constant in his chaotic foreign policy. He wants to work with Putin and to give him space to solve problems, a process that would extend Russian influence 
Russia warns US against ‘meddling’ in presidential electionUSA TODAY
Other Views: Putin may be in more trouble than we knowLubbockOnline.com
Trump calls Putin’s denials ‘sincere,’ later says he’s ‘with our agencies’ on Russian election meddlingOakwood Herald
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Los Angeles Times
2017: A polarizing year dominated by hashtags and Trump
WTVA
The Kremlin’s optimism that deals could be done with the Trump administration — on sanctions, Crimea and Syria — quickly frayed into frustration and then exasperation. Last week, President Putin wrote off 2017 as a year of “delirium and madness” in
Trump claims he’s boosting US influence, but many foreign leaders see America in retreatLos Angeles Times
Ethnic conflict: A glaring omission in Trump’s national security strategyThe Hill
US National Security Searches for a Strategy. Proliferating Enemies with no End in SightCenter for Research on Globalization

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8:09 AM 12/23/2017 – Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks: 12 things we can definitively say the Russia investigation has uncovered so far – The Washington Post

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Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks

12 things we can definitively say the Russia investigation has uncovered so far – The Washington Post

tacoma train derailment – Google Search
2017 Washington train derailment – Wikipedia
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fbi – Google News: Las Vegas shooting: FBI official says info on motive may take until next October to release – Fox News
Today’s Headlines and Commentary
Today’s Headlines and Commentary
The Early Edition: December 22, 2017
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Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: Today’s Headlines and Commentary
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Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
12 things we can definitively say the Russia investigation has uncovered so far – The Washington Post

mikenova shared this story .

Here’s one big thing we don’t know: whether any of this implicates the president or his campaign. It might. Or it might not. And we may never uncover a smoking gun, legal experts say.

“I think it’s unlikely to be the kind of case where there’s one event or one development that is so significant that it blows the story out of the water,” said Jens David Ohlin, vice dean of Cornell Law School. “It’s a slow accumulation of dozens of different events, conversations and moments that are pieced together. And then, when you look at the whole story, you say: ‘Hey, wait a minute. Something is going on here.’ ”

tacoma train derailment – Google Search

mikenova shared this story from tacoma train derailment – Google News.

Story image for tacoma train derailment from The News Tribune

‘Bodies laying everywhere’: 911 calls capture chaos, tragedy after …

The News Tribune14 hours ago
State transportation officials said Thursday they won’t restart passenger service along the route where the train derailed until advanced safety systems are in place. Footage from the train’s inward- and outward-facing cameras show the train’s engineer was not using a cellphone before the crash, according …
Amtrak train’s crew noted high speed just before crash, NTSB says
<a href=”http://NBCNews.com” rel=”nofollow”>NBCNews.com</a>18 hours ago
The Deadly Curve Where Amtrak Train Derailed Was Deemed Too …
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The Curve Where an Amtrak Train Derailed Wasn’t Supposed to …

TIME12 hours ago
The Curve Where an Amtrak Train Derailed Wasn’t Supposed to Exist – But It Cost Too Much to Fix … On Monday, an Amtrak train traveling from Seattle to Portland derailed near Tacoma while reportedly traveling too fast around a curve sharp enough to require a 30-miles-per-hour speed limit, killing three …
2017 Washington train derailment – Wikipedia

mikenova shared this story .

On December 18, 2017, Amtrak Cascades passenger train 501 derailed near DuPont, Washington, United States. It was the inaugural southbound revenue service run on the Point Defiance Bypass, a new passenger rail route south of Tacoma, Washington. The bypass was intended to reduce congestion and separate passenger and freight traffic, and was designed for faster speeds and shorter travel times (saving ten minutes from Seattle to Portland) than the previous route used by Cascades.[1]

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fbi – Google News: Las Vegas shooting: FBI official says info on motive may take until next October to release – Fox News

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Las Vegas shooting: FBI official says info on motive may take until next October to release
Fox News
That burning question has not been answered, but Rouse said evidence still suggests Paddock was the only person involved in the attack and that he has not been linked with any affiliations or ideologies. The FBI previously denied claims by the Islamic

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 fbi – Google News

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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

On Friday, the U.N. Security Council imposed new sanctions on North Korea designed to significantly cut off fuel supplies and order North Koreans working abroad to return home within two years, the New York Times . The sanctions, which received unanimous support from the 15 countries on the Security Council, limit exports of oil to their current level. The sanctions also require countries to expel North Korean workers, which are a source of hard currency. China and Russia joined the vote, despite charges by the United States that Russia has provided new links to the outside world for North Korea, including internet connections. The resolution provides the third package of sanctions this year; it was proposed in response to North Koreas test of an intercontinental ballistic missile on Nov. 30.

Vice President Mike Pence made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Thursday ahead of the holidays, saying that the United States was on a path to achieving a lasting victory for freedom and security in Afghanistan the Wall Street Journal. In an address to more than 500 American troops later in the day, Pence relayed a message from President Donald Trump: Tell them I love them. Pence became the highest-ranking official in the Trump administration to travel to Afghanistan, where Gen. John Nicholson, the commanding general of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, has called the now 16-year-old fight against the Taliban a stalemate. Nicholson said additional troops and new authorities from Trump have given commanders more autonomy to prosecute the fight.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit denied the Trump administrations motion for a delay in implementing a district court order to accept transgender recruits into the military, The Hill . The ruling by Judges Diana Gribbon Motz, Albert Diaz, and Pamela Harris keeps in place Jan. 1 the deadline for the Pentagon to begin accepting in transgender recruits, and may lead to an appeal to the Supreme Court. Trump announced the ban in July on Twitter and confirmed it in a proclamation the next month.

Trump  that he plans to sign a $4 billion dollar missile defense bill later today. the Hill, the spending measure allocates approximately $4.6 billion for missile defense programs and repairs, as well as repairs for the Navy destroyers damaged in recent collisions.

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe faced intense questioning in closed sessions of the House intelligence, judiciary, and oversight committees this week over about his interactions with former FBI Director James Comey during the FBIs Russia investigation and the Clinton email probe, CNN . McCabe, in 16 hours of testimony across two sessions, told lawmakers that Comey informed him of his conversations with Trump soon after they happened, suggesting that McCabe might have corroborated Comeys claim that Trump asked him for loyalty. The testimony comes amid increasing calls for Christopher Wray, Comeys successor as FBI director, to fire McCabe.

FBI General Counsel James Baker will be reassigned within the FBI in the coming months, the Post . Baker is one of the longest-serving national security officials in the federal government and has played a key role in the Bureaus handling of seminal cases and policy discussions. He told colleagues in an email on Wednesday that his duties were changing. In recent months, Baker has been part of an interagency dispute which ultimately led to a leak probe, though the probe did not play a role in Bakers reassignment. The move comes as FBI Director Christopher Wray assembles his team of advisers.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is looking into the Human Rights Accountability Initiative, a foundation that seeks to help Americans adopt Russian orphans and members of which met with senior Trump campaign officials Bloomberg. The foundation, which was financed with $500,000 from wealthy Russian benefactors, served as a lobbying vehicle against certain sanctions against Russia. One of the foundations representatives, Rinat Akhmetshin, joined Natalia Veselnitskaya for a meeting a Trump Tower with Donald Trump, Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort in June 2016.

National Counterterrorism Center Director Nicholas Rasmussen, who will retire this month after five years at the center, voiced concern in his final briefing to reporters about access to guns and the resulting frustration of efforts to prevent mass casualty attacks, the Post . We find ourselves in a more dangerous situation because our population of violent extremists has no difficulty gaining access to weapons that are quite lethal, he said. Rasmussen is among the few high-ranking officials from the Obama administration that remained in place for the first year of the Trump administration, having held senior positions under both Democratic and Republican presidents at  the National Security Council, NCTC, and the State Department during his 27-year career.

The Journal  the untold story behind Nigerias effort to rescue over 200 schoolgirls that Boko Haram kidnapped in 2014, launching a social media movement centered around the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

China has asked the Security Council to postpone a decision on blacklisting 10 ships that the United States claims have violated sanctions against North Korea, the Journal . A special committee of the Security Council was poised Thursday to block the vessels from entering the ports of U.N. members, but China formally requested that the decision be delayed until Dec. 28, so it could have more time to study the list of ships. This marks the second time China has asked for a such a deferral.

The Senate approved four new assistant secretaries for the Defense Department late Wednesday, including the chief of Asian and Pacific Affairs, the Hill . The Senate confirmed by a voice vote Thomas Harker as assistant secretary of the Navy for financial management; Bruce Jette as assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, technology; and logistics; John Roth as assistant secretary of the Air Force for financial management; and Randall Schriver as assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific Affairs.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

J. Dana Stuster  the Middle East Ticker.

Paul Rosenzweig  Christmas in the Trenches by John McCutcheon.

Matthew Kahn  the U.S. District Court for D.C.s denial for a stay in the transgender servicemember litigation.

Jack Goldsmith  why it was necessary for the United States to attribute the WannaCry cyber attack to North Korea without a credible deterrence strategy.

Sasha Romanosky  how the federal government should handle private sector attribution of cyber attacks.

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

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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

On Thursday, The U.N. General Assembly voted 128-9 to condemn President Donald Trumps recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the New York Times . The vote, which included 35 abstentions, is a stinging rebuke of Trumps decision. U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement after the vote that the United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for an attack in the General Assembly. We will remember it when called upon to again to make the largest contribution to the United Nations. The vote went against the United States despite President Trumps threats to cut billions of dollars in aid to countries who voted for it. Well be watching those votes. Let them vote against us; well save a lot. We dont care, Trump said during a cabinet meeting ahead of the emergency session. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed the Trump administrations rhetoric, calling the U.N. a house of lies ahead of todays vote, Reuters . The decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital has caused daily protests by Palestinians in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, with eight killed so far.

The Pentagon has issued new policy guidance to military recruiters for how to enlist transgender recruits into the armed forces, intensifying the fight over Trumps ban on military service by transgender people the Post. Lawyers challenging Trumps ban have since included the new policy guidance in their filings on appeal. The guidance states that the government will comply with federal court orders directing the military to begin accepting transgender recruits as of Jan. 1 of next year. The court order also raises the possibility that a handful of transgender individuals who were denied their commissions after graduating from the military academies may be able to receive them.

Senior national security officials are embracing a proposal to send an American citizen who has been detained in Iraq since mid-September to Saudi Arabia,  the Times. The man, who is believed to be a low-level Islamic State fighter, was born in the United States to visiting Saudi parents. The Trump administration has struggled to come up with a plan to deal with the detainee, whose name it refuses to release, since he was captured. The pressure to resolve his fate has increased with the filing of a habeas corpus suit by the American Civil Liberties Union. The government initially wanted to prosecute him in a civilian court, but the FBI could not produce sufficient evidence against him.

Defense Secretary James Mattis will become the first Pentagon chief to visit Guantanamo since 2002, as he travels there to offer holiday greetings to troops today, ABC News . He will not be touring the detention facilities or discussing detainee options, but his visit comes amid uncertainty over the administrations policy on continued use of the nearly 16-year-old military detention facility.

The Pentagon confirmed for the first time that multiple ground operations involving U.S. troops have taken place in Yemen, noting that the Islamic States presence there has doubled NBC News. The statement by U.S. Central Command in explained that U.S. forces have conducted more than 120 strikes in 2017. Before the announcement, knowledge of counterterrorism operations in Yemen under the Trump administration was sporadic, with the administration acknowledging very few operations, such as the January raid that left Navy SEAL William Owens dead.

South Korean soldiers fired 20 machine gun rounds as warning shots against North Korean soldiers apparently pursuing a defecting comrade who made it across the DMZ into South Korean territory, CBS News . South Korean officials reported hearing gunfire after the warning shots were fired, but it is unclear whether the shots were retaliatory. Neither side reported casualties. The escape by the purportedly 19-year-old soldier marks the fourth such defection this year.

Josh Rogin of the Post  the Trump administrations approval of the first ever U.S. commercial sale of lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine, in what amounts to a clear break with from the de facto ban on arms sales dating back to the Obama administration. The move was heavily supported by senior Trump national security officials, but may complicate Trumps ambition to work with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The State Department approved a commercial license authorizing the export of Model M107A1 Sniper Systems, ammunition, and associated parts and accessories to Ukraine, a sale valued at $41.5 million. Congress authorized such sales with the Ukraine Freedom Support Act in 2014.

The Trump administration  five new names to the list of Russian nationals sanctioned under the Magnitsky Act, which targets officials engaged in corruption. The list includes Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who has been accused of human rights abuses in tamping down on Chechen extremists. BBC  that the Kremlin has called the sanctions illegal and unfriendly, with Kadyrov saying he is proud that he is out of favor with the special services of the USA.

