FBI News Review:
The World News and Times – Information Management Service: Current World News | Reviews of media reports | Selected reading lists | Video and Audio News | News Topics RSS Feeds | News, Reviews, Analysis, Opinions
Opinion–USA TODAY–Oct 3, 2017
Highly Cited–Bloomberg–Oct 18, 2017
In-Depth–Fast Company–Oct 21, 2017
Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.
The defeat of Islamic State fighters in their de facto capital of Raqqa was a “critical breakthrough” in the worldwide campaign to defeat the militants and their “wicked ideology,” President Trump said Saturday, adding that the U.S. efforts would start to enter a new phase entailing support for “local security forces,” and measures to “de-escalate violence across Syria, and advance the conditions for lasting peace.” Reutersreports.
The U.S.-led coalition bombed Raqqa “off the face of the earth” in their fight against the Islamic State militants, spokesperson for the Russian Defense Ministry Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said yesterday, comparing the scale of the destruction to that of Dresden in 1945 and accusing the West of hurrying to send financial aid to the city to cover up evidence of its crimes. The BBC reports.
The U.S.-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (S.D.F.) seized Syria’s largest oil field from Islamic State militants yesterday, taking al-Omar – a key source of revenue for the terrorist group – in the Deir al-Zour province, where the S.D.F. and the pro-Syrian government forces are both competing to gain as much territory as possible. Benoit Faucon and Raja Abdulrahim report at the Wall Street Journal.
The S.D.F. are expected to step up efforts to drive out the Islamic State militants from their remaining positions in Deir al-Zour following their successful campaign in Raqqa, the spokesperson for the U.S.-led coalition Col. Ryan Dillon said yesterday, adding that the attack on al-Omar was a surprise assault intended to ensure the militants could not sabotage the oil field’s infrastructure. Liz Sly and Zakaria Zakaria report at the Washington Post.
The S.D.F.’s capture of the al-Omar oil field brings them closer to pro-government forces across a front line in Deir al-Zour, increasing the potential for a clash between U.S.-backed forces and the Russia- and Iran-backed Syrian army. Anne Barnard reports at the New York Times.
The Islamic State group’s oil production has been reduced to less than $4m per month from a peak of approximately $50m per month since the U.S.-led coalition began operations against the militants in 2014, according to a statement by the coalition yesterday. The AP reports.
The reconstruction of Syria offers the chance for allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to sign lucrative contracts, particularly Russia and Iran. Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian explains at Foreign Policy.
Iran and its allies have the opportunity to assert control following the defeat of the Islamic State in Raqqa last week and the Trump administration should devise a strategy that ensures the U.S. efforts in Syria are consolidated and not exploited by adversaries. The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes.
The Iraqi government in Baghdad and the leadership of Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (K.R.G.) have been engaged in a blame game, pointing to each other for firing the first shots last week in the oil-rich Kirkuk province and placing the U.S. in a difficult position between its two allies. David Zucchino explains at the New York Times.
Last month’s Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum has “backfired spectacularly,” exposing divisions in the Kurdish region and prompting a strong response from the Baghdad government. Loveday Morris explains at the Washington Post.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on Iranian-backed militia in Iraq’s Popular Mobilzation Forces to “go home” during a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Tillerson’s comments provoked an angry reaction from Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Paul Sonne and Margherita Stancati report at the Wall Street Journal.
“No party has the right to interfere in Iraqi matters,” a statement by the Iraqi Prime Minister’s office said today, pushing back at Tillerson’s comments about Iranian-backed militia groups and saying that the “Popular Mobilization are Iraqi Patriots.” Reuters reports.
Tillerson’s meeting with King Salman and Abadi was part of the Trump administration’s efforts to push back against Iranian influence in the region and to encourage greater partnership between Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Matthew Lee reports at the AP.
European firms conduct business with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (I.R.G.C.) “at great risk,” Rex Tillerson warned yesterday, sending a strong signal to European allies and others that the Trump administration seeks to reopen negotiations on the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement to include stricter provisions and that re-imposing sanctions against Iran would be a possibility. Gardiner Harris reports at the New York Times.
The Palestinian militant Hamas group would maintain close ties to Iran, the deputy head of Hamas Saleh Aroruri was quoted as saying yesterday by the semi-official Mehr news agency. Reuters reports.
“I will pursue decisive and strong diplomacy to tackle North Korea’s missile, nuclear and abduction issues,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed today, making the comments after decisively winning re-election yesterday, his victory signaling that Abe would likely continue to work closely with the U.S. and maintain a hard line on Pyongyang. Mari Yamaguchi reports at the AP.
Abe and Trump agreed to work together to raise pressure on North Korea in a phone call, a deputy chief cabinet secretary said today. Reuters reports.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will discuss the North Korea threat with Asian allies during a week-long trip to region starting today. Phil Stewart reports at Reuters.
The State Department should immediately relist North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism and correct historical mistakes by acknowledging that the U.S. cannot continue its dealings with Pyongyang based on flawed assumptions. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) writes at the New York Times.
Former President Jimmy Carter seeks to work with Trump over North Korea, Carter said in an interview with Maureen Dowd at the New York Times, also discussing other issues such as Trump’s policies in the Arab world and Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.
The C.I.A. is set to expand its role in Afghanistan to combat the Taliban, reflecting a more assertive role since the appointment of Director Mike Pompeo, and the efforts will be led by small counterterrorism pursuit teams. Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Eric Schmitt and Adam Goldman report at the New York Times.
Last week’s series of attacks in Afghanistan killed nearly 200 people, prompting questions about security and the ability of President Ashraf Ghani’s administration to prevent the Taliban from carrying out suicide attacks. Antonio Olivo and Sayed Salahuddin report at the Washington Post.
The fight against Islamic State-linked militants in the southern Philippine city of Marawi has “successfully concluded,” a spokesperson for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said in a statement yesterday, separately the Philippines Defense Secretary added that there were no more militants in the city that was sieged five months ago. Jake Maxwell Watts reports at the Wall Street Journal.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis praised the Philippine army for its victory in Marawi, making the comments to reporters yesterday on the flight for his trip to Southeast Asia. Robert Burns reports at the AP.
Bipartisan politics stands in the way of an effective investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, the three congressional committees looking at the issue have faced significant obstacles, with Republicans keen for the probes to conclude and Democrats keen to explore further questions. Nicholas Fandos explains at the New York Times.
The Trump campaign’s digital director Brad Parscale is scheduled to appear before the House Intelligence Committee tomorrow, Julie Bykowicz reports at the Wall Street Journal.
TRUMP ADMINISTRATION FOREIGN POLICY
“We cannot force talks upon people who are not ready to talk,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said yesterday – referring to Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Egypt and Bahrain’s isolation of Qatar on June 5 due to Qatar’s alleged support for terrorism and close ties to Iran – adding that he was not hopeful that Saudi Arabia would engage in dialogue to resolve the Gulf crisis. Al Jazeera reports.
The lack of a strategy for U.S. involvement in Middle East and Africa has caused concern in Congress and about the U.S.’s long-term counterterrorism goals, Rebecca Kheel reports at the Hill.
Diplomats hope that U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley’s visit to Ethiopia today would mark greater engagement with Africa. Michelle Nichols reports at Reuters.
Senators were surprised to learn that the U.S. has 1,000 troops in Niger, prompting questions about Congress’s role and whether it should have a vote on reauthorizing U.S. military involvement around the world as part of the war against terror. Betsy Woodruff explains at The Daily Beast.
The U.S. military has a presence in almost every country in the world and it is time to consider the deployments and whether there is any strategy that underpins this broad reach. The New York Times editorial board writes.
The top two contenders to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are Nikki Haley and C.I.A. Director Mike Pompeo, Haley would likely by a more traditional and hawkish, whereas Pompeo would be more likely to align himself closer to the White House and the president. Josh Rogin provides an analysis at the Washington Post.
At least 16 Egyptian police officers were killed in an attack by militants on Friday, an initial claim of responsibility by the Islamist Hasm group was discounted by militancy experts and the Islamic State group may have been behind the attack. Declan Walsh and Nour Youssef report at the New York Times.
U.N.-hosted talks on the situation in Libya ended on Saturday with no discernible progress, the second round of talks, which lasted one month, attempted to reconcile the rival Libyan factions. Ulf Lasseing reports at Reuters.
Russian operatives sought access to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and members of her inner circle to gain influence, according to interviews and unsealed F.B.I. records. John Solomon and Alison Spann reveal the Russian campaign at the Hill.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has been pursuing a more aggressive foreign policy but has been facing resistance, particularly from its neighbors. Jane Perlez explains Xi’s approach at the New York Times.
Nine months into the Trump administration, any notion that Capitol Hill would provide a comprehensive, authoritative and bipartisan accounting of the extraordinary efforts of a hostile power to disrupt American democracy appears to be dwindling.
“Congressional investigations unfortunately are usually overtly political investigations, where it is to one side’s advantage to drag things out,” said Mr. Gowdy, who made his name in Congress as a fearsome investigator of Democrats. He added, “The notion that one side is playing the part of defense attorney and that the other side is just these white hat defenders of the truth is laughable.”
Instead, he said, he is looking to Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, to conduct an apolitical investigation.
None of the challenges have thus far stopped the committees. And given the closed-door nature of their work, prominent new avenues of inquiry could always emerge, such as Russia’s use of social media to sow chaos and discord, capable of influencing the public discourse.
But all three are up against a ticking clock, with Republicans in both chambers eager to wrap up the investigations before too long.
Particularly in the House, partisan fighting is likely to undermine whatever conclusions the committee reaches. One lawmaker said the committee would probably produce two reports. The first, written by Republicans, is expected to forcefully say there is no proof that anyone around Mr. Trump worked with Russia to tip the election. A Democratic report will probably raise unanswered questions and say that the committee was never fully committed to answering them.
The panel has been on rocky ground for months, with much of the controversy surrounding the committee’s chairman, Representative Devin Nunes of California. Mr. Nunes was forced to step asidefrom leading the investigation in April after it was disclosed that he had received classified information from the White House that showed that Mr. Trump and his associates were incidentally swept up in foreign surveillance by American spy agencies.
Mr. Nunes handed control to three of the committee’s Republicans, Representatives K. Michael Conaway of Texas, Tom Rooney of Florida and Mr. Gowdy. Mr. Conaway, a well-liked accountant, helped put the investigation back on track and has maintained a productive relationship with Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the panel’s top Democrat.
But Democrats say Mr. Nunes, whose signature is required to issue subpoenas, has continued to meddle around the edges of the investigation, driving Republican inquiries into who financed a dossier of unsubstantiated information on purported links between the Trump campaign and Russia. Mr. Nunes, they say, is also participating in an investigation into the revealing of Trump associates caught up in American surveillance by Obama administration officials.
