US Military Hire Thousands Of Online Trolls To Conduct ‘Cyber Warfare’

December 17, 2017 Leave a comment

The US Army is preparing to embed thousands of ‘troll soldiers’ within regular infantry units who will be tasked with conducting cyber warfare online. 

Military officials say the new cyber-warfare unit will deliberately spread misinformation and counter ‘foreign propaganda’ as a means to protect American interests.

Rt.com reports: Under the new protocol, the army’s cyber soldiers will serve six-month rotations while integrated in infantry units. But unlike their rifle-toting comrades, the keyboard warriors will seek control over the battlefield by “non-kinetic” means.

“Not everything is attack and destroy. How can I influence by non-kinetic means? How can I reach up and create confusion and gain control?” Colonel Robert Ryan, who commands a Hawaii-based combat team, said on Wednesday.

The cyber warriors will tailor operations according to their commanders’ needs, but a standard operation would likely involve dragnet information gathering and intercepting enemy transmissions, according to Colonel William Hartman of the army’s Cyber Command.

For the past three years, the army has trained cyber specialists for such operations at a huge center in southern California. Army General Raymond A. Thomas III, chief of US Special Operations Command, said on Wednesday that while responsiveness has improved, “the limiting factor” for America’s cyber warfare capabilities “continues to revolve around policy and process.”

Unlike Russia and China, the United States is “a nation of laws and our process to approve cyber operations in detailed and lengthy,” the general said. Speaking to the Association of the US Army, Thomas argued that commanders on the ground must be given “the ability to employ cyber at the strategic, operational and tactical levels.”

Since appointing its first senior general to direct cyber warfare in 2010, the Pentagon has increasingly viewed cyber warfare as an integral component of America’s war-fighting arsenal.

Cyber Command had previously been a subordinate part of the US Strategic Command, but was elevated it to its own command in August – a sign of its growing importance. In recent months, Washington has accused Russia and China of posing existential threats to US cyber security. In May, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats accused Russia of being a “full-scope cyber actor” that will remain a “major threat” to the US government.

Moscow, however, says it seeks to demilitarize cyberspace. Speaking to RT in July, Andrey Krutskikh, one of Vladimir Putin’s top communications tech advisors, said that the international community “should agree not to militarize cyberspace, and set some international ground rules.” He added that “when humanity realized the horror of biological weapons, it banned them. We are in the same situation right now. We should avoid the mistakes of the Atomic Age, when we first armed ourselves sufficiently to destroy each other, and then began to disarm.”

On the other hand, a group of NATO members is seeking agreement on new cyber-warfare rules, which would loosen restrictions on using offensive cyber weapons. Reuters reported in November that the United States, Britain, Germany, Norway, Spain, Denmark and the Netherlands are drafting new guidelines which would justify deploying cyber weapons more broadly. The US, Britain, the Netherlands, Germany and France already have established “cyber commands.”

Pakistan Bans George Soros After Discovering CIA Ties

December 17, 2017 Leave a comment

Pakistan has banned George Soros and his charity from operating in the country after discovering that his organizations have ties to the CIA.

The Pakistani government has toughened its stance on domestic and international non-governmental groups, accusing at least 10 foreign-funded aid groups of using their work as a cover for espionage.

Haaretz.com reports: In January, it ordered about a dozen groups working on women’s issues and human rights to halt their operations.

A representative of the Pakistan Humanitarian Forum (PHF), which represents 63 international aid groups, said the Ministry of Interior had issued 10 of its members “letters of rejection”, meaning their applications to register had been rejected.

The forum did not identify the 10 groups but two international groups, the Pakistani branch of the Soros’ charity the Open Society Foundations, and ActionAid, said they had been told they had to close.

“We obviously find what has happened both disappointing and surprising, and are urgently seeking clarification,” the executive director of the Open Society’s Pakistani office, Saba Khattak, said in a statement.

The group had spent $37 million on grants and relief assistance in Pakistan since 2005, she said.

The interior ministry did not respond to requests for comment.

However, the ministry, in a letter to one of the 10 groups and seen by Reuters, said its registration application had been denied.

“Wind up operations/activities of above said INGO within 60 days,” the ministry said in the letter.

It did give a reason why the group had to stop its work.

The ministry lists 139 international non-governmental organizations (INGO) on its website that have submitted registration applications, of which 72 are still being processed.

There is no list of those whose applications have been denied.

“During the lengthy INGO registration process we provided all the information and documents required and are confident we comply with all necessary rules and regulations,” ActionAid country director Iftikhar Nizami said in a statement.

This year, medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres was ordered to stop work at three facilities in violence-plagued ethnic Pashtun areas bordering Afghanistan, although the interior ministry lists the group as an approved INGO.