Sen. Mark Warner, the vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, issued a warning to President Trump to not interfere with the special counsels critical investigation and called on fellow senators to protect the probe, The Hill . Warner said he believed it was up to both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to make clear that any attempt to remove Special Counsel Robert Mueller would be a gross abuse of power and a flagrant violation of Executive branch responsibilities and authorities, adding that any interference would cause a constitutional crisis. The remarks come amid speculation that Trump may remove Mueller, speculation that Trump has dismissed.

The Associated Press  that a decision to place Dan Meyer, the director of the Intelligence Community Whistleblowing and Source Protection program, on administrative leave has alarmed whistleblower groups and members of Congress. Intelligence officials have refused to answer why Meyer was put on leave, insisting that they support whistleblower programs. Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has begun an investigation, sending a letter to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats about allegations that intelligence officials are taking steps to hamper the program, and calling on the acting inspector general for the intelligence community, Wayne Stone, to ensure the contents of Meyers office are secured.

 

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Philip Bobbitt  why China would want to offer extended deterrence to North Korea.

Bob Bauer  the presidents removal power in response to Josh Blackmans posts on Congresss impeachment power and obstruction of justice charges against the president.

Scott Anderson  his post on the Lawfare@FP feed examining the ambiguity in Trumps recognition of Jerusalem as Israels capital.

Susan Landau  the use of threat modeling in the context of Apples encryption policy and the FBIs need to access phones.

Vanessa Sauter  the Lawfare postcast, featuring Christine Fair on terrorism in Bangladesh.

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

 

The Early Edition: December 22, 2017

mikenova shared this story from Just Security.

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

ISRAEL-PALESTINE

The U.N. General Assembly yesterday voted 128 to 9 in favor of a resolution calling on the U.S. to withdraw its Dec. 6 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital, the non-binding vote was largely symbolic but demonstrated the weight of the international consensus against the shift in U.S. policy, and many U.N. Security Council resolutions over the decades have warned that the boundaries of Jerusalem constitute a final status issue to be decided in negotiations between Israel and Palestine. Rick Gladstone and Mark Landler report at the New York Times.

The General Assembly vote followed Mondays failed attempt to adopt a similar resolution at the U.N. Security Council due to the U.S.s use of its veto power. The Assembly vote demanded that all States comply with Security Council resolutions on the status of Jerusalem, that any unilateral decisions on the status of Jerusalem would be null and void, and that all States should refrain from moving their diplomatic missions to Jerusalem, the U.N. News Centre reports.

The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in the General Assembly, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said during the debate preceding the vote, adding that the U.S. would still move its embassy to Jerusalem. Farnaz Fassihi reports at the Wall Street Journal.

The General Assemblys overwhelming vote was in spite of U.S. threats to cut aid to countries that supported the resolution, some of the 35 countries that abstained offered explanations distancing themselves from Trumps Dec. 6 decision. Carol Morello and Ruth Eglash report at the Washington Post.

Many of the U.S.s Western and Arab allies voted in favor of the measure, including Egypt, Jordan and Iraq who receive significant U.S. financial and military assistance, and Haley said that the U.S. would remember this vote when it is called upon to once again make the worlds largest contribution to the United Nations. Michelle Nichols reports at Reuters.

Israel completely rejects this preposterous resolution, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement yesterday, on the other hand, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas praised the vote, saying that it demonstrated the international communitys support for the Palestinian cause and that no decisions made by any side could change the reality, that Jerusalem is an occupied territory under international law. Rory Jones reports at the Wall Street Journal.

A breakdown of how each country voted is provided at Al Jazeera.

Palestinians will no longer accept any plan from the United States, Abbas reiterated today, referring to the U.S.s role as a mediator in the Israel-Palestine peace process. The BBC reports.

The Iranian Foreign Minister welcomed the vote in the face of the Trump regimes thuggish intimidation, in a message posted on Twitter, Reuters reports.

The Turkish President Reçep Tayyip Erdoğan said yesterday that he expects the Trump administration to rescind its Jerusalem decision without delay, Reuters reports.

The presidents foreign policy team has been empowered to explore various options going forward; however, no decisions have been made, the State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said yesterday in response to the General Assembly vote. Max Greenwood reports at the Hill.

The Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak led a demonstration in solidarity with Palestinians today, noting that he had visited the White House recently and that Trump is a good acquaintance, but that he would not pawn the sanctity of Islam. The AP reports.

A reevaluation of the U.S. role as the single largest donor to the U.N. is long overdue, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in a message posted on Twitter yesterday, stating that the U.N. has tended to be a forum for anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism. Brett Samuels reports at the Hill.

The U.S. threat to cut aid may have resulted in the increase in the number of abstentions, according to some analysts, however others have said that the threat did not bear much weight. An analysis of the U.S. warning to cut aid is provided at Al Jazeera.

NORTH KOREA

The U.S. circulated a draft resolution imposing new sanctions on North Korea to the U.N. Security Council yesterday, the proposal would limit North Koreas fuel imports, tighten shipping restrictions, and call for the return of North Korean citizens earning income abroad within 12 months. Rick Gladstone reports at the New York Times.

The Security Council is set to vote on the draft U.S. resolution today, according to the U.S. the sanctions would ban over 90 percent of North Koreas exports reported in 2016 and the cutoff in work permits would eventually cost the regime around $500m a year. Edith M. Lederer reports at the AP.

China has formally requested a postponement on a U.N. Security Council decision to blacklist 10 ships that the U.S. has claimed have violated international sanctions against North Korea, calling for the decision to be delayed until Dec. 28 while it examines the proposed list. Michael R. Gordon reports at the Wall Street Journal.

North Koreas nuclear weapons and missile program stopped being funny in 2017, Adam Taylor and Tim Meko explain at Washington Post why weapons testing by the Pyongyang regime over the past year has increased talk of a conflict.

AFGHANISTAN

Vice President Mike Pence made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan yesterday, he said that the Trump administration believes we are now on the path to achieve a lasting victory for freedom and security in Afghanistan. Gordon Lubold reports at the Wall Street Journal.

Were here to see this through, Pence said, his visit coming after Trump announced a new strategy for Afghanistan in August that focuses on a fight to win rather than a time-based approach. Ken Thomas reports at the AP.

Pence did not say whether more troops would be needed in Afghanistan, noting that the decision would be needed to be taken by Trump, he also said that he had pushed Afghan leaders to enact political reforms in the country. Jeff Mason reports at Reuters.

A suicide car bombing killed four policemen in Afghanistans Kandahar province today and a bombing in Herat province killed four civilians last night. The Islamic State group have claimed responsibility for the Herat attack but there has been no claim of responsibility for the attack in Kandahar, the AP reports.

SYRIA

Russia is failing to genuinely de-conflict airspace in Syria, the chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said yesterday, making the comments after the Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that it was unclear why Russia was violating the agreement separating Russian and U.S.-led coalition forces operating in Syria. Ryan Browne reports at CNN.

The U.S. presence in Syria must end, the Russian President Vladimir Putins envoy for Syria said yesterday, speaking at a new round of Russia, Iran and Turkey-brokered Syrian peace talks being held in Kazakhstans capital of Astana. Reuters reports.

The U.S. expects Russia to maintain a fairly significant presence in Syria despite an announcement that they are going to withdraw, the U.S. special envoy to the coalition against the Islamic State, Brett McGurk, told reporters today. Reuters reports.

Russia is set to host a Syrian congress of national dialogue on Jan. 29-30, according to the Russian news reports. The AP reports.

Chinas repression of its Uighur Muslim minority motivated thousands of Uighurs to travel to Syria to fight with a Uighur Islamist militant group and alongside al-Qaeda, the return of the militants to China may present a security challenge as the war in Syria de-escalates. Gerry Smith reveals at the AP.

The perception that the war in Syria is winding down has come as the Syrian government has achieved a series of battleground victories with the help of Russia and Iran; however, the reality is much more complicated, the violence is likely to continue, and there is the potential for new conflicts to emerge. Zeina Karam provides an analysis at the AP.

U.S.-led airstrikes continue. U.S. and coalition forces carried out 19 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq between December 15 and December 17. [Central Command]

YEMEN

The U.S. welcomed the decision by the Saudi-led coalition to keep Yemens Hodeidah port open for a month to allow for the flow of humanitarian aid, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Tim Lenderking said in a briefing yesterday. Separately, comments by the White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders suggested that the U.S. believes Iran bears the ultimate responsibility for the Dec. 19 missile launch by Yemens Houthi rebels on the Saudi capital of Riyadh. Reuters reports.

There is no military solution to end the war in Yemen and aggressive diplomacy offers the best way to end the crisis, Lenderking also said yesterday, adding that there is room for Houthis in a political settlement but not while they continue to launch rockets on a regular basis, especially against Saudi Arabia. Al Jazeera reports.

TRUMP-RUSSIA

The F.B.I. Deputy Director Andrew McCabe appeared before the House Intelligence Committee this week in a closed-door session, McCabe discussed his conversations with the former F.B.I. Director James Comey about the F.B.I.s Russia investigation and its investigation into Hillary Clintons use of a private email server, according to sources with knowledge of the testimony. McCabes questioning comes amid increased scrutiny of the F.B.I. and criticism of the agency from Republicans, Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb report at CNN.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into the foundation that purportedly helped Americans adopt Russian children, representatives of the foundation met with Trump campaign officials and the foundation has been alleged to be a front for Russian government interests. Stephanie Baker and Irina Reznik report at Bloomberg.

The intelligence communitys assessment of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election was relevant to the Justice Departments decision to designate the Russian-backed Russia Today (R.T.) channel as a foreign agent, a Justice Department official said yesterday. Josh Gerstein reports at POLITICO.

Mueller faces four threats from Trump and his allies: curbing his investigation, issuing pardons to those involved, a smear campaign, and firing. Richard W. Painter and Norman L. Eisen write at the New York Times, argue that peaceful force must be deployed to maintain the integrity of Muellers investigation.

UKRAINE

Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to work together to create the conditions for Russian ceasefire observers return to eastern Ukraine, the two leaders spoke by phone yesterday and spoke about the situation which started in 2014 following a Russia-backed insurgency. Reuters reports.

The Trump administrations recent decision authorizing the sale of lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine is a welcome reversal of Obama-era policy, Ukraine needs support in the face of Russian aggression and a strong U.S. push back in Ukraine will do more to impress Mr. Putin than all of Mr. Trumps rhetoric about desiring good relations. The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited the Guantánamo Bay naval base yesterday, he did not discuss the future of the detention facility on the base and said: I am confident that were doing the right thing here. Robert Burns reports at the AP.

Justice Department prosecutors have started to interview F.B.I. agents about their investigation into the Uranium One deal, the deal was made during the Obama administration while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, however the F.B.I. investigation about the sale of U.S. uranium mining facilities to a Russian state company ended with no charges being filed. Tom Winter, Pete Wiliams and Ken Dilanian report at NBC News.

The British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called for an improvement in relations with Russia during his visit to Moscow today, ahead of the meeting the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Britain of making aggressive and insulting statements about Russias role in Syria and Ukraine and its alleged campaign of cyber interference. The BBC reports.

Mattis has managed to be by the presidents side and seemingly not be damaged by his proximity to power, however the situation may not last and Mattis faces a difficult task in the next year with regard to the threat posed by North Korea. David Ignatius writes at the Washington Post.

The substance of Trumps national security strategy (N.S.S.) report released this week contained many elements that reflect longstanding U.S. principles, however, there is a significant disconnect between the document and the presidents unpredictable comments and actions, the New York Times editorial board writes.

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On Thursday, The U.N. General Assembly voted 128-9 to condemn President Donald Trumps recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the New York Times . The vote, which included 35 abstentions, is a stinging rebuke of Trumps decision. U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement after the vote that the United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for an attack in the General Assembly. We will remember it when called upon to again to make the largest contribution to the United Nations. The vote went against the United States despite President Trumps threats to cut billions of dollars in aid to countries who voted for it. Well be watching those votes. Let them vote against us; well save a lot. We dont care, Trump said during a cabinet meeting ahead of the emergency session. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed the Trump administrations rhetoric, calling the U.N. a house of lies ahead of todays vote, Reuters . The decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital has caused daily protests by Palestinians in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, with eight killed so far.

The Pentagon has issued new policy guidance to military recruiters for how to enlist transgender recruits into the armed forces, intensifying the fight over Trumps ban on military service by transgender people the Post. Lawyers challenging Trumps ban have since included the new policy guidance in their filings on appeal. The guidance states that the government will comply with federal court orders directing the military to begin accepting transgender recruits as of Jan. 1 of next year. The court order also raises the possibility that a handful of transgender individuals who were denied their commissions after graduating from the military academies may be able to receive them.

