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Which Of These Poses The Greater Threat To The Country? | Zero Hedge

Posted by M. C. on September 27, 2020

What we witnessed was not just an attempted coup, it was a window into the inner-workings of a secret government operating independently from within the state. And the sedition was not confined to a few posts at the senior levels of the FBI, CIA, NSA, or DOJ. No. The corruption has saturated the entire structure, seeping down to the lower levels where career bureaucrats eagerly perform tasks that are designed to damage or incriminate elected officials. How did it ever get this bad?

And who is calling the shots? We still don’t know.

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/which-these-poses-greater-threat-country

 

Authored by Mike Whitney,

“The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.”

– Joseph Conrad

Here’s your political puzzler for the day: Which of these two things poses a greater threat to the country:

  1. An incompetent and boastful president who has no previous government experience and who is rash and impulsive in his dealings with the media, foreign leaders and his critics?

  2. Or a political party that collaborates with senior-level officials in the Intel agencies, the FBI, the DOJ, the media, and former members of the White House to spy on the new administration with the intention of gathering damaging information that can be used to overthrow the elected government?

 

The answer is “2”, the greater threat to the country is a political party that engages in subversive activity aimed at toppling the government and seizing power. In fact, that’s the greatest danger that any country can face, an enemy from within. Foreign adversaries can be countered by diplomatic engagement and shoring up the nation’s military defenses, but traitors–who conduct their activities below the radar using a secret network of contacts and connections to inflict maximum damage on the government– are nearly unstoppable.

What the Russiagate investigation shows, is that high-ranking members of the Democrat party participated in the type of activities that are described above, they were part of an illicit coup d’etat aimed at removing Donald Trump from office and rolling back the results of the 2016 elections. It is a vast understatement to say that the operation was merely an attack on Donald Trump when, in fact, it was an attack on the system itself, a full-blown assault on the right of ordinary people to choose their own leaders. That’s what Russiagate is really all about; it was an attempt to torpedo democracy by invoking the flimsy and unverifiable claim that Trump was an agent of the Kremlin.

None of this, of course, has been discussed in a public forum because those platforms are all privately-owned media that are linked to the people who executed the junta. But for those who followed events closely, and who know what actually happened, there has never been a more serious crime in American history. What we discovered was that the permanent bureaucracy, the media and the Democrat party are riddled with strategically-placed quislings and collaborators that are willing to sabotage their own government if they are so directed. The question that immediately comes to mind is this: Who concocted this plot, who authorized the electronic eavesdropping, the confidential informants, the widespread spying, the improperly obtained warrants, the fake news, and the endless leaks to the media? Who?

What we witnessed was not just an attempted coup, it was a window into the inner-workings of a secret government operating independently from within the state. And the sedition was not confined to a few posts at the senior levels of the FBI, CIA, NSA, or DOJ. No. The corruption has saturated the entire structure, seeping down to the lower levels where career bureaucrats eagerly perform tasks that are designed to damage or incriminate elected officials. How did it ever get this bad?

And who is calling the shots? We still don’t know.

Let me pose a theory: The operation might have been concocted by former CIA-Director John Brennan, but Brennan surely is not the prime instigator, nor is Clapper, Comey or even Obama. The real person or persons who initiated the coup will likely never be known. These are the Big Money guys who operate in the shadows and who have a stranglehold on the Intelligence agencies. These are the gilded Mandarins who have their tentacles wrapped firmly around the entire state-power apparatus and who dictate policy from their leather-bound chairs at their high-end men’s clubs. These are the people who decided that Donald Trump “had to go” whatever the cost. They pulled out all the stops, engaged their assets across the bureaucracy, and launched a desperate 3 and half year-long regime change operation that blew up in their faces leaving behind a trail carnage from Washington, DC to Sydney, Australia. In contrast, Trump somehow slipped the noose and escaped largely unscathed. He was pummeled mercilessly in the media, disparaged by his political rivals, and raked over the coals by the chattering classes, but — at the end of the day– it was Trump who was left standing.. Trump– who took on the entire political establishment, the Intel agencies, the FBI, the mainstream media, and the Democratic party– had beaten them all at their own game. Go figure??

 

Keep in mind, the Democrats have known that the Mueller probe was a fraud from as early as 2017 when the President of Crowdstrike, Shawn Henry, (who provided cyber security for the DNC) admitted to Congress that there was no forensic evidence that the DNC emails had been hacked by Russia or anyone else.

Think about that for a minute: The entire Mueller investigation was based on the assumption that Russia hacked into the DNC servers and stole the emails. We now know that never happened. The cyber-security team that conducted the investigation of the DNC computers admitted in sworn testimony before Congress that there was no evidence of “exfiltration” or pilfering of any kind. Repeat: There was no proof of hacking, no proof of Russian involvement, and no proof of foul play. The entire foundation upon which the Russia investigation was built, turned out to be false. More importantly, Democrat members of the Intelligence Committee knew it was false from the get-go, but opted to let the charade continue anyway. Why?

Because the truth didn’t matter, what mattered was getting rid of Trump by any means necessary. That’s why they used “opposition research” (Note– “Oppo” research is the hyperbolic nonsense political parties use to smear a political opponent.) to illegally obtain warrants to spy on members of the Trump team. It’s because the Democrat leadership will do anything to regain power.

By the way, we also have evidence that the warrants that were used to spy on Trump were obtained illegally. The FISA court was deliberately misled so the FBI could carry out its vendetta on Trump. Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith “did willfully and knowingly make and use a false writing and document, knowing the same to contain a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement and entry in a matter before the jurisdiction of the executive branch and judicial branch of the Government of the United States.” Bottom line: Clinesmith deliberately altered emails so that FISA applications could be renewed and the spying on the Trump campaign could continue.

So, let’s summarize:

  1. The Democrats knew there was no proof the emails were stolen; thus, they knew the Russia probe was a hoax.

  2. The Democrats knew that their fraudulent “opposition research” was being used to illegally obtain warrants to spy on the Trump camp. This makes them accessory to a crime.

  3. Finally, the Democrats continue to spread (virtually) the same Russia-Trump collusion allegations today that they did before the Mueller investigation released its report. The lies and disinformation have persisted as if the “nation’s most expensive and exhaustive investigation” had never taken place. What does this tell us about the Democrats?

On a superficial level, it tells us that they can’t be trusted because they don’t tell the truth. But on a deeper level, it expresses the party’s Ruling Doctrine, which is to control the public by means of deceit, disinformation, propaganda and lies. Only the powerful and well-connected are entitled to know the truth, everyone else must be subjected to fabrications that are crafted in a way that best coincides with the overall objectives of ruling elites. That’s why the Democrats stick with the shopworn mantra that Trump is in bed with Russia. It doesn’t matter that the theory has been thoroughly discredited and disproved. It doesn’t even matter that the theory was never the slightest bit believable to begin with. What matters is that party leaders are preventing ordinary people from knowing the truth, which is an essential part of their governing doctrine. It’s surprising that this doesn’t piss-off more Democrats, after all, it’s the ultimate expression of contempt and condescension. When someone lies to your face relentlessly, repeatedly and shamelessly, they are expressing their loathing for you. Can’t they see that?

