The spy group axed several contractors after it discovered they had stolen $3,314.40 in eats from compromised vending machines between fall 2012 and March 2013, according to a report obtained by BuzzFeed News.
When nosh began going missing from agency vending machines, the CIA did what it does best — it put up cameras and started spying on the break room, according to the report.
“Video footage recovered from the surveillance cameras captured numerous perpetrators engaged in the … theft scheme, all of whom were readily identifiable as agency contract personnel,” the report states. Read the rest of this entry »
Assange has not returned a series of recent emails from Fox News about Rich. MacFadyen, who was considered a mentor by Assange, died of lung cancer on Oct. 22 at age 76.
D.C. police have announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of Rich’s killer. Republican lobbyist Jack Burkman has offered a separate $130,000 reward.
Rich had been at Lou’s City Bar a couple of miles from his home until about 1:15 a.m. He walked home, calling several people along the way. He called his father, Joel Rich, who he missed because he had gone to sleep. He talked with a fraternity brother and his girlfriend, Kelsey Mulka.
Around 4:17 a.m., Rich was about a block from his home when Mulka, still on the phone with him, heard voices in the background. Rich reassured her that he was steps away from being at his front door and hung up.
Two minutes later, Rich was shot twice. Police were on the scene within three minutes. Rich sustained bruising on his hands and face. He remained conscious, but died at a nearby hospital less than two hours later. Read the rest of this entry »
“Today, President Donald J. Trump informed FBI Director James Comey that he has been terminated and removed from office,” the White House statement reads.
President Trump has previously been critical of Comey, suggesting that his actions helped Hillary Clinton during the campaign, while Clinton blamed Comey and his late announcement about the FBI’s investigation into her email server contributed to her electoral college loss. Read the rest of this entry »
Fox News announced Monday that Harf, a Democrat, “will offer national security and political analysis” and that she will begin appearing on air Monday. Read the rest of this entry »
“This is a sham, your company isn’t real, your website is fake, the claims you have made are lies, this is a hoax.” Carlson said. “Let me start at the beginning, however, with your name, Dom Tullipso, which is not your real name.
It’s a fake name, we ran you through law enforcement-level background checks and that name does not exist. So let’s start out with the truth. Tell me what your real name is.”
While “Dom” never conceded that anything about Demand Protest was a hoax, he admitted that the group had a change of heart and will be protesting the anti-Trump protesters.
Reports of Russian interference in the already divisive election have roiled Washington, even as the U.S. Congress on Friday certified Trump’s victory in the Electoral College.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an effort to help Republican Donald Trump’s electoral chances by discrediting Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential campaign, U.S. intelligence agencies said in an assessment on Friday.
“We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election,” the report said. “We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.”
Russia’s objectives were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate former Secretary of State Clinton, make it harder for her to win and harm her presidency if she did, an unclassified report released by the top U.S. intelligence agency said.
“We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election,” the report said. “We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.”
The report, although it omitted classified details, was the U.S. government’s starkest public description of what it says was an unprecedented Russian campaign to manipulate the American body politic.
Reports of Russian interference in the already divisive election have roiled Washington, even as the U.S. Congress on Friday certified Trump’s victory in the Electoral College. Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million ballots.
“The report neither assessed ‘the impact Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election’ nor did it provide details on the evidence underpinning its conclusions, a fact likely to keep alive the controversy over what Moscow may have done.”
The report’s conclusions, though lacking details of how the Russians may have relayed the material to WikiLeaks and others, will give ammunition to Democrats and Trump’s fellow Republicans in Congress who want tougher action against Russia, setting the scene for a potential showdown with Trump.
“The report’s conclusions, though lacking details of how the Russians may have relayed the material to WikiLeaks and others, will give ammunition to Democrats and Trump’s fellow Republicans in Congress who want tougher action against Russia, setting the scene for a potential showdown with Trump.”
It could also give a boost to members of Congress seeking an independent, bipartisan investigation of Russian hacking.
Read the rest of this entry »
Russian intelligence agencies sought to influence the 2016 presidential election through coordinated cyber and propaganda activities, three U.S. intelligence leaders told a Senate hearing Thursday.writes:
“This was a multifaceted campaign, so the hacking was only one part of it. It also entailed classical propaganda, disinformation, fake news.”
Additionally, Senate testimony revealed that the National Security Agency, the government’s key cyber intelligence and technical spying service, confirmed the Russian intelligence service’s covert cyber and propaganda effort to influence the election campaign.
Wow, the DNI’s report, presented in this tweet in its entirety, is pretty amazing: pic.twitter.com/U1gtUS5jqd
— Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) January 6, 2017
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper previewed a forthcoming government report, to be released as early as Monday, on the Russian intelligence operations that included intrusions into Democratic National Committee computers and the email account of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman, John Podesta.
The Russians then orchestrated the release of hacked internal information through three propaganda conduits in a coordinated campaign.
“Our assessment now is even more resolute than it was with that statement on the 7th of October. I don’t think we’ve ever encountered a more aggressive or direct effort to interfere in our election.”
“This was a multifaceted campaign, so the hacking was only one part of it,” Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “It also entailed classical propaganda, disinformation, fake news.”