Senior national security officials are embracing a proposal to send an American citizen who has been detained in Iraq since mid-September to Saudi Arabia,  the Times. The man, who is believed to be a low-level Islamic State fighter, was born in the United States to visiting Saudi parents. The Trump administration has struggled to come up with a plan to deal with the detainee, whose name it refuses to release, since he was captured. The pressure to resolve his fate has increased with the filing of a habeas corpus suit by the American Civil Liberties Union. The government initially wanted to prosecute him in a civilian court, but the FBI could not produce sufficient evidence against him.

Defense Secretary James Mattis will become the first Pentagon chief to visit Guantanamo since 2002, as he travels there to offer holiday greetings to troops today, ABC News . He will not be touring the detention facilities or discussing detainee options, but his visit comes amid uncertainty over the administrations policy on continued use of the nearly 16-year-old military detention facility.

The Pentagon confirmed for the first time that multiple ground operations involving U.S. troops have taken place in Yemen, noting that the Islamic States presence there has doubled NBC News. The statement by U.S. Central Command in explained that U.S. forces have conducted more than 120 strikes in 2017. Before the announcement, knowledge of counterterrorism operations in Yemen under the Trump administration was sporadic, with the administration acknowledging very few operations, such as the January raid that left Navy SEAL William Owens dead.

South Korean soldiers fired 20 machine gun rounds as warning shots against North Korean soldiers apparently pursuing a defecting comrade who made it across the DMZ into South Korean territory, CBS News . South Korean officials reported hearing gunfire after the warning shots were fired, but it is unclear whether the shots were retaliatory. Neither side reported casualties. The escape by the purportedly 19-year-old soldier marks the fourth such defection this year.

Josh Rogin of the Post  the Trump administrations approval of the first ever U.S. commercial sale of lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine, in what amounts to a clear break with from the de facto ban on arms sales dating back to the Obama administration. The move was heavily supported by senior Trump national security officials, but may complicate Trumps ambition to work with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The State Department approved a commercial license authorizing the export of Model M107A1 Sniper Systems, ammunition, and associated parts and accessories to Ukraine, a sale valued at $41.5 million. Congress authorized such sales with the Ukraine Freedom Support Act in 2014.

The Trump administration  five new names to the list of Russian nationals sanctioned under the Magnitsky Act, which targets officials engaged in corruption. The list includes Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who has been accused of human rights abuses in tamping down on Chechen extremists. BBC  that the Kremlin has called the sanctions illegal and unfriendly, with Kadyrov saying he is proud that he is out of favor with the special services of the USA.

Sen. Mark Warner, the vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, issued a warning to President Trump to not interfere with the special counsels critical investigation and called on fellow senators to protect the probe, The Hill . Warner said he believed it was up to both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to make clear that any attempt to remove Special Counsel Robert Mueller would be a gross abuse of power and a flagrant violation of Executive branch responsibilities and authorities, adding that any interference would cause a constitutional crisis. The remarks come amid speculation that Trump may remove Mueller, speculation that Trump has dismissed.

The Associated Press  that a decision to place Dan Meyer, the director of the Intelligence Community Whistleblowing and Source Protection program, on administrative leave has alarmed whistleblower groups and members of Congress. Intelligence officials have refused to answer why Meyer was put on leave, insisting that they support whistleblower programs. Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has begun an investigation, sending a letter to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats about allegations that intelligence officials are taking steps to hamper the program, and calling on the acting inspector general for the intelligence community, Wayne Stone, to ensure the contents of Meyers office are secured.

 

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Philip Bobbitt  why China would want to offer extended deterrence to North Korea.

Bob Bauer  the presidents removal power in response to Josh Blackmans posts on Congresss impeachment power and obstruction of justice charges against the president.

Scott Anderson  his post on the Lawfare@FP feed examining the ambiguity in Trumps recognition of Jerusalem as Israels capital.

Susan Landau  the use of threat modeling in the context of Apples encryption policy and the FBIs need to access phones.

Vanessa Sauter  the Lawfare postcast, featuring Christine Fair on terrorism in Bangladesh.

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

 

 Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices

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5:43 PM 12/18/2017 – trump and putin – Google News: Trump’s National Security Plan Warns of ‘Great Power Competition’ With Russia and China – New York Times

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trump and putin – Google News: Trump’s National Security Plan Warns of ‘Great Power Competition’ With Russia and China – New York Times

Today, December 18th 5:39pm

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WASHINGTON — President Trump declared Monday that the United States faced growing competition from Russia and China, two great-power rivals that he said “seek to challenge American influence, values and wealth.”

But Mr. Trump, in presenting a new national security strategy that carried distinct echoes of the Cold War, said nothing about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, even though the official strategy document itself warns briefly of “Russia using information tools in an attempt to undermine the legitimacy of democracies.”

Mr. Trump referred instead to a Sunday telephone call from President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, who thanked him for intelligence that the C.I.A. had passed on to Russian authorities, which Mr. Trump said foiled a terrorist attack in St. Petersburg that could have killed thousands of people.

“That’s a great thing,” he said, “and the way it’s supposed to work.”

Mr. Trump broke with his two most recent predecessors, Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, in announcing the national security strategy himself. But Mr. Trump’s speech seemed oddly divorced from the 55-page document, a blueprint for American policy on issues including jihadi extremism, space exploration, bio-threats and pandemics.

Speaking to an audience that included cabinet members and military officers, the president delivered a campaignlike address, with calls to build a wall along the nation’s southern border with Mexico and a heavy dose of self-congratulation for the bull market, the low jobless rate and tax cuts, which he said were “days away.”

“America is in the game,” he said. “And America is going to win.”

Mr. Trump’s tone was decidedly more upbeat than the analysis in his own strategy. While he spoke of surging confidence and a fast-growing economy, the document describes a world that has been on a three-decade holiday from superpower rivalry, and suggests that holiday is over.

A portion of a draft of the Trump administration’s national security plan.

“After being dismissed as a phenomenon of an earlier century, great power competition returned,” the document says. It then tries to lend intellectual coherence to a foreign policy that is often defined by Mr. Trump’s Twitter messages or his gut instincts about which world leaders are strong, which are weak and which are prepared to cut a deal.

While the document’s description of pushing back against China on trade is familiar from the campaign, its description of the challenge posed by Russia seems at odds with Mr. Trump’s own refusal to criticize Mr. Putin for his seizure of Crimea, efforts to destabilize Ukraine and his violations of a key nuclear treaty with the United States. In fact, the document describes Russia’s behavior in far more critical terms than Mr. Trump himself did.

China and Russia, the document says, “are determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence.”

“These competitions require the United States to rethink the policies of the past two decades — policies based on the assumption that engagement with rivals and their inclusion in international institutions and global commerce would turn them into benign actors and trustworthy partners,” the document continues. “For the most part, this premise turned out to be false.”

While Mr. Obama’s two national security strategies emphasized cooperation with allies and economic partners, Mr. Trump’s attempts to walk the line between his campaign slogan of “America First” and an insistence that he is not rejecting working with American partners — as long as they do so on terms advantageous to the United States.

While Mr. Obama used his strategies to de-emphasize nuclear weapons as a key to American defense, Mr. Trump calls those weapons “the foundation of our strategy to preserve peace and stability by deterring aggression against the United States, our allies and our partners.”

China’s man-made Subi Reef in the South China Sea, as seen from a Philippine Air Force plane in April. Bullit Marquez/Associated Press

The national security strategies of past administrations were sometimes strong predictors of future action: It was Mr. Bush’s strategy, in 2002, that revived a national debate about the justifications for pre-emptive military action. That document helped form the rationale for the invasion of Iraq six months later, arguing that the risks of inaction in the face of a major threat made “a compelling case for taking anticipatory actions to defend ourselves.”

The new strategy never uses the word “pre-emption,” including in its discussion of North Korea. This omission comes despite the fact that Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, has said that if diplomacy and sanctions fail, “preventive war,” or a pre-emptive strike, might be needed to keep the North from attacking the United States.

Administration officials, previewing the document, also noted it refers to China as a “strategic competitor.” That is a radical shift from the language that the Obama administration used toward Beijing, which Mr. Obama viewed as a partner in confronting global threats, from Iran’s nuclear program to climate change.

Mr. Bush used the phrase “strategic competitor” in reference to China when he ran for the White House in 2000, drawing a contrast with Bill Clinton, who liked to refer to China as a “strategic partner.” The Trump administration’s language suggests the United States will push back robustly on China’s state-driven economic practices and expansionist claims in the South China Sea.

Mr. Trump has tried working with China to curb North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, even setting aside his “America First” trade agenda in an effort to persuade President Xi Jinping to put more economic pressure on the government of Kim Jong-un.

But the strategy outlined in the document suggests a return to his campaign promises, and states explicitly that “the United States will no longer turn a blind eye to violations, cheating or economic aggression.”

A portion of a draft of the Trump administration’s national security plan.

Another section refers to preserving the “national security innovation base,” at a moment the administration is considering steps to keep China from investing in promising American technology.

In another shift from his predecessor, Mr. Trump’s strategy does not recognize the changing climate as a threat to national security. The document instead places climate under a section on embracing “energy dominance,” and says that while “climate policies will continue to shape the global energy system,” American leadership will be “indispensable to countering an anti-growth energy agenda.”

That puts it at odds with the Pentagon, which has continued to highlight national security threats from a changing climate, including refugee flows as a result of droughts and intensifying storms and the repercussions of rising sea waters.

In some key areas, like the use of cyberattacks against the United States, the document described the problems facing the nation rather than prescribing solutions. It refers to cyberweapons as a new threat because they can strike “without ever physically crossing our borders.”

“Deterrence today is significantly more complex to achieve than during the Cold War,” the document reads, saying a mix of inexpensive weapons and “the use of cybertools have allowed state and nonstate competitors to harm the United States across various domains.”

America’s adversaries have learned to “operate below the threshold of open military conflict and at the edges of international law,” it continues.

But the document deals with the subject at some remove, not dwelling on how Russia used cybertechniques in an attempt to interfere with the 2016 election. And it does nothing to describe any broad national strategy to guard against meddling in future elections.

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Amtrak train derails, dangles over interstate in Washington

From: CBSNewsOnline
Duration: 01:28

An Amtrak train has derailed on an overpass in Washington. At this time, all lanes of traffic remain blocked on Interstate 5. CBS News affiliate KIRO-TV reports first responders are treating the derailment as a mass casualty incident.

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From: AssociatedPress
Duration: 01:24

New York’s fire commissioner says at least four people from one family died in an early morning fire in a house in Brooklyn, New York on Monday morning. Three more people were critically injured. (Dec. 18)

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Derailed Amtrak train dangles over highway in Washington

From: CNN
Duration: 12:55

An Amtrak passenger train derailed Monday morning, spilling multiple cars off an Interstate 5 overpass in Pierce County, Washington, according to the Washington state Department of Transportation’s Twitter account.

Injuries and casualties have been reported, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office and Amtrak said.
All southbound lanes of the interstate are closed due to the derailment and the sight stunned motorists heading to work.

Video Shows Amtrak Train Off Washington Bridge

From: AssociatedPress
Duration: 01:24

An Amtrak train derailed south of Seattle, and authorities say “injuries and casualties” were reported. The train derailed about 40 miles (64 kilometers) south of Seattle before 8 a.m. Monday. (Dec. 18)

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The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats.
APs commitment to independent, comprehensive journalism has deep roots. Founded in 1846, AP has covered all the major news events of the past 165 years, providing high-quality, informed reporting of everything from wars and elections to championship games and royal weddings. AP is the largest and most trusted source of independent news and information.
Today, AP employs the latest technology to collect and distribute content – we have daily uploads covering the latest and breaking news in the world of politics, sport and entertainment. Join us in a conversation about world events, the newsgathering process or whatever aspect of the news universe you find interesting or important. Subscribe: http://smarturl.it/AssociatedPress

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High-speed Amtrak train derails in DuPont, Washington

From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 00:58

Incident involved Amtrak train 501; authorities advise drivers to avoid the area.

Amtrak train derails on newly opened route

From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 08:49

Authorities say ‘injuries and casualties reported’ in Amtrak train derailment south of Seattle.

