(Breitbart) A New York Times report on Saturday claimed that FBI Director James Comey decided to reveal last year that he was re-opening the investigation into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton because he suspected Attorney General Loretta Lynch was covering up for her — and because an email found by Russian hackers seemed to support those suspicions.
The Times’ investigative report suggests that a U.S. intelligence agency managed to intercept some of what Russian hackers were stealing — and that one document, “described as both a memo and an email, was written by a Democratic operative who expressed confidence that Ms. Lynch would keep the Clinton investigation from going too far.”
According to the Times, Comey feared that Lynch — who had insisted the Clinton probe be referred to as a “matter” and not as an “investigation,” and who suggested it the investigation was not criminal when, in fact, it was — would declare the case closed, and then Russian hackers would leak the document to undermine the FBI’s image of independence.
The Times notes: “Mr. Comey’s defenders regard this as one of the untold stories of the Clinton investigation, one they say helps explain his decision-making.” And if a local news reporter in Phoenix had not caught Lynch meeting with former President Bill Clinton, she might have succeeded in sheltering the Clintons even more effectively than she had….
The “cyber-security” firm that everyone is depending on to make the case for Russia’s alleged “hacking” of the 2016 presidential election, CrowdStrike, has just retracted a key component of its analysis – but the “mainstream” media continues to chug along, ignoring any facts that contradict their preferred narrative.
As Voice of America – hardly an instrument of Russian propaganda! – reports:
“U.S. cyber security firm CrowdStrike has revised and retracted statements it used to buttress claims of Russian hacking during last year’s American presidential election campaign. The shift followed a VOA report that the company misrepresented data published by an influential British think tank.”
This retraction pulls the rug out from under CrowdStrike’s identification of the hacking group that supposedly broke into the Democratic National Committee’s server. Last year, the company announced that “Fancy Bear” – the name they gave to the hackers – had used identical tools and methods to hack into software used by the Ukrainian military, an act they claimed led to the destruction of 80% of the Ukrainians’ howitzers in their war with rebel forces. Up until that point, CrowdStrike had merely “suspected” that the Russians were behind the DNC hack. However, given the Ukrainian “evidence,” combined with the assumption that the rebels are “Russian-backed,” CrowdStrike head honcho Dmitri Alpervovitch told the Washington Post:
“Now we have high confidence it was a unit of the GRU,” i.e. Russian military intelligence.
Their retraction means that “high confidence” has been considerably lowered down to the level of a mere “suspicion.” Forced to backtrack in light of VOA’s definitive takedown, CrowdStrike’s whole case collapses. Despite dubbing the alleged hackers with the nom de guerre of “Fancy Bear” – as in the Russian bear – the evidence that supposedly identifies whoever broke into the DNC servers as GRU agents is virtually nonexistent. And the remaining “evidence” is hardly impressive. As cyber-security expert James Bamford pointed out:
“Last summer, cyber investigators plowing through the thousands of leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee uncovered a clue.
“A user named ‘Феликс Эдмундович’ modified one of the documents using settings in the Russian language. Translated, his name was Felix Edmundovich, a pseudonym referring to Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky, the chief of the Soviet Union’s first secret-police organization, the Cheka.”
So why would the nefarious albeit highly skilled Russians leave this glaring clue – in Cyrillic, no less! — for all to see? Or was this “clue” deliberate misdirection on the part of the real hackers? The latter seems highly likely – not that the geniuses over at CrowdStrike would want to understand this. After all, they were paid by the Democratic National Committee, which used the incident to drum up a narrative that the evil Russians were trying to damage Hillary Clinton and elect Donald Trump. Follow the money, folks – and Alperovitch’s position with the Atlantic Council, an organization that is assiduously trying to launch another cold war with Moscow.
Remember, the FBI never looked at the DNC servers: they depended on CrowdStrike — which has a $150,000 a year no bid contract to perform “security” services for the agency — to analyze the forensic evidence. Shawn Henry, CrowdStrike’s CSO and head of CrowdStrike Services, is a former assistant executive director of the FBI.
Another leg of the Russian conspiracy theory is the “dirty dossier” compiled by “former” MI6 agent Christopher Steele, which alleges that the Kremlin has compromising information on Trump and is blackmailing him to sell his own country down the river. So who was Steele’s main source? He is one Serge Millian, who goes by at least two other names, and who even friends describe as
“[A] big-talking schmoozer than a globe-trotting interlocutor. They say he’s a self-promoter with a knack for getting himself on television … ‘He’s an opportunist. If he sees an opportunity, he would go after it,’ said Tatiana Osipova, who was a neighbor of Millian’s when he lived in Atlanta and who in 2006 helped him found a trade group, the Russian American Chamber of Commerce in the USA.”