“Frankly, I have been doing everything I can to try to get us to do a credible investigation and to reach a common conclusion,” Mr. Schiff said. “I view these things as obstacles that are in the way to overcome, and I am doing my best to overcome them almost daily.”
A spokesman for Mr. Nunes did not reply to a request for comment.
Democrats were also incensed by Mr. Gowdy’s remarks to Mr. Kushner in July, which they said were representative of efforts by some Republicans to cut the investigation short. Shortly after the meeting, Mr. Schiff publicly accused Mr. Gowdy of playing defense attorney for the administration.
Republicans have returned the biting words, sharply criticizing Mr. Schiff, whose frequent television appearances irk them. Mr. Rooney used a vulgarity when he called Mr. Schiff’s comments about the Kushner interview nonsense. And Mr. Gowdy said on Friday that he had been compelled to weigh in by the Democrats’ repetitive and meandering questions — and that a transcript would show his own questions to have been appropriately aggressive.
The Republican said it had become clear where the committee was headed.
“Will our private conclusions be the same? Yes,” Mr. Gowdy said. “Will our public pronouncements be the same? No, of course not.”
“This is politics,” he added.
Across Capitol Hill, the tone has been different. The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard M. Burr, Republican of North Carolina, and its top Democrat, Mark Warner of Virginia, have worked to project a collaborative rapport that committee members insist is real.
At a rare news conference this month, the two senators said they had already expended significant resources verifying the conclusions of America’s spy agencies about Russia’s efforts to meddle in the election and were now taking steps to better understand its use of social media campaigns and to investigate the collusion question.
“At the end of the day, what we owe the American people is the truth,” Mr. Warner said in an interview on Thursday. “And if there’s something there, then they should know that. And if there’s not something there, I’ll be the first to acknowledge that.”
But other committee members have sought to contain expectations. At the news conference, Mr. Burr said investigators had “hit a wall” in their work on the dossier, which holds some of the most salacious allegations of collusion, because its author, Christopher Steele, would not meet with the committee. Mr. Burr also said he did not have a mandate to look for criminal activity.
“The special counsel is focused on criminal acts; we’re not focused on criminal acts,” he said. “If we find one, then they’re the first phone call we make.”
Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California and a former chairwoman of the committee, told CBS’s “Face the Nation” this month that Mr. Mueller stood a much better chance of reaching a definitive conclusion about collusion than the committees did.
“There’s no proof yet that it’s happened, and I think that proof will likely come with Mr. Mueller’s investigation,” Ms. Feinstein said. “He’s got the ability to use a grand jury. He’s got the ability to use the power of subpoena without question. And he’s got the ability to do a criminal investigation.”
Both intelligence committees will also face questions about how much of what they find can be declassified and shared with the public. Mr. Burr said on Wednesday that his goal was to have the “meat of our business” done by late spring, in time for state governments to make changes to their voting systems before next year’s midterm elections. He said he would push to declassify the findings as much as possible.
The Judiciary Committee, meanwhile, has struggled to get a fledgling investigation off the ground. Ms. Feinstein, the committee’s top Democrat, and its chairman, Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, agreed this summer to begin investigating a cluster of topics related to the firing of James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, including Mr. Comey’s handling of the Clinton email case and the Trump campaign’s interactions with Russia.
Given its jurisdiction over the Justice Department, the panel is the best positioned on Capitol Hill to unravel the Comey saga, including possible obstruction of justice. But after a brief flurry of activity earlier this fall — including a closed-door interview with the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. — investigators reached an impasse in recent weeks, as Democrats and Republicans haggled over the next witnesses to call and documents to request.
Mr. Grassley has spent weeks negotiating with the Justice Department on the committee’s behalf to try to gain access to two key F.B.I. officials who worked closely with Mr. Comey, Carl Ghattas and James Rybicki. Hopes of interviewing Paul J. Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, collapsed over the summer after prosecutors working for Mr. Mueller warned Mr. Manafort that they planned to seek criminal charges against him.
On Wednesday, Mr. Grassley unilaterally sent a flurry of letters requesting interviews with and information from current and former Justice Department officials, as well as Mr. Kushner and others involved in a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer said to be offering incriminating information about Mrs. Clinton.
Senators said they were still hopeful that the committee would break through the logjam, but a deal had not been reached as of Friday.
“The American people deserve a public investigation,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, noting that the Judiciary Committee could work more publicly than the intelligence panels. “They deserve witnesses who will give an accounting in public under oath.”
FBI Director Christopher A. Wray was an assistant attorney general in 2004 when he heaped praise on an ambitious Mafia-tested prosecutor while promoting him to the top of the Justice Department’s high-profile Enron task force.
Andersen was finished as a company; four Merrill executives went to prison.
Today, Mr. Weissmann stands as special counsel Robert Mueller’s top gun in a squadron of nearly 20 prosecutors and scores of FBI agents delving into Trump–Russia. Mr. Weissmann is leading the probe into the biggest target to date, Paul Manafort, President Trump’s onetime campaign manager.
He rode into Texas from New York City in 2002 fresh from putting a number of Mafiosos in prison.
By the time he left in 2005, he had rung up some impressive numbers, such as 22 guilty pleas and millions of dollars in restitution. But he also suffered historic courtroom losses. And how he won and how he lost is still the subject of bitter comments from his adversaries in Houston.
“Do not misunderstand my disdain for him with ineffectiveness or something not to be concerned with,” said Dan Cogdell, who represented three Enron defendants. “He’s a formable prosecutor. If I’m Donald Trump and I know the backstory of Andrew Weissmann, it’s going to concern me. There is no question about it.”
The backstory: Defense attorneys say Mr. Weissmann bent or broke the rules. As proof, they point to appeals court decisions, exhibits and witness statements.
They say he intimidated witnesses by threatening indictments, created crimes that did not exist and, in one case, withheld evidence that could have aided the accused. At one hearing, an incredulous district court judge looked down at an Enron defendant and told him he was pleading guilty to a wire fraud crime that did not exist.
Said Mr. Cogdell, a colorful courtroom performer dubbed a “gunslinger” by the local press, “He’s the most aggressive prosecutor I’ve ever been up against. He is, if not win at all cost, he’s win at almost any cost.”
Those convictions for which Mr. Wray offered praise in 2004?
Mr. Weissmann’s cases against Andersen and Merrill Lynch lay in shambles just a few years later.
The Supreme Court, in a 9-0 vote in 2005, overturned the Andersen conviction. A year later, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals erased all the fraud convictions against four Merrill Lynch managers. The jury had acquitted another defendant.
“People went off to prison for a completely phantom of a case,” said Mr. Kirkendall.
The task force, which ultimately would catapult prosecutors to lucrative careers, wanted to win as many convictions as possible. They were prosecuting players in one of the nation’s biggest corporate scandals. Enron bosses falsified balance sheets, inflated earnings and traded stocks with insider knowledge. By 2001, the behemoth went bankrupt. Its stock was worthless.
The Justice Department task force mobilized in 2002 and quickly won convictions. But there were dark sides.
That’s where Sidney Powell enters the picture. The Dallas lawyer took the appeal of a Merrill Lynch figure. She obtained from Justice a batch of task force documents in 2010 that should have been disclosed to trial attorneys years earlier.
The documents began to flow in the aftermath of the Sen. Ted Stevens debacle. Justice prosecutors not connected to the Enron task force deliberately withheld evidence favorable to Stevens. A judge threw out his conviction.
Ms. Powell wrote a 2014 book about the scandals, “Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice.”
“All of the cases Weissmann pushed to trial were reversed in whole or in part due to some form of his overreaching and abuses,” Ms. Powell told The Washington Times. “The most polite thing the Houston bar said about Weissmann was that he was a madman.”
The special counsel’s office declined to comment to The Times about Mr. Weissmann’s track record.
However, the Justice Department in 2012 and 2013 defended him against ethics complaints and concluded he did not violate the rules.
Given Mr. Weissmann’s long association with Mr. Mueller, who has given him a prominent management role in one of the most important investigations in U.S. history, The Times took a look back at Mr. Weissmann‘s’ 2002-05 Enron task force tenure.
His hardball tactics seem intact today. Within weeks of his arrival in June, the FBI executed a no-knock, predawn raid on Mr. Manafort’s condo. Agents stayed for hours after waking up the target and his wife.
With over 20,000 employees, Andersen stood as one of the country’s most prominent corporate auditors. The Securities and Exchange Commission began investigating Enron, an Andersen client. Auditors started destroying documents.
Mr. Weissmann took the lead in prosecuting Andersen for obstruction of justice in 2002. Andersen’s defense: It followed company policy on when to destroy confidential material.
Convicted at trial, a fatally damaged Andersen appealed. The Supreme Court eventually took the case.
Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist wrote the opinion, solo — a message of how seriously the high court took the breach.
In essence, Rehnquist said the prosecutor sold the presiding judge on jury instructions that assured conviction.
“Indeed, it is striking how little culpability the instructions required,” Mr. Rehnquist wrote. “For example, the jury was told that, even if [Andersen] honestly and sincerely believed that its conduct was lawful, you may find [Andersen] guilty. The instructions also diluted the meaning of ‘corruptly’ so that it covered innocent conduct.”
Mr. Rehnquist wrote that the government (Mr. Weissmann) insisted, over defense objections, that the word “dishonestly” be excluded from the instructions and that the word “impede” be added.
The chief justice went to the dictionary, read the meaning of “impede” and concluded it was “such innocent conduct” for someone to “impede” the government.
Said Ms. Powell, “Weissmann indicted them for conduct that was not criminal, and he took criminal intent out of the jury instructions that he then persuaded the judge to give.”
With a lack of sustaining clients, a mortally wounded Andersen put out a statement.
“We are very pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision, which acknowledges the fundamental injustice that has been done to Arthur Andersen and its former personnel and retirees,” it said.
In the end, the George W. Bush Justice Department put out of business a thriving accounting firm whose actions could have been handled in other ways short of felony charges.
It became known as the Nigerian barge case. Mr. Weissmann induced indictments in 2003 against four Merrill Lynch executives, an Enron vice president and an Enron accountant. He contended that Merrill and Enron entered into a sham transaction in 1999. The banker would buy three Enron barge-mounted power generators for $7 million purely to boost the Houston company’s balance sheet — and then Enron would buy them back at a profit.
They were charged under a federal statute that normally requires proof that someone paid a bribe or received kickbacks that sullied the business practices of “honest services.” There were no bribes or kickbacks.