The forthcoming report will describe the full range of Russian intelligence activities during the campaign, Clapper said.
Clapper confirmed the details of the Oct. 7 statement issued jointly by his office and the Department of Homeland Security accusing Russia of interfering with the 2016 election. That statement identified three entities, the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, another site called DCLeaks.com, and a hacker code-named Guccifer 2.0, as the outlets for the hacked information.
“There’s actually more than one motive, so that’ll be described in the report.”
“Our assessment now is even more resolute than it was with that statement on the 7th of October,” Clapper said. “I don’t think we’ve ever encountered a more aggressive or direct effort to interfere in our election.”
Asked if the earlier assessments about Moscow’s disinformation program had changed, Clapper stated: “No. In fact, if anything, what we’ve since learned just reinforces that statement the 7th of October.”
NSA Director Mike Rogers told the hearing that the report was “done essentially” by the CIA, FBI, and NSA.
The inclusion of NSA in the report is the first time NSA’s role in assessing the Russian cyber attacks was mentioned.
NSA’s capability to monitor foreign cyber intelligence operations is highly advanced. Documents disclosed by renegade NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed the agency in the past has broken into foreign intelligence service networks and stolen information those services were gathering from spies—without being detected. Read the rest of this entry »
Peter Hasson reports: WikiLeaks’ publication of emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta revealed the close ties between prominent journalists and the Clinton campaign. Many of those same journalists will now be covering the Trump White House.
Harwood told Podesta to “watch out” for Dr. Ben Carson during the Republican primary. “Ben Carson could give you real trouble in a general,” Harwood warned, including video clips of Carson’s political positions.
In a December 2015 email to Podesta, Harwood claimed the Republican Party was “veering off the rails” and bragged about provoking Trump during a Republican presidential debate, where he asked Trump if he was running “a comic book version of a presidential campaign.”
“I imagine…” Harwood titled the email, continuing in the body: “…that Obama feels some (sad) vindication at this demonstration of his years-long point about the opposition party veering off the rails.”
“I certainly am feeling that way with respect to how I questioned Trump at our debate.”
As CNBC’s chief political correspondent, Harwood will play a central role in the network’s coverage of the Trump administration. Harwood has yet to respond to repeated requests from TheDC regarding his email exchanges with the Clinton campaign. Read the rest of this entry »
…As Obama concludes his reign of error, his party is smaller, weaker, and more rickety than it has been since at least the 1940s. Behold the tremendous power that Democrats have frittered away — from January 2009 through the aftermath of Election Day 2016 — thanks to Obama and his ideas:
- Democrats surrendered the White House to political neophyte Donald J. Trump.
- U.S. Senate seats slipped from 55 to 46, down 16 percent.
- U.S. House seats slid from 256 to 194, down 24 percent.
- Democrats ran the U.S. Senate and House in 2009. Next year, they will control neither.
- Governorships fell from 28 to 16, down 43 percent.
- State legislatures (both chambers) plunged from 27 to 14, down 48 percent.
- Trifectas (states with Democratic governors and both legislative chambers) cratered from 17 to 6, down 65 percent.
Since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, eight U.S. presidents have served at least two terms or bowed to their vice-presidents due to death or resignation. Among them, Obama ranks eighth in total state legislative seats that his party preserved during his tenure. Obama has supervised the net loss of 959 such Democratic positions, down 23.5 percent, according to Ballotpedia, which generated most of the data cited here. This far outpaces the 843 net seats that Republicans yielded under President Dwight David Eisenhower. Read the rest of this entry »
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange implied in an interview that a murdered Democratic National Committee staffer was the source of a trove of damaging emails the rogue website posted just days before the party’s convention.
Speaking to Dutch television program Nieuswsuur Tuesday after earlier announcing a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Seth Rich’s killer, Assange said the July 10 murder of Rich in Northwest Washington was an example of the risk leakers undertake.
“Whistle-blowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often very significant risks,” Assange said. “As a 27-year-old, works for the DNC, was shot in the back, murdered just a few weeks ago for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington.”
When the interviewer interjected that the murder may have been a robbery, Assange pushed back.
When pressed as to whether Rich was, in fact, the leaker, Assange stated that the organization does not reveal its sources.
Police have said they believe the motive was robbery, and that there is no evidence Rich’s murder was connected to his work. But Rich’s father has said the 4 a.m. murder, in which Rich was shot several times from behind, did not appear to be a robbery, as his son’s wallet and watch were not taken. Read the rest of this entry »
His decision may have cost Clinton the presidency.
On Friday, the Obama administration turned a bright spotlight onto the Russian government’s attempts to influence America’s presidential election. The White House announced that the president had ordered the intelligence community to perform a “full review” of election-related hacking, kicking off a sweeping investigation that officials say should be complete before President Obama’s second term ends in less than six weeks.
“For one, the White House was probably afraid of looking like it was tipping the scale in Hillary Clinton’s favor, especially in an election that her opponent repeatedly described as rigged.”
That evening, administration officials leaked the results of a secret CIA investigation into Russia’s motives for launching election-related cyberattacks to The Washington Post. The CIA had concluded that Russia “intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency.”