The Save the Children aid group fell afoul of the government in 2011, when it was linked to a Pakistani doctor recruited by the CIA to help in the hunt that led to the killing of al Qaeda militant leader Osama bin Laden in the town of Abbottabad.

Save the Children’s foreign staff were expelled from Pakistan soon after the accusations surfaced, but more than 1,000 local staff continued to operate.

The charity denied any links with the doctor or the CIA.

WHO: Cellphones and Wi-fi Doubles Risk Of Miscarriage

December 17, 2017 1 comment

The World Health Organization warn that Wi-fi and cellphones increase pregnant women’s risk of suffering a miscarriage by almost 50 percent.

Scientists from the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California, have found that magnetic field (MF) non-ionizing radiation puts huge stress on the body, leading to genetic damage that can induce a miscarriage.

Dailymail.co.uk reports: Those exposed to the highest levels of MF radiation are 48 percent more likely to lose their baby than women exposed to the lowest amounts, the US study found.

MF radiation, which everyone is exposed to at some extent, has previously been linked to cancer and has been recommended by the World Health Organization to be studied for its effect on pregnancies.

Miscarriages affect between 15 and 20 percent of pregnancies in the US. They are defined as losing babies less than 20 weeks into their gestation.

How the research was carried out 

Researchers from the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California, analyzed 913 pregnant women at varying stages of their gestation.

Some of the study’s participants had previously suffered at least one miscarriage.

All of the participants carried an EMDEX Lite meter, which measures MF-radiation exposure, for 24 hours on a typical day.

Their pregnancy outcomes were followed for the duration of their gestation.

High-radiation exposure increases the risk by up to 48% 

Results reveal pregnant women with the highest MF-radiation exposure have a 48 percent greater risk of miscarrying than those with the lowest exposure.

Among pregnant women exposed to the highest levels of MF radiation, 24.2 per cent had a miscarriage compared to 10.4 per cent of those exposed to the lowest amounts.

This risk occurs regardless of whether women have suffered miscarriages in the past and are therefore more likely to lose another baby before its birth.

Lead author Dr De-Kun Li said: ‘This study provides evidence from a human population that magnetic field non-ionizing radiation could have adverse biological impacts on human health.

‘We hope that the finding from this study will stimulate much-needed additional studies into the potential environmental hazards to human health, including the health of pregnant women.’

The findings were published in the journal Scientific Reports.

FBI Texts Reveal ‘Insurance Policy’ Plot To Oust President Trump

December 17, 2017 Leave a comment

Newly released FBI text messages reveal an ‘insurance policy’ plot by senior agents at the bureau to oust President Trump. 

Following the release of 10,000 FBI text massages by the The House Judiciary Committee, details have emerged that the lead FBI official in charge of the Trump-Russia probe sent a text to an FBI lawyer last year discussing a sinister ‘insurance policy’ against Trump in the event that he became President.

Zerohedge.com reports: “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office – that there’s no way he [Trump] gets elected – but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk.” writes FBI counterintelligence officer Peter Strzok to FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was having an extramarital affair while spearheading both the Clinton email inquiry and the early Trump-Russia probe, adding “It’s like a life insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”

Clearly Lisa Page thought there was no way Trump would win during a conversation in then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s office, yet Strzok clearly states to Page that he “can’t take that risk” in the “unlikely event” Trump was elected, and that an insurance policy of some type existed to presumably undermine Trump. If this is the case, it would constitute an active measure taken by the FBI against one candidate for US President, while aiding the other.

The text message which references an “insurance policy” is all the more controversial when you consider another exchange in which Peter Strzok says “I am riled up. Trump is a f*cking idiot, is unable to provide a coherrent answer,” and “I CAN’T PULL AWAY, WHAY THE F*CK HAPPENED TO OUR COUNTRY (redacted)??!?!”

Page responds “I don’t know, But we’ll get it back. …”

Page then messages Strzok, saying “And maybe you’re meant to stay where you are because you’re meant to protect the country from that menace. (links to NYT article), to which Strzok replied “I can protect our country at many levels.”

What, exactly, does Peter Strzok mean by “protect our country at many levels” in his text to Page? Is this a reference to the insurance policy?

The “insurance” text message was one of 375 released Tuesday night before a House Judiciary Committee hearing with Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, and one of 10,000 text messages exchanged between the two top FBI investigators. Strzok was fired from Robert Mueller’s special counsel in August, however the reason for his dismissal was not revealed until last month, prompting several congressional panels to turn up the heat on the FBI and the DOJ.

The text messages make abundantly clear that Strzok – the man who downgraded the FBI’s assessment of Hillary’s email mishandling from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless,” and reportedly used a largely unfounded Trump-Russia dossier to launch a counterintelligence operation – holds a deep disdain for Donald Trump.