Five were convicted. The accountant — represented by Mr. Cogdell — heard the jury say, “Not guilty.”
Four of them appealed while serving time in prison. In 2006, the 5th Circuit reversed all the fraud charges, leaving just a perjury conviction against one executive, whom Ms. Powell came to represent on appeal.
Again, the problem for Mr. Weissmann was his definition of a crime that greatly relaxed the standard for convictions.
“We reverse the conspiracy and wire-fraud convictions of each of the defendants on the legal ground that the government’s [Weissmann task force] theory of fraud relating to the deprivation of honest services is flawed,” the appeals court said.
The opinion said the scheme may have been unethical but did not violate federal fraud laws. The courtsaid that not all corporate fiduciary lapses are tantamount to crimes.
“The task force took advantage of that and convicted these men,” he said. “What it caused them and their families, you can just imagine.”
The government did not retry the five on fraud charges.
What the Merrill defense attorneys did not know during trial was this: There were favorable witness statements that the prosecution withheld.
In 2010, Justice began releasing confidential Enron task force documents. They showed that Mr. Weissmann’s team provided misleading summaries at trial of raw witness statements to the FBI and to the grand jury.
The disconnect became an issue in the appeal of Ms. Powell’s client, Merrill executive James A. Brown, in the Nigerian barge case. Although his fraud conviction went away, his perjury guilt stuck.
Ms. Powell was particularly struck by this: The government’s summary said a witness, Enron’s Jeffrey McMahon, “does not recall” a barge buyback agreement. In in his actual interview, he said there was no deal. The prosecution badly distorted what he had said, depriving trial attorneys of information that could persuade a jury to acquit. Mr. McMahon was under threat of indictment and did not testify.
The 5th Circuit agreed — to a point.
“Favorable information was plainly suppressed from McMahon’s notes,” the court wrote.
“The McMahon notes contain numerous passages that unequivocally state that it was McMahon’s understanding that there was only a ‘best efforts’ agreement and no ‘promise,’ whereas the government’s disclosure letter says only that McMahon ‘does not recall’ a guaranteed buyback.”
Even worse, Ms. Powell said, the documents showed that Weissmann’s team yellow-highlighted favorable information that it deliberately withheld from its proffered summaries.
Yet, to Ms. Powell’s great disappointment, the appeals court did not throw out the perjury conviction. It said the prosecution “flaw” was not material.
William Hodes, an analyst on legal ethics who assisted in the appeal, found the ruling “crazy.” The judges acknowledged that the prosecutors misled the defense, yet they somehow could predict it would have made no difference at trial.
“The summaries were false,” Mr. Hodes told The Times. “They said things that the witnesses did not say. They themselves yellow-highlighted what they left out of the summaries. It’s astonishing. We should have gotten a new trial.”
When the task force brought indictments in July 2004 against the big cheese in the Enron saga — Kenneth L. Lay, Jeffrey Skilling and Richard Cause — defense attorneys ultimately learned that Mr. Weissmann had done something even more far-reaching. In a sealed court document, he named 114 unindicted co-conspirators, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Defense attorney Kirkendall did some research. He found that it was by far the largest number of such targeted people in the history of federally prosecuted white-collar crime.
The significants: Defendants at trial hoped that some Enron executives would testify on their behalf. But those hopes collapsed on the list of 114.
“Chilling effect, my ass,” said attorney Cogdell. “It was Ice Station Zebra. No one in their right mind would do anything that would upset the task force, specifically Weissmann.”
“It was common knowledge in the Houston community,” he told The Times. “If you had a client who was cooperating with defendants in an Enron criminal prosecution, you’d better be careful because they would become a target.”
The Merrill Lynch defendants wanted Mr. McMahon to testify. But he planned to take the Fifth Amendment if called because Mr. Weissmann had made it clear on three occasions that he could be indicted.
“We had him ready to post bail and go through the arraignment process because of pressure being applied by the government not to testify for any of the defendants,” he said.
Mr. McMahon never testified. He was never indicted.
The incredulous judge
Christopher Calger, then a 39-year-old former Enron vice president, pleaded guilty in a Houstoncourtroom to fraud. The FBI issued a national press release saying Mr. Calger admitted to making a deal with two businesses that inflated Enron’s earnings. Mr. Calger agreed to become a prosecution witness.
But the announcement did not tell the full story of the hearing that day.
District Court Judge Lynn N. Hughes read the evidence and expressed incredulity that Mr. Calger was pleading guilty.
According to a court transcript, Judge Hughes grilled Linda Lacewell, one of Mr. Weissmann’s prosecutors. He asked her repeatedly to explain what the actual crime was. He said Enron lost no money, there were no bribes and the basic mechanism for the sale of some electric turbines was legal.
Ms. Lacewell said Enron should never have put proceeds on its balance sheets, echoing the 2003 prosecution of Merrill Lynch people in the Nigerian barge transaction.
The judge: “You don’t know the difference between their capital and their current income transaction?”
And he said, “But we do know that this transaction could not have been a tax avoidance scheme, right?”
Ms. Lacewell: “That’s right.”
She then said the plea was to wire fraud, not taxes. To that, Judge Hughes said the task force was trying to criminalize a private transaction to which all parties agreed.
“So you want to convert every default by a corporate officer into a wire fraud case,” he said.
When she explained the deal, the judge replied bluntly, “That’s not wire fraud.”
When she asserted that it was, Judge Hughes lashed out at the task force.
“According to your employer, everything is wire fraud,” he said. “It’s a far cry from what the statute was intended to do when it was adopted.”
But Mr. Calger persisted. He wanted to plead guilty, to which the judge said, “There’s no factual basis for your plea.”
The judge did not know then, but his spot courtroom lecture proved prescient. A year later, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals came to the same conclusion and ruled in the Merrill case that there was no wire fraud.
Attorney Kirkendall said the financial strain of legal bills for years while fighting a powerful government task force played a role in Mr. Calger’s decision to plea.
“The Enron task force’s public relations campaign was far better than its actual prosecutions,” he said.
The task force rattled other potential defense witnesses. But at least one bucked the juggernaut and took the stand as a defense witness in the so-called Enron Broadband Services case.
Mr. Weissmann in 2003 brought charges against executives for ballyhooing the development of internet products to drive up the share price and make an insider stock killing.
At a 2005 trial, engineer Lawrence Ciscon took the stand for the defense. Mr. Ciscon, who had been vice president for software at EBS, said he met with the FBI two times. They never informed him that he was a target. Then he obtained an attorney. The next thing he knew, the task force had labeled him as an unindicted co-conspirator.
As the trial approached and he worked with the defense, prosecutors reminded his attorney of that status.
“They’ve called my lawyer to remind me,” he testified, according to a transcript reviewed by The Times.
He viewed the calls, he said, “as a threat that I could be prosecuted.”
The threats, he said, “made me hesitant” to appear in court. Asked by the defense why he decided to show up in court, he answered, “I have nothing to hide.”
“Regardless of the outcome of this trial, the Enron task force’s ugly tactic of effectively suppressing important testimony of witnesses favorable to Enron defendants has now been fully exposed,” Mr. Kirkendall blogged at the time.
The task force never charged Mr. Ciscon, who went on to a successful technology career.
But final conviction count is short that number given that appeals courts eviscerated two major cases — Merrill Lynch and Arthur Andersen — while juries acquitted two people and partially acquitted others and two were allowed to withdraw guilty pleas.
In all, 22 pleaded guilty and four trial convictions stuck, according to a Houston Chronicle list.
Afterward, some task force prosecutors rose to significant government posts.
Mr. Weissmann joined Mr. Mueller at the FBI and then arrived at a powerhouse New York law firm as a white-collar-crime defense specialist. He returned to the FBI as Mr. Mueller’s general counsel and, later, was appointed by the Obama administration as chief of Justice’s fraud unit in Washington.
FBI Director Christopher Wray, the Justice Department assistant attorney general who named him task force chief a decade ago, is now supplying Mr. Weissmann with the FBI manpower he needs to pursue Trump–Russia.
Kathryn Ruemmler prosecuted both the Merrill defendants and Lay-Skilling. Years later, she emerged in the prestigious post of White House counsel to President Obama.
Lisa Monaco, another task force prosecutor, stayed at Justice, was Mr. Mueller’s chief of staff and then went to the Obama White House as the president’s top counterterrorism adviser. She joined CNN as an analyst this year.
Whether Mr. Weissmann’s brand — intimidating low-level Mafiosos and corporate figures to force them to snitch — will work in Washington against political operatives will be answered in the coming months.
James O’Keefe wants you to think that he’s a journalist. That the undercover videos shot for his Project Veritas are all that keep rampant liberalism from running roughshod over the republic. Freedom has manifold enemies, from National Public Radio to Planned Parenthood, and the only way to hold them in check is to secretly record members of these flagrantly liberal organizations, then edit the videos in such a way as to make it seem that those organizations sell baby organs, celebrate prostitution and send conservatives unwanted subscriptions to The Nation.
The final step is to promulgate these videos to right-wing organizations like Breitbart and Fox News, where the editors believe exactly what O’Keefe does about the Clintons and CNN and are therefore not going to be bothered by an organization that, while it claims to be journalistic in nature, is a fairly accurate approximation of Soviet propaganda. (I grew up in the Soviet Union, so this is not an exaggeration.)
Speaking of our comrades in the Kremlin: O’Keefe’s latest investigation is called “American Pravda, ” and it purports to show the rampant bias of The New York Times, which hates President Donald Trump so much it invited him to an editorial meeting shortly after his electoral victory. He, in turn, despises theTimes, even if he does seem to talk to White House reporter Maggie Haberman more often than I talk to my mom.
O’Keefe opens the first video with himself standing in front of a background that shows the paper’s Times Square headquarters. “Fake news,” those are the first two words O’Keefe says in his narration, in the same sanctimonious tone that informs all of his work. He then declares that he has evidence that the Times, which claims to be “completely objective” — does it, though? does any outlet? —is, in fact, rife with political bias.
What follows is astonishing stuff: executive editor Dean Baquet taking dictation on a frontpage story from Hillary Clinton; national editor Marc Lacey telling a reporter to “stuff more fake news” into an investigation into the finances of Trump. The final video, and the most shocking of all, has liberal financier George Soros in the newsroom all alone, putting together the Sunday paper.
Sorry. Had to do that. O’Keefe’s videos contain nothing remotely that flagrant. The crux of this undercooked nothingburger of an exposé involves a tedious series of conversations —covertly filmed, per Project Veritas scruples— between a female “journalist” and Nicholas Dudich, a junior video editor at the Times. Dudich seems to have as much sway with the paper’s editors as I do with the front office of the Knicks.