Members of Congress who called on the White House to release more information about Russian involvement in the 2016 election—and who repeatedly hinted that the administration hadn’t publicized everything it knows on the issue—were vindicated by the revelations. But the news came too late to make a difference in the election.
“It’s also possible that the administration, like most pollsters and pundits, was overconfident in its assessment that Clinton would win the election.”
The CIA only shared its latest findings with top senators last week, the Post reported, but it’s not clear when the agency made the determination. In an interview with MSNBC on Saturday, however, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid—who is known for making bold accusations—said FBI Director Jim Comey has known about Russia’s ambitions “for a long time,” but didn’t release that information.
If that’s true, why didn’t the Obama administration push to release it earlier?
For one, the White House was probably afraid of looking like it was tipping the scale in Hillary Clinton’s favor, especially in an election that her opponent repeatedly described as rigged. Though Obama stumped for Clinton around the country, the administration didn’t want to open him up to attacks that he unfairly used intelligence to undermine Trump’s campaign, the Post reported.
Instead, top White House officials gathered key lawmakers—leadership from the House and Senate, plus the top Democrats and Republicans from both houses’ intelligence and homeland security committees—to ask for a bipartisan condemnation of Russia’s meddling.
The effort was stymied by several Republicans who weren’t willing to cooperate, including, reportedly, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. (On Sunday morning, a bipartisan statement condemning the hacks came from incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Jack Reed, a Democrat, and Republicans John McCain and Lindsey Graham.)
It’s also possible that the administration, like most pollsters and pundits, was overconfident in its assessment that Clinton would win the election. Officials may have been more willing to lob incendiary accusations—and risk setting off a serious political or cyber conflict with Russia—if they had thought Trump had a good chance to win.
The silence from the White House and the CIA was a stark contrast to the Comey’s announcement just weeks before the election that it was examining new documents related to its investigation into Clinton’s emails. Read the rest of this entry »
CIA says Moscow’s efforts specifically intended to hurt Clinton’s election prospects.
Donald Trump has rejected the assessment of the US intelligence community that alleged hacking by Russia in the months before the election was aimed at helping the property mogul beat his rival Hillary Clinton.
“These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” the Trump transition team said after the Washington Post reported that the CIA had concluded that Russia tried to sway the race in his favour.
Ahead of the election, the White House accused Russia of interfering with the democratic process. But the Washington Post on Friday said the CIA had concluded that the efforts were specifically intended to hurt Mrs Clinton. The paper said Russia had hacked both the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee but only given information taken from the Democrats to WikiLeaks, which then released it before the election. The RNC had previously denied suggestions that it was hacked.
“It’s pretty clear to me that WikiLeaks was designed to hurt Clinton and it could be us tomorrow.”
Charles Schumer, the New York senator who will become the top Democrat in the Senate in January, on Saturday called for a congressional investigation into the alleged Russian hacking. “That any country could be meddling in our elections should shake both political parties to their core. Senate Democrats will join with our Republican colleagues next year to demand a congressional investigation and hearings to get to the bottom of this,” said Mr Schumer. “It’s imperative that our intelligence community turns over any relevant information so that Congress can conduct a full investigation.”
Democrats, including those who are disappointed that Mrs Clinton lost the election despite winning the popular vote, are frustrated at the lack of scrutiny of events that they believe may have influenced the outcome of what was one of the most bitter elections in modern American history. Read the rest of this entry »
This post will unpack the leak from the CIA published in the WaPo tonight.
emptywheel writes: Before I start with the substance of the story, consider this background. First, if Trump comes into office on the current trajectory, the US will let Russia help Bashar al-Assad stay in power, thwarting a 4-year effort on the part of the Saudis to remove him from power. It will also restructure the hierarchy of horrible human rights abusing allies the US has, with the Saudis losing out to other human rights abusers, potentially up to and including that other petrostate, Russia. It will also install a ton of people with ties to the US oil industry in the cabinet, meaning the US will effectively subsidize oil production in this country, which will have the perhaps inadvertent result of ensuring the US remains oil-independent even though the market can’t justify fracking right now.
The CIA is institutionally quite close with the Saudis right now, and has been in charge of their covert war against Assad.
This story came 24 days after the White House released an anonymous statement asserting, among other things, “the Federal government did not observe any increased level of malicious cyber activity aimed at disrupting our electoral process on election day,” suggesting that the Russians may have been deterred.
This story was leaked within hours of the time the White House announced it was calling for an all-intelligence community review of the Russia intelligence, offered without much detail. Indeed, this story was leaked and published as an update to that story.
Which is to say, the CIA and/or people in Congress (this story seems primarily to come from Democratic Senators) leaked this, apparently in response to President Obama’s not terribly urgent call to have all intelligence agencies weigh in on the subject of Russian influence, after weeks of Democrats pressuring him to release more information. It was designed to both make the White House-ordered review more urgent and influence the outcome.
So here’s what that story says.
In September, the spooks briefed “congressional leaders” (which for a variety of reasons I wildarseguess is either a Gang of Four briefing including Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, and Harry Reid or a briefing to SSCI plus McConnell, Reid, Jack Reed, and John McCain). Apparently, the substance of the briefing was that Russia’s intent in hacking Democratic entities was not to increase distrust of institutions, but instead to elect Trump.
