Rubio’s Gloating Betrays US Sabotage in Venezuela Power Blitz

Rubio’s Gloating Betrays US Sabotage in Venezuela Power Blitz

FINIAN CUNNINGHAM | 14.03.2019 | WORLD / AMERICAS

Rubio’s Gloating Betrays US Sabotage in Venezuela Power Blitz

US imperialists are so desperate in their regime-change predations over Venezuela, they seem to have a problem controlling their drooling mouths.

The latest orgy of American gloating was triggered by the massive power outages to have hit Venezuela. No sooner had the South American country been blacked out from its power grid collapsing, senior US officials were crowing with perverse relish.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio – who has become a point man for the Trump administration in its regime-change campaign in Venezuela – was a little too celebratory. Within minutes of the nationwide power outage last Thursday, Rubio was having verbal orgasms about the “long-term economic damage”… “in the blink of an eye”. But it was his disclosure concerning the precise damage in the power grid that has led the Venezuelan government to accuse the US of carrying out a sabotage.

Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez noted how Rubio, in his tweeted comments “three minutes” after the power outage, mentioned failure of “back-up generators” in Venezuela’s main hydroelectric plant, known as the Guri Dam, located in Bolivar State. The dam supplies some 80 per cent of the Venezuelan population of 31 million with its electricity consumption.

Rodriguez mockingly ascribed “mystic skills” to Rubio because the Florida Republican senator appeared to know the precise nature of the power failure even before the Venezuelan authorities had determined it.

The Venezuelan government has since claimed that the failure in the electric grid was caused by a cyber attack on the computer system controlling the Guri Dam turbines. Caracas said it will present proof of its claims to the United Nations.

Apart from Rubio’s apparent insider information, there are several other indicators that Venezuela’s latest turmoil from power blackout was indeed caused by US sabotage, and specifically a cyber attack.

The South American country has experienced recurring power cuts over recent years due to economic problems and Washington’s sanctions. But the latest outage was widespread – at least 70 per cent of the country – and sustained for more than four days, rather than being rectified within hours. That scale of disruption suggests an unprecedented event, way beyond intermittent problems of maintenance.

The duration of the blackout in the capital Caracas and other major cities also indicates that the nature of the problem was difficult to reverse, which would be consistent with a cyber attack on the power grid. “It was a kill-shot,” says American political analyst Randy Martin.

Furthermore, US officials like President Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton as well as “special envoy” on Venezuelan affairs Elliot Abrams have been warning that Washington is seeking new ways to pile pressure on Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro to stand down.

Abrams was caught out last week in a prank phone call made by two Russian entertainers posing as Swiss President Ueli Maurer in which Abrams openly advocated crushing the Venezuelan banking system in order to topple the government in Caracas. The American envoy, who was convicted over the Iran-Contra affair in the 1980s for sponsoring terrorism to sabotage Nicaragua, appeared to balk at using overt US military power against Venezuela. That suggests Washington was persuaded on the efficacy of cyber warfare to inflict social chaos and incite popular anger against the Maduro government.

The immediate reaction by Washington officials and the US-backed political opposition in Venezuela was to blame the Maduro government for the power disorder. The failure was flagged up as a sign of “incompetence” and “mismanagement” of the oil-rich country by the socialist administration. Opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has declared himself the rightful president with Washington’s blessing, conveyed the logic of blackmail when he declared, “the lights will come back on when usurper Maduro is gone”.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also weighed in with repulsive gloating within hours of Venezuela’s power crisis. Pompeo tweeted: “No food. No medicine. Now, no power. Next, no Maduro.”

The delight openly displayed by Washington officials in regard to aggression against Venezuela has broken new ground in terms of the brazenness of US imperialism.

Only a few weeks ago, Bolton announced that the objective for seeking regime change in Venezuela against the elected President Nicolas Maduro was for US corporations to seize the South American state’s vast oil wealth – reckoned to be the largest known reserves on the planet, far exceeding those of Saudi Arabia.

Such is Washington’s unbridled lust for Venezuela’s natural resources that its imperialist advocates are falling over themselves with naked lies and crimes.

When a US Trojan Horse aid convoy was blocked from entering into Venezuela from Colombia last month, American politicians and media immediately blamed the Maduro government for sabotaging the effort. An aid truck was set alight on a border crossing on February 23. US Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Rubio, as well as CNN, condemned the Venezuelan authorities for “callous” destruction of vital aid delivery to its long-suffering people. It turns out, as even the New York Times has now admitted three weeks later, that the aid truck was torched by US-backed opposition supporters on the Colombian side of the border.

The obscenity of American imperialism is that it has inflicted huge social misery in Venezuela from years of sanctions and illegal confiscation (theft) of billions of dollars in assets belonging to the nation. Then it has the audacity to mount a charade seeming to deliver humanitarian aid.

The latest twist to this sadistic game played by Washington is turning the lights off across the entire nation, in homes, hospitals, airports and schools, among other essential services, and attempting to lay the blame on the Venezuelan government.

We may, however, be thankful for Washington’s overweening arrogance and criminality. Because, as Marco Rubio’s rash remarks concerning the latest power outage show, the American gangsterism towards Venezuela is being exposed for the naked aggression that it is.

US-based political analyst Randy Martin, in comments for this column, says that what Washington is doing to Venezuela is tantamount to the “rape of democracy”. “American imperialism has no longer any shame,” he said. “It used to rape countries under the cover a seedy alleyway of false excuses and hollow claims of righteousness. Now it has its trousers around its ankles and trying to rape Venezuela right on the global Main Street.”

Candiru: ’Israel’s’ TOP SECRET Cyber-attack Firm

Designed by: Abeer Mrad

Source: Al-Ahed News

“Israeli” Cyber Intel Company Aided In Khashoggi Assassination

Local Editor

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman [MBS] used advanced cybersecurity technology developed by the “Israeli” NSO Group specialized in cyber intelligence and its subsidiary, Q Cyber Technologies, among other companies, to assassinate Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, The Washington Post reported.

David R. Ignatius, an associate editor and columnist for The Washington Post, reported in a comprehensive article that the Zionist entity authorized the NSO Group to sell the Saudi kingdom the “Pegasus” surveillance software, in exchange for Riyadh’s cooperation in fighting Iran.

According to the paper, the Zionist regime’s declared purpose was to launch a cyber war—led by one of the prime suspects in Khashoggi’s murder—against Saudi dissidents.

The “Israeli” spy software was used to keep track of Khashoggi’s e-mail correspondence with a political exile named Omar Abdulaziz, who now resides in Canada.

Abdulaziz and Khashoggi attempted to engage social media users against bin Salman, which made them a target for the Saudi crown prince.

Last week, Abdulaziz filed a lawsuit against the NSO group, saying its sophisticated spyware targeted him and helped lead to the killing of his friend, Khashoggi.

The Saudi dissident is demanding NIS 600,000—about $160,000—in damages from the company, as well as an order preventing it from continuing selling Pegasus to Saudi Arabia.

“There is circumstantial evidence pointing to a connection between Pegasus and Khashoggi’s murder,” Abdulaziz added.

Furthermore, he added that the “Israeli” companies were negligent, and did not act in a reasonable manner.

The Post reported that Q Cyber Technologies promised the Saudis access to six countries in the Middle East, and provided them with direct technical support while using the spy software.

In response, the NSO Group claimed in a statement: “The company operates only under the security export rules, and with the guidance and supervision of all security elements.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

«إسرائيل» تصعّد حربها الناعمة هل هي مؤشر لتهدئة ام لانفجار؟

 

نوفمبر 5, 2018

د. عصام نعمان

الصراعات على أشدّها في دول غرب آسيا، من الشواطئ الشرقية للبحر المتوسط الى الشواطئ الجنوبية لبحر قزوين. احتدامُ الصراعات يجد ترجمته في الحرب الناعمة التي تلف دول الاقليم بدرجات متفاوتة من الحدّة. فهل تصعيدها وسيلة ضغط لتوليد حاجة الى التفاوض؟ أم هي مؤشر لإنفجار ينذر بسخونة غير مسبوقة؟

ثمة صراع بين تركيا وسورية في إدلب غرباً وفي الحسكة شرقاً، أمام عيون مترقّبة ومتربّصة لأميركا وروسيا، لكسب ولاء كرد سوريين تتوزّع سياسات وممارسات قياداتهم بين انحياز بعضها الى تركيا وتحالف بعضها الآخر مع أميركا وارتباط غالبية الناس بأرضهم، وبالتالي بموطنهم ودولتهم سورية.

ثمة صراع بين أميركا ومن ورائها «إسرائيل» وإيران، أمام عيون مترقبة في عالم العرب كما في روسيا ودول أوروبا وآسيا، لتأمين مصالح شتى الدول والشعوب المتضرّرة من الحرب التجارية التي تشنّها أميركا ضدّ الجميع والعقوبات التي تخصّ بها إيران أكثر من غيرها.

ثمة صراع على الحقوق والمصالح والمصائر بين «إسرائيل» ومن ورائها أميركا وسورية وقوى المقاومة اللبنانية والفلسطينية التي تدعمها إيران علناً وروسيا ضمناً أمام عيون مترقبة في العالم أجمع.

كلٌ من هذه الصراعات مرشح لمزيد من التصعيد الهادف الى تحقيق تهدئة وبالتالي تسوية سياسية أو إلى إنفجار، وبالتالي إلى انحدار من حال حربٍ ناعمة محتدمة إلى أخرى ساخنة محتملة.

أشدُّ الحروب الناعمة احتداماً وخطورة تلك التي تشنّها «إسرائيل» على الأمة عموماً، وخصوصاً على سورية وإيران وعلى قوى المقاومة العربية التي تجد نفسها في خندق واحد معهما. هذه الحرب جرى تصعيدها بإعتداء «إسرائيل» على سورية وتسبّبها بإسقاط طائرة استطلاع روسية منتصفَ شهر ايلول/ سبتمبر الماضي الأمر الذي أدّى الى قيام روسيا بترفيع قدرات الجيش السوري بتزويده منظومة دفاعٍ جوي من طراز S-300.

إذ حدّت المنظومة الدفاعية المتطورّة وآليات التحرّي والإستطلاع والتصويب الملحقة بها من هامش المناورة أمام سلاح الجو الإسرائيلي، واقترن ذلك بموقف سياسي أشدّ تصلباً، فقد اندلعت في الكيان الصهيوني مناقشة مستفيضة حول ما يمكن او يقتضي عمله لإستعادة فعالية الردع الإسرائيلي.

لعلّ أبلـغ تعبيرٍ عن المناقشة الجدّية الدائرة تجلّى في مقالتين: الاولى لـِ ايال زيسر، نائب رئيس جامعة تل ابيب، في «يسرائيل هيوم» 2018/10/28 والثانية لـِ اوفيك ريمر، الباحث في معهد دراسات الأمن القومي، «مباط عال» 2018/10/23 .

يرى زيسر، خلافاً لإدعاءات الناطقين العسكريين، ان لا عمليات لسلاح الجو الإسرائيلي في السماء السورية بعد قيام الروس بتزويد الجيش السوري منظومة S-300، وانّ روسيا لا تعتبر إيران تهديداً وانّ وجودها في سورية لا يشكّل مشكلة لها، وانّ إيران ما زالت تالياً موجودة في سورية وتتجذّر. لمواجهة هذا الواقع يدعو زيسر «إسرائيل» إلى «أن تفكر من جديد في تغيير التوجّه بالعودة الى سياسات الماضي … وأساسُها تدفيع ثمن باهظ ليس فقط للضيف إيران بل ايضاً للمضيف، أيّ بشار الأسد».

ريمر يرى أنّ حزب الله أفلح في ترسيخ معادلة ردعٍ في مواجهة «إسرائيل» بعدما نجح، باعتراف رئيس الإستخبارات العسكرية، بإقامة مشروع إنتاج صواريخ في لبنان وتحويلها الى نماذج أكثر دقة في التصويب، وبالتالي اكثر فعالية. وإذ يؤكد ريمر أنّ أسلوب الردّ الإسرائيلي في هذه المرحلة لم يؤدّ الى حمل المجتمع الدولي ولا إيران ولا لبنان على وقف مشروع حزب الله لإنتاج الصواريخ الدقيقة، فإنّ «إسرائيل» «ستضطر الى المجازفة من أجل خلق تهديد موثوق به والتلميح الى تصميمها على إزالة الخطر الاستراتيجي من خلال توجيه إنذارات تتضمّن تهديداً واضحاً بالقيام بعملية عسكرية في لبنان، أو بضربة وقائية ضدّ مواقع الإنتاج المعروفة في أراضيه مع ما يعنيه ذلك من مخاطر تصعيد يؤدّي الى مواجهة عسكرية واسعة».

زيسر وريمر يلتقيان، إذاً، على ضرورة قيام «إسرائيل» بتدفيع عدوّها، حزب الله، كما «المضيفَيْن»، لبنان وسورية، ثمناً باهظاً لإستضافته. فهل حكومة نتنياهو ورئيس أركان جيشها الجديد الجنرال افيف كوخافي في وارد اعتماد هذه «النصيحة» الخطيرة؟

ظاهر الحال يشير الى العكس. فنتنياهو ما زال حريصاً ومنشغلاً بالحصول على موعد للإجتماع ببوتين رغم تهرّب الرئيس الروسي منه بشكلٍ ملحوظ. غير انّ عدم اللقاء مع بوتين لا يمنع رئيس الحكومة الإسرائيلية من العمل والمناورة في مجالات أخرى. فقد أفاد تقرير تلفزيوني بثته قناة «حاداشوت» الاسرائيلية انّ الشبكات السيبرانية الإستراتيجية الإيرانية تعرّضت قبل أيام لهجوم بعد ساعات من كشف الدولة العبرية إشراكها الدانمارك في معلومات عن «مؤامرة» إيرانية للقضاء على معارضين إيرانيين على الأراضي الدانماركية ما أدّى الى قيام كوبنهاغن باستدعاء سفيرها في طهران.

