Hannity on his interview of Assange.
A technical refutation of the "Russia done it" meme.
Real life in Aleppo
Something’s not adding up here. Assange announced a forthcoming dump of Clinton docs on 12 June. Wikileaks released the first batch on 22 June. Craig Murray claims he met his source in the DC woods in September. If Murray is correct, he is also a time traveller.
Someone passing himself off as Guccifer 2.0 first passed some hacked DNC docs on 15 June and said he passed the bulk of the docs to Wikileaks. DCLeaks, Guccifer 2.0 and the FANCY BEAR hackers have been closely connected to each other by several investigators.
Wikileaks tweeted this on 13 September. Scores of others retweeted.
678.4 MB of new “DNC documents” from
use 7zip to unpack
5:44 PM – 13 Sep 2016
This whole affair is a maze of mirrors, but I’m confident it can be navigated.
Three more militant held villages surrendered in West Ghouta. Rebels there want passage to Idlib. This may free up regime to concentrate on Daraa province in upcoming ops. Or if Putin can pull another rabbit out of his hat and negatiate an Erdogan-type deal with Netanyahu – then perhaps they could go into Quneitra after al Nusra and Ahrar al Sham if they stay well back from the old United Nations UNDOF Buffer Zone running along the Purple Line. Probably won’t happen soon. Bibi will want to see what kind of deal he can make with Trump.
Real Life in Aleppo
This French film by the journalist Charlotte d’Ornellas is moving and powerful.
Ornellas is a Catholic, so there is a predominance of Christians interviewed in the film, and a strong supporter of the French right winger Marine Le Pen. But it is interesting and moving to see someone of her supposedly “fascist” views speaking with such empathy and admiration to “MUSLIMS” and members of what 1930’s fascists would have considered an inferior race.
What comes over overwelmingly in the film is the quiet dignity and courage and determination of ordinary people to move on, to rebuild their lives. And Ornellas’ contempt for the faux humanitarianism of the West, who, having spent so many hours and months and years handwringing at the horrors visited upon the innocent, freedom-loving rebels of East Aleppo by the tyrant Assad, now can’t even spare a single camera crew to go and interview civilians who had actually lived under the horrors of jihadi rule.
The Assange interview is a very important one. His point that the material released has not been disputed and is true is the crux of the matter. The other point is the conflating of alleged Russian hacking and the release of true information by Wikileaks.
The question that needs to be asked is Obama lying or misleading the American people to delegitimize President-elect Trump?
The Democrat partisans should note that Assange says that they released Sarah Palin’s emails and would release Trump’s emails if Wikileaks gets them.
RT had a brief article back in March 2103 on emails from Sid Blumenthol to HRC with potentially sensitive information about Benghazi. RT indicated that these four “alleged” emails (RT was being careful) were provided by a hacker named Guccifer (now in a US jail) and noted that:
“In the leaked emails distributed to the media, Guccifer copied and pasted the correspondences into new files using bold Comic Sans text layered over a pink background, possibly as a security precaution.”
HRC emails released under the Judicial Watch FOIA litigation included three of the four emails (dated from September 2012 to March 2013), with the fourth apparently withheld from release but later confirmed in a Wikileaks release.
It was not clear that “Guccifer” had hacked into HRC’s server, but he certainly would have know her email address and given that Blumenthol was still emailing her at the time of the RT article, this would seem to me to have been a big reg flag alerting other hackers that Clinton’s email might be potentially hacked into.
The Jan Oberg piece, at least to me, speaks the truth.
This is the first time I have come across his work and I was wondering if anyone knew a litle bit about his prior experience/background so I can fend off the inevitable ‘he is not credible’ from my friends who as Colonel Lang perfectly described already as being duped by the propoganda operation long underway
Craig Murray was specifically talking about the Podesta e-mails. That is where the whole question of the “phishing” takes place. The whole Russia thing revolves around the various “phishing” exploits that are abundant around the internet. It has been postulated that Podesta allowed his password to be reveled to one of these malwares.
The DNC hacks are believed to have come from Seth Rich (who worked as a data analyst for the DNC), who was later murdered under odd circumstances. Assange has obliquely referred to Seth Rich in earlier interviews when he talked about the risk that his sources take.