The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.
The difference between this story and other public assessments is that it seems to identify the people — who sound like people with ties to the Russian government but not necessarily part of it — who funneled documents from Russia’s GRU to Wikileaks.
Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, according to U.S. officials. Those officials described the individuals as actors known to the intelligence community and part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and hurt Clinton’s chances.
[I]ntelligence agencies do not have specific intelligence showing officials in the Kremlin “directing” the identified individuals to pass the Democratic emails to WikiLeaks, a second senior U.S. official said. Those actors, according to the official, were “one step” removed from the Russian government, rather than government employees.
This is the part that has always been missing in the past: how the documents got from GRU, which hacked the DNC and John Podesta, to Wikileaks, which released them. It appears that CIA now thinks they know the answer: some people one step removed from the Russian government, funneling the documents from GRU hackers (presumably) to Wikileaks to be leaked, with the intent of electing Trump.
Not everyone buys this story. Mitch McConnell doesn’t buy the intelligence. Read the rest of this entry »
Well, look, every time liberals lose, they accuse the other side of all kinds of isms. That’s been going on for 50 years. At a certain point they run out of steam. You can argue that, yes, there were times when Trump might have allowed sort of going beyond the bounds of what is tolerable in political speech. But to attribute the loss to racism or an appeal to white supremacy I think is ridiculous. She didn’t even show up in Wisconsin. She lost Wisconsin. There were layers and layers of mistakes that she made, and in the end, the reason she lost is she had nothing to say. She was running because it was her turn. There was no way — remember from one of the internal messages that were leaked on WikiLeaks, someone said, “What is our message?” This is from inside the campaign. She would like to blame it on the basket of deplorables. I don’t think that’s going to hold up. Yes, you can launch a criticism of some of the things that were happening on the edges of the campaign. But it does not account for the outcome.
Read more at The Corner
BREAKING: DNC Aiming To Reconnect With Working-Class Americans With New ‘Hamilton’-Inspired Lena Dunham Web SeriesPosted: November 15, 2016
“We’re hoping to make up the ground we lost with white working-class voters and union members who once made up our base with a new 10-part hip-hop musical set in rural Wisconsin, featuring a down-on-her-luck manufacturing worker played by Lena Dunham.”
WASHINGTON—Saying the new effort would help them make critical inroads with low-income rural voters following a stunning election loss last week, the Democratic National Committee announced the launch of a new Hamilton-inspired web series Tuesday starring Lena Dunham intended to connect with working-class Americans and address their most pressing concerns.
“We are confident that with the help of Josh Gad, Debra Messing, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and the creative team behind The Mindy Project, we can bring Americans who feel like they have been left behind by globalization back to the Democratic Party.”
“We’re hoping to make up the ground we lost with white working-class voters and union members who once made up our base with a new 10-part hip-hop musical set in rural Wisconsin, featuring a down-on-her-luck manufacturing worker played by Lena Dunham,” said DNC interim chair Donna Brazile, who added that, in an effort to appeal to economically distressed voters, each episode would see the protagonists tackle a different theme, such as taxes or free trade, through the choreography of five-time Tony winner Susan Stroman. Read the rest of this entry »
Just days before the election pundits, experts and pollsters predicted Hillary Clinton would win in a “landslide.”
The DNC research team worked together to come up with a list of things Milbank could use that was provided to Walker.
Peter Hasson reports: Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank appears to have asked the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to do the majority of the research for a negative column he wrote about Donald Trump in April 2016.
Milbank’s column was titled, “The Ten Plagues of Trump,” and featured a list of “outrageous things” said by Trump. One of the “plagues” listed by Milbank, for example, was “Blood” and centered around a quote from Trump about Megyn Kelly: “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”
Internal DNC emails suggest Milbanks asked for — and then leaned heavily on — DNC opposition research on Trump for the article.
The day before Milbank’s article, DNC deputy communications director Eric Walker sent out an email to the DNC’s research team. Read the rest of this entry »
Qatari officials pledged the money in 2011 to mark the 65th birthday of Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton’s husband, and sought to meet the former U.S. president in person the following year to present him the check, according to an email from a foundation official to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman, John Podesta. The email, among thousands hacked from Podesta’s account, was published last month by WikiLeaks.
Clinton signed an ethics agreement governing her family’s globe-straddling foundation in order to become secretary of state in 2009. The agreement was designed to increase transparency to avoid appearances that U.S. foreign policy could be swayed by wealthy donors.
If a new foreign government wished to donate or if an existing foreign-government donor, such as Qatar, wanted to “increase materially” its support of ongoing programs, Clinton promised that the State Department’s ethics official would be notified and given a chance to raise any concerns.
Clinton Foundation officials last month declined to confirm the Qatar donation. In response to additional questions, a foundation spokesman, Brian Cookstra, this week said that it accepted the $1 million gift from Qatar, but this did not amount to a “material increase” in the Gulf country’s support for the charity. Cookstra declined to say whether Qatari officials received their requested meeting with Bill Clinton.
Officials at Qatar’s embassy in Washington and in its Council of Ministers in the capital, Doha, declined to discuss the donation.