التقرير التلفزيوني الإسرائيلي تساءل أيضاً: «هل تذكرون فيروس «سنكسنت» الذي اخترق حواسيب الكومبيوتر القطاع النووي الإيراني؟» وكان الجنرال سردار غلام زاده جلالي، رئيس وكالة الدفاع المدني في إيران، صرّح بأنّ بلاده عطّلت نسخة جديدة من «سنكسنت». وقبل ذلك، أقرّ الجنرال جلالي بأن هاتف الرئيس حسن روحاني تعرّض للتنصت وانه جرى تزويده هاتفاً لا يمكن التنصت عليه.

ترى، هل استجابت القيادة السياسية والعسكرية الإسرائيلية لدعوة زيسر وريمر الى شنّ ضربة وقائية ضدّ أعداء «إسرائيل»؟ ام هل تراها قامت بتصعيد حربها الناعمة المحسوبة على نحوٍ قابلٍ للتحويل إلى تهدئة أو إلى انفجار؟

ربما، لكن من الواضح انّ الضربة السيبرانية الاسرائيلية جاءت محدودة الفعالية بدليل انّ إيران واجهتها دونما أضرار تذكر، وإلاّ لكانت تل أبيب تغنّت بها بضجيجٍ وصخب…

وزير سابق

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The US Cyber Command has launched an offensive against Russia by Ruslan Ostashko

Via The Saker

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – APRIL 27, 2018: RUSSIA EW SYSTEMS ‘DISABLING’ U.S. EC-130 EW AIRCRAFT

South Front

By April 27, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), Liwa al-Quds, the Palestinian Liberation Army (PLA) and other pro-government factions captured the factories area in southern Damascus and entered the districts of al-Asali and al-Qadam amid intense fighting against ISIS terrorists.

The Syrian Air Force has carried out strikes on ISIS positions in the Yarmouk refugee camp and the district of al-Hajar al-Aswad, according to local sources.

According to the ISIS-linked news agency Amaq, ISIS killed four soldiers and an officer of the SAA in al-Qadam, Tadamon and the Yarmouk camp.

Horas al-Din, a coalition of 7 al-Qaeda-linked militant groups, and the Free Syrian Army attacked the SAA position in the village of al-Hamameyat in northern Hama late on April 26. The militants temporarily captured the village but then retreated because of intense artillery shelling by the SAA. However, in this encounter the militants destroyed a Gvozdika self-propelled howitzer and an armored vehicle belonging to the SAA.

Russian and Syrian representatives to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and witnesses of the supposed April 7 chemical attack in the town of Douma held a press briefing at The Hague on April 26. According to the witnesses’ words and the presented video of an undamaged gas cylinder, the video provided by the White Helmets was a staged provocation.

OPCW technical experts have interviewed six witnesses out of seventeen arrived in The Hague.

“The others were ready too, but the experts are sticking to their own guidelines. They’ve picked six people, talked to them, and said they were ‘completely satisfied’ with their account and did not have any further questions,” Shulgin said.

The US, the UK, France and some others boycotted the event. France’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Philippe Lalliot described the event as an “obscene masquerade”.

The US military is complaining that Russia allegedly jams US electronic warfare weapons and communications in Syria. According to the head of Special Operations Command, Gen. Raymond Thomas, the Russians are “disabling” even U.S. EC-130 Compass Call electronic warfare aircraft flying near the war-torn country.

When the Russian military first announced that the Syrian Air Defense Forces had shot down most of the missiles launched by the US-led bloc on April 14, some experts immediately suggested that Russia may have employed its EW systems to assist the Syrians in this task. Thomas’ words may be considered as an indirect confirmation of such a possibility.

On April 25, the Russian military provided photos showing the wreckage of the intercepted missiles thus debunking the Pentagon’s claims that all 105 launched missiles hit their targets.

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How Hezbollah Came to Dominate Information Warfare: Israeli Media

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah

Long time ago Hezbollah began significantly investing in propaganda, and laid the groundwork for the effective use of information warfare, which is the ability to gain an advantage over an adversary through the management of information, according to an article published by JPost.

JPost mentioned that Hezbollah operations have long been governed by the mantra,

“If you haven’t captured it on film you haven’t fought.” “The group grasped the importance of documenting its successes as early as 1994 when Hezbollah fighters and a cameraman infiltrated an Israeli military occupation compound in Lebanon and raised a flag inside the base, captured the event on film – and scored a major propaganda coup.”

“Hezbollah maintains a unit solely dedicated to psychological warfare that specializes in burnishing Hezbollah’s public image. Newspapers, social media outlets and television programming comprise Hezbollah’s information warfare portfolio. The group uses its information- related capabilities to advertise its many successes, including summer camps for children and a robust public works program.”

Hezbollah propaganda is well-honed, targeted and specific, and it emphasizes specific themes that include resistance ideology, martyrdom and establishing legitimacy through the provision of social services, according to JPost.

“The history of Hezbollah’s information warfare efforts is perhaps best told through the story of the evolution of its active media arm, Al-Manar, a satellite television station that broadcasts from Beirut and can be seen around the world. After the first broadcast of Al-Manar (The Beacon) in 1991, Hezbollah began regularly scheduled broadcasts three years later and serves a critical role as the main dissemination point for Hezbollah news and propaganda. Hezbollah’s extensive media operation also includes radio stations, print publications and a network of over 50 websites that operate in multiple languages.” “Al-Manar began trying to influence Israeli public opinion by broadcasting actual battlefield footage showing Israeli soldiers being killed and maimed.”

Equally as impressive as Hezbollah’s television and video production is its extensive use of new media and information technologies, including a major Internet presence, the Israeli paper added.

The Zionist paper pointed out that Hezbollah is constantly working to refine its technical capabilities, as evidenced by a move toward faster fiber-optic networks that can enhance the group’s data-streaming capacity and provide a stouter defense against Israeli electronic warfare capabilities.

“Hezbollah not only prevented Israeli units from jamming its networks south of the Litani River in the July 2006 war, it reportedly had equipment in place to jam Israeli radar and communications systems.”

“For operational security reasons, Hezbollah migrated to closed telephone circuits that operate independent of Lebanese government networks. During fighting in the Syrian town of Qusair in 2013, Hezbollah again showed its penchant for operations security by devising a complex system that allowed its fighters to talk freely on open radio communications without having to be too concerned about conversations being intercepted.”

Hezbollah has been a fact of life since the early 1980s and, given the group’s remarkable ability to operate in the information environment, will likely remain the most dominant and capable terrorist group in the Middle East for decades to come, JPost’s article concluded.

SourceIsraeli media

 

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Did Hillary Scapegoat Russia to Save Her Campaign?

By Mike Whitney

August 01, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – The “Russia hacking” flap has nothing to do with Russia and nothing to do with hacking. The story is basically a DNC invention that was concocted to mitigate the political fallout from the nearly 50,000 emails that WikiLeaks planned to publish on July 22, 2016, just 3 days before the Democratic National Convention. That’s what this is really all about. Russia didn’t hack anything, it’s a big diversion that was conjured up on-the-fly to keep Hillary’s bandwagon from going down in flames.

Put yourself in Hillary’s shoes for a minute. She knew the deluge was coming and she knew it was going to be bad. (According to Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, DNC contractor Crowdstrike claimed to find evidence of Russian malware on DNC servers just three days after WikiLeaks announced that it was about “about to publish “emails related to Hillary Clinton.” Clearly, that was no coincidence. The plan to blame Russia was already underway.) Hillary knew that the emails were going to expose the DNC’s efforts to rig the primaries and torpedo Bernie Sanders campaign, and she knew that the media was going to have a field-day dissecting the private communications word by word on cable news or splashing them across the headlines for weeks on end. It was going to be excruciating. She knew that, they all knew that.

And how would her supporters react when they discovered that their party leaders and presidential candidate were actively involved in sabotaging the democratic process and subverting the primaries? That wasn’t going to go over well with voters in Poughkeepsie, now was it? Maybe she’d see her public approval ratings slip even more. Maybe she’d nosedive in the polls or lose the election outright, she didn’t know. No one knew. All they knew was that she was in trouble. Big trouble.

So she reacted exactly the way you’d expect Hillary to react, she hit the panic button. In fact, they all freaked out, everyone of them including Podesta and the rest of the DNC honchoes. Once they figured that their presidential bid could go up in smoke, they decided to act preemptively, pull out all the stops and “Go Big”.

That’s where Russia comes into the picture. The DNC brass (with help from allies at the CIA) decided to conjure up a story so fantastic that, well, it had to be true, after all, that’s what the 17 intel agencies said, right? And so did the elite media including the New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN. They can’t all be wrong, can they? Sure, they goofed-up on Saddam’s WMDs, and Iran’s imaginary nukes program, and Assad’s fictional chemical weapons attack, but, hey, everyone makes mistakes, right? And, besides, have I told you how evil Putin is lately and how much he reminds me of Adolph Hitler? (sarcasm)

In any event, they settled on Russia mainly because Russia had rolled back Washington’s imperial project in both Ukraine and Syria, so the media was already in full demonetization-mode and raring to go. All the DNC needed to do was utter the words “Russia meddling” and they’d be off to the races.

Does any of this sound even remotely believable? Former CIA analyst, Ray McGovern seems to think so, because he expounded a very similar scenario about a month ago in an interview on You Tube. Check it out:

Ray McGovern– “What did Hillary do? …Hillary gathered her war council together and one fellow says, “I know what we can do. We’ll blame it on the Russians.”

And someone else says, “But it wasn’t the Russians it was WikiLeaks.”

(Guy number 1 says)”Well, that’s a twofer. We hate them both equally , so we’ll say WikiLeaks is working with the Russians.”

(Ray McGovern) That was two days before the convention.

And someone else says, “What would the rationale be?”

(Guy number 2 says) “C’mon, the Russians clearly want Trump to win.”

(Number 1) “But what about the major media?”

(Number 2) “Well, the major media really want Hillary to win, so if we get the major media on board, well, we really got it wired.”

(Ray McGovern again) “And if you watch the coverage since the WikiLeaks leak, two days before the convention, the media content was not ‘how did Hillary steal the election’ but ‘How did the Russians do it?”’

(“Ray McGovern: The Deep State Assault on Elected Government Must Be Stopped“)

He’s right, isn’t he? Hillary and Co. pulled off the whole ruse without a hitch. The media focused on the “Russia meddling” angle, and the calculating Ms. Clinton slipped away with nary a scratch. It’s amazing!

But there was one glitch to the ‘Blame Russia’ scheme. There was no hard evidence of Russian involvement. And, now, 10 months into multiple investigations of Russian hacking, there’s still no evidence. How can that be?

Well, for one thing, the FBI was never given access to the DNC computers.

Let me repeat that: In the biggest and most politically-explosive investigation in more than a decade, an investigation that has obvious national security implications– alleged cyber-espionage by a hostile foreign power, alleged collusion by high-ranking officials in the current administration, alleged treason or collusion on part of the Chief Executive, and the possible impeachment of a sitting president– the FBI has not yet secured or examined the servers that may or may not provide compelling forensic evidence of cyber-intrusion by Russia.

Why? Why would the FBI accept the analysis of some flunky organization that no one has ever heard of before (Crowdstrike) rather than use all the tools at their disposal to thoroughly investigate whether or not the hacking actually took place or not? Isn’t that their job?

Yer damn right it is. The reason the FBI never insisted on examining the DNC servers, is because they knew the story was baloney from the get go. Otherwise they would have kicked down the doors at the DNC, seized the computers through brute force, and arrested anyone who tried to stop them. Those computers are Exhibit A in the Trial of the Century. They should be under lock and key at FBI Headquarters not collecting cobwebs in the basement of the DNC-HQ. The fact that the servers have not been seized and examined just proves what a joke this whole Russia-deal really is.

You see, when a law enforcement agency like the FBI fails so conspicuously in carrying out its duties, you have to assume that other factors are involved, mainly politics. It’s all politics, right? There is no rational explanation for the FBI’s behavior other than it is following a political script that coincides with the agenda and ambitions of the DNC and other power players behind the scenes. Investigative journalist Gareth Porter summed it up perfectly in a brilliant article titled Foisting Blame for Cyber-Hacking on Russia. He said:

“…the history of the US government’s claim that Russian intelligence hacked into election databases reveals it to be a clear case of politically motivated analysis by the DHS and the Intelligence Community. Not only was the claim based on nothing more than inherently inconclusive technical indicators but no credible motive for Russian intelligence wanting personal information on registered voters was ever suggested.” (“Foisting Blame for Cyber-Hacking on Russia“, antiwar.com)

Right on, Porter. Facts don’t matter in the Russia hacking case. They never have. The whole approach from Day 1 has been to drown the public with innuendo and baseless accusations, while the MSM Carnie barkers pretend that “Russia meddling” is already settled science and that only “Putin puppets” would ever doubt the veracity of the media’s loony claims. Got that?

But facts do matter and so does evidence. And on that score we’re in luck because McGovern’s group, the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), released a blockbuster report last week that produced the first hard evidence that Russia most certainly DID NOT hack the DNC servers. It was a DNC insider. Here’s an excerpt from the VIPS article titled “Was the “Russian Hack” an Inside Job?”

“Independent cyber-investigators have now …come up with verifiable evidence from metadata found in the record of the alleged Russian hack. They found that the purported “hack” of the DNC …was not a hack…(but) originated with a copy …by an insider. The data was leaked after being doctored with a cut-and-paste job to implicate Russia….