But maybe you think this is overstating the case? Maybe you think the Dems are just trying to “cover their backside” on a matter that is purely political?

Okay, but answer this: Were the Democrats involved in a plot to overthrow the President of the United States?

Yes, they were.

Is that treason?

Yes, it is.

Then, are we really prepared to say that treason is “purely political”?

No, especially since Russiagate was not a one-off, but just the first shocking example of how the Democrats operate. If we examine the Dems approach to the Covid-19 crisis, we see that their policy is actually more destructive than the 4-year Russia fiasco.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Revolution Is Being Institutionalized in the Federal Government – PaulCraigRoberts.org

Posted by M. C. on September 5, 2020

Most Americans are too removed from reality to be aware of the peril that they are in. Critical Race Theory, an anti-white doctrine designed to produce revolution in the United States in order to overthrow “white rule,” has long held sway in the universities and public schools.

Stay with the remaining 30 minutes of Carlson’s show.  You will learn that a Democrat experienced at stealing elections says that is what voting by mail enables.

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2020/09/04/revolution-is-being-institutionalized-in-the-federal-government/

Paul Craig Roberts

SUPPORT  YOUR  WEBSITE

Dear Readers:  It is September and my quarterly request for your support. The media tells you nothing of what really is going on.  The presstitutes constitute a propaganda ministry.  I do my best to show you what is really happening. For example, the Covid thing is overstated and we are prevented from effective treatment by HCQ and zinc because Big Pharma wants to make billions of dollars on a vaccine.  Our economy is wrecked because high-productivity, high value-added jobs were offshored to Asia. We are undergoing a revolution from above by deconstructing white Americans’ sense of themselves and their culture.  And so forth.  Where else can you get the information I provide?

It is becoming harder and harder to tell the truth.  Censorship is tightening, and the cancelling of truth-tellers by smears and accusations is rising.  Smears and accusations scare off easily intimidated readers.

This website has a large domestic and international readership, reaching as many as 109 countries.  In the first eight months of this year, the site has had almost 4 million visits.  If support matched readership, I could do much more research and field investigative reporters, a disappearing breed.

Keep in mind that truth is not free and is becoming ever more expensive.

Now for today’s column:

 

Revolution Is Being Institutionalized in the Federal Government

Paul Craig Roberts

Most Americans are too removed from reality to be aware of the peril that they are in.  Critical Race Theory, an anti-white doctrine designed to produce revolution in the United States in order to overthrow “white rule,” has long held sway in the universities and public schools. On an Executive Order from former President Obama, critical race theory now has infiltrated the Federal government cabinet agencies including the Treasury and FBI within the Department of Justice. US government employees, if white, are required to attend Soviet-style self-denunciation “sensitivity training sessions” and acknowledge their inherent racism as a white person.  One wonders that no one has told President Trump about this. Our taxpayer dollars are paying for indoctrination sessions that make white people unable to defend their race and their rights to equality under the law.

In no previous country in history that was overthrown had the rot reached the inner sanctums of the government itself.

Tucker Carlson, the only TV journalist remaining in the US, and his guest, a researcher into the undermining of the US government under Trump’s nose by critical race theory, show in the first nine minutes of Tucker’s show (soon to be taken down by the censors at YouTube)—https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GK5mtY6twTQ —the extent to which the US government bureaucracy is being brainwashed against White Americans.

What you need to understand, although it will be difficult for you, is that in the Trump administration itself, revolution against white people is being institutionalized within the US Government. 

Stay with the remaining 30 minutes of Carlson’s show.  You will learn that a Democrat experienced at stealing elections says that is what voting by mail enables.  The Democrats already know that they have lost the election.  They intend to steal it by throwing out mail-in ballots from Trump areas.  Even postal employees are participants in the theft. No Trump vote that is cast by mail will be counted.

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All Spying, All the Time – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on August 20, 2020

The FISA Court meets in secret in Washington, D.C., and even the judges on the court do not have access to its records. So, the court was hugely embarrassed a few years ago when one of its orders was leaked to the press. It was an order to Verizon directing it to furnish a year’s worth of telephone records to the National Security Agency — America’s 60,000-person strong domestic spy agency — of all 113 million Verizon customers! This was done without the NSA showing probable cause of crime and without identifying a single customer.

Stated differently, the federal government was not warning Americans about foreign spies or the depth of its own spying. It was warning government employees about the depth of sophisticated Americans spying on them. The failure to abide this warning is surely one of the reasons the feds largely departed Portland’s streets as the demonstrators knew when and where the troops would arrive.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/08/andrew-p-napolitano/all-spying-all-the-time/

By

During this summer of madness in Portland, Oregon, and sadness over COVID-19, two below-the-radar events occurred implicating the insatiable appetite of the United States government to spy on everyone in America. Regular readers of this column know that the feds have been wearing away at our privacy rights using a multitude of means. Yet, these two below-the-fold events this summer have caught the feds flatfooted.

Here is the backstory.

After the calamity of Watergate, Congress investigated the nature and extent of FBI and CIA spying on Americans as ordered by President Richard Nixon. A Senate committee headed by the late Sen. Frank Church, D-Idaho, in 1975 made such startling revelations of warrantless and unlawful spying on Americans pursuant to presidential whims — going back to FDR — that it offered legislation to provide judicial oversight.

The legislation is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. It established the FISA Court, with a rotating membership of federal district court judges appointed to it by the chief justice.

FISA is profoundly unconstitutional because it authorizes the judges on the FISA Court to issue search warrants using a lesser standard of proof than what the Constitution requires. The Fourth Amendment requires proof of the likelihood of evidence of crimes in the place to be searched as a precondition for the issuance of search warrants, and it requires specification of the place to be searched or the person or thing to be seized.

When James Madison wrote the Fourth Amendment, his goal was to compel the government to focus its investigative resources on evidence of crimes, not spying on political adversaries, as the British had done to the colonists, and to establish that the natural right to be left alone by the government — privacy — is the default position.

FISA reverses all that. It presumes that the feds can obtain all the business and financial records they want about any person for any reason because they can define “business records” and “financial records” to include anything they want, such as mail from the Post Office or medical and legal records.

FISA also ignores the constitutional requirement of probable cause of crime and substitutes in an amorphous and absurd standard of probable cause of speaking to any person who has spoken to any foreign person. FISA also ignores the specificity requirement of identifying the place to be searched and the person or thing to be seized.