In Europe, among many, this and the Oberg’s site will be greeted by derision; “useful idiots of Assad”.
My sense of it is that many in EU prefer Jihadists to Assad; I am not sure why.
Is it because of Russian involvement? Or is it because of Iran?
Or perhaps they cannot conceive of a situation that one may have to chose between bad and worse.
It is not like there is no historical precedence for them either; Uncle Joe getting their chestnuts out of fire during WWII (or maybe they preferred NAZI Germany?)
PE Trump this morning
“Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
Julian Assange said “a 14 year old could have hacked Podesta” – why was DNC so careless? Also said Russians did not give him the info!”
Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
Somebody hacked the DNC but why did they not have “hacking defense” like the RNC has and why have they not responded to the terrible……”
There is Persian proverb that matches the ongoing Russian DNC hacking phenomena, which is similar to Mr. Trump’ today twits, translation is:
“No need to call your neighbor the thief, if you keep the doors to your home tied closed “
If Assad was a good ole chap, Qatari gas (which is largely in a field shared with Iran) could find a way to make its way to Europe, thereby reducing Europe’s reliance on Russia for energy, and Turkey would get its transit fees.
If Russia/Iran/Syria succeed, it may instead be Iranian gas flowing to Europe, but Russia will continue to be at the wheel. This would be terrible for US. Turkey keeps flip flopping and are now reaping what they sowed when they thought Assad would be easily deposed.
A map can answer all your questions about why governments behave the way they do. As for the citizenry, the average European does tend to be better informed than the average American, however I had some Italians over for the holiday, and I was rather surprised (and annoyed) that they had no problem telling me about the horrors of Aleppo yet knew nothing and seemed oblivious about the role reversal in Yemen.
1. I do not Iran could be exporting any gas to EU anytime soon; that games is over – likely for decades until there is a settlement between the Western Fortress and Iran.
2. About the Italians: this Italian fellow stopped talking to me after he found out I was Iranian – that was 15 years ago; he thought I was Indian.
3. EU regards the Near East as their backyard. Someone in EU forgot to tell that to the Arabs, Iranians, Turks, and others. I, personally, never thought of EU as my backyard – but, then again, I am rooted in a thing called Reality.
A warning from the past about politically motivate intelligence.
Ex-CIA John Nixon on the interrogation of Saddam Hussein.
There are two issues. One, who obtained the email trove from the DNC and Podesta and provided it to Wikileaks and when. Two, the veracity of the emails.
IMO, from the point of view of the election the second is more important. And here neither the DNC nor Podesta nor the Hillary campaign are disputing that the contents of the released emails are false. Why is there such limited discussion by the MSM and the Democrats on the contents if as they claim Hillary lost the election due to the release of these emails? Any serious PR person would advise them to admit mistakes and articulate a plan to clean up with promise that this will not happen again. That’s not what they’re doing however. Instead their entire focus is distraction.
On the matter of the whodunit it may come out in due course. But, for Obama to take action against the Russians implies he has firm proof. Does he or is he lying or misleading the American people by focusing on the distraction rather than the duplicity of the Democrat leadership? Considering that agents of the US federal government have interfered in the internal affairs of many countries why the hysteria if another country acquired the truth about the reality of one of our political parties? They didn’t foment a violent uprising like we have done in many countries.
The Europeans have been propagandizing their people on Syria for a long time. The Brits and French have played a leading role in arming and funding the jihadis as well as in orchestrating and disseminating jihadi propaganda. They will always dismiss any independent reporting as Assad government sponsored.
The question is why did they go to the extent they have to side with the jihadis? What was the endgame? To create a caliphate?
I am very glad you posted the link about Jan Oberg’s report; I would’ve missed it otherwise.
I can’t wait to see the film; it sounds great.
I haven’t yet researched Obeg, but I think a way to answer the critics is to mention to them a number a people whose experiences in Syria support Oberg’s observations.
Here are a few examples:
The Bolivian actress Carla Ortiz. She set off to Syria to see the situation for herself and ended up making a documentary about the ‘ordinary’ people she met with there. Her observations comport with Oberg’s. During her interview with Sputnik she had sharp words for the Western media coverage of Syria.