Key among the findings of the independent forensic investigations is the conclusion that the DNC data was copied onto a storage device at a speed that far exceeds an Internet capability for a remote hack. Of equal importance, the forensics show that the copying and doctoring were performed on the East coast of the U.S.” (“Was the “Russian Hack” an Inside Job?“, CounterPunch)

Capisce? There was no hack. Someone working inside the DNC (a disgruntled employee?) –who had access to the computers, and who worked on the East Coast– copied the data onto a storage device and transferred it to WikiLeaks. That’s what you call a “leak” not a “hack”. There was no hack. Russia was not involved. The official narrative is bullshit. End of story.

Naturally, the MSM has completely ignored the VIPS report just as they ignored Sy Hersh’s brilliant article that proved that Assad DID NOT launch a chemical weapons attack in Syria. That bit of information has been locked out of the MSM coverage altogether as it doesn’t jibe with Washington’s “Assad must go” policy. So too, McGovern’s “verifiable forensic evidence” that the Russians did not hack the DNC servers will likely be consigned to the memory hole like every other inconvenient factoid that doesn’t fit with Washington’s foreign policy objectives.

The fact that the FBI has not seized the DNC computers is just one of many glaring omissions in this farcical investigation, but there are others too. Like this: Did you know that there are two eyewitnesses in the case that have not yet been questioned? That’s right, there are two people who claim to know the identity of the person who gave the stolen emails to WikiLeaks; Julian Assange and Craig Murray.

Murray, who is the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan and a human rights activist, claims he met the person who took the emails from the DNC in a wooded area in Washington DC last year. In other words, Murray can settle this matter once and for all and put an end to this year-long witch-hunt that has consumed the media and Capital Hill, prevented the Congress from conducting the people’s business, and increased the probability of a conflagration with nuclear-armed Russia.

But here’s the problem: The FBI has never interviewed Murray or made any effort to interview him. It’s like he doesn’t exist. In other words, we have a credible witness who can positively identify the person who leaked the emails, gave them to WikiLeaks and set off a political firestorm that has engulfed the Capital and the country for the last year, and the FBI hasn’t interviewed him?

Will someone explain that to me, please?

That’s why I remain convinced that the Russia hacking story is pure, unalloyed bunkum. There’s not a word of truth to any of it.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

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The Trump-Putin Meeting: Establishment of a Personal Relationship, “There was Positive Chemistry Between the Two”

White House Press Briefing

Global Research, July 10, 2017

On July 7  following Trump’s meeting with Putin, a US Press Briefing was held at the G20 in Hamburg.

It is important to analyze the shift in political discourse of both President Trump and Secretary of State Tillerson.

The main contribution of the Trump-Putin meeting was to establish communication at a personal level.

The World is at a dangerous crossroads. That Trump-Putin personal relationship is fundamental.

History tells us that political misunderstandings can lead to war.

Admittedly no significant shifts in US foreign policy have occurred: the Pentagon’s military agenda prevails. Media lies and political deceit also prevail.

Yet at the same time, discussion and diplomatic exchange have resumed –which in many regards is an important achievement.

” The two leaders, I would say, connected very quickly.  There was a very clear positive chemistry between the two.  I think, again — and I think the positive thing I observed — and I’ve had many, many meetings with President Putin before — is there was not a lot of re-litigating of the past.  I think both of the leaders feel like there’s a lot of things in the past that both of us are unhappy about.  We’re unhappy, they’re unhappy.

I think the perspective of both of them was, this is a really important relationship.  Two largest nuclear powers in the world.  How do we start making this work?  How do we live with one another?  How do we work with one another?  We simply have to find a way to go forward.  And I think that was — that was expressed over and over, multiple times, I think by both Presidents, this strong desire.  (Tillerson)

In this regard, a certain sanity in the international relations narrative has been restored. Ironically, Washington casually admits it’s mistakes in relation to Russia. In the words of Secretary of State Tillerson:

“So we want to build on the commonality, and we spent a lot of time talking about next steps.  And then where there’s differences, we have more work to get together and understand.  Maybe they’ve got the right approach and we’ve got the wrong”(emphasis added)

Moreover, the meeting is also a slap in the face for the Deep State Neocons, the US media not to mention Hillary et al, who continue to blame Moscow for having intervened in the 2016 US presidential elections while casually portraying Trump as a Manchurian candidate controlled by the Kremlin.

The “Russia Did It” narrative, which borders on ridicule, no longer holds. In turn, Trump’s position has to some extent also been reinforced. Not surprisingly, the US media has slashed back at Trump accusing him of having been manipulated by Putin. According to CNN “Putin may have less of a warm diplomatic bedside manner, but he understands the art of presentation and how to set a trap.”

An important threshold has been reached

Has talking to the Kremlin rather than waging war on Russia become the “new normal” (at least at the level of political discourse)? Not yet.

Nonetheless, an important transition has taken place. Talking to the Kremlin sets a new momentum. Lest we forget, history tells us that all out war could unfold as a result of a personal political misunderstanding. Remember World War I.

Michel Chossudovsky, July 9, 2017


For the complete transcript of the Press Briefing click below

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/07/07/press-briefing-presidents-meetings-g20-july-7-2017

Selected quotes with notes and emphasis  

SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Hi, everybody.  I just want to highlight very briefly, and then Secretary Tillerson will go on, and then afterwards we’ll both answer a few questions.

SECRETARY TILLERSON:  Thank you, Steve, and thanks for staying with us late these evening.

President Trump and President Putin met this afternoon for 2 hours and 15 minutes [for a longer period of time than what was initially agreed upon by the two governments] here on the sidelines of the G20.  The two leaders exchanged views on the current nature of the U.S.-Russia relationship and the future of the U.S.-Russia relationship.

They discussed important progress that was made in Syria, and I think all of you have seen some of the news that just broke regarding a de-escalation agreement and memorandum, which was agreed between the United States, Russia and Jordan, [this agreement was no doubt drafted before the Trump Putin meeting] for an important area in southwest Syria that affects Jordan’s security, but also is a very complicated part of the Syrian battlefield.

This de-escalation area was agreed, it’s well-defined, agreements on who will secure this area.  A ceasefire has been entered into.  And I think this is our first indication of the U.S. and Russia being able to work together in Syria.  And as a result of that, we had a very lengthy discussion regarding other areas in Syria that we can continue to work together on to de-escalate the areas and violence once we defeat ISIS, and to work together toward a political process that will secure the future of the Syrian people.

As a result, at the request of President Putin, the United States has appointed — and you’ve seen, I think, the announcement of Special Representative for Ukraine, Ambassador Kurt Volker.  Ambassador Volker will draw on his decades of experience in the U.S. Diplomatic Corps, both as a representative to NATO and also his time as a permanent political appointment.

The two leaders also acknowledged the challenges of cyber threats and interference in the democratic processes of the United States and other countries, and agreed to explore creating a framework around which the two countries can work together to better understand how to deal with these cyber threats, both in terms of how these tools are used to in interfere with the internal affairs of countries, but also how these tools are used to threaten infrastructure, how these tools are used from a terrorism standpoint as well.

The President opened the meeting with President Putin by raising the concerns of the American people regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election.  They had a very robust and lengthy exchange on the subject.  The President pressed President Putin on more than one occasion regarding Russian involvement.  President Putin denied such involvement, as I think he has in the past.  

The two leaders agreed, though, that this is a substantial hindrance in the ability of us to move the Russian-U.S. relationship forward, and agreed to exchange further work regarding commitments of non-interference in the affairs of the United States and our democratic process as well as those of other countries.  So more work to be done on that regard.

Q    Mr. Secretary, Nick Waters (ph) from Bloomberg News.  Can you tell us whether President Trump said whether there would be any consequences for Russia to the interference in the U.S. election?  Did he spell out any specific consequences that Russia would face?  And then also, on the Syria ceasefire, when does it begin?  And what makes you think the ceasefire will succeed this time when past U.S.-Russian agreements on a ceasefire have failed?

SECRETARY TILLERSON:  With regard to the interference in the election, I think the President took note of actions that have been discussed by the Congress.  Most recently, additional sanctions that have been voted out of the Senate to make it clear as to the seriousness of the issue.  But I think what the two Presidents, I think rightly, focused on is how do we move forward; how do we move forward from here.  Because it’s not clear to me that we will ever come to some agreed-upon resolution of that question between the two nations.

So the question is, what do we do now?  And I think the relationship — and the President made this clear, as well — is too important, and it’s too important to not find a way to move forward — not dismissing the issue in any way, and I don’t want to leave you with that impression.  And that is why we’ve agreed to continue engagement and discussion around how do we secure a commitment that the Russian government has no intention of and will not interfere in our affairs in the future, nor the affairs of others, and how do we create a framework in which we have some capability to judge what is happening in the cyber world and who to hold accountable.  And this is obviously an issue that’s broader than just U.S.-Russia, but certainly we see the manifestation of that threat in the events of last year.

And so I think, again, the Presidents rightly focused on how do we move forward from what may be simply an intractable disagreement at this point.

As to the Syria ceasefire, I would say what may be different this time, I think, is the level of commitment on the part of the Russian government.  They see the situation in Syria transitioning from the defeat of ISIS, which we are progressing rapidly, as you know.  And this is what really has led to this discussion with them as to what do we do to stabilize Syria once the war against ISIS is won.

And Russia has the same, I think, interest that we do in having Syria become a stable place, a unified place, but ultimately a place where we can facilitate a political discussion about their future, including the future leadership of Syria.

So I think part of why we’re — and again, we’ll see what happens as to the ability to hold the ceasefire.  But I think part of what’s different is where we are relative to the whole war against ISIS, where we are in terms of the opposition’s, I think, position as to their strength within the country, and the regime itself.

In many respects, people are getting tired.  They’re getting weary of the conflict.  And I think we have an opportunity, we hope, to create the conditions in this area, and the south is I think our first show of success.  We’re hoping we can replicate that elsewhere.

MR. SPICER:  Abby.

Q    Mr. Secretary, you spoke, when you were speaking of the ceasefire, about they’re being detailed information about who would enforce it.  Can you give any more information on what conclusions were reached?  And you spoke of the future leadership of Syria.  Do you still believe that Assad has no role in their government?

SECRETARY TILLERSON:  I would like to defer on the specific roles in particular of security forces on the ground, because there is — there are a couple of more meetings to occur.  This agreement, I think as you’re aware, was entered into between Jordan, the United States, and Russia.  And we are — we have a very clear picture of who will provide the security forces, but we have a few more details to work out.  And if I could, I’d like to defer on that until that is completed.

I expect that will be completed within the next — less than a week.  The talks are very active and ongoing.

And your second question again?

Q    Does the administration still believe that Assad has no role in the future government of Syria?

SECRETARY TILLERSON:  Yes, our position continues to be that we see no long-term role for the Assad family or the Assad regime.  And we have made this clear to everyone — we’ve certainly made it clear in our discussions with Russia — that we do not think Syria can achieve international recognition in the future.  Even if they work through a successful political process, the international community simply is not going to accept a Syria led by the Assad regime.  

[Points to the insistance of Washington on regime change, Will that position be in any way modified?]

And so if Syria is to be accepted and have a secure — both a secure and economic future, it really requires that they find new leadership.  We think it will be difficult for them to attract both the humanitarian aid, as well as the reconstruction assistance that’s going to be required, because there just will be such a low level of confidence in the Assad government.  So that continues to be the view.

And as we’ve said, how Assad leaves is yet to be determined, but our view is that somewhere in that political process there will be a transition away from the Assad family.

Q    Thank you.  Demetri Sevastopulo, Financial Times.  On North Korea, did President Putin agree to do anything to help the U.S. to put more pressure on North Korea?  And secondly, you seem to have reached somewhat of an impasse with China in terms of getting them to put more pressure on North Korea.  How are you going to get them to go beyond what they’ve done already?  And what is President Trump going to say to President Xi on that issue tomorrow?

SECRETARY TILLERSON:  We did have a pretty good exchange on North Korea.  I would say the Russians see it a little differently than we do, so we’re going to continue those discussions and ask them to do more.   

Russia does have economic activity with North Korea, but I would also hasten to add Russia’s official policy is the same as ours — a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

And so I think here, again, there is a difference in terms of view around tactics and pace, and so we will continue to work with them to see if we cannot persuade them as to the urgency that we see.

I think with respect to China, what our experience with China has been — and I’ve said this to others — it’s been a bit uneven.  China has taken significant action, and then I think for a lot of different reasons, they paused and didn’t take additional action.  They then have taken some steps, and then they paused.  And I think in our own view there are a lot of, perhaps, explanations for why those pauses occur.  But we’ve remained very closely engaged with China, both through our dialogues that have occurred face-to-face, but also on the telephone.  We speak very frequently with them about the situation in North Korea.

So there’s a clear understanding between the two of us of our intent.  And I think the sanctions action that was taken here just in last week to 10 days certainly got their attention in terms of their understanding our resolve to bring more pressure to bear on North Korea by directly going after entities doing business with North Korea, regardless of where they may be located.  We’ve continued to make that clear to China that we would prefer they take the action themselves.  And we’re still calling upon them to do that.

So I would say our engagement is unchanged with China, and our expectations are unchanged.

Q    And you haven’t given up hope?

SECRETARY TILLERSON:  No, we have not given up hope.  When you’re in an approach like we’re using — and I call it the peaceful pressure campaign.  A lot of people like to characterize it otherwise, but this is a campaign to lead us to a peaceful resolution.  Because if this fails, we don’t have very many good options left.  And so it is a peaceful pressure campaign, and it’s one that requires calculated increases in pressure, allow the regime to respond to that pressure.  And it takes a little time to let these things happen.  You enact the pressure; it takes a little while for that to work its way through.