O’Keefe lucked out in that Dudich is self-important and dishonest, claiming that former FBI Director James B. Comey is his godfather and intimating that he may have worked for the FBI. He also calls himself a “gatekeeper” at the newspaper. O’Keefe wants to paint him as a liberal ideologue, but Dudich comes across as a doofus.
Dudich is identified in the video as an “audience strategy editor.” That suggests a concentration on engagement with readers on social media platforms, though he intimates that he has something to do with video, too. Whatever the case, he is not dictating news coverage, pulling reporters off the business desk and commissioning Trump hatchet jobs. There are 3,700 employees at the Times. That one of them would designate himself the paper’s “gatekeeper” is a pretty good indication of his self-importance and cluelessness.
If O’Keefe had any intellectual dignity, he would be honest about the above. Spoiler alert: He doesn’t because he has none.
Instead, O’Keefe hypes up Dudich’s claims, only because they are a convenient weapon with which to bludgeon the Times. “Does the Times lack journalistic integrity altogether?” O’Keefe wonders, in a question all the more ironic because of the self-importance with which it is posed.
The acute irony of O’Keefe’s defense of journalistic standards via the violation of every single one of them comes at the beginning of the third video (Dudich gets two videos to himself). There, two Project Veritas “reporters” accost Times homepage editor Desiree Shoe at a bar in London, where she works.
“I am speaking off the record,” Shoe says at the beginning of the recording. She doesn’t know she is being filmed, of course, but she is savvy enough to indicate that she is now an ordinary person, a woman having a drink at a bar, not an emissary of the New York Times. “Off the record” are sacred words in journalism, and that O’Keefe would violate them —and then brag about it by replaying that statement throughout the clip— should tell you everything you need to know about what he’s after.
In the end, what he gets is not much. Shoe acknowledges that it is difficult to write about a president who is “apologetic toward white supremacists” in an objective manner. And yet, she might have noted the Times did exactly that in its news coverage. It was Trump who called the neo-Nazis “very fine people,” not the Times. You’ve got to wonder: By “bias,” does O’Keefe simply mean coverage that is unflattering to Trump? If so, then censorship is what he’s truly after.
Shoe does call Trump an “oblivious idiot.” How does this enter into everyday work at the Times? Considering that Shoe is an obviously thoughtful young woman who has made clear she is speaking only for herself, I am guessing that she, like most Times journalists, can keep her opinions at bay unless they are, for some reason, asked for. Anyone intelligent enough to write for the national paper of record is going to have bias, which is to say thoughts. The question isn’t whether journalists have bias but whether they also have restraint. I don’t, clearly, but that’s only because I’ve spent the evening watching James O’Keefe videos.
Remember, also, that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump a “fucking moron.” The veracity of that assertion aside, I wonder if that makes the former Exxon chief from Texas a member of the clueless liberal elite. Or if he, like everyone else, is doing the best he can, trying to be a human and a professional in a bewildering world that offers little respite. We can’t all be the paragons of virtue that is James O’Keefe.
The fourth O’Keefe video is the most preposterous of all. The subject is Todd Gordon, an information technology consultant who has apparently done work for the Times for 17 years (he owns his own company, suggesting that the work is contractual.) Having appointed himself the paper’s ombudsman, he offers profound insight into how the hundreds of journalists at the Times all see Trump: “They hate him like the plague, dude.”
It is unclear how Gordon knows this. Project Veritas doesn’t bother asking. Like a Stalinist show trial, this was an investigation whose conclusions were never in doubt.
The goal of all O’Keefe’s fundraising, not truth-telling. Conservative funders (including the Trump Organization) have allowed O’Keefe to prosper. In return, he must tell these funders what they want to hear. And no sound is sweeter to their ears than liberal bias coming from the New York Timesnewsroom.
But what is bias, anyway? O’Keefe hasn’t anywhere near the intellectual curiosity to ask that question. For all his certainty about the newspaper’s liberal skew, he doesn’t dissect a single Times story to lay bare its anti-Trump bias. Are there questions to be asked about coverage of this administration? Absolutely. It’s a shame that O’Keefe doesn’t ask a single one.
O’Keefe probably knows, and probably doesn’t care, that he is doing an enormous disservice to the American public. It is no accident that polls show an erosion of trust in journalists in the last several years. That’s largely the result of attacks by Trump and his abettors in the right-wing media, especially Fox News and Breitbart, both of which have eagerly promulgated O’Keefe’s shoddy, unethical investigations.
Distrust in the media is necessary to the far right because journalists are charged with telling the truth. Sometimes we fail, just as doctors sometimes have patients die on the operating table. And there are fundamentally unscrupulous journalists. But like fundamentally unscrupulous doctors, they are pretty darn rare. Most journalists I now wake up wanting to tell the truth. Maybe about Ariana Grande, maybe about the economy of Argentina. As long as the words are set down with dignity, it does not matter.
Truth is only a problem if your agenda is untruth: about climate change, crime in the inner cities, taxes, health care, equal pay, contraception. In that case, you need to malign the truth-tellers, to make them seem like sniveling liars. That way, nobody will believe them. That’s the ultimate irony about O’Keefe’s “American Pravda” series, which borrows its name from the dogged Kremlin mouthpiece of Soviet times. He is the one who can tolerate no dissent from the official line, who treats any criticism of the president as an unforgivable offense. His fealty, like that of Stalin’s enablers in the press, has nothing to do with conviction. It is self-interest laced with just enough outrage to make it seem genuine.
“Honestly, it’s worrying,” O’Keefe says.
It honestly is.
FBI from mikenova (3 sites) 1. FBI from mikenova (15 sites): Andrew McCabe – Google News: A Man Hears What He Wants to Hear – Canada Free Press 1. FBI from mikenova (15 sites): fbi – Google News: Wisconsin inmate says flawed FBI hair, fiber analysis forced him to take plea deal, 50-year prison term … Continue reading “10:12 AM 10/22/2017 – FBI: Did Russias Facebook Ads Actually Swing the Election?”
FBI News Review
Undercover: An FBI operative in disguise on 60 Minutes
Tamer Elnoury – the bearded man in the video above – is dead. Well, not the man himself, but the FBI alias that Elnoury has used for several years has been retired, and 60 Minutes cannot reveal his true identity. That’s a national secret. “Tamer …
fbi – Google News
Christopher Wray Seeking to Bring ‘Calm and Stability’ to FBI
Two months into his tenure as director of the FBI, Christopher Wray said Sunday his immediate priority is to bring “a sense of calm and stability” to the bureau. “In a society sometimes fixated to a fault on results, I’m somebody who’s a big believer …
FBI couldn’t access nearly 7K devices because of encryptionLas Vegas Sun
Encryption shuts FBI out of 7000 devicesSBS
FBI Director Wray: Wants to Bring ‘Calm and Stability’ to Bureau; Gravely Concerned About Getting Access to Mobile …ticklethewire.comall 8 news articles »
Christopher Wray – Google News
Wray seeks to ‘steady the ship’ at FBI
FBI Director Christopher Wray in a speech Sunday said his top priority since assuming his post in August is to usher in “a sense of calm and stability” to the bureau, CNN reported. “In a society sometimes fixated to a fault on results, I’m somebody who …
Christopher Wray – Google News
Senate Probe Asks Whether Robert Mueller Alerted Obama Administration to Russian Bribery Scheme
The Senate Judiciary Committee is looking into the 2010 sale of U.S. uranium to Russia under then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and whether then-FBI Director Robert Mueller alerted the Obama administration about its investigation into Russians …and more »
mueller – Google News
Donald Trump unleashes reckless, bizarre, traitorous Trump-Russia endgame by Bill Palmer Monday October 23rd, 2017 at 2:59 AM Palmer Report 1 Share It’s been clear to everyone involved that Donald Trump’s Russia scandal would take him down eventually. It’ll end his presidency, and set him up for a brutal final few years of his life in which he … Continue reading “3:04 AM 10/23/2017 – Donald Trump Attacks Mainstream Media While Downplaying Russian Election Ads on Facebook – Newsweek”
The World Wide Times – wwtimes.com
Donald Trump unleashes reckless, bizarre, traitorous Trump-Russia endgame by Bill Palmer Monday October 23rd, 2017 at 2:59 AM Palmer Report 1 Share It’s been clear to everyone involved that Donald Trump’s Russia scandal would take him down eventually. It’ll end his presidency, and set him up for a brutal final few years of his life in which he … Continue reading “3:05 AM 10/23/2017 – FBI couldn’t access nearly 7K devices because of encryption – Washington Post”
FBI News Review
Can anyone with a modicum of common sense trust the Federal Bureau of investigation? The answer to that question is a resounding Source: FBI cannot be trusted – Washington Times
The World Wide Times – wwtimes.com
Mueller Now Investigating Democratic Lobbyist Tony Podesta
WASHINGTON — Tony Podesta and the Podesta Group are now the subjects of a federal investigation being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, three sources with knowledge of the matter told NBC News. The probe of Podesta and his …
mueller – Google News
FBI agent reveals life infiltrating extremist groups in America
An active FBI undercover agent has revealed details of his work infiltrating Islamic extremist groups. Tamer El-Noury – one of the agent’s many false identities – talked to the BBC about his covert attempts to gain the trust of those planning attacks …and more »
fbi – Google News
This year, the FBI appears to for the first time have overlooked a reporting obligation established by the US Attorney General’s office, and in doing so, the bureau appears to have greatly low-balled the total number of times it authorised confidential informants to engage in criminal activity last year.
As a consequence, the bureau did something else that’s new: It revealed the number of times it gave informants permission to engage in serious criminal activity. And lacking an official explanation so far, our running theory is that a clerical error could be to blame.
Each year, the FBI Directorate of Intelligence compiles a report on what the US Justice Department calls “otherwise illegal activity” (OIA) — activity FBI informants are involved in that would otherwise be illegal, had the FBI not given them permission to do it.
There are some crimes the FBI is forbidden from authorising. Those include acts of violence and obstruction of justice (that is, witness tampering, entrapment, fabrication of evidence). Its informants are also prohibited from “initiating or instigating” a plan to commit a crime. Otherwise, authorised informants may engage in criminal activity to maintain cover and provide the bureau with intelligence on other, presumably worse criminals, so long as certain protocols are observed.
These protocols are explained in a document known as The Attorney General’s Guidelines Regarding the Use of Confidential Informants. Since at least 2006, this document has included a number of record-keeping requirements. One is that the FBI must submit an annual report to the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and National Security Division describing “the total number of times each FBI Field Office authorised a Confidential Human Source to engage in Otherwise Illegal Activity (OIA), and the overall nationwide totals”.