The FISA Court meets in secret in Washington, D.C., and even the judges on the court do not have access to its records. So, the court was hugely embarrassed a few years ago when one of its orders was leaked to the press. It was an order to Verizon directing it to furnish a year’s worth of telephone records to the National Security Agency — America’s 60,000-person strong domestic spy agency — of all 113 million Verizon customers! This was done without the NSA showing probable cause of crime and without identifying a single customer.

The unconstitutional order was granted pursuant to section 215 of FISA. That section purports to permit bulk acquisition of electronic data — print and voice — without identifying whose data is being sought and without requiring any showing of probable cause of crime. Last February, section 215 expired, and Congress made fruitless attempts to revive it.

Last week, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., when he adjourned the Senate for the summer, addressed the issues it will take up in the fall. FISA section 215 was not among them. McConnell’s silence is baffling as he and the intelligence community have been claiming loud and long, for nearly 20 years, that without section 215, the United States is ripe for subversion and invasion.

Was the pro-spying crowd in the government exaggerating all along about its need for section 215, or will the NSA continue to spy without even a tissue of statutory authorization? My friends formerly in the NSA tell me it doesn’t care about the law or the Constitution. Its goal is to spy on all persons all the time.

A few days before the mysterious McConnell silence came a rare public warning from the NSA. These master spies were concerned that military and Department of Homeland Security personnel in the streets of Portland were unwittingly exposing themselves to being spied upon, not by the feds, but by demonstrators in the streets using the same sophisticated spying tools the government uses.

Thus, the NSA warned that the demonstrators were using stingrays — fake cell towers that send signals that lock onto mobile phones permitting the user of the tower to follow the movements of the phones — as many local police departments unlawfully do.

Stated differently, the federal government was not warning Americans about foreign spies or the depth of its own spying. It was warning government employees about the depth of sophisticated Americans spying on them. The failure to abide this warning is surely one of the reasons the feds largely departed Portland’s streets as the demonstrators knew when and where the troops would arrive.

Government spying is a way of life for tens of thousands of government personnel, even outside the NSA. Yet, all of them have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution, which guarantees the right to privacy — privacy as a natural right, as the default position, with its invasion strictly limited to collect evidence of crimes from identified persons when authorized by a judge.

We have come full circle from Madison’s America. He was determined to craft a government that could not do to Americans what the British had done to the colonists. He failed.

Andrew P. Napolitano [send him mail], a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel. Judge Napolitano has written nine books on the U.S. Constitution. The most recent is Suicide Pact: The Radical Expansion of Presidential Powers and the Lethal Threat to American Liberty. To find out more about Judge Napolitano and to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit creators.com.

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Is treasonous FBI running BLM riots? Photos, videos appear to capture FBI agents playing roles of armed rioters – NaturalNews.com

Posted by M. C. on August 13, 2020

Check out the video.

The claims are based on the comms worn by the “protesters” and their “FBI stance”.

I can believe the FIB will do anything to keep the fear alive.

What do you think?

https://www.naturalnews.com/2020-08-11-is-treasonous-fbi-running-the-blm-riots.html

(Natural News) We already know the FBI, under James Comey, was a treasonous, criminal enterprise engaged in masterminding more terror plots across America than any other group, including radical Islamic terrorists.

Under Comey, the FBI engaged in a treasonous coup attempt against President Trump. FBI officials altered 302 interview records, lied to the FISA court and later lied to the United States Senate under sworn testimony. For at least eight years under Obama — and probably much longer — the FBI was acting like a lawless criminal cartel, terrorizing America for political gain. And even under current Director Wray, the FBI continues to stonewall investigations into the deep state in a criminal conspiracy in order to cover up the crimes of the FBI under Obama and Comey.

See story, “New York Times openly admits domestic terror plots masterminded by the FBI.”

Now, it appears the FBI may be actively participating in Black Lives Matter terrorism by dressing up FBI agents as “protesters” and instigating criminal violence across America.

The following video appears to show armed FBI agents threatening civilian vehicle drivers during riots, using their FBI training to carry out acts of terrorism in the United States of America, according to the video narrator:

One of the photos mentioned in that video appears to depict trained FBI agents wielding pistols against civilian vehicle drivers. Note the “low ready” pistol position and the stance of the gun holders, both of which resemble FBI training for its agents. Are these really FBI agents, or is it just coincidence? You decide:

Photos have also emerged of individuals who appear to be government operations dressing up like Antifa or BLM protesters while attempting to hide their comms gear:

You can clearly see the earpiece in this zoomed-in photo. This earpiece would obviously connect to a radio:

The FBI claims Antifa is a “peaceful” group that does no harm

In addition, the FBI has gone out of its way to absurdly declare Antifa to be completely innocent of any violent acts, claiming Antifa is a peaceful organization. Big League Politics carries the story, “FBI Spooks Cover for ANTIFA Terrorists:”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is claiming that there is “no intelligence” indicating that ANTIFA had a role in fomenting riots that have gripped the country… The FBI’s Washington D.C. field office reportedly claims that they have “no intelligence indicating ANTIFA involvement/presence” in the riots. They also claim that “CHS [Confidential Human Source] canvassing, open source/social media partner engagement, and liaison” absolve ANTIFA from any blame.

Meanwhile, AG William Barr has correctly described BLM and Antifa terrorists as the terrorists they are, saying, “The violence instigated and carried out by ANTIFA and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly.” Barr also describes the tactics of BLM terrorists are “urban guerrilla warfare.”

Is it possible a rogue branch of the FBI is involved in running these terrorism attacks in the United States?

Why did the FBI kneel to Black Lives Matter, a terrorist organization that’s receiving smuggled full-auto weapons upgrade parts from China?

If the FBI had any loyalty to America, these agents would be saluting the American flag, not kneeling to a known terrorist organization that’s waging violent, physical assaults on law enforcement offers and federal agents across the country.

The FBI kneeling before BLM shows they are surrendering their authority to BLM, and they take orders from BLM. That appears to be who’s driving the FBI now: A radical Marxist terrorist organization whose goal is the overthrow of the United States government.

Doesn’t that mean, then, that the FBI is engaged in acts of sedition and treason against America?

Christopher Wray has some ‘splainin to do…

Let me guess: Once caught, the FBI will claim they had to “act like terrorists to catch terrorists.” But how many violent acts of BLM terrorism never would have happened if not for undercover FBI agents spearheading the violence in the first place?

About the author: Mike Adams (aka the “Health Ranger“) is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com called “Food Forensics“), an environmental scientist, a patent holder for a cesium radioactive isotope elimination invention, a multiple award winner for outstanding journalism, a science news publisher and influential commentator on topics ranging from science and medicine to culture and politics. Follow his videos, podcasts, websites and science projects at the links below.