So it is going to require some level of patience as we move this along, but when we talk about our strategic patience ending, what we mean is we’re not going to just sit idly by, and we’re going to follow this all the way to its conclusion.

Q    Thank you.  Mr. Secretary, I have issue — you just mentioned on the DPRK.  We note China and Russia recently said — they asked North Korea to stop the — to freeze, actually, the nuclear activities, and also they asked the U.S. to stop the deployment of THAAD system.  So did President Putin bring up his concern about the deployment of THAAD system?  And also, what’s the expectation of President Trump on tomorrow’s meeting with President Xi Jinping, other than the DPRK issue?  Thank you.

SECRETARY TILLERSON:  The subject of THAAD did not come up in the meeting with President Putin.

In terms of the progress of North Korea and this last missile launch, again, those are some of the differences of views we have between ourselves in terms of tactics — how to deal with this.  President Putin, I think, has expressed a view not unlike that of China, that they would support a freeze for freeze.

If we study the history of the last 25 years of engagement with various regimes in North Korea, this has been done before.  And every time it was done, North Korea went ahead and proceeded with its program.

The problem with freezing now — if we freeze where they are today, we freeze their activities with a very high level of capability.  And we do not think it also sets the right tone for where these talks should begin.  And so we’re asking North Korea to be prepared to come to the table with an understanding that these talks are going to be about how do we help you chart a course to cease and roll back your nuclear program?  That’s what we want to talk about.  We’re not interested in talking about how do we have you stop where you are today.  Because stopping where they are today is not acceptable to us.

SECRETARY TILLERSON:  And the national security advisor’s office.

As to the nature of the 2 hours and 15 minutes, first let me characterize — the meeting was very constructive.  The two leaders, I would say, connected very quickly.  There was a very clear positive chemistry between the two.  I think, again — and I think the positive thing I observed — and I’ve had many, many meetings with President Putin before — is there was not a lot of re-litigating of the past.  I think both of the leaders feel like there’s a lot of things in the past that both of us are unhappy about.  We’re unhappy, they’re unhappy.

I think the perspective of both of them was, this is a really important relationship.  Two largest nuclear powers in the world.  It’s a really important relationship.  How do we start making this work?  How do we live with one another?  How do we work with one another?  We simply have to find a way to go forward.  And I think that was — that was expressed over and over, multiple times, I think by both Presidents, this strong desire.

It is a very complicated relationship today because there are so many issues on the table.  And one of the reasons it took a long time, I think, is because once they met and got acquainted with one another fairly quickly, there was so much to talk about — all these issues.  Just about everything got touched on to one degree or another.  And I think there was just such a level of engagement and exchange, and neither one of them wanted to stop.  Several times I had to remind the President, and people were sticking their heads in the door.  And I think they even — they sent in the First Lady at one point to see if she could get us out of there, and that didn’t work either.  (Laughter.)

But I think — what I’ve described to you, the 2 hours and 15 minutes, it was an extraordinarily important meeting.  I mean, there’s just — there’s so much for us to talk about.  And it was a good start.  Now, I will tell you we spent a very, very lengthy period on Syria, with a great amount of detailed exchange on the agreement we had concluded today — it was announced — but also where we go, and trying to get much greater clarity around how we see this playing out and how Russia sees it playing out, and where do we share a common view and where do we have a difference, and do we have the same objectives in mind.

And I would tell you that, by and large, our objectives are exactly the same.  How we get there, we each have a view.  But there’s a lot more commonality to that than there are differences.  So we want to build on the commonality, and we spent a lot of time talking about next steps.  And then where there’s differences, we have more work to get together and understand.  Maybe they’ve got the right approach and we’ve got the wrong approach. [a strong statement by US Secretary of State]

So there was a substantial amount of time spent on Syria, just because we’ve had so much activity going on with it.
 
Q    Thank you very much.  Mr. Secretary, can you say if the President was unequivocal in his view that Russia did interfere in the election?  Did he offer to produce any evidence or to convince Mr. Putin?

SECRETARY TILLERSON:  The Russians have asked for proof and evidence.  I’ll leave that to the intelligence community to address the answer to that question.  And again, I think the President, at this point, he pressed him and then felt like at this point let’s talk about how do we go forward.  And I think that was the right place to spend our time, rather than spending a lot of time having a disagreement that everybody knows we have a disagreement.

MR. SPICER:  Thank you, guys, very much.  Have a great evening.

END
7:41 P.M. CET

Related 

Too Much Exceptionalism Hath Made the US Elites Mad

Source

 What kind of person really wants to see relations between the world’s biggest nuclear armed countries deteriorate? Who wants to see the situation between the US and Russia, which has become at least as dangerous as the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, get even worse? Or to put it another way, who would not welcome a genuine dialogue between the leaders of these two great countries? The answer to these questions is of course those who have completely lost their ability to reason.

Given the unprecedented propaganda and irrational absurdities coming out of the US over the past year or so, not even the most optimistic of people could have had very high hopes for the Trump-Putin meeting at the G20 Summit on Friday. The toxic atmosphere in the US, plus the fact that Donald Trump seemed to have capitulated to the Deep State within weeks of his inauguration, meant that any real thawing in relations was highly unlikely.

Yet as it turned out, the meeting was far better than even the biggest pessimist could have imagined. Scheduled to speak for just 30 minutes — which itself was a bad joke, given the urgent need for the leaders of these two nations to have serious and constant communication — they actually went on for over two hours and apparently cordially discussed a broad range of issues.

For any normal person, this would be seen as A VERY GOOD THING. But of course there are many who regard it as A VERY BAD THING.

For instance, on the idea of forming a joint Cyber Security unit so that each country could have a guarantee that the other would not “hack” the others’ election, the plan was met with derision in the US. Senator Marco Rubio, for instance, suggested that such an initiative would be like partnering with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on chemical weapons.

This is a particularly funny retort for a number of reasons. Firstly, the Syrian government’s stockpile of chemical weapons was destroyed by a team of US Army civilians and contractors aboard a US vessel, the Cape Ray, in 2013-14. Secondly, the US still has a stockpile of around 3,000 tons of chemical weapons, despite being a signatory to the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention, which committed it to the destruction of their entire stockpile of chemical weapons within ten years. The complete destruction of the entire arsenal is now due to be completed around the year 2023. And thirdly, the country that leads the world in cyber-spying, monitoring, election interference and regime change by a wide margin is … none other than the country in which Mr Rubio is a senator. Let’s file his remarks in that fat ‘ole bin marked “Hypocrisy”.

Yet Mr Rubio’s remarks pale into insignificance to those uttered by Nikki Haley, the country’s second most important “diplomat”. Here’s what this “diplomat” had to say after her boss’s boss’s apparently cordial and constructive meeting with Mr Putin:

“We can’t trust Russia, and we won’t ever trust Russia. But you keep those that you don’t trust closer so that you can always keep an eye on them and keep them in check.”

Think about that. Let it sink in. After a period of the worst relations between the two countries since — well since ever — the US President finally got to sit down and talk to his Russian counterpart, and by all accounts it went well. Which would be a cause for any normal person to be thankful. And yet just hours after it finished, the US’s second highest “diplomat” blabs her mouth off that the US will never trust Russia! I shudder to think that when looking for a diplomat, Mr Trump saw Mrs Haley as the best person to represent his country.

It would be pointless to go through all the inanities uttered by the stenographers in the so-called free media. Suffice it to say that predictably, rather than welcoming the potential for a relaxation of tensions, they spent their time chiding Mr Trump for “being soft”, for apparently “being played”, and of Mr Putin “winning”. What is WRONG with these people? Why does everything have to be about winning and losing? Can they not envisage discussions where grown-up people discuss differences and try to work towards resolution without it being about ‘who comes out on top’? Apparently they cannot, for reasons I’ll come to in a moment.

And of course they continued to display the effects of the debilitating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder they’ve been suffering from for almost a year, which compels them to talk incessantly about “hacking” and “meddling”, but without ever asking a single challenging question, such as:

  • Did the 17 intelligence agencies really all agree with a high level of certainty that Russia hacked the election? (Answer: no)
  • Did the FBI actually examine the DNC servers? (Answer: no)
  • Who actually did examine the DNC servers (Crowdstrike) and do they have a reliable track record of such things? (Answer: no)
  • Was there any hard evidence presented of Russian hacking in the January 6th DIA report? (Answer: no)
  • Has the US ever interfered in the elections of other countries, including Russia’s? (Answer: yes — multiple times)

Words almost fail me. Faced with a choice between the two leaders striking up a rapport and finding some common ground, or the two of them squaring up to each other in a confrontation that would only increase tensions and push us closer to a potential nuclear confrontation, many (if not most) leading US politicians, plus their media lackeys, preferred the second option.

Last year, as the United States for the second time broke an agreement that they had signed with Russia to separate the so-called moderate rebels from groups like al-Nusra, the Russian Foreign Minister described the US administration using a word meaning “not agreement capable”. But it now looks far worse than that. It is not just that the US administration is “not capable” of agreement, it appears to be “not rational-thought capable”. Almost the entirety of Congress and the media seem to think that any détente between Mr Trump and Mr Putin, between the US and Russia, between the two biggest nuclear armed countries on the planet is tantamount to treason.

It is abundantly clear that the political and media elites in the United States are out of control. They have long since left the land of rationality, and have driven over the cliff where they are now floundering in the air of unreason before going splat on the rock of total insanity. They have so imbibed the heresy that the United States is “Exceptional” and “Indispensable” that they are now “not rational-thought capable”. They are incapable of conceiving of an agreement which does not either maintain or increase US hegemony. They are incapable of conceiving of talks with another country where their opposite numbers are treated as anything other than subservient. They are incapable of welcoming a thawing of relations between the leaders of two countries that have enough nuclear weapons to wipe out the lives of millions.

And because of their madness, they are driving the US and Russia towards confrontation. Don’t believe it? The Russians do. Here’s what one of their top generals, Lt. Gen. Viktor Poznikhir, said back in April:

“The [US] missile defense system considerably shifts the balance of offensive weapons, allowing the planning of a more efficient pre-emptive strike. Russian military experts believe that the US hopes to gain the capability to strike any region of the world, including Russia and China, with nuclear-tipped missiles with impunity.”

Do you understand what he’s saying and how serious this all is? Unless the leaders of these countries talk to each other, as equals, with a view to reaching tangible agreements, and without their own bureaucracies and media back at home doing all they can to prevent this from happening, then the Russians will continue to view US plans as heading inexorably towards having the capability to launch a pre-emptive strike, with any response neutralised. Only someone that has let the ideology of exceptionalism blind them to what this really means, could fail to welcome the baby steps towards détente that were seen in Hamburg.

In short, too much exceptionalism hath made the US elites mad. They must be stopped.

Trump Putin Up Against US Deep State

By Finian Cunningham

July 09, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –  It was pleasing to see Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin greet each other cordially at the G20 summit. After their breakthrough first meeting, one hopes the two leaders have a personal foundation for future cooperation.

At a later press conference in Hamburg, where the G20 summit was held, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he believed there was a chance for restoring the badly frayed US-Russia relations. He praised Trump for being thoughtful and rational. “The TV Trump is quite different from the real life one,” quipped Putin.

Meanwhile, the White House issued a statement hailing the two-hour discussion (four times longer than originally scheduled) between the two leaders as a good start to working together on major world problems.

“No problems were solved. Nobody expected any problems to be solved in that meeting. But it was a beginning of a dialogue on some tough problem sets that we’ll begin now to work on together,” said HR McMaster, Trump’s top national security adviser.

Trump deserves credit for the way he conducted himself. He met Putin on equal terms and with respect. “It’s an honor to meet you,” said the American president as he extended a handshake.

The much-anticipated encounter comes nearly seven months after Trump was inaugurated in the White House. Over that period, large sections of the US media have run an unrelenting campaign accusing Trump of being a Russian stooge and alleging that Putin ordered an interference operation in last year’s US election to benefit Trump.

Apart from innuendo and anonymous US intelligence claims, recycled endlessly by dutiful news organizations, there is no evidence of either Trump-Russia collusion or Putin-sanctioned cyber hacking. Trump has dismissed the claims as “fake news”, while Moscow has consistently rejected the allegations as baseless Russophobia.

Against this toxic background of anti-Russian propaganda, President Trump met Putin at the weekend. The two men were due to talk face-to-face for 30 minutes. As it turned out, their discussions went on for two hours. They reportedly exchanged views on pressing matters of Syria, Ukraine and North Korea among other things. Trump brought up the issue of alleged Russian meddling in the US elections, and Putin responded in detail to assure his American counterpart it was a fabricated brouhaha in which Russia had nothing to do with it.

Only days before the big meeting, US media editorialists and pundits were warning Trump to confront Putin in an aggressive manner. The Washington Post, one of the leading anti-Russia voices, exhortedTrump to rap Putin on “US election meddling” as if the claim was a proven fact. It also urged the president to give notice to Putin that Russia had to accede to regime change in Syria. It was a get-tough order.

To his credit, Trump did not allow the Russophobia in the US media to influence his manner with Putin. He was cordial, respectful and open to listening to the Russian viewpoint on a range of issues. So much so that it appears both leaders have agreed to work together going forward.

The question now is: what next? Trump and Putin have evidently got off to a good start despite the inordinate delay and toxic background. But what does Trump’s willingness to engage positively with Moscow actually mean in practice?

The US Deep State comprising the military-intelligence nexus and their political, media machine in Washington does not want to normalize relations with Russia. Russian independence as a powerful foreign state under President Putin is a problem that rankles US global ambitions. That’s why the Deep State wanted anti-Russia hawk Hillary Clinton to win the election. Trump’s victory upset their calculations.