There is also the account by the young French humanitarian Pierre Le Corf, who works for a small nonprofit. He lived in W. Aleppo for about 9 months — as of December he’s still living there. He interviewed many Syrians who fled to the western part of the city from the eastern sector. Their accounts comport with those collected by Ortiz and Oberg.
Then there are the accounts published by the young Canadian freelance journalist Eva Bartlett, who also gathered her courage and saw things for herself in Syria. Again, her observations and those of the Syrians she spoke with comport with those Oberg related, and ones related by Ortiz and Le Corf.
And there are the accounts from British investigative journalist Vanessa Beeley, who did so much to expose the truth about the White Helmets. In this September report she writes of her personal observations about Aleppo, which again comport with those of the above-mentioned observers:
Then there is the account by an Anglican priest named Andrew Ashdown, who traveled to Syria without notifying the government of the true intention of his visit, which was to inspect a government-run shelter in W. Aleppo for Syrians who escaped E. Aleppo. What he observed comported with the accounts provided by Oberg et al.
These highly diverse observers have two and possibly three things in common:
1. They put ‘eyes on the ground,’ whereas most reporters who work for major news organizations reported on Syria from outside the country.
2. They were independent observers; i.e., none worked for a media or government organization or a major NGO.
And while I don’t know about Carla Ortiz, most if not all probably speak Arabic, whereas few in the Western press do..
When your friends have absorbed all those accounts, you might ask them to read the award-winning Irish journalist Patrick Cockburn’s Dec 16 op-ed for the Independent, “There’s more propaganda than news coming out of Aleppo this week.” Cockburn has been reporting from Middle Eastern war zones since 1978.
The writing is not simply about reporting from Aleppo during a certain week; it’s a stinging rebuke of the journalism profession’s coverage of the entire Syrian war.
Cockburn’s piece was followed on December 27 by an op-ed by the German journalist and editor at Germany’s state-run Deutsche Welle (“DW”), Matthias von Hein, “Only good and bad in Syria?” Although he took the obligatory jabs at Bashar al-Assad, his observations were essentially the same as Cockburn’s about the awful job done by the news media in reporting on Syria.
The above doesn’t speak to the redoubtable former British ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford, who has repeatedly embarrassed the British government with his very public criticism of the government’s policies on Syria.
It would be the same for Virgina State Senator Richard Black.
There are videos at YouTube of Peter Ford (not to be confused with Robert Ford) and Richard Black speaking their minds about Syria. What they have to say is in line with that of the other observers listed above.
If someone wants to accuse all these people of being misled, or influence agents for the Russian or Syrian government, I am reminded of Eva Bartlett’s stout reply, “If I sound like RT [about Syria] it’s because they’re telling the truth.” (Or maybe she said ‘the Russian government.’)
Speaking of RT, Rev. Ashdown was on RT television to tell of his observations at the shelter. I think it’s easy to explain how this happened. The year before he and several other Western Christian clerics had been invited to Syria by the country’s Grand Mufti as part of establishing better relations between Muslims and Christians. When he went to inspect the shelter, he was admittedly upset that no foreign press had showed up to see what it was like. So while he doesn’t mention this in his account, it’s pretty certain that he wasn’t out of the shelter five minutes before he rang up the Grand Mufti to tell him what he’d seen. From there he would’ve landed on RT TV so fast his head must have spun.
Trump is seriously pushing back and not rolling over to the hysteria. This must be giving a lot of heartburn to McCain, Graham, Democrats and the MSM. What will the IC do if they start the new POTUS term with no credibility in his eyes?
That was my sense of it when France was attacked in 2015; Hollande completely ignored the Letter to European Youth by Ayatollah Khamenei.
Per the Churchill quip that had Hitler invaded Hell, he would have made a few positive remarks about the Devil in the Commons; I had expected a few words from the President of France. Words such as: “France welcomes the words of Supreme Jurist of Iran about Islam…”
That is when I concluded that France is committed to the destruction of SAR and will not change her policy regardless of her losses.
Iranians are a patient bunch. It takes them a day just to make lunch.
IMO, Europe specially France and UK (not just the governments, but also thier supposedly free democratic minded citizens) are deep bone colonist,(Free Lunch lovers) which they can’t let go, or rather cannot forgot europe’ golden era of before WWII, when they had free hand in exploiting almost the entire globe, including free slave’ labor. Amazingly this two resource poor, inhumanly criminal countries, suport and back each other up in thier effforts, to reformat thier old colonized territories with the conciliatory knowledge of thier citizens.