Mike Adams serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation. He has also achieved numerous laboratory breakthroughs in the programming of automated liquid handling robots for sample preparation and external standards prep.

The U.S. patent office has awarded Mike Adams patent NO. US 9526751 B2 for the invention of “Cesium Eliminator,” a lifesaving invention that removes up to 95% of radioactive cesium from the human digestive tract. Adams has pledged to donate full patent licensing rights to any state or national government that needs to manufacture the product to save human lives in the aftermath of a nuclear accident, disaster, act of war or act of terrorism. He has also stockpiled 10,000 kg of raw material to manufacture Cesium Eliminator in a Texas warehouse, and plans to donate the finished product to help save lives in Texas when the next nuclear event occurs. No independent scientist in the world has done more research on the removal of radioactive elements from the human digestive tract.

Adams is a person of color whose ancestors include Africans and American Indians. He is of Native American heritage, which he credits as inspiring his “Health Ranger” passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.

Adams is the author of the world’s first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.

In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed “strange fibers” found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health “gurus,” dangerous “detox” products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released over fifteen popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Fedcoin: A New Scheme for Tyranny and Poverty

Posted by M. C. on July 28, 2020

Fedcoin poses a great threat to privacy. The Federal Reserve could know when fedcoin is used, who is using it, and what they use it for. This information could be shared with government agencies, such as the FBI or IRS.

Is it so hard to believe that the ability to track purchases would be used in the future to “discourage” individuals from buying guns, fatty foods, or tobacco, or from being customers of corporations whose CEOs are not considered “woke” by the thought police? Fedcoin could also be used to “encourage” individuals to patronize “green” business, thus fulfilling Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s goal of involving the Fed in the fight against climate change.

http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/july/27/fedcoin-a-new-scheme-for-tyranny-and-poverty/

Written by Ron Paul

If some Congress members get their way, the Federal Reserve may soon be able to track many of your purchases in real time and share that information with government agencies. This is just one of the problems with the proposed “digital dollar” or “fedcoin.”

Fedcoin was initially included in the first coronavirus spending bill. While the proposal was dropped from the final version of the bill, there is still great interest in fedcoin on Capitol Hill. Some progressives have embraced fedcoin as a way to provide Americans with a “universal basic income.”

Both the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee held hearings on fedcoin in June. This is the first step toward making fedcoin a reality.

Fedcoin would not be an actual coin. Instead, it would be a special account created and maintained for each American by the Federal Reserve. Each month, Fed employees could tap a few keys on a computer and — bingo — each American would have dollars added to his Federal Reserve account. This is the 21st century equivalent of throwing money from helicopters.

Fedcoin could effect private cryptocurrencies. Also, it would limit the ability of private citizens to protect themselves from the Federal Reserve-caused decline in the dollar’s value.

Fedcoin would not magically increase the number of available goods and services. What it would do is drive up prices. The damage this would do to middle- and lower-income Americans would dwarf any benefit they receive from their monthly “gift” from the Fed. The rise in prices could lead to Congress regularly increasing fedcoin payments to Americans. These increases would cause prices to keep rising even more until we face hyperinflation and a dollar crisis. Of course, we are already on the path to an economic crisis thanks to the Fed. Fedcoin will hasten and worsen the crisis.

Fedcoin poses a great threat to privacy. The Federal Reserve could know when fedcoin is used, who is using it, and what they use it for. This information could be shared with government agencies, such as the FBI or IRS.

The government could use the ability to know how Americans are spending fedcoin to limit our ability to purchase goods and services disfavored by politicians and bureaucrats. Anyone who doubts this should recall the Obama administration’s Operation Choke Point. Operation Choke Point involved financial regulators “alerting” banks that dealing with certain businesses, such as gun stores, would put the banks at “reputational risk” and could subject them to greater regulation.

Is it so hard to believe that the ability to track purchases would be used in the future to “discourage” individuals from buying guns, fatty foods, or tobacco, or from being customers of corporations whose CEOs are not considered “woke” by the thought police? Fedcoin could also be used to “encourage” individuals to patronize “green” business, thus fulfilling Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s goal of involving the Fed in the fight against climate change.

Fedcoin could threaten private cryptocurrencies, increase inflation, and give government new powers over our financial transactions. Fedcoin will also speed up destruction of the fiat money system. Whatever gain fedcoin may bring to average Americans will come at terrible cost to liberty and prosperity.


Copyright © 2020 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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Is Thinking Cancelled? – Kunstler

Posted by M. C. on July 21, 2020

The mayors of New York, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, Minneapolis, Portland, Atlanta, and Washington DC have all allowed rioting, looting, property destruction, and arson to reign in their streets, and entertained measures to defund and hogtie the police, or abolish them altogether. These are all Democratic Party-controlled cities with Democratic mayors.

Do you suppose that voters have had a good look at these scenes and concluded that the Democratic Party is perhaps uninterested in civil order? And for what purpose, exactly? Does it reflect badly on President Trump…

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/is-thinking-cancelled/

James Howard Kunstler

Everything’s in play now. Consensual reality is on the run — the old certainties of US history and the receding promises of the future sink into a fiery sludge of the corona virus present. Things happen without apparent consequence. Authority is on the lam. Coercion stalks the land rooting out thought-crime. Fantasies and delusions rush into the space that reason has vacated in fear of its life. Maybe better not think at all. But you can’t help it, can you? To be human is to be dogged by your own thoughts.

One thought I can’t help thinking is that the failure to resolve the dishonest operations of RussiaGate is a big part of what drove authority and responsibility, those two sentinels of sanity, AWOL. The crimes of officers in the FBI, DOJ, CIA, and other agencies go unadjudicated while clear evidence of their seditious misdeeds has been publicly documented and widely published. It seems as if this great matter of attempting to overthrow the president has come down to the sheer will of William Barr and John Durham daring to ignite the engines of consequence, and you wonder if they have any idea how their stalling damages the national psyche.

General Flynn, the American Dreyfus, remains twisting slowly in the wind despite the DOJ dropping charges against him. Judge Emmet Sullivan is busy destroying the credibility and authority of the federal bench with bad faith procedural shenanigans underwritten by Ben Wittes’s Lawfare claque of Beltway shysters maneuvering in the background to protect Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Is it not past time for the DC Circuit Court of Appeals to force Judge Sullivan to end the case, or admonish and remove him?