Under immense pressure, Trump has at times appeared to buckle to the US political establishment with regard to projecting hostility towards Russia, as seen in the prosecution of the covert war in Syria and renewed sanctions on Moscow.

The day before he met Putin in Germany, Trump was in Poland where he delivered a barnstorming speech in Warsaw in which he accused Russia of “destabilizing countries”, among other topics.  The American president also inferred that Russia was undermining “Western civilization”. It was provocative speech bordering on hackneyed Russophobia. It did not bode well for his imminent meeting with Putin. A clash seemed to be coming, just as the US media had been cajoling.

However, the meeting the next day with Putin was surprisingly congenial. And the substance of discussions indicates a genuine desire from both sides to cooperate.

It is good that both presidents have struck up a rapport and personal understanding. Nevertheless, it is important to not bank too much on that.

Immediately following the constructive meeting between the leaders, the US media started cranking up the Russophobia again. The US media are vents for Deep State hostility towards Trump and his agenda for normalizing relations with Moscow.

The New York Times reported another breathless story about Trump’s election campaign having contact with “Kremlin-connected” people. CNN ran opinion pieces on how the president had fallen into a trap laid by Putin.

It is hard to stomach this outlandish confabulation that passes for journalism. And it is astounding that a friendly meeting between leaders of nuclear powers should not be received as a good development.

But it shows that Trump his up against very powerful deep forces within the US establishment who do not want a normalization with Russia. The US Deep State depends on confrontation, war and endless militarism for its existence. It also wants a world populated by vassals over which US corporations have suzerainty. An independent Russia or China or any other foreign power cannot be tolerated because that upends American ambitions for unipolar hegemony.

Trump’s encounter with Putin was commendable because he did not succumb to toxic Russophobia and adopt a stupid, mindless tough-guy posture. Instead, Trump reached out to Putin in a genuine way, as two human beings should do.

The US Deep State is not about humanity or understanding. It is about maintaining perceived dominance over other humans, where anyone seen to be an obstacle is disposed of in the most ruthless way.

President John F Kennedy was assassinated in broad daylight by the US Deep State because he dared to seek a normalization and peaceful coexistence with Moscow. The Deep State does not want normalization or peace with Russia or anyone else for that matter because there are too many lucrative vested interests in maintaining the war machine that is American capitalism.

This is not to predict a violent demise for Trump. The Deep State has other methods, such as the orchestration of media and other dirty tricks.

Trump’s friendly overtures to Russia are at least a promising sign. But given the power structure of the US, and its incorrigible belligerence, it is doubtful that Trump will be allowed to go beyond promises. If he attempts to, we can expect the dark forces to step up.

What needs to change is the US power structure through a democratic revolt. Until that happens, any president in the White House is simply a hostage to the dark forces of the Deep State.

This article was first published by Sputnik News 

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

Inside Aleppo

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Putin-Trump Meeting: Good Start to Pave the Way for Further Progress

Putin-Trump Meeting: Good Start to Pave the Way for Further Progress

EDITORIAL | 10.07.2017 | EDITORIAL

Putin-Trump Meeting: Good Start to Pave the Way for Further Progress

Much has already been said about the impatiently anticipated and closely watched first face-to-face meeting between the Russian and US presidents on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

Everything happens for the first time. Never in the 74-year-long history of bilateral meetings have leaders of the two powers made personal acquaintance during a major international event, not a summit or a USSR-Western leading powers top level conference. No Russia-US meeting had been that short and held in such a format.

Despite the fact that the diplomatic relations were established in 1807, the first time a Soviet and US leader met each other was at the 1943 Tehran conference. Back then, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) and Joseph Stalin established the relationship of trust. If FDR had not died in April, 1945, after meeting Stalin for the second time at the Yalta conference, history could have been different. Perhaps, the war in Korea and many other things could have been averted.

Nikita Khruschev and John F. Kennedy hit it off during the Vienna summit in 1961. The following events – the Berlin Wall and Cuban crises – prevented the ties from becoming a blossoming relationship. There was a chance that personal chemistry between Leonid Brezhnev and Richard Nixon would result in positive changes but the latter had to go. Like Donald Trump, he was known as «an independent president» immune to outside influence.

Personal chemistry was an important factor during the Reagan-Gorbachev meetings which resulted in milestone agreements. In the case of Putin-Trump dialogue, it is one of the most determining factors to promote the bilateral relations and it works.

Now is the time to highlight the major points. The event ran for more than two hours, far longer than the 30 minutes it had been scheduled for, with only translators and the respective chief diplomats – Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov – joining the heads of state. Much effort had been applied to prepare the talks. It had been not known if the meeting would take place at all till the last moment. Those in Washington, who are ready to go to any length to stymie progress in the relations, did it again. US Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Johnny Isakson (R-GA), all members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him not to return the Russian diplomatic compounds seized last year by then President Obama following the alleged Russia’s interference in the US presidential election.

They failed to sway President Trump on Russian policy. The meeting went according to quiet a different scenario. No doubt, the fact that it lasted so long will be used against Trump by his opponents. The US president knew it well but stood tall. The compounds issue was discussed in Hamburg despite the senators’ appeal.

Not many details are known about what the presidents talked about but there are deliverables. The parties reached a ceasefire and “de-escalation agreement” in southwestern Syria which is in effect since July 9. The agreement includes Jordan and Israel. It means the respective governments had been consulted before the event. The reduction in hostilities enables the renewal of political dialogue on Syria.

The parties agreed to establish a special channel of communications to address the problem of Ukraine. On the day of the meeting it was announced that State Secretary Rex Tillerson had appointed Kurt Volker, a former US ambassador to NATO, as special representative to Ukraine to advance the efforts aimed at achieving the objectives set out in the Minsk agreements. So, the United States has become a party to join the peace effort.

Moscow and Washington will hold further discussions on a framework for dealing with a wide array of cyber threats. Cooperation on cybersecurity is a relatively new issue, and probably has never been among the most prioritized. The parties have rather different approaches to the problem: Russia gives priority to «international information security», whereas the US prefers the term «cybersecurity» with a focus on the protection of computer networks and resources. It’s very important that dialogue on the burning issue will be launched.

There was a host of other issues on the agenda. The details will become known as time goes by. The issue of embassy compounds is likely to become a kind of relationship matrix.

Definitely, the meeting is a success, especially in view of unprecedented attacks against President Trump at home. The leaders did not limit to a simple exchange of pleasantries and cordial handshakes, they talked shop. It’s not known how much attention was given to arms control, non-proliferation and military activities. The growing possibility of incidents in the Baltic Sea, especially during military exercises, is a very worrisome development but it’s not the only one. The list of hot issues to be addressed is too long.

But against all the odds, it was a robust and lengthy exchange of opinions on the most acute problems – a very good start on the way out of the impasse. The Hamburg event can jumpstart the general normalization of the bilateral relations. Evidently, the Putin-Trump meeting in Hamburg is a success and a significant step forward. The two leaders did it to pave the way to further progress.

“The Coup d’état Has Begun Which Will Divide America” [X22Report]

Source

There is a special investigator to investigate the Russian collusion fantasy. ~/~ Trump responds and says he has nothing to hide. ~/~ On May 3rd, Comey admits that there was no obstruction of justice and nobody asked him to stop the investigation. ~/~ 60% of the positions in government have been filled by Obama. ~/~ The deep state is dividing the US and they are pushing their agenda to remove Trump. ~/~ Venezuela crisis is worsening and the deep state wants to interfere via the UN. ~/~ Trump and South Korea agree that they would talk to Kim Jong Un. ~/~ Trump advisers want 50,000 troops in Afghanistan. ~/~ US coalition forces violate the de-escalation zone and fire upon the Syrian Army. ~/~ There is another piece of malware that is worse than wannacry.

All source links to the report can be found on the x22report.com site

Wikileaks ‘Vault 7’ Release Shows Vast Spying Capacity of CIA

[ Ed. note – Do you get the feeling the people running the US government aren’t sane? It has been a day of amazing revelations. ]

Apple, Samsung, Microsoft: WikiLeaks blows lid on scale of CIA’s hacking arsenal

RT

The major takeaway from the latest WikiLeaks dump centers around the terrifying, ‘all-seeing-eye’ surveillance project codenamed ‘Weeping Angel.’ The CIA appears to have taken espionage to a whole new level if WikiLeaks’ initial analysis is accurate.

According to the preliminary release, the CIA has the capability to hack, record and even control everyday technology used by billions of people around the world.

These include smartphones, tablets, smart TVs and even vehicles with remote control navigation systems.

On these devices themselves, the CIA can allegedly hack into some of the world’s most heavily encrypted social media and communications platforms such as WhatsApp, Weibo, Confide, Signal and Telegram before any encryption can even be applied.

For example, WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption means that only the direct participants in a conversation can read messages; not even WhatsApp is capable of reading them.

The CIA, however, was able to hack into individual private WhatsApp messages before encryption could even be applied.

Continued here

Here are a few tweets that have been posted on the subject:

is proof that the CIA is spying on us. There is zero on-the-record evidence that Russia is. Deep state controls U.S. “news.”

FLASHBACK: CIA admits to spying on Senate staffers https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/31/cia-admits-spying-senate-staffers?CMP=share_btn_tw 

Photo published for CIA admits to spying on Senate staffers

CIA admits to spying on Senate staffers

John Brennan issues apology after acknowledging that agency spied on Senate intelligence committee’s staff members

theguardian.com

The CIA is out here hacking our phones, computers, Smart TVs, gaming consoles, etc. & what are the liberals shrieking about? RUSSIA.

The media HATES Wikileaks because they have impeccable credibility & a virtually spotless record.

As for the media…. 😄 

 Watson’s observation about the media is rather on target. The following, written by writer Ted Kaplan, was published today at Slate:

Tuesday’s WikiLeaks release exposing thousands of detailed documents on CIA hacking tools is an unbridled attack on U.S. intelligence operations with little or no public benefit.

It is of no benefit to know the government can eavesdrop on us through our TV sets or smart phones? A rather astounding assertion to say the least.

Trump Says He May Scrap Russia Sanctions

US President-elect Donald Trump

US President-elect Donald Trump

 President-elect Donald Trump has hinted that he may lift sanctions on Russia and won’t stand by the “One China” policy unless Beijing improves its currency and trade practices.

Trump told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published Friday that he would keep intact “at least for a period of time” sanctions President Barack Obama’s administration imposed on Russia last month over Moscow’s alleged cyberattacks to influence the US election.

But, if Russia helps the US on key goals such as fighting violent extremists, Trump suggested he may scrap the punitive measures altogether.

He also said he was prepared to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin after taking office January 20.

Trump, who sees an opportunity to cooperate with Moscow in fighting Takfiri groups like ISIL, has expressed admiration for Putin.

Turning to the longstanding US practice of not recognizing Taiwan diplomatically, Trump said: “Everything is under negotiation, including One China.”

Trump has already irked China by accepting a congratulatory phone call from Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-Wen after he won the election, upending decades of diplomatic precedent in which the White House has foregone direct communication with the island’s leader.

He defended that move in his interview with the Journal, saying: “We sold them $2 billion of military equipment last year. We can sell them $2 billion of the latest and greatest military equipment but we’re not allowed to accept a phone call. First of all, it would have been very rude not to accept the phone call.”

Beijing considers the island to be a breakaway province to be brought back within its fold, by force if necessary

Trump has threatened to get tough with what he sees as unfair Chinese trade practices, and suggested that the “One China” policy could become a bargaining chip in other disputes.

Source: AFP

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Russian Cyber Troops And US Presidential Election

January 11, 2017

Written and produced by SF Team: J.Hawk, Daniel Deiss, Edwin Watson

The months after Hillary Clinton’s stunning loss to Donald Trump in the US presidential election have been dominated by stories concerning “Russian hackers.” If US media reports are to be believed, swarms of Fancy Bears and Cozy Bears have been roaming the Grizzly Steppe in order to throw the election to Donald Trump by…revealing the corruption within the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton camp. Naturally, these stories are the product of the last-ditch effort by the outgoing administration to trigger a new “cold war” with Russia and to shift attention away from Democrats’ failings. However, they have had the side effect of bringing attention to Russia’s cyber-war capabilities and the global cyber battlefield.

This is not the first time Russia’s cyber capabilities came into the spotlight. The concept of the “Russian hacker” entered Western consciousness during the 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia, and then resurfaced during the conflicts with Georgia and Ukraine, with a number of countries with Russophobic leadership, such as the Baltic States, routinely complaining of being a target of Russian cyber attacks.

Russia does in fact possess cyber war capabilities. The Information Operations Troops officially became operational in 2014 under the command of Deputy Defense Minister Pavel Popov, with several distinctive entities focusing on technology development, communications security, and recruitment of specialists versed in hacking methods and tactics. IO Troops are also receiving support from the Special Research Center of the MOD, research institutes such as the NII Kvant, and specially formed “scientific companies” of military draftees and contract soldiers already possessing applicable skills and talents recruited from Russia’s extensive hacker community who would help unravel and reverse-engineer Western malware being used against Russia.

National cyber-war capabilities are very difficult to assess because of the covert and non-kinetic aspect of their operations.  However, circumstantial evidence suggests Russian cyber-forces possess state-of-the-art capabilities that few, if any, other countries surpass. Obama’s and McCain dismissal of Russia as an inconsequential and backward country is ludicrous when one considers that it possesses the combination of capabilities required for waging cyber warfare effectively: mathematical and programming prowess. The skill of Soviet and Russian mathematicians is evident in the realms of nuclear and spaceflight technologies, where Russia has long been a world leader. Russia is also home to a sophisticated programming culture born out of sheer necessity. Once USSR began to fall behind the West in processor power, that lag forced its programmers to become efficient at writing code that could perform without overtaxing limited processing power. It is that skill that made Russian programmers so highly sought after USSR’s fall.