And don’t forget: Steele paid his informants, hardly a way to incentive getting truthful intelligence. Millian denies being Steele’s source, and says the allegations in the dossier are without any basis in fact.
So if CrowdStrike’s analysis of the alleged hacking of the DNC is collapsing, why aren’t we reading about it in the “mainstream media”?
Because the media is no longer serving the interests of its readers: it has become the opposition party, intent on discrediting and overthrowing Trump’s presidency. It is, as Trump puts it, “fake news.”
And so we are forced to witness the fraud of the House Intelligence Committee conducting hearings, which are predicated on an assumption that has no basis in reality, and has already been debunked. Indeed, Democratic party politicians – and the anti-Trump wing of the GOP, represented by Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham – have invested all their political capital in an obsessive anti-Russian campaign, the goal of which is to make any rapprochement between the United States and Russia impossible.
A fraud is being perpetrated in order to achieve certain geopolitical ends. There is historical precedent for this.
In the summer of 1964, the US media reported that North Vietnamese forces had attacked an American destroyer, the USS Maddox, in international waters off the coast of North Vietnam. On the front page of the Washington Post a headline screamed: “American Planes Hit North Vietnam After Second Attack on Our Destroyers; Move Taken to Halt New Aggression” – except it wasn’t true. There had been no attack: bad weather and inexperienced sonar technicians had mistaken phantom “targets” for North Vietnamese attackers. The Maddox had suffered no damage. The “attack” never occurred.
That didn’t stop Lyndon Baines Johnson from going on national television and citing the “attack” as a pretext for escalating the war, and then going to Congress asking for passage of a resolution authorizing “all necessary action to protect our Armed Forces and to assist nations covered by the SEATO Treaty.” What became known as the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution passed the Senate with only two dissenting votes: the vote was unanimous in the House.
Thus a nation was led down the path of escalating a disastrous war on the strength of a lie.
The Russian “hacking” narrative – which all too many Democrats (and a few Republicans) are calling an “act of war” – is just such a lie. It is a cyber-Gulf of Tonkin “incident,” i.e. a made up story that is being used as a pretext for two purposes: 1) To accuse the Trump administration of “collusion” with the Russians, and 2) to block any effort to short-circuit the developing cold war with Russia and repair relations with Moscow.
The media, which has lost all sense of proportion in their eagerness to topple Trump, is promoting a dangerous lie that could lead directly to a conflict with Russia. Do we have to wait for the truth to be declassified twenty years later, as in the case of the Gulf of Tonkin? Well, no, we don’t – because the phony “Russian hacking” narrative has already been debunked by no less than a source than the Voice of America.
So the truth is already out there. The question is, when will it be acknowledged? It may take a while for the facts to percolate out there – Glenn Garvin, writing in the Miami Herald, is one of the few who have reported the VOA scoop — but the truth will come out. It always does. My fear is that it won’t come out before irreparable damage is done – not only to our relations with Russia, but to the political discourse in this country, which is already being poisoned almost beyond repair.
NOTES IN THE MARGIN
You can check out my Twitter feed by going here. But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud.
I’ve written a couple of books, which you might want to peruse. Here is the link for buying the second edition of my 1993 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, with an Introduction by Prof. George W. Carey, a Foreword by Patrick J. Buchanan, and critical essays by Scott Richert and David Gordon (ISI Books, 2008).
You can buy An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), my biography of the great libertarian thinker, here.
Pictured: Russia’s New North Pole Nuke Base: “Moscow Is Putting Down A Serious Military Marker… Seeks To Claim Oil and Gas Reserves”
The global chess game never seems to end, and with Russia’s latest military move the situation in the oil and gas laden Arctic region of the globe is likely to increase tensions even more.
Russia has just unveiled its newest military base in the north pole, complete with 18-months of sustainable reserves for the 150 soldiers who’ll be manning it, as well as an in-house cinema, pool tables and ping pong.
But it’s not designed for just fun and games. The base is reportedly capable of housing both, the Mig-31 fighter jet to defend against possible bombing strikes, as well as the SU-34 front line bomber, which is capable of carrying a variety of Russian-made tactical nuclear weapons.
The move is not only an effective strategy to ensure Russian control of parts of the Arctic, but may create an even more concerning security situation for the United States, which intercepted two Russian nuclear bombers just 1oo miles from Alaska on Tuesday.
The five-storey complex, named Nagursky by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, is on the extreme north of Russia’s Arctic frontier.
The expansion has far-reaching financial and geopolitical ramifications. The Arctic is estimated to hold more hydrocarbon reserves than Saudi Arabia – and Moscow is putting down a serious military marker.
Under President Vladimir Putin, Moscow is rushing to re-open abandoned Soviet military, air and radar bases on remote Arctic islands and to build new ones, as it pushes ahead with a claim to almost half a million square miles of the Arctic.