Beyond all the legalese bullshit, an innocent man’s life is stuck unfairly and unjustly in limbo after three years of a malicious prosecution. Why has the attorney general not preferred charges against Gen. Flynn’s chief prosecutor, Brandon Van Grack — or, for that matter, against Robert Mueller, Andrew Weissmann and the whole Special Counsel staff — for withholding evidence and plenty of other obvious prosecutorial mischief? Mr. Barr has stated plainly more than once that the agency he took charge over in 2019 “us[ed] the criminal justice process as a political weapon.” Is that against the law or not? Does it injure this society to leave that question unanswered, month after month?

In a better society, the newspapers would have rushed to Gen. Flynn’s defense. Except our leading newspapers are so vested in years of their own untruth that they don’t dare to cover the story. Where is the consequence for Dean Baquet, editor of The New York Times, since Times staffer Bari Weiss disclosed his failure to control the ideological bullying, coercion, and hostility to fair play in his newsroom?  Mr. Baquet has not just wrecked an institution; he’s made the whole business of covering reality look like a hustle. Does The New York Times’s board of directors not care about its reputation? Maybe the message is: why should anyone care about his or her reputation? And what kind of culture grows out of that code?

The mayors of New York, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, Minneapolis, Portland, Atlanta, and Washington DC have all allowed rioting, looting, property destruction, and arson to reign in their streets, and entertained measures to defund and hogtie the police, or abolish them altogether. These are all Democratic Party-controlled cities with Democratic mayors.

Do you suppose that voters have had a good look at these scenes and concluded that the Democratic Party is perhaps uninterested in civil order? And for what purpose, exactly? Does it reflect badly on President Trump that the murder rate under Bill de Blasio and Lori Lightfoot is suddenly off-the-charts while they are busy undermining police authority and its ability to protect the public? What do you make of St. Louis Chief Prosecutor (effectively DA) Kim Gardner moving to prosecute Mark and Patricia McCloskey for defending their house against a mob that threatened to burn it down? Missouri governor Mike Parson declared over the weekend that he’ll pardon the couple in short order if they are charged — at last, an unequivocal and decisive action on behalf of sanity.

There will be a whole lot more in the way of real-life problems to make the American people crazy in the months ahead. We have not even cleared up the affronts to decency and reason that happened before the corona virus landed and began destroying millions of lives and livelihoods. The siren call from anarchy is already blaring. Is there anything about this republic that you think is worth defending? Is thinking cancelled?

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FBI launches open attack on ‘foreign’ alternative media outlets challenging US foreign policy | The Grayzone

Posted by M. C. on June 9, 2020

Thus the takedown of the publication by Facebook, with FBI and FireEye encouragement represents a disturbing precedent for future actions against individuals who criticize US foreign policy and outlets that attack corporate media narratives.

Not exactly new news.

https://thegrayzone.com/2020/06/05/the-fbi-launches-open-attack-on-foreign-alternative-media-outlets-challenging-u-s-foreign-policy/

Under FBI orders, Facebook and Google removed American Herald Tribune, an alternative site that publishes US and European writers critical of US foreign policy. The bureau’s justification for the removal was dubious, and it sets a troubling precedent for other critical outlets.

By Gareth Porter

The FBI has publicly justified its suppression of dissenting online views about US foreign policy if a media outlet can be somehow linked to one of its adversaries. The Bureau’s justification followed a series of instances in which Silicon Valley social media platforms banned accounts following consultations with the FBI.

In a particularly notable case in 2018, the FBI encouraged Facebook, Instagram and Google to remove or restrict ads on the American Herald Tribune (AHT), an online journal that published critical opinion articles on US policy toward Iran and the Middle East. The bureau has never offered a clear rationale, however, despite its private discussions with Facebook on the ban.

The FBI’s first step toward intervening against dissenting views on social media took place in October 2017 with the creation of a Foreign Influence Task Force (FTIF) in the bureau’s Counterintelligence Division. Next, the FBI defined any effort by states designated by the Department of Defense as major adversaries (Russia, China, Iran and North Korea) to influence American public opinion as a threat to US national security.

In February 2020, the FBI defined that threat in much more specific terms and implied that it would act against any online media outlet that was found to fall within its ambit. At a conference on election security on February 24, David K. Porter, who identified himself as Assistant Section Chief of the Foreign Influence Task Force, defined what the FBI described as “malign foreign influence activity” as “actions by a foreign power to influence U.S. policy, distort political sentiment and public discourse.” 

Porter described “information confrontation” as a force “designed to undermine public confidence in the credibility of free and independent news media.” Those who practice this dark craft, he said, seek to “push consumers to alternative news sources,” where “it’s much easier to introduce false narratives” and thus “sow doubt and confusion about the true narratives by exploiting the media landscape to introduce conflicting story lines.”

“Information confrontation”, however, is simply the literal Russian translation of the term “information warfare.” Its use by the FTIF appears to be aimed merely at justifying an FBI role in seeking to suppress what it calls “alternative news sources” under any set of circumstances it can justify.

While expressing his intention to target alternative media, Porter simultaneously denied that the FBI was concerned about censoring media. The FITF, he said “doesn’t go around chasing content. We don’t focus on what the actors say.” Instead, he insisted that “attribution is key,” suggesting that the FTIF was only interested in finding hidden foreign government actors at work.

Thus the question of “attribution” has become the FBI’s key lever for censoring alternative media that publishes critical content on U.S. foreign policy, or which attacks mainstream and corporate media narratives. If an outlet can be somehow linked to a foreign adversary, removing it from online platforms is fair game for the feds. 

The strange disappearance of American Herald Tribune

In 2018, Facebook deleted the Facebook page of the American Herald Tribune (AHT), a website that publishes commentary from an array of notable authors who are harshly critical of U.S. foreign policy. Gmail, which is run by Google, quickly followed suit by removing ads linked to the outlet, while the Facebook-owned Instagram scrubbed AHT’s account altogether.

Tribune editor Anthony Hall reported at the time that the removals occurred at the end of August 2018, but there was no announcement of the move by Facebook. Nor was it reported by the corporate news media until January 2020, when CNN elicited a confirmation from a Facebook spokesman that it had indeed done so in 2018.  Furthermore, the FBI was advising Facebook on both Iranian and Russian sites that were banned during that same period of a few days.  As Facebook’s chief security officer Alex Stamos noted on July 21, 2018, “We have proactively reported our technical findings to US law enforcement, because they have much more information than we do, and may in time be in a position to provide public attribution.”

On August 2, a few days following the removal of AHT and two weeks after hundreds of Russian and Iranian Pages had been removed by Facebook, FBI Director Christopher Wray told reporters at a White House briefing that FBI officials had “met with top social media and technology companies several times” during the year, “providing actionable intelligence to better enable them to address abuse of their platforms by foreign actors.”  He remarked that FBI officials had “shared specific threat indicators and account information so they can better monitor their own platforms.”