These OIA reports are traditionally drafted between January and March each year. The yearly average of otherwise illegal activities reported between 2011 and 2015 is around 5600. In 2012, the number peaked at 5939. The lowest number was in 2015, when the FBI only reported only 5261 authorisations for criminal activity, according to new records obtained by Gizmodo under the Freedom of Information Act.
The authorisations for OIA must be renewed every three months, so technically it’s possible each individual authorisation covers a multitude of criminal acts. In other words, the figures don’t actually represent crimes, but 90-day windows in which informants are allowed to break the law.
The 2016 report, which was compiled by the assistant director of the FBI Intelligence Directorate, appears wildly inaccurate at first blush. The number of authorisations for criminal activity reported to the Justice Department this March was only 381.
Here’s what that looks like compared to the previous five years:
Either the FBI has dramatically curtailed how often it allows informants to break the law, or something isn’t right here. Here’s a closer look at the actual numbers, side by side:
If you picked “something isn’t right here,” then you are correct. It turns out the FBI actually failed to report any entire tier’s worth of criminal activity, thereby significantly reducing the overall number of authorised crimes it reported. That’s about a 93 per cent drop in the OIA total.
Authorised crimes by informants are divided into what the FBI calls “tiers”. Tier 1 activities are more serious types of crimes, importing huge amounts of heroin for instance; whereas Tier 2 includes basically everything else, down to shoplifting.
Here’s an incomplete list of what’s considered Tier 1 activity:
- The commission, or the significant risk of the commission, of any act of violence by a person or persons other than the Confidential Human Source;
- Corrupt conduct, or the significant risk of corrupt conduct, by an elected public official or a public official in a high-level decision-making or sensitive position in federal, state or local government;
- Manufacturing, importing, exporting, possession or trafficking of controlled substances in a quantity equal to or exceeding those quantities specified in United States Sentencing Guidelines § 2D1.1(c)(1)(90kg of heroin, 450kg of cocaine, 90,000kg of marijuana, and so on);
- Financial loss, or the significant risk of financial loss, in an amount equal to or exceeding those amounts specified in United States Sentencing Guidelines § 2B1.1(b)(1)(I) ($US1.5 million [$1.9 million].)
Conversely, Tier 2 activity is simply defined as “any other activity that would constitute a misdemeanour or felony under federal, state, or local law if engaged in by a person acting without authorization”.
Most of the time, we can’t tell the difference between the two. For reporting purposes, Tier 1 and 2 criminal activity is usually bundled into a single total. And that means that in 2015 the FBI may have authorised its informants to commit 5261 misdemeanours for all we know.
But this year, something different happened. Tier 2 wasn’t included. And now we know that in 2016, at least 381 times, the FBI authorised its informants to engage in some really serious criminal activity. Whether that was commissioning an act of violence by another person or manufacturing a truckload of cocaine, we can’t be sure.
So, how did this happen exactly? Was it a clerical error or did the FBI do this on purpose? Did the Attorney General’s office issue new guidelines? We’re not entirely sure. The US Justice Department declined to comment, even though it sets the rules and, by all appearances, its National Security Division was robbed of an important statistic. The FBI told Gizmodo yesterday that it was working on an answer.
Detroit Free Press–Sep 25, 2017
Quartz–Sep 25, 2017
Valley News Live–Sep 25, 2017
In-Depth–Washington Post–Sep 25, 2017
Blog–The Economist (blog)–Sep 26, 2017
Russia’s Election Hackers Use DC Cyber Warfare Conference as Bait
Paul Nakasone, who leads the U.S. Army Cyber Command, and Senator Martin Heinrich, a prominent Kremlin critic on the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian election meddling. The Russian hackers’ flier for the event is a Microsoft …
It’s been clear to everyone involved that Donald Trump’s Russia scandal would take him down eventually. It’ll end his presidency, and set him up for a brutal final few years of his life in which he faces one criminal trial after another, and dies penniless in prison. The only real question has been how Trump would react once it became clear to him that his life is over. As of today we’re seeing the answer to that question – and it’s almost Putin-esque in nature.
Trump has decided that he’s going to teach an ugly and potentially deadly lesson to those who have dared to testify against him in the Russia scandal. He’s decided to make an example out of Bill Browder, an international political activist who testified before Congress that Donald Trump Jr and the Russian government were colluding to rig the election when they met in 2016. Browder’s testimony is already set in stone, and Trump can’t do anything to get it off the books. But Trump is taking advantage of Browder’s British citizenship to try to actively trying to destroy – and endanger – his life.
Browder confirmed today via Twitter that the Russian government issued a warrant for his arrest on a phony murder charge, and that the Donald Trump administration has simultaneously revoked his visa (link). This prevents Browder from entering the United States, and thus makes him more vulnerable to Putin’s murderous ways.
Donald Trump is literally trying to get a witness against him killed, in the hope of scaring others out of testifying against him. In so doing, Trump is committing obstruction of justice, which Special Counsel Robert Mueller will attempt to nail him for. Trump is also conspiring with a foreign enemy to try to murder an innocent man, which is traitorous. If anything, it’ll only help ensure that Trump spends the rest of his miserable life in prison. Contribute to Palmer Report
The post Donald Trump unleashes reckless, bizarre, traitorous Trump-Russia endgame appeared first on Palmer Report.
Even as the investigation into Donald Trump’s Russia scandal breaches his inner circle, and his Niger scandal threatens to do just as much damage to him, some things don’t change – like the fact that Donald Trump Jr is really, really stupid. Junior is now posting increasingly juvenile and idiotic nonsense on social media, seemingly in denial about the collapse of his father’s regime. Now he’s gone off the deep end with one of his creepiest posts to date.
At the end of a week which saw Special Counsel Robert Mueller gaining the cooperation of former Trump senior advisers Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer, even as Trump’s attempted coverup in Niger began unraveling, Donald Trump Jr seemed to think everything was just fine and dandy. He declared “Have a great weekend everyone” on his verified Instagram account, while posting this creepy picture of his dad:
It’s almost difficult to know where to start when it comes to describing what’s wrong with this image. For one thing, Donald Trump’ scraggly beard makes him look less like a superhero (or a president) and more like the Unabomber. Then there’s the recent scandal in which Trump was caught having displayed fake Time Magazine covers with his face on them at his golf properties. Finally, the timing is just bizarre.
If Donald Trump were a successful President, or if he’d had a good week, then the above silly picture could be seen as harmless, if rather stupid. But Trump just came off his most devastating week to date, and his presidency is now hanging on by the thinnest of threads. In that regard, Donald Trump Jr comes across as an eight year old who obviously can’t figure out why everyone thinks his father is a villain. In that sense, no wonder Junior obtusely botched his Russia meeting in a manner which is helping to dismantle his father’s illegitimate presidency.
The post Donald Trump Jr goes off the delusional deep end as his father goes down in flamesappeared first on Palmer Report.
FBI couldn’t access nearly 7K devices because of encryption
PHILADELPHIA — The FBI hasn’t been able to retrieve data from more than half of the mobile devices it tried to access in less than a year, FBI Director Christopher Wray said Sunday, turning up the heat on a debate between technology companies and law …
PHILADELPHIA — The FBI hasn’t been able to retrieve data from more than half of the mobile devices it tried to access in less than a year, FBI Director Christopher Wray said Sunday, turning up the heat on a debate between technology companies and law enforcement officials trying to recover encrypted communications.
In the first 11 months of the fiscal year, federal agents were unable to access the content of more than 6,900 mobile devices, Wray said in a speech at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Philadelphia.
“To put it mildly, this is a huge, huge problem,” Wray said. “It impacts investigations across the board — narcotics, human trafficking, counterterrorism, counterintelligence, gangs, organized crime, child exploitation.”
The FBI and other law enforcement officials have long complained about being unable to unlock and recover evidence from cellphones and other devices seized from suspects even if they have a warrant, while technology companies have insisted they must protect customers’ digital privacy.
The long-simmering debate was on display in 2016, when the Justice Department tried to force Apple to unlock an encrypted cellphone used by a gunman in a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California. The department eventually relented after the FBI said it paid an unidentified vendor who provided a tool to unlock the phone and no longer needed Apple’s assistance, avoiding a court showdown.
The Justice Department under President Donald Trump has suggested it will be aggressive in seeking access to encrypted information from technology companies. But in a recent speech, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein stopped short of saying exactly what action it might take.
“I get it, there’s a balance that needs to be struck between encryption and the importance of giving us the tools we need to keep the public safe,” Wray said.
In a wide-ranging speech to hundreds of police leaders from across the globe, Wray also touted the FBI’s partnerships with local and federal law enforcement agencies to combat terrorism and violent crime.
“The threats that we face keep accumulating, they are complex, they are varied,” Wray said, describing threats from foreign terror organizations and homegrown extremists.
Wray also decried a potential “blind spot” for intelligence gathering if Congress doesn’t reauthorize an intelligence surveillance law set to expire at the end of the year. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act allows the government to collect information about militants, people suspected of cybercrimes or proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and other foreign targets outside the United States.
Intelligence and law enforcement officials say the act is vital to national security.
A section of the act permits the government, under the oversight of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, to target non-Americans outside the United States.
“If it doesn’t get renewed or reauthorized, essentially in the form that it already is, we’re about to get another blind spot,” Wray said.
The story was written by Michael Balsamo of the Associated Press. Writer Sadie Gurman in Washington contributed to this report.
Lindsey Graham: The Trump administration has ‘a blind spot on Russia I still can’t figure out’
“I think that the Trump administration is slow when it comes to Russia,” Graham said when asked why he thought the administration had not yet implemented the new sanctions against Russiathat Trump signed into law on August 2. “They have a blind spot …and more »
What is the “Khazarian Mafia (KM)”?
“Khazarian Mafia (KM) against America and many Middle East …” – Khazarian Mafia has Gone Mad, Follows the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror Kashmir Watch
By Sajjad Shaukat
Renowned historians agree that besides other causes, major cause of the French Revolution of 1789 was the class distinction between the privileged and the unprivileged, which rapidly increased under the reign of King Louis XVI who had continued the policy of taking out international loans, and the debt drove the country to near bankruptcy, leading to the Revolution.
They opine, “The French Revolution began because the people of France wanted to end the monarchy and aristocracy…The people signed the Declaration of the Rights of Man, which declared that all estates are equal…all men are born equal under the law…the Revolution cherished the genuine aspirations of people such as liberty, equality and justice, which became the inspiration of people not only in France, but also in Europe and from there to the whole world.”