The State Department has said it has no record of the foundation submitting the Qatar gift for review, and that it was incumbent on the foundation to notify the department about donations that needed attention. A department spokeswoman did not respond to additional questions about the donation.
According to the foundation’s website, which lists donors in broad categories by cumulative amounts donated, Qatar’s government has directly given a total of between $1 million and $5 million over the years.
The Clinton Foundation has said it would no longer accept money from foreign governments if Clinton is elected president and would spin off those programs that are dependent on foreign governments. Read the rest of this entry »
The eight paragraphs that Thrush sent Palmieri were filled with glowing sentences about her. She wrote in the forwarded email to Clinton staffers, ‘He did me courtesy of sending what he is going to say about me. Seems fine.’
Thrush sent an email to Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri on April 17, 2015 with the subject line: “pls read asap — the [Jennifer Palmieri] bits — don’t share.” This was revealed in Thursday’s WikiLeaks release of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails. It is included in Podesta’s emails as Palmieri shared the email with several other Clinton staffers, including campaign manager Robby Mook and Podesta.
The eight paragraphs that Thrush sent Palmieri were filled with glowing sentences about her. She wrote in the forwarded email to Clinton staffers, “He did me courtesy of sending what he is going to say about me. Seems fine.”
The paragraphs about Palmieri ended up largely unchanged in the column, “Quiet, please. Hillary’s running,” a piece focused on Clinton’s press strategy.
In a previous email chain released by WikiLeaks, Thrush asked Podesta to look over a portion of a story pertaining to him. The Politico reporter in the email called himself a “hack” and said “please don’t share.” Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Hacked Emails Cast Doubt on Clinton’s Sworn Statement About Turning Over All Work-Related EmailsPosted: November 3, 2016
WikiLeaks’ dump of messages to and from Clinton’s campaign chief offer an unprecedented view into the workings of the elite, and how it looks after itself.
Thomas Frank writes: The emails currently are part of some unknown digital collection amassed by the troublesome Anthony Weiner, but if your purpose is to understand the clique of people who dominate Washington today, the emails that really matter are the ones being from the hacked account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta. They are last week’s scandal in a year running over with scandals, but in truth their significance goes far beyond mere scandal: they are a window into the soul of the Democratic party and into the dreams and thoughts of the class to whom the party answers.
“When you search ‘Vineyard’ on the WikiLeaks dump that you realize these people truly inhabit a different world from the rest of us. By ‘vineyard’, of course, they mean Martha’s Vineyard, the ritzy vacation resort island off the coast of Massachusetts where presidents Clinton and Obama spent most of their summer vacations. The Vineyard is a place for the very, very rich to unwind, yes, but as we learn from these emails, it is also a place of high idealism; a land of enlightened liberal commitment far beyond anything ordinary citizens can ever achieve.”
The class to which I refer is not rising in angry protest; they are by and large pretty satisfied, pretty contented. Nobody takes road trips to exotic West Virginia to see what the members of this class looks like or how they live; on the contrary, they are the ones for whom such stories are written. This bunch doesn’t have to make do with a comb-over TV mountebank for a leader; for this class, the choices are always pretty good, and this year they happen to be excellent.
“Everything blurs into everything else in this world. The state department, the banks, Silicon Valley, the nonprofits, the “Global CEO Advisory Firm” that appears to have solicited donations for the Clinton Foundation. Executives here go from foundation to government to thinktank to startup. There are honors. Venture capital. Foundation grants. Endowed chairs. Advanced degrees. For them the door revolves. The friends all succeed. They break every boundary.”
They are the comfortable and well-educated mainstay of our modern Democratic party. They are also the grandees of our national media; the architects of our software; the designers of our streets; the high officials of our banking system; the authors of just about every plan to fix social security or fine-tune the Middle East with precision droning. They are, they think, not a class at all but rather the enlightened ones, the people who must be answered to but who need never explain themselves.
Let us turn the magnifying glass on them for a change, by sorting through the hacked personal emails of John Podesta, who has been a Washington power broker for decades. I admit that I feel uncomfortable digging through this hoard; stealing someone’s email is a crime, after all, and it is outrageous that people’s personal information has been exposed, since WikiLeaks doesn’t seem to have redacted the emails in any way.
There is also the issue of authenticity to contend with: we don’t know absolutely and for sure that these emails were not tampered with by whoever stole them from John Podesta. The supposed authors of the messages are refusing to confirm or deny their authenticity, and though they seem to be real, there is a small possibility they aren’t.
“The dramatis personae of the liberal class are all present in this amazing body of work: financial innovators. High-achieving colleagues attempting to get jobs for their high-achieving children. Foundation executives doing fine and noble things. Prizes, of course, and high academic achievement.”
With all that taken into consideration, I think the WikiLeaks releases furnish us with an opportunity to observe the upper reaches of the American status hierarchy in all its righteousness and majesty.
The dramatis personae of the liberal class are all present in this amazing body of work: financial innovators. High-achieving colleagues attempting to get jobs for their high-achieving children. Foundation executives doing fine and noble things. Prizes, of course, and high academic achievement. Read the rest of this entry »
This scene from Elia Kazan‘s “A Face in the Crowd” shows “Lonesome” Rhodes (Andy Griffith) working on his nightly show, screaming at the technicians on breaks. Marcia (Patricia Neal) comes to the station, watching Rhodes speaking insultingly when off the air.