Cybersecurity firm FireEye, which boasts that it has contracts to support “nearly every department in the United States government,” and which has been used by Department of Homeland Security as a primary source of “threat intelligence,” also influenced Facebook’s crackdown on the Tribune. CNN cited an unnamed official of FireEye stating that the company had “assessed” with “moderate confidence” that the AHT’s website was founded in Iran and was “part of a larger influence operation.”

The CNN author was evidently unaware that in U.S. intelligence parlance “moderate confidence” suggests a near-total absence of genuine conviction. As the 2011 official “consumer’s guide” to US intelligence explained, the term “moderate confidence” generally indicates that either there are still differences of view in the intelligence community on the issue or that the judgment ”is credible and plausible but not sufficiently corroborated to warrant higher level of confidence.” 

CNN also quoted FireEye official Lee Foster’s claim that “indicators, both technical and behavioral” showed that American Herald Tribune was part of the larger influence operation. The CNN story linked to a study published by FireEye featuring a “map” showing how Iranian-related media were allegedly linked to one another, primarily by similarities in content.  But CNN apparently hadn’t bothered to read the study, which did not once mention the American Herald Tribune.

Finally, the CNN piece cited a 2018 tweet by Daily Beast contributor Josh Russell which it said provided “further evidence supporting American Herald Tribune’s alleged links to Iran.” In fact, his tweet merely documented the AHT’s sharing of an internet hosting service with another pro-Iran site “at some point in time.”  Investigators familiar with the problem know that two websites using the same hosting service, especially over a period of years, is not a reliable indicator of a coherent organizational connection.

CNN did find evidence of deception over the registration of the AHT. The outlet’s editor, Anthony Hall, continues to give the false impression that a large number of journalists and others (including this writer), are contributors, despite the fact that their articles have been republished from other sources without permission.

However, AHT has one characteristic that differentiates it from the others that have been kicked off Facebook: The American and European authors who have appeared in its pages are all real and are advancing their own authentic views. Some are sympathetic to the Islamic Republic, but others are simply angry about U.S. policies: Some are Libertarian anti-interventionists; others are supporters of the 9/11 Truth movement or other conspiracy theories.

One notable independent contributor to AHT is Philip Giraldi, an 18-year veteran of the CIA’s Clandestine Service and and an articulate critic of US wars in the Middle East and of Israeli influence on American policy and politics. From its inception in 2015, the AHT has been edited by Anthony Hall, Professor Emeritus at University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada.

In announcing yet another takedown of Iranian Pages in October 2018, Facebook’s Gleicher declared that “coordinated inauthentic behavior” occurs when “people or organizations create networks of accounts to mislead others about who they are what they’re doing.” That certainly doesn’t apply to those who provided the content for the American Herald Tribune.

Thus the takedown of the publication by Facebook, with FBI and FireEye encouragement represents a disturbing precedent for future actions against individuals who criticize US foreign policy and outlets that attack corporate media narratives.

Shelby Pierson, the CIA official appointed by then director of national intelligence in July 2019 to chair the inter-agency “Election Executive and Leadership Board,” appeared to hint at differences in the criteria employed by his agency and the FBI on foreign and alternative media.

In an interview with former acting CIA Director Michael Morrell in February, Pierson said, “[P]articularly on the [foreign] influence side of the house, when you’re talking about blended content with First Amendment-protected speech…against the backdrop of a political paradigm and you’re involving yourself in those activities, I think that makes it more complicated” (emphasis added).

Further emphasizing the uncertainty surrounding the FBI’s methods of online media suppression, she added that the position in question “doesn’t have the same unanimity that we have in the counterterrorism context.”

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Collusion Is in the Eye of the Beholder

Posted by M. C. on May 25, 2020

It is particularly symbolic that in the midst of this imbroglio, the FBI just accidentally revealed the name of another Saudi embassy official complicit in the September 11 attacks, whose identity was long kept hidden by the US government as a “state secret” whose revelation could cause “significant harm to the national security.” Collusion, foreign adversary, national security: in Washington, it’s all in the eye of the beholder.

https://jacobinmag.com/2020/05/ignore-trumps-bluster-obamagate-is-a-serious-scandal/

Branko Marcetic

Russiagate looks less like a righteous crusade for truth and justice and more like the typical shenanigans for which the FBI and US security state have long been known: prosecutorial overreach, entrapment, and the criminalization of foreign policy dissent.

 

The crux of Russiagate is that it’s a political scandal masquerading as a criminal one.

The interminable scandal has been back in the news this past week thanks to the Trump Department of Justice’s decision to drop charges against Michael Flynn. Flynn was once briefly Trump’s national security advisor before being fired and then charged with lying to the FBI over a phone conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition. Last Thursday, the House Intelligence Committee finally released fifty-seven transcripts of closed-door interviews it conducted with various key players in the saga over 2017 and 2018, covering Flynn’s call with Kislyak and other matters.

Since the news dropped, every effort has been made to turn Flynn’s absolution into the latest Trump outrage. Barack Obama himself weighed in, charging in a leaked phone call with supporters that “there is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free,” and that the “rule of law is at risk.”

Four years into this chaotic and reactionary presidency, there are more than enough legitimate Trump scandals to go around. But as with many things Russiagate, both the Flynn case and the release of the transcripts reflect far more poorly on the Obama administration, American’s hallowed national security institutions, and the anti-Trump “Resistance.”

Understanding why requires going all the way back to 2016 and the beginnings of the Flynn case. Flynn was a former intelligence official pushed out of the Obama administration over, among other things, his management style. Years later, he became a characteristically weird Trump guy: a heterodox foreign policy thinker who combined occasional opposition to endless war with conspiratorial Islamophobia, and became nationally known for flirting with the “alt-right” and chanting “Lock her up!” at the 2016 RNC.

Flynn’s loyalty to Trump was rewarded that year when he was announced as the president-elect’s national security advisor. At the same time, Flynn had, like many in Trump’s orbit, been investigated by the FBI over whether he was a Kremlin agent, and only further raised hackles after it was leaked that he had spoken to Kislyak the same day that Obama ordered sanctions and expelled thirty-five Russian embassy officials as retaliation for Russia’s interference in that year’s election.

Flynn was, at first, pushed out by Trump when it turned out he had caused Vice President Mike Pence to unwittingly lie about the contact. He was then later charged by Robert Mueller and his team in the course of the “collusion” probe with lying to the FBI (not, as Obama claimed, perjury), which at the time was cause for much speculation: it was the umpteenth “beginning of the end” of Trump’s presidency but ultimately produced no new revelations about a Trump-Russia conspiracy. Now, he’s been allowed to skip a maximum of five years in jail and walk away “scot-free,” as Obama put it.