But, this enthusiasm died, when France witnessed the era of Reign of Terror from September 1793 to July 1794. The Reign of Terror was essentially created by the radical leader of the revolution Maximilien de Robespierre.
According to a researcher, “The guillotine became the preferred method of executions and became known as “The National Razor.” Joseph Guillotine, a doctor, suggested its use for all executions, because it was a quick, painless death…The device was a large timber frame with a space at the bottom for the neck of the prisoner. At the top of the machine is a large angled blade. Once the prisoner is secured, the blade is dropped, severing the head and bringing about immediate death.”
During the Reign of Terror, the revolutionaries executed many high ranking members of France’s elite class through the guillotine which also included King Louis XVI, his wife Marie Antoinette, Louis Philippe II, Madame Roland, and the Girondins.
The Reign of Terror was controlled by the Committee of Public Safety-the Jacobins. Robospierre ran the country and got an army of 800,000. It was the biggest army ever, in Europe, up to that time. Researchers say, “Between 20,000 and 40,000 people were executed. At their trials, they could not speak in their own defense. The victims were clergy, aristocracy, and common people. Anyone who disagreed with the Jacobins was a threat to the Republic.”
Robespierre even executed some of his fellow leaders like Danton and others who were beheaded in 1794. The Reign of Terror ended when several of the main instigators, including Robespierre and Saint-Just, were beheaded. However, the French Revolution had started to murder itself.
Regarding the Reign of Terror, David Thomsan writes, “The Terror was not an instrument of class war, and 70 percent of its victims belonged to the peasantry and laboring classes.”
According to Indian historian, V. D. Mahajin, “The Reign of Terror has been described as martial law gone mad…On 10 November , Madam Roland was executed. When she mounted to the scaffold, she exclaimed: Liberty! What crimes are committed in thy name!”
By taking advantage of the Reign of Terror and unrest in the country, Napoleon Bonaparte, the French General seized the power through a coup and became head of the government as the First Consul. He later proclaimed himself Emperor of France. Quite opposite to the ideas of the French Revolution, Napoleon ruled over France by establishing a dictatorship, a monarchy and an aristocracy. He also militarized France and engaged the country in several wars.
If we take cognizance of the bloody aftermath of the French Revolution, we need to know that in the modern era, Khazarain Mafia has also gone mad and follows the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror in its worst form. This Mafia has refined the tactics of the guillotine and tortured to deaths millions of people, belonging to various nations. If guillotine resulted into quick death of persons, Kazarian Mafia’s techniques have been eliminating the human beings not only through mass murder, but also through perennial pain which may also be equated with slow poison.
As regards the historical background of the Kazarian Mafia and its connections with Israel and Zionist Jews, various writers of the Veterans Today, including Senior Auditor Gordon Duff have already exposed its evil-designs.
In this respect, under the titles, “The Hidden History of the Incredibly Evil Khazarian Mafia” and “Khazarians Then, Khazarians Now”, Preston James and Mike Harris wrote on the VT, “The curtain is now being pulled back to fully expose the Khazarian Mafia and its evil plan to infiltrate, tyrannize the whole world and eradicate all Abrahamic Religions and allow only their Babylonian Talmudism also known as Luciferianism, Satanism or ancient Baal worship…the Khazarian Mafia (KM), the World’s largest Organized Crime Syndicate that the Khazarian oligarchy morphed into by their deployment of Babylonian Money-Magick…It has been exceedingly difficult to reconstruct this hidden secret history of the KM…We have done the best we can to reconstruct it…It was Mike Harris that connected the dots and made the actual discovery of the presence of the Khazarian Mafia’s secret history and blood oath to take revenge on Russia for helping Americans win the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, and their blood oath of revenge against America and Americans for winning these wars and sustaining the Union. At the Syrian Conference on Combating Terrorism and Religious Extremism December 1, 2014—in his Keynote address, Veterans Today Senor Editor and Director Gordon Duff disclosed publicly for the first time ever that World Terrorism is actually due to a large International Organized Crime Syndicate associated with Israel…And the shock-waves from his historic speech in Damascus continue to reverberate around the world even to this very day. And now Gordon Duff has asked President Putin to release Russian Intel which will expose about 300 traitors in Congress for their serious serial felonies and statutory espionage on behalf of the Khazarian Mafia (KM) against America and many Middle East nations. We now know that the Khazarian Mafia (KM) is waging a secret war against America and Americans by the use of False-flag Gladio-style terrorism, and via the illegal and Unconstitutional Federal Reserve System, the IRS, the FBI, FEMA, Homeland Security and the TSA. We know for certain that the KM was responsible for deploying an inside-job, Gladio-style False-flag attack on America on 9-11-01, as well as the Murrah Building Bombing on April 19, 1995….Khazarians develop into a nation ruled by an evil king, who had ancient Babylonian black arts, occult oligarchs serving as his court…The leaders of the surrounding nations, especially Russia, have had so many years of complaints by their citizens that, as a group, they deliver an ultimatum to the Khazarian king…he must choose one of the three Abrahamic religions for his people…Islam, Christianity and Judaism. The Khazarian king chose Judaism, and promised to stay within the requirements laid out by the surrounding confederacy of nations led by the Russian czar. Despite his agreement and promise, the Khazarian king and his inner circle of oligarchs kept practicing ancient Babylonian black-magic, also known as Secret Satanism…Sadly, the Khazarians continued their evil ways, robbing and murdering those from surrounding countries who traveled through Khazaria. Khazarian robbers often attempted to assume their identities after they murdered these visitors, and became masters of disguises and false identities—a practice they have continued even to this very day, along with their child-sacrifice occult ceremonies, which are actually ancient Baal Worship…The Khazarian leaders had a well-developed spy network through which they obtained prior warning and escaped from Khazaria to European nations to the west, taking their vast fortune with them in gold and silver. They laid low and regrouped, while assuming new identities…To accomplish their invasion, they hired Oliver Cromwell to murder King Charles 1, and make England safe for banking again. This began the English Civil Wars which raged for nearly a decade, resulting in regicide of the royal family and hundreds of the genuine English nobility. This is how the City of London was set up as the banking capital of Europe and launched the beginning of the British Empire. The Khazarian Mafia (KM) decides to infiltrate and hijack all World Banking using Babylonian Black-Magick, also known as Babylonian Money-Magick or the secret art of making money from nothing also using the power of pernicious usury to accumulate interest…The Rothschild banksters regroup and continue their covert attempts to install their own Babylonian money-magick bank inside America. In 1913, the Rothschild KM was able to establish a beachhead by bribing crooked, treasonous members of Congress to pass the illegal, Unconstitutional Federal Reserve Act on Christmas Eve without a required quorum. The Act was then signed by a crooked, bought off President, who was a traitor to America, like the members of Congress who voted for it. The KM put an illegal, unconstitutional tax system in place, in order to make sure that Americans would have to pay for high-level USG spending, approved by a bought-off, crooked Congress and Presidential puppets, put in place by corrupt KM campaign finance…It is easy for the KM to garner enough money to elect anyone they want, because when you control a bank that is a secret major counterfeiter, you have all the money made for you that you desire…they also bribed members of Congress to approve the Internal Revenue Service, which is their private collection agency incorporated in Puerto Rico…The Bolsheviks, at the direction of the Rothschild KM, raped, tortured and mass-murdered approximately 100 million Russians, including women, children and infants. Some of the torture and bloodletting was so extreme, we are not going to mention it here in this article…They called this racially-paranoid mass Judaic delusion of world conquest, “World Zionism”, which is really a form of covert Babylonian Talmudism or Luciferianism…It is important to realize that the Rothschild KM took Germany down to nothing after WWI, created a vacuum for Fascism, and then rebuilt it, creating Naziism and installing Hitler as a counter-force to their Russian Bolshevism…Hitler became a problem for the KM when he broke free and begin acting in the interests of the German people and the free people of the world, and developed his own banking system free of the Rothschilds…We see the same thing today with the Khazarian war against Islam, because Islam forbids usury. That is why Israel is so vocal and aggressive about destroying the Islamic people of the world…The KM expected this to be a large WWII and when they supported both sides, this could be used to industrialize the whole world and maximize their bankster money-power…After WWII was finished, the Rothschild KM deployed the Cold War, and used this as an excuse to bring Nazi scientists and mind-kontrol experts to America under Operation Paperclip. This allowed them to set up a worldwide spying and espionage system that far exceeded any of their prior efforts…Under this new system, they continue to infiltrate and hijack all American institutions, including the various American church systems, Freemasonry (especially the Scottish Rite and York Rite), the US military, US Intel, and most private defense contractors, the Judiciary and most agencies of the USG, including most State governments, and both major political parties as well…The Rothschild KM was able to use their self mis-labelled, so-called “holocaust” to serve as a mind-kontrol trigger to thwart and resist any criticism of their Zionist ways.”
As a matter of fact, Jews are owners of the many big cartels of the US in particular and the world in general. Based in the US, they have been running the major multinational corporations, arms factories, five star hotels, oil companies, liquor business, banks, film industry, print and electronic media on international level. Having influence on the financial institutes like World Bank and International Monetary Fund, Jews have direct and indirect hold on the global economy. Thus, by dominating the American internal policies Khazarian Jewish Mafia has moulded country’s foreign policy for their own interests and those of Israel. By changing America into a corporate industry, they have converted the world into a corporate industry.
It is notable that after the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, the US emerged as the sole superpower in the unipolar world. In consultation with his Zionist-advisers, American former President Bush, (The Senior) replaced the old bipolar order with the New World Order (NWO), with the US acting as a kind of global policeman to protect the political, economic and religious interests of the Khazarian Mafia.
In the unipolar world, even the United Nations system became an instrument of the US policy to establish American hegemony in the world. The Third World—Muslim countries were compelled to realign their domestic policies according to Washington’s dictates. In order to obtain the hidden agenda of the Khazarian Jewish Mafia, the US imposed its sudden terms of globalization such as free markets, privatization and de-nationalization etc. on the ill-prepared developing countries and the Muslim countries, which left behind shattered nations and a global financial crisis and increased poverty in most of these countries, which resulted into painful deaths of many persons due to diseases and lack of medical treatment. It further widened the gap between the poor and the rich countries or G-7 countries. The Khazarian Mafia has continued to drive the project of globalization.
Besides, America’s child-killing sanctions against Iraq and Iran; late action to curb ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, support to Israel’s aggressive occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, with vetoing any effective action by the UN to curb the Israeli state terrorism greatly annoyed the Muslims all over the world.