As the show ends, Marcia opens the microphones, so that Rhodes can be heard by the audience as he speaks vile insults at his fans, thus unmasking his nasty side to everyone.
Assange may be deliberately stoking anticipation about the announcement.
Rick Moran writes:
…The hacking group WikiLeaks has cancelled a highly anticipated announcement set for Tuesday due to “security concerns.”
The announcement was set to be made…(read more)
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 3, 2016
Wikileaks has abruptly canceled a much-anticipated announcement on Tuesday, according to NBC News. The announcement had been expected to be founder Julian Assange’s long-promised document dump on Hillary Clinton. NBC’s Jesse Rodriguez reported that the Tuesday announcement — which was to come from the balcony of London’s Ecuadorian Embassy, where Assange has sought sanctuary for years – was canceled due to “security concerns”.
Wikileaks has not said when it will now make its “announcement”.
“Security concerns”? In the middle of London? Assange may be deliberately stoking anticipation about the announcement. Or, he may fear for his life..(read more)
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 10, 2016
American officials say Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks probably have no direct ties to Russian intelligence services. But the agendas of WikiLeaks and the Kremlin have often dovetailed.
Julian Assange was in classic didactic form, holding forth on the topic that consumes him — the perfidy of big government and especially of the United States.
Mr. Assange, the editor of WikiLeaks, rose to global fame in 2010 for releasing huge caches of highly classified American government communications that exposed the underbelly of its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and its sometimes cynical diplomatic maneuvering around the world. But in a televised interview last September, it was clear that he still had plenty to say about “The World According to US Empire,” the subtitle of his latest book, “The WikiLeaks Files.”
From the cramped confines of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he was granted asylum four years ago amid a legal imbroglio, Mr. Assange proffered a vision of America as superbully: a nation that has achieved imperial power by proclaiming allegiance to principles of human rights while deploying its military-intelligence apparatus in “pincer” formation to “push” countries into doing its bidding, and punishing people like him who dare to speak the truth.
Notably absent from Mr. Assange’s analysis, however, was criticism of another world power, Russia, or its president, Vladimir V. Putin, who has hardly lived up to WikiLeaks’ ideal of transparency. Mr. Putin’s government has cracked down hard on dissent — spying on, jailing, and, critics charge, sometimes assassinating opponents while consolidating control over the news media and internet. If Mr. Assange appreciated the irony of the moment — denouncing censorship in an interview on Russia Today, the Kremlin-controlled English-language propaganda channel — it was not readily apparent.
Now, Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks are back in the spotlight, roiling the geopolitical landscape with new disclosures and a promise of more to come.
In July, the organization released nearly 20,000 Democratic National Committee emails suggesting that the party had conspired with Hillary Clinton’s campaign to undermine her primary opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders. Mr. Assange — who has been openly critical of Mrs. Clinton — has promised further disclosures that could upend her campaign against the Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump. Separately, WikiLeaks announced that it would soon release some of the crown jewels of American intelligence: a “pristine” set of cyberspying codes.
United States officials say they believe with a high degree of confidence that the Democratic Party material was hacked by the Russian government, and suspect that the codes may have been stolen by the Russians as well. That raises a question: Has WikiLeaks become a laundering machine for compromising material gathered by Russian spies? And more broadly, what precisely is the relationship between Mr. Assange and Mr. Putin’s Kremlin?
Those questions are made all the more pointed by Russia’s prominent place in the American presidential election campaign. Mr. Putin, who clashed repeatedly with Mrs. Clinton when she was secretary of state, has publicly praised Mr. Trump, who has returned the compliment, calling for closer ties to Russia and speaking favorably of Mr. Putin’s annexation of Crimea. Read the rest of this entry »
Despite these ongoing scandals, Clinton’s close yet questionable ties to media outlets such as Google, CNN, PBS and the New York Times have seemed to pay off.
Liz Crokin reports: Hillary Clinton and her media allies have been working overtime to put out numerous fires that continue to pop up and spread during the final weeks of her campaign for president. Recently, the flames have gotten more difficult to smother as reports of Clinton’s frail health have bled into the mainstream media, despite the unanimous and unilateral decision by the MSM to treat anyone who even raises a question as akin to a Holocaust denier (On Sunday night, for example, the Huffington Post fired contributor David Seaman and deleted his columns simply for linking to a Hillary health video that’s been viewed 4 million times.)
Julian Assange stoked more flames when he suggested a murdered DNC worker was the Wikileaks source for the DNC hack. Most recently, the Associated Press released a blockbuster story concluding that more than half of the people Clinton met with as Secretary of State gave donations to the Clinton Foundation.
Despite these ongoing scandals, Clinton’s close yet questionable ties to media outlets such as Google, CNN, PBS and the New York Times have seemed to pay off. These entities have gone out of their way to censor negative stories about Clinton, particularly ones involving the Clinton Foundation. There’s one common thread though these media outlets suppressing harmful Clinton stories all share: they’ve donated to the Clinton Foundation.