Russia’s cyber-war prowess is also testified to by the fact that there is not a single cyber operation that can be definitively ascribed to Russian state operators. In other words, if Russian cyber forces are in fact operating around the world, they are doing so in a way that defies detection or at least attribution. It is also evident that the US government has proven to be extremely wary of entering into a cyber-conflict with Russia. While the Obama Administration has laid out a number of alternatives to supposedly “punish” Russia for supposedly “hacking” the US elections, its officials and experts openly acknowledged they did not wish to risk a Russian cyber-retaliation against the sprawling US cyber-empire.

The cyber-battlefield thus became yet another area in which Russia successfully deterred US aggression thanks to its own capabilities. In the longer term, once the US intelligence community comes to terms with this fact, this clash may lead to international norms regulating and, in fact, prohibiting cyber warfare against sovereign states. Ironically, it is Russia that has been consistently proposing an international legal framework governing cyber operations, starting with the 2009 proposal for an international information security treaty and the 2011 “International Code of Conduct for Information Security” that was presented to the UN General Assembly. Predictably, both were rejected out of hand by the Obama Administration. However, the US unwillingness to entertain international agreements on cyber warfare was correctly interpreted–and later confirmed by Edward Snowden– as a sign of US desire to use offensive cyber-war capabilities in the future, possibly in support of “color revolutions”, that led to the 2014 establishment of IOT. If the relations between Russia and US do improve during the Trump Administration, addressing the problem of cyber-warfare will likely be part of that agenda.

The Stuxnet Connection to Fukushima

Posted on January 2, 2017

 

[ Ed. note – Normally Dane Wigington of Geoengineering Watch doesn’t have a lot to say about Israel. But in this, the most recent installment of his weekly radio show, Wigington gets into a lengthy discussion not only about the UN Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements but also the likely connection between Stuxnet and the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The Stuxnet computer worm is believed to have been developed by the US and Israel. While its first use likely took place in 2009, in an operation targeting Iranian nuclear facilities, the story didn’t come to light until the following year. One of the earliest articles on it was this piece published in ZDNet on September 14, 2010. I am including, among the articles posted below, a piece by a Japanese writer reporting that Stuxnet had been found on 63 personal computers in Japan. That piece was published originally on October 5, 2010. The Fukushima nuclear disaster occurred just over five months later.

Stuxnet was presumably developed specifically to target Iranian nuclear plants, but it seems to have gotten loose, spread around the world, ending up, finally, causing a calamity at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan. The Iranians dodged the bullet for the most part, while the Japanese got hit with a tragedy they are still dealing with today.

In the radio show, Wigington points out the all-too-obvious hypocrisy, namely the Obama administration’s angry denunciations of unproven allegations of Russian hacking of the US presidential election–while the very same administration is guilty of having launched a cyber attack on Iranian nuclear facilities–an act of war essentially. I am reproducing below the three articles Wigington cites in his discussion on Stuxnet, plus the additional one I found on the discovery of the Stuxnet worm in Japan five months before the nuclear disaster. ]

***

Obama Order Sped Up Wave of Cyber Attacks Against Iran

NY Times, June 1, 2012

WASHINGTON — From his first months in office, President Obama secretly ordered increasingly sophisticated attacks on the computer systems that run Iran’s main nuclear enrichment facilities, significantly expanding America’s first sustained use of cyberweapons, according to participants in the program.

Mr. Obama decided to accelerate the attacks — begun in the Bush administration and code-named Olympic Games — even after an element of the program accidentally became public in the summer of 2010 because of a programming error that allowed it to escape Iran’s Natanz plant and sent it around the world on the Internet. Computer security experts who began studying the worm, which had been developed by the United States and Israel, gave it a name: Stuxnet.

At a tense meeting in the White House Situation Room within days of the worm’s “escape,” Mr. Obama, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and the director of the Central Intelligence Agency at the time, Leon E. Panetta, considered whether America’s most ambitious attempt to slow the progress of Iran’s nuclear efforts had been fatally compromised.

“Should we shut this thing down?” Mr. Obama asked, according to members of the president’s national security team who were in the room.

Told it was unclear how much the Iranians knew about the code, and offered evidence that it was still causing havoc, Mr. Obama decided that the cyberattacks should proceed. In the following weeks, the Natanz plant was hit by a newer version of the computer worm, and then another after that. The last of that series of attacks, a few weeks after Stuxnet was detected around the world, temporarily took out nearly 1,000 of the 5,000 centrifuges Iran had spinning at the time to purify uranium.

This account of the American and Israeli effort to undermine the Iranian nuclear program is based on interviews over the past 18 months with current and former American, European and Israeli officials involved in the program, as well as a range of outside experts. None would allow their names to be used because the effort remains highly classified, and parts of it continue to this day.

These officials gave differing assessments of how successful the sabotage program was in slowing Iran’s progress toward developing the ability to build nuclear weapons. Internal Obama administration estimates say the effort was set back by 18 months to two years, but some experts inside and outside the government are more skeptical, noting that Iran’s enrichment levels have steadily recovered, giving the country enough fuel today for five or more weapons, with additional enrichment.

Whether Iran is still trying to design and build a weapon is in dispute. The most recent United States intelligence estimate concludes that Iran suspended major parts of its weaponization effort after 2003, though there is evidence that some remnants of it continue.

Iran initially denied that its enrichment facilities had been hit by Stuxnet, then said it had found the worm and contained it. Last year, the nation announced that it had begun its own military cyberunit, and Brig. Gen. Gholamreza Jalali, the head of Iran’s Passive Defense Organization, said that the Iranian military was prepared “to fight our enemies” in “cyberspace and Internet warfare.” But there has been scant evidence that it has begun to strike back.

The United States government only recently acknowledged developing cyberweapons, and it has never admitted using them. There have been reports of one-time attacks against personal computers used by members of Al Qaeda, and of contemplated attacks against the computers that run air defense systems, including during the NATO-led air attack on Libya last year. But Olympic Games was of an entirely different type and sophistication.

It appears to be the first time the United States has repeatedly used cyberweapons to cripple another country’s infrastructure, achieving, with computer code, what until then could be accomplished only by bombing a country or sending in agents to plant explosives. The code itself is 50 times as big as the typical computer worm, Carey Nachenberg, a vice president of Symantec, one of the many groups that have dissected the code, said at a symposium at Stanford University in April. Those forensic investigations into the inner workings of the code, while picking apart how it worked, came to no conclusions about who was responsible.

A similar process is now under way to figure out the origins of another cyberweapon called Flame that was recently discovered to have attacked the computers of Iranian officials, sweeping up information from those machines. But the computer code appears to be at least five years old, and American officials say that it was not part of Olympic Games. They have declined to say whether the United States was responsible for the Flame attack.

Mr. Obama, according to participants in the many Situation Room meetings on Olympic Games, was acutely aware that with every attack he was pushing the United States into new territory, much as his predecessors had with the first use of atomic weapons in the 1940s, of intercontinental missiles in the 1950s and of drones in the past decade. He repeatedly expressed concerns that any American acknowledgment that it was using cyberweapons — even under the most careful and limited circumstances — could enable other countries, terrorists or hackers to justify their own attacks.

“We discussed the irony, more than once,” one of his aides said. Another said that the administration was resistant to developing a “grand theory for a weapon whose possibilities they were still discovering.” Yet Mr. Obama concluded that when it came to stopping Iran, the United States had no other choice.

If Olympic Games failed, he told aides, there would be no time for sanctions and diplomacy with Iran to work. Israel could carry out a conventional military attack, prompting a conflict that could spread throughout the region.

A Bush Initiative

The impetus for Olympic Games dates from 2006, when President George W. Bush saw few good options in dealing with Iran. At the time, America’s European allies were divided about the cost that imposing sanctions on Iran would have on their own economies. Having falsely accused Saddam Hussein of reconstituting his nuclear program in Iraq, Mr. Bush had little credibility in publicly discussing another nation’s nuclear ambitions. The Iranians seemed to sense his vulnerability, and, frustrated by negotiations, they resumed enriching uranium at an underground site at Natanz, one whose existence had been exposed just three years before.

Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, took reporters on a tour of the plant and described grand ambitions to install upward of 50,000 centrifuges. For a country with only one nuclear power reactor — whose fuel comes from Russia — to say that it needed fuel for its civilian nuclear program seemed dubious to Bush administration officials. They feared that the fuel could be used in another way besides providing power: to create a stockpile that could later be enriched to bomb-grade material if the Iranians made a political decision to do so.

Hawks in the Bush administration like Vice President Dick Cheney urged Mr. Bush to consider a military strike against the Iranian nuclear facilities before they could produce fuel suitable for a weapon. Several times, the administration reviewed military options and concluded that they would only further inflame a region already at war, and would have uncertain results.

For years the C.I.A. had introduced faulty parts and designs into Iran’s systems — even tinkering with imported power supplies so that they would blow up — but the sabotage had had relatively little effect. General James E. Cartwright, who had established a small cyberoperation inside the United States Strategic Command, which is responsible for many of America’s nuclear forces, joined intelligence officials in presenting a radical new idea to Mr. Bush and his national security team. It involved a far more sophisticated cyberweapon than the United States had designed before.

The goal was to gain access to the Natanz plant’s industrial computer controls. That required leaping the electronic moat that cut the Natanz plant off from the Internet — called the air gap, because it physically separates the facility from the outside world. The computer code would invade the specialized computers that command the centrifuges.

The first stage in the effort was to develop a bit of computer code called a beacon that could be inserted into the computers, which were made by the German company Siemens and an Iranian manufacturer, to map their operations. The idea was to draw the equivalent of an electrical blueprint of the Natanz plant, to understand how the computers control the giant silvery centrifuges that spin at tremendous speeds. The connections were complex, and unless every circuit was understood, efforts to seize control of the centrifuges could fail.

Eventually the beacon would have to “phone home” — literally send a message back to the headquarters of the National Security Agency that would describe the structure and daily rhythms of the enrichment plant. Expectations for the plan were low; one participant said the goal was simply to “throw a little sand in the gears” and buy some time. Mr. Bush was skeptical, but lacking other options, he authorized the effort.

Breakthrough, Aided by Israel

It took months for the beacons to do their work and report home, complete with maps of the electronic directories of the controllers and what amounted to blueprints of how they were connected to the centrifuges deep underground.

Then the N.S.A. and a secret Israeli unit respected by American intelligence officials for its cyberskills set to work developing the enormously complex computer worm that would become the attacker from within.

The unusually tight collaboration with Israel was driven by two imperatives. Israel’s Unit 8200, a part of its military, had technical expertise that rivaled the N.S.A.’s, and the Israelis had deep intelligence about operations at Natanz that would be vital to making the cyberattack a success. But American officials had another interest, to dissuade the Israelis from carrying out their own pre-emptive strike against the Iranian nuclear facilities. To do that, the Israelis would have to be convinced that the new line of attack was working. The only way to convince them, several officials said in interviews, was to have them deeply involved in every aspect of the program.

Soon the two countries had developed a complex worm that the Americans called “the bug.” But the bug needed to be tested. So, under enormous secrecy, the United States began building replicas of Iran’s P-1 centrifuges, an aging, unreliable design that Iran purchased from Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani nuclear chief who had begun selling fuel-making technology on the black market. Fortunately for the United States, it already owned some P-1s, thanks to the Libyan dictator, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.

When Colonel Qaddafi gave up his nuclear weapons program in 2003, he turned over the centrifuges he had bought from the Pakistani nuclear ring, and they were placed in storage at a weapons laboratory in Tennessee. The military and intelligence officials overseeing Olympic Games borrowed some for what they termed “destructive testing,” essentially building a virtual replica of Natanz, but spreading the test over several of the Energy Department’s national laboratories to keep even the most trusted nuclear workers from figuring out what was afoot.

Those first small-scale tests were surprisingly successful: the bug invaded the computers, lurking for days or weeks, before sending instructions to speed them up or slow them down so suddenly that their delicate parts, spinning at supersonic speeds, self-destructed. After several false starts, it worked. One day, toward the end of Mr. Bush’s term, the rubble of a centrifuge was spread out on the conference table in the Situation Room, proof of the potential power of a cyberweapon. The worm was declared ready to test against the real target: Iran’s underground enrichment plant.

“Previous cyberattacks had effects limited to other computers,” Michael V. Hayden, the former chief of the C.I.A., said, declining to describe what he knew of these attacks when he was in office. “This is the first attack of a major nature in which a cyberattack was used to effect physical destruction,” rather than just slow another computer, or hack into it to steal data.

“Somebody crossed the Rubicon,” he said.

Getting the worm into Natanz, however, was no easy trick. The United States and Israel would have to rely on engineers, maintenance workers and others — both spies and unwitting accomplices — with physical access to the plant. “That was our holy grail,” one of the architects of the plan said. “It turns out there is always an idiot around who doesn’t think much about the thumb drive in their hand.”

In fact, thumb drives turned out to be critical in spreading the first variants of the computer worm; later, more sophisticated methods were developed to deliver the malicious code.

The first attacks were small, and when the centrifuges began spinning out of control in 2008, the Iranians were mystified about the cause, according to intercepts that the United States later picked up. “The thinking was that the Iranians would blame bad parts, or bad engineering, or just incompetence,” one of the architects of the early attack said.

The Iranians were confused partly because no two attacks were exactly alike. Moreover, the code would lurk inside the plant for weeks, recording normal operations; when it attacked, it sent signals to the Natanz control room indicating that everything downstairs was operating normally. “This may have been the most brilliant part of the code,” one American official said.