Amtrak derails onto highway in Washington state, injuries & casualties reported

From: RussiaToday
Duration: 01:31

Courtesy: KOMO

An Amtrak train derailed south of Seattle, and authorities say “injuries and casualties” were reported. The train derailed about 40 miles (64 kilometers) south of Seattle before 8 am Monday, spilling at least one train car on to busy Interstate 5. The Pierce County Sheriff’s office says in a tweet that the train was heading south bound and that there were “injuries and casualties,” but no numbers were immediately available. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/8v3f

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Live: Amtrak Train Derailment in Washington State

From: CBSNewsOnline
Duration: 00:00

CBSN Live coverage of the Amtrak train 501 derailment in Washington. Train cars have spilt off an overpass onto the highway below, blocking car traffic on Interstate 5 along the Amtrak Cascade route. Follow updates, at https://www.cbsnews.com/news/amtrak-train-derailment-tacoma-washington-traffic-today-live-updates/

Assad receives Russian economic and governmental delegation

From: AFP
Duration: 00:59

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad received a Russian economic and governmental delegation, after which he said Syria was entering a “reconstruction phase” and that he wanted to encourage Russian economic projects in the country.

‘Multiple fatalities’ as Amtrak train derails over major highway

From: RussiaToday
Duration: 01:23

An Amtrak train has derailed over a major highway commuter route in Pierce County, Washington State. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office tweeted that ‘injuries and casualties’ have been reported, adding that more details will be provided shortly. It occurred during the morning rush hour. The train fell onto a highway which has now been blocked off, according to the Washington Department of Transportation. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/8v3f

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When thousands of travelers were stranded at Atlanta’s airport due to a power outage, Chick-fil-A

From: CBSNewsOnline
Duration: 01:11

When thousands of travelers were stranded at Atlanta’s airport due to a power outage, Chick-fil-A — which is normally closed on Sundays — turned on their fryers to help in the best way they knew how.

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US vetoes UN resolution rejecting Trump’s Jerusalem decision

From: AFP
Duration: 00:48

The United States vetoes a draft UN resolution rejecting President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, after all 14 other Security Council


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12:46 PM 12/17/2017 – Putin should be forever grateful to the CIA, for whatever he has to be grateful to them… – “Putin asked Trump to pass along his gratitude to the CIA” 

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Putin should be forever grateful to the CIA, for whatever he has to be grateful to them… – “Putin asked Trump to pass along his gratitude to the CIA” 

Michael Novakhov

12.17.17 

_____________________________________

Putin phoned Trump to thank him for CIA intel that foiled a planned terrorist attack in Russia, the Kremlin says

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Gregg Jarrett: FBI Has Become “America’s Secret Police,” Mueller Using FBI As “Political Weapon” – RealClearPolitics

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RealClearPolitics
Gregg Jarrett: FBI Has Become “America’s Secret Police,” Mueller Using FBI As “Political Weapon”
RealClearPolitics
FOX News’ Gregg Jarrett on Wednesday night said the Federal Bureau of Investigation has become “America’s secret police” and that special counsel Robert Mueller is using the government entity as a “political weapon.” “The FBI is a shadow government now 
Fox legal analyst Jarrett: Mueller investigation ‘illegitimate and corrupt’The Hill
Fox News’s Gregg Jarrett Goes Full-Conspiracist on Mueller: ‘KGB That Comes For You in the Dark of Night’Mediaite
Top Fox News analyst goes off in wild segment about Russia, calls the FBI America’s ‘secret police’ and like ‘the Business Insiderall 5 news articles »

Family Security Matters

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FBI: American Gestapo

by LAWRENCE SELLIN, PHDDecember 16, 2017Any government agency with law enforcement and surveillance authority that uses those powers for political purposes is the definition of a secret police, no better than the Nazi Gestapo or the Soviet KGB.

There is indeed probable cause to conclude, meaning indictable offenses, that employees of the Department of Justice and/or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), sympathetic to the Democrat Party, used the power of their offices and with the assistance of foreign nationals to influence the 2016 election in favor of Hillary Clinton, first to exonerate her and then obtain information to prevent the election of Donald Trump or to provide a basis for his impeachment should he win.

It is also abundantly clear from the Congressional investigations involving the Department of Justice and the FBI that those institutions of government are protecting themselves at the expense of transparency and accountability to the American people.

In other words, the government employees involved consider the survival of the Deep State more important than the survival of the Constitution. That is the definition of tyranny.

Here is a summary of the apparent sequence of events based on the revelations so far. There may be more damning evidence yet to be disclosed.

–        The Democrats hired Fusion GPS to find dirt on Donald Trump.

–        Fusion GPS hired former British MI6 agent in Moscow, Christopher Steele, to canvass and very likely pay his Russian contacts, some of whom may be present or former members of Russian intelligence, for negative information about Trump.

–        Steele creates the “Trump dossier” and distributes it either directly or indirectly to media outlets and to politicians like Senator John McCain (R-AZ).

–        The FBI obtains the “Trump dossier,” but inexplicably or perhaps intentionally does not check the veracity of any of Steele’s assertions.

–        The FBI uses the “Trump dossier” to apply to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court to obtain warrantless authorization to conduct surveillance on Trump and his associates.

–        It now appears that Christopher Steele might have been, at some point, on the FBI payroll, and, by extension, the Russians.

The use of an un-vetted document from dubious Russian sources as a basis for unwarranted surveillance of American citizens, ultimately for political purposes, renders the entire Mueller investigation a farce and could provide exculpatory evidence to vacate the guilty plea of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. It is a verdict many believe was based on improperly-obtained information as part of an overall effort by politically-motivated federal employees to manipulate the results of the 2016 election.

The conditions that led to the election of Donald Trump as President remain. They bear repeating.

The federal government and the media are, as institutions, hopelessly corrupt and, although we have elections, we no longer have representative government.

There is a Cold Civil War underway in the United States to determine who should control the federal government. It is not a contest between the Democrat and Republican policies, but a battle between the entrenched power of the bipartisan political establishment, the Deep State, versus the freedom and well-being of the American people. It is a conflict between those who want to adhere to the Constitution and the rule of law and a ruling elite, who wish to continue the practices of political expediency and crony capitalism for the purposes of personal power and profit.

Americans now believe that we are no longer citizens of a republic, but subjects of an elected aristocracy, composed of a self-absorbed and self-perpetuating permanent political class, which serves its own interests and those of its international financiers, not those of the American people.

Three years before the start of the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln said a government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free – that a house divided against itself cannot stand.

Likewise, a government separated from the people cannot stand.

The American Revolution, a war to free ourselves from foreign tyranny, lasted eight years.

The Second American Revolution, a battle to root out the corruption and despotism of the Deep State will take longer, but equally necessary.

Enjoying your FSM article? The Family Security Foundation is a non-profit and we keep bringing you articles because of donors’ generous contributions. Your year-end tax-free contribution allows <a href=”http://FamilySecurityMatters.org” rel=”nofollow”>FamilySecurityMatters.org</a> to continue to be your go to site for National Security issues!  Ready to support FSM? Click here.

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FBI: American Gestapo – Family Security Matters

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FBI: American Gestapo
Family Security Matters
There is indeed probable cause to conclude, meaning indictable offenses, that employees of the Department of Justice and/or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), sympathetic to the Democrat Party, used the power of their offices and with the  

10:40 AM 12/16/2017 – What is good for the FBI and its employees is not necessarily good for America! 

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M.N.: This graph below, from the cited article, is meaningless and misleading, just as the article itself: the overall “ideological orientation” (rated as the “conservative” for the FBI, with the score of about +1,5 on the -2 to +2 scale), in no way can be the predictor or correlate of the behaviors and actions, including … Continue reading “10:40 AM 12/16/2017 – What is good for the FBI and its employees is not necessarily good for America! “

WSJ: There’s Mounting Evidence of 2016 Election Meddling Coming From the FBI – Townhall

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Townhall
WSJ: There’s Mounting Evidence of 2016 Election Meddling Coming From the FBI
Townhall
There is something rotten at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I mean all of this is just absurd. We have two FBI agents texting one another, one of which is having an extramarital affair with the other, cryptically talking about “insurance” against and more »

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President Trump claims the FBI is tainted and its reputation in tatters. This graph shows he’s wrong. – Washington Post

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Washington Post
President Trump claims the FBI is tainted and its reputation in tatters. This graph shows he’s wrong.
Washington Post
The former FBI director James BComey and current FBI director Christopher A. Wray have both previously donated to Republicans. All agencies this size include employees who donate to Democrats and others who donate to Republicans — donations that are 
President Trump’s speech at the FBI Academy was recklessThe Hill
White House: FBI records show ‘extreme bias’ against TrumpWashington Times
Andrew C. McCarthy: Mueller needs to make a changeWinston-Salem Journal
Week Facts –Fox News
all 593 news articles »

Former FBI official: Comey let politics creep into process

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From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 05:24

Former FBI deputy assistant director Danny Coulson speaks out about allegations of bias within the FBI on ‘The Story.’

Former agent agrees with Trump that FBI is in ‘tatters’

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From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 06:08

Former FBI official Kevin Brock weighs in on ‘Fox News @ Night.’

Fox’s Lou Dobbs: “We have the most corrupt” FBI and DOJ in our country’s history investigating Trump – Media Matters for America

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Media Matters for America
Fox’s Lou Dobbs: “We have the most corrupt” FBI and DOJ in our country’s history investigating Trump
Media Matters for America
Louie, some things you might have either missed or simply ignored in your false claim that the “FBI and DOJ are corrupt.” An agent and a lawyer were exchanging text messages which expressed their political opinions – that is not a crime. They are still and more »

British Intervention Into 2016 US Election – Executive Intelligence Review (EIR)

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British Intervention Into 2016 US Election
Executive Intelligence Review (EIR)
According to Luke Harding, author of Collusion, Simpson specialized as a journalist on the intersection between organized crime and the Russian state. • According to Harding, Steele and Simpson knew the same FBI agents, shared expertise on Russia, and  

Sessions Says Bias Concerns About FBI Are Being Taken Seriously

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The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

Signed in as mikenova

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The Latest: Trump slams investigators at ‘disgraceful’ FBI

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s visit to the FBI (all times local):

8:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump has unleashed a blistering attack on the FBI’s leadership.

He is denouncing the bureau for its handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, calling it “really disgraceful.”

Trump says “you have a lot of very angry people that are seeing it.”

The president’s broadside appears to reflect his anger over revelations that senior FBI officials exchanged anti-Trump and pro-Clinton text messages while working on last year’s Clinton probe and during special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump associates colluded with Russian officials in the 2016 election.

Trump laced into the bureau as he was departing for its training academy in Virginia, where he lavished praise on graduates of a weeks-long FBI National Academy program for law enforcement leaders from around the country.

See How Virtual Reality Is Being Used in HospitalsPaid Content by CIT Group

See How Virtual Reality Is Being Used in Hospitals

__

3:45 p.m.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is distancing himself from President Donald Trump’s criticism of the FBI. Sessions says he does not share the view that the FBI “is not functioning at a high level all over the country.”

Sessions, speaking Friday at a news conference about the Justice Department’s crime-fighting efforts, said the FBI is “fulfilling a fabulously important role working to fight against violent crime.” But he stopped short of saying whether he agrees with Trump that the reputation of the agency is “in tatters.”

Trump again blasted FBI leadership Friday even as he praised state and local officers.

Sessions says it’s noteworthy that Trump expressed support for law enforcement in a speech at the FBI’s National Academy. The program is for law enforcement leaders from around the country, not FBI agents.

___

11:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump is calling for the death penalty for anyone convicted of killing a police officer.

Trump, while speaking at the FBI National Academy in Virginia on Friday, pledged to support law enforcement officers and condemned those who attack them.

During the presidential campaign, Trump pledged to sign an executive order as president that would demand capital punishment for cop killers.

He has yet to do so.

The president was warmly received by the crowd of local law enforcement officers who cheered his calls for a crackdown on gangs and an end to chain migration.

The president painted a dark picture of a nation under siege by crime, at one moment wondering aloud “What the hell is going on in Chicago?”

The crowd laughed.

___

10:40 a.m.

President Donald Trump is addressing a graduating class of law enforcement officers at the FBI National Academy.

Trump on Friday praised the academy, a 10-week professional course of study for U.S. and international law enforcement officers.

Trump, a frequent FBI critic, promised that as president he will be “more loyal than anyone else could be” to the police.

He honored the graduates for completing the rigorous training, saying the “elite training will help save lives.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray says Trump is the first president to address a graduating class at the FBI training center in Quantico, Virginia since Richard Nixon.

__

9:50 a.m.

President Donald Trump says “it’s a shame what’s happened” with the FBI, calling its handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation “really disgraceful.”

Speaking to reporters as he departs for a speech at the FBI training academy in Quantico, Va., Trump promises that “we’re going to rebuild the FBI.”

Trump alluded to newly revealed edits to former FBI Director James Comey’s 2016 statement on the Clinton probe: “It is very sad when you look at those documents, how they’ve done that is really, really disgraceful, and you have a lot of really angry people who are seeing it.”

Trump reiterated that “there was no collusion” between his campaign and the Russian government, adding the recent revelations prove his claim that the Clinton investigation was “rigged.”