On Aug. 23 the Associated Press broke the story citing that more than half the people outside of the government that Clinton met with as she served as Secretary of State gave money to the Clinton Foundation, either personally or through companies or groups. The AP report concluded that 85 out of 154 people she met with from the private sector either donated to her charity or pledged commitments. The AP drew this conclusion by reviewing some of Clinton’s schedule from when she was Secretary of State. They obtained these records after a federal judge ordered the release of them stemming from a lawsuit they filed against the State Department in 2015. (The AP is reporting that the State Department won’t finish releasing the rest of Clinton’s schedule till after the presidential election despite their request for it by October 15.) This bombshell, compounded with Clinton’s use of a private server as Secretary of State, is fueling allegations that she was involved in a pay-to-play operation. This story has been suppressed by Google in its searches as it has done in the past with stories that paint Clinton in a negative light. Read the rest of this entry »
There have been at least three mysterious deaths recently of Democratic operatives.
Nancy French reports:
…On July 8, a twenty-seven year-old Democratic staffer named Seth Conrad Rich was killed in Washington DC when he just walking down the street. His body was found with his wallet, watch and phone all left behind.
In other words, it was not a robbery.
Here’s the news report on the murder:
Today, Julian Assange, editor-in-chief of the organization WikiLeaks, indicated Seth could’ve possibly been the source of the leaked Democratic National Convention emails that have so horribly embarrassed the party.
Listen carefully to what he says:
Gateway Pundit has the transcript:
Julian Assange: Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often very significant risks. As a 27 year-old, works for the DNC, was shot in the back, murdered just a few weeks ago for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington.
Reporter: That was just a robbery, I believe. Wasn’t it?
Julian Assange: No. There’s no finding. So… I’m suggesting that our sources take risks. Read the rest of this entry »
“Perhaps one day the source or sources will step forward and that might be an interesting moment some people may have egg on their faces. But to exclude certain actors is to make it easier to find out who our sources are.”
Assange was speaking in a CNN interview following the release of nearly 20,000 emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee by suspected Russian hackers.
However, Assange refused to confirm or deny a Russian origin for the mass email leak, saying Wikileaks tries to create ambiguity to protect all its sources.
“It raises questions about the natural instincts of Clinton that when confronted with a serious domestic political scandal, she tries to blame the Russians, blame the Chinese, et cetera.”
“Perhaps one day the source or sources will step forward and that might be an interesting moment some people may have egg on their faces. But to exclude certain actors is to make it easier to find out who our sources are,” Assange told CNN. Read the rest of this entry »
Nearly 20,000 emails sent and received by Democratic National Committee staff members were released by Wikileaks, with one message in particular raising questions about the committee’s impartiality during the Democratic primary.
Richard Whittle writes: Sweat the small stuff.
That’s the unofficial motto for this year’s edition of the military exercise Black Dart, a two-week test of tactics and technologies to combat hostile drones that begins Monday on the Point Mugu range at Naval Base Ventura County in California.
The military categorizes Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) by size and capability, from Group 5 drones that weigh more than 1,320 pounds and can fly above 18,000 feet like the Reaper, down to Group 1, mini- and micro-drones less than 20 pounds that fly lower than 1,200 feet. Previous Black Darts have covered threats to troops overseas and targets at home posed by drones of all sizes.
But small drones are this year’s focus, said the director of this 14th edition of Black Dart, Air Force Maj. Scott Gregg, because of worrisome incidents since the last exercise.
Gregg cited the quadcopter that a drunk crashed onto the White House lawn in the wee hours of Jan. 26 and sightings of unidentified small drones flying over nuclear reactors in France. In the wake of those events, he said, “Even though we’ve been looking at [the small drone threat], it’s taken on a new sense of urgency.”
Gregg also could have mentioned how, to protest government surveillance, the Pirate Party of Germany flew a small drone right up to the podium as Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke in Dresden two years ago. Or how in Japan last April, a nuclear-energy foe landed a drone carrying radioactive sand on the roof of the prime minister’s residence. And there was a report last week that British officials are worried ISIS may try to bomb festival crowds using small drones.
The United States enjoyed a near-monopoly on armed drones for much of the past 15 years, but with more than 80 countries now buying or building drones of their own, and with terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas and ISIS known to have used unarmed drones in the Middle East, that advantage has evaporated.
Few countries and no terrorist groups are likely to emulate the complex and costly US system of undersea fiber-optic cables and satellite earth terminals in Europe that allows crews in the United States to fly drones carrying missiles and bombs over Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.
But anyone can buy a Group 1 drone for a couple of hundred dollars and put it to nefarious use. Arm it with plastic explosives, radioactive material, biological or chemical agents, and it can be crashed, kamikaze-style, into a target.
“I’d say for the Department of Homeland Security, it’s one of the biggest concerns,” Gregg said.