Later, word circulated through the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Vienna-based nuclear watchdog, that the Iranians had grown so distrustful of their own instruments that they had assigned people to sit in the plant and radio back what they saw.

“The intent was that the failures should make them feel they were stupid, which is what happened,” the participant in the attacks said. When a few centrifuges failed, the Iranians would close down whole “stands” that linked 164 machines, looking for signs of sabotage in all of them. “They overreacted,” one official said. “We soon discovered they fired people.”

Imagery recovered by nuclear inspectors from cameras at Natanz — which the nuclear agency uses to keep track of what happens between visits — showed the results. There was some evidence of wreckage, but it was clear that the Iranians had also carted away centrifuges that had previously appeared to be working well.

But by the time Mr. Bush left office, no wholesale destruction had been accomplished. Meeting with Mr. Obama in the White House days before his inauguration, Mr. Bush urged him to preserve two classified programs, Olympic Games and the drone program in Pakistan. Mr. Obama took Mr. Bush’s advice.

The Stuxnet Surprise

Mr. Obama came to office with an interest in cyberissues, but he had discussed them during the campaign mostly in terms of threats to personal privacy and the risks to infrastructure like the electrical grid and the air traffic control system. He commissioned a major study on how to improve America’s defenses and announced it with great fanfare in the East Room.

What he did not say then was that he was also learning the arts of cyberwar. The architects of Olympic Games would meet him in the Situation Room, often with what they called the “horse blanket,” a giant foldout schematic diagram of Iran’s nuclear production facilities. Mr. Obama authorized the attacks to continue, and every few weeks — certainly after a major attack — he would get updates and authorize the next step. Sometimes it was a strike riskier and bolder than what had been tried previously.

“From his first days in office, he was deep into every step in slowing the Iranian program — the diplomacy, the sanctions, every major decision,” a senior administration official said. “And it’s safe to say that whatever other activity might have been under way was no exception to that rule.”

But the good luck did not last. In the summer of 2010, shortly after a new variant of the worm had been sent into Natanz, it became clear that the worm, which was never supposed to leave the Natanz machines, had broken free, like a zoo animal that found the keys to the cage. It fell to Mr. Panetta and two other crucial players in Olympic Games — General Cartwright, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Michael J. Morell, the deputy director of the C.I.A. — to break the news to Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden.

An error in the code, they said, had led it to spread to an engineer’s computer when it was hooked up to the centrifuges. When the engineer left Natanz and connected the computer to the Internet, the American- and Israeli-made bug failed to recognize that its environment had changed. It began replicating itself all around the world. Suddenly, the code was exposed, though its intent would not be clear, at least to ordinary computer users.

“We think there was a modification done by the Israelis,” one of the briefers told the president, “and we don’t know if we were part of that activity.”

Mr. Obama, according to officials in the room, asked a series of questions, fearful that the code could do damage outside the plant. The answers came back in hedged terms. Mr. Biden fumed. “It’s got to be the Israelis,” he said. “They went too far.”

In fact, both the Israelis and the Americans had been aiming for a particular part of the centrifuge plant, a critical area whose loss, they had concluded, would set the Iranians back considerably. It is unclear who introduced the programming error.

The question facing Mr. Obama was whether the rest of Olympic Games was in jeopardy, now that a variant of the bug was replicating itself “in the wild,” where computer security experts can dissect it and figure out its purpose.

“I don’t think we have enough information,” Mr. Obama told the group that day, according to the officials. But in the meantime, he ordered that the cyberattacks continue. They were his best hope of disrupting the Iranian nuclear program unless economic sanctions began to bite harder and reduced Iran’s oil revenues.

Within a week, another version of the bug brought down just under 1,000 centrifuges. Olympic Games was still on.

A Weapon’s Uncertain Future

American cyberattacks are not limited to Iran, but the focus of attention, as one administration official put it, “has been overwhelmingly on one country.” There is no reason to believe that will remain the case for long. Some officials question why the same techniques have not been used more aggressively against North Korea. Others see chances to disrupt Chinese military plans, forces in Syria on the way to suppress the uprising there, and Qaeda operations around the world. “We’ve considered a lot more attacks than we have gone ahead with,” one former intelligence official said.

Mr. Obama has repeatedly told his aides that there are risks to using — and particularly to overusing — the weapon. In fact, no country’s infrastructure is more dependent on computer systems, and thus more vulnerable to attack, than that of the United States. It is only a matter of time, most experts believe, before it becomes the target of the same kind of weapon that the Americans have used, secretly, against Iran.


Where Fukushima Meets Stuxnet: The Growing Threat of Cyber War

Foreign Policy, March 17, 2011

The Japanese nuclear crisis, though still unfolding, may, in a way, already be yesterday’s news. For a peek at tomorrow’s, review the testimony of General Keith Alexander, head of U.S. Cyber Command. Testifying before Congress this week and seeking support to pump up his agency budget, the general argued that all future conflicts would involve cyber warfare tactics and that the U.S. was ill-equipped to defend itself against them.

Alexander said, “We are finding that we do not have the capacity to do everything we need to accomplish. To put it bluntly, we are very thin, and a crisis would quickly stress our cyber forces. … This is not a hypothetical danger.”

The way to look at this story is to link in your mind the Stuxnet revelations about the reportedly U.S. and Israeli-led cyber attacks on the Iranian nuclear enrichment facility at Natanz and the calamities at the Fukushima power facilities over the past week. While seemingly unconnected, the stories together speak to the before and after of what cyber conflict may look like. Enemies will be able to target one another’s critical infrastructure as was done by the U.S. and Israeli team (likely working with British and German assistance) targeting the Iranian program and burrowing into their operating systems, they will seek to produce malfunctions that bring economies to their knees, put societies in the dark, or undercut national defenses.

Those infrastructures might well be nuclear power systems and the results could be akin to what we are seeing in Japan. (Although one power company executive yesterday joked to me that many plants in the U.S. would be safe because the technology they use is so old that software hardly plays any role in it at all. This hints at a bit of a blessing and a curse in the fractured U.S. power system: it’s decentralized which makes it hard to target overall but security is left to many power companies that lack the sophistication or resources to anticipate, prepare for or manage the growing threats.)

Importantly, not only does the apparent success of the Stuxnet worm demonstrate that such approaches are now in play but it may just be the tip of the iceberg. I remember over a decade ago speaking to one of the top U.S. cyber defenders who noted that even during the late 90s banks were losing millions and millions every year to cyber theft — only they didn’t want to report it because they felt it would spook customers. (Yes.) Recently, we have seen significant market glitches worldwide that could easily have been caused by interventions rather than just malfunctions. A couple years back I participated in a scenario at Davos in which just such a manipulation of market data was simulated and the conclusion was it wouldn’t take much to undermine confidence in the markets and perhaps even force traders to move to paper trading or other venues until it was restored. It wouldn’t even have to be a real cyber intrusion — just the perception that one might have happened.

What makes the nuclear threat so unsettling to many is that it is invisible. It shares this with the cyber threat. But the cyber attacks have other dimensions that suggest that General Alexander is not just trying to beef up his agency’s bank accounts with his description of how future warfare will always involve a cyber component. Not only are they invisible but it is hard to detect who has launched them, so hard, in fact, that one can imagine future tense international relationships in which opposing sides were constantly, quietly, engaging in an undeclared but damaging “non-war,” something cooler than a Cold War because it is stripped of rhetoric and cloaked in deniability, but which might be much more damaging. While there is still ongoing debate about the exact definition of cyber warfare there is a growing consensus that the threats posed by both state-sponsored and non-state actors to power grids, telecom systems, water supplies, transport systems and computer networks are reaching critical levels.

This is the deeply unsettling situation effectively framed by General Alexander in his testimony and rather than having been obscured by this week’s news it should only have been amplified by it.


Fukushima: US-Israeli Stuxnet Sabotages Thermometers and Water Treatment

TNI, March 4, 2014

With every new report and article coming from the establishment and alternative media about Fukushima, Japan, the gap between their fake reality and the real truth keeps growing further and has by now become so wide that it seems to be very unlikely that the establishment and alternative media will ever pick up the real facts in their reporting about the nuclear power station in Fukushima.

Ever since the 7.0 earthquake hit Japan on March 11, 2011, the cover-up of the actual causes – the eco-terror, the nuclear attacks and the sabotage – has been tightly scripted and expanded by the media, the USGS, the NRC, the Israeli Magna BSP [1, 2], the United Nations, the EU and even the WWF and Greenpeace.

Obviously it can be expected that also the problems in the aftermath of the proven eco-terror, the nuclear attacks and the sabotage will be shrouded in lies and deception. Sadly, we don’t expect any other behavior.

Practically all the ongoing reports about the leaking of water, about pumps and valves that are malfunctioning or were “forgotten” to be switched properly and about the failing thermometers at the Fukushima power station are missing the same crucial piece of information.

It has already been confirmed since at least 2010 and in multiple ways that Stuxnet (malware/virus), created by the U.S. and Israel, infected and continues to sabotage the Fukushima nuclear power station by attacking the Siemens SCADA control systems.

The same Stuxnet is also responsible for sabotaging the thermometers in the nuclear reactors that continue to fail, like it is the case in unit 2, falsely blamed on workers who “cripple” the instruments. Thermometers like in Fukushima are operated through/linked to the SCADA control systems which are still infected with Stuxnet, this means that also the thermometers are exposed to the Stuxnet infection.

The decontamination system for contaminated water at Fukushima was co-developed by AREVA and Veolia Water in “a record-two months“ after the eco-terror and the nuclear attacks occurred. According to Veolia Water data their “state-of-the-art online control of wastewater systems” work with and supplement SCADA control systems:

“The operation and reporting of STAR Control® are based on Internet technology and a graphic user interface is accessed by network browser on LAN, ADSL or similar networks.”

This is surely the reason why Magna BSP’s internet connection with the reactors at Fukushima is so important to those who have created this mess by committing eco-terror and engaging in war crimes. In this way full control can be kept remotely which is necessary when Japan is to be held hostage firmly, as they slowly lose credibility in the international community for a disaster they didn’t even create.

So whenever you encounter a new Fukushima article or report be sure to check if that source has already reported about the real facts, including the eco-terror, the nuclear attacks and the sabotage. If they haven’t done so then it’s very unlikely that their future reporting will be trustworthy since they omit key facts on purpose and leave you in fear with fake radiation charts to stare at.


[ Ed. note – The following is a re-post of an article originally published on October 5, 2010, five months before the Fukushima nuclear disaster occurred, reporting the discovery of Stuxnet on computers in Japan. The re-post of this article was published in 2014 ]

October 5, 2010: Cybervirus Found in Japan/Stuxnet Designed to Attack Off-Line Servers Via USB Memory Sticks

Fukushima 3/11 Truth, January 21, 2014

Yomiuri Shimbun

Stuxnet, a computer virus designed to attack servers isolated from the Internet, such as at power plants, has been confirmed on 63 personal computers in Japan since July, according to major security firm Symantec Corp.

The virus does not cause any damage online, but once it enters an industrial system, it can send a certain program out of control.

Symantec says the virus reaches the servers via USB memory sticks, and warns against the careless use of such devices.

Systems at power plants, gas stations and water facilities are not connected to the Internet to protect them from cyber-attacks.

A Symantec engineer who has analyzed the virus said it was made using advanced technology, and it is highly likely a well-funded organization, not an individual, produced it. The virus has spread throughout the globe via the Internet.

After Stuxnet finds its way onto an ordinary computer via the Internet, it hides there, waiting for a USB memory stick to be connected to the computer, when it transfers itself to the memory stick. When the USB device is then connected to a computer linked to an isolated server, it can enter the system and take control of it.

As computers that harbor Stuxnet do not operate strangely, the virus can be transferred to a memory stick inadvertently.

According to the security company, the virus is designed to target a German-made program often used in systems managing water, gas and oil pipelines. The program is used at public utilities around the world, including in Japan.

The virus could cause such systems to act erratically, and it could take months to restore them to normal.

The 63 infected computers found in Japan were likely infected sometime after June.

According to the company, about 60 percent of the computers that have been infected with the virus were discovered in Iran. Since September, about 30,000 computers there have been found to be infected with the virus. The country’s Industry and Mines Ministry has called the virus an electronic act of war.

Some computers at the Iranian Bushehr nuclear power plant, which is scheduled to begin operation in October, have been infected with the virus.

A supervisor at the plant said the virus has not damaged the facility’s main computer system and would not affect its planned opening.

In Japan, no public utilities have been affected by the virus. Nevertheless, the Cabinet Office’s National Information Security Center has urged electric power companies to exercise extreme care when using USB devices, and to scan any programs that may have been tampered with.

Source: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T101004003493.htm

Archived: https://web.archive.org/web/20101008111929/http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T101004003493.htm

 

As US Berates Russia For Political Meddling, It Openly Meddles in China

 

December 26, 2016 (Joseph Thomas – NEO) – Despite a concerted backlash against what US political leaders and policymakers claim is Russian interference in America’s internal politics, the US continues to openly interfere in the internal politics of other nations worldwide, including most recently, China.

Berating Russia Over Alleged Hacks 

In an effort to redirect attention and blame for America’s unravelling political fabric, the US political establishment and its media has spent an inordinate amount of time blaming Russia for allegedly “hacking US elections” by infiltrating the Democratic National Committee (DNC)’s e-mails.

The hacks revealed impropriety within the Democratic party as well as e-mails between US presidential candidate and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her adviser, lobbyist and counsellor to US President Barack Obama, John Podesta which revealed everything from admissions US allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar were providing material support to the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq to the Clinton Foundation receiving funding from these same state sponsors of terrorism.