___

7:53 a.m.

The White House says newly-revealed FBI records show there is “extreme bias” against President Donald Trump among senior leadership at the FBI.

Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley tells Fox News Channel that edits to former FBI Director James Comey’s statement on Hillary Clinton’s private email server and text messages from a top agent critical of Trump are “deeply troubling.”

“There is extreme bias against this president with high-up members of the team there at the FBI who were investigating Hillary Clinton at the time,” Gidley charges, as special counsel Robert Mueller pushes on with a probe of possible Trump campaign ties to Russia. Gidley says Trump maintains confidence in the FBI’s rank-and-file the Justice Department.

Trump is scheduled to attend an FBI National Academy graduation service later Friday.

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

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Trump praises police after blasting ‘sad,’ ‘disgraceful’ FBI

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump heaped praise on law enforcement while decrying anti-police sentiment in a speech to FBI academy graduates on Friday not long after he lamented the agency’s “sad” and “disgraceful” state.

In remarks to the FBI National Academy that also touched on immigration and violent crime, Trump called himself a “true friend and loyal champion” of police while noting that members of law enforcement “rarely get the recognition” they deserve.

“We will protect those who protect us,” the president said, adding that those accused of killing police officers “should get the death penalty.”

“Anti-police sentiment is wrong and it’s dangerous, and we will not stand for it,” he said.

Trump to FBI academy grads: I’m a ‘true friend and loyal champion’ to police 0:49

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An hour earlier, speaking to reporters on the White House lawn on his way to talk to graduates of the academy in Quantico, Virginia, Trump said: “It’s a shame what’s happened with the FBI, but we’re going to rebuild the FBI. It’ll be bigger and better than ever.”

Referencing the 90 pages of newly released messages, many critical of the president, between an FBI lawyer and an agent later assigned to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, Trump called it “sad when you look at those documents and how they’ve done that is really, really disgraceful and you have a lot of very angry people that are seeing it.”

In his speech, the president also made a pitch for cracking down on immigration and stepped up his attacks on the visa lottery system and chain migration, which his administration has called on Congress to end in the wake of recent terror attacks in New York City.

He also painted an inaccurate picture, however, of a system that invites the “worst people,” insinuating that names were put “in a bin” and chosen out at random. (Actually, visa lottery applicants must meet eligibility requirements to enter the program, and applicants are vetted through strict State Department processes.)

“Congratulations, you’re going to the United States!” Trump said. “What a system.”

Promises of an immigration crackdown spurred applause from the law enforcement crowd as Trump went on to issue a new message to members of the MS13 gang Friday. “We will find you, we will arrest you, we will jail you, we will throw you the hell out of the country,” he said.

But the last option was the one preferred by the president, he said, because in jail “we have to take care of them — who the hell wants to take care of them?”

The “jail stuff,” Trump said over laughter from the crowd, “is wonderful, but we have to pay for them right?”

The FBI’s website describes the National Academy as a 10-week “professional course of study for U.S. and international law enforcement managers nominated by their agency heads because of demonstrated leadership qualities.”

Trump tweeted this month that the FBI’s “reputation is in tatters,” prompting FBI staffers — including Trump’s own pick to head the agency after he fired former director James Comey — to defend it against the president’s assertions.

“The FBI that I see is tens of thousands of agents and analysts and staff working their tails off to keep Americans safe from the next terrorist attack, gang violence, child predators, spies from Russia, China, North Korea and Iran,” FBI director Christopher Wray said last week during an appearance before the House Judiciary Committee.

During a passionate, two-minute-long defense, Wray described the FBI as “respected and appreciated by our partners in federal, state, and local law enforcement, in the intelligence community, and by our foreign counterparts in both law enforcement and national security in something like 200 countries around the globe.”

Sessions: DOJ will ‘take seriously’ Trump’s concerns about FBI 2:34

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Later on Friday, in response to questions from reporters, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he did not agree with Trump’s dim assessment of the FBI.

“Well, I don’t share the view that the FBI is not functioning at a high level,” Sessions said during a press conference announcing new anti-violent crime initiatives. “In my view, the FBI has huge national security requirements, it’s also fulfilling a fabulously important role in helping fight against violent crime, also.”

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Republican Trey Gowdy suggests deputy FBI director will be ousted soon

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Trey GowdyRep. Trey Gowdy. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan

  • Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy suggested that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe will be forced out at the top law enforcement agency as soon as next week.
  • Gowdy argued that newly released FBI records reveal political bias against President Donald Trump — and in favor of Hillary Clinton — at the highest levels of the FBI.

Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, suggested in a Friday interview that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe will be forced out at the top law enforcement agency as soon as next week.

Gowdy argued that newly released FBI records reveal political bias against President Donald Trump — and in favor of Hillary Clinton — at the highest levels of the FBI. Gowdy said that McCabe will likely be pushed out of the agency as a result of the perceived bias.

“I’ll be a little bit surprised if he’s still an employee of the FBI this time next week,” Gowdy told Fox News of McCabe, adding that he would be “shocked” if McCabe testifies before the House next week.

The Washington Post reported last week that Gowdy settled a $150,000 veteran discrimination and retaliation claim from a former aide, who was fired in 2015 from the House Benghazi committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya. The aide alleged that he was wrongfully terminated in part for his unwillingness to engage in what he believed was a partisan investigation into Hillary Clinton’s time as US secretary of state.

Attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team of investigators have escalated sharply in recent weeks, culminating in a partisan haranguing of the FBI director last week over the perceived missteps of his predecessor.

Conservative and far-right media outlets, already skeptical of Mueller’s probe into President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia, grew louder in their calls for FBI Director Chris Wray to either clean house or for Mueller to resign. It came after news that two special counsel investigators at one point exhibited perceived political bias.

Trump again characterized the criminal justice system as “rigged” during a rally in Florida on Friday, echoing comments he made last weekend following former national security Michael Flynn’s guilty plea as part of Mueller’s probe.

President Donald Trump lamented the state of the FBI, the nation’s top law-enforcement agency, shortly before delivering a speech at an FBI graduation ceremony on Friday in Quantico, Virginia.

“It’s a shame what’s happened with the FBI, but we’re going to rebuild the FBI. It’ll be bigger and better than ever,” Trump told reporters before boarding Virginia-bound Marine One on Friday morning.

The president also recently described the country’s top law-enforcement agency as “in tatters,” but a White House spokesman said on Friday that Trump had “full faith and confidence” in the rank-and-file members of the Department of Justice and the FBI.

Also on Friday morning, Hogan Gidley, the White House’s deputy press secretary, said that recently released FBI records showed “extreme bias” against Trump among leadership at the FBI.

Recently disclosed text messages between two FBI agents assigned to the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with Trump’s campaign included a reference to Trump as an “idiot.” Both agents are no longer involved in the Russia investigation. Other records revealed edits made to soften the statement of James Comey, then the FBI director, concerning the agency’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

Gidley called the records “eye-opening” and “deeply troubling.”

“There is extreme bias against this president with high-up members of the team there at the FBI who were investigating Hillary Clinton at the time,” Gidley told “Fox & Friends” on Friday morning.

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Facebook admits it poses mental health risk – but says using site more can help – The Guardian

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The Guardian
Facebook admits it poses mental health risk – but says using site more can help
The Guardian
Facebook has repeatedly been accused of spreading Russian propaganda and fake news, providing a platform and network for white supremacists, enabling hate speech and offensive ads and censoring critics of oppressive governments. The company’s CEO, Mark and more »

Saved Stories – 1. FBI: 8:10 AM 12/15/2017 – “FBI” stands for “FOOLS, BUNGLERS, IDIOTS”. And how about it? 

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Saved Stories Saved Stories – None FBI stands for FOOLS, BUNGLERS, IDIOTS. And how about it? 7:12 AM 12/15/2017 After Months Of Withering Criticism, Trump Prepares To Visit FBI NPR Republicans are worried about the integrity of Mueller’s team. That’s overblown. – Washington Post Mueller needs to make a change – Washington Post Justice Department … Continue reading “8:10 AM 12/15/2017 – “FBI” stands for “FOOLS, BUNGLERS, IDIOTS”. And how about it?”

 Saved Stories – 1. FBI

GOP lawmaker claims FBI purged training documents. Here’s what we found

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Did the Barack Obama administration ditch FBI material used to train counterterrorism agents?

At a House committee hearing on worldwide terror threats, Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., claimed the former administration purged information that could “allow us to see in totality the threat that faces America.”

“Just curious if you can tell me if the FBI has taken any steps to reverse the previous administration’s purge of training courses and information about Islamism, jihad, Sharia, and the Muslim Brotherhood,” Perry asked FBI director Christopher Wray at the Nov. 30 hearing.

Wray said he was not aware of efforts to purge training material.

“They were purged in the last administration,” Perry told him.

Is that true?

Perry’s office did not respond to our requests for information. We found the FBI did rescind training material during the Obama administration — but it was less than 1 percent of 160,000 pages of training documents that were found to contain information that was factually inaccurate, imprecise or used stereotypes.

The review came after media reports show that training material included claims identifying “mainstream” American Muslims as “likely to be terrorist sympathizers.”

The Arab American Institute said the documents “crudely” depicted Arab Americans and American Muslims “as threatening, irrational, or otherwise abnormal.”

Here’s what we know about the FBI’s review and rescinded documents.

Reports of anti-Muslim training material

Wired in July 2011 reported that part of a January 2009 presentation for new FBI recruits said that Islam “transforms (a) country’s culture into 7th-century Arabian ways.”

Additional Wired reporting in September 2011 found that during a training session at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., agents were told that “mainstream” American Muslims were “likely to be terrorist sympathizers; that the Prophet Mohammed was a ‘cult leader’; and that the Islamic practice of giving charity is no more than a ‘funding mechanism for combat’.” A chart in the presentation contended that the more “devout” Muslims are, the likelier they are to be violent, Wired reported.

The FBI distanced itself from the messages in the training.

It told Wired that the presentation had a disclaimer saying the views expressed were of the author and “do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. government.” An FBI press release issued a day after Wired’s report said the training segment was presented only one time and quickly discontinued.

At a November 2011 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., asked then-Attorney General Eric Holder about the training material, presenting among examples a claim that ‘‘the Arabic mind is swayed more by ideas than facts.”

“It is regrettable that that information was, in fact, a part of a training program,” Holder said, adding that there was an ongoing review of training material “to ensure that that kind of misinformation” was not being used, because it could undermine and negatively impact outreach efforts.

The FBI reviewed 160,000 pages of material and eventually removed hundreds of pages from its training. Less than 1 percent of the material reviewed had “factually inaccurate or imprecise information or used stereotypes,” the FBI told Wired in February 2012.

March 2012 letter from Durbin to then-FBI Director Robert Mueller expressed disappointment that the FBI would not produce a written report on the material deemed inappropriate, and that it would not be publicly shared or given to Congress. Durbin’s letter said FBI briefers shared copies of “a handful” of the material with Senate Judiciary Committee staff, but were not allowed to keep the copies.

The FBI did not confirm to PolitiFact if it eliminated such material, but referred us to public source material and 2012 congressional testimony.

At a May 2012 House Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the FBI, Mueller said 876 inappropriate training documents had been removed after a review of 160,000 documents and over 1,000 videos, but did not specify what the material said.

Judicial Watch, a conservative group that litigates on public corruption and other issues, said documents it obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit showed that reasons cited for the removal of material included: “Article is highly inflammatory and inaccurately argues the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization,” and “author seems to conflate ‘Islamic Militancy’ with ‘terrorism’ and needs to define the difference and use it in their analysis.”

“The excised material included references linking the Muslim Brotherhood to terrorism, tying al Qaeda to the 1993 World Trade Center and Khobar Towers bombings, and suggesting that ‘young male immigrants of Middle Eastern appearance … may fit the terrorist profile best’,” Judicial Watch said.

Our ruling

Perry said the Obama administration purged “training courses and information about Islamism, jihad, Sharia, and the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The FBI removed nearly 900 training documents containing information that was inaccurate, imprecise or depicted stereotypes, after a review of 160,000 pages and more than 1,000 videos. The review came after 2011 media reports about training material portraying Muslims stereotypically and prone to violence.

Though the FBI did not publicly disclose the material it rescinded, Judicial Watch said that through a lawsuit for information, it found that removed material included references to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Perry’s statement is partially accurate but leaves out important details or takes things out of context. We rate it Half True.