The threat isn’t imaginary. Former Northeastern University student Rezwan Ferdaus is now serving 17 years in prison for plotting to pack C-4 plastic explosives into 1/10 scale radio controlled models of F-4 and F-86 fighter jets and fly them into the Capitol and Pentagon. Ferdaus also supplied cellphone detonators for IEDs to people he thought were agents of al Qaeda but turned out to be working for the FBI….(read more)
This year the surrogate threats will include three Group 1 drones — a Hawkeye 400 hexacopter, a Flanker and a Scout II — and one Twin Hawk drone from the Group 2 category (21 to 55 lbs., slower than 250 knots, lower than 3,500 feet). Six Group 3 drones, all of them 13.5-foot wingspan Outlaw G2s made by Griffon Aerospace, also will be targets. Read the rest of this entry »
Emma Woollacott reports: Under the draft provisions of the latest trade deal to be leaked by Wikileaks, countries could be barred from trying to control where their citizens’ personal data is held or whether it’s accessible from outside the country.
“Under the draft agreement, the EU would be barred from requiring the personal data of its citizens to be held within European borders, an idea currently under discussion in Germany.”
Wikileaks has released 17 documents relating to the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), currently under negotiation between the US, the European Union and 23 other nations. These negotiating texts are supposed to remain secret for five years after TISA is finalized and brought into force.
The deal, which has been under discussion behind closed doors since early 2013, is intended to remove barriers to trade in services. It’s a sort of companion piece to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which cover trade in goods – but potentially far bigger, with Wikileaks claiming that ‘services’ now account for nearly 80 per cent of the US and EU economies.
“No Party may require a service supplier, as a condition for supplying a service or investing in its territory, to: (a) use computing facilities located in the Party’s territory.”
— From the leaked draft
Like TTIP and TPP, TISA could be sped through Congress using Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), also known as fast-track authority, which has been passed by the US Senate and may be taken up in the House this month. Under TPA, Congress is barred from making amendments to the trade deals, and most simply give yes-or-no approval.
And the contents of TISA make interesting reading, particularly for anybody concerned about privacy. Under the draft agreement, the EU would be barred from requiring the personal data of its citizens to be held within European borders, an idea currently under discussion in Germany.
“Under the draft provisions of the latest trade deal to be leaked by Wikileaks, countries could be barred from trying to control where their citizens’ personal data is held or whether it’s accessible from outside the country.”
“No Party may require a service supplier, as a condition for supplying a service or investing in its territory, to: (a) use computing facilities located in the Party’s territory,” the leaked draft stipulates.
“No Party may require a service supplier, as a condition for supplying a service or investing in its territory, to: (a) use computing facilities located in the Party’s territory.”
Under the draft provisions of the latest trade deal to be leaked by Wikileaks, countries could be barred from trying to control where their citizens’ personal data is held or whether it’s accessible from outside the country. Read the rest of this entry »
TRADECRAFT: Seductive spies aren’t simply James Bond fantasies – femmes fatales have been a key feature of espionage for centuries
For The Telegraph, Olivia Goldhill writes: The best security and military training in the world is no match for the charms of a femme fatale. Using feminine wiles to access state secrets sounds like hackneyed fiction – surely anyone with a secret worth keeping would run at the sight of a beautiful lady in red lipstick? But the oldest trick in the book never stops working, and spy agencies continue to use seduction as an effective method of espionage.
“In America, in the West, occasionally you ask your men to stand up for their country. In Russia, we just ask our young women to lay down.”
— Oleg Kalugin, a former KGB general
Stefan Wolff, professor of international security at Birmingham University, says that few governments would consider seduction an off-limit technique. “If you’re in the spying business, any opportunity that you have to get information, you will use,” he says. “Especially given what we’ve learnt from Wikileaks and Snowden, not much is considered to be beyond the pale when it comes to key issues of national security. I would argue, maybe that’s the right approach. If you want to save lives then a honey trap is a much more palatable approach than waterboarding.”
“I’d see a German officer on the train or somewhere, sometimes dressed in civvies, but you could pick ’em. So, instead of raising suspicions I’d flirt with them, ask for a light and say my lighter was out of fuel…. ‘Do you want to search me?’ God, what a flirtatious little bastard I was.”
— Nancy Wake, a British agent during the Second World War
National Archives have revealed that special agent “Fifi”, a stunning blonde woman, was used to test the trustworthiness of young British spies during the Second World War. And there’s no signs that the technique has gone out of fashion. But how do you set a honey trap? Here are some of the secrets of seduction gleaned from the great femme fatales of history.
Mark Tapson writes: In the wake of disturbing revelations from Wikileaks and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden about widespread government spying, the British public appeared to be unruffled by a controversy that sparked heated debate in the United States. Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland says “Americans are outraged to discover they are being spied on and watched. Britons give a kind of polite shrug of the shoulders and say, ‘So what?’” What accounts for this disparity of attitudes? Apparently the answer is Bond. James Bond.
To begin with, a recent article at Public Radio International argued, the British are already much more accustomed than Americans to living under perpetual government surveillance. Nick Pickles (can that really be his name?) of Big Brother Watch estimates there are as many as four million surveillance cameras focusing their unblinking eyes on a country of just over 60 million people.
Freedland points out an even bigger difference between the two countries: unlike American populists, British society “still bears the imprint of its monarchical origins,” which means that power flows from the government to the people, not the other way around. Britons, he says, are “subjects rather than citizens,” more inclined to submit to being spied upon than Americans, who tend to strongly resent government invasion of privacy.
People in hundreds of cities across the world are taking part in mass rallies planned by the global protest group – Anonymous.