The fallout from the revelations has included a media blacklist targeting what is called “fake news,” or, any media outlet that opposes narratives established by Washington, particularly regarding the contents of the leaked e-mails. It also resulted in claims that Wikileaks (who published the leaked e-mails) was intentionally mixing fabricated e-mails in with genuine DNC data, the Intercept would report.

The United States government and policymakers have also promised retaliation against Russia, who is accused of orchestrating the hacks and working with Wikileaks to publish the e-mails.

Considering the gravity the US has viewed alleged interference in its internal political affairs, one would expect Washington to have a solid record of respecting the sovereignty of other nations, specifically in regards to respecting their internal politics and particularly now, as Washington attempts to justify growing hostility toward Moscow regarding alleged meddling.

Do As I Say, Not As I Constantly Do… 

But even as the backlash against Russia reaches a fevered pitch, the US finds itself openly, some may even say, shamelessly meddling in the affairs of other nations on an equal or greater degree than even Russia has been accused of.

The US State Department funded and directed National Endowment for Democracy (NED) openly admitted that its partner, China Digital Times (funded by both NED and Open Society) leaked documents revealing lists of topics deemed sensitive by the Chinese government.

Foreign Policy in an article titled, “All the News Unfit to Print: What Beijing Quashed in 2016,” would claim:

On an almost daily basis, China’s ruling party and the state apparatus it controls relay detailed instructions to news outlets, websites, and social media administrators throughout the country on whether and how to cover breaking news stories and related commentary. A sampling of these are leaked each year and published by the non-profit California-based website China Digital Times. The collection is not exhaustive, but given the opacity of Chinese government decision-making, the orders offer unique insights into party leaders’ priorities and their favored methods of “guiding public opinion” in a changing technological landscape.

Foreign Policy and China Digital Times both admit that the purpose of leaking this information is to undermine Beijing’s ability to control the political narrative within China’s borders. It is a clear effort by Washington to contribute to its decades-long overarching objective of undermining, encircling and containing China’s rise in Asia Pacific to maintain American military, political and economic primacy in the region.

Foreign Policy, China Digital Times and the National Endowment for Democracy may claim that their motives for, and methods of leaking genuine documents to the Chinese public to skew China’s political landscape in Washington’s favour should be irrelevant to the fact that they are also simply exposing the truth. But if they genuinely believed that, their anger and promised retaliation against Russia for doing exactly the same thing, would appear tremendously hypocritical and undermine the gravity Washington is attempting to consign claims of Russian hacking.

If it is wrong for Russia, or anyone for that matter, to leak truthful information to the American public regarding the US government, thus undermining the credibility of American institutions and offices, it would logically follow that it is likewise wrong for the US to do this abroad in nations like China.

That the United States not only partakes in this tremendous hypocrisy, it should be noted that the National Endowment for Democracy and its subsidiaries including Freedom House, exist solely to openly and constantly undermine political order worldwide, including backing foreign opposition parties, street protests in foreign capitals, pro-US media outlets worldwide and even meddling in other nations’ electoral processes through the use of “election monitors” who selectively notice or ignore voting irregularities depending on whether a pro-US opposition party stands to win or lose any given election.

Thus, unlike the US who has large, dedicated organisations openly pursuing political destabilisation worldwide, Russia and China are only accused of doing so, lacking any formal organisations or foundations focused on such activity, and with little to no evidence substantiating US claims.

As the US continues justifying an expanding war of words and actions against Moscow, it is important for observers to note that at the same time Moscow is condemned for interfering in American politics, America is openly and eagerly interfering in the politics of other nations, worldwide.

If other nations are not allowed to cry foul and “retaliate,” why should the US be?

Joseph Thomas is chief editor of Thailand-based geopolitical journal, The New Atlas and contributor to the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Russian Ambassador Assassinated: Retaliation, But by Whom?

 

December 20, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – Just days after the liberation of Syria’s northern city of Aleppo, Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was gunned down while giving a talk at an art gallery in Turkey’s capital of Ankara.

The gunman, identified as a former Turkish police officer, flashed the familiar one finger gesture used by terrorist organizations operating in neighboring Syria including by Jabhat Al Nusra and the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” – while shouting, according to the Guardian:

Don’t forget Aleppo. Don’t forget Syria. Unless our towns are secure, you won’t enjoy security. Only death can take me from here. Everyone who is involved in this suffering will pay a price.

The attack coincided with an alleged security incident near America’s embassy in Ankara, characterized by the US Embassy as a “shooting,” though it may be in reference to the actual assassination.

Western newspapers, however, including the Daily Mail, the UK Express, and The Sun attempted to portray the announcement as a separate incident. This may be a deliberate attempt to portray the US as a victim in tandem with Russia, to divert suspicion away from US involvement.

Assassination Takes Place Days After US Vowed “Retaliation” Against Russia 

US President Barack Obama, US policymakers and pundits, as well as US Senators for the past week have vowed “retaliation” against Russia for alleged “hacking” during the 2016 US presidential election. These threats take place against a wider backdrop of increasingly unhinged outbursts made by Western politicians, pundits, and policymakers amid frustration in advancing their global agenda versus a reemerging Russia and a rising China.

The Guardian in an article published just this week titled, “Barack Obama promises retaliation against Russia over hacking during US election,” would state:

Barack Obama has warned that the US will retaliate for Russian cyberattacks during the presidential election. 

In an interview on National Public Radio on Friday morning, the US president said he is waiting for a final report he has ordered into a range of Russian hacking attacks, but promised there would be a response.

“I think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections … we need to take action,” Obama said. “And we will – at a time and place of our own choosing. 

“Some of it may be explicit and publicised; some of it may not be.”

Articles like the International Business Times’ “How Can The US Retaliate Against Russia’s Hacking? Here Are 6 Possible Moves,” would list possible forms retaliation could take, including:

Cyberattack on Russian networks or infrastructure; Release damaging information about Vladimir Putin; Target offshore accounts; Place malware inside Russian espionate networks; Interfere in Russian politics Economic sanctions.

However, it has been noted by many analysts, including those within the US’ own foreign policy circles, that America’s ability to retaliate with “cyberattacks” against Russia in such a manner would range from futile, to even galvanizing the Russian people further behind the Kremlin.

The New York Times in an article titled, “Obama Confronts Complexity of Using a Mighty Cyberarsenal Against Russia,” would note:

But while Mr. Obama vowed on Friday to “send a clear message to Russia” as both a punishment and a deterrent, some of the options were rejected as ineffective, others as too risky. If the choices had been better, one of the aides involved in the debate noted recently, the president would have acted by now.

In all likelihood, an attempted counter “cyberattack” would have ended in further humiliation and isolation for the United States’ ruling circles.


Cui Bono?

The cold-blooded assassination of a Russian ambassador in the heart of Turkey, however, is a very effective “retaliation,” not only for Russia’s role in balancing against the Western media’s influence, effectively undermining the West’s monopoly over global public perception, but also for confounding US geopolitical objectives across the Middle East – particularly in Syria, and particularly in the aftermath of Aleppo’s liberation.

The assassination – a crime and even an act of war by any account – was apparently carried out by a militant drawn from the ranks of  terrorist organizations armed, trained, and funded by the United States and its regional allies, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and even Turkey. And despite this fact, should the US be involved in the assassination, it would be difficult to prove. And even if it was proven, it would be difficult to convince the global public that the US would make the jump from very publicly considering benign “cyberattacks” for the past week to assassinating a foreign diplomat.

Beyond simply “sending a message” as US policymakers sought to do – it also undermines alleged progress made between Ankara and Moscow regarding the former’s role in the ongoing proxy war with Syria. The assassination strains any such progress, even threatening to rollback gains painfully made since Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane over Syria in November of 2015.

While evidence is still forthcoming regarding the assassination, the US – through its own insistence on publicly and repeatedly threatening Moscow with retaliation –  has made itself one of the primary suspects behind the brutal killing. Considering the US’ role in creating, arming, funding, and directing terrorists across the region for years – the US is responsible indirectly at the very least.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook.”   

Russophobia: War Party A Digital 9/11 If Trump Wins

By Finian Cunningham

November 06, 2016 “Information Clearing House” – “Sputnik” – There are disturbing signs that a digital 9/11 terror attack is being readied for election day in the US to ensure that Donald Trump does not win.

Such an attack – involving widespread internet and power outage – would have nothing to do with Russia or any other foreign state. It would be furnished by agencies of the US Deep State in a classic “false flag” covert manner. But the resulting chaos and “assault on American democracy” will be conveniently blamed on Russia.

That presents a double benefit. Russia would be further demonized as a foreign aggressor “justifying” even harsher counter measures by America and its European allies against Moscow.

Secondly, a digital attack on America’s presidential election day this week, would allow the Washington establishment to pronounce the result invalidate due to “Russian cyber subversion”. That option stands to be invoked if the ballot results showed Republican candidate Donald Trump as the imminent victor.

Democrat rival Hillary Clinton is the clear choice for the White House among the Washington establishment. She has the backing of Wall Street finance capital, the corporate media, the military-industrial complex and the Deep State agencies of the Pentagon and CIA. The fix has been in for months to get her elected by the powers-that-be owing to her well-groomed obedience to American imperialist interests.

The billionaire property magnate Trump is too much of a maverick to be entrusted with the White House, as far as the American ruling elite are concerned.

The trouble is, however, that despite the massive campaign to discredit Trump his poll support remains stubbornly close to Clinton’s. The latter has been tainted with too many scandals involving allegations of sleazy dealings with Wall Street, so-called pay-for-play favors while she was former Secretary of State, and her penchant for inciting overseas wars for regime change using jihadist terrorist foot-soldiers.

As one headline from McClatchy News only days ago put it: “Majority of voters think Clinton acted illegally, new poll finds”.

Trump is right. The US presidential election is “rigged”. Despite handwringing condemnations by pundits, it seems obvious that the system is heavily stacked against any candidate who does not conform with the interests of the establishment. The massive media-orchestrated campaign against Trump is testimony to that.

But such is popular disgust with Clinton, her sleaze-ball husband Bill and the Washington establishment that her victory is far from certain. Indeed in the last week before voting this Tuesday various polls are showing a neck-and-neck race with even some indicators putting the Republican narrowly ahead.

Over the weekend, the Washington Post, which has been one of the main media outlets panning Trump on a daily basis, reported this: “The electoral map is definitely moving in Trump’s direction”.

This is where a possible Deep State contingency plan is being readied to scupper a shock win by Trump.

In recent days, American media are reporting a virtual state of emergency by the US government and its security agencies to thwart what they claim are Russian efforts to incite “election day cyber mayhem”.

In one “exclusive” report by the NBC network on November 3, it was claimed that: “The US government believes hackers from Russia or elsewhere may try to undermine next week’s presidential election and is mounting an unprecedented effort to counter their cyber meddling.”

On November 4, the Washington Post reported: “Intelligence officials warn of Russian mischief in election and beyond.”

Apparently, the emergency security response is being coordinated by the White House, the Department of Homeland Security, the CIA, the National Security Agency and other elements of the Defense Department, according to NBC.

These claims of Russian state hackers interfering in the US political system are not new. Last month, the Obama administration officially accused Moscow of this alleged malfeasance.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has lambasted American claims that his country is seeking to disrupt the presidential elections as “hysterical nonsense”, aimed at distracting the electorate from far more deep-rooted internal problems.

The Obama administration and its state security agencies have not provided one iota of evidence to support their allegations against Russia. Nevertheless the repeated charges have a tendency to stick.

The Clinton campaign has for months been accusing Trump of being a “pro-Russian stooge”. Her campaign has also claimed that Russian hackers have colluded with the whistleblower organization Wikileaks to release thousands of private emails damaging Clinton with the intention of swaying the election in favor of Trump.

Wikileaks’ director Julian Assange and the Russian government have both rejected any suggestion that they are somehow collaborating, or that they are working to get Trump elected.

But on the eve of the election, the US authorities are recklessly pushing hysteria that Russia is trying to subvert American democracy.

Michael McFaul, the former US ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014 is quoted as saying: “The Russians are in an offensive mode and the US is working on strategies to respond to that, and at the highest levels.”

NBC cites a senior Obama administration official as saying that the Russians “want to sow as much confusion as possible and undermine our process”.

Ominously, the news outlet adds that “steps are being taken to prepare for worst-case scenarios, including a cyber-attack that shuts down part of the power grid or the internet.”

Nearly two weeks ago, on October 21-22, the US was hit with a widespread internet outage. The actors behind the “distributed denial of service” were not identified, but the disruption was nationwide and it temporarily disabled many popular consumer services. One former official at the US Department of Homeland Security described the event as having “all the signs of what would be considered a drill”.

Could that cyber-attack have been the work of US Deep State agencies as a dress rehearsal for an even bigger outage planned for November 8 – election day?

The Washington establishment wants Clinton over Trump. She’s the marionette of choice for their strategic interests, including a more hostile foreign policy towards Russia in Syria, Ukraine and elsewhere.

But Trump might just snatch an election day victory from the jaws of defeat.

In which case, the shadowy forces that really rule America will trigger a “digital 9/11”. It’s not difficult to imagine the chaos and mayhem from internet blackout, power, transport, banking and communications paralysis – even for just a temporary period of a few hours.

Months of fingering Russia as a destabilizing foreign enemy intent on interfering in US democracy to get “Comrade Trump” into the White House would then serve as a self-fulfilling prophecy. In that event, the US authorities could plausibly move to declare the election of Donald J Trump null and void.

In fact the scenario could be contrived to a far more serious level than merely suspending the election result. The US authorities could easily feign that a state of emergency is necessary in order to “defend national security”.

That contingency catapults beyond “rigged politics”. It is a green light for a coup d’état by the Deep State forces who found that they could not win through the “normal” rigging methods.

 

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