Scott Perry

Representative

Says the Obama administration purged “training courses and information about Islamism, jihad, Sharia, and the Muslim Brotherhood.”

in a House committee hearing – Thursday, November 30, 2017

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Trump says Americans are ‘very, very angry’ at FBI before he pledges his support – Los Angeles Times

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Los Angeles Times
Trump says Americans are ‘very, very angry’ at FBI before he pledges his support
Los Angeles Times
A White House spokesman reinforced criticism of the FBI earlier Friday, telling Fox News that the texts are signs the FBI has an “extreme bias” against Trump. “It is troubling, deeply troubling, that the revelations have now come to light that there is 
White House: FBI has ‘extreme bias’ against TrumpThe Hill
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Sessions says FBI ‘functioning at a high level’ after Trump criticism

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended the FBI’s work Friday hours after President Trump said its reputation was ‘in tatters’.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended the FBI Friday, hours after President Donald Trump ripped the bureau’s leadership and suggested that its reputation was “in tatters.”

“I don’t share the view that the FBI is not functioning at a high level all over the country,” said Sessions, who added, “… In my view, the FBI has huge national security requirements but it’s also fulfilling a fabulously important role working to fight against violent crime.”

Sessions also praised Trump for speaking to graduates of a weeks-long FBI National Academy program for law enforcement leaders from around the country, calling it “the first time a president in 47 years has spoken to the FBI[‘s] … graduating police academy class.”

“He made clear that he supports them 100 percent in their activities and that we are going to be a law enforcement administration that helps the law enforcement be successful,” said Sessions.

As Trump departed the White House for the speech in Virginia, he said, “It’s a shame what’s happened with the FBI,” an apparent reference to revelations that senior bureau officials exchanged anti-Trump and pro-Hillary Clinton text messages while working on last year’s Clinton probe and during special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump associates colluded with Russian officials in the 2016 election.

“We’re going to rebuild the FBI, it’ll be bigger and better than ever,” Trump went on, “but it is very sad when you look at those documents, and how they’ve done that is really, really disgraceful, and you have a lot of very angry people that are seeing it.”

Also Friday, White House Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told Fox News that edits to former FBI Director James Comey’s statement on Clinton’s private email server and anti-Trump texts from a top agent were “deeply troubling.”

“There is extreme bias against this president with high-up members of the team there at the FBI who were investigating Hillary Clinton at the time,” Gidley charged, as Mueller pushes on with a probe of possible Trump campaign ties to Russia. Gidley says Trump maintains confidence in the FBI’s rank-and-file.

Sessions had previously drawn the wrath of Trump for recusing himself from overseeing Mueller’s investigation over questions about his own contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Court rules against FBI in reporter impersonation document fight

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A federal appeals court has sided with reporters in a court fight over documents that began after an FBI agent pretended to be an Associated Press journalist while investigating bomb threats at a Washington state high school.

     

The Trump-Putin War on American Intelligence Is in Overdrive

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In my last column, I criticized the anti-Trump “resistance” for its excessive zeal in exposing Russian espionage, observing that counterintelligence work driven by politics and emotion rather than facts and discipline is bound to go wrong. At worst, we run the risk of a new wave of McCarthyism, with meandering witch-hunts for Kremlin agents (most of them imaginary) instead of serious counterspy efforts.

What’s interesting is that the “resistance” is a movement of the Left and its adherents, with few exceptions, are recent fans of counterespionage. Their interest in Russian spying is driven by Donald Trump and is as intense as it is new. Their enthusiasm for unmasking traitors customarily outpaces their understanding of real-world intelligence operations.

It’s difficult to miss that these are the same people who mocked Mitt Romney only five years ago when the Republican nominee for president presciently opined that Russia constituted our main geopolitical foe—a suggestion that was mocked as old-think by President Barack Obama and his followers.

Moreover, the Left was hardly brimming with anti-Kremlin zeal back in the 1970s and 1980s, when it was mainly the Right, aided by a few stodgy old Democratic Cold Warriors, that signaled the alarm about Soviet espionage and propaganda as a threat to our country and the West. Indeed, for many on the Left, the notion that Moscow was aggressively spying on us was a notion deserving of derision.

How times change. Now the Left is on the enthusiastic hunt for Russian agents, while the Right has transformed itself seemingly overnight from a Romneyian skepticism about the Kremlin to indifference to the threat at best, and at worst a strange and unsettling affection for Vladimir Putin. President Donald Trump is the Republicans’ biggest Kremlin fan, and his reticence to hear anything bad about Russia extends to any classified White House discussions about Kremlin interference in our 2016 election. As a bombshell new report in the Washington Post explains, the president’s Intelligence Community briefers customarily avoid anything to do with Russia in their daily briefing to the commander-in-chief altogether, lest they upset him by saying something bad about Putin.

Read the rest at The Observer …

Filed under: CounterintelligenceEspionageHistoryUSG  

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Trump and Putin Are Attack American Intelligence, FBI

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President Donald Trump on the South Lawn of the White House on December 15, 2017. Alex Wong/Getty Images

In my last column, I criticized the anti-Trump “resistance” for its excessive zeal in exposing Russian espionage, observing that counterintelligence work driven by politics and emotion rather than facts and discipline is bound to go wrong. At worst, we run the risk of a new wave of McCarthyism, with meandering witch-hunts for Kremlin agents (most of them imaginary) instead of serious counterspy efforts.

What’s interesting is that the “resistance” is a movement of the Left and its adherents, with few exceptions, are recent fans of counterespionage. Their interest in Russian spying is driven by Donald Trump and is as intense as it is new. Their enthusiasm for unmasking traitors customarily outpaces their understanding of real-world intelligence operations.

It’s difficult to miss that these are the same people who mocked Mitt Romney only five years ago when the Republican nominee for president presciently opined that Russia constituted our main geopolitical foe—a suggestion that was mocked as old-think by President Barack Obama and his followers.

Moreover, the Left was hardly brimming with anti-Kremlin zeal back in the 1970s and 1980s, when it was mainly the Right, aided by a few stodgy old Democratic Cold Warriors, that signaled the alarm about Soviet espionage and propaganda as a threat to our country and the West. Indeed, for many on the Left, the notion that Moscow was aggressively spying on us was a notion deserving of derision.

How times change. Now the Left is on the enthusiastic hunt for Russian agents, while the Right has transformed itself seemingly overnight from a Romneyian skepticism about the Kremlin to indifference to the threat at best, and at worst a strange and unsettling affection for Vladimir Putin. President Donald Trump is the Republicans’ biggest Kremlin fan, and his reticence to hear anything bad about Russia extends to any classified White House discussions about Kremlin interference in our 2016 election. As a bombshell new report in the Washington Post explains, the president’s Intelligence Community briefers customarily avoid anything to do with Russia in their daily briefing to the commander-in-chief altogether, lest they upset him by saying something bad about Putin.

As if that weren’t bad enough, Team Trump has now taken to direct public attacks on our Intelligence Community in a desperate effort to stave off the results of the investigation of the president’s ties to Moscow that’s being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. President Trump’s lawyers misinformedhim that the Russia investigation would wrap up by the end of 2017, without grave damage to the White House. That was patently false, as demonstrated by recent indictments and plea deals by major members of Team Trump, not to mention the prospect of more indictments soon—perhaps of people even closer to the president.

With his presidency and more on the line, Donald Trump is in the fight of his life, and it’s no coincidence that his media mouthpieces are hurling everything they can at the people who are investigating him—above all Mueller and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Attacks on Mueller are now routine, with torrents of unsubstantiated allegations of his alleged bias against President Trump. According to the Fox News version of reality, Mueller, a Republican, has surrounded himself with partisan Democrats who are out to sink Team Trump, evidence be damned.

A scandal has emerged over private text messages sent last year between Peter Strzok, a top FBI counterintelligence official, and his mistress. These texts showed Strzok to be notably anti-Trump, privately—as, let it be said, were virtually all IC personnel in 2016 who were acquainted with the modus operandi of Russian intelligence, since they understood that Trump’s Kremlin ties were problematic at best—and as a result Mueller removed him from the special counsel investigation.

This event has been turned into a cause célèbre by Trump fans, notwithstanding the administration’s alleged hatred for leaks, with the implication that the FBI is tainted. Indeed, the president’s media allies are portraying our nation’s top law enforcement agency as a rogue outfit and worse. Fox News has led this charge, naturally, and last week Fox stalwart Gregg Jarrett, in an appearance on the vehemently pro-Trump Sean Hannity show, which parrots Kremlin lies, went full tinfoil, in a monologue worthy of Alex Jones:

Mueller has been using the FBI as a political weapon. The FBI has become America’s secret police. Secret surveillance, wiretapping, intimidation, harassment and threats. It’s like the old KGB that comes for you in the dark of night, banging through your door.

Not to be outdone, this week on Fox News, Tom Fitton, the head of Judicial Watch, a right-wing lobbying group, called for the Bureau’s dissolution:

I think the FBI’s been compromised. Forget about shutting down Mr. Mueller. Do we need to shut down the FBI because it was turned into a KGB-type operation by the Obama administration?

Let’s be clear here. Jarrett and Fitton—with no pushback from Fox hosts—publicly compared the FBI to the Soviet secret police, which murdered millions of innocents, ran the GULAG, and served as the enforcer of Red terror for 74 years. The KGB was one of the nastiest, most blood-drenched organizations in human history. It was judge, jury, and executioner for the Bolsheviks. The rational mind has difficulty seeing how the FBI, a law-based police force held to account by Congressional oversight, is “like the KGB” unless facts simply don’t matter anymore.

Apparently, they don’t matter to Team Trump, since their fact-free war on the FBI and more broadly the IC shows no signs of abating. Of course, there’s nothing new about attacking American counterintelligence, seeking to delegitimize it by any means possible. Throughout the last Cold War, Soviet mouthpieces and allies portrayed U.S. efforts to detect and deter Communist espionage as illegitimate, sneaky, and somehow just not right.

Hence, we have countless media depictions, beginning in the 1960s, of Western (especially American) counterintelligence as inherently suspicious, paranoid and malevolent, when not merely risible. Such characterizations served to delegitimize U.S. efforts to stymie Soviet espionage and propaganda, and none can deny they were effective. The chronic American weakness in counterintelligence has many causes, but popular distaste for their work thanks to such scurrilous media depictions is surely a factor.

The Kremlin went further, employing Active Measures on a regular basis to smear American counterintelligence, fabricating evidence such as faked “official” documents to present our counterspies in a dismal light. For decades, the FBI, America’s lead counterintelligence agency, was a special target of KGB disinformation, never more than when it was headed by J. Edgar Hoover, the eccentric yet gifted man who led the Bureau for a half-century until 1972.

As revealed by KGB archives after the Cold War, Soviet spies targeted Hoover for public harassment, and it worked. To this day, some Americans whisper sordid allegations about Hoover’s personal life: for instance, that he was secretly a flamboyant homosexual, even attending parties wearing a dress with a feather boa like an “old flapper.” Few know that these stories were ginned up by KGB disinformation specialists in Moscow and have no basis in fact. Combined with Kremlin lies that alleged the FBI was secretly behind everything from right-wing domestic terrorism to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy—the latter was another spectacularly successful Chekist Active Measure—this dirty campaign did enduring damage to the public reputation of the Bureau and its leadership.

These lies were parroted by too many Americans, mainly on the Left, until they became cosmically true due to constant repetition. They live on today despite their thorough debunking. Something similar is happening now on the Right. To protect Donald Trump from the Russia investigation, which the president has repeatedly insisted is a “hoax” and “fake news,” his defenders are spinning their own hoaxes and fake news in a sordid fashion, taking aim at core institutions of our Republic.

Since the inauguration, the Trump White House has howled gigantic curses at the alleged “deep state,”another figment of the fervent imagination of the InfoWars and Fox News set, and they’ve now taken direct aim at the FBI. The Bureau will survive this unpleasant episode, but its reputation is being damaged by allies of their boss, our president, who are acting in concert with the FBI’s old enemies in Moscow. Why the Russians seek to dismantle American counterintelligence, their main enemy in the SpyWar, is no mystery. Why our president does, however, is a deeply troubling question that gets at the heart of the rot in Washington right now.

John Schindler is a security expert and former National Security Agency analyst and counterintelligence officer. A specialist in espionage and terrorism, he’s also been a Navy officer and a War College professor. He’s published four books and is on Twitter at @20committee. 

The Trump-Putin War on American Intelligence Is in Overdrive

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Collusion Doesn’t Have to be Criminal to be an Ongoing Threat

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During the hearing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Wednesday, some members of the House Judiciary Committee did not try to conceal their attempt to discredit and derail Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. The way that the Russia investigation has been framed has made it easy for them to do that: Its legitimacy appears to rest on finding a smoking gun of criminality – a simple yes or no on whether any of the cast of characters in this saga commited a serious federal offence.