As we reported earlier, in one exchange obtained by Fox News sent on March 4th, 2016 – right around the time Trump emerged as a serious threat in the GOP primary race, Page texted Strzok “God, Trump is a loathsome human,” to which Strzok responded “Yet he many[win]” Strzok responded, adding “Good for Hillary.”

Other text messages call trump an idiot, who’s awful.

Fox reporter Shannon Brem tweeted that Fox News producer Jake Gibson has obtained 10k texts between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, one of which says “Trump should go f himself,” and “F TRUMP.”

Along with the text messages, Strzok’s conduct in the Clinton investigation and several prior cases are now under review for political bias by the Justice Department. Furthermore, the fact that the reason behind Strzok’s firing was kept a secret for months is of keen interest to House investigators. According to Fox News two weeks ago:

“While Strzok’s removal from the Mueller team had been publicly reported in August, the Justice Department never disclosed the anti-Trump texts to the House investigators.”

“Responding to the revelations about Strzok’s texts on Saturday, Nunes said he has now directed his staff to draft contempt-of-Congress citations against Rosenstein and the new FBI director, Christopher Wray.” -Fox News

As we also reported, Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) suggested in a hearing with FBI Director Chris Wray last week that the Peter Strzok rabbit hole might be far deeper than anyone imagined. To summarize, Jordan’s theory is that Strzok received the controversial “Trump Dossier” from the Clinton campaign then went to the FISA courts where he passed it off as a legitimate piece of intelligence in an effort to obtain the warrants necessary to effectively spy on the Trump campaign.

“Here’s what I think Director Wray.  I think Peter Strzok, head of counter intelligence at the FBI, Peter Strzok the guy who ran the Clinton investigation and did all the interviews, Peter Strzok, the guy who was running the Russia investigation at the FBI, Peter Strzok, Mr. ‘Super Agent’ at the FBI, I think he’s the guy who took the application to the FISA court…and if that happened…if you have the FBI working with the Democrats’ campaign, taking opposition research, dressing it all up and turning it into an intelligence document and taking it to the FISA court so they can spy on the other campaign…if that happened…that’s as wrong as it gets.”

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein – who launched the Mueller probe – was on the hot seat today in front of the House Judiciary Committee to face questions over Strzok, Mueller, and the Trump investigation. When asked if he was aware how biased Peter Strzok was, Rosenstein answered: no, adding that he has seen “no reason to fire Mueller.”

So, despite having rooted out two rabidly anti-Trump lead investigators from the Mueller probe, and the fact that the Special Counsel is stacked with Democrats who have apparently sent more anti-Trump messages to each other – which, according to reports will come out in the next 4-6 weeks, Rosenstein sees no cause to fire Mueller and close down this sham of an investigation.

Nikki Haley Shows ‘Irrefutable Evidence’ That Iran Is Arming Rebels In Yemen

December 17, 2017 Leave a comment

US ambassador to UN plans to build international coalition against Tehran

The US increased tensions with Iran today by publicly accusing the Islamic Republic of supplying illegal weapons to the Houthi rebel group in Yemen and “fanning the flames of conflict” across the Middle East.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said she has “irrefutable evidence” that Iran tried to cover up violations of international obligations as she stood before the twisted remains of a missile fired by the rebel group into Saudi Arabia,

Calling Iran a ‘global threat’ she said the US was taking the “extraordinary step” of declassifying American intelligence about Iran’s activities.

RT reports: Under the current administration the US attitude towards Iran has hardened. Earlier this year, President Donald Trump claimed that a 2015 financial deal intended to limit Iran’s nuclear program has helped the nation fund terrorism.

Speaking about the new strategy on Iran, ambassador Nikki Haley indicated US agencies and their international partners are currently scrutinizing Iran’s ballistic missiles program, arms exports and “its support for terrorists, proxy fighters and dictators.”

Under the 2015 UN resolution on Iran’s nuclear program, the supply, sale or transfer of ballistic missiles from the country must be approved by the UN security council on a case-by-case basis.

Standing in front of a partially incinerated missile shell purported to have been fired into Saudi Arabia from Yemen, Haley told reporters at a Washington military base that illegal Iranian weapons are spreading throughout the Middle East.

“Our new strategy was prompted by the undeniable fact that the Iranian regime’s behavior is growing worse. The nuclear deal has done nothing to moderate the regime’s conduct in other areas.”

Haley said the US will attempt to build a international coalition to “push back” against Iran.

She said missiles from Iran have been found in war zones across the Middle East.

“It’s hard to find a conflict or a terrorist group in the Middle East that does not have Iran’s fingerprints all over it.”

The Iran government has stated that the country’s weapons program is for defense purposes. The US envoy presented remains of a missile found in Saudi Arabia as proof of attacks against US allies in the Middle East. Haley said the missile’s intended target was a civilian airport in Riyadh.