This recolonization efforts, includes Iraq and Syria for the new century of free lunch era. In thier efforts they bend and kiss any ass they can, including this old colony of theirs. IMO more than the respected governments of these EU countries, thier citizens should be ashamed of themselves, for thier past criminal efforts, including leveling the two greedy global wars, involving the entire world. They are shameless. I hope I didn’t offend anybody speaking history.
Been waiting for this headline, though I didn’t expect it until after the inauguration. The source article is at WSJ.
Trump Is Working On A Plan To Restructure, Pare Back The CIA And America’s Top Spy Agency http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-04/trump-working-plan-restructure-pare-back-cia-and-americas-top-spy-agency
Just in case the accusations that president-elect Donald Trump is a puppet of the Kremlin, intent on destabilizing and weakening the US weren’t loud enough, moments ago the WSJ assured these would hit an unprecedented level with a report that Trump, a harsh critic of U.S. intelligence agencies, is working with top advisers on a plan that would restructure and pare back the nation’s top spy agency, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, prompted by a belief that it has “become bloated and politicized.”
… According to the Journal, among those helping lead Mr. Trump’s plan to restructure the intelligence agencies is his national security adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who had served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency until he was pushed out by DNI James Clapper and others in 2013. Also involved in the planning is Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.), who Mr. Trump selected to be his CIA director.
It’s not just the ODNI: one of the people familiar with Trump’s planning told the WSJ his advisors also are working on a plan to restructure the Central Intelligence Agency, cutting back on staffing at its Virginia headquarters and pushing more people out into field posts around the world. The CIA declined to comment on the plan.
… In what may be seen as a preemptive counter-coup, the WSJ notes that Trump shares the view of Flynn and Pompeo that the intelligence community’s position that Russians tried to help his campaign is an attempt to undermine his victory or say he didn’t win, the official close to the transition said.
Flynn will lead the White House’s National Security Council, giving him broad influence in military and intelligence decisions throughout the government. He is also a believer in rotating senior intelligence agencies into the field and reducing headquarters staff.
PL, you have mentioned the long-running tension between the DIA and CIA. With Flynn, formerly of the DIA, now in a position of power over the CIA in tandem with Pompeo as the new CIA head (with no background or ties with the agency)… how do you think this reorg will play out?
Incoming POTUS Trump rips CIA a new arse hole.
He tweeted the following late Tuesday:
The “Intelligence” briefing on so-called “Russian hacking” was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!
Now what IMO needs to be done is POTUS Trump needs to re-tool the CIA (oh I forgot its now PC term is Clandestine Services) into HUMINT Collection — ONLY!
CIA really screwed its own pooch with their political BS against POTUS Trump.
No idea but it sounds like a good idea. pl
“Pare back” sounds like an excellent plan for all government departments and agencies. I hope Trump brings his business sensibility of value for money to government spending. Killing a few expensive boondoggles and firing a few entitled apparatchiks would set the right tone, IMO.
So the question is where does Trump’s AG, Jeff Sessions, stand on the reported sealed indictment against Assange and wikileaks? Will he drop it?
Will the Swedish prosecutors stay strong?
Nah; I think most of it is moralistic Hubris that the recent flood of refugees exposed to be an empty pose.
Sounds good to me. But this seems like an astonishing concept to the many courtiers in Versailles on the Potomac, as if it is somehow gauche to be concerned if the gov’t is getting the proper value for it’s money.
Loved how Trump went after the F-35 program 🙂
Former Senator Dan Coats as DNI.
This morning (5 Jan.) a hearing is going on before the Senate Armed Services Committee about Foreign Cyber Threats to the United States , with witnesses including DNI James Clapper, NSA director Mike Rogers, and Marcel Lettre II (undersec. of defense for intelligence)–
The most interesting part of the hearing is looking at the people sitting behind the witnesses. To Clapper’s right and the viewer’s left is Robert Litt, the main in-house lawyer at the Office of the Dir. of Nat’l. Intelligence. He put on his dancing shoes after Clapper’s infamous statement before a Senate committee that large amounts of data were not being collected on U.S. persons, and of course said with a straight face that Clapper’s statement was actually not false.