But through it all and since, details have trickled out that have made the entire saga far less clear-cut than those most invested in the “collusion” narrative would have the public believe. For one, despite all the innuendo around Flynn’s Russian contacts and his sitting next to Putin at a dinner, investigators found nothing unseemly when looking into Flynn and had all but closedtheir investigation into him when the news about the Kislyak call broke.

Secondly, the charge Flynn was ultimately slapped with, lying to the FBI, now looks more like a case of entrapment. Recently released notes written by Bill Priestep, former FBI counterintelligence director, prior to interviewing Flynn about the Kislyak call suggest the Bureau was looking at the option to “get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired.” In the notes, Priestep wrote that “I believe we should rethink this,” that simply showing Flynn evidence so he could admit wrongdoing wasn’t “going easy on him” and was routine FBI practice, and that “if we’re seen as playing games, WH [White House] will be furious,” so they should “protect our institution by not playing games.”

What’s more, contemporaneous notes show that the investigators themselves weren’t sure Flynn had intentionally lied to them, and that Comey himself had said so in a March 2017 briefing, before claiming he had never said anything of the sort after being fired by Trump.

There were further improprieties in the investigation. Flynn has claimed, with some evidence, that the FBI pressured him to sit down for the interview without a lawyer. Additionally, two years ago, Comey himself admitted that he had violated protocol by sending investigators to interview Flynn without going through the White House counsel, calling it “something I probably wouldn’t have done or maybe gotten away with in … a more organized administration.”

Things get worse when one goes through the Mueller team’s interview notes for then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates and Mary McCord,

Read the rest of this entry »

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Justice Department Attempts To Blame Encryption for Terrorist Attack Feds Failed To See Coming – Reason.com

Posted by M. C. on May 21, 2020

That’s the reason why Wray and Barr keep appealing directly to lawmakers (some of whom are sadly too amenable) and aren’t really trying to win over the public. They know full well that encryption backdoors and other security vulnerabilities can and are already used for malicious purposes by criminals and oppressive governments. They don’t care, as long as they get access, too.

https://reason.com/2020/05/19/justice-department-attempts-to-blame-encryption-for-terrorist-attack-feds-failed-to-see-coming/

When a Saudi Arabian man named Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani opened fire at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, in December 2019, killing three and injuring eight, the FBI assumed (correctly) it was an act of terrorism.

Alshamrani, who was 21 and a lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force, was at a training program sponsored by the Pentagon in an agreement with Saudi Arabia. A subsequent investigation by both the United States and Saudi Arabia would show that Alshamrani may have been radicalized by Al Qaeda as far back as 2015 and had been tweeting out angry comments against the United States and Israel prior to the attack. That information started coming to light less than a week after the attack, raising questions about whether the American government had done a bad job vetting Alshamrani before letting him into the United States to train.

But Alshamrani also had two iPhones that were locked (which the FBI couldn’t get access to upon his death), so instead of focusing on what intelligence failures allowed for Alshamrani to enter the United States, the Justice Department is instead continuing its attack on encryption. Immediately after the attack, FBI got a warrant to search Alshamrani’s phones andthey approached Apple, asking for help breaking into them. Apple reportedly gave the FBI access to data that the man had stored on his iCloud, but as has been their practice for years now, their encryption system doesn’t give Apple the ability to bypass it and the company would not assist in breaking into the phones.

This has been a sticking point between Apple (and other tech companies) and the Justice Department for years now. Strong encryption is vital to protecting everybody’s data privacy from criminals and any other bad actors with malicious intent (like authoritarian governments and spies). Criminals and terrorists, of course, can also use encryption to prevent their conversations and plans from being detected by police who might stop them. Any tool can be used for good and bad purposes.

This fight is back in the news this week because the Justice Department revealed on Monday that it had finally managed to break into Alshamrani’s phone without Apple’s help. This should be good news, but it’s clear that the FBI and Department of Justice have decided that they’re going to continue using this case to try to attack end-to-end encryption and attempt to force tech companies to install virtual backdoors that allow government officials to bypass security protections.

On Monday, Attorney General William Barr briefly summarized what they’ve learned from Alshamrani’s phone:

  • Alshamrani and his Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) associates communicated using end-to-end encrypted apps, with warrant-proof encryption, deliberately in order to evade law enforcement.
  • Alshamrani’s preparations began years ago. He had been radicalized by 2015, and having connected and associated with AQAP operatives, joined the Royal Saudi Air Force in order to carry out a “special operation.”
  • In the months before the 2019 attack, while in the United States, Alshamrani had specific conversations with overseas AQAP associates about plans and tactics. In fact, he even conferred with his AQAP associates up until the night before the attack.

Note that the first item is obvious, and the second item was actually uncovered early on in the investigation. The third item, intended to serve as a justification for attacking encryption, is more of an indication of an intelligence failure. The press release from the Justice Department makes it clear that Alshamrani was not on the FBI’s radar prior to the attack and there’s no sign they had been trying to get access to his phone data until after the attack. The Justice Department observes in the release, “The phonescontained important, previously-unknown information that definitively established Alshamrani’s significant ties to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), not only before the attack, but before he even arrived in the United States. The FBI now has a clearer understanding of Alshamrani’s associations and activities in the years, months, and days leading up to the attack.”

So even though the federal government was unsuccessful in noticing Alshamrani’s radicalization that happened four years ago, before he ever came to America, the problem is now that they couldn’t get into his phone after the deed was done.

Both Barr and FBI Director Chris Wray continue to use these edge cases to demand that Congress force companies like Apple to cooperate with the feds and let them bypass encryption.

“If not for our FBI’s ingenuity, some luck, and hours upon hours of time and resources, this information would have remained undiscovered,” Barr said in the statement. “The bottom line: our national security cannot remain in the hands of big corporations who put dollars over lawful access and public safety. The time has come for a legislative solution.”

It has been a long-running strategy for the Justice Department to treat Apple’s extremely valuable and important encryption tools as just some marketing gimmick to win over customers.

In a speech yesterday, Barr and Wray continued the assault. Barr said:

Apple’s desire to provide privacy for its customers is understandable, but not at all costs. Under our nation’s long-established constitutional principles, where a court authorizes a search for evidence of a crime, an individual’s privacy interests must yield to the broader needs of public safety. There is no reason why companies like Apple cannot design their consumer products and apps to allow for court-authorized access by law enforcement while maintaining very high standards of data security. Striking this balance should not be left to corporate boardrooms. It is a decision to be made by the American people through their representatives.

Let’s circle back to my observation above that a tool can be used for either good purposes or bad. That’s the Justice Department’s own argument, right? People are using encryption to hide crimes. Except, suddenly, when the Justice Department wants a key to bypass the encryption, suddenly it’s possible to create a tool that can only be used by the “right” people.