But making this merely about the bright line between illegality (criminality) and legality means that most Americans are missing what is right under our noses. To wit, there is no question that Russia made multiple, unprecedented attempts to penetrate a U.S. presidential campaign, that its approaches were not rebuffed, and that its contacts were sensitive enough that everyone, to a person, has concealed them. These facts might never be adjudicated inside a courtroom – they may not even be illegal – but they present a clear and present national security threat that we cannot ignore. We write here to broaden the public understanding of that security threat, and to underscore why the principal part of Mueller’s investigation—which is a counterintelligence probe not a criminal one—is performing a vital role for our country.

Assets: Tools In A Toolbox

Russia’s intelligence services, like any intelligence service worth its salt, aims to recruit a variety of assets (a.k.a. sources). Assets are a spy’s version of a “toolbox.” Different intelligence operations require different tools, so spies target a wide range of potential assets who vary according to their skills, access, and how they can be utilized. How witting they are of their role and how much control the foreign intelligence service (FIS) has over them will often depend on how far the asset will have to go to serve the FIS’s purpose.

It’s useful to think of recruitment – the process of getting an asset to work on behalf of an intelligence service – in dating terms. Let’s say a guy spots a girl he’d be interested in dating. The first thing he does is assess if she might be interested in dating him, too. To save himself potential embarrassment, he might send a friend over to the girl first, to see how she feels. If she shows interest, then the guy will officially ask her out. Of course, he doesn’t propose marriage on the first date: there is a period of courtship. It might be slow, it might be fast, but if all goes well and it’s a good match, the marriage proposal is the ultimate step. When it happens, it probably won’t come as a surprise; in fact, in the spy context, it might not have to be stated out loud at all.

In the world of espionage, the “dating” ritual might look something like this: An intelligence officer (IO) spots a target of interest, likely based on their access to information or resources of value. To assess that person’s willingness to cooperate, the IO gives the target a task to test their reaction. Usually this will be something easy, but slightly unethical – like, say, asking a political candidate’s team to meet with people who offer (potentially stolen) dirt on the opposing candidate. As protection, the IO might send someone else on his behalf, known as a “cutout,” to set up this type of meeting – this ensures plausible deniability in the event that the meeting goes south. But if the target performs the task as desired, they have shown a willingness to “cross the line,” even if they haven’t done so yet. (And even if nothing of value is handed over in that initial meeting.)

From there, the IO has a “hook” to meet with the target again, and then again. Each time, the IO will slowly ask for more, ratcheting up the risk each time – but always offering enough of an incentive to make it worthwhile for the target to accept. As the tasks requested of the target become dicier, the IO will begin taking the relationship underground. By the time the IO asks the target to do something clearly illegal, not only has the relationship become clandestine, but the IO has collected a whole string of compromising actions the target has performed along the way but probably shouldn’t have – and now the IO has leverage over the target.

In short, the key to recruitment is time and subtlety. An intelligence officer doesn’t make a target compromise himself in one fell swoop.  Rather, it happens incrimentally  with each small act that “crosses the line” giving the intelligence officer a bit more control. Before the target knows it, the IO has made the target into an asset.

A Russian Courtship

From an intelligence standpoint, the numerous Russian approaches to the Trump campaign look like a textbook recruitment effort. Campaign officials were an attractive target for Russian intelligence, of course. They provided a chance to catapult Russian influence into the Oval Office, and to obtain the Holy Grail: to manipulate a sitting presidential administration to act in a way that is favorable to Russia. (And even if their candidate did not make it into the White House, they would have a grip on him and some of his most powerful associates for years to come.)

But this ambitious goal would not have been foreseeable at the beginning of Russia’s operation. After all, Trump and many of his associates were already on Russia’s radar screen well before he was running for president. This isn’t because Russian intelligence services are geniuses who maneuvered a grand scheme into place. Rather, it is because Russia’s intelligence services, like all intelligence services, are always on the lookout for new assets to add to their toolbox that could be useful in the future. An obvious target would be a wealthy business person interested in working on projects in Russia, or places like Ukraine, or benefiting from Russian investments. By the time a pie-in-the-sky opportunity like a presidential election came along, much of the groundwork for further outreach would already be in place.

The sheer number of Russia’s attempted contacts with the highest level of a U.S. presidential campaign and then transition team is mind-boggling. They employed Ambassador Sergei Kislyak to engage members of Trump’s team, like Jeff Sessions, Michael Flynn, and Jared Kushner. They put the head of a Kremlin-linked bank under U.S. sanctions in front of Kushner. They used Trump business partners to arrange a meeting between a Russian lawyer and others (including with ties to Russian intelligence) with Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Kushner. They used the National Rifle Association to get another Russian banker close to Putin, Alexander Torshin, in front of Trump Jr. They approached George Papadopolous through a Russian professor in an effort to set up a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin (and who also gave information that the Kremlin had dirt on Clinton). They got Carter Page to provide one of their intelligence officers with industry documents and invited him to Moscow and elsewhere for meetings. They used Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska to keep pressure on Manafort, who was already being paid by Russian intelligence. They partnered with WikiLeaks which contacted Trump Jr. They feted Mike Flynn at a gala for Russia Today and paid him.

And those are only the contacts we know about; U.S. and European intelligence communities probably know about others. But this list is enough to show that the Russian effort to influence the Trump team involved multiple players, some covert and some less so. The Russians might not have directly orchestrated all of the approaches – in some cases, they may have simply exploited existing relationships – but all of the contacts were useful to them and would have most likely been reported back to the Kremlin in some form.

The context of the approaches also reveals that Russian intelligence agencies were working along multiple fronts. We can imagine cyber thieves collecting DNC e-mails, a domestic counterintelligence service providing potential dirt on and assessments of Trump surrogates’ escapades in Moscow, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs leveraging unwitting but pliable contacts, and the SVR—Russia’s external intelligence agency, akin to the CIA—recruiting potential agents-of-influence in and around the campaign itself. Each avenue provided an angle that Russian intelligence could exploit as needed.

The Pattern of Deception

By accepting certain meetings, members of the Trump team communicated that they were indeed interested in having a relationship. They welcomed the prospect of receiving stolen material on their opponent, and even sought it out. Nevertheless, to date, there is no indication that Russia’s efforts proceeded beyond the initial stages. It’s possible, then, that Russia’s efforts to infiltrate the Trump campaign went nowhere.

Here’s where the deception on the part of Trump and his team is telling. Trump and his crew never, not once, considered reporting Russian approaches to their campaign, even after law enforcement and intelligence officials made it public that Russia had attempted to interfere with the election. Rather, at every turn, they encouraged unethical behavior and misled the American people, Congress, and even the FBI, claiming repeatedly they had nothing to do with Russia or Russians – even as evidence continues to surface that reveals otherwise.

Further, since taking office, the Trump administration has strenuously resisted taking any action against Russia for its attack on our democratic process. In fact, the President continues to call the intelligence community’s assessment a “hoax” and has taken no meaningful steps to protect against further interference in the future. President Trump even went as far as trying to return Russia’s spy compounds which were confiscated by the Obama administration as a part of its sanctions. Even after Congress passed a bill reinforcing sanctions against Russia this past August, the Trump administration has yet to enforce them.

This inexplicable policy position, combined with the administration’s pattern of deception, suggests two explanations (which are not mutually exclusive): The first is that Russia’s relationship with at least some members of the campaign did proceed, and involved ethically or legally questionable activities that the campaign needs to conceal. Second, it may be that members of the Trump campaign have engaged in problematic activities known to Russia – related or unrelated to the election itself – which Russia now holds as a sword of Damocles over them. Either way, it strongly suggests that Russia could have leverage over those who are now in charge of protecting the United States, rendering them unable to act solely in the interest of our country.

Is Collusion a Crime?

Most of the things intelligence officers and assets do—particularly during the process of recruiting someone—aren’t necessarily illegal. In the context of the Russia investigation, First Amendment concerns and the powers afforded to the office of the President make it especially difficult to pin down a crime. For instance, frequently meeting a known intelligence officer, while certainly unwise, is not itself a crime. Neither is it clear that listening to what information a foreigner may have to offer a campaign crosses the tripwire of campaign finance laws. And given the president’s almost unfettered discretion in the area of foreign affairs, disputing his decision to remove or not enforce sanctions wanders into a constitutional thicket.

This isn’t to say that Mueller won’t find evidence of criminal acts in his investigation. Based on the indictments and plea deals we’ve seen so far, it’s clear that at least some of the people associated with the Trump campaign have committed crimes. But the U.S. criminal code is narrow: It encompasses specific activities like computer hacking, or money laundering, or lying to federal agents. Mueller will also proceed cautiously, only bringing charges where both the law and evidence are extraordinarily clear. What becomes public through the criminal justice system, then, will only be a sliver of what actually took place between Russia and the Trump campaign behind the scenes.

The only crime that might reveal a larger effort is conspiracy, which is an agreement among two or more people to commit a crime. But it’s unlikely that there would be evidence of an explicit quid pro quo in the intelligence world. This is because intelligence operations are “compartmentalized”—that is, each asset only knows their own role, but not necessarily to what extent others might be involved – so no one asset would understand or know the full breadth of an entire operation. And since the recruitment process typically happens with a wink and a nod, rather with a brute insistence on favors, the trail of evidence needed to prove conspiracy (as well as an underlying crime) may be sparse.

But the truth is that “collusion” with the Kremlin doesn’t have to be criminal to be dangerous. If the Trump campaign received offers of assistance from Russia, and they did nothing to discourage that help (or even encouraged it), they are indebted to a foreign adversary whose national interests are opposed to those of the United States. You can be sure that at some point, Putin will come to collect, if he has not done so already – and when it comes to protecting our democracy the administration will be a puppet of a foreign adversary, not our country’s first line of defense. While the potential criminal aspects of this case need to be investigated, we need to take a good look at what we already know. The national security threat is staring us right in the face.

(Photo Credit: BPA via Getty Images)
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2:13 PM 12/15/2017 – President Donald Trump said that there was tremendous anger over the FBI’s disgraceful behavior

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M.N.: And this is absolutely correct and the truth, regardless of his own problems. But it is more than that: the FBI’s behavior is not just “disgraceful”, it is plainly and overtly CRIMINAL in many instances, about which we simply do not know or do not know enough, and in various areas. We do have to … Continue reading “2:13 PM 12/15/2017 – President Donald Trump said that there was tremendous anger over the FBI’s disgraceful behavior”

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1:48 PM 12/15/2017 – UK defense chief says Russia poses risk to undersea cables

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Suspected North Korean cyber group seeks to woo bitcoin job seekers – Reuters
A prayer for CIA accountability that will likely go unanswered – Washington Post
Top US Army general in Europe retires after 3 busy years at helm
Trump calls conduct at FBI disgraceful before appearing at Quantico
Russia, N. Korea Eye Bitcoin for Money Laundering, Putting It on a Crash Course with Regulators
Daily Reads: Net Neutrality Repeal a Brutal Blow to Democracy – BillMoyers.com
Tillerson offers olive branch to North Korea if it abandons nuclear weapons
Trump To FBI Academy Graduates: “The President Of The United States Has Your Back” – RealClearPolitics
Dutch police shoot man with a knife at Amsterdam airport
ISIS may have obtained anti-tank missiles from the CIA – Business Insider
In the FBI’s Backyard, Trump Snubs the Bureau – Daily Beast
House Intelligence Panel Is Rushing to Complete Russia Probe – New York Times
Trump laments FBI, lauds law enforcement – WLWT Cincinnati
Trump Praises Putin and Rants Incoherently About the FBI from White House Lawn – AlterNet

 

Saved Stories – None
UK defense chief says Russia poses risk to undersea cables

LONDON (AP) – The head of Britain’s military says Russia could try to sever undersea communications cables, and protecting them is a defense priority for NATO.

Air Chief Marshal Stuart Peach says cutting or disrupting the cables could have a “potentially catastrophic” economic effect.

Peach told an audience at the …

Communist Parties’ Victory in Nepal May Signal Closer China Ties – New York Times


New York Times
Communist Parties’ Victory in Nepal May Signal Closer China Ties
New York Times
KATHMANDU, Nepal Communist parties in Nepal with closer ties to neighboring China have emerged victorious in the country’s largest democratic exercise ever. A powerful political coalition of two communist parties led by former prime ministers
With eye on China, India to step up relations with NepalEconomic Times

all 56 news articles »

Trump’s ‘personal insecurities’ impair US response to a security threat – MSNBC


MSNBC
Trump’s ‘personal insecurities’ impair US response to a security threat
MSNBC
The result is without obvious parallel in U.S. history, a situation in which the personal insecurities of the president and his refusal to accept what even many in his administration regard as objective reality have impaired the government’s 
SitRep: Trump and Putin Chat; White House Staffers Rip Into Tillerson and McMasterForeign Policy (blog)

all 6 news articles »

NYC Woman Charged With Laundering Money Through Cryptocurrencies to ISIS

A Long Island woman A woman in Long Island has been accused of bank fraud and laundering more than $85,000 worth of Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies to support the Islamic State.