How stretched thin is the BS that it can be threatened by a Twitter message?
What sealed indictment?
As I said above: a “reported sealed indictment”. Whether true or false, Assange seems to believe it. Or does he just use the ghost of that indictment to avoid the rape charge in Sweden.
The kleptocracy is unaccustomed to a leader who does not follow the unwritten rules and customs.
I have read what Craig Murray writes for some years, on and off.
Our backgrounds are rather different. Mine is Anglo-Welsh, with a strong element of old Tory cynic.
So, a lot of me thinks him a kind of ‘Scots prig’, who rubs me up the wrong way.
But people’s virtues and vices are mixed up.
In my view, it would be extraordinarily unlikely that Murray would ‘cover’ for Assange, if he thought he was a rapist. Or, indeed, ‘cover’ for the Russian security services.
That does not mean that Murray could not be involved in ‘covering tracks’ for Assange and others.
That would be perfectly possible – but only if he believed in what he was doing.
(I say this with feeling. Some of my Tory ancestors, I suspect, would have felt that drastic measures were required to deal with people like Murray.)
No, sorry Babak I don’t buy that, one can’t just go around brag and show off to the rest of the world, how free and democratically they elect and change their governments but yet disown what actions the elected government takes, they can’t have it both ways. How could you claim democracy and free elections electing your government yet take no action for this same government when it supports and supplies the Saudis kill poor Yemeni children. IMO, and in my observed experience, the western citizenry knows well, what their elected governments do, done, and will do, before they get elected by majority vote. They are raised with a sense/ mentality that the world belonging to them, and they are all exceptional, average citizen don’t even realize or understand they are practicing a double standard against the rest of the world.
“How could you claim democracy and free elections electing your government yet take no action for this same government when it supports and supplies the Saudis kill poor Yemeni children.”
The man-on-the-street in London or Paris or Madrid or Milan does not care one whit about the Near East or anywhere else. That is at is should be; if Poland is over-run by Russia again, no one in Tehran would care either.
On the theoretical question of the relationship of Representative Government & Rule of Law to foreign policy; I think there is no connection whatsoever.
The purposes of foreign policy is the aggrandizement of power; “Power” being defined as the capacity to force other people to do things that they would not normally wish to do.
The Perfidious Albion, her (his ?) side kick, the Perfidious Minor of Lisbon and others sought that power for making money. In that, they were not any different than the Romans, the Ottomans – or, why go far, Nader Shah when he attacked the Mughals of India.
(Nader Shah actually helped the Perfidious Albion since his war against the Mughals weakened them even more and made them vulnerable to the extension of English Power.)
The same argument that you are making was made by many ex-communists when USSR crushed popular movements in Hungary and in Czechoslovakia; arguing, in essence, that True Socialism was incompatible with Imperialist Foreign Policy.
But I think the theoretical basis of such a position does not exists; either in the discourse of socialism or in the discourse of democracy. I do not say that such a case could not be made but I do not believe that is has been made.
Just consider the American Civil War.
Babak, no actually I am not claiming that they can’t do it, or they shouldn’t do it, (imperialistic hubris) and I am not claiming the man in Tehran or the man in Madrid will give a damn about Polish guy being crushed. What I am saying is that the western man is claiming high moral ground on having democracy and human rights and free elections on choosing their leaders, but majority refuses to take responsibility for what actions this same free democracy brings to others.
I see that I had misunderstood you. Yes, I agree. But then that would bring about the issues of Collective Guilt and Collective Responsibility that so many are uncomfortable to admit, let alone discuss.
A French officer in Occupied Germany stated: “If we wanted to put all the NAZIs in jail, we would have had to build a wall around the country.”
But closer to the Anglo-Saxon World; one could ask: “Who was responsible for the Famines in Ireland and in India?”
In the United States, one could ask: “Who bore responsibility for the lynching of African-American men all over the United States during the so-called Jim Crow period?”
I suppose there was not a Human Rights Watch or an International Criminal Court or the Foundation for Defense of Democracies to take Her Majesty’s Government to task and demand nothing less than regime change in the British Empire.
Likewise for the United States under Jim Crow.
I recently had to remind a European friend again: “Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.”