That’s not how encryption backdoors work. And as it has reminded us all every time this stupid argument rears its head, Apple responded yesterday with the same message. End-to-end encryption protects us because there aren’t backdoors. Apple responded (via The Verge):

It is because we take our responsibility to national security so seriously that we do not believe in the creation of a backdoor—one which will make every device vulnerable to bad actors who threaten our national security and the data security of our customers. There is no such thing as a backdoor just for the good guys, and the American people do not have to choose between weakening encryption and effective investigations.

Customers count on Apple to keep their information secure and one of the ways in which we do so is by using strong encryption across our devices and servers. We sell the same iPhone everywhere, we don’t store customers’ passcodes and we don’t have the capacity to unlock passcode-protected devices. In data centers, we deploy strong hardware and software security protections to keep information safe and to ensure there are no backdoors into our systems. All of these practices apply equally to our operations in every country in the world.

That’s the reason why Wray and Barr keep appealing directly to lawmakers (some of whom are sadly too amenable) and aren’t really trying to win over the public. They know full well that encryption backdoors and other security vulnerabilities can and are already used for malicious purposes by criminals and oppressive governments. They don’t care, as long as they get access, too.

 

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FBI Accidentally Unmasks Saudi Link to 9/11 Hijackers | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on May 14, 2020

Right. Nearly 20 years after the fact, the American public does not know how much evidence exists to connect the Saudi government with the crime—but it is not for a lack of trying. The last two decades have been a painstaking exercise in discovery, with three administrations and a mostly compliant Congress enforcing legal roadblocks all the way. Isikoff’s reporting is a brilliant reminder of that.

Mussaed Ahmed al-Jarrah, according to Isikoff, is “a mid-level Saudi Foreign Ministry official who was assigned to the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C., in 1999 and 2000. His duties apparently included overseeing the activities of Ministry of Islamic Affairs employees at Saudi-funded mosques and Islamic centers within the United States.”

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/state-of-the-union/fbi-accidentally-unmasks-saudi-link-to-9-11-hijackers/

Home/The State of the Union/FBI Accidentally Unmasks Saudi Link to 9/11 Hijackers

FBI Accidentally Unmasks Saudi Link to 9/11 Hijackers

Trump carries on the obstruction, as victims’ families fight tooth and nail to expose the Kingdom’s complicity.

Saudi nationals accused of hijacking planes in the September 11, 2001 attacks.

It has been so long that we forget why Americans are so mistrustful of Saudi Arabia and its despotic monarchy. It’s not about oil, or their human rights, or even the dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi (though that all undoubtedly plays a part).

It’s their long assumed role in the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.

Fantastically, that was brought all back to seering clarity yesterday when Yahoo News reported that the FBI had mistakenly unmasked the name of a Saudi embassy official who has been long linked with the hijackers on 9/11. The name has since been “re-masked” so to speak, but not before the press seized upon it and reminded Americans how close the Kingdom of Saud was to the worst terrorist attack on American soil in our history.

According to reporter Michael Isikoff, who broke the story, at Yahoo:

The disclosure came in a new declaration filed in federal court by a senior FBI official in response to a lawsuit brought by families of 9/11 victims that accuses the Saudi government of complicity in the terrorist attacks.

The declaration was filed last month but unsealed late last week. According to a spokesman for the 9/11 victims’ families, it represents a major breakthrough in the long-running case, providing for the first time an apparent confirmation that FBI agents investigating the attacks believed they had uncovered a link between the hijackers and the Saudi Embassy in Washington.

Not surprisingly, the filing in question was part of an attempt to keep the Saudi officials name and “all related documents” secret. From Isikoff:

Ironically, the declaration identifying the Saudi official in question was intended to support recent filings by Attorney General William Barr and acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell barring the public release of the Saudi official’s name and all related documents, concluding they are “state secrets” that, if disclosed, could cause “significant harm to the national security.”

Right. Nearly 20 years after the fact, the American public does not know how much evidence exists to connect the Saudi government with the crime—but it is not for a lack of trying. The last two decades have been a painstaking exercise in discovery, with three administrations and a mostly compliant Congress enforcing legal roadblocks all the way. Isikoff’s reporting is a brilliant reminder of that.

We know that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals and that Saudi Arabia had been aggressively promoting its extremist brand of  Islam throughout the world for decades, including establishing Wahabbist mosques and distributing religious textbooks here in the U.S. We know those teachings informed the Al Qaeda terrorist organization that plotted and executed the 9/11 attacks.

Washington has been accused of covering up for the House of Saud from the very beginning. Every administration—Bush, Obama and now Trump—has attempted to thwart the lawsuits by the 9/11 families to out the Saudi connection and retain restitution for victims of the nearly 3,000 killed.

Court after court has said the lawsuits can go forward. Saudi Arabia has spent millions of dollars in trying to influence Congress, even using our own veterans in a foolhardy lobbying campaign to stop the cases from moving forward. They have been unable, so far, to overturn a 2016 law (JASTA) that made it easier to file terrorism suits against other countries in U.S. courts.

The kingdom has long denied that any official has been directly connected to the attacks. The families have centered their case, so far, on Fahad al Thumairy, an imam at the King Fahad Mosque in Culver City, California, and Omar al Bayoumi, said to be a Saudi intelligence officer. They say the two were helping the hijackers acclimate here in the U.S. before the attacks.

This is where Isakoff’s findings come into play:

A redacted copy of a three-and-a-half page October 2012 FBI “update” about the investigation stated that FBI agents had uncovered “evidence” that Thumairy and Bayoumi had been “tasked” to assist the hijackers by yet another individual whose name was blacked out, prompting lawyers for the families to refer to this person as “the third man” in what they argue is a Saudi-orchestrated conspiracy.

That third man’s name has been meticulously redacted in every reference, except for the mistake found by Isikoff, where he was named as “Jarrah.”

Mussaed Ahmed al-Jarrah, according to Isikoff, is “a mid-level Saudi Foreign Ministry official who was assigned to the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C., in 1999 and 2000. His duties apparently included overseeing the activities of Ministry of Islamic Affairs employees at Saudi-funded mosques and Islamic centers within the United States.”

Jarrah “was responsible for the placement of Ministry of Islamic Affairs employees known as guides and propagators posted to the United States, including Fahad Al Thumairy,” according to Catherine Hunt, a former FBI agent based in Los Angeles who has been assisting the families in the case and issued this information in a court declaration.

All of the information regarding Jarrah has been sealed and classified as “state secrets.” While Trump has told the 9/11 families he would help them, even calling James Comey and Robert Mueller, “scum” for helping to obstruct their ability to get information that would bolster their case, it is clear that Trump’s own people—Barr and Grennell—are taking on that role for his White House. The question is, how long will this go on and will Trump’s recent cooling towards the Kingdom provide the some opening for the 9/11 families, and the American people, to finally get the truth?

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