When President George W. Bush became the US president, he and the neo-conservatives crossed all the limits in securing the political, economic and religious interests of Israel and the Khazarian Mafia at the cost of Muslims and patriot Americans.
Once Henry Kissinger stated “legitimacy is not natural or automatic, but created.” Under the cover of the false flag operation of the 9/11, the US President Bush orchestrated the drama of global war on terror.
Bush who used the words, “crusade against the evil-doers” adding to the perception that the ongoing ‘different war’ against terrorism is actually a war against the Islamic countries also warned the world to choose sides by saying, “either you are with us or with terrorists.” It was due to employment of pressure-diplomacy on the weak states—Muslim countries like Pakistan, Indonesia, Libya etc., including almost all the Arab states joined Bush anti-terrorism war. By manipulating the 9/11 carnage, Bush also got the sympathies of almost all the major Western countries including NATO states which also joined the fake global war on terror.
During the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq (By the US-British-led forces) and after occupation, the brutal tactics of the US-led NATO like heavy air bombardment and ground shelling by the sophisticated war machinery, including special military operations and extra-judicial assassinations killed several innocent persons. Particularly, the US military strategic warlords who preferred to create a paralyzing effect of ‘shock and awe’ displayed the terrible inferno of destruction in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In case of Iraq, many of the Iraqis including some members of the former Interim Governing Council were shocked at the violence in Fallujah. Even the US weekly, ‘Newsweek’ admitted in its publication of April 19/April 26, 2004 that the US forces “used very heavy hand in Fallujah where more than 400 people were killed. Four members of the [former] Governing Council resigned in a protest against America’s crackdown in Fallujah…according to doctors figure of the deaths was impossible to check and it is more than 400…an airstrike dropped a 500 pound bomb. Arab language TV claimed that the bomb killed more than a score of civilians at prayer.”
Like Afghanistan, American soldiers also massacred several wounded people and civilians in Iraq. In November, 2004, a number of world’s televised channels including those of America showed footage of a US marine who was shooting and killing an already captive and wounded Iraqi prisoner at close range in a mosque in Fallujah where civilians had taken shelter.
Nobody can deny the fact that these were the worst examples of the US-led state terrorism or use of abnormal force.
It is of particular attention that the US-led troops, assisted by CIA have carried out indiscriminate mass round-ups in catching up suspected Muslim men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq, including some Arab countries without evidence. Israeli intelligence agency Mossad and Indian secret agency RAW have helped the CIA officials in arresting the Muslim men, having beard and ladies, wearing scarves. Besides Guantanamo Bay and Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison, CIA torture cells were present in several Islamic countries and were also set up in ships where US secret agencies and military personnel employed various methods of torture on the militants and suspected persons like physical violence and even murder. American notorious private military firm Blackwater also eliminated countless Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In March, 2013, an investigative report by the British Guardian/BBC disclosed that acting under the direction of the top US officials; the CIA utilized a global network of secret prisons, foreign intelligence agents and torture centers in various Islamic countries including Belgium, Thailand etc. where torture was conducted directly by American intelligence operatives.
The report also mentioned atrocities of the US-backed entities, carried out in Bagram Airbase (Afghanistan), Guantanamo and Iraq—unleashed a deadly sectarian militia which terrorized the Sunni community and germinated a civil war between Sunnis and Shias, and claimed tens of thousands of lives.
It revealed, “At the height of that sectarian conflict, 3,000 bodies a month were strewn on the streets of Iraq. Rounding up Sunnis in American pickup trucks, the captives were thrown into secret prisons established in libraries, airports, and ministries. Anti-occupation politicians, human rights activists, and journalists were murdered. The purpose was also to terrorize ordinary Iraqis who opposed the US occupation.”
In this regard, the report focuses on the role of retired Colonel James Steele who worked with the Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Gen. David Petraeus who also served as President Obama’s CIA director. Steele sent regular memos to Donald Rumsfeld who forwarded them to Vice-President Dick Cheney and President George Bush, while, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died and millions were displaced as a result of the chaos and brutal practices.
In this connection, some latest reports suggest that more than 3 million people including civilians died in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan which was not attacked, but was, deliberately, destabilized by CIA, RAW and Mossad, as the latter is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World.
Following his predecessor, President Barack Obama also continued the ruthless killings of the Muslims to complete the unfinished agenda of the Khazarian Mafia.
Apart from air strikes on funerals, marriage-ceremonies and mosques in Afghanistan, he converted Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen etc. into concentration camps. As part of the US double game, CIA which created Al-Qaeda and then Islamic State group (Also known as Daesh, ISIS and ISIL), including Al-Qaeda’s Al-Nusra Front and Syrian rebel groups in fighting against the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Iraqi regime is responsible for the mass murder of more than 2 million Muslims and Christians who were killed in civil wars—ground and aerial strikes of the US-led Western countries—suicide attacks and bomb blasts, conducted by Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Besides, during the phony global war on terror, in these countries and Afghanistan and Iraq, especially in Syria, millions of Muslims became homeless. The plight of refugees—countless deaths, particularly of children due to lack of medical treatment and starvation has shocked the peace-loving people of the international community.
President Obama had also broken all the record of human rights violations by extrajudicial killings of the innocent people through illegal CIA-operated drone attacks in Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen etc. in general and Pakistan in particular.
It is mentionable that through the war against terrorism, President Bush and President Obama provided a golden chance to Israel and India to accelerate the systematic genocide of the Palestinians and Kashmiris by equating the wars of liberation in the controlled territories of Palestine and Kashmir with terrorism. Their forces have been employing military terrorism such as curfews, crackdowns, sieges, massacre and targeted killings to maintain alien rule on these territories.
It is noteworthy that a number of investigative reports after lab-verification verified that since 1948, Israel used the banned chemical and radiological materials against the Palestinians, Egyptians and Syrians, and during various phases of the Palestinian Intifada, which resulted in to severe convulsions, the burning sensation, the difficulty to breathe, the vomiting and pain found in relation to the victims—mostly women and children, a majority of whom died in the long run. In 2006, during the war against Lebanon, Israel used banned chemical weapons like phosphorous bombs in Lebanon and Gaza, which killed 286 Palestinians and injured 4,200.
Notably, the main purpose of occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq by the US-led forces was to possess energy resources of Central Asia and Iraq. In case of the Middle East, we can see the resources of natural gas reserves in the whole Persian Gulf region. Hence, the motives of the CIA-led Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates in financing with billions of dollars to the opposition rebel groups and ISIL in Syria was to occupy the natural gas and oil of the region.
Many analysts say that Russia supplies Europe with a quarter of the gas. America and its European allies which are involved in the Syrian war want to end European dependence on Russia. American President Obama had openly said to reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian gas.
In this context, F. William Engdahl wrote, “Today the US-backed wars in Ukraine and in Syria are but two fronts in the same strategic war to cripple Russia and China and to rupture any Eurasian counter-pole to a US-controlled New World Order. In each, control of energy pipelines, this time primarily of natural gas pipelines—from Russia to the EU via Ukraine and from Iran and Syria to the EU via Syria—is the strategic goal.”
It is worth-mentioning that according to the retired NATO Secretary General Wesley Clark, a memo from the Office of the US Secretary of Defense just a few weeks after 9/11 revealed plans to attack and destroy the governments in 7 countries in five years, starting with Iraq and moving on to Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran. In an interview, Clark said that this strategy is fundamentally about control of the region’s vast oil and gas resources.
Similarly, when during the regime of the then President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan initiated the construction of Gwadar deep-seaport in Balochistan province in March 2002 with Chinese assistance, sirens went off in the capitals of some European countries, especially the US, India and Israel which took it as a threat to their global and regional plans.
Located on the southwestern coast of Pakistan, Balochistan’s Gwadar seaport is close to the Strait of Hormuz from where more than 17 million barrels of oil passes every day. Its ideal location among South Asia, the oil-rich Middle East, and oil and gas-resourced Central Asia has further increased its strategic significance. Besides, Balochistan’s abundant mineral resources irritate the eyes of Washington, New Delhi and Tel Aviv who intend to weaken Pakistan for their collective aims.
Based in Afghanistan, CIA, Mossad and RAW which are well-penetrated in the ISIS and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) including their linked terror outfits and Baloch separatist groups are using their terrorists to destabilize Tibetan regions of China, Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan and Pakistan’s Balochistan by arranging the subversive activities. In this connection, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is their special target.
Machiavelli advises the rulers to have a lion-like image outwardly, and act upon the traits of goat inwardly. He also suggests them foreign adventures and the use of terror to obtain their goals. In his sense, a good ruler should be a good opportunist and hypocrite. While echoing Machiavelli, Morgenthau points out that sometimes, rulers act upon immoral activities like deceit, fraud, falsehood and even murder to fulfill their selfish aims.
Indicating dual policy, Morgenthau, and Palmer and Perkins opine, “Just as power became the instrument of ambitious nationalism and state’s leaders, it has now become the tool of ideologies. The true nature of the policy is concealed by ideological justifications and rationalization.”
Although in the present world of social media and Internet, such a sinister politics has been replaced by modern trends such as fair-dealings, reconciliation and economic development, yet by following the old strategies, Khazarain Mafia has been practicing the most horrible form of colonialism and neo-colonialism, while employing ruthless techniques of terrorism by assisting the militant groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS which conducted various terrorism-related attacks in the US, Europe and other Western countries, including Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Iran, Indonesia, Philippines etc., and some African countries. Thus, they massacred thousands of persons which also include Christians.
It is also of particular attention that on September 25, 2016, at the UN General Assembly, while indicating the unjust global order, Pope Francis condemned the global financial institutions, calling on them to ensure that countries “are not subjected to oppressive lending systems which, far from promoting progress, subject people to mechanisms which generate greater poverty, exclusion and dependence.”
Earlier, addressing the US Congress, Pope Francis said, “No religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism…We must be especially attentive to every type of fundamentalism. A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetual in the name of a religion, an ideology or an economic system…Every life is sacred.”
Taking note of America’s non-acceptance of the Syrian refugees, Francis reminded the law-makers by remarking that the United States “is part of a larger whole on America in the Americas, where immigration is a deeply rooted part of history…We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners.”
While calling for an end to the arms trade by arms dealers, Francis explained, “Deadly weapons for money are being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society…Money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood.”
He further added, “If politics must truly be at the service of human person, it follows that it cannot be slave to economy and finance.”
Meanwhile, since September 2015, when Russian-led coalition of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon-based Hezbollah started successful military operations against the CIA-supported rebels and mercenaries after their failure to topple Assad’s government, proving links of Al-Qaeda and ISIS, several false flag terror assaults in Europe and the US, were, in fact, arranged by Mossad in connivance with some CIA operatives and ISIS terrorists to increase anti-Muslim phenomena in the West—now, more resentment is found against the US-led West, and even the moderate Muslims are likely to join the militants. Another aim, especially of Mossad is to radicalize the Muslims against the Western Christians and the latter against the former.