The Department of Justice said on Thursday that the 27-year-old woman, Zoobia Shahnaz, is being charged with bank fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and three counts of money laundering, ABC News reported.

“The defendant defrauded numerous financial institutions and obtained over $85,000 in illicit proceeds, which she converted to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies,” the Department of Justice DOJ explained in a statement about the unsealed five-count federal court indictment.

“She then laundered and transferred the funds out of the country to support the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS),” the DOJ statement continued. “After consummating the scheme, the defendant attempted to leave the United States and travel to Syria. Shahnaz, a U.S. citizen, was arrested yesterday.”

According to the court record, Shahnaz worked as a lab technician in a hospital in Manhattan up until June 2017, and around June 2016 she volunteered in Jordan with the Syrian American Medical Society.

As part of her volunteer work, she was working in a refugee camp where the prosecutors said “ISIS exercises significant influence.”

Shahnaz’s Shahnazs attorney, Steve Zissou, said she never attempted to help ISIS and ISIS, she only wanted to help the Syrian refugees she had come across while volunteering.

“Whatever she did was for humanitarian purposes only,” Zissou said.

Yet prosecutors claim Shahnaz fraudulently obtained six credit cards and a loan from a Manhattan bank, which she then used to procure $85,000 to convert to cryptocurrencies in order to transfer the funds overseas and provide financial support to from ISIS. Agents have accused the Long Island resident of providing conflicting explanations about the wire transfers.

Shahnaz was suspected of foul play while attempting to board a suspicious flight at JFK airport in New York City on July 31. She was questioned by law enforcement officials at the airport while attempting to board a flight to Pakistan with a layover in Turkey. Her return flight was booked for Sept. 4 from Istanbul, Turkey back to JFK.

Prosecutors pointed out that ISIS recommends those who wish to travel and join ISIS buy round trip tickets because it appears less suspicious.

She is being held without bail, pending trial. Her next court date is Jan. 5.

The post NYC Woman Charged With Laundering Money Through Cryptocurrencies to ISIS appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

DOJ: Early Media Release of FBI Agents Texts Were Not Authorized

The Department of Justice on Thursday acknowledged that (DOJ) has acknowledged some members of the media received copies of texts between two FBI agents before members of Congress did, and saidbut  the disclosures “were not authorized.”

In  the statement to Politico, Department of Justice DOJ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said key members of the House Judiciary Committee were given copies of the texts between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page ahead of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s public testimony on Wednesday, Business Insider reports.

Some messages between Strzok and Page expressed support for Hillary Clinton and disdain toward then-presidential candiate Donald Trump during the 2016 election.

Strzok was part of the operation overseeing the Clinton email investigation, and both agents worked for a time on the special counsel investigation into alleged Russian meddling and collusion. Once the texts were uncovered over the summer, Strzok was removed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Muellersinvestigation and relegated to the FBI’s human-resources department. Page had previously left her stint on the team before Mueller’s office was made aware of the text messages.

After sharing the text messages with lawmakers, the Department of Justice’s DOJs public affairs division then shared the same messages with reporters, but some members of the media “had already received copies.”

“As we understand now, some members of the media had already received copies of the texts before thatbut that but those disclosures were not authorized by the department,” Flores said.

The text were uncovered in July as part of an ongoing investigation by the Department of Justice’s DOJinspector general into how the FBI handled the probe into Clinton’s use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state.

Department of Justice DOJ official on Wednesday told Business Insider the department “often” provided reporters with the information they give to congressional Congressional committees to “avoid any confusion.”

The department’s DOJs statements were made in response to Democratic ranking members of the House Judiciary Committee asking for an explanation of the early media release, and inquiring whetherif the Office of Inspector General (OIG) was consulted before the release. The Democrats also sent a similar letter to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

The department DOJ consulted with a senior career ethics adviser advisor who, despite Flores’ description that the release was not initially authorized, authorize, “determined that there were no legal or ethical concerns, including under the Privacy Act, that prohibited the release of the information to the public either by members of Congress or by the department,” Politico reported.

Rosenstein also addressed the release of information to the media on Wednesday during the public hearing.

“Generally speaking, our goal is to be as forthcoming with the media as we can, when it is lawful and appropriate to do so,” Rosenstein said during the hearing. “So I would not approve anybody disclosing something that was not appropriate to disclose.”

The post DOJ: Early Media Release of FBI Agents Texts Were Not Authorized appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

What Is Vladimir Putin Really Up To? Carnegie Scholars Aim To Find Out.

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is about to launch a two-year analysis of Russia’s activist foreign and military policies.
A New Industrial Hack Highlights the Cyber Holes in Our Infrastructure – MIT Technology Review


MIT Technology Review
A New Industrial Hack Highlights the Cyber Holes in Our Infrastructure
MIT Technology Review
Freshly discovered malware called Triton can compromise safety systems that control many kinds of industrial processes. For years, security experts have been warning that hackers can disable systems that control critical infrastructure we all rely on 
Nation-State Believed Responsible for ‘Watershed’ Cyber Attack on Industrial PlantInsurance Journal
Hackers halt plant operations in watershed cyber attackReuters
Cyber experts identify new malware targeting critical infrastructureThe Hill
FireEye –Dragos
all 43 news articles »
This Is the Navy’s Master Plan to Kill China’s Aircraft Carriers

James Holmes

Security, Asia

Beijing won’t like this one bit.

Fortress China is festooned with airfields and mobile antiship weaponry able to strike hundreds of miles out to sea. Yes, the U.S. Navy remains stronger than the PLA Navy in open-sea battle. A fleet-on-fleet engagement isolated from shore-based reinforcements would probably go Americas way. But that hypothetical result may not make much difference since the two navies are more likely to join battle in confined Asian waters than on the open ocean.

Ah, yes, the carrier-killer. China is forever touting the array of guided missiles its weaponeers have devised to pummel U.S. Navy nuclear-powered aircraft carriers (CVNs). Most prominent among them are its DF-21D and DF-26 antiship ballistic missiles (ASBMs), which the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) has made a mainstay of Chinas anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) defenses.

Recommended: North Korea Has 200,000 Soldiers in Its Special Forces

Recommended: Why Doesn’t America Kill Kim Jong Un?

Recommended: 1.2 Million Casualties: If North Korea Attacked Los Angeles with a Nuclear Weapon

Beijing has made believers of important audiences, including the scribes who toil away at the Pentagon producing estimates of Chinese martial might. Indeed, the most recent annual report on Chinese military power states matter-of-factly that the PLA can now use DF-21Ds to attack ships, including aircraft carriers, more than nine hundred statute miles from Chinas shorelines.

Read full article

White House: FBI records show ‘extreme bias’ against Trump – Washington Times


Washington Times
White House: FBI records show ‘extreme bias’ against Trump
Washington Times
Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told Fox News Channel that edits to former FBI Director James BComey’s statement on Hillary Clinton’s private email server and text messages from a top agent critical of Trump are deeply troubling. There is 

and more »

Donald Trump says FBI documents prove bias against him, favoritism for Hillary Clinton

Responding to revelations that a top FBI official in the Russia investigation showed bias against him in text messages, President Trump said Friday that the episode was “disgraceful” and that he will reform the law-enforcement agency to be “bigger and better than ever.”

“It is very sad when you look …

Trump administration rolls out global campaign to combat those who overstay their visas in the US – Washington Examiner

Trump administration rolls out global campaign to combat those who overstay their visas in the US
Washington Examiner
The Trump administration will begin requiring countries with high rates of citizens overstaying select visas in the U.S. to launch campaigns educating people against breaking U.S. immigration laws, senior administration officials announced Friday. The 

Suspected North Korean cyber group seeks to woo bitcoin job seekers – Reuters


Reuters
Suspected North Korean cyber group seeks to woo bitcoin job seekers
Reuters
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The surging price of cryptocurrencies in global markets is catching the eye not just of ordinary retail investors but a cybercrime gang with links to the North Korean government, according to cyber researchers tracing the group’s

and more »

A prayer for CIA accountability that will likely go unanswered – Washington Post


Washington Post
A prayer for CIA accountability that will likely go unanswered
Washington Post
The CIA has long tried to recruit young people by offering them career opportunities with the promise of excitement, intrigue and patriotism. Be accountable to the President, Congress, and the American public, reads one recent announcement directed
Former CIA Director: With Trump, I Didn’t Think Through The Downside Of The Intel Community Becoming PoliticalTownhall
York: Of course, intelligence agencies out to get TrumpPeoria Journal Star

all 4 news articles »

Top US Army general in Europe retires after 3 busy years at helm

The Army general who oversaw the most significant buildup of U.S. troops and infrastructure since the end of the Cold War retired Friday after more than three years in command.

Trump calls conduct at FBI disgraceful before appearing at Quantico

President weighs in revelations senior FBI officials exchanged text messages denouncing Trump and supportive of Hillary Clinton.

Russia, N. Korea Eye Bitcoin for Money Laundering, Putting It on a Crash Course with Regulators

Traders work in a trading pit at the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Monday, Dec. 11, 2017, in Chicago, as they trade S&P 500 Options, unrelated to bitcoin futures. Trading in Bitcoin futures began Sunday on the CBOE.
Daily Reads: Net Neutrality Repeal a Brutal Blow to Democracy – BillMoyers.com


BillMoyers.com
Daily Reads: Net Neutrality Repeal a Brutal Blow to Democracy
BillMoyers.com
The Daily Beast flagged a detail that might have been a front-page story unto itself: When Director of National IntelligenceJames RClapper Jr., CIA Director John Brennan and FBI Director James B. Comey all went to see Donald Trump together during 

Tillerson offers olive branch to North Korea if it abandons nuclear weapons

Speaking at the United Nations, the secretary of state indicated the United States wants a sustained cessation of North Koreas threatening behavior before talks can begin.

Trump To FBI Academy Graduates: “The President Of The United States Has Your Back” – RealClearPolitics


RealClearPolitics
Trump To FBI Academy Graduates: “The President Of The United States Has Your Back”
RealClearPolitics
In the middle of a series of conflicts with intelligence and law enforcement agencies, President Trump spoke Friday to graduates of the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA. He told the new agents to remember: “When you go home to your local precincts, I want 

Dutch police shoot man with a knife at Amsterdam airport

Dutch military police say they have shot a man after he threatened to use a knife at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.

ISIS may have obtained anti-tank missiles from the CIA – Business Insider


Business Insider
ISIS may have obtained anti-tank missiles from the CIA
Business Insider
In the same year, sources with knowledge of the Syrian conflict reportedly said that the CIA was establishing small rebel units capable of taking down tanks and had received anti-tank missiles, a BuzzFeed News report said. Although the exact process in
The Sudden Surge of Media Coverage on the CIA’s Arming of ISISMintpress News (blog)

all 44 news articles »

In the FBI’s Backyard, Trump Snubs the Bureau – Daily Beast


Daily Beast
In the FBI’s Backyard, Trump Snubs the Bureau
Daily Beast
It was Trump’s first speech as president on FBI territory. Only he didn’t direct it at FBI agents, analysts or traineesbut instead at the police officers from around the country and the world whom the bureau instructs for at its National Academy 
Republicans alarmed by ‘frightening’ anti-Trump texts between FBI employeesWJLA
Former Federal Prosecutor: To Maintain Credibility, Mueller Needs to Make More ChangesTownhall
FBI agents spoke negatively about Democrats, tooAxios
Shareblue Media –BizPac Review –Fox News
all 186 news articles »
House Intelligence Panel Is Rushing to Complete Russia Probe – New York Times


New York Times
House Intelligence Panel Is Rushing to Complete Russia Probe
New York Times
The committee has scheduled sessions there with Rhona Graff, Mr. Trump’s longtime executive assistant, and Felix Sater, a Trump associate who boasted that he could help engineer a real estate deal with the aid of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia 

and more »

Trump laments FBI, lauds law enforcement – WLWT Cincinnati


WLWT Cincinnati
Trump laments FBI, lauds law enforcement
WLWT Cincinnati
There is extreme bias against this president with high-up members of the team there at the FBI who were investigating Hillary Clinton at the time, Gidley charged, as special counsel Robert Mueller pushes on with a probe of possible Trump campaign 

and more »

Trump Praises Putin and Rants Incoherently About the FBI from White House Lawn – AlterNet


AlterNet
Trump Praises Putin and Rants Incoherently About the FBI from White House Lawn
AlterNet
President Donald Trump delivered an angry rant on the White House lawn in front of reporters on Friday in which he ranted about both the Department of Justice and the FBI. When reporters stopped Trump on the White House lawn Friday morning to ask him 

and more »


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