Officials have said they may deploy military jets there. MiG-31 fighters, designed to shoot down long-range bombers, or the SU-34, a frontline bomber are seen as options, it has been reported.
According to the Moscow Times, it also comes complete with a cinema, table tennis and billiards rooms while a military art studio is also planned.
Low oil prices and Western sanctions imposed over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine mean new offshore Arctic projects have for now been mothballed, but the Kremlin is playing a longer game.
It is building three nuclear icebreakers, including the world’s largest, to bolster its fleet of around 40 breakers, six of which are nuclear. No other country has a nuclear breaker fleet, used to clear channels for military and civilian ships.
Full report: The Daily Mail
Russian soldiers have been training in the region in order to become familiar with the terrain, weather and their military capabilities in the event they are ever attacked:
The base is located in Alexandra Land, a Russian island at the top of the earth that was part of the route taken by Nansen and Johansen on their 1895 North Pole expedition:
With about 22% of the world’s gas and oil reserves under the Arctic sea ice, what was once Santa’s Winter play land may soon turn into another internationally contested geo-political hot spot.
‘The world is a hair’s breadth from nuclear war,’ says pro-Kremlin news presenter
Russian state television has claimed US President Donald Trump is more dangerous than North Korea’s supreme commander, Kim Jong-un, in an apparent indication that Moscow’s opinion of the Republican has shifted.
State media in the country greeted the election of the bombastic property tycoon in November warmly, yet decisions by Mr Trump since coming into office have seen the two administrations come into conflict.
Relations slid after Mr Trump dropped a bomb on Afghanistan, accused Moscow of seizing Crimea by force and launched a missile strike against forces belonging to Russian ally Bashar al-Assad.
News presenter Dmitry Kiselyov who is known for his pro-Kremlin stance, said on his weekly TV news show ‘Vesti Nedeli’: “The world is a hair’s breadth from nuclear war.
Russia, Syria and Iran have warned President Trump to end military intervention in Syria, following revelations that the chemical attack was false flag orchestrated by the West.
Following a meeting between foreign ministers in Moscow on Friday, all three countries have accused Trump of undermining Syria’s sovereignty .
“We have reiterated our position and were united in stating that the attack was an act of aggression, which blatantly violated the principles of international law and the UN Charter,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
“We call on the US and its allies to respect Syria’s sovereignty and refrain from actions similar to what happened on April 7, and which have serious ramification not only for regional, but also global security,” he added.
Lavrov was referring to the Tomahawk missile barrage fired by the US Navy at a Syrian airbase in Homs province. Washington ordered the attack after accusing Damascus of launching a chemical weapons attack at a rebel-held town in Idlib province from that airbase. Russia condemned the move, saying the US hadn’t offered any proof to pin the alleged chemical weapons incident on the Syrian Army.
Meeting with his Iranian and Syrian counterparts, Javad Zarif and Walid Muallem, on Friday, Lavrov pledged to continue Russia’s support of Damascus in fighting terrorism and restoring peace in Syria.
He added that Moscow suspects that the Idlib incident was a provocative act aimed at derailing negotiations between the Syrian government and so-called moderate rebel groups on a political transition in the country. Lavrov said the perpetrators of the deadly release of toxins must be found.
“We insist on a thorough, objective and unbiased investigation of the circumstance of the use of chemical substances in Khan Shaykhun on April 4,” he said, adding that the investigating team must include inspectors chosen from nations from different parts of the world to ensure its objectivity.
Muallem pledged full cooperation of Damascus in carrying out such a probe.
The Russian minister added that Moscow doubts the objectivity of the current mechanisms for investigating alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria, considering the difference in how the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) handles reports by Damascus and by other parties.
“When accusations come against the Syrian government, the OPCW reacts in a matter of days and voices its concern. But they never go on the sites of incidents located in the regions controlled by the armed opposition, citing security issues,” he said. “We consider such analysis from a distance unacceptable.”
Lavrov also accused the US of reviving the Obama administration goal of toppling the Syrian government instead of seeking a political solution, citing the Tomahawk missile attack.
“Such acts of aggression are obviously meant to derail the peace process, which was endorsed in a unanimously adopted resolution of the UN Security Council and implies that the fate of Syria would be decided only by the Syrian people,” he said. “The action was obviously deviating from this basic concept and find new protects to aim for regime change.”
Lavrov said there is an increasing amount of evidence pointing to the conclusion that the chemical incident in Idlib province was staged to set up the Syrian government.
“Publications by professional experts, including some in the US and Britain, say there are too many inconsistencies and gaps in the version of events presented to justify the [US] aggression,” he said.
Zarif accused “certain countries” of hypocrisy, citing Iran’s history of suffering from chemical weapons attack by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq during the 1980s war. Declassified CIA files showed that the US was well aware that Saddam was using CWs against Iranians, but didn’t oppose it and even provided intelligence for such attacks.
MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin’s meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hasn’t produced any positive shift yet in Russia-U.S. relations, the Kremlin said Thursday.
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Russian leader on Wednesday gave Tillerson his view of the causes of the current “deadlock” in bilateral ties. “We hope that the U.S. president will become aware of that analysis,” he said Thursday.
President Donald Trump declared Wednesday that U.S.-Russia ties “may be at an all-time low,” and Tillerson struck a similar tone after a day of talks in Moscow.
Peskov said in a conference call with reporters that Putin’s meeting with Tillerson reflected the “understanding of the need to maintain a dialogue to search for solutions.” He added there was no talk Wednesday about a possible Trump-Putin meeting.
Asked if the meeting at the Kremlin marked any positive change, Peskov said: “Too early yet.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Trump’s administration has found itself under pressure from those who “want to prevent it from curing the wounds inflicted by Barack Obama’s administration and are using the Russian card in internal political struggle.”
Russia’s hopes for a thaw in Russia-U.S. ties following Trump’s election have been shattered by the congressional investigation into alleged ties between Trump’s campaign associates and Russia. The tense back-and-forth over last week’s deadly chemical attack in Syria has added to the strain.
“It’s deplorable, and we regret what is going on, but we can do little except asking to back accusations with facts,” Lavrov said. “There hasn’t been a single fact, although under the pressure of President Donald Trump’s foes the White House has been forced to periodically make statements containing unfounded accusations against us.”
Still, Lavrov sought to put a positive spin on the talks with Tillerson, saying they helped improve mutual understanding.
“The results will not come quickly,” Lavrov said. “But at least we agreed to establish a dialogue on a number of important issues, including problems created by the previous administration.”
This article was written by Tyler Durden and originally published at Zero Hedge.
Editor’s Comment: It’s pretty hard to buy all the B.S. going on here. The outrageous false flag events taking place right now are being used to jump start Trump’s wars, whether he wants it or not, and there will be no turning back once the fires catch. Everything is on high alert. The only question is whether things will die back down, or spark off completely.
Without a real narrative working for them in Syria, the U.S. are constantly compelled to invent one. So far, the Trump Administration has proven easy to manipulate, and wider war seems to be looming overhead.
Putin: “Idlib Was A “False Flag” Attack And We Have Learned That More Are Coming”
by Tyler Durden
With Rex Tillerson on his way to Russia, moments ago Russian president Vladimir Putin shocked reporters when he said that Russia has received intelligence from “trusted sources” that more attacks using chemical weapons are being prepared on the Damascus region, meant to pin the blame on the Assad government.
“We have reports from multiple sources that false flags like this one – and I cannot call it otherwise – are being prepared in other parts of Syria, including the southern suburbs of Damascus. They plan to plant some chemical there and accuse the Syrian government of an attack,” he said at a joint press conference with Italian President Sergio Mattarella in Moscow
The Russian President announced that Russia will officially turn to the UN in the Hague for an investigation of the chemical weapons’ use in Idlib. Moscow has dismissed suggestions that the Syrian government that it backs could be behind the attack in Idlib province.
“All incidents reminiscent of the ‘chemical attacks’ that took place in Idlib must be thoroughly investigated,” Putin said.
Damascus denied the allegations, noting that the targeted area may have been hosting chemical weapons stockpiles belonging to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) or Al-Nusra Front jihadists.
The incident has not been properly investigated as yet, but the US fired dozens of cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase in a demonstration of force over what it labeled a chemical attack by Damascus.
Putin also pointed out that the latest US missile strikes in Syria bring to mind the United States’ UN Security Council address in 2003 that led to the invasion of Iraq, an address which has now been thorougly debunked as using flawed information to garner global support for an invasion.
“President Mattarella and I discussed it, and I told him that this reminds me strongly of the events in 2003, when the US representatives demonstrated at the UN Security Council session the presumed chemical weapons found in Iraq. The military campaign was subsequently launched in Iraq and it ended with the devastation of the country, the growth of the terrorist threat and the appearance of Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS] on the world stage,” he added.
The Russian president also slammed the Idlib attack, officially denouncing it as a “false flag” attack.
Putin also said that there is no meeting with Tillerson currently on his schedule.
Following Putin’s presser, Russian General Staff released a statement announcing that it has information of militants bringing poisonous substances to areas of Khan Shaykhun, West of Aleppo and Eastern Guta in Syria.
Chief of the Russian General Staff Main Operational Directorate Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoy said that the militants are trying to provoke new accusations targeted at Syrian government for alleged use of chemical weapons. The militants aim to incite the US to conduct new strikes, Rudskoy warned, adding that such measures are impermissible. He said that according to the Russian general staff new US airstrikes in Syria are unacceptable and that the Syrian forces posses no chemical weapons.