Weapon parts from a “kamikaze drone” and a boat fitted with a warhead were also mentioned as evidence of Iran backed aggression in the region. A date or location for when this weaponry was found was not announced by Haley.

The Government of Islamic Republic of Iran has since released a statement describing the evidence as “fabricated,” report Reuters.

Saudi Arabia has welcomed the US stance and called for “immediate measures” to ensure the 2015 UN resolution is adhered to.

Study: Weapons Supplied To Syrian Opposition Ended Up ‘Boosting’ ISIS Arsenal

December 17, 2017 Leave a comment

A new investigation has revealed that most of the advanced weaponry used by ISIS came from supplies the US and Saudi Arabia sent to the region.

The study released by the London based Conflict Armament Research (CAR), claims to be the most comprehensive to date.

The investigation concluded that the weapons supplied to opposition groups “significantly augmented the quantity and quality of weapons available to ISIS forces in numbers far beyond those that would have been available to the group through battlefield capture alone”,

It said that the US and Saudi Arabia “indirectly allowed the terrorists to obtain substantial quantities of anti-armour ammunition” including anti-tank guided weapons (ATGW) and rockets with tandem warheads.

The study took over a three and a half years to conduct and was funded by the European Union. Entitled “Weapons of the Islamic State,” the report claims to be “unquestionably the most comprehensive, verified study of the group’s weapons to date.”

Press TV reports: The possession of these arms by Daesh remains a threat to the US-led coalition forces still operating in Syria and Iraq, according to the study released Thursday by Conflict Armament Research (CAR), a UK-based organization that monitors the movement of conventional weapons.

The weapons included anti-tank rockets purchased by the US military that ended up in possession of ISIL within two months of leaving the factory, according to the study, which was funded by the European Union and German government.

Efforts by the US and other countries to supply weapons to militant groups “have significantly augmented the quantity and quality of weapons available to (ISIL) forces,” the report concluded.

The study examined 40,000 weapons and other items recovered from Daesh, during the past three years.

CAR researchers were unable to determine whether Daesh captured the weapons on the war zone or whether the militants sold or gave the arms to the terror group.

The report cites an ISIL propaganda video showing the terror group’s fighters with weapons captured last year from the so-called New Syrian Army, a coalition of militant groups battling the government forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

It has long been known that ISIL captured huge amounts of US weapons, including tanks and artillery, when the terror group swept into Syria and Iraq in 2014.

The White House ended a secretive CIA operation begun by the administration of then President Barack Obama in 2013 to arm anti-Assad militants.

The covert program arming anti-Assad militants is distinct from the Pentagon’s publicly acknowledged operation to arm the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab forces fighting ISIL, but not Assad.

Saudi Arabia, which like the US strongly opposes the Syrian government, also supplies weapons to militant groups.

The new study raises questions about other sources for weapons.

The report said most of the weapons secretly sent to militants in Syria were purchased by the United States and Saudi Arabia from arms manufactured in Eastern Europe. It said the way the US government purchased the weapons raised troubling concerns about controlling arms sales.

The US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate.

The military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians. It has also been largely incapable of achieving its declared goal of destroying Daesh.

Iran Calls For Joint International Effort To Put An End To Yemen’s Nightmare

December 17, 2017 Leave a comment

Iran’s Foreign Minister has called for a collective international effort to end the “nightmare” war in Yemen

On his official Twitter account on Wednesday Mohammad Javad Zarif expressed Tehran’s readiness to contribute to any efforts towards an immediate ceasefire, delivery of humanitarian aid and an intra-Yemeni dialogue aimed at ending the conflict in the country. He rejected a military solution to the conflict.

Press TV reports: Saudi Arabia and a coalition of its allies have been pounding Yemen since March 2015 in a bid to bring back to power the former Yemeni president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, and undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement.

In addition to airstrikes, the Saudi-led military coalition has also imposed a blockade on Yemen, with the United Nations warning that 8.4 million Yemenis are a step away from famine.

“We will have a large-scale humanitarian catastrophe of a much larger magnitude than we currently face if commercial vessels carrying food and fuel can’t get in. It will be beyond the control of the humanitarian community,” Stephen Anderson, Yemen country director for the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP), said on Tuesday.

“We are trying to help prevent a famine from occurring,” he added.

Yemen is also suffering from an outbreak of cholera, with children making up nearly a third of infections of the waterborne disease.

Some 960,000 suspected cases of cholera and 2,219 deaths have been reported since the epidemic began in April, the latest figures released by the World Health Organization show.

More than 12,000 people have been killed since the onset of the campaign. Much of the Arabian Peninsula country’s infrastructure, including hospitals, schools and factories, has been reduced to rubble due to the war.

UN-brokered talks between Yemen’s warring sides have failed to end the conflict so far.

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