The pro-Israeli President Donald Trump who manipulated these terror assaults, continues his anti-Muslim policies. Being a capitalist, President Donald Trump is blindly pursuing the goals of the Khazarain Mafia. Like Napoleon Bonaparte, he is a staunch warrior, as his policy war-like strategy regarding Afghanistan and North Korea show. Taking note of Trump’s contradictory approach and emotional statements, some Americans call him a sick man. In fact, like the revolutionaries of the French Revolution, President Trump has also gone mad.
Now, Russian-led coalition has almost defeated the ISIS and its linked militants groups in Syria and Iraq, who are on flee.
While, implementing secret strategy of the Khazarain Mafi, besides supporting the fanatic Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, American extremist President Donald Trump is also backing the Indian leader of the fanatic party BJP and the fundamentalist Prime Minister Narindra Modi against China and Pakistan in accordance with anti-China, anti-Pakistan and anti-Muslim agenda. President Trump is leading the clandestine Indo-Israeli nexus as part of the invisible war of the Khazarian Mafia.
Nonetheless, according to an estimate, more than 8 million Muslims (Excluding the missing persons) have been killed during war on terror and in various terror related attacks by the terrorist groups. The figure of their fatalities is more than 6 or 7 million, which has, exaggeratedly been claimed by the Jews in connection with the Holocaust. While, the fake war on terror shows no end, American President Trump is likely to accelerate the massacre of the Muslims, Christians and military personnel of the US-led West in Syria, Afghanistan etc., and other vulnerable countries by furhter motivating the terrorist outfits like ISIS to target the Muslims and Christians through more acts of terrorism.
If not checked in time by the peace-loving Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Jews and Buddhists, the rigid and racist policies of the President Donald Trump who is completing the unfinished agenda of the Khazarain Mafi could culminate into civil war in the US who is already facing multiple internal crises which are owing to the prolonged war on terror (And in Afghanistan). While the world has already been radicalized on religious lines, this cabal can bring about a major war between the Muslim and the Christian worlds. The most dangerous aspect is that this conspiracy of the Khazarain Mafi may culminate into nuclear war between America and Russia, which will envelope the entire world and take it to the state of nature.
Returning to our earlier discussion, we can, undoubtedly, conclude that like the radicals of the French revolution, Khazarain Mafia has gone mad and follows the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution in its worst form.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations
Email: <a href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a>
Courtesy Veterans Today
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This shooting was done by a lone-wolf, who coincidently is now dead. Move along! There’s nothing to see here! Speaking of hear – did you hear about Harvey Weinstein?
I recently read an article by Rush Limbaugh entitled, “We’re Paralyzed By Stupidity” and, might I humbly add, apathy can also be seen as one of our major paralyzing problems. But, jokingly, who really gives an RA!
Well, let me tell you who does, our elected officials aka: our politicians. They are counting on you not giving an RA! They are counting on your limited attention span. They also know that you will believe almost anything you see, hear, or read from the authorities and their complicit mainstream media.
Does anyone else see how they, meaning the aforementioned authorities like the FBI, needed anything to stop the 24/7 conversations about their bumbled, oft time contradictory handling, of the Las Vegas Terrorist Attack, so they gave us the old – Look over there, a squirrel! and, this particular squirrel’s name is Harvey Weinstein.
The timing of their replacement 24/7 news cycle of Harvey the Squirrel has been nothing more than a distraction. Everyone knew for years, both inside and outside Hollywood, that Harvey Weinstein was/is a suspected rapist; just as everyone knows that Bill Clinton was/is a suspected rapist;. Interestingly, I read an article the other day about rape allegations and, to give context to the article, it included an image of the two of them, both smiling that same arrogant rapist smile; as the thought came to me that there could not be two more qualified men-in-power-rapists to put in a picture for that article, with the possible exception of Kim Jung-un, that is.
Las Vegas’ Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo could be seen actually crying during a recent press conference; and to many this might be seen as a display of empathy, as he went teary-eyed for the victims. But, to the more discerning eye, he was crying because he has been thrust into this untenable position between relaying the events based on the actual evidence and the false narrative he is being told to repeat by the FBI, all in an attempt to cover up what really happened on the night of October 1st. Most of the information he is presenting as fact doesn’t actually make sense to anyone (who might still be paying attention, that is); but, more importantly, his explanations aren’t making sense to his own LVMPD investigators assigned to the case. Sheriff Lombardo has a reputation of being an honest, responsible public official, and like any man of integrity, he is beside himself with the conflicting emotions of being forced to explain the FBI’s alternate reality on the world’s stage, where they are basically telling him that his evidence be damned!
To better understand the Feds complete circle of influence, first we have Special Agent Aaron Rouse, who heads up ‘The Las Vegas Terrorist Attack’ investigation for the FBI; but, certainly, we will never find a file folder with those words written on the tab anywhere near an FBI office. Agent Rouse reports directly to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, whose wife is a dear friend of Virginia Governor Terry McCauliffe, who just happens to be best buds with Hillary and Bill Clinton. And, McCabe has been charged with keeping the lid on (I meant running) the entire investigation from the secure distance of his office in Washington, DC. He, and his best buds, only goal is to stay-on-track with their crazy Paddock, the lone-wolf-single-shooter theory, long enough for at least one of their gun control bills in congress to gain enough popular support to be passed, possibly even enough support for a Presidential override.
Yes! Their lone-gunman-theory is all about gun control, which, as you know, has little to do with actual guns and everything to do with regulated control. Their latest ‘never-let-a-good-crisis-go-to-waste’ is really about everyone who legally owns guns, anyone who can now be looked upon as a potential Stephen Paddock just waiting for their meds to kick in and crack up, and who will eventually go up on some rooftop overlooking a crowd, and, and… and the government must protect us from the likes of all such crazy-gun-owning people. Their Second Amendment be damned! By the way, if you or anyone you know believes that criminals will obey any of their gun control laws, then you (hypothetically, that is) might be included in that special kind of stupidity that Rush’s earlier article was referring to.
Meanwhile, the tag-team of Rouse and McCabe had been forced into an almost full time job of ignoring and/or destroying most of the on-scene-evidence which kept coming in from literally thousands of witnesses, many of whom would prove that this was a multiple shooter terrorist attack. Thankfully, Harvey the Squirrel, came to the rescue just in the nick of time, because as an example, now no one knows or even cares what happened to the hotel guard, Jesus Campo. He was the one, who you might recall, was shot at some point in time, before or after crazy Paddock began shooting. Can’t you just image if he was getting ready to tell Sean Hannity from Fox News that it was a middle-Eastern man who shot him. And, to make sure there was no chance of that happening, POOF! Just like that, Campo was gone!
But, seriously, there has been much irrefutable evidence from eye witnesses who, like all good citizens, turned in their cellphones to the authorities, only to find that upon their return – everything – including all pictures or video evidence that might contradict the official narrative, was erased. There is also proof-positive evidence from many independent sources including a forensic acoustic analysis which confirm in great detail the existence of the harmonics of gun fire from at least one additional shooter at approximately half the distance (200-225 yards) from Paddock on the 32nd floor at about 400 yards.
And then, along came witness Rocky Palermo who was reportedly shot in the pelvis by another gunman at ground level at the concert. The Palermo family might want to advise their son not to walk the streets of Washington, DC at night, which as Seth Rich found out, can be very dangerous. Or, they might also advise him not to drive his car alone at night, especially if he has one of those new fan-dangled-cars with the computer controls which could possibly be driven remotely from say, a drone, as Michael Hastings also found out, but unfortunately too late.
By the way, it is important that you understand that the LVMPD heroic first responders and front-line investigators have little control over the Feds attempt to persist in their alternate reality of a lone gunman. The local law enforcement officers are trying to do their job to the best of their ability, as they find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place. There is a substantial amount of forensic evidence that there were multiple shooters – one closer – and now at least one on the ground. But, none of these leads are being pursued by over a hundred FBI agents who reportedly are working the Las Vegas case. The American people demand answers. Fifty-eight innocent people were killed and hundreds shot, and if citizen journalists like myself do not keep this story alive, it too will simply disappear.
And again, we will never hear any of this from the left-wing radical ideologues in the mainstream media, who care nothing about facts, truth, evidence. Nothing – because journalism in America is dead. The MSM are as complicit in this crime-cover-up as if their fingers were on multiple triggers as were all the Las Vegas shooters themselves.
Multiple shooters you say? Erase all that from your foolish minds, ears and video evidence. This shooting was done by a lone-wolf, who coincidently is now dead. Move along! There’s nothing to see here! Speaking of hear – did you hear about Harvey Weinstein?
0 CommentsFredy ‘Brooklyn’ Lowe served proudly in both the Unites States Marine Corps and the New York City Police Department. He and his wife of 49 years, Patricia are even prouder (if that’s possible) of their two grown children and six grandchildren. Out of respect for his country and never taking for granted our freedoms and liberties, Lowe became involved as an organizer and public speaker for Tea Party events and rallies.
These days Lowe finds himself repeating one of Thomas Pain’s more famous thoughts, “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, so my children (and grandchildren) may have peace.”
The IRS just gave Republicans a big opportunity on Obamacare
Why this obsession with forcing everyone into having insurance? Many people do not want or need insurance. Some of us prefer to pay our own bills, and keep our health care business exclusively between ourselves and our doctor, to the exclusion of arbitrary interference by government bureaucrats, therefor controlling our own destiny.Insurance is a contract. The applicant thereby consents to specific performance commercial regulation obligations attached thereto. He is no longer a free person (free agent), he has waived his unalienable natural rights, exchanging them for the privilege of being insured, i.e., being protected from himself.The US Supreme Court has held that the natural person (human being) has an unlimited right to (or not to) contract. It has also held that policies of insurance are maritime commercial contracts, and even though operating upon the land, respect typical maritime risks, injuries, and losses and are regulatable by the military-maritime commercial law.Government controlled (socialized) health care insurance is the heart and soul of communism. It is not about health care; it is about total people control. That is where we are headed.
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A Man Hears What He Wants to Hear…
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To better understand the Feds complete circle of influence, first we have Special Agent Aaron Rouse, who heads up ‘The Las Vegas Terrorist Attack’ investigation for the FBI; but, certainly, we will never find a file folder with those words written on …
former FBI agents power influence – Google News
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites)
Bustle–Oct 7, 2017